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RICK: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Those of you who watch this show regularly will have heard me say this many, many times. But for those of you who haven’t, Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. I’ve done, maybe about 425 of them now. And if this is new to you, and you’d like to watch previous ones, please go to batgap.com. And look under the past interviews menu will where you will see all the previous ones archived in many different ways. This show is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers, it’s offered freely available, but we wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of those who feel inspired to support it. So if you’re one of those people, there’s a Donate button, a PayPal button on every page of the site. So I’m out of the science and non-duality conference. And San Jose is my eighth year coming here. And it’s a very enriching experience. And I usually do a few interviews while I’m out here. And in fact, my coming here is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. And this morning, I noticed Deepak Chopra coming into the dining hall, and he’s an old friend from my early TM days. So I went over to say hi, and he was just sitting down to breakfast. And so I decided to sit down with him. And there was Tim Freke, whom I interviewed twice on BatGap in the past, and we always, Tim and I really hit it off and felt like we were friends from the start. But he lives in the UK. and we’ve never met in person and I’ve always wanted to so delighted to see him. And I sat down and Tim and Deepak and I had a rather lively conversation for at least an hour or so. I had already eaten breakfast, those guys were wolfing it down while we talked. And later on Tim and I thought, hey, you know, we should do an interview about the stuff we were talking about. Deepak was gonna join us, but he’s got a very busy schedule, and he had to cancel. So okay, so Tim, and I decided to go ahead, and here we are. Since Tim and I last spoke, he’s written a book called Soul story, which ordinarily, I would have read cover to cover before doing an interview. But this was so impromptu that I haven’t had a chance. And, but he’s going to tell us what’s in it. And judging from our breakfast conversation this morning, there are a number of very interesting topics that we would like to discuss. And we’ll see where we go with this. So welcome, Tim.
TIM: Thank you. It’s a great delight to speak to you again, in person it’s fun.
RICK: Yeah. And I must say, I think that you and I have had slightly different backgrounds, but we’ve kind of come around to similar perspectives, I think. And we actually found our perspective differing from Deepak’s a little bit, even though he and I haven’t even more similar background than you and I because of the TM background. But in the course of this interview, maybe we’ll contrast what he was saying this morning with what you were saying, and we’ll, I think people will find it interesting. So it’s probably been four years or so since we last did an interview. And how would you say that your thinking has evolved since then if you can remember where it was at then. And as probably as represented by this book? Yeah, this probably encapsulates or presents.
TIM: But the thinking, absolutely, it’s taken a huge jump. Okay, I think I’ve written 35 books. This is for me, by far the most important, okay, I think it breaks the most new ground. And the big changes, I mean, one of the things which we discussed last time, and which came out with a talk with Deepak is whether you have a form of non-duality which dismisses life as an illusion, whether it’s the individual self is of no consequence, the reality is somewhere else, or whether you also value the human experience. Yes. And that’s been central to me for a long while. And as I get pulled further and further into that, so I’ve got the non-dual and the human that’s opened up into well, what I want to understand for myself is how it how we can understand the cosmos itself and our role within it. So how can I really bring together this ancient spiritual wisdom, which still speaks to me, although I think it needs a lot of updating, and modern scientific knowledge, which also, I think needs a lot of questioning, but something is amazing in there? How can they come together? How can I understand a life in which it is both cause and effect on the one hand and can be utterly magical and sublime and the nature of death? And that’s what I’ve set out to do to create a whole new worldview. And the reason I’m at this SAND conference with you is because it’s about the emergent universe. That’s its name, and that’s the theme. And that’s the theme of this book, I think the key to it is understanding the nature of evolution and emergence.
RICK: Okay. Now, just for fun, I’m going to try to do justice to the perspective that Deepak was expressing this morning. As I understood what he was saying, he was saying that, that everything is a human construct. The whole universe, as we understand it, or perceive it, or even as it exists intrinsically, is a human construct. And that, ultimately, there is no universe, there is no person, there’s nothing but Brahman or the absolute. And I used the word nihilistic. And he said, Yeah, people say that to me sometimes. And I thought about it afterward. And another word I would use is that it seems that perspective seems to be kind of anthropocentric. In other words, as if the universe were somehow dependent upon human perception for its existence, or as if it doesn’t exist, and human perception somehow brings it into existence. And that always puzzled me when people want to hurt people say things like that, because humans haven’t been around that long. But apparently, the universe has. And I think of humans and all beings, as like, sense organs of the infinite, we all share fundamentally a common consciousness or, you know, pure awareness, unbounded intelligence, whatever that gives rise to the whole universe, and which is sort of seeing through all of our eyes, hearing through all of our ears and so on. But you know, we’re just like little, tiny peep holes, through which that is shining, compared to its, its inherent nature is, you know, just unbounded pure awareness. So, it’s kind of putting things backward, it seems to me to suggest that, I mean, sure the universe as we perceive it is the best our little peep holes can do. But there that’s the key. Yeah, that’s what he just said, there’s the key. Sure, and the bat has its peep hole and the mouse has it. Exactly. Right. But the universe, but the intelligence itself, the totality of that intelligence, contains everything and is not dependent upon all these little sense organs. for it.
TIM: You can see this, this battle, philosophical battle, yeah. Right, the way back to the Greeks, between the people who are going, the universe is really an object. And the subjects is a kind of illusion, which has arisen that’s modern materialism still. And then the other side idealism or these other forms of philosophy, which Deepak was articulating an awful lot of spirituality, which goes no, no, no, the subject’s the reality, and the object is an illusion, just a passing show. And the argument is, well just look all you experience is experience, that was obvious; can’t dismiss that. So all there is, is experience, which feels very superficial, actually. Because this is definitely what I’m experiencing. And what I experienced as a human being has to do with my eyes, to do with my ears, but also to do my ideas. And that way, it is a construct, and like you said, a bat would experience this room very differently. But there is something we’re both experiencing, you’re experiencing the same thing from somewhere else. And within my experience, there’s you. Yeah, and when I go off and experience something else, I am not I believe that you will often experience something else too. And that there’s something there that what’s there is not this. This is my experience of what’s there. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing there. And that’s, I think absolutely key for uniting these two perspectives so that we get rid of the idea it’s really the object or really the subject, and we go it’s always both, it’s always the two coming together. So there is an objective nature. And one of the key ideas in the in the new worldview that I’m exploring is an idea which is common in science now, which is the best way to see this is that we are subjectively experiencing information which we interpret like this, and that if we’re going to look at the objective world, we need to understand it as information being interpreted, rather than it being like this. solidity is the way I interpret it. But there’s other things which would interpret it very, very differently. Yeah.
RICK: Last year at this conference, Deepak told a story about, we’ll get off of Deepak in a few minutes. And he’s not here to defend himself. But that seems fair. But he told me, he told the story about how Einstein and Rabindranath Tagore had this debate. And I guess the, the, one of the points in the debate was, you know, does the moon exist if we’re not experiencing it? And Einstein said, Of course, it exists. And Rabindranath said, No, it didn’t, apparently, if I’m getting the story correctly. And, you know, I think I played with that idea a little bit. And I thought, all right, what if everybody in the world agrees not to look at the moon? We still have tides, you know,
TIM: Very good. I love that. That’s brilliant. Yeah, yes, exactly. So that what you’ve got there in that imaginary debate is the argument between the two poles, and somehow, they’re both pointing to something, but on their own, neither are right. And for reasons, like you said, the moon has his own existence, that’s what makes it different to say, a dream or something like that, where it’s just images, where the image doesn’t have its own existence, other than as an image, whereas the moon has its own story going on. Now. You know, there’s, it’s there. It’s been moving and changing and things have been happening there. Whether we observe it or not. What wouldn’t exist is the moon as we experience it, we wouldn’t see the white boat, you know, there was no eyes, there’d be no rainbow, etc. There’d be no green, there’d be no, these things are emergent things that come with us. We change the universe, we create the universe we live in, that on the basis of something which is preexists us. And that’s really important to get that.
RICK: Yeah. And while we’re on this, it’s just another point that I keep kicking around. Is I mean, right now, there’s you and I in this room, and three other guys that are watching this interview, and we’re all seeing basically the same stuff. There’s a lamp there, their TV, their door, their camera there. Yeah. And, you know, so obviously, there’s some kind of inter-subjective agreement, which kind of implies that there is a deeper template of the structure of things. Yeah, that is not just the fabrication of each individual’s mind or perspective that something that exists irrespective of, you know, the perceiver. Yes. Seems to me, yes. So this whole thing of, we just create the universe as we perceive it, maybe there’s a collective mind that creates the universe as its, as its perceived, but certainly each individual doesn’t know we’d have complete chaos. [Exactly]. Do people use this kind of argument when they have this kind of discussion? And what’s the rebuttal to that?
TIM: I don’t think there is one. I think you do end up you know, people try and resist it. But you end up in what’s known as solipsism, you know, there that really all that exists is your experience. Because if you start from the argument, look, all that there is your experience, that’s what you end up with. So you’re just my experience, and you’re not, I don’t believe that. And the world we’re exploring has its own existence. And that’s why it’s so interesting, and why it’s anthropomorphic. Why thought your point was absolutely on the button, is because we now know that the universe is very, very old. And that consciousness, human beings, even life is just on the tail end of it. So we want to understand what the universe is that philosophy, one word. So we need a different philosophy, which can unite the spiritual intuitions, not the old one, the old one worked, because the people who developed it thought the Earth was flat, they had no idea about, you know, this a long time ago, they did a really great job a long time ago, but we need to update it radically. And then what modern science has done is just ignore it and can’t address the issues. So somehow, we need a different way, which can take what’s the value in here and the what’s the value in here and bring them together into one story.
