RICK: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of conversations with spiritually awakening people. We’ve done over 600 of them now and if this is new to you and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to batgap.com and look under the past interviews menu, where you’ll see all the previous ones organized in several different ways. This program is made possible through the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. So if you appreciate it and would like to help support it, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the website. And there’s also a page but other ways to donate. My guest today is Jeff Vander Clute. I’m going to read parts of his bio and let him just elaborate on the rest. I first met Jeff when he was talking with the board members and advisors of the Association for Spiritual Integrity, of which I’m one of the founders and of which he’s a member and I liked him immediately. He was at Crestone in Colorado at the moment at that time, and I assumed he lived there. But since then he’s been moving around, and he’s now in the United Kingdom. And it seems now that I’ve gotten to know him better that he’s rather itinerant and has been for a long time just bopping around the world, doing interesting things. So we’ll hear about that today. In addition to being a member of ASI, Jeff is a co-founder of Enlightening Journeys and Expeditions, which he can tell us more about, and Sourcing the Way. And he’s a member of the Evolutionary Leaders Council, the Global Compassion Council of Charter for Compassion International. And he serves on the Board of Directors for Alliance for the Earth, Garden of Light, and the Source of Synergy Foundation. So welcome, Jeff, good to have you here.
JEFF: Thank you, Rick. I’m delighted to be here with you today and everyone who’s watching or will be watching this recording.
RICK: And as I understand that you just finished a one-month retreat, a solo retreat there and in the UK. Well, let’s talk about that in a minute. But let’s go a little bit chronologically. Been listening to quite a few hours of your, you know, various interviews and talks that you’ve given, I got the impression that your first big aha, spiritual experience was when you were a student of physics and mathematics at the University, some university and you were in a classroom and you were thinking about corks, all different kinds of corks, and all of a sudden you – well you go ahead and describe the experience, if you feel like that’s a good place to start.
JEFF: That is a good place to start. And then I’ll rewind even further to some incidents and incidences in childhood that just came to me in my development as well. So let’s see. Yes, well, this was 2002, I think it was January 2002 and I had graduated from college by that point, but I was still quite fond of physics and math. I had a math major and studied quite a lot of physics until, interestingly, the people around me started to seem unhappy, and really stressed. And somehow I knew, well, maybe this, this isn’t the path for me. But the aha was that, yeah, one Saturday afternoon at work where there was a big whiteboard, and that’s really important, because I like to doodle and write equations and try to solve them or what have you. I was sitting and in a kind of meditation reflecting on elementary particles, and quarks in particular. And I was thinking about how they could actually be the same particle, or the same type of particle expressing differently in a higher-dimensional space. So from our point of view from and within three dimensions, we would see the particle one way, but it could be rotated in higher dimensions so that it would show up in multiple ways from multiple angles, if you will. And we would call those perspectives on the same thing, different types of particles. And when that insight landed, I had the experience of a huge energy rising, actually shooting up my spine very quickly and going all the way to the top of my head. And then I was essentially lifted out of my chair by this force and moved around the room, really danced around the room, because I found myself flowing in what might now be called conscious movement, but I had no idea what was going on, I’d never heard the word Kundalini, I’d never heard about conscious movement, the word consciousness never referred to the deep stuff that we might speak about today. I hadn’t a spiritual community. But something in me said, This is good, it feels good to flow with it, let it do what it will. So then I’m at the whiteboard, essentially, painting equations. And so it was a very different experience of physics. I knew I knew because it felt so good. And there was so much power, that I must be on to something this was a good direction to explore. And for the next few years, I did continue to dabble, and have to say that it was really a kind of dabbling in physics. Because the answers I was looking for, were not to be found within the current context, the current understandings, which are more materialist, and in the main, I was interested in what is just over the horizon of what we know today. And so it was much more of a metaphysical investigation that unfolded in the following years. Now to rewind to earlier times, I was probably about 12. And at that time, I had a paper route. And I was delivering papers and walking up the hill. And the funny thing, a funny thing happened, which is when I looked up at the clouds that were moving in one direction, there was one cloud, a much smaller cloud, moving in the opposite direction, following me up the hill, much lower in altitude. And when I got to the top of the hill and threw the paper in the yard, or, you know, hopefully, it landed well, this cloud was now vertically oriented as if someone was standing before me. And this was unusual. Again, I wasn’t afraid I was born with a knowing when things are good, or, you know, basically a good thing. So I was curious. And then when I turned around and went down the hill, this cloud shot relatively quickly, in the normal direction with the other clouds. So what to make of that. It’s definitely stayed with me, I feel like I’ve had visitations I’ve had help along the way along the spiritual journey, a lot of protection from my own unconsciousness at various times. So I’m really grateful for all of that. Of course, there have been many other experiences coming back now to the Kundalini activation, which is what I’m sure it was. It wasn’t a spiritual awakening per se. I would say, though, that it opened something in me. It opened up this capacity to feel the alignment of different opportunities, ideas, like a tuning fork for truth. And at first, there was a lot of distortion in this system, in this body-mind system. So there was quite a bit of muck to overcome. But over time, as I became clearer and clearer, this tuning fork became more and more precise, and now, it’s how I live my life. And that has led to a lot of spiritual insight. In fact, hundreds of times per day, when I hear something, or I think, thought arises, or whatever it might be, somebody says something, to me might be spiritual in nature, I’m immediately calibrating how true is this? How deeply true is it? Because I’m looking for what has roots in the deepest truth. And I found that by doing so, life flows and unfolds in a very graceful way by aligning myself with the flow of life and with truth and being in service to that and making decisions on the basis of what is deeply true. That has led to miracles, in some cases, definitely a lot of healing. And the journey continues, like you would say. We’re on a journey.
RICK: Yeah. I used to be a student of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, as you know and one of his favorite phrases was Ritam Bhara Pragya which is actually from the Yoga Sutras and it means ‘that level of intellect which knows only truth’. And he said, if you can function from that level, you know, whatever you want to know, or whatever you do know is aligned with truth. And I remember there was some course in which people were talking about all these flashy experiences they were having. And he said, ‘I’m not too interested in that. What I want to know is, how much support of nature do you get, you know, in your activity, to what extent are your desires just supported and things just work out?’ You know, kind of serendipitously although he didn’t use that word. So that’s interesting. That’s kind of the way you live.
JEFF: Exactly. And I’ve been living this way more or less since 2009. Although the real acceleration kicked in in 2011, when I made a practice out of calibrating. And what emerged, I had this download when I was driving from California to Seattle, where I realized this felt sense of yes and no in my body. So the rising energy in the spine was a very clear physiological indicator of yes. And sometime after that signal manifested I had another signal manifest as a pressure in my left temple corresponding to no. And the stronger the pressure or if it’s a shooting pain in that case, it would be a strong no. So I began to really live in accord, in accordance with the yes and the no.
RICK: What was the signal for the yes, again?
JEFF: The rising energy in the spine, a kind of tingling sensation, electricity in the body.
RICK: So you mean like over time, on numerous occasions, you would have either the rising energy or the pain in the temple, depending upon whether it was a yes or no, this was this became routine.
JEFF: More or less continuous. If I would ask a question there would be a spontaneous response from the body so I knew. And this became the most interesting experiment in existence for somebody who is, at least in my case, interested in math and physics and science and the intersection of science and spirituality. How can we use our bodies and our subtle energy as a way of diving more and more deeply into truth into the realms of spiritual liberation ultimately?
RICK: That’s really cool. ‘Jeff Vander Clute the Human Tuning Fork’. Do you usually, did it ever fail you? Did you ever have like an energy, the energy thing and it turned out to be wrong, or the pain thing? And it turned out to be right?
JEFF: I would have to say no. Now, if the mind has, this would have been much, well, much earlier on this scenario that I’ll describe where maybe I had an opinion or a desire, and I wanted something to work out a particular way, and then I would ask for guidance to support that outcome. It doesn’t work that way. What this tuning fork supports is truth. So if what I’m leaning into is aligned, then it works beautifully. If I’m out of alignment, then I will receive a correction. And even if it’s not what I wanted, at the time, I would say that it worked.
RICK: Have there been cases where, you know, there was something that obviously seemed like the right thing to do, but your intuition was saying no way, you shouldn’t do that. And you went against the obvious. And, I’m thinking Jack in the Beanstalk. No way you should sell the cow for this handful of beans. But it turned out to be the right thing to do.
JEFF: I’m sure there are lots of examples of that. None come to mind. Really, for me, an enlightened decision is one where you could say the left brain and the right brain agree. So there isn’t an override. Earlier on, when I was finding my way, I’m sure there were all kinds of overrides. The most recent override of a different nature that I can think of was in 2015. I realize that was a while back, but I was going to park in Marina del Rey, California. So parking is scarce. And there was a space. And it would have involved stopping very quickly, but safely and legally. And I didn’t think. It was ‘Oh, that’s too much hassle’. And then I probably ended up walking about a mile as a result. So that was a gentle reminder, to really pay attention to the guidance in tiny situations, and definitely in the larger situations.
RICK: Yeah, and as we talk I imagine, you’ll tell us some more stories that relate to this principle, because I’ve heard a number of them like, you know, your decision to go to India, just before the pandemic, your decision to leave India just before they locked the country down and stuff like that.
JEFF: Well, that’s a perfect example. Okay, so thank you. Logic would have said, don’t go to India on March 5, 2020, when the pandemic was clearly coming, and people were dying in New York City, and I was just outside of New York City. So it wasn’t like I was unaware. But in meditation, I, connected with the scenario of going to India and I felt such a strong, yes, confirmed in multiple ways. And then I asked, Well, how long might I be there? I was going to co-lead a two-week journey to Rishikesh with a bunch of Norwegian yoga students. So I had committed to doing that. And the guidance I received in this intuitive way with body wisdom confirmation was that the journey would be canceled the Thursday before it was scheduled to begin and go to India anyway, it’s really important. So I went. I went and it was a wild experience flying through Kyiv and having people in spacesuits practically board the plane and, and shoot these like thermometer guns at our foreheads, which I hadn’t experienced before. And then getting into India, the lines were huge. And it was always a process, but it was at least double the usual process. So it wasn’t convenient. It wasn’t what the small self would have wanted or chosen, because of ease, but I trusted because I’ve known, and I’ve got enough confirming evidence from experience to trust. Well, what happened was, I had a mini writing retreat as I acclimated a few days before the journey. And I wrote a piece that went viral blog posts, and maybe we’ll talk about that later. And because that blog post went viral, it really changed my life. So that was a gift of India. And I was able to write there and I was able to write in a certain kind of way in that energy field. And I do find that when I’m in different places, different energy fields, my capacity shifts. What I’m capable of is partly a function of the environment that I’m in. And I think it was Eckhart Tolle who said he could write on the west coast of North America, but he could edit in the UK. It’s that sort of thing. So thank you, India. Now, funnily enough, Thursday came along Thursday morning, I’m on a zoom call with colleagues, multitasking because something in me said check the news headlines. And sure enough, the night before, the World Health Organization had declared it’s a pandemic. And the government of India immediately announced they were closing their borders, the following day, actually was Friday. So I bought a one-way ticket, got off that Zoom call very quickly, and was on my way to Australia before those borders shut down, and quarantines were imposed, and so on. So I’ve managed by listening and trusting and following through on this form of wisdom, I’ve managed to stay ahead of the pandemic, out of harm’s way, and be helpful.
RICK: Yeah, that’s great. There’s a lot of interesting things we could talk about in there. Energy fields and a number of other things. I guess one question that comes to mind is, you can’t fake this. Or maybe you can disagree with me. But you know, a person might think, Well, my job sucks, I think I’ll quit it and become a clam digger or, you know, artist or a rock musician, or whatever they would like to be. And that may or may not be a good idea, especially if they have three or four kids and you know, responsibilities and stuff. You can’t, what you’re doing, I think is different than just going with one’s whims in a way, which could end up being disastrous.
JEFF: Yes, well, what I’ve found from living in this way, and now I’m going to bring in the word sourcing. And I would even distinguish sourcing from intuition. It sounds like what I’m describing is living intuitively. The way I think about sourcing is going to the deepest root of wisdom and seeking counsel at that level. So I’m not necessarily asking for my departed relatives’ advice, although that’s fine, it’s legitimate. And when I get information, I have this capacity to calibrate where it’s coming from. And indeed, 2015 or so I had this download in India, of a map of layers of sentience, so I can somehow I have this ability to see where in the field of consciousness the information is coming from. And the deeper it is, the more I, I trust it and rely on it. So, in the process of sourcing, going to the deepest place well, I’ve discovered doing this over and over again, one becomes source, one becomes one with source one, essentially is in union with God by living in this way. And over time, the ‘union with’ and the ‘one with’ drop away, and you simply are source. You are that. That’s the non-duality. And so it was a curious path to get to non-duality, but I did find my way by listening to the body, living in the world, and tuning into the flow of resonance and truth.
