Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. And my guest this week is James Waite. Welcome, James, thank you not to be confused with Dennis Wait, who’s a Brit who also talks about non duality James lives in Berkeley, California, no relation to Dennis other than on the non dual level. And I met James at the science and non duality conference in California. And he sent me a book fading in the light nonduality insights on living and dying. And it was kind of timely James, I read this book this week, because there’s a subtitle here, aging and peace happens when we rest in the light of aware living. Timely that I read the book this week, because two good friends of mine died last weekend unrelated to one another one from cancer, one from heart problems. And I went and meditated with the body of the one one of the friends, which a number of people were doing he was sort of laid in repose. And it was a very interesting experience I kind of kind of realized why Yogi’s are they go and meditate and cremation grounds and all and why you see, you know, that famous Rembrandt of the of the monk looking at a skull, you know, and there’s, there’s something about the experience that maybe we can talk about it during the interview, but there, it stirred up some insights and feelings, you know, that I found rather profound. But let’s talk about you.
James Waite: Well, living yet dying. You know, death is one of those things that for me has been a very powerful movement. I’ve been alarmed at how and how unwilling I’ve been to live
Rick Archer: all of your life or what?
James Waite: Well, I would say somewhat afraid. Not not greatly, but just in an abiding way. There was a fair a bit of fear that or like anything that started out and I think it kind of motivated me to explore things deeply.
Rick Archer: Yeah, there’s that line from Old Man River. I think it’s something like I can’t stand living but I’m afraid of dying. Yeah, so I mean, that’s obviously the goad for many people that kind of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune force us or goad us to into looking to some deeper meaning.
James Waite: Yes, I think that’s exactly what happens. I love this entree of your Is it the dog or the cat?
Rick Archer: that that was a dog Yeah. They come and go during the interviews?
James Waite: Yeah, that’s lovely. Yeah, I don’t at a certain period after my, I’ll call it waking up events. I mean, you know, it’s funny each time I refer to it now, because it was to set it in time. It was in October of 2006. And I was at an allergist Shanti Satsang. And he said something I still don’t know. And, and in a way everything stopped. And there was a timeless recognition, which can’t even be described. And other than to say that there was a, in my case, there was a kind of a brilliant white flash. It’s nothing else can I say about it? Because there’s no way it can be described. It’s truly ineffable. But in any case, there was with that recognition gradually recognition that all fear of death had disappeared. And in about two years flood following that, I will just kind of in a long phase where I was more or less in the absolute, just kind of experience where I had to function, I had also physical problems I moved. And a whole number of things occurred to produce a reduction or somehow take away whatever else I had left in my ego that had some investment in being spiritual.
Rick Archer: So in other words, you had this awakening and the Adyashanti meeting. And then you went through a period of adjustment for several years afterwards where a lot of housecleaning took place, is that what you’re saying?
James Waite: A wrecking bar or a wrecking ball I, in a way, I mean, not that many things hadn’t already happened, because I had a 22 year period in a esoteric school based on the teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. And it was an international group and I had been pretty active in it and committed to it, taught in it and traveled worldwide. And they’ve done fact, for eight years in Europe, in Venice, in London, and Greece, etc.
Rick Archer: really dedicated to it.
James Waite: I really was yes. And it was a beautiful, beautiful thing, something I would never have been able to do to live a life that was so focused on beauty, and art. It appealed to me greatly, because I have an arts background. And so I was able to live abroad
Rick Archer: in that group. Was there an emphasis on kind of self remembrance throughout the day? Keep kind of checking in checking in checking in. Yeah, the reason I ask is that, you know, Maharshi, Mahesh Yogi used to tell a story about when he first came to the west, and he was doing meetings in Europe, people would come and they would talk in a halting kind of way, like that. And, you know, after all, after a while, he said, what’s going on? You know, why are you speaking that way? And he said, Well, we were taught to remember the self, you know, and so between each word we check back and remember the cellphone. And you know, sort of why can’t you speak for me this one? Because we’re doing this? It’s a well, no, no, no, he said, That’s not the way the self is lived. Not not through some kind of mental gymnastics. It’s, it’s it gets established. And then, you know, normal life goes on, but it doesn’t it’s not a sort of a continuous act of will. That is so so did you go through something like
James Waite: that yourself? Oh, yes, yes. And and if I was in, I was searching for the truth, I have not had any sense of life having something more Telly was maybe 38 or so. And, and then I was, I had a number of experiences where I lost two businesses, a marriage, a number of collapses. This is, so I’ve had a series of collapses, no, throughout my life. But this was the sort of beginning catalyst event of, of a, in the ashes wondering what’s all what’s this all about? What’s the truth here? So I started out in search of the truth. And I came across a book in a bookstore after taking some Gestalt work and stuff like that. That was called, was by a man named Nicole. And it was called commentaries on the teachings of Gurdjieff, 10 Uspensky. And then there was a five volume. And by the time I found that I literally wept in the bookstore. And I kissed this book after I read a little bit, this is what I’m looking for. And I was very earnest. And it’s never left me that earnestness since it was whatever incubated in a way because it didn’t come from me. It was something that just started when it needed to i The way I see it now, your earnestness earnestness in a spiritual way, because before that, I was very success driven, material driven. I was an advertising agency guy copywriter. And then into the material madman. Exactly. Fact, I recognize that whole series I’ve watched with my wife and I recognize that was kind of my life. Yeah, very much aspects of it. So when I went on search of the truth, and I found that book that started me in a certain direction, I read for a couple of years, maybe and got more and more earnest. And one day I found the bookmark in another book, but related to Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, you know, he has Spanky wrote several books. And, to me, that was just my, the tune I needed to hear, you know, so I found this bookmark, and it was for a group, which I probably will not mention, because I don’t see any particular value in it, I, it has value for people, and it was certainly valuable for being for 22 years. So I am very thankful that that in some way, I went that I was taken in that direction. On the other hand, now, in sort of hindsight, I could have saved quote myself a long way home. But it’s never that way for us. So, and one of the key tenants of this school that I joined, was self remembering it was called and,
Rick Archer: and it was based on good Gurdjieff and Ouspenskii, it was
James Waite: on an interpretation of them that I seen that I wonder now, whether how close we were or whatever,
Rick Archer: so there’s, so there’s more than one group, or color, you know, collection of people that affiliate with good Jeff, this?
James Waite: Oh, yeah, worldwide, and they had their time and period, maybe, maybe not, sort of going strong the way it used to. But the school that I belong to, is still going, going fairly strong and still has, you know, maybe 2000 people in it or so. Whereas, when I finished it had like 6000
Rick Archer: I would say, okay, so you did that for 22 years? Yes. And did you find that that self remembrance actually was an encumbrance in a way that it makes you less efficient in activity to always be sort of self remembering, and yet trying to run a business or whatever?
James Waite: Yes, yes, if you practiced it, it was one of remembering yourself, while in the middle of talking. And while doing things and, and being intentional to reach for a glass with, you know, I’m here reaching for a glass, a lot of what I see now as a spiritual ego. A way to do something to become something in time.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
James Waite: And I was looking for that at the time. I mean, show me Tell me, you know, and I wanted structure, I wanted a method.
Rick Archer: I think the motivation is sincere, but I think that sort of practice is really inefficient. And to, to, just to express my own opinion here, it’s, it’s not necessary, it divides the mind, you know, and kind of creates a strain, I would say, to constantly be trying to do one thing and another at the same time, it diminishes efficiency in activity, and it’s in a way could actually be a spiritual impediment. But I think the sincerity and earnestness that you brought to it, certainly, and then I’m sure many people do carries them forward, regardless of of the inseffectiveness of the practice.
James Waite: Yes, it I don’t know whether the word is forward, you know, in a sense, because in a way, now, I see that there was never any place to go. And there was no forward. Really, you know, there was in my mind, an idea of getting somewhere. And it gave me a forum and colleagues and, and we we had wonderful dinners and beautiful experiences, and I call it how would I call it now I’m going for a word here. Well, it was a very elegant period. If the Gatsby is popular now. I was living the Gatsby only in a spiritual realm. And that’s Would it be
Rick Archer: nice
James Waite: In some way? Yes. So I’m very thankful. Yes. When it came time to leave, it was very obvious that this was no longer producing anything worthwhile for me,
Rick Archer: Right, you’d hatched out of that incubator.
James Waite: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I in the course, and then when I say that everything is in hindsight and in the story, and it’s so unreal, you know, a story about our life. Just a fabrication from the beginning. So I look at it with a little compassion.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, anything can be, and everything can be dismissed as a story, you know, but let’s guess Life is full of stories. And, and, you know, if we want to assign causality to things, then you know, we can, I don’t know, whether which is the cart and which is the horse. I mean, it seems that some a lot of times people are, who are ardent spiritual seekers end up having realization. On the other hand, you could say, well, they were argued spiritual seekers, because this realization was was hatching and was dawning. And there ardency there, you know, earnestness was just symptomatic of, of this chick that was about to break out of the egg that that’s why they felt that way. So I don’t know what this cause or what is effect, but there does seem to be a correlation.
