Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer, Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually awakening, people have been doing it for over six years now. And if this is new to you, if you go to batgap.com Bat gap, you’ll see all the previous ones archived and organized in various ways under the past interviews menu, check them out. This also exists as an audio podcast for those who like to listen to audio podcasts. And the whole thing is made possible by the support of appreciative viewers and listeners. So if you appreciate it and feel like supporting it to any degree, there’s a Pay Pal button on the site. And if you don’t like Pay Pal, there’s a page that explains other ways that you can donate if you wish. My guest today is my old friend, Timothy Conway. I laugh because we’ve never met in person, but we’ve been friends for about 10 years now. And I interviewed Timothy about six years ago, shortly after I started this show. And I recently listened to that interview. And I think those who find this one interesting will enjoy that one. And in that one, we went into autobiographical stuff and Tim’s history and everything, we’re not going to do that this time. So if you want to fill yourself in on that information, you should listen to the first one. I’ll read a little bio here that Timothy sent me just for especially for the sake of the audio podcast listeners who may not have read the bio on the BatGap page. Surely by divine grace in 1971, Timothy woke up to non dual reality to divine reality or self that is doing everything and being everybody. He has gratefully served ever since then as a simple spiritual friend Kalyana Mitra, and since the 1980s as a Satsang, teacher, counselor, healer and author of over 100 essays, as well as the book, women of power and grace, and forthcoming books, the liberating Zen Source Book, the enormous to volume, India’s sages and other works. His website enlightened hyphen. spirituality.org is a major resource on spiritual awakening, non dual wisdom and non dual devotion, engage spirituality, illustrious sages and world religions, spiritual humor, and much more. Much more actually also includes a rather insightful critiques of some teachers who might have entitled lot of people into following them but may have gone a bit off the rails. I sometimes find those critiques interesting. Timothy and his wife Laura are residing in this Tanzania Arizona for at least a year to be close to her family. Timothy continues to hold free Satsang Koan classes on a variety of spiritual topics and also sees clients for psychological counseling services. His basic message, your unborn true identity is already complete, whole and full as absolute awareness, aliveness, and by graceful power of this super personal reality. The personal consciousness instrument can be suffused with all sorts of beautiful divine virtues. Another thing, which Timothy Timothy doesn’t mention in that bio, is that he did his PhD dissertation on Enlightenment, I guess, trying to get wrap his arms around what it actually is, I believe was like 600 pages long or something, wasn’t it, Timothy? Yeah, I think I even heard it was 1000. And you managed to edit it down to 600 or something? Yeah. That must have been tough on a manual typewriter back in those days, if you didn’t have computers to work with. And actually, that’s the main thing I’d like to talk to you about today. We’ll talk about whatever comes up and whatever people want to ask through the, you know, those who are watching live, but um, I would like to talk about what Enlightenment is because, you know, all of us watching this podcast and, you know, 1000s people out there are keenly interested in it. And yet, if you think about it, do we really all understand exactly what we mean by the word, and we all agree on what we mean by the word. And there’s several I’ll just, I’ll talk a little bit more than usual for just a moment here just to get you started. There are a couple of reasons why I think it’s really important to understand what it is? Well, first of all, it is not a thing that you get. So we can make that clear. But the language being such as it is, it’s it’s convenient to just talk normally. Well, I think one reason for a good reason for understanding what it is, is that it can be an incentive and motivation. I mean, there are many people who feel that life is meaningless and empty and depressing. And, you know, people, hundreds of people a day and their lives intentionally because they don’t want them to continue. And to me, it’s like, we’re all metaphorically speaking multimillionaires, who are living in poppers not having been told that we have this tremendous bank account that we could tap into if we only knew it existed and had a means to tap into it. So maybe you could even just speak to that first point before we go on, understand as a culture, understanding that there actually is such a thing, and that it’s right under our noses, and that we all have the potential for the tremendous value of living it would transform us culturally and individually. Yes, you’re going to have to say more than that.
Timothy Conway: Well, let’s get clear on some basic concepts. I mean, that long dissertation was all about trying to find out what are the common areas of agreement among all the great sacred traditions and sub lineages within each tradition like say, John Zen and Zen Buddhism within Buddhism, along with say, the badger, Jana, Tibetan, Buddhist schools of practice and thoughts. So Christian mysticism and Northern European Christian mysticism, southern Christian mysticism, like in its southern European countries, from Italy and so forth. Going over to Eastern Orthodox spirituality, in Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition, Kabul on the Hasidic traditions within Judaism and so forth and so on, different topic goes or lineages of Muslim Sufism was on mysticism, and even within just the circle non mystical aspects of say Islam, not even Sufi Islam, but just Islam. You know, what the, the the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon us, our pious Muslim friends would say,
Rick Archer: Yeah and you’re just talking about this planet in recorded history. But actually, if we really get into what Enlightenment is, it’s something that would have, you know, universal implications wherever sentient life exists in this universe,
Timothy Conway: Right. So what are the shared features as each of these traditions? The members, the teachers, the practitioners, as they all aspire, toward the alchemy, the summit of realization, what are the qualities, the virtues, the, the knowings, the realizations? So, you know, I had been devouring the literature of these traditions since I was about 16 or 17. But those early mystical awakenings that happened without any reading or any pre formation, by any concepts or anything, I was just a dumb jock, totally addicted to sports. And I just kind of suddenly woke up, and I had nothing to do with it, which is why I can’t claim it as like my Enlightenment and start going around trying to, you know, subtly or not so subtly imply that others are not enlightened and then presumed to be charging people money. I find this one of the oldest rackets and it’s corrupt to the core. So because the One Power shapeless, colorless, formless heartless, that’s being everyone and doing everything this power is not mine. I don’t even know like you know, I get different scratches. I’ve recently moved on, as you know, say with the garden furniture and stuff running into branches and that sort of thing. And getting scratched. I don’t know how to heal these cuts and abrasions running into a serrated cardboard edges. Over 250 boxes involved in his move from Santa Barbara, California to Arizona. You know, just with my older fair complected Irish skin it cuts very easily so you know, I have all over my body now from this move. Different abrasions and cuts and everything. How are they healing up? Am I the personal consciousness doing any of it? No. It’s all happening by this great power. The food you might have put in your mouth for breakfast or dinner last night? Are you personally supervising digestion? No, it just happens by virtue of the great power. So this great power is somehow using personal consciousness as, as viewpoints on reality as places that say, think of the word locus a place a site – S-I-T-E – for experience, very vivid experience of bodily processes, mental emotional processes, psychic processes, rich, rich phenomenon by the countless, countless gazillions and gazillions for gazillions of beings. One reality is doing all this and powering and animating all of this sustaining this amazing dream. And it is a dream, because it’s vanishing moment by moment by moment. So Enlightenment is really a set of phenomena for the personal consciousness. And it’s all powered by and dreamed up by this one, clear light, source of all Enlightenment, it’s this one power that is powering the powerful realizations by different beings. Again, as I always say, one reality, doing everything being everyone. Now it was wanting to get clear, it’s just this personal consciousness instrument, this trinity fellow was given some kind of an assignment, to just start researching early on what are all the greatest saints and sages and all of the traditions saying about this process and Enlightenment or awakening, or realization, or Sanctification of Salvation. Different terms have different semantics for it. And so more generically, in the dissertation that just referred to it as spiritual realization, realizing everything there is about spirit, and spiritual capacity. And so, in a project like that, I had to do a literature, referencing that was just massive. And also, I did a whole set of interviews, dozens and dozens of interviews with different figures, more or less representative of different sacred traditions. And I won’t bother naming names, quite a number of very interesting people back then in the mid 1980s. And basically, a whole set of criteria did emerge different factors that definitely characterize in common, so much of our shared sacred traditions, east and west, north, south, male, female, ancient and contemporary. And my website, I have a very short synopsis of these lists of these qualities like tremendous sense of non duality on a whole lot of different levels, cognitive and affective and behavioral, motivational, and not just cognitive. And that’s important. Because if you know we have a very clear understanding and can give a good rap, a good talk about non dual spirituality, you know that there are fundamentally no real differences or any gulf between personal consciousnesses, or between personal consciousnesses and the one universal creative consciousness between form and formlessness. If there’s a clear understanding of its non duality, but it’s not also leading to an affective and motivational, behavioral non duality, then something’s amiss. Something’s out of balance. So I’ve always been intrigued, just how spirituality that is the realization of our formless, open awareness, nature, pure spirit, pristine and born changeless that change this host or this whole play of changes for the worlds and the personal consciousness is about always been intrigued. How is spirit principle this absolute nature is realized by beings and it’s not realized through their own power. The absolute wakes people up and then can put them right back to sleep. Which is why I don’t get zingy founded the Soto Zen tradition in Japan, the first half of the 13th century, he said, you know, anyone who’s boasting of some Enlightenment as if it were a done deal, a completed state of affairs for the personal consciousness, think again, if Enlightenment isn’t renewing an ongoing moment, by vanishing moment by vanishing mobile, then it’s just a concept. And it’s something that people are probably identifying with in a not so wholesome way. and maybe using as a position to one up other people in that whole way of presuming to be Enlightenment and enlightened and special, and presuming that others are not enlightened? Well, I have three questions. Don’t operate from that kind of conceit.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Timothy Conway: See.
Rick Archer: So speaking of true sages, if you if we if we put Buddha and Christ and Krishna and Zorroaster and Mohammed and Moses and whoever else in a room together, and
Timothy Conway: Some of those are called prophets, sages, some of them don’t seem to be as clear about non dual truth, really all the way through really saying that phenomena are ultimately not other than formlessness pure noumenon.
Rick Archer: Okay, so if we if we took a nice, you can pick the collection, but if we took a collection of sages who would fit your criteria and of what Enlightenment is, and put them in a room together, from various cultures, various times in history, contemporary and ancient Do you feel they they would pretty much agree with one another? They would say, yep, we’re all experiencing the same thing.
Timothy Conway: More than that, I think they just be enjoying one another enjoyment differences, of how this one can somehow appear as many. How the one formlessness can show up as Rick was each person watching this, I mean, how miraculous miraculous and not just you know, who am I? What am I but who are thou surely the openness that is your true nature that the personal consciousness functions out of is empowered by animated by surely that formless open awareness aliveness is not other than what’s powering this personhood.
Rick Archer: And so you said a minute ago that in you’d have to be you have to always be on your toes, because you can lose Enlightenment. You didn’t put it quite in those words. But and, and obviously, we have to sort of agree upon what we mean by the word, and we may choose to use the word as with reference to something that couldn’t be lost. But do you feel that there is such a thing as Enlightenment which couldn’t be lost under any circumstances, for any reason, just sort of your home free and that’s it? Or do you feel that no matter how Exalted are deeply realized one is there’s always the possibility of losing it.
