Berlin - Germany, 2000
As an international teacher, do you see a similarity or a connection between us now and the circumstances that gave rise to Hitler and his power?
Yes, there is a deep connection. This connection is fear based on selfishness. As long as fear runs people's lives, they project the enemy as some foreign force. Fear is based on insecurity, which is rooted in ignorance of the truth. This fear is what keeps the whole system running, keeps everyone economically enslaved. Unemployment has nothing to do with foreign workers, but is a function of a capitalist free market economy. This economy runs on fear and greed based in deep ignorance. It is a lot easier to imagine that the enemy is a Turkish worker and not the entire system of economics.
What advice would you give people so that this does not happen again?
Be willing to turn away from everything that has conditioned you into a false belief that you are a slave. That is, be willing for a moment to turn you away from all the conditioning of a lifetime that tells you who you are. This means to turn inward to discover the truth of who you are. This can only be discovered by intelligent self-examination to find out the truth of the situation and the truth of being. Unless you wake up to the truth of your own existence, you will be enslaved by conditioned ideas, beliefs, propaganda, and subconscious motivations. All of this is what is manipulated to create fascism, communism, and capitalism.
How do you define work? Are you seeing new ways of work for the future?
For most people, work is a form of economic slavery based on fear and insecurity. Very few people would choose to do what they do if they had a true choice. When discovering true freedom is the prime motivation, then your life is ordered by a different set of principles. You may continue doing the same work, but the motivations have radically changed. When you discover the truth of your being through direct experience you are free to work freely. That is, you are not bound to it by a noose around your neck. In this, many new and creative forms of work naturally appear.
That time was a struggle for freedom. But unfortunately we didn't know what freedom really was. We were babies. We wanted political freedom, cultural freedom, and sexual freedom. All of these are freedoms for the body. We lost this cultural war when Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs, which was really a very effective attack on our culture.
While the environmental movement, the Greens, Greenpeace, organic food, alternative lifestyles, and this magazine are all "wins" of that movement, they are very small change indeed.
But the changes from that time did continue and did go deeper. While many people were content to stop with the cultural form, like the smoke cafés in Amsterdam, many also went much deeper. A large part of the spiritual movement is an outgrowth of that time. In my case, while hiding out in the mountains of Colorado with guns and dynamite, I had a profound awakening. It led to an eighteen-year spiritual search that ended when I met my final teacher in India in 1990. In this meeting, true freedom was discovered. So now, if you, in reading this wake up and directly realize the truth of your being, you could say that this is the fruit of the revolution of '68.
What does enlightenment mean to you? Would you say that you are enlightened?
Enlightenment means shining the light into the darkness to see what is there. When the light of consciousness shines into the darkness of ignorance called egoic identity, it is directly discovered that this ego does not really exist! Ego is merely a bundle of thoughts. So even the thought, "I am enlightened", is a joke. Who could say such a thing? When the illusion of separation is seen through, there is direct recognition of the reality of one being. There is no one unenlightened and no one enlightened. There is only consciousness everywhere.