Kevin Billett - My Journey to Wholeness
Interview by Iain McNay
Iain: Hello, and welcome again to conscious.tv, I’m Iain McNay and my guest today is Kevin Billet. Hi Kevin.
Kevin: Hi, Iain good to be with you.
Iain: And Kevin has written a book called, Consciousness the New Currency, and he worked with Brandon Bays on ‘The Journey’. They’ve worked together for many years and run the organisation together, and we’re going to find out about Kevin’s life, he’s had a lot of fascinating insights and we’re going to find out how he has integrated those insights and changed his life and how he is now helping people in their own lives, when things come up, that are difficult to see and change and to absorb and move forward with. Kevin, you were telling me earlier on the phone, at two years old you were aware of things that you felt you had no right to be aware of... sounds fascinating.
Kevin: It was a strange thing Iain. As far as my memory goes back, 18 months, two and a half years of age, I was aware of some joke, I was aware of some familiarity, I was aware that something was taking place almost behind the curtains in life. Although I couldn’t tell you what that was, it was very present in those years for sure. Yes, I would walk into a yard that I’d never been to before, and just feel familiar, to know it, almost like T.S. Elliot, you know, to return home and to know it for the first time, it felt a little bit like that.
Iain: So was it a good feeling, a relaxed feeling?
Kevin: A great feeling, yes. It was an expansive feeling, it was a very light feeling, and it felt nourishing, it felt like there was something holding me, something nourishing me. Although obviously at that age I couldn’t describe what that was.
Iain: And yet so many kids of that age actually feel very insecure and threatened and not held, don’t they?
Kevin: That came later in life [laughs] you know it wasn’t at that age... at that time [it was] just an inner joke, a sense of being cradled and a deep sense of wellbeing, yes.
Iain: And then three or four years later, apparently you were playing in the back garden, when you had this question: “Who am I?”
Kevin: Yes, that was a theme, I would say for a few years, from about the age of five or six, that I had a longing, a thirst inside to know “What is this that I’m calling me?” and would just be playing and suddenly stop and just go, “Who’s playing? Who is this? Who’s doing this?” And would kind of stop and close my eyes, and go, “Well, it’s me.” Then the question would keep coming, “Well who is that, who is me?” and then some recognition, “if it’s me it can’t be anyone else, so it’s not my mum, it’s not my dad, it’s not the people around me, it’s not anyone else, it’s me!” And then still the same question, “Who is that? What is that? What is me?” And then just a sense of huge expansiveness as if the physical form was just dissolving and all awareness - like a whole universe of awareness - was like something taking off inside, and it scared me so much that I would just collapse back into apparent normality, and kind of just brush myself off, and get on with playing the game I was playing. So it was a scary thing, it was expansive, it was definitely a very, very large and big energy, but scary. I didn’t realise there was anything to it, I thought it was something that all kids went through. I never mentioned it to anyone because they would know that I was scared of it, and that probably wouldn’t have been a good thing. So I never mentioned it to anyone, I assumed this was part of growing up. I assumed it was something every kid went through and I didn’t find out until, I guess, I was in my thirties, when I found out that not everyone does that.
Iain: It’s strange how you’d already learnt somehow that this is something that could be normal and there was no need to talk about it to someone else.
Kevin: I assumed that it was normal, but I suspect that here was a little fear in there as well, of the fact that I was scared of it, you know, I was brought up in a pretty tough area...
Iain: The fear side wasn’t quite manly...
Kevin: That’s what I mean. I was brought up in a very working class area. The Rhondda Valley is a coal mining valley in South Wales and so to admit little weaknesses… you were made fun of quite robustly let’s say. So yes, it wouldn’t have been something I would have wanted to admit.
Iain: And did you fit in generally well with your school friends?
Kevin: Ooh now there’s a question - did I? With some yes, and with some no is the honest answer Iain. I liked to kind of rough house, to play-fight to an extent, and the boys often got off on that and became quite aggressive and quite violent, at which point I would step back and observe a little bit because I didn’t quite get that level of physical roughness let’s say. I definitely had close friends at that age, and there was a huge amount of bullying that took place in school and generally in the environment. I wasn’t as tough as many of the people around me, you could say that.
Iain: Very often in that environment you’ve got to be quite tough, just to survive and get by haven’t you, otherwise you are in a very vulnerable situation.
Kevin: Yes, that’s true, a lot of masks from a very early age and a lot of pretence.
Iain: Then you were telling that at 8, 9, 10 years old you would go into spontaneous meditation, and just go and sit on your own for maybe twenty minutes, half an hour?
Kevin: Yes, I can remember on school journeys - my father would drive me to school - going into what I would later describe as some samadhi, and feeling the very thick fingers and huge body, thick legs. Not until I reached my thirties and started to read about some of the Hindu experiences that I realised it could be common in some traditions, it’s a manifestation, it’s believed to be a manifestation of Ganesh the Hindu god. I don’t know what these things mean, all I know is that at certain times I would fall into deep, deep stillness, getting a haircut for instance in the barbers, I would just close my eyes and sink into a delicious inky blackness and be wide awake in that while my hair was being cut. And then fifteen, twenty minutes later I would get a tap on the shoulder, you know, “Okay, you can wake up now.” Well, I realised I wasn’t asleep, but I didn’t know the word meditation by this time. I was very young and so, it was just some spontaneous happening.
