Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. I believe that today’s guest is number 365. Which means if I had done them every day of the year, we would have done this for a whole year straight. Today’s guest is James Eaton. James is in the UK in a place called Tottenham is that way pronounce it James.
James Eaton: Everyone says tightness, but apparently it’s supposed to be tightness,
Rick Archer: okay, tightness, it almost sounds like it should be in Spain or something. In any case, I would just say a couple of quick, more general things. Before we get started, I just like to say every time when I do one of these interviews that if you’ve never seen one of these before, there are as I just said, a whole bunch of them. And if you go to batgap.com, bat gap, and look under the past interviews menu, you’ll find them all organized and categorized in various ways you can check out previous ones. This whole thing is made possible by the support of appreciative viewers and listeners. And if you appreciate it and feel like supporting it, there’s a Pay Pal button on the site. So let me properly introduce James. So James Eaton lives in UK. He’ll tell us his story about how he and well why don’t you just start telling James because your your little bio that you sent me is so sort of personal and informal, that you might as well just tell the story of growing up deep, deep sense of dissatisfaction and so on. Let’s just start with
James Eaton: Yeah, I mean, it’s the classic tail route, you know, just having that deep sense of dissatisfaction. And I mean, from an early age. I kind of knew I was playing a game. I mean, from a very early age, I remember, always been very driven. But looking at the kind of adults around me, I’m just wondering why Why are you pretending? Why is everyone pretending? But you see, yeah, you know, and I got about nine or 10 I was pretending to I sort of got into the game. And somewhere I knew I was pretending but you know, you just can’t understand what’s going on there at such a young age.
Rick Archer: Did you ever feeling like you were getting sucked into it like, like blinders were being put over your eyes? Yeah, prevent that from happening?
James Eaton: Absolutely. I just found myself rather, rather than people say as you get older, you know, everything expands and your options open. And I was feeling like the opposite was happening shutting down. Yeah. And what I was doing, I was I was starting to play a role, you know, like, we will well most of us seem to do. And deep down feeling very insecure and wanting to kind of open up and be fully seen and expressed and you know, all those wonderful things. But every time that kind of impetus would rise up are kind of shutting down, and a fear of, of expressing myself. And so there’s kind of inner tensions that are building up,
Rick Archer: are any adults telling you that you shouldn’t be so expressive or that you should, you know, put yourself in a box where you are hearing that kind of advice from people? I would
James Eaton: not in an explicit way, but I would say in environment in my environment, it was implicit. Yeah. And, you know, what, my, what I started to do was, was be very clever, you know, that was my way of kind of shielding this kind of inner insecurity. And I know because I’m very driven, I always have been very driven is it kind of there was this willpower sort of pushing, and so that got behind whatever I was doing so so I was I did very well in like academic stuff at school, for example. And I got into into music playing guitar. Well, that’s an interesting sort of sidetrack there because I had a friend at school and I remember going back to his house and his his brother was a musician. He came in with an acoustic guitar. And he just kind of sat on the sofa and just started strumming it and it straight away it was like, you know, you get those moments for some it starts January. Whoa
Rick Archer: This is the coolest thing you’ve ever seen. Yeah.
James Eaton: coolest thing I’ve ever heard and ever seen. And that is That was a it was like touching something far beyond this kind of being authentic character I was presenting. So I kind of got really into guitar and that was kind of like my outlet, you know, to find some sanity, I guess. But I put my willpower behind that, too. So, you know, it was a band and we used to play gigs and stuff. And so that was, you know, that was me when I by the time I got to, I guess 18 You know, I had great results in exams, got into top university, you know, it was like, from the outside, it was like, Yeah, this guy’s got it all going on, you know,
Rick Archer: he went to Oxford and majored in mathematics. It looks like it’s right. Yeah, that’s
James Eaton: right. And, but, you know, if I’m honest, beneath beneath that surface, it was it was I was very insecure, you know, feeling shameful, guilty. It was like, deficient, you know, the classic selection of descriptions. But like, so I went to university, I had a good time, I enjoyed it. But by then, I was cottoned on to my game, you know, I thought, when I when I left, it was like, Well, what do I do now? Do I carry on playing my game? And now I just carry on in, you know, as in a career and all the rest of it, but just carry on the same pretense that I was putting up? Or do I say, Well, hold on a second. You know, I’m gonna look into this.
Rick Archer: Get into who else are we skipping? You got into being an actor and a school teacher? Are we?
James Eaton: Yeah. So basically, when I when I left Oxford, I, I basically when on the dole in England, that means you sign on you you’re not working? Oh, you’re like, income support?
Rick Archer: Yeah, you’re no good. freeloader? Yeah,
James Eaton: yeah. Yeah, exactly. There’s a there’s a Cockney rhyming slang for it’s called the rock and roll. Like the adult. I literally was on the rock and roll because basically, me and a group of friends, we were basically had a band, and we were, we were trying to, you know, get a record deal and do that whole thing. So So that’s yeah, that’s where I found myself. And I did that for a few years, really putting the willpower behind it. And we had a certain amount of success, but it didn’t go big style, you know. And, like a lot of these things, if they don’t progress, everything starts to kind of implode. So that that kind of fell apart. And I was living in Oxford at the time. So then I moved after that to London. And it was just this kind of a bit lost really just working in bars and you know, going out partying, experimenting with life in all forms. Yeah, in other bands, you know, just just kind of Yeah, floating. And then I that’s when I decided to go to drama school. I basically wreck I was going through my list. I was going through my, my list like what what is going to solve this? Whatever it is, how am I going to get get through this?
Rick Archer: Meanwhile, no inkling that spirituality might be
James Eaton: No, not at this point. No, no, not at all. Not at all. Like my only my only meeting with spirituality was my mom’s Christians. I went to, you know, Sunday, Sunday school. And like many people like the way it’s presented, it’s just like, another load of beliefs to take on and, and the kind of real beauty and it was completely lost on me. And it was just another No thank you. Yeah, really? I mean, although I would say I mean, all throughout my life, I’ve always had this sense of something much, much greater, like many of us do, but just no way of kind of understanding it. You didn’t know what it was you just there was just nothing and no one or nothing around me to just kind of pick up on that glint in the eye you know? And just go oh James come and maybe read this or look at this or you know, does none of that really so? Yeah, he’s just left to my own devices. So yeah, so I did the rock and roll thing you know, then that didn’t work.
Rick Archer: Just Just out of curiosity for kind of irrelevant question, but what was the what sort of rock are you doing? Are you like heavy metal or are you more like loopy kinda?
James Eaton: Yeah melodic harmonies, melodic rock. Yeah, harmonies, Beatles, the sort of that kind of stuff. Yeah, nice crafted songs. Yeah. harmonies and yeah, stuff I was there was this. Yeah, it was around that. I don’t know if you remember, this was must have been in the 90s I guess. Yeah 90s So we had this whole thing in it in the UK called Britpop. Now it wasn’t really bad it was bands like Blur and Oasis and suede and all these. You gotta
Rick Archer: you gotta move back about three decades before I can really talk to you about the Beatles the who?
James Eaton: Yeah, well, yeah, well, that’s kind of that stuff, too. Yeah. Yeah, so it was that kind of music Yeah, so that you know that that didn’t provide the satisfaction I was looking for basically, ultimately, instead of my next on my list was something I’ve always sort of wondered about was acting. So I having no experience at all. I did a little bit. When I actually I did a nice I was in a musical when I was at Oxford by side story, actually. I was I was riff.
Rick Archer: Ah, he was a shark or jet. He was the jet.
James Eaton: Okay, when you’re Richard. Yeah. We all that stuff.
Rick Archer: You know, who happens to live in Fairfield? who’s a friend of mine is Richard beamer who played Tony in the movie, Tony, okay. He’s an old time meditator and lives here in Iowa. In our time.
James Eaton: Yeah, it’s a great movie. Yeah. My favorite musical definitely. Yeah, so I saw, I auditioned in a place called lamda, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. And was offered a place on their core. So I went and did that. And, actually, that was, that was the beginning, I think of this, this journey. Yeah, because I mean, you have to be a good actor, you have to be able to be vulnerable, you know, in the moment, not planning everything and gripping on to your, your kind of conclusions that you’ve already made. So, you know, in a way, I was hopeless, which was great, because it kind of smashed me to pieces. It was like my attempt to present myself was being severely undermined. So and, you know, by this time, I was about 25, I think. So there were other people that are a lot younger, like 1920 21, you know, and they didn’t have such a hang up. So they were like, really flying and it was like, suddenly, from used to being sort of top of the class. I was born to, you know, the old fogy? Yeah, old fogy, but also really stuck in my ways, you know? So, so that was a really great to introduction into sort of looking inward in a sense, and seeing well, why am I being like this and starting to open starting to be more vulnerable, in the moment, not having to fix everything. And also, you know, the feeling that kind of feelings of fear when they come up, and not not being kind of overridden by that not being not shutting down when those feelings are coming up. But actually, sort of meeting it and really expanding into it. So, so the, I mean, these are invaluable. They, I think everyone would really benefit actually, from at least a year at drama school. And it really was very challenging,
Rick Archer: it must actually loosen you up a lot. I mean, because you have to, I know that you do all sorts of exercises to get out of your mold, you know, to get out of your set way of functioning and to try on different personalities. So it must, it must culture, some kind of flexibility.
James Eaton: I think so I mean, improvising. You know, certainly for most people, that’s just terrifying. You’re standing in front of a group of people with no idea. You’re just saying yes, say yes to whatever’s happening. Yeah, so that was a really sort of mind opening experience for me. And when I left drama school, I actually was, was in the business for a few years. And it was, you know, it was great, actually, because I had musical skills as well. I mean, so I was sort of more employable. I used to do sort of rep work where you’d have a few plays and a musical so someone can play drums guitar, saying you know, you can kind of save yourself to people we get to put a price of one for the price of two, but two for the price of one. Certainly not one for the price of two. Yeah. So that was that was great, but I used to love the kind of heightened nature of it you know, you’re going on stage big audiences. But after a while, just this this same kind of feeling no, this isn’t it. This is great, but it’s not it is And whenever that used to come, I used these to move on very quickly, you know, I wouldn’t hang around sort of, like relationships, you know, some people get a sense that it’s over. And then it can take a sort of year or two to kind of fully admit that and move on. But I’ve always been very soon as I know, I know. And then it’s like, well, there’s, there’s no point in staying in this anymore. We’re just wasting each other’s time. So. So my kind of affair with the acting world sort of came to an end. And then I just thought, Well, what else? Well, what am I gonna do now? Good. And then last thing on my list was, oh, I’ll just teach, I’ll be a teacher school teacher. So I retrained and then I went and worked in inner city London School. So it’s very challenging school. And I was teaching maths. So went back to that, which is, you know, such a weird juxtaposition, you know, we’ve got drama, which is all about, you know, not knowing freedom in the moment vulnerability and this sort of math, which is this, this kind of logical structure, you know, it’s kind of solid, like a rock.
