Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually awakening people and discussions of related topics. I’ve done hundreds of them now and if this is new to you and you’d like to look at previous ones, please go to batgap.com and look under the past interviews menu. This program is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers, so if you appreciate it and feel like supporting it, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the site and there’s also a donation page that discusses other ways of donating or supporting if you don’t like PayPal. My guest today is Dr. Pamela Eakins. Pamela is a sociologist and visionary cosmologist. She has taught at Stanford University, the University of Colorado, and the California Institute of Integral Studies. She’s the founder and director of Pacific Center. Her books include Tarot of the Spirit, Kabbalah and the Tarot of the Spirit, the Lightning Papers, Ten Powers of Evolution, Visionary Cosmology, The New Paradigm, Mothers in Transition, The American Way of Birth, Passages for a Spiritual Birth, and Priestess. So, judging from the titles of your books, Pamela, I guess it would be fair to say that your interests have included tarot, visionary cosmology, and motherhood or birth, not necessarily in that order, right?
Pamela: That is true, and would you say my interests also include writing? I love to write. Yeah, I do, and recording experience and going inward and finding words to describe things and maybe to change things too.
Rick: So, we’re going to loop back and kind of go through things chronologically a little bit, but I thought I’d start by asking you first what cosmology is, and you have a definition, I’ll read your definition, tell me if you want to elaborate. You said, “Cosmology is the art of articulating the evolution of creation, how the universe has unfolded and is unfolding.” Anything more you want to say about that?
Pamela: I’ll stay with that definition, but I want to add that being a sociologist, we humans are the universe, and I am very interested in the way human cosmology unfolds, because a lot of times people think of cosmology in relationship to the unfolding of the universe itself, starting with the Big Bang or what have you, and then the continuation of that. I am interested in that, because the universe operates by certain principles, and as it turns out, we too are universe, and probably contain many of those operating principles of the universe within our own selves. So, I’m interested in how the human universe unfolds in particular, and how human society unfolds, that’s one of my big interests. And just for example, I have taught in the past a course called Social Cosmology, and that’s about society and the development of social cosmology and society and how that works. So, that’s the part that really holds my attention.
Rick: Okay, so does what you just said explain why you use the adjective visionary to distinguish what you do from plain vanilla cosmology?
Pamela: Okay, visionary from the two V’s, you know, peace, right, visionary. Okay, so where the visionary part of it came from is, if one comes to an understanding of how things unfold, what are the principles by which things unfold, how does it fit together, there’s a possibility then that you can move into that and intervene in certain areas or with certain aspects of the principles or use the principles themselves, operating principles, to intervene so that you can actually create the social world, for example, and maybe even engineer or cultivate components of that social world or the world within our own being. So, the visionary has to do with what is your vision and what would you want to create and then you create the ongoing cosmos.
Rick: Okay, so the universe obviously is 14 billion years old almost by our current understanding and we are a very recent arrival on the scene, extremely recent, last fraction of a second if the length of the universe were put on a 24-hour timescale, and the universe has obviously been creating along quite well without our involvement all this time, and now you’re talking about what we want to create. So, does that relate to a point you made a minute ago about how we contain the principles of intelligence which govern the universe? Are you talking about kind of harnessing or utilizing those principles in order to participate in the universe’s kind of creative drive and kind of harness that for our own purposes or something?
Pamela: In a sense, yes, because there is a flow to universal energies and if we begin to understand the flow of the universal energies, we can participate with that flow. And like you said, we are the new kids on the block and we have got a long way to go, you know, but I would love to tell you a story about vision if I could. And this is a story that began to move me into the visionary cosmology, but I didn’t know it at the time. And the story that I’m telling right now that I want to tell, that I just began to tell in my life, is this story of going to El Salvador in the middle of the war. And I did not, previously I did not tell this story. This was 1985 when this story began, so it’s a long time ago now, but I was unable to tell the story because of, one reason was PTSD from having been in the war, but another reason was I was also harassed actually by a bit by the US government and a few other reasons also because people’s lives were at stake. I didn’t want to tell the story, but now I want to tell you a story about vision because this is really where it began. So I went to El Salvador as part of a delegation, a professional delegation and it was a humanitarian delegation of 16 health workers, all doctors and nurses in public health, one social scientist, that was me, and then one reporter from the Los Angeles Times, so that was our team. And we were going there to study of all things the effects of war on health, and to do that we were meeting…
Rick: I could have saved you the trip. I could have said, “Pamela, it’s bad for health, don’t go.”
Pamela: Oh my gosh. I’ll cut to the conclusion and then go back. The conclusion was, “War is not good for children and other living things.” So that was the conclusion. And so, yeah, I mean, it’s quite amazing that we did this, but our mission was to prepare a report for Congress, which we did, and that was in a sense the essence of the report. None of us fully realized what we were getting into. None of us had… well, a couple people had been in a war zone, but not to the extent of the war zone we were entering at that time. The night before we went into El Salvador, this is the story I want to tell you about vision. Visionary, being a visionary. The night before we went into El Salvador, we were in Mexico City, and we met with Salvadoran guerrillas who were masterminding the war from Mexico City. They were part of masterminding the war. They could not go into El Salvador because it was too dangerous for them to be in El Salvador, and a lot was taking place in Mexico City that had to do with that war. So, we were led in a van down curving streets at night. It was dark, around and around and around so that we would get mixed up and not know where we were, and we were taken into an abandoned warehouse district, and into a, around and around the warehouse district, and then into a warehouse where we walked in. There’s no power, there was no power anywhere, so no lights. Walked in, again around and around and around so we would be confused, and some people of our delegation had flashlights. Now, how they knew to bring flashlights, I don’t know. We did not know each other before going. We were from all across the United States, but some people seem to be a little better versed than others, including I don’t know how all the appointments were made with all of the people, or you know how they got this meeting with the guerrillas. I doubt I wasn’t part of that. So, we went into this almost like a, you could call it a conference room. It had something like a conference table, which we all sat around, and at the head of the table was a guerrilla, the leader, and standing next to him on both sides, he was flanked by men, all of them bearing machine guns, you know, automatic weapons, big machine guns, and we sat down, and he told us the story, and basically what he was asking us to do is take the story he was telling back to President Reagan. Reagan was president at the time, and he believed, he definitely believed we would be able to do that. In other words, he believed that we had that kind of power, and upon our return, we would probably be sitting down with the president. So, that was interesting to me to start with, and this was our very first meeting. So, he proceeded to tell about what was wrong, and everything that was wrong was, of course, right. For example, here’s what we need. We need food, we need sanitation, we need clean water, we need shelter, we need education, we need jobs, you know, all of the things that you would think of that human beings need, and 50% of the children were suffering from malnutrition. It was very high, so it was the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and he laid it out, and then he said, “We need the United States to be out of El Salvador. There’s a big US presence of money and military in El Salvador. We need the US out of El Salvador. Here’s what we want you to tell your president. Tell your president that El Salvador is a country, a very small country, about the size of Massachusetts. We have got internal problems here, very serious internal problems, and these are not East-West problems, meaning it’s not a Communist problem or something like that. What is going on here is a problem, it’s more like a class and race problem that he was describing. So, he said, “We need the US out because we need to take care of our own issues, and we need to look at how to work our own land and things like that.” Okay, so here’s me, I’m very young, I’m very naive, and I understood him, and I agreed with him, but at the same time, my mind was going to the place of, I couldn’t grasp what he was saying in terms of how things might change, because I already was aware of how many people were being killed every day and what was happening with this war. So, I raised my hand very tentatively, this is me raising my hand very carefully, and he was extremely surprised that anyone would have the audacity to ask a question, and not pleased, and he called on me, “What do you want?” By the way, this is all in Spanish. “What do you want?” And I said, “Okay, I have a question for you. When you win,” because there was absolutely no doubt could be raised, like if you win, so this is when you win, “When you win, what will you do to change things?” No, excuse me, “When you win, what is your vision?” That was the question, vision. “When you win, what is your vision?” And he was furious, pounding the table or whatever he did, I can’t remember, and he said, “I just told you the vision. I just told you the vision, and I just told you what we want.” And I said, “I mean, what I mean is,” and I said, “I respect, you know, what you just said.” I really respected it, believe me, I was terrified. And I said, “I really, I respect what you said, and I understand, I understand that the children are starving. What I mean by the vision is how would you do things differently? What would your vision be to do things differently so that you would not wind up entering into the same problem again where you would have one group in power and then another group would get in power, and then you’d have the same issues and the power would keep changing hands, but the issues wouldn’t be resolved.” Again, he was furious. He paused, he calmed down. Before I tell you what he said, I want to tell you that this man had been in the Salvadoran Army, and he switched sides and became a guerrilla leader. So that’s a little background on him, but he calmed down, he thought for a minute, and he said, “Okay, we are not prophets. That is not what we do.” He said, “We are working to get the power. We will get in power. Once we get in power, we’ll turn our attention to these other things.” And I, myself, without fully realizing it, right in that moment, I had a little “ding.” It was a “ding,” and it didn’t come in fully, but the gist of it was, “Wait a minute, new paradigm.” That’s where I began, and it was before even arriving. That stuck with me, that has stuck with me my entire life, and basically that’s what I’ve been working on ever since. That wasn’t the moment that moved me the most, but it was a real awakening.
Rick: Yeah, I mean, I presume everybody understood the gist of what you just said, but you know, basically you get the sort of violent, incoherent, you mentioned several times how angry he was, angry, you know, volatile people, and they presume that they’re going to be able to govern a country. What qualifies such people to govern a country? Which, you know, points to a deeper issue, which is that what really governs a country? Is it the so-called leaders, or is it the general level of consciousness of the people in that country? Could you get Jesus and Gandhi and Martin Luther King in the leadership of a country full of crazy incoherent people, and would that become an ideal country just because you had some really great leaders? Or do all the populace have to be raised up to a higher level of functioning in order for, you know, society to really work?
