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Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and my guest today is Jerry Freeman. Jerry is an old friend of mine from TM movement days. I’ll read his little bio here. He’s been practicing Transcendental Meditation. Then the advanced techniques of TM, called the TM Cities Program. Beginning shortly before turning 19 over 40 years ago, he was trained by marshy Mahesh Yogi as a teacher of GM the following years, live for some years in semi monastic program marshy founded, which is where I knew him from and has continued to study marshy his teachings to this day. He writes about marshes insights into the development of higher states of consciousness as they relate to today’s discussion of Advaita Vedanta awakening, Self Realization and enlightenment, is presently working on a book on this subject, tentatively titled, The Enlightenment puzzle what everyone should know about awakening. In the book, his introduction, he states, what I have to say here is not my own invention. What I will say, here is not an official presentation of Marsh’s teaching, as it includes numerous observations and conclusions that are my own. However, the great insights about awakening human consciousness, enlightenment, etc, are not mine. They’re my Hershey’s. Jerry supports a family of adopted children, working as a musical instrument maker. He makes Penny whistles as Penny whistles are recommended by many Irish music instructors for their students, as they’re affordable and very high quality. And they’re played in performance and recordings by many of the most renowned performers of Irish music. So that’s an intro to Jerry. Welcome, Jerry. Hi.
Jerry Freeman: It’s nice to see you.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Good to see you in such a beautiful backdrop.
Jerry Freeman: Yeah, you can just almost see mount on Angela over the off to the side there.
Rick Archer: Jerry’s in Coventry, Connecticut. And I grew up in Connecticut, myself, southern Connecticut. Yeah.
Jerry Freeman: In fact, you instructed the mother of my significant other right? In to, she lived to be 93. And she meditated twice a day, every day of her life since the day you taught her to
Rick Archer: cool. Yeah. chip off the old block? Because I’ve done the same since. Yeah.
Rick Archer: All right. So we’re gonna start, as we often do in these interviews by just sketching out your personal story, you know, particularly with regard to spirituality and development of consciousness and all. And I believe you’d like to actually start back in your childhood days.
Jerry Freeman: Yeah, not anything really unusual to say about that. Probably quite typical of the people that you interview, I can’t report any special experiences when I was a child. I grew up in a conventionally religious, Christian household. And starting from, I would say, pretty young, I just kind of looked at that. And I never got a sort of an emotional connection. I never felt like I knew Jesus or got religion or any of the things that people around me seem to be experiencing and felt really strongly about. And I was kind of just wondering, what is this and it doesn’t quite make sense. To me, I see these people are experiencing something I was I tended to be rather skeptical, even even cynical, probably from about the age of three. And so I was really looking behind the scenes to try to figure out well, this doesn’t quite work for me, there must be something deeper. Or at least, you know, not to be judgmental about it something that’s more suitable to me than than what I was I was surrounded by. So around the age of 15, you know, at that point, I was really quite disillusioned and you know, this was a thing for going on. It was the Vietnam War and, and a lot of a lot of generational conflict and so forth. As a as an assignment for our high school class we read W Somerset, mom’s book, The Razor’s Edge, which, if some of your viewers are perhaps younger and aren’t familiar with that it’s a story of a young man who had fought in World War One had a spiritual crisis as a result of that, essentially renounced worldly things and went looking for the greater truth. And went to India and essentially became enlightened. And mom did a beautiful job of really mapping those issues and how the Eastern approach towards enlightenment address them, at least in a way that could be absorbed by popular culture, the time reading that book really crystallized for me, I just knew having read that book. Yes, yes, that is that is it. That’s what I want. That’s where I’m going. That’s what my life is about. But I had no idea really what to do next. And I’ll make a comment here also, kind of, it’s more than an interesting sidelight. There’s a guru in the in the book, the razor’s edge that the young man meets and has his his breakthrough of connecting with something deeper, the inspiration for that character, and really, the inspiration for the entire book was a visit by W Somerset mom to Ramana Maharshi in 1928. And he was so struck by the depth and, and power of ramen and Maharshi, silence and wisdom that he wrote that book, and it’s considered to be one of his two great masterpieces. Now, that is something that I only found out really, not terribly long ago, just just in the last several years, but I was struck by the fact that it really reflects the greatness of Ramana Maharshi, that he could have that influence on someone who saw him only for a couple of days, such that mom put into writing his, his impressions from that. And that changed the direction of my entire life. So that many steps away. Yeah, from Ramana Maharshi. He’s able to have that effect on the direction of a life.
Rick Archer: He definitely sent out some ripples.
Jerry Freeman: Hmm, yeah. So there’s that. But I didn’t know what to do. I knew that crystallized I knew where I where I needed to go. But I didn’t know. You know? Yeah, I couldn’t find a path to walk on. And then, of course, you know, one of the major events of our generation, the Beatles, came to transcendental meditation in Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. And at that point, there was just no resistance at all that was just clearly that’s it, that’s what I want. That’s, you know, I’m going to learn Transcendental Meditation. But at that time, maybe I was 16 or so by then. There was no teacher of TM anywhere near me. And I didn’t know how you learn TM. There was also at the same a drug culture that was flourishing, and I was a high school student, and then a recent high school graduate. And people around me were talking about, you know, very mystical things, they were talking about experiences of going beyond and some some feuds, transcendental opening up that they’d had. And I sort of watched them do that. And I saw that some of them were getting really badly strung out. And they were still pushing it and pushing it and pushing it trying to, I’m going to have the big trip, and then that’ll be yet and I’ll be there. And I looked at that. And I came up with a set of criteria, really, that were quite specific. I concluded, This is as a 16 or 17 year old, that there must be a capacity in the human nervous system to maintain an awakened state of consciousness that must be an inherent capacity of the human nervous system. And these drugs that seem to be triggering something like that are doing something artificial. And because it’s artificial, it’s doing violence to the nervous system. So the idea if I want to be enlightened if I want to, to awaken and live in that state of awaken Ness, then I can’t use drugs for that because I I’m gonna, you know, burn up the, the house that has to contain that awakening. So there was that, then another part of it, I knew that there were books and practices that that talked about what you need to do. And they seem quite arduous to me. I looked at that, and I thought, Well, number one, this has to be a natural state, as I as I imagined it, if this works. So number two, I’m really lazy. And this is myself as a, you know, teenager. And I just, if it’s gonna make me have to work too hard, I’m just, I’m not going to be suited to it. You know, I’m just not the right person for this, but I know that I want the result. So there was a somebody that I encountered, and I was talking to him, I must have been maybe 17. And he commented something about meditation and transcendental meditation, and he was doing Transcendental Meditation. And I said, oh, oh, do you? Can you tell me how to do it? And he said, Yeah. And he said, what you do is you lie down. And you tense up all of your muscles. And then you relax your muscles, starting at the tips of your toes very gradually, one one muscle at a time, until you’re completely relaxed. And that’s Transcendental Meditation. And I thought, phooey. I thought something a little more thoughtful. And I forgot about it completely. And just Oh, it doesn’t exist, you know that that isn’t going to work. That’s, that’s not something that I can I can make work.
Rick Archer: They call that progressive relaxation. It was kind of popular in those days.
Jerry Freeman: Yeah, I found that out later. Yeah. But it was, it was too much work for me. So then I went to the school, I went to college at Indiana University. And not very long after that, I was out of my dorm room and came back fairly late. And I was tired. And I was mad about something. I don’t recall, it was, you know, some going on, that didn’t work the way I had hoped. And I came stumping back to my room, and I just wanted to go to bed. And I had a roommate there and, and he had somebody in the room who was sitting on my bed. You know, I was really good stuff. And he was talking, it was just a really sweet, very thorough spoken, gentle sort of a person. And, you know, at first I was just tuning him out, just when is this guy going to get off my bed. And he was talking about Transcendental Meditation, he’s talking about TM. And he was explaining it. And he was saying, and the nature of the mind is just to naturally go to whatever is the most satisfying, that’s available to it. And so TM uses a mantra, a sound in a way that allows the mind to effortless, effortlessly disengage from its outer focus. And it just naturally then just settles down and settles down. Because as it settles, the more settled it becomes, the more pleasing the most satisfying that that experience, that sensation becomes, until eventually it transcends completely and you experience pure consciousness. And I thought, yeah, that’s it. That’s it. That’s what I want. That’s what I want. And he had been meditating for four months. And I thought that was really just awesome. That there was somebody who had been meditating that long, and he must truly be enlightened. You know, and by the way, today, is day before yesterday, it was 42 years. Since I learned tea I learned on October 17 1971. So I learned to you and it definitely was, you know, that was that was the right technique for me. Nope, no question about that. And as soon as I could, as you’ve already, as you’ve already read from that little bio, I went to see Mihashi he was in California. Every summer at that time, and I spent a month with Maha Shiva, a fairly large group there. It’s not like I said, right at his elbow, but that was quite profound. And that also was a preliminary course that was required to go to DMT training. And so I went to TM teacher training.
