524. Spiritualize Your Life: Changing Perception To Create Reality (AMA w/ Luke)

Luke Storey

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

In this monthly AMA episode, Luke discusses how our internal state affects our external state in a world full of chaotic falsehoods and psychological programming before offering tools and practices to become more authentic, self-aware, and present amongst it all.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Welcome to another intimate, in-person conversation between myself and my right-hand woman on The Life Stylist, producer, Bailey. In this conversation, we muse on how our internal state affects our external state in a world full of falsehoods, programming, and challenges. 

I'm all about chasing truth, even when it's uncomfortable. That's why in this episode, I discuss the importance of honing your intuition, breaking down the mental constructs we've all built up, and learning how we create our own reality. Plus, insights on how we can change the world for the better, starting with ourselves.

In this episode, I share practical tools for staying grounded in this overstimulated world. We talk about how to master your internal state to minimize suffering and how to develop a keen observer awareness. I share my experiences with plant medicine and how letting go of attachments can actually make life more fun, as well as how I confront challenges and difficulties in my own life. 

So, if you're ready to challenge your perceptions and grow with me, this episode is for you. Let's explore these complex modern challenges together, and discover how we can influence the world around us by being more present, aware, and grounded in truth.

(00:00:14) Implanted Reality, Value Systems & the Fight Against Falsehoods

(00:24:22) How (and Why) We Create Our Own Reality

  • Creating awareness around how we construct our own reality
  • The fastest route to changing the world for the better
  • Understanding that loneliness is what causes our suffering 
  • Practices we can use to center ourselves & become more present
  • How to develop agency over your perception & ability to adapt 

(00:43:50) Tools for Living Peacefully in an Overstimulated World

  • Understanding that drama is contagious 
  • The importance of choosing the right people to be around 
  • Addressing overstimulation through virtual connectivity 
  • Filtering information from the external world we cannot control or influence
  • Applying the “riding the tiger” approach to our relationship with technology

(01:00:13) Mastering Your Internal State to Minimize Suffering

  • How plant medicine has helped Luke disconnect from the external stimulation
  • How surrendering our attachments can make life more fun
  • Facing and moving through suffering in a neutral way 
  • What to do in the face of challenges and difficulties  

(01:20:57) Learning to Cultivate Observer Awareness

  • Tools for observing your thoughts & feelings 
  • Traits that draw Luke to his teachers 

[00:00:00] Bailey: Luke. 

[00:00:01] Luke: Bailey.

[00:00:01] Bailey: I'm so happy to be here.

[00:00:05] Luke: I'm stoked. It's always a great day when you come to Texas to hang out. Always have good conversations.

[00:00:13] Bailey: Yeah.

[00:00:14] Luke: It's way cooler than ever doing anything online.

[00:00:18] Bailey: Yeah.

[00:00:18] Luke: We had a fun day so far. We just did the Teal Swan interview, which was super fun. One I've been working on for a number of years, and again, another one that I just didn't want to do online. Rather do it in the same room, which was a good move, especially sitting here by a nice fire.

[00:00:39] Bailey: The most beautiful environment ever. I was in disbelief sitting on that couch watching you interview Teal Swan. My life is unbelievable sometimes. I've been watching her for like eight years. She introduced me to so many just teachings and understandings that brought me to where I am today.

[00:01:06] Luke: I ask this because this is a barometer of, for me, the authenticity and validity of teachers, is when you're in their presence, are they the same person that you thought they were or that they appear to be when they're teaching and they're in their element?

[00:01:28] I got the sense from her, she was exactly the same sitting here as she was when the cameras weren't running, when she walked in the door. She's the same person. There's a continuity that I enjoy around people where they're the same person regardless of venue.

[00:01:46] Bailey: Yeah.

[00:01:47] Luke: Did you find that?

[00:01:49] Bailey: I was pleasantly surprised by how goofy she was. I love that. She's the same person. When she would go into the spiritual teachings, just in conversation, it turns on a little. But there was nothing inauthentic about her at all. 

[00:02:12] Luke: Cool. And we do have a great venue. Great. I'm spoiled now, though, sitting in this environment. For those listening, we're basically in a spaceship, out in the country in Texas. There's no way to describe it. And those watching the video will get a sense of it. But yeah, it's really something I could get used to.

[00:02:33] Bailey: Mm-hmm. Yeah. The shapes are really nice here. And the elements, the stone, and metal, and wood, it's really special.

[00:02:44] Luke: Yeah. It's weird when you go into an architecturally thoughtful structure because it makes you question why are all structures not designed and constructed in that way.

[00:03:00] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[00:03:01] Luke: With thoughtfulness and intentionality. And of course some of it has to do with the expense and practicality of it, but I think a lot of it's just human beings are inherently lazy, and they want to get from point A to point B with the least amount of friction.

[00:03:17] And so to throw up some sticks and make a square box of a house is just an easier path forward to shelter oneself from the environment outside and predation and the things that we build structures for. But it's not really that much more work to get creative. Maybe it is, I don't know. I've never built a house. 

[00:03:44] Bailey: Well, so I have heard that when it comes to government buildings, and churches, and things, they ended up looking into it to see like, why are they all so stark now? Is it the expense? And it seems like no, the expenses is pretty similar, whether you're making a beautiful structure or a devoid of personality one.

[00:04:13] Luke: Well, that could go in a really interesting direction. You got me thinking. 

[00:04:20] Bailey: I won't take it there myself.

[00:04:21] Luke: The space we're in is really beautiful and creative, and maybe someone listening will have been present at Alyson's Ceremony Circle and Dogon event. We had quite a few people here for that. That was the only public event that I've been to in this space.

[00:04:37] But there's intentionality to create a harmonious, inspiring, life-supporting space. But it could be said, and we don't know for sure, but that the ugliness we see in some postmodernism could be designed with an intentionality, but rather than to inspire, to actually dull our senses and create something that is intentionally ugly.

[00:05:08] Bailey: Yeah. So soak up and drain creativity and innovation instead of inspire it.

[00:05:16] Luke: Yeah. And I'm sure many people listening like you and I have been geeking out in the tartaria, hidden history different cities and architectures in the mud floods, and you start looking at history and you see there's--

[00:05:31] Bailey: The world fair and stuff.

[00:05:32] Luke: Yeah. The world fairs. They're like, oh, these are just paper mache buildings we built in three weeks and just threw them up and then burned it all down. It's like, ah.

[00:05:40] Bailey: Because nothing meant anything back then. Yeah. 

[00:05:44] Luke: Yeah. All these ancient monolithic structures were built on the backs of human slaves, or horse and buggies were hauling around all these giant marble pillars that are 100 feet tall. It gets to the point-- and I don't even know what you want to talk about today, but we might as well go off on this for a second-- where, for me at least, you realize almost everything that we've been fed is some version of a lie. It's just like, what is not fake? It's crazy. Our calendar's fake the language. The Latin languages, I won't say they're fake, but they're limited in their expression.

[00:06:31] Bailey: There's hidden parts of them.

