Judy Cohen Transcript

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Judy Cohen Interview

Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. Buddha the gas pump is a study okay. I started laughing at myself because I’ve said this so many times and I started thinking about how it sounds to people who’ve heard me say it every week and maybe I should change it. Alright 5432 Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. Buddha at the Gas Pump is a nun. What am I doing? Okay?

Judy Cohen: I’m glad that you are not me. That’s all.

Rick Archer: Okay, brain to body go 5432 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’ve done nearly 500 of them now. And if this is new to you, and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to the past interviews menu on batgap.com Bat gap where you’ll find all the previous ones categorized in various ways. This program is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. So if you appreciate it and would like to support it in any amount, there’s a PayPal button on every page of BatGap COMM And also there’s a page about other ways to donate if you’re if you don’t like PayPal. My guest today is Judy Cohen. Judy is a former clinical psychologist, former serial entrepreneur, which I presume mean she tried a lot of ventures, not all of which turned into the next Amazon, former depressed anxious anti depressant taking suicidal despair. She used to be a seeker of self improvement. She used to be a certified facilitator of the Work of Byron Katie. In fact, I think there’s still something on your website about your doing that although you say that you don’t do it anymore. So you might want update your website. Also a certified senior facilitator trainer of the living inquiries, which is got kilobits thing, right. Okay. So she’s not certified in either method anymore. She was desperate to feel better. Luckily, eventually, Judy came to see that the method she was trained and certified in actually perpetuated, strengthened the sense of self as damaged. Several awakening experiences happened. Contrary to popular myth, they didn’t put an end to unpleasant feelings. So all that seeking the inquiry, the desperation to shift was for what them? Judy finally realized she could give us give up seeking because this is it as it is, which sounds kind of curious, but we’ll talk about that. And what could any teacher or technique give her that wasn’t already there. Already here rather, that she didn’t already have. She came to see that every experience good, happy, bad, or sad, is an awakening. She knew to give up seeking because there was nothing more to get. She’d had it all along, much more fun. This no duty to fix nothing to seek existence. But of course, she’s also still here as God because human continuous and paradoxically, that’s better. Alright, I told you that might not read the whole bio, but I did because it was kind of fun and entertaining the written as are things on our website sort of a playful, irreverent kind of tone. Does that describe your personality? playful and irreverent?

Judy Cohen: It does. I’m not one of these. Spacey all good types. Yes. I’m I like to laugh.

Rick Archer: How? How long? I mean, when do you first get started on the spiritual path that you’ve been at it since you were a teenager to pick it up later in life or what?

Judy Cohen: I I spent most of my life miserable. And I stumbled on Byron Katie in my mid 50s. And so yes, yes. 11, 12 years ago, so. Yeah, something like that approximately then, and I just stumbled on her name on a talk radio station in the middle of the night. And until then, I would say that and even then, I was skeptical and mocking, I would say, this kind of stuff. Absolutely. I had no interest. And when I came across it, I found it amusing.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, you must have felt you were getting something out of Byron. Katie Are you wouldn’t have become a certified facilitator, right? Or practitioner, whatever they call. Yeah, for

Judy Cohen: sure. I jumped in wholeheartedly. When I, I didn’t really understand it. But it’s it came to my neighborhood. I didn’t really know at the time, I didn’t have any background. So I didn’t know at the time that she came to my neighborhood several times a year. I didn’t know that. And I was all in for a few years there. Yeah.

Rick Archer: And what’s so did you really feel that? How did you say here? The methods you were trained and certified and perpetuated? Strengthen the sense of self as damaged? Did it really do that? Or was there some positive aspect to it was maybe counterbalanced by this strengthening of the self is damaged?

Judy Cohen: Well, I came to that realization later. But at first, what I found the work amazingly good for and it definitely was, there were many ways that it was very helpful. And I would say that it was my entry point, to, to a real sense of what I am and what I am not, it was the entry point. And I think as a way to make the dream world less painful. It’s great. And why wouldn’t you want to do that? Yeah, so you know, I mean, if if it if you did nothing but that fab, you know, I mean, make

Rick Archer: the dream world less painful? Yeah. And by dream world, of course, you mean, the world we all live in? you’re alluding to it as a dream world. Right?

Judy Cohen: Well, you know, it’s not a reality from what I can see. It’s a we have all agreed tacitly to accept the fake as real. And yet, we, you know, we, we appear to live in it. And we have to, we have to do our best in it. And if we can find a way to not hurt, why wouldn’t we want to do that? Yeah. So the work the work, definitely do that for me for a while.

Rick Archer: Sure. I mean, I think it’s a universal thing that people want to be happier. Not hurt. Yeah.

Judy Cohen: Yeah. Who would want to hurt on purpose? I mean, I guess there are people that do, but

Rick Archer: when they do they somehow derive some sense of gratification out of it in the right. Storage kind of way. Well said, yeah, yes. So let’s say that you go and take a vacation and Yosemite National Park and you spend time walking among the redwoods and just living in a cabin for a while and being out in nature. Is that also the dream world just as much as living in Los Angeles, or Philadelphia? Or is that some way?

Judy Cohen: Yes. And I’m going to answer all these questions as if, with a kind of certainty, I just want to be really clear that ordinarily, when I’m speaking or thinking, for myself, I am aware that in the end, none of us really knows the answers to these questions. And, you know, we have strong ideas and opinions, but I’m also aware that that’s all it is. And so, you know, is that also a dream world? Yes. It’s, it’s all it’s all projected. It’s all perception, and it’s all smoke and mirrors. Yeah.

Rick Archer: So let me phrase it a different way and see if you agree with it. So by calling a dream world, they saying that whatever it is, you know, our particular filtered view of it, which is necessarily filtered by the nature and limitations of our senses and understanding is not what it really is. It’s only a kind of a limited people into what the full reality of it might be.

Judy Cohen: Yes, and I think it’s distorted, ferociously distorted, also. So it is a limited people, we are limited by what this brain is capable of perceiving what the hardware is capable of perceiving. And, you know, we have great faith in these brains, but they are, they have limits. Yeah. And so we’re not only limited by that, but in addition, we are it’s it’s twisted, distorted, mostly by language. Yeah, go ahead.

Rick Archer: So, okay, a couple questions there. So would you say that it’s distorted to different degrees in different people’s experience?

Judy Cohen: Yes or no? Yes, in the sense of if you are having you Rick, the character Rick is having a problem with a neighbor. You may not see that situation clearly that will be distorted. But in addition, the idea that there is a you there is a neighbor, there is a, a home and a next door and a house and all of that, that is also that is kind of a universal distortion. I see. So there’s, there’s the, the individual distortion that comes out of our apparent backgrounds and conditioning and family life from childhood. And there’s also the, the agreed on conditioning, or twisted perception of all of us. Yeah, that we start training in from the time where, from the time we learn to speak,

Rick Archer: which makes life possible. I mean, we all agree that there’s a stop sign there, and then we’d better stop at it, or else we’re gonna get killed or something. Exactly. Whereas to an ant, there’s no stop sign there. There’s something that the end is claiming, but it has no idea what it is it has a different perspective.

Judy Cohen: Right? And who knows what stop signs we’re not seeing? Yeah,

Rick Archer: good. Good point. So meaning that who knows what is there which were, which is beyond the limitations of our perception?

Judy Cohen: Right? Right, right. I mean, you only have to have a cat or a dog to sit to, you know, to experience that, you know, in a real way, in our daily life, because they, you know, I have a cat, and periodically the cat will go. Yeah. And there’s nothing there. As far as I can tell, and, you know, dogs hear sounds we can’t hear we’re our hardware isn’t built, to pick that up doesn’t mean there’s not a sound happening. Sure.

Rick Archer: And same with bats and dolphins and all kinds of animals, you know, it’s said that birds actually migrate by being able to see the magnetic lines of, of the Earth’s gravitational field, or at least that’s a theory.

Judy Cohen: Wait, you know, coming from California, just having moved here only a month ago, it was common knowledge that just before an earthquake, the number of missing pets increased significantly. So you could almost predict an earthquake was coming by the fact. But if you just check those, those personalizes classified ads, you know, lost pet ads increased exponentially, they had some kind of warning, yeah, that we don’t, we don’t pick up and whether it’s a gravitational field or what, it’s something

Rick Archer: before that big tsunami that happened. And, you know, in Asia, five or eight years ago, whenever it was, there were a lot of animals that headed for the hills. You know, I

Judy Cohen: remember that, right. They know, Rupert Sheldrake,

Rick Archer: whom I interviewed a month or so ago, has wrote a book called dogs that know when their owners are coming home. And it’s all about this kind of phenomenon of how dogs and other animals have these abilities, which are really hard to explain by conventional means,

Judy Cohen: by human means or human means. Right?

Rick Archer: Okay, so you said a minute ago that language is is the main culprit, perhaps in the distortion of our perception. And that would imply that maybe cats and dogs are not so distorted, but then they have their own languages. So and also, obviously, they and all animals about finance, have very different chunk of the spectrum of potential experience in their, in their experience. So it seems like everybody has the people, regardless of what sort of being you are worth, regardless of whether you use any language we would recognize as a language are not.

Judy Cohen: The same thing is with other other species, they, they don’t have words, they communicate, but they don’t have words. And the other thing about words is that they are symbols. They’re a step removed. From experience, they’re a describer of experience. You know, there’s a there’s the word touch, and then there’s the touch. They’re not the same thing. And so as we apply words, we are instantly removed. And that twist that that colors everything. Yeah.

Rick Archer: But I don’t, I mean, I don’t think that necessarily means animal. are more well, if they use the word enlightened for a second just for the sake of economy, then humans, they may be more in tune with nature in certain respects. But, you know, boy, if if, if the UPS man comes to the door, our dogs go ballistic, which is, you know, I guess appropriate dog response, but it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense in terms of the potential threat that the UPS man poses.

Judy Cohen: Right, although they probably have a damn good time at it. Oh, they enjoy it. You know? So.

Rick Archer: I mean, it’s like, you know, chill, you guys. I mean, you know, everything’s okay. Here.

Judy Cohen: Yeah, but they’re having fun. Yeah. But so, you know, I, to come back to your your point. I mean, this is what your show is about. So I understand that. But the question is, What is What does enlightenment or awakening even mean? What’s good? I mean, okay. Because it, you know, are they aware of consciousness? I don’t know, I’m assuming not. But is that is that it? Is that what it is?

