David Spero Transcript

David Spero Interview

Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and my guest this week is David Spero. David is an independent spiritual teacher living in the Bay Area. And he and I somehow connected with each other several years ago. I think I might have come across his website and read some things and sent him an email. And we ended up on each other’s email lists and, you know, sending things back and forth, chatting about sometimes spiritual things, sometimes political things and so on. But we sort of become virtual spiritual friends through this process. And so it’s a great pleasure for me to have David as our guest this week. And as we have been doing with previous interviews, we’re going to make this somewhat autobiographical. On David’s website, davidspero.org, he has a whole autobiography page which you could read. But I think this discussion will go into greater detail than that. And I think you’ll find it interesting. So David, welcome and thank you for coming on the show.

David: Thank you very much, Rick.

Rick: So I think, unless you have a better idea, I think a good place to start might be just, you know, when as a young man or whatever did you get bit by the spiritual bug and, you know, how did that feel at the time?

David: It goes right back to the very beginning of my life when I noticed that my awareness had a kind of innate radiance or knowledge embedded within it. I don’t really talk about my very early years often, but since you’re asking me, this seems to be coming up. I was vividly aware of consciousness at a young age, which is before I undertook any formal spiritual instruction. I remember when I was probably somewhere between seven and nine years old, the entire structure of my consciousness merged in a transcendental world, a world of divine love and golden light. This is the first major experience of pure consciousness or the Absolute or God, whatever you want to call it, that I can discuss with you. After that, things faded directly after that experience or immediately after that experience.

Rick: Before you go on to the fading, what triggered that experience or is it hard to say? Did it just happen spontaneously, you were walking down the street?

David: Exactly. I was literally walking down the street. It was a very beautiful day in Providence, Rhode Island, and the whole transmutation or transformation of consciousness happened without warning, without preparation. There was just a sudden opening.

Rick: So when you say it was merging into the transcendent, were you still aware of yourself as a kid walking down the street or did you lose all bodily sensation or what?

David: Yes, I lost all bodily awareness and I was catapulted into a golden love world. If you’ve read the poetry of Thomas Traherne, he talks about the wheat fields. It was like that.

Rick: I’m sorry, go ahead.

David: A golden and translucent perception, a-perception, super-perception, of an exalted plane of being which was not featureless. Everything was in it. This whole world was in it and yet the world was not revoked, but there was some kind of clear ascension that happened in that moment.

Rick: I’m just stopping the scan here. My computer decided to scan something. Okay, good. Stopped. Now, if someone had been watching you walking down the street while that was happening, would they have seen you continue to walk down the street in a normal way or did you fall to the ground or what?

David: I didn’t fall. It just came and went like a breeze.

Rick: For just a few seconds?

David: It seemed like a few seconds. It’s hard to say. It probably went anywhere from one to twenty-five seconds, if I were to just guess off the end.

Rick: And was there anything specific and describable that you saw in that state, in terms of some sort of celestial objects or something, or was it more just a celestial context that you had fallen into without any discernible features?

David: It certainly had the quality of timeless being. That’s the best way to describe it. There was no time, there was no space. There was an utter sense of exaltation and utter self-transcendence in the most natural way you could imagine. It was really not some kind of dip into the void the way the Buddhists understand it, nor was it the light of the Paramatman as it is ordinarily understood by the Hindu community. It had something of a world and also a worldlessness to it. It was timeless consciousness. It was beyond consciousness. It was lucid and full.

Rick: Were you still aware of the sidewalk and the trees and the cars, or was it like you were totally zoned out from all that and just in this?

David: I was that alone.

Rick: There were no sensory perceptions?

David: Nothing. It was just that. It was just that. It was both dissolution and ascension and fullness, radiant bliss. I was totally happy without any center active in the human being. There was no center of David in that moment at all, which is why there was no environment.

Rick: So when you came out of it, did you think, “Holy mackerel, what was that?”

David: Yes. It was sudden and un-meditated. Therefore, when that left or appeared to leave, there was a sense of something tremendous having vanished. Something you could live in forever, something you could just taste forever and ever.

Rick: Was there sort of an anguish for having lost it, or did you feel more suffused with bliss for having experienced it?

David: The feeling was, “I could never, ever forget this.” And yes, there was a concomitant sense of anguish. It’s a good word, as long as you can go into the subtlety of the meaning of that word. It was a sting, a slight pain, an anguish, something like that. The loss of something that was incomprehensibly blissful and radiant.

Rick: Did you feel that you had utterly lost it or that you had primarily lost it, but there was a remnant or a flavor of it that was being retained?

David: That’s a very good question. I’m not sure I can answer that. So I’ll just steer away from it.

Rick: Okay, no problem. So then you said that over the hours, days, weeks, it kind of faded, and life went on. You were a kid in Providence, eight or nine years old or something. So what next of significance?

David: During the summer vacation from school, my guess is that it was in late July or early August of probably 1963 to 1965. So I was returning in several weeks back to Roman Catholic school. This was not the monotheistic God that I experienced, nor did I associate it with Judeo-Christian Islamic ideas or understandings of God. It had nothing to do with that, and that was clear. You see, I had been instructed previously with Catholic training, propaganda, if you will, and brainwashing, if you want to go into it from a more severe, critical angle. Yet there was no bridge between this and the understanding that I was given, theologically, by the Catholics.

Rick: Right. By “this” you mean that sublime experience you had had, that you didn’t connect the two in any way whatsoever?

David: There was no connection. There were two completely different realities. One was described by the Roman Catholic nuns and faculty, the other was what I had tasted within, and there was absolutely no bridge there.

Rick: Right. So it didn’t occur to you that this might have been what Jesus had been experiencing or any such thing? You just figured it was totally unrelated?

David: Yes. What I sensed was what I had been told in school was utterly false. Although I may not have formulated this line of thinking, in the heart there was an intuition that all that I had been told should be discarded and this should be listened to, this should be absorbed as being the actual reality of whatever it is that is the Divine Consciousness.

Rick: So it sounds like that experience had a pretty big impact on you that lingered and that caused you to re-evaluate everything in light of that.

David: Yes, but it was also naturally forgotten. It was not something I could hanker to hold on to or to try to preserve in my imagination or memory. I knew it was way beyond any kind of relationship with my personal self, including the faculty of my memory, or anything I had been told second-hand about God. Let’s put God in quotation marks here.

Rick: Okay, so how old were you at this point? You’re going back to Our Lady of Perpetual Torment school and you had had this experience. Were you around 10 now or something?

