Last Wednesday, I had the rare privilege of being interviewed for nearly two hours on Freedom Radio UK. Host Andy Peacher and I talked about freedom from a spiritual perspective, allowing us to address a wide range of topics related to creativity, personal power, healing, and self-transcendence—not to mention Repose. To be able to cover so much ground in a single interview seems like an extraordinary luxury. In fact, I may never have this chance again, which is why I want to offer the following overview of the interview audio file, which you can access by clicking on the Play button above. Each section is identified by a time marker (in minutes and seconds) so that you can fast forward to the sections and topics that will be of most interest to you. I hope you enjoy, and please feel free to let me know if any segment of the interview stood out for you or was of particular benefit.
7:18- DEEP CREATIVITY: How does Deep Creativity differ from older views of creativity? It places emphasis on the creative experience itself, which is extremely powerful. The genius of the artist is to capture the essence of that experience so that it can be shared with others.
17:00- TO BE A MAN: In a recent blog post, I addressed the question of what it means to be a man. This is a particularly timely question now with sexual assault and harassment being in the daily news, and with the advent of the “Me Too” movement. Here, I talk about the Jewish notion of a mensch, or righteous man, and what that entails.
22:10- POWER: Old models of power involving domination and greed are being replaced by a different one that focuses on power over oneself, and most importantly, on the power to experience the here and now. This kind of power requires us to be fully present, fully aware in this moment. When we rush, we miss out on this most important element of life. And love is at the heart of this power because it brings us into the moment.
27:40- JESUS AND LOVE: I speak about unconditional love and the contribution of Jesus to our understanding of it. The reason we must love each other as ourselves, in the way that Jesus urged us to do, is that the Kingdom of Heaven is in every one of us. We are all made up of the same stuff: consciousness, form, and energy. Loving one another unconditionally has the power to liberate us and to transform our world. Too many Christians are missing out on the key message of Jesus. I challenge the Tempe pastor who recently called for the killing of all gays by Christmas, pointing out that he is not a true follower of Christ and has missed the point entirely. Then I discuss the notion that our bodies are sacred space. When we are fully in our bodies, we tap into the extraordinary power that is at our disposal.
34:08- THE CREATOR WITHIN: The central insight of Deep Creativity is that there is only one Creator, one “experiencer” of the universe. To tap into our creativity, we need to learn to get out of the way of the dance of creation unfolding at each moment. It is time to see through the superficialities that have held back our understanding not just of creativity but of the human condition. Within our bodies, we find consciousness at every level. A spectacular show is happening in our bodies at this moment that we can hardly afford to miss. Separateness is an illusion, as is the notion of an objective reality. When we see beyond these illusions, we fall into an “I-Thou” relationship with everyone and everything.
42:25- THE FLOW OF LOVE: There are two creative forces in the universe: love and joy. In spite of our physical limitations, we have access to an abundant flow of love. Understanding our relationship to this flow and becoming a conduit for it is the key to healing, as I described in The Chanter’s Guide. It begins by learning how to empty ourselves so that we may immerse ourselves fully in the moment.
54:24- OBJECTIVITY: I speak about the myth of objectivity, which involves an artificial distinction between the inner and outer worlds. There is no way of knowing the world out there except through our thoughts and our five senses. Not recognizing the illusory nature of reality is a path to insanity—one that modern society is currently following in unproductive ways.
57:36- DEMONS: The most effective way to deal with our “demons” is to face them head-on. These demons are a mental construct. Just as we give them power, we can dissipate them in an instant. The key is to let go and be ready for the moment of insight in which we overcome grief and other forms of suffering. When we try to run away from our demons, we create much more suffering than when we face them directly. Healing ourselves of such suffering is a critical step in our own liberation, lightening our load greatly so that we can function more effectively in the world.
1:00:25- HEALING AND REDEMPTION: How do we heal the pain of trauma and abuse? I emphasize the idea that nobody is “damaged goods.” What we are at our core can never be damaged or tarnished; it is perfect, whole and beautiful. I also offer a radical new view of forgiveness as a tool for healing the karma of those who have transgressed upon us. To illustrate the point that nobody in this world is irredeemable, I share the story of the Tibetan Buddhist saint, Milarepa. Why do people act in ways that are angry, mean, and hateful towards one another? They are carrying out an old model of power, based on the notion that misery loves company. Instead of bringing others down, we all have the capacity to bring ourselves out of our own misery. Nobody can take this power and freedom away from us other than ourselves. Freedom builds from the inside out. I discuss what it means to be a free spirit, following one’s passion and not fitting into the mold. This leads to a discussion about the origins of Global Chant. The religions of the world have gone off the rails, and new models of spirituality are taking their place. These religions should be keeping us from hate, greed, and war. Yet they have done the contrary at times, missing the point of spirituality altogether, which is to live in love and recognize the sanctity of the moment.
1:10:24- THERAPY AND SELF-TRANSCENDENCE: The approaches to therapy that each of us chooses depends on our unique sensibilities. Whatever course we choose, the objective is to break free of the mental loops created by the process of rumination. This involves self-transcendence, which I point out is a crucial determinant of well-being. We can transcend ourselves in a number of ways, but one of the most powerful is to reach out to others—especially those who are suffering or in need.
1:19:05- EBFA. Human beings display a wide range of responses to adversity. The most effective ways are to rise above it, breaking free of the cycle of suffering. This entails immersing ourselves in the moment and the experience of being fully alive (EBFA). A near-death experience is a profound form of an EBFA. I point out that “near death” is often the same as “fully alive.”
1:25:30- REPOSE: I discuss Repose: what it is, how it works, and its profound physical and mental health benefits. Repose is distinct from meditation, mindfulness, or even traditional relaxation techniques. It is a remarkable tool that costs nothing to do, takes virtually no effort or training, and has extraordinary benefits. What would it be like to live in a world in Repose?
1:33:47- PAUSING TO NOURISH: I urge listeners to fill their toolbox with whatever tools they feel can make them stronger, including Repose. Anyone who tries Repose should give it at least 30 days to take effect. We have to learn to let go of the busyness of our minds. Repose is not just a technique but a state of mind. Everyone needs to take a pause from their mental activity. Media and technology are inadequate means of doing so. Television does not disengage the mind; in fact, TV viewing has been shown to reduce life satisfaction, probably through the effects of advertising that creates a sense of deficiency in viewers. Each of us can find ways to nourish our minds, bodies, and spirits. Currently, too many of us are malnourished in each of these areas.
1:41:52- OPENING UP: How do we open up our bodies? I compare Repose to other power poses that serve this function. To open our bodies and especially our hearts is not the same as being vulnerable. When we close ourselves off emotionally, we miss out on love, which is a tragedy. Energy and emotions are neither good nor bad inherently. We can transform any emotion into something powerful and positive. To use the energy of emotions constructively, first we have to learn to keep an open, positive relationship to these energies. Repose is one way to do that. Our research has shown that people in Repose feel relaxed and energized simultaneously, which is an extremely empowering experience.
1:49:29- RESOURCES: I close by discussing all the resources for personal liberation and empowerment that can be found on my website, http://www.victorshamas.com.