Rick Archer: Okay, well, let’s, let’s spend some time on that. And maybe we can start doing that by you. You mentioned in some of your writings that you had numerous incremental awakenings, too many to count, and some very powerful there was one in which you’re on your knees having fallen off the bed, and as you put it, the planet had moved. And so these awakenings awakening implies going from sort of less awaken to more awakened. So what are you talking about here? describe those experiences, especially the Lollapalooza one or the planet it moved?

Judy Cohen: Well, just understanding I mean, we’re, we’re having this conversation, this is not how I ordinarily communicate these kinds of things, I tend to avoid the words of awakening or enlightenment, unless I’m making a specific point about something else actually, believe it or not,

Rick Archer: I mean, the terms just have to static and superlative connotation. And, you know, the fact that even though I talk to him think about all this stuff all the time, when somebody says they had an awakening, I have to say, I don’t know what you’re talking about exactly what we have to really get into it and define what they mean by the term,

Judy Cohen: especially when you when you especially on your show, but you know, or anywhere else, when you start to see how a huge The variety is, of what that experience is supposed to mean. You know, it kind of loses its, its value, as a as a standard, or even as a determiner of what’s actually going on. So you know that, and I know, I was just gonna say one more thing about this. When people want to hear mine, or anybody else’s experience of awakening, I always wonder what for? Because it’s, what value is it? To them, or anyone? what my experience was, it’s not like they’re gonna catch it from my words. It’s not like, here’s what I find is that these all these stories out there of people who have awakened in some way or become enlightened in some way, as these stories are told, people use them as to perpetuate seeking. They use these stories to evaluate how they’re doing, and they compare themselves to whatever the story is, and they see if they are better or worse than the story, and they start chasing, or they continue chasing. And I think that the perpetuation of these stories kind of makes people feel bad about themselves or superior, which is also not a necessary, necessarily good thing. That being said, I do I do intend to answer your question, but but I did want to say that I I just don’t know the value of telling these stories.

Rick Archer: Well, you just articulated the downside of it. I think there’s also an upside. Let’s use Yosemite again. Let’s say I’ve never been to Yosemite and someone has just visited there and they start telling me about oh, it’s so amazing. Half Dome is so beautiful. And I took this hike up to the top of Cliff and hiked all the way down and, you know, they can go on and on describing their trip. And it incentivizes me, I want to go there and experience that myself. So you know, all these and people have been telling you stories for 1000s of years, the scriptures are full of them. And so it indicates to people first of all that there is something even though you know, there might be a lot of disagreement as to what it is It is. And it sounds good. And so it’s something that, you know, one might aspire to it. Okay, yeah,

Judy Cohen: it’s just that I guess they’re weak, maybe disagree, because I don’t think the aspiring helps anybody, and I think it does hurt. And especially if the goal is the goal is awakening, you can’t get it by aspiring

Rick Archer: See, so far knock on the door shall be opened.

Judy Cohen: Okay. And in your experience is that is that true? seek and you shall find, okay,

Rick Archer: it is. And I mean, for about a year before I learned to meditate, I was reading Zen books and reading Timothy Leary, and taking Timothy Leary’s advice and doing different things like that. And, you know, I kind of got the deep conviction that there was some higher thing that could be lived or experienced, or, and so it lit a fire in me to realize that, and it sort of set a course of my life, which proved very beneficial. And

Judy Cohen: again, I, you know, I understand that there’s a whole lot of that. And my sense is, if awakening is being present, how can you get it by chasing something else?

Rick Archer: I get that. And I’m sort of playing devil’s advocate a little bit, because I also understand the angle that you’re coming from. And there’s some kind of happy medium here someplace between chasing the dangling carrot forever, and settling into that which is already here, which you’re already experiencing.

Judy Cohen: And maybe being you know, you can’t impose this on anybody. But maybe when you’re not chasing something else that you think is better, maybe you can actually find contentment with what’s here. Yeah. And, you know, I don’t, you know, I work with a lot of people who are chasing something, and I see the pain that it brings, it’s a lot, it’s a lot of pain, because of because when you’re aspiring or you’re seeking, and you’re not finding, well, now you’re a failure, in addition to not having this wonderful thing that somebody else has, so you’re missing out and you’re failing. You know, yeah, it hurts.

Rick Archer: I was a student of marshy, Mahesh Yogi for many years. And I was, I was deaf. I mean, I experienced stuff from day one. And my life definitely improved and continued to improve. But I was definitely an eager beaver in terms of like, you know, enlightenment or bust. And one time I was up on a stage at the podiums talking about something, he was sitting there, and there was an audience and, and he interrupted me, and he said, every day, his life said, Don’t pass over the future, don’t pass over the present for some glorious future.

Judy Cohen: Exactly. Yeah. What’s the point of that other than paying, honestly,

Rick Archer: you know, in terms of that experience, he was right. I mean, you can make yourself miserable by failing to appreciate what’s here now, what you’ve got, and all just kind of moaning and groaning and pining for some glorious future. But on the other hand, it’s, I think, realistic to understand that we do continue to grow, or we may, and that, you know, 20 years from now, if all goes well, we may be a lot happier, brighter, clearer, whatever than we are now. But, you know, that is not to say that you should disparage what you’re experiencing now. But that that possibility is there would you say?

Judy Cohen: What I have found, and this is, this is one of the many, many paradoxes in in all of this is that when a person, again, I’m kind of free, I frequently work with people who have tried everything and who have been seeking and searching and trying and aspiring, as you said, for a really long time, sometimes many decades. And I’m kind of experienced, for many people is like the last resort. And one of the ways where they’ve tried everything, you know, and they’re, it’s kind of astonishing, the the amount of despair that exists out there, because they haven’t gotten it. And despite doing all the right things, and going to satsangs and sitting at retreats and giving 1000s of dollars to this one or that one or traveling to India, and meditating every day and sometimes several times a day despite that these are people who are depressed, really depressed and And then so paradoxically, the paradox is that there is when you get to a point where you just say, Screw it. Here now, this is this is it. Paradoxically, there is a relief that comes with that kind of surrender to what is instead of what we want. Yeah. And so for a depressed person or an anxious person, it’s like, it’s, it’s hard and it’s fought. But it’s kind of a miracle. Almost.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I get that. And I agree with you. And I wouldn’t dispute it. But there is, it is paradoxical. And, and there is that you remember, Fiddler on the Roof. He kept saying, on the other hand, there is another hand

Judy Cohen: until there isn’t, yeah. And at the point that there isn’t, it’s astonishingly a bless it relief, we think that it won’t be. But if, if what you’re after is improvement, and a better feeling. For a whole lot of people, you can’t it can’t be gotten by seeking.

Rick Archer: Well, in my own case, let me just speak my own experience, maybe that’ll help. You know, I feel like for a long time I was a seeker I was, there was a yearning, striving, struggling. I mean, I was practicing, and I still practice, I still meditate, but there was this feeling of, you know, gotta get it, haven’t got it, you know, can’t wait till I get it. And then at a certain point, it wasn’t actually a, you know, one moment, but it just dissipated and disappeared. And now there’s none of that kind of feeling. And yet, I still meditate, I still feel like I’m growing and improving and in different ways. And I don’t really care about any particular pot at the end of the rainbow, you know, whatever comes will come. But I also feel and acknowledge, you know, that there are higher possibilities yet to fathom yet to realize yet to experience, but I don’t bemoan what I’m experiencing now. You know, every, it’s like education, I mean, let’s say you’re in the fifth grade, you may eventually get a PhD, you’re going to know a lot more than you do in the fifth grade. But that doesn’t mean you should bitch and moan about being in the fifth grade, you have to just fully enjoy that and then enjoy the sixth grade and so on, as you as you progress through your education.

Judy Cohen: I guess what we’re talking about here, you know, is you’re obviously not in a place where the idea that there’s more you can get is depressing to you or hard for you or painful to you. But you would be perhaps shocked to discover how many people this is painful for terror terribly. Life ruining Lee painful for, I mean, I I just hearing from this, I work with all these people who, you know, as I said, I’ve tried everything. And these are, these are very unhappy folks. And they, they, you know, part of what brings this unhappiness up, is the idea that there’s something they’re not getting, there’s something out there, they’re missing out. And the question is, is that, to quote Byron, Katie, is that true? Yeah.

Rick Archer: Okay, well, let’s keep let’s probe that I don’t question that you talk to such people, or that there aren’t such people? I totally believe you. But I’d like to understand better why that is? And do you find my medic, my education metaphor appropriate at all? I mean, if you were to talk to one of these people and say, yeah, there’s more but enjoy what you’ve got. Now. It’s not I mean, of life that that we’re not as good an athlete or as good scholar or as good in anything as we may be, if we you know, over time, if we continue to focus on that thing.

Judy Cohen: You know, all of that is language. So contrary to how I work or think that I, I would never say to anybody, there’s more. I would never say to anybody. You can you know, where you are is fine, but there’s someplace better or there’s more to be had. I would never say that. And so I’m not I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, you know, seeking is as good a way to live this life as any, but if the dream world is miserable, then something’s you know, it’s not working. No. And if

Rick Archer: it’s making the dream work that miserable then definitely right.

Judy Cohen: And and so, you know, what I would say is that there is a I mean, I’m very lucky that I have the ability to kind of cut through a lot of the garbage that mind provides people and help people actually see for themselves not, you know, listening to me spout off for a couple of hours, but to experience for themselves, what is actually happening. And in order to do that, it’s not a question of chasing something else, or learning or educating. It’s not even any of that. It’s simply finding a way to experience what is already here. It doesn’t have to be learned. It doesn’t have to be chased. It doesn’t have to be educated. It’s already here. There’s nowhere to go for it.

Rick Archer: Okay. Yes, I agree with that, obviously, what? What is that verse in The Gita, the Unreal has no being the real never ceases to be. So what is real is already here. And you what you’re saying is, the name of the game is to experience that to experience what is already here, if you

Judy Cohen: can, and not everybody, if you can’t, if this is good anyway,

Rick Archer: why wouldn’t somebody be able to?

Judy Cohen: Only because thought, often makes that not possible.

Rick Archer: So you make it sound like some people are qualified or capable of experiencing what’s already here, and others Sorry, Charlie, you just don’t have what it takes.

