Jeff Riddle, Transcend Experience, Always in the Middle |384|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    Jeff Riddle, Transcend Experience, Always in the Middle |384|
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    Jeff Riddle has created a new style of podcasting aimed at creating lasting change.
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    photo by: Skeptiko
    We’re Always in the Middle.

    Jeff Riddle: I’ve talked about this before, that “we’re in the middle”… in 400 years people in the future are going to look at us and just think how stupid and silly we were for the things we did and believed. There’s a humility in that, in that we are moving towards something and yet we don’t know where, and so there’s this idea that we’re always in the middle. So, we’re always in motion but we don’t really know where we’re going to get to and we’re going to die without ever having gotten there, at least as far as we know here in the physical sense…

    Alex Tsakiris: I absolutely love this idea of we’re always in the middle… [history is one example] but obviously you’re also tapping into the deeper personal spiritual understanding of, “Hey man, we’re never going to get there. We never really are away from where we came. We’re always in the middle.” So, I think that’s really cool.
     
  2. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Alex's question at the end of the podcast:

    What do you think about Jeff's idea that we're always in the middle?
     
  3. He's right. It sounds trivial but there is an important implication: Folks ought to learn to appreciate the present moment. Right now, in the present moment, you don't need anything from the future, the past is irrelevant, and there is a lot of peace and happiness you can have right now, in the present moment, if you want it.*


    * This is not a logical statement to be proved or disproved. It is not meant to be understood or believed. It is an attempt to communicate a feeling using words. It is meant to be felt.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  4. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    What do you think about Jeff's idea that we're always in the middle?

    Well, yes of course we're always in the middle. If we weren't, we'd either be at the beginning or the end, and I daresay few if any of us are. I don't know what else to say.

    I listened to the Skeptiko podcast twice and Jeff Riddle's first podcast once, and wondered what the heck it was all about -- seemed like a navel gazing exercise in what I imagine is some kind of typical Californian mode. People seemingly wrapped up in, and trying to find, themselves, and all the rest of that self-indulgent stuff that I don't personally find much spirituality in.

    How about just living one's life as it comes, learning when there's something to be learnt, rather than endlessly trying to dissect what's happening, and to shape where one is going? How the heck does one know anyway? Can the blind lead the blind? I have my doubts.
     
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  5. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    I usually listen to the shows twice before before commenting. But I am off work with a nasty dose of the dread lurgy, and unusually have time on my hands.

    I need a second listen to get the 'middle' stuff. What I immediately took from the show was disaffection with coaching as a bullshit self-help approach and the value of skilled help to overcome stuff. Nobody mentioned mentoring and perhaps the overload of sports allusions narrowed the linguistic attention to the idea of the coach - as an egotistical and abusive bully who thinks that is the way to help people improve.

    I have sympathy with any aversion to the wanky versions of instructing people via 'teaching' methods that let the less than highly skilled convey the illusion that they have something of value to offer the innocent seeker. Mostly what they teach is the wisdom of not falling for the same crap again.

    I haven't yet listened to Jeff's podcast, but I have huge respect for his passion to go beyond coaching. If we can find mentors that is so much better. But beyond specific professional situations the mentor is not well understood and very hard to find. If we are sufficiently self-reflective then we may find 'mentoring events' in our lives, while a single person of sufficient status and competence eludes us.

    I appreciated Alex's characterisation of Robbins as a skilled worker at personal change. And that focused my attention on 'what works'. I want to acknowledge that 'what works' depends on our personal situation, so my illustration is entirely related to me. As a lifetime experiencer of psi phenomena I have an abiding interest in the works of other experiencers. This is my equivalent to Alex's affection for Robbins. I take most heart from now obscure and difficult sources such as Stewart Edward White, and more contemporary sources like Jane Roberts and Frank DeMarco. I am presently listening to an audiobook of Robert Monroe.

    Everyone of these sources cause me grief. I can't say I 'enjoy' the grief, but I am exhilarated by the challenge to push my mind into places that are unfamiliar. The idea that 'spiritual' learning is no more than feeding one's intellect with tolerable ideas is an easy one to find comforting and alluring. But it is simply not possible to progress by skirting things that precipitate existential drama.

    For me Jeff is on the money by rejecting the ghastly idea of a coach as being goal-focused urger. Maybe that can work for particular objectives, but as a model for dealing with an individual life it is a crap and dangerous notion. The softer 'spiritual' notions show this - teacher or guide propose very different notion to coach.

