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Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer: , and my guest today is Chobo. Or if we want to add the honorific Choboji, welcome.
Rick Archer: You live in Scotland. Is it in Glasgow or
Choboji: just outside Edinburgh
Rick Archer: Edinburgh. Okay, great. And I really enjoyed preparing for this interview. I enjoyed listening to recordings and reading your little book, melody in silence. The Selfish bodhisattva. We’ll talk about what that means. But one thing I was curious about, well, first of all, what does Chobo mean?
Choboji: That’s a good question.
Rick Archer: How did you come up with that?
Choboji: Well, I generally don’t like to get, you know, esoteric or anything like that. I really don’t like that. But I was sitting watching scrubs with my girlfriend.
Rick Archer: Scrubs is a TV show about right?
Rick Archer: yeah. Okay.
Choboji: Before that, I was thinking I needed I need a name. I’d like a name. One that even means pointing finger pointing to the moon, or a beginner, like Zen Mind, beginner’s mind, felt really felt appropriate. So sitting watching TV, and my girlfriend just went Java. I thought was quite odd, when she’s just my job, your job. And my girlfriend’s not spiritual at all. But he’s not interested in what I do in any way. I thought it was so odd that I had to look it up. And sure enough, it meant pointing in one language, beginner and the other language and I thought, Okay,
Rick Archer: very good. So your girlfriend is more in tune than she realizes.
Choboji: more in tune.
Rick Archer: And in your book, you mentioned your your masters several times. And I somehow got the impression that was Mooji. Is that correct? Are you referring to somebody else?
Rick Archer: Oh Mooji, great. I love Mooji. And no wonder he makes so much sense. If you’re a student, his. He’s great. You want to hear a cute little Mooji story, just a couple of weeks, there’s a little group that is located about an hour and a half north of London. And they kind of became aware of Mooji through my interview with him. And they’ve kind of started a little Satsang, where every week or every month or something, he calls them on Skype and has a little gathering over Skype and they talked to him. And so they were gathered for that just a couple of weeks ago. And the doorbell rang, they figured it somebody else coming to the Satsang they went to the door and it was Mooji he happened to be in England and he had he drove an hour and a half up from London to come and surprise them at their little Satsang. So that was sweet.
Choboji: And imagine their heads fell off.
Rick Archer: Yeah, so good. So what is why is your title your book subtitle the selfish bodhisattva?
Choboji: I guess we’re jumping right into the the endpoint with that,
Rick Archer: oh, well, we could start at the beginning if you want to tell us what that is. But
Choboji: It’s good to start at the end as well, isn’t it?
Rick Archer: recording TSLA they’re the same thing. So
Choboji: you helped with filmmaker. For me, and the final obstacle was the wish to help others as a concept. And I realized the paradox that the only way to fulfill the bodhisattva wish is to let go of any thoughts of other or any concept or anything, basically, and the most selfish act that you can, you can do is to realize who you are.
Rick Archer: There’s something to that. In fact, there are actual scriptures which talk about there’s that Upanishad which says you know, it’s not for the sake of the wife that the wife is there but for the sake of the self that the wife is there and then it lists not only the wife but the sons and the wealth and a whole list of things that people are nearly are attracted to in life and it says it’s not for the sake of those that they are dear but for the sake of the self that those are there.
Choboji: Yeah. Yeah, it’s the if you’re holding on to it’s almost that positive projection. If you’re positively projecting onto someone, there’s still like a hidden ego behind it, that is seeking some gain for yourself out of it. And it’s like there’s an element of distrust in wanting to help others. Because it’s only when you fully trust, basically God takes over and you disappear. And if you’re trying to do it, it means that your, your intellect thinks it can do better than existence itself. And when you fall into that, then you fall into bliss, and complete fulfillment. And that’s sort of it’s like a play the selfish bodhisattva play on the words, you know, the ultimate fulfillment of yourself, then it comes the blessings for others, to use kind of religious language, but you know, if you’re sorted within your own self, then when you’re in a relationship, then it’s it flows, because you’re not seeking those desires, even if they’re positive. But that takes trust to drop, because it’s very difficult to drop cultured goodness.
Rick Archer: So in other words, you saying that if if you’re fulfilled within yourself, then you know, your motives, whether it’s in helping others or having a relationship or whatever, aren’t going to be selfishly based in any way or tainted by need or craving or something? They’ll they’ll just be 100% altruistic or kind of guided by, could we say a higher intelligence are guided by something bigger than individual motives?
Choboji: Yeah. Yeah, then we start moving into interest in language, we start like the higher paradigm,
Rick Archer: you have to define your terms as you go along.
Choboji: It’s like look, yeah, there’s no getting around the fact that you have to use the word divine life, life itself is divine, to the, you know, the Zen Master, I eat when I’m hungry, asleep, and I’m tired. Because life itself is perfection. And in the ordinary, the ordinary objects, the ordinary life that we call ordinary, when it’s free from the concept, or the concepts that go with it is so beautiful, it’s inconceivable. If you’re not in that space, then generally people tried to find it through drugs, or something, or something. But it’s, you know, Aldous Huxley Doors of Perception is a great thing when he, you know, he sees the magnificence of the ordinary. But our experience doesn’t seem to suggest that our ordinary life is perfection, it seems to suggest misery and suffering. But that’s all caught up in the concepts, ironically, caught up in the concepts generally from religions trying to chase that happiness. And then that’s filtered through into the culture where that chasing is the very block to the magnificence of life.
Rick Archer: So are you saying that religions are to blame for all the suffering and misery of life?
Choboji: No, this the that’d be more helpful than to talk about you know, emptiness there’s no such thing as religion or these things. It’s just life and so this the those as we move through life, those expressions we have to use the mind don’t me and it’s not that’s like that sense that it’s our growth and it’s suffering. Suffering is divine, just you know, the to the fruit on the tree of knowledge. You have to eat it you have to go through it and look what you know, because the magnificence of the mind is gives us this we can talk across the other side of the planet inconceivable, magnificent, you know, inconceivable. That’s the mind it’s, I mean, you want we don’t want to need to get rid of that No. So but you know, we’re going on this journey when, you know, you know, for said you’re going on this journey, and the things you thought maybe you didn’t like, at the time. You realize, wow, you know, what, what a journey my life’s been, and that has given me the fruit and the depth that I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t explored.
Rick Archer: It’s true. I mean, what I find helpful is, you know, to look at the past as having been perfect, everything happened just as it was supposed to. And all the things that happened had a value in bringing me to where I am now. In fact, I once said to my mother, I said, Mom, you know, we had a pretty rough upbringing, alcoholic father and all that I said, Mom, you know, you, you did just perfectly as a mother, you know, because I’m really happy with the way I am. And so you must have just done a perfect job sure, like to hear that. Some people say like, you know, rag on their parents for not having done a good job or something. But I mean, in the in the big picture of things, if we get getting back to this concept of the Divine, if, if the universe really has a sort of evolutionary momentum to it, and it’s all sort of this giant, cosmic evolution machine that’s developing higher and higher expressions, then all the stuff we go through must be fundamentally motivated by that tendency, you know, that, that that driving purpose, however, however horrific it may seem, in the moment?
Choboji: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. But no matter no matter how many concepts of cleverness you may have about, you know, there’s no world out there, you have to go through it.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I really liked that theme that you come back to a number of times in your book, it’s, it’s something I’ve come back to a number of times in these interviews about the, the need for genuine experience, as opposed to just sort of playing with intellectual notions of, you know, Enlightenment, or consciousness or whatever. And perhaps we can talk about that a bit. But, you know, I wasn’t, I don’t think I was too aware of it until I started doing these interviews, but and then I kept running into people who I felt had just gotten some intellectual sense of Enlightenment or higher consciousness or whatever, but weren’t actually living it. And yet they were speaking as though they were, you know, this Neo Advaita kind of scene. So maybe you could give us your thoughts on that.
Choboji: Have you seen this a wonderful sort of animation? I think it’s on Jeff posters. Jeff,
Rick Archer: Jeff created that, actually, about his mother, the little two little bears. And when I say Look at the beautiful tree, and then the other guy goes into this hole, that was actually based on a conversation he had with his mother, when he was walking in some Park
Choboji: is one of the best things I’ve ever seen. Yeah, there is no relationships, everything is just consciousness. There is no beauty. That’s what can happen. Yeah, you essentially become a fundamentalist.
