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Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas plant. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. I’ve done hundreds of them now. And if this is new to you and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to the upcoming interviews page on batgap.com, where you’ll see all the previous ones archived. This program is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. So if you appreciate it and feel like supporting it, there’s a Pay Pal button on every page of the site. My guest today is Terry Patton. First I’ll just read his little bio that he sent me and then I’m sure will elaborate on that. Terry is a philosopher, teacher, activist, consultant, social entrepreneur, and author. Over the last 15 years he has devoted his efforts to the evolution of consciousness by facing, examining and healing our global crisis through the marriage of spirit and activism. He co wrote the book, integral life practice with Ken Wilber and a core team at the integral Institute. As a teacher and consultant. He has worked on four continents that team at the Heart Math Institute that develop their first heart rate variability monitor, and is the founder of the Beyond awakening teleseminar series, which I’ve enjoyed over the years. As a community builder, he founded bay area integral. As a social entrepreneur, he founded tools for exploration, a consciousness technologies company, and currently he’s involved in restorative Redwood forestry and fossil fuel alternatives. His new book, a new Republic of the heart, an ethnos for Revolutionaries was released by North Atlantic books on March 6 2018. And when Terry first sent me the outline of that book, I literally got goosebumps, because it the topics he covered so interest me and inspire me, I knew it’d be an interesting book, and I just finished reading it this morning. So, thanks for coming on, Terry.
Terry Patten: Thank you for having me, Rick. I’ve long imagined we’d be sitting down for a conversation. I’ve been a fan of what you’ve done and really appreciate it. I think bringing conversations is key. Evolutionary activism. So
Rick Archer: yeah, and likewise Good to be here we are in terms of what you’ve done. And before we get into your book, let’s just talk a bit about your, your own life, your history, you know, how you got interested in spirituality, what sort of practices or paths or teachers or whatever you were involved in?
Terry Patten: Well, my, my mom comes from Blue bloodline of white Anglo Saxon Protestants going back to the Puritans. My dad tells us from refugees from the settle of Russia, who just kind of barely made it here. And they were kind of forward thinking she became a psychologist in the 40s. They were they were interested in what we might consider alternatives. So when I was six, they moved us from Chicago to a community called the York Center Community cooperative, which was about 20 miles west of the city of Chicago at that time. They had been formed by buying a 70 acre cornfield. Members of the Church of the Brethren had done this is one of the Christian peace churches that the members are conscientious objectors during wartime. And this they admired the principles of the Rochdale weavers the idea of a cooperative ownership of the means of production. This is goes back to when Marxism and the Luddites were fighting it was it was when everybody was losing their jobs to industrialization in the 1800s and Rossdale Weaver said, well, let’s have the workers cooperatively own these big looms and things differently. And they worked out a lot of really wonderful principles that inspired these folks. And they took it further and further until they invited people of other religions to live with them as a witness for peace and brotherhood and then other races. And the people that got attracted to it were many of them had been conscientious objectors during the Second World War quite a few Japanese families who had been interned moved in, there were a number of mixed marriages back when that was really, you know, there were laws against it in many states. And so I was mentored by a whole group of co op aunts and uncles, because my years of growing up were the years during the buildup of the Vietnam War. And as it happened, I was the co op kid and that crop of, you know, quite a few children. But among that group of kids, I was probably the one who was the most focused on talking about current events and wanting to have conversations with my friends, parents and my parents friends. And so I ended up getting mentored by a whole group of people who very, very deeply believed in a social stand, that they were spiritually inspired many of them but their spiritual inspiration express themselves in being a stand for peace and for justice. And so I, I as a good as a good son of the Co Op, I founded a local underground newspaper got involved in Chicago area, draft, resisters became the SDS Regional Coordinator went off to
Rick Archer: a democratic society. Yeah, went off
Terry Patten: to lead demonstrations that took over the lsn a building and they ROTC building and marching against apartheid, so forth. But after a very tumultuous year, I began to realize that I was arrogant that my ideas of how society ought to be reorganized, were not based on a deep understanding of reality and that the arrogance of youth was going to poison what I what I did my my certainty that we had a better way to do things was unexamined, the ego at and that really crashed in on me. So although for a few years, I kind of just focused on my writing, I’d always been a poet and a writer, I, I ended up finding myself attracted to books like Jay grid, Drake Krishna birdies books, and Carlos Castaneda, his books and John Lilly and Alan Watts, the very early kind of things in the late 60s, early earliest 70s And, and then I became a resident Fellow at a place called Cold Mountain Institute, which was the progenitor to Hollyhock farm. And there I really kind of had my heart opened up and realized I needed to find a teacher. So I took a Ford Econoline van and I drove from British Columbia to San Francisco picking up hitchhikers. You know, everybody had every third person or fourth person had some marijuana, you know, it was it was totally this evidence. Yeah. And in that trip, I connected with the students of Swami Satchitananda, Swami Muktananda, the living love center of Ken Keyes, a whole variety of different communities of practice, and nothing quite felt right. But on my way back, I encountered the writings of Franklin Jones, as he was known them and I just felt a an electric current of a higher vibratory nature that felt enormously attractive. So I made it my business to visit his ashram in Los Angeles. And pretty soon I was hooked and I was involved there for 15 years, I got drawn in very close right away by being made one of his editors and I helped somebody else you’ve interviewed Samuel blonder. We together wrote a very infamous early book called garbage in the Goddess that is the the book about the the wild times we had a whole period of wild parties sexual experimentation, and all that wildness was more or less kept under the swept under the rug, except in this particular book that that Samuel and I co wrote. I did that for 15 years, and then I began to feel limitations even there because in a way, the inner work and the outer work, to me cannot really be separated that each of us is not just an atomized individual. We’re all part of a larger evolutionary pattern. And my thriving can’t be radically separated from yours. And the the well being of the individual at the expense of a whole is a somehow ugly, you know, morally and that draws me more and more to recognize it because we do face challenges. jizz that can’t be solved at the level of consciousness that created them, you know, kind of paraphrasing the famous quote that’s often attributed to Albert Einstein, that in a way that turned to go do the inner work, like I needed to clean up my own stuff, if I wanted to be a leader of any kind of change in the outer world that was going to be worth a darn, you know, the old thing, you pointing at somebody else three fingers are pointing back at you. And that, that, that taking that to heart felt like a morally high integrity thing to do a less arrogant a more, you know, dimensional response. On the other hand, it delays your actual engagement in the outer work and changing the actual systems and conditions that are affecting so many people’s lives. So in a way, I realized that I felt like I’d signed an IOU Gee, I’ve got to do this personal work in order to really clean up my act. But when I get that clean enough, I’m gonna circle back and really make a difference in the lives of other people. And I hadn’t, hadn’t done that. And in fact, that fallen in with a lot of other deep practitioners, who were to some degree in a self reinforcing cycle where none of us were having the kind of impact on the outer world that was needed. Meanwhile, we’re we’re seeing the outer color, the outer world, just the causes and conditions and the practical lives of the whole human species, all of human civilization are so profoundly unsustainable and, and unjust, and in a variety of ways that to simply focus on your subjective transformation. No longer feels morally defensible to me, and, and that, that recognition has drawn me to a broader integration. Of course, in the last 15 years, I’ve been working with Ken Wilber and the integral Institute and I, I value a great deal of what I have learned there and worked there. And yet, I don’t think that any particular philosophical approach the point of cultural transformation is not for some intellectual perspective to become victorious, and take over everybody’s minds. What’s important here is that all of us find the truth in our own ways of practicing that draw us beyond all of our insularity, into a common situation, we’re in a lifeboat that’s sprung a leak, and we need each other to address it. And that reconnection heart to heart feels, well, doesn’t just feel urgent, it is objectively in an urgent moment. Now outline that in the book, and that’s what’s really motivating my work these days, good.
Rick Archer: They picked up a few threads from what you talked about just then, and then we’ll wrap those up and go on. One is, obviously, sometimes you need to go into a phase of inner work before you can really be useful and outer, you know, application of it. I mean, you want your doctor to have gone to medical school, you know, before operating on you or something. But by the same token, this, I think, perhaps one can prematurely rush into doing something for which one is not really adequately prepared. So there might be an adequate, legitimate phase, I think of exclusively focusing on that, but eventually you want to, you know, ride the bull into the marketplace to use the the ox herding metaphor, and you spread the joy of that you found
Terry Patten: with helping hands, yeah.
Rick Archer: Second thing is, you know, I don’t want to dwell on this. But, you know, I am kind of, for me, that ethics of Enlightenment as an important topic, and I’ve heard so many, and there’s so many gurus and teachers and all who have, obviously had something and who have obviously made an impact. My own primary teacher included marshy, Mahesh Yogi, but who also once he really kind of saw what was going on behind the curtain had some flaws in some cases, since, in the case of some teachers, some rather egregious ones. And some might not see it as flaws. But I kind of think of it as more of a you know, we’re all flawed and you know, we were all works in progress. And if the kinds of energies that Adi Da for instance was channeling, were to pass through my nervous system, I don’t think I’d be ready for it, even after 50 years of spiritual practice, so you got to give them credit for handling them as well as he did. But if the vessel is not pure enough, some distortion results when that kind of power begins to flow through a human nervous system. You concur with that? And did that have anything to do with your leaving? Or do you really feel like all was well and wisely put in that scene? Well,
Terry Patten: it was utterly remarkable. And participating with him is something I’ll always be grateful for me, transmitted a state of consciousness that was so potent. And so just the sheer water of divine Conscious Light. That was, incense pressed through my nervous system really did change me in a way for which I could never be anything but grateful. And yet, I always recognized the potentials for cultism and was almost always inside the ashram. After a couple of years, I think my earliest years I was an uncritically devotional character, but fairly quickly, I begin to notice contradictions and became something of a loyal opposition. devotee who was trying to press Alida to address what I felt like cultic dynamics or inconsistencies.
