Australia: land of koala bears, kangaroos, Vegemite, and enlightened Aussies like Eddie Traversa. Eddie is in the unique position of being both a psychotherapist and awakened, which gives him a deep perspective as well as a broad tool set with which to help clients.
In our interview, he discusses why he doesn’t focus on helping people towards enlightenment, the importance of developing a relationship with the unconscious, and getting unstuck from patterns. Along the way, we share a laugh about the motivational qualities of revenge and our fondness for the film American Beauty.
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Selected Links and Notes from this Episode
- Eddie recounts heart attacks, romantic breakups, and wondering why he is miserable. All this misery led him to ask “how does life work?” [3:05]
- Focusing like a “madman.” [6:30]
- Throwing out everything he thought that worked in order to discover what was really going on with life. [6:59]
- Exploring ESP, near death experiences, telepathy and questions about the human potential. [7:39]
- Eddie Traversa’s favorite book is the Tao Te Ching. [8:13]
- Asking how to become happy in life. [8:52]
- Learning to relax and not takes things so seriously. [10:39]
- Exploring what the mind is capable of through magic, and how this changed into a question of identity. [11:26]
- On being an “extreme sort of guy” and living like a hermit [13:50]
- Was it Eddie doing something, or God? [15:40]
- Digging deeper into the question of identity. [17:00]
- Practicing tai-chi. [17:27]
- On going back into therapy. [19:28]
- How a suicide attempt led him to make a vow that he would never again give up. [21:58]
- How a teacher can lock you into a particular way of seeing the world. [23:59]
- The importance of friends on the spiritual path. [25:03]
- Ignorance of the ways we tell lies to ourselves. [32:50]
- Eddie Traversa’s awakening. [36:55]
- The reasons behind Eddie’s disappearance from the spiritual scene. [40:50]
- The decision to start practicing psychotherapy again. [42:19]
- Everything that comes out of an awakening in terms of the aftermath can be had by someone without an awakening. [45:00]
- How do you teach someone to have an awakening? The success rate is terrible. [47:00]
- Most spiritual seekers are stuck in patterns, so how can they be helped? [48:29]
- Do we help people by offering to help them achieve enlightenment? No. [49:55]
- Do we need to get rid of ego? It’s more about how we manage ego. [52:50]
- Being aware of your body and the ability to let go of unimportant things are good foundations for the spiritual search. [57:49]
- How to develop a relationship with the unconscious. [1:03:50]
- Eddie’s biggest advice: if you know where you are going in life you’re likely going to get there. [1:06:25]
- Tao Te Ching is the only book you will ever need spiritually. [1:08:47]
- Eddie also recommends Jed McKenna’s Spiritual Enlightenment, the Damnedest Thing
- Yes, another vote for American Beauty as a top spiritual film. [1:09:38]
- To learn more about Eddie Traversa visit edwardtraversa.com.
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