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Cynthia Bourgeault 2nd Interview
RICK: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer, Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews, conversations with spiritually Awakening people. We’ve done 580 or so of them now. And if this is new to you, and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to bat gap, comm bat gap and look under the past interviews menu, where you’ll see them all organized in various ways. This program was made possible through the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. So if you appreciate it and would like to help support it, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the site. And there’s also a page which has our address and stuff in case you just want to make a donation you don’t feel like working through PayPal. Speaking of previous episodes, my guest today is Cynthia Bourgeault. And Cynthia was on that gap about three years ago. And I just listened to the conversation we had then and I thought it was really substantive. And I think today we’re going to talk about very different stuff, at least different enough that you won’t hear any redundancy if you listen to both interviews sequentially. So welcome, Cynthia, thanks for having thanks for coming on. Again. Let me read a little bio of you for those who may not be familiar with you. Cynthia Bourgeault is a modern day mystic, the Episcopal priest and theologian. For 30 years she has for 13 years, she worked closely with Father Thomas Keating as a student, editor, and colleague, and has taught and written extensively on centering prayer. And I also had the honor of interviewing father Keating some years ago, and in fact, He really seems like the interviewer because he made a transcript of it the first chapter of the next book he wrote after that, um, so that was an honor. Cynthia is a core faculty member at the Center for action and contemplation, which is in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and which also features Jim Finley and father Richard Rohr. I’ve interviewed Jim and I’ll be interviewing Richard at the end of March. And she is founding director of an international network of wisdom schools. In addition to her work on centering prayer, she is the author of numerous other books on the Christian mystical and wisdom tradition, including the wisdom Jesus, the meaning of Mary Magdalene, and her most recent, I have the heart a spiritual journey into the imaginal realm. And she’ll have a page on bat gap where I will link to all those books. Okay, so let me just do a little switcheroo here, there. So this book is all about something called the imaginal realm. And what that is, and what it does, and the implications of it is actually very significant for our world, I believe. So that’s what we’re mainly going to be talking about today, but we’ll see where else the conversation goes. And some questions have come in, which don’t directly relate directly to that, but we’ll try to get those two. So let me just start by asking Cynthia, what is the imaginal realm?
CYNTHIA: Well, the imaginal realm is a is a name. And it’s in one way is a kind of, kind of unfortunate choice of name for the next realm out from ours, or our closest cutters, sort of cosmic neighbor on the classic maps, often called the great chain of being
RICK: okay, when you say, out, what do you mean by out from ours?
CYNTHIA: Well, like the next planet out if you want to keep it really simple. The next the next bandwidth out the next the next realm, the next kind of Otter of reality, beyond our own.
RICK: Yeah, but you’re not saying it’s far away like Mars or something, you rather saying that it’s sort of subtler, or in another dimension, right.
CYNTHIA: Exactly, exactly. The whole idea of, of trying to depict things that are actually subtler and more within, in terms of maps that hang them up like planets in the outer world. is a convention really that’s done to please the or app ease our mind. And when Jesus tried to tell people the kingdom of heaven is within you, they couldn’t get what he was talking about. That what they’re trying to say is that time and space are really only bonafide dimensions in this world and, and even less and less awkward in this world. But But generally speaking, the old classic roadmaps of, of the great trend of being which are there in some form or another and most of the sacred traditions, speak of realms getting more and more subtle when they go in one direction, generally, the direction of poaching, the complete divine incandescence, and more and more caution, fiery and formal and dualistic and hard edged and cold, the farther out they get. So that’s what gives us the, that gives us the map that looks like a solar system. So what we’re what we’re really talking about is, is different dimensions of reality that that coexistence interpenetrate another,
RICK: right. So when we say subtle, or we just mean that it’s right here, but it’s more refined more. We could say fundamental, more causative more, you know, more subtle, and the senses don’t necessarily perceive the full range of subtlety that exists in the universe, or in the world, or in our immediate circumstances, we just sort of get a little sliver of the full range, much like, you know, you might see the waves on the ocean, but that doesn’t mean you’re seeing the full depths of the ocean.
CYNTHIA: Exactly. And one of the other things, it’s also an operational hazard, when you start to try and help people visualize it from that dimension, is that they begin to think it’s a little too easy to then equate it with something purely subjective inside.
RICK: Yeah, especially if you use the word imaginal. Yeah, like my little
CYNTHIA: inner life, or my little inner world, or my little imagination. And what the traditions have emphatically existed, is that these realms are objectively real. Yeah. And that in each of our individual person hoods, we still participate, participate in and partake of that same objective reality. So the twist nowadays that was really sort of accentuated by Carl Jung and the union’s to look at it as a as a map of your own personal psychic being really far too much subject defies, is it an individualized that it’s the mistake in the other direction? It’s subtle, it’s pointless, and it’s also coextensive with everything in the whole universe and objectively real. What do you mean by pointless? Well, I mean, that you can’t pin it down to time and space, it doesn’t exist in that in that mode of retrieval,
RICK: right. So if we can take an example, for instance, there’s a lot of talk in various traditions of angels and other such subtle beings. And some people have speculated that there might be aliens that came and visited the shepherds or something like that. But what we might be suggesting here is that those were subtle beings not ordinarily open to our direct perception that the shepherd’s talking about the birth of Jesus event happened to be able to see at that time, because somehow rather their vision was open to a subtler realm. And these temporarily, would that fit with your understanding of what we’re talking about?
CYNTHIA: Yeah, I would say that that fits through Well, I mean, in the, in the Christian tradition, that kind of Shaggy, Shaggy remains what we call heaven and hell, and kind of vestigial and bastardize remainder of what was actually a capacity to play a much more farther range instrument in that when you we know ourself, that that what you might call heaven states and how states are already in us. Yeah, you know that when you get in a certain kind of angry obsessive compulsive you know what, what the Buddhists would say when you’re in the grip of the, you know, the the Bardo of craving, you’re in hell. It’s a cycle. And when you’re in those light and spacious states where you can let be and let go. And things flow naturally into other things without fighting. You’re in a state that’s that more closely appropriates what’s what we call heaven. So there’s a there’s a psychological analogue in each one of us for these objective states. And so so you don’t have to think that that heaven is a place up in the sky and Hell is a place deep down in the ground. But, but nor are they just once again, confined inside myself. psyche, they’re not just metaphors for my private states, that it’s rather that when we enter these debates, we participate, we enter in a bandwidth of, of conscious reality that are actually empirically, objectively true and universal, and how we move within them. And whether we feed them or whether we don’t feed them says a lot about how reality plays out on the planet. I have no doubt that angels were actually seen above the, the manger Ambassador him that night, because then the nature of these realms is that this more subtle realm also has more causal power. So that out of it, you know, what you might call phenomena, from angels to crop circles to besides to resurrections from the dead, can actually happen in this world, they can take form. And there there again, objective, but so I wouldn’t like to say that this the, that the, the, the shepherds of the King Saul sort of shuffled off to Bethlehem and just had nice kind of meditation experiences that they were experiencing higher states, I think that they, they, they picked up something that that objectively happened in the outer realm, but its roots were in a deeper causality and the inner?
RICK: Yeah, that’s great. I think just, well, a couple of points here. One is, several shepherds saw the angels and so you know, I would suggest that here now, in the 20/20, century, whatever this is, 21st century when you could, you can collect change. Here now you can collect a group of people. And I’ve interviewed many actually who have subtle perception who actually do see these things, sometimes pretty much all the time, sometimes just occasionally. And you could get them to get this would be interesting experiment. He get them together in the same room and say, Okay, what do you see and test them in such a way to see if there’s a concordance or an agreement among them without letting them tip each other off? And theoretically, it should be possible to see certain subtle phenomenon that are actually there in the room for for he who has eyes to see them.
CYNTHIA: Yeah, it could be I had a funny little experience of that. About, Oh, geez. Now it must be 20 years ago, almost. When When father Thea Spain died, the wonderful rascally Buddhist monk of, of Snowmass. He looked like Rasputin and acted like Jesus and everybody loved him. But, but when he died, they took him through the, through the tripping typical TRAPPIST regalia. They laid it out on pine board for all to see in the state and celebrated a mass at the monastery around him, and satin and visual. And no kidding, half of the crowd in the room came out with tears in their eyes, saying, This is so sad, poor Theophanes is no longer with us. You know, he he used to be so alive and now he’s so dead. They the other half side that jokester he was just played with us all the time. And they actually felt His presence, His laughter, his warm up his kind of teasing way that you hold it. And so that there were two radically different experiences depending really on the state of the perceiver. And I would say that within that group that perceived him, Jacob Burma, the the great 17th century mystic was i Well, what they did was they perceived him within the tincture, and other words, they perceived within the spirit of his being, that the vital energy that was his when he was alive, was still there. And so when you try and say, Well, did they all see whiskers and had he had to shave before He appeared? You’re going to get different answers, because by the time you get it that far out into objective reality, it’s lost its shape, like a jet calm trail. But if you can keep it close to actually, you know, what they were all experiencing in their own way and their own being was living energy presence with them, and the intention and the well. And that I think, if you had it machine that could measure it subtly enough, would pick up an objective unity unanimity amongst the perceivers.
RICK: Yeah. And what we’re talking about here is not that unusual. I mean, you know, we know that dogs and bats and all kinds of birds and all kinds of animals can be perceived very differently from us and can perceive things that we can’t perceive. And so all we’re suggesting is that among human beings, there are varieties of ability to perceive subtler levels or subtler states. And that, you know, it’s not unusual that some people can, I mean, even among, you know, common things like music, some people have perfect pitch, some people can’t carry a tune. You know, some people have really good eyesight, some not so much. And so all we’re saying here is that, you know, some human beings have developed or somehow been born with the aptitude to tune into subtler levels, I talked to a lot of people who, as children saw angels, or auras and things like that, and then lost the ability later on, so and then maybe regained the ability. So it’s just an ability that we could actually develop
CYNTHIA: its ability and it can be developed. But we have to get off on a whole new purpose, we have to get to the next step. Because what we’ve tended to do in the past is to develop less paranormal phenomena, and get all excited by him, right? The more subtle people, oh, wow, I want to have this. I could have experiences. Well, it’s like the no brainer, these guys are handing you a bucket of water from another realm because there’s a fire on Earth and you’re supposed to stop looking at the bucket, pour it on the fire, yeah. And upwards. If we have these subtle prospectus sections, it’s not to make a spiritual hot shots, right. It’s so that we can do the work that the planet really is set up to do at the scale. It’s sad that the world because do which is to transfer and receive and give and mediate energy, which means assistance.
