What is the Meaning of Life? with Tony Nader
Tony Nader, Chase Jarvis
What is the Meaning of Life? with Tony Nader
Tony Nader, Chase Jarvis
1. What is the Meaning of Life? with Tony Nader
What is the Meaning of Life? with Tony Nader1:17:18
What is the Meaning of Life? with Tony Nader
Hey everybody, what's up? It's Chase, Welcome to another episode of the Chase Jarvis live show here on Creative Live, this is the show where I sit down with the world's best. I unpack their brains with the goal of helping you live your dreams and career, hobby and life. My guest today is dr Tony Nader. Now, if you've ever had big questions, what is the meaning of life? For example, in this episode, Dr Tony Nader literally answers that question. Now he is a Harvard trained medical doctor and has numerous phds across things like neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry. Uh he is a super genius, but most importantly he is a foremost expert on how to bring happiness, health piece to the mind through a combination of all of the hardcore science that you know and believe to be true and your spiritual side, all those things was phenomena that you can't explain. It turns out that all of that area of our experience, our human experience and the hardcore science while they used to be at opposite end...
s of the spectrum, they now dovetail together in a very interesting web. I'm going to get out of the way and let you enjoy this episode with yours truly and dr Tony Nader, they love you Dr Tony Nader, thank you so much for being a guest on the show. I'm very excited to have you here today, wonderful to be with you. It's a great pleasure and joy to be with such a great artist and thinker. Well that those are very kind words, but you're the thinker and the artist. Uh congratulations on your book, one unbound ocean of consciousness. Uh I would love to start off our conversation today for those who might not be familiar with your work, to orient us a little bit around how you spend your time, what you'd like to think about and what your area of personal and professional study has been. Over the last several decades. I've been fascinated by human life and the potential that it offers. But also intrigued by the issues that arise from decisions on so many levels. And I wanted to understand why we do what we do and how we choose our steps in life. I started by studying medicine with the assumption that we can through understanding the physical level of reality, our body, our nervous system. We could really understand the totality of what we are about. And that's why I studied medicine and then psychiatry, then neurology and then thought maybe to do some research myself and brain sciences. And so I did study brain and cognitive science, which means how the brain works to give us the feelings, the impressions, the sensations that we have, which means exactly what happens in the electrical activity of the brain and the chemical activity of the brain. And how this leads to our mente shin our mind, our cognition, our perception, our creative thinking and decision making also And why we choose what we choose and our life where it takes us at the same time. I was lucky to start also from the other side, not only the physical level of biology and chemistry and the chemical physiology and anatomy, but from the mind side. And this is how I started already more than 50 years ago almost, I was very young to study meditation and yoga and transcending. And I particularly got fascinated by transcendental meditation and studied how it can help from the mind side. So we have the body and the mind. So I studied the body and I wanted to study the mind and got more and more fascinated by the mind aspect, thinking and feeling that actually it gives more holistic fulfillment and creativity and hopefully better choices. And so I studied this in great depths and I was lucky to get called by the founder of this program, Hiroshima Hachioji to India. It was in the 1990s, I had finished already 1989, my PhD and brain and cognitive science and my medical neurology training and I thought I'd spend some time understanding the ancient traditions that have these techniques, this mind techniques to make life better. And I got so fascinated and taken by that that it's became my life kind of activity and focus. And so I realized that consciousness is primary and its most important than and more important and more fundamental than the physical level. And now I spend my time trying to let people know in which way consciousness is primary consciousness is important in life and living and consciousness appearing actually as matter is the ultimate reality, which philosophers and thinkers have been proposing in some ways or looking for in other ways? And that's how now I spend my time two. Yeah. What you just shared with us, you know, you just, you mentioned, you know, 50 years of much of this work. Um, I find it absolutely fascinating your journey originating as you mentioned through medicine. And then at some point there was, it seemed, I'm wondering if it was a moment or was there a series of small moments where you recognize that going beyond traditional, I will call it traditional Western traditional medicine to something that was beyond the science of the mind to uh what would be called, you know, maybe the spirit wisdom and ultimately consciousness. Now that's for some that's a small leap. Maybe the listeners are saying, oh yeah, that makes a ton of sense. But to me it's your parking a lot of um uh foundational, what it would be called common training in in moving into a world of meditation. Mindfulness awareness, consciousness, was that a series of small steps or was there a moment? An epiphany where you realized that if I'm going to really understand what it means to be human and to be able to make choices and to to use my own vernacular for this community to create the life we want that you're going to have to use some tools beyond the common understanding. Was it a small series of moments? Or was there one leap where you recognize that this was important work, funnily enough, it was in a sense, both because before I started my medical studies, um I learned transcending transcendental meditation and I got a very profound experience. So that already awakened in me the desire to have this experience again and that life if it is lived on that level of fulfillment within, then there is something so profound and great, but at the same time one doubts. It's like one experience, you get an experience that you don't know how you'll get it again and whether the experience is enough, what will give you in your life? Because experiences one can get from different perspectives? You know, you can imagine, you know, hallucinogens or drugs or a moment of life that is beautiful, the moment of love, a moment of exchange a moment of ecstasy for example, like we hear from great artists such as you are and that think the moment you see something and it fills your mind and you feel this is grand and this is great. But to give your life to that there has to be some more kind of solid objective understanding. So you think maybe it's a passing thing or even if it riker's, what will it do to my life, will it make me a better person? Will it make me help others? Will it make me my health better which will make my life and the life of others better? Is it just an ethereal kind of passing nice feeling? Or is it something profound? So this was the flash which in a sense, made a big impact on me. But then I had to go through my path of belief that let's do something on the physical level, let's do the health part the So I went