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Rick Archer SAND Conference Q&A and Interview by Shakti Catarina Maggi
Rick Archer: name is Rick Archer. And most of you probably know me from my video interview show and podcast Buddha at the Gas Pump. Is there anyone here who has never watched that stumbled in here by accident somehow? Okay, good. Well, anyway, it’s the thing that I conceived of the idea popped into my head. About nine years ago, I was out in the garage working out on a Bowflex machine listening to Adyashanti. And it’s idea came, I want to do a spiritual interview show, I want to start interviewing awakened people. Part of my motivation was that I had been involved in a weekly Satsang thing in my town, for years, didn’t have any particular teacher, a bunch of a bunch of us just gathered together and had a discussion for about three hours every Wednesday night. And I live in a town in Fairfield, Iowa, where people have been meditating for many decades, and I, and many people are having awakenings of some sort. And including many of the people who were in that little discussion group that I was in like Harry alto, whom you’ve probably watched on BatGap, and others. And yet many of these people were reticent to mention it to their friends, because when they did, their friends would say, Oh, you’re just Harry alto, you’re just Joe Schmo. You know, you don’t seem to be floating on a cloud, how could you possibly be have had a spiritual awakening? So I really wanted to connect. I really wanted to show people that this was something that is available to everybody, not just somebody special. And I thought, well, if I could start interviewing people, and then their peers could see that, oh, yeah, this guy really does have something, there’s more than meets the eye, then it would, it would sort of instill a greater confidence in those people, and inspire them to persevere and go for it. So initially, I just thought of this is just something I would do on a local radio station in my town. And the radio station didn’t want to do it, even though it’s run by meditators. No, I thought this is perfect. Why would you want to do it? But after several months of, of haggling with them, some friends said to me, why are you thinking so small, just get this out on the internet, you know, and let people everywhere start to do it. Because by that time, I had about, I don’t know quite a few interviews in the cam that I had just been taping at a local TV station, and was going to hopefully use them on the radio show. Anyway, so an old friend of mine from high school, whom I hadn’t seen since high school, has been a video professional all his life. And he said, well send them to me, and I’ll put titles on him and, and get it, you know, and you can start using them. And so I, he did that. And then I figured out how to create a YouTube channel and a website, and I have some background in computer. So it wasn’t all impossible to me. And then just one thing led to the next and after a while, I figured out how to record interviews over Skype. And so then I was able to reach out beyond the town and really start interviewing a lot more people. And there have always been technical glitches and challenges and everything. I’m still having them. I have them every week. But it’s been it’s been a learning curve. But anyway. These days, I’ve done nearly 500 interviews and I have every intention of continuing I never grow bored or tired of it. I love it. It’s like opening Christmas presents. Every week I get to sort of delve into some new person and listen to hours of their talks and read their book and then have a two hour conversation with him. I just find it so enlivening and stimulating and, and it seems to be having a good effect on people. We get wonderful feedback, roughly a quarter million people a month either watch or listen to them or at least download the podcast. I don’t know if they listened to it. So has a pretty wide reach. And my initial conception of it was to make it freely available and just grow it to the point where voluntary donations would enable me to devote my full time to it and that finally happened I Finally Quit the remnants of my day job last March. So about my talk here at the conference, I offered to let I offer it to him reach out to let him retail and die off the hook you know, because they have a lot of speakers and those those The current demand for time and rooms, I said, I don’t have to give a talk. And I said, Well, I’d like you, we’d like you to give a talk. So I said, All right, I think I’ll just do a q&a. And I jotted down some points here that I thought I could discuss if nobody has any questions or things they’d like me to discuss, I have something to fall back on here. But I’d like to just open it up to right now to any kinds of questions you might have for me. And we’ll just let it roll for the next 35 minutes or so. So anyone who has a question be sure you get the mic first, because this has been recorded, it might even put it on BatGap, I don’t know. I have a fairly broad view of what spirituality is, I don’t think God is a one trick pony. I think that there are innumerable channels and, and rivers and streams of, of, in the spiritual current. And that, as diverse as nature is as diverse as humanity is. Spirituality is also that diverse. And I mean, there are 40 billion earth like planets in our galaxy, and an estimated 10 trillion galaxies and, and probably each of many of those planets are inhabited by intelligent life, and probably there have been hundreds of religions on or spiritual paths on on each of those planets, many of them assuming that they’re the only true one. So I definitely don’t have that if you take a God’s eye view of it. The universe is vast, and the whole thing is one big evolution machine. And all these life forms are evolving into more and more complex vehicles for for the divine to live as a living reality. And I’m going way off the beam of your question. But that’s my kind of big picture view of the whole thing. And so I try to choose people who I feel are genuine, and who have some experiential foundation for what they’re saying, unless they’re a scientist or something who wants to talk about consciousness. And, you know, the brain or something like that, who may not have a lot of experience, but it’s really interesting is on topic. And we don’t choose people. There are some podcasts and shows which try to choose people based on how popular they are, because it grows the show. And sure, I like to interview those types of people a lot of times because they’re they’re popular because they actually have something to say usually. But it’s, it’s great to find people who are completely unknowns, who are who’ve just, you know, driving a truck or something, and they’ve had a spiritual awakening. Because, again, back to the original point, it inspires people to realize that ordinary people like them, can have access to these deeper realities. It’s not for the special person. Yeah,
Speaker 2: yes, sir. Well, I have I’ve actually thought about what it would be like to interview interview you I’ve thought about that would be very fascinating. And the kinds of questions that come to me are the kind of question you just asked is kind of question that I’ve been asking myself, which is, what would I ask Rick? Well, I would want to know, hear about his impressions of some of the people that he is interviewed. So as an outline, because 500 interviews is pretty intimidating. I’ve heard of some of them, but and the few that I’ve, that I’ve listened to have all been very interesting. But I’m wondering, well, how would I pick and choose among most of the people who I don’t know anything about? So the kinds of questions that come to mind? Well, who have been the most moving to you? What passages are things that people have said, had been the most interesting to you, or most provocative? You know, what, and just your impressions of the different kinds of, you know, basically your impressions of the of the different people you’ve heard? I mean, there’s so many questions. It’s sort of, I think, would would, if they were sort of, you know, written out, could could you really serve as a useful guide to us? And in terms of helping us say, Well, I think based on what Rick said, This person, I think I’d really like to listen to what they’ve said. So I could go on and on. But I think you get the gist of what I’m saying,
Rick Archer: Well, there’s two pages on the site that you might find helpful. There’s one that’s most popular, and that’s in terms of YouTube views. And but I was talking to my friends who were sitting here in the audience the other night, and they’ve listened to a lot of interviews, and they, they said, you know, this most popular thing doesn’t necessarily correlate with how interesting they are, at least to us. And I would agree with that, because, you know, and then the second thing is we have a categorical index page where everything is broken down by tradition, and various subtopics. So if you want to zoom in on Kashmir Shaivism or something, you can see the people that have been interviewed in that. And in terms of my own impressions. Most of the time when, when I interview somebody I just finished I go out in the kitchen to have lunch. Irene asks, Well, how’d you like it? You know, a scale of one to 10? What was that one, I usually say a nine. Because, occasionally a 10. Because I really love the process, I really usually get off on on every conversation. And it’s funny I was I’m going to interview Thomas, who will Saturday night. And he’s going to be speaking here, Alto. And I went back and listened to the one we did about five years ago. I thought, wow, that was really an interesting conversation. I had completely forgotten everything we had talked about, you know, 500 interviews, I can’t possibly remember what went on in any one conversation. But that was really interesting. And so I guess there’s a lot of things there, which to me would be hidden gems, because I’ve forgotten about him. And as far as I don’t like to name favorites, I mean, there are a number of people who have become good friends of mine, who I’ve interviewed, some well known some not so much. And it’s been one of the greatest joys of this whole process to meet such wonderful people and to kind of build this network of friends from all over the world, people who might otherwise never would have met. So I’m remaining intentionally vague, because it’s really I don’t want to name favorites, personal favorites, because that’s a subjective judgment. And my personal favorite might not be yours. So you just have to sort of see who you resonate with, I guess. Is that satisfactory?
