Jurgen Ziewe – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview Transcript

Jurgen Ziewe – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

June 17, 2016

>>RICK:  Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually awakening people. We’ve been doing this for about six years now… a little more, and there are hundreds of them archived. If you go to BATGAP.com, you’ll find them all categorized in various ways under the past interviews’ menu. This show is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. Thanks to those who’ve been supporting it and if you feel like making a contribution, there’s a PayPal button on the site. And it’s made freely available to anybody who wants to watch it. There’s no obligation or anything in order to watch it. My guest today is Jurgen Ziewe. Jurgen lives in the UK, originally from Germany. And he’s a fascinating fellow. You began meditating, Jurgen, in 1969, right?

>>JURGEN:  Yeah.

>>RICK:  Was it TM, or some other form of meditation?

>>JURGEN:  I started with TM.

>>RICK:  I had a feeling you did because everybody was learning TM in those days.

>>JURGEN:  Yes. It’s right, that was the sort of thing that was available, at the time.

>>RICK:  And you mentioned that in 1973, you did a six-month course of some sort that those were also offered in the TM movement. Was that within the TM movement, as well?

>>JURGEN:  No. That wasn’t a course. That was just me being totally dedicated to lock myself in my room and not get out until I had a long sort of session of meditation behind me.

>>RICK:  Ah.

>>JURGEN:  I was very keen to reach the apex.

>>RICK:  Yeah, so… hopefully, that went well for you. That can be a little dangerous for people sometimes if they’re not prepared for that.

>>JURGEN:  It went wrong, actually.

>>RICK:  Yeah. You mentioned in your bio, that there were some negative side effects.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, I mean, the thing was, I was, until then I read a lot of books, and I read about enlightenment. I had no idea what it was all about. I expected… I didn’t even know what to expect. But I thought I needed to know. I needed to have the experience everybody’s writing about in these books I read and talked about. And I thought that that is a very desirable goal. I started meditating on the light, on mantras. On the TM mantra, on all sorts of things. I got up at four o’clock in the morning, and I meditated ’til about nine. Then I went to college; then I sometimes came back in the evening and meditated. And I did this for about six months, but in the meantime, I noticed I became really aggressive, frustrated. I had bad experiences, and I thought it had the absolute opposite effect of what I was hoping for.

>>RICK:  Yeah. Do you understand now why that was happening?

>>JURGEN:  Yes, I think I actually did get into some quite dark areas. And one of the signs was, and I didn’t really talk much about it in the past. I was painting at the time because I was an art student. At the time, I was trying to deal with in my inner demons and my fears and all sorts of things. And I started doing a painting of some demons. I literally did a representational painting of demons. And I became very fascinated. The more I became fascinated, the more I was drawn into this sort of almost dark art and my meditation went into that sort of direction because also the anxieties came out. Then one night, I sat down to meditation, and I found the painting I’d finished fell off the easel and an ashtray (at the time I was still smoking) was catapulted right across the room with all the fag ends strewn across the floor. I suddenly experienced an incredible chill, and you have to bear in mind I didn’t believe in anything supernatural at that time. To me, anything supernatural was just a superstition. But when I came into the room, there were no windows open. It was very chilly, the painting was on the floor, and the ashtray on the opposite end of the room, which was sort of four meters from where I left it. And then I experienced this fear, and then I didn’t know how to deal with the fear. I was quite scared. I found a book by Krishnamurti on the bookshelf. I opened it randomly, and there was a chapter on fear. As I read that, I suddenly had a sense of clarity, and after that, I decided the whole thing is bonkers. And I’d rather be where I was before I started meditation and just not have anything to do with it.

So, I was quite happy with the decision because that meant I could go back to my old hedonist student days, with parties, doing the things I really enjoyed, and sort of turned my back completely to the whole idea of enlightenment, of meditation and so on. That went on for some time, and I was getting more into the stride of being myself.

But then something happened. And that was a crucial thing. Because outside my student flat, where I lived there was on Wednesdays, they had a market. I always went to the same place; they had a beautiful, ripe, fresh rye bread, which I bought. And some very strong Tilsiter cheese, and I’m ready to have it on Wednesday, I would have a really nice breakfast. So, I cut a big chunk of my fresh bread, layered a big, so half-inch slice of cheddar cheese, brewed a very strong cup of coffee, and then I started munching into this breakfast. Suddenly, as I was holding my fat sandwich, I lost my relationship with my sandwich. I couldn’t figure out who was actually holding it. And then as I was looking at my hands, I suddenly thought: who do these hands belong to? And I couldn’t … I lost all connection with my body and the reality I was in. And then suddenly, the most extraordinary thing happened, I lost any sense of identity. I didn’t know who I was. Instead, I was suddenly, the whole light, the whole room turned into a blinding light. And I was totally disembodied. I entered into this space of — the only way I can describe it — is clarity. Everything became clear and sharp. But to such an extent that I was just not able to find anything I could compare it with. It was just an absolute clarity. And it was really absolute, there was nothing, no further I could go. This incredible light sort of filled everything, and I suddenly realized that is the essence of what I am. There is nothing before and nothing behind. And that’s just it. It’s almost impossible to describe. The only attributes, I couldn’t find any attributes that I could give to it. And the only attributes I could find was sort of neutrality. There was no bias, no one for nor against. It had no attributes whatsoever; it was just absolutely clear. And that wasn’t the only thing.

The moment I entered into this space, I was overcome by waves of ecstasy. And they were almost painful. As if I was stripping sort of layers of any false ideas or anything other than this clear light, as if it was sort of stripped off me, in very quick succession. And the more it was stripped the more ecstasy, I felt, you know — until I was totally succumbed by it. And I remained in this space for, I can’t remember how long, but quite some time. And then I was overcome by incredible waves of love, and I felt that was a moment when I was returning to some sort of sense of normality.

And the interesting thing was, when this happened, it was a bright summer day. And it was quite bright, but it felt when my senses returned as if I was returning into the middle of the night, it felt so dark. And then, as soon as I got my heap of flesh together again, I sort of fell into– I was overcome with incredible emotion. I went into a crying session for no reason other than that my body was trying to deal with what had happened. And then gradually, I became normal, but not quite, because I was in a state of peace. I cannot even express what it was. It was just a complete stillness, there was nothing moving. I got out of my room, and it was as if I had arrived for the first time on this planet. Everything was new, everything felt as if … I’ve never seen it before. It was as if I’ve been on this earth for the first time. As if I had descended into an alien world. And it was incredibly peaceful and beautiful. And there was a radiation coming from everything I saw, which gave me a sense of belonging.

This went on for some time. I didn’t know what to say to anybody. I couldn’t talk to anybody about it. I just quietly walked around with this sense and tried to get my head around the art school, but I just went to art school. I listened to the lectures, and I went home again. I was just not able to participate. Then fortunately, in a way, this gradually faded. I came back to normal, but then some months later, I started having these spontaneous out-of-body experiences. The first one was one which I wasn’t prepared for at all because I was lying in my bed. That happened before — this tremendous experience happened just before I got married. I was still on my own in my student accommodation. And then, after we got married, we moved to another town. And then I had the first out-of-body experience, which was a total dislocation from the place I was. I went to sleep, or I was asleep and suddenly I was wide awake in front of my parents, at my mother’s house.

And there was no doubt about it, this was a real, the real thing, I felt I was physically there. The only difference was I had a 360-degree vision so I could see all around me. And the other curious thing was, I didn’t have a body, and the body sort of reluctantly appeared when I wanted to have a body. So, I materialized, and then as soon as … my first panic thought, was what is happening here? What’s going on? How do I get back? I was quite sure that I shouldn’t have been here. And this pulled me back into my body and I started. I woke up my wife, and I told her what has happened, and she just said: Go back to sleep.

So that was the beginning of it all. And then I became curious. There was no literature. I went to the library, trying to find out whether I had a brain seizure, or a problem, you know, a physical problem. And eventually, I came across a book section that said parapsychology, and I wasn’t really interested at all in the subject. But there was a mention of a kind of doppelganger phenomenon, and I thought maybe that was it. And then somebody gave me a book of Castaneda, which was called A Separate Reality, where he actually, in great detail, described what I had experienced. So that to me was the clue to start seriously get interested in it. Then we moved to England. And as soon as we moved and I sort of lost my… came into a new environment, I started having spontaneous out-of-body experiences, from then on. Which happened almost on a… first on a weekly basis and quite often…  some were very short. But I became, as I started taking interest in them and reading books about it, I was able to control them more. So that was the start of the journey, if you like.

>>RICK:  Yeah. Great. Would they, would these out-of-body experiences happen while you’re doing things like driving your car or walking down the street? Or were they more when you were in a meditative kind of state?

>>JURGEN:  Yes, I mean, they happened usually when I was in a meditation state. My meditation completely changed after I had this experience. I didn’t do any TM or anything like that, it was just a kind of devotional practice, where I focus on a sense of gratitude if you like, which was more sort of heart-related.

>>RICK:  Gratitude to whom?

>>JURGEN:  Gratitude, to what I had experienced in a way. This experience was sitting with me, from day one, it happened, it never went away. It was as if somebody put up a lighthouse in my life, and it was always there. And I knew it was there. I knew that was a beacon. Later when I totally lost my way, in a way, because I was bringing up a family and having a career, and I was more focused on very materialistic things, I still had the knowledge of this otherness. And the best way I can describe it was that it’s never left me. It was… The word I found for it was… I refer to it as a silent companion. An aspect of beingness, which was with me all the time, and which I could rely on in lots of ways, but it didn’t have a — it was like a presence. The best way I can describe it. It was as if somebody was walking around with me all the time.