RICK: Yeah that’s very good. In fact, that phrase I used earlier Ritam Bhara Pragya refers to a level of intellect, which resides at the junction point between absolute and relative. Sometimes the term ‘lamp at the door’ is used because it’s like, you know, you’re sitting in the doorway with that light of consciousness or whatever. That kind of illumination is bi-directional, and if you’re functioning from there, then this ability to intuit correctly is spontaneous. But if you’re out somewhere, you know, without that access to source, then anything goes. It may not, it may or may not be reliable. Yeah.
JEFF: And I’ve found that if our heart’s in the right place, I’m speaking for myself, at least. As long as I was doing my best, I was earnest and sincerely seeking the most aligned path that would be in service, because there is this impulse to serve, to serve creation, and serve healing and collective awakening. Somehow life is very accommodating. And if I need the correction, I get the correction. If I’m, if I’m off, I know quickly, and the circumstances will show me and so to be listening for the feedback, honestly, to be really honest about where one is, is so important on the spiritual path.
RICK: Yeah, that’s a good point. I love the point about service. I feel that way too, that, you know. I want to be an instrument of the Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace, you know, St. Francis prayer. And, and when you’re doing that, you know, it can work both ways. I mean, when I first started this show, I was thinking of doing it at a little local radio station and getting people on the phone and interviewing them. And that wasn’t getting any support whatsoever. And then, eventually, when, with the prodding of some friends, I began to think a little bigger and get it out on the internet. That got support. So I was frustrated for a couple of months because I wanted to do this, and why didn’t this radio station get that this would be a good idea? You know, I should do it. And but obviously, it wasn’t a good idea to do it that way. But the idea was good, but it needed to be done a different way. And in order to get the support.
JEFF: Absolutely, yeah. Life will tell you, I sometimes call it the wisdom of circumstances. When things don’t seem to be going your way that doesn’t mean they’re going wrong. They’re probably going very, right.
RICK: Yeah. There’s one point which I thought about as I was listening to, you know, your various talks and all. And that is that, you know, the idea of taking a God’s eye view of things. Things can seem very unfair and arbitrary and it’s hard to believe that there is any kind of divine intelligence in the universe when we look at some of the horrible things that happen. But, if you could zoom out far enough, and see it from a cosmic enough perspective, then you realize that everything in the big picture has an evolutionary agenda or trajectory. I mean, even like, the earth itself will eventually be melted when the sun becomes a red giant, and that won’t be so rosy for whatever life remains as that begins to happen. But if suns didn’t die, and explode, we wouldn’t have bodies, you know. So, in the big picture, you know, all is well and wisely put. Maybe you could elaborate on that.
JEFF: Well, I suppose and in the human experience, there is at least, at the current level of collective consciousness, a lot of suffering. And ultimately, we’re going to outgrow this level of collective consciousness. And I believe that’s happening very rapidly, thanks to and catalyzed by the coronavirus pandemic. And so I’m actually quite grateful for the stimulus into the human body, the collective body of humanity to wake up and see with different eyes ultimately, and wrestle with some very thorny challenges about the individual and the collective, no individual rights. Collective rights seem to be opposed, but when we find the synthesis, and the harmonious both and then we’ll be at another level of consciousness. So all right, we have on the one hand suffering we have, on the other hand, the God’s eye view in which everything is actually perfect. So I was thinking about this yesterday, this notion of vibration and raising your vibration. In some ways, you could think of it as how rapidly one oscillates between the individual perspective of you could say the small self and the God perspective of the all and being in both, actually, simultaneously, seems to be the magic of the human experience. That we have the capacity, we have the physical and energetic architecture that allows us to have an experience on multiple levels, which we have not fully utilized clearly. So my sense is, the more we can practice, whether it’s sourcing or some other way of expanding one’s view, to encompass the whole, and the evolutionary arc of the human journey and the journey of life and the journey of the universe, and planets and stars that form and ultimately explode, scattering elements that create life. when we can hold all of that in our heart, then we also have a very powerful capacity to heal and support life, when that is needed as it is now.
RICK: Yeah, that’s very well put. If I had to define enlightenment, which is a word I don’t usually like to use because it has too much of a static, superlative connotation but it would be to say, just what you said that it’s the state in which the capacity to incorporate all the apparently paradoxical fields of life, in one awareness has matured. So that, you know, simultaneously one could, in one’s experience, know that, well, nothing has ever happened, actually, there is no universe. Also, you know, there is a universe and it’s perfect, just as it is. And also, there is a world and it’s full of problems that we need to work on them. You know, all those three things can be lived simultaneously. And it’s not a matter of oscillating back and forth between them. It’s a matter of containing them all within a larger context.
JEFF: Yes, and so that’s one reason why I sometimes talk about going beyond this notion of vibration and frequency. That can be a limiting idea. When we drop into the ground of our true nature, then we are all-pervading, where we’re actually, all of it, and omnipresent. And so we go beyond the notions of matter and energy and vibration to something that’s very deep and difficult to talk about.
RICK: So how do people drop into the ground? I mean, how do you do it? You just did a one-month retreat, and I was wondering what you actually passed your time doing during that one month? Probably you’re meditating a lot. Do you? How do you meditate? Do you feel that when you do you drop into that ground and marinate there for a while? I mean, what’s your, what’s your experience in practice?
JEFF: Well, I would say that sourcing is meditation. So whenever I quickly listen in that way, it’s meditation. It’s going outside of space and time; it’s going to the ground. So I have cultivated ready access to the ground as a result of going there so many times in that fashion. The one-month retreat, however, was, well delicious and extremely powerful, because for the first time ever, I’d actually cleared that much time to focus on abiding in dharmakaya, abiding in truth and being so open, that some kind of larger trance formational process might occur. So I went into the retreat with the intention to open as wide as possible and see what happened. Although I also knew it just came immediately when I was preparing that this would be a retreat with multiple levels. One being to abide as the foundation of, of existence really, and another being to, to serve the planetary healing process that is underway and much needed. So I would meditate, sitting, or lying down. And for me lying down is actually preferred, I can go to very relaxed state without falling asleep, and different strokes for different folks. Sitting is also good. Walking meditations are great. I even sometimes joke about a talking meditation. We can be in a contemplative space and state when we’re engaging in a conversation such as this, I would call this meditation. All of that said, I meditated for upwards of eight hours a day in a more traditional sense. And during that time, I had some awareness and, well, awareness of the depths but also a bit of a conscious process in parallel that was, was tracking how open, how open, how open, and I got when I reached a certain threshold of openness. Yes. Here, be here, stay here, keep opening, that’s fine. But this is the requisite degree of openness. For, in a sense, this is going to be abstract, but bear with me, in a sense for creation to turn inside out through this vessel through this vehicle. So if you think of a beach ball turning itself inside out, so whereas before, we’d say If I can generalize, we’ve been very externally oriented as a species. Not all of us, but many of us. So looking for answers outside. With this turning inside out of life, what I knew would happen, this is intuitive, I just knew I grokked that somehow life would be able to heal itself more readily when the outside and inside change places. Now there is no real separation between outside and inside. We’ve learned that. But as a way of thinking about it. So, at one point in the meditation I got, yes, this is what’s happening. Life is able to heal faster and more fully because of this meditation. We’ll see, time will tell. And yet, after my month, when I started to re-engage with people and have sessions with friends and clients to check in on their progress, over the month of August, I was actually astonished at how much spiritual evolution and how much business progress people were making. So everything seemed to be improving. And my hypothesis, so the scientist says, let’s have a hypothesis, and maybe we can test it is that the more of a heart connection I had to people, the more they were somehow participating in this healing process that was occurring during the meditation. So in future meditations, and on future retreats, and I’m planning already to take the month of February, to do something similar. I’m going to see whether it’s possible to accelerate even further, this deep healing within life itself, so that maybe we’ll actually experience the manifestations of healing in the outer and the so-called outer world. And clearly, there’s work to do. So, you know, I’ll stay very humble about whatever I might have accomplished, personally, or individually. I emerged from the retreat with vast clarity and there was good clarity before. So there are fruits on multiple levels, and I can highly, highly recommend. But one thing to bear in mind is if you go deep and stay deep, don’t be surprised if a kind of tsunami of inspiration comes your way. So the following two weeks, I was working practically 24/7 to write down and harvest the insights and some of the gems from that time in silence.
RICK: Yeah, it seems like you are at a stage where it’s fruitful for you to do a retreat like that even a self-guided one. Many people I think, might get a little loopy, if they tried to spend a month just meditating eight hours a day because, you know, it doesn’t necessarily result in greater clarity. It can result in a lot of mud being stirred up and a lot of stuff that needs to be processed and it’s often advised by in spiritual traditions to not do that solo if you’re at a certain stage. But later on, it might be appropriate to do it solo.
JEFF: Well, of course, I sourced the timing. And it was late last year when I was inspired one day to actually schedule, to put in the calendar the month of August for retreat, and then in 2022, three months of retreat, and then in 2023, six months of retreat. So I was given eight, nine, ten months of heads up. So I had time to prepare, for the system to ready itself for such a deep dive. And yeah, the deep wisdom that was telling me, you know, take that parking space also knows when it is appropriate to go on an extended solo retreat. And sometimes it’s better to have a teacher handy or guiding you in the process and definitely can recommend that as well.
RICK: Yeah, back in the day, in the 70s, I was on a lot of long retreats, six weeks, six months, you know, stuff like that. And you definitely needed the kind of balance of a buddy system, you know, and, and a little, you know, regular meals and a little exercise during the day and stuff like that. And even with that a lot of people got pretty out there, pretty kooky, out of balance and stuff.
JEFF: But you know, grounding is really important if I could jump in. And so I have a grounding practice in the mornings and in the evenings that which I do very diligently. And during the day if I feel you know, a little bit, what might I say? Like I’m starting to float off the ground. I know what to do.
RICK: And your grounding involves what, like walking on the beach or something like that.
JEFF: Well, interestingly, in the last week or so I’ve had real clarity about levels of grounding. And so there is grounding physically earthing, walking on the earth with bare feet, that sort of thing. Very good. Then there’s a level of grounding which would be called energetic which involves more of the subtle energy. And I learned some excellent techniques from a gentleman named David Router in Australia. And he taught me a lot about how to ground my soul energy systems and let go of what isn’t me and reintegrate the parts of me that had been dissociated, for instance. And then there’s a third level, which is grounding in present circumstances. So this is paying attention to the world and being attuned to what’s actually possible and staying, we’re really it’s about staying present. And, and not getting too far into the head or potential future thinking, for instance. But then interestingly, there’s little flip that happens because the fourth level, and this, this becomes available. And I would say, advisable, once you’ve got the first three is grounding in the pure potential of limitless mind. Because we have that capacity as well, we do have the capacity to create worlds. And we need to be very grounded when we’re manifesting if we would have the manifestations actually expressed or materialized. The fifth level might be my favorite, although I have a hard time with favorites and that is abiding as the foundation of existence. So being the ground itself, the ground as the ultimate grounded, absolutely, we can be grounded in matter. And we can be grounded in the absolute ground of all that is and when we have the both and again, that seems to be the magic of the human, then we become quite capable.
RICK: Alright, let’s, let’s read this question. And then I’ll get back to some other stuff that we’re talking about. This is from Akshay of Puna in India. Do all spiritual practices like devotion, meditation, yoga, and selfless service, lead to calming of one’s mind so that it stops its own chatter and lets the divine energy enter and work through it?
JEFF: Yes, feeling into that. When we say all spiritual practices, we could probably come up with some examples that that wouldn’t work well, for any individual, or for over every practice. Fair enough. Yes. It’s not a one size fits spirituality is not one size fits all. Until maybe eventually it is right when we get to the ground. So if it’s a good fit for you, then yes. If it brings calm, it brings peace, and this might be a way of discerning whether a practice is right, does it bring peace? And you need to stick with it a little while because if the first time it doesn’t bring peace, it could just be that it wasn’t, wasn’t time it hadn’t ripened, or you weren’t ready. So if you stay with it for some time, whether it’s a few weeks, I think I’ve heard, it takes a few weeks, maybe a month to form a new habit. Probably there’s something similar with the spiritual practice, try it for a month or so. See how you’re doing? Do you feel more peaceful? Do you feel more connected with the Divine and if so, it’s a good path.
