In episode # 136, Dr. Reese sits down with James Gattuso, a neurobiology student who was thrusted onto the spiritual path at 15 years old through chronic pain. In this talk, they discuss pain being the great teacher, karma, free will, surrendering to death and more. James also details his 6 year spiritual journey, including retreats with Dr. Joe Dispenza, a shaman, two enlightened masters and his dark night of the soul.
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Dr. Reese (00:01:35):
James. Welcome to the podcast.
James Gattuso (00:02:27):
Thank you, Kevin. Pleasure to be here.
Dr. Reese (00:02:30):
So it's very refreshing to meet someone of your age that is in the game of higher consciousness.
James Gattuso (00:02:40):
Dr. Reese (00:02:41):
You're 21 or 22??
James Gattuso (00:02:43):
Yeah, 21. Yeah.
Dr. Reese (00:02:45):
When, when did this desire, some call it the last desire. When did this desire happen for you?
James Gattuso (00:02:54):
I've always had an inkling, uh, towards spirituality, whatever that word encompasses. And, but it didn't really become a full thrusting desire until about 15. When I started getting chronic pain and I had this stabbing in the back of my shoulder blade where I couldn't sit for longer than 20 minutes without being in excruciating pain. So I tried everything I could to control my circumstance, control my environment, but nothing worked. You know, I, I stood, I did stretches. I did yoga. I saw physiotherapists chiropractor, osteopaths, Chinese medicine, everything you can think of, nothing seemed to work. And then I found meditation and I learned, and, and I listened to a book called the untethered soul.
Dr. Reese (00:03:50):
Uh, Michael singer,
James Gattuso (00:03:51):
Michael singer. My, my yoga teacher gave that to me and I discovered the concept of surrender. And that was life changing. That was,
Dr. Reese (00:04:02):
Ah, I get it. So, so yeah, so the pain, you came to the point where you're like, screw the pain, I need to surrender to it. And so the, the pain became your teacher
James Gattuso (00:04:17):
And that's when the spiritual journey began so to speak. And, uh, it's taken me for a magnificent ride in all sorts of places. And, and the physical pain I say was my greatest teacher, because when you traverse the spiritual path, you have to face those unconscious shadows, those demons that lay within everyone, you know, Cole young talks about integrating the shadow. And if you delve into the subconscious or the unconscious mind to any substantial degree, there will be grief that comes up. There will be pain that comes up. There will be all sorts of darkness coming up. And so I realized that how I deal with this physical pain is how I deal with pain on every level of life, whether that's physical, emotional, spiritual. And so I felt like this ability to surrender and accept was pretty much like a lighthouse for my life. And I applied it to every single area, whether that was difficulties with my school friends relationships, and it works. So I,
Dr. Reese (00:05:28):
It there's. So James, there's so many people out here that are so much older than you that don't understand that and they're suffering at a mental level and they will until the day they die. So for whatever reason, you've been fast tracked <laugh> And, and so someone could say that's karma. Yeah. Can make the point that that's karma.
James Gattuso (00:06:02):
Yeah. The, the notion of free will is something that I would like to discuss with you because it's, it's something that I've gone back and forth on. Right. Um, there's a very strong argument that if the notion of the self is elusory, then there is no, there's no room for free will because who is free ultimately. Right. And it also fits in with the comic model. Um, you know, if, if, if our lives are governed by comic forces, then where's the, the free will in that situation. I know I've read SUD guru's book on karma. And he, he talks about us actually having free will so free. Will's one of those things where I look at it personally, from a pragmatic perspective, it definitely works in our favor to feel as though we're agents of our life. It provides us with meaning to some degree. However, there can also be the dual awareness that that potentially is not a reality because if I reflect on my life, I've seemingly done a lot of things to end up in the position where I am, and I'm going continue to do a variety of things that, you know, propel me into the future and things that have seemingly fast tracked me. Right.
Dr. Reese (00:07:24):
James Gattuso (00:07:24):
But was I really the one that was doing any of that?
Dr. Reese (00:07:29):
James Gattuso (00:07:31):
Right. So free will is a very interesting one.
Dr. Reese (00:07:34):
Yeah. I, I, I think at our free will is for little decisions, like, what am I gonna have for lunch?
James Gattuso (00:07:44):
Dr. Reese (00:07:44):
You know, but somebody handing you the book by Michael singer, That's, <laugh>, that's some sort of intervention, that's some sort of divine intervention, um, like, you know, with my story with, with, you know, going to an Ashra at my 33rd birthday, not even knowing what an ashram is, you know, I learned about it
James Gattuso (00:08:14):
Number by the way.
Dr. Reese (00:08:16):
<laugh> yes. Yeah. I turned 33 at an Ashra and I met a mystic who changed my life and I ended up in the same room as him mm. For six days, you know? And, and, and then come to find out that he wasn't even supposed to be in that building because he was on staff, which was in another building. Yeah. He worked at the ashram. He did Seva. He, he, he worked for his room and board, but something was going on with his staff building. So he ended up in the guest room. It was me. I was locked in a room essentially for six days with a mystic, as I'm going through this tremendous change in my life. That's not, that's not free will <laugh>.
James Gattuso (00:09:10):
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I, I think a good place where I often end up is it's a combination of both. Right. We can make certain choices that bring us into an alignment with life. Yeah. And that, that almost creates the synchronicities and the serendipities that occur in our life. In some ways, I think the more we are attuned and open to life, the, the new experiences arrive, the new relationships arrive. That's been my experience as well.
Dr. Reese (00:09:44):
One of my favorite teachers is Dr. David Hawkins. Yeah. And he says that our bodies are basically wind up carmic toys <laugh> so you just wind it up and let it go. And through the world.
James Gattuso (00:10:02):
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it's interesting because yeah, SUD guru writes about the fact that if our karma completely disintegrates, right, we wouldn't be alive, we wouldn't be able to exist. So we need a certain, even if it's just a slight amount, we need a certain level of comic sort of substance to almost create that duality so that we can exist in duality. Because if that comic energy dissolves, there's just, we merge. And you know, this is, this is a phenomenon, you know, certain people wake up and their body cannot sustain that enlightenment, their body cannot sustain that energy and they die. And that's why an integral part of the spiritual journey is being ready to die. You know, I had a practice where every <laugh>
Dr. Reese (00:10:55):
No, I mean, I mean, our, our mutual, spiritual mentor Viant talks about that, that you don't even know if you'll survive in layment
James Gattuso (00:11:04):
Yeah. I'll show, which was, you know, um,
Dr. Reese (00:11:07):
That's my guy.
James Gattuso (00:11:07):
Yeah. VI, he really illuminated that to me. Like no other teacher has done it before, you know, Ramed us a little bit as well, a Watts a little bit, but a show. I he's got this book on fear. I think it should be mandatory reading for like every primary school and every high school in the world, because it's, it's, it's secular, it's rational. And in my opinion, it's very true. It's life changing. I've read it five times at least, you know, highlighting, highlighting. And it's pretty much what he talks about is when you, the, the ultimate root of fear is the fear of death.
