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Chris Bache - Diamonds From Heaven

Interview by Iain McNay

Iain: Hello and welcome to Conscious TV. I’m Iain McNay and my guest today is Chris Bache. Hi Chris

Chris: Hi Iain

Iain: We found Chris quite recently, he was doing a lecture in London. I read his short bio that came with the details of the lecture and thought, what a fascinating chap. So, I invited him, and he kindly agreed to come along and talk with us today. Chris has written three books, I have only two of them here. One is ‘Lifestyles, a study of Reincarnation in Light of Contemporary Consciousness Research’; this one here is ‘Dark Night, Early Dawn, Steps to a Deep Ecology of Mind’; ‘The Living Classroom, Teaching and Collective Consciousness’; and then he has a new book which isn’t published yet which is going to be called ‘Diamonds from Heaven,  A Twenty Year Journey into the Mind of the Universe’ . So, Chris let’s start with… you had these questions, didn’t you? You worked for many years lecturing in comparative religions, psychology I think to some degree, but you had these questions burning inside you.

Chris: Well I was trained as a philosopher of religion and philosophers of religion are concerned with exploring the deeper ?? (1.48) of existence, the meaning of life, of the structure of the universe, the limits of human consciousness. These were the questions I was trained to pursue in graduate school and then I came to my university Youngstown State University. Just as I came there, I encountered the work of Stanislav Grof in psychedelic research and his book ‘Realms of the Human Unconscious’. This was 1978 and as soon as I read that book, I was so deeply impressed with the calibre of the research he had done and the calibre of his mind that I knew I wanted to do this work. 

Iain: The questions you had were questions with a variation about consciousness, what are its potentials and patterns? What are its boundaries? These are slightly different from the usual who am I, what am I type questions. So, these have obviously being working in you for a time 

Chris: For a time yes. There were two people I met in my first year of teaching, one was Ian Stevenson and his work on reincarnation research which opened up a whole world for me. I finished graduate school an atheistically inclined agnostic. Ian Stevenson opened up reincarnation, Stan opened up the opportunity to actually experience deeper dimensions of consciousness by entering those dimensions and experiencing deeper dimensions of existence itself. It felt like the opportunity of a lifetime, what philosopher wouldn’t want to do that? The problem of course was this was ’78 and they had both been made illegal in the United States, the first generation of work was over. We were forty years away from the renaissance of psychedelics that is taking place now. So, I made a difficult choice, I decided to split my life. In my public life I was a university professor and did all the things professors do. I taught, published, and served on committees but in my private life I began a private twenty- year journey in using Grof’s methods. For me, high dose LSD therapy, seventy-three sessions over twenty years. I worked for four years, I stopped for six years and then I worked very intensely for ten years so overall from ’79 to ’99, I did this work. But because it was illegal, and because if I had talked about this work, I would have lost my job, I had to keep quiet about it. It wasn’t till after I retired and after I was passed the Statute of Limitations, because I don’t do this work now, that I was able to begin to talk openly about what one can learn about consciousness and about the universe by following this particular method of exploration

Iain: I think the interesting thing is you went into it as an adventure, but you went into it in quite a disciplined, organised way and the sessions were all laid out. I think your first wife was supporting you in the sessions

Chris: Yes

Iain: And from what I’ve learnt by talking to you and reading is also the sessions in themselves were organised but not by you in so far as they were sequential. I didn’t know so much about psychedelics, I know people that have been on LSD trips. It tended to be a trip and another trip, and it was for an adventure and it wasn’t a serious study. You approached it as a serious study, and I think you talk about a big difference between doing that and doing it for a recreational purpose.

Chris: Yes. I’ve never taken LSD and gone to a concert. I’ve never stayed up talking with friends. This is a very specific methodology. It’s completely internalised. Stan Grof’s psychedelic therapy as he describes in his book ‘Psychedelic LSD Therapy’, you’re totally isolated, you’re cut off from the world, you’re in a private space. You’re lying down wearing eye shades, listening to very carefully selected music. My first wife was and is a clinical psychologist and she was my sitter. You take the medicine and then completely surrender and let it take you where it will take you. I did this work in contrast to current research with the renaissance of psychedelic research, which is very focused on healing, which is very important work

Iain: And much smaller doses

Chris: Much lower doses and gentler substances. I did this work as a philosopher. I wanted to explore the deep structure of consciousness that Stan had shown in his early work and the structure of the universe itself. I found that if you are willing to submit to this intense destructing of consciousness, you go through not just one death and rebirth but over time you go through a series of deaths and rebirths, deaths and rebirths that take you deeper and deeper and deeper into what do we call it? The mind of the universe? The mind of the cosmos? The mind of God?

