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Suzanne Foxton - No Body In Particular

Interview by Renate McNay

Renate:      Grace was shining on Suzanne, and she awakened while she was washing dishes, and we are going to find out the story about it. So can you talk us through, Suzanne, how it happened and when it happened?

Suzanne:    Well, the biggest sort of quality of it happening was that... what I was always looking for was right there in the first place. So I could tell the story of what seemed to happen leading up to that… But just to preface it by saying it doesn’t really matter; it’s not really important. And this kind of thing seems to happen in so many different ways for different people... But I was going through some therapy, three years or so, and was at a real... I was very suicidal and it was just the classic existential crisis.

Renate:      Yes, you were in a depression?

Suzanne:    Oh yes, big depression.

Renate:      Yes.

Suzanne:    No meaning, just looking at a big void. And many people will know just what I’m talking about. It was terrible, terrible. It was awful, it was hell. And I had a big breakdown and went into hospital and I was very, very malnourished and underweight, and I spent a lot of time just getting my health back...

I started therapy for the depression and I was probably just very fortunate that the person who was there to help me was a little bit of a seeker, I suppose, of enlightenment or whatever you might call it, and introduced this a little bit into the therapy. Most of the therapy had a lot to do with just peeling away an incredible sense of worthlessness - that really came into it a lot. And feeling utterly unworthy which is, I suppose, the big problem with ego: it’s just a little constructed thing that’s given way too much responsibility and feels really unworthy.

Renate:      So you had a difficult childhood... I guess?

Suzanne:    Well, I had some difficulties in childhood, but I wouldn’t blame my parents...

Renate:      Sure.

Suzanne: all, you know, it’s... We have no control over these things, and I know the way I responded was quite bad, rather than what actually might have happened to me; so that was quite difficult. And I had a difficult adolescence, I suppose, and did lots of experimenting with altering my state of mind. And I was very dependent on alcohol and other substances - and was just basically desperate to be anywhere but where I was; desperate to get out of my head in any way I could. Whatever was in front of me was never enough - it was never good enough, or else it was terrible. And I wanted to leave.

I never could just be there, just be there, so when I had this big existential crisis or whatever [voice becoming shaky], depression and suicide and all that, which so many people go through, I was really suffering; it was really awful. I suppose the therapy substituted for what other people might practise in other ways, you know. It was just a peeling away of the ego and the need to be validated. And in some strange convoluted way, I was validated and loved by the therapist, and also by my friends and family. And that sense of worthlessness got peeled away through that; and just sort of a being and a presence with other people became enjoyable and I was able to appreciate it. And then I had this thing with the knife [laughing], washing up.

Renate:      Yes, so tell us that thing with the knife.

Suzanne:    Well, the thing with the knife: I was just washing up and was... I had never been a traditional seeker in the way that some people are, but I had these recently introduced ideas about it - about the meaning of life, what is it... we are all one, that kind of thing, very vague and nebulous. But then I looked at the knife and it just seemed to be very much itself. I don’t know...

Renate:      So the knife was itself?

Suzanne:    The knife became very ‘knife-ish’ [laughing]. It’s very, very, very hard to describe, except that I then just saw that everything had always been like that, the whole time, with maybe something in the way of it (we could call that the ego if you like; something like that). And I was just not able to fully appreciate it until then. But I think if I could just say, it’s maybe a bit dangerous in a way to describe a certain happening, a big event that seems to happen, and an awakening ‘ah-ha!’ moment, because often... That’s not the case, I think, with some people; it’s a very gradual, gentle sort of a thing. But for me it just had to be “Whoa [looks at hand as if holding the knife] - here I am!” [laughs]

Renate:      Yes.

Suzanne:    And whatever I was looking for was this knife and whatever else happened to be around.

Renate:      Yes. So what happened after you saw the real nature in the knife [laughing]?