James Waite: Yes. It’s curious, isn’t it? To talk about these things, because we I recognize that there. There’s the life of James. And the whole, I mean, I was Jim before I joined the school, then I became janeyah.
Rick Archer: Oh, very more formal.
James Waite: Oh, and many members in the school changed their last name to a more, you know, like Lancaster, brother, an English kind of name, because that was what the teacher asked some to do. That was a little before my time.
Rick Archer: Where you Sir James, by any chance? No, no, no. But
James Waite: as it’s happening right now, I hear one of the people that died has been made, sir. It’s funny. So yeah.
Rick Archer: Interesting. Interesting. Okay, so you’re just plain old James. And, and you stuck with the James. So. So after you left this 22 year Association? What is that? What year? Does that bring us up to?
James Waite: 2006.
Rick Archer: Right around the time when you went to see it? Yeah.
James Waite: Yeah. Yeah. Within months, some old friends from the same fellowship, had mentioned something about just Shanti. They thought they might go on Saturday, he was speaking here in Berkeley in Oakland. And I said, Well, if you go, maybe I’ll go along. And we debated that morning, whether to even go without go hiking or there. Oh, well, let’s go see. And actually, it wasn’t necessarily I’m not sure that morning, but I saw him maybe two or three times in the next three months. And at one of those, this particular event occurred. Yeah, I wasn’t asking for it. I wasn’t looking for it. It wasn’t in any way, as we know, deserved or earned or No, I mean, I say that, because honestly, I, if anything, I could say that I had exhausted for myself all the possibilities, and I’d given up the search. And it was in that giving up that the finding occurred, and we read about
Rick Archer: this, but that’s similar to what happened oggi himself.
James Waite: Exactly, yeah. Yeah. And you don’t do these things. I mean, you because I’ve been doing, you know, in a sense of making typing pretty big efforts, yeah, efforts to remember myself, etc. And I had some wonderful states along the way, which is beautiful in that but like, I would define a state as something that comes and goes right. And beautiful as it may be, you can’t live there. Right.
Rick Archer: Whereas contrast that with your experience now?
James Waite: Yes, yes. It’s like right now. As I said to somebody the other day. The light is on. It’s like, it’s not it’s on 24/7 Right. It’s like a switch. was stone and and there is a profound I use that word with a lot of respect a profound sense of being. It’s subtle. It’s gentle. Its nature is love.
Rick Archer: Beautiful. Yeah. When you say it’s on 24/7? How about like three in the morning when you’re snoring like a sailor? Is there some light on then metaphorically speaking?
James Waite: Yes. Yeah. Cool. Yes, it just doesn’t. I mean, it can’t go away. Because how could it?
Rick Archer: Right? Well, what happened to the universe? If it did?
James Waite: No. If anything really died, I mean, our bodies and our minds die and life, obviously, in the cellular form, and in time and space, has its time and space, but, you know, that which is forever or infinite or whatever, that which we are? How could it go away? You know, so there’s that recognition that stays?
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s nice. There are a number of writings about that, and not all spiritual teachers and speakers address it, but there are a number of, you know, traditional and contemporary accounts of the fact that, you know, when one is really awake, then that is 24/7. And it remains to the depth of deep sleep. There was a there was an Indian Saint named thought, well, Ababa, I sort of paraphrase a minute ago, someone asked him if he slept, you know, they meant it in the in the sense of how do you close your eyes and go to sleep at night? And he said, What would happen to the universe if I slept? And of course his body slept. bodies have to do that. But you know, he went on to elaborate how you know that which I am, you know, is the foundation of everything. And if that that couldn’t see, but if it were to then the foundation would be pulled out from under there would be no universe?
James Waite: Yeah. I can’t really think about it or I have no, no particular I would say grasp my writing is an exploration of it on my blog, my, my book or books, whatever, all they are is, is a is a continuous discovering of this reality and a probing and an A curiosity. I love what Alice said in Wonderland. It gets Curiouser and curiouser. He’s great. I like that it suits me.
Rick Archer: There are a lot of nice little bits in your book. In fact, you know, when I read people’s books, I sort of wish it could I could do a week long interview where we actually read a paragraph, talk about it, read a paragraph, talk about it. That would be fun. But I’m not very practical. But there was here’s one thing that jumped out at me, he said, not only do we open, but we continue for the rest of our life opening, opening to new undreamed realms where we may come to see that our thoughts, words and actions are not the whole of reality, that they’re an expression of the infinite nature of source or spirit. So like that opening an opening to new undreamed realms. And it also reminds me of something Adi Shanti said, I quoted a couple of interviews he said, even now with me the mystery is just beginning, always still beginning. Oh, that’s so true. And I consider him a very advanced soul, you know, but it’s sweet and beautiful to hear him say that, that it’s like, oh, it was a fresh horizon, kind of that you’re exploring?
James Waite: Yes, yes. And Krishna Murthy would call it a young mind. Oh, he’s having a young mind. Because, well, the mind itself means being staked in memory in the past. It’s
Rick Archer: it might also be Zen people mean by beginner’s mind. Yes, I say that. I always used to think of that as well. You’re just a neophyte. You’re a beginner, that’s beginner’s mind, but I think maybe they were referring to so very profound, you know, state where you’re always in a state of beginner’s mind.
James Waite: It’s, it’s a occupational hazard of aware living, to, to not know what’s going to happen. And to occasionally have the mind suggest or get a little bit concerned, like about what’s going to happen. Even though there’s a deep knowing that all we do is that we exist in uncertainty that it’s never been otherwise. There’s a deep understanding of of that. But still, the mind can kind of get a little agitated. And want to know,
Rick Archer: I guess that that’s what minds do, I guess? Yeah. That’s one of the things they do.
James Waite: Yeah, yeah, they plan and manipulate and the egos whole function is to manipulate. For outcomes that are desirable. Yeah, avoid those that are not.
Rick Archer: Wouldn’t you say that kind of having an ego of some sort is necessary is a functional faculty that gets us through life. I mean, it’s like, you know, your, your vision or your sense of smell your hands. It’s just the faculty, but it kind of usurps its authority, and begins to think that it’s running the show, much more than it actually possibly could.
James Waite: Yes, yes, the identity rests there. And that’s where the, I’ll say error, if you will curse, it says that there’s an innocent misplacement of identity into this egoic being egoic structure. As children, I remember taking that on, I remember, as a child just looking around me, maybe I’d be eight years of age or so. Maybe 10. And wondering about the world and like, wanting to be liked and respected. So I would check out what people were doing around me that got that? And I would say, Oh, I’ll take some of this. And I’ll take some of that. No, I mean, I even will for certain clothes, because of course, at school and high school or later on. I got, you know, comments and respect and all the things that I thought I needed. I’m sure we
Rick Archer: all do that, especially as we’re, you know, going into adolescence, there’s this acute kind of identity awareness, you know, Am I cool? How do I look at? Is my hair? Is my hair getting good in the back to quote, the mother’s invention? You know, there’s this sort of identification with the persona, that would you say that that’s kind of a necessary growth stage that you kind of have to build up an ego before you can dismantle it or before it before you can? In other words, you have to have a solid healthy kind of identity structure before he can transcend that.
James Waite: Yes, yes, it seems that way. And I think the key would be, if you’re fortunate enough to have a healthy, he go structure there. By healthy, not too neurotic, you know, not psychotic, you know. And I was fortunate that my parents were quiet and simple sort of working people. Not a lot of dreams or ambitions either in their own life or for me. So they didn’t push me hard other than my mother was a born again, Christian for 50 years. And, you know, that can be quite a burden for my twin brother and I used to be marched off to church three times a week.
Rick Archer: God, I thought I had it bad having to go once a week and my mother wasn’t born again. She just thought it would be good for us, but it like really ruined my Sundays.
James Waite: Yeah, yeah. It ruined my Sundays. And we lived at one time right across from the school yard. And I would be nose pressed to the window. kind of you know, that idea. Looking watching my friends across the street playing in the schoolyard all day Sunday. I couldn’t go out. Yeah. So yeah, I grew up to hate that God.
Rick Archer: God’s no fun.
James Waite: I couldn’t even say the word God. For years. It angered me. But
Rick Archer: what’s your feeling now in non dual circles, even now, very often, the word God isn’t used much. But what is your orientation to that word or that reality?
James Waite: I find it doesn’t appear much in my relationship to the ineffable. Maybe I got that, in a way, sort of, I’ll say out of the way the idea of God. And now for me, the key words are things like awareness, which is a more or less freighted, it’s clear, it’s, I recognize it as obviously not the thing itself, but one of those words, that’s a little more transparent that you can see through it to the underlying perception. God to me, just because of the way I was raised is freighted with all sorts of condition.
Rick Archer: But awareness. I mean, okay, let’s, let’s start from the word awareness. How do we get daffodils and dolphins and galaxies? And, you know, the all the marvelous sort of even the functioning of a single cell? If you look at it closely enough, and you see what an amazing thing is going on there? Where did how does that all arise from awareness? If awareness has the sort of plain vanilla connotation that it sometimes has?
