Charlie Morely, Why His Buddhist Teacher Told Him to Dream Into Hell |455|


Charlie Morely is an expert at lucid dreaming, and he’s gone places most wouldn’t dare to go.

photo by: Skeptiko

[Clip 00:00:00- 00:00:34]

That’s from Inception, a movie that explores a lot of the topics we’re going to be talking about today, in terms of dreaming, lucid dreaming, the extended consciousness realms of dreaming and what those might mean for how we could engineer or explore those with various kinds of technology. 

Our guest today is lucid dream expert Charlie Morley, and I’m also joined by Richard Cox from The Deep State Consciousness podcast. 

Here’s a clip.

Charlie Morley: [00:01:03] When he was watching one of these people in the lucid dream trying to prove lucid dreaming, at one point he saw their eyes flicking left, right, left, right. Really kind of synchronous. And he woke them up and said, “What were you dreaming about?” And they said, “Oh, I was dreaming about a tennis match.” And he was like, “Oh, that’s cool.” So he made the first discovery. The eyes physically correspond to what you’re dreaming about. 

So then he thought, “Okay, right, so maybe I can send a signal, kind of a Morse code signal from the lucid dream state to the waking state saying, “Hey guys, I’m in here. I’m doing the test, and I’m doing the experiment.” And he managed to do that.

And I said, “So how did it work?” and he said, “I spent eight hours looking at this,” he said, “suddenly on the paper it went ‘dun, dun, dun, dun’.” And I said to him, “How did it feel when you saw those eye movements come through?” And he was really sweet, he went, “Charlie, you know those movies, when they’re in the NASA control room and they finally get the thing from Mars and they all give each other high fives,” I said, “Yeah,” and he went, “It was like that, but I had no one to high five. And I kind of leant over and gave him… we actually missed, we had this awkward missed high five, and he went, “Oh well, 40 years too late, but thank you.”

I wanted to say about entities. Because I realized, I gave you the Jungian view on entities. I gave the Buddhist view on entities. I didn’t actually give you my personal view on entities. Which is like, yeah, man, anyone who’s had a DMT experience or moving into, kind of, psilocybin therapy, or ayahuasca or something, these are not internally generated experiences. Like, when people are all having the same experience of mother ayahuasca coming over to them and she appears in the same way and often is offering the same guidance, you’re thinking, this is existing dude.

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Alex Tsakiris: [00:02:42] Welcome to Skeptiko where we explore controversial science and spirituality with leading researchers, thinkers, and their critics. I’m your host today, Alex Tsakiris, and today we welcome Charlie Morley to Skeptiko. Charlie is a lucid dreaming expert, having authored several bestselling books on the topic and conducted, I don’t know at this point, probably, I’m sure Charlie, hundreds of workshops around the world in which he helps people develop this skill and then apply it to their life.

And Charlie, as we’re going to find out, is also one of those really interesting guys who has integrated, kind of the best of Western understandings of not just spirituality, but maybe this science we could say. He has the bona fides, in terms of studying Tibetan Buddhism and really immersing himself in it. He’s a terrific public speaker. He has a great TED
Talk out there, which we’ll also kind of want to talk about. So it’s great to have him here on Skeptiko, I think he’s going to be really good.

And we also have riding shotgun, but we’ll probably drag him into this conversation as well, Richard Cox from The Deep State Consciousness podcast. I was just explaining to Charlie that that’s how I ran across Charlie’s work, which is really terrific on lucid dreaming. And then Richard’s been helping me with this new book, Why Evil Matters, and I said, “Hey man, all this stuff that Charlie is talking about is directly syncing up with all these things I’m hearing from people of these other traditions.” Of course, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. So I wanted to talk with Charlie and I just invited Richard along because I’m sure he’ll have some interesting insights as well.

So Charlie and Richard, welcome, thanks for joining me. 

Charlie Morley: [00:04:34] Thanks man. Thanks for having me. 

Richard Cox: [00:04:35] Thank you Alex. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:04:37] So I gave people kind of a thumbnail sketch of the background. Charlie, please tell us more about who you are and how you came to this work. 

Charlie Morley: [00:04:48] Yeah. So I started teaching lucid dreaming about 11 years ago. I’d been into it for a lot longer. I started lucid dreaming in my teens, so like when I was 16, 17, so about 20 years ago. And yeah, it was just something I got into, I read some books, geeked out about it, was into it in my teens, because it seemed like a really cool way to get access to this virtual reality simulation of your own psychology, where you could do whatever you wanted. So at 16,17, all I want to do is have loads of sex. So the first, like two years of my lucid dream experience, a lucid dream, for those who are wondering, is the dream where you’re dreaming as you’re dreaming, and then you can direct the dream at will. 

So at 16 I knew what I wanted to direct it to do, right? I was like, hot girls come to me, and then all these hot girls would appear, I’d have all this great sex that I wasn’t having in real life, because I was 16, right? And skateboarding, I did a lot of skateboarding. And weirdly since then, in the last 10 years, there’s been a whole wealth of studies showing that you can get better at sports by practicing in lucid dreaming. And I got really good at skateboarding, so maybe it was down to those neural pathways firing off. The other thing, not so, I didn’t get very good at that, but still, I had lots of fun. 

So I was kind of messing about with lucid dreaming for those first couple of years. And then I get into Buddhism, when I was about 18, 19. I read a couple of books by the Dalai Lama, had a big kind of near-death experience. I got into drugs and psychedelics and had a near-death experience from that. That then made me look, not just at Buddhism, specifically Tibetan Buddhism. And then I found out that not only are they into death, but they’re into dreams, and they have this thing called dream yoga, which is like this whole collection of practices which have lucid dream training at their base, which use the lucid dream state to explore the nature of reality, to prepare for death and dying and to do your spiritual practice in your sleep. So I was like, wow, okay, these dudes sound cool.

So I started taking teachings from these, but sort of hanging out with these, well hanging out, taking teachings from these lamas and teachers. And then I ended up living in a Buddhist center for eight years, which was quite an immersive experience. And then, yeah, I got asked by my Buddhist teacher when I was 25 to start giving workshops and stuff. Then I wrote some books about it and been running workshops and retreats ever since.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:06:52] So you have some terrific books out there, and I want to let people know. These books are from a major publisher, Hay House, and you have some recordings out there as well. They’re really super accessible. Like price wise, they’re accessible. You can get some of these books for nothing on Kindle Unlimited 

Charlie Morley: [00:07:09] Yeah, at the moment they’re on some crazy lockdown sale. They’re like 99 cents or something or not on Kindle, yeah. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:07:15] I’m telling you folks, go and grab this stuff, scoop it up, and then also check out Charlie’s TED Talk recorded here in my hometown of San Diego a few years ago, just great stuff. What I’m hoping we can do is direct folks to go do that and then find out about this guy. If you have any interest at all in developing this skill, he offers workshops and now, with the social distancing thing, a lot of online, one-on-one coaching, all that is available. 

