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 have done a little over 410 of them now. And if you like this one and you haven’t heard other ones and would like to there’s a past interviews menu on batgap.com, where you can see all the previous ones organized in various ways. This whole program is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. My wife and I spend most of our time throughout the week working on it in one way or another. So if you would like to support it, if you appreciate it, there’s a Donate button on every page of the site. My guest today is Hans Laurentius, Hans in in the Netherlands. And first of all, welcome, Hans. Good to have you. Thanks. Yeah. I’ll read little bits of your bio, and then I’ll kind of ask the questions as I’m reading the bio because I have questions and some of these things. So you were trained in the 90s as a teacher in spiritual therapy, what is spiritual therapy and who trained you?
Hans Laurentius: Okay. Well, I was trained by, among others, Ad Stemerding and spiritual therapy has to do with chakras and energies and that kind of stuff.
Rick Archer: I see. So you would work with people, and then help them to clear their chakras or whatever?
Hans Laurentius: Well, that was the intention. So yeah, for a very brief moment, I thought I would be a spiritual therapist, and then something happened. So, it didn’t work out that way.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s okay. Things never do. And then the search stopped. You say, among other things, maybe mainly through the confrontation with Nisargadatta’s I am that and Ramana Maharshi’s glare? Is that something that happened?
Hans Laurentius: Well, we always like to have a cause-and-effect thing. So if we believe in that kind of story, they had to do with it.
Rick Archer: Okay. So, you just basically focused on ‘I am that’ and maybe some Ramana Maharshi books and stuff.
Hans Laurentius: Mainly, the picture of Ramana, just staring at him, I was opening the book one day, I was reading Nisargadatta, and the book was already on the shelf for a few years, but I never read it. And well, something happened, photo pushed me, let’s say, and I started looking at the picture…
Rick Archer: I’ve interviewed quite a few people who had strange experiences with Ramana Maharshi. And in some cases, before they ever even heard of him or saw a picture of him that they would have, they would see him some vision would come or something. And then, later on, they would see a book on a shelf in a bookstore and all that was the guy saw, you know, he’s up to some tricks. Okay, so then you mentioned the spontaneous recognition of awareness, consciousness as reality. So that, again, you know, with apologies for the cause-and-effect thing, but that there was some such recognition as a result of this focus, possibly.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, maybe, but also, in the trainings for the spiritual therapy. I had a lot of energetic experiences. So, one of them was something of a turnaround that I wasn’t in the world, but the world was in me. So, the experience was something like I’m walking inside of myself. I am this body-mind, but also everything else. But it just happened. Yeah, I wasn’t looking for it or anything. But these things occurred.
Rick Archer: Did that kind of stuff happen to you even when you were young, like in childhood or mainly later as he started? No, that’s, that’s, that’s another kind of first time.
Hans Laurentius: And well, the first I remember was when I was in the fight, some kids were trying to kick the shit out of me. And then all of a sudden I had the experience while you can take all you want, you cannot touch me. And you can only get the body, but not ‘me’. That there was always a thing. And another thing was I was running across the street. I think I was 14 or so. 16 I don’t know, exactly. But I fell in front of a car. And I thought, Well, that’s it. And I only found it interesting. Yeah. Interesting. Oh, there was no fear or anything. Just interesting, looking, looking at the grill moving towards me. And then afterward, of course, the ego jumped up again. I was scared, shaky, and such, but anything to do with those experiences until in my 20s. Then I recognize Oh, something happened there.
Rick Archer: Yeah, the reason I asked that and the reason I find that interesting is that does come up quite a bit with people who have had some sort of spiritual awakening later on, as they often have had stuff when they were a kid. And then, later on, it resurfaces. Yeah. Especially if it’s somebody who has a spiritual awakening without having done a lot of practice or anything, it’s usually more common that they have a proclivity for such things, you know?
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, yeah. Okay. Well, insert.
Rick Archer: Go ahead, you often talk,
Hans Laurentius: I will, I wanted to say that I often talk about the stuff and in terms of the virus, so people have the virus, and others don’t. And you cannot meditate yourself into a virus, you know, it will seek you out or not.
Rick Archer: Yeah. We’ll probably talk more about this. I think that well, to take the virus metaphor, I think that uh, for some people, a fair amount of meditation can make you susceptible to the virus, and more likely to catch it, maybe. But, you know, I get your point. In Zen says, there’s a saying that, you know, enlightenment may be an accident, but spiritual practice makes you accident-prone.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, yeah. Well, there are two sides of that coin. Because what I observe is that a lot of people who are in the form of practice, and practice becomes a shield more than a catalyst.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think that can be. I think it’s hard to make universal rules about anything. There are always exceptions to every generality. But I’ve seen that too, you know, becomes very habitual and rigid almost.
Hans Laurentius: Yes, yes. And thereby strengthening the ego – who always believes he can (or has to) move from A to B. While in my opinion, there is only A and we should investigate (into) A and not try to move to a better future or better me or whatever. Yeah. And a lot of the spiritual practice is based on the assumption I am here, and I got to be there. But there is no there.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s kind of a paradox, which we’ll get into right now. And obviously, feel free to disagree with anything I say. Yeah, it’s kind of a paradox. Because, sure, it’s here. And many people say that when enlightenment dawns, they realize this has always been this way. I’ve always, this has always been the nature, the case, you know, somehow it just wasn’t recognized before. On the other hand, you can’t say to a roomful of people, you know, it’s just this is the way it is and expect 100% of them to wake up. There’s going to be some hunger. Yeah. So, for those people, in a sense, even though it’s right here, it is kind of in the future, because maybe they will wake up eventually when there’s enough clarity or something.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, or they have a car accident or whatever. Yeah. Yeah, you never know.
Rick Archer: Or somebody tries to beat him up. True. Yeah. Okay, so we’ll get back into that some more, I’m sure. So, after that awakening, the I Am consciousness was recognized to be the first identification. Is it possible to explain what that was like and how your life was lived after that? As opposed to how it had been before?
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, well, the assumption here is that something changed on the body-mind level or in my life, but I don’t think so much changed, or I don’t even think that is relevant. So, in the course of time, if we accept time, things changed, but it might also be that I’m 52 now and not 25. And there’s a different phase or life energy or whatever. So, it’s very hard for me to say: this is because of that, and that is because of this. So, I don’t really know.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s a fair enough answer. And I like that about you actually, that you’ll write an article… I’ve read all the articles, all the English written articles on your website. And, you know, you’ll state an opinion about something and then you’ll say, but I don’t know. I might be wrong. Yeah, sure. Healthy attitude. Yeah, that’s, that’s an interesting question in and of itself. In fact, there was one of the articles on your website that was about morality. And that’s one of the ones in which you particularly emphasized that you may know or may not know. And there’s a whole discussion about, you know, whether awakening changes behavior. And, you know, whether one can be an enlightened scoundrel so to speak, or whether you or anyone is going to become more compassionate or saintly, or something like that, as a result of the impact of realization? Do you have any opinions about that?
Hans Laurentius: I think anything goes in this universe. So, some people might soften up or be more pleasant. Other ones may not. I don’t think… no, let’s put it differently. The thing I liked about working with energy, as well as working with Advaita, is that there is no basic rule of behavior. You know, it’s not a code, like most religions, or philosophies, like: you should act like this or that, right, which is very strange freedom and rules of conduct. I think that is quite insane. What I do notice is people will be (more) real, but not necessarily ‘pleasant’. You know? And, of course, you use that word compassion. For me, compassion is a very strange word, because compassion is only possible when there are two. But the experience is there are no two! So, I always say to people, the ocean (as a metaphor for reality, or totality) doesn’t have compassion with its waves. It is the waves! So, compassion is a very strange concept to me.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it would be strange to say the ocean has compassion. Like it would be strange to say you have compassion for your finger, you know? I mean, you wouldn’t be inclined, you wouldn’t be inclined to cut your finger intentionally. Right? But you wouldn’t say you’re compassionate toward it.
Hans Laurentius: Right, exactly. So, a lot of these terms like having faith, surrender or compassion, or acceptance are only important for somebody who believes he’s a separate entity.
Rick Archer: Yeah, in one of your articles, you speak of something which I would call spontaneous. Right? Action, you say: to me the right action results from the total energetical constellation of the moment.
Hans Laurentius: Yes, which presents itself, it’s not a choice or something.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And it’s not something you could totally figure out. I mean, intellectually, you can’t know, you can’t fathom all the ramifications of every little thing you say or do.
Hans Laurentius: Yes, exactly. And you cannot look into the future. So sometimes people say, because I’m teaching or writing stuff. Oh, that’s very good (to teach and write). But I’d say I don’t know. Because I cannot oversee all the implications, all the variables of what will happen when I say something to somebody. So, there’s no way to know. And I’m fine with that. Other people, especially when you believe if you’re a separate entity, you want to know what is the effect of your actions and you’re responsible and everything, and then you will trap up. Yeah, that’s actually terrifying. I might do it wrong. Yeah, and right or wrong. It doesn’t mean anything to me.
