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A.H. Almaas and Karen  Johnson - Two Hearts Beat As One

Interview by Renate and Iain McNay

Iain:  Hello and welcome to a special edition of conscious.tv where we have two guests and Renate and I are co-hosting.  Our guests today are Hameed Ali, who’s known as AH Almaas when he writes.  Hi Hameed.

Hameed:  Hi, hi Iain.

Iain:  Karen Johnson who works with Hameed and Renate my wife, and myself.

Renate:  Hello.

Iain:  The program is about human relating and relationships to all of us are so important in so many different ways, on so many different levels.  And we’re going to have an open discussion.  Renate and I are married, Karen and Hameed are good friends and they work together, they run the Ridhwan School, the Diamond Approach, and we’re all going to talk about our relationship with each other and also the wider implications of that.

I want to just pre-empt it by saying, we’re in Amsterdam and Renate and I actually met in Holland twenty-five years ago and we had a very strong meeting to start with and in a week we were together, living together, and have been together ever since.  And we came from different backgrounds [quiet laughter from Renate] and we had many challenges in the early days of our relationship and we still have the odd challenge, now and again.  And it’s different with Karen and Hameed because they were friends and now they’re working together.  But just tell us briefly how it was when you first met each other.

Karen:  Well it was interesting, actually, just to hear how you met, that there was some kind of a draw… what attracts us to some individuals and not others, what makes us want to connect or not, is a mystery to everyone.  We can’t explain why and why not - there’s some kind of intelligence that’s functioning there from the start and sometimes we only see that in hindsight.  When I first met Hameed, he was picking up a friend to go to a meeting and we hadn’t planned to meet but he walked into the house.  I was in college and I was sitting on the carpet doing my art project and he walked in the room and he stood above me and he had a very broad, sweet, kind grin and his teeth and his smile were bigger than his body.  That’s the main thing I remember, was just how enormous that smile was.  And I felt such a friendly acknowledgement and there was an immediate meeting that we didn’t follow up on until many years later.  I guess it was a couple of years later when we found ourselves riding to Boulder, Colorado, together where…

Hameed:  …that’s what I remember, that ride… in a Volkswagen, in a Bug [VW Beetle].  We were driving from California to Colorado from San Francisco to Boulder which was… took us… I don’t know… almost twenty hours or two days and we were talking all the time and she told me everything about herself [Hameed and Karen laugh].  We were, for some reason, free to talk openly about everything…

Karen:  …immediately… and that wasn’t typical for me or for him.  He was very shy, I tended to be pretty shy, which people don’t believe at this point but… [Karen and Renate laugh]Ididn’t talk easily, and so we just chatted up a storm and haven’t quit yet but it was very easy and that’s one thing about our relationship from the beginning - there was ease, there was comfort, there was immediate trust, actually, and… looking back on it, I think that was one of the main ingredients that allowed our relationship to really flower.  Both of us had very good and trusting relationships with our mothers - we could easily be with them and talk with them but we found each other, easy, and we were open and easy and there was some kind of innocence in it from the very beginning.

Hameed:   We were both innocent and naïve at the same time [laughs].

Karen:  It’s true.

Hameed:  We haven’t learnt much yet but we were at the beginning and… yes, and so it started a friendship that kept developing, getting deeper and deeper… as the work developed, the friendship held it.  At the beginning, with the work, I was attracting two friends - Karen and Faisal - and Faisal left after a few years which was about the time when the Diamond Project had developed about twenty percent of its path and he left and then she and I were the ones who were holding it.  And we were two individuals who were birthing the teaching.  I am more in the forefront because I was teaching.  Karen wasn’t teaching and the one who wrote the book, but she was there, in the sense, in the inquiry - it was a combined inquiry.  We each had our own soul inquiry but we always came back - we would talk every day.  She was married, I was married, but every day we were spending four or five hours together talking… for years and years…

Karen:  ... and enquiring, we work with each other…

Hameed:  …and that’s how much of the teaching developed.  She’ll have her experiences, I’ll have my experiences and we bring them to each other and the other will have them, you see…

Karen:  …we consult …

Hameed:  …we give each other transmission and then we discuss them, and we understand them and things develop then we’ll experience things together and… it took many years before we really understood what this relationship’s about. 

