- Andrew Rawlinson
Interview by Iain McNay
Iain McNay: Hello and welcome once more to Conscious TV my name is Iain Mcnay. And my guest today is Andrew Rawlinson. Hi Andrew
Andrew Rawlinson: Hi
Iain McNay: I found out that Andrew lives in France now he is British but he was coming to London as he was doing a talk to promote his new book. Which is called “The Hit, into the rock and roll universe and beyond” And I thought , that’s interesting , it’s the beyond bit that interests me. I research it a bit and I found that he has also written this book “Western teachers in the Eastern Tradition”, I already had this book , I looked on my bookshelf and found it. It was a bit dusty ,but it was there and I had looked at it a few times over the years.
What we like on Conscious TV is looking at consciousness and who we really are from different angles. Andrew’s book his new book is very much about, the world of music but going beyond the world of music. We have done some programs from the world of music before, we had Gary Latchmen a few years ago. Whose stage name was Gary Valintine who was the original bass player in the band Blondie. We had Jenny Boyd who wrote a book called “It’s not only Rock and Roll”. About the creative inspiration of musicians and also more recently Jar Robel the original bass player in Pill who has an amazing story to tell. So it kind of fitted.
Here’s Andrew and we are going to explore what “The Hit” is.
A hit of course to a lot of people is having a hit record, but to you it’s something different.
I’m going to start first of all, you sent me some notes, and what I really like was in your notes you said you were a minor vandal at school and rusticated twice from Cambridge, once for brawling and the second time for drug smuggling. I thought that’s our kind of guy on conscious TV. So what happened at Cambridge then?
Andrew Rawlinson: Well I suppose I did have a bit of an issue which was with structures of any sort this certainly did happen at school when I did minorly destructive things, anonymously of course. And then at Cambridge I got into a brawl with someone outside a pub and he complained to the college and the college were quite understanding and sent me away for a term. Then I went on a long trip to Morocco and came back with a kilo of hash which was discovered by the customs officer and the college very kindly said, well you can go away for a year now, but be careful. So I was careful, I came back and got a degree.
Iain McNay: Excellent.
So we are going to build a program around this whole theme of “The Hit” So when did you first have your significant “Hit” and how did the “Hit” impact you , what form did it take?
Andrew Rawlinson: Well, the way I normally tell this story is; when I was eighteen years old, on a three month holiday from England to Istanbul, I was with a friend and we went to mount Olympus. This is a magnificent mountain , straight out of the ocean. We drove up it, there is only a certain distance you can go before you have to go on foot. We were on foot and suddenly a storm blew up, which is entirely appropriate of course for mount Olympus. There was a lightning strike which must have been about fifty meters away, where there was no gap between the sound of the thunder and the flask of the lightning. They were completely simultaneous, it was extremely powerful. In that moment I had a realization, although I am now using later terminology to express it, that I was unlimited. Just like that. It took no time , I knew it was so.
Iain McNay: How did you know you were unlimited?
Andrew Rawlinson: The knowledge and the fact are identical, when the hit comes through. It isn’t a question of how it’s a question of what is it really? And it had no connection with anything I had done before although then I can look back at other realizations that I’d had which weren’t nearly so dramatic. Being blessed by the king of the Gods is quite dramatic. There are smaller blessings or realizations or revelations, there all the same. They are different terms for the same fact I think, which I’d had from when I was quite young. But not in any special way, I’m not claiming at all that I’ve done anything different from anybody else. It’s just that I can see that all Hit’s are the same, this is what I have discovered. It does not matter what the context id is does not matter what the circumstances are. It’s all a flash of light that comes through and it’s always the same light.
Iain McNay: And for you there is this feeling, shall we say, that you are unlimited?
Andrew Rawlinson: Well it’s a realization, and I like the term realization, because it’s ambiguous, it means you make something real as when you realize your dreams an you realize that something is so, the word has both those meanings. That’s my experience that these “Hits” occur from all directions at all times. They just go on and on and on. It’s only our wish to categorize them that makes them appear to be separate from on another. So for example when I was eleven years old and I was at school I was taught Euclid’s proof that there is no greatest prime number, Which is a very simple proof, which an eleven year old can understand and I remember quite clearly this WOW of course , of course. That “Of course” is the same as seeing the sun go down, we have all seen the sun go down. I thought wow, look at that what I saying is there is no real difference between Euclid’s proof and seeing the sun go down, they are the same.
Iain McNay: How does that effect your life practically especially when your young?
