This video offers an open and innovative approach to Christ and spirituality, that is much needed today in the West. An exceptional encounter between Daniel Meurois, writer and mystic, and Eric Dudoit, PhD in Psychology and Psychopathology, responsible for the Psycho-Oncology Unit at the University Hospital La Timone in Marseille.
Because those who are meant to convey the values of sacredness in society and who belong (or say they belong) to everything that is supposed to represent religion in its primary sense – that is, what connects beings to themselves and the Divine – somehow made us weary of the “sacred” and “religious” values in their purest sense because… there has been one lie after another. This is so obvious now, not only because of the behavior of a certain number of priests or others, this being part of history even if it is painful, but also because that deceit has been lasting for thousands of years and we can no longer accept a dogma which has been telling us stories and distracting us for so long from the real teachings of Christ. I tell myself that it is normal that Christian religion be currently strained because of so much deceit.
One can lie to ignorant communities, but the less ignorant those communities become, that is the more capacities they have of reflecting and distantiating, as well as possibilities of finding information, the less one can behave in such a way. It is normal that today’s Christians -or Westerners in general, since we are part of a Judeo-Christian based civilization- can no longer accept passively the things that they accepted in the past. The first reaction is one of rejection and I understand the people rejecting that.
We are sometimes told that if religion or the sense of sacredness have taken a step back in the twentieth century, it is because of science bringing to light a certain number of things and making people see the world differently. There’s some truth to that, but I believe there’s clearly another reason, being the religion’s incapacity of touching hearts and souls because of a now too obvious accumulation of deceits. I believe that the people in charge of conveying the sense of sacredness haven’t at all been able to be true and address human evolution and change of awareness, particularly in our Western countries.
Eric Dudoit : Yes, they have been totally baffled. You were reminding us of the acceptance of the word « religion » as « connected »…
Daniel Meurois: Yes…
Eric Dudoit : There is a much older acceptance which is « relegere », meaning « to be concerned for…» and I think that our world is no longer « concerned for… »
Daniel Meurois: Exactly…
Eric Dudoit : What was conveying faith and not belief – because a fundamental difference can be made between the two – was mysticism, in the noble sense of the term : true introspection. Before there was no introspection. People were living in a calibrated society where there were laws and beliefs. Once that system got undermined – which to me was not a bad thing – people found themselves in a century where there was nothing left, that is, the baby had been thrown out with the bathwater.
Talking to our contemporaries, they prefer Buddha to Jesus. This always puzzled me because, when you consider the honourable Buddhist traditions, all of the East which is totally honourable, well it is also a religion !
Daniel Meurois: Absolutely, whatever Buddhists may say eventually.
Eric Dudoit : Whatever they may say…
Daniel Meurois: They say that it is more of a philosophy but, watching them in their rituals, you can also see it as a religion.
Eric Dudoit : It is as if it was difficult for man to have the desire and trust to move forward. Something has been broken there and I think that at some point, even if psychoanalysis and psychotherapy are neither the sacredness nor the cornerstone of things, they have at least shown that there is a form of religiosity which is pathological in the full sense of the term. To believe in a God in order to have… to believe in a God in order not to be guilty… Freud was right in the sense that this is « child spirituality ». Now we have to grow, for we are still adolescents.
Daniel Meurois: I agree with you. Many people have functioned like that for millenia and even prior to Christianity, but let us talk about Christianity only. We obeyed a religion, thus dogmas, what had to be done and not to be done. Not out of love for Love, not out of love for Sacredness, not in connection with the divine Presence but « for fear of… » and because « we had to », meaning that we were into belief, not into faith. Faith is something to be experienced from within, it is a connection with a Presence that is there.
When someone tells me « I believe » or « I do not believe » – I often said it in my conferences – it does not mean anything to me. What makes you believe ? Is it coming from what your parents told you to believe, or from what society is telling you to believe or not to believe…? It doesn’t mean anything and it is quite weak if it is not based on personal experience. Faith is not a belief, it is something that grows from an experience that has been integrated or that is in the process of being integrated and is developing.
That’s why I always make the distinction – and very few people understand this, no matter how often you repeat it – between religiosity and spirituality.
Very often for the layman, religiosity is the fact of connecting to a dogma, then adhering to a belief with rituals, with what we should do or should not do… Then if you do it well, one day you may have the chance of going to Heaven. That is the belief and religiosity, in which there’s someone that knows… it is the priest, the bishop, the pope and everybody has to follow. You are not asked to experience something, but to be obedient. Of course this may sound like a caricature, but it is a bit like that.
