Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer, and my guest this week is my old friend Eric Isen. Welcome, Eric.
Eric Isen: Thank you.
Rick Archer: Eric and I have kind of known each other, first at least saw each other in the summer of 1970 in Poland Spring, Maine at a course that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was conducting. And Eric was a filmmaker at that time, he was shooting a documentary called The Main Purpose. Maharishi liked puns. And he went on to become a filmmaker in the TM movement. And Eric and I taught together on all sorts of projects and teaching teams in various places, Detroit, Chicago, Boston, and various overseas adventures. So these days, Eric is a Oneness meditation or Oneness teacher. He’ll, he’ll explain the details. But I just wanted to give you a real quick overview of our connection. And then we will retrace our steps and go into lots of details. And I think you’re gonna find this interesting because Eric is an interesting guy. So I saw you give a presentation the other night, and you briefly recapped your spiritual Odyssey, back to the days of when you were a Harvard student and you first saw a picture poster of Maharishi up on some campus building. So let’s, let’s take it from there, and then see where we go,
Eric Isen: All right. Life story in a capsule here. I was a Harvard student, undergraduate, and had just been becoming interested in conversations with people about God and spirituality. And starting to have some interest. I really hadn’t pursued it in any direction, but I felt drawn to it. And I saw a poster with this Indian master who was coming to speak at Harvard and I thought Well, that’s cool. Let’s go check this out. So I went to hear him and I kind of the minute he walked through the door, I kind of fell in love with him. And I just remember, when he walked through the door, my mind just kept going over and over and over. That’s the real thing. That’s the real thing. And I could just sort of feel this very powerful energy, of his consciousness and awareness. And he gave a great talk, which was centered all about His Transcendental Meditation technique. And so I learned the technique. And just from the day of my initiation, I started having really wonderful experiences, inner experiences. I’m kind of visual, so a lot of visual. I would see things, and they were more than visual, they always had certain energy or feeling to them, which gave them a reality more than just a cartoon or a dream.
Rick Archer: Like what, for example?
Eric Isen: Well, I remember, one time I was meditating, and my mantra took the form of a goddess, which is what the TM mantras are. I know, I’m not supposed to say that, but that’s what they are.
Rick Archer: But, um, but yeah, they’re bija mantras,
Eric Isen: They’re Bija mantras of the Divine Mother. Bija means seed, seed mantras. And, and she was taking me by the hand, and walking me through these beautiful grassy meadows and plains and forests and things like that. And, and I could feel myself being there, as well as just seeing it. It was like that. And I felt this very powerful, blissful energy. You know, it’s hard to put these things in concepts because they’re experiences so they die when you put them in words. But I hope many of you know what I mean that there’s a differentiation between like a fantasy and, and a real spiritual experience. The real spiritual experiences just, you know it when it’s true because of the energy and the joy that’s associated with it. So I felt all that, and interestingly, that it turned out to be kind of a story of my life. You know, I stayed in the TM movement for you know, almost 40 years after that and spent almost 10 years in Switzerland where I had many a walk in beautiful, you know, grass-covered Swiss meadows and with wildflowers and beautiful trees, spent a year teaching TM in Sri Lanka in the beautiful Hill country where the tea plantations grow. Just you know, many adventures. Course, there were also the slums of Detroit and a couple of years in downtown Chicago. So, you know it was mixed. So you know there were, there were many adventures, but that, you know, it was sort of like a prediction of what was going to come. That’s just one example. And I remember when I was initiated, in TM, I saw visually, and it was an experience at the same time I was seeing it, that my whole life I’d been as if trapped, in the surface tension of the ocean, trapped on the surface of the water. And all of a sudden, with the initiation, as soon as I started the mantra, I could see the surface tension break, and I settled down deep into the ocean. And, you know, just those kinds of things. And there were many other sorts of peak experiences along the way. I think one of the most important things in my life. I was on a long meditation course. Well, I’ll back up a little bit. So as a filmmaker, I used to travel with Maharishi. And on my first trip to India, I was sent ahead of Maharishi early to deliver some materials for a conference that was going on, and then I was going to meet him to do my filming. And so being since I was like, two weeks early, I went up to Maharishi’s ashram in Rishikesh to spend the extra time. And when I was up there. Lost my train of thought,
Rick Archer: Well, you got there two weeks early, because you had to deliver some materials, and yeah, and you went up to Rishikesh to buy time until Maharishi came.
Eric Isen: I’m trying to remember what the experience was I was leading up to? Oh, okay. I do remember now, okay. I remember it wasn’t so much an experience. So I was walking on the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh. And I came to a bookstall for the Gita press, which I knew was like a spiritual book publishing company. And I was looking at the different books and I at that time, I was pretty green. I hadn’t had a lot of education in the Vedic tradition. This was 1974. And I’d been with Maharishi a few years, but I just didn’t know that much about the Vedic literature and the names of different things. So I was looking at the books and didn’t really know what to get or what would be interesting. And the bookseller, you know, he was just, you know, you’re in Rishikesh the atmosphere there is so profound. And, you know, he just had this intuition, he picked up these big three-volume books of the Srimad Bhagavatam. And he hands it to me and says, This is for you, sir. You know, and he was right. It was, you know, I read those books. And I became, it gave me a whole deeper level of understanding of everything Maharishi had been teaching and saying. I somehow saw the truth behind what was he was saying. Maharishi was gearing his teaching towards Westerners very much and trying to keep it palatable to them. And he didn’t want to sort of reveal the Vedic deeper roots and truths behind it. You know, he made us wear ties and suits and everything. We were like, an elaborate masquerade. You know, masquerading that we weren’t really a Vedic tradition, or, you know, a Vedic cult, you know, so we were always trying to cover it up and pretend we were teaching, you know, relaxation techniques that would, you know, help you practically which they would, you know, they are good for the mind, good for the body, good for everything, and very helpful in life. And I was experiencing a lot of growth in those years. But, you know, reading the Bhagavatam was like, a major turning point for me in the level of understanding I got from of what was really in the teaching and what was really behind it. And secondly,
Rick Archer: You’re going to tell us why that was so? Right? I mean, what was it about the Bhagavatam that was such a big breakthrough for you?
Eric Isen: Well, but that’s basically it. I felt like, you know, I understood what Maharishi was saying, I wish I could remember specific teachings.
Rick Archer: I mean, the Shrimad Bhagavatam, it’s about Lord Krishna, isn’t it?
Eric Isen: The Srimad Bhagavatam is the story of the 10 incarnations of Vishnu. So there are one or two or three chapters about each of the incarnations. And so along the way, when they tell the stories, it brings out many of the truths of consciousness and the deeper levels of consciousness, levels of consciousness, the importance of connecting with the Divine and expanding and I felt like a lot of that was some you know, behind the masquerade of the Western geared thinking and speaking, that, that we had in the TM movement
Rick Archer: I see. So I mean, when we were talking about. We were pretty much limiting our conversation to deep rest and scientific research. And you know simple analogies and so on, and you kind of realized at that point, when you read that book that there was this whole vast kind of cosmic wisdom behind the whole thing. It wasn’t just a simple little technique.
Eric Isen: That’s right. Yeah. Not just the technique. But you know, I’d been, I’d been around Maharishi for almost three or four years at that point and heard many lectures. Maharishi, you know, one of the ways he blessed people was by talking, you know. He gave long lectures for hours on end. And, you know, great knowledge, great teaching. And he, you know, I’d been hearing that listening to it. And as a filmmaker, I’d been, you know, looking at and listening to it over and over on my editing machines, too you know, where it kind of penetrated.
Rick Archer: Yeah
Eric Isen: And but, you know, he was always talking. I wish I could remember specific examples. But you know, he’d be talking about unity consciousness, and, you know, cosmic consciousness. And he would be defining it. And there were many, you know, really good, juicy things he would say along the way. And I wasn’t getting it fully until I read that book. How it connected. I kept reading the book, and it was like, oh, that’s what he’s talking about. Oh, that’s what he really means. That’s what this is really all about. It was like that over and over and over again. So all I can remember is my reaction. And I apologize to the viewers. I don’t I know it’s much juicier to hear the specific examples, but I don’t really remember them. I just remember the transition it gave to me. And then perhaps even more important, I just fell in love with Lord Krishna. You know, reading the stories about him. I just was so inspired. And I just thought, you know, this is incredible. And oh, hello, we have some howling visitors.
Rick Archer: They’re out of the camera range. But hi, guys, maybe we can hear you. They just had their breakfast.
Eric Isen: So we’re being attacked by a vicious pack of hounds.
Rick Archer: So okay, guys go in the other room? Okay, sit down.
Eric Isen: There very informal interview. Yeah, very natural. We’re naturally
Rick Archer: It’s usually this way. I’m letting dogs in and out all the time and cats are jumping up. This is real life.
Eric Isen: Yep. Real life.
Rick Archer: So anyway, Irene. Okay, oh, would you please? Okay, better, maybe can better close the door for a bit? Or just Yeah.
Eric Isen: So, so where we were. So in about two years after I read those books, I was on a long meditation course. And one day, I just went into this phenomenal bliss. And I found myself sitting at the feet of Lord Krishna in his heaven. He was on his throne, you know, there were all his buddies around him. And then, and I’ll never forget the scene, you know, everything was gold, shades of gold. You know, so even though it’s, I don’t know how they do it, but just, you could still differentiate sort of shadow and degrees. But you know, the couch was gold, his whole body was gold, everything, his hair was gold, his crown was gold. Everything, all the beings around him were gold. And, and he just sat and looked at me and he was giving me like this really strong blessing through his eyes. And, and then he this, the experience changed. And I started experiencing him inside my body, where he was like working on different chakras, opening things up, blessing me just making, you know, a lot of like surgeries and alterations on the energetic level or whatever. I have no idea what he was doing. And it was kind of a and after that my experiences really changed. You know, I sort of got this medical I got I think he gave me a gift of a medical intuitive ability, which I’ve been able to use to earn a living most of my life. And just, it was a big transformation.
Rick Archer: Now, some people who listened to that are going to think, wow, that’s really cool, far out. Others are gonna think it’s just this imaginary fanciful thing. All that really matters is non-duality, that which comes and goes isn’t real, you know, only that which is perpetual is real.
Eric Isen: Right
Rick Archer: And so, you know, he this guy has a vivid imagination, you know, but there’s nothing more to it than that. Yeah. So what would you say to them? Well,
Eric Isen: You know, physically my health changed. And I developed, you know, abilities and powers that I didn’t have before. So, you know, this is something, something real about a medical intuitive ability. I could see inside the body when I took a person’s pulse when I learned Ayurveda
Rick Archer: We’re gonna have a demonstration of that in a while.
Eric Isen: You know, so in my whole experience has deepened. But, you know, your question has huge implications for the for, I think the greater teaching of my life and the stories in my life because, you know, I stayed in the TM movement for many years and had many of these wonderful experiences. And they were states, they weren’t imagination. You know, these realms, we have, you know, you can say, you can go into the non-dual teaching and say there’s nothing but non-duality, nothing but oneness, nothing but Brahman, nothing but the void, or whatever you want to call it.
Rick Archer: And ultimately, you’re right.
Eric Isen: And ultimately, that’s true. But the fact is, you’re in a body, you’re here in a body, you have to deal with that. And in and, you know, the trees are out there, the dogs are here, you know, the cats are there, the house is here, you got to fix your roof, you know, you got to chop wood carry water, as the Buddhist teacher said. So, you’re dealing with that relative reality at the same time, you may know the truth. Now, what my experience was, and what ultimately caused me to leave the TM movement in the world was that all these experiences were states. They came and they went, so I could be, and ultimately, that gave me great suffering. You know, after this glorious day with Lord Krishna. The next day, I was back to being pretty much me. I had some more abilities, but I had my same faults, and they weren’t leaving. And, you know, I really struggled with my faults, and, and was just told over and over, all you have to do is meditate and do your program every day, and you’re going to become enlightened, and you’re going to change and become this great person and glorious being, all your dreams are going to come true. And it didn’t happen for me. And I don’t think there are many for whom it happened. I don’t believe that a system can give it to you.