Rick Archer: How was that well received, because sometimes teachers don’t like constructive criticism,
Terry Patten: no, he was not available to have that conversation. And that was, was disappointing. And yet, what my experience was, was that he continued to grow and deepen and expand in his quality of a transmission of divine consciousness in ways that I continued to benefit from and learn from it was a paradox, because although there were aspects of it that I objected to, and felt like I would just assumed leave, there were other aspects that were growing and transforming me in ways that I hugely valued that I didn’t want to cut off. And even when I did finally leave after 15 years of intense participation, it was with a great deal of regret and with a lot of respect for my friends who remained because I knew they were engaging in authentic yogic I mean, there’s, there’s a dimension, IT guys a full spectrum realizers. So there’s a transmission of radical consciousness, what we might call causal, non dual awakening. But there was also a tremendous transmissions of subtle, energetic qualities, and there was a, also a profound transmission that’s beyond the stuff of any energies, when he would call the divine itself that was blaming the being there, literally, we would walk out of a long, deep meditation with him, just exalted and purified, as if we were Conscious Light itself. And love, you know, that is, if the severity cells of our body had been opened up to their divine nature, there was a profundity of that experience that you don’t necessarily have to, it’s one of the things that I’ve benefited from in my years with integral theory is recognizing that multiple perspectives are necessary to capture reality. You know, the, the, the Eagle Eye View can see so much of the territory. So in one sense, we might say the eagle sees it all much better than anybody else. On the other hand, the mouse can smell what’s going on, and the vole can dig under the ground and get it things that the mouse can’t even see. And the dog can go under the trees where the eagle can’t see. And so everybody’s participating with an aspect of reality that’s invisible to somebody else. Yeah. So my. My contemplation during many of those years had to do with what are we missing even? Well, we’re gaining so much even while we’re deepening in this profundity of submission to a A divine paradigm in which our very cells of our body are being sublimed by this profound yogic bodily transforming transmission. We’re also kind of metaphorical to the way he went and lived on an island in Fiji in the later years of his life in this, I never really spent time with him in Fiji. But using that as a metaphor for what was happening culturally Adi DOM was becoming more and more a preposterous guru cult that was going to be culturally marginalized and looked at as an oddity and not be very even show up on the mainstream scope. And even in the spiritual circles, perhaps not be thought of as healthy. The more that the behaviors that we were doing as a group, we’re going to create that result, I, I had come to participate in order to be a part of the wholeness of all things reasserting themselves and the health and awakening potentials of humanity coming back into their fullest expression. So to just become a part of an irrelevant guru called that’s only focused on its internal Palace, politics and stuff was anathema to me. So I was always in struggle with those cultic tendencies and objecting to them. And yet, I never, when we have conversations about this, usually, not you and I, but me and any other knowledgeable person who’s a veteran of deep spiritual work in various ashrams, there tends to be, there’s a very strong tendency for these conversations to become well, was that really, somehow the Enlightened play of the guru, or was he a bad guy, or deluded guy or just not as enlightened, and we tried to come up with a single diagnosis that accounts for it also, that we this or that it is a single knowable thing, and we know it accurately, as if and we’re all debating trying to come to that perfect description, whereas I think that reality is multi dimensional, and elusive, and that multiple perspectives are actually necessary. So for me, I had to go through phases where I imagined putting Adi Da on trial in the living room, and I wanted to be the prosecuting attorney. And I wanted to interrogate him. And I was very aggressive in my objections to this and that, that I felt were wrong. And then other times when I wanted to set all that aside, and just open up with the gratitude and joy of a devotee who has received a gift beyond price. And in way, I discovered that I had two bodies of enormous experience that were state specific, like a state specific memory, you can only remember it when you’re drunk, or only remember it when you’re tripping or only remember it under a certain peculiar state when you’re angry, or, or, you know, having a flashback? Well, it was as if I had state specific memories of that really could only be accessed in the mode of utter, grateful devotion, that were enormous bodies of some of the most valuable sublime experiences of my life. And then I had other bodies that experience that were very important to who I was, that could only be accessed in the disposition that I’d had to grow into of finding autonomy, thinking critically, having real objections and, and bones to pick with my girl and, you know, issues that needed to be discussed in public and so forth. And that I could never be in a single state, where I had full feeling access to all the force of that whole body of both those domains of experience. So even I would always be taking a partial perspective on my own experience, and I felt like that was one of his most valuable instructions to me to be such an impossible figure that he would break me out of that hole mode. It’s I think it’s a form of ego, the mode that thinks it can know the truth. I think that when we open up in a different way, there’s a lot to be said right now, in this post truth era. I mean, I think it’s dangerous to take. The dethroning of objective of objectivity is a an important step in our awakening Seeing, and yet the lack of respect for science and the proper practice of journalism and and finding our way to agreed upon truth that large numbers of people can can work from is what’s undermining the social fabric in our country right now, in some important ways. And reestablishing science and journalism and a variety of other truth seeking endeavors is actually important. So I need to put that footnote in even while in my story of my own way, I, it was a letting go of the egoic need to know and to get my hands around it. And an opening up to a mysterious world in which all kinds of people who were obviously less mature than me in certain respects, had things to teach me where I was became a universal student. And wonder opened up in a whole different way that that became a healthier relationship to the whole map.
Rick Archer: Reportedly, Nisargadatta once said that the ability to appreciate or embrace paradox and ambiguity is a hallmark of spiritual maturity. And so I think in that respect, you’re very mature. And just final note on it, Don, and I really want to move on to your book, because that’s what’s important to talk about here. Do you find that Ken Wilber lines of development idea is a helpful tool for understanding somebody like him?
Terry Patten: I feel like Ken Wilbers lines of development idea has been enormously helpful in understanding a lot of the contradictions around pretty much all brilliant and awakened, but sometimes apparently flawed teachers, my understanding of Adi Da is not I do not reach for Wilbers lines theory in order to explain Adi Da to my satisfaction. You know, what I saw in Adi Da was some people, the usual line is the people see him using the I am of God and the me of God so aggressively talking about breathe me and feel me and awaken to me and notice, you know, he’s always speaking in the I am of, of the ultimate in a very, almost, with the Jehovah archetype, you know, very, very forceful, very demanding, sometimes seeming even, like an angry or at least displeased you know, white male god figure, you know, there’s a lot in the psyche of the time that reacts negatively to all that and so people want to just look upon him as a terrible narcissist. It’s, it’s understandable and it’s a way of integrating a certain level of understanding, but people don’t generally fully realize that his Dharma is among the most of it. You know, Ken, Ken Wilber has called it his favorite spiritual writing of any era in any tradition ever, and said nobody who’s a serious student of spirituality, religion, sociology and several other fields can afford not to be a student about HIPAA, the quality of his writings is better compared to a school, you know, Soto Zan, or you know, gold Kappa, Tibetan Buddhism, you know, than a single individual is enormous richness. And he was always more profound in silence than in words, and his art speaks to it. There’s, he’s an enormously significant being and I’d recommend for the most serious people who are most serious about radical awakening there are, there’s a potency in the, what can be gained from exposing yourself to audio that is really not available anywhere. And I remain, you know, primarily grateful and positive, but I have only been able to arrive at this looseness and this freedom after having hated his guts, and felt that he ruined my life and doing work, you know, somatic psycho psychotherapeutic work where I’m screaming in pain and hating his guts and feeling like I had to kill him in order to regain my pure connection to everything that he had given me feeling, you know, so, I’ve gone through so many different perspectives on this and I know that others need to do that too. And so the discussion of an analysis that puts it all into a certain picture that we can then be comfortable with, feels to me like a cop out the encounter, at least with you know, I don’t know what it was like to be up close with Maharishi, I don’t know what it was like to be up close with Osho. I know what it was like to be up close with Adi Da. And he made claims that were the most ridiculously grant, you know, no one had ever been enlightened, as enlightened, does it die, you know, this, this is part of his trouble, of course, these high claims, but my direct experience of him was so stunning. So off the charts, that some part of me says, Well, I can see how socially unacceptable how useless in a way it is for me to believe that he is the most ever and how problematic that will be to my relations, you know, my ability to achieve a commonality of view with any any of the people I would want to be in discourse with. So I can I get why it has to be rejected, or at least looked at as preposterous. And another part of my direct experiences, wow, that was so mind blowing, I don’t think it has anything like that ever existed on the face of the earth. Wow. And he says nothing like this has ever existed on the face of the earth and something and the naive, perceptual mind kind of says, Well, maybe you know that there’s, there’s not a knowing on my part, that that’s just some pathology. And I think reducing these great beings, either to a pathology or an ontological deification status that we then have to believe in and build a mythology around, reduces our options tremendously. If we’ve been touched by something transcendental, it has initiated us and asked us to become a reflection of what’s the best human qualities that our nervous systems can conduct and express. And that is all I need to know,
Rick Archer: really good. I think a good general rule of thumb is that trying to reduce anything to black and white or to pin it down with any absolute certainty is sure to miss the mark, you know, and to fail to really do justice to the complexity and nuance nature of things. But having said that, let’s move on to your book. Because we have a lot to cover. It was a rather big book and all kinds of interesting stuff in it. And I guess, the main starting point for your book, is the premise that we’re in pretty serious trouble, you know, particularly in terms of because of climate change, but there are a number of other things that could do us in as well. And they’re all kind of ganging up on us at once. And, you know, most people don’t even see it coming. I mean, in terms of climate change, for instance, you know, half the population denies that it’s, it’s even a problem and, and even those who think it is, most of them probably don’t realize the the dire potential it holds for the future of humanity, although more and more people are kind of coming to terms with that. But I mean, you take some examples, I mean, global warming is killing the phytoplankton in the ocean, which account for about half of the oxygen we breathe. If the Gulf Stream stops, which is a predicted result from global warming, it’s really going to screw up the weather in the United Kingdom. There’s glaciers moving in Antarctica, which could raise sea levels at least 10 feet rather abruptly. Barack Obama and others have said that climate change related drought help fuel the early unrest in Syria, which descended in the Civil War, and we see what a hellhole that is, and just the migration of human beings out of there is more than Europe can deal with. Now, imagine if, you know, most of the coastal cities of the world suddenly got inundated, or rather quickly got inundated and hundreds of millions of people had to migrate. And at the same time, you know, droughts were devastating the agriculture and, you know, temperatures are rising and making places like Phoenix uninhabitable in the summertime. You know, we’d really be up a creek with so many things happening at once the economy would no doubt crash big time. And none of this is sort of a, you know, far fetched if you really look at the evidence and listen to the experts. So you kind of start with that premise. And then you go on from there in terms of, you know, what kind of counterforce there might be. In, in awakening human beings and in the various organizations and that are being formed to, to help change the planet. So that’s a bit of an overly long introduction, you might want to add to or amend to what I just said. But let’s that take maybe take that as a springboard and get into it from there.