Eric Dudoit : When we delegate the power to kill to the army or the police, we delegate our sacredness… The Protestants themselves had said some time ago that if a priest was sacred… then something got lost somewhere. The priest must have a priestly role, but he cannot be an intermediary between the Divinity and us.
I think that in the West we make things so complicated that they appear to be out of reach. We feel we cannot have any direct relationship with Christ, because History has shown us that we cannot. We have to go through the priest, the church or other, when in fact we could very well have that experience of meeting Him. When I say « meeting Him », I mean of course a concept taking shape in the imagination first, then evolving towards a creation inside us that is going to manifest progressively over time. Something is really going to meet us and stir us up but.. I don’t think we are ready to be overwhelmed yet. As long as we are being distracted, we will not want to be overwhelmed, because the mystical experience…
Daniel Meurois: …will take us on a shaky path.
Eric Dudoit : A path that can really blow our minds…
Daniel Meurois: Exactly. We need to accept to reconsider everything, to question ourselves, and by questioning ourselves to question also our beliefs, the foundations of what is touching us. Why do I believe or why do I not believe ? Before all, what makes me hold or not hold certain values ? Is it on the basis of personal experience ? Most of the time, it isn’t. That’s where the big difference lies. Going back to the notion of spirituality raised before, to be spiritual is not necessarily about accepting a particular faith or religion, but about experiencing the sense of Sacredness, that means perceiving the presence of the Divine within, maybe first through an imaginative effort, which is not pejorative but involves the capacity of translating something intangible – intangible, but nevertheless existent. It is the ability to incarnate a light, there somewhere.
Eric Dudoit : Yes, because for something to speak to us, we must leave one door open, the possibility must therefore exist in our inner self. That people say it cannot exist, sounds like an intox to me. The only thing that can exist in their eyes would be what our machines are able to detect, what we discover, etc… My clinical experience as a psychologist or the experience of many leading scientists is not that one. It is precisely because there is a window opening inside people that something can happen, otherwise there would be no discovery, even if at first imaginary, false, etc… since our assumptions can only prove what we have imagined anyway. This is what Schrödinger, or quantum physics namely, are telling us. What seems important to me is to re-open that thing within us, because otherwise we are already dead.
Daniel Meurois: That’s experimentation. But there needs to be at some point some kind of discontent about what is being experienced in our world. I am absolutely convinced that if there is a current denial of things related to religion in the West, it is in order to create a gap in ourself, some kind of abyss, the feeling that at some stage we have reached the bottom of deep water and can no longer breathe. It is a call from within because somehow we have drowned in the absence of Sacredness.
Eric Dudoit : Yes, it’s as if we were all collectively experiencing the dark night of Saint John of the Cross.
Daniel Meurois: Indeed and in that sense it is a blessing. Our current world needs to understand that and not mix everything and, as you said earlier, throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Eric Dudoit : Yes, because what is religiosity ? It is a cristallization of spirituality at a given moment in a culture. Such cristallization can distort very rapidly the words of the person who pronounced them, not out of malice or desire to hide things, but simply because human speech is not engraved on a videotape recorder.
Daniel Meurois: It is exactly that…
Eric Dudoit : Jacques Lacan said something marvellous, « The Word is what causes devastation in us ». We psychologists consider that we are paid to think that the word is what heals us. There’s a gap there because before being healed, it can in fact devastate us and be really upsetting. I have the feeling that we (myself included) are sometimes a bit reluctant to be ravaged. We think « no, better wait… », and even in modern philosophies…
Daniel Meurois: A craving for something different…
Eric Dudoit : In modern philosophies, as Ferguson was saying, in the New Age where it could have been a real call, we notice that we are going back to some sort of routine where people say things and we believe them without really checking : « Well, he told me that… »
Daniel Meurois: We need to ask to experiment. I much appreciate a sentence from the sacred book of James, I appreciate a lot the Gnostic writings, although I do not agree with everything because there has also been a lot of human interventions… But there is a nice sentence, which attributes these words to Christ : « Do not think that you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven upon My request, but only once you are filled with God». God is a concept of light, of love, a Presence. That means that it is not the adhesion to the teachings of a spiritual Master, whether Christ or Buddha (it comes to the same, whatever the Tradition), it is not the fact of abiding in a great Being and saying that He will make you enter that space of truth and light (Easterners would talk about Advaita), but it is the fact that YOU have been invited into that space there within you. « To be filled with God » is to be filled with an ineffable peace with which we have connected but which is permanently there around us. It is not a place, it is not someone who is going to welcome us by opening the doors of Paradise for us, it is a state of being. WE are going to develop something in us which is going to take us out of illusion, of deceit, of laziness, out of our refusal to consider the excuses and habits in which we have been caught up for so long.
Eric Dudoit: I believe you said the key-word, Advaita.