>>RICK:  But you eventually discovered that it wasn’t someone other THAN you, it was your own inner silence that you were sensing?

>>JURGEN:  Yes, that didn’t happen until much later, that I had… That actually happened in 2013. When I went on to a meditation retreat. Until then, I always referred to this: my silent companion and the silent companion did actually make appearances in deep states of meditation. And one in particular, where I entered the spontaneous state of Samadhi where this presence was accompanying me, in this state. It was shortly after I came out of hospital in 2011. It was a very powerful experience, which I also documented in my latest book. And then in 2013, I went into a solitary retreat in the Scottish mountains. In a little mountain hut by myself, and I was deliberately meditating, and keeping a record of the meditations.

And then, after four or five days, I had this, the best way to describe it is like a recall experience. I don’t even know whether it’s an awakening experience. It was a recall experience, where I felt what I really was, and I had forgotten, all my life had sort of forgotten really, that I was that, that thing. And then that was the moment the silent companion merged with me, and where I felt, this otherness, or this entity, which was very, very closely related to me, was actually who I was. And it was nothing more like a recall. And this made me feel, that that is what everybody actually has at the root of their being. It made me feel that I wasn’t anything special. I was just in a state where I could remember my authentic self.

>>RICK:  Yeah.

>>JURGEN:  And everything before then was just a smokescreen.

>>RICK:  Sometimes in the traditional literature, enlightenment or awakening is referred to as a sort of remembrance or recall kind of thing. At the very end of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna says to Lord Krishna, I have regained my memory, essentially of who I am. So, it’s precedented, this sort of thing.

>>JURGEN:  Yeah, this is how it felt. I didn’t have the same experience I had the first time. I have to say, all of these experiences, which, this state of Samadhi or deep meditation, they all… each experience is completely different, I found. And it’s infinite, I think the type of experiences you can have. And this one was quite different. It was preceded by a meditation the previous day, where I was faced with an abyss of reality. I sank into a state of depersonalization, where I could not, similar to the one I had the first time, but this time, I fell into an abyss of reality, which became increasingly real and more real and more real, and I felt increasingly threatened by this reality and I felt, if I go too far, I can only be God. And I was afraid. I was afraid of this enormity I was about to be faced with. All my life I’ve wanted, I’ve wanted it, but now I was at the threshold, I was incredibly scared of it. I thought if I go a step further, I will lose everything. And I just can’t, and it was too terrifying. It put everything into question. So that was a meditation, I had in the morning, and I felt I just needed to go a step further. And the only way I can do that is to allow this incredible, fearsome entity, which could only have been God to obliterate me completely. And then there would be nothing left of me. And it was terrifying. I then almost prayed to get my ego back. [laughing] So I run, I went back, and I tried to reassemble my identification. And I took my camera out, I took photographs. I tried to fix some sort of arbitrary identity, which I could deal with, which I could control, which was the darkness of myself, and that suddenly felt the desirable thing, to be and to enter into again. And I didn’t feel I was ready for this thing. Now, at the same time, of course, I felt like a great coward because I’ve been meditating for 40 years. And when it came to the crunch, I didn’t have the guts, or whatever was needed, to take the step into the abyss. Before I was often told, or shown that you need really need courage and fearlessness if you want to walk this path, you have to lose fear. And I felt I had lost all my fear. I lost my fear when I was diagnosed with cancer. And I realized I was not afraid, because, in fact, I was elated in a perverse sort of way. And the fact that I wasn’t afraid anymore from … of something which was quite serious, made me feel as if I had conquered fear. And I was not afraid of death or dying, and so on. And then that went away. I came out of hospital, I had another very incredible experience which I wrote in Vistas of Infinity, which was my silent companion calling me into this meditation.

But this time, when I was in Scotland, and I went back, I went into the abyss, I had this fear, and the fear controlled me. Then the next day, I spent the rest of the day regretting, basically, that I failed, after spending all my life aiming in a way, for this to happen, wanting this to happen.

And then the next day, I started meditating. In the end, I wrote a book about it, because I kept a journal for the whole week. I journaled everything I’ve been through. And the book was called The Ten-Minute Moment because that was what it was all about. The next day, I started off very gently. It was a very beautiful day. I felt an incredible love. And it was almost as if, during the night, something was stripped away from me. I was free. I felt really free, and I felt good, and the meditations went really well. And then I sat in front of my hut. I looked at the landscape, and I felt this incredible peace and stillness, and it was beautiful. An incredible contentment. And, then suddenly, I noticed this, what I thought was the sun falling on grass. And it lit the grass up. And I thought how beautiful. What a beautiful light this is. Suddenly, I realized that the light sort of was cascading and laying like mist all over the landscape outside my hut. Then I noticed that it wasn’t the sunlight, it was that I could see everything burning from within. I could see it as energy. And this spread out, it came out towards me. As I looked down on myself, I noticed my body was made out of light.

And this trivial thought came into my head, which made me think: Oh, I must be enlightened. (Rick chuckles gently) Then I had this incredible experience, which I referred to earlier. This was so powerful. I couldn’t even bring myself to find words for it. I had the experience of infinite pain, as well as infinite pleasure. The two things were just combined into one. I noticed by looking at my watch that only lasted about 10 minutes, the experience. But it was totally overwhelming.

That was it. After that, I felt the sense of separation had totally disappeared. There was no way I could get it back. When I wrote the book, which was nine months later, I published it. I noticed that was still the case. I couldn’t imagine how I could get this alienation back. It was just not happening to the extent that I can’t even remember who I was yesterday. There is no persona I can assemble around this awareness, which I could claim to be me. So, this has disappeared now. Now it’s three years later. What I’m finding is, it is a very, very natural state of being and I’m very convinced… Very, very convinced that that’s what we all REALLY are, and everybody is that. For some unknown reason, we are not having the recall. We are not having the memory that connects us to our true identity.

>>RICK:  When you say ‘this’ has disappeared now, what has disappeared?

>>JURGEN:  Well, this sort of sense of that I am something ”other” than a person, or an identification with something with something personal. I can’t… I’m an illustrator, for example, a commercial illustrator. All these identifications which I thought I am, which build up the persona, we think we are. All this sort of is irrelevant. It doesn’t have any meaning; it doesn’t carry any weight anymore. If people were to refer to me and say to me, you’re a really bad illustrator or something, I wouldn’t know how to identify with that. So that’s basically what’s happening because it’s more a matter of seeing a bigger picture living in a beingness is the only way I can describe. It is always there.

>>RICK:  So, would it be fair to say that for all those years, and we’ll talk about the intervening years later in this interview. But for all those years, where you had all those experiences, and out-of-body things, and lucid dreaming, and all that stuff, there was still very much an identification. The sense of ”I” am having these experiences?

>>JURGEN:  Yes.

>>RICK:  Whereas this thing you just talked about; the identification dropped off. In fact, the day before that, it was like, ‘I am afraid.’ I don’t want to let go of who I am or what I am, and God is too much, he’ll gobble me up. But then once you had relaxed into that transition the next day, the sense of I dropped off, and has an identification or definitions of yourself as anything other than ‘being’ or ‘presence’ dropped off, and simply haven’t returned over the past several years.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, that’s the state now. And that’s what I find is actually the norm, the ground state of human beingness. I find I arrived at the point in a way where I can safely say, I’m human.

>>RICK:  And so, this whole thing that you just described, even though you described it in the past tense, this happened to me this day, and then the next day this happened, it’s an ongoing thing, it’s not really past tense. It’s just your natural state of living now.

>>JURGEN:  Yes. That’s it. I have to say the whole episode in between that happened with my out-of-body experiences, they were actually quite relevant, I find in my training. I didn’t discover how relevant they were until I wrote the book. Because one of my daughters asked me, when I had several diaries filled up, she asked what they were. I said they’re my out-of-body experiences. She said I’d quite like to read it. Why don’t you type it all out? I thought, yeah, that makes it good. And that was the first time I started reading them again. I started typing them, I realized, over the years there was an inner programming going on. An inner teaching, and I literally had a teacher who appeared during my out-of-body experiences, who was training me because I didn’t belong to any sort of yoga school or anything like that. And this teacher has — he was a Chinese Master, he appeared in my out of body experiences, and he trained me for six months, he sort of groomed me

>>RICK:  Let’s set the stage a little bit because we haven’t really talked about your out-of-body experiences, but you’re now… you’re alluding to them. But after that first one you had during sleep, where you were in front of your mother’s house, you then went on to have decades’ worth of out-of-body experiences. Hundreds and hundreds of hours if you add them all up.

And all kinds of amazing, clear experiences of all sorts of dimensions and realms and after death realms and all kinds of things that are going on, even hell realms. This went on for years and years and years and years. I’ve interviewed a couple of people who have had… who talked about out-of-body experiences, but it’s not… Even though it’s kind of everybody knows the term and it’s kind of commonly understood, for some reason, it hasn’t been too common on this show. Perhaps because maybe … I’m just guessing, but maybe people who are interested in out-of-body experiences aren’t really interested in enlightenment as their main priority or as their main goal. They just want to have interesting experiences. Do you think that might be true?

>>JURGEN:  I don’t know. I belong to a Facebook group. It’s called Astral Travelers, and people who are regular people there, I find they’re very spiritual people.

>>RICK:  I’m sure they are, but how is it… You think of astral travel, it’s sort of like okay, my body’s going to stay here, and my subtle body is going to go there. But how does that relate to self-realization, which is not a matter of separating subtle body from gross body but really a matter of discovering something much more fundamental than either and living from that foundation?