Suzanne:    Well, what happened? It doesn’t really matter, but I did have a sort of a moment there where I was crouching on the kitchen floor going “Whoa!” - a bit like Bill and Ted in their ‘Excellent Adventure’: “Whoa, whoa!” [holding on to sides of chair]. But it didn’t really last that long, and that was kind of fun. And I had an internal visual thing of all creation forming in on itself again and again [moving hands around in a circle], and kind of winking in and out of existence over and over [moving hands in pulsating motion]. Something like that. It’s very hard to describe.

Renate:      So you knew what you were experiencing in this moment? You didn’t have any doubts coming in, or you didn’t have any thought like, “Oh my God, I am going crazy!”?

Suzanne:    Yes, well, I think that afterwards - yes I did [laughing]! I got some sort of a physiological, phenomenal thing where I was... I felt like I was seeing things maybe slightly above the usual where the eyes come out [pointing above and in front of eyes]. And I did think... And I was still in therapy and I was thinking, “Am I going nuts?”

And so I was just searching on the internet, as one does these days, and I came across Stanley Sobottka's Course in Consciousness. He’s a quantum physicist at the University of Virginia and he wrote... he had a whole tome of about two hundred pages, about the scientific way of getting there. He was an atomic physicist so he was looking at the atom and how it’s all spaced, and that there don’t seem to be any rules and there doesn’t seem to be anything there - and how he came to some kind of enlightenment through that.

Renate:      Oh really?

Suzanne:    Yeah. And at the end of that tome, Tony Parsons was cited. He’s quite local; he’s the only one in the UK that was cited. And so I went to see him, and some of the words that he used just... it just reassured my mind that it wasn’t going mad, you know; that it was just... I was just seeing things very clearly and without some of the usual safeguards that the mind puts in place perhaps. And that’s why my perspective was slightly different: things would seem to actually visually disappear and that kind of thing. And that really doesn’t seem to be an issue at the moment - it just... Everything seems very much itself and it always has done.

Renate:      Yes. So when you say, “Things started disappearing” - is that something you still experience?

Suzanne:    Not really. I mean, a lot of people who write and talk about this kind of thing, they do go on about the importance of not thinking and you mustn’t think and clear your mind of thoughts. And if I do... if my mind doesn’t seem to be terribly engaged, you know, with thinking and planning and ‘whatever-ing’, then yes - sometimes actual physical objects can just seem to waver around a bit, you know... But I wouldn’t say this is a necessary thing, or a thing that people should be looking for - it’s just, you know, the mind is going to do funny things sometimes.

Renate:      Yes, so it seems that matter becomes more transparent?

Suzanne:    Well yes, yes...

Renate:      Not so dense.

Suzanne:    ...matter is actually transparent.

Renate:      It is, it is.

Suzanne:    It is. Atoms are mostly space, and what the rest of it is, is hard to define so...

Renate:      Yes, yes.

Suzanne:    ...the actual physical world can [moving hands around on arm of chair] sort of... visually anyway - I don’t know about the other senses - but visually can seem to be a bit ‘wavery’ and still manage to negotiate it OK, though.

Renate:      Yes. So... you feel you crossed some kind of finishing line?

Suzanne:    Well, I suppose if you’re telling the story of it, yes - it would seem like that. But the biggest sort of quality of this apparent experience was that there is no line to cross, that I was always there (using the past tense advisedly) - I am always here, it was always here. Everything was just exactly the way it’s supposed to be, and there really isn’t any time for a story of ‘me’ awakening or whatever to happen.

Renate:      That’s fascinating. Yes, can you talk more about that?

Suzanne:    Well… [sighs] I’ll use a recent example… If you’re talking about the dinosaurs and the past and historical events… So if I have a dinosaur’s bone here, and I’m doing scientific tests - carbon-dating on something, to scientifically prove that, yes - there was a long ago past, where these dinosaurs were from… I’m doing all that carbon-dating and the test on the dinosaur bone now. And any thoughts about the past are happening now. And any thoughts about the future are happening now. And anything I do is happening now. Even if it seems to be part of a process of a long plan with a very specific goal at the end of it, it’s always happening now. It’s so easy, I guess, to see that there is no time, that it is entirely just a construct of the mind and thinking. And it’s fun, and absolutely worthwhile for its own sake… But this is it. Now is all that there is.

