In this article I interview enlightened being Kyle Hoobin on all things enlightenment.
In this article:
- What is enlightenment?
- Consciousness vs Awareness
- How do you know you are enlightened?
- How do you perceive things differently from the enlightened state?
- The most direct means to enlightenment
- The Method: 5 inquiry steps to enlightenment
- Calling off the search for enlightenment
- Enlightenment myths
- The world isn’t real
- No belief is true
- Is there a God?
- Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Mohammad
- The Bible, Bhagavad Gita, Quran
- Heaven, Hell, Reincarnation
Are you enlightened?
Michael Frank: I have to begin with this question: Kyle, are you enlightened?
Kyle Hoobin: I might as well be blasphemous and say yes. However, I’ll also say that Kyle, the personality, is not enlightened. Enlightenment is happening through Kyle right now. Because no personality, no identity, no character, is ultimate truth. No character, no identity, can ever wake up fully to the point where there’s somebody that’s the truth. You know, just as this idea of God being this old man with a beard is ridiculous, assigning an identity to ultimate truth is just as ridiculous. So I can say for the sake of practicality here “I’m enlightened”. That’s kind of not true too.
What is enlightenment?
Michael Frank: What is enlightenment and how did you become enlightened?
Note to the reader: Kyle’s enlightenment story cannot reasonably be condensed so I’ve decided to reserve it for the upcoming Life Lessons podcast
Kyle Hoobin: What is enlightenment? I would say in a simplistic way, that enlightenment is when a human being realizes that the body/mind is part of something much bigger, much greater than its personality boundaries, and what it took itself to be. It’s deeper nature has nothing to do with the personality. And what’s left after seeing that the personality is not ultimate truth is that the personality kind of dissolves, and you seem to not be the center of the universe, and what’s revealed is that everything that’s left, which includes cars and buildings and the chair you’re sitting on, whatever seems to be looking through the eyes of the body – everything – is made of ultimate truth. Consciousness I guess is a better way of saying it.
Consciousness vs Awareness
Michael Frank: Sometimes I hear the words consciousness and awareness being used interchangeably. Are these two things the same? Or are consciousness and awareness different?
Kyle Hoobin: If you use the analogy of the movie theater, the light source we could call awareness, and the movie that’s projected onto the screen, the moving characters and all that we could say is consciousness. So consciousness comes from awareness. You could say consciousness is kind of owned by a supposed somebody. Whereas awareness is just prior to being owned by an identity.
Michael Frank: So would it be fair to say that awareness is the source of all things?
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah. It would be fair to say that.
Michael Frank: I think the word is primordial.
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah, correct. Awareness is uncreated. You can destroy anything in existence, but you can’t destroy awareness.
What do you see when you look at other people?
Michael Frank: What do you see when you look at me? What do you see when you look at other people?
Kyle Hoobin: Well I see what you see. I just don’t see anything extra. I don’t see the personality that you think you are. Because usually when most human beings look at others, they have this idea of who they are, and they have the idea of who the other person is that they’re looking at, and there’s no real seeing of how reality actually is. I don’t see the personality that you may think of yourself as. I don’t see it because it’s ultimately not there. It’s not an actual thing. So certainly I see what we call hair and eyes and nose, and this beautiful creation, it’s all there and magnificent, shining.
How do you know you are enlightened?
Michael Frank: How do you know that what you experienced was enlightenment?
Kyle Hoobin: Because I didn’t choose it. It wasn’t some concept that had suddenly been realized. Something fundamentally shifted in my consciousness or whatever. It had nothing to do with what the mind was seeking. It was a beautiful alternative, which ironically happened to be ultimately what I wanted. I just didn’t realize that’s what I wanted. I know it’s authentic because, well, there’s nothing I can really say that can kind of be proof for anyone listening, but it’s just a fact in my own experience.
How do you perceive things differently from the enlightened state?
Michael Frank: How do you perceive things differently from the enlightened state?
Kyle Hoobin: Well it’s kind of a multilayered type of thing I guess. The visual spectrum has changed, there’s a seeing that all things are made of awareness or consciousness or whatever word you want to use, and no thing is what it claims to be ultimately. You could say it’s a facade, a playful facade, that covers what it actually is, because ultimately awareness itself is no thing, it’s a void, so when it shows up as a tree or a person or a car or a building, it’s a facade, but it’s a playful facade, a very creative facade.
Do you still have desires and preferences?
Michael Frank: Do you still have desires and preferences?
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah. Sex. I know that’s probably taboo to say that, enlightenment people will be saying “ta ta ta” (condescending judgmental tone & head shake) whatever. There’s just a natural, I don’t know if I would call it desire, but there’s an interest in just being human and having sex and eating delicious food.
Michael Frank: So you still have preferences.