Andrew Rawlinson: I guess when I was young I was looking for the Hit. Now I realize the hit is coming through all the time and you don’t have to go looking for it but when you young you know you have a lot of drive and energy and that’s what you do. You go looking so I went looking and I did the same looking as most young people do. I mean I did it through idea’s as well as through music and girls and drugs. You know sex drugs and rock and roll that was what I was into and I wasn’t the only one, there was many millions of us doing it.
Iain McNay: Yeah, there is another example that you mentioned that I really like when you saw a painting when you were sixteen years old
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes, that was the first time I left England when I went to Paris. I was with the same friend I was on Olympus with actually.
Iain McNay: Who actually is Roger Walters from Pink Floyd?
Andrew Rawlinson: Exactly.
We were great mates and went through some initiation together. And one of them going to Paris together, it was a wonderful experience for two sixteen year olds. We went to the Louvre (Museum) and there was a Cezanne, I’d never seen an impressionist painting before I had only seen reproductions. Impressionist paintings do not reproduce well, because you can’t get all the subtleties of the layers of paint. It was a still life by Cezanne and there was just one petal, where he had obviously just put his paint(brush) in his paint and just gone “ che” like that, and it was simultaneously a dap of paint and a petal. I just really loved it, it was the same as Zues you see and it was the same as Euclid. It was Oh yes of course and I hadn’t had any incling that those three possibilities Euclid, Zues and Cezanne existed before they had happened but as soon as they happened I knew that it was a complete revelation. It’s a slightly overwrought term that I am using but I would use it. And I would use it on other things too, like the birth of my children and my grandchildren. You know , nearly everybody who has had children and grandchildren would say woo, that really is something.
Iain McNay: And when you first met your wife as well.
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes absolutely, she was sitting on the bed at her brothers birthday party,he’s a bit older than her and he and I were friends. She just lent forward and looked at me , and I looked at her and we have been together ever since fifty years.
Iain McNay: And tell the story about the blade of grass, which I also like.
Andrew Rawlinson: Err, I can’t remember after all this time what exactly happened afterwards but I did want to see her again. Of course I’d been to the house before because I had been visiting her brother so I went to visit her but I hadn’t got anything to give her , so when I walked up the garden I picked up a blade of grass to give it to her but she wasn’t in. So I left a note saying Lucy this blade of grass is for you . And do you know what her reply was ? She came round to where I was, and I wasn’t in. She just left a note saying, “When please?”, and a question mark. You can’t beat that.
Iain McNay: It’s so wonderful that these simple things that come out of love can have such an impact.
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes.
Iain McNay: It does not need to be anything huge.
That is the realization of all lovers everywhere. Love is complete and when you have that touch of love you know that you have been given as much as any person can be given.
And it’s free. That’s the thing about the hit , its free
Iain McNay: You’ve been given as much as any person can be given, in that momet.
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes, absolutely. So when it’s love and it’s Zues ,Euclid and Cezanne, I mean you could go on and on. I like the example of Jacob Burma who had a realization , you know a medieval personage, when he saw light reflected off a plate, and you can’t get more basic than that. But, that’s how he got it. So you know Olympus, thunder and lightning , light off a plate, they are the same . This is the beauty of it that is all the same, thers no gradation in the hit there is only gradations in how it is packaged.
Iain McNay: You see so much on conscious TV , and maybe I’m partly guilty of this were looking for the dramatic, in so far, we want to be catapulted out of life as we know it and to find a new reference point, a new way of being to take us down to the ground a bit the way we really are. What ever term you use. Un yet what I really like about your story is there is so many examples in this Hit book of just small things that have the effect of bringing you out, but in a way bringing you in.
Andrew Rawlinson: The Hit doesn’t distinguish between inside and out side again that’s a distinction that’s brought along afterwards and I think those distinctions are fine you don’t need them at the time of the time of the Hit, so the beauty of the Hit is that there are dramatic and wonderful transformative experiences that people have and which change there lives on the spot. There is absolutely no reason why that shouldn’t happen , an f there is absolutely nothing wrong with them but they are not better than the little things, This reminds me of Plotinus and Neoplatonism. He says, “In this realm”, which one enters, you know, through mystical exploration ,etc, etc. Everything is great , the small is great. Absolutely spot on mate.
Iain McNay: And then when you were twenty two, I think it was. You found a Master in India. Tell us about that.
