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<em>In the Now</em> Episode #34

L/L Research Podcast In the Now

Podcast Transcript

Gary: Hi, everyone, this is Gary Bean, welcoming you to the L/L Research Podcast, In the Now, Episode #34. L/L Research is a nonprofit organization dedicated to freely sharing spiritually-oriented information and fostering community, and towards this end has two websites: the archive website, LLResearch.org; and the community website, Bring4th.org. During each episode, those of us at L/L Research form a panel to consider questions from spiritual seekers. Our panel today consists of Jim McCarty, husband to the late Carla Rueckert and scribe for the Ra contact, Mr. Jeremy Weiland, a long-time friend of L/L Research's and a volunteer who manages our Twitter account, and along with myself and Austin Bridges, who are working hard to keep the mission of L/L Research alive and well; each of us a devoted seeker and student of the Law of One. We intend this podcast to be a platform of discussion as we consider questions from spiritual seekers that often challenge us to articulate our own perspective. Our replies to these questions are not final and authoritative; instead, they are generally subjective interpretations stemming from our own studies and life experiences. We always ask each who listens to exercise their own discernment and listen for their own resonance in determining what is true for them. If you would like to submit a question for the show, please do so; our humble podcast relies on your questions. You may either send an email to contact@llresearch.org or go to www.LLResearch.org/podcast for further instructions. Again, I'm Gary Bean and we're embarking on a new and unusual episode of L/L Research's weekly podcast, In the Now. Austin, Jeremy, Jim, everybody on board?

Jim: On board, ready to roll.

Austin: Oh yeah.

Jeremy: Jeremy is here.

Gary: And so, I've known Jeremy for a long time and know what conversation with Jeremy can be like, and it's very fruitful conversation to have. He's a . . .

Austin: No pressure, Jeremy!

Gary: So you'd better perform today is what I'm saying. He's great at driving the conversation with a very probing mind that can scan the landscape and describe what he sees or considers. So there's a chance that this first question, which is coming from Jeremy, may take up the whole episode, in which case, I propose that we continue on into the second question and we can consider dividing up this episode into two. So, Jeremy is one of the handfuls of people who listens to us on a regular basis and also an excellent formulator of questions, and today he has a question for us to discuss. Jeremy, take it away.

Jeremy: Well, yeah, I had a few questions that have just been on my mind lately. One of them is concerning sincerity and honesty. They seem to be very powerful forces in the world of metaphysics and they strike me as positively required qualities on the seeker’s path. These are such personal matters, though. Are there ways that we can concretely enhance our sincerity and honesty of seeking, or at least get better at understanding what holds us back?

Gary: Solid question, thank you. We will, per our usual format, have our long-form replies with each of us taking a stab at your question, after which time, you will be expected to have absorbed that all. And feel free to reply, query further or share whatever thoughts came to your mind after we're done. So, how about we start with Jim McCarty and see what he's got for you?

Jim: Well, that's a really good question. It's a question that I think, in order to answer adequately, in order to live out any kind of answer, it would take a while. I think a lot of contemplation would need to go into thinking about what it is that you really do want in your life. That might take a few days or a weekend, at least, in retreat somewhere so that you can focus on this question. It's not something I think that's easily answered just off the top of your head. Once you're able to just look at everything that you have available to you as opportunities, as talents, as your currently understood desires and your level of honesty, you perceive in yourself. Then take the fruits of that thinking, of that contemplation, into meditation. The Confederation is always advising us to meditate. For a long time I really didn't see why they kept harping on this. But I think, now, that meditation is really the way that we get to the heart of ourselves and the heart of any matter we want to consider. So after you spend a good deal of time really thinking mentally about what it is you believe you want to do with your life and how you want to do it, then go into meditation with what you’ve come up with and really give it some effort. Maybe start the meditation off with just what you've thought, and then maybe let it go free-form and see if something comes up. See if you have an inner guidance or a still small voice that comes through, because indeed, by taking all this time you are demonstrating a sincerity and an honesty. So it seems like when we knock, that the door is opened. And we want answers, and answers do come because we are sincere. And if you invest the time and energy into these questions, I think that fruit can come from it. That's it for me.