James Waite: Yeah, when I’m using the word awareness, I mean, all of that, I mean, in what I will say is the unmanifest and the manifest as one, right, I would take as for want of a word, awareness, love. Love is a is a big operating principle for me, firms of how my life finds expression just has to go. It has to be initiated from love, and it has to flow toward love. In other words, when I’m relating to life, and my friends and people that I bump into on the street, there’s there’s just pretty much this love to love. Connection
Rick Archer: reminds you of a Stevie Wonder song Love is in need of love today. There you go. Yeah, your songs. I do. Yeah. rock and roller here. So for you, then awareness is not not plain vanilla, it’s not sort of this flat feature this thing or non thing. It’s rich with qualities of love. And perhaps we can say intelligence and creativity. And you know, it’s sort of the repository of all potentiality that that we find expressing itself as this incredible, you know, diverse universe. Would you say that?
James Waite: Oh, yes, yes. And again, way, way beyond what we can ever say about it. But somewhere along the line with the awareness, I came, I think some in one of my readings or something I read for a couple hours every day, or at least I have historically seems to be tapering off because other things are starting to happen. But in any case, affectionate awareness. Awareness by itself seems sterile and clinical and, you know, objective and no involvement here. So
Rick Archer: like the flat white movie screen with Yeah, exactly.
James Waite: And no, it’s not my experience, if you will, have awareness is, is. Maybe it’s just my manifestation, the way it’s happened for me. But effection, that awareness, it’s one in the same affection and awareness brought together. And that’s, you know, another say, another way of saying love, nice. And I write a lot about love. Or at least, it seems to happen that way. I never know what I’m going to write. If I’m going to write in a given time, and then I’m feeling I’m sort of moved to light something and I could happen, literally happen. Do you
Rick Archer: find that that’s blossoming more and more like when you first had that awakening in 2006? You know, that was like the start in a way. And then did you find that over the last, you know, whatever it’s been seven years, eight years, there has been a kind of a more of a blossoming of blossoming of the heart and welling up of love in your experience? Oh,
James Waite: yes, definitely. And in surprising ways, and again, I’m not it’s just a continuous movement. And how it’s going to take form is curious to me, in a given time in a given experience, I I can be walking along and have the most again, profound exchange with a homeless person or an executive or the array A lot of people and, and there’s this communion, there’s communion with people. Ignis, not necessarily even aware of one from their perspective. But we we both are, touch and are touched.
Rick Archer: Well, I find I saw a nice movie last night called Liberal Arts, which you might enjoy. And there was one scene in the movie where this young girl turns this guy on to classical music in which he never really listened to before. And so he’s walking around the streets of New York listening to Beethoven and stuff and, and he’s it changes his whole perspective such that everybody he encounters he feels like it’s someone he could be in love with, you know, everyone’s just has this beaming, friendly, beautiful look on their face, just from his awakening to that kind of more deeper appreciation.
James Waite: Yes, that’s that’s my daily experience, I would say. And it isn’t articulated, like we’re, you know, talking about, we might talk about, oh, I don’t know, usually, it’s something that’s actually going on. In other words, I don’t get into discussions about the past very much. I don’t find that interesting, right. And I don’t get into discussions about the future very much for the same reason, it does doesn’t seem to hold my attention very long. So we usually just go right where we’re at, as they say, in the south, the Knights still find it an awkward thing to say, you know, stay where you’re at, or some, you know, that expression where you’re at,
Rick Archer: there’s an old hippie expression, he knows where it’s at.
James Waite: Yeah. So that’s that, it’s lovely.
Rick Archer: Do you find that your experience of love seems to maybe a synonym might be just does it sort of spring from an inner joy, like, there’s this just sort of blissful inner joyfulness and that somehow manifests as love in your, in your relationships? It’s like, you’re at the checkout counter at a supermarket or something. And there’s such an inner joy that somehow it filters through as love FOR the checkout person?
James Waite: Absolutely. It just happens. And you were very aware that there’s there’s a hollow there’s no James, in terms of an egoic love it. All the love that I ever thought thought was Love was was coming from my ego. And it was manipulative, and it wanted something it had a codependency a condition. And that, and there’s just none of that. It’s just kind of like a radiant thing. That just goes out. And it doesn’t need to have any feedback. Even it’s nice when it happens. Of course, it just emits
Rick Archer: Yeah. Like you said, like a bird singing or like a light shining, you said before use the word light, you know, Psalm 24/7.
James Waite: Yeah, it’s just there. And, and you recognize, as everybody says, who’s, you know, when they’ve had this experience, I use the word experience very, it’s not a sensual or a mental experience, which is what we consider to be our experience, you know, I call that experiences of the six senses, I combine the mind with the five senses, in my discussions, to kind of gets the recognition that the physical and the mental, are expressions of reality. But they’re not the whole picture. They’re just limited, beautiful, beautiful, wonderful, absolutely essential function on the planet, and in time and space, but to be bound up solely in them as this is who I am, right? And this is what you are, and that is for me to limit myself and to limit you in the process, you know.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
James Waite: So we, we free each other. A little bit more.
Rick Archer: As I’m, as I’m looking at you on Skype, my background picture on my monitor is a galaxy. And, you know, I always look at galaxies, and I like to imagine all the trillions of life forms that might, you know, dwell in those galaxies. And you know, I think of them as and yet you know, permeating all that is the oneness, the wholeness. And, you know, we’re just one of those Little white life forms, in terms of our physical structure that you just alluded to the mind and the body, and so on the census, but it’s like just the tiniest of peoples through which that, you know, wholeness experiences the material world. And you know, but as you say most people are kind of caught up in the notion that that’s all they are.
James Waite: Yeah, that’s it and beautiful as it is and mysterious. I mean, what do we know about any of this? You know, we have a lot of ideas about it. And I use the example of, of a frog being dissected and being understood botanically etymologically all kinds of ways and sciences that they can understand the frog. But really, what do we know about a frog?
Rick Archer: Yeah, try putting it back together again. Exactly.
James Waite: And so, you know, we take our we take our identity, and our meaning and our purpose and everything, from a body mind based sense of reality. And all sorts of well and good, because yes, we do have the instinct to survive and indeed prosper. But it’s just limited. And there’s so much more in the, in the actual, and in the real. That’s another area that I talk about a lot to think is reality.
Rick Archer: What do you say about it?
James Waite: That’s good. Question. What do I say about reality? Well, of course, you can only say about reality. And so words, I’m often putting caveats in there, like, you know, words are just words. The ideas are just a conceptual framework for something that exists outside of the concept. point toward perceptions as perhaps something as a word again, as a limited word, but that might help us penetrate a little more deeply into the stuff of our being reality I can I can use words like nature, like our natural well being is is founded in reality. our joy, our our vitality, all our all the Beingness I go for words here because we’re in I’m trying to describe something that is totally indescribable. And being is, is one of the words that gets a little closer.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t
James Waite: We can come back to that to a little more.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I mean, ordinarily, I wouldn’t ask somebody Well, describe reality. But you said you talked about it a lot. So you kind of set yourself up for that way. Yeah.
James Waite: I mean, I do I talk around it, I discover it, I discover what it is moment to moment. So it’s not anything I can say. Here’s reality, there’s reality. It’s just a discovering, right now. Moment to moment. And it’s not a description of it. If there’s no, you know, describing of it in terms of material content. In reality, reality has its own power, its own existence. Its its gravitas. I like that word gravitas.
Rick Archer: There’s a verse in The Gita it says the Unreal has no being the real never ceases to be the final the final truth about them both has been known by the knowers of reality. But um it’s kind of reminded of the old analogy of the ocean and the fish you know, I mean, you ask fish, well tell us about the ocean and most fish you’re gonna say what ocean I don’t know about any ocean. And then some fish a minority are gonna say I’m looking for it, man. I’ll tell you about it when I find it. And then even a smaller subset of fish are going to say well, basically I am the ocean this Little Fish thing is just kind of moving around in it as a, you know, a point of perspective. But it’s it’s only a point, you know, and the reality of the ocean is vast and an all encompassing.
James Waite: Yes, indeed, yes. And we, we go silent, like we go silent when we, when we’re when we really, I mean it’s all sacred. And any time we approach the sacred, we, we we must somehow collapse in silence. At least that’s my more and more abiding relationship to reality. It’s it’s something it’s an indwelling I like that phrase and indwelling that’s indescribable.
Rick Archer: Somebody I heard, I was listening to a recording this week of a Buddhist teacher, and she’s talking the story about these two Buddhist monks that met and in their garden, and they just sat together for about three or four hours or something just sitting, you know. And finally, after three hours or so, one of them pointed to a tree and said, they call that a tree. And they both just burst into laughter. Beautiful.
James Waite: I think those are the most profound times, many of us recognize when when really not anything special, or whatever was said, but that we just simply resided in our awareness. And there was this resting in awareness as odd you called. And it becomes, I don’t say a refuge, but it’s it’s the constant. In a aware living. There’s always a resting in awareness.
Rick Archer: Whether or not Yeah, the ocean is always the ocean, whether or not it rises in waves. Sometimes there’s waves sometimes there’s no waves, but the ocean is there.
