This is an interview with Deyan who has been living together with Lama Ivo since 2002. As a practitioner who has been a part of all events which transpired in the past decade we find his insights and observations very valuable. We are glad that he agreed to this short interview and we hope you will all enjoy it. The interview was taken in 2013.
Hi Deyan. Can you please tell me how you first met Ivo?
I met Ivo because I had applied for one of the courses that he was teaching for instructors in the field of caving, climbing and outdoor survival. We arranged to meet and I went to the interview to see if I could participate in the course.
Can you tell me what were your first impressions of him?
My first impressions were of somebody who wasn’t as torpid and brainwashed as most of the people that I knew at the time. He was someone who could afford to be playful while we talked and we were able to communicate in an entirely friendly and well-meaning manner. This made a strong impression on me, because most of my acquaintances were really crude when it came to communication, even if it only meant exchanging no more than a couple of sentences without forcing themselves upon other people, without trying to prove that the other person is uncool or even trying to create an inferiority complex in them. The whole ego game that we are so used was completely absent. Our first meeting went very smoothly and consequently all our following meetings went the same way.
And this happened many years ago, what age were you then?
I was 16.
Can you tell us how it happened that you started living together? What happened during your training or after that?
I was going through a very unpleasant stage in my life having had a lot of unpleasant, unfulfilling and really tense and aggressive relationships with everyone around me. Also I was in a state of melancholy because my grandfather had recently passed away and he was the first person close to me whose funeral I witnessed. Besides this my parents had divorced and I filled my days with non-stop news watching and a lot of time in front of the computer, as well as listening to very loud music. I didn’t have any real friends, nor were there any that meant well.
After I enlisted in the course I started going to lectures, we started going outdoors – something that wasn’t foreign to me – but going in the mountains with good, close and calm friends is different than going there in order to run away from your problems. And at a given point it became clear that I wasn’t doing anything meaningful at home, so I moved in with him. That’s it.
What happened then? Was your life with him difficult in the beginning, how did things go? Did you have any difficulties and how did you feel?
No, everything was perfectly fine. I felt very well. I enjoyed doing everything – going climbing, caving, working… somehow things were very simple and very joyful.
Were you two alone or were there others that Ivo was involved with?
What do you mean by “involved”?
Others that Ivo was training or others with whom you went caving?
Yeah, there were others of course. There was this other guy in the course, but he had to leave because it became clear he was too ambitious… There were several other people which made a strong impression on me with whom we also went outdoors many times. One of them in particular stood out quite a bit, but as a whole there were several people which were all very decent.
What was the most inspiring thing for you at this point? What was the best thing that happened to you during this period?
The best thing was that everything was simple, unadulterated, there was nothing complicated in relation to any of the people I knew, neither in relation to life, living itself or doing things – I really appreciated this and for me it was quite a break. There was something completely… I had met people that were totally different, who were involved in alternative activities and had a completely different view of the world from anyone I had known – finally there was a breath of fresh air. Not that beforehand I had gone through something terrible. Generally I have gone through things that are quite common. As I said, the thing that really impressed me was the different mindset I was observing in the people around me.
You mean in Ivo?
Yeah. In Ivo and in some of the other people that I met.
And how did it come about that you started to be interested in the Dharma and started on the spiritual path?
To be honest I don’t know if I was interested in the Dharma itself. What happened was that the people I had met were involved in something that was new to me, so the only logical step for me was to become interested in what they were doing. In the beginning it was like… my emotional motives were sort of immature, I was a bit ambitious – really when your best friends are doing something it’s normal for you also to want to do the same things and to attempt to emulate them, to a certain extent. So it was like that in the beginning and honestly I wouldn’t expect anything more from myself at age 16. Actually I would expect more, but it would be unrealistic, at least for me.
So what are the different stages that you have gone through since then?
In what respect do you mean different stages?
In respect to personal, spiritual or some other type of development, just your life – in terms of Dharma – if you could divide it into periods…
OK, I can make such a differentiation.
So, first there was a period of initial practice, a period of great efforts made in not so intelligent a manner, but still pushing in a given direction, coupled with ambition and a strong desire for accomplishments as well as a great hurry to reach given spiritual goals.