Timothy Conway: Always the possibility that the one divine that’s coming up with all phenomena could emanate an unenlightened phenomenal state for a personal consciousness because no personal consciousness is the absolute. When we speak of Enlightenment, because the clear light awareness that we are, mean is the most ancient wisdom text on the planet, the dynamic of Upanishad, slightly older than the other big, ancient Upanishad. But Chandogya can kind of set the bhrashta because speaks of our true nature, the true brahman or reality, the true Atman or true self, the unborn, changeless, self nature open, being, awareness, bliss, such satchidananda supreme, this bird that Ania COVID Upanishad speaks of this true nature as the light by which all lesser lights are seen and known the light of the sun, the light of the moon, the stars, the fire, light, the fire, fly, light, all of these lights, little modern eras, neon and led and halogen lights and so forth. And light shows all of these lights, and including a very luminous deity or a luminous, saintly sage. Literally exuding light. All of these are phenomena. But it’s this clear, light, absolute awareness prior to all phenomena prior to all experiences, which is posting this whole cosmic light show and many lights, including the light of a sage, apparently enlightened, but that’s still merely a phenomenon. And so when an apparent stage comes along, kind of boasting of their Enlightenment, I have to chuckle and almost shed a tear because you know, something’s gone wrong there. Yeah, but let’s, we’re awake to the fact that the phenomenal Enlightenment is just a speck. Just a speck of happenstance, within the absolute nature that we are. So Enlightenment is for the personal consciousness, it’s getting cleared up, you could speak of spiritual realization you could speak up. Again, the different traditions have different names and terms for it. Usually it’s put in a cognitive sense like that. Yeah, that ancient Sanskrit root was the number Jhana and Fenian Jana and the Buddha Sanskrit prime. Yeah, it’s the root that note that was borrowed by the Western mystical tradition down in Greece and Asia Minor known as Gnosis that je n comes from the Sanskrit je n battle has a very cognitive semantics to it. But again, true realization will open you up so much that as effectively that is emotionally and behaviorally. It’s just sheer non duality raining. So someone like the hugging mother honor, you and Irene, your wife, certainly have experienced so much over the years, and so many people have worldwide, the famous hugging mother, she sometimes doesn’t articulate on the cognitive level of understanding maybe the clearest non dual Dharma sometimes it’ll sound rather dualistic and yet in her actual behavior, in terms of the hugging, marathon sessions, and certain other aspects of your life, there is remarkable non duality, lack of preference for her uncomfort willingness to just be there hour after hour, day after day, decade after decade are all these beings, some of whom don’t have personal good hygiene. She’ll still take them right into her arms and leopards even. Oh, of course, yeah, for that story, reported in that book chapter in the women of power and grace book about Dutton. She took in to her as was one of her disciples said as if he was her bone loss lover, and she licked his open wounds and sucked the plus out of them. I mean, that’s behavioral non duality, in a way that the five star hotel staying jetset trotting so called sages have heard about charging money for their holistic and their preferences, it seems I mean, their biases, but some aren’t in her again, mode. She’s just off the charts in terms of a capacity that most beings can’t even dream.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So the question that I want to come back to the question, which is setting aside people who may be half baked and who may have questionable motives, or whatever else, but you know, taking the Buddha Christ armor, what it whoever we consider to be sort of the King of the Hill in terms of human spiritual development. Do you feel that even with them, that there’s a possibility of losing that state and let me just add one more thing, you know, the Gita says the self realizes itself by the self so but it seems to do so through the instrumentality of a human nervous system Enlightenment is a living reality by definition, it’s not just I mean, it’s well yeah, it is. And and they’re and human nervous systems are frail, they’re subjected to disease and dementia or whatever, you know, Alzheimer’s or whatever it may happen to human nervous system. Do you consider…
Timothy Conway: And if If I could interject Rick, it’s important not just human nervous systems but the very personal consciousness itself as an instrument. Just as the moon does not shine with its own light but the borrowed light of the sun, all personal consciousnesses inhere, they have their existence in this absolute awareness which the creative universal conscious power that Shakti of Shiva that’s formless divine absolute Self. That’s Shakti it’s creative universal consciousness life power. It conjures up all these personal consciousnesses. So just on the the level of these souls, these persons of these jivas to use the Sanskrit word. There is frailty, there is the vicissitudes of the Samskaras, the wholesome and unwholesome personal consciousness tendencies would have been called the non binding and binding likes and dislikes. And you know, there’s innocent preferences and wholesome skills and talents. Those color are characterize a personal consciousness stream of phenomenal states moment by moment through the lifetimes, subtle plane lifetimes and earthly existences. But there’s also these unwholesome tendencies and these are the ones that are kind of pulling and pushing people around especially it seems, and so they creates a frailty just on the level of the Soul, not just the physical human organism. Right? But if Enlightenment has been attained, so to speak, does that imply that one has eliminated all unwholesome tendencies? Or can there actually still be a residue of those even in someone like Ramana Maharshi for instance, the only the only kind of some scar I could find about Ramana closely closely reading not just the kind of official biographical literature but all the reminiscence literature is that he was absolutely stubborn when anyone tried to single him out as special. Tried to give him anything special, like certain medications toward the end of his physical life when the cancer was devouring the body. When people would drink Posada usually fruit or sweets, the flowers, the edible kind of Prasad, and people would bring and they wanted Romanus to sample it first and then like given give it back, but he would make sure that everyone present got a bite of it before himself parts. So he was absolutely stubborn if people tried to contravene him on that one.
Rick Archer: Yeah, so we wouldn’t call that a flaw.
Timothy Conway: No, no, it was like the least kind of flaw you could possibly imagine for a being but you’d actually get irate over it. And,
Rick Archer: yeah,
Timothy Conway: That seemed to be his one major just like but could you call it a binding dislike in the sense of some scar and unwholesome some scar that would necessitate future births. I don’t think he could say that at all about Sri Bhagwan.
Rick Archer: So would it be fair to say of Enlightenment that, once that it’s possible to have attained it to such a degree, that regardless of the vicissitudes that the individual mind or body goes through, on the inside, so to speak, nothing fluctuates. For instance, last summer, I was sitting maybe 15 feet away, earlier this summer, 15 feet away from mom, and she was giving a talk. And she started talking about some disturbing scary things that might happen to the world in coming years. And, and some of the stuff was getting a little strange. And people were getting a little disturbed. In a certain point, she just stopped and she said, I’m tired, I should stop talking. You know, so I mean, a person could enlightened person so to speak, could be tired. And maybe they would say something that they wouldn’t say if they were fresh, or they might, it might not come out as clearly and coherently as it might if, yeah, so we’re kind of saying, but on the inside, you know, was any was was it wouldn’t have been possible for that, click that pure awareness, or whatever we want to call it to have been shrouded to any degree, by tiredness, or,
Timothy Conway: oh, there was probably a lot of witnessing of the state of fatigue.
Rick Archer: Yeah,
Timothy Conway: I mean, you can watch yourself fall asleep. And if you’re ever having to deal with tremendous lethargy, like same situation, you’re on a job or, or your spouse needs to converse with you about something and it’s late at night, and your attempts to negotiate another time and space for discussing the topic won’t be heard of some has been now and yet you’re suffering from massive fatigue. You’re driving a motor vehicle. And there’s a good place to pull over.
Rick Archer: That sounds like a personal experience.
Timothy Conway: Oh, yeah. Yeah, last about 1518 pounds from the move and was going like many days of like, 20 straight hours on the feet, but, you know, three or four hours of sleep at night, so that will look a little haggard, the move to Arizona ticket stall, but yeah, the capacity just didn’t notice fatigue, to notice, alertness, all those different states waking dream dreamless sleep and say within the waking state, greater states of energy, lesser states of energy, states of good health, ill health, for body or mind, all of that can get witness. But the clear light principle is always clear. Always self luminous, always self bright. Very openness and host for whatever happens. So that’s why they want to chime in master spoke about I’m a layman Pang was one of them. And then number of them they spoke about them know, the power here is I eat when I’m hungry and sleep when I’m tired. And so much of it is just it’s just happening. It’s not me doing it or suffering it. But sometimes, you know, states of personal consciousness so suffering of pain will arise. I mean, we all know with Ana, she comes from a crazy Fisher people’s village background her father was a real anger problem apparently he was a rageaholic beat his own daughter severely Om that is the eldest daughter, who had to be like a little mother because her mother was very infirmed. So little Alma su Domine, precious jewel, his original name, she had to be doing all the chores and everything but then she became this full blown mystic she’d already had all these mystical tendencies as a youth, you know, her father beat the tar out of her over and over again. And, you know, it comes through, for instance of a book by Gail Treadwell, whenever longtime, earliest disciples from the West, that is, Western disciples that, you know, almost sometimes explode in ways that seem like some raging kalima which is inscrutable. And sometimes, you know, seeming more like something quite human played. Gail uses a whole bunch of words like petty and so forth. And apparently quite unenlightened. So where would those come from? How can profound personal consciousness Enlightenment, clearing up a whole bunch of Samskaras? For a personal consciousness? Personal consciousness abama? How could that occur in one way, and yet there might be unhealed stuff from her. Clearly abusive childhood that she underwent. Growing up under her father
Rick Archer: could also conceivably have been a teaching strategy. Possibly, I mean, although, you know, always evoking that alibi can can excuse all sorts of egregious behavior in teachers. So you were mentioning in one of your songs, a Zen teacher, who beat the crap out of one of his disciples threw them off a balcony. I mean, did all kinds of wild stuff
Timothy Conway: Hokhmah wins Japanese Zen Master?
Rick Archer: Yeah. And I don’t know if he behaved that way, habitually, you know, with people, maybe it was just this. And you said, the disciple had a fair amount of spiritual ego, you know, he thought he was pretty hot stuff. And so this guy pretty much pounded it out of him, literally. And eventually, the the man became enlightened, so that it could be a teaching strategy in certain circumstances. So I think we should, we should use that excuse very cautiously because
Timothy Conway: Oh, very, very, very flashes.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Timothy Conway: And just like, you know, people that have invoked the idea of this Tibetan, Maha Siddhis. And they’re crazy behavior, like Marpa, eating, Milarepa, and so forth, all of those stories were invented. Centuries later, the really tough stories of Tilopa really beating the crap out of Noah ropa, demanding a jump off a cliff, and then coming down to healing his body. All of those stories were invented about five 600 years later by some crazy Tibetan monk. So the idea of taking those literally and then using it as license or rationale for punishing one’s own disciples. Yeah, that’s just such arrogance and conceit. Beggars description,
Rick Archer: don’t try this at home, as they say. All right, let’s. So my initial question was,
Timothy Conway: yeah,
Rick Archer: enlightened, what is Enlightenment, it’s good idea to have an idea of what it is because it can be an incentive to, quote unquote, attain it. And most people don’t, most people in the world don’t even know such a thing exists. You know, there’s some series of verses in the Gita where it kind of breaks it down by powers of 10. Like out of so many 1000s Only one even knows that there is such a thing and then out of so many 1000s So 1000s of those only one actually strives for it. And I have so many 1000s of those, only one actually attains it, you know, so it seems like kind of a fake kind of an exclusive club. But I kind of feel like as we grow as we evolve as a culture into a more enlightened age, which hopefully we’re doing, it will become a better known thing is that you know, human beings can attain to sort of like Abraham Maslow’s, you know, self actualization as we rise up the hierarchy of needs. And you can envision a society in which school children in fact, there are schools like this already, there’s one in my town, which school children are taught to meditate and taught about Enlightenment, and so on and so forth. And it just is normal as learning about history or sociology or something. Yeah. So there’s that.
