Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer, and my guest this week is Louis Brawley. Welcome Louis. Rick Lewis has written a book called Goerner, which is about his experience with ug Krishnamurti and let me just read a little bio he’s got in the back of it. Louis was born in Ohio and lived in worked in New York, where he met ug Krishnamurti in 2002. Louis traveled in the USA, India and Europe with Yugi for the following five years, acting as an informal caregiver as Youjizz health deteriorated. Lewis works as an artist, photographer and freelance art handler worldwide occupations which fund his travels around the world writing and recording accounts and impressions from friends of the quote, raging sage. And here’s a little bit about Yugi. Garner will teach you the meaning of the phrase paradoxical truth, ug Krishnamurti gave up everything for truth, but delighted and ridiculous fabrications. He was a teacher who refused to teach a man whom, who mocked do gooders but was deeply kind. He was chased but foul mouth, he was a man who decried the supernatural yet there were strange coincidences around him. I’ll just keep reading this as good. And then we will get into our conversation, the way he lived, his living quarters and his mode of expression. Were one continuous movement, a three dimensional living book of teaching. If you’re observant, you could learn from him on contact with no need for explanation. Okay, I’ll keep reading one more paragraph. Lewis probably doesn’t use honey platitudes to tell the story of a sage and his devoted follower. Instead, he tells an often unflattering story of his own struggles and shortcomings and the dynamic uncertainties of life with a man who quote tore apart everything human beings have built up, up inside. And now for centuries. I must say, Louis, in addition to being an artist, you’re a very good writer. I think this book is very nicely written. Thank you. And I’ll tell you what, you know, in this interview, I often try to leave my opinions out of interviews. But in my opinion, Yugi was a very opinionated man, and very, very assertive and kind of spoke authoritatively in his opinions. And so I’ll be kind of opinionated and conducting this interview, and I’m sure you can handle it and, and my opinions won’t, you know, won’t be all black and white either. Because, you know, I feel that. Well, we’ll get into it, you’ll see what I mean. My impression of the guy as I read the book and listen to quite a few hours of his recordings was that, on the one hand, I disagreed with pretty much everything he said. But on the other hand, but on the other hand, you know, I mean, even a broken clock tells the correct time, twice a day, and, but he wasn’t broken. I mean, I found myself seeing in just about everything you said, I would find myself saying, Okay, well, I can see how that’s true. You know, from a particular perspective, it’s not necessarily a universal absolute truth, but yeah, fine. But, you know, I also got the impression that he probably disagreed with most everything he said, as well. And to great extent he was being a shock jock of spirituality, you know, Don Rickles. Or, what’s that other guy, Howard Stern, you know, just kind of messing with people’s heads and trying to be outrageous, and, and being really, to some extent, an entertainer. So anyway, those are my, those are my impressions. And I another thing, I really appreciate it as I read the book, was your obvious love of the man and sincerity and dedication and stick to itiveness you know, hanging in there through thick and thin. You know, and I honor anyone who, who comes from the heart like that and really puts his life on the line in service of something that is meaningful to him and inspires him. So, you know, kudos on that. That’s funny. So, what do you think? Based on what of that little strange introduction? What would be your
Louis Brawley: I think it’s perfect. It’s perfect. I when I first saw Youjizz pictures on a website I think I described it in the book. My reaction was, Who is this narcissistic? Person who feels the need to put their quotes and photos on a website and post it on the internet as if as if as if, because I was at that point still kind of under the influence, not kind of deeply under the influence of Jai Krishna Murthy, who I’m sure anybody who’s checking this out is at least heard of. And so my initial response to Yugi was a little note to the website having not read anything saying, Can I get a poster or a t shirt, you know, kind of with this. But then when I started to read what he had to say, I something very peculiar happened. And it was very simple, and very ordinary and almost invisible. And that was that my obsession, and I have a tendency to lock onto this subject matter, for whatever reason, my obsession with Jiddu Krishnamurti was evaporated. And that was something that came out of that started with the exposure to him. And I went to see him a couple of times in California, and I really was deeply affected by his, by his message, and it changed the course of my life for a long time. So here’s this guy with the same last name, which immediately made me suspicious, so he’s just riding on the coattails or something,
Rick Archer: but it’s a common last name in India.
Louis Brawley: It’s like Smith over there. Right, right. So I was just really taken aback by the effect of this, of Youjizz initial words, and I was just from reading the book. And it was confusing, because he was saying, you know, if, you know, this is, there’s nothing you can do. He says a lot of things that I found unnerving and at the same time, a peculiar relief. But what it set up for me was the immediate urge, overwhelming urge to find this guy. So, for me, when when when he said later on, attraction is the action. That’s that rings true. Now, as much as ever, you know, I feel like I was kind of monogamous in my life with these Krishna Murty somehow, you know, it’s about the only thing I’ve been able to maintain monogamy with, because the rest of my life is a kind of shiftless mess, so. And it wasn’t by will or any good grace of mine, that I stuck it out with these people. It just, you know, I think it’s an overwhelming attraction that you just get hit with.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And we all have our paths, and we all have our attractions, you know, with somebody else, it could be this teacher, that teacher, yeah, you know, or, you know, gambling or whatever. I mean, people, people get addicted to all kinds of things. Spiritual spirituality, in general tends to be a rather wholesome one, but not always.
Louis Brawley: Not always, I would say, Sure,
Rick Archer: can be abused, like anything else? Sure. So let’s get a little bit more acquainted with Yugi. I understand that he himself was a student of J. Krishnamurti from a young age, or at least in that circle, his family was where devotees are, or students have him or something like that, or you can explain it better.
Louis Brawley: Yeah, it’s an interesting story. Because Jiddu Krishnamurti was the world teacher, and he was being set up by the Theosophical Society as that vehicle for the society. And when Yugi was a boy, his grandfather was raising him his grandfather and grandmother, his mother died when he was an infant. So his grandparents raised him which is common there. So his grandfather was a kind of traditional Hindu, who had an interest in theosophical ideas as well as the Theosophical Society, which at that time was a one of the earliest combinations of East and West thinking, spiritual thinking. So Yugi grew up in an environment surrounded by Hinduism, traditional Hinduism, and this kind of the earliest form of New Age spirituality probably are one of the earliest for sure. And Jiddu Krishnamurti was a pretty glamorous character. I mean, he was a movie star good looks and, you know, a pretty charismatic personality and he was really set up as quite the leader and so usually as a boy, was surrounded by images and the impression of this individual, and Jiddu Krishnamurti also represents an Interesting bridge from India to the west. I mean, my initial attraction to him was the lack of spiritual lingo in Jiddu Krishnamurti. And I think that for me, there was a good setup for meeting ug, of course, to be exposed to that initially, because Yugi really, there’s a point where he said, I inherited three things from my grandfather, lots of money, the Theosophical Society, and Jiddu Krishnamurti. And I think Jiddu Krishnamurti was the last one for him to get off his back.
Rick Archer: My teacher who was my teacher, for a long time, marshy, Mahesh Yogi made an interesting comment about Jiddu. Krishnamurti said, sometimes people are born at a very high level of consciousness, and they just fall into awakening quite spontaneously. And such people don’t make good teachers, because they haven’t gone through the steps that it might take to attain that realization for the ordinary person. And so they speak from their level of consciousness, and people listen from their level of consciousness, and a connection is never properly made. So so very few people get awakened as a result of association with such a person.
Louis Brawley: It’s a tough, it’s a tough one, I when I I think a lot of people have these experiences when they meet a teacher, because you’re accessing a part of your experience that hasn’t been encouraged or, or nurtured by society as its as its developed. So when you get interested in spirituality, there’s a whole area of experience, which can be really shocking and deeply affects people. And I think that a lot of these people, there are so many teachers who have the capacity to incite that in a listener. And there’s also that innate quality in each individual. I think we’re all basically programmed the same way. I mean, it couldn’t be any other the case couldn’t be any different than that. But it’s such an overwhelming experience to have a kind of a flash of insight or, you know, worldly enlightened experience of silence or something, a pause and thinking, I don’t know what these things really are. But in my case, I was I had that kind of experience when I was exposed to JK, then four years, I think, inevitably, because this is how we’re hardwired. I was trying to reach it or go beyond it or capture what he was talking about, or something which sets up a kind of funny dynamic inside, because you put this person who says, there’s no guru, no teacher, no, you know, you should live in a thoughtless state, you should practice choiceless awareness. That’s all well and good, but you’ve already put him in a position of guru because you feel that he’s given you an experience you attributed to that person. And then you’ve struggled to attain a goal, which is just some abstraction that you pieced together from your past memory, and whatever you may know about the subject at hand,
Rick Archer: yeah, let me see. That’s an example of him describing his experience, you should live in a thoughtless state. And, you know, that’s like, you know, having some Olympian champion say, you should be able to do backflips on a balance beam, you know, but it doesn’t just come naturally for the average person. And so, I description and even if the bat, even if the gymnasts explain how she does the backflip on a balance beam, you know, that doesn’t actually enable you to have that same experience. So very often, that gulf remains there for followers of teachers for decades on end, and they just sit there listening to these beautiful descriptions, but not bridging the Gulf.
Louis Brawley: I think, though, that there’s something to that dynamic. I used to dismiss it when I met Yugi I was so overwhelmed by the quality of him, you know, that that he was actually in his, in his actions. He was what all these other people were describing or the rest of it. But what he was saying was confounding. When I met him, he wasn’t using, you know, I’ve since then listened to hours and hours of tape of him talking from shortly after this calamity. In 67, right up until the present and his means of communicating changed over the years. You know, when I met him, he was talking what seemed like gibberish initially, it really felt ridiculous, but to look at the man and how he moved and the way I felt when I was around him and and the response to the situation It seems very natural and normal and actually quite ordinary. At the same time it was confounding.
Rick Archer: There’s a setting in India babbling seems
Louis Brawley: like a babbling brook.
Rick Archer: Yeah, what’s meant by that is that they have the experience, but they haven’t learned to articulate it. And so there there there’s speeches more or less gibberish, as you say. And perhaps in a pressing use case through, you know, talking constantly for years on end he, he began to articulate more clearly,
Louis Brawley: I think that what happened with ug, and this is my experience is that since he’s gone, he died in 2007. In the years since he’s gone, all that gibberish. That seemed like just an ongoing joke. It with very ordinary language, which he repeated ad nauseam. He was actually making points all the time. It just seemed at the time like, well, I’m interested in a much bigger, more intricate answer to my question. And he was undermining the mechanism in me, which is basically a torture machine of this desire to understand and articulate what cannot be articulated, which is life itself, you can’t do that. And one of the things that I think is so remarkable about Yugi, and at the same time makes him nearly invisible to a larger audience, is that he would never compromise the ordinariness of himself as he felt it, you know that I am not different from you people, I can’t tell you how to do something when I don’t know how this happened to me. At the same time, he was always talking about it, how he functioned how we function, as far as he saw that and trying to make a connection with people that they could understand using really ordinary language, the as time goes on, he uses more and more and more present language to talk. So in a funny way, it’s like it becomes invisible, because he’s not reaching for big, lengthy explanations. In fact, he would chop them at the, at the knees, any intellectual explanation of anything that a child could pick up.
