Jac O’Keeffe – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview Oct 10th, 2010
R: Would you tell your story in as much detail as you would like?
J: Actually whatever we talk about is a load of crap anyway, to be honest, they’re all stories, whatever we’re talking about, they’re all stories, even if we’re talking about duality, it’s still a story. Silence is the only thing worthwhile I suppose.
R: I was interviewing someone the other day while we just sat silently for a while. His main interest was in reiki healing and he actually did a little thing on me in the interview, and we just sat silently for a while – Larry King wouldn’t do something like that.
J: Did it work?
R: Ah sort of. I noticed later on more than I noticed the actual thing.
J: yeah, yeah, some energy shifted somewhere. So the story…
J: Well OK. Catholic rural Ireland, raised on a farm, pretty rough, and raw rearing as many people have, and a convent, all-girl boarding school, and like oh, my God can I just grow up and get out of this! A few scenarios when I was a kid of like – one I remember is, and I don’t think I’ve aired it too much because it just came to mind now – I remember hearing on the radio something about a mortgage, I’d say I was about 8, and to my next older sister who would have been 12 at the time, I said ‘What’s a mortgage, they’re talking about it on the radio?’ And she said, ‘Well, you have to get one of those to buy a house’.
And I thought, ‘Well I don’t want to buy a house’.
She said, ‘you have to buy a house, when you grow up and get married you have to buy a house, that’s where you have your children’.
Well, this was a nightmare! I remember going I can’t do that; I don’t want to live like that!
And she said, ‘Well that’s what everybody does’.
And I went ‘Ah no, no that’s not what it’s about’. Actually I remember that, knowing that that doesn’t make sense, even though I got married and got the mortgage, (I didn’t do the kids bit, I wasn’t that brave!)
But there was something even at that age, which there always is with kids, although we often forget it, but I didn’t forget it, I knew there was something. Whatever we talk about, I don’t know what it is, but it’s not about that.
And then a feeling in my teenage years of waiting to grow up, thinking I just have to wait until I’m old enough to find out what this is all about; and I remember then in university talking to a friend of mine, because I met her recently, she said, ‘I actually remember sharing a joint with you in this house, which we shared together. And you were saying ‘What’s it ALL about? What’s it ALL about?’ ‘And she was saying ‘What are you asking a question like that for?’ And I’m saying ‘Well, what’s the point in anything if we don’t know what it’s for and where it’s going and why?’
And she just told me this a few weeks ago, and I didn’t remember these conversations, that language I had at that time, aged 19 or 20.
At that time I was studying theology, cos I thought well if I could find out about God then maybe the mystery side of it all could be demystified. Theology at the time in Ireland was the study of Catholicism, which I didn’t know, and so after a few months, this monotheistic, dogmatic philosophy was clearly about control, so I got into a bit of trouble with the priests who were lecturers, who said ‘well you either have to leave or you have to go with what we’re talking about because you’re learning how to teach this to other people’.
R: So you were asking difficult, skeptical questions?
J: Yes, and the curriculum didn’t allow for this at all.
So I made a choice. I asked my parents can I quit, and they said no, we want to retire, you’re the last one, you won’t have any subsidy, no. This is your one shot at education. So I stayed quiet and fulfilled the degree and got out as fast as I could, an atheist, a very solid atheist because I was listening and reproducing this – crap, actually…
R: What did you write your thesis on?
J: Confession! The sacrament of confession!
R: And how it’s supposed to work and everything?
J: Yeah yeah! God, I haven’t thought about that since. The thing that pulled me to confession was that there was something that could change in the psyche, in the unfolding of story, that’s really what I was talking about, but of course, I had to talk about the power of the sacrament and all of that stuff.
R: And all the while you were writing this you weren’t believing it. You were just thinking I’m going to get this over with…
J; Yes, but Rick it taught me discipline and it taught me patience.
R: Yeah, good point.
J: It actually equipped me very well for what was to come but at the time I was just having as much of a social life as I could to balance out this awful stuff that was just making me contract.
So then I got involved in community development, I was very interested in social issues, social equality, so I worked in that area for whatever 5, 6, 7 or 8 years.
R: Barak Obama did that when he was younger – he was a community organizer in Chicago – he gave up all kinds of lucrative things in order to do that.
J: Yeah – and I was always interested in the arts, music was a thing that followed me around all the time and so I got interested in how the arts could access something else in people who were disadvantaged. And so I jumped into that, not having the language again, that how artistic expression is an inaudible voice from that which is beyond concept.
R: Were you a musician or just studying it academically or something?
J: Yeah both – I played the cello and I did music just as a primary degree. Then at the age of 30 I was running my own freelance consultancy business for community development organizations and working hard, playing hard, and there was 6 of us having Sunday lunch one day, 3 couples and me and my husband were one of them, and I was drinking a can of Heineken and I looked down the table and lifted my head and saw dead people hanging from the ceiling, all hanging around, and I said OK, OK, I’m tripping, I’m tripping, who’s given me what, what’s going on here? This is not OK, what’s going on?
And my friends just said, ‘what are you talking about?’
‘Someone’s given me something – I can see stuff’
And of course, they hadn’t given me anything – and so what it was was some third eye capacity, some perception of the non-physical appeared.
R: But you didn’t know that at the time, you thought you were going crazy or something?
J: Oh sure, when you’re dead that’s the end of the show and happy days when that comes, it was as clean and clear as that. So what to do with these dead people? So it was like, does this mean then that when your body dies you’re not dead? I just was back to the start, so then is there a God?
R: Let me just ask you about these dead people, cos you also had this experience where you’re in the bank and someone appeared behind the teller and asked you to tell this woman not to marry so and so and it turned out to be the woman’s mother – I mean, did they appear kind of wispy? And ethereal – they weren’t sort of concrete like you might see in the movies or something?
J: Yeah, well they’re not as concrete to these eyes or whatever, not as concrete, there’s kind of something…
R: You could almost see through them?
J: You could, yeah there’s a kind of translucency, so you know who’s a spook and who’s not, there’s never a question of –
R: But you can tell this is an older woman or a young man or whatever?
J: Oh yeah, the features are quite clear
R: So why would there be so many of them hanging around a restaurant, did a lot of people die of food poisoning there or whatever?
J: Well, we were in somebody’s house, it was an old house, it had been a rectory and it was this woman’s mum; we were having a party for the weekend, and it was one of my friends mother’s house, and it had been a rectory, and so it was steeped in lore and stories and history and it was an ancient house, with a protection order on it and everything,
So I ran out of the house and the boys, the three lads that were there, said, we’re going to the pub. Don’t know what’s going on with you Jac, you know, get over it.
J: I’ll stay and do the dishes, it’s OK.
The things was, I was petrified, I was petrified. Because I had no control first of all; that was something I wasn’t familiar with!
R: No control meaning you had no choice but to see these things?
J: Exactly. I couldn’t turn them off, it was upsetting all my belief systems, I couldn’t stop them from engaging with me in any way
R: Were they engaging with you or were they just hanging around? Or were they saying hey you, we know you can see us…
J: Yes, after about an hour they started to engage and I suppose it’s because I engaged with them, and looking now at how energy works, I definitely started to become visible to them, because I was sending an emotion there and looking, validating their existence, and they were validating my existence and lo and behold, separation is there and now we’ve got this other dimension and this dimension.
