Craig Pearson Transcript

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Craig Pearson Interview

Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. I’m Rick Archer, Buddha at the Gas Pump our BatGap is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. To learn more about the show and to possibly support this thing, because it’s made possible through the support of viewers and listeners like you go to Today, my guest is my old friend Craig Pearson, Craig and I have known each other for probably 40 years or so. Were you on that course in Kosovo and prolong 2000? Yeah. Okay. So we met in the French Alps, we used to do these long six month meditation courses. And we were both on a course with marshy, Mahesh Yogi and in the Alps in the summer of 1975. Did a lot of meditating a lot of fasting. It’s quite a scene. Craig is currently and has been for quite a few years, the Executive Vice President of Maharshi, University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, our fair city is the car guys would say. And he’s done a number of other things around over the years for the TM movement. He’s also a musician. He co writes beautiful songs with his friend Brad Moses. I just listened to one of them just the other day, Brad sent me a link. And he lives here on the Mun campus with his wife, Melissa and son Soren. The reason we’re having this interview is that Craig recently wrote a book I say recently, because it probably took you at least a decade to write what you want to say. It’s a massive undertaking, and a really enjoyable book, it’s over 500 pages long, I managed to read the first 350 pages this week. And it wasn’t a chore, it was very enjoyable. It’s called the supreme awakening experiences of Enlightenment throughout time and how you can cultivate them. And rather than me tell you about my experience in reading the book, which I’ll probably do anyway, later on. I think I’ll just have Craig lay out for us what’s in the book and why you wrote it? And, you know, things like that.

Craig Pearson: Yeah. Well As for why I wrote it, I don’t remember the exact seed impulse. But I had been meditating a few years, and I came across some kind of little passage of poetry, it could have been Wordsworth, four lines, or something describing the experience of transcending which I had been having. And I thought, wow, this is really interesting, you know, to see this is somebody if it were Wordsworth, you know, over 200 years ago, describing something, and I imagine that he probably didn’t have a meditation technique, and, you know, 7098 in England or something, but nonetheless, he was having some kind of experience and Dr. describing it in beautiful language. And that just sat with me for a while. And after, after a while, I began to look into a little further and discover that there were more things like that, when you start to look the those kinds of experiences seem to be rare in the literature of the world, but they’re, they’re definitely there. And when I began sharing them with friends of mine, they seem to resonate just as much with other people as with me, so I thought, I’m onto something. And I never at the beginning, I didn’t have in mind to write a big book or anything. But as I began to gather them, I saw that there really was a book potential here. So he just started collecting quotes. I just started doing a lot of reading and collect. Yeah, kinda like panning for gold because I’d read. I mean, I’ve probably read 1000s and 1000s of books going through all sorts of things and you find these in the most unexpected places.

Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s what I found some impressive as I was reading the book. I don’t know if maybe people you had feelers out there other people were sending you quotes because they do become aware of your work. Yeah. But there are so many different sources of these quotes that are in the book and will explain how you’ve organized the quotes and everything as we go along. But I thought well, it would take a massive amount of reading like you say, panning for gold to find these nuggets.

Craig Pearson: Yeah, exactly.

Rick Archer: And from unlikely sources to I mean, Billie Jean King and

Craig Pearson: Vaclav huvelle of Egypt, and

Rick Archer: well, he was he was Czechoslovakia Yeah, so I mean, how often does one ordinarily sit down and read the works of Anwar Sadat, you know, writer states of consciousness,

Craig Pearson: right.

Rick Archer: So anyway, it’s a massive time. asking. It’s nicely organized. And I have a friend whom I interviewed on the show, but a year ago who had been a fundamentalist preacher most of his life. And one day he was walking along in by a lake or something. And he just had this impulse to sit down on a rock. And he sat down and had this profound awakening. And it changed his life forever. And he’s still going through difficulties because all of his family and friends are still in the fundamentalist mode. They don’t really feel like he’s going to hell now, because he’s undergone this shift. But in any case, I am in regular touch with him. And I mentioned this book, and he immediately ordered a copy. And I don’t know why I mentioned him, but you know, that there’s sort of an epidemic taking place in the world. And people are awakening. I think, in record numbers, it would seem maybe it’s just our communications that make it seem like record numbers, but also our communications are facilitating, right an epidemic, right. Measles is spreading around the US right now because of travel. Yeah, so it’s kind of happening in a in a way that Maharshi predicted and Native Americans are predicted and South American shamans are predicted a lot of ancient traditions have been predicting that something like this would happen. And it really seems to be happening now. So this is a really nice Chronicle, I think of maybe the precursors of the current awakening, although some of them are contemporary, right? And it sort of lays out a nice trail map, so to speak of right of what one might expect to encounter as one’s awakening unfolds,

Craig Pearson: right? Yeah, exactly. Excuse me. The other thing that I found that was really a revelation for me is that when I came to when I learned Transcendental Meditation, then, you know, shortly after that, I became aware that Maharshi had laid out a framework of human development. And people are familiar with three states of consciousness, waking, dreaming, and sleeping, and most people go through life thinking that that’s all there are. And if you talk to a modern psychologists, about human development, the psychologists will tell you that human development progresses through childhood, they’re different stages of development through childhood, basically, development levels off in adolescence, with the ability to think abstractly and, you know, reason logically, and so on. And some people don’t even get that far. And certainly, according to modern psychology, there’s we we gain information, we gain skills, and even some wisdom, but in terms of fundamental stages of growth, modern psychology doesn’t really, you know, identify any past the age of about 15, or 16, or 17. Maharishi In contrast, lays out a model that encompasses seven states of consciousness altogether. So for higher stages, beyond the three familiar of waking, dreaming, sleeping, and you can look into other traditions and see that they also have identified some stages of spiritual development. So marshy has laid these out in very great detail. And as I was going through and doing my panning for gold, I found that virtually all of the ones that I found fit just like hand in glove into one or the other of these, for hire states, it’s quite remarkable how detailed descriptions from people in different times and cultures, very different times and cultures fit into this underlying model. And I think that would be surprising for a philosopher of this kind of thing, or, or psychologist to see that there really are universal dimensions to higher human development that had been reported through history, by people of very different times, and places who had no communication with each other, no understanding of each other’s tradition. They’re just reporting what they experienced. And then here, as you say, is this roadmap of higher development that really describes and predicts that kind of experience through history?

Rick Archer: I was listening to a talk about the perennial philosophy recently, right? That kind of fits in, doesn’t it? I mean, there there are certain truths so fundamental that they just keep popping up, right, in different times in places, in cultures that had no communication with one another.

Craig Pearson: Yeah, that’s right. There was all this Huxley, the British writer and thinker who, who really popularized that term in his 1948 book. And the idea is just as you say, if you you can look at any great tradition or culture and if you peel back, the more superficial layers, the rituals, the narratives, the mythology, the stories, the figures, and so on the artwork at the core, and you may have to look deeply to find it, but at the core, there are some fundamental principles. And there are actually four of them. One is that there’s number one is that beneath or within all of this diversity in the world, there’s a unity. So number one is unity within diversity, underlying diversity. Number two is you can experience that underlying unity, and it’s most easily experienced where within you initially, so that’s number two. To experience number three is, when you have that experience, you’re transformed by it. The experience of that underlying unity, or the experience of transcendence, we could say, is transformational. And then the fourth point is the whole purpose of life is to have that experience and be transformed by

Rick Archer: it nice. And that actually, those are his points.

Craig Pearson: Those are his five elaborated them in a little clearer way. But they’re right there in the first sentence of his book. Nice. Yeah. So that’s, that’s a universal teaching. And I think the point that comes through in this book is, it’s not just a philosophy, when we think about philosophy, we think of some cerebral activity, some thinking some ideas, Kant or Hegel, or Plato or something. But this perennial philosophy is really about an experience. And then you go looking through the annals of history, and you find people describing it very much in terms of a first hand experience. And now we can, we can see what the stages through which that transformation takes place.

Rick Archer: I wanted to just touch back on something you mentioned a minute ago, just to wrap it up. And that is that, you know, although development tends to freeze in our late teens or early 20s, or something, it’s pretty common knowledge that someone our age, has matured a lot. Hopefully, compared to where we were at that age, even if we hadn’t been meditating at all. There’s a certain amount of wisdom and maturation and sensibility that gets pounded into one, right. Yeah, so there’s some kind of development it keeps taking plug.

Craig Pearson: That’s, that’s, that’s true. And I’m not a psychologist by any means. But my understanding is the kinds of stages that like children go through the word momentous is sometimes use that the whole view of the world changes. So when we talk about higher states of consciousness, we’re not talking about some different idea that you have, we’re not talking about positive thinking or some different kind of mood, we’re talking about a fundamentally different and more expanded and powerful way of experiencing yourself and experiencing the world around you. And when we talk about it, we’re using words and reusing language. words and language are products of just the ordinary waking state they, and person after person will say, I’ve tried to describe my experience, you know, you’ve seen them, but words do not, you know, think it was the UNESCO who said words only disfigure the experience, they just they can’t capture. It’s like, if it were a colorblind world, and somebody began to start seeing in color, you couldn’t have come up with words that would describe color to a color blind person, you have to have the experience, the experience is really validated and confirmed by the experience itself. And by modern science, actually,

Rick Archer: and even a world in which we see color, you can’t really describe read, and what do you say about it? You just have say, you know that color on stoplight, stop sign or whatever, it’s, you know, red, see, ya know, red I’ve experienced now.

Craig Pearson: So whether your red is the same as my red? Yeah, I

Rick Archer: would say that’s red. you’ve outlined kind of a structure of stages of development in here. And, you know, some years ago, I used to hike in the national parks a lot and national forests. And when you when you’re out there, you get this little glossy trail map, and you can see, okay, well, this trail is gonna go here, and there’s so much elevation gain, I’m gonna kind of go past these things. But then when you actually take the hike, it’s completely beyond anything, the trail map could have indicated. Right? You know, right. It’s like,

Craig Pearson: totally, right. That’s the experience. Yeah, some idea. So all these

Rick Archer: descriptions that people try to offer to convey that sense of it to other people, right are pretty poor substitute for the actual experience.

Craig Pearson: And they say that themselves over and over, even though what they put down in language is just beautiful. I mean, what I’ve tried to do here is collect just the cream of the cream of human experience throughout history. And it’s just like a treasure chest of, of gorgeous descriptions of peak human experience, exalted spiritual experience.

Rick Archer: Yeah. It’s interesting that in some cultures, let’s say the Inuit culture, they have, say, 30 names for snow, you know, because they, they have so much experience of snow that they have to nuance the declaration. So there are cultures such as the Vedic culture, which have a lot of terms for subtle gradations of, you know, experience and developments in consciousness and so on, which we in our culture, you know, can’t really parse out when we hear those drives, because it’s just, it hasn’t been ingrained in our in our culture, or its history. So, anyway, I thought I’d throw that Yeah. Yeah. Yep, yeah, well, you have a nice mix of East and West in this book, plenty of the Buddha and Shankara. And, you know, various Zen masters and so on. And also plenty of Western people. And so, it’s not like you’re giving the impression which some people, sometimes people get that Enlightenment is really kind of an Eastern thing.

Craig Pearson: Absolutely. No. Yeah, I think that’s, I think that idea is kind of fading from view. But yeah, people used to think that Enlightenment, whatever, that is, something that they do in the Orient, and it’s inscrutable, and we’ll never understand it. And it’s really not part of the practical world. And yet you find people east and west down through the centuries down down to modern times having experiences of Enlightenment, and it’s the supreme experience of their life. And as you were alluding to earlier, and so often, they have the experience and then wonder, what was that? And, above all, how do I get it again? How can I how can I have that again?

Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, a lot of the chapters in this book are entitled, glimpses of consciousness or whatever different state. And so often, they’re, they’re fleeting, they are fleeting for many people, but there are plenty of people for whom they haven’t been fleeting, right. And maybe they were fleeting for a while and became stable, right. And there are plenty of people around today. I mean, most of the people in this book have to have died to contemporaries, but on such as Bernadette Roberts and others, right, but there are a surprising number of people these days, who, sometimes without any spiritual practice whatsoever, like there’s this one woman I interviewed that was tying her shoes one morning and all of a sudden kaboom. She popped into this profound the transformed state and she didn’t know what the heck it was. It took a while quite a while to figure out what it was or how to function Eckhart Tolle same same thing. Yeah, exactly. So anyway, that’s more of a statement than a question. But I guess the point I’m making here is that, in a way, it’s nice to read these glimpses. But, you know, and they can be profoundly transformative for for the duration of one’s life. Yeah, have

Craig Pearson: one. But the point is to stabilize your experience. Yeah. And to have it not just as a glimpse, but an all time reality. Right. I think one thing that’s helpful for people who may have some questions about that kind of experience is seeing that the experience that we’re talking about really is a universal experience. It’s not Eastern, it’s not Western. It’s not Buddhist, it’s not Taoist. It’s not Christian. It’s, it’s at the center of all of those things. And really universal, it’s an we’re talking about a normal natural capacity of human consciousness of the human brain, actually, that can be cultivated. And when cultivated, people can have the experience is more than just a glimpse. Certainly, you can, there are there are examples as you’ve just given a few where people can pop in to a state. And that’s that. But what seems to be the case is that the actually one of the one of the themes that that comes out of my book is that the experience is not just purely some mental phenomenon. And certainly not as I was saying, it’s not some mood or some new idea that you adopt or some new philosophy, it actually depends on the nervous system, the brain physiology being sufficiently cultivated to maintain that experience. And that can be tracked by, by scientific research. So when somebody like Billie Jean King, or William Wordsworth, or any person has a fleeting experience, you might ask, Well, why was it fleeting? Why? How did it even happen in the first place? And then why did it go away? I think the answer now, based on what we know is that happened in the first place, because the nervous system, the brain for those few moments, or those few hours, organized itself in such a way to support that experience, because mind and body go hand in hand. But the whole mind body system was not sufficiently integrated, purified to sustain the experience. And so it went out of the nervous system went out of that mode of functioning and with that the experience went away. So the converse of that is to purify integrate brain functioning to support that experience, as an all time reality, and indeed, research shows that as brain functioning becomes increasingly integrated, the experience of transcendence becomes more more common. That’s that’s been quite clearly shown by modern research.