Dr. Reese (00:11:50):
James Gattuso (00:11:52):
And, and I've actually had an experience. So I've experimented with psychedelics. Um, I was pulled to them since about 16. Uh, there was a very strong pull and, uh, eventually, you know, situations facilitated. And I had a very high dose of, of mushrooms, psilocybin. And I encountered what I believe are the three most intrinsic fears for every human being, which is the fear of death. Like I said, mm-hmm, <affirmative> the fear of death of a loved one. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and the fear of going mad. Yeah. And I think those three fears are intrinsic in every human being. And until you face those <laugh>
Dr. Reese (00:12:42):
I just, I had a big sigh because when I went through my dark night of the soul, one of my big fears was going crazy. All crazy. Yeah. I, I, I was like, what is wrong with me? Yeah. And it was huge. It was like, <laugh> All I could think about is like the joker from a Batman movie or something like where you just are. Am I losing my, my, my mind?
James Gattuso (00:13:09):
Well, let's yeah. That's AB I've experienced that as well. And with like, if we look at the joker from the Batman movie, right. Especially the, the latest one, have you seen the latest one
Dr. Reese (00:13:19):
With, oh yeah. Yeah.
James Gattuso (00:13:21):
You look at that's psychologically. That is just dark,
James Gattuso (00:13:25):
Very dark, but very profound. Cause it shows an individual who, an individual who was nice, his mom taught him to be nice lives, a very dark, hard life. And obviously in that process of being nice, there's a suppression of rage. There's a suppression of resentment. And then the, the switch flicks, and he just embodies that darkness. And he, and, and then he's like, he's an archetype for other people that are resentful and this, and it sort of surges out into the community. And we have to understand that that applies to us. That applies for us. You know, if we were in Nazi Germany, in world war II, there's a very high likelihood that we would've been a Nazi soldier facilitating the Holocaust.
Dr. Reese (00:14:18):
James Gattuso (00:14:20):
You know, it, we, we like to think that we wouldn't, you know, we would like to think that we would've been, you know, the person keeping Jews under the house and the person risking our lives for the greater good. But in reality, the probability show, we would not be that person. So there is darkness within every individual. There is fear within every individual and until we face it, head on, you have to voluntarily embrace suffering. And that means voluntarily embracing your demons. And only then can you transcend them? You know, I, when I went into these psychedelic experiences where I've worked with mystics, I've been on retreats, there's this conscious willingness to dive into the abyss.
Dr. Reese (00:15:07):
James Gattuso (00:15:08):
And, and NCHE, NCHE dove into the abyss and he didn't come back from it.
Dr. Reese (00:15:16):
He went crazy. Quote unquote.
James Gattuso (00:15:18):
Yeah. Yeah. And I have some interesting theories surrounding that, but if we play that narrative of madness, you know, Y you says that it's most likely because he, he went into isolation, he isolated himself from the world. He didn't have any cues in his environment to give, to, to, to further the notion of a self. He didn't have a family. He didn't have a relationship. He moved where he, wasn't, where he lived as a child and he didn't come back from it. So, but there's some interesting theories with nitche. I, I, I believe he actually became enlightened. You know, they, there's a concept called divine mania. And if you look at his symptoms after he quote unquote, went mad, any altered state of consciousness in late, uh, late 20th century, Europe would be deemed mad. They don't have the same understanding of enlightenment or ed states of consciousness like the east do. It's my hypothesis that if he was in the east, he might very well have become a barber because after he went mad, he lived with his sister and his mom. And he was pretty much just stayed in his room and was mute, which is actually what can occur after en license,
Dr. Reese (00:16:39):
James Gattuso (00:16:40):
Silence. And like, to, to, to the west, that's like, oh, he's lost a plot. He can't think anymore. You can't.
Dr. Reese (00:16:47):
Yeah. Viant talks about after it happened to him, he just sat there and BLI out for days on days. And he couldn't even maintain his, his clientele cuz he was a nature path and a therapist at the time he couldn't do it. He couldn't function.
James Gattuso (00:17:03):
Yeah. And, and, and that's it. And, and these sort of drastic experiences can occur. And you know, there was a story that NITHA, he used to walk with his sister every morning and he would barely say anything, but one time his sister was complaining about something and he just said, isn't everything perfect. Aren't you perfect. Aren't I perfect. Isn't it all perfection. And then he just kept on walking silent. And if you look at the popularity of niche's work and when I read it, there is an intensity behind it. His book thus spokes are through true is all about becoming enlightened. <laugh> that's literally the essence of it.
Dr. Reese (00:17:45):
Yeah. So it's not like he didn't know about it.
James Gattuso (00:17:48):
No, that that's what he was search. That's what he was searching for. That's what he was delving into. Right. And I believe he woke up, I think that's maybe controversial, but in my heart, that feels true. I had that in, I had that intuition even before I, my brother spoke to me about nature and sort of just from his speaking of him before I even read him, I had this intuition. So, but I, I also wanna preface that.
James Gattuso (00:18:17):
I wanna talk about this concept of enlightenment a little bit. I think that there's a lot of, I think there's a, you know, there's a lot of misunderstanding around enlightenment and I see this in spiritual communities as well, is that there's an individual seeking to become enlightened. That is an oxymoron. That's contradictory because if you are searching for anything other than yourself, you are automatically not in a being mode of consciousness. You're in a desiring mode of consciousness, you're in a wanting mode of consciousness. So you're already separate. And how can you become that? Which you already are. You cannot. And, and so I think this, this concept of enlightenment, which is exactly what it is, a concept, I think it produces actually potentially more harm than good. And the other thing is like, enlightenment, doesn't have to be this process where you wake up and all of a sudden you're totally disintegrated from society. You can't speak anymore. You can't operate. I think that's absolute nonsense for some people that may occur. But for other people, you, you, it's just simply realizing what you already are. There doesn't have to be some drastic change in consciousness. It can actually be very subtle. And in, and in Zen Buddhism, they say enlightenment is no extraordinary state of being. It is simply walking as though you are a normal life, but two inches above the ground.
Dr. Reese (00:19:59):
I like that when I, well, I had a ator in September, which was the, the tail end of my dark night
James Gattuso (00:20:10):
Dr. Reese (00:20:11):
And there was nothing psychedelic about it. I just got behind my thoughts really securely. Like the witness was strong and my thoughts came and went almost like a windshield wiper just, and none of my thoughts would last more than five or six seconds. It was just like gone. Yeah. And I'm just laughing at it and I'm on a walk and everything's so beautiful and wonderful, you know, the next day it was gone.
James Gattuso (00:20:47):
Dr. Reese (00:20:48):
And, uh, it was so depressing. <laugh> but I'm just bringing that up to follow up on what you said that it's actually normal. Like, we're go, we're just going back. Enlightenment is just realizing your normal state because day, because the mind isn't a normal state, the mind is the vomit box. <laugh>, You know, and once it, that settles down, right, we start expanding and
James Gattuso (00:21:23):
You cannot have good without bad. You cannot have pleasure without pain. These, they, they are two sides of the one coin, right? So this experience that you've had blissful ecstatic, there will always be the flip side to it. Always. Whoever tells you any differently is wrong. A hundred percent, they are lying and they are deceiving you or deceiving themselves because it is a universal law. However, through the pure acceptance of the up and the down, can we begin to taste the transcendental reality that is beyond duality, which is one without a second
Dr. Reese (00:22:11):
James Gattuso (00:22:13):
And I find that we see this problem, even in the spiritual path, people come to spirituality as some sort of self-help as some sort of,
Dr. Reese (00:22:25):
But hold on, you just said something. You said one without a second.
James Gattuso (00:22:30):
Dr. Reese (00:22:33):
That was very subtle. It took 10 seconds to hit <laugh> one without a second. Meaning you're transcending the duality.