Timothy Conway: I think there’s some hyperbole in that Hindu metaphor of the exclusive club, you know, one out of 1000 and then of that subset, only one out of 1000, etcetera. I mean, the Buddha had spoken very similarly, you know, what are the odds of a blind turtle? You know, sticking its little head and neck through a little tiny hoop on an ocean of such enormous, enormous size. I mean, the odds are, basically, impossibly against it. So not very encouraging. So, all of that is motivational hyperbole. It’s kind of the way like Mitt Romney would tell the Notre Dame football guys you know, when one for the Gipper. It’s a big bootcamp, pep talk kind of thing. But in other ways, because of the clear, light awareness or absolute truth nature is true. It’s simply relaxing back into what is always here, closer and close closer than your eyeballs never than thought prior to the arising of any thought about Will I become enlightened, who is enlightened? How do I become enlightened, prior to each of those thoughts? And prior to each of the syllables in the verbal formulations in your head? What are you, you are this openness right now? Right now, you are fast, open changeless utterly silent and still lessness awareness, aliveness and this is playing at personifying as personal consciousness. And operationally, that’s just a series of personal consciousness moments. It’s a flux streaming of phenomena. So, you know, mind is minding, in all sorts of perceptual ways with memory, concept making, making sense out of sensations, evaluating, so forth, and so on. And the body is this incredible process of bodying. Like some 70 trillion cells, most of which are friendly bacteria. So much of the rest is just like bloodstream, platelet cells, and so forth. It’s only about 4 trillion out of the 70 trillion cells sitting there on that chair, that are actually native tissue cells, and those are dying and being renewed. So this incredible dynamism is ever changing, evanescent streaming? And where was the body 100 years ago? Or where will it be 20 or 50 years hence, it’s nothing. And yet, while it’s a rising moment, by vanishing, miraculous moment, its miracle upon miracle as is the mind set of perceptual capacities. So I part company from those that are always trying to shame you for being a personal consciousness shame you for your quote, ego mind. It’s a cheap trick that certain people, a lot of people in spiritual and religious field use is to make people ashamed of personhood, and then feel like you have to somehow leave all that behind for the impersonal real nature is Supra personal. And it’s the host for all the impersonal phenomena like you know, atmospheric gases to cement and tarmac surface of the road. On the street, where you live and so forth. That’s all impersonal, but these personal consciousnesses, their destiny is not to be destroyed or suppressed, or utterly abandoned, for the sake of some impersonal reality. No, our super personal reality is super personal, prior to the personal, beyond the personal, transcending the personal and yet, it includes consciousness states and their interaction with fellow persons and in personal things and so forth. So realizing all this, there’s a clarity here, and anyone anyone can realize the same clarity. zillions of beings clearly exist throughout the cosmos animal beings, human beings, celestial subtle plane beings, and each one at any moment is none other than Yes, each one at any moment can simply through this radical intuitive knowingness and knowing by being capital K knowing knowing of phenomena, that’s relative, knowing but absolutely Going by being clearly what we always absolutely are. This knowing by being is available to any one. Anyone at any time any moment. So, we can’t be exclusive. There’s no exclusive club about this. Okay, good. And that’s why I say many spiritual teachers out there who I find, abusing or exploiting followers in numerous ways. I often find them very unenlightened compared to many of their followers who were serving selflessly, and it’s largely abandoned all unwholesome tendencies, while they’re figured that they put up on a pedestal and are worshiping that failure is often full of self aggrandizing tendencies, that person has often just, as I sense it, and hear from people’s testimonials and revelations, Such persons are manifesting all sorts of states of Enlightenment. So go figure, the great paradox,
Rick Archer: that actually gets me into a second fundamental question or fundamental reason why I think it’s a good idea for people to have an understanding of what Enlightenment is. And that is that is that it’s, I think it should that it safeguards the path. I mean, we’ve seen so many weird things come down in terms that could be sort of loosely thrown into the basket of Enlightenment or higher consciousness, everything from Jonestown, to Hyatt Heaven’s Gate and Scientology, and you know, any number of other things. And it seems to me that if someone really had a clear understanding of the goal, so to speak, and again, you know, those kinds of words are awkward when we’re talking about what we’re actually talking about. But if they really understood what the potential of human awakening or realization was, then, I mean, there was a there was a documentary on CNN last week. I saw it. I saw it too. It’s like Holy mackerel, these are intelligent, fairly well educated people. And, you know, they they said, Irene says, apparently not, but they hung out with this weirdo for decades, you know, who was like just kind of staring at them, like Rudolph Valentino, and an old movie. And it’s like, where’s the discrimination? If we really understood what we’re about with this whole evolution to higher consciousness business? Seems that we wouldn’t get waylaid by things like that, again, by we, I mean, a larger culture, the you know, so there’s a real value as I see it to infusing a clear understanding of the path, the goal into our kind of collective awareness.
Timothy Conway: Yeah, and that’s why, you know, that topic for the doctoral dissertation arose. I mean, later on, Bill Moyers, said, the, the attempt to define what is really spirituality is the great problem of our era, because he was already hip to the fact that most people had abandoned traditional authoritarian forms of religion for a more generic kind of spirituality, spiritual living, and, you know, from whatever highest sense of spirit people could be awake to. So, you know, when we’re basically savvy about all the different qualities and virtues and wholesome aspects of real spirituality, living from spirit finding spirit and everyone we meet, flowing, letting go and not selfishly clinging and self aggrandizing with pride and greed and defensiveness and all that when there’s authentic spiritual living, then we’re savvy, we’re not capable of being duped, but the profiteers, the hucksters, charlatans who have maybe some degree of profound spiritual awakening, but then it somehow gets manifested in more or less insidious are very explicit, kind of twisted, distorted ways that create all sorts of problems for themselves and in relationships. So yeah, sad. Often people get together and there can be very powerful Shakti kind of phenomena. Within Christian Pentecostal charismatic circles would be called another charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit working. You know, I did my master’s thesis on that. A few years before the doctoral dissertation It was these cross cultural examples and discussions of again, what could call be called Shakti pod or the blessing power of the Holy Spirit of Baraka or Barraca, as they call it, and Sufi and Jewish mystical terms. In the Buddhist traditions, you have a lot of instances of energetic empowerment on the subtle Energy level, and all sorts of powers and wonders can ensue. But, you know, it’s very easy for people to get caught up in what I’ve always called the grace Chase, about that. And then they lose the sense of the absolute and they’re chasing phenomena, and very addicted to the phenomena happening around a particular phenomenon, a spiritual teacher or a place or a particular group of people. And then it just can become very toxic very quickly when all the unwholesome qualities started rising as they do in powerful situations, or testing situations. And the selfish ego tendencies can often just start manifesting in spades. But if people are still thinking, Oh, this is all godly happening, they can very easily get seduced by the whole thing. And that’s why some of these cults that dysfunctional goals and disempowering calls will unfold over decades. And you wonder, and the people themselves wonder when they finally wake up and leave it, why was I in there so long? It’s because there was subtle and transmit with phenomena. But when we’re clear about our absolute clear laid post nature, which is prior to all phenomena, and not interested in any particular phenomena, as the method for God realization, then there’s real freedom. There’s real freedom, you can’t be duped, ya can’t be.
Rick Archer: Good. So yeah, good point. You’ve made a few references, we might say aspersions to teachers who charge money. And I just want to address that for a minute. Obviously, you don’t Nisargadatta didn’t Ramana didn’t, although the ashram received donations that that supported it.
Timothy Conway: They lived in dire poverty for years.
Rick Archer: yeah, it wasn’t like a cushy scene or anything like that. And, you know, in some teachers these days are making a killing. I also happen to know some who are living very modestly, but who don’t have another means of support. And if they had to work an eight hour day wouldn’t really be able to serve in any capacity as a spiritual teacher, and they charge reasonably for their time. And, you know, 50
Timothy Conway: here would always be good, even when there is charging of modest songs. I haven’t be on a sliding scale, because let’s face it, in this day and age, we live in the most extreme period in the United States, in its history, in terms of have everything’s and have nots, I mean, the rich are super rich, I mean, some of these DECA millionaires, not to mention the scent of millionaires and billionaires to drop, you know, 100 bucks here, or $500, there $10,000 Over there, it’s nothing to them, it’s like Penny, whereas to some, you know, elderly 78 year old woman’s needs to be on certain medications, and, you know, her rent is going up, maybe it’s your, that sort of thing. You know, an extra $10 is the difference between, you know, hearing that great, so called enlightened teacher, give his evening wrap that he could probably do in his sleep, and, you know, her medication or her food, so
Rick Archer: yeah. alluding to actually, it should be free. Yeah, most of the people I’m alluding to do offer a sliding scale and freebies, for those who who really can’t, you know, but they have dentists bills and car repairs and you know, things like that ordinary things and rent and that everybody has to deal with. And I’m just coming to their defense and saying that not everybody is positioned to just offer offer.
Timothy Conway: Okay, but let’s get clear about something here, Rick, friendly discussion of this, which is, let’s look at the setup from the get go. Why is one person presuming to be enlightened and sharing teachings for a fee, which suggests, which suggests and all the trappings of the situation, if you look at social psychology and how power is shared are not the sort of thing of the race shape of the room, you know, flowers in front of the teacher to sitting on a fancy chair, usually. All of that setup from the get go, reeks of what something like Ramana Maharshi fundamentally rejected, which is the idea that one person is enlightened and the others not. And Ramana looked at people he saw only the self, he didn’t see a client, or someone who needs to hear this message about Enlightenment because you’re not enlightened and he had nothing to do with that. Neither did she Nisargadatta and I see a deity and undermine the Buddha any Number three, create truly authentically realized beings. So, you know, my comment about a lot of this, it really has to do with more fundamentally a power grab what’s going on? And it’s a doucement. No, because if you make your livelihood, the ability to pay your bills dependent on being a spiritual teacher, then you need spiritual disciples and listeners and students and people willing to pay for what you have to share. And I fundamentally reject that as a lead model for authentic spiritual sharing. Well, let’s say you make your livelihood, its mission model where in on some people openly speak of have they been prepared by their teacher to share the Dharma in a certain way. And, you know, there’s a certain transmission of understanding and grace, all of that just reeks of phenomenology, and is totally not expressing the message of the egalitarian nature of this clear, light awareness that all of us fundamentally are.