through a lot of training, medical training in the emergency room, under different circumstances and the surgical room and different places, and I realized, well maybe in psychiatry it can help others. And so I went to the mind like that and there were these steps where you can help others, but that phenomenon of well being of feeling good with the betterment of health, the betterment of mental potential, the ability to concentrate have better relations with others was really getting to me as something really profound, not just the fleeting experience. And so I studied, went through my studies and gradually kept on thinking, what is this offering me, what can I offer through this versus what I can offer through that. And I felt that for myself and for others going through the mind side, the consciousness side seems to me and it still now seems to be much more important and doesn't mean it does not acknowledge the important value of all the other approaches on their own level. But there are so many physicist scientist, chemist philosophers, thinkers, um physicians who take care of the other aspect that I felt, there are few who are promoting or being able to uh you know, give their creativity or their background of knowledge and understanding to promote or make understandable the value of consciousness. And so I thought I should do that, this was my calling and that's how based on conviction through different steps and on initial experience that continued to come back. I came to the conclusion that this is how I should spend my life to say. What I ought to do is mention the, the subtitle of the book. I mentioned one unbound ocean of consciousness. The subhead for those who are interested is simple answers to the big questions in life. And I love that after spending so much time studying medicine and recognizing that there must be more your willingness to dedicate your life to, to the broader understanding of this. And now I would like to for purposes of orienting our listeners and watchers and also because we've never met before. So I want to share a little bit of background with me and maybe you can help me reconcile some of these big questions if you know just a little bit about my backstory. So, um I first experienced the power of the mind outside of just, I guess I first experienced the power of the mind as a young athlete, I played on the olympic development soccer team and we had uh mental training coach and they would guide us through meditation. And then I got interested in that through visualization and whatnot. And it I would say almost overnight transformed my abilities on the field simply by playing in my mind and visualizing. So I would call, I would say I was hooked because I got incredible results just in in using my mind and there's a lot of experiments out there for those that don't know, people shooting free throws. And you can, the people who practiced for shooting free throws in basketball every day versus the people who practiced in their mind, the people who actually actually practiced in their mind improved more than the people who physically shot. So there's plenty of evidence of scientific evidence, if you will about the benefits. I became intrigued fast forward. I've lived a life in in career, I I left sports, you know, professionally or semi professionally and when in as many of us do into a career only to at some point find that there was a gap I believe that there was, you know, more potential. And I was reminded of that experience as a young child and sought meditation and the meditation that I found was transcendental meditation, the kind that you've talked already in our conversation today about and I would call my, I did the training, um not like you, I did not train under Maharishi himself, but in the tm dot org universe. And I was steamrolled within 10 days, I had felt another wave of transformation in my life. So I give you that context because I'm showing up here today now having been practicing somewhere between eight and 10 years of TM and I can't express in words how that vehicle has transformed my life because it's it's thorough, it's omni directional, it's every aspect of my life. And so I'm hoping in an effort to get people to be to invest in you and your material. Can you explain what these feelings that I'm experiencing in TM in simple meditation, why they have had such a profound effect. What am I feeling? That if I were to try and expose others who might not have begun meditation or be interested in your universe, what can you tell me about the experience that I'm having? That it is so profound and why it's a beautiful experience. I just want to tell you that really, this is somehow what I have also experienced. And so it's very similar and it is what makes us and those who are interested in this come back and want to say other to others, There is a treasure there. Don't ignore it. Try it, give it a chance and if I want to answer in a very simple way, what is the experience? What is its reality? Why it gives such a sense. In the simplest few words, it will be you are experiencing your true self and by experiencing one's true self and knowing in an experiential level. The profundity, the beauty, the grandeur, the fullness of one's own self. Then one gets anchored on a field of being that is so profound that it gives a sense of security, of peace, of wholeness because the self is truly ultimate reality. So when when I say one unbounded ocean of consciousness that is the ultimate self of everything and everyone, you know, the mind is like an ocean and I'm sure you have been exposed to this analogy when you learn Tm And we are usually on the surface of the mind being tossed around by waves that come and go. And we don't have direct connection with the depths of the ocean which is the depths of our true self in transcendental meditation. When we close the eyes in the most innocent, simple, natural way, because it's effortless. It is natural which means it goes by itself. You don't have to force it even it's just a simple technique that doesn't depend on belief or philosophy or anything whether you believe in it or not and just do it. And it works when you close the eyes, you allow the mind to settle down through the technique that you have learned that is transcending to settle down to its own depth. So it's like going from the surface of the ocean where the mind is jumping around from thought to thought? Like the waves of thought into a more stable source of creativity? The source of thought and that source of thought. That source of creativity is the ultimate self and established in that there is an ability to be creative ability to see things from a perspective that is profound rather than from a limited perspective. And that is why we all, all those who practice feel something really, really deep is happening. So this is in a few words, some of the way we can look at it. Yeah, there's a connectedness that there's a dissipation of fear. There's a feeling of one of whole of ease that the idea behind transcendental meditation was that it was born from and that I I felt and ironically I I felt that profound experience the I would call it the second time I ever meditated and uh that gets better with time. Like anything, you know with practice we have um we get better at something and and I believe that meditation is something that you can get better at. Uh and yet here we are, moving through life, popular culture, people pull out in front of us and with you know in traffic and there's someone who's you know listening to this right now who's on their commute and there's all kinds of stimulus or stimuli