Iain:  And were there difficulties you had?  Did you have to talk through things where you didn’t quite see eye-to-eye, personally?

Karen:  Ah, yes, yes, there were different kinds of obstacles that would come up and different misunderstandings or sensitivities, that kind of thing…

Hameed:  …hurts…

Karen:  …hurts, all kinds of stuff ...

Hameed:  …got mad at each other.

Iain:  You really got mad at each other?

Karen:  Oh, yes!

Hameed:  We had fights.

Iain:  Did you shout at each other? [demonstrates fisticuffs with arms]

Hameed:  We were shouting at each other.

Karen:  Oh you’re so excited![to Iain’s ‘fisticuffs’]

[all laugh]

Hameed:  We shout at each other…

Renate:  About spiritual matters?  You shouted about spiritual matters?  

Karen:  No, no there was something… I don’t remember what we were… I was going through a sensitive period about being seen and acknowledged and I got so angry at him and said, “Get on your camel and go back from where you came from!”[laughter from all]  A week later I go, “Oh God, that was so… that was not nice and that was really mean,” because I realized that I loved him and I didn’t want to hurt him and I was very angry and I felt I’d been really misrepresented about something and, yeah, I was very mad and that happened several times but we always worked through it.  But there were other times we also… what’s important about how our relationship developed is, we really listened to each other and we trust that there’s something in what the other person’s saying.  And we really take it to heart and we work with it and look at it and then we come back with, “Well, part of what you said was true, but I have to say, you didn’t see the whole thing.  How does this fit?  But I just want you to hear me out.”  And then we just go back and forth until it starts to get clear.  It’s like, “Oh okay, I didn’t see that part because I had my own take on it, I didn’t get what you were saying, fully, because that would challenge something for me.  And I don’t want to lose our friendship over this.”  And we went through periods where we actually felt like, “This might be parting of the waves for us, this could mean losing the relationship or losing the intimacy we feel or we might have to shift the relationship we have and be willing to lose our connection if that’s what was true.”  And that’s one thing that really started to be more and more important, was that…

Hameed:  …the death of the relationship.

Karen:  …we needed to face the fact that our friendship, our relationship, whatever it was, had to die at various times.  Just like going inward - realization - you get to these certain places where you feel like, “That’s it, I’m a gonna.”  You feel like you’re really meeting death in the face and you go into all kinds of emptinesses and places that feel very difficult and you have to be willing to just go, “Okay, this could be just it, I’m gone.”  And that’s when a new birth usually comes forward.  Happens with relationship too, being willing to let go our ideas of it, of the other person, of yourself and who you are. 

Hameed:  So, the way I see it, is more the death in relating, in letting go of the way we have known what we are to each other - all the past, all the interactions, all the history, at some point has to disappear and that means the death of relating.  The relating which develops in your mind, is a habitual thing that happens between two people and patterns, interaction and history and all that and at some point that becomes a barrier to the true relationship.  So, at a certain juncture, we encounter this and each one of us seems to have some… around the same time or, you know, a few days in-between where we completely drop it and say, “Okay, it’s gone.”  And then, that reveals what is the true relationship.  It doesn’t die… what dies is the history of the relationship…

Karen:  …or the ideas, even the expectations.

Hameed:  …and what’s left is what is actually there.  Which made me curious when you said you met here at Amsterdam, ‘something happened’… made me curious; well, what happened?  You said something strong happened.

Renate:  What happened for me… somebody took me along to this workshop, and up to that point I had a wonderful marriage and two sons and I never, ever was thinking about anything spiritual because I was absolutely happy in my life. And so this person said, “Why don’t you come along.  I think it’d be really good for you.”  And my husband, at that point, had to go to America on a business trip and I normally would go on every business trip with him.  And I said, “No, I’ll stay here,” because we’d just got a new apartment and I just loved it.

