Lucid Living

Timothy FrekeLucid Living

Interview with Timothy Freke

NOTE: Timothy wrote one of the reviews for my book.

Lotus Guide : How important do you feel the knowledge about Lucid Living is in today’s world and why?

Timothy Freke : I think this is a perennial wisdom, which has been relevant in every age. It’s not just something that refers to today and it’s not something that’s stuck in the past. It’s about the human condition. And the more I experience this about myself, the more it feels to me that the journey, as we call it, is accompanied by a coming to, a waking up, that this is a journey of recognizing what and who we really are. In other words, it’s a journey from unconscious relevance, which is that primal state in which we have the appearance of separateness, to a state of conscious relevance. This is where we see our oneness, and I find that it is very helpful to see things in this way. The reason it’s relevant to today’s world is because it’s the foundation of life itself, it’s who we are. It’s actually a journey to recognize our own nature. And our nature is number one. And I can’t think of anything more important than that.

LG : That’s true, especially since so many of our old paradigms and mythologies are failing us in the world we find ourselves in. What was it in your life that made you start questioning the reality of how we view life? Was there a particular instance?

TF : Yes, there was. It started in me when I was about 12. And I always felt that the outer world was in some sort of collective denial. And they always seemed to be going about as if they had signed up to some agreement…which was that no one knew what the hell was going on but just no admitting it. Everyone was pretending they understood what life was and acting as if they knew it made sense but it didn’t. So I used to just sit on this little hill above this sleepy little town in southwest England I grew up in, with my dog, just thinking about things and then one day for absolutely no reason that I can put my finger on, it was my first experience of waking up from a sleep, like waking up in a dream. My memory is one of a time of overwhelming light, it was if I was being held in this universal light and as if I were the light as opposed to under the light. And when I came down the hill, I don’t know how long it lasted, probably not very long, and I went back to being a confused teenager, something had changed and I had this seed planted, and pretty much from then on my life was dominated by wanting to know what the hell had happened and wanting to get back to that experience. And that’s what made me seek out people who seemed to have had similar experiences. And I found you could approach this experience in many, many, many ways. And it was available. And in some ways what I think I’ve done with the little Lucid Living book is written the book that I would have loved to have read when I was 12. It would have made sense of that experience for me in the simplest way. Rather than having to go through this . . . well, this wonderful journey I’ve been on, through all these different spiritual traditions and different philosophies, seeking for something that would just simply say, “Ah, it was this.”

LG : And it’s usually one of the best clues ever given to a seeker because if you can grasp that transition from dreaming to awakening you can grasp this one from awakening to enlightenment. I believe it was Hermes that said, “As it is above, so it is below.”

TF : Yes, exactly.

LG : When you talk about Lucid Living, are you referring to what some call global or planetary awakening?

TF :I think we’re waking up to oneness in many ways. We have a growing recognition that we’re one planet, that there’s an ecological crisis, there’s a growing recognition that we’re one species, and we have much more compassion now for people who just happen to be from different races or tribes. We’re talking about things very recently that was unheard of in earlier times and that’s a huge step. And there’s a feeling that we could wake up as a planet and that might be a strong possibility. People talk about Gaia and the idea of the earth as a living organism which could itself have self-consciousness. I don’t know if that’s true or not. Certainly I think we’re growing, we’re waking up to wonders, but this Lucid Living is more about us as individuals, it’s much simpler. It’s something that each individual can only get for themselves. And yet what they’re getting is something that is connected to the universe. It’s seeing that each one of us has two ends to our identity, if you like. At the one end is some unique perspective on time and space, which we call a person, and at the other end there’s what is within us, all of us, and in all of this at the same time. This is a lucid awareness, in which everything is arising out of one into many. So here we are meeting, and we meet where we’re different and that’s what’s fascinating. It’s witnessing the whole thing, the unconscious awareness which is all around you is exactly the same thing.

LG : When you look at the complexity of the world we live in, and then add to that our human arrogance, nationalism, deteriorating environments, toxic by-products of consumerism, and the division caused by our various beliefs, it seems that we have created a world in which there are no solutions and is obviously unsustainable. Albert Einstein once said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were in when we first created them.” In other words, most of our problems today were created by a consciousness and a belief in separateness, so do you see Lucid Living as a level of awareness that would make it possible to come up with lasting solutions to today’s problems?

TF : That is a fantastic question. When I look at the world’s problems, environmental degradation and AIDS and war and poverty and prejudice and big business and all that, I feel it’s very easy to become completely overwhelmed. It’s just too much. It’s too much for us to face and it makes us pessimistic and I think there is a general pessimism around. There was a big fierce optimism in the ’60s which was going to change the whole way we were going to live, especially in the West, and it’s been caught up by a kind of pessimistic realism type of attitude, which I don’t think is realistic at all, it’s actually caught up in a story which makes us feel cynical and unable to take the necessary steps to continue this journey. Yet I see that we could change the world. And I spent a long time looking. You know, Archimedes says, “Give me a pivot and I’ll move the world.” And I thought for a long time, “Is there a pivot that we could move this with? Is there a simple idea, a big idea that could move this?” And I thought there is. And that big idea must be the big idea that’s been around for centuries, which is that we are one. Because all of us our suffering, collectively and individually, ultimately it’s arising from one simple mistake. We’ve become unconscious in the life dream, we are convinced we are separate. And in reality, the fact is, we’re not. And that realization changes everything. Because when you come to recognize you are one, with everything and everyone, then you come to love everything and everyone, and then you find creative solutions to those problems. And I don’t doubt for a moment that our imagination, which is the imagination of the universe, can come up with solutions to all of these problems. If we just recognize that we’re not these little separate entities that we believe ourselves to be, that we recognize we’re one and living that way, I think we can overcome all of this. And that makes me more optimistic. Because if I’ve got to overcome all these huge world problems, it’s more than I can cope with. But if I think to myself, all I need to do is spread one idea; that seems entirely practical. With this one little idea you start to see the veneer of separateness which divides us, after a while even the Berlin Wall fell down. If we can just bring this magical mystical wisdom which men and women have been articulating in every time and every culture into mainstream society, if we could really grasp it collectively, it would change our consciousness and that would change the world. And I think we could definitely make this dream of mine the joyous celebration we all want it to be.

LG : As Victor Hugo said, “There is only one thing more powerful than all the armies of the world and that is an idea whose time has come.”

TF : I think so too and I do hope so. I really hope so.