Rick Archer: It’s true. I mean, I, as I listened to him, I felt like I couldn’t have had a conversation with this guy. Because as soon as, as soon as I started to ask a question, he cut me off after three or four words, and then he just carry on. And within a minute or two, he’d be off on some tangent completely unrelated to what my question was attempting to be. And he just carry on and carry on and carry on until somebody else tried to ask something, and then the same thing would happen. So it definitely wasn’t a kind of a, you know, an intellectual inquiry in the traditional sense, where,
Louis Brawley: what’s really peculiar about that dynamic, which, which I saw happen over and over again, was any, any kind of pre calculated question that I had, would be chopped at the knees as you described, right? On the other hand, if someone was sitting, and genuinely started wondering something and then just popped out of their mouth, a question, he could be screaming at a person on the other side of the room, he would stop and quietly in the same tone of voice, answer that person’s question in the most direct, simple way imaginable.
Rick Archer: Interesting. So he responded to deeply spontaneous and genuine queries, or it was it was some complex in the head kind of thing he wouldn’t
Louis Brawley: write, he would never give space to predisposed inclinations. If something popped out, he would immediately address it. But if you sat calculating, you know, it was over.
Rick Archer: So it was in a way he was acknowledging and almost reinforcing spontaneity and naturalness.
Louis Brawley: Yeah, whatever was genuinely of that person, in that moment was addressed, something that was coming from the past would be shot down immediately.
Rick Archer: Now, you’ve you referred to this his what happened to him, and it’s referred to as catastrophe and so on and as calamity and as I understand it, it was some sort of spiritual awakening or shift that took place after years of, you know, asking every spiritual teacher he could find what Enlightenment wasn’t how to reach it. So tell us about that a little bit. Well,
Louis Brawley: Yugi did spend his entire life seeking despite his later coins. He was from the age of 14 until the age of 21. He had a very traditional practice of yoga. He had a guru seven Ananda in the Himalayas. He ruined his college career by taking off every couple of months to go meditate for three months at a stretch and bribing the university officials to fill in his attendance records. He did dropped out at the age of 21, when he caught Shivananda, eating pickles when he was claiming to fast. So he was very, he was a guy who followed the rules like a boy scout. But if he saw someone that he looked up to not living up to what they were saying, he dropped it like a hot potato, it was over for him. So he did his homework in that area at a very young age. Then he went at the age of 21, to see Ramana Maharshi, who most people have heard of who are interested in these things. And he was there for one day very reluctantly, because I think at that point, as a young man, he was extremely frustrated. And I’m guessing, you know, this is me projecting a little bit, but he was he had done seven years of sadhana and felt, for instance, his sex drive was completely out of control. And he was fed up with the traditional answers. And from what I know of Yugi. Over the years, he really knew these sutras and the systems pretty well as a Hindu does, you know, especially someone serious. So he goes to see Ramana Maharshi, who has the kind of classic Indian guru setup, which was easier later for us to bash. And you have to keep in mind, here’s a guy who still has the exposure to theosophical ideas and Jiddu Krishnamurti in his brain housing unit, as a deep influence,
Rick Archer: and Judo hadn’t quite lived up to his image either, as I know,
Louis Brawley: but ug wasn’t this illusion with him yet. Okay. Not quite broken.
Rick Archer: Despite the sexual affair that he had had
Louis Brawley: he’d nobody knew about that until JK was dead. Oh, okay. So nobody JK kept it clean under the carpet until he was long gone. quite an achievement as usually later, you know, credited him. So he goes to Ramana Maharshi. And he asks him flat out, look what you have, can you give it to me? First, I think one of the questions there were three questions, but the essence was, if a person is there, can they go back and forth? You know, do you go into the state and out of it,
Rick Archer: and you lose it and regain it? Yeah.
Louis Brawley: Maharshi said, No, you’re done. You’re done. And then of course, Yugi being impatient as I can completely identify with Can you give it to me? What do you have? Can you give it to me? And the answer, he would always relate to us who knows what happened on that fateful day, but for whatever reason, Yugi says that Ramana said, I can give it, can you take it? And for whatever reason, he finished his lunch with the comic book reading guru, and never went back. But he did later acknowledge that that experience, that encounter helped him to form his central question, which was, what is the state that those people are in Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, whatever spiritual person, what is that state? And can you give it to me, and my understanding is that from that point forward, until this calamity, his focus was on Jiddu Krishnamurti, for whatever reason, probably having to do with his upbringing. And his, you know, probably having to do with his upbringing, his circumstances. He was an educated young man with money. So at the age of 21, he could go get a passport and fly to London, for instance, he wanted to get into Cambridge or Oxford, and like JK he flunked out of both, they both said, forget about it. You’re a horrible student. So he became a speaker for the Theosophical Society. And this is I can’t be exact here, but it’s right around the time that JK dumped the TF. You know, he saw all the corruption in that in that organization. And he said, This is not the way and then he said, truth is a pathless land. And, you know, went on his own as a speaker and Yugi continued clearly to follow his movements. So now Yugi is a speaker for the Theosophical Society as a young man, he has been unable to resolve his sex drive. So he decides that he’ll deal with this the way you should, the way it’s prescribed to deal with it. Like with sadhana, you do the yoga and the meditation and all these things. If you want to have sex in this society, you get married, and you have sex. So he got married at the age of 24. So now he has a family, and he has money, and he’s speaker for the Theosophical Society. He’s obviously educated, exposed to Western ideas of psychology and philosophy, as well as the Hindu background. And he is familiar with JK, and he becomes he somehow gets into his company in Madras because that’s where ug and the tes had their headquarters and Judah would give speak, give his lectures there. After leaving ATS so in Madras ug at some point, while now he’s got two kids and a third one on the way or three kids, he meets Jadoo finally for the first time. And there must have been something in that dynamic because Zhu became friends with the family. He the daughter’s Eugene’s daughter has told me about, you know, hanging out with J K at a concert. And you know, they would go, and ug and J. K went for long walks. And this went on. And the two of them really went at it. I think they had long discussions. And Yugi was very attached to the guy clearly and deeply devoted. There was a point in an early discussion that shocked me when I heard it on an earlier tape from 1970, or something of Yugi describing that he wrote actually a commentary of Patanjali Yoga Sutras based on the teaching of Jai Krishna Murthy. This is long lost, but it shows you the degree to which he was focused on that one person, yet still bringing this whole Hindu background with him. So you have this young guy, you know, and he’s obsessed with JK, I’m sure he was convinced that he was enlightened or whatever you want to call it. And his child had polio. So he moved to the US at one point to get the boy treated. He left his two daughters behind. He had his son and his wife in Chicago for five years. During that time, he left the Theological Society. He left his wife after a one night stand.
Rick Archer: He had been who had the one night stand
Louis Brawley: up, had a one night stand with some rich Texan woman while he was doing his lecture tour. He, he I guess the Lady invited him to stay at her house one night, and he said well, and later was funny. One morning, I was sitting with him. And he said, it was a very interesting weekend. We didn’t sleep much. She wasn’t she was we were staying in separate bedrooms. And then she said, Well, you don’t have to stay alone. It’s a very interesting woman. And then he went on to describe how even to that point, a woman’s breasts will attract the attention of the eye because of the movement. You know, I mean, it was kind of a hilarious little aside there. But my sense is Yugi was he was already telling his wife, look, this is not long for the world. You know, this relationship, this marriage thing, this family thing, and then he has this one night stand and he said I ug with anything was brutally honest with everyone in his life. I mean, brutally. I’m not using the word lightly. He was not an easy person. I think as a young man, that description of his life, family life with his daughter. He admitted to it. But you know, if his wife went out and bought fancy furniture, he came home, he saw what she had done. He built a bonfire in the front yard and threw all the furniture and the colorful saris into the bonfire.
Rick Archer: Wow. So he wasn’t an easy guy to be married to
Louis Brawley: No sir. He was he had married the wealthy daughter, the baby of the family of a family of like 12 kids or something. And she was hoping for a house full of children and serve servants. And Yugi basically had the temperament of an ascetic. So aside from bringing her up to the bedroom to have sex, you know, any other indulgence of the senses was completely vanished from the house, like these colorful saris, and, in fact, he made his wife wear white, which in India is the color of a widow.
Rick Archer: Right? Oh, here’s Brahma Turini. Yeah, so the other,
Louis Brawley: so is why nobody around him had an easy time of it. Yeah, but the point is that it indicates a person who is really dead set on one thing, you know, and he, in Chicago, he wrote to an uncle once in the letter, he said, you’d be surprised, but I can assure you that it’s possible to live in such a place and still pursue brahman or Brahma from an I guess, an which is what I intend to do until the day I die. And shortly after that, he comes home and tells his wife look, I had a one night stand, this is finished. The only way to have sex with someone is to use them. And I guess that became apparent to him more obviously, when you have that one nightstand, and he leaves you know, the wife is fed up now. She is sick of us. She hated Chicago is not the best place for an Indian woman who’s grown up in South Indian to hang out, you know, so she moves back to India with the kids and Yugi stays on in the US. The marriage comes to an end. He goes through the rest of his money. So now he goes back to India. He tells his wife, it’s over. He gets it. He gets on a tour with some other prominent Indian businessmen to the Eastern Bloc countries. He goes to Russia where he finds that communism and this is around 1950 1960. So I guess Nehru was in power now. Or Nasser, which one Nasser’s Egypt. Nasser was Egypt, so narrows in power, but the Indian sympathies politically are with the communists. That’s their kind of backing. So usually goes to Communist Russia and he sees he says later, you’re, you’re Karl Marx is basically Jesus Christ. Das Kapital is now the Bible, there is no difference between this and religion. Communism is basically a restructuring of the restructured religion, that’s all
Rick Archer: was he was he being complimentary or critical.
Louis Brawley: And it’s funny, because usually would say things that were just kind of plain spoken, like, here’s the situation as I see it. And he wouldn’t participate in something if he felt that it wasn’t what it was speaking to, like, if it’s claiming to be some new thing, fine. But if you tell me, it’s going to be a new thing, and it’s just the same old thing in new clothes, and I don’t want any part of it. So when he was offered positions in government or in business, where he could see a contradiction, he would refuse. For instance, after this happened, he made his way through Eastern Bloc countries, back to London, at which point he’s kind of broke. He meets Bertrand Russell, who’s involved with the peace movement. And Bertrand Russell says to him, you know, would you like to join, you know, I can find a position for you? And he says, Well, are you ready to do away with the policeman? Because a policeman is an extension of the H bomb. And that’s what your battle is against, right? And Russell says, Well, you have to draw the line somewhere. So any, any requests to moderate his search, or his standard was immediately rejected.
