Joseph Selbie makes the complex and obscure simple and clear. He is known for creating bridges of understanding between the modern evidenced-based discoveries of science and the ancient experience-based discoveries of the mystics.
A dedicated meditator for nearly fifty years, he has taught yoga, meditation, and universal experiential spirituality throughout the US and Europe. He has also been an avid follower of the unfolding new paradigm of post-materialist science—with groaning bookshelves to show for it.
Selbie has authored, The Yugas, a factual look at India’s tradition of cyclical history and The Physics of God, a unification of science and religion. Selbie is a founding member of Ananda—a meditation-based community and spiritual movement inspired by Paramhansa Yogananda.
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Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 074
Joseph Selbie 0:00
The mind of each one of us might create a slightly different Mind's Eye View from the same sensory information. Because we might mix it with memories we might mix it with thoughts.
Alex Ferrari 0:24
I've been able to partner with Mindvalley to present you guys free. masterclass is between 60 and 90 minutes, covering Mind, Body Soul relationships, and conscious entrepreneurs entrepreneurship, taught by spiritual masters, yogi's spiritual thought leaders and best selling authors. Just head over to nextlevelsoul.com/free
Have you ever wanted to be able to connect with your higher self and tap into that unlimited potential, and lives within all of us? Well, today's guest is going to help you do just that. We have on the show Joseph Selbie. Now Joseph is the author of the book, the physics of God. And we go really deep into how we can connect with our higher selves, the fabric of the universe, what the universe is made of, and so much more. So let's dive in. I'd like to welcome to the show Joseph Selbie. How you doin' Joseph?
Joseph Selbie 1:26
Doing great thanks!
Alex Ferrari 1:27
Thank you so much for coming on the show. I'm I'm excited to get into the weeds with you on the physics of God, among other things, but what how did you start your spiritual journey?
Joseph Selbie 1:41
I often use the example of my my college experience because sort of a picture of the sort of two sides of myself that I have since blendon but I went off to college to the University of Colorado, thoroughly expecting to end up with some kind of Science degree, I was drawn to biology and was pursuing a degree in molecular biology, which at the time, was a hot subject. For those people who know the history of things that probably dates me as being pretty far in the past. But it was the time when many, many discoveries were being made about how our DNA interacts with RNA. And that RNA gets out into the rest outside of the nucleus into the rest of the cell and starts creating proteins. And it was an amazing period of discovery for molecular biology. So I was I was very interested. But about midway in my college years, I had a profoundly life changing hallucinogenic experience. And I'd had other many other almost eugenic experiences before this one. But this one was completely special. I felt wonderfully calm at peace, I was easy with everybody that I came in contact with. And I could tell they were responding to how easy and calm I was, I was filled with just contentment, happiness, joy. And this lasted for days. So by the time it kind of passed on, I realized this really can't just have been the drug, you know, for two reasons. One is that I've had many other trips that were not like this. And because it lasted so long, it lasted well beyond the the time period that the you know, the chemical would be active in my body. So I didn't come to all this realization at once, but it really, you know, cemented for me the notion that if I want to have this kind of experience, I have to find it. Beyond drugs, I have to find it in myself somehow. So I abruptly changed my major from molecular biology to philosophy and Greek studies, which was also full of the early years of philosophy as we understand it in the West. And I did a very deep dive into that, which taught me many things and I learned you know, maybe more than anything else i i learned that the subtleties of how philosophy defines things and how you can be talking about it. He's fine degrees of mental and emotional and conceptual interaction. But it really wasn't satisfying. And then I got more and more into eastern teachings and discovered, as you pointed out the man in the picture behind me I discovered by Monza Yogananda and his teachings, and that took me to going to transferring to UC Berkeley, to do a deep dive into Indian Studies and Indian philosophy. And that finally all kind of gelled into the understanding that true spirituality is experiential, it's not about knowing what is true. It's about becoming what is true, it's about becoming, you know, your higher potential. And that led me step by step to where I am now living in a spiritual community called a Nanda. And I came here 4546 47 years ago. And this has been my life in many deep and wonderful ways. But I never lost the connection to science, I always remained very interested in science. And I followed the unfolding discoveries of science, which of which there were many from, you know, roughly 50 years ago. And I was also captivated by looks like for jocks cap Fritjof. Capra is the Tao of physics, and the dancing wooly masters and others, written by physicists or by people who have made a deep study of physics, who could put together esoteric, Eastern teachings with the kind of deeper side of physics and this, this really was a passion for me and I, although I never got around to writing anything about it until, as you can guess, from the recent publication of this book, I was studying, researching, following it for all those years, and then finally had the, the space in out of our busy life to to write a book that put together the two sides of me put together my experiential spirituality with the, you know, the, the kind of deeper side of science that isn't as well known.
Alex Ferrari 7:36
Now, is science finally catching up to spirituality to what the sages and the saints in the masters have been talking about for 1000s of years?
Joseph Selbie 7:46
Yes, and no, I mean, a lot of the things that you'll find in my book that I reference from physics and quantum physics, have been around since the 30s, and 40s, and 50s. So those fundamental and really powerful concepts that indicate this physical world is not all there is to reality. I've been around a long time. But there also have been, you know, newer expressions of physics in particular coming out in quantum biology, which puts together some of the, the deeper concepts of quantum biology with what happens on in a biological beings such as ourselves, and others, there's there's strides forward in psychology in neuroscience, that I think when looked at together, make a really clear picture, that science and spirituality really are not incompatible. They're not far apart at all. And in fact, they're more and more connected than most people realize. But I would also say that's sort of the yes answer to you. But the other no answer is that I think scientists themselves are still very much committed to a material only view of reality. And they really don't see the connections to spirituality or religion, that they might if they're a little more open.
