Bernie Prior - Spiritual Human Evolution
Interview by Iain McNay
Iain: Bernie is a spiritual teacher and has had many amazing experiences and adventures over the years. We are going to find out more about that and Bernie’s work; more about him as a human being but also as a spiritual being. Welcome, Bernie.
Bernie: Hi Iain. It’s good to be here.
Iain: Let’s start when you had your first spiritual experiences at five years old.
Bernie: Firstly, you have to understand I did not know they were spiritual experiences. To understand what a spiritual experience is you have to develop the mind; you have to develop in life. At that time I had no understanding of ‘spiritual experience’, yet I was experiencing falling into bliss states and depth. Also I experienced what we might call ‘other beings’.
Iain: What does falling into bliss states feel like to a five–year- old? How do you interpret that when you are so young?
Bernie: Maybe this is a rare experience; I’ve only heard this from one or two other people who are now regarded as spiritual teachers or masters. I was in a state of joy constantly, but also I would experience incredible stillness where there would be nothing; nothing but this depth and stillness. I can know that now; obviously I didn’t know that then. My parents thought I was a very quiet lad. I could be full of joy doing nothing, or in whatever I was doing.
Also, particularly at night, I experienced ‘beings’ coming. That’s the only way I can describe those events. Initially there were lights. When I spoke to my parents about this, they would push me away or just close my questions down and say, “He’s got a good imagination”. My mother had a set of cutlery - I can’t remember what it was called - but on the end of each piece was a shrouded figure, with no face. I would say to Mum, “Look, that’s what I see - that’s who I experience, Mum”. She would just look, put the spoon down and say, “Eat your meal”. That’s the only way I could explain the experience to her, because I didn’t have the intelligence to know exactly what it was. I was so innocent and it was so wonderful; I couldn’t put it across to anybody. I thought everyone was in this experience, but clearly not.
Iain: You were seeing ‘beings’ as well? What does ‘seeing beings’ mean when you’re five or six years old?
Bernie: I would have experiences of light that nobody else could see. It would communicate itself to me, but the communication was happening inside. I would ask my parents what this was, but they had no idea what I was talking about. Basically, I learnt, as a child, to keep it to myself.
Iain: A lot of children have this, don’t they?
Bernie: Of course. We come in as a being, but then we get hooked into a body-mind identity. That is a natural process of being, or consciousness endeavouring to integrate itself into the body-mind identity. That’s what I have discovered now and am talking about. If you have a look at a child in a pram or in a cot, they’re just gurgling away. They’re gurgling away with being, just being what they are - a ‘being’ - but they have no integration. They don’t know they’re lying in a cot; they don’t know of mother or father. Mum and Dad think, “Oh look, he’s seeing us!” But actually, he’s not: he or she knows only their being.
Iain: They’re not really experiencing separation.
Bernie: No separation; being is no separation. Being can know being, completely and utterly as oneness. As children, that will be the experience. Then the integration process of ‘being’ coming into embodiment. The child begins to know, “I’m lying in the cot”. Integration happens quite naturally into the body - the use of the mind, the use of the will, choice; many different things that we’ll touch on in this interview, probably.
It’s a very natural process but - because most people at this particular stage of development of human consciousness still think of a higher God beyond themselves - and yet at core, everyone is that ‘I’ - we tend to bring up our children looking to find that identity outside, instead of connecting the inner with the outer.
Iain: Let’s stay in sequence with what happened with you, and we’ll look more in depth afterwards. Can you take us through the kind of experiences you’ve had? Give us a feel of the way things emerged for you.
Bernie: I can share another experience. I was around nine years old. My parents had just stepped out to the next-door neighbours’, when suddenly a huge storm came on. Well, it appeared to be a huge storm to a young lad. There was thunder, lightning, and I was in the house on my own. For no reason at all fear arose in me. And yet something else began to happen inside… Then I experienced who I know to be Jesus stepping through the window. Although my parents weren’t practising Christians, I had a great love of Jesus. There was this vision and a communication that was totally within; no words said. It was a total communication of “Everything is OK”. And a total calmness came into me.
Iain: It must have been a wonderful feeling?