Daniel Meurois: It is Advaïta, it is the sense of Unity.
Eric Dudoit: It is important to understand that it has to be born within us. There is no inside, no outside. There is not a universe outside of me that I can address to explain the difficulty of what I am experiencing and another universe inside of me where I can find protection. It is all the same universe, it is really a fact.
Daniel Meurois: And we need to make an effort to access it. The difficulty of this kind of reflection is that it is first a production of the intellect : we try to get used to or to dig into new concepts. The difficulty is not to fall – but we all do at a given moment – in the shrivelling side of those metaphysical concepts. Many people remain at that stage for a long, long time and they have the impression of touching spirituality and the Spirit and the divine Presence.
Eric Dudoit: Because they enjoy it…
Daniel Meurois: Indeed, because the human mind is enjoyment.
Eric Dudoit: I spent my life enjoying it. You study theology, you study psychology and suddenly you understand it is like an intellectual orgasm. I was gonna say that it is a bit like a gland which nourishes and nourishes, and after some time you are none the wiser. It is a time of great depression for the intellectuals. But in that great depression, some would even deny it saying « no, I am not in depression. What I have learned is true, full stop », while knowing that something is missing…
Something I learned in psychopatho that was really important, is that no science – whatever it is – can be anything else than a religion if it intends to fix the whole of humanity. What we see nowadays – of course, there is a science with great scientists with whom we can talk,etc – but at a global level, when we see ads saying « scientifically proven, this makes your teeth white », we are no longer in science but in something else. We can see that something is happening in our century where science is becoming a dogma and a religion.
But that pseudo-science, built on artifice, on statistics, etc…, does not reflect the real science where researchers say « I don’t know, I am facing phenomena which I do not understand. I can clarify them somehow, but it does not solve the problem. »
That is why I like everything that exists about light. You can observe it in a way, then it becomes waves and particles in another way. In mysticism or spirituality, it is the same, meaning that very often, before being angry at someone who does not speak the same language, ask yourself where he is watching. I think we would all agree on that. It is not because you are able to invite Christ within you that you are a « priest’s acolyte ».
Daniel Meurois: This is where things really have to be rectified in order to understand that Christ is not the property of the Christian religion, but a universal Energy and circulating life-force. Everywhere… Christ can be found in a mosk, he can be found in a temple in India, at the very end of Amazonia or just anywhere…
I remember that I had created a small scandal in one of my very first conferences after the publication of « From Essene Memory », because I had the misfortune – or good fortune – of saying that Jesus, Jeshua, was not a Christian… going back to the beginning of the 1980s.
People were looking at me like that… and two or three of them left the conference room.
Jesus was not a Christian, of course he wasn’t. Jesus…, the Christ are not connected to Christianism. It is us humans, through some individuals like Saul of Tarsus (Paul), then through the first Fathers of the Church, who have invented a religion. No doubt with the best intentions of the world. But Christ is a free-flowing energy. I would say this is the result – and there again I might cause some grinding of teeth – of the action of the Holy Spirit through the Cosmos. I really see it as a Force proceeding directly from the Holy Spirit, which of course proceeds of that Force called God which is incommensurable, which is not someone but an energy field that has been feeding on life since… impossible to say when since it is so unconceivable for humans.
It is that Force which at a given moment is going to flow through beings that are called Avatars, that is to say extremely realised beings, and which makes them expand and radiate in order to stimulate at some point the growth of human consciousness within a tradition or on a continent or the other. I see as many Christs, as authentic spiritual traditions. This may schock a Buddhist or a Muslim, because we always tend to seek ownership…
Eric Dudoit: Except a genuine mystic.
Daniel Meurois: Except a genuine mystic. Genuine mystics of all traditions can only agree. My opinion is that we can say ‘Christ’, but we could also say ‘Buddha’ with a capital B. It is the same energy, maybe polarised differently in function of the sensitivity of the communities, in function of their needs also at the level of their collective consciousness.
But it is the same Force and It has no face. A being like Jesus incarnated It, absorbed It and restransmitted It at some point. Before, there was also Krishna in India… Hindus had understood very well the notion of Avatar, that is, a Being who comes at a given moment in history in a nation or another, then becomes the catalyst of that energy that belongs to no one and is the direct emanation of the Unknowable, of the Divine.
Eric Dudoit: But in order to give birth to the West, people had to think differently…
Daniel Meurois: People had to think differently…
Eric Dudoit: Just consider the fathers of the Church, the whole patristics with Nestorius, Pelagius, Arius that gave birth to arianism, etc… and all the things that have been built around it, even the Holy Trinity, which is an invention of Tertullian.
