Norio Kushi Transcript

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Norio Kushi Interview

Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. There have been well over 300 of them by now. And if you go to and look under the past interviews menu, you’ll see them all categorized in various ways alphabetical and chronological and so on. There’s a Donate button on the site there. This program is made possible by the support of appreciative viewers and listeners. My guest today is Norio Khushi Norio is all over the place, because he’s a truck driver, but at the moment, he’s in Asheville, North Carolina. And regarding his being a truck driver, he said, I’ve always loved wheels ever since I was a small child. Maybe in some past life, you actually invented the wheel. Wouldn’t that be cool? The first set of wheels was a bicycle, which by age nine, I was riding 40 miles at a time, age 19. I drove a taxi in Boston for five years, I began driving a truck as well as Greyhound buses at age 25. I began what I refer to as true inquiry while driving my truck in 2003. Thereby being able to see the silence from which quote unquote Norio brain could see, all that I thought I am is only an illusion. So for those of my guests, I mean, those of my listeners who are always criticizing guests for trying to sell books, Norio hasn’t written one. Maybe he will eventually I don’t know. And he’s not trying to make a buck being a spiritual teacher, which some people also criticize, he drives a truck, so everyone should like that. So

Norio Kushi: and if not, it’s fine too.

Rick Archer: So Nora told me a couple of interesting things. When we were setting up he said that his father Michio Kushi was the popularizer of macrobiotics in the United States I hadn’t, I never did macrobiotics. But I was familiar with the name Michio Kushi. And his mother established the first natural food store in the US back in like 1966 in Boston, and was the first to popularize or use the term organic with reference to natural foods. So that’s kind of cool. So you must have a very pure nervous system having been raised by such parents.

Norio Kushi: I don’t know. I know. It’s what I have. But yeah, it’s been it’s been good. It’s been wonderful. Good. I appreciate everything. How are things like how life is unfolding?

Rick Archer: Yeah. So why do you suppose you love wheels so much.

Norio Kushi: I just always loved wheels and, and my mother gave me the freedom to explore. Before I rode a bicycle, even when I was five, six years old, she would allow me to one week I was born in New York City. She allowed me to wander around riding the subways by myself and stuff at that age. So yeah, so and I just love to explore things and, and wheels was a faster way the bicycle was a much faster way than walking around.

Rick Archer: Yeah. That’s cool. And you still love to explore things. Do you ever get bored driving a truck?

Norio Kushi: No, no. I’ve hardly ever gotten bored in my life. And I have to say, it’s been many, many years since I’ve experienced something called important.

Rick Archer: When you’re driving your truck, do you listen to books on tape or music or anything like that? Or you just sit in silence?

Norio Kushi: Since the invitation, your invitation I’ve been listening to your class back have gapped interviews, while I drive. And yeah, I just have to say thank you so much for providing this platform.

Rick Archer: Oh, it’s my pleasure. I love doing it. In fact, I have a friend who lives about a block away from me here who is also a truck driver, and he actually taught truck driving but he actually still drives and he I’ve been telling him to listen to BatGap I don’t know if he started doing it, but he’s like a long term meditator and spiritual guy, but he likes driving the truck Awesome.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, it’s nice. Yeah, I never considered myself a meditator. As a matter of fact, I never had interest in the realm of spirituality instead Have I dabbled in? Just for the brief two weeks? I would have to. I met George hired.

Rick Archer: Oh, yeah. You mentioned you learned TM and did it for about two weeks, but your mind wandered. So you didn’t like it?

Norio Kushi: Well, it wasn’t that. I did my I just move on. I don’t really think about it I, I’ve always managed to escape discipline.

Rick Archer: That’s pretty good. Yeah. So if you’ve never really been that interested in spiritual things, how do you explain what you say here? I began what I refer to as true inquiry while driving my truck, did you see that as a spiritual thing? Or what? Did you just start doing something spontaneously, and something happened?

Norio Kushi: Yeah, I just wanted to add with the thing. Appreciating this platform also, I appreciate all the guests you’ve had. There’s, you’ve had wonderful guests. incredible people,

Rick Archer: and it’s really an honor for me to talk to them every week, you know, it’s it’s very enriching to interact with these people, one after another.

Norio Kushi: And, and then of course, your listeners too. Of course. They’re, I appreciate him as well.

Rick Archer: as do we, I mean, we get wonderful feedback for and I’ve made some wonderful friends through this whole thing. And I’ve actually even reconnected with some old friends is one of my best friend’s is a fellow that I taught to meditate like 40 something years ago, and we had been totally out of touch. And he stumbled upon BatGap, and then eventually got in touch with me. And yes, hi, George.

Norio Kushi: So yeah, so in answer to your question, I was more focused on whatever is practical, or where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.

Rick Archer: And so after medicine in your case,

Norio Kushi: so the so for me, the idea of spirituality and religion, even meditation wasn’t something that I was interested in seemed like something some other world that I couldn’t see. And so it wasn’t that I had anything negative about it just I never considered any of that. And the inquiry. When we’re children, we just inquire about things all the time, we just look at things in from this childlike curiosity. And so that’s how I started looking at my life again, after a number of different events occurred. I rediscovered this way of inquiry with childlike curiosity. And through that, the question, what does it mean to be human showed up? And I started to look asking that, looking at the world from through that question.

Rick Archer: So did you do a lot of this, like, while you’re driving the truck? Was it like a contemplative time for you where you just be driving along and kind of inquiring along these lines?

Norio Kushi: Yeah, it’s you, it wasn’t something that I was doing intentionally, I will know, it led me I was intentionally in involved in the inquiry, and I wanted to describe what inquiry is, at some, at some point. And it was just instead of listening to the radio, instead of listening to whatever I just would, just with the hum of the motor and the sounds of the world in the wind. Just be like looking at life looking at through the question, what does it mean to be human? So I never said, I never considered what I was doing spiritual, spiritual, because I just I never made that distinction between. So

Rick Archer: So how long did this go on? pondering what it means to be human?