Rick Archer: So before you go into that, was there anything particularly noteworthy Do you want to mention in passing here about anything you’ve experienced, or you want to just kind of carry on, and we’ll, we’ll get into that stuff later.
Jerry Freeman: Um, only that I found that it really matched what Mihashi was talking about. It wasn’t very long after I started meditating, that I really began to find that that transcendental consciousness that you dip into, and you meditate, just became more and more and more familiar. So all the way along, I felt that Maharshi was describing very well, how this practice works, and what most people can realistically expect to happen if they’re regular in the practice. Yeah, as you
Rick Archer: know, I interviewed a couple of Ramana Maharshi. Experts recently, Michael James and David Godman. And Michael James had an interesting definition of Atman Chara and self inquiry, which Ramana was his main teaching, which he said the best interpretation or translation of the Chara is investigation, rather than inquiry, which implies a kind of an experiential progression. And, and then, David Goggin gave this analogy of, if you want to tame a bull and keep it in the barn, don’t beat it, and you know, force it or anything, just give it some fresh grass and the bull will follow you into the barn. And you know, so we kind of touched upon the notion of the the traditionally described blissful nature of the self Ananda and, and that can be used to our advantage, if we go about it properly, to just allow them the mind to effortlessly fall into that state, because the mind encounters greater traumas, it moves in that direction, so it doesn’t have to be coerced in any way.
Jerry Freeman: Well, I feel that that in popular awakening, or Advaita, or self realization culture, the mind tends to be treated as sort of an adversary. And I think that’s problematic, and it reflects, I feel the the need for the most suitable technique for each individual. And that may not always be the same technique. But if a technique requires some amount of, you know, sort of straining, or it’s uncomfortable, or it’s difficult, or it’s not bringing that contact, that dipping in to that most silent level. I suggest, you know, that people take a look at to you, in particular, you know, there’s this, this traditional description that the mind is a monkey. And the mind just goes bounding here and there and everywhere and everywhere. And somehow, we have to tame this monkey mind. But if you really know about monkeys, you know that there’s a, there’s a compass, there’s a logic to what a monkey does, monkey goes bounding around, looking for something more interesting, you know, looking for something. So all you have to do to tame a monkey is to give the monkey something really sweet, and the monkey will go there. So, this aspect of the nature of the mind, I think, reflects a misunderstanding that has really kind of penetrated and permeated the efforts that that we make to try to reach that deep silence. You know, in and I watched both of those interviews I thought they were wonderful, and David Godman was was talking about. You don’t get to that silence by somehow struggling with the mind or fighting with the mind. And of course, there’s that very often quoted saying that the self reveals itself to itself, by itself, alone. And it’s the attractive power of the bliss consciousness that in any successful practice, is going to bring that result, regardless of whether the practice is trying to do something, you know, with the focus or trying to do something with with watching or whatever, it’s always going to be the natural tendency of the mind to go to that most satisfying bliss consciousness, it’s going to bring it there.
Rick Archer: And in a way, you can’t blame these teachers who criticize practices and say that they’re only going to reinforce The notion of the practice of a practice or because Because if they’re if they’re referring to some sort of practice, which involves effort, then that indeed, it’s like trying to, you know, calm choppy water by pushing down the waves, you’re only going to create more waves. So so they’re absolutely right and in that critique, but not all practices involve doing that. And therefore, not all of them do reinforced in the sense of a me isolated practice, or some of them allow that those rigid boundaries to dissolve and disappear leaving the the unbound itself. And its pure state,
Jerry Freeman: it’s important not to generalize about practices, because they’re not all the same. And one person may be particularly well suited to one practice, and another person may be particularly well suited to another practice. You know, I can just tell you that I was I was just perfectly well suited to the practice that Maharshi taught, and I’m grateful for that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And ironically, some people, they’ll do a practice with great ardor, and diligence for quite some time, like God, just Shanti I’m thinking of, you know, he was going home as much as anybody could be really working hard at his meditation. And but it involved effort. And finally, his breakthrough came when he just kind of gave up. And it was a slingshot effect, you know. So you know, maybe that’s one way of going about it, you do something which involves struggling with pain. And when you finally get tired of it, you give up and something profound happens.
Jerry Freeman: It’s almost like it’s almost like the description of what happens when this is kind of a reverse metaphor. But the way to get out of quicksand is if you struggle against the quicksand, you’ll end up mired in the quicksand. The way to get out of quicksand, is to relax, and just settle down and be very still and very slowly, because it’s quicksand, it isn’t water, just swim very gently, and you’ll find that you don’t sink into the quicksand. Interesting. So, you know, that’s if you’re struggling against the mind, then you’re mired in the quicksand.
Rick Archer: It’s also the way to escape a riptide. You know, you don’t try you don’t try to swim against the Riptide you’ll drown us relax, and you’ll eventually get drifted off to the side. And then Riptide you’ll no longer be in it’s, it’s current.
Jerry Freeman: Well, this is this is very useful. I’ll have to keep it. Yeah, you probably saved my life.
Rick Archer: Okay, so that’s good. So you went off to teacher training?
Jerry Freeman: I did I and I taught TM for for a few years, full time. And I’m terrible at remembering exactly when something started and when something stopped, and you know what year it was, and all of that. So I can’t help you with that. Excuse me. But in any case, I love that. It was it was just wonderful to see people from all different backgrounds and situations, meditate for the first time. And it was a common experience. I remember one person said, meditated and opened her eyes and she says, I feel so relaxed. Like I never feel, you know, and somebody else said it’s like warm water on parched earth. You know, like that? I might, I might, this might be a good time to just give you a little quote. Where did I put that? There it is. This is a friend of ours that’s actually a spiritual teacher himself. And he learned
Rick Archer: who I actually interviewed a few years ago, but we don’t have his permission. So I won’t mention his name, but you go ahead with a quote.
Jerry Freeman: Alright. So anyway, he actually we do have permission. It’s sage Mahaska. Okay. In your interview, he’s Raven Mahaska. And he said, You know, I’ve been meditating more than 25 years. The meditation I had during the private instruction period, during the very first session of the introductory TM class was the best meditation sitting I have had in my entire life. That kind of experience left a strong impression and points to something quite profound. A whole new level of something was opened up to me during that time. It brings tears to my eyes just writing though it brings tears to my eyes just reading. He’s such a sweet soul. And I was I was so just thrilled to get that that report from him. Nice. And also the local teachers here, the Hartford TM center teachers often? Well, not often, but from time to time, you know, every few months, someone comes to them probably about our age or maybe, in some instances, were younger, who’s been practicing, you know, different practices at different times, often, you know, quite arduously for years and years very seriously. And they learn to and they say something like, this is a very sophisticated technique. This is this is a very good meditation. I had no idea I just thought, TMT MTM? Yeah, it’s out there, you know, stress release stress release. But the experienced meditators who have been practicing various kinds of meditation, who then come to TM, often report that they’re really very pleased with
Rick Archer: it. Yeah. So And incidentally, I just want to mention, I mean, this isn’t gonna, this interview isn’t gonna be one big commercial for t ime. We’re, you know, obviously, Jerry and I have both benefited from it a lot. And, you know, but we’re both very open minded as to the value of other teachings and the legitimacy of whatever path might suit one, as Jerry was saying a little while ago.
Jerry Freeman: That was that was the commercial break. Yeah. Get back to it. Sure.
Rick Archer: Yeah. But I just wanted to say in response to what you just said, that in a way that the ease and simplicity of it has been a point of criticism for many people, because they, you know, many people have thought, well, something so easy, can’t really be heavy duty. In fact, I thought that myself, when I first learned even though I was really profoundly benefiting from it, I thought, Okay, well, this is really great. But I got to get on to the real stuff, because I want to get enlightened. So I was like, looking into joining Zen monasteries and stuff. And, you know, this can’t really be the ultimate teaching, because it’s so darn simple. But you know, eventually changed my thinking on that. But anyway, just the fact that it’s simple and effortless doesn’t mean that it’s lightweight. And for kids stuff.