Rick Archer: Well, I hear you and I can think of teachers who, you know, explicitly articulate exactly what you’re saying right now that they’re striving for a more egalitarian arrangement. They’re still serving as a spiritual teacher, but they they are trying to empower others and make it a, you know, kind of a learning circle and not just a sort of a hierarchical arrangement with them upon on a couch. And, and you know, I mean, if one makes one’s living as a psychologist or psychotherapist, they depend upon clients paying a certain fee for their time. Would you put that in a completely different category, then? Yes, why? Yes,
Timothy Conway: because psychotherapy, and certainly over the years, done a lot of pro bono counseling for people without charging any fees. You’re in there young people wanted to pay and very comfortably able to. And so I take that as a donation. But it’s one thing in a psychotherapeutic context, where someone comes in with a presenting problem. And soon enough, they’re brief therapy. We’re not talking about psychoanalysis, where you seduce people into one to 515 30 years of therapy and countless 1000s of dollars. In brief therapy, you can very quickly bring people home to non dual awareness. And then their problem is obviated in spirituality from the get go, the message is one of completeness, and wholeness. As you are right now, closer than close your true nature. Spirit has no problems, has no lack has no warping or trauma or disfigurement or distortion. So in spirituality, this should be the upfront message. When money is brought in, and then people adjust the psychotherapy model is a rationalization or justification for it. What we have here is still the model that something is wrong with people, they’re not yet enlightened, or that woeful ego mind or Oh, that terrible little personal consciousness. It’s still so unenlightened here come to me, I have the answers for how you can outgrow all that and grow up and become enlightened and no longer be a problem. I fundamentally disagree with that entire message and approach. It’s not the message of the great stately non dual tradition, but here in the United States, and it’s spread back to Europe and back to India itself. People operating right at the foot of Arunachala. You know, right outside Ramana Maharshi. These old ashram if they had their druthers, they’d be right in there sitting on his couch presuming to be teaching in his lineage some of these characters. I won’t mention any names, but I think anyone who does a little reading will find out who they are. Such characters completely betray the great wholesome spirit of wholeness that Sri Ramana lived and saw and shared. So I have to fundamentally disagree with anything that tries to use a psychotherapy model as a model for sharing non dual spirituality because true non dual spirituality will not admit fundamentally of any flaw in who you really are. True.
Rick Archer: But, you know, to take an extreme example, you walk into a room of psychotics at a mental hospital or something like that and say, and say, you know, who you truly are, is is, you know, the pure, unchanging universe here that in most cases, they’re not ready to hear that and so,
Timothy Conway: get it very clear. Shankara made it very clear about 1313 150 years ago that You know, the pure way to teaching is only to be shared with those who actually have already grown on the personal consciousness level such that the personal consciousness won’t be all full of trauma, and mental emotional disorder and pain, that will then hijack the message or ignore it or distort it, the non dual message about who we are. So their states of readiness, I don’t deny this. Stages of brightness. And there are many, many. That’s why for many, it’s kind of a healing thing. That kind of formed us psychotherapy jargon of re parenting, to have like devotional practice. But the sooner that devotion can be realized, as non dual devotion, realizing what’s the power by which I sing the praises of or bow down to the great living God, surely that power is God, the power by which I express praise and gratitude or ask for help for suffering beings, that power by which I devotionally ask the Greek deity, that power itself is God. So when the true devotee realizes that only God’s power is here, I have no power of my own even to be devoted. Then the devotion is non dual devotion, and it’s far less problematic doesn’t have all those kind of painful aspects of devotion. Like why does God seem near today? Yet tomorrow, God maybe experiences more distant and remote. Today, my heart is Z elated. And today, my heart is depressed. If you read the literature, in the classic religious traditions of devotion, dualistic devotion, you find all of those vicissitudes, the ups and downs, and people even getting suicidal and so forth. But when they realize there’s only one reality here doing everything, and being everyone, all of that falls,
Rick Archer: sure. So, um, you know, having interviewed well over 300 people now, and having taken some interviews down, eventually, because I felt like, I mean, and I both felt like, well, this person is really sort of getting carried away with themselves, we don’t want to be in contributing to their popularity. I nonetheless, feel that a great number of the people I’ve interviewed are approaching this in a very sincere honest, down to earth. humble way. And yeah, and, and that, you know, obviously, people can get suckered into all kinds of things. But, but the sincere ones, you know, you you see some of the people who have been spending time in their soft songs and whatnot. And they really seem to be they have their head in the right place, their heart in the right place, and they really seem to be genuinely benefiting from from the process. So just a little bit more forgiving and supportive than you are. I think
Timothy Conway: I’m very supportive of wherever truth is shared in a heartfelt sincere way.
Rick Archer: Yeah, so I just don’t want to paint the whole thing with too broad a brush. You know, I would agree with that sentiment, right. Yeah, there’s some really good eggs out there. Yeah, yeah. And some of them actually are charging a fee for their retreats and whatnot. I mean, I went to a retreat last September with a guy that, you know, become very popular, even though he actually tries to keep a low profile, just because of the word of mouth. And it was a real nice experience. And of course fee for the retreat is basically exactly what the retreat place charges for the room and board and all that stuff. And if anybody wants to donate anything extra they can, and he never says how much you should donate or anything like that. And I don’t know how to like, you know, so he’s approaching it in that way. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, so. Okay, so that, that’s, I think we’ve covered that topic. And one other thing on along those lines, if you send it to BatGap, I won’t get it. You have to send it through Dan. Okay. One of the things along those lines is that they’re the readiness of a person to become a spiritual teacher. I mean, I’ve, I’m told and you can corroborate this that in Zen tradition that you you’re supposed to wait at least 10 years after awakening to take on the role of a teacher and what I
Timothy Conway: have fixed about that particular
Rick Archer: Yeah, but used to the way you don’t just jumped in with both feet as soon as you’ve had some sort of awakening. And what I observe is that in many people, there’s a sort of a a lot of inner velcro still that you know, they’ve had some awakening they feel marvelous, they start teaching and suddenly without their even knowing it, the the praise the adulation And the attention starts sticking to that inner Velcro. And the the ego kind of begins to get more and more aggrandized. And then they begin to get in trouble. So maybe you could address that point a bit?
Timothy Conway: Well, I think you’ve described it very succinctly wreck yourself there. Yeah, I mean, can one not be a teacher? If one obviously has a vocation as a teacher, I mean, I remember sitting with a novelized Swami, a very beautiful spiritual son at Sri Ramana Maharshi. You wouldn’t call him a disciple, because Ramana said he had no disciples everyone was the cell. But anomaly Swami really constantly manifested the simplicity and clarity. Among all the people I met, who had personally known and satellite was Sri Ramana, Maharshi. And nominally Swami, among other things, like most Indians, who knew how to read palms, so he looked at my palm and said, Oh, you see, had invited me and invited me to stay there and Indian. And just as a simple, you know, Saudi Jana way. And it was very tempting, very tempting, I was a grad student and broke out of bed, easy to just let it all go and stay there and live on Vichara on any donations of food rice for the villagers. And there was an ashram there anomaly. So maybe there was a hidden ash on there Ramana himself, authorized to be built and maintained. Never did that for any other of his followers. But for nonetheless, Swami he did. So, and I’m always told me read my palm, when I said, you know, I shouldn’t be getting back home and my family there, we lost my sister, you know, my parents would be very aggrieved if I stayed here in India, the rest of my days, and all of that, so I should at least go back and maybe finish graduate school, they were helping invest in that along with my own, working and paying for it. So he looked at my palm. And he said, You, you have to go back. It’s it’s just in your product. Karma, your destiny karma. What’s just prescribed, we’re done ordained by the university. It just has to happen. I said, But I’m so mental already, you know, graduate student and everything of this huge library on sacred traditions and psychology. And science, should not just be a farmer. That’d be a far less problematic way and least chance of ego coming, any looked at my palm, and he said, you don’t have any choice about it. So there are going to be people, they have no choice but to somehow be in some kind of teacher role of shiver presenter role. And I would simply simply encourage Ruth to check out the motivation. And would you be just as happy working? You know, in some store like Trader Joe’s market, I mentioned them because I know they pay their workers a living wage with benefits are not exploited. And like certainly corporations, with their workers, you know, or could you be a farmer? Could you live simply, could you be just that, quote, housewife or House Husband? Could you live without the glamour?
Rick Archer: Yeah. We try to interview people like that, actually, you know, we it’s hard to find them. Sometimes they don’t have a public profile. But we, we do try to, you know, mix in some people who are living lives like that, who don’t want to be teachers. Sometimes there’s
Timothy Conway: I think there’s many, many, many such beings.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Sometimes they aren’t as articulate as people who are practicing teachers, you know, because teachers are used to teaching, but there’s an sort of innocence and simplicity and, and it’s one of the original motivations of this show to demonstrate that that awakening is not for special people. It’s for everyone, and that there are all kinds of people who are driving trucks. I mean, I interviewed a truck driver, he’s still he’s still a truck driver. And that’s what he likes to do. He doesn’t want to be a teacher is and but he had this beautiful awakening. So there,
Timothy Conway: Rick and I rain and Jerry and everyone who makes BatGap possible because this is exactly what needs to happen is the realization that this one clear light, absolute awareness, open isness is always here. I’m not presently here and everyone we meet and anyone can be living this. I think there’s many, many, many beings living from this beautiful simplicity and openness and real freedom. Yeah. suffused with all sorts. The beautiful divine qualities. And that’s why I harp over and over on how Enlightenment is not just some cognitive understanding. There are many circles, they make a fetish out of this understanding. And then as soon as you learn the concepts in the language, and can do the rap, I mean, I can teach anyone in about three minutes, how to have the most stupendous kind of profound sounding enlivenment Wrap. You only use negation language negate everything, to speak with a pot of markers set to the absolute truth level parlance. negations and superlatives, and certain use of metaphor. And you can sound very impressive on a conceptual level of the understanding that we learned that there’s all sorts of folks that have that knack, eloquence, loquacious, pneus, they can run with a kind of a rap that could earned in as little as five minutes or an hour. But the rest of their life is very quality, their relationships and so forth. The presence of the divine virtues, it’s just not there. Yeah. What, meanwhile, you find people like your friend, the trucker, and many, many, many other beings. So I think their lives are suffused with beautiful, beautiful, divine virtues, a whole array of virtues. And yet they may not have the conceptual understanding level in the loquacious ability to speak absolute ish.
Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah. Good point. So I mean, you can, you can put two people next to one another, you just to summarize what you just said, one of them might be genuinely realized and not be very clear, and being able to express it another might be able to express it beautifully, but not be actually realized.