Speaker 2: Well, partially, I was thinking with a few words, they specify sort of qualities. Like, I’m sorry, sir, most intriguing, or, or most mysterious, or most brilliant, or, you know, sort of break it down and
Rick Archer: most likely to succeed in business or something? Well, yeah, okay.
Speaker 2: Most surprising, most inscrutable. I mean, I think there’s, there’s a long list of, of ways you could break it down, that wouldn’t be disturbed, you know, summary, ranking, but, but it’s just as a topic, just as a list of the most popular or most, you know, by categories, I think there are ways you could create new categories in terms of just using adjectives that are variants on interesting and different kinds of ways.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I could even theoretically build some kind of a voting system where people could all, you know, vote on and I tried that one time, I tried putting up a voting system, but it wasn’t objective. People were just voting on the most recent ones and older ones were totally ignored. But I don’t know. I’ll think about it. Yeah, YouTube. Well, these have thumbs up, thumbs down, basically. Yeah, righty.
Speaker 3: Right. First of all, I want to greatly thank you guys from the community side, the what you have done is amazing sense of service to the whole community. Thanks, guys. In fact, we ourselves have been looking around someone on your side we can have finding your side interviews are great for all of us. So we can have learning most from the interview than the books itself. Besides saying that my question is twofold. What is the common thread of experience, you gain the last five in an interview with anything common insights? More importantly, has it spiritually grown your own spiritual path as well? How have you evolved, listening to the 500 interviews and being part of it? That’s one and second. Number two is, what do you see a year from now, three years from now, five years from now? batgap.com?
Rick Archer: Well, it has a powerful influence on me, I’ve been meditating regularly, a couple hours a day, at least at least for over 50 years. And that that’s had a great effect. But this process of interviewing all these people is a whole new engine on the train. i It’s like it says at various scriptures, I think in various traditions, that if, if you’re really serious about this Enlightenment business, it’s really good to keep your attention on it, and hang around with people who are of like mind. And so this is a way that allows me to keep my attention on it. And I you know, and I just love it and never grow tired of it. So I just, I from the time I get up in the morning, I usually put earbuds in I start listening to something while I brush my teeth and I’ll be listening to something while I cut the grass or while I drive to the store or whatever. And then in the evenings and then there’s a lot of technical and administrative stuff to do during the day hours of that. And but then in the evenings I’m usually sitting reading a book and in preparation for the next thing. So just having my attention so zoomed in it day in and day out, has been very beneficial. I think it’s really broadened and matured my understanding and my appreciation, as I was saying earlier, the diversity of the spiritual in the spiritual world. And but then the process itself is extremely enlivening in a interesting way, when I’m actually doing the interview, I kind of settled in and mind meld in a way with the person I’m talking to, you know, that term from star to star trek. And I, sometimes I, my body actually goes through some little conniptions, as it’s adjusting to the energy of, of who I’m talking to, and what I’m doing, I can sort of feel like feel channels clearing or something. But then usually I kind of get in a certain groove, and it just flows. And, and while I’m doing while I’m talking to the person, that they’re just kind of settling back into the self and just sort of being observant of kind of subtle impulses of or intuitive impulses of, you know, where to take the conversation and they kind of just bubble around while the person is talking. And then, you know, one little kind of bubble to the front. And that’ll be the next question I’ll ask. So it’s sort of a discriminative. Practice in a way, an introspective, discriminated, discriminated practice to actually do the interviews. And this just has a marvelous effect on me, it has a refining kind of influence, and energizing and enlivening often I’ll come out from doing an interview, and I really say like, it looks like I’ve just, you know, been out jogging or something, because my cheeks are all rosy, and I just feel like this flush of, of energy from it. So I guess that answers the question of what effect it’s had on me, I just feel like it’s real evolutionary. And there’s another angle on that too, which is that I think many of you have experienced this, that when you put yourself in the service of the Divine, however you define that and whatever the form of service, you, it’s almost like the, the gods sort of say, Hey, boys, we gotta live on here, let’s give him some juice, you know, and, and you, you kind of get to mix metaphors, you get the sort of the wind at your back. And there’s a lot of support and, and subtle, subtle support for what you’re doing because it serves a larger purpose. And as far as the future of BatGap is concerned, I don’t have any specific goals or plans, it just keeps rolling along. It kind of has a life of its own. And you never know what direction it’s gonna grow in. And there are certain people I’d like to interview that, you know, hopefully will happen. I got a couple of people have spoken to to Eckhart Tolle on my behalf directly, and you know, he’s expressed interest, I don’t know if it’ll happen. I have, I’ve had my sights on Sam Harris for years. And I’m a little scared of Sam Harris, because he’s so brilliant. And he could wipe the floor with the in a one on one conversation, but I have this thought to, to engage to include a quantum physicist in the conversation who has written papers about whether consciousness in the unified field are one in the same and then to sort of let the to kind of battle it out. But watch. So that there’s that kind of thing, right, kind of have goals of talking to this, that or the other person. So hope that answers your question. Yeah, yeah.
Speaker 9: Hi, Rick, thank you. I just want to thank you again, too, because as a newly awakened, spiritual being, your show is such a great resource. And I’ve learned a lot. My My question is, because I’m newly awakened, I’m in my 50s, I’m having a lot of problems with family, family, family. So what would your advice be on how to deal with people who, you know, they don’t understand? Yeah, the awakening thing? Sure. Well, ROM das said that if you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family. So I don’t know it’s like, you don’t you if the family is aggressively opposed to who you are and what you’re doing and all that stuff that could be difficult, but if they’re not then living that live, everybody has their own path, and everybody has their own evolutionary destiny and journey and, you know, just relate to them on their own level. Humility, and when there’s a setting in India, when the mango tree is when the mangoes are ripe, the branches bow down so it’s easy for people to pick them. So you can I think part of being a spiritual teacher, if one wants to assume that role is being able to meet people at their own level, whatever it may be, and perhaps also to realize that there are many people who are at levels that we have not yet attained ourselves or experienced. And some people who take objection to the whole notion of levels because it’s all one and how could there be levels within oneness but that’s a whole nother conversation. But just be tolerated. Be patient, don’t be don’t be judgmental. Everybody is a remarkable, beautiful person. And I mean, this kind of thing comes up with political differences in families and religious differences and all sorts of things. And I think families and other kinds of relationships are an evolutionary opportunity for us. And they can help to culture patients, which I think is one of the most important qualities on the spiritual path. Patience. Compassion, flexibility, tolerance. Yeah. fell on the back. Oh, Retton fellow right here.
