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Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer, Buddha at the Gas Pump is a ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. There have been over 330 of them now. And if you’re new to this, go to batgap.com. And you’ll find them all organized and categorized under the past interviews menu. You’ll also find a donate button which I just always mentioned at the beginning in case you don’t make it to the end of this interview, because we rely upon the support of appreciative viewers and listeners for our being able to do this. My guest today is Joey lot. Here’s a little bio he sent me. Joey lot is not a spiritual teacher. He’s not offering enlightenment, awakening liberation, or any such carrot to keep you searching for something else. Instead, he’s just a fellow person who had the fortune to discover that the willingness to stop seeking for answers for solutions to all kinds of imagined spiritual problems reveals the peace of just being whatever is happening, which is all that is ever happening anyway. It’s not a glorious attainment. It’s not morally or spiritually elevated. It’s very mundane and often uncomfortable, exactly like your life. Now, Joey doesn’t do formal teaching in an ever changing manner? He does. He does experiment with inviting others to join in a conversation and explore the assumptions that underlie suffering. So thanks, Joey, for coming. Yeah,
Joey Lott: I I don’t think we have to do the interview. Now. That was great. That’s it.
Rick Archer: We’re done. Well, you know, here’s a funny story. I I read your the two books you sent me cover to cover? Oh, there were no covers because they were ebooks, but I read them. And I hadn’t read the little note that you sent me and I was thinking what am I gonna do this guy cuz he seems very kind of fundamentalist about not being fundamentalist and about not being you know, about not seeing things in a particular way. But he seems kind of like he sees things in a particular way. And then I read your note, and you said, I have no, my views continue to change as I think any real honest person’s views and writings will I have no static dogmatic views, even though somewhat regrettably, when I reread some of the stuff I have written, it might sound as though I do. And so that I kind of breathe a sigh of relief. And, and I also heard you say, and one of the things you were writing that, you know, here’s my view on this now, but who knows what it’s gonna be five or 10 years from now, it might be short, totally different. So that’s kind of the way I live my life. And, you know, it’s not that I don’t have attitudes and perspectives and opinions and understandings and whatnot, but they’re always subject to revision.
Joey Lott: Yeah, right. Seems like they have to be otherwise. I wouldn’t want to be locked in to you know, having to live basically live a lie as far as I can tell, you know, I mean, that whole when I was when I when I was really gung ho about figuring it all out. I had a fantasy. It was kind of a vague fantasy, but But I kind of envisioned myself becoming enlightened. And then I would do what what I perceived other enlightened people did, which is have my own ashram with my own devotees, and I would be the one that they would all adore. And now that’s, I mean, that at that time, that sounded like a nice idea. Now, it sounds like hell, I couldn’t. You couldn’t pay me to do that. Just no way.
Rick Archer: Yeah, why do you suppose that it was appealing then?
Joey Lott: Well, I suspect because I was I was looking to I was I was looking for something other than my life. I had or I had a sense that I knew what my life was. It was something that I didn’t want. And this other story that I concocted, or it was combination of concocting and something that I was sold by others. I thought, oh, that sounds better. You know, that sounds that sounds like a much better option. And at the time, I thought that that was how it worked. You had to have it. You had to choose something. You had to have a story you had to have something that you called yourself and you stuck to it, you had to have an identity of some kind. And now it just doesn’t seem that way to me. I mean, you know, that might change, of course. But at this point, it doesn’t seem to me that that I have any ability to latch on to a story and say, That’s it forever and ever.
Rick Archer: Well, you’ve got the hair and the beard worked out all you needed adoring followers, and you’re all set.
Joey Lott: Right? Yeah, I know.
Rick Archer: Maybe we’ll gather a few from this interview.
Joey Lott: Yeah, no, that’s hope not.
Rick Archer: So I take it from? Well, the things that you’ve written about 40 books, right. And they’re not all about spiritual stuff. I mean, you’ve written books about how to recover from Lyme disease and books about diet, you know, whether it’s okay to eat sugar, and all kinds of things. I just kind of glanced at the month on Amazon. Are you a professional writer? Is that your, how you make your living?
Joey Lott: I guess, I guess so. I mean, I you, I used to I’m a hack, I guess, you know, I, I, I dropped out of college. And it was during the.com. Boom. So I, I just kind of lucked into getting a job I moved, I moved from Illinois out to California, got a job working as a computer programmer, even though I didn’t really know much at the time. And, and I did fairly well at that, but, but I was I was always a hack that that, and and then I got really sick. And that I just realize I don’t want to do that anymore. You know, it wasn’t. I wasn’t passionate about it. It was. Yeah, so I, and for a couple years, I was so sick, I couldn’t really do anything other than I would just I could more or less lie around would love to. Yeah, right. And then after, after I started to regain some health. I, I had been, I had been, you know, wondering what, what am I going to do? Because by that point, I had two kids. And it was basically had run out of money. And we’d been living fairly frugally for a while. But, uh, yeah, just trying to figure out what am I going to do? And I just started writing. I should mention, I’d written before that computer, computer related stuff. Right. So I had a background in that, but you asked me if I’m a professional, right. I don’t know. I mean, I I do make most of my income from from writing in am almost exclusively this point.
Rick Archer: Okay. And so at what point did the spiritual seeking kick in?
Joey Lott: Well, that’s, again, that’s an interesting question. I don’t know. Precisely, but I can tell you. I remember. When I was in college, I was miserable. just unbelievably miserable. And that, I think, was the the catalyst for really seeking. Before that, it was it was it was amateurs stuff. But then I became a professional seeker that
Rick Archer: some people kind of praise suffering in a way. Not quite, not quite the right choice of words, but as a impetus as a goad to, you know, get you moving, and, you know, get you to realize that there is more to life than ordinarily meets the eye.
Joey Lott: Well, that’s interesting, because I don’t, I don’t happen to feel that way. I could have I would, you know, I don’t really have regrets, because I don’t really perceive that. It could be other than what it is it is the way it is. But that said, I certainly don’t you know, if there was some magical power to be able to do it over again, I would not choose suffering.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And this whole point about, you know, it is what it is, and life is what it is. I mean, let’s say you were back in college, and you were suffering, and you and a friend were sitting there looking at a sunset or something, and you were totally suffering and your friend was not in that state and looking at the same sunset but feeling very happy and blissful. I mean, obviously, our subjective. State has something to do with the way we regard the world. You know, the is it not? I mean, you can’t just say that it is what I perceive it to be. It is for you, but it’s gonna be something entirely different for the next guy.
Joey Lott: Right? Yeah. So I guess to clarify, when I say it is what it is, what I’m, I’m referring to the whole of the whole job is I’m not dividing it. Right? Well, the, the totality not in some, like hidden sense, not like there’s some totality outside of what is perceived, but just the totality of what’s what’s, what’s happening right now. And which, which is in conversation. Yeah. And, you know, socially, we divide that up, right? We say that. I’m racking microphones, we say we’re the we’re the, you know, I’m perceiving it. And then there’s what’s being perceived. And then it gives rise to the sense that, well, that’s being perceived as somehow this vast thing that maybe if I had a greater perception, a greater ability to perceive, I would perceive something greater or more than what’s perceived right now. But all I’m saying is just the simple sense of what’s happening, which is, which is all that whole thing balled up together.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, I mean, we know from science, for instance, obviously, that there is a lot more going on than we perceive our senses are very limited in their capacity to see the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum, and so on and so forth. And if they’re sort of Analogously, if they’re sort of deeper dimensions to consciousness, or you know, wood, then perhaps we’re not experiencing the full range of those, either. Or, would you agree with that, or No?
Joey Lott: No, it sounds nice. I mean, why not? I don’t have a problem with that. But what all I’m saying is that, the the assumption, oftentimes, what I was what I assumed, I should clarify, you know, what I assumed, and what I perceived was, was being told to me, by those who claim to be spiritually elevated, was that there was something I could do if I just dedicated myself to it and tried hard enough, so that I could then achieve that greater perception. And, to me, that’s, that was really the hell of it. And and what I find is that that doesn’t actually seem to be true. It might be true. I’m not I’m not claiming that it’s not. But it doesn’t, I can’t know that it’s true. Wasn’t your experience. I don’t have any confirmation of its truth. That’s what I can say, well,
Rick Archer: what? Let’s play with, we’re gonna play with that some more. But what so then what did you do? I got the sense that you went to see a lot of teachers, you read a lot of books, you tried a lot of things, you know, meditation, various drugs, you kind of did, did everything you could possibly find to do. And, you know, give us give us some of the highs and lows of that if you feel their significant.
Joey Lott: Well, in meditation was probably the, the, in terms of our practice, that was the one that I was most committed to slash addicted to.
Rick Archer: Well, I was gonna meditation did you learn to just
Joey Lott: see him? Okay. Yeah. And if I was very, very, very serious about it, and you know, that I, the teacher who gave me my mantra and gave me the instruction, he said, he said, Just do 20 minutes twice a day.
Rick Archer: And you did two hours, right?
Joey Lott: I would do Yeah. Between, I would do anywhere between four and eight hours of meditation a day, for a couple of years. And then it tapered off. I couldn’t. I couldn’t keep up that pace. Yeah. But yeah. You know, so. So to be fair to TM. I mean, I’m very critical of TM. But, but to be fair, he did give warning. Don’t do that. Yeah.
Rick Archer: And just so you know, I was a TM teacher for 25 years, and I’m aware of it. Yeah. And I was not involved in it anymore. Although I still meditate after a fashion but definitely what we used to go on long courses where we would intentionally do eight hours a day, and they were they were intense. You wouldn’t want to be doing that when you were in the midst of having to deal with any kind of worldly responsibilities. It just rather incapacitated you for being able to do anything other than that. You know what, while you’re in the midst of that kind of decision That’s part of the reason why they say 20 minutes twice a day.
Joey Lott: Yeah. But that was, that was the thing that I was most serious about in terms of a practice to try and get me out of suffering and get me to my I fabled enlightenment. And then and then I, you know, all kinds of other things thrown in, you know, I was I would, I was, I would pray, I would, and I would I took all of these to the same kind of extreme, you know, pray for hours at a time I would do yoga and the breath work pranayama and I would do long fasts and all kinds of things chain to somehow get this whole thing under control.
Rick Archer: So, you’re really an ardent seeker?
Joey Lott: Yeah, I guess you could say that.