And, then this person said, “I’m going to this workshop, come along.”  And the interesting thing was, in this moment, it was like my mind stopped.  I knew I had to do that.  I got a ticket for the night train and packed my things.  Nothing was going on in my mind and my husband called from America and I said, “I’m going to Amsterdam, I’ll be back in a few days.”  He said, “Please, do anything you like but don’t go there.”  I said, “Don’t worry.”  And off I went.  And I said to myself, on the train, “Whatever is going to happen there, I’m completely open to it,” which was a complete foreign thing for me to even think.

So I go there and Iain was there and, you know, he obviously was pulled to me [laughs] and I was very, you know… my husband was the first lover in my life… I never thought about outside of my wonderful box I was in.  And, somehow, we ended up lying next to each other, fully dressed, and in that moment I started feeling… um…  like I was lying with him in an energetic tube.  There was such a pull - almost a magnetic pull happening in that moment.  And the feeling was, “Oh, my God! What is this?”  And he felt so familiar, as if I had known him for lives and lives and lives and lives. And, in that moment, I also felt… [shakes her head]... ”He’s my friend, I know him.”  And, at the same time, all these questions came up.  “Who am I?  What is this?  What is this world?”  And then, [facing and addressing Iain] when you asked me three days later to come to America, I knew I had to do that.  I left everything.  But what I really left was… I left myself as I knew myself.  And, it was like somebody took me and put me into another life.

Hameed:  Like the death of a life, and birth of a new one.

Renate:  It was a death, yes.

Karen:  That’s a very dramatic illustration actually, of something  that I think - in a real relationship - happens… intermittently, whenever the idea of the relationship becomes static or when life becomes static, it’s kind of driving to come out again, and the more static it is, the more deadened the relationship is.  And that’s how all relationships really end up being - kind of deadened.  To keep it alive means really, to keep the love alive, but even more than that, is to keep the ideas of the relationship from clamping down.

Renate:  But what I also found - I mean, I always had this idea that a relationship is the fastest way to myself or to God.  And what I experienced in our relationship, in the moment I focused on the relationship - which was not easy, we were completely different people - it did not work.  I f I focused on myself, on me finding out who I am - leaving him alone - we came together.

Karen:  Yes.

Renate:  …‘til at times, you know, it’s like one wave.

Karen:  Yes, yes.

Hameed:  How did it feel to be in that tube together?

Iain:   Well it was wonderful… [Renate laughs] it was wonderful!  We had such a strong energetic connection on all levels and I’d been through a period - I’d never been married before - so I’d been through a very free period in my life.  I think I was in my forties and I wasn’t living anywhere, I was just travelling at that point with this spiritual teacher, from country to country.  I’d sold everything and just had two suitcases, one with winter clothes, one with summer clothes, so I was a real free agent.  And so, it was a tremendous adventure being with Renate, which I loved, and also, as she said, we were incredibly different people.  So, the challenges were immense at times and we were also living with this spiritual teacher, for a time, anyway, travelling with him.  And that wasn’t easy because he had his ways of seeing things which… at the time it was right for me, anyway and then I realized I had to move on and he moved on.  But, it felt like… a little bit like Renate… I was being led and I wasn’t in control of the situation - and my life was being led, anyway, because I had no home and I was just travelling - and I was one week, South America, second week would be Eastern Europe - we were travelling a lot at that time.  So, I just tried to go with it, but I had a lot of personal issues that came up and we had [indicating to Renate] some real fights and it was, at the end of the day, as much as we could at that point, sitting down and talking about it.  But there was something stronger - there was a love that was stronger - that was somehow carrying us through.  And then, as Renate says, yes, when we… not exactly stepped away and saying we were going to necessarily leave each other, but when we stepped away from the focus on just being on the relationship, something else would be there which was holding us, and then we knew it was right to stay together.  And I think we started to move together more and more and recognize that we were an expression of one unit.  That took time, though.

Hameed:  You were an expression of one unit?

Iain:  Yes, we realized - we both realized - that we were an expression of Oneness and somehow we weren’t separate and…

Hameed:  What kind of unit?

Iain:  …what kind of unit?

Karen:  I was thinking the same thing.