Terry Patten: Yeah, well, I don’t regard. I summarized them, you know, in slightly different terms than what you offered. But you pointed to a lot of a lot of factors that I think are really important. I don’t regard that as a premise exactly, I think what what’s important for us to look at is that the actual temperature readings that we see worldwide have been warming. And the actual Carbon Dioxide per million readings from Mauna Loa have been uptaking. At a rate that is worse than the so called worst case that had been predicted by Limits to Growth back in the 70s. Were by the IPCC project in the 90s, such that we’re actually tracking worse than the worst case. That’s that’s what the actual facts of the matter are. And to me, it’s astounding that you can have well, just this last summer, less than a year ago, 15,000, scientists updated a 1992. Scientists warning to humanity that warned humanity that there were several crucial crises that could bring an end to human friendly conditions on the planet. And now, a majority of Nobel laureates, signed this letter in 92. And they updated it for 2017 25 years later. And they said that all of them were appreciably worse, except for the ozone layer. We had done some mitigation there. And it’s actually much more complex. I mean, I know many people who believe that even if we did discover a free cheap source of energy, and if we even discovered a way to begin to capture and sequester carbon from the atmosphere, and we actually reversed global warming, there are other trends, where this machine of growth of proliferating numbers of human beings and the consumption patterns of human beings is hitting against the hardwired limits of an actual physical living system, this living Earth and the way the way the earth supports our life depends upon countless living forms, high and low, a whole ecosystem, that is that we are really a part of human economy is a subset of natural ecology, the recognition that all of that has been destabilized critically, tends to be ignored. Those who are able to have the focused attention and the psychic courage to face the darkness, tend to get to a place where they conclude essentially that human civilizations coming unraveling the human species is going to either extinct itself or go to some hellish dystopian condition. And there’s really nothing that can be done. And that set of attitudes, from my perspective is dangerous and inaccurate. Because we don’t know enough to be pessimistic. We know enough based on climate science is a reality and this universal clarity among scientists. We should We should honor that. Some people will say we only have five minutes to five, excuse me five years to turn this around. And they’re saying that on the basis of real calculations that we should take in with humility and learn from for sure. But nobody knows. There is no objective way. But five years from now will have passed some awful point of no return that after that moment in time, we should cease trying because everything is lost.
Rick Archer: No, we don’t know for sure. But then there are tipping points, for instance, I mean, if the methane in the tundra really starts releasing much more, it’s already really it’s already really saying that it could and the pace of that could increase and that’s 80 times more potent than co2. I mean, so they’re, you know, the worse it gets, the harder it will be.
Terry Patten: There are, you know, Guy McPherson is one of the, you know, he believes that we’re, we’ve already set ourselves in a course that’s going to extinct us in many of our lifetimes and 30 years or so he thinks he thinks these positive feedback loops are going to take us to an overheated condition. That’s but but there’s a whole spectrum of opinions that all have some facts to back them up. We’re, we’re encountering this in a context in which our ability to even agree upon what facts are significant, and to have a coherent conversation has been undermined by the relativization of truth. We’ve all seen this most vividly with the fake news. And then Trump using the idea of fake news, to demonize and delegitimize the actual practice of honest journalism, in order to exempt him from any accountability to that to, to any, you know, responsibility for the, for his actions are the true, true reporting of what was happening in his in any aspect of life actually. So we’re already in that brave new world, new speak, environment in which many, many people on the left and on the right are being sucked out of any kind of frame of reference where we can have a common truth. So many, there are real conspiracies, we’ve discovered that there was a conspiracy to kill Dr. Martin Luther King that was covered up, there are, you know, there are other COINTELPRO there are wild things that have gone on and in our national security state that that have created serious not merely in justices, but But you might can kind of, say, a swindle of, of our of the health of our national life. On the other hand, this tendency to be so suspicious of the official line has drawn so many of us toward something else, which is a kind of cynicism, like when you think whatever you hear, you can’t take it, you know, at face value, and you’re always peering beyond it to see the agenda behind the people who are promulgating that point of view you what has begun to happen, and this is happening in a critical way for all Americans and really most educated people. We’re losing our ability to have an honest conversation, we’re losing our ability to look at what’s in front of us, to see it to talk about it honestly, and in a, in a heartfelt way in which the best intelligence of our whole being, which not just our mental and analytical intelligence, which is it’s capable of enormous things, but another sense it’s rather easily fooled. It’s it’s odd how, how easy it is to trick the mind, you need. The discernment you know, there’s neuro cardiology and neuro inter ology, the brain in the gut is the source of, of will and street savvy, the brain and the heart is the source of intuition. And, and wisdom.
Rick Archer: You mentioned in your book that there’s many neurons in the gut as there are in the spinal cord.
Terry Patten: Yeah. And there are and there are enormous, many, many things register Institute of Heart Math has done some very interesting research in which we notice pre cognitive awareness arising in the heart before it does in the brain, there’s a great deal of wisdom. What I put forward in the book is the idea that the total intelligence of the being is necessary, and that needs to be integrated and it’s integrated at the very center of the being the heart is the faculty capable of integrating that gut level intelligence with our mental intelligence, which is absolutely crucial. It’s definitely not about moving from the head to the heart. It’s about moving from the exclusive focus on an analytical mentalized orientation to a whole but the best intelligence of the whole bodily system, and that’s integrated at the heart. And that’s what I call integral heart intelligence. So we’re, we’re in a situation right now where, you know, people who are very very among the people But I love the most have gotten sucked in by some of these recent conspiracy theories. They’re becoming pervasive. And there are people who are funding them and trying to exaggerate them. Certainly we’ve seen some of that being done from Russia or Macedonia, we see others of it being done and funded. There was quite a lot that was funded for many years in order to delegitimize the Clintons and so forth. And side streams of those ideas are penetrating everywhere. There’s all kinds of people who now believe that Luciferian, Illuminati
Rick Archer: pizza gate,
Terry Patten: pizza gate, yes. And we have, and we have some things that are, you know, I find it I when I looked at the 911, truth, stuff, and I tried to think about, well, how does steel behave under high heat and, and I listened to the architects and engineers. Gosh, it seems that it fell too fast. And maybe, but but when I tried to imagine the 1000s, of people keeping the secret, so perfectly, you know, the, I have made some decisions for myself that focusing on the conspiracies could in fact, be a very, very unwise, personal practice, that the psychic hygiene, that in some sense, we all you know, you meditate on a regular basis, right, and it’s necessary, it’s part of your holistic hygiene. Sure it you wouldn’t be in shape if you didn’t do that. And thinking about conspiracies all the time is not the optimal, holistic hygiene for your psychic health,
Rick Archer: it kind of gets him into a mind state where you, you get to a point where he you never meet a conspiracy theory that you don’t like, you know, you just kind of buy into all of them. I mean, one of the I know people who have been meditating for decades, who have focused so much on that sort of thing, that they think that freckles on your skin are some kind of alien nanobots. And that, you know, Obama and Mikhail Gorbachev had a meeting on Mars. And I believe it is people in my town, I’ve said this kind of thing, that there’s a guy who the biggest Trump supporter in town and meditating for decades, thinks that the moon landing was faked and and also buys into the 911 conspiracy. So you can really doesn’t matter how long you’ve been meditating, you can get yourself way out in lala land. If you put your attention on this kind of thing, and don’t exercise, don’t stay balanced, and don’t exercise critical thinking. And, you know, I guess that’s what you’re kind of saying here.
Terry Patten: I’m saying that the political issue of the 2018 election cycle is one in which the most revolutionary among us who are really committed to bringing awakening who are willing to break through all the shibboleths, and we live in a revolutionary time wholeness has to reclaim the public sphere, the heart itself will not be denied and must come forward with it with a different kind of fierceness. It is a time in which in in a in a spirit that is not only benign and non violent, but it’s even radically non oppositional. This is a time for a declaration of a kind of paradoxical war, a war in which it says, You’re in this lifeboat with me, and I’m not going to let you divide yourself from me. I’m demanding you come back here into relationship, we are in this together. And that in you which becomes cynical that in you which departs from any kind of accountable in relationship to any consensus reality is, is is depriving me of your brotherhood and your sisterhood in a situation that we can only solve together. I need you, I refuse to accept your separation. There has to become within us a new capacity born of practice, born of real realization, to be capable of a fiercer stead I sometimes wonder whether in a time in which upset reaches a certain fever pitch I was just doing something there. You know, it’s kind of expressing aspect of realization and a mode that had fierceness in it and even kind of edge of anger. I’ve been thinking about that. a lot because I’m like, like you, I think, so much more comfortable expressing, you know, honoring the humanity and the tenderness of the soul in front of me and joining with so much more interested in shared inquiry than I am in debates where somebody wins and somebody loses. I think that the bankruptcy of adversarial discourse is on TV every night, it doesn’t take us anywhere we want to go and expressing anger is it almost feels aesthetically, it I have a revulsion to that? And yet we are, we are in a time in which everything we love is potentially threatened, you know, the, the world into which our grandkids and great grandkids might live, but also the very biodiversity of life. We have children getting shot in schools coming and saying no, this is not okay. defend us. And we need to defend those children they need elders recognize that, in this odd moment. We’re in a tipping point. You know, things have been crazy, ever since the beginning of time, evolution has always been a life or death struggle. There have always been reasons to think that the moment was the moment, Jean Houston has a line she often speaks, you know, everybody throughout history, have always thought that they were living in the time that really mattered. But they’re all wrong. This is it. Yeah. And she, but but for very real reasons. Because you see, it isn’t just global warming. It there’s actual, as there are aspects of globalization, there are aspects of cultural transitions, there’s even the coming together of all our wisdom traditions, which is the dramatic shift that has shaped both of our personal lives. All of those things have brought us to a what can be called a tipping point, a crucial moment or an inflection point where where a certain pattern of things changes its character altogether. And that calls on us to step over a threshold in our own lives, we actually really need to rehabilitate the archetype of the revolutionary now, for me, the most attractive revolutionaries are people like Gowda Ma, or Jesus, or Socrates. But even in more recent years, people like Mahatma Gandhi, or Martin Luther King, or Nelson Mandela, you know, they changed the world with love. And those examples are examples of something that’s needed on an even bigger scale right now. Because you can kind of get your hands around anti apartheid or British colonialism or, you know, racist laws in the United States. Those are something but to go through a radical conversion to a sustainable, non extractive way of life with stable levels of population, where we actually get along with each other, what it would take for that to happen. It’s almost inconceivable, the the, to my way of thinking, what we can realistically hope to do is to become brothers and sisters, in a different kind of community of practice, where together we might function, like a super organism, which were together we would be the presence of such a one, where the next Buddha would really come into being as a Sangha. And, and yet, it would take each of us you and me changing, even though you’ve had a lifetime of practice, and even though I have had a lifetime of practice, and in many ways, there are all kinds of spiritually fragrant, awakened expressions of, you know, already in place in our beings and those of many of our friends. All of us are going to have to change in a dramatic way. If we are going to see the kind of social change that’s necessary. It’s a change that’s global, it’s universal, it therefore it challenges every one of us. So I’m interested in being in a conversation with Awakening people who are recognizing that this injunction to be the change is a very profound one. In this time, And then we can only answer it together. And that that’s like the hardest thing to do. And to get very, very humble and kind of tender. Because what happens now in our lifetimes, matters on an evolutionary scale on a scale measured in millions of years. So in a way, we’ve hit the jackpot, like, our practice could ripple forth on an amazing level, you know, we could make a difference, it could really be a difference. And yet, on some levels, it seems as though the deck is stacked against our success. And here we need each other if we’re to be successful, the heart has to break open the the game of being a persona, we need to leave it behind and discover each other as as brothers. As you know, I call it a brother sisterhood.
