Exploring the unconscious is really like mining for gold. All the emotions that we discover that are challenging represent the potential conversion of the unconscious to what is most essential. This week, Robert and Dave discuss how to recognize and begin to work with blind spots in our own lives as well as within the spiritual institutions, political organizations, or other circles you may frequent. We cannot wait for our leaders to be the ones that will question the traditions that we as individuals are a key part of. What we believe doesn’t reveal the truth as much as all of us have thought.
There is not any widely accepted teaching that educates on how to be looking out for spiritual bypass or premature spiritual transcendence. What this means is using our beliefs to cover everything, including our human experience. As Robert is a seeker himself he says, Yes! Go for your truest beliefs. Go for understanding. Go for them as totally as possible, but not at the expense of also inquiring, where might I be unconscious? Where might my beliefs be unconscious? When those are brought into awareness, we have a chance to develop courage, discipline, and focus identification more with others on the planet. We are all in the same human dilemma. As we are able to see this universal sameness exponential compassion and caring are made much more available. Let us explore together the parts of our lives that we may be avoiding for the benefit of those that we love and beyond.
Mentioned in this episode
The Global Bridge Foundation
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The Missing Conversation, Episode 48.
Robert Strock: (00:04)
The experience I’ve seen in life is that the people that are both aware enough to be unaware, to keep seeking and the people who are expanding to love more and more of humanity and the planet are the most fulfilled.
On this podcast, we will propose critical new strategies to address world issues, including homelessness, immigration, amongst several others and making a connection to how our individual psychology contributes and can help transform the dangers that we face. We will break from traditional thinking, as we look at our challenges from a freer and more independent point of view. Your host Robert Strock has had 45 years of experience as a psychotherapist, author, and humanitarian and has developed a unique approach to communication, contemplation and inquiry. Born from working on his own challenges.
Robert Strock: (01:03)
Thanks again so much for joining us on The Missing Conversation, where we do our very best to address the most pressing issues that the world’s facing today and where we’re looking for the most practical, inspiring programs and innovative ideas to support a greater chance of survival for our planet. Now, when I say survival of our planet, that sounds dramatic, but I truly believe if we look closely, it is an understatement to say that that’s over the top or even, uh, a strong statement to me that seems that we’re inevitably at a time where if we, as individuals, don’t really go for a life that includes caring more for the planet on a personal level, and I would add taking care of the people that are most poor, which by not doing that, we set up all kinds of international dangers, truly the survival of our planet is at stake.
Robert Strock: (02:25)
And if you, if you just hear that and let it zip by your mind and say, yeah, I understand that. No, try to let that go into your body a little bit and see the stakes are high and you are important. Every one of us are important. It’s gonna take many, many hundreds of millions of us to be leaders and face the reality and not do what in the Western culture, culture, we’ve done so much, which is deny our personal death and have the same thing be true with a planet. And today we’re gonna focus on looking at the unconscious further and how it applies to the various religions, spiritual approaches and any kind of approach that you have. So, you’re not disqualified. If you have any kind of belief that is anti-spiritual, or anti-religious, either, and looking at what this can teach us and look at the dangers of blindly believing anything.
Robert Strock: (03:36)
And from my vantage point, if we believe what we believe, and we think it’s knowing that is the same way of saying I’m unconscious. Cause I believe a lot, I truly believe a lot. My life has been dedicated to believing a lot. I have a lot of faith, but I don’t know. And I haven’t met anyone directly that I truly believe has known the esoteric truths about life and death and how we got here. I have my beliefs again, but they aren’t knowings. And my experience is in the pretty large amount of pasts that I’ve been deeply in and out is that there’s rarely a focus on the dangers that exist within each approach.
Robert Strock: (04:34)
So, it might be blind-believing it might be superiority, it might be infrequently is suppressing our humanness and death and our emotions around it. There isn’t generally a teaching that we can find that teaches us to be on the lookout for spiritual bypassing or premature transcendence, which basically means using our beliefs to cover everything, including our human experience. And also, double checking to see whether we might have some unconsciousness of our religion professing or our spiritual path professing or our integrity professing to really care about our brothers and sisters. And yet we see that there’s such a small percentage of us in our energy, and if we have resources, our resources being dedicated toward these core international inclusive values. So, I’d like to start off today with introducing Dave, my partner at the Global Bridge Foundation and closest friend.