James Waite: Yes, yes. And I, I’m surprised sometimes they even this morning, just with my little I had a little confusion about the time we were central time, Pacific Time, etc. And so I had very little time to get ready for this interview. But there was nothing to get ready. I mean, you know, and so while we’ll have some egoic thing was saying, Well, you know, you need to be able to sit and read quietly, and maybe sit and garden and, you know, all of the kinds of things that maybe in, in some kind of a speculative way one might want to do. But that isn’t the way it happened. The recognition, though, is is that that inner peace, that core of our being, it’s not disturbed at all.
Rick Archer: I think you’ve done your homework.
James Waite: Well, you know, it’s yes, that’s a good way to put it, but there is nothing to do. But be,
Rick Archer: yeah, but you’ve lived a life which is enliven the ground of being, you know, so that you’re not just sort of tossed about in the winds. You’re, you’re, you know, established and being there’s a verse another person they get it’s basically Yogastha kuru karmani is, which, which is established in yoga or establishing being perform action. But, you know, most people are just not established. And so they’re just performing action, performing action and kind of like, it’s all this agitation without any kind of foundation to it.
James Waite: Yeah, so I’m coming to see reaction coming from programming from conditioning. I see that going on. But what sees it is not involved in it in terms of attached to it or attached to an outcome or so there’s this simultaneity I sometimes say to people, it’s like, my mind is like a TV set that’s on in the corner. And, or a dog curled up in the corner that depending on but there’s a watching there’s just a simple watching, right, that is non judgmental, among other things loving and
Rick Archer: but it’s not something you’re doing, right. I mean, you’re not like being on your toes. I better keep watching here and you know, it’s just kind of a nothing could shake it kind of thing.
James Waite: That’s right. It’s effortless. Yeah. It doesn’t, it’s happening, right? It’s not anything to do with me or James would command it.
Rick Archer: So you know, that’s where practices get born sometimes, which can be actually a little unnatural. You know, someone might just, let’s say, you might describe your experience, well, there’s just this watching. And people hear that, and they think, oh, that’s what I should do. Okay, I’m gonna start watching. And then they make a practice out of it. And all day long, they’re doing what you used to do. And during those 22 years, I gotta reach for the salt shaker, but Oh, I better watch this, it’s kind of like, you know, unsettledness Oh, yes,
James Waite: we had exercises. And, and they, in fact, one time in the school self remembering. The teacher was encouraging people to have these, you know, these little clickers that yeah, people coming in the door. Sure, if you remembered yourself, you bought you buy this clicker. And you clicked yourself. And you know,
Rick Archer: at the end of the day, you could see where the how many clicks, you got
James Waite: X two, or 300, or whatever. I mean, you can see how, how anything we do takes us away from what we are. If ultimately, although it all seems to be what happens, so there’s no need to, in any way. Beat oneself up about, yeah, those efforts.
Rick Archer: And for all I know, you know, people who did what you did, but who were doing what you did, maybe that’s, you know, leading them to the point where it will become second nature and not not anything you need to do. I mean, obviously, that’s true of a great many relative skills, you play enough tennis, and after a while, you just you don’t think you just know how to do it, you know, so who knows, but it does seem to be a little unnatural. And to make a prep, and you know what it is it falls into the category of turning a description into a prescription. Someone describes their state. And, and that’s mistaken as a prescription people try to mimic it by doing all sorts of practices, which kind of reminiscent of what they’ve described, but it’s far cry from the actual living of it as that person described it.
James Waite: Yes, I, it’s, it happens that the key word there is happens, right? And anything else outside of it just, I’ll say grace, occurring and where one has the simple, usually sudden, for me sudden recognition, of existing of being of again, I fall into the wordless so quickly, because it’s like, impossible to describe. And yet, because it’s so simple and so obvious, and so real. How do we get words and descriptors and measurements, you know, this is why science can, as long as science doesn’t get closer and start to connect with the non dual, it’s just going to stay in its own realm, just like the mind stays within the labyrinth of the mind. And we did that. I mean, this is a very intelligent school that I was in very highly intellectual, lots of very well educated people very well traveled. You know, just my kind of people I thought, you know, gave my spiritual ego, a real boost I was, I was something noble, that’s where the appeal was, that it was an appeal to a kind of, if you join, and you are a member of this fellowship, you have status, and you have you bring the honor to your family.
Rick Archer: There’s a lot of spiritual groups that feel that way, you know, ours is the best and because my group is the best, and because I’m part of this group, I’m somehow the cream of humanity. And it’s dozens and dozens and dozens of groups in which the people feel the very same thing and all these other people have kind of lost it to some extent. They don’t really know what’s going on. But boy, am I fortunate to be in the, you know, the, the in crowd.
James Waite: Yeah, yeah. And we judged and I say Judge, everybody who was not as being light, we call that light. And, you know, sort of like getting deferential terms life doesn’t understand like there’s a patch to break we got a little buzz going on. I don’t know whether
Rick Archer: my wife is running the blender. She forgot to close the door. We’ll just stop it. Go.
James Waite: This is life at home.
Rick Archer: This is going on. Yes.
James Waite: All this beautiful
Rick Archer: Dogs, blender
James Waite: if all good. So, anyway,
Rick Archer: yeah, there’s one thing I wanted to discuss with you, which just came up this week. And I thought, well, I’ll just talk about this with James because I think we’ll get some, some juice out of it. And that is that I get a certain amount of flack. And I got some this week from people on the BatGap chat group for talking about levels and stages and progress and things like that. And I’ll just set this up for it and see what you say in response. But, you know, I mean, I can talk about the, the sort of homogenous, indivisible, totality of reality, you know, with the best of them. But within that, obviously, there is diversity, somehow diversity is contained within the wholeness. And if you want to, you can take any diverse thing and boil it down to wholeness, just as a physicist can take an apple and bring it down to the level of the unified field. But that doesn’t sort of completely negate or deny the existence of the apple. So where I’m going with this is that there’s a kind of a paradoxical situation in which, on the one hand, yes, there are no levels. There are no stages, there is no progress. You know, the reality is, that is what it is. It’s completely all encompassing, all engulfing totality. But on the other hand, practically speaking, you know, paradoxically speaking, there’s always this paradox. We do go through stages of development, we There are levels, I mean, obviously, they’re physically speaking, there’s the gross, obvious, there’s the molecular, there’s an atomic, there’s a subatomic there, there are sort of levels of nature’s functioning, or at least there apparently, are levels of nature’s functioning. And so you can, in the same breath, say that there’s no such thing as levels or progress or anything else. And yet say that there are, and even in your experience, like that, quote, I wrote earlier, but always read earlier about always going deeper and deeper. And you had a nice one from Rumi, here in which he’s fall down and down and always widening rings of being. So address that if you would?
James Waite: Well. It’s, it’s a curious thing, because we do live in paradox, we actually live in paradox. And we want resolution, something wants to kind of come to some conclusion, especially the mind always looking for conclusions. Although it being binary, it’s totally unable to conclude anything. So there is this diverse human experience. And then there’s this even more diverse, I’ll say, divine experience. And again, I’m using experience. Without, by when I say divine experience, I mean, the timeless, and that isn’t experienced through the body mind, but it is, in some way. recognized and known that say no, it’s
Rick Archer: and maybe I could interject here and say it’s known but known by virtue of the fact that there is a body mind. You know, it’s like this, this you don’t, it’s mysterious, as you say. But this, although we don’t experience it, the way we experience you know, books and desks and light bulbs, there is this sort of innate knowingness, which seems to be made possible by the existence of a body mind.
James Waite: Let’s just explore that a bit i It does seem to be made possible in a sense that I can in my six senses engage in in this kind of life, in time and space. That I just wanted to sort of explore the idea that when we, when the body mind is no more when that kind of death occurs, that what remains is this same awareness. It’s so there’s not a condition. There’s no conditions related to awareness. In that sense, so what is immortal with the unborn and the born our unborn nature continues well, our born nature It will pass in time. And so I just want them.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Actually, I wrote down one of the sentences in your book you said death is the end of the dream called me and mine, you and yours. Were started out this interview talking a bit about deaths, and maybe we’ll come back to that. But um, I wanted to take exception to that a little bit. Because if, if the whole idea like if you know, the Gita says here something like, as a man casting off worn out garments takes other new ones. So the Dweller in the body casting off worn off bodies takes others that are new. I mean, if that’s the way it works, then I don’t think merely dying frees one from the dream. It just perhaps, you know, relegates you to a more subtle level of the dream for a while, and then you reengage with a more concrete level of the dream once again, until eventually, you know, there’s enough sort of depth of realization that the dream is seen through once and for all. You know, that’s kind of the idea of karma, it seems to me, karma, reincarnation, the whole deal.
James Waite: Yeah. And all I can understand about that, is that, that that’s an idea. Like, like everything that will help rewording and my, from a from an abiding aware perspective. It’s an idea, I really can’t say that anything more about karma and reincarnation, I do find that it could well be a source of comfort. That we have, like, when I was being raised as a Christian, I became a born again, Christian at one time when I was like, 14. And you know, you would go to heaven if you accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, close quote. And so there was solace there, even her 14 year old. And as we get older, we do tend to reach for some kind of sense that what we are is going to go to heaven or continue. It’s there’s a lot about it. Let me say that it goes into the realm of belief. And what I understand about beliefs for myself is that they’re just ideas. In other words, I don’t have any beliefs. I don’t function. I I don’t need a belief in print. In fact, I am one wanting to deal with facts with the actual and the factual. And belief gets in the way. It’s, it’s a could be a wishful thing. Even my beliefs are going to be conditioned.