Rick Archer: Um, hi. My question is about your experience knowledge. And you know, with all you’ve interviewed and experienced, about Enlightenment experiences, about, you know, how they show up for different people, meaning, once people have these kinds of experiences, what insight can you share for people who still have a grounding in it, but it’s not? It’s not hugely, you know, just wildly showing up in their life. Talk about the the nuances of what you’ve seen with people on Enlightenment experiences, and how that bears out for these different people. Okay, I hope I understand your question. And if I don’t, then please clarify it. But are you asking about how Enlightenment experiences might differ from one person to the next? Is that part of it? And how it sort of pertains to their, their regular human life?
Speaker 9: I would say more like, weeks, months, a year or more later, when it isn’t profoundly there. And yet, no one has had these experiences or something. Yeah, substantial experiences that clearly, you know, like, you know, yeah. Yeah, just sort of speaking yourself. I am. Yeah. And in general, but for my own curious, it isn’t a huge thing that drives me nuts or anything, but I thought I’d take the opportunity to just
Rick Archer: Well, again, obviously, everybody has a different path and a different different experiences. And is that Shawn in the back? Yeah. Hi. I interviewed Sean Webb yesterday. And he had a remarkable thing happened to him where he he didn’t have much exposure. He was a materialist, and a Republican and, and, you know, kind of a atheist and all that stuff. And he not that Republicans are necessarily atheists. But in fact, most of them say they’re not. But here, he started this Zen practice. And within a few weeks, he suddenly had this huge awakening, he woke up the next morning, and he was, he believed in God, he found himself aligning with the Democrats. And, and you have to go to work and pay the mortgage and so on. And it was this profound shift that was abiding. And he ended up just going back to work and all the stuff that was stressing him out and, and making his life miserable, didn’t bother him, at least anymore. And he found that he was actually more effective at work. That’s a rare case because usually, a person doesn’t have a dramatic shift and and then habit and then be able to function normally. I mean, Eckhart Tolle sat on a park bench for a couple of years after his awakening and feeding the squirrels. And usually, most people, some people do have these radical shifts, it’s usually somewhat incapacitating, if it’s really radical, and they take a long time to be able to get back to normal functioning. But most people, I would say, shift much more incrementally and gradually, over many years, and that’s good. I mean, well, it’s good. However, it happens, I guess. But you, you have a chance to integrate as you go along to stabilize to, there’s a, there’s a metaphor they used to use in India about dying the cloth, you would, if you want to die white cloth, a particular color, you dip it in the die, and then you take it out and bleach it in the sun, and it tends to lose most of its color in the sun, but a little bit is left and then you dip it again, and then bleach it in the sun again, and more color is left and you keep doing that until it becomes colorfast whether it’s in the sun or not. And so I think for most people, spiritual development is an incremental process that will continue over our life our entire life and will continue to grow and will continue to become Have acclimated to functioning in higher and higher levels of consciousness. I think that this is hypothetical because it wouldn’t, couldn’t really happen this way. But if if I were to speak in my own experience, but probably this applies to everybody. If I were to somehow snap back to where I was 50 years ago, even though I was reasonably happy and functional 50 years ago, I would probably be in complete agony compared to how I feel now all the time. And conversely, if I were to go from where I was 50 years ago, to this, I would probably it would be probably overwhelming bliss, probably, again, wouldn’t be able to function, because it would just be too much. But, but it’s, it’s been incremental over all these years. And so you just keep, and of course, you’ve all heard the term neuroplasticity where the brain doesn’t transform overnight, but it actually does. It’s the most malleable organ in the body, and it does transform sometimes very profoundly over many years of development and practice. Does that answer your question? Okay, good. Thanks. Hi, Rick.
Rick Archer: Oh, Terry, how are you? Good to see ya.
Terry Patton: Good to see you. I, Aye. Aye, as I’ve sat here, I’ve reflected on how, in a way, you’ve been a naturalist of the process of awakening, as it has shown up in ordinary and extraordinary lives in a varied way. And when I, when I started my beyond awakening series,
Rick Archer: which I’ve listened to many I, by the way, this guy is a great interviewer, Terry Patton,
Terry Patton: I, I was very focused on this one question, the sense that we’re at an urgent moment, a tipping point. You know, we just look at the climate science or the ecological predicament or, or what people were telling us about AI, this morning, the sense that we might be at a point where we have to take a leap as a, you know, on a cultural level. It’s very much before us in many ways. And my sense has been that as more people are awakening that, that somehow that awakening can create something different culturally and socially. And yet, the way things are actually manifesting you as a naturalist, just having conversations with the incredible variety of honest, vulnerable, authentic, people speaking from their direct experience, you’re, you’re seeing just a wide wide range. And you’re, you’re choosing to just be of service to helping that be known and seen and be of use to people in whatever way it might be. And yet this question of urgency, this question, hey, this has to become something that makes a cultural difference, or this knack, this nice natural awakening that’s happening for more and more people, and gradual or sudden isn’t going to continue. We that we have that urgency, how are you finding yourself relating to that issue? Now over time, as this is, you know, refracted through this whole tour of of deepening experience?
Rick Archer: Good question. I agree with you that and of course, many, many, many other people are voicing the same concern that we’re at a tipping point, many tipping points, and there are any number of things which could do us in. And I have, and then on the other hand, you have this spiritual epidemic that seems to be taking place, and we have the technology to propagate it, which we didn’t have 50 years ago, or even 25 years ago. And I kind of have a feeling that this spiritual thing that’s arising is almost like the the planet’s immune system kicking in, in response to the dire crises that we face, and that ultimately, although obviously, there needs to be all kinds of practical solutions on the level of alternative energies and all kinds of things, but ultimately, the the solution is the problem and the solution are spiritual ones. And that the spiritual influx or uprising or awakening that seems to be taking place is nature’s if we want to say nature’s response to the kind of dire situation we’re in, and as far as urgency is concerned, nature does have a sense of its own timing. I was eating breakfast with Deepak and a few others this morning and Deepak was saying he didn’t think that you know, it was gonna take you thought it was gonna take him Narration or two before the entrenched scientific paradigm gave way to something better, some something more along the lines that we would all appreciate. And that it was really going to be a matter I forget who it was some somebody said that science progresses through a series of funerals, you know that people are really never going to change their ways very much. And it just is a matter of younger generations coming in and, and thinking in new ways. But maybe we don’t have that kind of time. And maybe there will be some kind of 11th hour you know, solution that I’m spacing out a little bit. But I think I think that if indeed this spiritual development we’re we’re seeing all over the planet, uprising of it is nature’s immune system kicking in, I guess, there’s no guarantee that we’re not going to die of the disease. But I like to be optimistic and think that the immune system will get the better of it. And that somehow the the enlivenment of the field of consciousness through all the people who are enlivening it will, you know, I was having an interesting conversation with David Buckland yesterday, that’ll also be coming up on BatGap. He’s sitting here in the front row, and he was describing his experience of David tamas, or deeper impulses of intelligence that reside within the physiology. And remember, the Buddha said, When he woke up, it’s like all beings woke up. And they were describing his own experience of this and how these David TAs are waking up within his own physiology as a result of his awakening, but that they’re, they’re not limited to his physiology. They’re in everyone’s physiology, some of them, some of them are just local, but some of them are universal. And so what as they wake up within us, we are instrumental in enabling him to wake up within everyone. And this might be kind of an explanation of the mechanics through which awakening can propagate, rather than just thinking of consciousness as some kind of amorphous plain vanilla field that somehow getting more lively and everyone’s going to all it’s a rising tide is going to lift all boats, it might help to explain the mechanics of that. So I don’t know if that answers your question. Hopefully it does. Okay, good. Whoever has the mic? Yes.