Iain: So you were it seems, quite naturally already in touch with something pretty fundamental without understanding what it was.
Kevin: I guess so Iain, I don’t have any explanation for it. Looking back, probably. Yes, probably.
Iain: And again you were telling me, you went to church for a time, but it wasn’t something you really connected with very much.
Kevin: Yes, my parents were ostensibly Christians, my family going back a couple of generations, definitely were practising Christians and I suspect that Mum and Dad sent me off to Sunday School so they could have a bit of spare time around the house on their own on a Sunday, more than from any firm religious conviction. And although from an early age I loved the stories of Jesus, I loved the teachings that I could glean directly from the children’s version of the Bible. I never got on well with the church, and I couldn’t put it into words why that was. They would tell all the same stories, but I had some resistance to the people who were telling me the stories. Didn’t know why that was, just innately some rejection of it and some resistance to it. Looking back I could put a spin, or put an explanation to it. But as a kid I loved the stories, didn’t like the experience of church, or chapels, but that was quite common in South Wales.
Iain: So, what were you looking for at that time?
Kevin: What was I looking for? [pause] I wouldn’t have known what I was looking for at that time, is the honest truth. In fact I would say that I wasn’t aware that I was looking for anything. That didn’t come until later in life when I became aware that I was seeking something indefinable. Seeking something initially that was outside, or perceived to be outside myself. It was a sense of lack, before a sense of seeking… a sense of wanting. Feeling - particularly from early teenage years, maybe earlier than that - that something wasn’t complete in me, that something wasn’t whole. That something wasn’t quite right. That there was something I needed to plug into. Something I needed to connect with. Something I needed to know, or experience that would allow me to go, “Huh [sighs], now I can relax. Now I’m here. Now I’m home.”
Iain: In a way you did know, in your own way, what you were looking for - something as you describe - that you could plug into, that could make you go “huh” [sighs].
Kevin: Well, it was an indefinable something. I had no idea what that would be, although I’ve tried in a lot of different areas in life. From early teens, I guess the thirst was there, and so I started to read eastern spiritual books, to start to practice meditation, tried to get out of body experiences and tried to reach some elevated state. I found that there was some temporary win in that. There was some temporary salve to what I was feeling – the angst of life if you like, but it never lasted, so ultimately it was unsatisfying. Anything that I tried, any knowledge I gained, anything that I gleaned, it would sometimes make a connection that would just give me an elevated state for a short period of time, but then I realised… not that, not that.
Iain: When you tried to leave your body, did you succeed?
Kevin: Did I succeed? Who knows? I had the experience of floating above my body. Whether I left the body… who knows these things? Some strange experiences for sure, but if you go in that direction, you probably will get some phenomenon happening. Some strange, less than the normal range of experiences - and it didn’t do anything. That’s the point I’m making here. Over my life since then I’ve had a lot of what you might call spiritual experiences, but if they come and if they go, I keep asking the question, “what’s the point? What’s in that?” It’s only something that can be realised to not change.
Iain: For me it underlines and illustrates the fact that you were looking - consciously or unconsciously - because something didn’t feel complete. I’ve seen so many people that are looking without necessarily realising they are looking, or why they are looking. For me that’s a very important point to bring forward here.
Kevin: Yes, indeed.
Iain: So you moved on, and looking at my notes I quote, “You fell into the western trap of making money” and that followed on for quite a long time.
Kevin: Yes I did [laughing].
Iain: Tell us about that, how you made your money.
Kevin: My parents started off very poor, so we were in very modest circumstances when I was born. Eventually they both went to work for my mother’s father who had a very small jewellery business. They kind of threw themselves into this – watch repairing, clock repairing, selling little bits of jewellery into this business, and they grew it. So from my age, seven years and onwards, we gained in affluence, and it became this exciting thing in that we were moving out of the working class poverty trap, and we were moving into something more affluent. We moved to a different area, a different environment, a different school for me. The money started to come in. There was a buzz to this, so definitely I fell into the trap of believing, this is where it’s at. This seemed to pull the family together, seemed to be a joint focus that had a win in it, and like any kid, I got off on it.
Iain: But there was expansion there as well, wasn’t there?
Kevin: How do you mean?
Iain: It was taking you beyond your existing boundaries. It was testing you to some extent…
Kevin: In practical terms, yes…
Iain: It was bringing satisfaction too?
Kevin: Again, short lived satisfaction. There’s the rub with all of it. This went on for years with me. After university I went into the family business, and would find, yes there’s a buzz here. In the moment of a good financial week, a good financial month, a good financial deal, a win, there’s a frisson. Great, give me that, but it doesn’t last. So you keep searching for the same fix, and it becomes a drug.