Alex Ferrari 9:27
Well, how can scientists be connected to the material world when the material world has not been proven scientifically to be energy to be nothing if you go all the way down with a microscope as far as you can go? Inside of an atom at the end, at the end of that there's, there's nothing but space. There's nothing but energy around so arguably, there is no solid thing. In this reality, scientifically speaking, I know it's hard for people to understand like, if I punch a wall, I'm gonna feel it. But on a, on a quantum level, there's no there's nothing, no such thing as something solid. Right? How right they still be attached to it at that point?
Joseph Selbie 10:11
Well, I should have, I'm glad you made that point because I should have been more clear about what what I mean by materialism when I when I refer to scientists, there's actually a philosophical definition called scientific materialism. And it includes matter and energy. The way you might think of it easiest, most easily is scientific materialism is based on what can be measured. So scientists have been able to measure energy, and obviously measure matter for a very long time. But they have become so fixed on it, that they don't believe there could be most of them majority, not a majority. But a hardcore group of scientists believe that there really can't be anything other than matter and measurable energy. And the reason why quantum physics as you as you mentioned, it is kind of the breakthrough point, the inflection point that goes beyond scientific materialism is that quantum physics is getting into realms known as the non local or nonlocality that is beyond the physical universe, and yet are absolutely necessary for the equations of quantum physics to work. So they have to posit quantum physicists and all the mathematics of quantum physics rests on this idea that there is a reality that behaves differently than the local reality with which we are familiar. And that this non local reality is where a good deal of the energy that manifests as matter resides. But it's not measurable because it's outside of the box of the physical universe, that they're used to measuring things.
Alex Ferrari 12:26
So it's that kind of like saying that the material world is a hologram being projected from another realm or another level of existence. That and that could arguably be called a heaven or, you know, the afterlife or source or whatever you want to call it. And this material was being projected that they're starting to get to that place in science.
Joseph Selbie 12:55
Yes. And that that is the where quantum physics begins, is what the hint at that possibility. And then it was really string theory and M theory in particular, which is a discipline within string theory, and is considered to be the most plausible of the string theories of which there are are many. But M theory is the the discipline that you were suggesting that gives a structure to nonlocality that talks about how nonlocality not only must exist, but it has to exist in layers, where what they call brains, spelled r a n e, rather than how we spell this brain. And brain is like a shortcut word for membrane. So their brain layers in nonlocality, according to M theory, and each layer kind of it becomes more energy dense than the previous layer. So the first layer outside of the physical universe is the least dense but it's much more dense than anything we have in, in the physical universe. And by density, we're really talking about that the frequency of energy, so the higher the frequency, the more energy you can have packed into the same realm if you want to say it that way into the same brain. And so they go up in in layers until you reach the highest frequency and the highest density of energy. What M theory also conjectures is that and I mean Take just a short step back all of their conjecture of any type, whether it be quantum physicists or string theorists, or M theorists, when they're talking about things they can't measure, and they can't see. All of their mathematics, all of their theorizing, has to match up with what is actually measurable within the universe. So everything is an extrapolation from the reality that we know well, now in this physical universe. But it's also a way to have to call to explain why most of the energy that creates the physical universe doesn't exist in the physical universe. That's the paradox that they're trying to answer. And so that's where they start coming up with these elaborate structures, like there being layers, each one with higher densities of energy in them, because the mathematics that supports that can then support the way our physical universe operates.
Alex Ferrari 16:18
So is that is there a connection between that and the, the multiple levels of consciousness that are spoken about in the ancient eastern wisdom or philosophies? When there's for I'm not mistaken, seven, layer seven levels? And then within those seven, there's seven, there's 49 levels of consciousness is, is there a connection between those two ideas?
Joseph Selbie 16:43
Yes, I think so. There's many different conceptions, from the spiritual side of the picture, like you were mentioning, that have multiple levels of reality, beyond the physical one. So in Hindu orthodox Hindu teachings, not Orthodox, but the mainstream Hindu teachings, they have this concept of logos, and our physical world is the lowest logo. And then there are six more beyond that. And each one of those is a more refined level of consciousness. And you also see that in Buddhism, you see it in Christianity, you see it in Judaism, with with Cavalia, where there are these these complex systems of higher consciousness, and meeting and exhibit coexisting with higher levels of energy. And in the Christian world, we see this as the heavens, and we see it also in the Judaism and others that each one of the higher levels of heaven has a higher level of consciousness. So they're both a place and a state of mind. They're both a, a non local realm and a non local realm where people of higher consciousness go, the numbers of different levels vary. Significantly, the Buddhists have like 25 layers, as I saying, The Hindus have seven. In the Christian, you hear discussions of that, the third heaven, and the highest heaven and so forth. So there's not a an exact match like you, like a scientist would like to see with, you know, with their mathematical precision, but there is enough similarity that it's a pretty strong stand out connection to M theory's notion of there being several levels, seven levels themselves, although there are multiple different numbers of levels, even in M theory, but just let me just circle back to another thing you mentioned. And then we can we can leap off because it was an important point you made, which is that it's M theory that puts forward strongly the notion of the holographic universe, because their conception is not only as most of the energy required to create the physical universe, existing in this non local hierarchy of, of brains, but the intelligence is also existing in these non local brains. And that because of that, the energy and the intelligence kind of team up if you will, as the hologram that Korea It's a holographic universe. And it's not a as, as most people would, you know, assume it's not a kind of a bizarre corner theory of M theory. It's central.