Rick Archer: That’s good. You’re exercising different faculties? You know,
James Eaton: certainly was, yeah. So yeah, that was really great. I enjoyed that. Love the kids, the energy of the kids, that kind of vitality, you know, and I actually enjoyed sort of presenting maths in a way that I felt they could really connect with, because I think so many people have such bad experience of maths, you know, when they’re at school. And, you know, when people I always hear when people when I was young, when I used to say, oh, yeah, doing a maths degree, they’re just like, I’d said, a bad word, you know, because most people’s experience is very bad. Because I’m thinking about maths, what you could do is, let’s take something really simple. And then like, see, say, doing circles, you know, like, circumference is pi times diameter. So teacher comes in, and they just write that on the board. And they just check out the textbooks and go right, do some problems. And it’s like, well, who’s learning anything there is just feels like a complete waste of time. So he’s to try and do things like if all the kids come in with tins, and stuff, circular objects draw around them, and he a bit of string, and they kind of go around the circle with the string, measure it, then measure the diameter of that. And you have a table on the board or something, and everyone just fills in their values, you know? And then you get them. Well, you might just whisper to one kid, you know, don’t don’t not not announcing it just but whisper, I think you divide and see, like, so you get. So they divide it and they get this number three point something. And they do that when you do it again, there’s suddenly you just as a teacher, you just stand back and you watch this kind of like, wave go through the class, because they start realizing they’re getting the same number over and over again, no matter what size the circle is, it’s the same number. And it’s like, what the hell’s going on? And then you get one of the kids to go up and like Google it, you know, three point, whatever, what is this number? I didn’t find this pie symbol comes up on the screen, you know? And then this one’s like, whoa, touching into something mysterious, you know, what’s even called a transcendental number, isn’t it?
Rick Archer: Yeah, you know. And while we’re on that point, I know that some mathematicians and others have marveled at the fact that the universe somehow is mathematical that that mathematics that we even understand mathematical laws, and that they correlate with things in the physical universe. Have you ever thought about that? I mean, does it ever sort of evoke a sense of awe and wonder in you, or some sense of divine intelligence, that’s, that’s orchestrating things in it that has given this this language that enables us to understand the universe from a certain angle?
James Eaton: Yeah, I mean, that’s when we can get on to this as we go through. I mean, that’s, that’s a way of looking at it. Yeah. And it certainly strikes you when you’re teaching this stuff, you know, ratios like the golden ratio, and you know, spirals and spirals come out of that and then you see in some flower patterns and yeah,
Rick Archer: and galaxies and
James Eaton: Yeah, exactly. It’s, it’s really fascinating, even in the lexical structure, the DNA ratio of the golden ratio and that even if you’ve measured your your digits, your fingers and your your arms, you can, you can get a ratio there. In fact, we used to do this I used to do a live lesson like that and I had on the internet you can find In this face made out of golden ratios. And then you can, you can, you can put different famous faces behind it to see how they, how they match up or not, as the case may be. And there is a strange kind of beauty when there was a Russian model, and our face almost matched it perfectly, and you look at the face, and it wasn’t like a sexy face, or it was just there was something really sort of beautifully pure about it. That was very, yeah, it was really something. So yeah, I mean, it certainly can inspire that or wonder and I certainly saw that in a kid and I had it myself a bit when I was particularly a level maths I think university got so conceptual that. I mean, I realized that university, I wasn’t really a mathematician. You know what I mean? Especially there were I when you start to meet people who really are geniuses, you know? And you Okay, all right. You know, I just I can I can get this stuff, but I’m not on that level.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Both in terms of genius. And perhaps in terms of the nerd value. Yeah, right. Yeah. I met Brian Josephson one time the physicist and, you know, such a genius. He got the Nobel Prize, but he was such an odd character, you know, just so eccentric, just kind of caught up in this world in his mind.
James Eaton: Amazing. Yeah. Certainly was a few like that. When I went to Oxford, definitely. So yeah. So in the end, the mass the teaching thing, you know, the same thing happened, I just, I did it for three years. And it’s very exhausting. I mean, I take my hat off to teachers out there, you know, absolutely. Total respect, you know, because the energy that it sucks out of you, especially in those inner city schools. Every second of the day, you’re kind of on something, you know, you it’s just exhausting.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Just want to throw in here that there’s a nice programs where they’re teaching meditation to inner city school kids and getting incredible results, you know, just huge reductions, and, you know, violence and misbehavior, things and drop outs, and much better grades and all kinds of stuff. So, and it must be a lot easier on the teachers to
James Eaton: Yeah, right. Yeah, I mean, I used to find getting kids respect was was the best way of controlling classes, rather than, you know, that the screaming teachers at the front of the class doesn’t doesn’t, especially in inner city schools, because they’ll bring back at you. No problem. So yeah, I mean, I see there’s a great Chinese proverb, it’s something like, tell me, and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember, involve me, and I will always understand that’s good. So yeah, exactly. So that. I mean, that goes for the subject we’re talking about in terms of the sort of spiritual search as well, for me is too much telling and too much going into taking on the word of the teacher and not enough. Involving, you know,
Rick Archer: yeah. Yeah. A lot of times, there’s, there’s a very rigid hierarchy with the teacher up on a podium and everybody else sort of I’ll never be like him, you know. And, yeah, they can be that a number of teachers who are trying to get around that now and make it much more egalitarian. Yeah, exactly.
James Eaton: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I mean, I was basically I was trying to do in the math teaching. I just, I’ll just tell you one very quick thing. I was so beautiful. I was doing Pythagoras theorem with a class once and I did a similar lesson where they, they would have squares that they fit together. And when there’s certain squares that fit together, you get a right angled triangle. So there’s this kid in the class, he worked it out. And he, you know, upgraded. I think his name was do Ha, so we call it do house theorem. And he’s so excited. He’s got a theory. And then we again, we looked it up on Google, and it came up our Pythagoras theorem. He got really disappointed. He said, I got there before me. And then this is this is the best I hate this kid at the back of class go Tigers, but he was bullied at school. That’s great. Because he you know, they were imagining he was like a kid like them, you know, in some other school in London. Probably the so funny
Rick Archer: is that Pythagoras, who was at that was reputed to have discovered some principle in mathematics or physics when his body displaced the bath water in the tub and he jumped out and ran through the streets naked shouting Eureka. I
James Eaton: found out. Maybe it wasn’t him. Yeah. Yeah, he does. There is some Pythagoras cup or something might have been him. Yeah. I mean, you know, to be honest, like, I’m so not sciency it’s really funny. We’re talking like this, but we’re Yeah. Anyway. So, you know, in the end of the day, that I realized that that wasn’t it either. For me, that wasn’t where I was going. So it was like, I, I thought I tried to fit myself into all these different boxes, and I just didn’t fit basically it’s like, okay. So this is when I started to get the spiritual kind of direction coming in. And it’s actually, towards the end of my, when I was acting, I did a, I did a show with, it was a Shakespeare comedy of errors. And I was Antipholus of Ephesus, I think it was, and isn’t Antipholus of Syracuse. So we’re like twins. And everyone mistakes us for each other. That’s how the comedy sort of happened. Anyway, he used to go off on a Wednesday, I think it was, after rehearsals, he used to go off very mysteriously. And I said, where are you at? You go, and he wouldn’t tell me. And as he followed him once, and he ended up being this Gnostic group. Yeah, it was a Gnostic group based sort of Spanish based thing. So that was my first kind of step into this. I didn’t last very long in that group, because I, you know, I ask a lot of questions. And I’m not particularly reverend. You know, I’m not like, I’ve always been like, Okay, I need to know this. So, yeah, I try to get into trouble.
Rick Archer: Good Wednesday, actually,
James Eaton: I think so. Yeah. And then, after that, I was I was in the Gurdjieff group. I think it overlapped a bit. So that I mean, that was where my sort of First things first started to open up for me. And so I was reading some of his books go into this group.
Rick Archer: We’re trying to do that self remembering thing that those people will repeat. Like, keep checking in. Am I here? Yeah.
James Eaton: That kind of stuff. Yeah. And, you know, I mean, I don’t know much about your son. Very strange stuff goes on in those groups. You know, people speak very slowly.
Rick Archer: Well, yeah. You know, my first my, I was a student in marshy, Mahesh Yogi, and he said that when he first came to England, he met a bunch of gurjit people back in the 60s, and they were all speaking like that. And you know, and he said, you know, well, why are you talking like that? And they said, Well, we’re trying to remember the self. And he said, Well, why should you not be able to speak properly? And, and well, you know, that we were taught to sort of keep checking in and remembering so you said, no, no, no, no, I said, it said, self realization is like taking a shower, you take a shower in the morning, you’re clean, you totally forget about it. And it’s just there without the throughout the day, thinking about it doesn’t help to retain it, forgetting about it doesn’t cause you to lose it. It’s just not on the basis of any kind of act of attention like that.
James Eaton: Yeah, I think there’s ways cycle these things, you know, when the teacher dies, you’ve got you’ve got people interpreting the teaching, and I think there’s a lot of law judgment, as you know, I used to see you see the movements as well, you know, the movements are fantastic. I love the movements, but you see people getting them wrong, and then they’d like be chastising themselves for getting it wrong. And it’s like, you know what, this is just judging yourself, you know, then judging yourself for judging yourself and all this kind of stuff. So, you know, again, I got into trouble again. I had a bit of an altercation with a senior person. But I have to say, you know, I’ve got a lot I think girge If the man was a bit of a genius, I think he was so mischievous. And what my first big kind of awaking I guess you call it was have you ever read that book, that massive book he wrote, be as a Bobtail to his grandson? This is massive tome. You know, it’s like 1000s of pages. And it’s it’s so wildly crazy. I mean, it’s just it’s just so out there you know, these huge words Hepta power passion or I can’t remember. And there’s just so fantastical but but delivered in a kind of this is the way it is. You know, for someone like me, just continue trying to get my head around it. But it’s just so out there that you could call it as a car, get your head around. It has been the end you just it just breaks the whole thing just breaks Ah, yeah. So that’s the first time when I really sort of realized that there’s a presence here, there’s a knowing here that knowing these thoughts, is knowing these thoughts equally as the sound of this voice as the colors of rec on a screen. You know, there’s a knowing and, and all those attributes coming and going shifting and changing, whereas this knowing is just shining. Always there it is. So that I mean, that was just like bombshell, you know. And I remember my, my older brother actually came around. I was staying at my grandpa’s place. My grandpa I it was wasn’t very well. And he just moved into a home. And I was basically living in his old house, ripping it apart, like taking out the carpets, stripping the walls, I was literally, you know, I was in an environment where I was ripping everything out. And funnily enough, that’s exactly what I was doing in the evening, I was just sitting reading books, spiritual books in this massive garage. And just kind of ripping everything out internally in the mind as well, somehow. Yeah, and my brother came around to see me and I just, I just pulled it bent his ear off like a whole night talking about this incredible discovery. Something something knows thoughts, you know, you’re not thoughts. There’s something before thoughts. It’s knowing thoughts. And he’s like, my brother,
Rick Archer: Yeah, you on drugs, buddy?