    Many years ago I had the opportunity to talk with a non-physical entity who was the personal teacher of my then partner, but had accepted, for a time, to assist in supporting my efforts. He was blunt in his role - not to tell me stuff but to teach me how to learn. This was at a time when we were awash with idiotic 'channeled teachings'. I'd ask a question and would be told I would not be given an answer. I kept records of our conversations and well over 3 decades later I do get the wisdom of the way I was treated.

    As Jeff said, NLP is a great tool for unlocking fixed patterns. To the extent that part of our spiritual journey is getting our material stuff sorted the support of skilled workers like Robbins is valuable. But I think the moment that Life Coaching moves into the 'spiritual' domain things get tricky. First of all I don't think that this kind of stuff can be paid for. People who charge you money will eventually teach you that paying for what they say is not a good thing.

    The relationship, on a spiritual level, is different. That is not to say nothing material is transacted, only that it is not the basis for the relationship. Teaching of a specific set of skills is a different matter. This is an important distinction. Robbins, from what I gather, teaches skills. Proper mentoring draws out personal awareness.

    Teaching you how to learn is very different from telling you stuff.
     
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  6. KindaGamey

    KindaGamey Member

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    No doubt. I'll check out the podcast.

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    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  7. Mishelle

    Mishelle Member

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    This was a very interesting podcast and I so admire that Jeff is trying new things and the focus on vulnerability is a compelling, and very popular one. Brene Brown comes immediately to mind with her viral TedTalk:

    I feel it as quite a seductive idea, which puts me immediately on the watch. When you don't understand, do not look, hear/see/speak no evil, and have no fear of the mindset of those dominating the world, then you are quite willing to display for all time and creation everything the system can/will use to take humanity down.

    This is not paranoia, these folks are right in the open with what they want and vulnerability and everyone displaying their deepest selves all over the web fits perfectly into their master planning. All in black and white for generations now:


    But let's keep believing we can beat them with peace, love, vulnerability and yoga!

    :)

    Still, I do appreciate all the efforts, I really do, I just have to push back with my own data.
     
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  8. Skepter

    Skepter New

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    So here I am enjoying the journey. In the middle... because there will hopefully be more. Like Jeff, after hearing the first episode in 2009 or so I went back from the beginning, caught up, and have hit every episode since.

    I should visit the forum more often, there are always a lot of really fascinating perspectives here. My own rambling perspective is we project so much of our fears onto our present moment. We make connections and simulations of past/ present/ future based on emotional story telling - the inner story that goes on inside of our heads 24/7. What is really happening, wht’s it all about? Damn. It’s a hell of an experience, the closer we look the more complex the questions and then lower connective comprehension as we get caught up in the minutiae and compartmental inter cellular walls. Then we have the other extreme of interplanetary exploration from extreme high level perspective. World? What world?

    I had the blessing to connect with several high energy people at a leadership conference this week. These are people in the business and culture world that are known by name. The big guy in the room was asked what keeps him up at night. He responded with a philosophical, insightful and spiritual observation (not religeous) that made me think he’s a Skeptiko listener. Ha ha..

    I have no idea what it’s all about, this life we share. But it’s one hell of a journey and I am thankful for every day I can experience “the experience”. Thanks to all.
     
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  9. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    I love it! Thank you for the reminder. That is the remarkable thing about being human - we inhabit that very strange zone of middleness. Its like it was perfectly designed for us. The Hermetic tradition has it that the divine is a perfect sphere whose centre is everywhere and circumference nowhere. We are always in the middle?
     
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  10. Alex

    Alex New

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    I get all that, but also think there's some baby-bathwater stuff going on here. One of the things I like about Western Asana-based Yoga is that you invariably encounter a lot of teachers/coaches. So, I'm constantly being coached and comparing/contrasting that with my personal discoveries... it's a good process.

    I totally get that... and respect yr willingness to push yrself to these edges. I think there's room for self-learning, learning from spirits and the unique experience of learning from a in the flesh coach.
     
  11. Alex

    Alex New

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    I had not considered that angle... I mean there are a lot of positives to what Brown is saying... but I definitely understand yr perspective :)
     
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  12. morvern_c

    morvern_c New

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    Stephen Jenkinson (the "griefwalker" who, as a palliative care worker attended around 800 deaths) makes the point that we used to have wise elders. Now we have life coaches.