Rick Archer: Let me throw in a couple of points here. Now, I’ve often said on this show that I felt that the condition of the world, whatever it may be all the good stuff, all the bad stuff is just a reflection of the sum the collective consciousness of all the people in the world, you know, the condition of their minds and intellects and hearts and so on. They each have an influence in their lives, and it all ripples up and we have everything we have in the world for good or for bad. And that the most transformative formative thing that can be done in human’s life is spiritual evolution. And therefore, spiritual development is perhaps the most, the sort of the most influential fulcrum or the most causal or fundamental influence that that could impact all these various things in the world. There’s a verse in The Gita, which is something like for many branched and endlessly diverse, or the intellects of the irresolute. But the resolute intellect is one pointed, and you kind of get the image of spokes of a wheel and that people are stuck on the periphery of the wheel, and all the spokes seem separate from one another. And as opposed to the hub of the wheel, the resolute intellect from which one can see the interconnectedness of all the spokes. And so you were talking a minute ago about somehow all coming together despite our differences and so on. And so the question arises, well, what is the the solvent, what is the common denominator, from which we can all be one, despite our differences, because no doubt, differences are not going to go away. It’s the variety is the nature of life, as is obvious, even without human beings go to the rainforest, or anyplace? And, you know, and most wisdom traditions would say that there is a common ground that we all share, even though most of us aren’t aware of it. And so it would seem that, you know, getting in touch with that common ground consciously by a sufficient number of people could and I think Ken Wilber mentions 10% or something, maybe that’s not exactly what he was referring to. Could be the the thing that would, you know, enable us to function not only individually, but collectively from a more resolute, United level, one, which would be in tune with nature, in tune with natural law rather than at odds with it big, because not being aware of that ground, you know, one can easily sort of act in opposition to or in violation of laws of nature unwittingly, but being aware of it is, is tantamount to being at living out the home of all the laws of nature and functioning from there. And, you know, if enough people were actually doing that, then these insurmountable problems which we’ve been talking about, might be surmounted in ways that we can’t even anticipate. So, go ahead and respond to that.
Terry Patten: I agree with that. I mean, that’s in the sense of you’ve, you’ve read my book and your your, your your, your, your the choir preaching back at me. I, I think that the there are paradoxes of a lot of different kinds, one of them being, you know, I was saying we don’t know enough to give up. But on the other hand, the people who have faced the darkness most fully, most of whom have come to the conclusion that we’re in the process of civilizational collapse are in some ways, the bravest among us because they had the courage to face the impossible to face you know, the horrific thing that, you know, we look away from just to feel better. I feel that we live in a culture of denial, we all partake of a certain amount of denial. I was just at Spirit Rock the other night, and there was a beautiful evening with really intelligent deep people honoring each other and appreciating the work they’ve done together to reestablish Buddha Dharma and, and yet, that whole evening, you could have imagined that it took place in a completely stable and permanently sustainable, wealthy Marin County, you know, bubble of prosperity and, and
Rick Archer: goodness, because on one level it did.
Terry Patten: On one level, it did, except the fact is, almost everybody in that room is quite aware of the reality of global warming the seriousness of our ecological predicament. And yet, we disconnect, we can’t help but disconnect. And they were disconnected. I think that the integral community disconnects because we have a narrative of ongoing evolutionary progress. And we’re focused on getting to that next stage in culture, and we see all kinds of potentials. And we don’t want to go into this postmodern narrative of gloom and doom, because we can see how it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy and brings about exactly what it fears. And we have all kinds of sophisticated bases for either going to a an orientation of denial and kind of mediocrity. Or we have this other setting, which is epochal apocalyptic. Oh, my God, everything is going to hell. And I think a lot of the ecologists, the people who are really facing the darkness of our, what we’re doing to the living planet, have arrived at a certainty. A little too. You know, it’s so understandable. I feel in relation to those people. Like they have some things to teach me, because they’ve contemplated what the implications might be of living in a culture that’s in the midst of collapse. They face some realities that maybe even I haven’t quite taken it fully,
Rick Archer: but you’re aware of some things
Terry Patten: to begin beginner’s mind, right? I want to wake them up to a recognition that of what’s called epistemic humility. ontology is what is real and epistemology is how do we know it? So epistemic Humility is a recognition that whatever we think we know, we don’t know it perfectly, you know, all these perspectives are both true and partial. And so that epistemic humility, makes us realize, oh, yeah, you know, the future is being co created right now. And my behavior, your behavior, the behavior of millions and billions of other people are going to co create our shared future. And these squeezed times, yes, they do bring out the worst in people in some respects, but they also bring out the best in people in many respects. It’s
Rick Archer: true, you know, whenever there’s a hurricane or a big snowstorm, everybody starts to love each other a whole lot more and comes out of their shells and helps.
Terry Patten: Exactly. And that and that greatness of the human spirit is going to be summoned. And not only that, if you look back at the history of evolution, it’s been one miracle after another. That’s what the word emergence in evolutionary theory connotes. It connotes a miracle. Oh, my God, that was just dead matter. And now there’s life. Oh, my God, there was just seemingly vegetative life. And now there’s culture. And how is it you know, the great line from Brian swim if you leave hydrogen and helium alone long enough, they’ll eventually write symphonies and build cathedrals. Right? You know, that that’s emergence. It’s so the idea that no miracle is possible, and we are definitely just bound to collapse. Well, I think that’s concluding too much too soon. I’m hanging in here for some more miracles. In fact, I’m looking at how I can make my own practice and my own relationships, a kind of lightning rod that will attract the electricity of Newell evolutionary emergence, where new amazing things can come into being.
Rick Archer: Yeah, what was that thing that mycelium or something like that in your book, The mushroom things that grow underground and then they all sprout up when the the time is right. Was that what it was called? Mycelium?
Terry Patten: Yeah, it’s called the mycelium mycelium and its root structure of of all fungal forms. And mushrooms grow in the earth. You know, there are fungi that Throw on dead trees. They have mycelium too. Even the stuff in your fridge, you know has mycelium. It’s just the the kind of the root structure and it’s, it doesn’t look like much it’s just a kind of thread like structure that’s very thin. Sometimes it’s kind of shiny looks almost like a snail trail at times. And Paul Stamets, the great. Student of mycology, it’s called expert on mushrooms, has pointed to one that he located in Oregon is like 30 miles in diameter, and essentially one organism, it’s one plant. And just through this mycelium distributing itself and going very, very far, you’ve got you’ve got a single living being with its own DNA stretched across this forest floor 30 miles in diameter. And the cool thing about Mycelium is that it has a kind of intelligence like, if there’s plenty of water and part of its area and not so much elsewhere, it will be drawing water to where it’s needed, it’ll do the same with other nutrients, it will also synergize with photosynthetic plants, and that’s actually how topsoil is created. It’s the synergies of the photosynthetic and the and the microbiological life creates a lot of the important elements that create new soil. And it can sit there dormant in the soil for years. And seemingly there’s no life, because well, the conditions weren’t right this season, and the next season and the next season. But then when the time is right, kaboom.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And I think you’re bringing it up
Terry Patten: time. And that’s another really important part of what the Mycelium is.
Rick Archer: I was just gonna say, I think it’s probably a lot of things we can learn from from, you know, understanding that, but it’s a great metaphor, because it implies that as you’re walking through the forest, you know, in the forest might seem like it’s in really bad shape or something, there’s something going on beneath the surface that you’re not aware of. And I’m just always aware of this, that when I watch the news or anything else, that there’s something extremely powerful going on in the world. That is you’re not going to see on the news and the vast majority of people aren’t aware of, but that is perhaps the most influential, potent thing of anything. And, you know, it’s the whole sort of awakening thing that I think is really happening in an epidemic way. But it’s so subtle and quiet and, you know, in detectable by gross instruments. But that, to me is why I’m optimistic. And somebody like what’s his name guy, McPherson, or something, I don’t know what his orientation is. But, you know, if you can take a certain set of facts, and get totally bummed out, you know, and feel like we’re doomed. But you’re not taking into, as you’ve been saying, where you’re not necessarily taking into account all the factors that are actually in play. And I think that’s a big one. And that it may be rising to the extent that it seems to be you know, much more rapidly than in any time in history, the whole, you know, awakening thing interested in Enlightenment and availability of these kinds of teachings, precisely because it’s needed now to counterbalance the dire circumstances that we’ve created for ourselves, that it’s kind of like God’s response or nature’s response to the mess we’ve created. And, you know, out of mercy or, or whatever is being offered as an opportunity, not a certainty, but an opportunity for us to, you know, turn things around. And it wouldn’t even be us turning things around. It would sort of be the divine turning things around by the participation of enough willing people.
Terry Patten: Well, and there are multiple sources for what might turn things around. I think the technological breakthroughs radical technological breakthroughs are not unlikely. Technological progress precedes exponentially. An exponential change is completely non intuitive. You know, if if the amount of water in your swimming pool is doubling every second, you’re gonna see just a few drops at the bottom of the pool. And then suddenly, when you get to a place where, you know there’s, like, you know, 1/32 of the pool is, is has water in it. Roommate seconds later the pool is full. Oh, yeah. It’s it’s it’s so fast how exponential change and exponential progress operates so that
Rick Archer: he won’t before you go away from that point. I just want to interject that in nature, phase transitions are a common phenomenon. You know, water can be at 99 degrees. centigrade and it looks like nothing much is happening one more degree and it’s boiling. In the heart 1% of the cells are known as pacemaker cells, they regulate the functioning of the whole heart in a laser, the square root of 1% of the photons, if they, if they aligned coherently trigger the rest of them to align and it becomes a laser. So there can be sort of a move toward a certain tipping point of coherence if we want to call it that which is imperceptible, but which once reached, could result in a rather sudden transition.