Daniel Meurois: which is questionable… the Trinity is something practical, but it is not obligatory in order to follow a spiritual path.
Eric Dudoit: I would even say that it is not necessarily obligatory. Meister Eckhart is right when he tells us that there is ultimately a pedagogical value to it, so let us go for the pedagogy of Trinity… We know that it is Tertullian who brought the concept of Trinity in the second century. He was a lawyer, a rhetorician… Much as we go through the Bible, there is no word saying Trinity in the Bible.
Daniel Meurois: It is exactly that, it is something practical. I greatly respect it, but one should not believe that it is the necessary road to take. I realized this a few years ago… what made Jesus become « the Christ » ? It is traditionally the arrival of the Holy Spirit. And something always amazes me, which is that if you listen to the dogmas of the classical Christian church, Jesus is born fully realised, he is born as Christ in his cradle, end of. It is God in swaddling clothes, who has borrowed a human body but who is fully manifested. Nevertheless, people only really started talking about him once he had been overshadowed by the Holy Spirit in the Jordan. Thus how can Jesus Christ, who already is fully Christ, still need the Holy Spirit in the Jordan ? He is manifested… he is filled… there is a kind of inconsistency. Of course, if you ask a theologian and maybe as a theologian you could play the game and argue against all that, but let us see things simply. One can always juggle with words, but let us also be logical.
Eric Dudoit: Religion is not logical anyway, three equals one… not a good start !
Daniel Meurois: It is not logical, indeed…
Eric Dudoit: Then in the history of Christianism, there is not just one but several…, it is the Filioque controversy and the question of the double nature of Christ. Nestorius, if I remember well…
Daniel Meurois: Nestorius approached something which brings us closer to the notion of Avatar. He had very well understood in Christian terms adapted to our Western culture that there can eventually be a double nature in a being like Jesus, that is the human nature, the Avatar as realised being, without Karmic burden and with considerable dimension, overshadowed at a given moment by the divine Presence. He saw the human presence, then the divine Presence merging at some point.
Eric Dudoit: In classical Church, you are going to find this. There is the double nature of Christ, but no overshadowing.
Daniel Meurois: That’s it…
Eric Dudoit: The backbone in Nestorius was that concept of Theotokos… one should not push too far. How can one be Mother of God – while loving Mary divinely ?
Daniel Meurois: That is not the problem.
Eric Dudoit: That is not the problem, but to be the Mother of God… that was really going a step too far.
Daniel Meurois: One must really be able to juggle with words and concepts to find that God had a mother. One must be shrewd, maybe even a bit devious. All that to say what, eventually ? This is not about dealing with concepts for the sake of dealing with concepts, but about trying to find the sense of an inner spiritual approach and not just adhering to a belief…, as we were saying before. Let us try and come back to our own common sense in connection to what is needed by our heart – or our soul, if you want. Because here we are talking about need. Coming back to the image I used before, we live in a society in a state of total suffocation. So what we are simply trying to do by discussing like this and I think you will agree with me, Eric, is to try and make people understand that there is happiness in diving in all this. It is not just that the Church has it all wrong and made mistakes. We have our opinion in connection to this and so has the public, I think. There is some good in every approach. What we are mainly trying to say, is that there is indeed joy and happiness in a real open spiritual approach that corresponds to the common sense demanded by our being. I believe that we need a light in us. Even if we say « I don’t want to believe in anything, I don’t care about all this », I believe that every human being, whatever he calls That, needs a light in him and it is necessary to go back to it.
Eric Dudoit: What you are saying is strongly true. Jung, an author that I like a lot and who is very little studied in France, maybe because he is a bit too theologian, a bit too « ancient Rome » as people say, was saying that finally the role of a psychologist is to shine a light inside the soul. Having read Freud, Lacan and others… I am now coming back to the concept of soul. Not because I am in total obscurantism, but because it seems to me that the term « psyche » has lost its substance. I have nothing against Cosmopolitan or other magazines, but to consider psychology as a mere discovery of human behaviours from verbal or non-verbal clues seems very small to me in connection with real researchers. The real researchers of the soul like the psychoanalysts, the humanist psychologists, those who work in the somato-psychic recovery, using the body to talk to the soul, or the energeticians, are people who rediscover that dimension, the foundation stone necessary to understand something. If I take that dimension away, saying that psyche exists but… I don’t know what it is, I am going to be floundering in deep water. We are going to be in a monistic system, but one which is not well integrated. That does not mean that I have a dualist approach ; I am not saying that there is the body and the soul, but that they are one and the same thing.
Daniel Meurois: I agree…!
