Edited by Jerry Katz
Jody Radzik and Joan Tollifson appeared on Nonduality Talk radio with Jerry Katz and Dustin LindenSmith. You may listen to the show via this link. The only editing was the deletion of ads:
Track descriptions with time cues:
Folk Theory of Enlightenment: http://shimmeringdeadend.wordpress.com/about/
Interview with Jody: http://www.advaita.org.uk/discourses/teachers/interview_radzik.htm
0:00 – 3:18 Introduction. Jody talks about his involvement in the San Francisco rave scene and rave as a kind of urban spirituality.
3:18 – 8:35 Influence of Vedic culture on today’s nondual culture, imposing unrealistic expectations of nonduality as something to be achieved in the future. Seductive nature of nonduality culture on the behavior of both gurus and devotees. “All humans are humans.”
8:35 – 12:32 Hope as a force steering someone toward nonduality. “If I become one with the universe, all these wonderful things will happen to me.” “Nonduality is like nothing you can concepualize.” Nonduality as an always in your face reality. Folk theories of enlightenment miss the boat but culture supports them, such as thinking you will be one with God or the universe.
12:32 – 14:09 Understand what you’re desiring. Do your meditation and mindfulness as the benefit you in life. Meta-cognitive sense.
14:09 – 24:49 Jody’s spiritual journey beginning in southern California in the early 80s. Elizabeth Clare Prophet organization described. Reggae music. Living in a yoga ashram. Ken Wilber. John F. Kenndy University. Bhakti yoga. Shaivism. Anti-world Hinduism encountered while actively living in the world. Meeting a Sufi psychotherapist who served as Jody’s guru and pointed out nonduality most effectively. Jody’s ideas of what a realized person is, shattered.
24:49 – 33:34 Cognitive science as where hope for nonduality culture lies. Why is nonduality so hard to see? We’ve never not seen nonduality. Meta-cognition and seeing that our conscious mind is like a snowball on top of an iceberg which is the unconscious. Understanding our cognitive biases. Meditation and mindfulness, value of.
33:34 – 40:07 Jody seeking the state of surrender. His recognition of the state of nonduality and what it showed him about belief in ideas of nonduality. Bruce Morgen and Jody’s personal experiences and process as part of the email forum Nonduality Salon around 1998-99. Experiences in the Guru Ratings forum.
40:07 – 52:47 Dustin LindenSmith joins the discussion. Jody’s rave experience re-told as a powerful community experience bringing together gay and straight people. Psychedelic aspect of rave culture. Bringing intense rave experiences into everyday life. “Chasing the honey wagon.” Effect of new people constantly entering rave culture. Rave spirituality and maturity. “What triggers your spirituality may not be its engine.” Burning Man. Danger of rave spirituality. Recognition of nonduality conflated with an ultimate peak experience. Psychedelics, dangers and benefits.
52:47 – 58:13 Electronic dance music. Glo-fi. Song “Seeds” by LASERS played as example of glo-fi. Soundcloud discussed. https://soundcloud.com/stream. Commercial hip-hop.
58:13 – 1:11:07 Guruphiliac as exposing gurus selling the ideas of nonduality, which generates the folk theory of enlightenment. Nondual realization promoted as an experience other than what’s happening in the moment. Ammachi, the hugging saint and the book about her, Holy Hell. The commercialization of nonduality fuels conceptual displacement. Adyashanti’s association with Oprah. Adyashanti’s message as unconsciously modified over the years to appeal to what his listeners want to hear. Conflation of recognition of nonduality of ordinary awareness with ultimate happiness. The marketing of nonduality.
1:11:07 – 1:15:26 Nonduality culture as a freak show. Jody as personally irked by the promoting of conceptual objects which keep teachers in business. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Conclusion.
JOAN TOLLIFSON interviewed by Dustin LindenSmith
1:15:27 – 1:23:13 Introduction to Joan. One The Magazine, article by Joan. http://onethemagazine.com. Joan’s upbringing. Her father’s teachings. Growing up with a physical deformity and inclinations toward homosexuality, and so feeling that she did not fit in and that something was fundamentally wrong with her.
1:23:13 – 1:26:33 Joan’s college years: drinking, being abusive, rage, feelings of being powerless, recklessness, inflicting pain on self and others. Wonderful comeradery during these years.
1:26:33 – 1:34:16 Lesbian doctor Joan met and who influenced her and helped her with addictions. Discovering that a different choice could be made other than toward addictive substances. Free will concepts. The “me” as not findable.
1:34:16 – 1:40:05 Meaning, meaninglessness, and thinking. Confusion regarding no-self and self. You can’t get hold of exactly what Joan Tollifson is but you can’t deny there’s something known as Joan Tollifson. Self is more like a process, the illusion is that self is solid, separate, and permanent. Value of choicelessness and danger of it. Ambiguity of choice and choicelessness.
1:40:05 – 1:46:12 Surrender, allowing things to be as they are. Addiction as a way of not being able to face things as they are. Feeling what it is one needs to get away from rather than indulging in addictive behavior. Free will as a neurological sensation stronger in some than others. Importance of neurological factors in experience. Eating and other compulsions. Some can just stop and others struggle for decades to stop.
1:46:12 – 1:52:55 Joan’s activism and nonduality. Acceptance of the moment is not acceptance of any particular event that’s going on such as the denial of human rights. Political action can be a natural movement or activity in one’s life; it’s a movement of the universe. “You’re perfect just the way you are and there’s room for improvement.” -Suzuki Roshi. Influence of ego in activist groups. Why Joan got out of activism.
1:52:55 – 2:00:58 Joan’s response to activism today. People do change their minds. Joan’s shift from being a Republican to leaning toward the left. What it takes to effect a change. Abortion issue. Tea Party Republicans. Joan’s personal issues still happening with much greater ability to see what’s happening without being in denial.
2:00:58 – 2:06:58 Joan’s meditation practice as experience of the present moment. Some details of her meditation practice.
2:06:58 – 2:12:52 Joan’s upcoming book on death and dying. Ashland, Oregon discussed as spiritual and cultural center. Dustin gives a jazz community analogy. Joan mentions offerings on her website http://www.joantollifson.com. Joan’s book and movie reviews. Conclusion of the interview.
2:12:52 – Discussion between Dustin and Jerry reflecting on both interviews. Jerry describes his meditation platform. Braying Jack Cass discussed. Final words, end of show.