Alex Ferrari 20:18
It's the basis is like the it's the base is the basis of M theory. So and theories asking the question, which, before string theory, and before quantum physics, that question was never even conception. So they are asking the question, so they are in search of this connection, and these multiple levels of consciousness that I discussed, they might be different based on religion and religion, but the concept is still there. So that's really interesting. Like, if you go to the religion or religion, there's such key points that are common with all major religious throughout history, that a certain point, you gotta go. There's something here, because this group of people never spoke to this group of people, and how do they come up with the same ideas.
Joseph Selbie 21:05
And that's especially true if you look to the saints and sages who were the founders, and the, the ones who came after the founders and kept that religion alive and dynamic, that if you look to what they say, and what they describe, you have an even greater connection, you know, there's less, that you have to kind of peel away, you know, push away, that has accreted on these many of these ancient religions for millennia, that have made them less and less, you know, clear, more and more opaque, where if you look back to the origins of those religions, then what those great teachers like Jesus, and Krishna and others, actually said, actually describe their experiences of higher consciousness and of higher realms. You put those together, and it's this, there is no discrepancy between religions. And then you put that all together with an theory. And there's no discrepancy between religion and science. Fair, very powerful. Connection and theory offers.
Alex Ferrari 22:30
Yeah, and that's I agree with you as I've, I'm a kind of a science nerd a little bit, not too much, just just enough to be dangerous. But I, I find it fascinating that science is starting to prove certain concepts that the sages and the masters have been talking about for 1000s of years. And it's things like quantum physics and string theory and M theory. It also seems to me that there was a movie I come from the film industry. So the movie, a movie, that really kind of shook the world that came out 23 years ago now, which was the matrix. And that concept of a we are living in a simulation, we're living in a hologram of some sort. That concept was the first time I've ever seen that in mass in the mass Zeitgeist before, like, everybody now talks about, oh, I'm in the matrix, there's a glitch in the matrix and all that kind of stuff. What did you feel when you? How do you think that that film, or that story affected the war, because I think it did raise everyone's awareness of this concept. I mean, obviously, there's some really cool science fiction and action and things like that. But the philosophical concepts that were laid out in that film are deceivingly deceivingly, complex, based on Oh, just that people just write it off as a cool sci fi action movie. But if you start digging deeper into it, you just start it. I mean, the writers I, I speak, spoken to people who have worked with them and done a lot of research on my own. And they those guys were very philosophical. They threw a lot of stuff that's a dense, dense, dense film. So I just love to hear your thoughts on it, because it is a kind of mixture of both science and spirituality.
Joseph Selbie 24:19
Well, I loved the I love the series, and always wanted to be able to dodge bullets forever, as
Alex Ferrari 24:27
All of us do.
Joseph Selbie 24:29
And I think you're absolutely right. It is based on this notion that it would be possible to be living in a holographic projection. And that, in many ways, things that happen in our physical universe demonstrate that we are in a holographic projection, that it isn't just crystal clear that we're not because our perception of the world around us, is based on what our mind is doing with sensory input. And we're not all seeing exactly the same thing, even if we were standing right next to each other, because our mind is taking that input and creating a perspective, a mind's eye view of that reality that is unique to us and in minor ways. And there are other such examples. So I liked it, I love whenever I encounter anything in any movie, that even remotely ties into a spiritual concept or a high scientific concept, I always chuckle and like, what I didn't like, is when you unravel it all, it's a dark message, that the hologram is coming from the machines that have taken over mankind and using mankind as batteries to run their world. And so it has kind of a dark nihilistic quality to it, you know, that there's, it doesn't take us up to like another level of meaning higher level, I mean, it just kind of keeps us on the same level that we're already at, if we think matter and energy are the only things that are possible. But it's a start. And I think that that the higher level of meaning that comes out of that is that if the intelligence exists in the non local brains, and if the energy exists in the non local brains, where did that intelligence come from? It didn't come from a bunch of machines that had taken over mankind, you know, it came from a higher place, which is, quite simply God, and that this is God's mechanism of creation, but that the intelligence that comes from God vibrates at various levels into this creation, to sustain it and to make it happen. And that without that intelligence, the holographic projection would just be nonsense, you have to have the intelligence in the hologram. Right, and thus, and thus, the heavens are templates for the physical universe, or at least, the lowest brain, that lowest heaven, is the template. And it's, it's more than just, I don't know, information you find in a book, it is information in a cohesive formation, that is the lowest level of heaven, which if you read the the stories of many near death experience, there's, they describe it very similarly that it's a it's a reality that you can experience as if you were in a physical body, but it doesn't feel like you're in a physical body, of course, because you're not, but you have arms, you have legs, people, you know, that you look at look like people with bodies. And yet, it's more subtle, you can move through it, you can jump from place to place within this heavenly reality, you can take in information without having to learn it the hard way. So there are many, many deep and wonderful and subtle differences. But it looks like our physical reality. And that's what makes me feel even more strongly that it acts as the template, the hologram for our physical universe, and therefore, you know, they match I think the higher levels of Heaven become more subtle. That form becomes increasingly less important as you've grown up through the forms and your what you're feeling and experiencing at a heart level and what your awareness is at a consciousness level become increasingly important. And the higher the level of realization you have in this body in this life, the higher level of Heaven you'll go to when you die.
Alex Ferrari 29:46
I think that if I may paraphrase Yogananda he said that in the movie theater, when you sit down, you're enthralled by the characters on the screen the good and the bad the at the death. and the love and all of this stuff. And that's what we're thrilled with. But what we really need to be focusing on is the light from the projector that's projecting it all onto the screen. That's where we should be focusing our energy. And I always just love that, that kind of idea. Because again, I come from the movie business, so anything that it gives me an analogy to the movie business, I love. And it just, it was so perfect, because we are so enthralled here on Earth, in this material space, with the good and the bad of what's going on and, and the the intoxication of being here, in this material world. And yet, we really should be focusing on the projector, how to the higher place of the place that's actually creating all of this. It's just such a wonderful analogy.
