Michael Ende’s Weird Short Story: Einer langen Reise Ziel

We chat about a surreal short story by Michael Ende named “Einer langen Reise Ziel” (Destination of a Long Journey). It’s the first story in his collection of short stories called Das Gefängnis der Freiheit (Prison of Freedom), and how “search and you shall find” might sometimes mean something very different from what we commonly assume.

[00:00:00] well, first of all, let me tell you, I finished the first short story of the book. What is it called again?
[00:00:07] RA: The sky mystify height.
[00:00:09] SE: is it not Das Gefängnis der Freiheit.
[00:00:13] RA: Yeah. I just got fingers.
[00:00:14] SE: All right.
[00:00:14] Get your fucking facts straight. I mean, what are you, what are you doing? All you have to do is
[00:00:20] RA: it. Come on. It’s
[00:00:21] SE: when we talk like you don’t have to do anything else.
[00:00:24] RA: that’s expecting a lot,
[00:00:26] SE: It’s true. Let’s get famous there. Fight, which is like, I don’t know, loosely translate it to the,
[00:00:34] RA: the prison of freedom.
[00:00:36] SE: freedom. There’s no, is there an English version of this?
[00:00:38] There’s probably somewhere in English version of this, but, um,
[00:00:42] RA: I’m not sure.
[00:00:43] SE: don’t think it’s like super popular. It’s not even that popular in Germany either. Wait, I finished the first short story of Michelle and this does get fingers to fight hype. [00:01:00] And what the fuck? My dude, let’s talk about it. So I’ll summarize it and you tell me what I’ve missed and left out. There’s this kit, he’s the child of a aristocratic diplomat. Let’s see that diplomat is traveling around the world from hotel to hotel on important missions of the monarchy. There’s he? That he’s part of or whatever, like the whatever fucking shit he does. This kid is growing up in hotels, traveling all around the world.
[00:01:38] He doesn’t have a home. He doesn’t know what home means. So straight from his mother. His father is a douchebag that talks to him as little as possible. And when they talk, they really have nothing to say to each other. And this kid is mostly aloof, cold, arrogant, and silent [00:02:00] just sits in hotel lobbies and looks arrogantly at everybody. And once in a while, when he, when he engages with people, they’re all scared of him because he has this very dominant, willful way about him, where he just, when he wants something, he wants it. And there’s no doubt he’ll get it. No matter how ridiculous it is, right. He fucking wants the lobster from the restaurant, you know, fucking kitchen to be in is brought to his rooms or they bring it to his room.
[00:02:31] He plays with it, he forgets about it. And then he dies there and it stinks up the whole hotel. That kind of a thing. He is awkward as fuck. Right? Totally on the spectrum does know how to talk to people. It doesn’t know how to relate to people and it’s just living on his very it’s not an unhappy, but very strange life, very cold and, and strange life. And then he meets this girl in a hotel that [00:03:00] cries, because she’s so homesick and she hates that she had to travel with her auntie and you can’t wait to get back home. And this amazes him. He has never heard of homesick. He doesn’t even know what a home is when she tells him about her home. It doesn’t sound that great to him.
[00:03:17] So he doesn’t know why one would cry to want to go back there. He then for a little while, has this hobby of trying to figure out if you can find a place on earth that would feel like home. That will be amazing enough to make him feel something because he basically never feels anything. And he doesn’t succeed at this and eventually gives up on that mission.
[00:03:44] And then his father dies. Oh, first his mother dies, who is still alive. But the father basically after they separated, kept the son as far away as possible from the mother. That was one of the reasons why he took his [00:04:00] son traveling around the world. They never allowed him back home because he didn’t want his mother to have any chance to build any relationship with him.
[00:04:06] He didn’t really like his child. He just wanted to punish his ex-wife pure spite. And so once the fucking mother dies, the kid gets the entire state, but the father kept that secret as well, because he doesn’t want the child to have any kind of emotional relation to the fucking mother. But then there’s no reason to keep the child around.
[00:04:28] He doesn’t like the child that much anyway. So he just sends him back. Right. And so the kid goes back home and or whatever it’s called home. And shortly thereafter, the father does. Now the kid is getting the entire state of the father and the mother. And there are, these are very, very rich people and they not just rich they’re based on this very like aristocratic line.
[00:04:53] So they have, you know, fucking old buildings and oldest states and lots of stuff. That’s very valuable because [00:05:00] it’s passed down from generation to generation, the moment both die. And he knows about it. He decides to sell every little thing that they own just make everything cash. And everybody in English, aristocratic circles is up in arms about this like ridiculous thing where somebody, a son out of that good of a house, which is celebrating to get cash, but it doesn’t give a fuck.
[00:05:27] So he does it. And then he becomes like one of the richest people on earth. He has like lots and lots of, lots of. He doesn’t give a shit. He’s keeps on traveling from hotel to hotel the way he’s always been. But now he’s traveling to places that he father wasn’t assigned to go to. So he’s just check out a different part of the planet, but he’s sort of the same douche bag, cold aloof, distant, unreasonable, zero relations with any human zero real pleasures, right?