Iain: The absolute?

Chris: In my experience I never controlled what was happening in the sessions. I would try to set intentions but working at levels this high which I don’t   recommend…

Iain: Because it was five hundred, six hundred…

Chris: I was working at five to six hundred micrograms which now that I’m through it and looking back, I really don’t recommend working in a sustained manner with levels that high. I would be much gentler with myself, if I were doing it again but at the time, I was young and I took good care of myself, very good care. Everything was very methodical, I kept detailed records within twenty- four hours of every session making a complete phenomenological record, keeping track of all the variables of all the dates and I studied the sessions over years because these are complex experiences. What I found was that if you open yourself deeply, you enter into a conversation with the universe and the universe is interested in deepening your experience of it. So, the universe takes you in and teaches you, trains you, and softens what needs to be softened, breaks what needs to be broken in order to allow you to enter more and more intimately into the deep structure of reality.

Iain: Doesn’t it take a certain courage from you as a human being to allow that to happen? Because you’ve got no idea where it really leads

Chris: It does, and this is one of the great gifts that Stan Grof gave me. In reading his work, one of the deep gifts he gave me was to trust the process. If you submit to it , if you let it take you where it will take you no matter how terrible it becomes, no matter how inscrutable the process, if you surrender to it , it will always culminate, it will take you to a breaking point and then it will catch you. You will die, then you will awaken into a different condition, a different reality, as a different being in a different dimension of existence

Iain: What do you mean you will die? What will that actually mean in a tangible way?

Chris: In order to experience intimately the deep nature of reality you can’t take your ego into that reality and have a transpersonal experience. The only way to enter into these realities is to become a citizen of those realities and our time space identity just by the conditioning of time and space keeps us small. In order to enter into vast expanses of reality we have to let go of that which keeps us small. Literally you go through a psychological death, the ego death is very common

Iain: Ego death, so it’s a death of a construction of who we think we are, who we become through our conditioning.

Chris: Yes so, I was white, male, highly educated, philosopher concerned with the meaning of existence. The universe broke me by turning me into the exact opposite of all of those. For hours and hours, I experienced being female, being poor, being women of colour, being women who had no interest in philosophy whatsoever which is perfectly fine, except it completely negated my sense of who I was. When I finally yielded and let that happen, allowed myself to become a woman it took me in the most marvellous experience of hundreds and hundreds of women’s lives giving me the experience of being feminine that I wish every man had the opportunity to experience women as deeply as it gave it to me.

Iain: When you say you during these adventures let’s call them, what is the you? Because if the ego is dissolved what is the you that is having this experience?

Chris: That’s one of the linguistic puzzles every mystic always has to address. I is not this I (points to himself). It is continuous with this I but it’s not this I. So, the first death is the death of ego. There is continuity of awareness, there’s continuity of memory but discontinuity of capacity. So, when you die and wake up in a different reality you remember who you are, but you are not who you were when you were a time space human being. You literally have become a different kind of being for six to eight hours at a time. Chris Bache gets shattered. You literally learn how to be a different kind of being, then once you stabilise consciousness at this post egoic level and you go through various purification, transformative processes eventually, if you keep pushing, keep going deeper, it will ask you to surrender even more deeply. You have to give up something more fundamental than your personal identity. When you do and wake up in that next reality, you’re not Chris Bache, you’re not even who Chris bache died into, you are a different entity. When you come back there is a thread of memory but you’re literally remembering having been different beings or different dimensions of being

Iain: Is the transformation happening within the trip or is it happening after you come back or is it both?