Pamela: Well, I think that is a question that we are, we, you know, this large we and many of the people you are speaking with, that’s a question that a lot of us are working on. So, but back if I could just maybe tell another story that happened there, and then I could maybe bring you a little bit up to date about why I started doing the work that I’m doing.
Pamela: So, when I went there, I was a researcher at Stanford University, and I had a joint appointment at the UCLA School of Public Health, and that was where the books on childbirth and those things came from, because that’s what I was working on. We had a grant from the state of California to study, a big grant, it was a big grant, to study out-of-hospital birth, births, and look at medical outcome, and that’s what I was doing, and I was working in women’s health, and that’s what I was looking at when I went to El Salvador, that was going to be one of my areas of specialization, and by the way, I was assigned to, because of that, interestingly, I was assigned to Mothers of the Disappeared, so that was going to be my area that I would be reporting on to Congress, the Congress, and my other area was the refugee situation. So what is happening with the refugees? So I spent quite a bit of time with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and at a number of refugee camps, and with refugees. On the way, I met another person, this goes back to your question that you just raised, I want to mention something about another person I met who really did become the turning point for me, and this person was a doctor, a medical doctor, and a professor of medicine. When we left Mexico City, first of all, that night, after we met with the guerrillas, we met in our hotel room, we had a briefing, we had a debriefing every night, and a briefing at like 10 o’clock every night for a long time, the whole time. And that night we had our debriefing, and people were really uneasy, because they had not expected what happened with the guerrillas. We thought we could be sitting with those guerrillas, we thought if they were in the mood, they could have very easily wiped us out, if they had felt like it, and we became aware of that, but it was nothing like what we actually experienced in El Salvador, which was any moment we could be wiped out, and that we found that we had a lot of enemies, and we weren’t even sure who they were. So we were followed everywhere we went, all of our bags and everything were rifled through every day, we had to carry everything with us that was of value, we had notes, we had film, we had all kinds of things from our interviews, and the American government voiced their displeasure with us, and called us in for a mandatory session at the American Embassy. The American government was primarily funding the war in El Salvador, so in terms of who is the government in that case, well we were trying to get an appointment with the president of the country at the time, Duarte, and we were unable to get an appointment with him, but the people at his office laughed and they said, “Well you’ve already gone over his head anyway,” because we were already meeting with the American ambassador, and they said, “That’s, you’ve already been to the highest point in the country, you don’t need to speak to Duarte.” So that was part of it, that was the feeling, so who is running the country, this is just a country, some country, who gets to run a country, and in this case the US was basically representing landowner interests, and it was very similar, one person said, one of the landowner people said, “Well we don’t, we’re just like you, we don’t want anything different than you Americans want, you know, we’re dealing with the same situation you’re dealing with you know in the United States,” where we were trying to get the land, we’re trying to get the land from the Indians, you know, “very similar to what you are going through,” and this land in El Salvador was not surveyed or cordoned off, you know, it was the land goes from this rock to this tree to you know, and then it was bought up, and there are all these people living there who are the indigenous people, so that’s a big problem, so that was a big problem. So now back to our delegation going into El Salvador, so the morning in that night debriefing after the guerrillas, we were also told that night, we are taking a lot of medical supplies into El Salvador, and here’s what you need to say, these are going to be, first of all, these are going to be medical supplies for political prisoners, and here’s what you need to say, and then we were told we had two delegation leaders, and the delegation leaders started telling us how to answer questions, and as I mentioned, we didn’t know each other before, and a number of, not just me, but several people did not want to be told how to answer questions, because we were professionals, and we felt we would answer questions any way we wanted to, if someone asked us, and secondly, we didn’t even know we were taking in medical supplies, and why are we taking in medical supplies? We’re a delegation to create a report for Congress not to take medical supplies, and maybe taking medical supplies would in some way hinder our delegation, because it would be claiming a side or something like that. I’m not quite sure how to express that, but I was a bit uneasy, so I just wanted to not know about it, that we were taking medical supplies if we were, because I just wanted to do my job on the delegation, and I didn’t want to become involved with any kind of sides or anything like that. I will say, after we got on the ground in El Salvador, that it was such a frightening experience, after about three days, I started really bonding with my delegation, with all the people in the delegation, we all started bonding, and I wound up being one of the people who delivered the medical supplies, and those medical supplies were going to be picked up, they would be delivered to the university, and picked up at the university by a professor of medicine, who is the person I wanted to tell you about, and some graduate students. So I thought, oh this is good, because I’ll feel more comfortable at the university. This is after experiencing things like listening to bombs, especially all night long, mortars, continually crashing, gunshots, all night, just continuous, after seeing groups of people rounded up in front of our hotel, after seeing pools of blood on the street, this was serious, we were in a war. Pause for a moment, I’m taking that in myself, I’ve not been able to talk about this before. So then we take the medical supplies by taxi to the university, and I’m looking forward to in a certain sense being at home at the university, I’m always at home on university campuses, that’s the way I felt. We’re unloading the medical supplies, and realizing suddenly we were in a very open space, it was kind of an open plaza, and then realizing the extreme danger that we were facing by being in a very open space, because now we had already been told that people like us are in extreme danger in El Salvador, like the four nuns had been killed, the four Dutch journalists had been killed, other humanitarian workers had been killed, and we were prime targets. So we quickly were trying to get these medical supplies out of the way and get closer to the walls really, so we would have more cover, and as we got closer to the walls of the university, I could see that the walls were full of bullet holes, and this is something that we did experience everywhere we went. So here are walls that have been knocked down, that have rebar sticking out, that are covered with graffiti, and by the way it was ghost town, where were the students? There weren’t any, there were about three students who came to help load up the medical supplies, there was the medical professor, but there weren’t any teachers. Where were all the people? They were gone. He takes us into his office, sits down with me, with us, but he started speaking to me and he asked me, he said, “What field are you in?” and I said, “Sociology, I’m a sociologist,” and he said, “Oh, oh, oh, yes, the sociologists were the first people to be disappeared. The sociologists are the first to go because they care about people and they’re coming up with ideas that might help the situation, and that is not something that is valued in this country,” and so the sociologists were gone, and as he was speaking, I noticed a strange light in his eyes, and I realized I had seen this light before with other people we had met, and it was a glow, it was a radiant glow, a brilliant light coming out of his eyes, and he had just finished telling us how much his life was in danger because of what he was doing, which was not discriminating in terms of who needed health care. He would serve anyone who needed it, and he said to me with those glowing eyes, he said, “These people, these people, you know, they’re beautiful,” and what he meant was the people out in the country, they were supposed to be the enemy, and I said, “You have this glow in your eyes. I’ve seen it in the eyes of other people. Do you know what I’m talking about?” and he said, “I do know.” I thought he would think I was crazy, but he said, “I know what you’re talking about. I do know,” and I said, “Well, what is it?” and he said, “It’s Jesus. It’s Jesus. Jesus is looking out of my eyes. Jesus is in my body. Jesus is with me. Jesus is looking out of my eyes,” and when he said, “When I see the people, when I go in the country, when I see the people, I see Jesus in them. I see Jesus in each and every one of them,” and he said, “You go in the country and you have to love them. You learn to love them. They are Jesus.” That was the moment for me. I didn’t realize it at that time. First of all, Jesus was not in my vocabulary, I must say, not at all. This was not my– I was interested in political solutions to the conflict, if I was interested in anything, which basically means you talk and you vote and you do things like that, and that’s how you determine who’s the government. Back to the government, you vote, something like that. You try to initiate a democratic system, and I can see that was going to be very difficult there, but when he said, “Jesus is in my eyes,” that was when the really big awakening began for me that would stay with me for the rest of my life and it will be with me for the rest of my life, because I realized– this goes back to what you were saying, I know I’m telling a long story now, but it goes back to what you were saying about who could govern the country, will it change, what needs to happen. I don’t know if we will be able to change on a mass scale, but that sense and that experience of having that kind of awakening is such a powerful experience, and I will mark that moment. I know that very moment when I looked into his eyes was the moment that my own personal awakening began, because I could no longer, I would find out once I was able to get out of El Salvador, which I did not think I would be able to, I would find out that I was not able after that to return to the life that I had been living. That life was over, it was over.
Rick: So the main shift of view there was the realization that political, and certainly military, but even political manipulation is kind of superficial and that really it has to go deeper to a spiritual solution. Incidentally, I spent like three months in Iran just right up until the time before the Shah left, and I used to go walking on the streets with this Swedish friend of mine with blonde hair and we really stuck out, and you know people would come up to us, “Are you crazy? Get off the streets, your life is in danger, go back to your hotel.” And then I spent like nine months in the Philippines just before Marcos left, and things were starting to get a little crazy there, but those were nothing compared to your experience, and you know there are degrees and degrees. I mean if we were to go to Yemen today or some place like that, or Syria, parts of Syria, it would be even more horrible. So there are all these degrees of chaos and incoherence in the world, and I think ultimately what you and I are kind of coming around to here in this conversation is, and it’s interesting because my next interview is going to be with James O’Dea, who was the head of the Washington Bureau of Amnesty International for quite a while, and has done all sorts of interventions to try to stop torture and stuff like that. So you know there have been all kinds of well-meaning people who want to change the world, obviously, and some of them have gone about it in a political way, and some of them have gone about it in an economic way, and you know some of them have tried to marry spirituality of some sort with their efforts, like Martin Luther King or Gandhi. But maybe it begs the question, you know, what is the ultimately most effective thing that one can do to shift the trends of time, to change a society? I think I’ll be talking about this with James O’Dea also. So you know, you shifted to an appreciation that it must be spiritual in some sense, you know, it can’t just be political, that’s not working. And that was decades ago that you began that shift, so you know, what have you come to in terms of any kind of conclusion? Do you feel that peace in society will ever be possible, and if so, what will bring it about?