Rick Archer: Why do you think people do that? Why do you think that’s kind of a syndrome these days?
Choboji: It’s because it’s quite easy. And then you feel like, you know, and that it’s part of the ego. You know, we say, the path the spirituality, but there’s, there’s certain points on the ego, almost impossible not to go through. And one of one of them is thinking you’re right. It’s really difficult. You know, people got my guru is better than yours. Isn’t it’s like, he’s the best. Because if you if you check the gun, it’s because you think, because he’s yours. Yeah. And that need to be right. It’s quite fulfilling. And it gives you a sense in universe. So you know, before we maybe have a concept of God as a father figure, who gives you the sense, who blocks out the terror of the unknown. And again, I mean, I’ve known people who’ve known the answers to the entire universe in the miserable Yeah, I went through the Buddhist path, and they know everything. I didn’t know that we can, dog though. That’s karma. Know you’re going to be reincarnated there, or they will be unhappy. But they know so they must be part of must be part of our journey to need to know.
Rick Archer: I remember when I was about 17 years old and taking drugs at a time and I first started getting aware of spirituality and reading some Zen books and on I could pontificate for hours and I could, I can stand there and give my friends a whole rap about reality. And, and yeah, I was totally confused, messed up kid, but there was, there was a sort of sense of, it’s funny, maybe it’s true of all subjects, but with this particular subject, you know, there’s a kind of, you know, we are grounded in that reality ultimately And when you begin to contemplate it, there is some kind of intuitive a high, no, that takes place. Because to some extent, there’s some elements in our experience that corroborate our understanding, you know, and but I think what a lot of people do is they jump to conclusions. And they think that oh, this is it, you know, this is the awakening that everybody’s talking about. I’ve got it isn’t that wonderful? I think I’ll start teaching. Whereas there could, in fact, the decades of of unfoldment, yet to go for that person until they really grounded in the experience that their intellect has just begun to taste.
Choboji: Yeah. And then is the flip side of that wreck? Isn’t that it’s impossible? No, it’s no, it’s no, I’m useless. No, there’s still so much to go. lifestyles. Yeah, I can count how many atoms in the chair, you know, that kind of ridiculousness. So that’s mean, obviously, that’s where most is helpful. To give you the, the mirror, the mirror of where you’re where you are. And people don’t like that either. Because it requires, I mean, genuinely is a big attack to your ego, isn’t it? Somebody knows somebody’s further along than me. And that concept alone, but don’t like that concept. Ultimately, obviously, everyone is born from the unborn. However, it is where we’re coming from. But as I say, there’s quite a big difference between Ramana Maharshi, and a suicidal depressed teenager, or a murderous rapist. And if you can’t tell the difference between them, it means you’re stuck up here.
Rick Archer: Good point. And it’s not sufficient for the murderous such and such to just say, Oh, I’m just like, Ramana, Maharshi? You know, we’re all the same being there is an inch of daylight between me and him. Because, again, there could be about some level, that’s true. And on some level, yeah. But there could be, you know, vast amounts of purification and development and so on, that that person is going to have to undergo before he actually becomes Ramana Maharshi.
Choboji: And it puts the essential point, you know, is it your experience? You know, are you dwelling in bliss? Yeah. And only you can answer that, you know, doesn’t matter what you say what you come up with, if there’s still restlessness in your being, you know, maybe you get bored or you’re still seeking doesn’t matter if you say, There’s no such thing as seeking, if you just can’t sit content in your view.
Rick Archer: And then, of course, the number of people say, they dismiss the importance of this, you know, they say, Oh, you could be miserable, you can be angry, you can be depressed, you can, you know, enlightened person can be all of those things. And so in a way, they kind of dumb it down, you know, they lower the bar, because they’re experiencing those things.
Choboji: I think it’s like the, if we’re going to reduce terminology, or my understanding is, when you when you realize that I am, what you get that sense of, I’m just here. That’s the start of the path. And the start of the path isn’t yet witnessing, you’re depressed, witnessing, you’re angry. And you start to it’s like Mooji said, he’s like, just just rest in your being zip up your sleeping bag, evening and just soak in that. Because you found the path that’s not awakening itself. In terms of Buddha, like you’d see. And then there’s like the level of love, which is that intimate. Losing yourself and the other the world around you, instead of it so they don’t become the other they are. When you know, that’s it’s a tremendous experience. Compared to just that I am is when you recognize and feel I am in someone else, and know that they’re more important than you are. It’s like breaking down with the ego into another and that requires tremendous trust, and letting go. You know, that’s the two paths, isn’t it? The two wings of the bird path of love and the path of meditation. And people in the path of meditation generally stand back and they don’t get involved and remain detached and beautiful. Those like the Sufis like the suit, symbolized by the Sufi, whirling, whoever you meet, manifests a different part of who you are. And you allow all these flowers Have you been to come out? And all that does is point to the unchanging within? For you, you move within everything. And it manifests the, the unknowable within.
Rick Archer: I think for some people, both of those things can be part of their experience, one can be engaged in meditation and also very much engaged in the world and engaged with people. And, you know, the way you’ve described. It’s not an either or necessarily.
Rick Archer: yeah.
Choboji: Yeah, that’s like, one, two aspects of one thing.
Rick Archer: Yeah. There’s nothing you said earlier about masters, I just wanted to make a comment on about the importance or value of having one. In the context, we are talking, it’s interesting, because on the one hand, a master can be instrumental and instilling humility, you know, making you realize you’re not quite so great as you thought, on the other hand, a master at the appropriate time can be instrumental in instilling confidence, you know, the, the willingness to sort of own it. And those are those are little bit different, but perhaps are needed at different stages of your of your development.
Choboji: Yeah. I guess I probably want to talk about my journey. Yeah. That’s pretty much what Mooji did for me. And it was because I’ve never actually met Moochie
Rick Archer: to sit and chat with in person. You’ve never met him yet?
Choboji: No, I’ve been to his satsangs. Okay, but we’ve never like sat down one at a coffee. And you know, what shoe size are you? But because I just couldn’t quite believe what had happened in in many ways. And with Mooji, who’s very much this is a, that’s it. And that that impact. And there was one thing he said, which was, which I found fantastic was he said, if you’ve been studying for 20 years, and you haven’t awakened, why not? And it really, it blew me
Rick Archer: could depend on the effectiveness of your study. I mean, a person could.
Choboji: It felt like it was good. And that’s what a master is. So my first master was that Tibetan master. And for me, when I when I met him up, just, you know, that explosion of love, and I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life, when we’d walk into the room would be and start shaken. And somebody else that is just a dodgy old man. So it’s that it’s that love affair, that you’re falling into love with someone being so it’s not they’re never telling you. You know, you should go shopping four times a day or you should go shopping twice a day. Nothing like that. It’s it’s recognizing the divine in someone else first. And that gives you we want to do something.
Rick Archer: I was just I just have this little Chinese frog on my desk. I noticed it was crooked. And so I was just straightening it up as you’re talking. I did have a thought I did. dog needs to come in though. Here we go. I did have a thought. And that was that. Um, now I’ve lost it. Go ahead. You can go honors.
Choboji: One thought I’ve got a Koan that I’d like to give your listeners. Okay. One plus one equals
Rick Archer: that’s it. That’s it. Okay. Well, I want to answer that.
Choboji: Yeah. If anyone wants to get back to me.
Rick Archer: Did they get a prize if they
Choboji: think they will.
Rick Archer: Though, one thing I noticed in your book that I found interesting that not too many people talk about is, you know, you, you discuss degrees of witnessing. And you say that there’s one sort of witnessing, I guess you could call it. I forget how you which terminology you apply, maybe it’s liberation, in which there is a sort of a detachment from ordinary waking state events. But then the real acid test would be maintaining pure awareness during sleep. You mentioned that in your book. I say not too many people talk about I’ve had long discussions with people about this very point. And, you know, I have one friend who says he hasn’t Last awareness for about 55 years, he’s been maintaining awareness during sleep since he was about 10 years old. And other people say, Well, I had that for a while. But really, I’d rather be out like a light when I sleep. So it kind of went away after a while. But some teachers actually emphasize that that is sort of critical criterion for a significant degree of awakening, if you really you can sort of fake it, you know, in the waking state, Oh, I’m so detached. But if you’re out, if you’re soundly asleep, and pure awareness is lost, you can’t really fake that, you know, it’s either maintained or it’s not. So what is your experience that caused you to put it in your book? And what what would you say to that?