R: Did they seem malevolent or friendly?
J: No, malevolent.
R: Oh really? The friendly ones had moved on or something – the malevolent ones were stuck?
J: Yeah they were stuck and that’s usually what it is; where there’s a lot of unfinished business, a lot of pain going on, you tend to project that pain or communicate, with and through that pain, and yeah, there was a lot of pain going on.
And maybe I would have taken no notice of the other ones, these ones were just eager to get out of their pain, as is the position of any sufferer.
R: Were they asking you for help?
J: They started messing with me, physically pushing me around the place and that’s how I knew, I thought OK, I knew I wasn’t just imagining this, because I’m being kind of, not being beaten up, but chucked against the wall.
R: Really? So you’d stumble into walls and things?
J: Yes, yes, so I ran out of the house and clung against a wall and I would try to run into the house and as I would leave the wall I would get whacked back again.
R: So even though they were ethereal, they could actually have an impact on a physical level?
J: That’s exactly it, there was some tactile, some capacity they had, and I think what enabled that was my own fear.
R: Yeah, it made you vulnerable or something
J: Yeah it made me completely exposed. I was PETRIFIED!
R: I can imagine
J: Completely out of my realm of what was possible. Not to mind it being a real experience at the time. So there was no sense of having any handle on it at all for a couple of weeks. There were about 2 or 3 weeks when the light was on all night, I was just ‘what can I do about this, go away, go away, there they are again’
R: What would happen when you tried to go to sleep?
J: I would fall asleep from absolute exhaustion.
R: Did they mess with you in your sleep or anything?
J: They would wake me up. Or there would be pressure on my body, yeah your typical horror movie stuff, those scripts are not so far (away from the truth)
R: Did they seem human spooks, or did you see animals or things like that?
J: The animals were very benevolent, they were beautiful.
R: Oh you mean you saw ghostly animals, or you just saw…
J: Yeah, but they were always nice and at peace and just sitting there. I never saw dinosaurs or anything, but dogs, swans, elephants…but very nice, gentle you know, just looking….
R: Interesting! So you’d be in rural Ireland seeing an elephant. I imagine many Irish have seen an elephant but not for this reason – they see pink ones mostly
J: The odd Dumbo flying past the window! It’s funny, you know, it’s totally wacky, and if I hadn’t been so practical and down to earth –
R: You might have taken it in your stride more easily?
J: Yeah yeah I think so, but it was just like, this is too crazy, this is too far removed from what is normal, real and OK and how I want to see the world. So what am I going to do with it, and I remember at that point thinking what are you going to do with it, shut it down or move with it? I remember talking to my husband about this, he said well it’s your choice, it’s completely your story here, I’ve no perspective at all. I said “Well if I shut it down, life will just continue as it is. But you know what, maybe I can learn something here. It’s kind of too interesting, even though I’m petrified.”
R: But you didn’t have the choice to shut it down, anyway.
J: No, no, but I thought I did, of course
R: You didn’t have a little switch, I suppose you could have taken some drugs or something, but…
J: I guess –I could have seen a psychiatrist and been psychotic
J: Yes, I could have and then that path happens, you know
R: Yeah they could have locked you up. People are locked up who have had this happen and it was just as legitimate as your experience then as what happened to you now, but they’re diagnosed as crazy and they’re behind bars now
J: That’s exactly it, that was the other option. Even though I didn’t ever have the label of ‘this is a psychiatric thing’. My brain didn’t go there. But if I had gotten help, of course, that would have been where I would have gone.
No sweat but it would have been psychiatric, there’s no other route out there for that kind of experience. And all it is, is that the limits of mind start to break down, the limits of what’s real start to break, so the lack of reality in all of it starts to appear. So then everything that is possible starts to appear.
R: interesting. So that’s a lesson.
J: Yeah, all of these things were kind of coming in and I was like, oh, so then there are other dimensions, after all, that’s not just all fairytales. So maybe then there are Irish leprechauns, maybe it’s that farfetched, maybe all of it is possible
R: Did you see a leprechaun? Oh, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here!
J: I should just have ‘flake’ written across here (her forehead).
R: That’s OK, you know most people who would appreciate what you’re going to be saying in a little while, will also appreciate this and I think they’ll find the progression fascinating. I do!
J: Of course, cos that’s the story, that’s how it worked. Yeah, sure leprechauns, fairies, the whole lot, all kinds of creatures in woodlands, man! woodlands that are indigenous, that haven’t been created so much, that are indigenous, are teeming with the indigenous, non-physical, can I say spiritual, realm, you know, wildly, fascinating beings.
R: Just as common as the birds and the butterflies and the insects and everything else
J: Same same, same same.
R: Steer me clear if I’m distracting you from something you want to unfold, but I’m trying to extract as much interesting detail out of this as possible. Did that phase of seeing the subtle beings in the wood happen at the same time as you were seeing the ghosts, or did that happen later on, once you had come to terms with the fact you were seeing…or having subtle perceptions? Subtle.
J: Yes it came later on – maybe a couple of years later before I could see woodland life forms.
R: And by that time you were adjusted to the whole thing
J: I was, it was no big deal, oh hallo. Oh here’s just a new form of rabbit, you know.
R: Did they communicate with you? The leprechauns and stuff? You were able to converse in some way? Obviously not in English, but telepathically or something?
J: Yeah, telepathically. Ah yah it’s all there. You know the astral body moves into these dimensions, it does this when you’re asleep anyway, you know if there are beliefs that the world is a certain way, well this stuff is very hard to take, and for me, those beliefs were very rigid, you know. I kind of knew how the world worked, and I could sort it all out. Jesus! It had to be attacked with a sledgehammer. So it was.
R: Well I think most people think your way, but most people don’t have your experience.
J: Yeah, for some reason this was on the destiny of the woman called Jac.
R: most people get hard life lessons in the gross level, foreclosing on their home or an illness, or divorce, and that shakes them up, but you had it crack open on the vertical dimension
J: That’s right. It was huge. I remember the thought that was running all through the first two years of this, while fear, in the beginning, was huge, and then it was slipping a bit. I was getting a handle on it, and during that time there was one thought running which was because this realm that has invaded my realm, is beyond death; the thought was ‘I can’t kill myself to get out of this’.
J: So I can kill myself; this physical body goes, but actually I’m not sure anything else is going to change.
R: You’d become one of those spooks
J: Yeah, I’m just one of those. And I felt so trapped Rick, it was like I have no option here, there is nothing to do here, I’m going to have to go through with it
R: There’s plenty of books on this stuff and you live not too far from Findhorn. Did you look into that?
J: I didn’t know what Findhorn was, I’d never heard the word new age, nothing, and I’d never heard the word Reiki, which you mentioned earlier
R: You were just a Heineken girl who had her reality changed.
J: Yeah and working hard and social stuff and the arts gave me a buzz and it didn’t go any further, that was the world.
R: Was your business disrupted by all this? Did you find it hard to function?
J: I had to shut it down. Here’s a story. I wasn’t too long into it; it was one week since the first episode of Caspers everywhere. I woke up in the middle of the night and there was a woman hanging from the ceiling in the living room,
R: Hanging as with a noose?
J: No suspended, floating; quite deathly looking. And I was like get out of my house, get out of my house, and she said, “You can help me”. I said, “I can’t do anything for you. Get out of my house, you’re dead”.