Pamela: Mm-hmm. Maybe on the road to complete enlightenment, we come to places where humanitarian efforts make a huge difference. I just want to back up for a moment, I’m thinking about your next guest. One of the things that I did not realize in El Salvador was that, as I mentioned, we interviewed probably 200 people from many, many groups, many walks of life on all sides of the war. We spent quite a bit of time with the American Embassy and with Salvadorian officials, military, we spent a lot of time with political prisoners in the jails, with the refugees, with legal defense people, legal defense funds, and I want to say, I want to thank your next guest, because what I realized is that all of the people who were speaking to us, almost all of them, were risking their lives by speaking to us, that was part of it, but they spoke to us because they believed that we could make a difference as international observers, international witnesses. We were performing a role that was similar to Amnesty International, which I did not realize, but I heard about Amnesty and what they were doing when I was there, and it wasn’t just Amnesty, but also other groups of compiling the names of political prisoners, keeping tabs on them, where they were, what jails, and so on, and then bringing as much illumination as possible to those cases, so that, well, because the people would not be killed if their case was visible, maybe, maybe. So we did spend time with political prisoners, they were telling us their stories, it was also how we got access into the prisons, because we were international observers, and they were a little bit worried about not allowing us access, but they were also worried about allowing us access, and the prisoners, the political prisoners, they would be prisoners of conscience, and maybe they had some ideas about how things could change that were not appreciated, which is why they were in prison, and why they had been, all of them, a hundred percent tortured, and, you know, trying to keep them quiet. So I came to a full appreciation, a very big appreciation of organizations, especially international organizations like Amnesty International, and the work that they are doing to try to preserve the views, the people and their views, who may have a differing viewpoint, that’s different from the norm, and so that was really important too. So the question is, can we ever do this? Can we bring peace? Is it even possible? Can we ever get to that point? I don’t know whether we can get to that point or not. Actually, this is what my book is about. I just have finished my new book, which is a memoir of this period, which is why I’m talking about this time period. It’s very fresh in my mind right now, and the book is called, it’s called, it’s called The Land of Kindness, but there are three volumes. The first one is called Blindness and Sight, but the second one is called To End the War. So it’s The Land of Kindness, To End the War, and in this book, The Land of Kindness, To End the War, I talk about this, I address this question, is it even possible that we could bring peace, that we could come up with the different ways of knowing and something that might help? And I’ll just interject that I have been spending all of these years since then, the last more than three decades, working on developing a new paradigm. So I just want to put that to the side right now and say that people have very different views, and even in my own family, the views are very different about what should happen. And we see it in our country right now, this split right down the middle, almost down the middle, of support for our government and the way our government is going, and then complete approval and then complete disapproval, on the other hand. And that may always exist, I don’t know. But my vow, my personal vow, is to continue the work. Well, I must say actually, I have actually taken the Bodhisattva vows with the Dalai Lama along the way, and part of my personal work is to keep doing it as Mother Teresa would say, “anyway.” Keep doing it anyway. But the part that I need to do and be very clear about is, I need to be, in order to do that, I need to be very clear about my own values, what’s important to me, what I value, what I want to bring forward, and then just keep working on that, and then keep talking with people, and keep expanding the ideas, because there are people all over the world, you know, as you know, internationally now, who we are on the same wavelength with the kind of values that we want to bring forward in our world, you know, as we try to work for peace, as we try to operationalize love. I say operationalize love because we can talk about peace and love, but we need to talk about what that means. How do you, what is compassion? How do you take care of people or help people find their way? And maybe, for example, like self-determination might be an issue, or empowerment, you know, those kinds of things, for all, you know, and a respect for all, and respect for diversity. So those are just some of the things I am working for as so many of us are, so many of us working on these issues, and it’s a movement as you know. Yeah, we’re all part of a movement.
Rick: I mean, let me know if this sounds simplistic to you, but I’ve always thought that just as the individual is the unit of society, the unit of a family, unit of a community, unit of society, the greater society, individual peace would have to be the unit of world peace or peace, you know, national peace or whatever. If you have a nation or a world comprised of very unpeaceful people who are full of anger and violence within their own psyches, then what do you expect on a national or international level? Sure, there’s going to be a lot of craziness on that level. So it’s like, you know, the old forest analogy, if you want a forest to be green then every tree in the forest is going to have to be green, although if each tree is withered and dry, it’s going to have a gray forest. So I guess it comes down to, is it idealistic or naive to think that possibly enough individuals could become genuinely peaceful within themselves that that would ripple up and we’d see a peaceful society? And then that requires us to ask the question, well, what is peace? Is it enlightenment? Is it some degree of spiritual development? How would we define individual peace? And you just a minute ago mentioned compassion and certain qualities like that, which we shouldn’t just say peace because obviously there’s some very beautiful values which if they were more fully flowered in large numbers of people, we would see them at large in society. People would tend to vote that way, they would tend to act that way, we wouldn’t necessarily have the imbalances we have in society where a tiny fraction has huge wealth and then billions of people are starving. Anyway, those are some thoughts around my brain.
Pamela: Exactly, and so do I think it’s idealistic? Yes, I do. Am I idealistic? Yes, I am. The older I get, the more idealistic I get. I was very cynical when I was young. I’m not cynical anymore, I’m just doing what I can. But some of the things that come in there that I am trying to do to move in this direction would be to work toward a redefinition of certain things in our society. For example, well I’m a mediator, that’s a big part of what I do. So I’ve done lots of court-ordered mediation where I live and what we do in mediation is we try to redefine the conflict and turn it into a win-win situation. And the mediation is the same kind of mediation that you would do at any level. You could do it between neighbors who are having an issue with a tree or between countries. It’s the same process. And basically the core of mediation has to do with not the presenting issue. So let’s say the presenting issue is the tree that borders between two properties. That’s the presenting issue. But the way the mediation is always solved is by hearing, by each party hearing the other party’s story in a deep way, active listening, really hearing the story and then validating the story from the other person’s point of view. So it’s really all about validation and communication. And basically what that kind of process does is it changes the way we view conflict. And that is one of the keys that instead of conflict being a win-lose situation, conflict becomes a “Oh, let’s explore this issue” kind of situation. But of course people have to be on board with that. You’re talking about the spirit of wanting resolution has to be there. And that’s a part that is missing a lot of times. So then we go back to the one-on-one. But before leaving that, I want to say one other conflict, redefining conflict, that’s a key. But the other one would be redefining power. Because right now the human species is invested in the idea of essentially the power over model. We’re still invested in that idea. And what we want to do, those of us who are working in this movement, is work more toward a synergistic model where people are contributing what they’re able to contribute, so to speak. And it’s a power becomes redefined as linking together with other people. So that would be power with. And these are some very basic ideas, but these are some of the key ideas we are working with. And I’ve worked very extensively here in the school systems with children with these ideas. And I saw it make a difference over many years with a whole community of children as they grew up. It makes a difference. It does make a difference. And they want to make a difference too, by the way. The kids, I worked with middle and high school level kids, and the most important, their biggest issue, by the way, the biggest issue, and this is one of the biggest issues I work with in my life with adults too, and groups of people, their biggest issue is called disconnect. That’s the word they use. And the thing they want the most in the world is to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. I’m using their language. And to make a difference. So we’ve got a lot of young people here who really want to make a difference. We are making a difference. I feel like, Rick, we are making a difference. But I don’t know how, I don’t know. I’ll go back to the guerilla. I’m not a prophet. I want to sometimes believe I’m a prophet. I’m not a prophet. But I will continue to, you know, to do this work that we’re talking about. I’m very, very dedicated. And also to coming up with, we shift through ideas. Here’s one other piece. Our consciousness shifts through ideas. And a lot of times it does start intellectually. We just get an idea. A new idea comes into our mind and we say, “Oh, I see how that could work.” And then eventually, as it becomes stronger within us, it gets embodied. And then we can really work with it and it can really change us. It’s like one of the teachers I studied with said, “Oh, I used to always be engaged in the laying on of hands. And right now, what I’m engaged in is the laying on of ideas. And I’m watching how the ideas go out. And that’s what I’m doing. I’m engaged in the laying on of ideas, which is why I’m working so hard to develop some of these ideas, put them into essentially paragraph form, so to speak, and then lob them out into the world, which is what I’m doing with the writing.
Rick: Which is what you’re doing with what?
Pamela: With the writing process. I also teach writing, by the way. I also have, basically, there are several things I do. One of them is teaching writing because writing is a process that when people go inside and they find the words, then they know what they believe. And then there’s a legion of writers, right? Writers and speakers and even politicians, you know, out there working with all this information to bring about the kind of change that we’re talking about. So people are working on it. We’ve got a lot of great representatives, by the way, in California who I share many values with.