Sonia: Thank you. Hi, Rick. I’m Sonya, in a community of spiritual teachers, I noticed that, you know, each one is so brilliantly unique. And at the same time, there’s a lot of resonance. And I was wondering, if across 500 interviews, you’ve come across teachings that surprised you that were sort of illuminating a missing piece in the community are in the field of teaching. To make sense? Well,
Rick Archer: there are certain areas that are so outside my wheelhouse, if that’s the right phrase that I haven’t really delved into them that much. Although I had some experiences in the 60s, I haven’t really entered the whole psychedelic area too much in terms of interviewing people that I have. I’m planning to try to get Michael POLIN and another film named Christopher Bosh, who might who interview about five years ago. And then there’s a whole shamanic area, which is a little bit alien to me, nothing wrong with it, but it’s just not in my experience. So I try to be as kind of all embracing as possible in terms of alternative traditions and teachings and everything else. But there’s some with which I’m much more conversant. Like if I’m talking to people with an invite the background or something, then then with others, but that’s part of the joy and challenge of it is to expand my own boundaries and to you know, become more conversant and familiar with other things. This fellow could use the mic that he has on back there, okay.
Vijay: So my name is Vijay and I am from here from Silicon Valley and a tech guy and you know, all this stuff, I’ve been kind of traveling this, this whole journey, and I have also listened to four years ago, I listened to your first interview, and I actually got transformed in way differently, I mean, not transformed in terms of getting awakened or something. But I saw how this technology world here is so much related to the traditional world. I’m from Kashmir, and he talked about Kashmir Shaivism. And I used to I grew up practicing stuff, rituals, that I had no clue what that means, right. But when I listened to some of your own some of the interviews you had with, you know, Sally, Kempton and Josh Ortega Yeah, yeah, I heard all those and I certainly saw the rituals and all that I was gonna performing. Were so powerful. And, and the whole community had completely been uprooted from its original setting and scattered all over the world because of the terrorism and we were kind of dying. Grace, and listening to what what you guys had to say it oh, we have relevance. And I think that I first wanted to acknowledge the power of your interviews in making an extinct culture grow again, because we spread this message about our relevance. And so we are not extinct. But my question is, so, you know, now we have just, you know, I just came this from this morning and artificial intelligence and all that conference, Silicon Valley Conference and came here, and I see all of this, this new frontiers coming up, and you have done so many interviews with, like you said, quantum physicists and technologists and physiologists and, you know, so on, and, and spiritualists. So do you see this convergence is happening more and more at the pace at which it is required? Or are we going to be kind of taken over by the industry for what bronze is 4.0 and kind of taken away from this? I mean, there’s, in all of us, our, our heritage, our you know, for example, mine was kind of laying dormant in was kind of gone. And in similar cases all over the world, I’m sure there are similar traditions, which are kind of dying out. And people can see the relevance of all of those. And that can help the spiritual thing as against this other tide of, you know, industry 4.0 and others thing, other things like that. Do you see anything? What What is your perspective on how the balance is and how the evolution is happening?
Rick Archer: Well, as this conference sort of demonstrates, I don’t think that there’s any fundamental incompatibility between science and spirituality or technology and spirituality. But hopefully, I’ll address your question here. I don’t think that I think that science and spirituality both need each other. And science needs spirituality, because firstly, without that foundation, it doesn’t have the sort of moral compass to to be really a benign force in the world and is on the verge of destroying us in various ways. Obviously, there are many good things, but it’s due to scientific advancements in a way, or supposedly advancements that we’re capable of creating global warming, which could wipe us all out. And another reason science needs spirituality is that science by definition, wants to understand how the universe works, and devises various instruments and tools to assist with that, you know, the Large Hadron Collider and the Hubble telescope and all kinds of things. The human nervous system is a tool, it’s an instrument far more sophisticated than the Large Hadron Collider. And the ancients in various cultures knew how to use this tool in such a way as to explore subtle realities of the way the universe works. And I think that even from an academic perspective of wanting to understand how the universe works, that’s, that’s an interesting thing, that that’s something that should interest science. But I thought, I think it also has practical implications. For the reason I just mentioned about being attune to sort of nature’s intelligence as opposed to just using individual human intelligence and our individual human free will, in ways which can be quite blind and, and, and destructive. spirituality needs science, on the other hand, because spirituality in many can get very weird without sort of an empirical attitude. You can go way off on tangents, believing Farfetch things that have no chance of verification, scientific approaches can even enable it can weed things out, it can sort out what works and what doesn’t and prevent people from wasting a lot of time on things that don’t work. Right. This fellow has been wanting to ask a question, Is this his mic?
Jeremy: Okay, I was wondering, Rick, I’m Jeremy from Virginia Beach. Good to see you. And thank you so much for all the work you’re doing. Yeah. Yes, indeedy. Yeah, great place. I was just wondering it through all of the work you’re doing. It has it helped to formulate a kind of like a paradigm for yourself about where to where to go with meaning in the sense of materialist paradigm, awareness paradigm and following that through that, therefore, you know, would we then start with the assumption that awareness is the number one kind of place to start or consciousness versus, versus, you know, again, in the materialistic paradigm, it’s going to emerge like a brain scientists would say And so mean to have your work taken? Head? Yeah, right has your work been carried to the point where you yourself, end up with a conviction in that arena, that it has helped you in your personal practice?