Choboji: I think, use images language, it talks about before the I Am. So the and that’s the space. But we’re talking about before about when you just realized that I that’s the path. But in an for gooder, then when you realize emptiness in the waking state, that’s just liberation and not Enlightenment. Because, yeah, when you go into sleep, that we can stay disappears. So that sense that space of awareness isn’t maintained. So you have to be able to have that sense. I mean, it makes it really easy and clear. I’ve had the experience in my sleep.
Rick Archer: Being awake, being awake, like your girlfriend, they’ll say, Hey, you’re snoring, you know, and you think it’s not like I’m awake.
Choboji: Yeah, I get that quite a lot. But in really deep and really deep sleep. That’s, you know, you can’t really put into words. And that’s clear that there’s no this. Yeah.
Rick Archer: So your own experience? Is that like a 24/7? phenomenon? You’ve had tasted it?
Choboji: Yeah. Yeah. So my feeling is that when when death comes, then it won’t be a problem. What won’t be a problem? Maintain an awareness?
Rick Archer: Because it’s been established enough? Yeah. But I would suggest that even in life, you know, there may come a time when that pure awareness is just a continuum, regardless of what whether you’re awake or asleep. Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, it can become more clear and more stable. But, you know, maybe we’ve had tastes of it, but it can, you know, and for some, it is a perpetual, you know, condition.
Choboji: It’s a couple important points, I think I may have put them up, but I can’t really remember a roadmap book. But the disclaimer is that essentially, you know, Life is a mystery. So these are, if somebody may be listening to that, God, no, no, no, this system, that system, and the divine manifests in as many different ways as there are people. And that that’s why we’re drawn to different different masters different teachings, the expression, what is it been expressed through them? It’s so different. You just put the hammer down. That’s the point. You don’t go that’s that. Yeah. But it’s important to talk about these, these different depths. And yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah, so I totally buy that different different teachers and different flavors for different people, different strokes for different folks as Sly and the Family Stone put it but so, are you suggesting that probably there aren’t any universal criteria for awakening or Enlightenment? Or is it really depends on your teacher or your tradition? Or could there be some universal criteria, which cut across all traditions? And, you know, if we look deeply into each tradition, we’d find them there.
Choboji: Yeah. I think you know, what finish like difficult from the outside, don’t pinpoint someone because something blinks more than someone else, you know. Yeah. From the nose. Yeah. But within Yeah, that the lack of the ego that’s, that’s the way when you when you realize that I that you’ve always been relating to for your whole life. It’s not who you are, and who you are, is fathomless unknowable inconceivable, and can never be covered by language.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And even, I’m sorry, go ahead.
Choboji: No, no, I think that’s within every path that’s ever been.
Rick Archer: And still, it’s rather rare. I mean, most people in the world think that this is what they are. Although, you know, their religions may say, okay, when this dies, then you’re going to continue on, but in for in terms of their actual experience, you know, this is me.
Choboji: I mean, I don’t know where you live.
Rick Archer: Iowa. It’s about four or four or five hours west of Chicago.
Choboji: Do you live in quite a spiritual community?
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Choboji: Yeah. But it’s not really like that from Scotland. If you go down and say stuff like that, maybe the same California, you know, you got a bat over the head.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Choboji: It’s not like, they’re not walking about going. Yeah, I’m perfect. And I know it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. A lot of a lot of misery. Suffering.
Rick Archer: Why do you think that? Maybe we’ve covered this, but I don’t think we could have covered it adequately. You know, what is it that keeps people in misery? Why is it that we don’t just spontaneously wake up wake, awaken to our true nature, as in the course of growing up? You know?
Choboji: I’ve got absolutely no idea.
Rick Archer: Like, for instance, in your book, you mentioned that you felt like animals were more enlightened and people because they’re so innocent. And you know, guileless, I think I don’t know if you used that adjective but and, you know, Ken Wilber argues that this is the pre, I think he calls it the pre rational fallacy where, you know, a simpler form of life is seen as enlightened, because it doesn’t have all the sort of the complexity of the human being. But in fact that the stage of complex human life with all of its slings and arrows is a necessary transitional phase that we actually, as you know, in the course of evolution do have to go through before before getting on to the trans rational, which is kind of simple and innocent, like an animal, but with the wisdom of Self Realization, which the animal doesn’t have.
Choboji: Absolutely. But I think I’ve gone from the Buddhist world and these concepts that animals are lower, and I got rid of those concepts. And I could actually see that if we’re not progressing on our journey of life, with the laws of nature, and the path, then generally, people stagnate. And that stagnation. I mean, I used to think people are emotionally 12 years old, on average, but my nephew comes around and He’s four years old. And that’s what I put most people, you know, it’s like, you’ve got a TV, it’s like get upset, someone touches their toy. It’s like my toys, my toy, my toy, or they will give some opinion about philosophy, but all they’re doing is saying, no, no, no, there is just this need the, the expression of their nose, sophisticated, but their emotional connection with another human being. And the ability to let go and surrender and open up to them. Is that four year old? So the journey the journey takes us. Yeah, we go through the mind back, the return to innocence has a depth to it. So the formless is formless. So it’s, you can’t mark it, but there’s depth to it. It’s invisible, but the psychological realm is invisible. That that depth, but it’s there. So you know, you meet somebody who’s consciously awake, and you’re consciously trying to move into there. Then something happens that never happens if you just go down to watch football.
Rick Archer: Which is a good yeah, that that in itself is a good point. I mean, the company you keep makes it makes a difference. If you just hang out at the bar watching football, or if you hang out in a Satsang with Mooji. There’s different influence.
Choboji: Yeah, so to dismiss that with an intellectual understanding OF ONENESS consciousness, everyone’s already perfect because it’s well for me, it’s just foolish.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I think we could for haps explained it in terms of a confusion of levels, you know, there is a level on which everything is perfect and nothing ever happened. And there is no person and you know, there’s no volition and all that stuff. But then that’s one level. And but that level doesn’t obviously apply to all the other levels. Just as in physics, you know, you have the quantum mechanical level, or the Planck scale, or whatever. And the laws of nature on that level are completely different than the laws on the obvious Newtonian level, the surface level of life. And just because you understand those laws on the, on a quantum level doesn’t mean you can go jumping off buildings, you know, gravity is gonna do it.
Choboji: Yeah, exactly. It’s part of that. Wanting to know, and wanting to be in control, like the eagle, like, it kind of you don’t want to go off, you know, I’ve got spend, say, 30 years of the master, it’s like, Nah, don’t really need that in the West. But those are the expressions of the laws. I mean, like, wherever we look, I think it’s Ram Dass, I mean, we listen to and that’s the way we look, there’s laws, you go to music, there’s laws. Music is the best example for me. If you decide you don’t want to do anything, that’s punk. And your expression is very, very limited. Then you can all play in unison, together, it’s powerful, but monotonous, monotonous, then you learn laws. And if you get stuck in the technique, you never really become a great Creator. But when you learn the technique, you meet someone else’s learn the technique, then you completely let go and go, I’m not following any of these laws. Everything you play is in harmony. And it’s a higher harmony than just the punk we’ve got, I’m not going to learn anything, I can do what I want. And to think that that’s the the same thing.
Rick Archer: It’s a good metaphor. You know, if you really want to attain mastery, then have a master. You know, and no great violinist ever learned that on his own or, you know, no great pianists, they studied under a Master who was, you know, adept in that instrument? And I so I guess the curiosity is why is there such an aversion to that in some spiritual circles? Is it this what you were saying earlier, this feeling like I don’t want to bother going through 30 years of training? Or, you know, or just content with the intellectual concept of oh, we’re all enlightened? And therefore, why should there be any distinction between this guy sitting up on the on the chair and myself, you know, we’re all the same? I don’t know, what do you say?
Choboji: Well, I think it’s been the same since time immemorial. It’s the the ego doesn’t want to surrender. And, you know, it takes a very easy option these days. When I think in the world of Zen, you know, they knew that they were a Buddha. they’d learned that very young. But it’s the still fit with the master and totally realize that. So it was very, but there’s still part of the culture that to be with the Master. mean, obviously, it’s an area open for abuse. So there’s that?
