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've 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: Welcome back, guys. It's Episode 19 here on the Alive and Free podcast. Today, I promised you last time that we're going to talk about the culture of knowledge and the problem of knowledge; like the problem of saying, "Oh I get it, I got it, I get it, I get it." My kids do this all of the time. My kids are having struggles with math. This happens with one of my sons quite frequently. He doesn't understand the problem and so I'm sitting there trying to explain it to him. He's like, "No, I get it, I know, I get it." What he means by that is, "Okay Dad, I don't want you to tell what's going on like I don't want to work on this anymore. I'm not dumb. I'm not dumb. I understand and I'll get it." [0:01:13.3]
But I can see clearly he's not getting it. And it has nothing to do with his failings as a human being. Literally, he doesn't understand the problem yet. So he says he gets it and then he goes and he does it wrong meaning he gets the incorrect answer for the mathematical equation. And then he moves on thinking he got it and I go, "No, you don't understand, son, that's not the correct answer." And so then we have to go back and explain it. But what's this thing there in the middle, it's like "No, okay, I got it, I got it." This has happened all across the nation, the world probably but especially in the people I've interacted with the most and it's a huge problem because it's an obstacle in the way of truly understanding things better, of true human connection, and of true powerful experience in life. And what I want to give you today is a way of looking at knowledge so that you can understand what it really is and what it's useful for but also a way of looking at ignorance and how beautiful that is as well so that it doesn't feel chaotic or it doesn't feel like a problem if you suddenly don't know something that that can be a powerful, wonderful opportunity. [0:02:21.2]
So I grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I didn't grow up in the church, you get what I mean, right? I've been a member since I was a kid. My parents were members. I was baptized at age 8. We still attend that church. I have studied a whole bunch of religious traditions, been to worship services and all kinds of other things throughout my life, studied everything from Shamanism to Daoism to Buddhism to Hinduism to other isms, to like, you know spiritism and non- religious traditions – all kinds of stuff because I wanted to know the truth. But I grew up and the bulk of a lot my experience growing up was inside of this very Christian organization. Some people would say Mormons are not Christians. That's not true if you just look at what they're teaching. What they mean is they don't believe in Christ the way that we do which, you know, how many Christian religions are there? [0:03:08.5]
And they're all kind of saying the same thing. We're the right ones and everybody's wrong. It happens inside of every tradition. Buddhism has different factions that say we're better than the other ones. Yoga has different factions. Daoism has a bunch of different weird strains in it that are far removed from anything original from what I can tell. This happens a lot. But I grew up in this church and once a month, if you didn't know, we get up and we do this thing called a testimony meeting which means members of the church get up and they go up to the microphone at the front and they share their experience of life. What's a testimony, right? A testimony is legitimately what you would give in court. You're called as a witness. Meaning you share what you saw from your life experience and what you believe to be the case in any of this based on your life experience. If you go too far in court, there will be an objection from the other bench. [0:04:03.2]
"Objection, hearsay." "Objection, calls for speculation." "Objection, leading the witness." All of these objections that are going on – I only know what these are based on – my cousin can correct me later – I only know that what they are based on police dramas so I'm very limited. But there are objections when a person strays from their own personal experience and what they know and they start making speculations about what's happening; about bigger things than what they've experienced. And on occasion there are expert witnesses that are called in. These expert witnesses are called and they're called in to – they've had a lot of experience and based on that experience we want their opinion as to what is doing on in this case. So that does show up from time to time. These are people with lots, and lots, and lots of experience with similar things and we tend to trust them as authorities on the subject even if they could be wrong in this particular instance. So these are things that happen in court. Why is this pertinent to you? Look if you're not a Christian, if you're not a Mormon, if you're not anything else, I promise this relates because you have grown up your whole life believing that you have to know the answers in order to be valuable as a human being. [0:05:08.8]