Gary: Thanks so much, Jim. Austin, what do you think?

Austin: Well, I think that if someone is at a point where they are even questioning their own sincerity and honesty, then they are poised for sincere and honest seeking. Some people don't even consider the idea that their desires and their biases on their path of seeking can even be subject to hidden or unknown agendas within their unconscious mind, maybe. But to get past that, it takes a realization of our motivations, and beliefs, and biases, and realizing that they may be propped up by so-called ego, and they rely on some sort of transient or illusory principles that we have gained within our lifetimes. My own idea of how to cope with this isn't necessarily profound and relies heavily on what Jim was talking about: basically, contemplation and meditation. But the method I have found serviceable so far in my own path is to simply, in meditation and contemplation, examine our desires. Focus of the mind is helpful here, and I think that this is something that Ra talks about as being will—the ability to concentrate the attention and just the idea of having the ability to silence the mind so that you can spend a good amount of time with something occupying your mental space. And so allow this desire to fill you up and get a good picture of the desire in your mind, and sit with it. And I think that after you're sitting with it for a while, you start to feel a sort of deeper pull connected to that desire. And this deeper pull, I think, is the connection between your conscious realization of the desires and their unconscious roots.

And it's the constant dive into the unconscious to [seek] these roots that I think helps to keep us honest and sincere in our seeking. And like Jim was talking about, I think this is the reason the Confederation emphasizes meditation so much, because it is through meditation that we are able to sort of consciously plumb these depths of our unconscious. So sometimes a desire or a bias may be found to have rather shallow roots—that is, it is based upon a very illusory or ego-based premise. One example that comes to my mind (and this is not a specific example; it is something I just came up with) is a person who wishes to learn how to channel. Their expressed reason for this desire might be in order to help people; they say they want to serve others through channeling. But perhaps there's a deeper reason that's hardly realized by that person, and that is the idea of being relied upon as a source of information, or being heralded as some sort of prophet, maybe, and that idea is exciting to them. So they may think consciously of themselves that they just want to help people. But they haven't necessarily examined this desire to the point where they realize that what is really exciting to them is the idea that people will flock to them for their profound statements they are channeling.

So by revealing the deeper roots of that desire—just taking that desire to channel into meditation and sitting with it, imagining it, and allowing it to fill you—you can start to pick apart the things about that desire that excite you. And as you sit with it, I think that you'll feel a pull towards the idea that it's not necessarily the service-to-others aspect that is exciting. It might be the more ego-based something which satisfies your ego that is exciting, and then that realization is what you can work with. You meditate with that realization and realize where the roots of that realization are. So this is a very basic and broad description of a practice, and I think it can be applied to pretty much any sort of catalyst that we experience. It can be focused on our desires in our journey of spiritual seeking, or it can be focused on an emotional response we feel towards a person or circumstance. No matter the situation being meditated on, so long as we’re intending to find the deeper roots and get into the heart of the situation, I think that doing so will help us to reveal the hidden parts to ourselves that I think come with being honest and sincere as a seeker. I think we have to be willing to examine the parts of our selves [that] we aren't necessarily willing or excited about examining in order to say that we are being honest in our seeking. So that's what I have for it. How about you, Gary?

Gary: That means I'm up to bat. So I would begin my consideration of this question by asking: What is sincerity itself? And so far as I can understand, I think it is a freedom from pretense and falsity and deceit. And it is authentically feeling and executing and representing your intentions and feelings and perspective—an authentic knowing of those intentions, feelings and perspective. And if there is a lack of sincerity, there may be multiple reasons, including: Perhaps you are conscious (and I mean the general you) of your true intentions and desires, but cloak them in order to deceive. So you are, thusly, being insincere. Perhaps you feel an obligation to perform certain acts, or say certain things, due to pressure from others, but you are not sincere in performing those acts or speaking those words. And finally, perhaps you are confused about your intentions and motivations, as Austin was illustrating in that excellent example. You think you are doing something for one reason, but in actuality, you are motivated towards a different end. For those in that final category of being confused about their intentions and motivations, I think sincerity can be arrived at through disciplined self-knowing and self-accepting. And I think Jim and Austin both did an excellent job talking about that process, which includes meditation, I think necessarily, and self-examination necessarily. And as Austin pointed out in the beginning of his reply, if one is asking themselves that question, then they are poised to discover that which is sincere within, and that which is not sincere. And I think every human has a mix of both, because we're hidden from ourselves, as it were, and we're unknown to ourselves and it's a process of self-discovery.