[00:06:33] Luke: Yeah. What we think of as space and other planets and stars is fake. Dinosaurs, the way we think of them are fake. Fossil fuels, nuclear weapons. You start really doing some research if you're a-- what do I call it? It's not a conspiracy theorist. It's a pattern recognitionst.

[00:06:53] Bailey: Mm, I like that one. 

[00:06:54] Luke: If you guys want the shirt, by the way, pattern recognitionist, go to lukestoreymerch.com. That's the site, right?

[00:07:01] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[00:07:01] Luke: Have all kinds of great hats and hoodies and t-shirts on there with all of my funny little slogans, that being one of them. But I think as you start to wake up as an individual, well, this is what happened for me. First, I started to see all the things about myself and the way I interface with other people in reality that were inauthentic.

[00:07:23] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[00:07:24] Luke: We start finding the parts of oneself that are not real and surrendering those and letting those go. And then what you're left with is a more authentic version of who you are. And so the goal, I think, for many of us, it definitely is for me, is to become as authentically me as I can. But in so doing, you also get tapped into so much falsehood in the world.

[00:07:55] Bailey: The reflection. Yeah. 

[00:07:56] Luke: Yeah. That's been propagated. So it's a really interesting part of waking up to who you really are as a person, because you start to see that the person who was, in many ways, false and unconsciously living their life was also interacting and interfacing with a world that was also a projection of falsehood in many ways.

[00:08:23] So you realize, like, oh man, I've been living my life as someone that's not even me, through coping mechanisms to deal with trauma or feeling like you don't fit in or wanting to fit in, whatever it is. And then you start to become more grounded in who you really are. And then you realize so much of what you've been fed or so much what you've bought into in terms of your worldview and history and the way things are or aren't, your perspective of reality has also been largely false.

[00:08:52] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[00:08:53] Luke: And there's definitely a, I don't know, ongoing, sometimes macro, sometimes micro, dark night of the soul when you're like, what is actually real?

[00:09:05] Bailey: Oh yeah.

[00:09:06] Luke: Because the further you keep pushing the boundaries of your perception and your reality, you find that so much of what we have been told is actually untrue. And so many of the things we believed about ourselves were untrue.

[00:09:21] Bailey: Yeah, it can be really scary at the beginning of that, I think. I was reminded of that last night. I got in a little friendly debate about Alex Jones, and the things that he talks about. And I saw this look on her face of just like-- she had to turn away from the possibility that there are all of these systems working to create a reality that we're not aware of, and they're manipulating us. 

[00:09:59] And there's so many things that are hidden from us. When it's massive like that, it's so scary. I think we did it a long time ago, probably 10 years ago for me, maybe more for you. So it's been a long journey, but for someone who's just starting, that can be world-crushing.

[00:10:22] Luke: It is very confronting, but I think also, something that's become apparent to me over the past three or four years when so much of our reality has been revealed to be implanted in us--

[00:10:47] Bailey: Yeah.

[00:10:48] Luke: There's just so much falsehood coming to the surface, which some people could say is a negative. I don't view it as necessarily negative. I think what's happened is the overall collective consciousness of humanity has arisen to a certain point where the aspects of our civilization that used to exist in the shadows are no longer permitted to exist in the shadows. There's too many people that are awake that there's too many flashlights peeking in the corners coming.

[00:11:19] Bailey: The veil is so thin.

[00:11:20] Luke: Yeah. But the interesting thing about it that's helped me reconcile the ways in which people are confronted by, or in a state of curiosity about the nature of reality and the nature of truth, is that a lot of it's based on our innate hierarchy of values. 

[00:11:47] So when I look at someone for whom the idea that there are any conspiracies or conspirators out there that are working against the betterment and benefit of humanity, and they think that that's insane and paranoid and really fight against those kinds of ideas or concepts, an example would be someone who wears a mask alone in their car.

[00:12:22] There was a part of me when I first started to see that that would be judgmental against them, angry against them, because they're opening the floodgates for an authoritarian agenda that I don't want to participate in. And they're what I would perceive to be the boot-lickers who are co-signing all of this tyranny. 

[00:12:44] Bailey: Perpetuating it. Yeah. 

[00:12:45] Luke: But I've looked at it, and it's like when it comes to values, and I'm going to broadly categorize people here, and there are of course nuances in the way we perceive things, and everyone has their own unique value system. But let's just speak very broadly in gross terms. You have a category of people over here of which I would consider myself to be a part whose value system places truth at the top.

[00:13:23] Bailey: Yeah.

[00:13:25] Luke: And I don't care so much if the truth hurts, whether that's a truth about the world at large or a truth about myself. I just have a thirst and a desire to know what is the ultimate truth of this human earthly experience. I value that much more than I value certainty, security, and safety.

[00:13:52] Bailey: Yeah.

[00:13:54] Luke: Then you have another, again, broadly categorized person who places the value of security, safety, and certainty over the value of facts and actual truth. In other words, to that person, it matters more that things feel fair and equitable than they actually are fair and equitable. Because to face the truth, you would have to understand that in nature, things are not fair and equitable. There is a hierarchy of power existent in nature. Just look at predators and prey, for example, right? 

[00:14:33] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[00:14:36] Luke: So I would be, before, and not to say that I don't do this a little, but I'm growing in this because my value system is truth above all else, even if it hurts, and even if I don't feel safe, I'm willing to take that hit because I just want to know what is true. And I want to perform my life from that perspective.

[00:14:57] I would judge the person over here who won't question anything, who just blindly follows orders, who's wearing the mask alone in their car, or on 100-degree day at the beach, and I would resent them or feel superior to them just because my perspective and my value system is different. And what I've been unpacking is that I cannot choose my value system.

[00:15:23] In other words, it's not because of my own righteousness or my own inherent maturity, intelligence, or anything, is not at the root of where I attribute my loyalty. I attribute my loyalty to truth because I'm just innately that way. But it doesn't make me superior, any better, to the person who values safety, comfort, and security over all else, to the point where they're willing to negate verifiable facts and truth. 

[00:15:56] Some of it's probably nature. Some of it's nurture. We just have predominantly different value systems, and so we're inherently going to have conflict in our worldview, in our interactions, because what's important to us is simply different.

[00:16:11] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[00:16:12] Luke: So I can't really judge or blame someone who holds a higher value on feeling safe than someone--- I look at myself as someone who doesn't value being safe as much as I value what's true. So you're both right, is what I'm saying. Both people are right according to their value system, but it also helps explain to me why something that seems so obvious to me, like a piece of propaganda or some mechanism of control of the government or whatever, anything, any falsehood can seem so obvious to me.

[00:16:50] And even if I get fooled by it initially and discover it to be false, I vehemently and instantaneously reject it as such. Whereas person B over here, you can show them fact after fact, after fact, proof after proof, after proof, and they literally cannot see it and will not see it, and will fight against provable reality. So in a nutshell, it's helping me with my own superiority complex knowing that I can't take ownership for the value system that is just part of my character.

