Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of conversations with spiritually awakening people. We’ve done about 560 something of them now. If this is new to you and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to batgap.com, B-A-T-G-A-P, and look under the past interviews menu. This program is made possible by 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 we appreciate the support we receive. My guest today is Diana Durham and I am going to let Diana introduce herself because the bio she sent me is kind of long and you know I don’t want to just read it when she can say it, but I’ll let her just do that and then we’ll get into an interesting conversation for the next couple of hours. So Diana, go ahead.
Diana: Okay, thanks Rick. Hi. Well I think it’s long only because I’ve done a lot of sort of different things. I haven’t had one sort of slightly, you know, I’m not particularly coherent in terms of my career path I would say. After university I basically took the path less traveled and I spent quite a lot of my 20s living in intentional spiritual community in England and in Canada and in the US.
Rick: Is that a community anyone would have heard of or is kind of obscure?
Diana: The Emissaries of Divine Light were the group and we had, we were quite small. I came across this group quite by sort of my accident when I was 18 when I finished high school and I came over to stay with my aunt and uncle who I’d only recently discovered. They were, I don’t want to go into huge detail, they weren’t like blood relatives, they were relatives through a marriage and I thought they would be ordinary people living in Vancouver, you know, sort of nice suburban safe existence and they’d take care of me if I didn’t want to go to this strange community that was up in the Cariboo region of British Columbia. But when I when I arrived literally at the airport I wasn’t met by them I was met by someone else who told me that they lived up on this community as well and at that time it was the hippie time, you know, so I was used to the idea of hippie communes existing but they would always be filled with very young people, young hippies, and I didn’t, you know, I consider these people to be old and so I was very surprised that it had old people in it. Anyway, long story short, when I stayed there for about six weeks during that summer and during that time they’d have little sort of social gatherings and they’d have sort of, so you’d be invited over to someone’s log cabin have tea and cookies and conversation, it was very sweet and I was sitting there having tea with some of these people and I had this experience of transfiguration happen in me where for no particular reason, I mean I was just literally drinking tea and having conversation, but I felt as if this kind of golden sun was rising up in me and I felt so powerful and I felt so powerful that I got worried about it because I thought, “Well what will happen when I go back to London? I’ll take the city over, I’m so powerful.” Seriously, I seriously felt that way and I thought, “Oh this is what love is, this is what that word means and this is what the word truth means.”
Rick: I wonder what was in that tea.
Diana: Yes, indeed. I sort of said this, it was herb tea, mint tea, I sort of said something like this to the people present and they just sort of tried, they didn’t see, they didn’t know what was going on with me and they just sort of tried to reassure me a little bit and then it subsided. But it left me realizing that this energy is in all of us, it’s in everyone, but most of the time we don’t know it. But if we did know it, the world would be completely transformed. And that was such an enormous insight, you know, I felt like a look back into history, at the misery, the suffering, all these people who’d never known who they really were. So I can’t say that I lived from that moment, you know, but that was like a benchmark that impacted the way, you know, the direction that I took. Now I’d studied literature at university and I loved writers, I loved the beauty of language and I suppose the two streams came together that I wanted to try to represent the authenticity of what we term spiritual identity as well as I possibly could, as well as the great writers had done, you know, of other kinds of human experience. And so that’s why I’ve mainly gone in toward writing rather than, you know, activism or starting a movement or something like that. So anyway, after that I had that experience and I came back to university, in fact, I did my degree after that experience. Then it was after that that I lived in the different communities and then I met my husband and sort of began a life with him where we were, he’s a TV director and I would work with him and I just had children and I just gradually began to write about what was important to me.
Rick: Well, that experience was, I think, very significant because as you and I would both agree, you know, all the problems in the world are ultimately due to the fact that we have this tremendous potential within us that we’re not using and so we’re running around trying to solve all these problems and for the most part creating new ones because we’re only using a tiny fraction of our full potential. Yeah, that’s a key point and in the things that you write and say that theme comes up again and again and you became, you actually met David Bohm, didn’t you? And worked with him or studied with him some?
Diana: Yes, that’s right. Well, part of this community in the, I think it was the early 80s, there was something called the Human Unity Conference and this was an event that had been held in different parts of the world and it was held at Warwick University in England and we were part of a group that trying to help, helping to organize this and so I went to this conference and the last evening, I think, the sort of, you know, star spot and I hadn’t heard anything about this, one of my friends gets up on stage and here’s this, you know, very academic and conservative looking elderly gentleman sitting on the stage next to him, nothing like a hippie or anyone else and my friend, who was called, he was called Don Factor, started interviewing David Bohm, it was David Bohm and I was just, oh my goodness, it was electrifying. I thought, how did Don meet this guy? Who is this guy? Where did he come from? And I was very impressed actually with the way Don was interviewing him because he did a good job and then that, so that connection to David Bohm led to a conference just with him talking backwards and forwards and the idea, in a way, the practice and possibility of dialogue, which David Bohm was very interested in, deepened at that conference and so then after that I would go to dialogue circles that David Bohm was a part of.
Rick: Now many people, we should say who David Bohm is, because many people may not even know. Yes, yes, of course.
Diana: Yes, well David Bohm was a theoretical physicist and his field was quantum physics and he really was a star. He was of someone like, he was of a Weinstein sort of stature. He was an amazingly brilliant man. However, and this is what I didn’t, I didn’t know this until much more recently, he had, he had been part of the team, he’d been asked to join Oppenheimer’s team at Berkeley, yes at the Manhattan Project, and he came up with some theory about plasma, plasma and metals and the way it worked, which was useful to the project. His own research and, okay, so the other piece of this is a lot of intellectuals at that time in America, as we probably know, you know, were interested in communism or they joined the Communist Party or they went to communist lectures or something and David Bohm was one of those because he was very idealistic all his life and he was concerned with the problems of humankind as well as with the, you know, mysteries of physics and again, long story short, he became, I guess the authorities became worried that so many of this Berkeley group who were designing the, you know, the atom bomb were also potentially Marxists and they thought this might be a breach of security, including Oppenheimer himself, he was also interested in these ideas but he, can’t remember all the ins and outs, but he turned very mean anyway later on, Oppenheimer basically sold Bohm down the river, but anyway, Bohm was told to come and testify and he would not reveal his, he wouldn’t rat on his friends and he was, he was brought up before some congressional hearing.
Rick: McCarthy hearings in the early 50s.
Diana: Yeah, but he wasn’t, he wasn’t imprisoned and I can’t remember now why, but Princeton wouldn’t let him back in, he was, he was, he had a job at Princeton at that time by then and they wouldn’t let him come back. Yeah. And he could not get a job, so he went off to Brazil, which is a relatively obscure place really for someone of his stature.
Rick: Yeah, I just want to add that Bohm wrote a paper which only recently research has shown, you know, was extremely important in terms of unifying general relativity with quantum mechanics and Oppenheimer for some reason just stonewalled him and told all the people in the physics community not even to read the paper. And for some reason, they were also lemming-like that they marched in step with what Oppenheimer ordered and Bohm was like confused, why isn’t anybody commenting on this important paper? It’s because no one had read it. So, you know, the implications of that are, you know, a lot of people these days are distrustful of science and they think that science is not as objective as it purports to be and there’s truth in that. I mean, even the very dominant paradigm of science is materialism, which is that consciousness is produced by the brain and is not some fundamental reality and if you stray from that, you threaten your career. So, that sort of mindset continues in various forms and I think that’s a little significant diversion maybe.
Diana: Yeah, no, very much so. Yeah, so that was something about David Bohm.
Rick: And Einstein incidentally said that he considered Bohm his spiritual son, so he was very much at a certain point in Einstein’s favor.
Diana: Absolutely, yes.
Rick: Okay, I interrupted you a couple times just to embellish those points.
Diana: Well, yeah, so I mean, so Bohm became also, he went to Bristol and then from Bristol he went to Birkbeck College in London and while he was in Bristol he met Krishnamurti and he became very, very interested in the nature of thought itself and thinking about thought, noticing what thought is doing and then he became sort of as an outgrowth or part of that, he became very interested in the process of dialogue, which was a sort of open, free form of, not even really conversation, but a sort form of conversation. That if it went on long enough, you could start to hear the false voices in yourselves, in one another, in oneself, the voice that’s just got its little thing that it wants to keep saying, you know, my agenda, my particular rant about the world, you know, rather than being open to new meaning.
Diana: And that you could get to a deeper place in the end if you stuck with it.
Rick: Yeah, and so he and Krishnamurti had extensive dialogues and at one point Bohm asked some of his friends whether he should just give up physics altogether and spend all of his time talking to Krishnamurti.
Diana: Yeah. Well, he was as much a, I feel, he was as much a philosopher as a physicist.
Rick: Well, the great physicist can’t help but be.
Diana: Exactly. Yeah, and his language was clear enough for lay people like ourselves to sort of grasp what he’s saying intuitively, even though I can’t grasp it as a, I’m not trained as a physicist, but you can grasp what he says intuitively. And I actually have a feeling that’s really the only way we know anything anyway, at some fundamental level.
Rick: Yeah. Some physicists get upset because spiritual types co-opt their theories and their findings without really fully understanding them as they do in order to try to buttress some spiritual principle or some spiritual point.
Rick: But I think they’re, you know, and they may be right in doing that. I’m sure that, you know, armchair physicists leap to all kinds of erroneous conclusions, but at the same time I think there is definitely some deep and profound connection there which I think you and I are going to explore, which shouldn’t be dismissed merely because we don’t understand the mathematics.
Diana: No, but it’s a really good point. I did, you know, I kind of pondered that in myself, but the way I’ve come to think about all of this is that there are different languages. You see, Bohm had a particular language and some of it you can use. Poetry is a form of language. Symbolism is a form of language. Myth is a form of language. None of them actually, they just represent a larger reality. They aren’t that larger reality, but they’re represented in quite useful ways so that one can think about it. But the important thing is to realize that you’re not actually dealing with the ultimate reality, you’re dealing with your own thought. And Bohm was very, very interested in that. He was very much aware that whatever scientific theory you got to, it was only a theory.
Rick: Yeah, so in other words, we can only understand the deeper realities through theories and through experimentation, but we don’t apprehend them directly? Is that what he was getting at?