Terry Patten: That’s right. Yeah. And, and yet, we have to relate to that in a mature way. One way of relating to that is to say, Oh, good, I don’t have to feel hopeless. And I can kind of just go on as I have been, and feel more of a sense of hope. And I don’t think that’s the best way to relay. I think that the sense that this tipping point really is a call for us all, each, each each and all to change. Now, dramatically. We can’t get away from that. This is a fierce moment, it’s a fierce moment of confrontation. We were lucky enough to live, you and I through the 60s and the 70s by the
Rick Archer: skin of our teeth.
Terry Patten: Yet we’ve seen We’ve seen an awful in we’ve and we’ve been changed by it and uplifted by it and all the rest. But now we’re in a moment where all of what we learned under those circumstances has to be brought to bear as best it can be. And so it’s not a matter of going back to being a comfortable middle class American in Trump’s United States. And just kind of tuning out the negativity of the news and ugliness of Trump and, and keeping your attention in your meditation and kind of positive visualization and hoping for the best. I don’t. I think that this year in the 2018 elections, it’s important for every one of us not just to vote, but to try to register other people to vote to do what we can to influence things. We’re in a moment in which something that you and I took for granted almost all our lives, that we would always live in an open, pluralistic, relatively wealthy, Western democracy, all of that is no longer something we can take for granted. And the idea that we have a social responsibility to express the disposition of awakening in action, it’s upon us in a new way. So that’s why my book has, it’s a deep meditation on, like, you know, the very heart of what has been revealed to my heart is, is that there is no dilemma that everything is okay, in the deepest possible way. And the degree that I’m awake, I’m grateful to the degree that I’m saying I’m I’m able to trust the process of my life, you know, in a kind of unconditional way. And I ended the degree that I am really rooted in the fact that we’re in this crazy moment in in life and culture, understanding it in the right way. It’s crucial because it’s so easy to hear all this bad news and lose touch with your fundamental well being and just think we’re all in trouble, and be anxiety based and be bringing that presumption to everyone around you, instead of bringing something really rooted in the wholeness itself. Now, it’s true, the speed of change is has begun to create the self accelerating complexification fragmenting influence on everyone and everything. This is why in, in the book, The themes of fragmentation and wholeness are so central. And I think that in the book, I’ve been able to forge a much more inclusive synthesis of a lot of fundamental bottom lines have our reality that I have seen anyone do before and I hope that that makes this book a usable catalyst for the reader to to recognize that this tipping point, it’s a little like getting your draft notice from God, that Okay, now it’s time to really bring you’re an elder now, Rick, and all the wisdom and all the goodness and all the capacity that has been built up by your years of practice, flawed and and beautiful in whatever mix they are, are needed. I can’t respond. I’ve been given my draft notice, I have to be the change that’s needed in this place, except the only way I can do that is with others actually need you. I need your brotherhood. And how can I break through the usual Rick persona, Terry persona, you know, the way in which are two atomized different beings and with your agenda, my agenda and the, you know, we’ve all seen the limits of, of human relations, we love humanity, but people are a lot of work. And, and what would it be for us to recognize this draft notice in a way that allows us to become a coherent force through which wholeness can reassert itself in a time of fragmentation? Effectively, it’s important that we do. And so the most exciting conversation that I would love to have with you right now is to, for us to enquire together in how we like, we’re facing questions for which nobody has adequate answers. Humanity is up against challenges, nobody knows exactly how to solve. It can be with those impossible questions like a co OD. And let that CO on change our consciousness and do it together. In a shared inquiry, living the questions like Rocha said to the young poet, loving the questions, letting the questions change us that that’s a different kind of conversation that we that we don’t know much about how to have, but we kind of have to try to have,
Rick Archer: yeah, well, I think you and I are kind of on the same page. And we’re kind of doing it right now, what you just said, but what I found interesting in your book is all these different groups that get get people together from you know, polarized ends of the of the political spectrum, and enable them to begin to see kind of shared ground, and to see that each of their perspectives has something to contribute, and that they’re not as at loggerheads as they thought they were, I mean, if that kind of thing could, you know, proliferate and become much more common than it could have a hugely healing influence on all, you have all kinds of things.
Terry Patten: Yeah, but and you can do that, all you have to do is to find a conservative person who is willing to engage in an honest, open conversation. And you you bring another liberal, and he brings another conservative in the four of you can have a living room conversation or a civil conversation through one of these networks that are already established, I’m getting into doing that.
Rick Archer: myself. I played pickleball with lunch, the other day, he was telling me about some spiritual teacher, and I said, he’s a well known spiritual teacher from another country. And I said, Oh, he’s so conservative. And you know, that he actually suggested that we put landmines along the Mexican border. And he goes, Oh, I haven’t heard that. But I’m very conservative, and nicest guy in the world. You know, so I, you know, I have friendships with people like that. We don’t often talk politics, but it would be actually be interesting to sit down and have, you know, and actually talk politics and see what kind of mutuality we can we can find.
Terry Patten: I think that it’s an art. And even if our first attempts don’t get where we would hope for them to get we can’t give up. We have to learn from them and adjust and develop better skillful means. Because we’re, we’re living in a time in which our, our ability to make our collective decisions wisely, has been in some sense, we delegated that to the neoliberal elite. And, you know, that’s the bureaucrats in Belgium, in Washington and New York and all the coastal areas where I live. And they didn’t stay in touch enough with the experience of average people in any of the countries. And we also ended up having to discover that ethnic identity is a deep, deep matter and tribalism doesn’t just come Go away that there’s an enduring polarity between globalism and, and nationalism, or we could call it tribalism. And that, that, you know, all those millions of years that we were hunter gatherers, and our membership and our group was the most important thing about our identity, where many of us willingly went to human sacrifice, to be killed, in order to prove you know, to propitiate a God who would then help our tribe not have such a tough time that we have that kind of a history, you know, in our, in our DNA, this in group out group, us and them very, very important to the human psyche, we’re not going to evolve to a place where we just go straight to a universalism, where everybody’s in the same multi ethnic tribe, there’s something beautiful about African American culture, there’s something beautiful about Dutch culture, there’s something beautiful, there’s a soul to German culture, there’s a soul to Jewish culture. And, and it will fight being homogenized out of existence, it won’t, will not go that go away, passively. Yeah, no group of people would willingly in a circumstance of global difficulty, would willingly let large numbers of people come across their borders, and draw them down to the lowest common denominator, if they have a relative condition of privilege, they’re going to try to defend the sanity and well being that they have. And that throwing up of walls is it’s it’s structurally understandable. And so our new challenge is going to be to honor that in a whole different way than we ever thought we had to I was a globalist, all this time, I was always a liberal, I always and raised in an interracial community, I always saw, you know, us good. You know, kind of liberal, you know, diverse, culturally diverse people are the US and those mean white racists, that’s the them, you know, that’s how I grew up in the COA. But, but, um, in my adult life, I’ve just followed what I was interested in, which was spirituality. And I found my way into environments, the kind of spirituality that spoke to me, and that, you know, was predominantly white, there were there were always some people of color in the mix all that all the while it wasn’t, you know, purely white, but I didn’t, you know, so there’s, there’s some ways in which in my adult life, I’ve had to recognize that these little preferential choices took me into a very lily white world. And that white world reflects something in me, ah, I’m a racist. There’s racism, even in somebody with all these attitudes, even though I marched in civil rights, even though I, you know, some of my dearest early childhood friends are every different, you know, race, so that this deeper patience, with the ethnocentrism and the racism of one another, is, is a part of us being able to make peace. I’m curious right now, whether, you know, just as there are sometimes closed conversations in which only Latino Americans are invited to this Latino Studies, meeting, or African American meeting, the meetings among white Americans are always kind of racist, and us more, we would say, more enlightened, white people would never go and participate in a white identitarian gathering. But what if there were conversate? What if what if there were some version of a conversation among white Americans where people might thoughtfully challenge the idea? You know, the white supremacists are really not doing us any favors, white, white, the future of white people in America is going to be a whole lot better if we can find our way to advance our own tribal interests in a in a environment in which we respect that we’re going to be increasingly a minority to and where we have wonderful things to offer. but so does every other group and living in a harmonious relationship and not having the stain of racist behavior and the and the karma of that on our heads is going to be crucial. Yeah. And I’ve worked closely with Thomas Huber. And he’s done some very interesting work with the collective trauma that Germans have experienced after having committed the atrocities of, of the Holocaust. And it’s a, it’s a weight on the psyche of every German individual. It’s a very powerful dark shadow, cultural inheritance. And we white Americans do not want that as our destiny. And some of what’s going on in our world right now could have us inheriting it. And those of us who really want a different future may need to be able to swallow our sense of superiority and speak to white Americans who are supporting Trump and who are embracing their racism and discover that we have a brotherhood and a sisterhood with them as well, that we, we and we owe them and ourselves, but also people of other colors. And you know, people who are not part of that we owe it to them that, that the conversation among white people reflect all of what is best in the whole spectrum of the souls of white Americans. So I think we’ve got a lot of very new and kind of puzzling challenges. Those are impossible. cultural challenges. I don’t know that I could do that very well today. But opening up to a recognition that the profound awakening of my being that I was given by Grace has to translate itself into a new kind of efficacy and make a difference. Even in territories that seem a little weird and unfamiliar and scary. And, Gee, I don’t know how to do that. But, you know,
Rick Archer: I heard a story. I heard a story on NPR, and I just looked it up as you were speaking about a guy named Darrell Davis, who was a Black Butte blues musician. And for the past 30 years, he’s made it a project to befriend members of the Ku Klux Klan. And he’s, you know, met them in restaurants and ended up you know, meeting with them in his home or he in their homes. And so far, he’s gotten 200 Klansmen to have realized that their hate may be misguided and to have given up their robes, I think he actually collects the robes and sort of Yeah, he does. He collects the robes and keeps them in his home as a reminder of the debt he may have made in racism by sitting down and having dinner with people. So people could look up that article, if they want to read more. Darrell Davis, kind of a cool little example. I just wanted to comment on one thing you said, which is about the homogenization of cultures, possibly if there’s going to be any kind of unification of the world. And I don’t think that will necessarily be the case. I mean, if you look at any the enlightened people we may have known or encountered in our lives, they don’t seem homogenous, they have these incredibly charismatic, lively, vivid personalities. And if you take as an as a metaphor, the, you know, the tropical rainforests, for instance, where the ground is very fertile, there’s a huge proliferation of diversity. So the kind of the, the more the nourishment available to plants in this case, the more the greater the diversity and the vividness and the richness of everything, and, and yet, it’s all kind of living in harmony with itself. So I personally, I think that a world in which we’re all or a lot of us are aware of our common source would not be would actually be more diverse, and at the same time more unified than the one we’re living in now.
Terry Patten: Yeah, and how are you able to translate that intuition into your own behaviors and practice?
