Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. I’ve done over 415 of them now. And if this is new to you, and you’d like to check out previous ones, go to batgap.com. And look under the past interviews menu where you’ll see all the previous ones organized in several different ways. This in this whole program is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers whom we very much appreciate it. Appreciate. So if you would like to support it in any way, there’s a Donate button on every page of the site. My guest today is Paul Mueller Ortega. I first heard about Paul, on the spirit matters talk podcast that my friends Phil Goldberg and Dennis for Monday do and he sounded very intriguing. But they only do half an hour, I’m gonna do two hours with him. And he has he has a wealth of knowledge and experience going back 50 years of study in this lifetime. And I think that a lot is going to be covered in this interview and people find it very interesting. So a couple a little bit about him. And then you can read a more detailed biography on my site or his site, which is blue throat yoga.com. Paul is a recognized, recognized internationally as one of the world’s most highly respected and renowned academic scholars in the field of Indian religion and Hindu Tantra. He is the founder of blue throat yoga, which teaches the splinter. It’s fun, tantra philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism, along with the practice of Nila canta meditation, for nearly 50 years, Paul has been a pioneer in the technology of consciousness, lecturing and teaching about meditation and Indian philosophy to hundreds of 1000s of people in North and South America, Europe and India. So again, there’s a lot more about Paul, if you want to read his full bio on his website, or on his page on batgap.com. Blue throat yoga, so probably many listeners will be familiar with the idea that Shiva is depicted as having a blue throat because he drank some poison to pay. Yeah, I don’t even remember those two, I’m sure Paul can tell us but I guess that’s how you got that name.
Paul Muller-Ortega: Yes, Neela canta. His throat is striped and stained by the potency of this poison. It’s a it’s a long myth. I won’t tell the whole structure of it. But basically, the Devas in the US it is the gods and the demons of churning the ocean of milk. And what they’re after is underneath the nectar of immortality. So they have this cooperative. Usually they are great antagonists, but here they are cooperating, they turn a mountain upside down. They wrap a serpent around the mountain then they create this churn, and all kinds of amazing things come out. And for me this this churning of the ocean of milk is an extraordinarily beautiful, mythic metaphor for the whole process of yogic sadhana. There’s a churning of consciousness, many different things emerge in the story, the nine trunk, Ida vata, albino elephant, this huge gem, all these goddess Shri, all these things, but then at a certain moment, poison begins to emerge, and it surfaces is this black, icky, gross kind of stuff. And Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu who are overseeing the whole matter, basically don’t know what to do. So they call Lord Shiva. He comes in the form of the Mantra actually, he’s called the Mantra Murthy. And he sits at the edge of this ocean of milk puts his left hand into it, and the poison starts to rise up his hand into his mouth, and he holds it in his throat. And we know that, you know, in the, in the, what’s really a much later chakra system, which the throat chakra is called Vishuddha, which has to do with purification, so that the transmutation of purification of this poison, which was really symbolic of all of the negative comments that said to constitute the agonies of humanity in a certain sense, that are being churned out of and being released in this way. And he holds it in his throat and it stains his throat blue, and this is, this is a very, very old myth. It’s already present in the text of the Sri Rudra, which is at least 2000, if not much older than that, as a text. It’s one of the great famous Appalachians or sort of Sacred Names of Word Shiva Neela canta there are many other references to his throat in this way the and this idea of the sort of a almost like a radioactive cobalt blue intensity of energy that represents the transmutation of this negative karma into something that is actually Nick terian. And it’s character. So the myth or the metaphor, of alchemy and of alchemical transmutation is part of what’s indicated here. And then it’s also the connection of the throat to the Mantra, the saying of the Mantra, obviously, at different levels of speech, etc, and so on. So, it was an intriguing it’s been, it’s always been an intriguing name for me. And when I retired from the university, in 2009, I taught for many years at the University of Rochester, New York, and began to teach I thought, well, this is a beautiful name. Let me let me take this Neela come to Lord blue throat, stained blue. Yeah.
Rick Archer: I’m sure that we could spend a whole interview just talking about what you said. I think I remember somebody once asking marshy, Mahesh Yogi about why the gods and demons are always fighting it depicted as fighting or competing in these ancient texts. And he said something about, you know, it kind of keeps the creation manifest that that, you know, polarity,
Paul Muller-Ortega: the story going,
Rick Archer: like otherwise, the whole thing would just sort of collapse. Exactly,
Paul Muller-Ortega: exactly.
Rick Archer: Alright, so, Kashmir, Shaivism, and Tantra, maybe explain those two terms a little bit and, you know, what they’re all about.
Paul Muller-Ortega: So, basically, of course, the term Tantra is a huge term. And there are actually many different traditions in not just in the so called Hindu or South Asian world, it also in Buddhism, there’s a giant Tantra, reservation about tantra, and so on. So, tantra encompasses many, many different traditions and is defined quite variously and differently and all of these different traditions, within the stream of traditions associated with Lord Shiva, the Shiva traditions are the emerging that begin to emerge in a series of texts known as the ogham, US and Tantras, which are revealed scriptures that parallel the authority of the Veda at a much later period of time. So starting at around the third century, approximately of the Common Era, these texts begin to appear which are which are not considered to be of human origin, and which begin to teach a series of teachings about a tradition that has a great variety of names. One of them is this term swats on threa, which means freedom, and it’s sometimes called the Swatantra. Avada the teaching or, you know, the the philosophy of the ultimate freedom of consciousness itself. And it’s most likely I mean, it’s a sort of a scholarly argument, where does Tantra come from, but it’s most likely that Tantra originates in these texts of the Shiva tantric tradition. And then it spreads and changes and transmutes as it moves into into other settings. In the context of the Shiva tantric tradition, these texts are about fundamentally, I mean, they’re fundamentally about a very delimited number of things. They are about consciousness, and they teach the danger of the absolute consciousness known in the first one of the root texts of this tradition, which is called the Shiva Sutras. It’s called Chaitanya, the great absolute consciousness and the nature of that consciousness, they are about the wisdom of the of the knowledge of that consciousness. And within that, then obviously, they offer sadhanas various different kinds of initiatory practices, as well as many rituals as well as a whole system of sort of daily life etc, and so on. And from these arguments and Tantras, then there evolves a series, or evolve a series of great masters who begin to write and comment on the teachings of these, but probably the greatest of them, is a medieval teacher who lived most of his life in Srinagar and Kashmir, in the 10th to 11th century whose name was a bit of a Gupta his title was Jonica, a bit of a Gupta. And he wasn’t just the most extraordinary, prolific and exquisite author, who wrote voluminously, many, many different texts about this tradition. And some of the themes that he talked about. There are obviously different forms of the Shakti of The Goddess, the understanding of the goddess at the highest level of consciousness, not on a ritual level, not even on a deity level but the understanding of the potency of consciousness as understood in terms of a great variety of goddesses some of the earliest philosophical writings about the Goddess Kali, for example, appear in this text, other goddesses that God has put out who is the, the sort of the embodiment of the supreme word of consciousness. Within these texts also, we get it The the really exquisite and very sophisticated teachings with regard to what it’s called Monika Shakti, which is really the teaching of the nature of language and of the impulses of consciousness that create the structures of language and of knowledge in a very, very beautiful array that parallels the structure of Sanskrit itself. And so, from this, then, both there are two branches one is obviously the understanding of ordinary conventional language, how does language function, the communication of meaning between human beings, but then also the whole topic of Mantra, and really, these texts are among the most sophisticated and precise texts were in very great technical detail. The teachings of Mantra are investigated in in a very, very beautiful and profound way a bit of a Gupta himself in many of his masterworks goes into great detail with regard to the nature of Mantra, what is the Mantra, how do we understand month of the functionality of Mantra, etc, and so on. So really, they could be called Mantra shastra, or systematic knowledge with regard to Mantra. And then within that they offer the Shiva tantric texts of Kashmir Shaivism offer, what I would call a philosophy of refinement, in which the Sanskrit term is some skata, not in the meaning of the the traces of past action, but some skata in the sense of the refinement of life, how is life to be refined, such that it yields higher and higher values of existence. And so there’s a very, very beautiful set of teachings with regard to the refinement of the mind, the refinement of thought, the refinement of the breath, the refinement of the senses, of the refinement of speech, the refinement of, of action, etc, and so on. It’s very, very beautiful teachings and all of these then center on I mean, I have to backtrack a little bit to talk about it. The it is a tradition, it is a non dual tradition. That however, is mostly although not exclusively centered on householder practitioners. And one of the I’ll talk about that more in a little detail. Now, one of the things that happens historically is that this tradition gets lost. The many many reasons for this one is sort of the initiatory initiatory lineages just trail off as Islam begins to come in to Kashmir with the movement of a whole mogul empire and so on into Kashmir, then the the support this the term rajas Viveka, which was a bit of a Gupta’s title it was a hereditary title actually means one who is a Brahmin who is supported by the Maharajah it’s very, very interesting term, that support vanishes. And so clearly, these extraordinary scholarly and also extraordinary learned, but also Enlightened Masters lose the we could call the cultural and even economic context for their life, and it doesn’t become possible for the tradition. So within about 200 years of a bit of a person’s life, that tradition dies out, almost entirely in the North of India in previous to that it has spread throughout all of India. And the influence and the impact of these writings and of these texts is to be found all over and many different places and libraries in India find the texts of this tradition are there but as a living initiatory, esoteric lineage set of lineage streams, the so called catch fish Ka’bah, which is really a modern term, not very precise term, it’s it has some problems, but disappears, really. And what happens is the texts of these traditions of this the various branches, their various sort of schools, within so called Keter, shows them are preserved in manuscript form in Srinagar. And really, they’re sort of copied and recopied and preserved as treasures. But really, there’s very little understanding of the actual practice and we don’t have knowledge of any other masters in this tradition, until the 20th century. And in the early 20th century, the Maharaja of Kashmir, finances a research project for the publication of these texts. And over the course of about 30 years, his small sort of research department is called in Srinagar begins to publish starting around 1918 until the 1930s and 40s, prior to World War Two, and these books are then sent out to a variety of universities around the world where most of them sort of languish in deep storage, etc. and so on. My own encounter with all of this was I when I was in graduate school in 1973. My teacher in graduate school, Jerry Larson, who’s an extraordinary scholar of yoga, just an exquisite professor, I was very lucky to have him as a teacher. We were in I don’t know, it was like third or fourth year Samskaras went over to the library of the university, and he showed us the 72 Two more actually volumes of the Kashmir series of texts and studies, as it’s called. He is He is a scholar, he’s still writing and producing his scholarship. Though retired from the university, Jerry was a scholar is a scholar of classical yoga, potentially yoga, and classical sanchia. But he was interested in the teachings of the 25 typefaces, or principles, reality principles in sanchia. And where we get different versions of that, and one of the different versions we find the 36 typefaces in the classical the teachings of the so called cashmere Chava tradition. So anyway, long story short, that’s where I was first introduced to this tradition in graduate school. And I’ve been pretty much fixated and fascinated and obsessed with it ever since. Now, obviously, tantra is I mean, for many, many years, I was a member of a small scholarly group, it’s still in existence. I don’t attend the meetings anymore, the Society for tantric studies and pretty much about I would say, the first five years of our meetings, what we did was argue about the meaning of Tantra, it’s a, it’s not an easy thing to define, but in the context of the Shiva of the Shiva tantric tradition. Tantra is the systematic science, the chit Shakti video, it is the wisdom or the systematic knowledge of the potency of consciousness. It is about Mantra shastra, about this extraordinary technology of Mantra in very acute and refined detail, very, very beautiful teachings there. It’s about refinement. And it’s also it also offers a an esoteric path for householders that is non dual. And, you know, historically what happens is that the non dual tradition that sort of wins the day historically in India is of course Vedanta, particularly Advaita Vedanta, which is a redundancy Ettore tradition, and what’s one of the things that’s been lost is, it’s recovered now, but historically was it there was a parallel tradition, which was this tradition of the so called casual Chava tradition, which was a non dual tradition for householders for householder practitioners, that was a parallel path, and that that parallel path for householders was lost in a certain sense, or at least it was lost from public view. Obviously, they’re always the stewards and the Guardians behind the scenes and, and the teachers and so on who are maintaining these things in some way or another. But in terms of a widespread knowledge of a bit of a Gupta, the predecessor teachers have a bit of a Gupta, who start out with these great teachers but scooped us on Manana with Paula Deva, these extraordinary masters write these exquisite texts, and so on. And then subsequent after a bit of a group that there are several other teachers Seamus Raja is one of the most famous ones who composes the text known as the the heart of recognition that but at the beginning, I hated them. But basically, the teachings of these masters are lost from view in a more widespread way and with that, the understanding that there is any such thing as a path to ultimate attainment that does not involve renunciation, or the the process of becoming a sannyasi. Formally, that way, was also something that was lost. And I think that one of the things that happens in sort of popular culture and and sort of even today, in the widespread sort of marketplace of spirituality of yoga, and so on is that is that spirituality is still primarily understood almost exclusively in terms of renunciation. And in terms of renunciate Tory practices, and the idea that there is any such thing as a parallel path that involves a household, their practice, it’s not, we’re not talking about household, their dharma and so on, this is something else. This is the esoteric path of ultimate realization, walked by householders which is very different in its character, extremely different in its character, from the renowned Satori path and obviously offers then a whole different set of so I think this is one of the things that’s fascinated me is that how to investigate this tradition, and what it offers and how it brings this understanding in this way. And of course, it’s there’s much more to say about all of this, but
Rick Archer: okay, I probably had about a dozen questions come to mind while you were saying all that, but I’ll try to stick to the most the ones that come to the front of the queue in my mind. Yeah. One is, of course that well, first of all, most of my audience are not going to be scholarly people like you are academicians, but they’re all spiritual aspirants of various stripes. And as you well know, I’m sure the word Tantra to most people implies great sex. And it’s interesting that you mentioned you know that the Kashmir Shaivism tradition offers something for householders that’s on a parallel track but different than the Advaita tradition. Because most people who are into spirituality these days are great many of them are you know, We’re big fans of Ramana Maharshi. And of course, many of them are from Papa G’s lineage if you call that lineage, and he was around a Hershey’s disciple, but was not himself a householder. And yet there’s still a fairly strong renunciant flavor if you if you read a lot of Ramana, Maharshi is works and all. And I think that kind of filters down into people’s thinking and expectations and feeling like you know, and their, their interpretation of what spirituality is supposed to be all about. So that that gives you a springboard to just come in on those few points just about, you know, where the sexuality aspect of tantra fits into the whole picture. And, and this sort of emphasis on perhaps an implicit emphasis if you read a lot of Ramana on a renunciant viewpoint, which might actually not be the most suitable thing for many people reading it?