Rick Archer: And you you’ve got no relief from any of that it was all just sort of ongoing suffering, or did you sort of feel like you kind of took a chunk out of it, feel through all the things you were doing certain things more than others, perhaps had some effect?
Joey Lott: There is no way to really know, obviously, but but if I’m going to tell a story about it, I would my my story go in is most, the accurate, most accurate description of what happened is things got worse. I mean, I didn’t, I would, I would get momentary relief in meditation, for example. You know, they would, and I would, I would joke with other friends who were doing TM, I would say, you know, it was my eye. They’d say, well, let’s meditate. And I’d say, Well, I don’t meditate, I do a sitting up nap. Because I would, I would feel like the times when I would, there would be the most relief. I couldn’t tell if I was if I had just dozed off. And I thought maybe that’s what it happened. But their rehabilitation, we call it, yeah, yeah. But there was definitely a there were there was definitely something that kept me going. Because there was a pull to it. Because I felt like maybe in those moments, there was a sense of relief. And it was a relief beyond what I got. In my nighttime sleep. My nighttime sleep was often tortured, because I would, I would have these dreams about striving for enlightenment. And, and I and I would think, Oh, you know, I’d wake up in a sweat. And I think there was some really important wisdom there, I have to hold on to that I have to follow that. But in my meditation, there would be these moments where I would feel like maybe maybe there was something that was some kind of deeper relief, but it could have just been a nice nap. I couldn’t tell. But that was what kept me going. And it was outside of those moments, things got worse. So that, of course, was the addictive cycle. I thought, well, I have to do more of this meditation, because that’s the only time I get the relief.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Interesting. And how were you able to remitting? Like, four to eight hours a day? How did you have time to do anything else? I mean, how are you raising kids? Or maybe that, oh, I
Joey Lott: didn’t, I didn’t have kids. I didn’t have kids at that I was I was, I was living by myself. And I worked from home. I was, I was, I build a very high res, I was, I was lucky in that I got paid extremely well. Because I was, you know, it’s a trick I was seen as a an authority because I’d written the books on the subject. And so I could walk into any, any place in the world, literally. And I mean, not literally, but I would literally be be hired and flown across the world to go work on jobs. And they pay me insane amounts of money. So I had, so I was making a lot of money, and I would work. I didn’t know somewhere between eight and 10 hours a day. The trick was, I didn’t really do anything else and I didn’t sleep much. I would you know, I I go to bed at 10. But then I’d be up because you know, that’s the TM thing, right? You’re suppose you have to be in bed by 10. Because that 10 to two is like the golden
Rick Archer: period, but catch the angel train. Yeah. So I was
Joey Lott: I was in bed 10 to two but then usually by three, four o’clock, I’d be awake and I couldn’t go back to sleep. And so I get up and I just start meditating. You
Rick Archer: Interesting. So I suppose we could I don’t know if we want to pursue too much longer way. Yeah, well since you’re in TM, you have the the concept of and stressing, you know that it when you start meditating a lot, then stuff starts that sort of purge itself from from your system. And that’s part of the reason why they say just do smaller amounts, because if you start doing hours and hours, that purging can become very intense. And almost, you can actually get destabilized you can have so psychotic breakdown, even even if you overdo it too much. Sure. Yeah. And I guess I gather you experience some stuff like that from? Yeah, I’m
Joey Lott: still not well, but I wasn’t well, before that. So
Rick Archer: just the old hat for you. Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s interesting. And it’s funny, when we talk about suffering, most people probably would define suffering in terms of external circumstances, well, you know, I don’t have enough money and I don’t have a relationship or, you know, I have this or that health problem. For you, I get the sense that it was more of an existential kind of thing, just a sort of an inner unhappiness or dissatisfaction or disease or something that you were trying to resolve. Is that correct?
Joey Lott: Yeah, well, I won’t I mean,
Rick Archer: I sense of luck.
Joey Lott: Out. Yeah. I think I think it’s not a it’s not that’s, you know, it’s not a dual thing where it’s either or. Right. But I think it’s both because circumstances certainly were an influence. But, yes, I think primarily, my sense of suffering has long been as long as I can remember, a sense of, there’s just something that’s not right. Yeah. I don’t know what it is. I can’t ever figure it out. I, you know, I come up with lots of stories to try and explain it. But fundamentally, just a sense of something’s not right. Yeah.
Rick Archer: But now, it seems you judging from everything I’ve read, you’ve somehow relaxed out of that you don’t beat yourself up over that feeling anymore. You kind of reached a sort of an acceptance or?
Joey Lott: Yeah, I think that’s true. But the the difficulty if that’s the simple way of explaining it, and I’m happy to just say that, but But the trouble is what I’ve what I’ve learned, because I had I had this this delusion, at first, when I first started writing about this stuff. It was it was such a huge relief for me, in my life, that I thought, well, this is going to be for everyone, it’s going to be huge ever people are going to be you know, relaxing everywhere. And so I wrote these books, and then I started getting feedback from people. That was surprising to me, because the feedback was, was not always sometimes sometimes people gave me feedback that was in line with what I had hoped. But more frequently, it was a sort of, you’re my new guru. And that was not that was not at all what I was looking for. Yeah. And so. So what I’ve discovered is that it’s dangerous to say anything. Because as soon as I say anything, then people are going to oftentimes hear that in a twisted way to support their suffering, which is unfortunate. So, so I sort of like I said, I’m happy to leave it at that. Yeah. Something somehow I don’t suffer in the same way. But, but then, then that that seems to be contribute, if I leave it at that, that contributes to more suffering for other people.
Rick Archer: So it’s kind of hard to make a universal prescription out of it that’s actually going to help other people.
Joey Lott: I Yeah, it seems like there’s not a way to do that. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Well, we haven’t quite nailed this yet. But how do you have any idea? I know a lot of things you’re happy to just say, I don’t know. But do you have any idea what caused you to reach a greater sense of ease and acceptance? I mean, there’s I don’t say you know, you hit yourself over the head with a hammer because it feels so good when you stop. I mean, did you just say They’ll reach a point where you just stopped everything and just that there was a sort of relief of not trying anymore. Is that a way of putting it?
Joey Lott: Yeah, it’s so. So you’ve already added the caveat, which is I don’t know. But I’ll just reiterate that right. But yeah, I mean, it wouldn’t be a very interesting interview, if all I said is, I don’t know. So I’ll speculate. Yeah, because I can share my story. There’s a piece in here that of my story, which I think is significant, okay. seems significant, which is this extreme tendency for me toward obsessive pneus. I’ve had some extreme obsessive thinking for, I don’t know, I don’t really know exactly when it started. But it certainly increased over the years. And by right, in that period, when I was doing the TM most intensively, that was when it started to become It dominated my life, it was everything, that there wasn’t anything that I could do, that I would not obsess about. And I,
Rick Archer: I just want to say I can relate, I’ve been very much that way myself. And, and also, I think, perhaps the fact that you were meditating so much contributed to it, because you can get very obsessive when you’re meditating that much, you can start fixating on things and you know, dwelling on things in an abnormal way. But anyway, continue.
Joey Lott: Well, just, I’ll make a comment about that. I don’t dismiss that as a possibility. Right. So TM really could be that powerful. I’m an I’m an extreme skeptic. You know, right. I think I have a negative view of the TM organization. I have a negative view of my God. But but I’m open to the possibility that the TM technique may be that effective. I don’t know. And
Rick Archer: I actually share your views. Although for me, it’s not 100%. I don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. There was it’s it was a mixed bag, you know? Sure. Yeah.
Joey Lott: But how, what are we talking about that
Rick Archer: obsessiveness? Yeah. And so and in the in the larger question is, so how did you reach some kind of a greater ease and resolution? Were you? You know?
Joey Lott: Well, so the obsessiveness, the reason I think that’s significant is just because it became so such a strong force, such a driving force from my perception in my life. That I, I left, I quit my my I had started a business with a business partner we had, I don’t remember how many employees at the time, but we had a handful of employees. We had done we were we had, we were doing well, reasonably well. And I was, it’s a cliche, I know. But I was, I was washing my hands so many times every day that I couldn’t, I couldn’t do it anymore. It was it was it was debilitating. And I the anxiety that I experienced, I didn’t even want to get up in the morning because because I just knew that the day would be filled with stuff that I would obsess about and that I would try desperately and futilely to get away from using these videos
Rick Archer: on fear of germs or something is that way or it wasn’t
Joey Lott: germs? It was I was afraid of when I analyze it, I’d say I’m afraid I was afraid of feelings. And the feeling translated
Rick Archer: into washing your hands. Yeah. Right.
Joey Lott: Because the, the, the concern that I had was somehow the these feelings, I had to get rid of the feelings in order to get rid of the feelings. I had to avoid the triggers for those feelings, the triggers for those feelings were all kinds of any all kinds of things. I mean, for me at the time, it was McDonald’s and Coca Cola is triggers. And, you know, try and escape that living in North America. I mean, it’s not gonna happen,
Rick Archer: does it? Does that mean you like to eat Big Macs and drink a lot of Cokes? Is that what you’re saying? No, no, I
Joey Lott: was just afraid of the thought of McDonald’s the image of McDonald’s the anything any associate corporate America thing? In a sense, yeah, cuz it extended to Walmart as well. But, um, but but in order to try and relieve that I would, I would do all these rituals, counting hand washing all kinds of things. And so I I couldn’t really function anymore. And I so I quit my business. And this is my my story, this, anybody who’s read my stuff probably knows it by now. But for anybody who hasn’t read my stuff, I’ll tell the short version, I moved into a cargo van. And I drove around the country looking for a way to be perfect and pure. And which meant avoiding all the triggers. And I would, but it was impossible, it’s an impossibility. And I became then shortly after that, I got Lyme disease, and I couldn’t even move. So, you know, I was paralyzed. In this, this, this block inside of my brain, and I was physically immobilized, and I couldn’t eat and things, you know, I at a point, I couldn’t even process water I was, it was this nightmare of I would if I, I don’t even know how to explain it. But it was it was a horrible, horrible situation. And still this mechanism that tries to escape from suffering. So this same sort of mechanism, right, that trying to escape suffering through, okay, now I figured it out, I’ll do meditation, okay, now I figured it out, I’ll do prayer. Now I figured it out. It’s going to be LSD, now I figured it out, it’s going to be fastings, you know, all these things. It’s always trying to solve this problem of suffering. And it got so dense and stuck in fixed and locked into place that I was paralyzed. And, but that mechanism was so strong, that it was still pushing me. So I would still try to perform these rituals to try and relieve the anxiety of the thoughts that I didn’t want to have and the feelings that I didn’t want to have. But it got to a point where I was so exhausted. I just didn’t have the energy to do it. Even even the mental ritual. And so at that point, there was this, the sense of, Well, maybe I maybe had to do something different. I mean, you know, the thought, I’m not a stupid person. So the thought had occurred to me prior to that, but it didn’t seem possible. But somehow in this, there is this, you know, it’s like
Joey Lott: that point where you throw something up, you throw it up in the air, and then there’s that point where
Joey Lott: it’s neither going up nor coming down. It was like that point where there is just this little bit of space to actually entertain that in a new way. And to see, I don’t know how to do this. And it’s not doesn’t if it was easy, I would have already done it. So it’s not gonna be easy. But I don’t really have a choice. Because if if I keep on the same trajectory, I, the writing’s on the wall, you know, I mean, there’s nothing good is gonna come from that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, since you were once a TM fanatic, you might remember that, that point in the Gita, where our Junior says, I don’t know what to do, and he just sits down. And he and, you know, the commentary at that point was that if you reach a point where you’re just totally thwarted, you know, just totally without recourse of any sort, then you become open, ready to surrender open to, you know, whatever the you know. Yeah, yeah. So, I mean, it sounds like that’s what your, your point about the arc of the parabola when you throw something up in the air. That’s the point you had reached?
