This is a rough draft generated by Otter.ai. Someone is proofreading it, but if you would like to proofread others, please contact me.
Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. Buddha the gas pump is an ongoing series of interviews or conversations with spiritually Awakening people. And I’ve done nearly 500 of them now. And if this is new to you, and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to bat gap, comm bat gap and look under the Yeah, look under the past interviews menu, that’s where the previous ones are. And you’ll see them organized and categorized and variety of ways. This program is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. We don’t do advertising or anything except for those annoying little ads in the beginning of YouTube videos. So if you feel like supporting it, if you appreciate it, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the site. My guest today is Nancy Nethercott. Nancy sent me a bio, but it’s kind of a description of what she actually went through. And I want her to actually describe that in her own words, rather than me just reading it. And thinking of her own words, Nancy is a poet and I don’t know a lot about poetry, but she sounds like a very good one to me. i She has a way with words. And I would say that she, I mean, you know what we talk about when we talk about enlightenment or higher consciousness and all that is really impossible to adequately put into words. So you have to kind of beat around the bush. But Nancy does a good job of, I think, expressing the inexpressible, through her words and through her poetry. So leave you all to be the judge of that as we have this conversation. This by the way, is Nancy’s book. This is it, Coyote, this, you’ve written several books, haven’t you, Nancy?
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah, I’ve got a four.
Rick Archer: Okay. Is that is what I just showed you most recent or something?
Nancy Neithercut: No, there’s another one that’s more recent, but it’s pure poetry. And that one has some, when I sent you has some non dual stuff in it. So I thought it would be more interesting to you.
Rick Archer: Okay, good. Yeah, it was interesting. And I also listened, you have a lot of videos online to listen to a lot of those.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah,
Rick Archer: So, let’s kind of get into how you ended up where you are today, so to speak. I mean, a lot of people I interview had some interesting stuff going on, even when they were children. And in many cases, they kind of lost it, and then eventually, somewhat sometimes painfully regained it. Do you fit that mold? Or was your childhood and adolescence pretty conventional,
Nancy Neithercut: um, outwardly, I suppose it was really conventional. Um, I didn’t really notice what I called the pain of being alive until I was around eight. So I think it hits some people earlier. And I spent many, many years in severe depression, not knowing what it was. So but I probably looked like an ordinary kid, although I remember relatives saying, you know, what happened to that laughing happy child used to be? And I snapped back at them like, you know, I don’t know. Yeah,
Rick Archer: and the pain of being alive. anything different than we all go through? Or did you somehow have a more acute sense that there was more to life than you or anyone around you was living and that, that, that awareness kind of made? The ordinary things that we experience in life seem inadequate?
Nancy Neithercut: I guess it’s just that feeling that there’s something missing, which I think a lot of people have, it seemed very acute. I didn’t seem to notice anyone else who had that, especially at a young age. And I remember talking to my parents about it, and they get laughed at me kind of like, well, little kids don’t get depressed. So I wouldn’t have any words for it. Except for now, I would say it was just the pain of imaginary separation. You know, and that longing for that to see through that, but I wouldn’t even come close to that as a kid. Which is an
Rick Archer: interesting question, though. You know, because, I mean, I’d say that everybody has that longing or that pain of separation, but most people don’t have a clue that they do have that pain. They might be frustrated or unfulfilled for various reasons, but It almost sounds like in your case, there was a, an inkling of the reason for it, even though you couldn’t have articulated it.
Nancy Neithercut: Yes, I’m sure. As I told you before, in my teens, when I listened to all the love songs, you know, I believed all of those, you know, I thought, well, maybe that’s what’s missing. Because it is in a way of love, you know, love is a good word for unicity for No, no separation. So it could have been that I didn’t really have a glimpse of that dark cloud going away until my early 20s. So it was a lot of years. This just, uh, you know, I read voraciously. And anything I could get my hands on, I never really came across any Eastern philosophy, but I read Western philosophy and, you know, psychology books and lots of science fiction and this and my brother was a spiritual seeker, I suppose. So I read all of his books about chakras. And, you know, Seth speaks all that stuff that was going on in the 70s. I read at all. And I even I know you’re a TM guy even did my 14th birth. For my 14th birthday, I got initiated into Tm. And so I did that. I never stuck with it. But it’s probably just a seeker, voraciously seeking. But not. I never would have called it awakening or enlightenment. I had no idea what I was looking for. But I knew there was there was something I was I was that seeking. And it was very, very painful. Yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Do you have any idea what caused those glimpses you had in your 20s?
Nancy Neithercut: Oh, you know, when I was 21 or two, I can’t remember. But I took some acid. And I was out. I was talking to nature. And it was like, Oh, I remember. You know, I remember the All I remember the beauty. I remember this perfection. And I was never I’ve never was slammed back into the deep, dark pit again, really, until the final process. But the glimpses were there. Not just when I was taking the drugs, because that just lasted on and off for a couple years. But they became it’s hard to look back. Because when I look back, it’s like, I’m in it’s it was always obvious. I just wasn’t noticing it. Yeah, you know,
Rick Archer: everybody says that, you know, yeah, but when awakening happens, oh, yeah, I’ve always done this. It’s always been obvious. And yet,
Nancy Neithercut: yeah, it wasn’t, you know, so no, you just don’t notice it. And that, then it’s just always obvious. It’s never not obvious. It’s just spectacular. Yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: So when you say that the acid gave you some glimpses or some kind of like a recollection of something. So almost the way you expressed it, it sounds like some primordial memory of something that you knew deep down, but had glossed over forgotten. Is that the way you’re putting it?
Nancy Neithercut: At the time, it felt like I had forgotten it. Yeah. It was like, Oh, yes, this is a big wow, you know, this is this awe and beauty that I remembered as a kid, though, it wasn’t just remembering that it was there again. Yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: It’s interesting that that kind of snapped you out of the depression, they’re actually using psilocybin and things like that at Johns Hopkins and NYU in places to help people who are chronically depressed, and very often one, one dose, you know, under proper supervision will change things, you know, more or less permanently, apparently, I’ve read that. Okay, um, so then though, things started to really grind for you, they started to get kind of intense and sounds like you went through a real cooking process of kind of a dark night of the soul kind of thing where you were just really working through a lot of stuff and crying and suffering and your heart is on fire and all that kind of stuff. When once you can, like, take us into that.
Nancy Neithercut: It was when I turned 50, although I’m never a big birthday person. So it wasn’t because of that.
Rick Archer: We just skipped that I hadn’t been doing rd so we just jumped ahead. 25 years
Nancy Neithercut: Oh, yeah, well, in between times, I was just living a normal will not not normal life, but a life of traveling and odd jobs and, you know, ended up in a beautiful place to live and at times during the meditation time is reading, reading reading books, and then other times not so it was not consistent. And at the end, there was about a year and a half while I was meditating a lot, and I got really high and I was watching the breath and it was I was very, very high. But I knew that it was a it felt like it was contrived in a way and I was that last winter before this 50th birthday, I had read in an Alan Watts book, he said something like, a hiccup is the same as a bolt of lightning. And what do you mean by that? Well, I thought it meant that it’s all the process of nature, or that it was in what I thought it as the that the inside is the same as the outside. And so that’s what I really wanted to grok more than anything else, I kind of knew that that was some kind of secret that that was waiting to be seen through. And so I used to meditate and say, Oh, the wind blows my blood flows. And you know, it’s really trying to see this. And then finally, a few months later, after that, I just snapped and thought, nothing I have ever done in my entire life has brought me one bit closer to this elusive goal. And I don’t know what it is. And I truly for about a month, I was just stunned. I was just stunned. And that’s when the crashing and falling began after that month. It was I had about four days of just at the end of the month, seeing everything is perfect. And then the slamming, and the deep, deep despair, alternating with intense, overwhelming joy, and back again and back again. And through this period, I noticed that beliefs were just going away. Because someone would say something. For example, someone would mentioned astrology. And I think, oh, I don’t believe that anymore. You know, and then you’d go, I never really did. So some beliefs. I noticed particularly and some Only later, and sometimes huge swathes, probably. And then about six months after that began, I really couldn’t tell the difference between joy and sorrow. I mean, it was just, it was fabulous. It was just not. It was just this beautiful, unnamed emotion. No matter what was happening.
Rick Archer: There’s something you wrote here that I thought would be worth reading. He said, I write often about the ripping and shredding and the total evisceration that occurred before this profound shift in perspective. Before the shift, it was a life of fear. You also said and continuing on. After that there were six months of extreme sadness and intense despair, alternating with unspeakable joy, peppered with sudden bouts of impending doom. I noticed beliefs about who I was and what the world was, like, what the world is like, catch fire and burn, and become transparent and fall away. Like what you’re just saying. I felt lighter and lighter. And notice that memories and thoughts of future and even what was seemingly going on was were losing their grip. Quite suddenly, after six months, I noticed that joy and sorrow had merged and I truly could not tell the difference. Suspended as nothing. I felt like, oh, maybe that maybe I’m getting ahead here. He jumped ahead. Okay, so I won’t read that right now. You can respond to what I just said.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah, that’s what it was like, it was a lot of hell and a lot of heaven. Yeah. Yeah. And then, I mean, when I realized the joy and sorrow were the same. I knew that this was going to be good. You know, I knew it was going to be good. And I have to say to that, during that whole time, I never tried to fight it. You know, I never even it never even occurred to me that I could try to stop this avalanche. Basically, affliction that was washing through me. Yeah,
Rick Archer: you just laced lay still and let the surgeon operate.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah, it was like, and then the next six months was just a lot of anxiety, just I would lay awake at night, and I was just gripped by unseen terror. And I really didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t, I didn’t have a map of this, you know, or really know what was going on. But it was just a lot more of anxiety and fear. For several months, lots of things happened along the way. Like, I remember at one point thinking that I was on a path, you know, and I was going somewhere. And and I realized that that belief would have to go to, you know, the, it’s like, almost like saying goodbye. I remember really crying then. Because, for example earlier with a lot of beliefs that about myself that were going away were beliefs that I really liked. You know, and that’s really hard to you know, the ones that you don’t like, you know, no problem. But when you realize that everything’s got to go, it just hits you like a punch in the gut. That it’s that it’s so severe, so severe.
Rick Archer: I want to get into a discussion about beliefs with you and practices and all kinds of points. But before we do that, let’s talk about something you just said which was that you felt that you didn’t know what was going on when this stuff was going on. And now in retrospect having come through the to the other side of it, what do you feel what’s going on
Nancy Neithercut: basically, belief in belief was was was going away.
Rick Archer: And that accounted for all the fear and heartburn and anxiety and roller coaster emotions and all that other stuff that was just all because of
Nancy Neithercut: looking for handholds looking for safety, and not being able to find it ever. It’s terrifying. When your whole world flies apart, it’s it is terrifying. Quite at the very end. I just felt this because, you know, everyone says that, you know, no one gets this, you know, you don’t get it. It doesn’t have a person who gets it, right. And I remember trying to talk myself out of it. Like, why do I want this so much? I don’t know what it is. But why do I want this so much. And it felt like a heartache. It just felt like, I’m worse than when my mom died really just this horrible, horrible heartache that there was, you know, and I think now I was kind of mourning my own death. In some ways.
Rick Archer: I was just gonna say that it’s because you were dying, you know? Yes. Yeah. Yeah, that’s even closer to home than your mom die.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah. And so it was just a couple weeks later than when the shift happened.