James Gattuso (00:22:41):
Dr. Reese (00:22:42):
The, the opposite isn't there anymore. You're just one. Yeah. One without a second. Okay, go
James Gattuso (00:22:49):
Ahead. Yeah. <laugh> yeah, but it can only come through the pure acceptance of the duality. Yes. Right? This is the, this is the key. Yeah. And this ties into my next point, which is people seek spirituality to get the more pleasure to enhance theirselves in some way, you know, none of these are intrinsically wrong, right. But they're gonna be in for a rude awakening, which people often see during the dark night of the soul, which is, this is not some sort of, um, you know, cheat code <laugh> well, in some ways it can feel like that. But you know, it's about expanding awareness and expanding awareness is not an easy thing to do. It's not an easy thing to do. And, and so, if you are looking for spirituality to, to enhance the pleasure and one aspect of your life, it's also going to make you deal with the pain, the suffering, which you haven't looked at.
James Gattuso (00:23:56):
And that's why people, they dip their toes in spirituality. And then they go running, they run the other way back to their unconscious lives. And this is like refers to what you're saying at the start of the, of the video, which was a lot of people don't have this awareness and will remain miserable for the rest of their lives. And that is true because unless, unless you make that, which is unconscious conscious, CU talks about this is the process of individuation. That was his psychological term for it. Until you make that, which is unconscious conscious, you're no longer in the driving seat of your life. You're just a mere passenger and life will take you <laugh> for a ride that you probably won't enjoy because all these unconscious programs are governing your actions.
Dr. Reese (00:24:45):
James Gattuso (00:24:47):
And, and can we really be conscious of everything subconscious? No, we cannot. That is just completely, just not possible that, you know, the mind is 97% subconscious. Yeah. Right. There's there's no, there's no way you can totally process or, you know, right now in this interaction, there's a bunch of, there's a bunch of subconscious cues going on, right? I'm looking at your body language, I'm looking at the, the tone and intonation and the proc of your voice. All of these things are going to be interacting with my mind subconsciously, but from a, from a spiritual perspective, from a meta, from a psychological perspective, maybe even from a metaphysical existential viewpoint, if you start to look within yourself, like you said, if you start to observe your mind and there's a distance that occurs when that happens and you're watching the thoughts and you are the pure witness of it, you're becoming aware of that, which you previously were not aware of. And then a space occurs, opens up within your mind, your consciousness. And now you're no longer identified with your thoughts because you realize you're the witness of your thoughts. And so many people's pain and suffering. They have a negative thought. All of a sudden they believe they're negative because they are their thoughts. They're entangled in the web, the matrix of their mind. How can you ever have clarity if that's the case? Because thoughts, that's one here, one here, one up here. And if you are going with them all the time, it's chaos,
Dr. Reese (00:26:18):
You've, you've been, uh, blessed enough to have interactions with two different enlightened masters. Hmm. Sailor, Bob and rent.
James Gattuso (00:26:30):
Dr. Reese (00:26:31):
How, how did this happen?
James Gattuso (00:26:33):
<laugh> yeah. So I would say this is an interesting one. I've had a lot of indirect contact with what we could call enlightened, right? Like probably most spiritual seekers that the first person that really opened my mind to what was possible and to aspects of reality that are not generally perceivable by most people was Joe dispenser spins up. Mm. And I, I went to his advanced retreat in the gold coast, you know, 14 hours of meditating a day, wake up at 4:00 AM. Panal gland, like a lot of really hard core work, right. Thousand people, the energy was just not even comprehen comprehensible. I was 18 at the time. Right. I was the young, second youngest person there. I was the youngest there that went voluntarily. There was a younger girl that went with their mom and I was like some sort of celebrity <laugh> everyone.
James Gattuso (00:27:37):
Oh my God, you're so young. Like, can you talk to my children all this? And I was like, can you just shut up? I wanna get on with this <laugh> yeah, no, I, I enjoyed it to some degree. And anyway, so it was, it was a lot and it, it brought me to my limits at points. Like it, it pushed the boundaries of, of myself. And after that experience, that opened me up. And, and then I went through a pretty drastic dark night of the soul probably for four months, I would say after that, that, that was really nice. That was, that was very, very intense. Um,
Dr. Reese (00:28:12):
And, and with you being young, I would have to think the people around you are probably very worried.
James Gattuso (00:28:18):
Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I wanted to. So at the, at the time I was studying as well, I wanted to quit my studies. I wanted to leave home and join an ashram in Croatia. Cuz I saw, uh, I watched just one video from this female guru there and I was just instantly in love. I was just infatuated. And I, and I walked out of my biology exam and I said, I'm going, there's not, no one can stop me. I'm going. But um, being 18 with an Italian, uh, background, um, my mom, when I told my mom she reacted like I'd been shot with a bullet, you know, she was just hysterical. There's how, there's no way I'm dropping my studies. There's no way I'm leaving. It's just not a possibility. So there was definitely a lot of, you know, with this, all I cared about was spirituality.
James Gattuso (00:29:10):
There was literally nothing else in my life that interests me. It's the only thing I would wanna talk about. It's the only thing I would wanna think about and I would meditate. I was meditating five hours a day. Wow. And, uh, and so it was very, very hard. So everything that I speak about, I speak about from direct experience. It was very, very hard to stay integrated in this reality, I was really getting sucked into the abyss and, and then I, and then I worked with this teacher called Norma who is a shaman of sorts, I would say, and has a foot quite steadily in spirit realm. And I, and I, and I had no friends that I could really connect to at the time about this. It was, I was totally alone. I felt, and I saw her and I just cried for an hour and a half straight. Like I literally used a box of tissues. I just cried and cried and cried and cried after two sessions with her, there were about an hour and a half. So I'd, I'd speak to her for an hour. And then she'd put me on the table and, and work with the energies. After two sessions with her, I was a different man. It, it just, it just lifted. It was just like, it all just lifted. And by going through that, yeah.
Dr. Reese (00:30:31):
Your pain body was dissolving.
James Gattuso (00:30:34):
That's it? That's it. And by going through that, that dark kind of the soul, I came back to reality reborn. I was giggling all the time. Like it was, I was like, everything was so sens. I just, it was just, life was so vibrant, so beautiful. And, and, and, and before I'd seen Joe, there'd been, you know, a lot of teachers that I'd read their books, watched their videos, SUD guru resource always been a very strong influence in my life. I've had visions with him where he is just lit my chakras up, you know, I've done his online course. Um, you know, so there, there's definitely been a lot of profound teachers. Right. And then, then the next phase was meeting Bob Adamson. And then Viant very shortly after Bob's 93 years of age, a student of, um, Niara and vRAN was a student of Asha ish mm-hmm <affirmative>.
James Gattuso (00:31:37):
And Bob lived here in Melbourne, some Melbourne Australia, and he lived 20 minutes from me. It was just mind boggling that there was someone that close and I spent time with him in person and Viant was online. And that, just that, that I would say just was the finisher in some ways that just, um, spent about a year. Like I still see Bob, you know, VI trying less so nowadays, but things always subject to change because there's no desire. There's no, there's no desire to see them. Like there's sometimes in the spiritual journey, it's like, you have to, it's almost like you have to see these PE it's like this very strong pull. Right. And, and it's like, you have to see them to be San. You have to see them to be able to operate optimally
Dr. Reese (00:32:27):
And, and some people get addicted to it too.