Norio Kushi: I started asking you that question. of, well, first. When when my mother when I was five years old, my mother told me always trust my feelings. That might and that I can always trust my feelings and so so, so I always remember that so I always was aware of whatever feelings showed up in my party so so I would always since childhood, I would get insights and through feelings and the feelings were just flow through the body and then it would become a cognitive turn into ideas, pictures, words. So, back in a number of years ago, back in 2004 2000 2003, I was, I was looking at what, what am I going to do next with my life, I had lost my job, I was standing in the kitchen, looking at the window, I had already submitted resumes to a number of places at one interview at a bus company selling glasses. Anyway, so then then, this feeling came over me as I’m looking out the window, and then the the words came, appeared, they said, Life is not going to turn out. Okay. And I tell that story. And I realized that when I tell that story, people think think of it as a negative thing. But to me, it was a very positive thing. It was like all it was, all of a sudden, there’s this weight lifted off my shoulder, oh, life is not going to turn out. And what I didn’t realize at the time was that we’ve been conditioned, like, what I see now is that the human brain is programmed, conditioned or programmed to think in terms of linear relative time, space. And that’s all made up and, and through the inquiry, I was able to see that and I was able to see how reality is created. So but to back up a little. So once I saw that it was like this weight was lifted off my shoulder, and then my mind stopped living for future. We don’t realize that, that our minds are programmed to live for a fictitious future that there is no future really. So. So once that, I got the insight, my mind stopped living for that way. And then it became obvious to me ever since then, I never, never not know what to do. Because I’m not living for a future, everything is just obvious what to do in every moment. It’s just one step after the next so it became obvious Oh, I’m gonna drive a truck, drive a truck, I’m gonna drive a truck. So so driving the truck in through that. And that’s, and well, when, while driving. I started looking at my problems and things. And I said, That’s it. And because I was no longer looking for future, meaning that I wasn’t looking to fix them. I said, Oh, wait a minute. I’m not the only one with problems. Everybody’s got problems. You know. So then then the next question that showed up with well, is it being human? Is that part of being human having problems? And so the question showed up, what does it mean to be human? And so over the course of the next 18 months, or whatever, I just looked through their question at the world, whenever I interact with people, all the thoughts, and it was amazing, because so so so what, what I didn’t know. But I returned to looking at the world through a childlike way. Because children don’t look in terms of getting something for the future, as a matter until I was 13, I didn’t think of the future as something that to go for. And I remembered specifically, first time, I thought it thoughts, just the psychological future was real. So So that’s so that’s me. Now I see that it was like a kind of, we might call it meditation, but I never used that term, driving the truck in that way.

Rick Archer: It’s nice, and I understand what you mean about life doesn’t turn out, you know. And I think that we could actually probably use truck driving metaphors throughout this interview, because I’ve never driven a truck. But I’ve obviously driven a car and taking long trips and everything and, and if your whole orientation while you’re taking a long trip is, oh, I can’t wait to be there. You know that it’s a boring trip. But if you just sort of settled into where you are now and enjoying that, then you just, it rolls along. And next thing you know you’re there.

Norio Kushi: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. As a matter of fact, I discovered the whole idea of time. Through looking through this question, I saw that that was made up to Yeah.

Rick Archer: Yeah. And there. There are physicists who would corroborate that. So as I understand it, a certain point you had some kind of a breakthrough or a shift and found yourself like not thinking thoughts for a couple of weeks or something? Tell us about that.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, well, as a result of looking at this, the world in this way, as memories, different memories would show up, like the memory of breaking up with my wife, for example, then then this grief showed up. And what I realized is that I had not seen it before. But there is this tendency, we’ve been programmed to think that, that what’s happening out there, what we perceive out there is the source of the grief and sorrow. So, because I was wasn’t trying to do anything about any of this, just watching, I saw oh, wait a minute, that sorrow. Here, I have this memory of this. And that sorrow is coming up from within myself. And I saw that, that the store that then I don’t, we’re programmed to blame the situation in the story on that feeling of sorrow. And I saw oh, wait a minute. That’s not what’s happening. What’s happening is this is the sorrow is coming into, into consciousness as a result of the story, but star sorrow is already there. It has nothing to do. It doesn’t have to do with its story itself.

Rick Archer: Well, let’s take any let’s take an example. Let’s say your child graduates summa cum laude, or magna cum laude from Harvard or something, and you’re very proud and happy, and, and so on, and so forth. So there’s a circumstance that, you know, evokes, evokes happiness are pride. And you are, let’s say, alternatively, your child is about to graduate from Harvard, but gets hit by a drunken truck driver. Yeah. Not that there would be any of those. And that’s the end of your child’s life and your grief stricken, you’re totally devastated. Obviously, apparently, external circumstances have have evoked one or another emotion in you based upon those two alternative possibilities.

Norio Kushi: Yes, absolutely. The thing is, human body, the body and everything is part of the mind is part of consciousness. So and it’s an it’s in its design, it’s designed to have feelings and emotions and all of these, it’s natural, that it will have those. And, but associated with the these images, what occurs, saying in those circumstances, like, those two different possibilities, or ideas, there’s a whole lot of other things that are already going on the relationship with a son, the, it’s all part of what we’ve created ourselves to be, unknowingly create unconsciously, for the most part. And so, so it’s so that, so the death of son, there’s, it’s not just the ending of life, there’s a, there’s a whole identification to who the Son is, what I am, et cetera, all that’s happening. And so and it’s possible to see all of that, as it’s occurring. And so, so, so all of that has been impacted, but to keep that, but the capacity for the grief and the sorrow is already there.

Rick Archer: So you’re not saying that a person, let’s say, you know, the word Enlightenment is loaded with implications. But if we want to use that work, just for convenience sake, let’s say an enlightened person, their son dies, you’re not saying they’re not going to experience grief. You’re just saying, yeah, they would have well, you go ahead and finish the thought.

Norio Kushi: Well, so Well, the so the result of that was when I saw that and I said, Oh, okay, then the attention. We were programmed to focus our attention on the story and circumstances. But then the attention fell back to the feeling to the feeling of the sorrow and in the story felt to the background, like fell away. And I saw Okay, and then there was no more energy. There was no longer sorrow attached to that story, that star store, no longer evoke sorrow. The next prior story I came up with that sorrow had shown up, and then I saw the same thing. So I’m driving east alone at night, Nevada, as I’m watching all this in my mind, and so all my memories that I thought was this cause cause of sorrow fell away like Dominus. So by the time I got to Salt Lake City, all memories of sorrow was completely disappear. There’s no longer any memory of story of sorrow in, in Nouriel brain. And so, the result of that was, I was able to look at sorrow, the Norio brain was able to see sorrow, pure sorrow, unadulterated, Woodfill stories. And I saw, I could, and therefore I could see what sorrow was. And there is no such thing as individual sorrow. Sorrow is actually programmed in, and in the human being, being body beam, having the capacity and living and feeling takes that sorrow, and due to our programming, and creating this self identity, we take this sorrow and we make it personal, my sorrow, but there’s actually only one sorrow, and it’s, it’s human sorrow, the sorrow that you feel, the sorrow that anyone feels around on the other side of the world is one in the same exact sorrow.

Rick Archer: Would you say that of all emotions, grief, love, you know, hatred, excitement, or whatever emotions, there may be? Are they all just universal? And we’re just sort of concentrating them or channeling them? Through it, I sense?

Norio Kushi: Yeah, we all as humans have that capacity to, to experience and express those feelings for sure. Absolutely. And yeah, and as you as in your question, and this is what I was able to see through the inquiry was that all that the idea of hatred and fear all that sorrow is it’s just a universal, the capacity to have that an experience that is universal to our being. And, and, and I was, and through the inquiry, I was able to see how that all occurs.

Rick Archer: So you think that you know, in the case of sorrow what you did when you’re driving to Salt Lake City, unraveling all the stories surrounding any sorrow in your life, what were you left with by the time he got to Salt Lake City? Was it sort of just pure unadulterated sorrow without any story or did the sorrow itself dissipate?