Rick Archer: Well, in my own case, I will look at I’ve interviewed 450 Almost people with all sorts of different philosophical viewpoints and backgrounds and so on, and I, I feel a deep rapport with every single one of them. But of course, they’re all more or less in the same genre, but also just in terms of my daily life. I feel a camaraderie or, or an affinity with just about everybody I encounter. Even some even that guy I mentioned who is the conservative who plays pickleball I mean, I just feel a kind of a harmony with people. I don’t feel like I clash much with anybody, even those who think very differently than I can, and even if I consider some of the highlight issues in the News such as abortion or gun rights and, and various other gun control and various other issues that come up, I can resonate with the perspectives of the people who are on a different end of the of the issue than I am, and who would vote very differently than I would about those issues, I can see the validity of their have their perspective. And as you were saying, you said something earlier about no one perspective is does justice to the totality. And you know, I realized that my individual opinions and attitudes don’t either. And yet, as an individual, I have them. And you don’t become a kind of a an opinion, less blob of mush. You know, if you get more in tune with your essential nature, you, you may you may be very adamant about certain things. And yet at the same time, you have kind of a more compassionate or appreciative attitude toward those who see it differently.
Terry Patten: Yeah, I, you’re describing things I would say about myself, too, that the really interesting question for us to rest in together I think, is like, how am i How are you able right now, to practice in a way that goes beyond what we’ve already realized? And becomes even more a, an agent of that kind of harmonious unique in action that actually makes a difference to the practical? Yeah, how, what’s the growth arc ahead of us? What are our next practices, our next learnings or next opportunities?
Rick Archer: Well, we don’t always know, do we, but um, if we just kind of keep putting one foot in front of the other, so to speak, you know, the, it’s like, when I was, like, about 11 years old, I friends and I, on a Sunday decided to walk to the next town to see the monkeys in a pet store there. And we didn’t quite realize that the next town was like 14 miles away, but we started walking. And it was winter, it was like springtime slush on the ground. And we kept, you know, seeing it’s just over the next horizon. It’s just over the horizon, we got ourselves all the way there doing that. It was Sunday turned out the pet store was closed. So we turned around and started walking back and a neighbor recognized us and pick us up picked us up. But um, you never know what’s quite over the next horizon. But if you just keep on walking, you’ll find out you know, so my attitude is a great quote in here from in your book what it is, yeah, it’s never over. It’s there’s Yeah, it’s not too late. And it never will be. And you also say there is no way out, but through. And my attitude is that you just keep on trucking, you know, and keep keep your spiritual and personal evolution as a high priority and your life. And one thing will lead to the next thing you never know quite where it’s gonna lead. But there’s a wisdom inherent in the way the universe works that will kind of guide your steps, you know, and you’ll find out when you find out.
Terry Patten: I’m, I’m contemplating getting more involved in, in the system politics, basically just electing better people during the 2018 election seems very important. I think that’s an expression of spiritual practice that feels accessible and healthy. It’s kind of ordinary, sort of civic duty kind of stuff. That makes a kind of sense as an aspect of our responsibility. I definitely think it’s important for me to speak out. There are intelligent people who scorn voting and participating in the political system. And I am willing to get fierce with that, though, like I’m discovering Well,
Rick Archer: if there’s this is going to be effective and getting them to vote. Otherwise, maybe some other tactic.
Terry Patten: That’s right, depends. It depends. But that’s actually a little bit of a tangent, but I it’s something I’m contemplating currently, I’d like to bring up things that aren’t fully cooked Yeah, because actually, you get the juice, sometimes from the idea that’s not necessarily quite ready for primetime. My whole mode of discourse I began to say some things about this earlier, but I kind of got diverted in another direction, you know, is really very much I’m a, you know, sweet new age guy. You know, I, I don’t particularly enjoy conflict. I’m very much interested in tender, disarming, inspiring touch. During moving evocative discourse, it’s what brings me alive the most. And yet, sometimes what it looks like in our public sphere is that all that can register is anger, rage, ferocity, intensity, conviction, assertion. And mostly, my response to that is to just kind of tune it out, because I just find it all, you know, aesthetically offensive for one thing. But I’ve been kind of believing that there may be other moves available to us, that there is another sense in which the heart of being the divine itself, that which is consciousness, undivided, from the phenomenal play of life is rising up. Like I say that, that whole sense of agency, and in the face of fragmentation, wholeness reasserts itself. And there is a sense in which the heart is, in this time, saying, No, this bullshit isn’t going to be able to keep going on. If we’re at this inflection point, it’s time it, it’s time to show up with whatever it is, in your being that is true, and that recognizes a higher authority, and in a sense, is obedient to a higher set of values. And the heart needs to speak, perhaps very forcefully, maybe there is a necessary function for a very fierce voice, a voice that demands the very best of all of us, maybe we need to hear that draft notice, you know, shouted at us, at times, maybe we need to hear in a form that breaks through the veil, and that demands a kind of different level of waking. Now, of course, how are we going to live it together? We’re going to live it together. As you know, how can I be love? How can we do this together as loving beings? How can we discover a way for love to be the force that we know it can be a love that is more powerful than anger, a love that is more authoritative than mere assertion and aggression, a love that has the strength of that gut level, you know, Trump has gotten what he’s gotten because of that brain and the navel. He’s not so smart in the head, and certainly not in the heart. It’s his navel. That’s a genius. Well, what would it be for a heart intelligence to acquire the strength of the navel and come forward within a self evidently, authoritative voice that commands a kind of influence and authority and response? Perhaps that’s necessary, perhaps, part of what’s percolating in us is the capacity for us to be a fierceness of a different kind, this ideal of the left, we talked about speaking truth to power. And there’s much to admire about people who have the courage to speak truth to power. But if the future of life on the planet is going to be all that we would hope for it to be, we’re going to have to go beyond speaking truth to power, we’re going to have to become capable of acquiring, seizing holding and wisely using power. And that is perhaps an evolutionary step that us you know, suite spiritual practitioner types haven’t prepared so well for but it’s a necessary evolution, you know, Confucius, he advised the Emperor. And at the end of my book, I talked about the ancient strategy being one of first becoming a sage and then gaining the ear of the Emperor. So our our wisdom has an obligation to affect the temporal domain of human experience or wisdom has to find its way forward so that it actually helps collective decisions of large numbers of human beings to be made with some measure of intelligence and not just intelligence, but wisdom. And we’re in a situation right now, in which our collective decision making is increasingly being made not only in short sighted ways, but in actually self destructive ways that are influenced by all kinds of corruption dynamics. And what is it for that health to research because on a from a systemic analysis, things don’t just fall apart. Without without this, you know, that which is healthy in the system is going Want to try to reassert its authority over the way the system functions. And part of how it’s going to do that is through your heart, through your intelligence through your wisdom and mind. And we’re going to confront this paradox that no matter how clear I get, I’m ineffective unless I’ve found my way to fellowship with other people who understand enough in common with me, that we can act together as a we, in a way that actually has some heft in that larger field. These are impossible questions. These are cons, you don’t have full answers to that question. But we have to sit in that question, because it’s got to be answered. And sitting in that question in a fruitful way, that’s, I feel so alive. You know, how inspiring
Rick Archer: yes, you’re speaking, I was thinking of the kids from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and what, you know, the activism that arose out of their tragedy, and how brilliant and articulate and at times impassioned, they have been, you know, in their approach to this. And yet, you know, they haven’t kind of resorted to nastiness or name calling or anything else. But they’ve been really firm, like, when, when David Hogg was up against law learning Laura Ling room, or whatever her name is recently, it’s like, you know, no, I’m not going to take this, and then all of our advertisers start pulling their advertising. So I think they’re, they’re a beautiful example, and also the youth of the country, you know, maybe you and I have seen better days, or maybe we’ll still see some good ones. But those kids are any indication of the kind of, of the generation that’s, that’s coming up to vote, and to become politicians and everything else. And if they don’t sell out at the age of 30, like many of the 60s radicals did, then, you know, that might be one vein of, of optimism that we can look forward to. But I just also want to say quickly, that, you know, the examples you mentioned, of Gandhi and King and Mandela, they weren’t confrontational in a violent or angry sense, generally, although they could become very impassioned, but they did have sort of an adamant teen determination to achieve a certain thing, and they wouldn’t back down, you know, and so that sort of quiet but but invincible and intention, eventually, you know, triumphed over seemingly insurmountable and much more powerful forces. And that, that there might be, you know, an example for us of the kind of thing you were asking about.
Terry Patten: Yeah. Well, I think that there’s unnecessary, those kids can’t do it on their own, we can cheer them, but we also kind of need to defend them. And we need to and we need to create a dialogue among people our own age. Could God people, we’ve gotten to the place where our own kids can’t rely on us to do the things necessary to keep them safe. And now we’re grateful for their leadership that we should we should be, you know, that kind of shames us into taking a different kind of action, and certainly the way in which certain right wing I saw somebody shared with me a YouTube video of a young guy, not a heck of a lot older than the high school student with long hair, long, young, blonde hair, wearing an Infowars headband, viciously tearing down David Hogg as and showing outtakes where he stumbled and didn’t say things right?
Rick Archer: People are claiming that they’re paid actors and all that kind of stuff. Yeah, that
Terry Patten: the, they need to be defended in a in a very forceful way, because they are expressions of what is healthy. And what is attacking them is an expression of what is unhealthy. And these distinctions and this awareness that we’re living in a post truth environment. You know, Ken Wilber has written about this a lot. It goes on and on and on, and he blames it on the green meme. But there’s a simple recognition, we got to a place where we realized that the idea of objective truth was, was was imperfect and that we needed to have a multi perspectival understanding of reality, but We’ve taken it too far. And we’ve gotten to a place in which we’ve relativize truth in a way that threatens to destroy our ability to function as a society. And the restoration of some measure of objective truth is absolutely critical at this time. How do we do that in history? Well, we have to join together with modernists. You know, we there are people like Sam Harris, or right now Steven Pinker has an important new book called Enlightenment now, and those are all defenses of rationality. They’re, they’re arguing. In many cases, the people arguing for rationality are materialists. They look upon us as fuzzy woowoo New Agey people, they often ridicule and treat with contempt. They haven’t been our allies, but compared to the people who are falsifying all truth they are right now are unnecessary allies. And we have to be willing to unite activists, awaken errs people who are ecologists, mostly interested in the earth, people are interested in whatever social justice issue is close to their hearts, people who care about animal welfare, people who simply care about economic justice, all of them, all of us have one thing in common without rational discourse as the basis for adjudicating power disputes in the public sphere, we’re all screwed. So in that sense, Steven Pinker and various other rationalist materialists are our allies. And we have to get beyond the fact that we don’t trust them ultimately, because they, in other moments like in the skeptic universe, they’re trying to kind of kill what we think is most important, but it for a time, faced with the threat of this kind of deconstruction of truth, just in the interest of creating essentially an authoritarian state. We need each other and uniting and finding common cause around this issue of defending journalism and science, which are which are foundational. Yes, it isn’t perfect, objective truth. But it’s a whole lot better than the conspiracy du jour and make it up yourself that is tending to rule in the absence of that consensus. That’s a really, really important point.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I listen to Sam Harris all the time. And I enjoy his other conversations with pinker and with, you know, these guys like Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens when he was alive. And I think that they’re, they’re providing a useful function in cutting through a lot of the nonsense that has kind of grown up in the name of spirituality and religion, and so on over the years, most of which probably had little to do with what the founders of those religions were teaching or had in mind. And love to have Sam Harris on the show if I could ever get them. But on the other hand, I think they set up a straw man argument with regard to God, and they they’re shooting down something that the deeper mystical understanding of God wouldn’t be arguing for in the first place. But anyway, I wanted to come and this kind of segues into what you started up saying in your book, and I think it was in the introduction, he said that the marriage of science and spirit is the big thing happening now in terms of cultural evolution, and event on the scale of the Reformation or the Enlightenment. So we don’t have too much time left, but maybe we could talk about that a little bit.