R: Now let me ask you this. When you had that conversation with her, were you speaking out loud, could your husband hear you, or was it all mental?
J: I wasn’t cos he told me he would have heard it and he didn’t hear it, so it must have been in my head, although I was sure I was being audible. I said, ‘You must have heard me’, and he said, “No, I really would have heard you, cos the door was open”. So I thought I was talking but I obviously wasn’t. It’s in some nonverbal way, but I hadn’t twigged at that time that you don’t have to use sound for your mental sentence to be given and another one received.
What she said was, ‘You will do something to move me on, you know how to do it”. I said I don’t know what to do, will you tell me, and she said ‘Look treat me as you would one of your friends. And I said but I don’t know you, she said well just imagine you do, and I was putting up every sort of defense, being a stroppy old cow. I just said well if you were one of my friends I would feel compassion for you because you look like you’re in awful pain. She said I’m stuck, and I need energy from your world to move me onto where I’m supposed to go next.
OK well, then I’m just going to imagine you’re someone I know and I’m just going to send you love. I put my two hands out to her, and this beam of light came down from the ceiling, this thing came down (and my heart was beating really hard) and I intuitively cut it and I bent it towards here and it felt like a hosepipe. It was tactile. And I said Oh my God, it’s just love, that’s all you want, just love. And she went yes, that’s all. She said, ‘You will do this to others like me’, and she left.
R: Interesting – that beam of light thing is interesting. It almost sounds like it wasn’t just you and her in the equation, there was also something sending that beam that wanted you to intermediate and kind of connect you, to be a conduit for that being to connect with her.
J: Yes, it was for my benefit. In hindsight the learning was for me, she came to teach me, she was a volunteer, s working experiment.
R: Sounds like it was mutual too, because she appeared to need help.
J: Yeah, it was. So it did the trick.
J: Now the funny thing is, I went back to bed. Immediately after. I was dripping and adrenals pumping ‘Oh my god, now lie down. And this other man appeared at the end of the bed, and I said Get out of here, get out of here I’ve had too much to digest for one night, enough! He said I’m here to help you, and I will tell you anything you need to know. Anything.
And I said Oh OK Tell me your name then if we’re going to talk, I need your name. He said I can’t tell it to you yet, but call me Liam, cos it’s an Irish name and I know you don’t like that name.
And I went Oh actually I don’t. OK, all right. This guy knows something, and he’s got a bit of a sense of humor.
So I said, “Is there a God?” I sat up in the bed and I knew this part was telepathic because I wouldn’t have the sentence out and the answer would be back. The speed of the transmission was phenomenal. And he was full of light, I could see his eyes, it was like there was this light, a dazzling light, radiating from his chest to such an extent that covered most of his features; I couldn’t make out too much of his features.
Then we spoke for a long time, and he just said if you do follow this path and it looks like I had a choice because that’s what he had to work with, he had to work with what my brain and my understanding and my limitations were, so he did yield to that. And I suppose that’s where Jac has the practice of that now, and seeing the value of that, you know, it’s like where do the beliefs stop? Let’s move from there.
He said your life is going to change hugely if you go with this, and I said yeah but what’s in it for me if I do?
He said this is what you will get. And this sensation came up, I don’t know, a lot of kundalini happened after that, can you multiply kundalini by a thousand? Just a phenomenal, arresting sensation. Jesus, that’s off the Richter scale. He said that is a teaspoon of love and love is what this is all about. And you are looking at a teaspoon of a liquid that is greater than the largest ocean on the planet. And I went, Ah OK. This is just off the Richter Scale then. And he said yes, you can’t comprehend what I am talking about. Do you want to pursue a path that is about this? And I said yes, do exactly what you like.
And then he said tomorrow morning you will decide that you imagined this sensation, you will now decide that you imagined this sensation, so I’m going to give it to you again because you doubt a lot. Which I did of course at the time. So he said just prepare yourself. So I lay down on the bed and said Now. So that I could imagine that I could observe. OK, take it away.
Now I’ve got to jump into to follow up this story.
Eight years later I found out who this guy was. Six years after this I connected with a spiritual master, Master Jose, in his late fifties now,
R: He’s alive?
J: Yes, I’ve never physically met him, because of the clairvoyance there’s no need, I can call him in.
R: He’s actually in some place…
J: Yeah he’s got a wife and he lives someplace and a son. Lives in the north of Spain, and a disciple of his runs meditation retreats and they do a type of chanting and a type of healing, totally a devotional path, and I connected with this six years later and went to several of these retreats.
Now 2 years later into this mediation, coming in and out, and getting deeper and deeper, beginning to follow this guy, he’s really clear, and every time I go on these retreats I tune into him and something tends to drop out of all of the story of Jac. This is the purest I can find, having looked at New Age, having tried everything at that point.
And at this retreat, we were chanting, it was the closing event and he appeared in front of me, and I went oh hallo. It was telepathically, cos everyone was singing around me. And he said I‘m Liam.
I went who’s Liam? He said, “Do you remember this?” and he opened his hands and showed the image of him at the foot of my bed. Oh, Jesus, you’re joking! I said. He said, “That was me and I waited for 6 years while you went to South America, took loads of this that and the next thing thinking you could find God through everything except through your heart”.
So my dear are you ready to walk with me? Now, are you ready to work with a Master?
And I thought well if you have that kind of love that you will sit watching me go around the world doing stupid things, in search of, what do you know, what I’m looking for – sure. Ok, I’ll trust you, I’ll go for it.
So I cried and cried and cried and something said, OK the search now gets easier. Whatever it is you’re looking for; he knows what you’re looking for. But you don’t know what you’re looking for, you just know that you’re looking. , but he knows. I had that much.
So all kinds of resistance to following a master came up in the next couple of weeks, you know, it should be a woman.
R: Hang on a minute, do you actually want to skip the last 6 years and pick it up from there, or is there anything worth talking about in those 6 years when you went to South America and everything? And you actually worked as a ghostbuster in Ireland…
J: Yeah I did. I can give you a brief synopsis.
R: OK. Hang on one second. OK continue.
J: That 6 years in a synopsized version – Liam or Master Jose told me to walk this path, not to take on any more contracts (I was working as a freelancer at the time), and that within 6 months I would be working as a ghostbuster. Oh no! He said, “If you go through this path you will find out about fear.”
R: I’m sure you’ve seen that movie, right? Ghostbusters?
J: Yeah, yeah. The Sixth Sense – that was great.
R: Yeah that was great too, but do you remember the old one with Dan Ackroyd and …
J: I do, I do. That one wasn’t researched very well, but Sixth Sense was.
R: Yeah, that was a good movie
J: So within 6 months I started working as a ghostbuster. Within about a year of working as a ghostbuster, and he told me to call it a ghostbuster – he said, you’re so concerned about your self-image, if you call yourself a ghostbuster you’re going to cringe. And I went Oh God this guy knows me too well, and so yeah, that name stuck.
R: And so did you do for people what you did for that woman in the living room that night? Connect with a beam of light, and send them on their way?