Rick Archer: There’s actually a verse in the Bhagavad Gita which says that karma or action is unfathomable by human intellect. And the only way you can be assured of doing the right thing is to be established and you know, what you would call here awareness or consciousness and the pure self and then perform action and from there the intelligence of nature will work it out for you.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, and basically, it is life happening and not Hans or Rick doing anything. Although we might like to claim it, but that’s just basically silly. Yeah, I am happening. You are happening. We’re not somebody going somewhere or doing something.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And so the whole thing about, you know, maybe behavior and gnarliness and stuff like that. I mean, you were inspired by Nisargadatta. And he was a good example. I mean, he was sort of a, you know, kind of a rough character in a certain way. Although, also very sweet and compassionate. He also smoked cigarettes, which I believe you still do. Yeah. Because of him, of course. Stopped. Yeah, well, we all will, yeah. One way or the other. Okay, so, look, coming back to your bio here. Since 1998. You’ve led hundreds of songs, retreats, and private sessions. You’ve published eight books, and a booklet and many articles and columns, YouTube sites on videos. One is in English, and seven homemade music CDs, because you’re a musician. So, do you still do all that stuff? Songs, retreats, private sessions?
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, That’s what I do.
Rick Archer: You’re pretty well known in Holland.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah. What’s the kind of thing it’s also a small community interested in this kind of stuff. And I’m one of the guys, right.
Rick Archer: Big fish in a small pond.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, something like that.
Rick Archer: Okay. And you yourself, say that you are sometimes judged as being too confrontational or direct. Or more kindly as very clear. On the other hand, people credit you for your creativity and patience. Then you say funny, right? So, what’s an example of how you’re confrontational?
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, well, usually in interactions, and especially in private interactions, it seems to be my job to point out things people don’t want to hear. Which they already know, because I believe, unless you’re insane, you have a pretty good feeling of sight of who you are and what you’re hiding, or, you know, your games, but you usually try to avoid that or get away from it. Well, I will see it, I can’t help it. And when people walk through my door, I can say what I want to say. So, I wouldn’t do that in the street. But I will point things out and confront people with what they’re hiding or protecting or point out judgments or whatever. Yeah. And sometimes they don’t like it.
Rick Archer: But they come to you voluntarily. They can always not…
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, right. That’s why I have a quote on the website. Come here at your own risk. You know, I’m not sitting down there with people to make friends. They come and we talk about truth, or freedom or whatever. Well, okay, let’s play ball then.
Rick Archer: Is this tendency to sort of see the truth in people, something you’ve always had? Is that part of your personality? Or is that something that seemed to dawn after this awakening, or after practice through working as a spiritual teacher?
Hans Laurentius: Now both, I think, but mainly because I, at a certain point, started to investigate the workings of my own mind. You know, and when you figure out the basic software of your mind and open your eyes, you see that it’s basically the same thing with anybody who walks on two feet? So, you know, the tricks and the belief system and the avoidance strategies, or the cover-ups. Because I’ve seen them in me.
Rick Archer: Interesting. And so this investigation of your own mind, I guess, was just sort of an introspective process. And were you able to kind of as if, as you know, be your own psychiatrist, so to speak, and you could see these things and actually kind of resolve them and not do it that way anymore?
Hans Laurentius: In the beginning, it wasn’t really a thing about resolving, but understanding just how it works. Like I’ve been avoiding it by drinking and smoking pot and whatever and going to a party and a party and a party and being with friends all the time. And at a certain moment, I realized that I was just running away because I was afraid and felt pretty much fucked up and a little depressed and stuff. So, I noticed this, this running away and avoiding and deflecting. And I saw that it didn’t work. You know, it gave only temporary relief. So, I was looking at it. And at a certain point, as I saw I only didn’t try one thing: doing nothing, and just look!
So, I stopped these run-and-hide games and confronted fears and beliefs, and convictions. And just looked at them, what were they doing what is happening here? You know, of course, therapy and stuff… And people (my parents) were threatening me with psychiatrists and whatever. I thought they will try to fix stuff, but I don’t want to fix it. I want to know what it is. So, because there was something like I don’t want to try to change something that I do not (even) understand. You know, so I wanted to know what’s what? Yeah. Basically, I started looking and listening and feeling instead of trying to change me.
Rick Archer: And, but doing that, it seems, did change you. You probably.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, sure. Yeah. Yes. So because of the looking at it, without trying to fix it, or avoid it, things changed from within, instead of through some model, or ego-centered, or this is bad, and it should be good or whatever.
Rick Archer: So just bringing awareness to it really.
Hans Laurentius: Yes, exactly. But I didn’t know that then. Because I didn’t know these terms. Only when I ran into Krishnamurti and Nisargadatta and stuff, the words came, but this process was already happening.
Rick Archer: Hmm. Interesting. Another example of something you just kind of picked up on, you know, without an actual teacher or teaching. Yeah. So some old memory or operator something. Now, a lot of people, you know, they drink and they take drugs, and they party do all kinds of other things. Because they are trying to avoid something that’s uncomfortable. And they’re putting their attention in the opposite direction or trying to blur it out with substances. When you decided to really look at this stuff. Was it uncomfortable? And you had to just sort of work your way through the discomfort?
Hans Laurentius: Yes. I was afraid. But what was very clear, I already was afraid. So, what’s the difference? I saw that I was afraid to feel my fear or my sadness or whatever. But hey, I was already afraid. And I didn’t like life already. So, I had nothing to lose except fear or delusion. So that was okay. And now I thought or felt more like something is happening. Instead of (just) running (away).
Rick Archer: Yeah. Good. Okay, so, there are a number of points here that you sent me that as almost as part of your bio, just some different points that you feel are important. I thought I might take those and we can discuss them. So, the first one is: when spirituality is not alarming, it’s not worth mentioning. What do you mean by alarming? What would be an example of spirituality being alarming?
Hans Laurentius: Well, when we discover something, usually there’s a shock element to it. I didn’t know that, you know. And what I see is a lot of people who are busy with spirituality not to be shocked awaking in(to) awakening, but to be soothed or, you know, like smoking pot, right? So, (spirituality) is not about comfort or nice. It’s about self-confrontation and looking at things as they are. It’s about truth and truth might hurt or shock you. When you are confronted with your lovelessness that’s a shock obviously. So there are always shocking and disturbing elements. And we need this friction, I think, to go deeper. So just a lot of the technique techniques that I saw and the things that are people doing, I believe it’s (just) helping them to remain asleep, instead of waking them up. It’s not like a bucket of (cold) water when you’re lying. You know, splashing? It’ll snap you out of it. No, it’s all easy, easy and do some thing or other, whatever, something to make you feel good.
Rick Archer: What would be some examples of techniques that are just to make you feel good? And that don’t really help to wake you up?
Hans Laurentius: Almost everything I’m afraid all the different spiritual practices and, yeah, most of what I see.
Rick Archer: Like, for instance, I’ve heard you mentioned meditation in that context. And yet, you know, the world’s spiritual traditions, and so many, you know, respected teachers have all advocated it as an effective tool. So, but you’re saying it’s just a pacifier? Maybe?
Hans Laurentius: Yeah. In most cases. I was making a distinction in the satsang last week: there is meditation, and meditating. Meditating is working, trying to go from here to the next station instead of just being with what is – that’s effortless. It’s just being conscious of consciousness now. But most techniques are verbs. So, it’s the ego who likes to work. And it has to take time, and it has the promise of progress. But reality IS and has nothing to do with evolution or progress or development. All these phrases refer to time and effort. Well, ego loves that. When they say it takes you 40 years or 40 lives, if you’re into reincarnation, ego is happy with it, because he knows for (the next) 40 years or 40 lives, nothing will happen.
Rick Archer: Well, I don’t think that’s, it’s not that nothing will happen is that there’s a sense that there will be a, you know, a progression that there will be a continuing….
Hans Laurentius: Yeah. Exactly. That’s what I mean, nothing will happen, it will remain within time/space. It will remain within. So that’s great. That’s a Dream Theater, (but) waking up is about getting out of it.
Rick Archer: So, let’s take an example from Ramana’s life. You know, when he was a young lad, teenager, I guess he had this profound awakening. And he went down to Tiruvannamalai. And ended up going up to well, first he sat in a pit in the basement of the temple and practically died down there. Finally, somebody dragged him out, and he ended up going up to a cave on the mountain. And, you know, spending, I don’t know, a decade at least sitting in some form of meditation deep samadhi or something. And presumably, it was necessary for him to do that he wouldn’t have done it. And then eventually, he came out and began, you know, interacting with people. So that, I don’t think you would say that that was an example of that he was just numbing himself or pacify him.
Hans Laurentius: No, no. But you assume that he was meditating while doing something with his eyes closed in a cave? Yeah, it was sitting, he said it was just being. It was just being, I don’t think he was doing anything. He just sat down.
Rick Archer: Okay.
Hans Laurentius: So if this belief is so strong, that we have to interpret it. He didn’t talk for years. And somebody said to him, if I’ve read correctly, ‘were you taking the vow of silence’? No. (He said). There was nothing to say. Yeah. That seems just to me, he wasn’t trying anything. He just was, and we make of it because we believe in all kinds of spiritual stuff, that he was doing something in order to get something. I don’t think he was.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I don’t think he was either. I mean, not that I knew. But you know, I would presume that maybe. I’m sure he didn’t have some kind of thing like I better sit here and in this cave for a decade, and then I’ll be ready to do something. I think he was just drawn within spontaneously and just following his natural impulse. I mean, and, you know, nature was doing it, he wasn’t. He wasn’t monkeying around.
Hans Laurentius: Yes, no purpose. Yeah, he just sat, and he wouldn’t have minded if he would have died there. Somebody dragged him out and started to feed him. He didn’t ask for food, right?
Rick: People just took it upon themselves to take care of him.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, well, yeah. And then they locked him up and all off that. And he tried to get away a few times. Well, tough luck.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I actually like your definition of meditation. I mean to, you know, to be honest, I’ve been meditating for almost 50 years. And, but the nature of it is kind of like you describe, it’s not an effort to do anything, or get any plays, or anything else is just sort of, you know, there’s a technique, there’s a practice that but it’s, it’s really a matter of just being natural sitting in presence.
