Welcome to the Art of Humanity, where we explore creativity + consciousness to allow you and your business to evolve. Today I'm thrilled to have with me, Bernhard Guenther.
Bernhard's blog Piercing the Veil of Reality is a wide-ranging collection of articles, films and interviews/talks, ranging from spirituality, shamanism, psychology, self-work, esotericism, history, to the paranormal and hyperdimensional realities. His work has been featured on various websites and radio stations/podcasts across the internet. He's an incredible person who has gone through transformative development through holistic healing by applying an array of spiritual paths. And he writes about it so that we can all find our way through the light and the dark. Bernhard, thank you for joining me.
1. Bernhard, let's get straight to your work. The world is going through so much stuff. And there's this sense of security and a deep knowing that I get when I read your posts on veilofreality.com. For people who may be new to your work, what how do we adjust our mentality during this time of transition? We're all awakening at our own pace and experiencing our own evolution of consciousness. I'll start really macro so you can take it wherever you want to go…but how can we best understand the process of awakening during this evolution of consciousness?
Well, you can look at it from different angles so to speak but from the bigger picture perspective in terms of awakening it always entails seeking truth – and understanding or researching or learning of what is really going on in the world to how our world and our reality is really structured that is a 180 degree opposite of the way of what we've been told or taught. One big first step is really questioning everything. All of our ingrained beliefs, what we've been told and taught – including the ultimate question of who we are and where do we come from?
If you dig a bit deeper and really are sincere and tumble down the rabbit hole, it often seems that Truth is stranger than fiction…as the saying goes. That process can be very challenging because it confronts a lot of people with deeply ingrained cultural and social beliefs about themselves and the world in which they live in. That most often results in cognitive dissonance (which is a psychological self-defense mechanism that rejects new information if one is very attached to certain beliefs).
So this Awakening process happens on different levels: It relates to belief systems and entails disillusionment…to realize that we've been believing in lies. And we've been lying to ourselves and that's a big step in the awakening process to confront the lies. So that's the outer work. So research, study, deconditioning and unlearning is a big part of it.
And the other part is most definitely the inner work…which relates to the psychological, spiritual esoteric process: To clear our wounds and traumas from the past like childhood wounding and other traumas throughout our life. Based on growing up in a pathological world that is not in alignment with nature and the Divine.
“It's no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” – Krishnamurti
In this process of awakening, we always need to question what does it mean to awaken? Awakening goes beyond an intellectual understanding and it's more of an embodiment process. And this embodiment process from an esoteric perspective relates to soul embodiment because the root word of embodiment literally means “spirit as it ties into the flesh.” And that ties back to the great work and what all of the great esoteric teachings have talked about – finding our way back home so to speak. In alignment with Divine will/The Divine will is in ourselves. There are no religious authorities outside of ourselves. Religions are part of the whole problem. Dogma ties this whole knowledge. It's about getting into our own bodies and clearing out anything that's stuck there and essentially finding our own inner voice, intuition, and guidance that aligns us with who we are – not who we think we are. It's a two-fold process: Seeking Truth within and without. And it's a process that's different for each because we're all different individuals with different lessons to learn and different talents to develop. Right now, we are in this time of Transition and it's all being heightened even more and rising exponentially.
2. And it's so important to allow this state of being to happen. You're such a wealth of knowledge and information. You posted something from Philip Shepherd, which led me to him (I interviewed him previously on The Art of Humanity). He talks about the work of embodiment. And the more that I read the more that I find, that the more we start to dabble in these mystic practices, the first thing that struck me is that it's legit. It's internal work that many people have dabbled in – gone off in other dimensions. It's an alchemical process of inner transformation that just a few years ago was seen as “out there.” (e.g., Dr. Strange).
How do we allow this inner healing process to transpire? Because we're all hearing this information at different points in our awakening. What are some ways we can do this during our alchemical process?
Philip Shepherd's book “New Self New World” is a great introduction to the whole embodiment process. What you said about science – even the esoteric teachings, it's an esoteric science the awakening process. It's not some “woo-woo” stuff based on just superstition and belief. And yes, some of that has been distorted because of the “woo woo” age. There's a lot of Truth mixed with lies. But the deep esoteric teachings literally are a science that you can verify yourself if you engage in it for yourself. And every true esoteric teacher, like Sri Aurobindo, tell the students “don't believe anything until you have verified it for yourself.” That's the whole basis of science – you can verify it or not. So, if you engage in these practices sincerely, you can verify it for yourself – but it's an internal verification.