Norio Kushi: Well, as these as the feeling is there, you know, I’m actually literally have tears coming down my eyes as I’m Dr. So and so once I got to see once the end, I got to the final story. And, and there’s, there’s just a pure sorrow. Then I saw Oh, there’s all of a sudden there’s this like feeling of connection with everyone. Because, because I saw that SRO is everybody star is all of us. And so there’s sort of translates into, like, kind of an understanding or compassion or something. So, yeah, and so to be able to look at someone, and to know that that’s, and sense that that’s present in all of us.

Rick Archer: So it gave you a universal perspective.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, it just kind of is it just is there. I mean, what I saw was, it’s always there, but it was just unconscious. So much of our life, we’re walking around like zombies were conscious of really what’s really happening so

Rick Archer: so that was about 1516 years ago when you went had that experience and so how what’s your life like now in terms of, well sorrow or fear or love or hatred or any kind of emotions? Do you still experience such things but but a story never gets attached to them? Or what?

Norio Kushi: Well, there’s there’s a difference between emotions and feelings and sorrow I see more as a feeling and

Rick Archer: so let’s define our terms here. So sorrow is a feeling Are you saying the negative ones are feeling in the positive ones are emotions are what are you gonna say?

Norio Kushi: No. Well, let’s back up a little bit. And I want to explain what inquiry is and the way in which what I now consider inquiry What occurred is that I’m driving the truck. And these questions showed up. And then I thought, Okay, this is this will be a fun hobby. What is it to look at? What does it mean to be human? So, so, so I intentionally as like a hobby, picking up, say this onion. Oh, what is this onion? So I look, oh, well, what does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be human? So? So I have a close friend I’ve been friends with for over 40 years. And 41 years now, name’s Stuart and I could talk to him every so often. And so I said, Hey, Stuart, I called him we’ll talk about one of our phone calls. Hey, Stuart, um, I now have a new project. I said, I’m asking myself the question, what does it mean to be human? And, and, and he’s, he laughed, and you say, Oh, that’s great. And I say, and I explained to him exactly how I was looking at that. And this is something that I really want to share with everyone. Because the way in which I was looking, I feel it’s key to be able to see all of these things which, which we’re looking at. So I saw I explained to Stuart. And in this phone conversation, I told him, what I’m doing is I’m asking the question the same way, an entomologist would study a new species of butterfly today that had never been seen before. He was he was looking at the butterfly. And he would and and study its behavior study in its environment. And however it behaves, if it behaved in a particular way. He wouldn’t say, No, you’re not supposed to behave that way. That’s bad. That’s wrong. No, no, no, no, you’re not, you know. So so. So he got that idea. He understood what I was saying. And then I gave him a second example. Okay, so the other way, I explained it to Stuart, the way that I was looking at this question, what does it mean to be human? is I tell described him like if we if I was an ET, and I was floating around right around the galaxy, and then I stumbled upon this planet Earth, and just started looking, oh, this little is an interesting planet. What is this? What is this planet that I’m looking at? There’s, Oh, it’s beautiful paradise. And then oh, there is humanoid humanoids are these living on there, and they’re killing each other? That’s interesting. So from the ETS perspective, he’s not going to be judging them, he’s just going to be unless he’s got preconceived notions of how it’s supposed things are supposed to be. But supposedly ETS don’t do that. If they’re further advanced than we humans are on this planet. It’s not going to be it’s going to be coming from just this childlike curiosity. And so so. So the inquiry, what I wanted to point out is that I was asking the question from the place of not judging, and no, no agenda. There was no purpose for asking the question. I wasn’t looking to see anything, just discover anything. I wasn’t looking to fix anything. It was just pure curiosity. childlike curiosity. And, and so the question that, that I used was, what does it mean to be human? And? And that question was great, because it was, because recognizing that we all had problems, that question came up, because then I was looking at the way humanity works. And not me personally. So depersonalized the whole thing and it turns out that, in fact, there is nothing personal in in the universe. Well, the universe is a paradox in infinite it shows up as a paradox. So everything is personal and nothing is first. And it’s hard for the conditioned mind to, to be able to, to hold paradoxes, but it’s a very natural thing now.

Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s hard for me not to hold them. I mean, because obviously, both those things are true and it’s much more comfortable to hold them both than it is to try to fit into one or the other to the exclusion of the other, you know,

Norio Kushi: right. Yeah. Yeah, there’s no, they both. It’s one in the same thing.

Rick Archer: So I guess what you’re using with the butterfly example and the ET example, I guess what you’re saying is that everyone acts according to their own nature, you know, and so, restraint or judgment or whatnot, are our limiting factors, because everything is, you know, it is what it is. And as perfect as it is, and, you know, you can just sort of observe it in a somewhat objective way, rather than being strongly opinionated about anything, is that a good summation of what you’ve just tried to say?

Norio Kushi: Yeah, what I described with that is, is the way in which I was looking at everything, and, and since, since discovering all of this, where I’m up to now, is I discovered that anytime we’re judging, or comparing, and comparison is a definite useful tool, not, not that there’s anything wrong with judging or comparing. But when we do, so, we’re not seeing the whole picture. And, and the inquiry, the space of inquiry, which I’m attempting to describe and explain is a way of letting go of all our ideas and being able to see the whole picture.

Rick Archer: Yeah, it sort of reminds me a little bit of the way Byron Katie goes about it, if you’ve ever looked at her stuff, you know, loving what is and and doing the turnaround, where you kind of look at, look at the thing one way and then look at it the complete opposite way. And you know, it loosens up your conviction that, you know, things have or have to be any particular way. So let me ask you a question, this whole thing that you just said? Do you have you have any family or kids?

Norio Kushi: six children

Rick Archer: six children? Wow. What’s their age range?

Norio Kushi: Oldest is 31. Youngest is 17.

Rick Archer: Okay, oh, they’re all fairly old, relatively speaking. And this whole thing that you’re saying about, you know, sorrow, and perhaps other things being universal, and not so much individual? Has it? Made you in any way sort of distant from people such as your family, or, or life itself? Or what is it done to your actual relationship? Let’s say, with your children with your wife? Has it made you closer with them? Or more kind of aloof in some way?

Norio Kushi: No, I would say that much closer. I’m not caught up in my own drama, as much as I was before. Thinking that Oh, my problems are real. I had to go around fixing my problems. Yeah. See, it’s all just illusions, are based on illusions.

Rick Archer: So it hasn’t made you sort of less judgmental, let’s say more compassionate.

Norio Kushi: And yeah, the the automatic compulsion to charge has definitely diminished considerably.

Rick Archer: And if your kids have problems, do you tend to just sort of brush them off? And say, there’s no actually no problem? So just, you know, relax? Or do you kind of not, you know, take them seriously? And do do your best to engage with whatever is troubling them?

