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Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. And this if you haven’t watched it before, is a show ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. And if you’d like to get more information or help to support this whole undertaking, please go to bat gap calm. That’s bat gap calm. My guest today is Craig Holliday, and I’m going to switch to him so you can see his beautiful baby that is in his arms, who won’t be there for the entire interview. Craig is both a non dual teacher and a licensed professional counselor offering non dual therapy and meditation workshops, retreats, and satsang. His work is dedicated to the discovery of our innate divinity, through embracing our humanity. It’s kind of a bundle of humanity right there. He works in a way that addresses our everyday suffering as a doorway to our inherent freedom. He meets with individuals in Durango, Colorado, and from around the world on Skype. Craig will be telling us his whole story, but just in a nutshell, just 19 Craig began apprenticing under his teacher, David, whom I’m kind of curious about in southwestern Colorado. David is little known meditation master who lives a private meditative life. He guided Craig for 20 years and lineage of Sri Aurobindo. This relationship deeply shaped Craig’s life and teachings. During the last 10 years, Craig also studied with Adi Shanti. We’ve guided him through four profound awakenings had heart, Hara and Kundalini. Upon request from others, Craig began sharing these non dual teachings in satsang. Over the years, Craig has received ongoing support with teaching and his personal life from David. John Burnie, whom I’ve interviewed, lama tsultrim, whom I haven’t, and others, despite profoundly awakening to the truth of his own being. Craig also understands the evolutionary nature of our souls and values, the work of continually examining our humanity, both individually and with teachers, while surrendering to our divinity in greater and greater ways. He shares shares the same invitation with others. So that was great, Craig, nice introduction. I never had a baby on the show before. So Thanks, Rick. Well, the baby’s name
Craig Holliday: is Imani Sophia, and she’s nine months old. And she is a wonderful, beautiful little baby. Yeah, he’s also my teacher. And quite incredible. I’m so happy to have her in my life and really, really fortunate. So I’m going to give it to my wife now. I just thought it’d be fun to have her on the show for
Rick Archer: fun, and she’s so well behaved at the moment. Sophia, do you have any other kids?
Craig Holliday: Yep, I have a 13 year old daughter as well. Okay. She’s she’s not so excited about her father. She’ll get over it. Yeah, yeah, we had, we had 10 years of just bliss. And then the teenage years came and yeah, you know, she’s doing what she’s supposed to be doing.
Rick Archer: Right. So mostly the listeners. And as you know, interviews such as this consists of two main components. One is the individual’s personal story. And the other is their teaching, whatever they’re teaching. Sure, sometimes I do more of one than the other. Sometimes I do first the story, then the teaching, sometimes the other way around. But I was thinking in your case, you have quite an interesting story. And it might be interesting to start with that. And that could be provide a kind of a foundation for the knowledge, stuff that we’ll be getting into a little later. And we have all the time in the world, we can go a couple hours, if you like, or whatever, as long as it takes to really unpack everything you have to say.
Craig Holliday: Sure, I guess the big question is, where do you want me to start? And if you can help me with questions, because I will, I will, I’ve lost a large chunk of my memory. That’s really difficult.
Rick Archer: Now definitely have any questions and stories. Yeah. And we’ll help each other because, you know, when I’m talking to somebody, they know their whole life and their teaching and everything better than I do. Like when I work with clients, you know, and my search engine business, they know their business better than I do. So I need to collaborate. So this is a collaborative thing. And we’ll go back and forth and I won’t run out of questions. I don’t think you’ll run out of things to say about it. I’ve kind of found it interesting listening to you. And as I always Do listen to teachers before interview them. Because you can go on for like an hour or so just saying stuff that I haven’t. It’s a little similar to what you’ve said in other ones, but there’s always a uniqueness and a freshness and an originality as it rolls. And I think, Well, I’m really not cut out to be a teacher at this stage of the game, because I couldn’t do that. I’m much better at just asking questions and interacting with people. That’s kind of the way Francis the seal is actually he, he doesn’t like to give talks, he just waits until somebody has a question. And then he responds, otherwise, he doesn’t have much to say. Sure. Yeah. All right. So to get rolling with you. So in your bio, you mentioned that you met your teacher, David at the age of 19. So what got you going? I mean, what made you feel like, there must be what it was all this spirituality stuff about?
Craig Holliday: Yes. So you know, when I was young, maybe, I don’t know 10, or 11, now used to go to church, the the Catholic Church, and I think I used to just walk in, and as soon as I’d walk in, I just felt the presence of God there. And, and I was always just struck just by how much divinity was there. And so as a little kid, I just thought I was going to be a priest wasn’t really sure what a priest was, or what they did. But when I saw them, just standing, say, up on the front of the church that I just noticed that, like, they were playing with energy, you know, and I just as a kid, I thought, Oh, wow, that’s, you know, that’s what my life is about. And think I grew up in a pretty conservative family in the Midwest, and I was about 14, I started to have started to have all these really interesting spiritual experiences, I didn’t really know what they were at the time, I would just, you know, sit down, and it was like, my room would come alive, or nature would come alive, and almost like things would, wasn’t that they were moving, but just seeing that everything was radiating with just like a sense of grace. And also,
Rick Archer: this was happening naturally, and you hadn’t imbibed any substance. So
Craig Holliday: um, you know, I knew nothing about yoga, or meditation or anything like that, especially in those days, I was, you know, unheard of and say, Midwest, Ohio. And, you know, at some point, yeah, it said, I was 14. And I was taking a class, and we were studying, say, the world’s religions. And the teacher just mentioned a couple of different things. You mentioned, vegetarianism. And he mentioned Hinduism and Buddhism. And right away, I just became a vegetarian. And without even, you know, thinking about it much. It was just like, oh, yeah, I’m just not going to eat meat anymore. And just, and then I started to, it’s started to spontaneously meditate. And it just did that I would sit in my room every night for whatever, 20 minutes or a half hour, every night, my dad would walk in and wonder, you know, what the hell I was doing, I think is what he would say to me. And I didn’t have much response. But at some point, you know, moved out to Colorado to go to college and pretty much answered an ad in the paper for a labor position, just digging holes is pretty much what it was for. And that’s when I met my teacher, David. And was he knows also well, so he he recently moved to town, and he was building a retreat center. And so he needed some help digging some foundations. We built a greenhouse, I built a bunch of retreat houses for him and gardens and all sorts of things. I worked for him for, you know, almost 20 years.
Rick Archer: So how come this guy is so anonymous and elusive? If he’s got a retreat house and everything? I mean, I’ve never heard of him outside of the talking, you know, my connection with you?
Craig Holliday: Yeah, um, you know, honestly, I don’t know. Like he his teacher was held to Charlton. Oh, yeah.
Rick Archer: New York. Right. in New York. Yeah.
Craig Holliday: So on Zubin with her. Yeah. And so he studied under her and I think he was pretty much remain disciple. And then she asked him, you know, when, before she passed on, I think she would have like, you know, 600 people would come and listen to her speak at St. John, the divine in New York City. And he asked her if I’m sorry, she asked him if he wanted a big following, you know, and she wanted to take if he wanted to take on all this. And he said, No, he, he pretty much, you know, didn’t want anything to do with the huge group and he’s, you know, always had a very small group with him. And yeah, you know, if you look at the life of Sri Aurobindo, and the work that Sri Aurobindo did, you know, Sri Aurobindo, I think he didn’t meet with anyone for the last 20 years of his life or so. And so my teacher David’s been the same way. Just a very small group. He doesn’t have a website he’s, he told me talk for I think, 40 years and never put up a flyer or anything but
Rick Archer: just word of mouth was Hilda, discipleship Airbender
Craig Holliday: Hilda wasn’t Hilda was actually a disciple of Satya Sai Baba, in India and she spent About 17 years in India before anyone went there, and and toured around, you know, study with all kinds of Yogi’s and avatars and, and so, the thing with David is he’s just one of those individuals to so much grace and so much energy and power and light comes through I’ve never actually met anyone else like, I mean, I’ve, you know, been throughout India, you know, hung out with off a bunch and study with, you know, Sai Baba and India and met all kinds of Western non dual teachers. And David is just one of those individuals whose it’s almost like, he’s not human. You know, he’s just, just so incredible and so amazing. So, you know, let him in touch with him. You know, I haven’t actually, you know, been to his class in the last year or so. But I’ve, I pretty much, you know, grew up with him. I think of him as a father.
Rick Archer: Well, if you’re ever in touch, and you know, if he ever feels like doing an interview, yeah, I’d be interested. Yeah. Sounds like an interesting guy. Yeah, he’s, like, you know, I’ve had people telling me, they don’t want to do interviews, because they don’t want their teaching seem to get any bigger than it is. They want to keep it small. So I understand that, but he it’s nice to have these kind of unknown people. Yeah, yeah. Yes, that’s sometimes the criterion by which we judge who to have on the show is how much they want to be on, the more they want it. Okay, so you spent like, 20 years with David working digging holes, you know, yeah, apprenticing
Craig Holliday: with them working side by side, and we’d meet, you know, every week, you know, for three hours for meditation or salt song, and sometimes twice a week. And, you know, like I said, he was like a father to me. So anytime I had a question or anything, come up in my life, you know, I could just easily go to him. And oftentimes, if something was going on in my life, he would just call me and say, hey, you know, what’s going on with you deeply intuitive, you know, just incredible, incredible being incredible relationship. Yeah, it’s, it’s interesting, because I, I work with so many people, you know, throughout the world, and, you know, most people just have their teachers on YouTube. And they don’t get to, you know, meet with a teacher. And so I feel really gifted. And you know, that I could spend so much time with him. Yeah. So.
Rick Archer: So, you know, better than I do, what the milestones will be in this story, but maybe some of the highlights of the kinds of things you experienced when you were David, and the sorts of openings and awakenings and whatnot that you had would be interesting for people?
Craig Holliday: Sure, sure. Well, with David, it’s, it was a progressive path, you know, which is, you know, very different than, say, the path that I studied with, say, Raja. And, you know, the teaching was you meditate every day you open to grace, you open to your direct experience of God in every moment.
Rick Archer: You know, the last time I saw Rupert spire at the sand conference a few months ago, and you were there. My last comment to him because I was in a rush was, Rupert, the direct path is progressive. And then his wife chimed in, she said, Yeah, Francis Lucille says that too, I said, we’ll have that discussion another time. But yeah, I, you know, when, when you say direct path, I mean, some people think, bingo, I’m gonna just be there. And that’s it. But yeah, it’s progressive, whether you like it or not.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, it’s absolutely the case. You know, even you know, so that studied with David. And then, you know, at some point, I’d go and see audio, you know, and I’d had these huge, you know, non dual transcendent awakenings. And I come back and talk to David about and he’d say, oh, that’s nothing, you know, other display. Yes, it’s a that’s, you know, that’s now these like, that’s just, you know, that’s something quite small. Like you don’t even know, you know, what we are capable of. And so, I mean, that the path of Sri Aurobindo, I mean, you know, basically, it’s not about individual enlightenment, you know, it’s about enlightenment for all of humanity. It’s changing the, it’s upgrading this this species. I mean, it’s a very radical, yeah, approach is radically different than, you know, the, the non dual path that most of us speak about. And so, you know, what, David, it was just meeting with him, you know, on a daily basis, opening to grace and actually feeling energies and movements of grace, you know, that would, you know, be almost like downloading into your body into your being, you know, and affecting you say, on the realm of material, you know, and so, it’s just like it’s a spent just years working with that, you know, an opening to that and you know, some of the grace is incredibly blissful. And other times it feels like a jackhammer is being driven through your body. I mean, it’s, it’s a quite a painful approach, because you have to give every part of yourself and so, you know, one of the big things that my teacher taught me was to not to be afraid of pain, you know, to open to painful lead. To fully experienced pain, and to be willing to surrender just every aspect of yourself. And so I think that was his teaching. And that’s what I got, you know so much from him was just to be able to fully open to that movement through you. And to get and to give everything.
Rick Archer: Did you find that your capacity or ability to do that was a developmental thing? And in other words, you weren’t able to say, Oh, absolutely, I can’t just sit down day one say, Okay, I’m fully open, let it all, you know, gosh, yeah, it’s because it’s all locked up pretty tight, you know, so it had to be kind of loosened up level by level. Yes,
Craig Holliday: sure. Sure. Absolutely. And you know, the work of Sri Aurobindo, I don’t know if you want to spend too much time on on his work, but you know, it’s going through your body, you know, your mental mind, your, your emotional mind, you know, and the different minds within you an opening to, to receiving grace and those places within yourself and allowing them to be transformed. And so it takes years. I mean, it’s something that Sri Aurobindo gave his life to the mother gave her life to it, you know, who followed him, and it’s just, it’s an ongoing surrender. And, you know, it’s like, if all that grace came at once, it would probably kill you.
Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah. I’ve read that a number of places from a number of teachers who say, you know, you don’t want this all at once, immediately, completely, you know, it would totally burn you out.
Craig Holliday: And your nervous system couldn’t handle it. Your mind couldn’t handle it. I mean, in a lot of places, you become quite disoriented in.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And even now, I mean, you just told me that, you might need a little help, because big chunk of your memory is gone. I mean, yeah. Do you feel like, well, I don’t want to get ahead of the story. But do you feel like even that might be symptomatic of your being a work in progress? And perhaps five years from now or something, the memory would be functioning more normally?
