Fax & Sharon Gilbert Transcript

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Fax & Sharon Gilbert Interview

Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump, a weekly interview show in which we discuss spiritual awakening, for lack of a better term. This is a fifth in an ongoing series of interviews. And if this is the first one that you’re catching, there will be titles at the end of this show to tell you how to watch the other ones. They’re archived on YouTube, they’re going to be archived on the Fairfield public access TV website and their various other alternatives. The reason we’re able to make this a weekly show is that there are a great number of people these days who are undergoing a spiritual awakening, the terminology is a little bit ambiguous because different people might mean different things by those terms. But every week we discuss that term in particular, and various other synonyms and we I think we’re week by week arriving at a pretty good understanding of what is generally understood to mean the meant by a spiritual awakening. And so far, and I’m sure tonight will be no exception. Our guests have been very clear and articulate and very genuine about what they’re experiencing. This is not a philosophical or metaphysical discussion show in which we speculate about, you know, things we might have read in books. This is a show in which we are discussing things that people are actually experiencing on a day to day basis. So, my name is Rick Archer, and I’m the host of this show, and my guests tonight are Fax and Sharon Gilbert, who are very dear and long time friends of mine. And it’s really a delight to have you two on the show.

Sharon Gilbert: Thank you for having us.

Rick Archer: So what have generally been doing on these shows is just starting with a couple of minutes of just kind of biographical information, you know, I mean, what who you are what you do, what do you do for a living, you know, what are your hobbies, that kind of thing, just so we can get a feel for your relative personalities or relative life. And then we’ll begin to kind of get into what you may be experiencing or are experiencing. So whoever would like to go first.

Fax Gilbert: I, I’m a performer. I’m in the schools I do about 250 school programs a year festivals. I’m an artist and I use skills of mime and magic to communicate. Educational Programs, I have one on character and bullying. I have one called health and happiness. I have his state history play right here in about 100 costumes and kids do a whole play one day. So I travel a lot. I’m in and out of fearful all the time, usually home weekends and out during the week. And I’ve been doing this for 20 years.

Rick Archer: Do you have a lot of that on video?

Fax Gilbert: I do. I have some of it on video. I’m in the process of updating my websites.

Rick Archer: Yeah, you might want to put a lot of that on YouTube so people can watch it. In fact, I I have website associated with this show. And I link to the people that are on if they have a website linked to the guests websites. And people are often curious to see what people are doing like last week’s guest is an artist and she has artwork on a website.

Fax Gilbert: Well, I could supply with several minutes.

Rick Archer: And it also I mean, the station that we’re taping this on could probably use some of their programming if you feel like having it shown. What did you do before that?

Fax Gilbert: Before that I taught Transcendental Meditation for almost 20 years, got into it right after college and became a teacher shortly thereafter. And my aunt Sharon and I thought, you know, probably over 1000 people all over the world.

Rick Archer: Any hobbies or particular interests, one of my passions is called Tiger Woods have a lot in common.

Fax Gilbert: A loaded question He has more mistresses than I do

Rick Archer: And more money. How about you Sharon?

Sharon Gilbert: Well, I I’m kind of the support staff on facts. And I spend a lot of time at home actually. Keeping the home fires burning literally. And since he’s gone quite a bit, I do a lot of the support, work for that and cut people’s hair and do some teaching Waking Down teaching basically just trying to stay out of trouble.

Rick Archer: Are you successful?

Sharon Gilbert: Pretty much.

Rick Archer: Now, having known you both personally for a long time, I, it’s my understanding that you have each in your own way, undergone a spiritual awakening, if you’re comfortable with that particular terminology. And so perhaps you could each kind of tell the story of of that awakening, and then we can kind of work both back and forward from that point to kind of see what might have led up to it or caused it to occur and how things have been developing since then. So whichever view would like to go first on that.

Sharon Gilbert: Yeah, when you ask is the term spiritual awakening comfortable for me? It is. And, you know, I would describe it that way myself, I, I was thinking about this, thinking about the center view, what I would actually even call that happened. And I would call it kind of a coming into alignment with myself, or a falling into my actual size, something like that, where there wasn’t anything sticking out anymore, extraneous to who I am. And that happened for me very gradually, over many years, and I didn’t know it was happening until the process had completed itself, in a certain way. I mean, when there was like a clicking in at some point, and then looking back on it retrospectively, I could see that it was something that was developing for many years.

Rick Archer: That’s kind of a metaphorical description in a way, because you’re talking about, you know, just nothing sticking out, and you’re kind of falling into your, you know, you’re fitting properly in yourself, and so on and so forth. And, you know, it could easily be misconstrued what you’re actually saying. So, maybe you could kind of, as much as possible, elaborate on that, trying to kind of give the actual experience that you’re trying to convey with those terms.

Sharon Gilbert: You know, okay. Yeah, I see what you’re saying. I know, it’s, it’s always,

Rick Archer: it sounds like a clothing store.

Sharon Gilbert: And it’s really true that I mean, even if you just say simply, it was a spiritual awakening,

Rick Archer: what does that mean? You know, yeah.

Sharon Gilbert: Yeah, let me see if I can be a little more clear and specific about that.

Rick Archer: Sort of sounded like, you know, you’ve you’ve just kind of arrived at a state of psychological health or personal self comfort with who you are, or something like that, which, which may be an apt way of putting it, but I think there’s more to it than that you’d like to convey?

Sharon Gilbert: Yeah, it was it was a time of coming into, I guess, I’m coming back to the same word,

Rick Archer: nail and you’re

Sharon Gilbert: coming into complete alignment with who I already am.

Rick Archer: Who are you already?

Sharon Gilbert: I am, you know, who you see before you. Yeah, and who I already am now is different in many ways, and who I was at the moment of that recognition.

Rick Archer: And props probably different than who you were before the moment of that recognition.

Sharon Gilbert: And also the same as I’ve always been, in some way. And that’s why it was a coming into alignment. It was as though all that I had been striving for or seeking for for the many number of years, even before learning trends filamentation. That seeking just kind of fell back into a place of being who I

Rick Archer: am, or what have you been striving and seeking for? Well?

Sharon Gilbert: Yeah, definitely not that I mean. You know, when I had heard about the possibility of God realization, I knew immediately that was my purpose in life. And I didn’t really you know, I didn’t know what it was in, in the sense of being able to say, Okay, this is the parameters of what God realization will be, until I would actually like, pin myself down about it. And then, God realization when I learned Transcendental Meditation and the whole understanding that was given around that turn to Enlightenment, so then I aspire to have Enlightenment. And though I didn’t really know what those were in a real sense they A represented to me the purpose of why I’m here on Earth. And I knew that was in some intuitive, deep way I knew that was what I came here to be in to realize so. But that, of course, in the realization of it, it’s quite different than the words that I would use to describe it beforehand.

Rick Archer: And so you meditated for decades and, and then, and we’ll get into some of the details. But then you did reach a point at which you or maybe it wasn’t a point, you say it was a sort of a gradual transition, but perhaps a final acceptance of having kind of found what you were seeking?

Sharon Gilbert: Yes, that’s right. There was a moment of owning who I already am as being what I’ve always been seeking.

Rick Archer: And when that moment was reached, or even now, if it’s easier to speak from now, how was your experience different than what it had been throughout your life prior to that point?

Sharon Gilbert: There was, you know, in the seeking of that there’s always a bit of anxiety involved.

Rick Archer: And there’s always a carrot dangling, you’re kind of going after,

Sharon Gilbert: and that fell away. The essential striving and confusion around my sense of identity dropped away. No, there just wasn’t a question about it. And there was what I at the time, I remember, I described that myself as a block of peace. I know that some block of peace a lot, because I just felt like Pac.

Rick Archer: P. Right. Right. Not frozen peas, but blocks.

Sharon Gilbert: Just and that was my experience. I was on a turbo afterwards, you know, for many months, right? During the honeymoon period. But, yeah, so that was an it was, you know, of course, a joy. Yeah.