Rick Archer: A, you know, at this point, I would interject just to say that, I mean, he had his way and he was entitled to it. But the pursuit of Brahman or Enlightenment or whatever, doesn’t have to be so iconoclastic, I mean, you know, you can have nice furniture and wear saris, and yet the spiritual, a sincere and genuine spiritual aspirant, you know, society does need to have a few policemen around, I mean, obviously, anything can be overdone. To prevent anarchy. So, you know, and that doesn’t really pertain to the spiritual quest, you can be in the world and not have it, you know, you can render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. But anyway, that’s the way you know, that’s the way Yugi operated, he was just a sort of a kind of a radical guy.
Louis Brawley: I think that’s why the there’s not a big audience, Rick? Yeah.
Rick Archer: So, you know, I don’t think anyone, I would recommend anyone taking him as a role model or feeling like this is the perspective you have to have, if you really would have been serious about spirituality, he would
Louis Brawley: have been the first one to say, if you try to do what I’ve done, you’ll only be miserable.
Rick Archer: Yeah, you’d be mimicking a rather extreme way of behavior, which, you know, may or may not have anything to do with spirituality is just, it could very, very well just be a personality, you know, among many personalities. And
Louis Brawley: yeah, I mean, the danger of a role, like, the danger of my situation is that I’m so fascinated with the individual. And I find that as I research him and think about writing a biography, for instance, and examine all the details of his life, the inevitable question comes up, why are you doing this? Yeah. Is it that by repeating or or learning all this information about him, you expect that what happened to him will happen to you? Well, we
Rick Archer: had we have he was saying
Louis Brawley: repeatedly was this is your track. Right? And I think his his, you know, the, the means the basis of his excellent of his expression was to undermine that, right? imitation. And you know,
Rick Archer: so we still haven’t gotten to what happened to him. You were talking, you’ve been talking about his travels and his marital travails and his attitude toward, you know, Karl Marx and so on. But we haven’t quite gotten to the catastrophe or the whatever. Calamity.
Louis Brawley: Calamity Calamity
Rick Archer: Jane calamity. janeyah.
Louis Brawley: Well, it’s kind of, it’s difficult for me to separate it out, Rick. So forgive my long winded answer, but I’ll keep going. But basically, what I am trying to convey is the picture that I paint of him is a man who is pursuing with everything in his means. And as he goes along, he’s losing things.
Rick Archer: He’s an iconoclast, and he just keep smashing icons, and he’s ruthless and he doesn’t hesitate to burn bridges if he feels like the bridges are not worth crossing again.
Louis Brawley: Exactly. So here it is. He’s He’s basically run the thread out. He’s still going to see Judah Krishna Murthy. He has now begun to avoid Krishna Murthy because his situation is dire. Krishna Murthy knows that his wife has since died. Now ug was in London when he got the news that his wife died. His kids are scattered to the winds. And young family too. We’re not talking. So now he’s in London, and he’s really down and out. He meets judo for the last time. He says to him, why have I wasted all these, if there’s nothing you can teach me to get me to that place, then I’ve wasted my time. So he doesn’t see him again, in person. But he continues he meets at some point, when he gets really down and out. He’s in Geneva, looking for a bank account where he thought he had some money. Now he’s got not, he’s got a hotel bill that’s unpaid. He goes to the, to the Indian consulate, he meets a woman who offers to give him shelter, basically. And this is Valentine, an older Swiss woman who he spent the next 14 years traveling with maybe longer 61 to like 96 or something. Somewhere around those dates, whatever. So this lady is taking care of them. And now
Rick Archer: that’s 35 years 61. Tonight, I
Louis Brawley: got my numbers, you know, left brain, right brain, whatever. Anyway, he meets this lady, she says I’ll take care of you don’t worry about it. He doesn’t go back to India. instead. Every summer, he goes and listens to Jiddu. Krishnamurti, again, in Switzerland, in Switzerland, meanwhile, things are beginning to happen to him physically. He’s having experiences like Kundalini experience, where you know, the energy is coming up through the spine. And, you know, there’s all these descriptions of it, whatever. Finally, in 1967, he’s sitting in the tent, listening to Jiddu insaan in Switzerland, and Judo is talking about the comparative mind. And he’s talking about there’s a silence, if you’ve been following what I’m saying, you’ll find that there’s a silence. And in that silence, there’s an energy. And in that energy, there’s an action. And that action, you cannot know. So huge, he’s listening to this after all these years and all this loss, and he’s sitting there. And that’s very
Rick Archer: profound, actually. I mean, maybe it’s a it’s a tangent, but action within silence is a very interesting thing to talk about. But, you know, continue on. No, I don’t want to interrupt your story. Well, it is key, Rick, because
Louis Brawley: if there is an action, and when I read that, when I listened to him describe this, I thought, This is why no matter how you speak of it, what you say about it. Any description of the spiritual state, whatever it may be, is always secondary. Okay, we all know that fine. So he’s sitting there listening. And he’s struck by the fact that he’s been fooling himself calling what he’s experiencing a silent mind. Because the only way to describe a silent mind is by using a mind that’s not silent at all. It’s saying silence. So there’s a word. So there’s a noise. So there’s silence. So this kind of gets him to this corner that he can’t get out of for the he walks out of the tent, I guess it was last talk of the season. He goes back and he’s sitting there on a bench and he said, what he suddenly feels all these funny feelings, like, is this the state that they’ve all been describing? This is what Jesus was in, or Blue was in with it. But if it is, how would I know? I would, I would I know. And at that point, he says or said, the question just stopped. It wasn’t resolved. It wasn’t answered. Who knows why the question just stopped pestering him, I guess. And at that point, he walked went home, laid down, and some kind of physical death process happened, where he was fighting to keep his consciousness awake, and it closed like a black aperture. And this is when his friend came over the woman Valentine, who knew nothing about all this Indian stuff, and was not a spiritual person. In the sense, you know, she wasn’t a secret, but she was a radical. You know, she had been involved with Harris art scene and all the rest. So she was taking so they were living in the same building, and she sees him on the couch looking really whacked out. And he’s, what is he doing over there? So she calls this young friend of theirs Douglas, and he’s, he comes over and Yugi is lying on the couch and the bow posture completely out of it. And he says, Yugi what’s what’s going on? And then it somehow brought him back. And apparently what happened to him as he described it is that when the thought stopped when the questioning stopped, there was a kind of, I mean, this is my word, but there was like a rebooting of the physical Will system. You know, the chakras that are that are described represent glands. We all know that by now. And these things kind of got recharged. And why that question did it to him and why that, you know, day in the tent did it to him and how exactly that happened. I mean, all the stuff that he had done the meditation, the yoga that, you know, leaving this, that getting taken away this getting taken away all that happened, but at one point, how do you figure out exactly what made that event? So, after that event, the physical changes started in his body. And that’s a lot of what the first book that he allowed published about him describes this, you know, this unblinking thing and, you know, a death process, the ionization of thought, he describes all these things in a very scientific way, you know, in a sense, you know, like, it’s, it’s the body, it’s, it’s something that happens in the body when thought, which is this kind of servant, which has taken over the house is naturally put back into its place where it’s fine, it functions it works, you know, what you’re doing, you know where you are, you can speak and operate in the world, but it’s not constantly pestering you with. That’s a red chair. That’s Rick Archer. This is Louis Brawley. I’m sitting in the living room. What’s gonna, what’s gonna happen tomorrow? Why am I getting what I need? Am I getting what I need, all this worrying stuff is suddenly gone. He used to say, if that stops, then the body will restructure, and you will live in natural existence. So that I don’t know if that answers the question. Well, but
Rick Archer: no, that’s, that’s good. We’ll let’s talk about it some more. I mean, first of all, it’s it’s hard to say, which is the carton, which is a horse, which I think you were implying, you know, did the I mean, let’s play with a few possibilities. Did the physiology undergo this transformation, because of some change in his mind and his mind change because of some changes in the physiology?
Louis Brawley: But there’s no, but we know that there’s no distinction between those right? Hey, yeah,
Rick Archer: you could say there is in a sense, but they’re, they’re tightly correlated. I’m not saying I’m just saying, you know, mental activities is not physical in the sense that bones and blood are physical. But they’re tightly correlated.
Louis Brawley: I think it’s subtle. But look at the Yoga Sutras. I think I think those guys are amazing, because they have been able to trace that it has, it has its own kind of physical physicality.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I would agree with that. It’s because it is a relative thing, therefore, a manifest thing, then there’s therefore there’s some physicality to it. But it is subtle. And we can even borrow from physics to you know, say that a certain level, this book is not physical, it’s just, you know, probabilities and so on. And in a, in a field, it’s easy to abstract all these things. Yeah. But on a on a perceptual level, it appears to be physical. So like, like that we have access to subtle realms of experience as human being which are not so tangible as rocks and trees. But anyway, what I’m getting at is, and let me just let me just interject. So I said I was gonna be opinionated. Let me throw, please, some opinions here makes life more. Yeah. Again, it’s hard to hard to pin down which is causing, which is an effect. But there does seem to be a correlation between people who are striving and seeking and, and practicing and whatnot. And realizations. Now, maybe they’re doing all that striving and seeking because they’re destined for a realization, and that destiny motivates them to do this stuff. Or maybe the realization happens, because they have done that stuff. I don’t know, maybe both are true. And, but certain people just seem to be wired that way. And it’s almost involuntary that they have to have this sort of seeking tendency like you yourself.
Louis Brawley: Yeah. i The one thing I would say, just on that note, is that the trick here, and the tragedy is that there are no guarantees. And I feel like that’s, I feel like that’s in a way a dirty secret that’s not talked about enough is that there’s absolutely no guarantee that of liberation by any technique.
Rick Archer: I don’t know if anybody is offering a guarantee. If they are, then I would not trust them. Yeah, because there’s no proof of the pudding. Exactly. Yeah. I mean, it does seem to be a higher probability in terms of what we observe of people awakening who’ve engaged in spiritual practices, but there’s no no guarantee.