Rick Archer: Well, I do know, a number of people in the TM movement, who
Eric Isen: You would know, them more.
Rick Archer: Yeah, whom I would say have definitely undergone a shift. On a relative level, they may still have their faults, I think everyone does on a relative level. But there’s been a shift and pure consciousness, if we want to call it that is perpetual. It’s a solid foundation of their experience of their life. 24/7 Yeah, you know, so.
Eric Isen: So there are some but it didn’t work for me. And most of the people I was around as a monk in Maharishi’s Purusha group, it wasn’t happening for them. Right, you know, and most of the people I know, in the movement here in Fairfield, and otherwise, it didn’t happen for them. Yeah, it’s not because I don’t believe there is such a thing as one size fits all, for anything. You know, I think the minute you establish a system, you’re your limit, you’re, you’re going into a great limitation. I heard Maharishi, say himself, you know, my years around I heard, had many phenomenal experiences, I have the greatest respect for him. But you know, ultimately, I had to go.
Rick Archer: What did he say?
Eric Isen: Well, he said that everything was actually grace. So even though he was teaching us that the system will do it, that you meditate in a system, the mantra takes you to the transcendent, you’re going to transcend and you’re going to become enlightened because you’re going to dissolve all your stress. And he taught it all very systematically. But then he also said, it was really all about grace. That ultimately, it was the, your grace, with the divine, that would grant you awakening. There’s nothing you could do, that was actually going to do it. It wasn’t what you were doing, you’re meditating, it was a matter of, of letting exposing yourself to the grace of getting into the flow of the grace.
Rick Archer: Let’s dig into that a little bit. To my mind, that applies on two levels, basically, one is the meditation process itself from day one is a matter of grace, you know, cuz you’re not doing it. You sit, you have the intention to sit down and practice, but the more you are actually interjecting some sort of doership into the practice, the less effective it is right? Yeah. So you’re kind of
Eric Isen: Right like for most people.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So if you’re doing it correctly, you’re doing it innocently. And without any sort of effort or control or manipulation and
Eric Isen: Right
Rick Archer: Grace conducts the process. If we want to use the word grace. Then there is another’s another way of looking at it is you know that saying God helps those who help themselves or there’s this Zen saying, you know that enlightenment may be an accident, but spiritual practice makes you accident-prone. So, you know, you do all this stuff, and you kind of you submit or subject yourself to this transformation, which is really grace doing the transforming, but you bring yourself to a state of preparedness or readiness, where enlightenment or awakening is much more likely to happen, you know, because you’re not full of crud, you know, you sort of you prepared the vehicle and to make it a fit vessel, you don’t pour new wine into old wineskins. You know, you prepare new wineskins.
Eric Isen: I would agree with that, to some extent. But you know, base because right now, we’re talking about my experience. Yeah, and it’s not theory for me. It didn’t work, it stopped working. You know, I, after, like, 35, 40 years in the movement, I realized I was suffering, and I, my major faults, were not healing going away. And that no effort, or no beautiful experience ever seemed to last or give me any real. Life in pure consciousness, like connection to the absolute. It wasn’t happening.
Rick Archer: Although, in retrospect, although it didn’t happen. Do you feel like that was in any sense a waste of time? Or do you feel like that was all preparatory?
Eric Isen: I feel it was preparatory. a tremendous value, I feel it was preparatory so I don’t regret it. Right. And in fact, looking back on it all, the day doesn’t go by when I’m not extremely grateful to Maharishi for what I got from it. And in fact, I’m, I think I’m more grateful to him for the years I had around him, and the total smashing of my conditioning that occurred at that time. Because he had no conditioning. And he just sort of smashed your boundaries, your beliefs, your, your ego, you know, everything was just laid waste around him, anything relative had no value real to him? No. And, and then all the years on Purusha, the different projects we had, you know, he would have us do all these insane things, that put tremendous pressure on you. You know, I just remember the natural law party when we’re running candidates, and I was in the group publicity group where I have to call up these cynical reporters all the time and tell them, you know, oh, I’m running a wacko physicist for President, would you like to write an article about him?
Rick Archer: You know, that’s one of the reasons I got into computers was, I could just absorb myself in this screen and not have to deal with people. Because I’m good with dealing with people. But in the TM movement, you had to sort of deal with people who didn’t want to deal with you.
Eric Isen: That’s right.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I hated that. I hate it asking for money to support me. So it’s like, I just got lost in my little computer world.
Eric Isen: Well, that’s one of the things I’m grateful for, you know, if I sum it up, I just think it broke so many boundaries. It made me very bold and fearless. In life, you know, in what I do, you know, just, it’s just water, everything sort of water off a duck’s back, if someone thinks I’m crazy and wacko, is fine, I’m crazy and wacko, you know, you’re good, you know, enjoy, you know, enjoy your, your beliefs, your perceptions, or whatever.
Rick Archer: You know, one thing I want to ask you, that sort of relates to what we’ve just been saying, you know, you and I have known each other really well over the years. And, and we, we both, you know, are aware of the phases that we each went through, where we really were kind of crazy. I mean, you know, on long courses and stuff. Um, you had a period where you had to be watched because you were climbing out your window and going in town and do god knows what. And I was like, he had an eating problem or something. Go out for a donut or something.
Eric Isen: No, better than that, ice cream sundaes in Switzerland, or just go out for a good meal in the Swiss restaurants.
Rick Archer: Doesn’t sound like there’s anything wrong with that.
Eric Isen: But we weren’t supposed to do that. Uh-huh. And, and that the nature of it was, I just was, you know, supposed to be meditating. And I just couldn’t take that austerity.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Eric Isen: And I was just like, and so there was like, a tremendous pressure and stress release, built up inside that drove me to do those things. It was just like a tremendous drive. And then afterward, I would feel very guilty and things like that.
Rick Archer: People are gonna listen to this. And they gonna think, Well, geez, I mean, the problem was not with you, it was with routine, there’s no harm in going out and having a good meal. But I mean, you know, me, and you know, how kooky I’ve been at times in my life. And I just wonder sometimes whether going through a kind of a dark night of the soul in the form of really, all you get turned inside out and all kinds of your idiosyncrasies, and your obsessing, obsessions, all kinds of stuff, just come to the surface. And, you know, to the observer, you may appear to be quite odd and quite maladjusted right away normal Right, but it’s kind of a minefield, you have to go through and you eventually kind of come out the other side. Yeah. It’s worth mentioning, I guess, because it might be something people are going through.
Eric Isen: It’s very, that’s very true. And to me, okay, so this brings up, you know, we’re jumping back and forth between the present and the last years in the oneness movement, and TM. And, for me, all those types of behaviors we’re talking about, are basically feelings of the stuff that you have, we have inside us, it has to come out if you’re on a spiritual path, like Meister Eckhart said many 1000s, hundreds of years ago, you know, spiritual growth is a process of subtraction, not addition. The veils come off, you release your charges, your addictions, things like that. They have to come out. And okay. To me, that the system, the meditating, even though it takes you deep, and you relax, and something comes out, and there’s a certain amount of grace in there that’s describing it, it doesn’t teach you to deal with these behaviors, these addictions, a lot of this negativity that you have, in the way that will really heal it. It doesn’t come out. What works for me is the non-dual teaching which the non-dual teachers teach, which is what we teach in the oneness movement, in addition to the very powerful grace that’s transmitted through the Deeksha, and the oneness meditation and our there’s many ways that we receive grace in that movement because the divine wants to give it. But the teaching is what most of the non-dual teachers teach, which is, you have to accept who you are, if you want to heal it. You have to learn to stay with the negativity that’s coming out. In oneness, they used to teach us to be bad. Don’t act bad, be bad. If you’re angry, let the anger swallow you. Let yourself be completely absorbed in that energy. And what’s happening when that does is it’s like Maharishi’s feeling the body, but it’s much more elaborated. Where
Rick Archer: So and Maharishi’s feeling the body was? Why don’t you just explain that?
Eric Isen: Okay Maharishi’s feeling the body, you know, he taught all the teachers a technique called the checking points, the 30 points of checking. And they one of those points is called, like overpowering thoughts in meditation in which he tells you, and that overpowering thoughts in meditation, that, that teaching, I’ve always I love it, because it’s like the sutra form of this much more elaborated teaching, of experiencing your what is and healing it.
Rick Archer: And I just want to add that this is relevant to people, most of the people listening to this won’t have practiced TM, but this is relevant to everybody really because it’s a kind of a fundamental principle, I think that many teachers reflect upon, right, that’s what you’re probably gonna say, yeah, yeah, you know,
Eric Isen: And so that the teaching the way Maharishi elaborated it in very succinct form was he said, that, whatever you’re experiencing. So say something makes you angry, someone says something or does something to you, that hurts you and makes you angry. It’s not about that. It’s a trigger. You might be with someone who doesn’t have the anger on that particular issue inside them. And the same thing happens and they’re not triggered. They don’t get angry. They don’t respond, they don’t react. You’ve reacted like that because you have the seed in you. So the teaching is that those seeds are your karmas those are impressions, memories from past lives from childhood, from your ancestors. And what I see in my medical intuitive work is that all health problems, psycho-emotional problems, spiritual, you know, originate in these spiritual blockages. They have like, they’re like energy knots. And they’re in the Nadi system. The nadis are like energy nerves that connect the material with pure consciousness. It’s the means, the mechanism through which the pure energy of consciousness, the field converts itself into a body or into a house or whatever, you know, it has to transform itself. You know, everybody
Rick Archer: To illustrate the point you just made so if two people are driving along in separate cars, and somebody cuts them both off, one person may get angry and the other just take it in stride.
Eric Isen: That’s right.
Rick Archer: Because the one person has sort of seeds of impressions, which or their makeup is such maybe it’s just their temperament. They’re more of a pitta, kind of personality. They’re gonna react the other person isn’t.
Eric Isen: That’s right. Yeah. I wouldn’t say it’s because of the temperament I would say it’s because they have some incomplete experience. Some knot of memory in them that’s getting triggered. So getting cut off was a blessing because this dormant blockage in their system got released and the energies coming out. So this could be something of any form, it could be something that makes you jealous, angry, lustful.
Rick Archer: So the Israelis and the Palestinians are blessing the heck out of each other?
Eric Isen: That’s right. Yeah, right. They are. In a way, they are, but they don’t know how to deal with it. You know, they, and what Maharishi brings out is that it’s not about the experience that triggered you. That you that the when the seed energy gets released, it floods you with the energy of the experience that caused it. So you get flooded with anger, or whatever it might be. And your mind has to is this, like being you know, it has its own identity, a very totally illusory identity, which causes it to place your current experience of the car cutting you off as an explanation for why you’re angry. Those could be anything you know, someone says something to you, you’re hurt. And it’s all because of your sense of ego and mind that you explain it that way. But it’s just it’s triggered you it’s blessed you in a way and, and the so the teachings of Maharishi his teaching, which again is much more elaborated by other teachers like Adya Shanti you know, Eckhart Tolle, Francis Lucille is a teacher, I like,]. Papa Ji in India, Ramesh Balsekar, Nisargadatta all the non-dual teachers teach something like this, where you’re, and where you come back where you drop the story. So obviously, you’re driving the car, you can’t do it. But ideally, you would stop, close your eyes go inside, and just be with your anger, be angry without trying to resist it or analyze it. And this is a challenge because our whole conditioning is you have to do something you don’t get anywhere without doing some work without doing something.
Rick Archer: One little point to throw in is that the way Maharishi phrased it was that the mind doesn’t like to have feeling in the abstract without assigning some kind of rationale to it. So and he also talked about this during meditation itself, not just cars cutting people off, but you might be sitting meditating and some feeling comes up due to some deep impressions being released, and you attach it to something, you begin to feel negative toward a friend or you feel like you want to leave the program or you, you feel like you need to climb out the window and go get a big meal, you know, some this, but it’s really not about that it’s a, it’s just that the mind is assigning something. So yeah, I just want to kind of reiterate.
