SATSANG ON FREEDOM
by Michael Turner
(c) 1998, 2008
(Author's Note: The following is based upon a Satsang I gave on March
11, 2998, following meditation and reading from the chapter entitled
"Freedom" from Paul Twitchell's classic, "Stranger By The River".
Much love in the LightSong of the Eternal, Michael Turner)
Freedom. I just want to make a couple points here, for starters.
It's interesting. The chapter's title is "Freedom," but Paul
Twitchell also talks a lot about love, and relationship love more
importantly, which can be very romantic, as well as very
It can also push a lot of buttons, whether you're male or female, by
using the paradigm of man and woman, and using the male pronoun as the
primary point of focus. It can easily step into some of our
preconceptions about roles. I don't look at relationships as being a
man is responsible for one part and a woman is responsible for another
part, too much. I think there are some natural biological
inclinations we have, some natural rhythms we get into as human
beings, as man and woman. But they don't have any real bearing on our
spirituality, in terms of our ultimate goal, which is self-realization
and God-realization. The goal is working off our karma in this
lifetime and becoming spiritually free. Which is what this chapter is
But there's a secret in this title. And that secret is, learning to
love. Learning to completely fall in love, unequivocally,
unreservedly. Because when you do that, when you take that leap, take
that chance, everything drops away. You have nothing you fear. You
don't care if you live or die. You just step out into love, in
complete faith, and complete trust that the love will sustain you,
that the love will buoy you.
That is exactly what it does. This is exactly how you find spiritual
freedom. You don't find it through postulates. You don't find it
through reading books. You don't find it through going to the right
seminars or hanging out with the right people, having the right
knowledge, learning secrets that some people talk about, thinking, "If
I know the secret, then I'll find freedom." Stuff like that. All the
metaphysical stuff, which has its place, extends from the mind on
down: mental, causal, astral and physical. And, as such, while it can
be useful and a good tool, ultimately it is part of the duality.
Ultimately it just creates more karma and keeps us bound.
And it's really kind of funny, because it's like the ultimate joke God
plays on us. We're given all these instruments of perception. We're
given these faculties of reasoning, and learning and knowing. And
when we start evolving spiritually, we get beyond basically going to
church and we start looking at other stuff, seeing what's out there.
Concepts of other dimensions of existence begin to sprout up and we
think, "Those are really cool," and we're exploring. We think,
"Ah....if I can just figure this out...."
And so all these little baubles are dangling in front of us, like
"supreme knowledge" and "perfect wisdom," or the various siddhas you
can find. There are things you can learn to do, like looking into the
future and reading the past, doing past life readings, or reading
future lives. You can discover the tap roots of every theory, every
philosophical system, every belief system, every religion which has
ever existed on this planet, or ever will exist. But, none of these
things give you spiritual freedom.
And so you go through this whole process of learning more and more,
and developing incredible powers of discernment and perception. But
ultimately it comes back to one thing, really and essentially. And
that one thing is love.
It's just like Saint John said. You are love. God is love. The way
to God is through love, because God is love. It is this complete
immersion in Divine Love that this path is about. That is really the
essence of the Light and Sound meditation. We talk about the Light
and we talk about the Sound, because these are things you can
visualize, that you have some sense of tangible awareness of. You can
see inner things and hear inner things, just like you can see outer
things and hear outer things.
But really, this duality in a sense, this dual principle of Light and
Sound merges back into the one principle of Supreme Golden Love. And
that is the essence of the Lord. And it's been said over, and over,
and over again. It's basic. Almost all the preachers talk about
But is what sets you free. Pure love is non-dual. It has no
polarity. It's not "love vs. hatred" or "love vs. fear." Pure love
is the simple Isness. It is timeless. It is golden. It is warm. It
is absolutely amazing. It is singular and pure. It creates no
karma. When we merge with It, we become saturated in Its essence,
until every single atom in our fiber is It, and we no longer create
karma. When we no longer create karma, we start to move towards being
Now, of course, the question is, "How do you find this love?" And I
remember being a mystic in high school - I started out young - and
there was something I was looking for. I was reading lots of books
about it. And it was called "wisdom," it was called "love". It was
something unfathomable and intangible, yet everybody talked about it.
And I couldn't figure out what it was. I chewed on it, metaphorically
speaking. I reasoned with it. I pondered it for years. And finally,
through the grace of my Master, and through lessons and relationships
in live, I learned about this thing called "love".
