Louis Bourgeois is a spiritual teacher, mentor and author of more than a dozen very personal books (available at Lulu.com), and he continues to write about his own life experiences from a personal perspective, and that act of writing has anchored his spiritual awakening.
Louis’ story, like our own, is about healing and about forgiveness. He is a longtime student and teacher of A Course in Miracles. Louis is co-founder of The Oasis Center for Conscious Living based in Stillwater, MN, along with Lynn Koll, where they help to empower individuals through programs to introduce the guiding principles for Conscious Living: Oneness, Awakening, Stillness, Inspiration and Simplicity.
Louis leads gatherings in Montana and Costa Rica, helping you to transform and “actively ‘die’ to the old forms that no longer serve you in your personal evolution.” His path is freedom, and his smile invites us to join him there. His current writing is entitled Big Love.
When did you become conscious of the role of nature in your life?
Louis Bourgeois: I was a very young boy, I’ll guess about 7 years old. I can remember distinctly as a young boy that the only place I really felt peaceful and happy was in nature. I’d go down to this little creek down below my house. As a young boy, that was a very important thing for me to do. I’m sure that isn’t normal, but it was essential for me. I would spend time alone in nature. Even as a teenager, I was more comfortable that way. I didn’t do really well as a social creature. I didn’t sort of learn that until much later in life. The emphasis of my life as a young person was really very much nature-based and being in solitude.
Describe what you offer to folks in Montana and Costa Rica in connection with nature and the spiritual teachings that you offer.
LB: Nature – even in a city park, but certainly in a place like Montana and some of the wilderness areas of Costa Rica – offers people a very expansive environment. If you’re in a process of opening to new awakenings or just looking to express your energetic being, there is no limitation, there is no inhibition, in nature. You can just let ‘er rip, if you allow yourself to do that. And you have all the support around you.
For years I went to Montana with men doing vision quest things, and that was about doing the work of going through the death process. Now, at a place in Red Lodge, MT, it’s much more about celebration, about moving into the king, queen, god, goddess energy, which is really what I’m keenly interested in now, finding those individuals who are ready to really step into that energetic level of their own expression and dance with that, celebrate that.
It’s no longer about learning something. I have no interest any longer in teaching techniques as much as just demonstrating what I’ve come to know, and then encouraging people to allow that to happen. It is a natural thing for people to do once they see it clearly modeled. Doing this in a place of extreme wilderness gets you out of the conditioned mind, which is all around us in our culture. You can’t not be in that. There’s nothing wrong with that, but as a person is getting ready to truly step into his or her mastery, they need a new context in which to feel that.
That’s why Eckhart Tolle always points people towards nature. If you really hang out with a tree, there is a mastery in that tree that’s very easy to pick up on, and the tree can teach you. It’s no bigger deal for you to accept the mastery of who you are than it is for me to be the master that I am. Nature does this beautifully.
There is still part of who I am, as the masterful expression that I am, that recognizes those tribal and egoic aspects, but I don’t identify with them. If I went to a Twins game and my Yankees came to town, I could become a crazy tribal-minded Yankee fan, but it’s not what I identify with on a day-to-day basis. More and more people are becoming aware of this possibility.
When Eckhart put out The New Earth, people all over the world were getting excited, saying, “I know that’s really a possibility. It’s no longer what you dream. It’s something that we can really do.” I’m really interested, just as one mentor, friend, celebrant, to find those people who will come with me on these outings to Montana and Costa Rica. Like people used to be drawn to India if they wanted to have spiritual awakening, well now it’s Costa Rica, the India of America, because it has that same expansive consciousness. When you’re in Costa Rica, you ask, “Why is everybody so happy?” It’s simply because they don’t have some of the conditioning that we have – materialism and the military – and it’s just not part of their culture or consciousness.
Why do so many people talk of transformation, but so few actually transform?
LB: Transformation is a process of death and rebirth. Many seek a new way of thinking or living. They study, pray, chant affirmations, etc., but they keep holding onto the old forms. A good example is someone who attends a weekly empowerment/support group for two hours, but spends the rest of the week amongst family, co-workers and “friends” who hold an investment in keeping the “old you” intact. Most are too afraid to leave the false comforts of the “tribal mind.” There is a whole societal addiction to “seeking but never finding.”
What you’re talking about is the process of seeking God. In your current writing, in a section titled “Running away from Big Love” you say that whether one individual chooses to continue seeking God or not, it doesn’t matter.
LB: In A Course of Miracles it is said that God’s plan for salvation cannot fail, that it’s a foolproof done deal. Taking it out of that language, I would say that Big Love will have its way with us, because that’s the natural order of things. Unless it gets eaten by a squirrel or something, an acorn can’t help but sprout and become a tree. It may not fully develop and have a full life as a mature tree. That doesn’t matter. You can’t stop that energetic principle – and you can’t stop it in us as individuals or the collective.
Some people might appear to delay in their own individual process, but that’s not relevant to what’s happening at the collective level. I think most people would agree with this. There is this not only evolution, but there is this obvious acceleration happening. Things are really speeding up, and whether they believe in the Mayan thing or not, it’s so obvious. Look at something as simple as communication. The biggest leap in all of the collective process of awakening was the internet, the world wide web. It’s like imagining if there were to be this way in which we could directly download and share this huge inspiration that I know is bubbling up in me, and many others, that that’s the way we’ll do it. We no longer need to gather in groups. It’s not about bringing bodies together. It’s really just aligning with the global network and then, in your own community finding a way to gather.
People still want to get together, but it’s not like you need to. People still keep trying to reinvent the wheel, like there has to be this place and we need a few million dollars to build the place and cover the overhead. No, we don’t need that at all anymore. In fact, we’re getting so ready to not even have houses or bodies. People think, “Really, well, how could I live?” Don’t try to understand it because you can’t, but just understand that the energy in you is always expanding and wants to be as fully expansive as it can be.
We appear to be on a journey. This is the construction of space and time, the essence of our physical life. I once wrote a line in a poem, “A journey needs a place to go to be…” So we manufacture the “illusion” or dream that we have lost something and we are seeking it again. Many seek but few actually find what they appear to be seeking, whether this is material wealth, a perfect partnership or spiritual awakening. This is because we have a “tribal mind,” old paradigms that hold us back. We are conditioned, as Eckhart Tolle would say, and this conditioning essentially says, “Do not find or you will lose what you know.” It appears to the egoic structure, an even more rigid, fear-based construction, that we would “die” if we awakened to our truth. This is true. The old small self would “die,” but only as the epicenter of our identification.
“Seeking God” is really another term for awakening, or seeking Self Realization. The paradox is that by seeking something we are actually confirming that we do not have it already. God became an entity when our collective mind denied and projected our inherent divinity away. The journey is to undo this error, the act of denial and projection, and to welcome our natural state. It is so utterly simple that our complex, conditioned minds cannot grasp this easily.