Joseph Selbie 30:52
Yes, I remember reading a story, not so much reading a story. But in the story, there was a, an incident that happened. And I can't remember what the book is, you may recognize it because I think it was a well known book, but the the story is told through the eyes of a, you know, slowly awakening disciple kind of character. And he was being taken all over by his teacher who was a very secretive about what he was supposed to learn. And so, one time, he said, the teachers had let's go into this movie. And they, the emerging disciple was confused, but said, Okay, let's go in there, because he could see that it was like a, you know, a rom com or something. And he couldn't quite fathom why his spiritual teacher would want to go in there. But he went in. And as I sat in the theater, and I was fidgeting, and he wanted to go, because he couldn't understand it, understand why he was there. And then, at some point, he started to get into the movie. And he started enjoying it. And he started wondering how was going to come out. And at that moment, spiritual teacher said, let's go take him out of the theater. So, you know, there are many things you can draw from that. But I think in that particular book, the spiritual teacher was trying to say it's okay, to be in this movie. As long as you don't get lost in the movie and forget that it is, in fact,
Alex Ferrari 32:32
Just a movie.
Joseph Selbie 32:35
It's that's kind of oversimplifies what is, I think, maybe the biggest challenge all of us have in our personal lives. And if we're aspiring spiritually, we perhaps feel it more keenly, is that we want to see it as a movie. And yet, it keeps dragging us in, you know, it keeps pulling us in, there's things we have to do. And then once we try to do things, people get in the way, and we get upset with people or people get upset with us, and before we know it, we're so immersed in the movie that we forget it the movie again. So I don't want to downplay how difficult that understanding is to arrive at, in a real sense, but it's a wonderful illustration helps you kind of appreciate why many spiritual teachings tell you to to try to learn to be non attached. And for a lot of people that sounds like while Can I am I not even supposed to be interested in things? And the answer is no, you can be interested. That's great. In fact, it would be worse if you were not interested it would be the opposite message that you picked up from the core message but be interested be in the world. But don't be of it. Don't feel like this is where you have to be finding your happiness and finding your you know, prosperity finding your your satisfy satisfaction through all time.
Alex Ferrari 34:16
Well Oh yeah. When you when you base your your happiness and your satisfaction on material things you will end up always disappointed because they are empty. You know, and I love Jim Carrey, I think is a famous quote. He said, I wish everybody in the world could have everything that ever wanted come true. So they can realize it's not everything. Yeah. And it's so
Joseph Selbie 34:41
According to reincarnation, that is sort of what has to happen.
Alex Ferrari 34:47
Joseph Selbie 34:48
If I have to have experienced one of everything possible before they finally just get to the point where they want to have no more to deal with.
Alex Ferrari 34:59
Right actually like that, like I always love using the analogy of like, I've never seen a U haul attached to a hearse. Like, that's not it's, it's so true people get so caught up in their material things, but at the same time, like you can't, can't take it with you. And, you know, my experiences with the material world at a certain point is now it's just kind of like, I use it for what it's what it's needed for, you know, gets me from point A to point B, I enjoy it. I enjoy what it does sometimes, like experiences that I can bring those kinds of things. But by no stretch, am I attached to it anymore? And try moving cross country. And then you really realize how on attached you should be to us? Yes, that it's such a when you when you move cross country, you just sit there going. I've carried this along with me for 10 years, or 20 years, I've had this, it has done nothing to serve me in my life, I'm holding on to nostalgia, I'm holding on to memories that I had at the time. But does it serve me now? Right, and that's, that's a that's a place of growth, you've got to get to that place. It took me many years to get to this.
Joseph Selbie 36:13
Yeah, I think that it's important to always add to this because I think non attachment is one of the most misunderstood concepts of grounding from the east to the west and misunderstood in the we in the West, probably in the east to for that matter. But what I always like to add to this is that not attachment is only half of the picture, the other half is you are here. And you do need to do your best in this world to increase your own understanding and your own spiritual growth. So what is that, and it looks a lot like what everybody else is doing. But because you're doing it from that space of non attachment, you don't experience it in that same way. But you do need to roll up your sleeves and work, you do need to increase your abilities in every task or project or situation that comes along. We do you need to learn to love, we do need to learn to see every relationship as an opportunity to be sensitive to be compassionate, kind helpful. So there's a lot going on, that you're doing when you're, you know, in this body in this incarnation, however you want to look at it. That to an outside observer would be well, you're just doing what everybody else is doing. But if you're doing it for a different motivation, it's worlds different in your heart and mind and much more satisfying.
Alex Ferrari 38:00
Its intention. It's where the intention is, the intention is, is it really like you could, you know, people said like, oh, you know, riches, you shouldn't have be wealthy, you shouldn't have a lot of money. And I personally like Well, every great spiritual teacher at one point or another needed money. Like, you know, somehow Yogananda didn't bite Mount Washington by himself. There's somebody who provided him money. And Mother Teresa needed money in order to do what she did. And everyone at certain point needs money. So it's all about what you're doing with that energy. Money is energy, it flows in and flows out if if I want to generate as much revenue as I can, so I can help as many people as I can not to buy 40 houses and 50 cars and you know, and have a private jet. Like, it's not an interest to me. But if I can funnel that energy in a good positive way in the world, that is my goal. One of the things I I tried to do, but not to, again, I don't dress with Gucci.
