It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the "F Word" here - Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same, and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it.
Bob: Hey guys, welcome back to the Alive and Free podcast. Today, we are going to talk about finding God. Last time you recall, we were in the middle of talking about what the beauty of being wrong about thing and all the rules and expectations put on you. Today, we're going to go through a journey that is going to take us into the back woods of Tennessee and out the other end so that we can discover the beauty of this and what this can possibly do to really improve your life. [0:01:01.0]
So let's start quickly – I grew up, I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormons. We still attend there regularly. I have in the middle of my life; I have studied from Buddhism to Daoism, Shamanism, Hinduism, I have been through deep rabbit hole in different spiritual traditions. I have explored other Christian traditions as well and Deism and Spiritualism and other things like that. I have explored just pure energenic studies and trained in a lot of different things. I went all over the map because in the beginning I was looking for the truth. Now what does this have to do with addiction? Why would we talk about – or depression or anxiety and all this other stuff – let's recap. Your concept of the purpose of this life and your concept of what it's all about and who you are in the middle of it is ultimately going to be where a lot of your thoughts and emotions are going to come from and those are what drive behavior. [0:01:59.4]
A person who is stuck in addiction has a thought process around God or the purpose of this life and everything and where they fit into all of that that is driving thoughts and emotions that are creating these addictive behaviors. That is what I have seen over and over again, tried, tested, true. Will every scientist or researcher on the planet agree with me? No but I'm out getting results for people so I'm not here to argue with them. I'm just here to get results for people. Okay? Now, by the same token how does that deal with depression and anxiety and stuff? Same deal. Your emotions are going to come from your thoughts. Your emotion is nothing more than your body's reaction to your mind. This was most clearly by Eckhart Tolle's book, The Power of Now. I think that is the way that he described that and something that I discovered on my own a long time ago, I just barely started reading that other book and I was like, "Oh cool, somebody else is saying the same thing." It's pretty amazing and I think he's stated it in the most clear way by saying it that way. Emotions really are your body's reaction to your mind whether you know what your mind is thinking or not. [0:03:04.0]
So why would we talk about God in this context? Why not? Because ultimately God or the Source of everything or the Creator of the universe or life itself or that is holding everything in place that's going to be a big component to the way that you see yourself in the world and that's ultimately going to drive a lot of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. So for me, let's go back. Here I was raised in a very, very religious household with rules and regulations and commandments to follow and I just wanted to figure out what it was all about. So at first in my journey what I did was I got into studying scripture a lot. I memorized passages of scripture and I crossed checked them and cross referenced them and I looked up old prophetic writing and commentaries on things and memorized those and was looking for deep, deep doctrines. [0:04:00.1]
It's what I would call the "Agnostic Trap." In other words, this idea that there is some secret, some hidden secret to eternal life, to freedom, to living like God or whatever that is. There was some hidden secret in all these text that if I could just glean it that the mystery of godliness would be some nugget of wisdom and if I had that I would be the master of secret so to speak. That's an ego trip. I didn't realize it at the time. Here I was in college and just going through all these courses learning about biblical exegesis and how to look at these text from their etymological standpoint and from their linguistic heritage and from their cultural context. I was just going nutso because I thought that was the way for me to find happiness and freedom and salvation – yeah I was still in the middle of addiction at the time so I was trying to find a way out and for me forgiveness from God was paramount at the time. So that meant I had to find a way to connect with Him in the most powerful way. [0:05:01.9]
As much as I resented Him sometimes; assuming it's Him, right? As much as I resented Him sometimes for the way that my life was shaping up that it felt like I was a victim to. At a certain point after doing that for years and years, I got fed up. This was parallel to my journey in martial arts where the Grand Master that I was studying under kept releasing a new bit of material that was like the next hidden secret. So here I was watching as year after year, every few months there would be some bit of new martial arts material or some new secret nugget of wisdom that would tell me where all the death points were or what to hit where and what time of day when the long meridian was full and all this other stuff in order to cripple an opponent or make him die by laughing or by diarrhea or by constipation or whatever or time delayed death. It was always this, "We found this new nugget of wisdom that once you have owned the secret you too will be invincible like the Masters of old." [0:06:02.5]
