Transcribed and edited from a radio interview with Rick Phillips by Deborah Coryale
D.C.: I am just delighted to have Rick Phillips, author of Healing Communication and Windows to the Soul, as the first guest of the millennium. Why don’t you tell us about the bigger picture of your work, and then we’ll get down to the more focused material.
R.P.: My work is consciousness work, healing work. It’s about helping people to move inside to connect to their inner knowing, and to use that power, that spirit, to heal themselves. We do this in several different ways: we do individual sessions and we teach people how to do this work. That is why we have facilitators all over the world.
D.C.: I really appreciate how difficult it is to take the notion of consciousness which is so vague and to bring it down through very physical channels, i.e. to be able to talk about it and be able to heal with it.
R.P.: Once you practice a few techniques, once you open that door, it’s as normal and natural as anything else. It’s just that we have been so external in our lives; our senses are always out into the world. We don’t have so much time to go inside to touch that consciousness and get accustomed to how it functions in our lives.
D.C.: So, when we talk about consciousness, we are essentially speaking about awareness?
R.P.: Being awake. It will totally change your life! Most of us are sleepwalking. Most of us are rushing around. Our minds and attention are fragmented into a thousand places. We are not really able to focus and bring the inner world into the outer world and see that harmony.
D.C.: Yes, then it all works. I love that little Freudian slip just now when Diego announced the title of the book and called it Healing Communion instead of Healing Communication. In the introduction to your book, you talked about an experience you had with the dolphins, but the word that you begin with is “communion.”
R.P.: I hope that the communication process would bring us into a state of communion. Or, to have moments of communion, where all of a sudden, the boundaries just fall away, and there is no more separation. The word has “union” in it. And, a communion experience has to be something where you are joining in such a profound way, that a new reality, or insight, or connection takes place that is so special, that it changes you. Somehow, the old ways of looking at the world will change at that moment.
D.C.: Now Rick, tell us about your experience with the dolphins.
R.P.: Well, I’ve been SO lucky about these things. That experience was the catalyst for me to write this book, Healing Communication. We had a friend who let us use a house in Hawaii. It was right on the beach and we would watch the spinner dolphins out in the ocean. They would be jumping, spinning around and playing with such delight. So, we went out on a boat. It’s a long story, so I won’t tell the entire thing. But, at one point, after this big storm, we were surrounded by all these dolphins. I went into the water with my snorkel. I went underwater. It was like going into the unconscious, going into another world. All of a sudden, I could hear the dolphin sounds; the clicking, the whistling and the singing. It did something to me. I was hearing underwater, and therefore it was coming from every direction, and it pushed me into a place that was so profound. I connected. Then, the dolphins started surrounding me, and the sense of being within their family, being connected to their consciousness, feeling the vibration of their consciousness, was such a healing effect. On top of all of that, this one dolphin came up to me with her little newborn baby. She swam right up to me, turned on her side, with her baby right next to her, as if to say, “Here’s my child, I want to show you this. I want to show you that we are connected, that everything is connected.” It literally blew my mind.
D.C.: I want to read a couple of sentences from your book. You speak about your desire to honor the dolphin, “by continuing to help people to see our interconnectedness, to experience within ourselves that we are not separate, and to help find new ways to tear down the judgments that separate us from ourselves and each other.” Very powerful, powerful words, that really reach to the heart of the challenge of communication. It seems the entire body of your work is contained within that core teaching of judgment and separation.
R.P.: That’s right. For my personal path, this has been the most powerful healing and discovery that I have found. First of all, if we look at the challenges of our lives and the work that we have come here to do, this separation issue must be one of the biggest, if not one of the most difficult. We are so identified as separate entities that we really believe that “I” ends where my body ends. If I’m a little bit esoteric, I may say that my aura goes out a little bit, and that’s where I end. This is such an illusion. We are caught in this habit of thinking and believing. And so, the separation theme is aggravated to the nth degree by judgment. Whenever I judge a person or judge myself, I am going through an act of separation.
D.C.: We talk about the fact that judgment is a no-no. On the other hand, people will say, wait a minute, how can I make choices or decisions without judgment?
R.P.: When I talk about judgment, I am talking about an emotional issue that creates separation. A judgment is that banging on the scriptures and saying, “THIS is RIGHT. THAT is WRONG. This is absolute, and if you have done something wrong, you will suffer for it.” Now, in that judgment, there will be a situation where we will identify with the duality of life and look through the eyes of black and white, good and bad, and right and wrong. There is usually no gray area. However, judgment has another function which is called discernment. We are making choices and evaluating what we need to do in any given moment, but we can do that without this sense of separation.
D.C.: Let’s stay with this judgment and separation theme a little longer, because we all have such struggle with judgment.
R.P.: Judgment will shut down consciousness. It will shut down your heart. Think of those moments when you are really in judgment. You are judging another, and if you pay attention, they will start backing up out the door, because nobody likes to be judged.
It’s like you are pushing them back. So, your heart is not open at that time. This is not the highest form of life. Actually, this is shut down. And that is why I call this judgment theme, separation AND judgment. Both create the other and perpetuate the other. So, the more judgments you create, the more you are going to be alone in the world.
D.C.: Let’s take relationship, when there is an intimate bonding, and suddenly, one begins to feel that the fabric of the relationship is breaking down. Let’s say, I begin to feel that my partner doesn’t like how I am being in the world. Let’s say I am now feeling judged.
R.P.: Well, the walls will go up, the defenses will be triggered. At that time, communication becomes almost impossible. How can your true voice come forward in the middle of that judgment? It is very difficult.
D.C.: We, as humans, are essentially social animals. So, we move toward relationship. And the way we relate is through communication.