David: It has to be 7, 8, 9, 10.

Rick: And I gather from reading your website that you were in your late teens by the time you got back on the spiritual train, so to speak, and really started pursuing that with a vengeance.

David: Yes, and this brings us into a discussion of my formal spiritual instruction.

Rick: Right, but even before we get to that, if we move chronologically, most of us, those ages between 10 and 17 or 18, are pretty turbulent times. We go through so many physiological changes and emotional changes and so on. I know for me it was… I went through all kinds. I was not the serious, quiet, contemplative student or person that you seem to have been. I was frivolous and hedonistic and just a wild and crazy kid, with some spiritual bent certainly, but I didn’t give it a whole lot of encouragement. But I get the feeling from what I read on your website that you were kind of a serious guy through all those years. You weren’t doing all the wild and crazy teenage stuff that a lot of us did.

David: Not true.

Rick: No? Okay.

David: I had friends and we had a good time, many good times. And just like kids have good times, I certainly was having good kid times. But there was this other dimension really to my personality and my subjective life that was always there, was always deeply ponderous, it was serious. It knew all about suffering. When that light faded, if it did produce any effect, it made a contrast between the relative and the absolute, one that reinforced something perhaps I knew in my heart, but needed to have resurrected through that Divine Light experience. This contradiction between the world and the self, the self as it’s understood in Vedic terms as the absolute, I would say that that experience produced a wave of clarity about what was and was not eternal.

Rick: You mean that experience when you were eight or nine?

David: Yes.

Rick: Yeah, cool. So it did have a carryover effect that influenced the next decade or so of your life.

David: Yes.

Rick: Interesting. All right, so you were about to say, I guess age 17, 18, you learned to meditate. I think that’s what you’re about to start talking about and that had a profound impact.

David: Yes, I was initiated into a lineage of meditation in the West that has East Indian origins. And that served as a tremendous boom to my spiritual life. There was an instantaneous reversal of the entire direction of my life, which at that point had to necessarily be outward, because of the time involved, the time period, which is going from high school to university life. Life was moving me outward into the world to explore academics and intellectual stuff, basically. And it was just before I graduated high school that I was initiated into a form of meditation that turned out to be quite immense.

Rick: You’re welcome to say what kind of meditation that was, if you wish.

David: I haven’t yet discussed it publicly. It’s probably something you’re familiar with in Fairfield, since everything is in Fairfield. But maybe sometime we’ll discuss it. I have some concerns about reciting anything that’s patented or copyrighted these days. And I’ve already had requests made of me from various spiritual sources that they would prefer that I not discuss my time with them. And that’s fine with me, because I rely only on what I know at this point. I only speak from who I am and what I know. Therefore, I am just as casual with my past as I feel I was indicated through discussions with various organizations and teachings that I had been involved with. It’s really a gesture of respect on my part. I have nothing to gain or lose, except a possible lawsuit at some point. It’s actually viable, based on some of the interactions I’ve had with some of these people. I’ve been quite shocked.

Rick: Don’t worry, they’re going to come after me long before they come after you. But I would also say that it’s foolish of them to try to pressure you not to speak of them, because to me it sounds like a ringing endorsement. If where you are today has anything to do with what you did at this, that or the other time in your spiritual progress, then I should think that they would regard that as a feather in their cap and say, “See, this thing works. Look what happened to him.”

David: It only becomes a feather if I’m willing to confess my own inner condition in relationship to that practice. And the way in which I would then discuss that practice or that practice’s role within my own spiritual process, that can be an iffy thing, especially if I consider myself to be the context in which the spiritual practice works. If you look at the basic way in which practices or sadhana are given and the environmental or organizational context in which they occur, I think you’ll agree with me that often the technique or the practice or the dogma becomes far superior to the individual who practices it. That is what is to be praised and exalted beyond all context, even beyond the individual user’s personal life context. That’s precisely what I refuse to do, because I maintain also that I was actually born in the condition that I am in now, which makes things a little more … it adds another twist to the plot. So basically when people ask me about my past, Rick, what I tell them is that I was maturing in the midst of these teachings. I was simply being entertained in divine company, in transcendental context, and that context had a tremendous effect upon me. I feel eternally in gratitude. I feel eternally in gratitude to all of my spiritual sources. I am in utter appreciation of everything that I have been fortunate enough to come across in a spiritual context, and I thank all of the sources – they know who they are – who have been part of my spiritual journey. But that doesn’t mean to say that I could not have achieved this in other ways.

Rick: I’m just trying to say it could be that you might have learned a completely different collection of things and had the same outcome.

David: Yes, I would have found a way because to me it was driving urgency that was conducting this whole process.

Rick: And there are some spiritual teachers who have said that that in itself is the real engine on the train of spiritual development. It’s the, as Shankara I think put it, the vehement intensity. It might have been Patanjali, I don’t know which, but it’s that determination or that resolve that is the primary driver of our progress. And I suppose whatever techniques we pick up in order to facilitate things are perhaps secondary to that.

David: That’s nicely said. Without that fervor, that passionate motivation, that burning desire, you can practice techniques for decades and not achieve the final result.

Rick: Right. Which is not to say that – we have plenty of time so I don’t think we’re diverging – but which is not to say that a person should sit down and grit their teeth and strain and contort themselves necessarily. That’s not what you mean by fervor and burning desire. It’s something more fundamental than that. It’s not an intensification of egoic manipulation, it’s something that comes from a deeper level.

David: That’s correct.

Rick: Yeah. Just want to throw in that cautionary note lest we mislead anybody. So, you can stop me if we’re getting ahead of the story, but let’s go back to the point where you learn to meditate and you begin to have profound experiences. Is it worth elaborating on those initial experiences?

David: Oh yeah. Okay, let’s do that. There’s so many that most of them have vanished, but the words ‘satori’ or ‘samadhi’ or even ‘epiphany’ as it’s used in certain literary contexts, become descriptive and useful to understand what was happening. This going beyond the mind, flashing into the Source, the center of awareness, the centralist center of awareness. That became the context of my development, in and out of meditation. In meditation, which you might call ‘Raja Yoga’, I meditated on a daily basis, twice a day, sometimes for long periods, often for long periods, and then would return to a more discriminative context where I was studying. So for me, my own process was a mixture of many yogas. The traditional way to understand them in a Vedic context is that there’s Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga, Jnana Yoga. For me, several were going on simultaneously, or perhaps even all.