[00:05:56] It’s between feeling nothing and feeling some level of [00:06:00] contempt or like arrogance towards people. Not much more until for whatever reason, he’s invited in Germany and Frankfurt to this like very rich bankers party. And for whatever reason, he decides to go. And there, this rich banker is showing them all the fucking art that is collected and he’s totally bored, but eventually he stops at one painting that completely captures him. How am I doing so.
[00:06:30] Alright. So it looks at this fo
[00:06:32] RA: And at that banker, like nobody, nobody likes them. Right. Nobody’s happy that he see everybody. He’s just making everyone feel uncomfortable,
[00:06:42] SE: Comfortable
[00:06:44] RA: uncomfortable.
[00:06:45] SE: comfortable as You make me. When you say uncomfortable.
[00:06:52] RA: Uncomfortable. I will never learn that. Maybe episode 1000. Uh, you know, what’s funny when you started talking about this, I [00:07:00] actually had to look it up again because I’m
[00:07:02] SE: so deep into the
[00:07:03] RA: yesterday I was reading it yesterday. I was reading the last story of that book. And guess what? It’s about a boy who is the son of a rich man who is very estranged from everything in real
[00:07:20] SE: It’s like the same story, but different.
[00:07:22] RA: And th yeah. And then he, he inherits everything and he, uh, and this, this guy. Gets a kind of, he rejects Spezi his inheritance, and then it continues like this. But now I was like, I’m trying to untangle the two say, which is interesting. I wasn’t even aware of, oh, it’s the same structure in some ways, the first and the last story of the book.
[00:07:44] SE: Maybe the second and the second to last one, a similar structures as well. Ha you got to pay attention to that, But
[00:07:51] RA: yeah.
[00:07:52] SE: in this case, yeah. everybody fucking hates this guy. This is the most awkward guy ever. Right. But he is captured by that picture so much [00:08:00] so that everybody leaves the fucking in a basement.
[00:08:03] Well, the important art is, is located and locks everything up. And then they realize that this fucking dude is missing and they go to look. I was locked up in the fucking basement and he is, and he still stands in front of the pictures, completely hypnotized captured by it. That’s it. He does know why he doesn’t know how, but that is home.
[00:08:26] And it’s a picture of, I don’t know, like a very, almost deserty like environment it’s night. There’s a full moon and there’s this massive marble castle, this incredible, beautiful marble castle that is, you know, shine on by the moon. And all the windows are, all the lights are on. Apparently there’s some kind of a party or people are in there.
[00:08:55] Something important is going on at the very top and a window. [00:09:00] There’s one figure that stands there. It can only see it’s, you know, outline it’s it’s. Shadow and is holding up a hand as if to wave or want to say something or give a message or welcome. You can’t quite tell for whatever reason that picture is now the meaning of his life.
[00:09:23] He has to have this picture. It has to get it. This is his, he doesn’t know why, but it’s his, but of course nobody, the fucking banker doesn’t want to fucking sell it to him. He’s been so insulting to everybody and it’s such a douchebag and the way he goes about trying to buy it is so, you know, insulting and despicable that the bank is like, fuck you, no matter how much money you’re gonna offer me, some things are not for sale.
[00:09:49] You’re not this dude is not gonna get this painting. I don’t give a shit. This guy’s going through a whole fucking thing. Almost, you know, makes the.off the [00:10:00] bank or fall in love with him then does she does fall in love with him for. Her own little teenage reasons. And then he kind of manipulates her into giving him a key of that basement area to make a copy.
[00:10:14] And he pays a famous art thief to go and steal the building, the building, the, the, the painting. And as that goes down, you know, they have to kill the, the guy, the dad, the banker, because he shows up unexpectedly in the daughter and basically everybody and they get the painting. And so now he has this in his possession.
[00:10:36] It’s almost like Garlow man, Lord of the rings where he’s like my precious ring, you know, he’s like all fucked up. He, he lets somebody build like a custom cake, a casing for it so that nobody can ever see it. And he’s always carrying the fucking casing with him. And only when he’s completely and only opens the DOP and he sits hours long and looks at that fucking thing.
[00:10:55] Right. Not crazy at all. Totally [00:11:00] normal so far. Right.
[00:11:02] RA: uh, after that, after that, that like that one of the ways he tried to acquire the thing was by going to another banker, right. And talking with the banker and telling him this is all the money I have is that enough to destroy and drawing this banker who has just to get that painting.
[00:11:19] SE: And that takes you a great, a great part of the book where he shows up to his banker and goes, you know, of my considerable estate of wealth. I want to destroy that banker, his whole life, everything he has, how do I do that? Do I have enough money for that? And the other baker he’s like, he’s written him so nicely because he’s like, he’s so sleazily honest.
[00:11:43] Right? And he’s like, so calculating, he’s like, you know, this other banker we actually are in business with, with our bank. His bank is very important in certain metals with us, and he’s not a unreached person himself, such an endeavor would take a long [00:12:00] time. Drain all of your resources. And even then it would not be clear with work.
[00:12:06] And then eventually he’s telling him, and by the way, we would also stand in the way of, you tried to destroy him because it would not be in our interests. And so this would make it even harder for you and for us, isn’t that really another way to solve this problem, you know, it’s
[00:12:23] so nice anyways.