[00:17:31] Bailey: Mm-hmm. 

[00:17:31] Luke: And I can't blame another person for having the value system that they have because they didn't choose theirs either. And they also can't change theirs. If you said, Luke, I'll give you a billion dollars right now, if you change your hierarchy of values to put being safe and comfortable over truth, I even if I wanted to do it, I couldn't do it.

[00:17:56] Bailey: And for the past, especially three or four years, you wouldn't even have to pay me to do that. It would be so much easier if I could have valued that more. There wouldn't have been any conflict for us, for people like us. If we could have chosen to believe that safety was the most important thing and that that's what the government was doing for us, that would've been great. It would've been easy.

[00:18:20] Luke: Yeah. So the issue is, I think, the channels of information. The purveyors of news and the media, they understand these dynamics that I just described at such a refined and sophisticated level that they're able to play both sides, me included. I'm getting played all the time, but I think I know things. How do I know these things?

[00:18:57] Well, maybe I saw it on an alternative social media news channel and now I'm caught up in the left and right paradigm, which I'm not, but let's just say someone who's like, ah, I'm going with truth. Well, whose truth, and where are you getting that information? Because the channels of information, maybe not some of the independent ones, like the ones we're creating right now that are just two people talking without any agenda.

[00:19:20] We don't have any corporate sponsors that are making us push any particular ESG agenda or whatever. We just, for the time being, talk about almost whatever we want. There's a few voting topics that we both know that can never be mentioned, but when the system of information and what we would call news and just the human need that we have to know what's going on in the world, and so these entities have been created throughout antiquity that are consolidated groups of people that report on what's happening in the world village and find channels to put that information out.

[00:20:03] If the controlling entities that are putting that information out have such a sophisticated understanding of what makes the human psyche tick, it's very easy to manipulate us on either side. You can manipulate the person who wants safety, and you can manipulate the person who wants truth equally.

[00:20:23] That's what we're up against. So then this is where the refinement of one's intuition, and I think for both sides of that-- and again, there's not two sides diametrically opposed. We all have a little of both. I like to feel safe and secure and know what's going on, just like the nest person, but it just comes to gun to my head, which am I going to choose? I'll choose the truth even if it hurts over certainty. I'd rather be uncertain than be caught in a lie, in a false paradigm of reality.

[00:20:54] Bailey: Right. Or be confused. 

[00:20:56] Luke: Yeah.

[00:20:56] Bailey: And not know it.

[00:20:58] Luke: In the realm of refining one's intuition, I think we can build our spidey senses of truth. And for those of us that have a little more of a leaning toward certainty and security, if we're courageous enough to dismantle some of our constructs and belief systems, we can actually find a higher level of safety and security in truth. 

[00:21:33] Bailey: Yes. 

[00:21:33] Luke: That's the thing.

[00:21:35] Bailey: It's the only place for that. 

[00:21:36] Luke: Yeah. It's like that's the rub there, is that when you really pan out the gold, it's like what we're all looking for is that safety, security, certainty. And ultimately, it can't be found in falsehood. It can only be found in fundamental truth. And so whether that's your value system predominantly or not, that's where you're going to arrive.

[00:21:59] Because eventually all falsehood is going to disintegrate before you, whether in this lifetime or beyond. And you're going to be faced again with the nature of reality as it is, actual, fundamental, universal objective truth. Because actually, this is a step further, falsehood in and of itself doesn't even have a real existence in reality.

[00:22:24] Bailey: Yeah. 

[00:22:25] Luke: It's just the absence of something else, which is the absence of truth.

[00:22:30] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[00:22:32] Luke: It's like truth eclipses and negates all falsehood-- 

[00:22:36] Bailey: Right. 

[00:22:37] Luke: Because it's the primordial essence of existence and reality.

[00:22:42] Bailey: It's the only thing that's real. The other things are-- well, I guess maybe they're in here, in your brain. They're almost like a hologram. You can look through all these different angles and convince yourself that something is true, but if you can actually see it, none of that exists. But we've arrived in the place where I was planning to take this conversation anyway, of course, as we normally do-- 

[00:23:13] Luke: Fun. 

[00:23:14] Bailey: About how we are constructing our own realities and how can we be aware of the building blocks that we're using to create our reality. You talked about our thoughts being implanted earlier. I would love to hear about how that affects the world that each of us individually live in.

[00:23:44] Luke: Well, our reality is created solely by our perception and our interpretation of our perception. Say I get a poor night's sleep, I'm stressed out, I have some in my personal life that are unresolved, and I leave the house in a state of irritation and anxiety. What I perceive the minute I step into my car and exit my driveway and get down the street is going to be colored by my internal state. It's the same driveway. It's the same street. 

[00:24:34] When I get to the gas station, it's the same clerk, and then I run to the bank, and it's the same teller. Go to the grocery store, grab some food. It's the same cashier. Objectively, it's one reality and one world that I'm interfacing with, but it's going to be colored by my internal state because that's what's creating my interpretation of it. So it's not only that things look different based on how I see them, it's that they actually become different. 

[00:25:10] So I go down the street, I have to stop at the crosswalk because there's a little old lady with a walker, and I'm pissed off at that old lady because she's in my way. I go, God, man, why are these-- pay attention? I'm irritated by that person. And then I get to the gas station and the pump won't work and I'm pissed off, so I got to go inside, and something's wrong with my credit card. 

[00:25:33] And now the person behind the counter is an idiot. Why don't they do it my way? Why are so many dumb people in the world? And so on and so on. It's like I'm having an adversarial relationship to reality and to the people that reality is comprised of. So it's not only that I'm viewing the world as adversarial, I'm actually in the moment instantaneously creating a world that's adversarial.

[00:26:04] Bailey: Being an adversary.

[00:26:05] Luke: Yeah. So take another day. I got a great night's sleep. There's harmony in my home. I meditated that morning. I'm feeling connected to spirit, connected to myself. I'm in my body. I'm aware of my breath. I have a high level of presence, self-awareness. I'm in a witness observer perspective, so I'm keenly and instantaneously aware of sensations in my body, chemical reactions in my body, hormones, neurotransmitters, thoughts, everything slowed down, because I'm present.

[00:26:45] And then I go out of the driveway, and I stop, and the little lady with the walker is walking across, and I just have a completely different experience of her. I see her as somebody's grandmother. Maybe she's my grandmother. I wonder if her kids are still alive. I wonder if she had kids. I wonder how old she is. I wonder how long she's going to be here.

[00:27:03] Bailey: Mm-hmm. 

[00:27:03] Luke: I wonder if it's difficult for her to walk around with that walker. God, that must be tough.

[00:27:08] Bailey: Yeah.

[00:27:09] Luke:  It's the same world out there, but it's the world that's being created by what's happening in here. And this is the frustration I experienced with so many well-intentioned people wanting to go change the inequalities and the suffering in the world by changing the external circumstances of the world, when a much faster route to that is to change the internal circumstances within your own being and your relationship to the world. 