James Gattuso (00:32:29):
Oh, a hundred percent
Dr. Reese (00:32:31):
Because the Buddha, the Buddha field feels good. Right?
James Gattuso (00:32:34):
Oh yeah. Oh yeah, yeah. Yeah. So, you know, Bob is from the advice of a D lineage, right? Non-duality that literally translates to, it's a, it's an, it's a aspect of Hindu philosophy. Um, and he really opened my eyes up to that aspect of reality shine, surrender, and acceptance. And these two, you know, one is very Krisna energy. One is Bob is very, Krisna loving energy VI Hunt's very Sheva, destroyer, evolutions energy. And they were the perfect, I they're like my spiritual fathers. They're, they're the perfect like fathers for me. So I worked with them for a year. And, you know, with Bob, I would sit in his presence, you know, and from someone externally, this is like, we're just staring at each other, not saying a word staring, that's it, that's all we're doing staring at each other mainly. Yeah, of course we'd have some dialogue every now and then.
James Gattuso (00:33:32):
And, but mainly it was just staring in silence, like to two to external observers. We've just lost our mind. Sorry, <laugh> in a sense. That's what happens. And, um, and I would go home and I would be high. Like I just had a bit of marijuana. I was just seeing swirls and I was just purely no worries in the world, pure BLI out, just from sitting with this man. And Bob wears it so loosely, so loosely, I, I could not ask for a better role model in that regard, you know, especially being a young man that's, you know, into fitness and into sort. Yeah. It's very easy for you to fall into some ego and power trips and spirituality can offer the, some of the worst ego and power trips, right? Oh yeah. And, and the whole guru mentality, Bob never asked me to come, never charged me a cent. Right. Never said he was, my guru never said he was enlightened. Just wore it like so loosely and Norma, very similar as well in that regard. Right. Except still different. But Bob I've never met anyone that wears it that loosely. Wow. And, and then, you know, I would say probably a couple months ago now I woke up one morning and there was the, the, the, the search was over, the journey was over. There was no one there.
James Gattuso (00:35:15):
And, you know, and, and during this whole process, a lot of things happened, you know, stuff with my, my energy centers, my chare, my crown was just wide open. I just feel the pressure there all the time. My solar plexus, like was just like, I had a hole in my solar plexus, like lots and lots and lots of things going on. Right. Um, but trying to be concise, I, I, I, I just woke up and I was ready to die and I, and I had this conversation and I don't wanna gloss over that. I was ready to die. Right. And I had this conversation with my dad cuz I was just finishing my bachelor's. Right. And, and I was like to my dad, I, I was just honest with him. You know, my mom and dad have slowly become more and more aware of my journey and, and, and become more accepting of it over. They've always been supportive, no doubt about it, but it is a lot for them, of course. Right. For, and my girlfriend, my whole family. And I just said, I, I don't know what to do, dad. Like I have no desire to do anything.
James Gattuso (00:36:22):
I'm just totally content with being, I, I, there's nothing to do
Dr. Reese (00:36:28):
Just here now,
James Gattuso (00:36:29):
Just here and now. And in that moment, like I was just, I was done, although I was 21, I felt like I was 85. If that was the state of consciousness, I feel is what a person goes into before death. You know, just a relinquishing of all things though. I was 21 and I had commitments and I had some things, so I just had to surrender to it and, and, and place my hands in the divine. And then that slowly sort of started to integrate into what you're seeing now. And this will continually, you know, where there's just this awareness, there's this awareness of being, and the search is over and there's nothing else to obtain. And it's a, you know, and the same Princip, the same challenges arise. Adversity's always there obstacles, always there stuff will constantly come up. New comic patterns are always forming. Right. But the principles I know I've experienced and working with these teachers, they, they, I I'm forever. I'm forever indebted to them because, and, and hopefully I can S shine a light, like they shown for me. And, and yeah,
Dr. Reese (00:37:50):
Well, it sounds like you're in, uh, what they call the first stage of enlightenment
James Gattuso (00:37:55):
Dr. Reese (00:37:55):
In the stream. And the, and the, and the karma is just gonna burn off over the next however many years. And by the time you're 30, let's just say, you'll just be floating around. <laugh>
James Gattuso (00:38:14):
Maybe look, I'll never, I'll never claim something like enlightenment, you know, I, SUD SUD talks about something like this. Like how do you know when someone's enlightened? And he says, when other people say that they're enlightened, <laugh>, you know, you can enlightened non enlightened, whatever, just concepts, right? The, the truth is, is non-conceptual the truth is beyond right. Beyond any concept. And I hope, you know, I am, I'm guiding meditation sessions at the moment for a small group of people. And that will always be a passion of mine. And I, I, and I'm doing some writing and I can be a light because that's what it is. Enlightenment. You're embodying the light and it, and hopefully it's tangible for some people, hopefully some people resonate with it and, and that's it, but I'm not, I'm not this, this possibility is available for anyone and everyone.
James Gattuso (00:39:13):
I am nothing special. <laugh> I it's, it's, it's just getting in touch with that, that unborn mind, that childlike nature that's within everyone. Right. So, you know, I, I wanna make that really, really clear. I am your friend, right? This is no, this is not some sort of hierarchy, right? I'm just a fellow human that has been blessed with this, with this search. And, you know, I would say these findings it's represented in, and I'm not the only one there's so many, there's so many, like this is depicted in the Alchemist that the fiction book, the Alchemist where, you know,
Dr. Reese (00:39:59):
He finds a treasure.
James Gattuso (00:40:00):
You find, he goes on this search, uh, for the treasures of life, the, the, this mystery treasure things
Dr. Reese (00:40:09):
There the whole time
James Gattuso (00:40:10):
Dr. Reese (00:40:11):
Was right there the whole time.
James Gattuso (00:40:12):
Dr. Reese (00:40:13):
There is no search.
James Gattuso (00:40:17):
There is no search. That's correct.
Dr. Reese (00:40:19):
But, but the paradox of it is it takes a little bit of ego and desire to, to, to go find it. Yeah. But then you find out that you have to, your ego and desire has to die. And then it's like, all right, it's time for my head to be chopped on
James Gattuso (00:40:39):
Dr. Reese (00:40:41):
It's, it's the weirdest thing ever.
James Gattuso (00:40:46):
Romana mihashi uses this analogy where it's, it's the equivalent of being under, you know, and, and in Melbourne, this is hitting home because it's bloody hot right now. So it's summer here and it's, and you venture out on this journey into the heat, and then you come back to the shade and you're so happy to be there. And you're so happy to have the cool and the water and the comfort, but that's where you originally were. But you can only appreciate that because you're ventured out into the heat, into the separation from it. And this leads into why I think we actually exist.
James Gattuso (00:41:25):
You know, we are in Hinduism, there's barman, which is the underlying truth of existence, you know, in the Christian sense, you could almost equate it to God, right? And then you have the Ahman, which in the Christian sense, you could probably equate to the soul. Right. And the Ahman is an aspect of Braman, right. And the Ahman is within every individual. So when you realize the Ahman within yourself, you'll realize you get in touch with the Braman, the oneness, the, the godlike unity of all things. But you can only look for the up one when you feel separate from it. So let's just put yourself into the mind of the oneness, for instance, for the mind of God, let's just say how ambitious that is. If there's just pure ecstasy, pure oneness, pure energy, reverberating energy, right? Not even energy, just oneness consciousness awareness. You can only know yourself by being separate from yourself. So this is the ultimate goal of every human being I believe. And this is why we're created. We're created, we live in a world that's dual, and we feel separate from God. We feel separate from the divine. And we feel separate from life. And that over many lives causes us to turn inwards and realize that we are God, we are the divine and we are not separate. We are life. And then that keeps on going on.