Hans Laurentius: But it’s strange to use a technique for that. I know the silence is already here. If you just give your attention to this silence, you don’t need any technique. It’s already here. And it will fill up your body. Within seconds, whilst when I’m doing the technique. I’m making it of time. It’s bizarre to me.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I mean, the Buddha. I don’t know what you want to call it. But the Buddha meditated, quote, unquote, all his life, after he had his enlightenment, and I’m sure he was, the silence was already there for him all the time. But for some reason, he chose to, you know, spend some time eyes closed or whatever in meditation, just like we choose, we spend time eyes closed in sleep, it has, it has some effect to just give, allow one’s full attention to be in that as opposed to, you know, yeah, when the silence is already here. But I’m busy, active, doing things. It just has its own value. Keep doing it. Don’t worry. Some people have the same argument. Unless I don’t, you know, that could happen. But as long as it seems fruitful. Okay, I think we’ve done about that, that point went pretty well and feel free anytime. I’m going on or not going on. And if you have some thought in mind that I’m not asking just come out with it. Don’t worry about it.
Okay, this one I take possible exception with what you say burnout is never about work. It’s a spiritual crisis, not feeling and listening leaves inauthenticity, which at a certain point makes the soul scream for change. Yeah, but I mean, tell that to an elementary school teacher in the inner city who’s dealing with a, you know, very unruly classroom of kids that are just, you know, who come from, you know, very stressed, broken homes and so on. And who there’s a there’s a term for it: teacher burnout. So is that, is that a spiritual crisis, those people are going through? Or can they really be circumstance like Syria, the war is going on there for so many years, people are living in these horrible bombed out cities, and they all suffer from PTSD and all kinds of psychological problems, just because of the sheer stress of it. Are they not feeling or listening? Are they? Are they inauthentic? Or are there really legitimate situations in which one can get burned out by circumstances?
Hans Laurentius: It could be, but I would only know if I were to talk to the individual, before I could say anything about it, when the teacher, when we started about the burnout thing would come to me. I know for sure that within 10 minutes, I could point out a few things or he will become aware of a few things from before, for instance, in his relationship that would become clear that he’s in a relationship he doesn’t want to be in, but he just keeps going along with it. Or he had a signal, stop this work or stop working for so many hours or whatever. And because of fear, he just moved on. I’m sure of this because I’ve had people here from different walks of life, who seemed burned out, and there was always something going on signals that they had ignored, you know, but because of fear or money or whatever (they kept going). But I cannot answer things in big generalizations about people in Aleppo, I never go there. So, I don’t know what is happening, or it’s difficult to say.
Rick Archer: That’s a really good point, actually. I mean, I think that there are some generalizations one can make about Aleppo or, you know, that town in Baghdad that just got liberated from ISIS, I forget the name of it starts with an ember had been bombed for years. You know, there is a high incidence of burnout and stress and PTSD in those places.
Hans Laurentius: Obviously.
Rick Archer: But the point you’re making, I mean, there might be, there might be teachers who thrive in an inner-city classroom, because it’s like, their dharma, you know, it’s what they should be doing. They’re good at it, they love it. Whereas others are just doing it for the salary and they maybe really should be doing something else.
Hans Laurentius: Yes, exactly. A lot of people are burned out because they’re not where they ought to be and are doing things that they don’t want to do. Yeah, well, or are in relationships they don’t want to be in or have trouble in the families that they really want to get rid of. But they are scared to say something or, you know, when we believe to be a separate entity, the trouble is coming for free with it.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Hans Laurentius: It’s always the case, because this basic misunderstanding is the cause of a lot of trouble, including war.
Rick Archer: Yeah, explain how that is the case. I think I know what you mean. But how would you say its causes war.
Hans Laurentius: On a simple level, if I don’t believe in separateness, and I really feel that you and I are not to two, I wouldn’t… The thought wouldn’t come up to hurt you or steal something from you. That would be insane. Because I wouldn’t be stealing from myself. That’s bizarre.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I was gonna bring that point up. Talking about compassion. You know, we were talking about cutting your finger. I mean, Jesus said, you know, love your neighbor as yourself. Well, the key to that, obviously, is seeing your neighbor as yourself, and then you’re gonna love him, right? You would no more attack them, then you would, you know, attack yourself.
Hans Laurentius: Well, when this separateness drops away, it is impossible to hate for instance. It is impossible to say another group of individuals are inferior, it just wouldn’t come up you know, so. But from the separate standpoint, these people are bad, and we are good. And my God is better than your God. It’s all imagined! But we don’t want to look at that. You know, I believe in Santa Claus, and you don’t, so you gotta die… Pfff. It’s tragic and funny at the same time.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I like that point. I think that there’s a certain this whole thing about my way is the best and everybody else is going to hell. There’s a certain sort of insecurity beneath that I think, there’s this ego aggrandizement that, you know, of course, my thing has got to be the best, and they hang on to that and everything else threatens it. So, there’s an antagonism for sure. Okay, good point. I like this next point: self-inquiry is for internal use only, not for beating others down or to be used as an excuse for lousy behavior. Good one.
Hans Laurentius: Thank you. It’s kind of related with the previous points, you know, with the Advaita Bible, or the holy book, or the Quran. We can use these books for any purpose, any ego purpose, you can always find a quote to excuse yourself, or to diminish somebody or to whatever, to make up excuses or motivations for your egocentric activity. So that’s what people do. It’s not the books themselves, the books don’t matter. But that’s what we do. We will excuse ourselves and do horrible things and then rationalize it. So, I think it’s important when we’re doing this inquiry and are discovering something in myself (like) lovelessness or egocentrism, I shouldn’t immediately run to my wife or whatever and say, You are egotistical because it’s working this way. And you should look into that. This happens a lot. My previous partner, I forced her, I tried to force her into self-inquiry, because it was working for me, but she was learning in a different way. Yeah, it took me a little while to figure it out. My Way wasn’t better. It was just different. And it suited me. You know? So…
Rick Archer: Yeah, there’s this phrase, the Advaita police, you’ve probably heard that, where people are kind of…? It kind of came out of the whole Papaji crowd where, you know, people were all laying trips on others for not being non-dual enough or not using the right terminology. Like, you know, you couldn’t say, you know, please pass the salt without somebody saying, Who wants the salt? That kind of thing?
Hans Laurentius: Oh, there we go. There we go. Oh, my God, it’s even worse than I thought.
Rick Archer: I think maybe that doesn’t happen so much anymore. But it was a lot of people made jokes about Jeff Foster, he made this real funny visit video of these cartoon characters having a walk and one says: look at the beautiful tree and, and he and the other character says there is no tree, there is no beauty. You know? Yeah, this whole thing.
Rick Archer: I don’t know if you would have (Hans coughing loudly) Oh, you got to stop smoking, man. It’s gonna kill you… So, here’s a question that came in, you know, feel free. If you have no experience with this. If you just say I don’t know, we’ll move on. But a fella named Jared from St. Paul, Minnesota in the US asks, can you describe some experiences with Kundalini? If you have had any? If so, do you have any tips to deal with the side effects?
Hans Laurentius: I could describe those experiences, but I’m not really interested in it. And I would really be very careful with all this kind of stuff. Usually because of the dangers of it. Usually, it’s an ego who wants something and tries to release all these energies. And all kinds of accidents, energetic accidents can happen.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Hans Laurentius: So, I wouldn’t go there. If there’s some if it already, if it is already happened, just try to feel what happens without involvement without trying to fix anything. The energy system is pure intelligence. It knows what to do and when to do it. And in which succession, and all this energetic stuff. And I’m trained in it for four years. So trust me, all this, working with it, it’s ego manipulation of the system. We don’t understand. It is clever, so please leave it to its own device. Things will happen in the right succession at the right time. Relax. Don’t meddle with that.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think that’s good advice. I mean, particularly, I would warn against doing something like intense Pranayama or seem to try to awaken your Kundalini. Yes, yes, you might get that right.
Hans Laurentius: It shouldn’t do that. It would be better to investigate. Why do I want this? What do I want from it? What am I trying to get rid of? Or what am I trying to get? Investigate into what you want to get? Or get rid of that is far more productive than fucking with your energy system. You don’t know what you’re doing. And the energy guys who try to will try to help you they don’t know either.
Rick Archer: Unfortunately, there are some people who actually haven’t done anything they haven’t been interested in spirituality haven’t done spiritual practices, and yet they have some kind of Kundalini awakening. And they don’t even know what it is when it first happens, but it really messes up their lives. Do you have any advice for them?
Hans Laurentius: The same, try to feel what happens, just be aware of it, and allow it to restructure itself. Don’t panic, but it all depends on how scared you are or how mature you are, or whatever. And other things that happened in life. But don’t try to forcefully fix it, because there’s so much violence in these so-called spiritual techniques, trying to awaken something when it’s not the time yet. Or trying to calm my system when it doesn’t want to become calm, you know, it’s it sounds spiritual. It feels like violence to me. I would want to know why (it’s not calm or anything). For instance, you have the thing of grounding and the ‘need to be grounded’. Then people are doing all kinds of exercises to be grounded. Instead of investigating why doesn’t my system want to be here?
Rick Archer: How would you investigate?