Rick Archer: So would you say that you are that piece? That you’re kind of? Yeah, I’m a block of piece. I mean, ordinarily, if you say to somebody, okay, well, who are you? They say, My name is Sharon Gilbert. Well, no, I mean, in more detail, who are you really well, you know, I live there, and I have this job. And I have these interests. And I like music. And I have three kids, if you had kids are, you know, whatever they can use to describe the various features of their life and to most people to my understanding, those things define who they are. And very often, when somebody loses a big chunk of those things, their whole self image is shaken to the core, you know, because a wealthy person loses all his wealth, or, you know, some one loses a child that that was really the whole focus of their existence, or, or whatever. So I think what you’re saying is that you kind of discovered a deeper aspect of yourself, that really can’t be defined by those kinds of external cues or definitions. And, you know, well, peace is one word to use. And usually we think of inner peace. So you can think of a peaceful external situation, but you’re, you’re referring to an inner peace, which you might, which might be just as peaceful, running through an airport as it would be sitting in the woods or something,

Sharon Gilbert: right, that that inner peace, that is true, because, you know, the outer world is almost never exactly the peace mean, there are times when there’s peaceful moments, no peaceful periods in our life, but one can have inner peace, obviously, right in the midst of what life continues to be.

Rick Archer: And so, you know, if your realization was one in which your your, your self definition or your self concept or self perception or your self understanding shifted, and your identification became predominantly that with that piece, then surely you also still had external characteristics, you know, a body of family interests, you you’re hungry, you’re tired, you’re sleepy, you’re sick, you’re healthy, you know, all those kinds of things are happening to another aspect of your life.

Sharon Gilbert: Yes. And actually, I’m glad you put it that way. Because even though my experience at that time was a being a solid block of peace, the peace came because the inner and outer experience once had come into alignment with each other, there was a kind of a seamlessness of its of being. And so even though there is a whole external range of activity and motion and change, and my, my identity as a woman, and a wife, and whatever else I, you know, hold around myself as part of who I am externally, all that. And that sense of my identity is not separate.

Rick Archer: Oh, that’s interesting. Yeah. So I was gonna say, do you consider that piece to be like a component of who you are. And in addition to that component, you have, you know, the various other components you just referred to, but you just said, not separate and not separate kind of implies that it’s not compartmentalized like that everything is sort of part of a larger wholeness, which, you know, the piece is part of it, all the other things you mentioned, are part of it at the same time

Sharon Gilbert: at the same time, right? It’s, I mean, you can divide it into parts and components for the sake of, you know, talking about it, or sometimes even doing inner work, you can, you know, sure you’ve done this, where you can notice something in you or a part of you is experiencing something in the totality of who you are. But that’s really a conceptual separation, and it doesn’t exist in reality.

Rick Archer: So, but when the rubber meets the road, let’s let’s kind of consider the last time you got really upset about something. In in the midst of that experience, Johnson probably happens afternoon, right? In the midst of that experience, where was this piece? And where was this awakening that you underwent?

Sharon Gilbert: I guess I would, if we put it into a concept of like a spectrum of experience, sometimes the case is big and and, you know, whatever the frazzled moment might include the smaller, and sometimes the frazzled, pneus gets bigger, and the piece becomes a little less dominant in my experience.

Rick Archer: So it’s kind of like a lens, which can kind of zoom in here and zoom back there.

Sharon Gilbert: A lot of it is in terms of where my attention is, yeah, I mean, I can be completely involved in frustration of, you know, trying to get the cookies to come out, right, that I’m baking for my family, right now. And it’s like, there’s so many little details that you have to be aware of, and I can’t seem to get exactly right each time. And at the same time, there is a the capacity, I would say, in a moment, to see myself and laugh at that, to laugh at myself, going through that. But mostly, I don’t try to separate myself, from my experience in any way. And if I’m going through, you know, external, anxiety, and even being totally upset, I don’t try to adjust that necessarily, you know, unless I’m hurting the environment in some way

Rick Archer: by my anger. In other words, you don’t try to use that sort of inner realization or inner peace as a tool to try and dampen down. No,

Sharon Gilbert: no, no, yeah, no, I wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t do that. Because it isn’t necessary. For one thing, the piece has really no problem with the little fluff ups in my personality.

Rick Archer: And so you probably would consider it to be repressive and even unhealthy to try to sort of, you know, to try to maintain some kind of external even keel that’s, you know, because the internal keel is the thing that’s really, you know, guiding the ship

Sharon Gilbert: that is true, I, I would consider it a bit intrusive, or almost violent, in some cases, especially to try to make everything fit into a an attitude of, say, equanimity or something. On the other hand, though, I would say that, I would say that in dealing with other people, and and being in harmony with my environment, I have more capacity now to take myself in hand. You know, and behave appropriately. I don’t have to like, fight or rages because I’m feeling one at any given time. So, yeah,

Rick Archer: I was gonna say because, I mean, there’s a sort of a stereotypical attitude about what an lighten it might be that the Buddha himself kind of, you know, depicts with his subtle smile, and he’s so peaceful and all that stuff. But, you know, all the people I’ve known including some famous saints who you know are, you know, regarded by millions to be enlightened, had a heck of a temporary if the situation called for it, you know, and even sometimes where it didn’t seem to call for as far as I could tell, but, you know, they had no qualms about expressing the full range of human emotions.

Sharon Gilbert: That’s right, and anyone who’s ever lived in close proximity to even great realized beings. If you’ve been in an ashram saying, you’re one of the people who gets to be close to that person, there are many stories about all of them in terms of their temper, very few of them were totally equanimity.

Rick Archer: Some of the old Zen, some of the old Zen masters were said to be very fierce, you know, and strict and even harsh and right.

Sharon Gilbert: Even Ramana Maharshi their stories about him and his kitchen staff. They spilled any rice on the floor.

Rick Archer: He didn’t like waste.

Sharon Gilbert: Anyway, that’s enough about me. So

Rick Archer: yeah, we’ll come back to you. But let’s, let’s let’s hear Fax’s story.

Fax Gilbert: Well, I, I’d been meditating for 25 years. And I was at the point where I pretty much given up any chance of awakening in this life. Because when I sit to meditate, it was had the same number of thoughts that I had, you know, wanting to, you know, it didn’t seem like my stress level was getting lower anything it might be getting. Growing, you didn’t show any signs of love, it showed no signs of limitation. If anything, it was I was going the opposite direction. And so I figured that, you know, when I became a teacher, I was meditating for hours and hours every day for months. And if that didn’t do it, I wasn’t about to get back into that. So I’ve pretty much resigned myself to just enjoying meditation, the rest of my life and whatever happened. Yeah. And 1999 This is like 10 years ago. Somebody started to get activated. Somebody said something, we’re talking about unity. This fellow’s I said something like Unity is what everything was one. This fellow said, and I even more so that I heard that. For some reason. It just struck me as being very, who just fell out money. And he was in Thailand, I was talking to him. And I started laughing. It was something that’s sort of like slipped past my conception of what a unity might be. Not even one what is it, it’s not any one, it made it more intimate. And I had several other experiences over the next couple of months that kind of like activated my sense of presence, or proximity to be, it wasn’t, it wasn’t so much a concept of far away. And I was doing shows the whole time. But there was a liveliness there, as if something was moving. It hadn’t moved in a while. And Sharon, set up an appointment with me with this fellow who was in town, he was a disciple of Papaji mainly a Master who would awaken the number of Western students who then came to this country. And so he had this process called Radical awakening, and I went to that was that it’s his name was

Sharon Gilbert: ukiyo

Rick Archer: Oh the Japanese guy. Ramana or something. Right? I remember.