RICK: Yeah. Very good point. I mean, I’ve heard people say, I really want to hurry up and have a spiritual awakening. So I can quit my day job and become a spiritual teacher was kind of the wrong motivation. I think the same would apply to this.
CYNTHIA: Yeah, definitely. We’re, we’re all in it for service together. And a person that can render good service, even if they never see an angel floating overhead. But art is much more of a cosmic servant, then one that sets up a shingle saying spiritual guru, because you you have a paranormal experience.
RICK: Yeah. And I’ve known people who, you know, claimed to have a lot of subtle experience, and maybe they did. And yet, there was still a lot of, you could say, impurity, and there’s a section in your book, which relates to this, and a lot of ego. And so it became a badge of honor and, you know, kind of went to their heads, and they were using it to impress their friends. And, you know, who knows where they are today, they could be totally off the deep end.
CYNTHIA: You know, I was I was having a conversation with a friend merely yesterday, who, who, who entered a line of religious work, because the teacher on the first day just knocked him off his socks with, you know, recreating a theory of experience that was so subtle and so vivid that his whole, his whole former Catholic soul just broke open and ached for it. But you know, the, in 10 years of having given up everything up to follow this teacher, it became increasingly clear that the guy was a fanatical narcissist. And he was eating his students alive. And they were serving him like, like, like how slaves. And so when, when the when the capacities are not grounded in humility, they’re going to result in in violent misuse, which I think is one of the reasons so it’s kind of mainstream places like the churches have tended to tell people don’t go there. You know, it’s not because they’re not real. It’s because if you can’t bring enough of an anchor in your shelf and your basic ethical training, you’re going to do harm, and you’re going to have harm done to you.
RICK: Yeah. So just to put a nail on this point, you know, what we’re saying here is that the ability to perceive some subtler things, some to stick a toe in the imaginal realm and perceive things that are there does not necessarily imply that you are holistically developed human being, you could still be a jerk. And, and so real spiritual development requires holistic, balanced, multifaceted development. Exactly. Yeah. Okay, good. Now, you made a very important point, which is that the, I’ll let you rephrase it. But there’s that the subtle realms, the imaginal realms, are kind of the reservoir from which the group grows or more concrete realms arise or emerge, and that you haven’t quite set it yet here, but you set you said it in your book that we can serve as conduits of a sort between the, the subtle and the gross and help to infuse more qualities of the subtle into the gross if We develop our capacity to do so.
CYNTHIA: Yeah, exactly, exactly. And I want to say from the outset that it works in two directions, that, that one of the great shortcomings of so much of what you might call this first axial spirituality, is it doesn’t have a proper appreciation for the realm that that our planetary bandwidth our Earth plays, in terms of its very coarseness, and denseness, all these things that are often seen as problems, allusions to be pierced through or or traps to be escaped, there’s actually a powerful role there, in allowing anything to manifest and, and ultimately everything to manifest. So I, I’m not going to go into that at this point now, but just to say that, that, that we have our part to play, we’re not just on the receiving end. And that’s what makes the whole thing work is a real exchange of love and not merely a sort of Nursing at the divine subtle teach that but yes, that from the subtler realms, do come into our world qualities that we can’t sustain in and of ourselves, because they, they get cross purposes with our basic survival instincts, you know, altruism, compassion, generosity, God forbid, love your neighbor as yourself. Beauty, gentle Oracle, Oracle, in order peace coherence, these are, these are virtues which are desperately needed to for our planet, to not run on squeaky wheels. But because they’re so beyond, you know, what we can do, and we’re just in survivalist mode, that we really need the infusion of spiritual not only teaching, but spiritual presence, to feed us and to nurture us and to study us in the good, so that we can really do what we must do here on that end, which is to, to receive from above the the love and the help, which is coming towards us, and to to pass it on and transmitted out into the planet in a way that it can actually nurture.
RICK: Yeah. So I think what you’re saying there is that even if a person feels that they are unhappy, and empty and lacking energy and lacking joie de vivre, and you know, life is just flattened dead, they’re actually sitting on a goldmine of wonderful positive qualities of bliss and energy and creativity and happiness and all that. It’s just a matter of somehow tapping into that, and then those can begin to flow into and through your life.
CYNTHIA: Yeah, I think that’s fair to say, I mean, that, that, whether whether you want to put it as a goldmine that already exists in you, or a stream, that surrounds you, and is infinitely accessible, but the and, and help flows to us of its own volition, it doesn’t help the cosmos for a human being to just fall apart and die and give up. You know, it’s every life has already been built, you know, the fact that we’re here at all as a consecration. And, and, and we’re sacred simply by the fact of being born. Because we’ve got this chance to be a conscious pixel and form. And everything that ever brought anything into existence, wants this little pixels to flourish. And so, but we fight that so hard and ourself, we, you know, we, in a way we, I think it’s not because we’re selfish, in the classic way that it’s understood. But because we’re so frightened, we feel so vulnerable, we feel so afraid. And we only know this small hand bag of tricks to protect ourselves. But But we feel like if we stopped doing them, we’re surely going to be squashed. And and that’s the kind of funny irony is that the help that we need? is right there on the other side of giving up the tricks.
RICK: Yeah. I like what you said a second ago, which is that it’s not in you in the sense of like, somewhere in your pineal gland or something like that. But it’s a field and you as a sender, receiver, transmitter receiver can tap into that field, which is much bigger than you so when Jesus said, The kingdom of heaven is within you, he didn’t mean it’s like somewhere in your brain or your heart. He meant it sort of, there’s some verse which you can give us which is that it spread everywhere on Earth or something like that. What has that verse go
CYNTHIA: to the Gospel of Thomas, where you get a lot better teaching? He says in the gospels harvests, that the kingdom of heaven is within you. and also outside you. And then he says on yes that it is spread out over all the earth. It flows from sources and consider that each one of us might be a wormhole. We are an inside moving to outside. And through us, anything that exists and the great cosmic, subtle reservoir of goodness and virtue and beauty and hope can flow and flow out. Yeah.
RICK: So we relate to it in the way that a radio relates to the electromagnetic field, you know, you wouldn’t say the music is not in the radio, but the music come through the radio by virtue of its ability to tap into that field or pick up on that field.
CYNTHIA: Yeah, I think that’s really good. Yeah, one thing that we’ve
RICK: sort of touched upon and you elaborate much more in your book is that, you know, this deeper field is much more sort of malleable and also causative. And if we can learn to function from there, then our intentions being aligned with that field, and not just sort of, you know, self selfish individual intentions manifest quite readily. Can you elaborate on that?
CYNTHIA: Yeah, a little bit, that, that I guess the easiest way to go at it, is to say that, that one of the kind of conventions that run our planet is linear causality, you know, and the things that come earlier calls the things that come later. And so when we’re trying to figure out a course of action, we project and we calculate, we figure out alternatives. And we, we wander through from this moment, to this moment to this moment in time. imaginal causality, which is how things work in the other realm doesn’t do that. It uses the faculty of seeing and it sees the whole picture at once. And when you tap into that, and it’s not really hard, it’s not something that’s that’s that’s hard to do. It’s, it’s just that you mostly don’t want to do it. Because you can’t live what you see. But you can see very clearly that the Quakers talked about this, they they talked about bringing everything into the light. And the light wasn’t just this little Tinkerbell beam inside them that made everything good. The light was this searing coherent ray of imaginal causality that if you sat in the light, look, you saw how the whole picture hung together, you saw the values, you saw the priorities, you saw the dead ends. And and if you could stand to stay with what you’re actually seeing, then you will basically save yourself a lot of painful dead ends. Because if you saw a course of action was out of the light, even if you tried to do it, give it your best shot for five years or 50 years. If it’s out of the light, it’s out of the light. And you know that instantly when you let your heart see it. So it’s still not it’s not quite Calvin predestination, like everything was invented. Because before we can, because we do have some dance with it. But the fact is that that we make things dreadfully painful for ourselves by persisting in this illusion that anything actually exists in linear causality. And then earlier things cause later things, and just trying to chug away seeing what the options are, we have a capacity from of seeing from conscience. And if we can see from conscience and act out what we see, we do the right thing. And it’s without conflict. It’s without pain. I mean, we may run into difficulty but we don’t get ripped apart inside by, by inner uncertainty by anguish by well, maybe this by maybe that. And so the ones that are the great speakers, spiritual seekers that we put up on pedestals and call saints, or avatars or, you know, whatever, realize mastery in whatever tradition you’re in, are the ones that, that have not bought that capacity in themselves, but have first of all cultivated it. And there’s only one way to cultivate it, which is by obeying it. In other words, they’ve walked in the light, there’s no other way to code and cultivate it. If you if you see and then you act in the opposite direction, you’re going to lose your power of seeing
RICK: you Yeah, good point. And when you say do the right thing. That doesn’t necessarily imply that your individual intellect has worked out all the details of it. The consequences that a particular action might have, it really means that you’ve sort of surrendered in a way tuned into deeply. That field that we’re talking about, which possesses a kind of omniscience, you know, and a non linearity as you said. And so if we can really go with that flow, then things can tend to work out in ways that we couldn’t have kind of consciously calculated.
CYNTHIA: Exactly. And I like to say, rather than omniscience, which can be a scary word, if it sounds like I would say, it has a moral coherence. Its objective natures, believe it or not compassionate. And so if we, if we tap into it, it’s not like, well, you just can’t beat the big guy. It’s there’s a field, it’s a way you’re almost sense. You know, there’s there was that that that wonderful book by Malcolm Gladwell, so many of our couples Atwells great books, but he had one called Blink. Oh, yeah. Where, where he talked about how people that were deeply trained in their sport could look it up, you know, they could look at a statue, you know, and say, That was a fraud. And it wasn’t like they took a time with a manual factoring or magnifying glass and inspected, they just knew, yeah, so there’s a felt sense, to moral conscience like that, for which, to me, smell comes better. It’s the closest way of approximating it. You smell the wholeness before you do anything else, or you smell the insanity. One of the things that’s been so hard for me and many of the wisdom group in the, you know, in the waning months of the last government administration, is you could smell the mounting psychosis. Yeah, it has a stench in the country and you just at any, you know, that before anything can be solved on a rational conceptual policy level, you’ve got to dispel the skunk all over the road, you’ve got to, you’ve got to bring it back to a place where, where the energy realms are clear, and where the moral coherence has a chance to kick in again. So the saying we’re talking about is the heart is yearning to give it to you, all you have to do is ask and ask and humility, and you’ll see, but the big kicker is whether you’re going to then be able to live like a sea.