Judy Cohen: It’s that’s not the case. It’s, I guess where I come from, is that it honestly doesn’t matter if we know it or not. It’s still what’s here. True. And it doesn’t matter if we understand. You know, all of this, you know, the spiritual scene is full of people trying to understand, trying to learn trying to educate, trying to understand and all of that depends on mind slash ego slash thought. Those are interchangeable for me. You can’t, you can’t you can’t understand without mind. And I have found ways to bypass that. But I have not found that understanding is even necessary.

Rick Archer: Well play with this. No, it’s good. I’m liking this conversation. Hopefully. Hopefully the people watching are also I think there are different faculties for understanding you just named a few of them mind slash ego slashed. There’s there’s sensors there’s intellect, there’s intuition, there’s heart, you know, there’s these sort of different aspects of the of the experiencing mechanism, different levels of it, some grocers, some subtler, and this and that. And, obviously, if one just applies the grossest aspect of them without also engaging the subtler than the understanding is going to be partial, right?

Judy Cohen: And if you’re depending on language thought is not going to it’s not gonna help. Sure.

Rick Archer: Well, can we take a simple example, let’s say, the taste of a Mango, Mango actually happens to be the most popular fruit in the world. I didn’t know that until I learned it recently. But maybe in the United States, it’s not it’s not as common as bananas or apples. But so let’s say friend tells you about a mango, you have big conversation about what it takes, you start reading books on mangoes, you can go on and on for years doing that on that level, and never know what really what a mango tastes like. And you can become very frustrated in the process. You know, this marvelous, incredible thing that I’ve been reading about thinking about now I know the whole Botany of it and the chemistry but I still don’t know what it tastes like. So you have to taste it. So right. So obviously, you can get stuck on that kind of level of understanding regard to spirituality without having the actual experience that it’s all about.

Judy Cohen: Right. And, and I think the spiritual community is rife with that. So there’s

Rick Archer: a lot of people stuck in that way you’re saying and they’re

Judy Cohen: talking a good game? Yeah. And they’re many of them are teaching there, but there’s a there’s a whole lot of words coming out and there is not a lot of mango eating.

Rick Archer: Well, I agree with you. So, I mean, after I started doing this thing, you know, BatGap and I started running into particularly those who are categorized as Neo Advaita people, and I felt like, and then I found this Tibetan Buddhist saying, which is Don’t mistake understanding for realization. And then the second part was Don’t mistake realization for liberation. But I ended up feeling that a lot of people have read too many books and gone to too many SOT songs and have gotten really good with the terminology and have kind of psyched themselves into mistaking an understanding which they’ve immersed themselves in for the actual realization of that, to which the understanding pertains,

Judy Cohen: it’s kind of mind boggling to me, because it seems to me that the more one experiences other than the personality, or what other than the, the apparent, the less certain of right and wrong and what is the less certain one becomes? And so, you know, just earlier, I was seeing somebody post on Facebook, they posted some spiritual quote, and then somebody else commented, No, that’s wrong. And then they went off into that. And then the other one said, right, you’re right, that’s wrong. I don’t think and really, yeah. You know, I’ve been so not knowing the difference between a point of view and the truth. You know, that’s where, you know, who knows what the truth is? We all have a point of view. Yeah. Who knows who’s right? If anyone, it’s like

Rick Archer: the blind men arguing over the elephant. Right.

Judy Cohen: Exactly. And with very dogmatically, they’re absolutely positive. Yeah. And so, you know, it’s, it’s, it seems to me that the more in touch we get with stepping outside as but as best as possible, stepping outside these, these limited, this limited hardware. The more accepting of uncertainty, we can be,

Rick Archer: yeah, there was a actually, my little blurb on Skype is a line from the incredible string man that if you remember them, this line is whatever you think it’s more than that. And Nisargadatta are very certain Nisargadatta said, the ability to appreciate paradox and ambiguity is a sign of spiritual maturity. I think if you appreciate paradox and ambiguity, then you’re not going to be adamant about this or that position, you’re going to have a both end kind of appreciation.

Judy Cohen: Exactly. I mean, I would say that both and is is the best I could do to I mean, I’ve written a few times about the word simultaneously, you know, that we can live this dream and go to the supermarket and drive on the right side of the road and tie our shoes and yell at our kids and walk the dog. We can do all of that. And also, you know, occasionally have this sense of what we really are, which is not this.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Here’s a line that I wrote. I wrote it. I copied it down because I thought it was good. He said even when there are triggers. There’s always a simultaneous, not Judy, that is fine with what’s happening can can be riled up and not riled simultaneously.

Judy Cohen: Right? Yeah. Yeah. You know, I moved to Philadelphia last month, from California, beautiful, sunny, idyllic for you to be here with my mother who is sick. And, you know, there’s nothing that famous rom das quote, there’s nothing like family to set a person off. Yeah. And here I am, I have voluntarily moved closer to my mother. And so triggers can happen, and I can watch Judy react. And also not. And that’s I think, I think as long as we are human, I think that’s, that’s it. It’s both?

Rick Archer: Yeah, I think so. I think well, we can flesh that out a little bit. But I think you’re right. I think that’s what is meant by witnessing. You’ve heard the term witnessing. I don’t think witnessing is something you’re supposed to do. I think it’s something it’s it’s an orientation that can characterize your experience at a certain stage where in the midst of any kind of chaos or, or situation there’s this sort of not not Judy kind of perspective at the same time, you know, that this this silence that unperturbed by it all

Judy Cohen: right. Yeah. And, you know, knock yourself out, go ahead and yell at the kids or whatever it is you do, but and also, okay.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Now, the fleshing out I would want to do on that is that I think that there can be an evolution into in terms of how readily one is triggered, you know, I mean, some people just fly off the handle at anything. And I don’t think that shows a very mature development of their go with the development or, again, of personality or development, even in this in the sense that spirituality should ultimately entail in indicates a lot of conditioning still in a lot of reactivity. And that kind of stuff can actually be grown out of in the, through the proper means.

Judy Cohen: I think it does seem to relax. I don’t know. I don’t know if I would use the words grown out of kind of going back to our previous conversation, but I think it does relax. And you know, I remember a long time ago. Byron, Katie was I was at some event of hers. And she was talking about it was just after Thanksgiving, she was talking about the fact that her Thanksgiving Turkey had caught fire in the oven. And she had gone running through the house looking for Steven, I don’t know if her husband, I don’t know if those are the word she used. But essentially, she went running through the house looking for Steven. Sure. And I raised my hand and I said, so when you were looking for Steven in the kitchen was starting to catch on fire. Did you think you were really there? And basically, her answer was yes or no. Yeah. And I mean, I’ve come to understand that myself. So triggers, there’s a fire in the kitchen. Yeah, I’m triggered. Yep. Okay. That’s, I mean, I think that that comes with humans. Yeah. And in fact, if it didn’t do something wrong, right? Do we all have to resort to a cave? You know, in order to be able to access or to to, to live? The kind of life you’re describing, where you’re mature, and you’re in touch with that? And also, do we have to reduce these humans lives to such small stimulus in order to make sure triggers don’t happen?

Rick Archer: If we do, then I would say it’s not a very well established conditions, it’s not well integrated. If you’re gonna be blown away by the slightest thing, then you ain’t got it.

Judy Cohen: I mean, and why would you even want it? I mean, you know what I mean? Like, if you have to reduce experience to something so small in order to not have triggers go off? What are you left with? As a human?

Rick Archer: Yeah, no, I mean, just to quote the Gita again, I mean, the whole story was about somebody who was supposed to start a fight a battle, and he was told to just, you know, get get yourself established in pure consciousness or yoga or the transcendent, and then go ahead and fight the battle and the battle is gonna be intense, but you’ll be able to do it with equanimity if you have gotten this foundation established.

Judy Cohen: It’s just I mean, I guess my experience for whatever that’s worth is that when when I can get Judy out of the way it’s just a little clearer. It’s just clearer

Rick Archer: and what do you mean Judy? Out of the way, what’s that like? Well, I

Judy Cohen: mean, Judy is like everybody else Judy is a product of conditioning and language and education and happy things happening and unhappy things happening and you know, Judy, like your dogs barking at the UPS guy they you know, they they learn to do that and then they have a good time and they enjoy it and they keep it up Yeah. You know, and so you know, the and also is I find the key to peace God wasn’t unhappy creature before before understanding that this isn’t all

Rick Archer: Yeah, so to my mind what you mean by getting Judy out of the way is not to eliminate Judy but to not have Judy be the whole show, but to have the deeper dimension there simultaneously along with the Judy dimensions so that the Judy experience doesn’t overshadow the The reality of the situation or that could be phrased in different ways. Yeah,

Judy Cohen: right. But essentially, I think we’re in agreement. And I just want to say to that I’m really enjoying all your quoting all these various sources, etc. Because I can’t do that. I don’t do that. I don’t have the background for it anyway. So it’s fun for me to hear all that and I’m glad you’re doing it not waiting for me to

Rick Archer: keep out long enough. I might kirlyam Three Stooges or something. I never know

Judy Cohen: that I’ll be with you right there on. Okay. Here’s a great way. He said.

Rick Archer: There was a situation that students were involved in, and they were trying to come up with a solution and curl. He was standing there squinting up his face in different ways and finally said, I’m trying to think but nothing happens.

Judy Cohen: Right? I mean, everybody is aspiring to that here in the spiritual. Yeah,

Rick Archer: he was enlightened. That’s for sure.

Judy Cohen: Yep. And here, we could say, yep, yuck. And see right on Yeah.

Rick Archer: Okay, so this is fun, we’re having fun. And just to remind those who are watching, if you feel like posing a question that I’ll bring up during the interview, go to the upcoming interviews page on bat gap calm. And there’s a forum at the bottom of that page through which you can submit your question. And that’s true of any of the interviews that I do through Skype. So you know, you’re saying earlier about how you would never say to somebody, that there’s more and that it would be depressing to them, or you wouldn’t want to depress them by saying such a thing. And as you’re saying that I was, I can see your perspective is that the the both end thing, but also my reaction, when I hear somebody say that, it’s usually that I find it depressing. And there are people who say, you know, this is it, this is all there is, you know, just whatever you’re experiencing, that’s it. And I guess we’re coming back to point we’ve already covered a little bit, but I just want to cover a little bit more, which is to say that there’s a tremendous realm of possibility, in terms of the perspective one can have as one lives one’s life in terms of the inner experience one has as one goes through one’s day, and I find it I find it discouraging to say well, what you’re experiencing right now this is it, don’t expect that there can be anything more than that.