RICK: Well, yeah. Okay. One other argument. Yeah, just let me take a stab at this. Getting back to the peep hole idea, that or the sense organ of the infinite idea. If we think of the universe is sort of… My attitude when I think when I look at things, and when I think about things, I always have the feeling that God is hiding in plain sight. And that everything we see is like the body of God as it were. And that, you know, and that includes us, we’re part of that body and we’re sort of like, sense organs we’re instruments through which the divine can be conscious of itself. Yep. Okay. And according to the capacity of our instrument, we may not perceive everything as God. We might misperceive it as dead or as bad or for anything else but the instrument can be refined and refined and refined to the point where God recognizes himself in everything, you know, Muktananda used to say, God dwells within you, as you. Yeah. And so and I’m not saying that the individual is God, that which people bristle when they hear that kind of notion, I’m saying that there’s nothing but God, and that God meaning, you know, infinite self-referral intelligence, that through interacting with itself gives rise to all these forms and phenomena. And that I’m drifting off on my thought now, but you probably have a response to that.
TIM: Yeah. Well, I love what you’re saying. It’s absolutely central to my own thought, which is probably why we find ourselves resonating. So, let me expand on that in a slightly different way. It seems to me that the process of cosmic evolution of emergence, the emergence of new things, has been a process in which things have individuated and each individual thing is both object and subject right from the start, not conscious, but object and subject by which I mean, everything which has become a part of the whole is in relationship to the whole, and it is discriminating it right down to electro chemical discrimination, with simple atomic and chemical. And forms of matter are discriminating the environment and that have, you know, chemical will relate one way with this chemical, form a compound with this one, blow up with this one, and that, so it’s, and then it’s being read. So, it’s reading information. And it is information being read. And that as that’s evolving, that’s becoming more and more complex, right? And so that by the time you reach life, it’s now sensually reading the information. So you’ve got electrochemical, and then it becomes sensual. And then with us, it’s arised, into this realm of psyche. Yeah, where we’re doing with concepts, and we’re doing all of that, so that we are now discriminating it. And then where Deepak’s right, is that we now interpret the information through concepts. And I think it’s not a bad thing, but he seems to suggest it might be. I think it’s a great thing, we just need to get the best concepts, because every time we get a better concept, we see a little bit more of the nature of reality, because we can discriminate a bit like when we learned art, when we developed eyes, we can now see the information. Yeah. And now we develop ideas, we can have ideas about what we’re seeing, and see and have conversations like this sure about it. So that’s the way I see one of the strands of evolution is that it’s happening objectively and subjectively, and that consciousness is emerging in that process, so that it becomes more and more conscious, more and more experiential.
RICK: Yeah, we heard a talk at the conference tonight from by Robert Lanza. there for that one. I nabbed him later on, and more or less got him to agree to do an interview on these days. But he was talking about biocentrism. And how completely unlikely and impossible essentially, it would be for any kind of orderliness or intelligent life forms, or anything else to have come into existence by random chance, which is what materials seem to want to argue, even use the sort of in million monkeys pounding at typewriters and hoping to produce Shakespeare. And they said that the number of if you had a million monkeys pounding at typewriters, just to produce the first few words of Moby Dick would take, you know, the likelihood of them doing that would take trillions of years, randomly, much hundreds of times older than the universe is. And so he has kind of a brilliant argument about how there are hundreds of variables. Any one of which, if it were off by a couple of percentage points, would render life impossible.
TIM: I mean, Roger Penrose estimated I don’t know how he did it, but he did. Mathematically, and the number is just gigantic. Yeah. How you explain that? Isn’t that it? I think, I don’t think Roger or Deepak their explanations don’t work for me. And the reason that it worked for me is fundamentally because I, I disagree with them about the nature of time.
RICK: Okay, so Wait, so you’re saying you don’t agree with what Robert Lanza was saying?
TIM: I agree with that. Oh, yeah. But I don’t think his explanation is correct. Okay.
RICK: So let’s, let’s get into that. And don’t let me sidetrack you. I mean, you have a much clearer concept, obviously, of what’s in your book than I do and the things you want to talk about. But this is what’s coming up as we talk and interesting. Yeah. And hopefully, it will segue into other things you want to talk about? For sure. Yeah. All right. So okay, well, I actually don’t have a response to what you just said. So take it from there.
TIM: I mean, okay, let’s go for time. Yeah, because that’s when I look at when I listened to Deepak when I listened to Roger they’re very different perspectives, kind of certain similarities. I’m around a lot of people who are who see time as an illusion as something which is unreal, and you go beyond. I have I probably said that myself, Rick. Yeah, probably you probably find in my books, if you looked at it, you probably go on, Tim, you said this. As I really sat with that, over the last 10 years, I don’t know what that means. Because my method as a philosopher is just to look primarily at my experience and go, “What can it show me?” And what I see is, whenever I look, at my experience, I see experience changing over time. And if there was no time, there’d be no experience. It’s fundamental to, to everything unconscious of there’s never been anything I was conscious of that wasn’t a process of time. So I’m not [looking at] measurement here, I’m talking about the very nature of time. So it seems to me that that what the cosmos is, is a process and that everything in it is a process. And in that way, everything and the cosmos itself, you and I is made of time. So I want to suggest that we’ve got an analogy, which is misleading in the English language, which is that we say that time passes, which makes us feel like it’s all gone. When I really pay attention, it seems to me that the better analogy is that time accumulates, by which I mean, that very obvious things, that there’s more past now than when we started this interview, there’s more past now than when we first talked years ago, there’s more past now than when the human body evolved, blah, blah, blah. And the past hasn’t gone anywhere. Because everything that’s ever happened, is implicit in this moment. If it wasn’t, this would not be this moment, our learning a meeting, or deciding to do this, or learning to speak the everything, we will have the Big Bang, right? Everything that’s ever happened is implicit in this moment. So that this moment, is the meeting of everything that has been, and everything that could be… the past, and the possible, which is another word for formlessness potentiality, something which is potential for everything, but hasn’t a form. And this evolving process of form, which is time, the past accumulating, once you get that, then it ceases to be like, Oh, time is an illusion, you actually see the importance of this. So then you can look at the evolution of the universe. And you can see the universe itself is a process and that the information has been accumulating. And that there’s a tendency, therefore, as it accumulates, for it to evolve and emerge at higher and more emergent levels all the time, which is exactly what we see. So that time itself is pushing us forward. And rather than that being a lesser thing, that’s the process whereby as you said, the source of the universe is manifesting itself and experiencing itself in deeper and deeper ways.
RICK: I obviously only have a layman’s understanding of physics. But as I understand it, you know, Einstein referred to spacetime. And that kind of implies it, it has some reality, some substance, it’s a thing of sorts. And you know, he talked about relativistic time dilation, traveling in different speeds is going to warp your time in different ways. And, you know, if you could ride on a photon, and there would basically be no time.
TIM: But Einstein would be one of the people that saw time as a type of illusion that you could go backwards in time. Now, I think he’s mistaken about that. Because even if you had the experience of going backwards in time, it would be another moment, which went after the previous moment. So why don’t we so I mean, there’s never been a moment that has there for anyone, which didn’t have two qualities. First, it had never happened before. It’s a new possibility that’s realized. Second, it included everything that happened previously. That’s the nature of every single experience, every single Now… includes everything that’s ever happened and manifest a new possibility. So it feels like this is fundamental. So my conception of time is, it’s not the same as Einstein’s. It may be similar to people like Rupert Sheldrake and other people that talk about the Akasha that I’m not sure about its memory until it actually has the Yeah, so that the you’ve got the you’ve got not as memory though, but actually as the past, the information of the past is implicit in the present. That’s it. That’s the way it looks to me and with if you’ve got that as a foundation, then you can understand emergence in a whole new way. And ourselves, I mean, the fact that for me, then, here’s Tim, and what is Tim. He’s everything that Tim’s ever been meeting everything that Rick’s ever been. Yeah, I don’t remember all that. But that’s what I am. Yeah. And now we’re in each other. This is now a part of who I will be forever, because it’s happened. And suddenly rather than it being like, well that like Deepak said all the past is gone. Where has it gone? Because like, well, it hasn’t. It has, and it hasn’t…nothing is lost, nothing is lost. Absolutely. And because nothing is lost, it feels like that’s a key thing about why this, this process of evolving form is so important.
RICK: Yeah. So like your coat was made some while ago. And before that the cotton plant or whatever it’s made of was grown. Before that there were seeds and other cotton plants. [and back and back] Yeah, it all just kind of keeps everything is there.
