John Samsen Transcript

John Samsen #433

December 24, 2017


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>>Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually awakening people. I have done over 430 of them now, and if this is new to you and you would like to check out previous ones, please go to , B-A-T-G-A-P, and look under the ‘Past Interviews’ menu.

My guest today … oh, I always have to make a little plug here! This whole program is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers – we spend most of our time working on it – and those who wish to support it may do so by clicking on the ‘PayPal button’ on any page of our site.

So my guest today is John Samsen, and um, we first heard from john a few months ago. He’s said – in an email – he said, “I’m about 90 years old, I’ve had both my feet amputated, and I’ve never been happier in my life,” and I thought, “Now that sounds interesting,” and Irene thought that sounded interesting too. So, well we both thought it sounded interesting.

So we inquired a little bit and turns out John has lived a very colorful and adventurous life, which morphed into a fascination with spirituality, which bore fruit! And he writes about his journey in this book, called The Journey to Metanoia, which we will be talking about.

So, you learned to fly airplanes at a fairly early age …

>>John: With Neil Armstrong, by the way.

>>Rick: Oh that’s right, he was in your flight school, or something like that?

>>John: Yeah, right.

>>Rick: Yeah, boy, you could have ended up on the moon.

>>John: Yeah, my wife said he went a lot further than I did.

>>Rick: That’s true! You did all sorts of things … just give us a quick rundown of some of the … I mean, you became quite an avid and expert skier … what were some of the other adventurous things you did in your younger days?

>>John: Well, as a kid I was kind of picked on and a loner, and didn’t have a good self-image. And I had a terrible first marriage – woman had big psychological problems. So after the divorce I decided to test myself and try things I wasn’t even … well, I wasn’t afraid … like going into the water and all that. So I took a scuba diving course, wound up diving in the Cayman Islands on sunken ships and stuff.

And I’d always been an airplane nut, and when I was 15 I learned to fly at our local airport, before I even learned to drive a car. And later on in my life I bought a Luscombe two place airplane. But anyway, I got into skiing and I loved it, and did a lot of skiing out in the Rockies and so on. And just, you know, enjoyed life, tried all sorts of things, had successes and failures, and it all worked out great.

>>Rick: Yeah, and one of the things for which you’re actually somewhat famous in certain circles, is your car designer phase of your life. In fact, the woman who sets up the announcements on Facebook for these interviews, I didn’t send her a picture of you first, and she said, “Well, I couldn’t find a picture of John Samsen; just some guy who designed the Thunderbird,” so I said, “That’s the guy!”

John designed the Ford Thunderbird and the Plymouth Barracuda, which I believe you named, you named, because your love of scuba diving. Is that fair to say? Were you the primary designer of the Thunderbird?

>>John: Well, um, we had two designers picked to do the job and I was to do the front end of the car, the other fellow did the rear end, and we collaborated on the roof and fender line, and other things.

The other fellow’s name was … oh ho! There goes that short-term memory.

>>Rick: So did you design any other cars, or just the Thunderbird and the Barracuda?

>>John: Oh, I worked … I worked at Ford for three years, then I was hired over at Chrysler Corporation by Virgil Exner and worked on DeSotos, Imperials, and the whole Plymouth line of cars. And when we got into the muscle cars – the Roadrunners and the GTX and all that – that was a lot of fun working on those.

>>Rick: Cool. Well that’s neat. There were websites of you standing around next to these cars and all, sort of commemorating your contribution.

>>John: Yeah, the collectors kind of get a lot of fun out of putting me in their magazines and all that kind of thing.

>>Rick: Yeah. So let’s get on to the spiritual stuff. You know, in your bio here you say that you studied the sciences, mythologies, religions, philosophies and psychologies, to expand your understandings. A pattern of paranormal experiences opened your mind to areas of experience beyond the paradigms of science.

In 1970 you embarked on a quest of self-discovery, participating in hundreds of hours of intensive consciousness exploration, with such noted researchers as Drs. Jean Houston and Robert Masters, Dr. Lawrence LeShan, Robert Monroe, and others involved in the “human potentials” movements of the 1970’s.

And before we … I mean, actually, that’s kind of ahead of something that you experienced as a child, which I found interesting. You said that you had terrifying experiences in the realm of geometric principles, and it kind of reminded me of a couple of experiences I had when I was young. Can you elaborate on that a little bit, what that was?

>>John: Well they’re very hard to describe because they usually happened when I had been sleeping and awakened, and then I’d go back into sleep but I would go into some kind of trance state. And I was paralyzed, you know, because I knew what was coming.

And I was in a just terrifying, alien kind of universe. And it had forms but they weren’t solid, and some of them were so huge, and I felt so tiny against a planet-sized thing. And there was like a plane that went right through my body – it was like an endless two-dimensional plane with no thickness; it just passed right through whatever my body was in that state. I mean, it’s just so hard to explain. But I took it as very frightening because I was such a little kid.

>>Rick: Yeah, well I had something like that myself, which is why I found this experience interesting. When I was a little kid, getting the measles or mumps or something, having getting a high fever, I would have this experience of vast … vastness and tinyess, at the same time, you know? And also, infinite heaviness and infinite lightness.

>>John: Right.

>>Rick: Somehow all four of those things just, simultaneous or alternating or something! And I would just kind of sit there, kind of scared but kind of fascinated, and just play with this experience. And I’ve spoken to others who have had similar things, so it’s like somehow the fever was kicking me into a transcendent state or something.

>>John: Yeah, yeah, well there was a feeling-tone with my experiences, and every time I was aware of that feeling-tone it just terrified me, because I wasn’t in my world anymore, you know?

>>Rick: Yeah.

>>John: And sometimes my folks would throw water on me to get me back.

>>Rick: So you were really going into some kind of a trance state … I mean, you were really checked out?

>>John: Oh yeah!

>>Rick: Interesting.

>>John: And this happened, oh, dozens of times as I grew up.

>>Rick: Hmm. Well I should just mention that this also is a pattern that see, which is that very often people that have some kind of significant awakening later in life, have had spiritual experiences or unusual experiences like that as a child. Seems like they’re kind of ripe to have some kind of breakthrough in consciousness, at some point.

>>John: I see.

>>Rick: Yeah. Okay, then in my notes I note that you had … you experienced UFO sightings?

>>John: Yes, yes, that was when I was at Perdue. And the whole thing is kind of weird, because it was like in the Fall of … I don’t know exactly what year. A friend of mine had a book he found [called], Ask: Has the Earth Been Visited By Outer Space Entities? And it told about sightings all the way back hundreds of years, of UFOs, and it was the first time we’d ever heard of it, and we discussed it and so on.

And so we came back to school after the summer vacation, and after eating in the cafeteria we walked out, and a beautiful sunset, I mean, blue skies and everything. We were talking about something entirely different, and up in the sky we’re seeing this shiny object floating along over the city of West Lafayette, Indiana.