Rick: I remember reading on your website, I don’t have to remember too far back because I just read it about an hour ago, that you were saying that you experienced a lot of pain and angst, due to the contrast between individuality and universality. The two hadn’t meshed properly yet, and obviously something was being worked out in order for them to do so. Maybe you should begin to describe that a bit.

David: I think I said something like, I became aware of the utter contradiction between individuality and pure consciousness, something to that effect. During that time, which would be a span of about three to four years, I burned through all the sheaths, all the inner casings of a human life, and became radically clarified in consciousness. That took about three full years of regular meditation, combined with ardent inquiry and study. This was not something that I would put down. This was not something that I would shelve and say, “Yeah, I need a vacation from this.” To me it was like, live or die. I either would live this way, for this understanding and experience, or to me I would just die as some pathetically normal character. Some kind of conventional American, you know, stuffed with material possessions or lack of them, whether it was rich or poor, it didn’t matter. I wanted to get to the heart of the issue of what existentially this situation is that we live in, this world.

Rick: Were you aware that you were burning through sheaths, or did you just feel like there was a lot of stuff going on, you know, you were working stuff out?

David: No, it was happening.

Rick: You were aware distinctly of specific sheaths as you burned through them? By sheaths I believe we mean concentric rings like those Russian dolls, of more and more deeper, more essential layers of awareness or whatever. You can probably say it better, but were you aware of this progression specifically? “Now I’ve burned through this one, okay, now I’m working on this one.” Was it like that?

David: It was certainly an understanding that I was progressing to deeper and deeper levels of consciousness through subtlety. From gross to subtle, to transcendent. That was completely clear for me. And I simply knew that the process wasn’t completed and that more application of my sadhana was necessary. And that’s how I progressed. Like that. I just used my own natural understanding as a barometer, as a measure for what I had or had not attained. Also reading texts like the Upanishads, the Gita, certain Buddhist texts, Walt Whitman, Rainer M. Rilke, the poet, there were a whole slew of spiritual influences there on a literary level. Sri Aurobindo, J. Krishnamurti. I really indulged who I thought to be the genuine Buddhas, if you will, to allude to the title of your show, and to see if my progress was in fact real or a figment of my imagination. I was completely conscious of the possibility of self-deception, let’s put it that way. Because this is all about subjective life. It’s all about you. You ultimately have to be the one who discerns your own realization.

Rick: Did you have any teacher at this point whom you respected that you could interact with, to kind of check or give you feedback?

David: Yes. The tradition and lineage into which I was meditating provided a great deal amount of knowledge and understanding on courses to attend, etc.

Rick: So there were living, embodied teachers or a teacher that you could say, “Hey, I’m experiencing this, what do you think about that?” and then they could give you some kind of feedback, and that seemed to be reliable and useful?

David: Yes. R. Good, good.

Rick: What was I going to say? Oh, you were going to college during all this time. Were you able to integrate this whole process you were going through into your studies? Were you able to write term papers or theses and what not, about what you were going through, to get double duty out of what you were experiencing?

David: Yes. If you were to read my term papers in college, they’re all about consciousness and trying to apply an understanding of consciousness to a particular field. And I used those as contexts for self-inquiry and for the expression of my devotion and love toward the beauty of the text that I happened to be studying at that time. For example, if I was studying Shakespeare, I was really into the text itself as a work of art. I wasn’t just using it as a means to an end. I was considering it almost on the level of scripture, perhaps on the level of scripture itself. That’s how I treated things during that time. Everything was taken with great seriousness and intensity.

Rick: Did your teachers appreciate you, did you feel? Did your professors understand what you were talking about? Or did you feel like you fell on pearls before swine kind of a situation sometimes?

David: First appreciation and then some swine. Not too many swine.

Rick: Good. You weren’t going to school in Iowa then, I guess.

David: I did attend one year at Maharishi International University. R. Actually, I wasn’t alluding to them. It was sort of a lame joke about all the swine we have out here in Iowa. I also attended there for a while and had a good time there. So this took several years and did it sort of build up to a climax and there was a breakthrough after which you felt like, “I have arrived”?

David: Many, but often that breakthrough would congeal. It would recondense into a solidified individuality, otherwise known as ignorance. It would not be enough. So the key was to continue meditation and asanas and other practices until this crescendo could be maintained at a very, very high level. Not maintained effortfully, but maintained in the sense of stabilized.

Rick: Right. So you went through the “I got it, I lost it” syndrome for a while, which many people do. And then was there some point at which you felt that it was stabilized beyond disruption or is it more of a fluid thing where there’s even now the possibility of losing it momentarily or something?

David: That’s a great question. I follow your line of inquiry and I like it because it’s clear and poignant and it gives me an opportunity to think through this with you freshly in this moment. The gaining and the losing, as we just discussed, would simply continue, but at ever deepening levels or perspectives within consciousness. And there was a recognition that each breakthrough was leading me into a place of unknowingness, absoluteness. Over time, I say over time, you just have to take that with a grain of salt. The strict Advaitists would not like that kind of statement, “over time”, but that’s their problem. Over time, consciousness appeared to take on definitely a more ultimate form and did. And there were times when there was nowhere to go beyond that. And there were even later confessions of being that forever without fluctuation. But I have to be honest with you, I’ve been through every single level of Samadhi that is significant within a human birth and none of them satisfied me. None of them produced satisfaction. The notion that one should be satisfied by one’s realization is a myth. One should become enlightened to one’s satisfaction, but you do not become satisfied, satiated, put to rest. There’s always this quality of hunger in the human being, a kind of devotional longing that continues even after the most deep and profound forms of self-realization.

Rick: I’m glad to hear you say that. Did you want to say more just now or shall I interject? I’m glad to hear you say that for a couple of reasons. First of all, you mentioned the strict Advaitists. And I’m not sure exactly who you’re alluding to, but there’s a whole kind of a gang these days of non-duality teachers, neo-Advaitins they’re sometimes called, who are very much opposed to the notion of levels, of progress, of any sort of path that one treads. And when you talk that way to them, it’s a little bit like talking to a Christian fundamentalist in the sense that you just can’t, at least I can’t, seem to dislodge that notion. They feel that I’m misguided, I feel that they’re misguided, there’s some lack of communication going on. And I would suggest that the most respected traditional teachers of Advaita didn’t think that way. Shankara, Ramana Maharshi, they all acknowledged that there are levels of development, that people progress through them, and that sometimes you have to go through a certain type of practice or a certain stage to make you eligible for the next stage, and so on. To me, the idea of “Are you enlightened?” is sort of like asking “Are you educated?” Whatever your level of education, you could always say “Yeah, but there’s more.” There’s more depth, there’s more clarity in the case of education, more knowledge. So that seems to concur with what you were just saying about as long as you’ve got a human body, there’s room for further exploration. Do you agree with all that?