Jerry Freeman: Well, one, one thing about it is, anywhere you go, a really good teacher is going to say there’s nothing to do, right? You know, you cannot reveal your, you cannot, by your own efforts. Awaken Your yourself. And, okay,
Rick Archer: which makes it sound like you’re saying don’t do anything. But that’s there’s a subtlety to it. That’s not quite what’s the
Jerry Freeman: technique of Transcendental Meditation. You know, effortless Ness sounds very nice. But the fact of it is, it is a technique that profoundly involves not doing right. It allows the self to reveal itself. And that’s,
Rick Archer: now one might ask, okay, but yeah, you’re thinking a mantra, isn’t that doing?
Jerry Freeman: Well, that’s, that’s the technique. And that’s why you have to, you have to go through the steps of instruction to learn how you make use of that. Excuse me, to allow the mind effortlessly to settle down into that, you know, more blissful silence.
Rick Archer: So, yeah, okay.
Jerry Freeman: So then I talked for some few years, and I went ahead and learned the TM Cities Program. And there was this project I had, during the time I took off to raise some money to go to this advanced course with Marshy. I had I had begun my career as a woodworker in a carpenter, and he spent a couple of years learning that and there was this really important project. People were being called for, to build this dome in, in Iowa. And the call went out excuse me, I’m a little hoarse. I apologize.
Rick Archer: That’s okay. There’s, there’s also playing in the background, but we can hear you Okay.
Jerry Freeman: All right. Yeah, I can, I can hear that too. So I, I came to Fairfield I came back to Fairfield. I’ve been there numerous times for that project, which is the Maharishi Patanjali golden dome of pure knowledge, which is a rather famous structure by now. And it was discovered that I could, I could do things I could make, I could build things. And in a way, I’m more comfortable working with my hands and making things and building things than I am going out and giving lectures and setting up things and that sort of thing. So together with a couple of other people, Max Sutherland and Jeff Murphy, we were in charge of the design and the structural design and the construction of the wall, all the way around, and we had to figure out there were, I can’t remember 135 windows or something like that. And we had to figure out how to make the arches and Mac was a boat builder. And he knew all about how to make wood go and nonlinear shapes. So he mastered that. But I was I caught the attention of the people that were organizing various projects, and was invited to go to Washington DC, for some renovation work that was going to be done so that there would be facilities there. And the purpose of this building this this dome, and the purpose of the renovation work that we did to two large facilities in Washington DC, was to provide a setting where large numbers of people could meditate and practice the camps, these program to try to create coherence in collective consciousness, and try to do something to reverse some of the negative trends in the world. There’s now quite a bit of research, good published research, I think 50 or so studies, in just very standard, well respected journals, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and sociology journals, and Psychology Journals and so forth, that show that there actually is an effect and you can work with it, you can bring large groups of people together in conflict areas, and have them meditate. You know, they have a saying, I don’t know the Sanskrit but in the vicinity of Safa, enmity ceases something along those lines. And you could actually see that work, you get a large group, and they’re together for a few weeks or a month or two. And you begin to see, in the proximity of that group, you’ll see some change if there’s if there’s a conflict going on, or if there’s violent crime or some such thing. Yeah, and
Rick Archer: the underlying principle is not just that people are smiling at each other, and the ripple effect is going out. It’s that consciousness is a fundamental field, really the most fundamental field in creation, and that by having a group of people experience and enliven that within themselves, they enliven that field for the entire vicinities, kind of like, as if in a forest, the ground and in a certain vicinity, where somehow made more fertile than all the plants, you know, begin to benefit from that and begin to grow more heartily. And so that’s the idea that, you know, criminals just for some reason, are a little bit less inclined to commit criminal acts, if that field, which is which within which they reside, has been enlivened a bit.
Jerry Freeman: Right. And that’s the field where everything is connected. Ultimately, there’s only one, you know, in physics, that would be called the unified field that gives rise to all of the specific fields of, you know, matter and energy. In subjective terms, ultimately, there’s only one consciousness. And that, you know, they’re an answer that it could be called Brahman, or it could be called transcendental consciousness. But when that’s enliven in one person, then it connects to every other conscious person. And even if that other person is in a very dark state of consciousness, not very awake. Because of the fact that there is that connection, it’s going to reverberate, it’s going to resonate, and it’s going to help them wake up, you know, we mentioned ramen, and Maharshi, and many other examples. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was another. When you’re around them, their influence is not simply by the words that they’re saying, or by the mood that they create in the room. It’s like you’re walking into something that’s almost almost liquid, that it has a silence that has an intensity to it, where you know that there’s something at a very deep, universal level that is intensely alive. That yeah, it connects you at a deep level inside yourself. It’s not like a connection through the mind and the senses or something like that. It connects you on your own basic fundamental consciousness.
Rick Archer: Yeah, completely reorient you. I mean, and, you know, speaking, you know, David Godman, of course, was telling stories about Papaji and Nisargadatta. And, and of course, Ramadan. That was the main thing was, was being in their presence. It was so much what they were saying and just sort of the the influence of being the osmotic effect of being in their presence is what really transformed you and a lot of time and Rama. Rama himself said his main teaching was silence. He didn’t just mean not talking, he meant that kind of like deafening silence that is experienced in the presence of someone who is so profoundly established.
Jerry Freeman: Yeah, yeah, it’s very real, very real. Yeah. So then back to the, to the, the sequence. I worked for some number of years doing these renovation projects. And during that time, Maharshi, developed this semi monastic program, the 1000, headed Purusha program that you and I both participated in for a number of years. And I can’t tell you when I, you could say joined that that group, because we were just absorbed into it, we were just told, you know, okay, you’re in the Purusha program now. And I don’t know when that was it, just, you know, somewhere along the way, and I was there for some number of years. The thing about that, number one, there was there was intensive practice for, you know, some hours every day. And also,
Rick Archer: like, sometimes six, eight hours a day or something.
Jerry Freeman: Yeah. And we were also just completely immersed in Mahashiv teaching. At times he was with us. When he wasn’t with us, the whatever he discourses he had done everything Maharshi almost everything Maharshi ever said his audio tape to videotape. And as a, this is being organized now. And it might take, you know, another decade or so before it all really gets completely organized and indexed. And but there’s a there’s a tremendous trove of material there. And we would have the videotapes as they were coming out. So you know, every night for some number of hours after whatever work we were doing, or whatever practice we had done, we would just be immersed in that. And I feel as though that was the period, when I was able to sort of connect the things that Maharshi was saying and the ways that he was talking about things that sounded really quite abstract and maybe technical. Talking about Vedic literature, how the Vedic syllables emerge from the primordial base of you know, that the universe comes out of very abstract kind of sounding things. But I began to realize that Maharshi spoke in a way that could be meaningful on numerous levels simultaneously. And I sort of caught on I the way I would put it as at some point, I decided, well, he’s been talking about this stuff and talking about it and talking about it. And I’ve been thinking, well, he’s just, he’s just got this fascination with this VEDA thing. And he just goes on, and on and on about it. And then I thought, well, you know, he’s, he’s making me sit here and listen to this. I think it’s conceivable that he’s actually trying to tell me something. And that was a kind of a breakthrough. And I started to think, okay, he’s saying this, how does that relate to me? How does that relate to my experience? How does that relate to my life? And in that context, a lot of what you’re talking about just came to life, and really set the tone that has been the focus really, of the rest of my life. One thing that I think is significant is people have a tendency to think of, quote, unquote, experiences of consciousness or awakening, to be something that you, you meditate, and you do your practice. And you look at what that was like, and what happened there. And that’s your experiences. And then you just go about your day and you do whatever you’re doing. But it’s all experience and the principles. This this, especially might, might be meaningful to the TM community, because we have a tendency to just do our program, and then go out and just forget about program, but it’s all interconnected. And the things that Maharshi said about consciousness and how consciousness and higher states of consciousness unfold and How consciousness interacts with consciousness and all that that’s happening all the time that’s happening 24/7. So that that really has set kind of the way that I go about and have gone about now for some decades, living my life and approaching just anything that happens that comes along. Okay, I left Arusha. I think it was around 1993, I had a, I had a health breakdown for a period. And I needed to deal with that. And so I had to leave, I had to leave Russia, and I was just devastated. Because my complete identity was, you know, this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. I’m this Vedic monk and, and, you know, that’s, that’s it. And the only way that I possibly could have gone and got going out approaches, if something had forced me to go. And I found, took me a while to readjust and, you know, sort of find my identity in a maybe a little more universal way. But
Jerry Freeman: it, I’m a little distracted, I’m getting one. And I’m feeling left out. I’ve got a door over here, but there are no animals that want to come in and out. I’m not I’m not, I’m not getting enough attention. So maybe I can get one of the children to bring the dog and he can stretch, the dog will be symmetric. So
Rick Archer: you left for sure.