Diana: Well, I wouldn’t want to say what he was getting at. I mean, I think all he meant was no matter how advanced and complete a scientific theory might be, it won’t be the thing itself. You haven’t yet ascertained the whole meaning and nature and structure of the universe, right? You may have got an approximation to some of it. So, therefore, you can’t really be arrogant and you can never say that you know something for sure.
Rick: Yeah, well, that’s a good, I think that’s one of the beauties of the scientific method, which is that you never kind of can dig your heels in and claim absolute certainty. There’s always a possibility that –
Diana: But people do, or they censor others.
Rick: They do, yeah. And therefore, I forget who it was, Niels Bohr, somebody said that science progresses one funeral at a time.
Diana: That’s a great phrase.
Rick: Because people don’t easily change their perspectives, you know, they have to die and let people with new perspectives take over.
Diana: That’s true about almost everything, isn’t it?
Rick: But, um…
Diana: Especially parents.
Rick: Yeah, yeah. But this brings up an interesting point, which is that, you know, why can’t science really understand a thing for what it is? Why is it only a theory or a view or a partial perspective? And, you know, can yogis, can mystics actually know reality as it is through a different approach, which may be scientific in its methodology, but which uses very different apparatus, namely the human nervous system?
Diana: Well, I mean, I think that the only thing I can write about with any authority is what I call my own presence. I know that. Now, you could say, well, all you’re experiencing, Diana, is the sort of chemical reality that your brain’s generating, and you can’t really prove one way or the other until you die. So, you know, you can think of it this way and you can think of it that way. It’s a choice, it seems to me.
Rick: Yeah, although there are some pretty serious anomalies. I mean, near-death experiences with modern medicine, a lot of people are having near-death experiences.
Rick: And they are experiencing things which shouldn’t be possible and which are verifiable and which pretty much prove, or at least provide strong evidence for the idea that consciousness is not limited to the body and is not merely a product of the brain.
Diana: Right. Well, I mean, I believe, that’s what I believe. That’s what I think I go further in believing that’s what I experience.
Diana: But to someone who, you can’t sort of really prove that for some, well, I suppose, yes, I suppose you’re right in a way, some of those near-death experiences, especially the Ebn Alexander, the neurosurgeon.
Rick: Yeah, and many, thousands of others too.
Diana: Many thousands of others, I know. Yes, well, I mean, hopefully we’re getting there because I think it’s, I do think that the materialist assumption about everything has run its course and it’s running us into a blind alley in a great many different departments of our human experience. And it’s really time that the shock of the fact that we might actually be part of this amazing force of the universe, it’s time that that dawned on us. I just think it’s such a terrifying thought to some people to actually take that on. It’s much easier to have the idea, although we know that in some areas anyway, Christianity is sort of dying a bit of a death. It certainly is here in England, but it’s on the rise in some parts of America, it seems, so I don’t know.
Rick: Not really.
Diana: No, but there’s a God somewhere. You feel that you live within a context where there’s a larger context other than just what’s here, and then the, so apparently, material world. And that’s comforting to people. It gives them a sense of meaning, which is valuable, I think. But as that gets undermined, and more and more undermined, and it was undermined already because of Darwin and the Enlightenment and Darwin and genetics and so on and so forth, people are left sort of on a little island of, well, I’ve got relatively most people anyway, not everyone, I’ve got a quite comfortable lifestyle, and I’ve got my children, some of us, and I can make a cup of coffee any time I want and mow the lawn and things like that, but is there a bigger, is there something bigger here? And I think that’s a wonderful prospect that will slowly be dawning on more and more of us. The danger of it is it becomes a theory. That’s a problem, is when it becomes a, just like theoretical Christianity allows you to go and slaughter lots of people, you know, I mean, theoretical Christianity as opposed to really embodying the love that Christ talked about, you know, easily becomes a distortion, doesn’t it? So, a distortion of being spiritual beings would be almost worse, I think, than just being materialist beings. Sometimes I think about that.
Rick: Yeah, that’s an interesting thought. I mean, obviously, some horrible things have happened in the name of distorted spirituality.
Rick: You know, starting with the Crusades or, you know, the Inquisition and, you know, Jonestown and all kinds of terrible things over the years. So, just because something is called spiritual doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. And you thought about, you think about the terror, what would you say, it’s a terrifying thought that, you know, that there might be a bigger reality. Personally, I think it’s a terrifying thought that we’re just biological robots in a meaningless universe. That’s terrifying.
Diana: I agree.
Rick: [Laughter] And it actually, you know, I’ve read articles about how it contributes to depression and suicide and so on, you know, because what does it matter if you kill yourself? The world is meaningless anyway and if I die, that’s no big deal because, you know, I’m just going to cease to exist and there won’t be any consequences. And, you know, it’s a very warped view in my opinion and I would hate to live my life from that perspective.
Diana: No, I agree. I also think the culture wars that we’re sort of experiencing at the moment to do with Black Lives Matter and to do with gender issues of gender, I think all of those, you know, the liberation of what, well, I don’t know if they’re minorities anymore, but people of different gender, you know, orientation is all a part of evolution and expansion and is terribly important. But it feels to me like it’s too narrow an identity that we’re trying to sort of shove ourselves into there rather than remembering we’re much bigger than that. We’re not just a sex/gender person or not, you know. To me it’s become so narrow, that whole argument. I find it peculiar. It’s like an extreme of materialism because if that’s all you are, you’re going to fight about it, you know?
Rick: Yeah, you know, one thing that you get into quite a bit in your book that I’ve been reading is the notion of, let me see if I can even find a quote here, um, basically that we don’t have to take an either/or approach to what we are. You know, we can enrich and even accentuate our individual uniqueness and at the same time anchor ourselves in universality. Then the two are not only not incompatible, but they are complementary and mutually enriching.
Diana: They’re in relationship, exactly. So, if you cut off, so I use that symbol of the vesica, you’ve got that there.
Rick: I can show that, yeah. I have one here that shows inner self and personality self.
Diana: Yes, that’s great. That would do. Yeah, so this is a symbol, I’m sure many of your viewers will know this. It’s called the vesica piscus or pisces. And also people will know it as the Venn diagram. It’s just, it’s two equal circles, the circumferences overlap and intersect each other’s centers. And it’s a very ancient symbol. It’s a wonderful symbol. But obviously in this instance, I’m just using it to indicate that there’s an inner realm and an outer realm and that we have an inner self and a personality self and they overlap. So that Venn diagram is where you’re different and what you share, what’s common. And what’s common out of the two of them becomes our inner process and our sense of self that’s both determined by our DNA and our upbringing, but it’s also determined by this much larger, deeper inner self that we have access to.
Rick: Yeah, and you say, yeah, don’t worry about the dog. It’s hot over there and I told Diana she could leave the window open even if the dog barks because it’s so hot. She needs fresh air. Somebody should throw him a snack. You go into a whole interesting explanation about how kind of fragmented and fractured our thought process and our personalities become when we don’t have access to the inner wholeness and the implications of that in society in terms of business and politics and economics and so on and so forth. It might be interesting to explore that and it actually alludes back to something we started with a little earlier, which is that all the problems of the world are due to a lack of our access to inner potential.
Diana: Well, yes, I think, I mean, that’s been my passion really to try to explore why that is, how that happens. I became fascinated by the Arthurian myth and the Grail myth where there’s a wounded king who rules over a wasteland kingdom and the kingdom, the ills of the kingdom are really just a reflection of his wound and if you could heal that king, then the kingdom would sort itself out. And seeing that as a metaphor for human beings when we are disconnected from that inner self, from that bigger space, which makes us feel bigger, you know, it’s like having a window open rather than a window closed. So when the wound is the sense of being disconnected from that. Now when you’re disconnected from that inner self, that inner self is also really your source of power, you know, that power that rose up in me in my transfiguration. Okay, I don’t feel like that all the time, but you’re always living somewhat in alignment with that inner energy of yourself, or you cut yourself off from it a little bit, mostly because you hold thoughts that don’t sync up with the vibration of that energy. So the wound is if you’re disconnected from that power and then you feel fearful and you might feel vulnerable and you also might feel very empty and so therefore you’re going to want to get something to make up for that sense of diminishment. Now in the myth, in the Arthurian myth, the Grail King, sorry, the Fisher King, he’s called the Wounded Fisher King, sorry, and he’s called the Wounded Fisher King because the only way he ever gets any relief from this wound doesn’t heal him, but he gets relief, temporary relief from the suffering is when he goes fishing. And I interpret that as when we feel this sense of vulnerability and diminishment and emptiness, we go get something to try to make us feel better. And it could be we become addicted in some shape or form to a substance, to alcohol, or we become sort of addicted in a way to power over others. We become a fully fledged narcissist and we sort of suck energy out of other people, or we just buy lots of stuff that we don’t really need. You know, we consume, we consume to try to make up for the emptiness. And so then you get into a vicious cycle because the more you do that, the more disconnected you feel, so the emptier you feel, so the more you consume. And that to me is the vicious circle of addiction, fundamentally, of addiction.
Rick: There was a great quote from your book. You said, “Narcissism in the psychological sense is defined as an inferiority complex covered over by a superiority complex.” In other words, the partial sense of self is covered over by the inflation of itself.
Diana: Yes, exactly. And yes, so to make up for the sense of not being truly whole, which is that stereo sense of identity that that symbol kind of symbolizes, that you’ve got access to this other dimension consciously. You’ve always got that to draw on. But if you close off from that for whatever reason, and we can try to understand what that is, why that happens, you can only make up for it through a form of inflation. And I did experience that. My thought process about this actually began partly when I visited Romania towards the end of Ceausescu, who was the last, maybe the first and last communist leader there. And he built this enormous palace in the center of Bucharest, and he bulldozed people’s homes to make way for it. And it was absolutely gianormous. And apparently it’s the second largest building in the world after the, the Pentagon’s bigger. I mean, it may have changed by now with Utah, you know, and the listening people. But, and you walked around this building, and half the rooms were unfinished. Chandeliers, enormous chandeliers were covered in plastic. There was a ballroom the size of Grand Central Station, just about. And the finest craftsmen in the whole of Romania had been called to create this palace. And then at the end, there was a little visitor’s book asking you, “Have you got any ideas as to what we can do?” And afterwards, I thought, that was his ego! I was walking around a physical symbol of this man’s ego, particularly through the power vacuum of communism, because all the other institutions were sort of done away with. You know, he had been allowed to just sort of grow disproportionately.