Rick: About a month ago I interviewed a woman named Caverly Morgan who is doing a very successful mindfulness program in the Portland Public Schools. And you know, we’re hearing all the time stories about bullying in the schools and kids committing suicide and stuff like that. And her program has had a marvelous effect on transforming the culture of the schools in which it’s been taught. And you know, bullying has virtually disappeared and suicide and that kind of thing is way down. And it’s very profound. There’s a whole video about her program that you can find a link to from her page on batgap.com. But you know, if that kind of thing could be spread universally throughout society, it wouldn’t necessarily always be the same kind of program, you know, and spread in the hands of people who are really qualified to spread it, who themselves were embodying what they were teaching in their own realization. And Caverly had spent eight years in a Zen monastery and was quite a highly realized person. And it could be applied to older people too, but if it could be provided to the youth in their developmental stages, you know, imagine how transformed the society could be. What a difference that could make in terms of all these intractable political problems that we keep facing.
Pamela: Absolutely. I’d like to mention now my biggest contribution, I think, in the school district, which it’s funny that such a small thing could make such a difference. But for 13 years, I organized something called a youth summit, a youth summit and speak-outs, where many speak-outs, where the kids would come and they would talk about what was important to them and what the issues were, what was going on. And at these speak-outs, they would pick topics for their youth summit. When at the youth summit, once a year, they would come together and share. And this was a very important time. They would determine the topics and then I would bring in counselors, mostly counselors, people from the community, psychotherapists and people like that to facilitate breakout groups that would happen. And so there was a big build-up to this all year and then we would have the youth summit. And what I introduced at the youth summit that made such a giant difference, the kids picked their breakout group that they wanted to be involved in. It could be, it might be drugs and alcohol, it could be gangs, it could be anything that was on their mind. A friend of mine made for me 25 talking sticks and I took these talking sticks into these breakout groups so that the kids, each kid would have a chance to speak. And this is the first time for most of them in their lives they had this opportunity. Because what they said was, so these are these would be mixed cultural groups, they’re very mixed cultural groups because when the youth picked their, picked a breakout topic, it would break them out of their normal cliques they would be in. And these normal cliques were what reinforced the ongoing behavior. And then when they were able to break out of the cliques and listen to other people’s stories, they would have very dramatic breakthroughs. And they would begin to tell their own story because they had the opportunity. They were holding the talking stick in their hands, everyone was listening. And many times these were kids who had never spoken because they said by, you know, in their own words that, “Starting in first grade or so, the teacher would recognize only certain kids in the class and scan over the rest of the class.” And so certain kids got in the habit of speaking all the time and a lot of kids never spoke. And then this just continued. Because for me, a big part of liberation is self-expression. If we cannot express ourselves, we are not free. So this is another aspect of it. And I’d like to tell you a little story about one group, one year. I was chairing the gang breakout group. And there were several gang breakout groups. But in this one gang breakout group, a young man wanted to come and talk about his experience and he was beyond high school age. He was probably 19 or 20 and he had been jumped out of a gang. Everybody probably has gangs, but we definitely have gangs here. And it’s not just the children, their parents are also in gangs. I am on the California Coast, south of San Francisco. And there’s a lot of immigration, very mixed cultural community and a lot of gang activity. And you know, people searching for security in gangs, which I understand. So this one young man had been jumped out of a gang and he made a vow that he was going to try to bring gangs together as his life work. And he wanted to come and speak and he wanted to talk. So I was in, I happened to be in the breakout group with him. I was facilitating that group and he came in wearing a red and blue plaid shirt. So that’s integrating both of the gang colors, the red and the blue. The kids in group, some of them were in gangs and some of them were gang wannabes. They were younger and were considering entering a gang. One young man had no affiliation and he was very young, he was only about 14 and he never heard the things people in this particular group were talking about. And he would, I remember him sitting there with his eyes so wide open taking it all in. He was just interested in the subject was all. Anyway, so there were all these gang kids and then on top of that there was a police officer in the group and he was off duty and he was just helping and wanted to be part of it. And then there was a high school counselor in the group and she was wanted to be part of it too. And the young man with the plaid shirt, red and blue plaid shirt, he was talking about, he wanted to make the point about what else you could do, how you could help so that kids did not go into gangs. And what you could do is you could help to support them in a different way. And he was lamenting that he had not been supported by his father, that everything he did, he kept trying to get his father’s attention. He only wanted one thing in his life. He wanted his father to tell him he was proud of him. “Son, I’m proud of you.” That is all he wanted. Never heard this from his father. And he tried every good thing he could think of and then he started going into bad things and could never get any attention. When he told this story, this story struck a nerve. It struck a chord with the rest of the kids. Interestingly, as he was telling the story, it also struck a chord with the high school counselor and the police officer, both of whom started to cry, the counselor and the police officer. And they sat there. The counselor was weeping and the police officer was just tearing up. But because we had the talking stick, they didn’t get to speak yet. And then we passed the stick around and what happened was that the people in the group, the youth and the adults, agreed that a key point was parental support. And the police officer said he had the identical experience as the young man in the gang, that he did everything he could to get his father’s attention, never could get his father’s attention, wound up becoming a police officer, which is similar to becoming a gang member in the sense that he was part of this gang, but he was on the, quote, like the good side. And the high school counselor also had the same experience, never having been told by anyone that, her parents, that they were proud of her. This became a theme. It was a theme among a lot of the kids in the gang group. And the conclusion was that year, tell your kids you’re proud of them. Okay? And what that means is support people. And we have to begin by supporting the people sitting in this very circle, no matter which gang they are. If they’re red, if they’re blue, you know, it doesn’t matter. We need to support each other. If you’re a cop or if you’re a gangster, we need to support each other. See, this cop is a real person. He’s not just a cop. And this gang leader is not just a gang leader. These are people with deep experiences in society. So the answer here comes in telling your story, being allowed to tell your story in a safe place, and being witnessed, having your story witnessed. Final part of this story is that night. First, the story of that particular group traveled throughout all the kids in the youth summit. And they all heard about this, tell your kids you’re proud of them theme. And they were all talking about it. “Did your father ever tell you he was proud of you?” It had to do mostly with the men, I want to say. They didn’t talk about, did my mother tell me I was proud of me? It was the father. It was all about the father. So that night, hundreds of parents came at the end of the day. And the youth put on a presentation. So they had speeches that had grown out of this for the parents. And there was a very impassioned speech done by this young man about “tell your kids you’re proud of them.” And this is why. And many of the parents were sitting there weeping, literally. And some were tearing up. And all were very thoughtful. And I am quite sure that they went home and told their kids they were proud of them. I can tell you I came home and I told my kids how proud I was of them. I told my husband how proud I was of him. And I have ever since that day, this has been also a theme in my life, to listen to people very carefully and to always try to support that person. Even if I don’t completely understand the story, I want to understand story in a much deeper way and be as supportive as possible. So I think just having the opportunity within the schools, you can build this and it’s possible. Like building in mindfulness, you could do that. Building in a mindfulness practice. We had built in and it’s still built in in our area these annual youth summits and these after-school speak-outs where the kids can come. And also I was also involved, heavily involved in the peer counseling programs, which you can also do, peer counseling and conflict resolution in the schools. So when you have the bully situation, and here’s another case, and we’re doing this in our legal system too, and I’ve worked in legal system as well. But the like between a bully and a child who has been bullied to come together and listen to each other’s stories and get to a deeper level with where this is coming from and what’s behind it. So that’s another way to go is with the storytelling.
Rick: So as you speak, what comes to my mind is that there may be two components here. One is the kind of things you’re talking about, communications, mediation, storytelling, getting sort of the new grooves carved in the way we behave with one another. And another is to increase our capacity as human beings. And by that I mean like the kind of thing that deep spiritual practice can do. So it wouldn’t be enough for instance I think for Caverly Morgan to go into the Portland Public Schools and say, “Okay, here’s how to meditate, do that and let’s go about our day.” But in addition to learning practices such as that, there’s all sorts of interactive, communicative, breaking down social barrier kind of activities, which really helps the kids see each other as human beings and appreciate each other and be more loving and kind toward one another. Because you can meet people who’ve been spiritual practitioners for decades and they’re still very selfish and it’s all about me and my program and my spirituality and to heck with you. So I really, perhaps both just as some people these days say that you need both spiritual development and social activism to change the world. In this case some spiritual foundation but then all kinds of interactive engagement with one another to develop our skills as human beings, our emotional capacity and communicative skills and so on.
