The Advaita Show #020 – Disaster Strikes!

The Advaita Show #019 – Guest Starring Steven
January 17, 2006
The Advaita Show #021 – Bleep You!
January 31, 2006
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The Advaita Show #020 – Disaster Strikes!

The Advaita Show #020 (MP3 – 23MB – 66min)


Bah. Hadn’t had any coffee this morning, so I forgot two vital things:
1. Take the video camera
2. Check that the new batteries I put into the microphones were working.

As it turned out, the battery in Bob’s mic was good, but the one in mine was a dud. Which is okay, cuz I’ve got nothing to say, but I’m the one reading out your questions… and so… I’ve amped up my voice (and the voice of our special guest from Toronto, Amy, who said some wonderful stuff but was using my mic most of the time) as much as I can, but it sounds pretty rough. The good news is, Bob sounds clear as crystal. 🙂

We tackle your questions from last week and I think Amy summed it up best when she said that the only thing to do is to constantly try to see who it is that is thinking the thoughts. No amount of books, no amount of podcasts, no amount of kissing the hairy feet of the guru will replace the act of quiet observation.


  1. Jon Jennings says:

    I’ve been reading Nisargadatta and also listening in to “the advaita show.” I’ve noticed some interesting changes. I use to go to these huge bookstores and peruse the philosophy, new age, religion sections and go through various titles concerning enlightment. I don’t do this anymore. It use to be quite the habit with me. Last time I was at one of these chain book stores I completely forgot about this section. I’ve also noticed that I have no real questions about much of anything, the search seems to be over. This is quite important since I’ve been a seeker of enlightenment for years.
    I love how the search is over, and there is no sense of loss or regret. Glad that there is the advaita show. Thanks people! Jon

  2. Cameron says:

    That’s great Joe! Don’t clap, just send money to “Sailor Bob’s Miracle Show and Travelling Circus”, c/o Cameron The Clown, Somwhere-West-Of-Melbourne.

  3. Bob Seal says:

    Reading Jon Jennings comments above resonated here.
    The searching for answers for years is over.
    The thing that seems to be happening here, is that my ignorance of viewing the world seems to fall away and reveal No-Thing. The more I look into the seeming ME, the further the seeming ME disintegrates.
    I now see that the I AM is the separation and that all problems come from the belief in a separate SELF. Everything is just happening in Awareness.
    The sense of separate self has been the seeming problem all along, removing this illusion and seeing that this seeming self is the instrument through which everything happens as pure awareness.
    I am not this instrument, I AM THAT source which operates this instrument.
    Which WE ALL ARE.
    Obviously all this is happening but there is no-one here who does anything.
    The Advaita Show always confirms this seeing and stops the far too serious side of looking at this stuff dead in it’s tracks! Thanks Bob and Cameron

  4. From Granbury, Texas. USA
    Thanks Cameron and Bob for answering my question. I guess what will be will be, eh?
    It also sounded like neither of you wanted to get into answering a question specific to the continuation or lack there of in a relationship. LOL
    I’ve been reading alot of Deepak chopra and Thich Nhat Hanh’s books but found this interesting post on a meditation website: I heard you refferencing quantum physics and thought you to might find it interesting………

    File Under: TMO lies and marketing ploys; Boomeritis Hinduism;
    Pseudo- advaita

    Answers from biologist and physicist Ken Wilber.