Rick: Yeah. He also mentioned that he ordered the digging of canals around the country that actually weren’t leading anywhere or serving any purpose.
Diana: He was irrational, yeah. And Stalin was irrational, too. Yeah.
Rick: Yeah, I think you mentioned Stalin, what, he killed all of his best generals just before World War II or something.
Diana: Yeah, apparently. Yeah, I mean, we laugh now, but I mean, it’s, no, irrationality goes along with this condition. I mean, you could call it a sort of, a mental illness, really, a fundamental mental illness.
Rick: And I think we’ve all experienced it personally, you know, to some extent, because we’ve all been cut off from our inner nature to varying degrees, but you know, there are these larger-than-life figures who somehow maneuver their way into political prominence who become like, you know, caricatures. They’re just such extreme narcissists, and it’s on display for all the world to see.
Diana: Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah. I don’t know whether we’re proceeding here very coherently, but…
Rick: Yeah, coherence is one of your favorite words, so we have to be coherent.
Diana: Well, but I was thinking, you see, the idea of what spirituality is, obviously is evolving, and you know, I mentioned my experience of transfiguration. It didn’t last, and I don’t think it’s supposed to, you see. I don’t think we’re supposed to always be in this high, high, high thing, and I think, actually, people take drugs because it gives them some of that, doesn’t it? Gives them that high, but what we are supposed to do, and this is the beautiful myth of the Grail story is all about this. We’re supposed to sort of become aware of this and then learn to use it, learn to let consciousness work the way it’s designed to work, and by that I mean something very simple, which is really to do with using drawing on what we tend to call our intuition, because everyone has those experiences of pondering something, and it can be something immense and difficult, or it can be something simple, or it can just be, “Well, should I do this now, or should I do that now?” And if you tune to your inner self, you can start to feel when it kind of lines up with, “Yes, we’ll go this way.” But sometimes you have something really startling. It’s like, “Oh, I’ve just downloaded a really amazing idea. I know it’s right,” and I quote Einstein here, because he, in my book, I quote him because he was a big proponent of the importance of intuition in his own process of evolving his theory about relativity. He said, “Sometimes I know I’m right, but I don’t yet know the reason.” Now, if you think about that, that’s really interesting, because we’ve all had that experience. So how do we know we’re right? We know this is the next thing to do. Out of all the chaos of our lives, of the world, of our mind, of our condition, of our circumstances, how do we know that? Well, it’s because there’s a sort of a line lining up between that. I don’t know, is there a picture with the lining up or maybe not?
Rick: Yeah. Well, I have the one that’s inner and outer and heart and mind and the circles are sort of intersecting, so there’s like a moire pattern in the middle.
Diana: Right. So, if you think of the two centers of the circle as your heart and your mind, and the heart is more sort of, it listens more to the inner, and the mind pays more attention to the outer, to our circumstances, every now and again, a line gets drawn between those two centers in our awareness. It’s like, “Should I do this? Should I do that?” And then suddenly it goes, you know, and the thing forms and the line is drawn between the two. And that’s when that field that you’re talking about there, the centers have joined up, the circles have aligned. Geometrically, that’s when you can draw a straight line from one center to the other. And that’s the beginning of all the shapes of sacred geometry. Well, to me, that’s an analogy. I’m just talking of it as a metaphor for the experience we have when our heart and our mind line up. And it’s like, we’ve got this intuitive flash and we know what to do next. So, why do we know we’re right? Because it’s connecting to the inner self. It’s there. It’s actually there. And you can feel it. You can feel it guiding you in large ways and in minor ways through your life. And I think that’s so exciting. And that, you don’t have to be a physicist to have that experience, do you? You don’t need to understand quantum theory.
Rick: It might help not to be, I don’t know.
Rick: Well, a minute ago you said, you know, we can’t really be in this super high state all the time. And I would like to suggest that we can be and that many people have been, but it’s not necessarily going to be flashy or overwhelming or incapacitating because we will have integrated it. We will have acclimated to it. But I fully believe that it’s possible to function in that way all the time and, you know, it doesn’t necessitate sitting around in a loincloth and not being able to really do anything. You know, a surgeon could be in that state, an airline pilot landing a 747 in a snow storm. It’s just a matter of having deep and frequent and clear experiences of that inner state and then alternating those with activity until eventually it becomes stabilized. And this thing about intuition that you mentioned, there’s actually a term in the Yoga Sutras which is “ritambhara pragya,” which means that level of intellect which knows only truth. And, you know, theoretically, ideally, one can become accustomed to functioning from that and then one’s intuition is, I wouldn’t want to say that it would be hubris to assume that one has become infallible and dangerous, but it becomes reliable and, you know, perhaps it can always be checked against common sense or something. But there’s a lot of really cool stories of saints and sages who took some course of action which even they didn’t understand why they were taking and then the reason became obvious after a while. They met such and such a person and they were there at the perfect time to do such and such, you know, because you’re just sort of operating on cosmic intelligence, which is larger than your individual perspective.
Diana: Well, I mean, I totally agree with you. And in different words, I think that’s exactly what I’m, that’s exactly what my book is about. Is that it is possible to live from this. I just, that intensity of energy, I don’t live from. I mean, it was, you know, that was rather exceptional.
Diana: It’s there, I don’t experience it. It’s like, I guess the fire’s there, but I don’t experience it that way anymore. But I think that that’s that calm, that sense of, as you say, contacting, whatever words we use, intuitive certainty or sense of wellbeing. That’s it’s the same thing. It’s just kind of, and I agree with you. I think we do get used to it. I think you do. And so the high, you know, if you’d been in a, and I think that’s partly what happened when I was an 18, I was a teenager, you know, so you’re very up and down as a teenager. And I think I had that breakthrough and it was as extreme as it was because I’d probably been quite, you know, moody and, you know, an ordinary teenager. And so to some degree, it was like something cracked open in my mind, my heart, and that I had that particular intensity. But I agree with you. I think we can live from our inner self. I think that’s, I think we’re supposed to. I think that’s how we’re supposed to learn to think.
Diana: And obviously you don’t just download everything because you’re from nowhere because you’re in relationship with the world, with, you think about things, whatever your particular focus of interest is, you know, you engage with that, you become interested in it, you learn about it. So then you can become a good airline pilot because A, you’ve learned, you’ve trained, you’ve got the skills as an airline pilot. I mean, I couldn’t be an airline pilot, even if I was very, you know, in sync and attuned because I don’t have that knowledge in my, you know, in my psyche, in my brain and in my body. But so you learn those skills. But then if you’ve also got this balancing, this attunement, whatever you want to call it, then you’ve got both things happening. And that’s when you act in a way that isn’t going to create damage in the world, you know.
Diana: And that’s when the wasteland gets restored, you see. You don’t have to sort out the land, you have to sort out the king or the airline pilot or whoever it is.
Rick: Yeah, one way of putting it is that a light bulb isn’t a toaster, isn’t a refrigerator, isn’t an electric blender, but they each have their function, but they’re all plugged into the same electrical field.
Rick: And so we as individuals, you know, variety is the spice of life. All the plants in the Amazonian rainforest, as diverse as they are, are all planted in the same ground and derive their nourishment from that. And so, you know, what you’re getting at is that we just have been deficient in our accessing that ground.
Diana: Yes, and I think we have been trained away from it as well through our education system, through the cultural assumptions that surround us now. I mean, probably it’s a good and necessary evolution overall, you know, because before, as we mentioned, you’d have had a more traditional structure, let’s say a church, and you could sort of exist within that without necessarily really coming to know that in yourself. You know, you’re just sort of anointed by the priest and told that you’ll be all right when you’re dead and that sort of thing. You know, it’s different, isn’t it, from really learning to live in this sense of grace or in this intuitively lined up sense. So then, you know, we lost, but we have been in an era of really, really deep materialism and it’s been damaging. I think it’s been damaging.
Rick: Yeah, and if anything, I think the churches have contributed to it because what always seems to happen is that administrative types take over when a religion gets started and pretty soon they start persecuting the mystics who are actually having the experience that the founder of the religion was talking about. [Laughter] And you know, then the whole thing just becomes an outer shell without any inner juice.
Rick: Hey, did you ever see that movie, The Fisher King with Robin Williams?
Diana: I did. I can’t remember it very well now.
Rick: It was years ago, but he was traumatized and damaged.
Diana: That’s right.
Rick: He became a homeless person. I don’t remember if he actually literally fished, but it was a great movie.
Diana: It was a great movie.
Rick: Yeah. Okay, so I have a bunch of notes in front of me and I could start us off on something, but where should we go without being too jumpy in our train of thought? Well, there’s the whole thing about David Bohm and his implicate and explicate orders, which I think ties into what we’ve been talking about.
Diana: Mm hmm. Yeah.
Rick: Maybe we should go there. You want to explain what that’s about?
Diana: Well, yes. Well, here was a language that David Bohm came up with, a remarkable new idea, and it emerged out of him basically trying to figure out why do electrons appear and disappear and what the double slit experiment and all that sort of thing, which I’m not completely, I’d have to, I always have to look those things up to talk about them with total authority or some authority. But essentially he said, instead of looking for a little building block somewhere, some sort of quark or something rather that the rest of the universe is made up out of, he turned it all on his head and he said, “The universe itself has an interior quality to it, and its materialness, including the little electron that pops in and out or quark or whatever it is, emerges out of this deep interior order, displays itself for us for a while, and then it folds back into it.” And he called this the hollow movement or the unbroken wholeness, beautiful phrase, I always think, unbroken wholeness. So our bodies appear and grow and then gradually, gradually sort of start to sort of fall apart a bit and we die. So we have an idea, where does the idea come from? It comes into our mind and takes form and then sort of becomes archived, I suppose. But meanwhile, that body, me in the world, I’ve emerged out of what he called the implicate, let’s say, which is the inner, using simple words, into the explicate, which is the dimensional, the outer, and I’m interacting both with that outer world and with the inner world, and by doing so, I expand meaning, I expand the meaning of both of those things. I expand the meaning of the inner world and I expand the meaning of the outer world. So this is what everything is, an idea, a sunflower, a human being, emerges out of an interior order and it’s here for a while and it looks like it’s really solid, this table that I’m sitting by looks very solid, but eventually it will rot and fall away and it will be burnt or whatever it is and it will disappear. Actually, it never actually leaves the explicate, does it? Because it just changes its nature, I suppose, within the explicate order, but some of its substance will disappear. So he was saying that rather than be thinking in terms of separate realities, separate human beings, separate countries, things in conflict, to be thinking in terms of a state of profound oneness and that everything, like you’re saying about the Amazon forest, is really a differentiation of this deep inner order. And this is a very different way of looking at the world, thinking about the world, thinking about ourselves, and human consciousness, by means of that inner and outer, we are designed to participate in this expansion of meaning. Because we see something, I don’t know, in my book I use an example of having coffee with a friend and the idea of having coffee is the implicate, having coffee is the explicate, but then sitting there having coffee, I see a tree or something and the tree makes me, begins a poem in my head, so then the tree is the explicate, but it started something in the implicate in me that then will come back out into the explicate as a poem or a draft of a poem. So, the universe is continually expanding through our consciousness.
