Dialog with someone who has lived innumerable lives in many places in the cosmos

 

Living for as many lives as I have, I have over time arrived at many of the same insights that many spiritual teachers and traditions talk about. For me, it’s through experience and living ordinary lives. I haven’t been terribly interested in spirituality in itself, except for at rare occasions. But I realize that a lot of what I know – in my fibers and bones and through my being – fits much of what spiritual traditions talk about.

– a quote from this dialog

This is one in a series of imagined dialogs with people who have lived for eons. This dialog is with someone who has lived innumerable lives in many places in the cosmos and – through a glitch? – happens to remember it all.

THE DIALOG

First, I am curious about the several lives. Does it mean you remember the life between lives?

Yes, although it doesn’t matter so much here. If you don’t remember it yourself, what I say will just become ideas. And if you do, I don’t need to say much about it.

Okay. How is it to have lived many lives in many different places of the cosmos?

I am very grateful for having that experience. It’s enormously enriching to live lives through the filters of different beings – and their senses, bodies, perceptions, culture and more – and their world.

What have you learned that many with one life haven’t?

Mostly, to know that we all live from our own conditioning. Everything about us makes sense in the light of our conditioning – from our bodies, environment, culture, and individual experiences.

Because of all the lives I have had, I am less inclined to judge. The tendency to judge has worn off in me over time. I know how it is to live in so many different circumstances, and I know how so much in us flows from our conditioning.

I have a deep empathy with different beings. I know we all just want to live and be free from suffering – and love and be loved. There is something very beautiful in this. It’s also heartbreaking because I know how universal suffering is and how common it is for beings to not feel fully loved and to not fully love themselves.

These sounds like insights from spirituality?

Living for as many lives as I have, I have over time arrived at many of the same insights that many spiritual teachers and traditions talk about. For me, it’s through experience and living ordinary lives. I haven’t been terribly interested in spirituality in itself, except for at rare occasions. But I realize that a lot of what I know – in my fibers and bones and through my being – fits much of what spiritual traditions talk about.

You mentioned empathy with others. What about awakening?

Well, that’s a big word. For me, it’s more simple and down-to-earth.

Through having lived as many lives I have, I notice that all sorts of experiences and states come and go. I have experienced millennia of mostly “ordinary” states with times of profound despair, mind-shattering pain, and amazing bliss. I have noticed that what I am is that which all this happens within and as. Experiences come and go and what I am doesn’t come and go. Of course, I am whatever state is here but it doesn’t last. Only being capacity for all of it runs through it all.

If you want to call that awakening, be my guest. But it’s really very simple. It doesn’t require fancy words, or rituals, or mythology, or even labels.

What do most people not get?

Hm, from my perspective, many things.

They don’t get how precious and amazing life is. Even a troubled life, even a mundane life, is amazing and precious beyond words.

They don’t get that the way they treat others is the way they treat themselves. Love your neighbor for your own sake. It’s good for everyone.

They don’t get the importance of a long and big perspective. Of course, most people get by with a more narrow and shorter perspective. But a long and big perspective enriches life enormously. And for you folks today, it’s essential for your survival. It’s the only way humans can and will survive. And life is showing you just that.

They don’t get that all experiences enrich life. They are not your enemies. Trying to run away from your experiences only creates an added layer of suffering. In reality, it’s the only real suffering.

Of course, most don’t get that what we are is capacity for all and any of our experiences. We are the experiences which come and go. And we are capacity for all of it.

How can we mimic your process and discover this for ourselves?

Well, that’s not my speciality. But it does seem that some things helps people to find this for themselves. It’s definitely possible to people to find this for themselves, and many do – to some extent.

The main thing is curiosity and sincerity. Explore and see what you find. Don’t take your own or others assumptions for granted. Be willing to leave your most basic assumptions about yourself and life. Get close to your experience.

I feel like this is a trick question since a lot of what you write about on this website does exactly that! Is that what you want me to say? I see through you. And of course, yes, the tools you write about here can be very helpful for people, especially if used with curiosity and sincerity.

Yes, I guess that’s why I asked the question. Although I write about these things exactly because these tools can help us find what someone like you have discovered. It helps us discover what someone who has lived for eons tends to naturally discover through lived experience.

Yes, I agree. For me, it comes through lived experience and mostly free form ideology or pointers or shoulds or trying to live up to anything. And for many humans, it’s often more of a mix of genuine lived experience and insights – and some ideologies and shoulds.

What can we do to make it more from lived experience?

