Ian Trask recommended Russell to participate here. And due to his soon-coming trip to Mexico, we almost didn't meet up this morning, but we pushed through and I'm super glad for it. Russell's big dog, Bub, met me in front of his home and then Russell's wife, Brook, treated me to a hot cup of tea and made me feel at home. By the time Russell got home I was already comfortable on his couch. He sat down with me and we started chatting and after just a couple of minutes, his cat, Boo, made a home at my side and purred throughout the rest of our talk.
This interview is quite different than the rest. Each interview has its nuances, of course, but this one has a heavy lean toward the philosophical and existential. I hope you’ll find some food for thought here. I always find a little relief in the fact that no one of us really knows much of anything. We have our thoughts and feelings based on our own experiences and sometimes we refer to them as beliefs, but they are just that and not the same as fact. So, is there any room in your beliefs for new ideas? For broader understanding? For more compassion? For new perspectives? I hope so.
Who are you and how would you describe yourself?
Well, my name is Russell Huntamer (laughs), but you know, who I am - that's one of the biggest questions that I think you can actually ask. But it's more of like, What am I? First and foremost, I believe that I am a soul. Identity is a very interesting thing. We tend to think it's our bodies or the things that we do or the things that we say. As opposed to being something that we're doing. So, existentially, who I am or what I am is a soul. But as far as what I do, what I tend to concentrate on, what my life is like - I live a few different lives in some regards. I'm in the business world often. I'm a partner here at Compass Commercial - do a lot of commercial real estate deals, do most of the retail deals in town, work with a lot of people in the community - but a lot of it is on that kind of numbers side of things and real estate and legal side of things and putting deals together. I work with a lot of really good people, but it's not what I necessarily do to feed my soul or it doesn't necessarily coincide with what some of my deepest passions are.
I'm a father of three. I'm a husband. I've got a dog and a cat (laughs). All my family lives here. My main passions are I really enjoy reading and studying material related to I guess you could say existentialism and metaphysics. Spend a lot of time trying to figure it out - whatever this is... existence. I think what I enjoy doing or what I resonate with is I enjoy taking care of people. I enjoy helping people. Finding the best things and sharing 'em. I like the archetype of medicine Buddha. Playing my own part in helping relieve suffering or trying to wake up myself and then also help others wake up.
Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing anything to change the world or save the world and things like that, but I think in some regards, really, the only way to save the world is to wake up and then help others wake up. And that's what I'm trying to concentrate on these days. So, whether or not that outlines who I am (laughs) is maybe debatable. But those are some of the things that I do and concentrate on and believe in. At my core, I'm regularly trying to make sense out of all this and trying to come up with a reality model or discover the best reality model that is not delusional that simultaneously helps me to stay open and expansive and playful and joyful. And to not be in denial, as well.
I think you've answered the next question, but on the chance that you've got more to say or maybe you can expand a little bit, what concerns you and what motivates you to do something about it? What I heard in what you said was there's something serious about what we're doing. And what I understand as I make my way through the world is a lot of people don't really take it seriously. And we do a lot of coping, or a lot of excuse making, or a lot of dodging the reality of things. So, do you have any thoughts on that stuff? Why do you think that you're drawn to understanding your existence when it seems to me that so many people aren't? And if that ties into what concerns you and what motivates you to do something about it.
Well, a lot of people unknowingly will do what they can to avoid cognitive dissonance, which often times includes not thinking about things or avoiding certain feelings so that way they don't have to wrestle with the electrical storm between the two hemispheres of the brain (laughs). So, they'll suppress portions of themselves that are all still very right there just waiting to be allowed to be aware. Just waiting for them to be conscious of those - for the personality or the person to be conscious of these - things that involve deep awareness. But there's all sorts of ways in which - or mechanisms that are in place that - limit our awareness. And what I believe - what makes sense to me - is that the foundation of all that is beliefs. What you believe about what physical reality is - how we got here, what we are - your beliefs will dictate whatever your values are and whatever it is that you pay attention to. So, I feel like we're still in some sort of hangover from a reality model that comes from many different religions and also from just experience alone - just our own individual experiences. We get the impression that we're existing - we are a lone or a separate self existing in a universe that is separate from us - and we come up with all these stories - kind of mythologies - to describe how we got here and along that way, we - in some regards I feel like we - made it up. We came up with the best story we could and kinda made it up a little bit - seemed like it made sense - but the implication of some of these stories or myths can be very limiting.