Timothy Conway: Yeah, in order to lay there thinking, how can I turn you into a paying client an extra mansion I want, you know,
Rick Archer: I mean, just sent in a question. Related to this fees business, she said that I believe in traditional Indian culture, doctors and spiritual teachers do not charge money. However, their society is set up to support them, if not lavishly, other cultures are not set up, but such as this, and thus, teachers do need to charge to survive, but that does not justify outrageous fees, etc. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Here’s a couple of questions that came in. Let’s see,
Timothy Conway: I want to say one more thing. Oh, yeah, please. Yeah, sure. Good day job for many so called teachers, who would be very good for humility, and really, for instance, generating more of that engaged spirituality kind of empathy for how so many workers of the world disunited and united are faring there’s massive, massive wage exploitation going on and you know, lack of benefits and so for the traditionally, we’re very much part of the usual kind of living wage job in the United States. Now those living wage jobs paying benefits are few and far between you hear stories from the Economic Policy Institute, my favorite economic think tank, very progressive, that, you know, for like every single living wage job like say, job as a custodian, so called janitor at a school or hospital or something. For every one living wage job. There’s like 300 applicants. Wow, the other what are the other 299 folks doing that aren’t lucky enough to get that job? Where did they go?
Rick Archer: We need to make America great again.
Timothy Conway: Just kidding. Dignity of labor can be reinforced and yeah, we can have a lot more jobs you know, every billion dollars that goes toward the big racket of lobbyists and defense contractors and they’re bought and paid for Congress person you know, for instance, producing far far more tanks and fighter planes and obsolete kind of technology that the Pentagon itself doesn’t even want right and former top brass and current top brass at the Pentagon are outraged by this racket that goes on between the lobbyists, the contractors and the Congress persons to vote, these procurement projects. Well, every billion dollars going for those make the contractors and lobbyists rich and the Congress persons rich because it’s a revolving door. The congress people go right into those industry they’ve just legislated on. For a few billion dollars you spent on so called defense technology. You could create like double or triple the number of pieces and jobs, and education and so forth.
Rick Archer: That’s a great point. I’m glad to bring this up. I mean, it might seem like a rather abrupt segue to some people listening, like, why is he talking about this all the sudden, but um, I think that spirituality and practical realities such as economics and social justice and all are inextricably intertwined, interconnected, and that, you know, spirituality has something to offer these more practical realities, and bring, bring about some real change that we, you know, with perhaps with a lot less pain and bloodshed than changes had to have in the past. And this, let’s talk about that a bit more. But maybe before we do, so, why don’t you just explain your three levels model? Because I think it’s really good. I read it every couple of months. You know, just to clarify my I send it to people, I think it’d be, it would help explain why you were able to make this segue all the sudden into talking about economic justice.
Timothy Conway: Yeah. And if I could just say, you know, back when I was awake, April of 2003, the National Sun magazine, that’s a journal of thinking on current events and psychology and spirituality and poetry and politics. And so for the sun Magazine did this fall on interview with me and I basically distinguish between the mystical spirituality and engaged spirituality and most of the interview, bias in the editing of it was to emphasize more of the engaged spirituality. But most of what I’ve been talking about today, thus far, and much of my teaching and sharing and writing, is about mystical spirituality. But we cannot leave aside this engaged in spirituality on the threefold model you refer to is simply an elaboration of the old device, Satya, the Sanskrit phrase meaning the twofold truth. It’s there in the Upanishads, the Buddha speaks of the Dwyer Satya Nagarjuna, the father of Mahayana, Buddhism, Xiang co speaks of these this twofold truth level, it’s basically I made reference to it earlier part of my because Satya, the Absolute Truth level, understanding and parlance, or discourse, and relative are phenomenal, conventional, and we could say, pragmatic level of discourse. So for instance, the absolute level language is all about negations. And superlatives. It’s like, none of us really exists. Right? Now, this is all just a dream. Only awareness is formlessness is always transcending. And it’s the only reality nothing has ever happened. You don’t exist, nothing exists only at the great no thing is real. That’s an absolute language. And you can stop any conversation in its tracks. And unfortunately, some people have learned that that’s why I said I could teach people to sound really profound in just a few minutes. Just using the language of party Martica. Such Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Well,
Rick Archer: you can be sitting at dinner with a NEO Advaita person and say, Please pass the salt and he could say there is no salt, you know, there is no passing there
Timothy Conway: is no people
Rick Archer: Yeah. You say, Would you cut the crap and pass the damned salt?
Timothy Conway: on the child and so on, has had a field day with any unripe folks who felt presumed that they were enlightened, because they had this realization of the Absolute John master JoJo would say something wrong with you go have a cup of tea. I think you need to eat something they just immediately saw that is just you know, a power play an attempt by someone to up level themselves above everyone else’s level of conventional, relating and speaking and interacting by, again speaking absolute ish, as I call it. Nagarjuna himself said in his classic treatises on shunyata, better translated its openness, but usually translated as emptiness. He said, You know, this great teaching of shunyata absolute openness, emptiness. No thing is it’s a medicine for those who are sick on worldliness, thing nuts. But for those who get sick on this medicine of shunyata what medicine can we get them? All the time masters had medicine, it was like, go scrub the floor. Yeah. Go read the sutras or go work with the Seva calm, I’m gonna ask laborers out in the garden. On the formfields Yeah, they wanted folks to really realize the non duality and that privilege, the absolute the silence, the stillness, and then go, all uncomfortable about the so called messy world of the 10,000 things that maybe upon myriads gazillions of phenomena. So this threefold model, it’s basically positing a level and it’s not a level, it’s the absolute nature, the Absolute Truth level. And then, in the old to truth model, you simply had the absolute and conventional or pragmatic, but I felt the need to insert a second intermediary level. It’s like the, let’s put them on putting my hands up here, level one, the absolute, there’s level three, don’t have the cameras picking up it. That’s the realm of phenomena, light and dark and in positive and negative charge in the atom, you know, the good and evil justice and injustice, male and female, you know, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Sufi, you name it, all the differences, the different kinds of flora and fauna, cultures, you name it, all the phenomena of all the sciences. That’s level three, level two, still acknowledges multiplicity, but in the absolute perfection of how the absolute knows all phenomena and beings. It’s this idea that timelessly we are all living Buddhas, timelessly all including bad boys and history like Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot and Mao Zedong, and Stalin and Timothy, All the bed. Still, intrinsically and innately pure, innocent. personhood, personal consciousness emanations of the one Absolutely. And so what you wind up with is a model than any moment of experiencing, let’s say, you know, you’re in one of the camps at Auschwitz or, or something, or in Darfur for you know, these last whatever many too many years, or in a home where a husband’s gone ballistic food, being a rageaholic, or an alcoholic or something and healed and treated and the family members are taking the brunt? It feels like hell, in that moment, on level three, yeah, that’s a hellish situation. That needs to be an intervention. Let’s bring in social workers say in the case of the abusive family situation, or in the case of the Nazi death camps. Death Marches, let the Soviet soldiers come in and the Allied soldiers come in and liberate those poor, hapless people who are so hideously hideously abused and tormented and slaughtered. So level three is all about justice and injustice, right and wrong, appropriate and inappropriate, skillful, and unskillful to consult Buddhist language, you know, how does compassion get manifested? skillfully, maybe not so skillfully, that’s always been aiming for more skillful manifestation of compassion. But on level two, you could say that whatever is happening is somehow you almost have to allow for a big silence. The only way I could say this, for instance, about the Nazi Holocaust is because some of the greatest Hasidic Jewish rabbis themselves said, level two, interpretation or human hermeneutic level of say, the death camp at Auschwitz or any member of the camps is that it’s all perfect. The souls playing the roles of the Nazis have extraordinary lessons, and tests and challenges facing them, of how compassionate or how obedient and conformist and cowardly they were going to be on the side of the Jewish and other inmates of those camps, gypsies and homosexuals, and others who are considered undesirables. It’s like, you know, how selfless and courageous are they in sharing their little morsels with people that couldn’t even get out of bed that day and Republican to be exterminated later that day, but they wanted to give them a last little tiny bit of food, just to play as you see the whole gamut of evil and good courage and coward as the whole play of the opposites. And there’s something intrinsically perfect about the extraordinarily stupendous drama of that kind of situation. And because souls are Undying, this one Jewish Hasidic rabbi and as Gerson has been going all over the world A worked with hypnotherapist and then he learned hypnotherapy skills. He was regressing people who felt that they had lived during the Holocaust and died during the Nazi Holocaust. The first thing they would experience as soon as they dropped the boney was, I’m no longer cold or hungry, I’m no longer in pain or in fear. I’m in bliss. That was just earthly manifestation, I am a soul. So level two is all about souls, the intrinsic perfection and innocence blissfulness of souls there in truth, ability or incapacity to be touched by the phenomena of the worlds of pain and denser illusion.
Rick Archer: It’s also all about God. I mean, if yes, exactly. Is God making mistakes? You know, I mean, is he screwing up? Does he not have? Is he not omniscient, and I say he against the limitations of language. Yeah. And I like to think that we can actually see all these three levels in a sense, I mean, the level, the more the most manifest level is obviously in the needs for social justice and all that all that stuff in the laws of mechanical laws of nature, and all that stuff that sciences study. And, you know, we deal with us as a society level to the subtle level of science. Again, if we look closely, we see divine perfection in every molecule. It’s every atom, every, you know, every biological entity is just operating in complete harmony with laws of nature that are so vast and so intricate, and so abiding, that it’s beyond human understanding. We’re just groping along trying to understand them better. And
Timothy Conway: I went into that in some length 2003 interview with a son magazine, I have that whole thing up at the website. But yeah, there’s so many books by so many amazed, scientists, who just appreciate the stupendous miraculousness of these constantly, fine, fine, fine, fine tuned balances, where you know, it’ll be a fraction. So many decimal places over and if you move the decimal places, one point to the left or one point to the right, we’re talking like trillions of trillions,
Rick Archer: we wouldn’t have had a universe. Yeah,
Timothy Conway: like if the force of matter, just so happened to be just a little bit stronger, a little bit weaker than anti matter. And mind. You know, it’s something like, I can’t remember but it’s like 27 decimal points. Yeah. If you move it over one decimal point to the left or the right, just a little stronger, a little weaker. You don’t get a physical cosmos.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Robert Lanza is one of those who writes very eloquently on that. Yeah, so there’s like this, you know, there’s proof of it. Yeah. And it’s staring us in the face. We’re, we’re swimming in it all the time. There’s just this sort of marvelous play and display of, of vast Infinite Intelligence and God is in its heaven and all is right with the world and on that level.