Terry Patten: Well, you know, I’ve worked extensively with Ken Wilber and he offers a particular integration of science and spirit that’s really very well reasoned, and quite, quite complex and nuanced. And there are other approaches. I think there’s a very significant challenge to his approach from Jorge for rare and a number of other transpersonal psychological theorists who argue for a participatory integration that they think is more adequate in in a variety of ways. But you’ve got in the public sphere, the most persuasive integration that’s going on right now, is an atheist integration of science and spirit in which the utility of mindfulness meditation and the idea that there is that the self is a user illusion, that there is no self and in some formulations, that there is no free will even is is is being put forward as the integration because it It’s like a neuroscience integration. And Sam Harris is probably the best known proponent of that. But it’s a decentralization, it’s an integration of it’s a shearing out of God, of the, of the living force of divinity, from spirituality and on that basis, all the benign aspects of what spirituality can confer are kind of imagined to be able to be concluded included, but what is subtracted from that is the, the juice that powers all of the most dynamic religions and spiritual practice communities in the world. And that juice is the direct experience of, of the Divine at one or another level, you know, one of the things that I would like to do with you, before we finish this has been in the range of things that I do, perhaps a more intellect intellectual conversation, but oftentimes, when I’m teaching my own events, I, I will begin them with a period of prayer. And I, I use a sometimes to explain that if I’m with people who are atheistic, and or people who don’t like prayer or think prayer is petitionary and dualistic and it kind of imagines a non existent God to pray to identify this idea from integral, I coined it the three phases of God, that there is, the I Am Ness itself, that we can find our way into through meditation is first person, that the contemplation of the natural world or philosophical contemplation of the patterns of existence, draws us into a contemplation of, of, of the patterns that connect reality and the kind of divinity there. And we see God, you know, just in the light of the sky, and the Ark of the flight of the bird and the music of the natural sounds around us. Then there’s a second person spirituality just when we recognize that our most primal relationship, the one that has never left us, the the one who gave birth to us and the one into whose arms we will disappear, as we slide through that final tunnel, in the process of our dying. That one is, is here, right now as this mysterious now moment than that this Now moment, as soon as I cognize, it is gone, but I can keep opening to that one. And that that one is my beloved, and to turn to that one. And, and as soon as I do, I notice a quality of joy and gratitude, and I noticed the that I am richly richly blessed, and in a way, amazed that if I’m really present to you, you who are beating this heart, you who are the spark, at the root of the intelligence of me, or anyone hearing my words, if I am really present to you, I’m amazed. I’m blown away. Every hair on my body stands on and astonishment. If I’m really present to this moment in its totality, there is a glory, there is a an awe, there is an amazement there is a joyous apprehension and there is force to this. And when you somehow through the agreement and the practice of a whole group of people are really summoned into the space. The living God stands forth, and the living God is not just the absence of something else there is grace. There is a kind of spiritual fragrance. There is awesome beauty and remarkable sacredness, holiness, sweetness, and a fierce force. There is something utterly uncompromising and yet incredibly generous. That comes forward. And in the presence of that divinity, I discover something there From what about my relationship to reality. And so this presencing of God is an absolutely necessary part of any real conversation about spirituality. So bringing together science and spirituality in a way that D nature’s, the living force of God, and the sense of glory, and the sense of devotion and the sense of gratitude and the sense of how can I be of service and, and it’s that this is the thing that evangelical Christians get right. They have a juicy relationship to God, they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And they have a loving exchange and engagement in their community of practice, where they feel some measure of this divinity, that may be mixed with a bunch of beliefs and interpretations and the infallibility of Scripture and a whole bunch of other things that I don’t share, but the juiciness of their relationship to the Divine, I celebrate that I want more juiciness and people’s relationship with the divine. And that’s where I would say we have an important disagreement with somebody like Sam Harris, he’s not going to be an advocate for that juicy presence of the Divine. And yet, that’s an essential part of the term. So it what I’m saying is that what we’re involved in now is negotiating the terms of the synthesis that’s going to dominate, educated Western culture in the time ahead. And there’s a very strong advocacy now for an integration that is essentially atheistic. And I regard Sam as an ally in culture and politics, I was just recently a few minutes ago saying that we all have to unite around the restoration of truth and objectivity in science, which I know he would heartily agree with. But on this point, I think he’s tended to be willing to leave out something hugely essential, and Central and that’s where I would fight a battle for God further, for all of us, learning that, you see, there’s room in a non dual, profound, radical conception of spirituality, for an incredibly juicy, passionate relationship to God as as as our intimate beloved and for devotion to, to rise up in a whole writ rich and profound way that has, you know, it’s not what you’re gonna see it wisdom 2.0 It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a it’s an essential dimension of what true spirituality really is, when you’re around, even a Buddhist teacher and, you know, non theistic tradition, that the quality of the it’s as if the angels are all, you know, there’s a shower of light in the room, there’s a quality of sweetness that ineffable Sidhi of have of sweetness and generosity and love and forgiveness and humility, that sacredness that holiness that let us not allow that to be rationalized out of any final synthesis of science and spirituality.
Rick Archer: I think there are stages of spiritual development and there is a valid stage at which God isn’t too relevant to the person’s experience. And there may be more of a sort of a flat absolute, you know, no self no free will. The relative world is insignificant could be a part of it, sort of flavor. But I don’t, and maybe one can get stuck there for a lifetime. But there are developments beyond that, which hopefully one will eventually realize. And in Sam’s case, he’s an ardent spiritual practitioner has been for many years. I don’t know if what the nature of his practice is, perhaps it’s one that will never even no matter how ardently he pursues, it will never result in the kind of appreciation of the Divine that you’ve just been articulating. But on the other hand, maybe well, and he’s like a guy with a foot on the dock and the foot in the boat and the boat is eventually going to, he’s gonna fall in the water, you know, if he practices diligently enough, so that remains to be seen. He’s still a relatively young man. But definitely the best known non duelists such as Shakira and Ramana and Nisargadatta and Papaji. And all of them were highly devotional characters. They weren’t content with just a sort of flat absolute perspective. And something I want to throw in here from Carl Sagan about religion and science. This is a quote I picked up from our friend Michael Dowd. Sagan said, How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded? This is better than we thought? The universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. Instead, they say, No, no, no, my God is a little God, and I want him to stay that way. Or religion, old or new, that stress, the magnificence of the universe is revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe, hardly tapped by the conventional faith, I really resonate with that quote, and to my mind, you know, when I think about what science tells me about, you know, a little bit of my fingernail, what it actually is, and how many atoms are in it, and how perfectly orchestrated those little atoms are, you know, and, and the 100 trillion cells in my body, each one of which is as complicated as Tokyo, and how they’re all sort of replicating themselves and repairing themselves. It’s like, God is hiding in plain sight, you know, everything, every iota of the universe is of is a divine mystery and dance that is awe inspiring, you use the word or so and we wouldn’t know that, if not for science. So scientists may not have known they were doing it, but I think science has, you know, given us an appreciation of the, the vast intelligence of the Divine, that we couldn’t otherwise have had.
Terry Patten: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that in a very natural way. Many, many, many people are just growing into that sense of, you know, a rationally and scientifically informed sense of the miraculous and wondrous nature of both the the consciousness you know, the unmanifest dimension of reality and every bit of manifestation, you know, consciousness and phenomena. I, I also want to presents another thing with you before we finish. recut, it feels
Rick Archer: before you do that a question came in from someone want me to ask that now or after you say this?
Terry Patten: Go ahead and ask the question.
Rick Archer: Who knows, maybe it’ll even relate to what you’re gonna say. This is from Mario in now, cop call upon Mexico, he says, isn’t a lot of what you’re talking about the birth pains of second tear, I dig the fact that is being discussed. You know, what second tier is I don’t know is that I can?