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes, yes, well there is a bit of a story there. I had a friend who went to India, having found out the address of the centre in the Punjab, and he went out as quite a wild character, he came back totally changed.. So there was a gang of us in Cambridge all of whom knew him and we were very influenced by the change that had come about in him. And by great good fortune the Master himself came to London a couple of months after he returned, our friend returned from India. So we all went to see him, a whole load of us , twenty of us probably. And he just had you know, as soon as I saw him it was a Hit although I wasn’t using that terminology then. And er, his presence, just his kingliness, his total openness . And I thought to myself, I’d taken LSD and had a great, few trips, not many and they were wonderful. And err, I’d though to myself what this master is offering is a trip for all time. For the whole time that the creation itself has existed,. That did appeal to me. So I thought OK I’m going to do this. So I got initiated and I did it.
Iain McNay: Again in the notes you gave me what really appealed to you was the fact that he was majestic and how humble he was.
Andrew Rawlinson: At the same time
Iain McNay: Yeah
Andrew Rawlinson: I mean I have never met anyone who was kingly apart from him I never met anyone who was truly humble apart from him , he was both. I think the explanation for that was that he regarded himself, when he was appointed Master by his predecessor, as the servant of the Sangad of the community of devotees. For him that was his role. He was a true servant although he was also the Lord. Which is just wonderful to perceive this.
Iain McNay: You should say his name so people can know who we are talking about
Andrew Rawlinson: Hasur Charansing jee MaHaraj
Iain McNay: He’s gone Now
Andrew Rawlinson: He died in nineteen ninety and I will tell about his death if I may.
He had a dicky heart and he’s had some problems with the heart, I mean he worked non-stop. Huge meetings of a million people.
Iain McNay: You said at dinner last night, that that’s right a million people and would feed everybody he would charge them no money, it was superbly organized , it just doesn’t sound possible does it?
Andrew Rawlinson: I know , I know. Those numbers built up over a long period of time but they could do that But so, he is hugely, the demands on his time just don’t stop , don’t stop. And he had I think a bit of a heart murmur and he had doctors saying “take it easy take it easy” and he said “no , the people have come and it’s my duty to receive them”. Etc,etct. And there is a video of him giving a Satsang , two days before he died and he looks just the same as he ever did. When he had stopped giving the Satsund they would rush him off and put him in bed and look after him . Everybody else was working hard and on the first of June the Doctor who was in charge of him and the Nurses who were in charge of him were so exhausted they fell asleep. In that moment he left the body. Completely on his own surrounded by a million people.
Iain McNay: He died in front of a million people?
Andrew Rawlinson: Well no not in front of them They were all there for him every single one was there for him.He managed to manoeuvre a point when every bodies attention was elsewhere and he was completely on his own and he left just like that.
Iain McNay: What effect did it have on you?
Andrew Rawlinson: Hugh effect I mean ….it still does, You know I mean ….you loose someone like that, powerful.
Iain McNay: And his teaching was predominantly Buddhist?
Andrew Rawlinson: No it wasn’t it was a form of Sikhism really because he would refer to the Adi Granth which was the collected teachings of the first five Sikh Gurus and a few other non-Sikh including Kabir and suchlike . It was about inner light and sound and travelling through inner regions back to the original point of creation, with the help of someone who had already made that journey and who initiated you and looked after you all the way. That was the teaching really. And one was vegetarian and no alcohol or drugs live a straight life and if you kept yourself as uncontaminated as possible the you could detach yourself the clutches of the world.
Iain McNay: And how do feel about that kind of teaching now?
Andrew Rawlinson: I can’t go along with it now , I really felt so disloyal to be critical of his teaching because I had no criticism of him at all. He only gave he was only openhearted and generous
But I just came to see that the idea that we are somehow in a prison here and were in a prison ,we have been put in a prison by the creator of all the regions of the universe.
Iain McNay: But why do you say we were put into a prison?
Andrew Rawlinson: Well because that was the teaching, you start of with a pure original point and by a series of cascades it gets more and more solidified and more mare material until you reach this psychical level. Which is the most material of all and in this material level we are susceptible to all kinds of follies not to mention unpleasantness and cruelties for which we have to pay through Karma and reincarnation. So this is a prison you have to get out of this so we’ve been sent to jail, for a reason that we can’t possible understand. We commit crimes in jail which means we have even more time to serve in jail. I find this difficult to swallow.
Iain McNay: So for twenty years you taught Buddhism?
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes
Iain McNay: So how did that start?