TIM: So the place I want to go from there, you okay for me to roll
RICK: Just one more thread of the conversation. I want to make sure we wrap up. And that is the idea of complexification I think it’s really important, which is that there seems to be this trend or force or tendency in the universe to evolve more and more complex forms, which would kind of go against the second law of thermodynamics, you know, that everything’s supposed to just sort of become more entropic. But it’s kind of like a negative entropy sort of thing. You know, what…
TIM: Once you get an idea, look, once you go look, objectively, what what’s evolving is evolution, sorry, is information in time. And that and that it’s accumulating, right? So there’s, when there’s just hydrogen, there’s this much information by the time they get to us there is 13 billion years of information, which gives rise to emergence. So what you see the essential idea of emergence, I’m sure, you know, but let’s just say to everyone’s on the same page, is that in the evolutionary journey, it is creative. New things arrive..
RICK: …More and more complexity. Yeah. And stars explode. And you get, we get heavier elements and…
TIM: …new things, much simpler examples, like, you know, we have hydrogen arrive, and then we have oxygen arriving at some point, for the very first time, they combine and we have water, right. And that’s for the first time. And then the first time there’s, like you said, start the first time, there’s life, the very simple form of life like it’s arising, …and all that stuff, and then multicellular organisms and the first sensation and did it so that you have this gradual emergence of deeper and more and more holistic potentialities, because there’s just there’s more information.
RICK: Yeah. And it’s interesting to ask why, you know, I mean, why is that happening? Why is this greater complexity?
TIM: I think because of that, because there’s more and more information.
RICK: Yeah, but that sounds a little dry. I think it’s because, you know, the divine or the cosmic intelligence, or God wants to have a living experience wants to know, itself, himself or herself, you know, through as an actual living experience, rather than just as sort of flat on manifest ocean of potentiality. Well, there’s something more to that we can of course…
TIM: and the information is very dry, because the other side of that is the experiential, it’s been experienced. And so Alright, so let’s jump to that for a second. And so, so if I’m saying like the past and the possible, so why would so what can we say about right, even from the first moment, the beginning of the time stream, this this thing? There is it’s arising from what? It feels like? Well, you can say it’s arising from its opposite, really, it’s arising from potentiality. So where’s the universe come from? The potentiality for the universe, you know, it doesn’t go you can go wrong saying that. So that one of the ways we can understand that process, which is not as dry, is that the whole of the evolutionary process is the realization of potentialities on more and more and deeper and more emergent levels. And it’s reaching. It’s gone from, you know, there’s a lovely line. I love it from Brian Swim. I’m cutting it short. But his basic line is, you know, what have we learned? We’ve learned that if you take hydrogen and wait long enough, it learns to sing opera. Yeah. And I mean, that’s just gorgeous. It captures it. So for me, what the Movement I’m interested in is the same one, but it’s like, look, we start with primitive matter. But by 13.8 billion years later, it’s arrived at you and I experiencing psyche, or soul, or mind or imagination, which is not made of matter we’re experiencing right now, a realm which is made of images made of meaning. He doesn’t exist anywhere. I’m having ideas but where are they? Right now , with my body, I’m making funny noises. But you’re hearing meaning that there’s no meaning and the funny noises. So we’ve gone from we’ve gone from matter to mind. Now, what happens with science in the mainstream is it goes “alright”, so and then we reach you know, the brain and the body and then there’s this thing, which is a side effect of…
RICK: …”thing” meaning the mind….
TIM: Yeah, mind.. Consciousness…soul… So right, you know, they’re all words for the same thing the brain dies at the end of that. Spirituality. On the other hand, most spiritual traditions say no, no, no, that that soul or my there’s a whole domain, there is a main domain we go to when we die. And it’s something we’ve fallen from. It’s a primal place, we’ve fallen into this. What I’m interested in is challenging both of those and saying to science, look, what about if what the science started with the idea of evolution with Darwin, and Wallace, it was, it’s a biological thing, Oh, my God, all of the variety of life has come from simple life. amazing idea. Then 100 years ago, with Big Bang Theory, they went, Oh, my God, the whole universe has evolved, how things evolve, not just life, everything has evolved. So before there was before there was the biological evolution, there was all the material evolution, well, what about if actually, there’s, we need to see a third phase of evolution after the biological evolution, which is a whole other domain, which is the domain of soul or mind or psyche, or imagination, not as a side effect, but as a whole emergent level of reality. So that it’s emerged as matter… life…and then soul. And it’s what we’re experiencing right now that a nonphysical domain has opened up. And so that what I want to say, to society is, look, there’s this third domain, and what I want to say to spirituality is, how about if it’s not that soul preexists the whole thing, but that everything, literally everything in form has evolved. And that what this domain that spirituality has been exploring is that is actually just the most emergent level which has come last in that process, which is opened up through the evolutionary process, so that the soul dimension or whatever you want to call that has arisen through this accumulation of more and more past.
RICK: Okay, so when you say, so, are you talking about individual souls, or you’re talking about Soul with a capital S, the universal Soul…
TIM: So I’m wanting to use the I’m wanting to use all these words, because they’ve got different meanings, different people. And because they have different qualities, and to say, look, what I’m interested in, people can use words, however they like. But what I’m interested in is just pointing to the experience we’re already having. So I’m experiencing body sensation. And I’m experiencing imagination or psyche or soul or mind, whatever name you give, that if you go into that, which I’m sure you’ve done in meditation, or power plants, or shamanic journeying, or 101 things, there’s a whole universe out there to explore. And what I’m suggesting is that that has arisen as a collective domain, just like this is a collective domain, so that each domain is a collective domain individually experienced. And the same, the same with imagination. So rather than being, oh, just imagination, imagination, we is the taking of experiences, and then turning it into images. So when I think for instance, I am imagining speaking, when I dream I’m imagining, so that so that the this this realm of soul is the result of the process of evolution, and is a deeper reality, not an illusion at the end, but the most emergent level that the universe has got to yet which is why it’s the latest thing.
RICK: Okay, so I guess what I was puzzling about was, you almost seemed to be implying that consciousness if that’s what you meant by soul, is,
TIM: …it’s not what I mean by soul.
RICK: okay. Because we think of ordinarily if we think of consciousness as primordial and everything arising from that…
TIM: Yeah, so…I challenge that for myself as well. Because it feels to me like consciousness in the sense of knowing it, with knowledge comes with knowing well, that is knowing something, but that fact that I’m conscious now and when I sleep, I’m not or, or the chair isn’t conscious that that’s an emergent quality. So where it’s coming from this potentiality I’m not sure the best wouldn’t call it what you like, but I’m not sure the best word is consciousness, maybe being because it just is potentiality. But it becomes conscious. And it’s not just consciousness. Oh, yeah. It’s first it’s conscious in biology. The first thing is this consciousness, like looking. I see the world sensation. That’s the first thing. And then this other level of, of consciousness, which is the imagination or soul, and now we’re on another level. It’s not made of matter. It’s made of images. Now, what I want to suggest, and it’s a big jump for science is that that domain which has opened up is the domain in which we survive the death of the body, and which has developed as an emergent reality. So once there was no biology, and then that whole area of biology emerged a huge domain of biology. And then, from that has emerged this other domain, which is a domain of soul. So, and it’s information on another level, it’s all information. Yeah. And that the soul level is a level in which it there’s no death, there’s no death, because there’s no, there’s nothing to die. It’s not, it’s not made of matter. So,
RICK: here the, you know, ancient religions at their best, didn’t know 2000 years ago,
TIM: What I’m trying to do is take what they knew 2000 years ago, and put it in an evolutionary context, rather than being a fall, from a great state that we have this huge mistake, we fell into this. And we’ve got to get out, that actually, it’s the other way around the It has emerged from this, and it’s the cutting edge of a process. So there’s been no mistake, there’s been no fall, what’s happening is we’re reaching further and deeper into it. So that the, the, the as we go deeper into soul, and we can talk about awakening of God in relationship to this in a minute, that that more and more emergent possibilities are arising. So if you like I’m saying with relation to death. I’m saying like heaven has evolved. I’m saying that it’s not it’s so that, and if you look at it, because it’s the imagination, but not the imagination as a unreality, but as a deep reality. So if you look at the thing I wrote a book years ago, about the history of how people saw heaven, you can see it evolving. The
RICK: …not heavens evolving, if there is that it’s people’s understanding of it.
TIM: Well, I’ve actually suggesting it has evolved, a bit like sensation evolved. So there was no blue, and then there was blue. And then and then there was, you know, there was other colors. And then and there was hearing and well…
RICK: …Your kind of getting back to Deepak’s point, which is that the objective reality is somehow depends upon our understanding or ability to experience it…
TIM: How we experience it depends how we interpret the information. And as we interpret it in deeper, deeper ways, more and more emerges. And not just for me, but for everyone mean that as we, as we experience it on deeper levels, as it experiences itself to use what you said on deeper levels, more and more emerges. So there was once no ideas. And then there was the first idea, and then ideas of [intonation} , just like biology. And now there’s a whole domain of ideas. And that’s the collective soul Carl Jung’s explored it all those people explored it, which now has an existence, and which, and so that what we experienced at death has also evolved. So you can see the first like the Greeks, it’s shades, it’s hardly there, then you get the projections of life, Happy hunting grounds or drinking halls of Valhalla. And then when they get the great religions, you get all lands full of Buddhas. And, and now we listen to NDEs…it’s everything, you just get a vista of so like a dream, but not in the pejorative sense of it’s just a dream, but actually going. It is the most emergent level of reality in which we can experience things in this really beautiful, fluid way. Because we’re in a world of images, rather than this more constrained way. Because this is in a world of a more rigid form. Does that make sense? What I’m trying to say?