[general laughter]

Hameed:  The expression of one kind of unit.

Karen:  Do you feel that now?  At this moment?

Iain:  At the moment, I feel inter-connectiveness as a group… and I’m also aware that we’re focusing a lot here now [indicating Renate and himself] and actually the original purpose was to focus more there! [indicating to Karen and Hameed… general laughter]

Hameed:  That’s the nature of relating - human relating - that if there’s no interest in the other, there isn’t much relating.  There’s no need to relate.  There has to be mutual interest… and a reciprocal responsiveness, and a mutuality in the relating… so there can be a meeting of each other.  One thing that many people don’t really understand….  takes a great deal of skill to develop.  I had to develop it myself.  Karen was more the relational kind than I was… you know… from the beginning, I could relate but wasn’t that interested in relating, having friends…

Karen:  …well, you were interested in relating to me…

Hameed:  …I was interested in relating to you, but I wasn’t interested in ‘relating’ per se…

Karen:  …it was for the work…

Hameed:  … relationship was not… I was married - happily married - it was a second marriage, even.And, it was not like I didn’t care about human beings but I wasn’t interested in the relational skills.  She [indicating Karen] was very skillful and interested in relationships and I learned… how to be more relationally skillful.  I mean, how to interact in a way that brings both people out in a way… where they can meet authentically.  And that’s a great skill and most people don’t know it’s a skill they need to learn.  They think it’s just going to happen.  It doesn’t happen, you have to learn it.

Karen:  And also, there’s something Renate said about ‘going in’ too, to be able to have responsibility for yourself, for your actions, for your own process, your nature, that that’s the place one needs to come from.  So there has to be an interest, not only in the other but it has to come from one’s actual true interest in one’s self.  Trying to gain it through relationship can’t happen either, so it has to be an outward and inward movement at the same time but really settled in one’s own ability to be alone - alone with one’s self, intimate with one’s self, and to be able to come from there and the interest, then, is more authentic, rather than jumping over into where someone else is, to try to find yourself.  You have to really have that more grounded in one’s self.  So, that’s a really important part of what you were saying [meaning Renate], now I just want to add to what Hameed’s saying.

Hameed:  Yes, and from what I remember, what you said Renate, that at the beginning, as you were going to the workshop, you were already, somehow, in a different place, you were open… you left your life as you knew it so you were more, just yourself.  That happened first…

Renate:  …yes, you know my husband, my husband…

Hameed:  …and I think that’s important for that ‘meeting’ to happen.  You left your old identity.

Karen:  He knew what was coming, it sounds like.

Renate:  …yes, and then it was like the whole… I started to have so many essential experiences - because I left these old structures - of Oneness and leaving my body and all these things we talked about yesterday, and at the same time, I was  confronted with something so new, I didn’t know how to handle it, I just felt this pull and wanted to be… I felt this Oneness with him [Iain] but didn’t know how to live this ‘Oneness’ because there was so much stuff in-between.  So, I really needed to learn to just find out for myself… stay with…

Hameed:  You had a life, you were married, you had children.  You see, we had to deal with a similar situation because we were both married to other people - she’s married to her husband [indicating Karen], I’m married to my wife - I’ve been married 35 years or so - she’s been married twice during our friendship, and now she’s been married about 20 years, or so.  And we had to navigate that.  How to keep a friendship being intimate, while we are having other important relationships.  That means a great deal of skill.

Karen:  And for us in particular, I think the draw was really about this energetic attraction for the work to develop.

Hameed:  For the truth.

Karen:  That we were really put together, in the situation, that the attraction wasn’t just about a fulfillment of one another or a relationship for ourselves, that it’s a relationship that itself, became a conduit for the work to develop in very particular ways.  And, at the beginning, it was being able to have the honesty, the sincerity, and being able to listen to somebody, because we need to challenge each other.  We need to not agree on everything.

Renate:  No, you needed to rub [the conflict].