Rick Archer: Oh, yeah, there is that gives all a bad name, in a way it makes people suspicious of all of them. But but that’s not the reality. There’s some good ones out there.
Choboji: But yeah, but essentially, you’ve just fallen in love with someone. And it’s, it’s the it’s like, Manjushri, with Buddha, you know, that when he became enlightened he loved but even more, because then you realize how amazing he was at what he was, how he was expressing himself. And it was the same with the Tibetan master Jason Ka’bah. Even those who are enlightened, couldn’t believe how enlightened he was like that that expression was so incredible. I mean, I feel that it’s the same with Mooji, that there’s many masters, but reduce expression is so I mean, this, when I met, when I met him, I just thought was me and Rumi. He’s, the author of St. manhood was just, it was just palpable.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and for people who have a problem with that, I mean, use the example of electricity. There’s, you know, this universal electrical field. And then there are all these implements that we power with it, you know, and there’s little light bulbs and bigger light bulbs and refrigerators and, you know, blenders and toasters and all these different and they’re all sort of, you could say channeling or expressing the same electricity, but they do so very differently. And just giving the analogy to light bulbs, I mean, there’s a big difference in terms of illumination between, you know, 1000 watt bulb and a 15 watt bulb in terms of how it’s going to light up a room. And so you know, Everybody who sits in a room with somebody like Mooji, they’re all basically that same field. But you know, the reason they’re there. And the reason moody is there is that he’s somehow managed to reflect that electricity more fully. I’m using the word electricity here, obviously, we mean consciousness, and that can stretch the analogy help all those other light bulbs shine more brightly.
Choboji: Yeah, no, it’s a wonderful analogy. And then that, then you get into the magnificence of it, and the no comparison, because maybe you are drawn to one master image onto another, but each master you’re drawn to will be a different light coming off and a different experience and a different connection. And then, I mean, as you know, you must know, they doing all these talks that this this field, spirituality is the most bizarre, paradoxical. World possible, isn’t it? It’s like, you can say everything he said, but it doesn’t change the fact that you are that there’s nothing you need to do. And all these things are true, too. So it’s, if you can journey with that sense of wonder to it. It’s that just keeping that open mind. Yeah. Just like, okay, concepts are fantastic to play with. And it’s like, but it’s the Zen thing, isn’t it? First, there’s a mountain, then there’s, then there’s no mountains, then there is that phase, when there’s no mountains is just under quite a lot of people. And they can, that’s when the arrogance can come. And that’s when you can say, No, it’s all just consciousness, when that’s, that’s when you’re stuck in that still stuck in that realm.
Rick Archer: If I could define spirituality, based on my current understanding and experience, it would be to say that it’s the embracing of paradox, the embracing of the full range of possibilities, which, you know, compared within themselves between themselves are very paradoxical, you know, how can you say there is no mountain and yet there is a mountain? Both those things don’t make any sense if put in the same sentence, and yeah, it’s absolutely true. And so real spiritual development means kind of growing in the ability to embrace the totality with all of its diversity and paradox, and, and, and so on, and harmoniously kind of contain it.
Choboji: Yeah, that’s Mooji said to me, no, don’t make tattoos out of my out of my words. And it’s that, you know, by the time you’ve one year comes, that’s absolutely irrelevant. It’s all or, you know, for myself, yeah, I mean, I’ll contradict myself within a paragraph. Yeah. When I’m talking to someone, it’s, it’s, which all points to what you seem to be to be in fluid.
Rick Archer: And it’s not like you’re wrong. The first thing you said, and you’re right, the second thing, or vice versa, it’s that both are true. Yeah, even though they’re perhaps contradictory.
Choboji: So you really start moving in the journey, when you realize you don’t know anything. When you existentially know that you can’t know. Then everything you learn is a wonder. Like, Socrates before it’s gonna get killed. I heard there’s some somebody was doing some painting or something. He said, Oh, can you teach me that? And they’re like, but you’re going to die tomorrow anyway, then it’ll be one more thing I know, before I die. And his essence is not knowing. You know. So it’s that that’s when everything becomes magnificent. It’s like, for me, I’m just suddenly concerned that someone else would enjoy their life, you know, that life should be a great enjoyment and you become speechless with, with the beauty, the Ramakrishna, when, when he was young, and he went to the river, and a flock of birds flew up and fundamentally passed out because the beauty was so intense. And that’s how everyone’s life can be. And that’s how that that spirit, that feel, is a better way to travel on the journey, as far as I’m concerned.
Rick Archer: When you said an interesting thing a little while ago, and you’ve said some interesting things since but long ago, you said about use the word stagnation, and I think used in conjunction with the word suffering. And I would suggest that if a person has is suffering, then there’s somehow stuck. And that as soon as there’s progress, you know, then the suffering will abate and It may be that you’re relative to what’s possible, they’re still suffering but relative to what they’re moving out of, they feel a sense of fulfillment or joy or relief because they’re the suffering is diminishing or the the bliss is increasing whichever way you want to put it. So perhaps that’s we were talking earlier about litmus litmus tests for evolution or for spiritual development, perhaps that’s one is, if there’s a continuing sense of less suffering and more joy, something good is happening.
Choboji: But that’s the marker at the end of suffering, I haven’t come across anything else. When you when you’re no longer suffering, that’s, that’s when you’re awake. And but there are those, those levels are like this, that the parental voice that can, in our heads is what makes a lot of us suffering. And when we develop a sense of I, around a parental voice, what you shouldn’t shouldn’t do, that generally tends to be a person who have low self esteem, guilt, depression, who, that when they stagnate when they can’t get past that. And when you have a release into that, the child doesn’t have to, I can do what I want. That is tremendous release. So you know, it’s quite useful if you’re being with a master, and you get and you’ve been getting nowhere. And then you go, Fuck it, let’s walk away. And this tremendous release can feel like some kind of liberation. But it’s always causal. This is another marker, if you’re practicing. If you’re practicing Tantra, then you’re trying to cause bliss. So anything caused we know that comes goes. So it’s that these levels of suffering and release of like the tension in life, the conflict, the polarities, and all your bliss can reside in tension, you know, but it sets the unreal, the release of attention, in a lot of bliss is released the potential
Rick Archer: Yeah, when I refer to Bliss, I’m not speaking of that, which you would derive from any particular outer experience. You know, if that were the case, then winning the lottery would mean you just had a big spiritual epiphany. Yeah, I’m talking more of a sort of an innate essential kind of thing, you know, that there, regardless of external circumstances. Yeah, that
Choboji: was for me, when, because you can’t, I just couldn’t quite believe it. I just can’t really count that you’re waking up every day. And just bliss
Rick Archer: every once you’ve been studying with Mooji, this, this was before,
Choboji: with with Mooji it was I just dropped the last the AI that was coming with that, sort of an AI that was coming with that,
Rick Archer: like you’re working with a really useful dude. And then
Choboji: well, it’s like, It notes that over time, like you just have heard about other masters talking about this time period where things settle down. And it’s almost this it doesn’t change. And so someone said to me recently, but isn’t that an object? And it’s
Rick Archer: isn’t what an object your bliss?
Rick Archer: And how did you respond?
Choboji: My first instinct is, what difference does it make? Because it’s always there. And it’s, it’s innate to your being.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and if it’s always there, and it’s a true being, how can it be an object? What what other object is always there?
Choboji: Yeah. Yeah, it’s just seemed like you have more conjecture than, than anything else. I think I’ve lost track where I was going,
Rick Archer: I’ll get you back on track. There was something you said a few minutes ago about certainty. And it’s funny, you know, we were talking about how the wonder of life and and versus the sort of adamant sort of I am right, and I know this and, and so on. And it may sound to people the way we’re talking like, hey, these guys sound like they are certain about things. They’re making this. They’re making this pronouncement in that pronouncement. But perhaps in our defense, I could suggest that all of this is offered with a spirit of kind of gentleness and lack of fundamentalism in others. They is just an, you know, an acknowledgment that next week, we might be saying something entirely different. You know, it’s not like we’re trying to encapsulate truth in words. We’re trying to use words to just sort of enliven a sense of it. But with the, with the acknowledgment, implicit, that words are always a pretty inadequate tool for doing that. But they’re the best thing we have if we’re going to have a conversation.