After this I was in a time of great disappointment since it became evident I had imagined that some of the people I knew were some kind of beings incapable of making mistakes – and it turned out that they were not such at all. Simply put, with the exception of two people, at this point I parted company with all the rest who in the beginning had brought me so much freshness. It turned out that they were completely outmatched by their own limitations.
Again followed a period of practicing with great effort and completing difficult practices – practices which are known to be hard, like completing a whole ngondro on very short notice, this sort of thing. But this time everything was much more relaxed and had a softer feel to it, as opposed to forcefully trying to push my mind in a given direction. Somehow I did things in a more intelligent way. The pursuit of goals was still there as was the great effort involved in this, because at that point I considered this to be a sort of insurance against laziness, an insurance against missing opportunities, against procrastination.
Then I reached a time of calm during which I stabilized around 5-6 hours of practice each day – this lasted 2-3 years. The practices I was doing during this period brought me great satisfaction.
What followed was a really big disappointment in the Tibetan tradition, because after so many years – we’re looking at about six years – some things started to surface which put the Tibetan tradition in a whole new light. The fact that it’s not made up of enlightened teachers and the circumstances which made this possible began to become clear to me. And what followed was a complete disappointment. The way this reflected on my practice wasn’t very good, of course.
At the present, emotionally I’m in a period in which I’m not pursuing any accomplishments whatsoever and I’m just learning to be an ordinary and normal human being. I can find satisfaction in the little things. When it comes to practice we have to see where things can go from here.
OK, so please tell me – did Ivo’s approach or his attitude towards you change at all during all these years and different periods that you went through?
I’m glad you’re asking this question because frankly, the only unchanging thing in my life so far has been exactly his attitude, the way he deals with things. His attitude towards everyone’s the same. Generally I have specialized in being disappointed by people for vast amounts of time and it really makes a huge difference to me that there’s one thing, one method that doesn’t change despite everything else. And I really appreciate his attitude, because it’s not misguided by petty games, emotional habituations, weaknesses or whatever else might be there that everyone else – including me – is so proficient at.
During the years you have witnessed how Ivo reacts to others, have you ever seen him treat somebody in a different manner?
No, I haven’t. For me this is… Bear in mind that for these 11 years the longest period we have been apart was two weeks. When there’s traveling involved, we travel together – with some exceptions when there were teachings. I have witnessed countless people and countless cases of communication between himself and close friends, new acquaintances, friends, family. What you will see is that his attitude is exactly the same towards all these very different kinds of people. He doesn’t communicate with people as if he is communicating with other beings. What happens is that anyone who communicates with him is in the end communicating with himself – and through him – brings to the forefront his own upsides and downsides, or whatever else might be beneficial. We can say that he is something like a mirror, or a kind of magical trick, in a sense.
Now when you look back is there a mistake that you would never allow yourself to commit again?
(Laugthing) There are many mistakes I wouldn’t want to repeat. Since this interview is supposed to have a Dharma, spiritual side…
Yes actually I’m asking in that sense – more to do with relation to Ivo and the Dharma?
OK. So first I wouldn’t hurry at all. Don’t rush things. I have always been in a great hurry and what I see is that many people are doing the same, always rushing. Of course this also has to do with age, but nonetheless I really wouldn’t rush things. This doesn’t mean though that you should just be wasting your time and using “not rushing” as an excuse.
I wouldn’t be impatient with myself. It’s pretty easy to be patient with someone else, for example if someone is annoying you it’s easy to be patient towards them, just because you consider them to be something external you can objectively decide that you must be patient, that you shouldn’t get angry at them. But when it comes to our own inner life it turns out that we are extremely impatient with ourselves, that we are very aggressive towards ourselves, that we expect far too much – that we must at all costs achieve a given goal or make such and such an impression on somebody, or receive a particular teaching and so on. If we were a little bit more relaxed and patient – if I had had those things, then everything would’ve gone much smoother.