So with that, I guess I’m asking for permission, to kind of jump past maybe some of that, and get into some of the deeper philosophical stuff that you guys talked about, that you and Richard talked about. And in particular, some of these parallels, in terms of what this stuff really means. I love the way you start off and talk about the realness of, “Hey, if you can lucid dream, why can’t I do that? Why can’t I go and have sex?” Or the other thing, why can’t I go around and do things or spy on people, all these things that people do, or flying and all that stuff?

And I think that immediately, once you get past that, just like you said, it launches us into a bunch of deeper questions about the nature of reality, about the nature of evil, which is something you explore in your book. One of the books I had up there on the website is Dreaming Through Darkness, which is something I guess we could talk about.

So, with your permission, let’s kind of jump into the deep waters of what this stuff really is telling us about the larger nature of reality, and in particular what it’s telling us about darkness, evil, shadow? I guess we have to start by defining what those mean to you. 

Charlie Morley: [00:09:06] Okay, so let’s look at that term the shadow, which is what my latest book, Dreaming Through Darkness is about. 

So Carl Jung popularized the term shadow, of course he didn’t invent the concept. The concept of a shadow side, to the psyche, to the soul, to the mind has been around since humans started talking about this stuff or writing about this stuff at least. But Carl Jung defined the shadow as the parts of the unconscious mind that we have rejected, denied, or disowned. He described it as the dark side of the human psyche. And this is the crucial bit, “the dark side of the human psyche,” but not dark, meaning bad, evil or malign, dark meaning yet to be illuminated. And that’s crucial to understand it. The shadow is not bad. It’s not some sort of untapped source of evil or harm, it’s simply that which we hide from ourselves and others. 

So if we think, what do we hide from ourselves and others? Okay, that may well contain aspects which are harmful for ourselves and others, we might hide our greed, our hatred, our prejudice, our racism, our internet search history, whatever, we hide this stuff from others, our shame, our fear. 

But there’s also an aspect called the golden shadow. Jung never referred to this concept the golden shadow, but there’s a famous quote from his teachings where he says, “The shadow is 90% pure gold,” and from that, the post-Jungians, this idea of the golden shadow. And the golden shadow is actually exactly the same definition, that which we repress, deny or disown, but it’s the parts we repress, deny or disown which are more overtly beneficial. For example, our hidden talents, our sexuality, our spiritual side. I mean, there may well be, your listeners listening now, I would ask them this question. Do you ever hide your esoteric side from your friends or family for fear of being labeled top woo-woo? If the answer is yes, that’s golden shadow. Your spiritual side, something that couldn’t be more healthy if you tried, or the aspect of yourself that wants to grow, that wants to explore your psychospiritual growth, and yet we hide it from others. Why? Exactly the same reason we hide the dark shadow, fear of rejection from the tribe, which back in the day was tantamount to a death. This kind of rejection trauma that we have. This transhumanistic rejection trauma that permeates all of our minds, plays out when we hide our shadow, our golden shadow from others. And even the dark shadow isn’t necessarily bad. It’s just parts of us which are repressed. But if we can be aware of the shadow, what we don’t know about controls us. So by being aware of the shadow, simply by knowing that it exists, by learning about our personal shadow, we remove a lot of the control of that unconscious shadow material has over us. So shadow work is inherently healthy. It’s a good thing to do. 

And Jung, another kind of famous thing you said was, “Those who claimed to have no shadow are the most dangerous people on earth,” because without this awareness, right? 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:11:52] Well, see now that that creeps into some different territory though, doesn’t it? Which in kind of classic Jungian fashion, where you’re kind of marching along with him, and then he says something like that, and we go, what the hell would that mean? What would we have to fear and be dangerous, unless there’s something external beyond the shadow? And I think that plays into something that I did want to get into, and it comes up in your TED Talk, and it invariably comes up whenever we talk about these topics. And that is the integration between the Western understanding of consciousness and the obviously limited understanding, which we have to dance around.

So I get it.  You’re up there doing a TED Talk, and I’ve talked to a bunch of people, a Caltech Physicist who says, “Yeah, I got up there to the TED Talk and they coached me beforehand, don’t go into this, we don’t like this. We love everything you say, can you kind of say it, kind of like this?” And at one point in your TED Talk, you go, “And up here,” as if this stuff is in our brain physically, I know you probably don’t think that’s true, scientifically it isn’t true, Buddhist wise, we know we’re past that. But we have to kind of play that game. And in the same way Jung is kind of playing that game, in that it’s all our shadow, it’s our internal work, but there’s some dangerous shit if you go outside of it as well.

So, do you want to speak to that at all, in terms of how we navigate that in the scientific community and then how we navigate this evil, as it maybe is existing in an external form?

Charlie Morley: [00:13:36] Yes, I mean, straight off the bat, I don’t believe in any objective existing external evil. I don’t even believe in evil as a concept. I believe in traumatized people acting out unintegrated trauma, which manifests as seeming human evil. But as far as like an objective existing evil or kind of satanic archetype, yeah, I don’t really believe in that.

I believe that there is probably, in the collective unconscious, an archetypal energy of Satan because so many people have believed and projected this belief out of the collective that this thing exists, that it probably does, just as enough people believe that there’s a God concept, that that probably exists too.

But because something seems to exist, doesn’t mean that it’s real. But then what is real here?  Something can real and not true. It’s like the Buddhist ideas of these like 6 realms of existence. I talked to Richard about these hell realms, they have all of the descriptions of these like hell like 16 hell realms, and maybe it’s got descriptions of how they feel and stuff. But if you look at them, they’re all psychological correlates, they’re descriptions of depression. I mean, the hell realm says, you have molten lead poured through your mouth until your limbs are too heavy to move. Now, anyone who’s been in that deep depression of grief, when you’ve lost someone you love and you’re in bed and literally, your arms are so heavy with the pressure and you can’t even move them, that’s the hell realm, you’re in that hell rail, or the hell realm of trauma or the hell realm of anger. These aren’t places objectively existing, they’re shades of suffering, which we can experience in the mind. 

But then, as a caveat to that, they also say the hell realms don’t exist out there, but then neither does this, this waking life. So from a Buddhist point of view, the hell realms are as real as this waking life, but also as unreal as this waking life. And then I get way out of my depth with that. Maybe you could speak to some Buddhist Lama or something. I can understand what they’re getting at there, but I don’t fucking know that, I’m trying. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:15:37] Right. To a certain extent, that’s the dilemma because this is where we all live. We all live in this reality and whether it’s a constructed reality or not, this is where we reside and this is where we have to kind of try and navigate, whether it’s taking lucid dreaming classes to further our spiritual development, whatever the hell that would mean, or whether it means saying, making the sign of a cross over your chest or  burning sage in your ring to clear out spirits. All these things are part of our reality that I guess I’m trying to, if not kind of wrestle to the ground, to at least draw attention to the fact that there are enough people from different traditions talking about these, that we maybe ought to at least look at the extent to which science has completely abdicated its responsibility for exploring this.