Choboji: Yeah. I thought it’s enough. It’s like zoo said, that is like, everybody seems certain except for me. I mean, there’s always that hesitation, then that says, You’re going back to my point, it took me years. And before I would talk, I’m only just starting to talk because it’s like, whatever I say, I just got. That’s not right. That’s, that’s not right. No, I’m not communicating it right. And even in this interview, I’m set to go in depth, but that doesn’t, but I’m not communicating it right. So if anyone’s thinking, Oh, God, I don’t know, fundamentally, I don’t know. And the world is just pure wonder. But it’s like the an actor study, like acting, you cannot teach somebody to be an actor, what you’re doing is going you don’t do that. That’s blocking you, that’s blocking you that’s blocking you, or, you know, chipping away at the marble to reveal what’s there. You don’t create the marble. So it’s all like, what we’re doing with the words is, is that via Negative? Negative? Yeah, you just, it’s very difficult to, to posit in a positive way that because then the mind will come clean. To You think you’re better than me, that can come? Well, you know, there’s
Rick Archer: that Zen saying of the finger pointing at the moon, maybe you’ve even brought that up in this interview. But that’s what we’re talking about the finger is like the words that we’re using, and they’re not, they’re not the moon, you know, but they, they can point to it. And, and so look up, don’t look at the finger. So
Choboji: some people like to paint a golden and take photographs.
Rick Archer: But, you know, you know, when you when you listen to a talk by, you know, Adyashanti, or Mooji, somebody who’s really good at expressing this or read a book by these people, it, you know, you’re just reading words, it’s like ink on paper, but it somehow shifts you into that space, you know?
Choboji: Yeah, it’s, I’ve heard you know, silence is golden, but speech is silver. It’s like, if we didn’t have no one, again, that’s an extreme win, when when when, when you fall into that space, another way of saying it is that things are no longer extreme for you ever. So you’re constantly fresh, to whoever you meet. So if I said, if took this interview to some people that are that I know, they just did just couldn’t believe it’s me. Because when you’re in a certain space with someone, and if you love them, then you don’t want them, you wouldn’t, you’re going to impose some kind of spirituality on them, you just be with someone as they are. And that’s completely fresh and open. And whatever they reveal is just wonderment to you. Yeah, it’s this paradox that when you realize that everyone else is more important than you are, then you got something comes that you’ve got to share.
Rick Archer: Now, some people might say, more important, or just equal, that we’re all sort of the same, whether whether it’s Chobot, or the Pope, or, you know, the Dalai Lama or, or Mooji. Are, are, are they? Is everyone more important? Or are we all fundamentally as important? In what sense? Do you say more important?
Choboji: Well, I would say both. About when you’re inside someone. I don’t know if you’ve got Do you have any children?
Rick Archer: No. Animals? And then I know your wife? Oh, yeah, I got one.
Choboji: If you if your wife was about to be hit by a bus, you wouldn’t think twice about jumping in front.
Rick Archer: Right?
Choboji: She’d be more important to you. And because yourself is not there. It’s just this the the joy sometimes, you know, it’s just seems unbearable. The experience on another person, the compassion, you know, that you feel when that when the self is not there. Their self isn’t there and it’s just merging. So it’s if you can’t put it correctly in language. So if you take it as a concept, then you maybe try to serve people, but if you do that as a concept, you’ll be pitter underneath. There’ll be no, no real bliss there.
Rick Archer: I see what you mean, no. And there’s some beautiful stories in the ancient scriptures about that to people being, you know, so selfless that they’d even, you know, throw themselves on the fire to provide food for a starving person or something like that. Not that I would do that myself. But, you know, just the sense of utter selflessness, where the guest not only is the guest God, but everything is God, and you’re just serving God, and all you
Choboji: see and do. Again, if you take it intellectually, then you think it’s this sort of thing inside you, right? It’s like, you know,
Rick Archer: and you’re saying, it’s an innocent way of functioning.
Choboji: As an innocent man, it’s always different and feels different with everyone. And much. So it’s like, you can go to a master and you can feel, maybe unconditional love at one point, then the rest of it, you might hate me. Or she, and just criticize you, maybe get angry with you, but they’re not doing it with your essential being. They’re doing it with your culture, personality,
Rick Archer: which still trying to mold into a more, you know,
Choboji: get rid of, yeah, allow that natural set that going back to the selfish bodhisattva. That natural Ramana talks about doesn’t mean that you don’t need to cultivate good qualities just need to find the iron within an all good qualities will arise spontaneously,
Rick Archer: Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and all else should be added unto thee.
Choboji: So if you if you try not to make it a rigid thing, then it’s that this is the path of love. So it’s like, it’s good to have that. The I Am practice for me, that’s my heart practice that I give. I am that’s, that’s the heart practice.
Rick Archer: And can you describe that in an interview or something you really need to teach in a teaching context?
Choboji: Well, they generally go through the body, you know, if, if you’re an ECL, Tyst, your eyes closed, someone cuts off your leg has your sense of being diminished, you haven’t felt anything, as you cut off your other leg, as you said to have been diminished, you cut off your arm, your other arm, then when you wake up, after the, if any feeling any subtypes, then your sense of being will be the same, then a second later. And you I will develop the one that’s just related to a torso. And that’s the changing i. And maybe, you know, the senatorial descend masses will slap people to give that one second. With this, a break between the dislike and the eye that continuously manifests, the different I have. Because you get hair cut, you have a different sense of eye. So that’s the one with the body. That if you have all these things taken away, you realize it’s not you’re being you’re being is still there, then you thoughts, you know that, you know, you see your thoughts, you see your thoughts, that sense of a being but there’s an art that arises from the body in mind. And that one is doing the practice of I am. And that’s the one you have to catch.
Rick Archer: And so do you advocate, you know, sitting for X amount of time per day and going through this process in order to? Or is it something you do all the time while you’re walking down the street or whatever?
Choboji: It eventually has to be 24/7. And then it’s not academics no effort, the end of effort is effortlessness. It’s the the end result you can’t make you can’t make a choice to be choiceless. But depending where people are at, but in general, and even the Masters, I don’t know how to say the guy’s name the guy that wrote I am that. Shireen?
Rick Archer: Oh Nisargadatta.
Choboji: Yeah, I’m not very good. He still used to do sadhana.
Rick Archer: Sure. And he used to sing bhajansfor that matter, you know, devotional songs and stuff.
Choboji: So every day is 24/7. But these these things are still have their own expression to them, their own expression in the world. So at the beginning, I’d say ordain yourself into truth, just like Buddha did. And practice 20 minutes, commit to a year of practicing every day, at least 20 minutes. That’s what I’d say to someone in the beginning. Because it’s important to make a commitment
Rick Archer: and if People want to have a clearer understanding of what this practice is that you’re referring to, they could get in touch with you and probably have something on your website or you have some YouTube video or something do you ever find? Well, I’m actually before we go on to that thought, I just want to play with the notion of what you were just saying, of kind of culturing and experience of, let’s say, the witness or of the I am or whatever, versus having that be so ingrained, so established, that it’s just your natural way of functioning in the natural, you know, foundation of your life. And I used to be kind of opposed it conceptually, to the to the idea of, in any way attempting to witness or be detached are any such thing. Now, I’ve kind of gotten a little bit more liberal in my understanding about that, it seems that it can have, from what what I’m hearing from people, it can have an actual effect of developing that state as a genuine permanent state. But But ideally, we’re talking about something which you wouldn’t even ever have to think about, it would just be the way you are just the way you don’t have to think about breathing or digesting. It’s, it’s just a spontaneous style of functioning that gets cultured eventually.
Choboji: Yeah. I’ve never heard anyone put a bit of emoji when someone said that, you know, how do you remember to be the self because I can’t remember to be the self, I am the self.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s like, it’s not an act of volition on the part of some individual, it’s just who you are.