RICK: Yeah, which takes can take years of refinement and purification and, you know, spiritual practice and so on. Right.
CYNTHIA: Exactly. And there’s another side to it, it’s that you get you get resistance from both sides, you get your natural reluctance to do you know, I mean, I really gotta quit my job. But on the other hand, you got something that’s hot to trot in there and wants to take it over by ego, and is terribly terribly susceptible to delusion, you know, you know, you the self importance hungers in you, as you say, oh, kill my new home to go because something in you aches for the, for the its emotional, spiritual libido you lost for, for the self identification that’s had there. So a lot of people I would say more people do, you know, follow the spirit wrongly, because they’re, they’re not listening out of equanimity. They, you know, they get excitement in it, they get personal involvement, they get imagination bound up in it, and it knocks it of course, it isn’t exploring isn’t true. It’s there. They don’t have the maturity of being yet not to screw up the hearing when they hear it by an interpretation.
RICK: Yeah, that’s an interesting point. And a lot of the conspiracy theories that are flying around these days do have an element of truth or something to that like that. But it’s being appropriated or misappropriated and turned into a recruitment tool and something which ends up diluting people quite seriously. You know, I mean, we could come up with examples, but I think maybe people in you know what I’m saying there?
CYNTHIA: would think so. But in the in some of the earliest spiritual teaching in the Christian Christian tradition, the beautiful collected sayings of the Desert Fathers and mothers. I would say that, that well over half of the teaching, maybe close to 80% is on the subject of spiritual discernment. Yes, yes. Because out in the search in circumstances that these people have put themselves to, they’ve already indicated with their lives, that they’re willing to walk the path of opening the heart they move into the desert. They’re living in prayer asceticism, Pat fasting, but you still have to purify that crazy thing in your imagination, that that launched to leap on that wants to own my special encounter, the Blessed Virgin has come and touch me, you know, take it home, and make it all about me. And that that part is, as the desert tradition is said, and that’s where that’s where Satan gets in. And, and they’re, they realize that that’s part of the architect, occupational hazard of trying to learn to listen more attentively with the with the ear of the heart, which isn’t to say that we shouldn’t be listening. It’s just that we need wise guides, as we do it. We need we need elders, peers, who can who can mirror truth back and to let us know when we’re, you know, we’re sailing off course.
RICK: Yeah. I’m so glad you made that point. And I’m really glad to hear that the Desert Fathers and mothers, you know, 80% of their writings were about spiritual discernment. You know, speaking personally, and just in terms of my own life, having been at this stuff for over 50 years, I really have learned so many times, that you really can’t rest on your laurels. You know, there’s, it’s kind of like riding a bicycle, you get good at that. And it gets to be second nature. But even Lance Armstrong has gone head over the handlebars, and as he did in his personal life as well, but you can. Who was it? Palmer sambava, Buddhist, sage said, although my awareness is as vast as the sky, my attention to karma is as fine as a grain of barley flour. You can sort of just never let your guard down in terms of discernment. Because as soon as you do, you know, you’ll you can get tripped up no matter how long you’ve been on the path.
CYNTHIA: Yeah, and I want to say a few things that were worth tender here. Because we have these these metaphors of spiritual warfare running around so strongly in our tradition that you know, the devil is there and he’s gonna get you and you know, bad and you fell off the path. Even less, Lance Armstrong going over the handlebars can bring an improved Lance Armstrong when he if he does the work after he lands in the dirt. I think our our, our transgressions are very rarely motivated by malice. They’re, they’re motivated by sincere stupidity.
RICK: Yeah, forgive them. Father, they know not what they do. Yeah.
CYNTHIA: And that, and that they are forgiven, that, that you’d a spiritual seeker that doesn’t dare to screw up, is going to be far more of a problem to God than one who screws up and I hadn’t. And, and, and we turns for forgiveness and doesn’t despair, because then you’re still teachable. But the lack of risk taking amongst the people who like to call themselves spiritual because they’re protecting their image is, is I think, a serious drain on the energy of integrity and vitality. And in the transform to being
RICK: what kind of risks would you suggest people take
CYNTHIA: whatever ones are on their plate, I mean, not to, not to just assume that something doesn’t accord with your, with your, your moral structure of what’s right and wrong, and what you’ve learned about the devil or anything like that, that therefore you have to shut the whole thing down. The I think the I think the risk of listening to your own pain, of acknowledging your own uncomplete pneus. Of, of cutting yourself a little slack. When something in you reaches out to, to attend to something that’s been aching and sort of semi repressed need. And of course, you’re going to get in trouble. But but to, to, to not to be to not be afraid to risk treating yourself like a piece of play that you can, You’ve almost got it formed in one direction while you just look for it in another direction. Play with yourself as long as you have a self to play with. Shape it love it. Let it let it go into the ocean of life.
RICK: Yeah, as long I want to make sure that you’re not defining risk taking as an attitude of sort of lacks morality. I heard a story just yesterday about some 80 ISH TEACHER, 80 year old teacher who was hitting on a 20 Something woman in his Satsang, who was coming there and that could be defined as risk taking. But I would rather I would tend to define it as you know, stupidity or inappropriate behavior or, you know, clouded judgment or whatever,
CYNTHIA: it all flows within it within the absolute strictures of Do unto others as you would have them do unto yourself as a risk tag thing that results in harm to others, because you you’re exploring some fascinating facet of yourself, is, is evil. It’s, it’s, it’s the classic word for it, it’s sinful. Because you, you, you have your own life to play with. But if you drag somebody else into the fire with you, their blood is on your hands.
RICK: We may have covered this, but here’s a bit from your book that I’ve copied down imaginal causality, possesses intelligence, agency truthfulness, and its own legitimate ways and means of carrying out its purposes here in these lower realms. So we’re saying again, that this deeper intelligence or this deeper field has purposes, it almost seems like we’re it’s an animate intelligent, conscious being of sorts, the way you’re describing it here, with will of some sort and, you know, an agenda that wants to accomplish. You want to elaborate on that idea, but
CYNTHIA: Well, I, you know, I think that’s not too far off, in in a kind of macro cosmic way that I’ve been, for some reason or another, I’m taking my seasonal, deep dive into Jacob Burma, the magnificent sort of 16th century German Shoemaker, peasant, who’s probably the most out there cosmic Ganic mystic we have on the whole Christian path. But he he asked the question, and I always come right back to this. Why, you know, why, what? What was it that that made? And for the moment, let me use the god language because as the easiest way to phrase it, what was it the neg God wanted one to create in the first place? If you’re if you’re living there in in infinite bliss, and harmony and endless unity, why? Why create where’s this thing come from? And burr keeps coming back to this question again, and again. And again, he calls it in one point, the CNT, or the, the science the secret. And in the book I’ve been working through now the 40 questions of the soul. I noticed that what what he really said is that, what, what what God wants to do what the Divine Cosmic being wants to do, is to communicate its heart, to show what love is. And to show what love is, is is not only a matter of giving love, but a matter of receiving love, a matter of being seen in love. Like when you stand naked before, beloved that you trust in your beloved truly sees you. It’s a it’s a tremendous, intimate urge. And, and Barbara finally says, this is the, this is the primordial Wellspring at the heart of creation, this deep, wishing to see and be seen that love can be whole. And you know, the Sufis or the Hadid could see the extra Quranic sayings say much the same thing. I was a hidden treasure says, the divine being, and I love to be known. And so I created the world’s visible and visible, we often start out at least on the Christian side with, with the idea that love is his pre existent virtue that God has this abundance of love. So out of this efflorescence of love God creates, but the great mystics have said something else, that the whole world and every bit and piece from the vastness of the cosmos is the most subtle realms to that belief and the pixel and the barley grain, are part of a great dynamic grish Bill whose final product is the, the showing forth of the Divine heart. And so, so everything in the cosmos and all realms, tends toward and is ultimately bound together and won by the aim of revealing the fullness of love. And it takes a whole world to do this. It takes many many realms, it takes particularity to do this. Love is not served when everything melts back into unprotected clarity because love as a field in which love can manifest is a relational field and it So, so everything in all ways and all orders are being contributed to that. That being, which is why I can say with such confidence that the imaginal realm is of a higher order of moral coherence, it’s compassion is more fine tuned, it’s not doing things to trick us to trip us up or to diminish us. And, and that as we lean into it, what manifests in our light through that act of interest is the capacity of the qualities to emerge into this planet, that lead to a stabilization of love to a greater manifestation of the divine heart. Hmm.
RICK: That’s beautiful. To me, as I was listening, I was sort of thinking in terms of trying to get a God’s eye view of the of the situation. And, you know, when there’s absolutely no manifestation or diversity whatsoever, then it’s kind of just like, you know, we could say, flat ocean. And it’s kind of like you’re lying in a bathtub and the water is warm, but you just been lying there still still for so long that you don’t feel the warmth of the water. So you slosh around a little bit, and now it feels warm. So, so creation is the slashing of God’s bathtub. And you know, that and the warmth that is being experienced is ultimately love your site.
CYNTHIA: And suppose that the sloshing not only just kicked up the radiant call, you know, the remaining coals of love the water that was already getting cooler, but what if it actually generated love? Right, right. So that each time it’s sloshed. I was actually far more love, you know, more, you know, so the, the old anti entropic force, which is what the mystic always talked about a counter entropic force. So it’s not just winding down into cold dead equilibrium. But what what we bring back and every for us where it hits erode is in every conscious exchange, what we bring back and give back into the cosmos is an increasing capacity, the generation, you know, the participation of this counter entropic force of love moving back through the whole cosmos.