It started when you were a kid. If your mom asked you why you did something and you give her the right answer, she would reward you. If you didn't give her the right answer, she would coach you till you got the right answer and then you would get the reward. Or maybe you were punished if you gave the wrong answer. You know, if you didn't say, "Sorry", you got punished so you finally learned to say, "Sorry" so that you have the right answer. Right? You go to church and you have Sunday school classes and they want – like "Oh what are ways that we can grow closer to God?" They want you to say read the scriptures, they want you to say go to church, they want you to do this, that, or the other. You go to school and your teachers are telling you this is what history was like and these are the right answers. Guess what? Different countries teach it differently and the right answers for you are not the right answer for them. But you learned that if you didn't have the answer you got an "F" or a "D" or a "C" and you answer needed to be top notch for you to get good grades and, by the way, having the knowledge and knowing the right answer is the thing that's going to get you into a good school which is the thing that will get you into a good career which is the thing that will save your life on this planet because then you'll be able to make money and put food on the table and then you'll have respect and a comfortable life because you know the right answers and you can help people with the right answers and having the right answers will also help you in the next life because... [0:06:19.8]
Oh man, I'm totally rattling here, sorry. Breathe, let your ears breathe for a second, okay. In the next life if I had the right answers that means I get admitted to Heaven and I did all the right things. So all of you in one way, shape, or form have been trained that you need to know and that knowledge and having the right answers is the way to find success on this planet and success in the world to come whether you're Christian, whether you're Muslim, whether you're Hindu, whether ... whatever it is; having the right answers, doing things the right way that's all that matters. And so we have this meeting once a month in the church and people get up and they share from their experiences. Now I've been to meetings and satsangs with yoga gurus and other places where people get up and share their experiences too and it's very similar. [0:07:09.3]
You know, I had this powerful experience in my life and I've just seen the results that doing this yoga has helped in my life and I feel more at ease and I feel happier and I’m not reacting to people as much. In the church when I was growing up, the format was a little bit different. You get up and you say, "I'd like to bear my testimony." Little kids learn this. I don't know even know what "bearing a testimony" means. Like bear your soul? Because you can't have a testimony. A testimony is literally what you share. You don't own a testimony. You just have your experience but you get up and you share this thing. And then they say, look – I know and in the Mormon Church I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet. I know that God lives and He loves me. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know this, I know that. Right? And kids just repeat those and adults will come up and they'll share personal experiences from their lives sometimes and then end these experiences by saying, look, this is another evidence to me that God does this thing. [0:08:05.2]
Now maybe a prosecutor would be like, "Objection, calls for speculation." "Did you actually see God loving you at that moment? Did you actually see the Book of Mormon was true or did you see that you simply had good feelings while you were reading it?" That might be the case inside of a court of law. But inside of a group of believers, people getting up and saying these things makes them feel like they belong, it makes them feel like they have a purpose in their life and it's comfortable. And I was talking to Jasmine about this a couple days ago and this is legitimately true, I love my wife for the way that she thinks this way because it's so beautiful. I don't think this way but it's so beautiful. She was like, "Look I was thinking about this, Bob, and I realized you know, if somebody showed up and they're trying to prove to me that there is no life after this one, that none of this stuff exists, that God doesn't exist, whatever. If I thought that way, then I would just feel like this life is pointless. It wouldn't make me happy. It wouldn't make this life any better for me at all. And so whether or not I'm wrong, I choose to believe, not because it's necessarily true. I mean I don't know how it all works out. But because in believing, I feel like my life has a purpose and I feel like there's something that I'm doing here and it brings me happiness and it brings me joy." [0:09:18.6]
That is a conscience use of belief. It is such a powerful use of belief and if you have a belief, I suggest you use it consciously. Understand when you're believing something that you don't actually have evidence for beyond your good feelings about it and when you know something which means you do have more evidence than that for it, right? Understand it too, that belief is such a powerful – it is perhaps the most dangerous thing on the planet because if you believe something blindly to be true and act on it, you can cause a lot of harm. The Crusades came from belief. The genocide of the Jews came from a belief from Hitler who believed in a superior race. A lot of trauma and turmoil and all kinds of other stuff that has happened on this planet has happened because of belief systems used unconsciously. [0:10:10.5]
On the flip side, some of the beautiful music, in my opinion obviously, ever created came out of a belief system. I listen to Christmas music and yes there's nostalgia there but there is powerful music. Sometimes I'll turn on, like, a Christian rock station and some of the music there is so devotional and so powerful – that came from a belief system. And so it's a powerful thing too. Used consciously, it can create such joy in your life which is exactly how my wife is doing it. She understands that she believes. That she doesn't have concrete knowledge but she believes it to be true. That flies in a court of law. This is what I believe to be true. Calls for speculation, that's great. I can speculate all you want. I believe it to be true because this improves my life and ultimately that's why people do the things they do. [0:10:56.7]