    "Elders are a sentinel species for humanness, and like other forms of life in our corner of the world they’ve mysteriously gone missing. Young people are, often involuntarily, looking for them, and they can’t find them. How about this: old people are looking for them too. The retreat centres attest to it. If you’re looking for signs of the end times, that alone might do.

    I am making the case for elderhood, not for easy agedness. I’m doing so mostly by wondering what happened. Because something happened. Something happened to ancestors and elders and honour."

    https://orphanwisdom.com/shop/come-of-age/
     
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  13. Alex

    Alex New

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    nice. thx for sharing this. I'd love to have him on if you'd like to extend the invitation thru his publisher.
     
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  14. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    I am not opposed to the flesh and blood coach. I understand the aversion to the term in the wider world of wanky 'life coaches', and I see the value of a proper coach in a sporting context. Maybe this applies to yoga as well. I wouldn't know. There is always a place for somebody who pushes you to gone on when all you want to do is quit and curl up in a ball and cry. Somebody who tells you not to quit when you are pushing through physical and psychological barriers has a place in our lives in certain contexts.

    But beyond the pressure scenarios I want to run the flag up for mentors - a term hardly used outside of business and bureaucracy. In essence a mentor is a person who has superior knowledge/skill and wisdom - and whose relationship with an individual is voluntary and informal (but sanctioned) and usually consists of unstructured conversation initiated by the mentee on themes that of of immediate concern to them.

    But in our wild chaotic search for answers to our philosophical and spiritual dilemmas mentors are hard to come by. Teachers and coaches are not adequate substitutions. It could be that mentors are not single individuals but a community of people from whom we draw inspiration and guidance. However we do all have access to 'inner mentors' - and I don't mean channelled 'teachers', rather real guiding spirits. But getting to the point where that 'access' expresses as actual useful interchange is another matter. That's the hard bit.
     
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  15. Alex

    Alex New

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    yeah, yr starting to get into the guru thing... which is very interesting. many claim that a guru is absolutely necessary to get over that final hill, but most Westerns have trouble with the idea of giving up that much (i.e. total) control... of course, many less-than-perfect "gurus" have given us plenty of reasons to doubt.

    here's an example of total surrender to the guru that "paid off"
     
  16. Michael Patterson

    Michael Patterson New

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    Yeah. Well gurus are not part of the contemporary model because there are so many frauds. That is not to say that real gurus are not legit. Just that you have to know the difference. However it is also true that even fake gurus teach you something.

    You form a choice. You can surrender your personal right of choice to an asserted master and imbibe the teachings of a tradition. That can work well. Or you can duck and weave with traditional teachings and end up with a bullshit artist who flatters you and sucks you in.

    We need teachers. We need mentors. Choose well.
     
  17. Alex

    Alex New

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    I'm gonna do a show on this with Dr. Donald DeGracia (see #256) responding to Ken Wilbur's "wake up, clean up, grow up" thing... which in typical Wilbur fashion has some really good points, but seems a little ego-flooded :)

     
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  18. morvern_c

    morvern_c New

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    Fantastic I'll ask him. He's a very insightful guy and I'd love to hear you interview him.

    A film about his life can be seen here:

    https://www.nfb.ca/film/griefwalker/
     
  19. Mishelle

    Mishelle Member

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    I'd love to hear an interview between you two. I gave up on him completely when he openly supported Obama--was a difficult time for me actually, b/c those who I was involved with at the time supported whatever clap-shit he said.

    Am very willing to re-examine, I tried to read some of his work too, he seemed exceptionally arrogant. Perhaps in these years since he has humbled, even slightly?! No doubt of his brilliance, but to me, brilliance, as beauty, means very little, except to us who give it credence due to our own proclivities in our very limited space-time judgment. He's one of those who it's just too easy now to throw under the bus, so let's let him beg for life again! HA!!
     
  20. Mishelle

    Mishelle Member

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    What I wonder about all the yoga, coaching, psychedelics, and now the ubiquitous cannabis and mushroom use/push is all grounded in the same complaint--We are being molded and modeled to adjust to the status quo. At what point does yoga or any other of this 'adjustment measures' say, stand up to injustice and evil all around you, rather than, learn to deal with it, so you will be 'well-adjusted' and 'happy' and 'joyful' and whatever the flock?!
     
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