David: Yes, to a large extent. And I don’t disagree with that small extent, only I wish to clarify something about the word “exploration.”

Rick: Okay.

David: You can’t speak of being realized until you know that you are all permeated with the bliss of the Self. That, by the way, is a phrase from Ramana Maharshi, if I’m not mistaken, “The Bliss of the Self.” The Self is absolute consciousness, as you know very well, in your own understanding and experience. There are degrees to which that can permeate. You can have a cloth that is dyed lightly, or you can have a cloth that is dyed very deeply, deep blue, almost black with blue, or you can have a very light form of blue. They’re both blue. They both conform to the description of blueness. But there’s a sense of depth in one that is not in the other. And for that reason I would postulate that there are states of consciousness until you arrive at this all-saturated condition, this all-saturated bliss consciousness that makes it known to you that not just you are that, but everything is that, that there is only that. Now, there’s no talk about enlightenment, real, true, full Self-realization, until you can claim knowledge of that. You brought up the Neo-Advaitin lineage that has come to pass for the last 20 years or so, maybe 25 years, mostly stemming from Punjaji, also called Papaji of Lucknow, who was a professed student of Ramana Maharshi. With all due respect to the people who teach in that lineage, I can appreciate their urge for a democratic notion of enlightenment, where there are no levels, there’s no elitism, there’s no specialness. That seems to be one of their big things. They don’t want anybody being more special than anybody else. This all sounds wonderful on paper, but when you want to go to an expert, you go to one to learn. It wasn’t that way with Ramana Maharshi. Ramana Maharshi held himself in very high spiritual esteem. And I also wish to add something a bit disturbing, that should be noted by the people who claim to proceed out of his lineage. He gave clear instructions at the end of his life that there would be no successor to his teaching. And I find it a bit plagiaristic, to say the least, a bit dishonest, for people to come out and claim to be vehicles of his teaching, when he made a cautionary statement that no one should do so. So there’s a lot to be said on this matter. I don’t mean to be overly severe, but people should be careful about claiming relationships that are inherently prohibited by the founder, by the people that they themselves have invoked in order to make themselves believable as teachers.

Rick: And to play devil’s advocate to that, I would say from my familiarity with the various students of Papaji, they’re not all colored with the same brush. Some of them are very much appreciative of the idea of continued progress. Andrew Cohen, for instance, is always talking about evolutionary enlightenment and progressive nature of development and so on. And I know a good many people who have benefited greatly from the teachings of Gangaji and some of the others. And my experience is that people just kind of gravitate to a teacher who is commensurate with their need, with their level of development, and they derive what benefit they can from that teacher. And if they outgrow that teacher, they move on to something else. And they usually look back with appreciation, like, “OK, well, that was good. Now I’m going to do this.” And so whether or not those teachers would be condemned by Ramana Maharshi for doing what they’re doing, I can’t say. But they seem to be making contributions each in their own way. And they may not be the ultimate complete package that could theoretically be presented, but there’s benefit there. Everybody’s holding up their stick, so to speak.

David: I am not talking about one person teaching Neo-Advaita or the other, and I’m not judging anyone. I’m just pointing out basic copyright laws, whether they are legal or not. If someone says, “I have no successors,” then there’s no successor. I can pull names out of a hat and say, “I’m this successor, I’m that successor,” but I’ve chosen to do this on my own. Look, if I don’t have it, I either deliver or I don’t. I either am it or I’m not. There’s no room for discussion. There’s no room for me convincing you that I have this trustworthy package that precedes me, and I am leaped out of that package, that prepackaged delivery. So, this is the day of FedEx spirituality and everybody gets enlightened instantly. You can certainly get a glimpse instantly, but to actually live through the process of awakening can take many years and it can be excruciating. And people become jaded along the process. They become angry and resentful. They go on hating their former gurus because instead of parting with their false expectations, they parted with the teacher long before they should have. Because it was a statement about the seriousness of their aspiration, not about the authenticity of the guru. And you can’t look to the guru’s behavior or how they speak for validation of their state of consciousness. There’s no connection between how a guru or master behaves. They can behave like a total nutcase and still be totally realized. So, people bring up this idea of integration and you have to be integrated. Well, that’s a psychological notion that was invented in the last, what, 60 or 70 years in the West. I’m not saying integration is not a good thing. It’s always preferable. It’s always preferable that someone is in control of themselves and deals with the public in an honest and upright and conscientious and loving way. But I can assure you that there are teachers who have not done this and not to exonerate them for anything they may have done to hurt others, their realization may not have come to bear either way on what they’ve done. There’s a lot of guru hatred going on for the way in which actually gurus have lied to people saying they’re celibate and then you find out they’re anything but. They’re into money deeply and yet they come across as being free from materiality, material possessions, etc. So, it’s a huge topic, Rick.

Rick: It is, and it’s one that I kind of obsess about myself and you and I could probably go off on a rant for about an hour, batting this one back and forth. And maybe we’ll touch, let’s shelve it for the moment. Maybe we’ll come back to it a little later in the interview or maybe we’ll do another interview later on and go more deeply into that. But I want to get back to your story. So, let’s pick up where we left off, which was you were saying three or four years of meditation and spiritual practice. You were cooking pretty intensely during that period and having successive breakthroughs through various sheaths of ignorance or opening up new levels of clarity. We started touching upon the idea that you began to arrive at something. We were talking about having it come and go, come and go. And then you began to arrive at something which didn’t seem to come and go, which was something began to dawn which was perpetual.

David: The witness consciousness had become an all-time reality through waking, dreaming and sleep states. That went on for several years actually. Also, with various depths in clarity. This is not an either/or, black or white issue. Witnessing can be absolutely crystal clear or it can even be vague and tamasic. So, this went on until I would say around the spring of 1979 when I experienced what the traditional Hindu texts call Nirvikalpa Samadhi in meditation. Meditation became fulfilled. It became total.

Rick: What does Nirvikalpa mean again?