[00:12:26] RA: And then even, even when, when he makes the banker’s daughter fall in love with him, right. And then this is part where it’s like, he’s lying right to her and he knows it and he feels bad about it, but not because he’s lying, but because he’s lying badly,
[00:12:44] SE: yeah.
[00:12:44] RA: doesn’t know about romantic matters in anything.
[00:12:47] So he’s just saying the words, but he said, oh, this doesn’t sound,
[00:12:50] SE: He’s annoyed that he’s not,
[00:12:52] RA: such a,
[00:12:53] SE: yeah, he’s annoyed that he’s so bad at romance, even at faking it because he doesn’t understand anything. [00:13:00]
[00:13:01] RA: And she’s this rich banker starter who’s very used to, and she’s apparently good looking. So she’s used to men, like, you know, wanting her and, and then he figures out at some point, oh, the more cold I am to her, the more she wants me and almost become submissive towards me. Right. The more I, the more I pull back,
[00:13:20] SE: Yeah. And he realizes I don’t have to be good at this because it seems like it doesn’t matter what I do. This little chick is going to chase me and she chases him because she’s having this like insane idea in a moment that this is the man that the whole world cannot reach. That is completely alone.
[00:13:40] That has rejected everyone in everything in society. And what if I was the angel never ending loving that turns him around the changes and that saves him. Maybe I, and God’s. You know, tool here [00:14:00] to save this soul. And that’s what makes her run into the abyss. Like he jumped, she’s literally voluntarily jumping off a building and destroying her life and her family’s life because of that idea. So tip top human right up until this point, this guy is like the best. This guy’s absolutely the fucking best. Now he lives his Gollum, like existence with this fucking painting under his armpit, like a fucking creep and any time, you know, he’s traveling through the world, but any time he’s in the.
[00:14:36] hotel room and everything’s cleared out and he sits there and he just looks at that fucking thing. And eventually he’s going on a walk somewhere in Italy and he is something. Weird happens. He passes by kind of a weird little sidewalk sideway, and he sees an old sign and that this is a trading place of sorts, right? Somewhere we keep get trade [00:15:00] antiques or something, but it’s very old Jewish writing and there’s a painting outside that kind of captures his imagination.
[00:15:09] And he, once in, in, in that picture, outside that picture is actually a very significant, is it outside or inside? Outside? I think
[00:15:17] RA: Yeah. Wait, so I’m not sure if I get the sequence. Right. But there’s also the part where he’s also, he has this painting that he acquired. Right. And then he, that he stole and then he, he looks at it all the time. Right. And then he starts like, almost like he sees inside of it and he can see what’s happening inside the building.
[00:15:38] SE: Yes.
[00:15:39] RA: that also, and a lot more often, when the longer he looks at it, the more familiar he gets with everything that’s inside and it’s becoming this almost real virtual world that he moves into again and again and again, and it’s almost becoming more real than, or to him, it feels like more like the home, I guess, than the, than anything in the
[00:15:58] real
[00:15:59] SE: he’s [00:16:00] convinced you’re absolutely right. And he’s convinced that whoever painted this, that this place truly exists, that it’s out there and that he could find it. and he’s also convinced that
[00:16:15] RA: and funny enough, this is exactly the theme
[00:16:17] of the last
[00:16:18] story.
[00:16:19] SE: well you’re killing us here. Like now we’ll never know why and how it connects, but anyways, he’s also convinced that whoever, whoever painted this he’s convinced, saw.
[00:16:33] It’s not imaginary. He’s convinced that whoever painted it, painted it for him, he does know why and how, but he knows that this painting was only made for him for his eyes. Only there is deep meaning for him. And he’s trying to uncover that. And as you obsess more, and as he spends more time looking at that picture, that picture becomes his world.
[00:16:55] And as you said, he kind of knows that castle [00:17:00] inside out, he knows all the rooms where they lead to. He knows like he’s just becomes more and more familiar with it. It becomes him. Now at some point he is in Italy and he’s going on a stroll and he walks through some small alleyway and he sees like a weird, um, shop that traits and teaks.
[00:17:22] And it has a picture outside. And in that picture, there’s a bunch of hunters, bow and arrow hunters, and it depicts them having shot. Uh, deer, but in the air you can see out of arrows, there’s a deer outline. So it’s almost like you could see that all those hunters, you know, they, they shut their arrows and in the air, there’s kind of made out the deer that we’re seeking.
[00:17:53] And at the bottom, it’s the debt deer that they caught and something about that captures him. And then he [00:18:00] tries to read below it. And it’s an kind of old Jewish scripture that he can’t understand. So he decides to walk into the store and talk to the owner. The owner is a very weird fellow, like old, lots of interesting stuff.
[00:18:13] It’s all kind of mysterious. And he starts a conversation with it, old man. And that old man tells him, he asked for the meaning of the picture and what was written below. I don’t remember it word for word, but it was sort of like. Seeking you shall find like that sort of an idea, whereas like, well, whatever you are trying to find in the world, whatever you’re seeking, you are going to create.