    > The first question has to do directly with the relation of modern
    > quantum physics and spirituality. In effect, does physics prove
    > does the Tao find proof in quantum realities?
    > Answer: “Categorically NOT. I don’t know more confusion in the
    > thirty years than has come from quantum physics….”
    > Ken goes on to outline the three major confusions that have
    > the popular (mis)understanding of the relationship of physics and
    > mysticism.
    > #1: Your consciousness does not create electrons. Unlike
    > physics, which can predict the location of large objects moving
    > slow speeds, quantum physics only offers a probability wave in
    > a given particle, like an electron, should show up. But here’s
    > funny thing: it is only at the moment that one makes the
    > that the electron actually does “show up.” Certain writers and
    > theorists have thus suggested that human intentionality actually
    > creates reality on a quantum level. The most popular version of
    > idea can be found in the movie What the Bleep Do We Know?!, in
    > we “qwaff” reality into existence.
    > Ken suggests this is both bad physics and bad mysticism. As for
    > former, in his book, Quantum Questions, Ken compiled the original
    > writings of the 13 most important founders of modern quantum and
    > relativistic physics, to explore their understanding of the
    > relationship of physics and mysticism. Without exception, each one
    > them believed that modern physics does NOT prove spiritual
    > in any fashion. And yet each of them was a mystic, not because of
    > physics, but in spite of it. By pushing to the outer limits of
    > discipline, a feat which requires true genius, they found
    > face to face with those realities that physics categorically
    > not explain.
    > Likewise, none of those founders of modern physics believed that
    > act of consciousness was responsible for creating particles at
    > quantum level. David Bohm did not believe that, Schroedinger did
    > believe that, Heisenberg did not believe that. That belief
    > the enormous self-infatuation and narcissism, or “boomeritis,” of
    > post-modern ego, and Ken goes into the possible psychology behind
    > of that.
    > #2: Quantum vacuum potentials are not unmanifest Spirit. The
    > immediate problem with the notion that certain “unmanifest” or
    > “vacuum” quantum realities give rise to the manifest world, and
    > the quantum vacuum is Spirit, is that it immediately presupposes
    > radically divided Spirit or Ultimate. There is Spirit “over
    > manifestation “over there,” and it’s only through these quantum
    > vacuum potentials that Spirit actualizes manifestation—with
    > set apart from manifestation.
    > As the great contemplative traditions agree, true nondual Spirit
    > the suchness, emptiness, or isness of all manifestation, and as
    > leaves everything exactly where it finds it. Nondual Spirit is no
    > more set apart from manifestation than the wetness of the ocean
    > set apart from waves. Wetness is the suchness or isness of all
    > By identifying Spirit with quantum potential, you are actually
    > qualifying the Unqualifiable, giving it characteristics—”and
    > there,” Ken says, “things start to go horribly wrong, and they
    > recover. These folks are trying to give characteristics to
    > They therefore make it dualistic. And then things get worse from
    > there….”
    > #3: Just because you understand quantum mechanics doesn’t mean
    > enlightened. Physics is an explicitly 3rd-person approach to
    > whereas meditative, contemplative, or mystical disciplines are
    > explicitly 1st-person approaches to reality. Neither perspective
    > more real than the other, but each perspective does disclose
    > different truths, and you cannot use the truth disclosed in one
    > domain to “colonize” another. The study of physics, as a 3rd-
    > discipline, will not get you enlightenment; and meditation, as a
    > person discipline, will not disclose the location of an asteroid
    > an electron). The “content” of enlightenment is the realization
    > that which is timeless, formless, and eternally unchanging. The
    > content of physics is the understanding of the movement of form
    > within time, i.e. that which is constantly changing. And if you
    > Buddha’s enlightenment to a theory of physics that gets disproved
    > tomorrow, does that mean Buddha loses his enlightenment?
    > Ken goes on to suggest that what might be influencing quantum
    > realities is not Suchness per se, but bio-energy or prana, which
    > be the source of the crackling, buzzing, electric creativity that
    > many theorists have tried to explain at the quantum level. Of
    > it remains to be seen exactly what further research does and does
    > support.

  5. Nathan says:

    Cameron, love the show. Finally, Advaita’s got a sense of humour and Bob a worthy “foil”. You’re a (Bleep-ing) genious. Here’s a technical question. I’m currently stranded on a small tropical island in southeast Asia without internet hookup. No, I don’t need rescue; just how to download the podcasts so that I can listen to them in my hamock at my liesure. I’d also love to be sharing the podcasts with our local satsang denizens who are all terribly “serious” about the whole enlightenment thing. (But not yet serious enough to just give it up, of course) I think you and Bob can help. Can you help?

    Love always


  6. Cameron says:

    Nathan I’m such a genius I can’t even put a battery into a mic properly. Ah blame it on the intelligence energy. Anyway… hammock. Hmmm. You could fly me over to your small tropical island and I’ll bring you a cd? Or you could download them (far less interesting but anyway). What’s the problem with downloading them by right-clicking on the “listen to the podcast here” bit in each post and then selecting “save as” and putting them onto your hard drive and then onto your mp3 player of choice?

    Oh… and the only way we can help your denizens is to put them beyond the need for further help. All the enlightenment they can eat for the very low price of $995.99 (this week only).

  7. dan says:

    cameron next time you forget the kids gameboys let them play with bob’s clock!

  8. Nathan says:

    Thanks, Cameron for the speedy reply. I guess there’s been a lot of technological advances since I dropped out-a-apparent-Un-civilisation many moons ago. That “right-click” thing is definately cool and I’m downloading all the Bob I can get at this moment. Can’t wait to dig in and get back to you.