>>JURGEN:  The main strength I found it the fact. It’s a very profound realization that you are not the physical body.

>>RICK:  It really drives that home.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, so that is one experience most of the people who are calling themselves out of body experiencers share. They have all made the fundamental experience that they no longer see themselves identified with this physical body. And that, I think it’s a very, very vital step on the path and that can be very good.

>>RICK:  But do they go on to identify with the subtle body?

>>JURGEN:  Yeah, so that’s when I started having experiences of higher dimensions and it’s a bit like in Theosophy where they divide the realms of consciousness up into the astral, the mental and the spiritual regions, and of course, these can be experienced. What I did is basically I started when I had out-of-body experiences, I started using them for meditation. Instead of meditating in my chair, I was sitting in my astral body, in my astral chair and I was meditating, and this is a very, very powerful experience because it’s a bit like launching a rocket from space where it doesn’t have to overcome the gravity, so it doesn’t burn any fuel.

Basically, thoughts become instant reality. And my… the first discovery I made was if I use a mantra OM during this meditation session in my out-of-body state would immediately catapult me into higher states of consciousness. This is one thing which I explained to the group, and people have confirmed that when they use… when they do astral travel, and they use the OM meditation, they immediately get into a higher elevated state of consciousness. And that has sort of… This suggestion has a little bit caught on and spread, and many astral travelers now use that because you have to bear in mind out of body experience can become really boring, if once you get used to it in a sense because you are limited by your imagination, you are limited by who you are. This is what happened to me. I felt I reached the ceiling. I met these incredible places, and these wonderful people and these astral realms, but I felt I was limited. Whenever I tried to go higher, I hit literally hit a ceiling. I’m not the only one who has experienced this. I read about Robert Monroe, who was an out-of-body experiencer. He wrote a book Journeys Out of The Body, one of the first pioneers. He came across the ceiling phenomena himself, and when I reached the ceiling, it was literally like a plastered ceiling, an ornamental ceiling. I used to punch my way through it in order to get to a higher level. Everything takes on a very symbolic meaning, and the symbolism becomes actually physically real because when you are in an out of body, state, the environment appears to be as physical as our environment here. But it’s on a different level really. You work just as hard to get through a ceiling as you would work here. And I literally rip the plaster off the ceiling in order to get to the next level, and I figured that was the way the mind understood that I had a desire to break through. The symbolism actually became the reality. You could work with this, to go to other levels. It’s quite difficult to explain, but these are tricks which you can use in order to achieve higher levels. But the most important thing is it has to be accompanied by the right kind of feeling. If the feeling isn’t there, then nothing really happens.

In 1988, after this series of breaking through ceilings, which ultimately was after this training by my inner master, this Chinese guy, I mentioned in my first book, helped me then to break through the ultimate ceiling. Then in this out-of-body state, I again reach this state of clarity, but by a completely different route. The first one was the spontaneous experience. The second one was an inner experience, an inner journey where I went through the non-physical realities, which felt just as physical as the reality here now. But the consciousness expanded and the realities, the realms, became increasingly more glorious, more strange, and more fascinating.

And in the last level, I was accompanied into this state of clarity again. But this time, the way I experienced it, was that I was standing at the shore of an infinite ocean of light. There were waves of light crashing in, and it felt just like standing on the beach. But everything was made out of light. And each wave, which crashed in on me, triggered an ecstasy. Until I went through a series of ecstasy and then I… until then I entered the state of clarity again, which was indistinguishable from the first experience — the same state. Then the third time was in Scotland, which broke the camel’s back, so to speak. [laughing] And then it was unmistakable. That is now the status quo. That is what human beings, that’s what we are really, everything else is an illusion.

>>RICK:  That leads into a question. Some people will remember Ramana Maharshi, saying that, and probably many others, I’m sure, saying that anything which comes and goes is not the reality. There’s that saying, in the Gita, the unreal has no being the real never ceases to be. Therefore, one should not seek after experiences which come and go. One should make one’s priority, the realization of that, which always is, which never comes and goes. There are so many points I want to discuss with you, but let’s discuss that one for a minute because there are a lot of people who study Vedanta and read Ramana Maharshi. And they might be thinking what you just said, which is, all these levels are ultimately an illusion. And they might be wondering, well, why bother with them, then? If they’re ultimately … why not just skip right to that which never comes or goes, which always is?

>>JURGEN:  Yes. I’ve thought about this a lot. But I think that it is basically people’s individual paths. I think my path is — I’m an artist. I’m a very visual, experiential person. When I connect, even before I consider the outside world as anything spiritual, I connected with it from a visual, emotional point of view, as an artist. And my inner experiences sort of reflected that, and I felt there was a natural attraction to explore the inner worlds, in much the same way as I explored the physical world. I felt that there was an attraction, along with this path, and a fascination because the worlds I discovered in there were incredibly rich and beautiful and fascinating. Of course, they were not any spiritual realization, they were more like a world of enhanced entertainment if you like. But I, especially in my second book, started using these as a communication of consciousness, as consciousness teaching me. I took these very seriously. Whenever I had a question, very often consciousness would draw me into an out-of-body state where I found the answer.

They said, I mean start from very trivial questions like when I was asked to do an illustration about medieval knights. I wondered what did they look like? I wondered whether they are right when I looked at the reference books. The next night, I had a body experience where I found myself on the battlefield of medieval knights. I was totally conscious, and I studied the seam of the dress. What color it was. How they rode the horses. I was just looking and taking all the detail in. Then I went back, and I had a clear picture of what it was like. There were plenty of occasions where I used this information which people refer to as the Akashic records, in a sense, where you can glean all sorts of information. And sometimes they are only a thought away. For example, I’ve mentioned that before, on my website, in my book, I was illustrating a book on deep space, and the editor asked me to draw an illustration of the Big Bang, and I asked him what did it look like? And he said how should I know you are the artist? Nobody knows, nobody will say, and I thought, I can’t possibly do an illustration of something that I don’t know what it looks like. The following night I had an out-of-body experience, and I called, take me to the Big Bang.

No sooner had I said that when I was suspended in a black void, but I didn’t see a Big Bang. I saw, or I heard four sounds. And these sounds were sort of feeding back on each other. And that was it.

Then I went back, and I figured, okay, there was no Big Bang, there were four sounds. What may have happened is they were the feedback mechanism, like when you hold a microphone in front of a speaker, the feedback mechanism results in a big bang. I went to follow up with my editor and I said, what about if the Big Bang was initiated by four sounds and there was a feedback mechanism that exploded, and it caused the Big Bang. He said, no, no, no, no, no, just draw a picture of a big bang. You imagine it. So, that was the story, but I found after that, it is actually possible to glean information during an out-of-body state, and there is literally no limit to the information you can access because what we are dealing with is a Universal Mind. We are just separating off a small section of the Universal Mind, which we call our own, and we can get experiences but, this sort of entering the Akashic mind or the Universal Mind, we have unlimited potential if we wanted to. But of course, there was never really enough time to follow or not even the interest to follow it in detail.

Later, after 2008 I decided, I took note that … I wasn’t really interested in out-of-body experiences, I was more interested in meditation, and reaching a state of stillness. But when they happened, I saw them as invitations by the greater consciousness to draw my attention to certain aspects. One aspect I was drawn to was to be familiarized with certain aspects of the nonphysical reality because there was so much ignorance about it and so much speculation. I started taking notes, and therefore, I wrote the book, Vistas of Infinity: How to Enjoy Life When You’re Dead, basically because it was a cross-section of what realities we are likely to find when we die. I found this an important work because people, nobody has a clue of what’s going to happen. We’re all sitting on the train, and not knowing where the station is, and when the train will arrive. And then there’s a big blank screen, and nobody knows. There’s only speculation and beliefs. Some of the beliefs I’ve come across are quite wrong, really, in my experience. Some beliefs are devastating, to humanity.

>>RICK:  I mean there’s people who believe that when you die, that’s it. You’re snuffed out like a candle. There are spiritual people who believe that actually. I’ve interviewed a number of people who say, well, there is no reincarnation because there is no person ultimately. If there’s no person, how could it be reincarnation because there would have to be somebody to reincarnate, some kind of kernel of individuality that goes on from body to body, life to life. I think they’re wrong, as I’m sure you do, but I just want to make a statement here, to kind of help put things in context, and see if you agree – and that is that what you have been doing most of your life, all these explorations, is obviously not incompatible with enlightenment or realization, because that has dawned for you. All of this was not a trap, or an impediment, or a distraction. It was, for you at least, conducive to the realization that eventually happened. I think maybe it can be a trap and a distraction and impediment for some people; they can get overly infatuated and distracted and absorbed in it and spend a lot of time just sort of fooling around with woo-woo experiences and not getting right down to the core of things. So maybe there’s that caution. But I don’t think it has to be an all or nothing proposition the way some people would suggest.

>>JURGEN:  Yes.

>>RICK:  There are people who are keen on Vedanta, who would just dismiss all of this discussion as irrelevant and, superficial and a failure to go right to the heart of things.

But you have to remember that Vedanta means the end of the Veda. If you respect Vedanta, maybe you respect the whole tradition, of which it is the end. That tradition includes consideration of all kinds of possibilities and relative phenomena and subtle realms and higher states and astrology and health considerations and everything under the sun because life is multi-dimensional, and life contains so many different things. Even if you’re enlightened, you still have a body, and that body probably needs food, and it needs support. Once enlightenment has dawned, or even before it has, there is still the relative creation, is there not? I mean there can be value in acquiring knowledge of its various aspects. There can be specific knowledge, maybe you’re a scientist or a doctor, and there’s a lot of knowledge you need, or jet pilot or whatever, and there’s a lot of things you need to know and skills you need to acquire there, whether you’re enlightened or not. But then, in a more spiritual context, there is a huge, vast realm of possibilities that humanity, in general, is unaware of, and unappreciative of, which may actually have tremendous benefit for humanity if we were aware of it, and if we understood it better.