Pamela: As you’re speaking, I just had this thought that one of the things that is critical here is breaking down the barrier that is created by fear. So when we do these kind of activities to bring people together, what we’re doing is getting people excited about knowing each other and getting people excited about diversity rather than being afraid of that and getting people to break out of their groups, their social groups and getting people to interact with other social groups that they may not normally be interacting with like groups that are based on race or language. We’ve got all these problems here where I live, you know race, language, culture. And we’ve also got immersion programs here that the children can go into to learn other languages. Mainly the two languages here are English and Spanish but we have three languages in our county that are the official languages which would be English, Spanish and Chinese. And here, yeah right here, I live in a bilingual community and the community can easily divide just on the basis of the language and culture. Well the language is the culture basically, language and culture and part of what what I had worked toward for years and years is to break that barrier. And the year that I left, I’ll tell another a dangerous story, the year I left as coordinator of the Youth Summit, first I had children, it was more than the Youth Summit by the way, so a little place over there. I was on the board of an organization called the Coastside Collaborative and the vow of this organization, the mission of the organization was to make sure that no one in our area, our area is a 35 mile long, it’s a geographical area that is 35 miles long and three miles wide and has about seven towns and it’s geographically bordered, that’s how it gets you know it’s between the ocean and a mountain range. So our goal was to make sure that every person in that area was served and in terms of what the guerillas were saying from El Salvador, we need food, we need sanitation, we need medical supplies, you know we need medicine, we need health care, these are all the things that we need. Well these are all the things that we supplied. I was on the board and we were an umbrella organization for about 50 non-profit organizations and we met once a month and a representative from each non-profit would come and we would share information about the services and make sure that we weren’t duplicating services so that we weren’t wasting money and so on and we came up with a system where everybody was served but the thing was so there wasn’t anyone hungry and there still isn’t, nobody is going without food here and this we were not, it was called a collaborative, that’s the name of it, but we were not the only collaborative around. Our entire county was divided up into collaboratives and San Francisco divided into collaboratives, the same kind of collaboratives to make sure that people were not falling through the cracks and to find ways to help. So this was really, this is service, back to Mother Teresa, this is prayer in action, that’s what she called prayer in action. It’s where you really work to make these things happen because one of the causes of war and to use that term broadly, the cause of war is going to be basically the haves and have-nots but if we help to take care of each other, to reach out to people and so on, then you know the community is going to be a better place. But here’s what I wanted to say, I started it, that was parenthetical, I can do these really long parenthetical statements because what I was going to talk about was my last year with the Youth Summit. So by now, so I’d been doing it for 13 years and my children were already, they had already passed through, they were gone, they were gone, they were gone to college and maybe even out of college and I was still doing it, you know, still working in the schools. So but the last year I did this, after the Youth Summit, I got called in to the principal’s office in the middle school and I was in trouble, like the kid. So he says to me, “What went wrong at the Youth Summit?” And I said, “Nothing?” And he said, “Where were the white kids?” And I said, “Oh, I see what you mean. I don’t know, you have to apply to come.” And it turned out that we had more children of color, you might say, a lot more. Like it was probably 90% youth of color and maybe 10% white, which does not match our community demographics. And he was very upset and he said to me, “This cannot happen again.” And I said, “Oh,” but he’d been there as long as I had. And I said, “But we succeeded.” Because when we first started, the ratio was the other way around. 90% white, the kids who were very outspoken are the ones who came, maybe happened was over time, those children who had previously not had a voice found their voice. And their voice became louder and louder and louder until there was fear generated that they had gained so much personal power and so much empowerment through this experience that the people at the schools began to get worried about the power dynamics. And interestingly, I said to myself as I walked out the door of his office, I said, “I think my work is done here.” I felt like I was walking off into the sunset. It’s like, “Trigger, call it, you know, trigger.” That’s a horse. “Come on, let’s go, let’s ride on to the next town.” So, you know, it was actually very satisfying, but I left. I did leave right after that and interestingly so did he. I think that we both saw we have entered now a new era. We both left the same summer.
Rick: So you mentioned that after you got back from El Salvador and your vision went from political to spiritual, that you met many mysterious people with different ideas, different spiritual ideas. What sorts of people?
Pamela: Oh my gosh, this is the question. So, when I came back I was completely shifted. For example, so as I mentioned I live in Northern California and I had been planning to move to Southern California as soon as I returned from El Salvador. In fact, the only person I knew on the delegation was a doctor, one of the doctors, and I happened to be engaged to him. And we thought, you know, going into this war zone, he was a professor in the Department of Public Health at UCLA and we thought going into this war zone, this is good, we’re in public health, you know, this is good for us. We responded to that war in a very different way. I came out with my spirituality, you might say, blasted wide open and not really realizing it though, I didn’t, I couldn’t yet understand what was going on because I did come out with PTSD. Anyway, I broke up with him in the Mexico City Airport on the way home and I told him I need to go home, I need to go home. Well, my home was at the time, was on the market, it was being sold and I was supposed to move there, to Los Angeles to work at UCLA and be with him the following day. My kids were being taken care of by my assistant who took care of the kids and my aunt while I was in El Salvador. I was a single mom at the time and as soon as I got home, I called up the realtor and took my house off the market and I just said “I cannot move. I don’t know what’s going to happen but I’m not going to UCLA, I am not going to Los Angeles, I am not going to get married, I’m not doing any of that, I need to rethink my life. I don’t know what this means, I don’t know what I’m doing, I have no idea” and my brother was coming, he was already there, he and his friend to help me drive the moving van to Los Angeles. Everything in my house was packed, it was all in boxes and ready to go. I canceled it all, I just said I can’t do it and then I started unpacking the boxes and didn’t even know what the future held. First person I met in this time frame was, my daughter and I went out, it was Sunday morning and my daughter was about five years old and we were going to go out for breakfast on Sunday morning. Well, the restaurants were packed, we went to a little restaurant at a harbor by here, a working fishing harbor, commercial fishing and the restaurant was packed and the hostess said to us, “Well, if you want to,” because it’s hard for a five-year-old to wait 45 minutes for a table, so the hostess said to us, “Well, if you want to, you can sit here at the fisherman’s table,” which was a big square table and all fishermen, commercial fishermen and they’re getting ready to go out on their boats. So we said, “Sure, we’ll sit here.” Well, there was one woman at this table sitting back in the corner, a big table and she’s sitting way back in the corner of the table wearing a long black dress and a white turban and that was the area, the zone that was open at the table. We scooted down the booth all the way into that corner with her and the fishermen were talking about the phases of the moon and the tides and my daughter got very excited about this and she said, “Oh, oh, I love the faces of the moon. I love the faces of the moon.” She said, “I draw them all the time.” And we had not been in the conversation until then and I said, “Oh, no, no, no, no. They’re talking about phases of the moon when the moon’s really big and then it gets really small. Those are called phases.” And the woman who was sitting there then began to engage us in conversation and she started talking about the ancient women’s tradition and the moon and the moon goddess, just all of this different kind of conversation and the three of us got in this small conversation in the corner and she said to me, she leaned back and said, “I have been waiting here for you for two months. They told me that you would be here.” She said, “I recognized you as soon as you walked in the door and you are to begin an apprenticeship with me.” I said, I just laughed. This was a Sunday. I was the director of a big research project at Stanford. I carried a briefcase. I wore suits. This is hard to imagine. For me it’s hard to imagine, but that is a life that I was living. And I said, “I don’t think so.” And she said, “No, I’m right about this. I know it. I recognize it and we start tomorrow.” I said, “Impossible. This is impossible.”
Rick: Who was the “they” who told her about you?
Pamela: They were her guides.
Rick: Astral guides or celestial guides.
Pamela: Her astral guides. And she was, this woman was a fish cleaner. She had a job there. She was a fish cleaner on a commercial fishing boat. I mean a sport boat, a party boat they call it. So where people, not regular commercial fishermen, but people would come in and go out on the boat and catch a fish. They go out, or many fish. So they go out early in the morning, 5: 30, 6 o’clock in the morning. So she’s cleaning the fish on the boat, party boat they call it. And the Queen of Hearts was the name of the boat. So she’s working on the boat. Well she’s a vegetarian. She doesn’t eat fish. And so this is what she was telling us. So we, “Well why do you do that then?” So here’s our planet. She says, “I’m trying to come to terms with food on the planet. We have to eat and I’m trying to understand.” She said, “I came here. I was looking for you.” Me, she’s looking for me. And she said, “I got this job on the boat and I’ve been waiting here every day for two months.” So I say, “Well I can’t do it.” And she says, “Oh but you are going to do it.” And I found myself saying, “Oh maybe, maybe.” And she says, “Tomorrow, morning.” And I say, “Oh maybe I could call in.” And these were the days before people worked at home. This was before we had all this set up to work at home. But I did have a secretary. Those were the days when people actually had secretaries and we don’t do that anymore either. So I called up my secretary and I said, “You know, do you think it would be okay?” I did this. “Do you think it would be okay if I work from home tomorrow?” She said, “Sure I can handle the office. No problem. No problem at all.” So I say, “Oh my gosh.” So I find myself driving down to the parking lot at the harbor and find her in the place she has described, which is a little blue truck with a camper shell on the back and a Doberman guarding the door. She invites me to come in. I crawl in, very small space and she’s got what appears to be a television in the corner covered by what I am certain is a black altar cloth with some little objects on the top. Now this would be normal to us right now, but this wasn’t normal at that time, like in 1985 for this to happen. So she says to me, “Okay,” and here’s where the, actually this is where the new paradigm began. So she says to me, “You are going to create a tarot deck.” She said, “I had planned to do it myself, but I can’t do it now. I’m too old and I was told to meet the person who would be doing it here at this harbor.” And I said, “I don’t think so.” “You are going to make a tarot deck,” she said, “and it is going to be completely balanced in dark and light and in masculine and feminine because there is not one that exists that has this kind of balance and is critically important for the future of our species.” So it was hard for me to even process this because if I actually had made a tarot deck, I would have been out of a job because it doesn’t cohabitate with the university. So it just doesn’t work. And Stanford has a very strict image and they make sure that people rise into that image. It’s really important. But what happened was, she said, “Come on, come with me,” and we went back to the same restaurant we had been at the day before. She pulls out this tarot deck, lays it out on the table, and she says, “Read it. Read for me.” And I said, “I don’t know how. I don’t know how.” She said, “Yes, you do. This is something, you have known this.” She said, “You have known this for many lifetimes.” So I started looking at these cards and the strange thing was I got them. It was beyond getting them. It was beyond getting them. I saw that they fell into the most profound order. That’s when it began, but it was another thing that again I didn’t fully understand. At that time there were seven decks on the market, seven tarot decks, and I started working with them. She gave me all of her, she had all of them. She gave me the decks and she said, “You study these and you’re going to see what this is you’re working with.” Because these tarot decks, they weren’t just random tarot decks. These were, all of them were designed based on the Tree of Life, which was from the Western Mystery School tradition and contains the energies and the principles, the operating principles or whatever of the Kabbalah, they were Kabbalistic tarot decks. And I began to, I walked immediately within maybe two days of apprenticing with her, I walked through the doorway of tarot, I think of it as a doorway into the Kabbalah, and I was inside this body of mystical knowledge within about three days that I had no idea previously that it existed. I probably should have known, because I —
Rick: So when you said in your notes, awakening into this zone, is that what you’re talking about, walking through this doorway and into this world of Kabbalah?