Judy Cohen: Okay, so I wrote a recent mine tickler my blog and I did not send this to you and you I’m sure you haven’t seen it about my dad’s who hit 85 and who felt that there was no more coming there was nothing to look forward to was his expression. And you know, there was nothing to aim for there was nothing to aspire to there was no better place to get to this was it and rather than accept that he killed himself and I’m saying that without any sadness for him, this was what he wanted. Yeah. Okay. There is what I found is that when people experience a sadness or a depression or a disappointment or a but I don’t want it to be like that in answer to this is it and I’m not saying that you’re doing I’m I’m exaggerating some of what I’ve heard. But when people do experience this is it which is simply true right this is

Rick Archer: it so far? Yeah. For based upon what you’re experiencing this is it?

Judy Cohen: This is it. Yeah. breathe in breathe out. This is it you

Rick Archer: don’t have much choice in the moment.

Judy Cohen: All the rest is thought.

Rick Archer: So what’s wrong with fun?

Judy Cohen: Well, there’s nothing wrong with thought except that it’s rarely kind and so when people again in my experience when people experience sadness or depression have have a mini tantrum to this as it you know, but But no, but there has to be more

Rick Archer: like the infomercial. But wait, there’s more.

Judy Cohen: Exactly. When people experience that they are they stop there? They don’t. Because if you they get stuck there. If you actually, again, I’ll use words I don’t like to use if you actually accept or surrender to the to the witness of this moment because truly this is all we get right now. This is it. Yeah. When that is actually accepted and not fought. Yeah, but no, this can’t be it, but I don’t want this to be it. When you fight that,

Rick Archer: yeah, no, I’m saying that continue.

Judy Cohen: Okay, you’re bringing it, you’re guaranteed to be unhappy?

Rick Archer: Absolutely. Yeah, I wouldn’t advocate fighting what you’re experiencing right now. You know, that’s gonna make you miserable, it’s gonna be a struggle, it’s gonna be unnatural, you’re gonna be at war with yourself. You know, it’s like, but just to go back to the education metaphor, you know, if you’re in the fifth grade, if you think fifth grade sucks, I hardly know anything compared to what, you know, these Einstein knew or whatever, you know, I hate the fifth grade, you’re not gonna do so? Well, in the fifth grade. If that’s your,

Judy Cohen: you’re gonna be miserable, and you’re gonna be miserable kid. Dream is gonna suck.

Rick Archer: Yeah. But that’s not to say you, you may not go on to get a PhD in physics and No, no, as much as Einstein did. But you got to do well, here’s a quote for you, you like quotes, this, this is from the Gita. Again, it says, You have control over action alone, never over it’s fruits live not for the fruits of action, nor attach yourself to inaction. So it’s saying, you know, this is it? Basically, this is this is the thing that you actually have a handle on make the most of it. There will be fruits, but you don’t have a control over those. But the best you can do is make the most of the moment what you’re in.

Judy Cohen: I would even take issue there I take issue with the Gita that we don’t even control the action.

Rick Archer: Let’s get into that a little bit. Go on.

Judy Cohen: I mean, there’s there’s science showing. Who did I just I just had this conversation.

Rick Archer: Do you have the thought to move your arm like five milliseconds before you move your arm? That’s been sort of disproven, but there is Yeah, go ahead.

Judy Cohen: The thing is, you have the thought to move your arm. Where did the thought come from? What generated that? Did you do that?

Rick Archer: Yes or no?

Judy Cohen: Okay, we got an ad also going on? Yeah. And and. Okay, so if I tell you to have a thought right now. Go.

Rick Archer: Okay, I’m having one.

Judy Cohen: Did you see that? Second or beat where you had to wait for it to come?

Rick Archer: Yeah, but there’s a reason for that.

Judy Cohen: Okay, medication? No, but

Rick Archer: the reason is, thoughts don’t come full blown into the mind. They start out subtle, and they get increasingly manifest until they reach the perceptual threshold at which we can recognize

Judy Cohen: them. What are you basing that on experience,

Rick Archer: and some understanding that there’s a realm of subtlety to like an ocean we have, let’s say big bubbles, breaking the surface, and then smaller bubbles as you go down to the to the ocean floor. There’s a range of subtlety to the mind that one can explore in reverse. And, you know, one can actually go beyond entirely and reach a state beyond thought where there isn’t any thought I’ve experienced that many times.

Judy Cohen: Okay, so I guess my question for you is does the ocean generate the bubbles?

Rick Archer: Okay, let’s do paradox again. And I’ll reference the key that again, there was that verse I just read you have control over action alone, never over it’s fruits and then there are many girt verses which go on and on about how you are not the actor, you’re not doing anything, all the action is done by the they call it the Gunas of nature and if you take yourself to be the actor, then you’re deluded. So it’s a matter of, I think, you know, perspective which where we want to take our stand and both are true, maybe maybe the one you’re advocating here is more true deep, more deeper truth. But there’s also the relative truth that we experience in practical daily life.

Judy Cohen: Understood and in that relative daily life. I think I scratch my nose by choice. Yeah, and and that’s okay. I mean, you know, we we need that to function again. I choose to make a right turn here. You know,

Rick Archer: for dinner or you know, pea soup, let me think about it for me. I had lasagna yesterday help pea soup,

Judy Cohen: although the way you know, if it slowed down, you can see that the preference shows up all by itself. Yeah. And and then we take we we claim credit for it, I did this I made a decision or I had an idea. So you know, people often ask me because I If you’ve seen some of those mind ticklers that I’ve written them, they scan all kinds of they jump from subject to subject week to week. And I’ve long ago given up trying to control what is going to come out of me on those things. I often have a plan. And I think I’m going to write about such and such today, and I sit down, and that just ain’t happen in and before you know it, it’s about my dad deciding that there was nothing to look forward to. And, you know, it’s, again, there is a lot of peace in not being the one in charge. Yes. And, and also, if, if your goal, this thing you’re aspiring to one aspires to, if your goal is to see the not selfness involved in in all of this, then when you don’t see yourself as the one in charge. You have perception options you didn’t have before. Yeah, that. So this is an example where I said it’s all words, it’s all language, you know, let our language is geared to make it appear. As if this is me, and I am a one and I am a person and you are a person and you are over there and you are not here and we are not the same. And language is designed to do that. And so where was I going with this, I had a place to go

Rick Archer: say something for a moment. And that’ll trigger. When I started to go through the transition of, you know, feeling like I was in charge that I was holding the reins, I was running the show to kind of something much bigger than me as it were running the show. There was a lot of sort of seesawing back and forth and a lot of kind of sometimes falling into passivity where I wasn’t taking initiative, because I expected just sort of the powers that be to motivate me or something. And other times where I would sort of be gripping and pushing and you know, trying to insist that things happen a particular way. So there was a lot of kind of like vacillation during that transition period. Now, it’s kind of now it’s pretty smooth, but I think many people do go through this where there’s a relaxing of the reins, and you know, letting or you know, putting the car on autopilot or whatever, right? I’m kind of nervous at first, the car is gonna crash if I let it. And so you grab the wheel again.

Judy Cohen: And there’s also a whole bunch of unlike this, wait a minute, I can’t control my fate. I can’t control what happens to me. And so again, one of the things that I also work with a whole lot of people who have lost motivation or who procrastinate, and this is often common in in the spiritual scene where they people get a sense of I’m not doing it. So what the hell yeah. And that what the hell peace is a pout?

Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s kind of what I was saying.

Judy Cohen: It’s a tantrum. It’s, it’s a it’s a way for thought, or the mind. To not accept and not surrender. Well, if I can’t control this, then I just want to anything. Yeah, that’s basically what that comes down to. So, you know, it’s, I agree that you can wait, you know, you can say, well, if I can’t control anything, I might as well just sit here. But there’s, that’s a trick of thought. It’s a trick.

Rick Archer: Yeah, it comes down to lack of integration, again, perhaps lack of real lack of here. Here’s what it is. I mean, if if our perspective can expand to the point where it incorporates both the individual and the universal to a sufficient degree, then one can be motivated like a son of a gun, pursuing whatever one is, you know, wired to pursue, and yet at the same time, very much surrendered and letting God sort of hold the there’s a there’s a say there’s a saying Brahman is the charioteer. So that bigger reality is actually guiding the reins holding the guiding the chariot. And, and yet, somehow, that’s not incompatible with personal motivation, right? You know,

Judy Cohen: because what we do, whether we do something or we don’t whether we tie our shoes or we don’t whether we get motivated and get a PhD, or we don’t. Again, I’m not I’m not a scholar. I’m not an expert. I’m not, I don’t know exactly how I wouldn’t be able to define Brahman, although I’m getting an idea for what you say, the wholeness would say, okay,

Rick Archer: so vast intelligence or whatever.

Judy Cohen: It’s good with either one, get the PhD or sit on the couch. Yeah. But you know, doesn’t have a preference, I think

Rick Archer: all of Indian society fell into a kind of a lethargy based upon this misunderstanding that, that somehow being spiritual meant

Judy Cohen: not not doing not

Rick Archer: coming renunciate not not sort of having initiative and motivation. And it really had an impact on the whole civilization. So I think that, personally, I don’t think that spiritual development or whatever you want to call it is at all incompatible with accomplishment and motivation, and enthusiasm, and any of that stuff actually can enhance it if you go about it. Right.

Judy Cohen: Agreed. Yeah. And I think that the key to whether that is torture, or painful, or not, as you are accomplishing, and as you are getting to do things, the difference between whether that hurts or not, has to do with whether what’s here is good enough.

Rick Archer: Exactly. I agree. Yeah. So I once heard humility, defined as the quality of not insisting that things happen any particular way.

Judy Cohen: You can insist all you want. Yeah, right. You know,

Rick Archer: Katie territory again, you know, just, if you argue with reality, you lose every time.

Judy Cohen: It hurts, you know, it’s, it’s a, and again, when I’m working, I work with people who hurt and and it just, you can keep it up just, you know, Brahman, or is it something bigger, or whatever it is, that is fine with that, but it hurts. And if you’re going to make if this dream hurts, and you don’t want it to her anymore, maybe it’s time to not hurl ourselves at that wall.