Chris: It’s both, it’s certainly both. I want to say this. There is a lot of discussion of psychedelics and enlightenment and does psychedelics lead to enlightenment? What’s the relationship? Is it productive or counter- productive? These adventures were not aimed at enlightenment, they started that way. I started because I was interested in enlightenment. I thought I could do these sessions and ego would die and I would get to enlightenment faster. It changed very quickly because after I went through my first ego death instead of personal transformation it opened up into a story of deep collective transformation. I began to enter into what I call the ocean of suffering where I began to enter into what the Buddhist would call the hell realms. The deep, deep suffering that still lives within the collective psyche. This went on for two years, so many sessions over so many years, so many people that it eventually shattered my perception of what was going on. It wasn’t aimed at my personal transformation; it was aimed at the transformation of some aspect of the collective unconscious of humanity. After I went through that and after culminated, I entered into archetypal reality. When I entered into archetypal reality, I went through a phase where I had to cease to be a human being. I discovered that there is a human identity which is deeper than your individual human identity. Just as I had to die as Chris Bache in order to become something larger, I had to die as a human being per se. I had completely to go  outside any frame of reference of humanity to move into best as I could determine archetypal reality, different dimensions of archetypal reality. Every step deeper is a step into a much more intense modality of energy. So, every step deeper is a step into a very intense energy field, so intense that in the beginning it can be shattering and very hard to maintain coherent awareness. But I found if I went back again, and back again, over a year I went back again systematically about five times a year, you go through a purification process and clarification process, you learn how to stay conscious in levels of reality that at the beginning you could not stay conscious in, but you have to practice it.

Iain: To give it some context, you did seventy- three trips over the twenty years

Chris: I would never say trips

Iain: Good, so you would use the word?

Chris: Sessions

Iain: Seventy-three sessions over twenty years. Each session no matter how long the gap was sequential. So, what would happen was at the end of one session, the next session you would start where you left off the previous one?

Chris: Approximately. Sometimes you have to see the whole sequence before you understand the logic of the flow. It was like keeping a dream journal. There is a logical flow you can identify but sometimes you have to go several layers down before you can see the overarching story.

Iain: Yes, I understand. You took the time in between to integrate, absorb what had happened. Also, you were saying last night when we had dinner also your body, it’s not as if it was recovering as such , but the body was adapting because of the energy you’re in when you’re in the session. It’s such a powerful energy and you’ve got the absolute coming into some finite vessel, which has to be able to accommodate that energy. That was quite a big thing wasn’t it? 

Chris: Huge because every step deeper is more intense. When you go into these states you open up into vast fields of consciousness and the energy is just huge running through your system. You have to prepare your body to go into those states and after your system shrinks down after the session, you have to then continue to work with your body to help it absorb the experiences in a healthy manner. You really have to stay clean in your heart habits, in your meditation, in your yoga practice, in all the structural aspects of your body. I found my system had kind of a natural capacity to let go and I never had any trouble coming back. There was a natural congealing, but you have to monitor your system very carefully throughout. I would have a session, I would write it all up and I would have two or three months to think about it, absorb it, ponder it, to follow its teachings, because it gives you teachings. Then I would open up again and the process would repeat itself in this manner.

Iain: You also talked about that there are layers of conditioning that you’re letting go of. It’s not like you are saying I’m letting go, in the sessions the letting go is happening.

Chris: Yes

Iain: Because there is an allowance there

Chris: I surrender, the universe or this creative intelligence takes me in. Usually what happens in a session is the first half of the session is spent in some form of intense purification and then it reaches a peak  and then you’re drawn into the second half of the session which is some kind of ecstatic experience, some deeper immersion into the divine, and then a series of teachings. Then the system slowly closes down

Iain: Do you remember all those teachings when you come back?

Chris: I do

Iain: Wow

Chris: I have to qualify that just a little bit. Many layers, and you go through this death rebirth cycle, if you stop there you stay at that level.  You keep pushing and driving, that’s one of the things I found about the high dose LSD work , huge power. It keeps pushing you to your edges,  to your outer limits. When you first break into a new level, it’s a different system, different rules. It works by a different process . When you first break through often recall is hard. You get pieces, you get aspects, but they don’t always cohere in a way that makes sense to you, so your account will have gaps. But if you go back again, and again, you train yourself how to stay conscious in that level of reality. You go through purification and more purification and eventually you’re able to maintain coherent cognition at that level of reality. At that point, the pieces begin to cohere, you get a more coherent map of what’s going on, you get a clear stabilised vision. This is one of the differences between therapeutic work and tripping. If you trip you may touch these places here and there, but if you want to have sustained conscious experience at various levels of reality, you have to pay your dues and work to be conscious at that level. When you do that , you come back, I am able to bring it all back. When I write my account there was a technique I used which was the day after a session you would pause, play the music that was used in the session in exactly the same order in which it was played. I would write the session up listening to the music I had used in the session so, it kind of put me, one foot in, one foot out. I could get back into the space and it would help me remember. I would get it down in print always pushing it. With work and careful attention in the session and afterwards, you can retain it.