Renate:      So what you’re saying is… Let’s take, for example, suffering or pain: it is in this moment, and then the mind takes it, and goes with it into the future. And that is the process of suffering. But if we’re really in the moment with it, there is no suffering or there is no pain?

Suzanne:    Well, I think that...

Renate:      How does that work?

Suzanne:    I don’t... I don’t know how that works [laughing].

Renate:      [laughs]

Suzanne:    It’s a good question, but I would say that... it’s likely that if there is not an ego there that is claiming that “this is my pain, and it’s going to last forever”; if that’s not there, it’s probably likely that suffering will not be the case.

Renate:      Yes.

Suzanne:    I don’t think there’s any guarantee. I mean, you can take a concept like that and the ego can say, “Oh, I want that! Not suffering - I don’t want to suffer”, and then perhaps reinforce itself trying not to suffer. I think that even not suffering isn’t the goal. There is no goal except just to be, and everybody’s doing that - everybody’s got it right, everybody’s being, everybody’s right here right now. Even if their minds are going all over the place, that’s part of it too.

Renate:      It’s fascinating [laughing]. I’m just... I can see how my mind is taking what you’re saying and making a... concept out of it, how that all works, yes.

Suzanne:    Well, the mind will do that. I think that people are very hard on their minds, you know; very hard on their egos. I still, I guess, am a character in a story, and things seem to happen and I make to-do lists and plans and raise my children and do all that kind of thing. And part of that story is that I see so many people who are just so hard on themselves, who just can’t get it right; nothing’s ever good enough. And they’re hard on others, you know, because they’re not perfect enough. And there’s some sort of unattainable goal all the time and people just beat themselves up all the time because they can’t reach it. And I think that it’s very possible that that doesn’t have to be the case.

Now I don’t think there’s anything wrong with all of that, though the character in my story of my life tends to think, ”What a shame!” But I guess, if you are more presently aware, even kind of getting there… then maybe this is enough.

Renate:      So, Suzanne, after the awakening did anything change in your life?

Suzanne:    Not a lot, I have to say [laughing]. I have to say that, in the story of my life, a lot of change had happened because of the therapy I was going through and the kind of help from the many people around me that I was getting...

What has changed is very hard to describe. Things just seem to toddle along as they always did. Nothing seems that different - yet everything seems just more itself. I hate to put a label on it, but more beautiful, more intrinsically valuable. So there isn’t a lot of searching and casting around for something to be different or better. Now those kinds of goals can kind of come up, you know: I don’t know, to dye my hair a better shade of brown or [laughing] small little things like that… or help my children with their homework and keep trying to instil some discipline in them and make them “better” [moving fingers in inverted commas motion] in that way. But that just has to do with the sort of conditioning that I have, and that is just what is being given to work with. And even in the midst of all that, there’s nothing happening that’s not happening right now, right now.

Renate:      Say that again.

Suzanne:    There’s nothing happening that isn’t happening now.

Renate:      Right.

Suzanne:    It’s always happening now.

Renate:      Aha [nodding].

Suzanne:    No matter what. No matter if there’s an interesting story going on or not, or if there’s suffering going on or not, it’s always now.

Renate:      Right. OK. So when you are with your children, do you see them differently now? Do you see more their true nature than their ego?

Suzanne:    [sighs]

Renate:      What do you support more [laughing]?

Suzanne:    I don’t know. I think that their true nature is absolutely apparent, as is the true nature of everything, because it’s just right here [moving hand in sweeping motion diagonally across face and body]. It’s very obvious. Well, I suppose...

This is all quite meaningless - this is just what seems to be happening for me - but I quite enjoy their egos. I quite enjoy seeing my children embarked on a mission to become the most separate, special individuals [laughing], completely unto-themselves people who ever existed in the history of the universe. This probably goes for most young teenagers. And I think it’s just lovely to see these little personalities forming and changing and coping, and I think I’m very fortunate in my children... They seem to cope with reality, and the things that are given to them have gone fairly well. And the story is fabulous, you know. It might all be just always happening now... but you know, it’s lovely, it’s to be enjoyed. And that’s the biggest difference: I enjoy my children...