Rick Archer: Right? Or make sure that what you’re, you’re actually experiencing what all these concepts signify, rather than just like dwelling on the concepts? Here’s a question that came in from Jerry in Victoria, British Columbia, which is right up your alley, he said, I’ve read dozens of spiritual books and know the jargon. I have focused on a couple of books on surrender. However, I still struggle with depression. My main focus for the last six years is on being present. Although I find that I am disassociative and not interested in anything, just what we were talking about. He said, How do I infuse joy and happiness in the present moment?

Judy Cohen: You’re not the boss of that? You can’t, you can’t aim for joy and happiness and and expect to reach it. Am I making that face? As I say that, because I’m sure that you have countless listeners out there going? That can’t be right.

Rick Archer: Well, maybe it depends on how you aim?

Judy Cohen: Well, again, it’s I’m going to refer to it as mind. And I’m going to refer to it as a real thing. It’s not it’s another concept, but we experience it as if it’s real, just like we experienced this as if this is what we are. And it has a million tricks. And if you’re experiencing depression, when you think you are surrendering, you’re not actually surrendering, you’re fighting. And not that there’s anything wrong with that, except that it hurts. And so what I have found is that you can’t come at this stuff head on, you have to trick mind. You have to trick it, it’s not going to relinquish its its domain. Happily, and so tricky. Well, I’m going to be careful how I answer this because if I if I say too much about how I trick it, it won’t work. And I don’t In other words, once mind is aware of what’s going on, he won’t work anymore. But you, you you keep it busy with a project. And you let the grownups talk. No, that means nothing to

Rick Archer: you. I need to explain what you mean by that.

Judy Cohen: Let me think of an example. I often when I’m working with people will ask a bunch of questions and I get them on I busy with answering the questions. And at the same time I am dogs is there, you

Rick Archer: know, just they were just led into the room and that was a cause for excitement.

Judy Cohen: One of the advantages of cats is they’re quiet.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, not the same ease.

Judy Cohen: Oh, see, I don’t know that we had one. Oh, yeah. So while you know, it’s kind of this is kind of the way hypnosis works. Although I am not hypnotizing people, I am not a hypnotist. But this is how hypnosis works, essentially, is that with words, and with a few possibly actions, but mostly with words. The hypnotist occupies the conscious mind with a task. And at the same time simultaneously directs the unconscious, so to speak, because I’m going to put that in quotes, direct another part of the brain or another part of the experience in a different direction. So the mind is all very busy solving this problem clucking, like a chicken, or whatever it happens to be. And And yet, there’s an axis of something else. So that is, you know, essentially, you’re accessing the right side of the brain when you’re keeping the left side busy. And you’re accessing the right side. So that’s how hypnosis works. So when I’m working with people, I’m I am, I really understand I mean, I work with a whole lot of people who say what Jay from Vancouver said, which is that he’s, he’s certainly trying everything. But doing this yourself, the mind just simply will not let you see its roadblocks. It wants the roadblocks to work. And so you, you need kind of an outside that mind, way of accessing something else, you need to keep it busy.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Interesting, what you said kind of reminds me of the way a monitor works or can work, which is that you actually do engage the mind in thinking this thing. But it’s, it’s it begins to settle down to more and more refined impulses of the thought and and, you know, sort of becomes a vehicle to take one to a deep state. But it’s an activity, it’s sort of like, one might say, they’re standing in the middle of a mud puddle, let’s say and they and someone is out at the edge of the mud puddle. The person in the mud pile says how do I get out of the mud puddle, and the guy says we’ll take a step. But wait a minute, you’re asking me to step in the mud again? Yeah, but just take the step. Okay, now take another step. Eventually, you’ll be at the edge of the mud probably be out of it.

Judy Cohen: Right. So it’s, it’s, it sounds very similar. Again, I’ve got limited experience with meditating. But what you’re describing does sound similar if you occupy the rational mind with a task. I mean,

Rick Archer: you’re rational in this case, but it is a it is an activity of some sort

Judy Cohen: the thinking mind, it’s, that’s what I mean by rational. Yeah, you know, and you can do this all kinds of ways. It’s, I remember years ago, there was a workout program I was doing, I still kind of do it once in a while. And it still functions the same way. Where I’m so focused on the pain of that workout. The that the whole thing becomes a kind of meditation, it’s, it’s, you know, you’re you’re pulled to the mantra, you focus on the mantra, and it frees up a different let’s call it a different part of the brain. Yeah. So you know, you can you can do that with hypnosis, you can do that with a workout, you can do that with some kind of creative thing like painting or making music or whatever is all kinds of ways. It doesn’t have to be meditation, and it doesn’t have to be spiritual. But you can occupy the the thinking mind with a task. And, and finally get it out of the way a little bit.

Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s true. It’s kind of like you put a sign on the wall saying Post No Bills, you know, and then that piques keeps people from posting all the other signs.

Judy Cohen: Right, even though that is of course a post. Yeah, yeah.

Rick Archer: Um, a few minutes ago, you said something about you can aim at the target but you won’t necessarily hit the target you remember What you said just then?

Judy Cohen: Um, I think I may have said that you can’t go at it directly. You can’t. You can’t say I’m going to aim for joy, right? It’s, it’s gonna be very hard to hit joy, aiming for it directly. I’m not saying it’s impossible, nothing’s impossible, but it’s gonna be hard. And when you have somebody with a question like jays, I think that, I just want to say that Jay, that is extremely common what you wrote, and it’s what I do all day long. You know, I hear from people with that exact story. All day long, that’s what I do.

Rick Archer: Well, I have a metaphor for you on that one. Let’s say you have a bow and arrow, and you can aim the bow, aim the arrow at the target, but you’re not going to hit the target, unless you pull the arrow back on the bow before letting it go, then chances are you might hit the target. And so how that relates, is that I think what all the scriptures say about kingdom of heaven is within you such an Ananda, you know, inner bliss and all that stuff. From my own experience, I fully ascribe to that notion, having experienced that inner bliss, and but you don’t just sort of get there by want to get now or write there has to be

Judy Cohen: yes, you can’t go at it straight on. Yeah. And I will just say, I mean, this is not to your point, I don’t know if you don’t want to take too great a detour with this. But the word the the idea of inner I think is an additional roadblock.

Rick Archer: Kinda Yeah, I mean, cuz Yeah, where is it in the middle of your brain or something? Or in your stomach? Or?

Judy Cohen: Right? You know, I mean, if we, I asked clients this all the time, if we took you to an MRI, or we took you to a surgeon, we cut you open, would it be in there, you know, so when, when it’s when all of this was one of the flaws in my opinion of the work and the killaby inquiry is when your focus is inward, you are focused on this character.

Rick Archer: Not necessarily, you can go beyond the character, there’s a verse of the Gita that describes it, like being like a tortoise with drawing all its limbs, sort of within its shell, there’s, there’s a sort of thing that can happen where the senses which are ordinarily outer directed, can take 180 degree turn, not permanently, but just for the sake of sort of, you know, having that inner experience and then come out again, and you end up sort of soaking it up, as it were, and and then it plays out in daily life,

Judy Cohen: which again, I do understand, of course, because I live in this world like everybody else. But I think that that, you know, if what you’re looking for is enlightenment. The concept of the inner and going inwards will get your way, in my in my opinion, in my experience, because it

Rick Archer: was you end up fixating more on your individuality if you do that. Right.

Judy Cohen: Yes, and how it feels and how it thinks and whether it’s thinking good thoughts or stressful thoughts or too many thoughts or not enough space between thoughts and whether it’s budget this is what I mean by the head on thing you can’t you can’t get at it head on. And so when we’re looking for inner bliss, the language alone solidifies what is not solid?

Rick Archer: Yeah. And and language has its limitations as we both know. And when I say in word that’s not I don’t mean an actually solidification of individuality I mean, more of a relaxing of it and an arrival at something which is not individual at all but universal.

Judy Cohen: And I do understand that this is not where you were headed with it, you know that what you were saying is that you know if you’re going to look outward for your bliss and have a hard time I mean, here’s the thing that seems to me from working with all these people is that you know, we all have our preferences for how we want our lives to go we want our children to like us and we want the dog to not bark and we want we you know, we want our wives to not have lung conditions and we want to have lasagna instead of pizza or pea soup or whatever. I mean, we we all have our preferences I like green and not yellow or whatever, right? And then when we want the outside world to supply our likes and dislikes I want him to love me I want you know, I want the dog I want my children to get along. Whatever when we have when we move our expect our preferences out And then we are dependent on the situations to happen in order for us to be content, we’re kind of screwed.

Rick Archer: We are. Yeah. Because it’s we don’t have control over that stuff. And things

Judy Cohen: happen, bad things, things we don’t like things that don’t measure up to our preferences happen every day.

Rick Archer: Right? Which is why all the traditions say don’t put your eggs in that basket. You know, I mean, don’t don’t expect your your fulfillment to be found in the outer world, because it’s always gonna change.

Judy Cohen: You know, this, oh, I’ll be happy once my husband is nice to me thing. You know, what happens is the husband starts being nice to you, you know, if you’re lucky, and then it’s something else. Yeah. You know, and then so, you know, if if you have to describe that list as inner or not, it’s more accurate, I would say to say inner, but it’s, in my opinion, it’s a it’s a potential roadblock.

Rick Archer: Yeah, well, the word has its limitations. And like any word, if we’re going to use it, we better make sure that we’re defining it the same way or we’re or we’re talking past each other. But I think that way, you and I understand it is just that, you know, there is, well, was that Rumi quote, you know, beyond right and wrong, there is a field, I’ll meet you there, something like that. So the traditional understandings is that there is a field, which is fundamental to the universe and fundamental to who and what we are, and that that field has some qualities, and one of those qualities is bliss or happiness. And that if you can get in touch with that field, you will enjoy that. And that’s my experience and the experience of, of many, many people. So I’m not just speaking hypothetically here, and neither have all the hundreds and 1000s of people throughout history who have described their experience.

Judy Cohen: So I have a question for you. Yes. I mean, I’m not taking issue with what you said. And of course, if we get to have to experience bliss, as opposed to anything else, why wouldn’t we want bliss?

Rick Archer: Yeah. And bliss, again, one of those words that we better be careful how we’re saying here, but you go ahead.

Judy Cohen: But the question is, oh, by the way, have something in mind. I’m not winking at you. I’m shocked.

Rick Archer: My level just dropped.

Judy Cohen: The question is, if, if you are consciousness, yes. Would you have a preference for bliss over pain?

