Truth as Acceptance - Reality as One
Michael was born January 1960 in Paris France, often traveled abroad before his eighth birthday, and was then left to be educated at Summerhill School in England. Now after a life’s time experience at 54, he is an English language teacher in Casablanca and enjoys spending as much time as possible on creating imagery via his photographs, and ultimately composing on piano and guitar.
Excerpts From the Interview:
Jazmine: Tell me something that you believe to be part of the fundamental nature of reality. Something that you believe is true about existence, about the world we live in.
Michael: It’s a tough question! Hmm…reality. Reality is what you perceive it to be. I mean, you can look at this pen, it’s blue, but you’ll tell me it’s red. I’ll say no it’s not red, it’s blue. Can’t you see the blue? You’ll say, “No, Michael, I can see red.” So everybody has their own vision as to reality. What the hell is reality? What is reality? I don’t know what reality is, to tell the truth. I know what instances are. I know what moments are. Whether they are real or not…I don’t know! My beliefs…I cannot tell you that I am a person who bends over scriptures to follow his or her path within that. I am not a person of that kind. I am somebody who has the utmost respect for all beliefs. Beliefs are like colors, there are different tones. Beliefs remain, within themselves, at arriving at the point of utopia. They all arrive at the same point, but people have different beliefs on how to get there. What to do to get to that utopia. Religions, etcetera, beliefs - it’s all the same thing to me. I will not follow one. I follow all, which makes, for me, one.
Jazmine: What is that utopia?
Michael: I think that utopia would be the sense of calm, peace, no more inquietude, no more worries, no more concerns - personal or otherwise. That’s the utopia.
Jazmine: Do you believe it’s possible to get there?
Michael: Yes of course! Absolutely. And you don’t have to be dead to arrive at that point. You could be at that point before you leave. But that’s a mentality, that’s a method of looking at existence - looking at your existence, not just looking at other people’s existence. Because by looking at other people’s existence, you are seeing zero of yourself, my dear. It would appear to be a very good thing to look at other people’s existences throughout their learning processes or their whatever. But, you know, one person might know the lives of 100 people meticulously well, but they don’t even know themselves. That’s a waste… that’s a complete waste.
Jazmine: So, for you, the intention is to know yourself.
Michael: You have to know yourself. The majority of people don’t know themselves. They think they do, but they don’t.
Jazmine: So is the idea to focus on your inner, more spiritual self, instead of the physical world around you?
Michael: Of course! The physical is zero, my dear! Concentrate on yourself. Concentrate at throwing out all inquietude, all worries from A to Z. Throw one out each day. Throw it out. What do we say? It means throw it out of your mind. That means you no longer pinpoint a worry that you have had or carry, etc. That was part of this course that I went through with the medium for the first week. The first day was to realize, to take away all mental thoughts, literally, and wash them out of the toilet. Visualizing a toilet, visualizing you throwing out all these bad feelings that you’ve been carrying with you. Visualize it! Do this for two days. You turn out to be clean. Because you realize that carrying this weight, these worries and sadness of something or someone, whatever, that just stops you advancing in life. Because by thinking, what are you doing? Are you creating something? Are you making something by thinking? Noooo! So why are you thinking! Think of the moment, think of now, think of yourself. When I say yourself, think of…look at the sky first of all! Look at the blue sky, look at the clouds. Concentrate on what’s up there, not what’s down here. Because what’s down here will always remain the same. Look up! Breathe!
" I realized, if I look at people, I will receive their energy and I will have an assumption of what they are carrying within themselves visually, and I will work that into my mind and then suddenly another person would walk past and I would get their vision and their energy. That’s what we all do today and that is what I have stopped doing because I realize this is what holds you on the ground. This is what traps you. You trap yourself, because you don’t know how to get out of that. I’d look at nobody. You don’t need to look at people, you’re not going to fall on the ground, you’re not stupid, you’re not blind. But don’t look at people. Look above. Always above. Because above they are looking down at you! And they want to see you looking up, not looking down. Down is a graveyard, down. There’s nothing there. It’s up."