Eric Isen: So when you stay on that level of the mind, assigning it, you’re in the mind, you’re in the clouds, you get nowhere, you’re never going to heal it, you what you have to do is come back to the physical feeling of the anger of you know, the jealousy, of the lust, you know, of the food, craving, whatever it is, and just let it over you. In oneness, we call it the art of suffering, because it may be a strong fear, it doesn’t feel good, you know, but you’d let it swallow you. We say most of the people in the world are like hanging from a light fixture in the ceiling, while the Tiger of their negativity is waiting to devour them. And the only way you heal it is to let go and let the tiger eat you. You let the energy of the experience completely take you over. And you just experience it and you feel it. Now, you know, it’s very the reason that works, is because who are you? You think you’re the mind or the ego, you think you’re this person? No, you are being you are pure consciousness. You are the field of energy. There’s nothing but God, there’s nothing but that energy. And so your attention, when the mind is not operating, when you’re not doing anything, is pure consciousness, and it can dissolve anything. It can dissolve these blockages that are in you. So when you can connect the knot of karma that’s inside you about the anger, the jealousy, the fear, whatever it is, with awareness without getting caught up in the story without letting the mind assign a meaning to it. Just that experience allows you to complete the experience. In oneness we say these charges, these stresses are the result of experiences that were not complete. So they left a knot of incompleteness in you for something hurt you made you angry, and you couldn’t accept it. You couldn’t let it complete itself. You held it. You know, so that could be you know, or maybe you were in a war and you saw everyone wiped out and you were in tremendous fear and anger and you stored all that because you couldn’t accept that it was too painful. And you stored it and now it’s coming out and when you start to think about it and ascribe it to what’s going what triggered it in your current life. You’re in the mind and you get nowhere. Whereas this teaching allows you to dissolve it, to heal it just with your attention by doing nothing.
Rick Archer: So let’s say to take an extreme example, let’s say that you are one of the Sandy Hook parents. And for those who are not aware of it, watching around the world, that was a town in Connecticut, where a guy went into a school and shot up a bunch of five- and six-year-olds, with an automatic weapon. And let’s say you had gone through the oneness program, or whatever spiritual practices you had gone through. And it had brought you to a point where you had worked out all these charges. resolve them. How do you suppose that such a parent would react to their child being killed as compared to the ordinary person,
Eric Isen: They, you know, they would experience grief and sorrow and anger and all those things. And they would just pass right through them. So we’re talking about someone who’s awakened here, awakened. When you’re awakened, it’s not a state anymore, it doesn’t come and go, you’re living a level of pure consciousness, where the mind is separate from you. So the mind, the emotions, the ego, they exist, they’re tools, you cannot function in a body, without a mind and an ego and an intellect. You know, otherwise, you’re gonna walk into walls, whatever, you know, you know, you know,
Rick Archer: distinguish your mouth from your ear.
Eric Isen: Yeah, exactly. You know, you have to be able to perceive these things. But it’s all gotten out of perspective in this Age of Ignorance in Kali Yuga, where the mind and the sense of separation and fear have dominated the fight and flight response is dominant. All these different outcomes of Kali Yuga, of this age of ignorance that we’re hopefully coming out of now, have taken over, I always love this quote from, I don’t remember the exact words the Ananda Moy Ma, who was a female avatar in the last century. By avatar, I mean, someone who’s like born enlightened in a very high state and has some mission in life, some definite purpose. So it’s like an amazing soul that took a human body for some purpose. And she said that, that the divine plan is that the divine sits in all our hearts and guides our lives so that everything can work out perfectly because only the divine intelligence can organize everything without a flaw. Whereas the mind will just make a mess out of it, the human mind can’t do it, you can’t comprehend all the variables, only the cosmic computer can only the divine can. But what happened in Kali Yuga, is that the mind dominated and suppressed the heart and took over. And so the mind made a royal mess out of the world to the point where we’re ready to blow ourselves up, and destroy them, destroy, you know, we’re destroying our planet, just so that we can make money, you know, or kill people and bomb them, you know, and that, you know, that so that the heart has to come back to the fore because that’s where the divine lives in all of us and can organize our lives so that everything flows seamlessly. And
Rick Archer: So are you saying that somehow the one, the TM movement wasn’t doing that for you, but the oneness movement you picked up where TM left off?
Eric Isen: The teaching was not elaborated enough that you have to face yourself, you have to, like face your addiction, sit with them, be them, accept them? And, you know,
Rick Archer: There was all the emphasis on transcending,
Eric Isen: There was. It was just meditate twice a day, and everything’s gonna take care of itself. Just do your program. Yeah. And, and I don’t see that, you know, as you said, there are some people that worked works for them
Rick Archer: Yeah, maybe not as many as they should be after 40 years of practice?,
Eric Isen: Well that’s my point. Yeah, you know, they’re, I think the ones who got awakened probably could have got awakened by eating pizza, you know, like that.
Rick Archer: They probably did that, too.
Eric Isen: They probably did that too, you know, not take away they’re great techniques, and they’re very helpful. Yeah. And, you know, and they give deep relaxation and they’re great stress release in the world. But, you know, we were totally consumed with enlightenment, with awakening, that was our purpose, and it wasn’t delivering that on any kind of a scale that I could see in my life. Now, what’s very interesting is, I was talking about how Maharishi in the checking point, described that in not very elaborated form, but very perfect. He really summed it up. And he actually told a number of groups in the movement, whom he must have felt were able to hear it to apply that teaching from those checking points all the time. But he never made it movement-wide. He never told my monks group, our male monks group, he never told us that. He told the female monks group, the Mother Divine program. And I’m, I’ve had this conversation with a number of people who were on different teacher training courses, where he told them to apply that point.
Rick Archer: And so practically speaking, if you were telling somebody to apply that all the time, what would you tell them? Exactly?
Eric Isen: Yeah, which I do all the time in my work. Okay. I tell you know, because the stresses are at the root of your health problems.
Rick Archer: So you are talking to 1000s of people right now. Yeah. So explain to them how to do okay.
Eric Isen: So it’s kind of what I was talking about before. Basically, you have to learn to do nothing. So something triggers you say, so your ideal situation is you’re at home. And maybe you got a phone call, and someone says something which hurts you. So you feel a lot of or, let’s say, you’re at home, and then you start worrying about your money, that you’re going to starve someday. You’re going to be out of your house. So what’s what is that that that’s the mind making up a story. Do you know the future? Can you control the future? There’s is always something to worry about. your mind is going to manufacture, you know, this issue and that issue, this fantasy that fantasy, it creates scenarios all the time, that’s its job, because it’s trying to keep you from connecting with your true nature, which is pure consciousness, which is the divine. It’s like it has its own existence, and it wants to protect it. And so when something triggers you, you’re at home, and you start worrying, some if you start feeling some fear, I’m going to run out of money, I can’t retire, whatever. The teaching is, that that fear is, has nothing to do with your current economic situation, it’s something you’re holding inside you from the past. It could be from your childhood from when you were in the womb, it could be from a past life. It could be from something that happened anytime during your life, it could be from your ancestral line. So you can’t know what it’s really all about. It’s like endless trying to figure it out, you don’t have to know. Instead, close your eyes, or you don’t have to close your eyes and let yourself drown in your fear. It’s not about the story of that you’re going to run out of money and starve and be homeless and die on the street. It’s about your fear. It’s about the knot of fear that you’re holding inside you in your energetic nervous system. And when you can let yourself sink into that and experience the fear without a story. It will heal, it will dissolve. And I guarantee you try this. And usually after a minute or two, you get a wave of bliss, a wave of joy. Why? Because that fear, as I said earlier, and this is like a knot in your energetic system that connects the divine with the material. And when that knot dissolves, you’ve opened up another channel to the Divine, you open up and the nature of the Divine is joy, it’s bliss. So you get like a wave of joy. Now the deeper, more powerful ones, they come back over and over, they have many levels. And you may not feel a wave of joy. And you may just say, Well, okay, I’m still in fear. And I but you know, I have to go to work, whatever. But believe me, you stay with this. And you find that you are transforming your behaviors. And that’s what frustrated me in Maharishi’s movement was, you know, we weren’t that teaching wasn’t elaborated, it wasn’t given to us. And I never stood there face to face and experienced my suffering.
Rick Archer: You were suffering, but you were kind of
Eric Isen: escaping. Yeah, sweep it under the carpet, right?
Rick Archer: You were never kind of turning and facing it full on.
Eric Isen: That’s right. And I was always trying to do something. Something would come up and I would like suppressing say no, that’s not good. That’s not right. I would judge it, thinking you’re judging. That’s what everyone does. That’s what we all do. That’s the conditioning. Most people are out there. And you know, you’re wrestling with yourself all the time, you have inner conflict, you have an inner dialogue going on. All that is taking place.
Rick Archer: And of course, people who take drugs and stuff, they’re just trying to mute it or they’re numb it. And or not only drugs, but you know, doing all kinds of things to distract themselves from it. And you’re just saying stop and just face it full-on?
Eric Isen: Yeah. I mean, I think I don’t know what percentage but I think most of the world’s economy is built on escapism. Yeah. People are watching television, they’re reading, you know, escapist books. They’re drinking, they’re eating, you know, taking drugs, they’re eating food. They’re fighting their elaborate stories, which are all about escaping. You know, I mean, the world economy is built on it.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So I mean, you in a way you just alluded to your own experience because you had a financial setback recently in which you had invested a lot of money with some guy that turned out not to be trustworthy. And that was kind of an unfortunate turn of events. And so but you dealt with it by really just feeling it fully, and it passed through rather quickly
Eric Isen: Or just Yeah, I just accepted. I mean, it was harder for me, but, you know, in, in the oneness movement you know, the permanent awakened condition is being given on a massive scale right now and what to people at whatever level they’re at, you don’t have to become some great Ramakrishna, or, you know, some great Maharishi or some great Yogananda to be awakened. You can awaken at a very low level of consciousness, in the sense that, and defining awakening as a declutching of the mind, where you become free of the mind, where it doesn’t control you anymore. And you’re separate from it, you don’t see yourself as the mind. Whereas before you identify yourself as these thoughts, as this person, Whereas what the mind is doing is, it’s creating a personality, out of a totally disconnected array of old memories from, from past lives, things like that, that aren’t really connected. And so your mind creates this whole idea of a person, of a personality, whereas in oneness, we say, you’re a crowd, you’re not a person. And when you have that disconnect, these things pass through you very quickly. You know, you become free of the mind. So like you say, if, you know, if, if something tragic happens, you’re going to feel grief and sorrow, and it’s going to pass through you. You lose all your money like I did, it passes through and you just continue. You know, you just at some point, it doesn’t hang on and eat you up anymore. Whereas before it ate you up.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So it didn’t help you, any in terms of your financial situation, It didn’t help bring the money back to be Oh, no, no, no, no, in fact, it might bring the money back sooner to be not eaten up and just roll with it and keep on.
Eric Isen: That’s right. Yeah. Yeah, that’s right.
Rick Archer: So a lot of people use the term awakening these days. And you know, I hear people all the time saying, Well, when I had my awakening, or I awoke or this or that, and I’m always a little bit not, you know, uncertain as to exactly what they’re referring to. Because there’s doesn’t seem to be a universally agreed-upon definition of the term. And in my opinion, based on my experience, both with myself and with other people, there seem to be, you know, many, many, many, many stages of awakening, awakening after awakening, after awakening. And I don’t know that those stages ever end, although even, you know, at a certain point, there’s that which is, which essentially, you are, is, I mean, it, it’s recognized, and it’s never going to change or get improved upon, but your ability to reflect it or express it, your ability to be an instrument through which that can shine in the world. No, end to the refinement of that. Yeah.