RICK: And a lot of the things he’s mentioning here can be done simultaneously by one person. They can be a meditator, they can be devotional, they can be doing yoga, they can be doing selfless service. I mean, it’s not it’s a, you know, multi-pronged thing.
JEFF: In fact, one, as I would say, one empirical discovery that I’ve come to recognize, is when we want to heal, for instance, try three things. So you never know which one worked. The mind, at least the kind of reductionist mind loves to find the exact cause loves to understand cause and effect as a linear mechanism. It seems not to be linear in truth that the deep cause shows up as a co-arising. So often, it’s helpful to try several approaches simultaneously, like you’re saying, maybe it’s a bit of bhakti, a bit of karma yoga, a bit of raja yoga, and you might find that the progress is faster.
RICK: Yeah. And that’s in line incidentally, with traditional Vedanta, and all that. They don’t just say only do this, they, they usually say, you know, all these things have their, their value and you can kind of have a tool toolkit, like a Swiss army knife that involves a number of things. So there’s several threads in our conversation that would be interesting to follow up on. One is, you know, what you experienced during your, or as a result of your retreat that you noticed. It seemed to influence people with whom you had a deep connection. So the point there is that we’re all interconnected at a deep level, even if we’re not in communication with one another and whatever, and we’re all generating an influence which ripples out and, you know, it kind of helps to contribute to the quality of the field in which we all abide. And that so we have like, collective consciousness, you could say at various levels, family, communities, national world. Let’s play with that for a few minutes.
JEFF: Wonderful. Any specific question?
RICK: Well, just I mean, the implication is that if enough people were kind of doing the sorts of things we’re talking about here, it might, even small percentages of them might have an influence on the entire world that you wouldn’t, that many people wouldn’t think, possible if they didn’t understand the mechanics of it. But, and that leads into another thing I want to talk to you about, which is you’ve made some very optimistic predictions about where the world is going. And, you know, even a little bit in making me a little bit incredulous, but hopeful. I mean, I hope you’re right. And so I think what I just described would be part of the mechanics of that coming to fruition.
JEFF: Yes, well, Yogananda says in his Autobiography of a Yogi that whatever your extremely powerful mind believes, would instantly come to pass. So the extremely powerful mind is the uncharted territory that we’re invited to step into, and that the pandemic is potentially pushing us into a bit more. As I said earlier, we have various conflicts occurring between various groups of people with different ideas, and we simply cannot resolve them at the level of consciousness that has been prevalent. So we’ll have to rise in perspective, to a new view that allows us to synthesize apparently opposing viewpoints. And from this higher level of consciousness, we have higher levels of capacity to heal, and one extremely awake person can do an awful lot of good. And as you were, I believe, alluding to the Maharishi Effect, the square root of 1% of a population, if meditating in a coherent way, can significantly reduce violence and, you know, various unpeaceful behaviors, and that has been measured, and there’s a lot of evidence to support the truth of it. So there is a spiritual science there. And if, I don’t want to give a percentage, but if some relatively small percentage of us open to the possibility, in other words, we don’t have a kind of guardedness in our hearts, there’s a possibility that our extremely powerful mind could heal the world very quickly. That is, that is the opportunity. And if we, if we don’t name it, then we’re very unlikely to choose it. Or life is going to push us so hard that we will have no choice. And that’s not the gentle path. I was thinking about a saying from the Gospel of Thomas. If you seek keep seeking until you find – I’m paraphrasing – and when you find you will be disturbed, and being disturbed, you will be amazed and then you will rule over the entirety. So we’re collectively in the stage of being quite disturbed a lot of us who are waking up seeking the truth behind appearances. Going down various rabbit holes in some cases. And, you know, they don’t all lead to truth. But I guess it’s good that we’re collectively exploring so many places in consciousness. But seeking the truth, we will collectively get there. And enough of us are seeing that the world that we’ve created in unconsciousness isn’t the world that we want to live in. So as we can see that, we become automatically more conscious. There’s something in us that opens to a wider space of possibility. And then, as we start to make choices within that wider space of possibilities, so we’re no longer operating within the very tight conditioning of particularly the Western mind, then we can unfold our power to heal and recreate the world. And this is where we are amazed. We amaze ourselves with what we are able to do. So I’ll give you a specific example. The country of Estonia some years ago, decided that they were going to clean up the trash that had been strewn all about during the I guess the Soviet times. And so one weekend, everyone in Estonia went out and picked up the trash. And by golly, they did it. It was amazing. So yeah, that’s a microcosm. But that’s millions of people. So why not billions of people deciding that we’re going to clean up the world. It might take some time, but there’s definite low-hanging fruit. And we can see ah yes, collective action is very powerful. Let’s do more, this feels good. If we’re going to be addicted to anything, let’s become addicted to the power we have to heal the world. And I predict that future economies and not many years from now will actually be thriving on the basis of restoring and regenerating nature and habitat and bringing back species and cleaning up our act. So whether it’s this decade or in the next two decades, my senses we definitely make it through this period of great turning and tribulation. I would prefer that we make it with less death and destruction. So I wholeheartedly invite us to, to step into the more radical possibilities, even if they seem incredible. And it’s good to be skeptical. So Rick, I appreciate that you were incredulous about some of what I offered. I would not say that I’m predicting the future. But everything that I write goes through the process of tuning into the resonance and the truth value. Everything is very finely calibrated. It takes me hours to write even a short article, because every word, every sentence, every paragraph, and then the whole as a gestalt gets checked for truth.
JEFF: And humanity has a lot of freedom, at least on certain levels. If we go to the absolute we can, we can look at this in a different way. But on the level of relative reality, humanity has a lot of freedom to choose more or less conscious paths. And we’re still discovering the hard way what doesn’t work when we choose unconsciousness. But that is shifting, and the shift is going to be exponential. And I don’t think any of us is totally comfortable predicting that in a decade, we could be living in a world that feels a lot more like a paradise. But I did take that step. And I’m willing to be wrong, but I sure hope I’m right.
RICK: Yeah, I do too. And when I say I’m incredulous about something, it’s not in an absolute sense or an adamant sense. It’s more like, well, I hope he’s right. But I’m not going to believe it just because he said it but, you know, maybe it could work out that way. It’s kind of like, I don’t just jump into believing things, nor do I, you know, ever say no, this could not possibly be I mean. And we could apply, you could pick a thousand different examples, it probably works the same way. Yes, yeah. But I do. Since the 70s, I’ve kind of been interested in this notion that we’re heading into a time where there’s going to be a huge transformation, and that a lot of ancient cultures have predicted it. And they’ve also predicted that there’s going to be a lot of turbulence as we transition into it. But most of them feel that we will make it through that turbulence and that things will be really far better than we can imagine. And, and some of these predictions also do suggest that it’ll all take place in a fairly small-time window. It’s not going to drag on for a couple of centuries. That people will be surprised at how quickly things shift?
JEFF: Well, it’s because our extremely powerful mind is actually infinitely powerful. The reason we’ve been mired in slow processes of evolution and transformation is we have so denied our own divinity. What happens when we say yes to that within us which is us? Well, that’s the extent to which we will certainly surprise ourselves, be amazed and then in quotes rule over the entirety. But this isn’t power over. This isn’t colonialism or dictatorship. It’s really knowing that the entirety of creation is our own form, self, nature. And so there’s a love that just automatically arises for, quote, our creation in that process. And that’s what is also spoken of in different traditions that when we wake up we see what we’ve created, and we have great love for it. And then that love becomes further motivation and true power for continuing the journey in a good way.
RICK: Do you think everyone has an extremely powerful mind? Or do you think that everyone has the potential to have an extremely powerful mind? In other words, you know, but they’re only using a fraction of that potential?
JEFF: Well, that’s true. And it’s there, the incredibly powerful mind is available to all of us and the extent to which we’re clouded or contracted, we do limit our own capacity. And then we make decisions that are not aligned with life. And actually, any decision made from we could say, egoic contraction is going to have externalities because that’s what ego does. It says, I’m me, and I’m very identified with this. And then there’s everything else. And I’m optimizing for this. So any decision made from ego has negative unintended consequences. Any decision made from real awakeness is good for the whole. And when it’s good for the whole, it’s good for the individuals. Which brings us back to what’s happening with the conflict between people who are for the vaccine and not for the vaccine. And we’re gonna rise to a level collectively where that debate isn’t happening anymore, because we actually see the situation in a new way. But we’re not going to get there because the Jeff guy on BatGap said so. We’re going to have to work it out as a collective conversation. And right now it’s a bit uncomfortable.
RICK: How are we going to work it out? How do you see that happening?
JEFF: Well as the collective conversation. So, millions of people expressing their points of view. And I’m not here to agree with one or another. But there is a sense of the wisdom of crowds – the wisdom of the whole. And it’s only recently become the case that we have an internet that allows everyone to speak up in some way. And we’re still learning how to do that. We’re still learning how to, to speak up in a way that doesn’t create echo chambers of division. But the technology is fundamentally empowering. And the more we practice speaking, the more we work through our stuff and the process. And I get that we’re in a phase now where a lot is being spoken that isn’t really deeply true. But then once it’s been spoken, it doesn’t need to be spoken 10 million more times. And I can give an example from my personal experience. About a decade ago, after the global financial crisis maybe while the GFC was still ongoing, I had this deep-seated sense that the economy was going to crash. And there was part of me at that time, and this was earlier on my journey, that was ready to see the system come tumbling down. And there was a lot of distortion, therefore, because I was kind of grasping at a scenario that I wanted because it would be better for me. Again, it’s the ego. And so I, I latched on to narratives about the coming collapse of the economy and I even considered buying a year or two years of provisions. So if I couldn’t get food from supermarkets, I would be okay, you know, that kind of thinking, which is happening now, on a much larger scale. So I feel like I’ve been through the process that many people are experiencing now wrestling with the same kind of issues, and in some cases, the rabbit holes of what’s really true. And is the big system really against me? And is it going to collapse, and would it be better? And ultimately, what I get is, it’s all life. The big system is life to it’s not perfect in the sense that we can make it better it is perfect in the zoomed-out God’s eye view because it’s where we are. And again, we have work to do so. So the big system is life and you are life. So you’re not separate from the big system. This system is evolving, and life is finding better ways. So it’s better I find to not be against things, to not be to, not be anti-anything, but to listen very, very deeply for what’s mine to do. And if billions of people start to listen more deeply for what’s theirs to do, at first we’re going to stumble and we’re going to have every kind of opinion you can imagine. But with practice, we’re going to get clearer and we’re going to get better. And we’re going to come into alignment because there’s really only one capital T truth. And as we align with the capital T truth, we’re going to find that a lot of the skirmishes fall away. So I’m kind of speaking a little bit elliptically because I don’t want to go into the current debates. But hopefully, that is clear.
RICK: Well we can use the current debates as a case in point. And I also went through a phase like you did, and in fact, I was in this little y2k group in town that we were meeting and talking about what might happen. And somebody donated to us a huge amount of dried food. And I had boxes and boxes of this dried food in the garage. And it was really detestable if you tried to eat any. And eventually, bugs got into it, and we had to throw the whole thing out. But, um, any case, I mean, the sentiment, the feeling was that big changes are afoot. And somehow or another, it’s, you know, it might be a bumpy ride when they take place. And if you think about like, the situation right now, there’s, you mentioned the vaccine thing. That’s only one example of the polarities that are ripping society apart. And I know you’ve talked a lot about money and you know, wiser ways of handling our monetary systems. And there’s such extreme disparities these days between rich and poor, and you know, so many people struggling and other people with you know, billions and billions of dollars. So, I don’t know I’m rambling a bit, but let’s, let’s dwell on this stuff a little bit more. How do we get from here to there? How is it that and there’s so many industries which are destructive, you know, which are polluting or decimating you know, fish populations or various other things like that? How do we transition from the current situation into one in which those types of thinking and types of commerce really would not fit? They would be like, you know, stick out like a sore thumb. They wouldn’t work in a more enlightened society.