R.P.: A very simple way of looking at it is that communication will create relationship. There is an exchange of energy between you and something else, and it creates a relationship. Once you have a relationship, you have a flow going, until the walls fly up, judgment being one of the big things. If you feel somebody is telling you that you are wrong, you’re bad, not good enough, I don’t like you, etc, it’s going to be really hard for you to break through that.
D.C.: Yes, and you know that feeling you have sometimes when you meet someone who you either really like or do not like, and no words have been exchanged, you have simply walked in a room, and immediately you feel it. And anything you then do will be offensive.
R.P.: There is so much unconsciousness running the show.
D.C.: So now let’s say you bring it into consciousness. Let’s say you walk in, I walk into the party, and I say, “I don’t like that person,” and suddenly I find myself reflecting, “ok, I just decided I didn’t like that person based on nothing.” What would be the next step?
R.P.: By recognizing the judgment, or the feeling, or the wall that is there. This is where consciousness comes into play. You have now identified that you are in a reaction pattern. You don’t know where it is coming from, but you can see it. Then you can make a simple choice to let it go. Maybe even step into it and confront it. If that happened to me, I hope that I would immediately walk over to that person and make contact. I would challenge myself to walk through my fear, to step through that gap of separation, and do something to then fix it.
D.C.: What might happen when you step through your fear and engage this person? What might ensue as a result?
R.P.: Certainly, the communication can go many different directions, but I would think that since it is a set-up, I mean, it is no accident that you had that reaction, therefore the set-up is kind of taking you by the hand and leading you into that relationship. I would think that something wonderful would happen. Something in you would learn. If nothing else, there would be a pat on the back to say, “Good job, at least you didn’t run away, you walked right through it.” It’s a show of your personal power.
D.C.: Something might ring in the unconscious that might help you know more about yourself?
R.P.: Yes, you might identify what that person has reflected back to you, mirrored back to you. They remind you of somebody. They have touched you in some way, so there is something important there.
D.C.: Or some aspect of yourself. So, to rephrase that, by taking an action, we move a relationship to consciousness and it is that relationship that will take us to wholeness, or healing.
R.P.: Through consciousness, we will find some answer. We will discover something new that has been hidden. We will find a new way. So one of the most important things, I think, in any kind of spiritual work or inner work, is to be able to shift the rigid point of view. We’re kind of like a horse with blinders on. We are very linear and very repetitive in the way in which we approach the world, and therefore we get very rigid in our points of view. We see it in only one way. But at a time when we can expand beyond that linear groove, we will see a whole new reality, a new point of view, new information, and new insight. Those are the things that consciousness changes. If we are asleep, then we will miss a lot. But if we can carry more wakefulness, more alertness and attention into a difficult situation, almost always we can shift to a new point of view.
D.C.: One of my teachers used to say that sometimes all you have to do is change your seat, and by changing your seat, nothing in the universe changes, but everything you see changes, and that is a very powerful metaphor.
R.P.: Yes, that is right on. When we are relating to a person, we have several boundaries to jump: physical, emotional, mental boundaries. All of these taint the communication process. The more separate I feel, the harder I have to really connect to the other person. In a very simple way, what we are saying is: open your heart. If you really want to know what to do, open your heart. That will work better than anything. That will work better than any theory here. Just open your heart and know that this person is not so different than you. Remember, we are an ego. The ego is who we think we are, but we are more than an ego. If you have some spiritual experience, you know that there is a spirit, or a consciousness that is common to that other person, to the other.
D.C.: That other is not, in effect, separate from me.
R.P.: And I must have some experience that shows me that. I can’t convince you of it, intellectually. But, there are experiences where the communication process will bring you into communion. That the communication process will connect you inwardly to that place that is common to all things. That unity.
D.C.: For example, your experience with the dolphins.
R.P.: Yes, that was a great example.
D.C.: In the book you speak about hearing sounds versus listening at deeper levels of consciousness. Intuition is a state of consciousness that is available to us simply by listening to ourselves, yes?
R.P.: In our work, one way we do this is by connecting, or helping to support the connection to what we call Higher Self. There are a lot of terms for this, the inner knowing. . .
D.C.: We can even risk God/Goddess?
R.P.: We can say that. If we just learn how to go inside, if we start to practice communicating inside, then all of these things are going to develop. That inner voice, inner knowing, then becomes more real. At first, we aren’t sure, the mind is doubting, and judging. The mind is confused. But with experience, all of that falls away, and we start to trust, to feel connection. Communication is connection, and therefore that experience will grow and expand. It will reap incredible benefit.
D.C.: There was a teaching I received many years ago. That between the body, the mind, and the spirit, the only thing that can be confused is the mind. Yet, that is the part of us that we deify. The way to get clarity out of the confusion of the mind, is to begin to listen to the communication that is going on within ourselves.
R.P.: It makes a big difference. If I could shift this for a moment—right now we are in a technology explosion, especially in telecommunications. I see this as an outgrowth of a need to communicate more. But, because we deify the mind and look at life in very external ways, we think that technology is the way to do this. Certainly, technology is able to make more information available, but information is not really what communication is about. Communication is about connection. Information can service, but what about the connection?
D.C.: I loved what you said in the book about technology bringing us information, but never being able to help to speak from the heart.
R.P.: It’s not going to be about just talking to somebody. When you merge with another person in a state of communion, then you will really know what love is about. You will really know what reality is about. When separation falls away, somehow it becomes crystal clear what you are here for.
D.C.: I am very caught with what you are saying. I trust we will be able to have you back. I would like to leave the listeners with a quote from your book, which is perfect for where you have just been. “To listen to the Higher Self is to hear the eternal silence.”