Craig Holliday: You know, I don’t know what what I found, you know, this is what David told me, not actually odd, you told me the same thing is that, that what you need to remember, on forward, will come forward. And to me, it’s actually a great relief, to have the past fall out of you. You know, because it’s much easier to live and to experience life through the present moment, without a past. Yep.
Rick Archer: And that’s a good point to just highlight, because a lot of spiritual teachers say that too, you know, 95% of our thoughts are extraneous and irrelevant. And to the, to the situation at hand. And in a more efficiently functioning, mind and body that, you know, there would be relatively few thoughts, but whenever you needed to have some memory, or some thought it would come to hand appropriately for the situation.
Craig Holliday: Sure, absolutely. And so much of our egoic natures, I mean, maybe all of it is based in the past, you know, and constantly projecting that past into the present moment. And we create so much suffering for ourselves and others, you know, through living in that way.
Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah. Speaking of suffering, I heard you recount a lot of Kundalini stuff you went through, was that with David or later on with other teachers, or what
Craig Holliday: I that was with David and with odd. Yeah, yeah. And so, you know, if we, if, you know, if I just summed up the relationship with David, I mean, it was a pretty traditional, like guru and apprentice relationship, you know, like, we build a temple on top of, you know, on top of this, this hill on his property, you know, basically on top of a mountain. And I said, Well, David, you know, let’s build a temple down here, where the ground is soft, and things are easy. And he said, No, we’ll build the temple up there. And it was, you know, where there was no road. And so consisted of carrying all the tools up there, all the materials, bags of concrete, I mean, it was a ridiculous relationship. Because when you when you’re in a relationship, you know, when you’re in that, say, that Guru apprentice relationship, the teacher doesn’t care what you think, what you feel, you know, what your ego wants and desires are, the teacher follows what is true in them what’s true in their heart, what God is telling them to do. And so, you know, that’s probably the biggest thing that I got from David was this sense of, okay, God’s the boss. My mind isn’t the boss, my rational mind may think it knows one thing. You know, God has a different plan for us. And so it’s that just that life of continual surrender, and it kind of pushes you to, you know, to your edge into your limit. And to that breaking point, you know, and of course, the breaking point can be the breaking point of, you know, becoming really angry or furious. Or the breaking point of allowing your heart to break open and saying, okay, yes, yes, you when you’re the boss, and I will follow. I will follow your lead.
Rick Archer: But presumably, David did that with compassion and genuine connection to God because obvious Oh, absolutely egregious examples of teachers. abusing that relationship. And yeah, just their egos like screwing people around.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, well, you know, if a teacher was doing that, you know, that’s the job of the student to, to leave, and or to speak up, you know, but in this case with David, it’s interesting because I, you know, I was in, you know, very intimate relationship with him for 20 plus years, or 20 years and, and he was one of those individuals who I never saw him come out of alignment with God. And that’s, that’s quite amazing. If you imagine just being with anyone, you know, for any period of time to see them never come out of alignment. It’s just insofar as like a judge is so far as I could judge. Yeah, absolutely. But, but, you know, he just was deeply surrendered to the Divine, you know, I don’t want to, you know, speak about perfection, because I think perfection has huge shadows, you know, in it, but, but he was just one of those individuals, he, yes, he treated me with love, he treated me with a deep respect, and, you know, unconditional love, yet at the same time, he didn’t care about my ego. And it’s a very interesting relationship to have. Because most of us, we meet on the level of ego. You know, people try to keep things nice, nice. And, you know, everyone’s polite and this and that. But at some point, like, if you truly want to live beyond ego, you know, it’s, it can be helpful to get into a relationship where you begin to experience well, what is it like, to live in relationship with someone beyond ego beyond your own, you know, desires are your, you know, your needs of being heard or seen, or whatever it is, you know, but like you said, there’s a great danger in that, too.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And some people kind of get lured in gradually, and they don’t know when to cut, you know, when to bail, because there’s this underlying assumption that gets reinforced that, well, the teacher is infallible, because teachers are in tune with divine intelligence and who am sure and the teacher seems to be doing screwy things, but who am I to judge? You know, because divine intelligence is inscrutable? And so I better just kind of go along with it.
Craig Holliday: Sure. Sure. Well, yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s your turn, you know, our, our turn as a student to be like, hey, like, something stinks here. Yeah, you know, it’s time to go. And, you know, I actually, you know, met with a lot of, you know, Arges, you know, students in his inner circle is like, you know, hey, like, you know, what’s it like? And they’re like, oh, yeah, like he is he’s clear, He’s clean. You know, he’s, he’s professional. And that’s what my relationship was. David has always been like, it’s been crystal clear, it’s been clean. And it’s been some reason the word professionals, it’s coming to my, and Rick, I can say, I’ve met a lot of teachers, you know, who have screws loose, who have, you know, playing with power games, or money games, or, you know, sex games, or whatever it is. And, you know, normally you can feel it right away, you’re like, oh, like, this stinks. And yeah, now it’s time. Now it’s time for me to go. Yeah. You know, I think it’s good, you know, if we’re going to study with anyone, just to have a good, clear level of discernment of, you know, what’s, what’s helpful and what’s not?
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think it’s very important. And it’s a it’s a, you know, takes two to tango, I mean, absolutely. Maybe, you know, people get attracted to the teacher that they deserve, or that they are ready for, you know, there could be rather dysfunctional relationship, because both parties are dysfunctional.
Craig Holliday: But that’s, that’s absolutely the case. You know, oftentimes, you know, people say, Well, this teacher was doing that, and, you know, this other teacher is doing this thing, but it’s like, well, who are we to demand that a teacher be perfect, right, you know, to demand a teacher to be perfect. That’s, that’s crazy. You know, it’s like, we’re not perfect. I mean, I’m certainly perfect. You know, I think, I think we put too much pressure on, you know, others to be perfect. You know, and that’s, you know, it’s like, why are we projecting that onto someone? Why can’t we just meet someone with an openness and an honesty and be like, hey, like, I want some help growing?
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s good. So tell us a bit about all the Kundalini stuff you went through. I think it’s important. I’ve been getting a lot of kind of like input lately about people having Kundalini experiences and we’re trying to set up an interview with some lady who specializes in dealing with such cases. So it might be good to dwell on that for a bit.
Craig Holliday: Sure. Okay, so you know, we’re gonna follow some linear story then this might
Rick Archer: be feel free to keep going linear if I asked you if well, frog on some question just
Craig Holliday: okay. So, so at some point, say about 10 years in my relationship with David, I started studying with Haji as well. Because the thing that odd you offered was that you can wake up right now. You know, that you can you can transcend your mind your thoughts, your emotions you can be you can basically step into the world of freedom right? Now, and even as a young kid that always attracted me and so I started to listen to audio and, and, you know, right away I had, I had two profound transcendent awakenings, which were which were quite amazing. And then that those awakenings then deep deepened into a heart awakening. And at some point there, that’s when the Kundalini came forward.
Rick Archer: Okay, so describe these, you know, let’s not presume Everybody knows what a transcendent awakening and a heart awakening is, what was your actual experience?
Craig Holliday: Yeah, sure. So, with most people, I think that I meet with most people in non dual circles. You know, I think they’re speaking about the transcendent awakening, you know, these are the teachings of Eckhart totally, or what RJ tends to emphasize on but it’s a sense that
Rick Archer: they’re low, in fairness to them. Both echoed and I do talk a lot about integration and embody. Oh, so absolutely. It’s talking about the pain body and the stuff you have to work out
Craig Holliday: and all that Sure, sure. No, I didn’t mean they, they spoke exclusively about, but that’s one of the things that that Archer is good at is many people can just, you know, walk into his presence, and then boom, you know, they step into this transcendent realm. And so that’s what I’m speaking about. So. So basically, the transcendent awakening is waking up, beyond your mind and beyond your emotions, as who and what you are waking up into the, to the vast space of awareness, as who and what you are, it feels like you’re actually waking up and out of your humanity, waking up and out of your body. And this is where a lot of people, they, they have this experience, and then they say all this, all of a sudden, they think I’m perfect, I’m free, everything in life is perfect. There is nobody here, no one’s alive, or, you know, whatever, you know, people say, you know, and it gets a little bit gets a little bit silly. And, you know, in a sense, you know, and I’ve even spoken audio about this about that, that the transcendent awakening, it is by far the biggest illusion, you know, that, that we can experience because when you wake up out of ego, you you experience such bliss, such freedom, such openness, that you feel so empty of self. And you’re in a sense, you’re blasted into, say, a transcendent world, almost like a it’s almost like a heaven world. It feels like you’re not living on Earth any longer. And it’s quite amazing. It’s quite profound. It is a huge shift in consciousness. And yet, you know, it is definitely not the full thing. Yeah,
Rick Archer: I actually have a quote from audio here that I read last week, I think I’ll just read it again, because that’s a good one. He said, it can be very difficult for any spiritual teacher to get through to students who are fixating on the absolute view as an unconscious way of avoiding their humaneness to get them to stop holding on to their absolute view. This is one of the dangers of awakening, the tendency to grasp and a lopsided view. We grasp at the absolute view of awakening, we deny anything else, it’s actually the ego that fixates on the absolute view on the absolute in this way, using it as an excuse for dismissing an enlightened behavior, thought patterns and divided emotional states. This is we have grasped onto any one view of things we have gone blind, everything else. That’s from his book, The End of Your World,
Craig Holliday: anyway, Sure, absolutely. The other reason the ego fixated, fixates on it is because it feels so wonderful. Yeah, it feels so wonderful. But if you what if you look at what freedom is what freedom truly is, you have to be free of your mind free of your emotions. And that means you have to be free, you know, of what you think and what you feel. And so most individuals, if you feel incredibly, you know, spiritual or profound or vast, you need to take that to believe that oh, this is it. This is the ultimate reality. And this feels so good. Therefore, this must be good. This must be perfection. This must be the total picture that does that make sense? Totally. Yeah. And a lot of people work with a lot of individuals who open into this space, and they’re like, oh, you know, you know, this is it. I’ve discovered the whole thing. And you know, sometimes people come to Satsang, and they are in a session with me, and they awaken to this. And then I’m going, oh, boy, now I just lost. But again, like how long is
Rick Archer: like, I mean, in your experience, how long is that really last for people before the kind of the other half of life starts crashing in?
Craig Holliday: Yeah, well, for me, my awakening was quite messy. And so during that transcendent stage, I mean, that went on for a number of years. You know, where it was just, you know, just feeling just overwhelmed, you know, with space felt like my mind was the sky. Yeah. You know, and so that went on for a number of years, but also during that time, because I say this politely about myself. But because I didn’t have, you know, My life wasn’t all taken care of, I wasn’t practicing yoga, you know, I wasn’t, you know, crystal clear in my humanity, my humanity kept coming forward. And so I had this very messy experience of having aspects of my life, you know, come forward, I was going through a real, you know, messy divorce and custody stuff. And so live in this space of, you know, you know, space and freedom and just overwhelming bliss. And then all of a sudden, my egoic nature would come forward, you know, and, and, you know, I kind of bounce back and forth with that for a number of years. In a sense, I think that’s a really good thing. Because, you know, those things come forward because they’re wanting to be transformed. And if say, we look at God, we can say that, Well, God is both the transcendent, spacious vastness, right. But God, God has also this dynamic evolutionary force. And so that evolutionary force, you know, because we’re, we are a part of evolution. Well, God’s wants us to evolve as well. And so those things were coming forward into my consciousness, to be healed to be worked out, you know, to be released to be transformed. In a sense. You know, that’s, that’s when the embodiment process comes.
Rick Archer: So you said you had to transcend and awakenings. Were they distinct from one another, or just?
Craig Holliday: No, I think well, let me think about that. Were they distinct? Yeah, they weren’t. They were distinct. You
Rick Archer: know, the second was somehow more profound than the first one or something. Yeah. So
Craig Holliday: the first one came, I wrote the story, this is my book. The first one came in the sense that I was, I was at the end of a divorce. I was working for my teacher, I was running two businesses, I was going to graduate school to be become a therapist. I think I was also remodeling my house. And so I had all this psychological pressure going on within me. And at some point, I realized, just just one day I was with my daughter, and she was her mom had just pulled up to pick her up, and I was pouring her glass of lemonade. And I started to tremble, and I dropped this pitcher of lemonade on the table, and then I just fell to my knees and and it’s just like, everything broke open within me, my, my ego nature knew that I couldn’t hold together my life any longer. And that’s one of the primary functions of our ego is to create a, say, an artificial sense of control. And I gotta be careful, I don’t go into the experience, but in a sense of you went into it in your book. Yeah, no, but I mean, I mean, in this moment, like, Okay, I don’t want to get overwhelmed, but, but, um, so I fell on my knees and, you know, basically surrender to God, and, you know, cried my eyes out for four or five hours, it’s just all this weight of just egoic I guess maybe karma or things from my past is emptied out of me. Yeah. And I began to laugh hysterically, you know, at the same time, and, and then all of a sudden, I just, I woke up into this, in this new world, it just felt like, oh, it felt like this is heaven on earth. It was a sense of just stepping out of ego, allowing all that pressure to release and then just living in this a, this crystal clear reality of, of say, this moment. I know, it was quite an amazing experience. And so that was say, like, the first big crack, you know, oddly often talks about, you know, like when the ego cracks open, and so that’s what it was cracked open. And it was like, my consciousness exploded into this into this transcendent realm of, of just openness and vastness here on Earth.