You are asking difficult questions. As I said, this is not my speciality.

Get close to your own experience. Be curious about it. Take it seriously. Make use of pointers and use them to discover for yourself. Set aside shoulds and how people say something is. Live your life and pay attention to what’s happening.

Do you have any advice for P. (this interviewer)?

Yes. You already know all this. You even trust it. But there is some hesitation in you. You can trust it even more. You can sink into it. Lean into it. Rest into and as it. It’s what you are. Live it. It can help you to remember me and lean into what I am.

Thank you! I appreciate this interview and especially your advice at the end.

Thank you. I enjoyed this conversation. I don’t think about these things so often so it was fun. And I wish you all the best in your life. As I said, you already know and are all of this. Lean into it a bit more and it will help you a lot. (And if you don’t, that’s completely fine too.)

Dialog with one who has lived eons and has a mystic streak

 

In my case, I find a more down-to-earth and pragmatic language helpful. There are already a lot of amazing mystic poets out there. And people are hungry for not only that but also the more pragmatic.

– quote from this dialog

This is part of a series of imagined dialogs with people who have lived eons. This time, it’s a dialog with someone with a strong mystic streak.

After writing this, I felt that the many eons perspective didn’t show up very much. I suspect it’s because mystics tend to perceive and live as if they have lived for eons anyway.

THE DIALOG

How do you see spirituality?

That’s a very broad question. I’ll have to split it up.

What I consider authentic spirituality is about life and reality. It’s about exploring and finding who and what we are, and live more consciously from and as it. It’s by necessity nondual since reality is one. It’s about finding ourselves as that which all already is.

In a more concrete sense, it’s about finding ourselves as that which all our experience happens within and as.

People have a lot of different ideas about spirituality. Some are closer to reality, in a conventional sense, and some are more imaginative. They can serve as pointer for our own exploration, and they can also serve as mirages we get fixated on.

It goes almost without saying that conventional religions and spiritual traditions often deal with a mix of mirages interspersed with some glimmers of real realization. Those who get it a bit more, who get it from own experience, are found both outside and inside of traditions.

If they are inside of traditions, they often tone it down so it fits the tradition more. A real awakening goes outside of convention and tradition, but it can be expressed so it fits it more. Or it can be expressed more freely and then it only partially overlaps with tradition.

In the bigger picture, it’s all lila, the play of the divine.

We can say is all the divine exploring itself, and sometimes locally and temporarily takes itself as a separate being. This is what we see in most Earth beings, including most humans. It’s part of the game.

You sound a lot like P.? (This interviewer)

Well, yes. You are dialoging with a part of him. And this is pretty basic and universal stuff. Of course, it takes on the flavor of the person who speaks the words. It’s a little limited, but that too is part of the game.

Also, he is quiet and a bit somber right now so he doesn’t feel like going to the effort of going outside familiar ways of taking about this.

What’s something many people don’t get about spirituality?

That’s also a broad question. Some don’t get that is OK to not be awake. It’s perfectly fine. It’s natural. It’s the divine expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself that way, locally and temporarily.

Others don’t get that they can have a taste or glimpse of what this is about in relatively easy ways, for instance through the big mind process and headless experiments.

Some don’t get that what this is about is something very ordinary. It’s this ordinary experience, just with the “context” waking up to itself. What our ordinary experience happens within and as notices itself. All of the components are completely ordinary and familiar to us, is just the noticing that shifts, along with what we take ourselves to – more fundamentally — be.

Can you say something about healing vs awakening?

For most people who seek awakening, there is an element of wanting to escape pain and suffering. And that’s easier addressed by seeking healing. A wise approach is to use tools that invite in healing and awakening. Like inquiry and heart-centered practices.

And embodiment vs awakening?

Give at least as much attention to embodiment as awakening. Most people can embody a lot more of the kindness and wisdom in them than they do.

Continued a while later….

What about nature spirituality or nature mysticism?

Yes, I love nature spirituality and mysticism. Spirit is as much nature – and everything physical – as anything else. The divine takes the form of you and I and everyone and nature and the rocks and stars. Nothing is left out.

How would you live if all is the divine?

It changes everything. And the beauty of it is that although nature mysticism can be seen as a step towards a more clear awakening, it can also very easily exist within this more clear awakening and enrich our lives and the lives of others.

You use a very down-to-earth language? I thought mystics used a more effervescent and poetic language?

Yes, that’s the image! But it doesn’t have to be that way. It depends on the personality of the person it comes through, the phase we are in, and also what the function of the words are and the audience.

