George Middleton Transcript

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George Middleton Interview

Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer, Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people, I should say conversations with spiritually Awakening people than about 555 of them now. And if this is new to you, and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to bat gap, comm bat gap and look under the past interviews menu. My guest today is George Middleton. George is in. But does it Hamilton? Did we say Hamilton? Hamilton, Emma Leland, which is on the North Island in New Zealand. So three in the afternoon for me, and it’s eight in the morning for him on Sunday, the next day. Okay, so glad to know the world has made it to the following day. And George would sort of fit into the category of ordinarily ordinary spiritually Awakening people he’s not famous, he hasn’t written books, he doesn’t have a big YouTube following or anything like that. But, you know, we he got in touch with us a while back, and we heard his story. And it was really quite interesting. So we thought you might enjoy this, hearing an interview with George and so that’s what we’re gonna do. So George, rather than me just read out any kind of bio, let’s just start talking and you tell us your story. And we’ll just get into it. We’ll go back and forth. I’ll probably I’m sure I’ll have questions as we go along.

George Middleton: Okay, that that sounds like a good idea, Rick. But I should say that between us, we didn’t actually arrange this to be on the winter solstice here, and your summer solstice. And I think there’s a little bit of synchronicity here in terms of what I might be talking about today, and sharing with you and you know, the rest of the people who are tuning in, so I actually looked up because I didn’t realize it was winter solstice. And it’s the shortest day and at 943. Today is the actual moment of winter solstice. And it’s an interesting time, because in amongst ancient and indigenous cultures, it was sort of seen as the as a rebirth time, a time of the sun coming out to, you know, Earth being the furthest away from the sun. And then we’re starting back again, getting closer. So that was the first thing and you know, that’s an interesting time, because that’s really the sort of experiences I’d like to share today. It’s about rebirth. And it’s something I never ever thought I’d end up talking about, given the sort of arc of my life. So that’s where it started. That’s the synchronicity that we’ve got here today. And you didn’t arrange it in I didn’t arrange it, but it’s sort of like a theme. So and I’m interested in synchronicities is probably a lot of your guests quite interested in these things.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I imagine you’ve experienced a lot of them.

George Middleton: They occur all the time. But often synchronicities can occur so often that they, they, you know, they’re no longer strange to you. And it’s almost like you know, they’re a part of life and once you start noticing things, while you keep on noticing them anyway, so where I, I think it’d be best to start from the beginning with me, which was my birth, which I never knew anything about, and very few but throughout my, throughout my childhood, I actually suffered terrible nightmares. And they were not they were nightmares of suffocating being enclosed, pressed, terrible things like that, and struggling to try and come to life really it was it was a terrible it’s and it would wake me up and I’d be struggling and fighting and all that. And I didn’t discover until I was about 20 years old, that I’d been born dead. what would actually happen to me was that, as often happens in home births, and I was born in Wales, was that I’ve been born, as they say, presenting an elbow. And of course, it meant that the birth was very, very difficult. And no matter how much they were the dot, doctors presence and people like that in the home where I was born. But when I was finally born, of course, I couldn’t, I was blu ray, you know, like, I wasn’t breathing, nothing was happening. And they tried usual things, you know, turn you upside down, smack your bottom, shake you a bit roll you in a blanket, none of it worked. And, of course, it was a t total household because the relatives that have that I was born in were strict Welsh chattel people. And so they had to rush to a nearby pub and and get some brandy. And they brought the brandy back. And they put it on my lips. And that’s what actually got me breathing, which is quite an interesting thing, because I discovered quite some time later that this technique of getting children babies to breathe when when they’ve, you know, calmed down, so to speak, during the course of breathing during the course of being born, is used also in Africa. In Africa, I met an African nurse who was the wife of color, or Sue’s. And she said, that’s what they used, you know. So you can imagine what it feels like for a newborn baby to have brandy rubbed on their lips. It’s like, Well, what a bang, it would have given you but I don’t remember that, of course. But, but that’s what got me back to live. It? Well, the interesting thing about it is when you consider the matter is that when I was having those nightmares, there were no visuals. There was no story to them, it was just if you like, a body memory, it was like it had nothing else associated with it. It was just really weird. And it wasn’t until I was told about the circumstances of my birth, that that nightmare. Dissolved really soon as I understood what it was in my in my mind, then the the nightmare dissolved. But what it did do was it started me thinking at that time, as to what is it about ourselves? We don’t know, if you like it’s starting to think about the unconscious. What is it, you know, that’s behind the sort of normal conscious life that we live, but what is it that we carry around with us? And and that I think, led if you like, to a certain form of searching, what what are these things? We think we know ourselves? But do we really add? You know, it’s like that, like that old, saying, I think one of the temples, you know, know thyself and all that.

Rick Archer: Well, Oracle at Delphi,

George Middleton: yet the oracle at Delphi, exactly. And I, I had always been something of a, as a child something of a person who did question things. I remember when I was about eight or nine years old, my grandfather after whom I was named, so he was one of the first sort of little synchronicities that occurred. He was dying in hospital, and outside and living in Wales. And so in those days, I’ve been brought up in the chapels. And so I, I believed in God. And so, but I believed in God in such a way that I got from, you know, sitting down and praying beside the bed or something to saying to myself, well, you know, God is everywhere, so I can pray to God quite conveniently lying down in bed, in my mind, and he’ll certainly hear me I believe Anyway, I, I prayed that, you know, my grandfather would live. And needless to say, he died. And so I, so I thought well, as a child, you know, as you do, obviously, there’s nothing in this. So I instantaneously basically after, after he died became an atheist at that, although I didn’t have the word for it, I didn’t know that there was a, that there was anything you know that this was a sort of a way of living in the world, as opposed to the way other people did. But so I became an atheist from about the age of eight. And, and I, since then I would say, probably what I used to say to people was, well, any God that you want to put up for me, I can find plenty of reasons to disbelieve in whichever one you put up. So you know, I didn’t, didn’t mean anything to me. I took it from there. But so it was quite. So I was slightly different in those days. And though I was continued to force to go to chapel and later on church, as most kids are, you know, go to Sunday school and do all that sort of stuff. And in fact, I do have to tell you, Rick, that I have been an archangel in a nativity play.

Rick Archer: I see what you’re getting out there.

George Middleton: Some people are very interested in angels. I wasn’t

Rick Archer: an atheistic RJ Archangel.

George Middleton: I did have a I did have a bit of an interest in drama and things like that, which later on, I could say later on, when I was in university, I did did play a part in a play is called Dan tans death by I think a German playwright Buckner, and I played the part of Tom Paine, when you’re a while he was an Englishman, but he moved to America, you know, and had a big effect on your Founding Fathers and the but part that I played, there was Tom Paine giving an atheistic speech. So, you know, I’ve, I’ve sort of balanced those. Yeah. Well,

Rick Archer: I found it interesting that at the age of eight or so you could actually form a coherent thought about whether there was a God or not. I mean, that somehow that I couldn’t even begin to contemplate it until I was about 17. And, you know, taking drugs, and I start, oh, there must be something going on here. I started thinking about it.

George Middleton: Well, I mean, I thought you army when you go to Sunday school, or you’re told about God and all that, so it

Rick Archer: just seems like, I don’t know at that age is like fairy tales. I remember walking home from school with a girl one time and she was telling me that there’s that if we drill deep enough down into the earth, we’d find hell. And I remember doubting that and saying, I find molten lava rocks that tell you it’s really hot and

George Middleton: very hard. I think the we were a family were quite an interesting family in the sense that my parents flew over when we, I am they I was 14 when we came to New Zealand. But my parents, we actually flew over from Wales to New Zealand, and it was my mother and father and five children. And in those days, it was a very unusual thing for a large family like that. Because when people emigrated, normally they went by boats and things like that. And there was assisted emigration to Australia and places like that. But we couldn’t do that because my one of my brothers had had polio, so they didn’t take people who’d had any health issues. So we came to New Zealand, but, but we had a very, my family. Both my mother and my father had been in the war, my father, and my, and I was going to tell you, my father and my grandfather, my uncle were all on the shores of Dunkirk. And actually, my father went right through the war and went into Germany, the whole whole thing. And after that, it all finished, got sent to Palestine. So he seen a tremendous amount of the war. My mother was also in the war. In terms she was in the west where, you know, the women auxiliary Air Force, and they took charge of balloons and things like that. And it wasn’t until 911 that my mother started to see speak about some of that sort of stuff. Because when we call 911, on TV, normally in Britain, where they put the balloons up was where there were tremendous attacks by the Germans Air Force attacks. And of course, there was a lot of bombing and fires and a lot of death. And so when she saw, saw what was going on in 911, it brought that back to her all the stuff she’d seen. And likewise with my father, and I think that what we don’t think of, but you know, people talk about karma and things like that. What our generation, you’re virtually the same age as me, I presume that 70? Yeah, I’m 72. So what we don’t realize is that we are born just after a major war. And prior to that there had been another big war, which I told you, my grandfather, George Middleton, was also in, you know, the grandfather who died? Well, interestingly enough, he was the only other atheist in the family. And I was talking to you about the synchronicity, that as he died, I got the mantle of atheism. passed on, it was like a bet on. Anyway, it’s, so it’s like, we don’t realize the effects of of that on on across the world, but certainly in our world, whether it was in America, or Britain, or New Zealand, or Australia, those defects of those walls just continued. without us knowing it was like, probably invisible to us, in some ways, as children, we didn’t know the traumas that our parents had been through. Really? Yeah, no,

Rick Archer: I haven’t think of that. I mean, you know, imagine, look, I mean, you were out of out of Britain, by the way, you weren’t even born until the war was over. But imagine living in a place that’s being bombed or in which an active war is actually taking place, and troops are coming in killing everybody raping the women. I mean, it’s just an unbelievably traumatic thing. And, you know, a lot of us have been, particularly in the US and also New Zealand have been spared any sort of trauma like that. We kind of take for granted that things are a lot easier for everybody than they actually have been.

