Since my original review of Eddie Traversa, he vanished from and then reappeared on the spiritual scene.
I feel that Eddie Traversa is enlightened — the real deal. That was my opinion despite having nothing to judge him by other than his blog and a few email exchanges. I finally interviewed him over the phone, and that confirmed it — real deal. Check out the interview on the Journals of Spiritual Discovery podcast. After our interview, I changed my rating of Eddie from two stars to three.
I think that if you seriously wanted to back away from the b.s. in you — to back away from untruth as Richard Rose says — then Eddie Traversa could help you. He could serve as a catalyst; a goad to further your desire. I don’t know how complete of a teacher he is, but do think he could help in this area.
Give him a try, that’s what I say. He is in Australia, though, so that will make face to face interaction a bit of a problem for some. Eddie also is currently charging for therapeutic services, and I do not know if he distinguishes between clients interested in awakening and those interested in more traditional therapeutic outcomes.
Two quotes on the method of inquiry that Eddie Traversa proposes:
“Know thy divided self and then the cupboard cleaning of the mind that follows via negation is made all that much easier.”
“What you can do in practical terms is keep negating.”
Okay, now to the good stuff. Here is the bulk of my email interview with Eddie Traversa:
Q: How long since your realization? How long since you started working one-on-one with students? Have any of your students become enlightened while working with you (i.e. how’s the success rate)?
A: It’s over 3 years now. For over a year I told no one except my closest friends. As these things tend to go, one of my friends asked if I would see someone who was experiencing a difficulty in life and I agreed. That would be roughly 2 years ago. Since then it has been more like a steady progression to more teaching, part of which is the web site (which is relatively new) and part of which is a growing number of students that see me face to face. Currently I am making preparations to move into teaching full time.
With face to face students, three so far that I have worked with have realized truth. Success rate though is pretty misleading in some ways. It implies that I do something and then they get it. Rather, it is the opposite, they do something and then there is a chance they get it. When all said and done, the students that did have a realization had done a lot of work way before we crossed paths. Success rate is misleading in that sense.
My role in all this is minimal, although it can appear otherwise at times to others. That is not an attempt at being humble, that is just the way it pans out.
Q: Why you? Why of all people on earth, you are one who got enlightened? What increased your odds or moved you faster?
A: Oh that implies I am “special” and it has nothing to do with being “special”. It also needs to be very clear that as a person I am not enlightened. Enlightenment has nothing to do with the progression of a human being and it does not have implications for how to lead a life. In other words it’s not about getting happy, feeling love, being in the now etc… Enlightenment is the absolute, revealing itself to the absolute as the absolute.
In terms of why I had that experience, it was simply my turn. Nothing more than that.
Nothing increased my odds or moved me faster. There was never a single hair out of place, although before awakening my hair sure appeared to be messy.
However, I would caution against the mentality of just sitting there and waiting for it. If you wait that is all you will do: wait. You have to be active in the process, because until awakening there is an appearance of choice.
For example, when I reflect back I can see that everything in my life directed me to one point and that one point was rather a simple thing: I wanted it. Not enlightenment as such, I wanted the answers to life at any cost. To me it is the “at any cost part” that was critical.
Everyone wants the answers, but at what price? Very few will pay the price. I was willing to pay the price because the circumstances of my life dictated that. At the time however, I did not realize that, to me it was like I was in control and I had to keep uncovering stuff etc… In short I thought I had choice at the time.
Here is the catch for others. How do you know that your life is not being orchestrated towards purity of intent? And how do you know that by the idea of embracing purity of intent as forwarded here and by Rose etc isn’t exactly that orchestration in motion, right here right now? You cant really know can you?
Q:You say [in your blog], “Look within does not mean seek knowledge, it means to look within and see your own internal process and then get them out in the open so you can challenge them squarely. [sic]”
Do you mean habitual patterns of reaction? By challenge do you mean stop them, or see them as something other than our self? Or just observe? Somewhere you wrote to not label and not judge.