RICK: I think it does, bounce it back to make sure I have it. So that understand what you’re saying, you know, like somebody 2000 years ago, who dies? Well, first of all, we’re kind of talking about the existence of what happened in some realm you might go to after you die, which many people might not accept, but let’s presume that there is such a thing, as an emerging reality. Many people listening will take that for granted anyway… But if you don’t, then just use it as a thought experiment. But what you’re saying is that, if somebody dies, 2000 years ago, they’re gonna go to a motel six in the sky, whereas somebody dies now, it might be a Hilton, or, you know, Ritz Carlton, or something that the actual…
TIM: the world has gotten bigger; it’s evolved into a richer place. It’s the imagination, which we can enter into. And it’s getting richer and richer and more and more past, more the past if…
RICK: …we evolve as, as conscious beings, we kind of evolve or contribute to the enrichment of the possible realms of experience that we could co-explore…
TIM: … because everything we experience becomes part of the past. And there’s that. So that’s the internet. Everything that’s come into form has come into form forever and is now part of the repertoire of the universe.
RICK: Could be. I mean, I can accept that as a working hypothesis that is something to contemplate…
TIM: And what it does…. And then that’s a good thing. You know, it’s like, Hey, I don’t know, the premise. Let me we should say that right? The premise for me, it starts my book, every talk I gave is, “look, this is an awesome mystery.” I don’t know anything. I don’t know anyone who knows what this is. What I do think is the in that mystery, we need to find the best explanation we can. And that’s the job of philosophy. And that’s I happen to be a philosopher, my job, my job is to find the best. And so what it needs is, is an explanation which can unite these two things. So once you’ve got one, what’s that done is it’s gone, “Look, this domain, now we’re spirituality is exploring, has a reality, and is part of an evolving universe that starts with matter, goes through life, and is arrived at soul. And that these intuitions we have about meaning. On the lower levels, there is no meaning in that way. Because it’s arisen later, it’s deeper, this, this idea of immortality, you can start framing it in a really interesting way. Like you can go, “okay, so really, what are we asking?” We’re asking, this experience I’m having right now this disembodied experience of imagination. And I’m having this embodied experience of sensation, When the embodied experience of sensation stops, because the body is not functioning, does this stop as well? Or does that continue? Is it possible that that can continue? Because if it’s impossible, like science says, like materialism says, then that’s it. And if it is possible, [then] how? So if you get the information, things is the I don’t know, hope it’s not too crude an analogy, but it’s a quick way of getting it across. If you see that everything is information on different levels, then you can see, okay, when I wrote my book, when I did Soul Story, I worked on a computer. So it looked like the book, the information was on the computer and seeing the cover his soul search, little plug, “Bold response to the soul crisis in modern culture.”
RICK: Sure. I mean, I’ve heard discussions among physiologists and so on, who say that we don’t really know how memories are stored in the brain or anything else. And, and, and it kind of lens moves you in the direction of using like a television analogy, where, you know, if you’re watching television, and you’re seeing you know, an old Bonanza episode, you’re not gonna find that if you take apart the television…it’s not in there… the television is just a physical apparatus for presenting information to us that exists in a different realm all together. And so the brain with its, and that would account also for like, past life memories and stuff…
TIM: Then you can get then you’ve got the idea then of Okay, so, so we exist now, as a everything is a stream of time. So here, I that’s what I called the soma stream, the body. So you know, there’s a body stream. But also I’m experiencing this other thing, which is a soul stream, which is a stream of images. So if that is that continues after this ends, then it’s moving, then two types of information are moving into and out of like a psychosomatic relationship, which makes you see invasion, which on the faces, it sounds like a nutty idea becomes much more like, I don’t know, like, tuning in your phone via Bluetooth to your speaker. It’s like, there’s information of two distinct things coming into relationship with each other and moving out of relationship to each other. But they but they, they’ve all been part of one evolutionary process. There’s no fall from some perfect state, everything’s reaching towards the more emergent state. So when I wrote this bold response, the information looked like it was on the computer in a particular place. So if I dropped coffee on the computer… book’s gone… but of course, I’m smart enough, he was actually being backed up on the on the cloud, right? So the information was on the cloud, so we destroyed the computer, but it wasn’t gone. So that’s the sort of analogy I’m playing with information on two different levels. So clearly, at the moment, it’s linked to the processing of my brain, you know, if you give me a sleeping tablet, or go unconscious, you hit me on the head, I could lose the function to speak or blah, blah, blah. But also, all of that information is on this other level, because I’m not seeing the psyche as a byproduct of anything. I’m seeing it as a domain in its own right. Yeah, like spirituality does.
RICK: And I don’t know if this notion of a fall from a more perfect state just does justice to all the ancient philosophical or religious traditions you would know better than I…
TIM: of course, it can’t possibly do justice to them, because they’re rich and India, but there is a fundamental need, not in everything, but it’s pretty common. And you can understand why because people are waking up. They’re experiencing this deeper reality. And then they’ve got this. Now they’ve got no notion of the evolutionary process. They’ve got, you know, the we have got today, and they’re seeing it therefore, as there’s a better state and we fallen into this so they’re prejudicing the soul as more real. I’m also saying that, I’m also saying soul is more real, but I’m saying it’s more real because it’s the latest thing to have emerged …is the deepest potential.
RICK: But as I understand it, like probably the Vedic tradition, and maybe some others do have the idea that, you know, the evolution through many, many, many, many lives that not the not the fallen from something, but you started out at a fairly low state and are just working way up from, you know, rocks to vegetables to, you know, little animals.
TIM: That’s the paradox. And if you go to the ancient traditions, they’ve got a very, I mean, the evolution is really a spiritual idea. Yeah. And you do have that sense. Yes. But with the soul itself, usually, you get this idea that we fall into the illusion of Maya, we’ve become enmeshed in it. I mean, the traditions are various, and you see different different strands in them. So there is often there is sometimes an evolutionary strategy. Right? Yeah, you’re right. The key thing is, do we see that final thing? That soul dimension? Is that something which has emerged through that process? And if you take that, you know, that the Incarnation map, there’s the transmigration of the soul, like Pythagoras, then that is implied by that? Actually. That’s right.
RICK: And when I mentioned ancient traditions, it’s not that I’m saying that, Well, the truth must be found in these ancient traditions. You know, the truth is, whatever it is, regardless of the degree to which any tradition has been able to understand it, maybe some of them understood, maybe some of them more closely approximated the reality than others. And we could find some pretty clear hints in those. But it may be something quite other than any of them have, have understood.
TIM: What’s so lovely about the that the evolutionary emergent idea, whether it’s from ancient Hinduism, or Pythagoras, or from now, is it links everything together. Yeah. Because right now I’m surrounded by all of those levels. There’s primitive matter in all of its forms. There’s biology, and [grimy]? and, and then there’s so happening. Yeah, and it’s all here. Sure. And, and I have to live with all of that I have to live with an emergent universe. And so I have to live with my bodily needs, whether I like it or not, I have to live it with cause and effect, whether I like it or not. And then this is other realm where I’m free to just journey the universe in my imagination, and go off and explore…
Rick Archer: like Stephen Hawking.
Tim Freke: With very different conclusions, yeah, different conclusions, for sure. Okay.
David Buckland : Yeah. Just wondering about the question of cycles, though, you were proposing a fairly linear process with evolution, but most of nature runs in cycles.
TIM: I’m not saying from one minute to the accumulation than I think what I tried to say was, it has a tendency towards greater emergence, but in every direction, and everything is still evolving. So it’s not like, well, it just all led to us. These are the big kind of stepping stones, which you can see, but everything on every level is still evolving. And within that, yeah, of course, there’s, there’s constant cycles. But what’s what it looks to me is that the cycles going round, it’s more like a wheel going forward. Because, because, yeah, or a spiral. So that, you know, it’s the fall again, just like it was last year, but this fall is different, because it includes last fall, and next fall will be different, because it will include this one.
RICK: You mean Autumn, I was thinking of the fall of Adam or something…
TIM: I was trying to be American! I was I was really trying to be American! Now. I could say, we could call it fall, and we call it…
Rick Archer: autumn, either one.
Tim Freke: So we can do English. And I was trying so hard…
RICK: Okay, yeah. So all I’m trying to say is that those cycles exist within a greater process that through the big basic fact of the accumulation of the past means that every new cycle includes the previous cycle. It doesn’t just go round. It goes round and accumulates through that process.
RICK: Yes, like a progressive thing. Yeah. Okay, so um, just get back to God. You said, you want to get back to God…
TIM: We all want to get back to God, Rick. No, I don’t want to get back to God, I want to get forward to God. [Okay] And that’s a key idea of where the book ends up. And it’s a big idea for me, and it’s something which I’ve been sitting with for a long time… which is the problem of God. I experience, and I have done since I was a little boy, a relationship with and being part of an expression of something which is full of goodness, full of love. It’s just an ecstatic relationship. You know, I love reading Rumi because it reminds me of that,… that beloved, the problem obviously, which is the devil.. theologists and the theologians and philosophers, wherever, is the classic problem of evil. If you’ve got a good God, and he’s at the beginning of time, if whatever, you know, disappear the Christian God just have whatever imagination you want. He’s still God. Why is the world like this? Really? Why is it you know, how come? Babies get AIDS and die horribly? What is going on with a process that involves such suffering?