For instance, in the Christian model, being here on Earth is a problem. We're down here because we did something bad (laughs). You know? And we're led to believe that along the way our bodies are a problem, our impulses are a problem, we're lowly sinners and we have to earn our way back to something. This is something to get away from. And that the content of our own mind and our own impulses are not to be trusted. And then there's this fear of hell - going somewhere for eternity - if you don't do it right (laughs). And if you do it right - if you're a good boy and girl and all this kind of stuff - then you get to go to the better place. Whether or not that's truly what Christianity is about, those are the mainstream dogmas and doctrines that have been placed on top of the whole thing ever since its inception. So, that's one example.
And then you even have Hinduism and Buddhism which still describe the body as a problem and desire as a problem and place, instead of original sin, it's karma on top of everything. And therein lies, again, another problem where you can’t trust your desires, you can't trust your impulses. It's your fault or it's your karma, maybe there's something that you did in your past lives that are causing your problems right now or are perpetuating your cycle - the cycle of rebirth - and until you metabolize through all that stuff, you're gonna continue. So, it's that same thing where physical here is a problem to be transcended or to get away from. Eventually, if you figure it all out, you're going to go to heaven or nirvana. You know, that kind of thing. Those are kind of the mainstream beliefs - maybe that's not exactly what it is was originally intended, but those are the mainstream doctrines and dogmas surrounding those religions, primarily.
So, there's that on the religious side and then if you believe... atheist views or highly scientific views, you tend to think there's this thing that's outside of you. First off, this is all meaningless (laughs) - ultimately it's meaningless if there's no god or higher level of consciousness - you are separate, bumping around in a universe of other things - mindless rocks and gas and whatever else that just happenstance came together - and a lot of it wants to get you and kill you (laughs) and you came from nothing and when you die you're gonna go to nothing.
So, there's that whole spectrum of things that if you believe any of those as such, it will dictate the way in which you process your experience and a lot of it will tend to make you feel less expansive. You'll feel bad about yourself, you'll feel alone and afraid in a world that you never made. You'll feel all these different things depending upon whatever it is that you cater to. So, for me, I feel like I ran across something that is maybe just a little bit more helpful. And it's not necessarily for everybody. But I do really feel like humanity or the reality model on the planet could use a real upgrade when it comes to understanding what this is and who we are and what we are and what we're trying to do. So, as far as what I'm trying to do to help the world or to give to the community, that's what I'm doing with these workshop seminars that are working with Jeb, which I'll be giving you his name and number and he's probably the next person I would think you would really enjoy interviewing. That's what I'm trying to do - is set that type of example, adhere to a more expansive type of reality model and maybe relay that. Not in a proselytizing type of way, but provide an atmosphere and example and a platform or a venue for people maybe to just get little glimpses of that.
So, in your model or your belief system - if you want to use that terminology - what do we mean to each other as individuals?
Okay. So, maybe I should start with the ontology of the reality model. I've picked up some of this along the way, but most of this has been refined and fully articulated for me in a way that I've not done on my own so far in my life, up until now, in working with Jeb. And studying a few things that he's kinda given to me. And we've been working together now for almost two years. So, starting off, the base part of the reality model is that everything is made of consciousness - no matter what. And everything is a collection of consciousnesses. And there are infinitesimal - smaller and smaller - pieces of consciousness. And what it is made of is whatever you want to say - you could say it's god or it's all that is - it is awareness. And so even though it may appear to be dead or not alive, if you break it down - and even quantum physics is showing this now - if you break everything down into its smallest pieces, you will see that it's densely-packed, shimmering light. That there is a[n] element to it that actually will change based upon the observer. And it can do it simultaneously for all the observers. That's the nature of consciousness. Like the infinite way in which it can express itself - any given piece of it. So, that's kind of like the base thing. Instead of us being in this world where by happenstance we evolved all the way up into this now and somehow we developed such a level of intelligence that we started to broadcast consciousness. Like it's something exclusive to human beings or smart animals or something like that. When, really, consciousness is the base. Then, of course, it expresses itself in the multifaceted ways that it does. And each thing, like you and I, we are... your cell is a collection of consciousnesses on up to your organs to your whole body - basically, you are a collection of consciousnesses with each piece having its own awareness and as that collection solidifies, then there is kind of like a one consciousness that is you. And the same thing goes ad infinitum (laughs). You know? You could look at the Earth that way; you could look at everything that way. So, that's kind of like the base thing.
