I interviewed Robert Rabbin on Nonduality Street. Robert is a speaker, author, teacher. He has taught public speaking and is currently teaching 5 principles of authentic living, which is what this interview is mostly about. You may listen here:
Here is a recent blog post by Robert from
Walking Out the Door
June 21st, 2011
by Robert Rabbin
Has someone ever come up to you, thinking they know you, and started chatting away about people and events you have no knowledge of. You wonder who they’re speaking to. Suddenly, they wake up and realize that they don’t know you, that you only looked like someone they know or knew.
This is happening to me now. People are writing and speaking to me as if they know me. They don’t. I wonder who they think I am. I wonder who they’re speaking to. I wonder why they aren’t more present with themselves, and me.
It is quite common, isn’t it, to assume that we know people, because their name and face and voice are familiar. But we have to be careful, because something may have happened in their hypocenter, the place where earthquakes start. Without our noticing, their entire identity, history, and being may have shifted so suddenly and totally as to make them a new person. Not the old person with new ideas, experiences, and beliefs, but a new person, one we’ve never met. This can happen to anyone, to all of us. It’s often why we undertake personal and spiritual growth work — to become something utterly new.
If we are to serve and support each other in our growth, change and transformation, then we must approach each other with care, especially those closest to us, those we think we know. If we are not careful, our knowing will create a prison for them and us.
Can we approach each other with this level of care, being willing to both know and not know, suspending easy and habitual projections, in order that we may all truly have the opportunity to grow, change, and transform?
Whatever the answer to this question may be, we each ought to be true to who we are, who we’ve become, who we’re becoming. You know as well as I do what it feels like to pretend to be someone you’re not, to accept and cooperate with the projections of others. It makes you feel sick, doesn’t it? Self-betrayal leaves a bitter taste in one’s mouth.
I love Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem, “Sometimes a Man”:
Sometimes a man stands up during supper
and walks outdoors, and keeps on walking,
because of a church that stands somewhere in the East.
And his children say blessings on him as if he were dead.
And another man, who remains inside his own house,
dies there, inside the dishes and in the glasses,
so that his children have to go far out into the world
toward that same church, which he forgot.
A few months ago, I stood up during supper and walked out the door. The children of my past do not know me.
On August 7, 1974, Philippe Petit, the French high-wire artist, walked across a wire he had strung between the two World Trade Center towers. He was on that wire, a quarter mile above ground, for 45 minutes. It was such a catastrophic enterprise, so beyond imagining, a feat of such daring that he walked from one life to another. When he was finished, he left his past. No one could follow him. He had become someone else on that wire.
I wonder what might happen if we were to truly let go of the self we were, and let go of the images we hold of others? I wonder what might happen if we stood up at supper, or breakfast, and walked out the door. I wonder what might happen in 45 minutes, a quarter mile above ground, with nothing but self-surrender to steady us and keep us safe, if never the same.
(by ROBERT RABBIN)