Dr. Reese (00:43:14):
Otherwise you just keep coming back and suffering and suffering and suffering until you figure it out.
James Gattuso (00:43:20):
You know, even when you realize that you are the divine, then what happens, who knows? <laugh>, it's just gonna continue. There's only life. Right? So my mind at the moment, I'm doing a lot of learning. I'm doing a lot. I'm just loving it. I'm like just soaking it in. And, but, but, but it's different to how it's been in the past. So my mind is very active actually, right? My mind is very active, but like I said, there's just this witnessing presence that, that never leaves
Dr. Reese (00:43:53):
The identity's gone.
James Gattuso (00:43:55):
The identity's gone. And if the identity arises,
Dr. Reese (00:43:58):
So your mind can think of pink cows and yeah. Purple giraffe. And it can do all that, but there's no identity with anything. Yeah,
James Gattuso (00:44:09):
That's it, there's the awareness of it. And, and, and it's a very, it's very subtle. And this is why I'm just gonna reiterate one more time, do the work yourself and see what happens for yourself. Don't take any other person's word for it, you know, go on your own beautiful journey. Do what resonates for you and see where you go
Dr. Reese (00:44:30):
Was the five, four or five hours of meditating. Was it absolutely necessary? Some people would say it's excessive. E even OSHA, I've heard OSHA say one hour is enough.
James Gattuso (00:44:46):
You know, I've heard that meditation makes for an excellent medicine, but a terrible diet.
Dr. Reese (00:44:55):
I like that.
James Gattuso (00:44:56):
So was it necessary? I think it was in some ways, for me, it was necessary for me because now I'm here. Right. So, but if I was recommending for, you know, if I was trying to make some sort of BR broad brushstroke, absolutely not. Is it necessary like, of course not. Right.
Dr. Reese (00:45:21):
Mm-hmm <affirmative> I, I think maybe it depends on the person. So my study of V rant is that he was a very disciplined person long before enlightenment.
James Gattuso (00:45:32):
Dr. Reese (00:45:32):
Very disciplined. You seem to be the same way disciplined. Yeah. So what you did was you took that discipline, which is a tool. Yeah. That a lot of people don't have. Yeah. And you used that to sit down for four or five hours and go into this meditative state. And so, and, and if I'm not mistaken, VI rent, it's similar. He would meditate for like two, three hours a night.
James Gattuso (00:46:01):
Yeah. Yeah. Um,
Dr. Reese (00:46:02):
But you know, that's, that's your surrender. That was your surrender, right? there<laugh>, you're surrendering to sit in one place for a long time.
James Gattuso (00:46:13):
That's excellent. I was, this is something I missed as well before. Like one of the, the things before the whole spiritual dive was self-help in some ways, and I was obsessed with fitness and I played a lot of sport and I was working out every day, multiple times a day at certain points and waking up at four. And like, I drove that muscle of discipline really hard. And that definitely facilitated me when I entered. And, you know, also the, the strength that came from dealing with the physical pain, like, you know, that I was stretched for two, three hours sometimes, you know, I would walk at least 15,000 steps. You know, it was, I would stand all day on my feet. Barely. There would be days I wouldn't sit for more than 30 minutes the whole day, you know? So I discipline was, you know, valuable, but potentially it was. Yeah. And I think you're right with that analysis,
Dr. Reese (00:47:20):
Not everyone's that discipline. Now you look at someone like Eckhart Toley From my study, he's an anomaly. Yeah. He went into a depression, he went into dark night without being a seeker.
James Gattuso (00:47:35):
Dr. Reese (00:47:36):
Mm. And he woke up.
James Gattuso (00:47:38):
Dr. Reese (00:47:39):
Yeah. Now that doesn't happen often that's, that's gotta be some sort of karma or something. Uh,
James Gattuso (00:47:44):
Dr. Reese (00:47:46):
Because most people that do this are seekers you.
James Gattuso (00:47:50):
Yeah. <laugh> you
Dr. Reese (00:47:51):
Know what I mean? Like
James Gattuso (00:47:53):
Yeah. Disciplines. A really interesting one. Let's just look at like, from a pragmatic
Dr. Reese (00:47:57):
It's great for taking out the garbage. Go ahead.
James Gattuso (00:47:59):
Yeah, exactly. It's it's just like, look at things. I've some degree I've always been a pragmatist, right? Yes. I saw that surrender worked in many different domains of life. Therefore I adopted it. Discipline is valuable for whether you are studying, working, exercising, eating it's valuable right now, you I've pushed a red line of discipline and that's not a nice place to be sometimes. So you sometimes, you know, everything in moderation, including moderation, right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so discipline's valuable. So therefore it's probably valuable on the spiritual path as well. You know, even this, even this delineation of spiritual and non-spiritual like, it's all just life. Yeah. And, and this is the, this is the problem with words is we intellectualize these abstract phenomena. Right. And the minute we, they, they they're subjective. They're, they're, they're the words themselves are abstractions. Right. And we're trying to describe that, which is purely subjective, but words in of themselves are objective.
James Gattuso (00:49:11):
So there's always gonna be that gap between words, sentences, formulations, and the very thing itself. Look, honestly, Kevin, like the, the, the true answer is, I don't know, because I walk, right. Like this morning I was just walking and, and I, and I was thinking about maybe some things that would potentially come up. And if I could even say, I can't say even what worked for me, I can't even say what works because it is like this feeling, which is completely non-conceptual right. It's, it's a bizarre thing to feel. And often the mind can't even recognize this or handle it because people are so are not used to the non-conceptual. It takes hours of lingering in the non-conceptual to even understand this. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> but just lingering in it. It's. And, and so I'm totally aware of everything that I'm saying is just the best approximation. It's the best approximation. And this just leads more credence to what I was saying before, which is experiment for yourself and go on your own individual journey, cuz anyone that's describing it to you, they're just doing their best. And that's gonna be, that's gonna have a lot of error in it as well. It's an approximation.
Dr. Reese (00:50:36):
And you said you woke up like this just only a few months ago. Right. You said,
James Gattuso (00:50:40):
Yeah. Yeah. I would say that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Dr. Reese (00:50:44):
So when we met it, it hadn't happened yet. I met you in a sat saying with rent probably.
James Gattuso (00:50:50):
Dr. Reese (00:50:52):
Four months ago maybe.
James Gattuso (00:50:54):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So it was, yeah, it was after that, but in that there was no desire that was like, if we want to use this termin terminology, I was extremely close to that experience because there was absolutely no desire for anything to awaken. And I just felt complete as I was. And it's interesting, like, cuz <inaudible> does speak about that's where the experience arises from because of the work with Bob as well was just so instrumental, you know, he, he gets you in touch with what you are and there's just no seeking anymore. There was just so I think from that place, the energy still had to do a little bit of a few things and yeah. Woke up and
Dr. Reese (00:51:39):
James Gattuso (00:51:40):
I literal, literally woke up in the morning and, and things were a bit different.