George Middleton: Yes. Well, I know, my father when he spoke about going into Germany. And, you know, as a, as the troops are advancing through and all that. And he went into the war as a very young person who’s only 16 or 17 years old when he actually joined up, you know, and so he was totally naive. And by the end of the war, when he was going in, he saw things from both sides, he saw raping and pillaging amongst the Allied troops.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, the Russians at that point were allied troops and the Russians coming in from the east, basically raped all the women between the ages of eight and 80 in East Germany as they came in. I just read an article about that the other day. I don’t know why we’re getting off on this topic. It’s kind of gruesome, but

George Middleton: I think the I think the point is this that we need to know. If you like what was in the air, as we as we were growing up, and yet, we’re oblivious of my father did say things like he he’d seen it amongst his own fellow soldiers engaging in it and pad because he was extremely moral person had, you know, literally turned his gun on his own people and said, You can’t do this. Right? Good. Similarly, he’d had to do things like actually, he had to put to death mates, a mate who would who had been so blown apart, but was still alive and asked him to do it. So people have to do things in times of war, which have a very profound effect on and this stuff carries over. So for instance, he became an absolute pacifist, he would never walk with the soldiers. We never saw medals, and he had there were plenty lying around in a drawer, but he never wear them or anything like that. And when he went into Palestine, interestingly enough, that the London Jews who were also a part of his group, didn’t get they were taken out when they went to Palestine and when they got the Palestine Of course, they met the first by terrorist activities by the stern gang, the Jewish doing gangs, and he lost a lot of his mates who had survived the war in Europe. So it’s like it was, we carried this sort of stuff. And as I say that same thing with my mother. So when they got married and had these things were very difficult.

Rick Archer: Yeah, let me just interject here, there is something in the Bible it says something like the sins of the fathers or visited upon the sons are so something, it’s, it’s understood in many cultures that, you know, there’s a sort of karma that gets handed down, and traumas are inherited, and so on. So it is kind of relevant when we’re considering it to a spiritual discussion and considering what’s happening in society and the changes that the world is going through and, and you know, right now with all the, the, the upheaval over Black Lives Matter, and race, inequities, and so on. A lot of countries and us included have a very dark history, in terms of the way people were treated. And if you believe in the law of karma, it operates on a collective wealth level as well as an individual level. And sooner or later, what goes around comes around. And, you know, perhaps we’re in a time when a lot of things are going to be rectified. But it doesn’t, it’s not necessarily a smooth process.

George Middleton: That’s exactly exactly right. And the the other thing about my mother, I need to say was that my mother was born either as a result of a rape, or a, or a seduction. Who knows, because, you know, the families always tell the stories in in different ways. So she never, never knew her. Her father, as I have said in the past, to friends that she never found a father never knew him, but she certainly found her father in heaven. Because when she came to New Zealand, she became what we call a Pentecostal list. Christian families of God, and anybody who knows anything about them. fundamentalist Christians know that. Not only do they believe in God, but they believe in the devil, devils and demons and the casting out of these demons and things like that. So they have a very sort of interesting version of good and evil, which sort of, and she was one of the ones I may engage in glossolalia, where they, you know, speak in tongues, like the day of Pentecost, and also, they she used to sing in tongues, and she was very good at casting out demons. That was one of the I bet,

Rick Archer: hopefully, she got rid of all yours, right?

George Middleton: Wow, well, was no, she didn’t actually because I told you I was an atheist in our family was that the eldest son was was actually an atheist and could never engage in and refuse to engage in any of this. So she told the rest of the kids that I was, in fact, a demon. So not only have I been an ark, Angel, an atheist,

Rick Archer: but you’ve run the whole gamut of possibilities. I’ve

George Middleton: run the gamut. Yes, I’ve run the gamut. But so what I, I wanted to bring this notion forward to give you the idea as to why. When I was, I became I went through university, and I ended up doing a degree and things in philosophy, because I was, I always thought, you know, even when I went through school, I always thought I wanted to sort of sit at the foot of a really good teacher, I thought, and I thought when I went to university, as opposed to going to high school, that, you know, I thought there you would find people that, you know, you really could look up to and with, but I never, I never saw anything like that. But it just shows you the sort of theme or the sort of looking for something that is there without you really realizing, and when I got involved, and I trained later as a teacher, but um, worked in special education. But the point being about that was that as a part of all that I did a lot of work with things like psychodrama, new, neuro holistic, new, neuro linguistic programming, you know, NLP behaviorism, behaviorism theories and all that sort of stuff. So I was doing a lot of that type of stuff on myself. And as a part, if you like, looking for this unconscious, what were the things that were that I wasn’t conscious of. And I think a lot of us tend to look in those ways wherever, whether it’s within ourselves or outside of ourselves, we look, we, we search for things to try and make sense, I think of things. And I’d already had this experience of making sense of my birth, you know, understanding, finally understanding how I’ve been born dead and the effect that that had had on me. And so I ended up teaching in the area of special care, special education, which I had a strong feeling for those sorts of children who had behavioral learning difficulties, and all that sort of thing was that they were about and I came to, after I’d worked for quite some time down in Wellington, we moved to Hamilton with my wife’s work. And I ended up working in a girl’s home. As for the Department of Education, these were young women, mainly Maori. And between the ages of 14 and 17,

Rick Archer: Maori is the sort of the native indigenous people of New Zealand in case people don’t know.

George Middleton: Yeah. So. And I decided at that time that I needed to, I had been reading a lot of other jobs, the primal scream guy who was not Primal Scream, it’s primal therapy therapy. Yeah, but people talk about the notion of primal scream, but that’s really nothing to do with John off. It’s primal therapy. Okay. And so I decided to go to the Institute in Los Angeles. And I spent a year doing primal therapy, if you remember John Lennon,

Rick Archer: he has that in his some of his songs. And he and Yoko was scream. Yeah. Was he there in Los Angeles when you were there?

George Middleton: No, not when I was there. No, but but, but it was an interesting time for me. Because, you know, to devote a like a year, I spent a year in LA. So that was also an interesting time for me. But I spent a year in LA, going through primal therapy. Now that primal therapy, talks about going back to early primal scenes in your life, and all that sort of thing. And that it was also thought to be a quick therapy, as it turned out, it wasn’t. Because we’re all like the, you know, the layers of the onion, you have to work your way back, slowly, slowly, if you’re going to do that. And I’d already had an experience of that sort of thing. But what therapies and things like that do for you, is that they start to loosen you up, if you like, yeah, you know, a lot of people who I’ve sort of read about or seen, you know, have spiritual experiences and all that, but they’ve never really dealt a lot with the stuff in their lives. And you can, no matter what sort of experiences or things you have, somewhere along the line, you’re going to have to face a lot of the stuff you have in your life, as well. And having any spiritual things don’t cure those things. They remain there. So although they can, they can be some, some things that help. But in the end, they’ve got to be dealt with. So I think

Rick Archer: I think that spiritual experiences and practices can also loosen things up. But however, it gets loosened, it has to be dealt with.

George Middleton: Exactly, exactly. And I felt that it did it did work for me that the primal therapy in a sense, and, and I saw I went, I came back and I spent a lot of time for 10 years working in that place. And what I used to teach people used to ask me, Well, what do you teach because an ongoing changing group of young women going through and I, I was lucky to have some very good people who worked with me are married people. And but I used to teach sex, drugs and reggae. Basically So I have a strong rest of foreign influence.

Rick Archer: Never know it from your hairstyle. No, I

George Middleton: know, I know. Well, the older dreadlocks I didn’t have. But the young women were very into, into the Rastafari, Bob Marley, and well, we used to call him uncle Bob, because we’re very close to him. So, but, you know, he was, he was, he’s had a profound effect on many indigenous cultures, Bob Marley songs. And certainly had a big effect here in New Zealand amongst, amongst married and, you know, in terms of, so anyway, I did that. But I, and again, I came to, I got involved with Maori cultural things, as a result of being in that being there in that place, and, and Maori spirituality. So I ended up going on to Moroi, which I, you know, meeting houses and places where, and going through, getting a strong feel of how indigenous culture start to work. So for instance, out I once was called on to go onto MRI and I had to make a speech. And this is, again, a sort of a synchronicities that occur. So you, you get up and you met, you’re making a speech inside the meeting house. And I refer to myself as a person who was in a stream, who was a bubble, and through which the sun shone through, so creating that sort of, like rainbow effect. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that the God of that area, if you like, the major sort of God of that area was the god buku, who is actually the God of the rainbow. So things like this occur at a certain level. And they sort of happen spontaneously, you don’t. They can’t be thought about or anything, they just happen. And I found that I was, when I was in the later on, when I was in the presence, there’s a very famous carving of this God, I wouldn’t want that had been found. And when I was in the presence of it, I felt quite an incredible energy rising in me. And these energies, were the were the things that I, I eventually had to sort of come to terms with, because I went into later on I went to train as a, as a therapist, a gestalt therapist. And in that training, again, it’s, you know, Fritz Perls. And also with a, a, a bit of Jung, and Freud, all of which you may, which may be of interest to you would never have lasted as therapists these days, because they all had sexual issues, which you would have actually disqualified them. And I know that deal. I know in terms of some of the work that you’re doing now about gurus and all that.

