Doug Marman has been writing, lecturing and leading classes on spirituality and the exploration of consciousness for more than forty years.
Doug's work has led him through successful careers in a wide range of professions, including: journalist, inventor (with more than thirty patents), editor, engineer, marketing manager, photographer, corporate executive at one of the largest companies in the world, and co-founder of a technology start-up.
Doug currently lives in the United States Pacific Northwest, with his family.
This is my fifth interview with Jeffrey Mishlove, for his YouTube channel “Thinking Allowed,” and this is by far the longest, lasting almost an hour and 10 minutes. It covers a lot of interesting topics and was a lot of fun for me. It also took me back to my own childhood to see how close relationship with my older sister left an impression on me that affected my whole life.
The subject of this interview is parapsychology, such as the experience of ESP or telepathy, especially between twins. I also introduce a new way of looking at stories of alien abduction. And we talk about the ways that the inner worlds affect the physical.
Jeffrey has been studying parapsychology for decades. Since Jeffrey interviewed me about my books, in the the last four interviews, I thought it would be nice to bring the discussion to his favorite topic, to see if I could add any interesting thoughts based on my own experiences, and what I’ve learned from my study of “lenses of perception.”
If you find the video interesting, I suggest going to the video YouTube page. If you scroll down to read the list of comments, you will see a comment with 14 or more replies, written by “Lenses of Perception.” That’s me. I wrote this immediately after the interview. I added an interesting story that fits with this topic. It generated some nice comments.
Feel free to post questions or comments below. Thanks for the dialogue.
Jeffrey led the discussion so that we touched on the full range of topics in the book, such as psychology, spirituality, biology, quantum physics, and our every day experiences with life. We begin with the profound effect that “lenses of perception” have on our experiences. Lenses are not beliefs. They go much deeper. They are the ways that we see and understand everything, and they emerge unconsciously from our experiences.
Jeffrey says this about the interview on his YouTube page:
Doug Marman shares his insights concerning the role of first person, second person, and third person viewpoints as they pertain to scientific theories, philosophy of mind, personal relationships, and spiritual awareness. He suggests that the most neglected of these is second person, which is most closely related to interconnectedness and quantum entanglement.
Feel free to post questions or comments below. Thanks for the dialogue.
This is my third interview with Jeffrey Mishlove, for his YouTube channel “Thinking Allowed.” The interview is about 46 minutes long. Jeffrey interviewed me, this time, about my books on Rumi, especially my most recent book that I wrote with the help of Farzad Khalvati and Mitra Shafaei: The Hidden Teachings of Rumi. Jeffrey said this about the interview on his YouTube page:
Doug Marman shares some insights into the life and poetry of the great Sufi master, focusing especially on the unique relationship between Rumi and his spiritual lover and mentor, Shams of Tabriz. Through careful analysis, he explicates various lines of poetry that have seemed awkward or disconnected to critics. He illuminates the unique stages of ecstasy and universal love as described in the poetry. He also shows how Rumi’s inner psychic life, and ostensible telepathic conversations, are expressed in poetry.
Feel free to post questions or comments below. Thanks for the dialogue.
This is my second interview with Jeffrey Mishlove, for his YouTube channel “Thinking Allowed.” The interview is about 55 minutes long. Jeffrey interviewed me about my book, The Silent Questions. Here is what Jeffrey says about the interview on his YouTube page:
Doug Marman describes his own unique path through life – starting with mystical and psychic experiences from childhood. Following his inner promptings, he dropped out of college and spent weeks alone in a tent in the woods. With only $35 in his pocket, he traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada, in order to connect with the spiritual school founded by Paul Twitchell. Working in the office there, he learned much and was fired twice. His intuitive insights led to a career in high-technology and over twenty patents.
Feel free to post any questions or comments below, or just enjoy the dialogue.
Jeffrey Mishlove interviewed me for his YouTube channel “Thinking Allowed.” The interview is about 45 minutes long. It was a fun discussion. Here is what Jeffrey says about the interview on his YouTube page:
Doug Marman, an Eckankar practitioner, is author of The Whole Truth: The Spiritual Legacy of Paul Twitchell. Here he describes his involvement with the Eckankar religion going back nearly 50 years. He emphasizes the importance of experience, as opposed to doctrine, with regard to the nature of soul travel. He discusses contact with teachers and guides on inner planes and describes paradoxical reversals of meaning at different levels of consciousness. He also engages in a fascinating discussion concerning the “Space Intelligences” described in Mishlove’s book, The PK Man.
Feel free to post any questions or comments below, or just read the dialogue.
Lying on the bed late at night I watch the patterns of shadows weaving about the room. Paul Twitchell — The Flute of God
Living means experimenting. There is no way around it.
No way to avoid it.
So it came to my mind that it might be possible to do
some experimenting around the notions of happiness
and unhappiness. Most certainly, the
two options are always available. However, as some kind of a third and largely
unconscious option, you can be unhappy without noticing it, mainly because all
the other people around you are in an even worse condition and that still puts
you in a rather comfortable position.