[00:18:40] And so you will find it. And it then starts talking about the funny business of finding things that there was a time the world was all empty places on the map, but we went out, searching for things. And the more we searched, the more things we found, the more things we found, the less white space that was on the map.
[00:18:59] And [00:19:00] eventually we are now at a point where there’s almost no white spots and eat any more left on any map, because we’ve almost found everything because we’ve kept searching. And he asked this guy asks what happens when we found everything. And he’s like, I don’t know, maybe the end of the world. I hope that’s why I have this shop, but who knows what will happen once everything is found. And he tells him, all right, you want to find something. Come here and find one of the, you can pick one of the few empty spots left on earth and he points out a spot that’s somewhere fucking, I don’t know, Himalayas, India, somewhere obscure in the mountain areas. And then he looks at the face of the, the, the, the old man and he kind of changes in shape in some weird way.
[00:19:51] And it turns into this like goofy looking younger man. And all of a sudden that man is talking to him is telling me all your rights or you’re right. [00:20:00] I just fished you out of the canal, you know? And he’s like, doesn’t understand what do you mean? He’s like, oh, I saw you, you know, it’s kind of foggy day. And I saw you, you know, fall into the fucking canal.
[00:20:11] It took me a while to fucking find you because of the fog. But, you know, thank God. You’re right. I think you’ll find, you’ll find, sir, you’re just. And he’s like, uh, the guy’s like, are you, were you drunk? No problem. You know, people drink, it’s a cool place here. And then, you know, they get a little wobbly and they fall into the canal, happens all the time.
[00:20:27] It’s like, no, no, I’m not drunk. Bring me back to my hotel. So it brings them back. Obviously we don’t know now, is this a whole hallucination, a half one? What is this? This is a very, this is the first time in the book where it becomes sort of mystical and mysterious, right. Everything before it is in real reality.
[00:20:44] And now this little moment introduces a bit of a question, mark, what is this goes back into the hotel room. And he obviously, you know, first thing he does is that wants to look at the fucking picture and it’s not there. [00:21:00] It has disappeared on the canvas. And so now he decides. To go to that spot that the old man pointed out to him, that’s an empty spot yet.
[00:21:11] That’s a spot where nothing has been found yet because we haven’t searched there yet decides to go there to find whatever it is. That’s waiting there for him puts together as special crew, right? Everybody’s telling him it’s impossible to get to that spot, turn around the mountains, this that for whatever reason nobody’s ever gone there, he’s determined with money to make people do what he wants.
[00:21:36] So they agree. They get on the way. And obviously one catastrophe after another happens first, there’s all these fucking wolves that attack them at night, kill a bunch of animals, kill a bunch of people. Then the, the Sherpas get scared because they think the wolfs are kind of bad, a bad omen, and you know, the spirits that don’t want them to cross that holy land.
[00:21:57] So they fuck off at night. Uh, and so [00:22:00] he’s left with a bunch of experts that. You know, as they approach that area, there’s a big, uh, accident. A bunch of people die at the end of the day. It’s just him and his fucking bottler. And then his Butler has to go,
[00:22:18] RA: The Butler’s kind of the only person with whom he has a long relationship in his life. Right. And that guy dies and he just didn’t give a fuck.
[00:22:28] SE: he goes zero shits. Also, the funny thing is the Butler dies in the last words of the Butler. This is like their ice. The Butler had like his hands and feet fall off, like fucking they’re going through torture. And the last words of the Butler is where we go. You know, it’s like asking a question, where are we going? And so dies. And he keeps going right. Surreal, I think is his name. He keeps going and eventually, you know, [00:23:00] close to Southern day. He makes it. And what does he see at nighttime? It’s icy cold. It’s windy as shit, full moon up. And it’s this desert like Stony, Toronto, and this massive marble castle that shining in the Moonlight.
[00:23:20] And it’s exactly, almost exactly like the picture. The lights are not on. It actually looks completely empty. And the doors, the main entrance door is like completely open sort of closed. So he’s on his way to that place. And then we jump into the future of the story and there are some explorers that got into really terrible weather.
[00:23:52] We’re forced to reroute and go a crazy thing. And eventually that past, that area, And they [00:24:00] barely survived. And in their interview, they tell of a mysterious castle. They saw that had all the lights on and where the top of the castle, that was one person that was either waving or telling them something or screaming or needing help.
[00:24:23] You couldn’t tell. And obviously everybody thinks that they were hallucinating, right? They were like near death. And in this really weird place where there can’t be anything alive, especially no fucking massive marble, beautiful, exotic castles with lights on and a person in there waving the fucking end.
[00:24:47] Right. This is the story. Okay. Now, What else is there left than to speculate? Like there’s no, there’s no way to know [00:25:00] clearly what all this means. There’s only a trying to make meaning out of what you got from him. Right? So to me, where my mind instantly went, and I’m curious to hear where you went, you have this person without a home.
[00:25:19] Maybe this is also a metaphor for a person that has a lost soul like this. Person’s not connected to humanity, to his heart, to life, right. He sort of lives event prior, like existence, but less likable. It’s just less cool and likable just like vampire, but with none of the romance and none of the cool shit. And for whatever reason he got in his head, the idea that maybe there’s something. That. So for him, everything in life is sort of like beneath him is not special enough, not important enough, not great enough. These people [00:26:00] are dumb. This places are boring, everything in life, bores the sky. So when he hears that the idea of home, he expects it to be something monumental, something that will move him, that will be worthy of him.