Timothy Conway: And so on that level, it’s like, it makes all the difference in terms of how for instance, engaged spirituality in the form of activism gets carried out sound that level three, the level of pragmatic relativism, you know, Gandhiji Mohandas K, Gandhi, Mahatma presolar, Gandhi, was really the I seen as the father of the modern era engaged spirituality movement. He perfected so many of the aspects of the approach for his set yogena. He’s those trained in in his wave sadaqa, hot, true force. mysterious word that has a lot of connotations, but it will take too long to go into it. He trained them in total love and respect for the essential goodness of whomever the perpetrator might be. And he forbade people from using sarcasm or the kind of dualistic mocking sloganeering that goes on. So much in our say, American political process could be healed by that, but not be ready to quite live that level of impeccability and integrity. But he always wanted his argument us and everyone to see that even the worst perpetrators, the worst monsters of perpetrating injustice, but fundamentally they are innocent souls, that complicated conditioning, all those unwholesome Samskaras that seem to be pulling and pushing and driving their behavior. On level two, absolutely innocent, pure emanations out of this one single reality, doing everything and being everyone. So if we live all three levels spontaneously, there’s a balance, right? You get a little too and don’t just one level, like, say A Course in Miracles and had to be critical of because it almost always only speaks on level two, about intrinsic perfection. And it’s very imbalanced and undermines and provides no support whatsoever for an engaged spirituality level three. It’s actually talking about certain problems and how you’re the apparent causes. And here’s the evidence for what might work, you know, to help solve this problem, a whole set of problems.
Rick Archer: So I have a number of questions, I’d like to ask you some that have come in from online viewers as we speak here, and some from our friend, Thomas Roseto, your student whom I interviewed a couple of months ago. And so let me just go through them. They’re not necessarily in a logical order, but we’ll just take each one and see what you have to say. So the first one is from Bobby in Griffin, Georgia. Bobby asks, Timothy, can you speak to the topic of patience on the path? I have been meditating for six or seven years and have felt many changes and beautiful experiences, yet many habits in my life remain fixed. Seeking has fallen away a good bit, and I’m much happier in general, but I can’t. But I can’t help but want the big shift. I know that desire can be a hindrance, and yet also propels us forward. It feels like a bit of a balancing act, like avoiding sweets yet really at the core desiring a big piece of cake.
Timothy Conway: It’s a fun question, Bobby, thanks for your sincerity in closing it. You’ve said a lot of the seeking has fallen off. And in fact, all of it could fall off. Because right now, what you are intrinsically closer than close, not at all like a human being. nameless, formless, pure, pure, pure spirit. This whole has no parts, nothing lacking no structure, seamless, full openness. So there need not be any seeking. As soon as we make who we truly are, our vastness enjoying it are that when you teachers continue to use these kind of pronouns it and that which are very impersonal. Moreover, these suggest fundamental dualism between who I am and what I’m seeking. The great reality, the great reality is the reality that’s you’re within this and without notice, inside, outside, you’re up and down, you’re in and out everything and formulas. So right now there can be completing. And you’re opening formless nature and spontaneously and paradoxically, your formlessness is host for this whole point of forms. Your Supra personal nature is hosting, witnessing and animating. Have no even manifest for a moment. Your true nature is manifest in this whole play of the body.
Rick Archer: Timothy, your last sentence broke up just repeat that lessons.
Timothy Conway: Yeah, I don’t know if I never repeat things verbatim but you know, your super personal nature. Bobby is posting and manifesting and powering this whole play of personhood. Well, Bobby, now, for the bobby personal consciousness there can be not seeking, but a divinely infused aspiration. It teach one of my teachers Sri Nisargadatta. His teacher is Sri instead of Ramesh bar Maharaj. We do have beautiful records of what he wrote and spoke. And he always was speaking about let seeking drop off, but let there be the holy aspiration. Let the personal consciousness insofar as it seemed to have any power, or freewill or choice. Again, like the moon’s laid so borrowed from the sun, all that power, the sentience, the choice, it all comes from the absolute. Let it manifest through the personal consciousness and a full aspiration. A beautiful lively aspiration to allow all the and qualities and virtues and capacities to express the bobby personality and with this, it’s not a matter of patience or impatience, you are so wonder struck moment by vanishing moment that anything can arise at all, a world of experience, a Bobby personal consciousness, which is just a speck, upon a stack of who you truly are and your vastness. There’ll be such wonder, such a curiosity, such just openness and sincerity that you won’t have literally the phenomenon, it’s time to be impatient. You won’t be measuring this moment against some imagined future moment when you were truly God realized. All those notions are just not here in the present unfolding in the formlessness, that you are
Rick Archer: on this seeking note, let me read you the last few sentences of an abstract I wrote up from my talk at the science and non duality conference this year relates to this. If we see spiritual development as never ending, will we be forever chasing the dangling carrot? Or can we rest in our true nature the seeking energy having dropped off and yet acknowledged that compared with what might be possible we are relative beginners? Many spiritual teachers make statements such as this is it your that what you’re seeking, realize this and you are finished? Is such advice helpful, or does it shortchange spiritual aspirants?
Timothy Conway: Well, I find this question becomes problematic for a lot who have been influenced by the Hindu Vedanta, and the Adwaita formulations of Shankara and his lineage of followers in the Chun and so on, and Zen traditions, which is part of the great Mahayana Buddhist development, dating back to like the century before Christ, the ash does the hash viveka prying up how Dignitas sutra the Pangot petting me top perfect wisdom sutra or scripture and 8000 lines Russia South Africa. That’s the earliest Mahayana Buddhist texts we know of and already that paradox is there and stated fully and later and works like the voucher Chitika Pangot, Padma paramita sutra, the diamond cutter, perfect wisdom, Scripture and many other words, the really bring this paradox to the fore. That is right up front. And it’s all about how beings, personal consciousness is always in process of evolution. Even the highest highest bodhisattva is imperfect Buddha’s are always delightfully finding new powers, new capacities, new ways of being virtuous, it seems that it’s all of a spontaneous Buddha play of such extraordinary splendor and beauty. divinity you know, works like the Avatamsaka sutra, powerful, profound work, I don’t know somewhere like around the second century of the Common Era, just went on for pages and pages and pages of descriptions of these amazing Buddha activities of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. So, yeah, let the enlightening and the infusing of divine virtue and the learning of new capacities for helping and more intelligent, powerful ways of being compassionate and effective, let all of that continue. But fundamentally what we are is this intrinsic, pristine openness in perfectible, nothing wrong, not a matter of becoming or developing. So Sri Nisargadatta, for instance, said to us, I think it was the first night I was there and Bombay, Mumbai, back in January of 1981. He said, what you are, you can only be what you are not, that you can become. It was his simple way of referring to the fact that our absolute nature, its perfection and fullness, unbounded and comparable. But on the level of the personal consciousness, it will be all sorts of growing and developing and in fits and starts, there can be tremendous tests and challenges and in one lifetime, there might be post traumatic stress disorder and one’s nerves feel like they’re just frayed. Beyond healing. There might be all sorts of situation wars and rapes and terrors that the personal consciousness kind of signs up for. Again, it’s all one divine reality orchestrating everything because it’s the one divine being everyone. When a being is suffering intends to physical or emotional pain, who is experiencing? Only God, God is the one sentience, the Supreme Soul or Shiva with the Buddha nature. The absolute is the only sentient one here that’s experiencing life from the Rick, few quiet Iran viewpoint. birds and the bees and the celestial beings. So anything that any being is experiencing, it’s not their experience separate from God, God is going to looking down or the great immobile self of Shiva stillness. No, it’s not that Shiva is Shakti and is playing as each being experience in each experience. So Shiva has compassion, infinite compassion. Our Buddha Nature has infinite compassion, not just wisdom, but compassion, and have that thy loving kindness and sympathetic joy for all that each being is going through.
Rick Archer: I like to think of the metaphor of light bulbs in the electrical field. I mean, let’s say if we could say you are the electrical field ubiquitous on the present field, which powers all light bulbs, and then individually, you’re also a light bulb. And as an individual light bulb, you can maybe upgrade from a four watt to a 10 watt to a 50 watt to 100 watt to a big search light or something like that. And as you upgrade, you get brighter and brighter, but you’re still from all along that same ubiquitous electric electrical field in your absolute nature.
Timothy Conway: On the relative level, that metaphor works very beautifully to suggest and also to light bulbs getting smashed.
Rick Archer: Yeah, they do. They do and they get
Timothy Conway: utterly vanished. That wouldn’t make a difference to the cosmos, as far as who I am, is concerned. And yet, for some reason, that Timothy personal consciousness is allowed to continue as his every personal consciousness. So I think our divine nature finds each of these personal consciousnesses the light bulb, so to say, quite adorable. There’s an interesting paradoxical flip that happens emotionally, in spiritual life, with non duality, and that’s that instead of trying to seek out a separate above everyone, beautiful, most beautiful deity to worship. Instead you realize you are the absolute and you find all person G’s like Baba Ji or Swami Ji, I like to use that G that suffix of endearment. Beloved, I’d like to use that for all persons. So Jeeva G’s person, jeez, ego, jeez, I find all of them adorable. I find all our manifestations of who and what I absolutely. And so, no one can be a stranger to you and no one can be lesser and everyone is equally important.
Rick Archer: And then as you go, you refer to Buddhas and bodhisattvas and divine beings and so on like that continuing to evolve and become explore new realms of possibility. And it’s all of us. Yeah, and yet you also refer to the, you know, well, this Timothy personal consciousness can be snuffed out. And some some say that the individual is snuffed out like a drop going into the ocean when Enlightenment happens and doesn’t exist in any way, shape, or form anymore. Others referred like the Buddhist tradition refer to these Buddhas and bodhisattvas that are hanging out on some level and people receive visions of Jesus or you know, some various beings come to them in sort of subtle realm experiences. So is your sense that there’s some sort of integrity to what we are that continues on eternally and continues to evolve? Or do we just at some point, you know, merge into the ocean and no longer cease to exist in any distinct way, shape or form?
Timothy Conway: Speak of a Maha Pralaya the great absorption of all phenomena at the end of the universe, the transcendently dreams then conjures the moment by vanishing moments. So ultimately, all phenomena including personal consciousnesses are, in that sense, expendable. But no, it’s quite clear that all sorts of beautiful beings sagely, saintly beings, all that TARS, they become almost like beautiful archetypes, and the divine just continues to animate them as they did in the first place, bringing into different lifetimes and into a sagely kind of realization that helped drop all the unwholesome Samskaras and make them pure, beautiful fonts, cascading fonts of virtue and goodness and loving kindness and compassion. So being like Ramana Maharshi was dead doing so. Because just
Rick Archer: ash. And yet I’ve interviewed least half a dozen people who say that Ramana came to them in some cases before they even knew he existed. And they showed up in very tangible he showed up in very tangible form. And then later on, they saw a book with his picture on it, say, Wow, that’s the guy I saw.