Iain: Yes, I understand that, but when you’re in it, there’s a feeling – I know this for myself because our paths are similar to some extent… the whole business-side.
Iain: It’s like success - or finding the ability that I could be successful in business - for me had a value, because it took me beyond my limited parameters, and I saw there was something outside those parameters that I could, for a time gain satisfaction. And then of course if you’re successful that gives you leverage to do other things with your life. So it was an opening for me, not only, but primarily on the outside, and somehow that showed me a lot. It showed me a lot about the world. It gave me the opportunity if I followed it, [to see that] actually is a dead end. But I had to find that out.
Kevin: Oh I definitely had to find that out for myself, because I bought into the illusion that a different life style, more money, the right wife, the right family, the right house, the right car, the right vacations, would actually be it. That it would give me what I was looking for. There was a rush in it, no doubt, but the rush soon ended. And then it was more of the same thing, because I was locked into the cycle. Okay, so I need to do what I was previously doing more, in order to get the same feeling.
Iain: I want to stop here for a moment because I think it’s a very important point. These days in society, the rush has increased generally amongst people…
Kevin: Yes, it has.
Iain: And not only that. Whereas you and I started at quite a low point in terms of success and built up, now, the encouragement of society is you get your degree at university, and you start your rush, higher up the chain, if you can get the job that is. It’s almost as if, you get the leg up, but the rush is still destined to fail, but it’s a more attractive start to the rush. And society seems to be based so much on this word rush; the rush towards the completion of something. Unfortunately, the nearer you get to it, the greater you realise that you may be completely on the wrong path.
Kevin: Yes. Well it doesn’t ultimately work. I was laughing there when you said you get your university degree, then you start higher up the ladder, and you effectively work towards whatever your goal is. You see it so much on TV. I don’t watch a lot of TV, commercial, popular TV, but recently I’ve watched a couple of episodes of “The X Factor”. I’ve seen people there who just have this… addiction is what it looks like, to being famous, to being a celebrity of some sort. I look at that, and it makes me feel very sad inside to know that whatever it is they think they are going to get out of it, even if they succeed, even if they’re the ones that get the recording contracts, the fame and the fortune, ultimately it’s not going to give them what they are looking for.
Iain: Absolutely. And it’s also very hard work when you get into that whole music business thing.
Kevin: For sure, for sure.
Iain: It’s a crazy life style. Anyway, going back to you. You got a degree in economics.
Kevin: I did yes.
Iain: Joined the family business, as you said and you studied books that were going to bring you wealth.
Kevin: Yes, I tried. Going back to the 1980’s and the personal-growth movement, I was trying to figure out - I’m beginning to succeed, and financial success was coming, it was building, but it still didn’t feel right - so what is missing now? Okay, I’m married. I have a beautiful wife. I’m driving the right car. I’m living in the right house. What’s wrong here? And then I went into the personal-growth movement of the time. How do you build your self-esteem? These are the things you say to yourself. You repeat these words internally. You make the right pictures. You try to convince yourself that the way you feel, is not really the way you feel. That was where I started, with the whole visualisation, and self-affirmation, part of the personal-growth movement, back in the 1980’s. And again, I’m sorry to sound like a broken record here, but the same thing happened. A temporary change of state. A temporary uplift, followed by a realisation that does not actually give me anything. Then “whoosh”, a falling back down into previous state.
Iain: A quite depressive state…
Kevin: It turned into quite a depression for me.
Iain: And the only way you could get yourself out was by more activity, is that right?
Kevin: At the time it seemed that way. I used to get really fed up with it.
Iain: It’s a real addiction, isn’t it?
Kevin: Then driven into a cycle… what do they call it…not manic depression, they have a different word for it these days…
Kevin: Not like that, because I didn’t get the extreme highs… just normal sorts of highs, but then plunging down into a real hopelessness that something was not right with my life, something fundamental did not add up. Something was missing. And that took me passed the point of hopelessness, but into a hopeless devastation quite often, where I would lie on the sofa, and take days off work, and be unable to move.
Iain: That’s scary to be in that situation.
Kevin: It was pretty scary.
Iain: Then you had this defining moment which you told me about earlier. Just talk me through that.
Kevin: I was driven by seeking something more on the outside, as I was explaining to you. It was very materialistic in the play, although I was looking for something fulfilling, something that would complete and emotionally connect me, deep under the surface. And so my game was I would fall into a depression, then drive myself out of it by, “what’s the next goal? What can I achieve? What can I do? What can I attain that is going to fix this fundamental problem?” So I became acquisitive. Acquisitive in terms of, got to have the bigger house, get the better car, get the sports car, take better vacations, and I started to water ski. I started with very small ski boats, and they were great fun, I had a lot of fun with family and friends. But it was always, “Got to get the bigger boat.” So this was still the same pattern, still I don’t feel right. Oh maybe the next size boat will do it. And I got to the point - a dream for a big Sunseeker motorboat, luxury yacht if you like. So this was the next big thing. I had all the business plans, all the drive working, well not literally, not all round the clock, but I was pretty much a workaholic. And the plan was this Sunseeker. And I went on holiday with my wife and young son. We were down in the south of France, the promenade in Cannes and we were just walking along one night. Baby in the buggy in front. Sun had just gone down, it was just getting dusky and there just anchored in the bay, was the boat. And it was the boat. It was the right size, the right model; it was even the right colour combination. I just stood there, and went “Oh that’s it! If I could have that, then everything would be right. Then I would know whatever it is that I’m supposed to know about myself. Then I could feel good about myself. Then I would feel complete.”