[00:26:14] And as he travels all around the world, he doesn’t find any place that fits that description. But then he finds that picture. And in that picture, that place is so mysterious and glorious and special and unique and also very remote and difficult to reach. Right. Which also makes it kind of more to his liking and more special and whatever that he sees himself.
[00:26:38] Like he has the hope that this could be home. This could be the meaning of my life. Maybe if I go there, I will feel something and I will understand. Why I exist, why I live, what’s the point of all of this. And so he goes on [00:27:00] the way to find that place to either to create it, or he, because he searches for it, he will go somewhere and find it.
[00:27:09] Right. And the interesting part is that when he sees that picture by the weight of the castle and all the lights are on, and there’s a person at the top, that’s either waving or saying something or whatever she thinks there must be a lot of people there, there must be a party. Look, all the lights on, on this massive castle, every single room is lit.
[00:27:32] And at the top, there’s somebody who wants to tell me personally, something in his mind, there’s a party going on. So what he sees in that picture is himself. And what he most likely sees is himself completely alone. Absolutely lonely. Having turned on all the fucking lights so he could be seen [00:28:00] and sending of the top of waving.
[00:28:02] So if someone can pass by and seam, maybe they’ll can come and rescue him. That’s the first thing that came to my mind. Like he basically, when he saw the picture, he thought this is the beautiful castle. This is going to be my home. And they’re having a party in there and it’s amazing. And I just need to get there.
[00:28:21] That’s where the great shit is going to be. And then he gets there and he is all the lights are on and the person at the top, but there’s no party going on there. He turned on all the lights and he’s not up there waving because he’s having such a great fucking time. it’s.
[00:28:37] more likely that he’s fucking desperate out of his mind and needs to be found by some humans that aren’t, I’m looking for him other than his himself, who was looking for him without knowing it. So that’s, as far as I got, tell me, what did you get?
[00:28:53] RA: I didn’t even know how to make sense out of it. It [00:29:00] just left me with a feeling of
[00:29:03] almost through the contrast with a feeling of appreciation for any human, splinter within my soul that is connected to other people.
[00:29:16] SE: And we know that there was a time there were many splinters, and even today we could work on this and have some more, but it is expanded. That’s interesting, you know, the most powerful thing for me personally about that whole story is something that I’ve been something that I read two weeks ago when I started reading the story and then I put it aside and read other stuff.
[00:29:40] And then I just came back to finish the first story. The thing that stays, stayed most with me is this image of that painting, where the hunters are, you know, shooting the arrows and the arrows are making up the [00:30:00] shape of the deer in the air. And the deer is dead and. So many times these days, when my mind is racing to find an answer, I am catching myself and saying, Hmm, I feel, I sense that we are creating the answer because we are searching for it.
[00:30:24] But maybe the question we asked is empty. Hence the answer needs to be created is not just found, right? It’s not discovered it’s being built. And that, that image has stayed with me. That image is working in my soul. I can tell the rest of the story. I mean, it’s written beautifully and it’s kind of funny and it’s obscure and it’s, you know, it’s very engaging the way he writes and the way he writes the character and the circumstances. [00:31:00] But, um, And there’s something about this idea of, you know, chasing a vision of what you think something should be just to find yourself becoming a prisoner of that vision and the shiny castle and all the lights being on in the store. It’s interesting, even that he, who is not a social person at all look, looked at that painting. And the first thing he thought was, oh, all the lights are on.
[00:31:40] There must be a party. It’s so interesting. Right? All the lights are on. That must be a party. Why you don’t see any people, you only see lights on and one person, right. He didn’t think. I wonder what that lowly person, doesn’t this massive castle. I wonder if there’s all lights on [00:32:00] because he’s afraid or lonely. He goes, that must be a great event. Coil. It must be something spectacular happening there. Um, and he’s willing to sacrifice everything, all his wealth, all the people.
[00:32:14] He knows almost his life to get to a vision that ultimately is now going to be his death debt. Like it’s going to be his death sentence, uh, in the darkest way possible, but all that’s to me, the meaning and interpretation of the end of that book is I feel I’m stretching.
[00:32:34] It’s all a stretch. Like I have to work really hard.
[00:32:37] RA: Yup. Yup.
[00:32:39] SE: It’s the kind of book that might be better to read or the, the, the short story. It might be better to read and just let it have its effect on you. Just like have a tape. Uh, a feeling and not necessarily the moral of the story is, or this is what this all means.
[00:32:58] And for me reading that [00:33:00] whole book, the thing that stayed with me is that image that seeking you will find. Now doesn’t just mean to me, you know, as long as you are lucky, as long as you kind of asking it as given the secret style and vision, what you want, then the universe can conspire to help you get it.
[00:33:25] Or as long as you have a clear goal in mind, you will work and think and act and run into the people you need to get that goal accomplished. But it also means be careful what you fucking seek, because you will find it in one way or another. You will find it. And that’s. Sometimes a promise, but it can also be a threat, right?