Pamela: Yes, yes. It was a different world view. It was a different world view and I could see the way that it was laid out. First of all, it contained all, you and I are talking about something like, part of our conversation is about contradictory forces or forces that might potentially oppose each other, opposing forces or something like this. So the tree of life, which is what the tarot is based on, the tarot fits on the tree of life essentially and this tree of life contains all of these opposing forces like light and dark, hot and cold, male and female, all sort of paradoxical forces like paradoxes. So they all fit on this tree with also these complementary and supplementary forces that power things and make them work. So I was able to see how these tarot cards fit on this tree of life and then how it contained this Kabbalistic mystical knowledge. It’s mystical, there’s a lot of mysticism involved here, but I could see how it fit together and here is the part that I want to tell you. Being a PhD, having a PhD in sociology, I had studied all of these, I’d studied theories of society, like how society fits together, what makes society move, like social movements, like how social movements happen, what you need to create a social movement, like believe me the CIA studies sociology because sociology has outlined how do you make a social movement happen, which includes like a revolution. You can actually activate a revolution, it’s not that difficult if you have certain pieces, you need certain pieces, like an example would be you have to find a key person in the community who everybody respects and responds with and then work with that person on developing a certain agenda and so on. And that person will already have built-in followers, that person’s a charismatic individual, then you work on creating sound bites and you know there are just different ways that you create a revolution and this has been based on studies of all of the revolutions, that’s where it came from. It’s like extracted material from studying a revolution, then you would abstract it into a theory and so this is what people like the CIA works with these theories of revolution or theories of intervention in a community, something like that. So anyway I had studied all these theories, these grand theories of how society works, how it fits together in economic theories, how that works. When I looked at this theory, I saw that this Tarot/Tree of Life/Kabbalah is actually a theoretical system that shows how aspects of the world fit together and it also provides intervention points and I believed and I still do that this theory that I was looking at was more comprehensive, more profound and more precise than anything I had studied in graduate school in sociology and psychology. I had never seen anything as profound as what I was looking at and what this fishwife was showing me.
Rick: Who dreamed it up? Where did it come from?
Pamela: Well, it’s been evolving over a period of maybe a couple thousand years or so. It is held by many groups and when I say it’s evolving, it’s because they call it the Living Kabbalah or the Living Tree of Life. It’s the same, basically it’s the same structure, everybody’s holding the same structure like the same diagrams and things like that, but it’s held by a lot of different groups and so the one that is most well known would be Esoteric Judaism, but also it’s the the Masons, the Rosicrucians, the Gnostic Christians, there are many, many groups, all Western groups. Okay, so this is a Western, a Western system, a very profound Western system and also the diagram of the Tree of Life also accounts for Eastern ways of knowing because you can actually place them on the diagram, which is something I’ve done. I actually have a seminary, I have started a seminary, this is another story, I don’t really want to go into it too much right now, but I have a seminary where we use this system and we look at all of the world’s religions, all the dominant, the most dominant religions or the most known religions, but what I want to say is about the Masons, the Masons, and I should have known this but I didn’t, so I come out of a, I do have Masonic history in my family, but the Masons are very, very secretive and even my grandfather who was a Mason, or my grandmother, they never spoke about what they learned, you were not supposed to speak about it, that’s all there was to it, but as I got deeper into the study of this, what I found and what I learned, oh I will say I did start to create a tarot deck, I did, I did, she was right, I was destined to do that, I started to do that and I started to study, I went to the library, this is what I did, you know, this is pre-internet, you know, so we didn’t have the internet to go to, so I went to the library, looked for anything I could find, I found one thing that interested me, one book, first there was virtually nothing in the library about Tarot, Kabbalah, Tree of Life, but I found a book by Joseph Campbell on the Tarot, Kabbalah, Tree of Life and I knew Joseph, I had studied Joseph Campbell, you know, I knew Joseph Campbell and I thought, oh my gosh, Joseph Campbell did this, this is amazing, so I checked that book out of the library, fearful that the librarians were going to make a judgment about me for checking out a book about this out of the, because I knew the librarians and then I took the book home, this is hilarious to me, I took the book home, I opened the book to devour it, that was my plan, the Joseph Campbell book and out of the book falls a Tarot card and the Tarot card was the card called the Wheel of Fortune and the Wheel of Fortune as I now know means your fortune is about to change and here we go, which was not my first thought, my first thought was, oh no, someone lost their card, oh no, I need to take it back to the library and then I thought, oh no, don’t take it back, that’s going to attract a lot of attention, so I didn’t take it back, I kept it, I still have it, it’s a bookmark in the book I wound up creating called Tarot of the Spirit. So anyway, and let me tell you this part too, I found out in my studies that as you probably know that this country, the United States, was founded primarily and built by Masons, by Freemasons and many of the early people such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, almost all of them were Masons and so they were using Masonic ideas to create the American Revolution and they were also the same people who brought us the French Revolution and what they did was they looked at this paradigm, the Tree of Life paradigm, which is from the Western Mystery School that they were very versed with, they were studying it in the Masonic Lodges and on the basis of this paradigm, they affected the American Revolution, they put together all the pieces that they needed based on this paradigm and created the revolution and then exported it to France and so then they did the same exact thing in France with French Masons and created the revolution in France. Then at the same time they were constructing the US government system which they created on the diagram, it’s a diagram of the Tree of Life which is what underlies the tarot deck, underlays a tarot deck and basically the diagram has what is called three pillars and they turned the three pillars into the three branches of government and those three branches are executive, judicial and legislative which match part of this diagram and then it’s got three layers or three levels to it in addition which are horizontal, three vertical and then three horizontal. So the three horizontal are executive, excuse me, federal, state and local and so those are the three levels down. So what I found out is that the entire US system had been based on this particular diagram and I did not know that in the beginning. So we think of the tarot as it’s a parlor game right and it’s a good parlor game and it’s a fun one too and it does have the power of predictability because it’s the reason it has that power is because it outlines a flow and when you know what the flow is you know what’s coming next and it turns out that this being developed for so many years, thousands of years and being in a sense it’s not perfected, it’s alive but it turns out that this system, it’s based on ancient Egyptian teachings and ancient Greek teachings. You can study where it comes from and I don’t want to go into that right now but as it turns out it matches the outflow of systems in the universe as they are developing outside of human society and outside of human consciousness and that would be what science is now discovering and the way the operating principles of the universe. And so that later brought me to one of the more recent books that I wrote called Visionary Cosmology, the New Paradigm which is all about science and it actually shows the outflow of how, then we’re back to the very beginning of our conversation about cosmology because it shows the outflow. Well I started awakening to that through the fishwife, this woman who I only apprenticed with her for six months and then she absolutely disappeared. She disappeared the same way she showed up and she just got me on it, got me going and then she disappeared into the sunset in her truck. It was an amazing experience but she wasn’t the only one. I had Eastern, you know she was Western, that was Western mysteries but Eastern mysteries people were showing up and I was just saying, yes come, come, you know ours is not a caravan of despair, hop on, you know, tell me your story, let’s learn, you know, let’s find out, let’s see where we’re going. So it’s a very exciting time and I was opening, opening, opening and as I was opening, opening, opening, I could feel, almost feel the whole university that I had been involved in for so many years, I could almost feel it kind of receding in the rearview mirror, was really interesting as I opened to this massive, I will definitely call it now, a massive spiritual awakening on so many different levels. Once I let all these people in and then I sought them, then I was looking and then I became one of them. How frightening. Anyway, yeah.
Rick: Let me ask you a two part question. Okay. I may need to remind you of the second question after you answer the first question. The first question is, you know, you mentioned that the fish woman said that they had told you, that told her that you were coming and that they are some kind of astral guides or something. So is the tarot inspired by some kind of astral or subtle beings? Is it something that was channeled to people thousands of years ago and continues to be channeled and thereby developed more and more? Channeled is one word, cognized is another, that you know, seers could cognize deeper laws of nature and then express them in words. That’s the first question. The second question, you just talked about how utterly transformative this has been for you and what a massive spiritual awakening it has elicited, but you haven’t spoken too much about your inner life. You’ve spoken about a lot of outer events that you’ve gone through over the years, but you really haven’t talked too much about your subjective perspective, your kind of deeper mystical changes if any that have taken place. So those are the two questions to answer.