Eric Isen: Beautiful. So that’s one of the things I love about, you know, the teaching in the oneness movement is phenomenal. I mean, he basically says, awakening is on a scale of one to 100. And, and he says, enlightenment isn’t until you hit 70. So awakening is at a
Rick Archer: So you can have a one awakening a two awakening,
Eric Isen: And you do. Yeah. And you do in India on these different courses that we have at the one Oneness University, the deepening course, everybody who goes there and gets awakened by whatever this by this definition of declutching of the mind. So they may be awakened at a one or two.
Rick Archer: Now, are there degrees of declutching? I mean, is it a 100%? Severance, complete? Declutching? Or, you know, are you declutched, to a certain degree relative to the way it used to be
Eric Isen: You are declutched? But it’s a very important question. They use the analogy there is that you’re speeding along the freeway, normally, with everything going at like 180 miles an hour. And when you awaken, the engine switches off. And it’s gonna it can take a long time before the car stops coasting and gets to a stop. Where you were, where you start to really experience the games of the mind and ego as secondary. We are on to it. Where we have so much silence, that it’s not going where the mind doesn’t trick you anymore into its games.
Rick Archer: So by your definition, a person could be awakened, but they could still be tricked.
Eric Isen: Yeah, for some time.
Rick Archer: And there seems like there would be degrees of trickery, you know, some things which are just sort of tripped you up for a minute and other things which have become all-consuming for a while.
Eric Isen: That’s right. Yeah.
Rick Archer: So if it’s really all-consuming, why how could you call that person awakened? Isn’t it just sort of you’ve lowered the bar quite a bit.
Eric Isen: No, I would say it’s, it’s, they’re awakened because what happens after you’re awakened is you’re able to access this process I’ve been describing for healing by doing nothing by experiencing becomes automatic. So I would say awakening is a process of extreme growth, of very rapid growth. I would say that is perhaps one of the major gifts of awakening that you happen. So even if you awaken at one, whatever declutching happens, allows you to move into this experience of purification constantly. So you’re going to get overwhelmed. And the deeper, stronger drives are going to grip you to some extent as time goes on, but progressively, you get. So what’s been the joy to me is when I left the TM movement, I was stuck. You know, the things weren’t moving. And after awakening, everything’s moving really fast. So it’s not that you know, I’m this great person or anything like that, you know, I’m who I am. But yeah, but what’s really satisfying to someone you know, I gave my whole life for evolution, I gave my life to Maharishi, my whole adult life. And that’s because I wanted enlightenment, I wanted growth, and I wanted to serve and bring something to the world. So that was great. No regrets, you know, and it got me to this point, where I found oneness and oneness delivered this awakening, which uncorked everything. So when you’re not attached, when the mind is detached, is declutched the karmas release very rapidly. And a lot of people when they awaken have a lot of stuff to go through sort of dramas, and you know, they’re forming little, you know, groups and stuff to help each other understand it. Because here’s the difference, you don’t have an inner conflict anymore. When your stuff comes out. It’s gangbusters. Your energies are releasing, and you don’t receive somehow you just stop resisting it. So on the outside, it may look the same. But inside, you don’t have the resistance, you don’t have the judgment. You’re not like trying to suppress it, trying to judge it and say, This is bad, I shouldn’t do this. I’m a bad person, I have to change it. You accept it.
Rick Archer: So you just stop all that manipulation, and suppression.
Eric Isen: And when you do that, you stop suffering. That’s the greatest joy. You know, I suffered like crazy. And now even when my worst crap comes out, I don’t suffer. Because it’s because I don’t have an inner conflict or dialogue about it.
Rick Archer: I guess you’re no longer Jewish. Right? Yeah.
Eric Isen: That’s a good definition. At least East Coast Jewish.
Rick Archer: So how does awakening I mean, how does oneness accomplish this for people?
Eric Isen: Grace.
Rick Archer: Okay, so grace, what great,
Eric Isen: so beautiful. Question. So you know, of you, those of you who are watching, you can believe it or not, you may be skeptical or not, but my experience of Amma Bhagavan, the founders of the oneness movement, is they are avatars, very high beings who have come at this time of the phase transition, to move, to help to be one of the ways through which the Divine is creating a golden age, by delivering this awakening to many people. And they call it a brain surgery. They call it you know, where the divine actually works on you and they give you. We have two main avenues of connecting people to the divine energy. One is called the oneness blessing or oneness Diksha, where the hands are placed light on the head, lightly on the head. The other is the oneness meditation, where the oneness meditator is initiated so that they can be completely consumed by Amma Bhagavan. Or by the Divine. You know, I’m a oneness meditator, and sometimes I’m consumed by Christ. Sometimes I’m consumed by Krishna, sometimes I’m consumed by Durga, sometimes I’m consumed by Amma Bhagavan.
Rick Archer: What is it? What is the experience of being consumed by this or that?
Eric Isen: Extreme bliss, you know, that the only difference, you know, they’re just faces of the Divine? The Divine is that one pure energy and I just happen to know who’s coming through and like if it’s a Divine Mother I’ll feel more nurturing love, in my experience, and usually, he or she will show themselves visually to me, and they might say something to me like that, you know? It’s a little bit off track, but I’ll backtrack to one of the main stories of my life like when I was seven years old, I woke up in the middle of the night. And I was being gripped by this sort of tractor beam, like a Star Trek tractor beam of intense energy. And it was so powerful, I could hear the room was humming. And then this God-like voice says, My son, get out of bed, go out the door, and you’ll see God and Jesus Christ. So anyway, I’m this little Jewish kid whose parents have raised me since World War Two, to think that every Christian hates us wants to kill us, you know, and so I had that conditioning. So I didn’t go I curled up in fear. Jesus Christ. What’s gonna happen. So I didn’t go. So after I became a TM meditator, instead of opening up to spiritual reality, you know, I spent my whole life regretting that I didn’t go, wondering what would have happened. Yeah. So later, you know, I had a private interview with Sri Bhagavan. And I figured it’s my one chance to ask someone who can tell me what would have happened. And he said, he said, You would have been awakened by the grace of that experience. And by now, you would be in unity consciousness. So I was like, damn. And it would have been a different life. But, you know, I wasn’t ready for it. So it just wasn’t the way it was written. You know, it didn’t happen. So. Anyway,
Rick Archer: So you’re talking about the two ways in, which is the best Deeksha and the oneness meditation?
Eric Isen: Yeah. Okay, well, I really got backtracked, should I finish the story? I’m sorry. Okay, so I finished the story. So that happened, then, as I found out that so the next stage of this is, after that, I read these beautiful books about Anastasia, this Divine a Russian Divine Mother avatar, she’s a phenomenal avatar alive now, living in Siberia, year-round without a house in the woods. You know, put that in your pipe and smoke it. And so and doing phenomenal work. And these books are just so inspiring and beautiful. And there was one scene in there, where she had just been through something that was very taxing to her body. And this golden ball manifests in the middle of the woods. And out of its steps, this, this beautiful young being made of blue light, a light, like this, like about a 10-year-old boy. And somehow that image just really captured me, I just sort of fell in love with it. But that being said, Oh, it’s so beautiful. It really moved me. It caught my heart. Other places in that book, when people say who are you, she says, I’m the sister of Jesus. So, so anyway, about a few months after that, I was in India on a course. And I was asking one of the guides, who will conduct the courses there, who are in very beautiful levels of consciousness. These people really live the reality of what they teach, very inspiring and beautiful to be around them. And I was asking one of these guides about it. And she said, when the divine come, oh, I left out a stage. So a few months after reading that this little boy blue came out of nowhere and goes into my heart and stays there. You know that? Well, that’s cool, you know, and I’m sort of wondering, who are you? Why have you come? So I asked her about and she said, when the divine comes to you like that, unsought, unlooked-for the divine has a purpose. So you need to keep talking to your little boy blue and asking him, who are you and why have you come? So a few months after that, during a oneness meditation, I’d had that question in mind for all those months, those different questions. My little boy, boy blue, sort of showed himself in the oneness meditation and said, I came to bless through you. And, and that’s what the oneness meditation is. It’s a powerful divine energy that just takes the person over and blesses them and blesses the people who experience it. And then the next night, the rest of my questions were answered. He came back again. And he said, I’m Jesus, I took this form so that I wouldn’t scare you this time. So that’s sort of completed the experience.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Eric Isen: It was nice. So. So the oneness, I was talking about the different forms through which divine energy is given to people to help them in their growth, the different form of divine grace. One is this hands-on oneness meditation, the hands-on blessing. The other is the oneness meditation, it’s given through the eyes. The oneness movement also has a very major devotional component, which you may also find in in with Ammachi and others where if you go to a picture, an image of the Divine, and in oneness, we’re not really attached that it has to be Amma Bhagavan. They say go to your divine. Put your hands up like a half-inch away from the picture. Close your eyes. and ask for a blessing. And in, in oneness, it happens. If I go up to a picture of any divine and I do that with reverence, I feel I get a strong rush of bliss of energy that helps to transform me. So the components for very rapid spiritual growth and in oneness that’s worked for me is this combination of grace and non-resistance, non-doing in the face of my deepest faults. And my deepest struggles and my deepest addictions is that acceptance is letting the Tiger of my fear eat me. And, you know, the story of the personal awakening for me was the one. Amma Bhagavan wanted the oneness meditators to be awakened, and they wanted to guarantee that. So they brought us each over to India. They determined sort of astrologically or in some mystical way, actually, what an auspicious day for each one of us, that would be particularly conducive to awakening. And so they
Rick Archer: How many of you were there?
Eric Isen: They’re out there. No, there are only about 60, 70 in the world,
Rick Archer: Oneness meditators.
Eric Isen: Oneness meditators, the ones who give through the eyes.
Rick Archer: Which was what you did the other night, okay,
Eric Isen: We give through the eyes. And we underwent an initiation, no training at all, we don’t do anything. Initiation, it’s an initiation it’s like a hookup. Okay.
Rick Archer: And I’ll ask you some questions about that. Yeah. So.
Eric Isen: So anyway. You know, they wanted us to be awakened. And so they brought us to India over the auspicious dates. So like two days before your date, they lock you in a cave, like in a dark room there’s no light, nothing. There’s just you. There’s a bathroom and a bed, and nothing else. And you’re not, you can’t take anything in there with you, except you know, a change of clothes, or whatever, and give you a towel, and you have your bathroom with shower, and toilet and everything you need. Give you all the water, you can drink, your choice of sweetened or unsweetened lemonade, and one piece of fruit a day. And come and visit you, give you a piece of fruit. And so I, you know, I was very shocked by my experience when I went in there because I with Maharishi’s training, it’s like I say, one of the things I’m very grateful to him for is the sort of boldness and fearlessness that that that I got about what I was doing, because of all the totally insane wacko things he made us do. So I had to constantly interface with a judgmental, very ignorant set of values in the world with something that was completely foreign to them, and that you were having to stand up and represent. And so that created, like I say, you know, a lot of fearlessness. So I thought, you know, so when that door locked, I commenced on a three-day panic attack, where I was just in terror and fear the whole time,
Rick Archer: You probably thought it was gonna be a piece of cake because you could just sit there and meditate.
Eric Isen: Yeah, exactly. I thought it was gonna be a piece of cake. And especially because I had talked to about 10 or 15 other oneness meditators who had been there for their date. And one girl said, a Brazilian girl said I slept the whole time? No, no. And they basically all said, you know, it was easy, you know, no big deal. So I thought well, okay, but not me, and I had like, I was just consumed with fear. And then
Rick Archer: Day and night. You couldn’t sleep.
Day and night. Yeah, I got a few hours’ sleep here and there.
Rick Archer: You wake up and be fearful.