Then the strangest thing happened. My wife kept walking slowly with Mark, our son, and I stopped and opened, and it was as if all my awareness got taken onto the boat. Almost like one of those pan shots, when you go “whoosh”. And I could see there were people sitting at the back of the boat who appeared to be drinking cocktails of some sort. My awareness went there as if I was with them. And so I had the experience, inside, of sitting on the back of the boat, on the deck, with my friends. In that moment, the most cataclysmic realisation occurred, because I realised, if this is my boat, if these are my friends, if these are the cocktails I’m sharing with my friends… I’m still not there. I still don’t have whatever it is that’s missing, and I’m still fundamentally, not happy. That was a devastating realisation, it debunked my whole life strategy. It doesn’t really matter how much of this I do. It doesn’t matter how hard I work. It doesn’t matter what I attain. It doesn’t matter what I accrue. It doesn’t make a difference. And that sent me into a complete scramble, into a downward spiral with depression and into a more desperate version of the same game playing, knowing that it wasn’t going to do anything. So I became pretty manic in my activity, trying to create wealth, trying to accrue more, while absolutely knowing inside, still the emptiness. Still the dissatisfaction and fundamental depression with my state in life. That took a little while to work through, but there was the turning point. The realisation that what I’d set my life up to be, the image that I had of myself, the ideals I’d created were worthless. They added up to nothing. They meant nothing.
Iain: That’s huge. It had taken away how you had constructed yourself, your own values and your aims, how you see your self-image. It’s all gone isn’t it?
Iain: That happened in a moment.
Kevin: It happened in a moment. And I guess a desperate winding down of the game, while I realised, everything I had ever tried was futile. That life itself is futile and I spun into a horrible, the worse form of depression I have ever experienced and would hope to experience, and went to see a GP friend of mine. He said “I’ll refer you to someone who doesn’t prescribe drugs, he’s a psychiatrist. You need to see this guy because you’ve really got something going on here.” I said, “Okay I’ll go and see a psychiatrist.” I went to see him because I didn’t want the drugs. He sat down with me for about twenty minutes and asked me a list of questions as long as your arm and to each one I said, “Hmm.” “Are you experiencing this?” Yes, yes, yes. It was a tick list for clinical depression, at the end of which he said, “Well you need to take these drugs.” And so, I did, and that in itself was a pretty horrible experience. They kind of normalised me in an abnormal way, if that makes any sense. There was a sense of aggression that came out of taking the drug. I was taking large doses of Prozac, Diazepam, Temazepam. It just wrecked me internally. I felt like I was living some alien life and although the clinical depression levelled off, it was the most strange experience.
Iain: It took away your spirit, or dampened down your spirit…?
Kevin: It seemed to rob me of all spirit. That would be pretty accurate to say. I felt I was functioning in life, but not living life. It truthfully wasn’t as bad as the worst of the depression, but it was no answer, no answer at all. Then a strange thing happened. A friend of mine said “I’ve booked you a therapy session.” I said, “What is it?” He said, “I don’t know, something new, try this.” And for the first time in my life, I sat down with someone, and they said, “What are you feeling?” I told them, and they said good, okay, just be with that, just open. I said “Aren’t you supposed to make this better? Aren’t you supposed to do something with this?” They said no, just close your eyes, just be with what’s here. Just be open and feel emotionally what you’re feeling. Where is that in your body? I said “Okay, I’ll give it a go.” And in a progressive way just got worked with, by someone saying effectively, embrace what you’re feeling here. Give yourself permission to feel what’s here, and to feel it fully. Not to just kind of get a glimpse of it and turn the other way. Not to avoid it, not to think your way through it, but simply to focus down inside the body, simply focus emotionally where it is, and what it is. And let that be okay. Then if there was something deeper, to explore that. What I found was I started to drop down an emotional chain internally. The emotions got deeper, they got more core. They got pretty desperate, and at a certain point when I reached some absolute hopelessness inside, again instead of saying let’s fix this, let’s work with this, I was told just face it, feel it. Just allow it all to be here. Truthfully I was so desperate I had little resistance. I had done everything, tried everything I know, so I’m willing for the first time to stop and say “okay enough already, I’ll feel it.” And through desperation fell into a void of nothing, just like the whole universe was completely empty. And again the same thing: what if you accepted that? What if you surrendered into that? What if you just let go? Internally just let go into complete nothing, into oblivion. The next question was, “What’s here?” Death is what arises. If I continue to let go here, I will die. And again the same question, “What if you did that? What if you just experienced that in this moment? What if you let go completely? What if you let go into death?” At that point I was ready – I was willing, absolutely willing to let go into death. I thought if this is it, if it’s all over, so be it, and let go. And I experienced the body dissolving, it was as if the whole physical form just dissolved, fell away, melted back into all existence. And then the question came, “What is the experience now? What’s here?” I had no belief in after life, no belief in reincarnation, just that’s it. Then some deeper version of expansive nothingness. Same question, “What if you just surrendered into that? What if you let go into the essence of that?” And then I think the awakening of my life - when I let go into complete utter nothing, some sense of fullness, some light, some realisation that everything I had ever been seeking in my life was already present. Not that I’d reached for it and brought it in from the outside, but that here it was in the core of my most essential experience. Here was the wordless answer to the question I’d been posing forever in my life and that has never left. The knowing that everything I had ever sought, is already here, is already present has stayed with me since that moment. And that is the most extraordinary way to live life. Stop looking on the outside, although I pretend from time to time, but everything I need is already here. Everything I desire is already here.
