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What is a Good Life? #37
Exploring Before Psychology with Piers Thurston
On the 37th episode of the What is a Good Life? podcast, I am delighted to have Piers Thurston as our guest.
Piers is the founder of Quality of Mind, where he explores profound realisations that precede psychology, leading to transformative shifts in psychology.
In this episode, Piers takes us on his journey, from exploring counselling, NLP, and other modalities to direct path non-duality.
We also discuss the challenges often faced in personal development rooted in self-identification, breaking free from our addiction to focussing on our psychology, transcending the confines of the mind while fully embracing our emotions, and ultimately, discovering a sense of oneness and ease that can be experienced in life when we let go of our attachment to the separate self.
If you’re frustrated with your personal development endeavours or you find yourself clinging too tightly to your self-identity, at the cost of more fully connecting with others and life itself, this episode offers plenty of food for thought.
It also articulates or points to a oneness that you've perhaps long suspected, but resisted embracing, that can have a profound effect on how you perceive life.
The weekly clip from the podcast (3 mins), my weekly reflection (2 mins), the full podcast (58 mins), and the weekly questions all follow below.
1. Weekly Clip from the Podcast
2. My weekly reflection
Through my various lines of self-inquiry, I find it interesting to observe that at the end of multiple tracks and experiences, I am running out of space to maintain my attachment to my separate self.
While on some level, we are comfortable saying things like "we are all connected," perhaps even "we are all one," there still appears to be an incredibly strong desire for us to cling to our individual separateness to prove something before embracing our destiny of oneness.
When I reflect on my meditation practice, at least initially, there was a focus on attaining a form of enlightenment, and as far as I understood it, that process would end with the dissolution of the ego and merging into oneness. But initially, I desired to showcase my individual “brilliance” in attaining enlightenment before merging into the collective oneness.
When I contemplate my secular perspective on God, I consider there to be a creative force of some kind behind it all, and we all perhaps contain a divinity or are fragments of God, once again rendering my separateness a little moot in the grand scheme of things.
When I indulge my scientific curiosities and consider the idea that we all originate from stardust or, from reading David Bohm’s Hidden Variables paper, which alludes to a “guiding wavefunction” and a wholeness and interconnectedness of everything, once again, at the end of the path, there is no separateness.
Even if I ponder the notion of discovering our true self or being born with a purpose, I must wonder about the sense of control, separateness, or autonomy that exists within this life that we perceive ourselves to be orchestrating and governing. Assuming the true self is something that already exists within, something at my core (or even soul), that I am attempting to reveal.
Finally, whether it is during meditation, sitting in a park, engaging in deeply connected conversations, my handful of psychedelic experiences, the more frequently I am exposed to experiences that reveal more connection rather than separateness, that show I am more of an observer of life than a controller and influencer of it, and that my sense of separate self is merely a mirage on the surface of life, not a deeper reality.
This may sound like aimless philosophical musings and nothing more; however, the more I engage with and experience life from this perspective, the more life makes sense to me, even without understanding it. The more grace and space opens up in my life for me to flow with it, rather than stress and resist against it.
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3. Full Episode - Exploring Before Psychology with Piers Thurston - What is a Good Life? #37
4. This week’s Questions
What aspects of life do you believe you have control over, even when your feelings or life experiences seem to suggest otherwise?
How might your relationships change if you accepted the idea that humans have no free will whatsoever?
I am a Coach based in Berlin, via Dublin, Ireland. I left behind a 15-year career in Capital Markets after I became extremely curious around answering some of the bigger questions in life. I started this project in 2021, for which I’ve now interviewed over 150 people, to provide people with the space to reflect on their own lives and to create content that would spark people’s own inquiry into this question. I am also trying to share more genuine expressions of the human experience, beyond the facades we typically project.