James Eaton: Yeah, sitting, you know, my life has changed my life from now on, and my life has changed. You know, I just knew it. This was this discovery was beginning of something completely different. So I still haven’t found non duality by this point.
Rick Archer: But, but you’re onto something.
James Eaton: And yeah, it was on Sunday, but it felt incomplete. Because, yes.
Rick Archer: Someone just told us it was Archimedes. Who was the one in the back. Comedian. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you, Serge. Thank you so much. Yeah, it was Serge told us. Yeah, so you can we will say no. I’m so sorry. Yeah, you were? Well, you’re onto something you realize. Exactly. Yeah, you realize that there was this present. So you hadn’t quite glommed on to our non duality yet. But yeah, there was a crack and in the car.
James Eaton: That’s it. That’s right. So yeah, what, of course what you know what happens? Because it’s, you know, life as, as it is starts to kind of creep back in again, doesn’t it? And, you know, this discovery suddenly is less clear than it was or you rediscover it again, and you rediscover it again. And then also, I think I just felt like there’s just something else here, because I could still feel that incompleteness that sense of more, you know, and I think it’s really important this point, because I think a lot of people stop there. They get they get into this awareness thing. And then they kind of I think that’s it. I think the oh, I’ve just I’ve woken up. This is awareness here. Yeah. And Nikki, first step on the ladder. Yeah.
Rick Archer: I mean, if you’ve watched many of my interviews, you realize that there’s a kind of a perennial theme with this with me, which is that, you know, well, it’s the old Zen saying that beginner’s mind. And as as Adyashanti says, I consider myself to always be a beginner. So absolutely, I don’t think they’re personally I haven’t yet seen or come to understand how there could be a final step. It seems like there’s always, I mean, there’s, there’s a dimension of life, that doesn’t change. But then then one lives and in the living, there can be ever fresh, clarity, realization, depth, whatever.
James Eaton: I totally agree with that. When I say first step, I mean, I mean, you know, it’s not this is just the beginning of a journey. It’s not the end. Yeah. And what I, what I sort of later began to see and, you know, became part of how I share this message is that people actually get fixated on that. And it becomes a concept becomes another concept without even realizing it. They’re now conceptualizing awareness and using it as a way of stepping out of life and kind of hiding from the kind of challenge and the messiness of what life offers so it can actually become a bit of a false refuge as well.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I heard you comment in one of your other interviews of, you know, going to non duality meetings and seeing these people sitting in the back row or sort of check doubt, you know, I mean, they, they gotten into disassociative kind of state from, you know, dwelling on it this way without, you know, continuing to evolve. Yeah,
James Eaton: that’s a good point to make right now. Because, you know, this when I did discover non duality, because I was looking around, I mean, I’ve got a voracious mind, you know, and when I, when I get my teeth into something I like, I’ll go 100% You know. And so, sooner or later, I came across non duality. And, you know, so what I was hearing these, these kinds of slogans, you know, like nothing to do. There’s nowhere to go, there’s nothing to get. And, you know, people really selling me this stuff, like, really believing it. And yet I could see that they was they were far from in a place where they it’s, like, being having found that step kind of fulfillment, you know? Do you know what I mean? It’s like, well, yeah, I mean, what was driving me on was was, there’s something I’m, there’s, this is unfulfilling. Yeah.
Rick Archer: And my take on it is that they’ve glommed on to a concept, you know, and they’ve gotten good at speaking those kinds of words. But, you know, when you contrast what they’re actually living and experienced, that’s what I mean. Exactly. Yeah. With with what’s possible, then it’s kind of sad.
James Eaton: Yeah, it’s very sad. And but of course, you know, it’s totally ironic as well, because I mean, reason I brought that in was because I think the people that you were just mentioning that sometimes at the back of the road there, I mean, this, these are the people that sometimes tell you this stuff. And it’s, it’s like they’ve got stuck in a rut here, because there’s, they’re telling themselves has nothing to do. But what they’re actually doing is they’re suppressing a natural yearning to explore, with the belief that there’s nothing to do. So they’re actually doing, doing nothing. So, you know, without even realizing it, they’re actually completely contradicting themselves.
Rick Archer: I think if we analyze why they say that, it’s sort of, it’s a, it’s a kind of a misappropriation of a different level of experience, which they probably haven’t attained. But there’s this, there is a level on which there’s nothing to do and nothing exactly, could be done, because there’s no truer and so on and so forth. But if that’s not the level on which you’re living, then it’s it’s your there’s a there’s a saying in the Gita, which is, you know, the dharma of another brings danger. You know, it’s not your dharma, it’s not your experience. And even if it were your experience, on some level, it’s nothing to do. But on other levels, there’s plenty to do and you’re gonna be doing it. Yeah, exactly.
James Eaton: Beautiful. And I would totally agree, I mean, all those phrases, it’s all true, of course, it’s true. But you know exactly what you say, if it’s not true for you, then maybe there is something to explore. And I think that’s why what I try to bring with the way I speak about this is to you can come in at it anywhere you can come in at any level. So you know, I could be speaking to someone and just someone who’s never heard of any of this stuff. And you’re just getting him to see that, that there’s something here. That’s knowing thought, I mean, just something just like that can be really fun, profound for someone who’s never even looked into that. And in for someone else, it might be completely different way of speaking. And there’s no question, there’s no worries about contradicting yourself. Because you know, it’s right. For particular people or particular times, that’s just the way it is. So yeah, there’s nothing to do is true.
Rick Archer: But then importantly, I interviewed this wonderful gentleman named Shri M, a couple of days ago. And he was saying about the trickiness of being a teacher in the sense that you might be talking to 100 people, and yet the people in the room are at all different levels of understanding and development. And, and it’s it’s sort of an art learning to speak in a way that’s appropriate to all those people. But he said, to really get deeply into something, you actually really need to have a one on one because then you can kind of tune right into where that person is and what they need.
James Eaton: That’s exactly what I do. I have I usually have a introduction will be on a group basis. So it’ll just be a kind of guided meditation type thing. Just bringing people into that place. Just just easing in softening into being and then from there, I just I invite anyone who wants to come up to come up and then it’s like a one on one with with an audience. So this is great actually, because it having the audience it heightens the one on ones Anything, anything
Rick Archer: on the answers? Spiritual fields, so to speak? Yeah.
James Eaton: And it kind of amplifies whatever the issue is. So yeah, so I realized there was more so I’m wanting to explore more. So I started doing that and I was living in. I don’t know if you know, London, North London Kentish town, I had a flat in Kansas town, which is quite close to Hampstead and Hampstead is where anyone really comes to UK does go on geology meeting so I was walking over there. He’s like, all the time, you’re gonna see different anyone who stepped foot in a country basically, I was there, you know, lapping it up.
Rick Archer: I only experienced in London. This is just a funny story. I was I was on my way from Keele University where I had helped to start a teacher training course for TM teachers. And I was going back to Switzerland and I spent the night in London and TM center there. And I was meditating in the morning, coming out of meditation. I looked over and I saw this button on the table next to me, and I thought I wonder what that does. And I pushed it in his fire alarm went off. And the guy who was like running the center totally lost his cool and was screaming and yelling. We can’t get this thing to stop once you started. Why did you do that? Your son of a bitch. That was my experience with London.
James Eaton: Well, at least I didn’t shut up my my partner. She she did that. On she was on a massage course. And they tried to charge a 200 quid off the firearm. She left the course. That’s disgusting.
Rick Archer: Anyway, we’re having a very informal interview as you can tell here, stories. But sorry to interrupt. Continue.
James Eaton: Yeah, so you know, I started exploring different teachers, different books, different teaching in the non duality sort of sphere.
Rick Archer: Go around, say Tony Parsons and Rupert Spiro and Jeff FOSS? Yeah, those guys. Yeah,
James Eaton: exactly. I mean, I actually. Yeah, actually, I didn’t see Jeff, very much. I saw Tony a few times at the beginning. And then I just found myself sort of looking elsewhere. And, yeah, and Marnie. She was another one on money. And then Rupert, I see the great thing, Roger Linden as well, he didn’t quite know me. But Marnie and Rupert were they were great because they became friends. You know, and, and that, to me is so important. Because it all the bullshit just goes out the window, you know, they’re just, it’s nothing to do any kind of pretensions or, you know, all that crap. Just gone. You know, and I think that’s such a gift that someone in that position can give is to just be your friend, you know, just we’re just friends. is really, really beautiful. Yeah. Yeah. Actually, I remember going to see Rupert this is probably 1010 odd years ago, used to be upstairs in this little back room in Colette house. I remember going well into Namaste had been three people. And I just remember we were sitting there is this tube train just to keep the tube lines just behind the window. Just cheap go. And a light is getting darker and darker and nobody could be bothered to put the light on just three of us. Rupert sitting there in his dark room. It’s amazing. He’s so popular now. It’s wonderful.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And rightfully so. It’s absolutely. It’s really clear and very, very sweet guy, like you say unpretentious. Yeah, just a genuine human being. And his wife too is delightful.
James Eaton: Yeah, well, and beautiful. Yeah. Yeah, I’d love to catch up with him again soon. But
Rick Archer: I’ll be seeing him in a week and a half.
James Eaton: Oh say hi for
Rick Archer: Yeah, I will.
James Eaton: me.
At the SAND conference.
James Eaton: Right. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, since I’ve moved down to Totnes, I sort of don’t see anyone anymore. We’re just kind of living in the middle of nowhere and disconnected from. Yeah, so. Yeah. So from from exploring those things, you know, then the other part of it started to open up. And I think the way how do we talk about this? I seem to have got into this pattern. I’m writing actually, I’m writing a book at the moment. And I, there’s this way in that I’ve sort of used is, first of all common sense. What does common sense say? So going back to the awareness thing, that common sense says, you know, you’re a person, physical player, you’ve got a name, agenda and all the rest of it, you know, and you’ve got your past and your future to come and pass memories and all that kind of stuff. And that’s what you are, right? Simple as common sense. Easy. And yet, if you just probe that a little bit further, you say, Well, you know, what are you most essentially Where’s that? Most people wouldn’t say, well, it’s in your legs. You if you lost your legs, you wouldn’t you still feel like you were you somehow you know. So most people kind of end up up here like what I most essentially are is up here looking through two eyes.
Rick Archer: Reminds me of the Cat Stevens song, you know,
James Eaton: which one?
Rick Archer: Moonshadow. If I ever lost my legs.
James Eaton: I didn’t know he had written a song about losing his legs.