Renate:      It is.

Suzanne:    ...I enjoy them. They’re not a problem. They kind of are sometimes, but there are not the sort of things and ego concerns I suppose… in the way of enjoying them so much. They come up a little and they slip away.

I tell a story - and it isn’t really very important, but I came home from just being out, and after I’d been away (actually on a retreat, an organised retreat: I go away for a couple of days and just read and stuff)… So I came back - and this wasn’t, I suppose, long after this knife thing...

Renate:      [laughs]

Suzanne:    ...and my children, as always, ran up to me, “Mummy, Mummy!” and gave me a hug in the hallway. And honestly, I swear to God, I’d never held them before, I’d never held them. I mean, I had, over and over, but I really held them. They were just, you know… This “All is one” thing - it’s very obvious... [laughing]

Renate:      Yes.

Suzanne:    ...and it’s always there: it’s always obvious.

Renate:      Yes, beautiful.

Suzanne:    It was...

Renate:      Could they sense the difference?

Suzanne:    I don’t know. I think they probably find I’m not so much of a drag anymore; you know, a bit more fun.

Renate:      So do you enjoy the ego of your husband?

Suzanne:    Well...

Renate:      [laughs]

Suzanne:    [laughing] I do, actually. He’s a good balance to me. He’s lovely. He’s... oh, he’s sweet! He thinks this is a lot of nonsense, honestly - this stuff and my blog. He said, “I tried to read your blog. What are you on about?” And it’s just hilarious. And he’s a good balance for me, you know, in the story of our lives, but he’s beautifully supportive. He’ll like call me and say, “Good luck on your thing today”. And well, yeah - I do really enjoy him, I really do. Of course, he gets on my nerves, but I get on his nerves; very ordinary. This is what we’re trying to talk about here... It is very normal and ordinary and just... it’s just this, it’s just this. Whatever this is, whatever it is we’re trying to speak about, it’s always here.

Renate:      Yet we have… some people sit twenty, twenty-five years in a cave to find that out...

Suzanne:    [laughing] Oh, I’m glad that was not my story!

Renate:      [laughing] Yes, it’s very well hidden.

Suzanne:    Yes, it’s hidden by its obviousness.

Renate:      So, one thing I want to ask you is, how does one actually know if a true awakening happened and... it’s not just a delusion in their mind...

Suzanne:    [laughs]

Renate:      ...and they just made the leap in their mind? How does one know that?

Suzanne:    I don’t know. There’s definitely a difference between understanding this and sort of accepting it, and truly letting go, I suppose; truly just letting go and letting everything be. I think that it’s just very obvious if it’s “happened” [moving fingers in inverted commas motion]… Nothing’s happening… I find that difficult to answer.

Renate:      Yes.

Suzanne:    I think you just know; you just know. And I think it can just happen that you have a little moment maybe where you just realise you’ve always known... you’ve always known.

Renate:      Yes. But isn’t the ego then coming back in again and making somehow this knowing its own territory?

Suzanne:    Well yeah, I think that sort of thing can definitely be the story for some people. What seemed to have happened for me was that a little ego concern will kind of come up, you know...

Renate:      Yes.

Suzanne:    ...but it’s so easily seen through. It’s not the be-all and end-all at all - it’s very inconsequential; it doesn’t have much importance.

I think that a big tendency is to think “Oh, I want it to be better”, you know; “Anything but this - I want a better life, I want it to be better. Ooh, this enlightenment stuff sounds great - I want some of that!” But you could still have a glimpse if you manage… Everybody manages to have no thought or whatever, where everything seems a bit more obvious. And they have a glimpse and then they seem to come back and - “Oh, I want it!” But there’s nothing wrong with that. I suppose there’s nothing wrong with never getting it. It’s all part of what’s happening. There’s really nothing wrong with not getting this, and that desperate longing… I know it’s difficult, but the answer is that it’s here, it’s here. What we’re looking for is right here.