So I won't elaborate more on that process, but I will note that in considering this question, it occurred to me that I think there is a power in sincerity. An example that came to my mind is to imagine the man who enters the monastery motivated by a sincere desire to seek the Creator in quietude versus he who enters the monastery because it offers the only means available for economic security, let's say. Both will move through [the] same rituals and procedures of monastic life, both will live the same basic life on the outer picture, but due to the sincerity of the one man, he will reap rewards in spirit that the other man will not. And another thought occurred to me regarding how one becomes sincere, and I think that if we practice sincerity to the extent that can be practiced—that is being honest with ourselves, being honest with others—then we become more sincere. I recall Carla's encouragement to essentially “fake it till you make it” when it comes to faith: act as if you had faith and you will realize that you have faith. And it doesn't become inactive (kind of faking faith, as it were); that is ripe for misunderstanding, and I don't know how well it translates to sincerity .

And a final thought, and that's that Ra does, in one instance, talk about insincerity and they're talking about general exercises for readers, and they say that they suggest seeking awareness of love within the moment and doing it again and again and again, and how that repetition of seeing love is empowering each time it's done. And then Ra goes on to say:

There will be some loss of power due to flaws within the seeking in the distortion of insincerity.

So I take that to mean: if you're seeking love within the moment, but you're not entirely sincere about it, if you have maybe mixed motivations about it, then there will be some loss of power. But then Ra goes on to say:

However, the conscious statement of self to self of the desire to seek love is so central an act of will that, as before, the loss of power due to this friction is inconsequential.

So even though you may not feel it 100% with your being, and even though it may feel a bit like empty words, it's still such a central thing. It's so powerful that it activates the right notes, so to speak, and there is some loss of power due to insincerity, but nevertheless, you have set something in motion. And the more you can do that, the more that's going to blossom until it becomes fully sincere, until it fills you. And about it being such a central act of will, Ra specifically identifies what those things are—which are that central—when they talk about the fundamental teachings of all planes of existence being unity, love, light and joy. So that wraps it up for me. Jim or Austin, do you have anything more before we ask Jeremy if he has any thoughts?

Jim: No, I don't think so.

Austin: Nope, not from me.

Gary: All right, Jeremy, how would you rate that?

Jeremy: I would rate it pretty highly.

Gary: That's the right answer, thank you.

Jeremy: Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean it's helpful to like get such a self-esteem boost just by coming on a podcast and being so fully accepted and praised. And, you know, every podcast episode I listen to poses a question that any semi-serious seeker has a position and an opinion on. But it's really a gift to be able to get, not just one or two, but three different ways of thinking about it that somebody can take back into their seeking, into their private practice. And really, it provides just high-quality grist for the mill of self-examination—critically appraising our positions on these questions and making sure that we're really integrating, not just things that come naturally, but the things that might take us a little while. And you guys bring up those things that I didn't come up with. It's very helpful—specifically what you said, Gary, I felt like what you were talking about with faking it till you make it and trying to practice sincerity even when you can't achieve it 100% was confounding in that you don't have a good feedback mechanism. That's the result, I guess, of that metaphor, “working in the dark with a tiny candle," and there’re no easy measures of honesty and sincerity, so there's no way to have our purity in those measures reflected back to us consistently and obviously. So all of the things that you guys have been talking about, I've been taking notes on all of them and this is all just great stuff to contemplate. I think that one thing I'm looking for is to know when I've gotten there, when I know that I've really met the core self and that it's an honest thing and has no pretense, and [that] there may not be a discreet end to this path is what I think I'm taking from a lot of your answers—that I'm looking for an end that doesn't exist, it just goes on and on and you just become more and more deeply yourself. So, I just am so appreciative of you guys putting up your full minds and hearts into this and giving me so much to work with.