Joey Lott: Could be Yeah. So what happened? Well, there was no, you know, fireworks display or anything. It was nothing that I could point to and say, you know, some radical change happened in a big way, but there was just a subtle shift of some kind. That it was just this realization, I guess we’ll say I mean, I really am, I’m so trained now, because I everything, every word, I say, I know, oh, God, the people are gonna misinterpret then. But whatever I mean that we got to just talk freely. So there was some kind of shift that that was just, I’ll say, a sense of maybe, maybe I’m not going to escape this discomfort. And maybe maybe that’s alright. Not not in not all right in the way that I want it to be. But all right, in the sense that maybe there’s just nothing that can be done about it. And maybe it’s the struggle to try and change all of this. That makes it so horrible.
Rick Archer: Yeah, you know, the sense I get from you, and maybe maybe this is what you just actually said in slightly different words, is that for years, you had the very much had the sense that you were in the driver’s seat, and I can do this, I can do that. And I’m not trying hard enough. So I’m going to try harder. And now I’m going to try this. And there’s, there’s sort of like this, kind of like pretty solid sense of individuality that was really doing its darndest to change things and to run the show, and so on. And you kind of finally reached a climax or a point at which that had run its course, you know, and you you glimpse the futility of it. And I don’t know if we want to use the word surrender, but there was a kind of a, well, you, you use the word relaxing a lot, which to me is quite synonymous with surrender, there was a sort of, ah, I’m just gonna not try to run the show anymore. And, you know, let it run itself or something. I get the sense that that’s, that was the nature of your shift.
Joey Lott: I think that’s probably a fair thing to say. But as you’re saying that, to me, I’m realizing that that even even that shift, it was a gradual thing. So, so that realization, that’s, uh, I didn’t, I didn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to agree with that. Right away. That was something that was a process that because at first I was I was still I was, I was gonna do the letting go.
Rick Archer: Right. Yes. And which is like, you know, don’t pick yourself up by your own bootstraps. Right?
Joey Lott: Yeah. Right. But somehow, you know, that, yes, we’ll say that exhausts it’s a necessary process, sometimes, because it exhausts that idea that it’s possible to do it. Yeah. And but you know, that there, was there these sort of gradual shifts through, I’m going to do it a despair of, I can’t do it. What, what now? And then then a sense of, Well, what’s the worst that’s going to happen? You know, I mean, I could die, I could be, you know, like, all these horror stories, you know, like the Christian story of hell, and gnashing of teeth and burning and all that. I mean, that could happen. I have had experiences, kind of like that, you know, I mean, not literally a sense of demons, tearing my flesh, but, but, you know, it will say, you know, experiences under the influence of certain herbs, and that have had that kind of flavor to them. And so, I don’t even know where I was going with that. But But yeah,
Rick Archer: well, the whole thing about relaxing the sense of control, and you’re saying that, you know, for you it was somewhat gradual and incremental, I think it is for most people occasionally I’ll talk to somebody who has this dramatic night and day shift that they could mark on the calendar. But for most people, it’s it’s not that easy to pinpoint. It’s just that, you know, kind of almost in retrospect, you realize, wow, you know, I’m not the way I was in some way. I’m not controlling things the way I used to, or I’m less such and such than I used to be that kind of thing. It just kind of sneaks up like a thief in the night.
Joey Lott: Yeah, yeah, that that seems accurate. Because I, I wasn’t even, you know, I wasn’t even really aware of it until later on. And then I looked back and I realized, wow, things had been different for a while. I hadn’t hadn’t been aware of that. But things have been different. And that was an interesting thing to become aware of.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, that’s what it’s always been for me, for the most part. I mean, it’s just in retrospect, realizing how things have changed. Here’s a question that just came in from somebody in hydrogen. India named Jaya car, which is related to what we’re saying. But let me just ask it in case it sort of elicits a little bit more explanation. He said, Joey, please talk a bit about suffering because of OCD, obsessive consultant compulsive disorder, and having a journey in which you amplify your self belief to tackle it. That last little phrase is maybe a little bit different than anything we’ve touched on having a journey in which you amplify yourself believed to tackle OCD. Can you relate to what he’s asking?
Joey Lott: I might be able to, but I’m not sure I understood that part of the question. So I’m not sure I did, either. So let me let me I have to say, though, that last bit, one more time
Rick Archer: amplifies your self belief in order to better deal with or tackle. Oh, OCD. Do you feel you were doing that? And if he wants to send in a clarification, oh, well,
Joey Lott: okay. So it there. Yeah, there’s that, if I understand correctly. I, the thank you for to him for pointing that out. Because that that is something that I’ve written about. But I’ve, I forgot to mention in this, this version of my story, which is that there was there was a point in that process where I, I realized, I had been running away from trying to avoid stuff. I wanted to avoid feelings, like I was talking about, I mean, involves thoughts and all that. But the feeling was really at the heart of it. I just didn’t want these feelings of discomfort and uncertainty. And so I had this insight, which was no not not that. I’m the only one who’s ever had this insight, but, but it occurred to me that, if I took it, if I take a different approach, instead of trying to run away from it, if I just go right directly into it, maybe that would be worth exploring. I had no idea what would happen. But I knew that I did know one thing which was trying to avoid it was not working. And so I just decided, well, I’ll try it out. So I started, I remember specifically because I was living. We lived in a tiny little cabin. And there was no running water and no electricity. And it was just one rim. And I would wake up early in the morning and be unable to get back to sleep. So I get up and I go outside, and I stand outside. And I and try different experiments. And I tried this experiment with this specific one where I just thought, well, you know, I’m a terabyte of sugar is just just one of them. It was like McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Walmart and sugar. And so I thought, well, what if I just try to put myself into the, in my imagination put myself right into the worst thing that I can imagine? So specific to sugar, just thought, you know, just see what happens.
Rick Archer: drowning it out of Coca Cola?
Joey Lott: That’s more or less what I would do. Yeah, I would just imagine myself swimming in it and, you know, drinking it, and. And it seemed to make a big difference. You see, there was there was a relief, just not having to try and avoid it anymore.
Rick Archer: And you were terrified of sugar just because you had some dietary fixations about the evils of sugar. And
Joey Lott: yeah, I mean, I don’t know exactly. But yeah, that’s that sounds right.
Rick Archer: Well, I think you’ve just said something valuable there, which is a lot of, quote unquote, spiritual teachers, people seem to say, which is that, you know, if we try to hide from our problems, or suffering or anything, or do it and run around them, or hide, you know, kind of get to the transcendent and ignore them or something. We’re going to have problems and that, you know, rather than actually just feel them face them, except, you know, tuned right into them, in which case, well, no telling what might happen, but they actually stand a chance of resolving if you actually don’t try to ignore them.
Joey Lott: Yeah, and this is why so, I got to I’m on some mailing is a Facebook group actually, and I get emails from it. And it’s, it’s, it’s run by a guy who runs a some kind of spiritual group in LA. And he sent out an email or posted something yesterday with his quote from some someone, I don’t know that I wasn’t familiar with the author, but it was talking about how sex is, is not a spiritual thing. Yeah, it’s, it’s, you know, anti spiritual and all the reasons why and it’s because it has to do with the body and the body is illusory and the world is illusory, and you have to focus on spirit and all this stuff. And so what I was reminded of that, because of what you just said, so some it’s true that in some spiritual teachings, there, they do take that approach, and they say what you’ve just described, which is, you know, don’t try to get rid of it or avoid it, embrace it, feel it, and all that, but then there’s a huge body of spiritual called nonsense. Yeah. I mean, I was trying to come up with a polite way of describing, but you know, spiritual stuff that teaches that all these things are off limits, and that you’re supposed to get rid of them and avoid them. You’re not. I mean, I, I would when I used to live in LA, this was before I, the Bodhi tree has closed in LA, but it was before it closed. A bookstore. Yeah, that was a bookstore. Right. And it was like the mecca for for, for spiritually, well, people, and I would spend hours and hours just poring through all of the stuff in there. And I mean, the one that comes to mind is Yogananda, and he would, you know, his, I remember one of his books, he says, If you have any kind of sexual urges, you have to, you know, wipe your genitalia with ice water and stuff to try and suppress it. I mean, this is what a lot of people are teaching. It’s not just sex, but you have to avoid certain foods, you have to avoid certain thoughts, you have to avoid certain types of people and certain types of impulses. And that was what I had been seduced by all of that, because that was that appealed to my sense of, I need to become pure and perfect in order to become worthy of not suffering.
Rick Archer: And you were kind of an extremist by nature. Yeah, yeah. I don’t know what the Buddha meant, by the middle way. But if an IF by that he meant just sort of being balanced and acting according to your own nature, then I think that is probably pretty good advice for anything of this sort. I mean, and that’s going to mean different things for different people. You know, I mean, for some people, it might actually mean celibacy for other people. It certainly wouldn’t for most people, it certainly wouldn’t. For for some people, it might mean, you know, avoiding sugar, maybe they’re diabetic, and they shouldn’t have it for other for most people, it’s probably not going to mean that. But, you know, I can hear what you’re saying, because having, you know, been around this stuff and been involved in it for so many years. There is I myself, and so many people I know have gone to extremes, and in their ardency to get enlightened get out of suffering, so on and so forth. And primarily, all they’ve accomplished is to make themselves more unbalanced.