In my case, I find a more down-to-earth and pragmatic language helpful. There are already a lot of amazing mystic poets out there. And people are hungry for not only that but also the more pragmatic.

What do you think about other mystics?

Well, it’s a very varied group. I love how some of them express it. Especially the ones who are more clear, heartfelt, embodied, and pragmatic. (I know that’s a tall order.)

I also appreciate the rest even if there are more obvious – to me! – filters. They too are in the awakening and embodiment process. They filter based on their own conditioning as we all do. They see themselves and not so much the world as it is – as we all do. They connect with some people and not others – as we all do.

How has all of this changed for you over the eons?

It took some eons to get here. It’s an ongoing clarification and deepening. Mainly, I have a more sober approach now. In the beginning, everything was very exciting. And now, it’s still alive and fresh but in a more sober way. It’s more and more a part of me. It’s more and more what I live and live from. More and more, I see it’s about being a sane human being. It’s simple and at the same time infinitely complex.

Thanks you

Thank you!


Note: I had initially decided to not post this since there isn’t much new here and the “many eons” dimension didn’t show up very much. I suspect the problem is partly with the interviewer! And maybe more importantly, mystics live as if they have lived for eons anyway. I re-found this article some months later and decided to publish it now even if it’s not as interesting or surprising as I had hoped.

Diálogo con la Alejandra que ha vivido por eones (Alejandra’s dialog with one who has lived eons)

 

Here is my partner Alejandra’s dialog with the version of herself that has lived eons.

Este es un ejercicio de diálogo con la Alejandra que ha vivido por eones, esto es lo que ella puede responder a mis propias preguntas:

(Este ejercicio se lo propuso a sí mismo mi compañero de vida y sentí un gran deseo de llevarlo a cabo también).

¿Cómo ves el mundo?

Como una hoja que es movida por el viento, o un vórtice infinito de estrellas que aparecen cuando las miro y desaparecen cuando me ausento. Como una lágrima humana, fractal que sabe a artemisa y que huele lluvia.

Veo al mundo como una olla de barro gigante y en su interior se cuecen libros llenos de hechizos, espadas, rocas y dinosaurios. El mundo es un beso largo y es la caricia del asesino, la última exhalación. La cabeza cayendo y La corona erguida en el aire. El mundo es trémulo y consistente, es el gato, la fuente y el laberinto. ¿Qué no es el mundo si no todo lo que el espejo de la conciencia experimenta? Lo que se olvida, lo que se anida y se pudre. La incertidumbre, el corazón de las galaxias que es el mismo mío y el mismo tuyo. La gota, el trino, el agujero, la piel del amado y sus zapatos debajo de la cama.

¿Tienes un consejo para Alejandra? (Esta entrevistadora)

Permite aún más intensamente que tu colchón de flores se hunda en el universo. Que se desvanezca en tu corazón el aliento Divino. Camina como si volaras y atraviesa lenta y profundamente las cúpulas que te limitan. Pon un rezo en los ríos de tu sangre para que desemboquen en lo desconocido. Cree que infinitas son las direcciones y que de una pizca de arena el universo está hecho. Besa las rejas que a la bestia haz puesto para que se transformen en aire. Escúchame y olvídame.

¿Hay alguna pregunta que te gustaría que te hiciera?

No hay una sola pregunta y una sola respuesta que no las contenga a todas.

¿Qué es lo que más disfrutas?

La ausencia de ausencias. Las tres monedas del I ching girando en el aire, el espasmo del péndulo, la visión completa del reencuentro y la partida. La mano De Dios dibujando una historia. Cuando las palabras explotan mucho más allá de su significado. El juego, la paradoja, la ceremonia del instante. Disfruto profundamente lo que más detesto.

¿Hay algo de lo que estás cansada?

Nada dura lo suficiente para cansarnos. Todo renuncia a su forma incluso antes de tenerla. Infinitas son las líneas e infinito su vacío.

¿Hay algo más que estés aprendiendo actualmente?

El misterio. La indescifrable, eterna y misteriosa danza de la vida y la muerte. Este espasmo que se provoca porque no hay línea divisoria entre la una y la otra. Aprendo lo que ya aprendí una y mil veces. Los caminos aunque ya recorridos siempre están lustrosos, llenos de todo lo que antes experimenté y que no puedo recordar.

¿Cuáles libros y música te gustan?