Yeah, we came out of the dining room and I was walking with the same fellow that we had discussed this UFO book with, the previous Fall. And we were looking up in the sky while we’re talking about something else, and there was this big … looked like aluminum shaped thing, kind of like a flattened toy top, and it was sort of cruising along horizontally over the city, in West Lafayette. But we … you know, it looked fairly large, we had a good view of it.

>>Rick: You were a pilot, you knew what a plane looked like.

>>John: Oh yeah.

>>Rick: This wasn’t a plane.

>>John: We were doing Aeronautical Engineering at Perdue, we knew what was what. Anyway, it took off and went up at a steep angle, and went up out of sight at a terrific speed. And what I noticed was that it did not turn itself like an airplane to fly into the wind; it just went up at a funny angle and ignored the atmosphere. So that gave me the idea that maybe this is a projection, rather than a real object, like a hologram or something.

>>Rick: What do you mean “a projection?” A projection by whom?

>>John: Well that’s a big question! My pet answer to that is that humans, maybe a 100 years from now, that know how to send things back through time and take a look at what’s happening in this crazy era!

>>Rick: Maybe, that’s a theory.

>>John: It’s an idea.

>>Rick: I’m more inclined to believe that it’s actually beings from other planets, but who knows. Anyways … go ahead, I’m sorry.

>>John: Did you hear the news yesterday about the Pentagon …

>>Rick: No … oh yeah, the Pentagon releasing … right.

>>John: The Pentagon has a whole operation study in it.

>>Rick: They released some video footage on the news and everything, yeah.

>>John: Yeah.

>>Rick: Well you know, it’s intriguing, I’ve always felt that a time would come when that whole topic would crack open, you know? And a lot of stuff is going to become public knowledge.

And I mean, if we see what’s happening right now with the “Me Too” movement and the intolerance of sexual harassment, it’s an example of how quickly the, sort of, social mentality can change.

>>John: Oh yeah!

>>Rick: And something like that could happen with the whole UFO world.

>>John: Yeah, well I think a lot of people are kind of ready for it.

>>Rick: Yeah, they are.

>>John: They’ve been thinking about it.

>>Rick: Interesting. Okay, so then you had all kind of other extraordinary events in your life, like you were living in this house and all the windows kept mysteriously breaking without anything striking them, the washer and the dryer would start all of a sudden …

>>John: Yeah.

>>Rick: You were having visions and noises, sound like a typical poltergeist situation.

>>John: Yeah, I felt like it had something to do with my mental state, because the windows broke on the night that my wife was in the hospital with a new baby. And I felt like I’d been wanting to get out of the marriage and I thought, “Oh boy, can’t leave now, there’s a baby here,” you know?

So all night, these windows kept breaking, all around the house. And when the insurance people came out, they couldn’t figure it out. There were no impact places on the glass, and all the windows had been put on, up and down the street, in the houses when they were all built, one after the other … nobody else had any broken windows, so …

>>Rick: Yeah, I was on a long meditation course in Spain one time and you know, there were hundreds of people meditating hours and hours a day for months on end, and stuff like that would happen all the time, like whole glass doors would just shatter all of a sudden, or cups on the table would just kind of explode, and peoples’ watches would just break, and all sorts of strange things, as if the consciousness field of all those people were having an effect on the physical environment.

>>John: I think so, yeah.

>>Rick: Okay, and I’m just leading you through some of the points that I saw in your book that I found interesting. We’re leading up to the big one, which is the whole metanoia thing. But then you went through a stage of what you called “self-healing – you healed yourself of mononucleosis, and a gallbladder operation … a gallbladder situation, and so on.

>>John: Yeah.

>>Rick: And you had some ESP experiences at some stage of the game?

>>John: Um …

>>Rick: Maybe not, I …

>>John: Well, I had some premonition, at times, I never had any imagery. I did have premonitions, like I said in there about my father. I was, around 1948 I was talking with my mother about the possibility of space flight and my father said, “Don’t think about that kind of stuff, you’ll hurt your mind.”

And something in me came up and my finger pointed at him and I said, “You’ll see men on the moon in your lifetime,” and his eyes got real big. And later on, after he saw the men on the moon, he bragged about it to all his friends.

>>Rick: Remembered it, yeah.

>>John: Yeah.

>>Rick: Well I’m mentioning some of this stuff just because it shows that all of your life you’ve been a guy that, sort of was tuned into something a little bit beyond the ordinary, and it’s significant. I mean, obviously these things are not in and of themselves spiritual awakening, nor are they like anything anyone should make a huge fuss about, but it shows that, you know, you have the kind of nervous system that was a little bit more multidimensional than the average, perhaps, and you were a good candidate for the spiritual awakening you eventually did undergo.

>>John: Well I did have a lot of beliefs and prejudices as a youngster, and a lot of this stuff that happened kind of broke through my beliefs and gave me the sense of taking a look at everything and not accepting any answers. I became a skeptic and kept my mind open about everything.

>>Rick: Yeah, um, so here’s an interesting one, what was this? “Omen and rest not restroom, gems among the stones, the clown, the fool, the trickster.” And there was a passage I copied from your book, which I could read, if you like, and you could elaborate.

You said, “While dining with my mother in a restaurant, I was startled to see …” – you had seen this little man in a restroom, or something like that, talk about that first.

>>John: Well, the first experience of seeing the little man, I had been to a workshop at Jean Houston’s, came back very high, elated, I had a mystical experience there. And so I decided to go out and have a big steak at a restaurant, and while I was driving I was thinking about the book Erri by Baharak, that talked about omens that would show that Is was watching and guiding.

So I, out of a state of fun I says, “I want to see an omen to see if I’m in the right direction,” and I didn’t see anything unusual. So I went in the restaurant and sat there and forgot all about that, put in my order and then I went into the restroom and this little man was standing in the center of the restroom. And he looked kind of like a circus clown – his clothes were big and sloppy and he had this flat-top hat, and his eyes didn’t seem to look in the same direction.

And I tried to ignore him and I went to the sink, and then he dropped this great big hunk of glass next to me and said, “What do you think this is?” and I said, “Well it looks like a great big piece of glass,” you know, and he said, “Well maybe it is, or it could be a big jewel, you never know.”

And then I remembered my omen thing, so I looked right at him and I says, “Okay, thank you,” you know? And then he says, three times, “Don’t listen to what they say. Look for the gems among the stones,” and I said, “Thank you, I got it,” and I walked out of there.

And he looked just as real as anybody, I’d never had a hallucination like that in my life, but it’s hard to believe he was flesh and blood because he was so weird.

>>Rick: Interesting. Now I’ll read this little passage from your book. You said, “Sometime later, while dining with my mother in a restaurant, I was startled to see the little man’s face in a frame on the wall. I went over to it and studied it.

It was his portrait, peeking out at me out of one eye, complete with the floppy hat. The old print was of a painting titled, The Happy Wanderer. I remembered the song of the same name, I Love to go a Wandering, etc.