Gary: Thank you so much for that analysis. I feel likewise listening to Jim and Austin give replies. I'm more often than not surprised and illuminated that something passed through their brain, which hadn't through mine, and that illuminates my own thoughts. So it's really rewarding and, of course, the questions themselves kind of force us to consider in ways that we may not have in our own musings and own day-to-day [lives ]. So I feel like it's more of a learn/teach [process] on our end with these questions. Regarding your reply to our replies, you mention looking for an end or seeking a goal line (I'm paraphrasing) and I think that's an illusion that we all deal with. I know I haven't shaken that for myself. There's always a sense of a goal up ahead or a finish line that you're looking for, and I agree completely with you that there really is no end: the journey just deepens; it just goes on forever. It's infinite from beginning to end, and begins and ends in mystery. But you mentioned another nuance in there regarding how do I know when I've— I forget the exact words, but it was something along the lines of how do I know when I've contacted that deep self, or that true self, or the authentic self. And I think there is a self-evidential quality to that; there isn't a standard so much or a yardstick from outside. Though, certainly we can take the reports from mystics and from other spiritual seekers about the spiritual path and use that to somewhat distill or measure or filter or understand our own path and cross-check it and examine it. But I think, like you were indicating, there aren't really hard and fast rules, and I think it becomes self-evident: you know it because you know it, that you are contacting something deeper than the surface mind. But, Austin and Jim, what do you think?

Jim: Well, one of the themes that has come up throughout the years of meditation is people asking this very same question. And usually when the Confederation answers, they say that it's not really possible or advisable to try to take your spiritual temperature, that you can't really get a solid idea about where you are. What you can get is a good solid idea of what your intentions are. So as long as you know that you're making the best effort that you can, then I think that's when the faith comes in that you are making the best effort that you can. And then I think an important part of the journey is to accept yourself for making that effort and not look at yourself as coming up short, but give yourself credit for having the purest intentions that you possibly can.

Austin: Yeah. I think, though,[for] a lot of people (maybe not a lot of people) there is a misconception sometimes about spirituality, especially when people are just starting on the path, that there will be an end, that there will be a point where the seeker will reach a point of happiness. Some people might call it enlightenment, and I do think that enlightenment can exist, but it's a harsh realization for a lot of seekers that there is not necessarily a stopping point, that it is an ongoing process. And I think that real beneficial spirituality is acknowledging that it is a process of evolution and then accepting and engaging in that process throughout our lifetimes, realizing that it's going to be ongoing through this lifetime and through many more lifetimes. And the idea of a lack of reflection of our spiritual temperatures, as Jim called it, I think that is also an artifact of the fact that we're going through this process within third density. The candlelight metaphor you used, Jeremy, reminded me of the archetype of faith or hope, which is the star in the Tarot, which I don't know if this interpretation is objective in any way. But I've always imagined it to be that star that we follow in the darkness where it doesn't illuminate everything—we’re still within a darkened environment, but there is the star in the distance that gives us just a tiny pinprick of guidance. And that, I think, is indicative of third density itself, that faith is really just sort of a pinprick of guidance that we have to rely on and the faith is relying on that little bit of guidance . And we don't ever fully know, and we can't know in this environment. As Ra said, this is not the density of knowing.

Gary: Thanks so much, Jim and Austin. Jeremy, have any thoughts to bounce back?

Jeremy: The only thought I have is this idea that I've read over and over in the Confederation material of being okay with the fact that all this might be a little uncomfortable, and that you don't ever necessarily get comfortable. And that's the end that we all— I feel like I really seek, right? It's like I want to just know and be comfortable and have this very concrete understanding of it. But I think it's the ability to abide in that discomfort and still seek that really builds on the strength, and I’ve just got to do that work, right?