Rick Archer: Yeah. What you talk about, of course, is not unprecedented. There have been various writers throughout history that have described similar things. Perhaps that’s what St. John was the cross was talking about, then with the dark night of the soul, and many others have addressed going through a purgatory of some sort before breaking through. And as I understand it, let’s see, if you agree, there’s a there’s just a lot of dross that needs to be cleared out before we can sort of be a fit vehicle for awakening, you describe it in terms of beliefs, and I’m sure that’s part of it, there could also be physiological things that need to be shifted and adjusted and purified or purged or whatever, before the physiology can be a clear channel for that. Awakening. You agree with that? Or do you want to discuss that at all?
Nancy Neithercut: Um, I wouldn’t recognize any really physiological thing except for that heart hurting. And then, of course, when the shift happens, it is psychological and physiological, you know, when it when it actually happens? You’re just like, you know, do you want me to talk about that part? Yeah. And I
Rick Archer: just before you do, I just want to say that, you know, we don’t necessarily, we’re not necessarily aware of all the subtle mechanics of physiological change that may be taking place not only in terms of a Western understanding of physiology, which is what also perhaps in terms of the Eastern like, the heart burning could have, could be thought of as the heart chakra sort of undergoing a transformation or purification, they talk about the noddies in the body and the Kundalini and how it has to go through all these channels. And if the channels are blocked, then you experience all kinds of different things as the blockage is being cleared. And that whole model of of explaining this, you know,
Nancy Neithercut: yeah, it sounds like an explanation. I don’t use it, but that sounds valid, you know, yeah.
Rick Archer: So okay, so before, what we were just about to go into, was it about the heart? And then I know, I
Nancy Neithercut: just want to go into the actual shift. Oh, yeah. Yes. Okay. So because this is the most amazing part, okay, yeah. So my husband and I cleaned houses for a living. And so I was cleaning this woman’s stove, and I had the knob off the stove. And I was just, you know, cleaning it. And all of a sudden, without any warning at all. It’s like, my hand became the stove. knob, became the rag, became the space became the wall. And there were no things there was just no separation, there was just nothing, it was just like this, the blind liquidity, and yet, you know, everything continued that my hand kept moving. And it’s so shocking, because there’s a huge physiological release to and I thought, you know, maybe I should be my body should crumpled to the floor, because there’s no one holding it up anymore. Or maybe I’ve been peeing my pants, but because there’s no one doing anything anymore. And it was obvious that life had always done itself. It was just so obvious. So that’s the and that’s never gone away.
Rick Archer: That’s great. So um, you should have started a spiritual movement, which involves stove cleaning, could made a killing.
Nancy Neithercut: Well, you know, I’d rather get the money from cleaning houses. People do think that, you know, what the person was doing might be magical, but it’s it’s really non circumstantial. You know, God that wasn’t like there was a high fever of a pitch of the seeking, yes. But that personal Armageddon, you can’t make that happen. I mean, that just happens on its own. Yeah burning,
Rick Archer: you know, there seems to be I mean, there’s different camps on this point, you know, some, some leaning toward personal effort, some leaning toward grace, some sort of having a both and perspective that, you know, grace and, and some personal effort involved. There’s a few points in Patanjali, I wanted to read and see what you think about them from the Yoga Sutras, he says, some who have attained higher states or no unmanifest nature, are drawn into birth in this world by their remaining latent impressions of ignorance, and more naturally come to these states of Samadhi. Next verse, others follow a systematic path by which the higher Samadhi is attained. Those who pursue their practices with intensity of feeling vigor and firm conviction, achieve concentration and the fruits, they’re more quickly compared to those a medium or lesser intensity. So for me, those verses sort of evoke a cart and horse argument, in which it’s really hard to say whether, you know, because a person had this sort of dogged determination and, and application of the, you know, of various practices, perhaps, or just focus on this, they achieve awakening, or whether awaken because Awakening was on the horizon, they just function that way and felt that way, and went through all this stuff. So and it wasn’t anything they were doing. So you know, what I mean by the cart and horse thing, it’s like, it’s hard to establish causality predicting the past or another kind of thing. It’s hard to say, which is the cart and which is the horse.
Nancy Neithercut: I think I was just wired that way. Because I know and have met so many people who probably suffered way more than me who have been more avid seekers than I have. And so I, I don’t know why some brains have this shift, and some don’t. And if I could, if I could give it away, I would, but I sure wouldn’t wish what I went through on anyone else, because it is so exceedingly painful, or it was for me.
Rick Archer: Yeah. But, you know, I think that
Rick Archer: almost everyone does go through something like that in, in the transitions, so, and maybe you just don’t go through it until you’re ready to go through it, you know. So it’s, it’s not something one can wish or wish for others. But you know, when the time has come for that, then you’re going to go through that sort of intensity.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah, the word notice you up? Yeah, yeah.
Rick Archer: There was a fellow I interviewed a few weeks ago who spent 18 years on death row. And it was a horrible thing. But he under those circumstances, he kept himself Damien Echols is his name. He kept himself sane by doing this in sort of intense spiritual practice while it was in this little concrete box, and, and it ruined it’s healthy as to wear dark glasses because it ruined his eyes. And it was really a hellish kind of situation. But he said, If I had to do over again, I would, because it placed me in a circumstance where I just had to sort of apply myself with that sort of intensity, and it bore fruit. I’m happy for the outcome. Okay, let’s talk about belief a little bit. You took you mentioned, a lot of beliefs were falling away. And you mentioned astrology. And I’ve heard you say you don’t believe in reincarnation or God or things, I don’t know if you still feel that way. But my attitude toward belief and see if you agree or not, is that every belief is, you can look at it scientifically, it’s a hypothesis. And there’s no point in making a big fuss about whether it’s true or not. It’s something that may or may not be true, and only some some kind of empirical experience can verify it or refute it. There could be evidence to favor evidence of the contrary. But people get themselves all in, you know, riled up about things that they haven’t experienced. And perhaps, and in many cases can’t prove. I mean, wars are fought over this so well,
Nancy Neithercut: because people are their beliefs. You know, maybe that’s it. Yeah. And so we challenge someone’s beliefs and their whole self identity is challenged. So I’m not going to say don’t have any beliefs. Now, I’m just saying that it’s nothing is believed. You know, like, what would you be without beliefs and preferences? Yeah,
Rick Archer: I can get that. I mean, in my own case, I believe things but if they turn out not to be true, then okay, fine. I’d rather know the truth. Then hang on to some belief. Yeah, truth
Nancy Neithercut: is truth is also a belief that there is anything true. I mean, it’s it’s just another idea. It’s just another category, the way of describing, you know, what’s going on? Is it true? Is it not true? You know, because all we really can know is, is what’s going on right now?
Rick Archer: Yeah. But the universe is not dependent upon our understanding of it in order to function the way it does. And there are all sorts of things that we now understand as a culture as to the science and so on, that we had no inkling of few 100 years ago, those things existed just just as much then as they do now. But now we know some, we have some understanding of them. So say, Okay, well, this, this appears to be true. But the scientific approach is always that anything can always be disproven, like we say all, all crows are black, but maybe someone shows us a white crow, and albino at some point. So we can’t say that anymore.
Nancy Neithercut: Yes, but the color, and all measurement is coming from your brain. So I would say the physical world exists, but it doesn’t have any characteristics, or qualities or time dimension, no causality, there’s no measurement. It’s all basically an unknowable unknown. And so the brain using shared learned words, concepts, seems to make it into things, separate things, the universe, you know, you me, love beauty, and some, some ideas of things correspond to the physical world table, my cup, etc. And other things are just purely imaginary selves. You know, purple unicorns on the moon. Oh, those are real. Right. So I say that a, what I would call a belief is a thought that feels solid, somehow, it’s got weight to it, you know, it feels real. So if you have a recurring thought that you know, of God, perhaps or astrology or purple unicorns on the moon, and I’m not talking about proving or disproving, and I would never ask anyone to give up a belief because people can’t. Because they are beliefs. So it’s more like beliefs. I’m talking about real internal core beliefs, of any solidity at all, of anything that’s any reference point whatsoever, of all thingness. That just gets blasted away. All all ideas of solidity of something that that you know. So it’s really more like this incredible, delicious, unknowing. That’s what’s going on. And that’s where the eye and just the beauty is, is just in not knowing. And realizing there’s really no one to know. There’s just this seamless wonderment. And also there is the dream of separation. Because wonderment is part of the dream of separation. Enlightenment is the dream of separation as well. There is no escaping the stream, this is the only place that we live in love. Yeah, Jesus said,
Rick Archer: for the birds have their nests and the foxes have their dens but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. In other words, can’t take any firm position. You know, you Who was it, somebody else? Nisargadatta. Somebody said that, you know, enlightenment is a state of perpetual freefall.
Rick Archer: He said, It was he said, you know, about the bad news, maybe
Rick Archer: I don’t know if he put it this way. Something like professional freefall. But don’t worry about there’s no ground so you’re never gonna go splat.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah, it’s it is it’s like falling. Until the falling falling. Until there’s no one to land. Until there’s no reference points whatsoever. There’s absolutely nothing left. It’s just astonishing. That the entire world no world is mentally fabricated. It’s just astonishing and, and knowing that there are no things makes everything so fantastic. You know, it’s just like this marvelous world that we live in, you know, and being human is so wonderful. You know, it’s just I love it all.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I want to explore that point with you. But um, but first the the whole idea of sort of the brain creating our reality and concepts sort of giving you know, reifying things there is there is the principle of shared or inter subjective agreement. Yes, you know, and, for instance, that Dog, or bird doesn’t conceptualize the way that we do. But they’re going to see the same fire hydrant, or the same stop sign or the same tree. Maybe they see it differently, obviously, through a dog’s eyes, or through a bird’s eyes, that perception can be radically different. But there’s something there, which seems to be a more universal phenomenon that than any one individual perspective,
Nancy Neithercut: yes, well, the physical world exists. I mean, when I die, my my dream will be done. But the shared dream of separation continues. So there is a physical world, I don’t think a dog without language, says to himself, oh, that’s a fire hydrant, I’m going to go over there. You know, because the dog doesn’t have this imaginary separation, the dog doesn’t even know that it’s a dog. You know, it doesn’t even know it is. Whereas we, through this amazing, imaginary separation. are aware of aliveness, there’s awareness of being aware. And that that is that is the jewel of evolution, is that there is this and it is exceedingly painful when it’s believed in. And so that’s why seeking comes in, and when it’s not believed in, then it’s spectacular. beyond measure.
Rick Archer: Yeah, you know, there’s a phrase in Vedanta that you might enjoy. It’s LeeSha video. Have you ever heard that? No, it means faint remains of ignorance. And the point of it is that an analogy is used that like, let’s say, you have this big glob of butter in your hands, and then eventually you just throw the butter off, but there’s still some greasy surface on your palm. And the point of it is that without some appreciation of diversity we live in wouldn’t be possible we wouldn’t be he wouldn’t be able to move whom will walk through a door, but you don’t need much of it faint remains is is adequate, just and predominantly, there can be the appreciation for the the dreamlike nature of it as you put it, for the the pure beingness of it. But there’s still there needs to be some appreciation of diversity in order to function.