Louis Brawley: No, I mean, I suppose I bring it up because one of the things early on that really impressed me was a book by a guy. You probably know the book, it’s Varieties of Religious Experience by William James. Sure. And he described spontaneous spiritual awakenings. And in a way, I feel like what you’re saying is, the reason I thought of that is that I think unless you’re really looking and preparing or, or doing something in that area, something can happen. I think the body is trying all the time to get us whatever this thinking thing is in tune with itself so that it’s not so stressed. And sometimes I think this kind of thing happens to people, but they don’t know what it is. And then they attribute it to Jesus or Buddha or something. And they go off on a tangent with it.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, I just interviewed a guy a couple of weeks ago, who wrote a book called, am I getting enlightened or losing my mind. He’s a psychiatrist. And he has years and years of experience in dealing with people who had spontaneous Kundalini awakenings and whatnot, and thought they’re going crazy and went to a doctor and got institutionalized or medicated or, or whatever. So this kind of stuff is relatively common. And I think you make a good point, which is that the body does want to be in a natural state. It’s a natural tendency the body has, yeah. But it’s, you know, we’re all of us working it. Yeah, to one extent or another, we’re all out of tune with that natural state. And we can talk more about that, that’s interesting. Another thing I’d like to throw in is, in my opinion, there is a very broad spectrum in terms of the possible range of both biological and spiritual evolution. And human beings occupy just a small segment of it just as visible light is only a small segment of the electromagnetic field. And, you know, I don’t care how enlightened somebody is. They don’t necessarily have the complete package. And if there is even is such a thing, there’s always room for refinement, you know, purification, greater clarity of cognition and so on.
Louis Brawley: I don’t agree with that. Okay,
Rick Archer: good. How not? Well,
Louis Brawley: what you just said, there is a lot, that’s a lot, actually. Yeah. And I guess I would stop where, where you were saying if there is an Enlightenment, because I, I was always suspicious of the term.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s a it’s a loaded term, you know, like, God, you know, I mean, yeah, it’s you use it, and who knows what people are hearing when you say it?
Louis Brawley: Exactly. So it’s a wide blanket, and then also, the achievement of the See, I guess, when I’m, there’s something in that, that I I don’t want to sound as if I or I’m making a claim for ug, that’s what I don’t want to do. And I suspect that what you were saying came out of, or maybe was responding to that. And I just want to nip that in the bud that I don’t want to make any claim to understand what his state was, or to speak to as if that’s better than somebody else’s, or any of that. No,
Rick Archer: I don’t think I was implying that. I mean, you know, you know, whatever state he was in better than I, but say, I don’t know about that. Oh, but yeah, I mean, you hung around the guy for five years. So and, and I would, you know, having never met him and having only read a little bit about him her a few things, I would say, yeah, definitely. I mean, everybody’s on a spiritual path, all 7 billion of us. And, you know, many people, millions, perhaps have spiritual awakenings to some degree or another. And I think very rarely, if ever are these awakenings final because there’s always another horizon, another frontier, another breakthrough. But one can have a profound shift, and yet spend the rest of their life on a sort of a plateau. But yet, you yourself said that yujia You know, seemed to refine and, and at least in its verbal expression, he seemed to evolve over time.
Louis Brawley: But I can tell you that my attraction to him was that I, I sensed this at a gut level Rick and I could have been totally wrong about this i i like to keep open the possibility for being wrong and wait to be proven either way, but what I felt around him and, and no matter what has come along, or whatever interaction I had with him from the time I met him until this moment, I haven’t found any evidence yet to contradict that. This was a person who was completely finished with the dynamic that I’m engaged with as a socialized human being. That is to say that that servant master relationship, the master being the body, and the servant being thinking or the parallel movement of thought, in all its forms, ideation, mentation is the way he used to describe it, but I would just say any, you know, thought driven motivations. were absent from that in visual. And, again, that’s not something I can prove. Right. And I could only did the reason I wrote this book was to try and describe what I saw, because I found it so remarkably clear and clean and unmistakable, and at the same time, discuss myself so that people would know, well, maybe this guy’s just full of shit. Maybe he’s projecting all this. But I wanted to present the case, that there that there is no need for all these things. As I saw it in him,
Rick Archer: I need for what things? Any kind of
Louis Brawley: that’s not the right way to put it, just as you asked me that I realized that’s not the right way to put it, that he had no need of anything but food, clothing and shelter. There was no more striving left. There were no levels or anything, I think. And it was just one thing that was happening there.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Now when I was when I was adjust my opinion, is that, you know, and there’s that common saying, in spiritual circles these days, give up the search, a person may reach a stage at which the search has been given up quite spontaneously, there’s no striving left. But anything else you want to say about it, natural state, automatic, spontaneous functioning, so on and so forth. But like the infomercial says, But wait, there’s more there. That doesn’t mean that there is no possibility of further unfoldment it just means that that person is functioning in a radically different way than then people commonly do. And yet, do
Louis Brawley: you mean by further unfoldment? I guess, I guess that’s where my question is, what is the further unfoldment?
Rick Archer: Well, let’s, let’s let’s explore this, and who knows, maybe I’ll completely changed my opinion in the course of talking to you. But, you know, if we think about what Enlightenment really means, and let’s, let’s try to define it,
Louis Brawley: how would you define it? That’s the thing, I
Rick Archer: guess my understanding is that, you know, obviously, if we speak of non duality, if we speak of God, if we speak of, you know, sort of the absolute reality of things. It’s, it’s one holistic, unified, omnipresent, wholeness, and use a bunch of adjectives there and keep on using them. And, and it’s like this one unbounded ocean. And we spoke, we spoke recently, a little earlier of activity within silence. So it’s the reality is a totality, it’s a wholeness, and within that, it’s like currents within the ocean consciousness in motion within itself. And somehow, it appears to take aggregated forms, through which it can experience itself as a living reality. You know, we have bodies we move around, but we are nothing but that, but that somehow having taken a form which can know itself as that, and which can speak and act and breathe and live. And yet it is only that. So it’s a fascinating, mysterious, marvelous thing. Now, when you know, when that realization has reached a sufficient degree of clarity, one realizes, Oh, I’m not just this little meat puppet I am, I am I am. Carbon unit, you know, to quote Star Trek, I am that reality. Primarily, secondarily, in a relative illusory sort of sense, I am this breathing living organism, which is somehow you know, anchored in and nothing but that ocean but able to function in this apparent world. So you know, a perspective like that experiential not just intellectual, the way I’m describing it, but it totally experiential is my concept of what Enlightenment is. Now, as an instrument of of that as a as a sense organ of the infinite, there is no end to the, to the refinement to the subtlety to the kind of comprehensiveness of perception, the depth of clarity, with which that instrument can detect things. I mean, you can get a $10 microscope at Walmart, or you can, you know, get $100,000 electron microscope, and they’re both microscopes, but they can, you know, the $100,000, one can see with the fine details, which the which the $10, one can’t see. So you can have people who have shifted to a natural state, if we want to call it that to enlightened way of functioning, where they feel like they’re no longer calling the shots. They’re just an instrument of the Divine or of, you know, just sort of expressing living naturally spontaneously, but there can be vast differences between such people in terms of the clarity with which they Experience and understand there can be vast differences in terms of their emotional development. You know, there’s, there’s just no word in terms of their perceptual refinement, there is no end to unfoldment and even some very advanced teachers whom I respect a lot, you know, refer to themselves as beginners, like Adyashanti. And this is always with me, I’m always just beginning, or, you know, St. Teresa of Avila said, it appears that God Himself is still on the journey. So, you know, there’s, that’s my perspective. And again, it’s just based on my opinion, and my, my experience so far, subject to revision, but, but I would take someone like, like Yugi, or like anybody else, like Ramana, Maharshi? And say, they’ve still got exploration yet to yet to do? And what you know, then we have to sort of get into well, this what happens when the body dies? And is there anything more to life? Is ug still kicking around on Sunday? That’s all very speculative. And who knows, you know,
Louis Brawley: doesn’t get us anywhere?
Rick Archer: No, it doesn’t. And we can only conjecture. But as long as you know, this life continues, I’d say that there’s always going to be the possibility of, of something more, even though it’s maybe more of the same essentially, because, you know, once you realize the essential nature of everything, it’s all the same stuff. But somehow as a as an instrument of the Divine as a sense organ of the infinite there’s, there’s always more possibility of greater refinement, and perhaps even greater influence influence of that person or that that entity and other way, there’s a kind of a either, anyway, I’ve talked enough, you kick it.
Louis Brawley: I think I get where you’re coming from Rick. And I think basically, we would disagree on this point in the sense that, I think that it is possible. And I feel that I’ve witnessed the situation where a person’s capacity for operating from the thought the parallel thought mechanism is blown out, right, that’s finished. And I think once that occurs, then the body, then the body is in charge, and its physical, I have to use the words he used. But I do that because it best describes what I saw what I witnessed, which is a physical phenomenon. And it and in the, in the company of that phenomena for myself, all these ideas of levels, and achievement and refinement are completely obliterated. And that’s, that’s why I was so fascinated and continue to be so fascinated by that phenomenon. And when I go back to India, for instance, you know, before I met Yugi, I didn’t know who Ramana Maharshi. And under my mom is a good guy, Nisargadatta, because of my JK background. And because I’m such a fanatic, maybe any guru, anyone who appeared even gave the faintest whiff of being a guru, I completely dismissed. Since meeting ug, I’ve been exposed to these classic Hindu scriptures and study these people, you know, read about Ramana Maharshi and anonymized, and, you know, people that seem to have been blown out or whatever I’m describing here. And it does look to me, the evidence seems to point in the direction to me, that if the mind is severed by whatever means, however, by accident, or by happenstance, or practice, or whatever, if this thought driven, parallel universe, which enables you and I to have this conversation is no longer in charge, then that is a final situation. And thereafter, then the person is just functioning as like a machine. I mean, that sounds like no, it sounds belittling, but I don’t
Rick Archer: know, I totally understand. And I agree with you, and just to be ujs. In my response, I would say that that’s when it actually gets started. When, when the mind is blown out in a way you can see you can see that as a starting point. Because
Louis Brawley: happiness that I see when I see is a lot of people saying that the mind is blown out.
Rick Archer: Well, whatever you that wasn’t the terminology you just used.
Louis Brawley: Yeah, but I’ve heard this term and this is the difficulty of this whole subject. It’s so rife with a few different things and one is the there’s no way to prove anything. There’s no way to you know, yeah, I don’t know where I’m going with that.
Rick Archer: Let me put it this way. You know, most people feel like they You’re in charge, right? And my mind is in charge, and I’m making my decisions. And, and I’m the master of my destiny. Well, although they might feel like they’re getting kicked around a lot, they’re doing their best
Louis Brawley: process of ruling the universe.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Now, you know, eventually, one undergoes a shift. And we’ve been alluding to this in which you realize, oh, this individuality, which I thought I was, is not what I’m what I am. I am that, you know, totality. And that’s in charge. And so and this is the kind of awakening for sure. Yeah, for sure. And this individual bodies, you said, the body sort of runs the show or something after that stage, I would say it’s not the body that runs the show. It’s the intelligence which governs the universe, which runs the show, and which, which animates the body and always has, but at least we’ve gotten have gotten out of the way, and we’re allowing it to sort of do its thing unimpeded. So we’ve become kind of an expression of nature’s intelligence through this body. And that’s what Yugi was. To use terminology you may or may not be be comfortable with. But nature’s intelligence is not necessarily through with this body. It’s got a tool that it can use in without as much interference as it gets from from all the other.
