Peter Russell is on the faculty of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a fellow of The World Business Academy and The Findhorn Foundation, and an Honorary Member of The Club of Budapest, and President of Science and NonDuality.
At Cambridge University (UK), he studied mathematics and theoretical physics. Then, as he became increasingly fascinated by the mysteries of the human mind he changed to experimental psychology. Pursuing this interest, he traveled to India to study meditation and eastern philosophy, and on his return took up the first research post ever offered in Britain on the psychology of meditation.
He also has a post-graduate degree in computer science, and conducted some of the early work on 3-dimensional displays, presaging by some twenty years the advent of virtual reality. In the 1970s, he was one of the first people to introduce human potential seminars into the corporate field, and for twenty years ran programs for senior management on creativity, stress management, personal development, and sustainable development. Clients have included IBM, Apple, Digital, American Express, Barclays Bank, Swedish Telecom, ICI, Shell Oil and British Petroleum.
In 1982 he coined the term “global brain” with his 1980s bestseller of the same name in which he predicted the Internet and the impact it would have. The Global Brain His other books include: The TM Technique, The Upanishads, The Brain Book, The Creative Manager, The Consciousness Revolution, Waking Up in Time, The Global Brain / The Awakening Earth, Seeds of Awakening, From Science to God, and his most recent Letting Go of Nothing.
As one of the more revolutionary futurists Peter Russell has been a keynote speaker at many international conferences, in Europe, Japan and the USA. His multi-image shows and videos, The Global Brain and The White Hole in Time have won praise and prizes from around the world. In 1993 the environmental magazine Buzzworm voted Peter Russell “Eco-Philosopher Extraordinaire” of the year.
His principal interest is the deeper, spiritual significance of the times we are passing through. His work seeks to distill the essence of the world’s spiritual traditions and present it in ways relevant to the current times.
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Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 059
Alex Ferrari 0:06
I like to welcome to the show, Peter Russell, how you doing, Peter?
Peter Russell 1:32
Glad to be with you, Alex. Yes, great here. Thank you.
Alex Ferrari 1:36
Thank you so much for coming on the show. I've been an admirer of yours and your work for quite a while and I'm excited to talk about your new book, let it go. But just want to ask you some really, you know, good deep questions. Well, I like to always go to the deep end of the pool of the spiritual pool. It's it's it's got to swim in that deep end where it's a little scary, but yet, that's where we grow.
Peter Russell 2:29
Alex Ferrari 2:31
So let me ask you first question, how did you get started on your spiritual path?
Peter Russell 2:37
It was gradual. There was never a you know, some people had this moment of awakening, or transformation. I never had anything. I think it's as a kid, I was always interested in the mind and consciousness and things it was, you know, playing around like kids do sort of making myself dizzy or trying self hypnosis and stuff. But at the same time, I was, you know, I was interested in science, I was a budding mathematician. And I went to Cambridge University in England, studying maths and then theoretical physics. And I thought that was where my direction was going to be going. And that gradually realized that however much Physics I did, or anybody did, it was never going to explain why we were conscious in the first place. So this struck me as an anomaly. Because, you know, all mathematics, and most of the theoretical physics takes place in the mind when we do experiments, but all the, you know, the working things out there hypotheses, that conclusions, the laws, and all the method all takes place in the mind. And yet, according to science, we shouldn't have a mind we should just be sort of biological robots going about their business. And that struck me as strange. And so I started thinking, Okay, what is consciousness? How does it relate to the brain, those sorts of questions, and actually did a degree in neuroscience thinking that would help, but it didn't, they weren't interested in consciousness, they were just interested in the brain, which was fascinating. And then I realized the way to study consciousness was to look inside, like consciousness is a subjective thing. It's not something material you can measure out there. So the way we explore consciousness is by turning our attention within ourselves and observing our own consciousness. And so that took me off into looking at techniques of meditation and things. At this stage, I had been totally obviously an atheist. I completely dismissed religion as a kid, like just a load of weird, old ancient mumbo jumbo that was completely irrelevant to modern life. But as I delved more into meditation, I started getting interested in Eastern philosophies and things and began to see there was something underlying the different spiritual traditions. And that deep down they all had a very similar core and that's I got fascinated in that. So I got more and more interested in what was spirituality, not so much the different religions, but what was that common essence underneath them all? And it seemed to me they were all saying in one way or another, you know, we get stuck in a very short sighted worldview, whether it's you know, call it self centeredness, egocentric, materialistic, whatever. And they were saying this limits us, it limits our relationships and limits our potential. And there's ways to step out of this and become in the most neutral terms in touch with our with our true self, our inner being, and that that has great benefit. And so I just became fascinated by that and started looking into what is the, what is the essence, this deep, deep essence of spirituality. And the more I did that, the more you know, I was practicing meditation, and the more and more there seemed to be something really important to do that. The world we're in today, if we look at it, most of the problems, either have their source or the reason we're not dealing with a property come back to human thinking, human needs, human values, human greed, lover power, self centeredness, whatever. And so I began to see that what the spiritual teachings were saying was, actually, you're going to be really, really important for the world today. So that's, that's how I got into it. And then you know, I'd left behind the world of science, I still keep an active interest in it. But I just became more more interested in meditation, teaching meditation, writing about its value in the world, and trying to bring it down to earth to get rid of all the spiritual mumbo jumbo that surrounds it to get rid of all of that, and just say, okay, here is something very basic, very practical and really valuable. And so that, that's where I am today. And that, you know, the book you mentioned, my latest book, letting go of nothing is really a sort of summary of what I've gleaned from my own experience of exploring myself over the years.
Alex Ferrari 6:52
It's so fascinating, because as a mathematician, as a physicist, that uses a different segment of the brain, then the more artistic side or the more creative side, in your experience, where does spirituality sit in the brain? Is it more analytical? Or is it more creative?
Peter Russell 7:17
Right! Yeah, I wouldn't say where it sits in the brain, obviously, well, that's very dangerous. You're, you're really, you're talking about what what's often called the left and right sides of the brain is thought to be more analytical, the right more creative, etc. It's interesting that over the years now, the view of that has got much, much more sophisticated, okay. And what it seems is, the left brain is really good at focused tasks where the mind needs to focus in on a particular thing, like, you know, language or solving a problem or doing something. Whereas the right side of the brain seems to have a much more relaxed, open awareness, open attention, like that's why it's creative. It's artistic, that side musical, we're not focusing on analyzing, but what is what open awareness. And I think meditation fits into that very well, in the sense that most of the time, we live in a sort of focused mode of awareness, when we're doing something, we're looking at something we're working on something, or even just thinking about something, we're focusing on a thought, and spirituality and meditation is really letting the attention relax, letting the focus relax. So it's coming to a more open awareness. I mean, there are there are many practices of meditation, which do focus the attention in which about concentration. So those I would say, use the left brain more, but the sorts of practices I'm interested in are those that allow the mind to relax, which is really about allowing the attention to relax. So in that sense, I would say it's more letting the left brain go and coming out to the more relaxed view of the right way. But even so, I'm very dubious about putting too much on left, right. But the basic thing is, it's about for me, it's about letting, letting the focus of the attention soften and often say, you know, when I'm leading a meditation, normally, we zoomed in on something, do the opposite, zoom out, zoom out, you'd like you're stepping back and like, Ah, here is here is the present moment in all its richness and fullness.