Jerry Freeman: Yeah, I’m trying to I’m trying to piece that back together again. What I found, I don’t remember where I was going with that. What I found was that I really had received a pretty complete package of practices and understanding and reference from from the things that I had been immersed in, from how she’s teaching. And it was, it was enough, you know, you could say, oh, it would be better if you didn’t have to leave. But that’s just the way it was. There’s a way where, you know, everything is as it should be. And that clearly, even though it was it was traumatic, in a way for me to have to make that that transition. I found that I had the whole world. You know, I was no longer in this, this somewhat closed environment. And lo and behold, everything that Mihashi had had talked about, I found just just reverberating and resonating through everything that I encountered. And that’s that’s been wonderful. It’s been it’s been a wonderful process, and a wonderful journey, which never ends, you know, it’s still going on, and it just gets wonderful and wonderful. Yeah, so that’s, that’s that.
Rick Archer: Cool. Now, I know you you kind of want to, I don’t know you. It’s there’s a delicate balance here between talking about your own experience and talking about these principles of knowledge that pertain to your experience. And there are a lot there are a lot of teachers and spiritual people, like if you interview the Dalai Lama, he’s not going to say I’m in this state of consciousness and so on. Because there’s there’s a certain humility, and it’s actually built into the Buddhist tradition that, you know, you just you don’t make proclamations. So we’ll we’ll proceed and, you know, I think people can perhaps, you know, your words can speak for themselves. And if they convey some authority on the base, you know, some experiential authority as opposed to just philosophical familiarity with the things we’re talking about, then if that if that comes through to people then fine, they can pick it up that way. If they think that if they think that you’re just kind of a philosophically astute guy, then and they there, they want to leave it at that then okay, they can do that too.
Jerry Freeman: Sure. And some people think I’m not such a philosophically student.
Rick Archer: So, so that is certainly in the notes the second about what we might talk about. The next thing you mentioned were seven major states of consciousness and the confusion about states which is what’s led to the idea that experiences of higher states of consciousness are inevitably transient. And, you know, as, as we’ll discuss, marshy outlined seven pages states of consciousness, I don’t know if that’s the only valid road map, I’m sure there are other ways of breaking it, breaking it down.
Jerry Freeman: There are other dimensions that you can also map. And I’ve seen some of your people that you’ve interviewed, do that in just just beautifully. And it really kind of fills in a picture of, you know, quite a quite a wonderfully complex humanity as it goes through this, this expansion of all of the potentials on all of the dimensions that are that are there.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And there’s no end to the degree of detail, one can investigate. I mean, you can, if somebody asks you, how do you get from New York to LA, or New York to San Francisco, you can say, well take it, you know, and that’s, that’s the short version of the explanation. But then, obviously, that the details can be expanded to, you know, never ending degrees, if you want to really map out the trip in precise detail. So the whole thing about states of consciousness, you know, marshy, seven states analogy, or seven state structures is a bit of a, it’s a bit of a take at explanation. But, you know, he went, he went into it in some detail, but still, you know, people who now have actually experientially traverse that map, say, Well, there’s a lot more richness and detail than I first anticipated.
Jerry Freeman: Exactly. And I think that’s, that’s such an important point. And it’s, it’s about pointers. Inevitably, the description of a reality is always going to be different from the reality. And it’s really important not to attach yourself to the expectation that you’ve developed, no matter how familiar you are, with the description, and no matter how, clearly you understand intellectually, and I’m not suggesting that that means you’ve misunderstood. But the actual reality is always different. It’s always bigger. It’s often complex. And in situations where you thought something was going to be completely simple, you thought that the whole world was just somehow going to be some kind of homogeneous, you know, dissolve into pure being. And guess what? It did? The whole world dissolved into pure being. And it’s still there, all the diversity and all you find out that, as you get on a granular level, that there’s almost more diversity, there’s, there’s almost more going on. And everything is completely simple. Yeah. So when we talk about the development of these states of consciousness is Mihashi delineated them, there is this tendency to kind of pin a very simplistic expectation that causes some, I would say, confusion, because sometimes people really kind of don’t know where they are, because they think, Oh, well, this is gonna have to be exactly like this. The other thing I’ll say about this is the descriptions, this is characteristic of the Vedic literature, it’s characteristic of Buddhist literature, I think it’s almost universal, that the descriptions of something will tend to be cut and dried. You’ll say, you know, for example, in Buddhism, that this kind of awakened person, it was a certain name for it, and I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know that tradition. So I don’t have I don’t have the names in my memory. That person is only going to be born again once, and then they’ll be enlightened. And this category is going to be enlightened in this lifetime. But they’re only a middling level, and they’re really not qualified to teach. And this one is at a higher level, and they’re qualified to teach and, and it goes like that. But the the gradations you know, it’s not like you just walked through a door, and now you’re in a different place. It’s, it’s more of a sliding scale. And there’s a lot like that, as these states of consciousness unfold, they may blend a little bit one into another. They may come along in a kind of gradual way. So it isn’t really quite clear when a certain threshold was crossed. So it’s important not to pin too tightly to those very precise descriptions and expectations.
Rick Archer: Yeah. A couple of comments here. One is something you said a minute ago, which is that if the actual when the actual experience dawns, it may not resemble your expectations. that you might not actually realize it had dawned. Like I’m thinking of Suzanne Siegel’s book collision with the infinite, where, you know, she had actually, you know, been a TM teacher and all that she had all that knowledge, but then she, she kind of drifted away from it. And at a certain point, she was getting on a bus in Paris, and all of a sudden, she had this profound awakening into what we would call cosmic consciousness. And it totally freaked her out, you know, because there was this loss of a personal self. And she tried for 10 years to locate a personal self, and she had no idea what was happening to her, she thought she was crazy, the whole thing had actually been explained to her in my detail, some years prior, but obviously, she had formed a conception of it, which didn’t match the reality of it. And so it can cause you a lot of disturbance.
Jerry Freeman: And let’s, let’s go through the actual, how this unfolds. Okay. The first thing I’ll say here, we have a good understanding of the development that happens in a human being was we civilized civilization, okay. We have embryology which is a very highly developed science, such that, you know, every cell is it differentiates, it’s known, that, you know, this group of cells is going to differentiate into this, these organs, and, and so forth. And the, you know, the brain begins to develop in certain ways at a certain number of days and weeks, and so forth into gestation. So, we’ve got that map, and we’ve absolutely got it, we have it with developmental psychology, where, you know, we know what an incense, you know, pretty good degree, we know, at what stage the infant begins to recognize that it can can control things in its environment, you know, that’s when they like to start throwing things. And watch, oh, it landed over there, you know, but, you know, there’s, there’s a development through the stages of childhood and adolescence and, and so forth. Moral reasoning begins to develop it at a certain stage. And that’s known as a good map. And, of course, it’s deepening all the time. But we have a good sense of that unfoldment. What we don’t have, as a culture or a body of knowledge, is a good systematic understanding of further unfoldment. Which, I have to say, I’m absolutely certain, it’s just as natural as the development of the embryo. It’s just as natural as those stages of childhood development. And I think in the future, maybe, you know, perhaps some decades as we go along, but I think in the future, hopefully, this will begin to be mapped in a similar way, and it’ll become just kind of standard.
Rick Archer: Seems like some cultures had mapped it, you know, maybe certain ancient cultures, but it’s such a different language. And, you know, the culture was so different that it hasn’t, we haven’t been able to translate it into our current culture, language. You know, we read these Vedic texts, and all, it’s just sort of needs to be a new seeds yield a new crop?