Rick: Here’s a couple of Bohm quotes that state what you were saying. “In terms of the implicate order, one can ascribe the phenomena or behavior of subatomic particles to a deeper reality that underlies them.” So, there’s that. And then, “According to Bohm, this is the fundamental implication of quantum theory. There is no ultimate material building block to be found. It is not commonly realized that the quantum theory implies that no such bottom level of unambiguous reality is possible.” So, in simple terms, I think he’s just saying that there is a deeper reality to anything which could be said to be manifest to any degree, including subatomic particles, and that those subatomic particles and that all the various levels of manifestation above them derive their orderliness and their organizing power which makes them coherent to any degree from the ocean of coherence that resides at their core, at their root, at their foundation.
Diana: Yes, something along those lines. Yes. Yeah. Very, very different vision. And what’s so interesting is that he, I mean, I don’t know when he first said this, but quantum physics, as he said, yeah, what he said was people don’t commonly realize that there is no – the implication is there isn’t anything there, there isn’t any fundamental building block.
Rick: Not of a material nature, no.
Diana: Of a material nature. And I don’t know, quantum physics was emerging in the early We’re still fundamentally operating from a building block perspective in everything, I say we, I mean the so-called mainstream culture, in everything we do. And including looking for meaning, you know, what is meaningful to us is mostly just a lot more money, you know, certainly in America it is anyway.
Diana: It is in many places. And what’s meaningful to human beings is relationship, meaningful relationship with other people, primarily, and with their own sense of self. So our values are skewed and our thinking is skewed, our sense of who we are is skewed, and that’s been trained into us through our education, through other people. And therefore, that’s one of the reasons why we tend to negate our intuition, we don’t learn this subtle thing or we lose it as we grow up, we doubt it. You know, and we’ve probably come up against not very helpful mentors who perhaps didn’t encourage us or who tried to make us be different to the way we were in different ways, you know. That can also squash that process a bit, can’t it, of connecting with your deeper being?
Rick: Well, because the mentors themselves aren’t in touch with their deeper being.
Rick: And it carries on, you know, inherited from one generation to the next. There’s a verse in the Gita which I’ve quoted many times which I think pertains to this and that is that it goes, “For many branched and endlessly diverse are the intellects of the irresolute, but the resolute intellect is one-pointed.” And I think a good analogy for that is like a bicycle wheel where you have the hub and then you have all the spokes radiating out from the wheel, from the hub, and most people are out on the end of some spoke. And from that perspective, all the other spokes seem to be a jumble. There’s no coherent pattern that you can discern. But if you reside at the hub, you see all the spokes radiating out from you. And so, you know, the resolute intellect is one-pointed, and so you are no longer many branched and endlessly diverse. You can explore the various diversities. You can go out on this spoke or that spoke, but you maintain contact with the hub. That’s your essential identity. And so, everything, a coherence dawns in your perspective that isn’t possible if you’re stranded out on the periphery someplace.
Diana: Yes, very much so. I think that, again, to use that symbol of the intersecting circles and the idea of the wounded king as this symbol of the wounded king, that’s, you’re also, you know, you can be, you’re controlled then by your environment. You know, rather than being under the sway of your own authority in a way, you’re under the thrall of what’s outside of you one way or another, whether you dominate it or whether, even if you seem to be dominating it, you know, like a narcissist, you’re still actually under its thrall. It’s really, it’s in control of you. The environment’s in control of you.
Rick: Yeah. There’s another verse in the Gita where I think Arjuna asked Krishna, you know, what is it that compels a man to commit sin, even though he knows better? You know, why is he sort of driven blindly to do what he, I think Duryodhana or Arjuna’s opponent said, I know what’s right, but I can’t do it. And I know what’s wrong, but I’m impelled to do it. And I think it’s, again, like lack of groundedness in the source. You are at the mercy of forces that are beyond your control, kind of like trying to control a river from halfway downstream or from all the way downstream. The river has already run its course. You can’t control it from there. It has to be controlled from its source if you hope to, you know, have any influence on it.
Diana: What I think about there also is that I can’t, you know, I know I’m wrong, but I can’t control myself. In a way, it’s because you’re searching for something. You’re trying to find something, some beauty perhaps, something to sort of take you out of yourself.
Rick: Yeah. Out of your limited self.
Diana: Exactly. Out of your limited self. Because when you’re lined up, and it does, as I say, I mean, you’re not always, it comes and goes, right? But the experience of being lined up is like, it’s like the sun shining through the window. So the world becomes illuminated by that light. And that’s what beauty is. And that’s what’s so satisfying. It doesn’t happen all the time. You know, it’s like those epiphany, that’s what it’s like an epiphany, right? When the world is lit up, as you look at it, it’s the most satisfying experience. And all the hunger and all the sort of edginess, you know, it doesn’t cease forever, but it’s, you found what you’re looking for. You found this sense of meaningful relationship with the world. And then that feeds back into you, this sense of beauty and fulfillment. And that’s, you know.
Rick: Yeah, that’s nice. I guess maybe one way of phrasing what you’re saying is, you know, once one is established in the self, then the appreciation of the world can really become sublime. And that appreciation kind of creates a feedback loop where there’s greater and greater sort of expansion of the heart and greater enrichment and further refinement of sensory appreciation, you know, so it just sort of grows and grows. Are you kind of saying that?
Diana: Yes, yes, yes. It seems to me that that’s what that hunger in people is, when they just can’t, you know, they just want that. And see, I don’t even think it’s wrong to want things and to get the shiny car or the lovely house or anything, because that’s part of the joy of life. But it’s whether it’s done to fill the emptiness or whether it’s done as a sort of outflow of creativity, you know.
Rick: Icing on the cake or something.
Diana: Yeah, icing on the cake.
Rick: Well, I think we all know intuitively that a great reservoir of happiness resides within us. I mean, not that many people could actually articulate that, but I think it’s built into us just like our desire to breathe, you know, we just gotta breathe. It’s this human impulse. I think deep, deep down we all realize that, you know, that there is this vast reservoir of happiness and energy and intelligence within us and we must also realize that we’re estranged from it. And like you say, you know, we want to fill the gap. There’s a natural tendency to seek greater happiness and oh, maybe it’s here, oh, maybe it’s there. And you know, we’re constantly disappointed because that’s not it. But there’s nothing wrong with those things, it’s just that, you know, who was it Thoreau said, you know, go ahead and build your castles in the air, that’s where they belong. Just put foundations under them. It might have been Emerson, I don’t know. So, the question is how to do it, you know, easier said than done perhaps, or maybe not. You know, how do we access that inner source that we dimly or clearly realize exists?
Diana: Well, I think that, you know, I’m sure like yourself, I just do some very simple meditation every morning. I don’t meditate very long, only about 15 minutes. And all I’m really doing is trying to, is just clearing the mind of thought so that I retune to the frequency of my source, which can happen quite naturally, I think.
Rick: Yeah. And you’ve been doing that for a long time?
Diana: I’ve been doing that for a long time.
Rick: Yeah. And do you feel that there’s a progressive familiarization with that source?
Diana: Yes, and also, I find that I’m much more aware, much more familiar also with how the feeling of the day goes, and when it’s out of kilter, and when it isn’t. And I think, and this relates to what you said earlier, I think that the more this becomes quite natural, it becomes so sort of subtle and natural, you don’t really, it doesn’t seem like anything very special, you know, it’s not like fireworks or anything going on, you’re just living your life in your day, but you’re enjoying yourself. But what you do notice is when you’re out of kilter, it’s almost unbearable. Having been in kilter, to go out of kilter, you just can’t bear it. And that’s very interesting. And you know, you see that lots of people around you, they’re still, it’s being like caught up in your own consciousness, caught up in your own, it’s like you’re trapped in your own apparatus in a funny sort of way. And that becomes, that’s just unbearable. I can’t bear it. I can’t stand it anymore.
Rick: Yeah, I particularly went through a phase of I got it, I lost it back in the 80s, and it was like, I can’t wait to go to sleep tonight so I can just sort of be unconscious again. And you can imagine how somebody would take heroin or something because they just want to blot out the pain. But you know, relative to what I had been experiencing 20 years earlier, I was probably in a very blissful state, but I had just become accustomed to that, and if it’s lost temporarily, then it’s rough.
Diana: Yeah. So, I don’t know, that process is, you see, I’m very interested in the language of myth, that myth is a language about all of this stuff. I don’t know if you want to go there.
Rick: Let’s go there, but let me just ask a couple questions that came in that seem to be related to the things we’ve been talking about. First one from John in Western North Carolina, which is his question, “Because of our culture and the way we are taught to learn in Western education, is there a step-by-step approach to aligning our heart and mind, and going further, is there a step-by-step approach suggested for attaining enlightenment? What is the first step, the second, etc.?” This kind of alludes to what we were just saying, meditation is one way, but is there anything more you can say to John’s question?