Years later, a search on the Internet brought up some interesting things, I found out that there are architypes that have popped up many times over the millennia, in human art and literature, and according to Jungian analysis, in dreams: the clown, the fool, and trickster.

According to James Lewis, this archetype tries to bring attention to our, or other peoples’ often hidden stupidity, shams, or lies. He is also the unexpected, spontaneous idiot aspect of life, which for no reason at all emerges into our carefully arranged life to upset it.

Trickster is a shape-shifter and so has the possibility of transformation. The undeveloped idiot side of this symbol may have a type of clear-sightedness, due to lacking the complications and contradictions of thinking and intellectual values. It may also be creative in a serendipitous sort of way, because it doesn’t seriously hold on to a purpose or idea” – oh, actually, that’s the end of that quote that I wanted to read.

But anyway, so that’s kind of cool.

>>John: Yeah, well I thought so.

>>Rick: Yeah. Okay, so now let’s get on to your metanoia experience. Explain to people what that word means and kind of, set the stage for us in terms of this experience – what led up to it and what it actually was.

>>John: Well, the term ‘metanoia’ is ancient Greek, and it … at least with the humanistic and transpersonal psychology people, they say it means a breakdown of your belief system and then a regeneration of your whole belief system, I guess.

>>Rick: So it kind of falls apart and comes back together again.

>>John: Right, yeah, and in my case it was a real breakdown of my belief in myself and who I was, and so on. And anybody would have taken me to the psychologist, you know, saying, “He’s got a nervous breakdown going.” But some …

>>Rick: Why the break?

>>John: Well it was a whole succession of things, but I’d had Jean Houston come to Detroit, gave a program, and I says to her, and then afterwards she sent a couple of guys out to my house that were looking for people that were into that kind of stuff.

So all of a sudden, I had this, I guess a revelation … it’s really hard to explain, but it was like, well, it was after these fellows left and I meditated.

>>Rick: After who left? Oh, those guys.

>>John: The fellas that came out and talked with me.

>>Rick: Got it.

>>John: And they were kind of weird, and I began to feel like something is happening. And so I meditated, and for a while it was like any quiet meditation, and then a voice said, “I will show you anything you want to know, so I go, “Okay, what’s this world all about, that we’re in?”

And it was not a verbal thing, it wasn’t intellectual, there was some imagery. It’s something that my mind could hardly remember, but deep inside I know what it was telling me, and it’s basically that … how this world is an illusion, and how we are not just part of it; we’re in it but we’re not of it, and that kind of thing.

And, so that was something that started the whole thing. And then I began to feel like there was a house of cards falling apart, and I didn’t feel comfortable at all, and I went into this kind of, I guess a breakdown – nervous breakdown, whatever you want to call it.

And so I wound up in a state where um, there was this bad feeling-tone. And the world looked like an illusion, I mean, definitely, I went outside and people looked like characters in a movie. And this Intelligence was talking with me and said, “You found the truth and the truth has set you free,” and I said, “Well, I like this lifestyle. I mean, I like this story I’m in. I don’t want to be free right now,” etcetera.

And it said, “Well you can stay as long as you like.” “Well,” I said, “I can’t live in it if its illusion,” you know? “I gotta believe it’s real.” And so for four days I tried to find a way of staying in the world and making it real, and I couldn’t do it.

And so I finally gave up and I’d figured I gotta die. And so I took a shower, straightened up the house, left a note, got in bed and said, “Okay, I’ll go.” And, didn’t go. “Okay, I’ll count down from 20 to zero, and when I get to zero I’ll be outta here.”

We got down to zero and I’m still here. And I began to panic a little and I thought, “Maybe I have to kill the body,” and this Intelligence says, “No, no, you never kill the body.” Okay, so I give up, I can’t do anything. And as soon as I did, I lost consciousness and it’s kind of a long story …

>>Rick: Yeah, we have time.

>>John: Okay, but I went through something like I had read about the bardo in The Tibetan Book of the Dead – Jung’s description. And I, there was temptations, there were like lifelike couples ready to have a baby in different parts of the world, and it was implied that I could get reborn there.

And then there were kind of scary monsters along the way that I just said, “You’re illusion,” you know, “you don’t bother me.” And so I eventually saw the light, you know, like the light at the end of the tunnel, and I just kept going to it.

And suddenly I woke up, and here I was in bed, and this beautiful light was filling the roo, and it was the sunlight coming in in the early morning. And the feeling-tone was gone, everything looked real, and I was happy as a clam. I got out and got dressed, and went out and looked at the world and it was just glowing, kind of like a recognition feeling. And I was just, you know, I guess in bliss, and I couldn’t really make any decisions for a while, and I felt like a little newborn puppy, and it was pretty neat.

>>Rick: Nice! Now of course this happened what year?

>>John: ’78.

>>Rick: So a long time ago, 40 … 40 years?

>>John: Yeah, it was 40 years ago.

>>Rick: Yeah, and yet, it was a watershed moment for you; you’ve never been the same since. Right?

>>John: Oh no. Immediately there was no fear of death, there was kind of a knowledge of eternal life, deep within-side. And I still knew the world was illusion but I loved it! It was a marvelous illusion, you know? Took billions of years to create it.

And I was totally content, I never have wanted anything more. And surprisingly, about two-and-a-half years ago – this isn’t in my book; after I wrote it this happened – but I had a realization that I went to the center of being, which was pure love, and this really opened up love in me. I’d never, you know, been that big of a lover of anything, but afterwards, I just was in love with everything, everybody, and I know what the pure love is.

And I like to call it ‘love,’ I feel comfortable. Some people could say, “God is love,” I feel like not that comfortable with that idea. But at any rate, that has really enhanced my life. I didn’t know I could get any happier than I had been, but I am now.

And all these things that happened to me – I love my body, I love my stumps, whatever!

>>Rick: That’s neat, I mean that’s one of the things I found inspiring about you when we first heard from you was, you know, a lot of people could get kind of depressed being quite old, and having had their feet amputated, and all that stuff, you know, [like] “What have I got to live for?”

But you were kind of living proof that one could be very happy for no apparent external reason, because – I mean I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but obviously there’s a source of happiness within [that] you have constant access to. Would that be fair to say?

>>John: Yeah, I think it’s that you’ve got rid of everything you didn’t like and you’ve accepted everything, no matter what it was like – you know, painful, whatever – and so you’re happy! Because it’s when you resist things that you’re not happy.

>>Rick: Yeah, yeah. I mean, Byron Katie is most famous for saying that. She has a book called Loving What Is, and she says, “If you argue with reality you’re going to lose every time.” That’s what she says.

>>John: Right! You not going to feel good.

>>Rick: Yeah, but I mean, people might say, “Well, yeah but, how can you be happy about physical infirmity or injury or anything like that?” I mean, you can’t resist it if it happens, I guess it has happened, but how do you manage to be happy in spite of it, or in the face of it?