Rick Archer: Well, I’ve had that conviction, most of my life that the materialist paradigm is upside down. And that consciousness is fundamental. And everything arises from that. And there’s a fella named Mark Golar, or something like that, who just gave a great presentation across the hall, and I hope to interview him, we want to do that, who on this very topic of, you know, science has it upside down, no materialist paradigm that dominates our culture has it upside down, they, you know, they go from physical matter to this to chemistry to the biological life to, you know, finally brains, and then consciousness. But if you flip it just put consciousness at the bottom, then consciousness, gifts from there emerges physical matter this, that and the other thing up up to brains and brains are like a receiver, the way television or radio is of ubiquitous field. And they, they filter that field in various ways and often distort it, but they, that’s where the consciousness comes from, not from some by some chemical processes in the brain. So I think and this mark fellow pointed out, and I agree that this is actually a pivotal question, it’s perhaps I think his talk was the most significant one of the conference that and that so much, right? On the putting things are right, it’s like, you know, we’re Ptolemaic astronomy, where they thought that the earth was the center of the solar system. With that assumption, the planetary orbits made no sense whatsoever, they went backwards, forwards and strange loops. And it was really impossible to figure out what they were doing. But as soon as they put the sun at the center of the solar system, then you had these nice, beautiful ellipses and the whole thing made sense. So I think there’s so many anomalies, and so many things that don’t make sense. Like many things like sci fi phenomenon, and reincarnation experiences, and an ESP and all this others other stuff, if consciousness is merely a product of the brain, but if if consciousness is fundamental, and as a field, and overall planted in that field, and, you know, transmitting or receiving it, then all these things completely fall into place. And it’s explained so much. And it also, you know, if we have a materialistic society, which we do based on that paradigm, then the world is dead, and nature is expendable, and disposable and usable. And we can do whatever you want with it. And, and you know, and we’ve been doing that much to our peril. But if if we if consciousness is fundamental, and if all this is imbued, are permeated by consciousness, then Whatsoever you do unto the least of these you do unto me, you know, you you love your neighbor as yourself, because your neighbor is yourself. So it completely shifts the perspective. Yeah. Again, I’ll be happy to continue for as long as people want as long as the video guys. But if you if you guys want to go to lunch, and you want me to quit all wrap it up. Yeah, I can do that too. You can shut down the camera if you want, and people can come up and we’ll just continue to talk if you want to shut it down. And we can go to lunch and stuff. But maybe the mic and stay on so people can hear. Thank you the next bit of this video, is an interview of me by Shakti Catarina Maggi. She was was at the sand conference. She’s been on BatGap. And she really, she’s has a history as a journalist and professional interviewer. And we really hit it off and became good friends, even more so than we had during the interview. And she wants to interview me. So we did that. And I thought I would just kind of tack that on to the end of this little q&a that I did at the sand conference. So that’s what’s that’s what you’re about to see next on this video. Thanks. Hi, Shakti
Shakti Catarina Maggi: Hi, Rick. So you are such a privilege, wisdom, witness of the spiritual arena. You interview every week, beautiful beings that explore the journey of consciousness in their own way, in various various paths. And I think there is a few people like you that can have actually, like, a clearer view on what is happening right now. Is spiritual maybe, at least in the West, I would like to ask you, what is in your feeling, the direction in which us as consciousness is moving, consciousness seems to be blossoming a lot in the latest years. And there are more and more people saying that awakening has been happening or it’s a stabilizing. And so I really would like you to know, in which direction you feel that consciousness is moving right now.
Rick Archer: Well, first of all, I want people to know who you are your your Shakti, Catarina Maggi, and I’ve interviewed you on BatGap. And people watching this would probably like to go and watch that interview if they haven’t done so already. And also on BatGap, there’s a page for that interview where they can link to your website. I mean, they can follow the link to your website, and everything like that. Thank you. And we’re out here in California, at the science and non duality conference. And we’ve met in person for the first time, it’s really been delightful. We’ve had breakfast together. Yeah, taken Yeah, had the chance to talk a little bit. Well, I’ve just started thinking along these lines recently, in the last week or so, I have been thinking along these lines of what I’m about to say, for a long time, but I’ve just sort of come up with a metaphor that I think helps to explain it a little bit better. You know, ever since the invention of nuclear weapons, it’s been possible for humanity to wipe itself out. Before that it wasn’t possible as plenty of wiping out taking place, but more localized. And, but we managed not to do that for seven years or so. So that’s good. However, now, we’ve devised other ways of wiping ourselves out. And there are many Syrian scientists who have an even announcements by the United Nations and all saying that we may well be on the verge of doing that, with climate change. And there’ll be many ramifications from climate change in terms of mass migrations of people who are flooded out of cities and, and serious problems with hunger, as crops are no longer growable due to drought and in, you know, inappropriate weather and all kinds of things like that we can go on in the details, but I’m sure most people have heard them. So it’s as if the Earth itself, if we think of it as living a living being, is in a serious crisis mode. And many of us do, think of it as a living being, and are sure as a living being, with, you know, an intelligence and an ability to adapt and respond to situations. So, in my opinion, the epidemic, or upsurge of spirituality that seems to be happening around the world, is really the earth immune system kicking in. And people who are participating in that awakening are like white blood cells or something that are going to through them, an influence is being generated, which could potentially, you know, counterbalance the situation and save us in the nick of time. Now, people don’t always survive diseases, and the earth may not survive this one. But if it has a chance of surviving, I think it’s going to it’s not going to be through politics, it’s not going to be through economics. It’s not going to be merely through technology, although all those things will be involved, but it’s going to be through something that’s fundamental to all of those things into everything, which is consciousness,
Shakti Catarina Maggi: and I completely agree with you. And I would say that it seems like that consciousness now also in non duality, I thought, I would say in every, in every ramification of spirituality, is also interested more and more, not just in the transcending of the sense of separation, but in the inclusion of life, in spirituality, so, life as the expression of, of the highest spiritual part of us so life as the embodiment of this consciousness. Would you like to comment on this because it seems that also here in science and non duality conference, this has been addressed as attendance. The title of this year was the mystery of the human being. So it seems like life and a nature and human development must be really included in spirituality and not something that is what while we try to go away from when we go to spirituality,
Rick Archer: yeah, well, we like I was getting breakfast this morning with Zaya Bennazo, who she and her husband Maurizio are the organizers of the science and non duality conference. And in the opening session of the conference, the two of them gave a talk about how their orientation to the conference has evolved over the past 10 years that they’ve been doing it. And she said that in the beginning, they very much had a neti neti kind of orientation, not this not this, it’s all non dual, the world is an illusion, let’s just get down to the transcendent and not worry about the world, or about our humanity or anything else. Because why bother about something that’s an illusion. But they and many others have begun to realize that that is not non duality. Obviously, if we’re excluding something, then we’re separating it from something else. And we have duality. So non duality would have to be inclusive of everything, including our humanists, or humanity, and all sorts of interesting things, which we talk about at this conference in which we, you know, who are talking about these kinds of things all year long, are interested. So actually, I think that consciousness or whatever we want to call it has relevance to every field of human endeavor, every field of knowledge, every field of experience, because it’s both, it’s sort of the lifeblood of everything, it’s the foundation of everything. Now, obviously, there are people at the conference, who discuss the idea that some think that consciousness is just a product of the brain, and that matter is the foundation of everything. But you know, there are many on the cutting edge, you feel it’s the other way around consciousness is the foundation of everything. And then matter comes along, and then eventually brains,
Shakti Catarina Maggi: probably this misunderstanding is coming before because they intend consciousness as human consciousness. So I could agree that human consciousness as expression, like consciousness, in the human being comes from matter. But like, I would say that, for people like us that know that consciousness is just openness and void, you can really say that matter, you know, the consciousness comes from matter becomes matter come from emptiness, that is consciousness. So probably it’s just maybe a matter of terminology a while we intend, yeah.