Joseph Selbie 39:05
Anybody people also have, you know, different abilities that they come in with. You know, Yogananda has pious disciple, Roger psionic. Ananda was a multimillionaire at a time when a million being a millionaire was a big thing. So today, he probably would have been
Alex Ferrari 39:28
A billionaire. Yeah.
Joseph Selbie 39:30
And he was really good at making money but part of his making money was was making other people whole, making other people able to make money. He was a very philanthropic boss, and he was a brilliant strategist when it came to business. So he didn't discover Yogananda until I think he was in his early 40s. Right. And because he had all that ability and all that energy, he made rapid, rapid progress in his spiritual life. So money, involvement in the world really weren't the issues. That was what we what were you doing it for? But it's good to have those abilities? Oh, yes, whatever reason, you know, it's not attachment can be interpreted as being indifferent. That you're indifferent to what you're doing. And that's, that is really the worst possible interpretation. Because it makes you low energy. It makes you not interested in growing or being dynamic or increasing your, your abilities in any way. Because it's easy to figure out, well, what what does it matter? You know, what, it doesn't matter? What happens to me or the rest of the world? So why should I do anything?
Alex Ferrari 41:00
Well, we're all gonna die, we're all gonna die anyway.
Joseph Selbie 41:02
And that's not that's the wrong way to go to because it doesn't matter what you do. But it also matters why you do it.
Alex Ferrari 41:10
But that's the point of like, yeah, we're all we all are born and we all die. And there's a space in between what you do in that space is important. You're here, I again, use the analogy of actors on in a movie, you're on the set, you've got scenes to play, the character needs to play out the scenes, you just can't sit there and drink coffee. And eat sandwiches all day, you have to play the scene, you have to do the thing. This is why you're on the set. And see going like you know what I the set? Really? Does it really matter in 500 years, does it matter? What I did here right now? It does to you in your evolution, and to the people around you and the people that you are connected to in one way, shape or form, whether it be the people who watch you, people who your family, friends, whoever interact with you, it means something to them. Is that a fair statement?
Joseph Selbie 42:05
Yeah, and I think that's true. I think it also is as possible. But not it doesn't necessarily have to be the opposite, as I'm about to say that it could mean nothing. But that you're doing it with all your heart and mind. And so it means something to you.
Alex Ferrari 42:27
And your and your path and your journey.
Joseph Selbie 42:29
Yeah, yeah. I just was working on another book now. And I just wrote this story about myself. So it's at the top of my mind. But many years ago, I was working as a summer laborer for a golf course. And I was asked to go up to the the clubhouse of the of the golf course, and help move all the patio furniture, all the metal, patio furniture that was on this big deck, take it somewhere else. And when I got there, I realized I was the only one there. I wasn't, I wasn't helping. I wasn't helping anyone. I was going to do it. At first, I was extremely resistant. I felt like I was being badly done by it was unfair to ask me to do this. And then I realized, you know this true story, I'm not making it up, I realized that, well, I'm gonna have to do this, I can't just go back to my boss and say, sorry, I don't want to, you know, I have to do this. And so I got into it. And the more I got into it, the more energized I got. And I had this great flow of energy going by the time I was done moving all this furniture. And then this man drove up and said, Hey, I'm sorry. But the special event was canceled. You need to move it all back to the deck. But to honestly, I'm not really saying it to brag, because I surprised even myself. I said to him, no problem. Because I was enjoying it. I was enjoying the flow of life for lifeforce and the joy that came with that. So I was actually happy to have to do it again. Because, you know, I could I could just continue this flow for some more time. So that's an example of something that in the end turned out to be completely useless, you know, nothing happened for you there. And I moved him back. But for me, it taught me a lesson I've never forgotten, which is that if I put the energy out and put the willingness into what I'm doing, then I'm benefit always with more energy and more joy. And it was, you know, was fun.
Alex Ferrari 44:57
And again, it's all about intention. and where you are how you perceive things, because in so many ways, we get caught up for doing things for the wrong reasons like I'm going to do this to get ahead, I'm going to go do this, because I'm going to make a lot more money, I'm going to do this, because of this or that. And that's where you get tripped up. Whereas something like yourself, that perfect example is like, I did this, because of the pure enjoyment of what I was doing. I'm not sure I would have enjoyed that. But you did at that moment in your life, I'm sure you probably wouldn't. Yeah, I'm sure you wouldn't enjoy it right now. But at that moment in time, it meant something to you, and you enjoyed it for just the mere process of doing it, not because it was going to impress a higher up that was going to give you a raise, or a new position. None of that was involved, it was all about just enjoying the process.
Joseph Selbie 45:49
And we all have opportunities like that every day. And they're just not so cut and dried as mine was where you know, you move a to b and then B back to A. But every day, we can look at whatever tasks we have to do, and decide to do them with more enthusiasm, or less enthusiasm. And it's really up to us. And the more enthusiasm we put into whatever it is whether it's the most important thing in our life, or the thing we least like doing. The result for us is is wonderful. So you, you look at that at a lifetime's flow. And it's really the same. It's not about what we did, you know, at the end of a lifetime, it's not about what we accomplished. But how we grew spiritually, that is going to be what we take away with us at the end.
Alex Ferrari 46:45
Now, how can you've spoken a lot about your mind, in your books? How can we use our mind to create our reality? And that that's a couple layers of of questions there and that one statement, but in your, in your opinion, how can we coming from a physics standpoint, and also coming from a spiritual standpoint.