Rick Archer: I have an answer.
Tim Freke: Okay. You want to do throw in yours first? And I’ll give you mine?
RICK: Yeah, just, if you’re going to have a relative creation, then by definition, they have to be pairs of opposites. Yeah. And so…
TIM: And I’ve said that and written that in my books. Yeah. And you know what, but when I look at a baby dying of AIDS, it’s not good enough. [Rick And then what’s yours?] … because that being of love and goodness, if it’s all powerful it’s allowing this… I don’t like it… this is not a god I like. This is a God I want to have words with. And then the other thing we’ve got on top of that is the now I want to call the problem of absurdity. It’s like what we know about the evolutionary processes. So it is amazing, but it’s also kind of really crazy. So if God wants to get to us waking up to soul, and that at 120 million years of dinosaurs ripping the hell out of each other, and five extinctions, this God’s mad and indecisive this time in the world? Yeah, right. Yeah. And kind of crazy.
RICK: He’s creative.
TIM: So how about this idea? I mean, it’s a pretty good movie, you Well, that was a good movie, but there’s an awful long time just out in it’s like, what is that? And so…
RICK: I mean, look at, look at how long it took to develop a planet on which there could be any kind of life…indeed, billions. I mean, yeah, billions of years…
TIM: …ages…. So the whole process seems to make a lot more sense. If I’m, for my, for me, if I take the more scientific view of look, there is no great Being making this happen. This is this may be an expression, this is not happening, because there’s some loving, Being making it happen. It’s just happening. So what I want to suggest is that the mistake we’ve made is to put that being of love, that transcended God, at the beginning of time. And actually, we need to put it at the end, for rather, to it is what we’re moving towards. So that works arising from his non-dual non-form potentiality, which is un everything, it’s unconscious, it’s unformed, it’s not in time it is potentiality. That’s where it’s arising from, and that’s with us all the time. It’s arising from that. And as the form is arising and the and these potentialities are being realized in deeper and deeper ways, the deepest thing comes last. So the first thing that’s arising is matter and then life and then soul where it is made arise from what it’s, it’s the potentiality, forming itself as information.
RICK: What is that potentiality?
TIM: Well, that’s what I’m calling it just potentiality because I think we can’t describe it as anything else. I mean, we can use the traditional word like spirit or Brahman, or these ideas, but it’s Brahman, without qualities, it’s saguna. It’s not this being of love. So the questions that I raised of absurdity or the problem of evil, the traditional problems, these don’t arise, because what it’s what it’s doing is it’s just manifesting, realizing potentiality where it’s going is towards the realization of deeper and deeper potentialities, and that what is happening at the leading edge is, and you said this at the start, which is why I wanted to come back to it is that, that potentiality is realizing and experiencing itself through the evolving emerging time streams. And at the point now, it is not only experiencing soul, but I think you said through if we’re ready, or we’ve reached a certain place, we reach a place where that consciousness in soul can reflect back on itself and go, Oh, my depth, what I what I really am that the root of my being, is the Being of everything is the source of everything, at which point, this unconscious oneness from which it’s arising is, is become conscious oneness. And so we’ve gone from unconscious oneness…
RICK: But because it really hasn’t ever become anything other than what it has always been and all and all it is, but in light of in terms of our experience in a…
TIM: No, I’m not saying that. I’m personally I think that the whole point, why this is so important, is because it is manifesting, realizing itself and as it does that, it is becoming conscious of itself. First is increasing levels of form and then a certain point, as formlessness itself, so that when we become conscious of the oneness, that potentiality of spirit is becoming conscious through us.
Tim Freke: God is evolving….
TIM: Yes! …and the leading edge is that this whole universe is the fruit… God is the fruit as well as the root, that the root is unconscious potentiality. And it is arising as conscious potentiality. And it’s unity … that that is love. So that’s the place I want to go to, and probably need to say a little bit more than to make sense of that…But what I want to end up saying is, look, just as all of these cells, which are individuals, got it together at some point, and made one thing called Tim, a communion of cells, to create something which includes and transcends them all. So that there is a communion of souls arising when we realize oneness, which is God, which is that transcendent spirit of love. And that is coming into being. And as we ourselves evolve through the process of living and dying, living and dying, it is coming into greater and greater existence, so that the universe is actually God coming into being in the fullest possible way.
RICK: Well… we’re talking about one little planet here of trillions of inhabited planets, probably, and maybe in this universe, and there may be infinite numbers of universes. Yeah. Or something.] Some areas are asleep, some areas are awake.
TIM: Absolutely right.
RICK: All those planets and all those universes are at different levels of evolution. And yet the intelligence which contains and all of it and through interaction with itself gives rise to all of it. It you know, it would, you would almost be saying that, that intelligence is at different stages of its evolution in different little areas.
TIM: But that’s exactly what we’ve got around us, isn’t it? There already, there’s areas where there’s mattress sleeves, the plants, relatively, you know, the plant is more energy than me and, and so we’ve got that already. That’s exactly what we’ve got. So the idea, and just when the more emergent arises, the other doesn’t disappear. It’s just the more emergent in the transcends and includes it.
RICK: Yeah. So there’s the realms, which are just all celestial realms, the houses are made of celestial material, everything is enlightened, the rocks are enlightened there, if there are rocks, it just everything is just brimming with celestial life. So very awake, alive place. Total Sattva, no tamas.. And then there are other places which are sort of dull and dark and repressed and, and, you know, but again, it’s pockets, …this pocket’s very bright, this pockets very dim. And I wonder if that even matters in terms of the grand totality of things, you know, whether the grand totality is actually waking up as a whole, or whether it just sort of has like effervescence going on?
TIM: I think both. I think all of that is what’s happening in form, but that as, as it wakes up to essence , to being, that we are coming into that something which transcends a new level. So that just as these we can see these completely new emergent levels arising the most dramatic of which is soul, because it’s not made of matter. That is leading to something which transcends and includes all soul. And the image which is very powerful for me with this is the experience which is reported again and again of the love light at death, or the love the translation of the Book of the Dead, where it says it’s the Luminosity of Potentiality. So there’s the luminosity of potentiality. Now, which we the traditional idea, which is often said, Is that the idea, again, the kind of negative view, in my opinion, is you got to dissolve into it. So there it is, now let it all go and just go back to the oneness. That feels completely wrong to me. That feels like the opposite. It seems to me that we are conscious through our individuality, that only through subject and object through to developing greater and greater individuality do we develop greater and greater consciousness so that the goal for want of a better word is actually the opposite to not dissolving into it. Because if you dissolve into the potentiality actually, you go unconscious, we do it every night. But if you can hold it in meditation, and [RICK Even when you die…], yeah. So if you if you aren’t so the forming of the soul, which is what we’re doing now and always doing, again is not some mistake, we have to let go of and dissolve. But actually we’re build we’re forming ourselves because we’re made of all we experience….we experience the past, we’re forming ourselves into a more and more robust individuality, which can actually enter into consciousness of the formless, and stay conscious.
RICK: Yeah, I think that’s consistent with what people like Michael Newton would say; do you know Michael Newton?
TIM: No, I don’t.
RICK: He was a hypnotherapist who was regressing people back to past lives and then accidentally started regressing them back to the period between lives, and then specialized in that and did 1000s of people that way, mapped out the similarities between their stories, which were kind of remarkable. And just kind of, you know, really kind of was able to provide a description based on the collective experience of the kind of terrain that one encounters when they die. And, and the general idea is not that you just sort of merged back into total oneness but that you, you come away with the knowledge again, this life and you know, an assessment of the lessons you’ve learned. And you know, you set up your next situation based upon the lessons you need to learn. So it’s a very active kind of engaged kind of process, not just a sort of, there may be a rest period where you just so chill for a while.
TIM: That sounds good. I look forward to that.
Rick Archer: Yeah, just kick back. And
TIM: so sorry, but that sounds very congruent with it. But so there’s an image which somebody when I was writing the book, actually, some, a woman I met randomly, at an event different than I was going to, came up start telling me her new death experience, which captured it perfectly in an image, which he said what I saw, were souls like sparks going into the light and falling away. And the light was all the sparks. And in that way, it feels like yeah, that that transcendent being of love toward which is emerging as the fruit of this evolutionary process. We are all we are all the filaments of that, we are all when we come together, just like when all of this comes together, you get Tim, you get the body. When souls enter unity consciousness, this greater thing emerges. Yeah, I can’t know. Just like a cell can’t possibly know what it’s like to be Tim, I can’t know what it’s like to be God, right. But what I can know, is what it’s like to commune in God I know exactly what that feels like. And it feels like love. And it’s the, it’s the deepest thing I ever experience. And the reason that the world isn’t full of it, is because it’s the newest thing. It’s the thing which has it, but not just because it’s emerging last he didn’t start with love is ending with love. It started with a hydrogen is ending with love and justice and compassion and empathy. And
RICK: I think people throughout history have experienced it, but they’ve been rather uncommon. And now we hopefully are entering into an age in which they’re becoming more common.
TIM: Of course, I’m not saying it’s only arising now. It’s been arising and developing through human history. But it is, in terms of the evolutionary scope of 13 point 8 billion years. It is these deeper qualities arise last And as it is in human culture, the same thing, the human culture has been on this huge journey, which has allowed us to soften and deepen and find compassion and things which really weren’t very…they were individuals, small groups of individuals. Like being an historian, the thing that strikes me is how crazy people are when they think the past was good. Because it was brutal and difficult. And now you’re gonna die from a toothache. Oh, my God. Yeah, dentists.