Rick Archer: Well, yeah, but listen, if I mean, the word belief, just usually denotes reference to something we haven’t experienced. And if someone says, if someone said to you do believe in apples, that would be an absurd question. Because yeah, I’ve experienced apples. I eat apples. I know all about apples. So if someone says, Do you believe in reincarnation, we say, well, no, it sounds like a just a belief to me. But it actually I mean, Adyashanti, when he has had his awakening, he remembered a whole lot of past lives. And one of the standard siddhis in Patanjali Yoga Sutras is the yogi remembers all his past lives, or a whole bunch of them or something. So, you know, it can be a solace, I’m sure and billions of Hindus take it as a solace. But it could also actually, possibly be the reality of the way the universe works.
James Waite: It could be it
Rick Archer: Yeah, could be I’m not insisting that it is. This I certainly can’t prove it. But actually researchers have done a lot of work on it and interviewed little kids that don’t remember the village they lived in and all the artifacts and you know, all this stuff.
James Waite: It hasn’t been part of my spiritual path, you know, I never was attracted to India a lot of the things and it seems, it seems useful for for a non dual perspective or from a non dual perspective, to recognize the mind and its limitations. And if I if I kind of To see where something is coming from, and then recognize that it’s limited. And that I cannot know. So many things. In fact, I don’t need to know. And in fact, I’m quite happy to live in the unknown, which is where we all live, actually. You know, it’s, I think karma is something that can be worked through can be. Well, in terms of waking up, I think certain ones like Teresa of Avila can’t quote these people. So Well, right now used to know a lot more than I do. Now, frankly, honestly, I, I’ve lost a lot of what I’ve learned, and I’m jettisoning It seems I wake up in the morning, something else has gone. But if we’re raised as a monk, for instance, and we and we, quote, wake up, tend to see the figures of our Christian heritage. And I don’t know about audio, but you know, I do know that he was a practicing Zen Buddhist for many years. And, and the the nature of that does have a history, it seems of seeing lifetimes. But and it’s all just interesting reporting of these things. And it’s pretty surprising and interesting, isn’t it?
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well. Yeah, I mean, the reason I find it interesting is that I don’t think that a, you know, a deeper understanding or deeper experience of the universe necessarily precludes a detailed understanding of it. And that, one, that and that, you know, as you say, in terms of, you know, this, this quote, I read earlier, about deeper and deeper opening and discovery of unknown realms, and so on and so forth. There’s a whole world of possibilities out there, or in or in there, as the case may be. And all these things which are which philosophers and spiritual people have been, debating speculating over for millennia, could be seen as sort of valid. Directions for exploration are theories, which could be sort of scientifically in a spiritual sense, experientially explored, and their truth or falsehood ascertained, one way or the other. So you know, whether angels exist, whether reincarnation exists, all this stuff. I think it can be experientially known. And it may be icing on the cake. I mean, the real cake, is this, this living awareness that you’ve been referring to? But you know, nothing wrong with little icing? If
James Waite: I hear you, I hear you, I would, I’m not sure. What I can know is the false. I feel like I can know that. When it reveals itself to me as being false, but the truth, I get a little bit I’m not able in any way to express it, although I know it, right. And I don’t feel like it’s a coming to know. In other words, the truth is, I always have this moment. And it’s always just here and simply revealing itself, in obvious, very obvious. But what it is, that’s the mystery.
Rick Archer: Well, yeah, and you’re, you’re referring to absolute truth here, you know, which is unmanifest and ineffable, and just, you know, unexpressible, in words. And the kinds of things I’m alluding to in the last few minutes are relative truths, you know, if there’s reincarnation, if there are angelic beings, if all this stuff exists, those are relative truths, you know, which are ultimately unreal. I mean, I acknowledge that they’re ultimately made of the same stuff that everything is which is pure beings. So, you know, in a sense, nothing ever happened, nothing ever manifested if we want to take it to that level. You know, but we’re living life and and life involves all kinds of adventures and whatnot, which we can again and again and again as often as we want, we can boil it down to pure nothingness, but we have to live life and and so for good friend dies or something, you know, I can say fine, so nothing, nothing ever happened. He was never born, he never died. But it’s also a seek to ponder, alright, are in a relative sense, you know, as unreal as it ultimately they may be, but it’s relatively real. What happened to his soul? Is he going to be reborn? You know, where is he now? You know, and what is he not? What does he know now that he didn’t know when he was alive? What is his experience? You know, that kind of stuff? It’s it’s kind of interesting maybe it’s maybe it’s just some people would consider it a distraction? But I find it interesting.
James Waite: Yeah, I am. And I think I have, and I can find it interesting in a given situation. There’s always some underlying knowing or recognition about the relativity of these things.
Rick Archer: Exactly.
James Waite: And, you know, just that, and that doesn’t go away. So one is, one is always seeing the world, if you will, and functioning in the world from that place. And everything is relative to that place. Yeah, in a functional way.
Rick Archer: I agree with you.
James Waite: Yeah, all of these things exist, you know, kind of relative way.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So that’s, that’s my basic perspective, too. And it’s just that this absolute knowing doesn’t negate all the relative knowings or all the relative, you know, explorations, you know, you don’t say to your wife well we’re not going to watch movies anymore, or even talk to each other, because it’s all absolute. And as you engage in those experiences,
James Waite: I, you know, it’s so important to recognize that there is the human and the divine,
Rick Archer: exactly,
James Waite: you know, and that they’re fused, they’re not separate, and we isolate ourselves from the Divine from our divinity. Through the processes of the way we’re raised, and culturally and psychologically conditioned, etc. that isolation is, is a produced, fabricated, non entity, it never, we never actually are separate. But we think we are and there’s that lovely comedian, Eddie Izzard, who makes references to he’s going to be Napoleon in my head. You know, and everything is in my head. And, you know, that’s a good way to see how the mind which is totally incapable of ever comprehending oneness. Because in its nature and its structure, its binary, it can only sort down to two, and it can never come to one and one is everything. So the mind putting it this way, the mind has no sharp as it is, etc. It has no actual direct way of knowing anything real. It can only know itself, its realm, the realm of the mind. And beautiful as that is, and thank God for it. It’s we mess, our divine nature, if we reside 24/7 in our human nature.
Rick Archer: Yeah. There’s a beautiful quote from Rumi. I’m just trying to find it hear something about maybe it’ll come up something about that. We’re not you know, a drop containing the ocean what were the ocean containing a drop? Something like that? You know, I mean, here it comes. Nevermind, keep talking. Oh, here it is. You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in one drop. So you are the ocean, but living as a drop. And there’s this beautiful, there’s this phrase, it’s repeated over and over again the Rigveda they keep saying the absolute and the relative are interwoven warp and woof you know, if you if you know the way weaving works like the threads go one way and the threads go the other way. So that’s the warp and the woof but there’s this sort of complete inter interpenetration.
James Waite: Yeah, I’m in the tapestry business not to get into that but warp and woof or warp and weft.
Rick Archer: Or maybe that’s the word weft.
James Waite: weft is. Well, woof, I think comes from an older phrasing
Rick Archer: I see.
James Waite: But But yes, it’s a good way to look at life. And if you think of the vertical threads, which are the warp threads, which are the structural threads of a tapestry as them being the divine, and then the horizontal or weft threads are the ones that go through the horizontal or the vertical. And they make up the picture. So they could be considered to be the human are human, the manifestation of the divine. So the warp and weft are commingled. And together, they produce
Rick Archer: the tapestry
James Waite: The tapestry life. However we want to put it,
Rick Archer: that’s nice. And you know, how you were you say, we’re a religious fundamentalist in your teens, people, they seem to have a tendency to want to lock into a particular perspective and make it absolute, you know, there’s some security in that, you know, and it happens even in sort of so called non dual spiritual circles, where, you know, people will take this sort of absolute perspective, largely based on understanding in my estimation, not so much grounded in experience, and then kind of use that as a fundamentalist cudgel to beat the people over the head with.
James Waite: Yeah, it’s fear based. I mean, ultimately, we have these deep fears, existential fears. Once we start to become somebody, that fear, that’s the initiation of the fear before then we have no fear, because we know what we are, and that knowing well, it’s not articulated. It has no qualities, and especially no fear. But yeah, we take on this fear, and then it goes from there, we want certainty, to assuage our fear, our doubts, and the, you know, somebody has said that the most fundamental believers are the most fear, fearful. You know, they’re, they
Rick Archer: I think you’ve got something Yeah, I mean, and they’re, they’re kind of like, desperately trying to defend their doubt, you know, or protect their sort of, because they’re on very shaky ground.