>>John: Well it’s like, it’s like there’s two separate realms. There’s the realm of ‘my physical body and my personality,’ and then there’s this realm of ‘my real being,’ you know, which I consider the awareness, and so I don’t … I see the two separate.

And I feel pain, like crazy at times, and I would rather not, but it’s okay. It doesn’t affect my happiness, my well-being.

>>Rick: Yeah, which you derive from that – excuse me – from that realm of your real being, as you put it.

>>John: Yeah, right.

>>Rick: Yeah. And just so that people can relate to this experience themselves, when you say that they’re separate, would you say that you can actually find a demarcation between them, like here’s this over here and this over here? Or is it really impossible to find the gap, and yet somehow these simultaneous … these realms coexist simultaneously?

>>John: Well, you know, it’s hard – hard to explain intellectually. It’s not duality, and I guess the term ‘Nonduality’ is pretty good because it’s not singularity either. So yeah, even though I’m from the timeless realm, I am also connected to this physical space-time realm, and this body and personality! And it’s neat, I like it!

>>Rick: It’s like you’re in the world but not of it.

>>John: Yeah, mm-hmm, yeah.

>>Rick: Yeah, nice. So once this shift happened 40 years ago, aside from the subjective fulfillment that it resulted in, you know, this happiness-regardless-of-circumstances condition, did it have any impact on your relative life, on your outer life, or would people who knew you not have really noticed any change in that?

>>John: Well, that’s kind of hard to say. At the time that this happened, one of the factors that precipitated the breakdown was that my second wife had been killed in a car crash, and then the Chrysler Corporation, where I worked, had to shut down for four months because of the oil crisis that OPEC created, and the people that were running my properties were out of work and couldn’t pay their rents, and I had a lot of bills piling up, and I had to sell my place – my property … the house I just designed. And so I went through a lot of loss and I think that really helped precipitate what happened, although it took two years from my wife’s death till this happened.

>>Rick: So all these calamities that you just mentioned happened prior to this big metanoia?

>>John: Yes, and they were what really changed my life.

>>Rick: You know, having been meditating myself for 50 years, and having been doing this show for the last 8 and talking to so many different people, I’ve noticed patterns.

>>John: I’m sure.

>>Rick: Yeah, and one of those patterns is that very often, all sorts of difficulties precede a profound spiritual awakening. In fact, my teacher of many years once said, “When the postman knows you’re going to move, he tries to deliver all your mail.”

>>John: Yeah!

>>Rick: Yeah, so you know, a lot of people experience that kind of thing, like all hell seems to be breaking loose, things fall apart, breaking down, can’t accomplish anything, you’re losing money, you’re going bankrupt, you’re losing your marital status, or whatever. And it’s almost like this huge purgation or, you know, a catharsis or something that is taking place,. in order for you to have a big breakthrough.

>>John: Yeah, that’s interesting.

>>Rick: Hmm. Alright, so you went through all that and … as we’re going along here John, if you think of things you want to say and I’m not asking the right questions, you just pipe up, you know, because that often happens – I can’t think of everything.

>>John: Yeah.

>>Rick: And also, people listening, if you wish to submit questions, go to the ‘Upcoming Interviews’ page on, there’s a form at the bottom.

>>John: Okay.

>>Rick: Yeah, okay. So all hell broke loose, you lost all this stuff, you had your big breakthrough I guess, and then you went down to Florida, or was that the right order of events?

>>John: Yeah, pretty much.

>>Rick: (coughing) Excuse me. And you lived on a boat?

>>John: Yeah.

>>Rick: And how did you make a living when you were living on a boat?

>>John: I got into trading commodities …

>>Rick: Commodities, yeah, and you actually said you didn’t lose your shirt doing that?

>>John: No, I was very cautious, and the first year I did it on paper without really making trades and I showed a profit. Second year I made small trades, small … I don’t … forget what you call it, and then I did well. So third year I started making big purchases, big trades, and I made like $50,000 per six months.

Then the big companies that were involved in commodities, you know, agriculture and all, they started using computer programs and they started going after little guys and knocking them out and all that, so I gave it up. But I also did design work for a number of companies, you know, as an independent designer.

>>Rick: Yeah. And what else is significant about your path? I mean the whole Jean Houston thing, she’s still alive and kicking, I mean, she’s doing all kinds of things.

>>John: Oh yeah.

>>Rick: I’d like to get her on the show, I’ve emailed her and she didn’t respond. But anyhow, what … here’s a question: what do you feel … I mean, you mentioned meditation, you mentioned Jean Houston, these various people you’ve studied with, what things worked best for you? What do you feel was the most impactful or efficacious in bringing about transformation in you?

>>John: I think it was some of the Jean Houston workshops because she was … she named them “dromenon” and said that they were to discover your talents, your abilities … and all this and that, and become better. Her ultimate purpose was really to make breakthroughs and awakenings, and so some of the things she put us through, we had like many awakenings or mystical experiences and that sort of thing.

And yeah, I consider myself as sort of grandma Moses of awakening people, because I didn’t study under gurus or through the Vedanta system, or you know, anything like that – a lot of people do.

>>Rick: Well you studied with teachers though, Jean Houston and others.

>>John: Yeah, yeah, but it wasn’t through any of the traditionals. She didn’t use any of the Eastern techniques or anything.

>>Rick: Yeah, yeah. And she was good friends with Teilhard de Chardin when she was young.

>>John: Oh yeah, right, yeah.

>>Rick: Didn’t even know who he was at the time.

>>John: Yeah …

>>Rick: But share this relationship with him.

>>John: Yeah.

>>Rick: And so when I talked to you a couple of months ago you said, “Well, we’re going to sell our house in South Carolina and buy a big RV and drive to California. But first I have to get my prosthetic feet in order to do that.” And I thought, “Holy mackerel! This guy doesn’t run out of energy.”

>>John: Yeah, well, I didn’t realize how long it would take to get up on my prosthetic feet without a lot of pain and all, and our health is deteriorated, and my memory, my short-term memory has been going kind of poorly, so we decided it’s not a good idea.

And my wife’s daughter lives in Long Beach and she decided we should be in this assisted living place, so all of a sudden we found ourselves there. But she wants to get us in California near her, and I think that’s probably what’ll happen eventually.

>>Rick: Good. So what would you say to people who are listening to this show and who therefore are spiritually inclined, and who are kind of concerned about growing older, it depresses them?

I mean, this guy I interviewed actually, named Wayne Wirs, who committed suicide about six months ago, or four maybe, because he had some … he had slipped on some rocks and hurt some nerve and he was in a lot of pain. And he had this kind of cavalier attitude about being in a body, he felt like, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll just get into a better body that doesn’t have this pain, so I’m checkin’ out.”