Bernie: It was everything I knew to be true - not the Jesus vision, but what that being is. Now I know that being is the same as I am inside, the same as everyone is inside, pure being. The image was Jesus, but it was the pure being of Jesus communicating with the pure being of this one. There was union that my being to his being recognised. It was so beautiful, so calming and utterly real. I could not explain that to anyone. Because it was Jesus I thought I had to follow that path for a little while.
Iain: And you assumed that other nine-year-olds had similar things happening?
Bernie: I began to discover that they didn’t. I began to discover, in my talking to other children, that they thought I was a little bit loopy...!
Iain: [laughing] OK.
Bernie: ...but what they found with me was an ability to bring them into what I would call now a deep space. For instance, around where we used to live there were mounds in the earth - I know them to be energy centres now. I used to take the children to this place after school. I would say, “Come on. Let’s go and sit over there”. We would sit, holding hands, and we would drop through everything. So I was getting to be known as different. Kids would say, “Who is this guy?”
Iain: And I know at nineteen something even more significant happened? When you were in Woolworths?
Bernie: Yes. At age nineteen I was buying something in Woolworths, a large store in Reading at that time. I was about to pay for the purchase when I looked into the cashier’s eyes. Immediately my heart opened inside. Not necessarily because of her, but it just opened. As it opened I was engulfed in light and wonder. After a while I was unconscious; there was just the light, and then nothing. I became aware once again of this body outside John Lewis, which was a store down the road.
Bernie: Do you remember where Woolworths is? Somehow I’d come out of those big doors they used to have, across the traffic lights, down the road, and found myself sitting on a bench. As I became aware of the street, all I knew was immense stillness, immense silence; everyone was moving in slow-motion, and the slow-motion was touching everything that I am inside. I was knowing oneness with everything: with the buses, with the people, with the whole movement of life. It was actually in me. It was an incredible place.
I watched as conscious awareness (I can use these words now - I didn’t know them then) as the body got up and walked down the street. It was just amazing that I was oneness with everything, and this vehicle - I mean the body - was moving around. The body jumped into this Vauxhall Vector, the key went into the car, it started it up and the body started to drive. This sounds a little bit crazy, doesn’t it? But this is what actually took place. Then I pulled up outside my apartment which was in Oxford Road - that just came to me right now [laughing]. I put the key in the door - and then, suddenly, this guy called Bernie Prior dropped back in. That whole oneness state, that silence, began to be crowded with the noise of the street and the noise of Bernie Prior. That’s what happened.
Iain: So if we look at this more closely, it’s as if your reference point changed from being Bernie Prior, nineteen years old in Woolworths, to something else?
Bernie: Something entirely...
Iain: Something else was watching Bernie Prior.
Bernie: That’s right. Something else was watching the whole play of life, the whole theatre of life, the whole of the self with a name called Bernie Prior.
Iain: That’s a huge realisation.
Bernie: Absolutely, because even from that watching point there was no Bernie Prior - only the activity of life. Bernie Prior was not there. That watcher knew no Bernie Prior - just the activity of oneness as life moving, which is even more profound. There was no Bernie Prior for it to see.
Iain: I understand. How did that impact on your life at nineteen years old? What happened?
Bernie: It shook the hell out of me. The moment I put the key in the door and Bernie Prior arrived, I was wondering - Bernie Prior was wondering, the mind was wondering, “What the hell was that?” I remember my whole body shaking. I was so absolutely still, deep and pure in the wonder of what life is. And yet, after putting the key in the door, my whole body started to shake. It changed everything.
I had this recognition, from my life as a young lad, that there is much more. I’ve always known that and I’ve always been drawn to, let’s say, Jesus - although I didn’t go to church. I’ve already spoken of what I experienced then. I knew there was something more, through what that man was pointing towards; he was like a marker for me. What I’m saying is that there was something in me that knew already…
But after this oneness, the body was shaking and in Bernie Prior there was, “My God, what have I just experienced?” I knew there was a reality in it; there was something fundamentally core deep or real in it. But I could not explain it. I hadn’t had enough life experience yet to be completely, freely sure of the experience.
I noticed that every pattern in my body was set off by that experience. I was shaking a great deal for some time. But in years to come, the consciousness and reality of that experience began to dawn inside of me and my intelligence. It began to drop in, and I began to naturally function from what that experience was.