Rick Archer: Yeah. When I first when I heard you tell that story in your book, yeah. The thought that came to mind is not to discount all the years even decades of spiritual practice you had done the those that was not like coincidental that had kind of built up a head of steam, so to speak, that had finally caused the boiler to explode. I just wanted to point that out.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, you know, Rick, I’ve gone back and forth about that. Like I’m a big fan of meditation I sit for every day and I sit every day and a fan of of you know, spiritual practice and spiritual work, but at that time, it seemed as if the two had nothing to do with each other. Not now that may not be true, but it just seemed. It just it seemed that that that this was God and everything I was doing. Before that was almost like, excuse my language, but like peeing in the wind. You know, and of course, that’s probably not true. But that’s what it seemed like, it seems that way to a lot of people. A lot of people say that. Yeah. And we have to be really careful with that with what seems true right at the time. And that’s why I say that the transcendent awakening, it can be like a delusion, because it seems like Oh, because it feels this way, then therefore that means this is true. Yeah.
Rick Archer: You know, you’ve Yeah, sure. And I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, you know, enlightenment may be an accident, but spiritual practice makes you accident prone. Absolutely. Like this kind of thing happens to people out of the blue, you haven’t done any spiritual practice, but it happens more, it’s more likely to happen to people who have actually been chugging away at it for a while.
Craig Holliday: Yeah. And I could qualify that more and say that people who continue to do spiritual practice, then their awakening tends to solidify. People who don’t, their awakening tends to disappear. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And, you know, I actually get flack from some people and from some friends, but for emphasizing on this spiritual practice point, they think I’m addicted to it or hung up on it or something, but I’m just going from my own experience, and from my own understanding, which is that it continually Stokes the fire, you know, and it integrates and it it, you know, and there may come a time when I completely drop all spiritual practice. And it also it’s totally irrelevant, but it keeps us
Craig Holliday: honest. Yeah, it keeps us honest. And it keeps us humble. And I think you’re, I think it’s so true that there’s too many people, especially in the non dual community, like okay, I’ve, I’ve awoken and now everything is done. And it’s like, well, you know, is it is that actually true? If you look at any great master, I mean, they meditate, you know, they practice, they say, I’m going to surrender until my very last breath. As you know, I think it’s the very reason why there’s so many so many people. You know, they let arrogance or pride or, you know, some sex scandal or something, get the best of them is because they aren’t practicing. They aren’t continuing to surrender.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah, remember, I’ve used this quote before, but there’s a, I think you were there when I was interviewing on Mani, San conference. And there’s a quote from I think, Padma Sun bhava, which is, even though my awareness is as vast as the sky, my attention to karma is as fine as the great grain of barley flour. So there’s this sort of need to kind of perfect impeccability in one’s life as a human being, irrespective of, or perhaps on the foundation of the vastness of awareness that one may have opened to,
Craig Holliday: yeah, yeah. If you want to be an accurate reflection of your divinity. That’s absolutely true.
Rick Archer: We’ll get more and more into that as we go along. So, um, so then the second awakening, the first involve lemonade. Yeah,
Craig Holliday: yes, that’s beautiful. So, um, you know, the first one was basically the sense that I cannot control life. You know, I, my egoic nature is not in control. And it was just opening just this huge sense of, Okay, God, you when you’re the boss, you show me the way. And so that was the first one. And it was you know, after that moment, I can say that my life was just was radically changed. And so that my life was still messy. Like I said, I was going through a divorce, I had all kinds of things to clean up in my life. And, and it was actually on my way to see it for the first time. I was driving up and over this mountain, pass Wolf Creek mountain in Colorado, and shoot a huge mountain pass, and I started to go over it. And again, I started to have a similar experiences I had before as I just started crying. You know, just like, it just felt like just chunks of my ego. Like, during this time, were just coming forward. And I would just start crying and just like laughing all at once, and I was going down the mountain and then I was driving more and more this was being released and released. And I came into the, the San Luis Valley, which is just this incredible Valley in Colorado. Huge, it’s open, it’s fast. And all of a sudden, my consciousness just blew out of my brain and just, it seemed to get as big as, say the universe. We can experience a huge, vast, conscious conscious, I’m sorry, cosmic consciousness was so huge, so vast, it was just undescribable how, how open it felt. And I think I had some question, that’s something I was struggling with my life and I just kind of asked to God and I just heard this word. Just surrender. I just said, okay, and it opened more. It’s like unbelievable how open you know, we can we can become and so that I drove up and I saw Jen, like, the next day and I talking to him and I said, you know, I was describing to him my experience. And he was like, basically, that’s great. Yeah. He said, he said, what’s here? Right now? You know, because I was, I was saying, Well, how do I keep it? That huge and not open, say, forever? You know, because, of course, that experience just kind of came back a little bit. And, you know, he was like, Yeah, let’s forget about that. And he said, you know, just he’s like, you know, he’s like, basically tell me, you know, what’s here right now? I said, oh, there’s a quiet here. So, okay. So that there’s a silence here. There’s a sense of aliveness. He said, Okay, good. Just be with that. Just be with that, you know, and, and that’s the invitation is, can we not be with these huge experiences and these experiences, I should say, they didn’t really end, you know, you know, these huge awakenings they, it’s not that they end. But just in a real practical sense, is what’s here and every single moment, you know, like, if we truly want to live in freedom, you know, we have to be willing, you know, just to rest into what’s here. And so in every moment, is a spaciousness, a seer is a quietness here. Now, there’s a vastness there’s a sense of peace. And there’s a sense of this awake, aware aliveness. And so the invitation is, is can we be with this? Can we be with this? And so that’s, you know, been my, in a spiritual practice, I guess, you know, if I say I have one, just an ongoing thing of just, oh, yes, it’s, it’s quiet, it’s awake. You know, it’s silence. There’s space here, the space for everything. And so if the ego comes forward, and there’s trouble that comes forward in the mind, there’s always room there’s always space for it. And you’ll always be free in a transcendent way. If you just identify with that, it doesn’t mean your life gets cleaned up. It doesn’t mean everything gets worked out. But we can’t there’s always freedom, like we’re always walking around in freedom, and so forth to stabilize, we can’t just live in that huge place. That’s kind of blown out of body, you know, all that thing. But just to live in this, this this quiet awake sense that. Oh, yes. There’s always space here. There’s always room here. There’s always freedom here.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s nice. Yeah, I think we acclimate, you know, we ended up we acclimate, if you could somehow step back to where you’re at 2020 or 25 years ago, all of a sudden, you know, even though you might have been relatively okay, then you might, you would probably find it agonizing, you know, on absolutely the sudden contrast. And conversely, if you were, you know, 25 years ago to step into where you are now, even though it seems kind of normal, and you’re just kind of cruising along that, you know, the contrast would be vast and overwhelming. And you know, more Yeah, more than you can handle. So we just kind of keep taking a bite and digesting, taking a bite and digesting you know.
Craig Holliday: Absolutely. Yeah.
Rick Archer: So what was the heart opening? You mentioned two transcendent ones and a heart opening heart.
Craig Holliday: Okay. And so the, the heart awakening comes, you know, again, I went and I saw, I was talking to Adrienne. And I said, you know, this was when I was, you know, it’s kind of living in that transcendent space I was during that time, I just would go see RJ anywhere he was, I was just chasing him down. But, you know, I said, Hey, there’s this vastness, whatever, there’s this huge sense of freedom. And I see that my ego keeps coming forward. You know, and a lot of people don’t like that a lot of people think that if I realized the transcendent, that my ego is wiped clean, and it’s free, and there’s no more ego anymore. And so, you know, I just said, Well, why don’t why don’t you go into that? Like, why don’t you open into that? And that’s the same instruction that my teacher David gave me again and again, was, can you open into that? Can you open to pain? Can you open to your humanity? Can you include your humanity, and so, so the transcendent awakening, I shouldn’t say it’s absent a feeling but the feeling of it is, you know, a feeling of like being living in a heaven world. The heart awakening, you know, that comes through being willing to feel and experience everything in life, all of your humanity, all of life, and not to have a sense of division. Because one of the big things and this also goes along with that delusion that I spoke about with the transcendent awakening is the transcendent awakening gives you the sense that I’m awake, and the rest of the world is asleep. And you’ll see a lot of people walk around with this like, I am awake I am the awakened one. There’s nobody here and you know, all that jive. You know, it’s just I know much I
Rick Archer: find it very aggravating to interview those people. Yeah, I’ve done a number of them, and I just never quite see eye to eye.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, and it’s one, it’s, again, it’s, it’s hard to see out of that. But if you have a good teacher, a good teacher will harass you and say, you know, what’s that? You know, normally they point to somewhere below your throat, you know, normally in your chest, or excuse, or in your belly, you know, is where we carry all kinds of unconscious stuff. And so, you know, I, it’s hard for me not to be honest, it’s hard for me to be like, I am the awakened one, you know, I know, I’m having this huge awakening. And I have a big fat ego, you know, that’s coming forward. And so the invitation is, is can you open to that? Can you experience it? Can you be willing to meet your pain, to meet your humanity with a total sense of love, you know, and it’s not from you like me, the ego is meeting my self with love, but more in a sense of just like opening to the goodness and purity of your own heart, and allowing that heart space to embrace your very own pain, to embrace your very own pain.
Rick Archer: When I was listening to I heard you use the word willing a lot, the willingness to do this, and the invitation is to do that. And it kind of made me feel like you’d probably hung around Gangaji and Eli Jackson bear quite a bit, because they don’t often use those phrases. And I guess the sticking point with with me, and that is you know, we were saying earlier about how there’s a lot of stuff that’s just buried and it’s tenacious, and it’s just not all going to come out at once. And so well elaborate a little bit on willingness. I mean, a person might say, Yeah, I am willing, but nothing’s happening. Or it feels like there’s so much still stuck there. And let’s get on with it. You know, how do I kind of unearth everything? Yeah. And and heal it without overindulging and emotionality.
Craig Holliday: Yeah. So the willingness is to connect with your, with your innate divinity, a willingness to connect with the beauty and the Divinity of Your Own Heart, and the willingness to feel pain. See, most people don’t want to feel pain. They say, Oh, I don’t like the way this feels. And so I’m just going to go back into the transcendent realm. And you’ll see a lot of people, even great teachers, I see I noticed them, you know, just hiding out in the transcendent realm, and being unwilling to feel and to experience their own humanity. And when we do that, of course, then the shadow aspects come forward, you know, into our lives. I mean, the reason I shouldn’t say great teachers do that. Everyone does this, myself included. And that’s the way I’ve discovered it is in the sense that, that our ego has all these programs. And again, if we’re going to be free of ego, you know, we have to be free of those programs. So one of the biggest programs that egoic nature has, is to seek pleasure and avoid pain at all costs. And so there has to be a willingness to feel pain. And this is one of the gifts that my teacher David gave me as his. He said, Go into the pain. See what’s there. See, pain is a mystery. And what what our egoic nature is, it does it says I know what pain is, it’s bad. And therefore I’m going to avoid it. Ignore it, repress it, transcendent do anything, but feel it.
Rick Archer: Or somebody is listening to this. And they say, All right, I’m willing to feel pain, I want to feel it. I want to work through it. How do they actually do it? You bring your awareness into it in a meditative state. I mean, on the freeway while you’re eating dinner with your family? I
Craig Holliday: do. I do it all? Yeah, yeah, of course, starting in a meditative state is great, because you have all your attention. And awareness, you don’t have a lot of distractions. But if you just notice, if you just come into pain, if you just notice your mind, the first thing it wants to do is it wants to jump back out of it. And it wants to go on to the story, this pain shouldn’t be here, how do I get rid of it? You know, and then like, when I work with individuals, or when I work with myself, that’s, that’s the game that our mind plays. But if we are going to live in a way that’s greater than our own mind, we have to be willing to feel we have to be willing to experience you know, just like say you get up in the morning you want to experience bliss. So you sit down and meditate. You say your mantra 8 million times, you know, you kind of you know, step you know, rise through the crown chakra and go out into the transcendent space. That’s one form of meditation. A different form of meditation, is can I open fully to pain? Can I feel it? Can I experience it? Can I meet it totally with love? You know, the same way? You know you meet a child like a like My little baby, if she’s crying, you know, you get down on your knees and you pick her up, you hold her close to your heart, you know, and you be well, you allow her to scream and have her fit. And you just gently hold the space for her. And then soon she begins to calm down. And so the same is true with us, meaning our pain. You know, can we open to it? Can we listen to it without believing the story, and here’s the big trick is, is to not believe the story of the pain, but to feel the pain to experience it directly,
Rick Archer: as an actual physical sensation.
Craig Holliday: Oh, yes, absolutely. It has to be a physical sensation. If you look at, you know, if you’re going to talk, say psychology now, but, you know, if you have emotional pain within you, the way emotional pain is healed, is through feeling it, allowing it to release, and then it’s gone. But if you don’t feel and experience pain, it stays repressed within you, and then it comes out of you. And some say neurotic way. Do you know what I mean? Yeah.
