Buddha At The Gas Pump Interview With David, Part 2

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David: ...ideas or understandings of God that had nothing to do with That and that was clear. You see I had been instructed previously with Catholic training — propaganda if you will — brainwashing, if you want to go into it from a more severe, critical angle; yet there was no bridge between this and the understanding that I was given theologically by the Catholics.

Rick: Right. By “this” you mean that sublime experience that you had had, that you didn't connect the two in any way whatsoever.

David: There was no connection. They were two completely different realities. One was described by the Roman Catholic nuns and faculty. The other was what I had tasted within and there was absolutely no bridge there.

Rick: Right. So it didn't occur to you that this might have been what Jesus had been experiencing or any such thing. You just figured it was totally unrelated.

David: Yes. What I sensed was what I had been told in school was utterly false although I may not have formulated this line of thinking. In the heart there was an intuition that all that I had been told should be discarded and “This” should be listened to. This should be absorbed as being the actual reality of whatever it is that is the divine consciousness.

Rick: So it sounds like that experience had a pretty big impact on you that lingered and that caused you to reevaluate everything in light of that.

David: Yes, but it was also naturally forgotten. It was not something I could anchor to hold on to or to try to preserve in my imaginational memory. I knew it was way beyond any kind of relationship with my personal self, including the faculty of my memory or anything that I had been told second hand about "God." Let’s put "God" in quotation marks here.

Rick: Right. So how old were you at this point? You're going back to “Our Lady of Perpetual Torment” school [laughing] and you've have had this experience, were you around ten now or something?

David: It has to be seven, eight, nine, ten, something like that.

Rick: OK. I gathered from reading your website that you were in your late teens by the time you kind of really got back on the spiritual train, so to speak and really started pursuing that with a vengeance.

David: Yes! And this brings us into a discussion of my formal spiritual instruction which was….

Rick: Right, but even before we get to that, if we move chronologically, most of us — those ages between ten and seventeen or eighteen, are pretty turbulent times. I mean we go through so many physiological changes and emotional changes and so on. I know for me, I was not the serious, quiet, contemplative student or person that you seem to have been. I was frivolous and hedonistic and just a wild and crazy kid with some spiritual bent certainly but I didn't give it a whole lot of encouragement. I get the feeling from what I read on your website that you were kind of a serious guy through all those years. You weren't doing all the wild and crazy teenage stuff that a lot of us did.

David: Not true.

Rick: No? [Laughs] OK.

David: I had friends and we had a good time. Many good times and just like kids have good times, I certainly was having good kid times. But there was this other dimension really to my personality in my subjective life that was always there. It was always deeply ponderous; it was serious, it knew all about suffering. When that light faded, if it did produce any effect, it made a contrast between the relative and the Absolute, one that reinforced something perhaps I knew in my heart but needed to have resurrected through that divine light experience. This contradiction between the world and the Self, the Self as it’s understood in Vedic terms, as the Absolute. I would say that that experience produced a wave of clarity about what was and was not eternal.

Rick: You mean that experience when you were eight or nine?

David: Yes.

Rick: Yeah cool, so it did have a carryover effect that influenced the next decade or so of your life.

David: Yes.

Rick: Interesting. Alright, so you were about to say age seventeen, eighteen you learned to meditate I think. If that’s what you were about to start talking about and that had a profound impact?

David: Yes, I was initiated into a linage of meditation in the West that has East Indian origins and that served as a tremendous boon to my spiritual life. There was an instantaneous reversal of the entire direction of my life which at that point had to necessarily be outward because of the time involved — the time period, which was going from high school to university life. Life was moving me outward into the world to explore academics and intellectual stuff basically. It was just before I graduated high school that I was initiated into a form of mediation that turned out to be quite immense....

Rick: You're welcome to say what kind of meditation that was if you wish.

David: I haven't yet discussed it publicly; it’s probably something you're familiar with in Fairfield, since everything is in Fairfield but maybe sometime we'll discuss it. I have some concerns about reciting anything that’s patented or copyrighted these days. I've already have had requests made of me from various spiritual sources that they would prefer that I not discuss my time with them. And that’s fine with me because I rely only on what I know at this point — I only speak from who I am and what I know. Therefore I am just as casual with my past as I feel I was indicated, through discussions with various organizations and teachings that I had been involved with. It’s really a gesture of respect on my part. I have nothing to gain or lose except a possible lawsuit at some point. You know it’s actually viable based on some of the interactions I've had with some of these people, I've been quite shocked to see...

Rick: Don't worry. They’re going to come after me long before they come after you. [Laughs] But I would also say that it’s foolish of them to try to pressure you not to speak of them because to me, it sounds like a ringing endorsement, you know? I mean if where you are today has anything to do with what you did at this, that, or the other time in your spiritual progress then I should think that they would regard that as a feather in their cap and say, "See this thing works, look what happened to him."

David: It’s only a feather. It only becomes a feather if I'm willing to confess my own inner condition in relationship to that practice and the way in which I would then discuss that practice or that practice’s role within my own spiritual process. That can be an iffy thing, especially if I consider myself to be the context in which the spiritual practice worked. If you look at the basic way in which practices or sadhana are given and the environmental or organizational context in which they occur, I think you will agree with me that often the technique or the practice or the dogma becomes far superior to the individual who practices it. That that is what is to be praised and exalted beyond all contexts, even beyond the individual user's personal life context. That's precisely what I refused to do because I maintain also that I was actually born in the condition that I am in now, which makes things a little more …, it adds another twist to the plot. So basically when people ask me about my past Rick, what I tell them is that I was maturing in the midst of these teachings. I was simply being entertained in divine company, in transcendental context and that context had a tremendous effect upon on me. I feel eternally in gratitude. I feel eternally in gratitude.