Paul Muller-Ortega: Well, exactly. I mean, you’ve, you’ve hit it exactly on the head, right. This is, these are some of the concerns and some of the confusions, and some of the ways in which there’s sort of ambiguities between all of these things. One of the ways that I talked about it, and I’ll come to the topic of sexuality in a moment, but one of the ways that I talk about it in terms of, you know, we have this sort of fundamental metaphor of the ocean of consciousness and then a wave on the ocean of consciousness. So that and this is this is the traditional Nehemiah or sort of illustrative example from the Shriver tradition, we talked the great ocean rises up in waves. Why does it rise up in waves? Well, because it is its inherent nature. It’s so Ababa, the inherent nature of the ocean is to rise up in waves. Now the question is once that individual life wave and those waves obviously represent us individuals, once the end of the life wave rises, the Shriver tradition says, what happens is that the wave forgets its oceanic character, and they have a whole set of teachings with regard to why it is that that forgetfulness happens etc, and so on. Then there is and I can go into that later if you want. But then there is a whole set of teachings with regard to Paya as it’s called the benefit Gupta brings forward the method he says, How is it that having forgotten that oceanic totality of consciousness we can recover that oceanic total and he says, Rupiah? Now within that then we offer skillful means right? It means method. Now, yes, skillful means is the translation. Usually in Buddhist texts. Here, it’s sort of method or sets of practices. And he offers actually four different pious in his teachings, it’s really fascinating the richness of his teaching isn’t just to offer one path or a set of methods he offers actually four. And we can look at that also, if you want to the however, the point I’m coming to is to say, within that in the application of method or practice, to the life wave, there are two different directions. One is that says, Now that wave has risen, and therefore it must subside. So the way for the wave to recapture its oceanic totality is to subside as an individual wave and in fact, renunciate toward practice. As you know, it’s a we say, even in the yoga sutra, there’s the right at the beginning the whole notion of Nido though it’s cessation of the activity of the awareness. Chitta Vritti. nirodha is the definition of yoga. And it’s the this has all been understood in terms of saying, the individual lifewave has subside, not only must it subside, it must be negated, annihilated and completely, you know, stopped so that all that’s left is oceanic in its character. And there’s a whole set that if one looks at tendency toward practices, when we realize it’s about, it’s about annihilation, it’s about the annihilation of any separateness, it’s also about the annihilation of the uprooting of any form of impulse of desire, any agenda toward action, any form of investment, within the relative structure of reality, it’s the dissolution of all of that. Now, the cash reshaping tradition offers a very different perspective on this metaphor, it says, look, it’s actually very different. It’s the exact opposite. The lifewave must be involved in a set of methods or practices, a variety of different terms that are used for this, by means of which the individual draws from that oceanic totality, at its base to cause the wave to rise higher and higher and higher and higher. And so that eventually, the entire ocean will rise up into an individual wave. And, and therefore, it’s a very different perspective. So you have you know, I talked about the lifewave, amplification and refinement. So it isn’t just about drawing something, but it also has to be refined, it has to be continuously refined through a series of stages in the journey of consciousness. And that that is that is exactly it’s 180 degrees opposite in terms of the directionality of practice that’s involved. It’s not about also, it’s not about the negation or the eradication of all impulses toward investment in action, it is about the purification, if you want to call that I use that term or the the dissolving or negating of life damaging impulses, but it’s actually about the investment and fulfillment of those impulses or agendas of life, that rise up within the individual. So, the empowerment of desires as it were not desired just in the in the sense of sexual desire, but any form of investment towards life creative, any form of creativity, any form of action, and so on, how is it that those impulses and agendas of life can best be fulfilled and that a set of a set of practices by means of which that is being supported rather than the the, the notion and the tendency to a path is the eradication, it’s really the the de resonation is pulling everything up by its root. So there’s nothing left of any separate impulse and it’s, you know, relative to a practice is practice authentically and it is relative to a practice is and pats are exquisite, they are very beautiful. The question is, most people don’t find them suitable for life. It’s what is compatible with life, this is the issue, you see. So what was lost then was this non dual householder, non residency, Tory set of practices and initiatory path and esoteric teachings and so on, within which then what was happening was not the eradication of separateness, but rather the the drawing at the base and the rising up in in the Sanskrit term benefit of the US is poor, not a hunter, the perfectly fulfilled great, I am consciousness. So that is this rising and rising and rising, and then he has a map, it’s a very interesting map, that’s interesting to look at, with regard to stages on that journey, various levels of the rising of consciousness toward higher and higher stages. So he it’s not about a single stage, it’s a multi tiered kind of mountain. It’s also very interesting. So
Rick Archer: so what you just said about the rising of the wave to become the whole ocean rising wave? I presume that you’re implying, correct me if I’m wrong, that not only Well, I was kind of reminded of all these verses in the Gita, like, you know, establishing yoga, perform action or yoga is skill in action and things like that. And the emphasis being that, you know, Enlightenment is not merely about renunciation, but actually can be a tremendous boon in terms of more effectiveness in the world, not recreational, but actually being more effective, accomplish accomplish more. Yeah. And that’s not incompatible. So it’s there in the traditional Hindu texts. But then, you know, Shankar is lineage was all renunciate. It’s and it probably got swept under the rug. You know, that that would that was a implication of spiritual development. For the vast majority of people.
Paul Muller-Ortega: Yeah, yeah. Yes. And I think I mean, this is it’s, it’s, it’s complex, it’s obviously a long history that spans at least 1000 years, if not more of various kinds of evolutions. One of the fascinating details within all of that is that one of the places actually where the tantric tradition survives is actually in the very center of, of the Shankar right orders, the mottos of Shankara as the later form of Goddess centered Sri Vidya, where the practice of Sri Vidya becomes the esoteric practice of the of the monastics and, and so on, but it is it is kept sort of, sort of as the Sikh most secret teaching or the most restricted teaching in that way. And so, I mean, it’s, it’s quite complicated. And I’m sort of painting with a broad brush here, but it’s one of the places where the tantra actually survives is there. But generally speaking, this idea of a householder esoteric path that is non dual and its character has been lost. And it’s been lost from view. And, and part of what the, I think that, you know, over the last 100 years or so, the recovery of have somewhat lost tradition of so called Kashmir Shaivism has been a, it’s a collective enterprise. Obviously, it’s not any one individual, but there’s been an interesting emergence, if you will, of this tradition, and of its teachings and of the writings of its masters, and so on that that gives us offers us a very different picture and a very different perspective. And something that’s very, it’s actually interestingly modern in a certain way. It’s interestingly compatible with the aspirations of many people. You know, in our modern world where they have people are not necessarily all flocking to become renunciate and so on. So
Rick Archer: yeah, if you like I try to keep my audience in mind during these interviews and one bias or opinion that I often hear aired, is that, you know, all this stuff about Gods and Goddesses and all the the sort of the sort of all the trappings of the Hindu tradition, the Vedic tradition, seem like so much diversity to people, especially if they’ve been reading a lot of Ramana. And they think it’s all dualistic, all that stuff, why, why don’t we just cut to the chase, and there’s only one reality and we shouldn’t get hung up and all these details, and so on. And so I addressed that doubt.
Paul Muller-Ortega: Well, I mean, I think it’s also a question of taste of what you know, I mean, the spiritual path many times responds to what we’re coming into this life, you know, and what people’s tastes are, what their previous experiences, what their, what they gravitate toward what form or, you know, Joseph Campbell talked about the masks of God, what mask of reality is appealing to us in a certain kind of way. That’s part of what, you know, in the Hindu tradition, they talked about the Easter Deva to the the, the desired form of the deity that speaks to you most powerfully, is the is the form of reality that you can most easily approach that’s closest to your heart in that way. And I think that there’s no question that, you know, one of the one of the boons of this time is the sort of the almost infinite variety of different paths that are available. The the downside of that boon, obviously, is a tremendous amount of confusion with regard to aspects of all of this, but nevertheless, the Yes, one what it is clear that the conventional Hindu religion to separate conventional Hindu religion, which obviously has many different Sampradaya groupings within it does focus on a great variety of different deities, different faces, different forms, different approaches, rituals, temples, festivals, Holy Days, etc, and so on. Clearly, within that, however, even in the earliest teachings, there’s a notion that says there’s 33 million faces of God and there’s one there’s only one tied to AECOM, there’s only that one. And this is also very, very powerfully taught in the sort of higher esoteric teachings of the Kashmir show of a tradition, where there is the notion of the one great unitary light of consciousness, the Mahabharat Akasha, which then appears in so many different ways, just like within that light, all the different colors of the rainbow can appear, so to the diversity of forms and shapes and faces and Mortiz as it were, that can appear but that all of them are really aspects or dimensions, facets are values of, of that ultimate reality that then are highlighted in a certain kind of way and there is a utility to highlighting the different kinds of Shakti as we explore our own life and explore our own life, our path, what is the, what is the, what are the various forms of the potency of consciousness, we talked about the consciousness, you know, the potency of consciousness, the potency of bliss, the potency of will, the potency of knowledge, the potency of action, these different forms are, are very important to understand and really show us details and technicalities of specify specificities of pathways, as it were that that are necessary for as they are they provide the vocabulary for understanding a lot of this.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So a couple of themes here, I want to bring in I’ll read a couple of quotes from you, in order to introduce them one is the sort of progressive nature of spiritual development and the other is the sort of the two step process of knowledge and experience. So with regarding the progressive nature, here’s a quote It is only through repeated inquiry, prolonged contemplation and a continuous process of returning to themes, concepts and understandings over time, that we truly refine, advance and penetrate into the deep marrow of what is conveyed in a revelatory texts such as this Shiva Sutras. And here’s another quote, the notion of culpa some, some Scara, the regressive of refinement of understanding is presented by the great Maha siddhi, Avi number Gupta in the tantra loca. So a lot of people take exception with that kind of notion. They say, again, they say cut to the chase, realize that you’re that all this notion of progressive path and ongoing refinement and development is just going to keep you chasing the dangling carrot, you know, always looking for something over the next horizon, you’re never going to arrive. So how do you reconcile that objection with what I just read? Right. Well,
Paul Muller-Ortega: I mean, this is where before I was referring to a bit of a Gupta offering, what the for pious and he talks about four different methods. And these are gradated understandings of spiritual paths. He does speak almost immediately. This is in his massive I work called the tantra loca light on the tunnels, which is a extraordinary huge commentary on these revealed scriptures of the tantra as an alchemist of the Shiva tradition, almost immediately he wants to say there is the rupiah, which is the the the non method method in which the only thing that is operative is grace. There is no path, there is no Mantra, there is no initiation, there is no progress, there is no transformation. It is instantaneous, in its character, and and really relies on no form of effort or action or investment of the individual. And he makes a
Rick Archer: wide percentage of people. Do you feel that that pertains?
