Donna Quesada: That leads me to another point, if I can. You spoke about existential angst.
I don’t know if you used that word, but to say what I think you mean by that… It’s a crisis and you wonder if life has meaning, and what you should be doing… what you want to be doing… Is that what you meant by existential angst? Did your awakening experience dissipate that? And for anybody who is watching, did it bring any practical…? What will it do for my life to wake up? What did it do for your life in a practical sense? Did it infuse your life with that sparkly feeling towards every relationship, or is it an ongoing practice?
Richard Moss MD: Exactly. It’s an on-going practice. It’s a beginning. When you have a profound realization… People who have near death experiences are phenomenally changed. The Golden Gate Bridge Seminars. 100% transformational. 1% of the people who have attempted suicide off the Golden Gate Bridge have survived. And they have been studied and they’re changed. The emotional structure that was there, that drove them to say… It’s the last arrogance of the ego… that the suffering is so intense… and I understand that… that I am going to take my own life… as opposed to dive into the pain and fear. But you can’t do that without guides, who have chosen to have some depth of awakening. So, there is a failure in the culture to spread the kind of love we are talking about as more fundamental to education than engineering… learning coding and AI. Tech, Tech, Tech based culture and economy, which is purely left brain. The left brain doesn’t know how to journey with fear. Now, this is actually neuro-science. The left brain doesn’t know how to recognize its own body, though it has a body. The left brain needs to explain things and therefore, emotionally, to blame. If you find yourself blaming anything or anyone, then you know you are in your left brain. Your right brain doesn’t blame.
DONNA: That linear equation about it.
RICHARD: The left brain represents, so it’s known as the “conceptual brain.” And that might be 1% of our intelligence. 5% of your intelligence, if you want to be generous. Not… it’s the only part we educate for, culturally, intellectually. It’s hard intelligence. It’s right brain where presence is. It’s bigger than the left brain. It has more of the grey matter, therefore, more of the fast-moving cells. Because in presence it is experiencing all of this in its natural intrinsic inter-connectedness. And when the left brain goes off in a stroke, you can’t talk, but you are in a state of peace and connectedness… in a state of remarkable well-being that you can’t explain. You can’t tell anyone about it.
So, this hard intelligence, which happens when you awaken… and now you say everything in life now is submitted to the heart. And if my heart closes, I want to know why. It’s a hallelujah moment… a heart moment because of what you said, what you did, and what you said and what you did is what you did. What I did is mine. I have to know what I believe. But I told myself what feeling was activated… that I didn’t know how to hold, and listen to, and in doing that… heal. So that is not institutional.
The world of religion… people who are solely religious don’t have any grounding in awakening and that’s the problem. They have a grounding in a mythology, a mythos. Very deep moral rules… In Buddhism, only three things are about consciousness, the rest of it is about behavior. The Ten Commandments. You can say the first few commandments… The relationship to one… consciousness… is about the consciousness journey. The rest is don’t do this, don’t do this.
And so, the ethical aspect can be understood and every other kind of behavior that you can rationalize in some way. There are 469-something… things that Orthodox Jews are supposed to do every day. And there are 239,000 divine Gods in Hinduism. The big three are there. Vishnu and Shiva… So, religion seems to fragment. Awakening tends to consolidate you around the heart.
DONNA: Into the heart and out of that kind of linear based left brained thinking and that’s what we need in our schools and that’s what we need to bring our younger generations up with. We need to connect rather than regard each other as competitors.
RICHARD: We need to remember that developmentally, they have to develop an ego. You can live out of your consciousness while you raise your children. That means they will be less traumatized… have more of a sense of always being heard… feel that their mothers and fathers have found a way to balance the stresses of feeding a family and working and all of that. Learning to set boundaries for a child without getting caught in anger and frustration as they do, or be able to say quickly that what I said to you was right, but the way I said it was wrong. That was the energetic, heart connection with the child, again and again.
And so, children are raised with less wounding. Then, as they awaken, they can journey more and more, before they hit the wound. They are going to hit some level of wound. Some level where you weren’t very understood. It didn’t happen at home. It happened at school. Which is why we are working on bullying and shaming. Being conscious of things that are damaging.
DONNA: Why don’t we bring this into the schools? What is the challenge, or barrier, in moving in this direction?