Iain: I think one of the things I particularly liked, I think it was in the Dark Night book, you stressed that you cannot fully awaken individually because you had the realisation that at the absolute level which you were visiting at least part of the time, that it is all one. So, when you come back to the human vessel it makes a real myth that someone can awaken individually when the next person isn’t fully awake. How can that be that an individual awakes, another individual doesn’t awake?  

Chris: The metaphor that I like to use when I’m teaching this with my students is the metaphor of the leaves and the trees. If you imagine leaves being individually conscious, and yet they are manifestation of the consciousness of the tree, it’s both ends. So, we’re both individually conscious and there is the story of the individual evolution but if you really dig deep and ask what is an individual, then you encounter the collective psyche, the consciousness of the planet, the consciousness of the galaxy, then deeper into as you say the absolute, what I call my Beloved. Individual awakening is just a mistaken inference. It’s true if you don’t work individually, you don’t make progress and yet when you make progress, you are actually drawing into your work… you touch the consciousness of many people and many people’s consciousness are represented in your work. So, it’s impossible to put a boundary on awakening. The universe in this sense doesn’t even think in terms of individuals. It does but it also thinks in terms of it is interested in awakening the entire species. It’s not interested in awakening this religion or this continent or that continent, it’s interested in taking the whole human family into its evolutionary progression. I began to realise I wasn’t doing these sessions for my personal work. I wasn’t doing it for my personal healing or my personal transformation

Iain: It started with the questions, but the adventure led you far beyond those initial questions

Chris: Yes, then beyond even collective transformation, it became an adventure in knowing the universe. Just an adventure in being drawn into intimacy with the creative intelligence, drawn into causal reality, into oneness, into shunyata, emptiness, the fertile void , into  sat-chit-anada, the existence before existence. Just one adventure after another deeper and deeper. I have an acute sense that the universe loves to be known. The universe wants to be known. We are the universe, we are part of its knowing and when we return to source, begin that journey back to point of origin, we are met with, what do you call it again… we are met by this massive supreme intelligence, extraordinary compassion and loving beyond imagination, and it’s so happy, that part of it has come back to experience it and to know it. It wants to show you creation, it wants to show you what has been going on. It’s been working for billions, and billions and billions of years and we’re just getting to where in the last few thousand years, we can begin to open up deeply enough to participate consciously and to see the creative process. It’s so happy when we do that

Iain: Your adventure took you to this knowledge , this experience and yet there are other people who go the path of contemplation or meditation that have very similar experiences. Do you feel that your way was slightly different, I know in terms of substance it was, but do you feel the knowledge and realisations of your way was that different form the way of contemplation and meditation?

Chris:  No, I think the cosmology that came out of this work is not different from the cosmology that you see in the great contemplative traditions, the great spiritual traditions. All honour to the great masters who have done this under the power of their own daily practice. I taught courses in mysticism and meditation and the great spiritual sages were always my teachers, always my masters. What they describe and what I experienced seemed to fit hand in glove. So, there’s nothing new there. The only thing new is that we have a different method which could let someone of modest spiritual capacity, if they have sufficient determination and courage to submit to the regiment, even someone of modest spiritual capacity like me might have temporary experience of these things. As Huston Smith said, “a mystical experience does not a mystic make”. So, you can’t take these experiences and use them to maintain that consciousness permanently, it would be so good if you could. But by going back and forth, back, and forth, doing the practice, doing your work in a daily way, hopefully more and more of it internalises itself in your being, and you grow.

Iain: Yes. I think one of the interesting things was that midway through this adventure, you wrote this book ‘The Living Classroom’  about what was happening with you with your students. You don’t mention psychedelic experiments at all in this, yet something very special was happening between you and your students. Do you want to talk briefly about that?