Paul Muller-Ortega: Well, that’s the issue. Exactly. He himself says it’s a pretty small club, it’s like membership in this club is very small. He wants to account for the fact that it see he’s he’s speaking about the freedom, this authentic idea of reality says reality is so free, that if it quote wants to it can liberate someone instantaneously. Even if they’re not good person, it has nothing to do with their karma in a certain way. They could be potentially instantaneously liberated. And he does make a place for that. And he says, yes, there is that notion of the instantaneously liberated masters or masters who even are born enlightened, the Genma Siddhis, as they’re called, they’re born already liberated already free, do not have to walk any form of progressive path or whatever he says. However, if that is not the case for you, as an individual, then there’s clearly something that needs to transpire. And the the inquiry then is the inquiry into what is that something that must transpire? And, and basically in a lot of different places. And he goes, this goes back also to the teachings of one of the great Tantra texts, the most extraordinary texts called the Viviana Bhairava Tantra, which is the one of these sentences that’s entirely devoted to meditation, where it says, Look, any notion of approach to the non dual has instantaneously invoked duality, the moment that you talk about non duality, and then you say, now I’m going to move toward that or enter into that, or whatever, you have positive instantaneously duality in that moment. And the question is, how do you overcome that? How do you overcome that paradox? It says, yes, you can say everything is one, there’s only one thing immediately enter into that and have been able to says yes, for some people that happens spontaneously, automatically, effortlessly, without any form of investment initiation, teachings, path, nothing, it just happens for them. That’s great. It happens. It does happen. But for the rest of us, for whom that has not happened in that way. Then there is the notion that says, Well, what are you going to do? Yeah, what do you what are you going to do? And yeah,
Rick Archer: this brings up a question that I often run into, which is that a lot of people read a bunch of books. And they they say, yeah, I get it, it’s all non dual. And then they kind of assume that that intellectual understanding is what these books are talking about. They don’t realize that they’re mistaking an understanding for the mix, the experience that the books are referring to. So there’s a second point I wanted to raise with you, which is about, you know, understanding the meaning out of Indiana, neither experienced or understanding alone, truly suffice for the growth of true wisdom on the spiritual path. They’re like two legs that you need to walk on. That’s all should develop a pace.
Paul Muller-Ortega: Exactly. Exactly. It’s It’s an extraordinary teaching. It’s right at the beginning of of beneva, Gupta’s masterwork, that center loca, he offers this understanding, he says there’s there’s two kinds of ignorance. And there’s two kinds of knowledge that overcome that increments. And therefore they need to be both worked on. On the one hand, you have what he calls a Purusha, or so called spiritual ignorance, which is the, the the absence of the knowledge of the transcendental self, experientially, and then there’s bouta, which is the absence of the correct or highest or most lucrative understanding with regard to that ultimate reality. And he says, You could have one or the other, but you need both of them, actually, the both of them need to be there. And that what often happens, and something that I talk about a lot in my own teaching is that is that there’s a lag because people have experiences, but they but there’s a lag in terms of their understanding of what those experiences mean, signified convey, or the import or the true value of them. And that in that, in that in that differential between their depth of spiritual immersion into reality in a certain way, but then the continuation of the animation of SERPs, superficial or inadequate ways of thinking about all that conceptualizing. They perpetuate them a form of ignorance for themselves. It’s only when the so therefore, a bit of a Gupta’s teaching of the culpa some skata, which you mentioned before, the refinement of conceptualization says Yes, there must be this a set of practices by means of which there is immersion in ultimacy. One of the terms that uses who did they have is should Auntie reposing in the great heart of the absolute a set of practices that take us there and by the way, the teaching with that says shy V will come the whole chapter in Sanskrit, which means, here in this tradition, it is the Shakti that functions as the doorway or access point to that ultimately, one cannot approach that ultimacy directly says the tradition is one one must have the intermediary of the Shakti hence, the extraordinary focus on the different kinds of Shakti in this tradition that the Shakti creates the pathway or the access gate or, or the means to a to to enter into that. But having entered into that, then the question is, how is the person still thinking about the whole thing? How are they understanding it? And in many cases, there’s a perpetuation of very limited understanding, fallacious or incomplete or unrefined knowledge with regard to it and hence, for this tradition, it is just as important to have the experiential immersion in ultimately in absoluteness, and the digestion and the the sort of the continuous steeping and dyeing of the cloth of consciousness in that as there is the notion of the process of refining how we’re thinking about it and having our mind and our understanding catch up with what is already taking place. And that that’s, that’s the process of the conference and Christ says, Look, your mind ordinarily is going to animate limited knowledge. The the Shiva sutra, the famous root text of the tradition, says Jana Mundo knit limited knowledge is one of the definitions of bondage, what is bondage, bondage is limited knowledge, it’s not the complete absence of knowledge, it is a knowledge that is inadequate, crude or superficial, incomplete, insufficiently refined, potent, and, and and aligned with or in sort of congruent sort of smooth coherence with the ultimate reality itself. And therefore, that process of the refinement of, of understanding the refinement, the conceptualization, is just as important in this tradition as as the process by means of which there is the continuous immersion in that vastness or spaciousness of of consciousness itself. That’s Jana, big Jana the the intellectual knowledge and the experiential knowledge. What are our he says, Are they mutually nourish and feed each other this is right at the beginning of the tunnel, okay. And eventually, as both of them mature and grow over time. And yes, there is this alternation as our experience grows, so too, does our capacity to understand even the teachings of the tradition, the words of the great masters, etc. And so underneath it is only as the sort of the inner eye of experience is opened, that we can actually really even register the the nuanced subtleties, and in depth precisions, or what have been contained in this teaching. So you’re absolutely right, just reading a book and saying, oh, yeah, well, I’m, I’m cool with that. Yeah, non duality is my my bag. My philosophy. And so it’s like, that’s, that’s just, you know, I mean, that’s great. It’s a first start. It’s a laudable enthusiasm, but it is not, it is not really the the nature of realization itself in that way.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And on the flip side, I’ve interviewed people who might think have a very profound and genuine degree of awakening of experience, but their interpretation of it, and then many of them become teachers and get up in front of audiences and start promulgating this understanding, I think is very half baked. And I think it confuses people. And you know, and many of them will, many of them don’t, not only are they espousing some understanding, which I think is limited, but are erroneous, but at least in my opinion, but they may not be offering any actual prescription for developing the sort of experience they are having. And so people sit there and they get kind of uplifted and inspired by what they’re hearing, and they kind of resonate while they’re sitting there. Yeah, but I don’t really know how productive it is.
Paul Muller-Ortega: Well, exactly. I mean, I couldn’t agree with you more. Exactly. It’s very well said, you know, this is this is the issue and therefore, you know, the, I think that we’re in a phase in which we are maturing very rapidly with regard to our understanding of overall maps of spirituality, maps of Enlightenment, and different models of, of practice and of schools of practice and teachers and so on, is it’s an extraordinary process of transmission that’s been happening to the west for the last 150 years if we want to think of it in terms of some great wave of an awakening or dawning time, etc, and so on. But you know, even I mean, many times people trace it back say, Well, you know, Swami Vivekananda, the world Parliament of Religions in 1893, comes to Chicago. And it’s really the beginning of an extraordinary wave of teachers and teachings, not just in the Hindu tradition, we know Buddhist tradition, practically every esoteric tradition that has ever existed on planet Earth has been poured out for inspection and visibility, and a certain kind of revival at the current period of time. And there’s a certain kind, there’s a sort of evolutionary process of maturation within all of these different traditions and schools, growing up to more sophisticated, more refined and more adapted to, I mean, it’s one of the a bit of a Gupta talks about this a great length in his writings. And he says, you know, even if there is he talks about that, he calls it this some silica guru, that teacher who has so spontaneously awakened, he says, initiated by the very potencies of his or her own consciousness, that Master has risen to the highest Enlightenment, and that it’s called, it’s really considered to be the, the, you know, the epitome of the highest kind of teacher. The some civic group, however, says even the subset of a group, if they really want to present themselves, as most highly authoritative, will submit to an initiatory process of studying the teachings of the tradition at length imbibing those teachings, consider considering them at length, and then receiving that the term he uses in Sanskrit and the subtitle, the the rising up from the inside of waves of spontaneous insight into the deepest proportion or meaning of these revealed scriptures, and of the teachings of the great masters and so on. And that only then he says, then there is a teacher that could be called equal to bite of a bite of a is the form of Shiva that is most worshipped in this Shiva traditions, then they truly can be said, to become vitamins. And so there’s a there’s a kind of a responsibility to, however much there’s a freedom and a feeling, you know, I mean, I when I was a university professor, we used to read William James, in theories of religion classes and so on. And James talks about how mystical experience is self validating, it has this quality of when it rises up inside you that you feel that it is true. And there’s nothing in the outside world that can really counter that. That feeling of the Self validating nature of Mr. Build spirits over still, the Jaipur tradition said look, however much that’s your experience, you still need to practice in alignment with tradition, you need to practice in alignment with the teachings of the great teachers, the great texts, the great commentaries and so on, because there may be remnants of of inaccuracy or superficiality, crudity of stew of the stool character in what you’re animating in your mind, the state may be very beautiful, but what is being animated in the understanding may still lag behind. And that’s where then there’s, there’s work that needs to be done. It’s one of the reasons why, you know, it’s not that this tradition is intellectual, it’s a tradition that says, you have to work on all of these different aspects of on on this spiritual path, you need to have profound sequences of ever deepening immersion into that absoluteness and the digestion of that into a stabilizing state rising towards higher states of consciousness. But at the same time, you can’t neglect the process of what your mind is thinking or understanding or conceiving around all this. And you can’t just lean back on the notion as a well, I know, because I’ve had this as a mystical experience, it has to be checked against tradition. And I think that I think that one of the, you know, if I have sort of, you know, a purpose in terms of is I’ve wanted to bring out these texts, on a scholarly level, and I’m still going to work the rest of my life to do it. So that they become available as sources for checking against a particularly highly refined and sophisticated esoteric tradition that that can offer a kind of a, a mirror and also a safety check with regard to you know, what it is that’s coming forward. And then also, there’s, there’s a completeness about it that many times things are left out, when we have these experiences, many times the experiences arise in a particular avenue of life. And then there’s there are other aspects or dimensions of the whole matter that are not fully considered and that that then needs to be opened up and aerated. So yeah,
Rick Archer: I kind of feel like for everybody who has a profound spiritual experience and whose understanding may not have caught up with it, there may there’s probably 100 People who have a head full of understanding who’s experienced hasn’t caught up with it. They probably need to get cracking on some kind of spiritual discipline, which we can talk about in a few minutes. But I also want to comment on what you just said, in terms of, I mean, I’ve given talks about Just thought about this quite a lot about the notion that, you know, I mean, whatever reality may be, you know, and there are all sorts of traditions that attempt to describe it both spiritual traditions and scientific traditions. And they each have their own specialties. Biology doesn’t mess with what geography is trying to do, or, or quantum physics is trying to do. Oh, actually, that’s beginning to cross over this. Yeah, biology these days. But, however, I think the quest of science is to ultimately arrive at some kind of consensus understanding of the nature of reality, each each branch of it contributing their own piece. And I would think that spirituality could and should aspire to the same thing. And there are so many traditions of that throughout the world, but really, they’re all talking about the same reality, ultimately, just coming at it from a different perspective, different traditions, different cultures, different ages. And but then the two of those should be able to merge in some kind of grand unification. And I can envision a society maybe 1000 years from now or whatever, in which the whole distinction between science and religion seems ludicrous. And yes, you know, we’ve really kind of we use subjective and objective tools of gaining knowledge in harmony with one another, to gain a complete understanding of the full range of reality, both the things that are both the things that concrete material instruments can measure and the things that this more refined instrument, called the human nervous system, is uniquely qualified to measure.