Rick Archer: So you might be sitting in meditation, let’s say, the reason we mentioned meditation is that a lot of people seems like a lot of humanity is really busy trying to distract themselves from feeling anything, you know, there’s gotta go to the next movie got to camp out on the sidewalk in front of the Apple store to get the next iPhone. Yeah, just all kinds of stuff that people are always doing. And you know, what you’re advocating is seems a bit more introspective and free and probably requires a little bit of a freeing up from from the usual distractions. And so you’re saying, let’s say, want to sitting in a meditative state and feeling some ache in the heart or something like that? Yeah. And who knows what that ache is actually associated with in terms of any events that ever happened. But, and one may attach a meaning to it, one might think, Oh, I really want to be with this person, or such, and so and so really wronged me 10 years ago, or something, but what you’re saying is, don’t get caught up in those meanings. Just keep coming back to the physical sensation and dwell on it won’t be with it.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, and you want to be with it fully. And to be willing to be with it fully and completely,
Rick Archer: as much as you can.
Craig Holliday: As much as you can. I would say you want to join with it. 100% 100%. You know, it’s like if, if I was in pain, you know, and I went to one of my teachers say, David, I want to add your something, you know, I would sit there with them. And there would just be this sense of it’s okay, to fully feel and to fully experience this. It’s like 100%, to become one with a feeling. When you become one with a feeling, you’ll find that it will, your heart will break open, and the experience will rush through your body, it will feel like I mean, it may feel crazy. You know, let’s say the first time you’re doing it, it will feel absolutely overwhelming. Perhaps even terrifying. Oftentimes, when I walk people through this, they turn pale. But as you breathe through it, what you discover is a hugeness of love, and a hugeness of, of, it’s like an indestructibility that who and what I am, is greater than any experience in my body. Greater than any experience of pain is because if we’re going to be free, we have to be free of fear of pain, fear of feeling and, and also, I’ll say this, this will, this will sound probably crazy to most people, but if you experience pain, just in the most intimate way, maybe become totally intimate with pain, what you’ll discover is absolute bliss, their absolute energy. And it’s, it’s amazing, it is quite amazing to be like, Oh, my God, I was so terrified of this thing. And now look at it as I open to it as I join with it as I become one with it. As this energy moves through my body, I discover something quite profound, much more profound than what I thought it was before.
Rick Archer: Are you just mainly referring to emotional pain here? Or would you also say that to a burn victim or a cancer patient or something?
Craig Holliday: I don’t I don’t think I could could say it to a burn victim or or a cancer patient like if it’s true physical pain, there is pain that is just true physical pain. I think it’s possible and you know, for a while I lived with chronic chronic back pain. And for me that that chronic back pain ended up being Kundalini energy. But you know, if you look at say pain, you know, if you if you go into any pain, even if the physical pain, you can go into it, and experience it on the level of bliss if you fully and totally open to it, but I’m not going to be you know, Got arrogant to say that you could live that way say forever? No, you know, true. I mean, there is true, you know, if someone drew, you know, I’ve been a carpenter before. And if I hit my hand with a hammer, it’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna absolutely hurt. So I want to be clear, you know, to anyone who’s, you know, in that kind of pain that? Yeah, of course, you know, we have bodies and we have physical pain, you know, but pain can teach us so much we have such an aversion to pain, you know, especially I don’t know, if especially spiritual people, but I know that a lot of spiritual people, maybe all of humanity is just trying to escape pain is trying to escape pain. And you know, in this world, we’re going to experience pain. And this invitation is, can we open to it fully and completely? And to see if it actually is, what our mind is telling us? It is?
Rick Archer: So would you say that the reason that you might enter into bliss, having fully felt your pain is that that pain you were feeling was actually the thing that was blocking you. And by fully feeling it, you, you remove the block, and as soon as the block is removed, there’s a naturally an upsurge of bliss that was kind of like bottled up and waiting to be experienced.
Craig Holliday: So I would say that’s true. But also, if you experience any energy, you know, fully and completely at its core, its very nature, its very essence is bliss. You know, say like, you know, I’m not that good with all the quantum physics kind of stuff, you know, but I don’t have that kind of mind. But if you experience any, any energy, and its most fundamental essence I imagine it’s bliss.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I don’t know about in a quantum physicists would agree with that. But it certainly the the traditional teachings do is that saying in contact with Brahman is infinite joy. Sure. I once heard a lecture, which the teacher said, Said, bliss itself isn’t blissful, but it’s the contact with the kind of the interface between our human experience and the field of such an under bliss. Yeah, that creates
Craig Holliday: way Exactly. And that’s what I meant that that feat, that field that you’re speaking about, it’s like this whole world, you know, it’s like this field of energy, and that energy is God. And of course, you experience God, like you said, it’s gonna be blissful.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I think I’ve wrapped up that question. Oh, I know, I had a question kicking around was, which was that? How successful do you think people would would be just listening to this interview? To, you know, in sitting down and doing what we’re saying, experiencing the the bottled up pain and kind of healing and resolving it? Or how important will it be for most people to have a facilitator teacher help? I think it’s through the process.
Craig Holliday: It’s absolutely helpful. Yeah, that’s how I learned just through sitting with David, you know, sitting with Ahjussi, with John Burnie, you know, it’s just, you know, just being willing to have someone there to hold that space for you. And assess if you go to a good therapist, you know, I know therapist is a dirty word for a lot of people. But if you go to a good therapist, what they’re doing, you know, hopefully, is holding a space of love for you. And in a sense, like, any mother knows this, we all know how to do this, we do it with our children, we do it with our dogs, we do it with our partners, you know, but we don’t always do it with ourselves. It’s just like being willing to hold the space, while part of you is screaming and shouting and has a big story. This meeting it with love and awesome meaning it with that wisdom of the parents, who knows, okay, I’m not really going to listen to the big story of my five year old who’s having a tantrum because they don’t get a cookie, you know, that’s like, you hold the space of love. You don’t listen to the story, the energy moves through them. And then they’re left, you know, in this sense of, oh, you know, I am actually okay. They come in a more fundamental sense, in a more true sense. I don’t have to believe my mind, I can calm down and come into this deeper place. And realize, you know, that’s how we all grow up. You know what I mean? Yeah.
Rick Archer: Of course, these days, some of these teachers like audio, of course, is very, are very popular, and you can go on a retreat with him with 300 people there. Yeah, but there’s not gonna be a good chance of you sitting in the seat and interacting with him personally. Yeah, but
Craig Holliday: yeah, that’s that’s why that that’s why it’s helpful, you know, to find a teacher, you know, like, you know, that’s what I do say, you know, professionally as I sit with people and right now we do this, we do this type of work, but there’s I think there’s a lot of people out there doing it, but it’s you know, finding someone you know, one who’s done the work on themselves because when you done the work on yourself, you feel confident in the sense that it’s going to be okay. You know, a lot of therapists actually come to me for training, they say, Well, how do you hold a space like that? Well, the first thing is you have to not be afraid of feeling it can’t be afraid of losing control, you have to walk through those doors first. And then you realize that, oh, it’s actually okay, I didn’t actually go crazy. You know, I’m actually, you know, quite here, quite incredible, quite strong, quite vibrant, quite alive. But again, this isn’t an egoic thing. It’s, um, it’s a, it’s a trust thing. It’s you trusting in your nature, that you’re good that nothing can destroy you. And as you do, God shows you that.
Rick Archer: So on the other side of your transcendent awakening, you know, there was a lot of vastness and kind of detachment, I suppose. And, and that kind of thing characterizing your life. And then you went through this more of a heart awakening. So on the other side of your heart awakening, how was your everyday life experienced?
Craig Holliday: Yeah, so, so an overwhelming intimacy with all of life pretty much all the time, more or less, all the time. Yeah, to the point of it being ridiculous, I think when we first start having what you know, the time that’s close to the awakening is a little bit of a ridiculous period in life. Because in a sense, most of us become, you know, somewhat or mostly non functional. You know, so for me, I was walking around just with such bliss, such just overwhelming ecstasy just pouring out of my body. And, I mean, I remember I was walking across the sidewalk or parking lot, I saw gum stuck on the ground, and it was just like, overwhelming love was just pouring out of some dirty piece of gum, you know, but it’s this, this sense of just being overwhelmed by love and unity, and intimacy with all of life. And a very interesting thing comes through, through being willing to feel and experience pain, through also being willing to be open. And in love with all of life, like the part about being open and all in love with all of life. That’s kind of a grace, that’s just easy. You know, it’s just like when you’re flooded with, with bliss and openness, it’s like, it’s easy to fall in love with a doorknob, you know, or a wall or the sky, or, you know, even someone being angry. I mean, I can even remember someone coming at me being really angry and just being like, like, they’re so beautiful. And so that’s easy, but from this willingness to meet pain fully, and just to experience it fully, without any fear there, you know, what the funny thing happens in your mind is, is a true non duality begins to happen in your mind, in the sense that there begins, you begin to lose the sense of division between between opposites, if that makes sense. Because the big, the big division that we all have is this feels good, and this doesn’t feel good. But when you’re willing to open heartedly feel and experience everything. without reservation, that part of your mind begins to die begins to dissolve, it begins to disappear. And life becomes very strange, then because in a sense, you begin to experience things, you know, that sometimes were painful or terrible. And you don’t you don’t see him from a place of judgment. If that makes sense.
Rick Archer: It does. Would it also be true to say, in your experience, that not only the distinction or division between relative pairs of opposites became less contrasting, but the distinction between the transcendent silence and the entire relative creation? In your experience became less, and is still becoming less and less contrasting? So there’s, there’s really not so much gulf between the two.
Craig Holliday: Oh, absolutely. I thought about it differently than how you just described it. But what I felt is that the transcendent descended into the being, and just was experienced to just spaciousness everywhere in everyday life. And there wasn’t any more this sense of, I’m awake, and the rest of the world not awake. There was just a sense of all of life is awake, all of life is alive and vibrating with beauty and divinity. You know that the shadow side of the transcendent realm is, is kind of this awake aloofness, I’m the awakened one. And everyone else is just mere whatever, mortals or whatever they are, you know, they’re they’re living Earth. They’re living in their ego like nature, or whatever it is, there’s this very bizarre dissolving of a feeling that you are at all different from anything else on earth. You know, so like to see like, like, it’s funny because I’ll see as much beauty say, and, you know, somebody’s terrible, you know, Like if I visited, you know, someone in jail or something or you know someone in a fight, as in, you know, another being, you know, who’s, you know, an awakened, whatever, you know. And so those divisions they dissolve and it becomes really bizarre to live in a way without out divisions.
Rick Archer: And yet, on the other hand, you know, you probably have a much greater affinity with your daughter than with some kid that you might see in the shopping mall. Yeah, you know, and with your, by the same token with your wife. So despite despite this kind of more universal perspective, we still have our favorites, don’t we?
Craig Holliday: We definitely still have our favorites. Yeah, yeah. And I think, you know, our humanity helps to keep us in check. Because we can become a lot we can be, we can get a little bit out there. You know, when when the heart really awakens that way if we’re not careful. And so yeah, and so Enric that’s, that’s good that you brought that up? Because it’s, you know, this relates back to what you’re saying about spiritual practice. It’s always good to carry, you know, in your back pocket, a little bit of discernment. You know, what I mean, it’s good not to, okay, I’m going to give all my money to this hitchhiker I just picked up, you know, because I’m totally in love with him. And he’s having a really hard time, you know, it’s like, oh, maybe you pick them up and give them a ride? But, you know, you don’t, you know, give them all of yourself, you know what I mean, right? No, yeah, yeah. So you always want to, you always want to have, you know, some discernment and to have the spiritual practices to keep yourself in check. And I think, you know, one of the things that I like to do is to look at the shadows of all these experiences, because, like I said, the reason I learned them is because I found them coming up in my own life is, you know, if you’re not careful, you know, with when your heart awakens, you know, this is where you see people, you know, just, you know, they go on meditation retreats, or yoga retreats, and then all sudden, everyone’s sleeping with each other. Everyone’s in these gooey, you know, you know, hug fests or whatever it is, you know, I mean, it’s like, you need to be really careful that you don’t get yourself in a lot of trouble, you have to have some discipline, or you’re going to make a mess out of your life and, and mess out of someone else’s life.
Rick Archer: Yeah. There’s an interesting quote from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, which gets kind of repetitive. But it says, it is not for the sake of the husband, my dear, that he is loved, but for the sake for one’s own sake that He has loved is not for the sake of the wife, my dear, that she is loved, but for one’s own sake, that she is loved. And then it goes on and on enumerates a lot of things that, you know, we may love but it’s not for the sake of those things. It’s for one’s own sake. And then the conclusion is, the self should be realized should be heard, reflected on and meditated upon, by the realization of the Self, my dear through hearing, reflection and meditation. All this is known. And the reason I bring it up is that I think there’s a tendency to project you know, like you said, on the meditation retreat one as they’re getting full of energy and Shakti and every all sudden, everybody you fall in love with everybody. Everybody looks beautiful. You know, you start having infatuations with all kinds of people. Yes. So you know, the question. The question is, well, is that really about them? Or is it really about your own heart that’s going through some kind of stirring or awakening. And yet, you know, you still love your wife more exactly more than that other person that you might pass on the street or something. So it’s a funny thing, because there’s, there’s this sort of projection thing and yet some people in terms of our relationship with them are intrinsically more lovable.
Craig Holliday: Sure, no, no, absolutely. And it’s, I have a very funny relationship with my, my wife in a sense that because I have such little memory, and my heart seems to be open. You know, every day I tell her, my God, I look at you and I just, I just fall in love with you again. You know, if sometimes she asked me, don’t you get bored of me and, and well, if you don’t have a memory, it’s hard to get bored. And just, you know, just when I see her through my heart, it’s just like, Oh, my God, I just, I fall in love with you. And it’s it’s so wonderful. Yeah, same with my kids. You know, even rashness everyday of freshmen. Yeah. So fresh. It’s not it’s very nice. And even with my 13 year old who’s who? She gives me a hard time because she’s a teenager’s like, oh, you know, I looked at her I’m like, Oh, my God, you’re so beautiful.