JEFF: Fair enough. On every destructive industry, you could name there are examples of initiatives that are seeking a new way, and in some cases, taking big steps. So, in the mining industry, you have companies like Fortescue. Fortescue is an Australian company that has committed I think a billion dollars to invest in renewable energy or more money and so some very significant amount. And they’re seeking to transform economies, energy, and also how they do mining. And it’s going to take a while, I know people who have, for instance, MBAs in sustainability, who are also in the mining industry, and seeking to make the industry less destructive, and then find nontoxic approaches to extracting metal from rock and ways of doing that don’t scar the natural landscape. And, you know, we could argue whether mining is an essential activity for humans. But right now, we seem to need the metals and at some point, maybe we can recycle better. And it’s really all of the above, actually, that’s how we’re going to get there. It’s all of the above. Somebody, somebody very wise in the journalism industry, when it was being rocked about a decade and a half ago, said, ‘Nothing will work, but everything might. So try everything’. And it comes back to that notion to try at least three things and then you won’t know what it was that did the trick but the synergistic combination of initiative will work. And to some extent, we could say that’s an article of faith. But what I’m claiming is that if you do the research, you’ll find other examples that are really happening now. So it’s not theoretical. And I can say that, in agriculture, there’s a very significant movement into regenerative practices at scale. And I don’t want to name names, but one of the world’s largest purveyors of hamburgers is making big moves in terms of regenerating the land and having grazing practices that don’t harm nature. In fact, they’re mandating that on previously unheard-of scales. So, the major players are getting it. And meanwhile, the smaller players are innovating and finding the new ways that work. So the partnerships between the larger companies and the smaller entrepreneurs are proliferating, I’m connected with another group in Australia that has a mission of feeding a billion people day, using an ecosystem of small and family-scale businesses that improve life and improve nature, every step of the way. So again, I can’t point to one thing but humanity as a whole. This might be an important point. See, we’re not only a bunch of individuals, almost 8 billion of us, we’re a superorganism at the level of the species so there’s a species mind. And I can drop into this level of being where I can get a sense of what the species is up to. And all of us could potentially do this. And as more and more of us do, and we, we feel how the species is evolving, and choosing to, to move in relation to the larger system of the planet we’ll find we have immense resources, immense support, and quite a lot of synergy. So the collective IQ of the species is, you know, let’s say if it were 100 times 8 billion, but it doesn’t really work that way, let’s say, you know, a trillion. Come on, we, we can do a lot if we’re coherent. And that was the key to the Maharishi Effect is you have the square root of 1% of the population in coherence meditating together using certain practices that are known to work well, for inducing a particular state.
RICK: Yeah, and there are examples of that. And in other realms of physics and biology, for instance, in the heart, 1% of the cells are pacemaker cells, they coordinate or regulate the beating of all the other cells in the heart. Or in a laser, as I understand it, if the square root of 1% of the photons become coherent with one another, all the other photons kind of entrain with them, and you get a beam of light that acts like a single photon, it’s coherent light. And so the, you know, the theory was that if enough individuals could become coherent, then even if they were a tiny fraction of the total population, they would have an outsized influence on the entire population and the whole collective consciousness could shift.
JEFF: Yeah. So we’ve known how this is going to work. We’ve known the mechanics now we need to do it.
RICK: Yeah. I guess I still come back to you know, how smooth could it be? I mean, will we, you know, let’s say that 20 years from now, we’ve undergone or even 10, or whatever, we’ve undergone this big, beautiful shift that we’re talking about, will we still have 8 billion people in the world? Or will it have come down to 1 billion or something or 500 million? I mean, you know, will there be tremendous loss of life? Or will we somehow find the resources of every sort to sustain our current populations without, you know, damaging the environment?
JEFF: Great questions. So how smooth can it be? I have been told, this secondhand, that the Kogi elders from South America, this is a tribe that was they weren’t discovered in the 90s, they discovered us. They came down from the high peaks and said they had a message for the younger brother, which is to say western civilization, that what we’ve been up to isn’t working and has greatly destabilized the planetary systems. And we’re in for some really rough times. And even maybe five or so years ago, there was still the prediction that we could have catastrophic collapse from the Kogi holders. More recently, maybe two or three years ago, I heard that they said, actually, the guidance has changed. That the way they tune into nature, and they divine using water started to produce different answers. That, in fact, humans had already done enough, we’ve already done enough to change our ways, to at least lessen the severity of the shift and the kind of symptoms of this change that’s underway. We have plenty more to do. There’s far too much that is, that remains unsatisfactory. But we’ve already taken steps to, well, it sounds like eliminate the scenario of catastrophic collapse. So if that’s true, that’s very encouraging, because I know people who have been predicting huge population loss. And when I intuitively sit with this, and now I get the information that’s pretty consistent over time, that we will not have that scenario, that yes, the population is going to begin to decrease naturally. And if you look at what’s happening, in many countries, birth rates are declining by choice voluntarily, people are having fewer children because they don’t need to because there are other ways of working in the fields that are more efficient. And, you know, there’s so many different reasons. And it’s linked with education levels, and it’s linked with, with women having equal access to, you know, all of life really so. So we probably will not drop down to 500 million, when I ask what is the optimal level to achieve, and I’m getting by the end of the century, this doesn’t have to happen in 20 years as long as we’re moving in the right direction I get, I’m getting about 2.5 billion, and it’ll be arranged, let’s say 2.5 to 3 billion people would be an optimal number, an optimal global population. And we can be sustainable before that, but we might choose to be more thrivable at this lower level. And the way that we can be sustainable in the meantime is through vertical farming and cities. And there, there are ways to, without GMOs, grow lots of healthy organic food that can feed lots and lots of people and then distribute that food efficiently. So we’re using less energy to do so. And when we are using a lot of energy, it can be hydrogen fuel cells, it can be solar, it can be everything but fossil fuel. And all of this is possible. Now, I think it was Al Gore, who said 20 years ago, we have maybe three times the amount of technology that we need. It’s about our collective will and willingness to use it.
RICK: Yeah, I sent you a video this morning, which you haven’t had a chance to watch yet, but it’s about some place called the Knepp estate in Sussex, England. And, you know, for this big castle that was built at the beginning of the 19th century, and the descendants of its builders still live there. And they, they were trying to make a go of it for 20 years farming this vast property that they own, and it was not economically viable. But then they decided to just let it go wild. And you know, and not do anything to it, basically. And now it’s like this Garden of Eden kind of place where there’s all the bees and butterflies and wild animals and everything are just doing their thing. And they do harvest, so to speak a certain amount of meat from the land of the cows and the pigs and so on, because there are no natural predators and the whole thing gets totally out of balance if they didn’t do that and that’s an economic that makes it economically viable for them. And I was and they’re kind of saying in this film, that they would like to see, you know, networks of these things. Interconnected networks just covering the land, and that, you know, we could it’s like you don’t even have to put make a lot of effort to restore anything, it just restores itself if you allow it to. And I realized we’re getting into areas that aren’t usually explicitly discussed in the realm of spirituality, but I think all this ties in very much to spirituality.
JEFF: I agree. Well, for me, the world is the proving ground for spirituality. And there are many paths, many philosophies, many different approaches to awakening, and then there are levels of awakening beyond awakening. So we could have a profound awakening to, to a state of bliss outside of time and space and think that’s it. And yet, what I found, and like I’ve really experienced this, is when I bring it back to the world, and, and really love the world and love the people in it and love the work that I do, then the world transforms. So the world then starts to reflect, reflect healing and, and joy. It’s not just my bliss, that having escaped from it all. It’s like, no, no, I have just as much bliss as I had outside of time and space. But now I have it in the world. And now the world is reflecting the deeper truth. And what I’ve discovered, again, directly is that, then I drop into a deeper awakening. So there is there’s an awakening, which is truly non-dual, where there’s no separation between the outer world and the deeper realm. Sure, one is changing all the time, utterly, absolutely dynamic. And another level seems to be completely still and a certain kind of peace. But there’s also a dynamic peace, and it’s the intersection, that meeting of the absolute and the relative, that’s really the sweet spot. And I would say, even the purpose of the journey of God, so not to shirk our, our possible encounters with the world at the same time, having a perspective where we know that in fact, what we deeply, deeply are, is the foundation of existence. And in some ways, we’re deeper than that, because that can still be named. What I’ve come to, particularly during the retreat is a recognition of the totally majestic you, the totally majestic me which is, which is deeper than consciousness. So Nisargadatta talks about prior to consciousness, so I’m not the only one here, deeper even than love deeper than all expression, deeper than the absolute, and the relative, certainly if those are constructs, but also, as I’ve defined them as aspects of this profound nature. So that’s a rich conversation. But the point being, if we know that, the profound nature, and then we exist, on some level in a human form, interacting with humans and with nature and animals in a loving way, my goodness, like nothing is more wonderful than that.
RICK: Yeah. Yeah. Vedanta talks about Nirguna Brahman and saguna Brahman. Brahman, without qualities, Brahman with qualities. And it’s kind of like you could also equate it with the impersonal and personal aspects of God. And I’m very, I studiously avoid interviewing neo advaita people who all they say is, nothing exists, you don’t exist, blah, blah, blah, and go on and on with that without completing the sentence and saying yes, and also things do exist, and you exist, you have to do both. And to really be balanced.
JEFF: Yes. I had my neo-Advaita phase, in fact, a funny story. When I applied for my first visa to go to India in 2015. One of the questions is religion, and I had to really think about that. What’s my religion? It didn’t feel right to leave it blank, because you really want to fill out the forms carefully in India, or some official will happily dismiss you. So I reflected, and I wrote down Advaita. That was, the truest answer I could come up with. Nonduality is probably the nearest statement of what I’ve realized. And I have a sense that we could go beyond non-duality, at least as we framed it as we’ve understood it. And so there is some fresh terrain to be explored there. But nevertheless, yes, I had my Advaita moments and I would have been the one saying, none of this is real, because at that time, for some reason, I was still in the process of unhooking and detaching from what I had been attached to. So that’s a useful phase. But then, when you’re clear and clean, or at least clearer and cleaner, you come back and can be useful and serve. What remains. That’s the Bodhisattva approach. And even that is not the ultimate answer, but it’s an important stage as well.
RICK: Yeah. And it’s also part of traditional Advaita. I mean, you talk to somebody like Swami Sarvapriyananda and you know, I took a course with him recently on the Mandukya Upanishad, which is very much heavy on nothing ever happened. But then even at the end of that, it says, but you can’t live this way. I mean, and so you know, you have to take into account the vyavaharika, the transactional reality of life, which you can in the same breath, you can say that doesn’t exist, but at the same time it does and you’re alive. And, you know, if you really wanted to walk your talk and insist that didn’t exist, you just lie down and stop eating and breathing. But, you know, that’s just not the reality. I mean, reality is, is, is multi-dimensional, multifaceted. As we were saying earlier, the name of the game is to traverse or incorporate all the dimensions not hang out in one to the exclusion of the others, right?
JEFF: Yes. Because if we are that, then we’re all of that exactly. Why would we limit ourselves to one room or another?
RICK: Right. In my Father’s house, there are many mansions. Alrighty, I guess we covered that one for now, we might come back to it. Here’s something I’ve heard you quote a number of times, which I like. It was a quote from Jonas Salk who developed the polio vaccine, speaking of vaccines, he said, ‘Intuition tells the thinking mind where to look?’
JEFF: Yes. Well, you’ve just said it. And I couldn’t agree more. And indeed, the best scientists, the ones who make the big discoveries let’s say, tend to have very well-developed intuitions, I was reading an article the other day that asked, ‘Where are the intuitive physicists in this age? Those who had the capacity to discover quantum mechanics and make profound contributions to the standard model of physics’. And there’s a whole lot of intuition that went into the, quote,’ hard sciences’. And of course, the polio vaccine. People are gonna have a lot of different opinions about this, but it changed the world. Oh, yeah. Many people died. Many people were paralyzed. Yeah, disabled for life. And that changed. So as you said in a recent interview, hurray. big pharma in that instance.
RICK: Yeah and the smallpox vaccine, I mean, smallpox killed 300 million people in the 20th century, and it was not a pleasant way to die. And that disease has been eliminated through the vaccine. So yeah.