The other thing that I wouldn’t do is to receive teachings just because someone is giving them or because they’re very special. I wouldn’t worry at all to ask any questions whatsoever I might have. I would practice the teachings that I want to practice, and not just the ones that are being taught – one must know what is close to his heart and what isn’t.
What do you mean? You know that just about everything is being taught…
Yeah, but if someone tells you, do this and this – and he’s and authentic tibetan teacher, teaching you an authentic path and by following it you will achieve authentic realization? Let’s say that afterwards you found out you can’t follow that particular path – this doesn’t mean that you are a human being of lesser quality. Everybody is equal. All this would only mean that either your capacity was too low, or that you bumped into a teacher with a path not attuned to your personality or needs.
It’s not that things have to be difficult. There always are other methods which, as I said, don’t have to be difficult and it’s not obligatory that we struggle in order to achieve something, although for many people…
That’s the only way for many people?
It’s the only thing they understand, yes. Because we are taught that everything has to be very hard…
Yeah, that me must study, work… and only after we retire we might get some rest. All the time it’s being hammered into our heads that good things happen only after a long time, after many hardships, we’re taught that in order for something really nice to happen we almost need some kind of divine intervention, that fate must roll the dice. This isn’t true and unfortunately it’s only a small part of the treacherous game we are caught in.
I will add that under no circumstance would I be chasing numbers. I would be looking for getting satisfaction from the practice, not accumulating numbers of mantras, prostrations or such.
We must strive to reach a moment – no matter if it’s during the wakeful state or during dreaming – when we are absolutely sure that even if we die the next second we still possess a method which will help us. We should know in our hearts that by the power of our conviction we’ll end up in the place we want to end up – not in some of the lower realms. But even if we’re 100% sure in all this, then we must still be able to carry the responsibility for our current situation all by ourselves, from moment to moment.
What are your other questions?
What’s the biggest illusion that you’ve encountered since you’re with Ivo?
My biggest illusion?
Yeah, or any other for that matter…
I don’t know if it’s only one big illusion.
I’m asking in the sense that normally when we start on the spiritual path quite a number of such illusions are gradually left behind. When communicating with someone the same also happens…
Frankly, I can’t put aside something as “the biggest illusion”. I’ve had wrong views about many things, but put forth like that it’s a bit hard for me to answer your question.
OK. Has it been hard to live with Ivo?
It has been hard, but I can’t say that in the real sense of the word, like hard hard. It has been hard, because of my own laziness or because I would refuse to acknowledge my own problems…
You mean that Ivo hasn’t been too bad? :)
No, not at all. All hardships are self-fabricated – it’s self torture, so to speak. Life with him has always been very easy, much easier than with all of the other people I have spent time with. Life has been and still is exceptionally easy. All of the so-called hardships have really been just a nonsense. They manifested because of my own delusions – not because of some real problem. Maybe I can answer in a more simple manner. Life hasn’t been hard, but it has been complex.
Because one needs a lot of time in order to start to understand what’s really happening inside, and from there what’s happening with others as well. To be able to have a completely objective view – now I’m doing this, because of that, and I want something else, but I’m worried about a fourth thing, and so on. I’m talking about a perfectly honest and down to earth analysis of oneself and of another person, another being, without mixing in our own delusions and limitations. That’s what I’m learning and that’s the reason why life has been complex, but not hard. Hard is a very spoiled word.
Why do you say that?
Well, because most of the hardships that we deal with are unjustified psychological nonsense, thought up by ourselves. Only because everything has to be hard, because things have to be accomplished slowly, they have to be complicated, one has to feel that he or she is actually “doing” something and so on.
Is there something that you might say has been the most complex or difficult for you, when it comes to Ivo? Something that for you personally has been difficult to overcome?
No, there’s isn’t anything I can think of. Although I’ve had my problems with impatience and with my ability for good communication, I’ve never had any problems with trust. I know that Ivo is someone I can trust and that’s what matters. For me this has been proven beyond any doubt and in and of itself is enough, really.
So, tell me about some events that made a strong impression on you or that left lasting memories. For example your first trip to Nepal, or it could be something very mundane…
The thing with my memories is that I remember everything that has happened to me. I’m not sure this is a good trait… maybe I could tell about some of the more important moments?