Andrew Rawlinson: Well I did philosophy at Cambridge , western philosophy . Although I didn’t really do much studying, but that’s the subject that I did and I got a degree then I found out
That there was someone at Lancaster University in the north west of England who had started a religious studies program. I was already initiated by this time I was initiated in the last year of my degree. So I thought well I couldn’t think what I could possible do without any money. So I went up to see this man in Lancaster and he said “What do you want to do, for your PHD”. Well , I’ve got some vague ideas that Zero, one and infinity might be all the same number in disguise. He said “well I don’t really know what you mean but why come and do it anyway”. I did not actually do that, when I got there I did a PhD in Buddhism which turned into an examination of a particular Mahayana sutra I studied that and once I’d got my Phd I the applied foe a job and got it. So I taught.
Iain McNay: So zero and one and infinity are the same thing
Andrew Rawlinson: In Disguise
Iain McNay: Can you explain that?
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes. One, you can never have one on it’s own, because in order to say that there is one you have already have something outside the one, to say that there is one. So one must turn into multiplicity and there is no end to multiplicity so it will always tend towards infinity. So if you have one you’ve got one you will have infinity. Which is true of course of the numbers one, two, three, four, go on to infinity, although that’s just an analogy.
So one will always turn into infinity, the cosmological version of that is the one being in the beginning, what ever that might mean, wishes to know himself and manifest the universe which cascades forth without see-saw or hindrance. So the one becomes infinite. An d the Zero is not a number, zero is a condition that precedes all numbers, that’s why it’s exactly in the middle of positive integers and the negative integers. You can’t divide by zero , zero reduces everything to itself even zero times infinity equals zero it doesn’t infinity. Infinity time infinity was infinity but infinity times zero equals zero. So zero is la bit, this is an analogy I like, is like silence , all science is the same all sounds are different . And the reason that all sounds are different is that they have beginning and an end , even the sound of the universe itself will come to end. Silence does not come to and end and it doesn’t have a beginning and there is no distinction so sound always takes place within silence.
Iain McNay: But how to we find true silence , there is always noise wherever we ae?
Andrew Rawlinson: This is true , but realization in the sense of being hit by something there is (clap) and in that instant which you can’t define and cannot grasp and cannot reproduce is something that is not of the same order as everything around it, like the centre of a the circle. You have to have the centre in order to circumference in order to have the circle but the centre itself dimensions.
Iain McNay: So , from what your saying silence isn’t necessarily to do with sound ?
Andrew Rawlinson: No, it’s the inverse of sound but you couldn’t have sound without silence.
Iain McNay: Ok
Andrew Rawlinson: Because otherwise you would have to have a sound that obliterated everything all the time, it doesn’t happen. In order that there should be sound there must be silence that precedes it is underneath it is on both sided of it , is top of it , is inside it. I mean what ever pronoun you want to use. That silence is always present.
Iain McNay: Is the hit and silence the same thing?
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes, absolutely and that’s why all hits are the same, because all silence is the same.
Iain McNay: Yeah, I remember also you telling me about when you were took heroin one time also many many years ago and something happened there , it was to do with, talk about it..
Andrew Rawlinson: I was injecting myself, in fact it was heroin which I tried a few times, you know, it could have been anything I could have been Diabetic and I could have been injecting myself for that reason, but I didn’t really know what I doing and I got air bubble in the syringe so that goes into the blood stream it gets pumped round and then suddenly the heart was pumping nothing and in that pumping of nothing I was immediately reminded of Zeus and Mount Olympus it was the same . So it wasn’t the heroin it was the nothingness and that was Ah I don’t know where I am I haven’t got anywhere to be. And that freedom , I didn’t have anywhere to be when I realized I was unlimited. I didn’t have anywhere to be when the bubble went through the heart, and it also happened cause I did a lot of meditation without very much success but right at the beginning I was meditating with my wife before we had children we were in a little cottage on the edge of the moors, I got up early I was concentrating and suddenly, I don’t know whether that’s right perhaps not suddenly, Yeah it was suddenly, I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t know I was sitting I didn’t if I was male , I didn’t know how old I was, I didn’t know I was in a bedroom in a cottage on the edge of the moors. All of that had gone. Now according to the teaching that I was followed this is concentration. I’m just saying it’s the hit and it’s the same as the air bubble and the same as Zeus and it’s the same as Euclid, and it’s the same as Cezanne, and it’s the same as holding the one you love in your arms. It’s all the same. It can be small it cabe big and it doesn’t matter whether its small or big.
Iain McNay: Somehow I’m just looking at that how it relates to me. It’s the recognition isn’t it and I wonder where that comes from, it’s the recognition it comes out somehow that something bust the routine the routine of the thinking mind the routine of the life it just for a second a split second theres nothingness stillness the Hit.