Austin: Yeah, I think it's getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Jeremy: Yeah. Well said.

Austin: Realizing that discomfort is part of the process, and being open to that discomfort knowing that it is opportunity rather than a hindrance.

Gary: Otherwise, you will be engaging in and perpetuating in that which is endemic to this planet. And that's the seeking of comfort, and of sleep, and pleasure and gratification and anonymity as Ra said. So I think spiritual seeking necessarily includes stepping outside of your comfort zone. But it's not always wearing the hairy shirt. I think it comes with its own moments, at least of deep peace and satisfaction in a sense that I'm on the right path and there's something driving me forward to this path and I need to honor that and be sincere in that.

Austin: Yeah, I think it's important to note that peace is available, but the peace is an underlying peace that might still be present while you are uncomfortable.

Jeremy: Mm-hmm.

Austin: It's something that I've found through the Law of One —a sense of really deep peace despite discomfort. So it is a path of peace. It's just not one where you will always be physically comfortable and all of your needs and desires are met by the universe, which is what a lot of seekers, or some seekers, are seeking.

Gary: All right. We are at 32 minutes. Jim, do you have time to go on to the next question?

Jim: Sure.

Gary: All right. Well, we'll switch things around this time. Jeremy is somebody that, in addition to being a very intelligent person, is a very informed person, especially on certain topics. Well, that sounds dumb to say. So we wanted to turn this around, because Jeremy's a good friend of ours and we know he's been undergoing a transformation in the past year. So we wanted to ask him about that. Of all the millions of people I know, I’ve . . .

Austin: Millions?

Gary: That's a true statement . Asterisk - over the course of seven densities. I’ve never met anyone who has made so thorough and intensive a study of politics. You, Jeremy, have spent untold hours and many years of your life systematically considering politics, specifically radical politics, reading tens of thousands of pages on the topic, and being very actively politically involved. Throughout your political studies and involvement, you've been a spiritual seeker who's interested, obviously, in the Law of One. But in the past year, you've gradually moved away from politics being the pre-eminent force and focus of your life, to spirituality being your primary drive and concern. So two questions for you: Why have you made this transition? And what part did the Law of One play in it?

Jeremy: Yeah, great questions. Why did I make this transition? It probably has a lot to do with the questions about sincerity that I've been posing to you all. There is so much that's hard to accept about status quo in the present. There is so much that pains people; there's a lot of suffering. And it's natural to want to come up with a solution to that, and it's natural to want to work towards that. And I've never felt like my work in that regard was something that came from anything but a very high place. And I think I sort of took a break from spirituality being my primary focus largely because I wanted to be sincere about it. In other words, if politics/activism was what really engaged me and really was the highest thing that I could do, I felt that it would be insincere to simply pretend like, “Well, I'm going to keep on, you know, making spirituality my focus.” And I think I actually learned a lot about the human condition and spirituality by really diving in. I think sometimes you’ve just got to dive deeply into something and let it wash over you and let it confound you and frustrate you. What I realized through working with activists, and in the radical political scene where people are really trying to pose new solutions to things and have new configurations in society that are liberatory and that don't adhere to the normal conventional power structures, is that it is all driven in part by personal seeking in a way. It expresses itself in this very yellow-ray socialized form. And I saw that in myself, too, that I'm trying to answer personal questions about my conflicts inside with power, with authority. These are things that you can answer in the political realm and you can find solutions and you can impose solutions, but ultimately, they're never going to be solutions that give you the balance that you're looking for.

And I see that over and over in activist circles, where people coming from a very good place mistake the work in the societal self with the work in the inner self—not to make too fine or too coarse of a distinction in there. But when the only tool you have is a hammer, and the only tool you want to use is this political activist policy or whatever hammer, you're going to see a nail everywhere, including within you, and think that some sort of political outcome is the goal that you're seeking. I started to feel like there were deeper questions I needed to answer about what I would even want out of a political system like this, and whether [there is] any sort of mechanistic system or construct that we can put in place that would arrange us in a certain way. It would never work if we weren't fully expressing ourselves, fully realizing ourselves and in touch with that. You know, I remember my mom growing up saying that it wouldn’t matter if we were under communism, capitalism, democracy, or monarchy if everybody were in touch with themselves. All of these systems would work because we would all find a way to balance that. There was actually a book that I read that really provided the bridge for that, and it was The Undiscovered Self, by Carl Jung. [It] really sort of gave me an idea of how politics refracts and reflects these deeper issues that we have inside of us, as well as how the political scene, in totality, tends to be a macrocosm of what we're experiencing, what we're experiencing inside a microcosm.