Louis Brawley: Greek how can you use the expression that nature would use? What is it using the body for I guess,
Rick Archer: what is it making the universe for? Why is there one?
Louis Brawley: Yeah, I guess it sounds. Yeah. Okay. Anyway. So I just got word made me it made me kind of think that’s all?
Rick Archer: Well, yeah. And words are crude and limited. And you know,
Louis Brawley: what, they’re giving us the energy to have this chat. They are for something.
Rick Archer: So we’re just kind of blind men feeling the elephant here. But yeah. But like it or not, we’ve got a universe. And maybe maybe human logic can’t fully comprehend why it exists, or how it came to exist, or anything else. But it appears to exist. And there appears to be an evolutionary momentum. governing it. I mean, we start out with basically hydrogen, and somehow stars are formed, and then the stars explode, we get heavier elements, and then bodies are formed and cutting a long story short, and those bodies and those bodies can have conversations and, and can, they can start, they can start thinking about what why there’s a universe and where the trouble begins. And, and so where I’m going with this is that there seems to be an evolutionary force driving this whole show for the past 4.7 billion years. And it’s, it’s, it’s in us as much as it’s in everything else in the universe. And when this so called shift takes place to an awakened state, that force doesn’t take a vacation. It’s still driving, still running the show. But it has an instrument through which it can express itself with less impediment with less obstruction than is. Yeah, well, I could refute what I’m saying right now in the next breath. But but in other words, one becomes a sort of a, I use the friend phrase meat puppet. Earlier, one really does become a meat puppet in the sense that, you know, we’re meat but now we’re really a puppet. We’re kind of just the spokes person for, for the infinite. And without so much individual agenda as we once might have had, you see, hey, you see what I listen to a lot of YuGiOh. Now I’m saying you see that up from JK? Z, sir, you see. So anyway, swing back, I hit just hit the ball in your court, go ahead and play it.
Louis Brawley: I’m not sure where it went. I missed that point.
Rick Archer: Well, the point we’re talking about you, right, because we’re talking about refinement we’re talking about there being further sort of progress if we want to use that word, even after awakening takes place. And what I’m saying is the the intelligence which is running the universe continues to work on us to work on its expression. And to and the net result of that is in the experience of that expression in the living experience of the person who is who has undergone this shift is continued refinement of perception, emotions, understanding, and those things are not a given. I mean, it could be that even then one can sort of plateau and not progress. tremendous, tremendous pace, one can say stuck in a Realized state for the rest of one’s work for the rest of one’s life without exploring the further possibilities that that realization potentially offers, but those possibilities are endless there.
Louis Brawley: See, I feel like this is all Speculation
Rick Archer: i I’m basing it on not necessarily my own experience, because I never made a speculation, but I’m also but it is my own experience in that I have interacted with so many people now who have undergone such a shift and describe their experience to me, and there is a kind of a similarity amongst the accounts. And, and, you know, people sort of, it’s like, you know, if you need 100 People who’ve all driven from New York to Montana, that maybe they’ve taken slightly different routes, but they’re, you know, if you talk to enough of them, the similarities arise in their descriptions of the trip, you know, well, first this happened. And I saw that, and I stopped at Devil’s Tower, and, you know, things like that. So, you know, I think we can, you know, since Enlightenment or awakening has been such a rarity in our world, up till now, it’s not something that’s kind of popularly agreed upon in terms of what the details of it might be, or the possibilities or the stages if there are any, and all this and that, but I think we’re entering into a time when it’s becoming more and more commonplace. And we may, you know, a couple 100 years from now, it might be that the, you know, the, the difference between our current understanding, and then will be like the difference between the map so when Lewis and Clark first went west, and the maps, we have now have the topography of our country. Well,
Louis Brawley: I guess the feeling, the reason that I felt the need to write this book is that mice, and maybe I don’t know how this will sound but what I what I saw was that here’s a person who’s actually living in a way that seems to express what all those things that I read in those scriptures are talking about, while in a way he is saying it’s like, there’s a continuous movement between what was being expressed and what was being lived. Whereas in my experience, that has not been the case with many of the other examples that are given of this. And that’s why I suppose, you know, I was so curious about whether he was me because for instance, my interest in judo, Krishna Murthy, I had a very powerful experience, it changed the course of my life, I have great respect, I built an image, I have the whole thing. And then I find out after he’s dead, that he was having an affair with his managers wife, which I have no problem with on moral grounds, if there is such a thing, but if a person says, the thought of sex never enters my head, and probably means it, that’s fine. But when I find out that they are having sex, then whatever they say, has been tainted. And beyond that, there is the issue of saying, no teacher, no teaching, no taught, and then opening schools and giving talks and charging money to, for people to attend these talks. So there’s money in there sex. And those are big acid tests. If someone is using this alleged experience as a means of income, then in my you know, because I’m perhaps opinionated, but it seems that there’s a contradiction there. For me, that implies that they’re not actually a living expression of what they claim. And
Rick Archer: I agree with you, you know, but I would use that as an example of the point I’ve been trying to make in the last few minutes, which is that it’s not a black and white world. And it doesn’t mean because he did those hypocritical things doesn’t mean that he was zero on the scale of zero to one and you know, he could have been could have been a very realized man to a profound degree, but obviously with more growth yet to undergo to become really consistent to become a more perfect expression of that. It can be rid of, well, go ahead. Go ahead. I can carry on here, but I’m talking too much.
Louis Brawley: I just find that my judgments of JK for instance, whether after I met ug, my thoughts for awhile were How could I be so hoodwinked? How could I fool myself so completely? How could I be such a sucker? So I started looking at ug with those, like that kind of scrutiny. Like is this guy pulling something on me, right? Is there maybe something I’m not catching here? And in the process, what I realized was, here’s someone who is has no motivation for maybe the only motivation for his existence is to help other people to free themselves of that burden. But he was saying all the time, I can’t do it. So it was a real interesting thing. And then I was able to look back and see like, Okay, well, if it weren’t for JK, I never would have met this person. So it’s all as you were saying before it is, in a way, it’s not a black and white thing. Yeah, it’s not even Gray. I don’t know what the hell color it is. It’s just like, I can’t figure out the relationship between these two guys, you know, ug, and JK, like, here’s a guy JK, who comes from abject poverty. He’s kind of handed the kingdom that the dog, the dog in what’s his name? That one’s
Rick Archer: Ashanti? Ashanti? Ice, we have another one named Nico, Sue’s in the other room. Got it? Anyway, um, yeah, you’re talking about JK coming from abject poverty
Louis Brawley: person who gets everything handed to them. And then you have a guy like Yugi, who’s given everything. He’s born with a silver spoon, and he loses everything. So looking from one example to another example, and then I go back to India, and I see, here’s the Nanda, my MA, this remarkable manifestation of all these things, this cornucopia of amazing spiritual whatnot. mean, what a story. Yeah. And I’m thinking, and in my mind, because I’m a human being, I’m comparing well, how come she was including, like, encouraging Westerners to follow Hindu traditions and do this, that and the other and, and Yugi was doing the complete opposite. He was saying, Don’t do this. Don’t do that, you know, don’t listen to me do whatever you want. Where’s the contradiction here? Where’s the common ground here and Ramana Maharshi is telling people just tomorrow, sit there and listen, and blah, blah, blah. And in each individual, yet, I still have the same feeling of they’re saying the same basic thing, how can it be more than one thing, it’s just what I find so fascinating for me with Yugi is that he was so kind of, you know, he made himself invisible by being so obscure and bizarre, really, and yet, his expressions were so filled with implications that went in all these directions. So I’m fascinated in a way because I’m an artist, maybe with the aesthetics of the situation, like, here’s a guy who is disappearing himself. And as that happens, as my fascination grows, his capacity for expressing ideas that he denied, is so incredible, and perfect in its own way, that it’s a mystery to me. And I can’t get my mind around it. So I’m caught up in my own little obsession wreck as
Rick Archer: well, you know, as an artist, I mean, imagine yourself going into the Amazonian rainforest, and looking at all the varieties of birds there. And they’re so incredible, and there’s, there’s so much creativity and variety and diversity and so on, all being expressions of that same ecosystem, you know, and so, all these different teachers, most of them are like tropical birds, and that they’re such colorful characters, you know, no, Caspar milquetoast among them. I mean, they’re just really,
Louis Brawley: it takes some charisma to get on these
Rick Archer: remarkable, charismatic personalities, some of them hard to live with some of them, you know, easy, but definitely always challenge all challenging in their own ways. And, you know, to quote, The Incredible String Band light, that is one of the lamps be many of it, they might have been, quote, quoting somebody else, and to quote the band, you take what you need, and you leave the rest. So, I mean, there’s just this great variety of teachers and this whole, you know, garden of God, and we, we gravitate toward the person that we’re comically or, you know, personality wise, attracted to, and we benefit from that person to the extent that we do and, you know, the people who were around Eugene, maybe it must have been his function and destiny to have had a small audience, you know, but the people who were in that audience probably benefited from it. And you know, some teachers are in or have these worlds followings and so on. And you know, something, Manana Madhyama function in one way and incur Alibaba and another way so it’s like, you can’t really, it’s like comparing apples and oranges each each has its own nutritional value, and you kind of go with where your tastes lead you.
Louis Brawley: Yeah. And I think it’s inevitable that you do that comparing but in the end, as I said, earlier, I’m quoting him who’s quoting whatever is that attraction is the action itself. You know, that if you’re attracted to it, that will do its work.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And I think one thing we haven’t really addressed, which you’ve alluded to is there’s something going on under the surface, you know, it’s not just like, you know, one shouldn’t like take a book of the teachings of ug Krishna Murthy and study all his little aphorisms. And yeah, but there was some kind of dynamic going on in his presence, which was really sub rational or irrational or something had not had didn’t have a heck of a lot to do with the words that were being spoken. But that had nonetheless had a transformative effect on the people who subjected themselves to it.
Louis Brawley: Yeah, I would agree.
Rick Archer: And boy, you know, he didn’t pull punches. I can’t I came across this thing. Well, he did, Rick, really, he could have punched harder, he punched me. Oh, pull punches, pull punches. That’s the saying in boxing where you don’t punch as hard as you
Louis Brawley: might be right. Never.
Rick Archer: Somebody sent me an account of Byron Katie’s encounter with ug in the late 90s. She was very impressed and went to visit him in Palm Springs. In those days, she was quoting him all the time I’m reading now. And so much so that it began to irritate people. And she was always defending ug, she told me that he was the only person she ever met who was in her state, whatever that means. So anyway, so they set up an interview between the two of them. And you know, she’s very excited about that possibility. And then, during the course of the interview, which apparently is on YouTube. He goes on to say how The Work of Byron Katie can never work and tells her she is only interested in money. Towards the end, he brings up copyright issues and say, you can never claim anything as your own. Afterwards, Katie, and those in her inner circle brushed VG aside as a rambling old man, she herself never mentioned it again.