Fax Gilbert: And so I went to having no idea what it was, it was a type of self inquiry which turned you back on yourself. I had a recognition it wasn’t, I wouldn’t even call it an experience. It was just a recognition of like, when you meditate, you have the experience of you have the identity of who you are for as long as you’re a person. You’re a Red Sox, fan golfer and so on this whole layers of identity. And when you meditate, you have the experience of pure consciousness. Well, and then you come back and you’re having you always having all these experiences. In this it kind of flipped in. It was like as if consciousness became aware of itself having the experience of backfield. And it was It wasn’t anything flashy, it wasn’t anything. Special. It wasn’t even hardly noteworthy, except that afterwards, I just felt this, this piece, and I felt this connection, and I felt a separation between who I was as consciousness and who I was as fact scolded. And I went home and I sat down to meditate and there was nowhere to go. And so I went to sleep that night and where to go, you know? interested enough? And this just deepened over the next six months year

Rick Archer: and get meditating?

Fax Gilbert: No, I didn’t. I didn’t, I didn’t use the Mantra, I would sit but you’d sit and close your eyes and sitting close my eyes. And there was no real way to describe it, I ended up reading these I invited books, sorry about Robert Adams, and always to just try to connect what I have experienced with something that I could put my, that I can hang on to,

Rick Archer: I’m gonna just interject that Advaita means usually means non duality. And it’s a Indian system of philosophy and experience that that aims to enable people to rise to a state in which they experienced the oneness or the the non dual nature of life. Good definition. Yeah, I just have to throw out a term like that we

Fax Gilbert: have to have all the books. Those are the ones that that recognition, I resonated with the most

Rick Archer: Nisargadatta. Robert Adams.

Fax Gilbert: Yes, those guys. And it just kind of rolled up from there. It was like, I look at people. And there was a connection, who I was as conscious and who they were as conscious as it was, it was there was a connection

Rick Archer: to basically see that whatever. Yeah.

Fax Gilbert: But on the other hand, there was a disconnection between who I was as fact Skillman, there was a less of an attachment to the thrill of victory and the agony and defeat that comes with daily living. And my relationship that went on for several years, where you just kind of more up here. Yeah. And then I had another I would call it a separate another awakening, where that recognition of who I was as consciousness, and then in my heart, very interesting. Yeah. That was sort of the instrumentality of working with people waking down, right kind of system, social interactions, and speaking, gazing. And it was, it was very clear, it just went into my heart. That range of identity that we were talking about, because it was sharing described as seamless. It was as if I was reconnected this consciousness, it finally owned itself as me. And there was a seamlessness about it. And that was at that point, I just felt, I felt the fullness of being in my body for the first time together. So that’s kind of a cliff notes version.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Has it gone beyond your heart?

Fax Gilbert: I would say it’s, it’s more in my body. Now, as well as the heart.

Rick Archer: The reason I ask is that an American teacher, who goes by the name of Adi Shanti, who’s coming to Fairfield in about a year and a half, as soon as he can come, because he’s so popular. But in any case, his he talks about a progression of awakening from the head to the heart to the gut. And maybe when you say it’s in your body, that’s what he means by gut. But it’s kind of cool. You notice the same progression?

Fax Gilbert: What physicalized is, it’s to me this evolution, this is not just going up, right in the way Yeah, it’s it’s, it’s there’s an evolutionary incarnation of spirit into matter. There are different progressions that individuals have in experiencing and so people seem to awaken in the wrong way. Yeah, different places, and, and so on. But it seems like there’s there’s also in addition to going up and recognizing yourself as consciousness, there’s a there’s a movement inward to an allowing that consciousness to so the rubber meets the road, live itself as you were falling. So you have like this, this dynamic setup between who you are I was conscious of who we are as human being limitless and the limits, and then the interaction of the two creates this. Love Life.

Rick Archer: Bless me was

Fax Gilbert: here. The whole range.

Rick Archer: Yeah. When he first started talking, you said you had been at a stage in your life where you sort of thrown in the towel, and you just kind of felt like, the meditate for 25 years doesn’t look like anything much is gonna change. I’ll just kind of live it out like this. And it’s funny because this friend of mine, whom I’ve actually referred to a couple times in previous weeks, interviews, and who is on the, what is called the Purusha program in India, which is a monastic group of guys that are doing TM for maybe 8-12 hours a day at TM and related practices up in the Himalayas, you know, really going at it. He said that, you know, he sent me this email a few weeks ago in which he said that a lot of the guys that he hangs out with and it feels maybe a lot of people out here, you know, We’ve kind of reached our age and they’ve kind of begun to reach a sort of a spiritual midlife crisis in which they feel like well, maybe I’m not gonna make it, you know? And what, how do what, what I do now? And what are the implications of this, so I’m gonna sit here for the rest of my life. You know what, and and his accusation of my show was that I’ve found a lot of people who have compromised and who have lowered the bar be just to make themselves feel better, because they sort of feel like oh, well, otherwise my life is in vain. Everything I’ve been doing all these decades, and so I’m just gonna kind of cheapen the definition of Enlightenment in order to claim it and make myself feel good. And, and his main sticking point was that, you know, in the TM movement, there’s has been a teaching, that being able to perform siddhis are sort of so called supernormal abilities, is a litmus test of having actually attained Enlightenment. And you know, that in the TM movement, there was a sort of a hierarchy of states of consciousness, cosmic consciousness, God consciousness, unity consciousness, and according to his understanding, even cosmic consciousness should be associated with the ability to perform cities. My own attitude, and I’ll let you respond to this, is that I take everything with a grain of salt, you know, I mean, no matter who says it, and I certainly respect and quote and read all kinds of so called spiritual authorities, and I take what they have to say into consideration. But I have kind of reached a stage in my own life where I am not comfortable taking anything as a dogma, or anything as an ironclad rule, because there seem to be exceptions to every generality. And, and awakening seems to show up in about 7 billion different flavors, you know. So anyway, Could you Could you perhaps respond and elaborate on what I’ve been saying there? Either of you really?

Sharon Gilbert: Well, interesting. Idea. Interesting question. I know that that is a concern that know, people who have been very dedicated as we all have them, for many years, on the trajectory of self recognition, consciousness and so on. They don’t want to fool themselves. And that was certainly primary in my experience, too, I did not want to. It didn’t want to accept anything less than the real thing. And I definitely did not want to be fooling myself and I, in fact, for me, doubting, was my ally in this process, and that I would hold off for many years, even trusting my experience. Because I didn’t want to believe anything that wasn’t true. And so when the real realization fell in, there was a habit of doubting even. And so there was a questioning that would come occasionally for about a week or two. A deep questioning of this is this, this can’t be this it and really questioning, and then recognizing that I could, I could let go of the doubt of my mind, and just fall into what I was actually being in that moment. And that, for me, is the the pain and struggle of gambling. And but yeah, it’s it took a while for me to let go of that, because of that very reason. Not wanting to fool myself. And I can certainly understand where that person is coming from and saying that, and I think it doesn’t hurt to doubt. No, to a point and then after the point, you can question the doubt,

Rick Archer: right? It can be a game your mind don’t have in your mind, it’s fallen into cranking along.

Sharon Gilbert: Actually, a lot, of course, still is firing. For the self recognition, I see that there’s a way in which they’re denying their experience because they are so concerned that they are fooling myself.

Rick Archer: When I mentioned this show, people around town is definitely very positive, enthusiastic, as long as you feel great about it. Some people have the reaction, and maybe I’m actually not talking to a representative sample of the community. I have my own little circle of people who think like I do, but some people have the reaction that they refer to it Oh, is that you’re interviewing people who think they’re enlightened, you know, that sort of a sarcastic undertone to the use of that phrase, and almost a hostility sometimes. Fairfield does have a history of people who cause a bit of trouble, you know, and actually, perhaps, you know, arguably crazy man who proclaimed Enlightenment. So I can understand why there but why people might be a little bit squeamish, but skittish about, you know, anyone who claims to be enlightened, but it’s becoming so predominant. So commonplace, almost, there’s so many people that are having awakening farther, and I wanted to do this show was to make it obvious to the community that this is actually something happening.