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah, sure. Yeah. But like I said, “Kyle” is not enlightened. Enlightenment is happening through Kyle. So all of the interests and all the preferences are not enlightened. They’re not really ultimate expressions of ultimate truth. Because ultimate truth is just this conscious immovable observer.
Do you still have fears?
Michael Frank: What about fears? Do you fear death?
Kyle Hoobin: No. But occasionally with my kids there’s a kind of a habitual, I guess fear that comes up sometimes if they go too close to the road, kind of an instinctive physiological response that happens sometimes, but the feeling is not as serious. It seems that when human beings are still identified with the ego, that death is just this awful kind of punishment almost that’s kinda there. And that’s not there. The seriousness of life is not really there anymore.
Do you have good days and bad days?
Michael Frank: Do you have good days and bad days?
Kyle Hoobin: I would say yes, but they can always end at any minute I want them to. And that just means the mind has now been reprogrammed that it now knows that if there is a difficulty that arises, it’s okay to just die right there. You don’t need to try to hash it out, solve it, just die. You already did it. You know what happens. There is no problem. Just die. (Kyle is using a casual tone indicating “no biggie”)
Now after 16 years since that happened (enlightenment) there’s such an immediate, almost inclination to just die right away. There’s no point in entertaining the good and bad of life anymore. What’s the point? What’s it really gonna provide? How is it really going to help? It’s just this almost immediate inclination now for the mind to just shut up and stop trying.
Do you meditate?
Michael Frank: Do you meditate?
Kyle Hoobin: I feel that meditation is helpful, but in saying that I’m not really practicing what I preach. No. I don’t really meditate. I’ve never been drawn to that. I’ve always felt like life’s too short to waste sitting still. Why not just meditate all the time in whatever you’re doing? You know? An active meditation. So yeah, I actively meditate all the time.
Michael Frank: What do you do in active meditation? For example, if you were going for a walk and you called that walking meditation, where might your focus be, or what might you be letting go of, or what might you be doing?
Kyle Hoobin: I guess the fundamental thing that I do, or more accurately don’t do, is interpret things anymore. I don’t interpret life anymore. Not really. It’s a waste of time. It gets in the way of actually experiencing real life being actually alive. I walk down the street to go to the store, I’m not walking down the street with this story line running in my head, interpreting the event that’s happening and saying I’m walking to the store to get milk. I’m this person walking. That’s not happening. There’s no interpreting. You know I always say live life out of context.
You know that’s kinda what’s happening. Whatever you’re doing, whatever I find myself doing, it’s kinda like having no purpose within the purpose that’s unfolding. It’s just kind of passively watching whatever needs to happen next, and you can’t interpret and be passive, right? You can’t interpret, try to make sense of what’s going on, and just kind of watch what’s going on at the same time.
Do you feel fear?
Michael Frank: I want to come back to fear for a moment. Hypothetical scenario: if you were to walk around a corner and some crazy person was to get in your face and start going off at you, or a gang of people were on the verge of attacking you, how might you process or experience that?
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah, well, if they threw a punch at me or something, I’d probably move my head
Michael Frank: But would you feel any fear?
Kyle Hoobin: What I see in most human beings is what’s behind their actions and it’s always that they’re afraid. Even if they’re coming at me as an attacker, is that they’re actually afraid. So there’s kind of an immediate compassion there usually with most people, even if they’re coming at me with swear words and fists and all that stuff. So not as much of defensiveness I guess. But certainly there’s still the intelligence as well that says getting beat up equals not good. So duck and dive and run (laughs)
Is enlightenment the purpose of life?
Michael Frank: I’ve had a belief for a while Kyle, and I’m not sure if it’s correct and so I thought I’d bring it up, that enlightenment was the purpose of life
Kyle Hoobin: I would agree, I would agree
Michael Frank: I had this belief that if one didn’t wake up, then one had made a mistake. I just had this gut feel, this intuition for many years, that that was the purpose of life. If you didn’t wake up, you made a mistake, or you wasted your time. I have nothing to base it on. I have no proof of that. But I want to get your thoughts on that?
Kyle Hoobin: And that’s ultimately what all human beings believe that have not truly woken up. You call it spiritual enlightenment, but it’s the same need to try to find wholeness and become complete, because there’s this underlying belief somewhere that says that life itself as it is is incomplete, there’s something wrong with it, something lacking. It’s the same thing. No different.
The most direct means to enlightenment
Michael Frank: How does one become enlightened? What is the most direct means to enlightenment?
Kyle Hoobin: Call off the search. Stop trying to find fulfillment because it ain’t gonna happen. Ever. Not permanently. You are fulfillment itself. So this idea that you can become fulfilled is a lie. It’s never gonna happen. So experiment with calling off the search and when you do that, what are you going to be met with? All the resistance that says: NO! Something is lacking. Something is wrong here. Something is missing. I’m making this giant mistake. So that’s when you could say that spiritual seeking gets really authentic because you’re facing all of the darkness that you’ve been running from for so long. There’s no direct path to truth. There’s just a thousand ways away from it. The most direct path to truth is no path because you are the truth.