But it's something you can't read in books. Because reading in books,
all you will know about love - just like all you will know about God -
Is all in your head. It remains a theory. It remains a mental
abstraction upon which you've put your expectations, your
preconceptions of God. It's just like the thing falling in love and
running off into the sunset, like all the fairy tales we hear.
How do the stories end so often? "They lived happily ever after."
The prince and princess, they go through some travails and
tribulations getting together. Usually there's some sort of
opposition force that gets in the way. And then they triumph over the
opposition. They get together and they live happily ever after.
Which is really beautiful.
But anybody who's in any kind of relationship will tell you that you
don't tie the knot and suddenly it's, "La la la la la. Our love will
keep us together." (like that old song used to go). It does in the
most fundamental sense. But, no, two can't live as cheaply as one.
There are all of these things that you find out. And there are
conflicts, because you're dealing with another human being. They're a
different person. So there are different ideas, different emotions,
different moods, different habits - whether it's where you put your
clothes, or your toothbrush, or how you cook, or whether you leave the
heat on at night - stuff like that. There will always be things that
bring up duality.
And so we learn that, in this life in relationships, it's not a
destination, it's a process. It's about finding one with whom you are
amicable, with whom you get along, who you can stand being around on a
regular basis, and learning to completely love them. And to be loved
by them. To find a human being who is in the now, a real tangible
person who you can just completely dive into, and who in turn can dive
back into you.
Because what happens is, you complete a circuit. That's really what
Rebazar Tarzs is talking about here referring to the different
qualities of male and female. They're like the different parts of
polarity in a circuit that you put together. When we put these pieces
together, and they interlock just right, we have a complete cycle of
love. You are loving this person, and they are loving you back. And
so it just keeps flowing through, and it keeps building up momentum.
When I said, "living in the now," it's important to understand that
loving somebody who used to exist, while very comforting to us -
whether it's past master or a past spouse, or a member of the family -
if that's where you confine your love, then again you take it out of
the here and now. You take it into another dimension, which gets you
out of the present, which puts you on the time track again. It keeps
you caught back up in the web.
Now there's no harm in this. But we have to stay in the now. As long
as we're human beings, we have to interact with other human beings.
I was thinking about a scene in the movie, "Truly, Madly, Deeply."
It's kind of like a British version of "Ghost". Alan Rickman and Emma
Thompson are in it, and Emma's in love with her late husband, played
by Alan. She's not dating. She just absolutely adores her departed
beloved. She talks to him all the time. And one day, he comes back.
She hears him playing his cello. Her love is so powerful it has
brought him back into the physical. But the lesson of the movie is
that she has to move on and be with the living. As Jesus once said,
let the dead bury the dead. They can take care of themselves.
What happens is that Rickman brings all of his dead friends to hang
out with him, because those are the people he's hanging out with now.
He can't hang out with living people. And the house gets really
crowded with all of these guys hanging out watching the TV all day.
She comes home from work and there are all these people there. Until
finally, she's had enough and starts staying away from home a lot
(like when you have a roommate you don't like and so you find reasons
to not come home until it's really late). And she meets this guy and
they end up falling in love. And so her husband and his friends have
done their job by forcing her to be focused in life. And there's this
great look on Alan Rickman's face as he goes back to the other
dimension. He's kind of sad and wistful, but he knows he's done what
he came to do, which was to get her out of this funk she was in, and
be here - now.
This is a very important spiritual lesson we all need to deal with,
especially when we get into metaphysics, when we get into forms of
meditation which can take us into different dimensions. Believe it or
not, life here on earth can be a drag. Yes, I know that everybody
around here walks on water in perfect bliss and never has any problems
at work or anything like that, and it's always really groovy.
(laughs) But, rumor has it, life can be a drag. And there's a real
risk that, when we start doing serious interdimensional meditation, we
can really like it too much and start spending more and more time
there, and less and less time here, which in turn can lead us to have
an increased disability to deal with being here. You can't pull a
9-5. You'll find any reason in the world - and it's usually
subconscious, it's not usually conscious - to pull back more and
more. And this has its phase. But it really leads us to being
imbalanced. I would really call it a form of "spiritual neurosis,"
which is what a lot of mysticism is. You become somewhat of a
sociopath. And this is, again, why the masters always say, "Hang out
in your society. There's nothing wrong with being married. There's
nothing wrong with having a family, having a life, having a job. In
fact, these things are good because they keep you balanced. They keep
you participating in the family of humanity. They keep you paying
your taxes, so you're actively engaged in this flow of reciprocity.