And that, I hope, gives you kind of an idea of why I've started to make this shift. And it's still something that I'm in the transition period with. You know, somebody brings up politics and it just comes out like that, and I can easily talk about it. But I try nowadays to see if it's a way that I can work through my own issues with somebody else, and try to find a way that I can bring out the best in them through a political discourse. That was something I think that happened in Occupy a lot. I was involved in Occupy Richmond in 2011, and I've never been in a more powerful group of people who were seeking political ends. And what I realized is that what was powerful about Occupy wasn't our political ends, or our lack of political ends, but the fact that we all wanted to do this together. And we wanted to create a space where, if you felt something was wrong with this country or this planet, there was some place that you could go 24 hours a day, seven days a week and find somebody who may not agree with you, but would at least be able to sincerely talk with you and work these things out. And it is impressed upon me that that's so much more important than having a particular agenda or a particular proposal. So I feel, in some ways, I'm trying to do the same work, but just with a different tool—maybe not a hammer this time, right? So, I'll leave it there.

Gary: I like that you said that, as politics began to really emerge on your mental scene and you felt the draw towards it, you stayed true to yourself and involved yourself towards that end. You weren't insincere; you didn't deny yourself and say, "No, I'm a spiritual seeker and I must focus on this or that.” You went where your heart told you to go and spent years there—a lot of years exploring that, and exploring not only the political scene, not only participating in it at face value in terms of, “These are the policies we want enacted—this is the change; this is what we need to do,” but rather, reflecting on yourself and examining your own motivations and asking yourself why—“Why am I participating in this? And I like also that you suggested that politics, while you recognize the intentions and the value and the worth of activism and activists (and I'd like you to elaborate on this if you don’t mind), may be a mistaking of the societal self for the inner self. That is where work is needed. Work and balance is needed on the self. Instead, that is projected outward, from what I gather you're saying . Is that true? Can you elaborate on that?

Jeremy: Yeah, and I'll try to be careful about it because I don't want to say that people seeking through any path that they choose aren’t [choosing] a valid and legitimate one . I do, however, think that we live in a very secular society where there are not good tools for delving into the inner self. And in a society like that, in a situation like that where you don't have any other tools—you haven't considered meditation; you haven't considered a practice that could open up [your inner sense of self], that can answer questions about why you're dissatisfied, why the world works the way that it does in a deeper sense—it is very easy to turn to politics and say, "Well, the solution is that we should just change all this,” especially in radical politics. I think the thing that I often struggled with (you three would know because I asked a question about the role of acceptance in politics a few episodes ago) is this balance between knowing that there are things that need to change, but that you still have to be able to accept that what you're seeing and experiencing is legitimate catalyst. And that even though you want things to change, and you want less suffering, and you want a more equitable structure (and that these are all fine ends to pursue), the way that you're going to best see the terrain and respond to it and navigate it is by accepting yourself and accepting others as self. And I just feel like right now, at this point in my life, that is taking a lot more of my energy and a lot more effort and a lot more heart-felt work to [achieve that acceptance] . When I first jumped into [politics] and was exposed to how much was there, it felt very satisfying and it felt like a way to explore the self. So it can be a valid way to explore the self, but if you find yourself being angered so much (and believe me, there are a lot of people out there who engage in politics as a way to work through their emotions of anger and I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with that) it would be nice if you had someone that you trusted to be able to say there are other ways you can approach this, too, that would help you be more balanced, that would help you feel more self-accepted and would also help you be a better activist.