Paul Muller-Ortega: You beautiful. Yeah, exactly. I mean, I couldn’t agree more. That’s exactly it. And and that, you know, it’s the notion, I mean, this is where it you know, Indian philosophy, generally, in all of its different branches, talks about the hermanas, which are the modes or means of knowledge. So how do we know things you see, and what the, what the, what the, there are seven, or eight or nine of them, depending on what different schools you look at, but basically, it boils down to three, they say, Look, you we gain knowledge in life through our senses. And that’s what it’s called, but the actual that through, through our very eyes, what’s in front of our eyes, eyes is the Master Sense for all all of the five senses. But we also gain knowledge through inference on Numana, which is to say, we can infer from what we’re seeing, and derive knowledge second secondarily, in that way, the famous example is the, what they call the invariable concomitance of fire and smoke. If you see the smoke at a distance, but you can’t see the fire, you can infer the presence of the fire, because fire and smoke always go together and that those two together, put at the auction and under Manana, it really formed the basis of the scientific method. I mean, that’s what science uses as its tools, obviously, it wants to magnify the senses through instrumentation, it wants to magnify inference to theory through mathematics, through various kinds of theoretical computational means and so on. But But science in general is focused in that way. Now, that tradition says, look, there’s another kind of knowledge however, it’s called the aagama. And it is, it is a very different character, it is the knowledge that reality has of itself spontaneously and automatically, and the way that that knowledge reveals itself within human beings, and that knowledge is not able to be as it were collapsed down to the sort of perception perceptual or inferential kinds of knowledge, that are derived from the other promoters and that most of so called spirituality or spiritual paths, then derived from a kind of knowledge that emerges spontaneously from reality itself, and then has been transferred to individuals through extraordinary individuals themselves and that this, this then creates an extraordinary consideration is how is it that using this instrument you mentioned the nervous system is very beautiful phrase, this the the physical and subtle bodies as it were, and their state, knowledge can begin to arise spontaneously from within and we as individuals can begin to serve as vehicles for the transmission of knowledge that is not born of our surface intellect, it’s not born from our cleverness, or intelligence, or our accumulation of data, or our sort of inference around that it is it is somehow this notion of something that emerges spontaneously from inside fully formed and fully shaped. This is a practice and it receives a name a bit of the calls that Bhavana and Bhavana, then is this is this extraordinary counterpart to meditation, he says, he says, first you have to go within and clear the field of the body, the pre egoic awareness space of the debris accumulations of the negative some scars that have accumulated there’s all kinds of junk inside us. And it has to it’s this physical stuff, but it’s also subtle body stuff that needs to be purified away when the body is rendered sufficiently suck, which is to say clear and luminous and irradiated ignited with light, then that becomes an arena within which the individual embarks on an adventure of invoking sequences of insight. And this is the most extraordinarily fascinating dimension of the Shiva tradition where they say you, you practice Bhavana as a series of practices in which you begin to inquire at the very root of, of the of the relative sphere of reality at the very doorway, as it were of the absolute you place inquiries at that place. And those inquiries will then shape themselves into sequences of responsive, structured insight that then rise through from the from the very subtle level, in terms of the vocabulary of the Tantra. It’s called the Pashyanti, the visioning word, the word that is extraordinarily subtle, is an concretize, and rises up to become the Madhyama are intermediate dimension of thought. And then that has to be articulated in terms of speech in the bikery, the spoken word, and it’s almost the the this as a tool or an instrument for the investigation of reality, and says, We, as human beings, can serve as, as explores of this ultimately, and that what can arise from that absoluteness is endless. In other words, there’s no limit, there’s no boundary, there’s no certain set of, of structures of insight, there’s endless streaming, of spontaneously shaping and spontaneously arising, insight from within, which is, which is ever more refined in its character, this goes back to what we’re talking about with regard to conceptualization, because if that insight is arising, but then it rises to the through the level of the mind where the mind is the kind of jumbled and incoherent and, and filled with sort of superficial or limited or contracted notions and ideas, then you’re filtering this very limpid stream through a kind of a muddiness and then it emerges. That’s what emerges in that way. So it’s a question of how do we sufficiently clear out the instrument of the human body and the subtle nervous system and so on, such that then individuals can serve as, as source points and transmission relay stations, in a certain sense for these extraordinary impulses of the ultimate absolute consciousness to rise within that, and that this is the understanding, yes, it’s the understanding of great teachers, but eventually, it has to be the understanding of the destiny of humanity. In other words, how do human beings really rise into a golden era, only by having this independent, individual access to this ultimately, not just in terms of the silence of transcendence into the absolute, but also in terms of, of being practiced and capable of receiving the streaming forth of these insights that then serve really they serve as they serve to guide they serve, to orient they serve to inform, they serve to inspire they serve to also permit the shaping of any kind of degree of complexity of knowledge whatsoever, and that this is the way we understand is we say, well, the great masters had risen to that state. So they spoke from that dimension, this very limpid and clear level of their speech, because they had cleared out, and that the aspiration isn’t just to meet such a master, the aspiration ultimately, is to become such a BA, where that that process can arise and that that’s, that’s part of the vision of this tradition. So meditation and Bhavana is eliciting of sequences of spontaneous insight from within. It’s very, very, very fascinating. And it’s, it’s a set of experiences, in other words, that it happens and you begin to have a spontaneous insight from inside and then as the process of the clarification and the refinement of consciousness proceed. So to to an increasing increasing degree, the ever more potent surging of different kinds of insights that then narrate, in a certain sense, the nature of reality, the nature of the Absolute, the relationship of the absolute to the relative manifests and structures, etc, and so on and become the so yeah, anyway, this is this is all a bit of a gift to talks about this 1000 years ago in extraordinary detail is the point I’m trying to make fascinating to find this in insects. Somebody sent
Rick Archer: me an interesting quote from Nisargadatta Maharaj the other day, this is said this shortly before his death, apparently he said, Forget I am that that was the tiny little book of his sayings. He said, I realized so much more since then. It’s so much deeper. I love it. Which some people don’t like that notion because they, like I said earlier chasing the ever dangling carrot, but I kind of love the notion of ever, never ending exploration and unfoldment and refinement and beautiful. Yeah, I mean, just, I actually I can’t say that I’ve ever met anyone who would be exempt from that possibility. I know and I’ve met some pretty interesting people but I really feel like you Yeah, it’s a never ending exploration and and if you read the sort of the, the traditional texts about the various locusts and the beings that are said to dwell there, and we’re kind of in kindergarten here, what’s possible? While we’re on this topic of you were talking about purification. Yeah. And I just want to read a question that came in from Raymond Schumann in Olympia, Washington. We were talking at the beginning about the blue throat thing. And he said, he said, I read the story to mean that a seeker after Enlightenment must swallow and metabolize all his personal shadow. He must also swallow his portion of the agony of creation. Beautiful. Yeah, so.
Paul Muller-Ortega: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. That’s well said. Couldn’t agree more. Yeah, that’s exactly right.
Rick Archer: Yeah, so I remember. Mark Marsh is talking about stress as being impurities in the system, and structural and chemical abnormalities in the nervous system, which needed to be purified, structurally, structural repair, chemical purification. And these days, the term neuroplasticity is power. And, you know, somebody asked him one time, what happens if we got rid of all of our stress all of our individual stress? He said, well, then you start taking on cosmic stress. So you become a washing machine?
Paul Muller-Ortega: That’s right, exactly. And I think that I mean, this is an old, this is an old understanding, obviously, that says, the presence of great Masters on planet Earth has been possibly the salvation of the planet against annihilation, that great beings, even in their silence, even beings who do not emerge to have a public sort of teaching or agenda or whatever, that the extraordinary purificatory potency of great enlightened masters on the planet has served to as a counter veiling kind of impulse against just the sheer, also ocean of horribleness, as it were, that that has been accumulated in that way. And, yeah,
Rick Archer: exciting point, you know, tick, not Han said, the next Buddha, maybe the Sangha. And I think we’re at it, even though we’ve had the possibility of nuclear annihilation for, you know, half a century now. I think that there, there are so many things now which have lined up to potentially kill us all, not only the nuclear, but climate change, and many, many other things. And I find that extremely exciting and significant, there seems to be some sort of epidemic of spiritual awakening taking place in the world, which is unprecedented in our and our memory. And that it might be just nature’s way of providing the antidote, although it’s not a done deal, but providing the potential antidote to some kind of really catastrophic thing.
Paul Muller-Ortega: Yes. And I mean, I think that, you know, I was talking before about waves of teachers, and I think at a certain moment, it’s not that the wave of teachers is going to necessarily stop, but it becomes more and more our responsibility. In other words, it isn’t just it, you know, in my own teaching about these things I talked about the difference between sort of childhood adolescent and an adult or grown up spirituality, and, and sort of the the dependence of the child on the parents to solve all the problems versus the grown up that says, Look, this is there aren’t any other grown ups where the grown ups we have to, we have to somehow take responsibility for these things to continuously look to some salvific figures, some avatar figure, some somebody who’s going to solve all the problems in that way, maybe they’ll come maybe they won’t, we don’t know. But in the meantime, we have to take responsibility. And that that’s also part of the understanding of householder spirituality, in other words, that, you know, householders are here to develop a radical degree of creativity inside ourselves. And through that creativity, there is the possibility then of manifesting better things for our planet, better structures of society, of economics, of education of, of just getting along with each other, whatever it would be the environment and so on. So that there’s there’s this alternative energy, yeah, exactly. All of it, you know, that we, you know, we’re, this whole process of Bhavana itself that I just was talking about, is a kind of doorway into infinite possibilities of manifesting methods and practices and ways by means of which that creativity can be expressed and that it is an endless well, and it is our responsibility to tap into that. And that, therefore, it’s extraordinarily important that more and more of human beings you talked about more and more people awakening, and we know awakening is not the same as Enlightenment. Exactly. It’s so so awake. Think has to be met with knowledge, it has to be met with practices, it has to be met with a vision of a path, a set of understandings, etc, and so on. And that that’s part of what’s taking place in a certain way right now. We say waves of individuals awakening in all of these different traditions then being met with understandings that will help to transform and shape life. And for me, this understanding of householder esoteric, non dual practice is very, very significant because it it basically says, How do you access the highest form of the potency of consciousness within yourself? And how do you express that you were talking about? You know, yoga is a skill in action? And it says, how do you express that in the most complex ways, in the most varied sorts of ways because everybody has a different kind of genius. Everybody has a different gift that they’re here to express and bring out from within themselves. householder, spirituality is also about a kind of radical stewardship and protection. In other words, that that we’re here we’re talking about saving us from nuclear annihilation. It’s our job. In that sense, it’s not anybody else’s job to look to some salvific figure to some groups or some avatars what No, it’s our job. As we awaken as we grow as we mature, in spirituality, as in a householder path to become responsible for the environment, we really it really shouldn’t be left in the hands of renunciation. If they were really renunciant they wouldn’t care a while renounce it was like they’re out there just on the path out in a certain kind of way. Oh,
Rick Archer: I was at the Science Science non duality conference one time and a guy was up on stage, who was a popular teacher who actually is a householder, and a Buddhist teacher got up and he was very concerned about the environment and social issues and so on. He said, What about the environment? What about these, you know, social inequities and so on. And the guy on stage was like, you know, the Earth is like a little speck of dust no matter what doesn’t matter what happens to it. And, you know, that to me, you know, seemed inappropriate. And unnecessary and really not a, an attitude, we want to promulgate if, you know, I mean, you can’t evolve spiritually, unless you actually have a body and can breathe, and eat and so on. And, you know, this is a marvelous place in which to accomplish spiritual evolution. Let’s, let’s keep it, John.
Paul Muller-Ortega: That’s right. And we’re in the, you know, this is the, this is the Sunday This is the Sunday time, the Sunday is the interval time or transition time between so called Kali yuga, and so called Set yuga. It’s there, it’s we’re in this long period of, of transition, which is kind of betwixt in between, it’s not one it’s not the other, it’s, you know, it’s like the dawn is the dawn nighttime is the dawn daytime, well, it’s it’s a little of both, you know, is is the remnants of the nighttime are still hanging around. And then there is the anticipation of the Rising Sun, and so on, and the coming New Day, and so on. And in that Sunday time, the betwixt in between time, which may last for a considerable period of time, beyond our lifetimes. It’s that sort of the establishment or the setting up of those structures that are eventually going to result in a radically transformed culture, a radically transformed planet radically transformed the way that human beings will interact with each other, will live will take care of the environment will manifest knowledge or creativity, the arts, whatever it might be, and that all of this is really in the arena of what the Shiva tantric masters envisioned in terms of the refinement of life, and the drawing forth of these potencies of consciousness in manifold ways that they’re that they’re expressed. One of the one of the interesting, it’s a detail, but one of the interesting cases, I mentioned a bit of a Gupta as a teacher was kind of forgotten. The one place where he was remembered is in a kind of secondary agenda of his work, where he wrote about Indian aesthetics, the philosophy of art and artistic beauty, and his theory of art. The Russell 20 theory, actually was, is well known and survived to this day, it was a kind of a question about what is it that makes something beautiful in terms of an artistic and artistic creation, and it’s an it’s really an application of the whole, the whole spirituality of the Shiva tradition, but that was kind of lost and yet his his aesthetic theory which so he was open to the arts, he was open to creativity. In that way, he was open to it to all the ways that human beings seek to express themselves in life. And not just this notion of giving it all up or declaring it all to be an illusion, isn’t say it’s an illusion. He says it’s only relatively real, but it’s not an illusion. It’s real. It’s just relatively real. It’s not absolutely real. And so there’s a difference between those perspectives that that, you know, sweep everything away and say none of this matters. It doesn’t matter. You were never born. Aren’t you never die? These are non dualistic teachings that are appropriate for renunciation. But you can’t you can’t live that way as a householder. It’s very difficult to, to tolerate.