Choboji: So the cultivation is like, we’ll get again, we’ll just say that there’s no rules. So but the cultivation is like Boiling Boiling water, you know, from zero to 99.99, it’s water, then it’s steam. That’s good. But the essentially the water, but there’s a difference between 99 degrees and one degrees. But it’s still just water. That’s what the vision is. But from we can, if we take into account, it can happen any time. But without, so then there’s the medicine can become the poison. Is this tricky? Moving around, so you realize you’re already done. And that was an incredible experience. Like, you know, why did Bodhidharma laugh? When he realized? What was it he was referring to when I’ve always been known? So simple, so obvious that we miss it. Then this liability talks about we’ve developed an intellectual understanding of it, which is that comes with feelings. So like thoughts come with feelings? It’s not like an intellectual understanding means it’s devoid of feeling. It has feelings to it. And it’s your it’s almost like you’re imbibing a sense of it. Almost replicating it till it happens. melting into it was, it’s a good way, but you know, ice melting into
Rick Archer: water. Yeah. Okay, somebody missed it, you made a great point there, which is that, in physics, they call it a phase transition when, when something like water goes from non boiling to boiling water to steam at a certain temperature. And very often in in, there are other examples of that. But in most examples, you don’t notice anything unusual about the water, when it’s at 99 degrees centigrade, or 211 Fahrenheit. But when that one degree shift takes place, boom, there’s a whole big change in a way it is. So a person could be very close to awakening and not realize it. And, but then when that shift takes place, it’s night and day difference. And another point you made there, which is that, you know, at a certain stage or for certain people, or whatever practice can be vital and really beneficial and influential. at another stage, it could be a detriment, it could be a, an anchor around your ankle. It’s time to let it go. And another thing I unfortunately see and you address in your book is that a lot of people mix up those stages when they start teaching, they may say universally, generically, oh, give up the practices, you know, you don’t need them. The practice only reinforces the notion of a practice or such things, which are really not appropriate to be given as a mass instruction, because it’s, you know, chances are you’re only speaking to a fraction of people for whom that’s pertinent.
Choboji: Yeah. I think the masters of old would, when they would say you are that or you are the Buddha, that was the culmination point wasn’t it? have them practice and being the master and that the right time, you would say, and sit in secret, sometimes and some of the teachings in secret because if again, there’s a phrase in Tibet do not turn a God into a demon. And that you turn the teachings into something that actually cripples your life. You should be opening up to people, you know, get that that sense of, you know, intuitive with other people. You’re falling in love with them falling in love with the world around. You defenses are getting stronger. And you’re ideas of the world. Even if they say yeah, manifest in it’s all consciousness, like the Jeff Foster cartoon. Then you’ve become a fundamentalist. So it you go through these, but you go through these things. And it’s very difficult to skip out of being like that. And it’s good to be in that. If you’ve got spiritual friends, that can be very helpful, too. They can mirror you back. But But then again, oftentimes, spiritual friends can be jealous. If you suddenly attain something they no you haven’t.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that was one of my motivations for starting this show me because I live in a town where about 3000 people been meditating for decades. And you know, people are waking up. And I’d hear from friends that, hey, I woke up and I told a few friends and they told me I was on an ego trip. So now I’m going to keep my mouth shut, you know? And so I thought, Well, why don’t I make a show where people can all sort of tell their story. And then people in general can see that it’s happening to people like them, and maybe they’ll be more, you know, appreciative or, you know, for accepting of those who make such a pronouncement. And at the same time, maybe to instill some confidence in them. Yeah, of course, there’s like everything we say, there’s a flip side, there’s, you know, you can somehow have some little awakening and then get up on a soapbox and proclaim yourself the next Messiah, that can happen.
Choboji: Yeah. You’ll know, if somebody’s trying to tell you what to do with your life. Somebody’s trying to get stuff off you, you know, just like have some kind of power over you. But yeah, it’s a tricky business. And
Rick Archer: it is. Like, whatever you say, you can sort of say, alright, I’ve said that. Now let’s take the complete opposite and say that to then we’ll have a more balanced Do you ever find that? You know, you feel like you’ve lost it? Like you’ve just gotten into sort of a muddled state again, and you know, confused, depressed? Or do you find that you’ve kind of gone beyond that kind of fluctuation? And it’s a pretty smooth ride now.
Choboji: Yeah, yeah. Beyond that,
Rick Archer: good. Did you go through a phase where it was on and off, up and down?
Rick Archer: So I could really grew really nice for a couple days. And then really horrible for a couple of days that go,
Choboji: no, not since I realized. My ego isn’t me. No, it’s just continuous. Like, even under intense moments in life, you can, your energies may not be there. But there’s still this sense of this is just perfect. And this, it never wanting to change it. Yeah. No, just not to be confused with you can still do do things and make choices. But underneath, there’s no wish to change it. So it’s a complete paradox. For the mind. Mind can’t get that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, you know, even Christ said on the eve of his crucifixion, if it is possible that this cup pass from me, and then they said, Oh, well, after all, that thy will be done. You know, it’s so obviously, there’s things we would rather not have to experience either in anticipation of them or as we’re actually experiencing them. But they’re, as you say, when when there’s this, why don’t you say it, you know, as of what I was about to say, I think I’d like to hear it and your words.
Choboji: I thought I’m going through I mean, during this whole interview, I’m in loads of pain,
Rick Archer: because I said you had some intestinal problems.
Choboji: So it’s like, if it’s better when it’s not there. But it’s still it’s perfect. Yeah, it’s, it’s as it is the the mind is that sense that the mind is no longer judging life. So, which is again a beautiful sphere of A spirituality where, you know, you say it’s all God’s God’s will? Yeah. Will you take it out of the egos hands, and you accept life as it is, we can almost say awakening is that just complete deep acceptance of everything that happens. And in that acceptance, the sort of negative aspects disappear. That’s the kind of magic.
Rick Archer: And would you advocate that also, as a practice, the culture, the sort of attitude of accepting everything, just as it is, or is it more of a description of a state of realization, rather than a means to attain it?
Choboji: Well, it can all help the witnessing, because, like I said, I said to a friend, if you, if you accept everything, the way it is, then you accept that you want to punish someone, then you realize, that’s where your block is, wherever they reached your block is, now I want to, I’d quite like to hit that person, then you can work with that block, you can recognize where it is within yourself. And then you can move on from it that, again, you trust that the awareness within it, transforms. If you don’t trust that the awareness will transform, you’ll never fully accept it. And you’ll want to overcome it. So that can only happen. But
Rick Archer: you’re not suggesting that you do punch the person, you’re saying that you kind of because obviously, this whole thing could be interpreted as just doing whatever the hell you please, you know, you know, and that that could be problematic,
Choboji: I would, I would one of the, the roots on the path. It’s like, the lineage I’m working on, the book I’m working on next is this stations on the way that can everything are moving, and one of them has taken responsibility for your life. You can’t bypass that. And if you decide to punch them, then you have to take on the consequences of that action. And because one of the traps that you can fall into, if you’re just on the emptiness path, is thinking that other people don’t matter, or it’s just a dream, or they’re not important, and they’re not to be taken into consideration. And if you just allow yet the parental voice to disappear, to do whatever you want, you have to accept the consequences of your actions, you could go to jail, you’re probably going to regret it. Because you realize that, that just came from an act of separation.
Rick Archer: You get punched back, punch
Choboji: back. So those are natural laws of life. You soon realize that when you’re young, you don’t really need anyone to tell you if you are a punching people, you’re not gonna have a very enjoyable life.
Rick Archer: Well, it’s, again, this issue of, you know, different laws or principles or rules applying to different levels, you know, and each level was that Christ’s second quote unquote Christ a lot today said, you know, render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s there’s, there’s sort of, you know, you have to kind of give each level to do and, you know, you stop at red lights, and you go on green lights, and you pay your taxes, and all these things have their, you know, even though on some level, they don’t exist, or they’re observed or whatever, they you have to kind of have the whole package simultaneously. I think, in your book, use the word multidimensional, I believe, which I like. It’s like, where we kind of incorporate or straddle numerous dimensions as a human being and the name of the game is to live them all simultaneously, and act within each strata each level as it’s appropriate to that level.
Choboji: Yeah, and you the expression of the relative, you know, it’s the divine and the relative is that those expressions that come out of the emptiness. So if you have to be careful, if you just fill in the Advaitic path for the emptiness path, you can lose out on the expressions. Obviously, when you finally reach attain, you realize then, your love will express but if you haven’t manifested the vehicle for expression, like martial arts, if you haven’t learned the martial arts, no matter how enlightened you are, you won’t be able to move your body in those fluid ways. If you haven’t learned Spanish, you won’t be able to express your Enlightenment in Spanish. You’ll be you’ll be able to say anything without a translator. So everything can be expressed with you know, talking about the laws and the more multi dimensional you are, the more you’ve got, like a salt to you and a depth that you can express but it’s also there’s the societal laws, and things that we do with our mind. And then there’s the sort of more terrorist laws, like you’re going to die. So it’s a very that’s another station. It’s not, there’s no dogma required to, to contemplate this, you’re going to die. A Buddhist said it was like his biggest meditation, like an elephant’s footprint in the sand, compared to any other and because then that really has a golden eagle.