Gary: So politics isn't exclusive to spirituality. It doesn't necessarily exclude a spiritual path. One can be, of course, spiritual while pursuing activism just as one can be spiritual in nearly any life circumstance. But for those not aware of methods or practices or an avenue for exploring the inner self, politics can become their platform on an outer level to engage that work.

Jeremy: Right, and because there's something, especially in radical politics, that's inherently tied to not accepting the way things are and being driven by this lack of acceptance, it can turn very dark and in a way that it doesn't need to. There's nothing wrong with saying things need to change, but I accept the way they are to the extent that I look at it clearly and that I allow myself to feel deeply this pain, instead of using anger as a way to not feel it deeply. The more you can feel this stuff, the more tools you'll have for engaging with all of the different traumas and sufferings that are out there.

Austin: It seems that's a very intricate and enlightening view of activism that I'd never heard explained and compared to spirituality so well. But I think that this dynamic is something that exists in a lot of things in our reality, and it seems like activism politics might be a more advanced and intricate way for it to happen. But I think there's a lot of things that people can get sucked into that could be a really beneficial way to examine the self and explore spirituality. But without the tools or the will to use these things to examine the self, it just becomes a self-perpetuating cycle. Just even simple things like watching TV could be a way to just turn off and go to sleep in your mind, or you could really engage with the archetypes you're seeing played out on the television. You could really engage with the emotions that are being explored through that means. And there's just pretty much anything in our society, I think, [that] can be used as a distraction or a projection to avoid the self, but could also be used as a way to explore the self if the tools are there and are used.

Jeremy: Yeah, absolutely. In fact, I think I looked a lot at my political practice and interest as an excuse or a reason why I couldn't be more spiritual for a long time. And now I, of course, know [that] politics are just another human dynamic, and there's no reason [why] that can't be more fully human by accepting yourself and getting into the disciplines of personality and really doing the work that you're called to do inside.

Gary: Jim, did you have anything you wanted to grill Jeremy about?

Jim: No, I think Jeremy raw is better than grilled. I was thinking, though, as I was listening to you guys talk so intelligently about politics, and wondering about myself back in the college days. I was more interested then in politics and how things worked, and the war in Vietnam and [the] incursion into Cambodia were happening. And the campuses were alive and the campuses were [engaged in] riots and demonstrations and shutting down. And you know, I was halfway involved in that, and since then, it seems like I've not been involved at all. But then, as we listen to people who have questions about one thing or another in their relationships with others, especially in groups, politics is unavoidable because politics is how people deal with each other in groups, basically, and how we may exercise power over each other or with each other. And I think that's really something that can't be avoided, and perhaps on a national level, it can get a little crazy. But I guess it can get crazy anywhere, but even in families, communities, in schools, at work: if you have people there, you have politics. You have people that are working for a certain agenda and maybe they're doing it in the open. Maybe they're not; maybe it's hidden. You have conspiracies; you have people [say], “Ah, let's try this here, but don't tell him, okay?”

Jeremy: Yes.

Jim: And then, you know, it's just the way human beings are, so there's really no way not to be part of the political system.

Jeremy: That is a great point. Once I realized that politics can be primate socialization behavior, or it can be the bridge to social memory, [I understood that] trying to find the way to take all of our interactions and make them the highest expressions of what we want for our fellow man is really the work.

Gary: So you made a shift from politics being a primary focus, to happening more on the periphery or in the background. And it seems, from what I gather, what motivated that shift was a realization that that particular arena had limitations, and that in order to do the inner work that you wanted to do, it would simply require more focus and a greater quality of time spent not focusing on the political scene per se, but focusing on the self. Is that accurate? Am I understanding that right?

Jeremy: Yeah, it is accurate. But it bears some explication because everybody understands that in 2016 the way that we engage in politics is inherently tied to the Internet and this never-ending stream of stimulus and information. And I definitely felt that, in order to be active, to be informed and able to do what I needed to do, I had to just keep my attention focused on this stream of information. So I would say that stepping away from politics has also largely been about my being much more careful about how I use my mind, what I pay attention to, and understanding that the right political engagements will present themselves to me, rather than this sort of fear of missing out, that I'm going to miss some crucial piece of information about how things work or some protest or something coming up that I will have regretted not participating in. I'm trying to work on the faith that I will be put in positions where I can be most helpful.