Rick Archer: Yeah, kind of like what Ronald Reagan said about coming down with Alzheimer’s. You can laugh at the same jokes over and over.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, it can be like that. I’m always asking my wife. Oh, is that is that a new dress? Is that a new shirt? And she says, No, I’ve had this. Okay, good. Looks good on you. Yeah.
Rick Archer: We can edit this out if it’s too personal, but when we went out to dinner or that group in The same conference, you sure you told this story about how you were engaged to somebody? And then this woman walked in the door and you fell in love with her? Yeah. And then I guess that’s the one you ended up marrying. And it was probably a bit of a sticky wicket to on get engaged the other one. So it I was just kind of overhearing the conversation as you were telling it. But in a way, I was wondering whether you were like that person on the spiritual retreat who just kind of falls in love with everybody? Or what was it about this woman walking in the door that made you realize, whoa, this is? This is yes, this is the one I really love. And was this all kind of post hard awakening that you were functioning in this way?
Craig Holliday: Yeah. So, you know, I want to just clarify the story. It was in a sense, I was I wasn’t engaged to the person, but I was going to get married. I thought I thought I was going to get married to them. But then my, my wife walked in the door. And I when I saw her, I said, oh, boy, you know, there’s something really here, you know, and yeah, I ended up falling in love with her. And it just, I just resonated in a deeper way with her. And it was, it was quite profound, you know, it’s quite profound and,
Rick Archer: and necessarily have a track record of love at first sight. This was sort of a unique but
Craig Holliday: no, no, this was a this was the this was a unique thing. Yeah. When I saw my wife, as I fell in love with her right away. And then I knew that my relationship before and that it was over, that it was over. And no, it wasn’t the sense of, of just because my heart was, was awake, that that’s what I was just falling in love with everything. I was falling in love with everything. But I just knew in a very deep way that Oh, yes. Like this is, this is who I’m supposed to be with.
Rick Archer: And I imagine the way your life tends to flow is that, you know, you’re quite appreciative of a divine orchestration that’s happening all the time, you know, so, you know, your current wife didn’t just walk in that door, arbitrarily
Craig Holliday: just God. God brought her to me. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, yeah, God. And I think, you know, God does that with all of our life is God brings us things. And so in that moment, God brought me something quite wonderful. But in other moments, you know, God brings us quite terrible things. You know, that’s something that I talk with people every day with is God brings us terrible things. And terrible things. They also help us to awaken. Yeah, oftentimes much more. So
Rick Archer: good things. Yeah. It was hard for some people to even believe in God, you know, because of the things that happened to people. Well, we have this, how could there be an intelligent, compassionate, you know, presence, guiding the universe, if such horrendous things are happening to people all the time.
Craig Holliday: And that’s an that can be true when we look at God from the perspective of our egoic nature, even say, from a rational nature, but God is beyond reason. God is beyond rationale. And honestly, you know, God does things to make us grow. Because God is an evolutionary force of evolution, you know, obviously, didn’t care about how the dinosaurs felt evolution had in mind, no, of course, to be a dinosaur. That was a painful experience, whatever it was, that happened and asteroid hitting the Yucatan. Yeah, was a painful experience for you know, I couldn’t imagine being a dinosaur. And you know, being a father and having a little baby and watching the baby starve to death or die all at once, or burn up in a fiery hell or whatever it was. But the thing of, you know, the thing about God as we have to be careful not to interpret God through the lens of our mind. You know, we have to be willing to meet God through God. And then it begins to make much more sense. Yeah. You know, and that’s, it’s something very difficult. You know, someone has to be willing and ready for that perspective. You know, this is a, this is not a perspective, we can force upon someone, you know, someone comes into my office with cancer, I don’t say, Oh, you have cancer, because God is trying to teach you. You know, we don’t talk in that way. That would be to be quite rude and uncensor ative, but in the back of your mind, you believe that, don’t you? And the backup is not a belief. It’s the back of my mind. I understand. I first I know. And I know, through my own experience of the biggest hell and pain that I’ve been through, is what has served to wake me up.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah, so you’re saying that not only let’s say spiritual aspirants can learn from relationship breakups and financial problems and all the other things that happen in life if they’re open to an appreciative of the sort of divine hand guiding things, but you’re saying that you know, this kind of stuff we watch on the evening news, the plane crashes, the fires the track the various wars and tragedy that in the big picture of things, those two are, you know, there’s an evolutionary kind of momentum or force governing even those things for those people.
Craig Holliday: Oh, yeah, this, this is God’s world. And we think it’s our world, but this is God’s world. It’s God’s play. It’s God’s evolution. Yeah, absolutely.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah, I know, it is hard for people to swallow. But
Craig Holliday: it’s, it’s hard for me to swallow sometimes, too. When I think about war, I have an older brother, and he goes to war. When I think about that, and, you know, you see a little baby and in the hospital with cancer, you know, a friend of mine who has a baby, you know, goes to the hospital, it’s like, it’s, it’s, it breaks your heart. You know, but the invitation is, is Kenya allowed to break your heart open? You know, and just to, to be willing to see it and to experience from a vast place. And not just from the perspective of our mind, of course, from our mind, it feels like hell, and in a sense, you know, a lot of people say, Well, this is a dark planet, or a dark world or whatever. And I look at it more, this is an evolutionary planet, you know, that’s what Sri Aurobindo taught is it. This is a world of evolution, and in evolution, you know, whatever we’re evolving into, we’re still in the stage, where people kill, you know, kill things to eat, you know, kill each other, you know, people rape, you know, people say mean things, you know, I even say mean things, you know, it’s like, we can see all these things within ourselves, you know, we can see them all within our own mind and our own nature. And so we are, we are one with evolution. And so these are the things that are happening at this time on our planet now, maybe in 1000 years or 100 years. I don’t know, it will be radically different. But, you know, at this point in time, yes, these things happen.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So we’ll move on to the next point. But um, maybe to wrap this one up. I would suggest to people that even though this sounds kind of philosophical, it is something to ponder and, and that you are speaking, we’re both speaking from experience, not just kind of philosophical niceties that make make make us make the world make more sense to us. But you know, there’s a sort of a cognitive appreciation of the things that this the fact that this is the way things are actually unfolding and being conducted.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And maybe beyond cognitive, but it’s, like an intuitive experiential thing that we experience through our heart of
Rick Archer: just, you know, what I mean by cognitive intuitive. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Craig Holliday: Like when I experienced, you know, say, something terrible, I see on the news through my heart, you know, I can see God’s hand in it, I can feel God’s hand in it when I feel, you know, total pain or some nightmare come through my life. It’s like, oh, yes, I see an experience God’s handed. My mind doesn’t like it, you know, my mind says, No, I do not want this to happen. You know, but, you know, in a huge way, if we can truly be open, we say, okay, alright, God, you know, what do you have to show me here, and oftentimes, we have to be walked through the dark, you know, to discover the light. And, you know, that’s, it’s a painful experience. I, I had this really bizarre experience. Last year, I went to a, the, I think it’s called a cancer ward, just the part of the hospital or chemo Ward, where everyone was getting chemo, and I walked into this room, and it was really big room. And, you know, there must have been 20 or 30 people in there. And I’ve always been kind of scared of hospitals and never liked the feelings or vibrations there. But I walked into this room and there was all these people, and they were hooked up to the chemo machines, and or the drip, or whatever it was. And I felt like I was in a heaven world. There was just so much love and so much grace and so much. I was like, Oh, my God, it was such an amazing thing for me just to walk into this. And here it was, as everyone, everyone there looked as if they were one step away from death. And yet, it was just overwhelming, just overwhelmingly full of love and grace and beauty. And it was quite paradoxical to the mind. Because the mind said, Well, these people are dying. This is really sad. This is bad. You know, whatever the mind would say we have to cure cancer or whatever. But the experience of it you know, from the heart was, was that this was this was happening.
Rick Archer: I bet you there are a lot of celestial beings, they’re doing their thing. Yeah. And a scene like that, you know, just Yeah, attending to people, guardian angels, or whatever you want to call them. Yeah, absolutely. So okay, so in terms of the awakening You have undergone, we’ve now gone through two transcendent ones that are heart one. And then you mentioned a hora one, which I presume is the kind of Buddhist word for the gut audition, and he talks about the head, heart and gut. Is that what it is? And what was that?
Craig Holliday: Yeah, so I’d say this is the most confusing one, in a sense that it’s a falling away of the personal will. And and just thinking about it, or feeling into it kind of makes me go very blank and very quiet. So can you ask me a question about it? Yeah,
Rick Archer: I’m falling away of the personal will. So do you feel now that you have a personal will?
Craig Holliday: Yeah, that’s a great question. I’d say, I’d be arrogant. If I said, No. Yes, of course, of course, I have a personal will. which arises, and but also, it seems as if there’s this greater force, greater sense of divinity that moves through me as me. Do I live in that place in every moment? Absolutely not. You know, I’m quite young, and I could be quite immature sometimes. I’m almost 40. Okay. Yeah,
Rick Archer: you’re still a baby.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, I’m still a baby. And, and yeah, my egoic nature does come forward, from time to time, and there’s all kinds of ways that I can grow. But at some point, you know, after the heart awakening, and actually, after the heart awakening, kind of Kundalini awakening, but the heart awakening is more of a sense of who and what I am, cannot be destroyed, you know, in the deepest sense. And so it’s, it feels very quiet, feels very large. It feels you know, like, as if, if my life ended right now that that would be totally fine. Completely, okay. It feels like a total completion. You’re an absolute strength, an absolute quiet.
Rick Archer: It’s terms of will, would you say it’s a ratio thing, where, you know, earlier much earlier in your life, you know, it was like 99%, Craig, you know, trying to run the show, and 1% Divine, you know, kind of hiding back there someplace. And the ratios started to shift as you did spiritual practice. And then this Hora Awakening was a kind of a significant shift in terms of that ratio, where, you know, just enough Craig to sort of, you know, still living individual life remained but but you know, Brahman is the charioteer to use a Sanskrit phrase translate. Yeah, that’s, that’s the thing they say, actually, is that the wholeness is running the show driving the chariot anymore. Not not the individuality.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, I would actually say so that. And also, another thing happened, too. But let’s, let’s talk about that. And we make sure I can get this fully. Life became very impersonal. Like completely impersonal. And I went through this phase of were just seeing that, that everything was just really have words for it, but just completely. Like, there was no experience at all. Like none, like zero experience. Really. And this went on for
Rick Archer: explain that. So let’s say you’re, I don’t know riding a bicycle down the street. There’s no There’s zero experience. How do you reconcile those two things?
Craig Holliday: Yeah, it’s, it’s quite interesting. So, so say before the experience, you know, transcended his vast spaciousness, the heart experiences overwhelming intimacy with all of life. And so say the experience of this awakening was complete silence. And it wasn’t that there was like energy or bliss or anything. It was almost like total nothingness. But that nothingness is, you know, to use the Buddha’s words say pregnant with all potential. And so that is almost like a description of say, Nirvana, of just no experience. Like none, there’s no me and another and there’s just it’s, it’s quite difficult to speak about.
Rick Archer: Is it a second, or was it a sense of nothing ever happened? Like, let’s say you’re I don’t know, at a concert or something. I don’t know if you went to a concert during this phase. And you know, you’re seeing the concert, experiencing the concert, and yet in a kind of almost predominant sense. There is no concert. There’s nothing going on here. It’s all just silence. Is it kind of like that?
Craig Holliday: No, I did. I don’t know if I had it at experience
Rick Archer: on a concert as a case in point. Yes. put words in your mouth. You’re having a hard time.
Craig Holliday: Now. Let me yeah, let me see. It was like that. It was like, this great non experience of everything. It’s quite bizarre. I’ve just say no experience, like, there is no experience, there is no other. I’m not gonna say there’s no one here. I gotta play that card. But it just felt like everything was just like, wiped clean.
Rick Archer: How long did that last?
Craig Holliday: Um, you know, it’s, it’s interesting, when you ask how long something lasts? I mean, I experienced that right now. If I just step into it, yeah. Do I live in that place? No. But you know, it’s like, with all these things, you know, I can go into different worlds. But at some point, it’s almost like, every experience imploded into that experience of just this non experience of. And that’s very disorienting. It’s quite bizarre, it’s because, you know, like, your, your ego doesn’t know what to do with that. Like, your mind doesn’t know what to do with it. It’s just, and in a sense, it’s, there’s nothing glorious or glamorous about it, no one, whatever, no one could ever want that. And within that, I think, just different parts of yourself begin to fall away. And I think without, you know, it probably had a big sense of memory, but also a sense of will fall away. You know, and that’s that sense of, like, I remember. So say, looking from that perspective, and you see something as terrible as, say, a tsunami come through and destroy, you know, a village in Japan. And there’s just this sense of just like total quiet and total peace with it all. I don’t even know if peace is the right word. But to say that sounds crazy. And I you know, I almost hesitate even saying it right now, you know, if anyone was in that experience, or had their whole life racked, and, you know, for me to sit and you know, to say, Oh, yes, there’s, it’s just, that’s peace. Well, and
Rick Archer: it’s also a little bit easier to watch it on television than it would be to be in that village as a tsunami was starting to crash down on you. And they’re, you know, cars tumbling in the water towards you and stuff, you might share it more of an adrenaline reaction apps.
