This is the transcript of a talk given at Center for Spiritual Living Prescott on August 13, 2023 by Jackson Rauch.
My first thought was how did I talk myself into this? And that's actually a true story. We all know our comfort zone and then we all know the zone outside of our comfort zone. And we can see the circles outside of our comfort zone, and some things are close and some are whoa, that's far away. Like for me jumping out of an airplane. That's out of my comfort zone. I think I'm going to wait on that one. I have. I do have a plan on when I'm going to start doing that, but I'm I'm I'm I'm going to keep that to myself right now.
But doing this is a little bit out of outside of my comfort zone. This used to be my daily life, talking in front of people. I taught high school for 10 years and so it became my thing. But I've been out of that for 10 years. So, I don't remember how this came about, but I just kind of put out there, yeah, I'll give a talk. Not really sure what that meant, except yeah, I'll do that. And then before I knew it, hey, you're on the calendar. It's like, oh, boy.
But here I am and I don't—I … I'm glad I did it. Sometimes you just have to have that thing called faith and say I'm… I'm willing to do this. I could sit over there all day, you know this like, oh, what am I going to do? Play G&C. I can do that. All right. OK. We can do that. So this for me is taking a little step out like that. So if you're thinking about taking a step out of your comfort zone, I'm here to, well, let's see how it goes. Maybe we'll be, like, by the end of this you might be like, I'm not going to take that step I saw how it worked out for him. But I doubt that.
Thanks for letting me be here today. It is. It's great to be back. It's like I have this crazy life. I've been off traveling around all over New England this time, and I will say this. I have seen several CSL's around the country that they pop up. I was at one place and I looked at the sign and the road. This, you know, the Adopt A Highway and I can't now I won't be able to it was a CSL group, like somewhere in New England. I was like OK. And then I told you when my my catalytic converter got stolen and I was I was going to crack the case. So I was driving around to see who had hidden cameras so I could see who took it. And so I crossed the parking lot from where my catalytic converter got stolen and I ran right into CSL Fullerton. So we are indeed everywhere. But it's I'm glad to be here and. This whole. My tenure here has been….has been good for me. What I've learned the the, the the practices that have been presented to me and I've definitely been a slow learner of the principles. When someone comes up here and says something, I've been a slow learner and maybe you know that feeling of like, oh, when you have an opportunity to choose love and you didn't, and then you look and you're like, oh, I should have chose love. Instead of saying why are you in the passing lane? But I'm here to tell you, if that is you, keep with it. You do get better at this. You do get better with practice. Just today just today I drove down here trying to get here a little early cause you know it's like I've never done this before. I want to get down here, get settled in and I am right at the turn to turn in here. And I was like, I forgot all my notes. Now, the me of yesterday, last week, last month, last year, last decade, at that moment would have been like this is a problem! We have a problem and I am upset. But I'm happy to say see, it just happened today. Instead of feeling that way, I said all is well, all is well and unfolding as it should. There's no problem here. And as I drove back home to get the papers, which I did, I got a new insight into this talk that was very, well, it blew my mind. And who can say what would have happened had I brought my papers, but I didn't. And I'm grateful I forgot them now. And how many examples do you really need in this life of all is well and unfolding as it should. Can you think of… can you think of at least one example where you're like, I thought that was terrible, and then it turned out, in retrospect, that was actually pretty good. And I think those are very important and for me it's that's hard to learn. That's like slow. I can't remember. I've told you this before, my son. I was in awe of my son because my son would be like I don't want to do that. And then I'd be like, come on, man, where I don't remember. Play soccer, whatever it was. And then he would go do whatever he said he didn't want to do and have the best time. But then next time I'd be like, hey, we're gonna go do that again. He's like, oh, I. Don't, I don't. Like that, I don't want to do it. It's like, do you remember last time? And then he does it again and still the same reaction, you know? And eventually you start to get it. So I would say. And again, I'm…I'm I'm speaking from my experience and it's the proof for me that I'm joyful about is that today was was proof that it's…that it's working. There's a. Great T-shirt that says. And it's a picture. I don't know why it's a light bulb, but it's a light bulb going. And it says, I don't know, maybe worrying about it will help. Definitely the me, the me before today, would have worried about not having these papers here, you know, and so will I worry again in the future? Yeah, probably. This practice is constant. I hope this... I hope what happens here today is useful for somebody. Or more than one or two, 3-4. Who knows how many ever?