Yes, of course. It’ll be very interesting.
What has really impressed me over the years – something that I myself am trying to learn – is Ivo’s ability for a non-biased, thorough and objective analysis of situations that are completely impossible to even comprehend in their entirety. I’m talking about a breakdown which totally surpasses what commonly would be possible for a normal very intelligent person.
Also, based on this analysis, there’s the ability to take specific actions with a clearly defined goal – until now this has many times led to several very drastic changes in our direction. Not exactly changes in direction, rather changes in circumstances – because the direction is always constant.
For example, all the things that have happened to me in the spiritual sense have been possible because they have happened to Ivo and just because I was with him – for example the decision to stop studying with a given master and instead find a different one.
Frankly, since all my trust in that particular teacher had been destroyed because of an unfortunate string of extremely unpleasant events, I was ready and willing to find a new master. Due to a lack of courage and flexibility I wasn’t as ready as I would’ve liked to be, but I couldn’t manage better at the time.
So that’s when we met Rabjam Rinpoche and that meeting completely changed a lot of things, completely changed my practice. Finally I had the opportunity to receive and practice meditations directly connected with Guru Rinpoche – something that I had always wished for.
Afterwards we went to Nepal several times. These trips made lasting changes in me, because it’s always a good thing to leave your home from time to time and visit new places – it makes you more relaxed and widens your worldview. On the energy level it really calms you down and at the same time gives you power.
Another very important event for me was when we went for the first time to meet Namkhai Norbu, again due to Ivo’s initiative, of course. These are some of the more important things that happened to me, but they do not include any personal things concerning Ivo.
What do you mean – that this is beside your history together?
Yes, that’s beside our history together. In a sense it’s still connected of course, but involves third parties.
If you can think of something else please share it, otherwise I’ll go to the next question?
I think that the single most important event that has made a really strong impression on me is the fact that we met. For me everything else is comprised of just minor events which really don’t matter so much. They are part of some kind of parallel “spiritual” carrier that I have been developing, only due to the fact that here – in the West or East, doesn’t matter – there exist remnants of a spiritual tradition.
So you mean that the more important thing is the fact that you became acquainted?
Yes, definitely so in the personal and emotional sense. But this isn’t just some random irrational emotion. If I undergo a very detailed, deep and objective analysis of the spiritual things that I have been involved in and then compare them to the simple fact that I met Ivo, then without a shadow of doubt I can say that for me this meeting was far more significant than everything else. All the other things were really just circumstances along the way, which of course played a role – they were beneficial, but were secondary.
What kind of person is Ivo? What is he?
I’m not going to try to define stuff like that. The closest thing I can say on the matter is that more than anything else he is like a mirror of ourselves. This isn’t some kind of role that he is very good at, nor is it the result of acquired skills. He simply is that – it’s not and additional construct. Somehow that’s his original mode.
I would like to just add at this point that there’s a huge difference between somebody who’s trying to be a mirror and someone who really is. Most teachers are actually just trying.
And what is he for you, can you put him in a category at all? Could you say that he’s your friend, teacher or a necessary annoyance? :)
For me he’s somebody that does things not easily accepted by the public and in a very magical way helps people rise out of their own shit. From then on this example puts things in such a way, that everything depends on the public, not on the magician.
Have you ever wished that you hadn’t met at all? Were there any such moments?
No, no moments like that.
Then have you ever wished that you hadn’t become interested in the Dharma?
Yes, I have wished that. Not because of the Dharma, but because the impurities that are involved in “practicing the Dharma”. For example, let’s say you’re sitting and thinking how much you don’t want to do a particular thing, because it isn’t working for you and you’re just wasting your time – this is Dharma. (Laughs) So in the real sense, it’s the same as reaching the conclusion that you’re doing something harmful to yourself and to others, and deciding to stop doing it. That’s Dharma, so…
I’m not sure that I entirely understood, but it does sound interesting.