Sharon Gilbert: I think that’s one of the reasons we refer to the events of our recognition as revolution awakening, realization, rather than Enlightenment, because there’s so much well, yeah, it’s, it’s like, talking about God. And the conceptual understandings that we’ve gained over the years, may not really be in line with your refuge, and your recognition, maybe, maybe you’re not one of the great realizers with all the cities in the halo around. But you can be self your life as you are. And the concepts of Enlightenment that we carry, sometimes are actually getting in the way of letting ourselves be the awakened one that we are.

Rick Archer: Yeah. And which is not to say that somewhere down the line, you might be the character with the halo and powers, you know, but who knows what the whole span of human development or spiritual development is,

Sharon Gilbert: and growth doesn’t stop with what what Maharshi calls me consciousness, there’s there are possibilities of unfoldment and deepening that continue

Rick Archer: constantly, from what I can gather. Europe does not only not stop with Dama awakenings, but it accelerates. I mean, I would say. So like, because you kind of get the kind of gotten out of the way, while you’re on progresses at that point. Maybe that’s one way.

Sharon Gilbert: And another way of looking at it too, is that if there is a solid basis, ground, under your feet into the ground of being, you can reach farther, and you can be there more,

Rick Archer: you can also relax more, I think I think a lot of us can, maybe it’s human Joy humans operate, we tend to kind of suppress or bottle up things that you’re uncomfortable to look at, what’s your experience, but if you have, how did you get a solid ground being then you can relax and if these things come up, they’re not so overwhelming. Otherwise,

Sharon Gilbert: it’s really true.

Rick Archer: I, when I was a new meditator, I went to my TM teacher and I was really upset because my girlfriend at the time was getting into heroin, getting back into heroin or something like that and I didn’t know what to do. And my teacher said, Be an ocean”. I’ve always liked them. Think of that, as we have all this stuff called Mud and dramatic stages. In life, before a glass of water drop the mud in a glass of water itself made a motion to drown out a lot of stuff and

Fax Gilbert: I would I wouldn’t use the word dissolve so much is what happens is that it kind of it kind of you kind of accept accepting humanity, human consciousness is kind of like connects with who you are as a person, then a lot of the things that were kind of submerged, and a zoom forth. There’s, it’s as if, for example, in our marriage, we married will be 35 years this year. And in order to make things comfortable over the years, you know, certain things would come up which weren’t really gone, you’ll hear them go into them dealt with. But after awakening these, these same things would come up and it was more of a foundation for going into it and bringing bringing it into the light of consciousness so to speak. There was a greater foundation because I remember I would get angry about something that would Sharon did and she wasn’t able to hold it because she had abusive parents and so on. He would always get angry at her and it was very traumatic. And after awakening I I found that she would come right back at me. And so there was it was such a relief to be able to just let it out and have it come back and have it was uncomfortable, right. But it would have he was it creates, it creates more of a connection, a passion, a presence that hadn’t been there, everything was kind of mechanical and became a lot.

Rick Archer: It’s interesting, you know, there may be a lesson in that for me. I mean, sometimes if my wife gets mad, I’m tempted to reciprocate. But I find that if I can just sort of hold that certification, five minutes later, is moving past and I feel like if I had reciprocated, it would have you know, that’s the situation and we, you know, still be feeling that. So. But I don’t know, you know, maybe

Fax Gilbert: it’s just, it’s just, every situation is different, there’s a couple is different, but I’m sure in certain situations, that’s the right thing to do. But in other situations, maybe stuffing yourself over and over, isn’t necessarily you know, the right comedian, maybe just blowing it off. It’s just the aid becomes more spontaneous. It just happens.

Sharon Gilbert: So, you know, and the point you were making to the ocean it does seem as though there is integration, aspects of myself, which before I’m uncomfortable with bread, since you wake up at three in the morning, there’s anxiety. In the past, perhaps I would have done everything I could to avoid doing that and try to practice sleep. Get up the book, anything to avoid feeling anxiety. Yeah. Whereas now there’s, there’s a willingness to, and a curiosity to feel what’s there what’s arising, because I found that really, there’s nothing which can overpower or overthrow like

Rick Archer: That’s interesting

Sharon Gilbert: you know, it’s so there’s more unknown what that fear or anxiety or whatever impulses, like that might arise? Yes, the energy behind it gets integrated or not dissipated. In in a way, maybe you could say dissipated, when that becomes part of the home, maybe there was something which I’ve been holding out, or which I hadn’t really been conscious of, which then becomes conscious, and partly

Rick Archer: because the character might change in some kind of an underlying attitude, kind of seeking the bliss to an kind of an approach in which I, you know, consciously willingly allow my awareness to go to discomfort, fear, vulnerability, anxiety, and a lot of times, we’ll sit there for an hour just sort of feel these waves of fear and make it like, that feels like something very healing. Yes, it’s a little different ways to

Sharon Gilbert: go about it, and healing this home. It’s not that you want to banish some demons, more than being able to open your awareness within that impulse that’s coming up. Because there’s awareness there. And then it becomes part of

Rick Archer: Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela.

Sharon Gilbert: Right?

Rick Archer: So

Fax Gilbert: I just wanted to say, you know, the whole idea of, of, of Enlightenment versus awakening the word itself, it’s seems like it’s like a now it has like an ending to Enlightenment. Whereas I don’t feel you know, from, from the recognitions that I’ve had is like the, the recognition of who you are as consciousness just is a solid, non changing identity. But the rest of it, the recognition of who you are, as consciousness living itself, as you is, is constantly changing, constantly growing. So it’s like a paradox, you become comfortable with paradox. Because, and the idea that you think you’re enlightened, it has nothing to do with thinking. I mean, you don’t just think that you’re male, or that you’re an American or that you’re a Red Sox fan. It is part of your identity. It’s not a thought. It’s not it’s not a concept that you that you own or that you figure out. It’s a surprise is what it is. It’s a surprise that’s what an awakening is you’re surprised by something you surprised by yourself.

Rick Archer: I think it’s possible for a person to think erroneously

Sharon Gilbert:  to believe they

Rick Archer: Or to delude themselves? Yes.

Sharon Gilbert: Don’t walk around thinking.

Rick Archer:  I mean it’s possible. I think we’ve all seen examples of it

Fax Gilbert: but this is not to say that whatever spiritual prowesses and developments that people are having, in Purusha, and in caves around the world are anything like what we’re doing, I mean, if it’s gonna be something totally different, it could be a totally different identification, a totally different experience.

Rick Archer:  It could be

Fax Gilbert: totally different dharma.

Sharon Gilbert: Yeah.

Rick Archer: I mean, sort of course of action, which is most appropriate for

Fax Gilbert: For that person individually.

Rick Archer: Although I do think, wouldn’t you agree that, you know, although, externally, people are doing very different things? And of course, we all think,

Fax Gilbert: The Self is the Self.

Rick Archer: yeah, there’s some kind of commonality

Fax Gilbert: and then how it integrates into that personal personal journey, because

Rick Archer: Light that is one though the lamps be many. Incredible String Band.

Fax Gilbert: should know. So

Sharon Gilbert: I don’t I love this conversation, though about and I think anyone is enlightened because I don’t I don’t think about it as enlightened, I don’t think about myself as enlightened. And I, one of the great joys of my realized existence, since the, you know, the time when I finally own who I am is the joy of just being an ordinary realist, and also just being in ordinary life, and having the joys and the sorrows also that come with that are, to me that, and not knowing that the elements of not knowing rather than the totality of knowing everything, no, we both, we’ve all heard the idea that women want to know everything. And for me, it was the freedom of not knowing that was possible. So it can be blissful.

Rick Archer: Personally, in my terminology, I tend to assume that there’s some sort of ultimate state of development except maybe to count people in the one hand, world it’s my perspective that there are many stages of awakening, there may be an initial one, it’s very difficult, reversible, and from that point on to kind of grounded in so but other than saying, don’t stop there is not one of them. Who knows how many stages.