[00:33:53] Like motherfucker, you better
[00:33:55] be
[00:33:55] RA: there’s a, yeah, there’s this there’s this one’s like [00:34:00] the old Italian man, right in Venice or wherever it was where he says something along the lines of like, man, he’s the creator of everything, but he doesn’t know. Because he doesn’t want to know because he’s scared of himself and for good reason or something along these lines.
[00:34:22] Right. Uh, it’s a, uh, uh, uh, an, uh,
[00:34:28] SE: I think about this all the time. These days in the context of kind of inner work, like people doing psychedelics or people doing psychotherapy or people reading self of books or. Practicing meditation and mindfulness or whatever else it is like the, all these things that are really positive that make people try to understand themselves better, discover themselves, heal that trauma. I wonder now [00:35:00] more than ever, I sense that part of it is created by the mind, because we’re asking these kinds of questions. That doesn’t mean it’s all made up. It might be that the mind is making something up that covers real area like that basically is telling you the problem, but maybe in a different story, because you asking the question differently, right. Um, I mean, I could do, I could teach you internal family system and then give you a DMA and make you ask the question. Share, tell me about. My different parts and who stands in the way of something. And you’ll have a, probably the likelihood of you having an experience that will fit into that worldview to that model is very high and it might be very enlightening, a very spiritual and very powerful, and I could use a different, very different model.
[00:35:57] Right. Um, [00:36:00] and you would have a very different experience, although it’s the same, you on the same substance with the same problems, but I’ve given you a different framework. And so your mind will use that framework to tell the story, to feel the feelings, to experience the experience, whatever it is. So it doesn’t mean necessarily that it’s fake, but it means if we lack awareness, our minds can build castles.
[00:36:26] Our minds can create all kinds of answers and make us believe that we found these things out there because they’re so. They existed, somebody else created them and we just stumbled over them when we are really the creators of everything and these experiences. And so that’s not a bad thing. That’s probably a great, great, very creative power that we have, but only, or in an, increased [00:37:00] fashion.
[00:37:00] If we swing our minds as a sword, if we, if there’s a soul or a spirit, a, a self that is guiding the mind and the mind is this incredible creative tool that can build everything and find answers to anything. But it’s when the sword thinks it’s the master and it swings the person that all kinds of like it can, then it can become very confusing.
[00:37:31] And people sometimes go, I’ve gone. Everything therapy, gestalt therapy, psychedelics family, uh,
[00:37:38] you know, uh, dynamics. I’ve read all the books. I’ve done all the meditations. I went to all the retreats, I’ve done the yoga, I’ve done this, I’ve done that. I’m still fucked up. And actually the people that you meet at workshops, they have gone to all the seminars and all the workshops have most likely gonna fit that category.
[00:37:59] The [00:38:00] category of I’m going to pretend I’m so enlightened now because I’ve been doing it for years. So lots of, lots of these things, but everybody consents and they themselves consents. Wow. You’re in trouble, dude. You’re not well because you are not okay. You are not okay. And it’s sort of, it’s tricky because you think, how can they not be okay.
[00:38:21] Look at all the things that. And I’m in this seminar, the sermon just kind of cool. Like they teach them good stuff. How’s it possible that this person who’s golden certified teacher of the seminar hit a subject is so fucked up and know was clearly so unhealthy and so tense and soul, just not at peace because they, they search and search and search and search and their mind builds big and big elaborate thing.
[00:38:52] And it becomes a sick, um, addiction where you, you think, wow, [00:39:00] my life must be so meaningful. And my problem must be so monumental since I’m not solving it, that there must be some magical, powerful, all encompassing head exploded. Aha insight that will solve this. And so you go on these chases through the craziest stuff at the more complicated is the most satisfying it feels.
[00:39:20] And then you get to an insight and you make that the biggest thing ever you go, oh my God, everybody needs to understand that this is the answer and all now I understood it. But the problem is that a year later they’re still fucked up. Like it didn’t solve the problem and analysis of a wild goose chase to the next thing that will give them the answer, never to stop and relax and ask who is swinging, who here, right?
[00:39:52] Who is in control is my mind swinging my soul or the other way around, right. [00:40:00] Am I, is the self in control of my mind using it as a tool to cut through all the, the thick, you know, grass in the jungle to get to the. Or ha I have, I become like a broken little, you know, vehicle that is going in circles faster and specimens faster, chasing its own tail and thinking it’s traveling around the world.
[00:40:35] And I was just like, completely confused about what is really going on.
[00:40:38] RA: I feel like sometimes like the simple way to say this, it’s like trying with the mind to capture something that only the heart can feel. Right. And it’s a little bit like, like somebody who’s, whatever, looking at a painting and they, analyze the chemical.[00:41:00]
[00:41:00] Constituents and ingredients of the colors and they can say, oh, it’s, you know, we have this pigment from that period from that location and everything, but they miss out on, oh, this is the painting. Right?