Alex Ferrari 9:31
It's almost like it's almost like either you have a very concentrated drink, and then when you meditate you start allowing the water to fill in and starts diluting everything to a place where then you just are you can't even focus on what you can't even taste what was originally there. You're allowing all this other stuff to come in and just like relax and it's your you're gone almost. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now all your experience in meditation what Oh, Are some of the discoveries you've made? In all of the studying and you own your own personal, obviously on a personal journey, but you've studied? Did you study with a Marashi? What did you learn about meditation? What did the discoveries you've had about meditation, not only on the physical, but also obviously on the spiritual,
Peter Russell 10:19
Right! Or just I mean, on the physical. What has become clear with a lot of research has been done over the years, is that it seems to be eliciting the exact opposite to the stress response. If you look at, you know, when you're under stress, the muscles tend to tense, the heart rate goes up, the breathing gets shallower, and you get various hormones in the body. When you look at meditation, it seems to do the opposite, you know, the heart rate slows down, the breathing softens the muscles relax. So it seems to be triggering the opposite to the stress response, which some researchers have called the relaxation response. So that's the general, and there's lots more physically blessed. That's the general thing physically, which obviously, you know, makes it valuable. Because I think we all live in a world today where we are getting almost everywhere we go, there's something to worry about, be anxious about get stressed by just the general busyness and like doing this, doing that rushing over to do this. So that's on the physical side on the what I really learned, I think. And probably more importantly, what I'm interested in is the practice is how do we how do we do this most efficiently, is effortlessness is not not to try not to put any effort in because as soon as you do, well, firstly, you're focusing the attention a bit, which I said, you know, I see meditation as the opposite of that. But also, we're putting any effort in is actually doing the opposite from relaxing. And when I say meditation is allowing the mind to relax. So it's really, it's a deep form of just just letting go. And just like coming back, ah, here, here I am. And so what I think what I've learned most in meditation is that it's not so much, we're trying to get somewhere that is more peaceful, or happier or something, we're not so much trying to get somewhere else or discover something new. But that state of feeling at ease, and peace is a natural state of mind. It's how we feel when everything is okay, when we're not anxious or worried or whatever, planning something. When everything is okay, we feel okay inside. And so meditation for me is really about taking away the layers or the veils that hide that natural state of peace and contentment. So rather than seeing it as you know, spiritualities go as going to find contentment, or something, it's more the opposite is removing the blocks to our awareness of that deep sense of contentment, which is always there. But we don't normally notice.
Alex Ferrari 13:08
It's funny that you say, when you you, when I was younger, I would go through periods. We all always most of the time, especially when you're younger, or worried about something, school friends money card, something. And there were small moments. I never heard this before I ever started really, truly my spiritual kind of quest, where I sat for a minute, and I said, everything's okay. And it scared me. I had to go look for something to worry about the mind needed to like, no, no, no, wait a minute. I got you've got you've got the money that you've you're out of debt. Here, this and that. You've got a girlfriend, you've got a dog who's healthy. You've got, you've got a home. And then you just don't wait a minute, what's there has to be something I'm worried about. Oh, yeah. And then I'll look for like, Oh, that one guy looked at me the wrong way yesterday. It was fascinating. As you look back on that kind of time, you're just like, how the mind needs to find something to worry about how that negative bias that has been so spoken about so many, so much about the negative bias keeping us alive. And it worked when we were in the savanna and there was a tiger. But now, and some people are still in a savanna with a tiger and that still works for them. For the rest of us. I don't know about you, but when I walk out the door, I'm not worried so much about the tiger anymore. I'm much more worried about the taxman.
Peter Russell 14:38
But you're absolutely right. It's this yes, it's negative bias. And it actually it makes sense from an organic point of view of an organism to be on the lookout for danger. And but what happens with us I think it's always partly social conditioning where you've got a thing where we're always on the lookout for what could be wrong, what could be wrong, what could be wrong, and we missed The fact that things can be perfectly okay in the moment, and when we realize they're perfectly okay. In the moment, you know, you're walking out the door, the taxman isn't there presenting you with a subpoena or something? It's not ready, you know. And so this is where it's really important, I think, to begin to notice what's happening in the mind. And this is what I think just meditation or introspection generally does, we begin to notice, ah, there we go again, off on that trip, or whatever it is, and what I bought, I mean, another thing I've really learned from meditation is, we have the power to choose not to follow a particular thought, it's so easy to get grabbed at it, you're waiting about the tax man say, it's so easy to get caught up in that Oh, my God, whatever did I do? Well, that, and it wouldn't go on and on and on. But as soon as you recognize it, like, oh, there we go. Tax man. Again, as soon as you recognize it, we actually can choose not to follow it anymore. We just say thank you. But right now, I don't need to worry about that. I'm not going to follow you anymore. Not going to follow that thought. And when we do, I find two things happen. One is always that sense of relief. It's like just a little sense of relief, because any worry is creating a little tension. And so as soon as we interrupt a worrying thought, as soon as we pause, a worrying thought, there's always that sense of and in that the present begins to emerge again, we have to do anything to become present. It's like worrying about, you know, going off on that particular thought was taking us out of our awareness of the present when we stop that thoughts like, Oh, yes, oh, oh, there's that bird, some I hadn't noticed, or all my feet are cold, or whatever it is, we just the present reveals itself again, and again, people talk about, you know, you've got to, you've got to be present. And again, I feel it's the opposite. If we're not, if we're not worrying, or focus or doing something else, the present being present. It's just naturally there. We don't. And of course, the thought will come back the thought of coming back, our thoughts will come back. So it's not like, Oh, you're just there. That's it. But to me, it's that coming back again and again and again, like Ah, yes. Yeah. How does it feel to be sitting in my body right now? Ah, it feels good. And this little couch over here. Okay, what's going on here?