Hans Laurentius: Just a second. I’m trying to force a system which is afraid to really be here. Now, I’m trying to force it to be here. And we call it spiritual. Oh my god, I would look in into it and try to ask myself, honestly, or somebody who has a clearer mind, what is going on that I’m afraid to really be here. There’s a cause, if the cause (or reason) is removed, I will just be here and I don’t need to ground. You know, when my heater is leaking? I’m not filling it up with water every day, I will look where the leak is. Yeah? Otherwise, I will have to do grounding exercises, until the end of time, why would I want to do that? Pushing a ball under the water. Good. I like that one. As soon as I stop my effort, it will jump up again.
Rick Archer: So, it sounds like as a general principle, you’re not a big fan of effort, you know, any kind of force or unnaturalness. That’s, that can be, we’ve established that. And I agree with you on that for what it’s worth. And you’re also an advocate of bringing awareness or attention to things, rather than deflecting it or avoiding it in any way. And that’s worked for you. Works for your students.
Hans Laurentius: Yes. And only when they’re ‘there’. If you can really see for yourself that running away avoiding deflecting is not working, then the maturity will come to stop it. Only once it is really seen, (and) not because you ‘want to’. Because if you only ‘understand’ this (verbally), and you want to stop it, you won’t (be able to). But if you have really seen it, Understood where it capital U, it will drop away. Because in that moment, it’s (really) clear to you that it is insane to prolong a strategy that bears no fruit. Only once it is seen.
Rick Archer: To get a concrete example, can you think of an instance with one of your students, if you call them students who had something of some sort, and you know, they were avoiding or suppressing or doing something like that, and then the problem was persisting? And you help them kind of see it clearly for the first time maybe? And you know, resolve it. Can you think of an example of something like that just to make the whole thing more clear to people?
Hans Laurentius: Well, a very clear example a little while back somebody doing coke. And I suppose no more. Okay, I have no moral issue with that. But we talked about what was going on. And she could see at a certain moment that there were certain times that she liked to do that. So, I suggested to her, Okay, now stop and just look at it, at what is happening. So, when you feel it, when you feel the urge coming, just say to your ego, you will get it in an hour. But now I’m going to look and feel what is actually happening. And she could face a certain unrest or restlessness coming up. And it had to deal with some relational stuff. And she could look at it and didn’t run away from it and felt it completely. And the urge to use slowly dropped away.
Rick Archer: That’s a good one. Cool. Yeah, that’s cool.
Hans Laurentius: If you just say, I shouldn’t use it anymore, or it’s good or bad to use whatever, chocolate, TV, music, whatever, then you make a conflict out of it. But you can also postpone it and just look at it, feel it, investigate into it. And maybe you’ll have a surprise insight or something changes. She understood it really.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think, I’m not sure, but I think with Alcoholics Anonymous, for instance, they don’t come in there and just say, all right, I’m never going to do this again, my whole life. It’s more like you live each day at a time each moment at a time. And you don’t worry about tomorrow, but today, it’s the time you have to deal with.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, and that’s basically true. So, people come because I’ve had anxiety attacks or something for a long time. So, they will start telling me I am having this for 10 years. It’s not true. You’re not in a panic attack of 10 years, something like that doesn’t exist. You have to deal with a panic attack if it’s there right now, what are you doing with it? Do you place it in time immediately and make a huge problem out of it? Or is it just the energy moving at this moment? Can you look at it without judgment, even without the label of fear, because when we say fear, it’s already in the ‘bad corner’. So, the other day, or a few days ago, we had (somebody over with) fear, and we could look at it together without the mind commenting. And he started smiling. Because what he was feeling was a very lively, powerful energy moving. He liked it. But before it was labeled fear, so yeah, and that’s making my life difficult and whatever. But when looking at it without all the stories, it was just powerful, lively, it was life force! It’s not a problem.
Rick Archer: That’s good. Kind of reminds me a little bit of Byron Katie, and just loving what is and not embellishing it with all kinds of stories and complications.
Hans Laurentius: Yes. But we probably…. I don’t know what the word is in English. Never mind. Okay. We’ll make a problem out of everything.
Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah. People know what you mean by that. There’s a there’s a teacher in Australia named Sailor Bob Adams. And I think he has this phrase of “what’s wrong with right now, Unless you think about it?” You know?
Hans Laurentius: Well, there you go.
Rick Archer: Okey. So let’s see. Oh, that’s interesting. This is the next little point I was gonna read here summarizes what you just been saying. Reality is never a problem until we start to project our beliefs, fears, expectations and judgments onto it. Well, yeah, that’s the point. Okay. Here’s another one: You are far too much interested in solutions. And in the meantime, it is your mind, what you believe, who is creating the trouble in the first place?
Hans Laurentius: Right. That’s another thing when one observes one own mind. Mind is a very fun word to me: to mind. You know, I have something against something. That’s what it means. So, this I think is funny, whatever. But what is here is never the issue, you know, any situation is value-less, there was no value. Until I start projecting a value into it. This is good, this is bad. This is beneficial, this is…, you know? So it’s basically the past, giving commentaries on what is present. And then we run away from the situation to the future where the solution may be. So, we’re always moving away from the issue at hand. So, we don’t look at the issue (itself), investigate into what it IS, no, we (immediately) look for a solution. It’s always over there. And that’s why a lot of people don’t learn. But become very good at moving away from what-is in terms of solutions, or distractions, or comfort, or whatever. And the core problem just remains and keeps making problems. And the essence, of course, I am a separate being…
Rick Archer: I won’t even comment on that, cos that’s good. I’ll just read your next point. You say: Unresolved issues keep you from being truly present and real. Really, all these points are related. Avoidance is one of the most weakening attributes of identification with the mind. Can you ever get to the bottom of it? I mean, is there ever going to be a complete resolution of issues? Or is there a never-ending supply of them to look at and resolve?
Hans Laurentius: Ah, that’s a good question. What I am, how I experienced it, or experiencing it now (is like this): sometimes things arise (in me), but it’s never perceived as a problem. So, there is no interest in a solution. And some tendencies of this Hans-character, remain, and some others might change. There is no (interest in) self-improvement here. I don’t know if I’m making sense.
Rick Archer: I think you are. I think, I don’t know, it’s another one of those paradoxical catch 22 kind of things. And maybe it has to be, maybe it’s important like, which is the cart in which is the horse, you know? I mean, there was a Zen story about this student who was, you know, kind of sitting and meditating and meditating and meditating. And the teacher came and picked up a tile or something, it was his floor tile, and he started polishing it, polishing it. And, you know, the students, obviously, thought what are you doing that for so long? Trying to make it into a mirror? He said: You’ll never make it until you get the floor tile can’t become a mirror. So, there’s something about, you know, trying to endlessly improve or fix the relative situation, which is inherently. Yeah, it’s relative.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, it’s infinite. But then the relative is infinite (per definition). And it’s not like, awakening is not the product of cleaning up. So, there are a lot of schools, obviously, of purification and energetic cleansing and whatever. And if you’re clean enough, you will awaken, but it isn’t like that! Which does not mean that in some stages of somebody’s life, some cleaning up could be useful. Of course it could. But it’s not when I’m 80%, clean, that thing will click, and I will know, I have never existed. It’s not like that.
Rick Archer: Yeah, here’s what you said about that. In one of your articles, you mentioned two requirements. The recognition of true nature, for the recognition of true nature, a suitable energy system to let the recognition sink through, is valuable. So, in that sense, you know, we’re saying that there is some value to you know, Jesus said, don’t pour new wine into old wineskins. You know, there is some value in having an energy system, a nervous system that is suitable for, for the realization. I mean, if you’re doing cocaine every day or something, probably you’re hampering your chances or your ability to have that realization. You say, for most people, it’s best to both to walk both paths, ripening the energy system, which is becoming conscious and cleaning up and exposing yourself to direct teaching or experience. So, it’s kind of a both thing?
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, at least for a while, for a while. What’s the danger for you? The danger, of course is the cleansing thing. And the maturing thing is that we will get attached to that make it
Rick Archer: …an endless project.
Hans Laurentius: Yes. Yeah. And oh, well, that’s fun. And if that’s, that needs to happen, alright. I won’t complain. But it’s the danger of death. The danger of only using the other side is that people have a tendency to avoid real issues. Because it’s not Advaitic. And those haven’t to do anything with it. And beating my wife doesn’t have to do anything with it. Well…(try to that when I’m present)
Rick Archer: Yeah, there’s no wife. And you know, yes, yes,…
Hans Laurentius: Exactly! Which is a bunch of bollocks, right, because it is used as an excuse. And as soon as we use a quote, which is in itself true, but we use it as an excuse, it becomes untrue. Because it’s never the words, obviously. I’m not saying to myself, that there is no separate being, you know? It’s not a belief system or a conviction or a phrase or something. I’m seeing that and I started talking about it. And much to my surprise, people were interested, and it turned out to be a job. I didn’t know that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah. So, in other words you’re not just (living) for you. Both in your own experience. And as a teacher, it’s not an intellectual concept or something and you can’t live it on the basis of merely a concept any more than you can nourish yourself by thinking about food, you know, exactly. Yeah. It’s an experiential thing. Yes. You say, sorry, no, you continue…
Hans Laurentius: Well, just as much as somebody (right) now may believe, of course, “I’m a separate individual”, when, which is true for most people, it’s deep, this conviction. There’s no way around it. Well, when it flips, the other thing is just a solid. There’s no way to doubt it. It’s crystal clear and amazing that the others don’t see. But you cannot fake it. I cannot put together separateness anymore. Will never happen. I will always see the cracks and will start laughing. So…
Rick Archer: Yeah, good point. You make a point here that there are two sides to ripening, before awakening, and after. So, I think we’ve talked quite a bit about for in terms of, you know, the process you went through of looking at stuff rather than avoiding it, and so on. And then what would be the nature of it after awakening?