>>JURGEN:  Yes.

>>RICK:  Enlightenment or awakening can be a platform on which that exploration can take place. And we as a species can kind of grow up and become much more profoundly appreciative of the beauty and diversity and subtlety of God’s creation. Anyway, that’s my little rant.

>>JURGEN:  I agree with every word you just said, because, I mean, dismissing this, is like dismissing life, dismissing creation. We can’t dismiss it because it’s an intricate part of creation. I also found these experiences tremendously educational on all different kinds of levels. One thing I find throughout all these experiences, we haven’t even scratched the very surface of our human potential. It strikes me that we have barely risen from the Stone Age, that our evolution hasn’t even really begun as a human species.

>>RICK:  I’ll just interrupt one more time and I’ll let you go again. Would you agree then that spiritual development or evolution or enlightenment or whatever we want to call it ideally, might consist, not merely of self-realization? I mean, self-realization is ordinarily considered a pretty big deal (and you don’t usually associate the word ‘mere’ with it), but not merely that, that could become a sort of a starter point or a foundation upon which all kinds of amazing possibilities for human development might be explored and unfolded. Those might have huge implications for us, not only individually in the way we experience our life, but collectively, societally, in terms of what quality of society could aspire to and rise to and technologies. And, I mean, look at all the suffering in the world for various reasons. And that suffering is very real for the people who are undergoing it. Personally, I feel that spiritual realization is the ultimate antidote to that suffering. It might include more than just self-realization. It might also include the discovery and application of a vast range of latent capabilities that are going to be much easier to unlock if the self has been realized.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, I never really could get my head around the idea of Buddha’s teaching, for example, that you want to escape into Nirvana or something like that. I never really could embrace it because I could not, I cannot, really separate the two… that creation. When people say once you’re enlightened, you never have to come back. I personally don’t see that is an issue, living in the whole of creation, in all the realities. It doesn’t necessarily mean I have to restrict myself to living in this physical place, or in that physical place, or anywhere else, or be a poor person, or a rich person. I can live in the whole spectrum of consciousness, which is literally infinite.

>>RICK:  It’s been suggested that the desire to not come back was perhaps the product of a society in which a tooth infection could kill you, and in which the quality of life was pretty brutal in some cases, and you think I want to just get out of here and never come back. [laughing]

>>JURGEN:  Yeah, I think this is probably the case, that the philosophy arose out of this understanding that people wanted to literally disappear from the possibility of ever having to suffer the physical hardships ever again. But once you reach the true understanding of what reality is, it doesn’t necessarily remove the pain from your life or the conflicts, but it does put it in a completely new perspective. We actually have something we can work with and deal with and which will inspire us to achieve greater evolution and become a conscious part of the evolutionary process because we are part of nature.

>>RICK:  Yeah.

>>JURGEN:  Once we become a conscious part of this evolutionary process, it opens all kinds of doors for us. I mean, I’ve been in the higher states of consciousness where I saw evolution taking place right at the primary state where it was dealing with geometric shapes, where things were starting to appear in a very abstract way, and then as soon as attention was focused from whichever angle, it crystallized into manifestation. The manifestation process was so infinite and so beautiful that there were universes created on the fly, and they disappeared again. In front of my very eyes, I could see how this huge creation process was unrolling and evolving and retreating. Even people had the power to manifest things and pull it back, and this enormous, infinite variety of what is possible was there for everybody to experience. The thing is that once you become aware of all this, of the mechanics of creation, suddenly enormous opportunities become visible on the horizon — understanding how the world is put together and how it works, how our psyche functions. Because everything we do, everything we are is basically nature growing and unfolding, even if it’s insanity. It’s just nature at work, doing its thing. The way I noticed how thoughts unfold and how thoughts are created is basically we’re following a natural program. We don’t do anything unusual. We’re just using the same mechanics nature at the highest level uses in order to manifest. We’re using it to manifest thoughts and spin ideas and ideologies. We are very much part of nature, we just haven’t realized it, yet.

>>RICK:  Yeah, there’s something that relates to this, and also relates to the point we’re just making about not wanting to come back again. It seems to me that the attitude of not wanting to come back again is oriented around a kind of a rigid sense of oneself as an individuality. I, this individuality, don’t like this, and I don’t want to come back again. Whereas the kind of to me a broader, deeper perspective would be (after having been gobbled up by God, so to speak, which was the reference you made earlier that you felt like you’re about to be gobbled up) then you function and regard yourself more as an instrument of the Divine. There’s more of a sense of service and surrender and use me as you will. Whether I come back or not is not a big deal to me. I’m happy to be an instrument in whatever way I can be.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, because you’re no longer so identified as a certain set of issues … professional, anything like that. You are no longer identified with anything, you’re just a ‘being’ state. You’re just… there’s nothing really to achieve or to do other than expressing, of what you are. And expressing yourself with joy from the state of being. This is why I find it so beautiful, because to explore our inner worlds there’s so much potential, we don’t know anything about. We are just like robots. We are programmed by instincts and drives and traumas and experiences. We have no control over these, because they’re just happening in some dark realm.

Yet, we are doing things to each other, having opinions and likes and dislikes, without having the slightest knowledge of how… where these come from, how they’re generated. But when we move consciously into the subconscious realm, we suddenly see everything in a multimedia presentation, which we can deal with, which we can handle. We can see the monsters which are haunting us. We can confront the monsters; we can pose questions. We can find answers. I mean this is only a very recent discovery, which started this invention of psychology. Now we can actually, with lucid dreaming, and there are quite a few psychologists who use it as a gateway to an inner understanding of what we really are. We can use these inner worlds to actually function better as human beings.

At the moment, we are just groping around in the dark. A lot of things, I found, is when people do have the experiences, they very quickly jumped to conclusions because they have an experience, and then they think, oh, that’s it. They enter a greater state of consciousness and suddenly, more things become visible, and they see the light. And they immediately think, oh, yes, I know, I’ve got the truth now, I know what it’s like. Then they go out and preach their truth. Before you know it, you’ve got a new version of a religion, or cult, or something. This happens quite often rather than seeing that what they only have got from the whole of infinity was a minuscule fraction of a diamond which has got infinite facets, and suddenly this, their attention is drawn towards this and suddenly it becomes a big thing.

One of the things is, for example, near-death experiencers; they find themselves very often in a state of bliss, and even cosmic consciousness or this is how they would describe it. Then they come back, and they feel they have got the whole picture. That is also an illusion. You don’t ever get the whole picture because the universe is infinite. (For example, some people say — I was attacked once because of what I wrote, when you die, you don’t automatically go into heaven, or something like that…)

>>RICK:  You wrote that?

>>JURGEN:  Yes.

>>RICK:  Like you might go into hell or something, right?

>>JURGEN:  The whole book is based about the continuation of the reality you foster during your waking life, so there is no miracle taking place that suddenly catapults you into heaven, or into hell, or whatever. It’s just a natural chain of events, it’s a process of nature unfolding. Just because your physical body disappears, doesn’t make you a different person.

>>RICK:  Right.

>>JURGEN:  You carry over what you are, and you’re still dealing with it. What happens when people have suffered an NDE experience, quite often they are catapulted into a higher state of consciousness, which allows whatever forces there are to administer some form of healing.

>>RICK:  Healing?

>>JURGEN:  Yeah, and I think that’s very often the case. They get catapulted out of the limitations of the physical and emotional situation, and they suddenly find themselves in a state of clarity. But then, they come back, okay, and then they have this awakening experience. It would be wrong for them to claim that when you die, you immediately come into the presence of God, and all is forgiven. That’s not, in my experience at least, that’s not how I experienced it.

>>RICK:  They may claim that because they had something of that nature in their experience, but it’s not necessarily going to be the universal experience.

>>JURGEN:  No, the reality is the reality. There’s no getting away from it. If you start claiming that when you die, you get into heaven straight away, then you open the doors for people like ISIS, to do whatever the hell they like…

>>RICK:  Sure.

>>JURGEN:  … in this life, because they know they’re going to be safe. But in reality, psychology kicks in, and the mechanism, which is a very physical mechanism, works its way out so that people are actually confronted with the energies they have set into motion. There’s no getting away from it. Because where should these energies go? You’re also attached to these energies like a magnet, and you will draw them towards you. And you have to work them.

The idea that when a person dies and people say, oh he has peace now. Now you rest in peace, is a big illusion. Reality just doesn’t work like that. People may find that objectionable to make statements like that because everybody is hoping when they die, they are released from their misery. No, you have to still keep working, and you’re still on your path. You’ve got new opportunities. What I’m saying is based on hundreds of hours of experience, where I interviewed people, where I talked to them, where I met my brother, my mother, and talked in great detail, which I documented in my book. Even after all this, I still feel I’ve barely scratched the surface of what is actually happening. But we need to address these things in order to free ourselves of these false ideas and these false illusions.

>>RICK:  I agree. I mean, if you look at old maps from like, when Columbus first came, or early explorers, you look at maps of what they thought North America looked like. It’s sort of funny, I mean, it’s all distorted and weird. And they had no idea what was in the middle of the country or anyplace else. Even Lewis and Clark, when they went across the country in the mid-1800s, they had no idea what they were going to encounter and some of the mountain ranges they were going to have to go over and stuff. These days with satellites and all we have everything mapped out right down to the centimeter practically. We know precisely where everything is and exactly the whole typography is clear.