Iain: That’s a really important point, isn’t it? That our basic mind is able to integrate the experience rather than deny the experience through fear; it’s able to integrate it into the humanness.
Bernie: I would put that another way around. I would say the mind is not capable of integrating it - the conscious being is; but it is through the surrender of the mind that the being is able to integrate it.
After two years, it really started to dawn on me what that experience was. I began to be drawn to people who were more in the love of God, the love of source, and I began to speak about that freely. I started to understand that integration was happening. My being - that I’d been experiencing since a child - was doing that integration; it was moving me into life situations to gain conscious experience of life and integrate what it is in a mind, in will, in emotion, in a body. I began to understand it - not utterly as I do now - but I began to see how it was filtering into me. At the same time, I was in the experience of the reaction of my old self to that knowledge, and the reaction of others to that energy in my body. There was a reaction that took place.
Iain: So the experience stayed with you, in effect, or the results of the experience? It changed you radically?
Bernie: That became a place in which I could identify beyond my current experience of existence. I could look there and it would show me what this experience really is. As long as I brought my awareness to that moment - not using memory: just shifting my awareness to that moment - it began to show me what this moment is, what this activity is. Do you understand that?
Iain: Yes, I do understand that.
Bernie: It would show me: “This is what is true”. And I would begin to see how it didn’t know my patterns - it only knew the truth. I was beginning to have the ability to know my patterns and the truth, do you see? I could see the difference between a pattern and reality; I began to understand it. It didn’t know the pattern; it didn’t know what a pattern was on any level. Isn’t that strange? It didn’t know Bernie Prior; it only knew consciousness.
So when Bernie Prior was conscious in an action, it would result in me experiencing an opening, a deepening. It would be immediate. And I would begin to face more of those patterns in daily life. I wasn’t always able to reflect back to that moment of oneness as a consciousness in my body, because the patterns would be too strong and they would just pull me away from it. I would actually watch myself being pulled away from what I know to be true, into another pattern. Do you follow? Sometimes I could just flow with it - this knowing - and other times I just couldn’t; I had to go into the pattern.
Iain: I know this space very well. So...
Bernie: So then it was around the age of thirty-one… I hadn’t been practising with a teacher; to me this was a very natural discovery. I used to sit with a few people - be with them, talk to them and meditate with them; but just to enquire, that’s all. It was a natural group that took place. And I began to open to this other space.
One night I woke up in an absolutely cold sweat. I was falling into this blackness, but it was terrifying to my mind. I woke up and thought, “What the hell is this?” One part of me knowing what it is and this other part of me denying what it is. It was a terrible night because it wouldn’t leave me alone.
Then, a year later, it came back. I was standing with this group and the whole space reopened itself. It opened itself with an inner word; the inner word was simply ‘breathe’. It was such a powerful voice from within. I couldn’t even place it; it was everywhere. I immediately trusted to breathe in. As I breathed in, just for a flicker there was this terror of death, but I was able to surrender that completely. I can only describe it as everything I am went through the solar plexus, and I - not Bernie Prior - became consciously aware of what was taking place, as consciousness. I was propelled through this vibration that turned into ‘OM’; I literally became ‘OM’ - and then fell into absolute nothingness.
I mean, the experience continued. Just like the Woolworths experience, then I began to become aware once again of a body, but I began to experience as consciousness, spiralling down in white, then in colours, and then there was this body. As I sat in this body, something in my crown went like this [hands above head opening]. I had no idea what that was. I was completely and absolutely in a supreme stillness - but utter bliss, but in the enjoyment of this moment of life. That’s the only way I can put it.
Iain: And what were you doing at this time in your life? What was your work at this time?
Bernie: I was a display artist working for a very large company. I’ve always been very creative. As a child I would create things, with wood or anything. You give me anything and I would create with it. I was very arty; I loved painting. In my job I used to design window displays in the West End of London, in large stores.
Iain: I’m wondering how this experience affected your daily life in terms of your job. Did you go on doing that job? How did it impact your life?
Bernie: OK. This is when the serious change gets going… After that experience, there was nothing that was real in my life anymore, absolutely nothing. I was married at the time with two young children. One morning I got up and I found myself packing my bags.
Iain: Pretty serious.