Rick Archer: Yeah, there’s a famous saying by Shankara, which Ramana often quoted of, you know, the world is illusory. Brahman alone is real. Brahman is the world. Yeah. And then is that notion of mithya? You know, where dependent reality where, sure, pot is nothing but clay, but it’s still pot, it can be used as a pot. So that’s right. You know, with regard to you mentioned of Kali yuga, and salt, yuga, and so on, I mean, Kali yuga, said to be 432,000 years long, and we’re only 5000 years into it, supposedly. But I don’t know if that chronology is actually correct. But But I have heard it said that, you know, when sort of Dharma reaches its Nadir, then it may take a long time and slow, gradual decline to do that. But then it sort of hits rock bottom and rises up to 100% of restoration, in a very short amount of time, like maybe a generation. And perhaps we’re beginning to see the signs of that. And, you know, I don’t have any thoughts on that.
Paul Muller-Ortega: We’ll see. I mean, it’s, you know, I think these are powerful suggestive notions that don’t necessarily translate mathematically or in terms of astronomy, or in terms of the history of the universe, etc, and so on, but rather, ways of to understand the manifestations of time, I mean, that, you know, one of the one of the meanings of Shiva, he’s often called Mahakala, the great time, and this notion of time manifests in different flavors, and different, you know, in sort of modern times, we just have, well, time is the same all the time, it’s just time, it’s just, you know, it’s not different. But there’s this notion that different kinds of things occur in different eons of time. And that that’s this, this teaching of the Kali yuga, the site yuga, Dwapara, data are ways of, of expressing this notion of kind of a pulsating, transforming, evolving and de evolving structure of what’s interesting about this theory of time is that things get worse, you know, over time, it’s like the set yuga is there. And then it gets worse and worse, and worse and worse, it’s really quite depressing. And, but then there is the restoration, or revival or rising up, and you know, how long that’s going to take to happen. It’s also you know, how long according to whom, in other words, that, you know, are we talking human years? Are we talking divine years? It’s so for me, I don’t I’m not, you know, sometimes people said, well, you know, quoting this 432,000 years, and all this stuff, it’s like, well, I don’t know, necessarily to take it literally, you know, it’s a very interesting notion. This is, we’re on the threshold of something really astonishing. We cannot actually from, from our current perspective, project, and predict what is going to evolve because it’s outside of the range of sort of the ordinary predictability of our mind, but we’re on the on the verge of something astonishing. And that there is a there is a there are waves of spiritually awakening human beings, awakening being born, and so on. And that this is part of what we’re in the midst of, and that it is this, this it’s kind of a almost like a planetary emergency, where it’s not as if we have all these perfect schools and these perfect teachings and these perfectly orderly things. It’s just every single tradition is doing the best they can to manifest and express, you know, what they possibly can and add to the collective discourse in that way. And I think that’s, you know, the way I see it in terms of this cashmere Shriver tradition, it is very, very beautiful, and it’s extraordinarily inspiring and necessary.
Rick Archer: And it just reminded me of something that marshy said, when he was training us to be teachers on my course. He said, If a war is on, there’s no time to train sharpshooters. You just give people a rifle and send them out. So we’re a bunch of bozos, you know, 2021 years old. Let me just throw in a question here. It’s a little bit of a abrupt segue from a fellow in California who submitted David Darby and Grass Valley asked the broad description that you gave of Kashmir Shaivism Tantra sounds very similar to what abroad description of the fourth way as presented by Gorjuss is, particularly as a non renunciate householder path that involves a gradual refinement of consciousness and removal of illusions. And you come across this tradition Do you feel there are any links between the two traditions are a similar source?
Paul Muller-Ortega: Well, I mean, I’ve read some of their Jeff and Uspensky, his works and all that kind of stuff, but I can’t really say that I you know, I’m sort of scholar in a scholarly sort of way able to present a point by point comparison. Yeah, I mean, it is It’s always fascinating when you get these parallel sorts of appearances of teachings, where it seems like something echoes with something else. And of course, you know, from a scholarly perspective, it’s like, is there an influence there? Whereas just a parallel development, is there a little of both, you know, it’s hard to say what that might be. And you know, I think that yeah, yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah. Good. Yeah. The other thing I’d like to bring in is the whole gross and subtle thing. Yeah. Both in terms of the emergence of creation from subtlety gross, and the kind of like the reverse March of one’s experience, from gross to subtle. And so the whole implications of the power of the subtle as compared to the gross and, and many other things that I’m sure you could say about it. So let’s talk about that stuff from it.
Paul Muller-Ortega: Well, I mean, this is, you know, what you’re mentioning is one of the fundamental teachings that is used everywhere in the text of the Shiva tantric tradition. On you have this notion of, of bands of reality or vibratory bands of reality, the Sula, it’s not just one level, it’s a band of reality that could be considered to be gross or crude, objective, superficial math fully manifested in a certain kind of way, bands of the subtle Sushma bands of the extremely subtle a piece of Shama. And then beyond all of that something that transcends all of that structure can be called a Tita or, which just means utterly Beyond The Beyond, or put off the supreme or whatever. And that that this is the it’s a fundamental, extraordinarily useful map of both a kind of cosmic reality, as well as of our own individual life. If we think of ourselves only in terms of our physical body, we’re clearly doing a disservice to ourselves, even just our minds are excluded. It’s like, well, what about our minds? And this is, again, we’re talking about science and saying, Well, science wants to say, you know, what’s happening in our mind is just a an epi phenomenon, or a secondary byproduct of our gross physical brain, etc, and so on. It’s like, no, the tradition says it’s the other way around, there is a physical body. But there is also a subtle band of reality that is no longer physical, or it borders on the physical and then gets more and more subtle, and so on. And then there’s something extraordinarily subtle, and that we as individuals, we’re multi dimensional beings, we exist on all those levels, except that most of the time we’ve forgotten or neglect, or really ignore or do not have sort of systematic access to those more interior or more subtle or more higher vibratory levels of, you know, the notion that says, well, the spunda teaching this is where it comes from the Kashmir Shava tradition, this notion, the vibration of consciousness is the vibration of consciousness is is it begins to thicken or coalesce a bit of a group that uses the term sciatica or Ashiana. It’s like, it’s like something that is melted, begins to thicken or coalesce, lava cools, and it becomes rock or stone in that way, consciousness in the same way, as it emerges, and it’s one of the you know, the the fascination of the tantric Masters is how does it emerge? Why does it emerge from the absoluteness? What is the process that governs that whole process of the the the spontaneous emergence of everything from some extraordinary transcendental source place, which can be called both full Pune and also empty or or completely devoid of anything? Shinya? It’s both at the same time. And so why does that all happen? As it emerges, it emerges first in at this level of the of the, what I usually talk about is up the ante Sushumna, extraordinarily, extraordinarily subtle. And what have been the talks about there he says, in that first, spontaneous, instantaneous emergence beyond the level of absoluteness, what manifests is called the Shakti chakra, the extraordinary vortex we’ll have the potencies of consciousness and instantaneous manifestation of the total mandala of reality that contains all of the operating energies that will then go on to specialize and begin to modulate and express themselves in a great variety of ways is this extraordinary Mondal. He calls it the anoxia Shakti chakra, the indescribable vortex wheel of power that simply emerges in this extraordinary expression. It’s the the the mission in a certain sense, you have the absolute what breaches or breaks the transcendence of the absolutely says it’s a particular kind of Shakti called the Sarga or missional. Shakti, that is fundamentally operative, to finally force what is contained in the absolute itself to express itself suddenly, instantaneously into this extraordinarily subtle mandala of operating power and that the teachings of Kali in the shape of tradition are totally related to the understanding of this anoxia Shakti chakra, they talk about the 12 different forms of the Kali etc and so on that is that I usually speak about it and teach about it in terms of what I call the cosmic operative force is what is that cosmic operator force that is operating everything spontaneously and automatically and sequentially. Because this is one of the other great teachings of the, of the of the Shiva tradition is the teaching of Chroma or a sequence reality from the non sequential, absolute, formless, timeless space of the absolute there emergency potentiality. And that sequence reality has, as its first instance, the expression of this extraordinary vortex we’ll have power at the at the extraordinarily subtle level, at the level of, of, of our individual consciousness, it’s there that the word because you have the emergence of the objective universe on one track, and the emergence of knowledge, language and speech on a parallel track. And these are two parallel tracks of emergence that are happening. So you have the emergence of these cosmic operator forces on the level of the objective track of reality that will eventually oversee the manifestation expression of all of samsara not just we’re not just talking about the physical universe at all possible samsara. On the other hand, you have the expression and manifestation of the levels of knowledge and of the expressions of knowledge in language. And so the expression of the Pashyanti Vox the visioning word, that is part and parcel of this indescribable vortex we’ll have power so in the emergence side, all of that then proceeds to the the auntie sutra that’s very subtle, the Sukshma Sharira, subtle and then eventually, the the freezing or coagulation or condensation or petrification of consciousness, into the forms of the world, everything is made of consciousness, that tradition says not Shiva, Vidya techwatch, there is absolutely nothing that is not consciousness. However, as it has expressed itself in this frozen sort of way, we cannot see or perceive or even understand the fact that it is made of consciousness until somehow that frozenness Or petrification, melts. Once again, that’s all separate part of the whole process. On the return journey. Then at the individual level, we have the cosmic process of manifestation, the manifestation of individual life waves are they’re called amuse individual trends migrating individual selves, the unknowns and the unknowns are, are marked by the fact that they’re, they’re held in place in their individuality by what are called the malas. These these sheets of limitation of the fundamental one is called The Art of Amala. Which brings, it brings about the absence of fullness. So the feeling of the absence of fullness is there in the art of Amala. Then you have what’s called the Maya Mala, which brings about the operation of differentiation and difference. And then the karma Mala, which creates, it’s not karma, it’s karma little longer, which means the agency, the sense of agency, so within ourselves, we have a place inside ourselves, where we feel incomplete, inadequate, we’re not hold that it creates a problem, it creates a difficulty it creates stress and creates fear or anxiety, it creates also the absence of full knowledge, it also creates desire, desire arises out of the upward network, or the absence of fullness in order to try to fill what is not full, there is the expression of the movement of desire, it’s a question, does it actually fill it or not? As a separate question? So you have the honor of Amala, then you have the Maya Mala, which which creates difference. And the focus or the emphasis of the unu is on difference. Consciousness is predominantly focused on difference in a certain kind of way, loses track or sight of the underlying or subjacent unity and the thread of of non duality is lost. And then it creates also this sensation of arrogating to ourselves, our sense of agency, I’m doing this the karma Malchut says, you know, inside ourselves, I’m doing this, whereas really what’s doing it is this free standing, freely operating totally free energy of the Shakti but we superimpose on the movements of the Shakti, that sensation, I’m the one who’s performing these actions, and that creates then the under the trends migrating self in that way, then the entire journey, and a better Gupta, you know, as a great Shyla, theologian and master, he gets asked basically, you know, he asked the questions himself, and then he answers his own question. Basically, it’s why does this all happen? It was a well, wasn’t everything perfect the way it was? Why do we have to go into this big mess of all of this that arises? It says, It is out of the freedom, the Swatantra of that if, if reality were only constrained to be absolute, there is a subtle bond of limitation imposed on that absolute reality. Therefore, if that reality is ultimate freedom, it must have as its intrinsic nature The capacity to express itself also in the rising up of separateness of difference of change of transformation of specificity and the structures of individuality that arise there otherwise, we could we could indict freedom and say, Look, Freedom has been limited, therefore, it cannot be said to be totally free. So it is out of the freedom of the Absolute, that bondage and limitation arise. It’s, it’s an incredibly beautiful teaching. It’s not of some mistake, it’s not some error. It’s not some fundamental sort of problematic or curse or anything like that is simply the expression of the freedom that it wants to express itself. And indeed, in capsule, Shiva incat, Shiva Shakti, you say encapsulates himself or herself within all of these trends, migrating beings in that way. However, once that’s happened, then those beings in the forgetfulness, this is the in the natal Raja Mortiz, you have he dances on this little figure of the APUs Mata, the the dwarf of forgetfulness is called the APUs Mata. And so in that forgetfulness, we forgotten we forgotten all of this, you see. So the question then is how does all this arise? Once again, that’s, that’s the whole teaching of PIAA have different levels of initiation, etc, and so on. And I think that there’s a tremendous amount I’m trying to talk about a lot of different things at once.