That's how I felt about religion and that's the way it came across to me was that there was some secret somewhere that once you grabbed it then you were like invincible, you were like "Okay, I' free, I'm good, I'm forgiven of everything." But I got fed up because I realized it was just a rouse with martial arts. It was just one more carrot dangled so I could pay more money for another seminar to go learn another thing that I would have to train for another 20 years in order to be able to master it. I felt the same thing about religious text. Now I'm not saying anything bad about religious text or religion in general here. I'm telling you that I didn't find what I needed in approaching it that way. That's it. Some people will argue till they are blue in the face about how important it is to memorize and study all of these scriptural text to which my only answer in my head was, "Yeah but how many people in history have actually been able to read scripture? I know you're telling me that there haven't been any enlightened beings on the planet unless they were literate? Unless they had scriptures with them? It seems a little bit out of place that scripture and written text was what was required for a person to find enlightenment." [0:07:11.8]
I just got fed up and I was just like, "I just don't want to hear about it anymore." All I wanted after that was practicality like okay we can talk about all this stuff but tell me how this is going to change my life? I want to see how the rubber hits the road. I'm tired of just watching the rubber spin. I got really rebellious. I got kind of stick in the mud sometimes and I would just do things to stick it to people because I was so fed up of watching myself be the same person every year but also watching everybody else be the same person every year. So there I am looking for an answer and it just became clear to me that the only way that I would ever really understand the truth about who I am and about who God was; it had to be by direct experience. There was no other way. So I went looking for energetic training and stuff which I had been doing for a long time; studying in various healing arts and studying in Tai Chi and Chi Gung and other martial arts and maybe some of you will think I'm a pagan because of that. I'm not but whatever [0:08:07.9]
But I was just looking for an answer. I was just a guy looking for an answer. Then those became the same thing like, "Oh you can learn this and what not but it's not ultimately the truth." Until I got hooked in with a yogi, a guru, who I found at random who was answering questions about parenting of all things and I was like, "Wow, this guy really makes sense." So I started listening to him. I started following along with the things that he was teaching. I was finding that my life was becoming happier. I was finding more freedom than I ever felt in my entire life. I was finding clearer perspective on things. But I still didn't know who God was. I didn't know what that and I didn't know what that was about. After training and doing a number of these exercises for a while, I went to a retreat. It was a four-day retreat and there I was in the middle of the wood in Tennessee. [0:09:00.8]
It was cool enough that the bugs weren't biting and we were in a big meditation hall at the time. It was like four days of meditation. So we would sit and listen to him talk and discuss and teach certain things and challenge certain concepts but then also sit and do some yoga practices and some breathing practices and things like that.
If you, or someone you know, is looking to drop the F Bomb of Freedom in your life, whether that's from addiction or depression and anxiety or just anything that's making you feel flat out stuck, but you have no clue how to shake it and just want help doing it, head on over to LiberateaMan.com and book a call, where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you've been missing.
Bob: I remember on the fourth day we had just finished and he was talking deliberately about who a person was in the audience who is challenging their very concept of who they were, you know, he got him to stand up. He was like where are you? And he was like I'm right here. Where right here? What is right here? So they pointed to their body. So he was like you're your body? Well, yeah. Okay, cool so if I cut off your arm does that mean that – are you still you or are you less of you? They were confused. I'm still me. Right so if I cut off both arms then, both legs, assuming that you could still survive would you still be you? Well, yeah. When you were a baby how big were you? About yay big. Okay cool and you're now this big does that mean that ... were you as a baby or are you more of you now? Well I'm just me. Okay, cool. So you're not your body. Awesome. So if you're not your body then where are you? He was like inside my body. He was like okay, where inside? I don't know. Oh okay so you went inside and you got lost. [0:11:02.4]
And just question after question where by the end he was okay so let me get this straight. If you're not your body then let me ask you this question, when you get sick are you sick or is it that your body gets sick? Well my body gets sick. Cool, so when you're born is it you that is born or is it your body that is born? Well I guess my body is born. Okay so what dies? Well my body dies. Okay you're not born, you don't die, you don't get sick, you're not any particular age, you're just you. You sound a lot like God. That threw me because that was like oh nice seeing Creed and all the stuff I studied before and I was like I don't know what to do with this. I was literally along the way trying to answer the questions in my head in come clever way that he couldn't poke a hole through but he kept poking a hole through everything I said. I couldn't answer. So I walked into the bathroom of all places and I sat down on the toilet, on the throne – no this isn't graphic – but I sat down there and something inside me emotionally broke. [0:12:04.7]
