Please enjoy the following except from an interview I did with Jennifer Hough of Soul Talk radio:
Jennifer: Arjuna – I’d love for our listeners to hear – how do you describe how you distinguish that there are things in life that happen that can appear really, really serious, and how do you marry what you just said with those kind of experiences?
Arjuna: Right, right. It’s a beautiful thing. Well, first of all let me clarify that of course there is a very, very, very strong tendency in all of us to get very enmeshed in the realm of birth and death, you know, of things being born and dying. I don’t want to mislead anybody. I’m not speaking as a human being who is beyond all that. I mean I’ve got two beautiful boys who are now teenagers and, you know, of course if anything – if a hair on their head was harmed, I would be beside myself with concern. And I’ve got a wife I adore, and if anything happened to her I’d be…so of course it is completely, completely natural to be sad when someone is hurt or dies. It’s natural to be sad when someone leaves you, and of course if you are having a struggle with money, as a lot of people are today, it’s very, very natural and understandable to feel anxious. So I’m not by any means advocating or claiming any sort of absolute state of immunity to the human condition. The human condition is what it is and it’s got its triumphs and it’s got its defeats.
The thing is that what we are discovering now, is that there is a way of waking up to a deeper dimension of yourself so that the whole thing flows more easily. It still has its ups and downs, but it’s somehow the ups and downs are now occurring within a context of grace, within a context of meaning, of things falling together, and that’s what awakening means. I really was looking into this because I believe, Jennifer, that what is happening for millions of people today, this kind of revolution in consciousness, it’s really unprecedented. It’s unprecedented not only in the numbers of people who are shifting in this way, but it’s unprecedented in the way that they are shifting. In other words, it’s not just the awakening that’s in these numbers that is interesting, but the way that awakening is being embodied is completely different than what we’ve seen before.
Jennifer: Oh, I totally concur, absolutely.
Arjuna: So in contrast to what we’ve seen historically, people are waking up now not as monks and nuns and recluses and followers of a particular religion or something. People are waking up today in a whole different atmosphere which is embracing the world, which is part of the world. So people are waking up in their parenting. People are waking up in their sexuality. For example, you know, people who were interested in awakening maybe thirty years ago, you’d find a good proportion of them interested in celibacy or renouncing relationships. Today no one is into celibacy. Everybody’s into embodied awakening, awakened sexuality. People are interested in awakened business. People are interested in awakened social and political actions, so today it’s all about living it. It’s not about leaving the world in any way. So it’s a whole new ballgame that’s opening up.
I got so interested in this that I took it on myself many years ago now to interview 170 people who are considered to be, in one way or another, exponents of awakening. People like Eckhart Tolle, Karen Casey, Ram Dass, and also many others who you wouldn’t necessarily associate with awakening, but I interviewed the Bishop of Edinburg Cathedral, who is very awake, and I interviewed the Dean of Grace Cathedral, and I interviewed business leaders and all kinds of people who’ve had some kind of awakening. I was able to really paint a portrait of this new quality of awakening that is emerging which is a whole different way of going about this. It’s not what we’ve called enlightenment in the past. It’s a whole new kind of mature human being who is fully awake to being human and to all the challenges of being human, but also at the same time awake to their free nature, that nature is a free consciousness. So it’s not either or. It’s not that you’re either in the world and effected by death and disappointment or in you’re in this kind of transcendent immunity. It’s both. You are fully human and fully subject to the fragility of being human, and you are everything at the same time, both, both at the same time, very strange paradox.