Alex Ferrari 17:32
Yeah, it's and as you get older, those little, little little aches get a little harder sometimes. I tell my daughters, my daughter's like, Oh, my back hurts, like, your back doesn't hurt. You don't know what back pain is? Are you kidding me? She's 10. You know, like fleas. But um, but with regards to meditation, I've been meditating now, probably about six, seven years. And I try to meditate an hour two, sometimes three a day even. And it is really, really changed my life. In so many ways. I was never, I was never properly taught to meditate, which I feel is a good thing for me. Because I tried so much. For years, probably 10 years prior, I would you would see me a try. And, and I'd say I'm getting it wrong. I can't get my mind quiet. I can't focus on the candle. Like I tried out so many different techniques, till I finally just sat down, closed my eyes and allowed whatever was going to happen to happen in my mind, and just let all the noise and the monkey brain to chatter away. And the longer I stay, I kind of out outlasted it, to the point where it broke it spirit. I broke my mind spirit in the way that well, he's gonna keep talking, talking, talking, talking. And then sometimes it would take me 30 minutes. But then I would go and then you start everything starts to quiet down. Because you're not paying attention to it and it needs an audience. This is my experience. And then when you go away to that place where there is no silence, that there is no noise. And there's silence. Time stops. The time is preceded a different way in where I've sometimes woken up an hour later I woken up I come out an hour later and going where was I? And I wanted to ask you specifically about that. And also the bliss. The meditators bliss which is when you walk out you you there is literally an aura around you that you are in just such peace lasts for about five minutes, 10 minutes in my world. And then it kind of oh, I'm back into the world, but you kind of like you've almost touched like you've dipped your toe into the essence of yourself or the deeper higher version of yourself are, you've dipped your toe into the universe, if that makes any sense, yeah. And you're kind of come back and you're like, back to this materialistic thing again. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Peter Russell 20:22
Lots I could say on all of that very quick thing is always come out of meditation gradually, you know, some people's like, oh, the bell rings open, my eyes get up, like, no, it's rough, you know, whatever it is a timer, or you just start trying to come out just like, sit there with your eyes closed for another minute or so and then maybe just gently, you know, move your fingers or toes little activity, and then just sort of open your eyes, like very little bit of lighting, slowly, like I always like to, you know, good three or four or five minutes to come back. And that way, that sense of bliss, whatever it is, that contentment, well will stay with you more, if you just jump out, you'll lose it. So the more the slower you can finish your meditation I find, the more that wonderful feeling stays with you. And I mean, you're absolutely right about, you know, trying to control the mind watching a candle or whatever. As I said before, there's many techniques which do do that. And I don't think that that's successful, because if you're not, if you're not getting anywhere, try harder. I told you it was difficult, try harder, it's going to take you years to get somewhere and so you try harder. The teacher says I told you it was difficult. And it's a vicious circle. It is sad, this vicious circle that people get in. And that's what I liked about my wishes, teachings, like, don't try at all, if you notice any trying to stop it, though, don't even try not to try. But it's like any trying, say, the I go I'm trying to meditate and do what you're doing, which is basically sitting quietly noticing, you know, all the chatter that goes on. And what I do is little thing is like, but then whenever I noticed a particular thought what I was saying earlier in daily life or whatever, in meditation, whenever I noticed, there's this particular thought again, just say, Okay, thank you, and just choose not to follow that thought anymore. So I just coming back to coming back to the body coming back to the present moment. And then a bit later, another thought comes up. So just that thing of deliberately in the in the practice, when I noticed, I mean a thought choosing not to follow it. And then just gradually, as you say, we just settled down quieter and quieter and quieter. The Bliss you mentioned. It's interesting, because I think I mentioned this in the book, the word bliss. It's often used in meditation circles is a translation of the Indian word, and under. And that I think way back in a two or 300 years ago, when European explorers were discovering India and other religions that are looking What do these words mean it got translated as bliss, which I think is slightly unfortunate, because bliss in our culture means some, like amazing, overpowering ecstatic experience euphoria, almost euphoria, which can be and not to say that cannot happen, it can be. But if you look at the actual Sanskrit, the root meaning of bliss, the root meaning is deep contentment, deep contentment, and I think deep contentment is actually a much better description. What is happening in meditation, and it comes back, you know, so much of our thinking, is providing deep discontent, that we create discontent for ourselves the whole time. And so when that thinking fades away or decreases, what happens is we settle back into a state of contentment. And then when the mind is really in that still state that you talk about, then it's just it's deep contentment, and it's like, ah, yeah, it was okay. Everything is okay. So, I prefer to translate it as deep contentment or as they can be that euphoric thing, but more often than not, is just like lovely.
Alex Ferrari 24:19
I use the word bliss because deep contentment is actually a much better definition of it, but I tried to explain it to people who haven't had that experience. I'm like, It's not happiness. It's not joy. It's not any of that I go blissful is the only word that even comes close to it and now deep contentment actually really nails it because you are you are just you're kind of just with one with yourself. And the NF said this on the show many times it's like sometimes I'll come out of a meditation or I'll go just go into the house and and my daughters will run up to me and they'll look at me and they go, Oh, you would just meditating, weren't you? They could literally feel My daddy's a little different than he was before. Not that I'm an ogre. But you know what I'm normal like a normal person. But now she's like, Oh, you are, it's almost, I've never been high. I've never, I've never taken drugs, I've never been high, I've never never took a trip. I can only adapt the analogy and also have a highness of like just being high on yourself. In a non ego way, it's, it's really, it's incredible. When you get there, and by the way, it does take it does take time to get to that place takes a while of just constantly. So like, now I could be able to, I'm able to get into that kind of space within five minutes. And depending on how busy my mind is 10 minutes, sometimes I'm able to get into inland a couple minutes. I'm like, I'm right there if I'm in a really relaxed state to start with. But sometimes it took me sometimes it took me 30 minutes. Sometimes it takes me an hour. And sometimes I couldn't even get to that place. But I still got benefits out of it. So did you actually experience as well?