David: Well, Nirvikalpa Samadhi is distinguished from Sabha Kalpa. Sabha Kalpa is separate, episodic absorptions that come and go. Nirvikalpa is that one stroke that signifies the self has been realized in meditation.

Rick: I think it means without break, doesn’t it, Nirvikalpa?

David: Yes.

Rick: But if it’s realized in meditation, then okay, there’s no break during meditation. But then when you stop meditating, then what?

David: Meditation is over. You’ve meditated.

Rick: I see.

David: It’s over. You can continue to meditate as an aesthetic or health-based routine, to get rest perhaps, to take a pause out of a busy day, but meditation serves no purpose beyond that point in terms of realizing who you are. It’s been realized.

Rick: Interesting. I’d say that the majority of people I’ve interviewed, or a great many of them, who have attained that self-realization actually no longer meditate anymore. And yet they seem to be evolving still like son of a guns, but they don’t feel the need to sit in meditation because nothing happens anymore. It’s the same state. Others I know who have very much attained that level still meditate regularly and enjoy it, for probably the reasons you just said. It’s good for the body, it’s a nice break from the day, and so on.

David: It could be a deeply ingrained habit.

Rick: That too. And a healthy one at that. And so, ’79 or so, this happened in one particular meditation, there was a final breakthrough, or was it over a period of time that it shifted in?

David: There was a time, there was a period where things were getting unbearably deep, profoundly deep in meditation, and also I was going through all kinds of ecstatic experiences, immersion in consciousness, even during the waking state. There was no distinction anymore really between the carryover, between the waking and the transcendental. That carryover element was disappearing rapidly, and it just took its toll in, I think it may have been late March or April of 1979. I was at Clark University at the time, in my junior year, studying philosophy and literature.

Rick: Was your functioning in the relative handicapped in any way by all this internal transformation that was going on?

David: It was a challenge. It was completely impossible without the nature. That was the nature of what was to be learned at that time, is that you don’t function in the relative. This idea of the separate ego personality has to be penetrated. Meditation is the perfect tool to do that, and that’s what I learned during that time, is that if I thought about it, if I had to think about how to function, I never would have even gotten out of college. I was just on the move. There was no time to think and wonder, or worry, or be cautious in any sense. I was just pouring myself into this. I had no idea what kind of life I would be leading afterwards, if even I would be able to function. I went through many deep purifications and fears over this thought of not fitting in with the Western culture because of the very consciousness that I might be inhabiting.

Rick: Yeah, and if you had read a lot of the spiritual books that you did read, then there are certainly many examples of people who didn’t function very well, even in Eastern society, having attained such realizations. They’d be sitting on dung piles, throwing rocks at people, or wandering off into the forest, or needing to be fed by people, like Anandamayi Ma, and things like that. So I imagine you were a bit concerned that you might turn out like one of those.

David: I did. I knew I was going to turn out like one of those, no matter what it took. And I didn’t care what the eventual repercussion was. I really was very full of fury, of unbridled fury, to accomplish this. And if I didn’t have that kind of enthusiasm, this could never have taken place. If you told me I had to walk into a room with a thousand crocodiles, but if I stepped in the right place I’d get through, I would just go through that room. That’s it. That’s what I did. I walked through that room of crocodiles. Illusory hands and feet would disappear in the mouths of these illusory entities. In other words, you do in fact suffer and sacrifice yourself into this totally. This is not a joyride on a ferry boat. If you actually knew what this was about, you would never go near it. If you had a clear understanding, you would never, ever approach this. Your ego personality would keep you far away from it.

Rick: Your ego would, but in the bigger sense, if you had a clear understanding of what it was about, you would certainly go through it, as you did, because it’s worth it, right? I like that smile. I mean, if you had it to do over again, you would have done it over again. You wouldn’t have said, “Oh, that was too much. I’m not going to do that again.” In fact, you probably had no choice. You had all this determination and so on, but it wasn’t like you could just turn off the determination and think, “Oh, I’m just going to be a truck driver.” You had to sort of forge ahead, and you really didn’t have any choice in the matter.

David: That’s right. That’s absolutely right. This idea of a choiceless vocation, so to speak, to do this, is right on target. It’s not something you would plot. Given the fact that you could end up mad or insane in the end, you didn’t even think to yourself, “Well, it might be worth it.” It’s just some kind of inevitability, I would say, produced by nature. It’s the cravings of nature itself, reflecting itself through human psychology. It’s nature wanting to push a human nervous system to its ultimate ego fulfillment.

Rick: Very good, I like that. It’s almost like nature said to itself, “Okay, boys, we’ve got a live one here, let’s give him some juice.” Because obviously you had the potential to end up doing what you’re doing. If we speak of nature in a somewhat animate sense, there was an intelligence which realized it could express itself with great fullness through this particular vehicle, and so it wanted to prepare that vehicle as rapidly and thoroughly as possible in order to have it serve that function, correct?

David: Right, so that at this point, if you ask me what this is, I’d say I’m no different than a lizard, no different than a blue jay, a rattlesnake.

Rick: Right, I understand.

David: It’s just natural functioning, which is really pointing the direction in our discussion towards sahaja samadhi. After this unity where everything is the self occurs, and you can go no further, there’s nothing else to see or know about yourself or the world as consciousness, all of that subsides into a still more qualitatively different state. Just as there is a distinction between, say, self-realization and a unified state of self-realization, where the distinction there being only myself being the absolute versus the environment as well, there’s an additional push beyond that more mature consideration of world and self-unity, and that is sahaja samadhi. That’s what I call the retirement from all realizations. That’s the human element returning, unfazed, unimpressed, unreactive or non-reactive to all that it has realized. It laughs at every single realization. It’s as ignorant as it is enlightened. It has no need for the terms. It’s just what it is. It’s a lizard, it’s a crocodile, it’s an eagle.

Rick: Very interesting. I was listening to a recording of Adyashanti this morning and he was saying something I think very similar to that. He was saying something along the lines of, you know, you go through a phase where you’re no longer a person and then you become a person again. I think that’s the way he put it. I think what you’re saying is that, and please clarify or correct me if I’m wrong, but that you sort of went through a phase in which the impersonal unity of everything became sort of predominant and then there was a further stage of development in which living life as a person kind of came into focus again on the foundation of that unified reality. Is that correct?