Rick Archer: I think one point that we should address here is that when we refer to experience, we’re actually referring to tapping into some something which is universal, which exists whether or not anybody experiences it Right. Because obviously there are a lot of people who believe that, you know, consciousness is just an epiphenomenon of brain functioning when the brain dies. That’s it for consciousness. And the whole notion of consciousness being a universal field that we could tap into sort of like a radio can tune into the radio, the electromagnetic field is alien. It’s a foreign concept to many people, many materialistic oriented people, right. And so you know, what we’re talking about here. And I actually had an interview with a guy a couple of weeks ago. And we we debated for quite a while, on the point that awakening is not just some subjective heightening of perception or a sense of sensitivity or anything, it’s actually a connecting with something universal, and that there’s, there’s a commonality to everyone’s awakening, even though they may express it differently, or even perhaps experience it differently due to differences in their nervous systems and makeup. But to wrap up this one little point here, that what we’re talking about is connecting with something which is universal, and that we as individual expressions of that have the capability of making that connection. We’re not talking about just a purely subjective thing, which might differ from you to me, like James do or something. Yeah,

Craig Pearson: exactly. Well, that goes back to the perennial philosophy that in every tradition, there, we see expressions of the fact that there’s underlying the enormous, unbelievable diversity of the universe, there’s a field of unity of non change that’s immortal, that’s eternal. It may be foreign today, but it’s there in every tradition. You know, in Taoism, it’s called the Tao and Buddhism Adhibhuta. In Christianity, the Godhead, depending on what version of Christianity, you subscribe to in Judaism, it’s iron Zofran. So that idea of underlying unity is there. And what is that underlying unity? In modern terms, we would describe it as a field of pure consciousness. And that’s what we tap into. But to just that little nuance there is we’re not tapping into something that’s foreign to ourselves, that is our innermost self. And that that comes through, over and over again, for people that they have the experience of mind settling, inward, settling down, body settling down, and they experience not just some innermost value of themself, but really something universal. And as the experience becomes clearer than that reality that this is a universal field. It’s clear. Let me read something. Sure. Yeah, just to make just to make this really concrete, this will be an experience, a passage that some people are familiar with. But for this, we will time travel back to 1798. And we’ll go from Fairfield, Iowa to southeast British Isles, right on the border of England and Wales. And it’s late July, early morning in 1798. And William Wordsworth, 28 years old, unknown at the time, wakes up and sets out on a three or four or five day hike, which he loves to do beautiful kind of Welsh English countryside, with his sister. And he’s walking up the White River and around the river, and he comes up over a hillside and they’re down on the opposite bank, is this beautiful Abbey, just beautiful latticework. Even in 1798, it was a ruin it had been built 500 years earlier. It’s stunning piece of architecture. And so he sits down on this hillside looking down and closes his eyes. And an experience comes over in which he’s had before. It’s an experience that he really lives for. He just loves this experience. But apparently, he doesn’t know how to bring it on by himself. So after a few moments or a few minutes, the experience passes and he opens his eyes and stands up and catches up with his sister and they keep on walking for a few days. Finally, a few days later, he gets home and for the first time, he’s able to pick up a piece of paper and a pen and write out something and he starts writing continuously. And when he’s finished, non stop writing what’s come out is a poem 168 lines long. And naturally, you know, he’s excited about this poem. And his first book of poetry is at the printing company right at that moment. So he takes this poem, he rushes down, can I get this included in my book? The printer says, yeah, we can include it at the end. And within a few months, he went from being unknown poet to rock star and the British literary scene and his book of poetry actually changed the whole direction marked the beginning of the English Romantic Period. Anyway, that one poem became one of the most famous poems in all of world literature, and it’s called lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey. And that’s just read a few lines here where he’s describing that experience. So Wordsworth describes that blessed mood, in which the burden of the mystery in which the heavy and the weary weight of all this unintelligible world is lightened that serene and blessed mood in which the affections gently lead us on, on until the breadth of this corporeal frame, and even the motion of our human blood almost suspended, we are late asleep and body and become a living soul. While with an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the Deep Power of joy, we see into the life of things. So very simple language, in contrast to the kind of poetry that came before but gorgeous description of the experience of transcending and just to highlight a few of the lines here, he talks about how the burden the weight of the world, the unintelligible world is as if lifted from him. And then he goes on to talk about the serene and blessing modes of serene, peaceful blessing means some sense of sanctity, some holiness, the word blessed is related to our bliss, or even some fulfillment and happiness. And then the affections gently lead us on. So he’s not contriving, he’s not straining, he’s not trying to make anything happen. He’s just being led on. And then he shifts he becomes as if a physiologist, and he describes very precisely what’s happening to his body, the breath of this corporeal frame, that’s his body, and even the motion of our human blood almost suspended. So what what’s happening there? Who his body? physiological changes? Yeah, in what direction? Rest, deep rest, all the whole body is settling down. And then but as he’s sleeping, he says, We’re late asleep in body, but Is he asleep? He says, No, we were late asleep and body and become a living soul. So living that means if he’s if during these moments, he’s become a living soul. What does that say about his condition with respect to living? Before these moments, he was as if not living, yeah, or at least not fully alive. And with an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the Deep Power of joy, where where does the power of harmony and the power of joy reside ultimately, has to be within, that’s what’s leading him onward. And then finally, we see into the life of things. Now this comes to your point about a universal field that we tap into, he’s not saying, I see him to my own innermost thoughts or my own innermost mind, we see into the life of things, beautiful application of the experience of some underlying essence of everything, some underlying reality. And that’s Wordsworth. And you find these kinds of experiences sprinkled throughout his poetry. And this is just one I mean, we could go, you know, we could go through dozens, but this is what you find from Plato and Plotinus. And St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Gregory the Great and St. John of the Cross. And now it’s the Buddha and in the United States, Whitman, and we’re and Emerson and Thoreau and Emily Dickinson, and on the list goes, so people describe it over and over again, and they celebrate it as the supreme moment of their life. And there you have it, and it’s been. The interesting thing about Wordsworth here is that this, this book of poetry, which changed the direction of English poetry, and this particular poem, which has appeared in 1000s, of anthologies, probably read by millions of people, you can’t, you couldn’t count the number of doctoral dissertations and master’s theses and in critical discussion of this, but nobody’s really appreciated that, right? They’re hidden in plain sight is a description of an experience of a fourth major state of consciousness describes so precisely the the changes in mind the changes in the physiology both together, right there in plain sight, not really recognized. Appreciate it on some subliminal level. That’s why it stood the test of time, but not really appreciate it for what it is.

Rick Archer: It’s interesting, we have all these beautiful quotes like that from literary geniuses and realized the first are explorers, really, really brilliant people. And I suspect that that’s just the tip of the iceberg. And that, you know, far more people, I’m sure have had similar experiences, but haven’t had the ability to really express them or the opportunity and so on. And that’s right. And to that, to this day, I’m sure that’s happening. They’re all kinds of people. I mean, you know, the Gallup Poll does polls people who say they, you know, quite a significant percentage say they’ve had some kind of spiritual epiphany Yeah, at some point in their lives.

Craig Pearson: Well, there was some research done in England in the 1980s, where the university to set up what was called the religious experience, Research Unit, Ray Rue, and they just you interviewing ordinary people about these kinds of experiences and other sorts of extraordinary experiences and beautiful experiences that would match some of these things come from Wordsworth or Whitman, just by ordinary people. But as you say, they they didn’t write them down, or maybe they were too shy to or if they did, they wouldn’t have been published and

Rick Archer: told their sisters.

Craig Pearson: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So it really what we see coming down to us through all the traditions is a common, universal experience. And it really has not been appreciated for what it really is over all these years. You know, certainly, you know, Wordsworth lines haven’t been lost on people. And there are people who’ve been interested in what’s called mystical experience that’s been studied for over a century now. And when we think of mystics, we think of St. John of the Cross or Meister Eckhart or religious figures. And so there’s been that as a kind of peripheral study of religious experience with psychology and psychological experience or philosophy, but very peripheral, not at all mainstream. And I would say the word mystical isn’t that helpful, you know, it suggests mysterious, Misty, rare, lucid and practical, yeah, kind of shrouded in in mystery, and will never understand what they were experiencing. But now, we have such clear, I think marshy contributed substantially to this very clear delineation of the, the stages of this experience. And now even very substantial body of research on the, the correlating changes that, that go on in brain and body as these kinds of experiences happen and grow.

Rick Archer: There probably have been cultures in our world, which have probably been lost to our memory, or our evidence, which in which this kind of experience was the norm. And so no one would have made a big fuss about it. Yeah. And, you know, I mean, they’re, what, possibly a billion inhabited planets in our galaxy, and then billions of galaxies, some say, countless universe, right. And so it could be that there are places where, you know, this is

Craig Pearson: full, the mass monastic traditions of almost any culture and you find the Masoretic tradition in cultures ranging from Christianity in the west through, you know, Buddhism and Vedic tradition and Hinduism, all the way over to Taoism in the east and parallels to that in Aboriginal, Australia, where people would go into seclusion. And in those traditions, because they were monastic and withdrawn, they weren’t talked about much. But that was really, this kind of experience was the goal of that kind of tradition, to develop one’s higher potentials. And they have their own language to describe it, whether it was to come in contact with the Godhead or the DAO, the stages of development would have been in their own language, but there were spiritual directors that guided that. And so within those traditions, which were probably closed, mostly from the general public, that’s, that’s what went on.

Rick Archer: Yeah. And so that kind of thing would have been the norm within the monastery. But still, that’s just a handful relative handful of the entire society. I’m suggesting that there may have been and hopefully will yet be society in which, you know, this kind of thing becomes as ubiquitous as cell phones. Yeah. It’s like, well had this mystical experience. Okay, fine. Let’s, let’s go and see a movie. It’s like you kind of take it for granted. This is what everybody says. And we’ll probably talk in the course of this interview about, you know, what ramifications that might have, in terms of the quality of the worldly might say, yeah,

Craig Pearson: one of the interesting things for me is, I mentioned changes in the brain, which happened, and you may have discussed this and other shows that you’ve had, but it really cements to me the idea that what we’re talking about is really a transformation of the physiology of the hardware of the brain, not just some some new idea. And we know this particularly from research on the transcendental meditation technique, where when people are brought into laboratories and asked to meditate with cloth caps on their head with leads coming out to the EEG machine are with monitors measuring the breath rate or their heart rate, but particularly the results on the brain are quite striking. And the the results there are that the brain shifts literally from within within the first 60 seconds of beginning once TM practice from a disorganized style of functioning, which I would liken to an orchestra tuning up to a very highly orderly, synchronous, integrated style of functioning, which I would like him to an orchestra may be planning on playing or holding a sustained chord. And the difference in the two orchestras is just the orchestra and tune up mode is same instruments, same great musicians, but they’re just not in coordination in sync with each other. And when the orchestra is playing that sustained chord, then nothing’s changed except now they are in synchrony. And so now the the revelation in terms of brain functioning is that the brain can be induced to function in this elegant, style and integrated where what neuroscientists call long range, correlation, integrated functioning, integrated communication between areas of the brain that don’t normally talk to each other. And that’s what happens when the whole system when the mental activity settles inward, through ATM practice when body settles down, his Wordsworth says here, you know, the breadth of this corporeal frame, even the motion of our human blood that’s measured in the laboratory these days settling a breath rate, settling of heart rate, and so on. So really a transformation in this physiological hardware that’s supporting this subjective experience. To me, that’s really important, exciting. Yeah, well, if you want to persuade a school district that they should adopt the school wide, it’s important to have some empirical research to show that something’s changing in your students that stress has been dissolved brain functioning is being upgraded.

Rick Archer: I think it’s also just important to understand that the, you know, the body the nervous system is an instrument through which well, through which we experience anything, but but also if we’re experiencing something profound or radically different from what we are nearly experienced, you would expect to find profound and radically different style of functioning in the physiology. Right. And, and you would you would expect that, you know, not only with TM, but with Ramana, Maharshi, or Yogananda or anybody who was having a profoundly different experience of the world, if you could, if such people had been measured?

Craig Pearson: Oh, absolutely. Well, that’s the thing. If somehow EEG equipment were available in Wordsworth’s day, yeah, he would have seen something and he could have induced the experience sitting in the lab. Absolutely. Yeah, that’s what you would have seen. Yeah. And, and through, and in these different traditions, we see that there are techniques for purifying the physiology and the recognition that mind and body go hand in hand.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I was was that maybe it wasn’t in than this. I was, I was looking at a little thing about maybe it was to hear about, you know, different degrees of coherence and the various points on the scalp getting coordinated, longer, one meditates, and so on. But when I looked at that, I thought, you know, but there are people in this world who do incredible, incredibly creative things without meditating. I mean, you know, the guys who developed the iPhone, or sure, you know, who put man on the moon, or it takes this focused attention. And you know, this, an incredible creativity comes out, right? All the Nobel laureates We could care to name and, you know, the great authors and everybody. So, you know, those things don’t seem to be the product of an incoherent mind.

Craig Pearson: No, I mean, that’s, I think the point you’re making is that they must be the products of a coherent mind. Yeah.

Rick Archer: somehow they’ve elicited coherence through what it however they have done it, either they were gifted with it from birth, or their educational training kind of inculcated it. And, yeah, you know,

Craig Pearson: but I don’t think there’s evidence to show that educational training changes coherence and brain functioning, except maybe the scattered a bit if you’re living the sort of alcohol, you know, all night or junk food kind of college lifestyle. But now that we know that, that, for example, heightened creativity is correlated with heightened brain coherence, we know that there’s a linkage between that more the more coherent the brain functioning, the greater ones intelligence that those are. Then when you look back and see expressions of great creativity and intelligence, whether it’s a symphony by Mozart, or a novel by James Joyce, or, you know, some great architectural creation, you have to think that those people were somewhat spontaneously tapping into a different a deeper level of their own innate creative intelligence, which can be cultivated otherwise, how would they do that isn’t just random?

Rick Archer: And I like to think of it in terms of it not being their own creative intelligence, but that’s a universal field at University have been talking about, and they have become effective Congress for that. That’s exactly right, you know, in their own Dharma, their own channel of discretion.

Craig Pearson: Yeah. In fact, I’d encourage you to have Dr. Freda Travis sign on your show. He has done research and collaboration with a Norwegian researcher Dr. Harold harangue, and they started by looking at athletes and you can tell the story better than I can, but it’s but it’s a good point for this discussion. And these are not athletes who are having any kind of meditation practice or anything but they asked the question what separates world class athletes world class defined as Olympic gold medalists or World Champions or national champions, what separates them from professional athletes? So professional, you got to be really good to make your living at the sport, but not necessarily world class. And if you were to ask most people, what would be the differentiating factor, they’d say, Well, maybe the world class athletes have better training or better conditioning or better coaching, or they have a greater will to win or something. It turned out that the world class athletes have greater integration of brain functioning just spontaneously. And again, no meditation practice. That was the decision. Yeah. And then they and then they looked at managers like business leaders, world class leaders, people who turned companies around, also known for their philanthropic giving back, and just good people, compared to just good managers. Yeah, and the same distinguishing feature. Interesting. So So

Rick Archer: books had been written, that kind of stuff, winning edge, or what that was Bible, wouldn’t it. But then there also had been books about, you know, what is

Craig Pearson: just integrated brain function, and then you spontaneously rise to the top of whatever field you’re going to be in. And that can be that can be developed. Yeah.

