CVS Live Guest - 2022-03-26 - John Campbell

Author Streamed Saturday March 26th, 2022

There are 74 episodes in the Guest:Solo series.

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CVS Live Guest - 2022-05-14 - Joe

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CVS Live Guest - 2022-05-01 - Ben

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CVS Live Guest - 2022-04-12 - Joe

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CVS Live Guest - 2022-02-10 - Aidan Lisney

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CVS Live Guest - 2021-12-31 - Zackery

Streamed September 26th, 2021

CVS Live Guest - 2021-09-26 - Nikola Krcic

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CVS Live Guest - 2021-09-18 - Bill Whatcott

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CVS Live Guest - 2021-09-17 - Nathan

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CVS Live Guest - 2021-09-03 - Chad Ellis

Streamed March 21st, 2021

CVS Live Guest - 2021-03-21 - Ben

Streamed February 28th, 2021

CVS Live Guest - 2021-02-28 - Nikola Krcic

Streamed February 23rd, 2020

CVS Live Guest - 2020-02-23 - Pykris

Streamed February 22nd, 2020

CVS Live Guest - 2020-02-22 - Aidan Lisney

Streamed January 25th, 2020

CVS Live Guest - 2020-01-25 - Kalen R.

I met John through my friend (and guest) Ivan Freud. John was raised Catholic but identifies as Agnostic. He hosts a space for like-minded freedom-lovers here in Montr?al, and has a deep commitment to fighting to keep our precious humanity--at any cost.