Jazmine: What do you think about the common belief on the separation between body and mind, and the separation between the physical and the mental?
Michael: Well, body and mind…body is the soul, mind is your thoughts. Is the mind within the soul? No, I don’t think so. The soul is a soul. The soul is an entity, in itself. It’s not a mind. It’s a light. Well the separation between mind and body… well it’s the same thing, it’s the same thing! Listen, I have had experiences which have confirmed for me that I don’t need to go to a synagogue, I don’t need to go to a mosque, I don’t need to go to a church to attain what people attain, which is enlightenment. I don’t need to do that because I have that within myself. I have had an experience, which has proved it to me, also.
I was working every night at a discothek as a barman when I was at art college and it was difficult getting to sleep at night because I had the music running in my head all the time. And I was thinking “How the hell am I going to get to sleep?” when I suddenly thought, “Well, why don’t you think about roller coasters?" So I closed my eyes, laying on my back and I visualized this roller coaster, on a field, but at a distance. The next day I wake up, and I don’t really remember what happened the night before. But the following night I go to bed and I’m thinking “I’ve got to think again about the roller coaster to help me go to sleep.”
Two weeks, I’d do the same process again, but in stages. Go up to the roller coaster, in the carriage, I’m sitting there and I’m watching and I’m looking at this roller coaster, and I see the rails are directly in front of me but rising, going up. I let the carriage go forwards, my vision is looking forward ahead of me. And I see the rails appearing from below me and then rising up and then I’m thinking, “This rollercoaster has to go up now.” So I can feel, for some reason, a sensation of gravity, the pull of gravity, rising - and puff! I wake up in the morning!
I do the same thing for weeks, when one day I’m in my roller coaster, I’m rising, I’m rising and now my mind is saying to me “Now you’re going to fall asleep.” So I was prepared to fall asleep and wake up in the morning, when I realized that I’m, in fact, not falling asleep. I’m, in fact, still rising, the pressure, the g-force – I can sense that. And I’m thinking “That’s not normal” (laughter) “I should be awake now and it should be the morning” So I think “Well, open your eyes, Michael, see what the hell is going on” I open my eyes and the ceiling was about three inches away from my face!
"I’ve got to go back down," I thought. So I close my eyes and I thought to myself “Go down! Go down! Go down! Go down! Go down!” I opened my eyes again and puff! I was back to normal and I thought “Whoa, what happened? What was that? So I tried to get up, off the bed. I couldn’t. I was immobilized. I was paralyzed but my eyes were open and I was damn well conscious of what was going on. On the ceiling, I see a glow of light appearing. (Laughter) For some reason, I see that this light is becoming like a cotton wool light and it is no longer white, it now suddenly becomes multi-colored. And this cotton wool thing is starting to take shape, form. And I’m looking at it still moving across the ceiling but it’s arriving literally above me. But then I realized that it was me. It started to take the shape of me! The contour of my body. So I thought “Oh my god, I’ve got to get back up!” I close my eyes and I’m thinking “Up, up, up, up, up, up” I open my eyes and puff! The ceiling is 3 inches away from my nose!
I turn around, I felt the motion of turning around, I open my eyes and I looked down. I could see something on the bed. […] That something on the bed, I realized, was me, which I was looking at from above. Upon the sight of me on earth, on the bed, I was not very happy with what I was looking at. Why? Because what I was looking at was…dirty. Filthy dirty, in comparison to where I was. I was pure, where I was. I was clean. But looking at this person that was me…filthy, dirty, impure! I wasn’t happy. When I suddenly felt like “Hey, I understand the universe, I understand everything” And I understood everything. […] I realized that when you die, this is what happens. That’s what leaves your body. Your soul leaves your body.
Michael: I’ve discovered myself. I’ve discovered existence. I’ve discovered what matters and what doesn’t matter anymore.