Rick Archer: Although, you still, I mean, just to play devil’s advocate, I’ll do this from time to time. You know, we’re on a campus here, where 1000s of people have been meditating for decades. And, you know, there’s a lot of good people around, but you don’t necessarily see, well, maybe you do see a greater than average percentage of geniuses or people who are really excelling in some particular field, but it doesn’t knock your socks off. And, you know, there are people who have been sitting in the dome for decades, meditating and doing pictures. Yeah, they don’t seem to have a whole lot going on in their relative lives, many of them, in fact, more often than not, they’re their health is starting to fail. And they’re getting a little dodgy in the mind and whatnot. And, you know, people have seemed to be susceptible to the normal human foibles, that, that we all should have in terms of their moral activity and things like that, you know, people get divorced kids go on drugs. So but maybe we’re maybe I’m being unfair, and that if we look at it statistically, compared against the general population, well, there’s a thing, there’s a better, better,

Craig Pearson: there’s anecdotal evidence, and there’s, you know, statistically, you know, researched evidence that controls for all of those. Yeah. But partly you get into the question of what is the person’s destiny. So, if you have high brain integration, and you become a, you know, a world champion, cross country skier, that doesn’t mean that everybody who develops a high level of brain integration is going to become a world champion, cross country skier, they’ll there that will develop in other ways are necessarily that they’ll become a champion in anything. Yeah, you know,

Rick Archer: an office worker with a lot of brain integration, or a housewife

Craig Pearson: being pretty primitive, pretty well adjusted, you know, in your in your life. But the studies do show that brain integration can be developed over time. That’s the thing. And that’s correlated with just about everything good. And who wouldn’t want that?

Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s funny, because there’s some people out there who would argue that there, you wouldn’t really necessarily find any correlation between higher consciousness and kind of practical, mundane, or not mundane, just practical benefits in your daily life, that the two are not necessarily tightly correlated. I mean, even in recent weeks, I’ve heard people argue that, that and I, you know, having TM background myself, I have I take exception to that I feel like the there is going to be a ripple effect in terms of your behavior. And sure, and all that.

Craig Pearson: Yeah, that’d be that raises a good question. People might hear about Enlightenment or higher states of consciousness and say, Well, that sounds pretty far out. You know, that might be interesting, but what possible practical value could that have? And then here, again, we look at the, you know, it’s the TM research that I’m most familiar with. So that’s, that’s what I’ll cite. But you look at how that is applied, say, in extreme situations, like post traumatic stress disorder, you know, which is a national epidemic, where really very little if anything else has worked. And these are, these are cases where people returning veterans can’t hold a job, they’ve been kicked out of their families, you know, they’re just lost. And they learn to meditate and sometimes within weeks or even days, they’re functioning again. Now, they may not think that they’re cultivating higher states of consciousness or Enlightenment. But that, fundamentally is what’s happening. It just so happens that it also has the side benefits of reducing stress making than functional again. Same thing with, you know, inner city schools at risk kids or drug abusers, prison rehabilitation, where, again, little if anything has worked and, you know, hardcore, multiple offenders in prison who who learned to them, they’re not thinking, Well, I’m on the path to Enlightenment. But they are, yeah, again, it just so happens that now they’re probably not going to come much less likely to come back to prison just because the path to Enlightenment makes you more functional just makes you more of what human life is supposed to be, which is, you know, functional and able to get along and able to work and be creative and be productive and be happy and be self actualized. So, if you want practical, you know, results, what could be more practical than you know that?

Rick Archer: Yeah, heck, when I learned to meditate, I had dropped out of high school already. I had been in jail, jail twice, what are just the weekends for marijuana possession, I couldn’t hold the job, couldn’t get along with my father well enough to stay in the house. You know, so my life was basically in shambles. I had even dabbled with heroin a few times. And I learned it was quite a story. I won’t go into the whole thing. But there’s quite an adventure actually learning, getting into New York City and everything. But very first meditation, I transcended and, you know, had a glimpse of the self awareness and felt like a ton had been taken off my shoulder, well, you know, then within a couple of weeks, I was back in school, got a job getting get along pretty well with my father, drugs are completely out of the question. And in fact, then he said, What are you doing? And I want to do it, too. So I can, you know, test ism,

Craig Pearson: cause and effect relationship there. Yeah. And that story, that’s more so there are practical

Rick Archer: benefits to this, this development of consciousness thing?

Craig Pearson: Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, just take it one step further, when you when you look at the world that we’re living in today, and we seem to be surrounded by challenges that what, what are we going to do about, you know, climate change? What are we going to do about the, you know, the degradation of our environment, 90 to 95%, of all mammal, animal species are extinct? Or on the verge of, you know, what about that? Yeah, we really need to somehow as human race, tap into some deeper level of creativity and intelligence. And we need to find a way to get along better to just get agreement with each other, to become coherent with each other, and to really come together, you know, as a human race to solve the problems that we face, which are pretty critical and multiple levels. And so, you know, how is that going to happen? I just think that this universal field that we’re talking about, that’s there with its abundant, you know, inexhaustible intelligence, creativity, wisdom, bliss, power, that’s accessible. Yeah. And it’s being accessed by larger numbers of people, and whether spontaneously or through a technique, but I think that that idea is really critical to our going forward as a species.

Rick Archer: Yeah, this is a theme that I often come back to in these interviews. And, you know, throughout history, there have been wars, and there have been epidemics, and, you know, all kinds of crazy stuff. But it wasn’t until really World War Two, where we actually acquired the ability to wipe out a planet with the atomic bomb. And now with with global warming, apologies to Republicans in the audience who think it’s a hoax. But global warming, it seems like as you’ve alluded to, there’s the possibility of, again, wiping out not only many other species, but our own. I mean, if six degrees would do it, six degrees centigrade, would pretty much make the earth uninhabitable on human beings, and, you know, various models of how things are unfolding and the pace at which they’re unfolding make that problem, not probable, but altogether possible. So, you know, I think that this upwelling, this epidemic of higher consciousness in the world that we’re seeing is nature’s, if you want to call it nature of the Gods response to the, to the Dire Straits we’ve gotten ourselves into, right. That’s the only antidote that as I understand things that could possibly go deep enough to, you know, root out the cause of these behaviors. Yeah. And because political stuff, you know, economic fiddling, that kind of thing. Obviously, I mean, the Congress can’t agree on anything. I was, how is that going to actually solve anything? Yeah.

Craig Pearson: Well, I agree. There’s so many people doing good work and have been for decades and more and more you look

Rick Archer: for new year’s conference in the at the end of it. They have this long list of organizations that are doing great stuff. So

Craig Pearson: the fact that that’s gaining momentum is is is great, but then you wonder, is it going to turn out to be too little too late given, given the rapidity with which things are changing in our planet. And so you just made the point, go deep enough to really change the whole consciousness that we bring to our relationship to our, to each other into our environment? Yeah, that’s what has to be really transformed if we’re going to live in harmony with our planet.

Rick Archer: And, you know, it might seem in a way, that kind of self serving, if if people who are primarily interested in the development of Koshas take credit for the things that groups like, you know, Greenpeace, or, you know, Doctors Without Borders, or all the people who are doing good things are doing. But in a way, it could be understood perhaps that all these wonderful things in their 1000s of organizations and millions of people doing great stuff, in a way that you could say that their efforts are being nourished or fueled, at some deep level, by the shift that’s taking place at an even more fundamental level than even then they might be aware of,

Craig Pearson: yeah, I think that’s completely plausible. I think that’s right. And more and more people are waking up to the need that we need to make some kind of change in the way that we live. More and more people are realizing that and whether it’s expressed through the diet that they choose, or the lifestyle that they choose, or other kinds of decisions that they make, doesn’t matter how its expressed. But more and more people are waking up to the fact that some sort of change, transformation is necessary if we’re going to continue, and people envisioning not just something that’s sustainable, but really abundant, a peaceful world and abundant world, a flourishing world. That it’s a beautiful vision. But that has to really begin from a change of consciousness deep within. So

Rick Archer: marshy used to talk about phase transition. And he’s examples from physics about how things went through a phase of great chaos before they got orderly, you know, as when you know, water boils and then turns to steam. Right, right, or something. And I often wonder whether all hell might break loose in the world, even more than it has as institutions which seem so firmly entrenched, have the rug pulled out from under them, because they ultimately will be incompatible with a really sustainable world and enlightened world, you know. So, you know, we could see some dramas yet to come.

Craig Pearson: Yeah, that for sure. And just coming back to the the theme of my book, one of my points is to show that these beautiful experiences that have been glimpsed, or even more than glimpse that people have lived in every different culture, every tradition through history, they’re no longer just experiences that we would read about in a Wordsworth poem, or Whitman poem, or in a letter from Albert Einstein, there are things these are experiences that can be systematically cultivated, they don’t need to be left to chance. They’re not just fleeting and unpredictable as they seem to be with so many people, they can be systematically developed. You know, I discussed the value of the transmittal meditation technique in here, because that’s the meditation practice that I’m familiar with. And that, you know, has research on the changes that take place in the brain and body. But the main point is that they can be cultivated today. And also that in cultivating that kind of experience, dramatic, unprecedented benefits come along with it. So whether a person is interested in reducing the risk of stroke, or heart attack, or reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s, or want to make sure that when they get out of prison that stay out of prison, guess what the answer is, put yourself on the path to Enlightenment develop higher states of mind, it just means develop more of who you actually are, develop more of your real self and your real self is that as we’ve been discussing here, one of our themes that real Self is that universal field of pure consciousness deep inside, that’s myself, that’s yourself. That’s the self that you and I share. That’s the self of everybody in our planet. That’s the self of the universe. There’s just one of those selves. So when a lot of us so when I dive with it, it’s not like and when you dive within, you know, when we meditate, it’s not like you’re experiencing you know, yourself and I’m experiencing mine over here, but never the twain shall meet. We’re diving into that same one thing. Yeah. And the more we dive within, the more that self awakens, the more access we have the more lively and awake it’s becoming, in our minds, and interestingly, the more awake it becomes even in the people around us.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Like, you know, trees in the fall. Are as they’re all planted in the same dirt, that’s the, and if the dirt becomes more fertile, or more nutritious than all the trees are gonna thrive, which is not to say that some trees might not still die, you know, taking coming back from the analogy, which is not to say that some people are still going to get heart attacks and strokes and Alzheimer’s, but you said reduce the risk. So it you know, diminishes pattern Yeah, statistically, you’re better off.

Craig Pearson: Yeah, overall, there’s a change,

Rick Archer: right. So we’re gonna shift the discussion a little bit now and go back to Craig’s book, the two of us tend to go off on interesting tangents, which aren’t really tangential and and this is important stuff. But I’d like to talk about, you know, you mentioned seven states of consciousness, waking, dreaming, and sleeping being the first three that everyone is familiar with, we’ve talked quite a bit about fourth, which actually, the Sanskrit word for that is turiya, which means for the fourth. And so we’re going to talk about that a bit more. And then the fifth, sixth seventh, we’ll see what those might be right? And throw in some quotes from various people that you’ve found, and some also perhaps some experiences from people. And, and maybe I’ll have a few comments about people I’ve interviewed who are having one or another? Yeah, okay. Yeah. So let’s, let’s go back to the fourth, again, a little bit more, and just talk about that, and then move on,

Craig Pearson: where even before that, let’s just say, what is the state of consciousness, okay, and just reflect on that for a minute. And, as you mentioned earlier, people are familiar with, they might not think of it as a state of consciousness, but waking, dreaming and sleeping, and there are two characteristics of each one, one is a subjective experience. And then the other is a physiological style of functioning. So even with waking, dreaming, and sleeping, physiologists will know that that each one has a unique style of physiological functioning that goes along with it. So for example, you can be in a room hidden from us. And if I were a trained physiologist, and I had the proper equipment hooked up to you, I could tell whether, you know, here’s Rick, now he’s asleep. Okay, now he’s going into dream mode. Now he’s deep sleep again. Oh, there he is waking up, I could I could monitor that. So one principle that applies to any state of consciousness is that there’s a unique style of physiological functioning that goes with it. So that’s just establish that. And then another principle is just that each state of consciousness is a unique world of subjective experience. So for example, take deep sleep puts the world of experience in deep sleep. Now, yeah, it’s a trick question. Because there’s there’s no experience, right? It’s the end, that’s kind of a very different world have zero experience. Just sleep, you could be dead, you could be comatose. During the night, when rapid eye movement is when you shift into dream state, what’s that world of experience?

Rick Archer: Is that a trick question to

Craig Pearson: You may make it one,

Rick Archer: in my experience, it’s entertaining, it’s like the mind keeping itself entertained as long as it has little queues to do so, you know?.

Craig Pearson: But it’s you could use the words like illusory,

Rick Archer: illusory or imaginary. Yeah, and things like that.

Craig Pearson: Just something you wouldn’t want to invest, you know, based on that kind of experience, laws of nature release their familiar hold, and anything can happen, you can fly through the sky, and people have strange, you know, changes of people in place and circumstance. So that’s the world of dreaming, very different from the world of deep sleep. And now when you wake up and in the morning, then yet again, that’s a whole different kind of world. It’s our world of that we’re familiar with the world in which we’re sitting here talking waking state, the world in which we work and play, and we have our gains and our losses, and our, you know, our likes and our dislikes, seem very concrete. Yeah, and all of that. And people are pretty familiar with that. So each of them supported by a different style of physiological functioning, different, whole different world of experience. So those same two principles hold true for higher states of consciousness. And so now let’s talk about the fourth state. We touched on it briefly earlier, when we Yeah,

Rick Archer: and let me throw out a point before we get into that. Recently, some guy posted on one of my YouTube videos, a note he said, Either you’re enlightened or you’re not there are no levels or stages or anything else. And that actually marshy actually gave a lecture about that the dome maybe 30 years ago or 2025 years ago, in which he he said, you know, this, this whole notion of stages and levels is a bit of a concession to ignorance, nothing use those words, but but I think that, that that may be true from the ultimate perspective, if the ultimate can have a perspective, but, but if we’re talking about growth of our actual experience of the threat, then inevitably there are stages And the reason I call this show interviews with spiritually Awakening people rather than spiritually awake people, is I’ve never met anyone, and I met some pretty great people whom I feel, could not possibly refine their experience even further or have greater subtlety, and some of greater deeper appreciation of, of that reality. Right. So that’s just that kind of right.

Craig Pearson: So the, the fourth state, so here’s what we’ll do, we can, we can have this kind of pattern for each of the four higher states can can, and you can help me with this, because you’re familiar with these Zion, we can sketch out the main characteristics of subjective experience, and physiological changes. And then I can read an example good from somebody who’s seems to have described that. So achieve characteristics of the fourth state our mental activity has settled down settled in settled in Word, you can, you can picture the waves and an ocean settling down. So the mind is moving from active level to less active, less active, less active until it reaches a non active level. But as we saw in the Wordsworth example, it’s not asleep, it’s just awake.