If we use that allegory, or that metaphor, to talk about the deeper realities of the universe, there’s a certain value in having things mapped out if you’re going to try to travel to California. Like that, there’s a value in understanding how the universe works, it seems to me as a human being, and when you die, and if you’re interested in enlightenment, and all kinds of things. I think it’d be really interesting and useful, and perhaps will happen over the years, if, as a culture, we map out the whole territory of all the realms and dimensions and subtler realities. Actually, if enough people have the experiences so that we begin to get kind of an agreement between various explorers, and I can imagine there must be cultures somewhere in this universe who have actually done that, and who have as much clarity with regard to the whole subtle range of life as we have with regard to the geography of North America.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, I think this is actually one project, which we have discussed on the forums, to collect all the experiences and just record them. Unfortunately, this project never really got off the ground. But it would have been an enormous research tool for people, for explorers to find where there is a common ground, what are common experiences?

>>RICK:  From your own experience, having done all the exploring you’ve done, if you were to take, let’s say the next five minutes, and try to give us a synopsis of the guided tour of the universe in terms of how things are structured and all the various layers and realms and strata of creation, could you do that?

>>JURGEN:  Only very quickly, really, because I think it’s basically what — the reality levels are reflections of our state of consciousness. If we are identified with very physical pleasures and very physical aspects of ourselves, we attract on the next level when we die, the same sort of circumstances, like pubs and clubs and whatever,

>>RICK:  Do we create that, or do we go to a realm where that’s the way it is?

>>JURGEN:  That’s already there because it has been a collective construction over generations and the thing is, it is just as physical as this one. People who have out-of-body experiences sometimes think they’re traveling to another place in the physical reality. And I wrote an article in a journal, for a new book explaining why that is not the case or cannot be the case. You have an out-of-body experience, you see buses and trains and taxis and pubs and people going shopping, and your instant reaction is okay, these are just another part of the world. Under closer inspection, you find that is not the case. It’s basically the thought forms, the collective thought forms we created the copy of what actually they experience in everyday life.

>>RICK:  They’re kind of like astral buses and taxis and trains.

>>JURGEN:  Yes. It’s right.

>>RICK:  Do they burn astral gasoline and…

>>JURGEN:  Yes.

>>RICK:  … astral need motor oil and so on?

>>JURGEN:  That was a question I kept asking myself. For example, I’ve written about this in my book. There was I was at a printing plant, there was a printer I knew who had died, and he was still operating the printing plant. I was very curious. I opened one of the lids to the engines and see. Well, if it’s a thought-world, and then it doesn’t have any insides, it’s just generated print, simply by the power of thoughts. But when I opened it, there was all the engine, the mechanism was all inside. I tried to find some sort of explanation, and I figured that what reality is, it’s basically a universal database, and it comes into existence by expectation. For example, in one episode I described that I saw a car which was out of the twenties. And I thought, ah that feels really weird. Let me go and have a look close up, and when I looked close up at the paintwork, I found there were these minute scratches you get when you polish your car, and I thought that’s just incredible. Who could have thought about that?

How is this possible? Who is behind all this? And I found, my explanation was that once we have a picture, we simply assemble, or the reality level assembles it from a database, which is already in existence. It’s basically like, I feel, like a hard drive where all the data are from, and then when you look at it, it appears on the screen as a complete picture. This is something that really needs to be investigated. I believe the latest models about the holographic universe, and the observer effect and all this. I’m saying I don’t know much about the quantum mechanics of it. But this is very much an understanding we are arriving at; that the universe is not really in existence. It’s just made out of atoms or energy. The moment we look at it, we assemble it in our brain and complete it. These mechanics seem to be in existence, and they’re responsible for our experience of what we see.

>>RICK:  Yet there’s a kind of a collective agreement on what we experience as you’re driving down the highway, and there’s all these other cars, everyone is seeing basically the same highway, although their perception may differ, and they all stop at the same stoplights and things like that. There’s something more than just complete individual consciousness creating the world; otherwise, we’d have total chaos.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, it’s fun thing which Robert Wagner, he wrote the book: Lucid Dreaming, Key to The Secret to The Inner Self, or something. He is a very, very good author. (And he wrote another book.) But he said we don’t control the scene when we dream. We see a section of the scene; we can influence it. But this dream scenario, we can’t control. We can control aspects of our dreams, aspects of the reality. There are so many multiple levels to this reality. There’s the individual aspect, which we generate from our subconscious, and even that seems to have a solidity which is difficult to ignore. But then there are other aspects, which is a consensus reality which we enter into during an out of body state, where we meet other people, where I can talk to my relatives, and they live in an environment which is agreed upon, which is just as solid as this one, which is even harder to change, than we are able to change the physical environment because it has been solidified by the focus and the attention of generations of people.

My eldest daughter, she went through a period where she could have out-of-body experiences, and I asked her to do a test. I said, can you change the environment next time you have an out of body experience, see if you can change the environment. She came back, she said, she found, I think it was a fountain. She tried to change it and she succeeded. But as soon as the attention was withdrawn, it changed back to how it was before. There is consensus reality which feels very, very physical to the people who live there which they are just as exposed to as we are on this level.

>>RICK:  About five or ten minutes ago, I asked you about, if we were to map out the whole range of creation. Now we’ve been talking about what probably is a fairly preliminary level of creation, the place that people commonly go when they die. And they have this consensus reality there. But there must be many, many, many, many more and higher if we want to use the word higher strata. Can you just quickly map out some of that?

>>JURGEN:  Yes. And the thing is, of course, as your consciousness becomes more elevated you become, your experiences become more positive. You get into more elevated, beautiful realms, which are also much more pliable. Much more… less rigid, and for example… much more beautiful. Your consciousness, your awareness, sort of expands out, you become more linked to what you see. You get more of a rapport with your environment on the very… on the highest of the lower dimensions you will get into a state of incredibly fluid synchronicity,

>>RICK:  Now we’re going to one thing. What we’re going to do is perhaps, paste in some of your paintings in this interview, and maybe this would be a good point to show some as we’re talking. I think, by your own admission, you feel that they’re pretty poor representations of what is actually there but doing the best you can with paint to give people an idea of it.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, I try to use pictures, because it’s a natural medium for me to get some sort of representation of these realities. One thing becomes increasingly clear, as you get out of the very basic physical type levels, it becomes much more dynamic, the reality. You become aware of many more colors. On the basic level, everything is sort of represented very much like the physical world. People look the same. As you move higher to more elevated levels, you find that the people become more attractive, more beautiful. The nature becomes more beautiful, more profuse, you get more vibrant colors. You get more harmonics in nature. The interesting thing is how the environment reflects back on how you feel. You get into environments which evoke feelings in you, which you just simply cannot experience in the physical body. For example, you could have a melancholic happiness if you want, for lack of a better world.

That is expressed in the environment as a sort of lilac-y purple mist or atmosphere. This is a strange river flowing through which forks off into the distance, and you get a feeling of a completely new experience of something you have never experienced before. This new type of experiencing increases as you get into higher states of consciousness. Everything unfolds, becomes more luminous, becomes richer, and your connection to this world becomes more intense. And you feel more at home. There’s one thing which is very powerful, the higher you go through the levels, if you like, the more you feel at home. There is a feeling of coming home. This feeling of homecoming intensifies and is a good marker of how close you are to your core consciousness, to the unity consciousness.

>>RICK:  Are these higher realms populated by a variety of species, just the way the earth is? Are there birds and other kinds of animals and whatnot, as well as human-type beings?

>>JURGEN:  Yes, absolutely. I would say an even greater variety of species. It’s almost as if it trickles down. On the way down to the physical level, it sort of is narrowed down, and there’s less variety. I drew a picture of a multidimensional model, where you increasingly find there’s a counterpart of the physical realm. There is a counterpart on the higher dimensional level, which is much bigger if you like, so there’s a bigger earth. There would be a bigger Jupiter or whatever, maybe there will be additional moons, which don’t show up on the physical level. On the very highest level, there’s an infinite variety. The way I mapped out the multidimensional levels was that I found when I started off in my bedroom and had an out-of-body experience, I ended up in a copy of the bedroom. Then on the next level, the bedroom may disappear and there may be a different apartment, but it’s beautifully furnished, but I still recognize it as my bedroom. Then on the next level, the house may have disappeared. There’s just an odd shot, but it still feels like my bedroom. There’s a familiarity or an energetic imprint, which still has got the original identity of what is about, so I could identify localities by the atmosphere.

>>RICK:  I don’t know if this question makes sense. But in terms of what you just said, sitting right where you are in that room, if you were to go to higher and higher and higher levels, would you actually still be in the same place? But would you be kind of exploring subtler realms or subtler levels of that same place, which, the more subtle you go, bears less and less resemblance to the gross physical place in which you’re now sitting?

>>JURGEN:  Yeah, that’s right. They may actually totally disappear. I experienced and tested on different levels, whether it was, for example, a pub. On a place that suddenly became a shop on the next level, then it was part of a park. I went to Hamburg. I had a lot of positive memories with Hamburg, where I went to art school. I visited the astral counterpart there, of the art school, because I used to hang around there. On one level, I was coming out of the art school, and outside the art school, there is a little lake, a kind of river feeding a lake. That lake suddenly was much bigger, and the benches weren’t there. They were sort of monoliths. The art school had changed, but I still recognized, I still identified it. This gave me the idea that we live in a multidimensional universe where every atom has got a counterpart or has got an origin on a higher level, or in pure consciousness. As it filters down it manifests in different shapes in different ways, without losing its original identity, if you like. Every, every object has a soul.