Bernie: It was very serious. This was not something that was predetermined on any level, because I was experiencing amazing love with my family. But I got up and packed my bags and I went; I left. And...
Iain: So literally you left the same day?
Iain: The same day?
Bernie: The same day. I phoned into work and I said, “I’m not coming in”. They said to me, “You’re not coming in? You will”. I said “No, I’m not coming in. In fact, I’m not coming in ever”. They asked me to come in and see them but I refused. I said, “No, I’ll return the company car and I’m actually going”.
Somebody offered me a free ticket to India. There is a whole story that goes with this, prior to this experience. About three months before, one of my colleagues, in Brent Cross store, rang me and said, “Bernie, you’ve got to come. I’ve spoken to all the lads here and they said you ought to hear this dream. Actually, it’s a nightmare. I had a nightmare about you, Bernie. Come”. I said, “Tell me now”. But she would not; she insisted that I had to come. I looked at my schedule; I was actually going there that week.
When I got there she sat me down and the manager let me sit there with her. I was supposed to be dressing their windows. “Look, I’ve got to tell you something”, she said. “Well, just get it out”, I replied. “I went to your funeral. I was at your funeral, Bernie”, she said. I did not react. “Why hasn’t it moved you?” she said to me. “I know I’m dying, but not the kind of death you think”, I said to her. “Bernie, I could name everyone of your family and I’ve not seen them. I spoke to them there. I can show you... If you showed me pictures I could name them”, she said. “And all the company was at your funeral”.
This was a few months before I realised... so I knew something was happening, but I didn’t know on what level; that came later, obviously.
Iain: So you left your family, which must have been an incredible shock for your wife...
Bernie: All hell let loose.
Iain: And where did you go?
Iain: You went to India. And what did you do in India?
Bernie: I was taken to a Master and a Divine Mother; ones I’d never known about. I won’t mention them now, but there I was clearly shown what the experience was, who this is experiencing this, and taken further into it. It was an incredible time in my life; an unimaginable, incredible time. But also there was a human factor that was happening on the outside. To be honest with you, there was no concern, because my heart was so full of what this is, for all beings. That was my experience.
Iain: I have to ask a question: what about the responsibility towards your wife and young family? How did you deal with that?
Bernie: Well you have to see, Iain, at that time, as now, I’m coming from an entirely different place. Most human beings are not aware of this on any level. And in my experience, humanity belongs to this place. It belongs to this place we all came out of. This place here is an experiential field of the supreme consciousness appearing as Iain, Bernie, the cameraman… who are here to develop the instruments of perception, the human body, mind, emotion as the One; the only One in the universe, appearing as every one...
Iain: I understand that.
Bernie: I have to explain that, so we get very clear. There was no concern in me because I was totally in another place; and yet that place was totally embracing all that was taking place. There was no pushing away of any of the experience on any level; it was coming in, but it was completely and absolutely going through the heart. I began to discover that everyone will go through a process similar to this - however it would look - to discover that they are not the body-mind. That was very clear to me, and it was also the experience.
I left everything to my family, literally. I didn’t take anything. I had two shops, a very large house. I had everything, and there was no need to take it. I understand this is pretty drastic for most people, but that’s what moved me.
Iain: I understand completely and I’m not in judgment...
Bernie: I know.
Iain: ...but I just want you to explain the process in a wider picture, so that people can have access to that.
Bernie: And I do say to people who want to hear this story, it doesn’t mean their life is going to be like this. This is what happened to this man. Who knows how the One is going to move another individual into a place of oneness? Who knows how that is going to be? This was for this man.
Iain: OK. So you were in India? And you were with a Master?
Bernie: Including the Divine Mother [laughing].
Iain: Including the Divine Mother, OK [laughing].
Bernie: I had amazing experiences... I would sit underneath a tree in this ashram, and I would have the ability to just close my eyes and flow into the deep, just flow right into the deep. I would sit there and it would be six, maybe eight o’clock in the morning; then I would open my eyes at about five or six in the evening. The people with me would be coming backwards and forwards saying, “You’ve been there all day...” To me there was no time limit; I was totally absorbed in this place. And I began to go into that place consciously in full awareness. That place now is fully embodied in this body; and yet I’m going even deeper, because there is no end to the depth of realisations and no end to its activation or experience and expression in our universe, in ordinary human experience. That’s what I constantly discover: that this planet and all human beings are actually in an experiential field that is evolving.