James Waite: And they know it,
Rick Archer: or, either Yeah, I either know it consciously. At some level, they know it, I think there’s sort of an unconscious, no consciousness about it. But you know, that and the fear is externalized to you know, it’s definitely an inner fear but it’s externalize that we’re afraid of this, you know, threat over here to our integrity and that thing over there and everything is seen as it’s sort of a challenge, because there’s no foundation. There’s a saying in the Upanishads, that certainly all fear is born of duality.
James Waite: There you go. I mean, right away, as soon as we enter the dual aspect of our nature, solely exclusively with, you know, because that’s the way it happens. We end up delay and uncertainty or wanting certainty. We end up estranged from ourselves in some way, and we don’t even know what that is, as we’re saying, it’s a it’s something very, in our subconscious. But nonetheless, it functions and produces a life that’s full of conflict.
Rick Archer: You know, how, when the Space Shuttle comes in from outer space,
James Waite: yeah.
Rick Archer: As it’s slowing down, it is a big boom as it as it breaks the sound barrier in the slowing direction. And then when something’s getting faster, there’s a big boom as it breaks the sound barrier in the speeding up direction. And it’s like that, you know, it’s like a lot of people on the spiritual path when they get to the threshold of the absolute so to speak, the gate the gatekeeper is fear. So the fear is born of duality, but on the return journey, sometimes that same fear is encountered. And then cross you know, in successful cases crossed over and then one becomes fearless.
James Waite: Yeah, I you know, the the idea of successful I would just kind of park that a little bit because I don’t feel in any way. Waking up is a success.
Rick Archer: Did I use the word success, I guess? I’m just riffing along as to where that came out.
James Waite: Yeah. You said successful and it doesn’t matter. And we’re just having this lovely discussion. It’s sort of coming into our inheritance. but we don’t succeed at achieving it. That’s the key word achieving, and all my ambitions, my spiritual ambitions and even the idea of path. Well, they all have their place. And I, you know, I have mine, you have yours, we all have the parent paths, apparent paths. It turns out that we’re really going nowhere and have never left. And it’s functionally true. It’s like, did we ever leave? In my head? Right? No, no. But, you know, and, anyway,
Rick Archer: well, you know, that TS Eliot quote, didn’t you quote in your book at some point?
James Waite: I did.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Can you repeat it? No. Is there something about you know, coming back to the place where from which we started and knowing the place for the first time? Exactly. It’s from Burnt Norton. That’s a great quote.
James Waite: Yeah. And that in, I keep coming back to that, because it doesn’t go away. It’s like, that awareness of, of never having left and never having done anything and the inane ideas of past and future. I mean, inane, that just make no real. I won’t say sense at all, because in time and space, sensually, as we experience it, we do create and experience time and space. Yeah, try booking a plane ticket without it exactly. You have to, you have to function in time and space. And, and I must say, it’s taken me. And it’s an ongoing thing. To learn, not learn to function, but in the moment, to see what the moment is asking for. And is the responsibility, that response ability, to the moment comes from a recognition of what is asked for, so to speak. And, and so you never learn anything, you never acquire any. It’s not like riding a bike relearn your balance, that in the world of time and space, we have to learn our functions and all kinds of things. But in in, in aware living, he functions continue, of course, and they must. But you never know. You never know what, what you’re going to do. And then you find it’s happening. It happens. We go for walks by take my friends, hiking, and whatever. And we’re in the city urban hiking sometimes. And the things that happens, and it happens with all of us if we’re just kind of there, but you never know when these most beautiful opportunities of walking by and you’re admiring a garden and somebody says come on in and show you my garden and you’re like, gosh, here we go, you know. And so kind of like wandering in this garden. I don’t plan my day, I don’t have a plan. For anything, I just, it’s not necessary, except when it is to catch a plane.
Rick Archer: Yeah. But even if you live the life in which a lot of planning was necessary, you know, you had you’re running a business and had all sorts of responsibilities and employees and taxes and all this other stuff. That wouldn’t preclude living in the moment or, you know, dwelling and being however we want to phrase it. It’s just your particular relative expression is a little bit more footloose and fancy free than then some other ones might be but whatever the lifestyle, I think this can be incorporated. This can be lived in the midst of it.
James Waite: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. You could be whatever brain surgeon and you know, yeah, whatever. Working under what I’ll say all kinds of laws of the 747 pilot or something like that? Yeah, definitely. I I’ve been fortunate and blessed to have my own business, in terms of just this one aspect for 20 years. And it’s allowed me to attend to it minimally. Right and to In my case, pursue my spiritual much more earnestly and fully, I, sort of semi monk for years, you know, I mean, I was able to live that way. And I needed that space and time. Yeah. to, to, to kind of collapse into my essence. And I mean, who knows how these things work but my Draw My dwell I didn’t wasn’t drawn to say meditation per se, I could look at much of my life in the quiet shuffling around that it bet occurred as rather monastic and, ya know,
Rick Archer: there can be a place for that too. I mean, you know, some people’s, you know, they say, Oh, nobody needs to go off to a monastery. But literally speaking, I think that can be of great value to people for whom it is appropriate, you know, there can be a time and a place for that kind of thing. And then there’s a time and a place for coming out of it. Perhaps there’s this fellow Francis Bennett, whom I interviewed, and you may know him, but from the interview, at least,
James Waite: he prompted me to write it.
Rick Archer: Oh, great. Okay. And, and I met you anyway. I mean, I know you from the SAND Conference. Yeah. But um, you know, he was in a monastery for 30 years, various monasteries. And then he had this awakening. And, and then at a certain point, he just felt this inner prompting, Okay, it’s time for me to leave. You know, and now he’s much more in the thick of things in the world. But with that foundation that you’ve been talking about?
James Waite: Yes, that’s what seems to be happening now is is that the same? Seems while there was a contraction period, even after the the waking up part, there was some contraction, and I would say, residence in the absolute. That was absolutely beautiful. And I mean, not anything can be said about that, other than we all know it. And at a certain point, and it was thanks to us help you. I mean, I did, we do need each other it points to point out things and say, Oh, well, this, try this. This looks like that. Nadja was very helpful. But there’s a moving out into life into complexity. But never the loss, as you say, of that ground of the absolute and the simple and one, right. And it’s curious to how that’s happening. I got some particular interesting things that are going on just in the last week, that haven’t occurred here to for that seem to be saying, as I just says, that if you rest in awareness, life will produce for itself. Whatever it needs, it looks after itself. You know, and it’s, we call it trust, some call it courage. But never knowing what’s going to happen, is a very real beautiful exquisite edge of one’s being to be inhabiting
Rick Archer: makes it interesting, doesn’t it?
James Waite: Oh, it’s fresh, it’s alive. It’s vital.
Rick Archer: I think life gives you what you need, even if you don’t rest in awareness, but ultimately, but it can be the it can be a school of hard knocks, because there’s no sort of, you know, there’s no sort of anchor,
James Waite: and we need our suffering, don’t we needed my suffering, I you know, I needed all of it. I used every not. Now I would say maybe I might be able to use it. Use the suffering a little more, because from some perspective, there’s a not engaged in it. In other words, I can have pain in my knee and not suffer it. Right? Because I can just accept the pain instead of getting into a lot of imagination. Oh, poor me, or me, and, you know, get traded with all that. So there’s a more clarity in terms of I’ll say there’s a moment to moment transformation of suffering. That is only to say that there’s a acknowledgment of what it is precisely. That seems to be wanting to suggest that I should be worried or angry or create a problem in some way.
Rick Archer: One thing that comes to mind when you talk about the spontaneous unfolding of life, and even pre awakening the, you know, that whatever happens is, you know, meant to happen in some way that it to me again points the, the intelligence of life and the, the kind of the evolutionary direction that life takes is like this river and that we’re all being carried along in toward, you know, I say great, the adjectives are kind of clunky, but greater and greater are higher and higher evolution deeper and deeper, whatever you like. And, you know, some, some are swimming against the current Oh God, where’s this taking me, let me hold on to this stick. And you know, and others are kind of flowing with it. But but it’s it, you know, whichever way you do it, you’re up against an invincible force. which
James Waite: thankfully, reality is at least 51% in the illusion could be the other 49%. Which is because illusion is extremely powerful, but reality is more powerful. And it’s already one would have been, if it’s already over there. So it is all good. We can have all our illusions, and suffer illusory suffering and all of that. Fortunately, none of it gets real.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And that can seem rather glib. You know, if you’re talking to a Holocaust survivor, or Sandy Hook parent, or something like that, you know, but it does seem that the universe is a it’s a school of hard knocks. I mean, you know, it’s not always going to be pretty asteroids crash into inhabited planets every day in this universe, probably and everybody gets incinerated. But somehow in the big, big, big picture of things. It’s all good. Oh, yeah. Everything God does is for the best,
James Waite: it is all good. It is all good. And, and you can see that in a moment to moment wave just just by tuning in, say to nature, nature is immediately accessible because it is our nature. It’s not that nature outside. Its nature, nature, nature. You know, we’re again, everything is one and everything is intertwined. Nature is a wonderful teacher and the illustrator of harmony have a kind of innate peacefulness me now in them herself, you know, a little catfight, so to speak, in nature, and their suffering comes from it. But it spikes and then it goes back to a lovely kind of thing. And then it spikes. But that seems to be the nature of things to have some disharmony, or imperfection, amid greater perfection.