Eric Dudoit: They are one and the same thing, but there are times when one must « intellegere » … a good old term from the Middle Ages, still existing nowadays and meaning « understand instinctively ». That approach follows its own trajectory. I think that we must continue working and really dusting what the ancient mystics have said about the soul. The reason I am saying this, is that the most prominent authors in psychopathology and energetic will use that concept to introduce us to a whole new aspect of the psyche.
If I consider that there is inside me only my Self and if the self equals the soul, I am undoubtedly completely wrong. Even the great Advaita Masters, who were out of any dualistic system and into an extremely monistic one, require some precision in the psychological processes. That means that the psyche is a realm of its own, and that seems very important to me. If I really use and work in those realms, I do not even need to discuss the aberrations of certain dogmas any more.
Daniel Meurois: Indeed…
Eric Dudoit: For instance, as we said earlier, we could talk about God’s mother during 20 years. But when you are somewhat rational… it just cannot be.
Daniel Meurois: No, it cannot be and I think that this is common sense. We’re playing with words, here.
Eric Dudoit: Saying that Jesus saved us from our sins, I am probably going to cause teeth-gnashing… but never mind. What sins ? Adam’s ? Maybe… In Corinthians 1.15, « the first man, Adam, was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a life-giving spirit »… the last Adam being Jesus. I am a living soul and I wish to become a life-giving spirit. If I do not have that growth dynamic inside me and if I do not wish to have it, then I am already an object.
I think that it is in that sense that our spirituality and the whole of humanity, whether Muslims, Buddhists, Christians or others, whatever color of the rainbow they prefer, have to come together in order to discover that there is inside us the same thing as outside us.
Daniel Meurois: I agree. I said this in one of my books, at the highlight of my spiritual journey in the original sense of the word… I experienced it on the balcony of an apartment in the North of France facing a coal tip and a red light… I was there thinking that the priest of my youth used to say that God was everywhere. When we think about it, in Sunday school we integrate the truth « God is everywhere, God is everywhere » without understanding what it means. Everywhere is everywhere ! And I may also shock some people now saying that everywhere means up to the core of a cow dung… Because everywhere is everywhere. There is no half-everywhere !
And if He is everywhere, what do I do at every moment of my life ? I breathe, whether I think about it or not, I breathe, otherwise I would not live. This means that every nano-second of my life, I absorb a gas in which the Divine Presence is necessarily. If anything is constantly penetrating me, it is the Divine Presence, because the Absolute is everywhere. And when we think about that truth, we realize that we are looking for God everywhere when he is constantly there. We are like in His body, but we are so stuck onto Him in all His manifestations that of course we cannot see Him.
Since modern printing was born with specific techniques and the notion of pixels, we can now understand what a picture is. A picture is made up of a series of pixels and as far as we are concerned, it is as if we wanted to see the picture, i.e. God, while being only a small pixel. We have no hindsight and keep fragmenting everything, unaware of the fact that we are within the Deity at a certain level of its radiance. The more we become aware of the level of that radiance in which we live, most of the time unconsciously, the more we can gain altitude and rise. I am not saying that we will see the full picture one day… But we are approaching that defragmentation you were talking about previously, we are approaching Advaita, and are less and less separating from what is. We are experimenting the Deity and are no longer simply believing what we are told about what the Deity is or is not.
Humanity has to be brought towards that and that’s what I appreciated when I discovered in its time the Gnostic tradition, which I do not favour more than another tradition since it also has its loopholes and contradictions. But the interesting part in the Gnostic approach, which is anterior to the Advent of Christianity, is the strong awareness that it is by experimenting the Deity that we grow and not by adhering to some dogma or religious tradition. This is fundamental. As long as we haven’t understood this, we will be in servitude with what we should or shoud not believe in, with restrictions, with the divine Kingdom being outside of us, instead of knowing that there is an access door within us, because it is an inner space.
Eric Dudoit: I totally agree.
Daniel Meurois: And that’s where the drama is… I always talk about the West but the same problems can also be found in other places at different levels. The Western tradition does not allow us to understand this and to be instructed from childhood about the non-separateness and experimentation need. That is tragic…
Eric Dudoit: You see, that’s something which I can’t understand. In the West, there are monks, like Denis Vasse or others, who have experimented psychoanalysis and still remained with their faith. It is surprising because if psychoanalysis is not a spiritual approach, it is at least a spiritual exercise. Thus it is not a path. One is not going to reach the Deity by undertaking a psychoanalysis, but it is an exercise.
Daniel Meurois: You mean « spiritual » in its primary sense…
Eric Dudoit: Yes, indeed. By doing that experience, they can leave their little Self which is always crying (in Quebec we say « whining »…), which is never happy or does not know why it is happy… I have a nice car, a nice house, a nice swimming-pool… and one day we are going to die… and this does not make us happy. I think that what we are lacking in the West, is that we no longer want to exercise…
Daniel Meurois: Indeed.