[00:27:46] Because then you pull up to the old lady with the walker and you give her a wave and a smile, and then she has a restored faith in humanity and feels your love and feels your understanding and compassion. And then when she arrives wherever she's going to, she's going to reflect that to the next person, and so on and so on.

[00:28:06] So it's like a seemingly insignificant act to just have a moment of presence and a moment of connectivity with another soul that would seem insignificant to most people. But you can create significance when you start to have an understanding of the impact you have in the world.

[00:28:24] And it's a simultaneous impact on yourself because you are that little old lady crossing the street too. It's just the dissolution of separation that solves our loneliness, and it's our loneliness, that feeling of separation that causes not only our suffering, but causes the maladaptations that we see in the world of using, abusing, exploiting, discounting, ignoring, denigrating, criticizing other people.

[00:29:09] It's like everything comes down to our perceived separation. So living in a world wherein one's priority is putting forth some effort and intention to notice the connectivity in everything, to have that omni awareness. And all that's really required for that is really just presence. 

[00:29:48] As we sit here, it's like, I'm so tuned into you. I'm so appreciative of these beautiful flowers that I borrowed from Alyson, that my friends Elliot and Brie send her. Yeah, I borrowed them to use as a prop. 

[00:30:02] Bailey: Beautiful.

[00:30:03] Luke: To have appreciation for the fire, to feel the warmth on my arm. It's like, wow. And that's really easy to do here because there aren't any outside stressors, and we have a purpose of being here with these microphones and cameras on. We are creating a podcast.

[00:30:18] Bailey: And we're, I think, amplifying it back and forth, right? 

[00:30:22] Luke: Yeah. So it's admittedly a bit easier to do here, but it's similar to if we take time aside in the morning for our meditation or our prayer, our breath work. Whatever we do to center ourselves, to me, those practices, the purpose of them initially, was to get out of some of the pain I was in.

[00:30:54] And then you start to realize like, wow, on the days I do my little morning routine, get tapped in, become present, observe my thoughts, observe the sensations in my body, my feelings to get in touch with the one who is doing the observing, I feel better because I've become less attached to my perception. But then when it gets interesting is when you start to elongate those practices into that's just your life.

[00:31:28] Bailey: They're not inside a container anymore.

[00:31:30] Luke: Yeah. So then we can sit here and I can be totally aware that Chris is over there, in appreciation of his presence and dedication to helping us create this content. And I can be aware of the flowers and you, and just like, wow, what a blessing. Bailey's in my life, and we're in Cal's beautiful home, and the fire's here. 

[00:31:52] See, it's the same world that I could have walked into today with a really shitty attitude and been hating every moment of this. But the moment itself is actually neutral and exactly the same as it is now. What makes it special, and beautiful, and fulfilling, and enriching is solely based on the fact that I have an awareness of the totality of it, which is beautiful, and light, and love, and good, but it's not a spiritual bypass.

[00:32:24] It's actually knowing what the alternative looks like in darkness. I've been in many, I don't know, locations in the world or have my life situated in a way that many people would think is advantageous, fortuitous, lucky, beautiful, perfect, and I've wanted to kill myself sitting there. So was it the reality or was it my perception of reality?

[00:32:56] It's my perception of reality, is feeling alone in the universe and like there's no hope, and why carry on? And all this self-loathing and self-obsession and this morose melancholy, nothing matters, apathetic attitude, but it doesn't really matter what the circumstances or the setting is.

[00:33:21] I could still feel that shitty way anywhere in any time with any number of people. But in building the resilience of presence and practice, what I find that's really encouraging and keeps me going is that even if I fall for the temptation of letting my perception go to shit, I know that I have the power to bring it back into this reality. And the times for me over the years, the past few years, that it goes to shit, meaning I go dark, I go negative, is very short comparatively to where I used to go.

[00:34:08] Back in the day, I had no sort of agency over my perception and my reaction to the ongoing dramas of life. And I would go into a dark place sometimes for a really long time, months, then maybe a few years, get it down to weeks, then get it down to a couple of days, in a funk, a dark place.

[00:34:31] Bailey: You cycle down there.

[00:34:33] Luke: Yeah, and then it's maybe you have a couple of bad hours. Of course, bad and good is all subjective and open to interpretation because it's all good in the end. If you're cultivating these practices, then you're able to use it all, the dark and light parts of yourself and your life experience.

[00:34:51] But now it's like if my mind goes to a dark place or I go negative, I take it much less seriously. And so it doesn't really have teeth. It doesn't really last. Just this week I was in California, and it was in a workshop, and it was hard. I was learning a lot, very difficult content and information. It was outside of my skillset and expertise, and I was hanging in there. And then I got a call that I needed to be back here like now. 

[00:35:30] And in situations like that, that's when we're really put to the test of what I'm describing here. In other words, what is the level of adaptation energy that I have? Can I pivot when I'm headed in a certain direction? I'm engaged in a certain thing and my will, meaning my personal will of what I want to happen. It's like when you leave a will. This is what I want when I'm dead. We all have a living will. It's like what I want to happen in this interview-- not interview, this conversation that's mostly one way, because I won't shut up. It's like my agenda was interrupted. 

[00:36:11] Bailey: Mm-hmm. 

[00:36:12] Luke: I'm in my hotel room, getting a call like, you need to be back in Texas right now. People need you. Okay. How fast can I move from, why me? Why this? Why now? But, but, but I was going to-- but, but.

[00:36:26] Bailey: Resistance.

[00:36:27] Luke: Yeah, the resistance. Yeah. Great word. And those are the moments of tests that are beautiful because you can see if you slow down. Like what I did in that situation, it was really fun, is I could see the panic within me. I could see the resistance, I could see the, ah, but ah. It's like a dilemma when you want two things. 

[00:36:46] Bailey: Sure. 

[00:36:47] Luke: I want to be there for my people, but want to do this thing that I want to do. That's a dilemma. It's like you want two things that are opposed, and you can't have them both.

[00:36:55] Bailey: Yeah. And the thing you plan to do and were comfortable with knowing that it was going to happen.

[00:37:01] Luke: There's inertia. 

[00:37:03] Bailey: Yes. 

[00:37:04] Luke: But it was fun when that was down. I was like, whoa, pivot. It was a great opportunity. And this is such an insignificant life event. I understand people have much bigger problems than this, and I have too, but it's a change in plans that was sudden and could be stressful.

[00:37:22] But I saw that, okay, this is where I could go dark and freak out, at least get a bunch of anxiety or panic or just stomp my feet because I didn't get my way and now I have to do things a different way or whatever. But it was a really cool experience to just calmly open my laptop, go to delta.com, send a couple of messages to you and the team, and just, okay, let me see if I can actually just stay measured and deliberate and think clearly and set my emotions about this decision and this dilemma of sorts to the side and just breathe, be present and levelheaded, and just take the next indicated step.

[00:38:07] And everything worked out beautifully. Had a lot to do with you guys helping too. I had support. Thankfully, I wasn't just on my own trying to figure it out. That's a seemingly insignificant example of that. But when it comes to creating your own reality, that 48-hour period could have been an absolute nightmare if I would've just approached it with less presence and less equanimity.