>>RICK:  On that note, if, and if sometimes, I interrupt with — I’m going to ask you more questions now. But if I ask one, and you really want to finish saying what you’re saying, let me know, because I don’t want to leave out something important. But you were talking about Jupiter, for instance, a minute ago. Ordinarily, we think the Earth is the only planet in this solar system where there can be life, everything else is too inhospitable to life. There can be no life on the sun, for instance, or on Mercury or on Venus. But if you go to subtler levels, do you find that those places are actually teeming with life?

>>JURGEN:  Yes. I mean, I can only talk from the experiences, which I made, and one of the planets I visited was Venus, and I found Venus was actually populated. It had a very highly evolved civilization there. I know it sounds nuts.

>>RICK:  On the gross level it’s 8 or 900 degrees. So you couldn’t live there but on the subtle level…

>>JURGEN:  On a subtle level it is habitable and is actually have inhabited. And I try not to go into these areas, because when I first had these experiences, people sort of say, oh, yeah, here’s Jurgen again, [makes a crazy movement with his hand] so I keep quiet about it. But also, in my latest book, I was quite bold about this because I have reported some instances where I had previous lives on different civilizations, different planets. Describing their technology and everything. Also, in one of the experiences, I was taken away by an alien species.

>>RICK:  I started reading that bit. You’re on, like a flying carpet, or something that went many times the speed of light to a different place.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, that’s right. And that was a very fascinating experience because that demonstrated two things to me. That there is other intelligent life, which may not even manifest on the physical planet, on a physical plane. Also, they’ve got totally different civilizations and different ways of procreation, and things like that. I was invited on this journey with this species, and I tried to be as authentic and as accurate as I was capable of. All along the way, I wondered, can I actually write this without being …told that I’m imagining it, or it is a fantasy and people saying, oh yes, he is a fantasy illustrator, he made it all up. But it had just the same reality as I’m living here in the physical world. The same tangibility, and the same waking awareness with which I observed it as everything else.

>>RICK:   I have a question about that incident. I don’t know if you can answer this, but according to Einstein, if we were to travel that fast, then relativistic time dilation would come in – Einstein’s twin paradox. If we came back from such a trip, we would find that everyone, everything around us had — many years had gone by, whereas for us, it might have just been a short amount of time. Did you consider that in light of that experience?

>>JURGEN:   Well, I see things, but I’m not a very scientifically minded person. I am more of an artist. The way I see time, for example, which has also been hinted at, for example, karma, and reincarnation, all these issues. I can explain it from my own experience that we can travel back in time. I have been able to travel into the future, but not in the same tangible way I’ve traveled into the past or visit the past life. I’ve written about it in my book The Ten-Minute Moment, but…

>>RICK:  Maybe the future is still to be determined…

>>JURGEN:  Yes, there’s so many factors, which is unrolling in the same way, as a plant grows. If you put a bit of acid on the plant it will not grow, or something like that. So that’s basically a growth process whereas the past is already there, you can visit, and you can actually visit in such a way that you are there.

>>RICK:  Well, one issue that science fiction writers have dealt with a lot is if you can go to the past, can you change anything there? If you change things, what’s that going to do to the present? I mean, do you have much volition when you go to these?

>>JURGEN:  No, it doesn’t happen on a physical level, it happens on a memory level. The best way I can describe it was from my own experience. I went into a past life, and it started off that I was walking through mud. As I looked down on my body, I found that my clothes were quite different to what they are now. I noticed I was … I had a sword. I had armor and a very coarsely knitted coat, and I identified it as a medieval type of character I was. As I was trudging through the mud, I suddenly became privy of the experiences this person had and the mind content. At that moment, there were two of me, there was the observer, and the person experiencing it. I was totally involved in the experience of personhood, but I was also conscious that I was lying in bed, and there was an observer part of me, so there were three aspects of me. There was the observer, the person who had the experience, and the physical body, which was lying in bed. All the time I was walking along with him, there was no way I could influence him. He was totally oblivious of me.

>>RICK:  Let’s say that happened 500 years ago, and you were walking along through the mud there. Do you think that, from that guy’s perspective, if he had been aware of it, if he had been capable of being aware of it, he would have realized, oh, some being from the future — hey, it’s me — is watching me walk along through the mud here? I mean, was there actually that kind of dynamic going on?

>>JURGEN:  My feeling was when I was this guy, there was no possibility of me being aware.

>>RICK:  But no, he wasn’t aware of it. But 500 years ago, that guy was walking through the mud. Were you actually there checking him out on some subtle level, which, if he had been capable, or someone else had been capable of experiencing it, they would have actually observed?

>>JURGEN:    What it was, it felt so physical. There was no doubt about it in my mind that I wasn’t experiencing it as him. It was a real-life present experiencing. It was almost as if I’d been transported back in time. That was a present awareness. There was no getting away from it, and that was not the only occasion. I had several other occasions where I was transported back in time, in a different life, in a different body. In one stage I was on a council in a Peruvian Empire, where we’re just debating whether we should allow the savages to come into the town or whether we should keep them at arm’s length. Then it was decided that the savages were quite useful to the townspeople because it would make cheap labor and, to discriminate them, they would be dressed in trousers, which was not a kind of clothing which the townspeople would wear. I experienced a whole episode in one go, and I was not sure that was a wise idea. What happened gradually, these people became very unhappy, being treated the way they were. Soon enough, they opened, found weaknesses in the fortification, and the whole empire went to pieces, when that was heard about and so on. I had this whole episode unrolling in front of me, but at the same time, at each moment, I was aware of sitting there in the flesh, aware of the clothes I wore. The dialogue going on between us, animosity, and the tension felt just as real as if I sit in a boardroom meeting on the physical planet and discussing it. That, to me, is the reality of the Akashic Records; is an actual experience. It’s not a visual. It’s not something which we be thinking about. It’s an extra experience, and that can be experienced doing out-of-body states of consciousness.

>>RICK:  Moments ago, we were talking about all these different levels, and you were saying, the higher you go, the more beautiful it gets, and the more malleable it is. The less rigid or calcified things are. Do you get to a point, as you go higher and higher, where the dwellers of that realm are dwelling there, more, or less eternally, and are not going to have to come back to the human realm, that’s the sort of permanent abode? Or are all these places just sort of temporary abodes, which we’ll eventually have to shift out of and experience other things?

>>JURGEN:  Well, the experience I had of, as you get into higher levels, there comes a stage, which where your self-identification somehow is to be surrendered — your ego identification. That is a point where you then enter into a much higher state of a type of spiritual consciousness. Then things really become very interesting because your awareness is no longer limited by an identification. You’re much more in a state of fluid consciousness.

>>RICK:  There must be some, I don’t know if we call it identification, some sort of sense of, this is me. And this is you and this is me because otherwise, it’s just totally amorphous,

>>JURGEN:  There is still a sense of individuality, very much so.

>>RICK:  But not at all predominant or limiting?

>>JURGEN:  No, I mean, there’s still people, still people who are just …

>>RICK:  Discrete and distinct.

>>JURGEN:  …representing themselves in the same way as we do. But in a much more creative way, if you like, or more inventive way because they have got more options at their disposal. For example, the clothes you wear, they may change to the kinds of thoughts you have. The buildings you occupy, they’re usually very close representations of what you are like; the person you’re like. But in a higher evolved state, so they’re very symmetric, very beautiful. But you can immediately see if you come to a certain building, what kind of person inhabits it. You get the whole atmosphere, the whole imprint, and there’s an affinity between the individuals, so you can have an instant communication just by looking at their building, then inhabit their thoughts instantly. There’s no objection, no deviation. There’s always a friendly, positive vibration because on this level, there just simply is no negativity. Everything is thinking in a harmonious interplay, which is very fluid and very beautiful, and always enhancing. There is this aspect of enhancement of positivity.

>>RICK:  Maharishi used to refer to the ground state of creation as the field of all possibilities. Because nothing has manifested yet so anything can manifest. Then the more things manifest, the more kind of limited it becomes. Physics actually has a corresponding understanding that the vacuum state, or the unified field, contains all potential manifest states, but that once a manifestation proceeds, then greater and greater rigidity prevails, the more manifest things become.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, it’s very much the case. I also found on the higher levels, there is this trickle-down effect. For example, you see, another very important aspect is thought forms, un-manifested thoughts, or thoughts which have an extra abstract quality to themselves. These thoughts create abstract shapes, which are very beautiful to behold, but they express perfectly the quintessence of that thought simply by looking at the structure and listening to the sound they gave, and the animation, so you instantly apprehend the thought in its entirety. That can be a whole ideology, manifested in a shape. Almost like a big city or something.

>>RICK:  I was supposed to interview David Spangler last week, who was one of the founders of Findhorn, but he had a health crisis, and hopefully, we’ll reschedule him soon. But he said that when he went to high school and started studying geometry, he went deep into it. He discovered that the various forms in geometry actually have an archetypal intelligence, fundamental to them. He found that incredibly fascinating that, that they’re not just sort of inanimate forms, but they’re kind of surface representations of deeper impulses of intelligence that structure or govern the universe.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, that’s one of the key things which I found that there is no such thing as inanimate matter. Everything is intelligent.

>>RICK:  Yes.