Norio Kushi: Yeah. I I’m a much better listener than I used to be. As a matter of fact, what I like to share with people is that the transformation is in the listening not in the information that we listen to. It’s how we’re listening where the transformation occurs. And so in that way, I don’t discern whatever is being said as a, is it a problem? Is it not a problems and made up for an admin? I just listen. And then and then respond, what seems that probably,

Rick Archer: that sounds good. Yeah. Big and the reason I asked those questions is that sometimes people kind of, I don’t know, if they kind of philosophize themselves into a state, you know, which is sort of emotionally numb or detached or aloof or, and can be rather uncaring about real human concerns because they dismiss them as illusory, you know, or as just a sort of Uh, oh, these people are all caught up in their individual perspective, and I have a much broader perspective and pour them, you know, they’re they’re just sort of getting all hung up and sitting. So not, you know, I’m saying it’s like, there’s the tendency to sort of be a little cooler or cold, even. Wood, you don’t seem like that kind of person, you seem very friendly and warm, but I’m just kind of addressing the point because it does happen.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, I would suggest that what’s going on with that person is what I term phantom self gain. Well, in the, in looking at the inquiry, as more and more of the unconscious or these more came to the surface, and the normal brain was able to see what was really happening in the mind thinking. So, so there are key things that that I think is really useful for those who are listening to this program. And for all of us as humans to, to evolve, so to speak, although there’s all kinds of Evolve is one of those words like God, where we all have our own interpretation, but that is to, to, to begin seeing much more of what’s really happening is to understand and see, to see what thinking is, and what language is, Okay, those are the two main things that is really useful to see what what those things are and, and so what was occurring through the inquiry was, I was beginning to see what the mechanisms of thinking. And once once all of thinking became present, the unconscious unconscious division dissolved, began to dissolve, then, in the same way that I could see that the story didn’t create this far the sorrow was already there. I began to see the patterns of thinking, and not the content of thinking. And, and, and now I see that there are different patterns of thinking there’s like three different patterns of thinking that occur. And then I picked up more on that than I do on the content of thinking. And there’s a feeling associated with, with tuning into the patterns of thinking. So so once, so what I consider true thinking is thinking of is there’s that onion again

Rick Archer: some spiritual teachers hold up flowers, you hold up an onion.

Norio Kushi: Yeah. And I even I’m not a spiritual teacher by the difference. I said that this difference between teacher student and Guru, that’s all created in thinking. So here I drew this onion,

Rick Archer: Okay, nice.

Norio Kushi: So, the outside layers, okay, I’m thinking, thinking world. And so, so, the inquiry the natural curiosity that I had, what just was moving the the attention, the attention towards the center of the annual infinite, right. Okay. So and so the pattern of thinking what I what I just said was true thinking is thinking which occurs from inside out. Most of our thinking is what i At first I call it parallel because it was moving parallel to the, to the to thinking it was to maintain the tension on the surface of it. Okay, but I now call it circular thinking. It’s more distance in it because it moves in a circular pattern. So that that’s so I call phantom selfing. circular pattern of thinking. Where, and we’re programmed to think in a circular pattern. As part of our programming as we go through from our childhood we are parents, schools, etc.

Rick Archer: So can you give us an example of that?

Norio Kushi: Let’s see. Um Well well, the self is a circular pattern of self identity.

Rick Archer: And explain elaborate on that a little bit. How is it a circular pattern taking? What do you mean by circular pattern? Was it what exactly is happening?

Norio Kushi: Well, to go back to this onion, what I, what I saw was that what I now call true thinking, extent comes out from the feeling through this the thinking realm. And then then there’s the feet beneath the thinking is the feeling. That is silence. And into the infinite, there’s there are other realms in between, but for our conversation, that’s that survived suffice. The what I saw after, as once I saw the pattern of thinking, then I saw that this thinking starts, comes, flows from, from the silence, into, into the consciousness. And so feeling, right, and so therefore, I was able to see, silence, I was able to the thinking was able to stop once, once I put the attend once the normal brain, there is no I’m doing, it appears. That’s one of the illusions it appears that there’s someone doing. But the once the attention moved into the silence was, I mean, further patterns of thinking that attention was able to move into the silence.

Rick Archer: So so let me just interrupt to ask you a question about this might help clarify. So would you say that the average person is not aware of the silence level, but the silence, they’re not aware of the feeling level that underlies thinking, they just are aware of thoughts as they pop into the mind on having to stop having that thought, and they translate those thoughts very often into actions without having been aware of where those thoughts came from. Whereas what you’re saying is that you somehow and others can somehow turn it around and become aware and actually reside in that level of silence from whence thoughts arise. And being established there. Think thinking is much more aligned or a tuned in in a natural way. It one is not sort of blinded by it, it just sort of is a tool rather than a master. And it and and in many cases, there will be no thinking at all, because it’s not actually called for by the circumstances, would that be a good summary of what you’re trying to say?

Norio Kushi: Yeah, that’s a, that’s a good way of putting it. And yeah, for sure. Because everything that what I now see is that we all everybody, every human being wants the same thing. And that is to be whole, to be whole and complete. And so all this is already present in all of us. You know, GPS map, this is just a map. So what I’m describing is present in all of us. And it’s just where the, we’ve been programmed to put our foot to focus attention on only a very small area. But it doesn’t mean that none of this exists, because we wouldn’t be alive if all of this was impressive.

Rick Archer: Yeah. So it’s like the tip of the iceberg or the waves on the ocean or whatever, we’re aware of the, the surface value, but we’re not aware of the deeper underlay lying levels.

Norio Kushi: So so as far as thinking so what we don’t realize is that the true thinking which comes from the silence and what what most of our thinking is about 90% or more of our thinking is just what I call circular patterns. They don’t come from the same as this energy, everything is well that’s the other thing we can get into. I thought everything was just energy here as well. So so most of our thinking is just circular pattern in and and it’s just remain keeping our attention on the surface and emotions. are the feelings which are then taken, emotions contain thinking, which is moving in a circular pattern. And and then we call them, anger etc. So, so I think the original feeling is actually one of moral sorrow. And then an anger is and once the sorrow is felt, and it’s turned into a cause and effect story in the surface because of the way that the thinking is operating in a circular pattern, then it turns into that healing becomes anger.

Rick Archer: Are you saying that sorrow is kind of more fundamental than other emotions? You keep alluding to sorrow? Is it some kind of a core thing and human experience that gives rise to other things?

Norio Kushi: In today’s reality? I would say sorrow is probably the, the anchor feeling.

Rick Archer: Well, let me ask you this, do you feel like we all just are not not maybe not everybody, but the vast majority of humanity just has this deep well of sorrow down there that they’re not aware of? Or do you do is it more like they have the capacity for sorrow, and it may get triggered by this or that. For instance, if you think of maybe the Buddha or something, perhaps he had rooted out the capacity for sorrow, whereas the average person has this sort of reservoir of, of sorrow of putting in just trying to understand your thinking, and that, you know, a circumstance which would not evoke sorrow in the Buddha’s experience would evoke it in the experience of the average person, because they haven’t routed it out.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, thanks, I appreciate your questions, because it helps me clarify. Looking at it as well. So the capacity for the sorrow is an inherent aspect of being human. The what it is, is the the attention, the art, our attention, instead of just being focused in the programming. As it expands, we can see much more of what’s really happening. So we still have the capacity to feel the sorrow, but we can see where it’s coming from, and, and what what is really happening behind the scenes, so to speak. And so, so there is never a need to have to do something like that. It’s just a matter of all problems. There’s never a need to do anything about problems. It’s all a matter of seeing what it is. And when we can see things for what they are, then they dissolve. Just from the sea.