Joseph Selbie 47:08
The mind is always creating our reality? You know, that the information that comes through the senses, and goes into the brain is just electrical impulses traveling through our through our nerves. And contrary to the scientific materialist point of view, the brain doesn't do anything else, it doesn't create consciousness, the brain doesn't create thoughts doesn't create emotions, it doesn't store memories. The brain instead, is in a dynamic, instantaneous interaction with mind. The mind is non local, the mind exists in the world, we were describing through M theory. And the brain, of course, exists in this world. But they're interpenetrating. So not only is the world a holographic projection of the lower levels of the heavens, our body is a holographic projection of our astral body. And the two work together seamlessly. So so much so that if I told most people that consciousness doesn't come through your brain, thoughts don't come in your brain. Emotions don't come from your brain, they all come from somewhere else. They would variously think I was crazy. Or if they really put their mind to it, they might say, well, how can that be? I experienced all those things right now right here. They're not distance from me. And that speaks to that absolute instantaneous interpenetration of the two. So the brain has as its counterpart, the mind, and the mind is taking all of those sensory inputs and is creating a mind's eye view. That then gives us as we're, as I'm sitting here. In this interview, I look around and I see this world and that is, my sense is creating that view. or, excuse me, that sense of sending information about that view to the brain and then the brain connects instantaneously to the mind and then the mind He puts it all together into one cohesive picture. But at a perceptual level, as I already shared with you, the mind of each one of us might create a slightly different Mind's Eye View from the same sensory information. Because we might mix it with memories, we might mix it with thoughts. And, you know, as a realistic example of that, if I go into my living room, which I am very, very familiar with, and I sit down, I have a mind's eye view of my entire living room, I have a mind's eye view of everything in it. But I haven't looked at everything, just in that short amount of time it took me to go and sit down in my living room, my eyes didn't scan every corner of my living room, but my mind blended what I did see with what I have seen, in the past with memory, so my mind is already creating a reality to me, that is part real time sensory experience and, and memory. So right there. Memory or mind is creating its own reality, not a deeper level, what most mean people mean by that, that mind, we can create with our mind our own reality is, I think more to do with what we think is worth doing in the world. And how is it worth doing it? And that difference of attitude, and purpose and intent profoundly changes your reality from somebody who is unhappy about the world angry ating politics, mad at everybody thinks everybody's out to get him or her are they and those two people side by side would have fundamentally different realities because of the way they're approaching their, their experience.
Alex Ferrari 52:24
It's, it's interesting, because I always love because sometimes I meet people in my journeys like this. And sometimes I've had family members like that, who are just angry and bitter and, and holding on to baggage from the past and living in the, in the living in their memories and, and living in their imagination, which is the past and the future. They're not living in the moment that they're in. And I go, you know, you'd have you know, the type of person you are. You're the type of person if you won the lottery, you would go Yeah, but the tax is. Like, that's the everyone listening knows that person just like, ah, but the taxes they're gonna take from you. They don't they can't even see the blessing of what they've just gotten into their life.
Joseph Selbie 53:07
All they sit in for a moment, even for a moment.
Alex Ferrari 53:10
Yeah, for a moment to enjoy that it just one 10 million, but they're gonna take they're gonna take five away from you.
Joseph Selbie 53:16
Alex Ferrari 53:16
What? Like, what, but that is, but that is the way the way it is. And you're so right. I mean, your perception. Your thoughts do literally make your life, how you think about things, how you think about your world, your your worldview, really determines who you are, and how you and how you walk this earth. If you believe that everyone's out to get you, more likely someone's going to get go out to get you because you're asking for that kind of energy to come.
Joseph Selbie 53:50
That's the that's the additional dimension of creating your own reality with your mind is that you can create your future reality by what you believe today and what you envision yourself doing. Basically, all of those things, make you a magnet for whatever it is this is going to match up to make those visions that you've seen come to reality. It doesn't happen overnight. I think really, really advanced. spiritual teachers can basically make it manifest overnight in certain situations, but in the broader sense, we can all do it. It just depends on how much time it will take before will manifest that because it is a constant magnet for that to happen for you. If you really are focused on it. I wanted to become a writer for many years and I had a family For four kids that made me have a, you know, create a business in order to take care of them. And that went on for a very, very long time. 20 years plus. But all that time underneath, I wanted to be a writer, I just kept saying, I want to be a writer. And then it finally started open up. And now, all that magnetism that I had, and all those thoughts of all the different books I might write, is starting to
Alex Ferrari 55:26
Come flow out, they're starting to flow out of you.
Joseph Selbie 55:29
Yeah. So that, in that sense, with my mind, I have created my own reality.
Alex Ferrari 55:36
Now, you have been a very heavy meditator for decades now. I've been I've been meditating for probably a good seven, eight years, at this point an hour to two hours a day. In your opinion, what are the physics of meditation, as you put say, in your book?