Okay here's my periodic harangue. Taxes are good. Taxes are very
good. And I'm really glad we have a tax because it keeps income
flowing and really creates a larger socio-economic balance. It's not
fun to pay them. But then again, it's not fun paying off our karma
either, now is it? But it's there. Trust in God, and tether your
Work in this life. Learn to love in this life. Don't love something
in the past, or something in the future. Do it in the now. Find one
in whom you can completely, unequivocally dive into their eyes. Dive
into the eyes that hold only love for you. It is through those eyes
that you find God. Because one in whom God is saturated, one who is
saturated in God, is of the essence of God. And when you find that in
a human being, it is in the now. And it brings you into the now of
God. And that is really the essence of love and freedom. And once
you let go, once you completely let go to love in its pure form,
everything else falls away. And you are left as soul, pure, golden
soul. Nothing else exists, except you and God. Nothing else has ever
All this stuff, it's just forms we take on to learn from, to interact
with. But really, when it all fades into the background, and
dissipates like the morning fog, it is simply you and God and the
Light and Sound, the Holy Spirit.
Any comments, thoughts on the chapter? Go for it.
Q. "It's kind of interesting because when you were reading from the
book, I found myself getting annoyed, like having some buttons
pressed, only because like, I love you, and I love them, and I trust
you guys. But as far as being able to trust anybody else, I see no
reason to because I've never, I don't have any reason to trust
anybody. And it's sad, it's pathetic. It really sucks. But I'd
really like to be able to trust people and women and stuff. But I
feel like I can't. It's impossible. There's just no way. I feel
like I've done my part, and I can't do any more.
It's great that I've found you and I've found the meditation. And
unfortunately now those are the only real things that get me off, that
really bring me peace. And it seems like now when I just deal with
the real world, and the real people in it, it's nothing but
disappointment. It's either disappointing, annoying or boring, or
just - I feel I can't trust. It's not there. The women aren't going
to be there for me. The friends aren't going to be there for me.
They just come and they go, even faster than they did when I met
M. Thank you very much for that comment. You've basically laid out
the reason for the living master. And that is that it is difficult to
trust in this world. Especially - I think it's happening more than it
used to - but we go through multiple relationships in life, whether
they're multiple marriages or we just date more and stuff. We have
more interactions. It used to be, you went to court someone. Or your
parents arranged something and you went out on chaperoned hay rides,
and things like that, and eventually settled down.
But these days, things seem to be speeded up, and we get burned a lot,
which makes it difficult to trust. And this is one of the reasons
that God blesses us with the living master, because this is an
individual, when they're real, who is simply there to love you. There
are no games being played. There are no strings being pulled.
That's why I, for one, don't like to charge money. I don't want to
have any weird stipulations and angles happening. It's simply that
you have to have somebody in your life you can trust. And that is
The only way you can really know God, the only way you can really let
go of your mind, and your intelligence and your cleverness and
everything else, is to find one human being who is saturated in God
that you can love. Through loving the master, you learn to love
And also, in the process, you learn to open up. You learn to trust.
And you find other human beings in your life who act as, you might
say, "supplemental education" to your spiritual education. And I know
it's not easy. It's tremendously difficult.
Q. "Well for me, it seems just impossible. It's like I thought that
at least, when I got on this path and I was willing to love a woman,
that I would actually get more help from God on this subject. But
apparently God doesn't care, because the same thing happens. I mean,
it was like worse than ever. I feel like I got burned in this last
relationship worse than ever. And I was kind of like, "Okay God.
Thanks. I opened up, tried to love, and that's the thanks I get. I
M. Well Zak, let me tell you something. Hang on there a second. Hold
on, Bubba Louie. Are you talking to this amorphous thing, or are you
talking to me?
M. You're saying, "God doesn't really care about me. This really
stinks, etc." But you come here to talk about this, and what did I
tell you when this relationship went from one phase to the next to the
final phase? What did I tell you? I said, "You're doing great." I
said, "This is really good."
Q. "I know you said that. But it doesn't feel good."
M. I know it doesn't feel good. We make our beds, and we make
relationships that are based on countless other relationships that
precede them. Countless life experiences lead us. They condition us
to grow in certain ways.