Rick Archer: Also, for someone whose whole worldview is that, you know, matter is real. And that things that can’t be touched or measured, shouldn’t be taken seriously. It’s very difficult for them to discuss the possibility that that consciousness is more real than anything is the foundation of everything. But it shouldn’t be that difficult. Because I mean, for over 100 years now, scientists have been talking about the quantum field and, you know, all kinds of things that are very difficult to measure. And even now, they’re, you know, the Higgs boson was recently discovered certain things. No, point me. But, and there’s an analogy I often use, I think I used it in my talk at the conference, which is that in Ptolemaic astronomy, that system of understanding where the earth was thought to be the center of the solar system, it was really difficult to understand the movements of the planets, because they seem to be stopping and going backwards, going in little loops, and doing all kinds of strange things. But once it was understood that the Sun is the center of the solar system, all of a sudden, the planets are moving in these nice and beautiful ellipses, and everything was a lot simpler. So there are a lot of anomalies. So I phenomenon nd E is and you know, all kinds of interesting things that make no sense to some to a materialist, who feels that matter is predominant and consciousness is just a chemical function of the brain. But if consciousness is understood as fundamental, then the whole thing is flipped on its head. And all these anomalies begin to find a place and can be understood. And, and can be seen not as conflicting with scientific understanding, but as being an extension of our human quest to know how the universe works. And I don’t know if I’ve drifted from your original question, kind of stuff interest makes,
Shakti Catarina Maggi: it makes such a sense, because the thing is, like, once we understand we realize that the foundation of everything is pure consciousness is nothingness, then all the rest makes sense. And is absolutely true. Because in the sense, as you said, in quantum physics since 100 years, we know the basically, matter is void is nothingness. I, I heard like several scientists reminding this these days, so it’s not so it’s not here to say that. I would say that what is interesting maybe is the possibility to find, you know, as humans to find really the foundation One of our being in this trend of transcendence and from this transcendence that join us all, in the being, being able to approach the problems that we have on the planet, as a we are no more as a separate entity that is moving. And this is this is happening more and more and I think is inclusion that the teachers do off like life and human broken heartedness. And vulnerability is something that is letting consciousness to know more and more the manifested aspect as something that must be included in spirituality and not just transcended, but transformed in the heart.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and if you ignore it, it’s not gonna go away. No, no,
Shakti Catarina Maggi: is the strongest under the rug is, to me is the strongest, strongest duality to separate non duality from life? No, that’s, that’s not true non duality. So I agree with you, I’d like to ask you something else you haven’t been like spending quite some time recently, in exploring what is the role of a teacher, you you haven’t been meeting many, many teachers in these years that you’ve been interviewing them. And, of course, everybody has their own style, and everybody has their own way to share their experience. But it seems that sometimes they’re like common vices that we see. And often they are about sexuality and money and abuse of power of any sort. And with other people, you are like, creating a kind of movement, to lead the community to think about it, and to see if it’s possible to settle a kind of standard, of course, in the freedom of everybody to be themselves and be like to come and, yeah,
Rick Archer: you and I were just talking to Rupert Spiro on the doorstep of the hotel there for about 15 minutes. And he was talking about how he spent about 12 or 13 years, with his teacher, Francis Lucille with no thought of teaching. And he had had already sort of had non dual realization, but he was just sort of attending dozens and dozens of retreats and spending all this time. And at one point, Francis said to him, that, you know, you didn’t know it, but you were actually becoming qualified as a teacher by doing that. And then eventually, finally, Rupert came out and started teaching. And he was commenting that these days with the internet, so many people, often young people have some kind of glimpse or some kind of realization, and they quit their day job and rush right into being a teacher, because it’s kind of cool thing to do, you know, and it’s inspiring. And, I mean, I, myself became a meditation teacher at the age of 21, and taught for 25 years, but I made no claim to any kind of realization or anything, I was just teaching a technique that was taught. But unfortunately, you know, we’ve seen that in the whole spiritual minefield of teachers and movements and organizations and all this stuff. It’s been a crazy scene many times, you know, there, there have been, you know, situations in which people have been hurt physically, emotionally, sexually, financially. And, and this is, you know, spirituality should be something beautiful, it should, it should be about God and devotion and oneness and, and upliftment and even saintliness and all those beautiful qualities that we ideally associate with it. But it’s been quite a disillusionment for many people that it has been that way very much.
Shakti Catarina Maggi: It’s interesting, because like, in the world, we spoke a lot about the me to movement, and has been quite all over the planet. And it seems like it’s involving the spiritual realm as well. And it’s interesting because of course, a teacher is still a human being and he has or she has his own faults or karmic residue to work on. And it doesn’t mean that it cannot teach if they’re present. I would say that probably in my in my perception. a liberated soul is very rare on the planet. And, you know, it could be even harder for the soul to remain on the planet because you wouldn’t have like no duality to be able to manifest as a body. But this is an entire story. Maybe we speak about it other times
Rick Archer: I’ve been saying it’s like an undermine Ramona, who were just really out of it for a long time and, you know, Ananda, my mind had to be off and had to be fed and so on. And, you know, Neem Karoli Baba would kind of wander off into the forest. If somebody didn’t keep an eye on. You know, Romanus spent, you know, first period was sitting in a cave with insects chewing on his leg. And he was oblivious to that. And then he spent years and years and years in a cave before he began interacting with the public. So these are examples that are inspiring and interesting. But none of us are going to do that. No. We’re living lives in the world with all kinds of interactions and responsibilities and things that those people had and didn’t have to deal with.
Shakti Catarina Maggi: Yeah. And anyway, like, that would be like an entire subject and would have something to commend on what you say, but I will not because I would like to come back to speak about this. Because what I was wanting to say is that, like, in my in my perspective, and I want to know why you feel about it, the the Guru is a function from darkness to light. And the guru function
Rick Archer: means that go through exactly what it’s like.
Shakti Catarina Maggi: Yeah, exactly. So Guru so means that this function of the Guru that is not a person is a function of consciousness itself, can work through bodies that are not perfectly integrated in awakening. And it’s about like the student then like to be able to access that, and recognizing even these faults in the teacher, and being able like not to, in a sense, stopping accessing to the energy, because the tool is not perfect, theoretically. But it’s not easy because the student doesn’t know, you know, he doesn’t know the difference. So it’s very open and vulnerable, is not easy to distinguish. What is What do you have any suggestion as a longtime seeker?
Rick Archer: Well, when I became a TM teacher back in 19, my course was in 1970. marshy said to us, he said, when there’s a war on, when the war is underway, there’s no time to train sharpshooters just give him a gun and send them out. So he’s saying, you know, I realize you guys are a bunch of bozos, you know, but I’m going to give you this technique, and I want you go out and teach people because there’s a need for it. Yeah, and we certainly were a bunch of bozos. But we did our best, of course, and, and, and marshy himself, it turned out, although I didn’t see it, at the time, was a work in progress and had certain flaws or shadow situations in his life and so on. But he did a great job. I mean, he had a tremendous impact. Yeah, I sometimes think of him as like, Babe Ruth, the baseball player who, you know, swung for the fences, and a lot of times he struck out, but he hit a lot of homeruns. Yeah. And so, I think if if teachers are humble enough to acknowledge that they indeed are works in progress, and are open to constructive criticism, if it comes their way, and don’t try to sort of put themselves on a pedestal or allow others to put them on a pedestal, then the whole thing can be very successful. However, if they don’t do those things, it can become dangerous for them. It can result in the higher you get on that pedestal, they’ll fall fall, you’re gonna fall and you are gonna fall. And it can be misleading, and a waste of time and money and life for students. Although perhaps we learned our lessons that way sometimes. And, you know, there are people who have been through some rather serious cult like scenes, who say, you know, it was crazy, and I wouldn’t do it again. But I’m kind of glad I did it because I learned,
Shakti Catarina Maggi: I learned. Yeah, but like, it’s, I totally agree with you that for me, like the secret of any master should be to remain a student forever. And to remain a student, a student forever. Yeah, inside yourself and letting the teaching go to you and me being humble enough to know that only Guru is life. Yeah, and I agree with you. But what I would like to know if you have any tip for the seekers, I mean, a student you know, what do you what do you do when why you are drawn to a person and you feel you can learn from that person? And you maybe see certainties that don’t really like make sense in you. Yeah. What do you do you like in Italy? We say these? Do you throw the baby with the dirty water? Okay,
Rick Archer: well, the baby out with the bathwater. Yeah, what do you do? Sometimes you might want to you don’t want that day. But other times, I think if and again, it also depends on whether the teacher is honest about the fact that he or she is work in progress. If they claim perfection and aren’t willing to listen to any any criticism or feedback, then the whole situation could get worse and worse and crazier and crazier, as many have done. And so you might not want to stick around that scene. And some people are going to anyway, I mean, anybody can can start saying anything and they’ll get followers. But I think if you’re really sincere about spiritual development, if you really want it, and you don’t just want a sort of a daddy figure or you know, a cool bunch of people to hang out with or something like that, but you really want liberation or realization to whatever extend, it’s possible for you, then you, you know, you should do your best to culture, discernment and discrimination. And, and feel free to question if you if, if your questions are seen as threats or attacks or something, even though you’re asking them politely, then that’s a warning sign, you know, you should, a teacher should be able to, really, in my opinion, a healthy student teacher relationship should be one in which the student feels free to ask anything. And then and whether it’s skeptical or not, or, and as long as it’s done in a mature and respectful way. I mean, you don’t want to just be a troublemaker, that’s just sort of trying to disrupt the whole scene, but if you’re sincere, and the teacher is sincere, then there should be that trust and honesty where you can ask anything and get some kind of a decent answer. And because a big part of realization is having your doubts, dispelled. They’re layers after layers, after layers of doubts in us, and they need to be kind of cleared away layer after there. And the trusting relationship with a teacher is a process through which they can be cleared.