RICK: Yeah, in a couple of weeks, I’m going to interview Rick tarnis, who’s a cosmologists in California Institute of integral studies, or guy, you know, you know, Rick, well, I’ve
CYNTHIA: read his book, love, love it. Yeah.
RICK: And just in case people don’t know. And tropic force, entropy is the second law of thermodynamics, it means that left to itself, things sort of, kind of become more and more disordered. Like if you put a Volkswagen out in, you know, out in the weather, and come back. 100 years later, there’ll be a pile of rust, pretty much, you couldn’t take a pile of rust and put it in there and come back home two years later and find a Volkswagen and Barton and so, the fascinating point is, why is there anything just to quote another cosmologists Brian Swimme, you know, you leave hydrogen alone for 13 point 7 billion years, and you end up with rose bushes and giraffes and opera, you know, how did all this beauty and complexity come out of, amorphous field of hydrogen? And so there is this anti entropic principle that you just mentioned, which somehow keeps infusing order and incoherence into what would otherwise just be a homogenous soup?
CYNTHIA: Exactly, exactly. And that too, is a is a purpose of, of creation, at least according to some crazy mystics, like gi Gurdjieff, that the whole thing serves as a counter and entropic force that that holds the whole thing in being. So, our role as conscious human beings out here and this, you know, to use the the spatial map this, this very remote corner of realms of being subject to those things, we had have a very, very important point to play almost pivotal point in the turning of things so that they move from entropy into implicit order has David boba called
RICK: it. And so to loop back to something you and I were talking about in the beginning, our role as conduits between the gross in the subtle is to sort of funnel coherence or negative entropy into manifest creation.
CYNTHIA: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And we do so through the alchemy of our own lives. You know, and I’d want to really emphasize that because when you use the word conduit, people can also say, Well, you just sit out there and meditate and you become a channel and goodness goes down. But the, the real work is done, at least according to many of the Western mystics that I, I most particularly care for. When we are self working in the, in the laboratory, of our own being, are able to shift a state from a lower state, a denser, you know, you know, primitive survival, a health state, to a, to a higher state, through conscious work, to, to release a passion to see through a compulsion to show up when your heart is broken, to do to do anything, which is a work of a human being, which is typically just beyond us. When we do that kind of work, what we’re doing is right in the in the eye of the needle of our own life, making that reversal, I often think about the times when I was when I was on the swimming team when I was a teenager, and you’d be swimming laps, and you get up to the end of the pool, and you’d have to turn and kick and push off. For me that image of the turning and kicking and pushing off has become a real powerful one for what happens when I when I you know, when I’m suffering in my psychological state. And rather than just giving into rationalization or pity or blame or despair, actually do some of the practices that have been so carefully taught and entrusted to me over the years that can shift the state and into my own life flows. Goodness, but I know that out of my own life into the end of the planet, has come the coherence that I’ve effected in that moment. Yeah.
RICK: Good. Okay, I think we’ve covered that point. There’s one point that I just wanted to touch on that we discussed earlier about, you know, if the going gets rough in life, you know, are you are you being punished, or you’re working off karma, whatever, and you said something like, it has an evolutionary value, even though it might be painful. And, you know, here’s a quote for your book, he said, We have to stop identifying grace, with a happy outcome. The imaginal is mercy always reflects the big picture. And just as there is tough love, so also, is there tough grace. So this speaks to the sort of the fundamental evolutionary trajectory of the universe, that no matter what happens, if you can zoom out far enough, it can be regarded as in the stream of, of evolution, ultimately, and that might sound harsh or cruel or insensitive, or something. But, so you have to sort of nuance your way into it, to appreciate that point. But I really feel that’s true.
CYNTHIA: I think that’s a very true point. And, and you’re right, you have to nuance your way into it. Because you have to bring your whole self with it, it’s, you can’t just take the little part that you call spiritual, and zoom out that spiritual bypassing, but to the extent that you can really bring your whole being along, that it slowly learns, that that when it moves into the grace, when it moves, even though the grace is that, at first seem supposed to let your Personal Will was, you know, you realize you’re not going to get what you wanted, but what you actually get is going to be better. And, and it takes the longest possible time to see that because we hang on so hard to what we want. And so as long as we do that, as long as we we already know, though, that it doesn’t look like the train is going to go that direction. And we feel like we’re oppositional to grace and we’re being denied grace. But and so we keep saying, Can I have grace and we keep picturing it as please give me what I want please I’ll be good and and finally learn that the customer says no, the grace is just following where I’m leading you because it’s going to be better you’re just going to get yourself in trouble if you do this thing your will once again. And and I really think Rick there’s nothing but a long or short ride on the school of hard knocks that finally teaches you that there there are a few beautiful innocent souls that get get it from the start, I’m told that no right from the start that that the the path that’s open to them is the one that’s going to be most harmonious for them to walk. The most of most of us just keep racing down these blind alleys and running into the bricks. And and and coming back to where we made the wrong turn and realizing that the turn that we knew all along We didn’t want to take when we actually start walking at saying dammit, we begin to see it opens and it’s luminous and it it has a a richness to us to it that we could not have expected we got what we wanted. Yeah. I mean by tough Grace
RICK: Well, you know, the great mystic gold sage Mick Jagger said you can’t always get what you want and No, but you try sometimes you might find you get what you need
CYNTHIA: I guess very matter of learning to what you
RICK: get. Yeah. And you know, the thing about some people just waltz into life, and it goes smoothly for them. And they don’t seem to run up against these brick walls. I think we all come into this life at different levels of spiritual evolution. And, you know, we, we don’t need to get into a whole discussion of why that happens. But you know, some people like you know, as the Bhagavad Gita says, you know, Arjuna asked Krishna, what happens if you you’re on the spiritual path, you don’t get enlightened, you know, do do not perish like a broken cloud. And Krishna goes into this whole thing about what may happen in between lives. And then eventually, you know, if you’re really fortunate, you’ll be born in the, in a family of the pure and illustrious or better yet in a family of Yogi’s. And you’ll just pick up where you left off. So I know you and I had a conversation about reincarnation, in our last interview, we didn’t quite resolve it. But that’s one way of looking at it, that we all come in at different levels, and we pick up where we left off.
CYNTHIA: Yeah, and sometimes life has its own way of working with things that I, I had a friend who had a charmed life. I mean, he had such a charmed life. He was he was patrician born to begin with, he lived a life of ease, you know, he made the money he needed, he already had a lot to go with, he had a fine wife, he had a you know, everything was fine. The only thing that wasn’t dealt with was that he was a little bit restless, because you know, that, that all this stuff that was just falling right onto his plate wasn’t quite enough to satisfy some deeper hunger. He, you know, six weeks before he died, he realized, you know, he was diagnosed with rapidly progressing pancreatic cancer. And what came out in those last six weeks in his life was the, the nobility that had eluded him all his life, that he went into that with such an extraordinary measure of, of strength, and yet complete surrender Deus. And and in the last week of his life, people came to see him not because they felt sorry for him, but because he was literally radiant. And to be in his presence was a teaching. He’d poo pooed religion all his life, he had no interest in spirituality, the closest he would get to God was that occasional visit on Christmas or Easter to a Unitarian Church, because he knew they wouldn’t be talking about God or Jesus on those days. But at the end, who knows when we get in these liminal zones in our life? Who knows? And it may have been that the ease and comfort he’d had for 64 years of his life was what? What gave him enough strength of soul to trust to really go for broke in this last three weeks, but it’s a mystery. Yeah, fold.
RICK: A lot of things are a bunch of questions came in and I want to ask them, it’s gonna cause us to jump around a little bit compared to the way we’ve been flowing, but we’ll deal with it. So first of all, here’s one from someone who wished not to reveal the name. Please, can you talk about how to stay with a spiritual experience, energetically, I’ve felt a build up to a shift of or opportunity a number of times over many years, not knowing how to respond or how to not get caught in some anxiety that suddenly seems to be present. The moment passes and I feel it actually being withdrawn. Each time is different and leaves me in a state of anguish. Thank you.
CYNTHIA: You know, I, I actually love the teaching on this point that comes from the, you know, the, the Alberta guru, John DeRuyter. Yeah. And I think whatever else you may say about John, he nailed it on this one. He, he had this mother lode of an experiential experience when he was a very, very young adult, you know, 2223 that he they they work intensely to get it and they finally got it. And he he walked around in this in this amazing bliss for a while, and then he felt it receding and it broke his heart. It absolutely broke his heart. He kept trying to get it back. And kept going, kept going as as as steadily as a tide when it starts receding. And he finally realized that he had to stop looking for the big that he had to be concise content with the littlest and the least. And he had to realize that it’s not the nature of a, of a spiritual experience, to sit there and become part of your true self. They come and they go. And it was only when he could really bring that genuine, authentic surrender of possessiveness to it, that it was that it came back. And it came back on its own accord. And I said, my goodness, this is helpful, it helped me a lot, because I know that we all start with this kind of map that we, you know, that we pile up spiritual experiences, and out of them, we build the castle of our enlightenment. And, and so you want to stay as long as you can prolong the intensity of the state. But when you do, you can integrate it, because you’re stuck in prolonging the intensity. And it, it’s, you know, the experience is really just half of it is the experience itself. The other half is, is how you live out what you experience. And they’re, they’re all part of it. So very often, I mean, most spiritual experiences I find go away, because we’re trying too hard, a lot of them. And because we’re trying to hold on to him, because we have, we have become identified with them as a seed of art of our importance, our value and our worth. And you have to consistently learn to shift to a deeper place of humility to let it go, yeah, come on back when you water Don’t you know, how, you know, good. And, and not to fake it. But you know, but to really be there, there are some spiritual practices that will build up your body, so that you’re able to more more comfortably stay. The other side of this is that your, you know, your body is your protector, and that when you’re running more spiritual energy through it, then it’s good for the system, it’ll shell shut it down, rather than blow the fuses. And as you really work with experiences of sensation, as I taught, particularly in the Gurdjieff work, as you learn how to bring sensation into your body, balance it in all your centers, move it volitionally around your body, breathe in, breathe out, as you begin to learn to do the things to ground and intelligently move the the by nature, higher energy, you know, you know, the higher voltage of spiritual expense experience, then we’ll stay longer because it’s it’s not going to put you at risk. But so it’s somewhere in there the combination, but I think the attitude of gentle surrender, so that you can treat it with with a kind of quiet EQ and equanimity. I’m not going to say indifference is the is the real is the real tiebreaker in the thing.