RICK: Yeah, George Washington had a miserable time, and had wooden false teeth, and Napoleon had hemorrhoids…
TIM: Really tough. No wonder people thought this was a mistake. We should get out. Because it’s like, let’s get back to that place, which just images, that’s great. But we can make it becomes heavenly there is tough. But we transformed it. And one of the ways we’ve transformed it, this is a little tiny idea, but it’s one of my favorites. I like it. What if you get the image of this evolution of heaven if you like, the soul, then what we’re doing? We’re doing it right now, is every time you have a good idea, and you make it a reality, you bring a little bit of heaven to earth. Yeah, you actually reach up into that domain, you find something beautiful, and then you bring it here. So there’s my little Heaven to Earth in my book… Someone did me jacket. That’s very nice. So we did the microphone. Yeah, that’s really good. And we’re bringing it here. And we’re…
RICK: we’re sure I mean, every creature created a bridge building everything. I can’t see anything. Ideas apart from your body. What is there started as ideas and creativity and it was channeled into a specific concrete thing…
TIM: that’s where the evolutions happening now, the biological evolution is far too slow.
RICK: How some ideas are channeled into bombs and implements of torture and then yeah, but, you know, there’s sort of, but that I wouldn’t say as a channeling of heavenly, heavenly intelligence, or rather the hellish, darker rajasic levels of creation.
TIM: And you can see, it’s like, I know you have a really interesting looking gonna look forward to your presentation on non-duality and ethics, and enlightenment, because I think we’re One of the insights which comes to me from that process, is that what we see as evil or bad even in the grand sense that is simply where we’ve been that we need to be left behind in the process. So one of the things that, I think is if you take, you know, the epitome of evil for most people that, you know, you say, who’s an evil man who’s Adolf Hitler’s an evil man, and God knows he did evil things. But actually, if he’d lived at the time of Alexander, he probably would have been Adolph the Great, or Charlemagne, he would have been, he would have, we’d looked back on it, because people are celebrated for doing that. Because he was a great conqueror, you know, conquered a whole area, okay, he lost, they lost too, but he knew he conquered this. But because it was in the 20th century, we, it’s like we, we’ve reached a point to leave that behind that kind of horrible, violent, nationalistic thing, which the Romans did, and the Greeks did, and it’s like, enough! And so that now becomes something which is repugnant to us. And that and that’s the that’s because we’re reaching a deeper and deeper understanding all the time.
RICK: Yeah, we’re, our standards are evolved. Yeah. I mean, even that soul level what’s going on in the United States, I mean, there are a lot of things that were tolerated. 50 100 years ago, all sorts of the way women are treated, black people are treated much differently. And gay people here that are all changing quickly and have changed a lot.
TIM: I think it’s hugely important to see that. Because a lot of people think that everything’s going horribly wrong. And of course, there’s huge problems and things. But the fact is, that if you take the biggest sweep, I mean, things can go horribly wrong, and cultures can collapse.
RICK: I mean, climate change could kill everybody. By the end of the century, geez,
TIM: you know, all sorts of things are worrying but seen as from the overall sweep, right now. We still live in the most peaceful time in the whole of history. We the role of like, set of women and different races of completely transformed. Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s remarkable what we’ve done. We live healthier, we, the evolution of soul has led to the evolution of our of the world and the most incredible ways, just the fact that Europe’s been at peace for the first time ever. I mean, just THAT…,
RICK: yeah, it’s funny, we’ve somehow segued from this really abstract philosophical discussion about the nature of God and man, and you know, the mechanics of manifestation and the purpose of creation and all that stuff into talking about the evolution of social issues in the 21st 20th century,
TIM: Because they’re all linked… because they’re all the same thing. Let’s do purpose. Let’s just, you know, let’s just touch that. So once you get look, one of the things we repugnant to science is the idea that the universe has a purpose, because that puts a big man at the front going, “I intend this,” and they don’t want that. And I don’t want that.
RICK: …that it implies some sort of sentience, yes. to the, to the laws of nature and the functioning of development of exactly…
TIM: But once you go, look, it’s not so much the universe has a purpose. It’s more like it’s, the purpose is inherent in its nature. Because what the universe is, is the realization of Evermore emergent potentialities, that’s what it is. And they include accumulation of time and the emergence of more. So here we are. And so what’s our purpose? Well, that, so you and I are also and we’re doing this conversation, looking to, to realize the most emergent ideas that we can find, we’re looking to, and then you want to bring those into the world and so that so that the purpose and then in social issues becomes the same. Okay? What’s the most emergent solution we can find to these problems we now face? How can we how can we come in rather than leave in some enlightened Lala land? How can we engage with the evolutionary process with greater consciousness so that you get an enlightenment which is totally about the life process is about embodying it is about coming in. And then with this great love, which is arising? How can you take that great love which arises in unity consciousness, and share it and bring into it? So it starts to permeate the rest of the universe? And that’s what we’re doing. Starting to do, let’s be realistic. That’s what we’re starting to do.
RICK: What’s coming to mind is that there are any number of things which could do as in climate change being one of the most likely in terms of how devastating it could be, but then there’s potential nuclear war starting with North Korea. There, the potential for incredibly virulent viruses to emerge
TIM: antibiotics that don’t work anymore.
RICK: And genetic engineering something…
TIM: you just want to cheer us up.
RICK: Life sucks and you die.
TIM: Well, that’s reassuring, actually.
RICK: but what I’m leading to is that I have a sense From my just my own personal observation, which is totally unscientific, that there’s a counterbalancing force, which is rising to meet those challenges. Yes, yes. And we’re seeing it in the proliferation of awakening and interest in spirituality and all that stuff. And many people might say it’s a David and Goliath kind of situation, because the problems are so big and huge. But look who won that battle? Right? Yeah. And, and the reason I think that this this David of rising consciousness has a chance against the Goliath of the, you know, multinational corporations and the nuclear threat in the climate change, and all that, is that the subtle is more powerful. Yes, it’s something very subtle, yes, more, it’s operating at a more causal level.
TIM: And it’s because it’s more emergent, yes, the more emergent is more powerful, and it’s the future. It just is, because that’s the more emergent is always the future. It’s what’s going to grow. And so we’ve got this situation now where this the leading edge is Awakening. Yes, that’s the leading edge of this 13 point 8 billion years of evolution. It’s still small, but it’s happening to more and more people. Yeah. As that happens, this connectivity this, this, this love comes in. And that will, it is, he said about your personal experience, here’s a confession. Really, all this grand philosophy is a way for me as a to have a rational, robust understanding to underpin the intuitions which arise from me in the deep awake state. Yeah, which are actually really childish or childlike. And I’d say the things I like, the fundamental insight, the feeling of look, despite all the suffering, life is essentially good. Death is safe. Yeah. And what really matters is love. And this is and what I get from what this philosophy allows me to go is here, that’s right, the death is safe. What matters is bringing in this deeper thing, which is love. And it is fundamentally good, not because there’s no suffering, but because that’s where it’s going. It’s always and that redeems it with the fact that is moving towards the greater good, redeems the past because it leads to something better. And just like, just like a terrible thing that happens to you, and then you tell it as a funny story, because it worked out all right, as if we’re moving towards ever towards the more emergent towards the good, then there’s reason for intense optimism. And I can’t throw that optimism…it’s huge in me.
RICK: Yeah. And people have been doing what we’re doing for 1000s of years, you know, just spinning philosophies to try to understand and make sense of their experience to articulate their deeper desires and, and conceptions and feelings for the way things work, and so on. So I think it’s a natural human thing to do that.
TIM: We need that we have stories, we need to never lose touch with the mystery. Never get certain. Always have doubt, tons of doubt, doubt everything. I spend my whole time dating everything I say. And then find the thing which holds up the best. And hold with that until you find something better. Yeah. And then hopefully, in progress, you know, the next generation picks it up and goes, that’s not good enough. How about this? Right now we need a new understanding which can bring in these more emergent possibilities. We need that and it needs to link deep wisdom with scientific knowledge. We need we need. And so what we so this conversation, which I mean, anything I’m contributing, it feels like that just the beginning of the beginning. And of course, there’s loads of other people doing that. But between us, we can establish something whereby this stuff which otherwise gets dismissed as woo woo can come in with power. And go no, this is not this is saying something important and real. And it links is one thing. So our human understanding is no longer split down the middle but can actually be one narrative. Yeah,
RICK: Yeah, well, I think that if this has me, I think it’s essential. In order for this stuff we’re talking about to be most influential and impacting the culture, that people like ourselves and others really do learn how to articulate it. And not only between ourselves, but also between disciplines and, you know, across the bridge, the across the divide from pure spirituality to pure science. Yep. Which is what this conference is about. Exactly. Right. Because science is the dominant and in the most influential form of knowledge in the world. And it I don’t think it’s going anywhere. It works in many ways. Yeah. And so spirituality isn’t going to just do it sort of and run around it. And…
TIM: …the problem for spirituality, it seems to me is that science has just taken off. I mean, it’s just evolved at such a rate. [Yeah.] And spirituality hasn’t kept up…been It’s still living. It’s true….and it’s way back in the past. Now, there’s a lot of stuff in the past great, but it’s out of date. And it needs to rapidly catch up. And then it can stand on its own terms. And the two can join.