RICHARD: It’s easier to teach the left brain. It’s easier to teach science and mathematics and literature, the way we teach it. What we should be teaching is not just reading other people’s poetry, but how to make your own poetry. What we should be teaching is “read these poets… aren’t they interesting? Now how do you write your own poem?” We should be teaching their own poems, their own mantra, their own song. Because when you are singing… left and right brain are working together. The vocal cords and breathing are all joined in. You have literally the most powerful way to feed the heart, to tone the nervous system, right there. Especially when the singing is linked to your own ability to be poetic… to vision… to sing.
How you are feeling about the planet? You find forgiveness. You surprise yourself. This can be taught fairly early. You have to wait till the ego is strong enough and well established… You don’t want to shatter or overwhelm the structure of the ego until it’s in place, but you can teach not just the ethical and moral qualities… You teach the relational quality of our consciousness. Teach processes, like council, in school. Everybody gets a chance to tell their story. And you can use all of these technologies that we have… that are heart technologies. That are patience technologies. That are bonding technologies. That resolve our sense of separateness, and show us we are all suffering with the same things. We are all struggling with the same questions. Your existential angst… What I experienced at that time was just sheer terror. The ego was fighting to survive. We don’t want the ego ever to be violated. We want it to recede. But that has to happen gradually, progressively.
So, the awakening process doesn’t have to be as enormous as it happened to me. Because very few people can integrate that. The potential for psychosis is very possible. But little tastes of it through meditation practice, through your awareness practice… the clarity you feel after sitting for some days. That, every human being can have the experience of. The problem with that is the territory for all of that seems to belong to the religious clerics and priests and rabbis and so forth. And it isn’t being given back to every person. There are very few people who put on their robes and say “I’m a student of life. I’m learning with you. I don’t know how to love that much better than you do. I’m struggling in my marriage.” They hide behind a role because it’s human nature to make yourself safe. And you make yourself safe by taking on a role. That’s one way, but it’s easier to train the left brain, than it is to train the heart/right brain. You don’t go to school and have love one on one.
DONNA: Well, I imagine that a lot of people are suffering from that terror that you described, and I was listening to you describe the ideal classroom. Bringing this relational aspect to it… and as a teacher, I’ve noticed that, too. Everyone is more alive and engaged when there is sharing going on, as opposed to when I just lecture. There seems to be a lack of that kind of sharing, connecting. In one of your videos, you talk about that quality of trust. One of the reasons we don’t listen to each other and share with one another is because we are always listening to see if we agree or not. And I thought that was so fascinating. I’m listening to see if I can agree with what you are saying, rather than just for the sake of sharing. And I was thinking, if we could bring that to the classroom… bring that to our young people. Wouldn’t that do a lot to bring peace to the planet, as a whole, and it all really does start with relationship doesn’t it?
RICHARD: And you’ve just said something very important. You are talking about sharing as opposed to you just lecturing. Or, the same for me… If I just look at how my 45 years of leading retreats has been. It’s very difficult to teach people to do what I do… to create an environment where everyone feels safe and participates, but is being invited to use their voice or move or dance or breathe in ways that keep shifting them off-balance enough, that every time they find balance again, they are a little more embodied… a little deeper in themselves. This right-brain heart consciousness that I’m talking about… it can’t be taught institutionally, linearly. Whoever leads it has to be able to move with the change of feeling of the group of people. So, you have to be able to see boundaries in the school room and at the same time, liberate the children to engage each other experientially.
Take for example, going to physical education. When I went to school there was a 40-minute segment every day, when you went to the gym. In high school, it was at least three or four days in the gym, for an hour or 45 minutes. But that’s gone now. And music. Music was there for everyone to have classes. That is gone, too. You have to major in music if you want to do it. What we’ve done is, we’ve found that we can train the left brain. We can do testing for the left brain—which isn’t a test of intelligence. It’s a test of information that’s been memorized and rationalized, that has been understood.
But what we see every day is that unless rationality starts on a foundation of something that the heart… something that is fundamentally real, like life and love… those are fundamentally real… What is not fundamentally real is the premise in the early 70s, by a Nobel Prize winning economist, that the purpose of a corporation was to maximize short term gain for shareholders. And that became the rationale for GE and other companies to start paring down… cutting every form of human caring and responsibility to workers. And Monsanto… Make profit in any business. Or the tobacco industry… Make profit beyond any reason. Because that is not real. Corporations are not real. The purpose of a human life is to learn to love more and more profoundly, so that when you die, you die with a smile, or as close to that as possible because sometimes death is miserable. Sometimes death is awful… slow death. Cancer. But, if you have a lifetime preparing, you may feel awful, but people around you will realize that there is something about you, literally radiating from you, that is timeless… that is opening their hearts and his healing them while your body is falling apart.