So we do not have a scientific understanding of where we would even begin to talk about what evil is, because science can’t even talk about extended consciousness. So I’m always keen to finding people who are talking about-, the way that you’re talking about it is great. So let me do this. Let me juxtapose what you’re saying with a guest that I just had on the show who I think is really a pretty interesting guy, and I think they’ll offer a springboard into talking about a lot of this stuff.

This guy’s name is Tom Zinser, and Tom is a clinical psychologist. He’s been a clinical psychologist for like 30 years, thousands of patients, and he got into doing some of this spirit work, some of this darkness work with his clients, in the form of ego separation. I think it has direct parallels to what you’re talking about. Let’s listen to what he has to say.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:17:35] That distinction that you make between darkness and evil.

Tom Zinser: [00:17:39] Well, I have to go back again and emphasize the clinical nature because all of these start with the client’s own story.

My work is basically identifying those things within or about a person that blocks the light.

So the protocol developed for the ego-states is, make the contact, communicate with them, make it safe for them to receive this light, love, energy. Once they receive it, as I said, 99% say, “Whippy, I love this. I don’t want to be without it.” And then they will move through the sharing and release of what happened to them.

For spirit attachment, outside entity, it’s a different protocol. They don’t belong with the person, they need to leave, and in the worst cases, protocols designed to get it to a point where they could be removed.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:18:38] Okay, so here’s the point. So Jung is also a clinician, right? It’s interesting to look at that history. He’s meeting with people, and at one point I think Jung says, “Whether these spirit entities are real or not, I’ve found it most effective to assume an act as if they are.” And now, I think what Tom is saying, as a clinician, here’s a guy who reached a point in his practice where he was ready to give up his hypnotherapy work because people weren’t getting better. But when he connected with the spirit guide who said, “Here’s how you have to work with these people, and they really do, in some cases, have spirit possession, or spirit interference”, and that that’s really what’s going on, that these people started getting better in a lot more ways.

So again, I’d kind of throw it out there, Charlie. Where do we kind of get into that blurry zone of what is real and what is real, in terms of this creation that we have in this plane of existence? 

Charlie Morley: [00:19:47] Yeah, great question. I mean, if you look at some of the research on my exorcisms, they work really well. If the client believes that they have a spirit within them, and if you do like an exorcism and you really go for it, and you enter into that, what I was entering into the psychosis of the client, then the exorcism can work, right? It doesn’t necessarily mean though that there was an externally existing objective entity there in the first place though. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:20:10] Does it mean there wasn’t an external spirit?

Charlie Morley: [00:20:14] Yeah, I don’t think it matters if there was. I think, if it is like an internal psychosis that’s manifesting as some… I mean, if an element of the shadow becomes so split off, it will kind of take on its own consciousness. Jung was saying this, and that will seem like an external entity. Just like in your lucid dream, you can meet the shadow. And people say, “No, no, that wasn’t my shadow, that was an external demon that entered in.” I say, “That’s the calling card of the shadow. It won’t seem like it’s part of you. That’s the point because it has been split off.” So again, you kind of loop around here, where do we go here?

The Buddhist point of view is, if you look at the Buddhist view on demons, I love this stuff. Machig Labdrön, who is a famous female practitioner of the 10th century, she was called the Mistress of Demons, and she’s asked by her son, “Mother, what is this demon do you talk of?” She says, “Oh my son, when I talk of demons, I do not mean some small black creature who terrifies all who look upon it. When I talk of demons, I talk of anything that prevents your experience of freedom.” I think wow. So when we use the terms like, the demon of my eviction, the demon of my grief, the demon of my hatred, we’re kind of using Buddhist terminology there very correctly. It’s not that it’s an external entity, it’s anything within us that prevents our experience of freedom. 

And yet if you look at the practice for exorcising those demons within us, in Buddhism, it is a very dualistic practice, where you allow that demon of an addiction perhaps to be personified, and you imagine offering yourself to that demon. It actually gets very kind of esoteric, then you offer parts of your body, and so you kind of dine with demons. You break bread with the enemy as it were. 

So there is this external personification of the demon, but simply as a way for you to interact with it in dialogue. At no point is ever said we should believe those demons actually exist.

And again, you look like Milarepa, one of the most famous things, again, he says, “There are no demons. There was only the demon that prevents freedom existing in one’s mind.” So the Buddhist view, this kind of non-dualistic view is that there are no external demons. But it can be a very good idea sometimes to externalize or personify elements of our own trauma so that we can dialogue with it. And that’s why chair therapy works so well. That’s why the feeding your demons practice of Tsultrim Allione works so well. That’s why this Chod practice within Tibetan Buddhism seems to work so well. But the view is, there isn’t any external entity there.

Oh, but on more thing that that guy said that was really cool, where he talked about what was blocking the light. And I love this idea with shadow work, both in the Buddhist view of shadow work, although you can’t really say that because there isn’t a concept of the shadow in Buddhism, but the Buddhist view of working with harmful, possibly harmful energies within us. A shadow is an epiphenomenon, caused by an object blocking the light. So we’ve got a source of light, we’ve got an object blocking the light, and then we have a shadow. And that shadow will often be in the shape of the object that is blocking the light. So with shadow work, we’re looking at the shadow, but we can sometimes get so tied up in the shape of the shadow, we forget that it’s not about the shadow, it’s about the thing blocking the light. So the most important thing to do is to see the shadow, see the shape, and with that say, “Oh, that shape of the shadow looks a bit like….” So then I can start looking for those blocks within my psychophysical system. Remove the block, and there’s no shadow, there’s only light. 

So again, it’s not that the shadow was something, it was form emptiness, it was something unreal appearing in form, but it never truly existed, it was simply an epiphenomenon caused by something blocking the light. I don’t know if that makes sense.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:23:44] Well, it makes sense. I just don’t know if it stands up to the different data that we see out there. So I’m totally okay with what you’re saying, I’m more than okay with what you’re saying. I’m glad you’re bringing it forward.

Charlie Morley: [00:23:58] Let’s look at data then, because I can tell you this.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:24:00] Well, let me make sure we’re looking at the same data. I’d throw some data on the table. So I’d throw, first of all, there’s a guy at the University of Arizona, Gary Schwartz, PhD, head of the Department of Psychology and Psychiatry at Harvard and Yale and all these places. One of the works that he did, and we’ve all heard about this work, we just don’t know the source of it.

A guy goes out, he gets a heart transplant, and before he was vegan, super healthy ,and he comes out of it and now he likes pizza and drinking beer and watching sports, and it turns out they go and meet the donor and that’s what he liked to do. 

And then we go to University of Virginia. Ian Stevenson was famous for pioneering this work on reincarnation. And they go and they have all this very well, carefully done research where they go and they track down these people and the reincarnation data fits, and there’s no way of knowing it.

Again, suggesting that there is an extended consciousness entity that is real and has the ability to influence, enter into, in a way, not much different than a spirit possession, enter into people’s real consciousness, whatever that is, and affect it. So what about that data? 