[00:38:36] The only reason I was able to approach it with some equanimity is because of 25 years of meditating. And not that someone has to do that for 25 years. You can meditate for five days probably and learn this, but it's to live life from a perspective where there's a you watching you and the decisions you make, and the thoughts you have, and the feelings you have, the actions you take.

[00:39:04] There's a governor. There's a soul observer that has agency over the whole little shitshow that is your personality making its way through the world. And so even though my little body and my little feelings and thoughts are there doing their thing, doing the Luke show, there's an adult in the room on a good day that's observing all of this, and watching it, and helping to give little personality Luke cues on how to apply the most wisdom, or love, or whatever's needed in that situation for the most positive outcome for all of creation.

[00:39:40] Bailey: Mm-hmm. 

[00:39:41] Luke: And that's what I'm listening for, is my higher self going, take a moment, breathe, send this text, make this phone call, go to this website, take it easy, lay down for a minute, eat a bite of food, drink some water, whatever it is.

[00:39:58] Bailey: Well, I'll tell you so that I can share with you the results of you doing that. I could completely feel the difference in the level of stress that you were experiencing you were texting me and we were booking the different things.

[00:40:17] It made it so that I could be in that place too. I was calm. I wasn't worried about you. Sometimes things happen, and I'm like, oh no. Luke's stressed out. I could feel it completely. You were chill. So thank you for that because it wasn't just for you. It was for me too.

[00:40:38] Luke: Well, drama is contagious.

[00:40:40] Bailey: Yeah. 

[00:40:41] Luke: And also, funny thing about drama is that we all need attention. And when we're going through something difficult, we need more attention. We need that sympathy. We need someone who can see us and understand us. 

[00:41:01] Bailey: Yeah. And love you.

[00:41:02] Luke: Something I observe with myself is sometimes creating drama to give everyone else drama so that they're there for me and I don't feel alone in my drama.

[00:41:13] Bailey: Yeah. 

[00:41:14] Luke: It's like misery loves company, I guess is one way of saying that. So it's funny because when I was messaging you guys, I felt like I was being a little panicked and urgent. It wasn't until hindsight, I look back and I go, actually, Luke, not bad. You did all right. You have really flipped out at such a sudden change. 

[00:41:31] I have such a hard time with travel and rental cars and different airports. I'm very controlling about the way I travel, and I want the shortest flight with no layovers. And I just really have a hard time flying around, maybe my age or just how much I've done it. I'm just over it.

[00:41:47] Bailey: We're sensitive people.

[00:41:48] Luke: But it's funny that you had that perspective because I thought at times I was like, okay, be cool, Honey Bunny, to quote Pulp Fiction. Don't panic, Luke. So I'm glad you got the sense that I was chill. I'm not always successful at that, but these are the things that I think many of us don't pay attention to. 

[00:42:05] It's just like the difference between life happening to us or us allowing life to happen. And it's like life is going to happen according to what we determine we want. So if I want drama, life says, cool, make all the drama you want. Make a huge mess of your life, and drag everyone else into your shitshow.

[00:42:26] Bailey: Yeah.

[00:42:27] Luke: Or again, there's higher self that says, hey, man, maybe if you just relax--

[00:42:34] Bailey: Right.

[00:42:34] Luke: You can help everyone else to relax. And then people's prefrontal cortex will actually be online to affect change and come up with viable solutions instead of everyone having an emotional meltdown and just sitting there and spinning in their own dirty diaper.

[00:42:49] Bailey: And so on the flip side of this, we can choose to put people in our lives or choose to spend time with people who will react in that way, the people who will be calm and listen to that higher voice. So maybe you can talk about, we have the personal responsibility for our state of being, but how can we make it easier for ourselves to be present by choosing the people and the ideas that we entertain from the outside environment?

[00:43:29] Luke: Yeah, this one is really challenging. It's something I'm working on myself. If you just look at the homo sapien species and how we've evolved to perceive stimuli, the amount of stimuli, meaning data, information, that we are now in a position to interpret and absorb so astronomically untenable, and impossible, and unrealistic. Let's put ourselves 10,000 years ago sitting on this piece of land in Texas. We probably have a fire going. At the most, we'd be interacting, on any given day, with 50 or 60 people.

[00:44:33] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[00:44:34] Luke: That's 50 or 60 points of contact. Maybe someone from a neighboring tribe would ride in on a horse and like, oh, hey, we caught a deer over here, and there's a fire down yonder, or whatever it is. A little bit of news coming from a few people about things in our immediate environment. We have no idea what's going on in Ukraine and Israel, anywhere.

[00:44:58] Bailey: Right. This is all that exists, literally.

[00:45:02] Luke: Yeah, your immediate surroundings with people that you know personally and have some degree of trust and intimacy with, that's all the data. You're getting data off the leaves changing. The wind is changing direction. You're trying to find animals and plants to eat. You're observing predators. You're trying to keep some semblance of safety for you and your little group. 

[00:45:34] You're maybe packing up your shit seasonally and migrating to another area five miles down the road where there's less snow. It's like our lives are so simple. It's about procreating, protecting the offspring, getting resources, providing shelter, building fire. There's very little input of information that we have to hold in our psyche. 

[00:45:59] Fast forward now, you go on Twitter for 15 minutes and you are having fed into your consciousness, your awareness, the amount of data someone would get in an entire lifetime, 10,000 years ago. You know what I mean? I'm exaggerating. I don't know what the actual metrics of measurement would be, but it's like the sheer volume of data that's coming at us so far exceeds our capacity to contextualize it in any way. Right?

[00:46:34] Bailey: Yeah.

[00:46:35] Luke: So that's a problem. However, we also have a very important and innate need, and that need is to have some awareness of what's going on within our tribe and our immediate environment. It's just that because of the internet, because of these devices, our immediate environment is the entire world.

[00:46:56] Bailey: Yeah. 

[00:46:57] Luke: Right?

[00:46:57] Bailey: Mm-hmm. 

[00:46:58] Luke: And it's every person on the world who has the same degree of connectivity to that data that we have, which is just about everyone that has a cell phone or a computer. So it's like not only can we not manage it, we can't manage the part of ourselves that has an inherent need to that access. It's like we need to know what's going on, but we don't need to know everything that's going on. So how do you filter between just what we need to know and what there is to be known?

[00:47:34] Because the to be known is infinite, and it's overwhelming, and most of it's false anyway. It's the telephone game. But it's not only the telephone game where something is misconstrued because it's passed hand so many times. It's the telephone game where much of the information that we're being fed is intentionally wrong because it's about control. It's about creating chaos.

[00:47:59] If you create chaos and confusion with a deluge of information that's too much for any human psyche to manage, that internal chaos with each individual makes them much more programmable and much more controllable. And when you can do that to large swaths of people, large groups in our civilization, in these macro and microcultures, you can control an entire populace just by creating confusion, and drama, and chaos.