Robert, thank you as always. Thank you. And I, the, these last conversation conversations in particular in the immenseness of the stakes, uh, of what’s going on, that we can see, let alone what’s going on, that we can’t even see personally within our, the scope of what we’re aware of and, and, and well beyond, uh, is just what I hear you talking about and asking people to inquire and ask themselves. And thank you.
Robert Strock: (06:35)
And thanks for that. And thanks for the transition because I, I was gonna start with, so where are you relative to the introduction of yes, go for your truest beliefs, go for your understandings, go for ’em is totally as possible, but not at the expense of also inquiring where might I be unconscious? Where might my beliefs be unconscious? What might they not be revealing? Where are you in relation to being interested in that? Is this touching your mind? Is it touching your heart? Is it touching your body? Does it seem true to you? Does it seem worth doing it? And as you’re asking yourself that please remember, as we went into in the last episode, that the point is not masochistic, the point is not just to go into doubts and fears and anxiety, uncertainties, to suffer. The point is when those are brought into our awareness, we have a chance to develop courage, discipline, focus identification with everybody else on the planet, cuz we’re all on the same human dilemma and a compassion or a caring because we can see this universal sameness way clearer. Whereas if we stay with just our beliefs, it’s like putting ourselves on an island and not having many boats visiting us.
Robert Strock: (08:36)
So, where are you? And if you take it personally and you say, you know what, I do wanna explore the unconscious. I do wanna explore what parts of life I may be avoiding for my benefit and for the benefit of those that I love. And maybe even for the benefit of those beyond who I love. So, as I shared in the last episode, I profoundly have needed the teachings that I have been exploring throughout my life because it brought inconceivable new guidance, inspiration, loving capacities that I never would’ve found on my own. So, this is not, if it’s seen accurately or heard accurately, a dominant dis on any teaching, it’s actually a go for it and really explore where there might be some unconsciousness, there might be some awareness and then that way we can all have the best of both worlds. And that way we won’t fall prey to what I’ve been emphasizing that religions when they’re strictly adhered to have so often been the source of war and conflict and superiority and the identification with it is a contradiction because at the core, the major teachings are inclusive of all of humanity. And so that’s the unconscious that, that can expand our personal capacity to live a connected life with ourselves and others.
Just like to emphasize. And again, hearken back to a couple of things really that I thought were important in the last podcast. And again, to, to reiterate the, the one minister’s wife in a moment of, um, honesty, and just saying, if Jesus doesn’t exist, I want to be the last one to know. And then what I thought was is such a poignant description of your first experience with a teacher and how beautiful of a being he was. And yet, as he said, only the good is real. And there was a denial of a lot of what we all experience. And so, and as, and as you’ve said multiple times, including a minute ago, um, at the core, the original teachings of most main religions include everybody. Include the poor, include generosity, include the things that would take care of our world. And sometimes I look out and I, I don’t know if you’ll get this analogy that it just came to me, but it it’s like I’m in a hotel, and, and it’s like, I, I see a lot of, do not disturb signs up–with people that I would like to have a real conversation with or talk about this stuff with. It’s like do not disturb, let me be, don’t wanna really go there. And how do you contend with that as you do your work?
Robert Strock: (12:19)
Well, to be honest, I’m, I’m afraid that the, the listeners are telling me not to disturb them. I’m, I’m concerned that what is really a positive message of inclusiveness of anyone’s views and supplementing with a great interest in where might I be unaware that that might be heard as a disturbance. So, I think it’s a very good metaphor analogy to see that in general, most of us do have a, do not disturb sign, you know, as some of the boys in our boys’ home would say on our fool head, you know, you know, just be right there. Yeah. Do not, do not disturb
Yep. On the, on your forehead
Robert Strock: (13:13)
and you know, we we’ve been through a lot of life experience together, you know, that came from a residential treatment center for teenagers, and they did not have the deepest respect for us and they thought we were full of crap, uh, most of the time. So, we were disturbing them. And it’s so important that we see our own do not disturb signs as we’re relating to someone else, somebody else might be giving us a message that we haven’t heard, or we have a blind spot and we hit them with a, with a now on the football field, a straight arm and just don’t wanna look at that. Maybe I won’t even respond to it. Maybe I’ll look like I didn’t hear it. Maybe I’ll directly resist, but being open to listening to potential new sources of life, of love, of kindness and not in a grandiose way. I’m not talking about everybody becoming a Jesus or a Buddha, or I’m talking about wherever you’re starting from.