Rick Archer: I’ll tell you a little story that’ll be kind of entertaining here. There was a king and he had a chief minister who was his trusted advisor. And the minister was very wise and philosophical man and, and just about anything that anybody brought to his attention. The minister would say, everything that God does is for the best. And this really annoyed some people. And there was one woman whose child died and the minister said, everyone, everything that God does this for the best. So some kind of tricky, people decided to trap the minister in this game. And so the king when they waited for their opportunity, and one day, the king was having his manicure and the barber cut his finger cut the Kings finger. And so you know, it was bandaged and so that they they went and ran off to the minister and said, Hey, what do you think about this, the Kings finger got cut. And the minister said everything, God does this for the best. So they ran back to the king, and they said, hey, you know, your minister said that this was the best that you cut your finger and the King got really mad, and he said, throw the rascals in jail. So they did, they threw the minister in jail. Then the king went off on a hunting party. And while he was off on this hunting party, in the jungle, he got caught. He and his hunting, his companions got captured by some Aboriginals, and they decided they were going to sacrifice this king they needed. They wanted to do a human sacrifice. And so they’re preparing him for the sacrifice and everything. And they discovered, oh, he has this cut on his finger. We can’t sacrifice and he’s not perfect, you know, he’s not the right specimen. So they let him go and King was greatly relieved. And, you know, he went, he immediately thought of his minister and he went rushing back and went to the jail and apologized profusely to the Minister for having jailed him and the minister said, no, no, he said everything God does it for the best if, if I hadn’t been in jail, you would have I would have gone with you on this party and they will sacrifice me. Yes, yes. Yes, yes. It’s
James Waite: a lovely story and the illustrates something very, very true to our experience, you know, and we can we can actually see all of this. There’s a similar kind of story about a man who has a horse and a son. Well,
Rick Archer: actually, oh, yeah, that’s a good was laid.
James Waite: Yeah, you know, and and, and they say, oh, woe is the poor guy. He’s broken his leg. But then along comes the army and they’re recruiting. And the guy’s got a broken leg, so he can’t ride. And so he gets passed over. It’s a longer story.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s like four or five different segments. They’re all it’s always the same. The old man keeps saying we’ll see. Yeah, right.
James Waite: What do you keep saying to is, you never know what’s good or bad. Right? As I recall, it might have but that’s so true, isn’t it? Yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And so I mean, if we take that phrase, everything God does is for the best, free. And if we understand that to mean that, you know, the universe, again, is one big evolution machine, then all these dramas, all this stuff that keeps unfolding, you know, that sometimes seems tragic, and sometimes seems wonderful, and so on and so forth. It’s all part of this vast sort of cosmic unfolding. And, you know, so it’s just marvelous to contemplate, in my opinion.
James Waite: Yes, yes. And if we can, if we can, I’ll say, contemplated from from an absolute place. And we can, and we do have we are. It’s, it’s given context, and meaning within the relative, there’s, there’s, there’s things that are that we’re here to enjoy, or to endure, or to experience in whatever way that that happens. And, you know, where would we be without our suffering? We wouldn’t be alive. Frankly, we couldn’t have any experience in the body mind without being born under gravity. And, you know, just breathing can be hard. Do you ever get sick with pneumonia? And you realize just just the effort to breathe? can be hard. And in fact, ultimately, gravity wins.
Rick Archer: Well, you know, Shakespeare said, All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players, and you know, and if we are in let’s say, we’re in the play Julius Caesar, and if we if we forgot that it was a play, and we thought that we were really Julius Caesar, and then it’s like, oh, God, all these people are coming to stab me. And if you were Brutus, you think, Oh, I’m going to stab my, my best friend here. And, you know, the whole thing becomes very serious. But you know, but if you kind of can regain your memory that Oh, it’s just the play, then the whole thing actually becomes a lot lighter, more enjoyable.
James Waite: Well, and there’s no buddy invested in the play. Right? You are literally the actor, right? And so the acting that’s going on, is not me centered. There’s a selfless manifestation, right? If it comes from a selfless kind of place.
Rick Archer: And if my character dies in this play, that’s just the role it’s playing. It’s not the end.
James Waite: Oh, gosh, no, no death, death becomes at our elbow, you know, I studied Michel de Montaigne, quite a bit at one time one of the earliest essays he was a contemporary of Shakespeare and 1550s in the round there. And he was the first person to will say, invent the essay. And mean meaning to say something is to will like with gold LSA gold today to this date, to con analyze a cup of it. So he, he chose as a subject, human nature, his human nature is experienced. And he followed it in along lines of friendship and all sorts of wonderful things. Michel de Montaigne’s essays, terrific introduction to our human nature, and are divided from 1550. And why do you bring them up? Well, I’ve lost the track of what
Rick Archer: we’re talking about. We’re talking about the play and you know, getting getting lost in it and forgetting that one is merely an actor and, you know, versus realize keeping that memory and just enjoying the play and then then that somehow that stimulated you to bring his name up.
James Waite: Yeah. And you know, it still doesn’t and particularly come back to me what the relevance while shoulder Montaigne, maybe it’ll come back, just that with maybe something to do with the exploring of our life, that it’s, it’s a lovely opportunity that we have to explore all of these things, and to live them to live just to live and all I know what it was was connection to death and move up Michel de Montaigne, he talked about death being at his elbow. And he talked about, he never left home. And he lived in a fort, kind of a fortified place that I’ve been to, I’ve been to the tower, we were within, in France, in southern France, but he would leave home, he would say goodbye to everybody, as if he wasn’t going to be coming back. And there were wars, civil wars going on. And
Rick Archer: so it’s a good chance he wouldn’t come back, there was a good chance,
James Waite: mortality, then, you know, the average lifespan, he is his best friend had died with the plague, etc, etc. So death was more of a constant. And he introduced me to kind of, because I’ve always sort of had a little curiosity about death, not not in a morbid way. Right? But But what is it? What’s the true here? What’s the truth of it? And there’s no fear whatsoever of death. Coming from and when you recognize your infinite nature, and it isn’t like a feel good thing if it isn’t. Because if it stays just as, yeah, that’s nice to remember. That’s good. That’s, that’s it is a consolation. But it’s a true, it’s an actual fact. And the fact of it is, where the
Rick Archer: juice is, experientially you’re identifying with that which doesn’t die. That’s right. As opposed instead of that, which does
James Waite: That’s right. And with that, and as Montaigne would say, you know, keep death at your elbow. You know, it’s useful it’s this everything is going to end as you body mind experience. It is fine and
Rick Archer: yeah. You know, Amma the hugging saint, she always says, she says, You never know your next breath may be your last and she said, You should live like a bird perched on a branch that might break at any time. And she too is not being morbid.
James Waite: It’s not a morbid subject, it’s a life giving a subject to take anything really and go into a deeply any any profound subject, say and go into a deeply will lead you to life’s essence. But death is a particularly powerful trail.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, you know, I started this interview referring to my friends that died last weekend, and one of them didn’t know he was dying, he had hepatitis in his liver cancer and, and he put up a few YouTube videos, which were quite interesting talking about his life. And he gave some talks here in town. And I went and visited with him, and a lot of people sort of gave him a lot of love. And then after he died, you know, people were in he was his body was laid in his apartment for a day or two, and people were going there and just sitting or meditating or something. And I went and did that. And there’s just this deep impression of the fact that, you know, that which he was, hadn’t died, couldn’t die. And, and the sense of the freedom, and again, I tend to be a little esoteric in this realm, but the sense of the freedom that he was now experiencing, in contrast to, you know, the constraint he might have been experiencing before he died and the pain that he might have identified with and so on. And I don’t know somehow afterwards, just walking around looking at people I kind of was seeing them as dead people who happen to still be animated. Yeah. Yes, like there was a sort of, there was a sort of an inner spirit motivate, you know, animating their bodies, but those bodies were as good as dead. Yeah, no, I
James Waite: mean, it’s simultaneously so you know, we’re passing in time and space. And in any experience, all of that is passing. It comes in it goes until a point where it doesn’t come or go. And what is left is that which does not come and go, which is actually the very spark of our nature, this thing that’s right now visiting on on Skype, or you not to be limited there, the whole thing, you know,
Rick Archer: and it’s a universal fire. Yeah.
James Waite: And we have our song, we have our, we strut and fret, our, our, our upon the stage. And then our heard no more. Shakespeare said, you know, there’s this is great beauty. And all of a sudden the stock goes up, our stock goes up in terms of our we look at each other and our friends. And after somebody has passed a good friend, we were with a man years ago, my wife and I, who were with him very closely, I nursed him until he died. And there’s a great gift that he left us that that was the beginning of another recognition. And I know, both Ella and I and my wife were profoundly affected by not as much his life because we didn’t know him much before that as his death. And so not to be afraid of these things and not to feel that we need to build some kind of life continuing story. In our because it’s our life, it isn’t a story. This is not a story. This does not need any constellations and in good feelings about it. It’s fine when they occur, but all I’m saying is is that it is all good. Yeah, it really is all good. And life is just doing what it’s doing. And I have nothing to do with it in any personal way. It’s it’s impersonal, very very intimate. The experience of it very, very intimate. But it’s quite impersonal. And
Rick Archer: it’s personal. And it’s impersonal. Exactly. Dogs, right? Yep. Same time. Yeah. Yeah. is wonderful. Is another Gita verse for you know that to be indeed indestructible, by which all this is pervaded, none can work, the destruction of this immutable being.