Austin: Hmm.

Gary: Austin or Jim, you have anything more for Jeremy?

Jim: I sort of agree with your last statement, Jeremy. I believe that as long as you're out there doing your best and trying, that you will be put exactly where you need to be. I don't think there are any mistakes, like Ra said, and I think that we make plans before this life begins to do certain things, and if we're open to our own inner voice, our intuition, that those things are going to happen.

Austin: Yep, Ra said each entity receives opportunity that each needs (something along those lines), so any time that we will be needed for service, it will present it to us. Any time there is an opportunity for self-realization, it will be presented to us as well. So I think that is as wise a statement.

Gary: So I feel like there's so much I'd love to pick your brain about. We've all had so many conversations in the past with you as well. The final question I can think to ask you right now is: Since you said this is an ongoing transition, it's not in the past tense or complete in any sense of the term and you're finding your feet again on a path that originally called to you and that you kind of set aside for a time, what would you say characterizes this new phase and/or rediscovered phase and what value have you drawn from it?

Jeremy: I would say it is [that] a lot of my political life has been kind of having an idea of what I want to accomplish, what I want to see executed in the wider world, and then working towards that, trying to put one foot in front of the other to get to that point. So what has been different has been putting one foot in front of the other on the spiritual path and making that something that I'm willing to have patience [with] and work diligently towards, instead of in this sort of activist manifestation. I think changing what I was reading was really important. So I stopped reading so much about radical politics and ideological stuff, [and] moved into history. And that was sort of like a bridge between radical political practice and spirituality. Because as I read more history, I started to see that, hey, these are just human patterns here, they're not necessarily because we're doing some uniquely wrong thing right now. And I would also say that, as I started to read more and more of the more spiritually-oriented stuff, I started to see how politics was teaching me things that I really benefit from that I don't know if I could have learned any other way—teaching me things that I didn't learn in my childhood about power or teaching me things that I didn't learn in my relationships about power, that make a lot of sense to me now. But I also can see how to balance them.

I just also want to take this opportunity to say how much gratitude and admiration I have for a work that L/L Research was involved in that Steve Tyman wrote called, A Fool's Phenomenology: Archetypes of Spiritual Evolution. I think that book, along with The Law of One material and Jung, really concretized what kind of intricate and detailed and passionate work is possible and needed in the self, and especially with respect to all these emotions that had driven me through all these political upheavals and turmoils and anger. That gave me a real tool to work on this, and it's been a real friend of mine as I've tried to balance myself in this way.

Gary: Austin or Jim, any final thoughts for Jeremy?

Jim: I think I'm out of thoughts; absolutely empty head. Glad to have you on the show, Jeremy.

Jeremy: Thank you.

Austin: Big, big thanks for joining us and sharing your excellent thoughts. It was very enlightening for me.

Gary: Yeah, it was a real joy to have you on, Jeremy. Thanks for giving us and this podcast and listeners your time.

Jeremy: It was an honor/duty. Thank you.

Gary: Jim, would you like to say anything to our listeners?

Jim: Yeah. We want to thank you for listening, for sending in your questions, for being with us and we want you to know we love you with all our hearts, souls, minds, bodies, spirits—the whole works. Tune in again next time; we'll be looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you and feeling your presence.

Gary: You've been listening to L/L Research's weekly podcast, In the Now. If you've enjoyed this show please visit our websites, L/L Research.org and Bring4th.org. Thanks so much for listening, and a special thank you to Jeremy Weiland for joining us today. If you would like to send us a question before the next show, please read the instructions on our page at LLResearch.org/podcast. New episodes are published to the archive website every other Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. Have a wonderful couple weeks or two weeks and we'll talk with you then.

Austin: Cue outro music!

Thanks to Mary A. for transcribing this episode, and Nancye G. for editing!

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