[00:48:29] Bailey: And it's amplified so easily between them all.

[00:48:31] Luke: And so what we do as individuals, speaking for myself, is we open up the portal to the infinite realm of information called your phone or your computer. And we look at that, and we're overwhelmed. Yet we still have this need to know what's going on in the world. And so we're trapped in this loop of compulsivity or addiction to doom scrolling and refreshing because we want to know what's going on in the village. But the problem is the village has grown too big for us to possibly manage. 

[00:49:08] Bailey: Right.

[00:49:08] Luke: But the thing I wrestle with is like, so is the answer just shutting it all down and just living my life like nothing is happening? Probably the healthiest path forward, to be honest, because most of the things happening in the external world, I mean outside of our immediate friends and family, are things that are totally beyond our control anyway.

[00:49:27] So we're fed all this information and we get our individual and collective knickers in a twist, and we get all upset about what's going on in the world. And the things we're upset about are largely things about which we have zero control or influence. The control or influence is actually being created by overwhelming us with so much information that we just throw our hands up and don't do anything and just go along with whatever is being presented as the solution to the problems that have been artificially manufactured and overwhelmed us.

[00:50:00] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[00:50:01] Luke: So to bring that into something that makes sense, maybe. It comes down to then for me, and this is only me-- everyone who's going to have their own approach-- is it's like in the world of addiction recovery, there's this concept called riding the tiger. And that is with some things you can have complete abstinence and still continue on with your life.

[00:50:26] I don't drink any alcohol, just for an example. I was an alcoholic. I might still be, I don't know. I don't want to find out. So I just don't drink alcohol. That is an example of something that once you've made that decision and you know that problem has been removed through grace or providence or whatever, as it's been for me, a little bit of my own willingness to let it go and also a lot of God to take it away from me. But there's no situation in my life where drinking a little bit of alcohol is required.

[00:51:00] Bailey: Right.

[00:51:00] Luke: Now, take issues around addiction with food or with sexuality. That's riding the tiger. Because it's like, you got to eat some food to live a fully expressed life. You have to have some relationship to sexuality with hopefully other people.

[00:51:17] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[00:51:19] Luke: That's how my relationship with media is. It's not a thing like alcohol that I feel like I can totally disassociate from, especially because I'm in media. We're making it right now.

[00:51:30] Bailey: Yeah, exactly. 

[00:51:31] Luke: So what I've chosen to do is a vocation, so I certainly can't just not do it unless I pick a new job and I go start a farm and just have no internet, no phone-- it sounds nice. Maybe I will do that someday. 

[00:51:42] Bailey: Pretty tempting.

[00:51:43] Luke: So it's like about managing an addiction, really. It's like, I know I'm addicted to my phone 100% because I can feel it calling me when I plug it in in the other room. And I can go without it for a while, and then it's like, I need some drama. I better go see what's Telegram. 

[00:52:02] Bailey: It's the feelings. It's not even the phone. It's the feelings from the light, and the drama, and the funny stuff, and the cute stuff. And sometimes you're looking for something good and you just get all this bad stuff, but it's such a rollercoaster.

[00:52:18] Luke: It's a rollercoaster of dopamine and serotonin. It's our internal reward system. We get those little pings of things that feel good, and we have an attraction to them, but because of the way the human psyche is wired for survival, we also have an equal pull and an equal attraction to bad news.

[00:52:46] The negativity bias is like, we want to feel safe and secure in our environment, so we actually do want to know the bad news, and we should want to know the bad news because that's how we know there's a fire coming over the hill. Someone rode their horse in and said, hey, heads up, move your camp.

[00:53:02] Bailey: Yeah.

[00:53:02] Luke: If we don't listen to the messenger, then our camp burns down, right? 

[00:53:06] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[00:53:07] Luke: So this is part of the human operating system. So it's a riding the tiger thing. It's like, okay, how do I be open to the messenger coming over the hill to tell me about the fire, but not be obsessing about it and checking for him every 30 seconds. Ooh, I thought I heard some hoof steps.

[00:53:25] So it's a complicated and complex predicament that we're in of having our finger on the pulse of what's happening, but not having our entire experience colored by that pulse, knowing that much of what we're picking up from that pulse is actually untrue. So it's a very complex problem. It's not only that we get too much news and too much stimuli, it's that a lot of it is actually meant to addict us, and meant to scare us, and meant to create chaos to control us. 

[00:54:02] So that becomes a really interesting practice in wearing the world like a loose garment, of being in the world and not of the world. And for me, practices like meditation and observing my own internal landscape and my reactions to sensations in my body, to emotions, to feelings, to the types of thoughts I have, to observing when a thought is telling me, oh my God, humanity's screwed, or, oh my God, they're going to get me, oh my God, I'm going to die, whatever it is. 

[00:54:36] That's helpful. What's I think been, and this has just my experience, I'm not recommending this for anyone literally, but I'm just being honest, going to places with plant medicines and psychedelics where I've experienced brief moments of what might be called superconsciousness or hyperawareness, or moments in which the constructs of my intellect, ego, persona, my individual experience of who I am have been disintegrated temporarily to the point that it feels like there's not a me there anymore, some people call it an ego death. There's a million different ways you could say it, but it's like you die before you die, when you die, you don't die.

[00:55:37] Bailey: Yeah.

[00:55:37] Luke: Coming back from those mini deaths and those micro deaths, coming out of an experience like that and realizing, oh my, I'm still alive. I'm breathing. I'm in my body. Things are starting to normalize. I'm reintegrating. I've been disintegrated, like we talked about on our last conversation. 

[00:55:56] It's like I'm starting to put the pieces of my persona, and my reality, and my worldview all back together so I can function as a person again. Upon the disintegration and the reintegration, what I find is a much less attached to what we would call the real world, right?

[00:56:20] Bailey: Yeah. 

[00:56:20] Luke: It's like he's here, but he is not all there, kind of thing, which is really cool actually. 

[00:56:29] Bailey: Free.

[00:56:30] Luke: Yeah. It's really cool because then, especially with Bufo, that's been a pronounced aftereffect that it's like a BC, AD kind of thing in my life. It's like, oh, there's pre-Bufo, there's post-Bufo, that one realizes that not only is the world I experience subject to my perception of it, and that that perception is malleable and under the influence of my will, meaning what I want to see in the world, I can actually create, but also that whatever it is is still just an interpretation.

[00:57:13] Bailey: Yeah. 

[00:57:13] Luke: And when you explore different dimensions of reality in that way, it makes all of them seem a little less serious and a little less concrete and tangible. Even this one that our senses tell us is so real and so tangible, there's still a part of me that's sitting here in this very real material world in this house, literally right here. There's still a part of me that knows I could close my eyes and all of this is just gone. It doesn't even exist. It doesn't mean that nothing exists, it just means this isn't all that exists.

[00:57:50] Bailey: Right.