Rick Archer: Just throw in a couple of things here. I’m just reminded of that thing in the Gita. I think we’re Krishna says Procrit teams, Swami Abbas, Abbas Tabea, Visscher, Jami, punakha, not taking recourse to myself or curving back on myself I create again, and again, it’s this, this thing about kind of the self interacting dynamics of consciousness that creates this sort of threefold structure within the oneness. And you’re doing reads making gestures. And, you know, results in the whole diversification and emergence of creation. And it’s funny, it’s interesting also to note in physics, they have this thing called, what is it called spontaneous sequential, symmetry breaking or something like that. Where were the sort of unified levels of creation, become more and more diversified through a breaking of symmetries? Yes, and then eventually becomes material creation. I want to Well, you may want to comment on all that. But what do you are still ask the next? Oh, go
ahead. Go ahead. Okay.
Rick Archer: So I just want to say was, so based upon everything you just described in terms of the whole range of creation, from gross to subtle and transit to transcendent, and you refer to us as multi dimensional beings? Would you say that a good definition of an enlightened person might be someone who has fully realized their multi dimensionality in the sense that their awareness is not restricted to some limited range, but is open to the full range of their of reality, from gross to subtle to transcendent, and is fully capable of functioning on any oral or all of those levels, either simultaneously or selectively according to the need of the circumstance?
Paul Muller-Ortega: Yeah, that’s beautiful. I like that very much. I mean, I think that, you know, as you know, that there are stages to all of this also. Right, so the in terms of saying, Well, how do we attain how do we master how do we establish more fully evolved states of consciousness in the, in the Shaivite texts, then they talk about the Toria state, a fourth state of consciousness, which is also talked about in the Vedantic, sex, etc, and so on, to idiota, beyond the fourth state of consciousness, then they want to talk about what’s called the otzma, the opti and the autumn of Yapi really corresponds to what one interpretation, possibly, of what Kaivalya is, is kind of always taught in the dualistic texts of classical yoga and classical Sonka, which is a state in which the in the yoga classical yoga vocabulary, the Purusha, has risen from being experienced as somehow lost in the pre critic, body mind structure to its own separateness, and there is this is still a dualistic state, but is the rising of the Atman, or the self or the Purusha value, so that it has fully risen, as you know, however, then the process that doesn’t end the process that’s really kind of a halfway stage and the the, the Shava tradition then speaks about what’s called the devia Chuck shoes, the the evolution of the perception of the celestial or the divine within external perception. And then finally, what’s called the Shiva the opti the perception of everything in terms of the absolute consciousness itself in which the perception of an object is not lost. But yet there’s the perception of it in terms of these, these so it’s a very, very beautiful model that is found in a number of these texts of these stages, in the growth of consciousness and for the Shiva tradition really, that it is only when the Shiva VFT state is reached that one could say the full on bolding of all of that. Now it’s referring back to what you said before, none of these are closed ended. In other words that it a bit of a Gupta himself in one of his other texts is very beautiful text called Uparati Chica Vivado, which exquisite commentary on on Motyka Shakti on this whole notion of Mantra and so on. And he says, he says, thus far and so much have I seen greater beings who will come after will see more and further than I have, however, on the basis of my own awakening, and he uses the term Shakti, Pata the initiatory descent of the great potency of consciousness, I have seen this much. And I’ve taught this budget sentence when it’s an extraordinarily sort of humble statement and also a statement that is reverential in all in terms in the face of that Ultima sea of reality. It’s not a closed ended sort of thing. Sometimes, when you have these staged models, and people say, Well, that’s a closed ended, it’s not closed ended, it’s just that it’s just that at a certain moment, then it’s so far beyond the capacity of an ordinary mind, to understand that it really becomes almost pointless to even try to, to narrate more fine tuned stages within that. And I think, you know, the study of great beings and masters. And so when it’s often, you mentioned it before, and I agree that it’s often the case that a master will say, Well, this was when I achieved full Enlightenment, then if one studies the life of that individual, one sees it, they kept on growing, they kept on modifying their teachings, they kept on evolving further and more expansive, and also more subtle expressions and articulations of the whole matter. And then also the reported other things transpiring within the field of their awareness that that do not correspond to a notion of kind of a static end station in which then everything you know, comes to an end in that way. But
Rick Archer: yeah, and you just actually mentioned an important example of that, I want to make sure people caught that you referred to self realization. But but that doesn’t necessarily imply appreciating the full value of the objects of experience. One might end there’s a sort of a unified quality to that self realization that one might think this is it, this is non duality. And yet the whole relative creation is seen as separate from that. And it’s not real Stoller, yet, it’s not seen in its ultimate value as being the very same stuff, essentially, as the self, which has been realized. That’s it. And so it’s more of a duality than we had to begin with. In a sense, yes,
Paul Muller-Ortega: yes. Yeah, pull it real duality. And that’s exactly right. And the thing is, you see now coming back to Tantra and people saying, well, what’s the definition of Tantra, one of the ways to understand the evolution in the historical sense of you have sort of the classical yoga is one of the six Darshan, the shut Darshan of systems and then you have almost parallel but moving on centuries afterwards, the evolution of the Shiva Tantra is the difference between forms of practice that are primarily intro Versiv. And going inside versus forms of practice that were primarily extra aversive. The whole basis of the tantric curriculum of initiatory. And esoteric practice was based on the notion that all of the prior stuff, it’s kind of like a person, in order to learn calculus, they need to know some basic mathematics, they need to do some algebra they need to know some trigonometry and so on. And only then can you begin to understand calculus, the higher calculus or whatever higher forms of mathematics even exist and all of that you have to have that foundation so that the dualistic rising to the bottom of the opti, which could be I know there are people who want to depict Kaivalya in different ways, you know, I bow to them. But but I’m just saying, it seems like a sort of a prima facie reading of Kaivalya is this state of the separateness of the Purusha, from all of the pre critic structures of the individual body mind that then that forms a platform and foundation in which now practice that’s going to happen is going to be extra aversive. In other words, that there’s going to be a movement from the Purusha into the ProCredit, which is not really kosher within the EU, it’s not really permitted within the classical yoga system, the movement of consciousness that begins to breach the separation of those two, and that that extra verse of movement is really the heart of the higher forms of practice, in the tantric tradition, is one of the I’m sorry, you have a question? Yeah. I want
Rick Archer: to make sure people understand what you mean by extra by extra aversive movement. And Kaivalya means alone, right? Yeah. Okay. So if you’re kind of alone in the self, and yet there’s this whole relative creation that you haven’t engulfed within that wholeness of the self, then you’re not alone. There’s, there’s somebody else breathing down your neck. Oh, universe. And so this extra aversive if that’s the word you used. Immersion is definitely said it. Yeah. It would seem to me to be a bleeding of the, the the oneness of the self, into the, into the diversity of creation and it’s not like it’s emanating out from us in the way that we’re kind of realizing more and more and more subtly and deeply, that the creation, in its essence is the very same that we think that we are in our essence. And so when that’s fully realized, then there’s only one totality. You know, and you know, all diversity is subsumed within that. Right,
Paul Muller-Ortega: beautiful. Exactly. And that’s what you see in terms of, I mean, they’re they’re beautiful ways that this gets taught and expressed in the Shraddha tradition, one is in terms of these different terms for the goddess force of consciousness. And so they say, look, the operation, the goddess force of consciousness can be narrated in terms of four forms of the Goddess. The first of these is called Varma. Varma means that from the depths of the transcendent, there is this outward explosion of relative reality of individuals of difference of change, etc, and so on. And that it’s a current that is continuously emanating from the heart of ultimacy that is emanating out and asserting very powerfully the the facing of consciousness or individual awareness out toward the objective universe and that therefore, this is one of the problems in practice, because if your awareness is being swept, in kind of this tidal wave of the Bhama, extra aversive outwardly looking movement of awareness, how do you move against that vomit current in order to go inside this is one of the problems of meditative practice. Now, the tantric tradition says, Look, just just as reality outwardly expands, so to does it flow back toward the center, you have this sling coach of the CASA, the expansion and contraction of the heart of reality, so they say there is a parallel current, and she is called GH jsgme Sr, or prior, the movement of the GH to current moves from the spooler, or surface level of reality back toward the heart of consciousness and into the transcendent. And the idea is that if you can locate that current, it’s like placing a little canoe in a river, it will flow effortlessly on that current back into the absolute so it’s not a question that fighting you know, sometimes I use these silly analogies and talking about this, you know, the vomit current, it’s kind of like trying to go up the down escalator, you have a down escalator, moving everything out, you’re trying to go against the flow of that and becomes a notion of a battle a war, it becomes effortful, it becomes difficult, actually, it becomes impossible. It’s not possible to counter act, the impulse of the vomica. And she is so strong, that in that field of reality, she will always flow everything out from the absolute down into the specificities of the relative. So the question in practice, then, is how do you locate the inception point of the gesture current that will move from Sula, the surface into the subtle, into the subtlest and into the transcendent? And where how do you find that, that current, it’s the it’s the secret esoteric current, and so on, and that that’s the that’s at the very center of initiatory practice, in a certain sense, the gesture grant now that doesn’t end there, however, because the tradition says then, as you cultivate the movement of awareness on this extra aversive Varma current and this intro verse of gesture current that rises in and more and more subtle and takes us eventually takes our attention to merge into its source in the absoluteness. There is a third current called the boundary current, the boundary current is a higher level extra aversive current that flows down from the absolute, transforming and transmuting all of the Tuchman structures that it encounters in this way and that this the boundary current is really in a certain sense, the heart of the whole contract enterprise of transmutation and divinization. As practice begins to activate this higher flow of the boundary current, a, a flow of non dual embracing absoluteness is somehow paradoxically Flowing into you to encounter your body, your pre egoic awareness, your Ankara your individual identity assemblage point, your mind is your operating mind, your identity as your sense capacities, your kind of memories, and then eventually, that’s unmounted as a Maha Buddha’s are all being bathed in the extra aversive flow of transformational consciousness and that this is one of the meanings of the Kundalini shakti In other words, that the Kundalini shakti is understood here as this transmutation, spontaneous force that is flowing out and down. It’s one of the reasons also people say this term Shakti Partha, why is it descending? Because it is it is descending from the absolute to embrace and enclose and hold our individuality. But in that sense transmuting its functionality radically transmuting its functionality is before we’re talking about householder practice, we’re saying this is the essence of, of the third form of we have the Satish the form of householder practice was radical Creativity, the steady form of householder practices, which is radical stewardship and protection as it were the protection of everything in life, we have to protect things and maintain them in a certain way, then radical transformation and that this route recurrent, then is what is at play, particularly starting at the level of this attainment of the, of the opti, and it begins to bathe individual, the individual structure in in such a force of transformative potency of consciousness, that it is radically transmuting the functionality of the mind of the ego and of the senses from contraction, limitation, narrowness and and overshadowing of ignorance and so on to being vessels for luminosity vessels for extraordinary capacity vessels for highest possibilities, vessels for extraordinary natural virtues, vessels for inspiration and insight and wisdom vessels for every possible form of outward expression and that this round recurrent, then, in a certain sense, is at the very core of, of the higher stages of what the Shiva Tantra path envisions with regard to this, this whole process within that then we begin to see the objects at in a higher meaningful glow, and a higher level of their of their profundity of their sacredness life begins to reveal to us that would appear to be ordinary, sort of sort of just ordinary objects of a crude sort, are not that at all, that they are stripping away the superficiality of things beginning to see the value, the deeper value the deepest values. And within that, we begin to catch glimpses of what could be called in the tradition says devia churches or the Divine Eye, or using this word Maharshi used the celestial, the celestial value or the highest value within the relative structure of reality of everything, we begin to see everything in the glow of this exquisiteness of such an extraordinary sort. And this is part and parcel of the tantric teachings when they talk about the rasa, the rasa, or the flavor, the nectar of everything and tantric as as Rasik as people who taste the both the celestial, and also eventually the non dual within every experience of life altogether. And so, I mean, it’s just it’s their exquisite teachings within that. Yeah, it is. It is. Yeah,
Rick Archer: there is much more. Yeah, I got goosebumps a couple times. While you’re saying all that I hope people really tuned into what you’re saying. Because it’s, it’s extremely important and amazing. And here’s a little sentence from one of your books, which kind of recapitulating encapsulates what you just said, or part of what you just said, through the systematic practice of meditation, the mind gains the spontaneous ability of great habitual ease fulness in the movement from the gross to the subtle to the extremely subtle. And I know you’re not you’re familiar with the notion of natural tendency of the mind to seek a field of greater happiness in the subtler realms being intrinsically more gratifying or charming or filling. So the type of meditation you teach, does it take advantage of that tendency? And that’s why it’s effortless.