Charlie Morley: [00:25:18] So Alex, I would agree with everything you said there, apart from one word, which is entity. You said consciousness entity that can enter into. I would just remove that term. But the Buddhist view of mind is mindstream, which is brilliant. Mindstream is a non-personal, continually flowing stream of our kind of consciousness, in fact, beyond consciousness, because consciousness requires of self to be conscious of. So, that’s the term actually, that’s how you translate it, a mindstream. And the mindstream manifests into personalities in different incarnations. And the reincarnation data, I mean, it’s amazing. Some of the stuff that Alan Wallace is bringing out who does a lot of the Mind and Life Institute stuff, they bring the scientists talking with the Dalai Lama and stuff. It’s totally valid date, kind of probing, in many cases, or seemingly prove elements of reincarnation.

So I’m totally down with that, but we can believe in reincarnation, we can believe in consciousness, from somebody’s heart being, kind of imprinted and entering into another one’s, absolutely. But I don’t see how that links to externally existing evil entities.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:26:24] Well, I don’t understand the distinction. To a certain point we get to a matter of semantics. If we say there’s this consciousness stream that can break off and enter into this other individual and become part of their consciousness stream. And that’s what I like about… 

Charlie Morley: [00:26:38] But it’s non-personal. Entity, by definition would be a personal, a kind of objective entity, right? 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:26:44] Maybe, maybe not. Again, words get in the way and all we’re talking about, all I’m advocating for here is more serious discussions about this topic, the kind that we’re having here. I don’t have any firm fixed believes.

Charlie Morley: [00:26:56] Yeah, this is brilliant, this excites me.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:26:59] Me too, but here’s Tom Zinser’s takeaway from his clinical work, and again, this is really strange for a lot of people. But to give you a little bit more background on Tom’s story. He’s got this practice, like he’s a people helper, and people come in, they’re doing clinical work. They’re sitting on the couch, “I have this fear of spiders. I have this debilitating fear of going outside,” and Tom works with them through traditional hypnotherapy. And one day he’s in the coffee room, the break room, and this woman walks up to him, says, “I can’t help but tell you that I overheard your conversation about out-of-body travel and Robert Monroe, and I’ve been talking to this spirit entity, and this spirit entity wants to talk to you.” And he says, “Hey, fine, I’m game, I can handle it. I have a PhD in psychology, I know where to draw the line, I have discernment.” 

He starts communicating Gerod, the spirit entity, and pretty he’s off reservation in psychology, and he’s taking Gerod’s insights and he’s integrating them hand in glove, with all of his practice and training, in terms of clinical therapy. And Gerod is saying, “Oh, this person has a problem with a past live that may be getting in the way.” “Oh, this person has an entity that has entered them that is their mother, and their mother needs to move onto the light.” And then Tom, as we heard at the end, he’s actually developed a protocol and the protocol is prescientific protocol, but it’s borderline scientific, where he says, “Here’s how we bring in the light and we ask these entities to release into the light and there is this stage of confusion where they’re at, dah, dah, dah.” And then he says that other part, “And then some entities have no interest in going into the light.”

So this is kind of stands a little bit in contrast with what you’re saying. I’m not saying he’s right or he’s wrong, but I’m saying, I think we have to fully consider the possibility that in this realm that we’re in, things do work in a way that is best understood as these entities being real. And I throw that on the table and say what do you think?

Charlie Morley: [00:29:12] Yeah, it’s going to sound like I’m… well, I’m not contradicting myself but also the Buddhist vie is that this is not the only realm of existence. There are like six realms of existence, which can actually be all contacted through the human realm, and these include, like hell beings, heaven realms, hungry ghost realms, of course, animal realm. The animal realm and the human realm are the only ones that we can see with these eyes and this kind of spectrum that we see. But having the eyes to see it, we could see these other beings, right? And if some people do, so if they have psychic capacity or perhaps the use of psychedelics, that opens up our kind of sphere of vision a little bit, then it seems like we can communicate with these. 

But again, this idea of kind of, these aren’t entities, these are beings, these are like sentient beings. So it’s not like an entity, like a spirit, these things are as real as humans. So from that point of view we’re absolutely not alone. There are trillions, because apparently humans are like the rarest. We’re the rarest of these beings, there are way more hungry ghost beings and hell beings and all this kind of stuff. But these are sentient beings, not entities. They’re not other things, they’re not spirits, they’re real. They’re as real as we are, we just can’t see them. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:30:30] Charlie, let me digress her for a second, because one of the things you said in the TED Talk kind of blew me away and was almost like a throwaway point for you, because you’re so immersed in lucid dreaming and in helping people develop that skill and use that skill in their life.

But you said, “Lucid dreaming is something that Western science has only acknowledged for the last 40 years, but Buddhist tradition, Buddhist wisdom has talked about extensively for a thousand years.  So do you want to speak to that at all?

Charlie Morley: [00:31:02] Yeah, I mean, I can draw on the wisdom, but I don’t know a lot of it. It’s like, I’m like kindergarten level as far as Buddhism goes. And that’s someone who lived in a Buddhist center for eight years, and I still say I’m absolutely kindergarten level. 

But yeah, I mean, there is a huge wealth of wisdom. If you look at Western psychology, it began about 100 years ago. Eastern psychology began about 2,500 years ago. It’s like the kind of mind mapping these Eastern traditions have done, like 85,000 different aspects of mind that they’ve mapped, labeled, and showed how you can experience, makes a lot of Western psychology seem, to use the term I used, kind of kindergarten level.  And yet what it doesn’t have is the amazing strides in neuroscience that we’ve had in the West. And what’s really exciting at the moment is neuroscientists working with this ancient 2,500-year-old psychological system, and kind of proven each other. And that’s where it gets really cool because I wasn’t brought up at Buddhist. I kind of worship at the shrine of materialistic science as much as the next Westerner. Whether we know we’re doing it or not, this is the kind of religion we grow up in, right? So I’m always really excited when you get kind of brain stuff proving the Buddhist stuff. Not that we should need proof, but it’s kind of cool when it does. 

So with lucid dreaming, when in the 70s they first proved lucid dreaming, which apparently, when I spoke to the guy who proved it, it’s Dr. Keith Hearne, I said, “What was the kind of equivalent of you proving it?” and he said, “It would be kind of like us proving telekinesis right now, where there are some people who say they can do it, there’s actually a lot of evidence that it could be possible, but it’s still completely out there, woo-woo.” He said it was like that, it was like we proved telekinesis.

And it had that same effect on the scientific community. It took about 10 years, even though it had been proved in 1975, it took another 10 years before anyone was taking it seriously, because no one would touch it, right?

And you got Stephen LaBerge a few years later over at Stanford who did similar tests and he managed to get some stuff peer reviewed and published and stuff.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:33:00] You were probably much more familiar with that research, but I think it helps ground people. And I love the way you said it, because we have this, we’re swimming in this pool of Western rationalism in a way that we don’t even understand we are, but we are. So I think it helps when we lock down what the science is like. 

So they’re doing sleep science, right? So they’re hooking people up to EEGs and they’re looking at their eye movement and they’re doing all the stuff that you would expect, in order to understand this, right? It’s real science, if you will. 