Michael Frank: I’ll rephrase the question
Kyle Hoobin: and I’ll try to mess with it (smiles)
Look in the mirror
Michael Frank: What are some things that we might do that might be helpful or beneficial in our awakening?
Kyle Hoobin: Practice being very honest. When you wake up in the morning, just sit and look in front of the mirror, and just allow whatever is happening to happen, and most likely what’s going to be happening is an attempt to see the image in a certain way, to interpret it in a certain way. And just sit with that, and notice that those attempts to see it in a certain way comes from pain, comes from this desire to not see what’s actually there, because what’s actually there ain’t enough. That’s the belief. So it’s a very powerful thing. And that’s an honest thing to do right? You can’t get more honest than just sitting in front of a mirror and looking and not trying to change it. Talk about a direct path. Well that’s it.
The Method: 5 inquiry steps to enlightenment
Kyle Hoobin: I wrote a book called The Method: 5 Inquiry Steps To Enlightenment People either hate it or they enjoy it because it’s very direct.
The first step says:
“Prove what’s real without thinking”
“Prove what’s real when thinking is not happening”
Michael Frank: What do you mean “prove what’s real without thinking”?
Kyle Hoobin: So what I’m saying is that you are intelligent enough to be able to find out the truth for yourself, that you don’t actually need any kind of outside source. You have the power to prove what is real, right here and now in your own direct experience by deeply inquiring.
“What is real right now?”
“What is known for certain when I’m not thinking?”
So you sit silently. When thinking is not happening, what is known?
What is the answer that everybody who truly goes deep with that gets?
Nobody actually knows anything.
Their primary knowledge is that they know nothing, other than the fact that they know that they know nothing. There’s an awareness of consciousness and that’s it. That’s all that’s actually known. That does not involve belief. You prove it. It’s proof. It’s factual. Just by deeply looking and if you can really be honest with that finding that you don’t really know, then you take that honesty and you apply it to all aspects of your life. That’s the second step.
The second step is: “What’s real comes first”
Now that you’ve proven what’s real without thinking, what’s been proven now must come first all the time.
What’s real comes first, so you’re walking into the next meeting at work, you’re talking to Bob and Suzy about the next shipment that’s gotta come in, but the whole time, what’s at the forefront of your awareness is this funny little fact that it’s all subjective. Everything that’s happening here it’s all just an agreement that seems to make life happen and work together, but ultimately it doesn’t speak for ultimate truth. What’s at the center of you.
And so you just stick with that, and through that sticking with it, there’s a lessening of the importance of whatever you’re doing, the seriousness of life. There’s a lesson because there’s no proof that it should be serious, because the proof you found is that there’s just awareness. There’s actually kind of nothing going on. Sounds terribly confusing when I hear it come out of my mouth…
Michael Frank: So be honest with yourself about everything, and that is the fact that you don’t know anything
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah
Michael Frank: Apply that to everything in your life. Every experience, every interaction
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah, because how often do we walk through life as if we know things, right? We’re absolutely convinced that we know something, it may be terrible too, but we act as if we know it, and yet that’s not being totally honest.
Michael Frank: I think people have a need for certainty and obviously everyone thinks they know a lot more than they do
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah, I would say everyone, yeah
Michael Frank: What are the other steps you recommend in The Method?
Kyle Hoobin: The first step is: “Prove what’s real without thinking”
The second step is: “What’s real comes first”
And as you do that, as that proof that you’ve found that you know nothing comes in your life, it’s going to start making the external life very interesting, because now that’s where the real awakening starts to happen. You start to look at all the different characters in your life, all of the situations, all of the circumstances, and you see why they’ve kind of been put in place. Oh, because this is believed. Oh because that’s believed.
The third step is: “Confront the dream”
Because it’s starting to be revealed that it’s kind of like a dream. When you start putting what’s real first all the time, when you know that you don’t really know anything, you start waking up and you start seeing this is all a fabrication of everything that you’d believed to be true. All of it.
And yet you’re constantly being confronted with this presentation that’s saying, believe me, believe me, the facts are here, the facts are here.
The fourth step is: “Allow yourself to end”
That’s because after you start seeing your life for what it is, why it’s actually in place, while that stuff is happening, you start to see that all of your life is not really authentic. Most of it is not really authentic, not really speaking from a very clear awake place, and so either you fight that, and resist what you’ve seen, or you embrace this fourth step which is allowing that light to come to an end, to just kind of unplug your engagement with it, to let go of trying to find fulfillment through it, because that’s really what the whole dream is there for, most of it, is to try to find fulfillment through these “facts” about life.