Paul Muller-Ortega: Yes. So I talked about it in terms of three different values. I talked about the spirit of value, which is the the luminous the pulsating incandescence of the Light of Consciousness, the light always expands, it always moves toward more and more light is not static. It’s not something that doesn’t. So, consciousness, as as the MaHA Prakash as the great light then is shaping itself as our individual awareness, but the inherent will in Sanskrit is called the suave Baba, what is the inherent nature of the mind? This is the question that the Shiva tantric tradition as it says that what is this what Baba says is just like the survival of fire is heat, just like the So Baba of the flower is its perfume. So to the Sababa of the mind, is that it is expansive in its character, because it is always moving towards something more or it wants to move towards something more. And the question then is, what is the directionality for that movement toward expansion going to take and is it going to? Is it going to move on the vomit current out toward more and more acquisition more and more possessions more and more external experiences of a sensory source at the surface of life? And or is it also going to move in terms of this expansiveness of the interior states where we begin to understand use the word charm, it’s a very beautiful word. The tantric tradition says just the the intensity or pulsation of the Shakti increases as you approach that absoluteness. It’s like the sun in the sky emanates heat. As you get closer to the sun, it gets hotter. So as you get closer to the self, the intensity of the Ananda or bliss value of the absolute increases and as our mind registers that, the mind spot Dainius Lee wants to get absorbed within that. So the Sababa of the mind in this tradition is this this this Buddha value that says it’s expansive. And its character we can say it goes toward more and more because of because of these explanations that situation says and as a result of that, eventually, we experienced I mentioned before he did a vigilante we we we learn how to repose or rest in the heart, here heart, not meaning the physical heart chakra, but really in the absoluteness itself. Now, within that also, then, I mean, it’s a long, there’s lots to talk about here. But there’s two other values, the the soma, and the spunding value, the soma value is really the value of the inherent nature of the body, what is the nature of the body is the livingness the vibrancy or throb what’s called in the tantric texts, the Shoba Shoba, the throb of life within the body is such that it is always moving to try to replicate and maintain the highest degree of wholeness that is possible to be maintained within a living structure. It may not be absolute wholeness, but it’s what is the highest degree of relative wholeness, that is possible to be maintained within the physical body, and that that’s the Sababa of the living body, it has that survival, because of the presence of consciousness, once consciousness departs, we know that wholeness is not maintained that the body will then go back to its constituent five elements, etc, and so on, at the time of death, and the decomposition of the body. So it is the it is the presence of consciousness and of this, what we could call the soma value of wholeness that is constantly operating, how do we increase the field of functionality of that sum of value within the physical body? See, that’s that’s part of the question, practice. Because as that value increases, it goes to work doing all of those things automatically and spontaneously that it needs to do within the body. And that therefore, it’s one of the one of the really beautiful insights of the tantric Shaivite tradition, is they distinguish between what they call natural and spontaneous practice versus artificial and synthetic practices. They’re both categories of practice. They’re not being they’re not buddies, but they’re saying that the higher its incentives called up could it Threema what are those practices that harness the natural, the natural inherent nature of the body and the mind such that then they they function, not on the basis of individual genius, or skill, or predilection or taste or whatever, but they function by harnessing that natural the inherent nature of what is there at the sweat Baba of the mind, which is its food at a value the the incandescent pulsation the swath of the body, which is the soma value, and it is that increased range of operation of the soma Valley, which then goes to work basically doing you were talking before about the releasing of everything that’s been accumulated inside itself and so on. It’s an extraordinary understanding of the of the autonomous, spontaneous nature of this natural intelligence of the body, given a wider range of operation, doing automatically what is necessary to transform and transmute rather than having us have to, you know, people sometimes talk about, I need to clear my chakras and this and the other concepts like no, that should happen automatically, it should happen. It’s part of the natural sort of housekeeping. The third value is like
Rick Archer: saying, I need to digest my sandwich. Exactly. Try doing that intentionally. You know, I need to, I need to get some blood down to my coat.
Paul Muller-Ortega: Exactly, that’s exactly it, or you have a scar, you have a cut. What is that the heels that you see, it’s there’s a natural intelligence is operative within there, just give it a wider range. This is called the soma value. So anyway, there’s lots more to talk about that. But it’s,
Rick Archer: it’s great stuff. I want to I want to accomplish a couple of things in the remainder of our time together. One is a more thorough discussion of what, then you’re actually are you giving us a good explanation just now, I think the mechanics of your message, the meditation teacher, in terms of its basic principles, maybe people would like to hear something even more specific, I mean, do teach mantras, or what do you do, if you’d like to say a bit more like? And since I’ve just asked this question, now, let me go ahead on that if you’d like, and what more can you tell people about the nature of the practice? The routine of it, how much do you do it? How often how long? And even if you’d like to say, what’s involved in learning, what does it cost? How long does it take to learn?
Paul Muller-Ortega: Yeah, sure, of course. I started teaching this practice 10 years ago. And basically now I’ve grown to have trained people who are teachers of this practice. So they’re now teachers in a lot of different locations with 33 teachers now. We’re hoping to have more teachers so my focus has moved somewhat from teaching the practice itself to teaching teachers Have the practice over the last of the last five years, it’s been a very, very beautiful investment in very wonderful individuals who’ve come forward. To teach it. Yes, Mantra is at the very center of it. But it’s an understanding of Mantra that’s quite a nourished and sophisticated in terms of what the tantric tradition wants to say Mantra is not a Mantra is not fully contained in its constituent phonemes, or what are called varnas. In Sanskrit, the phonemes are like the outer covering of the Mantra, the the tantric tradition speaks about what’s called the Mantra Vidya, the potency of the Mantra, the potency of the Mantra is fundamentally awakened consciousness. And the issue then has to do with how, how does a Mantra contain this awakened consciousness such that the Mantra is alive in a certain way, and that the Mantra is that mechanism or tool, the vibratory key that meshes with the overarching, I call it the baseline vibration of the body mind, it’s like, we’re all vibrating beings, we have multiple interacting and intersecting levels of vibration, but there’s a baseline vibration of our whole individuality. And then there’s a single vibratory key that unlocks access to the Gesta current fundamentally, so it’s, what is that vibration, which when it is simply pulsated, in the awareness very easily without effort begins to open our individual attention to this caret that will move in the interior rising direction and take us inside automatically in that way. That’s the That’s the fundamental structure, it’s learned in a two day process, basically, over the course of two days, somewhere in the range, from 400, to about $600. To take that course, there’s a 18 month process of support and study. So it’s not just the the weekend or the two days of study, we have a whole system set up for supporting people in their first stages. And for me, it’s just very crucial to offer people support in the daily practice of meditation starts with about 15 or 20 minutes can move up to 45 minutes as people advance more and more, but supporting people to the point where they become autonomous or self sufficient in their practice. And that involves both a kind of a deepening of the practice, but it also involves a refining of understanding as we were speaking before, what is it that’s actually happening? How do I understand what’s taking place within me as a result of my meditation? How do I, how do I value what’s important and not value what’s not important in what’s transpiring within my awareness in that way. And so that’s, that’s basically, you know, I was a full professor at the University of Rochester. And in basically starting in around 2005, I started to feel like the walls were closing in on me, I’ve wonderful colleagues, wonderful university, I had 1000s of wonderful students there. And yet there was something that was really, really calling me to come back to meditation, and to really begin to offer a practice of meditation from the context of the Shiva householder tradition in this way, using this vocabulary of the tradition. So obviously, there’s much more to say. But yeah, I
Rick Archer: was just thinking that I was thinking, well, we could go on to this topic for an hour. I just want to say I’ve been meditating in probably a similar way for almost 50 years myself, and, and I’ve never missed one actually, in 50 years, at least twice a day for at least an hour, basically. And, and that’s not because I have some kind of superhuman self discipline, or, in fact, when I first started, a lot of my friends just said, oh, yeah, right now he’s on his latest kick, and we’ll see what he’s doing in a week. But it was so profound and so productive and so transformational from day one, and continue to day, year after year, that I’ve you know, it’s never been a matter of discipline or struggle or effort or anything too.
Paul Muller-Ortega: Beautiful. It’s absolutely beautiful. Exactly. That’s exactly it. And that’s what you know, wanting to offer people in different modalities, there’s just there’s different branches, there’s different schools, etc, and so on. But that understanding of the credit to them of the natural, spontaneous practice that functions not on the basis of our skill or talent or belief or predisposition, but it’s really an opening to an existing current of consciousness that we can, we can begin to travel in and that will embrace us and that takes us in and that and that is really delightful and sumptuous in, in its inner experience extraordinarily fulfilling and nourishing, and also extraordinarily refining to everything that we experience after and during our daily life. As a result of our practice, it’s really beautiful. Yeah,
Rick Archer: exactly. I mean, it’s such a sweet and fulfilling Experience and like you said, the whole thing you said about the word started with our Stroud? Great. Yeah. That sort of infusing itself into that was so beautiful and so, so caring, so true of my experience that it’s like, well, I mean, just a simple example is you kind of take, you know, bucket of water, and then you throw it on the plants, the plants flourish, or you, you know, you take a cloth and dip it in, the die comes out, and it’s colored, whatever. But there’s like this soaking up this inner beauty. And then it just as when you come out in activity and engage in activity for a number of hours, it just begins to permeate and transform. Every phase is an activity. It’s like fuel, you know, that kind of neurons are like, like SAP in a tree that nourishes every aspect of the tree.
Paul Muller-Ortega: It’s beautiful. Yes, that’s exactly right. Beautiful. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Another thing I want to get into with you will go the long because this is so interesting. And this might seem a little academic, but I think it would actually electorally have practical implications for people in terms of the understanding of you say that Albina Gupta, if I’m pronouncing his name, right. Yeah, sort of took issue with the Yoga Sutras and the way that was traditionally understood, right. And he rejected the sort of notion as I understood what you were saying that the limbs of yoga as Patanjali outlined them grow sequentially. And I got the sense that you were saying that he said that they actually grow simultaneously, as do the limbs in a body as when an embryo turns into a fetus into a human being. And so that would imply that it’s not like you go through all these different steps and eventually get to Samadhi. But you begin with somebody on day one, to a certain degree of clarity. Yeah. And that over time, all the limbs of yoga, if we want to take that model, they all refine and grow simultaneously, right?