Rick Archer: Relatively, I think he would, you know, as Jesus said, If it is possible, let this cup pass from me. He didn’t want to get crucified. He knew that what that was going to be like, but then eventually, he just said, Alright, God’s will be done. Sure. And you have a preference of being in a nice comfortable bed rather than sleeping on a bunch of bed of nails, I

Judy Cohen: suppose. But I guess we’re the masters

Rick Archer: will have your relative preference druthers.

Judy Cohen: But the relative is the key word there. Because is the preference. Coming is is it consciousness is preference or Rick’s preference?

Rick Archer: Good question. And I think I know where you’re going with this, because I read one of your blog posts. And you talked about, you know, all the yucky stuff that happens in the world. You know, the the Holocaust and all the horrible things that we could enumerate. And if everything is consciousness, if everything is God or whatever, then seems like God doesn’t have a preference, because all that stuff happened. Here it is. Yeah. Yeah. And I don’t want to be glib and trying to answer this. But let’s, let’s reference our own experience. I mean, would you rather sort of sleep under a bridge in the freezing cold? Or would you rather sleep in a nice, warm bed?

Judy Cohen: Well, are you asking Judy, Judy, Judy has definite preferences? Judy would much rather sleep in a warm bed, God would rather be in California, God would rather experience bliss than pain. But I’m asking you, if what you understand consciousness to be if it has a preference.

Rick Archer: My understanding for what it’s worth, and this is just an understanding is that if you’re going to have a relative creation, as we apparently have a universe, then there are going to have to be pairs of opposites. If there’s going to be fast, there has to be slow, hot, cold, you know, big small, all the various pairs of opposites. We could enumerate and we could go on and on for hours a numerating them. So suffering, happiness, you know, misery, joy, or whatever, there’s going to be this spectrum.

Judy Cohen: Does that mean consciousness endorses suffering?

Rick Archer: I think it means that in consciousness incorporates all the diversity and duality within itself. Consciousness Brahma God, whatever. It Okay, yeah, it incorporates all the diversity

Judy Cohen: So we’re very in agreement on that. And so the question then is even when they’re suffering, can it be enough?

Rick Archer: Now, here’s, here’s my answer to that, which is that? My answer is if, when I say things, I don’t mean to say that I know there’s no authority here or anything like that. Yeah, my best understanding of the situation is that there is all beings possess a natural tendency to want to experience greater happiness, greater joy, greater fulfillment, and so on. And that I kind of see the whole universe is one big evolution machine in which greater and greater complexity and of forms has evolved out of homogenous hydrogen over billions of years, to the point where we can have a conversation like this. So we have Mozart, or we have Einstein and we have all these amazing realizations in which consciousness is able to sort of live enjoy a living reality, as opposed to just being flat on manifest. And so I think I strayed from your question.

Judy Cohen: Well, that’s okay. I mean, I thought to myself, before we started this call that I have to be careful not to turn this around and start interviewing you. And it looks like that’s where I’m headed, because I spend my time asking a lot of questions. And so I guess what it let me let me make let me make this as a statement instead of a question.

Rick Archer: And I got to spaced out on that last answer. I kind of got out there, but go ahead. No worries.

Judy Cohen: What it seems to me is that the imposition of preferences and the end even what you’re calling realization, that consciousness needs none of that. It’s it is what it is. It’s enormously infinite. And that it includes every color, every feeling, every sound, and every preference. Yeah. And so, it appears to me just simply by the fact that it exists, that suffering is welcome. And that place is not that the desire for bliss is a human thing.

Rick Archer: Um, you may be right, revert back to marshy again, here, what he used to say that the purpose of creation is the expansion of happiness. And, and they use the term Leela in the Sanskrit or Vedic tradition meet, which means play, and play is usually associated with happiness or fun. And obviously, Shakespeare wrote comedies and he wrote tragedies, you know, there were, you know, King Lear was not a happy camper. So, back to my point about necessity for pairs of opposites. If there’s going to be diversity, the play is not necessarily always going to be pretty or enjoyable. And if if God alone is the ultimate reality, then yeah, God has preferences, because we have preferences and we are ultimately that and obviously, so preferences are being are being had, and others others have a preference for heroin or for you know, sadomasochism, or for murder, or for rather dark things. Presumably, they get some kind of perverted pleasure out of those experiences. But do they get bliss? I guess is the question.

Judy Cohen: Well, I guess I guess where I’m going is that I think the aim for bliss leaves out a whole lot of experience.

Rick Archer: And what do you want to experience it leaves? Well, again, now

Judy Cohen: we’re talking about preference. Yeah. And I think that when we are run by driven by our preferences for happiness, and bliss, we eliminate this becomes less available to us

Rick Archer: by this for the sake of those just listening and audio. You’re kind of gesturing to see. The unboundedness or the brahman or whatever. Yeah.

Judy Cohen: It’s less available. While we’re aiming for bliss. We’re eliminating vast quantities of experience. that obviously up you know use words I rarely use consciousness has no problem with as a matter of fact consciousness experience endorses this or it wouldn’t exist. Yeah. So you know, when we’re, I mean, I’m I’m all for bliss, I’ll take lists over as much as the next guy. But the the drive to Bliss is a human limiting often comes with pain – non essential I’m sure I’m making the space because I know this is not not your point of view.

Rick Archer: I’m not disagreeing with you. It’s, it’s a subtle thing. But I think we’re trying to put our fingers on here. I think they’re, you know, there’s there’s a verse from the Rigveda says something like the frog desires water, the physician disease. And it goes on enumerates  different types of beings, desire, enjoy different kinds of things. I mean, let’s say we have a choice between listening to Beethoven’s Sixth symphony, or some really intense, heavy metal thing. Now, you know, maybe you and I would prefer Beethoven, but there are some people who are going to get more enjoyment out of the base out of the heavy metal. So there’s individual preferences, and as they say, there’s no accounting for tastes. But I think what I’m getting at is that, aside from all those relative preferences and individual considerations, there’s a fundamental intrinsic reality to the universe. And one of its characteristics is said to be Ananda, or bliss. And if one can get in touch with that, that regardless of one’s individual proclivities and interests and pursuits, there will be sort of an innate fundamental happiness that dwells in the heart or wherever it dwells, that, that is abiding, regardless of the changing circumstances of

Judy Cohen: life. I think that’s a nice theory.

Rick Archer: But it’s also something that people experience.

Judy Cohen: We were talking about a bliss and intrinsic happiness. Yeah,

Rick Archer: whether there is any such thing inherent in the fundamental nature of reality, or whether it’s all just brain chemistry, and, you know, dopamine and serotonin and this and that, and, you know, chemical thing, perhaps that might be one angle of looking at it.

Judy Cohen: I mean, just like, I’m not a spiritual scholar, I’m not a scientist, or a biologist, either. So I don’t I don’t know. I think that when, again, all I can speak of is my experience. And as long as I think I am this, and as long as I’m focused on this as experience, and what it thinks, whether it likes it and how it feels, I am going to miss what you’re calling that intrinsic happiness. This character characters are by nature, the mind is unhappy, I guess. And I realized I’m inviting an argument with that. But as long as we think what we are is this, I am Judy, you are Rick, as long as we think this is what we are. Intrinsic happiness is going to be an elusive goal,

Rick Archer: I totally agree, in fact, is in Upanishad, where it says there’s no joy and smallness.

Judy Cohen: You know, but aiming for bigness is good luck with that. I mean, again, you you, you have to come at it sideways. And I I understand, that’s not necessarily your experience. And I understand that that’s not necessarily everybody’s experience. One of the things that I have found and was a great relief for me when when I came to see this is that you the experience of this existence is there are so many versions, it’s completely infinite. And so whatever you have discovered for yourself in terms of what what bliss is what enlightenment is what understanding is, that’s been done. It’s not going to look like that for anybody else. Is that right? And so, you know, when you talk about in Trinsic happiness and inner bliss and you’ve experienced this. I think that when people listen to these kinds of things, and they start aiming for that for themselves, they’re aiming for your experience. Yeah. And, and good luck with that, you know,

Rick Archer: no, I agree. We shouldn’t aim for somebody else’s experience, which is not to say there aren’t sort of universal truths are or patterns or, or whatever. I mean, they’re not this, but they probably are an infinite number of ways of driving from Philadelphia to San Diego, if you take into account all the different roads that exist, but there are certain tried and true methods that are going to get you there faster, you know, certain ID or whatever. And so, there’s a lot, you know, Houston Smith or Aldous Huxley, one of those guys talked about the perennial philosophy, and how the same sort of truth seemed to come up in one culture after another. Cultures that are didn’t have any communication with one another. People discover the same things.

Judy Cohen: Well, yeah. And I mean, it’s hard. On one hand, that’s hard to argue with. On the other hand, I think that again, as long as we’re focused on this, this, what this thing wants, and I get that this thing wants bliss. Um, we are bound, and limited and driven, and missing vast quantities of experience. So and again, I realized this is what your show is all about. So but the idea that bliss is the goal, and bliss is really essentially the only thing acceptable, you’re basically saying,

Rick Archer: I’m not saying that.

Judy Cohen: Well, I mean, well, I don’t know, when you when you talk about even when you talk about happiness as intrinsic. What does that mean? Well, I mean, yeah, go ahead. I mean, is it intrinsic to the human?

Rick Archer: I’d say its intrinsic to the ultimate reality. And that human can interface with that ultimate reality, to greater or lesser degrees of clarity. And the greater the greater the inner, the clarity of the interface, the more inner joy will be experienced.

Judy Cohen: Okay, so again, I’m landing on that inner word. But but so if you,

Rick Archer: as opposed to suppose to through the external, you know, objects from brought right through the senses. Yeah,

Judy Cohen: I understand. I really think it’s a limiting word, though. Well, that’s absolutely true. I’m, one of the ways that I do work with people and that I do come at this sideways is via the words that I hear because they’re so the limits of the language are a way to trick the mind. For instance, let me just give you a quick example. So if somebody says, to me, I feel like I have an elephant on my chest, I feel heavy. And I say, Well, is there an elephant on your chest? And they say, it feels like it. And they think that’s an answer. And so I’ve come to see that when somebody says to me, feels like, or seems like what they’re basically saying, as to say, No, it’s not true. And that they’re willing to pretend they’re using a metaphor. I know that what is a metaphor, it’s a it’s a step removed from experience and in the metaphor, they are creating and experience. And so

Rick Archer: they probably can’t describe some heaviness or some pressure or something like that they’re experiencing maybe it would be better to use more precise words than elephant.