J: Yeah, yes. Yes, yes, pretty much that. Resolving what needed to be resolved. It’s kind of therapy for the dead, really, that’s what it was. Just moving on whatever the stuck belief system was, usually forgiving oneself, that was generally the one that would cause most movement. But then you’d get a lot of malevolent spirits who would be throwing things across the room or I remember, one case of a child who had been to various psychologists, various psychiatric wards, she was 12 years old, and she would wake up in the morning black and blue and this was the presenting symptom. Her family somehow found out about me and I went and sure of course, she was doing battle during the night, and this was what was going on.
R: Could she see them the way you could see them?
J: yeah, and everyone thought she was going psychotic, and saying “Don’t tell those stories to anybody, and bless her, sure, of course, it was happening.” So then the malevolent moved on and she was fine, it stopped, and it never occurred again.
R: Did you ever find any that were too strong to purge from the premises?
J: Yeah, what would happen was that they would just be laughing at me and go for a while but 2 weeks later they’d be back, and I’d say hey sorry, I’m going to have to swing by and give you your money back because…I can’t; they won’t take me for real.
R: Was there a big demand for that in your area?
J: Yeah, it was a full-time job, yeah
R: How did you charge for your services as a ghostbuster, by the ghost or by the…
J: Yeah, it’s funny, I don’t know!
R: By the ghost, a little ghost $20, a big ghost $100.
J: I don’t know, usually donation, I don’t know by my time or something. I’m not quite sure if I had any fixed rate. I’ve always been very loose around those things anyway.
R: It feels like it was something that would have caught the attention of the press, it would have gotten skeptical articles written in the local paper about you
J: It never happened, and my father gave me advice about that. He said never ever, ever let the media know about what you do. When I told him I said Listen life is changing, I’m going to do this, you know, you have to tell your family at some point and they all have a conference amongst themselves thinking OK, she’s lost her marbles, and you go OK what’re we going to do?
R: Well that’s not too far off, the Catholic Church has exorcisms, that’s in the same ballpark.
J: Yes it is I don’t know what they concluded out of it. That was their business. But yeah he did give me that advice, don’t go near the media at all, ever in your career, so of course, he was right, you know, it would certainly have been a distraction, it would have slowed things up I think.
So from that, a year into the ghostbusting I heard a voice when I was washing the dishes and it said, ‘it’s time to work in the living and stop working on the dead’. So I said oh not a clue what to do with this one, so show me what to do, and so, of course, the same today, collecting my car from the mechanic and he said ‘Jac if you ever do on living people what you do for the dead, I’d love to volunteer’. And I thought Oh NO! yeah ok fine, Two days later I came back and said were you serious, so 2 days later he came to my sitting room floor, and I thought OK, I pulled out an old mattress and a sleeping bag on top of that, and he fell asleep.
I thought, perfect, now I’ll just sit here and think. Now I’ve set it up, now voice from wherever you are, tell me what to do and lo and behold his chakra system became visible and I went Oh my god look at these colors, look at these wheels, oh my god, look at this mess, and my hands started to move and turn this and twist that and then explaining this to a friend, she said These are chakras, you can buy books about these, there are charts about these in my yoga class. OK, OK, tell me what to do. So I went to have a psychic reading with someone, and she just said you get this book and this book and do this course and this course – she was fantastic and put me on the track of the New Age because I needed that.
I needed that language, I needed that world because that was what was appearing in front of me, so I needed the skill to manage there.
R: So was that Master Jose who came to you and gave you your marching orders?
J: Yeah, yeah I think so. There was nothing else that responded to any kind of authority, except to his authority I think. There was a sense of this other stuff – ah go away go away, but there was something about his energy that was unquestionable. It was like, sure, doubt wouldn’t come in. There was a trust there. So from there, into the New Age thing I ended up at a sweat lodge and met someone there who told me about Santo Daime, so then I did Santo Daime intensively for a couple of months.
R: What’s that?
J: It’s a plant from Brazil that is quite connected to a church, it’s a medicine.
R: Is it hallucinogenic?
J: It’s a hallucinogenic, for sure. And there’s quite a lot of that in Europe, its legal now in Holland, the church is actually recognized as a church. And this would be the sacrament, Santo Daime would be recognized as a sacrament. From that church practice in Ireland. It’s a little bit underground of course but I don’t think it needs to be really because now it’s a recognized church, at least in Europe.
And so from that, someone said well if you’re drawn to this what about Ayahuasca, so I was, well what’s that? And so I got very interested in Ayahuasca, very interested, and ended up spending some time in Peru, ah no, just a few weeks but in an intensive camp. I went back to Bolivia several times and worked closely with a shaman there.
R: So what did all this do for you, the Santo Daime and the Ayahuasca? What were your experiences of those?
J: Oh they were wild of course because I was so open and so available
R: And you were already seeing stuff, you must have started really seeing stuff?
J: It was wild, crazy, it was nuts! In the feedback you know, in the early morning, at dawn, everybody was talking, and I’d be you know like, I’m going to have to taper down what I’m going to say here, I was looking around because I’d pick out just one bit of the story because they ain’t seen nothing!
R: Is it worth telling us some details, or is it a distraction now?
J: Well, yes, I think so, because it’s all just simply different aspects of mind. Any concept that can be thought manifests in some shape or form, that’s the deal with the concept. It has the capacity to manifest in form or formless or etherically, or in some dimension or some place, and I suppose I was able to access those dimensions very easily on plant medicine.
One thing, one story I’ll tell because it might be somebody’s experience. I was taking San Pedro, and there is a specific way you take this medicine, you’re walking around a fire within a corralled area until about 4 am in one direction, which is the unwind, and then the shaman stops the whole thing, a little ceremony happens, and you walk the opposite way. I don’t remember when it’s clockwise and then anti-clockwise, I can’t remember. So in the winding in of it, the shedding of stuff, as I was going out, and at 4 am you start to pull back in until dawn comes, as I was coming back in there was a shudder and my vibration energetically would drop and it made me understand how energy works in some way, and I would feel a shudder, like you get the shakes, like someone walking over your grave, you know that kind of shudder? And something would feel more dense, in that density, it would be ‘and so you think like this and so this is real and so this person is in your life because you’re holding this belief, and this isn’t cleared and so there’s this belief going on, and this person is in your life and this is the scenario and that’s why you’re in the job you’re in and that’s why you’re married to his person’.
And I was like ‘shit!’ and so each little belief system that Jac was holding at the time of how she thought the world worked, as each one was coming back in, I could feel a density, a thickness, a yucky shitty crappy feeling coming in at a cellular level. And it’s like something that I don’t know, I don’t know what it was, some astral body coming in, or some density which had blown out, or some parts that had dissolved coming back in because I wasn’t ready or I couldn’t integrate the shifts, maybe something like this, and so I could actually see Oh my God, this is just total density. The world as I see it is the world because I see it like this. It’s only because I see it! I’ve totally created everything that I believe, everything is not how it is at all! Everything is how it is only because I believe it is how it is, oh my god that’s what I have to do!
So it gave me a fantastic reorientation to see that this is totally my belief system; this isn’t about faith or going someplace, this isn’t about anything except the belief system of believing that I am Jac who thinks the world is like this.
There’s something inherently unstable about this because it can be thrown off and it came back in. So it’s just a ball of conditioning. So somehow it became clear of the years of therapy that I did, I started when I was 19 to 25, those years just going to a psychotherapist – that part clicked in, that’s what the pull was to get rid of conditioning – that’s why it feels so awful to believe your own story and why there is freedom when you shed something because energetically there is a loosening, a contraction that ceases. So that was a great seeing, that was probably the best one, it’s the one that comes to mind now.