Rick Archer: Well, yeah, I helped to found the sociation for spiritual integrity, which is spiritual hyphen,, with several other people. And just because there’s been so much messiness in this spiritual, contemporary spirituality, with teachers really screwing up and the hope was to sort of bring to the awareness of the spiritual community that that ethical training and an emphasis on ethics is in has been an integral part of ancient spiritual traditions and should be an integral part of contemporary spirituality, if we don’t want to shoot ourselves in the foot and undermine the whole enterprise.

George Middleton: Yes. So, so, the thing about that is this that so, you know, some of the foremost people in in therapy and things like that, but also been involved, if you like in this form of misbehavior. And of course, it occurs even now amongst therapists it’s also an issue in for instance, you know, my wife, you know, work in the university and all that. It’s also an issue around University Oh, yes. But particularly when it comes to people, let’s say supervising theses, like master’s theses or PhD. And I think part of the reason for this is that if you consider yourself to be a professor working with, let’s say, male professor working with a female, in your particular area of study, then you can imagine, in a sense, people finding an intellectual soulmate, you know, there’s a coming together of minds, because it also bring about coming together of the bodies. And it’s, it’s quite an issue that has to be dealt with. And it’s certainly an issue, as you know, in therapy, you know, you get people in therapy, and one of the worst things that can happen is for that relationship to be abused.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I have a friend, not a close friend, but a friend who’s in prison right now, because he ended up you know, having this whole sexual affair with one of his clients, and ended up losing his license, and then trying to practice again, without a license, and then getting on probation, and then violating probation. And, you know, one thing led to the next and he’s in deep water. So, and, you know, I mean, I don’t know where we’re going with this particular topic, but I just want to say that none of us should consider ourselves above making mistakes. It’s, yeah, there’s a great quote by a Buddhist saint from years ago from way back named publice, Padmasambhava. He said, although my awareness is as vast as the sky, my attention to karma action is as fine as a grain of barley flour. In other words, don’t doesn’t matter how enlightened you may be, or whatever, how wise how educated, you can screw up, and and you have to sort of, you know, be impeccable as best you can. And, you know, keep your attention on that never consider yourself to be immune to making serious mistakes.

George Middleton: That’s, that’s right. That’s right. And I think that when people get involved with it, let’s just say, spiritual groups and things like that. They make themselves very vulnerable. I mean, it’s a part of what you’re expected to do. And yeah, we will be

Rick Archer: in service.

George Middleton: And there’s this notion of surrender. That comes up. And, and that’s in a sense, what I’m, I’m trying to give a background to to how I how I came to be, in terms of the various occurrences that happened around me, because I don’t want to take I can’t say that it was, you know, part of my will or anything like that. But I want to say, just to preface the events that took place, because we’re not in control of these things, and however much we think we are. And so I, that’s what I wanted to come to, so I ended up deciding that because I had worked also, I worked with violent men in groups. So I’d been part of men’s group men against rape and things like that. And when I was a part of the men against men, men against rape and things like that, I never knew that my mother was born as a result of rape. It felt, once I knew that I was working out the karma of my unknown grandfather. That’s interesting. Yes, and I never knew the full story. When I was when you were 20. In New Zealand, you had to do military service if you’re if your number was called up, and was at that time, I registered as a conscientious objector. I again, I hadn’t understood the consequences of what my father had been through. I must have felt it in some way. But I registered as a conscientious objector. And of course, when we had the Vietnam wars and all that a lot of us were out on the streets against that, and it was interesting because one of my friends was called up, he had a birthday in October very close to mine. And he was a full on Christian and I had to go and be his talk for him at a tribunal that you had to attend. They did find it rather peculiar that for somebody who was trying to get off on religious grounds that the person was affirming putting his hand on the Bible, but anyway, he did manage it. And so that so that was okay. So anyway, I, I have to being through I’d also worked with pedophiles, sexually offenders and things like that as a part of as a part of the work. And again, it was interesting that I should end up doing that, given that possibility of that having occurred with my grandfather, you know, my, my unknown grandfather, my father never knew. So, again, I was still interested, nevertheless, in the unconscious, and what we’re not conscious of. And so I started to, and I, because I was working with very difficult children to, you know, with major problems, and we’re traveling bound schools and things like that, but by this stage, supporting children and their families and things like that I, I thought I’ve got, you’ve got to do your own work. You know, even though I had spent a year doing that sort of stuff in, in LA takes longer than that. And so I started to train as a gestalt therapist, Fritz Perls, and all that. And so it was, I had done a couple of years of that part time while continuing to work and things like that, and working in New Zealand, but also working in Hamilton. But also, we would go down and have week long stays in Christchurch, where the Islamic Institute was based. And we would also do work down there, full, you know, full days of it for a week and things like that. And so I went, I went down there on one of these courses that they ran, you had to attend, and they had done during the course of the year, and usually in school holidays, so I was able to go around them, and I went there. And on this particular day.

George Middleton: We were a group of 12 or so people, and you always had a therapist in the group who ran the group. And so on this particular afternoon is rather sunny afternoon, we would divide into pairs and one person would be the therapist. And the other person would be the client. And I sat in my it was my turn to be the client. And the therapist, who is also a trainee, of course. And we have a supervising therapist there. She said, Okay, George, it was a female. And she said that, what would you like to do? I’m sitting in my beanbag. And I said, I would like to just sit here. So I’m sitting there quietly, doing nothing. And after a while, she’s she’s getting a bit sort of, you know, she wants to. She wants to, you know, she wants to practice fair enough, you know, and I’m just sitting here. So after a while, she said to me, do you mind if I breeze with you? I thought, what, how could I mind that? I mean, what would you say to that? I said, No, I don’t mind. So I’m sitting there is more or less as I’m sitting here. And suddenly she gets really angry towards me. And of course it my initial action reaction is Hold on. You know, you’re the therapist. I’m, like, I’m the woman supposed to be doing this sort of stuff. And she says, I’m not here to compete with you. And I had, I just had no idea what she was talking about. She said, You know, she was a strong woman I knew that used to walk some big dogs. So she was she was a strong, healthy woman, middle age, and fit. And she said to me, in the course of this, she said to me, that she thought that I was deliberately sort of breathing in such a way that she she could you know, it’s like as if I were deliberately holding my breath a long time or something. like that. So it was perfect. It was impossible for her to breathe with me as she’d wanted to do. And she thought I was doing it deliberately. But I had no idea. And so I was shocked. And in fact, I was shocked enough that when I came to recollect this whole thing, I can’t remember how really the session ended. You know, it was like we ended to, you know, she’d been pretty upset. And we used to us. Trainee therapists used to stay in student accommodation at the university, Canterbury University in Christchurch. And so we all had a room of our own a student room of our own. So I’m in in my room, and I go to bed that night. And I wake up in the middle of the night. And I’m stopping breathing, is just spontaneously stopping. And I and I think, hmm, I didn’t, I wasn’t frightened or anything like this, the only thought that I thought that there was a process starting a process doesn’t take place. I, myself, well, if this is a, it felt a natural process. I thought to myself, well, if this is a processes taking place, it’s it’s something that needs to be shared in the group, I’ve got to somehow hold on until I get to the group in the morning. And because often in these groups, people would bring up real stuff, and the therapist would work with them or another trainee would work with them under the supervision of the therapist. So real work would be done in the groups. I mean, it was a part of the way that therapy groups work. If you know anything, have you done any therapy? No. Oh, this is a way that, you know, therapy groups and training often goes, stuff comes up.

Rick Archer: I do I was in a an encounter group thing back in the late 60s That basically people who were in some kind of drug rehab thing. I don’t know if that really counts. But anyway, go ahead.

George Middleton: Oh, everything. Yeah. The Times, isn’t it? Yeah. Anyway, I thought, Ah, so this is happening to me and I. And the only way I could think of to sort of stabilize myself to pause myself was I visually identify cubes. Well, you must have seen the statues of Buddha where they’re sitting there quietly, sort of, you know, in meditating or something, you know, just sitting quietly, so I visualize

Rick Archer: right behind me there. So that’s just me to go surrounded.

George Middleton: So I sat there, I lay there, I visualized Buddha and I managed to make it to the morning. I tried to shut I could barely stand up. I couldn’t really stand up. But I showered, went down to the group. And as I said, there, about 12 of us, we had a different therapist there this time. And the therapist there this time was one who knew me because she also worked with me in Hamilton. So I, I get to the group. And I was never a person who ever put myself forward for getting work done on myself and things like that. And I said, I said to the group, because you had to the group had to agree. I said, I’m going to have to do some work. And of course, because I’d never done any they will in agreement. So I went to the middle of the group. This is the way we sat in a circle. And the therapist sat down and I just lay down on the ground. She put a pillow under my head and then got another trainee, another female, female Janie to sit at my feet. Do you want to touch me? I don’t want to be touched or anything like that. She says, What do you want to do? I said, I’m going to stop breathing. Because by now, the process was so strong. And she said this is this is a slight nightmare, if you can imagine for for any therapist, for a client to tell them that they’re going to stop breathing.

Rick Archer: I just want to interject here probably most of the people listening to this realize, but cessation of breath is a common characteristic of going into Samadhi. And you know, yogi’s or sometimes Seagull heard the stories about Yogi’s getting buried underground for long periods of time and stuff. I don’t know whether that’s a gimmick or not. But if you’ve ever done any deep meditation, you’ve experienced this, that the breath will stop. And a lot of times you don’t realize it has stopped. And then maybe quite some time later you find yourself taking a deep breath all sudden, but it’s in it’s because the physiology becomes so settled that there isn’t really the same need for oxygen as there ordinarily is.

George Middleton: Yes, yeah, I Yeah. Well, you know about this, because you’ve done regular meditation for so long there. I don’t know what sort of meditation but anyway, do you still do mantra meditation? Yes.