Charlie Morley: [00:33:33] Yeah, back in the day, the way they had to prove it in the mid-70s, the challenge, the gauntlet that was laid down was, the only way you can prove lucid dreaming is real, is to send a signal from the lucid dream state to the waking state saying, “Hey, I’m conscious in here.” I mean, that’s a ridiculous gauntlet to lay down. Most people would have given up. But this is like Keith Hearn was like, “Okay, I know it’s real. We’ve got all these testimonials from Tibetan Buddhism, Sufism, Toltec Mexica, even some of the early Gnostic Christian traditions. Soo we know that this is real, right? So we’ve got to send a signal.”

So, he started trying to send signals through the pinky, because like the body is paralyzed during REM sleep, so you can’t really move, but you can sometimes get little muscle twitches. So the first thing he did was he tried to get his subject to go into a lucid dream, hook him up to the brain scan as the show they are in a lucid dream, and that the eyes are moving rapidly for rapid eye movement, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, the pinky thing didn’t work. But when he was watching one of these people in the lucid dream trying to prove lucid dreaming, at one point he saw their eyes flicking left, right, left, right. Really kind of synchronous. And he woke them up and said, “What were you dreaming about?” And they said, “Oh, I was dreaming about a tennis match.” And he was like, “Oh, that’s cool.” So he made the first discovery. The eyes physically correspond to what you’re dreaming about. 

So then he thought, “Okay, right, so maybe I can send a signal, kind of a Morse code signal from the lucid dream state to the waking state saying, “Hey guys, I’m in here. I’m doing the test, and I’m doing the experiment.” And he managed to do that. 

And I interviewed him actually at the Science Museum in London where they’ve got the dream machine, the original kind of EEG thing he used the prove it. It’s behind a kind of cabinet thing and I thought a cool place to interview him. And I said, “So how did it work?” and he said, “I spent eight hours looking at this…” it was done on paper back then, paper readout, kind of like a lie detector test, but ink going across the screen of all of these random eye movements. And after eight hours he said suddenly on the paper it went, ‘dun, dun, dun, dun’, which was the kind of Morse code thing, the eye movement. He said, two to the left, one right, one to the left when you’re dreaming. And it turns out the lucid dream he had hooked up to the scanners had become lucid, had remembered the task, “Oh right, I’ve got to send the signal to the outside world,” so in the lucid dream he looked left, left, right, left. That was picked up on the eye monitors, thus proving a signal could be sent from that world.

And I said to him, “How did it feel when you saw those eye movements come through?” And he was really sweet, he went, “Charlie, you know those movies, when they’re in the NASA control room and they finally get the thing from Mars and they all give each other high fives,” I said, “Yeah,” and he went, “It was like that, but I had no one to high five. And I kind of leant over and gave him… we actually missed, we had this awkward missed high five, and he went, “Oh well, 40 years too late, but thank you.” I was like, oh dude, he’d been waiting for that high five for so long.

But anyway, so they proved it in the 70s, so it was real stuff. But then slightly more contemporarily, in I think 2010, they did the first fMRI scan on a lucid dreamer. Now, I’ve been in an fMRI scanner before when they wanted to see if I’d changed my brain through meditation. I’m sure I had no changes, but they wanted to check. And it’s like a techno rave, when they put on the magnet that goes around, it goes, ‘dun, dun, dun’. I was like, how the hell could anyone sleep in this, let alone meditate?  

But anyway, this guy in Germany managed to fall asleep in one of these things, have a lucid dream, and they got live footage of what happens to the brain when you become lucid. And they have theorized when you become lucid in the dream, the senses to do with self-perception and self-reflective awareness, or “I know that I am having an experience,” would light up. And they were proved exactly right, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex just lights up like a Christmas tree, as soon as this guy gets lucid.

And they all got that, and then suddenly, once they had that, all of this funding came through and now all of these cool lucid dream research things. 

One of the cool things they did after that was on sports. They were like, “Oh wait, once you get lucid, your brain doesn’t think you’re dreaming, it thinks you’re awake. So we wonder, would the brain lay down neural pathways in the same way that it does when we’re awake? Wouldn’t that be cool?” They were like, “Yeah,” and they proved it. They get people to go into lucid dreaming and practice athletic disciplines, like doing squats or press ups, stuff like this, in controlled conditions obviously. The next day they check them, essentially they got better at doing squats, better at doing press-ups. They improved their physical sporting performance by training in the lucid dream because of these neural pathways, neural networks being stimulated while they sleep.

If this sounds like sci-fi, it kind of should. I mean, this is nuts, but this is science now. 

I wanted to say about entities. Because I realized, I gave you the Jungian view on entities. I gave the Buddhist view on entities. I didn’t actually give you my personal view on entities. Which is like, yeah, man, anyone who’s had a DMT experience or moving into, kind of, psilocybin therapy, or ayahuasca or something, these are not internally generated experiences. Like, when people are all having the same experience of mother ayahuasca coming over to them and she appears in the same way and often is offering the same guidance, you’re thinking, this is existing dude. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:38:27] And Rick Strassman does clinical work with DMT and the patients don’t know each other, and they say, “Did you see the purple jaguar?” “Yeah, I saw the purple jaguar too.”  

Richard Cox: [00:38:36] I got a bit lost in the language on that part, when you were saying that entities don’t exist, but this incarnate granny might exist, or beings might exist and how you were defining entities. Because it seems to be the nature of consciousness to disassociate, right? And I think there are two biases that can go on here. So people who are very much into mediumistic stuff can maybe miss that about consciousness and when I’ve interviewed people who work with hearing voices and listened to their accounts, it does seem to be, like you said, the traumatized parts of ourselves can separate off and start to act seemingly independently. And anyone who’s ever had a dream just knows that’s the case. Like, we talk about it as this really far out thing, like voices in my head, but yeah, we’d just fall asleep and hear voices in our head. So that seems to be the nature of consciousness. And at the same time, I think people who look at it from that perspective can miss the point that sometimes these voices deliver information that the recipient has no earthly right to have. And I’ve had experiences of that myself and I’ve met way, way, way too many people who have had it. There’s also research in labs like Gary Schwartz and Julie Beischel and so on.

So when I’m thinking of the word entity, I’m thinking of the entity could be, like granny from the astral plane or it could be a pirate from the 17th century on the astral plane or something else. But are you using the word entity differently there, or would you disagree with anything I’ve just said, that there seems to be, as best I can see, a coexistence of two different phenomena that might be reduced with one phenomenon at some higher level, but on the level we’re kind of looking at it here, it seems to be like there are two categories of things that overlap? 

Charlie Morley: [00:40:21] It’s funny that entity is often used to… it’s like, kind of spirit possession and entities and these things that are attach to us. And the Buddhist view on it is actually these sentient beings, these aren’t entities. It’s like entities is almost like a little bit of a pejorative term here. And actually it’s not that, they’re beings, they’re sentient beings, as sentient as you and I, but they’re existing in different dimensions of reality. It’s not that there’s an objective entity clinging onto us in this reality that perhaps we’re experiencing, like an interdimensional communication with these other beings in other realities. 