David: Sahaja Samadhi was the devastating loss of my entire spiritual life. It was losing all the investment that I had made into being a yogi, into being a practitioner, a saddha. I acquired a kind of spiritual identity through all that. An identity which was co-existent and one with all that I had realized. But there’s something that disinflates your entire journey, which makes your whole history irrelevant. It lets you see that you’re not occupying any state of consciousness and any state of consciousness, no matter how high, is produced. This sahaja condition is unproduced and therefore it has transcended even this idea of elevating, ascending spiritually, gaining more and more consciousness, evolving.

Rick: I see. I think I understand what you’re saying. So would it be correct to say that states of consciousness are more like just sort of different degrees of reflection, whereas this sahaja state is more like the realization of that which is reflected through various reflectors, and in and of itself does not contain levels or states or gradations of anything. It is what it is in its totality and there can’t be any degrees of it.

David: Let’s bring this discussion to a metaphor. The image of a flower, a rose, opening. Every state of consciousness that you experience through meditation or through any spiritual technique or practice produces a realization. That is like the buds coming open and they keep opening until there’s just a full opening, until that center is revealed so bees can go in and get the nectar. But the fragrance of the flower is not in the flower. And that’s what I am pointing toward as a metaphor for sahaja samadhi. It’s not in the structure of human language. It doesn’t even exist as a concept within any spiritual lineage. This is the end realization, the realization that ends all realizations, that laughs at all realizations, which means you are the embodied form now of the Divine in your humanness. You become a radiant, perhaps, transmitter or sharer of that perfume, which is going on all the time, not radiated through intention. It’s an endless wave of ecstatic perfume going on in all directions, helping all beings without motive, without knowledge. So it’s for all beings, it’s not for oneself. There’s no me in any of this, there’s no attainment, there’s no attainer.

Rick: But were you not a radiator prior to that realization? I mean, you could not help but have been a radiator of a deeper reality. Or is there some sort of different nature to the radiation at this sahaja samadhi state?

David: Right, there’s a different radiation, there’s a different nature of the whole context of what is being radiated. You can teach and instruct long before sahaja samadhi. Many gurus are just in either self-realization state, atma-vidya. Some proceed beyond that to a more unified state, a unified state of wholeness, which is, I would call, a mature self-realization, where the atman is now the paramatman. The atman has gone beyond itself into its own impersonal vastness. Gurus and satgurus teach from that level also. Then there are some divine clowns who go into sahaja samadhi. This is a very humorous state, and it’s… What it is, there’s not much you can say about it. Beyond that is what I would just call the mother, the womb of the universe. And that in which every and any spiritual lineage connects in order to help people. I don’t know what that is. It’s something we call the mother, only in its reference to nature in the cosmos, the mother being the body of the whole universe of everything.

Rick: I would say that in many cases these teachers you referred to who have attained various degrees of realization often assume that they’ve attained some final degree of realization and expound it that way. Whereas in fact they haven’t. And this sort of creates confusion because people hear them talking about a certain level of experience, such as the sense of not being a person or not having any kind of personal identity, and they assume that that’s it. And that can go on for years.

David: For some people a bachelor’s degree will be sufficient. That’s their full education. They have filled the container of their knowledge with that amount of knowledge. Some people go on to master’s degrees, PhDs, post-graduate, post-post-graduate. I mean, there’s no true quantification of what makes one able to teach. And the word “finalized”, finalizing their realization could mean many things. It’s a semantic difficulty on the one hand, because at Sahaja Samadhi there’s something radically different that happens that is not in the ordinary structure of spiritual realization. It’s not in anybody’s chart. When you read spiritual critics, for example, on the Internet, criticizing a teacher perhaps because of behavior issues, this is all within the field of attainment, and then the reflection of that attainment in the personality of the body-mind. I’m talking about something here that’s very different. Very, very different. Strikingly different.

Rick: Do you feel like I’m getting it? Or do you feel like there’s something I’m… I want to make sure that the full impact of what you’re saying is expressed, but I’m not quite sure what question to ask, if any, to make sure that the audience understands exactly what you’re saying. Is there something you can say that might help us to get this a little bit more clear?

David: Yeah, you won’t get it.

Rick: OK, good. That makes it easy. Perhaps at this point this might be an interesting, relevant point at which to segue into this notion of avatar, which you mentioned in the beginning, in which if anybody looks you up on YouTube, they’re going to see it on every single YouTube video. It says, “David Spero, spiritual master/avatar.” I think most people wouldn’t have too much problem with the spiritual master part, but the avatar part might be a bit of a stretch for many people. In what sense do you use that word?

David: In the sense of having produced this condition, this unproducible condition of sahaja samadhi, and then glimpsing the entire fabric of the universe, the entirety, and also being able to recollect in one’s own personal experience and trace back through all of what one has realized, one’s origin in the divine condition. This is not the perfect place, at least right now, to go into so much more that I can tell you about this. Not that I’m evading the question or trying to come out unscathed here. It’s a good question you’re asking. But for me an avatar can mean several things from several perspectives. It can mean someone who is immersed in the absolute as empty silence, in high devotional states of supreme devotion, and also in kundalini shakti realization, all at the same time. So an avatar is really something that just radiates. It’s a radiation vehicle. Now this is not to say that someone in say unity consciousness could not radiate. They do radiate. In fact, even ignorant people radiate what they are. If a miserable person comes into the room, some other people might start to get miserable. If you are ecstatic, you may produce a wave of ecstasy. This is why we can’t really talk about this in terms of strict hierarchy. People hear the word avatar and think, “Oh, the top of the mountain, the king of all kings, this is the servant of all servants, this is the most really despicable condition to be in.” Because it implicates total responsibility for the entire human race. One feels as though one has authored everything. This is a first time definition I’m offering you. I don’t have any ideas of what any of these things mean, except insofar as I can reference them reasonably to the traditions from which they come. This avatar idea is a Vedic idea, it’s a Vedic invention. It’s a metaphor. It means descent. It means someone who has descended in a fully realized condition to the earth, but also with the propensity to realize and then radiate and help others, help everything.