And I… I will share this one story because I know… I know that it's beyond your control once you put yourself in a spot. Say I'm going to put something out here to the universe and I hope it does something positive. So I saw a band called The Grateful Dead many times, but I saw them when I was a youngster, all of 16 years old. I went and saw them in Washington DC. The song that I'm going to reference I've played here before. And the lyrics of Grateful Dead songs are pretty cryptic, so you can be open to getting your own interpretation. And so it was the last song of the show and the lyrics said “Listen to the river sing sweet songs but drop my soul.” And I don't know what that the guy who wrote those lyrics meant, but to me it was. It hit me like a ton of bricks and what it said to me was your purpose is to not just sit and hang out and chill ax or whatever the kids say today. And just hang out by the river and be like, oh life's good. Yeah, me, me, me. I'm just relaxing. No, drop my soul off somewhere else where I'm needed. Drop me off where I can make a difference for people. People who are struggling, people who are hungry. Whatever it was. And so I heard those words and I realized that by my own as the 16 years old self and maybe not too different, but in some ways the same, took that and said I'm not good and I'm not where I want to be in that domain. The serving others, the the going off into the hard places to to do good things, I guess you'd say. So because of that, I stopped wearing Grateful Dead shirts because I saw that as something like you have to earn it by being that. So by my own criteria, I didn't wear a Grateful Dead shirt for a year and a half as I as I did this thing like dropped my soul and I'm going to serve others and and and all that. Come to find out years later, I'd misheard the words. The words are “listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.” It's about hanging out by river and having a lullaby. And it changed my life for years because I misheard the words. So I know no matter what I say up here today, there's a chance it could change someone's whole life and they didn't even hear what I said. So I'm not going to worry about it.
I have found, I've I've heard a lot of talks here. Do the math about 50 times 10 or 11 so 550 talks or so here and a lot of times. There's so many times where I where I make a connection to what my experience has been playing music and what listening to music, playing music, teaching music. So I've had so many examples that that's what I wanted to do today. I wanted to talk about CSL principal from kind of with the musical perspective on it and use examples from music and tie it to principle. And the one let me... let me also say this. The founder or, the that's how it's said to me, the founder of CSL is a gentleman named Ernest Holmes. And all I can say is he's great. I don't know if you've ever listened to his talks. They're on all the major digital platforms, Spotify, YouTube. But if you've never actually listened to his talks, I I I highly recommend it. He's great. And the one, the one thing that has stood out to me from several of his talks is his idea of the Mind of God. And that's …And I know that I, you know, whatever word you want to use, a universal spirit, whatever word you want to put in there, but is that All knowing the the thing that unifies us all in the spiritual realm. He referred to it many times as the Mind of God. And so that's I found that's what kind of tied all my stuff together.
So let me let me well, let me get started. I'm going to talk about the Mind of God and tie it to my musical experience. So first, let's talk about real quick what he meant by the Mind of God, as as well as I can understand it. And and I think it's one of the many things that brought us all here was that what this philosophy talks about is not that the Mind of God is this thing way over there. and you're over here and you say “Please, Oh, great one, do something to help this situation. Whatever it is. I'm asking you because you got all the power, so you do it. I really appreciate it. I'm not worthy. You're the best. Talk to you later.” And Ernest Holmes, but Ernest Holmes read the Bible and as I think someone said it really well, I don't know who to credit this. When someone asked about CSL and I and I think it was a Christian, I think it was probably a Christian, was asked, well, what about Jesus? And the response was we don't believe in Jesus. We believe Jesus when he said the Kingdom of heaven is within me and this was Ernest Holmes really broad, and I got to think at the time that this was, radical may not be the right word, but it's the one that comes to my mind to say I and the father are one, we believe the words. When he says something and I I'm a little little sketchy on my quote, so I might be paraphrasing when Jesus said “you will do all I've done and even more”, man, I got to think about that a second. Jesus said you will do all I have done and more. CSL, we believe we don't believe in Jesus, we believe Jesus. Powerful. And so he [Holmes] describes the Mind of God as this creative presence that is everything and we are the vessels. Each one of us is the vessel and the universal Mind of God wants to express itself through you, is dying to express itself through you, is like come on, there's nothing I'd rather do then express myself in the very unique way that is you. And according to Ernest Holmes, that is open to each and every one of us. But of course there's some caveats, and the the good thing about the caveats is that anything that gets in the way of us being that vessel for the Mind of God to express itself, we can get rid of any impediments and become that. And Jesus is held up, of course, as one of those people, one of our, one of us who did a really, really good job of getting rid of all the impediments so God, could express itself without any adulteration of ego or fear or whatever. But as Jesus said, we can all do that. He likened it to, and I'm talking about Ernest Holmes, he likened it to many things, I'm sure. But one thing he likened it to. He talked about the Roman aqueducts and how he saw the water as the mind of God. And it flows through the the channels and comes down to these vessels that all you have to do is turn the spigot. And if you have a 1 foot spigot, you get 1 foot of water shooting out a 2 foot spigot you get 2 feet of water shooting out and that's us. And the water is coming down to you as the vessel and it's our job to open the spigot.
By the way. I have to say because we we we do play some or I… I snuck in the Bob Marley songs and and I have to say there's a song we don't do, but now I'm thinking maybe we should. We say treat, treat, move your feet. Have you heard that? Well, Bob Marley says get up, stand up. And the words are “some people think great God will come from the sky, take away everything and make everybody feel high. But now that you know what your life is worth, you will fight for yours on Earth. So stand up for your rights.” Got goosebumps there. So Bob Marley and Ernest Holmes, I don't know if they ever met, but I would listen to that podcast.