Nancy Neithercut: Oh, yeah. Yeah, well, even my cat doesn’t eat her own foot when she’s eating dinner. I mean, she doesn’t go out. Oh, yes, I would say the dream of separation continues, much as it did before. I mean, I’m still here. You know, I’m just as real as you. And tomorrow. So there’s the dream continues. It’s just now it’s just infused with this overwhelming awe and feeling of, of beauty. No matter what it looks or feels like it’s just so amazing. And loving this incredible humaneness that we all share is spectacular, too.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah. Let me throw in a question here. I haven’t even read it yet. But it just came in from Randy in Denver. And he says, Okay, well, this is. Alright, this actually ties in with something I wanted to ask you. And it’s something we were talking about before the interview, it seems that you don’t sing and play guitar anymore. How did your feeling towards your former performing artists self change after the shift?
Nancy Neithercut: I did my feelings toward
Rick Archer: towards having been a performer. I mean, did you lose interest in it? Or, or whatever? That
Nancy Neithercut: stopped in my early 20s. Really? Okay. Yeah.
Rick Archer: All right. Well, the thing that that reminds me of that I was going to ask you is, you know, how do your various faculties such as senses mind, intellect, emotions, function now, as compared with before the shift?
Nancy Neithercut: Do they go ahead? And you know, I’m just trying to think, yeah, I would say my eyes probably see the same as your eyes in my hair earring hearing senses taste. What you know, when they call the fear, third eye opening, you know, that’s like this. So there’s always the knowing that there is no separation, and yet complete are at imaginary separation. So there’s never belief in the dream. And yet, there’s full participation. The thought stream has changed quite a lot, I’d have to say. Well, I used to have just constant self correction, self judgment, constant thoughts about how to fix the world or fix things, you know, because everything felt wrong. So the brain is always thinking of ways to try to fix things. And so when you know that there is no perfection of imperfections but it really feels perfect. And also, when you know without a doubt that no one is the instigator of their thought or feeling or belief or action, then there’s just, there’s no blame. It’s just it is a lot different in that in those ways
Rick Archer: the things ever happened to you, which even momentarily make the dream seem more real. Such as, you know, some, you injure yourself in some way and experience intense pain does that somehow temporarily overshadow that conviction that the world is femoral dream,
Nancy Neithercut: like, no big wow was always on? Yeah, even. Just last summer, our last cat died, you know, and I just was sobbing uncontrollably, but it just felt so beautiful. To feel so deeply. You know, I mean, it was just wonderful. So and I have broken my arm twice since the shift. And I have, you know, you know, felt pain, but um, it doesn’t feel like there’s someone who, who’s feeling it, who wants it to go away. Of course, you know, you take an aspirin, if you have a headache or any will seek, you know, get cast on your wrist if your arm is broken. But it’s like, people have secondary pain, for example, that there’s always that anxious anxiety, people of chronic pain, have a secondary pain, chronic anxiety that there’s going to be pain and it makes it even worse. So if you take that away, it’d be like that. It’s just there’s that. There’s never any trying to any feeling like this is wrong. There’s never the thought, Oh, this is wrong. I never think that anyone is wrong. I I just look at people and they look so beautiful. You know, I would love to tell everyone that they’re beautiful. And I love them. But you just can’t go around doing that these days.
Rick Archer: I interviewed a guy named Ben Smyth some years ago, and he used to sit on street corners with a sign that says you’re beautiful. Oh, I remember him ever.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Um, there’s other ways to say I love you. Yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah, some people distinguish between pain and suffering. They say Oh, okay. Any sentient being biological entity experiences pain, and it’s good thing they do, because they can, you know, put your hand on the stove and not fit and not know it if you didn’t experience pain. But then there’s this sort of overlay that happens. That causes suffering. I think you were just you were just alluding to it. Yeah. In that vein, some people said Christ never suffered. Yeah, he experienced pain. But he presumably was well enough established in reality that that pain was not interpreted or experienced as suffering.
Nancy Neithercut: I don’t know, that’s an unusual, I mean, way to talk about things, because I wouldn’t ever tell someone that I’m free of suffering, because there’s no one to be free of it. But I feel the same emotions as everyone else. And in some ways, it’s more, there’s a feeling like it’s more raw, and, and deeper, because there’s not a filters, no filters. Yeah, there’s no trying, there’s no thought that this is wrong. It just, it all feels beautiful. You know, even think everything that before I thought was horrible is just everything seems really beautiful. Yeah. And yet
Rick Archer: you have a much larger context in which to experience it. So I don’t know if I can think of a metaphor or analogy here. But it’s like, if you had a glass of water and you wanted to drop some mud in it, it would no matter what the glass wouldn’t really be able to accommodate the mud seriously. But if you have an ocean and drop a little mud in it, not found, you know, because, by contrast with that vastness, what’s a handful or a bucket load of mud?
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah, but the mud would be the known world. So right, the mud wouldn’t be beautiful. Yeah, as well as the ocean
Rick Archer: metaphors have their limitations. But I think I’m just trying to say that you have a different context or a different sort of orientation, which gives you a much broader canvas on which to paint experiences. And so the individual experiences don’t become the totality of your yes, because they don’t overshadow you. Mm hmm. Good that the website is this.
Nancy Neithercut: There’s always still this swirling, conceptual thought dream going on. But it’s subsumed, it’s supersaturated with the feeling of okayness and the feeling of awe. That’s kind of super saturates this dream of separation and it’s still the dream of separation. You know, there’s no escape from this dream of separation. You don’t wake up out of it. You just wake up to it.
Rick Archer: And then waking up to it, then this, the separation is no longer seen as substantial or separate.
Nancy Neithercut: Um, when I need to, like I was talking about looking around the edge of the screen, you know, when I’m with other people and they start talking about some things. Some a lot of times I just don’t have anything to say, but I can talk about, you know, tomatoes and apples and I love to cook and I’m become a crochet er in the last few years I do a lot of crocheting. So I’m so I’m still
Rick Archer: here. Yeah, sure. Don’t normal human stuff.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah, yeah, it’s wonderful. Yeah.
Rick Archer: So what do you mean, when you say there are no things. There’s a physical world you say, but it has no qualities or characteristics. It has no time measurement or causality. There are no things. Let’s dig into that a little bit.
Nancy Neithercut: Now, I’m going to try to explain it, but it really can’t be explained. Because it’s not a new belief. And it’s not a philosophy. It’s just a radical shift in perspective. So I would say that there’s the symphony of perception, all perception, the sensorial display, and there’s a simultaneous inseparable awareness of it, that’s what’s going on. And a thought, which is made of shared learned words, seems to create things out of this, when you’re a little kid you learn tree, for example, and you learn this is a tree. And then that scene is a tree. And then it feels like that there’s a you separate from it, the more things you learn about more things that are there, solidify the idea that there’s a you separate from them. And with the Word Tree, than we can recognize all trees, you know, even though they look quite different little bitty trees, or huge trees, or evergreens, or deciduous trees. And the same with for example, a river, a river can look like a little stream or a big wide river. So by conceptualizing the world into little things, like throwing a lasso, you know, around something, just creating thingness then appears that there’s a you inside of this world of things, but that’s all just made up by the brain by the thought stream.
Rick Archer: Okay. So let’s get back to the dog, then the dog doesn’t conceptualize, but it sees a ball, and you can throw the ball and it sees the ball is separate from the grass, and it goes and runs after it tries to catch it. So let’s see that
Nancy Neithercut: story that you just told, yeah, created a dog, a ball, grass running this, that’s how the dream writes itself.
Rick Archer: So you’re saying that objects really don’t exist? Dogs, grass balls, etc, other than our
Nancy Neithercut: shared, shared dream of separation.
Rick Archer: And so in your case, where there’s no dream of separation?
Nancy Neithercut: Oh, it’s still here. I’m still here. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: But you’re but you, but separation is no longer predominant as it once was.
Nancy Neithercut: Yes. Mm hmm. So that, you know, it’s a call it unicity. Or, you know, people will use words like oneness or wholeness. And every word that you use to describe it sounds like it’s a thing. But it’s, there are no things. So, you know, you can say, Edge lessness are all the words, like I say, in my poetry to try to convey this seamless magnificence, that I think everyone knows, really, but you can’t conceptualize it. So I think a lot of people, especially seekers that they know, there’s this seamlessness actually going on with no handholds, no reference points, so whatsoever. And yet, then there’s the belief in the dream of separation and thought, which is out here. And I think it creates a lot of dissonance. You know, and for some people, it’s probably very, very painful, like it was for me. So there’s belief in the dream, the thought world, the thought dream. And then there’s also this knowing that, well, maybe that’s not it, you know, or maybe this is there’s something else. That’s what the feeling of something else is, or the longing to return to love or to wholeness, I think is that it’s an intuitiveness. And trying to grasp that or trying to understand it will just seem to push it away because it can’t be understood.
Rick Archer: That’s my problem. I’m trying to understand it.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah. Well, you have these great talks because of it. Yeah. Thank you. If I understood
Rick Archer: it, maybe I would not be able to do these talks. So
Nancy Neithercut: well. Really not really not understandable. And that’s the thing is they’re there, the mind will search for all, you know, if if there’s a moment, or a brief interlude of not belief in solidity it can. It’s terrifying. I’ve talked with people, and they just have a bit of it. And it’s very terrifying for people. Because there’s, you know, where do I go now? You know, what’s, you know, where’s the Where’s, where’s the safe place, but there is no safe place. You know, it’s all there is no safe place. And then, of course, there’s seeing through the self as part of one of those one of those things, you know, so there’s all Yeah,
Rick Archer: well, your mention of solidity gives me an angle. I actually wrote something down this morning that as I was thinking about this particular point, I read it to you and see what you say. The universe is paradoxically multi dimensional. Water is a solid, liquid, a gas. More fundamentally, it’s two gases, hydrogen and oxygen. More fundamentally, it’s empty space with a few subatomic particles whizzing around vibrating, and that more fundamentally, you know, corks up and down quarks and electrons, more fundamentally vibrating strings, and maybe ultimately nothing at all. So which one is real or true of all those different levels? It kind of depends on perspective, we can say the nothing at all perspective is ultimately true. But does that perspective invalidate all the others? For instance, if you’re swimming, and you begin to drown? Does it help you to think oh, this is just oxygen and hydrogen, or this is just subatomic particles? No problem?
Nancy Neithercut: Well, I would say that you don’t really need belief in the physical world to get run over by a track. You know, I mean, that’s, that doesn’t, doesn’t require belief. And all that you just said about matter and subatomic particles. That’s description. And that seems to create a world of things. And that’s what we are basically we are, we are fleeting description, we are just this thought stream going on. So it seems to create a world of things, of atoms and quarks and even emptiness seems like a thing, when it’s mentioned, if you say it’s, everything’s empty, then then it seems like it’s a thing. That’s why there is no word that can convey edgeless seamless spaciousness without movement or non movement, you know, without this or that, or both, or neither, you know, those are why those are famous phrases, because they can jolt the mind into just this unknowing, which is some people really like, you know, I liked it. You know, I remember reading, I used to read Alan Watts, the wisdom of insecurity, I would read that book, just for the very end, I would have a short feeling of my hands off the handlebars. I mean, the whole book just for that short glimpse, you know, so people, I always loved that I loved any words that would help catapult my mind into this delicious, unknowing.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah, but you know, all that stuff about atoms and hydrogen and all that. So that’s been going on a long time, long, since long before we came around. And it didn’t depend upon human understanding or perception for its existence. In fact, we wouldn’t exist if it hadn’t been going on for billions of years. And which eventually resulted in the evolution of us and our brains, and Oracle could have conversations about this stuff. So just the reason I’m dwelling on this is just the I think I get what you’re getting at in terms of the ultimate sort of non materiality of everything. It’s all just pure being if we want to use that word, but somehow that that consideration to me, doesn’t negate the the more manifest expressions of it, nor does it negate. Well, go ahead. I’ll leave it at that for now.