But back to your question, just on a very basic, practical level it's really getting out of our heads more and simplifying life. Especially in this day and age with all of the craziness going on out there. I see it in my own life – it's about simplifying, simplifying, simplifying. And by simplifying, I don't mean to live in poor conditions (not materialistic terms) but simplifying your way of “being” or “thinking” and not giving into our mechanical behavior – especially this day in age with technology which is great. That's why we're doing this interview over Skype. It connects us over social media and it's beautiful to network. But at the same time, we've gotten addicted to our cell phones. We're constantly needing to check our messages. A side effect is that it diminishes our attention space more and more – we can't focus and we're distracted by stuff all of the time. It's really more about disconnecting from that and spending time in nature or having a consistent body/mind practice. That I can highly recommend: yoga, meditation, qigong, or conscious dancing. But really make it consistent.
I've found that it's better to meditate or do yoga every day for just 15 minutes instead of going to one yoga class for 90 minutes a week. Because if you do it consistently, that internal focus really starts on physical biochemistry level starts to rewire your brain. And you're able to calm down more and get into your parasympathetic nervous system. You don't become so reactive…that's the whole problem as well. People are so reactive and they get triggered so easily. There's polarization – liberals vs. conservatives. And everybody is upset and it's not feeding into that chaotic, reactive frenzy out there. Staying grounded and not being reactive – and keeping your center within. So it's mindfully finding and looking for what practices what work for you specifically. Because everybody is different. One of the biggest diseases in this world
One of the biggest diseases in this world is comparison. It's great to be inspired by others in a sense but still, we need to find our own way. What I've noticed (because I've been working with individuals one-on one for 15 years) is that what works for one may not work for another. I help my clients tap into their own intuition and empowerment and their own personal guidance. I never tell my clients what they should do. I can give suggestions here and there but I want them to take responsibility really to tune into their own intuition. And that's the problem because we've gotten so disembodied in our society that we live in our heads and we've lost our internal guidance. When we do this, we always look for external guidance for someone to tell us what to do which is in a roundabout way, what leads to the rise of authoritarianism. We look for leaders and governments and presidents to lead the way and it disconnects us from our own inner guides which is so unique to us. But it's found in the body – more specifically the gut, the pelvic floor. This all relates to this embodiment – to individualizing the soul. We tune more into the Dao, the flow of life, and don't react so desperate with fear or in panic. But come more from a grounded space of being. But on a practical, simple level it's really about integrating these conscious, body-mind practices into daily life.
3. It's important to do it yourself – especially as a coach. You're paving the way for others who are going through things at a different pace than you. But you're telling everyone that it's ok. We're all collectively going through it in our own unique ways. Carl Jung talks about the collective unconscious. You study it, you teach it, and you be it. It's a beautiful thing – it's not easy work. No one willingly says “I want to do this deep, transformative work.” You speak to this in a new article that describes what you've been experiencing. And you wrote a recent article that has a disclaimer that says “don't read if you have a 7-second attention span.”Â
Reading your words and knowing you've been going through it for years – it is reassuring to know that there's a purpose to this madness. In your work, you seem to have such a profound mindset. And it's a bit unconventional to some – to me, it makes sense. And I love reading your stuff. And I want listeners to learn more about the purpose – to see the big, macro level of what we're experiencing today and how it pertains to us as individuals and the collective as a whole?
We're going through a major shift – which a time of transition. I haven't coined it but a lot of prophesies and mystery schools and esoteric teachings have hinted at this. It's written in the book Gnosis by Boris Mouravieff that this is a time of transition. There's a lot of upheaval. I just published an article Climate Change and the Time of Transition and it's a very different view on Climate Change that may trigger a lot of climate change fighters out there who believe in manmade global warming. But there's something much bigger happening here and it has happened many times before to ancient civilizations – none of which we can read about in our official history books because the history that we've been told and taught through our official institutions is not the Truth. So, time is cyclical. We are in another opportunity of a bigger shift.