[00:41:13] SE: what do I feel when I look at this? What moves within me? And if something moves, what is it? Right? And these questions are so subtle, you have to be fully aware and present to feel anything. And then when you feel it, you have to go through the terror of trying to feel what it is you feel and what it means to you. And those are that’s tricky business in a world. That’s where we all are praying to the God of thinking and thinking is the only God that we pray to feeling sensing, um, in, to like these things, the heart, [00:42:00] the soul, the body really don’t matter. Even with all the health shit that they do today, it’s all mind based.
[00:42:05] Nothing, nothing is really fully embodied practice. It’s all just like how to make the body look good. And it’s all these mind tactics and strategies and new ideas and fancy, you know, new things that you should also do and not miss out on, which is all mind based to make your body feel amazing. And then you have these people, you know, how many times the, in the fitness room. I’ve been talking to friends at up much healthier than I am, that actually looked great. And they would go through some new thing that they would do all I’m only eating this way. I’m only doing this different diet of that. And at first it’s always the first two months, I’m like, oh my God, this is the shit.
[00:42:46] I feel amazing. This is the best at the da. And then a year later, I go, do you still do this? And like, no, no, no. I felt like, shit, I couldn’t work. I couldn’t concentrate on that dieted. It was impossible to know. I am now doing something [00:43:00] new. That is the shit. And I go really? Huh. And even a good friend of ours who went through, who is like almost a professional, like fitness model.
[00:43:10] And he was telling me anytime I went through like his best looking phases, like I felt horrible all the time. Every day, just terrible. Terrible. It’s not about how you feel, how your body feels because people don’t even know. I was one of those. I was one of the people that most of my life, I saw my body as a vehicle to get my head from point a to point B. I didn’t really care. As long as nothing was broken, I did not pay any attention to it. When something was broken, I was annoyed. Like a car that breaks down to the street. I’m like, fuck this shit. I’m going to be late to this appointment. Fucking cart and fucking whore. Fuck. I should have gone on that checkup.
[00:43:51] I knew it. But then once it’s fixed, I forget about it again. I just, I just go and while I drive him certain thought, I never think about the fucking thing. [00:44:00] That’s the way I used my body. And when people would tell me now that you’re training, you know, I would train with friends and they’d be like, oh my God, the training session.
[00:44:10] Yes, it was so hard. Did you feel it this morning? And I would go, oh, I don’t know. They’re like, well, do you feel it, feel the muscles, anything. Maybe not sure. Well, is your energy level, how’s your productivity level today? I was like, I don’t know. Hey, I don’t know. I’m tired, but I’m like kind of often tired.
[00:44:28] I don’t know. And they’re like, oh, I given you this supplement, it’s going to make you feel this exact thing, Joe. Right. Testicle you’ll feel tinkle every morning, but then your thoughts will be so much more and that will take the summer. And they’re like, and how do you feel? I have no idea. I feel zero difference. I just never felt any difference, but I also really didn’t know. Sometimes they’d tell. And I had to tell this to my teacher once in a Brazilian jujitsu, it’s a very physical sport, like ground fighting. And they, I remember they used to be [00:45:00] saying, well, in this position, you have to defend with your hips and push with the hip this way.
[00:45:04] And that, and I remember thinking, I don’t know, like I know where my hips are technically, but I don’t know how to do something with them. Like how do you do something with them? Push your hips and make sure that you turn the right hip and do that to me. Now it seems laughable. It’s like, of course, this way you do, it’s your fucking hip it’s like saying you don’t know what it means when somebody says, you know, use your left hand and turn it upwards or something like it’s simple, but it wasn’t simple for me.
[00:45:35] I did not understand how to, what to do with my hips, that I can move how to feel them, what to move with them, how to push against them. Oh, there was scream, strong hips, strong hips. This guy strong hips. I’m like, what is strong hips? What is that? I don’t understand what this means. Right. And I was telling this to my BJJ coach and he was laughing.
[00:45:56] He’s like, whoa, that’s a good point. I never thought about that. But [00:46:00] once you’ve done BJJ for a long time, you get such great body awareness in some areas. Yes. The hips are so important. You told them that you’re not competent in this, and you totally understand this. And so it’s fluid for you. And so you think, and assume it’s fluid for everybody.
[00:46:14] And then some new guy comes in and you’re like, oh, you just have to like push with your lips to the right and then turn to the left and make sure that, and they’ve no idea how to do any of this. They don’t understand that body in such a, they don’t speak their body fluently. So they don’t understand these words and how to act on them.
[00:46:30] And it’s all like everything we do today, it doesn’t matter if the body, even a lot of the mindset, the soul stuff, the spiritual stuff is so cuffed, you would say in German. So over minded. So over thought everything is so overcomplicated. And you can tell that something is,
[00:46:53] RA: it’s the right words.
[00:46:55] SE: it’s burst purely through the mind [00:47:00] because it’s complicated because it’s over worded because it’s so mindful of. How do you think the session went? I, you thinking that meditation is good for you, what results have you seen again? The eyes, the mind, like, what have you analyzed? How is this benefiting us? It’s all mind based or very, very heavily mind biased. We don’t live in a world where we really understand and have a sense and a placement and place for the body.
[00:47:32] And the body is a holy entity as a wise life affirming life giving part of ourselves, not just something that our selves occupy as a vehicle, but something that is the very being of who we are, the body that houses everything, our mind, our heart. Everything that we are, is housed at [00:48:00] home in the body. And we’re like, fuck this place.