Rick Archer: I’ve done that for about 50 years or so.

George Middleton: Yeah. Okay. So so here I am laying down, telling my therapist, a proper therapist, nor a trainee, experienced to about that I’m about, I’m going to be stopping breathing. Now. She, one of the things that therapists anybody who works in therapists therapy always says, they want to remain in contact with you. Because they, you, they don’t want you to slip into a psychosis or something like that, and then become, you know, uncontactable. And I’ve seen that occur amongst on a couple of occasions, with people in therapy groups, where they, the therapist has lost contact. But anyway, so she says to me, you’ll stay in contact and and I heard my voice saying, Alright, then my voice was by this time, extremely destined. It was receding fast. And so I was, in a sense, with great relief, the process of stopping, just everything stopped. And I mean, everything. But in going into that, I thought about it, since I thought to myself, you know, normally, if you’re stopping breathing, you might get a bit worried. You know, especially if it was spontaneously happening to you, as this was happening. To me, it was like, it had been triggered. But it was spontaneous. And there might have been some indications of change occurring prior to this. Because just before I’d gone on this, this week, long course, I’d stopped both drinking, and smoking that had spontaneously happened to me. Just prior that I didn’t really connect anything that I just stopped, and I used to drink. And in fact, the last drink I’d I really loved was cognac, or brandy.

George Middleton: By brandy on the lips, it I’d finally sort of got over it, I suppose. And this occurred I should set tell you in 1998 It was 998. And it was a peculiar time that year, because that was the year. So you

Rick Archer: must have been about 50 years old at that point.

George Middleton: Yeah. i Father was, had died. And and I had gone down to where he was sort of laying in his coffin in his house down in Wellington. And I’d spent the night with, you know, sitting with with body so to speak. And in the morning, I was woken up by my father saying to me, because he’s dead. Wake up, George. Wake up. I woke up. But at the same time, my grandson was also my first grandson was born in that year. And he was actually born on Buddha’s birthday, did have first full moon in I think it’s May or something. That’s how they work it out. So it was it was an interesting, interesting set of events in that year. So anyway, I, I, I’m laying there. And finally, the process can take place, and everything stops. Totally. And I think I was gone. There was nothing, nothing at all. And, of course, there’s no time there’s no space. There’s just nothing. There’s not even blackness, there’s just nothing. And so I don’t know how long that would have been for Windows 10 Eventually, what occurs, although there’s there’s no light or anything like that what occurs is an incredible, powerful, flowing energy. Like a powerful stream of pulsing energy. But it’s conscious. So it’s like a conscious flowing energy, when but I say conscious. It’s there’s it there is no mind or anything like that associated with it. It’s like a pure consciousness. So it’s, it’s itself. It’s it’s self aware consciousness, but nothing else. It’s because there’s, well, that’s just an energy that’s occurring in in darkness, if you like, but it’s not even darkness, because it’s those these things don’t, are not relevant. So it’s a conscious, flowing energy occurring. And I later asked the woman who had been at my feet what that had looked like, because I had no idea because I wasn’t there, so to speak. And she said, Well, there was a powerful flowing energy, which was visible to everyone going through the body, from the feet, through the whole body. And, and it, it almost, it was like almost elevating the body with the with the amount of energy that was just flowing and flowing through. So that and she said she found that quite profound. That was the effect that it had on her. But of course, essentially

Rick Archer: that everyone could see it.

George Middleton: Oh, yeah, they could see it. Yes. In fact, they she said it was so strong, it was almost like it was elevating you lifting you lifting, lifting the body? Because I had no, I don’t know that I can only because I wasn’t there. But then eventually, I that stopped. And here I am. I’m here now, lying there. And the tea teacher, the therapist who’s in charge of it, so to speak. Basically, she said, Oh, that’s okay. She didn’t really say that. She just wrapped me in a blanket. And I sat down, she didn’t interrogate me, or anything about that. She said something to me some sort of Buddhist word, but I didn’t understand what it meant. She said something. I don’t know what it was. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that that therapist was a Buddhist. I’d never known that. You know, she was a practicing practicing Buddhist. Anyway. So I thought, so I’m now here in a in a very heightened state of well being. That’s the if the best thing I could say to you about it, a huge state of well being. It’s hard to give any other statement in about that as such, except to say that it’s continued for 22 years. Put it like that. This state that that that occurred anyway, I thought it was at the end of this course anyway, and we were having to fly home. I had to fly back to to Hamilton and I was lucky. There were a couple of other trainees who were with me on the plane because I’m in a, as I say, a very heightened state. And I come back and I, my wife wasn’t here that weekend, she must have been somewhere and I come back. And I find that there are powerful energies flying through my body. Literally day and night. In this weekend, that starting and this odd things happen. The energies flying through my body but at the same time Time, there’s an incredible electrical storm going on. Right? The house, I have this strong, almost inclination to, to run out into the back garden fountain experience, if you like, you know, the he was at work. And of course, with a lightning the lightning was sort of like a part of the energy that was also flowing through my body and it was sort of occurring in my sleep. And during the day. And then the next I’m getting up and there’s a knock on the door. And for the first and only time I see a middle aged man all dressed in his Hari Krishna gear, knocking at the door for coming to visit me his incredible heightened state of which I have no understanding of if you if you know what I mean, I had no understanding of it at all. I’d never heard of anything like this. I didn’t know of anything like this, I had no idea. I all I had to say, No, I don’t know how but but I sort of, he never came again. And but it turned out that they said live round around the corner a bit from us, you know, street or so away. But that was quite, you know, sort of in my face a little bit. And the other thing that happened and this is this is a sort of another synchronicity. So I’ve had the whole the Buddhist synchronicity stuff with the, with the therapist, and and and visualizing the Buddha and all that in this thing. I

George Middleton: I go to my bookshelf. And of course, like most students, I bought books, and things and I read stuff on Zen and you know, like we all all did in those days. But, you know, it wasn’t any of the philosophy I did was all Oxford philosophy, you know, Kant’s and, and Vidkun, Stein and all that sort of stuff, none of them, you know, then what people call philosophy now, and I went to the bookshop, I found I bought a little book on the Upanishads Lomita down, I opened the book. Don’t ask me why. And the first Punisher I open was the capital of panic bed, which you probably know. But it is a one that’s well known to, to the to the Indian population. And the reason why is that in the Catholic The Punisher the father is doing some sacrifices of all this crappy cattle and stuff. And he’s not being authentic. And his young son is appalled that this

Rick Archer: behavior Nachiket us

George Middleton: like that Chiquita. Yeah. And it’s a pool that this behavior and says, you know, look, you’re going to do things properly and ends up father says, Well, you know, I’ll sacrifice you so to speak. So, this son, a Bose and spends three days at the door of death. Yama, say, door of death. Yes. Yama, three days at the door of death. And then Yama finally turns up, and because he hasn’t been treated properly looked after properly. As you as we love in these stories, and these myths, he’s granted three wishes. And the three wishes are one when I go back, so he obviously knows he’s going to go back. And I go back. I want my father to accept me and be okay about it all and and he’ll be happy. And I can. The second what was the second wish she had, he had he? Well, anyway, whatever the second wish was. He was he was granted a he was sort of well, what actually happened was, he was tempted by Yamaha. Yamaha offered him everything. But he wanted to know what really happens after you die. This is what Nikita wanted. And so, actually Yama granted him Firstly, he granted him a ritual which was the fire ritual. And the fire ritual was a very interesting ritual, because it was taken from the the pre sort of religious times when people used to worship in the forest and India, fire worship, and what trance what happened was it moved from external fire worship into internal fire worship. And that was quite fascinating. And then, as I say, he asked for his last boon, which was that he would he would know, what happens after death, and His death final, and all that sort of stuff. And and that, that is, it’s a fascinating panel shared when it talks about talks about that.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I’m I really didn’t want to tell him, he said, you know, please release me from this boon. I’ll give you everything else I give you, women and riches and kingdoms and all that stuff. But don’t don’t make me answer this question.

George Middleton: And of course, if you look at Christ, Christ had a similar similar temptations thrust upon him in the in the when he was in the desert. He had the offer

Rick Archer: all kinds of worldly power. Yeah,

George Middleton: absolutely. And turned it down. And just before Buddha, when he was sitting under the tree, exactly the same thing happened to him. He was offered all all the things of the world, the women in the riches and the horses, and goodness knows what. And he turned it down. And the interesting point about when Buddha turned it down, was whoever was tempting him. Yeah, who on earth will believe you? Who will believe you? You know, I mean, you know, you got no witnesses. And you’ll see in the statues of Buddha, you’ll see him touching the earth. And he says, The earth is my witness. Or I’d say Mother Earth is my witness, which has, for me, a very interesting idea. Because in two ways, one is I was, I was at a meditation place. And I’d mentioned about Buddha and the woman, the woman I was talking to said, yes, the earth must be conscious. And I thought, yeah, that’s a nice, I like that idea, for various reasons. And then, but I also think that when we say, the Earth is our witness, presently, presently, the state of this planet is our witness. What is going on on this planet, at this time, is our all of our collective witness, as it was the Buddha, because we are now in the face of a May, I mean, we might think the pandemics a problem. But that’s not the biggest problem in terms of what we’re facing on the face of the earth, the face of the earth has been so damaged, and is being raped and pillaged when we have the oceans full of micro plastic so that it’s now actually in the organisms of the ocean at the deepest levels of the of the oceans, when we see what’s happening in the places being burned, Australia, the Amazon, and things like that. And when we see the actual disputes that are occurring between like places, Pakistan and India, where frontline troops are in charge of nuclear weapons, when we see the nuclear testing that occurred in the South Pacific here, which we fought against the use of the nuclear but when we actually see what’s happening to water on this planet, water is the most important thing on the face of this planet. Because seeing the damming of the now we’re seeing China taking over Tibet, to ensure that they have the water there, we’re seeing the melting of the ice caps Water is going to be the pollution of the water, both in New Zealand, America by your industries, the pollution of the Ganges and rivers in in India, you know, can imagine them here. When you introduce yourself, you introduce yourself by naming your mountain your sacred mountain and naming your sacred river. The river that’s sacred to you. The river that’s sacred here to the time Nui tribe is the Waikato River which runs through this city that I’m in for what I can’t Oh river has been granted a living status in, in law in New Zealand. And the name of the Waikato was given by the early maarif, as they came in by as they came in by sea,