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes, and beauty also I mean also you can see
Iain McNay: It slows the mind
Andrew Rawlinson: Yeah I could be sitting on the top of a bus, I look down there’s a woman along she doesn’t even know I exit obviously she’s walking along the pavement. And it’s (Clap) that’s what is . So I feel at my advanced age is that being alive is just a series of that
It’s all a series of those things.
Iain McNay: And on the other side there is something that appears to be continuity holding everything together. And that doesn’t really exist dose it that continuity it’s somehow its a construct..
Andrew Rawlinson: I would say that continuity is silence but of course silence is not something you can get hold of you can’t make silence this is the beauty of it. You can make any sound you can imagine but you can’t make silence all you can do with silence is stop making sound.
Iain McNay: And when you were sixty which is a few years ago, looking at my notes here something happened the world started to fall away..
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes , I was sort of, that did surprise me actually, I didn’t have any preconceived ideas of what it would be like to get older, but and of course it helps that our children have grown up and have got there own life so it’s just me and my wife living in a very quiet place in France. But what I noticed was, things just started dropping away and in a sense it’s the inverse of adolescence of puberty I mean I had, you know cause one is susceptible to great zig-zag at that time of life and I also was. But I thought it was great I made a lot of mistakes, I got into trouble a quite lot, but I had a great time as an adolescent everything was opening up was going wham,wham, wham. Now I noticing from the age of sixty onwards its all going ch ch ch, (shutting down, reducing) It’s the kind of inverse of this and it’s beautiful simple. That things just start to fall away and one can drop things. The beauty of dropping of course is that it’s a completely unskilled act, You just open your fingers and let it drop, it dosn’e matter what you ve got in your hand it doesn’t matter what you’ve got in your hand it can be absolutely anything, you drop it in exactly the same way and everybody drops what they’ve got in there hands in exactly the same way and this is a natural process it’s as natural as adolescence if we allow it, I mean when you are an adolescence there nothing you can do about it those hormones are going to kick in whatever you do but when your older which is dropping away the inverse of that, you can actually fill your life up with a whole load of Rhubarb, if you so chose but if you don’t chose, it just happens by itself which is just delicious..
Iain McNay: I see in the notes you sent me beforehand, My life I realize now is like the sunlight , it has no weight, it lays itself out , yes but it’s lighter than air.
Andrew Rawlinson: Yeah absolutely, and I see that as a gift I really do, it’s a natural gift everybody is given this, the dropping of things and the non-grasping of things arrives by itself from about sixty, but I mean of course it varies with various people and there are the they are famous historical examples where it happens much younger than that. But I think it’s natural about that time and it’s just wonderful you don’t have to do anything. It just arrives by itself, here you are boy have this.
Iain McNay: Isn’t ther an also an allowing of the process to happen and allowing for it, The Hi to happen?
Andrew Rawlinson: Well yes, there is but that’s just being true to what you encounter really. Erm, you know when you’re an adolescent you should take off in all directions simultaneously, when your sixty plus you should, not in heavy moral sense, you should things to just slouf off then you become very light and there is no sense of lose at all, quite the opposite ther is s sense you have been given something very very precious, and you don’t have to do anything. You just receive it.
Iain McNay: The term you used when we were talking last night quite a lot was, every thing is ungraspable.
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes .
Well that is a Mahayana teaching, the teaching of Mahayana Buddhism and there is that wonderful aphorism that Nirvana that is grasped is Samsara and Samsara that is not grasped is Nirvana. Which sums up Mahayana Buddhism really. There aren’t two things there isn’t , oh dear we are in Samsara we have got to go to the further shore , which is a terminology that the Buddhist use, in order to obtain Nirvana, I wish to obtain Nirvana I wish to leave this Samsara behind, no, there is only this. And if you grasp this you turn it in to Samsara that is to say something heavy that you have to carry around with you, and if you don’t grasp it your free. That’s true of everybody at all times in all conditions, Male female, young ,poor, black white, rich you know king and beggar , makes no difference.
Iain McNay: Do you always feel free now?
Andrew Rawlinson: No I don’t because I’m all mixed up just like everybody else , it’s very important to me that I’m an ordinary man, and I’ve had a few experiences in my life which one could say were extraordinary but I think that happens to a quite lot of people actually. The extraordinary come in now and again to every body’s life. I’m lucky enough to love the woman I live and she loves me and I love my children and they love me and that’s all there is, he things that I have attained in my life are really neither here nor there. They are just ways of passing the time I ‘m caught up and I fall over but I don’t really care that much , I mean I do care I cause people some disquiet. But I don’t really care about the fact that I trip and fall I mean so what, I don’t see that as a big deal.