R: Very interesting, I wish everyone could have that experience.
J: Yeah it was a great one. And the other big thing, a big whammy, was on Santo Daime, everything was stripped, and this serious vacuum sucked any concept that I was clinging to, including the idea of myself, and that awful void continued for hours and hours and hours, even after the ceremony ended; the organizers of the ceremony were trying to bring me back. My body was totally – I could look, and my mental faculties were going on, but I had no power at all from the neck down, none.
R: You mean you couldn’t walk or anything?
J: Nothing, nothing, I was lying on the floor. Just limp.
R: Was it really awful to be stripped of concepts or did you kind of like it in some way?
J: Yeah, no, it was horrific. There was nothing to stand on, no ground, there was just nothing – and then even nothing was taken away. There wasn’t even a comfort in nothing.
R: You should know this one as a catholic, the foxes have their holes and the birds have their nests, but the son of man has no place to lay his head.
J: That’s exactly it. You’re dead right. There’s nothing stable in any of this, and in the middle of that I was saying Jesus Christ, let me grab something for a while maybe, and I clung to that and it was like, No. A concept, a belief system, another relative story, It was like, shit, shit. There was nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing.
And so from that what was deduced was that existence, existence itself is a myth. It’s not that which exists is not real, its existence itself is not real.
R: You mean manifest existence, concrete existence.
J: And that something can exist, it was prior to the something, this was about existence going – it wasn’t about a thing, in the beginning, it was the things going, Jesus, or my life, whatever, the physical world, the cosmos, all the dimensions, I was jumping from anywhere for some rest. So when the things went, existence itself went, and that’s what the horror was.
That – you will cling to survive in any capacity you can, you will survive in any way you can. The basic instinct of any individual is to cling to life, no matter, that instinct will kick in, no matter how clear the understanding that this is not real or it’s an illusion, or just an appearance. Some basic instinct will kick in to keep the form alive until it’s done. And then it’s done and that’s fine.
R: Were you still married at this point, when you were going through all this stuff, going to South America and all that? Was your husband cool with it?
J: Yeah, he said if I didn’t know you for so long beforehand (because I met him when I was 17). If I didn’t know you for so long I would be gone, girl gone, because this is just too much, but actually I’m finding it interesting because it’s you. He worked in the Post Office, a stable solid guy he played his golf, he was very grounded, which enabled me to go off and do wacky stuff and then come back to base and be OK. So he allowed the integration and…
R: Yeah, must have been good for you to have an anchor
J: Yes that was wonderful. If there’s no anchor there, gosh, it’s tough. Can be very tough for people who don’t have any reference point for that integration while the human life is in transition.
R: I got pretty darn crazy myself before I got married, you know, being on a totally spiritual path, boy when I think back, God was I nuts, and it took many years to get more and more integrated, and get rid of my idiosyncrasies. But I wasn’t having any kind of experiences like you were having but I was meditating hours a day and so on.
J: Yeah yeah. And when you look back that that now Rick, what was all that a play?
J: I sort of feel that all was well and wisely put and I take the long view of things – I feel like everything is unfolding just as it should. I started out really nuts, heavily into drugs as a teenager, dropped out of school, just a real mess, and learned to meditate when I was eighteen (I don’t want to turn this into a whole thing about me) but it really turned me around profoundly and dramatically but there were many years of healing and restructuring and all that needed to take place cos I’d really gone at it as a younger person and had a rough family life and all that stuff.
J; Yeah yeah
R: But anyway let’s get back to you
J: And here you are now, doing this again, touching into it from within a domestic scenario, it’s amazing that they’re not in opposition to each other at all, are they, isn’t it funny. I have a sister who seems to have this skill, to be able to see where the Jac character is at, and she often says Jac, you know someday, someday you will go into a relationship again.
And I’m like, I’m so far from that, the Jac character is so far from that, and she’d say no you will, it’ll just go around, and that’s what’s funny you know, I wonder will that integration happen for Jac again. I don’t know.
R: Never say never!
J: Never say never that’s surely (true)
R: Master Jose is married and has a kid
J: Yeah, he’s still married,
R: And he seems to be doing OK
J: Yeah, you bet, whoa! What a night, what a night!
R: Fascinating that he was able to scope you out from Spain, find this woman in Ireland who’s having this experience, and appear at your bedside, where must someone be at to be functioning in that way?
J: That’s right, that’s right.
R: Does he speak English? Maybe I should interview him.
J: No, not at all. And he’s completely in retreat, he never physically appears. So, where am I at? Where were we at?
R: You had jumped ahead to your visit in Spain with Master Jose, and I had kind of backtracked you back to the Amazon, Peru and we went through some of those hallucinogenic experiences and so we can take it up from where you like now
J: So from the connection with Master Jose there were a few big wobblers with Amma, the hugging mother, and from those retreats with the Master Jose school.
R: And I want to hear about that, I’m very fond of Amma, because my wife and I have been seeing her for about 11 years, we spend time with her, about 3 or 4 times a year, and you also spent some kind when you were camping in Spain, but maybe that was the Master Jose thing?
J: Yeah that was the Master Jose thing.
R: So maybe we should go on to Amritapuri?
J: The first time with Amma she was in Ireland, it was her very first trip in Ireland. And after – just before the hug, I was queuing up and I was thinking I’m going to puke, I’m going to puke, what’s going on here, I’m going to vomit on this lady, you know? And of course, I didn’t. And because I felt like oh, oh this is energetic, then I twigged, I thought this is about food, you know I didn’t eat, its hours I’ve been sitting here. It’s energetic, calm down Jac, calm down. And the shift that happened after the hug, it’s like the energetic movement happened and I spent an hour and half in some kind of trance. Whereby I felt I was communicating with her. I was sitting down, and my body was shaking cos there was a friend of mine holding my jacket as I went up, so she was just sitting there watching me shaking for an hour and a half. And at that time she told me you will have to leave your husband; your marriage is going to end. You will. And I was like yeah, get a grip! You’re just playing with me here.
R: Telepathically she said that?
J: Yeah sure. So she told me some home truths like this which came to pass. I shut everything down at one point, maybe a year after Amma.
R: What do you mean you shut everything down?
J: I was working as a healer at this point about, maybe I was 36. OK, so the ?? was when I was 30, so then there was about 6 years until I hit the Master Jose thing, where I had done the energy work, the new age thing, the Ayahuasca, the shamanic stuff, hit the Master Jose thing, started cleaning up everything, because it was more meditation, more chanting, more contemplative, and so from those 2 years of Master Jose, I felt that whatever I’m doing, giving workshops on chakra healing, on chanting, running weekend residentials, on healing the family tree, I got involved in all that stuff.
And it has its place, like everything, it just came clear that this is going nowhere, it’s a service and that’s fine, cos everything in my life at that time was a service, cos that was all that made sense, and that really all I’m doing is gathering information and sharing information, and this is just engaging my mind all the time. I’m trying to balance it out with meditation and observation and – there’s something amiss here, I keep accumulating information and engaging my mind here in a way that I know is not helping. I’ve got to in some way leave all this.