Renate:      Somehow we have - or at least I have - this picture that, if more and more people would get it, then we would have a better world.

Suzanne:    [laughing] Well, I like the world.

Renate:      [laughing] But you said there is nothing wrong with having this world with all its suffering and wars and death and nastiness.

Suzanne:    Well, this is a difficult one for people, I suppose, and it’s perhaps one of the biggest difficulties or stumbling blocks maybe. Don’t tell the ego that this is OK, that this world is the utopia that we’ve always wanted, with all of its ups and downs and pain and suffering and war and poverty and... There’ll be poverty, there’ll be people who are trying to relieve that poverty. There’s all these stories going on: there’s going to be war and there’ll be people working very hard for peace. There’ll be really selfish people and people who are incredibly altruistic. And all of this is happening.

And in this duality that we negotiate through (or seem to), there needs to be balance; it’s all balanced. There has to be up for down, dark for light, in for out, good for bad. And it’s in balance, it’s in balance.

Now I think it’s very possible that the whole story of the world... This is just speculation, but we could all unite and come together and there would be very little poverty. And it could be like the Star Trek universe, where there’s no money and everybody works to better themselves all the time and explores space and does all these fantastic things, for the potential of humanity’s unlocked. And that’s just a really nice story. But probably, in individual stories, there would still be plenty of ups and downs and pain and suffering and maybe not the whole thing, being so much as nations deprived, or groups of people in hunger, but there might be lots of mental anguish.

There’s always going to be balance. That’s just a speculation, you know. I don’t know what I’m talking about [laughing]!

Renate:      [laughing] So from your point of view, there is a balance in this world? For me it looks pretty much... being out of balance, you know, going down the tube, extinguishing. We are committing suicide or something like that.

Suzanne:    Well, it’s possible. There’s a couple of things I can think to say about that. Firstly, that there’s sometimes a period of out of balance and then it swings back to in balance - or over on the other side, you know. Overbalance! I don’t know what the other side of that is.

The other thing is, I don’t know that the world is going down the toilet. Gosh, we’ve got a lot less disease than we used to. The resources that we have are amazing. This whole... the internet and the communications that we have in the story of our life - it’s amazing. And that is slowly becoming more available to more people. And there certainly seems to me to be a lot of effort going on to eradicate poverty and to solve all of those problems that are out there. And people are sure seeing... I mean, if the press is to be believed - and they’re probably not - people seem to be trying to get themselves out of the sticky situation with the planet and the global… not warming... What do they call it now? What’s the pc thing? Climate change?

Renate:      Climate change, yes.

Suzanne:    Climate change. And I think that fear has got a big voice and it’s perhaps...

Renate:      Yes. Fear’s the driving force.

Suzanne: the media you tend to hear the fearful stories that make you buy that paper or whatever, and the great good that goes on just doesn’t get reported as much.

Renate:      No, you’re right. Yes, yes.

Suzanne:    So perhaps there’s more balance than we think.

Renate:      Yes. So when you... when you see suffering, what is going on in you?

Suzanne:    Well, when I see suffering, I want to help, you know; that’s just my character - I would try to help. But it’s not always very successful [laughing].

Renate:      Yes.

Suzanne:    You can’t go around talking about oneness and non-duality to every person you know - it doesn’t go down terribly well. But one thing I would say to a suffering person is that I, in my story of my life (which doesn’t matter at all) - boy, did I suffer! I really suffered, and I... I’m not joking, I tried to kill myself so many times, and I was just in such despair for so long. But I know now (and this is just the story of my life - it doesn’t matter at all) that that was an amazing gift. It was such a gift, to be that vulnerable, and also to witness other people who were that vulnerable. And I couldn’t know, in the story of my life, that it’s not a big deal what’s going on; I couldn’t know the sort of peace and happiness that I have now without that suffering.

So if I see people suffering, I might generally say something along those lines to them. And that, in this appearance, manifested reality, negotiated by our egos, nothing lasts; it doesn’t last. Just wait around long enough and it will change.