Chris: Sure. I wrote ‘Living Classroom’ towards the ending of my teaching career and I don’t mention psychedelics at all because it’s not about psychedelics , it’s about consciousness. But, the back story to it is I was teaching, and I was doing my private work and I never talked about my psychedelic experiences with my students. I just kept a firewall between my professional life and my personal work. But what I found over time was that my students were being activated by my private work. When I would go into deeper states of consciousness or go through some death rebirth process, they were spontaneously being activated in their own life in ways I began to recognise were parallel to what was happening in my practice. Another thing began to happen. When I was lecturing on something and I would just need an example to make a point, I would just pause and wait, think of an example, and would use the example. Students began to come up to me after class and they began to say, “you know it’s funny you used that example because that’s exactly what happened to me this week”. At first, I thought coincidence, but it kept happening, it kept happening. The deeper I went in my work these synchronicities began to touch very deep pieces of their lives. It was like there was a radar operating that was connecting me to where they were hurt, what they needed to hear some idea that they needed. When they would hear their life being  suddenly in the room, they could not help but get involved deeply. I began to see that this was happening pretty regularly, I began to realise I have to understand this. Not only do I have to understand it , I have to figure out how as an educator how to work with it. Do I need to protect them from what’s happening?  Do I need to build barriers? How can I be myself and teach in a way that’s safe for them and yet also allows me to just be who I am, what I am? That’s what ‘The Living Classroom’ is about.  Consciousness in its natural condition is boundless and endless and doesn’t have firm membranes and edges . There is a private consciousness of a sort but in its end, consciousness is like a lake, you throw in a stone and the ripples spread out. So, I developed a set of strategies for how to work with consciousness in the context of rooms of people, groups of people. I also found out there is a field energy. I’d read Rupert Sheldrake and his work in morphic fields, but I’d always thought of morphic fields in terms of species, whole species. But what I found is there are fields that congeal around courses, fields that congeal around students in a room. If you teach the same course year after year after year, there is a field that congeals and gets stronger that reflects the learning of all the students who take that course with you. That field accelerates the learning of students who have taken the course five or ten years down the road.  So, when you know that is happening, you can begin to work cooperatively, strategically with those fields. So, it’s a whole different modality of pedagogy. You might call it instead of a Newtonian pedagogy, it’s a quantum pedagogy. So, for example I found it important to close those fields at the end of a course. So, if you open the room into the collective energy of these fields, students get very deeply touched, get deeply activated. But at the end of the course I found that students were showing up in my office after a course was over and they just wanted to talk. At first, I thought that’s nice, they had a good course but then I began to realise something is wrong. They were caught, still stuck. They were still connected to the field but didn’t have any place to take it. So, I began to realise not only do you open these fields and work with them skilfully , you have to close them skilfully. So, you have to go through a process both socially in the room and sort of shamanic- ally  in spiritual practice to close the fields because you don’t want to encourage that type of dependence. I want my students to be independent. I want them to take their learning, go to their next course, integrate with what their next professor has to…

Iain: Find their own field

Chris: Find their own field. I want them free in the world. So, there was a lot of learning

Iain: I think there was one interesting example you used in ‘The Living Classroom’ about how you found that when a student would ask you a question, you didn’t reply straight away, you were just open for a few seconds. You would see this door open and a whole new dimension to the answer to the question come.

Chris: I found if I stopped and instead of saying the first thing that came to my mind because pretty much every question they ask, is something you have already heard before. But if I stopped, suddenly I saw a blank door in the back of my mind and a piece of paper came through that door. I read the paper and it was a different answer. So, if I tried it all of a sudden, the eyes would light up, the energy of the room would light up, we would go in a new and novel direction. So, my teaching began to be a dialogue between organised, I do a lot of notes, thoroughly organised, but then this improvisation. My understanding is  the improvisation that was coming through this deeper consciousness connection… what happened  when my mind was put into the context of our collective mind and the teaching came out of a dialogue between the minds that were there and my mind that was there.

Iain: You also talked about how the students were changing you

Chris: Oh yeah 

Iain: There’s a quote from the book, “over the years the students broke me down and rebuilt me”

Chris: Yeah

Iain: That’s quite radical to say the students “broke you down and rebuilt you”