Robert Strock: (14:27)
What’s the next little step. What’s the next little thought, what’s the next little action. And as we’re emphasizing in this show, what’s the next little message that might be really beneficial to add to whatever path you’re on. Does that make to you as you let it in or as you don’t let it in, does it, does it get stopped? Do you only wanna hear it in the head or are you actually open to see, oh, this is the area I least explored my fear of death or my fear of illness or my fear of my partner getting sick or my child. And every time I say that, I feel compelled to make it clear. The point is not to just feel difficult feelings. That’s a step toward developing international compassion or caring, more connectedness and caring for the feelings themselves, which we are emphasizing a lot in our other podcasts Awareness That Heals and the details of how do you actually start with an emotion that’s challenging and then discover the needs underneath. So, each time you hear the emphasis on exploring the unconscious, it may be worthwhile for me to say something, although I’m afraid, it’ll sound a little too new-agey, like explore the super consciousness or explore the higher consciousness or explore the benefits of what can result in a way that’s going to help yourself and others.
A moment ago you asked, does it make sense? And I’m, I’m sitting here with this, do not disturb. I’m imagining myself. I have a do not disturb sign on. I’m pretty content with my spiritual path. Um, my religious view, uh, is that I’m doing, I’m tithing. I’m, I’m going to heaven. It’s all okay. And so why should I disturb myself? Why should I just provoke it?
Robert Strock: (17:13)
Good question. And the answer is first congratulations for having that depth of positive experience. You, you are very fortunate to have what sounded like significantly more than half of your life being at deep peace and in a really good place in life. And the answer is that, and actually this makes me think of an early teacher that was also in the early seventies, and I’m not asking anybody to take it this far, but one of his repeated expressions was, and he was sort of a halfway between a beatnick and a hippie, so forgive my language. And he said, “I ain’t getting off till we all get off.”
Robert Strock: (18:10)
Now he was a moving teacher who really was both a humanitarian and a true spiritual teacher. And he was exploring the unconscious too, but he was a rare bird during that time. He was one of my absolutely most impactful teachers along the way. And so, the answer is because what you believe doesn’t cover as much as you think it does. And if you think you’re really content and that you’ve got as much as you need, first of all, you probably won’t listen to me, uh, very much, but maybe if you’re still a little bit open, you’ll say maybe I am missing out on that deeper version of endlessly expanding a percentage of me at a time to love a little bit more, to let a few more people into my family and treat them as if they’re family or friends, to reach a little bit more out into my community to recognize that I may be in heaven.
Robert Strock: (19:29)
But my heaven is a tunnel. It’s localized, it’s localized and a localized tunnel. In my experience, even if it’s consciously experienced as deeply fulfilling it’s still a tunnel, it may even be a town, you know, may, maybe we can make it that big. But the experience I’ve seen in life is that the people that are both aware enough to be unaware, to keep seeking and the people who are expanding to love more and more of humanity and the planets are the most fulfilled, are the most inspired, are the most creative, are looking forward to waking up in the morning, aren’t living on belief, but they’re living much more on moment to moment experience. And as that early spiritual teacher said, and we can moderate the message, “I ain’t gonna get off until more and more people get off.” And so, there’s the experience of this interconnectedness that we have with each other.
Robert Strock: (20:38)
And if we can expand it just a little bit down the block, maybe in our apartment building, maybe in our neighborhood and start to have it be contagious, because it does seem evident that we’re in an international civil war where let’s just say a quarter of people that have power, plus or minus, are really realizing that we’re endangered and are reaching out more than they ever have. And the people that are not in power, people that are in villages and communities, it’s obvious to them in a high percentage that they want to help the world survive because they’ve been in survival mode themselves. And they are more aware of a human condition of which those of us that have some so-called privilege pretty much have that do not disturb on their head. And so being able to sensitize ourselves to other people’s conditions. This morning, right before this podcast, I was out in a park in front of where I live with my granddaughter and my son.