I just started sobbing like mad. The only thing I knew to say was I don't know anything about God. Now I had grown up being taught that God was a person that He has a body of flesh and bone. Now not all Christians believe this. The Mormon Church does. That He has a body of flesh and bone and that Jesus is this other being and that we're going to grow up and we're going to be like Him in some after life. I had been taught all these things and I had tremendously powerful spiritual experiences but as I reflected back over all that stuff I realized that what I knew about God where things that I just felt good hearing or saying. That I didn't actually know by direct perception. That I didn't know and that all these spiritual experiences where I wasn't negating any of them. I had those experiences but they didn't really teach much about God. So there I am sitting on the toilet in the middle of the woods in Tennessee crying because I don't know who God is. [0:13:08.7]
Three decades of my life, I had been taught exactly what it was and it was like I was in this mid-life crisis like disillusionment, whatever. I left the toilet and I walked outside and people were looking at me funny. I'm sure they thought I was constipated and had a rough time because of all the tears coming out of my eyes but I took a walk in the woods after that and I was just looking around and feeling the natural world. I became very, very aware of the presence of creation; life in the flowers and in the pond and in the trees. This tremendous joy just ran through me. It didn't answer my question. It just said maybe I don't know anything about God but I do know this and this feels powerful. [0:14:05.1]
There is something powerful that is holding all of this life together that is beating my heart, that is causing me to breathe, that is keeping the planets in orbit, and it feels powerful. This is a great place to start. It was like my whole body smiled. It was like my organs smiled. This weight of decades of like worry and concern and confusion and all that stuff just dropped off me; I felt like 20-30 pounds lighter. I was crying again but for a whole different reason because what I felt by direct experience was life and if behind it there is a God that has flesh and bone and happens to be male, great I don't know that by direct experience. Some of my experiences make me believe that it's a guy but that just could be because I'm a guy. I don't know. [0:14:59.8]
I'm fully willing to admit that my interpretations of my experiences are just my interpretations of my experiences. They may or may not be true but I did have those experiences and they are real to me and they have become a powerful foundation in my life that's given me the ability to doubt everything and not be shaken by doubt. The ability to question – you know what if I don't know? What if everything that I was taught is wrong? And isn't it so freeing? Isn't it so beautiful to look at and wonder? You know what, what if I'm wrong about my limitations? What if I'm wrong about my possibilities? What if I'm wrong about all the things that I think are hard in life? What if I'm wrong? There is such beauty in ignorance. Such beauty in not knowing because guess what? When you don't know something that means something new is possible. And if you're stuck in addiction, or depression, or anxiety, or stuck in business and finances or whatever and you know what you're going to do that means you have already been there. [0:16:08.0]
The only way you know something is by direct experience of some kind. You can have a bunch of ideas but those ideas are based on your own experience, you don't know any of it until you have lived it and breathed it and been there. Doesn't mean you can't learn from other people's experiences and choose one for yourself but what you know is from your own experience which means that when you step up into the unknown then that whole life of misery behind you can vanish because that means something new is possible and you don't have to relive that. When it comes to addiction, oh my gosh, there is only one way to do it but this is what I know. I've been in the 12-step programs for 10, 15 years and even though I'm not totally free or sober, I'm just sober for sometimes or even though I've been clean for a year and stuff; it's still haunting me in my mind. It's okay I can just deal with that the rest of my life. What if you're wrong? What if you could step to a place where you're doing something different that you don't know and therefore experience something radically new that is a much bigger possibility than you possibly imagined before. [0:17:12.4]
The definition of insanity according to Einstein is to continue doing the same thing and expect a different result. What if my friend? What if we're wrong? What if we're all wrong about all this stuff? What if you could get rid of all these ideas about your life and see it for what it really is and choose something new? So for me finding God or this piece of it, I've had tremendous – like countless other experiences of a deep spiritual nature. And by spiritual, I don't mean religious, I mean that which exists at the core of being. I've had countless of these. I still don't know anything about it. To think that I this tiny speck on a planet that's a tiny speck in a solar system that's a tiny speck in a galaxy that's a tiny speck in the cosmos could possibly know all of that is really arrogant. I don't know. I've discovered some things in my life that are very, very powerful and effective but I'm always open to what if I'm wrong because in my experience being open to what if I'm wrong is the very doorway through which I have to walk in order to discover something that is unsurpassably more beautiful. [0:18:27.8]
So that's a wrap for today as we continue to explore this idea of being wrong. Next week we're going to talk about a shift in focus on the next episode; about what the number one priority can be in order to have freedom really show up in your life. So I look forward to talking to you all on that one. For this week, again just go look where you might be wrong and what you can discover if you can let down all the ideas you think you have and explore something radically new. Have a good one.
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