Eric Dudoit: …And the Deity, whether you call it like that or whether you don’t call it anything, is something that comes with exercising love, not exercising without love, but exercising love. I liked the Middle Ages with that love, the Agape. You know very well the experience of Francis of Assisi, going to the extreme of love without any fear of doing wrong. At the present time, we don’t want to, there is some kind of unwillingness… I am not accusing my contemporaries, I am fine living in this century with them. But I find it a real pity because in my work, when I take care of people who are about to pass away, I see that what worries them is not the justice, but the righteousness of their life. Was my life just in the sense of righteous ? There it is sometimes creaking.
Daniel Meurois: Of course, yes.
Eric Dudoit: We could find a simple remedy to this by reconnecting with the idea that life should not be controlled, that we should live through it and not take control over it. This is typical of the Western mind to try and control everything. I think that we are now putting an end to that egotistical attitude of wanting control over things to go our way…
When I was a child, I used to pray in the toilets, until one day it stroke me: I went to see my mum and asked her whether we could pray the Divine on the toilet… she found it really weird. Can we pray the Divine at poo time ? Typical of kids’ questions.
Daniel Meurois: Exactly and this takes us back to what we were saying before.
Eric Dudoit: What my mum answered was « he will understand ». It might not have been the best of answers, but a bit later it is true that it is something we can ask ourself. Or the teenager masturbating… It may sound stupid but in my practice I get teenagers who feel very ashamed. They get very nice ideas, our teenagers, through films like « May the force be with you », « Star Wars », « Avatar », etc… They are touching something sacred.
Daniel Meurois: Something can be touched there, yes.
Eric Dudoit: And at the same time it generates an impulse inside them. Just after that, after some very nice thoughts, they start masturbating. Then they go and see a psychologist to tell him that it is not right to do so. In fact this is deeply anchored in us. They need a third party to tell them « Why would it be wrong ? It is neither wrong nor right, it is a fact. There has been an overflowing energy, you used it as you pleased. There are other ways to use it, but during adolescence it is generally used that way ». It is odd that our society does not use those things to grow all together.
Daniel Meurois: It is as if we were in collective dynamics where we are always accountable to a higher authority and, ultimately, the highest of authorities is what we call God. We have been formatted – and it is also true for Muslims – to think that God is watching and judging us. We eventually attribute Him human behaviours : « It is right, it is not right. If it is right, I will reward you. If it is not right, you will be punished and you will see that it can go very far, even up to hell ultimately ». We systematically maintain that idea and remain in the crack, the break, the cut, placing the concept of God outside the creation, watching us and punishing us. As long as we stay with those thoughts, we are unable to move on and we will never be able to do the necessary step to find who we are, our essence, our Seed Atom, our fundamental origin, the Sun of the suns which is inside us. I always talk about the Seed Atom as a stem cell in us which remembers the Divine and contains the seed for all the potential of the Divine to be revealed. It is nowhere else, it can be searched in Heaven…
Eric Dudoit: We can call it the divine sparkle…
Daniel Meurois: It is indeed the divine sparkle. I do not like it either when someone says « I am God, we are all gods » because it is the trend of this New Age. We may understand what can lead to such affirmations, but it is also a good deal of a joke and it is generally the ego patting itself on the back. I am the first to say that there is some Divine in us and that the whole potential of the Divine is in us, but it is still in a state of sleep and needs to be revealed. It is not enough to say « I am God » or « we are gods » to create the factual situation as proclaimed… It is generally the small personality that feels big in us and will state such things. Let us have the courage to work on ourselves, « to work » in quotation marks, because it is that as well. This is, I think, what many among our contemporaries who are turning their back to an inner path and to spirituality do not understand. They have the impression that to go on a spiritual path is synonym of deprivation, sorrow, lack of fun…
Why is it that so many beings on Earth have turned to a spiritual path since the beginning of times? Are they masochists ? I do not think so. The reason is that, once you have reached a certain point, there is happiness in being there. One should not think that those who meditate for hours like some great lamas or yogis are actually harming themselves. They are in fact entering a kind of ecstasy comparable to a permanent orgasm. They are not hitting eachother, they are not harming themselves, they are discovering a happiness in which there is nothing more to hope for, except of course that the path is endless and unlimited, but it gives them glorious joy. To reach that state of joy, one must show some courage, some will and determination, knowing that, in fact, what do we all want on Earth ? To be happy…
Eric Dudoit: We just need to open our eyes.