Jerry Freeman: Well, the other thing about it is that these states of consciousness are uncommon. And it doesn’t mean that they’re abnormal, or unnatural, right? You could almost think of it as a as a kind of Arrested Development. But if we think in terms of lifetimes, then it seems more natural, that this this development just just takes longer, and it may take more than a lifetime. And you may not see it, if you just look at the average of humanity.
Rick Archer: And if they have if they work on I mean, if 90% of the people in the world were in some stage of awakening or enlightenment, then it’d be like, yeah, what’s the big deal? We understand this on our psychologists and so on would have it all very nicely mapped out.
Jerry Freeman: Yeah. Yeah. So just to just to make this simple, I’m going to pin this to some background that may be familiar to people that that have some background in Vedic or yoga or Vedanta traditions, because that’s what I’m familiar with. But very simply, we can number them the first state of consciousness is deep sleep. And the nature of deep sleep is that the senses are asleep. The mind is asleep. And the body is Basically inert is is, you know, not active, you can find that in the Punisher just called Sushruta. Not much to say about it, then in a different state of consciousness is dreaming, which is the second state of consciousness in Sanskrit that’s called Swapna, or Titus. And in dreaming state of consciousness, the mind is awake, but the senses are asleep. So there’s, you know, a lot of experience, but that experience is only happening in turtle in the mind, and you say, asleep to the world, you know, so the outer world is, is not accessible to that state of consciousness. And then the waking state of consciousness, which is called jug rot, or Vishva. Vishva means world. So it’s interesting that it’s quite a common, saying, you know, he was asleep to the world, well, okay, what being awake is called in Sanskrit being awake to the world. So those are the three you could say, common states of consciousness, or relative states of consciousness, everyone experiences. And the significant thing about a state of consciousness is that as a, as a general principle, they’re mutually exclusive. You know, there can be some, you know, drifting in between and so forth. But generally speaking, if you’re in the dreaming state of consciousness, you’re dreaming, you know, you can’t wake yourself up from a dream by dreaming that you woke up. You know, all that will happen if your dream you woke up is that you might find yourself in a dream room that you woke up in,
Rick Archer: I’ve done that, like, dreamt that I got up and brush my teeth and did all my bathroom stuff. And then I realized, oh, wait a minute, I’m still sleeping.
Jerry Freeman: Exactly, exactly. Yeah. So these states of consciousness, each one is really complete, and in a way, self sufficient. So you can’t just simply decide that, okay, now I’m going to go from the state of consciousness, to the state of consciousness to this state of consciousness, you know, you may be, you know, have some way that you go to sleep that you know, works for you every time. But if not patiently sit there and somehow think sleep, and then you’re asleep. And that’s, that’s important to understand. Now, then there’s the fourth state of consciousness, which is also described in the same upon shots, which is transcendental pure consciousness. And that is just silence to read or write, to Ria, sometimes Samadhi, is called, sometimes it’s called Nirvikalpa, samadhi, which means Samadhi, without sensation. And that’s the state where the mind is completely silent, your senses are completely silent, but consciousness is fully awake. And that’s that state of transcendental consciousness that has the quality of bliss consciousness. And that’s, if you want to say the goal of a meditation practice is to develop that context to dip into that Samadhi and cultivate the ability of the nervous system to sustain that now and the punish shots, then there’s something that’s called Turia Tita which literally means beyond the fourth. And that’s a general expression. And we can discuss what is beyond the fourth and we’ll discover that there are several stages beyond the fourth which we can find reference to in other parts of the of the Vedic literature. So gradually, with experience of that contact with the fourth state of consciousness, that begins to develop that one can sustain that inner silence, that eternal, unbounded, inner reality simultaneously, while one is doing things thinking thoughts active, and eventually that becomes stabilized. And it’s a permanent state of consciousness. And that state of consciousness Maharsha called cosmic consciousness, the words cosmic consciousness have been used in other ways by other teachers. So it’s, it can be a little bit confusing, but it’s there’s the word in Sanskrit. Oh, it is the word Socci which means witness. And you can call it witness Consciousness, you can say that the pure consciousness now is understood to be myself, that’s, that’s my, my real self, my, my, you could say the sublime self is that pure eternal consciousness. And a transformation takes place where everything that had previously been considered to be me is seen through and discovered to be just some phenomenal thing going on, you know, my mind, you know, it isn’t me, I thought that was me, my little ego that motors around and feels important about itself, you realize, oh, that’s not what I am, I thought I was this little, little me but So, the whole psychology all of the individuality is now seen, experienced in a permanent way as not being what I really am I not being who I really am. And from that inner silence, then the whole outer world is seen as being
Jerry Freeman: transient transitory. The way that one describes this may vary according to one’s background, and the teaching that one has is come through, some would look at that and to say, it all doesn’t exist, it’s all just illusion, you know, the ego, the mind is all nothing, it’s just, it isn’t real, it’s just, you know, nothing moving within nothing. And I’m completely beyond that, or in traditions where this isn’t thought of as the self, and it would just be this great vastness is there and somehow that’s my, my abode, you know, and everything else is just other than that, and it has this unreality about it, well, how she didn’t talk about the manifest in quite such a dismissive tone, he, he talked about 200% that we take up residence as it were, in the true self, which is called Atman. And from there, the outer world continues, and we have 100% of the outer and 100% of the inner. So there are different ways of excusing there are different ways of talking about that, and different ways of approaching it. But it’s still the same thing, it’s this awakening of the silence, infinite eternal base within and then everything else that is outer is seem to be not that. In terms of the personality, subjectively, the personality gets pushed to the surface, you know, I used to think I was, you know, this this guy, and, you know, these characteristics of personality and so forth. But then when I, you know, become what I really am, which is infinite, unbounded, silence, eternal Atman, then I see, oh, those things are kind of on the outside, almost, I’m way, way deep in here, and of looking out at that which is out there. That’s a description of what we’re calling cosmic consciousness. And that’s kind of the first permanent awakening. It’s rare, it’s extremely uncommon, if you just look at the population of people, we encounter, you know, more people that are in that state, because, you know, for travel circles, we have the ability to network and, and so, like minded people are able to coalesce. But even though it’s extremely rare, it’s still just one unfoldment. It’s just that first permanent awakening. Yeah, and a very important thing about this is it is a major state of consciousness. And as I said, the nature of a major state of consciousness is it is complete. It is self sufficient. It has its own perfect logical structure, if you will, of how everything fits together. And cosmic consciousness is a big deal. Okay, if you’ve been going along, overshadowed by the illusory world, living in the state of you could, you could call it identification, where whatever one is involved with, that’s what I am, you know, I’m a businessman, I’m a, you know, I’m a teacher, I’m a carpenter. And that’s, that’s I identified with that. And if you take those things away from me, then I feel like my existence is threatened. You go from that, to the state where I am eternal. I am absolutely, I am unbounded, I am untouched by all of this. That’s a very big deal. And there’s a there’s a temptation, if you will, if we don’t have this whole map, and that’s why I feel that this map is so important.
Jerry Freeman: Without knowing that, that’s really just a good start a waystation, you know, that’s what do they call it a base camp halfway up the mountain, right? That isn’t, that isn’t the whole enchilada. Without that now, and in the absolute certainty, that I am awakened, because you are, then people will go and teach. And the teachings will often say. And these are valid things to teach, give up the separate self, there’s no me. You know, there’s, there’s, there’s nobody there, you know, and there’s, there’s a lot of that teaching. It’s problematic for one thing, because people will tend to try to create that, by somehow trying to erase the mind and trying to erase the ego and trying to erase the personality, trying to get rid of all of it, in the absence of the direct awakening, of that pure awareness. And that gets people stranded, because they’ve, they’ve done something to themselves psychologically, that is disconnecting them from the only world that they inhabit. You know, in order for this, witnessing this, this, I am untouched by everything, awakening to be real. The self has to awaken, you can’t construct that awakening, by working on those elements that eventually are going to be transcended, you can only do it by transcending them.
Rick Archer: And it’s very much an experiential thing. It’s not conceptual or intellectual. I just want to emphasize that because so many people who is they go about it by listening to these teachers and reading these books, and dwelling on the concepts, and getting kind of a little bit hypnotized by those concepts. So familiar with that they get good at talking about them. They get good at expressing those concepts, and they get on the chat groups and start teaching pontificating there.