James Waite: And we know this, and it’s been known and, and we pass it on. And, you know, one day somebody will have heard Rick Archer say something or James Wade, say something or all of it, but, you know, we’re just in a way mimicking, or ripples of, of, of this original, actual factual reality. And we are the
Rick Archer: exactly, I was gonna say that we’re like, we’re like little sense organs of the infinite or little instruments of the infinite. And each of us sort of doing our own little thing as a as an expression of that. And, you know, I get the sense that I mean, if we want to anthropomorphize that for a minute, I get the sense that, that being that intelligence, really treasures and values, any of its expressions, which have come to know it, and because it finds in them a an instrument, which is willing and able to, to carry out it’s it’s I say intentions, again that anthropomorphize into great extent, but it’s sort of well will of God. You know, I mean, there’s so many things about the will of God that will be done and, you know, make me make me an instrument of thy peace, the prayer of St. Francis. You know, that’s, that’s what’s happening.
James Waite: Yeah, yeah. There is. There is something there and I have no idea what it is no idea what it is. But it’s in a in a as it as it manifests. There’s a movement of love that wants to go out, release, relieve suffering. There’s something there’s that movement toward wherever Pain is, yeah, to relieve that, that suffering. And that’s what I experienced moment to moment day to day.
Rick Archer: It’s like the water flows in the direction of the slope.
James Waite: Yeah.
Rick Archer: And yeah, and you see, you see that in the lives of great saints, you know, who are just like these powerful engines of suffering of relieving suffering, you know, just sort of pouring their all into relieving suffering as best they can. Yet remaining, you know, in the bliss,
James Waite: yes. So there’s nothing, somebody said, Let nothing be a means to an end. And there’s no big picture here, or scale about wanting to do things on a certain way or alone. Certainly, I’m an ad guy. I’m a business corporate guy, I’ve had all this experience. It’s all jettison. It is of no use in the world, in which this is operating now. It’s the scheming, dreaming,
Rick Archer: spontaneous, you’re just doing, doing your dharma, so to speak?
James Waite: Exactly,
Rick Archer: spontaneously.
James Waite: Exactly. And it seems to be moving now. Just Just recently, in the direction of, of helping people relieve their suffering. But maybe I’m not going to be a vehicle that’s necessarily involved in helping people wake up. Or maybe you are or both, or both. In general, what I’m saying is, I felt like, oh, well, I maybe I’ll need to be a teacher or something, you know, teacher as in a non dual teacher. And that may, in fact, kind of has happened, but you know, I don’t what’s happening now is that I’m, I’m maybe going to be moving into dealing with, with people and easing some of the suffering in their lives without any discussion of
Rick Archer: You mean like in halfway houses or something like that?
James Waite: Yeah, that kind of thing. Or this, this, this. This, there’s a conceptual aspect here, and I’m calling it be well, and it’s basically a a natural, a way to help people come to their natural well being. Maybe not book without using a spiritual term, but through love, but but not in the spiritual way. But just just that, my, my nature is to want to relieve suffering.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s great. I mean, look at Mother Teresa. She just spent her life tending to the poorest of the poor and in the slums of Calcutta. You know, it’s not like she was saying, Hey, folks, I’m gonna get you enlightened here. You know, she was just like, you know, washing their wounds and you know, just making making doing their thing, but it was this beautiful spiritual example to the whole world. So that was her role. In this
James Waite: case, the way the form it’s taking and again, this is just right now because I never know but is with say boomers, couples, American boomers, there’s like 77 million boomers. I’m a Boomer.
Rick Archer: I’m a boomer
James Waite: and, and, and there’s so much concern that sickness cancer a lot of our friends have cancer. Sure. You know, as as the boomers are kind of coming to the last chapter in their lawn lives a lot of them have you know, have not have arrived without much ability to kind of contextualize and really get to the nitty gritty of what their life is about but they want to they want to explore it and so with this be well theme that seems to be emerging it’s a it’s a well being that’s what I’m getting to is is that I’m more concerned if you will, with the well being of my fellow fellows. And, and so I’m not necessarily going to be in as direct awareness speak, non dual speak more, a broadening ripple out more into I think it’s the nature of awareness. I see it with Eckhart Tolle, Oprah interviewing him. And that whole thing, I see awareness is broadening and, and love is finding new way ways to move and penetrate. Maybe maybe the human species will survive through this vehicle, it seems pretty clear if something like a major awareness raising doesn’t occur. I don’t see any way that the current iteration of Homo sapiens is going to survive. I think that’s the primary hope.
Rick Archer: You know, I mean, as Einstein said, you don’t solve problems at the same level of consciousness at which they were created. There needs to be the introduction of a second element, so to speak. And it seems to be seems to be happening. I’m optimistic.
James Waite: The good news is that whatever is happening, it’s all good. And if we, as a species turn out to be a failed experiment, well, life will go on
Rick Archer: the share will.
James Waite: And and that’s what we are, is life.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
James Waite: So So you know, it’s all good. And so, we’ll see, won’t we, but
Rick Archer: yeah, stay tuned.
James Waite: if we pass, spread the love, share the love the way we’re doing it. And, again, I thank you. Appreciate it very much what you do.
Rick Archer: Oh, thank you, James. You know, I love doing it. And speaking of our friend Francis, he’ll be coming out to the Science and Nonduality Conference with me in the fall, and maybe, hopefully, we’ll make it down there. We can all get together.
James Waite: Thank you. Yeah, I’d love to. I haven’t met Francis and for various reasons, I felt an affinity with him. Although you too?
Rick Archer: A lot of people do. Yeah, it’s like, we’ve become really good friends. But he’s, in fact, he’s coming to my town this month for a visit. But um, he’s he strikes a chord with people.
James Waite: Yeah,
Rick Archer: a lot of ex Catholics really get off on him.
James Waite: Because they’re looking for that which he now represents and bodies, you know, when you come through any major field of Religious endeavor, and actually, you know, embody the root.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Although I think he would attribute it to a great extent to the Zen and the parsonnet practice while he was in there for all those years. But, you know,
James Waite: he did I didn’t know that.
Rick Archer: Oh, yeah. He did decades of practice of that sort of thing.
James Waite: Within the
Rick Archer: within the monastery. Yeah, it was a very liberal sort of monastery he was in the same one that Thomas Merton was from Yeah, so they let him do that kind of thing. Anyway we’re, we’re kind of getting off on Francis. People can watch that interview if that was his story. But uh, so let’s, let’s wrap it up. This has been great. Really enjoyed talking to you. I hope as usual that I haven’t talked too much. Sometimes I get flack from people for doing that. But I consider it a conversation and I try to give the lion’s share of the airtime to the guests, but some every now and then I like to put in my two cents.
James Waite: I think that’s much appreciated by your viewers, too. Yeah,
Rick Archer: most most. Some people said Archer will you shut up. But anyway, so I’ve been talking with James Waite, and he has a website, which is
James Waite: nondualityliving.com
Rick Archer: .com. non duality living, and I’ll be linking to that also from batgap.com. And I imagine they can participate and read what you’re writing and get in touch with you if you want to, if they want to go through there and all that stuff.
James Waite: Yeah, I’m totally open to,
Rick Archer: to chatting with people.
James Waite: If someone has some sense of wanting to do something or to in some way connect please I invite you to do so
Rick Archer: you may find that you’re invited to have Skype conversations with people. So you might want to be open to that if you want.
James Waite: I’m open to all of it. I have no idea particularly which way or in how one should be manifesting. I’m just I just go from next to next.
Rick Archer: see how it flows. So, couple more concluding points. This Interview has been one and an ongoing series. There are 170 Something of them now. So if you’d like to watch or listen to others go to batgap.com Bat gap, which is an acronym for Buddha at the Gas Pump. Somebody asked me this week, what’s the A for the gap? Well, it’s part of gasp, but you couldn’t pronounce it. If you left that out, it would be got that good. So the A and so you can pronounce it.
James Waite: Now we know.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And there you will also find a discussion group that crops up around each interview, usually with several 100 comments and whatnot, people get chatting about what has been discussed and other things. There’s general discussion group also for, you know, discussions not necessarily related to the particular interview. There’s a link to an audio podcast, which you can subscribe to in iTunes, if you’d like to listen to this on an iPod, well, commuting or whatever. And there is a donate button, which I really appreciate people clicking if they have the wherewithal, I just bought a camcorder with donations that had been sent in which I intend to hook up to my computer here for better video quality and also to use for more live in person interviews. And there is a little link there that you can click on to sign up to be notified by email each time a new interview is posted. So I think that just about covers it. So thank you, James, and thanks to all who’ve been listening or watching and we’ll see you next week.
James Waite: Thank you be well,
Rick Archer: Be well