Rick Archer: Quote, that verse from the Yoga Sutras is first to what, you know, yoga, chitta, Vritti, nirodha, the Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. And then then the seer is awakened himself. Yeah, well, there you go. There you have it right there. So it’s a cessation of mental activity,

Craig Pearson: yeah, and leaving just what you might call pure wakefulness. So consciousness, so

Rick Archer: why should a cessation of mental activity be conducive to waking up or to self self recognition, catalysts,

Craig Pearson: because when those waves on the mind settle down, then the ocean of the mind then opens to experience so long as there’s waves then we’re just aware of, of the waves, or to shift the metaphor here, you picture the waves on the mind being like images going across a movie streaming screen, you go to see it, or what? Stellar interstellar and it’s just images and images. And that’s all you see, but you’re not so much aware of the screen that’s really supporting those waves. So when the mind settles down, and those waves settle down, just like the ocean becoming calm, which oceans can do, then the unbounded reality of the ocean opens to one’s experience and you experience your, your authentic self, your self as it really is your your self that you can characterize with a large s. So that’s the subject, subjective experience. And people describe it. The variously as an experience of expansion of awareness, or unbounded awareness or an experience of deep inner peace, quite distinct from the kind of noisy experience of the normal waking state, various descriptions like that. So subjectively settled expansion, just consciousness and at the deepest, most clear moments of transcendence, just the experience of pure consciousness awake only to itself. Because consciousness is conscious, it’s always conscious of something. But when all of the thoughts and perceptions and memories and things that are normally filling the mind, the internal dialog when that settles down and fades away, leaving the mind awake to itself, what is there for consciousness to be conscious of only its own self, only its own unbounded reality. And that’s pure transcendence. So here’s an example. This is Alfred, Lord Tennyson will go to another English poet, but I could choose from many. And everybody has their own flavor in their language and have come across here, but here’s Tennyson he describes a kind of waking trance, trance for lack of a better word, that I have frequently had quite up from boyhood, when I’ve been all alone. All at once, as it were out of the intensity of the consciousness of individuality. The individuality itself seemed to dissolve and fade away into boundless being. And this not a confused state, that the clearest the surest of the surest utterly beyond words, where death was an almost laughable impossibility, the loss of personality, if so it were seeming no extinction, but the only true life and then he says, I’m ashamed of my feeble description have and that said that the state is utterly beyond words. There’s no delusion in the matter. It is no nebulous ecstasy but a state of transcendent wonder, associated with absolute clearness of mind. So he’s doing his best to try to capture something that’s fundamentally beyond words, which is the experience of consciousness awake to itself a state of transcendent wonder, boundless being, he says, the clearest The shortest of the shortest.

Rick Archer: Did he do something to evoke that experience? Or was he one of these people that just kind of happened upon it every now and then

Craig Pearson: he sometimes sitting beneath the tree would say his name to himself over like a Mantra tennis and tennis and kind of like a Mantra. And so there are other passages like that. Interesting. So, so again, this is, you know, it’s not a culturally bound experience, it’s not an American experience, and not an English experience. It’s not a 1800s experience, it’s just a universal experience. And as we were talking about earlier, if we had Kennison or Wordsworth hooked up to the proper neurophysiological equipment, we would be able to see the changes in their physiology which support that unique experience. So there’s that theme of unique style of physiological functioning that go along with that.

Rick Archer: So why don’t more people just fall into this spontaneously? Like you’re sitting in the hot tub? Or are you just kind of relaxing in bed with your eyes close? Why is the technique necessary or advantageous for evoking this experience?

Craig Pearson: Well, a couple of reasons for that, normally, normally, our minds are focused outward, and that just seems to be the nature of life, at least in our in our age. And the mind is caught up and in its own perceptions and thoughts and internal dialogue and our memories, and what am I going to do tomorrow and gotta gotta gotta gotta a technique, like the transcendental meditation technique, just creates the proper initial circumstances or conditions. And then the mind does fall spontaneously into that. Because the mind wants that fulfillment. The mind wants that peace, the mind likes that sort of thing. The mind will go to that if given a chance. So that’s what the technique does. And people like Wordsworth did fall spontaneously into it. And a lot of people who learn TM, they’ll say, you know, I have had this I’ve had this experience, like when I was a child, I used to have this, I didn’t know how to get it, but now I can have it. So that that’s the fourth state. And as you mentioned, in the Vedic tradition that were turiya that’s even been identified as a fourth state distinct from waking, dreaming. And sleeping. Samadhi is another term that’s, it’s given. In Indian traditions.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Which means like, steady intellect. Yeah, even this.

Craig Pearson: So, Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Edward Carpenter, an English writer, Black Elk, Abraham, Rabbi Abraham, Isaac Cook, just multiple traditions all describing one thing.

Rick Archer: You know, reading your book actually had an effect on me this week. And I’ll say this to introduce the concept of effortlessness. But one of the characteristics one of the main points of TM is that it’s effortless. And there’s a good reason for that. But, you know, even if you’ve been doing it, for decades, there could even be more innocence and more effortlessness. I mean, have you ever found that, that you kind of like all of a sudden, you realize, geez, you know, compared to harm now experiencing, I must have been straining a little bit or making some sort of effort. And there’s even a greater relaxation into innocence. And somehow reading all these accounts of people who spontaneously fell into transcendence, the hidden meditations more innocent this week, it’s like, and, and thereby more profound and clearer. It’s a funny thing. But let’s talk about the principle of effortless because in recent weeks, I’ve I’ve interviewed some people who are now beginning to advocate an effortless form of meditation, having themselves practiced a rather arduous form for decades and gotten frustrated with it. Right. You know, they’re beginning to say, you know, this whole, anything, which involves any kind of strain or control or manipulation is not the way to go in their opinion,

Craig Pearson: right? Yeah, well, there are different, there’s a whole variety of meditation practices out there. And I think it’s useful to categorize them into three sort of different buckets. And two of them involve some kind of some kind of effort, some kind of something that you do with the mind. And if you think of activity in the mind, as being at the opposite end of the spectrum from silence, and silence is with transcendence is just experiencing pure silent, pure consciousness, then when you’re introducing activity into the mind, it would be as though kind of stirring that pot to try to make the waves go down, you can see that it might be a little bit counterproductive, because what we want is cessation of activity in a spontaneous way. So to the degree that you’re making effort, it seems to be kind of at odds with the notion of the mind settling down. It doesn’t mean that there’s not a benefit to doing some of those practices. You know, practices that involve concentration do seem to I think a few studies show that they improve The ability to concentrate. So if you want to improve your ability to concentrate, if that’s the outcome that you want, then that could be a way to do it. If it’s transcending that you want, then you probably would be better served by some other practice. It’s effortless, no, like, like TM, which we’ve been talking about.

Rick Archer: Yeah. I think it was a Nanda, my ma who said that, that, that the desire for God is itself the path to God. And I think probably others have said that, but what what strange phenomenon I’ve observed is that there are certain people who had such an ardent desire for Enlightenment, and, you know, ended up pursuing meditation practices, which were arduous, and by their own admission, weren’t very good at them, not deshante comes to mind, you may not have heard of him, but he’s one of the clearest teachers out there. And yet, eventually, sometimes, after just giving up, had this profound awakening, and it almost seems like I don’t know whether it was the straining and then the giving up or just the ardency. You know, it says in the Yoga Sutras that those with vehement intensity realize the most quickly, somehow the determination, almost irrespective of what they actually practiced, yielded fruit. Well, I

Craig Pearson: think Maharshi himself had that analysis that with procedures like that, than just like letting go and relaxing in the mind, just push six, six down and transcends. So it’s kind of a, maybe a less direct byproduct of a practice where when you finally let go of it, and the mind will

Rick Archer: kind of like what they say and think we’re then hitting yourself over the head with a hammer, because it feels so good when you stop. Yeah.

Craig Pearson: So this fourth state of consciousness is a temporary state. When you as we’ve seen people glimpse it, and the experience comes and goes into a new, even with TM practice, when you experience it. Diving within, then when you finish meditation, open eyes come out, then basically, it fades away. So it’s only temporary. And what we want to do is have it be permanent, we want that brain integration that supports that experience to be there all the time. We want unbounded awareness all the time. So how do you do that, you simply repeat the experience of transcending over and over and over twice a day. And then there’s a couple of ways to look at what happens on the level of the mind will other consciousness, the mind becomes accustomed to maintaining unbounded awareness, or you might say unbounded awareness, that universal field that we’re talking about becomes more and more lively or awake or infused into the mind, on the level of the body, the brain becomes more and more habituated to maintaining that elegant, coherent, integrated style of functioning, which is, you know, the, the functioning on the level of machinery that’s supporting the experience of unbounded awareness. So both things are going on hand in hand cultivation of, of mind and brain both. Yeah. And so when you when the so this is, this is definitely an experience that grows and you can subjectively, it grows, and objectively you can track the growth of it. And the key markers of the fifth state. Now let’s talk about that which marshy calls cosmic consciousness would be unbounded awareness, silent awareness, all the time. 24/7 around the clock, and in harmony with that integrated brain functioning around the clock. Now, you might ask, okay, well, isn’t unbounded awareness, something that happens to me with my eyes closed? How do I how did how does that become a practical reality? How do I maintain unbounded awareness when I’m driving on the freeway? And the answer is just you know, it’s picture the mind again, as a as an ocean or a pool. And when we transcend, the mind is settling inward. So the mind has this incredible depth and ability to be active on the surface, and silent on the depth. And normally, we’re only awake at the surface, the level of thoughts and perceptions and feelings and so on. When we try to ascend in the fourth state, now the mind is awake to its full depth. And as we do that, over and over again, the mind gains the ability to remain Tane wakefulness from the surface, to the depth. And that brings about a very interesting kind of experience. It’s when the mind is awake at its depth. And one of our themes of our discussion is that depth is that universal field of pure intelligence, pure silence. It’s just universal and unbounded. It’s the transcendental field. Transcendental means beyond, in this case, beyond everything. So that universal field that we experience, which is ourself. Transcendental means it’s it’s outside of time, it’s outside of space, it’s outside of cause and effect. It’s transcendental to everything. So when the mind is awake to its depth, to this transcendental field, now our experience is taking place from this level. Normally, it’s taking place up here and noisy mind. When the mind is fully awake, as it is in cosmic consciousness, now the experience is taking place from here. And that brings about an experience that marshy cause witnessing, which you’re familiar with. And when we say witnessing, we’re not saying I witnessed, you know, a theft at the 711 or I witnessed a fender bender. Witnessing here means that one is just the silent observer or witness to everything that’s going on at more active levels of the mind, a non participating observer. So all of this is still going on as before. But now, because the mind is fully awake, one is just a witness to that. So let me make that concrete. Within it with a with an experience here, you should add what you like, yeah.

Rick Archer: This is gonna be a witnessing experience that we are witnessing experience.

Craig Pearson: So this is Billie Jean King, okay. Most people will know her name. But for those who don’t, she’s one of the great athletes of all time, she’s won something like 38 Major tennis titles, which I think is twice the number that Roger Federer has won. Just really incredible personality, won the Presidential Medal of Honor a few years back. And so here she talks about from her autobiography, her experience. The tennis court, she says, on my very best days, I have this fantastic, utterly unselfconscious feeling of invincibility. I don’t worry about how I’m hitting the ball. And I hardly noticed my opponent at all. It’s like I’m out there by myself, I concentrate only on the ball in relationship to the face of my racket, which is a full time job anyway, since no two balls ever come over the net the same way. I appreciate what my opponent is doing. But in a very detached, abstract way. Like an observer. In the next room, I see her moving to her left or right. But it’s almost as though there weren’t any real opponent, as though I didn’t know and certainly didn’t care whom I was playing against. When I’m in that kind of state, I feel that tennis is an art form that’s capable of moving both the players and the audience. When I’m performing at my absolute best, I think that some of the euphoria that I feel must be transmitted to the audience. So this is a textbook example of what athletes call the zone. And the zone means she’s experiencing peak performance, she’s never performed better. It’s effortless performance to the point of just watching it like an observer in the next room watching all of this happen. And then euphoria, bliss, just joy along with it, those three things.

Rick Archer: There’s one point which may not come across in that quote, two weeks ago, I had an interview with a guy and we got into quite a debate about witnessing, and he so I can put myself into a witnessing state anytime. And he kind of went, Okay, now I’m back and I’m in more of a witnessing state. And he was obviously evoking a kind of a mood or a frame of mind. And there are some practices who which do this habitually, intentionally right to the point where as, as another guy, Buddhist teacher, shins, and Jung said, people become somewhat zombie like, and so my point to him was that witnessing is not something you do. It’s something you are, and, and it’s just a natural kind of, it’s an experience, which occurs when the silence of the self is open to awareness along with the activity of the mind. And there’s a sense that even though I’m running through this airport, trying to catch my connection, yeah, nothing’s happening here. Right? You know, it’s just pure silence. I’m just resting in that. And yet the body is running through the airport or whatever. Yeah. And so it was this. And it’s not like, I am silent in any kind of individual sense, because individually, I’m running through the airport, right? I’m real busy, right? But there’s a kind of a silence that is just rock solid. That is there irrespective of what’s going on on the surface and which might actually be even more noticeable when you’re doing something intense like that, because the contrast is greater. Yeah.

Craig Pearson: Well, that’s a very good point. And you know, what I think happens here is somewhere along the way, the path and the goal gets switched, your path gets mistaken for the goal, you can imagine and descriptions are taken for prescript Exactly you hears Billie Jean King. But you can imagine, in some monastery somewhere, some somebody begins to describe the experience of witnessing, because that’s the state to which they’ve come to other people who aren’t there yet hear that and try to do what they hear that this person is describing them as just the, you know, the Unison observer of everything. Think well, that person seems to be in pretty good shape. Let me try that. Yeah, to do that. And I think in the end, it ends up being counterproductive, actually. Because when you’re doing something, you really want to focus 100% of your mind on the thing not divided with some other. Let me just read a few because Billie Jean King really makes this experience clear here. She says, here, she’s talking about the perfect shot, I think the key line there was, I appreciate what my opponent is doing. But in a very detached, abstract way, like an observer in the next room. Here she really ice is it. She’s talking here about the perfect chances are aces both. I said I suppose but the perfect shot is another matter, they don’t come along very often. But when they do, they’re great. It gives me a marvelous feeling of almost perfect joy. Especially if I can pull it off on the last shot of the match. I can almost feel it coming. It usually happens on one of those days when everything is just right, when the crowd is large and enthusiastic, and my concentration is so perfect. It almost seems as though I’m able to transport myself beyond the turmoil on the court to some place of total peace and calm. I know where the ball is on every shot. And it always looks as big and well defined as a basketball. Just a huge thing that I couldn’t miss if I wanted to. I’ve got perfect control of the match, my rhythm and movements are excellent. And everything’s just in total balance. That perfect moment happens in all sports, then she says it’s a perfect combination of a violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility. So my My heart pounds, my eyes get damp, and my ears feel like they’re wiggling. But it’s also just totally peaceful. And when it happens, I want to stop the match and grab the microphone and shout, that’s what it’s all about. Because it is it’s not the big prize, I’m going to win at the end of the match or anything else. It’s just having done something that’s totally pure, and having experienced the perfect emotion. And I’m always sad that I can’t communicate that feeling right at the moment it’s happening, I can only hope that people realize what’s going on. So the key lines here, I just I just kind of underscore them I’m abled. Like, it’s so perfect. I’m almost able to transport myself beyond the turmoil on the court to some place of total peace and calm. If you didn’t have this model of the mind that we’re talking about, you think, Well, boy, what’s that? That’s weird. It’s just that for those minutes are those moments on the tennis court, somehow brain has reorganized to enable the mind to be fully awake. And now she’s awake at this silent level of the mind. Because where is the place of total peace and calm? She’s not in the locker room. It’s out on the tennis court somewhere. It’s deep within that place. And now it’s just awakened in her.