Jerry Freeman: And it’s important to have these ideas concepts, it’s important to sense and know, okay, there is this ahead of me, you know, and that’s something that I aspire to. But it’s important not to become attached again to those pointers. Yeah, it’s so important
Rick Archer: that they allow them finger pointing at the moon, you know, analogy. It’s, yeah, yeah. And yeah, why don’t you touch a little bit of you mentioned witnessing, why don’t you touch upon the notion of witnessing sleep as a sort of an acid test for this actually being an experiential reality and not just conceptual? Yeah.
Jerry Freeman: So this Atman this this silent, eternal, infinite self that has awakened in cosmic consciousness awakens permanently and we’ve talked about how pure consciousness is maintained during activity, not two states of consciousness have been maintained simultaneously, pure consciousness and Vishva you know, waking state, the world, but it also is maintained through dreaming. So, you witness your dreams, you know, John Hagelin, when he talks about higher states of consciousness, you know, They’ll say, they’ll talk about witnessing deep sleep. And he’ll say something like, it’s it’s a sleep becomes very pleasant, I highly recommend guns if they’re. So, what happens is that that pure consciousness is never lost, even during dreaming, which is a clear kind of experience because, you know, you wake up from that anything Oh, I was somehow I was I was away, I was there in my true self. And I was dreaming, somehow the mind was doing the dreaming thing. But then deep sleep becomes essentially the same as the Turia state, deep sleep becomes, what Samadhi would have been, before the capacity to maintain pure consciousness together with activity. So, that silence, which is beyond time and space, is there even during deepest sleep, and different people experienced that with different amounts of clarity, some people will just say, you know, I knew I was there the whole time. Other people will say, Well, the way I know that I was there is the continuity, it was there. Because you don’t experience time when you’re in deep sleep. And there was no sense that I was ever not there. And that that thread of self is completely unbroken through all of you know, like, the, like the, the thread and a rosary that goes through the beach of the Rosary, and it’s completely continuous like that.
Rick Archer: Anyway, so it’s a good acid test, because you can’t maintain a concept while you’re sleeping. And yeah, so if this realization is conceptual, it’s not really the realization and, and the sort of the criterion of having actually experientially woke, awoken through his awareness is not going to be lost throughout the, throughout that awakening
Jerry Freeman: is exactly the right word for it, you awaken. So, you know, when you awake from dreaming, you don’t expect to wake up, you know, I mean, you may start to have, you know, a little waking and going back to sleep and awake and going back to sleep. And that happens with this also, you know, you may have glimpses, and those glimpses may become more frequent and longer, where you go into that and out of it, and in and out of it. But you never know, from minute to minute, you just wake up, you know, oh, you wake up and you look at the clock, oh, it’s six o’clock, okay, I guess I got to get up, or, Oh, it’s 430. I guess I’ll go back to sleep. You know, that’s what awakening is like, you cannot build an awakening in the mind, by working with it intellectually and conceptually in trying to create a a model of an awakening. So then, from there, you have the self, which is eternal, absolute, unchanging, you have the world, which is material. Objective, it’s out there, and it is not eternal and unchanging. And from there, a very similar progression takes place as the progression when one transcends thought and eventually reaches the self, which is that first our perception of the world is on the surface of things. But because now there’s this connection with the deepest level within, that also creates the capacity to see more deeply. And as the perception of the outer world becomes deeper and more subtle and more subtle. The same thing happens that we were talking about in the beginning, which is that the attention goes to more and more pleasing levels. subtler is more pleasing, subtler, is more unbounded. subtler is closer to that pure level where everything is bliss.
Rick Archer: But now we’re not talking about doing meditation, we’re talking about doing activity.
Jerry Freeman: And we’re not talking about inner, we’re talking about eyes open seeing the world and finer and finer and finer values of the world of the objects of perception and the heart opens up. And that’s a that’s a very powerful force. No the heart, you know, the heart can overtake anything. So what have we got there? Ever? It’s got to be a CRO Can you hear? Yep. Yep. So he’s giving his discourse? Yes. Yeah, we’re disapproved. So you begin to approach that same silence, that you found within yourself at the subtlest level of what you see, outside, and every perception, every contact, every experience of anything, in the material world, even the scolding of a black crow becomes delightful. And as that develops, the character, the characteristic of devotion opens up, and that that devotion can manifest itself in infinitely many different ways. That will be a reflection of each person’s own personality, it may come out as a deep devotion, in a religious sense, and the concept of God or a particular form of God that is precious to that, that individual, that awakening individual, it may be like that, it may be in a more generalized sort of way that just the heart goes out, and is completely overtaken with devotion to the perfection and the beauty of everything that that is encountered. That is called God consciousness. In the way Maharsha describes this. And God consciousness, as it develops, is more. It involves the psychology that involves the whole personality. And it’s a territory where it’s not as easy to find clear, delineation, delineations, you know, clear transition points from one thing to another, that experience of finer and finer values of perception of the outer world that can start even before cosmic consciousness, that devotion that may be already very well developed in a person and it just simply deepens and comes to its fulfillment. Somewhere along the way it is it’s more of a continuum that reaches its fulfillment, and the awakening of what Maharshi called Unity Consciousness Abom. And consciousness
Rick Archer: might be added that, you know, even though some people are very devotional by nature, and developed to a great extent, before self realization, there’s a certain kind of impediment that to the full blossoming of that if the self hasn’t been realized, because who is it that’s appreciating this thing, you know, if I don’t know who I am, who is it that appreciates the tree, or the flower or the crow, so So you know, the devotion can really begin to take off after the self has been realized. Because there’s a, there’s a foundation for it.
Jerry Freeman: And ultimately, what the devotion wants is, to be unified, to be one. And that unification can only happen on the ground of the fully awakened self. Because as we talked, in the beginning, there’s only one consciousness and on that level, everything is connected. So to be united with my beloved, to be united with my god. That happens on the level of unbounded, pure consciousness which has to be awakened in order for all of that devotion to really come to its fulfillment. And here is a beautiful thing. It’s impossible. The world is the material world. And the senses are the material senses, and they can take our perception To the finer and finer and finer values, but there’s still the sense of the world is still the world. It’s It’s the heart that does this impossible thing of bridging across that impossible chasm and unites everything in the entire universe. Within the song, it’s the heart. So now we’re talking about the seventh major state of consciousness. And this, I would say, is the full awakening with an asterisk, it never ends, it always will keep unfolding. But after this, the unfoldment is just going to be expansion and deepening integration, but that also never ends. So the seventh major state of consciousness is the state of consciousness, where at one time there was the self and there was the non self, inner and outer, real, unreal, absolute, relative, eternal, temporal, but in Unity Consciousness in Brahman consciousness, myself is the self of all. There’s only one self and in Sanskrit and we see this I was going through from from the Vedic perspective, we have the names in Sanskrit of these four states of consciousness. Fifth state of consciousness is when Atma, is fully awake, Atma is that infinity, that infinite unbounded self within and then we have one of the great sames, one of the MaHA vaakya has Atman aatma is Brahman. Brahman is the great, it is the all inclusive, and one discovers that this Atman, which was once inner, is actually all encompassing. And there’s nothing that is outside of the self, everything is within myself, everything is myself, there is no other. And now I am, my beloved, are truly one. So that’s the seventh major state of consciousness. Some people will experience these sequentially. And they’ll be very clear, and someone can say, yeah, there was this period of time where I felt really completely uninvolved with everything. And I just, there was this great silence and everything just went along on the outside, and it just was like that. And then that changed into something else. And I started to have a different relationship with the world and things became more fascinating. And then that changed into something else. And I found that it was all me, you know, you’ll have people described like that. Some people awaken all at once some people awaken right into Brahman consciousness. Some people awaken spontaneously, without any practice at all. They may go through some sort of a crisis that brings them out of the world and brings them to the inner self. There may be no such thing. They may be just motoring along and poof, whoa, you know what, what happened.
Jerry Freeman: And there may be a gradation where it really isn’t quite clear anywhere along the way, because one thing just very gradually, I think you call that the oozing pattern. Yeah. So it’s not as though this description is somehow going to just unmistakably describe, you know, point by point exactly how each person is going to experience this. But I feel completely that this is just an unfoldment of human development that’s in the DNA. You know, it may express itself a little differently in this person and a little differently in that person. But I do feel very strongly that this unfoldment is built into a human nervous system. It’s a fundamental part of human life.