Diana: Well, I think nowadays, you know, having some form of mentor can be helpful, and there are so many people around now who’ve got some training in meditation, or whether you meet them physically, or whether you listen like now online, or read a book. You know, that might be, what would I do? It’s a good question, isn’t it? I don’t, oops. I do think meditation is the key. Meditation, and noticing when your thoughts go out, you know, noticing, trying to notice what your thought process is doing during the day, so that when it starts going, which it does, it goes off, you start getting fearful or critical, you start getting angry, you might just try to write something down, writing things is, I do that, I make lists of things, I write things, I notice when something really bothers me, and I’ll work with it a little bit, and try to get to the core of it. There’s so many books with steps in them. I don’t have like a formula that I, I’ve never really thought about it that way. I’ve just been fascinated by deciphering these myths, and sort of trying to say, lay out the anatomy of who we are, and how that works. So, to me, meditation is the first step, for sure.
Diana: For sure.
Rick: And I think another thing is to have a realistic understanding of the nature of spiritual evolution, which is that it’s not a McDonald’s approach where you’re just going to sort of have some big flash and then it’s over. It’s really a lifelong project, which is actually not a discouraging idea. It’s inspiring because one’s entire life is an adventure of exploration and growth. But it’s, I think it’s important to understand that there are many degrees of awakening, and I’ve seen instances where people have some degree of awakening and then just assume that they’re done or that they’re at a state where whatever they wish to do must be okay because they’re kind of an enlightened dude. And that can result in your downfall, and it has resulted in the downfall of many. So, it’s good to sort of have the Padmasambhava approach, which is that he said, “Although my awareness is as vast as the sky, my attention to karma or action is as fine as a grain of barley flour.” So, to walk the razor’s edge and be diligent and mindful as you go along without being overly neurotic about it.
Diana: Yeah, I mean, I also think just acting in the world, you know, doing things, getting things done is quite challenging.
Rick: Can be.
Diana: And I think that’s good for, that’s kind of, you grow by doing things, don’t you, by achieving things. I mean, I don’t know, my own experience writing a book and trying to write it as well as I can, it’s very demanding. It’s not easy. I’m not in a state of bliss doing that. So, but the experience of doing it works the mind. It’s just like exercise, you know, works your, it’s not just the mind, it’s stamina, it’s the ability to stay with things, and sort of building a belief in yourself. So, I think as much as we want to be spiritual, working in the world, working with the sort of challenges of our daily lives, that is a spiritual practice, I think.
Rick: Absolutely, yeah.
Diana: Being present within it, being patient, you know, there’s always, well, in my house at the moment, there’s always the washing up because we haven’t got a dishwasher, but I mean, there are always these routine things of life that seem to kind of defeat us, you know, because we want a great destiny, but we’ve got to go and do the washing up, or we’ve got to write this letter, or you know, clean the house. I’m trying to think of something.
Rick: Well, writing a book, you know, that draws forth, it forces you to draw forth your inner resources. So, in that sense, it’s like you’re drawing forth potential that otherwise might not be drawn, and you’re infusing that into your mind-body system, so it becomes more your customary way of functioning. And having to wash the dishes and do mundane stuff, you know, that can culture patience where you can, you know, rest in contentment in the self, even though you’re doing something that is not intrinsically gratifying. So, I mean, life is our guru, you know, and everything has some intelligent lesson for us.
Diana: And it seems to me that to know that one is this powerful being, even if it’s only a theory, to know that you are incredibly powerful, to meditate so that you start to tune into it and quiet your mind and then notice that, and then to take on whatever it is you really want to do, that something that challenges you, that inspires you, whatever it is, knowing you can do it, but you can’t just do it instantly. It’s going to take engaging with the world, engaging with that skill set. You know, again, coming back to the airline pilot, it’s a good analogy, always that one. You’ve got to learn to do it.
Diana: You’ve got to learn to do it before you can fly the plane, but having the spiritual stamina, I think that’s probably what’s most useful. It can encourage you to do difficult things or hard work or tricky things or taking on odd interactions with people that are uncomfortable, that you don’t quite know where the goalposts are. You know what I mean? It makes you feel safe in the unknown, to take on what’s unknown, because you’ve got guidance.
Rick: You’ve got guidance and your contentment is not contingent upon the fulfillment or the failure of your enterprise.
Diana: No, your sense of worth isn’t. Your sense of value isn’t. Yes.
Rick: I mean, one way of looking at it is like somebody who has $10 to his name, gaining or losing five bucks is a big deal. Someone who’s a multimillionaire could gain or lose thousands, you know, and it wouldn’t really shake him much because he’s got that foundation.
Diana: Right. I don’t know if that helped answer that question.
Rick: I think it did.
Rick: There’s one more here from Eric in Sebastopol, California. “How does one recognize their true nature or self guided by these teachings? I see substantial and complex references to many ideas of self and culture, myth, archetypes, bones, implicate and explicate orders that appear so overwhelming to me. How can these be more accessible?”
Diana: Oh gosh, well, I mean it is very, okay, so I can see why he’s saying that because I became very interested in the fact that there’s this fundamental pattern, inner self, personality self. And I like that idea because we’re familiar with the idea that we have an inner self, you know, a deeper self or a spiritual self or a soul or something along those lines. We may not know exactly what that means, what it feels like, who it is, how to contact it, but we’re familiar with that idea. But what we’re not so familiar with is the fact that that self is in relationship, it’s in partnership with the sense of self that we are more familiar with in daily life, I should say, rather than as an idea, which is our personality self. That’s us, that’s the one, the person who was born here and had these parents and has brown eyes and is, you know, this kind of heredity or that kind of heredity, those kinds of experiences. These two aspects are put together, that whole package is us. So here’s your person, you’re already here, you’ve got your personality self, that’s done, that’s there, so now it’s about becoming aware of the inner self. And you can do that through meditating, just quieting the mind, and you can do it through noticing how your intuition works. You can do it through noticing when you have an idea or noticing when you feel a sense of happiness and joy for no particular reason, you know, it’s not something nice has happened to you so you feel nice, you just feel a sense of well-being for no particular reason. That’s you, that’s who you’re experiencing then. So then all this other stuff about the myth and David Bohm and everything, I’m just showing here’s this fundamental presence that we have that’s at the core of ourselves. Sorry, I’m looking the wrong place sometimes. We’ve got this presence, it’s right there, it’s there all the time, there’s nothing mysterious about it, it’s a resource that we have. And it’s just about quieting, perhaps quieting the mind, and looking for the, like I was saying, that sense of something lining up, an idea that works, or I think I’ll do this now and not that, or it’s something very simple to begin with, and then we get better and better at doing it, just like any other skill. Is that helpful? Does that begin to answer that?
Rick: I think it does, and he can always ask again if he’s not satisfied, but I really believe in that saying, you know, “Seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened.” I’ve seen it so many times that if a person has a sincere intention to get into this stuff, you know, to discover the deeper spiritual reality, then just take the first step, you know? And, you know, you’re not going to get enlightened tomorrow or anything, but just start exploring and see what resonates with you. I mean, one of the ideas of this show is like a smorgasbord of all kinds of different teachings and teachers and perspectives and everything, and some may resonate with you and some may not, but you know, if you have the sincere intention, nature will organize and, you know, the right thing will come along at the right time and then the next thing will come along and so on. And, you know, it’s just a delightful journey and, you know, it bears fruit in my opinion. You won’t be disappointed if you sincerely pursue it. Yeah. Okay, so you wanted to get into myth.
Diana: Well, just before, that makes me want to say something about the power of consciousness itself, like you were saying there, the power of intention there, because one of the implications in the myth and in Bohm’s work and in spiritual traditions is that consciousness, the reason why it’s so important to be attuned to our deeper self is because our consciousness and the world are woven together. You can’t separate our consciousness from the world, and this is really the mystery at the heart of quantum physics. So what that means is that how we live and who we are impacts the world, whether we like it or not, it does, but it also means that we have power over the world. So if you put out intention, “I want to discover my inner self,” whatever it is, that’s like a seed. It’s a vibration that stirs matter. It stirs the sort of deeper matter of the world, should we say. It starts to stir it to bring to you what you want to do, what you need to take your next steps, just like you said. And that’s the other thing that I think we’re going to start understanding more as we go along into the next few decades, that we shape the world. Consciousness shapes the world, and that’s what magic really is, you know, that spell, the spell of making, casting the spell of making, or God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. That opening part of Genesis is a poem talking about the power of consciousness to create, you know, to summon up what you want from the world.
Rick: And I think it’s a very precious and much needed intention to know oneself and, you know, to unfold one’s spiritual nature. It’s still, even though in the circles of people who watch this kind of show, it seems very commonplace, it’s in the world at large, it’s still rather rare. And I think that everyone who steps on that train is very much appreciated and supported by whatever powers there be. It’s critical for the survival of the world and so, if, you know, if you really pursue that endeavor, you’ll be appreciated and you’ll receive support.
Rick: And that may not have always been the case. I mean, there are times when you could have been burned at the stake for dabbling in this stuff, but in this day and age, you know, ancient secret teachings are just there on YouTube for everyone to see. [Laughter] And there’s also all kinds of nonsense on YouTube for everyone to see, which can totally confuse you if you indulge in it. So, you know, be careful where you put your attention.
Diana: And the authorities don’t really care about it, so they’re not going to burn you at the stake.
Diana: They’re not interested in it.