rather, you know, pouring into us and you know, your book is about answering the biggest questions. So we have to begin with you know the biggest is what is this? What does this all mean? Why are we here? What are we doing? Beautiful. Yeah. What's the meaning of life? It's a big question. It's being questioned and asked for millennia and philosophers and scientists alike and belief systems and all of that. And the meaning of life is the growth in consciousness according to you know how I presented and the growth of consciousness to the point where we realize the true reality, the ultimate reality of life. So it fits together the meaning of life is to realize the true meaning of life to realize. So in a way it's a tautology which means you're saying the same thing but then you have to say what is then what is the ultimate reality? What's ultimate reality? And ultimate reality has been looked at from physics, from the physical ist approach which means the approach that assumes that everything is physical. And so the scientists, the philosophers the sinker have started to say what is everything made of and you say, well it's matter what is matter, Matter turns out to be energy. We know equal M. C. Square so that is behind us. So we know that. But if we dissected what is anything, you take an object and you say what is it made of? And scientists kept going deeper, there is some chemistry there something there. So what is the chemical made of molecules? What are the molecules made of? So we're going to the source of reality and then find molecules. And they found that the molecules are made out of atoms. And then what are the atoms? They are made out of more smaller particles? Tinier and tinier exactly. The neutrinos, the electrons, the positrons and all of that the elementary particles. And when looking into the elementary particles, the scientists discovered fields which means it's no more like billiard balls, but actually fields of energy that fluctuate and give the impression of localization in time and space. Of a molecule or an atom that gives So there were these force fields, these different fields and as scientists kept going deeper, what are these fields? They are like electricity, magnetism, gravity. These are what we call fields that act at a distance because they are not localized in space and time. And they are this is why they call them a field. So they looked at electricity and magnetism and they found that there are actually one field and now we call it the electromagnetic field. So there's not two fields is one field and then they kept looking at the other forces of nature and they discovered that there are more and more unified and today there are theories of unified field that say that everything that we know everything that there is is a field of one reality called the unified field. And many of the greatest scientists of today, they are coming to the realization that it's a field of consciousness. So the ultimate reality from the objective perspective meaning, from analyzing the objects in a way that does not involve even the observer. The subject comes to that reality. But that realization has also come from ancient knowledge through many philosophers and the ancient vid antic knowledge that says that there is one field that then appears as many. So when we're looking at the ultimate reality, we have two options. We can say it's either physical or it's mental. It's consciousness. And if you have the decision that it's physical, you come to certain conclusions and certain problems how consciousness emerges and then that leads to what they call today the hard problem of consciousness. How could the subjective inner feeling of love and pain and beauty and whatever we experience personally, how does it come from just physical reality? And this hard problem of consciousness has not at all been solved in any logical way at all. There is not even a hint of a solution. So if you start from the physical, you have many problems to solve. And besides, where does the physical come from? Now there is one other way to do it and to start from consciousness. And if you start from consciousness, you have to be able to explain how the physical comes because we cannot deny that we are here, that we are talking that there are cameras and that there are sounds and there are cars and tables and people and and all of that, they are real, They also real. So if consciousness is primary, how does the physical appear? And that is what I deal with in the book on unbounded Ocean of Consciousness, Starting with my conviction based on all my research and analysis and study of beliefs of physical objects, of physicality, of where science is going, my strong faith and belief and understanding is that consciousness is the ultimate reality? What is then the meaning of life in this context is just to be able to know that, and once you know that and you know you are that then you have the ultimate fulfillment and that is the meaning of life. Life is a wonderful adventure that takes us through different steps of discovery until we know ourselves. The greatest wisdom that we know about is really ultimately know thyself know who you are, and by knowing ourselves as being that ocean of consciousness, we have fulfillment. So, my other answer to your question, which is beautifully came about your experience is the reason why you feel good. The reason why you feel intuitively satisfied and fulfilled when you transcend. Which means when you go beyond the surface level of the ocean towards the depths of it, is that you are intuitively fulfilling the purpose of life which is to know who you are and discover that you are the infinite ocean of being the infinite ocean of consciousness that constructs the entire universe and thou are, that you are, that everything is that and when you look at all traditions of great knowledge, religions, philosophers and all of that, you see they kept pointing into that, pointing towards that from different, different perspectives, you know, the bible says, we are created in the image of God, humans are created in the image of God and Christianity, it says find the kingdom of heaven that is within you and all of these great knowledge and Greece know thyself, written in Delphi on the and all the great teachings of buddhism and teachings even of all aspects of reality and even actually science is searching for the ultimate reality, let's know who we are, let's know what we are and when you have a glimpse of that directly spontaneously, you feel great because you know you are the universe on some level, it's not a pretense it's not a mood making it's a true deep experience of the ultimate reality. I'm gonna I'm gonna make an attempt to replay just a couple of highlights right there and for anyone who's listening right now, their their mind is probably hopefully being expanded and this is like whoa, wait a minute, I want to be clear what you've talked about and your your background in medicine, psychology, neuro um um neural cognition, all of the, the various areas of medicine you study this is all hardcore science and what you're saying is the hardcore science is pointing at continuously as they continue to uncover layer after later from Newtonian physics, Einsteinian physics to relativity to quantum field. What we what we're excavating is ultimately a unified theory and unified theory either starts with matter or it starts with consciousness and matter. If you start excavating there, you run into some problems very quickly. But if you start with consciousness and you can realize that consciousness is the thing that's creating all of our