Hans Laurentius: Well, we talked about Nisargadatta. And one of his statements in a certain situation where somebody awakened in his presence. And he said something like, ‘hmm yeah, it’s a mango, but it still needs to ripen, you cannot eat it yet.’ So, what you see… And what I’ve also seen happening over the past 20 years, when people are waking up. But it’s all shaky, and still flimsy and unstable. And they will jump to conclusions and some old tendencies will have to die out or I don’t know how you say that, will have to pan out. So, I usually say especially when they have an inclination to start talking to friends or whatever: shut up for a year or two or three or whatever. Just let it sink in and don’t burn all the energy immediately by talking about it, because well, that’s what unripe mangoes tend to do. So, so that’s, and I can see now in myself in my own dream life, that in the beginning, it was you know, the energy was moving all kinds of ways, and it’s much more stable or complete now. Internet. Yeah, (that’s all) done (like) 10 years ago, or whatever.
Rick Archer: And you feel like it’s an ongoing process, like five years from now you’ll say it’s more stable and complete than it was five years ago. It’s possible. I mean, has that been your experience over the past?
Hans Laurentius: Yeah. But I must say that the difference does get harder to measure. In the beginning you get the big chunks. And now there’s more, if there’s something happening, it seems more like a sort of fine tuning or…
Rick Archer: Yeah. What’s that?
Hans Laurentius: It’s all it’s all full automatic. I’m not doing anything. I’m doing nothing spiritual. I’m totally unspiritual.
Rick Archer: Yeah, by your definition…
Hans Laurentius: I think in the sense that I’m not using any spiritual problem products, barely reading (spiritual) books. Yeah, three loss. You know, I’m not mad at reading (spiritual stuff) and not doing shiatsu or whatever. I’m not doing anything (in that context).
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s just an automatic process. In fact, you say in one of your articles, the ripening after awakening is somewhat different. It’s a mostly spontaneous, continuous dismantling of all kinds of leftovers. But there is little or no resistance to this anymore because the ego has lost its dominance. Yes, yeah. Fair enough. You wrote that. Yeah. Like the, I don’t know if you ever heard there was this woman in the United States in quite a while back, who called herself Peace Pilgrim, you ever hear of her? And she just walked around? Yeah, she’s this older woman, she just walked around the country, the entire country, you know, just, you know, simple clothing and a pair of tennis shoes, and you know, no money, no nothing and completely relied upon the providence of nature and strangers and everything to serve to survive. And anyway, she in her little book, which is remarkable, she has this sort of chart of how she feels spiritual progress, content, progressives, and there’s this kind of like it’s sort of a slow rise before awakening when the ego is involved and actually interfering with it. But after awakening, it sort of rises much more dramatically when you get out of the way and let nature run the show. Yeah. Okay. I think that’s kind of what you’re saying, right?
Hans Laurentius: For a while it will do that. Yeah. And then it starts to level again. I would say nothing, for the past years, nothing much is happening.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Now, I wonder, this is a little bit of a hypothetical and provocative question. But I wonder if, if it’s leveled for you. Because in the context of what you are doing, and in the context of your life, there’s really no cause or impetus for it to rise much more. But that, theoretically, there are, you know, many degrees to which it could rise. If that were your destiny, if that were your tendency, if that were your if you had the inclination, or the desire for it, you know, that there’s a lot more possibility but in in the context of your life, you just sort of plot to plateau it off and are just living in
Hans Laurentius: Maybe, I don’t know. But from my perspective, complete is complete. I cannot take anything off or add to it if anything has to change in my dream life. Okay, yeah, if life says go that way or drop this or whatever, okay! You know, so in that sense, things on the surface of my life have changed. My mother got demented. Somebody died, you know, that kind of stuff. But it doesn’t distract anything from this completeness or add to it. So that’s more what I mean.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s very well put. It’s like in mathematics, you know, if you have infinity, you can add something to it or subtract something to it. But it’s still infinity, you know, doesn’t change. Essential nature?
Hans Laurentius: That? Yes, yes. And that’s always present and always here, and always effortless. So…
Rick Archer: Here’s another point. I’m just thinking. These are just little things as I was reading all of your essays that I thought, that’s interesting! I’ll talk about that. So, I copied and pasted it into a file. Okay. So, here’s another one that jumped out at me, you said, fulfillment is the result of not doing the simple and direct experience of, for lack of better words, an energetic conscious space that is already there. The direct relaxation and being now. So, fulfillment. Do you consider yourself fulfilled? You feel fulfilled?
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, the fulfillment is here. I’m not sure. So, always Yeah. Does that mean that this Hans-character is always happy or never grumpy? No, of course not. But then… that happens in this fulfillment, or completeness, or infinity, like you just said, so there’s no resistance on being grumpy. And there’s no resistance in being happy.
Rick Archer: Do you prefer happiness to grumpiness? Oh, whatever happens.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah. And I must say when grumpiness would totally go, I might miss it. (ha-ha) Because I like the energy.
Rick Archer: What about your partner? How’s your partner liking you best? Grumpy or happy?
Hans Laurentius: Hm. It depends on where she’s grumpy or happy. (smile)
Rick Archer: Ha-ha. So, like, what have you… what if you get sick? What if you get like pneumonia or bronchitis or something like that? Do you know? I mean, do you feel in some sense less fulfilled less?
Hans Laurentius: No, no, I have a hernia. Well, it hurts. Yeah. But it doesn’t affect my mood. And it certainly doesn’t affect Completeness. Because completeness is completeness – it has no backbone so it cannot have a hernia, it’s only the body, yeah? You know, and it’s, you know, I think when a body gets older, it has these little things.
Rick Archer: Sure, things happen.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, well, I don’t care basically.
Rick Archer: Here’s another one thing for people listening in. Remember that you can send in questions if you want. There’s a question forum under upcoming interviews on BatGap dot com, down at the bottom of that page. Here’s another little statement (of yours) that jumped out at me. There’s a big difference between love and need. I think this is actually kind of a big one actually, which we could talk about for a few minutes. What do you have to say to elaborate on that?
Hans Laurentius: When you listen to a lot of the pop songs: “I love you, and I can’t live without you and you, you make me feel complete”. That’s not love! That’s nice in the sense of you needing something (or somebody) to feel secure or complete, or someone giving you attention or making you feel good about yourself. That’s need. And when it’s about oh, let’s do this or that baby, baby that’s called being horny (that’s wanting someone – not loving someone). Well, there’s nothing wrong with being horny, but let’s not call it making love! It’s got nothing to do with it. I cannot “make love”. Love is what you are, love is for me another word for consciousness or beingness. And it doesn’t do exclusivity. Or (like) if you love me, you would, or wouldn’t do this or that, which is emotional blackmail, not love! Yeah, so Love doesn’t ask questions, it doesn’t set limits, doesn’t tell you what to do, or what not to do, or how to behave. That’s not love. That’s the ego trying to force you or somebody else. So, I call that need. And it’s a big thing mistaking love for need.
Rick Archer: One way to explain it would be to say that love is characterized by a tendency to give without expectation of return whereas need is primarily focused on getting something.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, that’s true. The ego is always giving or taking but (in) love there is there is no separateness, so there’s nothing to give or take. Because it’s like the ocean (metaphor) again, it doesn’t give its water to the to the wave. It is the wave. Yeah? It’s not divided.
Rick Archer: And if a river flows into it, it doesn’t become more ocean, like, it’s still the ocean.
Hans Laurentius: Yes, it’s not (giving of receiving anything, it’s always complete). And it didn’t make any effort to get the river. Yeah, like: ‘I’m gonna get you to be with me.’
Rick Archer: (It never feels like) without this river… (I would be lost)
Hans Laurentius: God, that would be insane. Yeah. So, to love, switch away the ‘me’. You know, and that’s it, that is what truth does. And freedom does. It’s the absence of (the) ‘me’.
Rick Archer: Well, just to take a personal example, it’s hypothetical, but, you know… how do you feel like… you have a partner, yes? She seems like a very nice person. Presumably, you love her? And what would you… how would you feel if she decided to leave and fell in love with somebody else? Would there be any sort of lack or attachment or anything like that? Or would you, would the fullness really not be impacted by that?
Hans Laurentius: It would be weird to say anything about it until it’s done (there)…
Rick Archer: Till it happens. So, you don’t know anything like that in the past since your awakening?
Hans Laurentius: Yeah. And then it surprised me. In what way? Then something like, agitated it for a week or so?
Rick Archer: Yeah. You thought…
Hans Laurentius: Oh, no, no, no. Don’t think I had that confusion. But just I felt this shard (broken piece of glass) in my heart and was looking at it, (feeling into it). Oh, okay!? The thought was there, but I never made that conclusion that it would not touch me anymore or something like that. But there was turmoil and the immediate tendency was to look at it (be with it). So after a some days or a week or so, but not constantly over a week, it came up and went in. And then… it was done.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I suspect you must have processed it a lot faster than many people would because you already have “that”. That tendency, you know, to look at things and really just not avoid them. Just go into them.
Hans Laurentius: Yes. Yes. Resolve them (right away). Yeah. Because some people are looking to avoid it. I would even say, especially in an earlier period of (my) inquiry, I tried to make it make it as hard as possible for me. So, if I was afraid of something, I would just blow up the story and see what would come. So, you’re in love with somebody, or you have a wife (or husband), and you imagine her (or him) doing the whole hockey team. And see what happens – instead of, “I don’t hope she will fall in love with somebody”. Just when something happens, just picture it as bad as possible. If you can handle it (that is), and just feel through it. Just look at it, feel it!