RICK: Yeah, a few quick points. You’re probably familiar with Ken Wilber states versus stages talk. You know, you can have all kinds of blissful states. But states by definition come and go stages tend to be a more kind of a stable platform that gets established. And very often, it’s many intermittent states, that cultures the mind and body to stabilize a higher stage, which then becomes more stable. Like in India, they used to dye cloth by dipping it the dye bleaching in the sun dipping in the debuging, and so on going back and forth. And each time it was bleached in the sun, it lost its color, but you do that enough times and it becomes colorfast even in the bright sunlight. So that and yeah, and we’re culturing not only the consciousness, but we’re culturing the nervous system, you know, neuroplasticity, and all. And, you know, I imagine enlightened nervous system in the brain of an enlightened person is quite different in the way it functions compared to the ordinary person, and there’s evidence of this in research. And that’s not going to happen overnight. You know, it’s going to take years decades to really shift and transform transform. Yeah, so good. So we don’t hang on to blissful experiences that nice when they happen, they’ll go away, but they ended up over time it gets integrated. Okay, so another one. This is from Michael in the UK. Cynthia mentioned something about being able to smell psychosis. Can you ask her to elaborate I know some people that say they can smell entities is a really strong entity attachments on people with strong addictions, for example, does she mean something like this? Or was she speaking more metaphorically?
CYNTHIA: It’s not metaphorical. No, it’s, it’s, it’s actually a sense you pick up. And you know, one of the most powerful books that describes this, and helped me to, to get a sense of it was this wonderful book called and there was light, by the, by the blind Frenchman is shockless, around who became a world war two resistance hero, he was blinded in a freak accident when he was seven. And while he never again, gained his spiritual his his physical eyes, he learned to see, by being able to navigate by by reading, he began to get a sixth sense, like he could, he could smell the seat in a room, like you can smell musk in a men’s locker room. You know, it’s that vivid, I think he actually used that and he became so good at it, they actually brought people before him to interview for, you know, if they were going to let them into the resistance to see whether he could, whether they were lying or not interesting. But, but it’s not a hard sense to develop, you just have to begin to let you do it. You can go to dinner, at a room, you know, in beautiful, beautiful, beautiful home and everything is fine, everything’s in the right place, you can tell in an instant that our marriage is in trouble. Why do you pick it up? You know, nothing is said. But but that that all our emotional transactions have an energetic signature. And, and you know, psychosis has a huge one you can, once you get used to it, you can begin to tell when you’re in madness. And sometimes the way you tell it is by watching what it does to you, you know, both on a cognitive level, it scrambles you, you can’t think straight. But if you if you try and do that in a visceral sense, you notice that your your things fuzzy and muddled and confused and sort of vaguely anxious without being able to, to work your way out of it. It’s sort of like a, an, you know, a kind of bottled anxiety state in which deadly toxins swirl like dark energy current, some all of a sudden they hit you. It it’s it’s it’s a very, very powerful signature once you’re used to it. So it’s it’s a very good drill, to go into places where the emotional, you know, the energy scent is strong. Go into a church where prayer has proven valid as TS Eliot, well, let’s talk about it and sniff the odor. It’s not just the smell coming up from the incense, but the smell coming up from the faith of all those who have prayed there before you pick it up very quickly. Nice.
RICK: Yeah, and so what you’re hinting at here also is that we’re not just talking about the olfactory nerves and, you know, molecules that might be floating around in the air. But there’s, there’s something in the imaginal realm. That is, we can say, really out of kilter in in certain circumstances, even though on the surface, the circumstance might seem perfectly normal and fine. You smell it? Yeah. You smell it, and you feel it in other ways.
CYNTHIA: Exactly. Is it interesting to say, Rick, that you might say that the the way that even the question was posed from Mike about that? is either or is it as a physical sense? Or is it a metaphor? Well, the imaginal bandwidth is what takes up the slack between the two of them and turns the whole thing into a continuum. It’s not a metaphor, nor is it something quite as heavy as a as a physical smell, right? But it’s in between and to see those things from metaphor to, to physical smell, on a continuum. And a lot of the actual healing and mediation in this world is done in that bandwidth. You know, when when we had the inauguration in the states of a couple of weeks ago, and it was it turned into such a beautiful and, and triumphant celebration, it was almost a a service like a religious service in in praise of the holding up of the values of simplicity and harmony and safety and beauty and when that little Amanda Gorman got up and read her poem. people’s hearts melted because what what was being managed curd in that in that ceremony was not was not that the words themselves I mean, they were part of it, but it created and Over all energetic field of reconciliation of healing of goodness and safety, and apply it out right in the capital that two weeks ago had been the scene of a violent rape was the subliminal signs, the subliminal odors and fragrances that were coming together in that service? You know that that inauguration event? Were just gorgeous beyond belief. Yeah. And if you’re imaginably, attuned, you pick that all up.
RICK: Yeah, this brings up an interesting question. I don’t know if you can address this. But the question is, you know, we know what’s been happening. On the obvious levels of life over the last four or five years, we’ve seen it on the news and everything, but what the heck has been going on in the subtle realms? You know, and what and what shifted and know, is there some kind of cosmic battle going on? Or are we just playing out different strands of collective karma? Or, you know, the, there’s often this sort of night and day difference as we shift from one political administration to another. And, you know, some people are in tears, some are heaving a sigh of relief. I mean, I just, I just always get the sense that there’s is there’s a lot actually even more going on than the imaginal realm than there is on what gets reported on the evening news.
CYNTHIA: Yeah, we’re in a work clearly in a period of destabilization. And I want to I want to see if I can talk about this carefully. So I don’t fall beneath the water into you know, political statements or things that I have no business faking publicly. But I, I, I very much like John Gangster’s map about structures of consciousness. It’s sort of like Ken Wilber, but a little bit different because new structures emerge into consciousness. And once you get them, they they exist like rooms in a museum, they’re discrete, they don’t fold into and get plowed into the next level, but they each have to be bells, that ring were very, very clearly in the kind of birth canal of the emergence into culture as a cultural form of what what gebser And Wilbur two calls the integral. And and all the kind of you know, obsession about our personal enlightenment and awakening are a part of this. There’s a but there’s a struggle. And it’s a struggle that’s gotten accentuated because it’s not just, you know, the new versus the old, but that the the era that’s waning right now are kind of dying metal structural culture, has repressed at times, brutally demonized, the mythic and magical which are needed, you know, we’ve systematically taken apart religion, we’ve, we’ve taken apart the Catholic Church, we’ve taken apart, you know, morality, we’ve just continued to public worship public virtue, we, you know, we got no use for these things, we are evolved. And well, I think we’re seeing that that’s that’s research, you know, has has had such resurgence in around the world is the, the repressed and demonized magic and mythical culture, which are, you know, which are very, very, very unstable at this point. And then we’ve got to work to come to terms there. So I think there’s real work that’s ahead of us on our plate, healing these divisions from a deeper place, because I don’t you know, and given that we’ve got our are more than enough, crazies and, and lunatics and insanity going I’m this is not to try and take away personal responsibility, but it is we have to, we have to address things at a deeper and much more compassionate level. I think the other thing that that that I’d say is going on cosmically, again, taking a kind of TRT, in view of it, is that human beings have really become an invasive species, not only for the planet, but for the whole cosmic great chain of being, you know, we we destabilize the biosphere, God knows what we’ve destabilized the Geosphere. You know, we’ve torn apart the very structure of the atom where we’re shooting, you know, information stations, you know, into the stratosphere, you know, you know, really kind of polluting the band waves that which used to be really open for imaginal communication. We’ve, we have become galactic, you know, toxin distributors, and even art attempts to rescue ourselves like, oh, let’s just do it on the internet are still contributing to the toxicity of the whole. Because we won’t face ourselves. And so there is on top of the, that the change of consciousness that’s cranking around, there is a real sense that the the human species is, is in need of pruning, so that the ecological balance comes back into balance, and the whole chain of being is not put at risk. And, you know, without trying to be pollyannish, or hysterical, I mean, it’s just there it is, folks, when you look at it at a 10 Ardian standpoint, and that, that I think, are individual efforts towards consciousness towards self realization, towards compassion,
CYNTHIA: towards towards help, do help, they tip a balance. There’s a there’s a powerful, powerful story coming from the Old Testament, when the King Josiah, at the end of a very secular period in Jewish history, where all the old textbooks and the sacred gestures have been forgotten and trashed, discovers the scrolls from, from the temple. And he reads them and it’s, and he realized what’s been lost, and he ruins his clothes and cries out on the ground. But the the Old Testament scripture says and, and, and begs for repentance. And, and God rescues him. And God, God hears the cry for repentance and spares them. And I don’t think those stories are out of date. They’re told in the language which God knows, we could use some more of these days. Well, they, they tell the story that that our human hearts collectively, oh, the great chain of being a profound act of rending our clothes and repentance as frustrating because you can personally be a good person, but you collectively belonged to a hysterical manic and dangerous species. And, and that the price of this is really written in your own willingness to surrender your life, I mean, some of us will die, you know, you know, we’ll we’re putting our our eggs in the basket. So the vaccines and and hopefully they’ll turn a corner. But no corner is going to be turned long until we’ve done the work of moral conversion, and of returning our souls to alignment with the purposes of love for which this whole created order was brought into being. So So in other words, for me that the micro work goes on the Self Realization, the awakening work goes on, but not so much as a personal achievement as as a cosmic service, the prayer, the repentance, the moderation of our lifestyle, and the willingness to pay individually, the price of our collective shame and guilt, I think will be a step towards our healing.
RICK: Wow, that was very eloquent. Thank you. Few quick thoughts on that. You said pruning, are you expecting a big drop off in the human population? And for and for what and why and how is he going to be pandemic or is it going to be Bill Gates’s nanoparticles so to speak, which is a conspiracy theory, I don’t believe
CYNTHIA: I don’t want to get into conspiracy theories or things, the easiest way to do it is just by straight up, TRT and evolution. You know, went up when a species gets out of balance, you know that the natural forces within nature, which which move to want to stabilize a whole system will move to correct the offending and unbalanced parts. And, and, you know, I’m not talking about a vast Cataclysm like that has been given, you know, reap 10 million of them before you leave the planet. It feels like that. And it’s quickly mounting in that direction. But, but something of that order that that we’re going to come out with not as many human beings as we had before, and no matter what we do, we’ve already lost. You know, we’ve already lost a half a million almost in this country that didn’t need to be lost in some way. So so the pruning has gone on already.