Paul Muller-Ortega: Yes, absolutely. And that’s well said. And I mean, it’s it, he has a complex. He has an agenda in mind with regard to wanting to present a non dual tradition that is yet based on a prior dualistic tradition, which is classical yoga, and classical Sonic. And so he has to kind of what he’s really doing in a certain sense is it’s like remodeling and expanding a house, you have the house, and then you want to build hire stories on the whole thing and add to it you have to kind of have that have a certain amount of remodeling is going to happen. It’s it’s it’s kind of nuanced and complex, but he does that in his tunnel loca in great detail. And he takes, he takes the perspective also that what is central and this is, there’s a whole huge chapter of his Tantra loca, this massive kind of encyclopedia, called the light on the 10th, as the 13th daily lesson, or Annika is devoted to the concept of Shakti PATA, which is an extraordinarily mysterious concept. But it has to do with the the movement of freedom within the structures of bondage. How is it that freedom moves within the structures of bondage and limitation and that the nature of reality is such that no matter what structure of bondage or limitation, smallness, contraction, ignorance or loss is there, there’s going to be some movement of freedom that’s going to come and open that up. And that we experienced that as human beings in the sense of a kind of a trajectory of life, that at a certain moment, something begins to happen inside us that is radically impelling us from deepest levels inside us to a transformed outlook on life to a transform perspective on what we want to do with our life and to open us and make us even interested in dimensions of life and dimensions of existence that prior to that may have been absolutely disinteresting to us. And so and this equals Shakti, Pata and there’s a whole investigation, what causes Shakti PATA How does it move, what are the different stages of Shakti but the what are the different levels of intensity of Shakti, Pata, etc, and so on. But the bottom line is, he says that, basically it is that if we want to use the term awakening, but it’s this burgeoning and opening and blossoming from inside of this increased vibrancy, luminosity and potency of consciousness, that is going to begin to move the individual from deep inside into a trajectory of seeking out a path, a sequence of teachings, a sequence of teachers etc and so on and will in fact be the basis and foundation for that individual then investing themselves in their life on the into practice and that it’s not it’s not Shakti Pasa is sometimes understood as a kind of initiation that a teacher gives etc. That’s also an understanding that have been of a gift against but he’s talking about kind of the radical or route awakening that happens in the trajectory of sequences of life, the individual that has been encased and limited and even imprisoned within this unknown, this limited trans migrating individual manifesting ignorance limitation, the absence of knowledge, etc, and so on, suddenly, something from within the core of that individual begins to begins to burgeon and begins to move and begins to transform and change. And you know, I talked about it sometimes is when you know, there’s there’s a kind of a earthquake that happens at the bottom of the ocean, the tsunami wave that will happen at the surface takes some time to happen, the tsunami wave of transformation and force at the level of the surface of the ocean is an expression of an extraordinary hidden event that even possibly doesn’t even exist or take place within the level of the relative individuality, it’s on the borderline of the individuality and the absolute. So the individual, some fundamental, radical transmutation of that relationship that begins to release the constricting power of the molars of these constricting rings of limitation, and on that basis, and on that basis alone, he argues, then the individual will engage in transformative, radically transformative spiritual practice, to one degree or another. So he wants to talk about mild, medium and intense levels of Shakti pot, that’s very, very fascinating, kind of discourse about that, but that that’s the basis of it. It’s on that basis, he says that an individual then seeks out a teacher receives initiation, receives teaching, that learns ritual practices, learns about different texts and traditions, etc, and so on. It’s all on the basis of this surging impulse of the movement of freedom from inside, that is primarily taking place and it’s even beyond the capacity of the individual to inspect In other words, it’s not a phenomenon that we can become aware of, it’s something that’s actually radically, it’s the beginnings of the movement of that boundary current that we talked about before it’s downstream into the individual to to impel that individual toward transformation. And then you have the the destiny of that individual, the karma of that individual, the past connections of that individual that lead that individual, out into relationships with teachers, with traditions, with different lineage streams with different sorts of expressions of that might be there, it’s a whole this the, you know, the complex, you know, indescribable play of karma that comes in, at that point of destiny of the individual LED in a variety of different traditions, but it’s a very, very important concept of Shakti PATA, that is at the center of the whole thing. And there also see the potentially in his yoga sutra, sutras and also in the in the, the various commentaries, the Vyasa, Basha and so on of the sutra, there is no explicit concept of grace in this text. Later, commentators have wanted to read it back in mainly because then the evolution of the of the Shiva tradition that popularizes, this notion of grace, but there is no notion of grace. It’s basically it’s basically the notion that says, well, just, you know, the individual begins to practice through assiduous and prolonged effort, as the Yoga Sutras says, There is a speed of attainment, etc, and so on, and all of that, that’s also one of the radical remodeling inserts, he has to make a place for this, this concept of Shakti part of that is there.
Rick Archer: Well, God helps those who help themselves.
Paul Muller-Ortega: It helps us to help ourselves. Yeah, she she helps us. Yeah,
Rick Archer: one thing I was wondering about the whole yoga thing, though, tangibly is that, you know, the whole idea of the correlation between all the different values of life such as ethical behavior and the growth of Samadhi. And, you know, some teachers have said that, well, they’re all going to grow at a pace and not be out of sync with one another. But then there are people like Ken Wilber that talk about lines of development, and how one line can get really out of whack with other lines and examples of this happening. Right. So I find that interesting. I don’t know what Kashmir Shaivism has to say about it. Well,
Paul Muller-Ortega: I mean, it that comes back to this whole notion of the culpa, Samskaras, where there’s a disjunction up out of synchronous with regard to some rising degree of interior experience. And yet it hasn’t fully established itself at the level of action at the level of speech at the level of, of discernment, and so on of the individual and also at the level of knowledge and so that that’s part of, you know, the catching up of these various dimensions.
Rick Archer: Like is it a tight rope tying these things together or a big stretchy rubber band?
Paul Muller-Ortega: Well, it’s just different aspects that you know, eventually Yes, you have when the movement of that potency of consciousness is sufficiently potent and powerful and surges through the individual, there will be radical rearrangements and surfacing of The different virtues and a certain sense of the kind of the saintly virtues, the capacity for love the capacity for patients for compassion, for forgiveness for, for extraordinary selflessness, etc, and so on. These are also expressions of the the higher manifestations of the expression of life at that level. But it may be some time before, before that happens. I mean, it’s all these as you know, these are multi lifetimes sorts of perspectives, not just a single lifetime.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I’m glad you mentioned that. Yeah, of course, some people don’t even believe in lifetimes because they say there is no self ultimately. So how can anybody reincarnate because nobody reincarnate. But I don’t even want to get an argument. Yeah, I’ve locked horns with people on that one before but um, to to sutras from the from the Shiva Sutras I’d like to conclude with and have you just comment briefly on each one because I thought they were fascinating. One is that maybe we’ll take the second one first, that the knowledge of the self constitutes a natural, spontaneous, nonconceptual and immediate state of certainty. And the word certainty kind of jumps out at me, because a lot of people talk about, you know, being so open minded as to not be kind of plagued by doubts, but not be trying to be, like Nisargadatta said something along the lines of that the ability to appreciate paradox and ambiguity are signs of spiritual maturity. Yeah, so that seems to kind of contradict a little bit the word certainty.
Paul Muller-Ortega: Well, I think we have to interpret that on various levels. In other words, that if we take the opposite, one of the synonyms for the mala in the Kashmir Chava teachings is shunga. And shunga, is most commonly translated as doubt, or hesitation, anxiety, or fear or uncertainty. And so it’s not just certainty of knowledge. It’s a state of doubting yourself fundamentally, of doubting everything about life of doubting the universe, of doubting God, and so on. And the notion of certainty, and that beautiful sutra that you just quoted from the Shiva is that it’s not about it’s not necessarily just about an intellectual certainty that chooses one thing over another. It’s about a certain kind of knowledge that is so immovable and steady, that, yes, it can encompass within its breadth and steadiness. The apparent paradox is I mean, that, you know, when you’re dealing with, when you’re dealing with ultimacy, you’re dealing with inherent contradictions. The absolute is that about which contradictory things can be correctly asserted, you can say it’s empty, and you can say it’s full. And they’re both true, you see. And so the question is, you know, it’s not about saying, Well, you have to choose one of those alternatives. It’s about saying, what is that state or level of consciousness that is so steady, that the Sanskrit word is dotted, the it’s immovable, it’s absolutely rock steady. And within that, then different kinds of thoughts, streams will be shaped in the awareness of such an individual that are applicable or are sort of appropriate for different circumstances of life. It isn’t about a sort of doctrinal certainty that says, This is what’s right. And this is what’s wrong. It’s more about saying this is reality. And this is how reality appears and shows itself up in and in my life, there is the capacity to encompass that, that that huge diversity, because we know that that diversity is also taking place on the underlying invisible fabric or thread of the of the non difference of the non duality. That is where consciousness is stabilized. So good. So yeah,
Rick Archer: okay. Yeah, you can almost perhaps substitute the word confidence for certainty. Yeah, yeah. Okay, so the final one, this would be a nice one to end on. It’s really sweet. The stations and stages of yoga are marked by the experience of surprise, wonder and blissful astonishment.
Paul Muller-Ortega: I love it. I know. It’s beautiful. This my yo, yoga Bhumika is one of my absolute favorites, top favorites you picked so thank you for that. Yes, it’s it’s this clearly first of all, yoga here doesn’t mean asana practice, just the practices, Ashtanga whatever. Exactly. The whole path, the whole path. Yeah. And the notion of boonies or stages here is what we’ve been talking about with regard to the stages in the evolutionary growth of consciousness and the solidification of higher and higher, more evolved and more refined states of the whole thing and that within that, then it’s also we’re alluding to this, from a lower level, it is impossible for us to fully comprehend envision, understand, or imagine what is going to transpire and reveal itself as consciousness grows from that lower level to a higher level of consciousness. Therefore, what happens is that in the encounter with that transformational process, as higher states of consciousness are revealing themselves, there will be this delightful experience of surprise of Wonder of a star punishment of, of exclamation of joy of a certain kind of blissfulness. And also just, it’s a revelatory quality of seeing something that you’ve never seen before understanding something that you’ve never understood before and experiencing something that is beyond the sort of the range of, of ordinary experience up until then. So this smile, it’s a beautiful word and smile in Sanskrit also means smile, it brings a smile to the face, it’s a smile of delight, of joy, of, of Ananda of happiness.
Rick Archer: One of the reasons I like that versity one of the reasons I like this whole conversation we’ve been having, and everything you that you work on, is that I feel that a lot of times Enlightenment is kind of dumbed down. I mean, you hear people saying things like, oh, yeah, like people can be depressed, they can be prone to anger, they can, you know, be into drinking or, you know, whatever. And, you know, somebody I interviewed a couple of years ago, recently committed suicide, and he had an because he was suffering some rather severe pain, but something that perhaps could have been solved. But, you know, his feeling was gonna get new body. Um, this one’s not working out so well. And it really confused a lot of people. You know, they think, how could he do this? How could a person who is supposedly weight awake do this? So I really liked that I liked you were talking earlier about maps, I really like things which help to give people a clear conception of what the possibilities are, what Enlightenment might actually be. So it doesn’t get shortchanged, you know, so we don’t think of it as something that’s hardly an improvement on what many of us are already experiencing, you know, but something that really would perhaps, make life infinitely more fulfilling than it ordinarily is. And full of surprise, wonder and astonishment.
Paul Muller-Ortega: Well said, beautiful, I love it. Exactly. I couldn’t agree more. Exactly, right. Yeah,
Rick Archer: well, I better wrap it up, because you and I could go on all day. So thank you so much, Paul, I really enjoyed this calculation. I’m so glad. Yeah, it was great. And I think a lot of people really enjoy it. And I’ll, they can go to Blue throat yoga.com. And find out more about you get in touch, figure out how to learn your meditation, I’ll be linking to that, of course, from your page on bat gap. And, and you have quite a few books, it would take me a couple of minutes just to hold them all up here and read their title. So I want to that people can find that your bibliography. And, you know, they take some settled awareness to read some of them because they’re, there’s some really deep stuff being discussed. But I found them fascinating and right up my alley, in terms of the things that I like to understand better, and very glad many others and think will do. So. So that’s it, I guess for us, wrapping up.
Paul Muller-Ortega: Yeah, well, it’s it’s beautiful work that you’re doing, Rick, it’s really admirable. And it’s really just admire what you’ve been doing and bringing out these conversations. And it’s a great opportunity to, for people to hear so many different perspectives and points of view and to really consider for themselves. And for me, it’s always this notion says, each person really has to find that inside themselves, they have to decide for themselves. It’s not about sort of, you know, what, what any one teacher or tech says, it’s what ultimately resonates inside. So having access to a great variety of points of view, and perspectives, arguments, understandings, experiences of life, and so it’s very rich and enriching. And so it’s beautiful work that you’re doing. Really, congratulations on everything you’re doing.
Rick Archer: You were talking earlier about the sort of the hierarchical nature of the teacher student relationship, and maybe we’re at a time where we should be kind of more self sufficient, and, and so on. And I was just thinking about that, and, you know, that we should have, we should culture discrimination. I mean, we should hold teachers accountable, we shouldn’t we should have the maturity not to get suckered in by something that’s going to waste our time and money or lead us astray, and, and so on. And I think people are realizing that as the decades progressed, and everyone becomes more experienced, sometimes through the school of hard knocks, but maybe some of those hard knocks can be avoided as we evolve as a as a spiritual culture.
Paul Muller-Ortega: It’s well said, Okay, so
Rick Archer: you’ve been listening to another interview on Buddha at the Gas Pump, number 417, or something. And we’ll keep cranking out. It’s not that you refer to it as work. It’s not work. It’s, although it’s a delight. It’s play, although there’s some work behind the scenes, but I’m so appreciate your listening or watching. Go to the website and see what’s there. You can sign up for the email notification when you can sign up for the audio podcast. There’s a Donate button which we rely upon people clicking from time to time, and many other things. Just explore the menus, and stay tuned for more.
Paul Muller-Ortega: Thanks, Paul, thank you so much. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Wonderful, wonderful to talk with you today.