experience, then that is it fair to say that that is the reason that we should spend time here, that the place to know thyself is through going inward, going deep into the ocean, excavating our own head, heart, mind, soul, whatever you'd like to call it, is that a reasonable summary of what you just said? It's fantastic, it's beautiful, you said it in a wonderful way, and that's that's the reality. And also it's not that you go to yourself and then the rest doesn't matter. You actually, when you establish yourself within yourself, your creativity is more, your productivity is more, your health is better, your relation to others are better. And we have found even that when a number of people practice this program that even crime and society reduces accidents of the road reduced. And so this is a direct experience, experimental reality that have been repeated and is now truly science based evidence based published in review journals, that shows the connection between consciousness and our physical activity, what we call our physical activity and our material world. And so consciousness first gives you that inner fulfillment, inner knowing yourself. But it also translates and better playing in golf, better playing in tennis better, you know, ability to see better, ability to comprehend better relations with others and better society. Okay, so I'm gonna now I'm gonna switch off, I'm gonna try and switch off my own personal experiences and the knowledge that I think I have acquired through years of studying this and reading your material, your most recent book again, one unbound ocean of consciousness, simple answers to the big questions in life. I'm gonna park all of that for a second. I'm gonna try and and ask some basic questions that I feel like would be generated from our audience if we were in a live studio audience. I feel like some of these questions might come up and I want to I want to ask you to answer them as if we were sitting in a television studio together. Is that okay? Okay. So I'm in this community and I say, great, well, so much of, you know, I listened to Chase's show hundreds of episodes and there's many other influences I have in my life, and what I understand is that, you know, life, there's this deeper spiritual connection that we all have together and, you know, um, you know, uh dr nader maybe this is this unified theory you're talking about. But is this why say manifestation works? Because when I think of something or in different languages, if I pray or if I visualize or if I I go in that I have the experience of those things coming true in my life. So is this what you're talking about? This is also part of it? Yes, it's wonderful. The whole theory actually starts with, if you want to say how to understand all that, what is the connection with it? It starts with what would have been there before anything manifested. So we go back, let's say in time before the big Bank. You know, Big Bang is the history of our universe started with a big explosion and then there were fields and forces and then they started to cool and expand and inflate and then the objects and everything appears. So what was before that? What was before? That? That's the big question. And what was before that? According to what I present in this paradigm is consciousness. Pure consciousness and manifest non manifest. Which means nothing about it is experience a ble through the senses or touch or feeling or matter or energy. It has nothing like that. It's just pure existence of something we call consciousness. We call it consciousness because it is conscious and it is conscious of itself and being conscious of itself and in the book, I explained how it's conscious of itself in infinite number of ways. It actually imagines all possibilities. So the reality as explained in this is that you have a consciousness that has within it all possibilities at the same time, which means on a virtual level, which means not on a real level. On a virtual level, there is one consciousness that has an infinite number of possibilities. It means Chase Jarvis is here, Jarvis, Chase Tony is here, everybody's here and we are there at all levels of possibility. We are, they're young and all big and small. We are there rich and poor, we are, they're married to our girlfriend of high school or to, you know, we are the king of the Galaxy or the queen of the of the universe. You know, it's just in the same way as an author who wants to write a fictitious book and has great consciousness and great imagination can imagine any character that consciousness which is much bigger than a limited consciousness has the ability to imagine all aspects of possibilities, all possibilities that there is is in its imagination. Now, it's only imagined so before the author has the book real. It's just imagination of possibilities. So it knows all of these our imaginations, but it doesn't know what it is like to be in the shoes of all these actual characters that are there. They include animals and trees and plants and stones and mountains and countries and different countries, you can imagine anything Apollo and Zoey's and whatever you want, imagination, it's just imagination. Now, what happens is that in order to know because the nature of this consciousness is to know itself in order to be able to know in all possible ways. It limits its awareness and starts experiencing from a limited perspective. And that is a question of perspective. You as a great photographer, you know exactly what the perspective is and what you can look at from one angle or another. And if you choose the right perspective, you can produce beauty. If you can choose the wrong perspective, you can maybe get something not so special, just some kind of usual. So it's the eye of the beholder that sees the beauty. And so that is perspective now in order for this to be possible and to have true experience, this unbounded ocean limits its perception and perspective on two specific value. So you have a big landscape, but what is there in the landscape? Some small part here, some small, so focusing the attention fully on small parts, parts and pieces of the reality to see them on their own level. And that is how manifestation actually arises. There is a sequence of logic of how this happens and why it happens. But manifestation is the result of experiencing from a limited perspective, the infinite possibilities that are available in the unbounded ocean of consciousness. So what we are all doing is experiencing these things. So when we say you manifest something, in fact what you're doing is bringing to life something that's already there, and it is how your attention is able to see it. You know, as we can take the example of, say Michelangelo, he said that he looked at a stone and there is within the stone, there is this culture that he wanted to produce. There is the the, you know, the person that he wanted to, let's say, David wanted to produce the great David. And he said he would look at the stone and the David is there, all he needed to do is remove the parts that are hiding it, chip away the parts that are hiding the sculpture and then the sculpture comes to life. So, manifestation is more like this, Then actually creation. It's a revelation. It's actually a revelation. We reveal what is already there if our consciousness is wide enough. So all possibilities are there. And what do we reveal depends on our ability to see and our ability to bring out. So, you know, you have a landscape, you have 10 photographers, one knows what to take the right angle, and that is you're not creating the landscape. You are bringing out those elements with