Iain McNay: Anyway we should talk a little bit about your masterpiece the book The Hit. I might try and open the right couple of pages, this is more this is proberly the kind of the most grand book we have had on conscious TV, I’m just opening at random, it’s taken you a long time to do
Andrew Rawlinson: It took me longer to write that than Edward Gibon to write the Decline and fall of the roman Empire, for those who know about that work of Gibon’s, that is some comparison.
Iain McNay: I’m trying to find a page with pictures there are lots of pictures here, Talk us through the theme of the book and how it ties in with what we have been talking about The Hit because it does come from a rock and roll start but it goes much more deeper.
Andrew Rawlinson: Well I wanted to write a book about The Hit in all it’s form but I realized that you had to have some thread that would hold it all together otherwise it would become too bitty. So I chose Rock-and Roll because that is my music I was born in 1943 , I was thirteen when Heartbreak Hotel came out by Elvis , most people of my age remember that and it is my music. One of the things about Rock-and-roll and Pop they overlap and the distinction between them can be rather silly to make, but there is a distinction . The way I say it , Pop says “I’ve got something nice your really going to like this”, and Rock-and-roll says “Want to try some of this?” It doesn’t tell you what it is. So this lead me to link in Rock-and-roll with the Hit because the Hit is a derangement, it knocks you about and Rock-and-Roll is a knock about music. It’s not soft and easy, it’s I wonder where we are going to end up here but were going to go on anyway. The hit is a derangement and I divided it up into four obvious categories, derangement of perception , derangement of the personality, derangement of society and derangement of reality. These things are getting bigger as we go through,
Iain McNay: Yes
Andrew Rawlinson: I took the first one which is the derangement of sensational perception from Arthur Rimbaud the great poet it’s one of his phrases in one of his letters he wrote. So I just took that and I just took it beyond to personality and society and reality itself The Hit is always a derangement but it also always a revelation.
Iain McNay: But you also say in the start of the derangement of the senses chapter that all derangements are connected like sub-atomic particles they just keep reflecting each other jumping between each other and turning into each other.
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes.
Well this is just another way of saying all hits are same. The Hit if it’s a derangement of the senses of perception, we know that that’s quite easy you just have to get drunk on Christmas day and we know what that is. That in itself doesn’t lead very far but it can lead further if it’s seen that something comes through with drunkenness , which it does there is a kind of freedom in that ,it doesn’t appeal to the moralistic and puritanical aspec
Of human beings but there is actually something that comes through there and the fact that the Hit is both a Derangement and a revelation is a very nice sort of move that your knocked this way un yet given something and because you are given something you will accept the derangement you will accept being knocked sideways because of the revelation because of the gift .
Iain McNay: And you say like you find it’s a jungle and as soon as you find a path you loose it
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes
Iain McNay: I think we all experience that in life we think we have found a path then we follow it and at some point we get lost
Andrew Rawlinson: And being lost out of that comes discovery out of that comes adventure and lots of mistakes and errors but that’s part of discovery You know Newton they all went through that all the great discoverers and creators also they get lost in what they do and that being lost is the preliminary to discovery . So the lose is necessary and if it’s necessary then it isn’t really lost.
Iain McNay: I remember when I interviewed Jenny Boyle on Conscious TV about her book “Its not Only Rock and Roll” it was very much, I think she interviewed seventy-five people and she new many of them most of them personally So George Harrison , Eric Clapton and they pretty much said the same thing in different way, that the real genius doesn’t come from them it comes something is out there , they didn’t use the word deranged but something is a bit out of order here and Boom in comes that genius. It’s like where does that inspiration come from? Nnot really here, but (outside; gesture)
Andrew Rawlinson: Exactly. And this is, you can call this higher order if you like, but then the notion of higher order you can get lost in that because the you start thinking, lower order we don’t want the lower order anymore, we can get rid of that. Then you get the bifurcation between the lower and the higher and that can lead into a lot of contortion. Yes, the realization that, you are not limited to what you though you were. Milan Kundera said somewhere in one of his writings “The man who looks into a mirror and realizes that he is not who he thought he was, can never go back to who he thought he was” . Once you have had that realization you can’t go back, and not going back is breaking through to something else and everybody knows what the hit is there are no exceptions to this, everybody know. It does not have to be big doesn’t have to be exotic and extraordinary, every body knows and that realization is Oh yes that’s it. Everybody knows it.