Joey Lott: Yeah, yeah. That’s what it seems like. That was my experience, at least.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So balance, you know, I mean, it even said to quote, the good again, it even says that in there, it says, you know, just be balanced, not not too much food, not too little food, not too much sleep, not too little sleep, just sort of. And it also says, creatures act according to their own nature, what can restraint accomplish? You know, yeah, just have to serve. And again, that’s going to mean different things for different people. So you can’t offer a universal prescription, but people just have to tune in to what’s right for them.
Joey Lott: And that’s the that’s, I think that’s true. And that’s why I find so much of spiritual teaching, to be offensive and harmful. I mean, it certainly was my experience, that it was harmful. And I see that as harmful for other people. Because the, the, what’s implied very strongly by a spiritual teaching is that there’s some that there’s a there’s a teaching and that that teaching has some kind of value. And it’s but what what can be taught, the only thing that can be taught is restraint. You can’t teach somebody to be themselves.
Rick Archer: No, but you can sort of reassure them that it’s okay to be themselves.
Joey Lott: Yeah, right. But That’s not a teaching. As far as I can be, I
Rick Archer: mean, there are teachers who actually do that they say, Hey, you know, just relaxed, be natural, you know, be be Be yourself, you know, don’t. And there are other teachers who say, you know, pour cold water on your genitals or whatever you were saying earlier, you know, so you have to sort of, you know, we can’t kind of classify all spiritual teachings in one big lump. As a matter of fact, I think this thing about the Middle Way or a balanced perspective, but with regard to one’s individual life, we can also will, personally, I find it valuable to assess spiritual teachings in that way. So when I first read your your first book, you know, you’re saying things like, lineages, meaningless Yoga is not important. You don’t need to purify yourself, things like that. And I kept saying, Yeah, but you know, I mean, fine, you can, you can overdo it with that sort of thing. But there’s some kind of a middle road or happy medium in which, you know, the concept of purification, does have some significance, and yoga can have value and lineage can be significant and so on. It’s just that people tend to be fanatical and take things to extremes. And but it can, but it’s taking them to extremes to utterly dismiss all that stuff, too. I think there’s kind of a middle ground.
Joey Lott: Okay, that’s fair. Sure. I mean, that the the point about, it’s taking it too extreme to dismiss something entirely, but I think that, to me, it’s important to clarify what is what the value of something is, and to to be very clear about that in the offer. And I think that’s where there’s a lot of dishonesty or if not dishonesty, confusion, or delusion is taking place, because my experience is that nothing needs to be done. In order for me to know nothing, nothing needs to be changed, I don’t need to take responsibility to purify perfect myself in order to be, let’s say, worthy of life. That to me, is given. And so I look out the window, and there’s a tree there, blue spruce tree, and I and I don’t perceive that that blue spruce tree needs to purify itself. So in a spiritual sense, right, you know, but there certainly may be value in purification in another context, right. So if if, let’s say, somebody is, had is intoxicated with heavy metals, yeah. And they’re suffering, the, you know, the ill effects of that, then be becoming purified of the heavy metals would have value but there’s not a spiritual value, it’s not that the person becomes spiritually elevated, because they do the undergo that purification, it’s just that the value is that you’re no longer intoxicated with heavy metals, and you get the health benefits of that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, I would play devil’s advocate to that a little bit and say that my definition of spirituality is that it is a living experience. It’s not a conceptual thing. It’s not a belief thing, or anything like that. It’s something, it’s where it’s not even a thing, but But it’s something it’s a living experience. And we live we experience through our nervous system. And if the nervous system is, let’s say, as you said, polluted with heavy metals, then there’s going to be you know, mental cloudiness, perhaps confusion, all sorts of things, which occludes the clarity that is one definition of spiritual spirituality. And the same can be true, I mean, if you smoke meth every day, or wherever meth is taken, it actually physically damages your brain and it it, it, you know, handicaps the ability of this instrument, this nervous system, this brain to live life in any sense, you know, spiritual or otherwise. So, when I use the word purification, or purity or whatever, it’s not a moralistic thing, it would be more in terms of more really a physiological thing. Yeah, you know, and that’s where yoga and perhaps diet and things like that actually do have some significance they can bring about physiological change these days. And meditation for that matter these days. You know, a lot of neurophysiologists are talking about neuroplasticity, and how you can actually change the very chemistry and structure of your brain through by doing certain things. In fact, we’re changing it right now. Just by having this conversation, everything affects it, and certain things affected one way and certain things affected the other ends. And that’s where all all these practices have their, their genesis, you know, as be long before it was understood that there was such a thing. In modern terms, ancient people understood that well, you can actually, you know, bring about a change of your consciousness by doing this that the other thing, drugs are another example. I mean, taking Ayahuasca or something, it changes the neuro chemistry and that changes the experience.
Joey Lott: Right. So I, they, I guess they’re a couple of things in what you said, I don’t know if I’ll remember all of them. But the way that you’re defining spirituality, I think, then I wouldn’t argue with you. i But I don’t think that that’s how spirituality is normally sold.
Rick Archer: Right. And so I think it’d be on the same page with you with that, right?
Joey Lott: Yeah. So that’s, that’s my beef with that whole thing is that there’s, there’s a marketplace for spirituality, which says, You’re not good enough, I can help you to become good enough so that you’ll be worthy of goodness, whatever it is, that you perceive that you lack. And that to me is, that’s criminal. I, in my opinion.
Rick Archer: I think that’s a distortion or a bastardization of the original intention of or the original purpose of, if we can conceive of sort of a pure origin of spiritual teachings way back when or something or even now, they they kind of get muddled and distorted through time. Like that old party game where you whisper something in somebody’s ear, and it goes around the room, by the time it gets back to you, it’s completely different. So there are all kinds of things being presented in the name of spirituality, which I think I would agree with you are pretty far cry from what was originally intended to be offered.
Joey Lott: And that was the other thing that you had said that I wanted to comment on, which was, you had mentioned that, that you from your perception, the genesis of spiritual practices, or spiritual teachings is a desire to benefit. Would that be a fair paradise? I
Rick Archer: mean, some guy like the Buddha or Jesus or something like that. They were trying to alleviate people’s suffering. They’re trying to help people. They’re offering a teaching, which they hoped would change hearts and minds and consciousness or however they, they defined it, but they weren’t just doing it for, you know, for kicks, they they were helping to benefit humanity with whatever they’re offering.
Joey Lott: And I’m willing, I don’t know, right? I have no, I, personally don’t seem to have any way to know that. But I, I’m willing to just just guess that that’s probably
Rick Archer: kind of seems like it. Yeah, yeah.
Joey Lott: But I, to me, it’s important to because I’m a skeptic. I think it’s important to distinguish and say that not not all spiritual teachings and practices have that same motivation at heart. And I can think of examples again, I don’t know, but contemporary or, or recently deceased, so called spiritual teachers, who, in my view, were evil criminals.
Rick Archer: Well, I was listening to one of your recordings and you brought up Adi Da, you know, fridge? Oh, yeah.
Joey Lott: Yeah, I think I think I think him and and Rajneesh are like my two go to examples, and I just think they were bad people
Rick Archer: here. And there’s gonna be a whole bunch of YouTube comments, you know, Rati Rajneesh, Adi Da, they were so great. And, and you know, my answer to that would be that again, it’s never totally black and white. I mean, as you said, in one in the recording, I was listening to, you know, I did, I wrote some incredible stuff. There was some brilliant, some brilliance there. And the number of people I’ve interviewed were his students. Terry Patton was a student of his who’s I haven’t interviewed him, but he’s, he’s a really good interviewer and himself and Sandra bonder, and Mercedes kirkko, and a bunch of others and Sandra Glickman, and they all kind of look back at it and think, Whoa, there was some really screwy stuff going on there. But, you know, if I just take what I need and leave the rest, if I can, I can. I feel like I’ve benefited despite the the craziness of that scene. So we’re even well, you know, go ahead.
Joey Lott: Oh, I was just you know, you had mentioned just a few moments ago about drugs, use specifically call that methamphetamine and damaging the brain and in so preventing a full experience of spirituality. And, and I would say you that I’m very happy. I’m very grateful that I’ve never, at least knowingly taken methamphetamine. It’s that doesn’t sound like a nice thing to me. But But I wouldn’t quite I wouldn’t make that leap personally to say that it’s that it
Rick Archer: damages the brain. No, it does that. Oh, well, I
Joey Lott: to be honest, I don’t know if I’d even really make that claim. Well, clearly, it’s gonna make some changes or changes, from a certain perspective could be called damage.
Rick Archer: Sure. I mean, I rise of people’s brains, we’ve done a lot of math, and they have almost literal holes in them. And our brains are like, it’s like looking at all timers brains.
Joey Lott: But that’s based on the the, their their assumptions and presumptions that are made to him biases, right. I mean, we have a bias toward we think this is how things should be. And when it’s deviates from that, then that’s undesirable. And it’s certainly, like I say, I’m grateful that I don’t have any desire to use methamphetamine. Because it doesn’t sound nice to me. Yeah, but joy is your body. But I just wouldn’t be so quick to to say something is, like you said just a moment ago, you know, it died not all good or all bad. I would say probably the same is true of methamphetamine. Well, I don’t want it.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s been given Breaking Bad, which is one of the best TV Shows of All Times. So that’s that.
Joey Lott: Right. But but, you know, the, the thing is, that the my perception, at least in my thought, is that the dominant culture, but I’ll call the dominant culture that I live in, is one that is very narrow, in so many ways, and it it says this is this is normal, and everything outside of this very narrow definition. We don’t want that. And I don’t think that is, I don’t think that’s the only way for our culture to be, I think it’s possible to have broader, more inclusive acceptance, and to see the value of all things.