Rick Archer: I suppose it depends what you mean by a problem. If a pipe breaks under your kitchen sink, it’s a problem, we better do something about

Norio Kushi: our mind. Our mind has been programmed to look at life as a series of problems. It’s just a pipe pipe bursting. And of course,

Rick Archer: it’s something to deal with.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, it’s something to do.

Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah. I know what you mean. Yeah. Rather than getting all freaked out, oh my god, what are we gonna do the pipe broke, you know, you just get the wrench call the plumber, you know, do something, but but don’t make a big deal of it.

Norio Kushi: Right? It’s one of those things, you don’t have to take one step at a time. It’s like just walking through a forest and see what you see. You can stay one step at a time by breaks, okay.

Rick Archer: Or you blow a radiator hose in your truck or something. It’s like yeah,

Norio Kushi: it’s great because it’s wonderful, you know, cuz I break down. It’s never a problem. It’s something that’s just the next step.

Rick Archer: Yeah, no, I can totally see that and that’s a good way to live. And I tend to be that way too. And you know, some people are like, more likely example you’re stuck in traffic you’re going up i 95 through Bridgeport, Connecticut, and, you know, it’s bumper to bumper and you’re basically just sitting there some people would be blowing smoke out their ears, you know, over the situation, you know, doesn’t get them there any faster.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And you know, and in the key thing that out of all this the key key thing that I want to share with everyone is that what what I described as true inquiry and and also that itself is an illusion. And, and I was able to see that once. So is this really So what you just said may seem like I’m going on a different tangent but once once we see that the self is let’s see

Rick Archer: You have all kinds of props there. Don’t you? Now, he’s, he’s holding up a monopoly game now for those just listening in the audience.

Norio Kushi: Okay. So here we are. And let’s play Monopoly? ET Rick. Hey, let’s check this. Let’s check this planet planet out and play Monopoly with these humans. And then, so what does it take to be a human? Is a game, we need a game. And we need a piece.

Rick Archer: That’s the one that I always used when I played Monopoly. I was one of the car. And I imagine you did too.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, absolutely. I always. I didn’t want to be a hat or a symbol. Okay. So, so, so this game board and this in the game peice is created here. So, so it’s like everything we’re looking at.

Rick Archer: And actually, let me just interrupt to say that when you say out here, or you say anything that you’re describing, describe it for the sake of the people who listen only in audio because there are as many of those as there are actual views. So you got to elaborate a little bit.

Norio Kushi: Okay, so. So as we’re looking at the layers of the onion, all all the energy cause and effect is actually the infinite coming to the surface of the onion back, but with time, but time is created out in the surface. And it’s and what’s creed? What is this tool of creation is language. Language is what’s creating our reality, our languaging and language? That’s what that’s the, the infinite tool of creation. So

Rick Archer: does a squirrel have a reality? Or a cat? Or? Or do they also have their own language? And that’s how they have a reality?

Norio Kushi: What what they have? The universe is kind of languaging them into game, but they, they themselves don’t have a language, a conceptual language in the way that humans do. They do communicate, because everything in nature communicates, which is different than language. Humans are the only animals that I get the normal brain observes that has language,

Rick Archer: Except for maybe whales and dolphins. And actually, even even well, this would be a tangent that they say that even all animals have language, but it’s just more simple and not something that we can necessarily understand. But anyway, I don’t want to take you off track.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, well, I want to make a distinction between language and communication. Okay. Communication is inherent. Everything communicates. It’s an it’s an inherent aspect of, of existence and an energy. All there is is what the normal brain is able to see. Once there’s through the silence, to me, the silence was no big deal. Because it’s something that I express, that I had been gotten to. Many times in my life, my mind had shut off in silence. So that was no big deal. This inquiry was the first time that I deliberately moved into the silence, step by step, so to speak. So I discovered it in a whole new way. But there’s this joy and presence and this unconditional love now that’s there. And also, as a result of that I was the attention remain in this dead silence for for a couple of weeks, for an extended period, greater than before the most it was I had the mind had ever been silent.

Rick Archer: Okay, this brings up an important question. So I’ve been thinking as you’ve been talking about people listening, as I usually do, and I’m thinking, okay, what are they going to be able to take away from this or get out of this? And you just described that you had learned how to intentionally settle into the silence rather than have it just come about spontaneously for who knows why. But you actually were able to evoke it intentionally, or dip into it or settle into it intentionally. And so is that At teachable is that translatable to other people.

Norio Kushi: It’s translatable. Absolutely, it’s translatable, but it’s it’s the simplest, easiest thing that one will ever do. And it’s the hardest thing one will ever do,

Rick Archer: Have you ever tried to teach anyone to do it?

Norio Kushi: The place where I had the greatest success, and I don’t like the term success, because success implies failure. And there’s no such thing as success and failure. But for the sake of our discussion, where it seems that people will most often wear or not to table I was invited to talk to inmates in a prison for a period of a year. And and they I there was one situation where I felt that they seem to be open and to to what was being shared and one of the day mates actually when he was thrown into solitary confinement are looking at this and actually moved their attention his attention was able to move into that and he and I had actually dated someone a girl and she she now gets talks as well.

Rick Archer: Having learned this from you

Norio Kushi: she didn’t learn it from me. I’n not a teacher she heard about it.

Rick Archer: She heard about it. She somehow got onto it and was able to do it.

Norio Kushi: it piqued her curiosity she started looking at looking at it and she actually listened other people so maybe the other quote teacher had much more influence than I did.

Rick Archer: So if you feel that for the most part you haven’t been able to transmit or convey this to other people and your most your greatest success was a guy who got thrown in solitary confinement What is your what is your motivation for you know talking about it and having a website and that still is just because you’re on experiences interesting Are you hoping to inspire people to somehow make the similar inquiry themselves?

Norio Kushi: well that’s that’s for me that’s what life is about. On personal level, as well as on a Jhana level of humanity we’re all looking for the same thing we’re all looking to be whole and complete health health means whole and complete the end to use the analogy of the onion again is to be whole and complete is for our the awareness to the awareness over what we are to to be conscious and have and have its attention on the complete infinite to the outer layers so so that’s what health is and and when disease it’s just where that energy isn’t flowing smoothly. So and So so this is so regardless of what we’re looking for, before I was looking for success in this relative world is linear time space relative world I was looking for which meant you know, so many millions of dollars and a number of fast you know, fast car you know, race car, whatever. Different I had all these images of what success meant, as well as relatively propoint well appointed house, not a mansion but but ultimately underneath all that surface stuff, what we’re all looking for what I was really looking for, so to speak, was to be whole and complete. And as as the attention moved into the lower layers, the inner layers of the onion. I began see oh, wait, I’m alright. You know, it’s like cosmic joke I saw I already was was whole and complete.

Rick Archer: That’s nice. Do you find in your experience now, that the wholeness and sense of completeness is pretty well established? Or is it still something that you taste occasionally and then lose?

Norio Kushi: Oh, no, it’s always present.