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s an interesting technique.
Hans Laurentius: But then you’re done, you’re done pretty quickly. If you can take it. So, you know, there has to be awareness, space, to be able to do that.
Rick Archer: Yes, there’s strength or capacity. It’s not for everyone. Right? But essentially, I’ll think about that one, I may use it myself, exaggerate it… and yes, yeah.
Hans Laurentius: And if you if you picture that stuff, anything (“bad”), a few times, at its worst, and you can really stay with it, and just look at it and feel it, all the tension will drop away, after a few times. No more, fear is gone. Gone, that’s why I’m more an advocate of self-confrontation, then for all this ‘feel good stuff’. I feel good when it’s true. And when it’s free, that is good! Not to make me feel good. I can have a couple of beers to make me feel good. For an hour. I know. And then it doesn’t. It’s not bringing anything…
Rick Archer: Here’s a paragraph that’s a little longer. I’m gonna read it. And you can talk about it. You say the danger in saying “There is no person” and “Everything is consciousness” is that we leave everything the way it is and unwittingly stay in our comfort zone and continue to take part in an old system that’s essentially anti-living and has devastating effects on as well our human nature as well as on nature, human relations, as well as nature. Focusing solely on the outer world is tricky as well. Let’s find the middle ground and rediscover acting justly based on Consciousness, and experiencing all from great peace, keeping an eye on what’s needed in our environment, acting out of love, ever generous and realizing we are not separated from Earth, or our social environment, the world. So, the reason I copied that one is that it’s, it’s a point about really, the implications. I think of spirituality or awakening for the world, and worldly problems, such as the environment and all kinds of other problems in the world social problems. And, you know, sometimes people polarize that one, and think that, the two really have no relationship to one another and that spiritual people think. They just want to focus on that. Activists think that spirituality is some kind of escape sitting there with your eyes closed. But I think you’re saying that you’re advocating a more comprehensive, inclusive thing where you elaborate on it, I’ve said enough?
Hans Laurentius: Well, to make it simple, we have two eyes. And I would say, the true adult human being would use one eye for the world and one eye for infinity. And maybe we need to wake up twice: to our true nature and to how systems are working in the world. And I know that I am also my surroundings. So, if that’s not separate, I will not throw acid in the in the yard, or in the forest. Because it’s my own backyard, wherever it is. You know, it’s insane. Not morally bad. It’s just weird. So, if there was a real change in this, the dropping away of the feeling of separateness I expect, but maybe I’m wrong, but it would also adjust how we live or how we deal with the environment, with nature, with other people. Like I said in the beginning, when I really know (not when I just think it), but when I really know I am you, I will not attack you, or steal your car, ‘cos that’s weird. You know, so it should have an effect. Not that this is the goal. But it’s a byproduct.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and an important one. I think you’re right. I mean, I ride around town on my bicycle a lot to small town. And I like getting the exercise and, you know, seeing things people have thrown on the street, cigarette packs, and bottles and stuff like that. And I usually can’t help but stop and pick them up and put them in baskets and bring them home and recycle them just because it’s I don’t like it’s like, that doesn’t belong. And if the environment is me, that doesn’t belong in me. And the people who put it there are having insensitivity to the environment, they’re not seeing it in a unified way.
Hans Laurentius: Exactly. So, we walk the dog, we live in the forest, or on the on the verge of a forest. And we walk the dog every day. And we pick up stuff too. And sometimes even purposely take it back with us because well, there’s always bottles and cans or couches and stuff, we can’t take with us, and then we call somebody (to collect it). Yeah, that’s, that’s weird (littering), from my perspective. But I also understand that these people that do that, well, they can’t be blamed for not feeling one with the rest, because that’s not their awareness. You know, so what I said earlier, there is no hate towards this. A little sadness (or irritation), though…
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think you have a really good point, though. I mean, there are many people who fear for the continuation of the human race, because there’s so much damage being done to the environment, and so on. And if there is some kind of more widespread spiritual awakening taking place, which seems to me there is, then maybe this is nature’s way of nature’s antidote to what we’ve been doing, and it’s going to, hopefully create a mass psychology that will be much more sensitive to Mother Earth and won’t consider it merely a resource that is inexhaustible, which is not. Yeah.
Hans Laurentius: I don’t believe that, but…
Rick Archer: You don’t believe that’ll happen? No, why not? It’s you’re an example of it in your own life. And you know, what if you…
Hans Laurentius: No, no, no, no. Why? You talk to these kind of people (awakened of spiritual) You know, you don’t talk to the hooligan who likes to smash somebody’s jaw.
Rick Archer: True. I haven’t. No, there’s
Hans Laurentius: No, there’s more of them! Ha-ha.
Rick Archer: There is, you know, but there’s so many things that have changed in society over the years that you didn’t think it was going to happen. I mean, you know, racial segregation. Yeah, that, but I mean, you know, huge, dry strides in racial segregation. Most of the US cities in the south have black mayors now, whereas before, you know, they wouldn’t even be allowed to use the same bathroom. And, you know, gay marriage, and just all kinds of things that have just changed, and people never thought that would happen. So…
Hans Laurentius: Okay, great. Good for you. I’m not pessimistic either.
Rick Archer: Now, ha-ha, we should pray for that.
Hans Laurentius: I wouldn’t..
Rick Archer: I’m just joking.
Hans Laurentius: I know. And I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t really, mind so much, if humanity got in extinct. Who cares? The dinosaurs are gone. Yeah. You know, it’s not it’s not about humans. Right. It’s the big maybe, maybe the planet is better off without us. I don’t know.
Rick Archer: And there will be time there will come a time when that happens. I mean, it might be a long ways off might not Yeah,
Hans Laurentius: It will happen if we believe the universe and time to be true. I’m told The Sun has an expiration date. So
Rick Archer: It does, in 5 billion years it’ll expand and the earth will melt. So, we’ll have a real serious global warming problem… ha-ha
Hans Laurentius: Ha-ha. And it won’t help to flee to Mars.
Rick Archer: Now a couple of questions have come in. Here’s one from Okay, Pamela in Madrid. She’s saying that you say in some one of your writings: Becoming aware isn’t necessarily pleasant. But that it will always bring clarity and she asks: What is clarity? Can you explain the difference?
Hans Laurentius: The difference between…?
Rick Archer: Between pleasantness I think and clarity.
Hans Laurentius: Well, clarity is clear. And pleasantness is pleasant.
Rick Archer: So, in other words, awakening might bring clarity to some unpleasantness.
Hans Laurentius: Yes, for instance, like we talked about already, when you’re face to face with your own aggression, for instance, or having to be right, it can become clearer to you that you’re doing that and why you’re doing that and all that it entails, and that is unpleasant. But in this clarity, when you stay with it, it may drop away. And then this clarity may become pleasant. Yeah, but it called for confrontation. Well, sometimes I make this strange equation: you live in a half dark room all the time, and all of a sudden the light goes on, then you will see the mess very clearly. So, there’s a lot of clarity, but it’s also a mess. Yeah? Where she put a lot of stuff under the carpet and the corners. And you wouldn’t be seeing that because the room was half dark. Now the light has come. Okay! Then you see how you live, and where you live? What you’re doing, what you’re attached to, what you’re trying to get? It might be a shocker.
Rick Archer: Yeah, but you couldn’t clean up the room until you had the light on? Yes, exactly. Yeah. And it’s got to be a nicer room to live in once you’ve cleaned it up.
Hans Laurentius: Yes. Or maybe the lights go on. And you get that you should get out (of there)!. That’s also a possibility. Don’t just make it to into a nice room, but just go!
Rick Archer: What would that relate to in terms of the metaphor? Leaving the room? I don’t know, just sounds more like building.
Hans Laurentius: No, no, not trying to rebuild something. That’s another thing. It’s not like, you’re somebody and then you’re awakened to be somebody who’s going for different goals. You know, the becoming falls away. There’s only Prescence. Not the whole thing of becoming (something). So, getting a better room in this metaphor, is still a becoming a working on something. But when awakening is complete, there is no working on whatever in a psychological or spiritual sense. It might be working in your garden or on your car or with your synthesizer. But (for) you there’s no becoming. There’s no goal. I’m not going anywhere! (Or becoming anything or trying to achieve anything).
Rick Archer: Things are kind of running on automatic, more…
Hans Laurentius: Yes, yes. And Ramana Maharshi. We talked about him earlier, he had one quote that I love very much: Your job is to be, not to be this or that. That sums it up quite nicely. So, usually things (music for instance) may occur. But it’s not the goal to produce a song or be a musician or whatever. The music came back seven, eight years ago, and CD-albums and songs (and soundscapes) started to emerge. And they patched themselves together and became some homemade CDs. Things were written and recorded and were called a book. But I never sat down to write a book.
Rick Archer: You didn’t feel like the doer? No… yeah…
Hans Laurentius: When I’m truthful, I never feel I’m doing anything. And in the instances that I ‘do’ something is it off. Because ‘work’ in my dictionary means effort, means forcing.
Rick Archer: Do you ever have situation and I don’t know… You ever have situations that are that you have a difficult decision to make? Or it kind of has moral implications or something and you’re weighing this versus that and you don’t know what to do? Do you ever do that kind of thing or the way you function? It’s just doesn’t work that way anymore?