Iain McNay: When you said “That’s it” I felt that.
Andrew Rawlinson: Well that’s because you know The hit.
Iain McNay: That’s it
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes, that’s it
Iain McNay: So derangement of the personality is the second section of the book, well you talk about it.
Andrew Rawlinson: Well, the obvious example especially in context of rock an roll , is people going off the rails , a kind of madness. I went to school with Sid Barret, good old Sid what a great guy he was and he went off the rails for what ever explanation one might want to give about that. So he paid a price and you know some people think the price is too great again this is a matter of debate. So I think we are all subject too derangement of the personality. I particularly like the line from Othello when Othello describes himself as one who love not wisely but to well. Good boy, Othello he’s the boy for me.
Iain McNay: The man who loved not wisely but too well.
Andrew Rawlinson: In other words , you know
Iain McNay: I would say totally.
Andrew Rawlinson: Well yeah, he ends up killing the woman he loves because he’s been fooled by a complete shit, but that’s part of the drama and so fourth and so forth, but this is derangement of the personality but he was a true tragic hero because he was a noble man who loved a woman and got lost in the distortion of his own love. This is the risk we all take it is the risk of being alive that anybody can get lost.
Iain McNay: Again you say in the introduction to that second chapter “Everybody is looking for who they are but they are nobody”
Andrew Rawlinson: And that’s of course the great gift to realize that your nobody, because you carry no weight and as soon you think your someone you’ve got to keep that polished , man.
Iain McNay: ,You gave me so many good quotes like a kid for hours. Let me find this quickly
There is no reality without identity and identity is a show
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes, right
Iain McNay: There is no reality, that’s a deep thing, There is no reality without identity and identity is just a show.
Andrew Rawlinson: That’s a condensation of a lot of teachings actually, and there a parallel to that which I also like. There is no time without memory and memory distorts time. So you’ve got to have it you see in order have the access to the past or even the future. You’ve got to use an attribute that actually distorts what you are trying to access and this is inescapable, I’m persuaded by teachings that say there are some people who have distortion at all. Even Raman Maharshi., who in my view of all the people of the twentieth -century he was the greatest the most purely realized . He was notorious how he would tell people off for wasting potato peel and if he saw a single mustard seed on the floor while people were preparing food, he would scold people for having dropped it. Now I’m sure you know a mustard seed is quite a difficult thing to see apart from anything else it’s so small, so of course this is a very, very minor thing but that was part of his personality apparently he also would slightly joke about it , he knew he was a bit pedantic about the old don’t waste anything not even a single mustard seed.
Iain McNay: And then Chapter three , derangement of society ,the Hit is both a grace and a disturbance.
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes, Well society is a very convoluted thing as we know, you can’t have human beings except they exist in society. The very few definite instances of children who have been brought up away from human beings , they cannot learn to be human unless you catch them after the age of eight, they can’t learn to be human . Se we can’t, I can’t no one can have an identity apart from the society of which they are part whether that’s three hundred people living in the middle of the Amazon, or the largest society on earth. Everybody id part of at least one culture and probable several and all competing in various ways. And there is huge derangement in all of that and yet it is necessary. So we are getting a common theme here, we need to be humans to be alive, things like personality, and time and memory and culture, which are inherently distorting. You can’t operate away from them , you just can’t. So we have to accept that those things that appear to be distorting are also revelation, The things that appear to get in the way are also necessary means of receiving the Hit , the revelation the grace. You can’t get rid of them over here so that we have a nice little package on this side which is alright, that is a fantasy.
Iain McNay: So where does that lead Advita
Andrew Rawlinson: Well Advita is a beautiful teaching but it has its limitation, because all teachings have there limitations. Although all teachings like to think they don’t have any limitations. And its limitation is that it has to go into huge contortion to explain the appearance of separation that every body knows intimately, because we all know what separation is. It has to keep saying , Ah it’s not real separation it’s only illusory separation.
It has great difficulty in being able to get over the truth that everything is one. If you read any Advita I mean from Shankara right up to the people who are teaching it right now they all have that difficulty it’s because a non duel teaching always have that difficulty They all have to say “it’s not really like that, in fact my favourite Advita teacher Yogi Beara who was a baseball player for the New york jats I think. Who was known to be a bit of an oddball, he once went to pick up a Pizza and the girl said “Shall I cut in into four slices or eight?”
He said, “Better make it four I don’t think I could eat eight”
He once said ,”nothing is as it appears , and everything is exactly as it is.” In my view this is the best metaphysical teaching I ever come across in my Life.