CVS Live Guest - 2022-03-26 - John Campbell

Author Streamed January 11th, 2020

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These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
okay we're live so i'm here with john campbell how are you doing john pretty good david how are you very well thank you so thanks for taking the time to come on and talk a little bit share your perspective on things and uh before we get into it maybe just introduce yourself like tell the listeners a little bit about yourself yeah i'm i'm john campbell a lifelong montrealer but born in glasgow and yeah much more i mean i i'm an i.t professional not much more i can say as far as that i mean i'm just i'm a montrealer what about your interest in coming on the podcast what uh what intrigued you about the podcast why do you want to talk about things philosophical and religious or spiritual well um you know you and i have met recently through a space that we share with others and um the conversations we've been having over the course of the last several months in fact there's been a lot of it's in some ways it's been a one long conversation between different people but the there's a there's been a consistent sort of uh understanding that uh the crisis that we've been living through for the last two years has brought people to a spiritual awakening of sorts um and i think that there's a theme here the theme has been that in fact it is our only way out in my opinion is to move beyond the material and into a more spiritual perspective because i think that that the crisis here is due to a a process of materialism scientism that has been in play for a long time and i think it's a dead end um i think in the summer of 2020 that's when i realized for myself uh as somebody who has been a seeker of sorts for most of my adult life and most of my life even as a child so it was a realization that that you know despair is what happens when you are at a spiritual impasse and you have to move beyond it so i think that that's so then when i heard uh you sent me a link uh to another person that we've been conversing with over the last several months months tom menier and i was fascinated with that discussion um it was interesting and it was just it reminded me of the kinds of conversations we have here it was one-on-one um between you and tom so i listened to that and the whole thing uh pretty much in one sitting uh two and a half hours i think it was um and then i i heard a much earlier conversation you had with uh anthony um and with anthony brown and i really i really so green sorry green brown yes green green with three e's that's right green with three e's so i had anthony green i really enjoyed that as well and then ivan so ivan freud so the between that i thought this is great uh so i was very pleased and i'm pleased to be here yeah yeah so i want to touch a little bit on the what you said about the despair and the spiritual life and uh you know at different points in my life i can think about these sort of peak moments where uh you do in deep introspection usually it's a moment of trauma or a moment of bliss or joy or ecstasy or uh just a moment of deep confusion um there's several uh moments in my life i can think of one here in montreal where i saw a woman that was on i would would imagine some sort of heavy drugs psychotic drugs like um pcp or something and she was she had a superhuman strength i was agnostic at the time she had a superhuman strength and she was throwing around three or four police large policemen and uh she was her body was going from the vertical upright position to a horizontal position like the pivot point was her feet and she was just smacking her her body and her face on the pavement oh my god in a supernatural uh movement at one point and then uh when the cops moved in like she was just they were just like rag dolls you know so there was that happened at the leonard cohen park there you know the little park i know the park um so i was agnostic and i was thinking i'm not sure if god exists but it looks like satan's real so this is something this is a theme in covid a lot of people are being awakened that i don't know if god exists but i know for sure satan is real can you talk a little bit about that in particular and then in general just about your own uh some of the peak experience you've had where you thought that maybe there's something more than the material because you touched on that okay so i mean i mean just a quick background here probably helped him to make sense of what comes after but um growing up now i'm i've i call myself a cultural catholic um i was baptized confirmed uh you know first confession we i've got everything you know went through the whole bit by 11 years old you're in the catholic church that's it you're you're married to the catholic church but of course you know you do this before they make sure that this is all done before you're even teenager so uh now i haven't gone through all that and i went to a catholic school and i was quite a pious kid i had this pious stage in my life where i was like i really uh was quite uh well i was have to say from a young age fascinated by the old testament uh the old testament i love the stories i mean i remember my parents giving us my sister and i a coloring book a bible coloring book where they tell the the story of the bible and i remember i didn't know you know i didn't know anything really about about the bible i was six years old i think or so and i learned to color in that in that uh in that book and so i was fascinated with the old testament and then when you start to get when you go through first confession uh you start to learn about jesus and and his life and i i thought this was i mean how could i mean it's a fascinating story right i mean it's it's it's it's a fascinating story so um so i was quite exposed early on to uh all these mythologies now i realized now that in my in terms of my friends there's not many of us that were went through that many of my friends know what that is like to be raised in that quite religious where religion is actually a part of our lives right like my father used to take me to mass we got lapsed before i got into my team teens but so uh at the same time uh i was fascinated with space uh and with the stars um and i started to be through that and trust i started to learn about the gods uh the greek mythology and the roman empire because you see that all the planets are named after gods and goddesses right so this is all pretty much before the age of 10. like when i was eight years old my father got me a book called the golden stamp book of stars and planets and i'll never forget it in fact when i uh i could i see you can still get copies of it today um old copies um but that book i'd learned all about the stars and planets you had to basically you would have a page for jupiter and then you'd have to match a picture to the page and then you would learn about all the moons of jupiter and its relative size to all the other planets and so on so for me um these two things have been a constant in my life in a sense now i'm not i don't consider myself a catholic anymore like like i said i consider also a cultural catholic and philosophically tended to be agnostic on the question especially when it comes to monotheism but i was always a believer in something greater than oneself because you look up at the sky and you you we're part of something much bigger right we're part of this planet and the planet is part of something much bigger and so that's my background there and i think that in my late teens um was when i started to after you know being the usual angry teen um i think in my late teens i would have to say that the uh i had done uh i've experimented with hallucino hallucinogenic drugs um and uh not to any great extent but uh after the first time i did i experimented i you become aware that there's something as i it was almost like a veil had had been lifted um that things weren't what they always seemed to be and from that point on i started to look at um i started to look at i started to read people like alan watts and um uh krishnamurti uh joseph campbell because i was just fascinated with mythology and carlos castaneda yeah excuse me and so uh that was i then got into gerd jeff through uh through reading uh uspensky's in search of the miraculous so i was covering a lot of ground in my in my late teens and early and uh this is especially accelerated after my father died so my father died when he was 49 and i was 20. so that's that was quite of uh quite a crisis and there was a lot of things going on and that kind of accelerated my my uh my sort of spiritual uh seeking period but at the same time you're living in the world and you're you're you're going to see shows with friends and you're drinking and going to parties and whatever else so it was kind of an odd thing because on the one hand i had this side of myself but on the other hand i was just like everybody else just having a good time like every other 20 something kid was you know so that's that's the background there now um in my late 20s i um i had a bit of a crisis i decided to stop drinking and that i managed for nearly five years and that really accelerated um change in my spiritual perspective uh in 94 about a year into that period uh so i should say