George Middleton: they and the river came out into the sea. They named it after they notice the current of the river in the sea. So the river is named after the current of the river in the sea. So that as the river meets the sea, that’s the current of it. And it’s a fascinating image when you think about it, that the notion of the current and if you look at the Katha apana, Shad, they talk about, you know, the water going into water and things like that, the merging, they talk about the Atman, they talk about, you know, the power of energy and the, if you like the and consciousness, because that’s in effect, when I was in that heightened state with all the, with the energy flowing through me and things like that, I found that what had happened was that they’d been a profound transformation. But it was a transformation that was both bodily and consciously, it was at every level. And what had happened was that this occurrence of this flowing energy, this pure, conscious energy remained within the PERT, my person so to speak, it’s always there, I’m lucky, in a sense, because I always have a reminder of this as well. Because when you live your life, you know, depends on what you’re concentrating on. But for me, what simultaneously occurred at that time was a I have a sound that is a, that occurs above the head, it’s like a very high frequency sound, which all is always there. But, you know, if you fall into silence, then it is it is there. And it can intensify. So it’s always a it’s a simultaneous reminder, that the silence and the energy one, and I came as a result of, I don’t know, the apana shares or something which I, I got I dread and things like that. I came to call whether now you’re the expert and all of this so you’ll be able to disabuse me but I came to call the energy and the and the the energy and pure consciousness which were united as the uniting of Shiva and Shakhty. The high use those words were that they show a they give them they indicate the transcendent nature because you I can’t call it an experience because I wasn’t there. It’s a very it’s an interesting paradox to not be there and yet have the experience. Have that event Nevertheless, in you it’s as if it’s I don’t know it. I say sometimes use the word like it precipitated in New York London what it did A a frequency shift and moved into I don’t know. I mean, how can you say but what You’ve come to realize is that the mind, your your own mind your own personality, you begin to see how that was formed in a way, but that this level of energy and consciousness is in a sense

George Middleton: underlies it all or is is what it is, but, but in a different in a different way. So it’s like, that’s the one now to which the menu occurs. So coming down from, from being in that conscious energy state to the world, it’s like, whew. But what happens is, the world itself also lights up, in a way. Because it’s, it’s, it’s now seen in a different way. It’s a different Gestalt, or I think, also another word that sometimes is used in a similar way. It’s a, it’s a different view, a different way of being. It’s also I think, sometimes people use the word Maha Mudra. It’s a, it’s a, another, take another angle, if you like, on the way the world appears. So I don’t know, what do you, what do you make of you Hindu experiences?

Rick Archer: Well, you’re expressing it all very well. And I don’t know, I am not really an expert on commenting on Shiva and Shakti and all that, but I think that probably what you said, could be put in that sort of terminology. And that, and this thing about the world being very different. You know, the world is as we are, and obviously, in everyone experiences this actually, to some degree or another. If you, let’s say, haven’t slept very well, all night. And your friend has slept really well and is feeling great. And the two of you’re watching the sunrise or something, you might be thinking, this is boring, I want to go home, go to sleep, your friend is saying, Wow, isn’t this beautiful? And you’re both saying the same thing, but with a completely different perspective on it. So someone who’s had a spiritual awakening can, you know, really begin to appreciate the world? It said that, in some circles, that you can’t actually begin to appreciate the world until self realization has occurred, because you don’t know who you are. So how are you going to know what the world is? You know, once this once the cell for pure awareness has been established, then, and there is a physiological component to that, as you’ve been explaining, within the no breathing thing, then further refinement begins to take place, and the senses become more and more refined, and the world takes on greater and greater sort of beauty.

George Middleton: But the thing is that the thing is that it’s permanent, yes, in that sense, but I would have to stress this. It’s not all sort of golden sunsets. That’s not the point. Because I think, and this is where I think that sort of these sorts of experiences and what we are as human beings, tallies, in some ways with the science, and the reason I say tallies with sciences, that, you know, people often talk about this, what I say pure consciousness, they talk about silence, or they talk about light, but actually all these things are in a sense, metaphors. For for what this sort of awareness is, because this is a sort of, this is a form of awareness that comes with no preconceptions. It is it just whatever occurs to it isn’t judged or there is there’s no overlay of anything. So, this in ideally, if you think of the whole notion of science, when people are trying to do science, this is the sort of open mind that they want to bring and expect. In terms of the behavior of the scientist, as a scientist, there are a lot of moral aspects to the works that you the work that you do and your ex, but you will truthfully say what you did and how you did it, and you know, how you set up your experiments and all this sort of thing. So there’s a whole moral component, but also a component of trying to adopt the evidence, if you like, with an open mind. So there’s a strong relationship between this natural process in human beings, and what we would expect in this much more systematic approach to reality and things like that. Now, the realities that the scientists and people like that are, if you like, different realities to our normal, everyday reality, I know a lot of people talk about other things, but in the way in which we live our lives in a normal way, we have sciences, like, you know, physics and chemistry and sociology. And we have anthropology and we have all these various scientific disciplines, we also have all these humanities, which, which also talk about life and things like that. So I’m very much against any reductionist view of any of these realities, because it can’t be done. You couldn’t describe a Salman Rushdie novel in terms of, and I just read one of his, which is really prophetic, called the Golden house. But I leave that to you set in America, but you couldn’t describe that in terms of atoms and molecules, it would be a totally ridiculous thing to even attempt this is an attempt double. So in fact, these realities, our normal reality is as real as any scientific one. They they all have, in their own way. They all have their own reality. And and this is the reality we as normal people, live, scientists work in in other ways. But what’s interesting is that, you know, if you’re cracking up things in what is it Hadron colliders

Rick Archer: and things, and Large Hadron Collider in CERN? Yeah.

George Middleton: Geneva, us using incredible amounts of energy. Then the other thing that occurs is that the questions that we have to ask ourselves, from a moral point of view, is, whatever scientific endeavor takes place, decisions have to be made, how to put resources into that. And the question is, why have we decided to put so much resource in those particular endeavors? When we have people all over the world? Who are literally living? If they’re barely surviving from hand to mouth? How have we chosen to do those sorts of things? And, and the so every science has actual moral components, and talking about karma, karma? People talk about it as causality, but it actually the moral component to it, as well.

Rick Archer: Yeah. You know, I mean, the same argument was used when we sent men to the moon, people were saying, Well, why are we spending the money on that when there’s so many problems here on Earth? And you know, about a week ago, I put some cool thing up about the International Space Station on my Facebook page, because I thought it was it was a like a live YouTube feed of watching the people, you know, walk is a spacewalk outside the capsule. And some guy posted this very irate response of, you know, the immorality of this. And because there’s so many problems here on Earth. My attitude is that yes, there is definitely a huge misappropriation of wealth in the world, a huge disparity between the haves and the have nots and so on. And I don’t think it necessarily means that we have to abandon scientific enterprise, even expensive aspects of it. But although, you know, maybe there’s some things that aren’t worth pursuing, like, do we really need to go to Mars? Well, how about if we make this planet livable? Because that one is not but but at the same time, you know, there could be a there’s tremendous potential abundance if people were to unfold their full potential. I think that’s the greatest untapped natural resource that the tremendous potential everyone has within them, as you’ve discovered in your own experience, and if we could make the unfoldment of that more universally available, I think we would find that we could have a flourishing society, which would include, you know, scientific exploration, but at the same time, you know, provide a good standard of living for everyone on Earth. And, and there will be no conflict. In fact, it should be a sort of a mutually beneficial arrangement, where, you know, science quality, which has often resulted in destruction of life, like you said, the Pacific Ocean is full of bits of plastic, which were invented, which was invented by scientific endeavor. It could be science could become much more benign enterprise, where we didn’t create a certain effect and unwittingly create all kinds of force problems in the attempt to solve some someone problem. So, anyway, um, I’ll let you respond to all that.

George Middleton: I like that, because, you know, I’m sort of quite interested in myths. And so, you know, if you go back to, if you go back to, you know, Adam and Eve, quite a long way back. And, and you and them being cast out as the Garden of Eden, while they’re cast out, because they’ve eaten of the tree of knowledge. And, of course, if you like, part of the tree of knowledge that they’re, they’re faced with the dilemmas, once they cast out of good and evil, really, it’s, you know, and this is the issue that we face. Now, you know, about all the things a lot of the things which we think we’re doing really good, you know, we invented wonderful plastic bags, and they’re great. And then blow me down or down, you know, that the country is flooded with them and, and the waterways and good. So what we’re faced with now, and it’s, it’s the same thing in terms of the process of evolution, if you like, it’s even the same things in terms of our own personal development is that we, we do things, we don’t know whether they’re good or bad, we think we’re doing something, we think we may have done something bad, or we think we may have done something good, and blow me down. Nothing is as it seems. And so we face the continual consequences one way or another, you know, and they remain to be seen as, as as we develop.