Iain: Was it veils that were covering it?
Kevin: Yes, that would be a good metaphor.
Iain: And of course if you can’t see within, and you know something is missing, it’s logical, almost intelligent, that you look outside. And it does take - for many people I know - that utter desperation, the giving up, and then the falling back, as you say, having nothing to lose in your case. In that courage to fall back, you find what is truly you.
Kevin: Yes. I think it was desperation more than courage. Definitely the experience was as if someone came, either pulled back veils, or cleared the mist in life. I realised for sure that what I’d been seeking was right here. But I’ve realised also that my emotions didn’t own me anymore, and I could see in the weeks after this the patterns that I’d run through my life where I would get so low that I would have to find some way to bounce out of that depth of emotion, and there was a fear driving that bounce. There was a fear… if this gets worse, then it’s unbearable, then I’ll die, then something horrible will happen if I go deeper. The truth was it was the reaction to that fear that was causing the problem. The very moment that I stopped, and went, “Okay, if this is as bad as it gets, what if I surrendered to the worse that could possibly happen?” [Surrender] emotionally, directly to the experience, not to fantasize about it, or tell a story, but to simply stop and open emotionally, fully, to the core of that experience. Then in that - everything present. In that - no issue, no problem. And I mean that literally, so that was a massive awakening for me, a massive awakening, and I’m grateful for that to this day.
Iain: And how was it on-going? I think you told me earlier that there were still challenges…
Kevin: Yes, there are still challenges, for sure, but after that first experience, I would say that I lived in pure bliss for I would say about four, or five months after that.
Iain: Lived in bliss for four or five month?
Iain: That’s a pretty good start!
Kevin: It was a dam good start, and then some life crisis occurred and got hooked back into the story again for a while. It’s not a fully accurate way to say it, but it’s as close as I can get. There is some contraction that takes place, some focus going on to thinking, and some neurotic wheel of analysis takes place, buying back into the old stories. And then catching myself again, and going “Okay, I need someone’s help with this.” Because sometimes it’s okay to sit down on my own and say what’s here, open emotionally, and fall into peace, bliss, the substratum, and it works. Other times the story wold just be too strong, so I would just grab a friend, and just say, “Ask me what’s here. Encourage me to let the mind fall away to opening to the emotional experience, until whatever is at the heart of this is exposed.”
And so if over the years, if I’ve gained in wisdom in one thing, it’s simply to stop and to open to address the depth of the issue that I would pretend was operating here [pointing to his head], superficially in life, which I now know is something much older, and something much more fundamental. Because we tell ourselves stories – my problem is, I don’t have money to pay the mortgage. My problem is, my spouse is behaving this way towards me. Problem is my kids don’t do as they’re told. And you know what, that’s not the problem. Our problem is that it’s triggering something so deep inside us that we’re asleep to it. If we’re just willing to stop and take a look at that depth, so much sorts itself out. So much is self-handling in life.
Iain: I think also one of the challenges is, there isn’t much else in the world that supports that. The media doesn’t support it. The television doesn’t support it. Talking to most people doesn’t support it, as it’s very rare. You say you can sit down with a friend and really explore going to the depths of your feelings - that’s rare.
Kevin: It is rare. You see the antithesis. You mention the media, I see most popular media feeding on a fizz, putting a spin on them to make money out of it. It’s a huge, huge shame.
Iain: That’s the business model, that’s the way it works.
Kevin: Yes. I’m talking of it as a shame in terms of human development, in terms of consciousness on the planet. It’s a massive shame because of fears are getting tweaked, and we are increasingly conditioned to react against our fears rather than to just stop and inquire. The way through is to simply explore what truth is here. If there’s some emotional avoidance, just stop and go “Okay, what if I faced it? What if I stopped in this moment? I’ve got fears here, am I willing to embrace those fears, and am I willing to be bigger than the fears? Am I willing to open and really welcome them?” It’s not something people teach, but in my experience there is a resolution.