Shakti Catarina Maggi: I totally agree with you. And I will say, in my own experience with my teacher, like seeing, seeing vasana, you know, Vasanas Vasanas in him,
Rick Archer: which in case people don’t know means, like, late and impression that sort of, are lodged in the nervous system and might tend to influence your behavior.
Shakti Catarina Maggi: Yeah. So it helped me to embrace my own humanity. So it didn’t, didn’t shadow the light was shining through him and actually was, in a sense, is most beautiful gift. Yeah, I never saw him harming anybody. So you know, and he never like intentionally harmed anybody. And so unintentionally, it might have like, make somebody angry, because the ego reacts, sometimes to be, you know, destroyed. So I never saw that, but you know, some inclination and that in that helped me to be very like, in touch with myself, and understanding that it’s not about perfection, as the mind thinks off. It’s about inclusion in the heart of anything. So I’m totally redo on this. What that what I would like to ask you is, what do you think that? Or what do you feel? That would be in a sense, like, it’s hard to say, like, absolute boundaries that a teacher shouldn’t cross, I tried to be more specific on this, the non dual teaching in particular is very open, there is no like, let’s say, a in an academy that says, You are a non dual teacher, no, you’re not entitled to be a non dual teacher. And it’s all like, it’s all very loose and open and is actually changing in a time. You know, like, as you said, before, like maybe some years ago, there was more like, an inclination towards just transcending everything. Now there is seems to be like, also an inclination and orientation communally in in like, including things. So things change all the time, as I think consciousness is learning about itself through us more and more. So say this, do you feel that in this moment, at least the truth of this moment, that there are like, absolute absolute boundaries to a behavioral teacher that shouldn’t be crossed? That is, okay, well, anything, I just say these more, because sometimes, you know, is said is spirituality, you cannot judge an enlightened soul. Because even if an enlightened soul is like, doing something that is apparently very bad, like sleeping with the wife of somebody else, or like, you know, behaving in a way that seems to be not nice to hear. Someone say you cannot judge it, because, you know, it’s life forces the universe Act into that to delete the image of you. Yeah, I’m not agreeing, or disagreeing is like an open question to me. And I would like to know why you feel about it.
Rick Archer: Yeah. It’s an interesting question. It’s funny, because there’s somebody whose interview I took down because I got a pretty reliable report that he was doing some rather disturbing things. I mean, not terrible, but along the lines of the stuff you were talking about, you know, sleeping with women behind the scenes and messing around and, and, and just, yeah, it’s like, when I do an interview with somebody, it’s like a referral. And I don’t feel like referring people to somebody who might take advantage of them or hurt them. And, of course, and but I ended up corresponding with the guy a little bit afterwards and one of his comments was, Who are you to judge an awakened person? You know, Like, basically, dude, I can do whatever I want, and you don’t understand how the way somebody like me operates. Now, it’s funny because in the Vedic literature there, you read the stories and the Puranas and the IDI haas’s, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. And they constantly pull the rug out from under you in terms of getting too comfortable making assumptions about the way things should be, and that the way even enlightened teachers should behave. But having said that, it’s at the same time, I think that there are certain standards, and they’re also very beautifully illustrated in that literature and the literature of other traditions around the world, and certain universal ethics about how we treat others. And, you know, the golden rule and the 10 commandments, and all kinds of things like that in various traditions. And there’s a reason for these things. Even if you want to say a selfish reason, because unethical behavior harms you as much as it harms them. It’s like a, it’s like a knife that’s sharp on both ends and doesn’t have a handle. You stabbed somebody with it. But you also cut your hand. You say? Yeah, I agree. Yeah. And so you may need to do a comeback on that question and make sure I’ve got it. Yeah.
Shakti Catarina Maggi: I mean, like, I’m totally we do that. Like, in my perspective, there are boundaries. That’s what I feel. And these boundaries are not like, following this, Cecily, the human attics that changes anyway, from country to country,
Rick Archer: culture, in some countries, polygamy is normal. And even in the, in the Vedic literature that the Pandavas, five brothers were married to one woman, and they also had other wives. And it was this whole scene that wouldn’t really work in the USA.
Shakti Catarina Maggi: That at the same time, I feel, for instance, like, quoting you before, that Holly state is something that should not be questionable. I mean, if I sleep with your wife, you know, and I shouldn’t hide it. That’s an interesting point, at least Yeah, you know, like, because that that is what like, brings up a question, Who am I protecting? When I’m hiding something? Yeah. And that, for me is ego. So
Rick Archer: I heard an interesting story. There’s a very well respected spiritual teacher, now deceased, I won’t mention his name. But he was, you know, having private sessions with various students. And there was just one young woman who was having private sessions with them. And they would do gazing against each other for a couple of hours or whatever. And at one point, he just said, I am totally in love with you, and I want to sleep with you, and, and so on. And she said, Well, maybe, but it has to be an open, we have to, you have to tell your wife, you have to tell the other students if we’re going to if this is going to happen. And he was like, No way. I can’t do that. So I don’t know if that somehow addresses your point.