JEFF: And now we can be responsible. Somebody I respect said, I’m not anti-vax. This is somebody who’s in the movement, by the way, that would be called anti-vax. He said, ‘I’m pro-responsible vaccination’. So that starts to sound like the bridge, the higher-level synthesis that I’m looking for. Again, another conversation so intuition in science, and well, intuition played into that moment I had of the kundalini awakening, I had this flash of insight and suddenly there was an awakening within my energetic body. At least I see that the species as a whole is going through a process of initiation, if you will, whereby we’re shifting from operating primarily through intellect, to, and the shift is to operating primarily from and maybe that’s 51%, maybe it’s 91% intuition. So, if this is true, and this is what I’m saying, dropping into the species mind, I guess, yep, that’s exactly what’s happening. And the optimal blend for the species as a whole, which means some people would be more expressed in their intellect and others in their intuition, but on balance would be I am getting about 75%, intuition, 25% intellect. So it’s like our, our vast mind is able to in a kind of quantum computational way, entertain many, many possibilities, and then select the paths that are most promising and then the intellect can structure the technology or the systems that are needed to continue the exploration. So that will work really well. If we go back into the deeper history of humans, we could see, and I’m not like an expert in evolutionary biology, but we could see that humans were operating primarily from instinct, and at some point, there was a shift to operating much more from intellect. But we’re at another threshold now. And that’s another reason that it’s such a tumultuous period, because our operating system is changing and we don’t have our usual reference points. And at first, when we get liberated, and people say, you know, trust your inner knowing more than what people tell you, you’re going to get some chaotic results, which again, is what we’re seeing in terms of the current discourse on vaccination and no, is there really a virus or isn’t there? I am not going to opine on that. But yes, we have questions around the validity of the science, and then the people who would be on the kind of more let’s say, alternative side of the conversation have a point because science is evolving. There is a paradigm shift that’s occurring, where we are learning to be more subjective in our evaluation. Apparently, there’s a crisis of repeatability in science where certain results aren’t being repeated as faithfully as used to be the case. Rupert Sheldrake writes about that in The Science Delusion. But I’m very pro-science, I’m very pro-science in the sense that we’ve got a baseline now and it’s time to go to another level. If we look at the science that is, we could say has been common, we could say that’s like grade one, or grade two, or maybe grade three in the big school of life. My feeling is, we’re collectively shifting to grade six or seven very quickly because we’re going to bring in the intuition, we’re going to bring in the subjectivity of our experience, and our experiential knowing, and our spiritual practices. So science and spirituality in this process are on a very convergent path.
RICK: Yeah, let’s talk about this for a while. I know, you watched a talk that I gave about six years ago on that topic, and maybe you have some thoughts about some of the points I made there. But, um, before we get into that, you know, you said a minute ago that earlier cultures operated primarily on intuition, or instinct. But, you know, maybe it was more of a, I don’t mean to be insulting, but maybe was, in many cases, more of a kind of an animal instinct, you know, hunter-gatherer kind of thing, my tribe, good, that tribe bad. You know, I want this, you know, woman or want these, you know, this territory, that kind of thing. And there are, as with anything, there are subtler levels to instinct. And, you know, obviously, the dawning of intellect and the scientific method brought us out of the Middle Ages in which a lot of ridiculous things were believed, in which a lot of people were killed and tortured for thinking outside the box of the church. And so we definitely needed that reformation. And, but then too much intellect. I mean, it took really bright intellects to make the atomic bomb and other such things which have brought great peril to humanity. And so, you know, it’s kind of like we walk one foot at a time. So the intellect took a step ahead. And now maybe like you’re saying, it’s time for the intuition to take the next step. But perhaps it won’t be the same intuition that guided prehistoric tribal civilizations. Perhaps it’ll be more along the lines that we’ve been discussing today in terms of refined source-oriented, spiritual intuition.
JEFF: Yes, otherwise, we could fall into the pre-post fallacy that integral philosophers talk about where there’s the kind of romantic notion of the enlightened, primitive civilizations. And well, we’ve learned a lot and it’s time now to integrate all that we’ve learned, and all the different levels because the reptilian brain is still with us, you know. The deeper baser instincts are still part of our brain and our whole body. So can we embrace the whole? I mean, that’s really the question. Can we embrace the whole on every level?
RICK: Yeah. And, and I agree with you, I’m also very enthusiastic about I mean, science in its pure form, the scientific method as is, is brilliant. And it’s a way of gaining knowledge that is not ideally, it is not subject to the distortions and whims of individual opinion and subjectivity. But scientists are human beings. And so they do have whims and subjectivity. And it was Max Planck, who said that science progresses one funeral at a time because people get, they cling to, you know, their perspective, their paradigm, and they reject and dismiss anything that challenges it. And that is good in a way because it provides some stability to knowledge. You don’t just topple the whole edifice with every suggestion that, you know, conflicts with it. But at the same time, eventually, you have to allow new evidence to shift the paradigms and you know that sometimes that seems to happen agonizingly slowly but it does happen. I’m rambling a bit, but maybe you can riff on that.
JEFF: Well, absolutely it does happen. And in the scheme of things on evolutionary timescales, it’s happening very, very quickly. Maybe within the span of a generation or two. Well interesting that you said that science, as is currently practiced, is in some ways a response to, or a way of avoiding the pitfalls of subjectivity. What I see happening, and I was sitting with this morning, is that this evolution of science as it grows up from grade one, two, or three to six or seven, quickly it is involving more subjectivity actually in the process. Because if we have an extremely powerful mind that can recreate the world quickly, then the key to using that mind is actually knowing it, knowing it firsthand, knowing it as us knowing it from the inside, not through objective knowledge. So there are limits to objective knowledge. Objective knowledge is fabulous, up until the point that we can go no further with it. And now, I would offer that we are at that point. Some of us are at that point, some of us are past that point. It’s a bit of a spectrum, maybe even a bell curve. But yes, so I was seeing that we’re being invited by life, to shift from 21% subjectivity in our current scientific models to 91%. And that’s going to be a kind of messy process, as we collectively go through the stages of clarifying our capacity to see clearly. Once we can see clearly the subjectivity is miraculous. Once we see clearly, we see that the entirety of manifestation is our own out-picturing in some sense, and we have the power to out-picture differently. And then there’s a feedback loop that happens. And I can really feel this viscerally. So there’s feedback from the world. Maya, we could say the World of Illusion is actually our best friend because it’s continuously showing us where we’re not awake. And if we are totally awake, which I would offer that no human embodied, person is totally awake, then Maya is showing us where there are opportunities to produce more beauty. So yes, pay attention, pay attention to all the signals from the so-called external world. And then those signals get fed back in through the subjectivity to the creative core, within our own fundamental nature, which is the ground of existence. And that creative core, that deep agency, which we could call God, then sets in motion, various deep processes that produce the new creation, which is more beautiful, which is more awake. And that is, that’s exactly what I’m up to, with these retreats. And even, you know, every day in my practice of meditation, I’m now very conscious about this, this feedback loop. And even before we started speaking today, I was working with a series of tones that I’ve produced, to say, to create the conditions for world healing at scale. Another conversation, but I was getting that really, we all have profound ways that we can contribute. We need to maybe suspend the disbelief a little bit and give it a try, but we’ll be amazed at the subjectivity and what that opens up.
RICK: Yeah, let’s keep playing with this for a few minutes. So as you know, you know, there are science fundamentalists who feel that anything that science as we currently practice it or understand it cannot verify must not be true. But for instance, I was listening last winter, I remember I was shoveling snow. I was listening to a conversation between Sean Carroll, who’s this really brilliant guy, I had been listening to his podcast for a while, and B. Alan Wallace. He is a Buddhist, Tibetan Buddhist teacher. And at one point in the conversation Sean Carroll, they were talking about life after death and Sean Carroll just said, flat out, there isn’t any. When you die, you die. That’s the end of your existence. And he was just so dogmatic or fundamentalist about the way he stated it. And Alan Wallace was very polite. And he said, ‘Well, you know, you may end up being surprised when the time comes’. And I actually haven’t listened to Sean Carroll since then. I just thought I’m not gonna spend any more time on this guy. Even so, I guess the question that I could ask you here is, to what extent can subjective technologies of consciousness actually enable us to explore whether there’s life after death, whether angels exist, or whether higher realms exist? And all this stuff which science has no ordinary material science hasn’t a clue about? To what extent can those abide by the principles of the scientific method and be really rigorous and repeatable and verifiable? Or will they not be able to because they are just too subjective and just too prone to imagination, speculation, and belief?
JEFF: Yes, another great question. So let’s take remote viewing which is a technology of consciousness where somebody tunes into some pieces of information and is able to see the location for instance of a sunken ship, right or a crash or whatever. Something. Yeah, yeah, and that has proved to be quite reliable, especially with experienced practitioners who have that ability. In some indigenous societies even today, there are those who have the gift of mind flight. So they can project astrally or otherwise above the earth and look down and see the landscape and they create maps and whatnot with that information. So it can be studied if there’s an open mind. And we will find that quite a lot of it is repeatable and verifiable in the way that we’re comfortable within the current scientific paradigm and method. My sense is, we can go a bit further and we can stretch the current paradigm to let’s say, 41% subjectivity before it becomes too uncomfortable for the fundamentalists, and let’s see, the remote viewing is a 41%. Okay, look, we don’t have to take my percentages literally.
RICK: I always smile when you give these percentages, because they seem so precise, you know?
JEFF: Well, that’s it, that’s how I work.
RICK: We’re at 43.875.
JEFF: If you want decimal places I can give you them. So then we go into more subjective realms. We could say inter-dimensionality is a more subjective realm, I get that. I get that’s up there, 91%. And this morning, again, in my explorations of the convergence of science and spirituality, I was looking at a cluster of, well, points that I’ve assembled on a map, which is really big maps, I won’t get into the details, but I’m putting together different scientific ideas and potential breakthroughs and spiritual ideas and seeing what calibrates in the same neighborhood. And in one neighborhood, we have a complete understanding of inter dimensionality is closely correlated with understanding gravity and anti-gravity, black holes, nuclear physics, faster than light travel, and biology interestingly. And there are different clusters, different neighborhoods on this map. So I would propose that if we’re able to shift into another state of consciousness and explore these other realms, such as well, the Monroe Institute, can teach us to do. So there are different techniques for accessing, what do they call them, different levels, access levels, I think they are, where you can go out into space, and you can interact with other civilizations and spaceships. And interestingly, when multiple people do this, they have very similar experiences that can be cross-referenced afterward. So that’s an interesting hybrid of its subjective because each individual is meditating and going onto a spaceship for goodness sake and seeing things that other people who are in their own room doing something similar also see. So you get there, some objectivity, as well. So there’s a lot that already exists that we could explore very rigorously, and people are exploring it rigorously. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the research has been published in the standard journals, but there are nonstandard journals and things are shifting. I know, a number of consciousness researchers, a friend named Stephen Schwartz, would be fascinating for your interview, by the way. He has assembled so much research on what previously would have been called paranormal but is actually just normal.
RICK: Remind me about him later. Send me an email or something.
JEFF: Sure, will do.
RICK: As you were speaking, I was thinking about, well, earlier on you made your hands go like this converging together, you know, representing the trajectory that science and spirituality might take in the coming years. And as you were speaking you also mentioned ETs. I was thinking, well, you know, if ETs are bopping around the universe and have visited us and so on, they have probably achieved that merger. And, you know, some people say that, well, obviously, first of all, they haven’t blown themselves up. They’ve lived long enough to develop, you know, technology is capable of faster than light travel, for instance. And secondly, you know, many people say that somehow, you know, they incorporate consciousness within their technologies. That their ships wouldn’t work unless they were at a level of consciousness in which they could somehow, you know, I don’t know, interact with the ship in a fundamental way. Maybe you could elaborate on it better. But I guess the question, if I distill this into a question is, you know, do you envision an advanced civilization here, in which science and spirituality would result in not only harmony and productivity and equity and you know, for all but profoundly different technologies than we now have, which are as much technologies of consciousness as they are physical technologies.
JEFF: Absolutely. That feels more like 2050. If I resonate, I would say 2050 to 2065. So that time frame right now when we might see some major visible evidence of this convergence. And at the same time, the combined science and spirituality is already here. Another of my favorite quotes is from William Gibson. ‘The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed’.
RICK: So was he a playwright William Gibson?
JEFF: No, he wrote Neuromancer, one of the earlier cyberpunk novels, which definitely had an effect on me. It would be an influence, for sure, along with a book called Snow Crash but …
RICK: Yeah, I used to know his wife. His wife was named Margaret Brenman-Gibson if I’m thinking of the same William Gibson, and she was into TM and spoke at a bunch of symposiums that I helped to set up and stuff anyway, continue.
JEFF: Wonderful. We have our own rabbit holes to explore. Yeah. Well, on the topic of ETs, I feel like there’s one more point to say, and this probably isn’t a common domain for Buddha at the Gas Pump. And I’m actually relatively reluctant to talk about, and …
RICK: I’ve done a couple of interviews on it, and it interests me.