Eric Isen: Yeah, you know, and you know, there were only a few things that got me through it. One is that I was experiencing this what in oneness we call this brain surgery, the shifting, a neurobiological shift in the nervous system that the Divine gives you. So that’s why oneness, the oneness movement is delivering awakening because the divine wants to awaken you. The Divine is omnipresent. So you put yourself in the situation in receiving the Diksha or the oneness meditation or going on these courses in India and the divine works on you. Because the Divine is you it doesn’t need to you know, have a formal introduction. You know, it can give you what you need. So I was experiencing the whole three days you know, radical shifts, which actually felt great it was so I’m in terror, and there’s this blissful feeling in my brain or my heart chakra, or whatever, different parts of the body. And figure okay, if something’s going on, I gotta stick this out, can’t go you know, they leave you a key in case you can’t take it so and I contemplated running out on the streets going screaming, I can’t make it. But I didn’t. And the other thing that really helped me was somehow the divine gave me visions of how the fears from my past life were implanted in me in this body. You know, I saw that my parents were in terror at the end of World War Two being Jewish, that, that, you know, they, when I was conceived in the womb, the war wasn’t over yet, you know that Hitler was going to win the war, and we’d all be killed. And, and also saw that I was an accident, they didn’t really want me and never really did. And, you know, that was my karma. I don’t blame them. I don’t believe in victims. Everything is, you know, what you have coming to you. That would help the Arabs and the Israelis a lot too, if they got out of the victim psychology, you know both of them. But, but anyway. It helped a lot to see that and to know that just the little things that have kept me going. And it kept me from running out in the streets screaming. And at the end of the three days, all of a sudden it abated, it just stopped. And after that, everything was different, you know. And so I didn’t do anything, I just experienced the fear and the divine worked on my nervous system.
Rick Archer: So was that the initiation itself being in that dark room for three days, it was that preparation came out,
Eric Isen: That was awakening, that was awakening, After that Awakening had been given. You know, after that I no longer experienced myself as a person. I experience life now as a process was like, there’s just this going on. There’s talking going on right now, there’s hearing going on right now, there’s eating going on. There’s not someone who’s awakened. Just awakening is like a phenomenon that happens to a nervous system. You know, and, and you just go on like that.
Rick Archer: But 1000s of people are getting this.
Eric Isen: Hundreds of 1000s are getting this awakening, but you know, many of them are, you know, at a one or two, one, when they awaken right? But the main thing is this, that they get it. So the initiation to be a oneness meditator came, you know, before that actually before this awakening?
Rick Archer: Yeah. And why are there only 60 or 70? In this huge thing? How did you qualify for that?
Eric Isen: Well, it’s a total mystical thing. There’s a group of monks who are in high levels of enlightenment at Oneness University, and the oneness meditators are selected in a totally mystical process. They go into a communion with God, and all the people who are oneness trainers, oneness trainers are those who can teach others to be Diksha givers, to give the hands-on blessing. And so all the trainers have obviously exhibited a certain amount of commitment and passion. So I was a Trainer.
Rick Archer: The Deeksha givers are quite numerous, but hundreds of 1000s, hundreds of 1000s. But then trainers are more select, more exclusive. Yeah, but then actual oneness meditators are more exclusive still. Is that what you’re saying?
Eric Isen: Yeah, well the trainer, anyone can become a trainer. Okay? Anyone can become a oneness Deeksha giver. Anyone can become a trainer. You go take a 10-day course in India and you’re trained and you’re a trainer. Yeah. And they don’t put you through a rigorous you know, acceptance drama. Right it’s pretty much everyone who wants to, goes you know. There’s no course office in oneness you know? And so the names of the trainers are read while these people are in this communion deep in Samadhi and they have to like all like a minimum of apparently seven have to hear yes, this person could hold this energy could, could do this.
Rick Archer: So just hearing the name Eric Isen they, they get they get.
Eric Isen: They get a communion, they get a communion from the Divine. I don’t know the details of how it comes to them.
Rick Archer: But some little light goes off.
Eric Isen: And they ought to go on and say Yeah, this one, okay, you know, and that’s how the selection is.
Rick Archer: So you got a knock on the door and like you’ve been selected.
Eric Isen: So I was on a course in India, and it was the last day of the course. And the next day, I was getting on a plane to go home. And after the last meeting, one of the guides, we call them dasas in Sanskrit. They’re guides, comes up to me after class and says, “Be outside your dorm at five in the morning tomorrow. You’re going to be initiated as a oneness meditator”. So I go out at five in the morning. They take me over to the oneness Temple, which is a you know, a phenomenally powerful temple. As many temples in India are. This one’s really special, has a really amazing beauty and energy. And, and went through the initiation, which was a powerful like a Yajna, a whole Vedic ceremony with fires and offerings and things like that. And, and then I was given different meditations to do during it while that went on, and the experience was of being like reamed out by golden light. I just felt that every cell in my body was just like, consumed by golden light and extremely blissful. So the tremendous cleansing and opening and giving the oneness meditation is kind of like that. It’s like every cell in the body. So when I’m doing it, I don’t you know, I’m not there. I’m not doing anything.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, I went through it the other night. And it was powerful. I mean, I don’t usually experience subtle perceptions and all but I could see a lot of light around you and light coming out of your hands and everything. And I don’t usually experience that kind of stuff. And there was definitely a palpable feeling in the room really, deep and profoundly. And I thought the music was a little hokey. But you know, I mean, Amma, has music going on all the time too while she’s doing her thing. I think she just doesn’t want it to be completely silent so people fall asleep.
Eric Isen: In Oneness, We say that music helps to open the heart. Yeah, we’d like to move out of the head. And you may feel it’s hokey, but some people like it. And so it keeps you out of the head. Right? Right. Enjoy, if you can enjoy the music, it helps keep the mind. The only people I’ve met who don’t have any kind of the experiences you’re describing with the oneness meditation or even the Diksha are the ones, you know, they may have had too much coffee or whatever, but there’s just too much going on in their head. And so like they can’t connect.
Rick Archer: They can’t settle in.
Eric Isen: They can’t settle into what their senses are experiencing. It’s a life of the mind and not the senses.
Rick Archer: Yeah. When Amma does questions and answers on retreats, you know, at the end of like an hour of doing questions and answers. She just sort of stops that and sings a couple of simple little bhajans and gets everybody clapping. And everybody comes back out of their heads down to their hearts.
Eric Isen: Yes, that’s what we do in oneness. We stop and dance. Yeah, they have classes, and then they stop. They put on some great music and you get up and dance. Yeah. And clap. And you get yourself out of your head, get out of the head. Yeah. It works.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So you mentioned hundreds of 1000s of people. And what’s it like over there?
Eric Isen: Most of them in India. Indians are the most of those hundreds of 1000s, who are awakened are Indians. And then, they’re awakened through the different processes that are made available to them. And they awaken much more easily than Westerners. You know, they’re more in their hearts, they don’t have such a dominant mind. And they have the tradition of the Divine.
Rick Archer: Right.
Eric Isen: So they have a more bhakti. Oneness has a big bhakti component, devotion to the divine. And we don’t say it has to be Amma Bhagavan. It could be Amma, whoever, anyone, whoever it is, for you, Jesus, whatever. So if you have that bhakti component, it makes it easier. Yeah. And so hundreds and hundreds of 1000s, I don’t know the exact quote. Every month, they release a total of the number of people who are awakened in the world. And it’s not, not just oneness, just anybody, anyone, just anybody, anywhere from any tradition, you know, and it’s now it’s grown to well over a million in less than a year.
Rick Archer: I heard you mentioned that the other night, and I was wondering, how do they determine that it’s just some kind of ooga booga cognition thing,
Eric Isen: Same thing as the selection of the oneness meditators.
Rick Archer: Yes, they somehow go into it. They feel the pulse of the world or something.
Eric Isen: It’s not that cognitive. It’s like, they connect to the Divine and Divine knows, because Divine Is everybody. Divine knows. Amma Bhagavan are avatars, you know. So you can dispute that. This and that, you know. I’m just talking to the camera because I get that reaction with people. You know,
Rick Archer: I don’t think that I mean, I think there could be a number of avatars in the world at any given time. It doesn’t have to, if you believe in avatars
Eric Isen: Right now, in my awareness, there are at least six that I know of. You know, Mother Meera, Ammachi, Karuna Mayi is Saraswati Avatar, Amma Bhagavan and Anastasia in Russia.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And there may be more, maybe. And again, an avatar just means the divine has taken birth. I mean, we’re all the divine but ordinarily we the vast majority forget that they are. And so they have to go through this whole drama that they’re gripped by the Divine taking birth without forgetting is an Avatar.
Eric Isen: Yeah. Not even in oneness. We have even a more liberal definition of that. We would say that, like, some great soul takes a mission. Yeah. And it may not be, they may not remember their true nature, right there. But for example, Bhagavan likes to say Einstein was an avatar of science, you know, he changed the whole world. He’s he started the flip of science towards where it’s coming to the same understanding as the spiritual traditions of the universe. Now, everything’s just energy. So he’s flipped that switch. So he was an avatar of science for that particular mission. He was brilliant because he was a very high soul.
Rick Archer: He cognized it. I mean, other scientists said how in the world said how did he come up with that? Yeah. Just out of the blue. Yeah. Well, he was a 20-year-old patent clerk.
Eric Isen: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And so and then we say like Mozart’s writing symphonies at eight. No, you know, look at the influence the great musicians have had. You know Bach, what kind of an inspiring, you know, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Mozart. You know, many of them they’re coming from Gandharva Loka, the celestial realm, and they’re tapped into the musical beautiful music. And even, you know, I’ve never heard Amma Bhagavan say this, but in my opinion, the Beatles wrote phenomenal music, and they, they helped to transform enculturation. Yeah, culture by you know, and they, it was a lot of spiritual content in what they put, you know, they stopped writing.
Rick Archer: What sugar girlfriend kind of stuff
Eric Isen: Early on and got into some pretty profound lyrics. Yeah. And, and so I think that they were kind of avatars, you know, yeah, they had a profound shift. So I would call all of those avatars. For me, it’s also an experience, I think there’s a difference between your concept and your experience. The first time I meditated with Bhagavan, I saw him transform into an infinite field of gold. And in within that gold, I saw Maharshi and Guru Dev and Jesus, and, and Saraswati, and Durga, and Kali, and Lakshmi, and Ganesh and Shiva, and Brahma and, and, and all the other incarnations of Vishnu, the boar, the lion. I saw them all within him. And that gave me that I had that experience, okay. This guy’s for real, you know. And so again, if you’re a cynical person, you could say, you know, that’s a fantasy, that’s a dream. To me, you know, the level of bliss that accompanies that experience is the proof of its reality. You know, it’s the quality of the energy that you can differentiate between a real experience and a fantasy.
Rick Archer: Well, there’s a lot of people these days in contemporary spirituality, who, you know, they get the idea of non-duality, and maybe they even have some degree of experience of it. But all this other stuff, when you start talking about deities and avatars and boars, and all this stuff, it seems like so much sort of fanciful folderol, you know, there’s just like, kind of, like all kinds of,
Eric Isen: But it’s fun. It’s a joy.
Rick Archer: Yeah. But you know, they would perhaps say, I’m just speaking devil’s advocate that well, it’s, it’s can be a distraction, you can just get caught up also. But I mean, I would just counter not that my experience is rich in this regard. But I would just counter that “In my Father’s house there are many mansions” that there actually are a wide range of realms of creation and all sorts of subtle realities. Right, which, you know, you can take anything and boil it down to nothingness if you want to do that. But no, as long as we acknowledge that there is a universe, then within this universe, there are, you know, untold mysteries and dimensions and all this stuff. And it’s not necessarily a distraction or trap, to be cognizant of those can actually be icing on the cake. It can actually be a more full appreciation of God’s creation.