Diana: Myth is like a dream. Like, sometimes you have a very powerful dream that you remember when you wake up and it stays with you. And then, I know I’ve had the experience sometimes of, you think about something in the dream, you suddenly make a correlation between this thing in the dream and something in your real life. And suddenly you understand, “Ah, oh, the dream’s about that.” But then you also know, “Oh, but this also shows light on that.” You know, this thing in the dream, the way it was being moved around or whatever was happening, was saying something about that thing that in my real life that it correlates with. You go backwards and forwards between understanding the dream in terms of the world and understanding the world in terms of the dream. And it sort of stretches out a fabric of understanding, which I find very pleasurable when that happens. I like doing that with some of my own dreams and I interpret the dreams of my family and friends when they’ve had particularly dramatic dreams. Well, myth is like that, to me anyway, and the myths of King Arthur and the Grail Quest are like a collective dream. I think the big myths, they’re like a dream that we’ve all had. And so they’re not just about us as individuals, although they are about us as individuals, but they’re about the whole culture. And so the King Arthur myth is the collective story of moving towards wholeness, the Round Table. And the Grail story is the individual thread of what it takes to, you might meet your King Arthur, you might meet a mentor, and you might be inspired by him or her. But you’ve got to go off on the quest to find your own part of that. You’ve got to find your own deep connection with that. In other words, a mentor is great, but you need to be weaned from them eventually. You need to get weaned from whoever it is. Because I’ve seen it, and I’m sure others have seen it, where you just stay dependent and you never grow up. And you can always tell a true mentor because they don’t want that to happen. They don’t want that. The one who wants you to stay around, that’s more the wounded King, because they’re deriving their power from you. So how do you do this? So this is going back to this question. You go off on the quest and the quest begins in the thickest part where there’s no path. So it begins usually in chaos. And bit by bit, the story unfolds, you meet certain characters. So the Grail story of Percival, there’s different Grail stories, but the one I focus on is got a young lad called Percival. And his name means, Percival, means to pierce the veil. And thinking about my two circles again, the centerpiece can become veiled. I haven’t sent you that, but it can become, you know, is there, are the worlds joined or are they separated? You know, is there a veil in your heart so that the worlds are separated or is it open and are they joined? So that’s what his name is asking Percival, pierce the veil, got to pierce the veil. That’s his job, because he doesn’t know it. Anyway, he has various adventures and he overcomes lots of wicked knights. He also is mentored by a very well-meaning knight who teaches him the skills of knighthood. And, but he also realizes that Percival is a bit foolish and naive and unsophisticated. So he advises him not to talk too much so that he doesn’t show to others that he’s a little bit naive. So he sets off again. He’s trying to get home to find his mother again. But of course he never goes home again, because once you start on the quest, you can never go back to your normal world. You’ve changed, you’ve changed. So your world’s going to change. He comes to the, to the Grail Castle, which is where the Wounded King lives. And he’s invited into the banqueting hall. He sits down next to the Wounded King and they start having a lovely meal served to them. And then suddenly a door at one end of the banqueting hall opens and a young woman comes through carrying the grail chalice, golden bowl, golden cup. And as she comes into the room, there’s so much light in this cup, it’s as if the sun has come out. And Percival looks at this grail and he thinks to himself, I really, I really wish I knew who that grail’s for. Who’s going to be served from that grail? What’s it all about? But he remembers his advice from his kindly mentor. And he thinks, no, I mustn’t ask any questions. I’ve got to keep silent. So he doesn’t ask. And the grail carries across the room and disappears into another door on the other side of the hall. And that’s it. That’s the end. And he goes on his way and he’s, he’s then told off by various females that he should have asked whom the grail served. Because if he’d asked who the grail was for, he would have healed the wounded king and then he’d have healed, he’d have restored the wasteland. So of course, Percival doesn’t understand any of this.
Rick: Why would his asking have healed the king?
Diana: Because the grail, okay, so at this point, that scene in the grail castle turns into a symbol. And the grail, the golden cup represents the heart, represents our heart. And as it moves through that banqueting hall, it’s moving from, it’s giving its attention to the outer and it’s moving through into an inner room, which we don’t see into. And in that inner room, an elderly man lives who’s very refined and he really is a symbol of God in a way. So it goes, it goes from the outer into the inner, where it serves the being, your inner being, your inner self, right? That’s, that’s what that’s symbolizing. So it’s saying, your heart serves this inner being, it serves your inner self. That’s what it’s supposed to connect to. That’s your intuition when it tells you, yes, this is the way to go, that’s the way to go. You’ve got to disengage from being so distracted by the outer and connect again. And that’s when you have the, that’s the light comes in. That’s your epiphany. That’s your sense of epiphany. So what Percival is learning at this point is that he’s, he’s no longer kind of finding meaning from being in the world and adventuring and having, overcoming nights and training, you know, up to this point, all the sense of meaning has been outside of him. But what he must learn from his experience in the Grail Castle is that meaning lies within him and he’s got the power after that to change the world. And that’s what myth is telling us. So it’s like a narrative about our own consciousness. And this is why myths are so, so here’s a dream, you know, it’s not completely logical, it’s a little bit surreal, but it’s telling us about how consciousness works and that we have to understand exactly what you said. Why does it, you know, what does it mean, that question? Whom does the Grail serve? Well, it’s about becoming consciously aware of how you work. You’ve got to understand, you may have the epiphany, you have the experience, but you don’t understand the meaning, right? But you’ve got to come to understand that, what that means.
Rick: Interesting. There’s a section in your book where you talk about how the loss of wholeness in ourselves leads to the loss of wholeness in the world around us, to unethical behavior, to depleted values. We increase short-term gain at the expense of the long-term well-being of others. We extract commodities from the environment to buy and sell no matter the impact. And you even talk about the 2008 financial crash where, you know, all that weird, complex derivative training and Enron’s crash and all these people sort of really lost to themselves but having gained great power in the world and really messing things up for large portions of humanity.
Diana: Creating a wasteland.
Rick: Yeah, yeah.
Diana: Well, that’s what the wound does. It always creates a wasteland. And that was a very good example of extremely arrogant people who believed only really that the meaning is just about more, you know, more money, more leather, crashing the economy. And there it is again. They weren’t supreme leaders like Stalin, but they were still operating under that wound.
Rick: Yeah. Well, even today, I saw this thing from Bernie Sanders yesterday, which I didn’t read in its entirety, but he was saying how, you know, some 400 billionaires in the country have become $700 billion richer during the financial crisis caused by the pandemic. And, you know, whereas meanwhile, you know, the politicians in Washington are arguing over, you know, cutting the $600 in unemployment benefits that weekly that unemployed people are receiving. So there’s still something really rotten at the core of the policies, it seems to me, that govern our society and our economy. And I think it does stem from what you’re talking about, that this is sort of, there’s not a sort of a national, self-realization or enlightenment or higher consciousness or something is far from being the norm in collective consciousness, and we’re still very much suffering the consequences of that.
Diana: Very much. But it shows you how important it is, because otherwise you create a wasteland. You start creating a wasteland. And I don’t think it’s going to come from our leaders now. I think the shift is going to have to come about in the grassroots, in shifting the nature of the culture and coming to understand that quantum physics actually has enormous spiritual implications, coming to understand what these myths have been telling us. There are psychic DNA that are telling us how we work and who we are. And it’s not just about a nice lifestyle. It’s not about just relaxing, you know, or blissing out or something like that. It’s fundamental to the well-being of the ecology and of the planet and of society being in balance. See, when we lived in America, that was something I could not understand was that fundamental values didn’t seem to even be known anymore. You know, I mean, the other myth that comes to mind is the story of Midas, who everything he touched turned to gold, which is wonderful to begin with, but then he touched his wife and he touched his beautiful beloved daughter and…
Rick: He touched his food.
Diana: And then he touched his food, exactly. So that was it. So really, if there’s only one thing you value, you kill off the ecosystem of what really brings joy, which is a functioning society, you know, where people are enjoying themselves and thriving. You know, why would you do that? It’s not rational.
Rick: I think it really matters what leaders we elect because if you have a malignant narcissist in the White House, he can do a lot of damage. But on the other hand, if we assume, as you were just saying, that changing leadership is going to solve things for us once and for all, well then, look at the history of that. You know, obviously, there are many extreme examples such as Germany, which has learned that the wrong leader in power can destroy the country. And, you know, but ultimately, I think the time has come, hopefully, to finally realize collectively that we’ve got to just shift collective consciousness and that will give us better leaders and everything else will fall into place.
Diana: Yeah, it grows out of that. I think it does. It’s an ecology and that takes time to build, to build up. And unfortunately, just kind of pulling things apart doesn’t necessarily help either. You know, you’ve got to work with what is and let it sort of gradually ameliorate and improve because the fundamentals are starting to shift. I mean, you could say materialism has taken us down this route, you know, that the only meaning is more and more money.
Rick: Yeah, and it’s kind of reached the end of its rope, hasn’t it?
Diana: It has. It really has.
Rick: I mean, the whole environmental crisis, which some don’t even see as a crisis, is, you know, potentially capable of exterminating all life on earth within this century. And so, it’s like, you know, do or die at this point in terms of spiritual renaissance.
Diana: I mean, I’m an optimist.
Rick: I am too.
Diana: I think this is changing. I think what I’ve, you know, you feel like a small beacon, but in a large, oblivious world. But what I really wanted to try to do through the non-fiction books I write was to make the case to take spirituality seriously. It isn’t just a nice little New Agey add-on thingamajig. It’s front and center.
Rick: Yeah. How do you say that in some of your other books? I’ve only been reading one of your books, so what are some of the points you make?
Diana: Well, I’ve only read to, well, I mean, I take the whole, I’ve only read to, sorry, I’ve only written to non-fiction books, because I want to also try and explore this through, as I do through poetry and more through fiction. But the way I use it is because I’m not a physicist, so I can’t use that. I can’t write about that. But I can write about my own experience of alignment, my own experience of working within communities, and the myth, you see. So the myth is our collective dream, that King Arthur myth. Because this new book, Coherent Self, Coherent World, talks about the Grail myth. Again, it brings it back in to explore as another language, along with Bohm and Buddhism and whatever else I’m touching into. I just want, my aim is to make the case of how important this is. That myth, when it says, “If you’re wounded, you create a wasteland,” it’s not kidding. It’s absolutely accurate. It accurately symbolizes the sort of circuitry that’s going on in consciousness in all of us that we need to understand and learn about.
Rick: Did you ever watch that movie, “Koyaanisqatsi”, I think it was pronounced?
Diana: Yeah, a long time ago. Yeah.
Rick: Yeah, it was about world out of balance. I think that’s what the word Koyaanisqatsi meant, and it just had all this kind of intense music and all this footage of just the pace of life and everybody just running around with neon lights and you know, it gave you a real sense of how out of balance the world is. And then I think they made another movie about the world coming back into balance or something. But I think most people watching this would concur that, you know, we really need the spiritual renaissance to create balance.