Rick Archer: I agree. And, and obviously, there are things which, you know, are becoming normal these days, which are long overdue, like, in my opinion, gay marriage, which, you know, you could get arrested for not that long ago. And, you know, these days, or President Obama was on The Ellen DeGeneres Show yesterday, and they were just celebrating how much progress had been made in that in that area. But um, with regard to the topic at hand, you know, enlightenment or spirituality and the role the nervous system might play in supporting it, or enabling us to have that experience, if it’s an experience. I mean, for us, well, I take health, the average American is probably not very healthy by comparison with what’s possible, but there’s a certain norm that we all accept as being sort of normal, you know, everybody’s this way. But, you know, if we could be even more healthy, if we could experience that, all the better, we would enjoy it, you didn’t particularly enjoy Lyme disease. Still don’t, you still don’t rather have rather be without it. So you know, I’m just saying that there, there’s a sort of, even though it may not be the the ideal of what how the brain could operate, there’s a certain accepted norm of how the brain is supposed to look and how it’s supposed to function. And if you do math for 1020 years, your brains not going to look like that, you know, it’s going to be damaged. So by by societal norms, it’s going to be sub normal. And this may seem this whole discussion may seem simple, but I think it actually kind of relates to what we’re talking about.
Joey Lott: The danger in that, and the reason that I don’t, I just don’t subscribe to that view, is that it excludes people and marginalizes people, and it devalues people because of these. Because because we’ve in arbitrary isn’t the right word, but I can’t think of a better word. So in a sense, arbitrarily, we’ve defined things as good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable. And even if we want to qualify our statements, and we say, well, I don’t really mean that brain damage is bad. I just mean, or that it’s unacceptable or that those people are less than I that’s really implicit in that kind of statement is that that person who’s done, who’s taken methamphetamine for 10 years, who has brain damage, prior this definition, is less than, um,
Rick Archer: I’m not saying that they’re, you know, they should be condemned, or that they’re an inferior human being or anything like that. I’m just saying that, you know, practically speaking, I am, you know, less than less a tennis player than Serena Williams, right? She has certain physiological capabilities, which I certainly do not. I don’t consider myself inferior as a human being or anything like that because of it. But there’s just a certain in, there’s definitely inferior as a tennis player. So
Joey Lott: yeah, but then what. So if we’re saying that somebody is spiritually inferior, because they have taken methamphetamine for 10 years? I, you, you may, you know, for yourself, you may have an understanding of what that means. That’s not really an insulting thing. Because because the way that you’ve explained your view of spirituality is that it’s just a kind of, it’s a, it’s a capacity to tap into a kind of state.
Rick Archer: Well, sort of, I mean, it’s a capacity to, to appreciate the fundamental reality of life, you know, and to, is the capacity for that fundamental reality to awaken to its own nature through the instrument of a nervous system, a body, a living entity. And ordinarily, in the vast majority of people that that capacity is occluded, it’s not enlivened. And so you know, most of humanity lives in a kind of in suffering, and a kind of a darkness, that I think all the great spiritual teachers of history have tried to wake them up out of that realize that kind of a traditional understanding, and we’re welcome. You’re welcome to continue to disagree with me, because it makes for an interesting conversation. But
Joey Lott: well, I do disagree. Yeah, that’s okay. Because, because I, because if, if something, my, my experience, is that there is already a weakness, that’s what’s happening. This is already a weakness. I don’t know how it would be possible. If there wasn’t awakeness. I don’t know how any of this would be possible. This is already that. And so what spirituality, even the spirituality that you’ve just defined, is proposing is that there’s something hidden, there’s a greater a greater awareness, a greater awakeness that is hidden from from us, unless we’re perfect computer enough to be worthy of it.
Rick Archer: Perfect, pure and worthy are words I wouldn’t use. But But I would agree with the first part of what you said, which is that there is a greater reality. And this is that, as you often say, now, we’re really getting to the heart of what you say over and over again, in your books, which Yeah, this is it, what else is there? How could there be? How could the reality be anything other than what it is, but whether that’s experienced or not, whether we actually, whether I mean, it’s one thing to not know, or have any, any concept of it whatsoever, which is probably what we’re most people in the world are at, it’s another thing to have an intellectual understanding of it, which many people have. And it’s another thing for it to be actually one’s living experience. To take an example of the living of the understanding thing, you can write the word sugar on a piece of paper, and drop it in your tea, but it’s not going to make the tea sweet. So, Oh, sugar, I shouldn’t have said sugar. So a concept of you know, this is that and this is the ultimate reality and so on and so forth. It is in my book, a far cry from actually living that in your very bones as as a, you know, a conscious experience. 24/7
Joey Lott: Well, it’s it seems that way. But my my view is that it seems that way only because we’ve defined and we’ve agreed that there is something else. So we say, I know that there’s some greater reality. Whatever we want to call that consciousness, Spirit, God, whatever. And I know that that does not mean suffering, that is pure, pure, it’s pure. I mean, that’s, it’s pure love. It’s pure X acceptance is pure, whatever. And so, by this definition, what’s happening right now is not that. So therefore I need to somehow arrive at that greater reality. I needed to do something in order to arrive there. But what I say is just drop the definition for a moment. If we drop the definition, then we, there’s there doesn’t need to be anything done. We don’t need to get rid of what’s happening. And we don’t need to arrive at something that’s hidden.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And what I would say is, I would agree with part of what you said, which is that, how could what’s happening right now be anything other than that, if that is the ultimate reality? What does it say in the Gita, the Unreal has no being the real never ceases to be? And so how could there be anything other than that? Right? Yeah. But that does not necessarily mean that. First of all, it’s apparently obvious that not everyone in the world sees it that way, or experiences it that way. And secondly, as you said earlier, you know, when you began teaching, and maybe you didn’t quite say it this way, but when you put yourself out there and started writing books and started saying this stuff, you discovered that people who listened to you didn’t necessarily get it. I mean, first of all, you mentioned they want to put you up as a guru. But also, I would venture to guess that, you know, just reading your words that this is all there is. didn’t necessarily do it for people. In any case,
Joey Lott: no, you know, that’s right. That’s, that’s part of the problem. I think. I was naive, I thought, like I said, because it was such a tremendous relief. For me, I thought, everybody’s gonna flock to this. I don’t know why wasn’t obvious to everybody to begin with. But this is just going to do it for people. Yeah, I now realize because it’s obvious. Nobody wants that. People People have been sold on the idea, there’s some greater reality that they can escape to. And that’s a much more appealing thing to sell, than to say, this is already it, you all the stuff that you’re trying to escape from. That’s it.
Rick Archer: Yeah, but you know, the very word we can pick through your words apart, there is some greater reality that they can escape to. First of all, some greater reality kind of puts it beyond like it’s off there. And some, you know, Heaven or transcendent realm that they can escape to implies that there’s that it’s something that the individual can transport himself from point A to point B, and then he’ll be in that, you know, and then he will have escaped. And so all that is fallacious, actually, if we consider what we’re actually talking about, which is well, I Okay, go ahead. Yeah, no, you continue. That was enough. Well,
Joey Lott: I just think that to be fair, though, what Micucci critique is of much of not all, I’m not going to lump it all together, but much of popular spirituality. And it you know, you use the use a transcendent. I call it a greater reality, but you call the transcendent. I mean, it’s right right there in transcendental meditation. That’s what’s on sale.
Rick Archer: All I did was you would go from the gross to the subtle to the transcendent, and then you’d be in the transcendent, and you would have transcended the relative world and so on. Yeah, yeah, of course, that wasn’t considered the end game that was considered to be the first step. And then eventually, you were supposed to, you know, through time and integration and practice, have that be obvious in your daily living experience, not just something that you have when your eyes are closed. So anyway, that’s just one way of looking at it.
Joey Lott: Yeah, well, I mean, so I understand. I think I understand your your criticism of what I was saying, which is that, that you’re not necessarily proposing that there is something some reality that’s set apart that somebody has to arrive at. But I’m, all I’m saying is that that was what was sold to me. Yeah. And I see that being sold others to a large extent. And that’s what I’m critical of.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And I think I pretty much agree with you with some provisions, but I understand what you’re saying. And I think it can lead to escapism and disassociation. And in fact, I’ve talked with various spiritual teachers who are who are kind of like trying to counteract the tendency that they have seen in many people to become this associative and actually suffer some sort of breakdown in their personality as a result of this emphasis on, you know that the world is an illusion, and I have to get to some other, you know, real realm, and this is not the real realm and all that kind of stuff, it can make you very impractical and so on. But one point I would emphasize, though, is that, you know, there that the, the way, people in general ordinarily live and perceive the world is not, it’s not sufficient to say, That’s it, because in their subjective experience, they are not appreciating or apprehending or, you know, cognizing, the, the deeper reality there is a deeper real high, it’s not really deeper, it’s on the surface as well, it’s all there is, but it’s not being lived experientially. And if it were, we would, I think, see a very different society around us. So there, there’s kind of a catch 22 here between, you know, recognizing that this is all there isn’t there couldn’t be anything else. But in the same breath, recognizing that there’s a difference between understanding that and actually living it, knowing it in your in your very, you know, bones. It’s not a concept. That’s what I’m trying to do. Well, nothing I say about it, concepts, don’t cut it in this realm.
Joey Lott: I agree. And that’s what that but what I, what I’m suggesting is that the only obstacle, again, the language here is wrong, but I’m just speaking freely. The only obstacle is that there’s some clinging to a concept to begin with. When we and we don’t, I’m not saying we have to get rid of the concept. Or even get rid of the clinging, but just just to see that that is not the whole truth. Yeah, I think I think I agree that freeze frees up all of the energy and then it’s, it’s recognized that it is being lived, it can’t be other than being lived. It’s just, you know, so some if somebody is, you know, they they work road construction all day, and then they come home and they smoke meth. That is it. And And the trouble is, that we don’t want that to be it.
Rick Archer: Well, we can let’s play with that for a minute. Sure. That’s it, I guess, then, and priests molesting children, is it and you know, Auschwitz? Was it? And, you know, the Zika virus? Is it and you know, all the, the good, the bad and the ugly of life? Is it assuming appearing to assume different guises different forms? And, you know, would you agree with that before?
Joey Lott: No, not exactly. Because, because there’s a subtle implication in what you’re saying. Just that last little bit that you tacked on about? They’re all different forms? That’s right. Yeah. Because that that’s saying that it is a thing that can that that is somehow hidden, right? Because we don’t perceive that we don’t perceive something universal. It, we perceive what we call individual form,
Rick Archer: some people perceive universal.