this color, with this lighting, with this angle that actually makes it a ha experience for others that therefore is the reality in life. We just reveal, reveal something that others may be with their eyes, but they don't see that. And so it depends also on the observer. How profound is our consciousness? How aware we are and that opens our eyes in terms of revealing objects of creativity or revealing discoveries about the laws of nature or phenomena that you know, allow us to to work better and be better. You know create machines and create instruments that allow us to live a better life. Is it fair then a lot? There's a saying that is I would call out of date and that that phrase is seeing is believing, would it be fair then based on your scientific experience? This is you as a scientist. Is it fair then to say that actually believing is seeing. It is fair to say that yes, to some extent, you know, seeing is believing. We know that. Let's say you have a array of flight. I usually take this example because it strikes. So you have um light of 700 nanometer wavelengths. Okay, it is light at 700 nanometer wavelength our nervous system when it is exposed to that light through the eyes. If they are functioning normally, I will say this is red, this is the color red because that's the wavelength of the light that humans recognize as red. Now, if one is color blind, one will not see the red, it's a it's gray or it's a shade of gray or something else. Photo spectrometer that detects the wavelengths of light. I will not say it's it's red or anything, it will say 700 nm. So redness is a creation of a human nervous system. The outside reality is just two wavelengths of light. It could be X ray, it could be infrared, it could be infrared, you wouldn't see it. You need another equipment to see it ultraviolet, you don't see it. But if you are in the range between red and violet, then you can see and you can say colors and you can see these things. So reality outside and reality as an impression are different. So in a sense, we can say redness doesn't exist in the universe, but we see it as red. So it's a question of perspective. So it depends on the observer, that's why we sabe utilize in the eyes of the beholder. The observer participates in the process of observing. But the observed, the object of observation also plays its role. So if it's a 900 nanometer or 400 nanometers than you would be going more into the range of red or violet. You know, if if you go higher and lower like that in the different ranges of colors. So the object has its reality, but the subject plays a role in the experience and that's why we call this. I call it a bit of consciousness, bit from bits and you know, computer science and like that a moment of experience. So every moment of experience that we have depends on three aspects the observer, the process of observation and the observed. You cannot ignore any one of those to say, you know, this is what I see. So if you say believing is seeing okay, but what are you seeing? You know, you have to also depend on the object that is there. What can you see in the object? Yes, depends on your vision. If you are clear in your vision, you might see things that others don't see, you might experience things that others don't see. Somebody comes with the flower, beautiful flower, they give you the flower, okay, there is the shape of the flower, the color of the flower. But somebody might say, oh it has many thorns, somebody might say, oh it inspires me, it's a sign of love. Somebody might say, oh, you know, they're trying to, you know, to get me to do something for them and that's why they're offering me flowers or they want me to forgive them for what they have done. So it's the same flower, but what it creates in the individual is depending on the individual's predisposition. The individual's consciousness, the individual ability to see and to see beyond. So, if you are really in tune with yourself, you can really see then what the person actually wants rather than or what the person who brings you, the flowers, intentions are rather than projecting your own uh three prejudice or predisposition about the situation. So it's a mixture, there is a flower, but there is a perceived were also and this is the combination and the relationship that creates the ultimate moment of experience or moment of perception. So I guess then our the work that we must do is to put ourselves as often as possible into this space, this existence where we can see things as they truly are, where we can see ourselves and know ourselves and and you know in a in a roundabout way. Now we're back at this is why this is in many ways a product of the the tool that meditation is. In our case, we've talked about transcendental meditation. I'm wondering if You know on a scale of 1-10, what number would you place on the value of this process of getting whether through meditation or are there other ways that people can get do this work and get into this space where they can perceive things? Um in in this, as we were talking about this, this beautiful way is transcendental meditation the only way or on a, on a 1 to 10, you know, how much would you encourage this work? And then is there a specific kind of work that you would encourage? Well, I like to give meditation 10/10 because it's really it brings us back to, I mean there are other things that we can mention of course that are very important, but if we take the simple example which you alluded to indirectly, if you have red glasses or yellow glasses, you will see the objects as red or yellow depending on your glasses. And unfortunately we see this a lot in the world today where people wear their own glasses and then they are sure that it's red. You know, you take a white paper and you say what is the color of this? And they don't know, they forgot that they have the red glasses and they tell you well it is red and the other person says no it's yellow because they have yellow glasses and then they are so sure it's red and the other is so sure it's yellow that they think the other is crazy and the other things the other is crazy. And if it's a fundamental problem, not just looking at the piece of paper, but the fundamental problem they can fight, they might kill each other. If it's something about society about life and living, you can see how these things happen. Yeah, yeah, exactly. And you see this. So what we need is to clean up our glasses. This is exactly what you're saying now, how our glasses get tainted. So we do it and what we can do about it stress is a big problem, stress and previous experience lead to impressions and prejudice and it colors our glasses every time we expose ourselves to something, it colors our glasses one way or the other, if it is exposure to something good and and real then our glasses are cleared up. If it's something stressful problem, unhealthy unbalanced, then our prejudice, our glasses are tinted in a way that makes us see like this. So we have to be careful about everything we have to be exercising so the blood flow is going through our system properly and our health is that we have to eat properly so that we don't eat the wrong foods that are disturbing to our physiology, what we put ourselves, we have to see the right things. We have to experience the beautiful things. You know, So why people like photography and painting and all of that, because it exposes some harmony in nature, some beauty, whatever it can be weird beauty, it can be a real simple coherent symmetry doesn't matter. There is some sense of harmony, of connectedness, of unifying value and all that unifies and all that brings