And then as far as what people mean inside of this kind of holographic universe - but the holograph model doesn't completely work because as you break it into smaller pieces it becomes less clear. Each individual piece of consciousness reflects the entire thing and is capable of recreating the whole thing because of what it's made of and where it comes from. But as far as what we are to each other is each personality or each seemingly single self is one expression of our larger entity which is radiating all of our lives simultaneously in god knows how many realties from outside of time space. Basically, if you take a thought form and get a feeling and emotion behind it, it crashes from a wave and becomes like a particle. And therein lies physical expression. But this all begins in our dreams first, all begins in the thought realm first, coupled with emotion and feeling and then (smack!) the wave breaks and then you have physical reality constantly being expressed at what quantum science is saying is like 10 to the 56th times per second. In and out, the whole thing is pulsing in and out of time space - if you want to say it that way - in and out of existence at that kind of rate. And that's what we're doing together. As opposed to there being like this objective world outside of us that's like here and we're just coming into it. It's actually like a simultaneous co-creating and the things within it have their own consciousness as well. So, that's what we are together. Literally, we're interdependent, co-arising phenomena in this realm (laughs).
What does this do to your ethics or your value system or the way you function on a regular, every day basis where you need to make decisions on some sort of moral basis in business or whether or not you get frustrated at traffic? On a day-to-day, when you acknowledge somebody else's existence in this particular way, how does it actually affect the minutia?
Well, it depends on how I'm feeling. You can have this reality model, but we're also recovering from one that is way more finite. That involves way more finite beliefs that are pretty limiting. And depending upon your state, you know, you can go back to that old reality model and you can feel like the whole damn thing is completely separate from you and it's gonna get you and whatever else. But, in general, over time, you create new patterns, new neural pathways, use a different cocktail of neuropeptides that can slow down the response where you really do start to own this stuff and kind of take that breath and look at it differently. And how that happens is you literally do adopt new beliefs out of some level of insight and experience. You don't just intellectualize it. You eventually become it. So, it will dictate how you respond and, over time, you do start to respond in such a way that you still remain open and expansive and you really start to see everyone as a Buddha or everyone as a Christ - you know, everyone as a soul. It does take time.
So, it definitely changes things. When you start to not feel like the world is out to get you and if you start to believe that you are safe and eternal and that you're here forever and that the world is a safe place and nothing happens to you that you don't ultimately agree to outside of time space - where it's actually something that you co-create, that starts in your dreams first, that you see is actually more for your education or for your ultimate betterment towards your progress and insight - then it definitely slows down all those kind of negative reaction kind of stuff. But it is a slow process. I certainly would not want to portray in any way that I'm - I definitely don't like to use the word enlightened or anything like that - that I've figured it all out, 'cause you can't. And once you do it just gets twice as complicated (laughs). But it's very, very applicable. When you start to see other people as more than just things outside of you, all of a sudden the idea of violence and things like that, you just have to see them as soul or also maybe pieces of the same consciousness. It just wouldn't make sense to try to take advantage of other people or to hurt other people or to do all these kind of things because you're not as confused about what it is that you think you're going to get from them. You know? You already kind of realize that that's a total illusion. That it's not gonna bring you happiness and in the process you're going to violate something that's rather sacred - just as sacred as you are.
So, you have an ideal or a sense of how you'd like to get through this particular life and it sounds to me that it's with a certain set of values. How do you contribute to community? What's your role and how do you make the world better?