Daniel Meurois: That’s all… All we want is to be happy. What does a human being fundamentally want ? Just that. What I am personally tired of is to take side roads. I am dedicating my whole life trying and explaining to those who would hear me, that maybe we can say « that’s enough now, enough going round in circles ». Why would we not decide once and for all to find our own path in ourself ? That does not mean rejecting the great Traditions, which are useful and honorable, but revealing our inner Christ. Our inner Christ is not the historical Christ incarnated by Jeshua or maybe by Krishna or Osiris at a given moment, who have been great guides of their times. Our inner Christ is our state of sublimation and it is our heritage, towards which we are going whether we want it or not, because it is not an option.
Eric Dudoit: That’s the good thing about it, not being an option.
Daniel Meurois: It is not an option. We may say « no, I don’t want to », we all go through stages like that. There have necessarily been lives where we rejected everything, where we were ‘the worst of the worst’ and did not want to know anything. Those are stages of growth. I would like our audience to understand this. It is through all the words and all the concepts that we can transmit, analyse, etc, it is just there that we can dig, there is nowhere else to dig. And there is a real gem.
Eric Dudoit: And time does not exist…
Daniel Meurois: Time does not exist…
Eric Dudoit: I knew a lama, he made me laugh. We were driving and as lots of mosquitoes were hitting the windshield, I said « Damn bugs ! ». He replied : « That’s not good for your karma ».
Daniel Meurois: We all said it…
Eric Dudoit: I thought « Cheeky ! I could not care less about my karma ! »
It’s only from the moment I do not care about my karma, that things can be said as they are. Among a certain population which I like and in the New Age where I feel good, more or less…
Daniel Meurois: Yes… more or less… it depends…
Eric Dudoit: There is always that notion of karma, we have to pay attention to our karma. But the more we pay attention to our karma, the more we live either uptight or in a cave, or we just don’t live.
Daniel Meurois: Exactly !
Eric Dudoit: There is one thing in your books that I have really liked, it is « Louis du Désert ». Louis of the Desert is king, he is sick of it, he becomes something else, but at some point that guy is a bit anchorite, and there he realizes that there is still pride. I find that amazing.
It means that whatever attitude we choose, whether rich or poor, whether we believe in this or in that, in Muhammad or in Jesus, where does our pride find refuge ? Where does it hide to make me believe every morning that I am that ?
This morning when I got up, I asked myself « Who am I ? » and almost immediately « I am Eric Dudoit with all my degrees » and in fact… no ! This is what’s important : « in fact… no !». If I remain identified to what I am all day, it’s not gonna work. I need to get myself out of that. Some psychoanalysts, such as Wilfred Ruprecht Bion, were saying a really good thing : « If you want to be in relationship with another human being, you mustn’t have any desire nor memory ». I love that…
If I am in relationship with a human being, if I recall who I am with all my past as well as who he is with all his past, I will only find a bunch of images but I will never meet him.
This is what you were saying at the level of Christ, i.e. it is more a « kenosis » than an addition; a kenosis is an emptying of self. In fact we do not even need to work to add something, to go to school or to University. We just need to remove all the masks.
Daniel Meurois: I totally agree…, totally agree ! We have to unlearn and to get rid of the multiple layers that incarnation has been coating over billions and billions of years, maybe more since time is no longer measurable… Incarnation has laid some sediments, and it is under those sediments that our truth – which cannot be anything else than the truth of the Divine and the Sacred – is hiding. These are classical images. That is no secret to anyone but it should always be reminded again and again, because it is that simplicity which is fundamental, and we keep forgetting it.
Eric Dudoit: Yes and when we forget it, we suffer. And when we suffer, we forget it even more… it’s annoying. Suffering can be life-saving – I am gonna get another slap on the wrist, but never mind -, in the sense that it is a signal, it tells us something.
Daniel Meurois: It is a flashing light…
Eric Dudoit: Then, we shouldn’t praise it either, otherwise from signal we’re gonna make it a state of things. That signal must just tell me that there is something inside me that I am seeing in a distorted way. After, it is only about repositioning ourselves. And when I say « it is only about », it may take several years…
Daniel Meurois: or several lives…
Eric Dudoit: But that’s what needs to be tackled. I liked a book – a bit strange – that you wrote, it is called « Vu d’en-Haut » (« Seen from Above »). I say « a bit strange » because when you are out of that system, you think that someone is talking to that guy in his head…, not a good start ! You think that he must be schyzophrenic for the least ! Nevertheless I continued reading, thinking « he is schyzo… ok he is schyzo, no big deal… » and then you talk with…
Daniel Meurois: a Presence… Let us call it that way.