Rick Archer: Yeah, let me let me interject again, here, like in the Bhagavad Gita, which I’m sure you’ve read, Jr, was very concerned about the task at hand, which was he had to fight a battle. And he was very concerned about the karmic consequences and he didn’t want to do it. And, you know, basically, the, the advice he was given by by Krishna was, first get your awareness established in being and then perform action. And a little bit later on, because being or yoga is skill in action. And the understanding there is that if that one more verse that that it was, he mentioned that the the average person’s intellect is very fragmented there, it’s like there, many branched and endlessly diverse, or the intellects of the irresolute. But the resolute intellect is one pointed. And the idea is that if we haven’t established ourselves in being or pure awareness, then we just don’t have a holistic perspective. And so our actions are based on, you know, very narrow vision, and have inevitably have unintended consequences. But if we could establish our awareness and being an operate from that level, then even if we’re not consciously aware of all the ramifications of our action, it has a benign influence, it has a kind of a holistic influence. And we can sort of be attuned, we can say to nature’s intelligence, and not unconsciously or unwittingly violate laws of nature or nature’s intelligence, but become more of an instrument of the Divine. And if enough people could do this, if the whole society were functioning this way, the world would be a completely different place than it is now. All the problems we see in the world could be attributed to the fact that everyone is operating from a very fragmented, isolated, limited level of consciousness. And so they’re, they’re trying to accomplish this that the other thing but cut You know, kind of creating more of a mess in unintentionally, then then whatever they’re accomplishing, in a good way.

George Middleton: Yes. The way I see that is that if, if if in fact, pure energy and consciousness in one sense, but everything is all about, then that makes this world sacred it makes it in a sense, sacred,

Rick Archer: it’s like the body of God.

George Middleton: Well, as I told you before, from the age of nine, any version of God that people put up,

Rick Archer: oh, you feel that way? I may have made

George Middleton: the right decision for the wrong reasons. Put it that way. I mean, just because I didn’t get my prayers answered, wasn’t a very good reason to give up believing in God. But that’s an

Rick Archer: interesting question, this awakening you had when you’re 50? What did that do to your concept or of God?

George Middleton: Well, no, no, I had no concept of God to you now. That was long gone. And so, so the nature of the God that people believe in, and it’s this is all this is a question of beliefs. I remember when we were studying philosophy, and we were going to do, we’re doing a part on belief in God. And they never spoke about God, it was just about the notion of belief. What does belief mean? And belief often means, you know, making decisions about things that you really don’t know a lot about. Yes, like, thinking thinking, that, you know, or hoping something, or whatever, you know, but beliefs are things that are often inherited, that they are taught us, things like that. Yeah,

Rick Archer: it’s, uh, yeah, I don’t like I don’t prefer I don’t really believe in anything, I have hypotheses about things. And certain things certain of these hypotheses have a lot of evidential support, and others not so much. But I don’t see any point in believing or disbelieving in anything. It’s really more of an experience. It’s more of a scientific orientation, where you just you proceed on the basis of what can be experientially verified.

George Middleton: Yes. So and, of course, I think you’ve really hit on something new, because this is the reason why I think there are, you know, the strength of these mega churches and things like that, that you have in the United States, and things like that. And even the whole spiritual movement that that’s been going on for some time. Now. This is more to do with people no longer want to believe things they want to experience they want exactly. In a different way, from just accepting a set of beliefs. Yeah. And in the churches, the church, whether the churches have intended or not, but there’s there in the established churches. And I think you have mentioned it in, in previous, in previous conversations about when you when you were involved with TM or something, and people actually having these experiences and nobody believing them, so to speak, or you’re starting to get exposed. Show hubris or pride or something because you’re saying this happened, you know, and people not believing you. It’s as if people want to remain continually remain in a certain, I don’t know, let’s say, practice way, rather than fulfill the practice or something like that, or, you know, how to read about how to cooking but, but then somewhere online, you’ve got to cook, do the do the cooking and experience the food? You know, again, your old thing about menus and the food. My interviews? Yeah,

Rick Archer: I mean, I think the point we’re getting at here is that spirituality in the way that most people watching the show would relate to it is primarily an experiential affair. It’s not a matter of faith or belief. And it’s it should be something one can live in a visceral way, just the way ever since you had that awakening, you’ve been living it, you don’t have to think about it. You don’t have to read books about it. It’s your experience. Right? And maybe since you have begun to have that experience, you’ve learned a lot more about it. You’ve filled in some more intellectual, you know, understanding. But that’s not that’s just the icing on the cake. The main cake is the experiential reality, which is your 24/7 experience.

George Middleton: Yes, yeah. So that’s right. Except that, as I told you, I couldn’t really say it was an experience.

Rick Archer: Yeah, cuz experience implies the senses. And it’s not. It’s not actually that.

George Middleton: That doesn’t, yeah, it doesn’t quite, but the consequence, like of having that experience, there you

Rick Archer: go use the word experience. Yeah, no,

George Middleton: I know, the consequence of that was this. But when I’m saying the experience within the body, once, once I’ve, you know, once it precipitated the consequence of that was a number of things. One, I expressed it as a rebirth, it felt like, physically and mentally, it was like a rebirth. It felt it felt like a, like a resurrection type experience. And when I thought about that, I thought about, again, the Christian notion that, you know, fundamentalists and Christians believe that Christ was resurrected bodily, yeah, it was a bodily resurrection. And, you know, that’s sort of been lost a little bit in Christianity these days. It’s sort of, you know, it’s sort of, not really, but in fact, he was experienced as a living being after his so called death. So I tend to think about these these things, in those sorts of terms, these things are expressed, sometimes they’re symbolic, and sometimes they’re actually they mean what they say. And so, you get this dilemma then with fundamentalists believing everything in absolute literal terms, and then we have these other descriptions of things in in a more symbolic way looking at the general process of things and allegorical or Yeah, allegorical, yeah. So, after the thing, this sort of occurred to me this, these things that occurred to me, I felt for the first time that I understood the meaning of grace. Now, this is, I this was, I felt totally undeserving of this, yeah, I felt there was nothing I could have done, that would have to be in any way this, this, what had occurred, I, there was nothing I could have done. So there was like, a gap, it sort of created a gap in causality. Because there was no Kools that could have led to this, it was just, it was just it just happened. It happened to me. And, and I, I went back the other day to the cathode apana shared, to have a look at it. And I looked at it, and I saw something in it. I’ll read it to you if I can. It said here, I couldn’t believe this, because I’ve never really not through much learning is the atma reached not through the intellect and sacred teaching, it is reached by the chosen of him because I choose him to his chosen the atman reveals His glory, nice, unlike me, since this, you know, slightly off kilter way a person like me sees that sort of thing is that there is a process here, which has been long understood. It has been long known. And, and it’s still occurring to people in times, so I had as I say, you begin I began to see this sort of stuff. As a reflection, as a remembering of, of, of of myself. Yeah. I began to see The going into the absolute dying the dying part of it. I began to see this. I went on a pilgrimage to India with somebody that you interviewed Ramana

Rick Archer: Alright, the Japanese fella. Yeah, yeah.

George Middleton: Yeah, American guy. And, and I found out when we first went there we, we had to sort of prostrate to prostrate ourselves or something in front of a goddess, and the goddess was Carly. And we were in Tiruvannamalai, you know that the sacred mountain era Naturalia. And, but I’d never heard of Ali before. And I had a look around. And I discovered that Carly’s a very interesting lady. She, you know, she has skulls all around her, and she has her arms hanging on her dress and all that. And there’s a very interesting little story about her how Shiva was lying flat, doing nothing somewhere. And she comes, and she dances on his body, and then awakens him, and she becomes Parvati. His console, his consort. And I felt, again, he was something like the process of coming out of this. Because for some people, she’s worshipped as the mother of the universe, coming out of absolute creation out of nothing, if you like, she is the absolute void, the absolute boy, you have to go in her, you’re born out of her. And it becomes the Shiva Shakti, whatever you you want. So it’s a fascinating a fascinating NIF to me I really miss to me are things that are sort of psychologically true, I don’t mean myth in the sense of something that’s not true. So Carly was a fascinating notion to me.

Rick Archer: I have a question for you. So when you’re eight, and you prayed for your grandfather to live, and then he died? And so you became an atheist? And then, you know, 42 years later, you had this awakening, and you felt it was a result of grace?

George Middleton: Knowing? Pardon? I didn’t know it was awakening.

Rick Archer: Well, whatever. Yeah. I mean, but now now we can call it that. Yeah. And, and now you sort of regarded as sort of grace, whose grace, grace of what

George Middleton: I just say, an understanding of grace. Grace, it’s just simply something that you receive, you have received, which you cannot, in any way, see, for me that I felt that I could deserve. That’s all grace in that sense. I’m just

Rick Archer: wondering whether whether you can still still consider yourself an atheist or whether you’ve sort of matured into a more, far more subtle and nuanced understanding of what God might be.

George Middleton: Well, I wouldn’t be using. I wouldn’t use words like garbage or anything like that, because two way baggage is, yeah, there’s so much baggage, unless of course, you’re talking about lots of gods and I don’t mind talking about like, and Shiva, Shakti and Kali. I can have plenty of gods, but for me, these things are like, they’re like universals or, yeah, they’re transcendent, above the particular they’re sort of universals over the particular. And so the, the pure consciousness that I talk about, which is always associated with energy, so for me, always, that they are always there not to. They are always, but you can’t say they’re one because we don’t know what man means. If you got one, you got tombs, and you’ve got everything there. It’s like, we’re back into that. I’m just wondering whether so so what what we think is consciousness, you see that? I could say this, when I was in India, and I was around the the holy mountain are unnatural, and as you know, are unnatural. It is it is in the shape of Ganesh, his head is in the shape of an elephant with a broken tasks head. That’s why it is said to be the remover of obstacles. It is the fire mountain of Shiva, but it’s in the shape of Ganesh is head and you’re supposed to walk around it. And people walk around it to remove obstacles. So when we were there, like, I don’t know, half a million people walk grounded. When the full moon came up, we walked around it three times. But the first time we went around, we went round in on the back of a car, much to the hilarity of all the cheating. Well, we were just doing as we were told, we’re being taken around. Yeah. But later on, we will we walked around. But if you know, the original Ramana, he, when he fled to that mountain, he fled after having a little encounter with death. Let’s put it that way. Kind of

Rick Archer: similar to yours. Actually, I was thinking of that when you were telling your story about how he just lay down on the ground and stopped breathing?