i was born in 66 so in 94 i was i was and had um i could only call it a kind of a state of elevated consciousness um it came about the trigger almost doesn't matter what matters is that for about a month i felt extremely uh aware of how people felt i could almost tell by looking at them it was as if you know you could see and look into something into somebody and see something that nobody else could there was a really it was a heightened sensitivity um i realized one of the crucial realizations i made at that point was that love and fear cannot coexist this was a massive thing for me and it wasn't even it wasn't an intellectual uh exercise to come up with that it was a really distinct realization that if you're if you're in fear you cannot love and that was uh something that has stayed with me my the rest of my adult life so and i and it was funny because when i made that realization a lot of doors started opening for me that had been closed before uh i i it was as if okay you've you've realized this now you can move on this has been a block something that you have that has been hindering your development is that you you were afraid of love and you can't be afraid of love uh and so love was the answer uh and fear and love cannot coexist so that became a kind of a guidepost something that i always look back on uh and can can say with certainty so um yeah i guess anything you've ever i've heard well that's very i mean it's just very fascinating i'm just thinking about you you were 28 at that time i was 28 when you had that realization and you you were in the middle of your um attempt to stop drinking is that or that was that i was a year a year in a year a year one year into a five-year uh do a five-year yeah program or whatever it was i guess he was just self-directed mostly yeah self-directed that first year i actually did not go into any a 12-step program for a couple of years i found them which was good uh for the two years but it wasn't i didn't i grew it yeah yeah i would say um but yeah it was a year in it was pretty much self-directed i was because you go through a lot of uh a lot of thing when you stop like that you stop and i was you know i was pretty i wasn't i've never been a kind of guy who drinks daily or anything like that but when i would drink it would i dr i would drink hard and and what i realized was that there's a lot of i've been stifling so much of who i was through this stuff it's almost like so in that year and everyone who anyone who's quit a substance understands this uh that when you stop it when you stop it there is this period where you it's difficult uh you're you're you could find yourself bawling for no apparent reason um you you there are emotions that you don't understand and i think that this all sort of came to a head a year later when i had this experience and then uh it changed me tremendously it was a huge change for me yeah the whole issue of fear uh fear and love and sensitivity all these sorts of things uh i'll just tell a really brief uh anecdote from my own experience when i was in my early 20s very early 20s maybe or so i can't remember i uh took a lot of hashish at a party an outdoor festival musical festival and then nothing was happening i was completely inexperienced my friends were more experienced than i was but um i'm very sensitive to any substance so i ended up really tripping out for about 12 hours hallucinating hallucinating and extremely dehydrated and paranoid and um it was a horrible one of the most horrible things i've ever experienced a lot of demonic imagery and just like full-on hallucinations like the next day i woke up uh after barely having slept just wrestling with the demons all night long and losing the wrestling match by the way um i i was walking around trying to find some place to relieve myself walking through the tall grass at this hippie party and uh it was broad daylight and i was thinking to myself thank god that i survived the night the hallucinations are over and i'm sort of i feel horrible obviously like the worst hangover i've ever felt from nothing but pot but um and hashish but uh i wasn't out of the woods yet because there in the broad daylight the bright sun shining and the nice people enjoying their morning around me uh in the distance but as i walked through this tall grass it suddenly turned into a sea of snakes and i thought this is this is ridiculous like this is 12 hours later or whatever it was and uh why am i still hallucinating in the broad daylight you know it's one thing when you're in the dark i was in my tent and i was just sort of tossing and turning like if you've ever had a bad fever it's kind of that kind of feeling and uh so from that point on it took me um and i think i had done some mushrooms for the very first time like the weekend before or something like that okay and the mushroom trip was amazing it was just like perfect and it was very mild and then the come down was so gentle and beautiful it just was like a totally amazing experience but that may have opened something up and i believe that uh drugs and even alcohol can be a gateway to the demons that's what i believe as a christian okay it doesn't have to be it doesn't have to be but i think that it can be just like anything else can be pornography or whatever but my point my point here is i think i may open myself up and for the next year i was suffering from major panic attacks and i i had a doctor prescribe me some downers which made me feel good but i knew that i should not get addicted to this so i only took them for the first few days and i didn't take them anymore i just said i'm going to deal with this head-on so the whole issue the reason i'm talking about this is because it's the issue of sensitivity and fear i was very sensitive very vulnerable very raw i felt i felt everyone's emotions like you said and i felt everyone's motivations right there wrongly that i perceived that i felt like what they were going through and i was very vulnerable very teary and very emotional and that rawness in a way i miss it because it's so real but in a way i'm happy to be more comfortably numb now but for a whole year i was facing the issue of fear and what allowed me to escape from the nightmare of a panic attack and anxiety disorder which it turns out i'm genetically predisposed to because i did a genetic health test uh voluntarily just to find out what's in my family background from my mother and my father's side and i have a predisposition to these nervous disorders so um after a year of struggling with fear i realized that it's only when you face the fear when i faced i had the courage to face the fear because i dreaded fear of death at that time i was agnostic atheist and i dreaded the fear of death but when i decided to face the fear out of just pure frustration uh and exhaustion of waking up a hundred times a night with my heart pounding visibly out of my chest as a as a young man 21 year old man or whatever it was uh when i got fed up and finally faced the fear the fear disappeared like that it was a moment of peace there was calm in the storm in the center of the storm and i realized that this fear is an abstract fear of fear and as soon as i as soon as i learned that lesson even though i could still get seduced into a avoidance where i would not want to face the fear i could still get seduced into that but i would remind myself no you don't avoid you face the fear and i think that's what a lot of people have to learn that's a hard lesson to learn it took a year of my life and it was very very painful and draining and i may have heart damage because of it i don't know god knows but um if people learn to face the abstract fear of fear then they can have that uh they can have that freedom that we that we all crave and i think it's connected you know uh love freedom truth uh just living in reality not being insane because i was i was very in i still having i still have tendencies toward being a little bit bizarre but you have you gain experience in this life you gain experience and you gain wisdom in terms of uh the basic fundamentals fear love you know these sorts of things i think i think that's a relevant story to what you're uh what you're emphasizing in our class yes it is very much so and i think i you know um for me uh you see fear fear is really uh in a sense the root of all evil i mean in in in a sense because if you look i mean you have people who are you know who do bad who do evil right yeah but evil prevails if people are in fear even in the garden of eden uh there are some interpreters of the genesis story who say that adam and eve were sort of bullied into disobeying god and eating the fruit of the forbidden fruit of the tree because the serpent was there and when the serpent said and i'm sure you and my listeners are familiar with this when the serpent said you will surely not die if you eat fruit that was interpreted by some to mean that eat it because if you eat it you won't die but if you don't eat it you will die because i'm here to enforce it like you're going to eat it or i'm going to kill you that kind of thing i've never heard that interpretation until very recently but it's interesting it's interesting because it's that bullying technique that we see with some heavy-handed government uh governments around the world over the past two