So I started doing my work but without the third eye capacity, so I thought, OK shut down this extra information and be normal, just be normal and see if that churns up more crap, and so I did and I was able to, like, ‘only the physical realm, only the physical realm’ and that’s possible to do and so that was too much also.
So it was OK Jac, OK, I want more silence, so where am I going to go, what am I going to do? And I thought “I’ll go to where there’s more light”. Now, what’s light? The sun is light, and after that, the rest of it is just ideas. The sun is light, OK I’ll trust that, so we’re down to the physical realm again.
And so I put my tent on my back and went to a campsite in the south of Spain for 3 months. And my husband came out once, for a week, and I would phone him every now and then or something, and when I came back to Ireland and he collected me, I was like it’s gone it’s gone – something is finished here, it’s broken, I can’t be his wife anymore. And so then I knew that this is very drastic here, I’m actually going to have to lose everything. I can’t play with this one at all. So we talked about it and he said OK well, it’ll finish when it finishes, that was June and by September I was ‘I actually can’t be engaged with you sexually anymore, and he said, well now it’s finished! A man, you know! And that was the end of it. The end of it. So I went to Spain and –
R: Although you’ve got to give him credit for having been patient for a long time.
J: Oh, he was a sweetheart, and we’re great mates, you know, his girlfriend is lending me her car next week, it’s lovely, it’s lovely, we’ve always been great mates, it’s just we couldn’t do the marriage thing anymore. And he now says Jac, the best thing you ever did for me was leave me, because it threw me upside down and so, of course, everything works out fine, you just have to ride through the uncertainties.
From that, I moved to Tenerife, and I met somebody who said I want to go to India to study yoga, and will you come with me. OK, OK let’s see what yoga is about. Went to this yoga center, which was at the back of Arunachala, and after 3 days – what is this craic about? Salute the sun, and my hands up and my legs down, and cats and dogs and forget it!
I am not a yogic – I’m quitting, I’m going round the other side of the mountain, I’ll wait in the local village and see you in three weeks’ time when the course is over. And over the other side of the village was Tiruvannamalai, and I was like, Jesus!
Like, where was I? What was I messing around with for so long? They’re putting words on what I know, they’re putting words on that which I thought had no words. We can point to that which is beyond mind.
Oh the relief, Rick! It was wild! To like, Jesus, people talk about it, the word nondual for the first time, you know?
R: I suppose, this probably couldn’t have happened now, because nowadays there’s non-dual people on every street corner talking about it
J; Yeah yeah and YouTube wasn’t there or if it was I wasn’t open up to it, or it wasn’t available.
From there I spent a lot of time on my own there, just doing self-inquiry, a few years really, until Richard Miller knocked on my door and that was the end of Jac’s solitude.
R: Good old Richard Miller, he gets around!
J: He sure does!
R: And then at what point did you go to Amritapuri?
J: To just get a break from Tiruvannamalai, when the season is there and Amma is doing her Indian tour, OK it’s too many westerners here, too busy, too much of a party scene, I was going in too much at that time, I couldn’t engage, so yeah I’d get a train across to Amritapuri and stay for a week, two weeks or something. Whenever Amma was there.
R: You said something in your autobiography about being incapacitated there, being completely out of it for 6 weeks there, having to be fed, what was that all about?
J: There was a mantra which appeared, as they often do, a sentence comes, obviously you’ve heard somewhere or something. And it was ‘I am the supreme consciousness’, ‘I am the supreme consciousness’, and it was running, running, running obsessively, as things were at that point, because my mind was going very much to a single point at that stage, and I remember looking out the window of the little rooms in Amritapuri, way down to the queues at the temple.
I don’t know, there were hundreds of hundreds of people to get into the temple and seeing so clearly, oh my gosh look, that really requires a lot of imagination to imagine that we are all people. And that they’re all individuals doing separate things, with separate lives and that she is the mother of that child and – what a load of make-believe ideas placed on top of just balls of energy which we call bodies, and which are moving completely just as the cosmos is moving. It’s just particles moving and somehow we believe we are separate in all this? What a crazy idea!
But that idea is just part of the movement too. OK. So some seeing of there is no individuality at all, concepts are never the truth, they’re not real, they can be taken as real, but they don’t represent Reality, and in the seeing of that I seemed to not be there, and functioning was there. Luckily I was with someone who would say come on Jac, and pull me off the floor, and I would just eat and go back to the room and lie down again, and then it was 6 days later, and it was like, OK what, what’s appearing now and how come this is sort of solid again? What’s going on?
But the thought that brought me back was sex. The idea of sex, because the partner I was with was having a shower and was just lying there and I could see him having a shower and thinking why does this body imagine it can connect with that body in a pleasurable way? What on earth could imagine that there is a subjective pleasure in this?
And somehow it’s like, oh my God yeah, oh now I can see how that works, and that’s amazing and wham, there was Jac again – but much less. It was just seeing that – oh what was left then was a sense of ‘I’m an individual’, is only alive when there is desire running.
It only kicked in and it wasn’t that – it’s clear that there’s not an ‘I’ here all the time that tunes in with self-image, that tunes in with it at all, the ‘I’ is part of the thought, it’s like a quality that’s attached to a thought at any particular time. Some thoughts have an ‘I’ sense about them and the wonderful magic of that is that it has the capacity to make you believe you’re real and you’re having a thought! It’s like, what a joke!
R: So would it be fair to say it has its function when it’s needed, but that it gets over indulged in ordinarily and becomes something which really should just be an occasional functional thing, becomes a permanent situation.
J: It does, it does. In order to make having a human life possible So it’s totally wonderful, the fact that it concretizes in some way; it’s amazing that it’s actually believable, and 100% believable especially when there is suffering, it’s more believable when there is suffering because that density is there.
R: Yeah, so if we held our hand over a candle flame or something like that it would concretize very quickly. Or if I held my hand over a candle flame and you didn’t the pain would be located here not there, and I’d be the one who’d have the sense of ‘get that arm away’ and you wouldn’t have that sense so much
J: that’s right, that’s right
R: Cos this is my kind of concrete manifestation
J: And there are layers to it, because the instinct for the body to protect itself, that’s always there of course, and for some, it’s based, or overlaid with a fear of ‘I’m going to die’ or ‘I’m vulnerable’ or ‘don’t remind me that I’m mortal’. And even with those gone, there is a basic instinct that moves to protect itself.
R: Yeah, which anyone, Ramana Maharshi had, anyone would have. I heard you talking about this in one of your satsangs, saying ‘there’s always going to be some remnant of ‘I” or ego or sense of self so long as you’re alive, and I’m not a Sanskrit scholar by any sense, but I happen to know one phrase which is called lesh avidya. And what it means is ‘faint remains of ignorance’, and the idea is that as long as you’re a functioning human being there’s got to be some lesh avidya, otherwise you couldn’t distinguish the wall from the door, and know to put food in your mouth, or anything
J: That’s right, that’s right. Yeah and I guess it’s the working mind because it’s the thinking mind that achieves liberation, it’s a mental phenomenon liberation anyway, so that seeing of the illusion as the illusion is just for the thinking capacity of mind, so the working mind is there and yet something enables the movie to appear as the movie. The appearance still appears, – it’s an appearance but it appears to appear, still.