But again, I mean, I get out of my debt very quickly with this because as Buddha said, “Take nothing I tell you as true until you find it’s true yourself.” So like I can talk about the Buddhist view on things, but really like my own view is that I’m yet to find any proof of external entities entering people’s lucid dreams or anything like that. However, in the out-of-body state, I have a lot of proof that you can absolutely contact things which are not you. And this is because you have left the scope of your own personal consciousness and are now in a space where you can absolutely meet beings, just like I can meet you, but because you’re in a disembodied form, you’re kind of spectrum of who you can meet is much, much wider.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:41:38] Let me take a run at this in a slightly different way because you’re being super humble because you sound like a super humble, cool, spiritually enlightened guy. But you have a lot to offer and you’ve done a lot of this work and you’ve also worked with so many people. So you have the kind of advantage of having that kind of collective experience with so many people who you’ve taken through this.

Let me try and see if I can layout another parallel that I’ve found between you and what Tom Zinser is saying, and then we’re going to look at one other person I’ve talked to who is a medium there in the UK, Claire Broad, and both Richard and I have both spoken to her and she has a different perspective on this as well.

But at some point, Charlie, I heard you say that it is understood through the Buddhist tradition, our ability to create the separation in these ego states can lead to those states actually becoming real in some sense, and I might not be saying that exactly the way that you said it, but that was the gist.

Charlie Morley: [00:42:43] I don’t think I totally understand that question. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:42:44] Yeah. So maybe I’m not getting it. I’ll tell you what Tom Zinser says. So Tom Zinser, when he first started doing this work, he was working with people that had dissociative identity disorder, right? Split personality kind of stuff. Which 20, 30 years ago was like highly controversial, and now it’s accepted. People have all sorts of disassociation with parts of themselves, and sometimes it’s very mild and it just causes anxiety that seems to come out of nowhere, and sometimes it’s like really extreme where people can forget the other part of themselves while they’re occupying this other space. 

And I thought I heard, and if I didn’t, we’ll just scratch all of this. But I thought I heard either in your TED Talk or your interview with Richard, you talking about that the Buddhists understood that you could, if you kind of put your energy into it, break off a part of yourself in that consciousness space that we all have, and that that can become, and in your lucid dreams, you can dream in that and it kind of becomes this tulpa thing where it kind of actually becomes real the same way that…

Charlie Morley: [00:43:54] Oh, tulpas, okay. Tulpas gets into very, very esoteric…

Alex Tsakiris: [00:44:01] It’s esoteric, but isn’t it also just kind of in ordinary way too? So whenever we hear about tulpa we think about this weird big ghost that’s there, but don’t we have, just like little tulpas in us?

Charlie Morley: [00:44:15] Okay. Let’s look at that. That we can talk about. Yeah. I mean, using tulpa as a metaphor for psychological integration or psychological parts, absolutely. Although it should be said that apparently tulpa practice was real, and the ability to kind of manifest corpse, where you would take some of your consciousness and kind of project it into a corpse and that corpse will be manifest. But because it was only an aspect of your conscience, it would be a bit like a zombie, you couldn’t play poker with this thing. But it would kind of follow you around and carry your bags and stuff. It was very utilitarian. Tibet was a big country and you need some dude to carry your bag if you’re going to walk five weeks. But that’s crazy stuff, but people can Google that, it seems to have some existence.

But yes, let’s look at that internal aspect of split off parts. In the lucid dream, absolutely, you can meet personifications of elements of your own psyche, and that’s cool, man. You can kind of do work like that through shamanic journeying and maybe through some yoga ninja work and through some psychedelic work if you were using it therapeutically. But the cool thing about lucid dreaming is you can actually meet a personification of your fear. You can meet a personification of your sexual trauma. You can meet your greed. 

I met once the personification of my capacity for violence, and that was crazy. And of course, the lucid dream feels as real as this. This is the strange thing about lucid dreaming. And of course, that feeds into the view of the hell realms too. But the lucid dream feels absolutely as real as the waking state. I mean, you can taste, you can touch. The whole thing about pinch yourself to see if you’re dreaming. That doesn’t work in a lucid dream. You pinch yourself in a lucid dream, you just feel pain. And that’s cool because you’re like, pain, but I’m asleep in bed. I’m not really pinching myself. My dream fingers are pinching my dream arm and dream pain is being evoked in my mind. I mean, that’s super cool, anyway.

So in the elusive dream state, you can kind of meet these split off parts of yourself, or you can meet these personifications of your own psyche, which, yeah, they manifest like a tulpa, they seem to, to exist. They don’t really, it’s form an emptiness. It’s not real, it’s a projection of your mind, but you can touch it, you can taste it, you can interact with it. 

So the lucid dream state, yeah, we can meet these aspects of ourselves. And what I’d always ask people to do or always advise people to do, is to hug them. The whole teaching I’ve been doing for the last 11 years could be summed up in that, hug everything in your lucid dream, because if everything in the lucid dream, or at least 99% of everything in the lucid dream is you, then whether it’s a manifestation of your anger, or your fear, or your sexual trauma, hug it. Because what could be more symbolic of love, of acceptance, of integration than a hug? So I’d often say hug first, talk later. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:46:51] I love that. Hey, Charlie, would you tell folks your story about entering the hell realm and the hugging? 

Charlie Morley: [00:46:59] Okay. There are actually two different ones, but the hell realm I can talk about, and I think actually my Buddhist teacher, Lama Yeshe Rinpoche, his book comes out, his biography comes out next month, and I think I get a mention. He says about one of his students visiting the hell realm through the lucid dream state. 

So because of this idea that the realms of existence are dreamlike, including this one, it’s said that you can use the lucid dream state and the out-of-body state, which in Tibetan Buddhism is referred to as the special dream body state, you can use those states to visit these hell realms. Because they don’t exist outside of the mind, but then neither does this, you can visit a hell realm as realistically through the lucid dream state as you would if you actually entered a hell realm, right? Apparently. 

So anyway, I got this instruction to visit hell realm. Now, I wouldn’t advise anyone going into a hell realm unless their Buddhist Lama tells them to. Apart from anything else, you’ve got no kind of safety backup. I was like, “Visit the hell realm, will I be alright?” And he was like, “Yes, yes.” And I was like, okay, so I’m going to die or go mad or something.

So I become lucid. Oh no, I was in a car, that was it. I was in a car and I realized no one was driving the car, something like that and I went, “Hang on, that’s weird. Oh my god, I’m dreaming.” So I noticed the weird thing, I became lucid, I’m dreaming. And then I remember the dream plan, as we’ll call it, from Lama Yeshe, go to a hell realm. So I thought, “How do you do it?” Because I didn’t know. So I just yelled out in the car, “Hell realm now, I want to experience the hell realm now.” And then everything went… 

It’s so hard to describe. It was complete stuckness. Imagine the dream pausing, but now imagine that everything that was movement, anything that had ever moved did not exist. The concept of flexibility or movement or an unstuckness did not exist in that state. There had only ever been stuckness in that point in time and then time disappeared. So it was like infinite stuckness. And I was in a can’t explain how terrifying the experience of infinite stuckness is. I literally can’t explain it, it is beyond words, but it was the most terrifying experience I’ve ever had because time didn’t exist, so it would go on forever, I would never not be in it, and it was a place where movement didn’t exist. 