Peter Russell 26:05
Yes, yes, yes. And it's always, it's always there to be noticed, behind all the thoughts, etc. Yes, it gets easier and easier for me now, because I've been you know, meditating longer, I would I say I could just almost immediately you know, I can stop, take a few deep breaths and like, ah, and then just is there it is, there it is. And of course, you just see the thoughts come in, which are coming back stopping a thought is there it is that sense of whatever you want to call it. Deep wellbeing, contentment, peace, noticing. And noticing the stillness, you mentioned the stillness, I find it useful, as the mind quietens down, just to notice are the stillness that's there, or whatever it is, whether it was a feeling of ease, contentment, whatever the feeling, is, to actually notice it, because I think what can happen in meditation is people can be so busy meditating, whatever it is, they do, and the mind become quiet. And it's enjoyable. But they miss the fact that it's so enjoyable, that they're so busy meditating, and the mind being quiet. And it's like, but also that sense of enjoyment or deep contentment, whatever you want to call it, that is also part of the present moment. And so we so busy putting our attention on the breath, which is a more superficial thing, we miss how it actually feel. So I really encourage people, when you're in a meditation, and you're noticing that, you know, nice, whatever it is, you know, we know this for you, other people know what it is, let's call it contentment, joy, ease, silence. include that as part of the present moment. So like, be savor it, it's like I think it sometimes is, you know, floating in a warm bath, you just floating in it, and just like just a float in that sense and savor
Alex Ferrari 28:04
It's kind of like being an athlete, or even an artist and you're in the flow, that concept of being in the flow being so in the moment of what you're doing, that it becomes meditative. I know many times as an artist I've been working or writing and you completely lose track of time and happens to any any artists, anybody even working even someone's doing a manual job, your mind is so focused on one thing, that you lose track of time, that's the flow and meditation gets you and you live in that moment, at a much deeper place than if you're you know, an athlete, like a professional athlete when there's, you block everything out and you just get the ball into the basket or so on and so forth. It's pretty fascinating.
Peter Russell 28:50
Yeah, I'm what I find is the more I can just savor that wonderful feeling. I'm actually creating a sort of greater familiarity with it, so it becomes easier to come back to and also becomes a motivation to meditate like the more the more I savor it and familiar with it's like, Ah, yes, Let's meditate because you know that there's that lovely feeling that's there.
Alex Ferrari 29:16
I get pulled back I get constantly put, I'm being I'm being like almost pulled back like you need to go meditate again. You need to get like because it's almost it's a very addictive drug. Honestly, it is you get that the addictive feeling that drug you get addicted feeling that you just want to I want to go back there. I don't know if it's happened to you before but sometimes you come out and you're like, dammit, I don't want to leave. I want to stay here for another, you know, eight hours. So I don't want to have to get up to go to the bathroom. I just want to stay in this place. Like I say it's almost like dipping the toe into the universe a bit the true your true essence. You get them you get that moment. You just want it. You don't want to go it's a we it's a it's close to a near death. Experience is your going to get because you get to touch the other side. In a sense,
Peter Russell 30:06
Alex you could say it's, it's the death of the ego mind. Yes, that moment, the ego, the ego mind, I mean, the mind that's always looking out for what do we need, what the danger we're talking about is that negative bias, it's always on the lookout this day to actually help our own survival, but it's that it's the death of the ego mind while we're still alive. Like, that's why I think you know, different traditions, you read the thing, you know, every day I die a little or dying, dying to be more alive, it's like, you're letting that ego mind die away. And when it dies away, it's like, Ah, this is what life is like without it. It's free. As I said at the beginning, I think this is what all the great religions have been talking about in one way or another. But then it gets so mixed up with, you know, culture and other belief systems dogma, glorified dogma, and then gets, it gets understood, or misunderstood by cultures who don't actually have the taste of that experience. And then, yeah, it ends up totally the opposite. I think what it's really about,
Alex Ferrari 31:12
Do you have any advice on how to silence or quiet the inner critic, that little voice that's constantly talking to you not, you're not, you're not good enough, you're not this enough, you're not that enough. The thing that stops you from moving forward in a pursuit of yours in life, because it's at the end of the day, from my understanding, it's there to try to keep you safe, it doesn't want you to have pain, it doesn't want you to fail, it doesn't want you to get ridiculed or get hurt, wants to keep you in that little happy place where the Tigers there's no Tigers there, but that's what they want. So how do you quiet that mind? How do you break through that barrier? In your experience, right?
Peter Russell 31:51
It is important because it's it's very, it's very insidious. It's there the background, you know, we recognize the thoughts like what I call shopping list thoughts, I must remember to do this or call somebody that we recognize those thoughts. But these these thoughts are quieter. And the same way with thoughts in meditation, like, how am I doing? How long has it been? Is this a good meditation? Am I doing it? Right? We take those thoughts somehow more seriously. So, so with these sorts of thoughts, the inner critic thoughts, what's usually the inner critic, one, I mean, when you recognize is when you work when you while you're wrapped up in it, you're wrapped up in it. And that, that's it, I mean, it's there. But you know, they come to these moments where it's sort of run out of steam or something interrupts you and you suddenly realize, Oh, my God, there I am in this game. You can do this thing I was saying earlier about just choosing to pause it, not to follow it. But because it's so so deep, it all sort of often keep going there in the background. And one of the things that I found valuable, just won't experience is to just think of anything I'm grateful for, just to get in touch with some sense of gratitude, anything, it doesn't matter what it is, what am I grateful for in life, because it's almost the opposite, the inner critic is telling you, you know, you're not, you're not a good, you got to do this, or watch out for this. And just pausing and having a moment of gratitude. Somehow, it does the opposite to my mind, it diffuses it. And it's like, Ah, yes, and I'm grateful for, it's a lovely day, or I'm grateful for, you know, being alive, I'm grateful for whatever it is, or having good friends, or I'm grateful for whatever. And just to pause and be grateful for me is a way that works for me to interrupt it.
Alex Ferrari 33:43
Now, there's also this thing that we do to ourselves, which is the stories we tell ourselves, the living in the living in the past, which is our memories living in the future, which is our imagination and not living in the present, but specifically those stories that we tell ourselves, we can't do this. Because of this. We can't do that because of that. All of those stories that that some holds on to them for their entire life, like their entire life. They are angry and bitter because they've they've just constantly told themselves these lies, again, by that voice. Well, whoever that is, we'll call it the ego trying to protect them. But that insidious story, is there a way to rewrite that story almost to kind of reprogram the mind because as a neuroscientist, there is programming that is hardwired from childhood, I think is the first six years if I'm not mistaken. So many of the imprints that we have from our surroundings are hardwired into us. So if we're surrounded by kind people that kindness wiring is connected. If you're beaten a lot and yelled at a lot, that's hardwired and it takes a lot of work. work to it's not software, it's hardware in the mind that needs to be kind of, I've heard the the groove of a record. It's kind of like, you got to scratch it, to disrupt it.