years we've seen sort of the mask come off the friendly mask like we're here to help and we we care for you and we love our citizens we see the mass come off and we see the bold uh bullying and the coercion and the pressure of these various governments around the world and uh sadly and to my disappointment a lot of people caved with uh just the the very subtle hint of uh coercion or a subtle promise of reward for conformity and then as the pressure mounted and mounted and mounted i was sad to watch the numbers like those who said they would never take the vaccine for example that that percentage kept shrinking i was watching the numbers week after week and the number kept shrinking uh in canada i think it started out around 30 percent it's dwindled down now to uh around 15 percent if i'm not mistaken so it just the mounting pressure and the mounting bullying is just whittling away at people and even those even those of us who have taken a hard stand that we're not going to comply right so i think that bullying and i think that that that uh pressure uh is exploiting exactly what you're talking about the fear and the fact that people are not connected to something higher something uh profound and something deep and or they don't have a set of principles that guide them and so they're able to be bullied they're able to be coerced and it could be something as simple as well do you like to travel well if you want to travel just comply it's not hard it's free what could go wrong it's safe and effective so i mean it's it's not really dramatic when you look case by case uh why did you comply why did you comply well it's the little story makes a lot of sense well i want i want to work i want to feed my family i want to travel whatever it is it doesn't seem dramatic when you look at it on a case-by-case basis but when you step back and look at the progression how people are just being corralled and the outliers are slowly being uh gathered in little by little and the the net gets wider and wider and wider until we had mr lego suggesting maybe there should be attacks on the unboxing these sorts of things and then he backed off a little bit but uh no this whole issue of fear it's uh it's very important it's crucial we cannot we are ruled through fear and and uh fear in ways that you know on the one hand you know everyone thinks of totalitarianism as a you know jack boot but um in fact there's been a conditioning process going on that is far more subtle it's been going on for decades uh and uh that conditioning process is always like you know fear of you know you know fear of missing out fear of there's always these things like if i you know you see it in almost every aspect of our lives like you know uh fear of making a mistake now i'm an i.t guy and one of the things i learned very fast was at an i.t uh you have to learn from your mistakes um and you have to you can't be afraid to do something because you're going to make a mistake then you'll be because the only way you're going to be a good technician in i.t is if you actually make like you go okay i made a mistake and then move on uh but it's just generally it's so pervasive uh i can't really it's so pervasive it's not possible and it's not possible for this to have happened in the last two years if if i mean people i watched people overnight just when like they weren't afraid prior to the government declaring a pandemic and declaring lockdowns they weren't afraid then there were people in my office who had colds severe colds uh like a week before it all started i wasn't i wasn't like it's not promised you know it's but it was as if a program had been switched on yeah um and then everyone just started to run with it and i'll tell you now uh we're getting back to where we started in a way so i was a very early i i describe it as being almost like in a virtual trench for the last two years because i myself and a friend of mine we were very much we'd been aware that they've been trying to create uh pandemic fear for at least 10 years and you know uh then we watched we saw certain signs and were like uh i remember netflix had just released uh well they had just got the right to to release uh contagion okay and so contagion i think was released on netflix at the end of january now this is a movie from several years ago but i've never seen it by the way um but i i saw that it had been released and i'm like oops that's a sign that they're psychologically preparing us now like this like this this movie contagion coming out on netflix is sort of like uh it's it's activating people it's there to activate people into that mindset and in fact by i'm told that the film is very close to what actually happened uh the narrative is very close to the narrative that we've been living with uh that we that was used to um uh caught like used to to bring in support for all the measures and everything now the thing is i have to tell you that um in april of 2020 as i watched all this and i was never afraid of the virus never um in fact by may i was wondering you know what viruses are but um i remember i for the first two weeks i was alone i had never left my block except to go to the store um and like the store where i go to the marches very close and then a friend of mine was like uh one night just come on come on down man like we're just hanging out here and um so i went and i walked it was a friday night and i live in the plateau and i walk along a wall to saint laurent as i pass in the knee i pass because i pass in the knee and then i hit cinnamon and i was stunned i i felt like now i could see it was as if a hand i had a dark a hand had just like changed the whole world around me friday night it felt like sunday five in the morning uh it was just like there was hardly anybody around um and uh i remember walking in and seeing my my two friends time and they could see in my face that i was i was shocked i was in shock as to what was happening and it was my first time out i had never i've never been isolated for two weeks in my life uh but there i was had been isolated then i'm seeing people and over the course of that month i had i remember saying you know i can understand how people because i've been very much i've had two friends of mine who committed suicide and uh brutal stories both of them and i've been very much against suicide like i just i i don't blame them i don't i don't resent them for having taken their lives but i made up my mind like that this is never going to be an option for me ever good yet i felt for uh several weeks in april that i can i was never gonna do it but it the the how it could happen yeah because there was a sense of pointlessness hopelessness despair confusion nothing seemed to make sense and i remember that there were certain people i was following certain and my own sort of understanding of of of my spirituality and what that meant but basically after a few years of really not exploring that aspect of myself it was activated by the summer and one of the things was like i i had to go through this process where i had to identify what i thought was wrong with what was going on around me and the first thing i realized was that it was anti-human that ultimately the entire process of lockdowns and it was to it had activated a psychological state in people where they believed that just being just for being alive and healthy made you a threat to somebody else like this was to me this was diabolical yeah uh that you could create a psychological state in the masses that made them individuals afraid of each other uh this was the hype of fear this is this is this is like an and so right away i was like okay so the question now is this is anti-human what does it mean to be human what does it mean to be human i remember taking a course in when i was at concordia i took a religious studies course with a guy named openheim and it was uh the theme of it was uh it was a study of religious autobiography so uh we studied uh saint augustine augustine um we studied uh malcolm x we studied uh uh who else that cooker guard uh who i had a who i had a very uh what i have fondness for through most of my twenties um and the theme the primary theme was what does it mean to be human so basically that it was religious autobiography we're reading all these articles and i did a paper on sat as well do they mo nice excuse me and um i wrote i i wound up back to that question again yeah to really think about what it means to be human and then i realized it's very simple whatever they're trying to stop us from doing is a good sign of where we what it means to be human so if they're telling us we can't see each other then what it means to be human is to be in communion with others based because the thing is is that there's a process of invert like so much has been inverted right so people have this idea that it you know that life doesn't come with risk yeah um and so they're afraid and that was the other thing it's like what does it mean to be human i mean obviously that you're not going to come up with an answer to that question in one sentence it is it is books written on on this but one of the things is that i noticed okay if they're they're locking us down it means that we should not be locked down and that what it means to be human is to be free yep um and people could say well you know you