Iain: So on a practical basis, I know you and your wife Brandon Bays have this event called The Journey, which helps people to go through this process you’ve been describing. People have the option if they want to see if they can find a place to The Journey. If that’s not possible, either cost-wise, or geographically, what can someone do? Now for you, you sat down with a practitioner first of all. Is it possible for somebody who hasn’t done much personal work on themselves, to just sit down and actually go through these layers?
Kevin: It is possible, but it works better with someone else. But if I’m allowed to put out a little advert, Brandon’s original book called The Journey is extraordinary… The process at work here and the facility to dropping down to the emotional levels and some other extraordinary work is included in that book. For the sake of spending £10 or whatever it is on a book, give that to a friend and say “just read out this script to me.” It doesn’t need any practice. It doesn’t need any expertise. It needs a commitment and willingness. A desire to be free rather than a desire to be engaged in this story - or make a better version of this story.
Iain: Yes. I am again looking at my notes here. What you said, and I wrote down was, “We are constantly waging war in, and against ourselves”. Explain that more.
Kevin: Well, we’re conditioned from an early age to react to fears. The brain research I’ve read over the last decade is pointing to the fact that our limbic system is a mechanism for generating automatic behaviour that takes us away from pain. And it reacts to, physically and emotionally charged circumstances in our life, with the desire that that does not happen again, and so we learn to be fearful machines. We learn automatic behaviours, strategies, analysis that take us out of the pain. But truthfully, that’s a very animalistic response. It’s one we can dress up as humans, and make look like something else, because we’ve got all the explanations, all the personal justifications for why we behave in a certain way. The truth is you work at a limbic level, at a reptilian brain level to get out of pain, and we’re putting different masks on it. The truth is, if we’re just willing to stop the fight, if we’re willing to stop avoiding the emotions we’re most afraid of, what are we’re seeking is right there. It’s already present. It’s nothing that we need to gain. Nothing that we need to accrue.
Iain: Someone in day to day life, what does that mean? It may not be obvious to them, “seeking to stop avoiding the emotions they’re most afraid of.” Give me some practical examples of that.
Kevin: I’ll give you a personal example. A few years ago I was at an event with Brandon, and she was doing a training for the trainers. On a Friday night she was doing an hour long session of training people in the techniques for The Journey. I was running the sound desk for her, and she was at the front of the room talking away, and I’m in a good place. All of a sudden “whoosh”, rage comes up internally, and I’m really angry. I don’t know why I’m really angry. I realised in this moment, ”I’m hooked.” Something has triggered me, and I don’t know what it is. What I do know is, it’s not about current circumstances. I’ve learned that by this point in my life. I realise, I’ve got a professional job to do here. I’ve got a choice to make. I can either be really pissed off at the back of the room, and have this huge energy going on, or I can inquire. So I just closed my eyes, and simply asked, “Okay, there’s rage here. If there was something at the core of this, then I really opened energetically, and softened physically, and really authentically inquired, what’s at the core of this? What’s driving this? What am I avoiding, with the rage?” The sense of humiliation came up. And with the humiliation, came a memory.
The memory was from several years prior. What had happened was I was on the personal-growth road for a while. I had gone to a Tony Robbins seminar in America, and what I hadn’t noticed consciously, was that Brandon had mentioned Tony’s name from the front of the room, and this had triggered rage in me for no apparent reason. Except when I closed my eyes gone back to a memory, I’d turned up at Tony’s seminar, registered with a couple of friends. We’re on different parts of these long registration tables, I’d signed in and the person behind the table had said, “Here’s a ping pong ball. Please write your name on it, and throw it into the sack at the back.” So I write my name on the ping pong ball, throw it into the sack, went off and met my friends, and said, “that was a strange thing, they asked us to write our name on the ping pong ball, and throw it in the sack. I wonder what all that’s for?” They said, “Oh, they asked us to write our team number on there as well.” So I went back to the woman and asked if I could have my ping pong ball back because I didn’t put my team number on it. She showed me the sack, and there were like a thousand balls in it, “You are welcome to it...” Next day we turn up for the opening of Tony’s seminar, two and a half thousand people there. So he comes on stage. Tony’s a fabulous presenter, and a big show man. He’s got this big contraption on stage, with a gold lamée cloth over it, and with a huge flourish he takes off this lamée cloth, and he’s got this huge wheel of fortune cage underneath it filled with two and a half thousand ping pong balls. And he’s winding people up, saying we’re going to spin the wheel of fortune, someone’s going to win a prize, it could be up to x thousand dollars. The arrow goes round, two and a half thousand dollars of prize. In that moment - I don’t know whether you’ve ever had this but - my gut went “Oh…” I knew it was going to be my ping pong ball that was going to come out. How that works out I don’t know, but I swear to you, I knew my ping pong ball was coming out of that cage. He pulls it out and he