Eric Isen: That’s right. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. For me, now, life is like a magical mystery tour. If I go out and I close my eyes, and I touch a tree, I connect with the being of that tree, and it connects me with the whole earth and I have phenomenal blessings from that tree. You know, it’s like amazing. Or if I think a mantra, I was talking to you guys earlier. If I, I think the Kali Mantra, you know, and I remember like, years ago, I was sort of reading a lot of books about Shri Rama Krishna, you know, who is a tremendous Kali, devotee and all that and, and I really sort of got this intuitive message that you’re not ready for me, you know, like, but lately, you know, if I think the Kali mantra, I’m just consumed with her love, you know. And even as I was telling you earlier, her current avatar, Ammachi, the hugging saint has appeared to me, you know, and hey,
Rick Archer: When you think the Kali Mantra.
Eric Isen: When I think the Kali mantra and so I’m like, you know, and, and the energy of it is extremely blissful. So, you know, I’d rather be enjoying life than suffering. So it’s a joy. And exactly, and I think what you said is the critical thing, you know, you can take and I see this within the oneness movement, you know, I do question and answers after my online oneness meditations and some people you know, ask these types of questions even in email. So I have this, where, you know, they want to take that non-dual point of view that, that there’s only the field of consciousness and all the rest of this is not real and, and you know, and no one gets awakened and there is no nobody to get awakened,
Rick Archer: Because there’s nobody to get awakened.
Eric Isen: Because there’s nobody to get awakened. You talk to anyone who’s awakened who’s had an awakened experience, you know, and even the teachers who teach this idea. Adya Shanti teaches that. He’ll describe his awakening experience. Sure, you know, and Francis Lucille, a wonderful, non-dual teacher that lives near us in San Diego. He teaches this in Temecula and then you ask him, you asked him about this, and, and he’ll tell you about his awakening experience. So you know, the awakening happens, so if you want to take that stance, then you know, leave, get out of your body, go back into pure consciousness. If you’re in a body, there’s this reality and just that was a beautiful way you expressed it to me, you have to understand that yes, there’s nothing but the field. Yes, there’s nothing but the Void. There’s nothing but the pure divine energy, which has no attributes, no qualities, nothing. But somehow, it has manifested this universe maybe just to have fun. Maharishi used to say it, the whole purpose of it is the expansion of bliss. So that sooner or later, everyone, every part of the manifestation comes back to its true nature of bliss and appreciates the Creator. And, and joy is somehow expanded even though it can’t expand, but so the creator gets to enjoy. It’s like, if you write a book with a happy ending, you get to enjoy that.
Rick Archer: Oh, you know, Maharishi used to say the purpose of creation is the expansion of happiness. Yeah. And think about that. I mean, the purpose of creation, the whole manifestation of the universe is expanding is the expansion of happiness. Okay, whose happiness? And how is it expanding? And, you know, why do. Why does sort of nothingness explode into somethingness. And just hydrogen and helium, eventually, you know, form stars and extend those explode, and we get heavier elements, and we eventually get bodies and bodies can start thinking about this stuff and actually begin to experience it. You know, it’s this whole elaborate thing that apparently hasn’t happened for nothing. And that, you know, has happened because now the divine can be a living breathing, you know, eating, crapping reality. Instead of just, you know, unmanifest oneness. Yeah. And there seems to be some kind of expansion of happiness within that.
Eric Isen: Right. I love that you said crapping, just because it always reminds me of this story. Again, the contrast in the TM movement, we were always so you know, take off your beads before you go to the bathroom. And there’s all these sort of Vedic things. And, you know, don’t go to the, you know, everything was like impure, you have to be so careful of all these little different things. And there’s this wonderful Kashmiri saint who was actually a good friend of Maharishi. Lakshman Joo. And I have some good very dear close friends who are still close friends who were in the TM movement, and then they became close disciples of Lakshman Joo and they still are devoted to publishing his work now.
Rick Archer: Kashmiri Shaivism.
Eric Isen: Yeah, Kashmiri Shaivism. You know, the main guy lives in LA, John Hughes, and he has like, some, some other people who were close friends, helping him. And so one day, you know, they were going to go to the bathroom and start taking off their beads. So Lakshman Joo goes, “Do you think God is not also in the bathroom? Is there somewhere where God is not?” Yeah. You know, it’s like, get over it. I love that story. So, so thank you for the crapping and watching.
Rick Archer: Sure anytime.
Eric Isen: So yeah, you know, you’ve got a body and like we were saying, you know, it may be nothing but the field. But here we are. So how did we get here and you know, you gave a beautiful description? The feel it for me, okay, I heard Maharishi, say this and I experienced it one time. I was blessed with this experience that when I was in that pure transcendental state with no thought, nothing happening at all, in fact, Amma the Amma of oneness movement gave that to me. She appeared to me and she said, “My son, would you like to be me?” And I said, Yeah, that would be. Yeah. And, and then she, she showed me her true nature. She took me into pure nothingness, the void, there was nothing except bliss, just joy and love, you know, even that you couldn’t name it, you know? And then in that state, as Maharishi said, consciousness became aware of itself. And that being aware of itself triggered the whole creation. I saw that Being like Krishna says, curving back on myself I create again and again. So there was like a, you know, it was not really happening but somehow that awareness became aware of itself. And that became a golden sphere. And that golden sphere was the Divine Mother the divine feminine and she birthed this whole creation. She was like the seed and out of her came Brahma, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, and they manifest it through first light, everything became gold. And then took different colors. And then the colors interacted with each other, and the Om came out. And in the end, it got more and more complex. And then there was, I started seeing the Hiranyagarbha you know, the golden egg of a creation, spinning like a golden egg. And then out of that sphere, sort of the experience went back to that sphere. And there was like, countless eggs were coming out one after another after and, you know, just countless universes manifesting. And so I think that that’s all that’s happening is, is the void is becomes aware of itself. And wants to expand that nature of love and joy. Okay. This is, this is great. Let’s let Ricky have it too.
Rick Archer: You mentioned let’s just take a diversion for a minute and, and talk about pulse diagnosis, okay, cuz you actually make a living doing that. And I’ve done that with you many times. I think people might find it interesting. So, you know, you mentioned that this ability somehow was gifted to you. When you had an experience with Krishna many, many years ago. And that was before the TM movement even talked about Ayur Veda and then Ayurveda came along.
Eric Isen: Yeah.
Rick Archer: So let’s, let’s give a demonstration of that. And we obviously don’t want to have a lot of dead air. So you know, we’re not we don’t take 15 minutes for you to feel my pulse. But we can take a couple of minutes and whatever it takes, and you can talk about that and be interesting. So do you do it without touching my wrist?
Eric Isen: Yeah, I do. I do most of my work by phone.
Rick Archer: So you don’t need to touch the person’s wrist.
Eric Isen: I don’t need to touch the person, because it’s all happening within consciousness. And so yeah, so the physical touch doesn’t. There’s no distance there’s nothing that happens.
Rick Archer: Okay.
Eric Isen: Let’s see yeah, how’s is your energy level? Good. You feel very energetic there. No problem there.
Rick Archer: Pretty much. Yeah. I mean, you know, my work tends to be a little mind-numbing, I sit in front of the computer all day and so I get some brain fatigue from that, which I’m always working on and resolving and dissolving. But I have a lot of energy I’m kind of very ambitious and motivated. Yeah, physical energy as well. I mean, I love to hop on my bike and ride 20 miles and stuff
Eric Isen: Well, I’m just seeing a little it’s alright now but I’m just seeing a little risk to your thyroid at some point,
Rick Archer: Risk
Eric Isen: Risk. It’s okay, now but there’s a bit of inflammation in the thyroid. And you know, and if you work too hard in your mind that disturbs the Vayus and they start moving Pitta up into your thyroid. And you also have to be very careful of your diet if you get toxicity, like right now your spleen’s a little bit inflamed. And because there’s something a little toxic, something you ate or something you know, the air here in Fairfield can be pretty toxic with pesticides from the farms. So there’s something a little toxic in your system, and your spleen has filtered it out. Your spleen’s a little toxic right now, and it’s radiating some toxicity in the lymphatic system. And for some reason I was seeing both those two angles just a quick look are causing some affliction of a thyroid. So I would feel, you know, so far we’re treating you I would, you know, maybe as a preventative to take a natural Thyroid Supplement, not one of the glandular ones right? There are some very good ones out there that are mainly herbs and vitamins and enzymes, and they help strengthen the thyroid.
Rick Archer: So, so you’re not only and obviously this was a really quick little thing usually go much more deeply into it. Spend an hour with people. And you not only telling them things like that, but you actually recommend particular herbs.
Eric Isen: I recommend supplements and also dietary points. And like, you know, I think like yeah. Oh yeah, they’re good products. Yeah, I’d have to check it out the way I prescribed things as I just by the name. If I think the name and I look at the person whose thyroid would show me how it would respond. Yeah, that would do that’s needed, what’s needed for you? I’m not saying it’s the best use I compare three or four products and his body would tell me which one it liked best. But this one does what’s needed for him.
Rick Archer: Okay. Yeah, I mean, Irene mentioned my thyroid a number of times thinking that maybe I’ve got something going on.
Eric Isen: Yeah, yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah, like I have very little eyebrows left, that’s supposed to be a symptom of thyroid power.
Eric Isen: I thought your head was getting bigger.
Rick Archer: Anyway, I wanted to give people a taste of that, just because it’s an interesting thing that you do, and have been doing for a long time. And that too could be brushed off as some kind of imaginary thing. But I’ve seen you, you know, go into quite some detail and different for every person. And you used to do it feeling the wrist and now you just do it. And I mean, and you’re not the first or only person to be able to do something like this. We knew this guy in India. Dr. Triguna.
Eric Isen: Yeah. He was way beyond me.
Rick Archer: He was remarkable. Yeah.
Eric Isen: He wasn’t he just looked at you. And he knew everything about you. Yeah. And you know, and you could even foresee the future, which he did a couple of times with me. And then and then he would take your pulse like this, he would just tap it. Boom, like that. Yeah. And he once said, I’m only doing that. I just look at you. And I know everything. And I just tap you to bless you. So he touches you to bless you that Yeah. So you know, he’s my hero. To me, he’s like, a God, he was like, the most amazing Ayurvedic doctor of this generation.
Rick Archer: Yeah, he just died a year or so ago.
Eric Isen: Age, what 93 Something like that?
Rick Archer: Yeah. But it’s, it’s, again, I have a certain kind of reaction or opposite, not opposition. I don’t know the word to this sort of plain vanilla form of spirituality, where people feel like, it’s all just nothingness. It’s all just emptiness. And, you know, I always like to kind of point out that there are all these rich expressions and variations and abilities and, and whatnot, and that that’s not a problem. It’s not a conflict. It’s just a kind of a, I mean, look at Christ, for example, you know, he was running around healing people and casting out devils and doing all this stuff. He wasn’t just saying that it’s all nothing, there’s nothing is real. You know, there’s no you to cast out devils from. He was casting them out. Healing people and so, you know, spirituality and its full blossoming, is a much more complete package than just the unmanifest
Eric Isen: Yeah, absolutely. You know, you know, because what we were talking about before was when I was talking about the health, the nadis. But, you know, how do you get from this pure field, okay, we all accept it, okay, there’s the void, it’s there. There’s nothing but the Unity the oneness like that. But okay, here we are, you know, right. So how do you get from there to there, you know, it doesn’t just jump from one thing, it goes through many, many layers, which are, which started out as very celestial and beautiful. And then eventually get to this material Earth layers of manifestation
Rick Archer: Layers of manifestation.
Eric Isen: So as you evolve spiritually, you can start tapping into more and more of these deeper levels, you can be seeing Gods, experiencing their blessings, you can be, you know, having all kinds of magical mystery, you know, mystical experiences, and, you know, what are you going to say, like the, you know, Therese Newman was like, sitting there like, you know, bleeding the wounds of Christ, that it’s not happening. It’s all unreal. You know, Hey, she’s bleeding, you know, she and she’s experiencing the crucifixion. So you know,
Rick Archer: I mean, I think it can be a distraction for people if they’re not capturing the fort. If there’s not sort of the intention or orientation to establish the deepest level of awareness. You can get hung up in all sorts of new age entertainments but you know, once that deepest value of pure Being is established,
Eric Isen: Right,
Rick Archer: Then a lot of this other stuff gets added on to thee.