Yeah. Right. And just to back up for a second - just to kind of finish the base - I just started with consciousness. So, the other one would be that you, because consciousness or because physical reality is more... you can manipulate it more than you realize - more than we used to realize, I think we're coming to those terms now through quantum physics. You actually get what you concentrate on and there are no exceptions. There's really nothing that didn't happen to you that you were not aware of when it happened. And what we constantly think about, feel about, concentrate on, one way or another, that winds up being what we experience. Second one is all evil, demons - those archetypes that we would classify as like negative or entities that could get us and all that stuff - exist only because of a belief in them. And then third is that all limitations are self-imposed. And then fourth, therefore, you form or create your own reality, but you're doing it with everybody else (laughs). But it's not like what we used to think it was. So, anyways, that's a very base part of that reality model.
So, what I do to try to help the world or to make a difference in this world is to encourage that kind of reality model - and there's way more to it. To celebrate in the vitality of my own being and being okay with just being here and not doing any and everything that I can to avoid it and get away from it. To sit with the angst of existence and realize it doesn't have to be (laughs) anxiety-filled. It does cause a lot. Existence is peculiar and it ca be unnerving (laughs) and in so many regards that's what begets all of it. We come up with all sorts of stories to make sense of why this is happening in the first place. And I feel like I've ran across something that's very powerful that can really help us stop running around like chickens with our head cut off, trying to be happy from the outside and, simultaneously, destroy the world in the process and maybe even while we're trying to save the world, we might be stirring up the mud even more. Really, it becomes over and over again - wake up. Like, let's all wake up together. Let's change our consciousness. Let's change the layer of consciousness that we're in. And the way in which the whole thing will be physically expressed, it will change. It will physically change.
So, doing things like this workshop that I sent you. Trying to set that example. Being that way - being deeply loving to all my friends. Trying to be a good dad (laughs). Trying to employ this in the business world, I really do feel like for me, that's the hardest place for me to try to live out these principles. I work with a lot of amazing people, but sometimes things go wrong or sometimes there is the perception that there needs to be a winner and that there needs to be a loser. Or somebody gets the short end of the stick. That's where it's the hardest. But as far as changing the world, what I just went and did this weekend with a group of six people - we did a plant-based medicine ceremony two days in a row and just the level of realization and self-reflection and recalibration of how I operate in the world was so big that it's just like, Oh, wow, I don't have to run around always wondering about how I'm gonna fix the world or save it. Literally, I change the way that I live and within my sphere of influence. And then that ripples out.
Do you have a sense of responsibility to affect positive change - to help somebody else or to live to your values?
Yeah. I have no choice but to. What I value is determined by my beliefs. To the extent that you don't live out your ideals, winds up being the extent that which you become fanatical about trying to make them happen. So they can kind of become expressed more in a mutated way or a deformed way. You know? If you're not doing what you believe in, if you're wrestling on a regular basis with there being a giant delta between your actions and the way your ideals are, therein lies a huge minefield for suffering and for acting out in other ways to still try to live out your ideals. So the more your actions are in line with them, the less fanatical you're gonna be about it happening. And you can see how fanatical people can get at a certain point because so much of what they believe in is suppressed or is allowed to have happened, so they turn up the heat or use more force to implement their ideals into the world or their principles into the world. And then, to me, that's where like racism comes from and genocide or I feel like the political climate often times feeds off of that, as well. And you have a lot of people who've got a lot of ideals or beliefs, too, that are really unhelpful and they've been suppressed for a really long time and then you have someone like we do in the White House right now who gives them a venue for expressing them and to try to act them out and you can see how shitty it gets. No offense if you're a Trump fan - I don't think you are (laughs). You don't seem like it.
Let the record show that I'm not (laughs).
I'm not a Republican or Democrat fan for the most part. If Elizabeth Warren runs I would vote for here, but I didn't vote for either Hillary or Trump. I just kind of see them as... Hillary's more like status quo. Just the left head of the puppet (laughs) and then, generally, the Republicans are the right head and they just maintain a very narrow conversation for us all to concentrate on while everyone's ignoring the fact that both sides represent the war machine and the big pharmaceutical machine and the medical industrial complex and all of the other things that we're generally not talking about that we just take for granted that that's how we have to do it. Chris Hedges always talks about... Nietzsche always talked about it... the narcissism of minor difference. Even though it seems like they're polar opposites, it's still - in my opinion - a very narrow hallway of discussion.
Do you think there's much hope for changing the game? And I guess I would call "the game" the current Western world or American culture of accumulation and wealth and distraction.