Renate:      Yes.

Suzanne:    It will change.                                                                                  

Renate:      Listening to you and talking about how you enjoy your children’s stories and characters, you would think now you would enjoy your own story?

Suzanne:    Oh I do [laughing]!

Renate:      [laughing] You would completely live it in a different way.

Suzanne:    Well, I do. But what seems to be coming up, or what’s given to me (there’s no good way to put it), is quite a normal existence of just keeping things quite safe in the family and give the children sort of as good as we can get them [laughing]... and let them go and see what happens. And that’s a pretty big task. For my character, it’s a lot.

Renate:      Yes.

Suzanne:    It’s a big deal. And I do enjoy it - [whispering] my goodness, I enjoy it! And that whole thing... it’s just amazing... It’s very hard to describe how timelessness and story go on absolutely [voice beginning to shake and as if holding back tears] in harmony and in conjunction with each other, but they do. It’s lovely. We are given everything. Awareness sees itself in just a perfect way. There isn’t anything better than this. Everything that we could possibly need, that awareness needs to apprehend itself, if you want to put it that way - it’s... it is here. So hey, why not enjoy it? Why not?

Renate:      [laughs]

Suzanne:    If at all possible.

Renate:      Yes. So what did your psychotherapist say when he found out he’s searching for a long time and you had this amazing experience?

Suzanne:    [laughing] I think we had a text exchange about “Oh, I beat you!”

Renate:      [laughing] What did you say, “I beat you”?

Suzanne:    “Oh, I beat you!”

Renate:      [laughs]

Suzanne:    It was jokingly, but at the time I wasn’t sure what was going on. Well, I don’t know - he’s probably there. I don’t know - it doesn’t matter. It was just a nice part of my story, having that help there.

Renate:      Yes. So maybe one day you may give satsang and he will show up [laughing].

Suzanne:    [laughs]

Renate:      Get your blessing.

Suzanne:    I haven’t got the time to do satsangs, I tell you. Timelessness or not. And I don’t know what to say; stuff I’m saying here, I suppose. Honestly, I think I’ve written in the blog that if I try to get a bunch of people together - whoa, it opens a huge can of worms! Whether I charge money for this… Oh my gosh, some people get really… And then I get them there and say “OK, you’re all where you need to be [laughing] - see you later”.

Renate:      [laughing] It’s very simple, yes.

Suzanne:    Yes.

Renate:      Well, I spent some time looking through your website; it’s real fun and I can really recommend it. It’s full of fun, wisdom, colour, enlightenment,.. Yes, very creative.

Suzanne:    I’m not creative at all [laughing].

Renate:      Are you sure [laughing]?

Suzanne:    Honestly, I can say this: I write that blog in the morning and I come back maybe to... just to check comments or something. I read over it a bit later in the day and I think, “Wow, that is really good! I don’t remember writing that at all”. [laughing] So that whole thing about... I mean, ‘ego-lessnesss’ is maybe sometimes a bit more obvious than other terms. Maybe first thing in the morning, as the story seems to unfold, before the mind is fully engaged with “do the laundry, take the kids in”, maybe it... it flows a bit better.

Renate:      Yes. So what you say, Suzanne, is there still... what I would call a person in there...

Suzanne:    Yes.

Renate:      ...who does the laundry, who takes care of the children? Because a lot of people say there isn’t anybody there who does anything.

Suzanne:    It’s all how you put it. None of it’s really happening. The whole thing about atomic nothingness, it pervades all that we call existence. There is just awareness and we get to see it, we get to see ourselves; and it’s all made duality in order for us to see it.

Now there’s nothing wrong with the duality and the story. The duality and the absolute oneness of it all are the same thing and coexist, even though they are seemingly completely mutually exclusive concepts. And it’s very hard for the mind to get around that, but it’s also the easiest thing in the world… it’s the easiest thing in the world. It’s just what you’re doing, whatever it is that is happening, that is everything.

Renate:      Yes. I was watching a couple of days ago a little ‘blob’ - you call it blob, bleep… [laughing]?