Rick: Yeah. So that pretty much sums up my understanding of the term, my definition of the term, as I’ve learned it. Not being thoroughly familiar with all the examples of avatars throughout history, but I can think of a couple. For instance, Krishna was said to have never lost his realization from any stage in his life. Even as a little baby he was doing all this miraculous stuff, and his mother would open his mouth and see the universe in there. Whereas Rama actually went through a whole spiritual path and all kinds of despair and catharsis in various stages before he realized his divinity. And his brothers were also said to be avatars, perhaps not as full as he. So in that sense of the term, I understand the word to mean, from my limited understanding, some descent, as you say, some incarnation of a soul or a being who was already merged with or aware of their identity as God, but who chose or was assigned to come to earth to serve a particular role. And by that definition, I suppose there could be many avatars, because there are many roles to play, many jobs to do. And God can do whatever he wants, he’s the boss. But also in terms of how fully he wishes, it’s incorrect to say “he” because I’m sure it’s not a male, but how fully that intelligence wishes to express itself according to the vehicle it chooses to occupy, I suppose could go across quite a range of degrees. Now if I were writing that I probably could have said it in a quarter as many words, but you get what I’m trying to say? And do you have a comment on that?

David: I think you communicated one often misunderstood notion regarding an avatar, which is that they don’t evolve their consciousness in the human plane. They don’t go through states of consciousness. That’s incorrect. Avatars are born inherently one with their own self, the self of being, but they still have to mature in stages of consciousness to re-remember their inherent status as the divine. That’s how they become acquainted or reacquainted with the era in which they teach.

Rick: So by that definition, how would an avatar differ from anybody else? Because everyone is inherently one with the divine in their essence and they have to go through a remembering process or a discovery process in order to live that. So are you saying that an avatar is different because they had already realized it and then they just forgot it when they took birth? It’s sort of like when you dig up the ground and then put the dirt in again and come back a year later, it’s easier to dig that ground up than it is to dig up some place that’s never been dug before.

David: Yes, that’s right. That’s a good analogy for the kind of naturalness with which an avatar evolves in the human plane. They tend to evolve very rapidly and they’re not happy with any level of realization and what comes out is something massive in the end. In other words, an ordinary human being who attains enlightenment will have self-established and they will live in the infinite, just as an avatar does. There’s no difference in the quality of consciousness. But there’s something about that avatar’s nervous system that has been prepped by nature to act as a radiator as well. So in an ordinary human being, you may not get this radiation power, even in a self-realized one.

Rick: I had a very good friend who killed himself about a month ago. This guy was remarkable. He had a very profound impact on people. He had a great sense of humor, a wonderful person, everyone loved him. At his memorial service, a couple of people spoke who had been having private sessions with him for about a year. They felt like their lives had been utterly transformed. His parents had this very interesting perspective on the whole thing. There were about four or five hundred people at his memorial service. I spoke also because he and I had been meeting in a spiritual satsang for several years together with others. But his parents said that they always felt that this kid was not of this world and that he always felt like he didn’t really belong here, he was just a visitor. In fact, he would often outline options to his dad. He would say, “Well, I could do this, I could do this, I could do this, or I could leave the planet.” And his dad would always say, “Why don’t you scratch that one off the list?” I read something at his service that his best friend had sent me. He had confided in his friend several years earlier that he felt that he was an avatar, that he was not of this plane, didn’t belong here ultimately, had just come for some kind of temporary mission or purpose and wasn’t necessarily going to stick around a long time. It blew everybody’s minds that I read this thing out. They thought, “These people are nuts. His parents are buying into this. Maybe we can grant them the latitude of believing it, but you should know better. You should have more responsibility than to propagate this kind of notion. It’s going to give all our kids the wrong idea and they’ll all be offing themselves as well.” I bring up this story because it still moves me a lot to think of this guy. I can’t rule out the possibility that he was right about that. Stranger things have happened. I can’t write him off as just being a crazy, mixed up young man because there was so much substance. His impact on people was so profound. That’s rather long-winded and I want you to do the talking, but I just want to tell you that story because you might have an insight on it that hadn’t occurred to me or to some of his friends.

David: This idea of Avatar, as it’s expressed in the Vedic tradition, there are partial manifestations and then there are full manifestations. That he committed suicide, again, belongs to the field of content. That was the drama that happened in that life. I don’t know whether he was an Avatar or not. I can’t pretend to know that. For the sake of discussion, there’s no way you can define an Avatar by their behavior, having passed through Sahaja Samadhi. That’s the essential core realization that’s present in an Avatar, is the Sahaja state. Ramana Maharshi, on another note, would talk about Sahaja Samadhi as being his own condition. But… So see, this is just all disappearing now. We’ll just let it disappear.

Rick: I thought you were probing a pregnant pause and about to come out with something. I don’t think my friend had attained Sahaja Samadhi. He felt the pain of the world, or maybe he had, I don’t know, but he felt like he was channeling the pain of the world through his nervous system. And even though externally he always seemed very bright and in good humor, you would talk to him about his subjective state, and he seemed to have a very high degree of realization, but he felt things so acutely, and perhaps there was still too much of a congealed individuality there, or something that he felt he needed to do away with. Because it seems to me that… I can never say anything without counterbalancing it with the opposite perspective in the next breath. I mean, that’s just the way I operate. But it seemed to me that he could have soldiered on through this thing, and come out the other side, and become a great light of the world. But on the other hand, who knows, maybe this was the role he had to play, maybe this was the contribution he had to make. It certainly knocked us all back on our heels and made us drop a lot of assumptions.

David: You can’t know about anybody else’s life anyway. You can’t know about what you’re going through, who you are. You really can’t.

Rick: So when was this Sahaja Samadhi realization you had? ’76? No, after that. ’96, you said.

David: This has never ended. This is what doesn’t end, is this understanding that all realizations have perished, and realization is eternal. There’s no arising and subsiding of anything in terms of awakening, in terms of consciousness, in terms of enlightenment. That whole discussion is over. It will always be over. This Sahaja state dawned sometime around 1998, 1999.

Rick: Okay.

David: It was something that just came in a great wave of love and devotion, and it just made itself known. It’s hard to speak about this level here. I’m reluctant to even try to comment on Sahaja Samadhi as though it’s something that came at some point.

Rick: Right. Right. It’s like the clouds cleared and there was the sun shining, but the sun can’t say, “I just arrived in 1998.” It’s always been shining for all, well, in terms of the metaphor for so many billion years, but in terms of what you’re referring, forever.

David: It’s something that is very rare, actually. It’s quite rare. If you’re in this condition and you hear a teacher give a discourse, you can know right away whether they’ve seen that, unless they’re deliberately teaching on a lower level, but that’s unlikely. It’s something that’s uniquely expressed in each individual. The cosmic aspect is embodied beautifully in the form, and it’s what it is. It’s how it functions. It’s an endless state of absorption in the divine without any peculiar quality to it. It has no outstanding feature or characteristic. You’ve had your mind blown out before with nirvana and various forms of unity and absorption in being, all of that, witnessing. So you’ve been really reduced, after all those realizations, to something unspeakable, if you’re lucky enough to be ushered into this condition, this final non-realization. You can find, if you seek diligently, people who talk about this condition.