Louis Brawley: Funny how that happened there. Yeah, that’s a brilliant interview. At one point, he compares himself with a common sewer rat. Genius. Oh, yeah.
Rick Archer: Did he say something at some point about this natural state he had achieved, or, excuse me the terminology, but it’s not the state he had somehow fallen into as being unprecedented and unique. And unlike anything, no, somehow I heard that.
Louis Brawley: She is very tricky, because he would say that every single and he repeated this, I can say literally, until his dying day. And I think people either hear one version or the other according to what they want. But he said, every single living organism on the planet is completely unique. And what I’m expressing here is no more important than a common garden slug. And he really meant that. And what you will express when this happens to you will be extraordinary and will make what I’m saying completely obsolete. So he never made the claim that he was the ultimate anything. He only said that at some point, he threw out everything that man had thought and felt before him. And that enabled him to experience life at a point which had never been experienced before. Because memory was no longer in operation there. So every living every moment was so fascinating with him, for me, because it was like watching fire, you know, it doesn’t have any, it moves in all these directions. He used words like a computer. In terms of repetition in the sequence of a sentence, it was bizarre, Rick, I tell you, I mean, he could repeat things over and over and over. And each time, the effect would be slightly different. So what I think what he was saying is, look, once you sever that tie with the past, you’re finished all this, you know, I want this, I want that I enjoy this, I and I despise that I like this, that’s all gone. And the only thing that’s left is life. And however that expresses itself, you won’t know you won’t be able to direct it, you won’t be able to capture it, there will be some remnant of that which will affect everything around it just as this conversation is affecting us. But he never made any claim that he was superior or, you know,
Rick Archer: he did have very strong opinions. I mean, well, apparently I mean, it’s not like everything is everything is perfect, just as it is and there’s no no no qualitative differences. I mean, he was you know, saying pretty outrageous things, mothers or bitches or whatever, you know, that phrase anything
Louis Brawley: about those 10 commandments, for instance, is that they actually describe how people
Rick Archer: behave. I see.
Louis Brawley: And the same thing with these money, Maxim’s that he wrote toward the end, I was so baffled by that whole thing. 108 money maxes, what the hell is he doing? And if it occurred to me that he was simply describing consciousness as humans experience and are tortured by it, that every single person I know wakes up thinking about money. And it drives us crazy. You know, and so in a funny way, he was really addressing core issues of how we function, and we don’t, without realizing it, you know, I think that he was just using whatever means he could find to up end, this whole ideational fascism, of, you know, achieving a higher goal or becoming a superior being, he was really trying to strip people and push them into a corner where they would be forced to be themselves. And that’s not an easy job for anyone to do. But I think that he was right when he said that any real teacher, any real guru will do that to you. And it will not be a pleasant experience.
Rick Archer: So he just had his own way of going about it.
Louis Brawley: I mean, you know, like everybody else, he was unique individual, and he did it his way, you know, like, Frank.
Rick Archer: Frank. Yeah, I was just gonna say, and said later, who said vicious or something? Yeah,
Louis Brawley: that was his final fun. Sorry, I believe was I did it my way? And he sure did.
Rick Archer: Yeah. All right, as Jimi Hendrix put it, I’m the one who’s got to die when it’s time for me to die. So let me live my life the way I want to.
Louis Brawley: Yeah. It’s funny, usually, we were watching. He was so great at like pulling stuff out of common pop culture and using it and it was wonderful. I mean, it was Bill Moyer, Bill. Bill Maher, Bill Maher, Bill Maher was quoting that Janis Joplin song, the only thing? Jesus, it’s such a simple line.
Rick Archer: Oh, I think I know what you mean,
Louis Brawley: nothing left to lose some. Freedom means nothing left to lose. Right. Right. Something to that effect, and you just mumbled. That’s it. I think unless you lose everything, including your ideas, and I speak to myself on this, your ideas, your ambitions, your hopes. Unless all that goes, you’re stuck in the kind of merry go round, you know, and this is what I saw in him was someone who got thrown off of that. He was his expression. That’s why, you know, that’s why I respond to when you say levels and all these other things, because I just feel like, I know, I understand what you’re saying. And I’m not dismissing that that’s irrelevant. But I saw someone who seemed to have been thrown off of that. And it really fascinated me. Well, you know,
Rick Archer: I think what I, what I’m kind of referring to when I speak of levels, and this is kind of the the idea of integration in a way. I mean, I haven’t really brought that up. I interviewed a guy last week. And at one point in the interview, I said, You’re Israeli right? And he said, No, I’m not Israeli. And I think what he was I should have, I wasn’t quick on my toes. But I think what he was saying was pure consciousness is not Israeli. And I should have said, well, what’s on your passport?
Louis Brawley: That’s pretty, that’s pretty pretentious. That’s the kind of stuff that I find really offensive. I get really annoyed with these people that pretend like they’re not what they are.
Rick Archer: Well, I think he has the guy who’s had a genuine level of experience. No, but if you ask somebody their nationality, obviously, I’m not really not referring to pure conscious, you’re asking, What’s your nationality? Dude? Yeah, a
Louis Brawley: plane as a pure consciousness, you know, right, you end up.
Rick Archer: So what I’m getting at here is that, yeah, on the one hand, we can be script script clean of all our assumptions, and, you know, biases, and this and that, but also, if you’re going to live life in the world, you have to kind of put on those those suits, you know, there’s, there’s, you don’t necessarily have to like, abandon your family and penniless and you can play that game and yet not be duped by the by the Maya.
Louis Brawley: I do think, though, and this is probably where we would part opinions is that if and when, when, and if, if at all, this thing would happen to an individual, those things become no longer possible. No, no. No longer possible. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Why? In what sense? So you couldn’t hold down a job or raise your kids or anything? I don’t know about that. But what did you mean by no longer possible,
Louis Brawley: that that vocabulary would no longer have an effect on your actions?
Rick Archer: Maybe not, well,
Louis Brawley: I don’t know. But I suspect strongly. And I would be, yeah, I would put my eggs in that basket that that vocabulary would no longer have an effect on your action at all.
Rick Archer: I’m not sure what you mean by that. But let me just posit this, which is that, you know, I have a friend who lives here in my town who has had his, you know, his calamity when he was a young man. Now he’s in his 60s, he’s been living in what we might call an enlightened state for lack of a better word for decades now. He’s raised a family married has two kids. He’s an artist, he works like yourself. But he works in a company produces beautiful pieces of art, owns a car has investments, you know, he’s he’s living by all appearances, a totally normal life. If you talk to him about his actual inner experience of life, what’s going on as he walks down the trail with you on a walk or something like that? Isn’t another world, you know, completely different than the average person experiences. But he’s so well integrated? That there’s no comp there’s no possibility the people who are just listening to this and audio can’t see you scrunching your face?
Louis Brawley: I, I cringe
Rick Archer: when Yeah, why? Why are you cringing with that? Why can’t there be that kind of integration?
Louis Brawley: All of this? And heaven too?
Rick Archer: Yeah, exactly. I think that 200% of life.
Louis Brawley: I know nothing about your friend. I can’t speak to his situation at all, I would absolutely have no idea. But I cannot imagine that one could be stripped of the burden of this parallel thinking and carry on without, you know, somehow I feel that it just wouldn’t. wouldn’t look like that. But you know, how the hell would I know? Man, I can only say this. I would only say this. I don’t know, your friends situation. And I can’t speak to anybody else. But I can only
Rick Archer: and he’s just one example. I could say, Yeah, I
Louis Brawley: know. I feel like there’s a lot of people who are having amazing experiences, and there may be various levels of consciousness that can be experienced. I’m sure there are. It’s just the fact that there are sure. But I suppose I would have to then say that that? Yeah, I don’t know. I just,
Rick Archer: you’re skeptical that that’s possible.
Louis Brawley: I’m skeptical of the claims. I’m not making claims.
Rick Archer: In fact, he refuses to be interviewed, because he doesn’t want to go public. He’s very private. But you know, so he’s not out to prove anything. But I’m just holding that up as an example of that, that of the of the degree of integration. That’s possible. It’s not necessarily see, I think this is not necessary to come across as a crazy man and to be enlightened or vice. You know, it’s not the not the enlightened people, I’m using that word just because it’s convenient word are going to necessarily stand out in a crowd or act, act on it all act inappropriately in social situations, they can be, for all intents and purposes, completely integrated with their families, their societies and everything else, and yet have living in inners experience living in an inner world, so to speak, that is quite out of the ordinary. So yeah, just
Louis Brawley: there’s a line that was this really beautiful line that I I’ve heard it several times. But he said, I’m not in conflict with the society exactly the way it is. There’s no conflict with that. I never saw him behave in a way that would get him arrested. He never said anything inappropriate to a person that wasn’t capable of taking it. He was only outrageous with his friends. No, no, I mean, the ever I never saw him deliberately go out and hurt someone’s feelings. But I did see there was a complete disengagement from the life that I know and experience as a personality, you know. And I think for me, those key things, again, were money and sex. Because, you know, and I can’t make an argument for these things, right. And I’m not trying to sound like a prude. But I feel like that this bird seed phenomena that is described so well in the terminology of Hinduism, which I’m not subscribing to, I’m just saying that I did see these examples after he was gone. These descriptions and they somehow ring true. And, you know, that’s just my little opinion. And obviously, as you’re pointing out here, I’ve been deeply influenced by this man. But the inability to function sexually seems to be a part of it, you know, and I think that has to do with this some something which is curiously human in this maybe when a human being is completely you, I don’t know what you would call that. I don’t actually know because I’m, this is where I, I’m now in the realm of speculation. So
Rick Archer: yeah, I know. It’s tempting to drift into speculation. Well, as I say, My friend has two kids, and those were post awakening pregnancies. So what I’m what I was suggesting here is that ug is not the only template of what you know and and the variety the diversity of an awakened people is perhaps almost as diverse as the diversity of humanity itself there, it can show up in so many different forms householder recluse, you know, crazy man, sane man, business person bomb, there can just be so many different Chantal, so many different instruments through which that is realized, and like the external appearances are just not going
Louis Brawley: to fall into a neat cubby hole. And there’s no way to prove anything, either. No,
Rick Archer: of course not. I mean, you’re the only one that’s there at your graduation, so to speak. And you know, so nobody can, cannot do that. No one can give you the stamp of approval that others could agree upon. Yeah, so we all hope to reach our own conclusions.
Louis Brawley: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a funny business. Yeah. It’s very, very strange.
Rick Archer: In a way, it’s the most intangible thing that we can possibly talk about her experience. And yet there’s this huge sort of, you know, historical fascination with it.