[00:57:50] Luke: There's other planes of reality that are as real when you're accessing them. It doesn't mean that when I come back to this material world that that one wasn't real. It was real. It's just a different level in the strata of the experience of reality. So I can be here and go, oh my God, this chair feels amazing. I'm in a body. My heart's beating. Bailey's right there. There's a fire. This is awesome. But there's much less attachment to this being the only realness and the only reality.

[00:58:23] Bailey: And then we get to dance and play.

[00:58:25] Luke: Yeah. And then it's like, okay, cool. Here comes the war planes, and it's all ending. It's like, oh man, I hope we get to stick around here. But I'm much less attached to that because of this ongoing process of surrender. That's really what I'm getting at, is surrendering to the fact that what we're attached to isn't really even there in a sense.

[00:58:59] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[00:59:01] Luke: So life becomes much more of a play. It's much more fun. Like I said, you can dance. You can dance with this. And what I find to be so beneficial about that, going back to my plans changing in a stressful situation being imposed on me, or so it seemed, is that even in that situation, there's a part of me that gets very serious and stressed out and like, ah, I got to solve this problem.

[00:59:24] And this is true in almost all situations I go through, because stress happens, life happens. It gets shitty sometimes. Even in those situations, it's like there's still a sense of humor about it. Even if I'm really annoyed, or stressed out, or angry, or sad, it's like there's a very temporary, transient experience of that difficult time because I know it's all so malleable.

[00:59:55] It's ever-changing. It's not real in the sense that I used to feel it was real. So even if I'm having a little temper tantrum or a difficult thing, there's still a me watching the Luke show, going, okay, yeah. Have your little moment, your little drama right here. But let's just remember that it's all ephemeral and actually, it's all a dance. It's all a play. And the degree to which you suffer is the degree to which you believe in the story.

[01:00:25] Bailey: Right. Well, we've taken the blinders off, so now that is not the only thing that exists. Because I think that's what can get me in that stressed out feeling. It's like, this is the only thing you're looking at. But once you've expanded your perspective, you know how temporary it is and how much more is in your periphery, and behind you, and outside of you. This isn't the only thing that matters.

[01:00:55] Luke: When we can have the awareness that what we perceive to be this moment in time is only limited by the fact that we're in a body whose senses are the demarcation of this moment in time, so when I look back in my life at, say, a really challenging or painful experience or period of time, when I was in that, I could only see it from that perspective. 

[01:01:26] But now when I look back on that from this place of the eternal now, and now I have a different vantage point, I can look back on that and go, oh my God, that was the greatest blessing of my life that I had that difficulty. I had the divorce, or the taxes, or got fired, or the business failed, or got a speeding ticket, ad infinitum all the shit that in the moment we think, oh, this is the worst thing ever. Again, it's my perspective at that given time that colors that.

[01:01:54] But one of the ways that wisdom expresses in our life as we get older, and I'm getting older fast-- it's fine. It's fine. I don't like the hairline moving back, if I'm honest. Other than that, I really don't care. Gray hair, wrinkles, it's fine, but I'm like, ah, I'm not ready to go bald quite yet. I'm hanging on. I'm kidding, half not kidding. 

[01:02:17] But when I look back at all those experiences, I see like, oh, it was all happening for the greater good of my experience. And if I can extract wisdom, and growth, and maturity out of all of the challenges that I've overcome and also build into those experiences of faith that there is a creator, a God whose hand is in all of this, including the difficult times, then when I'm in one of those now, there's also the awareness that this seems to suck really bad right in this moment. 

[01:02:55] There's also a part of me that knows it's colored by the perspective that I have in this point in time. And just like all of the other challenges I've overcome in my life that seemed horrible and insurmountable at the time-- say, today I had the shittiest day ever. For whatever reason, a fireplace blew up right here in the middle of the podcast, and it was the biggest drama ever, three months from now, a year from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, I look back on this and laugh because of the purpose that I was able to derive from that, and the positive impact that it had, for whatever reason, for the things that transpired after said labeled bad event. 

[01:03:33] So we start to get perspective, and then you realize, wow, everything in the past and the present and its impact on me is solely viewed by the labels I give it and the meaning that I attribute to it. And when it gets in that, then life becomes really fun because you can even be in suffering and know that that suffering has a purpose, no matter how bad it sucks.

[01:04:01] Bailey: Mm-hmm.

[01:04:01] Luke: Because it's part of our experience, but the level of suffering is dependent on how much belief and energy we give it as being a negative, literally. I think it's possible. This is probably a stage of enlightenment I don't know if they'll ever achieve, but to live one's life in a true sense of neutrality where nothing is labeled good or bad.

[01:04:29] And it's the non-dual perspective. It's like everything just is, and all you can do is set your internal guidance, your intuition toward what you perceive to be the most positive and benevolent outcome for all of creation and everything it includes. I'm just going toward love. I'm going toward goodness, toward kindness, toward light.

[01:04:54] It's like I'm aiming toward that, but because I'm not God, I'm just an aspect of God I don't know what's going to get me there. So every situation in which I suffer could be the greatest gift of my life. I just don't know it yet.

[01:05:07] Bailey: Yeah.

[01:05:08] Luke: So the job for me then is to be willing to experience discomfort, or pain, or what we might call suffering, but to have the higher perspective that it's very possible, if not likely, if not even automatic, that there's some benefit to be had from it, even if it's just an important lesson to learn, and what was required to learn that lesson was a lot of discomfort in my body and mind. 

[01:05:37] It's still worth it. It's like grist for the mill. There's a purpose to the suffering. And when suffering has a known purpose, it's not really suffering anymore. It's just like, wow. It's an uncomfortable feeling in my body. It's some dark thoughts. It's some emotions that I wouldn't consider preferable, but it's doable and it's surmountable. It's not the end of the world. It's just like, it's a rough patch that's given me an opportunity to grow, and evolve, and expand my capacity.

[01:06:08] Bailey: I think a lot of times those situations, they guide me towards more truth. You can look through the reactions that you're having, and it's usually the thing that you don't want to look at the most where you can find the truth.

[01:06:24] Luke: You just made me think of something. [Inaudible] I talk about stuff like this. It's like I really aim to come from a place of personal experience, in other words, talking from something rather than about something, to have some level of not just intellectual understanding but some level, however fleeting it might be, of mastery over that.

[01:06:58] And so when you were just talking, I thought of just really easy to think of, this ringing that I have in my ears. That's a great example of something that I have in my life right now that I really prefer was not the case. And I'm doing everything I can to try and change it so that I can experience quiet again, silence again. 

[01:07:23] And so sometimes I'll find myself feeling sorry for myself about it. I'll feel hopeless, or frustrated, or just cursed. God, it's like, I have such a good life. I'm doing so many great things. I'm helping people. My life has purpose. It has meaning. I am constantly seeking out wisdom and applying it in my life.

[01:07:51] And it's like, man, why am I living with this? Because sometimes, to be totally honest, this is rare, but there will be moments-- they're fleeting, thankfully-- but there'll be moments like, yeah, if this is the way it is, I'm not really interested in staying here, if you know what I mean. It's not like I'm going to go-- 

[01:08:12] Bailey: Yeah. 