Chris: I was always blessed with really good students. They were willing to engage deeply with the questions I asked, and we danced together. In that process they opened up my heart. They invited me into the room and they let me into their lives, not in a counselling kind of way, in an intellectual, philosophical inquiry kind of way. We worked together, and in that process, they taught me about this hidden territory in the room. They taught me what could happen when good people of good hearts came together in this adventure, and they did, they broke me down. For example, a student would ask a question and I would have an answer only because of an experience that had recently happened to me, or a book I’d recently read , or a session I had just had. I thought that’s interesting. I do the work and suddenly the universe’s capacity to use my knowledge to seed knowledge in somebody else’s life. Then I began to realise I had it all backwards, that sometimes I was having the experiences I was having, reading the books that I was reading, because there was a questioning student who was coming to me in the future. So, my learning was actually being seeded by their desire to know. Once you let go at that level, once you stop thinking, you were the orchestrator of this entire enterprise, that its’ really a collaborative enterprise right from the start and you realise that your learning and teaching is so deeply embedded in their learning and teaching, then where is the self in that?  Where are the boundaries of the self? It just becomes a dance of presences in the room. When life uses you in that way, life uses you in that delicious way … when that cross- fertilisation takes place, it’s the sweetest feeling in the world to me. You’re just part of something larger. You release to it. They release to it. They took me there, I could not go there by myself, they took me there.

Iain: Then at some point a great sadness came upon you on your adventure. You talk about “as years passed you found yourself entering a deep sadness. Your enthusiasm for life was fading, you began to feel separated and marooned. You reached a point when you realised you were just waiting to die, to return to your Beloved”.

Chris: That was after I stopped the journey

Iain: Yes 

Chris: So, I have to fill in a bit of a blank and then I can say what happened after the journey. In the book ‘Diamonds form Heaven’, I tell the story of ego death, moving into the ocean of suffering, then moving into archetypal reality, then moving to causal reality and having these wonderful unitive experiences. I was completely satisfied at that point, to merge so deeply, but there were still five years in the journey ahead. What happened was I went through yet another cycle of death and rebirth, and I was taken into a domain of light that was so clear, so clearly exquisite beyond imagination.  Buddhism calls it Dharmakaya, the absolute reality of clear light. Over five years in twenty-six sessions I was taken into this reality four times, just four times. Between those four sessions there was tremendous purification. You literally in these states of awareness you become light, you just dissolve completely into light. You have the qualities of light and the boundlessness of light, and you are just dissolved into the crystalline nature of the Divine. I don’t mean divine in any theistic sense, or any conventional sense, but I don’t know how else… what other vocabulary to give to it. In each of those four adventures going deeper into the Divine, there were a series of things that happened. The Divine began to come deeper into my body, but then I reached a point after being handled very carefully, broken down but handled carefully. Then this consciousness brought me to the end of my work. It brought me to the end, gave me an overview of all my sessions from the beginning to the end. It showed me the whole pattern, to put all the pieces together, then gave me a last set of instructions as I was about to leave. I didn’t know it was over, but it called it. So, I knew I had to stop my work. The primary reason I stopped the work was because it became too difficult to come back from the light. It became so painful to come back into time and space, after having dissolved so completely into this infinite light. Light comes in many layers and comes in early. It has layer and layers but the diamond light, what I call the diamond light is a particularly advanced form of light, a very dep expression of light. So, I stopped my sessions. I had always been integrating my sessions carefully all the way through. But when I stopped my sessions, I thought because I had done this work carefully, I would be able to just enjoy the fruits of that labour. What I found over time was that a deep sadness settled in over me. Over time I began to realise that I was suffering from a loss of communion, there was such a longing for that light. I did not have the spiritual maturity or spiritual capacity to incarnate that light in my physical existence. I reached a point when I began to realise, I was just waiting to die. I was taking care of my students, taking care of my family. I was doing the things I would do, but in my heart of hearts I was waiting to die so I could return to the light. Over the years I began to realise this is not right, this is not the way it’s supposed to go. Somewhere along the way I must have made a mistake, I must have made a mistake, because this is not the way it’s supposed to be. So, I really went back and re-examined the whole process. I began to realise you could say I was suffering from too much God but since the physical universe is the Divine as well, I’d say I had lost balance. A balance between transcendence and imminence. I had plunged so deeply into the transcendent Divine that I had lost my foothold, my place in the imminent Divine. That’s incredibly valuable, the imminent Divine is so valuable so, I had to make a concerted effort to congeal my life and to come to terms with being where I was as I was and to continue the process of dong my spiritual practice so that I could let the Divine, the light enter more deeply into my body and into my consciousness. It’s an ongoing process, it’s a work still in process.