Suzanne:    [laughs]

Renate: Jeff Foster. It was so funny, you know. He was talking about how he... You know Jeff Foster?

Suzanne:    Yes, I’ve emailed with him.

Renate:      Right, so he was talking about how he came to the absolute. And he thought he was enlightened… And then he realised, “Well, there’s still somebody here who thinks he’s enlightened”... [laughing]

Suzanne:    [laughing] Yes, that’s true.

Renate:      ...and then in the end he took this mug (I don’t know what was inside: beer or whisky or milk), and he’s taking a sip [holding glass of water], and he says, “That is it”. [laughs]

Suzanne:    [laughing] Yes, the thoughts that go on, the sort of self-aware… that mechanism that is so bemoaned by so many people seeking this, or trying to teach about it, or write about it; that’s this kind of convenient thing, there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s helpful in getting the full pleasure or the full experience or whatever out of this. There’s nothing wrong with your thoughts going mad thinking, “Oh, am I enlightened? Am I?” You know: “There’s somebody here still saying I’m enlightened”… And they’re just... I kind of just ignored it, any washing-machine thoughts that just seem to come.

Renate:      Yes. So is there something in you which would like to talk more about it and help other people to realise that?

Suzanne:    Well, I try to help a bit.

Renate:      Yes.

Suzanne:    You know, people... Most of the commentary on my blog is... it’s all kind of fun and light-hearted and I get through email. Generally people are quite desperate, seekers wanting help. I do try to help them and phone people occasionally. And I don’t know that I would be much help, to have a meeting of friends together or whatever.

Renate:      Yes.

Suzanne:    Maybe that would be part of the story. I think that I’m doing exactly what I need to be doing. I try to help a little when I can. And I don’t know that anybody really needs help.

Renate:      So how do you know… or how does one know that what they’re doing is exactly the right thing?

Suzanne:    Well, it’s whatever they’re doing [laughing]!

Renate:      Because we talk about the need to “Follow your intuition” and “Stop thinking about it - just go and do it” and all those things...

Suzanne:    Well, that’s good - why not? [sighs] I don’t know, a lot of people are really very hard on thinking, and...

Renate:      Everybody’s hard on thinking.

Suzanne:    ...yes. So many people who write about this, they say things like “Pause thought” or “Don’t think” or “Just be” or... And thinking seems to be the difficulty, what causes separation. The construct of the ego is that that’s the thing that’s separate, that keeps us from nirvana or whatever, seeing oneness. But I don’t know, I think it’s all part of it too. It’s oneness, and that includes everything; it includes all apparent duality - including the thoughts that seem to be separate. There would be no point in being separate unless it was to maybe see that there isn’t separation. But there doesn’t have to be a point.

Renate:      Yes.

Suzanne:    You don’t have to see oneness. I believe, I truly believe, that whatever is going on, that is the perfect expression of manifest awareness. And you could try to tinker with it, but who is tinkering? It’s all one tinkering with itself, for the heaven of it and the hell of it. I just don’t think there’s anything wrong with anything [laughing]!

Renate:      [laughing] Well, what would you say to somebody who really wants to get it? How can he get it?

Suzanne:    There isn’t anything....

Renate:      …wrong instead either [finishing Suzanne’s sentence].

Suzanne:    No, no - well, there isn’t anything that I can say, really, that’s going to spontaneously awaken people. I think that my role, my character’s role, whatever, is a little bit more along the lines of helping people to just be a little more accepting of themselves in this... in the story, in duality or whatever you want to call it. That seems to be more... Everybody is worthwhile by virtue of their mere existence, but so many people don’t believe that. And I would really just like to make it clear to people - if at all possible - that they’re whole and complete just as they are; there’s nothing missing, there’s nothing missing.

And I could say things like, ”You mustn’t think” or “You mustn’t believe your thoughts” ... But because, I suppose, in my character, that’s not sort of how it happened in me… That’s not the path or the pointers that were used around me. So I have a little trouble with saying “Meditate” or “Still your thoughts” or… I don’t know...