Eric Isen: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. You know, or like, Krishna says, Know that by which all else is known, or you know, Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all else is added unto thee. You know, one time Maharishi was, there was a statement, which is very widely mistranslated and confused in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Where a lot of the translations talk about the siddhis or the supernormal powers as being obstacles to awakening.
Rick Archer: Right.
Eric Isen: And Maharishi said it’s a mistranslation. He said they’re subservient to awakening, not obstacles. So it’s a missed misunderstanding. mistranslation, which means they come out after you awaken. Now it’s also true, and we see it, I’ve seen it, you know, I live in California. And, you know, and I see it all the time where people develop an ability, or it’s given to them, and they get lost in it. And, and they don’t awaken.
Rick Archer: Right.
Eric Isen: There was this guy who was connected with the movement, I think he’s been here a bunch of times, and he pretty nasty behavior. And yet, he’s like a powerful healer. Some Indian guy. Can’t remember his name. Probably shouldn’t say the name. you know, but he’s, you know, he’s been around the country and uh. You know, he doesn’t exhibit, shall we say, very noble behavioral patterns. And, you know, at the same time, you know, people get some powerful healings from him.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Eric Isen: So those abilities can be there. But it’s a matter of whether you let get overly caught up in them, where you identify them as something that’s you, you identify them personally, and then, and then you stay stuck in your idea of being a person. Whereas awakening is all about, you’re not a person anymore. And that’s not a concept. When you live that reality, it’s not like you go along, you say, I’m not a person. There’s no more Eric, you know, whatever. It’s just, you’re just experiencing, there’s no, like, inner dialogue, you’re not, you don’t get, you know, things don’t stick to you anymore. You’re just, you’re just in a process. You’re just the divine talking and seeing, you know, You don’t experience that, it’s just happening, sure, everything becomes like it’s happening automatically. And so you’re not like torturing yourself with thought and analysis, you know, you figure out what you need to do, you know, you think things through and all that, but you know, it’s just, it’s just thinking is happening, like Bhagavan’s teaching is, “There’s thinking but no thinker.”
Rick Archer: Yeah. And could this thing you said about you not a person, could you put it this way could you say you, the sort of the range of your experience has expanded to incorporate the, you know, multiple dimensions or multiple realities, the most fundamental of which is your, the divine, your pure Being, which is not a person. But you know, it also incorporates your personhood, you know, that’s a certain level your person, if I pinch your arm, you know, you feel that it’s not like the lamp feels it. There’s, there’s a localization,
Eric Isen: I feel it.
Rick Archer: So you’re kind of simultaneously localized and unbounded.
Eric Isen: That’s right,
Rick Archer: You know, pinpoint awareness and comprehensive awareness.
Eric Isen: The difference is, the kind of inner dialogue and the whole domination by the mind, right, you’re declutched from the mind, it’s the mind that’s spending this huge amounts of energy, trying to define this Eric hood of who they are. And so someone insults this, Eric, and so right, so that the mind is hurt, because it’s like, has this illusion that there’s this being there, whereas, you know, when that’s gone, someone says some something hurtful, and it’s like, it blows through you because just to use that example, but as you know, some pain you know, it’s life. Hey, this is the world painful things are gonna happen. But it blows through you, you know, well, maybe this is, there’s no one that gets stuck on it, or no one’s relating to it. Yeah, but it’s just, it’s automatic. It’s automatic. It’s not like I am not. I’m not identifying with my thought process. You know, I don’t take credit, some great thought comes up, you know, go to this place, be there at the right time, and you get there and you go, I don’t know, you know, why, where did that thought come from, but it turned out to be exactly the right place at the right time and some little miracle happens in your life. You know? It’s like that.
Rick Archer: Well, this, I think you just gave us another clue for understanding what this declutching means. Which is that if you. If you are aware of yourself only as a person, as an isolated individual, then you can’t help but be clutched. You can’t help but be attached, gripped, influenced, tossed about by every circumstance. But you know, if you use the wave ocean analogy, you’re only the wave, okay? Then you’re, the wind can blow you apart, and all the waves are crashing into you and also, but if you kind of become aware of your ocean hood, then fine. My ocean hood contains my wave hood.
Eric Isen: Yeah.
Rick Archer: But that’s just such a small aspect of it that nothing can, you know, nothing that can happen to the wave can actually influence or affect the ocean.
Eric Isen: I want to emphasize the experiential aspect of that, as opposed to conceptual.
Rick Archer: Well, we’re talking you have to conceptual Yeah, we have to use concepts..
Eric Isen: I know. But I just want to clarify that you don’t be you know, you’re not, you’re not going along with any thought of your ocean hood. Right? You just are that yeah, you are that without, you know, you are your true nature. And then the thoughts. The waves come and go. And they go and, and you don’t take credit or ownership of anything.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Eric Isen: And, and that’s just an automatic experience. It’s not, it’s not like, okay, because that’s what people get hung up on. It’s like, okay, I’m an ocean.
Rick Archer: Yeah, they try that they hear that. And then they try and do it. Yeah. It’s not something you do. It’s something you are.
Eric Isen: Yeah. No, it has something you are. And you know, in oneness we say it has to be given to you by the Divine by the grace, the grace has to give that to you. You know, whether it’s happening to you through a meditation, you know, a meditation or a breathing exercise. The divine could do it for you anyway. And it has done it through all these kinds of things. You know, There’s all kinds of bizarre ways people have gotten awakened.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I interviewed one guy who was crossing a parking lot in Boston, and a car almost hit him and screeched to a stop. And the shock of that awakened him. Yeah. And he never stepped back. Yeah,
Eric Isen: Yeah. And then there’s Harold Percival, what wrote thinking and destiny, he was walking across the street, in New York and the bus fumes, some bus gave him a blast of exhaust. And he awakened, you know, just then he wrote this incredible book, Thinking and Destiny, you know, he awakened, he never went back. So it’s just the trigger of what, what it takes, you know, that moment awakening, was going to happen to that mind-body complex, that’s how awakening happens.
Rick Archer: But anyway, the point you’re making is that what we’re talking about here is totally experiential. It’s not conceptual. We need concepts to talk about it, to write books about it. But it’s an experience it’s being referred to, and so don’t settle for the concept.
Eric Isen: Yeah, that’s, that’s the key. Yeah, the key. The more, you stay in the concept. You know, you’re not, you’re not going to awaken. You know, when you stay in concepts. That’s the bondage.
Rick Archer: And a lot of people do that, unfortunately. I mean, I don’t know how much you run into it. But there’s a tendency these days for people to, you know, listen to this stuff and read a few books and get the concept clear, because it’s easy to intuitive that because that’s the reality, but then to, to assume that that’s all there they’re talking about, is this conceptual understanding of oneness?
Eric Isen: Well, you know, to me, you know, there’s a plus and a minus to everything, I think I’m again, I’m eternally grateful for everything Maharishi gave me and for the knowledge he gave me. I think a lot of what he was gifting to people was the energy of his vibration when he was giving these long talks for this beautiful knowledge. But I think, you know, you can’t control what’s going to happen. And I think for many people, they got lost in the concepts. It’s still even though it’s pure knowledge, it’s still knowledge. It’s, it’s something you have to go beyond to awaken. You state. I think a lot of people in okay, you know, I just don’t want to start saying negative things about Maharishi and the movement, but I just feel that a lot of people have had such an incredible grounding in true knowledge that they can talk the talk, and not walk the walk, that they’re not living the teaching, because they’re in the conceptual framework. And I think that’s something that needs desperately to happen in many of these movements, where the phenomenal teachers gave phenomenal knowledge and techniques. I think, you know, I live in the heart of SRF land in California where SRF has major headquarters and I’m finding that’s true of a lot of the SRF people, you know, very powerful movements and, and phenomenal teachers, and you know, and they’re able to give beautiful talks, but they’re not living the awakening. Yeah. Just really struck me when I got to India for the first time. I walked into the first classroom and the guides were there leading the first class. And you know, It just was immediately apparent of how beautiful they were. And I just immediately said, you know, these people are, you know, walking the walk. They are living what they speak. They’re talking from their experience, not from concepts they learned from someone. You have to make that leap into your experience, you know, and that that happens, you know, with awakening.
Rick Archer: And again, there’s just something potent about this whole Amma Bhagavan thing that is triggering these awakenings into that it’s, that’s making it experiential. For these people. They’re just some, some phenomenon going on some energy here,
Eric Isen: We call it the oneness phenomenon.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s a phenomenon, and he’s gonna use that word.
Eric Isen: That’s what we call it, the Oneness phenomena and it’s just, it’s just grace. You know, it’s just the
Rick Archer: The divine has created this channel through which creates conflicts, right?
Eric Isen: Yeah. Just like the Divine is created the channel Ammachi, Karuna Mayi, Mother Mira. And Anastasia. Yeah, you know, they all have their, their missions and who knows how many others you know, these days. Again, I live in Southern California, there’s a new, amazing guru appearing every week. As a healer, and a mystic, at least two or three on every block. And, you know, it’s an amazing time we live in, because we’re going with God. You know, like Maharishi said, you know, the golden age, the age of enlightenment is coming. There’s nothing anybody can do to stop it, it’s gonna happen. It’s inevitable, the Divine is taking that intent. And so the Divine is using many, many channels. Because people are so different. You know, it has to take some people, you know, it’s not one channels not going to be conducive for some people. And it is for others. So, yeah, it’s working through all these different means. That’s another thing I love about Bhagavan. That’s what he says, He doesn’t say, you know, I mean, we’re the only way this is the best way, you know, or stop doing what you’re doing and just do this, you know, keep meditating, keep doing your program, keep doing your yoga, keep doing your breathing, whatever you’re doing keep doing your kriyas, you know, keep standing on your head fine. You know, just connect to the grace.
Rick Archer: Well, I mean, if we look around us at the world, the universe God is obviously not a one-trick pony. You know, He’s not a fundamentalist. Yeah. And you know, just, every little iota of creation is bursting with creativity. Yeah. So it stands to reason that spirituality is going to dawn in multifarious expressions. Right?
Eric Isen: Yeah. It’s just gonna explode. You know, right now, I think you know, this. I think it’s happening. I think we’re in a tsunami of awakening. Yeah, I don’t know the numbers through oneness, I just know that they announce every month, how many people are awakened in the world, and it’s happening at around 4000 a day. Now, all over the world through whatever systems people are doing. And
Rick Archer: I want to dwell just a little bit more on this. So you mentioned that awakening could be one to 100. Enlightenment is at 70, I just want to dig into that a little bit more, and a person could awaken at one, 2, 5, 10, 15. So, I mean, you mentioned in your talk the other night that a lot of people are coming from China now to the oneness university because they don’t have a lot of spirituality opportunity
Eric Isen: They have to put in a quota at Oneness University. Otherwise, it’d be all Chinese. There’d be no room for anybody else.
Rick Archer: How many does the place accommodate?
Eric Isen: Where they, you know, they have that Indian component of
Rick Archer: If there’s a square inch of space put a body that yeah, so
Eric Isen: The biggest course so far has been about 1200. But that’s on two campuses, only two campuses, they have another six or seven campuses, some of which are just for Indians. There’s one campus, which is like the original one, which is pretty rough. And the Russians take it over. Okay. And it’s like, filled with like, you know, about 1000 Russians, and it’s like, huts with thatched roofs, and a fan, you know, no screens, dirt floor mosquitoes, and you have to go out to, you know. No, it’s not a latrine. It’s a real bathroom, toilet, but it’s outside, you know, your shower and your toilet. And everything. You know, there’s no running water in your hut,
Rick Archer: Or at least it’s not Siberia. So yeah, but, but in any case,
Eric Isen: And a lot of mango trees.