If one is weary enough of others and of oneself, then this has some positive sides. One of them is that you are weary of playing your own games and you’re a little but more weary of others, so you play their games just a little bit less, and you’re also tired of being witness to all this. So, when somebody starts playing their games you are not hooked, and just by not being hooked you dissuade them. It’s just like a kid that’s one or two years older than the other kids. Their games don’t interest him anymore. That doesn’t mean that he’s all grown up, there’s always another level. What else have you got there?
What’s the principal quality… Well, you already mentioned many things, but what’s the one quality that you value most in Ivo?
His best quality is that you can count on him. Personally for me this is very important, mainly because of my karmic history from the near and distant future with people who are completely unreliable. The reason that you can count on him is that he’s not interested in himself, he’s not preoccupied with himself – as opposed to everyone else – and this gives him the freedom and capability to be of benefit.
So then what’s the thing that annoys you the most?
Well, exactly the same thing, because normally one wants to receive some kind of comfortable reply, because we normally have a hidden agenda. We’re always pursuing our own plans. Maybe we’re after security, comfort, acknowledgment, encouragement – all sorts of things. Generally when we’re communicating with someone – we just communicate – but often we’re unaware of what’s really going on. Even when we start to understand a little bit what we’re saying and why we’re saying it there’s just so many levels, that if we were to get to the real reason and to our real motives we discover that often they come from fear.
Do you plan on staying with Ivo?
Yes, I do. Up to whenever and however circumstances allow it.
What are the things you did together about which you feel most happy?
I’m most happy about the fact the there’s the ability – and this isn’t my ability but I do witness it in him – Ivo has the ability to just leave things. He can be involved 100%, but if there comes a moment when that thing isn’t of any benefit anymore, then he can completely drop it and start something new and again invest 100%. And because of this ability everything has been going so well from moment to moment.
I’m very pleased by the fact that we changed situations several times, situations that were very beneficial up to a given moment and then suddenly were depleted. But instead of trying to push things we simply switched to totally new circumstances which again were extremely beneficial for a given period of time and after they too were spent, they were exchanged for a new set – this has happened several times.
I’m giving you a very general reply, but I really do feel quite at ease because of this ability that the people around me possess. I’m not a flexible person and approach everything new very slowly and with extreme caution. The moment I involve myself then I always give 100% and afterwards I find it difficult to stop. If it was for me I most probably would actually give up completely, but after so many years I’m starting to warm up to the idea that it’s not necessary to abandon things, it’s possible to do them in a better way, a different way and a more beneficial way.
Do you consider that Ivo goes beyond some boundaries, that he goes too far?
No. But I do think that there’re many boundaries that shouldn’t be there. I too have a lot of boundaries most of which are self imposed. Everything that he does depends entirely on the collective karma, so you can’t really say that he crosses boundaries that he shouldn’t or that he doesn’t cross boundaries that he should. This depends entirely on people and the boundaries they have. The fact that he does cross boundaries simply means that there’re more people that are OK with the fact. Otherwise it wouldn’t be possible. The phenomena, the process and the perception are dependent on both parties. It’s co-dependent.
Could you say that you’re bored of your life with Ivo?
I’m totally disillusioned by life.
Of life with Ivo?
No, not of life with him. It’s hard to be bored around him and I don’t think I’ll ever be. I think that 11 years is more than enough time for this to become evident.
Has your view of the world changed drastically since you were together?
Yes, it has changed very much. To be honest I can’t recall exactly what my views were once upon a time or even if I had any defined and conscious views and not just motives and scenarios that I instinctively followed. My views are continuously changing. I don’t think this is something that will ever stop, but I’m trying to get used to the idea.
Could you mention something for which you will always be grateful to him?
I could mention several things, there’re several such things. What’s pertinent to the interview is that he never seeks his own personal profit… in all our dealings and communication he has never wanted anything for himself.
Is there something that you would never forgive him?
No. All such things have always been complete nonsense and the inability to forgive tells us a lot about someone’s state and their complete incapacity to understand what kind of world we live in and basically means that they’re blind, deaf, mute, stupid and very lowly. (Laughs)
Are there any things in him without which you wouldn’t be able to manage?