Hans Laurentius: Well, what when such a thing arises? There’s an automatic stepping out of it. Because when I want to have clear what to do I must not be part of the equation. I don’t know if this makes sense…
Rick Archer: I think it does. So, then what happens? You just wait and see what how it’s gonna work out. And then eventually the right thing kind of presents itself for what?
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, I know that I will know what to do when it’s necessary. And when I don’t know, it’s probably not the moment to know. So, I don’t worry about it. Okay? Good. But if you get involved, then your fears and desires and whatnot, get mixed into the situation. And then clarity is out of the question. So, what works best? And it’s not something that I do, but it just happens. There’s a sort of zooming out. And all interests drop away. And then there’s just this energetic constellation, this situation, and the right thing, or one of the right things will occur. And because everything is already complete, it basically doesn’t matter if it goes that way or another. I’m not losing anything or gaining anything. Yeah? So, it basically doesn’t matter. But not in an indifferent (egoic) manner. But because there are more right actions possible on any subject. Yeah?
Where did it go? Oh, it thinks this is right. And that is wrong. No, the more what, when you see it in musical terms, you can do a bass line on a synthesizer, or a bass guitar, or Eric, my friend could do it on his trumpet, or could just hum it. Those are all baseline possibilities. But sometimes, this sounds nice. And the other time that sounds nice, but that there’s a song coming up in itself is nice, but it’s not important! If it doesn’t get recorded, the stars won’t drop from the sky. You know? We always exaggerate our own importance and what we do. We make it so. It’s not what we’re used to, because consciousness likes to entertain itself. So, (there’s just) a guy over there, a guy over here, and we’re talking about this ‘importance stuff’ like that….
Rick Archer: There’s this there’s a saying I heard once, which is that humility is the quality of not insisting that things happen any particular way.
Hans Laurentius: Yes, yes. Very good, yes. And it’s also very nice that when you like something to happen in a certain way, and then it turns out different and it’s much more beautiful than you could have imagined…
Rick Archer: Very good point. Yeah. You know, you had a limited expectation. Yeah, good point. Okay, here’s another question that came in. This one is from Amanda from Tampa, Florida. She asks, how can you describe how creativity and the creative process are linked with consciousness? You’re a creative guy, you’re a musician, so it’s a good one for you? How would you describe that? Have you become more creative do you think as a result of awakening?
Hans Laurentius: Ehm… Less egoic. So, when I made music when I was in my teens or early 20s I was much more scared to let somebody hear something that ‘I made’ or wanted rewards for it. Because it was ‘cool’. That’s not there anymore. So, it has become more free. But again, I’m not 20 anymore. And I don’t want anything from it. I don’t have to perform (or make a living from music). I wouldn’t even want to. I’m not looking for YouTube hit or whatever. You know, it’s just something I sometimes like to do and so (Rick’s dog barking in the background) Hihi, Doggy. So, creativity is more often than not ego based. And that’s a shame, but I understand it, but it’s mostly somebody who wants to make something or and then show off. My girlfriends calls a lot of music, me-too music (I wanna be famous too, music). If you catch the drift? That’s not the love for music, but it’s the love for fame, for instance, you know, so there are different levels. So, the Freer it is, the more creative it is, I think. Whether it’s nicer, that’s something else entirely. It’s a matter of taste, maybe, or whatever. But if there’s nothing in the way it can flow really freely. The dangerous is, the other side of it is, there is no necessity. You know, when I thought I was somebody, I had to make music. Now, I don’t. Because the energy that comes when I hear a melody or a lyric or whatever, there has to be a lot of energy in it, to make me go to the recorder or the little studio to do it. Because there are no egoic needs to make something. So that’s been bad for music last year, because I didn’t do anything. I did buy a nice (extra) synthesizer though (A Sequential Prophet 6). But I didn’t record anything, because I don’t feel it now. Yeah, I don’t know if it’s an answer to the question at all.
Rick Archer: I think it’s a good answer. And Susan, can Amanda follow up if she wants to, but, um, yeah, and then occurred to me, as you’re speaking that maybe, you know, ‘me too music’ would appeal to ‘me too people’ and, you know, the kind of music that’s made (that way). Without ego would appeal to people who are more without ego, maybe it’s sort of an affinity thing, you know, like attracts like…
Hans Laurentius: Maybe. I really don’t know. And when I look at what has been recorded the past seven years, there is some instrumental electronic stuff that you could call meditative. But that’s also hard rock or folk music or experimental Jazzy weird shit. So, I don’t know if it has anything to do with what I want to say about this awakening thing. (It’s not ‘awakening music’, or anything spiritual).
Rick Archer: Sure. I think I know how you’re going to answer this next question. But let’s see. Susan from New York asks: Would you be able to describe your thoughts about what happens to individual consciousness after death? Does the individual continue?
Hans Laurentius: No! Oh…(sighing) there’s is no individual (now) already. So…
Rick Archer: So, that’s not how I thought you were gonna answer it. I thought you were gonna say, I don’t know. So, okay, so then by that token, you would think that reincarnation is not the way things work? Something there is…
Hans Laurentius: Yes, so what do we call an ego or mind or soul? Or whatever? It’s always talk about a separate entity. There’s no such thing! That’s the illusion. Yeah, already right now, there is no separate being. So, there is no separate being to go jumping from life to life or going to Walhalla or Krishna loka or whatever. There’s no such thing. What will happen? Death is nothing else than the dropping away of the (basic) illusion. That’s all.
Rick Archer: And so, either the illusion can drop while you’re still alive, or it can drop when you die, but either way it’s gonna drop. Yes?
Hans Laurentius: Yes. And it drops every night as well. Yeah? When you sleep in the dreamless sleep state, everybody’s perfectly happy. Why? Because everything you love and hate, which you need an die for, the ‘I’ are absent. You need an ‘I’ to love and hate. Well, it all drops away that’s why everybody is really happy when they’re asleep. And still some people claim to be afraid of death! That’s insane.
Rick Archer: So, what do you make of the evidence for reincarnation and there is substantial evidence in which you know, some kid like starts describing in great detail about the fighter plane he fought he flew on and World War Two and the knows the names of his crew and all kinds of stuff. And then his parents do some research and they found that there really was such a guy and he, you know, he did I read, there’s a lot of stories like that.
Hans Laurentius: Yes, there’s a lot of stories about everything. And a nice way to look at it is like recycling. So there’s an ocean of energy, and somebody dies. So, the energy contained in this somebody gets freed. And let’s say the green strand of this energy comes somewhere, and a new organism is created. And a big part, a big chunk of this green energy comes into this new guy. And then he remembers, because he believes, like everybody else, that there’s a separate entity, he’s gonna say, I was the fighter pilot. Like there are 10,000 people who say I was Napoleon. That’s funny. Yeah? And there usually was another thing that I noticed in this energy work that I did in the ‘90s. We did also reincarnation therapy. Almost everybody, including this one, was always a king or queen, a high priest or something like that. I heard very little about farmers. Yeah? There were a lot of more rice farmers and toilet cleaners! But no, we all were magicians and very special people. Oh, man. Come on!
Rick Archer: Yeah. The woman who just asked that question, you might, if you haven’t done so you might want to watch my interview from last week with three M, who goes into great detail about all kinds of memories he has of specific past lives. And they weren’t all kings and princes, it was good. He was a prostitute. He was this, you know, all kinds of experiences that he remembers? Well, that’s I don’t know. I, it’s like, it’s not a question I want to argue with you. Because my who knows what’s I mean, I don’t have a certainty of how it actually works. I have a sort of a belief, but the belief is not any anything final. It’s just like a theory. But there’s certain, but it’s a very different worldview than you have. You know, I have this sort of progressive worldview, where there’s a sort of a progressive evolution over, you know, vast amounts of time to higher and higher levels of expression. And you just don’t see it that way. And that’s fine. And I don’t know if either of us in the context of this interview could convince the other.
Hans Laurentius: But there’s no point, no point, the only thing I could hand to people who believe in whatever, reincarnation or afterlife or whatever. If you want to learn something about this, investigate in Why do you need such a story?
Rick Archer: Well, yeah, they might try to look at it. That’s sure. There might be needy reasons for such a story.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, yeah. And maybe there was no need, but it might be that you confront in yourself, who needs to believe. Whatever.
Rick Archer: Sure, instead of this being right, there might be some motivation, that’s dependency or, you know, so forth, or fear or whatever.
Hans Laurentius: And it might be interesting, if somebody would like to do that, to see what is the basis of this story or theory, that’s one claims to believe in. Another thing I’d like to say. I know a lot of people that believe or say to believe in reincarnation, or afterlife or sitting with God, or whatever. The funny thing about it is that most of these people don’t live by it. If you would really, if they would really, really truly, totally been convinced that was the case, they would live another life. It doesn’t add up..
Rick Archer: They’d live differently than their living, you mean?
Hans Laurentius: Yes. Yes. So, I can see that it’s only on a verbal level, that they sell that story to themselves, that they believe in this and that, but it’s not, it didn’t touch the ground. It’s not complete.
Rick Archer: How do you expect the person would believe would behave or live if they you know truly believed in reincarnation, and we’re honest and not hypocritical about it?
Hans Laurentius: Eh… More complete, more in tune…
Rick Archer: More in tune?
Hans Laurentius: Less, less ego centrical. If you really believe that you could go to hell or to heaven. How do you explain to be greedy, destroying the environment, which ‘your Lord’ made? Right? You know, and it says that the meek shall inherit the earth, or you should be generous. You should love. Love thy neighbor like you love yourself. Well, ha-ha. We’ve seen in history and even today, a lot of discrimination and war mongering from our Christian or Muslim brothers.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So people are just saying…
Hans Laurentius: Yes, yes, exactly. So I don’t buy it.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah. There is reincarnation. I’m sorry, go ahead.