things together as harmonious as holistic enhances our ability to see. So all of this is beautiful. All of this is important. But if you see yourself directly and the self is the unified field, the source of all that there is, then you're exposing yourself to the most fundamental experience that would allow you then to see from the clearest possible perspective. See I often take the example of the elephant in a box which everyone knows. Now you have an elephant, it's in a box, You have never seen an elephant, You don't know what the elephant is and they tell you what is the elephant you say? I don't know, you make a hole in the box and you see maybe you fall on the skin, You can say, well the elephant is a scaly kind of rough thing, or you fall on the trunk or the or the tail or on the eye of the elephant when you put your whole in the box from that angle and you say the elephant is shiny, it's smooth like this. So there are these different values and if you make the wrong hole and you see the wrong thing and then you have a different impression. So these are the impressions about reality that we get. They color our glasses from a certain way. And if we are able to see the elephant directly without the box, then we are seeing the true reality. And that brings us the fulfillment in fulfilling the goal of being able to be unbounded, ocean of consciousness to be one reality. And to know that everyone else is also that and that is what we call rising in consciousness. To be able to see the unity of life, the harmony of life, the unity of existence. The unity of all of us is something that has very profound effects on our experience, but also on our health, on our well being and our relation to others and on society as a whole in creating literally world peace and harmony. Because then we are acting from that unified level of existence which is the ultimate reality. Otherwise what we are doing is acting from small perspectives from limited perspectives, from divisive perspectives and there you have the potential for problems. Um the second part of my question was what work should we be doing? And we've spoken earlier in this conversation and you write in great depth about meditation and specifically transcendental meditation, But are there other practices that you would encourage? Or is this meditation the most direct? I mean, we can talk about the use of hallucinogens and well, it's it's radically rising in popularity. It's being decriminalized, even legalized. It's in Stage three clinical trials. M. D. M. A. For PTSD for example, there's all there's and many report being able to connect to such an experience. So our our say hallucinogens a vehicle to get to experience that that thing. And then is meditation the only way to truly experience it on an ongoing, you know, sustainable healthy way? Or are there other tools that you would suggest? I think the term sustainable, healthy way are very profound and very important. And that is really holistic what we call a holistic approach of well being, where you are going back to your own nature. So transcendental meditation is not trying to create something artificial in you. It is actually only bringing you back to yourself and we already have within ourselves all the potential. So going back to the self is like going back home, going back to the source of everything and then the effects are on all levels health productivity, release of stress integration and ability to be creative in society and to help society grow. So this holistic benefit is very important. Now other aspects you know, one can think, one can get counseling, one can have introspection, contemplation, you know and all of these activities even games or watching beautiful uh you know art or getting to know knowledge, studying science and knowledge, all of these of course are very important in developing our full potential. Now getting an experience in a way that is dramatic and bizarre, you know such as hallucinogens well can be an experience but over the long term, what is its effect on you know addiction and product where do where does it lead us in terms of dependency and we have seen that the ultimate results are can be very dangerous. So we have to be very careful and while assessing and trying and playing is okay to some level. But getting trapped into something that can lead us to problems and inefficiency, inability to operate properly and lose ourselves is not of course a good solution over the long run. So That's why I gave to transcendental meditation because it's it's science-based evidence based. It's very simple, very natural and doesn't depend on belief or anything and doesn't even depend on reading my book or not. You just practice it and and it works. Um just a quick plug there. It's tm dot org if you're interested in transcendental meditation, this is not aimed to be a tM plug for uh for but just again, I'm I'm commenting on my personal experiences and and you know, you uh dr Tony that you were, you know, life of studying this from a scientific and a medical perspective and that is part of what I think is so fascinating and you get, you know, philosophers that many of whom you've named in this in our conversation and you got hardcore science and they're coming at the same problem from different angles and arriving largely at a very similar destination. This idea of consciousness. So I want to tell another another little brief story and then ask a question as a follow up. So my wife is a meditation and mindfulness teacher practitioner first and she would say that practitioner first and teachers second and she studied under most of the greats that you know have been alive in our lifetime people like and others. And uh I am um I have become very enamored and come to understand the concept of awareness, right? All we really have in life, right is attention. What what what are, what do we play? We have, we have a flashlight and there's lots of things to point that flashlight at and and all we really have is this flashlight and say in in meditation in Tm what you try and put that light on is is nothing right? Is this one unified experience? And and people like, oh, how do you think about nothing? There are thoughts and it's like a movie screen and there's a movie playing and you see things come in and go, yes, you see those. But there are moments that we've all experienced. The first three seconds after you close your eyes before you thought of anything. That's nothing. That's right. That's pure pure consciousness. So is the goal of our attention. If we truly can place our attention is our goal to to be attentive to just the concept of of being or and and is it is it is it the experience of directing our attention throughout the day? We're gonna choose to focus on the positive thing. We're gonna choose to focus and see the beautiful things in life to be grateful to? Is it is that just our is that just gymnastics that we do are these just muscles that we're strengthening so that ultimately we can place our attention inward to this, you know, the depths of the ocean to use your ocean analogy? And if it's not that please tell me what it is, it is it is that in the sense of it is silence. It is pure being. And it's transcendental, which means it's beyond thoughts beyond any activity of the mind. But how to reach it is very important if you try to reach it by trying or forcing the mind, you get into the difficulty. And many people will say it's not for me my mind is, you know, rushing in all direction, it's running in all ideas. I have the mind jumping from thought to thought and I cannot keep my mind still. And so therefore