Peter Russell 35:11
Yes, yeah. And if you know some people who, you know, if you've had, you know, real severe trauma. Yeah, I said, I, you know, I think you probably need to get help from, you know, therapists who specialize in this, who can help you, actually, you know, see it, come to terms with it, maybe undo it. But I think it's undoing our reaction to it, which is important. So it's not, it's not always easy. But in the sort of more everyday stuff, stuff from childhood or Everyday Stories, is for me, is to, again, recognize when I'm telling myself a story. There I go, there's that story. And then to see, to see, it's just a story and a technique that I use. And I used to use this when I was working a lot with other people I worked with in the corporate world where I was, you know, where everybody has their stories, is, the first question is, what's the value of this story? Why is it there? It has a purpose, it's there because of something that happened in your life or because it you know, there is something about this story, which is true. I mean, for example, you know, let's take someone made you angry, you have a story about how awful they were what a, bla bla bla person they are, etc. That's the story. And there's something to it, they did say something or didn't do something that upset you. So So yes, the story, the story is there for a reason. But then to turn it around and say, but what does the story stop me seeing? What is the story stop me seeing? And that's a way of beginning to get free from it. So if it's somebody who's made you angry, you know, what does that story that I'm telling myself up on an awful, shitty person they are? What does that stop me seeing it stops me seeing that? Maybe? They misunderstood what I said, maybe, you know, they were wanting something from me. Maybe they had too much coffee this morning. Maybe they got problems going on in their relationship, or family? What does it stop me seeing what it stops me seeing is actually being more compassionate about the other person, and I can begin to put myself in their shoes. Rather than getting locked up in my story of what's wrong with them, I can put myself in their shoes. And the story then begins begins to soften begins to go away. Not always completely, but it begins to soften, don't get so caught up in it because I can see another perspective here that I hadn't been looking at.
Alex Ferrari 37:51
So the the idea of sometimes sometimes our deep seated stories, our deep seated trauma, let's say that could be mom and dad to be brothers could be school, whatever it is, sometimes, the thing that triggers you has nothing to do with what it was. But it's connecting to a tremendous amount of trauma that makes you snap. And I'm going to use the perfect example of what as of this recording what recently happened at the Oscars. With with Will Smith. I'm not sure if you saw what happened where it but I read about it a lot. I mean, everybody in the world has talked about it at one point. It is when you know Chris Rock, very famous comedian said a joke about his wife, and will got up on stage and slapped him. I, my personal belief is that that reaction had about five or 10%, maybe to do with the joke that was said about 90% of all the attacks and abuse, that his relationship with his wife and his family attacks on his family over the years attacks on him. It all just came bubbling up and that one moment, something just snapped, because usually it was a was a joke that was completely off collar and completely inappropriate and wrong. But comedians do pass the line sometimes. But his reaction was so over the top. And so uncharacteristic of him that you have to look at it from a neurological standpoint. And you go oh, this is not about this job. This has to be about something else. Is there any techniques in your experience that can help you spot that when it happens? So like when someone cuts you off, and you go grab a gun to shoot them because they've hurt you? It's not about that guy cutting you off. There's something else going on.
Peter Russell 39:56
Right right. In the moment is very difficult because when we're grabbed by somebody, it's like it's deep organic grass. Right? I don't know of any easy way to in the moment it takes us It absolutely takes us. And I think it's how the challenge is how quickly can we recover from it? How quickly can recover? You know, and in that era, say, I'm sorry, you know, I got triggered, I got triggered. Yeah. And whenever we do get triggered, as soon as you recognize it, I mean, one of us will just pause, pause for 10 seconds of injury, if you're in, you know, with your partner or something, and something happens, you get triggered is just this, you know, say, Stop, I've got triggered. Let's just pause for 10 seconds.
Alex Ferrari 40:50
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Peter Russell 41:00
And in that time, you can begin to breathe, and say, Okay, let me try and say this again, or something. So it's how quickly can you as soon as you recognize it, that's what I recommend you just take a pause, take a few breaths, and then sort of commit come in again. So that that's, that's important. Also, for me, and this is a bit more longer term, rather than the is looking at the body listening to the body, because the body holds so much information here about what's going on that this is very subtle. I mean, I had a little while back, I got upset with this guy. And I knew it was just like, it was silly. And but it was like bothering me. And it's like I was still there and still feeling irritated by him by what was going on. And I didn't understand it. I didn't understand what was going on. I knew I'd been triggered. And I sat down, I just said, Okay, let me just feel into my body, see what's going on in my body. Just being curious, is there any tension here is what's going on different feelings. And as I sort of just went into my body and sat there, and just noticing whatever was going on, in association with this situation, suddenly, an image of my father came up. And I realized, it had triggered something, it wasn't a major thing with my father. But there's a certain pattern with my parents that I didn't really like it was it wasn't a big trauma or anything was just a certain pattern in terms of how we were that I didn't like, that I got triggered. And it's like, ah, if I hadn't sat down and said, let's listen to my body, I'd have never worked that out. In my mind. My mind was still like, what did he say? What was it? What would I blah, blah, blah. But just by stopping listening to the body, like, ah, that's interesting. And once I saw what was going on, and if it wasn't a major thing, it's like, Oh, that's interesting. It's like, okay, thank you.
Alex Ferrari 43:12
Now, is there a way in your experience in your studies over the years? Is there any techniques or any advice you can give people listening, how to connect with their higher self, how to connect with their true nature?
Peter Russell 43:27
Completely forget about trying to connect with your true nature. It's not connecting with something other than what we are, right. Again, it's removing. It's removing the blocks the veils to our true nature. So we think of true nature as something, you know, Oh, wow. It's like I used to think there. So when I first started reading all this Indian philosophy, it talks about the true self. And I thought, if I meditate, and all this stuff, then I'm going to have one day I'm going to wake up and discover the true self. And it's going to be this whatever it is surrounded by angels or something
Alex Ferrari 44:09
Outside of you outside of yourself.
Peter Russell 44:11
Yeah, yeah. And more and more, I just realized know what, what they mean by their true self is just, it's this deep sense of I that's always there. It's not the I am Peter Russell, writer, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You know, all those descriptions of myself and how other people see me. But it's the eye that is aware. The eye that is aware of this moment, talking to you it was aware of yesterday that was aware of what I was experiencing as a teenager, it's always there, but we don't notice it. We don't notice it. So it's rather it's not connecting with something as rediscovering something that's always there, but we miss and when we when we drop back into our true self, this is What you're talking about in meditation, when we drop back into just that sense of here I am not me anybody, but just how I am. In that time, would you say your time and space disappear in that there's me here, being, and that quality of the true self is, it's what is peaceful, it's also loving, that there's a loving ness to it, it's not specifically loving this or that there's just a quality of loving Ness. So that I think is our true self. It's, it has a certain wisdom to it, because it's seeing things as they are, rather than through the layers of all our thinking. And and it's intrinsically at peace. So it's not going to connect with something that's different from what we are, it's actually removing all the superficial stuff, so that what we actually are can begin to reveal itself to us.
Alex Ferrari 45:54
It's kind of like the story of the Golden Buddha. Yeah, you know that story? Of course, right?