Dr. Reese (00:51:43):
Yeah. Yeah. Well that, that's what happened with ran too. Mm. He just woke up, it wa it wasn't like this big grand experience. He just woke up one day and everything was different <laugh>
James Gattuso (00:51:54):
And that, you know, for Bob, for Bob, it was actually a, you know, it was a gradual thing for him as well. You know, like he just left, he just left his teacher and he said, I'm never gonna get caught in the mind again. And, and that's it. And it just, it just grew. And, and then, you know, he was at an ARA and he had all these practices that, you know, that were doing and cuz he was actually at unds ARA. Right. But he was seeing SAU guara at his house, you know? And, and so he would go back to, he didn't have no place to live. He had no money. So he is like, well I've gotta keep staying here. And so, you know, he just kept doing all the singing and the chanting and the meditation and the yoga and the Kini and, and, and Kini has been a massive thing for me. But that, that that's a separate aside. Um, and you know, so he did all that, but there was just, he was just going through the motions. There was no desire that it was gonna make him or get him in touch with anything other than what he was. And then, you know, he came back to Australia and you know, it grows, it grows, it expands, you know, that, that that's what light does it
Dr. Reese (00:53:00):
Expands when I was going through my dark night, I didn't do any V ran. I didn't do any OS show, any vis ran. It was too much.
James Gattuso (00:53:10):
Dr. Reese (00:53:11):
I had to back off, man. I was like, I needed, like I needed like Christianity in my life, man. I needed like I needed hope
James Gattuso (00:53:19):
Dr. Reese (00:53:21):
I was melting fast, but yeah. And then I came back, of course,
James Gattuso (00:53:27):
You know, you've gone through this dark night of the soul. It's
Dr. Reese (00:53:31):
Just the label. Yeah. It's just the label. It's just what most people call it. Yeah. You could also call it ego death.
James Gattuso (00:53:37):
Dr. Reese (00:53:38):
I, I, I, you know, it's a cleansing, it's all this,
James Gattuso (00:53:41):
What I notice is that there's a lot of motifs and similarities between seekers and, and just people that are on this path. Like there really is certain things that are almost apply to everyone. Right. So I I'm interested to see, you know, I'm sure I'll identify some of those and you know, so do you wanna speak about what you went through and then I'm sure your, your listeners have probably heard it before, so you can probably keep it brief, but yeah. And then the waking up of that. Oh, well the, the getting out of that, I would say,
Dr. Reese (00:54:15):
Yeah, yeah, there was no waking up.
James Gattuso (00:54:18):
Dr. Reese (00:54:20):
Uh, it was just, it was just a wild ride for, I wanna say seven months may, maybe even eight months. And, uh, it, it, I would say it was triggered by loss. Um, I started having some physical things going on and that messed with me. I think it messed with my ego too. Cuz I'm a clinical nutritionist. I have a PhD in nutrition. Right, right. You know, it's it it's like, uh, I often describe it. It's like being a, a karate teacher and then someone who does no karate kicks your ass. It does some, yeah. She does something to the ego, right.
James Gattuso (00:55:02):
Dr. Reese (00:55:03):
Yeah. And so there was that, I didn't know what was happening to my body. Then I had a death in the family. All of a sudden, my mind just went to places. It's never been at a fear that I've never experienced as an adult. Uh, the death of my parents. I started grieving my parents they're alive.
James Gattuso (00:55:28):
Dr. Reese (00:55:30):
Uh, I started thinking I'm going insane. Yeah. I started thinking that maybe I had a neurological disease because I had all these symptoms that could have been a neurological disease.
James Gattuso (00:55:46):
Dr. Reese (00:55:47):
Turns out it wasn't, it, it was, it was just posture mechanics that I had to fix. And I ended up becoming a postural therapist. Mm. Because of it.
James Gattuso (00:55:59):
Dr. Reese (00:56:00):
I, to fix myself and I picked up a new skill. I didn't know that at the time my calves went out, my back was hurting. I didn't know what was going on. And if I did message fish rent, he would just say, stop trying to fix and surrender. And I couldn't get it. It almost sounded cruel. Yeah. Like what do you mean?
James Gattuso (00:56:25):
Dr. Reese (00:56:26):
He's basically saying just get ready to die.
James Gattuso (00:56:30):
Dr. Reese (00:56:31):
It took a really long time. I mean, seven or eight months is a long time. I just, but I, but I kept evolving. And uh, again, I had that ator in September and I mm-hmm, <affirmative>, that's kind of the end of my dark night cuz I had a mini realization as mini self realization of, I understood the dark night that I went through. I understood that it was just a little detox. It was a little something I had to go through and that my mind was going, let all the, to all these places because the pain body was coming up. And so it's kind of like one symptom causing another symptom, you know, snowball effect now cleansing. So I started to understand it in that way. And I had to come face to face with these fears, you know? And they were, they, oh, I also lost my sleep by the way. And that's where the psychological thing came in. Cause when you don't sleep Oh yeah. Life changes. <laugh> that's the only, that's the only thing I, I can say.
James Gattuso (00:57:41):
Dr. Reese (00:57:41):
And then you become scared of not sleeping.
James Gattuso (00:57:44):
Dr. Reese (00:57:46):
Yeah. And then it's and then, and then, so what happened was I end up with the only term that I know to use is PTSD. Then I had a, then I had a post traumatic, traumatic stress disorder of thinking about, you know, the first three or four months, which was worse than the, you know, and so it was, you know, there were nights where, you know, I just there's, there's nothing to do, but get on your knees and talk to God. There's nothing else to do. Yeah. There's that surrendering of all right, man. What, what do, what do you want? What do you want? I'm here
James Gattuso (00:58:21):
<laugh> yeah, yeah. What's next.
Dr. Reese (00:58:23):
Yeah. Is it death? Cause all right, cool. I'm ready. You know, so there's just all these surrendering.
James Gattuso (00:58:31):
Dr. Reese (00:58:32):
But then I found whole Pono, Pono And whole Pono Pono. You know, I have to, you know, that along with, you know, VI rent kind of as a pair, kind of, um, got me, got me out of it. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and um, then I, all of a sudden, the ambition kicked back in and I went back to school and I started opening up a clinic and I'm just go, go, go now. Yeah. Yeah. You know, because that's, that's what the ego does is go, go, go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. So I haven't fully surrendered yet.
James Gattuso (00:59:10):
And, and there's there's so there's so much great stuff to sort of unpack there. Um, <laugh> just like fireworks going off in my mind, the first thing is prayer, right? Yeah. I find that in these new age spirituality, right. We adopt the practice of meditation, but how often do we actually adopt the prac, which is one of the central practices of the east. Right. Getting you in touch with what we could say God. Right. But what about prayer? Which is an integral part of Islam, Christianity, Judaism. Yeah. And as someone that you know was baptized it's in my it's in my blood. Right. I, I, European background prayer has always, although I really questioned the doctrine of Christianity from a very early age. Right. Prayer was remained very tantamount every night. I would pray before I went to sleep every night, right. When I was six, seven. And I still do, except here's the difference. Now I do not ask for anything. I only say, thank you. Thank you God, for this beautiful life.
Dr. Reese (01:00:28):
That's whole upon, upon too, by the way. Thank you. I love you.
James Gattuso (01:00:32):
Dr. Reese (01:00:34):
That's the prayer. Thank you. I love you.