La música que hace el fuego del universo cuando crepita y los libros que contienen las plantas que hay en las selvas. Ellos están juntos y han sido creados y son creadores. Estamos escuchándolo todo y leyéndolo todo al mismo tiempo. La semilla recién sembrada en la tierra ya está floreciendo en una galaxia lejana y alguien con ocho ojos se está masticando la fruta.

¿Es posible cometer errores?

¿Acaso existen los errores? ¿Acaso hay algo que sea correcto y algo que no lo sea? Aún en el profundo sentir de la imperfección la semilla está sembrada, la creación no está dotada de separación, el error no es más que una interpretación.

¿Qué piensas acerca del condicionamiento?

Más que pensarlo lo siento, lo siento a veces como una ola gigante que me tumba en la interpretación, en la comparación, en la dualidad. Me hunde en las aguas de La Luz, me destierra, me abandona, me danza, me trastorna. El acondicionamiento es la misma llave de la liberación de él mismo. Lo he atesorado y lustrado, lo he cubierto, lo he mecido y arrullado y también lo he despertado.

¿Cómo ves la espiritualidad no dual?

No existe una espiritualidad que pueda ser dual. No existe nada que pueda ser dual. Las palabras siempre serán reducidas, cortas cuando el espíritu quiere expresarse. No hay un lugar ni un tiempo específicos en el que esté ocurriendo esto. No hay una realidad y otra y otra, sólo hay espíritu, absoluto, indivisible. Es el condicionamiento, la interpretación quienes pueden hacer ver la inexistente y muy real posibilidad de que estamos separados. Todo existe al mismo tiempo, todo se desvanece al mismo tiempo. Cuando ya no haya que nombrar la espiritualidad, ni la dualidad, ni la vida, ni la muerte, ni a Dios; cuando ya dos ojos sean uno, todo desaparecerá. Y no podremos reconocer a un entrevistador y a un entrevistado y como dije antes, todas las preguntas serán las mismas respuestas. O simplemente no habrá preguntas ni habrá respuestas.

Only lovers left alive: a dialog with someone who has lived for centuries

 

Well, yes. It’s just that I have seen versions of it so many times, in so many periods and cultures. People are in pain. And they seek and latch onto a belief – a religion or philosophy or political system – that promises to give them relief. And the real relief is in healing the pain, not getting obsessed about a system or philosophy.

– a quote from this dialog

I haven’t seen Only Lovers Left Alive yet, but read enough about it to know that the two main characters have lived for centuries and have amassed a huge amount of experience and perhaps some wisdom in the process.

So I thought it would be fun to try a dialog with someone who has lived for centuries.

When we use Voice Dialog / the Big Mind process, we typically dialog with parts of us that are obviously here like the voice of appreciation, the victim, or Big Mind / Heart.

There is no part of me that had lived for centuries. Or is there? I can easily enough imagine how it would be to have lived for generations, and access that voice or part of me.

And in a quite real sense, I have in me something that had lived for that long. Something that has, through culture, accumulated experience and wisdom over generations.

In another quite real sense, as part of this living Earth, and as part of this universe, I am billions of years old. Everything in me is the product of billions of years evolution of the universe and this living planet, millions of years of evolution of pre-human ancestors, and hundreds of thousands of years thousands of my human ancestors.

So, yes, I can probably dialog with a voice in me that has the experience and wisdom from having lived for generations.

Dialog with one who has lived for generations.

Can I speak with the voice that has lived for generations?

Yes.

How do you see the world?

Not so different from you. Just from more experience. I am much less caught up in the daily fluctuations compared with you and others who have only lived for a short time. I have seen it all. It all comes and goes. Disappointment. Elation. Health. Illness. Birth. Death. It’s all part of life, and I have seen all of it enough to not get caught up in it.

Does it mean you are detached?

For a while, I tried detachment and distance, but that’s deadly boring in the long run. It’s much more juicy to feel and be engaged and play the game, but I am not caught in it. I know it all, including my responses, comes and goes.

It sounds a bit like the wisdom of the Buddha?

Yes, I knew him. Good fella. (That’s a joke, by the way. I was somewhere else back then.)

But yes, it’s pretty similar. I think that anyone who lives for generations will develop that kind of wisdom or view on life. It’s almost inevitable.

Do you have any advice for P.? (This interviewer.)

Well, let’s see. I think he knows it already but hasn’t taken it in fully. He doesn’t completely trust it or allow himself to live from it. So if I can help, here it is.

He allows himself to worry about things that are regular parts of life, it’s the universal ups and downs. And he sometimes takes it more personally than he needs, and get more caught up in it than he would if he had longer experience. Life is not about him. Life just happens, as it does for everyone. Stay engaged, play the game, and know it’s not personal and most of the details are not even that important in the long run. Just do your best.