Rick Archer: Yeah, this is an interesting example of how an athletic activity has become a spiritual practice for someone that has heard they’re similar quotes like that from Michael Jordan, and I’m sure many others you could grow Pele in your book. Yeah. Well, you know, they haven’t meditated or done any spiritual practices. They’ve just been focused on their right their sport, but it has for them served as a means of developing consciousness really, unless we assume that they were already in a higher state of consciousness, or the other way around up this.

Craig Pearson: There’s that research that shows that I was talking about earlier, we’re what separates the world champions from just the pros. Yeah, these higher brain integration that did which is born with that, but yeah,

Rick Archer: yeah. Were they endowed with it? Or did their sport help to develop it? Maybe

Craig Pearson: people are, could be but you know, people are born with different capacities, different levels of this or that some people are definitely born with different levels of brain integration. Yeah. So they become top athletes. So you could almost predict that the Pele is of the world or the Billie Jean kings would have this kind of experience.

Rick Archer: I think it’s worth throwing in here. The thought that, you know, according to some ways of thinking, including mine, people are born at different levels of consciousness. Yeah, you know, we’re outlining higher states of consciousness here, right. Some people are born in some of these higher states or close to where others have a long road a road hoe before they get even close.

Craig Pearson: But wherever you’re born, just start where you are and get on track. And yeah, I love this line here where she says it’s a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility. So there’s the full range of the mind everything is still going on on the surface. She’s charging around the tennis court, like mad, doing everything she’s always done that hasn’t gone away. So that’s all that dynamic activity is still going on. But now the full range of the mind is awake and she’s just total tranquility perfect. Silence down here. And if anybody was counting out there, she used the word perfect seven times in this passage. So there’s a kind of message here. If this is perfection in life, this is what it looks like to have that full range of the mind awake, where you can have peak performance, effortless action and euphoria all together. Yeah, what a beautiful way to live. And it doesn’t mean that cosmic consciousness or this glimpse of it, is something that’s reserved for Wimbledon tennis champions, you could be nursing a baby, you could be sewing, you could be doing walking, as you’re saying, just working at the office, the full depth of the mind is awake, and you are the innocent, silent observer of all of that happening. And you just have that unboundedness the experience of your actual deepest self, the bliss of that, and whatever peak performance is going to come along with that with whatever it is that you’re doing.

Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s worth mentioning that we as human beings, we do acclimate to things. So it’s not like you’re going to be doing an AI and all day. It’s like, you just take it in stride, take it for granted. Yeah, go about your life. But you know, maybe some maybe every now and then there’s something which causes you to notice that this is the condition in which I function. That’s right. But it’s not something you have to think about. And it’s also important emphasize that it’s not enhanced to any degree by remembering it, nor is it lost to any degree by failing to remember it. Either you’ve got it or you haven’t to whatever degree you haven’t,

Craig Pearson: right, there is no metal contriving, right, it’s kind of bring it about either the brain is functioning in that way, or it’s not. That’s really what it comes down to. Yeah, to support that experience.

Rick Archer: Because again, there are people who make a practice of trying to remember this all the time, you know. We can get zombie like, yeah, shins and yawns. Yeah.

Craig Pearson: So that’s a good point that you make. It’s not as though in cosmic consciousness, it’s maybe a bit of a flamboyant name, but it’s not as though they’re fire Fourth of July fireworks going on just the opposite. It’s just inner silence, unbounded awareness along with everything else. It’s a completely simple, quiet thing.

Rick Archer: Yeah. You know, some guy sent me a question must have been a couple of months ago, when I first announced that I was going to interview you. And he said, Ask Craig, why he always defers to Maharshi as an authority with all this stuff. How about his own experience, Candy speak from his own experience? So yeah, I mean, I think there’s certain traditions, and there’s certain traditions in which it’s, you know, not appropriate to speak from one’s own experience. If you ask the Dalai Lama, what’s going on? He will not answer it directly. And that’s kind of the way in the TM world, but to whatever extent you care, to what, what how, to what extent has your own experience corroborated what you’ve written about in this book?

Craig Pearson: Yeah, I, you know, I don’t make a thing about my own experience, because I don’t want to set myself up as some kind of authority based on my own experience, I think, you know, I think marshy does a better job of that. You know, if I were to talk about my own experience, it would be just like my meditation practice. And I like diving within. And that experience of the fourth state of consciousness and outside of that, I often feel that myself is just this huge thing that I’m walking around inside of just, you know, enormous it’s, it’s not anything that I pay that much attention to, but when I become aware of it, you know, there, there it is. Gigantic, and it’s not moving. I’m just this kind of thing moving around inside of it. But I don’t offer that as any kind of hallmark for anybody’s experience. It’s my own and different people will have different experiences. What Maharshi is laid out for us in this model of seven states is basic, fundamental milestones. But people seem to have kind of different pathways of moving through those different flavors of the way one shifts from one to another. But those those fundamental stages, intellectually, they make sense, as I hope we’ll see in our discussion.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah, it’s funny. I was sitting down at up in Morningstar studio one time, and it’s sometimes used as a dance hall, they have all these mirrors on the wall, you know, which is the ballet dancers use. And I was talking to somebody and I happened to glance over look at the mirrors and saw myself talking to the person and it’s like, it’s like, I was taken aback a little bit. Wow, that’s what people see. When they look at me. It’s like, because that’s not what I am. You forget? Yeah, exactly, exactly. But also, I wanted to just throw in, you’ve mentioned physiological correlates to these higher states of consciousness. And we’re using the western model basically brainwaves and all and there are some interesting Eastern models too. I mean, the Chinese talk about the meridians and on the yogic system talks about chakras and noddy’s and all those things. I read an interesting article about chakras recently by a woman who experienced their unfoldment very, very clearly and interacted with a lot of people who are going through spiritual unfoldings and she she made the point that They really don’t develop sequentially in hardly ever that, that, you know, this chakra could develop before this one, and so on and so forth. So this model that Marcy laid out, I think you can pretty much take anybody’s Experience and find where it might fit on that progression. But what I find in talking to so many people is that it’s really not so linear. And there might be people who are really in what we would call Unity Consciousness, which we’ll talk about who haven’t yet had gone conscience and stuff. Or, you know, it can come in various, almost almost like it’s unique for each person, kind of like,

Craig Pearson: they’re definitely unique. Yeah, because people have their own nervous systems, and so on. marshy describes cosmic consciousness as the normal style of human functioning, and why normal? We haven’t talked about stress much, but it’s worth talking about one of the one of the things in that understanding and his understanding is what what obstructs the normal experience of unbounded awareness is stress in the machinery, the hardware of the nervous system. So the pathway to developing cultivating higher states of consciousness would be to systematically dissolve that stress. And it’s, you know, one thing that the TM technique seems to do with with remarkable efficiency. So he calls cosmic consciousness, the normal style of human functioning, because in that state, there’s no stress, virtually no stress. So then that means the the, the physiology is functioning, the way it was designed to function, just like a motor functioning without sand and the carburetor. It’s designed, functioning, the way it was designed to function, brain functioning in the integrated way it was designed to function. And therefore, this is the normal state cosmic consciousness. So what, you know, what we want to do is get to that normal state. And then from there, that’s the platform for really, you know, extraordinary states, the sixth and seventh Yes,

Rick Archer: which we’ll talk about in a few minutes. Yeah. And, and Maharshi, there, alto was using Western terminology, but in his own tradition, there’s there are terms such as Vasanas, and Samskaras, and so on, which are understood to be actual, you know, impediments or impressions in the nervous system, right. However, that tradition understood the system, which lodged there and impede the normal functioning of mind and body resistant and of our consciousness. And the whole science of yoga is to root out these Samskaras and normalize these Vasanas. Right, you know, so they found

Craig Pearson: that in the Taoist traditional so that something has to change in the physiology. And so there are a variety of practices that have emerged, diet and exercise and yoga and so on, to try to try to accomplish that.

Rick Archer: Yeah. What you got here,

Craig Pearson: this is a quick one, just more on one one cosmic consciousness. We can do this quickly. This is an American actor, contemporary named Ray Reinhardt. If you ever saw Hunt for Red October, I think he’s, I think he was in that, but mostly, he’s a theatre actor in the San Francisco Bay area. So I came across this in a newspaper interview with him, he says, There are two stages to having the audience in your hand. The first one is the one in which you bring them along, you make them laugh through sheer skill, then after that, now watch me tap it with this one. But there’s a step beyond that, which I experienced, but only two or three times, it’s the most, how can you use words like satisfying, it’s more ultimate than the ultimate. I seemed to be part of a presence that stood behind myself, and was able to observe not with my eyes, but with my total being myself, and the audience. It was a wonderful thing of leaving not only the character, but also this person who calls himself Ray Reinhardt. In a way, I was no longer acting actively although things were happening, my arms moved independently, there was no effort required, my body was loose in light. It was the closest I’ve ever come in a waking state to a mystical experience. So there’s another pretty clear experience of witnessing

Rick Archer: I heard Jerry Seinfeld talk about an experience like that when he was on the David Letterman show like maybe 10 years ago, both those guys do TM by the way, but um you know, second edition of your book, he might

Craig Pearson: seem to what was this phrase here? Observe not just with my eyes, but with my total being. So there’s that total being is his language for actually total being pure consciousness down there. So if, if, if cosmic consciousness the fifth state is the normal state, then what is there that’s more than that? Yeah. And you could ask what could there be more than cosmic consciousness because in cosmic consciousness now, the mind is fully awake from its surface to its depth permanently. You’re we’re experiencing from that depth, our unbounded self, our innermost, unbounded, self, permanently 24/7, waking, dreaming and sleeping, no matter how those three states of consciousness go, there’s the ongoing, unbroken continuum of experience of our unbounded self. So what could there be? That’s beyond that?

Rick Archer: And then before you answer that question, incidentally, there are a lot there’s a syndrome in which people wake up to his probably cosmic consciousness in which they feel like they’re done, because it feels so complete. And Adyashanti talks about this eloquently to this fellow I mentioned earlier that there are so many stages along the way where you feel so complete, that you can’t kind of conceive of there being anything more. And unless you have a clearer understanding you, you might conclude that there is nothing more. But anyway, there is.

Craig Pearson: So if, if there’s going to be growth beyond cosmic consciousness, it’s not going to be inner growth, because the mind is fully awake, and it’s not going to get in more than likely, we can think that we’re using our total mental potential. But where the change develops now is in our experience of the environment around us. And that’s going to happen in two stages. The first stage takes us to the sixth stage, which mostly calls God consciousness. And the final jump will take us to the seventh state, which is unity consciousness. So let’s just recap. In the fifth state, the body is free of stress brain is functioning in an integrated way all the time. So in this state, now, the physical organs of perception, eyes, ears, sense of smell, taste, touch, begin to embark on their own process of evolution and development and refinement, our senses of perception become literally more refined. And that brings with it the ability to experience more refined values of the environment around us, the world around us. So we’ve talked about the mind in terms of this model of levels of excitation, excited on the surface less than less excited when we meditate, we die within that six excited levels until we reach a level of silence. Turns out that that’s really the way the whole world is structured, you can imagine in levels of excitation levels of intensity of frequency, things are basically frequencies around us. And so as the senses become more refined, we regain the ability to experience progressively more refined, more subtle, more rarefied, more delicate strata of creation around us until we come to the ability of perceiving the very most delicate fluctuation. And when we’ve reached that stage, that’s what Maharshi calls God consciousness. And the common feature of that stage, what is this most rarefied value of the world around us like, it seems to be light, like self indulgent light seems to be the common denominator of that. So I will read you or give you another teacher is just a glimpse of this comes from Rabindranath Tagore, who many of your listeners, viewers will know great poet of India, voluminous poet and writer, but people may not know is he was also a musician, a composer. He wrote the national anthem of India, the national anthem of Bangladesh, and also a painter, so extraordinary creativity. So in this passage that I want to read, he’s visiting his brother in a big city in India. And he steps out in Calcutta, and I kinda think he said, Yeah, and so he steps out on the veranda just not expecting anything unusual to happen. And here’s what happens. He says where the saddar Street ends, trees in the garden of Free School Street are visible. One morning I was standing in the veranda looking at them. The sun was slowly rising above the screen of their leaves. And as I was watching it, suddenly in a moment, of veil seem to be lifted from my eyes. I found the world wrapped in an inexpressible glory, with its waves of joy and beauty, bursting and breaking on all sides. The thick shroud of sorrow that land my heart, in many folds is pierced through and through by the light of the world, which was everywhere radiant. That very day the poem known as the fountain awakened from its dream, flow down like a fountain itself. When it was finished, still, the curtain did not fall on that strange vision of beauty and joy. There was nothing and no one whom I did not love at that moment. I stood on the veranda and Watch the coolies as they travel down the road, their countenances their forms, seems strangely wonderful to me as though they were all moving like waves in the great ocean of the world. When one young man placed his hand upon the shoulder of another and passed laughingly by, it was a remarkable event to me. I seem to witness in the wholeness of my vision, the movements of the body of all humanity, and to feel the beat of the music, and the rhythm of a mystic dance. And then he says, For some days, I was in this ecstatic mood, my brothers had made up their minds to go to Darjeeling, and I accompany them, by thought had might have a fuller vision of what I had witnessed in the crowded parts of the southern Street, if once I reached the heights of the Himalayas, but when I reached the Himalayas, the vision all departed. That was my mistake. I thought I could get the truth from the outside. But however, lofty and imposing the Himalayas might be, they could not put anything real into my hands. But God, the great giver, himself can open the whole universe to our gaze, in the narrow space of a single lane. Nice. That’s just I get little chills whenever I read that, and it’s beautiful. And there’s and they’re just what’s coming in through eyes, you know, he finds the world wrapped in inexpressible glory with waves of joy and beauty, bursting, and baking, and all sides. He talks about the, the world, the light of the world, which was everywhere, radiant. So the two components here are, there’s the physical perception of radiance, shining from everything as though everything is wrapped in a halo. And that’s just there open to his eyes. And he doesn’t talk about his other senses of perception. But he might, if he did, that would be there as well. But along with this is this beautiful emotion, this upwelling of universal love, where he says there’s nothing and no one and they did not live at that moment. And that’s, we can all relate to that, even from our own experience. You know, if you go outside and see a beautiful sunset, or you hear a beautiful symphony, what’s the emotion that that beauty calls forth from within you? You know, appreciation? Yeah, some love some. I love that music. I love that sunset. There’s this beautiful baby’s face. And I love that. So in the experience of extraordinary beauty, you feel this emotion welling up. So when you take that beauty to as to its extreme as we find it in God consciousness, where things are literally shining with divine light, you can’t help that universal love is just part and parcel of that experience. So those are the two characteristics of God consciousness, the perception of that most refined celestial divine value of life. And then the emotion of just universal love that comes to that. And when you think about it, you know that when Tagore stepped out on that veranda, that scene was always there. It’s there today. It’s in this room with you. And Anita, it’s to why don’t we experience it all the time only because our organs of perception, the physical machinery of perception hasn’t been sufficiently refined to have and sustain that experience. Yeah, you could say for people who do have that experience, it’s because you know, the physical, it’s nothing mysterious. It’s just because the physical organs of perception are functioning according to their design specs. That’s the way they were designed to function. And now they are.