Karen:  It’s important that we’re able to grapple with things and, especially during growth spurts in the school, and the teaching, where there’s a lot of tumult and all kinds of things that need to be addressed.  I would come at it one way, Hameed would come in at another, and we need to find a way to navigate the things that we were both seeing, both for the school and the way the work was coming through in the school and also in our relationship, so that the differences could become ways that we can grow from, not to try to push them away so we can become the same.  Because obviously, I’m a very different person at the outside and that I express myself differently.  We notice, that over time, we become more like one another, in certain situations…

Hameed: …capacities…

Karen:  …our capacities have shifted…

Hameed:  … we’ve learnt each other’s capacities over time.

Karen:  …and even our demeanour, in certain situations… we’ll go to a certain social function - I’ll end up being really quiet in the background, he’ll be all… [Karen smiles with some arm gesticulation indicating outgoingness… all laugh].  Now I’m going, “Who was that?  That’s me!”  [more laughter]“What am I doing?”  And I’m sitting there quiet, looking at everything just feeling where I’m at.  We’ve even started acting like each other.  But, at the same time, we also had processes in ourselves that were very, very different and that were important for how the work developed.

Hameed:  So, one of the ways that the work developed, for instance, was that I will be exploring something, exploring the process in myself, the way the mind interacts with presence, for instance.  And there will be new revelations and I will experience them and at the beginning, for some years, when at first something arises, I feel it and see it vividly but after seeing it vividly, for a flash - that lasts maybe a minute or two - then, I honestly, I just feel it.  She [indicating Karen] is a ‘seer’.  I would ask Karen, “What do you see?”  And then she tells me, ‘Well, it’s green here, it’s black there, but here seems a little occlusion.  What’s that about?”  And then I can explore it, and see… ”Oh well, this is something about my mother, or my father, something.”  And as I see it, another quality then will arise, and as she sees it, she will experience it.  And as she’s experiencing it, she’ll have some stuff that arises about it.  And I’ll ask her a question about it and then she will self-elaborate, and she begins to have new ways that presence will arise.  It became more like that kind of interaction…

Karen:  …a dance…

Hameed:  …like we were helping each other, we were working with each other and the process - the ‘beingness’ that manifests either in me or her, or sometimes together, at the same time, as we enquire.  Like now, most of the time, as we enquire, a new thing develops as we’re talking, a new thing emerges and we’re both contributing our insights, our perceptions, from different angles.

Karen:  Then, for a long time, how it emerged for us would be a little different.  Like, Hameed is very ‘one step after the other’, slowly going through the issue, the essential aspect will arise…

Hameed:  … very methodical…

Karen:  …in a very methodical way.  For me, I would go through the issues, there would be various things emerging but I’d go through a whole bunch of things at one time and then a whole structure would emerge with all of the qualities - at once - like I would have more of a blow-up of things occurring, like a whole universe would open up, instead of one quality, one quality, one quality.  That happened some, but for me it was much more that a whole lot of things would build and then there’d be an explosion.

Hameed:  There was a big difference between us. 

Karen:  And so that process brought about a slightly different angle of seeing it from an entire structure, of all these qualities.  In other words, different aspects of Being show up.  And for him [indicating Hameed] he might go through one at a time - one essential experience would arise, of a different, certain quality and character and viscosity and, for me, they would come in multiples.

Hameed:  …yes, I’ll be going through a process of learning and opening that might take several weeks, or several months and she is witnessing it, she’s sort of participating but she’s not exactly going through everything.  And, after several months, she will have this explosion where everything I went through will happen all at once...

Karen:  …at the same time…

Hameed:  …it’s like it bursts.

Renate:  Okay, but the question I have to you is, with the things you experienced, did you always know what it was, did you always have a name for it?

Karen:  There weren’t necessarily …

Renate:  Or was it Hameed who gave the name?

Hameed:  She’s not good at naming [laughs].