Craig Holliday: Absolutely. But I could also say that all kinds of you know, say painful things happened in my life. And it was just like, a sense of just, yeah, and that. Yeah, it’s nothing anyone could ever want. It’s nothing anyone could ever desire. It’s it’s like free of want. It’s free of desire. It’s free of any sense of personal like, I am having this experience. It’s almost like you are the experience of it. If if that makes sense.
Rick Archer: Did it make it difficult for you to function when this came on? Like in terms of your job and stuff?
Craig Holliday: Oh, yes. So Rick through all these awakenings I’ve had a lot of trouble functioning but actually that’s been you know, what I just said to me is has kept harassing him about He’s like, he’s like yeah, it’s very inconvenient for life and it makes you live in a very different kind of way. You know, like you can’t have everything you want or desire anymore you can’t chase after this or that. You just have to surrender to just be like okay, like excuse me, okay, this is this is what’s leading me in it you know, if you’re around any great teacher you’ll you’ll just see that that there’s this other thing that leads them and it’s it’s not always convenient to what they want or to what they desire say in their in their humanity you know oftentimes takes us to places you don’t actually want to go or quit never want to go you know and so yeah, took my bank account it took my house it took my business took Yeah, my ability to work,
Rick Archer: but you regained those things. You’ve got a bank account now and a house in a business in a white kid and all that stuff. So yeah, now
Craig Holliday: I’m quite busy. Yeah. But at the time, you know, I can remember different parts of my nature coming forward, you know, and just not knowing, you know, how I was going to make ends meet and in a different fears would come forward. And, you know, you have to have a sense of faith and a sense of trust. And also, you know, sometimes you just have to get up off your butt and go to work, you know, but like Eckart totally, you know, I think they said, he spent two years sitting on a park bench. And I spent two years you know, kind of laying, you know, my backyard just looking at a willow tree. dance in the wind, of course, I children too, so I had to get up and take care of them cook dinner and run around town. But there was a lot of time where it was just spent just, you know, allowing these things to fall out of you. And you know, we could probably so so in between the heart awakening and say, the hara was this Kundalini awakening, and oh, okay,
Rick Archer: you wrote them in a different order on the paper here. Could last? No, no, I’m sorry. But I just want to say with regard to the horror thing, you know, it would seem yeah, sometimes the slate needs to be wiped clean before you can draw something new on it, you know, and I don’t know, there’s verses in the Bible about losing your life so that you can gain it and all kinds of quotes like that. Oh, yeah, no examples of people’s lives who just kind of totally fell apart, but then from the ashes, something much better got built.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, and I want to be crystal clear here. So those sound beautiful. And during the time, you have this paradoxical experience of it being, yes, a totally perfect, totally divine, and also various parts of your egoic nature coming forward, oftentimes screaming, you know, as you’re wondering, if you’re going to end up on the street, homeless, you know, it’s a, it’s a incredibly painful, and, paradoxically, incredibly blissful experience at the same time.
Rick Archer: And it’s interesting, because if you had been in a monastery or something, when that happened, like my friend, Francis Bennett was sure, then, you know, it might not have mattered that much. Because you’re you don’t need to really, you can, you know, you’ll be taken care of there, you’re not,
Craig Holliday: you might miss you might miss the morning prayers. But yeah, you’re taken care of, and that’s the beauty of the monastery, you know, I mean, from one perspective, you know, that’s the beauty of it is, it’s there to take care of you. But as more and more people are, you know, awakening in this way. And I said, I work with a lot of people, it, it can be nerve racking, it can be confusing, it can be financially painful it can have it can rip your heart out. But through this experience, that’s where you come to this, to this, this non dual reality of seeing that, that everything is everything is divine, everything is God. And another interesting, a very interesting thing happened during this stage was my personality, my humanity, like it imploded into my divinity, so that there was no difference. And I’m not saying that my personality was some great divine thing. It was like, my personality, in its humanity, you know, and its shortcomings and its neurotic behavior in its silliness. And it’s, you know, you know, distorted vision, that to totally became the experience of God. And so to me, you know, a lot of people talk about the end of seeking and, you know, there’s this inner seeking that happens when we experience a transcendent awakening. There’s a different kind of Indus end of seeking that happens, I say, within the heart awakening, in the sense that our very humanity, you know, our very infallibility or infallibility, excuse me that fallibility becomes, becomes God, and you’re like, oh, wow, like, even when I get angry or sad or hurting or fall on my knees, that too, is the greatest experience of God. And this is what I’ve had a very difficult time conveying to anyone, it can sound quite arrogant or like how could that be possible? You know what I mean? Depending on how you interpret the words,
Rick Archer: well, if you think of God, if you understand or God to be omnipresent, and you know all pervading that yeah How can all these things you just enumerated not be?
Craig Holliday: Yeah, no, yeah. And there becomes this this funny thing I was like a total acceptance of your humanity not you know your best humanity, but say your worst humanity, like a total acceptance of it like oh, wow, like, yeah, like that’s God too. And, and I think we have to be real careful there because when we walk in, because when we totally accept it, you know, a shadow of totally accepting something is giving it full permission to act. You know what I mean. And I think that’s how, like a lot of teachers, they who work all the way through this, you know, and then they have, they still are left with these ego parts, and they totally accept them. And then they, they see that there’s no division between it and God, and then they give themselves permission to act from that space, we have to be really careful. And I just noticed that in myself, you know, I don’t have a big teaching community or anything where I could power abuses or anything like that. But I just saw in my life where I was kind of like letting myself get away with things that I was like, Ah, you shouldn’t let yourself go down those roads, do you know what I mean? And so it’s this bizarre experience of total acceptance, and total divinity in my just regular everyday humanity. And just, you know, such a love for it.
Rick Archer: You mentioned the word discrimination earlier. And it’s, it would seem here that, you know, that term applies again, where, you know, through all these unfoldings, you’re never off the hook in terms of needing to be discriminating and discerning as to what you’re doing and what you know, it and those who lose that discernment or discrimination, get into trouble.
Craig Holliday: Get Yeah, get into a lot of trouble. It’s, it’s amazing the amount of trouble that can happen there. I was really following the teachings of one particular teacher, and why did he go off the deep end of it? And, you know, it’s heart wrenching to see what happened to his life and his community. And, you know, it happens all the time. And I think it’s good. So, so you have to have your discernment. But also, it’s helpful to have a couple of good friends around, it’s helpful to have a wife, you know, or someone be like, hey, it’d been a jackass, you know, or kids or, you know, or teachers, you know, or friends who can speak up to you and say, Hey, like, you know, you’re out of alignment here. And you need to put yourself in check. It seems to me that as long as we’re in human form, you know, we can, we can really fall on our face and make a mess of things. And so that’s true. But also, it’s true that as long as we’re in human form, we’re going to be growing, we’re going to be evolving, because we’re one with evolution. And so these things are supposed to come forward within us. Yeah. Do you know what I mean? They’re supposed to, because we’re one with the force of evolution itself. And so So these things are going to grow through us as us. Do you know what I did? Did that make sense?
Rick Archer: Yeah, it did.
Craig Holliday: To think that we’re going to get to some great vast non dual state where we’re untouchable. That’s to deny half of God. Yeah, the dynamic aspect of God. And to me, that is a huge mistake that most of us make, it’s a mistake I’ve made before to my beginning search for enlightenment was that oh, I’m going to get to someplace where there’s going to be complete on movability. And nothing can touch me, it’ll be totally free of whatever. But I mean, come on, you know, it’s like, I had to be real honest, like, oh, yeah, that’s maybe in heaven. We can, we can sit on our lion throne. What as long as we’re on Earth, we are one with evolution. And our mind is like it our mind is the same mind of say, everyone on the planet to some degree. Do you know what I mean? Because we are one with, you know, say consciousness or one with evolution?
Rick Archer: Yeah, I have debates about this sometimes with some friends who some of whom feel that, you know, they have reached a stage or that one reaches a stage in which you can you’re pretty much done and anything after that. It’s negligible in terms of development. But I don’t know, maybe, maybe I’ll agree with him at some point. But it seems to me that it’s just this as long as you’re breathing, there is plenty of opportunity for further refinement.
Craig Holliday: Because because we’re one with evolution will always be growing, as long as we’re informed a form of any kind on this planet in this world. Yeah. Now, if we move on to say, whatever the realm of the Buddha and that realm where you know, you go and you never incarnate again, or whatever happens there. Yeah, maybe you just stay there forever, and you experience that half of God. But if we’re in this, we are in this realm. This realm is a realm of evolution. And there is no way you can outrun evolution. It is our nature. It’s God’s nature. It’s there’s no escape from it. In fact, you know, a deep form of surrender is can we surrender to that and give into that impulse and allow it to grow through us as a into something greater.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Even speaking of other realms, I mean, you read Vedic stories about these devas and, and whatnot that are still, you know, climbing up the ladder, so to speak in terms of greater and greater possibility. In fact, in fact, there’s this understanding that they’re like, in that tradition that they’re like 16 collars, they call them which are supposed to be like, stages of evolution. And supposedly human beings occupy the fourth through the eighth. And so you’re gonna feel like the most enlightened person ever walk the Earth, you’re still maybe call eight. Yeah. And there’s other possibilities when you leave this place.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, no, I mean, it’s crystal clear. We don’t have the full picture. I mean, you know, one of the things my teacher David kept pointing out to me is that, yeah, we’re going through these stages. Yes, maybe we’re having these huge experiences of awakening. But, you know, in the big picture things we actually don’t really know much. We really don’t have to, we don’t have a clue. And so we have to be very careful. You know, how arrogant and how proud we become?
Rick Archer: Yeah, of course, some people feel like, you know, well, once you’re enlightened, that’s it. You’re not going to get reincarnated anymore. So there’s no end. In fact, there’s no individuality left. So there’s no no possibility of any further development or refinement. Come on. I
Craig Holliday: mean, yeah. Have you ever met someone who doesn’t have an individuality?
Rick Archer: Not that I know of? Yeah. They all appear to Yeah, they all appear to Hamo as one.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I’m a has one. I mean, she can be funny. She can be fierce, you know, she can be all kinds of things, whatever God calls upon. But I think we all have an individuality and a sense, to deny our individuality is to deny, you know, an aspect of God.
Rick Archer: So all these stages of awakening that you’ve described, I get the feeling that each one is kind of digested, as it were an added to your repertoire, and that, you know, the flashiness of the initial transition passes. But that there is still that, you know, it kind of becomes part of your foundation, and that each awakening is still there, if you care to notice that whatever quality dawned with each awakening is still part and parcel of your experience. But we assimilated it becomes par for the course. And then we kind of move on to further things. Is that a fair summation?
Craig Holliday: Yeah, absolutely. Okay. Yeah. Yeah, I can remember talking to John Burnie once and talking about this big heart awakening or whatever. And he’s like, oh, yeah, you’ll get used to that. And I was like, There’s no getting used to this. And it’s like, oh, yeah, okay, you get used to this, you know, but at the time, you almost get upset, you know, like, how could you ever get used to this? You know, and it’s like, yeah, it integrates within you, it just becomes a normal part of your everyday experience. Absolutely.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Do Okay, so haven’t really covered the Kundalini awakening thing yet. Let’s get on to that we kind of it because it is quite a story. And as I mentioned earlier, a lot of people go through this stuff, sometimes people who have never heard of Kundalini and, you know, don’t know what’s happening to them, and perhaps, you know, check themselves into a psychiatric ward or something. So, I think it as it seems, it seems to me that as more and more awakenings take place around the world, this kind of thing is going to happen more and more, and it’s got to become more common knowledge. So that we don’t have tragedies where people are, you know, given Thorazine or something where they really need some more spiritual guidance.
Craig Holliday: Sure, sure. I think Kundalini is by the most difficult awakening, you know, to work well, it can be some people, you know, they just experienced it just opens up and it moves Sloot. smoothly through their being. With me, I never did any type of Kundalini yoga, or did the breaths or any of that kind of stuff, but just being in the presence of my teacher, David, for about eight years, I just had intense energy, always moving through my body. And that was just normal. I mean, it was to the point of driving me crazy, but at some point I had all this energy in my back, especially my spine, but just all throughout my back and eight years of just intense pain, and you know, I would cry every day, I was in so much pain. I would because it
Rick Archer: was locked.
Craig Holliday: Because it cuz it was blocked. Sure. You know,
Rick Archer: where it was purifying and the pain. The Purification was yes.
Craig Holliday: Yeah. So it was it was just, I just had so much energy in me. And I didn’t know what it was. I just thought that there was something physically wrong with my back. I did something wrong. My bad. I just thought, God, I mean, just like I was in such pain, Rick, I couldn’t even think straight. You know, like, so I would cry every day. It’s gonna break my heart just thinking about that experience, but Um, you know, I’d lay flat on the floor, you know, just for hours, I could barely cook my kids dinner. And you know, I just would come home from work and I would just lay on the floor and there’s times that I just crawl and you could barely crawl on the bed or barely crawl out of bed. And then there was times when it would just it would just like open and all sudden, I’d be like an ecstasy. I’d be like, Oh my God, I feel incredible. And so I went back and forth, you know, for a number of years with that and I was seeing my teacher David a lot a lot during this time, and I was also getting a lot of bodywork done. And one day I was getting some body work done and Scott was giving me a massage and all sudden they started having a seizure. You know, he was on the floor. And you know, he turned pale
Rick Archer: an actual seizure where you kind of went unconscious or something or the net crew never thrashing around kind of thing. Yeah, that
Craig Holliday: Korea I guess I call them seizures because most people don’t know what Korea Korea czar but yes, the thrashing around yeah, just entered, you know, might get stuck like this, or my back would arch and all these weird, obscure ways my hands would make these bizarre mudras and do all kinds of things. And, and it felt like such amazing ecstasy. Just felt like, you know, felt like I was on some crazy drugs and not haven’t done drugs, but it felt, you know, what I imagined, you know, say heroin or something would feel like it was just so
Rick Archer: definitely not like, heroin. Heroin totally dulls you out.