RICK: Right? But so far, it’s just a few little bugs compared to the whole population. But I mean, looking at climate change, I saw an article on it. They said, you know, by the end of the century, Phoenix will probably be unlivable. And that’s also true of New Delhi and many other heavily populated cities.
CYNTHIA: Fornia and watching you, you know, going the other way, is it got a one off by flood to if by, you know, fire. I mean, we can see and it’s been shocking even in the last 10 years out how climate change has reached a tipping point that the, you know, certainly it’s not too far off, that the world becomes uninhabitable for human habitation because we’re pretty finicky species.
RICK: degrees centigrade would do it, there’d be no large mammalian life.
CYNTHIA: We’re done. The biosphere will probably survive in some sort of atrophied form for a while, but it’ll build back. I laugh sometimes that all this little solicitous, liberal handwringing, well, what was me due to, hey, I’ll help our poor environment, as if we didn’t think that the poor environment was already saying, well, just, you know, we’ll take care of ourselves. Thank you. Let’s just get rid of this best. So, so yeah, I mean, we, we are going to see on imaginable unimaginable changes. And, and I think that it takes a certain amount of extraordinary bravery to live in our in our world right now. It’s because we’re, we’re seeing the fruits of a millennia of neglect. And we’re reaping it. Who knows, I mean, I can say, in 10 years, I can remember when there were more birds, I couldn’t remember when weather was colder. I remember when there weren’t fires in California every season. You know, we’re seeing it, we don’t know how but but but we in we are in a period of very great destabilization. And the work of a conscious human being is needed more now than ever, but not for the old reasons what used to like to give it
RICK: I’ve long felt that we’re kind of in a race between getting in tune with the imaginal realm, the kind of things we were talking about earlier, where if you’re really in line with it, then life goes smoothly, not only for you as an individual, but for for the collective. If enough individuals do that. We’re on a race between that and the kind of cataclysms you’ve just been talking about. And I think a lot of the saints and sages who’ve come to the surface have sensed that very keenly and hence, have had this sense of urgency in their mission. The changes are inevitable, but the mortality rate could the chaos and the you know, craziness could be a lot less if we can all just sort of get ourselves tuned, or at least more of us, a lot of us. But if we don’t, things are gonna change anyway. And you know, the shuttle hit the fan.
CYNTHIA: Yep. One of the things that the wisdom that the Enlightened bandwidth or semi lighten badmouth, if you want to call it that the baby consciousness can do is it can provide but the the Gurdjieff work calls third force, which is rather than directly trying to get into the dog fight and have an opinion or a thing, it can hold a moderating influence where it’s needed, or a catalytic influence where it’s needed. And I know a lot of the folks in my own little wisdom network we have realized that that there is a need to to throw a strong and tender blanket of support around the pleasure fledgling plant that’s trying to be reborn in in Washington DC, you know, that the the administration we have in here is not perfect, by any means. But there’s a there’s a real beginning of a beachhead to Can we can we remember how to act civilly? Can we can we learn to remember how to act on behalf of the collective good? Can we make remember how to speak the truth not merely the politically expedient and, and our group has been really working on the Jesus’s teaching on the fruits of the spirit you know that our joy, peace, truth, forgiveness, forbearance, and, and a few more and the Philippians quote about whatever things are noble and lovely and beautiful, think on them, and to try to consciously generate and transmit goodness and Whole Heart intercessory prayer to that place because if that if that one gets taken apart by the device of energies that have not been pushed to the to this suicidal and homicidal spot, unless that can be diffused, we don’t have have even a measure of of of order systemic order to begin to address these, these huge global, you know, Mysto lines that are now afoot?
RICK: Yeah. Okay, I’m gonna go back to some of these nice questions that have been coming in, which means we’re gonna jump around a little bit topic wise, but there’s some good stuff here. Here’s John from Waynesville, I’m not sure where that is. I agree with almost all of what you do have discussed. And you have way too, she’s saying have given much thought and experience to what we so eloquently Express. My perplexity is why, why is this of which you discuss so difficult to see or feel into it? Why is it not apparent and obvious to us as conscious, loving, compassionate human beings? In other words, why do we have to dig so deeply to become aware?
CYNTHIA: Well, we find a mechanism in our culture I you know, and basically, in the metal structure, a culture which has dominated for so long across all the fields, that actively resists it and numbs it out. You know, that we, that even take take education that we have, we have, gradually over the course of the years, programmed out programs in the arts program and music, which are all alternative languages that basically not only train our sensitivities, but also collect, connect the synapses in our brain to pick this up. The the churches have gotten badly split so that they no longer even vaguely broker morality, the systems, the systems of the transmission, that would encourage people to trust these instincts, and then to cultivate them don’t exist in our culture. So we have to push upstream against this huge, you know, downdraft, of of, of, of ignorance and desensitization. And radical skepticism, that, that if we were given our own, I think we’d describe it in an instant, I think we could recreate systems that honored it. And that then people wouldn’t have such a hard time coming to what’s an obvious Heart Truth anyway. Yeah.
RICK: There’s a, you know, common theme these days, a lot of people think that they’re some sort of evil overlords, the Cabal, the Illuminati, or whatever, which you’re dumbing us all down and controlling us. And I think it’s kind of the nature of life to blunt the senses and blunt the sensitivities, just the gross pneus of life tends to do that. And then people collect who’s who collectively have been so blunted and creating, you know, the kind of dry educational systems that you just described, and, and other and other institutions and, you know, wealth and inequality and the way women are treated and all kinds of other things. It’s not like there’s some puppeteer pulling the strings, but there needs to just be a fresh infusion of that divine energy and intelligence we were talking about earlier, and then all these things will naturally flourish again, and will structure better systems.
CYNTHIA: Question two that was asked earlier, about how do you hang on to a spiritual experience. And, and a lot of it has to do with with, with preparing our nervous systems for it. That part of the adding the arch bit of the dumbing it down is that we only live in our minds nowadays, with a little bit of exercise, but we haven’t trained attention, we haven’t trained sensation. And these are the real ribs for picking things up. We haven’t trained our hearts beyond just as a salted jug, keep for our personal emotions. We don’t know many of us the difference between feeling and emotion. Really basic sort of things, so that we’ve allowed the instrument of our own receptivity to drop to dangerously low levels. And the more we get stuck in a mental realm, the more we get victimized by untruth because nothing that can be presented in a tiny mental package is true. Yeah.
RICK: Okay, here’s another question. I’m from Marion, Pennsylvania. Hi, Cynthia. Recently I came I have come to appreciate the wisdom in setting aside time to empty my mind of thoughts and invite sensations in my body to be felt without mind involvement. Do you think that endeavoring in this practice will enhance living more fully in the sensation of the heart space, thus becoming a vessel streaming the love and energy of God, our source
CYNTHIA: MariaDB want to say that what you’re doing is absolutely wonderful. Keep doing it. First of all, it doesn’t hurt. You know that as you work with that you’re, you’re pulling the plug on the mental chatter and you’re inviting sensation. It’s it’s not, it’s not altogether simple outer sensation as easy to get going first, to bring sensation to the hands, as you said, invited, you learn bringing inner sensations so that you can actually as they talk about, bring attention to the area in the chest. It takes a little bit longer to sensitize. But as you begin to work deliberately with with increasing the, the level of actual sensate aliveness in your being, it does help the other things to come online. And as soon as you do that in the area of the heart, it immediately will begin to teach you the difference between feeling and emotion. Because emotions are the stories that your mind and your will tell about what you want. And feeling is this great sensation based intimacies and intensities that that sweep through the cosmos, like a deeper ocean rhythm. And we’re here to pick them up. They’re they’re ambivalent, I mean, they’re multi valence, and they each contains the other in sorrow, there’s joy, enjoy their sorrow. And but as we begin to feel them, yes, we do, we do bring ourselves much more in line with becoming worthy recipients of the of the burdens that we are asked to carry as human beings. So yeah, keep keep working with those practices. They’re very good,
RICK: good. I think you must have used the word obeying earlier, maybe we’re talking about being aligned with the imaginal realm, and not not sort of violating its laws, but um, based on that Christian asks, Could you elaborate on what you mean by obeying, I am a single mother and have a full time job, I often have the sense that I should sit in prayer and I want to, but I have responsibilities as a mother, I often have this tension in, within knowing I want to obey, but I want to be there for my children.
CYNTHIA: Yeah. Well, the word obey, which we tend to hear in our western languages, knuckle under to authority or some, you know, to submit to something actually comes in Latin from the word OB, our DeRay, which means listen from the depths or listen to the depths. So what it means is deep listening, listening, and the part that we put all our attention on is, is an outer action, and very often an outer action will become an externalized, or projected action. So I would say that the real obedience in this point is to listen to your children. To listen deeply, and to honor the fact that, that, that as a mother, and as a single mum, you’re carrying a burden, and God is carrying that burden with you. And the burden and the joy that’s going to be brought with it is the aliveness and the responsibility and openness to your own kids, if you let it turn into kids, my kids are pulling me away from my spiritual life. You’ve lost it in both directions at once. God never makes such monstrous demands. And and, and for, for everyone who wants to get to the crash tool and can’t because there’s a child that has to be mopped up, or or shored up. There is a hermit cell of it somewhere, wishing in all of his or her unrequited heart that I can be a parent to their caring your prayer for you. You carry their child. Oh, that’s beautiful.
RICK: Thank you. Here’s a few questions from our friend Doug Scott, whom I interviewed last week. He’s read your book all the way through and he’s doing he’s in on a second reading. He’s said, you mentioned in this book, you know, I heart. You mentioned the law of three, and you’ve written extensively on it. How do you see in your other book on the Trinity? How do you see the law of three playing out in your story arc that you shared in your new book? Example? Was your previous emotional and spiritual life before the Greek you’re gonna have to explain these things, the affirming force and the meaning and meaning the Greek presented as the denying force? Or was your relationship with the Greek and affirming force and then the split the denying for us, you’re gonna have to define all those terms in order to answer the question.