Nancy Neithercut: No, I wouldn’t say that everything is pure Being or anything like that. The physical world is probably what you would call real. Oh, you know, put a apple on the table. And it’s, you would call that real, you know, that’s as close as you pick. I’m not saying that it doesn’t exist at all. And the description of it is, is uniquely ours. You know, we
Rick Archer: have a semantic problem here. I mean, if you’re putting it up on the table, you have a thing.
Nancy Neithercut: Right? Right. So that’s as real as it gets. Sure. I mean, that’s, that’s all we can know. And we’ll our beautiful brains will make up all kinds of relational things about our ideas about how things react go to with each other. But when thingness is no longer believed. It does, it doesn’t feel like there’s separate things are separate events.
Rick Archer: I think Yeah, I think that what you said might be the key to it. So in other words, the, the feeling of the, of the oneness of everything, or the unicity, I like to use that word is kind of maybe predominant, you could say. And that’s, that’s where you dwell. But then maybe secondarily, there’s a recognition of the blooming buzzing confusion too. So I think wave Jas is term of apples and tables and dogs and all the so called things. But still the feeling is that all this as one and there’s nothing going on, no things is that right?
Nancy Neithercut: That’s, that’s pretty close. Yeah, that’s just not believing in separation. There’s not feeling that everything is separate. It’s like I move my hand. And it’s like a 3d light fabric. You know, it’s not like my hands moving through space. It’s just this. It’s unexplainable, really. And yet it requires imaginary separation to have the recognition of unicity.
Rick Archer: Yeah, or even to describe it. Yes, yes.
Nancy Neithercut: So this is the only world I could live in. And this is the only world that we exist in, in this, no world of things. So it’s not like I’ve gone to another place, I there’s just the knowing that this place with its separation is made up, however, I’m still walking on the sidewalk, and I’m driving a car and crocheting dresses and things like that. And I’m writing books. So there’s, they’re simultaneous and not separate from each other.
Rick Archer: Yes, no, I get it. That’s, that’s pretty clear. As a metaphor, I don’t know if it’ll help here, if I can do justice to it. But you know, the house is a collection of parts, bricks, and beams and walls, and, and this and that, and none of them individually as the house. And yet, somehow, the house ended up ends up becoming more than the sum total of all those parts, it serves a function which parts can’t individually serve. So somehow, you mentioned that the sense of separation is necessary to appreciate the unity. And seems to me that somehow, and there’s a saying, in the Brahma sutras or someplace, it’s the world reveals Brahman, Brahman being the wholeness, or the Unity or the totality. So I think that you were alluding to that concept that in saying that, the appreciation of all these parts, kind of gives you the in enables the appreciation of unity to be a living reality. That makes sense. And feel free to disagree. I’m
Nancy Neithercut: trying to make sense of it. The knowing feeling of intuited unicity, which cannot be conceptualized is always on. And simultaneously, there’s a very ordinary woman, you know, living in the world, except for, she just happens to think that everything is spectacular, and extraordinary ordinary. So all thingness is every little particle is spectacular, in its own way. And yet, I mean, I can just look at the wall or the ceiling. And it’s just also beautiful. Yeah, you know, it’s just, wow, I mean, this is this aliveness. And this awareness of being aware of being aware of aliveness, awareness of being aware, is, is only possible because of imaginary separation. And some people talk about it’s the two hemispheres talking to each other. You know, I don’t know a lot about brains. Yeah,
Rick Archer: I think it’s more complex than that. It’s not just the hemisphere thing. But, but no, I understand what you’re saying. I think it’s great. And now, I’ve heard you say that you don’t believe in God and I don’t. I want to kind of dwell on that in a real sort of nuanced way. You do really appreciate creation, you know, it’s beautiful. It’s all you use the word ah, over and over again. So there’s this sort of, sort of deep sublime appreciation that characterizes your everyday experience. Right? Yeah. And, you know, if they were somebody who, I guess what I’m saying is, is there an artist, you know, responsible for this beautiful this beautiful work of art. Do you ever wonder how it is that you know electrons with around the nucleus sort of that, you know, cells, which are vastly complex little mechanisms self replicate. And you know why, why it is we don’t just have sort of chaos and disintegration, entropy, it seems to me and this is part of what instills or evokes are, in my experience, that there’s this sort of vast intelligence operative in every little iota. In the most mundane things. It’s just all pervading, and, you know, it’s jaw dropping, in my, my perspective on things.
Nancy Neithercut: That’s beautiful. Um, you kind of sound like my parents trying to convince me that there was a God when I was a kid.
Rick Archer: Yeah, but this is not a this is not this. The kind of God that Sam Harris likes to castigate is I’m talking about something much more.
Nancy Neithercut: It doesn’t feel like there are two there’s, I would say life does itself. Yes, yes. And to say that everything’s imbued with intelligence. Intelligence is a description from your brain, who is calling it intelligent, but I would just say it just all happens all by itself. There’s no maker of it, or there’s a nothing that’s touching everything with intelligence except your intelligence, your you are you You are the painter of beauty, you are the painter of intelligence, your brain is the creator of some imaginary separation, and the sparkling do on the spiderweb. In the morning, it’s the story coming through your brain is creating all these things, and a you to feel like your jaw is dropping, because it’s so spectacular.
Rick Archer: But what created my brain,
Nancy Neithercut: your brain is just part of life doing itself. Right? The belief in separation makes it feel like there is a Creator or you know, somebody doing something but sort of vast intelligence, or something that does it all. But to me, it’s obvious that it’s all of a piece. It’s just all does itself spontaneously naturally arising, the world appears. And then it seems to appear that there are separate things in it. Yeah, no,
Rick Archer: I’m cool with that. I would say my concept of it is that the Creator is not a puppeteer detached from his puppets and dangling strings and manipulating them. That life that you say is doing itself is what we’re actually alluding to here, what I’m alluding to as the creator, and that there is nothing but that. So there’s just this totality of whatever we want to call it, which has is one of its qualities, intelligence and organizing power, orderliness, which gives rise to all these beautiful structures and orderly laws of nature out of the chaos of the initial cosmic soup.
Nancy Neithercut: Well, then your brain would be part of it. And yes, how it can recognize it
Rick Archer: and talk about it. Yeah, exactly. Right. Yeah.
Nancy Neithercut: So. But I would still say that the intelligence coming from you? You know, I mean, I wouldn’t say that a rock has intelligence, personally, you know, okay, look closely. I will say that it’s your brain, creating the idea of rockness and hardness and softness, and love and beauty and intelligence, is this. Creating and painting the dream of separation, and you are one of these imaginary separate things.
Rick Archer: Yeah. But if we actually look at what’s going on in Iraq, you know, if we go to the molecular level, the atomic level, we see this marvel of orderliness and little do Hickey is abiding by very systematic laws of nature and in a consistent way. So it’s not just sort of randomness. It’s not chaos. There’s, there’s a sort of a creative intelligence functioning in the most mundane of things.
Nancy Neithercut: Um, as I said, that’s because of our description of it. You know, I mean, we are part of it, and only through us, do we, I mean, I studied biochemistry, and I loved learning how the enzymes worked in proteins and digestion. And you know, I studied it because I was trying to feel good to say that’s one reason I was into it,
Rick Archer: though. I also pardon. That’s one way of trying to feel good,
Nancy Neithercut: really, there’s got to be a way I can do something to the skull and feel good. So yes, of course, it is marvelous. I don’t think I ever really thought that there was a creator of it. I have never had that belief. So it just and then when everything dropped away And I realized that life was doing itself. And I could say yes, it is all of a piece of itself. So life does itself. And it is it takes us to see the beauty and the intricacy and the perfection. And wonder.
Rick Archer: Yeah, no, I agree. I we’re almost totally in agreement. I’m just kind of like ironing out some little wrinkles here. How did you just phrase it something about that doesn’t need to be a creator, in order for it to? I would say that the there’s this, what we’re all part of, and, you know, this wholeness this life that you allude to? is the creator interacting with itself. We can say himself or herself or whatever. But it this is sort of, How could there be anything other than that? How could there be anything other than the totality? I think you’ve heard you say, How could there be anything other than wholeness? What could be outside of it? What could be separate from it? Right? Nothing. It’s all pervading, all, right. Big and small, fast, and, you know, near and far, gross and subtle. And it’s the sort of the, the self interaction of that, which gives rise ultimately, to brains and beings who can enjoy that as a living experience? Which is what you’re describing very beautifully.
Nancy Neithercut: Um, yes, I would say that the universe kisses itself through our lips. Very good. Yes. So you could say that. And you know what I mean, I know that in the past, other people who’ve had this shift would say that it’s all God, or all stealth or something. I just, that doesn’t have to be my term of reference. It’s
Rick Archer: just, it’s just a choice of terminology. Right. Right. But I think
Nancy Neithercut: I would ever I never used the word and ever would, because of the ideas that people have of God is like being separate creator or something. I mean, it’s just, it’s not in my vocabulary, and it never has been. Yeah, I mean, when I was a little kid, you know, people would pray and I’d keep my eyes open and look at him. Like, you know, what, what are you doing? I don’t know. But it looks like they wanted something, you know?
Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a loaded term of God. It has a lot of baggage. And if you don’t see
Nancy Neithercut: why people use it, though, I understand because of their back ground, you know, and their upbringing.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And if you do use it, then you’ve got to spend at least 10 minutes explaining what you mean by it. Because otherwise, you’re going to be misinterpreted.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah, yeah. So you know, unicity wholeness, you know, there’s all kinds of words. And like I said, even emptiness, every word makes it seem like there’s a thing. It’ll throw a lasso into space and caught this idea. And now it seems like there’s something solid. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Same with the word enlightenment. I hesitate to use it because it’s so much baggage.
Nancy Neithercut: I use it all the time. Yeah. All right. Yeah. Awakening, I use awakening and enlightenment interchangeably, because it’s like that. It’s like, my eyes were licked clean of a lifetime of hope and fear. You know, it was wildness. You know, it’s like, oh, it is like, enlightening. Yeah,
Rick Archer: that’s good. But I mean, what are words after all the there sounds that we make that represent concepts that represent something rather to which we’re trying to which we’re trying to explain or understand. So just the sentence I just uttered, made consistent of a lot of sounds, which represented a lot of concepts which conveyed those concepts to you in a way that you could respond to.