Rick Archer: check it out Moonshadow,
James Eaton: Okay. Yeah. That’s the kind of common sense thing, but then you just started digging a little bit beneath that, and you think well, is take the body, body, baby is boring. I got two kids and seeing them growing in the well, I didn’t see them growing in the womb, but seeing the room growing and scanning pictures, you know, all these incredibly intricate structures being grown. You know, nobody does that. That’s just happening. You don’t, you don’t kind of design the intricate structures or the lungs and stuff. I mean, thank God. It all just happens. And the
Rick Archer: You don’t do it. But some incredible intelligence is exists out there.
James Eaton: But you see the same thing, you know, the skin growing, the nails, growing the hair growing everything, you know, it’s all it’s all happening, the heart is beating the breath. And you know, when we come down to Apple, these sort of billions of processes, I know trillions of processes, God knows how many processes. There’s one that we say, I know that I’m doing that at least one anyway, which is thinking I’m doing thinking, I am thinking. And it’s, you know, interesting that I mean, are you are you doing that? Can you find the function that does thinking?
Rick Archer: Well, that’s an interesting question. Is this this whole freewill issue. And obviously, there are certain things that we don’t do we don’t beat our heart. We don’t, you know, don’t do a lot of we don’t run our liver or anything like that. But we do seem to be able to raise our hand or not raise our hand or speak or not speak we there and physiologists talking about that. What is it the autonomic and sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems or something? So in a lot of people try to argue that the things that we seem to have control over are actually just as automatic and beyond our control as the heartbeat and the liver function. So I mean, what’s your take on that whole deal?
James Eaton: Well, I mean, my, my take ultimately, is to go right beyond all of that. But maybe we’ll come to that. I’m just trying to sort of walk in. Because, you know, it certainly feels like you choose thoughts. But then if you look for some, whatever it is that’s choosing the thought, will you ever find is another thought. So what’s choosing that thought? You just keep finding another thoughts, the thought is just arising. It’s literally just array, try and find now and find a function, some function it’s doing thinking. I mean, if you have a good look, it says, You just find another thought, Where does that come from? So all I’m doing is just trying to try to loosen up the sort of conclusion of common sense. And then what some people then do is they grab hold of science, like great science was helped me out here. But then, of course, you know, our prevailing sort of materialist science will actually confirm that there isn’t anyone doing that there is no, there’s no, you know, it’s a kind of neurophysiological system.
Rick Archer: But just to play devil’s advocate for a second, let’s say somebody’s listening to this interview, and they feel like alright, well, I made the choice to listen to this interview. And you guys are talking about this, you know, is there anyone doing it? So right now, I’m going to make the choice to leave this interview and go out for a walk, it’s, or maybe I’ll sit decide to stay here, but either way, it’s my choice. So there is I perceive that there is a somebody who, although I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but there is something that enables me to choose to do this or that.
James Eaton: Yeah, so the thought arises, I’m going to press stop on this interview, and I’m gonna go and walk my dog. There’s a thought arising. Where does it come from? Yeah, where does it go? Is the same question. I mean, it doesn’t matter what the thought is. I’m gonna raise my hand. Yeah, it was a Where did the thought come? I’m gonna raise my, I’m just, these are just ways of loosening up the certitudes that we have, you know. And if you try and grab hold of science, to back your case, it does the opposite. Science is basically saying that we’re we’re sort of an organic machine basically. That’s just, it’s like a software program. There’s just that dating. It’s got it’s hardwired DNA structure without that comes from your parents. You didn’t choose your parents either. And it’s sculpted by environment and you don’t choose that. So it’s like the whole thing is just like and upgrading system, this is what science would say. I mean, that’s actually quite useful for people on this path, because it starts to, like I was saying just kind of loosen things up a bit. But when I really sort of got that, it still felt like, well, no, whatever is here, there’s, there’s a freedom here. There is a freedom here that that doesn’t speak to. So that’s when I, you know, we go into this firsthand experiencing, this is the key, this is the, the sort of beautiful way into exploring this whole area of non duality spirituality, first hand direct, actual experience. So we can do that, like, we were speaking earlier about realizing that sounds and sensations and thoughts and feelings are all moving and changing and shifting. But this knowing of that is always present. Here, it is always shiny. So that’s the kind of key that I then took into this next step of exploring. So that’s, you could say, we’ve looked at the subject, that me, and we’ve seen that what we thought was a subject is actually thoughts, feelings, and sensations that are arising. So the real ultimate subject is this knowing if you like this present. So now what I then like to do is, turn it around. So now let’s look at the object. Because this is this is the sort of contradiction that I found myself in, okay, I’m this presence, I can’t find where it begins or ends even. And yet, this world, you know, still feels like it’s outside. So like, you know, this computer and Rick’s over there in America, and we’re having this conversation. So all of that stuff is still there. So we get this kind of weird contradiction. And that’s why I think, for me, it felt incomplete. So then we look at the object to be 10 or less, let’s really look at this object. What is this? And I think this is where most people find it most challenging, actually. Because what, what, what we’re doing is we’re seeing that all we ever experience is like a virtual reality. So he and and this again, I don’t if I say that sometimes people go, whoa, whoa, whoa. So we walk in gently. So common sense says, like, we were just saying, your, your, what you most essentially are is behind here, looking through eyes, at the world. But just look at that for a second. What we, what we’re believing there that is that these eyes are windows, and that there’s a sort of entity behind them, looking through windows at at what’s out there. But then you could really play devil’s advocate without you. So how is this little entity in their head? How is that seeing? If it’s just looking through windows, you get into this, like infinite regress you need, you need a little entity inside the head of the little entity that looks through its eyes, it looks through these eyes, you know, you just keep going back. It just doesn’t just doesn’t work make sense?
Rick Archer: What if you do it this way? What if you say, All right, what you are is consciousness. And, you know, there’s a, I’ll just state it this way. And you can rebut it. But there’s a there’s a physical apparatus, and mechanics of perception involving senses and so on. And then there are objects of experience objects of the senses. And so you have a threefold structure, you have perceiver consciousness, mechanics of perception, and objects of perception. And the perceiver obviously, can’t perceive himself because to do so he’d have to be an object and step apart from itself. And that there you get the infinite regress. But he so to speak, I’m saying here, it’s not a he can perceive other things. They, you know, they can fall like images falling on a movie screen screen can perceive itself, but images can fall on the screen and give rise to experience. Does that sort of fit with what you’re saying? Or would you like to really try that?
James Eaton: So that’s, that’s a nice model. And you know, if that works for you go for it. But I found that that kind of model didn’t work for me, there’s still a feeling of separateness that that evokes and actually, in a way the screen is does know itself. It doesn’t know itself, you can get down to that screen knowing itself.
Rick Archer: It can but isn’t it isn’t that different than the way you know, a cup or something because the screen is itself it can’t sort of become two things in order to know itself.
James Eaton: Yeah, but where this lead this is leading is that there is no cup there’s only it’s Though that’s where it would go in for
Rick Archer: that, which appears to be a cup and a pen and a tree.
James Eaton: Yeah, it’s just, pure consciousness.
Rick Archer: It’s all just consciousness.
James Eaton: Yeah, it’s that’s where this leading. So what? So just going back to that, we leave that common sense thing behind and this is really mind blowing because then people go into let’s do science again like we did before. And what what you what you start to realize is, what the scientific position is, which nobody really realizes I don’t think people really think about it is is that, okay? All this sensory data from the outside is, is being picked up and coming into the physical system. But it’s all it’s all being fed into the brain, and the brain is dark, it has no sound or light in a brain. So it’s not, you know, I think we have this idea that it’s like this, we’re streaming all this light into the head, and just, but it’s not true,
Rick Archer: The brain is interpreting it.
James Eaton: Yeah, it’s just electric electrical signals, you know, can electrical electrochemical signals feeding into the brain where this utter fucking miracle happens where this explosion of this data this, this cinematic, rich experience happens? So, I mean, this is, this is like, mind boggling, because what it means is that what you’re seeing now, wherever everyone is watching this, wherever they are in the world, what they’re seeing now is not a real physical reality. It’s a kind of collection of perceptions. And if if we’re sticking with, with the scientific view, it’s a projection of being created by the brain in the mind.
Rick Archer: Yeah, here’s an interesting question, not to throw you off track. But let’s say you’re, you’re looking at a tree. And there’s also a bird looking at the tree, and there’s a dog looking at the tree and maybe a, you know, a squirrel or something. And each of them, obviously, if you think about it as seeing a very different tree, because they have very different perceptual apparatus and ways of interpreting what they perceive. So who sees the rooster Riri? And you could have 1000 people looking at the tree, and they’re all seeing slightly different. And so what is the tree? Exactly? If no one actually sees it as it is? Does it have a reality that sort of stands alone in and of itself? That is perfect. And everybody has some kind of degree of appreciation of that, but not the actual thing?
James Eaton: Yeah. Right. So that’s a softball question. Because nobody can actually answer that. So this is the this is the wonderful thing. So nobody can step outside of their first person experience to to objectively experience a material world out there to say what that tree actually is. And I mean, that’s an extraordinary thing to realize. Because Because what your bait, what it’s basically saying is that the the concept of reality that we share conventionally is a concept. It’s a philosophy. It’s not a kind of actual experience. And this is really like mind blown,
Rick Archer: we don’t want to say that we’re all each creating our own reality, because there’s a, there’s an agreement to a certain extent, between all the different realities, the squirrels obviously see some sort of tree the same as we do. He climbs it, we watch it, we, you know, the bird can fly up and land. And so they’re all identifying an object that’s apparently there. And yeah, and we could die, and they could still be engaging with the trees. So there’s, there’s some sort of existence to the tree that seems to be independent of anyone’s perception of it.
James Eaton: Yeah, so we can get to that, because these are big questions. So I just want to just pause here at the moment, because I think it’s really something that certainly in my kind of journey was really profound. So it’s like so for example, if you’re sitting watching this now or like for us now, as you sort of move your head around like this, is seems completely obvious that you’re moving your head around. But what we’re saying is, because your experience is virtual is being recreated, that’s what you’re experiencing is the movement of colors. That gives an as if impression, even that little sort of clicks in your neck if you don’t, if you’re walking down the street and you feeling the the sort of tingling sensations in your feet and you feel your feet touching the ground, and you look around and you see people walking in his smells and the cars going by. It’s all it’s all being recreated out of perceptions. And this is really, really important to kind of understand with this whole process. So in terms of distance, like the distance, for example, or you look at a star, trillions of kilometers away In the sky at night, and, you know, it seems that far away. But you know, your, your brain isn’t bigger than the universe, you couldn’t possibly how’s that a distance inside your brain. So it’s an appearance, it’s the appearance of distance, just like, as I move my hand in and out of this screen now it looks like it gets closer and bigger and further away. But from the point of view of your computer screen right now, there’s just colors. So I mean, this is fundamental, right? Because if you don’t start to kind of feel into this, then you’ll always have this sense of separateness between the knowing presence and what’s appearing.