can't be free at the expense of others it's not it but the whole notion that people are a threat to each other when they're healthy is is just so diabolical i i had more words for it yeah um so this then very so by by the you know by late spring i was starting to come to an understanding of what was important what was the best way to react uh to be in this situation and what i realized was that um despair was my enemy yeah despair is our enemy it is our enemy despair is a failure of imagination now i've we all feel despair i've felt despair since then but uh despair um when you're in it you cannot see in fact your imagination is is hindered because you cannot see a way out it's all bad it's all bad it's all bad um but if you are not in despair then you have a better chance to get yourself out of the pit you know we talk about the pit of despair it's a pit because you cannot see anyone and if you're in a pit you're looking straight up but you don't see this you you have a very limited view so um this was a big thing for me and uh my friend uh jen she watched as i was because i you know there's there was such an inclination to go what the heck you know these people are trying to take over the world um i and but honestly by the summer of there was no government that was going to make me unhappy with their decisions because nothing i knew at that point that they would do whatever they were going to do and my job was to defy them in my way not to i mean not to go around like uh being a problem for other people like some people say in our camp they they they go into stores and they're very big on i hate the masks as much as anybody but i've been more or less compliant yeah on that scale because i just don't want the trouble my my thing is that um we there is always a way to get around governments and their um their their use of force um whether and when you give them too much power and this is what despair if you give them power then you're taking away your own agency um and i think uh if we're gonna go back to that question what does it mean to be human it means to have agency um and i like that word because uh you know i am an agent in my own life lego trudeau they can't stop me from they they can't they can't control me and if i'd say you know i'm going to respect the rules uh even though they're against everything that i s that that i believe in then what kind of person am i uh to myself like what you know like in the end what i realized was that it's the individual that matters and this has been a huge shift for me as a guy who comes from a politically left background i have always been left leaning that changed over the last several years as i watched what was happening in the left uh essentially uh but what i realized was that the the there had been a movement it used to be that individual like the left respected individual choice but then they moved in away from this and at some point um you know uh it all became about the collective yeah conformity and conformity doing you know and you could see this on social media was enforcing this yeah and so uh what happened in the summer of 2020s and i then i started to actually do some some deep dives into various uh uh religious traditions like my bible came back out again um so i was i started to look at uh you know not randomly there were certain um youtubers or shooters you know who were coming out with uh you know various segments of the bible that were relevant to what was going on those helped um even though i still you know wasn't don't consider myself a christian but um uh then i uh i would start to take a look at aspects of islam um and just just sort of exploring the various going back to my to what i thought was important is to try to understand this what we're going through because i saw this as being like you know i i never thought this like i never saw an end to this for me there was an agenda there is an agenda and i realized this that uh by spring of 2020 that our world is gone as we knew it like our world our old the old world no even if things went back to normal which i i'm quite convinced they're never gonna go back to what we call what we used to call normal um what would have to happen is that people like you and me uh and those of us that are resisting would have to find our own way around this and create our own uh our own um culture uh in a sense which is what we've been doing uh there was no way that we were gonna go back to like you know just go go watch the hockey game at the bar hang out with fran you know it's all now it all seems so it's been strange i don't feel envy when i walk i'm not jealous or envious when i walk past a restaurant i see all the vaxxed people sitting at their tables enjoying life as if uh as if they weren't being uh enslaved by tyrannical satanic baby killers right like it's like the illusion is gone the illusion is gone i i never was a fan of the sort of classic uh let's go holidaying let's go to the restaurant that's sort of mainstream tourism of life kind of thing i was never a fan of that i was always more introspective and more on the otherworldly in terms of uh you know my introspection and stuff like that but the way the way out of this for me because i'm christian you know the the i have a very clear vision about uh the way out of this and i want to bounce an idea off of you because you're an i.t guy if you think about i'll just present sort of my vision using an analogy of virtual reality you know i've got these headsets and you can you can go into a virtual reality and it's like wow it's so real and i'm getting lost and absorbed and it seems like it's kind of like if you've done lucid dreaming where you're like wow i'm dreaming but it's so real it's more real than real and our imaginations are very powerful in that way and unfortunately the demons have a lot of influence over our imagination they can't control our will and they can't control our intellect but they can stimulate our imagination and that's why we have to be very careful about what we consume what we look at you know like when there's a sexy woman revealing her cleavage i'm tempted to look just because it's attractive but at the same time i know that the demons want to tempt me into uh you know something that's disordered i mean i already have a wife i don't need to seek another wife i'm i i'm a monogamous okay so it's disordered not to say that her breasts aren't good and she's not a good person and all this sort of thing but it's not my place right it's just it's disordered so there are a lot of good things that we're tempted to to indulge in like that third cookie or that second slice of cake or whatever it might be or for you it might be another shot of whiskey or whatever but um you know we need to have moderation and balance but the the idea that i want to portray you has to do with virtual reality so you enter into this world and it's a game so to speak like you have to make choices and those choices have consequences and we don't need to imagine the details of this world we just need to know that it's virtual and that sitting next to you in real life at this higher level of reality like you're you're standing in this room and uh standing next to you is the creator of this world he created the technology he created the software he created the hardware and he gave a lot of creative freedom to those who would sort of run that world within the game and he lets uh bad things happen in the game there's danger and these sorts of things if you've ever played a video game you know that every video game includes danger and choices that have consequences in these sorts of things and rewards and pleasure and whatever but the idea is from my christian perspective the idea is that no matter how exciting it is in this virtual world no matter how well you play or how poorly you play or if you fall into temptation within that world one at one point in time you're going to have that headset removed and you're going to be like oh yes i remember now that there's this higher level of reality this more fundamental level of reality and there is a creator and the creator is all good and he's all wise and he's been watching me play and i'm going to be judged and uh so this this christian story has two elements to it that i want to emphasize with you one is we're going to be judged and so you better be loyal to the creator of this of this virtual reality you better be loyal to him because he ultimately is your judge and the other aspect is that there's nothing to fear absolutely nothing to fear within that realm that virtual realm from the quote unquote bad guys who are tempting you or making you fall into traps or hurting you or harming you in subtle ways or even in not subtle ways with the jack boot like you said um so we have nothing to fear that's what uh christ says in the new testament time and time again fear not fear not fear not constantly to his own disciples and you know even to saint peter fear not and peter said let me walk on the water he walked down the water but then he looked at the waves and he he got afraid and he fell into the sea and he reached out and jesus saved him because but it's only because he took his eyes off the lord that he fell and into fear so fear not that's the first thing i want to emphasize with this virtual reality thing and the