The moment I became aware of the fact that—at least—during the last decade I had not had a single moment of overwhelming happiness, come to me during a week’s stay in Dublin, Ireland.
From the very first moment of disembarking at the airport, I was almost shocked by a sensation of brightness, rough wonder and adventure. All was light and full of tension. Did that have anything to do with Dublin? Or just with myself? Or somewhat fifty-fifty? Could this have occurred anywhere else, too? Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows? Who cares to know? I certainly don’t. It was just there and it was overwhelming and it was good. After all, your state of consciousness is your state of acceptance, they say. So I stretched my inner hands out and grabbed it. It was mine. I vaguely remembered that I had undergone those ecstatic states of consciousness during my childhood when I grew up in a 16th century house, a labyrinth in style, dusty & full of stories and hidden corners. So now, it was Dublin. My Dublin now.
Had it not been Oscar Wilde, who was born in Dublin, who stated that in the end everything always comes out fine, and if it doesn’t, well, it is not yet the end? It is generally good to have some literary backup (quotes and the likes) in life. Maybe I should have another try to read Ulysses by James Joyce? Or Finnegan’s Wake? I jumped at this inner, spiritual food realizing how hungry I had been unconsciously. I think I acted wisely, since, after all, Paul Twitchell said in one of his taped lectures (I forgot which one), that if Spirit puts out something for us,we should take it and keep it to ourselves because it is ours.
Full of high-tense expectancy, I firmly grabbed the
experience and held it close to myself. What would happen next?
I was soon to find out.
As the bus from the airport approached the city center, the excitement grew stronger. I could now see that Dublin was a town very much to my liking. There was a wild melancholy to it, clothed in an atmosphere that reminded me mainly of a more silent version of London, but also of the Netherlands.
During the next days I discovered the center, an incredibly huge and exciting book shop as well as a handful of antiquarian book shops, the Liberties quarter, Trinity College with its famous Book of Kells, old and somewhat dusty corners everywhere, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Spire, the strange and hidden back streets, the meal deals offered by supermarkets, the weaving shadows of this mysterious city.
I spent the nights in the maze of a Victorian Age
house that had been altered again and again in more that a century leaving
behind a labyrinth. It was not easy to find my room. There, I read a book of
Irish ghost stories every night before going to sleep filling my dreams with
banshees and lepracauns: Quite amusing, yes.
Then it happened. Three or four times during my stay,
at least once on Thomas Street (strangely funny, since my name in this
incarnation is Thomas), I was
overridden by some seconds of a sensation of pure joy. Joy I hadn’t experienced
for such a long time.
When I came back from my stay in Dublin, it took me some time to develop an idea that should have been obvious, but, after all, I have always been a slow learner. Why, I asked myself, don’t I try to go to Dublin using the out-of-the body-techniques of Soul Traveltaught by Paul Twitchell?
I decided this idea was just great and so I sat down to start with this journey
My plan was to imagine myself lying on my bed in the
Victorian Age house, getting up and going down toward the entrance in order to
step outside. Then I would follow Lord Edward Street (changing its name to Dame
Street) in order to arrive at Trinity College. Turning left I would be led to
O’Connell Bridge crossing the river Liffey. Then, it would only be necessary to
go along O’Connell Street passing by the famous General Post Office (GPO) that –
way back in 1916 – had been such a vital place for Ireland in finally becoming
an independent nation in 1922, and then turning left into Parnell Street, to finally
arrive at the huge bookshop.
That was my Soul Travel Map.
I thought, since I had very vivid images of Dublin in
my mind, it should be easy to get into the mood fueling the experience-to-come.
It worked quite well. I felt the same excitement as in
the physical Dublin where I had been a few months before. But still, I had this
nagging feeling: Is it real? Or is it
“just” my own imagination? On the other hand I did not consider it wise to
think too much about it because it might distract the focus of my attention
thus breaking the discipline involved in the act. But it came back again and
again. It was nice and fulfilling but was it true?
So I just went on. Carefully I stopped to have a look
at everything. The City Hall. The small street to the right leading to a place
with the Molly Malone monument, always careful not to be run over by a car, a
bus or by who-knows-what: The Irish drive on the left side! For a Continental
European this can be pretty dangerous.
When I turned left in front of Trinity College
approaching O’Connell Bridge, something started to go wrong. I could not put my
finger on it, what it was, but as this bridge drew closer my vision started to
get blurred. Everything went blank and I had to struggle to remain within the experience trying to regain
Then I was back again. Without taking too much notice
of my surroundings I stepped on the bridge – – – and ran into a huge pot with a
tree in it. I was utterly surprised, to say the least. Not only because such a
stupid thing, such a freak incidence could happen to me, but also by the instant knowingness: There are no pots with trees
on O’Connell Bridge! So how could I possibly stumble over one?
I looked around.
Then it dawned on me. I had not gone to O’Connell Bridge but had quickly—quickly as the wind—gone to Grattan Bridge!