Rick: Can you name any, or would you rather not?

David: Yeah, I can name. Yuji Krishnamurti is one person that I actually knew personally. He gave every indication that Sahaja Samadhi was his natural state. He would even use the term “the natural state.” He wasn’t bound by any particular ethical code. He behaved as he liked, which is a good sign. The quality of the avatars present in the Sahaja Samadhi being, in other words, just something that is completely indifferent to what society thinks.

Rick: Do you think someone in Sahaja Samadhi is inclined to become a bit… what’s the word? You know, well, just as you say, not inclined. Do you think their outer behavior is going to shift to becoming more unconventional because of this realization, or might they very well maintain the same style of behavior they had performed prior to that?

David: Impossible to answer.

Rick: Could happen any old way.

David: Excellent question, but I can’t touch it.

Rick: Right. But you’re not suggesting that anybody or everybody who shifts into Sahaja Samadhi is going to become a wild man in some sense, just sort of run down the street, take his clothes off or something. Because there have been some pretty crazy wisdom teachers, as they say, who seem to not really give a hoot what anybody thinks, and they do all this weird stuff, some of which is morally reprehensible by society’s standards. And I usually tend to evaluate them in terms of what Ken Wilber talks about in terms of lines of development, where one might be very advanced along one line of development but still have a lot of work to do along other lines. But I suppose it’s equally possible that those lines of development are irrelevant and they’re just sort of behaving as a natural, if not, albeit bizarre expression in some cases, of divine intelligence.

David: It can also be outrageous in the sense of being so normal that there’s such total humanity present at that point that the non-eccentric nature of the behavior might itself be shocking.

Rick: Can you give me an example of that?

David: Yeah, like in Zen they say, “When I eat, I eat. When I sleep, I sleep.” It’s just pointing toward an identification completely with human experience. There’s a sense of having reached the final of the final and there’s a communication about that paradox that everything has been achieved and nothing at all. This would display itself in different ways for the unique context in which that human being has lived.

Rick: There’s a story about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He was eating with some other yogis or saints and one of them or a couple of them were commenting, “I am eating brahman,” or something like that. And Maharishi said, “I’m eating rice.”

David: Very ordinary.

Rick: Well, I could sit here for the next three hours asking you more questions.

David: You can do this again.

Rick: Yeah, it might be better to do it in installments. We could do another one in a few months or six months or something like that. Because we’ve been going for about an hour and a half or so, I’d say. But this is very enjoyable. It’s just my nature to go on like this and I could think of more and more things I’d like to ask you. But I’m sort of feeling right now that this might be a good time for us to wrap it up. I think this has been a very rich and full session and I think people will enjoy it a lot. Incidentally, I listened to all of your YouTube videos. You’ve got about, I don’t know, dozens of them. And I enjoyed those very much. And I’d like to encourage any of my listeners to do the same. If you just go to YouTube and search on David Spero, S-P-E-R-O, you’ll find a whole list of them. And this show itself is on Buddha at the Gas Pump’s blog site, which is batgap.com, in case someone has sent it to you and you don’t know how to find it, that’s where it is. And there’s about 25 other interviews there, more every week. And it’s also on YouTube. There’s a Buddha at the Gas Pump YouTube channel. And it’s also a podcast. So if you like to listen to things while you’re driving to work or something and you don’t have time to listen other times, you can get this on your iPod and listen that way. So a variety of things. We’ll link to your site, David, from batgap.com, so people can find that easily. Have you written any books or anything?

David: I’ve written one book, “Beyond the Place of Laughter and Tears in the Land of Devotion,” which can be ordered through friendsofdavidspero.org.

Rick: Okay.

David: friendsofdavidspero.org. And there should be another book coming out from an Australian writer that has me featured in an interview format, similar to what we’ve been doing. That should be out in a, I don’t know, I’m hesitant to say because it’s not my publication, but maybe within a month, three months, six months.

Rick: Okay. And then you live in the Bay Area, San Rafael, right? And you give satsangs and meetings and so on around that area?

David: Yes. I’m not living in San Rafael, but I’m living in Marin County, not far from San Rafael. And I don’t call them satsangs, I just call them public meetings.

Rick: Okay.

David: And they are on my davidspero.org calendar, if anyone wants to come by. They might be shocked and disappointed when they see me in person.

Rick: They’re getting a good look at you now. I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised, because I’m sure there’s a very good feeling in the room when you have these meetings. And you also do retreats, do you? More extended things, or is it usually just one-day events?

David: Just one-day events, yeah.

Rick: Okay. And do you ever travel to other parts of the country to give talks or anything?

David: A long time ago you invited me to come out to Fairfield, and I’ve been very tempted many times to come. I haven’t yet gotten around to fulfilling that, but hopefully at some point I can take a trip out to the Midwest and be with you perhaps.

Rick: That would be nice.

David: In a live situation. I do thank you for your interest in being invited.

Rick: And it might be that others who are listening to this would like to invite you to come to their areas to meet with them, if you’re inclined to do that. They know how to get in touch with you if they just go to your website. They can connect with you.

David: I’ll take the request.

Rick: Great. All right, well thanks a lot, David. So we’ll be in touch. We’ll keep sending each other left-wing political diatribes, and we’ll have another interview like this in some months. I’m sure nothing will have changed much for you, but hopefully my understanding will have deepened.

David: Yeah. One last thing is that for people who really would like to be with me in a live event and not come to California, we have webcasts that go around the world. And I wanted to let people know that that’s available.

Rick: That’s right, you do. It’s every Wednesday night, isn’t it?

David: Yes, it’s every Wednesday night and Saturday mornings.

Rick: Okay.

Rick: What?

David: Not every Saturday morning. Just check friendsofdavidspero.org. You can sign up to get the newsletter on that website. I even recommend that site right now more than my davidspero.org, although they should be merging soon into one website, davidspero.org. But for the present moment, friendsofdavidspero.org contains all the information on weekly webcasts, and I would like to express an invitation to everyone, a warm welcome to partake in that.

Rick: Good, good. I’m sure many people will. Okay, well, thanks. It’s hard to hang up, but let’s do that, and we’ll talk again soon. Namaste.

David: Namaste.

Rick: Thank you.