other thing is it's just temporary this is a lower level of reality and we shouldn't get too excited about the good stuff or about the bad stuff so i want to get your reflection on that as an i.t guy and as a spiritual seeker well okay so uh i don't play video games never have no um no never have uh when i got into computers uh i was i thought that was the game i just learned computers learning how to work um and so i've never played video games but i will say this that um acne there's a lot to unpack there but because i'm not sure like when it went like if i may ask for more clarification the vr are you suggesting that the vr is like an analogy for real life yeah like what you and i consider normal life like we have our job and we have our life and it's all real but it's a lower level of reality the higher level of reality is god in heaven and we're gonna have glorified bodies in heaven like this this is the christian perspective okay we're gonna have a glorified body there's gonna be a new heaven a new earth and there'll be no more pain no more suffering no more misery no more any of the bad stuff for those of us who make it to heaven and in hell it's just it's just the complete lack of everything that's good no justice no peace no joy no love no no life it's just a constant death without ever having the relief of annihilation you're just constantly dying that death which is uh horrible and the anguish and despair and the you know you talk about that pit of despair that's what that's what hell is like plus with the physical suffering which is sort of a secondary pain the main pain is like oh my god i will never enjoy god and all of his all of his goods because he is the source of every good life beauty goodness balance and and uh everything that's wholesome and everything that we value you know pleasure see i think there's um okay so vr i mean there's a lot i mean when i think about vr you see what i what i when you say that for me i i keep thinking about how what they want to do is take us away from what is real yeah yeah well there are many layers of reality right you know there are many there are indeed uh but um this this vr technology is just an outgrowth of what has been going on in the sense that there's a synthetic layer that has been created um where why not just enjoy being in the world like uh uh like i know what you're saying you're talking about the escapism to this idealized utopian fake world where everything can be controlled and everything you can cater to all your desires and i could have a million uh at my fingertips everything that's pleasurable for me like in this virtual world that's not real it's not real and the thing is is that it takes us away from what is yeah people who are people who are heavily into and this is one of the big problems that happen with with with the lockdowns is that then we be we're we're living in two-dimensional uh synthetic worlds yeah whether it's on social media whether it's it's in video games that you're playing because now you can't so um this is what they want now i'm not i'm not a christian uh anymore uh you know i used to think in a sense i i i would call my i would have called myself um maybe a christian before but i'm i've got issues with monotheism and the abrahamic religions in general that has arisen as a result of the last two years i didn't i would have to say that the last two years has been a change there but what i'm what i see is that um we're constantly they are they're trying to interfere with our humanity and all this all this all these distractions that we that that that come around like uh whether it's uh uh you know now ukraine yesterday covid um and you know whether it's uh the violence that that people you know violent movies uh whether pornography all these things what they're there to do is interfere with our because you see i think that i don't like i don't believe in heaven or hell either yeah um so the thing is for me is that what matters and i but i do believe in reincarnation i i i think that that's part of the i think hell is is really is is something that we make ourselves in life um and yeah i mean um and i think that what what we need to do as as a humanity what we need to get away from these elements that want to take us away from who we are and to and to stop that you know again it comes down to like our lives aren't good enough we have to augment them like that was very remember the pokemon thing yeah yeah yeah i found that very bizarre i was very disturbed by that yeah um because here were people looking for things that don't exist and and they were looking and they were everywhere you go into places i go you find this oh i found i i found that very disturbing yet um because again you see they're wanting they want us it's to take away our living like living on this planet um to have an overlay a pokemon overlay um is bizarre and i think wrong frankly um i don't say it's immoral just wrong um so yeah i mean so i don't know how far the vr thing i don't know how but i will say that i think that that that that this this overlay and this need to to sort of we should be thinking about transcending and transcendence yeah uh in consciousness and in our but now instead we get we get these neo gods uh these these tech people who create that overlay for us and now they're the new god yeah um i want to talk about about the eastern religions because he talked about reincarnation and when i speak with adherents of eastern religions whether it's buddhism or hinduism or whatever uh the ultimate question is is there any difference between the worst case scenario and the best case scenario for any human that ever lived right and they're only there are only two answers yes there's a difference or no there's not if there's no difference then you can go down that rabbit hole of the dark path and your karma will be horrible and eventually you'll end up back uh where you started which is the one the one mind of what i would call god what they would call the transcendent or whatever that one mind okay whether it's buddhism or or hinduism it's the same thing either we all uh leave the illusion and go back to the one reality that transcendent reality the one mind of god or the voyage just continues indefinitely and you can get stuck in a rut that lasts sort of like an infinite number of lifetimes and that could be your hell right so that's the ultimate fundamental question of your world view if you're if you're thinking about uh where you stand in relation to the transcendent these sorts of things yeah you will ultimately you should be asking yourself is there any difference between the best case scenario and the worst case scenario like is it just an exploration and all roads lead back to that one mind or could you really get seriously lost indefinitely down a dark path where your karma is bad and i do believe in karma where your karma is bad and you're just gonna have to suffer and work through that and you're sort of at that that bottomless pit of despair and uh hopelessness and selfish self-indulgent in the the pleasures and the passions of this life and you don't you don't rise up you don't rise up to the liberation that is that transcendence that you're that you're emphasizing in your worldview so even if you don't believe in the christian judeo-christian version or you don't believe in heaven and hell as it's characterized uh by non-christians right because we can sort of make a caricature of heaven and hell but the ultimate question is there for each and every person whether they they're a hindu uh you know scientologist or uh atheist agnostic it doesn't matter we all have the same fundamental dilemma like is does it matter do my choices matter ultimately will uh the outcome be any different or is it just an interesting path and every path is interesting every path is different and we have to explore it's almost like a moral obligation i have to explore the dark side i have to not me personally but one of us probably will there's so many humans right especially if you believe in reincarnation you believe that there are many many incarnations many opportunities to explore the good the bad the ugly and everything in between so i'd like you to sort of reflect on that sort of ad lib how do you respond to that that challenge really it's a challenge to face face the music like ultimately does it make any difference uh it does it does make a difference um i think a long ago i came to the conclusion that what really matters is what we bring to our life and what we bring to other people do i make people's life a misery if i do there's something wrong do i make people's life do i enrich people's lives by being alive and being who i am and if i am doing that then that matters that's important so i don't believe in heaven or hell i'm inclined i should say don't believe i am inclined to believe in reincarnation but what i do now is what i do now um i can't and it doesn't require me to believe in a god i mean i would tend to be more um like i believe if you know for me the god now i would say like mother earth is more like my god uh the planet this is an amazing planet it's an incredible planet um and we and the sun moon uh earth system is incredible um it is and what matters is that i am alive that i bring something to the bull um and i am not oh no hello