A: It’s a combination of all the above to varying degrees. For example, if you’re doing drugs or continually getting drunk, then that has to be stopped. You need to recognize the habitual patterns of behavior that are destructive to the process of awakening. If you’re continually playing a blame game or any other role that is not conducive to awakening then that has to stop.
Which begs the question what is conducive to awakening? Questioning every single belief you have to see if they can stand on their own two feet and if we do this earnestly and diligently enough, nothing in human perception will stand on its own two feet as truth.
Labeling and judging are part of the human experience. But so is not labeling and judging which often goes unrecognized as part of a human experience. There are always gaps between thoughts, between emotions etc that do not get recognized. In recognizing them we can start to experientially fathom that there is more than meets than eye.
I am not talking about being in the now as proposed By Elkhart Tolle. When isn’t there a now? You have a thought about the past or future it’s still in the now. You slip into the gap its still in the now.
But what I am talking about is uncovering hidden aspects of human form so that they can be questioned and uncovered for the illusion that they are. By noting that you have gaps in thought sequences and emotions and sensation sequences then you can start to cut the deep knot that binds you to human self.
Are you really the gap between thoughts, where no labeling or judgment occurs, or are you being talked or talking yourself into believing you are the gap between thoughts, because someone says it’s the solution to all your problems? That’s a useful enquiry as far as enlightenment goes, because instead of following a herd mentality that is espoused by various literature, you become your own experimenter and experiment.
Are you really that?
Q:Regarding psychological issues, you say, “Once you have it out in the open and you negate that behavior as illusion then that’s one karmic cycle extinguished. Then you move on to the next and the next and the next, until nothing of you remains.”
A person gets to where there is not much left to cling to, yet they won’t let go the final straw (in my opinion). Can the teacher or student do anything to bridge the final gap?
A: Yeah let go of the final straw. The final straw only means that the final straw is a person’s way of trying to control the experience in some way. Usually it’s about existing as a person, where a happy person or even bitter sad person is more important than not existing at all which is what will occur after awakening…
The rest isn’t up to you or the teacher. When awakening occurs it doesn’t come about because of effort or lack of straws, rather it is effortless and you’re just going along for the ride until you as a person disappear. To illustrate, you can be sitting down having a beer and then it comes to you, or you could be outside and it comes. It comes on its own when you least expected it to come and when your not trying. But without the effort of dwindling yourself away in the first place, genuine enlightenment won’t occur.
Q: You make some references on your site to the after death state – that people continue on in another state or as another form of energy. Do you know this by direct experience, or is this speculation?
A: By direct experience which occurred many years ago on several different occasions through the manifestation of apparitions. Some of the things I was told no one could have known, not even myself, yet other things I was told were straight out incorrect.
My experiences though are irrelevant in this regard. What is more useful is to research the NDE phenomenon and see it from as many angles as you can. You will find that as much misinformation comes from that realm as accurate information. For example, a number of people come back reporting there are 10 dimensions and nothing else, where we as humans at a scientific level already know there are 11 dimensions.
My bet is that in the years ahead that some people who have an NDE will come back reporting 11 dimensions, which says a lot about how we create that experience.
There are all sorts of interesting things in that field of research that strongly suggest that life goes on after physical death, but what goes on at a psychological and spiritual level doesn’t seem to be that much different than here. Investigate it fully from all perspectives. See the consistencies and inconsistencies and then make up your own mind.
Q: You say [in your blog], “I do not charge for personal teachings, however if you do not understand the basis of giving unconditional gifts to a spiritual teacher then your probably not going to get very far along in this journey.”
By mentioning this, you give the impression that gifts are expected. Meaning, I should give you a gift because you asked and not because of my gratitude for your help.
A: That’s just dumb wording on my part and is what you get when you write something late at night when tired. I actually forgot that I had written that until you mentioned it, so I’ll have to reword it differently.