JEFF: Okay, cool. Okay, very good. Yeah, I mean, it is an area where the scientist in me is challenged, but much less now than before. And so what I get when I meditate on what’s really happening is that it’s our own transpersonal nature, meeting us, symbolically in ways that we can relate to. So it’s our own, you could say collective but deep collective deeper life, which is not individualized the way that we tend to be as humans today. It’s these other layers of our own beingness that is showing up in different ways to guide us home, you could say.
RICK: Sort of like Gary Renard’s idea of meeting some beings that are him from 2000 years from now, or some such thing.
JEFF: Fair enough. Very similar to that. And even then one could debate whether they’re really, yes I read the book, whether they were really in the future or that was the narrative that Gary needed in order to understand and receive the teaching. And, and my sense, my strong sense is that we’re being given information that isn’t necessarily factually true about the future and other civilizations, but it’s what we need in order to learn what we need to learn. So, I’m saying a lot these days, time will tell. We’re going to find out but I can say that my stepfather, after my dad passed my mom remarried a retired Four-Star Air Force General and he had experiences, direct experiences. In the UK, he was connected with something major that happened there where a ship landed and was touched and, you know, left prints and all kinds of evidence.
RICK: I’ve read that whole thing. There was a whole Yeah, I forget what it’s called.
JEFF: So he was there and, but in command, so he wasn’t the one who was in the field at the time. And then he went on to become a Four-Star General and in charge of the Pacific Air Force Command. So he was a very credible guy who also when he was a fighter pilot, had a direct encounter with a craft that could, it was so maneuverable they couldn’t keep up and they couldn’t do all the fancy things that this other craft was doing. What I’ve also felt to be very true and calibrated as true is that these various phenomena that we’re seeing now AEPS, that’s the new acronyms we’ll give even though I want to say UFO, where craft are moving in ways that defy our understanding of physics, making right-angle turns, which you know, ought to be impossible. Inertia ought to result in the ship blowing apart if you have that many G’s. It’s really showing us that physics isn’t what we think it is. And this brings in the inter dimensionality. Now there is another layer to what we are perceiving. And it’s not just another dimension as physicists understand spatial dimensions. It’s another degree of freedom many other degrees of freedom which are actually consciousness, different rooms of consciousness, perhaps. So inter-dimensional may or may not be the word but that’s how I’m relating to it. And as we unfold ourselves into a more dimensional way of being and relating to one another and to life then we gain access to capacities we gain higher levels of, of science and technology. Another point that we can make about such phenomena as phenomena of consciousness is a dear friend of mine, who’s been on the show, but I’m not inclined to name names. He had an experience in California where, in a very crowded place, a ship came within maybe 100 yards, it was very close, turned on its side beamed red lights at him. And he had the experience of downloads of information. And his wife also had that experience. And then this ship disappeared. And actually, I think it just dissolved into thin air.
RICK: Is that Paul Anka?
RICK: Okay, I’m sorry.
JEFF: No, it’s alright. Nobody else saw this.
RICK: Maybe we talked about it during our interview but I don’t remember.
JEFF: Okay? So, so I propose that actually, it’s happening within our expanded awareness, and it gets projected on the screen of three-dimensional reality. And then we’d be inclined to say that it’s really there, but it’s not. And this brings us back to the deep spiritual insight that nothing is really there. And, and it’s true. But whatever seems to be there is also interesting and useful and certainly fun to explore. So we continue exploring, we call that science and the supreme science and the supreme spirituality will lead us to the discovery of us, of the true us the totally majestic us.
RICK: Yeah. Well, you know, like regarding your friend who had that experience, where he saw the thing, and nobody else saw it. I mean, you know, maybe these things are – they travel inter-dimensionally not just physically from point A to point B. And did you see that movie Arrival? Yeah, so the ship didn’t come zooming in, it just materialized out of a cloud as it were. And when it left it dematerialized. So, you know, it could be that your friend just happened to have the perception to see that subtler dimension. Whereas the people around him didn’t, and maybe it could even be said that he was meant to see it, therefore, they granted him the ability to see it, or something like that.
JEFF: So consciousness is fascinating, you know, a lot is possible that we have only begun to imagine, in some cases experience. This friend of mine had gone on a six-month meditation retreat which probably helped to open to other types of experience. So as we do more spiritual practice, we become more available to life in all of its forms. And, you know, there are certain pitfalls along the way, because we could become enamored of ETs, or this or that kind of peak experience, or I keep hearing the word like ‘yahoo’ moment. So we need to be discerning, but, also really curious, because all of this is information for our own benefit, and ultimately awakening to who, what and that which we really are.
RICK: Yeah. So were you saying a few minutes ago that you don’t think these are beings from other planets, but rather, they’re somehow just aspects of ourselves or something that we’re interacting with? Is that what you’re saying?
JEFF: So there’ll be a both-and there’ll be an and because then the experience of, well in the embodied experience, in order to relate to the information, substrate of existence, we have well, embodied interactions and so life will show up as beings from other planets. And are they really there? The neo Advaitists would say absolutely not. They may as well be. Our instruments show that there are other planets.
RICK: Yeah and they’re showing up on the radar of these fighter jets and stuff.
JEFF: That’s right. That’s right. So I won’t be at all surprised if I meet one. In fact, I’m very open to that. And at the same time, I am wary of becoming enamored with the kind of titillating possibilities. And at the same time, I would say that the very real possibility of help from the cosmos from our own cosmic mind perhaps, is a leading-edge topic for spirituality. It will surely have vast implications for the existing traditions, like how do we incorporate this new information? You know, where does that fit within the Gita? And well, actually, within the Mahabharata, there are references that could be you know, ancient astronauts, I think they’re called so yeah, it’s very fascinating. And I come back to my practice because this is where we need to stay grounded. We need to stay grounded in present circumstances. I don’t see any ETS around me at the moment. So stay …
RICK: There’s one right over your left shoulder actually.
JEFF: Ooh he’s gonna bite you. There’s Amma over your right. Yes, right. She could be one too.
RICK: Yeah I mean, when you say both and, I agree with that. I mean maybe some of them are from elsewhere in the galaxy, then maybe some of them are, well, another possibility some of them are celestial beings who live on in our realm as much as we do, but just at a subtler level. And maybe sometimes people see those kinds of things and think, oh, it’s an ET, you know. And it’s not extraterrestrial. It’s terrestrial, but just dwelling in a subtler realm.
JEFF: Yes, for sure. Well, I’ve spent a fair amount of time at Findhorn, which is a community in Northern Scotland, where people have been exploring the subtler realm, and the intelligence is of nature and the Devic beings and having very clear relationships with such beings. And I was, oh, great, and he’s wonderful. So I was at a gathering with a woman who was on the Board of Trustees in a very senior position again, I’m not naming names. And she had never had an encounter with a subtle being. But she loved Findhorn. Well, we went out into the field as part of some process of exploring, and we’d had some activation when we were together inside. And lo and behold, she saw a unicorn, and it just, she was gobsmacked. She was actually a little shaken. So that’s the thing, like, we’re not used to non-ordinary states of consciousness and experiences of beings from subtler dimensions. And when it first happens, it can be jarring. So the compassion of life is such that we only really get that when we’re ready. And probably if it’s useful for us, you know. There are a lot of things we could do there a lot of things we could explore, not all of which is useful for the present circumstances, we find ourselves in.
RICK: Yep. Yeah, Maharishi used to use the analogy of capturing a fort. He said, Okay, there’s like a territory. And there are all these different diamond mines and gold mines and interesting things you could try to get into around the territory, but it’s not your territory. So if you really want to explore those things, first capture the fort, which would be sourced to use your word, and then having established yourself in that – you own the territory, you can explore these things at your leisure without endangering yourself in some way or sidetracking yourself.
JEFF: And also, there’s the practice of relaxing and letting life arise. So without desire or clinging to experiences, or wanting to have certain types of experiences, I’m much more, I’m much more in that state these days. And yet, life rejoices in expressing itself in abundant ways, in surprising ways, in ways that we would call miracles, ways we would call impossible. So to open ourselves to the miraculous to the impossible is a very powerful spiritual practice. We deepen very quickly when we start to experience directly the nature of limitless mind.
RICK: Yeah, and I think that if one finds that one has lively curiosity about things, there’s no harm in thinking about them, or talking about them or reading about them, as long as they don’t become obsessions and, you know, get you off the track. I mean, because it’s interesting to ponder the field of all possibilities expressing itself and to, you know, not dumb creation down to what happens to be evident to us, but to realize that there are all kinds of wonders and marvels and so on that might be outside the realm of our personal experience. I noticed this morning a guy posted a question in the BatGap Facebook group, and I was going to actually answer it, but it didn’t have time. But he was saying something like, do you think that, I’m asking you this because you’re a physicist, do you think that the light that comes from light bulbs, or the sun or any ordinary source of light, could in some sense, be the same light that we that we’re referring to when we talk of the light of God or light in a spiritual context. And I’ve actually often wondered that, funnily enough, is like from what I understand of light, like if you could see things from a photon’s perspective, you would get from the Andromeda galaxy to here instantly. There would be no lapse of time, at the speed of light, time and space kind of collapse. And so in that sense, it seems like light is in the present, which is one of the things they say about spiritual light. And yet at the same time, we’ve been talking a little bit about the celestial realm, which is like subtler than the astral, subtle, subtle field. And it’s characterized by light, everything is said to glow in celestial light. And that would seem to be a different kind of light than we get from ordinary light bulbs and stuff. So is that a weird question? Or do you have anything to say about that?
JEFF: It’s not a weird question at all it’s a perfect question. So just as there is so much more to understand about gravity, for instance, or the complete understanding of black holes would open up other realms that we would call spiritual or metaphysical today, the complete understanding of light goes beyond our current physical understanding of photons and, and quantization and time and space and the speed of light and relativistic effects. There’s a lot more to explore. So let’s see how much of light do we really understand in our current science I get we have a 3% understanding and when that expands to, towards 100 we will realize yes, spiritual light comes in many shapes and forms and frequencies and types. And, you know, one of which is what we interact with when we’re using interferometers. But actually, it’s the same light. And in fact, the light is the fundamental essence, the deep light capital L light, that then takes form in so many ways, and on so many levels. So, so it’s all light. In that sense,
RICK: Maybe just as light has different frequency bands within it. And, and visible light itself is just a tiny, tiny fraction of the total, you know, electromagnetic spectrum, maybe there’s a third dimension of light that goes from gross to subtle. And that, you know, you have to remember, Jesus always used to say, ‘for those who can hear, let them hear’ but maybe he could have said, ‘for those who can see, let them see’. And you know, so there could be like, we were talking about the lady with seeing the unicorn, and so on, there were realms of phenomena that are beneath the threshold of our perceptual ability, both visual and auditory and other senses. And that if we expand those capacities, we begin to live in a world which contains all kinds of interesting things that have been there all along, but that we couldn’t perceive.
JEFF: I get a yes to all of that. And something came to me for the first time as you were sharing, which is, in addition to there being a spectrum, which is sort of a quantitative variability there are qualitative differences that express as different forms of light. So deep down, like grand unified light theory, it’s all the same light, but then it prisms and bifurcates hearing partitions into these different expressions of light on different levels. And it might not just be a third dimension, as you say, there might be a lot of parameters that creation can play with.
RICK: Yeah, I actually read an article recently, which was discussing how you know E equals MC squared, energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. You can turn that equation around, and they’ve actually found that light can produce matter. I don’t know how they did it. But experimentally that happened, they actually did it. Yeah,
JEFF: They actually experimentally did it. Yes.
RICK: Interesting. Okie Dokie. Incidentally, as we were talking here, if there’s any idea that pops to mind, and I’m not asking you a question about it, feel free to launch right into it. One of the things in your notes is daily life is a spiritual practice. Do you feel like we’ve covered that adequately or you want to say some more about that?