Rick Archer: Yeah, non duality or Advaita is all the rage these days. Yeah, in the world. And we’ll get to that. And this is the big step on the way to that. Yeah. But I think a lot of people mistake cosmic consciousness for Advaita for non duality, because it has its non dual characteristic. And

Craig Pearson: then even transcendental consciousness is ultimate non duality. Yeah, there’s literally no duality, or transcendent. It’s just my pure unbounded awareness awake to itself. The only thing is it isn’t sustainable. You lose it when you open the eyes.

Rick Archer: Yeah. And I go to this conference every fall called the Science and non duality conferences. I was thinking about what I might talk about when I gave a little talk there next year. And I was thinking that both the term science and non duality have a sort of a flat connotation. They don’t have a lot of heart in them, necessarily, and, and yet the greatest non dualists you know, Shankar Ramana, Maharshi. You know, various saints, we could, quote, seem to have a tremendous amount of heart and love and appreciation, right, passion and all these sorts of qualities. And so there’s that that that if people are have arrived at some kind of flat, dispassionate, non dual state, there’s more to common terms of sort of the real juiciness that can be developed in one’s experience and It would be Maharshi once asked, well what happens if a person gets to that state and get stuck there. And he said, it was like a bullet going through my heart that the concept of somebody being stuck and not experiencing what they potentially might yet experience if they’re further unfoldment takes place. And it’s fascinating to consider, well, what you just said, you know, we’re sitting in this office, and it may appear drab or something doesn’t look so bad to me. But, you know, you’d bring a dozen people in here, and they’re all seeing it slightly differently. But if someone in God catches us, we’re sitting here, they would see, you know, the, the perception of the desk and the camera and the computer and stuff like that would really be quite glorious. And you have some quotes in your book about, you know, somebody’s watching a cat cross a lawn, and it’s like, this amazing experience is as if the lawn were made of diamonds, and the cat is this wonderful, glowing thing. So that potential is there is the potential to live life that way all the time is there. And it’s an exciting prospect. And one more comment I’ll make, and let’s throw it back to you. And is one thing I find fascinating. I have friends who are in the state all the time, and who, who experience subtle beings all the time. And, you know, I sometimes bring that up in interviews, and I sometimes get flack for emphasizing it, because it seems like a tangent or a distraction or something. But, you know, imagine, I mean, if scientists discover some new species of snail in the Amazon or something, it might make the news because while there’s this thing we didn’t even know about. Or if aliens were to land on the White House lawn, it would really make the news because holy mackerel, there’s this whole life form that we didn’t know about. Well, it so happens that, you know, we’re just kind of fish swimming on the surface of the ocean, and there’s fish, you know, metaphorically speaking at all the other levels of the ocean beings who dwell at these levels of creation, and they’re all very much there without our being aware of it. So isn’t that an interesting realm for exploration, you know, to somehow commune with this, the subtler impulses of life, if such communion is advantageous in any way for us or for them. And and it says in the Bhagavad Gita that it is that you support them and they’ll support you, you know, there’s a kind of neutral thing that gets going, right. So I don’t know. It’s just like this whole untapped realm of possibility that humanity has yet to awaken to that I find intriguing. And right now a lot of people are awakening to the possibility of the transcendent and living that in daily life, but there’s this whole other possibility that might unfold once that becomes kind of a sure de rigueur.

Craig Pearson: Yeah, well, the it starts with the awakening to the Transcend. Yeah, I mean, the whole everything that we’re talking about here, is really fostered by development of consciousness. If there are such things as you’re saying, How would one experience them you have to develop your consciousness you have to find refine the machinery of perception. Yeah. So the Garden of Eden, you know, so many people who’ve described this level as you’ve you’ve seen in the book, they’ll talk about a veil as to God Himself did as if a veil fell away. And there’s the world as it always was, so people describe it as a paradise around us or a Garden of Eden. So the Garden of Eden wasn’t wasn’t something mythical 1000s of years ago, it’s we’re living in it. We just don’t see it for the reality that it is. Yeah, we take care better care of our planet. If we did.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I was just thinking that there’s that Vedic saying the world is as you are, as you see it. And I think it’s common thought not only that, the world as that you get to evaluate the world to the extent you can evaluate it. But I think if everyone were to see the world or be capable of seeing the world, in, in more sublime values, that, you know, objectively, the world would begin to manifest in some more sublime qualities, you know, we’d have more of a heavenly world that would be evident to anybody, even if they weren’t open to that level of perception.

Craig Pearson: Yeah. And coming back to the glorious beautiful land, there was nothing and no one who may did not love it that moment, so we can talk about the physical perception, but think about the relationship to other people. When your ongoing experience is just universal love, there’s nothing and no one whom I didn’t love. Would I ever think of harming you? You know, whatever. Think of a pressing you doing anything like that? Yeah, it never would enter my mind and just

Rick Archer: have to mention Arma. Here she she’ll sit on her Dyess for sometimes 18 hours straight without a bathroom break, hugging people, one after another. And if it’s India, it might be 50,000 people. She’s got to embrace in that time, and if you watch a video of it, or see it firsthand, there’s this like every single person that comes is like my long lost child. You know, I love View and you know, if you were able to do that, but at least me, you know, I’d run out of steam pretty quick. Yeah, there’s this kind of like freshness and innocence and newness, and every single encounter that just never runs, runs dry.

Craig Pearson: Yeah, whether her or others, I think that the underlying point is, again, you can’t contrive this, you can’t walk outside and say, Okay, I’m gonna start looking for this. I’m just gonna start seeing everybody. Yeah, that would be kind of artificial end up in jail, I’m gonna feel universal love. It’s good to favor those kinds of favor, the positive over the negative, but even better to just begin cultivating the physiology mind and body to have these high plateaus of human experience that people have described through history, ourselves all the time,

Rick Archer: was like we were saying about witnessing is not something you invoke intentionally as you go through your day. Neither would this fullness of heartbeats of that nature, it would be something that is your natural mode of functioning. Yeah.

Craig Pearson: One thing that people might ask, okay, once, how do we get from one state to another? Well, you know, one pathway, the pathway I personally recommend for the fourth state transmitted consciousness is transcendental meditation technique. And regular practice of that leads to regular practice, regular experience of transcending, you know, as elicited by the TM technique leads to the fifth state. It’s interesting, though, from the fifth state onward, marshy, explains, you know, his analysis of that, those dynamics of growth. From that point onward, the sixth state will just develop automatically God catches God consciousness, and then the seventh state Unity will develop a lot. It’s just a matter of time,

Rick Archer: although he had techniques for developing God consciousness, I mean, advanced techniques that are supposed to help culture. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. But so in other words, you know, if we’re seeing through a glass darkly, and then eventually not dark, nice and clear, like your glasses, then once we’re seeing things clearly, appreciation just gonna grow up until the court.

Craig Pearson: That’s right. Yeah, that’s a spontaneous outcome of just that inner growth that’s taking place. Ready for the seventh state?

Rick Archer: Let’s go for it.

Craig Pearson: Okay, let’s go. So, sixth state to recap, I mean, fifth state, mindfully awake, body free of stress, sixth state God consciousness, the ability to perceive even the very finest fluctuations, what can be beyond that? Well, our growth to the sixth state involves the ability to perceive progressively finer, more delicate levels of, of the world around us. So what could there be beyond that faintest fluctuation? Was there beyond that?

Rick Archer: Do you want me now? What is it that’s, well, it’s still a fluctuation, it’s still we know from, you know, beginning days of transcending that, or at least the understanding of that, that there’s something which is beyond fluctuation. Yeah. Which hasn’t yet sprouted or merged.

Craig Pearson: So when we come back to our first experience of transcending what’s happened when we transcend close the eyes, the mind is experiencing, less active, less active, less active levels, until we come to the very least active level, find a stack of level and then transcend even that and it’s just non activity, just pure silent awareness. So now we have the same phenomenon occurring through our experience and the outward direction grows to God consciousness is we’re experiencing through our senses of perception, subtler, subtler, less active more and more silent, closer and closer to that underlying unity. And now in God consciousness, the sixth day, we’ve come to the very faintest fluctuation. So naturally, beyond that, there’s only one thing it’s just the tiniest little jump, but a major jump nonetheless, to experiencing the underlying silence that appears to be fluctuating. Just like when we transcend it in the first place. So but instead of now the inner direction, it’s the outward direction also. So the characteristics of unity consciousness would be, just as in God consciousness, on the very surface of everything, we’re seeing the most refined value that glorious divine celestial shining radiance. Now in Unity Consciousness, we’re also seeing right on the surface of everything, the ultimate reality of everything around us, which is pure consciousness, unbounded awareness, which is actually myself with the uppercase L it’s it’s the same self that I first experienced when I first began to meditate when I first dove within now I’m experiencing myself as the ultimate reality of everything around me. And again, it’s not as though things change. It’s not as though red, yellow and green lights and a traffic signal are somehow merged and we don’t know when to stop and when to go at an intersection. All of that is still there. It’s just Now we see all of that in terms of ourselves as an expression of ourselves. And here’s where words really fail. Because these words which are linear and time bound, you know, they just don’t, not only do they not touch the experience of transcendence that they don’t have. Words are all about diversity. They’re not about non duality or about unity. But so experience in terms of the self, the experience of myself within everything, everything within myself. So if that sounds abstract to some people, let me read a little experience from here. So the backstory here, this comes from my, again, a contemporary person. This is a writer named Rita Carter, who is a nonfiction writer in England, she writes, specializes in writing books on medical research, neuroscience research. And I was reading one of her books one time because I like to keep up on that. And right in the middle, she shifts gears and instead of talking about scientific research talks about her own experience, and the backstory is she was up in the northwest part of England, driving around the country, interviewing people for her next book, interviewing researchers. She was in Manchester and in the suburbs, and it began to be late at night and she got lost. And there was a pounding, hailstorm, so perfect, perfect storm, so to speak, she’s lost and on top of that her engine breaks down. So what does she do at 130 in the morning, when it’s hailing like crazy, and the engine is breaking down somehow finally, she’s able to summon the mechanic mechanic figures out the problem and gets her car started. But now what to do, it’s like 230 in the morning, where should he go? Everything’s closed. So the main mechanic says, You know what, I have an aunt who lives like a few blocks away from here. I know that she has a spare bedroom. She won’t mind if we wake her up and she’ll take you in, you can spend the rest of the night there so they wake up the ad and takes her in You poor thing, you know, puts her in a hot tub gets her a warm night gown lights a fire in the fireplace. And so Rita Carter climbs out of the bath, Don’s the knife gun, climbs into bed and then I’ll just read her own words. From here on she says, When I noted the fire one of those built in gas burners were still on, I thought I should probably get out of bed and switch it off. But as I looked at it, something very strange happened. I realized that I was not only looking at it from the perspective of where I lay but weird as this may sound, I was seeing it to from within the flame itself. I was the fire absorbed into its redness and warmth both giving and receiving its heat. At the same time. It was not a sequential realization, I became aware that I was also the bed and the walls and the window and the sheets, myself seemed to have bled out of its boundary and infiltrated every crevice in the room. Stranger yet, I was not just in the room but beyond it to. Although I could not literally see beyond the four walls, I seem to be outside them as well as within. Indeed, I felt that I was everywhere and everything, embracing the most distant stars and yet also inhabiting the smallest speck of dust. All sense of space location, boundedness and division disappeared. As all this happened, I thought or rather I knew that what I was experiencing was the real state of things, that I was a part of some much greater whole. And that all my experience up until now had been in some sense unreal. Despite its peculiar nature, I felt no anxiety and either no curiosity, it all felt entirely natural. I have no idea how long the feeling lasted. At some stage, I lay down and slept. In the morning, the fire still burning was back in its appointed place. And so was I. But unlike a dream, the experience remained crystal clear and as real and significant as it had done while it happened. So there is the experience of the Self in everything. I became aware that I was the bed and the walls and the window and the sheets. And again, that may sound crazy from an ordinary waking state point of view. How could that be? It seems impossible. But in that state of consciousness, at least she’s describing her brief glimpse of it. That is the reality self evident reality that everything is just the expression of herself. Not the reader card herself, you know, not the reader card or limited ego who’s driving around interviewing people that hasn’t become a sheet. Yeah, the environment. It’s the unbounded self itself. And then I love this line that as this happened, I thought or rather I knew that what I was experiencing was the real state of things. Is that I was part of something much a much greater hole in that all my experience up until now had been in some sense unreal. So this is such a simple I mean seven state of consciousness unity consciousness, it sounds like it’s really up there are out there. But really it’s nothing. It’s just the simplest possible experience that there could be which is just experiencing all of this amazingly diverse world around me as nothing other than my own self moving within itself, just experiencing myself and everything. It’s just you know, Mr. Sheaths, phraseology, one unbounded ocean of consciousness in motion. That’s the experience of unity. And that’s the birthright of every human being. It’s interesting that you have to be just glimpse to get our theme is

Rick Archer: right and be cultivated. But it’s interesting that you can have the glimpse without actually having had glimpses or permanent states, the previous development

Craig Pearson: question often comes up, how is it that you could go on set with that, and why not? Yeah, because if it’s if this is the expression of a certain style of, of brain and body functioning, the brain wants to function and body wants to function in a more normal, integrated way. That’s the way they were designed to function. So it’s entirely plausible that for a few moments or hours, the body can click into that style that channel, just like for Billie Jean King is clicked into the channel for the fifth state cosmic consciousness or for Rabindranath Tagore, the fifth state, that’s what

Rick Archer: she said, here, that’s the way things actually are, or something about something

Craig Pearson: like that. Yes, much greater whole. So as we’re growing towards all the higher states, and we all are growing toward them, whether we want to or not, whether we know it or not, whether we’re practicing or meditation, that is the direction of human growth. That is one of the messages of our, of our primordial tradition, our, you know, that we were talking about earlier. But when we’re growing, we’re going toward all of them simultaneously. So it’s entirely possible that along the way we could glimpse them. Yeah, glimpse any of them.

Rick Archer: Just here in Iowa. It’s cloudy most of the time in the winter, but every now and then the clouds clear and as little sunshine through clouds come back in exactly.