He provides me with a reference point for everything. When I can’t figure out a given situation by myself – be it concerning things within me or another person, no matter what it is – this reference point gives me great strength and certainty. This truthfulness that one can receive from him is very important. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about everyday mundane stuff, spiritual, social, universal events or whatever else. It’s not very easy to be honest with oneself and to have a clear understanding what’s happening to ourselves, let alone to know what’s going on inside others. No matter how “advanced” we might be a moment comes when we realize that we’re not as advanced as we had thought and that once again we’ve become entangled in our own games. For me it’s important that I can see these games so that I don’t waste my time too much, even if I can’t really to stop them. Playing games is a constant activity for many people and they end up living in a world made up of unreal “thought up” phenomena which take up all their attention. Actually, what’s really happening is that everyone distracts themselves and wastes their time, only because they fear stopping the process. It’s as though if they stop playing the game, they’ll somehow cease to exist or will somehow lose themselves… this is all unnecessary.
Have you been scared of Ivo and are you scared now?
To be scared? This word can have quite a number of meanings and connotations.
Well, in any sense then.
I’m a little bit anxious when it comes to new things, which often come up, because I need some time to get used to new ideas. I’m very conservative and cautious and quite fearful of new things. I have always been like that and that’s why I tend to be a bit shocked when we begin something new, new activities, even when it comes to simple mundane stuff. I need some time to warm up to the idea, I need to say to myself “OK, now here’s the new thing”. That’s the best reply I can give to your question.
People tend to think that since we’re around our teacher we’re very serious practitioners or something of the sort. In truth what are we – or if you prefer to talk about yourself only? What would you say to these people?
Well, I would say that there’s something true about that, because obviously they’re not with their teacher. I would say that whether you’re a serious practitioner or not doesn’t depend on how much time you have sat and read or how many posts you have in an internet forum, or how much you have meditated. Your level can be seen from your view of the world. It’s clear that we all have big, small and medium sized emotional problems, inhibitions and fears, anxieties, desires, positive and negative qualities of all sorts. But until you continue to feel part of the whole mess – that is, if you have noticed that there is a “mess” in the first place – then you really shouldn’t feel like you’ve accomplished that much and there’s still work to be done.
I wouldn’t say that I’m helping alleviate the present situation that much. Nonetheless I’m definitely not contributing anything for it to become worse. What’s happening to me at the moment is part of a very long project and especially recently I’m feeling more and more like a guest – a guest in a place where there’s a lot of work to be done, a place where things are difficult and slow to accomplish.
So of course everyone is free to think about us whatever they wish. I’m convinced that it will all be very much stained by their own inhibitions and fears. The fact is that until we’re completely certain that inside each one of us there exists something that is unstained and clear, then we definitely haven’t accomplished anything special and there’s still some way to go.
I’m sure that Ivo constantly surprises everyone, but what’s the moment or what are the moments when you were really surprised by him? What’s the thing that’s most surprising about him?
There are so many such individual events that it has all become routine. Ivo does a lot of things that would surprise many people, but in most cases what happens is that people simply are surprising themselves. People that get surprised are like someone who thinks and thinks and then suddenly comes to a surprising conclusion and voila – they’re surprised. (Laughs)
I can’t really think of an example without it sounding too idiotic. But if someone is surprised by something this means that they have certain limitations. They’re limited by too many opinions or too much programming about how things are done, what’s normal and what’s not. The truth is that if we didn’t experience surprises from time to time then life would be so boring.
Could you say that Ivo is tolerant or uncompromising? Or both?
I don’t see such a big difference between the two. His actions have always been very tolerant and very uncompromising – these qualities always go hand in hand whatever he does.
If you could change something about him what would it be?
Nothing, I wouldn’t change anything. If there’s something impossible in the universe it’s for me to want to change any of these things.
And have you spoken to some of his teachers about him? Could you share something in connection with this?
Have I spoken? No. I don’t need to speak with mine or someone else’s teachers to ask something or to clarify some kind of questions that I might have in respect to him, this sounds absurd and I would never do it.