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: Why do people think about a next life? The next life, it's because in this life it makes them feel like their life has a purpose and it makes them feel better and it makes them feel good that in the off chance that there is a next life, which most religious traditions believe, that while I've done some things to set myself up better for that, but that gives you comfort here and now. Why do people in business talk about legacy and making an impact on the Earth and changing the world? They don't do it because they actually want to change the world. They do it because it makes them feel good. And the idea of changing the world makes them feel good and the feeling they get from helping another person makes them feel good. [0:12:04.2]
They're doing it because it makes them feel good, not necessarily because they have some dream to change the world. Now somebody who's working like an operation underground railroad and working on human trafficking is a huge problem – you know, obviously like Tim Ballard, he believes that that's not okay, right? And think most humans would accept that. Not all of them, obviously, or human trafficking wouldn't exist but most of us on the planet accept that. I would assume. So he believes it's okay. Well, why is he working for it? Look, it makes him feel good. It literally does. It makes him feel good. And it gives him a sense of purpose and a sense of power. It's not like it's the easiest thing in the world to do, not at all. But it literally gives him a sense of fulfillment and it's helping other people as well, for sure. But it literally gives him a sense of fulfillment and that's why he is doing these things. So there is nothing wrong with belief. It makes you feel like you belong. [0:13:00.5]
It gives you a sense of purpose and power on the planet. It can give you comfort. It can give you joy. And inside of the church growing up, you know, saying, "I know, I know," people would worry, like well, don't lose your testimony because there's a proverb that says, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he's old he will not depart from it." So if we indoctrinate these children young enough to know, to know, to know then they'll grow up knowing, knowing. And if they lose their testimony, often this fear is there. If they lose their testimony then, like, there's danger of them going a different direction. And so there's some fear built into it. So I grew up in this culture of knowledge and then add on top of that schooling and everything else. And what did knowledge end up being? It ended up being a bunch of conclusions that I made about the world based on feelings I had or things I was taught. Knowledge is not reality and I think it's important understand this. Knowledge is a bunch of ideas humans have acquired about reality and I think that's a very important thing to understand. [0:14:01.5]
A lot of times we think that knowledge is truth; that truth is knowledge and, like, what reality is, is just itself. Whether you have an idea about it or not, it is what it is. Your ideas about it are what you call knowledge and those ideas in the scientific world have been evolving for hundreds of years, millennia even, about what we "know" to be the truth. As far as I know, we know certain laws of physics that somehow still can't explain why a bumble bee can fly. Now maybe we've changed that since then because I heard that a number of years ago but either way the fact was that what we knew to be true didn't account for reality. It was a bunch of conclusions we made and what we knew to be true about gravity at first changed and then it became this function of the mass of the two objects divided by the distance between their centers squared times some – I might have gotten that equation wrong but times some gravitational constant or something and then relativity came up and now there's this space time continuum and what we know to be true is really up for grabs. [0:15:05.1]
But knowing is this virtue. But I want you to see what knowing is. When you say you know something, you've stopped exploring it and investigating it. Think about it. No, no I know the answer. Your brain is no longer looking for an answer. The second somebody is like what if you're wrong? The defense comes, "No, no, I got it. No, it's this way." Because I have to know because if I don't know there's something wrong. There is fear built into knowledge and fear is never helpful. And if you're a believer in any kind of thing, God isn't a God of fear. There is fear built into knowledge because we believe that having a good idea, a correct idea somehow will help us survive on the planet. It will get us food on the table, it will get us the right job, and it will get us the right apartment complex in Heaven where we overlook, you know, the Lake of Pristine Beauty or whatever it is. Knowledge has become a cultural thing, a commodity. [0:16:01.2]
And belief has kind of gone by the wayside in some cultures. But belief itself is powerful. But here's the thing; it's just a bunch of conclusions. A conclusion is an ending. It's an ending of inquiry. I have concluded it and so I don't have to look anymore. This is my conclusion. When you say you know, it means you're no longer looking. Let me ask you this question. Be honest with yourself. Do you really know all there is to know about God? Do you really know all there is to know about your religion? Do you really all there is know about the Earth and the way that it works? Do you really know all there is to know about your body? Do you really know all there is to know about your spouse and your kids? Do you really know all there is to know about life and successful ways to live it? Do you really know all there is to know about money? Do you really know all there is to know about spirituality? Do you really know all there is to know about anything? And if you answered no to any of these, then why are you saying "I know?" [0:17:02.9]