James Gattuso (01:00:36):
And gratitude is the place to receive from
Dr. Reese (01:00:40):
James Gattuso (01:00:41):
And so prayer is prayer is, is something, um, out of this world. And then you also talked about ego, right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> and how you've got ego is not inherently bad. This is something we really have to understand. Right. And I'm sure you've seen this in your own life. Ego is what's allows me to recognize I am James KATU so, and you are Kevin Reese. Okay. It, it, it develops for a reason and it's an imperative part of child psychology. If you raise a child without an ego, that's very bad news
Dr. Reese (01:01:27):
Swallowed up alive.
James Gattuso (01:01:28):
Oh yeah, yeah, no, they they're gone. Like they will not be able to function very well at all. Right. And it can actually lead to mental retardation as well because they do studies where children, right. If they have no social or contextual or environmental input as an infant, like they're just left in a crib with very minimal external stimuli, they have significantly lower IQs. They have increased social dysfunction and increased antisocial behavior, simply turning a TV on ameliorates the majority of that. Right? So it's vital that an infant actually forms an ego and forms a sense of self and that, and, and so I would also argue it's important that we have an ego as adults for that same reason. Here's the flip side of that though. There has to be an awareness that your true nature is not the ego. There has to be an awareness of the ego, so you can watch it. It occurs, but you are not identified with it.
Dr. Reese (01:02:44):
Boy, do I see it? I see everything, man.
James Gattuso (01:02:48):
And doesn't it feel good to, to, to learn and to teach and to, and to, to look at these postural analyses and help others and, and expand your mind in that way.
Dr. Reese (01:02:59):
The realization I had during all this stuff that happened to me was that I have the information to help people.
James Gattuso (01:03:07):
Dr. Reese (01:03:08):
It would be UN godlike. Yeah. To not do anything with.
James Gattuso (01:03:16):
Dr. Reese (01:03:17):
So instead of, you know, I'm not gonna become a spiritual guru. I can be a health guru, so to speak. Right. I, I can, I can help people get out of pain through nutrition, pastoral therapy, mental health, et cetera, whole PO Poon. I could teach people whole Poon. Yeah. Whole PO Pono could change the world.
James Gattuso (01:03:42):
Mm oh. A hundred percent. And, and, and, and again, who, who needs, who says they have to be separate. Right. So I I'm, I'm studying neuroscience right. This year, I'll be working in the largest neuroscience lab in the Southern hemisphere. And it's gonna be like, you know, hard biology, pharmacology, very academic. Right. And then I have, and that's one aspect. I love it. Right. And then I love philosophy. And then I love spirituality. And I used to have this conflict, which is like, oh, do I just go spirituality? Do I just go down,
Dr. Reese (01:04:20):
Go to the monastery? Or do I stay <laugh> yeah. That's it. And what would VI ran say,
James Gattuso (01:04:26):
Yeah. <laugh> you would just say surrender, accept it. Right. Which is, which is fundament fundamentally true. Right. It's the, but it, again comes from this concept of it being separate from one another. You're the light in your eyes. You just greet someone that has a positive effect. You know, I was in the tram the other day and there was, I'm pretty sure an anorexic woman, very, very frail, very thin. And she had the, you know, the bandage on her arm, you know, from probably an I, I, um, an IV drip. Right. And I just, you know, we weren't, um, there was like one seat on this side of the tram, one seat on the other side of the tram, maybe a meter and a half, two meters separate from each other. Right. And I just had the intuition. I'm just gonna sit down next to her because I want to be in her energy field.
James Gattuso (01:05:23):
I could almost feel that her energy was depleted. Her energy field was depleted and I wanted to give her some of mine. Right. And in the moment I didn't, wasn't thinking about this consciously only later when I relayed it back to my girlfriend, that I realized that's probably what was going on and who knows what these things do on a daily interaction, who knows? So you don't have to, you know, do anything radical per se, just be, be yourself with full throbbing aliveness. And that light will do what it needs to, and it'll take you where you need to.
Dr. Reese (01:05:58):
James Gattuso (01:05:59):
Like that in whatever field that is,
Dr. Reese (01:06:01):
I spoke to fish rent the other day. I'm very fortunate to have a relationship with him. Yeah. And I expressed to him some of my concerns of, you know, I'm starting a clinic and now I'm getting back in the business and oh man. But you know, I, I, I probably should, you know, meditate more and, you know, like, you know, the, the conflicting, and he just said, it's cool, but just be okay with failing. Mm that's it, he said, be okay with failing and you'll go into it with no tension. Yeah. And just accept failure, make, you know, one of his catch phrases is make everything okay.
James Gattuso (01:06:47):
Dr. Reese (01:06:48):
Yeah. Right. Yeah. That's good. That's one, that's one of the biggest teachings that just St. Sticks in my mind is make everything okay.
James Gattuso (01:06:55):
Dr. Reese (01:06:56):
Like it's a, it's a game. Right. I'm going to play a sport. Yeah. And I'm gonna use it to surrender a whole bunch of times. Yeah. Cause it's gonna take surrendering every day. Yeah. Cause this doesn't go right. Or, or yeah. You know, and especially in the clientele business, you know, you're, it's almost guaranteed that someone's gonna get mad at you and they're gonna, you know, get mad at you and say, you know, you're not taking care of me well, or, you know, it's almost guaranteed.
James Gattuso (01:07:26):
Dr. Reese (01:07:27):
Yeah. And so, I mean, I, I heard, um, Dr. Peterson talking about it on Joe Rogan, just the other day, he was saying an old client of his accused him of sexual harassment. And he didn't do anything, but he didn't surrender to it. He, you know, he ended up in a bad way. Mm I'm. Just like you, you know what, James? No one is gonna remember us in 300 years. Yeah. Like OSHA says we're signatures in the water.
James Gattuso (01:07:59):
Dr. Reese (01:08:00):
And we're gonna evaporate. We don't even know if anyone's gonna remember Michael Jackson in 300 years.
James Gattuso (01:08:06):
Dr. Reese (01:08:07):
Yeah. And that's a famous, we
James Gattuso (01:08:08):
Don't even know if we'll be around in 300 years.
Dr. Reese (01:08:10):
That's right. And so if somebody gets mad at you now, or somebody accuses you of something now, and you didn't do it, or, you know, your reputation is put to the test. I mean, OSHA used to say it all the time. He used to do the wildest stuff and reporters would say, how can you do this? Ruin your reputation. And he says, I'm not attached to respectability. I'm a dangerous man. I can do whatever I want. And that is like Over the head of almost everyone that could hear those words except for, you know, folks like us, I guess that are in the game of higher consciousness. Respectability is a big attachment.
James Gattuso (01:08:59):
Dr. Reese (01:09:00):
Yeah. To hold onto that reputation, I guess, you know, if you're falsely accused, you can, you can defend yourself. Yeah. Oh, show did.
James Gattuso (01:09:08):
Dr. Reese (01:09:09):
Yeah. But at the end of the day, man, you know, Alexander, the great wasn't perfect. He made, he did some weird stuff. Apparently
James Gattuso (01:09:19):
There's been even allegations, uh, against Martin Luther king.
Dr. Reese (01:09:23):
Yes. Yeah. And Gandhi.
James Gattuso (01:09:26):
Dr. Reese (01:09:27):
Maha mahi apparently got in bed with little girl or teenage girls.
James Gattuso (01:09:33):
Dr. Reese (01:09:33):
<affirmative> but he claims it was to test his, um, sexuality, like to test his discipline.