What has happened though is that I’ve witnessed how they have treated him. And what I have witnessed is that they treat him in a completely different manner from all their other students that were around at the time. Ivo has always received all the teachings he has requested without any limitation from teachers that generally don’t give any teachings to anyone, teachers that are very hard to meet – and they have all made very serious and specific efforts so that he receives teachings from them and so that real attention is paid to what is going on. Forget about the usual “O yes, we will see what we can do about that…”, “O yes, so and so is going to transmit them to you…”, “O yes, you have my blessings…” – this is just nonsense for westerners and tibetans, because all this is… the Tibetan tradition is a big spiritual marketplace and many different things happen to anyone who enters the market. There are teachers who are authentic masters, but they also have to function in a…
(Laughs) Yeah, in a market economy. But when a teacher is for real, then you can see the huge differentiation he makes between the mobs of ordinary beings that go to him and the very few extraordinary beings that visit from time to time. In a sense they have always treated Ivo as a master from another spiritual tradition. So that you don’t get this wrong – they have always acted like teachers, but like a teacher would with an equal, not like a teacher would with a student. I witnessed one such very peculiar exchange during which I was completely shocked. I’m not going to recount it now though.
I would just like to add that communication between beings with a serious capacity is multidimensional and it brings real joy to the heart when one is lucky enough to witness such events.
Is there something that I’m forgetting to ask that you would like to say to those practicing presently and who will do so in the future?
(Laughs) I would say that it’s important that they do whatever they can to retain their freshness and lack of fear. What I see in myself and in many other people – some of which are doing things in a real crooked way, some of which in a semi-OK manner – are great quantities of fear. This is at the unconscious level – panic and fear of change, loss, insecurity. Of course this is easily understandable having in mind just how many times we have been born, died, lost, been loved, have loved – and all other emotional and physiological phenomena we can think of. But this world that we perceive and experience is a world that we ourselves create and maintain, and it’s important that we do whatever we can to this fact. All this isn’t necessary and this knowledge can only be of benefit to us.
Is there something you would like to say to Ivo that you still haven’t?
I would really like him to laugh a lot when he reads this and wish that it becomes the cause for many happy and new experiences.
OK. If you were to meet yourself at the moment that you encountered Ivo what advice would you give yourself? To that 16 year old boy?
I wouldn’t give myself any advice. I would sit and watch. If in front of me sits the person I have been at anytime before the recent two years, I would just sit and watch. Without saying anything.
Do you think that many people have the wrong idea about Ivo? Some may hate him, others may worship him. What would you say to both parties?
I would say that whatever they do, they will still break their necks and until they become tired of that, nothing will ever help them. They will get hurt by even the most impossible thing in the world. That’s what I would say to them. If they love him, it’s entirely their own business. If they hate him, it’s entirely their own business. The fact that we love or hate someone will bring results only for us. What someone thinks about Ivo has absolutely nothing to do with him. Most people can’t tell what’s going on with themselves, let alone be able to assume correctly when it comes to others. I can only say that everyone should do what they feel is right and cross their fingers that it doesn’t take them at least three more aeons to finally figure out what’s really going on.
What do you think is the most common mistake people make when encountering the spiritual path?
If we’re talking about the majority of people, the most common problem is that people are completely unable to have a clear understanding of anything that goes on inside them. They’re not capable of understanding why they’re seeking a spiritual path. They’re not capable of understanding what is a spiritual path. They don’t understand that they’re fooling themselves that they are seeking a spiritual path, when in fact they secretly desire something entirely different. Nobody knows anything. The ability for honest self-analysis isn’t even at the first grade level. Here we’re at the level of microbes. The level’s somewhere about there.
I would like to thank you very much for all your replies. My last question is what advice you would give to someone who has just met Ivo and has decided that he wants to become his student?
What advice I would give? Well, he should become his student, why not? But this person really needs to remember that it was his own conscious decision, that he/she has come to this decision on their own. We must be really honest with ourselves when it comes to this – only then can such a decision be really beneficial. Otherwise we would just be wasting each other’s time, that’s all.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority,
it is time to pause and reflect.
– Mark Twain