trying like this on the surface, like try to steal your mind, try to think of nothing doesn't really make it happen in a natural way. And therefore that kind of glimpse of a little silence on the surface is possible. But what we're talking about is diving to the depths of the ocean. And diving to the depths of the ocean is a natural process. See every one of us is looking for more and more in life more and more of everything. We want more love more beauty, more beautiful things to taste or to the you know, to see to hear to more delicious things to taste. We want more charm. We want more love, we want more, even money. We want more power. And we are doing all of this through our senses which project us to the outside and looking for more and more on the outside. Whereas if we come to our true understanding of the nature of life, the nature of ultimate reality, we have said, it is this pure consciousness. It is this unified field from which and in which is all possibilities, all possibilities that can be ever present anywhere are coming from this field which modern science is glimpsing and understanding even from an objective level which the ancient traditions tell us is there, and therefore our desire to go for more and more and more can be directed inwards. This is what we do and transcendental meditation. We just use the nature of the mind to want to go to more and more, but which usually does that by projecting outside. And now we say, just take the inward direction and follow this simple process. And then the mind guided by its own nature dives towards its own self to know thyself to know that you are that and that happens completely naturally. You know, if the honey bee is buzzing around and you hear the buzzing and buzzing and buzzing and suddenly it's quiet. It's because it has found the nectar, and when it finds the nectar it settles there. So to create silence, give it the nectar. Don't force it by, you know, saying, stop buzzing, stop doing, stop, you're going around. If you force it, it will be unhappy and it will not be there. Just give it the nectar and it goes to it naturally. So we give ourselves that chance of going to the infinite nectar of pure being which has all the intelligence, all the power, all the energy that creates the entire universe. And then the mind wants to go there guided by its own nature. So they don't want to answer that last question that it was a part of this very long question that was multifaceted. So I apologize is all this other stuff that we're doing all these where we're placing our attention rather even if we get really good at being grateful or feeling this moment um feeling the wind on our face and being aware of that and when we are in traffic and someone cuts us off, recognize that it's not about this person being in front of me, it's about we're experiencing one precious moment in life and people who are on their deathbed have reported this over and over and over at invented them just that. What is beauty, what is joy, what his connection is just the experiencing of being alive. So is is is understanding where we're putting our attention are those just muscles and what we really want to be doing is sure that's helpful to develop those muscles. But we want to be, we want to through transcendental meditation work on letting our mind effortlessly go toward itself. No, I mean we have to live meditation. We do only 20 minutes morning and evening. And so in our daily activity. Of course we have to have some guidelines if we want and that is very important. This very important point. I'm sorry, I didn't address it. As you said, it was a multifaceted question. But the attention attention is very important. We have a saying which is very important and that is whatever you put your attention on grows stronger in your life. If you put your attention more and more on certain aspects, you know play the piano, you put your attention on playing the piano, the brain, the nervous system, the interconnections between the brain change and they modified and they actually gradually build up the circuits that allow you to play more automatically and more naturally. So if you also on the surface level you are in a situation and there can be a threat. Could be a problem, can be a situation in the traffic or anything. What you will put your attention on will go stronger in your life. So if you put your attention on anger, anger will grow stronger in your life. You put your attention on fighting and the problem of the other. You can have all of this problem kind of situation grow for your own self, It's not just for the other but it's also important for the other. If you put your attention on, okay, this might be a person who is stressed who is tense, who is late in their work and you feel like compassion for them. That's of course a beautiful technique. So there are all of these behavioral suggestions and techniques that can be very important in our life and of course there are many teachers who give these directions and guidance and inspirations in that reality. However, even in that situation, the more you are yourself rested, the more you are yourself established in yourself, the more naturally you will feel inclined to find the better solution because you get established in this field of inner kindness and our Peacefulness in our intelligence that allows you to see the long term benefit and see in our nervous system we have the fight or flight response which we have inherited from being in the jungle and that is whenever we are exposed to a stress situation or unpleasant situation, the inner values. The old instincts come out and we are immediately wanting to fight or to run away one or the other. So that is the flight of right response which is an adaptive response. Otherwise in the jungle, if you are going to think about music and philosophy, when the beast is there, you will be devoured before you before you kind of think about philosophical stuff. So this will wake up Unfortunately in society it wakes up with a loud noise or with somebody in the car crossing around or doing the wrong thing and that then the anger comes and what happens is the upper part of the brain which is more logical, which gives us better survival. Better long term effect is a little bit shut down. And this is not just theory. This is we know through blood flow distribution to different parts of the brain, how it happens now when transcendental meditation does again, I'm coming back to this because it's the phenomenon. It establishes you in the self which means it establishes you in the higher value of your awareness, not just the fight or flight, instinctive animal response, but the fact of our humanity, our greater values of greater thinking. They're so well developed. As you say muscle. Yes, it does create coherence in the brain. And there are scientific studies that show that the distribution of electrical activity between the front and the back, the right and the left become more coherent in people who practice transcendental meditation and this is due to the opening of the reserves and opening of the reserves means new connections. Are there new chemical reactions, chemical neurotransmitters and electrical activity, which means your upper brain becomes so solid that when you are under threat situation automatically you will call upon that higher value and the blood is not shunted away to the animal aspect of our flight and fight response. But it keeps you alert. So that's why we say spontaneously naturally, you will be able to handle the situation with a broader perspective with what we call situational awareness, ability to focus yet