Iain: Yes, but you talk in the book ‘Diamonds from Heaven’ that the human things like the family was so important to you in helping you re-find the ground, finding pleasure again in  human things. Because yes, you were almost blown away by what was there but there’s so much beauty also in the human realms. Somehow, these are my words rather than yours, to be taken out of significance but in themselves they are wonderful

Chris: Absolutely. My family was always my rock, my students , my family - I have three children- and always coming back. Wherever I was on Saturday, Monday I was with my classes, I was always with my children. Like these flowers on the table, what magnificent expressions of creation they are. The diamond luminosity, the light is magnificent. We have a tremendous hunger to touch these realms and return to them, but the physical world is the manifestation of that reality in tangible form. So, nature has been a tremendous balm for me. Just nature, the starry sky, being in the woods, being in nature, being with people. There’s another aspect of that sadness. The sadness wasn’t just loss of communion

Iain: It was the isolation

Chris: The other sadness was in our culture I wasn’t allowed to talk about these things. In traditional culture you bring your visions back to the elders who help you understand them and because your visions are not meant for you. They are always collective, but in my culture, I wasn’t allowed to talk about my sessions. I couldn’t bring these visions back. I couldn’t teach with them. I couldn’t share them with my colleagues. That sickness of silence just added to my sadness. It isolated me and it makes you sick inside. Living in a psychedelic closet is just as injurious as living in any other closet where you have to deny yourself in order to live in your culture. Writing ‘Diamonds from Heaven’ was really my step back to the world, sharing these visions and doing what I was designed to do, be a teacher. I find, I share. Just bring them forward, hopefully they will be of use to people, hopefully they will find them helpful in some way. To begin to be able to share them, bring them back, to be able to speak without reservation about my experiences. My experiences are not important , what is important is all of are experiences. What’s important is that all are experiences of the transcendent reality, or these realities be put on the table, we look at them together and we find out what’s important, what’s not important. So, I don’t’ have any attachment, I don’t own these experiences

Iain: You were also saying in one of the books that at the end of twenty years, you were told, or you felt it would take twenty years of integration. Actually, the twenty years are up next year

Chris: Getting close, yeah( smiling)

Iain: Or it might take twenty lifetimes (laughing)

Chris: At first after I’d done these sessions in my meditations, Spirit told me twenty years in, twenty years out. They would take twenty years to absorb them. Now I’m coming close to those twenty years, I’m thinking, that might have been optimistic because these things are so deep, sometimes it feels like it will take many lifetimes to absorb them. I have really basic questions. How do you integrate infinity into finite structures?

Iain: Yes

Chris: Some of my experiences involved going far into what I call deep time, outside of time and space, deep into the future, deep into different dimensions of time. How do you integrate those breadths of time into Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday consciousness? Where I am now, I don’t think you can. The only thing we can do is integrate our finite existence into the infinite. We do our practice, we surrender, we make ourselves available. We do everything we can to respond to needs of the present and if we do that consistently, hopefully then the infinite becomes a deeper and deeper living reality in our conscious awareness

Iain: Yes, and again I was saying to you last night it’s not just so much the experiences you had which are amazing experiences, I found for myself , I get to understand something, or have an experience, or a realisation and it can take me years to properly integrate that.

Chris: Yeah

Iain: I realise it’s still hanging around in a form, that I can’t totally absorb. I just feel more and more on the spiritual journey people often give themselves too much of a hard time. They think I’ve kind of got that, move on and now I must get something else, or I should be clear. No, you do your best and as you found out to process it take time. You cannot force these things. You can be available, you can do the meditation, look after yourself and any other supportive work but it happens in its own time

Chris: It does, it’s a slow and gradual process. You can’t cheat nature, it takes time. You can kind of push it but in the end, you have to let nature take its course.

Iain: Yes. Ok Chris , I’m looking at the clock and nature’s taken its course, time is virtually up

Chris: Thank you so much Iain, it’s been so good to have this conversation with you

Iain: Thank you for coming along to Conscious TV. I’m going to mention your new book which should be out sometime next year ‘Diamonds from Heaven, A Twenty- year Journey into the Mind of the Universe’. Then there are three books that are already out, ‘Dark Night, Early Dawn’ ; ‘Living Classroom’ which we touched on about halfway through the interview, and the first book ‘Lifecycles , The Study of Reincarnation in light of Contemporary Conscious Research’.                                                                                                           


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