I understood at once. The way over Grattan Bridge leading to Capel Street was a much better and shorter way to the bookshop in Parnell Street! I—Soul—the real ME, had quickly decided to change plans and had acted out this new option within the flick of a second. This is possible since Soul Travel is not dependent on time and space. It is just for the pure experience itself.
The public was warmly invited to a night of hypnotic music by renowned musician Sina Bathaie, along with other musicians and readings of Rumi’s poetry. It took place at a public library in the center of Toronto, on November 30, 2019. The room was filled to the brim with visitors. About 140 lovers of Rumi and music gathered to share the evening together.
The event took place to introduce our newly published book The Hidden Teachings of Rumi. For more about the book, click here.
One visitor who came out of her interest in Rumi, wrote:
“Well the universe heard my heart’s call. In my notifications I received a suggested event called ‘A Night of Music and Rumi’s poetry’. I made up my mind to attend.
“It was a well-attended beautiful gathering of lovers. Lovers of poetry, ancient scriptures and their enlightened meanings to aid us on our journey and life purpose. Lovers of symbolism expressed through artistic drawings, paintings and photos. Lovers of enchanting music that struck our hearts’ chords and played to the depths of our soul that took us to another time and space.
“I was fascinated to find another book of insightful teachings that has been translated into English from Sanskrit. The name of the book? It’s the same as the hymn that my mom plays—Sukhmani: The Secret of Inner Peace.
“With all my heart, thank you to every beautiful soul that was involved in hosting and performing at this magical and uplifting event.”
I gave the following talk at a library just north of Toronto on September 29, 2019. The talk is called: “It’s All Poetry: Lessons From the Spiritual Path.”
Since we were children, we have all been taught how to understand the world using our mind. However, the spiritual path is different; it can’t be learned this way. This talk describes how the secret of the spiritual path draws us in, little by little, until we see how poetic life really is. This is a discovery that emerges through personal experiences. No one can give this wisdom to us. It comes to those who walk the spiritual path.
The talk lasts for about one hour and ten minutes. It is followed by questions and answers that last another 40 minutes.
I gave a talk at the University of Toronto on September 27 about a new book that I wrote with Farzad Khalvati and Mitra Shafaei. The new book is titled: The Hidden Teachings of Rumi. A separate post will describe the book in more detail.
We have been working on the book for the last year and a half. It offers new insights into how to understand the hidden teachings in Rumi’s deepest spiritual poetry that he dedicated to his spiritual teacher, Shams of Tabriz. You can watch the talk below. The talk lasts for about an hour, followed by about half an hour of questions and answers at the end.
The audience was made up of scholars who specialize in the study of Rumi, and a large number of students, and visitors who love Rumi’s poetry. The talk was well received, and the discussion at the end was lively.
Farzad Khalvati gave a talk at the University of Toronto, based on a topic that he, Mitra Shafaei and I have been working on together. It offers new insights into how to understand the hidden meaning in Rumi’s poetry and discourses. You can watch the talk below:
Farzad, Mitra and I have been translating Rumi’s poems using the same approach that I learned when translating Rumi’s discourses, combined with Farzad and Mitra’s deep understanding of the Farsi language.
In each poem, our approach has revealed a hidden meaning that was not seen through a traditional interpretation. Each time it has surprised us to see the meaning that emerges. After finishing more than 20 poems from Rumi’s famous Divan-i-Shams-i-Tabriz, we found three insights that have helped us with understanding Rumi’s poetry.
The most important key in understanding Rumi’s poetry is related to what I have written about in my book, Lenses of Perception. While most academic translations have focused on using a third-person lens to interpret Rumi’s poetry, the end result is that they have found it difficult to see any clear evidence of a teaching in Rumi’s writings. What we have found, on the other hand, is that the picture changes as soon as we use second-person lenses instead.
After seeing how much better second-person lenses reveal the deeper meaning in Rumi’s poetry, we’ve come to the conclusion that this is perhaps the most important element that Rumi is trying to teach: How to use second-person lenses to understand the spiritual path and spiritual experiences.
Second-person perception is what we use when we are deeply involved in personal relationships. This is how we learn to relate to another person, by seeing the YOU in them. The shared experience of a relationship is not something that belongs to us as individuals; it always exists between us and those we care about. A shared personal space opens up between us and others when we form a relationship, and this relational space between us seems to be alive with ever-changing possibilities.
From the use of this simple lens, we found three principles that have guided us in helping to reveal the hidden meaning in Rumi’s poems. These three principles keep showing up again and again in the poems we have worked on. Farzad explains these principles in the video, along with a number of examples from the poems we have recently translated.
Rumi’s teaching has often been called “the Sufi Path of Love.” This makes sense if he is teaching the importance of second-person perception, because love is the key to relationships, especially when it comes to our relationship with life itself. Love is the invisible element that draws us together with others and fills the space between us and others with meaning.
How appropriate that Rumi would use this same lens to fill his poetry with meaning. This meaning is hidden to outsiders, but it reveals itself to any who see the YOU in life.