goes, “Kevin Billett where are you? You have a two and a half thousand dollar prize. A free trip to Maui with something or other thrown in. Get up onto your chair.” So in front of two and a half thousand people I get up onto my chair and go, “Yeah, two and a half thousand dollars!” He turned the ball over, and said “Oh silly boy, you didn’t wright your team number on the back of the ping pong ball, therefore your prize is forfeit.” He tosses it back into the cage and moves on with the seminar [laughing]. In the moment, as you can imagine, the first thing that I feel is enraged. I’m standing up in front of two and a half thousand people, and someone says to me, “Oh silly boy you didn’t do your job properly!” But truthfully, inside what was the emotion? Complete humiliation. I felt like a total fool in front of two and a half thousand people. Now this had been triggered by just the mentioning of his name by Brandon on stage. So the rage had come up, and in that moment I am choosing, “What is the real cause of this? What am I avoiding emotionally at the deepest level?” For unknown reason, in the moment, humiliation becomes clear why that’s here. It’s an old cell memory that’s been triggered. So what I simply did, was I put out a prayer to life and said, “What if I was to surrender into all humiliation in this moment?” And I’m checking internally,” are you willing to do that? So I go yes, life bring all humiliation here, so it can be experienced.” And I felt it coming up all through my body, right from my groin. My face must have turned bright red. I would say it was like embarrassment turned up a thousand fold for probably two or three minutes. Then it felt as if something lifted. It felt rather effervescent, and then bliss. I sat in bliss from the Friday night to the Wednesday of the next week, until somebody pissed me off the next time. But that’s pretty good leverage, two or three minutes to say, “What have I avoided all my life? Humiliation.” I know I’ve avoided that since I was a kid. Two or three minutes of that – in this case - for four days of bliss. That’s pretty good leverage.
Iain: It’s interesting you said it’s held also in the cells, which we now, know more and more about.
Kevin: That’s how I understand it.
Iain: It’s not only held hear [pointing to the head], but it’s also held energetically in our body.
Kevin: Yes. If you read Candace Pert’s Molecules of Emotion, she has a lot of lab research that backs that up. If you speak to Deepak Chopra about it, with his phantom cell memory work that he’s done, theory that he has. I’m not much of a theorist, but it seems to hold good. It seems to be the traumas - where we have not fully been present and open to the moment and emotional consequence - they stick some place inside the body. They stick variously in the organs, and they can be triggered by random events. You get told off when you’re a kid. You get maybe a slap off your parents, and you get a look and a tonality of voice that goes with it. You harbour it. You shut down. You brace against it. You can be well into adulthood, and someone gives you that look. Just the look is enough, and all of a sudden there’s some emotional glitch, some tensing inside, and we don’t know what it’s about, often related to some old cell memory were we’ve not fully opened to experience the consequence in the moment. The good news is, that you can do it any time you like, and then it loses its grip.
Iain: When you talk about bliss, do you find bliss deepens over time?
Kevin: That’s a good question. I’ve never explored that. [pause] No, that is not my experience. In truth it’s not. Bliss is bliss. It’s been the same since that moment of awakening I described when it first dropped through. I would say it’s more readily available. It’s more common in my experience as time has gone on, but bliss itself hasn’t changed. I’m not blissed out all the time. I’m not walking around all the time with a huge smile on my face. I recognise that there is some fundamental being, some positive, huge embrace that’s the substratum for everything that takes place in my life. And the ups and downs occur. I get hooked like everyone else does, but if I just stop in the moment – ok here’s truth.
Iain: And I presume that bliss is part of something else…
Kevin: I would suggest it’s a face of the self. I’ve experienced it as a fragrance, more accurately, of the self. Sometimes, and I’m using bliss as an example, sometimes it’s like a deep, deep fulfilment, that nothing can add to it. The fulfilment overflows to such an extent that anything extra that comes your way in life, any circumstantial boost, or win just adds into a cup that’s already overflowing. Sometimes it’s pure stillness. Absolute just nothingness. A sense of grace in that. A sense of being held. Being on purpose.
Iain: And is there an inter-connectedness that comes with that as well?
Kevin: I feel that it just comes out of the emptiness. It’s an emptiness that’s full of everything. It’s a complete paradox. It makes no sense to my thinking mind when I go there. The experience is a truly wonderful one.
Iain: So bliss is a manifestation of the emptiness that is personalised towards you in some degree, in some way. I’m trying to get a feel for how this may fit together.
Kevin: Yes, to the first part. No, to the second part. The bliss feels as though it arises out of emptiness, as do all experiences, those that we would label good, and those that we would label bad. It feels as if it all comes from the same field. In terms of it being personalised? Hmm, that’s not my experience. It doesn’t feel personal, that is the truth of it. In this, there is a recognition that all consciousness is present, and it’s just One. There is no self and others, just self. It’s all the same, so it doesn’t feel personal, no.
Iain: And is that a space you’re living in much of the time?
Kevin: That’s a recognition Iain, yes.
Iain: It’s a very deep place.