Judy Cohen: Okay, so what I’m trying to say is, when we refer to bliss or happiness as intrinsic, or as inner, we are big Basically saying, suffering, no, only bliss will do. And here is existence, or consciousness or God or awareness, whatever you want to call it, providing so much more than that. And we’re saying no, no, no, no tears, tears bad, no bad. No,

Rick Archer: not necessarily, or

Judy Cohen: not no realization, realization good, no realization that that’s a human, that’s a human value judgment on an on experience.

Rick Archer: Let’s take Ramana Maharshi, he died of cancer, it was very painful. He was definitely experiencing pain. And but people would ask him about his experience. And, you know, he would make it perfectly clear that the pain was rather superficial by comparison with his predominant experience, which he probably would have felt comfortable using the word bliss. So, you know, the two are somehow coexisting, and the deeper dimension was his predominant reality.

Judy Cohen: So this is an example I use, often with clients, or occasionally, I guess, there’s an American Indian tribe want to say the SU, that had a ritual called the Sun Ritual, or

Rick Archer: actually done it and have the scars to prove it.

Judy Cohen: Okay, so it, you know, here they are intentionally and purposefully, bringing torturous physical pain to their bodies in order to occupy the mind with the pain so that they can transcend it and experience what you’re calling bliss. They did this on purpose. And that was the only reason that they did this, that they did the ceremony was to experience that, you know, I’m using these words. Again, these are not words I often use. But that sense of connection with something bigger, that transcendence, that sense of what they really are, as opposed to this character hung by their nipples in the bright sunlight, right? Okay. So you know, what you’re describing with Ramana is really something similar, that when the body is occupied with sickness or pain, one can it occupies the mind gets it out of the weight. And one can get in touch with something outside of this person, this self this character, you can do that through pain. It’s one of the ways that you can and so when you’re emotionally suffering, are you sure? It’s a bad thing?

Rick Archer: Good point. I won’t refute that. And obviously, aesthetic aesthetics have inflicted pain on themselves in all kinds of traditions in order to do the very thing you’re saying there. Exactly. And in Romanus case, he was already enlightened two years before he got the cancer. So it wasn’t like the cancer gave him some new experience.

Judy Cohen: No, no, no, but I understand that. But you know, that is one of the values I said to a client the other day who had developed shingles, you know, thank goodness for the shingles, thank goodness for the pain. It was it was, it was, she was more peaceful. Dealing with that, than she had been in quite some time feeling much better physically, so. So is happiness. Intrinsic? Is the question?

Rick Archer: Well, some would argue that all the painful experiences that everyone goes through, in fact, all the experiences have an evolutionary significance or value. And I wouldn’t argue against that. And it may not seem it at the time, but they do. Your mother’s scrubbing the dirt out from behind your ears, and you’re a little kid and you hate it, and you’re struggling and screaming, but it’s actually good for you.

Judy Cohen: So I mean, and I mean, I think most of us have had experiences where we look back. And while we were in them, they were absolutely tortures,

Rick Archer: and then we look back on them and think well, thank God that happened. Yeah, yeah.

Judy Cohen: Yeah. Awful. You know, I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. And also not a bad thing. And so, I mean, here is existence, consciousness, awareness, whichever word you want to put on it, providing this vast range of experience, not just bliss, and peace. Here we are saying, Yeah, okay, but I just want the bliss, please.

Rick Archer: I agree with what you’re saying. And there’s a bunch of good questions that came into that I want to get to so okay, I’ll just say one thing, which is that this bliss word is does not refer to pleasure or relative happiness. It refers to something that sort of is beyond the pairs of opposites and attract someone named Pat from Storrs, Connecticut said something similar in a question she does send it, or hey, maybe we’re confusing pleasure and bliss, intense pleasure can create addiction and intense craving for me bliss is the peaceful place be a place the peaceful, balanced place where a quieter sort of joy comes up. So that’s well put it’s it’s something that is beyond the sort of relative pleasure thing that

Judy Cohen: I get it, I get it, of course. And also, I think the difference is in the value of all experience, I guess. Yeah. Yeah.

Rick Archer: Okay, what was rest of that for a few minutes?

Judy Cohen: Okay. Let’s get some other questions. Yeah.

Rick Archer: Arabic from Glendale California asks, is self realization or an attainment? Or is it something that just happens?

Judy Cohen: I don’t think anything’s in attainment. Okay. I think it’s all just something that happens, everything in this experience. And so, I mean, I think you can busy yourself with trying to get there and I realized this is not your point of view. One can busy oneself with that for many years. And also and then not and still not attain, right. So what is the difference between the the guy who does 50 million satsangs and meditate every day? And the other guy who does 50 million set signs and meditate every day? What is the difference between them one attains, and one doesn’t? Is it? Does it have to do with them? Is the question I guess. So I consider it all a happening and not an attainment.

Rick Archer: Yeah, also attainment implies that, you know, someone is getting at something, you know, exactly this thing that you get. And you know, universally when people wake up, almost almost universally, they say, Wow, this has always been here. I just didn’t recognize it

Judy Cohen: as exactly, but that that last piece of that sentence is the key to it. I didn’t recognize it. So while we’re waiting for realization, and while we’re waiting for understanding, it’s here. Yeah. And so that’s what I mean, earlier, when I said, we don’t need to understand this. We really don’t, it’s here already. And whether we get it or not. Still here.

Rick Archer: It’s true. We’d be in trouble. Yeah. Here’s a question from David in Fairfield, Iowa, which is where I am. He says, You mentioned a presumed spiritual bio, and not Fairfield, Connecticut, which is where I was grew up. But um, he said, you mentioned that the mind wants the roadblocks to work. What are the roadblocks and why does the mind want them to work?

Judy Cohen: Well, I mean, if you you know what, when we talk about the mind as if it’s a real thing. It’s, it’s not, but it it can help to, to use the words in these ways as as a way of understanding and dramatizing and picturing. And so if you picture the mind as if it’s a real thing, and wants to survive. What happens to it? If you see that it’s full of crap? It kind of goes poof, and it’s not going to do that voluntarily.

Rick Archer: Yeah. I mean, are you alluding to the, the thing people often discuss about how the ego has this sort of, you know, desire to survive, and it feels threatened when right begins to, you know, dissipated, dissolve, and a lot of fear can arise and people

Judy Cohen: right click, they’re afraid of the void, or they’re suddenly hungry for cookies, or, you know, again, I see this all the time. And the thing is, it’s a trick, those feelings that people spend so much time to some of these methods. And again, this is why I don’t do the killaby thing anymore, is all that focus, you know, oh, I have a feeling come up and then they stop there and they put all their time. On the feeling Mission accomplished, you don’t go any further than that. And that sense of self is alive and well. Yeah. So, you know, fear does come up. Okay. So what?

Rick Archer: Yeah. Incidentally, I don’t disagree with your premise that many, many things that people do probably reinforce the sense of self or individuation, rather than, you know, unable to relax into a more universal or unbounded state. I think that’s probably very true. So there’s just, but you can’t sort of lump everything together in one big basket, there are just so many different things out there that people do. You know, you have everything from, you know, Jonestown, to some real healthy scenes, that there are techniques and practices that have really been fruitful for people. So it’s, I’d say, maybe it’s good to be discerning and discriminating and practical. And if something doesn’t seem to be working, then move on, you know,

Judy Cohen: I mean, for me, you know, inherent in what you just said, is, is a basic, common sense. Yeah, you know, you if somebody has been seeking for 30 years, time for something different, because it’s not working, right. And when I, when I hear about these various guru’s and OSH ROMs, you know, with all this sexual abuse and all this other stuff, I’m just kind of astonished at people following I don’t understand the following thing. And I should understand it, because I kind of did it with Byron, Katie for a while. But there’s, you know, I think this is what happens when we’re looking to these teachers for answers is where we’re rife for being, you know, taken advantage of, yes, do something different. Yeah. If it’s, you know, and I know people who have done the Work of Byron, Katie for 30 years, and they’ll very happily say, you know, I’m going to do it for the rest of my life. Why?

Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, you’d have to sort of, I mean, I’m gonna keep eating for the rest of my life, because it seems to be necessary for me. And I enjoy it. But if I if, if for some reason, it weren’t, that it’s not a good example. But it’s like the Byron Katie thing. If you don’t seem to be benefiting anymore, you’re just going through the same thing over and over again, and you don’t seem to be?

Judy Cohen: Well, and I’m sure they feel like they’re benefiting. But the question is, there’s the thing is, there’s always enough thought, there’s always another stressful thought, there’s always another thought there’s always another feeling. And if we get stuck focusing on that, yeah. You can never access anything more than the self and you can make the you can give themself a happier dream. And again, yay. But if what you want is to access what you’re calling that intrinsic happiness, that that bigger, you know, how do you get there by worrying if the thought is true or not?

Rick Archer: Yeah. You know, I guess one way of putting it is, if you think of traveling, let’s say someplace, and maybe it’s a flight where it’s a trip, we have to take three different flights, you know, a smaller commuter flight than a bigger flight, then another smaller commuter flight or whatever, you know, each flight is essential to the journey, he wouldn’t get there, if you didn’t take all three. But if you try to stay on any one of the planes, you know, after it is landed, that or after it’s taken you as far as it’s gonna take you, then you’re not going to get to your destination. So, go ahead.

Judy Cohen: I think that not everybody’s destination, is the awakening your agenda using these are words I do not use ordinarily, but but, you know, well, I, you know, I’m trying this is what I do, I speak to your I do my best to speak your language. But if if your destination, ideally, is that sense of awakening, can you get it by focusing on what you’re thinking and what you’re feeling? And whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing? Can you get there that way?

Rick Archer: Maybe not. Maybe you can get or maybe some QAnon some cat and others. Yeah, something different.