[00:48:03] Right? The only thing that matters is the penthouse apartment, because that’s where the computers are. Right. That’s where all the data is. Um, yeah, learning to really ask who is in the driver’s seat to really sense into that. And it takes a lot of time. I, I guess, because I find it surprising how I keep finding new layers of unawareness or new layers of new one awareness and how I’ve speak. My whole self more fluently, but still very roughly where I can catch myself more often now and see my mind over engineering answers to questions it itself asked [00:49:00] going in circles, creating a sensation. Of progress when really we have not moved, nothing has moved. We’re just creating more and more building, more and more complicated answers to complicated questions to then lead to other complicated questions that need other more complicated answers. And then maybe we don’t like complicated, so we’ll swap it out with sophisticated.
[00:49:28] And then we’re like, ah, most sophistic I’m going to path the most sophistication. And then that is not interesting. And also we’re now in a path of enlightenment. Oh, I like to be more enlightened. I like to be more spiritual. We, and all these words, even these words, when somebody is like arrogantly talking about spirituality or enlightenment or strategically, right.
[00:49:48] Oh, I work more on strategy. Like am I, I really believe that the strategic approaches and strategies really, you can just tell, you can just sense a mind jerking off Right?
[00:49:59] there. [00:50:00] And then like, it’s just a mind that is fucking itself thinking it’s making love. Right. Being proud of all the sex it’s having, but really it’s just going in circles, right The peep that when you meet someone that knows you sense it and it impresses on you through their presence, they don’t even have to say any special words. You just feel it. You just sense it. Wow. This person, I don’t know what it’s about them, but even just the way the person talks feels different.
[00:50:38] There’s a gentleness, there’s a positivity. There’s a calm, there’s a trust. There’s a knowing. There’s a friendliness. There’s just the energy I’m picking up from that person is just different. And then when they say something, usually the wiser of the words.
[00:50:52] the simpler, they are never met, never seen anyone that’s incredibly wise and needs [00:51:00] to.
[00:51:01] You know, hyper sophisticated, complicated word, vomit, solid answers to questions go very, very sophisticated sound, very, very academic, very simple, very, very educated and very brilliant. Oh my God. Did you hear that brilliant answer? It’s so complicated. It’s not easy to follow that answer. If it’s not easy to follow that answer, it’s a labyrinth.
[00:51:23] It’s not a pathway, right? It’s not, nobody’s shining a light. You’re being pushed into darkness. And you think that you’re in some like special room, you know, that only the VIP very smart people get to be in and stumble over each other. Um, but yeah, sensing that is, is tricky business. It takes patience because the mind is brilliant.
[00:51:46] Once, once we’ve given our mind all of the responsibility, it does not know anything else than to run with it and to take over. It’s not its fault and the mind is brilliant. And [00:52:00] even convincing us at times that it’s the heart or it’s the body, or it’s our soul. When I noticed that it blew my mind when the, my, my, it blew my mind, really, literally my mind whispering to me.
[00:52:14] Ooh, do you feel that in your body, your body’s telling you to do this, your body needs this. And I go home, my body needs this and I go, wait a second. I didn’t feel anything. It was just a thought mother fucker. You almost got me. And I’m sure it got me millions of time in my life where I thought, ah, this is my heart speaking.
[00:52:38] Oh, this is my intuition. Ah, this is my body. That’s craving this or that. And it was all the mind whispering in my ear. Ooh, your heart is feeling this right now.
[00:52:48] RA: yeah, yeah, dude, I was, I was, uh, this was, uh, one, one the city trip and I was saying, okay, focus on your breathing. And I’m [00:53:00] focusing on my breathing. And the very fine movement of the air in an, ah, and then I don’t know, maybe 30 seconds in I’m realizing I’m. So my hat, while I’m holding my breasts, but I’m imagining
[00:53:16] SE: yes, I love it. Yes, yes. Yes. That is it. This exact experience, is it? That’s it that’s 99% of life right there for you sharing your mind, thinking the slow breasts, but your body’s holding, you know, holding,
[00:53:43] RA: very focused.
[00:53:45] SE: holding all the Aaron. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. And all this, the answer to all this is light, which in consciousness [00:54:00] speak is awareness.
[00:54:01] The more you’re able to start your day and grow your awareness throughout the day, the more you’re able to broaden and widen and depth in your awareness, as much as you can every day, the more chances you have to really experience to really be there for it to really sense to hear fully, oh, I’m saying this to myself.
[00:54:24] Ooh, I’m feeling that in my body. Ooh. This external thing made me react in this way. The moment you take a tiny bit awareness away. All of a sudden so much is in the dark in life so much. You really don’t know all, you see shadows and you have to make up stories of what these shadows mean. And when you have very little awareness, you sit in complete darkness and all you do is imagine hallucinate.
[00:54:47] You’re coming up with stories. What is happening in this darkness? You’re projecting, but you really don’t see anything. And the beautiful thing is that the world can be enlightened and you can [00:55:00] be enlightened within the world or not. And we’re all probably moving up and down the spectrum, you know, in our little journey. But the key to all of this is really just awareness

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