[01:08:12] Luke: Kill myself, but I'm just like, ah, I'm good. We did a lot of work in this incarnation. I'm ready to start in a new body or a new plane of reality somewhere else without this goddamn noise in my head.

[01:08:24] Bailey: Yeah.

[01:08:25] Luke: So that's one way of approaching it. The other way of approaching it-- I mean, there's an infinite number of ways to approach it, but one way is, what is this here to teach me? And one thing I'm learning with this particular challenge is to learn how to listen to the silence that exists before sound arises from it.  So what I focus on is like, that's what I hear 24/7, to varying degrees of volume.

[01:09:06] Bailey: Yeah.

[01:09:08] Luke: But I wouldn't hear that sound if there wasn't a bedrock of silence from which that noise is arising.

[01:09:14] Bailey: A space.

[01:09:15] Luke: Yeah. So then that gives me an opportunity to see when I've left the presence of that silence from which all sound emanates. So I'm focused on the sound way up here, but way beneath that is the substrate of reality, the substrate of creation that's just, poof.

[01:09:37] Bailey: What came prior.

[01:09:41] Luke: That's where the quiet is. And that quiet is always there. It's just we notice noise because it's superimposed over the silence that exists underneath it. But the silence is still there. We hear the buzz of that fireplace. The only reason we hear that is because there's silence behind it and underneath it, right?

[01:09:58] Bailey: Right.

[01:09:58] Luke: It's emanating from a field of silence. It doesn't mean that because I hear that noise, the silence is no longer there. It just means I've chosen to put my attention on what's coming out of it rather than from where it originates. So that's a great practice. 

[01:10:16] So that's one of many examples of seeing something that could be perceived as a liability, a disability, a handicap, a curse, to seeing it as a reminder that there's more work to do. And man, I don't know what one would do if you can't contextualize challenges or difficulties in that way, because then it just seems like life is not fair, right? 

[01:10:53] Bailey: Yeah.

[01:10:54] Luke: And when life's not fair, then that leads to apathy because it brings about, well, why even bother, man? You know what I mean? It's like, why even try? That's apathy. Apathy's a really low state of consciousness. That's way beneath guilt, shame. Maybe those are the next up. And then you get to anger, hatred. You're getting higher. You know what I mean? Apathy is when you don't care about anything and you don't care if you live or you die. And that's a--

[01:11:22] Bailey: It feels like a goop. You're like, it's so gooey, and they're just stuck in it. To claw your way out of apathy, that's hard.

[01:11:33] Luke: That's a very dark place. The minute I, for example, hear that ringing in my ears and I see myself go to-- this is the witness observer kind of awareness-- man, why am I even alive? Why this happened to me? Any of that shit, self-pity, whatever, I've already lost the game in lesson until I can have that present awareness to be able to observe my thoughts and feelings and then go, ooh, I don't like that one that just floated by. Let me look for a better perspective. And that perspective, as I just indicated, was, okay, what is there to learn here? Ooh, now things have opened up.

[01:12:16] Bailey: There's meaning.

[01:12:18] Luke: Yeah. Now it's like, oh, wow. This is actually a great tool to find an even more profound level and degree of presence to find that silence beneath all noise. Whoa. Okay. Now this is interesting to me. Would I still prefer to not have to learn it that way and have just normal ears? Yeah. 100%. Maybe I'll get there.

[01:12:41] I'm going to keep trying. So it's like surrendered action. Surrender isn't just like, oh, well, I have this ringing in my ears, and that's just the way it is. Whatever. I'll just go to a concert and watch Metallica and make it worse. Who cares? I wouldn't go see Metallica anyway at this point in my life.

[01:12:56] But just trying to think of what would really irritate my tinnitus, or tinnitus, as some call it. There's that path, but then there's the holding faith that I could find a solution. I probably will, but what am I going to do between now and when the solution avails itself to me? Suffer?

[01:13:14] No, I'm going to use it as a tool to increase my level of present awareness and to be grateful for the things about my body that still work well, that don't have maladaptations, or dysfunction, or whatever. There's a lot of things that are going perfect in my body, and I love my body, and instead of focusing all my attention on the one part of my brain or body that seems to be really distracting and problematic at times, now I can think about, wow, at 53 years old. 

[01:13:44] I've cared about this body now for a long time with a lot of reverence and dedication, and in almost every other way, I'm in tip-top shape. So I can focus my attention on what I want, which is more of that versus what I don't want, which is this nagging, distracting experience.

[01:14:06] Bailey: Right. Live in the gratitude.

[01:14:09] Luke: Yeah. And, hey, man, all the shit that I'm sharing here today, it's a work of progress. Some moments are better than others. 

[01:14:17] Bailey: It's not 24/7.

[01:14:18] Luke: Yeah. I believe in being honest and real, and I think authenticity is really one of the most powerful ways to serve others, is, say, hey, these are the possibilities. And sometimes I'm in that possibility and sometimes I'm not.

[01:14:37] Bailey: Yeah. 

[01:14:38] Luke: And we need that from people. There's people that I respect and looked up to, great teachers, authors. All throughout my journey, there's been so many people that I've learned from. And one of the consistent qualities that has drawn me toward those teachers has been their honesty and authenticity, and them being able to access their vulnerability and their humanity. 

[01:15:08] I always like to say that kind of thing because talking about these slofty ideals, in a perfect world, this is what a day in the life of Luke looks like. And it's not always perfect. Sometimes it's messy and sloppy. But the point is that life is inherently imbued with highs and lows. The cool thing is, over time, as we keep ascending these levels of consciousness, the highs keep getting higher. And when you hit a dip, that low is still higher than your low from before.

[01:15:47] Bailey: Mm-hmm. And we're aiming it. If you're not intentional, then I guess maybe you're just letting things happen. But we're aiming for these ideals, and that's what this conversation is about, because that's where we want to be. And the more effort we put into being there, the more often we will be.

[01:16:16] Luke: Yeah. The universe responds to whatever we ask of it, not in our own time, not in the ways in which we sometimes prefer or envision, but you're so right, setting that intention. It's like if you set an address into your GPS.

[01:16:38] Bailey: Yeah. Exactly.

[01:16:39] Luke: You might go all kind of crazy ways out of the way to get where you're going, but because you have the address in your GPS, provided everything's working right, you're going to end up where you want to go. If you just get in your car and start driving around and go, I'm just going to go wherever the car feels like taking me, you're going to end up in hell.

[01:16:56] Bailey: That's right.

[01:16:57] Luke: In a traffic jam, to keep the analogy alive. 

[01:17:00] Bailey: Yeah, looping. 

[01:17:01] Luke: Yeah. So intentionality is the key. Well, thanks, Bailey. It's always a fun conversation. I love that we never-- at least I never know-- what we're going to talk about, and you have a knack for piquing my curiosity and interest about things that I like to talk about on any given day. So thank you.

[01:17:18] Bailey: Yeah. You're welcome. I think we make a really good team still. 

[01:17:22] Luke: Likewise.


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