Rick Archer: It’s always there. That’s great. Yeah. And let’s just emphasize one more moment what you mean by whole and complete? I think you just defined it as having your aware and you also equated it with health, that it means having your awareness open to the full range of life from the dead, silent Foundation, through the various strata up to the more active phase of life, right?

Norio Kushi: Yeah, it’s

Rick Archer: taking an action and so on.

Norio Kushi: Right, it’s being conscious of our true of the true nature of human being human.

Rick Archer: Yeah.

Norio Kushi: Which is typically the way that our brain has been conditioned. We’re not human beings, we’re human doings. And we’re defined by what we’re doing.

Rick Archer:  Right

Norio Kushi: And so this is to get in touch with what’s really happening, which is we’re human beings.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Some fellow sent in a question. He said, let’s see, his name is DJ, and he’s from Nelson, British Columbia and Canada. He said, He checked out your website, particularly the page entitled, What Is Enlightenment? That page presents as more like a brief discourse on what Enlightenment is not. In his final estimation, is there anything he can affirm about Enlightenment?

Norio Kushi: Well, this is the power of language, this is where I said, I mentioned earlier, to see what thinking is, and to see what languages and what we don’t realize is, there isn’t a out of unreality out there. There isn’t something that’s real out there, which is independent of this human, human entity, whatever we want to call it here. It’s language which is creating the reality the world out there that in which we find ourselves. And then reality is a reality which has existed before this particular human being was born. I did not create English, English has existed for 1000s of years. And can given that I was born in New York City,

Rick Archer: well, not 1000s. But anyway,

Norio Kushi: however many years, it’s evolved. And we’re speaking in English. So so this time, space, linear, linear time, space reality in which we are born, born born out of, we don’t want actually not born into we’re born out of like, a seed, out of out of the air that we’re born out of, is already pre existed before we’re born. And then through our parents school society, our brain is programmed into this reality that were born out of. And so so the language, so if I say up, I don’t have to say Down, Up doesn’t exist without down. If I say left, I don’t have to say right, both exist simultaneously. One doesn’t exist without the other. And so, this is a linear, this linear realm is a world of contrasts in which we find stuff. So so if I say good, I create bad if I say evil, whatever it said. Then glow, whatever it is, anyway, I’m following it. So So when so so what I saw was itself everything that we think we are is a linguistic distinction. Okay. So So, this this linguist, so everything that I thought I was after I was in the silence for three days of this is what I call being hit over the head with the caused me to buy for all of a sudden, oh my god, I saw I didn’t exist. I saw that everything I thought was me was just was a linguistics was a distinction created times time space distinction in this linear time space realm that we live in. And and And, and that’s that’s not what we are because in the silence that disappears. And, and it took Norio brain three days to the all sudden realize I wasn’t there. But so So, so to make a long walk, to take go back to his question. So when we use the term Enlightenment when I say when I say tree, there’s the word tree, but it’s not the object in which we’re viewing there is Dobrich out there, it’s this energy. So the saddest word three freezes this energy into this form. So, so So the word once

Rick Archer: and even for the squirrels living in that tree, it’s frozen into a form they they’ve got their nest there, and they’re running around, but they don’t think tree it but it does have a concrete substance to it for the squirrels and the birds.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, and it’s been, and then there’s the individual, human that’s watching all that and labeling all that and yeah, and all that interaction of energy happening. And so, so, so as soon as I say, we say Enlightenment, we already creating what’s not Enlightenment. So, so so it’s, so

Rick Archer: I know where you’re going with this. It’s like, you know, the Tao Te Ching. And what is it that Lao Tzu says something like the Dao that can be described as not the real Dao or something like that, you just, you just can’t describe it in any way that’s going to do justice to it. And anything you can describe is not it.

Norio Kushi: Right, so. So the seeking, and the whole mechanism is seeking is something that’s programmed into our brain, is because because we need to have the idea of time programs in order to seek, right, because we need to create a future. So so the so then, whatever that is, it’s $15 million, or x and like, it’s a secret, it only exists in the thinking world. And so the term Enlightenment only exists in the thinking, and what has been, what we’re all looking for is his true freedom, which is the thinking, well, there’s just a narrow spectrum. And so, the term Enlightenment is only exist in that thinking world. So so so when we mistake the word for when we see it’s only just a word, and then it becomes a block to, to move in for the attention to move into layers of the onion,

Rick Archer: I think it’d be fair to say that words are a convenient communication tool. But like, I think you’re trying to say, they never do justice to the objects to which they correspond. I mean, if you say anything, I mean, tennis ball, it’s, we all know what a tennis ball is. But, you know, it’s, that’s just a bit, that’s just some sounds we make to convey the idea of a tennis ball, it actually, if you look at an actual tennis ball is or onion, for that matter. You know, let’s take onion, I mean, the billions of cells in it and the intricacy of those cells and the chemistry involved in the DNA and the genetics and just all this stuff that makes up an onion. Boy, I mean, that’s, that’s actually a far more vast and complex and mysterious reality than the word onion. And so, you know, like you say, we’re just kind of scratching along on the surface using words to refer to commonly experienced objects, but the words are a far cry from the reality of those objects themselves.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, and, and what I invite people to do is actually look, look at what language really is, and because yes, it is, it is used for communication in which we are using it. But actually, it’s language which is creating the human being, it’s the language which is creating all of reality. And then, language is also used, the way in which the human brain is using language is also used for communication as well. So, so that So language is as I moved into the silence, and then there’s the world beneath the silence as well.

Rick Archer: Let’s talk about that. And what worlds beneath the silence

Norio Kushi: Well another analogy that we can use this, like, I was living, my whole world was living in this place. As I started to explore this space, place more, what were my, all of what I consider the world that I existed in. Because I began to explore this space through the inquiry. I came upon walls. I was able to then see walls. And then, okay, then as I saw the walls, and as I explored, what are these walls in defining this space, then I noticed there was a window. And I looked out the window, and there’s this garden up there. And I see I’m in this room in this house. And there’s this doorway, and I walked into the walk through the doorway into the garden.

Rick Archer: Are you speaking metaphorically now? Or are you talking about natural situation where you were in a house and you walk into a garden and everything

Norio Kushi: metaphorically

Rick Archer: Metaphor, Okay, keep going.

Norio Kushi: And, and this is the way it actually I visualized it as it occurred was the garden was then what I consider the silence. So, so the silence isn’t empty. But but the attention was able to move into the garden, because the thinking stopped. Okay, so, so it’s not empty, and it’s, it’s alive in the soil. And this is joy. It’s a joyful place. It’s a place that we all recognize it’s, it’s not, since it’s always there. Well, after exploring the garden for three days, turns out there’s a gate

Rick Archer: being in that silence for three days. Yeah. There’s a gate.

Norio Kushi: It turns out there’s a gate beyond the sign and say, Oh, what’s this and I walk through the gate. And this, then, then that’s when the attention moves into the realm, being able to see energy. And, and then the attention turns around, looks back and sees that the garden the silence the garden, the house, isn’t even there. It’s all just an illusion. As a result of languishing disabled to be created, oh, and here we are having fun Skyping.