So we are all potentially…we all have the potential of being unadulterated vessels of the universal mind of God according to Ernest Holmes. And one of the nice things about that is that we're, you know, Jesus said you all are going to do all this and more and more meaning something else. So we don't all have to be that, you know, walking on water sounds very cool. Sounds excellent, but that may not be your thing. And so that's, you know, that's a good thing. There is a I told you this was going to be about music and I can't music. There's too many examples. Is anyone familiar with a little album called Tommy by a group called The Who? I'm going to take that as a yes. I realized while I was driving home to get these papers and driving back that I think one of the marks of a great work of art is that it continues to enlighten you, well, so far from my whole lifetime because I first heard that album when I was, what, 12? And I learned something new about it today. Incredible.
And and it's really ties into CSL because if you if for for those of you who don't know the story. And the allegory is fantastic. It's about someone who is deaf, dumb and blind. Who lacks self-awareness, living in fear, living in self consciousness, afraid of being themselves. And he finds liberation to be his true self by channeling that thing Ernest calls the Mind of God. And what was Tommy's channeling greatness? He played pinball. And he was stunning to people, how he could play pinball. “The digit counters fall," wrote Pete Talented in that song Pinball Wizard. This was his greatness and he made a mark on the whole world. The movie or the the it's an album that The Who made and then it was turned into what I think is a great movie. Then the lesson that, the mistake Tommy and his handlers made ,was like this is how I did it. I was deaf, dumb and blind and then I started playing pinball and look at me now. So all you all have to do is become deaf, dumb and blind and play pinball and it's all going to work out for all of us. So they have these scenes where people are wearing, like dark sunglasses and putting ear plugs in and putting a cork in their mouth and like trying to play the pinball where they can't see it hear it, you know, and does it work out? That was a question. No, the people who are following Tommy and doing this finally realize this is ridiculous. And so at the end of the album, they revolt and say we're not going to take it. And of course, the lesson is, is that Tommy's greatness was pinball. Oh my gosh. Tommy's greatness was pinball. Your greatness might be pinball too, but who knows? Obviously, music, music is one of those channels that has greatness for me. If you've never seen a guy named Stanley Jordan, when I watch Stanley, he's a guitar player. When I watch him perform, it's like you're watching that mind of God come down through the sky, right into him and right out, unadulterated, through his fingers. And actually, I saw him in Sedona years ago when they used to have that Jazz Festival and I witnessed him. And that was the last day I called myself a musician. I was like I, I'm not there yet and so I'm not going to insult the word musician. So when people ask me are you a musician I say play music.
How much time? Am I out of time? Am I done? Wow, I didn't think I was going to get 10 minutes out of this. Let me, let me, let me just give me two more minutes. OK, so greatness as a musician and tied to the greatness and whatever it is that, that, that, the channel you find yourself. One is is to practice and most people, when they think about practicing, they think about doing scales, learning new chords, learning new songs. I'm practicing, I'm practicing, I'm practicing and we do that as well. You know, I'm practicing meditation. I'm practicing whatever it is. But what I found is the other thing to practice and I tell this to my students, practice finding the one and only musical voice on this planet that is yours and the way you do that is that you don't play the instrument. You, you bring it out of your voice. And man, it's so awkward. Yeah, just like, have you ever seen a baby giraffe try to stand up and walk when they're born? So cute. But I'll have my students in there being like, yeah, just let your musical voice come out. So it'll be like, I'm like, that's it. No one does that but you. And that is the mind of God learning how to deepen that connection with you and just turning that spigot just a little bit more. And Carlos Santana said something very profound. He said “If I listen to a musician like a guitar player and I hear a guitar, I don't listen to him. He says I want to hear a voice. If I hear a voice, I listen to them. If I hear a guitar player and it sounds like a guitar, I don't listen to them.”
Hey, guess what? I'm done. And I'm happy to say. I'm happy to say that I want to come back and do this again. Did you? Did you?
Yeah, I'm done. Are you doing the prayer? OK. Ohh I'm done.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to spend some time with you all today.
How do you follow that? Ohh well, I think that we need to take some of that into prayer. There's no doubt about that in my mind. Jackson, thank you so much. OK. If we can breathe in deeply and just kind of exhale and allow those words to just kind of resonate in our minds. Oh, great spirit. Universal, divine one, that lives and breathes through all of us, allows us to have our meaning. Allows us to be those perfect vessels through which you pour out all the wisdom, all the love, all the knowledge and all of the greatness that is you, that is us, that is the one source. Ernest Holmes often said “It's the the thing itself.” We are so filled with gratitude for all of the gifts that each of us brings to this place, in this time, and we celebrate the Oneness and the uniqueness. As the prism takes one source of light and moves that into the entire spectrum of colors, let us continue our journey of being each and every one of those spectrums of light. Let us find our voice, hear the wisdom in the music. Hear the wisdom in the music of nature. And all of the ways in which that God Mind, that One Mind takes and fills us and allows us the gratitude and the blessings of being one with the whole. I know this to be good and I know this to be very good. And I release it into the law and anchor it by saying. And so it is.