George Middleton: No, well, no, he was, if you read his account of that, what he did was, he became overwhelmed with a fear of death. And he actually lay down on the ground and started to imagine dying. Oh, yeah, that’s all he did. I think that the real thing for Ramana occurred when he went to the mountain. So he always said that it was the mountain that made the difference. And so when I went there, we were staying on this Ashram and I was staying in a little room on my own. And I, you know, I’d be lying on my bed, the energy that started to move through me, because that mountain is famous for the Shakhty, the energy that that is somehow emanates from it. And I found I was next door, there was an Indian lady who wasn’t a part of our group next door. And I often wondered what she thought because they have these old metal beds there. To hear this clanging bouncing

Rick Archer: around because your body was shaking, the body would say shaking so

George Middleton: much. But that’s where I discovered. I’ve never been really into chakras or anything like that. But that’s what I discovered the horror. Because the energy was emanating from like the below the stomach area, really powerfully through the body, as opposed to energy when you’d sit and meditate in the caves, the energy would move through through the back and through the head but but this energy was really powerful. And so we bouncing you along and I wondered whether or not she thought I was having orgies or

Rick Archer: by yourself yet.

George Middleton: Georgie who was next to the OG like, oh, man, but but it was really powerful stuff. Yeah, Sue’s just showing me that it’s 941, when nearly at the moment, when the earth stops, and starts

Rick Archer: starts going back the other way.

George Middleton: So I discovered that, that energy, so in the course of time, since then, I have come to more or less see the three aspects, like the, the energy of the hara, that I’ve seen, it expresses our heart, head head, horror. And in the end, it seems that the heart that melding of the consciousness and the energy, which is the heart, now the issue is in terms of energy and consciousness, and that that marriage is how that if you like structures, the world that you live in, whether it is projected onto it, or is what it is. Because the way I tend to experience it is that I think of it’s not emanating from me, it’s emanating through me. It’s, it’s a it does begin with the individual and the way I expressed it in a little power and which is so you might think pride, but at the time meant something to me, at that time of having that experience, I wrote a little poem, which was something like, I am breathed, I bring you, I sang, I sang and danced, I danced, I am loved, I love, I am best I blessed I am I. And it goes like that, because it’s what I call it a turning round, it’s, it’s a way you’re turned 180 degrees or something, in terms of the way that life lives you as opposed to you thinking, and this is why I went spoke about that whole karmic aspect of what what was, you know, had happened earlier in my life, because it needs you begin to see it, but you can only see it on the other side of my the event that happens at 50, so to speak, and then from 50 to 72, what then you know, in terms of the experiences then, so, I was very interested then to see what the various religions like Hinduism, and Buddhism, what was involved in there, what was involved. So, I went on a pilgrimage to India, around India. I was interested then, because my interest in the unconscious and the other things, I was interested then to see why people thought that various practices, like meditation, I went on a Vipassana meditation retreat, you know, you know, 10 days of silent meditation and all that went on these various pilgrimages to Bhutan with, with a group with Tibetan Buddhist Tantra, but is it what ism went with Ramana, looking at the looking at the sort of Hindu or whatever you call it Indian approach to these matters. So I looked at these various methods, and the different sorts of meditation techniques that are used, like the Buddhist one, where you’re scanning the body, I don’t know, if you use that, that’s used in bypass. And then there’s, you know, others where you’re sitting with, I never you, oh, well, I did use my mantra, looking at that interested in in that, and, and then other techniques, but what I felt about all those things where and felt about the, what concerned me about the techniques was this, that the techniques, in a sense that there will always be a gap between the technique and a so called goal that people might be aiming for that the problem is that people, I think people know too much, and aim at something that they think it is.

George Middleton: And of course, because the mind is engaged, the gap can be bridged, because you will always be in the mind. And this is what concerns me about a lot of so called spiritual experiences, people are in the mind. And, and well, I just think that there’s a there’s, there’s a gap that has to be bridged,

Rick Archer: yes, there is. First of all, you know, techniques are not going to take you to enlightenment, so to speak, but they can refine the vehicle, they can, because they can, who was it? I forget the guy’s name, who said, you know, spiritual practice. Enlightenment may be an accident, but spiritual practice makes you accident prone, so that they can sort of Cook that’s a mantra of yours. Yes, they can sort of bring about a condition in which awakening is more likely to happen by purifying and refining the whole mind body structure. And secondly, you know, not all techniques keep you engaged in the mind some techniques transcend their own activity. So that that just as you experience when you’re breathing and next thing you knew you were gone. There are you know, experiences one can have during spiritual practice where next thing you know, you don’t know because you’re gone. So the technique sort of drops off. And yeah, yeah.

George Middleton: Yes. That That’s right. So well, my so my thought about that was that it’s it’s, you know, this business is is quite a tricky business to be engaged in. I sometimes say ignorance is bliss, because it in my own case, there seemed to have been some sort of search, but it wasn’t. I didn’t, I didn’t sort of know at the same time. I didn’t know what this sort of surge was.

Rick Archer: Yeah. So here’s a question that came in that actually relates to what you’re saying, right? Now, it’d be a good chance to ask ask it. This is from Akshay, and Poona, India, which I think is where was that where Osho was? Or I’m thinking Sri Aurobindo, maybe? I don’t know. Anyway, Puna. He said, how do we come out of conditioning of mind so that we can progress further on the spiritual path? Or does it take several lifetimes through this deconditioning a mind, I have got an intellectual understanding on Self Realization, but nothing in actual experiences such what can be done. And the reason I thought this was relevant is that I think that very often, in the case of someone like you, there has been past life development. And so without doing a heck of a lot in this life, proof you just sort of are catapulted into a shift. But it didn’t just kind of happen out of blue. But anyway, you want to answer Akshay his question?

George Middleton: Well, I can sort of say something I, I used to say, but I don’t like to say quite in this way anymore, but But I used to sort of say to myself that, you know, the mind. And the body in a sense, artifacts, the only reason I say that is that, you know, we learn to speak, and and we learn language and all that. And when you start to look at other languages, you suddenly realize that each language is unique in the way that it constructs the world, and constructs the world that you live in. And similarly, our bodies in terms of what the way we dress it, what we eat, the things that we do to it and all that. It’s it’s very different in very different cultures, and there are multiple cultures, you know, and ethnicities and all that around the world. So I think, just knowing that, in a sense, our culture has conditioned us in many ways, is is, you know, is a great help. And what, for me, what I noticed was this, that both with Christ and Buddha, what they ended up doing, was being great teachers, and as great teachers were really did this teaching emerge from and it seemed to me, I think it emerged out of being in a state of pure consciousness. Because our pure consciousness for me anyway, when when one is with people, or in the world and all that, one, hopefully, there is nothing in the way of seeing them. But also, and this is this notion of heart, the heart opens out, there’s, there’s sort of like, a clear light. And there’s also a, like a compassion, a way of all of us being in this, there’s, there’s no pointing of the finger in any way. There’s no judgement, there is a compassion, a heart thing here that’s going on. And it’s it’s not just a feeling it but when one is extremely, it’s making my one has become vulnerable, in a way that when was never before. This is why a lot of the work. I mean, I did work as you know, in therapy and things like that. There’s a lot of body armoring, and things like that. That also happens in the body. You can tell by the way people hold themselves the way they are. And it’s beginning to actually I think, when we talk about conditioning, we need to look at all aspects of it. Not only our received thoughts, our received culture, but also I mean, we know from feral children But feral children couldn’t even walk properly if they were, you know. So everything about us, even the way we walk and hold ourselves are learned. And so become this is why I say in a sense, our body is almost like an artifact, it has been shaped, you know, right from the word go. So it’s actually getting in touch with both the body and our culture and our own minds. Because what happens is, you can imagine experiencing your own mind from a pure consciousness state, I call it The Bonfire of the Vanities.

Rick Archer: Tom Well, so are you saying that someone like Christ or Buddha, they were great teachers, because they had managed to live without the armoring without the shielding. And therefore they had open hearts, and therefore they had tremendous compassion. And they also had their eloquent they had good minds as well and could and but, you know, the foundation of it all was being established in pure consciousness, which from which they could teach with these open hearts and minds.

George Middleton: People talk about Christ consciousness or Buddha consciousness, whatever, I believe those are actually absolutely the same thing. Sure, yeah. And from, and it’s interesting that they became great moral teachers, they were oral teachers, they were asking, if people don’t have the experience, you can live as if you had experience. until it comes, I know that I it’s not a phrase, I like him, but you know, fake it till you make it or some, but it’s not a matter of faking it. And I think that’s where the traditional churches have had a role in all areas, where they have, you know, tried to express it as a set of rules. And, and if you look at Buddhism, Buddhism has got

Rick Archer: all kinds of rules, yeah.