Diana: And to grow up, you know, to go to its next stage, I think, to mature from what, not that it’s been immature, but aspects of what we used to call the new age have sort of, you know, well, I know people try to put it down. I think the new age has been an enormously important development. It’s been totally grassroots. It’s been, you know, it’s differentiated into myriads and myriads of different fields, most of them all beneficial. But I think we’ve got to take the next leap. We’ve got to make the connection between that and our outcome. It makes a difference to the way you actually think, the way you, the thoughts you have, the ideas you come up with, the extent to which you are coherent in your world. That’s what makes a difference. It’s not necessarily just becoming super smart and studying. You know, that’s important, but it’s this other component, you know, the two together.
Rick: Yeah, I mean there have been plenty of super smart, oh, we were referring earlier on to super smart people who developed the atomic bomb.
Diana: Well, right, exactly.
Rick: Yeah, so.
Diana: You know what it’s called? It’s called vision. Where there is no vision, the people perish. It’s vision. Having an idea, having a vision, and vision meaning a coherent plan, a coherent idea, one that’s going to work as a leader, let’s say. It’s having that instead of just, you know, band-aids. Where does vision come from? Well, it comes from knowing your stuff. Again, you can’t fly an airplane unless you’ve learned how to do it. But vision comes from your inner self. That’s where it comes from. Now, that doesn’t mean that someone’s got to be meditating and doing whatever we think spiritual things are. You know what I’m saying? I think really good leaders are spiritual people because they have vision. They have vision by whatever means. They’ve tuned in to their deeper self. They’ve tuned in to a deeper intelligence and a deeper, it’s kind of an innately moral sense. It’s not the morality of rules and regulations, it’s the morality of thinking in terms of a whole, thinking in terms of benefiting the whole rather than just grabbing for yourself.
Rick: Yeah, in your book you said, we can begin to see that morality emerges out of a whole identity, that intuitive mind is the inherently moral mind. When we lose that balance, we lose the moral center of ourselves.
Diana: Yes, I think that’s true. You talk about, people study ethics today and it’s just all, it’s kind of rules and regulations. It’s awfully complicated. And there’s a rule for every situation under the sun.
Diana: But really, it’s got to come out of an innate sensing.
Rick: Yeah, there’s a phrase in spiritual literature, “spontaneous right action.” I’m referring to the Gita again here. It says that, Krishna says, “The intellect actually cannot grasp the complexities of karma, of all the ramifications of any action. It’s far beyond our ability to compute.” But if we act, as he puts it, “established in yoga perform action,” if we establish, if we act from oneness or from wholeness, then without being able to compute all those ramifications, we act as though we were able to and all the details are kind of worked out by cosmic intelligence. We’re just sort of a little…
Diana: Exactly, exactly. So, you’re in alignment with this larger sort of resource and then that’s going to flow out into this world in a way that is harmonious.
Rick: The Tao Te Ching talks about that too, about how a society can, an individual or a society can be aligned with the Tao and if it does so, then there won’t need to be very many rules and regulations because people will spontaneously act in the right way.
Rick: Exactly. And I don’t know if you have brought up kids, but…
Diana: No, just dogs.
Diana: Just dogs. Well, bringing up children, you can have a rule that lasts for about two weeks because in two weeks, they’ve changed!
Rick: Yeah, yeah.
Diana: So, it’s like a kind of this and a that all the time. All the time.
Rick: Interesting. Well, that whole thing about, you know, morality and…, I’ve helped to establish a thing called the Association for Spiritual Integrity along with some spiritual teachers we’ve founded this organization because there’s been so much misbehavior in spiritual circles, you know, various gurus and teachers acting badly and…
Diana: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Rick: And you know, and students will sit there, you know, with a teacher going more and more off the rails and be thinking either because he’s saying it or because they assume it, “Well, this guy is enlightened and it seems like what he’s doing is crazy, but hey, what do I know? I’m not enlightened, so I’ll just kind of go along with this.” And then the whole community ends up getting dragged off into, you know, I mean, Jonestown is the extreme example, but there have been other ones. And so, our hope in establishing this thing was to sort of enliven in the spiritual community a sense of what may or may not be appropriate because we can’t assume that anyone who proclaims himself a spiritual teacher is necessarily impeccable in his behavior as a result of having attained the highest possible level of consciousness. There are not too many Ramana Maharshis kicking around, so I don’t know.
Diana: By their fruits you shall know them.
Rick: Exactly, yeah.
Diana: You know, you don’t have to reach a high level, you need to act with intent, you know. Yeah, it’s what you do, isn’t it? It’s how you act with people.
Diana: You know, and we are fallible too. I mean, we’re learning all the time, so we do make mistakes. But, I mean, that’s a good example, isn’t it, of what I was saying earlier that I sometimes think that there’ll be just as many pitfalls when this idea of, “Well, we’re our own source,” you know, becomes more institutionalized, if that’s the right word. Maybe it should never be institutionalized, I don’t know.
Rick: That’ll be the pitfall.
Diana: Because then there’s so many, the mind can take off on all of these things and declare itself to be this, that, and the other.
Rick: There’s a great story where God and the devil are walking along the road together and God reaches down, picks something up, and puts it in his pocket, and the devil says, “Hey, what’s that?” And God says, “Oh, it’s the truth.” And the devil says, “Oh, give it to me, I’ll organize it for you.”
Diana: I love that story! When you talk to Ian McGilchrist about the left and the right brain, that’s very much like the left, that very much sounds like the left brain doing that. And the right brain has the truth in the sense of a larger vision. He’ll talk to you about that better than I can.
Rick: A couple of questions have come in, let’s do another one. And feel free to bring up anything, I don’t want to be taking up all your time and not letting you say some other things you wanted to say.
Diana: Oh, I’ve been enjoying the conversation.
Rick: Okay, good. So, this is, I’m not sure how she pronounces it, looks like Annie, but it’s A-I-N-N-E from Cape Town, South Africa. “I have children. Sometimes I live in fear of them repeating painful mindsets I was prey to. Then I wish to direct them and control their negative behavior.” It’s kind of what we’re talking about right now. “At other times I feel encouraged to try connected allowing, just trusting their innate wisdom and allowing them to essentially autocorrect when it can cause me to shake inside with fear or judgment.” What is your understanding of this, your guidance on this?
Diana: I think that children have, well, the way I worked with my children was that I did fundamentally trust their being. I trusted their being and I tried not to override that. Most of the time children don’t want to self-destruct, you know, if they’re not reacting to some strange sort of, they’re not in some strange angry mode that they’re trying to kind of, you know, take revenge on you as a parent. They don’t want to do self-harm and they want to be close to you and they want to, they value that relationship. So I would tend to definitely veer on the side of trusting them, trusting them with a little bit of corrective, you know, inquiry and here and there. And whatever, also whatever you as a parent can handle and are comfortable with, you know. You can’t override your own needs and your own sense of what’s right. So in other words, there aren’t any rules. You have to sort of feel it out bit by bit rather like it sounds like you’re doing. But I tend to say that being is in them and in some ways it hasn’t been as squashed, you know, as it tends to as we get older. It’s strong and they’re not frightened of the world and you wouldn’t want them to be frightened of the world. Children have less fear than we do usually about adventure and about new things. Actually, the story of Percival is very funny like that because the mother’s terrified of him going off. Her other sons were killed as knights and her husband died of something or other. So she’s kept Percival in the wilderness, not knowing anything about the court and the sophisticated world of the court and the knights. And so he’s a simpleton. All he does all day is practice javelin throwing in the forest. That’s how his adventures begin because one day he’s out in the forest and he meets, this is the other lovely thing about this story, it’s quite comic. He’s out in the forest and he meets three knights, five knights, and of course they are dazzling to him because they’ve got this beautiful armor on and colored ribbons on the horses and he’s never seen a knight in his life. And so he says, “What are you?” They say, “Well, we’re knights.” He says, “I’ve never seen knights.” So on and so forth. So they tell him about King Arthur and he just rushes back home and says to his mother, “I want to become a knight.” And she immediately faints because it’s the very thing she’s been trying to keep him from. But he has to go, you know, he has to go off on his quest. So, um…
Rick: Kind of reminds me of the story of the Buddha where his father, you know, it was prophesied that he would either be a great saint or a great king, right? And so, you know, his father said, “Oh, I want him to be a king.” So, he sheltered him and tried to prevent him from seeing anything, but eventually Buddha got out and saw, you know, a sick person and an old person and a dead person and he realized that all those things could happen and will happen to him eventually too. And yet, then that was the beginning of his grail quest, you know, to understand his true nature and eliminate suffering.
Diana: Hmm. I was just thinking there. Oh, it’s gone. It might come back.
Rick: I’ll ask you another question and maybe it’ll come back. This is from Paul in Santa Cruz, California. “Many people become spiritual seekers in order to find healing from their psychological suffering. Even upon reaching highly awakened states, they find that the relative issues of personal, mental, and emotional suffering remain, or in some cases become more pronounced. What counsel do you give these people? Does psychotherapy have a role to play here?”
Diana: Well, I’m not really, I wouldn’t say I’m really qualified to answer that fully. I don’t know of people who’ve attained high, I mean, what do we mean by a high state of enlightenment anyway? I never quite know what we mean because I tend to believe that it’s something quite ordinary, rather like we’ve, you know, Rick and I have been talking about, that you, it’s just a rather gentle thing where you live your life in a mindful way, connecting to this sense of well-being and let that guide you, rather than some sort of altered state, you know. And I would tend to say that if you’re, that if you do have, if someone does have great psychological difficulty, I’m not really sure that they are enlightened, or I’m not really sure that they’re aligned anyway in the way that we’ve been speaking about, because the one thing I do know, I’m not a therapist, but I worked with, I had some good friends who were colleagues and we did workshops together using the Grail myth and they were psychotherapists, and they agreed that the cycle of addiction that I described earlier in the myth is, actually let me just make this simpler, they agreed that the art of therapy was really to get someone to connect with their own self, to connect with their own authority and their own power in whatever way, and if that hasn’t happened, when that happens, it brings some form of healing and resolution, because that is the end of mental dis-ease. Now are there sort of severe conditions that are like schizophrenia or things which I have no knowledge of and I can’t speak about them? They’re to do with chemical imbalances in the brain it seems. Can that person be helped? I don’t know. That’s a puzzle. I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on there.