Rick Archer: So I think that’s I was about to ask you, so what’s the, what’s the practical value of this film? Exactly as you were having. And you just sort of said it, that if you, if you can really feel into this, then you can kind of begin to sense the Unity
James Eaton: exact. Exactly. Because, because now look, looking at my hand. Right? So now we’ve been talking about computer screens and things, but it’s true of my hand, too. This is colors with sensation that create this experience. Yeah. And so your entire your actual body and your thoughts, everything. So is it’s all appearing. It’s all like a perceptual cocktail, if you like. So, yeah, so our conventional view is that that’s a representation of what’s out there. But like we just said, that can never be experienced. So I’m not, you know, we’ve got to be careful here. Because, because for me, this whole journey is about it’s not about replacing beliefs with new ones. It’s the opposite just about kind of unpicking things. So. So from from there, we don’t now come to the conclusion that there is no out there. But neither do we come to conclusion. It’s like you’re not you’re not now shifting away? Or was the eggs into a different basket? If you like? We just don’t know. So we’re coming into this innocence, this childlike innocence. We only know, all we know is a direct experience this this right now.
Rick Archer: Now, a little while ago, you said, Well, it looks like you know, I’m looking at a copper, I’m looking at a tree, but really, it’s all consciousness interacting with itself. Yes. That’s where we’re going. That needs to be that needs some
James Eaton: clarification. Yeah. So that’s where we go now. So now, we’ve broken down the subject into pure knowing consciousness, whatever word we use. And now we’ve broken down the object into this kind of softening into just a play of sensation, a play of thoughts, feelings, you know, like mind stuff, if you like,
Rick Archer: well, the object is a mind stuff. And thoughts and feelings as far as our perception of it is concerned. But what I was kind of getting at before is, the object doesn’t really depend, or does it really depend upon our perception for its existence? It’s the moon has been doing just fine. You know, even before there were human beings that could really perceive it. It was?
James Eaton: Yeah, it’s a great question. The thing is, I think you’ll see wrong going. Okay. I didn’t want to jump in and answer that. Because the, in it like in the question itself, there’s stuff in there. So by answering it, I’m kind of following this as you go along. Yeah, I’m agreeing to the premise of the question. It’s a bit like what we were saying earlier, so I could answer that. But it wouldn’t be right my answer, because it would be giving validity to certain assumptions in the question. So if we just, if we just now bring these seeming two together, yeah. So there’s, there’s, there’s this knowing presence, and then there’s this cocktail of perception? Yeah, so. So what we can then do is, maybe realize closes might be easier, but just take maybe a sound sound is sometimes the easiest thing to play with. Maybe the sound of my voice, or if there’s some traffic nearby, or a clock ticking or whatever. And just, we’re gonna go with direct experience. So that means letting all of our assumptions all of them, every single one just drop away. So you don’t even know what this is. You have no idea what this sound is right now, or where it is or when it’s going to begin or end. So that without any of those assumptions, or predictions, there’s just sound spontaneously appearing now. And it has this quality there it is spontaneously appearing. And it’s being known by this presence. So the first question And to look at here is, is there a gap between the seeming two? Now if we go into our concepts, then suddenly I’m a person sitting here on a chair, and the sound is a meter or half a meter away from me and yeah, there’s the gap. But if if we come back into this first person experience again, now, I, this consciousness, I can’t see where it is, is certainly not here between my eyes, that’s a sensation. That’s a sensation that is being experienced by this knowing present. So this knowing that I can’t point to and I can’t say where it begins or end. Is there a gap between that and this spontaneously arising sound that I know nothing? About? Where do I start my measurement? To I started here, from between my eyes. That’s a sensation that’s not where I present so you, you try this? Is there some kind of boundary between the two? Where does knowing end and sound begin? So for me, I was playing with this stuff. And then for some reason, it just broke open. And it became utterly clear that this knowing and this sound are indivisible. The knowing is being the sound. And we can play with that, with all the different kind of sense doorways if you like you can play with sensation and play with, with smell, taste, movement, the sense of movement. And, and yeah, even image, open eyes, colors, even colors, and see that there’s the presence is knowing those colors, is being those colors. So in a sense, there’s nothing looking there’s nothing looking is there’s what is sort of shimmer in shining, as it is. So it’s this is the step from from being that awareness to actually being what’s happening, the experience itself, and then we could call this experience, call this love because it’s that coming together of seeming separate things. And seeing that it’s only was it’s just what it is wholeness being what it is.
Rick Archer: Having that you want to continue? Or should I ask a question?
James Eaton: No, no, go for it. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Well, a couple of thoughts come to mind. One is, in terms of your own experience, when you’re talking like this, and leading people through this logic like this. It’s kind of lively in the experience, but is this, I’ll just ask you personally, first, I mean, it’s this sort of way of seeing things, spontaneous living reality for you throughout the day or night, or something more you kind of psych yourself into when you’re thinking this way.
James Eaton: Well the way I see the being consciousness, it can kind of shape shifts in sort of generally three different ways it can come into being a focus, as if it’s a person, and it can soften out as a sort of witnessing presence. Like, we were just talking about, like this stuff is happening, and it’s being observed. Or it can go into being the whole experience. So that movement can always shift and change to the idea of trying to hold on to some particular state. It seems to just disappear. Yeah,
Rick Archer: no, I like that, though. That kind of the zoom lens analogy of this. You can zoom in, zoom out, according to the circumstances and the need,
James Eaton: it’s infinite. You do what it wants. All the doors are open, Why limit yourself?
Rick Archer: Yeah. But then a second question is, you know, how in the case of near death experiences, some materialists will say, well, it’s just the brain getting deprived of oxygen, you know, and that’s why you’re seeing a tunnel of light and all that stuff. And, oh, you know, similarly, some way one might say, Well, yeah, you’re you’re sort of going through this analysis, and you’re gaining a sense of oneness, but that’s really just sort of a subjective experience. And is that does that really correlate? Or are you actually getting a kind of a peek into the oneness of reality, as it is?
James Eaton: Yeah, that’s what it seems. Oh, yeah, okay. Yeah. I mean, you know, I want to, I don’t want to get stuck here. Because this again, this is like another step. I know that no steps, but, you know, so you can realize what we’re talking about here. And then again, your life doesn’t change, or maybe it does initially. And there’s a kind of, you know, like a honeymoon whoa, wow, wow. And then you start to see, okay, the old patterns is still coming back, you know, so what was in this can be a really hard place to be because it’s like, you know, what was all that about, you know, these realizations have dropped in, but I’m still left as the same idiot I was, you know, whatever it might be, you know, I’m still frustrated in the same ways and fall into the same patterns. Again, this is
Rick Archer: kind of exactly fulfillment that exactly
James Eaton: what I’m talking about. So, see, there is that fulfillment, but the patents still come back, basically. And people can get stuck there. So just like they can get stuck with the awareness, they can get stuck here. And then they start appealing to the nothing to do thing again. Yeah, and saying, Okay, I’ve seen it, I’ve seen it’s nothing to do is and then they just carry on suffering, basically. So I said, Why would say, No, come on, is keep going, keep going. It’s not give up. And this is where, for me, the most interesting part begins. Because it’s the psychological side, you know, it’s like, it’s almost like, for me, non duality is the reverse of most other parts. And a lot of other parts. As you get stuck into the psychology, you know, you start looking at your patterns and start, you know, doing all that stuff. And the hope is, you know, one day when I’m totally pure, I might realize wholeness or something. So what I love about non duality, it just turns the whole thing around, and it’s, you know, you can realize what you are right now. It’s abundantly available always in forever, it always has been. And then the invitation is, when you start to realize that the way I see is you have the most extraordinary, powerful tool, if you’d like, to now really go deeply into all of that messy stuff. Because you know, what you are? Yeah. So it will, we will share a bit of my experience, but I’ll tell you, if I’d have met what I’ve met, without knowing what I am, God knows what would have happened, you know, really, really,
Rick Archer: here’s an analogy I like to use for that, which is that, let’s say you have a handful of mud and you want to dissolve it and but you only have a cup of water, throw the mud in a cup of water, and it’s just all mud, you know, but if you have an ocean to throw it and throw it in the ocean and just dissolve so so what you’re saying is this gives you the capacity for processing stuff much more elegantly and efficiently, that much more elegantly
James Eaton: and efficiently. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know, no question about it. No question about it.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And and inevitably does process, doesn’t it? I mean, you know, once this opening takes place, the evolutionary process if we want to call it that continues, and it’s like, Alright, now it’s time for some housecleaning. Yeah.
James Eaton: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, so maybe another image here was table drawn up for my book that I’m quite proud of pleased
Rick Archer: about. And incidentally, we talked about using a song or two here or there. So if we get to a point in this discussion, where you feel like taking a break and singing a song, particularly if it relates to what we’re talking about just let’s do
James Eaton: Okay, great. Maybe now,
Rick Archer: oh, yeah. Okay. You’re all tuned up and ready to go?
James Eaton: It’s been a nice kind of sidetrack.
Rick Archer: Yeah, get out of our heads for a minute. Yeah, we are.
James Eaton: I always love like, get out of our heads, you know? Because it’s got such bad connotations, or it’s seen as madness was actually its sanity in a sense. All hopes all dreams falling apart at the seams. Believe control. That’s the end of pretending to know may be is what it all become meaning and this line long quest dissolving into emptiness. Losing it all. Losing it all. Losing it all again. Those eyes meet these and the mind it just falls to its knees and this in love with all it creates. no grip it’s healthy to just be as it is. And this heart sings is nothing and everything. Losing it all. Losing it all. Losing it all agan. Open another door. It’s not what you’re lookng for. There is nowhere to go to not know. Losing it all again and again and again. Losing it all again.
Rick Archer: Nice I was playing drums quietly as you were doing that,
James Eaton: yeah,
Rick Archer: I used to play the drums it’s funny, there was one little line in there where you said no grip. And it reminded me of the experience I had when I was a teenager where we’re on LSD walking along in the middle of the night and the sun was rising or walking down the street and this friend of mine, he said, You know, there’s no grip, there is no grip. He just kept saying that. And it’s like, because everything was sort of flowing and changing and all. And I always thought if I ever talked to him again, I’d say Well, yeah, on that level, there’s no grip, but there is a level which doesn’t change, you know, which which is stable. And which gives sort of which gives coherence and a foundation to the ever changing world.
James Eaton: Yeah, it is the paradox, isn’t it?
Rick Archer: Yeah.
James Eaton: I’m just gonna take this out for a second because I lost the other one.
Rick Archer: Sure. Yeah.
James Eaton: Go back. Lucky. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Good.
James Eaton: Yeah. So like to like to put this year’s of songs in retreats actually. So we do a lot of guided meditation take things go deeper into the mind. So everything starts to loosen and open up. And then sometimes I like to cheekily slip in a song, you know, so that kind of blows the heart opens.