Rick Archer: So, okay, so let me translate that into into non metaphorical language to see if we all got that. So you, you know, your ordinary Norio, and then you in the house, and then you move to the garden and experienced pure silence for three days in, which is what the garden represents in this metaphor. Then there’s a gate and you go through the gate beyond the Garden Inn, and turn around and look back at the garden in the house. And so you’re now seeing that from this new vantage point, that the that everything that everything you thought was the real world, including the silence underneath lying the real world is illusory, ephemeral, unsubstantial. Okay,

Norio Kushi: so what it is, is that the gate into the world of energy was what I call being hit over the head with a cosmic tuba as well, um, well, this Norio is is really the jury aiding in the joy and the place and the unconditional love there’s still someone that’s doing is still a separate,

Rick Archer: there’s Norio, doing it, enjoying it,

Norio Kushi: experiencing it,

Rick Archer: right.

Norio Kushi: And, and then, when I got hit with a cosmic two by four, when I saw oh, wait a minute. There is no Norio, that’s just an idea. That that was the case. And the attention then moved into the, into the into that. And so and, and prior to that, I had experiences in silence, not intentional. Where, you know, it could be for a few seconds it could be for and one time I was robbed at gunpoint. Sorry, I was about 20 minutes maybe. And that the attention moved into silence.

Rick Archer: So being robbed, kind of triggered the silence.

Norio Kushi: Yeah. Okay. And it just focused the attention and the immediacy of situation.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Isn’t it interesting how that happens. I had a car accident one time. So I was zipping along through Edison, New Jersey, and somebody pulled right in front of me in a big car. And then when he saw me coming, rather than accelerate, to get out of the way, he stopped. So I just broadsided him. I was in this little, little Subaru compact car. And it’s funny it this the, you know, the whole thing at times seems to stop. I mean, I had had a bowl full of fruit and cottage cheese on the seat next to me, and it flew all over the dashboard. And there’s but the whole thing happened in such total slow motion. It was like you just get kicked into silence by that the extremity of the situation.

Norio Kushi: Yeah. And, and that’s one of the things. One of the interesting things is when there’s no thinking there’s no fear. Yeah, here I am, with a gunpoint into my head and I’m in bliss.

Rick Archer: Not the typical reaction that everyone would have. But nicely, you could react that way.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, it was a non reaction.

Rick Archer: I wonder if you could say anything more about this, this state through the gate? You know, I mean, because a lot of people might think, Okay, well, silence is the ultimate, it’s the foundation, what could be beyond silence? Is there anything you can say about? I mean, is it something which would contain, which would be a larger container, so to speak of both silence and dynamism? And activity? Or I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but what is there anything you can say about it?

Norio Kushi: Well, what I would say is that yes, and no. The what is where we come from, in looking at all of this, for the most part is? Well, number one, I never considered consider that I that fat being human is a life of suffering. Okay. I had heard the term associated with certain religions and stuff. But I, to me, that was not. To me that was normal. Now, I saw I was suffering. But I, you know, I say that in hindsight, and that suffering shows up in many different ways. And one of the, and is the result of the way the brain is programmed.

Rick Archer: So you were saying that, you know, some religions say that life is suffering, like Buddha said, you know, it’s all Dukkha everyone’s suffering. And but you never thought of yourself as suffering just seemed like normal life to you. But in retrospect, having undergone the shifts that you have undergone, you can see what he meant by that, that everything is suffering, by contrast, or that it’s not suffering. Now, is that a fair summary of what you just said?

Norio Kushi: Yeah, yeah, definitely. I never focused any attention on any kind of religion. So. So these terms never meant anything to me. But upon hearing them, after the fact, I can understand and appreciate them in a way that I wouldn’t have before, that’s for sure.

Rick Archer: Okay, so I’m just reading some of the notes you sent me and you’re actually doing a pretty good job going through these notes. We’ve covered a lot of the things that you sent me, you know, the influence of the effect of language on sort of creating the Phantom sense of self and circular pattern of thinking and true and natural thinking, versus the circular pattern, Pattern Type thinking. Actually, this where this warrants reading here, truer natural thinking moves in a wave like motion originating from Silence and returning to silence, as opposed to the circular pattern, that is phantom selfing. So, I suppose you would just find phantom selfing as not having anything to do with silence being excluded from Silence, whereas natural or true thinking, starts and ends in silence.

Norio Kushi: What I call refer to as phantom selfing is, is circular pattern of thinking which is, as opposed to the thinking which begins in silence and moves through feeling into, into our cognition to to the world of concepts. And then And then thinking naturally, just returning back to into the silence, in the same way a wave returns back to the ocean. The circular pattern thinking it is possible to see this pattern, once we recognize once we can see what thinking is, is that it remains in the outer layer of the potential to maintain the outer layer of the onion. And so the end doesn’t return to the silence. Yeah, and so, and that’s what I refer to as phantom self. And because everything in the everything is just energy and, and there’s nothing. Everything is becoming becoming being being recreated moment by moment. from the, from the infinite to the, to the material. And there’s really solid objects. This is where, where I, where I see C did the emphasis of language, because it’s a language, which is nouns nouns don’t exist in nature, nouns are created is a is a concept construct of language. So the material, the things the self, is created through language isn’t, it’s a linguistic distinction. And so, so, so there is actually no thinker is only thinking happening. There is actually no, no

Rick Archer: thinking is a noun too. No, I guess you’re right. Yeah, thinking is a noun, it’s also a verb, verb, I am thinking, but thinking, can you refer to thinking as a thing also?

Norio Kushi: Right. And so, and we, so the, so there’s really, there’s actually no experience or either is only experiencing? And so, so then. So the, the beauty of seeing the circular pattern and thinking is that, that they now see like addictions and things like that, it’s all just phantom selfing it’s all just thinking. In moving in a circular pattern, which creates the, the, the illusion of of addictions?

Rick Archer: Yeah. You made an interesting list here. of things that are symptoms of human doing brain trapped in a linear time based reality. Shall I read them?

Norio Kushi: I sure. Yeah.

Rick Archer: Or do you have the list right in front of you?

Norio Kushi: No,

Rick Archer: I’ll read them then. So here’s some some symptoms by Norio of the human doing brain chapter in a linear time based reality I’ll just read through them quickly. Time exceptionalism creating problems, opinions, positions, judging, comparing, seeking, hierarchy, attachment, ownership, sorrow, loneliness, fear, violence, avoiding pain and moving towards pleasure, reward and punishment, discipline, effort, resistance, significance of truth up to ask you about that one. Cause and Effect victim perpetrator beliefs, addictions, habits, desire poverty, feeling empty feeling something is missing

Norio Kushi: Yeah, I just threw those in there just you’d have fun with us.

Rick Archer: What do you mean by significance of truth?

Norio Kushi: Truth doesn’t matter to me anymore.

Rick Archer: In other words, investing things with a great deal of significance and this is true and that is not true. I mean, that kind of thing. That

Norio Kushi: I Yes, I do definitely mean it in that way. Yes. But also there’s this there’s this idea that that we all here because the truth will set you free and way I look at it is well it deals true that’s the only thing really is true. And it’s not static. So whatever isn’t true. Why pretend attention and I said the whole thing package turns out to be truth is no big deal.