Yeah, absolutely. Hundred percent. Yeah, I'm not worried about that whatsoever. By the nature of what this is made of. I mean, first off, if you cater to the idea that this is made of consciousness and it has its own awareness and it is constantly seeking to expand and create and that everything is an evolution in consciousness, it has its own durability and ability to change and literally for all sorts of negative seemingly physical situations to completely be transcended and changed - for physical reality to actually be expressed differently. Hundred percent.
Even something like Trump, we tend to look at the apple skin of what's going on when, really.... everything that's going on represents a collective consciousness and sometimes what seems to be negative can actually be a counter-steer method for something that we're all progressing towards - that we're actually doing together. Even though if we have a certain reality model it will appear like it's just bad. It's all bad. But there's no way that it could be. There's so many things that we would classify as evil that so many things come out of that would not have been expressed - so many really good things, if you want to say good and evil and all that kind of stuff - that would not have occurred had that evil thing not taken place. Like in the case of Trump, we would not have learned the word misogyny. We would not have the solidarity with women that we saw at the Women's March right after Trump was elected. We would not have had that kind of turnout had Hillary been elected. I don't think we would have realized the shadow that this country has related to racism and xenophobia and ethnocentric shit that we have going on that was there the entire time. It's been brought out into the daylight to be inspected and to be changed. For us to become aware of them and be like, Oh my god, we're actually still racist. We actually still have this shit going on. And it's like it had to be brought into the daylight to be inventoried and for all of us to become aware of it and be like, Oh, okay, this is what we still have to work on. You know, stuff like that.
If we just wanted to look at all the bad shit, we would think this whole thing's going to hell. If it wasn't making progress toward getting better - all the time, forever - the whole thing would have exploded a long time ago. It wouldn't have even made it this far. Anyways, maybe that's a delusional sentiment, but, to me, if this is more conscious and aware than we've been thinking it is, then the things we're afraid of and worried about might not necessarily be.... there's a great saying - it's kind of like a Zen phrase - Nothing can intrude into being. Into what would being intrude? So, therefore, what is your concern? You could look at this as like, Okay, so what would this whole thing be doing to itself? If this is all conscious, made of the same one consciousness or if this is all God - that's the vedantic view is that This is. I am. You are. And everything else is God enjoying itself through whatever it is - through yourself, through me, through the dog, through the cat (laughs). You know? It's infinity maintenance. It's always staying on top of infinity (laughs). That's the trouble with infinity is that all probabilities have to play out. That's another quantum thing, too, is that there is a limitless amount of probabilities that are being expressed, but the one that we're aware of being expressed seems to be the only one that's happening, but they all actually are potentially being expressed at the same time. We're just not aware of them. Depends on the one that we're tuned into based upon our consciousness. Anyways, that's kind of getting into the weeds.
This begs a lot of questions, for sure. Since I've moved to Bend I've heard a lot more of this and I assume it has to do with the socioeconomic status that tends to be pervasive here, but this idea of perpetuating positivity, of manifesting your own destiny, of success, of whatever - I hear this being talked about fairly often in a way that tends to nauseate me. But the way that I'm hearing you talk about something similar seems to be coming from a different angle that I find much more palatable. So, are you willing to say that if someone wants to get through life in a decent fashion without causing much harm and to pay their bills and survive or even thrive economically or have a healthy relationship with their parents or with their spouse or with their children or with their coworkers or with the traffic - these are things that one just decides?
Well, you would have to have a reason to decide to do that. You can't intellectualize the whole thing, but it would be a feeling. You would say, That feels right. We can't use the intellect to figure this thing out ever. So it has to be by feeling and you have to get to a certain level of awareness to get to that point to understand that feeling is the basis for navigation way more so than...
Obviously we're not going to sort through this whole thing, but what if the feeling that you're talking about looks pretty wrong? What if someone's feeling about the way they get through life looks pretty bad?
Because of the more negative things that we talked about earlier: racism, genocide, rape - all that. What if they don't have the feeling to change? What's one's role if they're generally interested in changing the world for better and getting rid of those bad feelings?