Rick: Yeah, that’s a good answer. It raises some interesting questions. I’ve had people argue with me that you can be an enlightened SOB or an enlightened alcoholic or one of these things, and you know, I would always say, well, if that’s enlightenment, you can have it. You know, I think if we’re going to use a term like that, we need to reserve it for something much more holistic, much more healthy, and that if someone is behaving in those ways, then they’re a work in progress. They may have made some significant progress. They might be articulate, eloquent, and charismatic, but they’ve got a ways to go. That’s my opinion, clearly. And it’s a source of confusion for people because there have been some famous teachers who’ve been real pieces of work.
Diana: Oh, yeah, well, charisma. Well, that’s the Wounded King in operation because they feed off that energy. Yeah.
Rick: But on the other hand, it raises interesting questions like, could you be, what if Ramana had somehow come down with Alzheimer’s, you know, towards the end of his life? Is that possible? And if he had, would he still be self-realized, or would the malfunctioning of the brain cause self-realization to somehow be lost? Is the consciousness, we know that consciousness is more than just a product of the brain, but the brain is like a transmitter/receiver for consciousness, and if the transmitter/receiver gets damaged enough, can we lose the realization of consciousness we may have acquired in life?
Diana: Oh, actually, that’s interesting because the thing is, it just made me realize we’re all enlightened already at the level of the inner self. It’s not a problem.
Rick: Yes, there’s that. We just don’t realize it.
Diana: Yeah, that inner self doesn’t have to do any work really to be what we call enlightened. It’s enlightened. The point is, is our person, what I call, I use that phrase, “personality self,” is it linked into that sufficiently to benefit in terms of the way we think, the way we act towards others, the ideas we come up with, etc., etc.?
Diana: So, if the brain is damaged, which presumably schizophrenia might involve, then that will, to some degree, impact that personality self, and we probably would be limited in the way we were going to express that. At the other side of the veil, there’s no problem, and at some deep level of an extremely autistic person, there can be joy. There can be a sense of joy. They may have huge frustration dealing with the realities of picking up a pencil, whatever it is, trying to write, and that will bring out frustration, but that’s natural. I mean, children get frustrated in learning to grow because they fiercely want to grow. They fiercely want that. They want their freedom. I don’t think enlightenment is some sort of state where we’ll just sort of float along serenely forever, do we?
Rick: You know, you write a lot about multidimensionality. I don’t know if you quite call it that, but about being able to live in two worlds simultaneously. And, you know, the outer world is always going to be blooming, buzzing confusion in a way. There’s always going to be a lot going on and challenges and disease, you know, wars and diseases and all kinds of things. But by definition, enlightenment is a state in which the inner world has been realized, not just glimpsed, not intuited, not just sort of felt like it’s down there somewhere, but actually we’ve shifted into that being our primary orientation, our primary vantage point.
Diana: Yes. It’s a resource. I think of it as a resource that we, it’s practical. It’s something we’re using all the time.
Rick: Sure, it has huge practical implications for one’s life. And one of its characteristics traditionally is bliss or ananda, you know, sat chit ananda. So, you know, traditionally enlightened people are characterized as being blissful. You see the laughing Buddha, you know, and all the various scriptures talk about the bliss of that state and how intrinsically fulfilling it is. So, it’s a bit, to me it’s a bit of an oxymoron to say that one could be enlightened and yet suffering. Superficially, there may be suffering. I mean, when Ramana was dying of cancer, you know, people were all concerned about his suffering and about his dying and all, and you know, he would make comments like, you know, you don’t get it. This isn’t touching me. I’m not, you know, I’m not that which can suffer or can die and so on.
Diana: Well, I, yeah, I mean, I’m not a student of Buddhism at all. I just touched into a little bit of it because I –
Rick: Ramana was more of a Hindu, an Advaita guy.
Diana: A Hindu, yeah. The reason I talked about Buddhism, because there is something in there about life is suffering, isn’t it? I’m not –
Rick: Oh, that’s one of the main principles, yeah, life is suffering and you have to get out of it.
Diana: And you have to get out of it. I must say, I don’t know how that evolved or who evolved that, but I don’t feel that. I think joy is, joy is the nature of your inner being. Joy and love, that’s what it is. That’s who we are. That’s our frequency. That’s our prime frequency, actually. So, I mean, laughing at things and having a sense of humor, you know, enjoying things. There’s lots of things that’s very enjoyable about life, you know. So, yeah, I agree. I think bliss, definitely.
Rick: Well, you know, if you bite into it –
Diana: Life is blissful. I mean, I don’t want to do the washing up all the time, but overall, I think life, I find life blissful. I think there’s so much to appreciate. I think that might be one thing to do is to develop a habit of appreciating things, of just thinking about things that you can naturally feel appreciative of.
Rick: Yeah. I like washing the dishes. It gives me an excuse to get my hands clean and it gives me a chance to listen to stuff on my iPod.
Diana: Yeah, well, there is that.
Rick: Yeah, but you know this thing about life is suffering or bliss or whatever? If you bite into an orange without having peeled it, you might say, “Oh, oranges are really bitter,” or, you know, they’re sour or something, but the problem is you haven’t peeled it. So, you peel it and you get to the inner orange and you find, “Oh, oranges are actually sweet. I was just tasting the outer value of the orange.” So, that’s an obvious metaphor here for what we’re talking about.
Diana: Yeah, no, indeed. And the bitter parts of life and the difficult parts of life, you have more traction to work with them when you’re sort of living from the orange, as it were, living from the sweetness of the orange. Maybe some of this is also just to do with aging, getting older and wiser. It might be a part of things. One’s always very much more impatient when one’s younger, when one’s 20s and 30s.
Rick: I think it depends on how you live also. If you live well, then getting older does result in getting wiser.
Diana: Yes, I mean, you can get more and more lost as you get old.
Rick: You can.
Diana: Because you can feel more and more disconnected from your inner self.
Rick: One time Abraham Lincoln was considering a cabinet post, someone for a particular cabinet post, and he rejected the guy and he said, “I don’t like the way he looks.” And someone said, “How can someone help the way he looks?” And Lincoln said, “I consider everyone over the age of 40 to be responsible for the way he looks.”
Diana: Is that where that quote comes from?
Rick: That’s what I heard, yeah.
Diana: I remember, yeah.
Rick: Because you can see it in someone’s face.
Diana: You can.
Rick: Yeah, it’s etched in the face.
Diana: To quite a degree.
Rick: Oh, well, we’ve rambled on and covered all kinds of points. Is there anything that, you want me to just quickly show your books on the screen?
Diana: Oh, yes, please. That would be great.
Rick: Yeah, so let’s see what we’ve got here. I’ll just do them in the order I put them up here, or you tell me the order in which you want to.
Diana: Well, we’ll put up my first, the one I, the book I’m sort of trying to promote is the “Coherent Self, Coherent World.”
Rick: Okay, I don’t have the, oh, I do have the cover of that one.
Diana: Yeah, you have the cover.
Rick: Here we go, yep, “Coherent Self, Coherent World.” >> And it’s got that nice picture of the Vesica on it with the faces that I really like, sort of showing the different aspects of self, really.
Rick: So, in a few sentences, what’s this one about?
Diana: Well, the subtitle is “A New Synthesis of Myth, Metaphysics, and Bones, Implicate Order,” and so it’s using the language of those three things, myth and metaphysics and bones thinking, to explore the fact that if you are coherent as a self, and by coherent I mean inner and outer self are in relationship, then your world will be coherent. It will reflect that.
Rick: The world is as we are.
Diana: The world is as we are.
Rick: And then what’s the next book?
Diana: Well, which one is that? Is that “King Arthur” or is that the novel?
Rick: Well, I can show you the “King Arthur” book if you want.
Diana: Let’s do the “King Arthur” book.
Rick: “The Return of King Arthur.”
Diana: “The Return of King Arthur,” finishing the quest for wholeness. So that book takes the main events of the Arthurian legends and the Grail legend to talk about, and talks about what they mean in terms of the society and the individual and the change from leadership being, we can’t wait for a hero or a heroine to come and save us. That’s not going to happen. The return of King Arthur is, to me, is the collective return of just what we’re talking about, of enlightened individuals, of people who are grounded in their spirituality and therefore allowing that coherent world to take place around them. So that’s what that’s about. And it goes into huge depth about those myths, about what they mean, about the symbols, the sword, the broken sword, the chalice, the Grail castle, the wasteland, the different characters, what they all mean, Merlin, Morgana, what was the one, what’s his name?
Diana: The one, oh, Percival, and then the, you know, the Lancelot.
Rick: Lancelot, right.
Diana: King Arthur, the Wounded King. And it goes into, in depth, that whole circuitry of how the wound and the wasteland, how that operates. And I look, because I knew a little bit more about the history of Romania and Ceaușescu, and I look and talk about David Bohm there, about what he said about identity, and I really go into depth. So it was a lot of work that book came out of 20 years. And I wrote the second book, “The Coherent Self,” really, because I just wanted to really make the point even more clearly about the connection between consciousness and the world. So that’s my nonfiction work. And then “The Curve of the Land” is a first novel, you’ve got that one there. And that is a story of people going on a tour of the ancient sites, the stone circles and dolmen of Western Britain. And the lead character has, she has a sort of shamanic experience where she kind of goes down into depth and connects to this energy. And then there’s a poetry book there called “Between Two Worlds.” I’ve included that. That’s a series of sonnets exploring these ideas in poetry. And of course, there’s more on my website if people are interested. dianadurham.net.
Rick: I’ll link to that from your page on batgap.com. Good. Well, thanks. It’s been fun getting to know you and getting to know your work and having this conversation. Likewise, yes. I really enjoyed it.
Diana: Thank you.
Rick: Good. Well, thanks and thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching. Let’s see, next week I’ll be putting up an interview I did a few months ago with Scott Kiloby as part of the Science and Nonduality Conference. They had an online webinar thing. And then the following week I’ll be interviewing Iain McGilchrist, which, who Diana is very familiar with. In fact, you’ve done some kind of a video about him, haven’t you?
Diana: Yeah, we made a film with him. Yes. We wanted to do a bigger project, but it didn’t work out. But his book is absolutely amazing.
Rick: Great. Well, I’ve got two weeks to read it.
Diana: You’ll need them.
Rick: Yeah. Alright, thanks. And again, thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching and we’ll see you for the next one. Take care, Diana.
Diana: Thanks, Rick.