Rick Archer: Does it does it sort of creates a balance?
James Eaton: Yeah. Yeah. So I mean, we will get into this. So now now. So in the play of our life, we go through the experience we go through so I mean, right from very young women, you know, we have we have this this full, like, I like to go to second birth, you know, it’s like when you’re around sort of 18 months where you, you’ve, I’ve seen it with my own children, it’s like, you kind of is this magical world? A bit like what we’re describing in the sense, but you actually don’t have any concepts at all. I mean, where are we, what I’m talking about is you still retain your concepts, but you see through them. So the downgraded from beliefs to just useful playthings. Whereas as a kid, you don’t even have that is just experience in in this kind of, like, wander isness you know, and everyone’s providing everything for you. So it’s like a kind of magic world in the sense. And then there’s this big fall, which is when we become a psychological self, you know, we start to take on the concepts of our culture and our environment, and, and we seem to lose this openness, this sense of wholeness. You know, and I actually think, you know, I’ve seen it with my two boys, this kind of rage that we go, you know, in the terrible twos. Yeah, I think it’s like, like, what the fuck happened? You know, it’s like really going crazy. It’s like, absolutely mad, like, what we’ve what’s been lost this fall. And of course, most people don’t, we don’t understand that. So when we see our little kid rolling around the floor going crazy, we, we kind of projected forward to seeing a 16 year old kind of burning houses. And we try and we try and shut it down. You know, so but actually, this is this is rage that wants to express. And I think, in a sense, this is where it all begins. Because we in losing wholeness in that sense, it, there can be a sense of inadequacy, like, what, why is this happened to me? And then when we try and then suppress the rage that comes from it, it’s like a confirmation. bias. So he’s, something’s just happened.
Rick Archer: That’s a good analysis. I’d never heard that before. But it makes a lot of sense to me, I bet you,
James Eaton: you still got me, you can still hear me.
Rick Archer: Okay, I’ll bet you that’s what’s really happening with kids at that age is they’re just reacting to the extreme shutting down that they have experienced considering, and especially if you have the sort of more esoteric view that we come, you know, we born into this life from some, you know, in, in between state that’s very unbounded and free and vast and, and then we kind of come down into the earth plane, and it’s very dense and constricted. And, you know, there must definitely be a reaction to that. Frustration.
James Eaton: Yeah. Absolutely. And I think you know, there are, I mean, there is a way of maybe soothing that process, but I think it’s inevitable, doesn’t matter how enlightened your parents are, you know, you’re still gonna have to go through that. And what I mean by that is, like, I was speaking my youngest, sometimes he’s three now. But when he was two, sometimes he goes into this one of these rages for an hour and a half. And I would just sit close to him, make sure we didn’t head by anything or, you know, didn’t hurt himself. And it was just amazing. After about an hour and a half, it would burn out. And then at one time, he just stopped me, Look, Daddy can have a glass of water. It’s just like, done, you know, it’s gone. Interesting. It just needed to get it out. Yeah. And if it’s not, if it’s suppressed, and it’s pushed down, and all that energy’s stuck in there, you know.
Rick Archer: So what you did there sounds like the right thing to have done. And maybe you could elaborate on that as a father, as well. Yeah, I mean, I think you say helping the child feels secure and loved and, and
James Eaton: I wasn’t doing anything I was just making Yeah, making sure they didn’t hurt himself, because he’s like, rattling around on the floor. And you’re just holding, just holding the space, basically, classic holding the space.
Rick Archer: Whereas if kids getting yelled at or abandoned or shot in a room by themselves or something at that stage, it could be quite the opposite of what they need.
James Eaton: Yeah, and I mean, I don’t mean this as a judgment on anyone because everyone just does the best that they can do. But you know, maybe if, if we knew that was what was going on, we maybe we’d look at it in a different way. It doesn’t mean our child is going to become some kind of crazy monster when they’re older. They’re just working out this at a rage at what’s happened. But as I say, you know, even if, even if you have this, even if it’s managed in a nice way, and I think there’s certain natural ways that that’s done anyway, like, you know, peekaboo, things like that. These games are kind of universal over the world. It’s like, you know, it’s the world’s still there when I open my eyes again, and you’re just kind of testing it. You know, every dad knows, you know, the kids love being chased. You know, you pretend to be the ogre, you know, the baby thief. And it’s like, it’s like a way of playing with, you know, I’m not gonna, no one’s gonna abduct me in one run off with me, you know, it’s okay, you know, being a separate little thing. It’s okay. It’s like. So it’s fascinating stuff when you look into it. But but you know that my experience, the conditioning comes in is, it’s the, it’s the the environmental, the National, that conditioning. It comes in. And so here we are deep down, because of this primary kind of trauma, in a sense, feeling, somehow not enough. And then the conditioning comes in, and we hide it, we just want to hide it, we just want to build defense structure around it. You know, and so that’s all the, you know, the beliefs we have, and the kind of looks how beautiful or ugly we all are clever, stupid with all that stuff. And the roles we play, you know, mine was to try and be superior to try and hide this kind of, you know, inner discontent. But you see, this is where my little thing comes in. Because there’s never enough rake is it? Obviously, you can’t you can’t do that. Because underlying all of it is insecurity because you’re, you know, you’re playing a game. So you so we’re always trying to escape that discomfort. And so how do we do that? We do it by craving things, you know, whether it’s money, people, lovers, houses spiritual Enlightenment, it’s the same thing. Craving or clinging on to, you know, what makes us feel safe, or just plain resisting, judging, pushing people away, whatever that we don’t like, or that threatens our sense of self, or just just plain escaping, you know, shopping like compulsively? Yeah, sure.
Rick Archer: I guess one way of explaining it is that, you know, we crave fulfillment, the mind wants happiness. And, and, you know, the apana shots and scriptures like that said, there’s really one source of happiness, and that’s within the self is, is a repository of all fulfillment. And that fulfillment we derive from external objects is a reflection of that, but it’s not that, you know, it’s like the moon reflects the light of the sun. And so we go chasing after all these reflections, but they can never be adequate, because they’re not the primary source, you know. And if you can find the primary source, then the whole firstly, you find that happiness, or to put it in simple terms, but secondly, your whole relationship to objects changes, and they no longer have the sort of compelling quality that they once had, because they’ve been eclipsed by something much brighter, so to speak.
James Eaton: Absolutely, yeah. Yeah. But of course, if you’ve not been exposed to those teachings, or you don’t know anything about those teachings, yeah, what you do is what happened to me you get stuck in a cycle. See, maybe this is gonna do it. And then you may be there’s a temporary reprieve, but then you’re back in discomfort as again, as a separate me, and you just go around around around it. And you know, I have a friend who killed himself in his early 20s. And it’s like, it’s just on the way out of that loop. And so every time you go round, you get a bit more depressed or a bit more disillusioned. And then if you’ve got no other avenue out of that, and we wait, where do you go? Maybe just some people just convinced themselves that life’s just a bit. Shit. Life’s just boring. A friend of mine told me other day. So I was a kid, when Charlie was complaining that they were bored is Dad’s response was life’s boring. Get used to it, you know,
Rick Archer: there’s a saying life sucks, then you die. Exactly.
James Eaton: Maybe you convince yourself of that. And it’s just, you know, you just carry on going round around the wheel. You know, you go see the football game. Have a bit of a buzz on the weekend, go back to your daily grind, you know, and you think that’s just what it is. You just wait, do you die, basically?
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, I think the more people can hear that. That’s not all there is, the better off, we’ll all be. I mean, I mean, and all the great teachers throughout history have tried to tell people that, you know, hey, I’ve discovered something great here. And you gotta check this out. I mean, putting any contemporary terms because life is so much more than you realize. And it’s a shame to just squander it on trifles when there’s this vast, you know, well motion of filament. That’s right, right there as close as your nose, you know? Here’s an idea.
James Eaton: Yeah, I was just thinking, when you were saying that, you know, this is this is where kind of religion is supposed to step in, I suppose. But of course, what we know is it just becomes another part of the wheel. It’s like, you know, like, you know, you have a religious belief, that’s part of your identity.
Rick Archer: I think they all started out with someone who actually was having that experience and talking about it. And then, over the centuries, they get objectified, and they lose the inner core. And then, you know, they’re like a sort of a body that’s lost its spirit. It’s rotting.
James Eaton: It’s all there. It’s all there in, you know, like, you keep quoting the Upanishads. But it’s all there in the New Testament. You can, when you when you when you know what you’re looking for, you can find it. Yeah, absolutely. Cool.
Rick Archer: Here’s a question that came in from Mark Peters in Santa Clara, California, Mark often sends in good questions, is related to what we were saying earlier, he said, Why do you think that site is the primary driver of the imagined sense of self, the pier out from behind my eyes? Can you speculate as to why don’t people experience that self as existing primarily in the mouth, their nose, the ears or fingers? Even the language around apprehension is almost exclusively sight driven. Oh, now I see the truth.
James Eaton: Yeah. Yeah, it’s definitely the stickiest sense, the most predominant. Yeah, it’s the it’s the predominant says the one we rely on most of all,
Rick Archer: we know for a blind person, maybe it would be hearing that.
James Eaton: Maybe, maybe it would be interesting thing to explore. But certainly the people I work with seeing is always the catch. Yeah, it’s like they, you know, they can really even that sense of movement, Smell Taste. Yeah. So it’s all happening. It’s like, literally, this presence is being that. And as soon as they open their eyes, it’s like, Here I am, again, here looking out. But what I, what also adds to that conviction is nice that you came up right now actually, is where we’re going. Because there’s a there’s a sort of density, that these patterns and this these patterns that we’re talking about, we’re coming to the sort of created density, physically, which seems to bring a kind of center into the experience. Yeah. And that married to the sort of perceptual field that seems to focus here creates that conviction that we’re in this little fragment of the experience exclusively. Yeah. I mean, for example, that just had an idea, things, pick this camera. This room’s a bit of a mess, but show it around. Here I go show you around, right. So look, what’s happening, you’re not moving. But if if you were sitting in an IMAX cinema right now, as that moves like that, it would be as if you were turning your head. Yeah. But you the screen, you haven’t moved, you haven’t turned anywhere you just what you are like what you always wear, and all the colors dance, to give the as if experience of moving your head. So actually, the visual visual is exactly the same as all the other sort of sense. doorways, if you like, call it sense doorways. Why not? Yeah. But yeah, I think this the stickiness is because we were so used to interpreting in that way. And this density of the body that brings in a kind of extra conviction. So the question
Rick Archer: is a couple of little tidbits on that question. It is said that site is the most predominant sense. And that’s why people close their eyes when they meditate. And also, it’s said that, that all the senses have subtler levels to them. Like you can have subtle visual perceptions or subtle auditory perceptions, and so on. And it’s said that, that we’re more familiar with the subtler aspects of the sense of hearing most of us than we are with the subtler aspects of other senses. And that’s what thoughts are thoughts are actually a sound, but a subtler aspect of using the very same sense that we hear external sounds, we hear thoughts, so to speak, in the mind, we’re picking up on a subtler aspect of the sense of hearing. And that’s why, you know, the use of a Mantra is often used in different traditions for transcending the senses all together, because we’re already at a subtler level of for thinking and thought and we can pick it up from there and drop down all the way. Just a little tidbit. Here’s a question for you from I’m a student of yours He says James is my teacher and of course I feel that he is the best this guy’s gay get extra Prasad or something but Jews that gente Jiten dri Abell, it’s India from devonne says or asks, Could you say something about the fine line between a healthy earnestness and longing to come home to one’s true nature? Yeah, that’s a good. That’s the first question and contrasting that with a willful, I am going to get this dammit. You know, that kind of attitude?