Kevin: It’s a place that anyone can experience, if they are simply willing to stop, and embrace reality. Really embrace reality. I’m not talking about looking at it from a mental level. I’m talking to embody reality, embrace reality, physically, emotionally, completely. If you surrender to what is, everything is already present, already waiting.
Iain: That’s a great place to finish. Thank you Kevin for coming along…
Kevin: Thank you so much. I really enjoyed it.
Iain: …to conscious.tv. I’m going to give a little plug again for Brandon Bays’ book which Kevin mentioned, The Journey. And the book that he’s written with Brandon, called, Consciousness: The New Currency. Thank you again Kevin, and thank you for watching conscious.tv.
Finding Wholeness - A Meditation with Kevin Billett
Hello and welcome. This exercise is designed to allow you to really accurately feel whatever is being felt inside the body, and to explore what’s deeper, what’s underneath that. Let’s see if we can really get into some opening into grace, opening into realisation here. It takes a willingness. It takes an open heart, nothing much more than that. Make sure you’re sitting in a nice comfortable position. Make it an upright position so that the energy can move through your body nice and fluidly, and then close your eyes.
With your eyes closed take a long good breath in… and let it all the way out. A second long good deep breath in… and let it out right to the end of the breath. Continue to breathe this way, fully, deeply. Let awareness turn in on itself. Let awareness turn inside the body, and in that place just invite the thinking mind to wind down, like a fan whose switch has been switched off at the mains. Just slowly unfurl, and come deeply to rest. Just relax. Good.
And then let awareness scan through your body from head to toe, and just inquire what’s here? Emotionally, what’s here? What am I feeling? And if you first get a sensation in the body, some glitch, some holding, you could ask, if this had words, what might it say? And speak those words out loud. If this part of the body wanted to communicate something, what might it say? Speak those words. Good.
Or if you’ve got a sense, or an emotional feeling inside the body, just name that. And if you’ve spoken the words, ask how do they make me feel? How do they really make me feel? At the deepest level, what do they bring up for me? What’s here? And then whatever emotion arises, just welcome it. Settle into it, open to embrace it. All resistance melts. Surrender completely into it. Let it all be here. You’re so much bigger than this emotion. Just let it be. Where in your body do you feel that? Where is it? Good.
So let this emotion turn itself up, automatically just rise, burgeon. If there was something deeper than this, if there was something beneath this, and you let go into it, what feeling would that be? What sense? What emotion? And just allow yourself to drop right into that. Whatever that is, is fine. And notice where you feel it, where in the body. Just name it, whisper it out. It doesn’t need to be the perfect name, just whatever arises. Good.
And letting all of this be here, and it can turn itself around naturally if it so desires. Just embrace it fully. And then ask, if there was something underneath this, what might that be? What could that be? Treating it as an exploration. Open, and allow yourself to fall right into whatever’s next. Just open, and drop right into it. Whatever this is, it’s perfect. That’s it, just let go. What’s here, what is this? Where in the body do you sense this? Where is it being felt? And if this emotion had a name, what might that be? Great work. Stay wide open. Allow all of this to be here. And again, just inquire, if there was something deeper, if there was something underneath this, what is that? What’s here? What’s arising? Just allow yourself to completely open, and let go. Open, and fall right into whatever’s next. Whatever is here, it’s all ok. What is this? What arises? What’s present? Good, just embrace it. Allow it to be fully here. No resistance, all acceptance. Welcome. Welcome all of it.
Continue in this way – opening and deepening. Surrendering and dropping right into what is next, until eventually you reach a place of expansiveness, where all contractions disappear. Maybe you get a sense of nothing, a void, or darkness, or blackness. Just keep opening, and falling right in. Let go of everything. Whatever’s here is welcome. And then eventually when contraction ceases, and you experience some real letting go, some expansiveness of nothingness, simply ask, what’s in the heart of this? What’s in the core, in the essence of this? Let go right into the heart of it. Maybe you feel yourself being drawn into it, falling into it, just allow. Welcome it, fall right into the heart of the heart. And then name what’s here. What is this? What sense? What feeling? Where is this? Good.
Asking if you were to open right into the heart of this, just inquire of your being, if you opened right into the core, the essence of even this, that’s it. Just let go. Just be carried, right into the epi centre – expanding, letting go. What’s here? What’s realised? What’s sensed? Just open with it. Let go into it. Let go as it. Beautiful.
Then just one more time, let go completely into the heart of the heart of whatever’s here, into its quintessence. Allow yourself to fall. Expand, and in that expanding, surrender completely, just let go of everything. That’s it, beautiful.
What is this? If this had a name, what might it be called? Stay wide open. And just rest. Rest as this realisation. Rest as this expansiveness. You can rest here for as long as you like. Then recognising, eyes open, eyes closed - same awareness, same consciousness, and when you’re ready bring awareness back to the body, back to the physical form. You can wriggle your fingers a bit to orientate yourself. Take a nice deep long breath in, and let it all the way out. And a second long deep breath in, and let that all the way out. Then gently slowly, when you’re ready, you can open your eyes, and familiarise yourself again with your surroundings.
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