Joseph Selbie 55:55
Well, I think the physics of meditation really are the experiential side of the physics of the universe, and the non local realms. And that, when you sit down to meditate, what you usually experience to begin with, is physical. You're aware of your breathing, you're, you're aware that you're maybe not as relaxed as you want to be, you're fidgety. And then gradually your breath slows down. And depending on what technique you're practicing, you might just be watching your thoughts come and go. Or you might be concentrating at the point between the eyebrows as I do. But whatever your technique is, the physical body becomes less and less than main point of awareness for you. And you begin to feel yourself become calmer, you begin to feel yourself expand, just you feel a little greater than just this single entity of our body. And what you're experiencing is your heavenly body, you're you're experiencing your, your hologram, you're experiencing your astral body. And this is part of this, the thing I was just talking about, where are our physical body, with its brain is matched to a corresponding non-local astral body and mind. And as we meditate, we become more and more aware of that, and the astral body by its very nature is more at peace, calmer, more energized, more joyful, more loving. And, as that experience becomes more and more powerful for you over time, you begin to feel that all the time, maybe not completely, but you feel more and more and more and more aware of the subtle reality of who you are. And then that can deepen much farther, where you start to feel your own soul nature, and you start to connect to the infinite loving consciousness that is God. But it's all about sort of peeling back layers of awareness. And you peel back that physical layer, and then you peel back that astral layer and you go into more layers and levels of thought and finally into, into pure consciousness. You're already all of them into where your awareness is focused chips. Between those and meditation just helps you. You know better than anything else. I mean, it is the tool, par excellence for getting beyond the body and even getting beyond the astral body. Oh, although just experiencing more and more your astral body is marvelous, it's wonderful. But the more connected you get to higher realities beyond the physical body, the better you feel, the richer your life, the more energy and joy you have. So it's just a meditation helps you experience what I'm talking about, intellectually, with this description of the, the formation of the universe and the non local astral universe.
Alex Ferrari 59:33
Is it a way to connect with your higher self?
Joseph Selbie 59:38
Meditation? Yes, definitely. Definitely. And it is. I always find this a an intriguing paradox that I go back and forth on myself that it becomes more real to me and then it fades away. It becomes more real to me and then fades away. There are times in meditation Where I feel my soul, that there's this no question that the feeling I'm having can only come from a higher consciousness within me, and that it's inseparably connected to the higher consciousness that is God. And you have this many, many people talk about this, you have this feeling of what's in the Hindu teachings called sprit D, which is memory. And when you're in that deep state is not as if you've arrived somewhere you've never been before you arrive somewhere where you go, Oh, yes, of course, this is me, I've always been this. I've always been like this. And that is the paradox, because it is always like that. It's, it's even better than anything I've ever experienced. But then that fades from your attention fades from my attention. And you're back to the paradox where I say to you, you're already all of those things. You're already your higher self, you're already gone. But, you know, unless you're feeling it, it is just a mental exercise a mental affirmation,
Alex Ferrari 1:01:24
It's for me, I've always found it, when I meditate that I feel like I touch source a little bit. Especially when you lose train of time, track of time, when you just don't time you become timeless, like you you go in, you go so deep that when you come back out you like it's been an hour and a half, it just feels like it was five seconds. Like when that moment, it doesn't happen all the time. But when it does happen, that those those kind of really special times, you're in another place you're connecting to another kind of source with inside of you. And you just start to if you meditate heavily, hour, to two hours a day, maybe more, the more you do it, obviously, the deeper this becomes, I find that you start to calm and quiet yourself. And it starts to slowly chip away. At a lot of things that you carry with you in life, you start seeing things differently, your perceptions of life become different. I can only imagine what it's like for you after 34 years, I think it says on your biography that you've been meditating. So I could only imagine what it's like for you?
Joseph Selbie 1:02:38
Well, it all depends on where you start. So I may just be catching up to you. It's impossible to know,
Alex Ferrari 1:02:47
It's everyone's got their own path and their own journey. Some could do it in a year, others could take 10 years to get to that year. So it all it's all relative without question
Joseph Selbie 1:02:55
I can say. Even though it is all relative, it is directional, that it does get better. Wherever you start with meditation, it will get better no matter where you are in some sort of scale that you might have in your mind of your your progress along that along the way to perfection. But it always gets better. It's always worth going the next day, because it's going to improve things from wherever you are.
Alex Ferrari 1:03:28
No question about it. Now, I love to ask this question of you. What is your definition of consciousness? It's an easy question.
Joseph Selbie 1:03:35
You're we're aware is one of the most fundamental things when you get into Western philosophy in particular, but even Eastern philosophy, they talk about the nature of consciousness, you know, seemingly endlessly, because it is the most fundamental aspect of our being without consciousness, we would be at best automaton, right? The very fact that we are aware enough to do anything to have this conversation means that we are conscious. And the other side of that, which is pretty much every esoteric spiritual teachings tell us that, that consciousness which is our essence, comes from God, and that we are one with God. And that it is again, the first most fundamental aspect of all of creation is consciousness.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:42
Is that why so many humans on this planet are in constant search of something else besides themselves? Not everybody. Some are really rooted in the physical, but, you know, billions of people to go to church or, or kneel to Allah or, or meditating, or there's so much of that. And I feel that there's more and more conversation about that, over the last 50 years easily from the moment where Yogananda left us to where we are today, the concept of either meditation is so much more accepted worldwide than it was back then. Is that why do you think that we're constantly searching because inside, we know that there is something bigger than us, and we're trying to connect to that through the religion or through or through mysticism, or through science or through other ways, but we're trying to constantly constantly trying to get to that place?