Well, I think one thing to always come to terms with and to always remind ourselves of is that everyone is doing the best they can given their current state of awareness. And that's from Jeb. And that's true. And I would say that that goes back to ideals, right? Those people were not born that way. They were given a reality model that encouraged them to think and to feel that way. I like to differentiate a little bit more between feelings and emotions. I think of feelings as actually more pure - kind of like cat whiskers. It's letting you know what your environment is like. They're pure. And what will happen is that we filter our feelings through our beliefs that then become our experience or then become our emotions and then corresponding thoughts. I would say that people who are racist, who are fanatic, fundamentalist Christians - all this kind of stuff - those beliefs were given to them by their experience. They were told what to think by their parents, family, culture, little micro-culture that they're in - all that kind of stuff . And they're not victims. There is a side of it that they chose... that they're choosing outside of maybe time space or maybe they're not listening to the greater awareness of the entity that is expressing them, but it's not something that truly happened to them kind of like an asteroid hitting the planet or something like that. There is something that was agreed to there that potentially even though it may appear negative and unhelpful and all that kind of stuff, it might be helpful in the long run - in their overall gain of insight. But on the surface level you could say in this life, you and I, we're originally given our beliefs from our whatever - I mean, where did yours come from? Parents, maybe some religion, the TV, experience, as well. So… sorry, a little bit more of the question again 'cause I just kind of lost it there for a second.
(Laughs) Well, I guess the last thing I asked was just what do we do to make the world better given people's feelings or emotions are just off? They're not right. They're not better. They're not good. They're not healthful. They're not contributive. They're not peace-seeking. There's a lot of stuff out there that's just seems to me to be violence and chaos and bullshit and disruption and greed and accumulation and consumerism and bigger, better, faster, stronger.
So, yeah. I think the foundation of that and what people value is determined by their beliefs. All the things that you're concerned about, I'm concerned about on a regular basis. I don't just turned a blind eye to it. But I try to put it in its place and have some level of trust or faith that it is part of the process. (Long pause) I guess it just comes back to reality models, for me. You know? There's a saying - That which if not of the Tao... is not for long. You can do it… for a while (laughs). You can do it for a while, but it will fall apart. And then you will see maybe a little bit more of the reality of the situation and then that's when you change your ways.
So an individual can do it maybe for the length of their one conscious lifetime that they're aware of, but the system or the greater whole will shift through those experiences?
Yeah and you can see right now - the biosphere is breaking down a little bit. We keep trying to tell ourselves, Capitalism is the silver bullet. Because we beat communism, capitalism is the silver bullet. And whatever you do to make money is fine because we beat the Nazis. So don't question our economic system. (Laughs) Never mind the fact that we're in the 5th or 6th mass extinction. All this kind of shit is going on in the physical realm because we're confused about our experience. But there will come a time when there won't be any more confusion about our actions because we wont' be able to ignore it physically playing out. We can do it now, you know, because we don't live in Syria. We don't live in the Amazon (laughs). You know? We can do it now because we're inside the castle walls, but it's not for long. Once that breaks down, there will be that day of reckoning where everyone does realize - basically there is that moment where there will be, I think, a mass awakening to this. And I think that's when maybe we'll even see that might be that quantum leap moment, as well. We can have those kind of things, collectively, when each individual's consciousness changes or awareness changes. Then the whole thing changes. So, anyways, I think that's real.
We got through some version of the questions...
Oh, wait. Sorry, one quick thing. And this is Jeb, too. And by no means is he perfect, but he understands some things, for sure. He's made this his life work - this is what he does. And he often times will site that story about Jesus - the whole notion of if somebody hits you, turn the other cheek. Like you're just supposed to accept that or don't use violence, which is all part of it, really, but it's more about keep turning the other cheek until they get tired. It's like, Are you tired of this yet? Are you tired of being delusional about what's gonna bring you happiness? Are you tired of being unkind? Are you tired of being angry and frustrated and depressed all the time? And constantly using the same solutions that aren't working? You tired of looking at your phone and still not feeling connected with everybody that you're liking whatever it is that they... (laughs)? You know? We're gonna do all sorts of things until we get tired. Even if they're destructive to ourselves or the environment. Like drinking, whatever - addiction, violence, all that kind of stuff - we're gonna do it until we get tired of it. And/or when the whole thing breaks down, we realize it wasn't getting us where we wanted to go. And then that's when we'll make the change. Sometimes it takes a really long time. And it may be in this probability - in this world - maybe we will see almost a complete annihilation of the environment before we get there. But I think it will change. In geologic time (laughs) it will get better.