George Middleton: Amazing rules. But but the point being, in the end is that, you know, Buddha said there was suffering, and as a way of ending it, and this is how to do it, you know, and then, in tantric Buddhism, they have a slightly different version of things, what they do is they talk about, like, that’s a Tarot goddess, who has got all these various qualities, okay. And what you’re meant to do is to visualize this goddess and all the qualities, and then let it dissolve into you, or you dissolve into it, it’s like a, it’s supposed to be a swift method of, if you can achieve it.

Rick Archer: So you imbibe the qualities.

George Middleton: You you absorbs all sort of yet that, you know, and you’re reminded of it, fascinatingly enough, after I’d been through this initial stuff, I had to go to supervision. And, because when you’re training as a therapist, you have a train person who trains you, but you were also doing therapy with other people, and you have to be supervised, doing that to make sure you’re doing it. Right. Right, doing certain stuff and all that. And, and so I went to my person that I was with, after I’d had this experience, or this stuff, and I, then her name was Tara, and that’s interesting. So I’m doing my stuff with her. And she asked me to lie down and I’m in a darkened room, you know, curtains drawn, like, when I’m laying down and and she’s asked me to describe what I’m what I’m seeing, and I’m lying down on my back with my eyes shut. And she’s sitting by my head and I inside my head, and I’m looking and I’m seeing a like a moonlit night where you can’t see the moon. But you know, how the night sky lights up? Yeah. And, and, and then the next minute,

Rick Archer: essentially, just as you said, that my my desktop, I have all these astronomy pictures on my desktop, but galaxies and this nap, just as you said that it’s switched to a picture of the moon. I like that. I love it. Continue on. Yeah. Yeah. And then,

George Middleton: and I, again, I have no explanation of this sort of thing. The sun came out in my head literal. It’s like a huge shining sun came in my head. I was so convinced it was the sun. I said to Tara, I said, Hi, you’ve, you’ve opened the curtains and Like she said, don’t run your eye on my eyes. And sure enough, she hadn’t opened because an inner light is just an inner light. Now, again, I think these things are natural experiences, but explaining them, you know, these things, these things, explaining them is another entire there’s, there are no explanations around this sort of thing for me, I can’t?

Rick Archer: Well, they’re kind of our I mean, there are there aren’t it’s like any experience, you can’t really do justice to it through words, like, what does an orange taste like, you know, you can you can go on and on, but people aren’t going to get it until they taste one. But, you know, we, that’s true of every experience in life. And so we have language, and so you can kind of give an indication and, and you know, there are people who are, you know, their degrees of ability to articulate things. And all these books and scriptures, 1000s and 1000s, and 1000s of pages of them, are an attempt to describe these experiences, you know, and some hit the nail on the head, others don’t. And, you know, not everybody has all the same experiences, but you’re doing a pretty good job of explaining what you’re what you’ve been going through.

George Middleton: Well, yes, I mean, again, if you know nothing about these things, that they’re a surprise to you, if you find out something about them, but I, I had never been really a part of any, any sort of standing group or anything like that.

Rick Archer: Just kind of gone in, you know, things.

George Middleton: Yes. And even though I went with groups, so I went with a group to Bhutan, and I went with a group to India, I’d never, I was not a part of those groups. As such, I didn’t, I only got to know people, you know, in them at the time. And, and they were people who I always felt were very knowledgeable, they’d been, you know, meditating for donkey’s years. sort of thing. Whereas for me it you know, I, I felt in a sense, somewhat outside that, that particular miliar. And as I say, given my background,

Rick Archer: yeah, you know, but I mean, if they could step inside your head and experience what you were experiencing, they might be a little envious of you. So the fact that you didn’t have all the lingo? I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t consider that a detriment. You know, I mean, at several points during your interview, during this conversation, I’ve thought of that, saying, by Jesus, you know, except to be as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven or kingdom of God. So there’s sort of an innocence, you know, to the way that this has happened to you, which I think is endearing and refreshing. But in any case, this has been a nice conversation. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you, George, and the number of interesting synchronicities and coincidences and whatnot that, you know, have happened to us, such as this being the summer and winter equinoxes, or what, hostesses sources for us both. And, you know, you have an interesting story. It, can people get in touch with you if they want to, and I mean, do you correspond on people? Do you have a Facebook page, anything like that,

George Middleton: like on Facebook or anything like that, the only thing that you could do would be to put my email on it there. I don’t care about that. Okay,

Rick Archer: so people can get in touch if they want to chat with you, too. Yeah. Yeah, I’ll do that.

George Middleton: The reason? The reason I think my wife contacted you was, and then I agreed was because it’s more about I think, people making talking about the normality of these things. Yeah, how these occur to the most unlikely people at the most unlikely times. And, and you never know, and as I say, can happen to anybody.

Rick Archer: Yeah. And that’s the reason we decided to do it too. And that’s part of the reason I’ve started this show in the first place is to show people that you know, awakening or enlightenment or whatever you want to call it is not for people who are floating three feet off the ground, you know, dressed all in white or whatever it it can happen to so called ordinary people and therefore it can happen to you, whoever you may be.

George Middleton: I think the other thing is that I, what I, there are a lot of things I haven’t mentioned, but the point being is that prior to this happening, there had been a series of dreams and things like that, which which, which sort of predict a lot of things without you knowing what they mean. And I know that there are some groups who really take a lot of account of dreams and things like that. And and because The dreams are the unconscious inaction with too much control. And it’s, it’s interesting. And, and also the the other aspects of when you’re in the world in this way, there are things which a lot of people talk about, but you know, things like auras and things like that sure that that occur. And again, I think a lot of these things are very natural, you know, in terms of the way we live our lives. And, and in a sense, I think they’re worth taking seriously. But they, but at the same time not getting obsessed with any of it. Yeah, mean point, it’s not holding on. And the only other thing I wanted to say was this, that in the Indian traditions, people talk about reality, okay. And for them, the only reality is that which is unchanging, what is changing, which is energy, what is changing, they tend to see as a dream or something like that, where what is unchanging, which is something like pure consciousness, they tend to see as reality. Now, I don’t live in that world, I think that we, we have energy and consciousness. One, and and that being the case, I don’t, you know, I think getting into either one or the other are two ends of almost like a spectrum. And it’s a bit like thinking about the, the figure of the yin and yang. But when you look at that, you’ll notice that the dark side has a light in it, and the light side has a dark spot in it. And so it’s like, that’s talking about the melding, and really, the life we need to be living is along that line between them. Because that’s really, you know, where we’re existing, we’re sort of surfing the wave.

Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s good. Yeah, so just to recap what you just said, The, even though spiritual experience is somewhat rare compared considering the whole world’s population, that doesn’t mean it’s unnatural, in any sense. And we could conceive of a society in which it became commonplace. And you know, we people could describe the kind of things you’ve been saying, and people saying, Yeah, great, you know, everybody experiences that it’s, that’s normal, including seeing auras or whatever. And also, this, this whole thing about the world being unreal. And I think that’s more of a recluse emphasis. And unfortunately, that has been over emphasized sometimes to the detriment of those living householders life. But it is, there are traditions which have more of a both and perspective, like Taoism, as you say, with the and yang symbol, also, Kashmir Shaivism, you know, that the the absolute and relative are sort of part of a bigger hole, and each has their value and significance. And we don’t just hang out in one to the dismissal of the other.

George Middleton: Yes, that’s what worries me I have seen, although I didn’t know at the time people hanging out in in one side or the other

Rick Archer: spiritual bypassing? Well,

George Middleton: and they’re not they don’t seem to be here. Quite. Right. Yeah.

Rick Archer: That can actually be a detriment on the spiritual path,

George Middleton: and unable to take care of themselves, as well as they rely on others to take care of them. And it’s a it’s a, you know, it’s a funny place for a person to be in.

Rick Archer: Yeah, you know, and if you’re a Ramana Maharshi, or an undermine Maya or something like that, and you do have people that take care of you, then maybe that’s fine. But that’s a rare example. And most of us are not in that kind of circumstance. Yeah, Ramana

George Middleton: was taken care of when he when he was a young man and went, and he ended up in Tiruvannamalai. And he got into an awful state.

Rick Archer: Yeah. And bugs are chewing his legs and all that stuff.

George Middleton: Exactly. But but in the end, and we met some people when we were there, who had been been with Ramana, you know, when he was alive and all that, but in the end, I think he was a part of the Brahmin caste. And, you know, he was actually quite learned. And what if you’ve read some of his talks and things like that I lost the book, but I read some of his thoughts, you will realize that he was very skilled and dribble about the whole tradition, which he was in. And that was learned probably before and after he arrived there. And it’s worth noting Something that it’s, it’s when we look at other cultures and what’s in them, when we look at them, we have to understand that there’s a whole cultural overlay going on there, we can use it. But there is a big cultural overlay, which may not understand at all. Yeah,

Rick Archer: well, we better end on that note, ramen is a good note to end on. So Thanks, George. I’ve enjoyed spending this time with you. And I hope you are doing well and continue to do well. You’re in a nice, safe, beautiful place New Zealand. blessed to have a couple of friends who’ve moved there. I’m here. Yeah, me too. I think they’re on the South Island. I forget which part but they’re out in the country. They live actually right near each other, even though they’re both from this town that I live in. And it was kind of coincidental that it worked out that way. But in any case, love to visit there someday. So So Thanks.

George Middleton: Well, we’ll put you up if you tune up. Okay, we’ll just

Rick Archer: come and bring our dogs and never move out.

George Middleton: I don’t know about the dogs. I don’t know if you can get them in the country.

Rick Archer: So anyway, thanks. And thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching. Nice talking to you. Yes, nice talking to you. And thank you for those who’ve been watching this. Go to Bat gap comm check out the menus and see what you find. So talk to you later. Okay, bye. Bye bye, George.