Eric Dudoit: A presence tells you something which has been astounding me for such a long time : « Well I come from the Stars ». When I read that book I thought that was the top, we had got there, this was Star-Wars and I loved that Presence teasing you all the same, like any human being, and I love when it says at the beginning of the book : « God ? What is God ? » It titillates us further by saying « Ok God, ok. But we don’t use God any more ». This really touched me and I thought that we’re really like kids, attached to that notion of God. By reading this, I realized that I was attached to something of my own.
You know, when I push the door of the hospital, when it is a bit difficult or when I am having a hard time in my life, I really like to pray and when I pray, I address Him as « you ». When I talk to Christ, Jeshua in this case, I say « you » and I have a conversation with Him, an imaginary one of course, I am not crazy, but in that imaginary conversation I need to address Him as « you ». I thought that we humans are so strange, we need to call Him « you », we need that proximity, we almost need to touch Him, to feel Him, to imagine Him and at the same time, He is infinite… But God… why ?
Daniel Meurois: It is a father figure that we need, but it is certain that at some point of our evolution, our approach and intimate perception of Him will obviously be totally different, that is, much more from inside. We will not place Him outside of us as an absolute point of reference, but as a reality in which we are immersed. Indeed we don’t use Him any more, since we are in Him. He is the Omnipresence which is Love, Compassion and everything we are looking for eventually. There we no longer need any religion, any reference model, because it is our heart’s common sense leading us to understand what is the spirit circulating in us. It does not mean that those beings are into perfection, there is always more perfect than the perfect one, I think that life paths can expand without limits, but… I would say that we are absorbing the light and we are no longer wishing for a light which is outside of us and is our ultimate reference.
Eric Dudoit: In my opinion, that’s what we have a thirst for. You see, whether I am in hospital with seriously ill or dying people, or whether I am in my practice or at the university with students, the only thing that drives us all is very simply « Do you love me ? »
When someone finds a true « Do you love me ? Yes I love you », there are things which are fundamentally different and which transform the individual. Of course it is not a hysteric and a bit dispersed modern fashion « I love you ». I think that our Humanity, all of us need to experiment Life within us. To prove this, we only need to mention movies… – I think it’s a sign… – like Avatar. Besides the fact that it is the story of « Pocahontas in the Stars », it is a bit hollow in the sense of empty, except that in their society, there is a fusion, a union. And that young Marines learns that union and that fusion. The effect that it had onto my students or other people or even onto myself is « Waow, I would like to live in that country… where I can feel the tree, the animal, … »
Daniel Meurois: That is the state of Advaita, that fundamental impossibility of tracing a boarder not only between the other and myself, but between everything that is and myself. This does not mean the annihilation of our personal awareness or perception of ourself, it is an expansion, a marriage, a fusion. And that’s where the beauty is. That’s what a film like that succeeds in doing from time to time, give a feel of beauty so you can experiment it. That beauty is the beauty of the journey of the mind. So we are not masochists…
Eric Dudoit: I don’t think so, but this is what mystics experiment. What I like about Master Eckart, Giordano Bruno and all the others, is that they are really unique while being also fully part of the community, in the sense that they are in the whole. An individual like Giordano Bruno was really someone unique.
Daniel Meurois: Certainly. Excessive, stubborn…
Eric Dudoit: But he said things that no one else had said in the Church, and he said them in an extremely righteous way. I am very happy that a statue was erected in his honour as a Dominican, if I remember well.
Daniel Meurois: As a Dominican indeed. He was defrocked quite rapidly in his life but people keep associating him with Dominican clothes.
Eric Dudoit: Of course, Giordano Bruno may not be known of everyone but to make it very simple, he is the one who suggested mnemonics, he was a genius of mathematics, he was ahead of his time. As you described him well at the level of his character, we will not go back to that, but he was condemned by the Church for atheism and pantheism.
Daniel Meurois: Because he understood the plurality of worlds and certainly not a God outside His creation, as I was saying earlier. In his major book called « On the Infinite, the Universe and the Worlds », we see what type of zoom he used in his understanding of all that is. Of course at the time this resulted in an outcry and he defended himself with such an incredible vehemence till the end when he was burned at the stake.
Eric Dudoit: It is people like him who belong to Christianity, that we should now follow. I think it is important. This is not about rejecting Christianity by saying Christianity and the Church is rotten, it is rather about repositioning ourselves.
Daniel Meurois: It is about trying to restore the core of that Tradition which in many respects has been betrayed, forgotten, undermined also, to such an extent that we no longer know what Christ is, we no longer know what Jesus is. Similarly in other Traditions, we don’t necessarily know any more who were the great beings who have tried to communicate to us what they had learnt and what had eventually transcended them. It is the quest for happiness, this is what we wish to everyone. This is the main relevance of discussions like this one, which in fact are happening in a very spontaneous way.