Hans Laurentius: I understand that they like their own sales pitch, but I’m not buying it.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Hans Laurentius: And if you keep repeating that, well, maybe these people get something out of it, obviously. But it’s very flimsy stuff.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, I mean, let’s say you go to CERN, in Geneva, and you say to the physicists working there, you know, why do you want to find the Higgs boson? You know, what’s in it for you? What’s the point of it? And they would say, Well, I just want we want to understand how the universe works. If we can find this thing, it will help us it’ll explain a lot about the way the universe actually functions are was created. So, you know, let’s say that we take reincarnation as a working hypothesis, a theory. And it might be of interest to some people, not others, to investigate that theory. And if it can be investigated to find out is that true or not? Is that really happen or not? But if we just say, No, doesn’t happen, then we’re not really being very scientific. You know, we’re just dismissing something without possibly, you know, being open to all the Explorer and all the investigation that may already have happened.
Hans Laurentius: Oh, sure. But I cannot deny what I’ve seen, or how I see things. So yeah. And that doesn’t mean that somebody else has to agree with me, I really don’t care. But I have to say if confronted with these kinds of questions, how I see it.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it just jives with your experience and your understanding. Yes, the way you say so.
Hans Laurentius: So, if it’s clear and might I say that again, that there is already no separate being, there is (obviously) nothing that can incarnate or reincarnate. There’s nothing here already!
Rick Archer: Yeah, the answer to that is if you know, I mean, you perceive things as a oneness but at the same time you have your body. I have my body your Kasia (your partner) has her body, and so on. There’s on a certain level, there’s apparent separateness, and so that in terms in terms of reincarnation, by the same token, it’s understood that just as we have separate physical, biological bodies, there’s that we have separate subtle bodies. And those separate subtle bodies can move on to another physical body when this physical body dies. That would be the mechanics of it. Now, Ultimately, with a capital U, okay, there’s no, nothing, you know, there’s no individuality. But we’re not talking about ultimately, we’re talking about a relative phenomenon.
Hans Laurentius: But also on a relative term, I think it’s a strange thing, because it would suggest that there’s some learning that would occur. Yeah? Well, I don’t see it. I’m reading a history book that has been issued last year (Silk Roads), doesn’t really matter. But you got a history of four or 5000 years, which is not so long, but still. You always see the basic things humans power hungry, greedy. Very little empathy (very little change).
Rick Archer: Yeah, same patterns keep repeating themselves.
Hans Laurentius: Well, yeah, that’s still here. So…
Rick Archer: But that doesn’t deny the possibility of an individual’s sole learning.
Hans Laurentius: One of the side theories was, like I learned in the 90s, where they all believed in the kind of stuff that there was learning. Every life experience you’re learning more and getting closer to God or whatever. I would say it’s not working.
Rick Archer: Well, you’re saying it’s not working for the species, but for individual souls, perhaps there is some evolutionary direction that takes place and progress is made. But then there’s new ones coming along, which haven’t learned the same lesson so that that although you know what Really, the general consensus though is that in many respects, we have learned a lot as a society over the over the 1000s of years. I mean, there’s it’s not considered kosher to burn people to accuse people of being witches and Birnam at the stake anymore. And there’s all kinds of all kinds of ways in which we have matured and improved as a society.
Hans Laurentius: Okay, if you say so. It’s true. It’s true. Anyway, this is one of those ups. You have you heard that there are more slaves now than in any time (before)?
Rick Archer: I have heard that history. No, you’re right. You’re right. You know, this is underground system that’s going on?
Hans Laurentius: Yes. So, we’re just more sophisticated. And we now press a button and 500 people die. And we used to go at them with clubs. Which looks a little messier. But yeah. But at least that was face to face. It’s more honest.
Rick Archer: But you and I, Hans and Rick, aren’t the guys pushing the button or clubbing people with a club?
Hans Laurentius: No, we were just talking, ha-ha.
Rick Archer: (Smiling) Maybe we were 100 lifetimes ago. But we’ve made we’ve grown out of that tendency.
Hans Laurentius: Hmmm, (giggling.)
Rick Archer: Just playing with you.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah, I know.
Rick Archer: It’s like it is one of those questions like free will that you can kind of go on and on. And philosophers have been debating for eight forever. But anyway, it’s fun.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah. It’s all very simple. Just one two. Will is never free. I want my ice cream. What’s free about that? Come on. This they really should teach this in fourth grade or something. Free and will exclude each other. There is will, yes, of course. Look around. But it’s not free. I have to be the CEO, otherwise. There’s nothing free about it. It’s all needy and pretty childish.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s a matter of degree. You know, I mean, some people are more gripped by impulses and obsessions, and others are not so much. But.
Hans Laurentius: But they didn’t make that (will)…
Rick Archer: They didn’t make this.
Hans Laurentius: In my last book is a chapter something like: you didn’t make you. You are happening. You know, you didn’t grow your nose. You’re not in control about your thoughts. You nor I can make up now what we will be thinking (or feeling) 30 seconds from now. True? So, I’m happening. I’m not in control.
Rick Archer: But like, let’s say, remember you were telling us earlier about how you kind of adopted this process of looking at things rather than avoiding them. And in so doing, you worked out a lot of stuff that you hadn’t worked out before. So that seems like it was a conscious, intentional process. And something.
Hans Laurentius: That’s what ‘my purpose’ was, I’m supposing, that this just happened. It just happened spontaneously.
I didn’t do it. It did me. It’s the other way around. And this insight came to me, right? I didn’t make, I didn’t decide to not run away anymore. It became clear that running and hiding was fruitless. And perpetuating my misery. Because I could see that my ego was telling me: if you deflect and avoid, you will be safe. And I saw it was a lie. I didn’t become safe, I stayed afraid! It was a lie. And I didn’t decide it was a lie. I saw it. Yeah, it happened.
Rick Archer: I’d think you mean something like: you had no choice and it’s just something that happened to you.
Hans Laurentius: Yes, and everything is like that. But we always project this ego fellow in that makes decisions and has a free will and whatnot. Well, I always say if you have a free will, okay. Will yourself awakened then. No, come on, choose to be awakened. Prove it. Nobody can do it. So, it’s beside the point and irrelevant.
Rick Archer: In my understanding, there’s, we have a little wiggle room, you know, I mean, there’s a certain leeway within which we can sort of guide the boat this way or guide the boat that way but we can’t just make the boat fly or you know, just suddenly turn an ocean liner 90-degree angle. There’s just there’s certain restrictions, but we have we operate within that. There are those boundaries and there’s an intentionality that we can exercise one way or the other to shift the tendencies slowly like, again, like turning an ocean liner. Okay. Here’s another question that came in. Not that I’m avoiding you to respond to that, but because that’s another one of those things we could go on all day. Mark Peters from Santa Clara, California asks: Can you describe the contrast in your relationship to your own thoughts before and after awakening?
Hans Laurentius: The difference is that I used to check in very seriously and considered the mind. And now it’s just there’s a lot of birds flying, you know, we live in the forest, but I don’t pluck out all the birds and say they’re mine. So, yeah, my bird, my thoughts (you see)? Yeah, nothing is mine, or everything is mine. So, my opinion is not better or worse than the next guys or girls. So, thoughts are quite irrelevant.
Rick Archer: That’s good. And I imagine you would say the same of actions, being a more concrete thing than thoughts, but used to be my actions. Now, it’s just sort of a more spontaneous. Yeah?
Hans Laurentius: Yes. So, one of the things that you notice on that level is, it’s very hard to be proud or feel guilty. Because you need a ‘me’, a ‘claimer’. One to be responsible for that. Right? And, again, the notion of: I could have chosen differently now, right? Shouldn’t have done that? Well, yeah. But you did. Because you are like that, you know, there’s nothing wrong with it. But we always create this super ego, that should be perfect. And some people imagine that awakening means that it’s you as a 2.0 version, a better me, a better self. But the truth is, the truth is: no self. There’s no better Hans or something. This is a dream character. It’s pretty irrelevant, basically.
Rick Archer: That’s probably a good note to end on. I was thinking of something Ramana Maharshi said about the bodhisattva vow in Buddhism, when somebody told him about that someone takes the bodhisattva vow, they’re going to come back lifetime after lifetime until all beings are (awakened). And he said, he laughed, and he said: That’s like saying, I’m not going to wake up from the dream until everybody else in the dream wakes up.
Hans Laurentius: Yeah. Absolutely. Crazy.
Hans Laurentius: Good. All right. Well, thanks. I’ve really enjoyed it.
Rick Archer: Yeah, me too, I think you’re an interesting guy. So let me make a few wrap up points. I’ve been speaking with Hans Laurentius. And in the Netherlands, you go to his website, and it’s in Dutch. But there’s an English section on there too, which you can find there’s a bunch of articles written in English that you can read. And this interview is one of an ongoing series. So, it’d be another one next week. If you’d like to be notified of future ones, you can either subscribe on YouTube or on bat gap comm there’s an email subscription thing, or both, if you wish. There’s an audio podcast to this. We’ve been having some technical problems in the last week and the podcast hasn’t been working properly. And people have been emailing me but we’re working on getting that fixed. And a lot of other things. But if you just go to batgap.com and explore the menus, you’ll find what, what what’s there to be found. Tanks for listening or watching, and thank you again, Hans. Thank you. Yeah. And we’ll see you all next week.