That is possible. That I know. That I live. It takes so much more creativity. So much more flexibility. So much more communication at every level. And that is why we have sort of taken the path of least resistance… train the left brain. Create people. Train engineers into jobs that are relatively well paid… to churn out technology. But, without what we are talking about, real peace is impossible and the pandemic will be human beings who operate out of ego based consciousness. And then, a little bit of fear can revert to really, very ugly things. And even though I say that, I truly know that the kindness of human beings goes unseen. And when this pandemic passes through… two years from now, when it’s really done… and everyone has been exposed and by then there will be a vaccine, hopefully… we won’t be able to measure how many acts of goodness happened.
DONNA: It seems like everything comes down to “are you choosing from love or fear?”
DONNA: And when we answer with love, we solve not only our relationship, but the environmental and global issues as well. Could it be that simple? Is that what gives life meaning?
RICHARD: Yes. It’s not simple. But that is what gives life meaning. And if we are ever going to see an epitaph for homo-sapiens… a tombstone… I think it’s going to say something like this: “They reached separate-self-consciousness, but were destroyed by identification with their thinking, and their inability to journey with fear and through difficulty.” So, that failure that you don’t know how to have a relationship with… fear. You’ve never been taught that fear is an opportunity. That Fear is love’s ally. Fear is an extremely difficult sensation. You don’t have any form of enlightenment if it frees you from fear permanently.
DONNA: So, the idea is not to banish the fear. I love that you say that fear is love’s ally. It’s to work with it, to walk with it, to make friends with it. To feel the fear and do it anyway, so to speak?
RICHARD: To feel the fear and do it anyway. Do it ethically. Do it morally. And not just obediently. That kind of goodness, which is still a goodness, but something overflows from your heart. It overflows even when you are in a situation like I was, walking into a hospital to find out if I have cancer. Turned out it wasn’t, which I’m grateful for. But, one day it will be. Why shouldn’t it be? Everybody is going to die. There are some crazy people that believe that someday we are going to be able to download memories into a super computer and upload them into another body and have eternal life. All of those are ways of avoiding the real necessity that we start educating from the heart… from early in life, for relational consciousness.
We begin to teach third consciousness… awareness to awareness. Relationship to your mood. Relationship to reactivity. Relationship to your thinking. Stop distorting your perception, or closing your heart. You can teach that, but we have to understand that is the foundation, and then later we can begin teaching the left-brain stuff. We can start teaching the mathematics, the engineering, the chemistry… And the human brain isn’t even fully developed ‘till the early twenties, especially the frontal lobes, which we could say give us the ability to have awareness of awareness. The brain has to develop to a certain point.
I’m not saying consciousness of the brain. I don’t want to go down that path. I’m just saying that we aren’t quite ready to have a relationship to our moods until certain parts of our frontal lobes are mature. And then, we can begin to make ethical, moral choices. So, we can feel fear and do it anyway. Do all of that. So, we need an educational… relational education has to be number one. And you can’t really teach relationships to others without teaching relationship to self. So, awareness practices aren’t enlightenment to the oneness experience. That’s unnecessary. There will be people that want to be spiritual athletes that will have that experience.
If the pandemic started 100,000 years ago, it may be that the awakening to the kind of consciousness that we’re talking about, is only five or six thousand years old… if that old. And so, it’s entering into our world very slowly… because it requires a different way of engaging. The heart of it is relationship. You say to yourself… “I want my relationships to lead me to levels of intimacy that I never knew could exist. I want to love… love someone to the point where you don’t even know what you are looking at.” We can’t say it’s a man. We can’t say it’s a beautiful woman because of this. This is a mystery you are looking at. You are falling into spaces of unknowingness with each other. When you have a conversation, you discover, through every conversation, a field is created. The relationship itself becomes the breast that you can suck on. You can feel that mother’s milk of life. That needs to be taught. A people need to dedicate themselves to that. We need to get the resources for that… the inner technology that you are spreading more and more quickly.
Read and watch Part 3 Here: Awaken Interviews Richard Moss MD Pt 3 – Exploring Consciousness and Love
Read and watch Part 1 Here: Awaken Interviews Richard Moss M.D. Pt 1 – Awakening Is In Service To Love