Joey Lott: Right, right. That’s true, apparently. I mean, that’s that. If we take their word for it, then yeah, right. But, but what I’m but but I’m assuming that you don’t
Rick Archer: yes or no? Okay. Yeah, I mean, this i Sure i, I perceive forms that I don’t necessarily perceive, I don’t perceive forms as consciousness. I’m looking at my computer monitor right now, I’m not seeing conscious I’m seeing a computer monitor, but in my experience, there is the vote right now, as we speak, there is also the realm which is immaterial which which is consciousness, which is pure silence, which persists despite or in along with changing appearances and forms and so on. And somehow, you know, this and that are, are more kind of the complete package. So, whereas if I look back to 50 years ago, it was only forms No, no sense of the thing I just described.
Joey Lott: Sure. Okay, that that’s fine. My, my, the point I wanted to make though, is that I don’t, I don’t feel that it’s necessary or helpful to invent something that’s not directly Again, the language here is wrong, but something is not directly perceived. So, so I think it’s, to me, it’s, it’s okay, even though I, it’s not something I can grab hold of and feel satisfied about. But it’s okay. To just say that this what what is perceived the perceiving all this right now? Is it I don’t need to invent something behind it
Rick Archer: will. But if you postulate something behind it, are you actually inventing it? Or is it actually there? And you’re just not perceiving it? Because there are people who perceive all kinds of things that you and I may not perceive? are? Are they inventing those things? Or are they just perceiving or appreciating something that’s outside the realm of our experience,
Joey Lott: but that that model, I mean, it’s a model, which says that there’s, there’s some great out there, and some, we each have individual capacity, which will vary from person to person, and from time to time to perceive that. So I, so if I’m, if I, you know, I only have a level five, ability to perceive that great out there, and somebody else has a level 20. But what I’m saying is, why do we need to do that? Why do we need to create a model? In order to it’s already direct, there’s already this directness, why do I need to have a model and put that model impose that model onto it? When it’s already direct? There’s no need to create indirectness?
Rick Archer: Yeah, I appreciate what the way you put that. And I must confess that I’m kind of, I kind of buy into that model that you just described. And it’s interesting to kind of juxtapose our two positions on this. I know that in one chapter of one of your books, you you sort of spoke against comparison, comparing yourself with ramen or with Papaji, or whoever, but but just for the sake of conversation, you know, imagine that, you and I could suddenly very hypothetical, of course, but we could suddenly sort of step into Romanus sandals, so to speak, and perceive the world as he perceived it, perhaps we would notice a vast contrast between the way we’re perceiving it now and what he was experiencing? I suspect we would. And, you know, of course, this is very, very hypothetical, but it sort of illustrates the point that there may actually be degrees of evolution of one’s appreciation of, you know, deeper reality or the or this as you put it. And that, you know, when you and I experienced this, it’s, we got it to some degree, but there could be a maturation of it, so that you yourself 20 years from now, might, you know, mean, some something quite more. When you say, this is all there is, then you are able to mean now, in light of your own experience.
Joey Lott: Yeah, sure. I that’s possible. Anything is possible. I just, just just want to add, though, that, you know, if we could step into Romanus sandals, maybe we could also step into the workplace of the guy who smokes methamphetamine might be surprised to discover what his perception is.
Rick Archer: Might be if I had to choose one or the other. I think I’d go for Rama to sandals. You know,
Joey Lott: I don’t know. I mean, you know, the thing about Rama that’s so interesting is that I mean, it’s easy now, because he’s dead. But that there might be some build, we build up this hole, right? No, there may be but I’m just with brahmana because ramen is very
Rick Archer: popular gold standard. Yeah. Yeah.
Joey Lott: And it’s, it’s, there’s this myth, this whole great myth. It’s built up. And everybody. I mean, everybody has their individual take on it. But but when you read when you read this, the stories about him and what happened to him in his life? I don’t know. I’m not so sure. I’d necessarily want to be in his sandals. I mean, his sounds pretty intense. And not not not always in a positive way. I mean, we make assumptions that a guy sitting in the catacombs for days on end, not eating or drinking. Sex legs, right? Yeah, we assume that he’s doing that because he’s in some sort of blissed out state. That That stuff doesn’t bother him. But maybe, maybe, maybe we’re wrong about that. We just don’t know. Yeah,
Rick Archer: we don’t know. I’m gonna I’m gonna ask a couple of questions that people have sent in and we’ll, we’ll come back, we’ll come back to some of this stuff. But I just want to do justice to some people’s questions. And it’ll probably, you know, touch upon some of the things we’re already discussing. Here’s a fellow named Samir from Philadelphia who asked, some say that there is the still in permanent awareness in the background in which temporary experiential phenomena phenomena happen. Some say such awareness is just another concept of mind. And there are only experiences which are undoubtable, direct, vivid and effortlessly spontaneous. This is kind of what you and I were just discussing, what is your insight regarding this?
Joey Lott: Well, I can, I can only just describe my own experience. So I would hesitate to call it an insight mistake. But the it what I can say is that I was, I was lured by the carrot of this, this non changing awareness, the consciousness and whatever people want to call, I mean, they argue it’s not consciousness and awareness are not the same thing is that neither, but I was lured by that, that whole promise, whatever people call it, I was trying to figure it out. And it seems to me that all that ever can be I can’t find any of it. That’s, that’s the honest truth. I just can’t find any of it. To me, it’s all when I really take an honest look, this division between experience and consciousness and awareness and objects and all that. I can’t find it. And I don’t think that’s a transcendent thing. I I actually think that’s likely available to everybody, if they just take a look. Well, as
Rick Archer: far as I can tell, you haven’t fallen asleep during this interview. So you’ve been aware of the whole time, there’s been awareness the whole time. And in your, and in your experience, there has also been various words that you and I have been speaking, we’re moving around a little bit, and you’ve been perceiving that maybe some noises in the backgrounds and sensations in your body. There have been all that there’s been all that changing stuff. But all that stuff has been experienced by virtue of viewer of awareness, right of your being aware, if you were not aware, you couldn’t be aware of anything.
Joey Lott: But I don’t know how to find that. So I
Rick Archer: has the eyeball find itself.
Joey Lott: I mean, that that exact phrase is what people often send to me. And and I’m not sure what, I’m not sure how, I’m not sure what it means to be honest. I mean, I mean, I understand that literally, that, you know, the eyeball can’t see itself. But, but I don’t know that that. I guess what’s implied by that, or what’s meant is that there is a thing called consciousness that is, is, or awareness, or whatever we want to call it, that is aware or conscious. And because it is the thing that is conscious or aware is not conscious or aware of itself, except unless you know, you do TM and you do all the advanced cities, and then maybe even then,
Rick Archer: even then, and the terminology is very tricky, because it’s not a thing and it’s not and you said I don’t know how to find that. It’s not something that I can find. It’s, you know, it’s because that objectifies it that makes it into something that here I am over here, finding this over there. And you know, and then who is the AI that is finding it? I mean, who if I’m aware of it, and it’s then then then you got to awareness? Is my awareness, being aware of this awareness thing? Yeah. But obviously, it’s not that it’s sort of the the foundation, the ground that the ultimate vantage point from which everything is known or seen, but that you can step apart from itself and say, Oh, here it is.
Joey Lott: Well, so I just it’s, it’s just not the way that I like to talk about things. Because I find it unnecessarily confusing to talk about awareness or consciousness because I don’t think anybody in a nobody’s gonna find it. And so I prefer to deal at the President just because it’s, it’s more appealing to me, just to deal with that uncertainty. Because I feel like that’s the worst We’re looking for we’ve been promised by various people that we’re going to help us to find the, you know, they say, I’ll help you to know yourself, I will help you to know that you are the ultimate reality, I will help you to know that you are consciousness and whatever. But the promise, whatever language they’re using, is that I’m going to remove your uncertainty. You don’t know right now you’re uncertain, you don’t know who you are right now you’re uncertain, you don’t know that your consciousness, I’m going to remove that I’m going to help you to know certainty about life, reality, who you are. But I don’t find any such thing. I can’t find certainty. I can’t remove all doubt. And to be honest, I don’t want to because I don’t see there’s any real value in that. Because that’s saying, now I’ve got to work to exclude stuff. Who wants to do that? Not me. So. So I just don’t, I don’t really like to talk about consciousness or, or awareness. I prefer to just say, look, there’s a, there’s a, do you feel an uncertainty and angst and anxiety? unresolved sense within yourself, so to speak? And if somebody says, No, well, then okay, I don’t have anything to offer. But if somebody says yes, and I say, okay, maybe I have something offered. And what I can offer is to say, my experience is that I didn’t need to get rid of it. It’s okay for it to be there. It’s also included. Nothing needs to be excluded.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And, and to zeal TM analogy, you know, if you want to get rid of darkness in a room, what do you do? You don’t try to get rid of it, you just add some light, and then it’s gone. So I mean, this effort to sort of exclude the angst and figure out the angst and so on and so forth. You know, could like a bit like a dog chasing its tail trying to do that.
Joey Lott: That’s right. Yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Sounds like you kind of sat with a lot of teachers who said to you, I’m going to help you do this. I’m going to help you find this, get over this. And so and you came away a little dissolute, disillusioned with that whole scene?
Joey Lott: Yeah, right. I mean, I, I definitely visited with teachers who were very explicit about it. Yeah. Who would say, I’ve got the answer, you know, you come pay me enough money and sit with me enough. And I’ll sort it all out for you. I got the answers. There were plenty of others who didn’t say that explicitly. But it was implied. Because because they had the, they had the look, they had the name, they had the whole thing. And they were sitting on stage. And I was sitting there with all the other delight people. Right. And so yeah, I got I was disillusioned by that. Because I don’t think I don’t think is honest. I don’t think anybody can do that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I mean, I think personally, that there can be some benefit from association with some people and, and so on, but I don’t think they’re doing it for you. I don’t think it can ever be that way.
Joey Lott: Sure. Yeah. Right. I mean, yeah, there’s benefit in association. But that’s, that’s in general, right. I mean, I can benefit by association with my children. Yeah, but it’s not because they’re not because they have some great teaching that they’re imparting.
Rick Archer: Yeah, if you had time machine, though, would you like to go and, you know, listen to Jesus offer the sermon on the mount or, you know, sit around the Buddha and hear him offers thing and that would you find that potentially edifying?
Joey Lott: Not at this point? No, it’s not that it’s not that I you know, I devalue any buddy in there what they have to offer. It’s just that I it’s already here. That’s my sense of it. That’s what I that’s my experience of it. It’s not I don’t need to go back in time. I don’t need to sit with the great master. I don’t need to do any of that. Because that this did. It’s already here. I mean, that that this conversation is already offering that I couldn’t possibly get something greater from looking for it elsewhere. That’s nice.