Nancy Neithercut: But that’s this is the shared dream of separation. Yeah. You know, without this consensus, during the day, the night time dream would seem just as real as the daytime dream. You know, if it was this consensus and agreement going on, Oh, yes. This is a tree. You know, what time do we have to meet for lunch? It’s wonderful to see you. You know, if it wasn’t for this, then it wouldn’t seem consistent, and it wouldn’t seem as real.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And imagine if the daytime were as inconsistent as our dreams at night. It would be a pretty weird
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah, running down the flight of steps and then I don’t know.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Okay, I think we’re getting somewhere. I’m good. So, let’s see a few questions came in, they asked a few of those. give ourselves a break here for a minute. Um, let’s see which one do I want? There’s one that I think we’ve kind of already covered. But let me ask it anyway. And you can just if there’s anything we feel we haven’t covered in this wench, you’ll let us know. But um, this is a fellow named Miroslav Macklin off from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. He says, Well, name Yeah, Russian. It sounds like can you elaborate on your shift and the experience of awakening for those who aren’t not who are not there yet? Is there a way to explain it in terms of the physical for example, visual hearing smells touched Taste emotions, now that you’ve been through it, is there something that you feel you could have done differently to get to this awakening sooner?
Nancy Neithercut: Um, first I’d have to say is that the biggest misconception is the awakening happens to the person to the character, right? You know, and so that’s why I mean, if part of enlightenment is realizing that the character is imaginary, then how could it happen to the imaginary character, so and that, that misconception makes people feel like they’re on a path, you know, that they’re getting somewhere, that they’re gaining confidence that they’re doing something. And so all trying to do things or trying to not do anything, will just perpetuate the illusion that there’s a you doing something, and that there’s something to get something to grasp that there’s a goal, would I have done anything different? I never, as I said, I never felt like I could have done anything differently. Because it was obvious that I was in this avalanche. You know, I didn’t know it was gonna blow me away to, for example, my husband, I’ve traveled a lot. And we have these statues from Nepal. And we weren’t ever Buddhists. But one of them is Manjushri, which is the God that’s holding the sword. And the idea is this sword is going to slice through ignorance. You know, that sounds really good until you, you know, I realized later that, that that’s what that’s what I was, is, you know, I didn’t know it would hurt so much. Yeah. But does he want more details on the actual experience of the shift when it happened, or what?
Rick Archer: I don’t know, I think you’ve done justice to that. But you know what, we’ll keep going. But anything that comes to mind, as we go along, feel free to just come out with it. I just want to press you a little bit on this notion of, you know, anything you do as by way of a practice will only reinforce the force of the notion of a practice. Or, I would say that, you know, Rama used to be founded the phrase, it takes a thorn to remove a thorn. And in saying that, he acknowledged that, you know, there’s sort of ultimately kind of an absurdity to doing anything to try to get that which to get to that which is uncaused. And, you know, cannot be done, or anything, but he acknowledged that there are skillful means through which one can sort of facilitate the conditions in which realization may occur, as some Zen guy said, you know, enlightenment may be an accident, but spiritual practice makes you accident prone. And the sort of the intensity that you went through with all the crying and the emotions, and the heart heartache, and all that stuff, was, as we were saying earlier, a purgation of purification that was taking place, there are actually practices which can catalyze that kind of thing, if it’s not happening for a person, which spontaneously which can facilitate it. And there is a correlation like it or not, between people doing various sorts of practices, and eventually arriving at the kind of awakening that you’ve been describing.
Nancy Neithercut: Um, I still think that saying that there is a path or a method of practice, will perpetuate the illusion that it happens to you first of all, and that there is a path, when it’s really the falling away of the path, the ground, the goal, it’s the falling away of everything. And I I don’t ever tell people to not do anything or to do anything, I’ll just say there’s no you to do or not do anything or nothing. So I I understand that because I talk with seekers, seekers a lot. And I, I all I do is speaking nonsense words to trick their brands up. You know, instead, because, because that’s all I can do is what’s what happens naturally, is that all these words come out that that might catapult you out of the all these assumptions, which you are. So what gets catapulted out? I don’t know. But they can fall away.
Rick Archer: And how’s that working for you? I mean, what what is your track record? What is your experience in terms of all the people that you talk with?
Nancy Neithercut: I have to say that a lot of people have glimpses when I’m talking with them, or if they’re listening to a video or reading something that I wrote. And I also have to say that when the glimpse goes away, they blame me for that too.
Rick Archer: As long as they credit you for the glimpse, then they can blame you for the loss of it.
Nancy Neithercut: Because I think it’s a very rare thing. I I searched Facebook a lot in different groups and things I didn’t know where to look to find other people who had had this It seemed so natural that but I found a lot of people who had seen through the illusion of self but usually hardly anyone who recognized this unicity this no thingness so, I I don’t I’m a pretty private person. I just write the books. I write the blog and I post on Facebook, but um Not a teacher because it can’t be taught. And I just, I’m just more of an artist, I suppose. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Well, I think that you definitely serve a function, which is, you know, you express it very beautifully. And I think that in itself can enliven it in people’s experience. You know, just hearing those expressions
Nancy Neithercut: are the words I longed for when I was a seeker. I would have loved these books.
Rick Archer: Yes, as a matter of fact, I had it I wrote down a question for you, I, where is it here? I can just remember that oh, here it is. If it’s like 10 or 20 years before your awakening, someone had said to you the kinds of things you’re now saying, what effect you think it might have had on you?
Nancy Neithercut: Oh, I would have been an avid seeker. I would have, I wouldn’t have taken time off, probably. I wouldn’t have. I would have. I don’t, and maybe it would have prevented it. You know, I don’t know. But I know that if I had read that I would be longing for this, for sure.
Rick Archer: But haven’t you just been saying that it’s not so good to be a seeker because it reinforces the notion of right person.
Nancy Neithercut: Right, so I’m probably doing more harm than good. But I just thought the songs have been coming out, you know, ever since it happened. So just. Just about every day, I write something. But it’s never felt like I’ve ever really written a word. It is just like everything I just watch amazes my fingers go over the keyboard, or my thumb goes on my phone or anything. I just, it’s just so amazing that all this seems to be happening all by itself.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Have you ever read the Bhagavad Gita? No, no, there’s some cool verses in there, which described very much what you’re talking about. And, you know, there’s, there’s verse after verse where emphasizes that you are not the actor, you are not the author of action. And the actions are performed by they call them the Gunas of nature, just as different qualities of nature. And you know, if you take yourself to be the actor, then you’re like a thief who is appropriating something that doesn’t belong to you, and it goes on and on and on like that. But then it shifts and start and has verses like, you know, Christian saying to Arjuna, get up, do your duty, you have control over action alone, never over it’s fruits. So it often does this with these kinds of Scriptures where it swings you back and forth from one perspective to the other, paradoxically. And I find that actually kind of an enlightening technique, because it kind of
Nancy Neithercut: disrupts the normal train of thought or something. Yeah.
Rick Archer: prevents you from trying to set up camp in one perspective to the exclusion of others.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah, that’s very cool. I like that. But I would never ever feel like anybody is the author of their action, or the, the chooser of their thought or belief, action, feeling anything? I’ve never, I don’t I don’t see that at all.
Rick Archer: No, but my guess actually, most people experience it. Yes, it
Nancy Neithercut: is. Right. Definitely. There’s an there is an author, there’s something inside this swirling thought, you know, it seems to create a center, you know, and out of that center. You know, because of this otherness, there can be for me, there was a life of fear. Like I mentioned before, it was just Whoa, you know, I was afraid of a lot of things. I was afraid of people and I was afraid of myself.
Rick Archer: Hmm. Yeah, a friend of mine. Takes the word fear is an acronym. False Evidence Appearing Real.
Nancy Neithercut: Sure, when you’re gripped by fear, it’s your feels real? Yeah, yeah.
Rick Archer: But, uh, I keep coming back to this theme of multidimensionality. For instance, there’s this great article by a friend of mine, Timothy Conway, who’s been on BatGap a couple of times. And it’s called, I think the article is the simultaneously true, you know, paradoxically, different levels of non dual reality or something like that. And, you know, and he just sketches it out to say, Okay, on one level, nothing ever happened. You know, it’s just the a manifest on another level, it’s all perfect and divine, just as it is, and you’re not the author of action and the Divine is just sort of carrying on the play. On another level, there are problems, there’s kids starving and, you know, diseases that need to be cured and all that so we need to take action. And, and, you know, he’s sort of advocating and I resonate with this a kind of a multi dimensional straddling those dimensions and giving each its do do unto Caesar would render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s you know, just kind
Nancy Neithercut: of it’s all naturally perfect than feeding starving children is just part of the natural perfection. Yeah. And also then the the person who feels like they’re doing nothing but also be part of natural perfection, and has no straying from natural perfection. I agree. Yeah. So I’m, um, that is a hard one that I talked about. That’s really hard for people to do. See, because they are not seeing through these eyes, but I see it all as naturally.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I agree with what you just said, Nancy. And I think the problem is when when people sometimes set up camp and one or the other of those perspectives to the exclusion of the of the others, then the perspective gets a little lopsided or unbalanced.
Nancy Neithercut: What do you mean? Well, like,
Rick Archer: for instance, they might say, you know, the world doesn’t exist, period. But obviously, you know, there, there is a world, at least of appearances that we engage in, or they might, they might say, everything is perfect, just as it is. But somehow in saying that, they, they are assuming that it’s not necessary to try to feed the children or cure the diseases or whatever, because those diseases and starvation are perfect. And we should just let them be. Whereas, in fact, it’s incumbent upon us to do something. And or they might say, you know, all there is, is this gross material world with diseases and Donald Trump and all that. And, and, you know, there is no underlying perfection life is cruel and meaningless, or, you know, this non this talk of there being no things is nonsense. So in other words, they’re just sort of hanging out in one or another of those perspectives without straddling them all simultaneously.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah, they are those perspectives. Yeah. No, I wouldn’t say that. I mean, I’m here with my dad, and I want him to be well, and I, you know, I do whatever I can for people I love and whatever, whatever happens, I would say that there’s I wish them well, but the the outcome or whatever happens. It doesn’t have to be one way or the other in anything. It’s just, I would say that the hope and fear and need for a next is gone. Yeah, so that constant craving for, for other, for better, for more for next, that’s just all gone. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t have dinner for my dad, or, you know, my husband, doesn’t mean that I’m still just doing my regular stuff.
Rick Archer: Well, I wasn’t accusing you of the things I just said, I’m just saying people do this. And I run into it often. And so I’d like to harp on it every now.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah. I think that for some people, they probably read those things. You know, they read that they’ve read that and it sounds well, it doesn’t mean I’ve got to do anything, you know, because there’s no need to do it. But you know, kick back on the couch or something. But, you know, even not doing something is doing, you know, if you believe that there’s a belief that there’s a doer, they’re not doing is doing too. Yeah. Yeah,
Rick Archer: that’s a good point. In fact, that verse I just cited, touched upon two things you just said, which is, you know, you have control over action never over it’s fruits live not for the fruits of action, nor attach yourself to inaction. Both of those would be sort of a stepping out of,
Nancy Neithercut: but who would, who would attach? Or what would attach to that? As I said, in my experience, there’s not ever the feeling that there is an actor, you know, I’ll say it in conversation, and it sounds like it. But so people I know, really, I think they perceive me as someone who’s come to a deep acceptance or letting go. But there’s just there was never anyone go. But I mean, that’s how it appears. I think the people I know.
Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah. And is it once appeared to you as though there were a person to do this? Yeah. And it appears to most people as though there are.
Nancy Neithercut: Right, right. So you know, I don’t talk about it much. Yeah, except for loudly on Facebook and on my blog, and in my books, but other than that, I don’t ever really talk about it. Yeah, yeah.