Iain: It’s ever-changing?
Bernie: Ever-changing from a changeless state of pure being; that’s the discovery. So we are going deeper as consciousness, realising that the vastness of being is so vast. You can’t just experience it and that’s it - it’s ever deeper until you reach the Absolute. And then how it expresses in an ordinary life, and how that expression in an ordinary life will create the culture that we are living in. So as more and more individuals experience their innermost reality, we’ll see a cultural change that will reflect a deeper level of consciousness appearing in humanity.
Iain: And it seems that we are at a real dilemma now. On the one hand, the planet seems to be moving - as a human being on the planet anyway - towards a kind of impending disaster, and only being partially aware of the consequences. On the other hand, there’s more and more interest in what we are talking about here...
Bernie: That’s right.
Iain: ...which is the bigger picture.
Bernie: That’s right. Yes.
Iain: But it’s interesting that there are two sides...
Bernie: Two halves, always two halves.
Iain: …both are growing fast… We’re marching towards destruction and annihilation quickly, and something else is emerging quickly too.
Bernie: That’s right. Definitely the world will end as it is; as my world ended as it was, yes?
Iain: So what happened to you was like a microcosm of what’s happening on a bigger scale?
Bernie: It is the potential of the human experience to take a real leap from body-mind identity to conscious identity of our pure essence, and yet let it flow through into this... into this expression as a human being. I mean, many great saints and poets, like Rumi, express what this is, you know. The discovery is to find it is being, my being, that is expressing through here and yet there is a self still; otherwise I could not even speak to you. So there is a self that is growing and ‘I’ as a being is nurturing this self. As it’s being nurtured here, there’s an enjoyment [gesturing to the space between Iain and himself] of our being together. And so this will expand... expand our human experience. It will clear our mind; our mind will be able to take a purer, higher frequency of our being. This body is an instrument; it has to be tuned up. You can’t tune it up personally; you have to tune it up impersonally. But it arrives in a personal nature.
Iain: It’s very good, the way you say that.
Bernie: It’s clear, yes?
Iain: I think you’re calling your work at the moment ‘being real, becoming real’?
Iain: Can you explain a little more about that…?
Bernie: In my own life and in what I teach, it is to reflect into your heart, rather than off what you currently have in your life mentally, emotionally and physically. Reflect into the deepest place of your knowing inside, so you begin to bring your awareness into nothingness. Your brain might go haywire because your brain wants to stay with the known - at least until it’s enlightened. So we, as consciousness, have to enlighten the brain. That means we are going to have to trust coming into this deep emptiness [gesturing towards centre of chest] where there is nothing - ‘no thing’. But that ‘no thing’ is supremely intelligent, and it knows what it’s doing.
When you bring your attention back into the heart, into the deep, in any circumstance in life, I say that what happens is a response of being that begins to flow out. In the early stages of embracing this kind of life, most of us get mixed up between the energetic patterns of a separate sense of self and this new thrill arising in our being. It could be some beautiful inspiration that’s coming from this nowhere place, inspiring you to do something that you’ve never done before; it’s so new. What we do - until we fall in love with our inner source - is check out whether we are going to be safe. We look through our minds and in our feeling body, and we say to ourselves, “If I do this, what is it going to cost me?” Do you follow? It could be, “Will my partner stay with me? Will I still be able to pay the rent?” Those kinds of things.
Iain: I completely understand that [laughing].
Bernie: ...and so we want this beauty, but we won’t pay the price to enter this priceless place; to bring the new in, which will actually transform our life into such wonder. This is the thing… It’s transcending where you are in this place [gesturing to centre of body] and yet letting this transcendent place become here [gesturing to outside, right and in front of chest], so you become fresh and new.
Iain: OK, I’m going to play a little bit devil’s advocate here. Not because I disagree with you, but because I want to expand this. I think this is a very important area. Because I know people who have had the inner calling; they’ve left their life, they’ve spent their money, burnt some bridges - and they get in a mess, basically.
Bernie: [laughing] Yes, that’s not what I’m talking about.