Rick Archer: I mean, that sort of speaks well of fear. where you’re where you’re at, in a sense, it just this sort of deep acceptance and kind of appreciation of what you’re experiencing. Now, I think that’s valuable. And I also just want to add that I, I think skepticism is a really healthy attitude. And I actually admire that I knew that you don’t just swallow beliefs hole and you question everything. And I personally, I think that’s much more conducive to maturity in any sense spiritual or personal than just buying into things which you don’t actually know. Which you don’t actually can’t or can’t even know experientially. Here’s another question somebody sent in. This is a fella named Theodore from Norway. He asks, I’ll try to make this as clear as possible. He said, Thank you for your ever changing work. When I first read and watched you, I was sure you were enlightened had it, despite your insistence to the contrary. But your honesty has slowly revised my belief systems and let me dare to think that maybe it is true that this is it, which seems less frightening now. And then he has a question here. Say I’m in the middle of mentally punishing myself for what I’m currently doing or not doing. Does that prove that I exist? And that this, I then could or couldn’t be doing something other than what’s happening? It’s all just a bunch of insignificant blabber isn’t it?
Joey Lott: Well, I mean, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t be so quick to call an insignificant blabber just because. So I don’t I don’t look for meaning in anything. Well, that’s not true. That’s I think human nature we look for meaning we’re meaning seeking. beings. But but but I don’t. I kind of gave up on the idea that there’s going to be meaning in it. So I so when I say that the I wouldn’t dismiss the bladder is insignificant, I think was the was the word. I don’t mean that I am going to be trying to find the coded meaning in it. But I would, but I think it has its own. Its its its own value, just to be here. Like the, you know, like, I can appreciate a sunset.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and it doesn’t mean anything intellectual. Right. Right.
Joey Lott: So the same with the blabber. Yeah, I think that it’s possible to, to appreciate it for what it is. But, but yeah, as far as, as, you know, is there, does it prove that there’s somebody who’s doing it? I did. Not to me. I mean, because there’s, it’s hard for me to take ownership of stuff. Because I don’t know where that begins and ends. If I say, you know, this is mine, and that’s not mine. I was, you know, like, at what point would that become? True? You know, it was I? Do I take ownership of my own conception? Or my own birth? I mean, at 21? Do I start taking ownership? I mean, when at what point does that ownership fall on me?
Rick Archer: Yeah, good point. I’ve had several conversations with people lately about the, they’re not really being a doer, or an owner of, of, you know, this life. And I don’t know if we want to get into all that right now. Because it’s a whole big thing. But it’s coming to appreciate that more and more. And is that what you just said about? You know, I can appreciate a sunset? And we said, yeah, it’s an experience. It’s not a concept. But yet, when you said that sentence, I knew what you meant, because we used concepts to communicate it. We both know what a sunset is. And so concepts have their value. But obviously, the word sunset is a far cry from the actual experience of one.
Joey Lott: Right, but But it’s its own thing, right? I mean, so. So again, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t say, Oh, well, it’s a concept therefore, it’s, let’s devalue it.
Rick Archer: No, it has its has its utility, otherwise, we couldn’t talk about sunsets.
Joey Lott: Well, and also just in and of itself, without even having to have utility. Because, you know, I mean, to say utility, am I gonna judge everything by its utility, I don’t want to do that either. That’s, that doesn’t. It’s too much effort to try and judge the value of things based on its utility. And useful to who, you know, then I’ve got to judge too much too many things. So it’s nicer to me just to appreciate the appreciate everything just for what it is. Yeah,
Rick Archer: I agree. But it sort of pertains to our conversation. In which, you know, sometimes people might say, well, you know, all these spiritual concepts and words are, are useless. They’re waste and you know, yet you couldn’t, we couldn’t be having this conversation without them or any conversation without words. So, you know, the we can discuss our favorite food. And it might be an interesting conversation, and maybe we can trade recipes or something, but it’s not going to nourish us, we have to have the actual experience that the these concepts pertain to. And I would say the same is true of spiritual stuff. You know, it’s there is an experience there to be had. And concepts don’t cut it. So don’t mistake the concept. Don’t mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself as the old Zen saying says,
Joey Lott: Yeah, but I, I mean, I’m just gonna be contrary, I guess that’s good. I think I like it. Because that saying that there’s the concept, the conversation, the words, the ideas, that that’s somehow not as spiritual, it’s something else. It’s
Rick Archer: a pointer, we’re referring to something with these pointers.
Joey Lott: i Yeah. But I’m, I’m kind of suggesting actually, that it doesn’t have to be a pointer. It could. It’s just it. So rather than, like, I don’t have to point to anything. It’s just it. The pointing is it?
Rick Archer: houses everything?
Joey Lott: Yeah, that’s my point.
Rick Archer: Okay, on that point, I’m going to bring up another question. This is from a guy named Santa pronounces Sepher in Denver, who asks, Joey, you always say there is no greater reality and this is it. Enlightenment or awakeness. Is, is already it already is and should not be sought. How about the realization and relief that you’ve attained? Many of us define enlightenment as that a change in perception that allows you to relax and surrender, not seeing yourself anymore as a doer, who has free will not seeing yourself as a separate identification, etc. Is that something we can or should seek?
Joey Lott: Well, yeah, my my view initially was that there is something that could that can be done. And maybe there is no but no, but what I’ve come to see is that I was blind to this at first, but the problem is, if I say, there’s something that you can do, even if there’s some kernel of truth in that it, it takes takes us away, in a sense, not really. But it kind of makes us imagine that we’re taking we’ve been taken away from the immediacy of what’s happening. Yeah.
Rick Archer: I think it’s a paradoxical thing. You know, there isn’t anything you can do, there is something you can do and both are true. And both are not true. It’s it’s one of those funny, paradox things.
Joey Lott: Well, the other the other way to look at it is there’s absolutely something you can do, and you’re already doing it. True, you can’t you can’t escape that it’s already happening.
Rick Archer: So perhaps the the takeaway point from that is, do what you feel inclined to do. And
Joey Lott: or not, I mean, that’s the that’s the thing about it is you can’t figure it out. Or I don’t think you can figure it out. Maybe somebody can figure it out. I didn’t figured out well, there
Rick Archer: may be modes of doing that don’t involve figuring out, you know, the things people could for instance, I mean, meditation is a type of doing you could say it’s a non doing kind of doing, but it’s not an attempt to figure anything out, but it has some effect. And that’s why
Joey Lott: Yeah, right. Right. It certainly does. Yeah, it has the effect, whatever effect it has. Yeah, like, breathing has its effect. Feeding with a rock has Yeah.
Rick Archer: Everything has an effect. That fellow from Hyderabad jacker. He sent a clarification of what he was trying to ask. He said, what I was saying was that in those thoughts, you get caught up in and it becomes a habit. There’s, there’s no courage to face it. How? How can I face it? I think what he’s saying is he has some OCD problem. He gets caught up in thoughts, repetitive, obsessive thoughts, and it seems to take a certain courage to face it perhaps to break that habit. And maybe he feels he’s lacking that courage. And so how does he summon up the courage or deal with with his OCD? What you have any recommendations?
Joey Lott: Well yeah, the UN This is the unfortunate thing just in tapping the microphone Right. And unfortunate thing in my experience is that that I don’t seem to be able to, to make that happen. So there’s there are certain experiences where I say I had the courage to face it, it isn’t that wonderful, and there was a great outcome. And then I want to repeat that, always, I always want to do that. But I don’t seem to be able to reproduce that at will. So the, the acceptance, if we want to call it that is the acceptance of all of it. So even though some time, maybe even most of time, maybe even all the time, there doesn’t seem to be the courage to face the things that we’re trying to avoid or afraid of. Okay. Except so. Yeah, right. I mean, I mean, the the funny thing is, it’s kind of funny. I mean, it’s tragic. And funny. Is that, like I said, just a moment ago, that question, you know, is there anything you can do? And yeah, you’re doing it, you can’t not do it. You’re always, always always facing and accepting. Whatever you’re facing and accepting. You know, it’s just that it’s not going to be other than that, that’s the problem is that we, at least I’ve often wanted it to be other than what it is. And I come up with all you know, I hear I mean, I’m not I’m not terribly original in my, my, you know, we’ll call me insights. Now, I guess, not terribly originally, my insights. I’m sure many, many, many other people have had the same sorts of insights. Where was I going with it? I didn’t know. But the
Rick Archer: but the LCD, the fellow from Hyderabad, you know, how to have the courage to do these things.
Joey Lott: Yeah, it and it’s just do you already do, it’s just not in the way that you want. That’s, that’s the rub, right? I mean, we want it, I always wanted it to be the way I want it to be. And when when I would write, I would say, there are other people who say similar things. And I would hear people say things like, you know, just accept it or surrender, this is it is what it is, this is reality, or whatever. And I would, I’d interpret it to fit into my understanding and the way that I wanted it to be, and I was, I would hear it as, okay, if I can accept it, the the way that I should be accepting it the way that I think it should be accepted, then that’s going to be better. But what’s actually being said, is just accepted the way that it is. And and by the way, that’s already been done.
Rick Archer: Yeah. What I gather from what you’re saying is just to sort of go easy on yourself and just be you often use the word just relax, you know, just sort of cool it, Jill. I mean, you know, there’s that old saying, of, if you tell somebody don’t think of a monkey, and he’s, oh, I just thought of a monkey, or I shouldn’t be thinking of him, I’m still thinking about monkey, you know, it’s like, just relax. And then next thing, you know, you won’t be thinking of a monkey. You know, this is sort of a, it’s almost like, the attempt to, to fight against something or control something or restrict something within ourselves often only accentuates it.
Joey Lott: Seems to, but but the thing is, sometimes that happens, that too, and that’s, and that’s why I think I was naive at first when I when I suggested there, there might be a prescription. Because it doesn’t seem to work that way.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Oh, or different strokes for different folks. And, yeah, you know, there might be a world of different prescriptions, and people have to sort of sort out what works for them and what doesn’t?
Joey Lott: Yeah, right. And it doesn’t seem like there’s any choice in that either. I mean, because I certainly wouldn’t have gone through all of the stuff that I went through and all looked for answers in the places that I look for answers. Had I known what I know now, right?
Rick Archer: Yeah. On the other hand, I would say that going through all the stuff you went through, and doing all the things you did kind of in a roundabout way got you to where you are now and you know that you kind of had to go through all that in order to arrive at where you’re where you’re at now.