Rick Archer: No, but it’s interesting that what you’re what you’re saying about is interesting. Oh, Irene wants me to talk to you more about your journey and about poetry. Would you like to talk about that more about your journey and more about poetry, which we haven’t talked about at all.
Nancy Neithercut: Um, as I said, I wrote sad love songs. So I love my teens. And then I didn’t really write again, I did a lot of painting and I was a bead artist. And so I was always doing something, you know, in the arts, always. And after the shift. Probably. Just so stunning, that of the poetry just started to flow and write stuff I don’t know. But it’s just about every day I write.
Rick Archer: So you didn’t used to write poetry? No, no screw
Nancy Neithercut: ever was a lover of poetry. Never read a lot of poetry. Um, I read Walt Whitman when I was a teenager. But I never have read poetry really. I just just just keeps writing I get ideas and then I just watch my fingers go it’s It’s amazing. It’s great. It’s like everything. Yeah.
Rick Archer: How do you feel when you’re writing it?
Nancy Neithercut: I don’t know. I don’t I’m not that introspective. I don’t look at how I feel.
Rick Archer: I mean, it just pours out of you, you’re not like thinking, do you do a lot of rewriting and tinkering with it? Or is it just kind of come out? The way it does
Nancy Neithercut: it, I did, don’t do much rewriting at all. And then like, I’m putting together another book, and I’m looking through all the stuff I’ve written since October 1, and I’m just putting it all on there. And it all looks good. I’m not very discerning, just put it all in the book. And, you know, see what happens, see people like it or not, I like to read it, I would like to read more on YouTube. Of my poetry, I’ve got a lot of reading. But as I said, our signal in Utah is so slow that it takes me half an hour to post a five minute video or sometimes longer. So I don’t do a lot of that, you know,
Rick Archer: you should do is start a podcast and an audio podcast, put it on iTunes and all and then each, you have the episodes of varying lengths, and people can subscribe to that. And then they can just easily listen to to it as they drive or whatever they’re doing. A lot of
Nancy Neithercut: people download my videos. Yeah, listen to them. Yeah. Because there’s no reason to watch me reading a book, right? Oh, that’s so they just listened to him when they’re dancing, or I get I get a lot of nice letters. Yeah,
Rick Archer: they can do it on their phones. Just one more channel to, like, you know, have a podcast in addition to these videos. Oh, it gets millions of downloads. Oh, so it’s sort of like just one more net that you throw out there?
Nancy Neithercut: Mm hmm. Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know how to make a website. I thought about doing that. So I could get my books away for free. And I just, I’m lost, I actually paid someone to help me with the first two. And the second two I did all by myself. Just punch him right into Amazon. And there’s your book. So it’s really easy.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I can refer you to some people who might help you put that together if you want to, you know, website and podcasts and all that.
Nancy Neithercut: I got enough going on? I think. So. Dinner and crochet and what feed the birds? Yeah,
Rick Archer: here’s another question that came in this one is from span in the Netherlands. He asks, some is not having a perspective, or it’s not also a perspective isn’t, is not having a perspective, or perspective in itself is the one who sees everything is made up real. It has to be real in order to call anything else unreal, right? There isn’t separation necessary in order to become aware of your own existence? And is that existence itself, therefore illusory? Since the total unification? Is the end of any experience? Kind of sounds like it’s their free part.
Nancy Neithercut: I did already explained that. Yes, it does require imaginary such separation, right to recognize unicity. There is only only can see through this perspective, everyone. I mean, this is the perspective, it’s just shifted, it’s still this perspective, that it doesn’t feel like I’m still looking through these eyes. You know, there’s just this perspective, it’s just, there’s a shift in it. So it’s like, there’s no things and yet, everything beautiful. But it’s still this perspective, I wouldn’t say that you’re not looking through a perspective. That’s all getting into the idea of a separate awareness, separate from perception or something like that, that there’s a separate awareness or, or witness or, or, you know, something like that, that are true self or something like that. That’s that’s watching everything, but it doesn’t feel like that there’s no, it’s only because of this spectacular, imaginary thing this that there can be recognition of unicity. I don’t know if that answers his question. That was pretty complex question.
Rick Archer: I think you might have answered that. And we did talk about that before that the you know, the world reveals Brahman that is necessary to have some appreciation of distinction in order to appreciate non distinction or unity intensity. Yeah,
Nancy Neithercut: yeah, that sounds good.
Rick Archer: Actually have heard you say that. There is no awareness without perception. In other words, perception of objects are always accompanies awareness. And yet in the sort of the Vedic tradition, they talk about, you know, cable, a Nirvikalpa, samadhi, which is sort of a temporary withdrawal of the senses from their objects, such that there is no perception of, of something and yet there, there is still pure awareness. And then they also speak of Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi, which is said to be a continuous state of that pure awareness, in the midst of activity throughout daily activity which involves perception.
Nancy Neithercut: I would say that if there is awareness of emptiness of no thing, then that’s still a perception than emptiness is the perception and awareness is not separate from it. So
Rick Archer: long as there’s a three part structure to it, you know, perceiver object to perception and mechanics of perception. But it’s said that, and I’ve had glimpses of this myself that sometimes those three can just sort of dissolve or merge into one. And so there’s no longer that that sort of I thou relationship to anything.
Nancy Neithercut: When I’m saying that awareness doesn’t exist without perception. I’m not saying they’re separate. I’m saying they’re inseparable. It’s the same thing. It’s only language, it’s only the words what makes it seem like there’s awareness, and then there’s perception. But actually, it’s one unitary happening. This is all going on at once. And probably the glimpses you’re talking about are glimpses of unicity. But doesn’t feel like there’s a you anymore. There’s just this wide awake, open awareness. Maybe?
Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s right. And I’m not and there’s no perception of anything. No bodily sensation. no sound, no smell, no taste, no sight, just wide open awareness, as you say. Yeah. Yeah. Okay.
Nancy Neithercut: There’s awareness of emptiness.
Rick Archer: You could say that, although, you know, it gets a one can sort of play at the junction point of that, where there’s just no diversity whatsoever. So there isn’t an awareness of awareness. And then there’s some stepping into diversity to the, to the point that you, you know, you’re aware that you’re having that experience of awareness. You know, it’s a kind of a subtle
Nancy Neithercut: doorway. Yeah. Almost like, maybe the cessation of thought. And then a start comes back, you realize that he weren’t thinking yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Rick Archer: But But during the sensation, period, you think you’re not sitting there thinking, oh, man, this is cool. No thought I’ve always wanted this, because I was thinking,
Nancy Neithercut: you don’t even know you had no thought until thought comes back and goes well, I wasn’t thinking, you know, for a while. Exactly. Yeah. So you saw how thought creates you? Yeah, good. Yeah. That’s the magic. You know, people talk about magical thinking, but all thinking is magical. creates this. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Does anything unusual? Not unusual? Because it would be natural, but does anything is there anything about sleep for you, which is different than it used to be or is different than the way most people experience sleep.
Nancy Neithercut: Um, from the time I was small, I never remembered my dreams. And while I was a secret for a while I read the you know, being aware while you’re dreaming was, you know, like a sign that you’re on the way or something. And so pretty soon after I read that, I was remembering my dreams. I was experiencing that. Because I, you know, my brain was going alright, let’s get somewhere. And then after the shift, I’m just back to I just don’t remember my dreams. Okay. I’m sure I’m dreaming. Because as I fall asleep, there’s just it’s just so beautiful color and shape, just moving and swirling. And then that’s it. So I know, I’m dreaming. I think the brain probably takes all of those things and makes them into pictures. You know, that? No, I don’t explain anything different.
Rick Archer: The reason I thought of that question is that some people say that, who’ve shifted, that during sleep, deep sleep, not just dream because dream, deep sleep is different than than REM sleep. But there’s a sort of a continuum of pure awareness, even though the body is sleeping, perhaps even snoring and the senses are shut down. And it’s like we’re just saying with, you know, going into a thoughtless state during transcendence of some sort, you’re not necessarily cognizant of it, or thinking about it or anything while it’s happening. But perhaps upon emergence from sleep, you realize that you’ve been awake, not not in the waking state, but the sort of pure awareness, inner awareness has been alive, lively throughout the night’s sleep. Some people, have you
Nancy Neithercut: ever noticed that? If you if you start to wake up, you don’t. And then there’s awareness, and then you could hear yourself breathing and it’s really loud, or you know, it’s like, but you’re not really awake. So everything hasn’t really kicked in yet. But there’s there can be light, light places and sleep or there’s just awareness of the, of the of the breath. I mean, I hear myself breathing, maybe if I’ve come up a little bit out of deep sleep, and I have read about that awareness while being in deep sleep. But I don’t experience that. I don’t know about that.
Rick Archer: I hear myself snoring sometimes and when, when that happens, Oh, good. I’m sleeping.
Rick Archer: Here’s a question from Ivan in Bulgaria Yes. What I haven’t read this yet, but it looks like it might be interesting. My friend Dan says it might be controversial. So let’s see what he has to say, Oh good. What if there is no God, no intelligent creator, loving us unconditionally, a safe heaven we can count on returning to what if it is a psychological need of dependence of bondage? What if ultimate awakening is letting go of God, the concept of god of this clinging, desperate need to be nurtured and comforted by not just anyone but by the most powerful entity? What is spirituality so dependent on? Why is spirituality so dependent on the notion of God? Is the soul inconceivable without God?
Nancy Neithercut: I would have recommend that he read the illusion of God’s presence, which is a really good book that talks about why people believe in God the Creator, despite no evidence for it, it’s a it’s kind of wired into our brains at birth, will along with a lot of other creatures that you longed for. That’s mother and there’s a certainty that mother will come and you cry and cry until mother comes. And that the book is goes in a lot to that. And this person wrote, it didn’t believe it. And so he was trying to understand why people did and I found it very helpful. What’s the prayer is like, prayer is like the child crying and waiting for mommy to come, you know. So even though mommy never comes, the child will keep crying or the baby rat or the you know, it’s called the illusion of God’s presence. I don’t know the author. But it’s a very good book, as far as soul and afterlife and God all those concepts are foreign to me, you know, so is the idea of trying to find a true self, or, you know, still looking for something that’s an unchanging, solid and stable and fixed, something that doesn’t change, you know, and that’s the handhold and I found that awakening is realizing there are no handholds. There’s no true self or soul or there’s nothing unchanging. It’s just this flow, which appears to be moving of life doing itself all by itself.
Rick Archer: Is there any sense of something unchanging, permeating the change?
Nancy Neithercut: Yes, that’s all. Oh, yes. Yeah.
Rick Archer: But as an emotion, it’s quality. sufferable
Nancy Neithercut: it’s inseparable from the dream. It’s just like, it’s saturates it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Like if we say, okay, everything is ever changing. Right. But that that quality of ever, you know,
Nancy Neithercut: right. Right. Right. Yeah. So I would say there’s no movement or non movement, you know, I mean, start using the words that go against each other, just to explode the idea or the feeling of no handholds. Okay. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Hopefully that answered his question. Yeah. Here’s one from John Francois from France. Yes. Hello, Nancy. I’d like to know if your awakening was accompanied by an energetic or Kundalini process.
Nancy Neithercut: Is that it yet? Um, no. Okay. I never felt anything like that.
Rick Archer: Although, you know, it might have been without you’re interpreting it that way. Like all that burning in the heart you’re experiencing and stuff could very well be explained in that terminology, if one chose to use that term. Right.