Louis Brawley: Yeah, I think that’s, you know, as a young person, I totally rejected religion. And because I thought, you know, this is such a perfect tool for manipulating people, what better way to make money off of people than to claim that some guy told you, like, some guy in the main office said, You owe me 50 bucks, or you’re gonna go to hell, you know, I mean, what a great setup. And it continues to be, I think, because people are so disconnected from from their, their own natural state.
Rick Archer: Right. And I think that cynicism is totally justified. I mean, I look at all the fuss they make over the Pope, you know, and I think so what, who cares what this guy said.
Louis Brawley: Look at that life. I went to the Vatican. And I just remember walking in thinking, this is obscene. Right? And it’s just money here. And this is supposed to be all about service. And what is it service and selflessness? Yeah, good. God. I mean, that goddamn column over there could feed of African country, you know, yeah. And then that column over there could feed a US country now. I mean, like several states in the United States. I mean, yeah. It’s obscene. I feel like it’s also one reason that I’m very touchy about these people that could make claims and then go out and make a lot of money off of this stuff. Because I really get it gets in my sticks in my craw that it’s such an easy ploy to prey on the gullibility of these poor people that feel like Oh, that guy knows, you know, and he’s saying this, and that’s why I get worked up about it. Yeah, I think that’s why I was so impressed with ug to was that I really saw this guy lives like a, he lives what he speaks, you know, he had all the people giving him money, and he gave it away. I saw that happen. So I was impressed by that. And then the fact that you know, I remember sitting in his apartment after he, when I you know, he kicked us all out at the end there. I was helping him when he was sick. And then he was like, Are you people go back where you came, whatever, get out of here. So. So we left and I went back to his apartment and brick, there was nothing in there to distinguish that any particular person lived there. So here’s a guy who lived what I thought I was interested in. And I found it very unnerving. Like, wow, this is really like, he had nothing, you know. And that was a little spooky. I have to say, you know, when you’re faced with that sort of thing, it’s, it can be unnerving.
Rick Archer: So when he died, was there like a big hole in your life? Did it take you? Are you still kind of are you still grieving? In a sense?
Louis Brawley: You’ve man I can’t tell you.
Rick Archer: Because it because it had been so intense.
Louis Brawley: God damn intense. And I’m glad for every second of it. It was a fucking night. Excuse me, sorry, are we on the air? It was a nightmare at times. But I knew the whole time that there was good reason for me to stick it out. That this was the most unique and interesting thing that could ever have happened to me. And once he was gone. The interesting thing about the experience with him for me is that it just kind of makes its way into the world, in my life, in ways that I cannot explain or justify to anyone, it’s just there, and all the things that he was talking about. I see around me all the time, all those funny phrases that sounded so ridiculous and absurd, like the money Maxim’s, I have a friend that made a beautiful recording of them, this Indian woman with a voice like an angel. Money is the only thing worth living for, you know, this, under the date of them. It’s a 10 minute passage. And it’s, I sometimes listen to it when I’m going to work and I look around, and I work in the art world where somebody takes a shit in the corner and gets 200,000 bucks for it. You think I’m exaggerating? I can give you concrete examples of this. Yeah. And I realized wow, money is it man. You Money is that the money is the baseline of our consciousness. Until and unless something like that snaps you out, you’re in there. So all those things that I that drove me crazy, you know, and for some reason, my relationship with him was so peculiar and perfect. I mean, I was a smart ass and he’s smart, as he outsmart asked me every time. You know. So it was a times like having a little annoying little brother. And at other times, like this angelic presence. At other times, it was like Satan incarnate up my ass. You know, I mean, it was intense in every possible way. So when he was gone, I felt like I had my life back in one way. And I had it back like, nobody can ever take this from me again. Like, and after that encounter, I felt like, you know, this, there’s nothing, you know that nothing was wasted there. I did not make one wrong move to hang out with the guy. It was for sure. A good investment and that sense.
Rick Archer: There’s a line in the Gita where Krishna says men approached me. So do I favor them? And did you find that like, you know, you were the smart asset. And so he he kind of, you know, it was there was a tit for tat kind of relationship, but then someone else with a completely different personality, he would morph into a completely different response. And it was bizarre
Louis Brawley: to see Adric because I say, I mean, they were very quiet people who I’ve since talked to who, you know, there was a woman in India young woman, she was 13 when she met him. And her parents were both really intensely seeking. And she was this kid kind of lost in this world of the adults, you know, screaming at each other because then meditation was being interrupted and getting involved with Swamis and pundits. And here’s this kid, you know, like, she meets ug, and he just very sweetly, you know, engages with her in a couple of very simple ways that she to this, like 10 years later says that changed my whole life. You know, she was at one point upstairs in the house where we would meet in India, he she kind of gets sick of the whole scene and go upstairs and watch TV. She talked the old man up there into letting her watch MTV, you know? So she’s up there watching MTV, which her parents forbid, right? And she suddenly feels this presence over her shoulder. And she looks up and it’s huge. And she’s terrified. Now, I’m
Rick Archer: screwed. Yeah.
Louis Brawley: And he goes, and she changes the channel. And he goes, Why did you do that? I was watching. And she said, this whole thing just kind of melted for her. And he, he kind of watched with her for a while. And then he left. And then she felt these little tiny encounters. Like you were just saying, it wasn’t me. It was every person that came in contact with him, he responded to in kind. So that was a nice thing to see. That’s
Rick Archer: sweet. Yeah, glad we brought that point out.
Louis Brawley: He has a reputation for being a real hard ass, but I can tell you he did things that would bring tears to your eyes, just like those kinds of little tiny, tiny little gestures, you know?
Rick Archer: Yeah. Kind of just intuitively knowing what each person needed.
Louis Brawley: Yeah, not making a big deal. I mean, I once tried to thank him for something. Got, that was a severe heat blast. And I understood why, you know, he did not want people to feel what’s the word? You know, when you do something for someone, and you expect something in return?
Rick Archer: Right? obligated or obligated? Or
Louis Brawley: any of those words were like, responsibility, obligation? You know, that kind of thing was the anathema to him. Right? Did it because it was needed. You know, like with that kid, it was needed that someone recognized that this is a kid, she should be allowed to do what she’s doing. Yeah, right sake. I mean, there was one guy who was in his room jerking off, I’m not exaggerating, he comes in. And Youjizz immediately starts talking about pornography and masturbation. And why do people have a problem with this?
Rick Archer: You know, so he would put the guy’s mind and he’s kind of like,
Louis Brawley: a human being. There’s nothing wrong with that. I mean, you know. So those kinds of things were very immediately communicated to people and there were countless descriptions, and I was in the room so many times and people would, he’d be screaming at one person. And the person on the other side of the room in the corner would be feeling it. Because he was he was discreet enough to realize that that person in the corner couldn’t handle it to take a direct hit. Yeah, but they knew exactly what he was talking about. Interesting. And I felt that from him at times as well, you know, it was a great valet to watch. The theater was incredible.
Rick Archer: I had that thing, that same experience with Maharshi. One time where he was, there was something that I was responsible for that I could pletely screwed up. And he was screaming at everybody about the fact that this this thing had been screwed up. And I was sitting there just feeling like mortified, you know, because because I knew it was about me, but then finally said, Well, who’s responsible for this? And someone said, Rick Archer, and it was like, Oh, okay. Yeah. You just kind of went on to something else. Yeah. But you know, less than thinking. I have agree. But I couldn’t have taken the direct blast, I don’t think.
Louis Brawley: Yeah, it’s funny how they know. Yeah, people they sense? Well, it’s
Rick Archer: very often it’s very, it’s completely intuitive. I mean, not to tell too many Maharshi stories. But another time I was in Belgium with him. And he was speaking to an audience of 1000 people or something, and, and he was going on and on and on about some point. And later on, after the thing, I was standing up around his couch. And he was saying, I wonder why I was going on about that point so much. He said, there must be somebody in the audience that really needed to hear that, you know, but then that’s the point. It’s like, there’s this kind of cosmic intelligence that’s pulling the puppet strings. And very often, I probably all the time, at least, in Eugene’s experience, he wasn’t like this rationality that was driving him. He was just a force of nature.
Louis Brawley: Yeah, I think that’s what’s so fascinating about these people. Again, it’s like that thing where, where nobody’s really in charge. And there’s something very liberating about that kind of company. You know, he’s sort of like, I remember initially thinking, this is so ridiculous. So the first week I met him, I went to the hotel every day, and sat there thinking, What the hell am I sitting here for? You know, why am I bought, and at one point, I would fall asleep. Wake up thinking, this is really, really odd. And the irony of this is, I met him in the hotel room, across the street from where I first saw Jiddu Krishnamurti speak in New York City. So there was some
Rick Archer: that’s funny, and then you were in the same town in Switzerland, and the same place in India and I was
Louis Brawley: the parallels just go on and on. And how could anybody plan this, you know, some kid from the Irish Catholic kid from Ohio, ending up in their living room in Bangalore, with some nutty Indian sitting next to him, you know, smacking him on the head. None of this really adds
Rick Archer: up. There’s a saying, and I don’t know the Sanskrit but the saying is Brahman is the charioteer. And the implication is what we were just talking about with someone living in that state. They are not the charioteer. Yeah. Brahman is the charioteer, you know, and they’re just kind of like this force of nature that, you know, they themselves couldn’t often explain to you why it is they do what they do. They’re just on automatic.
Louis Brawley: It’s really wonderful to because I was able to go to India, as a person who had completely rejected, there were two places in my life that I was not interested in Switzerland, and India. Really, I mean, I was a New Yorker, I, in my mind, if not in my life, and I wanted to be like Jackson Pollock, or one of those guys, you know, I wanted to be an artist and American, you know, known thing. And then I ended up in Switzerland in India for years, with a guy who dismisses my paintings as the worst shit, he wouldn’t even wipe his ass with. You know,
Rick Archer: I think they get it down a notch or two.
Louis Brawley: Thank God, because my life is so much easier. And what’s interesting is that my fascination for these Hindu texts came from watching someone about whom those things are written. You know, so I got to see it from the inside out. Because I would not have had the patience to find the best stuff that’s there. And because of his company, I was around other people. And this is the interesting part about Eugene is that he seems so radical. And he was so extreme. But the core FET followers or friends of his in India, were all very serious Indian seekers. And they knew all this stuff. And the people who were really sincere, immediately spotted this in him, like, Oh, this is, this is what it looks like. And the pundits and the intellectuals over there, who were steeped in it intellectually, would walk right out of the room. Because he would look at them and say, you know, a tape recorder could do a better job than you are. Is that operating in your life? That was his question, does that operate in your life?