Craig Holliday: Okay, sorry. I thought that would be ecstasy but um, you know, it just felt just so it felt like energy is raging up my spine out my hands down my feet. And, you know, I had trouble talking to I had trouble just walking out. I got you know, the guy was ready to call the ambulance. I was like, No, cuz I knew what it was. I was like, Oh, just let me let me call a friend or get me someone who can drive me home. And so that went on for about two years of just intense experiences. There’s times I couldn’t hold the four couldn’t hold the cup. I couldn’t think straight, got my words, all confused. Any kind of neurological thing just would go through. I mean, I hate I had to be careful talking about this, because so many people would come to me, let me heal you. Let me tell you what’s wrong with you. Let me diagnose you. And so, you know, I had that go on for years. But yeah, it was, it was amazing. And I couldn’t sleep sometimes for months at a time, which is, then you know, your brain asleep at
Rick Archer: all, or couldn’t sleep well? Oh, couldn’t sleep at all? Wait, can you? Can you live for months at a time without any sleep?
Craig Holliday: I mean, yeah, I mean, I would just lay there. Yeah. And just feel like zombies. You know, just like so much energy. I mean, it was not lacking energy. And sometimes I just lay it out, just put a hand on my heart, hand on my belly and just breathe through it. And, you know, there was probably periods of times when I got some sleep. But, you know, overall, for two years, I had tremendous trouble sleeping. I mean, I would just lay in bliss. And I don’t know what would happen. You know, I mean, he definitely was not sleep, you know, it was just like laying there and just vibrating with energy. And still to this day, I have a lot of trouble sleeping. And, you know, when I teach I have trouble sleeping when I sometimes if I meet with too many individuals in a day, I have trouble sleeping. And, you know, and I mean, the Kundalini stuff. I mean, I could probably write a book on all those experiences, but it was probably similar to what what’s his name? Gopi. Krishna went through, you know, just intense pain, intense bliss. You know, all kinds of just states and there was also burning, purifying energies, like, it felt like it was raining acid in my head for six months. Like, you know, he laughed at me about that. He’s like, Yeah, good luck with like, you know, it’s, it’s just so much what people go through and, and, you know, most people, what most people say is when you know, they come to me or they want the biggest question is, how do I make this end? And see, that’s absolutely the wrong question. You know, the question is, how can I surrender to this? And a greater and greater way was what what an experience like this will do to you, you know, overwhelming pain, you know, almost being pushed to the brink of insanity. Brancott craziness overwhelming, you know, this experiences of just forces just pushing them self through you. Basically, it’s going to teach it to surrender, or suffer. And so the invitation is, is can I surrender to this too? You know, fully and completely anywhere you anywhere you try to deny it anywhere you try to avoid it. You know, the pain just gets worse.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So first of all, I ran past me a note that said, you can’t have kundalini awakening, you still need professional medical, health, mental health. So just want to throw that in. Oh, yeah. It should be somebody who knows what it is, you know?
Craig Holliday: Yeah. And, you know, I’ve actually worked with a lot of people who’ve gone mad with Kundalini, where they’re like, I am the Messiah now. And I’m like, Hey, man, you’re not the Messiah. You’re having an incredible experience. I’m
Rick Archer: the Messiah. So you couldn’t be
Craig Holliday: Yeah. But it’s like, see, that’s why it’s good to have spiritual practice. If you if you’re rooted in spiritual practice, spiritual discipline, you’ll know, you know, most fundamental teaching is don’t believe your thoughts, don’t believe your feelings. If you’re overwhelmed with feeling and overwhelmed with thoughts, you know, it’s gonna be hard not to believe them. So, a lot of people go mad, you know, like, literally, you know, get blown into schizophrenia, or temporary states of delusion. And I, you know, since I’m trained as a, you know, a counselor, you know, say, I never really worked with mental health, you know, before, but, you know, it’s good to be like, oh, yeah, like you’re having some delusions here? And can you come back to your core? You know, come back to the truth of your heart, just that basic simplicity, like audio was telling me in the beginning, can you come back that basic simplicity? What’s here all the time, there’s a quiet here. And there’s just an awake sense of intelligence, can you rest in that and not rest in, you know, oh, I’m the Messiah, or I’m the awakened one, or I now have healing energies, or, or I’m, you know, excuse my language, but batshit crazy, because I’m in so much pain, I can’t think clearly, you know, you can see that you’re in pain, you can see that you’re being overwhelmed. So can you rest in that quiet silence. But most people, unfortunately, they don’t have good teachers, or they don’t, or excuse me, they don’t have a teacher, you know, or their teacher doesn’t know what the hell it is, or their teacher told them to do? Do these breaths. And, you know, and I think the Kundalini breaths are probably the, the worst thing you can do. You know, because it gets all that energy excited, and it gets it gone. And you have to be really mature. If this stuff wakes up, and, you know, and, and to be able to remain sane, if that makes sense. But sometimes it it awakens in people who aren’t mature, who don’t have spiritual practices, and you know, I always say, oh, boy, like, God, what are you doing to this person? But, you know, that’s between them and God, and you know, if I can help, I definitely get them grounded, you know, and just say, Okay, let’s get your feet on the ground, let’s focus on what you need to do. And can you both breathe through this energy, allow it to move through you surrender to it totally. And not believe what you think? Or what you feel in relationship to this energy? Yeah. And that’s quite difficult for most people, myself included,
Rick Archer: I think it’s good to point out that, you know, it is a powerful thing we’re talking about here, and not something to sort of toy around with.
Craig Holliday: Oh, yeah. What you said in the beginning, some people end up in mental institutions, you know, or some people you know, something like, this takes all of your money. You know, it may take your wife and your, your kids away, it may take, you know, everything you knew, you know, to be permanent about your life away from you. But, you know, again, can you come back to that basic sense of sanity, and allow this energy to move through you and most anyone I work with, and so they’re, you know, they’re going, I can’t do this. And it’s true, you can’t do it. And so that’s the invitation is can I surrender that to, and surrender and trust in a greater and greater way. And then in the end, you in that energy become one it doesn’t become? There’s me and there’s Kundalini there just becomes this one vibrant movement, this dynamic force, moving through your being.
Rick Archer: And in addition to this more kind of psychological advice, like can I surrender and stuff? Wouldn’t you also advice, very good grounding things like you might want to start eating a heavier diet, you might want to start jogging or you know, lifting weights, you might well absolutely get massage and any number of things you could do that might kind of ground and integrate you. And in addition to you giving advice people like this, there are people like Bonnie Greenwell and Joan Harrigan at the Kundalini care place in Tennessee who, who specialize in dealing with people who are having this kind of issue.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, and what you said is absolutely true. Can you get grounded you You know, can you get your feet in the dirt? You know, can you walk on the grass? You know, can you just do whatever you can to get yourself fully grounded, fully embodied? And again, while you’re going through the experience, it’ll sound crazy. Like, there’s nothing I can do. But you know, can you breathe through it? Can you walk through it? Can you eat? Yeah, heavier diet? Can you do a very gentle Hatha Yoga? You know, can you work with, say, a therapist, or a counselor who can help open these blockages within within you, so that that energy can begin to move more smoothly through you? Yeah, things like that are are absolutely helpful, I would definitely, you know, stay away from anything that excites the energy, any, you know, yoga, that’s harsh, or you know, moving a lot of energy, any, any of those breaths, any crazy meditative practices, where you’re running energy or moving energy, and things like that, you definitely want to avoid,
Rick Archer: I mean, some of that stuff can be okay, under the guidance of a competent person, but you wouldn’t want to pick up a book and of New Age bookstore on, you know, intense pranayama practices and start doing them for an hour to a day, because you could really flip your lid.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.
Rick Archer: So with you is, is there still Kundalini stuff going on, or has it pretty much run its course and everything is smooth,
Craig Holliday: it’s smooth, for the most part. Sometimes it it definitely intensifies at different times, you know, you know, so to say like, when I went to the sand conference, this year, it intensified when, when I go on retreat, it intensifies. When I teach, it intensifies. When I work with individuals and intensifies, sometimes it just, I’ll drive down the road, and, you know, it will intensify for the most part, it’s very calm, you know, but then it’s just kind of just in the background. But if for a while I was causing a lot of trouble. I mean, it’s actually, you know, people around me were starting to have it, you know, became a real problem for my wife for a little bit. And, you know, it’s like, oh, boy, like, I wouldn’t wish this experience on anybody. But, you know, it’s just, I mean, it’s part of life, I guess. Yeah.
Rick Archer: And in your experience, would you say that you were and your experience, both personally, and as a person who’s kind of been tuned into the spiritual scene for quite a while? Would you say that your Kundalini history was a little bit on the extreme end, and that most people don’t have to go through anything? Yes, traumatic.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, that’s a good point. I hope so. Yeah, I hope so. Almost everyone I see with it, are people who’ve had extreme experiences with it. So they found me on the internet, and so they’ve contacted me. So I see a lot of people who’ve been through intense pain with it. But again, we have to keep in mind, if you fully open to it, it will radically change and radically reorient your life. Now, for some people, like I was, I think I was talking to Francis and he said, that his just is just a normal flow within him. And he said is, it wasn’t a big deal. And you know, I think all kinds of people have that experience where it’s just a normal flow, and it’s not a big deal. But, you know, like for my teacher, David, he said, it was not a big deal. It just just went up his spine, and it was just smooth. And then, you know, when I talked to aaj about it, he’s like, yeah, he went through hell and back, you know, and it, you know, drove him to the very brink. You know,
Rick Archer: yeah. So it’s good for people to hear them that, you know, going through what you just described is not necessarily going to be what’s going to happen to them. But
Craig Holliday: no, I mean, I think it may, and the thing is, is we don’t have a choice about it, you know, I mean, you have a choice, whether you play with a breaths or not like I wouldn’t recommend that. But but, you know, like, for me, it just came, I didn’t ask for it. I had no desire, I had a desire to know freedom. I never had a thought to know what Kundalini Awakening was, was not one of my thoughts. But it came and oh, boy, did it come.
Rick Archer: So, and then you had the horror thing that we’ve already talked about, which was just this deep silence, you know, getting established.
Craig Holliday: Exactly. And I think, you know, one of the things that that the Kundalini did was it forced surrender, you know, and it forced a sense of, of total integration. And I think that kind of led into the heart awakening of just that there’s no separation between me and God. And I don’t mean that in an arrogant way, I just mean that just in Down to Earth basic way. That’s total non separation.
Rick Archer: So, now, how long ago was that harder thing?
Craig Holliday: I remember about three years ago or so. Okay.
Rick Archer: So now if you look over the last three yours. And as your life continues to unfold now, how do you feel like, what’s the leading edge for you? You know, we’ve agreed that evolution continues, how is your evolution continuing to unfold?
Craig Holliday: It’s just working with my humanity, just an everyday just down to earth practical sense. You know, can I be more kind? You know, am I believing what I think you know, different different thoughts come forward, and you get you believe them? And you say, oh, yeah, like getting hooked to your, you know, can I be sweeter? Can I be gentler? Can I embrace, you know, different aspects of myself, which, you know, I may not be proud of, you know, it seems like, life gives me all kinds of opportunities to embrace my egoic nature. And also, I’ll say, say, the collective egoic nature. Because in a sense, a lot of the stuff that arises with me, it doesn’t feel so personal, like, sometimes it feels very personal, like, Oh, yes, I’m being a total fool here. And can I embrace this? But also, there’s things that just arise within me just throughout the day? And it’s like, I don’t know what it is, I can I be willing to embrace it, and meet it with love. And things feel more and more impersonal. And, you know, occasionally, if I’m gonna be honest, there’s personal things that come forward, you know, that I still have lots of work to do on
Rick Archer: Yeah, I can just sort of hear some non dual types listening to this and say, Well, who is this me He keeps talking about, you know, I mean, if he’s gone through all these transformations and awakenings, how, how kind of substantial or predominant can the Craig holiday character really be? Because it seems like he’s still very concerned about it. In fact, you just described that that’s really the leading edge of your growth now is enhancing or improving or refining the Craig guy. And, you know, some people emphasize that, you know, there is no such person. It’s like a dream character. And you’re talking about, you know, dressing up the dream character and nice thing
Craig Holliday: when you’re in that transcendent state, that’s true. Yeah. But if you like, say, any, any master on Earth, I mean, they work with himself in a very humble way, in a very humble way. And, you know, if you think you’re done with yourself, well, then great, then you can work on all of the collective consciousness of all of humanity. So when are you going to? When is when is the work over? I mean, again, the way I see it is it’s not it doesn’t feel like me. So personal, sometimes it feels personal, but, you know, just from a greater perspective, you know, it feels like being one with evolution, that you’re just willing to grow willing to evolve, you know, willing to, to surrender, as Papaji said, till your last breath. He was Mr. Nandu. himself.