  9. Richard says:

    Sailor Bob–Although the Bible says Jesus was the light of the world and Jesus did glow at the transfiguration, I think you misquote him. He didn’t say: I am the way, the truth, and the light. What he said is, “I am the way, the truth, and the LIFE” (John 14:6). Many Christians hang their exclusivity on the words that follow this, “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. How do you interpret this? Is Jesus the only way?

    On Charley Hayes’ website there is a place those of us who have benefited from Sailor Bob can donate towards Bob’s retirement years. I suggest someone set up another fund which would go towards paying a babysitter for Cameron’s children while he and Bob are recording. I like children–my own!

    Love to Bob, Cameron, the children, and Amey

  10. ravi says:

    Great shows guys!!!
    I love the way that some of Bob’s terse utterances just push me into silence.
    Just one question this week:

    – why chop wood and carry water after enlightenment???
    When you know there is no water or wood ???
    I guess you’ll say why not? But why should one continue in the drama of life??? When I know I’m just a actor, stop the play!!!! Let me get off!!!! Why continue acting as a witness???? Why should the play go on???
    Ramesh goes to great lengths in some of his books on how a “Realized one” acts. If nothing really matters then stop the world, let me get off!!!!!



  11. ravi says:

    I know, I know I guess I should just ask who wants to jump off this world?? right ???

    I’m catching on………..!!!!!!

  12. ravi says:

    Ken, theres no way u can let the neurosciences community onto Advaita. Just read Francis Crick’s (“DNA” Crick that is) ‘The Astonishing Hypothesis’ – A scientific search for the soul (I guess he means consciousness), He goes on to descruibe the Nervous system in great detail and reaches the Amazing conclusion that, thats all there is neurons, neurotransmitters etc., That according to him is concsiousness.

    I operate on the brain all the time, never found any consciousness there… pity!!!

  13. Jeff Foster says:

    Love the show, guys! “I” have a (drumroll) Q…Q…Q….QUESTION (yes! a question!)….

    Bob, could you say something about intense physical pain, and what you personally might say to help someone in physical agony who has never even heard of Advaita or any of this “spiritual” stuff?

    I often find that saying things like “WHO has the pain?” just confuses and upset them. “It’s me, you idiot!” is often the reply. Meanwhile, the pain continues.

    Should one only ever speak about this “stuff” to people who are “ready”? What’s “your” take on this, Bob?

    Ok….Question over… please disperse!…. nothing to see here.!……. 😉

  14. Amey says:

    Hi Richard,

    When Jesus said: I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life, no one goeth to the father except through me, the Consciousness, I AM; not me, Jesus, the body and mind”, he is not speaking refering to the body, not to the mind, and not Jesus, Jesus is you and me, ‘if’ there is a me at all?????

    Love from Toronto

  15. Tony in Byron says:

    Hi Bob, I was down seeing you a couple of weeks ago.. and Cameron. Just been catching up with the podcasts I missed while I was away, and regarding talking about this sort of stuff to kids as raised by Steve in the UK….. Weve got hold of a great book by Chara m Curtis titled “All I See is Part of Me”, published by Illumination Arts (USA 1996) Very simple and good for 3 to 8 year olds. I’m actually working on the theory that if I can get my kids to work it out then they can explain it to me!
    Perhaps you could start a best Non duality book for children of all time…. Will I get a t shirt if this suggestion wins!

  16. Jim Mac says:

    As I was downloading the pod cast last night a Twilight Zone episode came on. Did you get that show down under from the 50’s? Anyway in this episode this guy is in a court room and has just been condemned to die and they ask him to stand and he just starts laughing. He’s shaking his head and laughing. Then he screams “Not again!” and charges the judge. Then he runs to the court reporter. Then the press people while screaming “Not again! Don’t you realize it’s just a dream! Its just a dream! And When I wake up you’ll all be dead because I’ve created you all in my mind!!”
    That’s pretty cool I’m thinking and have another slug of my ale. So then the prosecutor starts to feel guilty about maybe executing a crazy man. So he goes to talk to him. And the guy has him totally freaked out that his cushy life with his wife, and dog, and his beautiful children will all be over when he’s killed because he doesn’t exit but in this guys mind. And this was written in the 1950’s!? I guess that’s no big deal really is it. Wasn’t it Shakespeare who said “All the world is but a stage, and we are merely it’s players.”
    Man I was cracking up hearing your kids in the background. I got a 4 year old girl and a 8 year old boy. “He’s hitting me!!!” That is so classic. Now that’s universal consciousness. Tell me what kid has never whined that out to his parents? That’s the T-shirt I want. Cheers Jim Mac

    So P.S. they fry the guy in the electric chair and everybody disappears and we are back to the first scene in the story with him in the court room. Everything exactly the same except all the people playing different parts. The Prosecutor is the judge the judge is the press guy ect…choiceless awareness at its best.