Robert Strock: (22:00)
And she said, I don’t wanna go in that park because there’s homeless people there. And my son and I had to coax her to say, we’ll keep you safe. And this was a very, very real fear. And I slipped in a couple lines that probably was talking to myself, but I was hoping it was have an effect like, you know, they had rough backgrounds. They, they didn’t have the same opportunities as you and their far away. And these are your fears that you wanna look at a fear that really is realistic and a fear that isn’t likely to be realistic or is for sure not gonna be realistic. Which one do you think it is? She said, I think it’s the unrealistic one, but I’m still afraid. I still don’t wanna be here. And that was as far as it could be taken. And that was about 10 efforts. So, it’s exactly these kinds of messages that we need to give to our kids, our grandkids, our schools, our religious teachings, our spiritual teachings that we too are unconscious. We too are human. We too are narrow. All of us need to move a bit more and that’s not a should. If we get it from the right place, it’s a gift. It’s a fulfillment. It’s a purpose of life for those that are wondering, gee, I wonder what my purpose of life is. It certainly has a correlation with connecting with more people and bringing more people into your circle, into your faith, into your belief, into your non-belief.
Just to amplify that and, and really take what I posed to you before from the opposite end and remembering just to take Christianity for a moment. Um, Jesus was a huge disruptor. He was an enormous disruptor, and I can’t tell you the numbers, but I, I, I am fairly confident that the amount of war and struggle and, and efforts to convert people that ended up harming people, uh, and hearkening back again to St. Francis and his experience in the crusades and the movie Brother, Son, Sister Moon, and what, what he came out of that with were, were huge. And so, there is around the world, and I know we all get knocks on our doors from various folks that want to convert us that want us to join their certainty that want us to reinforce their knowing. And it’s not the same kind of thing you’re talking about, but it is what often happens in my view, a perversion of that invitation.
Robert Strock: (25:13)
Absolutely. And one of the things that I really am doing my best as I speak is not to be a dictator of, you have to explore the unconscious. Yes. I truly believe it’s gonna be beneficial to explore the unconscious I do, but I don’t wanna present it in an arrogant way. I don’t wanna present it as if now I’m fully conscious, cuz I’m representing the unconscious because that’s certainly false. And the, there are literally thousands of people that I have talked with through various spiritual traditions that I’ve both been a part of or not been a part of and ask them, have you been able to represent your individual way you see things to the congregation or the community that you are devoted to, or if you had to keep this private and close to the vest and almost without exception, except for the ones that were completely convinced that their approach was the end all be all.
Robert Strock: (26:39)
There was an incredible private awareness that wasn’t willing to share with a congregation because of rejection, fear of rejection, feeling inadequate, self-doubt, not wanting to be excommunicated and facing the demands, whether they be overtly made or covertly obvious, or maybe covertly, not obvious, but still felt that you stay loyal, that you stay as a true believer. You stay in pure faith, regardless of your reality, you know, regard, it’s like there might be an emphasis on, you know, no abortions, no gay rights, no equal rights for women, no immigrants, but Jesus is telling me this or some other teacher is telling me this. And when that comes into my field, I’d say 90% of the time, maybe 10% I pass. But 90% of the time, I’m gonna say something with as good a vibe as I can, which isn’t completely reliable. Do you really believe God is going to be against gay people, really believes men are superior to women?
Robert Strock: (28:24)
I usually don’t ask about abortion cause I already know the answer on that one. And, and so it’s important that we all, or as many of us as possible, not just wait for our leader to be the one that’s gonna bring in the question of, is there an unconscious in this tradition that we as individuals are a part of building a key part of building, not only every spiritual and religious path, but every political party, every nation, every group. And I guess you could call it a spiritual whistle blower, someone that is actually gonna blow the whistle on the view, being presented as a totality, even though we, we see that it’s not inclusive or that it is acting like we’re chosen, or it is acting like, well, we do really see or care for, or even are serving more people than other groups. And therefore we’re in one bubble and quote, they’re in another bubble.
Robert Strock: (29:44)
And so, exploring the unconscious is really like mining for gold. That all emotions that we discover that are challenging, represent a potential conversion into gold, into heart and into love. So, my greatest wish as you hear this, and as you really apply it to yourself, is that you look forward to the question of where might I be unaware so that I can be more aware, so that I can be more caring. And I’m glad I’m in a place of my life where in addition to having support for my beliefs, I can also have support from my unique individuality, my unique life experience and what I can bring that I’m a part of. So, I thank you all for listening and look forward to continuing with this. Thanks so much.
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