Rick Archer: Kind of reminds me of Jesus railing against the scribes and the Pharisees and you know, and kicking out the money changers in the temple and just being around radical dude who rejected intellectual understanding, you know, mere intellectual understanding, and
Louis Brawley: because if you’re living something, you’re not going to have patience for somebody’s petty interpretation of something that you live. Right. Right. That doesn’t have any room anymore. Sorry, Powell. Go get go somewhere else, you know, and he was the first one to encourage people look, if you want, the easier, softer way, please go find a guru. Because I’m not going to be I’m not going to do it for you. Right. You know, I mean, his first line to me was I’m sorry that you are here. The best thing for you to do would be to pack your bag and go, because you’re not going to get nuttin here.
Rick Archer: So what did you get it looking back on those five years in the way you feel now, how has your life been transformed if it has by the whole phenomenon?
Louis Brawley: It’s funny because I think I’ve been disabused of a lot of useless ideas. And at a, at the most basic level, I lived in my studio, and had a steady job, and a life in a career track that was frustrating the hell out of me. And since meeting him, I no longer have a home, I pretty much trashed my career. And I’m feel more less stressed, you know, in terms of like dealing with life’s demands than I ever did. So somehow things got easier without my really, I don’t know how that happened. Really?
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, those aren’t exactly sales pitches, you know, what I mean, get into uj, and you’ll be homeless and jobless.
Louis Brawley: I’m not jobless. Right, and I did this is the interesting thing is that I’m more efficient in my life than I was. And my life is much more what I had hoped it would be. Without my somehow having orchestrated that
Rick Archer: right away that you couldn’t have anticipated or orchestrated, right? I tell
Louis Brawley: you, man, and I work in the art world, and the fact that everything he said is true. And that’s why I couldn’t succeed as an artist, because I can’t get up there and say, I’m a great brilliant, you know, and I believe that I’m, you know, you have to, you have to pitch something to the world. I said to him once, look, I’m looking at you, and I’m seeing what all these people are claiming is an operation there. Why are there 10 of us sitting here? What’s the explanation for this, please. And he said, If you want to be famous, you have to sell something. Bottom line, I refuse any of it. That was it. And that is, you know, if you become invisible, your life gets really interesting. It opens up in ways. I mean, I learned from him that a shopping mall, which I used to find the it was an anathema to a New York hipster living downtown was a really interesting place. You know, the the little exchanges in the world that I was rushing through are where life is happening. And with this guy with all these endless, absurd, torturous drives through four countries in three states, and you know, shitty food and weird going into someone’s house and being thrown across the living room floor and like, What the hell am I doing here? Once he was gone? I kind of dusted myself off and I realized, wow, a lot of my baggage got dropped along the way here. This is kind of okay. You know, I’d be walking along thinking I should be more worried about things than I am. What’s wrong with me? How come? I’m not thinking about you know, this, that and the other? And then I would think, wow, so things have changed. But, you know, like you said, it’s, it’s not exactly the sales pitch.
Rick Archer: Right. Yeah. Interesting.
Louis Brawley: Funny, funny life, I tell you, that’s for sure. Yeah.
Rick Archer: It’s a fascinating account. And obviously, it’s not something that anybody else can repeat now, because he’s gone. But, you know, although they might find some other teacher, but, and there are similarities in terms of being in this kind of Maelstrom, you know, around a teacher like that, or like anything, just this tornado. And like, when it’s over, you think, Holy mackerel, what was that? And yet? Yeah, well, you know, I’m not quite the same person that I was,
Louis Brawley: well, Rick, I never imagined in my entire life, that I would write a book, right? Then I write this book, and I rewrite it 14 times, it gives me something to do while I’m cruising around the world being homeless, you know, it’s a great thing. When you’re an artist, people look at you like, Oh, that’s nice. You know, I have friends who are then when you’re a writer, they go Oh, really, that’s because I think they think that you might write about them. So I felt I was getting, you know, kudos for being a homeless, you know, wandering idiot. So then I get to publishers, the biggest publisher in India, and, you know, a non duality press in the UK, which these people were fantastic to work with. And it all just happens like that first book. I mean, this is ridiculous, really. But I also discovered that I love to write you’re good at it. I really enjoyed the whole thing. And he was the one I was sitting there when he first fell sitting with him at night after everybody left and I was making notes to myself
Rick Archer: fell many he had a fallen broken bone or something. thing or he, I think
Louis Brawley: he strained a leg muscle, okay, and he couldn’t walk without assistance. So then I got this, you know, incredible 24 hour exposure to the guy, which was bizarre in its own way. So I started making notes. And then he started saying, Oh, look, he’s writing a book. Oh my god, I’m just making a don’t. Let’s not get out. Don’t get excited there, champ. I’m making my notes. And then at some point, it became a refuge for me, because it just got so crazy. And it was a place where I could go and like, note it down. This is crazy, you know? Yeah. But it was. And also then after he was gone, it was a great way to kind of process the whole thing, like, how do you pick up people would ask me, Rick, like, I wasn’t surrounded by spiritual people until I met him. You know, I was surrounded by artists or people that I worked with, or whatever. And I never discussed these things. So when people would ask me, So what do you do? You go to meditate? Well, well, not really. We go to the mall and have coffee. What? Then how do you explain, you know, what the hell are you doing up there? Or I’d come back after a month and the guys I was working with like, so you’re enlightened yet? How’s it how’s life on the mountain, you know, you’re gonna get a diaper and set up a business. So it became a way of explaining what happened, you know? And it wasn’t, it was. So it all kind of falls into place, in a funny way.
Rick Archer: So you’re still a relatively young guide you? Thank you. It’s hard to tell when you have no hair, but you look pretty Yeah. These fine? Do you feel like you’ll ever associate yourself with another teacher? Do you find yourself reading or visiting other teachers? or anything like that? Or do you feel like you’ve done that been there? And you’re just gonna kind of do whatever you do for the rest of your life? Or is it hard to say?
Louis Brawley: Very hard to say? I mean, there were there have been people, I thought there was maybe, you know, maybe more that I should be doing, you know, initially when he was gone. And I was fascinated by a couple of people. But eventually, everything came back to him because the experience was so intense and overwhelming. And I have very close friends that I’ve met through him, and I continue to discuss these things with them, you know, the implications of this? And what about that, and you know, what he was saying here, and because I still write about him, I’m pretty wrapped up in what he was saying. And I just have no idea, you know, I cannot imagine that I would find anyone, of course, there would be no one like that. But I’m very fortunate to have friends who were deeply affected by him in my life. So I have people I can bounce stuff off of, and who the hell knows. I wasn’t expecting to meet him, that’s for sure.
Rick Archer: True. And he didn’t teach practices, obviously. So I presume you don’t have like some kind of spiritual practice, you do daily basis or anything like that.
Louis Brawley: You know, it’s funny, I’m not supposed to I feel like I’m but my since meeting him, my obsession with the material is such that I cannot have one waking hour without wondering how all this is processing in here. And I think that’s probably its own practice.
Rick Archer: I kind of know what you mean. I mean, I have a meditation practice myself. But aside from that, I’m just kind of obsessed with reading this stuff, talking to people, you know, just in a much more diverse and eclectic way than I once was, you know, when I was just one teacher, but, you know, it’s kind of the focal point of my life and probably always will be.
Louis Brawley: Yeah, when somebody plants the seed in your head, if you want one thing, and one thing, only, then you will surely
Rick Archer: get that seek and you shall find,
Louis Brawley: but that will bring you to a corner that’s really tight. And so I find myself wiggling out of that corner every day. You know, and I think that’s its own practice.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, and I think that, you know, things come to fruition in time, just as with Yugi, after a couple of decades of you know, seeking and obsessing about this stuff. He sat down at a bench and something happened to him.
Louis Brawley: Or Amanda my mom just got born and looked up at the mango tree. Yeah, how do you predict this stuff? It’s ridiculous
Rick Archer: right? So you know for all you know, you can be walking down the street this afternoon and bingo some dramatic shift could take place.
Louis Brawley: I hope so. But most of it happens at three right because I gotta do my laundry you know?
Rick Archer: Well, you know chop wood carry water. You can still do the laundry after all right? I see how I forget. Or like Jack Kornfield said after the ecstasy the laundry, so yeah, there you go. You can do it.
Louis Brawley: Ecstatic laundry doing right.
Rick Archer: Great. Well, this has been fun. Fun conversation fun book. And you know, I mean, I don’t just mean that in a trivial sense. It’s really enjoyable talking to and it was enjoy reading the book and dipping into the UG world a little bit. Oh, I’d heard from him before that was about him before that was a friend of mine who had seen him in India and came back to God. He’s a horrible man. It was terrible. I left.
Louis Brawley: I took a friend from the JK discussion group and he had the same reaction. Yeah,
Rick Archer: I realized there was more to it. And of course, your your book paints a much more multi colored picture than Well, that’s good. Yeah, it does it. It really captures you know, your love of Him, I think, which was beautiful. And there’s just despite all the craziness and the difficulties and all this love that shines through, and it’s really sweet.
Louis Brawley: Yeah, I would have been, I would have been most objectionable. I would have found that word horrifying. But there’s no way around it.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s it’s evident, you know. And even at one point in this interview, you almost began to cry. At certain point, when we’re talking about siddhi. I could see the emotion welling up. So it’s very sweet.
Louis Brawley: Well, Rick, I I just really appreciate your giving me your time here. I, I’ve seen your interviews, I think you’re doing a great service there. And I’m always surprised when someone takes an interest. So it’s a pleasure to be able to talk about it.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, thanks. I really appreciate everything you’ve done. And you know, the efforts you’ve gone through to make this book and everything. It’s, I think it’s worth reading. I think for people, it’ll give them a different perspective on spirituality, and perhaps our our conversation will be a taste of that. And they can decide whether they want to read it or not. But
Louis Brawley: I should put a warning on the label those warnings.
Rick Archer: And I’ll link to the book from your page on batgap.com to you know, it’s called goner by Lewis, probably the final travels of ug Krishnamurti. And do you have any wrap up points before I make mine?
Louis Brawley: I guess now, Rick, no. I mean, if I haven’t said it yet. I can’t say it now.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, it’s been a good conversation.
Louis Brawley: Thank you very much.
Rick Archer: Yeah, you’re welcome. So let me just make a couple of wrap up points to those who are who have been listening or watching, which is that this interview has been part or is part of an ongoing series. And there are 170, something of them now all archived both on YouTube and on batgap.com. Bat gap. That’s the easiest place to kind of check it out because there’s a alphabetical listing there. And also a chronological listing of all the people I’ve interviewed and also a page announcing the people I have yet to interview, including a link where you can send in recommendations if there’s somebody you would like to see interviewed. There’s also a discussion group that crops up around each interview, which usually elicits hundreds of posts, people really get into it. There is a donate button, which I appreciate people clicking if they feel inclined. There’s a tab where you can sign up for an email notification each time a new interview is posted. And there’s a link to an audio podcast so you can subscribe to this in iTunes, listen to it on your iPod and not have to sit in front of a computer in order to to participate. So feel free to check all that out. And thanks for listening or watching and we’ll see you next time.