Rick Archer: And there are people who are helping it do that
Tim Freke: there are many people here, good people,
Rick Archer: maybe we’re helping a little bit
Tim Freke: good people. And hopefully, we can help a little bit too.
RICK: Yeah. And obviously, even though sciences is so powerful, and has progressed so much in the last few 100 years, it’s obviously a really mixed blessing. You know, it is it’s so dangerous, it the things, it’s given us the weaponry, the various other things that are impacting the environment so severely. So there’s something missing in science, which it desperately needs. Yeah, in order to be more very good or beneficial, very, I think spirituality is has exactly what it needs. Exactly. And on the flip side, science has something that spirituality needs, which is a sort of a rigorous, empirical, systematic approach so that spirituality doesn’t get lost in woo woo and imagination and new age of a uga buga.. But it’s, you know, required to be pragmatic, and…
TIM: it has to it has to be willing to Yeah, it has to be a rational, really strong question. So that the story that I’ve been creating, and it is a narrative, it’s a conceptual narrative, he can’t be anything else. It’s about we’re primarily I have to say, for me about saying, Look, this is my experience of life, which I said at the start varies from synchronous magic, to causal, banal, repetitive physics, that coexists. And my explanation is to go with it, these are different domains, which coexist in which we have the sole domain which is which is full of meaning, and which events happen, which are synchronous, and we have this other thing it’s come from, which is cause and effect, and then it becomes one thing. And if we can get that…
RICK : yeah, I love that… one thing that I have a feeling, I’ve said this before that a few 100 years from now, I don’t know how long but maybe, let’s say a couple 100 years, it’ll be it’ll seem kind of quaint, that there used to be these two streams of knowledge, science and spirituality, and that they were considered different and perhaps at odds with one another, that there will have evolved, hopefully a kind of a unified endeavor, which will include the best of science and spirituality, and much more that will have evolved by then. And it’ll just be the sort of, you know, this is how we learn and progress more and more with this thing that involves the subjective technologies and the subjective technologies, and they’re not at all in conflict, they complement one another, like that.
TIM: And, and, you know, maybe I’m biased here, but because it’s the more emergent, eventually, it will be seen, in my humble opinion. But what spirituality is concerned about once it becomes a truly evolutionary emergent form of spirituality, that is the most important thing, because it’s the latest thing, it’s the deepest thing, that that actually the irony is that science is all soul work, really, it’s all ideas.
Rick Archer: It’s all inspiration, intuition,
TIM: It’s studying what’s below it from this conceptual place. So once you get that, then the whole this is the where the action is. That’s for all of us. That’s where the action is…
RICK: yeah, and they’re really good scientists who really advanced their fields are able to sort of dip into a deep, intuitive, almost mystical level of understanding. So additions, so many report that Yeah, but I mean, one of the lovely things is that it comes from imagination.
TIM: Yeah, that’s where it comes from? Imagination. That’s what I’m saying. Imagination is the realm through which we bring the new in.
RICK: Yeah, so even now, the best of science is a mystical endeavor. And then even though I’d say also the best of spirituality is a scientific endeavor, because there are people who approach spirituality in a real systematic way. And aren’t content with, you know, loose and fuzzy thinking. Yeah, yeah. Cool. We got that figured out. Excellent. Yeah, but it’s, that’s a really, it’s cool to consider because we’re, I think we’re kind of contemplating the direction of the culture and of human knowledge and of, you know, how things might progress over the next several generations and so on.
TIM: So I, so that, so the movement, which I, the way I described in the book is, I remember as we’ve gone from this kind of really a kind of irrational, mythic form of religion, which has some depth to it. And then science has come along and try to replace that with a rational science. And actually I think the new synthesis will be a rational spirituality. By rational there, I just simply mean something which has good reasons behind it. So when I it’s not I don’t mean I don’t mean we can reduce spirituality science. We can’t because you can’t measure these things you can’t. The scientific method really applies primarily to physics actually. And a little bit of biology is much, you know, it’s much more rooted in the, in the repetitive anything, which can be easily repeated, like physics, very good. Once you get onto psyche, it’s not easy to repeat any of it. So it’s like, and so you’re in a different realm, but you can still believe something for a good reason, rather than because you just like the sound of it. Because it makes sense. Because some books, because some book says, or some tradition says that you’ve actually got an understanding, which goes actually, that is the best way I can understand what I know, and what I experienced for now.
RICK: Yeah. One thing that I find hard to understand about how spirituality might become more scientific is just the fact that there are so many varieties of spiritual experience, and it’s so subjective. And there is it’s such a vast territory with so many variables.
TIM: I don’t think it can be scientific in that sense.
RICK: maybe not.
RICK: you’d like to think that if spirituality refers to a certain realm of deeper reality, that that should be able to be mapped out clearly and systematically and not. Or not just, you know, be a confused mess, according to who’s thinking of it.
TIM: Well, maybe just the way they do it. Maybe it could be maybe as we go deeper, then we’ll we will find ways of doing that. But I but right now, it the method, which gets associated with science of just sort of basic experimental method, be much more suited to the lower levels of emergence. And so really, what he’s saying is, look, the science, which is really done well, is physics.
RICK: And even there, they only know some little, tiny fraction, of course of what’s going on.
TIM : And the further back they go, the more mysterious it becomes. But in that middle bit, they’ve done iPhones and yes, I mean, phasing into that, and just a GPS device. Incredible. Incredible. And all of that has come from the understanding of physics. But what but for me, it’s no surprise because physics is the most primitive, emergent level, it’s still complex, but it’s, it’s the first thing to emerge. So it’s, it’s the first thing we’ll come to understand…
RICK: it’s the most fundamental, um, yeah, this is talking about, you know, fundamental for exactly that, you know, become, symmetries break, once you get more complex…
TIM: because the thing about the emergent view, whether in science or spirituality is it’s the opposite of the reductionist view, the reductionist view goes, you take to understand the greater thing, reduce it to its elements. So really, you know, Rick, I think I’m talking to you, but it’s really just a pile of chemicals formed into this shape, clearly
Rick Archer: don’t understand anything,
TIM: that is just, you know, all forms of reductionism, to me, are nonsense. If I had a pile of I had all the chemicals in a pile here, and I had you, they would not be the same. No, because the more emergent level has brought about information in a greater in a more emergent way. So…
RICK: all those chemicals have been organized in a very ingenious way. Yeah, you know, so and understand the car by taking all taking every last little piece of parts and spreading them out on the field. And, you know, you no longer understand what a car is or what it can do.
TIM: Yeah, so the emergent thing is the opposite of that reductionist thing. Yeah. So which means that the, once you get that it’s like, well, the more emergent levels are going to take more emergent ways to understand it. So no surprise, the first thing we got was physics, we’re now making quite a lot of headway with biology. And then maybe we’re going to end up making that same headway with soul. And with the domain that we exist in, which is not made of matter. But, you know, we’ll, we’ll get there.
RICK: Yeah, I was listening to some talk by a psychologist the other day, and he was kind of joking around about how diverse and fragmented psychology is, and there’s so many different theories and approaches and ideas. And he was sort of comparing that with, you know, what if chemists work that way, you know, and they’re, like, 20 different opinions as to, you know, what some chemical reaction is, or something that would be considered ridiculous
TIM: how simple chemistry is compared to the vast complexity of psyche? Yeah, I mean, we just the level of complexity that we’re dealing with it, then no surprise to me at all, that it’s much, you know, we need a whole different approach, if we’re gonna, if we’re going to deal with that more emergent level of reality.
RICK: Yeah. That’s why I think that this whole thing, I mean, that it’s gonna be a work in progress for hundreds 1000s of years, forever. years from now, if we don’t manage to blow ourselves up there will still be sorting this stuff out, I think 20 years…
TIM: I think, I think so. And because in that process, reality doesn’t stay the same. It’s not like there’s reality now we understand that it is itself emerging, and as we understand it, it moves forward as well. Once we have new concepts in this conversation, We’ve created something new between us that now exists. If that was a big jump in culture this affected the culture, then the culture would be new. And people would look back and go, Yeah, that was the time when that took off. And that’s now part of cultural reality. And just…
RICK: Interesting…what are some important points in here that we haven’t pondered? We produce so many… no need to buy the book anymore? We’ve covered it pretty much?
TIM: Well, there’s, there’s the story. The reason why. So I think the we’ve tried to make the book as short and as concise as I can be. It’s laid out in a very interesting form. You’ll see there’s no capital letters all for..
RICK: I think you sent it to me. I think I might have it on my shelf. Yeah. I just haven’t gotten around to reading…
TIM: well, maybe I’ve inspired I think I think I’m I really hope that it’s that things are laid out so clearly, and in such a progressive way, that people who do have a philosophical passion, like I have, ideally, you have, can actually engage with it and see what see if there’s something in there, which can help them understand the process of life in a different way or not.
RICK: Now a lot of people listening to this… might have already stopped listening but hang in there. These guys sound kind of complicated. I mean, they’re really getting into some trippy stuff here and wonder if the book would be like that. And I wouldn’t be able to slog through it.