Renate:      That was not your path.

Suzanne:    No, it was not my path.

Renate:      But when you were living in your story with your suffering, if somebody would have said to you “Everything is perfect”, would you have believed them?

Suzanne:    Well, I did have people saying that to me [laughing].

Renate:      [laughs]

Suzanne:    I had a lot of trouble believing them. They kept on saying it and they kept on saying it. No, I probably wouldn’t have believed them, but I might have sort of known what they meant.

Renate:      Yes.

Suzanne:    I... even in the extreme midst of my suffering and taking that ego oh so seriously, I just knew that everything was fine.  I just couldn’t see it, I just couldn’t see it. But the energy of that opened up into something else.

Renate:      Right. Well, I certainly feel as I’m sitting here with you listening that something inside is relaxing, and is more kind of experiencing the truth of everything, or the truth of what you are saying.

Suzanne:    I don’t know what I’m talking about [laughing]. I don’t. Yes, I think that… despite all those terrible news headlines, this is such a miracle, such a miracle. It’s meaningless and miraculous and amazing. And it’s lovely to be able to see that now; it’s lovely to be able to apprehend that. But other parts of it that are not so pleasant - I think that’s all probably necessary, it’s probably necessary.

Renate:      Yes. So from what you say, Suzanne, you still can be drawn sometimes into your story?

Suzanne:    I suppose so. It seems a bit more unselfconscious living than that; it’s hard to describe. I pay attention to the story and try to get the mechanics of it right [laughing], if you know what I mean. But it also seems very much like it is just happening now - it’s always now, it’s always happening now. And the mechanics of it, the story of it, are fun, or they’re painful or they’re intense, that’s for sure. Even from the point of view of mental health or common sense, life is everything, everything’s available. There’s going to be pain, there’s going to be bliss; and it’s hard to appreciate one without the other in the apparent story that seems to unfold.

Renate:      So if you would have pain in your story - not in your story, in your experience now - how would you react to it? You would not... you would be OK with it?

Suzanne:    [laughing] I don’t know. Well, yes, I’ve had pain: it’s really painful, it’s really... Grief is intense, it’s alive, it’s... it’s part of it, it’s part of it; it’s not necessarily bad.

Renate:      So you don’t try to get rid of it?

Suzanne:    [sighs] No, no I don’t, I don’t. And joy’s the wrong word probably but... it is there. And it is what it is, and that’s what is there. And doubtless it will change, you know.

Renate:      But you are not waiting for the change?

Suzanne:    It doesn’t seem so, no - it’s very hard to describe, but no, it doesn’t... I might have a moment where I might look forward to when it’s over [laughing], but no... It’s appreciated, it’s appreciated. Those sorts of feelings are part of this, and there’s nothing wrong with them.

Renate:      Yes. So we have about a couple of minutes left. I know you are writing a book at the moment - do you want to say what you’re writing about?

Suzanne:    Well, it’s not the usual “You are what you see” or one of those kinds of things because I do that in the blog; I do that enough in the blog. It’s more a proper story, three stories intertwined. And all these people have amazing sort of revelations about their life, and it kind of all comes to nothing. So it is the story of...

Renate:      Yourself?

Suzanne:    Well, it’s a story of awareness going through a lot of trouble to just be awareness again.

Renate:      Yes, to find itself.

Suzanne:    Yes. And hopefully it’s quite a good read. It doesn’t come as easily as writing the blog, that’s for sure. It’s a lot of crafting and honing and quite difficult. But fun - I’m really enjoying it, really enjoying it.

Renate:      Good. Well we are looking forward to when the book comes out.

Suzanne:    Ooh, typing away. I’m trying to fit it in around the very important family.

Renate:      OK, Suzanne, we have to finish now - thank you for being with us. And you can get in touch with Suzanne through her website, which will appear in the credits.


To watch the original video interview click here. This transcript is included in the book: "Conversations on Non-Duality: 26 Awakenings" published by Cherry Red Books. The book is available from, and as a kindle edition.

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