Terry Patten: Well, yes, it’s a term in integral theory. The idea being that there are two different kinds of higher consciousness that we often talk about, one of them is waking up, which has to do with waking, waking up from our identification with the body, the mind. And all the false boundaries that that hold us, we wake up to our universal nature. And it ultimately results in higher and higher smarties and non dual awakening. And it’s radical. But there’s another kind of higher consciousness that has to do with the evolution of the very structure of the way we make meaning. And that we’re, we can see that that has evolved culturally, that there was a time when we were pretty much like other animals, that kind of our carried period. And then there was a time when we were living in a magical world. And we were doing the sacrifices, but we had tribes and we had myths and poetry and some the beginnings of music and human culture. And then there were power gods and warrior states. And we evolved from that, then we got to the place where we had real religions, traditions, and a kind of conformity to traditional world view, out of which you would be an obedient member of your, you know, you’d make sacrifices for God and country, you’d know your place. And a lot of those traditional values are still very important. They’re a big part of Heartland values in rural America in the Republican Party, and that’s a big part of current culture is traditional values. But then they’re evolved the Enlightenment and rationality and science and the competitive marketplace and we have modern values and then out of that, postmodern values, and now there’s a second tear of that kind of growth, just about to become possible. And that begins ends with an integral stage of consciousness, there’s a color coding of these teal and turquoise are the first two integral stages. And this evolution of another tear is there, there’s a there’s a spiritual quality, even though that this first thing I talked about the higher states of consciousness are really more of the spiritual paths. In this, these new worldviews that are evolving that represent the structures through which we make meaning the structures get progressively more complex and nuanced. And as they get to a certain level of complexity, instead of becoming like a super complex digitized thing, they begin to become more holistic, they become big, instead of becoming hyper complex they be they kind of become non linear in their quality. And as they become nonlinear, there’s something kind of spiritual about that. And that’s one of the features of, of a second tier mind. But individuals operating at a second tier level, or writing a book at a second tier level, or having a conversation that a second tier level, is a whole different thing than an actual culture operating at second tier. And in, in part one of my book that I think you read, I point out that, not just Ken Wilber, but actually some very good recent research from University in New York, has identified that when a new clarity that has some kind of functional validity, reach reaches acceptance by 10% of a population, it starts to spread like wildfire, in that the speed with which it takes over everybody is amazing. And it was only 10% of the colonists in America that were modernist. But when we wrote a constitution, it was written with modernist presumptions, at the core of it rational world, you know, universal rights of man, it was World centric, and it’s in its disposition. So we are at the point now, where it may be that we can see this bigger, larger scale cultural transition, except things. That’s if we just look at what’s happening at the leading edge of culture. If we also look at what’s happening at the trailing edge of culture, and the degeneration and the regression, that’s also threatened. What we’re seeing is all kinds of reasons to fear that not only aren’t things going to take a leap to a new, greater possibility that they’re going to take a dive to something much, much uglier and worse. And that seems to me to be the mechanism out of which, to where I am sounding the alarm with this book, this book, the last words in the book are it’s time. At the end of the last chapter, I am willing to go out on the line, what when was that tipping point? What was the tipping point? Six years ago? Is it gonna be in 10 years? You know, exactly. When is everything crossing? We don’t know, we know, enough to know that approximately now. Good God, we’ve got Donald Trump as the President of the United States, what does it take for us to recognize that the critical threshold where we we inherit a new responsibility is upon us. And if we take that seriously, everything changes in there’s a book by Naomi, Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything about global warming. Well, we’re in a moment in which this changes everything and it doesn’t even just reduce to global warming. I appreciate many things about her critique, but it’s basically an economic critique, and it focuses on capitalism. And what we’re dealing right now with is a necessity for whole systems change. And it’s going to require a different kind of consciousness brought to bear, it’s going to require the spiritual practice of everybody who ever hears this, that whatever we’ve built in terms of degree of coherence and sanity and depth, and, and an understanding that who we really are, is bigger than the, our atomistic identities, that that’s absolutely crucial at this moment in time. And so for us to recognize and really get that we’re being given our draft papers, that’s one of the purposes of the book, I want this book to confront the reader and wake the reader up enough to go, Okay, so my practice has to find its way into that outer world. I’m at that point now in history and in my own maturity, where it has to be the inner work in the outer work or not to it want people to also recognize we need each other and that our practice can’t be atomistic and just individual that we’re going to have to find, and forge communities of practice where we actually grow together. And we get that that’s essential, too. So I’m, I’m, I’m hoping that this recognition that now is the time can be received in a way that doesn’t draw us back to our old habit energies, where, oh, there’s an emergency. It’s all happening right now. And we go into our fight or flight, sympathetic activated state, where fear becomes prominent, we’ve got too much cortisol, in our systems, know, things are far too serious for us to lose. Our sense of humor is one of my core lines, things are far too serious for us to be anything less than love. And, and love is inquiring into how it can reclaim the human world through you. There is a way Rick as good a man as you’ve been as great as your 440. You know, conversations have been this one and the one after it can be something even better and even new, there’s an opportunity for you, for me, for every one of us, to become that which we are becoming even more forcefully, and to be a presence of sanity and hold us at an even new level,
Rick Archer: at this, this this was working at it.
Terry Patten: That Well, we’re always working at it is nice, humble thing to say. But that sense that beginner’s mind, sense of openness and possibility and willingness to step over a threshold, that’s part of what’s necessary right now. And I hope that that feels like an exciting opportunity to everyone who’s hearing these words, and that something in our habit energy of how we’re rolling as individuals is going to be going through a shift such that, that we’re going to be seeing some some powerful cultural engagement of a whole different kind. And as old people, you know, whatever it is, we’ve got going, this is an interesting generational moment. Maybe maybe our involvement in politics, maybe it’s things we fund, maybe it’s what we do, in alliances with some of these. You know, like the Marjory Stoneman Douglas, leaders of the never again, movement, there’s an Interjet, there are a whole series of intergenerational synergies that we might participate in in a whole different way. We’ve got a chance for leadership left, let those of us who are older, and those who are young, all face a real challenge, because the news is so weird, and so crazy making their you know, we have a guy as the president, who is the embodiment of all 10 of the seven deadly sins.
Rick Archer: We’ve got.
Terry Patten: You know, it seems like we’ve got corruption and treason at the very top of the government. What, what is it? We’ve been given all the opportunities it should take to activate us to recognize that our citizenship has to become potent in a whole new way that our elder hood has to actually find its way into the common life. And if we press into those existential questions, they’re impossible questions. They’re like a COA. What’s the purpose of a COA? It’s not just to get the right answer. It’s the change your consciousness, it’s a stop you to force you to pop into a whole other way of being. It’s like a Shakti pot, too. It’s not just a Cohen. It’s a cultural shock. The Baba new energy is coming in, because the old way we’ve been human isn’t enough anymore. Yeah. So Wow.
Rick Archer: Towards the end of your book, you make the point that perhaps 10 years from now, people will look back on Trump with some sort of fondness for having kind of brought about the conditions which resulted in the rooting out and elimination of everything that he represents, you know, like, kind of like a boil comes to the surface on the skin and it’s an opportunity to have it lanced and get the impurities out of the blood.
Terry Patten: Yeah, he even looks like a pimple.
Rick Archer: Now, before I interrupted you with that question, what was that point you were going to make? And we’ll probably have to wrap it up on that. But what was it you wanted to talk about? Well, it
Terry Patten: has to do with subtle forms of spiritual bypassing and cynicism. That in the midst of all this, it makes us uncomfortable. And tolerating this discomfort and letting this discomfort grow us requires us not to take easy answers to go into our spirituality Lydian bypass these larger questions is one way to cop out to plunge into it become a news addict and let the whole thing rattle your nervous system and turn you bitter and confused and useless is another mistake you can make, to go into all kinds of conspiracy theories and, and get out of whack and in a whole other set of ways and depart from there’s so many ways we can get it wrong right now, it’s really, really important that we recognize that this crisis is calling us each to greatness. This is an opportunity for what’s best in us to come forward. And if we take that to heart, and we really don’t choose cynicism, and there are subtle forms of cynicism, in giving up their subtle forms of cynicism, in just tending to your knitting in your own little life, they’re subtle forms of cynicism, in almost every direction, what it takes to regenerate your hope and your purity of inquiry, and your genuine interest in. It’s not just interesting, when you get your genuine sense of possibility, sense of possibility. We, we are the luckiest people who’ve ever lived because we’re given more comfort and wealth and access to information and mobility, and the wisdom traditions of humanity and so much, and at the same time, an opportunity to make a difference on an evolutionary scale. We are tending not to be able to it’s such a big, you know, gift, it’s like you can barely deal with it. It’s like a too heavy. But if we let let ourselves as our souls chose to be here, now, this is our time. And if this is our time, and it looks like this, then we must be capable of it in some way. And so if we just keep inquiring into how we can show up with whatever it is that is our our greatest awakening, our most loving expression, our most open heart or most dynamic, effective way of carrying this responsibility, then we’re going to start being the brother sisterhood that all our years of practice promised, we signed an IOU we said, we’d change our consciousness so that we could solve problems at a new level. Well, now it’s time for us to cash that check to pay that IOU. And that actually, is perhaps going to be the most exciting, most meaningful years of our lives. And I hope that people can see this and feel inspired and not just burdened.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s great. Well, to summarize what you just said, Make hay while the sun shines, the sun is shining. And this is a very opportune time for rapid evolution, both individually and culturally. And it’s, it’s happening. There’s a, there’s a wave, and, you know, we can catch that wave if we if we so choose. It’s really conducive time for for rapid growth. I mean, the pace that we see in technological development, for instance, I think, is paralleled by the pace that spiritual evolution can can take if we if we want to sort of be in that stream.
Terry Patten: Yeah. And I think that I think that I think that I was able to synthesize a an integration of a variety of different approaches to interact. We didn’t get into it here in this conversation. But one of the, one of the things I’m proudest of is I don’t think I’ve seen as robust and thorough and integration of transcendental non dual spirituality with soul based spirituality. I think that’s an important integration. And I think that integrating that with inter subjective practice, the practice of the way, I think, integrating that the inner work with the outer work, I think, understanding the all of that in terms of the dynamics of wholeness in play with fragmentation, I think there’s a in many respects, an operating synthesis that one can feel and practice embodied in this book that I hope is going to give a lot of pretty sophisticated people who’ve been on the path for a long time, some important additional insights by which they can even more fully integrate a lot of things they already knew into a new hole and hole nests that we can actually bring to bear effectively in a time when we’re wrong really needed.
Rick Archer: I think you did a good job doing that. And I mean, the book is very integral in that it integrates a lot of things that people would not ordinarily think could be integrated. And I think it does a good job at doing that. So thank you for writing it.
Terry Patten: Thank you, Rick, thank you for spending this time with me. And thank you for taking responsibility for all the complexities of the technical side of it, which has not been as always so easy.
Rick Archer: Yeah, there’s always a challenge. It’s like, you know, every week there’s something to deal with. But that’s the way it is. No, no worries. All right. Well, thanks, Jerry. So, to those who’ve been listening, or watching, you’ve been listening to or watching another episode of Buddha at the Gas Pump, there will be many more hopefully, next week I’ll be speaking with and bearing over in the UK, who I first saw interviewed by Andrew Harvey, and who speaks something along the lines, I think of what Terri has been saying that we’re headed into some rather turbulent rapids, and haven’t totally delved into what she has to say yet, but next week will be the opportunity to do that. So I guess that’s just about it for today. As usual, I’ll be creating a page on BatGap about this interview with links to Terry’s website, his book, and his other book. And so feel free to follow those links. And just for the sake of those who are listening who might not come to the website, where does it Terry patten.com. Yes. Okay. And Paris.
Terry Patten: Calm and yeah, Pa TT E and also new Republic of the heart.com.
Rick Archer: Either we’ll get into the book. Yeah. All right. Well, thanks, Terry.
Terry Patten: Thank you so much, Rick. It’s been a pleasure,
Rick Archer: sir. We’ll be in touch