Karen:  Well, it depends, there were certain things that I named.  We would have the understanding of what something was, so I could say in long words what they were.  So, in terms of naming that… yes, I would have the knowledge, but… I think there were certain things I came up with…

Hameed:  Yes, but what I meant, in Karen’s process, because she’s a good ‘seer’ - since she was a child she could see - she could see auras, she could see True Nature.  After that, she began to learn about presence and awareness, she could see that.  She‘s good at it, she’s precise at it, but sometimes she sees things but she doesn’t know how to say it…

Karen:  … how to conceptualize it…

Hameed:  … she doesn’t know how to talk about it.  She can see.  So, I ask her, “What are you experiencing?”  She says, “Well, I don’t know.”  I say, “What do you mean?  You are experiencing something.”  She says, “Yes, I’m experiencing something, I don’t know how to say it.”  I tell her, “Describe it to me.”  So, she just describes it.

Karen:  And I feel.  I feel, precisely.  I feel faceted things, I mean, I can feel very precisely and I see it and I know it, but I don’t necessarily always have the words for it, like there’s a gap sometimes there.  But, what I just realized, as we’re talking about our different processes, my experience synthesized things together and showed the relationship of various qualities to one another and how they make sense. 

Hameed’s mind synthesized things and brought the teaching together in terms of the knowledge and making that happen.  So, it’s not that his experience didn’t have the synthesis, but, especially at the beginning of our work together, he basically drew the thread through the knowledge and his mind had the training that the work could come through and actually land and be very clear and precise and draw all the threads together and say, “Ah, okay!”  And, his mind would have the explosion of the understanding.  My experience would have the explosion of the understanding and my mind would then go through the steps of that.  And it took time for my mind to develop.  In fact, I went back to school because I knew I needed the training.  I had a good mind, Hameed felt I had a good mind, but I could see that I needed to train it to be able to have a certain logical thinking process.  So, I got into debate classes, I got into… I did things that would make me have to use my mind differently, which allowed our relationship to change in a way that I could balance out my ability to experience, with my ability to articulate and synthesize in a different way.  Also, our relationship developed in the sense that he was… I was following in his wake for a long time, and in the school, my position was really kind of an unknown, for a long time… to me, too.  But, over time, in the last, I’d say, fifteen years, my development has changed such and become more balanced, that our…

Hameed:   …especially since you started meditating well. 

[laughter from all]

Karen:   …that’s true, yes, but also - it’s not just the meditation - but, also, really staying steadfast to various things that Hameed would point out, that were really gaps in my development - ways I was in my life that needed to change and so on, but also I think, just our collaboration hit a different level, so part of our relating, had to go through, not only our interpersonal relationship to be able to develop it, but also for me to get more grounded in my realization, to be more steady in it, and to have that be more of paramount importance. 

And, that’s something that goes back to what you were saying [indicates to Renate], something about going inward, for you.  For me it was I had to find the stability in myself, the willingness to really be alone in my realization.  And that’s where we [indicating to Hameed]found a new level of relating that allowed the work to take on a whole other character, a whole different dimension that we had no idea.  And that’s when new universes really opened up - not just for us personally, but in our friendship - but then our friendship really became a conduit for the teaching.  So, I struggled to really develop in a way that could match him [Hameed] more, but I had to do it by being alone where I was, more  And, that’s something that can be seen in any relationship that actually has truth in it.  That being alone in yourself, and being able to be with another in your aloneness, is the inward intimacy that’s needed. 

Hameed:  So, in our teaching - the way the teaching developed - because our friendship was an important part of it, I think it’s not an accident because I think our Being, our True Nature, our Ground of Being, or the intelligence, intelligent consciousness, that is our nature, has manifested itself in such a way that it brought two people together who complimented each other in such a way that a process of a birthing of a teaching can have other dimensions, other steps to it.  That became an important part of the teaching where it showed that the place of relationship is understood more completely not in the non-dual - the non-dual does not address ‘relationship’ - it’s as simple as that.  Because the non-dual does not acknowledge the individual very much and, because it doesn’t acknowledge the individual, it doesn’t acknowledge two, interacting.  The non-dual is the removal of the self and everything is ‘One’ or beyond ‘everything’.  But, there are other dimensions that developed in the work, in the Diamond Approach, where it’s neither dual, or non-dual - because people think it’s either dual or non-dual.  We found there are other ways where relationships can be understood, you see.