Pamela: Okay, so the first part of the question is about where did this come from? So we’re really talking about this, let’s say this Tree of Life paradigm, the Tarot. It has history and then this is more objective, but the ten point, it’s based on a ten point number system and the ten point number system comes from ancient Egypt. They developed it and then it goes through Greece. So Pythagoras picked it up, studied in Egypt, picked up the ten point system because that was not being used in Greece, learned the ten point system and in Greece they were already using very widely something which is also used in shamanic systems the world over and that’s the four directions or the four elements basically consisting of fire, water, air and earth and that was predominant in Greece, in ancient Greece. And that seems to be very foremost in our primal thought pattern, the circle crossed with, you see it in cross culturally everywhere, composed in fire, water, air and earth as these four elements that bring us into being. And then this ten point system and when Pythagoras picked up the ten point system and he brought it back to Greece and he started teaching it in what was called at that time, that would be a mystery school and he, well because in Greece they were using different forms of trading and different number systems and it wasn’t really regulated how you would use a number, how you would, what do you want to call that, how you’d use a number system for things like trading, they would trade, maybe I’ll trade you this sheep for this, bartering, more bartering, but not a token economy type of system based on these numbers. And so when he introduced the ten point system to Greece, he disrupted the culture and his life was in danger for disrupting the culture with this idea that you could actually abstract from this, I’m going to trade you sheep for something else, you know, you could make this abstract system. So essentially this is a system that we don’t realize, well in the beginning it was an archetypal system and what that meant was 1 wasn’t just original being, maybe it’s arbitrary but it’s unique, it’s original, it’s new. And then you move to 2, 2 becomes the power of the 1 moving into a space of attraction, it’s like putting up two points on a board, you start with one it’s arbitrary, putting up another one and all of a sudden you have directionality, maybe polarization, a relationship, it’s very archetypal, the number two and then the number three, one and two come together to give birth and the number three, so to something new. So three is a place of birth, it’s a space of creation and on down, I’m not going to go through all of them right now, but each one very very archetypal and it all comes together sort of in the middle on the number six, the six is the place of balance in the middle, it would be the sphere of mediation, it would be the sphere of understanding, the sphere of truth and beauty where everything comes together. And I will mention a couple more because the number four, I mentioned one, two, three, one originality or original being, two attraction we’ll say, three creation, four is stabilization because we create more things than we can possibly stabilize and so we have to choose what are we going to pick to nurture and to stabilize and to make sure it thrives. Number five is called cataclysm and that’s the things that come in sideways, disrupt us, tear us apart, it could be illness, financial problems, you name it, anything that is going to destroy us, war. But usually what we do in our culture is we’ll go back and forth between the five and the four between cataclysm and then re-stabilize and then get it stable but then the next cataclysm is going to come, so we just get stuck between those two things, break it up, tear it down or build it up, tear it down, build it up, tear it down, build it up, tear it down, that’s our normal way of operating. And with this system gives us a lot of different areas to go in. So now go to the six, the six mediates between the four and the five, four stabilization, five cataclysm, six is a place of synergy where we can pull in the aspect of building up and stabilizing and we can also pull in the aspect of tearing down because there is a time for tearing down, there’s a time for building up and a time for tearing down but that just that process is not going to be the end process. Working with those pieces and intuitively learning how to understand when we need to bring in one or the other is really important but we can’t stop there because if we want something to really really change we need to go get and I guess I’ll segue here into the second part of the question, what we need to get is new information that we don’t have yet, something that’s going to pull us out of the game. See for example back in El Salvador, those guerrillas, the guerrillas the government of El Salvador and the US government, they were all in the same game even if they were on different sides they were still in the same game, they believed that they were fighting over the same thing and that was all there was and they would continue to fight over it. Well according to the Tarot, Tree of Life, Kabbalah, those are three different levels of the same thing. What is needed is to go to what’s called the number seven and to make the seven really really simple I’m going to call it the vision quest, it’s the sphere of the vision quest, that’s where we have to go get new information we never thought about before and so my life I think since learning this has basically been an ongoing vision quest. So two parts I’ll divide the answer to part two into two parts, one is that I didn’t know at the time but I know now like we all know this is a movement, and when this woman, this fishwife, I call her, pulled me out of the field, spotted me in the field, pulled me out of the field and lassoed me to create this Tarot deck, I didn’t realize that it would be part of a movement because there were seven decks on the market, it took us seven years to create it. Us is my mom painted the cards and my mom was an art professor at a university and I was a sociologist and a writer at some other university and so we collaborated on this. I won’t tell you right now about that, about getting my mom to do that, that was a really interesting time because she didn’t want to do a Tarot deck, she was a serious artist. My mom was a serious very well-recognized artist before she did a Tarot deck. Okay, so anyway but we did it and it took us seven years because of the publication process and so on by the time we finished and by the time Tarot of the Spirit came out there were 700 Tarot decks on the market. It had come down this concept like rain all over the planet and we picked it up and so did a lot of other people and it wasn’t just Tarot decks, it was all these oracles, the runes, the Tarot deck, the runes, the I Ching, pendulum, all kinds of oracles, the animal cards, everything was coming out at the same time. It all just hit, okay why did it hit, what was happening and I think it’s because we all knew that this, that paradigm that we were living in, we got it all at the same time had to come down but we had no leaders, we didn’t know how to move it, we didn’t know how to make it happen and the wisdom that began to come out was that we’re the ones we’re looking for, we’ve got to find it within ourselves, we’ve got to go to a new level within ourselves and so for me what happened with me was I became a deeply introspective person, I started doing a lot of vision quests, I did Native American vision quests, I did a lot of meditation, I taught meditation, I opened a spiritual center, I taught lots of groups and just took myself deeper and deeper and deeper into my own consciousness and then I found at certain places in my own consciousness it felt like it was opening out into the universe and that I began to recognize and realize in the cells of my body, I got it first intellectually but then I got it in the cells of my body, I am living universe. And all of the processes, the laws of the universe, they’re in this body, they apply to this body. So I’m coming together as a one individual for a little while and then I will disperse and become something else maybe but the uniqueness of that individual path is absolutely critical because if we recognize each one of us, the uniqueness, this uniqueness that we have and then begin to step into that and push out the boundaries of that uniqueness that may not sound like a spiritual path but it is a spiritual path for me because, well just to talk about what is the word mean, what is it? Spirit. And spirit is when we’re connected with the earth, when we’re connected in the cosmos, it’s the opposite of what the youth called disconnect, it’s feeling a strong sense of connection, of belonging, I belong here, I am the universe, the universe has given birth to me and I belong here in the universe and that’s a big part of the message that I want to bring forward for the kids, for the young people, you belong here, you’re not an alien and so many adults, I’m an alien here, I never fit in my family, I never belong and it’s like wait a minute, wait a minute, wait, let’s look at this, let’s rethink this, yes you do belong here, took 13.8 billion years for the universe to arrive at you, you are the state-of-the-art universe, you are the cutting edge and you are unique, you have this unique aspect to your DNA that no one has had before, no one will have again, let’s explore it and the question is not who are you to do this, the question is who are you not to do this, who are you not to do this because it’s built into the universe and when we wind up getting our sense of how the universe works and how it fits together in alignment with our bodies, ourselves, our bodies, our minds, our hearts, our spirits, getting it all in alignment, then, and our spiritual path can help us do that, then we become life alive in our task and living in an exciting, in this exciting place where we feel our sense of purpose and the interconnectedness of all that is. And so that was what I turned my attention to, not just awakening that aliveness inside myself but also through various means helping other people find this aliveness in themselves, aliveness and connection, yeah, so I don’t know if that answers the question but my entire life 24/7 is dedicated and devoted to spiritual practice. I taught a meditation group last night and the theme or the type of meditation that I taught was one that many people had experienced before but I brought in a version that was for today and for some of the issues that we were working on, a loving kindness meditation or a metta meditation about you know cherishing ourselves basically, cherishing others and then even cherishing our enemies because I’m working on, that’s one of the areas I’m working on myself, is to redefine the enemy internally, externally, to find the schisms in ourselves and then find the ways spiritually to work with those schisms within ourselves and become healed and whole, an integral human being and for me that’s all about the spiritual path, it’s connecting us with the universe in a way that is enlivening and makes sense and it works and it’s thrilling.
Rick: Okay, I have a final question. I know you’re interested in paradigm shift and our society we could say is built on paradigms, there’s a materialistic paradigm which is often considered to be the foundation or guiding light of the scientific endeavor, the scientific worldview and basically it’s that you know the universe is made of stuff and it’s sort of dead and inanimate and you know there’s a sort of a, universe is some kind of a random process which functions according to some laws of nature as defined by Newton and others but nonetheless there’s no intelligence involved, there’s somehow this mechanistic thing that it just carries on on its own without any guiding intelligence and yet obviously there are more enlightened paradigms that have been espoused by spiritual luminaries throughout the ages and even by scientists. I mean many of the quantum physicists, Max, Niels Bohr and Max Planck and all those guys studied Vedic philosophy and quoted it and felt like the new physics they were discovering jibed with those ancient traditional understandings. So my question is, it seems to take a while for paradigms to percolate up into practical social structures and ways of being, just as if you dump some paint near the source of a river it’s going to take a long time, not that you’d want to do this, but it’s going to take a long time for the paint to go all the way downstream and reach the ocean. So to what extent do you think the kind of newer paradigms have begun to percolate up such that we could begin to see real change on the so-called surface of life and you might even want to resort to Tarot in order to answer this question, but when, if ever do you feel like they will become predominant and the old paradigms will be put to rest?
Pamela: Oh my, oh this is such an interesting question and it’s a hard question because sometimes I wonder if there have always been from the beginning, people who were awake and alive and aware and who always had the feeling and understood and knew for themselves that the universe was alive and conscious.
Rick: I think they have and traditions identify them, you know, even thousands and five thousand years ago, but they’ve been in the minority and perhaps our hope for survival of the species lies in such people becoming the majority or at least a sizeable percentage of the world’s population.