>>JURGEN:  There is no exception to it. It’s just incredible. I once posed the question, while I was there, what is the ego, and how does the ego come about? Why do we have an ego and suddenly, when you have these questions on these dimension levels, you don’t just get an answer? You get a multi-media slideshow. It has good sound and everything, and I suddenly was confronted with an infinite web of a tapestry, where each aspect of the tapestry, bled into the neighboring part and it created a beautiful carpet, an infinite carpet. As I homed in, at each ornament, if you like, formed one pattern of the whole web, I found from that viewpoint everything spread out, the whole universe, unfolded around it. The person who was at the center of each one of these, let’s say, crystals, or snowflake crystals, which was the one aspect of this infinite pattern, they saw their universe coming, expanding from their self into the open. I suddenly have a clear picture; this is how every person sort of perceives themselves. Every person can consider themselves, quite rightly, the center of the universe. Because that is their experience, when they look out from their standpoint, they see everything spreading out from them, their friends, and everything. They are individual and they’re unique. There’s no doubt about it, they’re the most important person in the world. All the things around them, they identify with, and they build their self-identity from this information they feed from around them. They establish an ego identification because they see themselves as the center of the universe. That doesn’t only apply to human beings. That applies to every plant, every animal, and every atom in the universe.

>>RICK:  Some spiritual teachers use the phrase life without a center. Jeff Foster uses that and others. In your experience, if the ego has been seen through, is there a sense that life doesn’t have a center?

>>JURGEN:   Yeah. I mean, but what is happening is … I try as much as possible, only talk of what I have experienced. I have, in one of the descriptions in my latest book, Vistas of Infinity, an experience where I saw myself as an expanded pattern, just the way I described it. But this pattern was not just two-dimensional; it was a three- or four-dimensional thing, which contained lives on other planets. I could zoom into each aspect of these patterns which I was made of, and I could easily see the relationship to my core self-awareness, or my core being-awareness, and the history that was created. I could see the weak points, I could see the strong points, I could see how it connected in the past to other patterns, and so on. The whole thing for me was visible simply because I had a kind of more elevated viewpoint, as a being, from a being state. I was not necessarily identified with it, but there was still a strong connection as an individual whereas my self-awareness was shifted on to a more universal level. But there was still an appreciation of this individual aspect, which I have been nurturing.

>>RICK:  When you were a student, and much younger, did you go through a psychedelic phase?

>>JURGEN:  Yes. I mean, when I was very young, in my early 20s

>>RICK:  Did you have any far-out experiences with that?

>>JURGEN:  Yeah, when LSD was still legal, we went through a stage, which was about six months or so, where every month, we would read Aldous Huxley, and we would experiment. We didn’t see ourselves as drug heads.

>>RICK:  No, but I mean, you have pretty amazing experiences as a non-drug using person, meditating and OBE and all that. Back when you were using drugs, were you the envy of your friends, in terms of how amazing your experiences were?

>>JURGEN:  I sometimes was surprised that they didn’t see what I saw. On some of the drug experiences, I could see through the ground. I had telescopic visions and things. I just took it in my stride. But also had these revelations of newness, of awareness, and all these sorts of things. Of course, these kinds of experiences have very much manifested now, but they are more kind of everyday experience. For example, when I go out of the house to get milk, to the shop, which I’ve done hundreds of times, I always consider this to be a unique and new experience.

>>RICK:  Right. There’s a freshness.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, there’s no familiarity as such.

>>RICK:  Well, you know how to find the store, but there’s not the sort of habituated way of perceiving the world, right? I mean, there’s innocence and a freshness.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, everything is a first. Is a new experience. You don’t fall into the pattern of referring to what you have learned, or what you’ve known and made it into a cliche.

>>RICK:  Yeah.

>>JURGEN:  That sort of ability or disability has sort of been stripped away. And instead, you see things fresh. Unconditioned.

>>RICK:  There’s some conditioning is useful. You don’t have to learn how to drive a car every day, or how to brush your teeth or something. But I think that there’s a difference between that kind of conditioning or learning and any sort of habituation that has taken place through repeatedly being identified or overshadowed by experience.

>>JURGEN:  Yeah. I think even brushing your teeth is a new experience. There’s an aspect which somehow strings all this together in an automatic way, which we rely on, part of our nervous system which is actually programmed to make sense. It’s another aspect of ourselves which we allow to control. The control of the learning and things, for example, when I write or do some illustrations, I rely on the fact that I know how to use the tools, and that doesn’t disappear. But at the same time, you can actually have a new input during this process. If you walk along to the store instead of thinking, oh, yes, I know that — you don’t look at it like that. I had a funny experience when I went to Hamburg in the summer. We went over to the Baltic Sea, and we were looking at the sunset. One person, he is wandering off – he said, come here, come here look at the sunset! And he said, no, I’ve seen it before. [laughing]So this sort of thing doesn’t apply anymore because you see things with fresh eyes and that is what makes life so enjoyable. It’s not only that, but because there’s the absence of fear or the absence of alienation because you recognize what you’re experiencing is all part of who you are. The alienation has been taken out of your life, and suddenly you’re always on familiar ground so to speak. In the way I describe it, sometimes the world becomes an extension of your living room.

>>RICK:  Nice.

>>JURGEN:  You feel this familiar ground. There’s no otherness, in a sense, and that makes it really enjoyable.

>>RICK:  There’s a Sanskrit saying that goes something like, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which means: the world is my family.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, it’s this familiarity, which is so beautiful. I think this is rooted the spiritual idea that we all are family that we all belong together.

>>RICK:  There’s an interesting paradox here, because a minute ago, you were saying, well, everything is, is fresh and unique, and like it’s the very first time and on the other hand, there’s this familiarity. The world is my family. That’s an interesting juxtaposition.

>>JURGEN:  Yeah, I think that is fed from the fact that we realize the essence.

>>RICK:  Right.

>>JURGEN:  But the essence in everything is also reinventing itself. It’s all always refreshed from the inside; the energy is fluid. Nothing is ever static. We’re picking up on the core aspect of the essence of this energy. And of course, within it, is a bliss aspect. Not only do we see the beauty of it, but while we are observing the beauty, there’s also a blissful experience associated to it.

>>RICK:  Nice.

>>JURGEN:  I always look at things as the world is basically covered, bliss covered in appearance. At various points as you walk through the world, it appears, and the bliss pours out. The bliss is always there, and you cannot really escape it, you just have to pop it out. You can do that by observing somebody smiling in the supermarket in a conversation, and you think oh, that’s really beautiful. Suddenly you see the bliss underneath it, which makes this togetherness sort of come about. The surface is peeled away from the world. You see what’s underneath it, the beauty that carries it, or the eternal beauty that has no destruction associated to it.

>>RICK:  There’s a question; a couple of people sent in questions. Here’s one from Katherine in Liverpool. She asked, and this relates to what you’re just saying, have you ever seen anything appear in THIS dimension from another? I mean, I’m not sure exactly what she had in mind when she asked the question, but we might say that that bliss you’re just describing belongs to another dimension and yet you’re saying that becomes characteristic of this so-called dimension all the time.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, I mean this is basically — that’s the experience I mostly have. But I think she may be referring to people …

>>RICK:  Yes. Or an angel showing up, maybe she was thinking of that kind of thing.

>>JURGEN:  Yes. I haven’t personally experienced entities, because what I see is basically physical matter in its primary condition, in its primary state. I’m a very practical, sort of down-to-earth, reality-focused person, and I’m only really clairvoyant when I am out of my body.

>>RICK:  That’s interesting. I mean, I know people who are sort of clairvoyant in their body so to speak. In other words, they see angels and subtle beings all the time as they walk through the supermarket or do anything. But in your case, it seems like you have to go there to see them and when you’re here you don’t see them.

>>JURGEN:  No, that’s right. I mean I’m quite some coarse kind of person, rooted in this physical reality.

>>RICK:  You’re a regular British soccer fan.

>>JURGEN:  Yes. That’s right. [laughing] That’s very much the case. But when I’m out of my body, I become highly clairvoyant.

>>RICK:  Do you feel like a desire or any movement in the direction of integrating it such that you would be perceiving these other realms while you were functioning in this room?

>>JURGEN:  I have no interest in it really; it sounds absurd on the basis of what we just discussed. I have no interest really in out-of-body experiences because I find this reality offers so much content and beauty and fullness that I have no desire to reproduce it on another level or so. The attraction has almost faded. The only time I have out-of-body experiences now is, for example, when a close relative dies. A friend. Or if there is a strong motivation, or if there is a call from greater perspective for me to learn something. But as far as I’m concerned, it is really basically not necessary to have out-of-body experiences.

>>RICK:  Yes. In your case done that, been there, as they say.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, it’s more I’m addicted to reality, basically. I really enjoy being where I am, and embracing it, even if it’s sometimes painful. At the moment, I don’t know what’s going to happen, whether there is a need for me to do further exploration. With my latest book, I did feel there was a need for education, but I’ve since found out that only a handful of people are interested, so it’s not going to be widely… become knowledge. That was the hope that the millions of people who are stranded on the lower level, so they get a preview of what they can do in order to get move fast through the lower levels and get a much more enjoyable life out of it. Yeah, that was one of the things that I intended, writing it.

>>RICK:  Here’s a question from my wife, Irene. She says in Hindu scriptures, there’s a mention of lokas, or spheres, or I think they mean realms, or even they sometimes refer to them as worlds, various lokas. Like Krishna Loka. Does Jurgen feel that this relates to his travels in any way?

>>JURGEN:  Yeah, there’s so many different realms which are created by a consensus, a preference of people, where they gyrate around a certain, like a certain town, which has got certain distinct characteristics. There are tourist centers, which are described in my book. But they’re also quite beautiful thought worlds, or realms, where people are interested in a certain subject and expand it into a complete world or universe, which may have even quite a tangible characteristic in color. It may be like a bluish tint world where you can feel there is a certain consensus, a certain interest, and there are an infinite variety of these types of lokas. The same applies on the negative levels. It’s very, very, very negative.