Craig Pearson: Well, that’s a good metaphor. Yeah, the sun is always there up in the sky. Yeah. It’s just sometimes the clouds clear. And sometimes they don’t. And we could pursue the analogy a little further, the clouds are just the, the stresses or the strains or the fatigue or whatever, you know, the noise in the nervous system that prevents it from functioning normally, and prevents it from just radiating that experience as a spontaneous all time reality.

Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s interesting point. A lot of people when they awaken, have this realization of, I’ve always been in this state, I just forgot it or didn’t realize it or something, right? It’s always been here, how could I not have seen it? Right, and it’s like, and some people even even after, maybe they’ve been practicing some technique or path for 20 or 30 years, they turn right around and say, You don’t need to practice techniques, as you know, because you are that it’s always shining. And it’s like the sun might say, I’m always shining, I don’t care whether or not those clouds but it mat kind of matters to people on the ground who are blocked by those clouds from seeing the sun, and techniques or like the wind, you know, they kind of helped to clear away the clouds. And ultimately, it’s a thorn removing a thorn, and they may outlive their usefulness. And one might not need them anymore, eventually, but they serve a purpose. For most people at a certain stage of their growth, that many stages

Craig Pearson: of growth sort of exist for a lot of people. Yeah, yeah.

Rick Archer: So one size does not fit all in. And like you were saying earlier, I think the prescription for one stage of development is not necessarily the prescription for another or others. You kind of have to have the medicine that’s appropriate. Throwing up metaphors right and left here. Because there is definitely a kind of an anti technique, niche out there and the whole spiritual world. There are people who, you know, will just glom on to an intellectual understanding of all this buttressed by some intuitive sense of things and say, Yeah, I’m already enlightened. We’re all already enlightened. You don’t need to do anything. You’re there, you know, just sort of realize that. But

Craig Pearson: that’s a little hard for me to just, you know, without people saying that I of course, yeah, Rick, just realize that you’re enlightened. Well, that’s like, to me anyway, that’s kind of like mental sleight of hand.

Rick Archer: Say that to 18 year old Rick Archer, high school dropout, drug user wouldn’t have gotten them too far.

Craig Pearson: And then take a person and hook them up to an EEG machine and see if anything really has changed. Look at them. Look at the style of brain functioning before you say okay, now just realize you’re enlightened and see if there’s any change.

Rick Archer: Yeah, there’s a Tibetan proverb which I’ve quoted perhaps 100 times which goes, Don’t mistake under Standing for realization, don’t mistake realization for liberation. So it’s important, I think.

Craig Pearson: So the picture we have, we have we have in every tradition we have. And this isn’t even something that we’ve discussed when we talked about, you know, the perennial philosophy or the primordial tradition, as Ken Wilber calls it. In every tradition, you can look and see, not only is there, the notion that there’s a unity underlying the diversity of the world, and in every tradition, there’s what I call the summons to lick within, you know, the kingdom of heaven is within you. And you can find statements like that. Similarly, in every single tradition, with the treasure of life is within, you know, within us where what’s to be sought in life is to be found, seek that first and all else should be added on to you get to that, and then everything else will be easier in your life. And we find statements of that in tradition after tradition. So the received wisdom that comes down to us through these mighty rivers of these, you know, these great traditions through history. I think that, you know, some people may discount them in this modern scientific age, what do they know, but they know a lot. And the message is look within and within as the treasure and life can be transformed by having that experience that’s there to be had within. And in fact, that’s the whole purpose of your life is to be how that transformation, whatever you might call that transformation, Enlightenment, Satori, salvation, in different names from different traditions, but there’s that transformation. And so now, in this time, we have and, you know, just credit Maharshi. For the knowledge, you know, that I’ve laid out in this book, we have this model of higher states of consciousness. So we know, what are the milestones of growth, we have a model of the mind, which helps us understand what’s actually happening, for example, in the witnessing experience, and we have an effortless technique, which has pretty large body of scientific research showing the very practical benefits that come from that. And

Rick Archer: you haven’t read too many quotes or any quotes from TM meditators, you’re mainly reading Quotes From Famous people, yeah, athletes and so on. But um,

Craig Pearson: I have those corresponding each of those have,

Rick Archer: yeah, you have a lot of those in the book. And I just want to say that maybe it’s changed now. But like 10 years ago, maybe, or even five years ago, when I started this show, it seemed to me that there was a sort of a stigma against proclaiming oneself as having achieved or having attained cosmic consciousness or any of these higher states, there was sort of like that, to keep it to yourself. Maybe it was sort of a carryover from the robin Carlson era where, you know, he was claiming himself to be this great enlightened dude. And it was create creating all kinds of chaos in the community. But personally, I think it’s time. I mean, if people have been meditating for 3040 years, it’s time to sort of, you know, remember Braniff airlines, their slogan used to be if you’ve got it, flaunt it. And it’s, you know, this, it’s, it doesn’t need to turn into it isn’t necessarily an ego thing. If one says, Yeah, I’m awake 24/7 have achieved this level of development or whatever, it can be presented very matter of factly. And I think it would instill greater hope and confidence and enthusiasm in people who haven’t yet risen to that level of experience. If we were just more matter of fact about it.

Craig Pearson: That’s a personal decision, of course, yeah. How public ornaments to be about a very intimate experience.

Rick Archer: Well, it took me four years to convince Harry Alto to come on here to this show to talk because, you know, he was just wanting to be private. Yeah. But you know, nothing bad happened when he actually did come on the show. So yeah, you know. Go ahead.

Craig Pearson: Well, I’m thinking here again, just right over here about 100 yards on our campus at Rush University of Management. Here is our Center for Brain consciousness and cognition with for Dr. Fred Travis directing that, and he’s invited people who have the experience of witnessing this this hallmark of cosmic consciousness witnessing through the night, yeah. In his laboratory to measure so he wants to know who is having that experience of witnessing even during sleep and are witnessing the hallmark of cosmic consciousness. If it’s there, even during sleep, state inner wakefulness, even when the surface of my mind is asleep. Deep inside, I’m awake, and suddenly broken continue of wakefulness. So he’d like to research people like that. Yeah, I think I believe dozens of people have quietly answered the call and come in and he’s looked at their EEG and other measures of functioning just to see what are the defining brain and physiological characteristics of this remarkable state of cosmic consciousness really to bring To understand it scientifically, yeah, that gives us confidence that that’s a real state. Just again, we’re saying not a mood, not positive thinking, not anything that you can contrive. It’s a real state that depends on that. So I’m just responding to your point about people coming forward. And they are pleased to be part of this, this ongoing research experience.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah, it’s a, it’s a good selling point for TM to realize that, you know, if someone aspires to Enlightenment, you know, it is happening, it’s not, and it’s not necessarily just going to be a glimpse, I don’t know what statistically what the track record is, in terms of you know, but you know, it’s

Craig Pearson: statistically track are going to be pretty difficult to measure, because there’s so much variability from person to person. And, you know, if you were to take, I suppose you could take 500 people and teach them to track them over five or 10 years. In fact, Dr. Travis has done something like that, where he’ll track or look at people who’ve been meditating nine years, let’s say, and compare them with people who’ve been meditating only a couple of months. And what he finds is very interesting that the, during the experience of the experience of transcendence during Transcendental Meditation, brainwave integration is quite similar between, say, a two month meditator, and a seven year meditator. So it’s not as though through TM practice, you’re getting better at it, right? You’re not any better seven years later, it’s very, very striking shift from little coherence to a great deal, even within the first couple of months. But where the difference between the short term meditator and the long term meditator shows up is outside of meditation, there’s much more coherence in the long term meditator outside of meditation then for the short term. Yeah. So it shows you that with regular TM practice, the net coherence is growing on the outside. And we know that there’s a correlation between integrated brain functioning and the experience of transcendence. So it’s kind of teasing out the, you know, the real reality, not just of subjective experience, but the whole package that we were born with.

Rick Archer: Yeah. And I think, personally, I mean, I think it’ll be a healthy thing for the it is happening, that university is kind of getting more collaborative with other groups and people such as Fred Travis, going to the Institute of Noetic, sciences, sciences, and

Craig Pearson: what he, what he wants to do that kind of thing, I’ll tell you more, I was just looking at the research on all the different techniques and see exactly in more and more detail. What are they doing? What’s how is the how is the mind changing? How is the brain changing? How’s the whole neurophysiology changing and what are the outcomes of that?

Rick Archer: Yeah, I’m stating this sort of diplomatically but there’s a quote from MRU review mun review, since Dr. Travis is the only researcher with the publications that have studied the neurophysiology of transcending. I’m not so sure about that there are over 10,000 studies on meditation and only a few 100 on TM but and since the transcendental meditation technique is unique in its ability to systematically allow practitioners to transcend the researchers look to Him to help them understand this facet of meditation. Now, just as a case in point I have a friend who spent 30 years for the most part in TRAPPIST in Benedictine monasteries, mostly practicing Zen and Vipassana meditations, in addition to his Christian things, and he underwent a profound awakening. And is, and I would say, is in unity consciousness, by your definition, or by Marsh’s definition, he witnesses sleep 24/7 He has celestial perception all the time, he sees angels around people all the time and stuff. And he sees everything in terms of the self. So, you know, he might take exception to this notion that and he’s never practiced TM, of course. So I just think that there’s a kind of a TM, maybe better in some respects, maybe Fred travels will prove that, or other scientists will. But there’s a danger in the attitude of our ways, the best way or the only way or any such thing, I think and the more we can kind of have a Oh, encompassing, we’re all in this together. And let’s see what you know. And let’s see what you experience kind of attitude. The more it’ll, the more progress will make us as a greater spiritual community. And the more progress me that we’ll make in terms of collaborating with these people and being welcomed and appreciated. I don’t mean to put you on the spot with that.

Craig Pearson: I think let’s, let’s take a scientific viewpoint. And that’s what Dr. Travis is That’s just look at, look at the evidence and make our you know, if we’re going to make any judgments about anything or decisions or conclusions, let’s have them be evidence based. And one of the points that he makes is that every experience changes the brain that’s known, that’s been known for the last decade or so. And so everything that everything that you do in the mind is going to activate the brain in different ways I can, I can read to you an experience from this book, you can read it, and that’ll produce some kind of brain functioning and you listening, can you read it, if you just read it with your own eyes, a different kind of rhyme style brain functioning, because different parts of the brain are being activated. So it stands to reason that different techniques, involving different procedures, different things that you’re doing will produce different styles of brain functioning just stands to reason, different styles of brain functioning will produce different outcomes. So, you know, I would say it’s a fair statement to say that you can’t claim all meditation techniques are the same. They’ve been shown that to the right, you know, there’s abundant research showing that. So it would be like saying, All all exercises are the same, or all diets are the same, or all movies are the same, or all books, it would be crazy to say that, yeah, it’s not scientifically defensible. So let’s be, let’s be scientific and empirical about it and see, okay, what are the outcomes? Then? What, what changes? How does brain functioning change? What what are the changes in behavior or health or whatever else we want to measure after that, and then let that be our guide. And what we want.

Rick Archer: That’s all techniques are the same, but it seems like more than one technique can actually lead to transcendence. If if the people I talked to all the time or any indication, and but some techniques are more efficient than others. Like, you know, I interviewed Dan Harris of ABC News, who wrote that book, 10% happier. And he was describing how he just meditated before the interview and how it was agonizing. But he sat there for half an hour and soldiered on, you know, muscled through it. I just My heart went out to him. So I’ve just, I didn’t want to undermine his respect or authority of his teachers or anything, but just can be so much easier. Why struggle? But then there’s my friend that just mentioned who was in the monastery, he says, he, when he sits to meditate, which he does every morning, he just focuses on presence for a few minutes. And then he’s in Samadhi, for a couple of hours, no thoughts, no, nothing, he’s gone. But awake. There’s a guy I interviewed a couple weeks ago, who does some some form of contemplative meditation, which sounds a little complicated to me. But for him, he too, goes into a state of Samadhi, completely beyond bodily awareness and sits there for a long period of time. And there was a guy I talked to on the phone the other day, who’s helped me with my website, who does four hours of yoga practice a day when he sits to meditate for an hour, he too, goes into a state of Samadhi, you know, and with no mental activity beyond bodily awareness, just pure consciousness, right. So different people are finding different ways to evoke it. And and it would be a thing for Fred to study these people in the state of Samadhi. And see if it once having transcended the physiology, physiological indicators are similar. Yeah, even though Well, in the process of transcending practicing this data, the other thing, they’re different.

Craig Pearson: Yeah, if it’s true, Samadhi. Again, I’m not a neuroscientist, but I would imagine that the physiological markers would be the same. I guess the question would come up, how universally applicable is any given procedure over another, you know, what works? For one person, you know, these examples that you gave the person in the monastery? Yeah, you know, would that work for hedge fund managers in? In New York City?

Rick Archer: Yeah. Would he be more

Craig Pearson: at risk, you know, school children who have to get out for weapons when they come into a school, you know, people with PTSD? So the point is well taken, yes. I mean, it’s a free world, and people can choose whatever they want to do they can choose any exercise or not, or any diet or not. You know, I think being guided by research can be valuable because it filters out individual predilections, you know, who knows what state a person was already in when they began a particular practice? Yeah. So again, I think you get the point. Yeah. So, you know, we’re, I think the fact that there are more and more people interested in meditation that they’re pursuing different paths on the whole, you know, I’d say that’s a good thing. It means that more and more people realize that there’s more to life than we’re living. They want it. Yeah, they see meditation as a pathway to getting that. Just, you know, what’s going to be most universally applicable and especially when we talk about institutions analyzing it in schools or hospitals or prisons or, you know, PTSD settings or something, there’s where people are going to want to see some real, solid research before investing, you know, the kind of time and money that would be involved in that.

Rick Archer: Yeah. And there’s a lot of mindfulness in the past no tech programs in prisons, and so on. And I can’t speak for their effectiveness. And there’s a movie about the privacy and doing time during the past, and I haven’t seen it. And so, you know, 20 years from now, 30 years from now, maybe it’ll be more clear that if you’re going to invest the time and money in a program, you got to be this particular one. Yeah. Because it’s, you’re gonna get more bang for the buck. Yeah. What are you looking at?

Craig Pearson: Well, actually, I have a, I’ll just give this to you don’t

Rick Archer: Sure.

Craig Pearson: This is

Rick Archer: three types of meditation compared automatics.

Craig Pearson: So this, so this goes through and analyzes the research on its categorizing three different categories. Automatic self transcending, is one category. And the TM technique comes into that category, it means it’s a technique that transcends its own activity. And then there are two other kinds, one is focused attention and open monitoring. And so that’s a review of all the research on all of them. And I think that’s, that’s illuminating. But way beyond the scope of our conversation here showed it does show that different metadata really shows that different meditation techniques produce different different outcomes.