CYNTHIA: Yeah, well, without getting too much into the adventures with the Greek, which is a good reason to buy the book. That that, I would say that one of the things that you have to work with when you’re working with a law three is to if you’re going to use the words affirming and denying to apply them to a force, you have to realize that they’re applying in a physics level not a moral level, the affirming force is the force that pushes the action that’s driving it, the denying force is the force that’s either pushing back, or else providing the medium through which something flows like a like a Delta provides the medium for a for the Mississippi river to flow through. So when you think about it that way, it makes it a lot easier to analyze. Because when we get it, well, the affirming force is the one that’s good in this situation, as soon as you get it tangled up with our priori morality, you’re not going to see anything. So once you realize that you’re talking about, well, what’s really driving the action? Then the next question is, we’ll look and see. And very often, you can plug it either way. And in fact, in the Gurdjieff work, I’m gonna turn on the light because it’s getting dark. I was just gonna
RICK: ask you to do that very good.
CYNTHIA: In Maine, that that very often, you will flip a situation, when you realize that what you thought was the affirming force was really the design force and vice versa. Like I, I remember, you know, we really flipped that brilliantly with a clergy conference in in North Carolina, memorably a few years ago, when the clergy came in all depressed in the spirit of because like every clergy, they’re they’re facing older shrinking congregations and lack of hope. And they were lost, because I said, Well, where are the affirming force, but the secular world is fighting back with this. They’re the denying force. And so of course, they could find no third force, because the initial configuration was wrong. I said, Well, what if you flip it? You know, secularity, is the affirming force, hey, people are gonna take their kids to the soccer practice on Sunday morning, they’re not going to bring him to Sunday school that’s driving the show. And what if the denying force that the church is bringing is is a kind of necessary friction, that slows down the action enough so that the new just doesn’t take place in a vacuum, what have you have, are creating enough time to, to create a container in which a genuine new can arise? And what if you’re transmitting these values, not with some sense of big evangelism, but as a sense of, of offering them into the fleet future, you know, and it was like, all of a sudden, they got their role in a whole new way. And you could feel a force of addicted and call moving in, which was the third force. So over and over the teachers in the work that have asked people to work with these things, is to say, don’t take that as something that you could solve as easy algebra. You’ll spend about, you know, a couple of years of your learning curve, learning how to properly identify what forces driving the show in a situation. And I think one of the big lacks in our government politics today is we absolutely haven’t figured out how to do that.
RICK: Good. Do you also have a lamp on your right hand side? You could turn on or No?
CYNTHIA: Not unless it’s in my head and I think don’t worry about overhead lamp, you won’t like the results.
RICK: Okay. Don’t do that. We’re okay. Okay. Next question. How do you see this is also from Doug, how do you see the times in which we are living as a fertile environment, where things that were previously held tightly within our within the inner traditions, esoteric, are now being revealed? What does this say about the awakening of humanity, of the work of the Holy Spirit now at play?
CYNTHIA: Well, Western schools have traditionally come to the grounds in times of destabilization just like this. Whether it’s making things that have been put taught in inner schools widely available publicly, I would not be so quick to jump on, because they’re still not heard. I mean, you know that because basically what what the inner tradition has is it safe card is that you can’t understand it at all, until your being is ready to receive it. And so I’ve, I’ve been teaching some of these concepts, some publicly out in the Living School and places like that, but it’s really wonderful that only like about 5% of the people have even a clue what I’m talking about. You know, the rest of them are there’s trying to fold it back. Well, is this the same as the Trinity is this is the you know, bring it back to known reference points. Most of the people who take the law of three think we’re just talking about Hegel, Hegel, all over synthesis, you know, thesis antithesis, synthesis, so they just assume I’m talking about the same old thing. So I have no fear of the the treasures of the inner tradition being thrown like pearls before swine before their time. But if we can bring the actions that flow out of these into the world exoteric Lee, that’s all that’s needed, that the know have will open to people as they’re ready, people will read in the mouth and new concepts and if it allows them to think in a new way, a little bit so that some, some new oxygen comes in that I think is really about the most good you can do in any 500 year period.
RICK: Okay, good. One final question from Doug. And this is a bit of a long one, but it looks good. In previous books or articles, he or sometimes the lone voice providing a counterpoint to theological or psychological ideas of the levels of consciousness, such as your critique of Ken Wilber, his notions of levels as not being embodied, but rather contained within the mental. However, in your current book, you expound greatly upon levels of consciousness as you draw upon Gurdjieff work to display different worlds that seem hierarchical or whole heirarchical. This public expression of this kind of thinking seems new and bold. How do you understand your foray into different levels of consciousness now, in light of how the law of three has played out in your life, as implied in your book?
CYNTHIA: Well, it’s an interesting question. And it’s, it’s like, it would take a while on probably longer than we have left in this in this interview, to really establish a bridge between the apples and the oranges here, I don’t consider the worlds exactly the same as the levels of consciousness. You know, it’s not that they’re different, but it’s they belong to a whole different hermeneutical streams. So you can’t swap them around like algebraic terms, without, without destroying the, the the integrity of the context in which they’re working with. Right. So
RICK: in other words, as a human being achieves various levels of consciousness, it doesn’t necessarily mean he is just sort of engulfing different levels of creation, the way Gurdjieff might have enumerated them.
CYNTHIA: Gurdjieff really had only two, two levels of consciousness, not counting just total sleep, you know, sleep at night, when you’re when you’re awake, and the alarm clock has gone off and you’re running around the day, you’re either asleep or awake. And that’s the two levels of consciousness. And he doesn’t take the he doesn’t divided into well, am I at some herbal conference, consciousness Umayyad integral consciousness, a bionic, pluralistic, you’re, you’re awake, and there’s quantitative descriptions. And an enlightenment, therefore, is not some sort of plateau on a on a ladder of consciousness. It’s something that you you can enter in any moment of life, and you may stay in it in a nanosecond, or you may stay in it for 30 years. But it’s awakeness is a being alive in all three centers of your physical being, and detached, but open and alert, receptive. And in that state, imaginable. causality can easily play, you know, it easily downloads Christic or or causal causality can sometimes download, I mean, you, you really, you really can begin to receive the structures and the, the, the modalities of other realms when you’re awake, when when you’re asleep, which is where most of us are most of the day. None of this can happen. So, so again, the real problem is trying to make the map sync up. Because Because if you assume they’re easy kind of equivalents, and Gurdjieff is talking about the same things that that that Ken Wilber is, then you’re never going to be able to make an easy transposition between these two very, very different lenses into reality.
RICK: Yeah, we won’t get into it right now. But I would say that there are many degrees of awakening. But anyway, there’s so many different ways of parsing this out. This is from Vic. I have greatly appreciate your teachings on the three centers of knowing. Recently I was introduced to a practice that also included this quote, spiritual wounds are sometimes called gut sent center and have found this such a powerful and generative center to practice and live from, do you have a sense of how a spiritual wound center might fit in with the other centers?
CYNTHIA: I think it it really really does that there are you know that well, while good You’ve basically talked about three major centers of awareness, you know, your moving center, your, your, your intellectual center and your emotional center. And he did not specifically identify him with what you might call chakras. You know, he didn’t, he didn’t as tightly pin them to places in your, your body had various ways of doing it. Nonetheless, he has many exercises in which he, he really is quite interested in, in having people learn how to take take sensation, and by moving sensation, place it in what essentially amount to the what we classically call the chakras. And there’s some very, very powerful exercises that are done that actually bring attention and place it in exactly that center. And, and the, the results are distinctive, very powerful, and vitally different from when attention is placed in like the heart center or when it’s placed in the solar plexus. So I would say that, that while while the good GPN teaching doesn’t make a huge, you know, deal about it in the way that, you know, it doesn’t it doesn’t call it out in the way that it has importance in the traditions you’ve been working with. It certainly is known and it’s certainly actively practiced with by people that are working there.
RICK: Okay, good. Two people asked a question. Similar to this. This is from Lisa, in Portland. From a mystic viewpoint, what does it mean that all our sins are forgiven? Because Jesus has died for us?
CYNTHIA: I would say so. Do we have? Yeah, yeah. Well, of course, you know, it’s funny, I was just writing about that this morning. That that that statement is, is absolutely true. cosmogonic Lee at a cosmic and mystical statement. But the big problem is that it doesn’t make sense at the level where it’s usually tried to help be held in theology, which is at the personal, you know, and human level, you were bad. Eve ate an apple, you know, therefore, the come the whole world fell. And, therefore, Jesus was common, he was sent by either angry god as demanded sacrifice, or else he came himself willingly to, because somebody had to pay the price for this damn apple. You know, and, you know, my five year old grandson said, Grandma, what came first Adam and Eve were the dinosaurs. And so, atomic theology has got a very, very good instinct in it. But it’s held at the wrong scale at the wrong level, which makes it incomprehensible what you get what you get in this when you when you do it at a mystic level, which is what Burma was certainly trying to do. And taljaard was trying to do too, in a way is to essentially say that there is an inherent turbidity turmoil, agitation, built into the conditions that allow anything to manifest at all, you know, think back if you can, all the way back in the interview to Rick sitting under the tub, the slosh in the water, yeah. Remember back when, but, but things have to get agitated, in order for things to move from the stasis of non existence into finite manifestation. And this agitation, which is actually deep in the inner, impenetrable matrix of God keeps getting moved out in its own forms throughout the levels of creation as winds of his fire as passion as he as light as as as generativity and of sin. So, and of course, we own our bit of it when we stumble and fall and screw up. But there is an analog in the divine heart, we participate. When we touch the pain when we touch the agitation in one of the the necessary and and tragic and painful costs of the arising of anything, and it hurts the divine. If you want to put it that way. As much as it hurts us. We both share it. And so in that sense, Christ comes as the cosmic mediator, because the conditions have to stand. And by that I mean if you remember back to what I was saying earlier, that that is something very, very precious happens in this in this planetary bandwidth. And it happens because of not despite of the darkness and the pain and the confusion and the agitation, these are the conditions that are necessary for the final alchemical transformation into pure love. So it has to be, you can’t just say, Oh, let there be light, I made a mistake on darkness just cancel darkness. If you do that, you collapse the whole point of it. You’re back with Rick in the bathtub, and there’s no sloshing and stirring.