The Earth is going through its own ascension process – something bigger is happening and that manifests also in the climate in Earth changes and weather changes. Our own internal level of being and our own dis-alignment with nature and our true selves is manifested in this upheaval and this extreme weather. It's almost like a wake-up call but necessarily to be more “environmentally friendly” which goes without saying but to really do the inner work.
People don't usually start to question the world or start to work on themselves until they suffer. And I see more and more people suffering. But it has a purpose. It's the voice of the Divine almost screaming – we need to do our inner-work – to align with the higher frequencies – and that is not an easy process, especially in the beginning. Like you mentioned, it entails deep, shadow work within ourselves that we don't like to look at but we like to externalize and blame others for. So it's about taking full responsibility for your life. And even with my own work the only reason I got into it and started writing was because I suffered. In my early 20's I didn't fit into life, I was dealing with despair and depression until I realized one day I need to figure out “who am I?” What am I about? So that was out of the suffering. And then I realized: Depression is the cry of the soul – not a disease or an illness – it's far from a mental illness as official culture and society makes us believe and then gives us pills to suppress it. But actually depression and not being able to fit in is ironically from an esoteric perspective a healthy reaction to an intact spiritual immune society. It means there needs to be an adjustment within.
Krishnamurti: “It's no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
And that's what people do. People constantly try to adjust to a pathological society and world that's out of tune with nature and the divine so it's a closed-loop. It just increases more suffering and frustration and illness and sickness on all of these levels until we stop, go within, and do our clearing within – and then we become more in alignment with who we truly are. And as hard as the work is in the beginning – it can be very challenging. To cross the first threshold is really the hardest because it requires the death of the ego personality – the conditioned personality that a lot of people identify with because of its desires, wants, and needs that are not their own.
They've taken on conditional programming from public education (which is more like programming), from media, parents, and from society and religious programming in general. A lot people are not themselves. They identify with a personality of them and that they think it's them. But it's not their true selves. It's all about this deconditioning – this unlearning to find our true center. There comes aÂ time when there's light at the end of the tunnel. And then we can experience true love, true fulfillment, and true joy and happiness that does not depend on anything external because you have found the source within.
3. From a young age, I've always felt the world is so harsh. And it's so important to tune into ourselves. And to hear you say that depression is a cry from your soul. How can we make our sensitivity positively impact the world? How can we flip the suffering on its head so that we can impact not only ourselves but transform the world?
Ironically, it's part of the Matrix-control system set up. The world is not built for sensitive souls – or introverted souls. The world is built to be “successful” in Matrix terms (e.g., the ultimate fame and money), it doesn't pay off to be very sensitive. It doesn't pay off to be introverted. It's all in who you know: Present yourself, show confidence, show strength. No pain no gain. It's based on this overriding male aspect of consciousness. So that can already be very discouraging because the world does not support sensitive souls. And then on top of it, you're being shamed that something is wrong with you. Or the whole distortion of “health care” in our Western modern world and pharmaceuticals telling you that you're mentally ill.
People are very afraid to show their vulnerability – to show their weakness. Because we live in the culture that, especially in the U.S., which kind of threw me off, by the way, when I came from Germany to the U.S. because people greet each other with “hey, how are you?” When I first came from Germany to the U.S. 23 years ago and people are like “hey, how are you?” And I'm like “whoah this person is interested in how I'm doing.” So I'm just sharing my issues and my problems, and then I realized that the standard answer is “good” or you reply the question with the same question “how are you?” like a form of reading. But it says a lot. And I love California and I love LA. And I live in Topanga and I love the sun but there's something to be said about the superficiality of people here. They have a strong mask.
I can read people very easily and look through the mask. But going back to the question: It comes down to owning your vulnerability because that's a true sign of strength. That's courage – to show their vulnerability – especially for men that seem‚ very hard. It's a male, masculine wound. We are so conditioned and “boys don't cry” and we associate showing any vulnerability or emotion as a weakness but it's about embracing this vulnerability. And when I say “embracing vulnerability” it's not about self-pity or blame. Vulnerability is about acknowledging these negative feelings – which we all have varying degrees of suffering, and then just honoring them which transmutes them already. And then sharing them. When we share our vulnerabilities, it can inspire others in beautiful ways. I see all of the time in my retreats in Peru in the middle of the jungle, The Time of Transition Retreat and we do deep work for 9 days. In this beautiful group, healing happens. That's literally how we can heal each other – by increasing our inherent compacity for compassion.