can you hear me it froze if you can hear me have i lost my interview oh here we go here we go you're back you're back you're back okay i don't know yeah that was weird is it your connection that went your mind no no no i got a rock-solid connection probably just a little glitch a little glitch in the system don't worry about it um so uh that's what matters to me now what happens after yeah i die that is something i can't know and i was never interested to say what i did look into reincarnation i was never really interested in knowing what was i in a past life or something like that that was very popular with some new age folks and i've never been a new age guy never um and uh you know i've floated in new age circles uh i've known my share of pagans and witches and whatever else i guess but uh we can't know that um what matters is how well i live this life and how how how am i with people now in terms of getting off like a part of me is like um you know see like i was saying this like if if i'm reborn again on this planet uh i shudder what i would be born into uh so my goal would be not to be born again in this planet not at the planet at least as it existed as it as it's going um but uh i i'm fascinated by what could be like you know do i wind up in some you know if i don't get born again on this planet do i wind up in some higher level plane which you might call heaven you see in a lot of ways i think my studies around different religions because as i mean as somebody who was you know indoctrinated into the catholic church i was just interested as i got older in exploring how and realizing that everyone there are all kinds of different uh views about what is what comes after what comes after life i am not an atheist i don't believe that there's nothing um because i think that we're i like the idea uh you know that we are a signal our consciousness is a signal and our our bodies are the receivers of that signal um and i like this idea that that consciousness is is it transcends our bodies um and uh so i'm not an atheist never have been um because i do believe in a higher power but what that is i mean the closest now i mean i can say is that i believe it's i believe it's the earth i believe the earth is our is our i mean what a wonderful planet we live on um what about the existentialists could you mention uh what do you think about because it sound it sounds to me like you are an existentialist like you have your existence but you haven't determined your essence that's existentialism in a nutshell and it's up to you to determine your essence what are the choices huh what is essence well yeah that's the existential quest right what is essence and so the existentialists i don't know if you if you studied them or if you like them but you sound to me like you're very much an existentialist in terms of meaning is up for grabs and also there's a stoic element where um you know we strive for goodness for goodness sake and there's not necessarily an absolute objective meaning but we impose meaning by an act of the will so that there's that stoicism and existentialism that seems like you're sort of you're i guess i'm closer to that if you were to put me in that i think i'm i mean i was i i guess i read kirker guard i read a lot of kirker guard guardians of 20. and kirker guard was considered like a pre-existentialist existentialist yeah um and he was a christian existentialist so that's an interesting thing with it with existentialism uh i did read uh some soft but the the the one i remember uh the one i read was the words and it was just about uh i like this uh idea that our lives are about being creative that there's a creativity that that essentially we are writing our own story and this is what i i believe that that's really important i mean is that we write our own story uh but beyond that um it's um you know everything else is up for grabs you know i mean there's no way i can say you know like i've never been comfortable with this idea that okay um i'm a christian and i don't believe what the buddhists uh say or the gnostics say or you know i i i believe that the the human story is exploration of that and i don't think we can i i can't myself personally cannot limit myself to one story in terms of like a story that i believe in yeah yeah because i think i'm inclined to believe or disbelieve one story over another maybe but yeah i'm not 100 i want to do a little thought experiment where you can talk about someone that you despise someone in the history books the big name that usually comes up is hitler i don't know if you want to use him but use someone that you think is despicable unhappy miserable and selfish and uh it was a bad path [Laughter] that guy is an evil evil guy okay um i mean because the thing is we have a lot of information on him we have more information on him than we have on most so in spiritual terms just talk me through why is that path in your opinion a bad path it's the wrong way to go and if a child came to you and said hey i'm thinking of living this type of life and making these type of choices why you would say no no no no no that will not bring you lasting happiness what is it about fochi and his choices that he make he just sort of use that as an example to sort of uh explain to me and the listeners what is the difference between good choices and bad choices in your point of view well they're all good choices for fouchy okay but they cost tens of thousands of lives it's not even a matter of of good choices for him or bad choices for him what makes him a bad person is that he is knowingly knowingly uh made decisions that cost the lives of tens of thousands of people this is going back to uh to aids yeah um and he's only out for himself um he is in fact the epitome of an anti-science um you know it's not a word i like to use but when you're actually when you defy all scientific protocols to get approval for drugs that you know are going to kill people i mean it doesn't get much worse than that in my opinion this is a contemporary situation and um so you see like i believe in a in a simple precept do no harm now this is what google used to claim do no harm or whatever like you know but do no harm do not harm people um this is i don't care if you're religious or not or if you're an atheist but if you think it's okay to harm people and you do it with impunity and you do it again and again well you're a criminal mind um and so i do believe in in morals i believe in absolute morals in this respect uh and more and when you harm people you're you are doing something bad but of course he's enriched himself uh he's enriched his friends um to the tunes of millions and millions of dollars in their pockets like in their personal pockets so does that come close to answering your question no it doesn't satisfy me because i mean what what i would need from you is some sort of explanation why the pleasures of getting rich at the expense of your slaves or your child or whatever it is why those pleasures uh do not justify why those ends do not justify the means like if you were to be a selfish seeker of your own pleasures and you are successful i'm not saying this is possible even in theory but for the sake of a thought experiment if someone should be completely selfish and go through every pleasure using all the slimy manipulative tactics and lies and deception and the media and big science big tech everything at your disposal because you you have the power you have the money and you can make everything happen so that you get everything that you think that you want meaning uh goods of the you know material goods and pleasures and of different sorts and travel and everything else sex um [Music] i wouldn't what i what i'm hoping to get from you is some sort of philosophical principle that says that the ends all those good things all those pleasures do not justify the means the lying the cheating and the stealing like what is your philosophical principle that would say you can't do it i know it's a lot of fun but just don't do it and if you just say because it harms other people that doesn't satisfy me because he doesn't care about other people he what he wants is these pleasures and these goods and that's what he gets so when you point out to him that oh you're doing it at the expense of other people he's like yeah that's how i get it that's that's my pathway that's how i get what i want right so you need you need to go beyond that to a principle uh so just what comes to mind for you give me an example for you like the you you okay the the example you're not going to like it but the the principle is that if you if you are selfish then there is such a thing as objective and absolute eternal morality and justice and not only that but judgment and there are consequences eternal consequences this is why it always comes back to heaven and hell so i mean uh from a christian or jewish or muslim perspective we have justice perfect justice being meted out ultimately but for everyone else including those who belong to eastern religions there is no justice absolutely there's only uh the game and the manipulation in this messy world of illusion and uh there's no justice especially if you're if you're an atheist uh which you're not but if you're an atheist um there is zero percent probability of ever having justice because it's