And then I panicked, and I was like, “Wake up, wake up, wake up.” And I tried all the tricks in the book, and I was just stuck there, stuck there, stuck there for what seemed like an eternal amount of time, probably two seconds, and then I woke up.

And I spoke to Lama Yeshe about it, I was like, “But I thought the hell realms would be like the Buddhist descriptions or like fire and brimstones, and he says, “Hell is in the mind, for you hell is stuckness.” And I thought about it and was like, “Oh wow, that is true.” I think for many people hell is stuckness. A complete inability to move. Being frozen in time, having no agency, having no free will, being stuck in a place of no movement forever was my experience of hell.

So yeah, that was the hell realm. Who knows? If you did the same lucid dream plan, and of course you could, it would be totally different. Like a Christian listening to this, if they called out to go to hell, it would probably be a totally different experience and whether that would be a good thing to do, or an adviseful thing to do or not, I don’t know. But that was the hell realm one.

As far as hugging the demons thing… Oh I know, I’ll tell you one that really crossed the boundaries, you’ll like this.

So I’d done a lot of this work, where whenever you get lucid, if ever you meet anything scary in the lucid dream, it’s you. Everything in the lucid dream is you. So you meet something scary, you meet a monster, you meet a vampire, whatever it is, a zombie, go and hug them, show them love, because they are a personification of some zombified part of yourself, or some monstrous part of yourself, or some fearful part of yourself, terrifying part of yourself. So you go and hug them, you show them love and then often they dissolve into white lights or you hug them and actually you then release the embrace and they’re not angry, you’ve kind of pacified them. Really obviously psychological work here.

So I had this dream about, I don’t know, four years ago or something, maybe five. I became lucid, I was at Liverpool Street Station, which is a big station in London and I looked over the barriers down into the forecourt of the train station and I saw these people in black robes standing in a circle around a pentacle or pentagram, I always forget, but that symbol.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:51:25] Pentagram. 

Charlie Morley: Pentagram, right. And I think, “Okay, shadow elements, scary stuff,” and literally, like blasé. I flew down off the thing, went to them. I thought, “Okay, they’re representations of a fear of satanic ritual. Yeah, my Christian upbringing, whatever it is, okay, it’s just shadows stuff.” So I see the main one. The main one looked like Charles Dance, who’s an actor, he’s been in many things, but particularly, he was in Game of Thrones, people might know him. And was like the main ringleader of this satanic cult thing. 

So I just fly over to him like ground level flight and I hug him. I go, “My shadow,” and I hug him. And then I felt this incredible force, I mean, it was like being hit by like a sonic boom. And I literally flew off onto the floor, and then he levitated up into the sky, so kind of levitates straight up, and went, “I am not your shadow. I am the devil.” And just for a minute, I was like, “Oh, jeez, I really hope I’m in a lucid dream now,” and not in an out-of-body or in some sort of thin state, where you can cross over through the lucid dream state to other dimensions. I was like, “I really hope I’m in a lucid dream.”

And then I just thought, I thought on my feet. I thought, “Okay, well look. Whether you’re in a lucid dream or the out-of-body state. If you show this dude fear, if he truly is the devil, which feeds upon fear, you’re a goner mate. So you’ve got to stay fearless.” So I flew up to him and I grabbed him again and I went, “There is no devil, there is only energy,” and it was so hard to keep my embrace, but I was bear hugging this dude going, “Energy.” And then suddenly, boom, he exploded into white light and then the whole dream explodes into white light, and I found myself in my bed. That was a close one man.

I’m still pretty sure it was a lucid dream and not an out-of-body, whatever, because of course, what is my shadow? What is my worst fear as a lucid dreaming teacher? My worst fear is that one day I actually will meet the externalized devil, but it turns out love is the most powerful force in the universe. It does not matter whether it is internal or external. If you show the thing fear, you feed it and it will have power over you. If you are fearless and attack it with love, with love, with compassion, that which makes the universe whole, there is nothing to fear. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:53:42] That’s totally awesome and it’s actually a great kind of lead into this last clip I’m going to play. You’ve been super generous with your time. Let me cue up this last one. 

Claire Broad: [00:53:52] Somebody said to me the other day, “Do you do believe God is evil then?” Because I was saying the same thing, there’s light and dark in all of us. I know evil exists, I’ve experienced it. But do I have to get stuck in it, do I have to be identified with it, do I have to be ruled by it, do I have to fear it? No, I don’t.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:54:09] What one of my spiritual teachers told me is the secret of the ascent is to always look up. 

Claire Broad: [00:54:17] That’s beautiful.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:54:19] So what you brought home clearly in your readings and in your work, because you talk about your work with the clients and the people that come to see you is, what if it’s about raising the moment that’s in front of you and transforming that moment to a higher state? 

Claire Broad: [00:54:39] I find that when you look at the dark side, it disappears, because it no longer holds power over you. Then you can then start to reach up to something more joyful. Some of my darkest moments have led to my most empowered choices.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:54:59] Well, talk about parallels with what you just said, but that it is Claire Broad, she has some excellent books. She’s been on Richard’s show and on my show, and she’s a psychic medium there in the UK. Charlie, what did you think? 

Charlie Morley: [00:55:13] I thought it was great. It reminded me of this idea of our belief systems, right? What Buddha said, he said, “With our minds, we make the world.” So if that’s true, then if I have to choose a belief system, I’m going to choose the one that says, this is a compassionate universe. There is no externalized evil. You are a fully enlightened Buddha who just hasn’t woken up to it yet and the kind of raison d’être of our life is to wake up to our inherent wakefulness, to wake up to our enlightened nature. 

Now I know it’s a belief system, but if I have to choose one, I choose that one because that one lets me go to sleep fearlessly. That one lets me see the best in people. That one lets me see the best in others. I’m not saying it’s true. It’s simply a belief system. But if it’s true that with our minds we make the world, why not choose a belief system that is empowering and that says that we are these fully enlightened Buddhas, that we have this fullest potential within us and that love is the most powerful force in the universe? When I had that lucid dream of the devil, I was very thankful for that belief system because if I had not had that belief system, I don’t know man. If I had truly believed that was the devil, I could have woken up with some sort of psychotic break or something. So who knows? 

But yeah, I totally agree with her that once you face evil, once you face the shadow, again, what is the shadow? It is an epiphenomenon caused by an object blocking the light. The shadow is not the problem here, it’s the thing that’s blocking the light. Remove the block, and there’s only light. Maybe evil too is an epiphenomenon caused by something blocking our light. It’s not that evil has objective existence, it is, that is a shadow cast by the blocks in our love. Maybe, I don’t know. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:56:57] Richard, any final thoughts before we wrap it up here with our very good friend Charlie. 