Rick Archer: This is a famous painting by Rembrandt or somebody of the monk contemplating a skull, you know, holding it in his hand, looking at it, yeah.
Choboji: Yeah, it’s the then you will. When you move with that Death awareness, then that can be very difficult to take. Because then life can seem meaningless. What’s the point? No, I’m going to die. So you need many aspects of your being, to turn that round, so that life is beautiful, because you’re going to die. It’s, it’s meaningful, because it has no meaning. And because things don’t last, they’re beautiful. But in the beginning, that in our culture, I mean, our culture, like the word death is like, it’s like, what’s the swear word, you know, we just go you’re going to die. People’s reaction is, you’ve said the worst thing possible. So these like manifest truths are still they can help go into your expression. And the love of another, another is more important, or just as important as you are. That’s no dogma required. But if you whether but you might not be in tune with that true. And then, if you are in June, the expression that we talked about those different depths of expression, and Buddha said, the need that he would rather have someone on the path of love than someone who’s realized emptiness, themselves.
Rick Archer: Interesting. And that’s essentially I’ve never heard that before about the Buddha. And it harkens back to something you said a couple of minutes ago about appreciating that appreciating the divine in the world or appreciating the world as an expression of the divine, which has a lot more sumptuous, sumptuousness to it than the sort of cold Advaita. Nothing is real.
Choboji: Outside everything, just consciousness. Yeah. But it’s like, I don’t know what life is. I mean, do you know what life is? Do you know why we’re here? Oh, yeah. Nobody knows why. And so this incredible expression. And if we understand those laws, each of those laws, lift correctly expresses the divine more sweetly. Which that alone is incredible understanding that one could then dismiss the world. But the Masters would teach dismissing the world in the beginning, simply because you’re too attached to. If you just follow your bodily pleasures, you will become even more attached and identify with the body. So that’s the phase of renouncing the world, but it has, as far as I’m concerned, become corrupted. And then we have a code life negative culture.
Rick Archer: My, my former teacher, marshy, Mahesh Yogi outlined an interesting kind of a sequence of development, which very much parallels what you’ve just been saying, which is that instead of initially, you do kind of get into this flat, unbounded, you know, it’s all consciousness. And, you know, I’m detached from everything else in the world isn’t real, and, and all that stuff. But he said that the heart actually can’t tolerate that, that the heart hates separation, and you know, and that the heart begins to move to close that gap. And that, as over time, appreciation of the relatives begins to grow and become enriched. And you’ll begin to see more and more of the divine quality of the world. And you know, and that appreciation just becomes more and more profound, until, you know, the desire to actually meet the creator of it becomes sort of, you know, compelling, some sort of like if you went to an art gallery and you saw some art that you really loved, you might want to meet the artist, you know, and eventually that that yearning is fulfilled and that’s Truly, no one comes to realize that actually it is all consciousness, it is all the self, you know, when you look at a galaxy or a flower or whatever, you see yourself in that as you know, not your individual self, do you see that as being, you know, the same stuff as your unmanifest self was known to be from when it first dawn. But that’s a progression that can take some time. And it certainly doesn’t, in any way imply coldness, or uncaring or lack of compassion, or, you know, you know, just somebody falls down the street, and you say, it’s their karma, nothing. Nothing like that, it would actually make one more engaged with the world more, more caring for the world as it developed.
Choboji: Yeah. So you know, the people who are listening, and like, what we’re saying is, essentially, just be careful that you don’t dismiss these wonderful expressions of life, to get to that emptiness. Because if you are dismissing them, then ask yourself, why. And if you are in a hurry, again, ask yourself why that story of the, the bodhisattva person on his way to meet God, and there’s two people under the tree, the guy meditating. And he’s been there for better 10 For seven lives. And he says, how much longer have I got to go? And then you ask God, and he’s like, okay, and there’s a guy dancing under the tree, says, Do you want to know? And he’s like, not really. And it’s always so he goes and ask God, and out of curiosity, asked about the guy dancing as well. And he comes back, and he says, To the meditator, you’ve got two more lights to go. And he’s like, really not been trying so hard. And he’s really down and discouraged. And he goes to the guidance tree, and he says, Do you want? Do you want to know, I said, okay, it might as well tell me, as many leaves are on the tree. That’s how many lives you’ve got. And he’s like, stance and unhappiness. And in that moment, he attains.
Rick Archer: That’s a great story.
Choboji: So it’s not dismissal. It’s not a bird life. It’s not a burden. And a dismissive attitude of others paths is, I mean, because that that’s where it can be. It makes sense. It can be sound like we’re dismissing them. But then that’s the mind. That’s what the mind does. The dismisses hmm. Yeah, it’s like, you’re judging someone and they say, but you just judge me by judging that, that’s the mind. That’s when your mind trapped, you have to know the difference between someone speaking from their heart and somebody speaking from their mind. And yeah, it’s, it’s the feel that dryness that can happen isn’t said, if you’re just on the path of emptiness, it could be a dryness to you. And the path of lovers, like a garden, or the you know, the path of meditation is like a desert, which has its own beauty, the beauty of the desert, the stars, and in the beauty of a garden. These are the different traps you can fall in. And that’s that detached, dismissive. Feeling that being detached means that you’re not engaged. Being content means your content for everything to happen, not your content for nothing to happen, that you don’t want to block your meditation, then you get a can get attached to your meditation space.
Rick Archer: It’s what you just said, evoked a thought in May, which is that you know, when we talk about self realization, or you know, realizing your your pure state, your essence or whatever terminology, I mean, what is that actually, you know, what if we really get down to the nitty gritty? What are we talking about? What are we not talking about that sort of, in it ground state of the universe, that intelligence call it God, if you like, which is giving rise to all this. That’s essentially what we are that that deep inner silence is one with that, that’s an indistinguishable from that. That’s what we are. So that obviously likes to wake up in the 14th form capable of waking up. It also likes to be a dog. It also likes to be a pile of dog poop. It also likes to be a tree. It’s sort of having all those experiences and all those forms are sort of evolving in their capability of waking up, but they’re not in a hurry. Every tree is not in a hurry. Somehow that The story of the dancing man under the tree reminded me of that. It’s like, you know, the whole play. And sometimes it’s actually called the play in spiritual circles. Lila, you know, that’s the whole creation is said to be a Leela or a play of the Divine. And, you know, if it’s a good movie, you don’t want to end, you want this movie to keep going. Yeah. And so things happen and in good time, waking up happens in good time and not waking up, has its place to.
Choboji: Yeah, that’s the paradox again. And from what you’re saying, there, the feel of it, the poetry of it is that if you replace the word, the divine that wants to wake up with unfathomable unknowableness. So I’m good
Rick Archer: with that. Because obviously, that’s what the divine
Choboji: that feels that if you are too out, in nature with a tree, you don’t think is divine, you just stop. Thinking that’s divine, again, is a block,
Rick Archer: candy. But don’t you get that sense? I mean, if you’re walking in the woods, or even walking down the city street, there’s this sort of, I mean, if you look closely, either microscopically, or just perceptually, isn’t there a sense of the, the amazing, like you say, the wonder the the amazing intelligence, I mean, if you look, if you look under a powerful microscope at what goes on inside of a single cell, you know, it’s like, holy cow, who’s running this show, this is amazing.
Choboji: I just meant it as if, when you, when you get into that level, it can be quite subtle. So it’s like be, don’t look for the divine as like, almost like a practice or a word or, because then it can, again, limit the Wonder Woman. So it’s just sort of within yourself, just have a feeling of wonderment, continuous wonderment without labeling.
Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah. It is subtle. And if you’re, if it’s not subtle, then you’re not really having that experience, just just as with you know, the whole consciousness thing, if it’s, if you’re not really experiencing it, it’s just a concept. Same with this appreciation of the Divine we’re talking about it’s, it’s an experiential thing, or it’s really kind of nothing.