  17. David says:

    Hi Cameron and Bob. Great show BTW!!
    I just have one question for you…

    Even thought its clear there is no seperate entity here, why is that advatia teaches that there no time?
    It is obvious there is just this moment, but everyone has memories of being a child- how can this be if there is no time?


  18. Cameron says:

    David – forget about what advaita teaches. Examine your personal experience. These memories… are they not thoughts appearing in the present moment?

  19. Jeff Foster says:

    David – The past ‘exists’ only as thought about the past…. memories arising in awareness NOW. The future ‘exists’ only as thought about the future … projections of thought based on memory arising in awareness NOW.

    “And if there is no such thing as ‘a long time’, nor ‘from now on’, nor ‘for the rest of our lives, and there is only Now…. why then, Now is the thing to praise, and I’m very happy with it…” (Ernest Hemingway)

    In the world of appearances, there *seems* to be time … it seems to takes time for a seed to grow into a flower. But psychologically there is no time – psychological time (“my life story”) is a creation of thought, maintaining the seperate self-sense, the “I”.

    All of which means – the past is over, and no matter what happened, you’re completely free!!!!!! You are Freedom itself!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This blasts psychoanalysis out the window! No more delving into your childhood to find out “why you are the way you are”. Bye bye Mr. Freud!! 😉

  20. Brian says:

    Bye Freud! Turn on RUSH…

    rock-ING on

    there’s no “off” switch…

    awareness well-being-ING

  21. Gilbert says:

    Crikkie Jim! When are you going to get fair dinkum Cam? What a waste of resources, again. Just a little attention is needed on the preparation of things in a semi profesional manner. The show is bareable but I guess you never listen to them yourself. Microphone handling is the main guest with the kids as backup. Basically it is in insult to the listeners. I am just expressing what I am sure the majority feel.
    Stop being a spoilt brat and ‘get this thing together’.
    luv ya – gilbert

  22. Cameron says:

    haha Gilbert you crack me up!

  23. Richard says:

    Saw shots of Melbourne while watching the Australian open. It’s a real city!, not just outback with kangaroos jumping around.

    Rod Laver Stadium—He was a great player, enjoyed watching him play in the old days.

    Where are they getting all these Russian beauty queen tennis players?

    About Gilbert’s first line—If I ever go to Australia, I see I will have to learn another language.

    The Beatles in the song ‘I Am the Walrus’: “I am you and you are me and we are He and we are all together”. Advaita?

    Love the program. Blessings to all.

  24. michal cz says:

    Bob, i am so glad i know you, and i do not have to see your hairy guru feet :-). I made this entry in czech Wikipedia including you as my official homemade guru, that will tell me that i am THAT that IS that that is THAT that is that. Ehm, enough. No self, no separate me or guru, etc. Be well, michal

  25. neal pardoe says:

    Hi there ya pair of sheilas!
    oops, sorry chaps forgot I’m english.

    Bob, you keep telling us (btw, thanks, its really needed) that it is the sense of Presence Awareness which translates through the mind into the thought “I am” and to me it seems that awareness is ‘localised’. Is this due to the focussing of attention or awareness?

    There always seems to be an ‘I’ that wills where attention is directed. Is that a fantom too?

    When you say start a thought and then pause it. Who is starting and pausing the thought. This also seems to be something that is controlled, is this another fiction?

    I’m asking these because

    Are we really just like a back seat passenger bound and gagged in a car that drives itself?

    I’ve looked at the no free will concept and that took me to realising that the whole lot is uncaused, urrrgh, how can that be??. That makes my mind vomit.

    I really enjoy your show and especially the raw immediacy of it. Spontanaity over professionalism, always. 🙂 don’t like that polished soulless fodder anymore.

    thanks to you both.

    chairman, campaign to keep the clock.

  26. Steven Witt says:

    Great questions Neal, good on ya.

    And Cameron, keep up the mayhem; I am with Neal on spontaneity — the kids, the clock, the old guy with the tats, you in the Elvis shades, these are what make this show rock.

    Screw production quality. Show has a “you have to see it to believe it” quality. And, guess what, you do!

    Love to both of you rogues; I miss you …and every girl in Melbourne period — esp. Barb!.