James Gattuso (01:09:42):
Dr. Reese (01:09:43):
Mm I'm like, man, you could have went to a strip club dude. <laugh> But
James Gattuso (01:09:48):
That sounds like a convenient uh <laugh> but,
Dr. Reese (01:09:53):
But I mean mahi inspired.
James Gattuso (01:09:57):
Dr. Reese (01:09:58):
James Gattuso (01:10:00):
Dr. Reese (01:10:01):
Yeah. To racial freedom.
James Gattuso (01:10:03):
Dr. Reese (01:10:04):
That's a big feat, but he was not perfect.
James Gattuso (01:10:09):
No, no, no. Well, this is how cults form. This is how malevolent Tyran or hierarchies form is by believing that there is a perfect human. This is even how religions form. Yeah. Right. And look how much death has been caused in the name of God or in the name of prophets and, and, and, and religious institutions. It's it's mind boggling. And this is why I think the age that we are in, like the popularity of Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson, what we're starting to value is real. What we're starting to value is honest, authentic people and, and true conversations. That's what's going on right now. Like this, you know, wind back 40 years ago, when is this dialogue gonna occur? It's like news is your source of information. It's filtered through journalists like this completely removes the middle band or the middle woman. Right. It's like it, we value real now.
James Gattuso (01:11:19):
Not everyone, not everyone values real, but there's a greater appreciation of it in one of the aspects of being real is completely being transparent with who and what you are. If you elevate yourself above others, dangerous, dangerous. Yeah. Yeah. And you sort speak about, um, there's something I, I often find when I'm talking to people or speaking to people about concepts, like surrender is that they conflate it with inaction and they conflate it with sort of the submissive, you know, wave the white flag. You know, they almost see it as a sign of weakness. That's right. That's right. And surrender is the greatest form of strength. And it does not mean in action.
Dr. Reese (01:12:18):
James Gattuso (01:12:20):
You can act, it means non-resistance. And to act from that place of non-resistance is to be free. If you are acting from resistance, you are caught you're in a trap. So there can be action. Like let's say someone accuses you of something that you didn't do. You can be totally non-resistant within yourself. You can accept what's in you. And even if there, even if there is resistance, you can accept that too.
Dr. Reese (01:12:50):
Yes. Yes, man. Yes.
James Gattuso (01:12:52):
Like a large part, a large part of anxiety is being anxious about being anxious,
Dr. Reese (01:12:57):
Right. Just like what I went through with the sleep,
James Gattuso (01:13:00):
That's it, it's a massive
Dr. Reese (01:13:01):
It's PT. It's PTSD is what it is. If we have to label it, that's what it is. And that's why I like whole PO because it forces you to surrender every single contraction, every single time. That's the practice. And you know, when I speak to others, I actually try not to use the word surrender. I just say, let go, you know, let go. It's an easier term for people to understand. Yeah. Cause that white flag people don't like your, you know, like you said,
James Gattuso (01:13:40):
I try to give as many synonyms as possible acceptance. Non-resistance letting go surrendering. They're all, they're all synonyms. And, and hopefully that can gear just, you know, cuz again, they're pointers, they're pointers. One really has to feel what it is like to surrender and accept and then repeat it, repeat it, repeat it until it becomes a pattern
Dr. Reese (01:14:05):
And the contractions are the, are the thing, you know, I still contract it. It's it's interesting. I don't contract over worldly things. Hmm. I don't contract over. I don't even contract with, with, with people that much just with a few people that I'm close with.
James Gattuso (01:14:30):
Dr. Reese (01:14:32):
And, and, and it's, it feels almost like, you know, I don't know, this has a fact, but it almost feels like it's my last obstacle.
James Gattuso (01:14:41):
Yeah. The people close to us there's the pain body becomes instantly more salient for those that are close to us. 100%.
Dr. Reese (01:14:50):
I think RO does once said I'm gonna mess the quote up. So I'm paraphrasing. But I think he said, you think you're enlightened, go live with your mom.
James Gattuso (01:15:03):
Yeah, yeah. That's yeah. Spend a week with your family. <laugh> I was literally gonna say that before I was
Dr. Reese (01:15:10):
And, and that, and that's, it, it, it it's,
James Gattuso (01:15:14):
But I like how you, uh, you said mom, because <laugh>
Dr. Reese (01:15:18):
Dad <laugh>, that's typically it it's it's it's our mom and or our dad,
James Gattuso (01:15:24):
Especially for males. I find mom, well, moms can be, moms can be tough, but yeah, of course, family siblings as well, siblings there's, you know, there's always for siblings often, there's a, there's this, they determine their self worth in comparison to their siblings often. So, you know, belittling can go on, you know, uh, blaming can go on because they wanna look good in the eyes of mom and dad. They, you know, it, these childhood sort of archetypes, they play out into the adult world. Absolutely.
Dr. Reese (01:16:03):
But the, the thing is, you know, like in ho PO Pono, you know, it's, it's based on programming, the whole concept is about programming. So they're running off their programming and there's nothing that you can do about it. Yeah. And so there's that, there's a surrender there. So the question is, if mom says this and it triggers you, you're not accepting yet, but it's an opportunity in that moment to surrender. Yeah. And like you said, surrender to the contraction and it's kind of like, you know, you smack yourself on the back and say all get 'em next time. You know, <laugh> like, cause you, cause you know, what's gonna happen again. Yes, Yes. Because they're running off their programming because they're a wind up toy in lower consciousness.
James Gattuso (01:17:01):
Dr. Reese (01:17:02):
Yes. And so we're playing in higher consciousness, so we see more than they do.
James Gattuso (01:17:07):
Mm mm. You know, I sometimes have this with my girlfriend. Right. She'll she'll say something about me and then there's this instant desire to defend yourself. Right. Mm. And, and I could be, oh, she's just not seeing this clearly. She's just, I'm seeing the truth. I'm right. She's wrong. Right. Right. And that's, that's a trap, that's a real trap. Um, but you have to understand, you can be wrong and we have constraints on what we can know and we have constraints on what we can see. We have an almost infinite number of biases operating on us at a given point in time. So recognize those biases and then open yourself up.
Dr. Reese (01:17:50):
So I gotta wrap this up, but before I ask my last question, where can people come say hello to you on social media?
James Gattuso (01:17:59):
Yeah. So just James underscore KATU so on Instagram, James KATU on Facebook. Uh, they're two pretty good places to find me.
Dr. Reese (01:18:09):
Yeah. What are your top three books that you've read that were impactful? I'm gonna guess Michael singers on that list.
James Gattuso (01:18:18):
Oh yeah. I I'll say fear by Osho. I'm gonna lump surrender experiment and untethered. So into one by Michael sing. Yeah. Thus bugs are a thro. I need show would
Dr. Reese (01:18:30):
Say, oh, okay.
James Gattuso (01:18:32):
Dr. Reese (01:18:35):
Yeah. And, and you're writing a paper right now as well, right?
James Gattuso (01:18:39):
Yeah. It's uh, in the very final stages, just, uh, editing it up for, to send it in for publication. So it's looking at how psychedelics, so it's a systematic review on how psychedelics modulate the default mode network of the brain.
Dr. Reese (01:18:55):
James. It's been a pleasure talking to you, man.
James Gattuso (01:18:58):
Thank you, Kevin. Uh, thank you for having me on. It's been a real pleasure and, uh, uh, you, you are, you are radiating and uh, I really wish you the best on, on your journey.