Shakti Catarina Maggi: Yeah, I think I think that’s the point. Because in a sense that like, I mean, unavoidably, I would say that a teacher is the perfect mirror of projection. There are like endless people that will misunderstand you, Miss judge, you will project her mom and dad on you endlessly. And often, maybe they’re not have a perfect relationship with mom and dad. And so you, you will receive this projection, and maybe you will even end up if you’re not still enough, we don’t want to act in this projection, because you’re very open both ways. I don’t think it’s just, I don’t think is just the student that is open. I think he’s also a teacher, that he’s very vulnerable and open. So it’s like, he is working both ways. So I would say that for me, like, when you hear stories about teachers, the point is, if there is a clarity and honesty and say, No, that actually never happened, or yes, this happened, you know, you’d like it, it stands in line very clear, in which you know, there is no idea of a personalization of the action, because when you hide in something is because you think you have been doing it in my perspective. So there is a sense of separation there. And that sense of separation in hiding. Creates creates that illusion and and more and more separation. unavoidably you have gossip about teachers, and I’m sure there are hotspots around me and maybe I don’t even know them, but oh, yeah, and then that, you know, like, who cares? But yeah, maybe I don’t want to know I don’t know. But like, what, what I’m saying is that if you are like, like transparent, you know in that That is a interesting guarantee.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s something. I mean, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all the behavior is right, even if you’re transparent about it. I mean, there’s, you know, orgies around Tagum Rinpoche and Adi Da and so on, everybody knew what was going on. It wasn’t a big secret. But was that really? The environment? Yeah, was that really good. So, in terms of any kind of absolute guidelines of what is or is not appropriate, I don’t know if anything’s absolute. But what we’ve tried to do with this Association of Professional spiritual teachers is come up with a code of ethics, that’s, you know, reasonable, in light of our culture, in light of common sense. And in light of, you know, with the motivation that people don’t get hurt or taken advantage of, in any way. And that, you know, teachers should, at the very least not be hurting people, they should be helping people, and so on. And it’s a work in progress, you know, we’re, these guidelines are not going to be they’re not cutting stone, you know, coming down from outside, either. There’s something which could always be revised, or improved, or clarified, or something, but the feeling was just, there needs to be something more in the conversation, at least in the field. Yeah, it should just be more out there. So that we’re all talking about this, and that we think about it, and that maybe we prevent some of these train wrecks that have been happening.
Shakti Catarina Maggi: I would like to have a last. I have a last question for you. Very often, like, in especially non duality is clearly said, you either see it, or you don’t. But then you have an it’s true, you are received or you don’t. But then there is like almost an endless variation of integration of the see. And there are many different teachers that express this integration on their own level. And I’m just curious about your impression on it. Because, I mean, there are so many new teachers, and so many also already established teachers around. And sometimes because it seems that integration is different. It seems like they’re almost even contradicting each other. So, you know, what is what what,
Rick Archer: firstly, in terms of seeing it, you don’t, even the seeing of it is going to differ from person to person, aside from any question of integration, yeah, there’s explanations of that, in terms of the constituents of one’s physiology, whether different Gunas are predominant, and so on. For some, you know, the there might be an emphasis on no sense of a personal self and others, it might seem very much oh, this, I am that there is a sense of AI, but it’s universal, and, and others, you know, might see the world as illusory and other others might see the world as divine, and all and they’ve all had a realization, but they have different hardware through which that realization is being experienced. And so therefore, it has different qualities. So what I’m saying is, I think, even though the ultimate reality is one the same, even the cognition of it might vary according to one’s makeup. But then, in terms of integration, I mean, I guess different people have different ways in which integration is needed. You know, I mean, we all have different faculties, and they’re all developed to different degrees and in different ways. And we all have different functions to serve in this life, we’re not all going to be or do or say the same thing. And so, you know, you can, there’s always going to be variety. In fact, what I’ve observed in awakened people, and even I don’t even like the term awakened, because it’s too static, you know, as this kind of superlatives pulling away final Congress. Yeah, awakening. What I’ve observed is that people become more, more vivid, more full of differences in a way with that underlying energy of the self having a woken, that their personalities become more more colorful, less drab, you know, so it’s kind of like the Peruvian jungle where the there’s plenty of rain and the soil is rich, and there’s just this proliferation of variety of beautiful flowers and all beautiful plants and trees and animals and all that. So I think an awakened world would be kind of like that, metaphorically speaking, there would just be that we wouldn’t all become the same or believe the same or think the same or like the same things or anything else. It’d be tremendous flourishing of creativity and individuality and difference and all but there’d be this kind of unifying harmony, underlying harmony, that would, that would harmonize well. also army does it would harmonize all these differences so that they would coexist peacefully and coherently with all the conflict and strife and, and nonsense that ruins our world today.
Shakti Catarina Maggi: I asked you this, I resonate with why you say I ask you this, because I think that sometimes for a student is hard because like you find a teacher, that seems to make sense. And he’s saying one thing, and then you have another teacher seems to make sense. Maybe they have like, like, the essence is very similar. But then he seems to contradict the other. And sometimes it’s confusing you say, who you believe or who you know, like, to who you believe to, like, how do you follow that? And so I was interested in your perspective in this
Rick Archer: difference? Oh, you know, I talked to so many hundreds of people, and they all have different perspectives, but I put it all in a bigger basket. You know, I feel like I mean, try to look at it with God’s eye view. You know, I mean, God, if we think of God as the sort of all pervading intelligence that contains the whole universe, yeah, within it within its or his or her wholeness, then all the differences of opinion, and religion and philosophy and everything else, all fit in there as components, they may seem to clash. If you’re, well, let’s take another example, your wheel, you know, your bicycle wheel. If you’re out on one of the spokes, it looks like you’re separate from all the other spokes, you don’t seem to be connected to them. But if you’re at the hub, where all the spokes come out, then you see oh, yeah, this book is, you know, comes from me, and this boat comes from me, and they all serve a purpose. Without them the wheel would be a functional wheel. Yeah. And they are unnecessary.
Shakti Catarina Maggi: Yeah. I mean, I very beautiful, thank you as a metaphor, and, and this actually makes me feel like I want to make you the very last question is this. You like, you know, as a student, as a, as a seeker as a student, you know, sometimes we were told, don’t go and spiritual supermarket and shop with various teachers. And speaking about variety. That’s why it came into my mind to say it will be a dilettante. It’d be a superficial dab. Yeah. And then like, you take, oh, I take these, this is good for me, then, then oh, no, that’s too dangerous. I go to another one, and say, Oh, stick with one guru, stick with one teacher and go to the very essence of it. And that’s it. What’s your comment on it?
Rick Archer: I think it’s, it depends on the stage that you’re at. And I think there could, there could be a stage that at which that is really good advice, and you shouldn’t just be hopping around. But then maybe even before that stage, you should be hopping around, because you don’t just want to go commit to the first person you see, you might want to, you know, do a little window shopping. Before you decide to purchase, yeah, but then you might reach another stage at which you, you are kind of stable in your understanding and your practice and everything else. And you might find it enriching to, you know, get involved in learning all the different diversities and varieties of spirituality, and so on. So I think a person just has to whatever you do, I think it’s good to dig deep and, you know, find a practice that works for you, and practice and pursue it diligently. If you’re serious about this stuff. I mean, just take it seriously. And, you know, as seriously as you would need to take anything that you want to master like playing the piano or playing tennis or anything else. It’s not You’re not just gonna get it overnight. And then I think I’ve answered that.
Shakti Catarina Maggi: Yeah, it’s all about like sincerity, I would say, then, yeah,
Rick Archer: that’s the key point. I mean, this thing we said, discernment is very important. I think, sincerity having an ardent desire. And if this is what you really want, it doesn’t mean you can’t have anything else. But you know, make this a priority. There’s a saying, My teacher used to say highest first, you know, there’s all kinds of choices, and you can’t choose them all at once, but take the highest, and do that. And, you know, maybe you’ll be able to do for these other things also, but make sure that the highest is given priority.
Shakti Catarina Maggi: Yeah. Thank you so much. It’s been very inspiring to speak with you. Thank you and do this. Thank you for the service you do with Buddha. The gas pump is an incredible opportunity for people to meet all the gems that are available. So thank you for your service. Thank you. It’s my joy. And thanks, everybody for listening to this. Thank you