Do you have anything on your mind that you'd like to ask me?
You get one, so you better make it really good (laughs).
What makes you feel alive? Or what gives you a sense of aliveness?
ACT: (Long pause) It's cool - it's a question I'm contemplating adding to my list, so it's nice that you've asked. I guess what makes me feel most alive is my frustration or contention with the way the world works around me. So, I'm really - generally - at odds with the norm. I'm extremely frustrated by it. And I'm not thriving to the normative standard. You know, I can dress myself in a way where I fit in and I communicate and I buy coffee and exchange dollars for goods and all of that. I function well enough. But I don't thrive in this environment. And that is haunting, but the haunting is - it's not a reward in the way that most people consider reward - but that's the thing that makes me feel on some sort of course and alive.
RH: Right, like you're not just giving in to what is normalized - what shouldn't necessarily be normal, but appears to be normal? Like you're not well-adjusted to a sick society (laughs)? And that gives you a sense of aliveness?
ACT: Yeah. I'd say more than anything that is some sort of proof that I'm on to something. Is that a fair way to answer your question? Is that how you were asking?
RH: I think that's great. In a lot of ways I feel the same way. It's a nice way to put it. You know, because some people would just feel bad about themselves as a result.
ACT: It's a mega struggle. It's hard to stay on top of it because approval, applause, financial gain, accumulation of wealth - these are the things that tend to be the reward, that tend to help people stay on their track or be their compensation. So, if you don't get those things - and this is a deeply personal struggle at the moment - not getting those things, not getting recognition, not getting the things that make this particular version of our life go by a little bit easier is really hard. But I cannot I bring myself to participate in the game in the way that others seems very comfortable doing. And that is the one thing I think that I have. That's probably the most hopeful way I could say something so depressing.
RH: Yeah. You have a set of principles that you stick to - that you adhere to. And you are actually acting out your ideals.
ACT: Yeah. And this is a journey to try to find... today, interview 114, the questions that I wanted to ask were so meshed together just in how you answered the first one. It's nice to see someone looking at the world a little bit differently than what I encounter so often. You can just kind of set aside the rule book and try to stay more in line with - I like what you said - with the whiskers are your feelings. Put a little more trust in those things. Those things aren't telling you to hate. Those things aren't telling you to cheat. Those things aren't telling you to do all these things. They're not. I don't believe that they are at all.
RH: Right. And we don't just have five senses, either. There's so many abilities of consciousness that we're not exercising because we're actually locking ourselves out of our awareness of them - due to our beliefs. So, we have intuitional senses; we have psychic abilities; we have astral abilities; we have all sorts of other things that we can do in other dimensions that we're not very aware of and we just think our dreams are some weird thing inside of our brain. Who taught us how to dream in the first place? That's really more of what we're really like - is what we get to experience in our dreams. Our dreams are the bridge, in a lot of regard, as an indication of how expansive we truly are (laughs).
Well, you want to say anything in closing?
I was just kidding about all that (laughs).
Examining beliefs or taking a belief inventory, you start becoming keenly aware of your own, it all simultaneously - because you do get what you concentrate on - more will come up. You'll realize - even some of those very subtle ones, almost like little frequencies or combinations or vibrations - you can start to be very aware of them in other people. You can see why people behave certain ways. You can see it. If you interview somebody and they're victims and the world's out to get them, the whole thing's going to shit - they're depressed and they're suspect of joy and all this kind of stuff - it will be because they believe that the world is not a safe place. Or that they gonna die someday and that's it. And in the meantime, it sucks. They'll be suspect of love as a result, as well, because it's meaningless. Ultimately. It only kind of means something while we're.... really, beliefs - examining them and getting them in order - is one of the foundational things that you can do. And it becomes very clear very quickly - you talk with people, you can see it - not from a judgmental perspective, but it just becomes an observation. I can understand why you would feel that way or why you think that way - why you're having that experience.