Sharon Gilbert: And I think it’s somehow it seems to be part of realization, that realization, or awakenings that often it feels like, This is it. It’s almost like, like, when you had the realization you did with Ramana, or that self recognition itself, recognizing yourself as consciousness that you couldn’t conceive for a couple of years, at least there being anything more to realize what’s

Rick Archer: sitting in the boat fishing and get a better than this

Fax Gilbert: keeps getting more true. I wouldn’t say see better indicates okay, I’m happier and happier. And I would say truer, there’s a there’s a it’s like truth against the zoom for three different levels. And that becomes more your focus in life is those moments of truth, whether they’re painful or not.

Rick Archer: A good example.

Fax Gilbert: Yeah. About a month ago, my mother passed away. It was fairly quick, fairly sudden, we went out to Boston, to be with her needed the day before she passed. And what happens, what my experience was that like, her life zoomed forth in both aspects, both, you know, the purity of it, and the goodness of it, giving this other life. And at the same time, there were the limitations that she was as a person. It was as if the aspects of my being the wholeness of my own being was activated, and at the same time that the excruciating limitations of her passing were also enlivened and so there was this poignancy of being that was very lively and very full. It was, it was as if both aspects of my identity, the identity of who I was as a person and the limitations that came with that. That was there Fuller, in the fullness of that which held the consciousness that registered those experiences was a more fully. And so to me, that’s that’s like the that’s like the stuff of life. You know, it’s because it’s real. There’s no There’s no like conceptual about it, you’re there. And it’s, it’s right there with you, and who you are some sports to meet it in whatever capacity you have.

Rick Archer: It’s interesting, because Maharishi used to use the phrase 200% of life, I think most of us kind of thought about as being on the inside, I’m going to be this great enlightened wise yogi, on the outside I’m going to be filthy rich. I was you’re saying is kind of a beautiful example of perhaps? Well, there could be many examples, which I think is very much.

Fax Gilbert: There’s a place for, there’s a place for the forms, in terms of forms, I mean, like limitation, perhaps, because what it does is that it caps the boundlessness of your consciousness. And it’s, it’s as if there’s a limit, looking at a sunset, it’s fragile, it’s gone. And yet, because it’s fragile, and because it is gone, makes it beautiful. It needs that charge. It’s it’s if the sun is there all the time, then there’s not that connection. And so the limitations, create this polarity where we’re the being flows, the limitation limitation, this is like a marriage.

Rick Archer: Yeah.

Fax Gilbert: And poignancy of life becomes precious.

Rick Archer: So in other words, it’s almost like you’re saying, maybe, tell me if I’m wrong, that the limitations make you appreciate the, the unlimited aspect more and the unlimited aspect making you appreciate the invitation more than they can mutually enrichone another? Yeah?

Fax Gilbert: I would say Yeah. Yeah. It see what it does is, it’s like who we are, are both limitation, and unbounded. And sort of like it’s sort of like a slot machine and stuff like that happens, it’s like more of who you are, comes forward into the moment, you there were times when you’re more or less caught up in the limitation, the day to day getting through whatever. And then there are times when there’s more of that fullness of who you are as being Yeah, but when, when something like that pulls, power that forward. And then there’s this this kind of a sweet sadness of both together, which becomes precious.

Rick Archer: You gave an example last week, which I think illustrate this is an example of running through O’Hare trying to catch a connecting flight. And noticing that, you know, in the midst of all the chaos here, close to Christmas, crowded airport, late with a connection, one through running that there was a deep silence, which was definitely dominant, if not more so than all the chaos in the airport. Instead of thinking, Oh, this sucks, I’m gonna miss my flight What a drag was like, wow, this is fun, it is cool. It is good, good. Loving the experience.

Sharon Gilbert: So even while you’re experiencing, like the burn of the lungs, the concern about getting your flight

Rick Archer: Which I missed by the way.

Sharon Gilbert: we did and

Rick Archer: I got another one.

Sharon Gilbert: But that at the same time, there was an enjoyment that the whole experience

Rick Archer: was like, it was like a blast. And it’s just a case in point.

Sharon Gilbert: So there was a certain amount of freedom here if there’s ever a time that you felt like, had to get up.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, I was doing my darndest to get to the plane. Because I didn’t want to go to same time it was

Sharon Gilbert: right.

Rick Archer: There was this feeling like it’s not gonna work. Next thing will happen whatever that is.

Sharon Gilbert: That’s good.

Rick Archer: I like your use of the word paradox, you find that your ability to incorporate the paradox within you know, existence itself with the universal by individual values also makes you more broad minded, incorporating other paradoxes such as political perspective, images, effective hidden things like that, but people get so combative about in this world

Sharon Gilbert: sometimes

Fax Gilbert: no

Rick Archer: because you have your own particular political philosophy.

Sharon Gilbert: Well, you know, I love spiritual and they had to work if not one because it’s painful to be on the on one side of something. And yet you do find that you are on one side is something at least in terms of your opinions, your sensibilities, and so on. So it’s useful to open to recognize that there’s room and light for opposites, you know, that even having enemies is useful, because it strengthens one another. So, you know, having all the voices is a good thing, but it’s still painful and insanely painful to the personality to have somebody express a point of view different than my own. And, and, you know, very angry of those people. So, I think both are present tendencies,

Rick Archer: What I usually find is I kind of feel like, I can see why they think that way, you know, gun control, abortion, you know, health care, today I can, I can see why they have the attitude they have, but there’s my attitude, and, and, you know, variety and spice of life, and it takes, you know, we all thought the same way wouldn’t be a very interesting world. But you know, you’d have to kind of point on the spectrum as well as the sense in which I think they feel broader claim, which is that some people feel that Enlightenment or spiritual awakening, or whatever term we want to use, kind of turns you into a blob personality-less

Sharon Gilbert: A colorless sap

Rick Archer: sent. Hello, Sam. Yeah, somebody who really doesn’t have any conviction.

Fax Gilbert: Yeah, here’s the thing. You recognize yourself as consciousness, and that’s, that’s a part of your identity. And you can you can feed that, and which can take you out of, you know, the colors, the, the rest of, you know, your identity, you can, you can definitely, you can see that through experience through directions through intense attention. So that, that becomes more of who you are. And that’s, that’s your, that’s your bigger reality, so to speak. Or you can go into the other aspects of your identity, the human aspects, the limitations, the personality story. Whatever it is, that’s, that’s there, the next your person who is also being live. And so it’s just depends where the attention goes, in terms of what gets in line. I don’t think there’s any like, okay, you’ll be like this, or you’ll be like this. Do you think there’s a Dharma

Rick Archer: issue again? Yeah, I do have a natural inclination to be aloof and not so involved. And it

Fax Gilbert: could also be a lack of understanding. I mean, he has an awakening and like, for the first few years of mine, that was all it was, and, and I, everything I did was to culture that consciousness, my identifications, consciousness, that was where my attention was, and that was, that was dominant in my marriage. So it’s just I think, just a natural kind of progression takes place.

Rick Archer: Some spiritual texts, and teachers say that, you know, you want to kind of save the reason for having a more reclusive or less involved life is to spare yourself the impact of sensory impressions of sensory overload because that kind of overshadow the pure consciousness. When you took the opposite tack after those first several years, and began to plunge into relative life more, did you find that anything was was overshadowed?

Fax Gilbert: I would say that the other aspects of my identity began to balance out what was there in terms of consciousness? There was there was both about

Rick Archer: me and more than balance between your relatives,

Fax Gilbert: I think, you know, you know, the idea that, that, that awakening is just in one direction, is it’s an individual thing. It’s not it’s not something that is intrinsic to the awakening itself. You will see the awakening itself isn’t isn’t on the level of mind or feeling its consciousness awake to itself. So what’s going on? I mean, it’s who you are. What’s going to stop it? I mean, it’s going to be it’s beyond this beyond death. So it’s going to be beyond the feeling if it’s beyond death, it’s going to be beyond you know, a thought about it. It’s more intimate to you than then who you are as a person. Which is a

Rick Archer: thought I have a friend who had an awakening and she said, I think I’m gonna see if I can make this go away. So she proceeded to get rip roaring drunk. Yeah, let’s see if it works. Isn’t over I don’t think that’s something she needs daily habit. Yeah.