to be aware of the broad situation and find solutions that are better for survival, better for interaction and ultimately much better of course for yourself, including performance. This is what, you know, people like Michael Jordan talk about playing basketball and everything seems effortless and in slow motion, a universal, like usually you're aware of a thing like the flower or the car or the traffic or you know, my grandmother or but to be aware almost aware with the capital a that is what this feeling of the peak performers in any discipline have talked about. We feel these flow states or is its harmony rather than, you know, focus on an attention on one thing. It's it's everything. So yeah, do you feel like, you know, this has been a consistent report of the people who are meditators that I've had on the show and that is um you know, my friend tim Ferriss wrote a book studying hundreds of people and of all the people that he studied that were peak performers, some form of meditation. Mindfulness awareness practice was the largest think was the first, the number one most powerful and common thread right behind, right ahead of something like people getting actual sleep and taking care of their body. So, um, I think when we, you know, to to, I want to read a couple of the chapter headings from your book, um space and time, causality, human awareness, the speed and shift of attention, um karma and constraints, mindfulness yoga challenges and solutions. It is just, you have done an incredible job of making the science of mind and the human experience putting into a book, I don't know how you did it, but it's absolutely brilliant in nature and makes me want to ask uh what else you've captured all this beautifully in a book. And again, highly recommended. It's very useful to go through um your your prologue is very um powerful at laying out this, largely what we've been speaking about here, but now, once we're aware of these, that that the science, this is hardcore science and our our experience, what we know what we experience in our world, where we've had these, you know, manifestations or oh, I was just gonna call someone and someone calls you and you know, these profound stillness quietness connection when when these things are converging in largely the topic of your book is all that is left for us to do. Once we are aware and understand some of these basic principles is what I want to communicate is you don't need to know everything, you just need to know this thing does does our work. Then let me ask you the question, where does our work lie? Is there? Where should we apply effort. Because this audience who are listening and watching right now, they are eager to experience what you've, what you've shared with us today, where ought they begin? I think established in being perform action, this is a great wisdom that comes also from the Yoga tradition. The yoga tradition of knowledge and that is the ultimate the ultimate wisdom if you like. There is 200% of life, 100% inner and 100% outer so established in the field of being. Then we can perform with broad comprehension, yet ability to focus and so we can enjoy what we're doing as a witness of it rather than be a football of situations and circumstances that is kicked around by situations from the outside. We get established in the infinite field of stability and strength, which is who we are. It's not something we have to create. It's something we have not been in touch with but which is our true selves. So we are almost foreign to ourselves. If we are not established in ourselves and then we are foreign to ourselves. We are then, you know, impressions of others and what they say, what we have heard about ourselves when we are young or this told us that and that teacher told us this, this parent or this friend told us that and these things remain in us. And we kind of are starting to associate ourselves with these things which are not our true selves. And therefore we are acting based on those limitations of who we are and what we need is to go back to the self, establish ourselves and that anchoring of life. And then we have the full field of possibilities available to us to enjoy because the self, if flat absolute silence and then it enjoys living. It enjoys participating in life And the enjoyment will be much bigger when we are anchored in ourselves than being tossed around by the outer circumstances and depend on them. That is what leads to what we call equanimity. Equanimity in all situations, the sense of being equal, being peaceful and this is something that does not get created only through understanding and intellect, but through direct experience of the inner self. I don't even know where to start. Besides, by thanking you for all the work, I mean, you're the tm head of over 100 nations, your work from Harvard to with the Maharishi. Um the span of your professional effort over the decades has is absolutely mind blowing. Thank you for approaching this work. Thank you for providing us with the book and all of your your effort. Um and also your kindness and compassion and you know, I read a quote, that's your where was it here? I've made a note of it. Um I want this is a quote from you. I want everyone to know what consciousness is and how to develop it, to enjoy the full potential of individual and social life. So, I would like to just uh a debt of personal gratitude to you and the work that you've done. Thank you for helping us make sense of this very profound experience that we call life. And uh obviously I have a lot of work to do. I don't know about the other folks listening and watching, but very, very grateful to have you on the show is there aside from the book, which again, I'll say the title um where we hear one unbounded Ocean of consciousness. Simple answers to the big questions in life. Five star average over hundreds, hundreds reviews on amazon. Um again, thank you. Is there anywhere else besides the book that you I guess I also referred people to tM dot org. Is there anywhere else that you would steer are speaking of attention, steer our attention for the watchers and listeners today. Tm dot org is a great place. I have a website myself. If you want to check out what we're doing, we have some podcasts that are happening like this. It's a beautiful want to be with you. It's so inspiring to see such a great artist and thinker and I feel very grateful to be with you and to have the opportunity to share some thoughts. There is my, my website Doctor Tony Nader dot com and you know, all the Youtube podcasts and all of that. If you want to look at it from different perspectives and all the knowledge that life offers, enjoy it and we all continue to grow and make our society better. Beautiful. Thank you so much for being a guest on our show. We've all got lots of work to do uh for everybody out there again, dr Tony Nader N A D E R dot com. He's got a lot of material out there on the internet. This book is incredible. And of course, tm dot org, which I am, personally, I don't get any dollars for this. It's just uh my experience of that, that meditation and specifically TM has brought to me as no, no less than transformational. So thank you again doctor for being a guest on the show. Grateful to have had you. And I look forward to our next conversation into staying in touch. My great pleasure. Alright. Until next time everyone out there on the internet, in your ears, eyes wherever you're taking this in um in one unified field, thank you so much for being with us. And until next time from Dr Tony and myself, we did you and you.
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