Nancy Neithercut: If that had been my background, perhaps I would have noticed that sort of thing. Yeah, for sure. And I mean, you know, the pictures of Hahnemann when he’s ripping open his chest, the Monkey God. I mean, that’s what it felt like afterwards. It’s like, you know, yeah, that’s what it feels like. I love those old paintings. Yeah.
Rick Archer: I used to have all his posters and put them up in on my walls and stuff back.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah, yeah. In fact,
Rick Archer: I was living in this apartment in Chicago, sort of, it’s a group of guys who were teaching there and I had I was down in the basement held these posters all over the walls and they some real realtor brought somebody in to check the place out and they saw these posters and lady was very embarrassed.
Nancy Neithercut: Callie or something that would have been really scary.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I don’t know if I might have actually. Definitely had Hahnemann.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah, there’s a lot of just beautiful images. You know, I mean, we’ve traveled a lot in India and we never went is because we were seekers. It’s just all of the beauty, beautiful temples, and forts and the culture. You know, it was just a very, very beautiful and wonderful to see. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Um, here’s a question from Harvey Jackson from Columbia, Maryland. Yes, some people often ask how do I get enlightened or awakened when they are told there is no method, technique or path they get frustrated with the answer. And I heard you say that thought doesn’t change the brain. But research shows that it actually very much does. So it’s easy to measure brain changes in brain functioning, as we look at various images, listen to different kinds of music or perform various activities, for instance. And reciprocally, of course, the condition of the brain influences how we perceive these different things. That’s why drugs have the effect we do, you know, you take a drug, it changes the brain changes our perception. So, you know, relating to harvest question, no practices, methods, techniques. Some people define those things as as methods of brain sculpting, because they actually do create measurable changes in the brain, which over time become abiding.
Nancy Neithercut: I don’t really know about that. I, I know that I used to feel really high when I was meditating. But that’s, that’s not like this. No, yeah. But I, you know, and I know, a lot of people who meditate and they love it, and that’s wonderful. You know, it’s, it makes people feel good. It’s just, it seems to me that all all of these techniques might be using to improve the conditions of the imaginary character, you know, to feel good, you know, and that’s great. I mean, I hope everyone feels good. But the people become frustrated, that’s good. I mean, if I can frustrate a seeker, that’s wonderful, because it’s not about just sitting in an armchair and meditating until you’re in the state of meditation, you know, it’s not about sitting around and talking about things until, you know, it’s an understanding, it’s, like I said, it’s more of a total ripping apart of, of everything, you know, and it hurts, you know?
Rick Archer: Yeah. But the reason these things have existed for 1000s of years, and teachers, like the Buddha and others have advocated them is that it does sort of bring about inner transformation, which makes you more susceptible to the ripping apart that you’ve just described. Whereas other things have the opposite effect. Other things, mess up the physiology, and tend to occlude the awareness even more and make it less likely that one will have the kind of shift you’ve had.
Nancy Neithercut: Well, I don’t know, I also, you know, drink beer every night, you know, which is So, and I was just working a job and leading a normal life, obviously, everyone’s experience is different. I would, I would say that the the idea of a path still makes it feel like, the person’s going to get this and that they are going somewhere and trying to do something will make it like, especially say you’re meditating, and you have this great experience, then you’ll think, Oh, I did that, you know, and so that solidifies the idea that there was a you and this thing that you’re going to attain, especially if you have, you know, something positive seemingly happen from it.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it may do that. And it may also breed the tendency to try to repeat that experience, you know, to have it over and over again, right. But you know, there’s different ways of going about it. And, you know, that’s kind of, in a way, that’s sort of a beginner’s error when people have some flashy experience, and then try to recapture it. But you know, there’s more sort of skillful ways of going about it, which don’t breed expectation and, and dependency.
Nancy Neithercut: I’ve never really met a meditator who isn’t trying to get something out of it. You know, even if it’s just feeling better, or lowering their blood pressure, or, you know, something, there’s an idea, usually of this golden goodie, called enlightenment, that’s somewhere out there. And there’s, I got to get it somehow, I’ve got to try to understand it, or, you know, force myself into a situation where an accident might happen or something, because and all of that, you know, it sounds horrible, but it’s seems to me, that it perpetuates this illusion of separation and profess perpetuates the painful illusion of separation that you’re trying to get rid of. But since you are that illusion, how can you get rid of the illusion that you are? You know, because self is the illusion of separation?
Rick Archer: Yeah. For me, I don’t think it’s had that effect. And you’re, you know, I’ve been meditating for a long time, but I just I do get something out of it. It’s, it’s enjoyable, like I get something out of eating dinner, you know, I get I enjoy the experience, and I get some nourishment from from eating dinner. And same thing with with meditate and meditation, but it doesn’t, in my experience, and I can relate to what you’re saying because back in the 70s, and 80s, I was like enlightenment or bust, you know? These days, my mind doesn’t go there. It’s just, it’s just a healthy habit. And it seems to be beneficial. And that’s beautiful.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah, yeah, it’s beautiful. Like, I still walk a lot, you know, I’m an avid exerciser. I still do all the things I did before.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And you get something out of them. You’re not trying to get to California by walking with you. You know, it makes you healthy. And, you know,
Nancy Neithercut: it’s just a habit. I love walking. You enjoy it? Yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah, it’s like one of those things. Yeah, there’s a lot of habits that we do in life that are either beneficial or detrimental or whatever. And, you know, some spiritual practices can be like that, they’re not necessarily going to breed dependency, your expectation, they can just be good for you. And perhaps they do. The likelihood that someday some profound shift will take place.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah. And they perpetuate the village illusion of a self, I think. But it also is just improving the condition of an imaginary character. You know, if you if it makes you feel better than, then that’s good, that fits your imaginary character. So how is that going to erase this belief that you are an imaginary character? That your real character? I mean, excuse me? So I don’t know. I don’t know. I like I said, everyone’s different. And I think that because of people’s pasts, and upbringing, they will speak about this differently. I just happen to come from the Midwest and Utah. And so and I wasn’t raised with religion. So concepts like God are foreign to me. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I wasn’t either, in a way. I mean, I was dragged kicking and screaming to church on Sundays. And it was so traumatic that the rest of the day I felt lousy, but but I have a different orientation to it now.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah. Well, I loved singing in the choir. You know, that was, that was fun. I like to sing. But I never really got it. I think my parents were kind of surprised when I told him I didn’t believe in God, because I think they expected me to pick it up through osmosis, because we didn’t go to church. Like, how can you not believe that? Yeah,
Rick Archer: well, it’s like you wrote in your book. Unicity is not a belief, it’s a lived experience. And I think we kind of tend to believe what we experience. And if it’s the other way around, you know, believing something that you haven’t experienced, then that’s when that’s when the problems start. But and even in terms of the topic we’re talking about, I mean, there are a lot of people who might listen to you or read various, but Donta books are something and who kind of get these concepts drilled into their heads, but haven’t really experienced them. And then they get on Facebook or whatnot, and be arguing about them. I mean, I think you would emphasize
Nancy Neithercut: they caught a lot of names on Facebook.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah. I think you what you would emphasize, would you not the value of lived experience as opposed to concept and belief? It’s kind of you’ve been saying the whole time.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah. Yeah. I was talking to a friend and I, you know, she was doing all these, she says a lot of quotes. And I was saying why I’d like rather hear what it’s like for you. And she says, Well, I don’t have that experience yet. So I’m using quotes. And I’m like, Okay, well, that, that explains a lot. Yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: But that could be a good thing in a way, as long as you don’t mistake the understanding for realization, because it at least gives you the idea that there is such a possibility. I mean, this very conversation we’re having gives people the understanding that it is possible to experience the sort of thing that you’re experiencing.
Nancy Neithercut: Right and then I’m going to start my stove cleaning school next week. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Make a lot of money off crews of people out there cleaning stoves. But it’s sort of like, you know, if somebody describes the Grand Canyon, and, and their description is not the same as being at the Grand Canyon, but it kind of can inspire us to go there.
Nancy Neithercut: Yes, yes. So Will my words create seekers? Possibly, yeah. Yeah. I described it once. It’s kind of like what I do is set a fire in your heart and then I put a block all the exits.
Rick Archer: That’s good.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah. Yeah. Um, if, as Harvey said, if the person feels frustrated, you know, good. Great. I mean, feeling good is one thing, but awakening isn’t about feeling better, or becoming this wonderful person or anything. It’s just this shift in perspective and the character remains kind of the same.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, if you’re in a fire and the exits are blocked, then to quote Patanjali. Again here, there’s going to be an intensity of, of desire to get out of that building out of that house.
Nancy Neithercut: And it’s really, it’s really that desire, it’s that love, really, it’s your own love. That does rips you apart. You know, it’s not coming from anywhere else. It’s that on heat that own love of that desire. Yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah, some people say that, actually, that it’s not so much any technique you practice, it’s the the desire itself, which may channel itself into the practice of some technique, but ultimately, it’s the desire or the conviction or the determination. That is the main engine that
Nancy Neithercut: I used to say that I used to say, you know, you have to want this a lot, you know, but I wouldn’t say that anymore. Because it sounds like there’s a right way to feel. And I would I wouldn’t say that. But I did at first I did say, you know, you have to really want this because I was just, you know, thinking of what it was like for me. Yeah. And so I wouldn’t say that now. There is no right way to feel. Oh, I dropped out of my year. I think you
Rick Archer: Yeah, so Okay. So you’re you’re saying that you used to sort of be asking people to feel the way you felt, which isn’t appropriate? Because it’s not the way they feel?
Nancy Neithercut: Right? Yeah. I think that at the beginning, I don’t know if you read my story. But at the beginning, there was still a feeling like it had happened to me. And that took a while to drop away. So when someone feels like it happened to them, then there will be a prescription would come out of it. You know, like I did this, you can do that. So there was a little bit of that. I think I still thought it could be somehow given away in a way. And that was one of the last beliefs to go. I really was like that I could give this away. Oh, that was a pretty profound, because I don’t have it. I don’t have this sublime emptiness. I can’t give it to someone, you know? Yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I mean, if you picture somebody like the Buddha sitting there with disciples around him, and he’s teaching, and he’s perhaps radiating some kind of influence, is he really giving something away there? Or is he just sort of creating an atmosphere in which there’s a kind of a mutual interest in something and a liveliness of that knowledge in in the air that, you know, makes it more conducive to realization than just hanging out in the bar, you know, doing any old thing? It’s, yeah, maybe that’s a tradition of spiritual teachings going back 1000s of years.
Nancy Neithercut: Right. I understand what you’re saying. And I think that like I said, people have glimpses if they listen to me sometimes or read, or, you know, while I’m talking to them, I’ve been with people when they’ve had profound glimpses, and there’s been a lot of tears and, and like I said, people say that I did it, but then when it goes away, then they blame me for it. Sometimes I never hear from them again. So there’s that. I would say that it’s more coincidental. It seems like a coincidence, I wouldn’t say that. The, if there was a Buddha that he caused other people to awaken. But um, for example, years and years ago, in the mid 90s, we were in Dharamsala, and we met the Dalai Lama, you know, in a long line with people and everyone went up and shook his hand, you know, and, like, when he shook my husband’s hand, it was just really fast. But we noticed with all the girls, he held it a little bit. And also, what we noticed is that people who really thought he was a really groovy spiritual cat. were crying after this meeting, you know, this short meeting of this? Hello, I don’t know what we said nothing, maybe. But and so their expectations are so huge that they were rewarded, in a way they had expected. So if someone thinks that I have something that they don’t, that maybe they think they can get it from me, then they might have that type of experience with that. Yeah,
Rick Archer: that’s a whole interesting topic in itself is no expectation and, and perception and attitude toward a spiritual teacher. And, and whether that is a potent thing in and of itself, or whether it’s the teacher that has the potency, or whether it’s some kind of combination of the two. I mean, there’s a story about you don’t
Nancy Neithercut: exist without each other. The seeker and the teacher are codependent, you know? Yeah.