Iain: I know you’re not, but that’s how some people take it. They say, “Yes, I want to be free”, and they march out from their marriage, their job - like you did, very bravely...
Bernie: But I didn’t.
Iain: OK, explain that.
Bernie: I didn’t do that. You see, in deep realisation there is no one doing it; it is a natural flow. This is the way it happened here. I didn’t make choices. There was an innermost movement that moved life; that was what it wanted, that was what it did. That’s very hard to hear from a separate sense of self, but I didn’t do it. There was no Bernie Prior that did that. At that time, there was great love for the woman that I was with and the children in my life, amazing love; but this moved me somewhere else. I mean, this is something that’s not debatable; it’s something that you only know individually and you have to trust what that is. I didn’t move; it moved.
Now I understand from that place how I’ve given myself back to the state of pure truth. Basically, Bernie Prior doesn’t have a life that is his - otherwise I wouldn’t be here today, because my little self, which I have here [slapping own right knee with hand], said, “You don’t want to go back up there. You’ve just been to London. You want to travel three hours up and then go back down? You’ve got a retreat to do tonight”. But my innermost is beaming to be here. So it’s to drop the self that wanted to stay down south and just come up. Do you follow? That’s all I do.
Iain: I do; I follow exactly. What comes up for me that is interesting to talk about briefly is the resistance people have. There are people who really feel - yes, something is calling me and a change is due - and as you said earlier, they come up with the reasons not to do it. This resistance and negativity of the mind is very real for them at that level, on the human level.
Bernie: Of course. Well, let’s just look at your previous question - when you were talking about people leaving, that kind of thing. In my experience I did not leave for Bernie Prior; I moved for the innermost of my being. That’s what my life is...
Iain: It was consciousness moving.
Bernie: Consciousness moving...
Iain: Bernie Prior couldn’t stop it.
Bernie: That was my experience. I can show you exactly what that is, but I’ll just explain this one first [laughing]. I give myself to truth alone. I know that might be difficult for people to hear, but I reflect only in here [gesturing to centre of chest] and, if this moves in here [gesturing from chest to outside], no matter what the life situation, I will move with this. It doesn’t matter about this or that [gesturing from side to side] - truth is what’s real for me and my life. It’s also about holding all those fragments as well. I know that absolutely and I’m in the direct experience of that.
I see how That manifests this universe and is holding every being in this universe, in this life. You might think that Bernie Prior had that realisation experience. Well, he didn’t have that experience; consciousness opened as the Self - the illusion of Bernie Prior, the obscuration of Bernie Prior, was not there. All that is there when he’s gone is reality.
Reality needs a body to continue the experiment of knowing what it is in the deep and manifesting it as the world of form, so then Bernie Prior came back. Now when Bernie Prior came back, there is the conscious realisation activated in the body, but there’s also the self of Bernie Prior. This is where honesty comes in - what is real? Is Bernie Prior real? Or is that which sees Bernie Prior real? Do you follow? So then there is an integration of a self to the Self.
This integration begins to happen as real honesty begins to take place, and patterns burn. Patterns just flare open, break open. You’ve got to stay from a point of realisation looking through all of this; allow it all in and still allow this [gesturing from chest centre outwards] to flow. It’s going to take a hell of a life [laughing] to be able to live this, isn’t it? But that’s what everyone will have to do: they’ll have to go back through the self that they created to purify that self - so that the real Self is illumined here and moving here. So everyone can be That, because that is the authentic Self.
Iain: It’s interesting when you talk about the patterns burning, because we did an interview here with Dr Joe Dispenza quite recently. He looked at it from the point of view of the neurotransmitters in the brain. If you keep having the same thought patterns, those patterns physically, tangibly strengthen the neurotransmitters. The more you have that, the harder the wiring is. When you stop supporting that, those thought patterns start physically dissolving in the brain. That’s a little bit like what you’re saying...
Iain: But you use the word ‘burn’...
Bernie: They’re dissolving.
Iain: ...and he used the word ‘dissolve’.
Bernie: Dissolving will feel like you’re dying. You’ll get really uncomfortable. It’s the ‘you’ that you thought you were getting uncomfortable, but the light of the real ‘you’ is coming up, inspiring. If only you would shift your attention to the light that you really know is true and not need to be comfortable! Then the burning will transform into a fluidness of such beauty. You’ll go, “Wow, that’s what that burning was about!” You’ll be in a new place.