Judy Cohen: And again, I I’m all for anything that makes the dream less painful. Well, you know, why wouldn’t you just do in that case? You know, do it for the rest of your life? I mean, whatever floats your boat. Yeah. Yeah. So are there more questions because I know

Rick Archer: we’re, well, none. None more. No more have come in from viewers, although they’re welcome to send them if they want. Go to the upcoming interviews page as a form there. But my sense was Byron Katie is she kind of reverse engineered her experience? You know, she had a certain experience. And then she thought, well, how can I derive something practical for this that I can impart to others? And so she came up with this method,

Judy Cohen: or even a, you know, what, again, I can’t speak for her. But if if only How can I understand what has happened again, where you start getting the mind involved in an experience, how do I understand I agree with you, it was reverse engineered, you know, an experience happened. And then there was an explanation, right? And a method. But it didn’t happen to her via the method.

Rick Archer: No, yeah, she was in a halfway house cockroach crawled across her foot. Right. And she had some kind of awakening,

Judy Cohen: which is, you know, I mean, the cockroach was coincidental. It was incidental to the story, you know, it just something

Rick Archer: just happened. Yeah, you’re not gonna get there by keeping Capet cockroaches and letting them walk across your feet.

Judy Cohen: And be funny if people derive that from that story that Oh, I know what I need to do.

Rick Archer: Well, you know, I mean, that’s, that’s a sort of an absurd example. But people have done that for a long, long time, they tried to emulate the external behaviors or, or appearances or habits of teachers.

Judy Cohen: Yep. Yep. I mean, that’s all over the place. It’s in every ashram, right, all the all the folks sitting in the right position for the right length of time for the in the right. uniform and the and, and, you know, are they meditating? Right? Are they thinking right, are they they disciplined enough if their mind wanders to sex? Oh, no, no, no, no, you know, it’s like, okay,

Rick Archer: yeah, there’s a story of Shanker I don’t think this really happened. But it’s one of those stories that illustrates a point where he was walking along with some disciples and, and they he got a bit ahead of him and they saw him drink something and it turned out to be some alcoholic beverage or something. So they all drank some. And then he walked a little farther along and they saw a drink something else and they got up to the point it was molten glass. And the point was, they don’t mimic me.

Judy Cohen: I mean, I love that and don’t you wish you could send some version of that message to all those gurus being arrested right now? And all those disillusion painful follow up pains the followers hoping that this person has what they want? I mean, I you know, it’s a hard way to live.

Rick Archer: Yeah. And there are a lot of teachers who are trying to get away from that hierarchical sage on the stage kind of arrangement you know, making it more of a world one you know, sitting in a circle kind of mentality it’s, you know, which but it’s one of those another both end things because it’s not to say that some people haven’t sort of progressed a little bit further in terms of their the depth of their experience or the clarity of it, and that they might not have something valuable to impart but boy if you if you put them on a pedestal and all kinds of problems begin to arise for you and them right now so we don’t have a hard and fast ending to this show God I mean, if there’s anything that you feel like you know, we haven’t touched upon that you would like to we can take a few more minutes

Judy Cohen: I’m completely in your hands you know, i i The only thing I would say is that I have taken over my poor cousin’s house since I have the toddler over my head in my own and so I I won’t be able to steal their house indefinitely though. It’s it’s a thought Yeah. But I you know, I guess I guess I would just want to say for the the for the for the folks that are listening that feel like they’ve tried everything and really given it a good go. And if they’re still feeling stuck, that I think I think they can come at it sideways. Yeah. And you know, I think that’s hard to do by yourself. It’s hard to see straight by yourself. Sometimes, you know, that old expression, but how you can see other people’s stuff that you can’t see your own. Yeah. It’s something it helps I think to have an outside your particular loop. Thought loop. person. And you know, that is a contradiction, I think because in that sense, I think that’s how people can fall into following a guru. Yeah. They are outside it is somebody else, but I don’t think they know this. I guess I’m babbling, I don’t know,

Rick Archer: I’ve never tried to say no, it’s coming across clearly, I think it’s another one of those. Here’s a little doggie who just jumped in my lap.

Judy Cohen: We baby noisy little thing, finding little character likes

Rick Archer: to grow. Either one of those things where there’s, there’s a balance point where, you know, something can be helpful, but too much of it or approaching it in the wrong way can be harmful, like anything like you know, water. Right, right. Right. And, you know, teachers can be helpful, we shouldn’t just brush off the whole value of teachers, or guides or helpers or whatever. But obviously there can be wholesome and twisted versions of that dynamic.

Judy Cohen: So I’m just going back to that

Rick Archer: he’s growling at you, actually, he’s looking at you, oh, green and growling,

Judy Cohen: you know, what it’s been known to happen? I mean, it’s it’s something something about this. I guess I was just thinking about how, you know, the dichotomy between none of it is me, and all of it is me. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s all a realm of paradox, and contradiction. And I don’t, again, I think that these these brains, these minds, they’re too limited. And that was one of the things that was very clear in one of those so called awakening experiences of mine, which is just, I even have this one on recorded as a matter of fact, it was I was talking to somebody and it was recording and this, it became very clear that we’re just not big enough. We’re limited by this by all of this. We were just not big enough to be able to. To understand.

Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah, true. I mean, can anyone honestly claim that they understand everything there is to be understood? You know,

Judy Cohen: and, and especially when it comes to awareness, and I always kind of crack up at these, because this is a common theme. The idea of being aware of awareness. When,

Rick Archer: yeah, what is the awareness that’s aware of the awareness and

Judy Cohen: waffly? Right, and all within the limitations of this hardware? There is a point at which we don’t have the capability,

Rick Archer: right? That’s why the Gita says the self realizes itself by itself, but it doesn’t that there’s actually no no duality and that it’s not like, this thing over here realizes this thing over here. It’s more like a sort of a relaxing into oneness.

Judy Cohen: That makes sense.

Rick Archer: Okay, one final question. Virginia, Harry, from dough port on servern in the UK, wants to know, this is a good concluding question, perhaps I struggled to incorporate what I know spiritually into my daily life. Can you offer any guidance?

Judy Cohen: Um, I do know Virginia actually. And I’m sending her this answer would love. Actually, the the integration of all of this into daily life, I mean, that’s all it’s good for if we can’t use it, right? If enlightenment doesn’t bring something light, lighter, if if what’s, what’s the point? What good is it? And so I do spend a fair amount of time I actually have a class coming up have given this a few times on integrating so that daily life is less painful, possibly more productive or whatever, just simply better. But, you know, again, to make for the dream to be a little easier is is Who would want that? Yeah. So, you know, how do you do that? Again, it’s hard to do alone. Because Because the mind isn’t gleefully willing to help. But a lot of it is just Question of seeing where the limitations are of thought, and got these words just are not doing the job. It is possible to integrate and just have a better life. I’m not saying that you’re going to sit in a cave and be blissed out all the time. But it is definitely something that is the point of all this again, if there is a point, otherwise, why bother?

Rick Archer: Yeah. You know, I interviewed a woman last week who was a disciple of a man who was a disciple of Yogananda. So she’s in that tradition, and after the interview, I thought of one thing I plan I would like to have made, this is Ellen Grace O’Brien, that I interviewed. And that is that spirituality is not a compartment of life, it’s not a sort of an aspect or, or it’s the whole basket, and everything else is contained within and enhanced by it. If it genuinely, genuinely develops, it should just sort of have an enriching or enlivening effect on on everything. So this whole thing about, you know, sitting in a cave to experience bliss, or something that makes no sense to me. It’s, it’s not right. I mean, maybe a few people are cut out for that kind of life. But for the vast majority of us it, it would be extremely counterproductive. And it’s not and totally unnecessary.

Judy Cohen: I mean, in the end, we, we do, as a rule, have a preference for this dream to be a satisfying one a better one a easier one, a more peaceful one. And in the end, without that, without the integration. What is spirituality and understanding and all of this education and learning, etc? If not for that, it’s kind of like, what for? Yeah,

Rick Archer: I totally grow.

Judy Cohen: It’s about the dream. And it does, why why not want it to be better? Yeah.

Rick Archer: And some people use that as a point of criticism, they talk about the people wanting to just have a better dream, rather than getting out of the dream. But I think the, the way to make the dream really better is to get out of it while remaining in it. As we’ve sort of discussed here,

Judy Cohen: it’s your only option, because we don’t, you know, we don’t turn into vapor. As soon as we get there, you know, we don’t we don’t vanish, we still, you know, have to go to the grocery store. So it’s it’s not? It has to be both.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Ready? So this one century that I’ve really enjoyed this conversation. I don’t feel like I’ve disagreed with you at all. It may have seemed like that at times. I feel like I’ve just tried to, in every case, say, Yes, I agree. But how about also this, you know, the both end thing. And we did get some planes complaints during the interview that I was talking too much. And I did talk out more than I usually do. In interviews, I think, I hope, hope I usually talk as much. But it was it was a conversation. It was a lively one. And as you said, at some point you you were kind of interviewing me actually what I thought, which is why

Judy Cohen: I went on a bit, which is not your fault. That was mine. I apologize to

Rick Archer: anybody who doesn’t like me to do that. And oh, no, I think we had a really fun time together.

Judy Cohen: I agree. And it was, I enjoyed it very much. Can I just want to say one more thing? Sure. Even if we did, and I hear you. But even if we did disagree I used to be disagreed with. So it’s not that’s not a problem for me?

Rick Archer: Well, it’s like you said in the very beginning, you know, there’s it’s one thing to sort of say, well, yeah, I kind of get what you’re saying. But there’s also this and I also think that it’s another thing to say no, you’re wrong. And I’m right, you know, to take this adamant, rigid kind of stance, and I think neither you and I are inclined to do that.

Judy Cohen: Right. Thank you. Good.

Rick Archer: Thank you. So I’ve been speaking with Judy Cohen. As always, she’ll have a page on batgap.com. Where, say a bit about her and then link to her website. What is your website messages? Say it

Judy Cohen: also my website is irreverent. mind.com. And I guess I probably should say, you know, if anybody is intrigued at all, I do have a class coming up in sometime in February, I think February 24 may be on integrating all of this with with real life.

Rick Archer: Good to then go to your website and find out about that. Yeah, and this is 2019 January 26 2018. As we’re recording this, some people will be listening to this 10 years from now so and anyway, if you catch that class, great and you probably have some kind of email thing people can sign up for To be notified of future things, right?

Judy Cohen: Absolutely. The mind tickler they can all can on the website just click on any of the very various links to subscribe to the newsletter which comes out every every week and is designed to just spark some new ideas. Yeah,

Rick Archer: they did for me. I enjoyed reading those. Thank you guys. Thanks. So thanks to those who are listening who have been listening or watching and we’ll see you for the next one. Hopefully