Iain:  Okay, so what’s the example of something neither non-dual or dual?  What’s a specific example?

Hameed:  One example… one thing we found out between us is, we can interact as two people, right?  Or, we could be two people - two waves, part of the same ocean, right?  Two waves, part of the same ocean, are interacting - meeting.  That’s a relationship from the non-dual.  But then, another way is seeing we are one wave - that one wave is manifesting itself  as two bodies in order for it to manifest part of its uniqueness.  Some dimension of True Nature cannot be revealed through one individual.  It will need two, or more than two for some of its mysteries to arise.  And some of its mysteries, for instance, realizing that unity is not just non-dual unity - unity can be, the unity of what I call, singularity.  Meaning, you and I are not just two waves of the same ocean, we are one point, one non-dimensional point of being and there’s no-two, yet, there is communication.

So, the communication appears as dual, but the singularity is you could say, non-dual.  But it’s more than non-dual, it’s like… and then that reveals reality.  What that reveals to us in the Diamond Approach, is the dimension that we call ‘unilocal’ which is, that each point of time and space includes in it all of time and space.  The non-dual goes beyond time and space - you leave time and space.  This way of realization, it brings back time and space while being in the timeless.  The timelessness that includes all time and all space.  So, this moment, includes all moments and this point of space…  

Karen:  …it includes everything.

Hameed:  …includes all the galaxies.  So, a space is not eliminated but its nature is understood differently.  The fact that there are differences - there is differentiation - doesn’t mean there are distances.  Just like in a dream, you dream, you could dream the whole universes, the whole sky… it’s all happening in your head.

Karen:  So, it brings in the question of how things relate to one another, not just how things relate to True Nature.  So, I can feel your heart in me [indicating towards Iain and Renate]and mine in you, where there’s no distance.  So the inter-relationship between the two is more of an inter-penetration where you don’t lose your uniqueness, but it’s completely open and completely available to my uniqueness and we can feel ourselves as one without losing our uniqueness.  Not just meeting as two individual, unique presences - which is a possibility - but to actually inhabit the same location and this location is not a location within time and space only, it’s also the timelessness meeting itself, at the same time.  So that singularity feels like not ‘one’, not ‘two’… and it’s not merging, it’s not just becoming a mush, it’s really your unique you, which is the need to go inward, to be alone in yourself, gives you the possibility of being completely your nature and the ‘unilocal’ experiences and being with another in that same way, as totally unique but completely inter-penetrated.  And that’s… many of the Thangkas show the yab yum.  To me, that yab yum is complete, it’s not one on top of the other - it’s the inter-penetration of the two…

Hameed:  …the two coincide….

Karen:  …coinciding.

Hameed:  That’s why, when you said [indicating to Iain], ”We realized we are one unit” I asked, “What unit, what is the unit?”

Karen:  Because it’s actually many different things for the average individual, when they fall in love, they feel they are ‘One’.

Iain:  That’s right, yes.

Karen:  And that’s a glimpse of the potential but it’s nowhere near the miracle of complete inter-penetration.  I mean, for most people, physical inter-penetration is the sexual act, but you can feel that with anyone, or anything.

Hameed:  Yes, so the sexuality becomes an approximation to true unity.  True unity can happen between any two people.

Karen:  And there’s degrees - merging, Oneness - but this is valuing the particular and valuing the totality. 

Renate:  And I can feel that all just in myself because I experienced that.  I experienced… what I would call, ‘cosmic orgasm’.  There was just me lying there and it was like every cell in my body had an orgasm, which I could never reach with somebody else.

Karen:  …that’s inter-penetration with your nature.

Renate:  That’s right.

Karen:  And this is, that your nature isn’t even an expanse.  It’s like that totality of that expanse is you, totally.

Renate:  Yes, yes.

Karen:  Totally.  As an individual it’s you, and your totality as the entirety of True Nature its infiniteness, is the individual, and the two galaxies collide as one, yet as two unique…

Hameed:  …they become one galaxy. 

Karen:  …one galaxy.  But, it’s not a merging of the two, it’s the intertwining - remaining yourself as… it’s hard to find words for it, but you get the feeling.