Timothy Conway: Ya know, I had these subtle playing manifestations of Sri Ramana, and numerous other beings. And it’s like the one actor playing all these characters, all these persona, you know, the old Greek word, Sona, it means literally the mass, sound through a personality, hold up this mask and sound your voice through it, and your eyes would peek through the pupils. And so that’s what person means it’s the mask of the absolute infinite by which they can differentiate into different loci different places of experience. So Rick’s experiences are not Iran’s experiences aren’t. Timothy’s experiences are not that bird on the branch that birds experiences. There’s all this differentiation. For Kids, zillions of different kinds of beings, human, animal, celestial. And yet one day, one sentience, one awareness, playing as all of these consciousnesses, the universal consciousness play Shakti.
Rick Archer: Every time you say gazillions, I’m reminded of a George Bush joke and some one of his, you know, advisors came to him and said, President Bush, three Brazilian soldiers were killed in Iraq and his face went ashen. And he said, How many is a Brazilian? Okay, another question for you here. Mark Peters asks, do the due to the increasing levels of nationalism seen both in the United States and globally? And inaction denial on climate change trouble you? Or is everything seen as well and wisely put no matter what arises?
Timothy Conway: Well, definitely on level three, so to say of this threefold model, just justices and injustice is harmful and helpful. And all of this play of that one was the opposite. Oh, there are extreme conditions. There’s massive denial. For instance, it’s been shown by two World Bank scientists, one of them is passed on Robert Goodland. And his younger colleague, Jeff enhanced the World Bank. And did this remarkable study for Worldwatch Institute, it was published in fall 2009, which shows clearly shows clearly that it’s our eating habits are massive consumption of meat, poultry, dairy, fish, farmed fish. That is the number one. Number one factor in climate change. And they estimate at least 51% of all global greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide and methane are responsible. I’m sorry, it’s a livestock industry that’s responsible for at least 51% of these GH G’s as they’re called. And so Robert Goodland, before he passed away, he was strongly strongly encouraging at least 70 80% of humanity to go vegan. Now, this is just about climate change. Yeah,
Rick Archer: it’s before you go on, I encourage people to watch the movie Cowspiracy. If there’s a whole lot of film documentaries about that subject, and
Timothy Conway: many others Earthling, I mean, read also the works of Gary frangioni. abolitionist approach.org about, you know, this, what has now been called the greatest social justice movement of the modern era. And that’s namely, realizing and science is increasingly realized, just in recent decades, the personhood nature of creatures, not just cows, that we abused in the dairy industry and meat industry and so forth, poultry, but even like fish, as more and more scientists realize, these beings aren’t just units of some kind of production for us for our food. No, they are consciousnesses that are associated with intense feelings and social bonds. They are persons they are animal persons. There needs to be an abolitionist movement. Just like there was an abolition that’s movement and enslaving and torturing and exploiting of humans. The same with animals and it’s never been easier, never been easier. The vegan and you know, somebody had a child and Zen and saw in monasteries, the monks and nuns, the only vegan most of them had to be well into their 90s and hundreds all sorts of scientific studies show you live longer. It’s better for you know, the environment and other 27 different ways. It’s the number one factor in trying To mitigate woeful climate change, so there are solutions, but are people really sincere and willing to respond in an intelligent, compassionate way that remains to be seen?
Rick Archer: Okay, here’s a question. Eli from Denver asks, Do you feel that? Do you feel that you are able to observe tendencies in yourself? Or Samskaras? As you would say, what do you do when you notice such things in your own personal consciousness?
Timothy Conway: Thank you, Eli for that question. And most certainly, I’ll notice things arising and all that is quite to be done. It’s the cm off sooner than later. And sometimes there’ll be you know, patterns of old traumas or whatever. They’re just rageous things happening. And then one might be kind of reeling with an unwholesome samskaara for a little bit. And there’s always just the realization that God is powering all this, God. You know, our true nature, that Shiva Shakti, formless and all, powerful forming nature can let this go. And so it’s so it’s all a matter of how open are you willing to be in your absolute fundamental openness? How much can the personal consciousness be transparent for our fundamental Supra personal, meta personal nature?
Rick Archer: Here’s some questions from our friend Thomas Roseto, whom again, I interviewed about a couple of months ago, if people want to check out his interview,
Timothy Conway: and his infinitely mystical website,
Rick Archer: yeah, he’s a good one is Samadhi something that is required to become fully awake to the correct identification of the self as pure open source awareness. If someone has had this quote, unquote, experience, even if only once, does that mean that they are fully enlightened.
Timothy Conway: I would say you know, there’s different kinds of somebody’s recognized in yogic literature and even among the blood TonTons like chunka Samadhi basically, though Sanskrit means the sameness or oneness some some of the day the highest intelligence, highest cognitive principle. And so, it basically means the absorption of the mind in a trance state and then they differentiate like Patanjali does and yoga sutra differentiates between somebody’s based or centered on some form, getting more and more and more subtle, subtle, subtle, and finally, Nirvikalpa, samadhi Samadhi, without seed or form, the others oriented deformable, sadhak, Ka’bah, Samadhi. And, you know, the yogic traditions and later Kundalini Yoga Gorakhnath, who kind of seems to have come up with our first Kundalini Yoga texts, about 1000 years after Patanjali that is, you know, somewhere maybe around 1000 years ago. He specifies other kinds of energetic kind of Samadhi is and then the devotional traditions have different bhava somebody’s or you’re very transcends absorbed, just in the essence of Krishna, or the essence of Shiva, for instance. So there’s all these different kinds of Samadhi they are just experiences they come, they go, as Ramana Maharshi always invited. What are you prior to all the comings and goings of states and phenomena, visions and societies? What are you changeless prior to the arising of all these, what are you after all of these leave, and all of them leave? So it’s also true that like in deep dreamless sleep, that’s an Nirvikalpa samadhi if you were clear, most people are non clear during their deep dreamless sleep and so it doesn’t have the kind of glow and clarity and just dazzling quality of conscious Nirvikalpa samadhi. But you can learn to have a fall asleep and watch yourself to the visionary states all the way into deep dreamless sleep. And that’s a hint of Nirvikalpa samadhi. And then you have people like Rama Krishna have in Bengal, the 19th century spent like six months in that stadia Dev, someone just putting a little bits of liquid and food into his mouth just to keep soul and body together.
Rick Archer: Remember, Ramana means sitting down in that pit beneath the temple with worms chewing his legs, you know, and he was out of it. But he was
Timothy Conway: a lot of time and those early years, I don’t know July in states of Nirvikalpa samadhi. And then one day is he himself spoke about I didn’t it was recorded in the literature on Bhagwan Sri Ramana. You had a kind of a death experience, it was a second death. zeros after the one that initially woke him up in his uncle’s upper room down there in Monterey near them actually temple later on the second death when he was about unnaturally, just felt like the total end of the need for any kind of Nirvikalpa samadhi, after which he just only spoke of Sahaja Samadhi, the natural oneness, which didn’t it didn’t matter whether there was a world or not whether reforms were happening or not, whether he was talking or not. People should also in this context, disabuse themselves of the notion that Ramana only sat around just like the mountain itself, just quiescent, silent, you know, he spent a lot of hours of each day and we are talking with people editing texts, reading the newspaper working in those Yeah, he was the first one up masterfully chopping the vegetables and preparing those sauces and the old ladies had been cooks their entire lives. They wondered where did he get these skills? No, at all just flowed spontaneously action, or acquiescence. No dynamic movement or literal physical stillness, it all came from the same source. And so Ramona was not attached to states of silence, or words. The he could be very eloquent and loquacious on occasion, as he was very personal and not impersonal. But you have the strong feeling of this kind of super personal source nature prior to all persons inclusive of all persons people felt intimate with Ramona because he did not distance himself in any way as the Supra personal, again, not the impersonal. But as the Supra personal. He was inclusive of all persons, human or animal that came to him. And that’s why the animals spontaneously gravitated to him. They sensed someone who was one with them, not other than them.
Rick Archer: I heard an interesting thing, when I was listening to some recordings by David Godman, whom I interviewed a couple of times, he was saying that Ramana said that in in Samadhi, and deep, I guess you’d call it Nirvikalpa samadhi senses withdrawn from their objects, he could sort of he could dissolve the sort of impurities that he tended to absorb from His devotees. And, but at a certain stage, he stopped doing that. And, you know, people around him said he, he noticeably aged much more quickly after that. And at one point, when he was suffering from his cancer, he, you know, someone said to him, Well, why don’t you just apportion your suffering among all of us, we’ll gladly take each take on a portion, then you won’t have it. And he said, Where do you think I got it from in the first place? So it would seem that physiologically even that Nirvikalpa samadhi, could be an opportunity for the physiology to restore itself and you know, purge itself of, of anything that any accumulated dross.
Timothy Conway: And that’s why deep dreamless sleep itself, yeah, has that evaluates Stanford University sleep clinics from the 1950s Onward. Deep dreamless sleep is what restores or helps regenerate the physical body. Whereas it’s the dreaming sleep, the so called Rapid Eye Movement, or REM sleep, that helps restore the psyche. When you deprive an organism with REM sleep, you’ll start causing psychological disintegration you know, mental disorder, emotional disorder. And if you deprive an organism of the deep dreamless sleep, well, they know when certain organisms, they killed those organisms, they had to stop doing it with humans. That’s why, you know, on the personal consciousness level, you know, one reads, one of the greatest health things is eight hours of sleep. Yeah, maybe twice a year, I might get as much as seven hours. For most of my adult life, it’s been about five, four hours of sleep. So I don’t think that’s gonna be filled with very long, he already looks about 20 years older. Some people actually I was joking. The big secret here, my wife, and I think she’ll get a kick out of this. It’s humorous. She’s actually 11 months older than I am, but twice now she’s gotten mistaken for my daughter. Oh, that’s funny. And I predicted several years ago, that would be happening now. I’m predicting honey. Just a few more years people will be mistaking you for my granddaughter.
Rick Archer: Arianna Huffington is on a campaign these days to encourage people to stop burning out and get more sleep. She just wrote a book about it. On this point of, well, something that this discussion reminds me of as I was listening to your recordings. I Yeah, there are several points at which you seem to be speaking somewhat disparagingly of meditation, yoga practices and things like that. Like, you know, quite essence you just mentioned class. And so as you know, the first couple of verses of the Yoga Sutras are, you know, the Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind, then the seer is established and himself. And I’m not sure if I agreed with everything I heard you saying I’m obviously when our when Krishna advocated, you know, being without the three gunas to our Juna on the battlefield, that he then a couple of verses later said established in yoga perform action and in that case, a very dynamic action a battle. So I think that there’s a sort of a in ancient India, you know, they used to die cloth by dipping it in the die then bleaching in the sun and repeating that process, ultimately, until it eventually became colorfast. So I think there’s something to be said for meditative periods where the mind and body become silent. And obviously, you’re not going to remain in that state, but it produces physiological change. And it also sort of infuses the the mind if you will, with being with pure awareness in a way which over time, the accumulates and become stable under all circumstances.