I mean, you know, and there’s … what would you say to people with regard to the preciousness of a body, even a body that’s compromised in some way, and also, just the whole prospect of growing older? I have a second follow-up question to that, but I’ll let you answer that one first.

>>John: Well I, after the metanoia I just never had any concern about getting older. And the closer I got to 90 the more it became an objective, you know, I gotta make it to 90! Now that I’m here, maybe I’ll make it to 100, I don’t know.

But there’s a paradox in my feelings, I guess, because I love life so dearly, I’m so grateful for everything I’ve experienced, and yet I can go tomorrow and I don’t care. Because you know, it’s like watching a really good movie, and you’re enjoying the movie but if the reel breaks and all of a sudden it ends … “Well that’s okay, we’ll go do something,” you know, that kind of thing.

>>Rick: Yeah. Incidentally, I had a great aunt whom I taught to meditate when she was 91and she lived to be 107. And at 91 she was still driving around and stuff, and when she was 107 she was still balancing a checkbook and getting all upset about politics …

>>John: Wow!

>>Rick: … stuff like that.

>>John: That’s amazing!

>>Rick: Yeah, it’s pretty cool.

>>John: I really, you know, since I love life, I sure urge everybody to get all they can out of life and live as long as you can. And if you have obstacles and problems, you know, do what you can to overcome them, because who knows, who knows if you come back here more than once?

>>Rick: Yeah, I think you do, but nevertheless, it’s a precious opportunity and I mean, my attitude is, I’m 68, and like you, I could die tomorrow but I wouldn’t mind living till 90, 100, whatever, I mean, I enjoy life. But I just have the attitude that: well if this vehicle that I’m occupying gets sufficiently damaged and broken and stops working, I’ll get another vehicle. I mean, that’s what some of the traditions I most respect say … makes sense to me.

>>John: Yeah, yeah.

>>Rick: But still, I don’t think that’s our decision to make really. I mean sure, maybe there’s legitimate cause for euthanasia under dire circumstances, but somebody who says, “Well, I fell on my butt and I’ve got nerve pain and I want a better body,” I think that’s a little reckless.

>>John: Oh, I do too. I don’t think our decisions should be made by our personal mind. With me there’s a deeper – I call it “my will” – but a deeper mind or mentality that suddenly comes up and makes a decision, just like when it told my father he’d see men on the moon.

And there’s been a number of times in my life when that would come up and it was always right, and sometimes it was prophetic, and so on. So I think that’s what really makes the decision, not your ego-mind but the deeper mind.

>>Rick: Deeper mind, yeah. There’s a saying in Sanskrit which is, “Brahman is the charioteer,” and Brahman being that sort of universal Intelligence, you know, and that’s what’s really running the show.

>>John: Yeah.

>>Rick: Yeah, I mean, have you felt that since your metanoia, that there … that somehow you’re guided, not explicitly necessarily – it’s a subtle voice, it’s a quiet voice – but it’s a subtle impulse that you’ve learned how to recognize and cooperate with, that ends us moving life in the right direction?

>>John: Yes, yeah, I think so.

>>Rick: Yeah, in terms of the people we meet and all kinds of decisions we make.

>>John: Yeah, I think … I think so. I think … also I like to mention that since … I should say more about this last revelation.

>>Rick: Please do

>>John: Because what happened was, I was in an awful lot of pain. I had this disease called erythromelalgia for several years, and it was in the feet, or it was in one foot really, to start with. So I heard … I tried all the different remedies, you know, the painkillers and everything, nothing really helped much. And so I heard about people getting ketamine infusions.

Ketamine is an old anesthetic, and they drip into the bloodstream. And sometimes they put these people in a coma for like three days – they drip it into them – and they come out of there and they’re pain free for like a year or so, then they have to have boosters.

And I heard about a doctor in Charleston that was doing ketamine infusion, so I called in and made an appointment and I thought, I’ll try this and see if it helps. And I had a four-hour infusion with him, which wasn’t enough to help my pain, but it … as soon as I started going under it I had this vision like there was a huge globe, kind of like the earth. And the world we live in normally is on the surface – what is called the “surface world” – and I went down in where it was all red, like the magma or whatever inside the earth.

But immediately something in me recognized that this is Love, this is energy, this is the pure creative energy. And it was like below me was a boiling mass of glowing red, it was like fudge boiling in a pot, only glowing red. And instead of getting the idea that this was hell, like Dante probably did, I knew this was Love energy that creates the forms in the universes that people experience, or the Deity experiences through people, or whatever.

>>Rick: Yeah, that’s a good way of putting it.

>>John: And so this was really an important thing to me, and you know, a lot of people say, “Well maybe it was just the effect of the ketamine.” Well yeah! It was hallucinogenic and created some really neat light shows, and I liked them for a while and then I thought, “No, I want to go to the center of my being.”

And all I had to do was say that, and I went right down to the center. And when I came up out of it, my wife Tuckey was sitting next to me and the nurse titrating and I was so high, I told them, “Everything is love, there is nothing but love.” And I knew that with all of my being.

And whatever we people think is terrible happening on earth, love is the base of it.

>>Rick: Yeah, that’s beautiful. I was having a conversation about that, or something like that, with someone the other day, and they were having a hard time seeing how that could be the case because of all the horrible things that happen in the world.

>>John: Right.

>>Rick: And you know, and I … you know, I can see why they would feel that. I mean, you don’t want to be glib and say, “Oh no, it’s all love, and Auschwitz and all these other things … it’s all love.” It sounds callous, you know?

>>John: Yeah, yeah.

>>Rick: But I think if you can zoom out far enough, you can appreciate that there’s an evolutionary trajectory to the universe. I always like to think of it as one big evolution machine, you know?

>>John: Oh yeah!

>>Rick: Yeah, and perhaps that’s enough of a statement that you could springboard off of it and elaborate, so I don’t do all the talking.

>>John: Well, a metaphor that I’ve worked out that I kind of like is, you have a disc with a movie on it, like Gone with the Wind. And so you … this is strictly a recording – you put this in a machine, it projects onto a big tube or whatever, and suddenly this movie comes to life and it’s a space-time reality of its own, in your mind, as you take in the information.

And all sorts of bad things happen you know, Atlanta gets burned, people get killed, and all that, and you feel sorry for them. And maybe the people say, “Why does God let all this bad stuff happen to us?” But all you have to do is turn off the movie and it’s done, it’s over, and you know, it didn’t really happen.

And I think if God had gone into the Gone with the Wind movie and fixed all the problems and made everything good and happy, it wouldn’t have been very interesting and you would say, “Why should I watch that movie?”

So I think the earth has … our world has all kinds of bad problems because it makes it interesting! And I mean, it sounds callous, I think …

>>Rick: Yeah … I know what you mean. I have thought the same thought. And you know, it might lead some people to say, “Well is God some kind of sadist or something? He gets a kick out of seeing children starve to death … finds that interesting?”

But, I mean, I have an answer to that objection but do you, first, before I say anything?