Joseph Selbie 1:05:43
I think so. I think we know. Again, inseparably, we always will know that there is something more. And I think a lot of it really has to do, what are people feeling in their heart? It's a very simplistic thing to say. But I think it has profound implications, which is that everybody wants to be happy. Everybody wants to be happy. And we all try a gazillion different things to be happy. And some work, some don't. Some lasts, some don't last, some don't work at all. But we never stop. Because we're already there were moments where we remember being happier. And we at least want to get back to being happier. And that can be a will of the wisp that we're following, right that we keep trying to attain that happiness in the same way that we did before or a similar way. You know, maybe it was the big raise at work. Maybe it was a great success with the movie, maybe it was a wonderful relationship that made us happy. And then we tend to fade from it. Because the the joys of the world that we're in, don't last, even if the object of our joy lasts, our interest in it doesn't ironically, you know, what made us happy? A month ago doesn't make us happy today.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:22
Oh, no, no question. Things that used to bring you joy. Don't anymore. They don't serve you anymore. Because you're growing. You're, it's, I always use my comic book collection that I carried around with me for 25 years. And, you know, right before I moved this, like, I haven't looked at these in 10 years, and there's 10 giant boxes in must 1000s of comic books I've been carrying around. They bring me no joy. I don't look at them anymore. There's a few comics that I have some nostalgic connection to. But oh, do I want to carry these cross country? Let me sell them. And I sold them? And my wife was like, Are you sure? I'm like, I haven't done anything with them. So what once made you happy? By the way? I couldn't I wouldn't move anywhere without my comic books. When I was a teenager, like I would I would I would reback them, I would look at them, I would read them I would. It was part of my existence at that point. But at a certain point, they don't bring you joy anymore. So you have to get to the place where like do I buy? Do I rent a storage unit?
Joseph Selbie 1:08:30
Alex Ferrari 1:08:30
To keep my physical memories.
Joseph Selbie 1:08:34
You don't even remember that
Alex Ferrari 1:08:36
I don't remember or look at or enjoy. Or can I sell it and use that money to another put it into another more positive way in my life that serves me at this moment.
Joseph Selbie 1:08:45
And those are so people are constantly looking for the next thing that makes you happy and sooner or later, whether in this life or another. I'm a firm believer in reincarnation Absolutely. Doesn't make much sense to me at all that, you know, God would put us on Earth. And one person would die in two days of some horrible disease. And that was their show, you know, just how was it? That was it? That was back to the Draw they drew and you know, that was really too bad? No, I think everybody keeps incarnating and keeps trying until they hit on the truth that that happiness is within them. And that you have to employ techniques like meditation and you have to transform your your outer efforts into being serviceable and being helpful and not looking for happiness in the actions too much but in the resulting feeling in the heart from giving to other people and taking care of other people and you also going to experience it directly and lastingly in meditation, so it doesn't go away. That's the thing, it doesn't lose its luster. You wouldn't take 10 years of meditation experience and stick it in a bunch of boxes and never look at it again. Right? That was 10 years of meditation experience remain precious to you for the rest of your life. Correct as they are continuously real to you and a foundation to continue to grow into ever more happiness.
Alex Ferrari 1:10:35
It's your inner comic book. Many ways, more valuable even than the number one Superman.
Joseph Selbie 1:10:46
Really long comic book.
Alex Ferrari 1:10:48
Very long comic book fantastic illustrations, though. Now I'm gonna ask a question, a couple questions. Ask all my guests. What is your mission in this life?
Joseph Selbie 1:10:57
Well, I've been a disciple of Yogananda, since I discovered him in my college years, and that was, indeed 50 years ago, that I first you know, read the Autobiography of a Yogi which many people have heard of. And that got me started meditating, and led me to being here at Ananda. So it's my definition of, you know, what my purpose in life is, it's very clear because of those teachings, which is I want to use those teachings to attain Self Realization. And I want to help everybody I can in any way I can along the way, who would be interested in, you know, what I know. And that, for great extent, means helping people to understand what meditation is teaching them how to meditate, encourage them to meditate, all of my books that I've written, you know, almost begin or end with meditation, as the key thing. That is the takeaway from those books is this, go experience it for yourself, that it doesn't matter what I say, or anybody else says, it doesn't help you unless you can turn that into your own experience of joy and happiness and calmness. So that's, that's my mission. And having been in this work of Ananda for so long, it's just second nature to me. But it doesn't mean that I didn't do other things along the way, I started a web development company that I had for 15 years that grew to 40 people. And I went all over the world teaching about web development and worked with companies like KPMG, and Wells Fargo and Apple, doing web development type projects. So you don't have to have one focus, you don't have to have one thing that is the single most meaningful thing in your life. You might, you might that might be your good fortune. It's my good fortune now. But while I was still responsible for for kids, and and I had a wife, I needed to do other things, books, writing books, and teaching meditation weren't going to pay enough in the bills for me to do that. But now, I'm extremely gratefully thankful that in my sort of semi retirement, I can put all in focus on on writing.
Alex Ferrari 1:13:48
And why are we all here?
Joseph Selbie 1:13:51
We're all here to learn. I mean, every your death experience or possibly, possibly everyone, but certainly all the ones that I've read, come back with two realizations. One is they no longer have any fear of death. And other sense, they no longer have any fear of living. Alright, sort of two sides of the same realization that a lot of people are afraid to living because we're afraid to live because we're afraid to make mistakes. We're afraid we're going to do something wrong. We're afraid that the happiness that we want, we're not going to find because we goof and so there's a certain amount of tension in in living. So they come back with both of those insights. But I think the second insight is perhaps the most important is that they realize that the only reason they're alive is to learn to love.
Alex Ferrari 1:14:54
Great answer. Great, great answer, Joseph. It has been an absolute pleasure talking to you. I I can I look forward to our next conversation? It is a fantastic and fascinating conversation. Thank you so much. Where can people find out more about you? And where can they purchase your book, the physics of God,
Joseph Selbie 1:15:12
The physics of God is available. You know, in all the online outlets, you might think and probably quite a few bookstores. You can find out more about it. If you go to www.physicsandgod.com I want to I really wanted that physics of God. Somebody had physics and God. And there I have more articles and interviews, first chapter of the book, and more information about it. And that will also give you more information about other things that I've done and other books that I've written.
Alex Ferrari 1:15:58
Joseph, thank you again for so much for being on the show. I appreciate you my friend. Thank you for the work that you're doing.
Joseph Selbie 1:16:03
My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
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