James Eaton: Yeah, so this is great. This is great question. So this is where we’re heading. So. So like, just like you’ve, you’ve just been saying, read the way out of this cycle. For me, for me, this is why we talk about it when we in our meetings is just stop. Just stop. Stop the kind of endless way or just stop me just explore, just as we’ve been doing throughout this interview, first the subject, then the object we just explore. And then, you know, that leads us into this, this starting to recognize the patterns that we play in life, where where these patterns are happening, what’s going on, if you’re in relationship with kids, great, seeing your patterns, great. All your buttons get pushed, everything comes up. And then what you can start to do is it’s like you’re tracing it back what, what’s at the root of this. And what you discover, we go to the beach a lot around here, which is quite close to the sea. And it’s a nice analogy, you get the sea and enemies you know, and it’s stuck to the rock. And it’s like this solid kind of splodge stuff. And then these duties tentacles kind of reaching out from there. And so I see these patterns are like those tentacles and if you read if you go back, and this is what actually the kind of guided meditations can help with you sort of going into deeper layers of a mind you can get back to these kinds of energetic knots in the mind. So this is where you discover that guilty shameful totally just deficient kind of child if you like it’s such an energetic holding somewhere in in them the mind but also mirrored physically in the body. So you’ll find it physically in the body. So this is where like we were just saying the beauty of what you’ve realized this presence is just there just shining welcoming if you like we could use whatever was lovingly welcoming that belief system that energetic contraction that holding to come home back into wholeness it’s just welcomed in and I mean it sounds easy to say but often with so much resistance to even seeing that contract and that contraction because it’s it’s like being being found out you know, it’s like being revealed so what happened for me was even after all the things he talked about even after seeing that very clearly doing this just kind of seeing patterns just dropping back just for the love of it dropping back deeply coming to that really facing that energetic contraction and this is where that question comes in. I found myself at one point it’s funny now I used to actually visually see a shivering child like almost like a
Rick Archer: kind of your inner child so to speak.
James Eaton: Yeah, like a fetus almost like used to kind of terrified thing. And I knew it was like a it was it was like the portal into the real depths. And I found myself one day just going like in the meditations voice game show me show me
Rick Archer: sounds like that two year old there
James Eaton: Yeah, but it was it was this really strong kind of like drive you know it was that drive that I’d had my whole life and in bizarrely it did show me and what it showed me it was it was that drive? It was that drive that was in a way Newton’s third law what you action reaction what you push pushes back and it was that drive like show me show me and it showed me Ah that’s it. That’s what I was still clinging on to that was what was energizing that not and Encino is just like that. softening just this, this, just and allowing for it to be however it wanted to be. And then the things opened up I could go further.
Rick Archer: I find there’s an interesting balance that one learns to strike between earnestness and surrender. You know, I mean Patanjali in his yoga sutras talks about Yogi’s with vehement intensity being those who realize most quickly, and yet, you know, that could lead a person to struggle and strain and be very unnatural, and beat oneself over the head, you know, figuratively speaking. And yet, you know, the crowd that we were talking about earlier said there’s nothing to do, he just sort of, they could sit around forever waiting for something to happen. So there’s, there’s kind of a balancing act that one I say, kind of develops into, at least in my own experience between I mean, I’m just totally enthusiastic about this stuff. I my wife will tell you I saw I think about I read books about it all the time. I interviewed people I just love it. And yet, I have no sense whatsoever although I used to have gotta have this are all die. You know, there’s there’s not the sort of a trying to break down the gates of heaven, kind of. That’s the difference. Yeah, it’s more like, really enjoying the ride here. And I love it. And I’m enjoying the scenery and totally eager and interested and yet at the same time, just, I’m not in the driver’s seat. And so I’m just relaxing and enjoying the ride. Zone. Yeah, that’s a good metaphor. You’re in your zone. Yeah. So there’s a balance and people who are struggling and straining maybe lighten up a bit, you know, go see a movie, play, listen to music, people who are doing nothing better do something, you know, read a book, get focused, go to a Satsang there’s some kind of a mixture, you can find that
James Eaton: Yeah, well, I would say I would say you have to keep struggling and straining until you fundamentally realize is not getting you anywhere. Maybe that Yeah, yeah, that’s the way I see it. You can’t you can’t advise. You can maybe you could suggest, I mean, but we have to see it for ourselves. You know, we have to realize it for ourself. I mean, I think people probably been telling me for years, James, you’re so driven is like, just listen up, but I couldn’t hear it because I had to be driven in my mind. Yeah. Because drive was how
Rick Archer: I mean, are you driven now in your in some way shape or form? So
James Eaton: I’m a bit like you, Rick in you know, I love this stuff. And I love meeting people and holding meetings retreats. Yeah, and, and actually this in a way, this is where it leads, actually, when you because when you can drop when you when you’re not. I call it when you’re not in I call this cycle, we’re talking about the cycle of reactivity. So when when you’re not functioning in that way anymore, when you’re not living a reactive life, and most of us are living reactive live. So everything we’re doing the motivation is to escape that discomfort often. And so when when that’s not an issue anymore, then you have the opportunity to actually authentically act. So you’re not driven by reactivity. And so then, you know, like, the stuff you’re doing and stuff I’m doing, it can really blossom, because it’s not being restrained by these. This kind of not in the psyche. Yeah, that’s, you know,
Rick Archer: it’s not being done out of a sense of emptiness or jacket, or just celebration. Yeah, it’s being done out of a sense of fullness and a celebration best word.
James Eaton: Yes. Celebrating the joy the Wonder joy and wonder of being
Rick Archer: yeah
James Eaton: yeah, I just want to add a little bit to what I just said them because I don’t really talk about experiences very much because I think it can be so misleading and I certainly seen that and when I was reading, voraciously seeking and people would go on, you know, like talking forever about this devil awakening experience. But I think it’s worth just mentioning something here because when I when that when I saw through that pattern what opened up was quite extraordinary. It was like people who may be going through this or have been through might be nice thing to hear. It’s just like demonic destruction, like honors, honor just devastation. You know? What, I get a lot of images. When I’m sitting, I see and you know, just like, just like crazy demons kind of ripping people apart and planets and just like total utter devastation.
Rick Archer: It’s almost a chapter in the Bhagavad Gita.
James Eaton: Yeah, all right, okay. Must Read it. But you know, like hell realms or something just like it’s almost like all the all the repressed stuff. In the mind, just getting. And this is what I mean about knowing what you are you just, it’s like the Smiling Buddha, you just sit there and it all just does whatever it wants to do. But I mean, Christ is full on.
Rick Archer: That’s what I wanted him before his Enlightenment, actually, the Buddha, you know, all these sort of demons and wild stuff was coming at him and he was just sitting there like a rock and I’m not gonna
James Eaton: sway me. Yeah. And going back to what I was saying earlier, if you did done it the other way around. I mean, that would just so you could stay with that you would just run off. You think you’d gone mad? And just check yourself into the nearest sanatorium?
Rick Archer: People do? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Good. Good point. Good point. So how do you support yourself? You’re like a full time spiritual teacher? Or do you all have some kind of
James Eaton: I am now yeah. I am now.
Rick Archer: Got enough activity with that?
James Eaton: Just about just just about scraping it at the moment.
Rick Archer: You look well fed, you’re not starving to death? Got a few mouths to feed there.
James Eaton: Yeah, no, it’s good. It’s going well. But you know, just just to finish that off, that’s never finished, you know, is this is an endless deepening, like we were saying earlier. So you know, even after that experience, and actually, he did after that there was a kind of bit of a collective suffering thing, you know, tapping into some greater suffering,
Rick Archer: people go through that they feel like I’ve worked through my stuff. Now I seem to be processing the world, you know,
James Eaton: something like that. I don’t know what’s going on what was going on there. And in lots of biblical images, like Jesus on the cross, you know, and then, and then, the last layer for me was just fucking rage. Like, really vicious rage, like this image of like a metal fist, huge metal fist just like pounding
Rick Archer: we were expressing, overtly, or we just sort of processing it. And we’re No, no, I
James Eaton: was just saying, I was just saying that. It was all going on in the mind, you know? And it was it that was the message is, why hast thou forsaken me is like, why the fuck? And then of course, then that’s, that’s when everything just this just for me, it was just light is just nothing but light. And then the sense of being this is interesting, as well as being embraced by the Father. So whether that’s, you know, because in my own life, I said, there’s a sense of needing to be embraced, loved by my own father. And then presence being the miracle it is it kind of mirrors what’s needed somehow. I don’t know. But that was that was the kind of that finished.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So this is interesting. I kind of glossed over this during most of the interview, because it sounded like you were just going to, you know, non duality meetings and sort of working through this in your mind. But it sounds like you really went through an inner meditative cooking process, you know, in which you actually sat there and didn’t get dissuaded by all the stuff that was coming up, but plowed, plowed through it, burn through it, and eventually broke through into there.
James Eaton: Yeah, and all of that happened after the non duality stuff, you see, right? It’s sort of as little as one that’s really important to make that point. So is you can see the reality of experience the nature of reality. And you keep going, Yeah, then then you go down into those, those depths and, and what was really beautiful, actually, the next after, after that had happened, I could see that drive pattern, occasionally sort of fade in, trying to sort of reassert itself. And it was, it’s almost like a stick, you can see if you pick any of any of it up any other pattern up, you get the whole enchilada, they say, you know, you get, you get the knot and everything. And, and this is, this is really interesting, because it’s like, what happens is, your love, the love of being what you are, is so strong, that you lose the taste for picking up the pattern. You just lose the tastes like sugar in your tea, you know, as they say, you have your two lumps, and you go down to one, and then you go down to none, and you get used to it. And it’s like, Yes, this is what I like. And someone you haven’t seen for a while gives you a cut with two sugars in and you’re like, Ah, I don’t know, thank you. You just lose the taste for it. And I think that’s, it’s so it comes from love
Rick Archer: knowing that metaphor, you’re saying you lose the taste for old patterns of behaving and so on and so forth.