Timothy Conway: Yes, there’s definitely good habits for the psyche, like eating a wholesome, healthy plant food and you know, maintaining all the different kinds of sattwic elements is Krishna identifies in the Bhagavad Gita, where he’s talking about the tree going up, know the three different Gunas the qualities of agitation or staleness, that is rajo guna, tamo guna. And then the way of Sato Guna, the quality of sattwa or refinement in harmony and at the level kind of experiencing, and behaving. So definitely good what those kinds of remarks of mine over the years in Satsang, that have sometimes been critical with the yogic way, it refers specifically to something I’ve seen over and over and over heard, I should say, over and over and over from aspirants as they present their state, and Satsang when they’re being very candid, and honest and sincere and humble. I’ve noticed too often what’s happened for many beings as they have a huge dichotomy, a huge split or fragment, in their life, a fragmentation between when they feel peaceful and meditative, and then all those other times. And I’m aware that so much of this has to do with also one’s home life and one’s vocation, you know, the CEO of a for profit or nonprofit organization or corporation, they know what they have to accomplish about 49 tasks before lunch, and be answerable to dozens, if not hundreds of people. It’s not going to be so easy for them to live the kind of yogic serenity and bliss was PSP streaming, purely evenly, consciousness states, there’s going to be sudden stuff happening, you know, emergency workers going into a crisis area. What kind of yogic calm will they have now, if they’ve spent a lot of time in meditation that you have that as a baseline, kind of a backdrop they can operate from, but sometimes there needs to be a real adrenaline rush. Oh, yeah, we will know those early studies of meditation of the yogic kind of meditation that came out of a tradition, you’re well familiar with tdn that there were certain kinds of psychophysiology going on. But there are certain vocations in life where the whole hormone flow, the whole cascade of psycho physiological chemistry, biochemistry is going to need to be chock full of like, adrenaline, adrenaline, sure, and that kind of stuff. So are those people not spiritual? Are they not a spiritual state when there’s a rescuing people from the rubble after a horrifying earthquake? And so, also, like, someone comes to a Satsang and says, you know, all day to day or for the last year, I’ve just felt, you know, not as peaceful as I used to when I used to be able to do retreats, and so forth. And it’s at that point, I realized people have confused their spirituality with states. Yes. And so much of yogic orientation is about mainly perfecting and maintaining states and that’s why many of the yogi’s have to become reckless as and leave society often live and get a routine kind of existence. You know, whether they eat their meals at a certain time they have a bowel movements at a certain time, if you think it’s all very regulated and new to teenagers so they can just dwell in some kind of Samadhi and Samadhi. This what seems to them some kind of seamless state, but if a bunch of kids moved into a little hamlet, and let’s say families ended up on Hamlet from another one laying out on a rock slide or something, and suddenly that Yogi’s meditations every day, are being interrupted by little children playing and laughing and crying and screaming. What the yogi do I mean, that yogi, having made themselves slave to a state of phenomenal feeds, was not awaken to their Supra phenomenal nature, which would find all the cries and laughter of the children to be just other aspects of the one home vibration. Yeah, so sagely way the sagely way is to awaken to our true absolute host nature, which is hosts for all vibrations, all worlds, all kinds of experiences all kinds of vocations, and states and, and demands of compassion. To be a spouse, for instance, family person, raising children or grandchildren is much more difficult in most ways, than being a yogi who has his needs basically provided for by the villagers that look up to that yogi, some kind of superior being. But could that Yogi trade place with say, one of those, quote lowly villagers, I’m not so sure that Yogi could because that Yogi has bound him or herself to a particular a particular state, and our true reality, the true self nature, Shiva, is state free, prior to all states and host for all states.
Rick Archer: Sure, well, I understand all that. And what I’m saying though, is that I know plenty of we could call them Yogi’s who are householders businessmen who live active lives, yet who through a lifetime of practice, have integrated the silence into dynamic activity. So they could they could be an emergency room doctor or, you know, are someone who’s you know, raising a family or whatever. And yet the the serenity and clarity that, you know, once might might once have just been a moment, a temporary glimpse in deep meditation has become a 24/7 feature of their awareness and the outside it might not be so noticeable, they might be just, you know, really busy, but on the inside, there’s that rock solid clarity and science,
Timothy Conway: real freedom. So, the whole question comes forth, you know, how does that freedom best arise through years and years of yogic kind of retreat experience or QAnon happened to the sudden awakening, and this is where the Chinese and so on in Zen tradition made a huge contribution, I think to the non dual traditions and I often find myself needing to talk in this language with a time and Zen reference here as a as a kind of a corrective or something to complement the yogic traditions of India which have colored even some of the Advaita sagely traditions of India. Still sometimes a little too yogic in a child in Zen tradition, they speak strongly, the need for those sudden awakening. The old Chinese Germans, Dawn will done will have a sudden awakening, and then John tool, graduate cultivation. And it’s all about that aspiration I was speaking about earlier and nothing to do with selfish seeking. There’s a sudden awakening right now. Right now it takes no time. timelessly are this changeless openness, this fullness of the absolute pure pristine spirit, not at all, like a human being, I don’t like anything or state or energy a world or condition.
Rick Archer: And yeah, as you said of Shanker earlier, not everyone is ready for that Saltos sudden awakening, there may need to be gradual cultivation, before the sudden awakening becomes possible.
Timothy Conway: Right? And then it’s in the context of that sudden awakening that the rest of the cultivation, and it can be unending for eons can occur the spontaneous practicing of spiritual practices, the manifestation of certain virtues and, and learning of different skills and so forth and so on. But it all happens, not out of the problematic sense of I’m an unenlightened me and I need to do these practices in order to realize that the great state of freedom No, that whole illusion is just wiped clean. From the essential freedom one freely is practicing this and that virtue that’s in that string, and this situation or that situation. And it’s all happening gradually. And there’s the realization that the sudden awakening is kind of the realization of your in Buddha nature, your unborn, timeless, boundless Buddha nature, but the gradual cultivation is what it actually means for the personal consciousness to start manifesting Buddha, like virtues and qualities and capacities over time over the eons. And that’s that whole process of becoming, especially Nisargadatta said, what you are not you can become people may not be expressing all the Buddha qualities, on very conventionally, I don’t know how to speak Tibetan. I’m not a Tibetan speaker, but some years of training I could become that. But more importantly, in terms of all the great virtues, such as a skillful like language, you know, I could become a supremely loving, loving, compassionate being. I could become that but what I am, is this which is prior to all developmental practices or cultivation, all wholesomeness or unwholesomeness, if the person hadn’t, so the child masters were real clear, let there be tremendous energies and dedication and efforts exerted for cleaning the monastery growing food, being a villager being a monastic, let there be tremendous a fusion of qualities, wholesome behaviors, yet it all happens from the context of, there’s not an ego, and you’re trying to do all that trying to become better. So I find that a very important model with the shrunken interpretation of Advaita, the way most people have interpreted, it suggests this quality of awaken to the absolute self, and you’re finished. And it doesn’t allow for, I’m not saying Shaka didn’t allow for but I’m seeing the way his message has been interpreted. By many, there’s this quality of finality. That seems to me just silly. And it leads to these people saying they have realized this self, and then trying to market themselves with the finality of that. And strikes. Again, silly.
Rick Archer: I agree. As my friend Francis Bennett puts it, how do you know you’re done? Did someone stick a fork in you? So on that note, I think we’d better wrap it up either more questions from Thomas, but I’m sure he’s asked those of you before. And, you know, we’ll,
Timothy Conway: and thank you, Thomas Thomas is very unselfishly, he’s with tremendous generosity and spirit not only recorded and figured out the sound levels, and so forth many digital recordings of satsangs of a present over the years, but he’s put them up on the internet. And all of its available for free so people can experience all that.
Rick Archer: Yeah, they’re nice.
Timothy Conway: Santa Barbara,
Rick Archer: I encourage people to listen to him. And it’s sweet because you can sort of hear as the evening progresses, the frogs start croaking. At first there’s birds in the background, and then the evening starts to come on. And then there’s these beautiful frogs singing and it gives you a real feeling for for being there. So and yeah, sometimes
Timothy Conway: there wouldn’t be any frogs, just crickets, or some nights it was the owls. Owls that would sing to each other. Yeah, we live houses right up on the northern edge of the city of Santa Barbara. So the whole back was wilderness, right? To creatures up there.
Rick Archer: And that’s enlightened hyphen spirituality.org. Right people can find those recordings as well as, as well as hundreds of pages really, of things you’ve written out. It’s amazing how prolific you are. All kinds of things. I especially encourage people to read that three levels article that you mentioned, maybe I’ll link to it from your BatGap page. It’s, I think, a very handy teaching tool and way of understanding and reconciling the paradox is that something we sometimes encounter in spiritual practice or spiritual pursuit. You’ll
Timothy Conway: find all of this right in yourself anyone who, without even reading, I never read anything when there was a major awakening and life changing. Boom, and 16th year or whenever it was, so anyone can open to this and then you’ll be creating your own websites or something and freely sharing. There’s a lot will be realized to be the activity of the one dreaming of soul.
Rick Archer: Alrighty, so, apologies to those whose questions I didn’t get to. I’ve noticed a few have come in that haven’t been forwarded to me, but maybe I’ll forward them to Timothy and if you have a chance
Timothy Conway: people can freely email me. Yeah. Got Conway one, the number one.net dot com only one that talks dotnet.
Rick Archer: Do you want me to post that on your back end page? Okay, I’ll do that I’ll post your email address, people can email you if they didn’t get a chance to ask a question online their question online. So let me just make a couple of wrap up points I’ve been speaking with Timothy Conway, it’s my second interview with him, check out the first one if you’d like. You’ll find them both and many, many others on batgap.com. Bat gap. I encourage you to explore the menus and see what else is on there. Some interesting things. There’s an audio podcast, as I mentioned, various the the previous interviews are categorized in four or five different ways. There’s a number of them have been transcribed if you’d like to actually just read them. And there’s some other look under the Resources menu, you’ll find some useful resources and tools. And this is a work in progress. There will be many more. I think we’re going to take a little vacation for a couple of weeks now. And when I come back the weekend, can we come back I’ll be interviewing Radhanath Swami who is leader of the ISKCON Hari Krishna movement, and Rika Weinman, who is the founder of something called vortex healing. And then a week after that Shree M. And then I believe will be going off to the science and non duality conference and having some conversations with Adi Shanti, and Susanna Murray and other people. So thanks for listening or watching and we’ll see you next time. Thank you, Timothy.
Timothy Conway: Thank you for the chance to be with all their souls here. Best wishes and all the work that you are in everyone involved with that gaffer doing, it’s a great service, bringing forth greater wisdom and compassion. It’s great fun. Namaste Namaste dear Rick-ji
Rick Archer: Thank you