>>John: Well, yeah, I mean look at us human beings – love to go horror movies, we love to see chainsaw murders go on, you know?

>>Rick: Not me!

>>John: Well I don’t either, but a lot of people do, and earlier in my life I did enjoy scary stories and this kind of thing. And … so I think the Deity does enjoy this kind of stuff because it’s not going to be real, it’s not going to be there forever. It’s just a temporary thing to experience.

>>Rick: Yeah, and I think one thing to consider here is that it’s not like the Deity is sitting up on some cloud watching all these dramas from afar, it’s like, this is the Deity – everything we’re seeing. And the Divine Intelligence, is there anything other than that? It’s interacting with Itself.

>>John: Right, right. But if It didn’t create universes and space-time worlds and all the stuff that go through, it would be kind of boring just sitting there and blissed of awareness, I think.

I think that’s part of us, we get bored with happiness. We want action, we want something new to happen, you know, and that’s probably the way the Deity feels.

>>Rick: Yeah, and I guess we’re anthropomorphizing It a bit saying, this is how It “feels,” but one way of thinking of it is that, if God is omnipresent, then could there be anything other than God? Because if there is, what’s that? If you look closely enough, it must be God, must be that Divine Intelligence.

And so everything is that, obviously interacting with Itself, because what else has it got to interact with? And that Self-interaction kind of stirs the pot and creates this sort of infinite dynamism that gives rise to this huge creative explosion of the universe.

>>John: Right.

>>Rick: Yeah, okay.

>>John: I think, you know, people would like to think that God had a plan and knew ahead of time, I don’t think so. I think first there was this boiling of energies, and the forces developed – you know, weak and strong forces and electromagnetic, and as they boiled and jumbled around they began to create harmonic vibrations, and became particles that became atoms, and on and on.

And I think the whole thing was like an experiment, and let it go and see what evolution does with it, and see what kind of things come out of it.

>>Rick: Could be, could be. I mean, yeah, I tend to agree with you. I think it’s like in Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Karen Allen asked Harrison Ford, “Well what’s the plan?” and he said, “I’m just making this up as I go along.”

>>John: Yeah!

>>Rick: But there was an overall goal, which was to escape from the Nazis and be safe, and all that stuff. So I think there’s an overall goal to the universe, which is evolution …

>>John: To wake up

>>Rick: Yeah, to wake up, to evolve forms, such as yours and mine and billions of others, through which more and more of that Divine Intelligence which we are can become a living reality, can be expressed in an embodied way.

>>John: Sure, and you know, I think there’s a lot to the idea in the Vedanta and other philosophies that God is like Lila on a lilypad dreaming all this, you know? And when one dream is over another dream starts, that kind of thing.

>>Rick: Yeah. Another thought to throw into the pot – we’re getting kind of philosophical here but it’s fun – is that …

>>John: Yeah.

>>Rick: I know in your book you have a bunch of chapters in the back where you wax eloquent on different themes, like that. But another thought to throw in here is regarding the whole thing of God being a sadist because of all the horrible stuff that happens is, if you’re going to have a relative world, it seems to me – I’m not sure if there is any way around this – that there have to be pairs of opposites.

>>John: Yeah.

>>Rick: If you’re going to have hot there has to be cold, if you’re going to have fast there has to be slow, if you’re going to have heavy there has to be light, and if you’re going to have … go ahead.

>>John: By the way, by the way, I hate to interrupt you but …

>>Rick: No, no, I want you to.

>>John: This is one of the things I thought out on a long time ago, that there are no opposites, there are only, you know, various degrees. Dark is the lowest degree of light.

>>Rick: Yeah …

>>John: you know, if you look at all these things, up and down, whatever, they’re really spectrums and different ends of the spectrum. So they’re polarities, and it’s the polarities that create the actions in the world and so on, and the duality that we need.

>>Rick: Yeah, yeah, good point. I mean, it’s not like ice is the opposite of steam; they’re just molecules vibrating at different rates.

>>John: Right.

>>Rick: Giving these different qualities And um … but anyway, for there to be diversity implies, by definition, that there is not going to be sameness. And so if there isn’t going to be sameness, if there’s going to be diversity, and if it’s going to be infinite diversity , which it appears to be, then really all possibilities have to be manifest. And that’s going to include some stuff that we may not prefer or may not like, but from the bigger picture, it’s all part of the totality, part of the package.

>>John: Yeah, yeah, I can go with that.

>>Rick: Yeah. You and I should have been sitting around for years by the fireside having these chats.

>>John: Oh, that would be fun.

>>Rick: Yeah. Um, so what else can we cover? I can take as much time as you like and … but I’m just kind of winging it here, like God … evolving the universe as it goes, I’m evolving this interview as it goes.

Can you think of anything else you’d like to cover in the time we have available?

>>John: (coughing) Excuse me.

>>Rick: Things that really light your fire.

>>John: Um … wow.

>>Rick: Like in the back of your book for instance, you have a bunch of chapters about things. Would it be of interest to you to discuss any of those?

>>John: Um …

>>Rick: You know, these essays you wrote?

>>John: Let me take a look …

>>Rick: Or would they be too speculative? You have the Illusion of Reality, the Reality of Illusion, Poles, Thinking, Ego Amo Te, Imagination, Imaginary Worlds, Consciousness and Knowing, Transformation, Perfection. Shall we touch upon any of those things?

And incidentally, while you’re thinking about that, here’s a guy in London asking a question.

>>John: Okay.

>>Rick: A fellow named Dan, who is a friend of mine. He says, “Do you have any fear of death at all?”

>>John: No … I don’t.

>>Rick: Alright, what if someone were to break into your house right now and hold a gun to your head, do you think you’d feel fear, or would you like just be pretty sanguine about it?

>>John: I don’t think I’d feel fear. I’ve been in some tough situations in the last 30 or 40 years, and I don’t feel any fear of it, no.

>>Rick: Yeah … because you’re … why? Why don’t you fear?

>>John: I think the fear is if you believe you have something really valuable to lose by dying, and I wouldn’t say that my world and life are that valuable. I love them and I’m grateful for them, but you know, they’re something that comes and goes! If it’s time to go, okay, you know?

>>Rick: Yeah, and I might add that you’ve already got something which is more valuable than that which comes and goes, therefore the coming and going doesn’t have as much impact as it might, if you thought that’s all there was.

>>John: Right, yeah. Yeah, well, I have a lot of feeling for my Epilogue. I don’t know if you’d want to read that or not, discuss it or whatever.

>>Rick: Sure. Is it something I should actually just read here or … let me just see … Epilogue. I mean, you want me to start reading it and you comment, or do you want to just … do you know what it contains well enough and you can just comment on it?

>>John: Um … well I think in order to comment it has to be read.

>>Rick: Alright, I’ll start reading and you interrupt me if you’d like to comment, okay?

>>John: Okay, sure.