Rick Archer: Yeah, no, I agree. I guess I’m just thinking, God is not a one trick pony. It’s a big world, a big universe. God knows how many things are out there, you know, that people are practicing and doing and then you have South American shamans having amazing experiences, and, you know, Native Americans going through their, their processes that they do. I mean, one of the, this, this seems, one of the clearest people who ever spoke to is a kind of a professor at a university in Ohio, who took high doses of LSD under a very controlled conditions, but 100 times and had really remarkable experiences and was so bright, clear to talk to you stop doing it. But and I’m not about to do it again. But I’m just kind of like this, this whole process of doing the show has broaden the possibilities for me in terms of the diversity of the world, and, and the vast variety of approaches that so many different people are taking, and many with very profound results, right? And I don’t think realistically, you’re ever going to get everyone to do one type particular type of thing.

Craig Pearson: And it’s not necessary. No, yeah. And people again, people make their own decisions and whatever they want to do that, you know, that’s, that’s what they choose. And the results come from whatever they’re doing. But certainly the heartening thing, is that there is does seem to be some kind of awakening that there is something more, and it’s a fulfilling time to be alive. It’s really a remarkable time to be alive when there’s this awakening of really ancient traditions, Vedic tradition, and in particular, that, you know, we have research on and in a scientific age, when we can use the tools of modern science and validate, externally validate objectively, that these things are, you know, these kinds of states that we’re talking about higher states are real, that Enlightenment is something very real and extremely beneficial. Yeah, in the most practical way that you can imagine.

Rick Archer: Nothing is more practical.

Craig Pearson: Nothing is more practice. Seek fruit, seek that first. Yeah, and all else is added. Make that the highest priority, whatever it is that you want to aspire to in life.

Rick Archer: Sure. And don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’m so eclectic, that I just say, I’ll just do anything. And it’ll be the same. As yesterday, I referred a client of mine to Bobby Roth, who didn’t my client lives in Manhattan is a periodontist. He’s feeling rather stressed these days. And I thought you you really ought to look into this. And you know, think of it do a lot of good. Bobby Roth is a teacher based in Manhattan. So but you know, Sly and the Family Stone said different strokes for different folks. And I don’t always make that recommendation. I mean, sometimes they’ll say, Well, you gotta go see this person over here because they, and people ask me all the time, what do you recommend? Who should I see? Sometimes, you know, people just resonate with a certain direction and that works for them more effectively than something else might.

Craig Pearson: Let’s say we can’t go without saying that we are broadcasting from the campus of marshy University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa for my phone and for the driver building. And this is a university where accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees and PhD programs.

Rick Archer: I have a couple of those from here. Yeah.

Craig Pearson: We have, I think this year, in any given year, we have students from 85 countries around the world. So it’s like this miniature United Nations in probably in the cornfields of Iowa. And so many different cultures, and you walk around and you see so many different skin colors in here, English spoken with every different accent and different religious traditions. But it’s an amazing place to be where people are unified by this experience of transcendence through transmittal meditation technique, in our particular take on education we call consciousness based education. So if people were to come here late, they’d find students studying business and media and communications and Art and Writing, just like you’d find anywhere else. And people from all over, but twice each day transcending. And that really makes it quite, quite a special place. And people you know, I remember my father, first time He came to visit, we live from Chicago, and he just was commenting on how peaceful it felt here and everything. And he said, as your mother and I drove away, we got about 15 miles, 20 miles out, and I can just feel that peace receding interesting. So

Rick Archer: if people say, coming in this direction to they say I get to about Iowa City, and I can start to feel it.

Craig Pearson: So here’s a place where there’s been like, back of the envelope estimates, 40 or 50 million person hours of transcending, it really creates an atmosphere, that’s pretty special. And in our real learning environment, it’s pretty special. Also, you know, without the, a lot of the stress that typifies higher education everywhere. So I kind of tripped into this early in my life. And it’s been a joy for me to be doing this, I really

Rick Archer: enjoyed being here. And you are one of my instructors in the writing, writing classes. And also from where I’m

Craig Pearson: Early adopter of Macintosh technology.

Rick Archer: Yes, I was. And from where I’m sitting, I can also see the Maharshi School of the Age of Enlightenment, which is a kind of a grammar school for kids of that age. And I know people who have moved to town with who have no tm background, who just want their kids to be in that school,

Craig Pearson: yeah,

Rick Archer: to get out of the type of school they might otherwise be in and be in a really nourishing environment. So there’s that too.

Craig Pearson: That’s a great example of how when brain potential is being developed, and wherever you would put your attention, you would excel. I mean, as you know, you know, the students have won awards in theater competitions and state science fairs and art competitions and photography competitions. And the principal talks about going to a theater competition, and the students are winning top banners. And people say, Well, you must be a theater school, or to a science fair, well, you must be a science school. No, you know, we’re none of those. We’re just a school. But students who are growing in there, and all the students, they are just like all the faculty and staff practice Transcendental Meditation. And so wherever they, they want to put their attention, they, they excel, that’s just that’s just what happens when you develop yourself, when you really start to awaken to the self that we’re all carrying around deep inside that. Most people are asleep, too. But people are starting to wake up to more and more, which is so encouraging for our time.

Rick Archer: Yeah. One thing we haven’t touched upon, this has been a very long interview, and bear with me for a minute. And that is though, that originally, marshy said, Well, five to eight years will be in cosmic consciousness, then, you know, most people now, many decades in around here wouldn’t say that they are in cosmic consciousness yet, so it definitely is. I mean, not that there’s any big rush. And personally, I’ve always enjoyed my life as its unfolded. And I don’t feel like any urgency to attain this, that or the other state. But it’s a lifelong process. And, you know, people have stuff they go through, you know, I mean, there are people with various, you know, psychological twists and turns that might take some unraveling, you know, so it’s just, it’s not totally a piece of cake, this whole evolution, Enlightenment business, no matter how effective the technique you practice twice a day, yeah, there might be a need for therapy. You know, everybody, there have been, as I say, drug uses, there have been suicides. There have been all kinds of divorces, people go through human stuff. And so we shouldn’t give the impression that it’s like, Oh, I’m just gonna learn this and everything’s gonna be rosy. Yeah, yeah, there’s stuff that you need to work through. The average person needs to work through your all marriages aren’t going to be ideal if there is such a thing. You know, it’s like, kind of keep realistic here a little bit.

Craig Pearson: Well, definitely. There’s, there’s stuff and everybody has, let’s use the word karma. Everybody has their own history of things that they bring with them, right. And so that’s going to affect how that’s going to affect the color and flavor of their grow. Within the higher states of consciousness, taking taking a broad statistical picture, using the likelihood, you know, people may have a heart attack, but the likelihood you know, broad picture of people having a heart attack is going to be less people may get divorced. But research shows generally that relationships improve. Yeah. Because there’s, there’s less stress in the person where we’re right relationships fall apart is often because of high stress that people just can’t cope with. And so the way that they get rid of the stress is just separating from each other. So is this is transmittal meditation practice a guarantee of lifelong marriage? No. But you’re going to be your relationship is going to be better. Because of having less stress. If you use your valuable tool. Yeah, your health is going to be better, right? So if something externally, it seems externally unfortunate happens, you have to think well, how much worse would it have been? If there hadn’t been regular transcending? Yeah, twice day for the person. So yes, you’re right, people have to go through stuff. But it’s a pretty good tool to be to have to be able to take recourse to myself deep inside just to have twice a day when I want it, you know, deep inner peace just to reconnect with that. And to be more connected with that day by day. Yeah, going forward. It’s just really,

Rick Archer: yeah, I’m playing devil’s advocate and giving you a little bit of a hard time here. But I haven’t missed a meditation since July 25 1968. You know. And these, you know, generally about three hours a day on average, but that’s obviously not what we want to start with, then some people think that I’m kind of obsessed in that way. But I’ve just gone by my results, going by what feels right. And if, if at some point it feels, I don’t need to do this anymore, then I guess I won’t. And that happens to people sometimes. I mean, I’ve talked to nurses, that lady Suzanne Siegel, from Chicago that I mentioned, she was a TM teacher, and they’ve been on a lot of long courses. And then she kind of moved to Paris, got married, got pregnant, was living her life actually stopped meditating. And one day she was stepping onto a bus in Paris and cosmic consciousness. Yeah, but the funny thing is, she didn’t know what it was because somehow the experience was so different than her conception of it, which he hadn’t even thought about for a few years. But she was terrified, because it was a complete loss of any sense of personal self. Like marshy says in the Gita, even the experience of cosmic consciousness can be a source of confusion and fear if you don’t have the proper understanding to go with it. It’s the value of the understanding. Yeah. So why did I go off on that tangent? I don’t know. But it’s interesting little book she wrote called collision with the infinite.

Craig Pearson: Yeah. Yeah. I’m not sure she would recommend her particular path.

Rick Archer: No. But and, and she ended up dying of a brain tumor at the age of 42. I have read about her. Yeah. And, and the funny thing was, she lived in terror for 10 years, all the while getting a PhD and raising a daughter, but always looking for a personal self and not being able to find one. And then finally, she she met with this teacher named John Kline, who is a well known Advaita teacher, and he just said, Stop looking back, you know, this is a good thing that’s happening stuff, kind of trying to find that individuality that you used to be that used to be the totality of your existence. And she kind of relaxed into it. And then everything was good. Yeah.

Craig Pearson: We have, you know, a lot of students who come here these days may have already done some meditation practice, and some don’t. But the students here have, it seems to all of us, the faculty, that the experiences are just more and more, as you’re saying, clear. I remember a couple of years ago instructing one student in transcendental meditation, and he hadn’t done any meditation before. And he came out of his very first meditation. And he said, that was so deep. He said, I just seem to be just seem to be pure wakefulness. He said, I just seem to feel this kind of unboundedness in the space between thoughts. Does that make any sense to you? Yeah, I understand what you’re saying.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah, that’s a cool thing.

Craig Pearson: Yeah. So it was clear enough that he could see that and what we’re referring to here, Marsh explains even even there’s a gap between thoughts that people aren’t normally aware of just because the mind is so noisy all the time. Yeah. But in between thoughts. There’s a gap where there’s just pure transcendental consciousness, just just the self. And I a young man came from, I think it was in Nepal through our computer science professionals program. And after his first days of meditation, he was talking about just just deep silence and everything he’d go outside of the building and things are just looking more and more beautiful. And so everybody’s experience is different, but things can happen quite quickly. And you know, that’s those are not unusual experiences in This wonderful environment here.

Rick Archer: Yeah. And that was my experience as a TM teacher having taught about 1000 people or so, you know, not everybody has this big profound thing when they first learn, but a lot of people, you know, from day one first sitting, you know, something really significant happens.

Craig Pearson: The teachers and the teachers in the field seem to be saying that that’s more and more the case, yeah, long term teachers, that people are coming in it just boom, right from the beginning. And whether it’s just like rising, something rising, you know, we might term we like, as your coherence in the collective consciousness of the world, something is rising, that’s maybe giving rise to what you were talking about earlier, in our conversation,

Rick Archer: someone used the metaphor that perhaps in the day of the Buddha or something, there was this very thick membrane that had to be penetrated to sort of break through to the transcendent or to Enlightenment or whatever. And now it’s been penetrated so many times, that it’s getting rather porous, you know. And so it’s, it’s more likely that one will just sort of wake up spontaneously, or, you know, when they learn to meditate, go into a very deep, clear state, right off the bat. Yeah, it’s just getting kind of more, you know, in the air,

Craig Pearson: yeah, of the world. So my main takeaway would be just the experiences of the great geniuses of history, from Lao Tzu to Plato, from the great saints of the Christian tradition, the great, great scientists like Albert Einstein, athletes like Billie Jean King, and Pele, and poets and artists like Wordsworth, and Tennyson. And these beautiful experiences, these golden nuggets of experiences that people have described, that I’ve collected here, they just no longer have to be a matter of chance they can be cultivated by anybody. And as I tried to show the TM technique is just a very effective, efficient way of doing that with amazing, amazing benefits that are scientifically verified, that come along with them. So it’s a great time to be alive. And I feel like all of these people have become your five friends, as I really delved into their work, and I Millia with them.

Rick Archer: There’s a spiritual Zen teacher who said, Enlightenment may be an accident, but spiritual teaching makes spiritual practice makes you accident prone. That’s a good one. So yeah, some of these people had accidents, but we can all sort of culture the ability to have that.

Craig Pearson: Yeah, that the experience of transcendence, the experience of higher states, they are universal, found in every tradition, every, every every tradition. And now we can verify their authenticity empirically. And we can cultivate that systematically.

Rick Archer: Yeah, well, this has been such a long interview, because you’re so enjoyable to talk to, and we haven’t will likewise had a chance to talk for a long time. And so I’ve really milking it for but so I really appreciate having spent this time with you. And thank you for the opportunity, Rick. Yeah, and I hope some of my more probing questions didn’t make you feel uncomfortable. I just felt like, No, I know, when I was teaching TM, I felt like asked me anything, you know, because it brings something out if

Craig Pearson: you know what I’ve done some traveling this past fall, East Coast and West Coast and speaking about my book, and people ask those questions, any questions.

Rick Archer: And I also tried to anticipate questions that people in your listening might have and ask you or ask them for those people willing to sign up and have a chance. Alright, thanks. Well, let me make some wrap up points. I’ve been speaking with Dr. Craig Pearson, who is the Executive Vice President of Varsha University of Management. And you probably know that by now, this interview is part of a series which I’ve been doing for about five years now there, I think this is number 277, or something, and which I will hopefully continue to do for many years to come. So if you’re just kind of discovering this, for the first time, go to Bat gap, which is an acronym for Buddha at the Gas Pump. And there you will see past interviews menu, and under that, you’ll see all the interviews that have been done so far, categorized in about four different ways. There’s a future interviews menu, which shows what’s upcoming, and we’re working now on thing which would enable you to find a teacher who might have interviewed wherever you may be. So if someone is in London, they could sort it and say, Okay, who’s in London. And so that’s under development. And there’s some other things that we have planned. There’s a Donate button there, which if people didn’t click, I wouldn’t be able to continue doing this. So if you feel inspired by these interviews, please consider clicking it and donating either once or on a subscription basis. There is a place to sign up to be notified by email each time a new interview is posted. And there’s also a link at the top where you can subscribe to the audio podcast on various kinds of devices. You know, iPod or iPhone. Android device or whatever, so click that if you want to subscribe to the audio podcast. So I think that’s just about it for now.

Craig Pearson: Let’s just remind him I said not at all his supreme awakening is available at two places, Mun Mun Also on Amazon.

Rick Archer: And I forgot to mention actually, the Craig will have his own page on BatGap and I will be linking directly to the place where you can get the book. That’s a pretty good deal. I mean, it’s a big, hefty, hardcover book. $35 I mean, some people

Craig Pearson: open it anywhere.

Rick Archer: Yeah,

Craig Pearson: find a beautiful story.

Rick Archer: I found it enjoyable to read. I’m not quite finished with it, but it’s good.

Craig Pearson: Good. Thank you, Rick.

Rick Archer: Thanks, Craig.

Craig Pearson: Yeah, good to be with ya.

Rick Archer: Thank you all for watching. See you next time.