Rick Archer: You mentioned that, you know, some people might awaken just awaken to Brahman. Just like that, if if they do, then is there a sort of a catch up period where certain developmental stages that ordinarily would proceed, awakening to Brahman have to be brought into line and so
Jerry Freeman: there is anyway. So if this also is different for different people. Let me let me define something here because I’m using the word Brahman. And in Orthodox usage, there’s more than one way to use that word. So I want to be clear about this. Sometimes it’s used to refer to an underlying, all encompassing, universal reality that is sort of out there. And that’s not the sense that I’m using it that that might, we might be able to call that para Para Brahman. But Maharshi said, we also have this Maha vaakya Brahman is the knower. Very important. Cragin M Brahma, Brahman is the knower. Maharshi said, there is no Brahman, without a knower of Brahman. There is no Brahman without a human knower of Brahman. Brahman is a human being in Brahman consciousness. And there are several things that are important about that. One is Brahman is all encompassing. Brahman is that which accepts everything and rejects nothing. You know, and that’s a fairly well known, saying, Brahman is the ether of everything from devours everything. It does that it devours everything, as the human knower of Brahman, such that all of the territory of a life is incorporated into that wholeness. And in the process, this this is kind of kind of an interesting thing, because the experience of Brahman consciousness is complete. That’s the nature of the state of consciousness and the nature of Brahman consciousness is it’s all inclusive, and it contains everything, everything is now within Brahman, and you can’t find an out there, you can’t find an outer anywhere. So what about things that still need to be worked out? You know, what about what you were saying is there is there some catching up that needs to be done in general, everything is within the self. But whatever needs to be done, whatever project there might be, you know, whether I have to work through my relationship with with, you know, my parents or whether I have to develop some skills in the world or whatever those things are. Whatever sort of work there is to be done, that all happens within Brahman. And there’s a paradox. Brahman is complete, Brahman is infinite. And Brahman as that infinity cannot be any different than that complete infinity. And Brahman is ever expanding. It’s completely paradoxical and that’s the nature especially of that highest state of awakening that every paradox The world doesn’t exist. And there it is, you know, every paradox you can think of just cheerfully happily with absolutely no problem whatsoever. Is is there within Bronner? paradoxes are no problem for bone.
Rick Archer: Yeah, you’ve probably heard me say on some of these shows that I love the word paradox and I probably ought to get a t shirt made with the word paradox on it well, somebody sent me one this last week I should so thank you, whoever that was aware to the science conference.
Jerry Freeman: So this brings up the the very important territory of Leisha Vidya
Rick Archer: Yeah, and yeah, just before you just give a concrete illustration what you just said. I mean You know, everything is concluded within Brahman and Ouch, dammit, I just stubbed my toe. You know, that. And that happens with within the wholeness within Brahman. But so that wholeness that Brahman doesn’t negate relative experience in some, which can be, you know, quite difficult.
Jerry Freeman: Yeah, and I am everything and everything is within myself. And it’s a complete love oneness. And I’ve got this attitude that I still have that I just just isn’t really very good. And I just need to work on myself because I still have that. And I’m everything. Right, you know, people come along and think, because they have a preconception that an awakened state is going to be this pure pristine perfection that they assume. Okay, I’m awakened, I don’t have any more work to do. I’m done. I’m cooked. So then you see people, you know, kind of getting themselves into predicaments, because, you know, maybe there is something there that that has come along that they really shouldn’t be working on. Yeah, and the word Latio video is familiar to people that are familiar with Maharsha teaching, but it may be less familiar to others. The word LeeSha video means the faint remains of ignorance. Leisha is faint remains and Aveda. is ignorance bind them in your head the relationship video? Well, how she said there is no Brahman. Without LeeSha video, he said it’s a cruelty. It’s a cruel thing to say that Leisha video is the basis of Brahman consciousness. But you can’t know I’m not quoting Maharshi, you can’t be Brahman, which is the totality lived by a human being, you can’t be Brahman, unless you still retain enough illusion, to continue to imagine that you’re a separate human being, you can’t be Brahman, without that faint remains. So, you know, somehow, the universe, the unbounded infinite consciousness manages to see through these eyes and type with these fingers on this keyboard. And that’s possible through the agency relationship. So,
Rick Archer: right, because if you really want it to boil it down to the ultimate reality, there are no eyes, there is no keyboard, you know, just all melt into this homogenous wholeness with no no differentiation, no distinction, but the if that’s going to be the reality, then there’s no functioning, there’s no living.
Jerry Freeman: This is much more fun. Yeah, see, here’s here’s a really important thing. Everything is as it should be, everything is perfect. We have this kind of militant way of talking about the mind, you know, you must destroy the mind. When the mind only when the mind is destroyed. Will you be liberated only when the ego is destroyed, or you’ll be liberated? The mind is part of the perfection of the universe. The ego, you know, that’s a that’s a bad word. Oh, my goodness, I’m gonna, I’m gonna I’m gonna use the word. The ego is part of the perfection of the universe. And as these states of consciousness unfold, one transcends the mind and the ego. One sees through them when one gets out, these are illusory, these aren’t these aren’t the real me. But it is through the agency of these illusions, that it’s possible to become enlightened, that it’s possible to become fully awakened. Now, people that are familiar with this, this teaching about LeeSha video, often have the idea. Oh, if someone is enlightened, then that faint remains of ignorance. That must be just some really very mystical kind of ignorance. You know that that ignorance must be something completely different from anything that I know of that I would call it. But it isn’t It’s just however much ignorance you brought along with you. When you cross that threshold and awake into Brahma. That’s Leisha, they
Rick Archer: are really I mean, that amount doesn’t get diminished go further over time.
Jerry Freeman: Absolutely it does. And this is how Brahman continues to expand. This is Brahman devouring everything. Yeah. So
Rick Archer: the remains can get fainter and fainter. But there’s always got to be some remains.