>>Rick: So, “While flying across the country, I usually get a window seat or I spend a lot of time watching the earth below. From 30,000 feet humans are invisible, except through strong magnification, as I once watched one-celled creatures through my microscope.

But the evidence of human presence is everywhere, the patchwork quilts of farms, large lakes created by damned rivers, cities, ever spreading their tentacles outward, spider webs of roads and highways, and the many crop circles dotting arid lands, their irrigation pumps sucking up the groundwater.

Across the United States, as over most lands, I see many plumes of chemical smoke rising up thousands of feet to finally merge with the global layer of haze, pollution, and gases that are trapping more and more solar heat into the earth’s atmosphere.

It is difficult not to see our earth as being infected by a powerful virus, ever growing and consuming the resources of its host. Great oxygen-producing forests are being fed into paper mills to be made into our magazines and toilet papers, and eventually to be consumed and converted into carbon dioxide, as are the great deposits of oil, coal, and methane gas laid down over millions of years, not to be replenished in humanity’s lifetime.

Thousands of life’s species becoming obsolete as the pandemic spreads across the planet. A great extinction is happening now. Forty years ago that poetic anthropologist, Loren Eiseley wrote The Invisible Pyramid, in which he told of a parasite’s slime mold – mucoroides – found on the floor of many forests worldwide. They are one-celled individuals, too small for us to see without a microscope, who go foraging around consuming nutrients.

When there is not enough food left to support their population, the individuals congregate and climb upon each other to form slugs, then some of the cells change into tall structures. At the top of the towers, some individual cells become parts of a capsule and harden, trapping gases which increase in pressure.

Other cells go into hibernation in the capsule, becoming spores. Cells at the top of the capsule become light-sensitive and inform the rest of the tower so that it leans toward the sun. The pressure inside the capsule finally ruptures it and the spores are fired a considerable distance away, where some of them may eventually awaken and start new colonies.

Eiseley saw a parallel between the mold cells and us humans, as our ever-increasing population and economies, dependent on perpetual growth, consume our limited planet. Like the parasitic mold we are also building gantry towers for spacecraft, and our scientists are searching for places in our solar system or even in the vast space beyond, where we might establish colonies.

What no one addresses is the fact that only a tiny sample of our population, our spores, would get chosen to leave our planet, while the rest are left to fight over the remaining scraps of food, water, and energy. This is not a doomsday scenario for the future; it is what is happening right now.

In the light of this dismal picture, can I still assert that all is well, all is perfect? Let us continue.  This overview begs a question, one of the biggest: Why? Why are we doing this? Why do we want to infect more worlds? To what end?

The scientists cannot answer this, neither can those who write science fiction novels and movies. This drive behind our human activities is beyond questioning. It may be what some call the “life force,” the same drive that has populated our planet with countless species of life forms. It may perhaps be part of the mix of incredible forces that evolved the first vibrating energies into atoms, then into galaxies of stars and other phenomena.

To us humans, the universe seems anything but friendly. Galaxies are colliding…” – shall I keep going John?

>>John: Well, no, you don’t have to …

>>Rick: I mean I can, it’s interesting, but…

>>John: I know, yeah, this is kind of like … a very negative view of what’s happening in the world that a lot of humans espouse. And I mention, how can I still assert that everything is well, well, it goes back to the idea of a movie that this is … you know, an interesting movie that you’re watching, and yet when it’s over all will be well … I kind of think.

That’s the way I feel about it, but I also feel like a lot of people – that I love this planet and so many creatures on it and everything, and I hate to see so much destruction going on. I suppose it is part of the evolutionary forces that are going on in the universe, but there are a lot of things humans can do that, I think, make it a little nicer, a little more friendly.

>>Rick: Yeah, well you know, I think it was Einstein who said that, “You can’t really solve problems with the same mentality that created those problems.”

>>John: That’s right.

>>Rick: And seems to me that if we manage to get to Mars, which Elon Musk is trying to do, and others, and we have the same level of consciousness with which we have been living on earth, then we’re going to screw up Mars just as badly, if we manage to, you know, establish life there.

>>John: Yeah.

>>Rick: So, you know, Buckminster Fuller, whom I saw speak many years ago at a conference, had the concept of ‘spaceship earth,’ and you know, we kind of depend on this spaceship that we’re living on.

>>John: Yeah, that’s right.

>>Rick: Yeah, and it’s the only one we really, practically got. And so if we mess it up badly enough…? I mean, it’s entirely … the Scripps Institution of Oceanography recently released a report in which they said that in their opinion, there was about a 1 in 20 chance now that human life would not exist anymore by the end of this century, at the rate we’re going, with global warming and other things.

>>John: Wow.

>>Rick: Now, to my way of thinking that doesn’t mean that you and I won’t exist, but we won’t exist in these bodies.

>>John: Right.

>>Rick: But neither will your great grandchildren, because the earth will not be hospitable to bodies anymore – at least humans, at least mammals. But somehow, in my belief – for what it’s worth – we carry on, we continue. If necessary, we are incarnated at a more suitable place.

>>John: Well I’ve always had the feeling too, that everything is building up to a climax. You know, technology is accelerated, everything has been accelerating, seems like, and the weather, the problems of the earth and everything.

So, looks like maybe 50 years from now there’s going to be a big climax to all this stuff, and maybe some good stuff will get shook out of it, and so on. And I don’t know what will happen, but …

>>Rick: Yeah, well a lot of ancient cultures have said that that will happen. Back in the 70s I read a book called Prophecies and Predictions: Everyone’s Guide to the Coming Changes, by someone named Moira Timms. And what she did was she took the prophesies of a lot of different ancient cultures from around the world, correlated them with things that have already happened – and they correlated quite nicely – and then kind of extrapolated from there the things that they have predicted that haven’t yet happened, and tried to sort of give it some timeline as to when these things might happen.

>>John: Wow.

>>Rick: Yeah. But mostly, the theme of all of them was sort of: great trials and tribulations – cataclysms and so on – which if we pass through that gauntlet, you know, that trial, will … things will be pretty bright on the other side, but there might be a lot less people around to enjoy it.

>>John: This may have a parallel with the problems that the humans go through getting prepared for metanoia, and that humanity as a whole may be [getting/being] prepared for some big metanoia.

>>Rick: Very good point, yeah. Just like what happened with you; your whole life was falling apart and yet something wonderful happened.

>>John: Yeah.

>>Rick: Yeah, and I’m talking more in this interview than I usually do in most interviews just to kind of, you know, make it easier on you and just to keep the conversation going. But, so please, people listening, don’t give me too much flack for this. I often get flack for talking too much, but that’s just kind of the nature of this one.

But … what was I going to say? Oh yeah! Just that if we think of the possibility of some kind of ideal society, some kind of enlightened world, or however we want to conceive it, and then look around at what we’ve got going in this one, the way things are now, most of things we see don’t really have … they wouldn’t really fit in an enlightened world.