4. I'm so glad that you're here in California, Bernhard. Because I love meeting people like you. And I love knowing that you're down the street in Topanga Canyon. A lot of technological glitches happened during my transition from the East coast to the West coast. Knowing there's this certain futility of personal will in this day in age. During initiations, there's an importance of letting intentions guide us and letting go of that striving and masculine energy. And I find so much beauty in that. I try to be here as much as I can: Letting the surrender happen to us instead of pushing. Can you speak to this concept of letting the energy work through you instead of pushing up against it?
That ties into what Adyashanti summarizing what Enlightenment is in one sentence: “Enlightenment is the complete eradication of any resistance to what is.”
It's far easier said than done. This kind of surrender doesn't mean giving up or just becoming a couch potato. That's the evil form of surrender. But the surrender comes from this deep, embodiment process of the reality and Divine. And then a whole new reality opens up. But we are constantly resisting.
Our body, we are all dealing with tension – we're always holding onto something. I'm a bodyworker. I've worked on thousands of people. Our bodies are a biography – every little thing such as stress, a breakup, wound we have in our past life is stored in the body until it's released consciously. And if it's not released consciously itÃ‚Â creates muscle tension, pain, and even illness. It's all energetics. First of all, it's all about not believing our thoughts – getting out of our heads. Most of us are too identified with the thoughts we have. But these thoughts aren't even our own. They can be records playing from our past based on conditioning or programming.
Sometimes we take on other people's energy and thoughts – and they're not our own. That's a reality that a lot of empaths deal with. And then it goes into deeper, more esoteric concepts – like hyperdimensional, occult interference that tempts us on the wrong path. It depends on the level you want to look at it. But I'm at the point, whenever I am in my head and the moment I think in “should” terms, I know I'm not aligned. I don't make any decision if there's any desperation or fear. I know I'm not aligned. So, what do I do?
It's about patience until I become a more clear, embodied image until I can listen to my non-verbal voice that can tell me what's good for me.
For example, that friction is out of alignment. And I waste a lot of time and energy and got myself into “wrong situations” because I wasn't listening to my bodily intuition. You can verify it for yourself. If you look back at your life and recapitulate – the red flags were all over but you didn't listen to them. You were feeling and sensing but you didn't trust it. And that's the thing: We don't trust ourselves – which relates to a lack of self-love. And it goes back into social conditioning. But we all have this bodily intuition and this inner guidance. And the more we listen to that, the more also we get into the flow and there's less resistance. When we're frustrated, that's a sign of resistance and it's also a sign that we're not in alignment. Instead of forcing things to happen, we need to just stop. And that's hard for a lot of people to do – to just stop and let it be.
5. It's really challenging. I've been able to access that. If it's not a hell yes – it's a fuck no. It simplifies life to such an extreme. And life becomes fluid and full of grace and ease. I can talk to that and access that. But I slip out of it. What are some tools or techniques that we can use to stay in the place of higher vibration being and embody that state of being?
First of all, for the record I'm not always in that space because that would entail enlightenment. I'm in my own process. And it's not a linear road – it's like a spiral, like a labyrinth. This process of embodiment is like a roller coaster ride so that needs to be considered first and foremost. We talked in this interview just before the recording, I was in a downward spiral during the eclipse – into feelings of sadness and loneliness. But what I've learned is not to fight it and not resist it. So I just not to be with it and sit with it. Not overthink it or overanalyze it. And do something good for myself. We sometimes forget in our own process, to give the inner child something. When I go into the water, I regress to the little child. I giggle It's my medicine. It's like the innocence of the inner child to connect to that when you're down. And when you're really down, you're not able to do that. I'm not avoiding it but I'm also not fighting it. So, instead of fighting the emotions when it comes up…it's loving what arises. It's not self-talk of positive distortions or forcing yourself to think positive. It's true acceptance to what is. Ok, feel into it. And then the release happens.