JEFF: Well because it’s coming up, I trust that there is more to say, and I definitely get a yes to that. And in the way that is usual. So that’s really the opportunity of life, I would say, for every moment to be an opening, an awakening. And it doesn’t have to every moment doesn’t have to be a peak experience. Every moment includes the possibility of total, spiritual fruition. And then it becomes a bit of a game, I would say. What is the highest possibility for this moment? Now when we’re in survival mode, you’re going back to the earlier conversation about the current state of collective consciousness has a lot of us in suffering and struggling to survive. So I honor that that is the experience of a lot of people. And when we’re in that state, it’s hard to imagine kind of playing with consciousness. So my sincere hope is that we move quickly out of that state collectively. So when we have the ability, the time the space, maybe to some extent the financial wherewithal, that we don’t need money to do this practice of being present. And Eckhart Tolle showed us we can be present in our car, or when we’re getting a coffee and we can sit for a moment and be still and create a gap around whatever it is that’s happening. So that is wisdom for spiritual practice as a pervasive activity within one’s life. For me, it takes the form of continuous attunement so if I’m at a restaurant, and I look at a menu, I dowse with my finger, that’s one way I can do it and I get this is the optimal entree for me, and oh, this is the optimal entree except you know, it’s the vegetarian option. So there’s some permutations to play with. And so it is a game. And it’s incredibly fun. And it’s incredibly joyful. And the best part is it really works. And as a way of living that brings fulfillment I found so by showing my, I’m hearing my allegiance to truth, in every moment life just comes to a higher level of vibrancy and richness and doors open and opportunities come and nothing, this has to be the experience for everyone because if we all were the same, you know, that wouldn’t be the flowering diversity that makes oneness so amazing. But, you know, there is the possibility of a life where, where we love our work, and money flows to us, because we’re serving selflessly. Like the two, those two can actually be synthesized. And we can make a difference in the world while also retreating, you know, into deep spaces for periods of time. We can, pardon the expression, have our cake and eat it too. And that I feel is actually spiritual, that it is spiritual, to live abundantly. And the key to living abundantly, which is what we all seem to want whether we say it or not. I don’t mean materially only is this attunement and having life be a continuous spiritual practice. That’s what I’ve learned, we’ll see if it’s a general trend.
RICK: Another thing that comes to my mind when we say that is that, ultimately, you know, everything is God. It’s God, you know, appearing as trees, and dogs and food and all the other stuff that we interact with. And so there’s infinite intelligence on display, in every little thing, every tiny little thing from the tiniest to the biggest. And if you kind of tune into that way of seeing things, then you’re kind of walking through God as you move through your day. And everything has I mean, you don’t have to intellectualize it like, oh, what is the significance of this, but everything has some evolutionary significance, or it wouldn’t be happening completely.
JEFF: Completely and that’s non-duality when we can really live in and as the presence of God experiencing our Self, capital S, and our deeper nature beyond and prior to self, in every form. As has been said, in a holographic universe by a friend of mine named Jude Kervin you know, every part contains the whole all of the information is available in everything. And this is, this is one level of understanding that it’s all God. God is omnipresent, imminent, and always ever available and the more we engage, the more we’re engaging with ourselves and the more there is God-realization. So, life is ultimately the journey of, well, I would say even realization beyond God-realization. Because even that feels like maybe it’s cultural. Maybe it’s the accretion of concepts. But I feel not to hold on too tightly to that phraseology.
RICK: Yeah, and obviously, with any phraseology, we have to, we’d probably have to spend half an hour defining our terms. But we don’t need to do that. Here’s a little bit of an out-of-the-blue question. It’s related to some of the things we’ve been talking about. But I was walking in the park listening to one of your interviews or talks, and you said something that I thought I want to ask him about that. I can actually remember exactly where I was in the park when this happened. I was walking past this wild plum tree. In any case, you said, the second law of thermodynamics won’t be upheld forever, because consciousness transduces energy into the world of matter? And correct me if I didn’t write that down correctly, but um, my thinking was, hasn’t that always been happening? Isn’t it due to the that, by the way, the second law of thermodynamics is that, you know, closed systems tend to become more and more entropic or disorderly. But isn’t it due to the tendency of consciousness to infuse orderliness into the universe, that we have a universe and that the universe has sentient life in it?
JEFF: That’s very astute. So there’s been negative entropy all along. And I was writing about this recently. I haven’t published it yet. But there is an organizing intelligence that doesn’t operate within time and space as we currently understand it in physical terms, and yet influences the arrangement of things. And from what I’ve, oh I guess I would say experienced, although it’s dicey to say what it was exactly, but the sense of chaos actually being the state within which the invisible guidance, the invisible guiding hand can operate to, to shift things because we are not able to track the causality. And so it’s like the infinite can express its agency without seeming to interfere with what we currently understand to be the laws of physics. So, so there are these other levels, which are always involved and involved like they are involved in matter. And what I was talking about in that interview, as I recall, is this sense and, and probably where I would have to revise my statement, but there is a sense of the vaster plenum within which our universe of time and space and energy and matter is embedded, and that there is kind of a leaking into our universe from this vaster plenum, so that it wouldn’t be a closed system. But actually, everything is infinite. Freeman Dyson wrote a book called Infinite In All Directions that influenced me greatly back in college. Everything is infinite. There is nothing that is actually finite. So when we’re talking about conservation of finite values, that premise will be eroded over time. And I used the word I think I may have coined it infinitetozation to talk about this process of, of shifting in our perception from perceiving finer to knowing the infinity in as all things and some common examples from whole fractals, you have fractal theory, you have the coastline of the UK, if you measure it with a one-meter yardstick, you get a certain value, if you use a half a meter, when funny, that would be meters and yards measuring stick, then you get a bigger value. And if you keep reducing the scale of the measuring stick, then you get an ever-increasing value for the circumference, if you will, of this island that I’m currently on. So that’s actually infinite in the limit case. And no matter how close what when you look closely at a physical system, you zoom in, and you see it’s space. And there’s all of this latent energy and even one cubic centimeter of space. And that I think, was David Bohm, who said a cubic centimeter of state-space contains so much energy, it’s like, more than is currently expressed as the visible universe. So what are we talking about when we talk about conservation of energy? My sense is we have so much to learn there. Certainly our ideas will not be conserved.
RICK: Yeah and the reason this interests me, and that was very well stated there is that, you know, the predominant scientific paradigm is materialism, or, I guess they sometimes call it reductionism. And I have these occasional debates or arguments with people who are, who feel there is no such thing as God and that somehow or other, the universe, just kind of the laws of nature just are what they are. And the universe does what it does, without there being any kind of guiding or pervading intelligence to make it happen. There’s a famous quote from Brian Swimme, who, who was not a materialist, but he says, you know, you leave hydrogen alone for 13 point 7 billion years and you end up with giraffes and rose bushes and opera, you know. Why should all this orderliness and beauty arise out of basically nothing. And there’s this whole, I think it’s called the anthropic principle or something where there are numerous variables, dozens, if not a couple of hundred which, if any of them had been ever so slightly off, we wouldn’t either have had a universe or there wouldn’t be any life in whatever universe we had. And materialists actually tend to say they argue that away by saying, well, perhaps there’s an infinitude of universes and this is the many universe theory and that we just happened to be in the one where everything kind of worked out. But that’s just random chance, you know. All those other universes are duds, we’re in the lucky one. So that seems like really not a parsimonious way of looking at it. It’s such a stretch. And it’s so much more obvious and easy and simple to say that it’s all intelligence interacting with itself and you know, get over it.
JEFF: And I fully get that. It’s all intelligence, it’s all intelligent. In fact, during the month-long retreat, one of the big insights was the relationship between manifestation and what I call limitless mind. And what I saw, and this is experiential, so I went in meditation and kind of looked at limitless mind. I saw 12 fractal-like territories of thought, that named themselves for what it’s worth, and we could get into that another time, that interact to give rise to the experience of stuff and vibration. and energy and all of that. So it’s all happening within limitless mind and limitless mind being limitless. And really, I mean that it’s absolutely infinite in all directions, has the capacity to create infinitely many universes. So it’s possible it doesn’t pass the principle of parsimony test and we can’t necessarily know. I believe you were referring to the anthropic principle. And there is a strong anthropic principle as well, this is going back aways but basically, the strong anthropic principle, if I’m not mistaken, says it had to be this way so that humans could emerge. And well, that to me sounds like intelligent design, and God all over again. So probably science is going to continue even with the materialists to loop back around and connect with the deepest insights of spirituality. It’s inevitable, even in the near term.
RICK: Yeah. And I would say it’s a little bit narrow-minded to say oh this all happened so humans could emerge. Because I bet you there are plenty of life forms that are more impressive than we are. And I would also say that, if there are numerous universes, those aren’t duds, either, those are brimming with intelligence and life as much as this one is.
JEFF: Yes. Well, I calibrate that it’s true, you know, we, we could have a fun exploration, which would be much more freeform where, well I’d love to do this, where we actually bring up scientific ideas, and we test them using the tuning fork. And ideally, not just mine, but we could have a group of people who have some capacity to feel the resonance of truth, deep truth. And this would be the most fun way I can imagine for evolving the scientific and spiritual paradigm, actually going through various hypotheses, and feeling in, this is where Jonas Salk would have a good time as well, feeling intuitively into which ones are most promising. And then the hardcore scientist can go off and do their experiments and see which ones actually work. It was Nikola Tesla, who predicted that if we would look more deeply at the subtle energy and consciousness, I would add, science would progress 1000 years in maybe 10 years, but a huge acceleration in terms of our, the speed of our progress, and that is going to happen, I feel that is imminent. So we’ll see. That could be one of the things that really save humanity in the next decade or so is that we discover vastly more capable technologies for healing and getting around.
RICK: Well, that’s kind of one of the things we’ve been talking about today, that, you know, we have to just unfold that dimension. We’re kind of like the vertical dimension, we could say, we’re not going to solve all our problems with just the horizontal dimension of you know, the kind of gross level things that physical instruments alone can measure.
JEFF: But hooray for
RICK: Yeah, that too,
JEFF: for cool instruments Hooray for everything that has gotten us to this point where we have the ability to choose to move consciously to another level of understanding and a deeper level of spiritual wisdom, and to bring those together. It’s amazing. I’m, I’m in awe, and deeply appreciative of the human journey for all of its challenges, and all of its missteps, apparent missteps, which actually have contributed to our collective learning. So I am hopeful for what’s coming, I will continue to write about it, and may that be a part of actually bringing it into form, as we have the collective conversation about what’s possible. positive images of the future. Fred Polak if I recall, wrote a book about having positive images that we can work towards, because in the day-to-day life, whether it’s spiritual practice or not, we’re making 1000s of decisions and those decisions add up to the reality that we experience. So if we have an inspiring vision, then we can actually create it. And then there was a quote from I believe, the Old Testament ‘where there is no vision, the people perish’. So what we need now is vision. And fortunately, there are quite a few visionaries about and you know, having conversations with you and others. So thank you for your work, and certainly thank them as well.
RICK: How old are you now?
JEFF: That’s in question. 47.
RICK: Okay. Well, it’s funny the invention 47, because I heard you in some talk, and you were talking about what might happen in such and such a year and you thought, well, let’s see, I think I’ll be about 147 by then, so I’ll be pretty old. And I thought, well, that’s pretty cool he actually thinks he’s going to be alive when he’s 147. So, um, which is possible, you know, I mean, it’s obviously not – there are no examples of it now that we know of unless you believe some of these books about yogis who lived a long time, but do you think that the changes afoot will be such that? Well, you and I were talking about Jean Houston before we started, and you said that her telomeres are not shortening. Telomeres are these little things on the ends of chromosomes that shorten as we age? And so do you think that the times are such that people will begin to live Old Testament long lifetimes within the next 100 years or so?
JEFF: I do. And at the same time, I wouldn’t suggest that we grasp for that possibility. That possibility will emerge out of spiritual realization and remembering who and what we truly are. And then actually the need to live longer and the fear of death all of that evaporates. And then we might if, if we have a, we have a reason to be here for 147 years – fantastic. I have a feeling that will be pretty common. We also have this potential overpopulation issue. My sense is it’s, it’s going to be okay. And I have had, in meditation experiences, of seeing the world in the 2300s and the 2100s. And that episode you’re referring to I got was 2117 or thereabouts. And there’s very clear impression and I have a sense that I might be there. But maybe I’ll be there in a different form and does it even really matter you know I’m very relaxed about this form. And it’s interesting, I wasn’t planning to go here, but just in recent weeks, I’ve had the sense that, maybe it’s an experiment, but I’ve had the sense that it would be good for me to live as if the end of the year is the end of this form. So forget 147 years, maybe it’s just 47 years. Just live that way and see what it’s like see what that brings. And I am finding that, oh gosh, the appreciation of life has increased and the appreciation of the little things and appreciation of people and my connections. At the same time. I’m not making plans beyond the end of the year really. I know I mentioned the February retreat, and we’ll see what happens. Maybe I’ll still be here. But to live as if I won’t. That’s really interesting and it relates to dying before we die. So maybe that’s really what’s happening is I’m consciously exploring dying before the physical vehicle passes away. So I’ll report back on how that goes.