You know, so many of the technologies and the economic systems and the political systems, and the way people are treated, and all these things, so all that has got to change somehow.

>>John: Oh yeah, that’s right.

>>Rick: Yeah, and those who are attached to those things, whose livelihoods depend upon them, who have certain power that they’re enjoying, invested in these things, have finances invested in these things – might find the rug being pulled out from under them rather abruptly.

>>John: Right, yeah, yeah, that’s for sure. Well I wanted to mention that I was thinking about this, but I think you, and Irene and Jerry and people working with you, are creating a library of spiritual information that is unique. And I think it’s going to be available for people to study, generations into the future … if we have generations in the future!

>>Rick: Yeah, I hope so. You know, I hope this will be beneficial for people for a long time to come.

I was emailing with a friend the other day about my legacy, so to speak, and I said, “I don’t really care if anybody remembers me – you know, Rick Archer – what would that accomplish, for them or me? But I just have this feeling with my life, and I’ve had it ever since I became a meditation teacher, like almost 50 years ago, that I just wanted to contribute as much as possible, in terms of the, sort of, betterment of the world.

And a lot of people feel that way with their lives and they have different ways of contributing, and I honor them, and I love and respect them, but that’s kind of been my motivating force. And that was kind of in part, a deep part of my motivation in starting this.

>>John: You know, I felt that all my life, wanting to do something for humanity, or whatever is behind humanity. And a lot of people find different ways to do it

>>Rick: Absolutely. We can’t all be doing the same thing.

>>John: You know, my second wife was a teacher. She taught meditation, taught healing … a lot of spiritual things, and she would study spiritual things really quickly in order to get something to teach. And my feeling was, I didn’t have to teach; I just wanted to know! I wanted to gather all this information up and then maybe eventually write a book or whatever. So everybody has different ways to express this. I think what you’re doing is really a neat thing.

>>Rick: Yeah, well thanks. One of my motivations in starting this was that I knew a lot of people who had been meditating a long time, because a lot of them live in this town, and some of them were starting to have metanoia – have shifts, you know, spiritual awakenings.

And they were very inspired by that and they would start telling friends, and friends would kind of shoot them down, they’d say, “Ah well, you don’t look like you’re any different than you were,” you know? Their friends had some vision about what an enlightened person was supposed to look like, and so they doubted that good old Joe Shmo could have undergone any big, significant …

So I thought, I’m going to start an interview show where I interview some of these people, and then their peers, their friends can see that, “Well, it’s happening to more people, maybe it could happen to me?”

And so I just started as a local thing here, I thought it was going to be a local radio show, and then it kind of blossomed out and took off on the Internet. And you know, it’s kind of having that effect for …

>>John: Wow! Yeah … well I always felt like an ordinary person and I think most people always took me for that, you know? I certainly didn’t go around with an “awaking pin” on my shoulder, or whatever, but yeah, I think that’s neat.

>>Rick: Well that’s an important one too, I mean, the subtitle of this show: “Interviews with Spiritually Awakening People” … Ordinary! Excuse me, “Ordinary Spiritually Awakening People.” And the very title of the show, Buddha at the Gas Pump, is meant to imply that ordinary people, in ordinary circumstances, are having profound spiritual awakenings, and you don’t have to be some monk on a mountaintop or something to have this; it’s something that is the birthright of every human being

>>John: Yes. I went to a lecture by the head of the Sufi Movement of North America, and he was dressed all in white robes and he looked like a gorgeous guru and all that, and he did a nice program. And I went back and talked with him afterward, and I hugged him and I said, “I’m glad you’re doing this because then I don’t have to.”

>>Rick: What did he say?

>>John: He said something … I don’t remember what all was said.

>>Rick: Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, I mean I was watching a Mooji interview or video the other day, and he was all dressed up in white robes – I think it’s some special occasion – and there’s a lot of devotion around him and everything.

That to me is okay, it’s part of the whole diversity-of-life kind of thing, that this all has different expressions. And if some people want a more devotional scene, you know, where they can bow at the feet of a teacher, then let them have that experience, you know? It may not be something they do all their lives but it’s a phase, maybe.

>>John: Yeah, whatever works, do it.

>>Rick: Yeah, whatever floats your boat.

>>John: Right.

>>Rick: Yeah. Okay, well, I don’t necessarily need to wrap it up, but this has been a good conversation; we’ve been going on for pretty long now.

>>John: Yeah.

>>Rick: And obviously if anybody has had any questions, they can send them in, but maybe it’s a little late for that now. But I wanted to show people your book (holding it up). This is called Journey to Metanoia, and it kind of follows the pattern of this interview itself, in which in the beginning … (coughing) excuse me … you talk about your life and all the adventures you went through with airplanes, and skiing, and car design, and all that stuff.

But then it gets into the more spiritual stuff and your metanoia experience, which is explained in quite some beautiful detail in here. So if anyone is interested in reading this, I will have a link to it on your page on

And if anybody wants to get in touch with you, I mean, do you ever like just have chats with people? Because a lot of people watch this and …

>>John: Oh sure!

>>Rick: … somebody might want to call and just talk to you and whatever. How would they do that?

>>John: I guess get in touch with email and make an appointment or something.

>>Rick: Okay, so if you like, I’ll put your email address on your page, and people can just click on that and get in touch and have a talk.

>>John: Okay, that would be great, sure.

>>Rick: Good. Well, as they said in Star Trek, you know … how did that guy do that? “Live long and prosper.”

>>John: Yeah, yeah. This has been great and really nice talking with you. I wish we could have some more chats like this.

>>Rick: Well, if I ever get to South Carolina, or maybe … in fact, the guy who does the video post-production for this show lives in … what’s it called? Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. It’s not …

>>John: Oh, I know where that is, yeah, near Myrtle Beach

>>Rick: Yeah, near Myrtle Beach. So I’d love to meet you in person, and if not, it’s really been a joy meeting you in this context. And I hope everyone has enjoyed, you know, getting to know you a little bit, and derives great inspiration from our talk.

>>John: Well it sounds good, yeah. I sure appreciate doing this with you.

>>Rick: Yeah. Let me make a couple of quick wrap up points. I’ve been speaking with John Samsen. He’ll have a page on like everyone does, through which you can find out a little bit more  about him, click through to to order his book, get in touch with him if you want to.

And this is part of an ongoing series of interviews. We’ve had some technical and scheduling glitches and so I’ll be doing another one tomorrow, which I don’t usually do. That’ll be with Joi Sharp, so those who are watching this one live could tune into that, if they wish to. And then I’ll continue to do them every week, until hopefully long after I am John’s age.

>>John: Wow, okay.

>>Rick: God willing. So thanks for listening or watching everybody, and thank you, John.

>>John: Thank you!

>>Rick: Yep, and we’ll see you all next time.

>>John: And happy holidays.

>>Rick: Yes, happy holidays. We are right before Christmas.


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