TIM: No, he will find that I think I really pride myself in all my work. And this one, especially on getting it so that you can so that it’s accessible to anyone and you can really understand it now. It only came out in April. But so far, the people that have told me have found that it’s been like, oh, wow, well, now of course, there may be hundreds of people that read it, and hated it and never told me. Those, the feedback I’ve had so far is really been pleasing. Because whether you agree or not, the job of my of me as an author is to plainly lay out the ideas. So I hope it will be a lot easier than our conversation because this is spontaneous. And we’ve been moving between things and round things, and in and out, whereas the book is, is laid out in a much more structured way, so that you can get each section it’s very, very discreet, and can make a journey through to the big ideas. We’ve ended up like garden
RICK: You mentioned that a friend of yours sent a photo of this book on Ramdas bedside table.
TIM: I just received it. Yes. Also, it’s. So I’m hoping he’s, you know, he might be reading that Ram Das was a big influence on me when I was very young. So that’s nice.
RICK: Well, I, I’m really enjoying this. But my mind is getting to the point where I’m not thinking of new angles to discuss. And I certainly welcome you to bring up anything that you think is important that we haven’t talked about…
TIM: I think there will be endless things which are important we haven’t talked about, but I think we’ve covered an awful lot of ground, it’s been a really stimulating conversation. And it’s been great to, you know, I know, I knew we would at least resonate with what the essence of what we’re trying to explore. And maybe the thing I want to say is just to tie it back to the thing we started with a conversation we had this morning with Deepak and all of that the reason that I’ve moved away from that position, I understand it so well, because I was in it is my deep feeling that this process of individuation of Tim and Rick is in a significant that your life matters, everyone’s life matters. And that through this something magnificent is happening, not as an illusion, not as something to recover from not as something to disavow this, go back into the potentiality and leave it all behind. But actually the whole point, that through this, God is coming into existence, and we are part of that we are coming into existence. Being just that is enough. We are forming ourselves, every day. Every day we come into greater form, because we are made of all we’ve been. So you are soul forming, I am a soul forming. We and we are more formed now than we started the conversation you can’t not do it. And that is the very process of what reality is.
RICK: I interviewed a guy named Paul Mueller Ortega a month or two ago who was an expert in Kashmir Shaivism. And I believe he made the critique that a lot of the non-dual teachers, even respected ones like Ramana had this sort of, you know, reclusive nature, which tended to incline them to just dismiss the relative world as insignificant and unimportant. And, you know, I think that’s not worthy of consideration. But Kashmir Shaivism has a much more embodied approach to spirituality in which they consider you know, the relative creation is extremely significant and not accidental and not just some kind of game that is being played, but that it’s divine and it’s pregnant with significance.
TIM: Beautiful Yeah, yeah, that “pregnant with significance” I have no I’m glad that there are people like Ramana Maharshi. And these great men and women who specialize in that waking up to formlessness. Right? I’m so pleased. I just don’t want it to be it. Right. It’s like, there’s that. And then there’s real embodiment. And we need both. And it’s the, the spirit is exploring itself through every angle. Yeah. But let’s not have this idea that spirituality is all about that one thing. It’s actually about the whole process. And that, and that this is not, this is not, you know, it’s not an accident, like science, hard blown science says. And it’s not an illusion, like hardnosed, spirituality says… it is a beautiful, significant process. Billions of years old, of which we are the expression. Yeah. And, and we are, we are, and the thing with us is that with the creativity, the universe is arising in you and me as choice as the ability to creatively decide what we will do what we will say, what we how we will shape ourselves, we can form, we can form ourselves unconsciously, or we can form ourselves consciously, by how we choose to be in the world. And that is just not… that is so significant. Yeah. It’s beautiful, it matters.
RICK: And it’s funny, because when you talk that way, to someone who has habituated themselves to thinking of the world as illusion, and nothing is real, and it’s all just a concept. And, you know, they’ve, they’ve kind of, it’s funny how the mind can condition itself to getting in a certain groove, if you keep thinking that way, because it takes a while to get out of that groove. But when you talk that way, to such people, they start rolling their eyes, and they think, Well, this guy is just conceding to maya again, you know, he’s kind of getting back in the mud. And, and it’s hard to snap them out of that judgment. I mean, you and I both say that we’ve went through a phase like that. And, and many people have and, and actually, it’s encouraging that. I’ve talked to a lot of people who went through a phase like that, and who then eventually come around to something more embodied like that.
TIM: The great thing is, you know, we’re the science and non-duality conference. Yeah, I spoke at the very first 10 years ago, whatever it was, and I’ve done a few more recently. I went, when I first came here, the first time, it was all, like, get away from the self, you don’t really exist. And I think I was probably the only guy going. Yeah, and this is both. It’s not one or the other. It’s both. And that was my whole passion. And, and I and what I found was that the audience went, Yeah, teachers went no, I was putting these panels and all the things we’ve done stuff about that as well. Now, more and more of the people themselves, and the people that are teaching this, I think have come around to go no, no, no, it is both them this matters. Yeah. And so I think it’s a natural process that you come back in. It’s like the 10-ball story, you come out and it’s just the emptiness and then you come in. And that’s where the you express the love in the world. So that you end up with an evolutionary engaged spirituality, which includes non-duality, which takes you back to the raw human experience.
RICK: I did a long interview with Adyashanti the other day, which will have been posted by the he’s an example of that. He’s a good example. Yeah. He has this model of awakening in the head, heart and gut. And he said, It’s characteristic of the head awakening, for people to have this detached, aloof, cool witnessing thing, where the world seems hardly real and illusory, and we’re unworthy of consideration. But then he said, When the heart awakening begins to dawn, then, you know, you turn around and begin to, you know, appreciate the world much more fully. And then the god awakening he described, as, you know, getting into this sort of primordial pre manifestation state, which doesn’t negate any of the others. But that, you know, you’d begin to sort of sense creation from the vantage point of prior to its actual emergence. But anyway, the idea being that it’s not an either-or situation, one can incorporate all those perspectives and see them all is valid each in their own realm.
TIM: Sounds good to me.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Cool, which, you know, might be a good point to end on, which is inclusiveness. I remember you that I realized now that both-and is a common term, but I think I was the first one I heard use that.
I think it’s really taken off. TIM: Yeah, that phrase, you know, when I started talking about parametrical, philosophy, both and rather than either or, obviously, it’s been I’m sure it’s been around forever, but I have it has been. You know, I don’t have anything to do with me or whether it’s just a lot of people started using it. But that is the key for me that the non that if you want the oneness, it’s not either this or this. It’s not either one or many. It’s both. So ever. So this moment, this is the meeting of all the dualities… is so it’s the past, and the possible the one and the many. It is it is. It is where everything is both-and …that’s its nature.
RICK: And to me that is such a comfortable place to be, it’s so much easier. And everything fits into place so much more nicely. If you have a kind of an all-inclusive, all-embracing perspective that that accommodates all the different perspectives that people tend to polarize in, yes, you know, whenever they do polarized that, that like that is to the exclusion of all the other perspectives. But if you can just be a big enough basket to contain them all, then you can relax and everything makes sense. Yeah, see how this fits, this fits this fits this. And just because…
TIM: you’re always looking for the thing to add, yeah. So that I find myself all the time going. Yes. And…
RICK: that’s right. Yeah. And it actually mirrors I think, more clearly, the way creation actually is. I mean, even using physics as a metaphor, you have all these different laws of nature on different levels. None of them invalidate the others. But each is relevant and significant in its own domain.
TIM: That’s right. So what I’m doing is, is read rising up out of physics. And then you’ve got the laws of biology, if you like the way that functions, and then you’ve got the way soul functions, and they’re all interacting. And that’s why your experience can be causal, and magical, right at the same simultaneously, because those are all operating. Yep.
RICK: I quoted something at breakfast that you got all excited about, it was a quote from Nisargadatta Maharaj. And I don’t know what book it was anything else. But he was quoted as saying, Somebody told me this, that the ability to appreciate paradox and ambiguity is, is an important characteristic of spiritual maturity.
TIM: Well, I’m so pleased because he’s been a big influence on me when I was younger. And the Soul Story book begins with ambiguity. We live in ambiguous world. And we need to understand that paradox and ambiguity.
RICK: Good… on that note… I was waiting for the right note to end this interview, that should do it. So thanks very much for the real pleasure, hey, I really enjoy. I didn’t know if I had the, the octane to have this conversation. It’s kind of late, it’s been an intense day. But boy, it really kind of gets me going to have a conversation like this with you.
TIM: Me too.
RICK: But, so thank you, to those who have hung in there with us, I hope you found this stimulating. This obviously is part of an ongoing series, and we’ll keep doing them. They’re gonna give me one or two more things produced at the conference here that I’ll be putting up in the next, you know, week or so. And after that, we’ll be back to the usual routine at home of interviewing people over Skype. So, if you would like to be notified every time a new interview is posted, just sign up for a little email notification thing on batgap.com. If you’re not the type that likes to sit in front of videos for a couple hours, you probably won’t have gotten to this point in this particular interview. But there is, I should say, an audio podcast of this show that you can subscribe to in order to listen while you’re commuting or whatever. And a number of other things. If you just explore the menus on batgap.com You’ll find some useful stuff that may appeal to you. So thanks for listening or watching and we’ll see for the next one. Thanks again Tim.
TIM: Thanks Rick