How do you see the world today?

Most if not all of the problems come from people being short-sighted. They think locally and act short-term, and although that worked in the past when humanity was smaller and had less powerful technology, it doesn’t work anyone. There are too many people, with too powerful tools, for that to work.

Humans need to imagine bigger, or at least enough need to, so they can create new systems that take deep time and global situations (like ecosystems) into consideration.

Human nature won’t change, but humans adapt their behavior to the system they are in.

(I should add: Human nature does change, but not very quickly. Not on the scale of centuries or decades.)

Is there a question you would like to be asked?

Hm. I like that question. Ask me what I enjoy the most.

What do you enjoy the most?

The changing seasons. The seasons of nature, of human life, of generations and human history.

The very small things, the ordinary. A cup of tea. Saying hello to a stranger. Waking a dog. Reading a book. Weathering an illness.

The new. A new dish. A new sunrise. A new here and now.

Is there anything you are tired of?

Not really. Perhaps the predictable, or at least thinking something is predictable. I have seen enough to know it’s not. I guess that’s something I am still learning.

Is there anything else you are currently learning?

I am not sure. I think it’s mainly noticing how everything is fresh.

The mind sometimes tells me that this is something I have experienced more times than I can count, and although that’s true in a way, it’s not the whole picture. This experience is fresh.

I guess that’s another parallel to what Mr. Buddha and others have talked about. And it is the only way to stay fresh and keep enjoying – and not only enjoying but deeply enjoying — life when you live and live and live as I do.

What music, art, and books do you like?

Anything. Anything from any culture and period. What’s familiar and what’s new. High culture and trash. It’s all juicy.

Is it possible to make a mistake?

Well, it depends on what you mean. Of course, we sometimes make mistakes in a small perspective. We bungle things. Make poor decisions. Or make good decisions that turn out badly.

In a bigger perspective, those are not really mistakes. We do what we can based on who and how we are and the situation we are in. And we get feedback from life and have an opportunity to learn. So in that sense, nothing is really a mistake.

What do you think about conditioning?

That’s something I have a lot of experience with. Conditioning is the operating system of humans or at least a large part of it.

Patterns are passed on through the generations, with some variations. Patterns of what’s seen as good and bad, right and wrong; and patterns of likes and dislikes, cultural and family hangups and traumas; ideas about heaven and hell, gods and demons, how the world works, and just about anything else that’s part of how humans function.

When you take a generational view, you see how it’s not personal. It’s all passed on. And then we make it personal, and we have a chance to not take it as personal if we realize what’s going on.

Even how we function as a body is conditioning, passed on with some variations through all our ancestors back to that first single-celled organism.

And how this universe works is conditioning.

Some talk about conditioning as if it’s bad or something we need to get rid of, but that’s a superficial view. We are made up of conditioning. Our bodies wouldn’t function without it. Our society wouldn’t function without it. We would have no chance to function, or survive, or exist, without it. It’s the fabric of what we are.

The only conditioning we need to be concerned about is the one of wounds and hangups, and even here how we relate to it is more vital than getting rid of it. Of course, we can do some of both.

And a part of this conditioning is the beliefs and ideas passed on through the generations that creates pain for us, and an unnecessarily limited life when we hold them as true.

How do you see non-dual spirituality?

I hoped you wouldn’t ask. Yes, it’s pretty close to reality. And in the modern western version, it’s often taken as a belief, something to hold onto to feel secure and try to stay safe. For many who are into it, it’s a security blanket. They just exchanged traditional religion for neo-Advaita. That’s fine but if they are not honest about it, they are deluding themselves.

If I am honest, and I know I sound like an old curmudgeon, many would do better to heal their emotional issues. They would find more ease and real contentment that way.

That sounds a bit harsh?

Well, yes. It’s just that I have seen versions of it so many times, in so many periods and cultures. People are in pain. And they seek and latch onto a belief – a religion or philosophy or political system – that promises to give them relief. And the real relief is in healing the pain, not getting obsessed about a system or philosophy.

To be continued…

A note: When I wrote this, I imagined dialoguing with a relatively average person who has lived for centuries. My partner dialogued with the version of herself that has lived for eons. And it can be fun to explore even more versions: the mystic, the poet, the wise man/woman, the scientist, the warrior, the one who loves earth, the one who loves humans, the one who loves life, the one who has lived innumerable lives in places around the whole Cosmos.