Today’s #ThrowbackTuesday is the award winning writer, playwright and martial arts mentor Geoff Thompson.
Actually this is the second interview he did with Brian, and I have chosen it because it’s a favourite of London Realers, and it’s really a favourite of my own.
I think I was also drawn to it at this time.
This last week has been a traumatic week for Europe, and if you don’t mind me saying so, for myself.
Since the Paris attacks I have been filled with the most insidious rage, a rage so deep and heartfelt that I can’t put it into words.
The problem with this rage is that it is righteous, it believes itself to be right, and perhaps, in a very immediate way, it is.
But it was killing me. I could literally feel it burrowing into my body.
The rage was ultimately meaningless and had nowhere to go.
So I think I was drawn to Geoff Thompson.
If you don’t know him, he used to be a nightclub doorman, and has seen more violence, inflicted more violence, than most of us can imagine.
This guy has some real blood chilling stories about the fights he’s been in and the anger and bloodshed he’s caused others.Of course the big irony is that the man you see in this episode, is a soft-spoken, spiritual and beautiful soul, who now lives a life devoted to the service of others.
He’s like the old monks in Chinese stories, who reform themselves and go from town to town teaching those in need.
For Geoff, the key word seems to be Logos.
Like all words that have spiritual resonance, it’s not easy to pin down, but ultimately it means something like Essence, and Truth.
Geoff also talks a lot about Love, but he says it’s not sentimental. Again, it’s closer to what we understand as Truth.
How we get to Logos, or Truth, is the hard part, and it is about disconnecting from cognition, or the conditions set by the mind.
We have to reach deep within ourselves to our spiritual essence, and that requires one huge step that we normally spend most of lives trying to avoid: conquering our fears.
Fear is held in place by our perceptions.
Geoff uses the analogy of money. We all have very highly charged ideas about money, negative and positive.
But money doesn’t really exist as an actual object.
As Geoff says, money is just an energy generated by perceived value.
Our fears work the same way.
It’s our job then, according to Geoff, to confront ourselves, to look within and challenge our fears, before we can be liberated enough to know ourselves.
If we can’t know ourselves, we will never be masters of ourselves.Geoff talks about the Islamic concept of Jihad.
In truth, the notion has nothing to do with external holy war, but it’s about overcoming the self, and Geoff insists that all major religions say the same things.
It’s about living your life not as a victim of your mind, not living it in reactive states of fear and rage, but from a place of self-awareness and purpose – Logos.
There were times I was in tears watching this episode again.
The events of the last week and a half have brought out the nasty side of humanity, but they have also shown me personally just how much work I have still to do.
Geoff says that confusion and blame are the best hiding places.
This gave me a lot to think about.Another great piece of wisdom Geoff talks about is the shamanic practice of using trauma for good.
That’s really what his whole teaching is about.
We move into love, not by burying our heads in the sand and saying everything is jolly and okay, but by looking deeply into our suffering and creating something beautiful out of it.
This is one hundred per cent the psychology of a great writer.
The job of the communicator or artist, and Geoff is absolutely part of that tribe, is to harness the pain of existence through the alchemy of words, so we can do good in the world.
Once we have liberated ourselves from the cycle of reactive emotions and we’ve discovered our Logos, we must help others to do it.
That’s really the essence of Logos.
It’s not about being perfect, says Geoff. It’s about awareness, creating space between the action and the reaction, and allowing the spirit of Logos to work through us.
It struck me that this is precisely the same thing Peter Sage talks about in the transition from ‘To Me’ and ‘By Me’ to ‘Through Me’.
Geoff just calls this Logos, but both Peter and Geoff call it living with purpose, truth and love.
All the way through this episode, Geoff is quoting the great prophets – whether it’s Muhammad, Krishna, St. Teresa of Avila or the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi.
Geoff is a working class man from the Midlands in England.
If you’re not from the UK it might be difficult to understand just how much work it takes to go from working in a factory to being an award-winning writer, in this culture.
To me, the most moving parts of Geoff’s story are when he talks about the resistance he got from his loved ones and friends and peers when he started to change his perceptions.
The phrase ‘don’t get above yourself’ is something I relate to completely, and I think most Brits will too, regardless of class.
There’s a fear of being seen as pretentious, of rocking the boat, of being a trouble-maker.
As Geoff says, the biggest barriers to discovering your Logos and living from that place of love and courage, are the perceptions you are immersed in both instinctively and culturally.
For a man of Geoff’s generation and background, who was sexually abused as a child, to go from all of that, to being an inspiration and a teacher to millions – it’s tempting to say it’s impossible.
The amount of cultural baggage Geoff has overcome can’t be overstated.
But like he says in the episode, a sense of truth kept guiding him and pushing him towards his destiny.
There’s so much knowledge here, so much wisdom to gain from listening to Geoff, but it’s not just about cool ideas and deep, spiritual stories.
Geoff heals you as he talks, and I say that in all seriousness.
If he can come through hell and be the composed, self-mastered and authentic man he is, then you realise that you have no excuses.
Geoff says that if we are feeling anger and rage at politicians, bankers or fundamentalists, then it’s because we have the residue of those types of characteristics within ourselves.
And he’s right. As hard as it is to hear, the man is spot on.
We have a right to feel traumatised when we are done wrong.
Our duty however, is to use that that energy of trauma to raise the frequency, not get dragged into loops of destructive emotions.
After watching this episode I am off to do some yoga and take a good hard look at myself.I’d like to know if you could give examples where you used the energy of trauma to heal yourself and others.
It could be writing a song about the experiences, or a book, or filming a vlog.
What are the ways you harness negative emotions to expand your awareness and bring you closer to Logos?
Leave your comments below, and enjoy an inspiring and life-changing interview with Geoff Thompson.