Don't make conclusions because, think about it; any person who's a believer – if they simply said, "Look I don't know but I want to know" then they'll look, they'll experiment upon the word so to speak and they'll experience things in their life and they'll be able to speak from deeper and deeper experience and become eventually an expert witness. If a person wants to know what the fabric of reality is made from and they say, "I know" then they will stop looking but if they say, "Well, I don't know, let's set up some experiments and let's look at things and what are ways we can dig into this." This is what science is doing and they're continuing to find deeper and deeper things. They still don't know how to make heads or tails of it but they're at least continuing to seek. Knowledge is so powerful if you truly know. Like, how do you know you have a hand? You know you have a hand because you're directly experiencing it. Have you ever had your arm fall asleep and, like, get all nervous like "Oh my gosh, it's not coming back." Like you don't know that your arm is going be okay? You don't know because you're not perceiving your arm. It's been severed from you. [0:18:05.0]
Your hand, same thing. If you sat on your hand this whole time while we were listening and your hand goes numb, you wouldn't necessarily know you have a hand. Like, if you can't feel it at all, you wouldn't know it's there. But the second sensation comes back into it, now you know. Direct experience, direct perception is the way to knowledge. It really is, it really is. And so if you want to know something, instead of concluding and deducing and logically making sense of it, the best way to know is go experience it and then reflect on it. But to have direct experience. You want to know joy? Live it. Don't talk about it. Don't tell me all the things that are needed for it. Live it and ooze it in your environment. People will feel it around and they'll be like, "Oh joy, that's what you're talking about." It's not an intellectual game. Life is not an intellectual game. The intellect is what came from life; it's a byproduct of life. It does not create life. And if you want to know life, you have to live it by pure experience, right? [0:19:08.3]
Okay, so what do we do if we don't know? That's the beauty of it. Not knowing is the doorway to a grand possibility. If you're in a belief system and you're having questions and doubts, I am so excited for you because it means you've opened a doorway to learning something better, learning something bigger, a clearer picture, a bigger paradigm, and maybe you'll find the thing that you've always been looking but have never been able to find. I'm so excited for you to have what people call doubts which I would just call questions. Calling it a doubt is just a label. Questions are powerful, powerful things and, in my opinion, that's where real creativity lives. The questions are the creative act. The answer is what comes from the creative act. And real questions are a powerful opportunity for you to know life in its entirety, to know it more, to be really free, really alive and to experience all that this life has to offer, the depth and profound depth of it and the breath of it as well, to experience it in all of its glory. All the different dimension and things that you can experience in this life comes from seeking not from knowing. [0:20:14.4]
And so I'd invite you today as you're going through your life, just ask yourself what are the things that you think you know that you don't question anymore – it's just like, "No, no life is this way." What questions might you have about it? And what if you're wrong? And what if there's a better way to look at it that could actually bring you more joy and more happiness? And what if there's a faster way and a more efficient way to do things? This is where all human development has come from. People who are willing to admit that they didn't know. And if you are willing to admit that you don't know and willing to simply stand with the people in history who have moved humankind forward in a great many ways, what you might discover are things that you never even realized were out there. And you might discover a knowledge, meaning an experience of life at levels that you didn't know you could experience because you were willing to simply ask a question and willing to admit that what you've experienced is beautiful and that there might actually be more out there that might be even more beautiful. [0:21:08.6]
So I'm excited for you on your questioning journey. And next time, I promised a while ago that I would share this with you so I will share a little bit of a vision based on what human trafficking is but also what needs to happen in this country. This is going to be relevant to you personally. I will try to make it personally applicable, as always. Remember, we're here to help you find aliveness and freedom. And yes, I do talk about addiction a lot, sometimes not so much, because we help people who are stuck in all different forms of life. Some people, they come to us, they're stuck in business, they're stuck in addiction, they're stuck in depression, they're just stuck in their life. Their spirituality is off. They've got a bunch of, you know, accumulated emotional baggage from their past that they want to be free of and they come to us and they go through processes and coaching and physical stuff that we put them through so that they can really be free and live without having to know life. What if life is something that you didn't have to make sense of? What if life was a gift? Something you could just enjoy? So until next time.
And that's it for today's Alive and Free podcast. If you enjoyed this show, and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcast from, and while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you, plus, it's just nice to be nice.
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