Bernie: What I’m doing in this life is to help people really understand themselves, and understand our transcendental nature, but in the imminence of life.
Iain: It’s interesting that your name is Bernie Prior. It’s like Bernie, Bernie, back... prior, back to...
Bernie: Back to old things.
Iain: ...it’s very interesting.
Bernie: It’s actually ‘B C’...
Iain: Of course, I’d never even thought of that one [laughing].
Bernie: B C Prior, you know.
Bernie: So it’s before, if I may say… I’m not talking about Bernie Prior - please do hear this - Before Christ, right? Prior to all things is the absolute nature; that is the Absolute. That’s what everyone is in the deep. Then comes our Christ nature, or our pure consciousness - the pure Self. Then comes his expression for us as human beings.
When endeavouring, as consciousness, to integrate all that, we become more highly intelligent, but not as a separate sense of self. Our heart begins to glow and we function from it; our mind begins to mirror what the heart really is; our consciousness really begins to expand and we start to experience a deeper connectivity of something very profound. That profoundness comes here as joy, as bliss and the ability to respond to life’s challenges from our own born nature. That is my direct experience.
And so the Bernie Prior guy is in complete flux, you know. He’s here, but he’s allowing all the challenges from inside and outside, and watching how all this happens; and so he grows in it.
Iain: But does he still try to get his own way sometimes?
Bernie: He doesn’t, in that the self in him may move but what’s it got to do with the observing consciousness?
Iain: No, I understand that. I just wondered if, sometimes, what you call observing consciousness has to overrule Bernie, because he’s getting a bit silly and going off on an old pattern?
Bernie: I’m in the enjoyment of what I am being and things move because I still have a human body. There are things that move through but I very quickly - instantly in most cases - see the falsity of what moves and it’s not related to who I am.
So for instance: I’m coming up here, I still have a self and I’m on a very tight schedule - three months travelling around the world and I can feel the pressure in the body. But my response to that pressure is beyond the pressure; that’s what I give myself to. Do you understand? I’m perfectly at ease with all this; it just flows. I’m constantly in the realisation of what I am, and it is quite capable of caring for the self in here.
Iain: It cares for the self? A lot of people go off, something very real happens; they’re following consciousness and the body burns out.
Bernie: I’m not following consciousness, you see. I’ve come to a place where I am consciousness...
Bernie: In fact, I’m beyond consciousness, and that’s coming through an ordinary man. I am very ordinary. I’ll tell you how ordinary it is: I’m so ordinary that when I came to London - it’s the first time I’ve been back for a while - I was so disappointed that the old London buses aren’t around anymore.
Iain: The double-deckers?
Bernie: Yes [laughing]. They’re so beautiful. That’s how ordinary I am, you know - I love that kind of thing. It does something in here [gesturing to centre of chest], as does nature. So I’m an ordinary guy, but it’s very easy for me to bring that [gesturing outside of body as if bringing something towards body and over shoulder] and go beyond all that, but at the same time I’m in this experience of ordinariness. Do you follow? To me, it’s an incredibly exciting state for a human being to be in, and it’s possible for everyone to be in this.
Iain: We have to finish in about a minute or two, but it’s lovely to finish talking about the London buses... [laughing]
Bernie: You must love them too?
Iain: Actually, I miss them too.
Bernie: I think they were the old… I can’t recall the name… where you get on those platforms at the back.
Iain: And it was all open and you could hang on to the...
Bernie: Well, when we were talking about when I was a child… I remember when I was five years old: I used to get a bus to my day school. The bus used to pull up, it was a big red bus and it had those huge bolts on the wheel with ‘A C E’ or something, and I just loved the fumes [laughing].I loved the fumes; I loved the bolts. It must be a masculine thing, I don’t know. But there’s something that touched my heart about that vehicle, as does nature. I discovered that my being loves this stuff: my being loves; my being loves to talk; my being loves the plants; my being loves the communication. It’s in love with these things; it’s in love with technology. But it’s quite capable of letting it all go.
Iain: Bernie, thank you very much. I really enjoyed our interview.
Bernie: Thank you, I really enjoyed being with you.
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