Fax Gilbert: Before we awaken, is the soul after the weights in the cell, it’s a dot, you put a dot right here. And that’s it that’s not awakened. And he put another dot right there, and that’s awakened. Okay, what’s the difference? One knows it’s awake, and the other one does. Yeah, the same situation.

Rick Archer: From some perspective, that might not make any difference, but from the perspective of the person actually living life, it could make a heck of a lot of difference during the reading, which they enjoy their life or the quality of their life. So

Sharon Gilbert: if you have being strong seekers, before, this all came about, there was the idea that there were actions that we could do, which would further the process of Enlightenment, like level or whatever, all the myriad of things that we believed would speed the process. And and I don’t know if they do or not, I know that we did them serially, and diligently. And then awakening happens. Yeah. So they’re, I don’t know, there’s a cause and effect.

Rick Archer: My own attitude. And Stephanie, spiritual practices have a purpose. And people practice them, then to awaken more commonly than I think it’s not just coincidental. And what it really does is it does clarify, clarify, make the nervous system more or more fit intimate for having that realization, because any realization anything, experience is very students mentality and things.

Sharon Gilbert: Got this, right.

Rick Archer: I mean, in fact, if the women waken person had a stroke, and the brain was severely damaged, I wonder what would happen? Well, ROM Das. He has a whole book. Yeah, yeah. That’s great. Yeah, so the document is. So asking questions here, and I’m in no hurry to ask them what is going well, and if I’m not asking something that, you know, some thought pops in your mind or conducting some spread of conversation, in an interesting direction, they’ll be very informal. One thing that occurred to me an MBO is when you’re talking about funding into license, terminology, around consciousness, he lived in caves with us, and that’s

Fax Gilbert: kind of the recognition is that it is now and always has been living itself as who you are. And that there’s a there’s a joy in that.

Sharon Gilbert: And liberation, because there’s nothing to do with Nov husband and continue to be that is that’s always the situation. Always, you never give them their own way. Because that which is realized is most has always been committed.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Although I think that kind of talk is a little bit dangerous. Because I mean, I’ve run into people in there who adopt as an app is nothing to do sometimes. They’ll just go ahead and they haven’t had any sort of awakening or realization, but they’re just kind of copping out. It doesn’t work, too. It’s not about the right

Sharon Gilbert: attitude, if you’re going to have one is I must have this I must know about myself or whatever your hair should be on fire to have it be a better

Rick Archer: the master holding cycle under water. Loving, you obviously have a lot of data do you want to freeze? You

Sharon Gilbert: know? I mean, if you have to have an attitude that the one that comes most naturally before awakens, that strong desire, yeah, that is true what he’s doing.

Fax Gilbert: There’s an element of grace that will bring versus you can make yourself available to lightning you can have spiritual practices. One one’s in Nasser said that the spiritual practices is that awakening is not a linear thing. And that awakening is an accident. But spiritual practices kind of make your accident prone. So

Rick Archer: yeah, I mean, there have been instances in which people have been alcoholics and drug addicts or whatever and have come upon some spiritual awakening. I mean, Byron Katie was in a halfway house, you know, cockroach. And Have you noticed a cockroach crawled across his foot and somehow rather that triggered an awakening?

Fax Gilbert: It’s like a in a sense of tomato, it’s like a reset button in that the recognition of who you are as consciousness, going back is always was always there registering every experience that my memory would have, in order to have that experience. It was being registered by consciousness and it was like kind of a reset. So that in a sense, nothing happened. There was no there was no change, there’s no experience, it was just a recognition of, of have a reality that has always been there. And so in that sense, that’s what I said nothing happens. But something something happened. But it’s that wasn’t an experience. It wasn’t like something in time and space. Yeah.

Rick Archer: Like you’ve always been a multi millionaire, but you didn’t, you forgot, you have the bank account. And one day somehow, you get the key and you open it up. And my God, this has been here all the years, I’ve been scraping and saving and pinching pennies, and I’ve always been a millionaire.

Fax Gilbert: Are you looking for your glasses? Yeah, they’re on your head.

Sharon Gilbert: We’re saying this. I remember how frustrating it was to hear people talk like that. Yeah, sure. Because you’re just like trying to get it on. You’re trying to understand it intellectually cognize it make it happen somehow and say, smugly sitting there and saying this can be very frustrating to hear for true. Aspera. And so I guess I just have to say, when I when I was saying that there’s nothing you can do to get us even not as extreme as you want to be trying something. So it is good. spiritual practice. Yeah, at least it helps you to relax, you know? Yeah, I mean,

Rick Archer: if we had to distill this down to a practical recommendation, mindlessly keep doing it, do whatever you’re helping you, whatever you enjoy, whatever seems to be producing benefits. And

Sharon Gilbert: yeah, and just keep your mind open and listen,

Fax Gilbert: talk, I would say also, if you know somebody has had an awakening, talk to him about it. And absolutely. And, and don’t be afraid to speak about where you are in your process. And and that way, if there are misconceptions to owning, or recognition in a bar we have that can be set up.

Rick Archer: I mean, there are all kinds of groups and gatherings that a person can associate with in order to interact with people who have to work and you guys have been in the way come down for some time, which I think if you do a search on Google for waking down, come right up here. And, of course, the Om movement, and you’re here at Fairfield, we’ve had a lot, but we’ve been discussing the event tonight, in which probably half the people in the room are awakened. And it’s been very instrumental in helping others awaken. So and that’s actually a traditional thing too many of the ancient traditional scriptures say that company of the enlightened to accompany the peoples was extremely powerful advantage. For me myself.

Sharon Gilbert: Absolutely. And part of the reason that that’s true is because, for me anyway, being with people from my own culture, particular other women or people that have had similar histories to me, and they’re, obviously live in a state of self belief, self acceptance, and peace. Joy, let’s assume that they’re just like me, where I’m just like, coming in most ways, and realizing I don’t have to protect myself in order to, to be all of those. I am no, I don’t have to purify myself or be some other person or have other kinds of experiences that are more exalted than the ones I’m having. And, you know, if there were something that I could tell my previous self, now, that’s when your questions, if there’s something I could tell myself, just trust yourself. Customer experience.

Rick Archer: Yeah. I mean, you know, we’ve talked about lowering the bar, I think, you know, many people raised the bar couldn’t possibly great height. And, you know, there’s, and they also I think there’s also a tendency, in this community at least which which has a background of spiritual background, by and large, that stems from an Indian position. There’s a tendency to, to associate or prop to confuse many of the trappings of Indian culture with awakening or Enlightenment itself. You know, anybody can come into town and around a building using an accent and people fall asleep. it’s, you know, Enlightenment or awakening is not Indian, you know, it’s not Asian. It’s not even Firstly, it’s a totally universal thing, which I imagine is pretty much the same thing on alphas and turiya. Is this here,

Sharon Gilbert: perhaps Yeah.

Rick Archer: It’s my mistake, I don’t know too much about waking down aside from talking to friends who are involved in it. And it’s my understanding that there’s a sort of an interesting checklist that you actually can sit down and go through with someone who can verify whether awakening they feel they have had this is legitimate or not. Can you talk about that, or that sort of proprietary information?