James Eaton: And the important thing is to say I’m not saying it’s like done, it’s a done deal. It’s like that’s it. End of story. think that’s a really big misnomer. Yeah. I know. There’s always who knows, I mean, infinite mind, you know, anything can happen is, it’s it’s always it could pop up as anything, you know. So it’s just another idea always done. Another idea is another idea.
Rick Archer: I’ve told this joke before my friend Francis Bennett likes to say how do you how do you know you’re done if someone’s stick a fork in you. But I think this point you’re making is is an interesting one, in that what you’re saying, essentially a nutshell to reiterate, is that, you know, an awakening happens. And then it’s as if the vehicle within which that awakening happens, the old vehicle is no longer quite adequate to support it. And so the vehicle has to be cleaned, it has to be transformed, it has to be purged of all kinds of stuff that no longer belongs there in this more awakened state. So all that stuff has to get blown out. And it can be pretty intense.
James Eaton: Yeah. Yeah. Although the vehicle things is a bit tricky one in there, because then we’re back into, like, consciousness is in here. Yeah.
Rick Archer: But I mean, whatever this is, it’s understand what they live through a nervous system through a psyche through a mechanism, a human mechanism, it’s somehow, you know, is supporting this experience. And it’s, I mean, consciousness exists, irrespective of the mechanism, it’s always existed as the term eternal foundation of the universe. But if it’s going to be a living reality, then it’s living reality through the, the through a person. And and when we talk about progress, we’re not talking about consciousness progressing, we’re talking about the capacity to limit progressive. Yeah, that that may necessitate a lot of transformation.
James Eaton: Yeah, yeah, I he completely. But where this has taken me is. So maybe go from there?
Rick Archer: Well, there was a question someone asked, but I don’t want to take you off track.
James Eaton: Yeah, I mean, I, it’s similar to the questions you were saying before, about, you know, like, lots of different like the The Fox and the squirrel looking at the tree and the person that can hit the tree. And so, you know, I had that. The classic question up. And if you really miss obvious question, really, if you’re saying, this is all an appearance, and there’s no, there’s no kind of experience of a material external reality that this is representing? Then you can get yourself into this kind of area where you’re verging on solipsism. Now, you’re, you’re saying there’s only this you know, so Rick is just colors and sounds, you know, and so this, this is like, whoa, wait, where’s this guy? So I found myself looking into that really deeply. And? And why sort of seems to come down to is, for me, the guiding light is always direct experience. Okay. So we think direct experience is saying, oh, there’s, you know, Rick’s just colors and, and, and sounds like, he hasn’t got thoughts because I’m not directly experiencing it. But what we’re doing that is not direct experience. We’re still conceptualizing. Yeah, we’re still, you know, talking about Rick’s and James’s. And even though we might think now they’re not material things. They’re kind of consciousness things that we’re still piecing up life into bits. seem to me,
Rick Archer: we’re also placing our perceptual angle at the center of the universe as if, as if the existence of everything else depends upon whether or not we perceive it.
James Eaton: Yeah. Yeah. So we use it in people to talk about this. Yeah, so let’s just keep with that, what I’m doing is taking thought right to the end. So instead of it goes back to the similar question before, and the guy was talking about the perceptual field, you know, so if we’re actually true to direct experience, and we’re not cutting out things anymore. Yeah. So So what creates the seeming perceptual field if we’re not cutting those things out, there is not this and of that placed here in relation to this. What we’re kind of dissolving that overlay. What we’re left with we could say is, I don’t know appearing colors appearing sounds, sensations, thoughts, feelings, so I’m not putting any any labels on them. As things stay with, but then But then you could say, even even those things I’ve just said like colors, sound, those are labels. So we let go those labels to, we could say there’s like one appearance appearing, if you like,
Rick Archer: that even appearances,
James Eaton: exactly, because then then you have to go to the concept of a sound of a somewhere else, right? Where the appearance appears from and disappears to. So in the end that falls apart. So all you’re left with is pure consciousness, like, being ISness, whatever you want. And when you’re at that point, none of these questions can arise, because, you know, the question of of others can only arise out of the conviction of myself. So without any without stepping into any of those conceptualizations, you are, what’s left is you capital, why you that is presence being. And, and there’s a real beauty in that. Because even to call it presence, of course, is now to label it. So then, you know, that’s already putting a circle around it. So you’re just left with just just like speechless, in wonder at what is now, then, we can dance, we can, if you want to put a model on it, go for it, enjoy it, put a model on it, like all the models we were just speaking about earlier, this is where it led for me is like, have gone, go for a big time, come up with a really great model, just go for it. And what happens that the the conventional model that we live by, has big flaws. And the big flaws is that we immediately see ourselves as separate little units, rather than this global consciousness. So you know, you could you could play with that you could try and introduce a completely new world model into the new paradigm. Now just like, you know, we talk about the Earth is flat, the Earth is spherical, the sun moves. Yeah, the sun moves around the Earth, no, the Earth moves around the Sun is huge paradigm shifts that have happened, you know, throughout history,
Rick Archer: but they didn’t happen overnight. didn’t happen overnight. Mistake for trying to introduce them. So these things take a while.
James Eaton: Absolutely. But but the point is I want to make is their models. And that’s beautiful. That’s wonderful. We can play with that. But as soon as we start to invest, and that model gets upgraded to a belief, then we’re going to find ourselves back in the same position again.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think the safeguard is, be true to your own experience, and don’t settle for beliefs. And if something is presented, that you aren’t experiencing it experiencing, take it as a hypothesis, which means something, something interesting to explore. And you’ll see whether it works out or not. But it’s if you start hanging on believing things that you don’t actually experienced then that that has created a whole lot of trouble over the years for humanity.
James Eaton: Absolutely. That’s getting back to that that Chinese proverb. That’s right, and start, you know, it’s like, you’ve got to involve me. Right, I have to see it. I have to see it.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And we should add that, you know, all the great religious leaders throughout history and spiritual leaders, they didn’t care what you believed. They wanted you to experience what they were experiencing not believe what they were saying. They wanted you to have the experience they were having.
James Eaton: Yeah, and if you follow your actual experience, right to the end, as where you end up, yeah. And then, you know, to say anything about it is going in, as soon as I speak, I’m going into a model. And that’s okay. That’s, that’s beautiful, that, you know, look at the conversation, a rich conversation we can have playing with these ideas and concepts and exchanging them and, you know, and you can’t, you can’t, you know, the baby, the baby, the pre, the pre second birth, psychological self, baby can’t do that. So it’s like, it’s part of the game, if you like part of the play part of the celebration.
Rick Archer: It was another question that David pinnae from Wales sent in, and then maybe you could sing another song, and then we’ll wrap it up, because we’re getting down to about two hours or so. So, and if there’s anything else you want to say that you haven’t said, Say it and you know, say it also before you sing the song, but the David asks or says the phrase, awareness of awareness always baffles me. I see it as potentially leading to an infinite regress. Do you see this phrase as having any use? for content,
James Eaton: yeah, it’s I think is useful for people to rest, you know, we’re talking about at the beginning, when you start to realize that there’s a, there’s a knowing or awareness here. It’s knowing sounds, sensations, thoughts. And what often happens isn’t when we say Be aware of the awareness, people start looking for something, because that’s what they used to doing, looking for something. But of course, you’ll never find it as something because it it is always aware of the something. So it’s actually it’s actually funnily enough, the end the cessation of that movement of looking and the kind of resting the softening the easing, and just, it’s kind of dropping into what’s already here what you already are, that you don’t need to look out to see because you already are it. So I actually prefer the word knowing because it’s like knowing is what you are, you are knowing knowing is the substance of what you are. So it doesn’t need something to step outside itself to look in on itself. Today, so there is no need for infinite regress because the substance of knowing is knowing it’s knowing it’s doing knowing a bit but this is the real tricky thing is because we’re so conditioned into into focusing. Be aware of awareness, let’s focus into awareness is the opposite. It’s de phobia is a
Rick Archer: relaxation. Yes. I think this also has pertinence to Ramana Maharshi self inquiry thing a lot of people hear that and they start Alright, who am I where am I gonna get this whole sort of you know, inner searching thing looking for a something whereas I think really what he might have advocated was just what you described as sort of a relaxing in where the subject object split can just dis dissolve in in presence or in wholeness they want to take us out with another song well it be ukulele or guitar
James Eaton: yeah let’s let’s mix it up as a bit of ukulele we won’t do a rendition of somewhere over the rainbow like we were doing before right
Rick Archer: before the interview we were singing that Hawaiian guys Somewhere over the rainbow
James Eaton: this one this is kind of related to what we were just talking about in terms of going in yeah. When your heart is breaking and your world is shaking, when you want to run a million miles away. When your ground is crumbling with every step you’re stumbling. When you’ve got nothing left to hold on to. Just feel it coming on. When you feel it so deeply love the children longing see the sun when you turn when the pain body is killed But don’t say oh just just you day whole again as she been longing for.
Rick Archer: that’s nice.
James Eaton: Thanks Rick
Rick Archer: I really enjoyed it. And I really enjoyed this whole interview. It’s kind of like a felucca, you’re well, buddies or something, we’re having this kind of like casual conversation. It’s great.
James Eaton: That’s the funny thing with this stuff, isn’t it? I mean, you know, I go all over the place. And you know, it’s, you’re always familiar.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
James Eaton: Always.
Rick Archer: It’s a nice thing. Okay, so let me wrap it up, then. So I’ve been, I’ve been speaking with James Eaton. And apologies to those who are some I noticed some message came in, hey, was this only 14 minutes long. So somebody didn’t pick up the streaming again after it got interrupted, but the whole thing will be on on the web soon. And within a week or so, with all the glitches edited out. And if you want to get in touch with James, I’ll be putting a page up for him on batgap.com as I always do with links to his website, and whatever else he wants me to link to. And do you do in addition to like doing stuff locally there in the UK, do you do Skype sessions with people all over the world and stuff?
James Eaton: I do, actually. Yeah, you can through the website or you can find out about that and connect up.
Rick Archer: Okay, good.
James Eaton: Yeah. Do meetings, like retreats in bit parts of Europe as well. If you’re in Europe, I haven’t been to the states yet, but maybe someday.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Following Rupert’s footsteps he’ll be over. So, so good. So next week, I will be interviewing one of the founders of Findhorn or is it pronounced Findhorn? I think is it’s Findhorn
James Eaton: I’m there next week,
Rick Archer: Are you. You’re going to talk up there or something?
James Eaton: Yeah, go three day retreat.
Rick Archer: Oh, cool. Yeah. I’m embarrassed to say the guy’s name is slipped my mind at the moment, although i had it on the tip of my tongue but anyway, I’ll be interviewing him next week. After that. We’ll be going off to the science and non duality conference and doing a bunch of things with Adyashanti and others. And those will all be going up on BatGap as well. So, thanks for listening or watching and we’ll see you next week. Thanks, James.
James Eaton: Thanks.
Rick Archer: Talk to you later.
James Eaton: Cheers