We talked in this interview just before the recording, that a few weeks ago I was in a downward spiral during the eclipse – into feelings of sadness and loneliness. And just not feeling good in a way I haven't felt good in a long time. But what I've learned is not to fight it and not resist it. So I just not to be with it and sit with it. Not overthink it or overanalyze it. And just do something good for myself. We sometimes forget in our own inner process, with plucking out the weeds to water the flowers is to really do what gives you joy so that the joyful child can respond to it. When I go into the water, I regress to the little child. I giggle. It's my medicine. It's like that innocence of the inner child to connect to that when you're down. And sometimes when you're really down as what happened to me, you're not able to do anything. I wasn't able to do yoga or chi gong practice. I was out. But I surrender to it. I watch a movie. I'm not avoiding it but I'm also not fighting it. We just need to feel the emotions too and not fight the emotions. Loving what arises…that's the true meaning of self-love. It's not about self-talk of positive affirmations or forcing yourself to think positively which is a complete New Age distortion of love but loving all parts of yourself even the so-called negative which you judge yourself for. Many of us are too hard on ourselves and we deal with guilt and shame. It's really true acceptance to how we feel. If we feel sadness, ok, feel into it. And then maybe tears come up and then you cry a little bit. That's great. And the release happens and it's beautiful. That raises your frequency, ironically.
In order to anchor the higher frequency and stay on this higher vibration, we need also embrace the shadow side: Make the darkness conscious to clear our vessel from all of the stuff you've suppressed, denied or avoided. Clear that by experiencing it in order for the higher frequencies to anchor it. That's the whole point of shadow work: You have to empty the cup before it can be filled again.
6. Instead of consuming it's detoxing. And I came here, and it's not that I'm a couch potato but rather a subtle, bodywork done in a different way that I'm allowing myself to do. But I'm doing bodywork in a different way – not in a physical way.
Embodiment again, the root word means “spirit incarnated in the flesh.” You're talking about the spiritual work of embodiment. You can be an amazing athlete but not be embodied. I have a lot of clients who are addicted to working out and the physical aspect of yoga but they use it as avoidance and to dissociate even more. They get hooked on the endorphins or the physical body image which is a whole other topic – especially women in this day and age based on culture. If embodiment meant to get into physical shape than any professional athlete or Cirque du Soleil acrobat would be completely embodied in enlightened. That's not the point. Same thing with yoga – just becoming more flexible is not the point. And the way yoga is being portrayed here in the West is a very distorted and superficial version of what yoga truly is about. The physical practice of yoga is maybe .5% of what yoga is about.
Yoga means “Union with the Divine.” And it's about work towards self-realization. It's deep esoteric work. And the ancient yogis who came up with the physical asanas simply came up with it because they got tight in meditation and they wanted to loosen up their body because it calms down the body and the mind. Nowadays, we use yoga to get in shape and to get tighter butts and what not. I'm not judging it and there's a lot of value in that. But again, it's way more – the whole embodiment process is way more than the physical aspect.
So, getting back to your question: Yes, embodiment is a more internal subtle process. It's feeling the subtle energies within.
7. I'm glad to hear you say that because I'm ok to not be attached to that physical body but to integrate that deep, physical work I did in my previous life into my subtle bodywork I do today – and tapping into it. But not being attached to those six-pack abs. What do you do on a day-to-day?
Every morning, I do qigong which is a beautiful self-healing modality. That's what I'm missing. A yin practice – slowing down.
I feel my body – I want to feel my body. First, I want to feel all sensations. What is going on? I got really sensitive in feeling my energy chakras – just putting the awareness there. As always, thoughts come in and out but I do not attach to them. And then I bring awareness back to the breath. And I work with intention and with prayer – collecting with Source and the Higher Divine. It's aligning with aligning with
For me, it's not about what I think my ego wants. So again, it's also that surrender. It's letting go of the illusion of control. So, that's my daily practice. And it depends…I'm not a machine or a robot. Sometimes I'm not feeling aligned in the morning and maybe I'll do 5 minutes of chi gong. And yin yoga – staying in stretches for a long time. And I go as much as I can into the ocean. It's cleansing.
Consistency is key. I'm not into power yoga. I don't go to gyms. I haven't lifted a weight in 25 years.
Bernhard and I in Topanga Canyon
8. I love that you practice what you preach over at veilofreality.com. And each article is like a book. Where else can listeners go to learn more about what you're up to in the world?
veilofreality.com has free e-books, interviews, and webinars. I've done lectures and all of the information about the retreats are on there as well. bernhardguenther.com is my holistic coaching website.
Thank you for joining me, Bernhard!