Rick Archer: I’m kind of interested in this thing about, you know, people awakening at various stages of development. So theoretically, you could have somebody who’s a 60, let’s say, who’s not awakened by this? That’s right. In contrast to somebody who’s a five, who is awakened. That’s right. And so the 60 might be somebody who might stand out in society as a kind of a great leader, saint or business person, you know, everything, whatever, dynamic creative person, a musician, but, and whereas the five who’s awakened, might be completely nondescript and not really making much of an impact, beautiful, but they’ve got this sort of inner freedom, right? Yeah. Okay,
Eric Isen: They’re growing. They’re growing more rapidly than the 60 but the 60. The 60 is in the realm of God-consciousness according to Bhagavan. So you know, if we accept again that I don’t know that, you know, but
Rick Archer: What is quickly what is his, and we’re not in a rush. But what is the roadmap of states of consciousness? Maharishi had a roadmap that
Eric Isen: He hasn’t laid that out. I’ve spent a lot of time. I’ve spent a lot of time guessing, trying to merge, Maharishi’s roadmap, which I consider, like Maharishi, did everything he did was like a system put a system right there. And kind of one size fits all. And that has its pros and cons. You know, that was his mission. He had his he knew his mission. And he knew what he wanted to gift. So you know, he had cosmic consciousness, God-consciousness, Unity consciousness, Brahman consciousness. So as far as I’ve been able to speculate and talk with other people about cosmic consciousness happens around 30, you know, but again, even those people unique it can be 30, 40. Right? God-consciousness around the 50, 60.
Rick Archer: And by the way, cosmic consciousness would mean, pure consciousness established 24/7. Yeah, you know, along with waking, dreaming, and sleeping. That’s right, God consciousness would mean pure consciousness still there. But refined perception,
Eric Isen: Refined perception you’re experiencing on these realms, we’ve been talking about the subtle, more subtle realms of the creation.
Rick Archer: So that’s around 60s. That’s right,
Eric Isen: That’s right 50, 60. And 70, is supposed to be unity, which is the only level that Bhagwan will accept as enlightenment. Okay, so unity, and then Brahman, you’re getting up to like 90, 90.
Rick Archer: And the distinction between what is unity what is Brahman, and this
Eric Isen: I haven’t heard Bhagavan define that. So I would go back to Maharishi’s definition of that distinction, you may be aware of that already. But distinguishing is in fields of perception, unity, consciousness, whatever is my primary focus. I’m looking at the camera. I experienced the camera as myself, there’s no separation. That’s, that’s me. I am the camera. I am Ricky, I am the dog.
Rick Archer: And is that your experience? By the way?
Eric Isen: Yeah, woof woof.
Rick Archer: We got some food for you. Yeah, you’re gonna love it.
Eric Isen: No, I’m not at Unity. So. So we’re, whereas Brahman is the third, where the secondary, first, the secondary, and then the tertiary comes gradually. So first, the secondary level of perception. So I’m looking at the camera. But I’m also aware Ricky is here. And I also experiencing Ricky as myself. Third Level is a lamp in the corner, like that, or there’s something outside the window. And so I experienced that as myself. So Brahman is when every level of awareness is experienced as the Self. So you’re completely identified with, with Brahman with the total unit, the total field, and every manifestation of it is seen is experience. It’s not a concept, it’s experienced as, as the totality that you are. So you, you so it’s the lamp is me, because everything is me, but who am I? I am just the field, right? So you become completely identified with Brahman. So that’s how Maharishi defined it. Okay, I haven’t heard Bhagavan go into any detail on that particular question. because not enough people are ready for it.
Rick Archer: I get flack for talking about levels a lot, you know, but I think this is just what we mean by levels is that there are degrees of awakening, there’s an – it’s not an on/off black/white situation.
Eric Isen: Right.
Rick Archer: There’s a kind of a progressive constant unfoldment. Yeah. And whether there’s ever any termination to that unfoldment I don’t know.
Eric Isen: Maharishi said no.
Rick Archer: But there seems to be no degree, no end to the degree of refinement. And again, it doesn’t mean that the totality itself or the unmanifest itself, that changes in any way or gets improved upon or more shiny or something. It just means that the instrument through which that is lived, has infinite range of possibilities for
Eric Isen: And enjoyment. Yeah, you just don’t you don’t. The key thing is not to suffer anymore. And not to inflict your suffering on anyone else. create problems. If we’re going to have an ideal world. Everyone has to be ideal.
Rick Archer: Is there much talk in the oneness movement of the concept of body as instrument through which this is lived is that is a kind of an emphasis.
Eric Isen: Yeah, It’s not a huge emphasis. The big emphasis in oneness is awakening is just awakening, is just declutch the mind and then grow and we say like, awakening is not a destination. It’s a process
Rick Archer: Kind of like a milestone and which,
Eric Isen: Which allows you to grow. Yeah. To stop suffering allows you to stop suffering and to grow from wherever you wake up. You start to really take off, we start to, and that’s a joy, you know, I mean that that feeling that you’re growing is, is really a powerful joy.
Rick Archer: So is there a lot of guidance and programs for people who have awakened by that definition of declutching? I mean, there must be a lot for the people who haven’t, to get them to that point. Once they’ve gotten to that point, then is there a whole program for those people?
Eric Isen: The first one is coming this year, this November, December from and I’m going to that, you know, so it’s the first you know, there’s enough demand, and it’s, it hasn’t got a big mob. Oh, my God, I say they’re expecting 1500 people on the campus, it’s going to be really crowded. But that’s India, they do it. Oh, yeah, they squeeze them in.
Rick Archer: Amma’s place gets like 20,000 sometimes. Its huge.
Eric Isen: They have this meeting in the oneness temple every Sunday, where they bring in all the most passionate devotees from each province. So they bus in one province at a time each Sunday. And they get a special powerful darshan and blessing from Bhagavan. And also the highest group of monks that are in like this ecstatic Samadhi state all the time. And, and then the Westerners who were there on the course get to go too, so they put up like these barriers, they let the Westerners in and they fence you off. And then they open the door, and then this mob and, and, you know, it’s like these, like 8000 Indians in one room? Plus the Westerners you know? Yeah. And it’s, it’s tremendous all in one room. It’s the largest pillarless Hall in Asia, wow, this top floor of the oneness temple. And so they know they can get about 8000 Indian style in there.
Rick Archer: It’s a top floor hope it, never collapses.
Eric Isen: It’s beautifully built. It’s built according to they, they say you know, that it’s an exact replica of a temple in Satya Loka, the highest heaven.
Rick Archer: Interesting,
Eric Isen: The temple of Vishnu, so it’s, and so the architecture is, is pretty amazing. It’s built to support that. Yeah. So that’s three, three floors.
Rick Archer: Like the Indian Express. Yeah. So, is there anything we haven’t covered that you feel is important?
Eric Isen: I think we’ve emphasized everything to me. You know, I spent my whole life looking for awakening and it’s finally been given to me and, and I just feel it’s the most important priority in life is to end your suffering. And to start growing like gang, like crazy. You know that it’s a joy to feel that you’re changing, that you’re evolving rapidly, that you’re not stuck somewhere, that makes you really enjoy life. So wherever you awaken, start to enjoy, you know, get your awakening, do what you have to do. You know,
Rick Archer: I think that’s actually an interesting measure of evolution, the fact that evolution is taking place, you can tell because there’s joy, there’s can, you know, kind of ongoing, that you feel happier, things are going well, and so on. Whereas if you’re stuck, it’s like nature’s way of telling you, you’re not evolving. You’ve got to do something.
Eric Isen: Yeah. And, and, you know, it’s going back to the highest philosophical knowledge, which is, you know, going back to the point, none of this is real, okay, it is all just the Divine Being aware of itself. And so there’s it, it can’t stay static, because it’s not real, so nothing can last. So the only thing that’s permanent is awakening, when you’re identified with your true nature, and then everything else is just going on, everything else is just processing. And you’re growing and evolving. And you’re not stuck, but when people are like trying to hold on to their money or their possessions, or you know, they’re trying to say, you know, I just want to have security. I’m not gonna you know, it’s not gonna happen. You just can’t hold on to anything.
Rick Archer: Yeah,
Eric Isen: Everything is constantly shifting. And so when you can be in that flow, you enjoy life. But the minute you try to stop it, you’re in trouble.
Rick Archer: You’re seeking security in that which is inherently insecure.
Eric Isen: Yeah.
Rick Archer: Something which changes.
Eric Isen: That’s right.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Cool. All right. Well, this has given people a taste.
Eric Isen: Yeah, that was that’s been fun.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Taste of Isen, the Isen world. Eric does these pulse diagnosis things that’s how he supports himself, he doesn’t support himself through the oneness thing,
Eric Isen: oh, we don’t take money.
Rick Archer: Don’t take money for that. So you know if that intrigues you, he has a website, which I’ll be linking to where you can find out all about that. And, but then, of course, there’s the oneness thing that’s We’ve talked a lot about that. And you have a website where you do these oneness meditations online.
Eric Isen: Yeah. It’s not a website. It’s a live stream. I count.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah. So people can actually participate in those if they wish. And you get questions and answers. Yeah. It’s also free. I’ve listened to some of those questions, question and answer sessions. So it was nice. So I’ll link on Eric’s page on BatGap. I’ll link to the number of things that he wants me to link to, so you can get in touch with him or find out more about all these things. So thanks.
Eric Isen: Thank you. It’s great. Great to hang with you again. Yeah. Rick, and I’ve been through a few wars together. Chicago. Detroit. Oh, my God.,
Rick Archer: Fortunately, we were on the same army. We weren’t at war with each other
Eric Isen: That’s right.
Rick Archer: And Eric’s put up all kinds of, you know, all kinds of things I’ve been through with great patience.
Eric Isen: Likewise,
Rick Archer: yeah, like, we’re all bozos on this bus, right. So let me like my usual wrap-up points. I’ve, you know, been talking with my friend Eric Isen. And this interview has been one in an ongoing series, there are 180, something of them now, you can find them all at batgap.com Bat gap, where there’s both an alphabetical and a chronological index of all the interviews, I’m also thinking of trying to figure out a way of people have requested this, I’m always getting asked what are your favorite ones. And I’m thinking of doing some kind of voting system where people can send in their votes or what their favorite ones are. And we’ll keep tallying those and updating it. So there’ll be a page where you can see the top 20 as, as measured by the audience. So in any case, there at BatGap, you’ll find all those other interviews that there’s a discussion group that springs up around each interview, you can participate in that. There is a link to the audio podcast because a lot of people don’t like to just sit in front of the computer and watch things like this. So listen, while they drive or whatever. There’s a Donate button, which I depend upon people clicking on now and then to support all the expenses involved in this.
Eric Isen: Yes, He has some nice new equipment.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I do. I have a camera.
Eric Isen: He has a mixer.
Rick Archer: A mixer on mixer. I actually got the mixer for free with Amazon credit. Their credit? Yeah. Well, I link to people’s books that they publish, you see. And so if you click on a book link in BatGap, or and you like, let’s say you want to buy an airplane, click on a link in BatGap. First, it will take you to Amazon, then I’ll get an affiliate credit for that airplane. And then I can get little things like this. So okay, I think that just about covers that I maybe Oh, one more little thing. There’s a sign-up list there where you can be notified by email every time a new interview is posted. So feel free to sign up and you’ll just get one email a week or so when a new interview is posted. So thanks for listening or watching and we’ll see you next week. Next week for me is a few minutes from now when I’m going to interview Michael James over in the UK. He’s an expert on Ramana Maharshi and has written a 500-page book about him which is really rich and full of wisdom. So thanks.
Eric Isen: Thank you. Ramana Maharshi is big in the Oneness Movement. They are quoting him all the time. He is highly regarded and considered to be 95 on the scale to 100.
Rick Archer: Cool. I’ll leave that in the interview. Okay,
Eric Isen: Okay.
Rick: Namaste everybody.