It's just like a tree. If you bend a tree in a certain direction and
push it, it will grow in a certain direction. Or it's like the old
thing about backpacks and purses. If you wear something over your
right shoulder or left shoulder, you'll start walking funny after a
while because you're used to certain habits. It's true. I remember
when I went from wearing a backpack over both shoulders to hanging it
on one shoulder, and I started walking funny. And I'm told women have
the same problem with purses.
Our karmic patterns are the result of so many actions and reactions in
this lifetime, and previous lifetimes, you don't unlearn them
overnight. We tend to make the same mistake, even when we get all
right information. We still have free will to do whatever we darn
well please. And you might well say that God gives us pointers until
He's blue in the face. But have you ever given somebody advice who's
not ready for it? I mean, you can just yak, yak, yak, yak, yak. And
they're not going to listen, because they can't.
Each of us has our own things that God's yakking at us about, and
we're all busy with out trip. We're not listening. We're not really
listening. We're not wholly and solely receptive. Instead, we're
saying, "Yeah. But...." or "Come on God, break with it. I want the
golden love now, man. Come on, put it up. Put up or shut up, Lord."
And, on top of the fact that that's not how God operates, God's time
track is very, very big. It's like Michael Palin once said in "Monty
Python's Meaning of Life": "Lord, you are so very, very huge. And we
are so very, very, very small." So it seems to us like a long time,
but it's just like a little period of re-tuning, where we're just...
Q. "I think of the word "tapes," meaning the little tapes playing
inside our heads. And my other thought is: Job. It's like, "Why
should I love God? Why do you do this to me?" So there are tapes -
and there are past tapes.
And the other thing too is that I think you have to go through a
tremendous amount of experiences to even know how to love,
unconditionally. And see, there are conditions, "I love you with all
my heart, as long as you do it my way, or you can just take off." But
if you decide to let it be like a bird and fly out of that cage, and
if it was your bird it will come back and if it isn't it won't...
Anyway, life goes on. And there's someone out there. And sometimes
when you're not looking for it, that's when you find it."
M. In addition, every person is different. We have different needs.
We have different backgrounds. We have different programs, and
responses. And it takes a lot for us to respond to stimuli
differently. They are so built up, they are so conditioned that you
have to retrain yourself over, and over again. You have to take
chances and make mistakes - because you are going to make mistakes,
just like your guitar is going to go out of tune. You're going to hit
wrong chords before you hit right ones. If you're trying to do E, A
and G, it will take a while before that E, A and G really sound good.
And then you're going to get that sounding nice, and then God's going
to say, "Let's try a bar chord." And you're going to try to get your
index finger down on the fret board, and discover muscles you never
knew you had. It takes a lot of practice.
I have this very dubious talent of just springing into stuff,
sometimes against rational judgment. But when I found out about this
path in the mid-1970's, I said, "Great! Let's go for it! I don't
want to see the brochure. I don't want to see the future. I don't
want to see what's going to happen, or what price I'll have to pay.
Just lay it on me." It's kind of like going to the doctor for a
shot. I know there's a shot involved, but I don't want to see it,
because then I'd just be hanging back trembling, knowing that I had to
pay some big Visa bills. And that's never fun.
So I said, "God, please, just give it to me." And so I've jumped into
more things, and gotten burned more ways from Sunday than you can
possibly shake a stick at. And for some reason, I just get up and
say, "Okay, hit me again. Please sir, may I have another?" Because I
figure - this may be rationalization - but I figure that, when you're
in the process of working off your karma, every time you get kicked in
the hind end, that's one time less time that it has to happen. You're
paying off a debt.
And really, what it is, is like one of those devices you see on those
old Warner Brothers cartoons with the winch and the crank, and you've
got the 'ole boot behind you, and you keep pulling the winch on the
side to make the boot kick you. So really, we're just kicking
ourselves. Until we finally get tired of pulling the winch. It's not
fun when it happens. But the key is learning to maintain with the
meditation. That's a practical, tangible way that Shabda meditation
works. It gives you this beacon of purity, of clarity, of constancy.
So even when everything is kind of whirling around you looking funny,
where everybody seems like an alien or you feel like an alien, and you
can see all of the games that people play in their plastic
transparency - you'll get that at some point on your spiritual path,
suddenly you'll just see everybody's trip, and it's appallingly
scary. And you think, "My God! They don't see it. This is so
But you have to have the emotional balance, the calm, the equipoise to
look at it like you're reading a book, or looking at a Petri dish -
not coldly, through the analytical eyes of the mind, but lovingly and
compassionately, through the eyes of soul, immersed in the golden love
and eternal beingness of God.
May the blessings be!