Hameed:  It’s interesting how the school developed from this perspective.  It’s true that I was instrumental at the beginning, at the centre, sort of the guiding light, guiding experience and all of that and Karen was there, but she became more and more… we became more of a unit that was a conduit for the teaching.  But I’m seeing, have been seeing for some time, that there are many individuals in the school participating, becoming part of that unity.  Many of our teachers are developed enough that, if they are couples – sometimes couples themselves begin to have that unity…

Karen:  …or in friendship…

Hameed:  …or in friendship, or they can have it with their students.  And I’m feeling like not just I have developed, Karen has developed, many of our teachers have developed, many of the students have developed, the whole school is developing.  I see it moving, becoming as a one body, moving through this world and the worlds beyond.  I can see the school continuing to develop as an integrated body that includes physical life and non-physical life.  Before death, and after death, as one body, that continues…

Karen:  …and totally not of our choosing.

Hameed:  …and Karen and I are already learning how to communicate with each other from the two sides of reality.  We’re learning how to come together at a distance, but there are other teachers who are doing that because I think, as time passes, because of this relational element that has been important, is that it seems it’s going to happen that there will be us and other teachers who will be guiding the school, after we die.  We continue to be in contact because the unity is not broken because it is beyond time and space.  Remember, I said it includes all time and space?

Renate:  Yes, yes.

Hameed:  I can see it, I can feel it.

Renate:  I can see it, I can see the impact it will have too [laughs].

Hameed:  It’s a wonderful and interesting, beautiful kind of thing and people think of it as an ideal - everybody wants society like that, and I don’t know whether the whole race will ever be like that - but we’re seeing how it can happen within at least, a group of people. 

Karen:  And the force is not something that anyone decided.  This isn’t a business decision, to develop these things.  It’s clearly vessels being carved and worked and filled and moved.

Iain:  We have to finish in about two or three minutes, but you can ask one more question, Renate.

Renate:  Well, it was something I experienced years ago, you know - exactly what you are describing[indicating to Hameed]- I already experienced years ago which I thought was another dimension, which is just maybe landing through you two here, in this dimension.  But I experienced how that works, will work. [laughs]

Hameed:  Interesting…

Karen:  It has a life of its own.

Hameed:  …we talk about a relationship, now we move to a group, to a larger group, the school has four or five thousand people and it will grow and develop more and how all of those make up one unified field…

Karen:  And it’s living.  It’s alive.

Hameed:  …one unified, living field and people will feel - the more they understand the teaching and embody it, the more they will become part of this tribe, this community - and people who are not part of it, will not be part of it.  That’s how we look at it, you see, and some people find another thing to do and they’ll go and join another group.  But it’s a consciousness, like an organism that is evolving and it is not our design, not our individual designs.  It’s a teaching. 

The teaching is not only presenting itself in knowledge - that is written in books, communicated through teaching - but is expressing itself in people and people having more of that… reality, that luminosity and in groups of people, which will be a much bigger force than one individual.  I see the whole school as the teacher.

Iain:  The whole school as the teacher.  That’s a wonderful place to finish.  Unless you have a burning question… [to Renate]… I thought you wanted to ask one more…

Renate:  No, I just wanted to mention the dialectic enquiry, which we have been doing for some years, I think is pushing us, also, in this direction.

Karen:  Yes, yes.

Renate:  It’s where it starts manifesting…

Karen:  It’s for the development of how to enquire together, not just on your own.

Hameed:  You see, dialectic enquiry, the way I expressed it, is something we were doing for a long time.  At some point, I formulated it into a teaching, I sort of conceptualized it.

Karen:  With a little help from your friend… [laughter].

Hameed:  Lots of help… you were the relational, always the relational one.

Iain:  Karen and Hameed and Renate, thank you…

Renate:  …and Iain.

Iain:  …I think we had a very beautiful conversation.

Karen:  A pleasure to be with you.

Hameed:  Been pleasant.  Nice discussion.

Iain:  And thank you for watching conscious.tv out there, and I hope we see you again soon.  Goodbye.

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