Richard Cox: [00:57:05] Yeah, a couple of curiosities. I actually wonder, Alex, what you make of what Charlie’s saying about evil and the shadow and there not being an external evil, given that you’re writing a book with the word ‘evil’ in the title. And just to state my own perspective, where I’m coming from, is that ultimately I think I have the same position as Charlie, in seeing evil as a manifestation of all what we call evil, as a manifestation of trauma. And I actually think that we might look back on the 20th century and say the greatest leap forward and human understanding, wasn’t the stuff that let us put a man on the moon or anything like that, it was called Carl Jung and a therapist like Alice Miller, who looked at the great dictators and showed how who they were arose out of child abuse, and the role that trauma, particularly trauma in early life, has an effect on later. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:58:04] To me, the precursor doesn’t explain the act. So the reason I’m drawn to, like Tom Zinser is at least he has a complete theory. I really respect what Charlie said there, but to me it’s somewhat incomplete, it doesn’t close the loop. Tom Zinser does. Tom says there’s a force out there. It’s darkness. It’s like gravity, right? Which is totally consistent with what the Buddhists are saying. It’s just there. It’s not good. It’s not bad. It’s not evil. 

But then there are people that are attracted to the darkness and do evil things. And he even contemplates, and I’ve heard other of my spiritual teachers say the reason they’re attracted to the darkness is because they have blockages. The light, the love, wants to move through them, but they have some scars, they have other blockages that prevent that. So then energy gets redirected, and often it gets redirected in any way that feels comfortable at the time, either addiction or attraction to things that get that shit out of us in an evil way.

But then at that point, they really are doing evil, in the way that Charlie defined it.

Richard Cox: [00:59:13] Well, that’s not different to what Charlie said, is it? It doesn’t sound different to me than Charlie. Do you think it’s different Charlie, that sounds like…?

Alex Tsakiris: [00:59:19] We’ll hold on, because I think it’s different when we then say that these people are in now engaged, actively engaged in doing evil things that prevent the freewill of other people being exercised. And then here’s the kicker to me that I think everyone kind of likes to gloss over because they’re uncomfortable with it. Is that in that process of redirecting and misdirecting that energy, they are connecting with energy that is outside of them, that is recharging and energizing that energy. 

So the reason they do the satanic ritual abuse, like this is my objection, like when I talked to you about the guy Richard, we’re inside baseball here, the guy from Ohio State University who says, “Hell yeah, L. Ron Hubbard and Jack Parsons were in the desert and they were working with Aleister Crowley to bring about the antichrist,” and the Ohio State University professor says, “Well, whatever people believe that’s what’s most important.” No bullshit. What’s important first and foremost is, is it possible to direct your energy to beings, entities, real things that are in these extended realms and have them manifest in a way that interacts with this realm? Because if that’s real, that is a different reality that we have to deal with. 

Richard Cox: [01:00:40] Depending on philosophy, right? Because I can connect, let’s say I’m connecting with what could be traumatized spirits, in some way, like people who either have had a bad life here or a bad life there, whatever. They’re traumatized spirits and they want to do harm, in the way damaged people here want to do harm. That’s not fundamentally different on some level for me connecting with all the damaged people here in a cult or something, going out to do harm.

So it’s not about whether there’s a fundamental evil, it’s traumatized people getting together with other traumatized people. 

Alex Tsakiris: [01:01:09] Hold on. If we can’t get there to talk about that, then we’re lost, right? If we always have to talk about it in metaphor, then we’re lost. If we are willing to contemplate the potential reality of that, just like people can go to a crack house and connect with a bunch of very negative energy and wind up in a worst place, that they can connect with the crack house in the spirit realm and wind up with some very dark forces there. As soon as we say, “Okay, that’s on the table,” then I’m with you, let’s start that discussion. But right now, we have to recognize that we we’re not having that discussion. Science will not allow us to enter into that realm and religion as we know it will not allow us to contemplate those things.

That’s the great thing about what Charlie’s bringing to the table. He says, “Hey, I’m part of the spiritual tradition, a long wisdom tradition, and they’re not only open to it, but they’ll tell you, they have a pretty complete explanation of how that stuff might work.” 

Charlie, you’re listening in on an inside baseball conversation.

Charlie Morley: [01:02:10] It’s just such a cool conversation. My interviews are not usually like this man. They usually just tell you about lucid dreaming and stuff. This is brilliant. We’re talking about the nature of reality, objective evil, and subjective evil. This is brilliant. Yeah, I listened to both of you speak, I agree on both counts. I’m like, “Oh yeah, I really agree with that, but I also agree with that.” God, anyone who’s making hard and fast claims about this stuff, I think probably needs to check themselves, right? But let’s at least have conversations about it. Let’s at least talk about these possibilities and explore. I mean, what could be more fascinating than this, right?

Alex Tsakiris: [01:02:48] Agreed. Hey, I tell you what, we’ve used up a lot of your time, Charlie. Tell folks a little bit more about the work that you do with individuals. I know we’re in kind of a strange state where workshops are kind of in flex. But you have a perfect way of integrating in technology and consulting sessions along with the books. Tell people how they can learn more about what you’re up to. 

Charlie Morley: [01:03:15] I would advertise a whole world tour I had, that finished at the end of November, but who knows whether that’s going to happen. It seems like the world tour is going to be right here in the Zoom screen in my living room. But yeah, I’ve truly embraced that. So I’ve got loads of online courses. I’ve got two lucid dream online courses. Oh, the shadow work online course is particularly good, actually. People have been interested in shadow integration stuff. And then I’m now doing a lot of live stuff. So live 5-week online courses. I’m doing my first ever lucid dreaming retreat through Zoom, where I’ll be waking people up four times a night, just as we would do on the lucid dreaming retreat. But you’ll have a recording of my voice that you will set. So that’s kind of fun, trying to use this technology to make this happen.

But yeah, everyone can find stuff on my website, Loads of online stuff and Skype session.

Oh, I’ve got this big lucid dream online summit, that’s mid-July, you’ll find it online when it goes up. But you can Google it and it’s me interviewing 15 or 20 experts. I’m trying to have some really deep conversations about just how far lucid dreaming can go. So Lucid Dreaming Online Summit you’ll find it.

Alex Tsakiris: [01:04:15] Charlie, it’s been absolutely fantastic having you on. Richard, thanks so much for being a part of this and helping connect me to Charlie. So thanks to you both and goodbye.

Charlie Morley: [01:04:26] Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure.

Thanks again to Charlie for joining me and Richard for riding shotgun. The one question I tee up from this interview is, what do you make of Charlie’s take on entities? That seemed to be one of the central points of this interview. As we enter this dreamscape, are we creating everything? Well, of course we’re creating everything, but it seems like when we’re really pressed, we come back to this idea that there are these external entities, not just in this minute by minute thing we call reality, but somehow beyond that. 

So that would be the question. Pop on over to the Skeptiko Forum if you would and let me know your thoughts or drop me a note and tell me what you think. 

I’ve got some good ones coming up, I’ve got some not so good ones too, but that’s part of the process. Anyways, stay with me for all of that. Until next time, take care and bye for now. 

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