Peter Russell 45:59
Remind me okay, I say yes. Do I know
Alex Ferrari 46:03
The Golden Buddha is, many years ago, there was a giant golden Buddha, in Thailand. And there was invaders going to come in and they were worried that they're going to take the Golden Buddha. So what they did it, they just started piling mud on it and piling on and piling it on until it became a big mound upon when the invaders game, they looked at it as like, oh, that's just a pile of dirt. And they kept going. But then it got lost in history. And then 100, couple 100 years later, some kid was walking by and he sees a little, little shiny gold dot and he starts digging and digging, and then all of a sudden, they just start pulling more mud mud until they finally really reveal the Golden Buddha. And that's a wonderful parable.
Peter Russell 46:42
Yes, actually, I didn't know that. Thank you. That one? I think there's something else. Oh, yeah. And that's the way it is we we
Alex Ferrari 46:49
Step on this mud.
Peter Russell 46:52
We live I mean, I think, you know, many people, you know, some of the time I live where I just all I see is the mud. Like, why about the tax man or this or that. And we we miss we forget this almost like I forget, there's the Golden Buddha.
Alex Ferrari 47:13
There's that exactly. Because it got lost in time. And people were just walking by and like others had the big pile of dirt over there. But no one really realized that there's, there was a golden Buddha underneath it. And it's the same thing for us. I think we walk around with just piles of mud and, and we use Mod as an analogy of the stories we tell ourselves, society, culture, religion, everything, it's just all this stuff that's gets piled on to you this this mask that we wear, you know, I come like I've said this story a couple times in the show, but I come from the film industry. And I love talking about analogies in the film industry. So I believe in that we are the actors playing a part in a scene. But unlike the actors in a normal movie, I use Hannibal Lecter and Anthony Hopkins, Anthony Hopkins knows he's not Hannibal Lecter, at the end of the take. He can go back to his trailer go back to his home. And he's Anthony Hopkins. Yeah, the mistake is that we all believe we are the characters that we are playing and identifying with the characters. And if you look at it as a movie analogy, if you thought that if Anthony Hopkins would never let go of Hannibal Lecter as a character, that's insanity. That's literally the definition of insanity. So that's what we are going through in a way it's kind of letting go of the character to understand that we are truly Anthony Hopkins.
Peter Russell 48:36
We are truly me just that Sarah eggs, and that I am not, you know, I could change my name, I could change you know, many say I can even change my gender these days, all the things I identify with. But that sense of I would still be exactly the same that said that deep sense of eyeness there, it's always the same. But we not only do we forget it, I think it's true that most people go through the lives without actually pausing to recognize that that's why you know, spiritual teachings there as a reminder, like there is something there is a deeper quality to you. And it points us inwards. So that's why I think you know, coming back to what to do about meditation you just sitting down as you did, it's closing the eyes and beginning to inquire within like what is going on. And something else is like, you know, we get caught up in the thoughts but also just to ask questions like, what is actually going on here? What's behind all this? So that's when you may be noticed the quietness or the silence that just like and who is aware of all this? What is it? Who is it what is it not? Who's right, but what does it mean to be aware of all this? What do I mean by I? That's a very useful thing in meditation just to hold that question, not not as an intellectual question, but like, what does I refer to? What are you What does I refer to and just like being What does I refer to? Oh, it's just This sense of being it's always here. It's like it's fascinating exploration.
Alex Ferrari 50:07
Now you got you learn meditation from Maja Rashi. Correct?
Peter Russell 50:11
Alex Ferrari 50:12
Maharishi. Yes. So,
Peter Russell 50:14
TM, yes. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 50:17
Yes, exactly. I had another guest on who was at, at the ashram with The Beatles. He was he was lucky enough to actually stumble upon.
Peter Russell 50:24
I was, I was nearly there with them.
Alex Ferrari 50:27
And he took pictures, and it's like, some of the few pictures ever of the Beatles. I think I know his book. Yeah, he actually, uh, he just released the book. And as a documentary coming up, came out about it. And I know the guy. Yeah. Wonderful, wonderful. person. But so you were there with the maharishi? What was it like being in his presence? What did you learn from him besides meditation? Is there anything else that you pulled from that experience?
Peter Russell 50:56
So much. I mean, I was thinking the other day, probably 50% of what I have to share or offer these days, comes back to my times with him several years with him. I was in India in Rishikesh with him for wild his ashram. But then I was helping run the TM organization in Britain. So I had for several years, I had many, you know, ties with him good conversations. I mean, I learned so much I can pinpoint, you know, so many things. What was it? Like? I think what would
Alex Ferrari 51:37
Being in a minute, because he's a master, his spiritual master. So what was it like being in a Masters presence?
Peter Russell 51:42
Right! And yes, that sounds good to come to he really. He was a master and what I what I read realized, being with him listening to him, what he was saying, was coming out of his own experience. I think some some teachers, you they, they read all the right stuff, they know it all. And that you know that they got it, they write what they're saying. But with him don't stop would blow me away what he was saying, I realized this was coming from his own experience. So that to me, is the mark of a true master is they're talking about what they've discovered in their own experience. And he was continually turning things inside out the teachings. Like he was saying, you know, so often we tend to sort of imitate the qualities of awakening enlightenment. So I suppose that's classic example, you know, an enlightened person, you know, wouldn't do this, they wouldn't behave this way, or whatever it is. And so we start saying, Okay, I mustn't behave that way. I'm becoming like, are you see this either I love about traditional religion, you know, so awaken people don't get caught up in, you know, sexuality, so much. So, I must become celibate to become awakened. Whereas what he was saying is when you awaken in maybe some of that, you know, sexuality doesn't seem quite so important. The stuff that's rather sort of misguided and abusive, is no longer there. So that begins to unfold naturally as a consequence of awakening, rather than we chase the consequences, hoping that's going to lead to awakening. So things like that really, really struck me. You know, the times we'd sit in his bedroom late at night, just delving deep into, you know, what if in the Brahma sutras, it says this with the Bhagavad Gita, it says this, how do we marry those two ideas together? I can't remember what his arts as well, but just remember, times like that. It was, yeah.
Alex Ferrari 53:50
It's, it's really interesting, because, you know, someone like Yogananda, who is also another spiritual master, he, he would, I think it was a great effort. I forgot who it was, but he was talking to one of his, his disciples, and, and they were saying, you're gonna do it. I can't stop all of my vices, you know, because of the stuff that you're teaching me. I want to keep doing it. And you're gonna notice like, Do you drink? He goes, Yes, you may continue. Do you? Do you have promiscuous sex? He does. Yes. You may continue. Do you do drugs? Yes, you may continue, he goes, but if you continue with these teachings, I'm not sure that you're going to want to continue this which is exactly which is exactly what he said. Because if you get you keep going, do you do you? But if you keep going down this road, those things are going to fall away because they will naturally begin to fall away? Yeah. Which was so so profound.