CYNTHIA: So, Jesus comes to take up the slack to hold the bridge, so that the conditions can remain, but that they’re not so unbearable, that they crushed us that, that he comes, as I often say, to line the anguish with love, so that we can barely endure it and up and what it means and the code our sins are forgiven. It’s the it’s the deep saying that there is an understanding cosmically that, that we fall into these, these traps and skewers of sin and fallenness individually, because, you know, it’s set up like that to realm upon realm, a layer of layer onion skin, an onion skin of the cosmos, right back to the necessary arising, God takes God’s share in the responsibility and we are not held mortally, impartially, irremediably blamed for things whose real ultimate sources far beyond us in the cosmos, are joined, we’re accompanied. And the the purpose in the forgiveness is to give us the strength and the courage and the hope to stand up again, when we get knocked flat. And to not trust that the universe is broken beyond repair, or that love cannot reach us to trust and, and to begin again in that trust. So that’s how I would interpret it. There is no sin, there is no evil, there is no shame, either by committal or by noncommittal, you know, by avoidance, that that cannot be accommodated, you’re not, you’re not lost, you’re not, you’re not so bad that nothing can save you. The universe is for you. You are loved. That’s what that means.
RICK: My sense of things I’d be interested to know whether you agree or disagree is that, you know, it says somewhere, I guess in the Bible that God is omnipresent. And if that is true, then there’s nothing but God. It just, it may appear that there’s non God from our limited perspective. But you know, we are God experiencing from a limited perspective. And, you know, if there are things if there is something that is not God, then God has holes in them, you know? Yeah, and if you look at anything closely enough, you know, this book or my finger, anything else, you know, look at what’s actually going on there. You know, look at a single cell under a microscope, you see this incredible display of intelligence, you know, it’s unbelievable, what’s going on. And, and you could go anywhere in the universe and look closely enough. And you see the very same incredible display of intelligence playing itself out in different ways. So the whole thing is God, like you said earlier, and God couldn’t just say, Well, what just let there be light and not have any negative stuff? Because then there would be no relativity there’d be no diversity, there’d be no polarities, there wouldn’t be a universe.
CYNTHIA: Exactly, exactly. And so God, God owns God’s part in the, in the price of the arising, and helps us to own our part in it, too. So that’s well, that’s well said, you know, and of course, the that’s what the the Muslims have been chatting all along. Ha, there’s nothing but God, there’s only God. Yeah. Like God. Yeah.
RICK: Yeah. And I think the Christians have been saying it too. But if you tried to say that you get in trouble because, yeah, because they’re misinterpreting what you’re saying. They’re saying, me i This person here, I’m gone. And that’s not what is being said.
CYNTHIA: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
RICK: Okay, so is there anything in this book that we should have discussed and haven’t gotten around to discussing that you’d like to bring up before we close?
CYNTHIA: I can’t think of anything much more. We’ve been at it for a couple hours, almost. Then where I think we’ve covered the, that the turf pretty well, I mean, I think we’ve talked about the the big ones of the that the validity of all realms, the the indispensability of them. I would, I would say, if there was a takeaway message, is it the question is, why is this relevant right now? You know, because it can sound like it’s really arcane. I mean, oh, wow, look at this world called the imaginal. world and what is this and you know, wipe your you know, where is it show me where it lives in Iowa? I was at Fairfield or
RICK: I think it was Woody Allen said that God is omnipresent, except for certain parts of the jersey or something.
CYNTHIA: Yeah, God. What is this, that help is available to us. And that as we human beings, suck it up and stand up and and do what we know in our heart of hearts were required to do as human beings, to to be good planetary citizens at this particular place where we’re incarnate right now, to leave the place a little bit better than we found it. To carry on what’s been given to us. It’s such pain and cost from future genuine from past generations, to not let sacred things be scratched and trashed. To remain stain premium remain trusting remain beautiful. There is help from the imaginal to do this. And we need merely quiet our minds, open our hearts and recommit our willingness. And that help is there. Not in the form just of energy screamers, but of the cosmic press doesn’t show up. I mean, you you can get Gurdjieff in your room, or Burma or, or one of the bubbles, that that were being hovered over. And the the, I hoped in our book, to show people that we do have an important part to play, that our contributions, no matter how small, are important, no conscious act is ever wasted. My teacher ratio is to say to me, and that if we can continue to, to hold the faith and hold the tribe, to trust, to make the conscious acts of growing up, of living faithfully in this planet unconsciously implant this planet, we’re doing some good and help will come to us in you know, in more than the measure that we offer.
RICK: Beautiful. Alright, I want to quickly show your websites on the screen here. So you won’t be able to see them. But I’m showing them now. So this one is, and I’ll be linking to them all from your page on that gap. And this one is the wisdom way of knowing. And you have three websites I’m going to show what is it that’s different about each one what it was this one about the wisdom.
CYNTHIA: The wisdom I am knowing is probably the most meticulously arranged and exhaustive archive of everything I’ve ever done. It’s, it’s got talks, it’s got videos, it’s got all sorts of stuff. And it’s got a brilliant indexing mechanism that goes with it like a, like a University College Catalog. So you type in almost anything you want and get it and it’s it’s the the creation of a woman who’s been a student of mine is a technological genius. And it’s an act of love and service. So if you want if you want to go rummaging in the Cynthia Bourgeault library, it’s got other stuff too. It’s not just old fashioned, it’s got up to date news. It’s it’s, it’s like about 98% Cynthia Mojo focus, there’s some of my students in there. But that’s, that’s the deep one. Cynthia board dojo.org, which is the the the second one is intended to be a straight up much more brief up, you know, colorful, topical, present introduction for people who want to get a first sort of flavor of my work and find out where to go next. And the third website, northeast wisdom, which is which is currently under development, and is going to historically when we’re finished with it, have a major sort of re remake and reboot is really that collective work of the wisdom network that’s been brought into being around this teaching. So I’m a part of it, but I’m not the only part of it. It’s really a wonderful source of the people out there in the field that are the awakening human beings that are standing together to do the work. It’s got teachers, it’s got teachings, it’s got practices, you can tune it up or you’ll be able to and and practice along. It’s got a wonderful little in House Facebook group where People share really deep spiritual conversations. So they all have a slightly different focus. And, and as long as one doesn’t have to be the survivor, the other two disappear. You know, I think you’ve got a you’ve got a website for free
RICK: boot. Cool. Wow. So it seems that you’ve got so much out there that one could become a full time Cynthia Bourgeault list and do nothing else for a year or two at least. That’s great.
CYNTHIA: All right away she lives.
RICK: Yeah. Well, thanks, Cynthia. I’ve really enjoyed spending this time with you. It’s been great. I don’t know if I told you but I will be interviewing Richard Rohr towards the end of March. Maybe I’ve said that already. So that’s exciting. Yeah,
CYNTHIA: yeah. How did you write? Oh, no
RICK: persistence. I felt like like, you know, I will have won the trifecta with you. And Jim Finley. And then Richard Rohr, you know, they got the three of you.
CYNTHIA: Yeah, yeah. Well, we’ve got two more that have joined the faculty at CHA two as they build into the new generation since most of us are now in our 70s. And they’re definitely people to watch they’ve got up. Brian McLaren is there has been doing marvelous work with prolapse, you know, from a recovering evangelical basis. It’s really with, with enlightened activism, and you know, Barbara Holmes, who’s a professor and, and a brilliant, brilliant heartful woman of color, is really trying to open up the contemplative journey so that it’s not it’s it been based entirely on the experience of white male celebrates, but to show what its iterations are like when it when it when it enters non white cultures, how it’s been kept alive in American history in the, in the, you know, in the wonderful alternative modes of contemplation in the, in the black communities. And we saw a lot of that spirit just moving right back into our inauguration again. So you’ve got a few more to interview there from Yeah,
RICK: I noticed them on the site, and I haven’t had a chance to really check them out yet. But I will like to interview them too. Yeah,
CYNTHIA: then diversity of voices. So they’re, they’re definitely things to as the the CAC tries to, to keep, keep pace with the catalyst that it’s been in society and not get stuck, you know, in a comfortable niche, but it’d be right out there. Where the breaking edge of consciousnesses is, is, is looking at new players and new voices.
RICK: And in case people don’t realize the CAC is the Center for action and contemplation. And that’s the organization based in Albuquerque that you and Richard and Jim and these other two people are all work for. Right? Great. And I imagine that I know that has courses that one can enroll in. So
CYNTHIA: take the Living School, or you can take sort of piecemeal online courses, some of which are offered by me. You know, it’s really, it’s really trying to create an alternative mode of Christian education, which is contemplation centered and action oriented and doesn’t let people split into one camp or another, but says they have to inform each other.
RICK: Great. Well, you’re doing great work, a life well lived. Plus, as we saw on that one website I just showed you’re, you’re a sailor, so yeah, yeah. You live on this little island off the coast of Maine.
CYNTHIA: Right. Right. And the book has begins and ends with the sailing trip that that was a was a deep Wake Up Call from heaven. So take a look at that.
RICK: Great. All right. Well, thank you, Cynthia. So again, since this book is the eye of the heart, I’ll be linking to it from her page on that. Yep. And thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching, if you look at the upcoming interviews page on bat gap, where some of you have gone to post a question, you’ll see what we’ve got scheduled for the next couple of months. And that page keeps getting upgraded as we update it as we invite new people. So thanks again for doing this Cynthia. And
CYNTHIA: my pleasure. Yeah.
RICK: It’s really been enriching.
CYNTHIA: Okay, well, we’ll work for I know, we’ve had some streaming today and we’ll be looking forward to posting when it’s actually you know,
RICK: yeah, should be up in two or three days. Okay, great.
CYNTHIA: Well, let the troops know that all those websites now and I’ll get the word out. So okay,
RICK: I’ll let you know. You can tell them. Okay, thank you. Okay, good. Hanging out with you stay warm. Oh, I will. It’s gonna be in the single digits for a few days, but then it’s going to get back up to a nice toasty 17 or 18 or something like that.
CYNTHIA: And then you’ll be destroyed by then. You’re about to be expunged.
RICK: Talk to you later. Bye bye bye