Joey Lott: Well, certainly in that linear story thing. Yeah, that does seem to be the the way and that’s why I say I don’t really have regrets because it’s, it is what it is and I mean, I’m I don’t even Have I don’t seem to have the ability to even think about that kind of thing like, oh, maybe if it only had been this other way. Yeah. What’s the
Rick Archer: point of doing that? Yeah. I agree. Well, you were an interesting guy to talk to. Theoretically, I could take the chapter titles of your book. And we could have a whole conversation for half an hour, but each chapter title, but I don’t think we’re going to do that. We’ve been going on for a couple hours, but I really enjoyed this, I think, I think you’re, you’re in a good place. And I really kind of enjoyed exploring these things with you. My wife passed me a note in the middle of it saying I was talking too much. So sorry about that. Oh, somebody sent a question here. What’s the question? I mean? Yeah, let me just leave the mic over to send it to me.
You speak clearly to the dangers of moral authority in relation to the spiritualized concepts of purification, Transcendence, etc. Do you think right at all about the effects of biases of human centered consciousness in perception of a diverse, natural world?
Joey Lott: I understood everything except for I think I missed one word, do I?
Rick Archer: What was the last part? Irene,
do you think write? At all?
Rick Archer: Do you think or write WRITE,
at all about the effects of biases of human centered consciousness in perception of a diverse natural world?
Rick Archer: I wonder if this has sort of environmental implications in terms of our attitude, our perspective or our Orient?
Concepts of purification?
Rick Archer: Yeah, dangers of moral authority in relation to concepts of period chances. I mean, some would say that our whole devastation of the environment is due to a worldview, which, you know, regards the universe as mechanistic and meaningless. And, you know, we have dominance over it, and so on and so forth, rather than being a more sensitive, maybe feminine appreciation of the intelligence of nature, and the fact that it’s not that we’re not biological robots, and that, you know, animals have feelings and all that kind of stuff. Anyway, that would be my elaborate question.
Joey Lott: Yeah. It’s it’s an interesting question only. Not only, but in part, because it is something that I feel very strongly about. And I have something that I, I’ve tried many times to write about, and I haven’t done so in a way that satisfying to me, so it’s take a stab at it here. What is percolating? What
Rick Archer: do you think it’s something?
Joey Lott: Oh, well, you know, I mean, the person who wrote that, put it very eloquently, I don’t know that I can put it more than that. I mean, there. We the dominant culture is based upon so many assumptions of human supremacy and rights, that Trump all else that were largely blind to is like I was talking about earlier that there’s that culture is in so many ways very narrow. Yeah. And we don’t even know how blind we are. We don’t even recognize that. But if we could, if we could just well, okay, so this is something I was thinking about recently. You know, there’s a, I mean, this is just one tiny little example, but you know, there’s this thing that they call Colony Collapse Disorder. Ridiculous with these bees. Yeah. Right. And the honeybee. Yeah. And that is, so there’s legitimately a major concern about the bees, I mean, that we keep bees here, so that the queen bees used to live. I’m told, used to live on average, about 10 years, and now they’re living less than two years. And, you know, people are scratching their heads on wonder why? Well, the the thing about this is that what I thought of was, you know, if, if you have a child and your child’s life is in danger, and you have, let’s say, well, let’s say you could, you could point to some, some activity, some group of activities, you don’t know exactly which one but you know, that whole group of activities is, is like 99% positive, the cause of the The endangerment of your child’s life. You wouldn’t take I wouldn’t I wouldn’t take the position of, oh, well, I guess we’ll just wait and see until we can figure out which of these things do we have to identify? And positively? I would say, No, no, stop all that right now. That would be that would be, you know, if it was my child, or if it was me, but when it’s you, and it’s some other, you know, when it’s somebody else, I mean, that, even if it’s some other human, especially if it’s some human faraway, who doesn’t look like me, who speaks a different language and lives in a different way. But, but then even worse, if it’s some other species entirely, then or, or, or an entire, you know, or a larger, let’s say, organism, you know, ecosystem community, or whatever, then we just say, Well, you know, we’re not sure we’ll wait and see, because businesses usual asked to continue. And that, that seems like it’s not congruent, like I just pointed out, because if we, if we, if it was my child, be very clear about it, and I would put my life on the line to stop whatever it is that I think, is the cause. And I wouldn’t wait for pre positive.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And, and the, you know, the interpretation of that is that, you know, the bees are our children and the, the polar bears, and every all of life, you know, it’s like, We are the larger reality. And if we’re destroying the rainforest, we’re destroying our own lungs, you know, for the exterminating species 250 to 200 of them a day, we’re lopping off our own fingers and toes. And, you know, and there’s ample evidence that neonicotinoids are killing the honeybees and the bees. And yet, the companies who, rather than then saying, Oh, we shouldn’t, we shouldn’t be making this stuff, the companies spend PR money trying to cast doubt on the science. Same with the whole climate change thing. So there’s a whole book about this called Merchants of Doubt. And, to me, it arise arises from a very sort of narrow minded, ego centric kind of consciousness that I hope that spiritual awakening will help to rectify, because I actually do think it has societal implications in making people more attuned to nature’s intelligence and more sort of compassionate and broad minded and so on.
Joey Lott: Yeah, it’s just unfortunately, in my view, the I mean, this gets back to the kind of stuff we were talking about earlier, that you you when you seems more clear to me now, when you talk about spirituality, you have a definition of that, that is different than what is popularly presented. And, and I My view is that what is it popular spirituality? It is in a very different direction. I think it’s like the end game of this whole thing is, you know, the popular spirituality is about how I’m going to save my ass. You know, like, everything’s going to hell around me. But I’m, I’ve got transcendence on my radar. Yeah, that’s, that I think is, again, that’s offensive to me, so that I just don’t, I can’t be enthusiastic about that kind of thing.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, I agree with you. And, and that’s definitely not my orientation. And I feel like they’re, we’re all theirs. We’re all part of the web of life, you know, we can start getting into the way Native Americans talked about it and all but Well, John Donne, in that poem, no man is an island and you know, ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for the anything that is happening to anybody anywhere, it’s happening to me, and vice versa. And so we’re all we’re all in the same boat. And if the boat goes down, we all go down. And then to me, spirituality is a nice, it’s an important component in turning around the way mass consciousness is oriented. And, obviously, there needs to be political things and technological things. And you know, we need to stop doing this and that and there’s all kinds of you can’t just sort of, say if spirituality is just going to solve it, and I can just sit here and meditation, it’s all going to work itself out. All that stuff has to be dealt with and we need new, you know, all kinds of solutions on all kinds of levels. But this is an important and very fundamental part of the mix in my opinion, because ultimately, everything we see around us in society, all the industries and the economies and everything else are are an expression of are a manifestation of human consciousness or psychology. And if we want those things to change, then perhaps we need to change the thing that gives rise to them, which is human consciousness or, you know, well, our way of being a way of thinking
Joey Lott: works in work, everything works both ways that the trouble is that the kind of have a monster that’s been created that now influences that the Creator.
Rick Archer: Right. And so I guess, you know, maybe a chicken and egg question, but I sort of feel like consciousness is was more fundamental and therefore more pivotal. And if we really want to tame that monster, then, you know, this gives us a handle, we may seem helpless in comparison to the big multinational corporations and all that. But there actually is a sort of a power in in those subtle levels are more powerful, you know, I mean, the atomic is more powerful than than the molecular. And molecular is more powerful than mechanical. So if we can actually sort of affect the change at a more subtle level, it can have ramifications on all the grocery levels that merely working on the gross levels won’t enable us to achieve. Maybe you can say I like to play with ideas. I mean, obviously, these things are. They’re nice theories. And let’s see how it pans out. You know, I’m not saying this is some kind of gospel truth here or anything. Yeah, yeah. Okay, I don’t think any more questions have come in. Let me just take a quick check. Haven’t heard anything from Dan in London, who fields me the questions? I think we’re good. So we’ve said a lot. And you have a lot to say. And I think you’re you’re a real interesting guy. And I encourage people to, you know, check out your website and seems like you, you’re writing new things all the time. And all you have a blog, right where we post stuff. So and that’s what is your website?
Joey Lott: Joanie, live.com,
Rick Archer: Joey lot, comm Jo EY, l ott.com. And you have some kind of like, email list or something that people can get on to be notified when you post new things? Yeah,
Joey Lott: right. I mean, yeah, there’s a there’s a signup form right on the front of the website.
Rick Archer: And you like, do individual Skype sessions with people or anything like that?
Joey Lott: Well? I bet I don’t. Not real crazy. Now. I’m not well, I’m not sure I’m not sure how to continue doing that. It’s it’s, I don’t I feel conflicted about taking money for them. But it’s hard to set aside the time without money. So I I’m at best ambivalent about it.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I guess it depends on whether you have other means of, of supporting yourself. You know, I mean, money is not necessarily the root of all evil. And if you’re if you’re doing that all day and starving to death, you wouldn’t do it be doing it too long. So, gotta and also people value something sometimes more if they have to commit a little bit, you know, if somebody would just wants to talk to you out of some kind of trivial curiosity, maybe having charging a modest amount would weed out some of that?
Joey Lott: Yeah.
Rick Archer: Well, no, I’m not trying to talk to you. Do what you want to do whatever. Yeah. All right. Thanks, Joey. Well, let me just make a few general wrap up points. I’ve been speaking with Joey lot, and very much enjoyed this conversation. Joey, I’ll be linking to Joe’s website and some of his books on the page that I’ll create for him on batgap.com. And as I said, In the beginning, there have been hundreds if not, yeah, 100 330 Something interviews like this so far, and I intend to keep doing them. So if you want to check out some of the past ones, go to batgap.com. Check out the past interviews menu. If you’d like to be notified of new ones, there’s a place there to sign up to be notified by email about once a week when a new one is posted. There’s the donate button, which I mentioned earlier, kind of depend on that sort of support. And there’s also an audio podcast of this, which is very popular, almost as many people listen to that as watch the videos. So there’s a place on BatGap to sign up for the audio podcast. So thanks for listening or watching. And thank you again, Joey. I really, really did enjoy talking to you ever get down to Santa Fe. I’d love to meet you.
Joey Lott: Sure. And thank you very much. I enjoyed it too.
Rick Archer: Okay, bye bye.
Joey Lott: Bye.