Hi, Eli. Can you describe in a few sentences the central message of your work?
Eli: My work is to support everyone waking up from the trance of egoic suffering. My life is committed to a world of true peace and true freedom through universal Self-realization.
What does spiritual evolution/development mean in your own personal life?
I was not drawn to a spiritual life initially. Personal awakening never interested me. Like most people, I just wanted to be happy, which meant that I wanted everyone to love me and do what I wanted them to do and to be free to do whatever I wanted to do. And like most everyone else, I was not successful at this. So even though I had loving parents and a comfortable upper middle-class life, I was miserable and I made those around me miserable. A typical neurotic childhood.
By Bertrand Coquoz, Geneva, Switzerland
Recto-Verseau Magazine, March 1999
“Drop all thought. Drop into silence, turn your back on all manifestation and see who you really are.” – Eli
How do you usually present yourself? Your name is Eli Jaxon-Bear. Do you have anything to do with Indians?
Most people just call me Eli. I have had many different names just in this lifetime. Since I was a revolutionary in the ’60s, I had to use different names. When I was a federal fugitive during the Vietnam War, my name was once Norman Brown. During a ceremony with a Mescalero Apache in 1973 I was given the name Eli Jaxon-Bear and it stuck. Now, as some karmic joke, my daughter just named my granddaughter Reagan!
Berlin – Germany, 2000
As an international teacher, do you see a similarity or a connection between us now and the circumstances that gave rise to Hitler and his power?
Yes, there is a deep connection. This connection is fear based on selfishness. As long as fear runs people’s lives, they project the enemy as some foreign force. Fear is based on insecurity, which is rooted in ignorance of the truth. This fear is what keeps the whole system running, keeps everyone economically enslaved. Unemployment has nothing to do with foreign workers, but is a function of a capitalist free market economy. This economy runs on fear and greed based in deep ignorance. It is a lot easier to imagine that the enemy is a Turkish worker and not the entire system of economics.
What advice would you give people so that this does not happen again?
Connections Magazine, May 2001
What is satsang?
Satsang is sitting with a fully realized teacher who transmits silence and realization. Anyone can speak the words of satsang. My teacher, Papaji, used to say you can teach a parrot to speak the words of satsang. And since the words are so powerful, they will have an effect. But the words are only pointing to what is beyond the words.
The true teacher is satsang, not the words that are spoken. I have been with very powerful teachers who had very strong shakti (spiritual power), but they were not transmitting freedom. When I met my teacher, his living presence was the emanation of silence. His words were used to cut through the false identification of mind. So both the transmission of silence and the intelligent insight into the condition of the human mind are the two sides of satsang.
I was on the first flight that was allowed into New York after the September 11th, attack. For security reasons the flights before and after mine on that day were cancelled that day. Luckily mine got through.
When we flew over Manhattan on the way to Kennedy airport I could see the fire and the huge cloud of smoke. Still, I was separated by a window and so while shocking, it was still separate.
When the plane landed we were the only passengers in the United Terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport. This was a deeper shock to the system. It felt as if the dismal future depicted in science fiction movies was here now. Only armed men in uniform and a few passengers in a deserted terminal. Our walk to baggage claim was in eerie silence and I could hear my feet hit the ground.
This question is probably one that you ask the most often. Why is it so important to decide what we really want? What does answering this question lead to?
First of all, it is crucial to realize that when I ask what you really want, it has nothing whatsoever to do with what you may decide that you really want. What you really want is deeper than any decision or opinion you may have about it. It is the deepest calling of your heart, and cannot be decided by the head.
All the decisions of the head are decisions based on a ground of suffering and slavery. All decisions. It is only the deep call of the heart, the deepest longing of the soul for freedom, that is the call of what is beyond suffering.
It seems important for me to address in this specific moment when committing myself endangers my protections. Giving the true answer each time brings me to face the fear and helps me to fall into a deeper natural trust and unknown silent truth. In this subject, here are the questions:
Speaking about Truth turns often into speaking about some mystical thinking. This thinking was some years ago, quite unknown in our society and it starts to become usual. The words of the saints that come into our culture are even used in advertisement. Can you explain this whole issue of Truth.
Humberg, Germany, December 2003
I have been asked to write about evil. Evil is a wonderful word in English because if you look at it in a mirror it reads Live. Evil is anti-life. As long as there is the appearance of life there will be the appearance of anti-life.
The great danger is looking for evil outside of ourselves. We project evil and then fight against it. Since this act of fighting is itself anti-life, the possibility is to stop the war where we are. This means stopping the projection of evil and instead meeting it in our own mind.
Of course we can see the madness of one group calling another evil. George Bush and Osama Bin Laden are in many ways just mirror-images of each other. Each is certain that he is right, that God is on his side, and that he is a freedom-fighter, fighting evil. This shows us the great trap of being a recruit in any war against evil or the dark side.
What are the roots of all this madness, not only in Iraq, but also in Congo, Afghanistan, in China, Korea, and all over the world? What is the reason for constantly harming our beautiful planet and ourselves?
The root cause of all suffering is ignorance. Ignorance gives rise to fear, greed, and aggression in the human psyche. All the horrors we see in the world today stem from ignorance giving rise to selfishness, which appears as fear, greed, and aggression.
Ignorance is ignoring the truth of the situation. When things are ignored they tend to run sub-consciously, or just below the surface.
Interview with Gangaji and Eli, April 2003
Betrayal is a word that sounds very dramatic to me, associated with being condemned to death. One betrays one’s country, one’s church, one’s faith, the trust of our fellows, our vows, the truth, etc. When you speak about self-betrayal, what do you mean?
Eli and Gangaji: Over the years of speaking with thousands of people we have both had the experience of watching moments of true understanding blossom in many people. A moment of expansion and recognition of oneself, infinitely more than what is confined to an individual body-mind.
- Eli Jaxon-Bear
- Leela School