>>RICK:  Jesus said: In my father’s house, there are many mansions, I believe that’s the quote. All these different affinity groups, you could say. If you have a certain quality or characteristic that you’ve brought, that you’ve kind of reinforced in your life, then you will, birds of a feather flock together, and you’ll find your affinity group.

>>JURGEN:  I think that’s where you feed from. If you’re an artist and you are interested in modern, or in Cubism, you’ll probably connect to the Cubist sort of city on the astral levels.

>>RICK:  That’d be a weird place to live. [laughing]

>>JURGEN:  Take inspiration from there. Or if you’re into certain types of music, you then probably feed from these thought-forms, on higher energy levels, will be enriched by them.

>>RICK:  Here’s a question from Mark in Santa Clara, California. He asked, do you have any intuition as to what binds the consciousness to a particular body? Does some bodily identification have to remain for a particular incarnation to remain coherent?

>>JURGEN:  Yeah, I think what keeps people fixated in certain conditions is basically they haven’t dealt with their fixations properly. Is that what he means that…

>>RICK:  I think what he means is, well — the second part of his question makes more sense to me than the first part, and Mark is welcome to send in a clarification, but does some bodily identification have to remain for a particular incarnation to remain coherent. In other words, if you had no bodily identification whatsoever, how could you live? You would need to… How would you dress? How would you eat? How would you prevent yourself from walking into walls? There needs to be some sense that this is a body. I need to take care of this body. I need to feed it, and I don’t want to put my hand on the stove and things like that.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, I think that’s in your program. There’s a physical program, there’s an emotional program, there’s the intuitive program and all these things create the organism, which we call human. The only difference is if you are fully aware, you’re not identified with this is aspect exclusively. You only see it as an aspect of the whole of who you are. You will nurture it. You will look after it. You will do the best to make it work properly. You take advantage of all the functions which are inherent in the biological structure of the body and the mental and emotional structure. You make sure it runs properly. There’s no way you can run into a wall or something just because your consciousness is expanded and encompasses more than the physical mechanism. You have got an additional quality of higher expanded awareness where you see your physical entity as an apparatus which you maintain to the best of your ability.

>>RICK:  Yeah, good. We’ve been going on for quite a while and there are so many interesting things in your books. I think that perhaps we could conclude by — I mean it seems like your current emphasis has left behind a lot of the things that fascinated you when you were younger. Like you’re saying, OBEs don’t excite you that much anymore. Here’s a quote from your book where you say meditation can take you far beyond any out-of-body state and be far more rewarding. Meditation can teach you that you are consciousness and everything else is an image, little more than a projection or an illusion. In our physical life, we only see the tip of the iceberg. Our greater reality is an awe-inspiringly, immense magnificence. In comparison to what our true potentials are, as a species, we are little more than slug worms rising from the mud. And, here you say, at the moment, I am interested in the mechanics of the higher states of consciousness beyond the out-of-body state. It seems like you’ve kind of – OBEs were a tool for you, and you’ve pretty much relinquished them. Since most people aren’t going to have the facility for OBEs that you have had, I’ve never had (well, I don’t think I’ve ever had) one. I’ve had a couple of little things, but nothing much, even though I’ve been meditating for 48 years. What advice would you give people, spiritual seekers, in general? Would you advise them to meditate? If so, how? Would you encourage them to explore out-of-body experiences or astral travel or any of that stuff? I mean somebody just kind of starting out, or maybe, who has been interested in this stuff for a while but feels like they have not really gotten too far yet. What direction would you point them in?

>>JURGEN:  Well, I personally, am a firm believer in reality, as it is presented to us. I feel that the crux of meditation is to become aware and embrace what is, rather than …  — what you said earlier, to a certain extent is true. Why do we want to seek something for its own sake, unless it’s part of our path, unless it is given to us, and there is a clear mandate that this way we should explore our individuality or our life and find our way to the greater consciousness? I think the paths are as infinite as people are. Everybody has to find their own way. But to me, the most primary, the thing of what’s important, is to find my way to the being state of how it presents itself at this moment, and not exclude anything. But to me, meditation means to accept what is, warts and all, and to find the inner aspect of what presents itself and find a relationship to this inner aspect. That I feel is the only way we can overcome all the different hardships and problems you have created for ourselves, to find the essence of the reality, of how it presents itself, and relate to it, rather than … See it as part of ourselves, rather than pushing it to one side and saying: Oh, that’s not for me, that’s not my problem. That’s very much the way I see it. All through my life I always welcomed the idea of being shown the reality of things because I always felt that brings me closer to the truth. If I’m able to embrace reality, rather than reject it.

>>RICK:  Here’s a question from Dan in London, he says, do you feel that there are different consensus realities on higher levels that are associated with different religions, such as, reality associated with the teachings of Jesus or different ones with Krishna? I might add to this question and ask, are some consensus realities closer to the truth than others?

>>JURGEN:  That is a big question really. I have had a lot of arguments with, or discussions, with people. My personal feeling is that the moment we create an ideology or religion, we sort of tend to remove ourselves from the original blank sheet, or the pure, the clarity, aspect, which I find will always fail to be dressed in adequate words by the philosophy. There may be people who take this, there may be philosophies or religions, that will take this into account and say, okay, we have got this belief but, in the end, it comes down to the experience of the reality which supersedes what our philosophy is all about. But religions rarely do that. They always want to put themselves into the center of a world picture, a worldview because people have that natural tendency to want to be identified with something. They want to have an identity because the only way you can transcend it is by getting into a state of unity consciousness or much greater identity, which is clarity, which supersedes everything, and then you don’t have any problems. Or you don’t make any assumptions that one thing is bigger or better than another thing. You just see things the way they are, then you don’t have any desire to create a philosophy out of it because in the end, you know very well, it boils down to your own experience.

>>RICK:  We better wrap it up pretty soon because it’s getting dark over there. We are going to be sitting in a dark place. Here’s an interesting wrap-up topic, and I’ll let you riff on this a little bit. That is that in one of your books, I was reading about some experiences you had, which gave you a vision of the future, of what the future of humanity might be. Maybe you could just give us a glimpse of your sense of that, and how, maybe at the same time, how certain you feel it is or whether it’s just one possibility, and it could really go the other way if we don’t play our cards right.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, I think this was an experience I had on the morning of my retreat, on one of the mornings when I suddenly had a clear impression of what our future may actually be, and I saw it in a very, very positive way, unfolding. I saw that the technology we are already creating is going to largely help us out of the sinkhole. There are things which are in progress at the moment which will make it possible to create energy, which is not dependent on massive installations, but energy which can be local. Now that is something that’s already in existence, but my view of it, or the picture that I’ve been confronted with, and it was not in the sense, like an out of body experience, where I was physically there, it was more a knowingness, which I could access. That was pointed to a very bright, positive future, which was, it came in two parts. One was absolutely the next 100 years when society was completely changed because the parameters have changed, the awareness has changed. We are just at the beginning of such a change. As you have mentioned several times in your talks, there’s an awakening taking place where we become more cognizant for our real identity. This sort of awareness will be rolled out in much the same way, as the awareness that the earth is a globe was rolled out over the decades, and at some point, to actually be taken for granted. Then the mindset will change, and people will harness their intellect and their knowledge to bring the community sense of our species more into the fore, and make us a more, better functioning civilization. That was a very strong picture, which I feel very positive about. That these things are happening. I didn’t see at any stage of destruction or global catastrophe at all.

>>RICK:  That’s good. You don’t think that things are going to get worse before they get better and that global warming might kill billions of people or some such thing. You think that that’s just going to, obviously, you don’t think Donald Trump will be elected president. Things are just kind of [laughing]

>>JURGEN:  I have to say, I can’t be sure because, especially with people like Donald Trump, he seems to be personifying the ultimate ego. It may just be that we need to be confronted with an external representation of our ego before we actually see the light. That seems to be the case. The philosophy is ‘make Donald Trump great again,’ so we can see our ego more clearly. Who knows what way we try to find in order to see the light? I have no idea. The danger is by making any predictions of any sort that we become complacent and then say, oh, well, everything is going to be fine. I don’t think it is the case. As I said earlier, in a metaphor, if the plant grows and we pour acid on it, it may quickly die. That’s that applies to everything we do. We have got to be vigilant; we have to be alert, we have to nurture the growth in a very careful, positive way.

>>RICK:  The predictions aren’t certainties, they are possibilities.

>>JURGEN:  Yes, that’s how I would say.

>>RICK:  All right, well, great. There are so many more things we could talk about. But we’re entering into record interview length territory at this point. We should probably wrap it up. Thank you so much for this conversation. I’ve really appreciated it and appreciated it getting to know you a little bit. I like these sorts of visions of possibilities kinds of discussions, as opposed to people who are saying, well, it’s only this … But it’s like, yes but — it’s this, and …  I really appreciate your perspective in that way. It’s obviously based in experience; you’re not just sitting there philosophizing and speculating.

>>JURGEN:  No. I try to stay away from that. It’s got to have a ground somewhere.

>>RICK:  As always, I’ll be creating a page on BATGAP for this interview and putting some biographical information, links to your website, links to your books, anything else that you’ve asked me to link to. People who are listening to this can go to that and follow those links. Thank you very much, Jurgen, and thanks to those who have been listening or watching. The usual things I say at the end about checking out the website and all the different menus and, past interviews, future interviews, donate button, all that. I’ve said it many times, so you know how to do that. Thanks a lot, and we’ll see you all next time.

>>JURGEN:  Thanks, Rick.

>>RICK:  You’re very welcome.