Jerry Freeman: They do. Firstly, maybe pretty, a lot, you know, those in the Zen tradition? I think they say, for the first 10 years after somebody awakens, you kind of keep your eye on them, because they, they kind of stink of enlightenment, and they’re not quite, you know, completely ripe yet. Well, Lisa, that you comes along. Now, how can this work? How can you have the ignorance all completely thinned down to almost nothing, and then awaken, you know, you’re just going to awaken and that’s going to burn away. So it’s, it’s a, it’s a progression, ego thin, it’s out, and we can find in some exemplary teachers, that the ego is just so thin, or just just just the faintest, gossamer thin amount, but still, you know, they, they would be interested in things, they would have motivations. They clearly knew where and who and what they were in relation to the outer world. But there’s, there’s always going to be something there. A couple of words that are helpful are a Hunka and asmita. A Hunka means the sense of iron mine, and that’s the Sanskrit word that often is used to translate ego. It’s just a little, you know, as Mita refers to the, the sort of accumulation of conditionings that color, that little me in ways that give the ego, a bad reputation, you know, the mega egotistical and US Nita becomes thinner and thinner and thinner and thinner and thinner, but a hunger. If you look into the Vedic literature, a hunger is part of nature. You know, you have eight properties of nature, which the finest is booty or some sometimes called Maha, and then a hunker, and then Manas. And then the five senses are the five elements. Well, that’s throughout everything. You know, you that’s, that’s part of it that’s baked in the cake. I want to just talk for a minute about, specifically about Ramana, Maharshi. And some things that David Godman said, last week that I think are quite significant. I was quoting Ramana Maharshi, when I said, the ego must be destroyed, to be liberated, the mind must be destroyed, to be liberated. And I wrote this down because I wanted to be sure to get it word for word. This is David godmen. Quote, and he said, When Bhagavan said mind has to go. He’s not talking about thoughts, which is interesting. Bhagavan would often sit there and someone would walk in, he say, Oh, I was thinking about you, and you showed up. thoughts were still there. Mind for him, is the mechanism that coordinated all your thoughts, decided it was a person inside a body and saw a world outside of itself, that I really feel is the key to this. He said that the whole superstructure is a creation. It’s a badly running, badly functioning, programming your brain. If you like, this whole idea. There’s someone in there who sees something out there, that the person in there has to choose how to decide and interact with what’s out there. He said, That’s mine. He said, The world as an external entity, ceases, that’s Brahman consciousness. That’s Brahman consciousness. And clearly, there were mental processes going on. And I would look at that and say, Well, okay, I would say Rahman ahead of mine. But brahmana is defining mind as that
Jerry Freeman: agency that divides inner from outer. Well, ego does that also. So what happens is, mind if I’m allowed to use the word is absorbed into Brahman dissolves in Brahman, but paradox, even dissolved in Brahman, it continues to be able to perform its role, we can still have thoughts. Ego is absorbed into Brahma. And I think Rama would say, ego has been destroyed. I don’t think that there’s a contradiction. I don’t think there’s a conflict. And the other thing is also, in David godness. interview, I believe I heard him say, quite clearly Ramana understood and taught that in the ordinary state of ignorance, it’s useless. To try to wrestle with the mind and try to wrestle with the ego. It’s useless. It’s only by self. What was the phrase? Inquiry? self inquiry? Yeah. Sorry. Yeah, maybe try it only by Atman. Chara, that you can destroy the ego, it’s only by Atman. And destroy the mind. I agree. 100%. With this little caveat, that the word destroy us a very sort of militant word baby could get absorbed into the wholeness, an inner and outer, is destroyed. There’s no, there’s no outer drops sugar cube
Rick Archer: into some water and it gets destroyed. But it’s the sugar is still in
Jerry Freeman: there. Yeah. And it’s still able to have the taste of sweetness, right. Nice. So just something that that I might might be interesting to do. I’ve collected three or four descriptions from people that that report that they are awakened, and I haven’t attached the names with these, but there’s some of them are people that you know, and even have interviewed, one person said, a flood of instantaneous knowing came all at once, that you and I and all of us are that. No, one higher, knowing lower. Love is the calling card of this reality. And the same person. As she went through the stages of this, went through a stage where she very strongly had the feeling I don’t exist, there’s no me. You know, the ego is completely gone as this there’s nothing, there’s there’s only this vastness. And she said, In the beginning, I was so annoyed with this leftover personality, you know, because people attach themselves to the idea that they must completely wring out every last drop of individuality. But yeah, can’t you know, and people get stranded there. And there’s a problem that comes up. And it’s a big problem. Because if you’re in that, witnessing from state where you can say, well, I’m, you know, all there is, is this vastness and everything doesn’t exist, you know, there’s no me there’s no ego. If you’re in that state, and you’re indoctrinated into the use of the word dogma, that awakening means there’s nobody there. If you’re if you’re really attached to that, then you’re not going to be open to the possibility that maybe there’s still an ego beating because that’s antithetical to what you believe I’m awakened, therefore, I have no ego.
Rick Archer: And, and conversely, I detect some ego here, therefore, I couldn’t be awakened.
Jerry Freeman: Also true or I detect some ego and you therefore you couldn’t do it, right. So there are situations that arise where a teacher is just so confident in So confident, and the people around him or say, Well, this, this is really egotistical, or disguise. And once in a while you have a very courageous teacher who realizes, Oh, wait a minute, you know, I’ve been deluding myself here, I actually do have a personality. And there actually is an ego in there. But this individual was not so tenacious with that, but that, that way of looking at that stage of awakening the waystation, you know, the base camp station stage. She came in with that orientation, and then looking around, well, there’s still somebody here, you know, the, you know, I thought it was completely gone. But, you know, it becomes more subtle, because obviously, you’re working on the level of pure awareness, where these things are just functioning within awareness. They’re not these hard, you know, solid material, things like they once have been. But she said, In the beginning, I was so annoyed by this leftover personality. You know, I love that. Someone else said, this is someone you know, you can probably tell me who it is. When I awakened, I saw God is not separate from me. God is the ground of my very being. Everywhere I look, I see God is in everything, and everything is in God. Okay, you can tell me who said that. Francis, okay. Yeah, Francis Bennett, whose whole life was oriented towards devotion and live for for a number of years as a Catholic monk, right. And then one day, this is the last one one day the world took on a luminous glow. As I was walking. The trees sparkled with amazing light and colors became brilliant and more vibrant than in our normal reality. I could see my feet stepping on the pavement yet I was not moving. I passed a woman on the street and felt immense love for her. I felt her as my self. cars passing by reflected brilliant light off their bumpers that seemed almost blinding. Everything was moving within me, the trees, the woman in the cars, I was all of this. Someone spoke to me and I heard myself speak. Yet I didn’t say a word. I was not moving. Yet walking and talking was happening. I knew myself as stillness through which all movement occurs. Samadhi bliss, Grace, exquisite beauty. This world is the other world. The other world is this world and it exists as us this broad a vast opening of the heart that now new itself is the totality, including the body mind in the world. No separation anywhere ever. All is perfectly divine. Nice. Who said that one? Oh, what is her name? I haven’t got her name clear. In my mind. It’s a wonderful, lovely woman, someone that I that I found on social media that just friended me about two weeks ago. Cool. Yeah. So that that description, by the way, contains descriptions of God consciousness and clear description of Brahman consciousness. Because she’s talking about seeing the finest level of the relative and everything looks luscious. It just it there’s a sort of a luminous
Rick Archer: golden glasses, as marshy used to say,
Jerry Freeman: yeah, yeah. And people also will experience this in slightly different ways into different degrees, and also habituate. So you know, some you don’t just walk around and say, Oh, my God, you know, what’s my sunglasses like that? But the world attains a character of magic about it.
Rick Archer: Beautiful. Well, that might actually almost be a good point to wrap up on. You lose.
Jerry Freeman: I have one more thing I’d like to I’d like to give you here. Sure. I’m going to I’m going to get religious with you. Okay, because I love this phrase, Lord, hallelujah. This is from the Gospel of Thomas. Jesus said, if those who lead you say, see, the kingdom is in the sky, then the birds of the sky will perceive you. If they say it is in the sea, then the fish will perceive rather the kingdom is inside of you. And it is outside of you. When you come to know yourself, then you will become known and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father, but if you will not know yourself, you dwell in poverty. And it is you who are that poverty. And just to be clear, because he says the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. In the same Gospel, Jesus said to them, when you make the to one, and when you make the inside, like the outside, and the outside, like the inside and the above like the below, then you will enter the kingdom. Beautiful. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Well, thanks, Jerry. This has been great. And we’re going to do it again one of these days, because there’s lots to talk about. But we’ll like PT Barnum said, Leave, leave them wanting more. So let me just wrap it up. I’ve been talking to my old friend Jerry Freeman. Jerry does not have a website about all this stuff. But he does have a Facebook page, and I’ll be making to that. And he’s very active on Facebook and, you know, writes and talks about a lot of the stuff on Facebook. So anything else about yourself you want to say here that people won’t find on the on your BatGap? Page?
Jerry Freeman: Um, I think I gave you links for the David Lynch foundation. Yeah, all that stuff. Yeah. So as long as those are there, so people can look a little further if they’re interested in TM, or what the what the lynch Foundation is doing wonderful programs with school children, hundreds of 1000s of schoolchildren learning TMI now in South America, wonderful things happening. As long as those links are there, I think we’re in good shape. Good.
Rick Archer: Alrighty. And for those listening or watching, this is an ongoing interview series. So they’re Jerry’s, I think, number 199, or something. And so they’re all archived on YouTube. And but it’s easier to kind of navigate them on BatGap calm because I have indices. They’re both chronological and alphabetical, and you can explore all the interviews that have taken place. You can also subscribe either to the YouTube channel to have YouTube notify you when new ones are posted. But you can also subscribe on BatGap COMM to be notified by email each time a new one is posted. There’s also a discussion group on BatGap, which is entitled forum and I’ll be linking to Jerry’s page in that discussion group from his page on BatGap. So I’m sure that discussion will get rolling and Jerry will participate. There’s a Donate button there, which I very much appreciate people clicking. And not only clicking but actually donating, they can. And there’s an audio podcast of this. So if you don’t have the time to sit in front of your computer and watch interviews and see Jerry’s beautiful face with his Connecticut background, you can at least listen to the audio while you’re commuting or something. And so you’ll see a link to that on every interview on BatGap. So good. That’s it. Next week, I’ll be at the science and non duality conference. And we’ll probably be doing an interview or two out there maybe with Francis Bennett. Maybe he got couchette maybe had musica. We’ll see what happens. So thanks for listening or watching and we’ll see you next week. Thank you