Pamela: Right, so I have a client this week, I also have a private practice and I had a client this week a man who told me that mysticism which would include the idea that the universe is conscious, is sheer idiocy. Yes, sheer idiocy and that struck me as interesting because he was a very, very successful Silicon Valley high-tech CEO type and I thought that was interesting, but for me with all of the meditation I’ve done in the deep meditation and the intense, I’m shuffling the tarot cards they left in my hands, but with all the work that I’ve done what’s come alive inside me is that the universe is alive, is aware, is conscious everywhere, every tree, every flower, every rock, it’s all alive, it’s all conscious, it’s all in communication and Vivekananda said, you know, to the one who is alive, aware and awake, the rocks and trees and rivers preach sermons and to others they’re just rocks and trees and rivers, you know, and to me I’m one of the ones the rocks and trees and rivers are teaching sermons to. So I pulled out the tarot cards maybe to end on and I’m asking the cards, I’m saying, see this is mysticism. I told that man this week, I said, I’m a mystic and he, you know, so he sees me as a, yeah, and basically he was saying it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t make sense and I said, but you haven’t experienced it and I said, so you’re judging something that you haven’t experienced but I have experienced it and so you can judge me on that basis if you wish but it’s something I’ve actually had experience with in my life and part of what I’m trying to do is open to other people’s experience as well. That is part of my mission is to listen to other people and try to open and I’m always hoping other people will also try to open but that is one of those release the outcome things, you know, let go of the outcome because I don’t know. But let’s see what the tarot has to say. Let’s ask the tarot, I love to challenge it, so I’m just thinking, so you said, well is this ever, how can we make this more specific?
Rick: Let me give you a moment to think. And I’m not asking for a timeline or one of these predictions like, you know, but it’s like, you know, there’s a percolation of, you know, new paradigm, new vision, new way of thinking that’s slowly working its way up into the culture and it’s kind of a hit and miss arrangement where there’s opposing forces that would dampen down such perspective and such thinking and there’s no clear-cut assurance that one or the other is going to win out. But the fate of the planet hangs in the balance, as far as I can tell, you know, the fate of humanity, of all the species, everything. There’s a lot riding on this.
Pamela: Oh my gosh, I am so with you. I am so with you on this, this is it.
Rick: So that gives you a moment to think a bit and to pull out a card and perhaps respond.
Pamela: Exactly, but I just have to echo that really quickly because what is the difference between looking at the world as if it’s dead stuff? And believe me, I met a lot of people in El Salvador who could kill because they felt they were already dead.
Pamela: Dead stuff. Dead stuff.
Rick: And even the people they regarded, even the people they killed as dead stuff, you know, whereas perhaps you and I would have a real hard time squashing a bug, you know, we need to pick it up and get it out of our path so we don’t accidentally step on it because we feel reverence for it or compassion for it.
Pamela: Thank you. Reverence for me is the key word because if we feel that the universe is alive and is conscious, it takes us into a different place than if we feel the universe is made of dead stuff and is not conscious. And so to raise awareness for the living creatures, and this is another thing we can do for kids, you know, is help them raise their awareness. Like a friend of mine has an animal rescue center around here where they rescue wild animals, anything, mountain lions, whatever, and then those they become teachers for the kids and the kids connect with these and realize, well, this isn’t just some wild animal, this animal has a personality. Okay, so I just got another idea while you were talking.
Rick: So the gist of the question is, what’s it going to take for this sort of more enlightened paradigm to become predominant? Could it be squashed and die on the vine or will it eventually gain ascendancy?
Pamela: Okay, so I want to…
Rick: Everyone listening, everyone who’s interested in this, what can we all do to shepherd this along?
Pamela: Everyone, okay, because I want to change the question to say, what can we do to make sure it happens? Because it’s a really big question that you’re asking and I want to say, what can we do to bring this forward to to help it sail and to work with the energies and to really get them to move? Let’s see what happens. Okay, here we go. All right, here we go. Okay, the first card is called Fire Sister and the funny thing about this card is it says this card assumes that there is guidance from another plane. So on this card you will see a salamander at the bottom of the card. The salamander says we are in the business of creating a new world because the salamander is the first creature, mythologically, the salamander is the first creature to be born into the new world, and we are going to create this by, she’s called Fire Sister, fire represents spirit and the sister is representing earth, and so this is about, interestingly, what we’ve just been talking about bringing a new spirituality to earth. She also has a tiger in her hair and I just mentioned the mountain lion being with the kids, but this tiger in her hair is like a different way of knowing the world and working with all the different aspects and energies of the world, but her secret name, the secret name of this card is called Free Spirit. So it’s about getting ourselves free on earth and spiritually free, and then when we free ourselves up and free our imagination so that we can enter into new dimensions within our own being, we are “favored by” the “lords of the fires of spring” and the lords of the fires of spring that has to do with all the energies then begin to work together to bring it into form. So it’s like get yourself free, get yourself free, that’s the essence of the energy that comes forth. So the first thing is get free and stay free. The second card that comes up is the devil which I will also hold up that will replace it with the other card. The most important thing that’s showing on this card is it shows the people artificially separated from one another. They are chained, but they are chained, they are chained apart, but the link of the chain surrounding each one is so big they could just lift it off, and so they’re chained by their own consciousness. It also shows an altar on the card and the altar is only half the size it’s supposed to be, it’s supposed to be double the size. Also in Hebrew the card is called “ayin” which means “eye” but it means third eye, the third eye. And so having an altar that’s only half the size it’s supposed to be, having to focus on the third eye and also the idea that we can lift off the chains, says what we need to do is we need to see a picture that’s at least twice the size we are seeing right now. We need to see a much larger picture and one of the things that is, well there are maybe two things that are really holding us up, the card is Capricorn and it’s about material things and we are going to need to maybe take a new look at that. It’s also about ego, so whatever our ego is associated with we may have to let go of. And one of the models I was just looking at that I’m working with now is I’m developing something called, it’s a coming home ceremony or blessing ceremony to help heal the schism within individual people or groups of people, things like PTSD and whatever, but as we are working with that one of the things is that if we want the same things our oppressor wants we are never going to be able to get beyond the situation we’re in now. We have to think bigger. Problem in El Salvador, keep turning over the power to the next group, keep turning it over, turning it over, turning over, when I was there, because everyone wanted exactly the same thing and unless we think bigger and we start to imagine a different kind of world we’re not going to be able to escape the things that bind us. And so it’s going to mean releasing, releasing some of the things our ego can become attached to, releasing some of the methods and ways that we do things. Okay, so if we do that and we keep seeing a bigger picture, the last card is, oh yes, yes, okay, last card is called Earth Sister. I love this because this is Earth Sister and she’s on the cover of the book and she is called the Mountain in Fruition and the mountain is a metaphor for life on Earth itself. Okay, so I told you a little bit about the structure of the Tarot but I’ll tell you a little bit more. So it goes on a one through ten pattern. There are four suits, one is of fire, one is of water, one is of wind and one is of earth, or air and earth. And so there are four elemental suits and there are ten stages in each suit and then at the top of each suit there are four face cards, a mother, father, brother and sister roughly, just like a kind of a regular card deck. And the Earth Sister, the suits are cumulative, so they go in the order of fire, water, air and earth. So by the time you get to the earth and you are holding inside yourself, we’re earth, we’re body, earth is body and we’re holding inside of us the spirit, heart and mind which correspond to the other three suits. So we are walking spirit, heart and mind in a body. So by the time you get to Earth Sister, then there’s a father, mother, brother and sister at the top of that suit. She is the very last card after all going through all the stages of spirit, which is fire, all the stages of water, which is heart and emotion, all the stages of air or wind, which is the intellect and consciousness and now she embodies it all. She does not know what the future holds but she is 100 percent ready to enter every big initiation that is now going to come her way. She’s prepared and I would say and she’s pregnant with the future, the mountain in fruition, this is earth pregnant with its future. So I would say, so what do we need to do? Get free from old ways of knowing, free ourselves from aspects of the material world and our ego that are holding us back, which means we’re going to have to break through the fear, many layers of fear. Realize we can just lift those chains off of ourselves right now but if we don’t want to lift them off right now because we’re too afraid of that and it’s too dangerous, we’ll make a plan to lift it off over a period of time. Start making the change but start working toward imagining what it’s going to look like, imagining with our third eye what it’s going to look like and then allowing ourselves to know we’ve completed all the minor initiations, we’ve learned all the things we need to know and now we don’t know where it’s going to head but what we’re going to do is think on our feet and we are going to go there. So that’s where we are and we will just keep moving the energy and keep releasing the things that we we need to keep releasing and keep getting free. And that’s the only path we really have ahead of us I think at this point in time, so we’ll just keep on. Yeah, keep on opening, keep on trucking, keep on trucking, exactly, and keep that third eye open and looking. Yeah, and keep working together.
Rick: Good place to conclude. Okay, well thank you Pamela. I’ll just wrap it up here, appreciate the time we’ve spent together and keeping on is a good place to end because we’ll both keep on doing what we’re doing and doing what we love and hopefully we’re making some kind of a contribution to the fate of the planet. If we’re not, we’re having fun trying anyway.
Pamela: That’s right.
Rick: So thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching. My interviews tend to be rather long and some people like that, some people find them too long, but you can always watch them in bits if you don’t like them so long. But I like to sort of get into an extended conversation with a person and not feel that they’re rushed or that they have to sort of cut things out that they might feel are important. I want everything you wanted to know about Pamela Eakins but were afraid to ask kind of style.
Pamela: I’m in appreciation.
Rick: Good, so in any case I’ll be continuing to do these and Pamela will be continuing to do what she does and you can get in touch with her through her website which I will be linking to from her page on www.batgap.com as well as linking to her many books. Regarding BATGAP, if you like this and would like to be notified when new interviews are posted, subscribe to the YouTube channel and/or subscribe to the little email notification list that we have a link for on BATGAP. You’ll get about one email a week if you do that. And check out the other menu items on the site. We’ve been having some problems with the audio podcast but we managed to fix that just yesterday, so those who’ve been having those difficulties, check your iTunes or however you subscribe, you should see everything up to date now. I think we’ve fixed those problems. So thanks again Pamela and thanks again to those who’ve been listening or watching and we’ll see you next week.