Jazmine: Do you fell like you’ve found truly who you are? Your answer?
Michael: Yes, yes. Absolutely.
Jazmine: But, in your life is there ever any ambiguity or is it just acceptance of everything that is?
Michael: Well…acceptance 99.9%. Ambiguity involved the decision I make on whether I’m going to do this or not.
Jazmine: How do you feel about those times when you have to make a decision? Do you feel like you’re totally free in your choices?
Michael: I am completely free. Completely and utterly free. Making my own choices without mental restraint. I’ve taken away all of that shit. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to do something and be useless at it or not be a success. No, no of course not.
Jazmine: I know for a lot of people, attempting to make decisions and not knowing how it’s going to work out, that kind of ambiguity, it can be hard for them. But you’ve seemed to find a way to make decisions and choices in your life and accept any ambiguity.
Michael: Absolutely! Because that’s the only answer. You know, you can’t fight against the devil. (laughter) And the devil is what you create within yourself.
Jazmine: How do you think the way that you grew up and your culture- all the different cultures that you were immersed in-how do you think that’s affected your beliefs?
Michael: Oh it has enriched my beliefs, not affected them. Enriched them. I know that. Because when I left Paris, I was a little kid who only knew Jesus Christ. You know, a very very Christian thing. And I’m glad I got out of that one. Because now I have a multitude of other beliefs. Beliefs…no, not beliefs…it’s not a question of believing, it’s a question of accepting. I mean, had I stayed in France - in Paris - I would’ve been zero in comparison to what I am now. I know that. Had I been in France I would not have looked at Judaism or Muslimism I would not have looked at Taoism or Buddhism. Because I was a French kid living in France, in Paris, you know with Jesus Christ and the cross. That’s a pretty narrow existence. So I have a multitude of cultures. It’s difficult and it’s easy. It’s difficult and it’s simple. I mean, I’m going through a transformation constantly, we all are. Yes, we all are but most of us are not aware of it. And if you’re able to realize your transformation within, then you will be a good person yourself. You said about making decisions…well it depends how many baggage’s you want to carry in your mind. I carry no baggage in my mind. I used to carry a hell of a lot of baggages which weighed me down, which weighs humanity down.
Jazmine: Do you have any advice for getting rid of the baggage?
Michael: Advice? Well, convince yourself that if you’re thinking about a situation which is making you sad, then what the hell are you doing thinking about that situation? I mean, you know, its pretty stupid. You feel that you’re going to be thinking about a situation which deprives you of something or someone, you enter that and feel comfortable entering that because its sort of…it’s a washing machine with bullshit. You’re washing the same old dirty laundry. You wash the bullshit in your mind. Constantly. And you think you’re cleaning yourself by doing that. In fact, youre not cleaning yourself at all, you’re adding more crap in that dirty laundry. So it’s a question of mentally…but you have to be- you don’t have to be any way- but you need to be in a place where you have peace and tranquility to do it. You can’t do it in the middle of a shopping mall or middle of the street. You’ve got to be in a situation where you’re calm, at peace with yourself, mentally visualizing, for example, a washing machine. And then mentally observing, throwing each laundry-now the laundry is the bullshit you’ve been carrying- each one, one at a time. You’re visualizing that going in the machine. In fact, it’s not even a machine, you know what it is? It’s the toilet. You’re putting each one in the toilet. You have to do it in stages, you need the preparation for that. It’s like meditation. You’re sort of meditating, you could say. And by doing that you are cleaning all negative entities out of you, down the toilet. Which is where it belongs. Not in your body, which is your thought, your mind.
Jazmine: And then you can become unified? You can know yourself?
Michael: Well, you would know yourself, accept things as they are, and avoid things as they are. Because you’ll realize that you don’t need to do this anymore. Because you don’t want to be carrying dirty laundry.
"I’m taking care of myself and my surroundings. I have my music, I have my art. Permanent. I cannot get bored. I love my life here. "