Rick Archer: Mr. Give up the search. Yes.
Craig Holliday: So, you know, it’s like, so that’s, that’s one perspective, if, you know, if you call that the evolving edge, and then also, you know, the evolving edge within myself is just opening to deeper and deeper levels, you know, of divinity. within myself, you know, as I say, divinity goes on forever. Well, it’s like, my god, there’s, there’s countless worlds you can open to, and can you allow these worlds to open to you and come into your life and allow them to live through you, as you know that that work goes on forever? Yeah.
Rick Archer: I like what you said about, you know, well, if you think you’re perfect, then there’s a whole world out there. You know, yeah. There’s a dog out. There is a, I mean, do you have a sense that more and more you have become kind of a, an instrument of the Divine. You know, you’re not like some big world famous guru, but you’re in your own way in your own Dharma, you’re, you’re kind of being divinely guided to facilitate the the awakening and evolution of others.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, boy, that sounds quite, quite grandiose. Well, you know, it’s,
Rick Archer: I mean, you know, it’s like, if, you know, you mentioned about the dropping of individual will Okay, well, if the if the Divine is running the show, then what are you know, what is the divine doing with the instrument of Craig holiday? Not just fulfilling his individual sort of wants and cravings, really, but, you know, has, is there a sense that your life has become a sort of a channel through which the kind of the Divinity can flow into the world?
Craig Holliday: Yeah, yeah. And a lot of times what I’m doing Eating, you know, when I meet with individuals, it feels like that. And sometimes it feels like that if I’m just walking down the street, you know, with my little dog and just, you know, just just having this experience of just divinity pouring through me. And then other times my life feels just so basic, and so quiet. It’s quite bizarre how basic and quiet, it becomes, you know, it’s like so utterly ordinary, and you know, someone could call it, you know, totally boring. And yet, there’s just seems like, just this wonderful, ordinary, profound piece. That’s their second every moment, even if I’m making a fool out of myself, you know? Yeah. Yes, yeah.
Rick Archer: So you covered a lot in your book. And I took a lot of notes, and I haven’t really even referred to them. There’s all sorts of, but we’ve actually covered a lot of the points that I had jotted down. And so is there anything that you feel like we haven’t really covered? That is important to you, or that you emphasized in your book that you’d like to be sure to include in this interview?
Craig Holliday: I don’t know. I think, I think that’s everything. Let me just like, I thought I might write some notes. But it seems like
Rick Archer: while you’re doing that, I must say, I just want to say that, you know, you’re young guy, you’re under under 40. So that’s great, you know, God willing, you’ll have at least another 40 years of doing your thing and letting it it’ll be interesting to see, I won’t be around for another 40 years, probably, but seeing how it all unfolds over the course of your lifetime. And, you know, isn’t it an adventure?
Craig Holliday: It’s such, it’s such an adventure, what I’m amazed by every day is how we have these ideas, you know, of what should be happening and how it should happen. And then oftentimes, God has a different idea, you know, how it comes forward? And so, you know, it’s just can we surrender more and more, you know, to that, and just, I mean, it’s a funny thing, being an individual. You know, oftentimes there’s, there’s, there’s so much violence in the spiritual world against individuality, you know, but I think I think I heard how made speak about this just about our individual consciousness, and that this to, you know, is an aspect of God. And this too, is an aspect of being embodied is, is can we just allow this divinity to live through us, and just an ordinary experience of being human? You know, it’s, it’s quite, it’s quite wonderful, once quite, quite amazing.
Rick Archer: Francis Bennett has a nice phrase that he says to people who are hammering on this point of not being an individual. He says, of course, you’re an individual, you’re just not only an individual. Exactly. I mean, most people think that all they are is this individual. And when you kind of wake up to your universal nature, you might think you’re not an individual at all. But you’re both. Yeah, you’re
Craig Holliday: absolutely both, you know, absolutely 100%, he wrecked. The other thing I saw, just when I looked at my notes is just if we talked about just the different shadows, that can come forward, I don’t think we didn’t go, you know, awakening. And I think we did a little bit, but just in the sense that, you know, when someone has a transcendent awakening, you know, a big shot of that can come forward is you can have a greater sense of separation between you and life, like I’m the awakened one. And the rest of the life, the rest of the world is diluted, you know. So that’s a shadow, there can be a tremendous aloofness that can come forward. Tremendous arrogance, a tremendous pride, you can become incredibly ungrounded you cannot take care of your life. You know, so far,
Rick Archer: I’m laughing because so far I’ve been through all these things.
Craig Holliday: I have learned about them, you know, and so, you know, these are the things that we have to be careful with, you know, it’s just like, you know, like I was saying before, when someone comes to me, and they’ve just had a transcendent awakening, it’s almost like if, say, if you fall in love with someone, and then you went and saw therapist, the therapist couldn’t say anything to someone who’s just fallen in love, their life is perfect, everything’s great, you know, they’re floating on a cloud. But it’s just, you know, it’s not the truth. You know what I mean? And so we have to truly be humble, you know, with, if we look at the heart awakening, the shadow the heart awakening is I only want to feel bliss. I only want to feel what’s good. And so, when we do when we do that, again, we create a division between us and life. Because the true non dual reality it must include, you know, that which doesn’t feel good that which is painful, that which you know, the parts of ourselves which we want to avoid, and so on. You know, the other shadow of the heart awakening is, you know, you fall in love with everything we spoke with about that about you getting in trouble, you know, through not having discernment or discipline, in your relationships with others and causing pain, you see this, you know, there’s some people, they, they wake up in their heart, and they immediately leave their wife and go out and, you know, start another relationship or whatever. And it’s like, we have to be really careful there. You know, or we think that we think that this is the only reality that the whole world is just this mushy, gooey, bliss world. And we become very insensitive, you know, to people who are in tremendous pain. You know, that? Does that make sense? Yeah. Yeah. And with, of course, you can become ungrounded there with Kundalini, that a lot of the shadows are of shadows, the right word, but you can go into all that mental illness stuff, we spoke about that. That could be all kinds of neurological disorders. We spoke about that. And then with the heart awakening, there can be that sense of the sense of dis disassociation, I come on and disassociate from life. And I’m just, I’m not going to be present. I’m not going to be here. And that can lead to all sorts of trouble.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Do you think there are any other significant awakenings beyond be in addition to the ones we’ve enumerated?
Craig Holliday: Oh, yeah, absolutely. So the big one, which is, I guess we didn’t speak about was what Sri Aurobindo was speaking about, it was, say, the awakening of God and matter. You know, and so that’s, that’s something I cannot, you know, I can’t claim I shouldn’t claim anything. But that’s, it hasn’t happened to you yet. Yeah, you know, and I think, you know, that’s one, God waking up in matter, as matter and making this a divine world. And you know, that, you know, that may be a day away, or it may be 1000s of years away.
Rick Archer: But there’s God waking up in matter as far as you know, the entire world is concerned. But there’s also God waking up in matter, as far as our experience is concerned, isn’t there?
Craig Holliday: Yeah. And I guess, I guess I was speaking about Yeah, in the entire world.
Rick Archer: I think it’s gonna have to happen in the experience of a lot of people before it happens. Yeah, entire world. And I think that in an individual experience, it’s perhaps something more than you, then you’ve described so far.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, yeah, no, absolutely. I think, I think as far as, say, the, the, the extent of awakening, I think there can be countless awakenings. You know, I think we put so much emphasis on, oh, this is spiritual awakening. And now I’m awake. And now the game’s over. I think, you know, we’re not being humble. You know, when we’re standing in that space, you know, I think, you know, it’s like, God goes on forever. So what we’re speaking about, you know, it may be ahead of somebody, but, you know, if we look up, if we look ahead of us, well, my God, you know, it was much more than what we can see.
Rick Archer: Yeah. It’s a healthy attitude. You know, I mean, who wants to be nobody’s really sincerely interested in all this stuff. Wants to be finished when they’re not finished? You know, they don’t want to think they’re finished. If they are actually aren’t. Yeah. Because you you kind of cheat yourself, you sell yourself short.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, well, and it’s also a hell world to live in that kind of arrogance. You know, it’s a tremendous amount of pain to live in a place and say, Oh, yes, I am here. You know, and nobody else is, and, you know, you know, I’m the only one or whatever it is, and it that’s a hell world and to have to defend that. I mean, my God, that’s, that’s got to be painful. And I’m, it’s a confusing thing, you know, because people want to put a label on me and say, Oh, you think this or you know, or they say you are that like, Yeah, but also, I’m a total idiot to keep that in mind. Please, please keep that in mind, you know, that I’m growing just like you just like everyone else. You know, we just want to be really careful with ourselves, you know, not to not to overemphasize one thing or the other, but to honor both and, you know, just the sense of, you know, being fully human and divine. It’s, it’s a, it’s quite a paradox, it’s quite ducks.
Rick Archer: And, you know, it’s it’s very true what you’re saying that the correlation between spiritual awakening and, and personnel, personal maturity in don’t always match. It can be very loose. I mean, there can be very, very saintly people who are doing incredible things in the world. We don’t have a heck of a lot going on in terms of the inner spiritual awakening, and vice versa. Yeah, you know, yeah, it’s
Craig Holliday: absolutely true. Yeah, absolutely true.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Well, it seems like I bet you if we were to have another interview in 10 years or something It doesn’t necessarily need to be that long. But if we were having another one, you know, quite a bit down the line, it would, we’d cover a lot of the same ground. But in many ways, it might be a very different conversation in terms of what had unfolded. Sure. You know, by that time, both for you, for me and for the world.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, for the world. Absolutely.
Rick Archer: But something’s unfolding. And that’s exciting. And it should give people hope and inspiration, I think.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, I hope so. Yeah, he and I forgot to say this in the beginning wreck, but I just, I really hope that when people listen to the shows, you know, this one, and all your other shows is that just that we really listen from our heart, you know, because then we get the direct experience of, you know, what, whatever it is that’s happening, instead of this just being some kind of intellectual thing. And so, you know, I think it’s just a lot of us really need to focus our spiritual life and that ways can we experience life and from our heart, not just just from our mind?
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think a lot of people do. You know, I get really nice feedback from people all the time. Yeah, in fact, there’s a Testimonials page on bat gap calm, but, you know, people who have, you know, even literally been suicidal and have had their lives turned around or have, you know, this woman told me recently, her daughter was working in strip clubs, and not living a real happy life. And now she’s kind of gotten on to spirituality. It’s become a real bad cat fan. And also, yeah, it’s
Craig Holliday: gotta make you smile. It’s
Rick Archer: very gratifying. You know? Yeah, I really, you know, it’s one wants to be of value to the world, you know, and it’s gratifying to feel that one is kind of contributing something like that.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, no, it’s really beautiful, what you’ve done.
Rick Archer: Well, I couldn’t have done it alone. There’s Irene sitting here who works on it as much as I do, if not more, and a nice band of volunteers around the world who do all kinds of things, video, post production, audio post production, Jerry PIXMA, who does all the equipment management and setup and there’s a translation and transcription team, which anyone listening can join if they like, and so we can get it out to people in other languages, and, you know, technical assistance from various people. So it’s really kind of a nice team effort.
Craig Holliday: Yeah, you know, it’s beautiful work you do with with Thanks, Rick, for having me. Is there anything else?
Rick Archer: Yeah, I want to make some basic closing points that I always make. So you know, I’ve been speaking with Craig Holliday, and he lives in Durango, Colorado, which is a wonderful place to live. I think I’d move there if I could. And I would get the season pass to the sky. And he obviously works with people locally there in Durango, but also people all over the world on Skype. And so if you feel like connecting with Craig, I’ll be linking to his website from his page on bat gap calm. And it’s what Craig holiday.com. Yeah, with two L’s in holiday. You got me singing the big song the other day when I was thinking, you know, that song holiday by the beaches? I do? Yes. Beautiful song. And, in any case, so go there. And you’ll find out everything that Craig is doing, how to get in touch and involved and you do like, he’s still doing that weekly satsang. online that you do.
Craig Holliday: Yeah. So it’s, I’m doing a bi weekly, bi weekly. Yeah. And I want to start a group of people who want to work in a little deeper way. We want to kind of stay in the group for a long time and just get some more support with that. So right, so I’m sorry, in almost like an online school or, or course,
Rick Archer: and you have some kind of email signup things that people can get notice. Oh, sure. Yeah. Good. Okay, so that’s it about and your book, of course, I’ll be linking to the Amazon page where people can get your book for human for divine. And then with regard to bat gap in general. There, you know, explore it, look around there. There’s past interviews menu. And under that interview, all the interviews are categorized in various ways. There’s a Donate button, which I really appreciate people supporting, clicking rather, too in order to support this,
Craig Holliday: please donate. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Really, it’s necessary and appreciated. There is a place to to sign up for my email list. And you’ll get about one email a week notifying you of each new interview is posted. This whole thing also exists as an audio podcast, so you can listen while you’re commuting or something. So you’ll see a link that says, you know, sign up for the audio podcast, and a bunch of other things. We even have like a thing where you can download the bat gap logo as a screensaver and the bandgap theme song for your ringtone on your phone and stuff. So you’ll see that under one of the menus, all kinds of stuff. And we have we plan to offer a lot more in the coming year and have some nice ideas in mind. So thanks for listening or watching. And thank you again, Craig.
Craig Holliday: And thank you so much for having me. We’ll see you all next week.