Iain McNay: Say that again.
Andrew Rawlinson: ”Nothing is as it appears , and everything is exactly as it is.” This teaching just goes woof like this , you know you start off with “Nothing as it appears” and it suddenly turns back on it’s self to “everything is exactly as it is”. So which is it? It’s not what it appears it’s exactly as it is and there is no middle ground between these two. There is this constant movement , this constant swaying to and fro, which is being alive, inside which you have light falling on a metal plate which enlightens a man in 1623 or whatever it was, and you have Euclid, and Cezanne and Zeus and the list goes on forever.
Iain McNay: And the fourth chapter is derangement of reality and I like the little bit underneath that in the book. All worlds are a show , reality is open. It is constantly transforming itself , it goes beyond itself, it is where illusion begins.
Andrew Rawlinson: Yes
Iain McNay: Where Illusion begins?
Andrew Rawlinson: It has to where else can it come from? It must come from reality itself. So you can’t drive a wedge between the two. Which is. Nirvana that is grasped is Samsara and Samsara that is not grasped is Nirvana. You haven’t got reality over here and illusion over here . Letts get rid of illusion and keep reality it can’t be done. So there is there was a Zen teacher who said that now that I am enlightened who said “Now that I am enlightened , I’m just as miserable as I was before”. Great good foe you, somewhat has to say it.
Iain McNay: We have about, three or four minutes left . What is your favourite story from this wonderful masterpiece “The Hit”?
Andrew Rawlinson: My favourite story from it, well it has to be an Elvis story.
Iain McNay: Elvis, absolutely.
Andrew Rawlinson: Because I’m a big Elvis Fan and he is so extraordinary and what’s been made of him is so extraordinary. So I’ll tel you this little story which I’m very fond of . You know he lived at night for the last twenty five years of his life really and he had this big entourage around him. One of the men in this entourage his wife was expecting a baby in the local hospital in Memphis, So it’s four in the morning and Elvis says” Let’s go and visit her” So off he goes and there’s twelve people behind him and he is dressed as Elvis dresses. As they are going along the corridor to the room where the women who is expecting the baby is there, there is another woman who about to give birth being on a bed being pushed along. She is groaning and Elvis says “Stop”. And places his hands on her belly and says “It will be alright”. Now it just so happens that this woman is in the bed next to the wife of the man in his entourage. And the woman whom he placed his hands says to his wife “You know I had an amazing dream last night? I dreamt that Elvis came to me and said everything would be alright”
Iain McNay: Laughs: and that’s really a true story?
Andrew Rawlinson: That a true story, and this is just wonderful because the dream and reality which we think we can make a distinction between, in her case she couldn’t alright she was on the point of giving birth and a woman at the point of giving birth and a woman at the point of giving birth is already in an elevated state. That was the way she related it in all innocence being as truthful and straightforward I had a dream when Elvis came and said everything would be alright.
Iain McNay: You had a whole section at the end of the book on the disruptors , when Elvis of course is one of the disrupters, there’s a lot of Rock-and Roll people who were.
Andrew Rawlinson: That’s right, that’s right. Well that’s just part of derangement really. So I have all kinds of people in there including very well know people like J.F.K. and then Marilyn Monroe, you have to link those two.
Iain McNay: You weren’t very complimentary about her I felt.
Andrew Rawlinson: Well, I think she can look after herself , hells bells. Someone said, “If all you had to do to be another Marilyn Monroe is be a blond and a bit fluffy, we would have had one by now.” But we haven’t, because there was something else. Once you get into J.F.K then of course you’ve got to do Jacky you‘ve got to do Jacky O and Aristotle Onassis and whose previous girlfriend Maria Callus and the whole thing really , all the fire works just start going off, because Maria Callus was in a class of her own as well .
Iain McNay: You also had some I don’t know if I’m going to find one quickly you have some great kind of family trees I found one quickly, I’ll show it to the camera ,you put together al the most unlikely characters and so on.
Andrew Rawlinson: Yeah that’s Leader of the pack , that’s a wonderful story in itself.
Iain McNay: So we need to finish, in the world of finite time we are there, so Andrew I’m going to hold up your book once more the full title “The Hit, into the rock-and Roll universe and beyond” and it’s as much rock-and-roll as beyond, which is should be .
Thank you for coming to conscious TV and giving your wisdom, it’s been a very different program which I have appreciated.
Andrew Rawlinson: Well thank you, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.
Iain McNay: Good, and thank everyone for watching conscious TV I hope we see you all again soon. Goodbye.
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