Peter Russell 54:49
Yeah, yes. Yes.
Alex Ferrari 54:50
What a wonderful what a wonderful, wonderful teaching. No, I was always fascinated because I've heard I spoke to the the other filmmaker who made the who was with with the Beatles. And now you the who talked to my Rishi. I always am fascinated when when I can talk to somebody who's had experienced deep experiences with a spiritual master that was either living or is currently living, and what that energy feels like in the conversations, because I find that so many, as they call them phony holies out there who've read all the right books, they know how to quote the right people. But their words don't. They don't they don't have any way to it. It's too fluffy. But when someone like like you read Autobiography of a Yogi in every sentence, you just like, Oh, my Rishi, you'd like oh, you just feel the depth that way, have the assurance almost of knowing that they have that it's not coming from a superficial place. It's coming from such a deep place that you can sense it. And that's why I was wondering if you were able to feel that
Peter Russell 55:56
Exactly it's coming from their own awakening experience, rather than an understanding of what it's about.
Alex Ferrari 56:03
Yeah, right. Yeah, it's exactly. It's kind of like, I love your analogies like, well, I have to be celibate, because awaken people are celibate. It's kind of like, well, if I want to be an NFL player, I must eat 7000 calories a day to gain muscle. He goes, Yeah, but you forgot about the working out. So like, no, they're at a different place, they're there, you're looking at the result, not the journey that gets to that place, which is so, so fascinating. In your book, there's a chapter called The Parable of the rope. What is the parable of the rope? It's something
Peter Russell 56:37
I came up with, it's about letting go. And it's actually better to what we've been talking about the power of the rope, what I carry the power is some guy is holding on to a rope, he's holding on to this rope, he's got a hold on, he's up in here holding on to this vote. Everybody's telling him it's so important to hold on. With everybody else, he looks around, everybody else is holding on to the rope, you know, scared they're gonna fall. And that's life. And that's the life you know, we've been talking about the worry. And so, along comes this wise woman. And she says to him, you know, you don't need to do this, you know, there's the whole spiritual practice of letting go. And he says, What, come on, come on here. This is so important. And so she says, you know, let me just give you the first initiation, you you're willing to lift one finger so that you I promise you, if you lift one finger, you'll feel a little bit easier, a little better. Taste of bliss. So he says, okay, so he lifts one finger, and he does feel a little better. And so it goes on, you know, she persuades me that you can feel if lift a second finger and he mustered up the courage a second finger. And then she comes to the third finger, just like they were I can I do this. So he finally does. And he's hanging on by his little finger. And the Powerball she says, You know, I've only taken you so far, I can't do the rest for you, you know, just trust me, you have to do the final bit of letting go yourself, you have to let that little finger soften and relax and let go. Like he's like, What? Anyway, he finally does. And nothing happens. And he realizes he's been standing on the ground the whole time. And this, this is, this is the parable, you know, we stand in the ground of our own being, the sense of deep beingness The I Am is there where we're standing in our own being. We're out there holding on to all these things we think are important to hold on to, in order to be happy and have life go well, and all this stuff we're holding on to the ball. And then when we finally you know, let go, it's like, Ah, here I am. I didn't fall. Nothing awful happened. I'm just here standing in the ground of my own being.
Alex Ferrari 58:51
It's fantastic parable. It's a fantastic story. Because it's so true that we, we hold on to so much and this whole conversation has been about letting go which I love which is about the title of the book about letting go of stories and things and leaves. I've discovered that I've tried to control the boat that's on a river for so long. I wanted to go faster. I wanted to go direction that I wanted to go on. I'm trying to control constantly. And it's rarely ever worked out for me. You know, sometimes I even get out of the boat and push the boat in the river to go faster inside the river is like you're trying to push the river to go faster. And I finally in my in my years being walking the earth like cane from Kung Fu. I've discovered that you've got to let go and let the trust and have the faith that the river will guide you in the direction that it is best for you. And that is the ultimate ability because you're literally just letting go and letting the universe God, whatever you want to call it, guide you in the direction of where you're supposed to be in this life. And that's extremely terrifying. For most human beings. It was for me, it was for me. But once I realized that of that, and I finally just let go and close my eyes, I was standing on the floor. And it was it's very similar in that story. Do you find that as well, in your experience?
Peter Russell 1:00:24
Yes, I do. And to say, that's not to say we shouldn't, you know, be proactive.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:30
You've got chop wood, carry water, chop, wood carry,
Peter Russell 1:00:34
Say whatever is
Alex Ferrari 1:00:37
No, agreed, but
Peter Russell 1:00:38
It's about being open. It's being open to what what shows up. And I think, when I look back at my life, all the major things that have happened, the significant things happened, despite my planning.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:04
Peter Russell 1:01:07
The things like little coincidences, I'd meet someone who say this, or here's an opportunity, whatever, I never planned to go to India with the Mara. She said, Do you want to come? I said, Yeah. And it's like things coming along and say yes, or sometimes things come along, saying no. It's like being open being open to what presents itself. And, and within that, yes, there's a lot we, you know, need to do like, you know, for going to India, yes, I need to plan I need the money to do that. Right? How to get there and do all this and make sure half the time. So there's lots of that that needs to go on, but not deciding to finance what my life is gonna be.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:51
Peter Russell 1:01:54
If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:57
Exactly. And I think only through age, do you realize that plans generally, it never ends up the way you planned ever? And most of the times, thank God and never ended up the way you planned. Because if you would have if everything that you would have planned have come true, your life would be an absolute disaster. Am I right? I'd like from the from that first relationship. You want it at school, like, oh, that girl's so cute. I really want to date her. When she said no, there was probably a really good reason why couldn't that could have gone off into a terrible thing, or I wanted that job or wanted this to really work out. I wanted to build an empire doing this. But really, that's not the path you need to be working. So the universe is constantly pushing you. And sometimes it nudges you. Yeah, and when you don't listen, the sledgehammer comes out.
Peter Russell 1:02:50
Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Now I look back on my life now. I probably wouldn't change a thing, maybe a couple of tiny things, which maybe I you know, in my youth things that I actually do. embarrassment,
Alex Ferrari 1:03:06
The waste the waste of us.
Peter Russell 1:03:09
Basically, where I am now I am content Life is good. If I went back and changed anything, I might not be here so content I might be but who knows,
Alex Ferrari 1:03:19
Not in this incarnation, not the way we are right now. We are are the mistakes we've made the journey we have the strap I call it the shrapnel of life that comes at you. It is who we are. Without it, we wouldn't be who we are. There was a book one of your early books called that you coined the phrase the global brain overbraid. Yes. Can you talk a little bit about the global brain?