Let’s see if I can clarify here in the interim. Money should not be a barrier to coming to see me. So there isn’t an expectation of every time you come and see me, you pay x amounts of dollars for x amount of time. If your broke, cannot afford it etc, come anyway as long as you’re genuine about the process. The giving part will take care of itself anyway in my experience.
By the same token though, if you’re just coming to continually “get” without some form of reciprocation then you’re viewing the process as a very linear one. A one way street so to speak, which is a pretty rigid way of going about things.
It also works in reverse, if you just come along and are giving gifts as a means to buy your way into enlightenment, or are going to extremes and selling everything in order to be a grand gift bearer then that too is a rigid pattern of behavior and isn’t conducive to awakening.
In terms of teaching, part of what a student needs to see is that there are energetic exchanges in this world of duality. Not just understand it intellectually, but also to experience it. I think Rose understood that and is part of why he had people work on his farm: to give people a sense that this is an energetic, experiential process as much as it is an intellectual one.
At first it starts a bit like, well there is this expectation here that I do something for the teacher. But as the student develops and flows with the process, then it becomes a more spontaneous type of giving. One that comes more from the heart so to speak, as opposed to being an expectation.
The underlying principle at work here is one of alignment. By aligning yourself with giving as an intuitive process then you are also more in resonance with the absolute. It is the same with synchronicity for example,at first you have to learn how to recognize it, later it becomes a pretty spontaneous and intuitive process.
That is basically what the whole awakening process is about, getting your human form to align itself as closely as possible with the absolute. And even after awakening that continues on, perhaps much more so than prior to awakening. The only difference there is that it’s pretty much an automatic process after awakening and prior to awakening it’s this sort of forced process. Part of that forcing paradoxically is to get into a space where things such as giving happen spontaneously in order to experientially acknowledge that things are not what they seem. [I found this answer rather dubious and questioned Eddie further. Here is his response:]
But let’s try and be clear, there is no requirement that students pay me. It is not hey you come and see me and you have to pay x amount of dollars every time you see me or even ever.
Not that it would necessarily make it a bad thing if I did that. Its just that doing that sort of thing doesn’t hold any particular value for me, nor do I see it as holding value for students. If I wanted to do that I would just do counseling, where I would make a lot more than this stuff… So its not a money thing at all… It’s a synchronicity thing and synchronicity is an energetic pattern manifested…
So to give an idea, as students come and see me, they may take note of my book collection as an example and enquire how I got those books to which I reply oh, some I bought, others people donated them to me etc… Invariably they show up with a book or flowers or throw 20 dollars my way…
To which we then have a discussion about giving and exchange. For example, say a student brings in X book, they will generally have an expectation that I read it and that the book is for me. But the book will rarely be for me, it will be for another student later down the track or alternatively there may be something in the book that could be useful for the giver. In giving then there is an energetic exchange that is passed on from one person to the next until a person fits in all the clues and awakens. So students are increasingly made of aware of that pattern. Which is only one of many patterns…
It is the same with money. Lets say student A comes and sees me for a few weeks and then turns around and says I have 50 dollars I want to donate. So they donate 50 dollars and lets say I buy a book. I enjoy the book, see something in it that I think may be valuable and pass the book on to another student. That’s a pretty straightforward example….
So in helping them to recognize how giving works at a deeper level, then they can be more aware of how other things relate in terms of synchronicity. “there is a pattern here, watch it manifest”. “see how things really work in this world, work out the real rules” etc… “Verify it for yourself”…
In addition, I am making it sound like every student that comes along donates with money… That’s actually more an exception. Generally, a student will occasionally donate a book, flowers, candles, or bring some food along that they made etc… And they don’t do that every time they come. A rough estimate would be a gift every few months… Although some do it more frequently.
On the other hand, if a student continually shows up and I know that they are reasonably comfortable financially, and never make a gesture either to me or someone else in terms of reciprocating in some way, that student will be challenged on why they are only coming to receive.