Choboji: But But you’re right. It’s sometimes my, this is, for me, one of the stations again, to use the mind to help you drop the mind is this, when you turn your tap on, you have the sense of the unbelievable fortune, that you’ve got hot running water, the miracle, then whenever you get in a car, just the miracle that you’re in a car, this kind of be manifested. And that that was imbibing that way of living a life is amazing. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Are you sitting on the ground looking at a bug crawling up your leg? And it’s like, could you make a bug like that, you know, what, what is the, you know, what is the wondrous in intelligence that could structure such a thing?
Choboji: And then that spirit, you reflect on your own being?
Rick Archer: Yeah, I am that.
Choboji: Yeah. That’s just then it’s like this layer upon infinite layers is that it can’t be It can’t be. That’s almost it cannot be. What on earth is like?
Rick Archer: That’s great. So you’re really conveying that nicely. I mean, here’s this one thing to say, oh, life is a wonder. But you’re really bringing the spirit of that out. I really appreciate it. May everyone live in that sense of wonder?
Choboji: That’s the other aspect of the they can’t not try and pluck the suffering from someone enjoy full participation in the sorrows of the world. And Joseph Campbell, talking about some of the suffering. And I remember suffering for no reason, it’s no reason behind it. That’s part of the paradox. You know, we’re talking about the growth and suffering but essentially, it’s just an illusion. And there’s suffering and suffering and suffering and it’s if then compassion arises spontaneously, that some somebody else isn’t you know, you could be sitting next to a Buddha and you can be 1000 miles away. Just
Rick Archer: It’s a scary snake, we got to get rid of the snake. But it’s only a rope. Oh, no, I saw it. It was a snake.
Choboji: Yeah. And when you get past the rope, wait to show you what’s on the other side? This whole tourist industry is based around this snake. Yeah. And people go no, no, no, it’s just the rope comes from our shop and you can read a book about it
Rick Archer: Well, there’s this obviously has implications with for the whole state of the world and all the conflicts between nations and religions and ethnic groups and, and all that stuff. You address that a little bit towards the end of your book. And you suggest that probably there should be no nations and an all in I’m not so sure about that that’s gonna happen, maybe it will maybe someday there’ll be just one united planet, but it seems that cultures are so different. There’s, there’s, at least for the time being, they’re going to be obviously, different cultures and different countries and so on. But if all of that could be infused with a sort of a more unified awareness, then perhaps the, you know, cultures and countries could contribute the best they have to offer to each other without any sort of infringement upon their, their cultural values or their, you know, national integrity.
Choboji: Yeah, I think about when I think about Star Trek, you know, thinking, you know, the 60s, the things that are no, available in our world that almost in Star Trek, you know, yeah. communications devices, and the almost like, manifest in food. And that’s the one I want. Yeah, yeah. But the I think the only thing that isn’t there as well, peace, you know, but at symbols can be so important. And I just, you can imagine that, you know, instead of equal to the Olympic Games, and it’s just one flag. And it’s a picture of the earth. The power that could have, you know, if you go to any university, or any building is just one flag, flag of the earth. Because, I mean, we’re moving into that one world consciousness store that the internet is incredible tool for uniting everyone together. The sense we’re all here together. It’s slowly coming in through the agenda. It takes time. And I just think that’d be a beautiful symbol, just to get rid of all the flags.
Rick Archer: Yeah. But obviously, it has to come from within. And the root, the root cause of it as the strife and the disharmony is, He’s different from me, you know? Yeah. What do you want? He wants, what I want, what he’s got, you know, that kind of stuff where there’s, there’s not a unity is obviously not predominant.
Choboji: Yeah, the you’ll will never over that comes with the ego. Right? So it will always be there. You know, here, you’re on the other side of the road, don’t like that. This is my side. But we can continuously adapt. And everything’s changing anyway. So it’s like, how do we keep? How do we change it in such a way that’s more beneficial and less suffering? Clearly, nations are that well, it’s not clear. But to me, it’s so ridiculous that it’s just, you know, time to get rid of the line on this little mats we’ve drawn.
Rick Archer: Yeah, well, in a way I could, you could say, maybe that you’re a visionary, because you’re ahead of the curve. And there’s, you know, people have entertained these sorts of notions, but for it to become a reality, it’s going to have to be based in experience, there really needs to be a kind of a spiritual awakening in which people experientially know that, you know, love to love their neighbor as their self because their neighbor is their self, and not just conceptually. And it’s as long as it’s conceptual. We’re gonna keep having the fighting. Yeah,
Choboji: yeah. The conflict. The conflict, I’ll never in this, there’s the it’s good to have fun imagining
Rick Archer: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Perhaps it helps to bring it about, you know, to Yeah, to visualize it.
Choboji: Yeah. You know, borrow, even if we had won World War, peace, this there’ll be conflicts going on the other side of the road or, and the drama and the conflicts is part and parcel of the the play. I mean, I’m studying here, so I know that unless you’ve got conflict, you’ve got no drama.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s not very interesting. But you know, there, and obviously, even in the traditional, I refer the scriptures sometimes because they, they do have some wisdom and somebody wants to ask them partially why are the gods and the demons always fighting in these stories? You know, in the Vedic literature, he said, because if they didn’t keep, if there weren’t that sort of fundamental polarity there at the basis of creation, there wouldn’t be a creation. You need some kind of polarity in order for there to be relativity and diversity.
Choboji: And even then, it was it was the Jesus that said, there will always be the poor.
Rick Archer: Yeah, they’ll always have the poor with with you,
Choboji: right? It’s like, yeah, it’s
Rick Archer: you’re one if you’re wondering why I’m looking over there, it’s because Lila has made her appearance. She usually shows up in most interviews.
Choboji: Yeah, it’s funny, because I was gonna do the interview, my girlfriend slept with the cat would. I wouldn’t put the cat was off.
Rick Archer: Sometimes she sits on my lap through the whole thing.
Rick Archer: Lila yeah
Rick Archer: good. Well, this has been a lovely discussion. Is there anything you’d like to add and conclusion or even not? In conclusion, if it’s a whole area we haven’t touched upon?
Choboji: I think we touch upon most things. I mean, in summary, there are I’m very much into the love and awareness, exploring both both wings that are really important. But they’re, essentially, always drop any dogma or belief if there’s a dogma or belief. And God don’t need it. Because to know who you are. And most things we talked about or not, don’t require dogma or a belief. They’re just sinking into truth, words and markers. But this just goes on what we’re saying about if we’re going to have a more universal expression of spirituality should be one where I say like, an alien can come down. And we can share truth.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, truth isn’t even a human thing. It’s not always it’s not a Christian or Buddhist or Muslim thing. It’s not even a human thing. It’s
Choboji: human. I watched a film, Paul. And I came down and thought, yeah, you can go through Christianity. Dama. But if you said to Paul, who are you? It’ll have the same relevance. Anyone else? To go, it’s lovely to meet you.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I’ve really enjoyed this. I knew I would, when I read your book, I thought, well, this guy’s on a nice wavelength. So in conclusion, then I’ve been talking to Chobot or treble G as the case may be. He’s written a book called melody and silence, and is in the process of writing another one, as he said, when you expect that one to be out,
Choboji: oh, I have no idea.
Rick Archer: When the guy under the tree gets enlightened, yeah. And you have a website, which I’ll be linking to, which is what?
Rick Archer: Good. And this interview is one an ongoing series, I think I’ve done about 160 of them. Now. They’re all email@example.com Bat gap. And there you will find a little discussion group that crops up around each interview that you can participate in if you like. You’ll find all the other interviews archived and there’s a an alphabetical list that down the right hand side of the page of all the all the people that I’ve interviewed, you will also find a link to an audio podcast, if you would like to listen to this on your iPod, while commuting or whatever, you can subscribe to that it was broken for a while and it just got fixed. There’s a Donate button, which I very much appreciate people clicking. If they feel inclined, it helps to keep the whole thing moving. And there’s a little tab that you can click on to fill out your name and email address and be notified by email every time a new interview is posted. So if you’d like to be notified, do that you can also subscribe to the YouTube channel and YouTube will notify you when a new one is posted. Alright, so that pretty much covers it. So thank you for listening or watching. Thanks a lot, Joe. Big. Thank you. And we’ll see everybody next week. Next interview is going to be with Jen Fraser, who I think you’ll find delightful. I’ve really enjoyed reading her books. See you then