already in the history books that bad people got away with doing bad things right but from a christian muslim or jewish perspective we say no no no no no it looks like from a human perspective it looks like the bad guys got away with it and they had all the money all the women all the pleasure it looks like that yes but no there's a transcendent higher reality in which justice is served and those people either had to suffer some sort of purgation and purgatory and repentance and contrition and then they made it to heaven or they didn't repent and they just are suffering in hell and that their justice is served in that way so that's why i'm sort of pressing by pressing this issue of heaven and hell with you because it's very very important for morality i understand um this is interesting because i i i you know i i can you can tell that i've strayed away from that position because i don't believe that morality is something that comes from like i do believe you know the old expression you know karma's a yeah um i do believe that i certainly like to believe that fauci will get you know i mean if they're if there is a god and there is heaven and there is hell all mine i would hope uh that fauci really gets his just desserts and the next life wherever that happens to be but i don't believe it necessarily i do think that if there is another life out there that he's born into and he more i hope he he is born into a a life of a really yeah i really have to say i wish him i wish him ill i do wish him ill um you know but i can't go much more than that i mean uh he's a bad person we have evidence of all his wrongdoing um he has gotten away with it he's nearly he's over 80 years old now right this old guy he looks great sorry he looks good he looks pretty good yeah i wonder how he managed to do that um the portrait of dorian gray yeah i mean uh for somebody who's 81 or okay uh obviously there's nothing in this life now that will i mean there's nothing that can really happen to him but he'll he'll die a rich man he'll get all the accolades in the media as being this fine person who has overseen the complete health disaster of the united states as he's the health tsar of the united states so yeah in a sense i would like to believe that there is justice out there after this life and that whether it's heaven or whether it's being born into a terrible life in the next life he i might have um i don't know i mean i don't know for me people like that they're they're they're sociopathic um they uh you know you want them to be punished you do i've never felt more like i mean honestly with fouchy i was very strongly against capital punishment because i don't believe it's it's up to us to to meet out justice uh in that way by taking someone's life um i do not believe that and haven't most of my life in fact when i was in high school i wrote a a whole paper on this thing that my my english teacher was very impressed with i remember because it was like strongly against capital punishment but i have to say a guy like fauci yeah i'd like to see him on the dock um i'd like to see him suffer uh and and and get justice but it's uh it's a fool's game uh we can't really go there one thing i want to say with that if you've read the psalms king david wrote the psalms most of them i think maybe all of them but a lot of imagery of david praying to god to punish his enemies and make them suffer and die and whatever and you know it's a bit shocking it's a little bit off-putting um from a christian perspective because jesus said that's the pagan sort of way you know wishing ill on your enemies we have to love our enemies and to love them means not that you admire them or that you like them or that you have good chemistry with them far from it they're repulsive right but that you wish them well you want them to repent you want them to go back to the father god the father and to repent and to change their ways by the grace of god and to go to heaven so as a christian the idea of ill will is the is the most repugnant to me like when you say you have ill will towards vouche that's like a red flag it's like danger danger danger you should never have you should never have ill will towards any human being or any creature whatsoever okay but i also understand reading the psalms of king david like it's a very natural thing and even jesus christ himself while walking on the earth he had enemies and he was very he was very aggressive in his condemnation of his enemies calling them hypocrites and pit of vipers and all these sorts of things so yes you have to be passionate you have to hate evil you have to hate sin and i admire you for that i just don't i want you to love the sinner hate the sin and if possible never have genuine ill will towards anyone a big one for me but you know i want to i want to shift things a little bit because i've just finished are you familiar with c.s lewis yeah of course love it okay so do you know the space trilogy no okay so the space trilogy is out of the silent planet sometimes called voyage to venus paralandra and that hideous strength so uh i just finished reading that hideous strength okay uh and i would suggest anyone read that book to understand what is going on today um because it's surprising actually uh there's uh it it because it essentially what it is is um there's a small group of people who are understanding that there's a a big battle going on and the battle is taking place in some part of england like not too far from london um and there's a big battle uh going on most people aren't aware of it um so it's it's known to the people involved and on the one side you have a group called the nice and it stands it's an acronym for something which is essentially a technocratic um group of people they're believe they they have no belief and a higher well they have a police a belief in the in in the darkness and that's the thing is that that they have a belief in in controlling people and in controlling situations and uh they're led by a handful of people and then you have this other group of people who are um uh fighting it and their leader is a guy who's been to venus and has been to mars he was kidnapped this is a story and he came in touch with extra planetary beings called eldils now the reason i bring it up is because this idea of punishment in that in the context of that book uh it comes in this life for these people um and there's this incredible scene in the last uh the last you know in the sort of near the end of the story where the good one the good guys um really meet out the punt like the punishment is met out and merlin comes into it so merlin is involved and you know c.s stewart was a major christian thinker right yeah and i've always liked c.s lewis i read i read this series a long ago um back when i was uh yeah back in the 90s i read it and so it's interesting his approach to punishment wasn't even and even as a christian it didn't come the battle came but it wasn't in heaven um the battle came on earth and those who who lost the battle suffered on earth uh for their deeds and now to shift it again uh because i want to talk i mean i i find it interesting i've listened to your podcasts with and listened to while i listened to three of your of your interview you and your interviewees and um i i i'm interested in because i'm on a stage now i've always believed i had a friend uh my friend alan euster um he was a staunch atheist i i used to call him get out he get upset when i used to call him a fundamentalist atheist so this is a dawkins atheist i have no time at all for that position and no time at all for dawkins never have um and of course one of the one of the things i've noticed with all and i've known a lot of atheists too very some people just don't have a position on the matter i think i've been always interested in people who do have a position in the matter whether they're atheists or not um uh i like i like that i like the and you know he would say he would get mad he'd say like it's a contradiction in terms i'm like no because you you are you are a firm believer in that god does not exist but you can't prove that you say i can't prove it yet and i and and he'd say well anyways you're an agnostic it's a cop-out right um now i keep saying it's a philosophical agnostic now i have that just means that i i'm not going to use i'm not going to be able to prove the existence or in exist or non-existence of a deity whatever that deity happens to be but um the interesting thing with with c.s lewis is when i was reading this and it was how familiar are you with the dead sea scrolls or the nagamati library not terribly familiar so do you know anything you know i just know it's gnostic i just know it's gnostic allegedly uh the naga body library is gnostic the dead sea scrolls are not gnostic okay they're they're they're but it's a very interesting thing and this is where you i love history okay i'm a big history buff as well as a guy who likes to think about these larger questions but uh in 1904 the nagamadi library which is the oldest um the oldest bound books that that we know to exist so these are not scrolls these were these were codices and so they're bound so these were found in 1945 and uh in 1947 it was announced that they had that these things had been found

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