Rick Archer: The Bhagavad Gita says the Unreal has no being the real never ceases to be.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, what’s the big deal? Let’s

Rick Archer: and here’s the cosmic joke as you put it, we have everything always have and always will with absolutely nothing missing. The human brains only requirement is seeing the one who is searching does not exist.

Norio Kushi: Yeah. Is the one everything I thought that turns out to be a linguist, this distinction that turns out to be this image and memories, all packaged up. At once we’ve been programmed to we’re programmed to believe that’s what we’re who we are And then everything our entire life becomes one always justifying that this self is exists and who I really am.

Rick Archer: Which takes a lot of effort. It just takes

Norio Kushi: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s why through inquiry is completely effortless. It’s just a relaxing. And that’s where like and just seeing things for there, it’s the easiest thing to do. It’s the hardest thing to do, because it goes against the Phantom selfing create solidifying, what am

Rick Archer: I? It’s a good point, though. I mean, I know people who sort of attempt to practice self inquiry, and they go about it in a very effort, effortful way, you know, who am I? Who am I? Who am I kind of pounding themselves over the head with that question? And I don’t think that’s what Ramana Maharshi had in mind. And I like your emphasis on effortlessness and naturalness. I think it is much more efficacious. Yeah, I mean, nature itself doesn’t make an effort. Nature operates by the principle of least effort.

Norio Kushi: Yeah. And all effort just reinforces that there’s someone doing the effort. efforting

Rick Archer: Yeah, it actually kind of calcifies or in or further individually. It’s the doer.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, exactly.

Rick Archer: Good point. And paradoxically, one can do things.

Norio Kushi: Well, yeah, they’re doing just happened. But yeah, effortlessly. Yeah. Yeah, one step at a time. One mile at a time. Bicycle.

Rick Archer: Keep on truckin. Yep.

Norio Kushi: Let’s clean up the hill again. Bing, yeah.

Rick Archer: Well, I think we, we probably should quit while we’re ahead before the internet freezes up again. So, sir, anything you’d like to say? In conclusion, that?

Norio Kushi: Yeah, let me see what else? Oh, one more point I wanted to make is, there’s attachments, attachments are all about justifying separate self. Okay. And I wanted to emphasize for the one attachment, which has the biggest hold on us, which is, which we may not even realize is an attachment is beliefs. I believe that excellent. Exam. And so I just wanted to point that out, because, because in our society, it is such an emphasis to believe in something. Yeah. And, and if we look at what is a belief, a belief is an idea that we accept as truth that is accepted as true, which doesn’t mean that it’s true, but But it becomes something that narrows narrows the attention that? So, so I look at? And to answer your question about truth, again, I look at things in terms of what’s useful and what’s not useful. And what what is useful. What I consider it useful is one that expands our awareness, the attention of our awareness, into the, to the lower depths of our true nature. And in what is what the opposite side, what’s not useful, it’s one that focuses our attention on just to thinking well, yeah, and

Rick Archer: to the exclusion of our true nature, because sometimes you have to focus on when you’re driving your truck, you have to focus on what you’re doing. But you don’t want that narrow focus to exclude or obliterate the broad, the deeper, universal silence. Yeah,

Norio Kushi: yeah, perfect. Yeah. And that’s So. So. So that’s where I was saying that truth was no big deal to answer that, again, it’s just that. So the, so the more useful focus is to see whether it’s useful or not, you know, here, I draw this map. But the map is not the territory may be useful. For going for safe, like, fun, want to go to California and pick up a map. It’s useful, but then once I’m there, I throw it away. Right. It’s no longer useful. Yeah. You know, so. So that’s so that’s. So it’s always whether it’s useful or not, it’s this is more of a look at.

Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s a good point. I mean, you said earlier that you never had been particularly interested in belief in religions and religions as they’re commonly present. It are mostly about beliefs, you know, believe this belief. And, you know, I think that ultimately, the founders of all religions weren’t really overly concerned about belief. They were interested in experience, and having others experience what they were experiencing. But then, in lieu of that, over time, it became all about beliefs. And that’s why religious religions clash with each other so much, because on the level of on the surface level of beliefs, you know, oops, we lost him again. Yeah, as a middle of a good rift there. Okay. Going to we should have quit while we’re ahead.

Norio Kushi: Yeah. Yeah. So, so I wanted to point those things out. Good. And then the, let’s see, so. So I want to emphasize that when we’re judging, right and wrong, good and bad, we’re not seeing the whole picture. Right? Okay. Which is not good or bad, either. It’s fine. But be aware that that’s, that is focusing the attention on a narrow now narrower spectrum. It’s happening. Life is effortless, and so resistance and struggle. They’re good teachers. I’ve used resistance and struggle, in many, many ways to see what’s really happening underneath. I mean, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve been able to do that, because my mother always told me trust my feelings. So whenever I feel effort and struggle, oh, what’s that about? So it’s always been a teacher for me, throughout my life, I could then look at what’s going on underneath. Or, you know, attempt to. Let’s see, and then yeah, and, and what what we all want to be whole and complete and free. We’re already there is, it’s just a matter of seeing. Our attention just doesn’t see it right now. Because of the way the brain has been conditioned. And but it’s all we’re already there. That’s that’s the cosmic joke. Yeah. Yeah, we struggle our whole life for this. And it turns out, we’re always there. We’re the ones that gets in the way.

Rick Archer: We’ve already won the lottery, we just have to get the ticket out of the sock drawer and go cash it in.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, it’s it. It’s in this linear time, space reality in which we find ourselves is relative time space reality. Just the game like Monopoly? Yeah. We just have a good time. For all those musicians out there. Use the tuning, instead of this was considered standard tuning a 440 is a 432. Okay. And because that, that puts those pitches, the different notes in line with our chocolates,

Rick Archer: that’s interesting. A, what was it again, a 442. Now a

Norio Kushi: 432 or 32. Interesting, as opposed to a 440, which is standard today. I

Rick Archer: heard that Joni Mitchell used a completely different kind of tuning in her guitar.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, John Lennon used a 432 Even with the Beatles and everything or with The Beatles, but my son was telling me that that was a 432 was only the John Landon. Cool.

Rick Archer: Interesting. All righty, well, on that note. Better summarize and wrap it up. I’ve been speaking with Norio Khushi. I will he’ll have his own page on As everyone always does, and from there, I will link to his website and have a little bio of him and stuff like that. So thanks to those who’ve been patient listening or watching and especially to those online who’ve been patient patiently watching as we had multiple internet interruptions. This show is part of an ongoing series. And if you go to You’ll see all the old ones you’ll also see a place to sign up for the audio podcast email notification, donate button bunch of other things. And about covers it. So we’ll see you next week and thank you. Thanks again. I really appreciate having a conversation with you.

Norio Kushi: Yeah, thank you, Rick, thank you for this platform and all your guests and listeners.

Rick Archer: It’s been good talking to you