R: And there’s some kind of mutuality in it too because I mean if you and I were sitting in the same room, we’d both see the same table and chair and wall and everything else, and if one of us were to die the other one would still see those things, so it’s not like we totally create our own individuality afresh and uniquely each one of us, so there’s some kind of universal thing and we all just tune into it to whatever extent we do. Or however we perceive it.
J Yes, yes, that’s right. And then you know, at satsang somebody an hour into it will say ‘every question that has been asked could have been mine’; so at the subtle layer also there’s such a commonality because there’s just one ball of energy keeps moving around.
So there isn’t a whole lot that’s subjective actually. It depends on how wide a lens do you want to look through?
R: So as far as the Jac story is concerned, we left you lying on the floor in Amritapuri. Did you ever reach a point where you felt like this is the final stroke, and is that farther along in your telling here, or what?
J: I don’t know cos I’ve no plan. OK. I remember walking around – I used to have a practice of walking meditation, walking around the Samadhi shrine of Ramana Maharshi – and I remember walking around that, I think it was like in August or something. There was nobody there, and the sentence, ‘the show is over, the show is over’, and I often use that now actually, something just went ‘what makes an ‘I’ appear?
Desire, I think it was desire. OK, let’s see, let’s see, where is desire, what is desire?’
And after that sentence, that repeated sentence, because it was running for ages before it was heard, I seem to have lost something…
And within a few days later in the shower in Tiru, it was like, oh mind is breaking, mind is breaking, and there was a sense of an iceberg breaking into particles, of particles flowing away, and I’m losing my marbles here, OK, OK, fine, so psychiatric hospital in India, so be it, so be it
R: Well you must have been used to losing your marbles by that time, you’d been losing them for years at that point!
J: Totally; it was like what next! Well off the Richter scale at that point!
So those two experiences were, in hindsight now – they felt like that some wiring, some essential wiring, that’s necessary to make the ‘’I be believed – that essential wiring was burning out. That the ‘I ‘never – ah God, it’s just not authentic, it’s just – there’s a gap between an ‘I’ story and what is believed. You know, how can anything be believed, the idea of believing anything? It’s just nuts. Nothing can be believed – who could it be believed by? Believing – it’s just part of a ball of energy that moves through consciousness. Why would it be owned or believed? Some link broke, you know, in what gives an authenticity to the manifested world.
So in hindsight I would have to say it was those two incidences that happened quite close to each other in linear time.
R: it’s interesting how, most spiritual seekers they – there is definitely a personal motivation that they start out with; they kind of have the realization that there is something more and they think I’ve got to get that, so they start out with doing practices and reading books and going to seminars, and there’s a very purposeful thing.
In your case you’re just going along living your life, and it’s like a big hook comes along and grabs you by the neck and says here’s what we’ve got planned for you
R: And you’ve been sort of – obviously you’ve pursued lots of things over the years, but it’s more like you’ve just stumbled on to a fast-moving train –
J: Yeah yeah, I was hanging on to the train
R: And not much choice in the matter, you were deafened by this thing, and you were almost chosen, like in the Master Jose incident, he kind of like just came along and it was like boom! So it’s fascinating, it does happen to some people that way. Not to everyone
J: No, not everyone, and both must exist, you know, like it comes after you or you go after it.
I was playing catchup, you know, constantly trying to make sense of something because the next thing was already on top of me.
Often remember thinking Maybe I’ll ask to slow it down, and I did once. It has to slow down. Because I thought about it so much, I can remember! It has to slow down.
R: Did it slow down?
J: And about 3 days later I thought, no no, I’m OK now again, I’m OK. Off it goes.
R: Who do you think you were asking?
J: Oh sure good question, my mind I suppose, what else?
R: Either that or some bigger intelligence,
J: Yeah maybe so, I don’t know, it just went out there.
R: Obviously you look at the universe and it’s vast and fascinating and complex and you and I couldn’t create a house fly if we needed to; there’s so much intelligence inherent everything and to me it always seems like – you know I start my day every day by looking at some astronomy pictures of galaxies.
R: And it seems like there’s some much bigger intelligence running the show and we fathom that as much as we can, and essentially we are, but as human beings, individual human beings, we don’t have that kind of power. But it seems like there is a bigger power, and perhaps you know deputies, sub deputies and so on who are all involved in running this thing, and you got tagged, and some people might speculate that you had done a lot of spiritual work in previous lives and therefore you were ready for this and who knows?
J: Yeah yeah who knows? But I suppose the deputies and the sub deputies and the magnificence of galaxies – we are all of it, mind just says we are this body and there are these other things that can be labeled, but we are all of it, we cannot not be all of it.
R: Somebody posted a question on my blog the other day and I wrote a little answer, and this is going to shift gears for us. I want to read it to you and see what your response is to it.
He said, ‘Although I’m impressed with the abilities of the many non-duality teachers, and more every day, to describe and point to non-duality in all the ways that they do, I have not seen anyone wake up as a result of experiencing their teachings, have you?’
And I wrote:
I have and I believe it happens, but I think it only happens when one is ready to awaken. It doesn’t help people climbing to the mountain top to hear a man describing his surroundings. If such a description is offered it should be to inspire people to continue climbing, or it may be that some people have reached the summit, but the climbing has become such a habit that they think they need to keep doing it. For them, the assurance that this is it, can legitimately end the search.
But most people are still way down the mountain and need instructions relevant to where they are. The man at the top may forget his own climb and say there is no climb, only the view at the top. The climbers may believe him and give up the climb believing they have already reached the summit; they may even start advising fellow climbers that they too have arrived.
A real teacher recognizes that different people need different instructions relevant to their level of experience.
J: Yes, yes
R: One size does not fit all. Traditionally Advaita was intended to provide the final stroke of knowledge to complete the enlightenment of people who had traversed many developmental stages. It was not intended as a general instruction for spiritual seekers. In the hands of beginners and intermediates, it can become a channel for a fundamentalist mentality. I also believe and often mention during these interviews that there are many stages of awakening – some of these can be very profound, other easily misinterpreted as final. So what do you think about all that?
J Yeah I go with pretty much all of it.
J: Yeah absolutely. All the styles are out there, there are nondual seekers who sit at the top and say there’s only the view from the top of the mountain and nothing else is real, and then there’s, I don’t know, I suppose Jac’s style is putting a torch to see if I can shine a bit of light at the rock that is in front of someone’s toe and say listen would you just watch this one coming up, go to the right of it or climb on top of it, because that is what was done for Jac, OK if I just know the next step, and something was always showing me the next step, no matter how wacky it was, I always took it. And then from there, the next step will come. And of course I fell on my ass loads of times, of course, and sure it still happens but sure so what? That’s just life.
So yes, yes there is a lot of speaking from the top of the mountain which is completely a waste of time for those who are at the bottom of the mountain. There has to be a maturity to be able to hear words which come from that which is beyond, without story.
R: But intellectually a person can still be fairly low on the mountain and grok what somebody means when they speak from the top, sure I understand what you mean, intuitively, nothing ever happened there’s only one of us and so on and so forth. But what seems to happen too often, people mistake that intellectual insight as the actual experience of being on top of the mountain, and they think I’m done, and all this talk of progress and all this stuff and all these gurus, all this stuff is a load of bunk, I’m done with this idea, I’m finished.