Rick Archer: Well, I suppose there could be a teacher who hadn’t found students or students who had found a teacher. Yeah, there was a story about what was his name? Ex lava, who was a fellow archery student with our Juna under under their teacher. And our Jenna made their teacher promise that he would make him the best archer nobody else could be as Good, and baklava was getting really good. And at some point our Juna reminded his teacher that he had made that promise and so the teacher had to hold his promise and banish Klava. So he went off and just built a little clay statue of the teacher and practice archery on his own, just sort of being devoted to the statue. And
Nancy Neithercut: he thought you were gonna say he was sending arches or arrows at the place statue, because he was so mad at Oh,
Rick Archer: no, no, he said he still was devoted to his teacher, and he kept practicing practicing, and he got really good, you know, he. And eventually our Juna got wind of how good he had gotten. And he said, Teacher, you know, you promise me this guy wouldn’t get better than me, you got to do something about it. So it’s a sad story. But the teacher asked at Columbia to cut off his thumb. So he couldn’t practice archery anymore. And since he was so devoted, he went ahead and did it. But anyway, the point of the story is the the adage, don’t coffee Thumb, for one, but the attitude of the student can actually be more significant than this teacher they’re they’re supposedly learning from? Um,
Nancy Neithercut: I don’t know, that kind of goes beyond I don’t understand what you’re asking.
Rick Archer: Just tell me a story. I mean, in your in your case, I didn’t really? Yeah, me too. It’s like one of those yucky stories,
Nancy Neithercut: I think that if there is a love, or a devotion to a teacher, you know, they’re, I would say the that person is really, they’re really in love with their own love. They’re really in love with their own empties. You know, that just seems like someone else hasn’t. You know, and it’s, it can get it can get it can get pretty intense. You know, when, when people mistake this I you know, because I feel like I love everyone, you know, but on the other hand, I love my husband more than ever, you know, so there’s there’s both, but I people can mistake that and think that
Rick Archer: they take it personally. Yeah, yeah.
Nancy Neithercut: So that’s a very fiery ground. That I think people that are more public than I am probably have to walk along a lot. Yeah, yeah.
Rick Archer: And they’re not always walk it successfully. Often they’re messy situations that develop.
Nancy Neithercut: I think there’s some people that, that people that come off as teachers and they have devotees around them or students. I think they could start to really believe the the adulation that they’re getting, I think that can happen. And those happen. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s really sad, because more message or it can work at all.
Rick Archer: Yeah, which I think emphasizes the point that it really takes a high degree of personal maturity as well as spiritual development in order to be a qualified teacher, because it’s easy for it to go to your head.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah. Yeah, as I said, especially if you think that the shift happened to you, you know, whereas it doesn’t but if there is that that feeling, then it can make you feel like that you are special or that is that. But instead it’s more like this happened to no one. Yeah, there’s there’s not me who special there’s this ordinary me doing my normal stuff? Yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah. They talk about someone use the term spiritualized ego. It could be a lot more bloated than the regular one. Yeah, yeah. And also, not only that this happened to you, but that you are making it happen to others your blessing, blessing them with your Shakti or what a power
Nancy Neithercut: trip? That would be. Yeah, yeah. You know, I’m all powerful. That would be would be very scary. Yeah. So it’s, it’s like I said, examples of it. Yeah. But it took me years to start talking about this. And, you know, even more years before I started, you know, putting it into book form. So, it’s been a while, it probably takes a long time. It’s been eight years. So I imagine that it will continue to refine in ways that I don’t know but I’ve noticed definitely lightening of it. You know. Steven, more mellowing. Maybe it’s just getting older. That’s great.
Rick Archer: Yeah. There was a verse from Nisargadatta show it on the screen here. He said, he wrote a book I am that if you ever read that said, I haven’t read it. But I’ve seen it. said forget I am that I realized so much more since then. It’s so much deeper. Mm hmm. So what you said about refining reminded me that quote,
Nancy Neithercut: yeah, yeah. It’s like you’ve you feel like you’re first it felt like I was everything and nothing simultaneously. And I would now say it feels And I’ve said for years, it feels like I’m just dancing on the edge of a feather between love and nothing at all. So I think it’s the return of full on humaneness in all aspects, you know and share it for me sharing our humaneness is what life is about. For me, that’s that’s, that’s the most magnificent of all is to share the joys and sorrows.
Rick Archer: It’s great. I mean, the two things he said in the last couple minutes that I really like. One is the you know that you didn’t just sort of rush out and hang out a shingle at the minute moment, you had an awakening. And there’s, in the Zen tradition, as I understand it, it said that you should wait a decade after awakening before you presume to teach anyone.
Nancy Neithercut: Mm hmm. Yeah, I can see that for sure. Because it takes some integration. Yeah. You know, to feel like you’re there’s nothing there. And yet, here I am still functioning in the world. And that takes some integration.
Rick Archer: And that’s the second thing I like that you just said in the last couple of minutes, which is that there’s, this seems to be a little bit characteristic of the contemporary spiritual scene in general. Like a decade ago, there was much more of a sort of a up and out transcending of that, you know, get out of your humaneness kind of energy. Oh, yeah. You know, and there see a lot more. And then it’s kind of come around to where everybody’s talking about embodiment. And you know, embracing your humaneness. And oh, that’s beautiful. Yeah, that’s good. It’s really seems to be more of a general trend that’s going on. Oh, that’s
Nancy Neithercut: cool. Yeah, like that. Because a lot of people who are seekers really think that they’re going to find this one thing that is unchanging, that is not affected by thought and not affected by emotion. You know, and I would say, it’s the opposite. I am this flow of thought and emotion. You know, there’s nothing outside of it. This is it. You know, this is this is it. And it’s wonderful to not try to escape this, because I had a lifetime of trying to escape it. And I know what people are going through. I was there. Yeah,
Rick Archer: you’ve probably heard the term spiritual bypassing and disassociation. There was a lot of that, and maybe still is, but
Nancy Neithercut: I think there still is, especially for people who have the realization of no self, you know, they’ll just go well, there’s nobody here, you know, and I’m like, Well, you can’t exist as a non self, you have to exist as itself. If I call your name. Hey, Rick, you know, of course, you turn around. Yeah. So so they they’re, they’re going so much far that way. They just talk about it over and over. And that is a great realization. But unicity is the other part of it. The other part of it, that doesn’t happen as often or I don’t, maybe people don’t talk about it as much. I don’t know. Because Facebook is really one of my only places where that’s where I get my news, if there’s an earthquake. That’s kind of my bill, you, you know, or find out things and say hello to people.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s interesting. You know, I was TM student, teacher, actually, for many years, as you mentioned earlier, and marshy, Mahesh Yogi had this outline of stages of development and one he called cosmic consciousness. And it’s not a fancy word, but what he meant by that was just that the sort of the, the no self state had been realized the sort of that one is not the actor, one is not the doer, one is detached from the field of activity and so on activity seems to go on by itself without any without any agent. But then
Nancy Neithercut: I have to say that I felt that during the year up to this shift a lot I felt like I was this separate thing called awareness. Oh, yes,
Rick Archer: yeah. But then he takes it further and he goes he ultimately goes on to talk about unicity and very much the way you’re describing a call it unity consciousness in which you know, everything is there’s there’s a wholeness there’s, there’s no longer this sort of schism between self and non self. And it’s all just one, living wholeness, which includes everything which would include all the emotions, as you’re saying, and all experiences and, and, and it also comes with a great blossoming of the heart, which may not have happened during that cosmic consciousness phase where one felt detached, he said at that point, is he used to get he gave this lecture, he said, you know, heart can’t stand separation, and it wants to bridge the Gulf. And, and so the sort of reunification process takes place, and until everything again, is brought back into into wholeness in which the heart is it’s fully blossomed.
Nancy Neithercut: Mm hmm. That’s beautiful. Yeah. Kahneman ripping open his heart. Right. Exactly. Yeah. That’s very beautiful. Yeah. Yeah. Well,
Rick Archer: I guess we better wrap it up. Um, this has been a great conversation and say, I really enjoyed talking to
Nancy Neithercut: you. I love talking to you too.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Nancy Neithercut: Yeah,
Rick Archer: hope I didn’t seem argumentative but I’m
Nancy Neithercut: just not at all you like having lively very gentle, beautiful person.
Rick Archer: Will fun.
Nancy Neithercut: I really enjoyed our conversation.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I Actually, in case you had, or people had thought maybe I was being argumentative. I found some quote from some places I was preparing for this, it said, traditional Buddhism and Hinduism have a long history of debate and vigorous discussion discourse about everything that matters. This helps students to go beyond fundamentalism and see a situation from multiple points of view. So that’s where I’m coming from in terms of
Nancy Neithercut: Well, I love talking to people about this, because it brings up all kinds of shiny new things, you know, I mean, talking with you, then, you know, it will elicit all kinds of more things for me to write about.
Rick Archer: So grist for the mill, right? Yeah. Well,
Nancy Neithercut: is this this wonderful, you know, I love talking to people about it, because I don’t talk about it in my daily life. You know, it’s just, you know, like a do at all. It’s a whole nother thing in my daily life as I don’t know what I talk about. A lot of times, I don’t have anything crocheting
Rick Archer: or
Nancy Neithercut: crochet. Yeah, yeah.
Rick Archer: No, that’s good. I love talking about too, which is why I do this.
Nancy Neithercut: Thank you for doing it. Yeah. You’re welcome. In a beautiful library of all of these talks. That’s really cool. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Keep scrolling. It’s been this fall, it’ll be 10 years of doing it. Wow. Congratulations, thanks. And hope to do it for at least another 10 years, or 20 or whatever.
Nancy Neithercut: Alright, well, we’ll talk again someday, if you want. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Okay. Well, let me just make a couple of concluding remarks. So I’ve been talking with Nancy Nethercott. And I will link to your blog. If you ever develop a website. I’ll link to that. But in the meanwhile a link to your blog. I’ll link to your books on Amazon, I guess you say they are from the page that will create on on BatGap for that purpose. And how can people be engaged or involved? You mentioned you’re active on Facebook a lot is some kind of Facebook group that you are in or something that I don’t really,
Nancy Neithercut: like I said, I lead a fairly private life. So you know, I mean, if my Facebook page is public, so anyone’s Welcome to get on there if they like, but I don’t have hours and hours a day that I talk with people. It’s just a few hours a day that I write and do this. Okay, so you don’t because I really like protecting I protect my private life. Sure. I have to say,
Rick Archer: that’s great. Okay, good. So, thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching. Thanks again to Nancy, and we will see you for the next one. All right. Thank you. Welcome Nancy. Bye bye bye.