  27. Cameron says:

    Hey Steve The Witt-ness and Neal, thanks for the thumbs up. Unfortunately, I can neither take credit for the spontanaeity nor blame for the low production values. Blame the bleep (I just watched “What The Bleep Do We Know”) and have decided “bleep” is the best term for “that-which-is” that I’ve yet heard. My very first Advaita book will be called “I Am Bleep – So Bleep You”. T-Shirts coming soon.

  28. Cam … can u ask Bob to comment on this?
    Arjuna wrote me and asked
    Q: Let me attempt to formulate my question………there is awareness….and what arises and disappears in awareness I.E.…..thoughts feelings perceptions etc…………or another way of putting it there is consciousness and the contents of consciousness……. I understand that I am the awareness not the contents…….O.K. first question ( a ) I ask you what beats your heart what keeps the sun shining and what eats pizza…..or what dosent eat pizza?????????? When awareness observes its contents decisions seem to be made . if its not the me ( the I thought in the contents ) that is making the decisions who or what makes the decision and how do things get done… if the thought arises stop eating or eat until you are sick………if there is no independent entity chosing how does it happen…….. arjuna
    my reply …
    it happens… the answer is the question
    asked and answered.
    who asks the question? on the cd of bob’s vintage talks available on the website now he deals with this … you might want to get them.

  29. Luly says:

    hey Gilbert!
    who’s the spoilt brat?!?
    Lighten up!
    and don’t assume you’re speaking for anyone else. it’s just your thoughts, Gilbert.
    don’t pay any attention to your thoughts, dude.

    Bob, Cameron,
    luv the show as is, every time.
    i lol w/ the ‘kid’ show. reminded me of my twins when they were that age. they’re 25 yrs old now and still rolicking good fun.
    i ditto what Neal and Steve commented re the show.
    and like Neal, i question the free will idea. i too am often preplexed by the whole free will thing.
    i mean, it seems that there is freedom, and then there is the idea of will, and the latter is confusing to my mind.
    however, freedom, free flowing activity, seems to be the actuality, whether i feel like the ‘doer’ , or not.

    1 question;
    does, or can, psychotherapy help in any way to establish, or remind one, of the essential truth of non-duality???
    luv ya,

  30. Cameron says:

    charlie hayes
    to me, Bob

    Cam … can u ask Bob to comment on this?
    Arjuna wrote me and asked
    Q: Let me attempt to formulate my question………there is awareness….and what arises and disappears in awareness I.E.…..thoughts feelings perceptions etc…………or another way of putting it there is consciousness and the contents of consciousness……. I understand that I am the awareness not the contents…….O.K. first question ( a ) I ask you what beats your heart what keeps the sun shining and what eats pizza…..or what doesn’t eat pizza?????????? When awareness observes its contents decisions seem to be made . if its not the me ( the I thought in the contents ) that is making the decisions who or what makes the decision and how do things get done… if the thought arises stop eating or eat until you are sick………if there is no independent entity choosing how does it happen…….. arjuna

  31. Cameron says:

    Hi Cameron & Bob.

    A big fan of your advaita show podcast. I’m writing from Cork in
    Ireland. A question for you and Bob to hopefully ask him on the show.

    Since the reference point of ‘I’ has suddenly vanished whilst
    listening to Bob, there have been some strange (unfamiliar) experiences.
    Can Bob explain my new (and unwelcomed) out of body experiences and
    spontaneous time travel?

    Do these arise as I no longer see the body as me?
    And now that time has stopped, does that make this awareness no
    longer bound by the ‘rules’ of time?

    And generally – can one expect other unsual ‘side-effects’ as old
    ‘rules’ apparently drop away.

    Cheers from Tris Forrest Brown (an Aussie) living in Ireland

  32. Steve of UK says:

    Hi Guy’s
    Like the others i too enjoy the loose informal “real feel” to the show.
    It some how feels less separate ,untouchable and guru show bizy.
    Melbourne seems closer!!!
    The thought arose “If there is no freewill/separate person how could the show be any different or the various(opposite) views about it not arise”
    Maybe as Robert Adams use to say”All is well and unfolding as it should”

    THAT seems to allow all the opposite and contradictions to exist in space just as is.
    Even if “we” don’t like it!!!!!!
    with Appreciation from Bournville UK

  33. Jim says:

    Hey Cameron and Bob,

    Who is it that keeps me from wetting my pants???

    (I know, intelligence energy – maybe it is pretty smart.)

    Thanks for the show!


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