Peter Russell 1:03:42
Yes, I wrote this way back came out of my college days, I actually, I did a degree in computers graduate degree in computer science as well. So I thought that was gonna be my career science computing. And I was working on some of the very early networking of computers and realize that this was in the early 70s, that the, the direction of computers was not gonna be bigger and bigger computers was actually going to be linking computers together. And I was working and getting two completely different computers to communicate. We had a cable this thick coming through the ceiling, read a fraction of the power of the USB cable today. Anyway. So I then looked around and saw the guy hypothesis that come out Jim Lovelock, James Lovelock, who produced the Gaia hypothesis, saying that, you know, the, the whole living test of the earth functions as a single organism. And I said, Well, okay, you know, we know what the rainforests are like the circulatory systems, they're doing this and, you know, they're also a bit like the liver and things. What's human beings doing here with this young upstart, the ecosystem, what are we doing and it strikes me what we're good at is processing information. We are the information processes that lead the idea. We are like an embryonic brain going for the plan. And then I saw, you know, what was happening with computers and networking computers was going to start linking the nerve cells and the global brain I human beings are going to start linking us together into a collective, much more collective system, which of course, you know, over the 50 years since then, has been happening now, you know, here we are using the internet talking like this. And so, that was the idea and then I can see what is going to become a sane global brain or an insane global brain, you know, if it if we carried on with the, you know, materialistic values, etc, would it actually be helping humanity? So, I saw there was also the need for, you know, spiritual growth, spiritual awakening of people, you know, beginning to to wake up from that self centeredness that rules so much of our life to actually coming back to being in touch with their, with their true nature, being more able to come at ease, rather than coming from the ego mind. So I saw that was also really a really important part of the growth of the global brain was to be what was the awakening of humanity. And, you know, as I look back, in hindsight, it's been both, you know, there's the, the internet and all that it's spawned, has certainly fostered the awakening of consciousness certainly has, I mean, just doing this with you, you know, we're talking about this to whoever listens, and there's 1000s millions and millions of other things, other people teaching, sharing different ideas, all of that is promoting the awakening. And at the same time, the materialistic values, you know, I think Paul is, you know, one of the biggest sellers on the internet still shopping, and it's still that materialistic consciousness. So the two are sort of hand in hand, the materialism is running a lot of the show. And underneath it, the spiritual teachings are just being made available in contemporary language to everybody. never been possible before.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:09
Yeah, and I agree with you. And I mean, I mean, you have the experience of the last 50 years, you've seen how consciousness has risen in society, the concept of meditation was like you were insane in the 60s and 70s, you like you're a hippie, you this this that what? Now CEOs do it. Now there's apps now yoga is everybody understands what yoga is. Everyone knows understand what like the concept of channeling is, and these things that were so esoteric before are now part of the Zeitgeist. So there is an acceptance of these teachings, and they're starting to come up more and more. In the world, I do believe that the world is going through some massive shift. Right now, I'd love to hear your thoughts about it. Because between the Earth going through whatever it's going through with the storms, and the you know, the Earth is literally angry. And wherever you are in the world, the pandemic shifts, shaking the entire planet. I've never seen anything like that before. What's going on right now in the Ukraine, and, and that kind of, it's kind of like almost the death rattle of the old, trying to hold on to what, you know, that whole thing is fighting a war from 1980. He's not fighting the war of today, you know, things, things like that all this kind of shift is happening. And you can't and the economies the way the economies are working in the world. So there's so much to change happening right now, more so than it was in the 70s 80s 90s. There was obviously shifts, but nothing like this. What is your take on what is happening? And are we getting closer to this hopeful global awakening where people just say enough is enough? And dig a little bit more into the spiritual and pull away from the material?
Peter Russell 1:09:04
Yes, difficult, difficult to prophesy excited have prophecies can easily turn wrong, I think. And I said, I think the two things are happening in parallel. Definitely. And, you know, just the disgust, you know, what is happening in Ukraine, or the real deep concerns about the, you know, climate crisis and how we're responsible for it, and how much how much this comes back to growth, you know, and how wedded we are to growth. So there's big, there's a big questioning going on about many, many different things. And I think there was a call an unraveling of the old system. And the unraveling is not going to be easy is going to be you know, different things are going to start falling apart. And that's it's going to be hard. We're going to see a lot more of that coming in. So I think the that's the pessimistic side is, you ain't seen nothing yet. There's more and more the systems are breaking down the system down. And that's not, that's not going to be an easy ride. And
Alex Ferrari 1:10:16
we'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Peter Russell 1:10:26
Yeah, I have great faith in people, what people can become, and just the more of us that can, you know, let go can awaken the more compassionate we can be to others, the less antagonistic we are, the less more by our ego minds and fear that we are, the more we're going to be able to care for each other. And actually make much clearer decisions for the future not be bound by by the past. It's I think we have to let go of the way we've done things in the past and be able to think more creatively with see things with new eyes, I think that's really going to be important. And this thing we touch on being stable in ourselves, so that we're not every thing that suddenly surprising event that happens, we're not shaken so much inside, can we sort of maintain that inner stability and say, okay, okay, this is what's happening? What is the best way to proceed here? What is appropriate? What's what's needed from me here? So I think we're really going to be called to draw upon our inner resources, like never before, in order to decide how to best manage the world we find ourselves in.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:53
I want to ask you a couple questions, ask all my guests. What is your mission in this life?
Peter Russell 1:11:59
My mission is pretty clear. For me, it's basically to distill the, what I see is the essential wisdom of the world spiritual traditions, distill that down into its essence. And then to disseminate it share it as widely as possible in contemporary language everyday, you contemporary language that people can relate to it and benefit from it.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:27
And what is the ultimate person purpose of life?
Peter Russell 1:12:34
Alex Ferrari 1:12:37
Not to try just
Peter Russell 1:12:39
To live fully, as long as possible, as healthily as possible, as kindly as possible. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:48
And where can people find out more about your work and your new book?
Peter Russell 1:12:53
My website, Peterrussell.com. Two hours on the Peterrussell.com There's all my there's my latest books right up there bits of it. There's other books, there's lots and lots of videos, there's about 400 pages of writings I've done over the years, all of me is up there in one way or another. Yeah. YouTube videos of me on YouTube as well.
Alex Ferrari 1:13:20
Peter, it has been an absolute pleasure and honor speaking to you, it has been a wonderful conversation about letting go and hopefully, people listening will let go a little bit more in their life after this conversation, and hopefully after reading your book. So my friend, thank you so much for all the hard work you've been doing for for humanity over these years. So I appreciate you my friend.
Peter Russell 1:13:40
Great. Thank you. I really enjoyed this conversation with you. Thank you very much.
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