Jac: Yes, yes that’s right. They grabbed the concept
R: Yes it’s just a concept. The word fundamentalist I used here, not only in neo-Advaita, but in Christianity or Islam or whatever, there is a certain kind of mentality that loves to latch onto the concept of absolute reality and try to make it absolute, but it’s really only a concept, and because its only really from a relative perspective, which is all it can be from that level of experience, it ends up clashing with all other relative perspective, and then we fight wars over our concepts, we kill each other, we fly airplanes into buildings and so on
J: Yes, yes. Apparently we do.
R; Look what happened to you in a catholic girls school you know, they were feeding you a load of concepts and saying this is what you have to believe and we’re training you, so you get others to believe this, but you know what does it matter what anybody believes? They’re just concepts.
J: Yes they’re just concepts.
And I don’t know there’s such a supermarket of Advaita out there, I suppose for listeners, take whatever is useful but to be so honest with yourself – is this real or do I want to believe this? Is this actually is the next step? Now if you wake up that’s fine, that’s magic, wonderful, delighted for anyone who wakes up on a park bench, they don’t have to do all the madness that Jac did.
But you can’t sit around and wait for that to happen – if it’s going to happen, it’ll happen, if it’s going to happen it’s going to happen anyway, but in the meantime gosh, yeah of course let the maturing happen, let the I finish out what it needs to do.
Find out if there’s something that still wants to experience something, and have those experiences, and go and live and go and travel and go and do what it is the I wants to do so that there are no regrets, so that experiences are seen through, so that desires are seen through. And maturity needs to kick in.
So that’s its seen that none of these things are real enough – the juice is gone from what the phenomenal world can offer, from even what my mind can offer, the concepts, the juice is gone. And that maturity needs to happen and for many, that won’t happen at all in a meditation hall. For some you can see an immature ‘I’ sitting in a meditation hall, and you think Jesus if you went out and lived in the world you know what, there’d be a different energy form sitting here two years later, and you know it’s totally, totally individual, thankfully there’s no two paths the same. So really feeling where you’re at and not grabbing, because the spiritual supermarket is just like any other supermarket – give me the color red first because of what’s on the packet. It’s like hold on, what makes sense? Let’s stop – what do you need, where is there a contraction, where is there a tightness?
Where are you holding onto a belief system because the belief system is making you think you are an individual, and then there’s an I who hangs onto it, it’s like Ok have a look at self-image, have a look at these sticky ones, have a look at when you defend yourself. Have a look at these things that make you feel you are an individual. That’s the work!
R: Speaking of the work, I’m sure you know of the work of Byron Katie, she has a nice little technique for helping to do that.
J: She has a nice technique, yeah. She does, she does, it helps a lot of people. Whatever tool there is, and this intellectual snobbery that’s part of this Advaita non-dual movement now, ah Jesus, no maturity at all, there’s so many people who just are grabbing the intellectual aspect of it – what good is that to you when you’re trying to pay a mortgage?
It’s now, now balance it up, balance it up. When you’re in the horrors, because, like when you’re in physical pain, and you’re attached to your physical pain and you believe you’re in a body, what good is it now huh?
R: I’ll send you a link to a very funny cartoon, it’s an animated cartoon, it’s just about a conversation with a neo-advaitist, who says hey look at the beautiful tree, and he goes into the whole thing about there is no tree, there is no beauty, there is no self.
J: Good good
R: I’m sorry I interrupted you.
J: No no not at all
So I don’t know – it goes the way it goes, is there a path, is there not a path? There’s a path for an I and there’s no point in dropping a spiritual path until it is totally known and seen and understood that it’s useless.
You have to mature to the point that you see that the spiritual search is actually the obstacle. But to grab that, cos like for Jac, I never heard that sentence, it popped, it was like Jesus Christ, here I am doing Jac, this is the problem, this is the problem! Because there’s me and there’s something else to get. Holy shit! What do I do now?
But you can’t do anything because whatever you do there’s going to be a block!
So in one way, it was a blessing that even – even though I was going god will somebody tell me what I’m going through, somebody tell me what this thing is about – and I could get answers nowhere, because it was pre the internet, pre the availability of this information, so now people have that, so arriving at these points, the natural maturing isn’t happening, it isn’t happening.
R: Right and I would suggest that your…? And whatever else you did were not blocks at a certain stage until they were. It’s like learning to ride a bicycle, you need the training wheels, and then at a certain stage the training wheels just get in the way.
J: You got it; they just get in the way. And may it flow as it does, and enjoy the flow, because it’s organic and because it’s not you anyway. But you think it’s you, so enjoy it while you think it’s you, because it evens out –
R: Yeah – all things must pass as George Harrison says
J: Yeah and be with whatever is presenting as real, just presenting as real so be
honest about it, you know. Let it be where it is, it will pass, let it all pass, it will, the whole things goes up in smoke anyway
R: Yeah. That good, and I think this point needs to be brought out more because there’s so many voices saying give up the search, there is no search, no paths, and techniques. There’s a Zen saying, ‘Enlightenment happens accidentally, but spiritual practices make you more accident-prone.”
J: Wonderful I love it! That’s a beaut! I haven’t heard that before, that’s a beaut. That says it in one. That’s how it is,
R: Well this has been a lovely talk I’m so happy I stumbled across you on YouTube, and I’ll put this up on my site and help more people stumble across you and there’s a link to your site. I will link to your site and people who want to go there to find out more – there’s tons of talks you’ve given on the site. I have this little tool on Firefox called download them all, and I applied it to your page, and it downloaded over 7 gigabytes of audio. Just audio!
J: God, is there that much up there?
R: And then there’s tons of videos. People are going to have a feast if they want to listen to you
J: Yeah, if it works for them and if it drives them nuts – then there’s other people out there, whatever works.
R: And you travel around, and I’m sure you have some kind of mailing list if they want to know where you’re going to be?
J: Yeah, it’s just on my website really I don’t have a mailing list. People check in when they want to check in. But a retreat center is being built there in Costa Rica, I’m going to live there
R: Will it be yours exclusively, or will it be for other teachers?
J: No no, it’s just myself, someone is building it and I’m going to live there Just a small intimate, whoever wants to come. Something here is moving away from giving isolated satsang events, it just feels like too much of a spiritual supermarket, you know, yuck! It’s more like who’s in town …
Give me someone who’s a mature seeker, who’s done a lot of work and then, I don’t know, I’m not drawn to working with a mind that is suspicious and is checking out, just testing out to see what something is like. I just say oh you know, come on come on,
R: Well you know I see that too as a stage in progress because you went through the stage of satsangs, come one come all, and now you’re entering a new phase, which probably won’t be your final phase…
J: Yeah, so now it’s residentials, it’s just all residentials. That’s where it’s moving to now, and yeah, that will fade too and seem like a bad idea at some point and then we’ll move to something else.
R: So but each stage serves its purpose. And Costa Rica’s not such a bad place to hang out
J: I believe so. Yeah, it’s kind of got a nice vibe. Something slow, something gentle and. the weather is a helluva lot nicer than in Ireland!
R: Well thanks Jac
J: Thanks a lot Rick, good fun.
R: Don’t hang up on me just yet. I just want to wrap it up here, we’ll talk for a second after I’ve wrapped up – so this has been Buddha at the Gas Pump, episode 41, my name again is Rick Archer, I’ve been speaking with Jac O’Keefe in Ireland. Not sure who we’ll have next week but thank you for listening.