Sharon Gilbert: You know, it’s not exactly a checklist. We were at a teacher’s conference for teachers, and we come down. And we were teachers conference this summer, where the teachers who have the job of sitting with someone and hearing what their experiences and then confirming what they already know. They talked about it at length, and it isn’t really checklist, they all have their own way of appreciating what someone

Rick Archer: is saying. No, no questionnaires. No,

Sharon Gilbert: no, not at all. In fact, a lot of it had to do with confidence and confidence when a person speaks their own experience your own words, advert when I say their experience, and that’s meaning of experience, like psychological experiences, what I’m talking about the way one has, in relating to life, to their own identity, in speaking that there’s confidence in being able to comes forward. And

Fax Gilbert: any uniqueness of expression and a uniqueness an expression, not just parody, right, exactly. Uniqueness of expression, where it’s, it’s possible to determine that a person really owns you know, this, this identity,

Rick Archer: you feel that you can pretty reliably assess,

Fax Gilbert: no, we’re, we’re kind of new teachers were, we each have several people that we work with, and some on the phone, some in person. And we create the space where they can begin to own more of who they are, in terms of who they are as an individual and videos consciousness. And it’s just a in a conversational way.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I was talking to a friend at Cafe Paradiso, which is a local coffee shop here. And she was saying, how do you got two people to show and I said, No, I’m gonna have to take them at their word. I’m and I’m not really qualified to, you know, sermon, but if someone’s awake or not, I just got maybe have a feeling about some of these. I was rather skeptical, but I certainly can’t tell anything for certain. And she said, Sure, you can, you can tell as a knife. Actually, I can’t. I just maybe some of the criteria that you just stated, that is what I would use just as a sort of an obvious sincerity of genuineness of expression. You know, they’re not instead of, you know, parroting concepts, but they’re honestly speaking, you know?

Fax Gilbert: That was unique for me. I mean, for years, I’ve been reading the books of spiritual teachers, you know, and you read the book and try to understand what they’re saying. And then after, you know, it’s sort of like, there’s a whole reset that takes place and you read it, and you say, okay, that’s what, that’s what, this is how I would say it, you know, this is it just came alive. Yeah. It’s, it’s like night and day. The difference between concept and recognition?

Rick Archer: Yeah, there’s, there’s some core can do it the day when the Buddha he actually says, you know, don’t believe anything anybody says, just because they said it, even if I say it, Buddha speaking, don’t don’t, don’t just take it, that’s true. Just go you have to go by on like play

Fax Gilbert: on it. Because depending upon the point of reference that that person is speaking, the truth is going to be different. Right? This speaking, you know, from the point of reference to the absolute, none of this exists. It’s not there. It’s not real. From the point of view of the relative the absolute doesn’t exist. Yeah, just like, if you have a zero and you have in multiplied or divided into anything, that whatever it is, it disappears, only the zero remains. But if you add something, if you add the zero to anything that zero disappears, or zero disappears, the same integer but the function changes the reality completely. So in the same way, somebody who’s in that is like, very much identify who they are, as consciousness says, speaks from their truth. And it’s just gibberish for somebody hearing it from the point of reference, so the relative and the same and vice versa. It was a very

Rick Archer: nice phrase that Morris uses a million times, which is that knowledge is different in different states of consciousness. And that, you know, you can hear something, instead from one state of consciousness from your own discussions, and you’re never really going to misinterpret it. You can’t really, you know, but when you rise to the same level of consciousness, The Guardian said it. And that’s just what you’re saying, you go back and read the books now that you read 20 years ago and say, Oh,

Fax Gilbert: it’s not just misinterpretation, it’s actual literal truth. From that point of reference of absolute this doesn’t exist. This is like with facts Gilbert is a thought on the point of reference effects Gilbert absolute doesn’t exist. And that’s that’s that’s really the the awakening is that you’re able to hold both as a paradox. Yeah. Because that’s it is a paradox. I mean, both married together, one, one totally uninvolved, no qualities, quality was SAP, and the other totally limited, totally full, the qualities married together. And the mind can’t hold that. The only place they will hold out is the heart.

Rick Archer: And like Sharon, literally, you don’t want to conflate the two. So if you come across with Sophia, here, these questions, these are some questions that people emailed to me, and anyone watching is welcome to email more. At the end of this show, there’ll be titles on the screen. My email, address, chat and group where you can participate with people who are interested in this topic, the YouTube channel where we’re always going to archive and probably establish a Facebook page after a while. But in any case, these are some questions that people have sent them and we’re just kind of skim through them. And maybe we’ll we’ve already covered some get some. But the first one is, since your world has shifted or whatever you want to call it. How has your experience of various human emotions change habits fear of the past and anger about the trivial ones? talked about earlier? Same? Are they enhanced? Are they muted?

Sharon Gilbert: Well, for me, I would say that there’s much more of a dramatic experience of all emotions. I think I can put myself down quite a bit because it would be overwhelming to experience things as fully as I do now. So I I do experience what did you have anger? Anger, especially fear, happiness, passion. I mean, all of you. Oh, they love all the above, much more fully. And and I don’t have I’m not afraid of experiencing

Rick Archer: stuff that you sprinkle on people ever so much more. So.

Sharon Gilbert: Yeah, that was kind of like what is that MSG? Yeah.

Fax Gilbert: I would just say this. This, there’s more passion. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat and more live with plunging more into what I like.

Rick Archer: As you dive into second premise,

Fax Gilbert: oh, sorry, Dad. It’s even worse. Let’s say a little less pork than I used to have. No, I’m not even I would say producers. No. I would say diets probably become more eclectic. I wasn’t a vegetarian. I was vegetarian for a number of years and then stopped. And now I’m not a vegetarian.

Rick Archer: Exactly nice. Don’t worry about it too much. Right. You would have died media rapid core, really wouldn’t have

Sharon Gilbert: said about the Buddha if that’s what you said. Yes, what you said that the Buddha apparently makes. No, don’t listen to anyone.

Rick Archer: Just don’t believe anything just because somebody said it not. So. Don’t take anything as gospel truth because some folks over there because that was So the whatever, you know, you have chuck in,

Sharon Gilbert: right, right. Well, that exact segment is actually the moment that really allowed my being in the mirror. I said there was like a pricking in it, and I read it. And I was reading this book that Sandra vondre has Heatherton Antonio Banderas on who began was waking downward and right, you’re ducking the last page of this book, who said, so I invite you something, I’m paraphrasing here, but really somewhere, I invite you to disregard anything that other teachers have said and anything that I have said, which isn’t your experience, and to come forward with what your recommendations what who you are with your truth. And there was something in it just like it invited my game forward, to inhabit my whole life. It was a really powerful indication that my being felt, and it was like, I’ve always been looking to others, and you both have kids, I was, you know, looking for the truth or something in the book that was ring true that and having that invitation from a teacher, I was saying, not ignore everything anyone has said, find your truth and be, you know, willing to live your truth. And that was a really powerful thing. For me. A lot of

Rick Archer: people who are listening to this will be in the Fairfield community. And we’ll have a pm background. And, you know, Marcy once said to a friend of mine, meditating into a girl. For 50 years meditate, one step is Don’t compare yourself with anybody else. Because she’s doing that. And I think we’ve all at one time or another, had a tendency to read things or hear people talk about flashy experience of having somebody play that person.

Sharon Gilbert: That’s right. And that actually, I had that disease of comparing myself unfavorably to everybody else’s experience. And at some point, there was no, it was like, I was like, Oh, they’re all having such good experiences. I’m not having that I’m just such a slug. And then there was a moment when my meeting said, Well, I guess I’m here to be that, that I’m here to be this one. And whatever it says, This is who I’m here to be. And this is my job. My job description here is to lead this one with these experiences, however unexhausted, they may you know, and it reminded me of that one of Marsh’s favorite verses is by idea which is better in his death in one’s own Dharma or you know, the station in life. You have to have

Rick Archer: that one memorized. Yes. Because one can perform it was going down with the lesson they’re better than the others better.

Sharon Gilbert: Yeah, right. So even someone with a very exalted set of our ways of being in the world cities or whatever they are, I would rather be who I am no matter how humble and

Rick Archer: ordinary and the first phrase in that verses because one thing performance, you know, you can’t see somebody can’t see someone can only you, but your perfect is being who you are. Absolutely. Nobody see any change in priorities?

Fax Gilbert: Well, we were always drawn to teaching. So we still are just teaching a little slightly different. It’s more more from us.