RICK: Both Shankara and Amma and probably other spiritual teachers have said that you should live each day as if it will be your last or each moment. She says you should be like a bird perched on a branch that could break at any time. And you know that’s not to be morbid or scared or anything like that but it enables you to prioritize your activities. Yeah, here’s a question from Jean in Canada. She asks, “You are on a ship, moving all your belongings, carrying a bag of your favorite books. You are in an unfortunate accident and the ship starts to sink. You’re about to be on a deserted island for many years. You have only time to grab one of the books and it will be your only companion what book do you grab and why?”
JEFF: Oh, that’s such a great question. Not too long ago, I wrote about my top 10 most influential favorite books and the number one book at that time was ‘God Speaks’ which it appears you have on the shelf? Great. Yeah, Meher Baba, this is a very significant book. I would say I would stick with it. There is no book that I would say is my Bible in the sense that I see it as the absolute truth or something that is, is my, my path definitely I feel that this life has been a synthesis of many paths, which itself creates a new path. But I have to offer profound respect for Baba and those who helped to realize this book. It includes a number of charts of consciousness and the journey of the soul and the journeys of God and the levels of realization along the way, in terms of planes of existence and then ultimately, the reality of existence. And it’s so lucid. So even though I have a different cosmology that has emerged through my work in my own mapping, I have different maps, I still feel very connected with Baba’s cosmology. I see it as a different view. So if there were a giant diamond here with many, many facets, infinitely many facets. God Speaks presents more clearly than any other book I’ve ever encountered. A very complete physical and metaphysical cosmology. It itself is a synthesis of science and spirituality that explains evolution in a certain way. My own work is a different facet on the very same diamond. So by now, I’m seeing why, why this is still the answer to your question thank you, Jean. By having two facets, two examples of ultra-coherent cosmology, some third, deeper possibility opens up so I always I’ve got the one book in me, and the other book that seems to be external, which is God Speaks which I will take to the island. And then we’ll see what happens as I have many hours to contemplate.
RICK: Cool, hopefully, we weren’t forced to choose between a book and some food, but um, there’s plenty of food on this island, by the way.
JEFF: Very good. Yeah. I haven’t mastered breatharianism but there is another interesting possibility of consciousness.
RICK: All right, as the final topic. Let’s talk a little bit about spiritual integrity. I know you joined, you became a member of the Association for Spiritual Integrity, which is spiritual-integrity.org.
JEFF: It’s important. And you gave a talk at Science and Nonduality in 2017, which I attended. And it influenced me It certainly made an impression.
RICK: You were in my talk then?
JEFF: Yeah, I was I was there I was somewhere …
RICK: Did we actually meet? I don’t know if we met?
JEFF: I think maybe Jude who was also there that year said, ‘Hey, you too, should talk’. And that was the extent of it. I was there for the first time. But one of the things that you said is we’re all works in progress, spiritual teachers, realized beings, avatars, maybe God – all works in progress. Was it Teresa of Avila who said, ‘God seems to be on a journey of God?’
RICK: Apparently ‘The feeling remains that God is on the journey too’ is what she said, yeah.
JEFF: Himself, herself, itself. So, so yes a work in progress. And that means there’s a lot of room to be humble and to practice and be aware of the various possibilities of integrity and misalignment. So okay, to be more specific, in the role of a spiritual teacher, one has a lot of power, potentially. And traditionally, that’s been the case. And people who are taking your word for it, because they don’t yet have their own sourcing ability, if a teacher is tuned in in that way, and can receive wisdom for the benefit of the student, then that’s wonderful. Ideally, however, the student would be able to do that for themselves. And over time, when that capacity is cultivated, I would say that’s a really excellent teacher who can work with the student to cultivate their own knowing so that they’re not dependent upon the teacher. But there are instances where that doesn’t happen and maybe the wisdom that’s coming through the teacher isn’t spot on for the student, or maybe the teacher doesn’t train that ability to become independent, spiritually independent. For whatever reason, I’ve heard of stories of spiritual teachers wanting to hold on to disciples, I mean, clearly, that’s problematic. That’s grasping In fact. It’s not an awakened pattern of behavior. So when we’re in a community of practitioners and teachers who are committed to holding one another accountable to the highest possibilities of spiritual teaching and empowerment for the students then it’s a better outcome for all of us. And this runs a bit in contradiction to the idea of the spiritual teacher who is the realized absolute inform and beyond question beyond reproach and also not in relationship with other people and with life itself by virtue of having removed themselves to that level of exaltation. So there are great downsides and pitfalls. So when we’re not in intimate relationship with this funny word to use with life and others who are traveling the same path. But when we are practicing together, a greater wisdom flourishes and there will be far fewer stories of, oh gosh, you know, financial impropriety, sexual impropriety, whatever it might be, you know, there’s been quite a lot of that over the years. So I’m so appreciative that ASI or the Association for Spiritual Integrity is seeking to bring actually more consciousness to the discipline of spirituality and spiritual teaching.
RICK: Yeah, that’s what it’s trying to do. It’s not trying to wield some kind of authority over anybody because we don’t have any authority and wouldn’t really want it.
JEFF: No, it’s the peer community that drew me and the ability actually, as much as the integrity piece. Being sometimes in the role of teacher, although I don’t use that word, typically, I’m a little bit surprised that more teachers don’t kind of work together and collaborate and yeah, and deepen together and practice together, it seems like a very isolated discipline. So I feel that ASI has great potential to evolve the state of the art in terms of spiritual teaching, right? By collectivizing it a bit. And it has been said, for instance, by Thich Nhat Hanh that the next Buddha will be or may be a collective. So we need to learn how to be a spiritually awakened collective, not only the lone realizer with followers, but actually a community of realized ones makes a greater one.
RICK: Yeah, that’s what we’re trying to do really. I mean, people can still be independent, and it’s not like they’re gonna have to join some kind of guild or something and everybody does this.
JEFF: It’s not the bore.
RICK: No, it’s not like that. But if there’s a loose affiliation, where they’re kind of, you can get constructive criticism and feedback from your peers. And, you know, if you’re in need of help, or you begin to go off the rails or something, there can be a friend who might help you, or friends who might help keep you on track or something you know then, that would be good. It would perhaps diminish some of these disasters that keep happening in the spiritual field.
JEFF: Oh yeah, well, and if you’re in relationship with other people, intimate or otherwise, then you catch the early warning signs, and it doesn’t become a big thing. And it doesn’t need to become a drama. It’s just like, oh, I noticed there’s a bit of a blind spot, okay, great.
RICK: Kind of like being in a marriage or a close relationship where you know, without any kind of feedback back or mirror from another person, you can get kind of really far off. But if you’re in a relationship with somebody who has a good sensible head on their shoulders, I’m speaking from personal experience here, that feedback can be extremely valuable and good for your evolution.
JEFF: Yes, well, I think it was Ram Dass who said, ‘We’re all just walking each other home’. So whether we’re spiritual teachers, spiritual practitioners or not even all that spiritual, when we’re connected, and mirroring one another, which tends to happen, we’re learning we’re growing we are awakening more slowly or more quickly. And there’s a kind of integrity to it. So there’s integrity in the sense of, like, you know, behaving in a good way that is loving and, and supportive of the growth of others and doesn’t do harm. So there’s that kind of integrity. And then there’s integrity as wholeness, which is, I think, what I’m feeling as much, and the possibility of a greater whole emerging from coming together with a real grounded accountability as part of the foundation. So again, thank you for founding, co-founding ASI and I hope that many people will join. And I know that there are plans to expand the scope to include more folks as well.
RICK: And organizations are starting to join now too. We have three organizations on board who have joined as an organization. And, yeah, I just want to throw in one of my favorite quotes here before we end, which is from Padmasambhava, the ancient Buddhist teacher, he said, ‘Although my awareness is as vast as the sky, my attention to karma is as fine as a grain of barley flour’. So here’s this great, you know, saint that’s revered as being really one of the highest and yet he’s saying, Hey, I could screw up I have to really be on my toes and be very – Don Juan, Carlos Castanedo’s teacher said that the warrior has time only for his impeccability.
JEFF: Yes, well, and again, that’s living every moment as a spiritual practice. And when we live consciously we’re actually living in a way that doesn’t create karma in the sense of unfinished business that then circles back. So to live consciously is a moment-to-moment practice. Our attention has to be as fine as a grain of barley flour and perhaps finer still
RICK: Kind of like riding a bicycle, you know. It becomes second nature, but you could always crash if you’re inattentive.
JEFF: That’s right. So many ways life is keeping us conscious.
RICK: Well, it’s really been great, Jeff, I’ve really enjoyed mind-melding with you like this. It’s some
JEFF: Thank you me too.
RICK: It’s certainly gotten a lot more my brain cells firing. So oh, so let’s just say now what? What are some ways – let me just show you your website on the screen here first of all it’s jeffvanderclute.com right?
RICK: And I will link to that from your page on batgap.com and people can read your blog and you know, do various other things that you have some kind, of course coming up called, I’m showing that on the screen now, it’s called Homecoming, a seven-week adventure of awakening October through December 2021. And what’s that going to involve?
JEFF: Okay, so one of the collaborations with other spiritual teachers that I’m involved in is called Enlightening Journeys and Expeditions somewhat of a long name. And we have been offering online journeys which are indeed adventures of awakening. We’ve had two so far and this is the third, Homecoming and this will be the deepest dive yet into the ground of being and our, our deep, deepest nature really, and meeting people where we are on the journey. So it’s not only for advanced practitioners, it would be very beneficial even for advanced practitioners, but anyone who feels called to explore more of your nature and find the deeper essence of your being, and I would say that is the heart essence, it is a loving presence that we tap into together when we come on these journeys. So there’s a sense of community that’s very strong of people supporting one another, with a lot of joy. Now, some of the themes of Homecoming are non-duality and oneness, and what happens when we really engage in a practical way with these deeper truths. So, over the course of seven weeks, we’ll be doing that, we’ll be practicing non-duality, applying non-duality in our daily lives, living every moment as a loving presence that brings healing and further awakening to the world. Actually being the solution to the various problems that we’ve identified in this conversation, the various challenges that humanity faces. So there’s an intention with Homecoming to come home to ourselves, and also to come home together to a more thriving sense of community and living on this planet, one with nature, and one with our brothers and sisters. And, you know, it sounds like maybe that could be some distant possibility. Again, the future is already here if we say yes to it, and that’s what we’ll be doing. So Homecoming, check it out on my site, or enlighteningjourneys.com. And, you know, we’d love to have you.
RICK: Great. Good, thanks. And so again, I’ll be linking to this stuff from Jeff’s page on batgap.com. And so if you happen to be driving while you’re listening to this or something, then when you get home, you can just go to BatGap and look up Jeff’s page and follow the links to these things. So thanks, again, Jeff. It’s really been great getting to know you better. And I’m sure that we’ll have more interactions in the future, either in person or online or whatever. But I do not remember, you know, now that you mentioned, I remember meeting you and Jude introducing us. I had totally forgotten about that. But I’m glad that we finally got to know each other better.
JEFF: It’s interesting at the time, I felt there was a resonance, but it was of the down-the-road variety. So it’s delightful to have this …
RICK: It was only like 21.3%. At that point. Now it’s like up to 100.
JEFF: Yeah, right. I had a lot of further exploration so that I could have good stuff to talk about today. I’m really grateful, really grateful to you and to this lineage of Buddha at the Gas Pump. I’m glad to be part of that. And if there’s any way I can support you or your community going forward, I would love to do that.
RICK: Thanks again and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to do this and to talk to people like you. So, let me think. Next week I’m going to be talking to a lady named Nancy Rynes who had a serious accident where a car hit her on her bicycle and she went under the car and got dragged 50 feet and had this profound near-death experience. The following interview after that will be Lynn Twist, who wrote a book called The Soul Of Money. You may know Lynn, Jeff. And after that, a friend of mine named Thom Krystofiak who has written a book called Tempted to Believe all about why we believe what we believe and whether or not we should. So I’m looking forward to all those and if you’d like to tune in to what’s planned, go to the upcoming interviews page on batgap.com where we list the upcoming interviews. So thanks for listening or watching and we will see you for the next one.