In short, I do not support students to the point where it becomes an interaction where they are selfishly coming to get, without any real understanding that this is about energetic exchanges that manifest as synchronicity of which they, as well as me, are a part of.
And as I said before, I don’t do it the other way around either, where students are “buying” their way to enlightenment.
So to sum up the value is in the manifestation of some synchronicity that will appear at some future point which was set into motion by the giving. Which may not be directly related to the student who was giving in the first place, but in some way will benefit someone at some point, in terms of enlightenment.
Do you understand what I am saying? If you came to me and gave me 50 dollars, that 50 dollars donation may not benefit you directly. But you are participating in the benefit of someone at some point, of which you and most times me will not be aware of the benefit until it occurs. But by the same token, another students gift may benefit you in some way. It may well not lead to enlightenment per say, it may only lead to a clue, but the clue is one step forward…. And that clue increases your odds and when it comes to awakening you want to increase your odds as much as you can… One of the biggest clues to awakening is becoming increasingly aware of how synchronicity unfolds and noticing how giving works is a good way of observing that pattern.
Even if you don’t awaken, at least you will be more aware of how the patterns of duality unfold and that there is something else going on than readily meets the eye, which can then be used to your benefit and the benefit of others if you so wish….
Regardless, I was giving all the way through in many ways, which were not particularly related to enlightenment. E.g. doing free counseling, doing web tutorials for free, volunteering for various charity events, donating time etc… Don’t get the wrong idea here and get a picture of an all giving guy. In many ways I was selfish, materialistic, shallow etc as well and I make no bones about this to anyone who cares to ask. Yet, if there had not been that component of giving through my life, I seriously doubt, well in fact I know, I would never have awoken.
One final thing. I make enough money of my main web site to survive and that money pays the bills keeps a roof over my head etc… The money/ gifts from students is directed back into teaching in some way…
Q:You mention several times that if a person is looking to better their lot, they should drop pursuing enlightenment. I can’t say I’ve ever known someone who began pursuing an abstract “enlightenment.” In the beginning, everyone is hoping enlightenment will benefit them (unless suicidal, though that is just another form of benefit hope). Perhaps you are looking to screen out all but the most “advanced” seekers, so you find those best suited to work with you?
A: Sure that’s how everyone starts out because that is how we have been taught to start out. Pretty much everyone starts out in “what is in it for me” mode or perhaps “what is in it for us as humanity” mode. I started out with the more self centered “what is in it for me” mode.
A large part of the way we seek is due to the way we have been raised. When I say raised I mean the entire gamut of our upbringing; family, education systems, religions and philosophies, society etc… By and large we have been socialized to believe that enlightenment is one thing. Usually it revolves around notions of love or compassion or helping humanity. More than that, it nearly always revolves around control. You typically seek enlightenment to gain control, because at some level you are out of control.
This control aspect may manifest as a hollow feeling deep inside where you feel empty, or engage in suicidal ideation or even just mild dissatisfaction to anything in between. We have an underlying sense that we are incomplete or not whole, or that something is missing from our lives etc…
The chase for enlightenment is pretty much about that. Make these unpleasant feelings go away and give me the good ones instead. But along the way a serious seeker starts to develop a sense of well there is something far greater here at hand here than my personal happiness or the salvation of the world etc, and the chase in earnest begins…
So yes we start that way typically, but it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to start that way.
Get rid of the misconceptions and then you have a new paradigm where people can go and improve there lot in the world if that’s what they want or can seek enlightenment with a far more reasonable expectation for what they are shooting for.
2022 Update: Eddie passed away in 2022. It is tragic when the spiritual scene loses an authentic teacher and friend. They are too few, and Eddie was one of the good ones. He wrote, “I am passionate about trying to help people,” and he was. That was the part of Eddie that I knew and appreciated. So hold the lessons you learned from Eddie tight, make them part of your life, and then let’s step forward into the breach and do our part to help.
Eddie Traversa’s website is: http://edwardtraversa.com/.