Rick Archer: You know, you are not only a teacher, you know, spiritual matters, but you do these seminars in high school. Did you feel that your ability to do that work as a mind, presenter, these programs for children does change and improve?

Fax Gilbert: I would say it improves in the sense that my ability to connect with the audience, in the field the audience into into just feel them in my heart is amplified since the awakening.

Rick Archer: You kind of tune into what was more love there.

Fax Gilbert: There’s more wealth for who they are and what they’re going through and all of that whereas before that there was Anyone who’s separation? Yeah. And I would, I would connect with him as consciousness. But not as you know, the warfront world for being human, that I also connected with myself.

Rick Archer: Have you noticed a change in their response to you as we go through this?

Fax Gilbert: Well, my programs are very successful. Must be fun. It is, it’s a lot of fun. I feel very fortunate to be able to express myself and I would appreciate it and I go from school to school.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Do you guys love I think it kind of goes is that? Do you feel an inclination to sit and meditate? Are you completely engaged in activities when you’re awake?

Sharon Gilbert:  Oh, I was I thought about that I understand. Because I don’t meditate. And I haven’t felt inclined to for many years now, actually. Except that I would say that I don’t not meditate ever, I mean, I feel like, you know, I’m, I’m awake to what’s happening and what’s arising all the time. So, but I don’t, I just wanted to, to emphasize that if there’s anything wrong with meditation, or I did not discontinue the practice after 30 years, lightly, but there, I guess there was a different movement of my community that had to be honored. And that’s what’s been going on and I don’t Well, I imagine there’s possibility I could make it Yeah, so I don’t have anything against meditating. I just haven’t been inclined to do so. Not only do

Fax Gilbert: I meditate, occasional, I sit and close my eyes, I also, like, I’ll wake up, maybe four in the morning, and I will just lie there and allow just the space. Yeah. That’s a type of meditation I guess.

Rick Archer: Among the people that I know move away from there’s a whole gamut. Some people say that no one tends to be OCD about it. Like they might, might have been, but, you know, most of us. But you know, some are quite regular with meditation, or they just don’t do it at all. When they feel like it, there’s no set.

Fax Gilbert: There’s a difference that before meditation was way to get somewhere else. And if you already have the bullets on the other side of the river, it doesn’t become it becomes a little relationship to it is different. It’s that’s my experience.

Sharon Gilbert: If I feel something’s going on inside, you know, some rumbling I would say movement within my psyche or my consciousness, I will just experience it. It’s but it’s not the meditation.

Rick Archer: But it is easy to find the dictionary definition.

Fax Gilbert: Somebody told me. Well, I love these measures. I did practice them. I enjoyed it for almost 30 years. Please allow your mind to sing their song. It’s probably right. It’s probably right.

Rick Archer: This is one that I mean, you’re a professional public speaker, performer. So that’s something you’re totally comfortable with. You maybe haven’t done that sort of thing. But is there any area in your life where you are going to have to do something that you know ordinarily would make you nervous? Where this would, where are you gonna maybe surprise yourself by being able to do it with Wow.

Sharon Gilbert: Yeah, I yeah, I didn’t want to come to do this. I suppose when I heard it was television. It’s just something that’s a bit foreign to my experience, and I felt nervous about it. But then soon as I sat here

Rick Archer: I had a guy on a couple of weeks ago that used to be so shy, that he would kind of calculate in class, you know where the questions come around here. Which one do you know the answer You’ll study it further, even if you’re just like, terrified of any sort of peeking out or doing anything. You know, after the awakening, he was invited to speak at a group of 12,000 people who made them interesting. So he is still around, speaking to himself.

Fax Gilbert: On the other hand, I feel that you awaken as you are. And it’s not necessarily means that you’re going to if you were afraid to public speaking for, you’re going to be afraid, after your weekend. And so, if you have, if you’re unconscious about certain aspects of human behavior, before awakening, you’re going to be unconscious about those things after. And so it’s like you awaken as you are. And perhaps the capacity for growth and experience is kind of gradually increased because you’re more of a foundation. But it doesn’t necessarily convey a change in personality, or a change in Dharma, or any of those things. What

Rick Archer: if you’re a wife beater, or a thief, or, you know, a drug addict you awaken is that for those things, so much an impediment to awakening that in general, you got to work them out before you awaken,

Fax Gilbert: I don’t know.

Rick Archer: Doesn’t mean someone’s gonna hear that you awaken as you are, and they’re gonna think I don’t want to be what I am, I’ve got all these flaws. You know, I really suck at this, and I, you know, people and so on, so forth. And so I’ve got, I want awakening to improvement. I don’t want to be an enlightened schmuck.

Fax Gilbert: Well, maybe that’s the misconception.

Sharon Gilbert: Well, I think that what tax is saying, though, is like, you awaken as you are. So whatever crumpled up version of yourself at that moment, but at the same time, there’s always room for and the ability to improve the character disposition, or whatever, if you choose to. And especially if you have true friends, who are willing to reflect back to you how your actions impact.

Fax Gilbert: Yeah.

Sharon Gilbert: And so if you’re a wife beater in your life, you know, you can actually hear and see the repercussions of your actions. Chances are, you’ll have a lot more capacity to change your

Rick Archer: Well we can probably go on all night like this. I think we’ve covered quite a bit. Is there anything else that you’d like to add before?

Fax Gilbert: Just that, I’ve enjoyed the conversation a lot. One of the questions was, you know, is there any, you know, fear about public speaking, where there’s so much fear about that I have no problem with larger audiences. But when people are asking you about awakening, it’s very intimate, and isn’t the easiest thing to talk about. And what I find is that the people who are really interested, it’s, it’s easy to talk about, there’s like a receptivity, and it just comes, it just flows that out. And it’s a very spontaneous, creative, organic process that it just you surprise yourself with what you say. On the other hand, if somebody I could sense is not really interested, they’re just sort of like, you know, very kind of chitchat, or critical or whatever, or then nothing much. And so I feel that being here, you’ve made us both feel really comfortable and welcome. I felt that your questions indicated a level of awakening within yourself to be able to ask the questions, you have to have a certain degree of identity formed with that process in order to be able to ask the questions in the first place. And so I want to congratulate you on having the courage to come forward with this show. I think that it’s something that will, hopefully help a lot of people to, you know, give them the juice to, you know, if there’s some some processes being activated to move on it, to move with it. And, and I just feel gratified in the way that you’ve created both of us with respect and appreciate what you’re doing.

Rick Archer: Well, thank you. I appreciate that initiation. And it’s funny because, you know, putting together a list of people on the show and contacting some of them there. There are some, I’m convinced are very awakened in some cases, decades. So we’re still on and I want to go out in public and I just don’t know, but I want that label attached to me. And one of my motivations for doing this show is because Remove that stigma and make awakening no more unusual thing or something that one wouldn’t want to be private any more than one of the three private ones. And just in football, it’s not something we all take for granted. Because it really shouldn’t. I mean, it’s something that’s everyone’s birthright. I understand it, and it’s something that everyone can benefit from, you know, why should it be like in one’s life?

Fax Gilbert: Yeah. And it’s just, as we said earlier, it’s awakening itself is a beginning. It’s not an end process. And I think that, you know, the awakenings to come are going to be societal, there’ll be people who are able to go more fully into who they are, and be turned into interact with each other in a more profound and true way. And I think that’s gonna provide the basis for not just individual awakening, but things that we can’t even conceive of right now.

Rick Archer: Well that’s a perfect ending and I won’t diminish it by commenting on it. So thank you all for watching. You’ll see the titles, some links to email addresses, website addresses, and so on. Which you might want to explore. And if you like to be put on a mailing list to be notified of future episodes of this show, that there was also a YouTube channel you can join notified in other videos put up and if you feel like you might like to be interviewed on the show. If you feel like you’ve made your your experiences of the sort of thing that you’re discussing, then please get in touch. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next week.