And then the fifth step, I say it’s a non-step. You can’t really take that step. There’s nobody that takes that step.
The fifth step is: “Let go of freedom”
That just means the personality. I woke up in the morning and it was just clear that there was no point for hoping really anymore, that it wasn’t going to do anything anymore. It was just clear that there’s no way that I can make things better for myself. And so that was, you could say, a letting go of freedom, letting go of trying to be saved, letting go of trying to become free, because, and this is the most deceptive part of this whole idea of enlightenment, and I don’t know others talk about it as much, but enlightenment is not an attainment. It’s not an attainment. It is just a final return home. A final end of leaving home. That’s all it is.
But it’s also a big deal because boy oh boy, what home is, is much bigger than what the mind thinks home is.
Call off the search
Michael Frank: I want to come back to calling off the search for enlightenment. He’s what I’m afraid of: When we talk about calling off the search, for anything that you wish to achieve or attain or get or do, for me it begins with an intention, and when you say “call off the search”, I hear something like “don’t have an intention”, but then I’m like, how would it happen? Even if I’m not to arrive anywhere, don’t you still need an intention to wake up?
Kyle Hoobin: Well this is where words get tricky because enlightenment as I said is not an attainment. There’s nothing for the personality to find, because enlightenment you could say is always kind there in the background as a potential, hiding just behind the personality. The personality can’t find it because it’s already there. There’s nothing to find. So to say “call off the search” is really just another way of saying lighten up. Take it easy. You’re not really going to get anywhere. You’re on a treadmill. Just look down at your feet. But ultimately you’re right. If there’s any advice of doing something specific, it’s always going to come from a false sense of self, because the person is trying to do not doing anything, you know, you’re going to be seeking for a way to stop searching, to call off the search.
Waking up doesn’t seem functional
Michael Frank: I want to give you my biggest bullshit excuse/justification that I genuinely believe is holding me back, and it’s one thing that I’ve been struggling a lot with in the last 6 to 12 months.
It seems like there are two different paths. There is a path to achieve goals, and there’s a path to enlightenment, but they’re in two polar opposite directions. So when you’re going down this metaphorical path toward enlightenment, even though it’s nowhere, it’s already where you are, it feels so nonfunctional. That’s what I truly believe. Like for example, when I meditate seriously, it becomes extremely difficult for me to speak, because the mind is so silent.
After I’ve been meditating it often feels like I need to put on a persona, like consciously put on a character, even though that character is very quiet, pretty introspective, listens a lot, but still in order to speak to regular everyday people.
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah, what I’ve found, is if I go bring my car into the mechanic, and I’m sitting in the chair next to some guy covered in grease because he just tried to do the oil change and failed miserably, is it’s actually not difficult to interact with other people and not have to maintain a personality. Why? Because ultimately everybody is only interested in themselves. They don’t actually care about you (Laughs)
Yeah. It sounds more evil than I meant, but once you realize that ultimately what everybody wants is just to be paid attention to, when you’re nothing but attention, you’re actually very enjoyable for most people to be around most of the time, unless their story is really heavy and there’s this deep belief that they shouldn’t be looked at at all.
But what most people are seeking is fulfillment through outward, external acknowledgement. So when you’re not being having to be the personality anymore and you’re interacting with the guy at the mechanic shop, he’ll talk your ear off and it could be about anything, but because you’re not fighting inside what they’re talking to you about, they feel accepted. They’re not offended that you’re giving them breathing room finally to just be there.
Michael Frank: But if we say that awakening is a process of letting go and relinquishing, if you’re going for say a job interview, then you’re expected to in some way, shape or form sell yourself. How do you do that if you’re letting go and unattached to the job at the same time?
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah, it actually does create challenges. It’s almost like human beings can pick up on whether or not someone is begging through their words or not. And it’s almost like we offense if we don’t sense that someone is begging for our love a lot of the time.
I recall just shortly after college, I went for an interview at the Toronto Star newspaper for an internship and I had already had that shift happen in me (enlightenment) and so that need to be to find fulfillment wasn’t there. And so I was just sitting in the interview calmly and just very confidently talking about what I knew, and what I observed, and what I was able to do ability wise, skill wise, but it was obvious as I was talking that that’s not actually what they wanted. They wanted to be acknowledged that I was going to be their servant. They wanted me to acknowledge them as important people.
Yeah. It gets challenging this waking up stuff. I never really say it’s easy as far as the outward stuff always remaining hunky dory, because this world, this whole setup is kind of meant to keep people asleep. So it’s like once you start waking up, you’re kind of becoming a rebel almost. And not in the sense of judgmentally pointing the finger and saying that’s wrong I’m going to live the right way, but just by simply being more of the truth, it really conflicts with the false, which is 90 percent of our world.
Enlightened beings don’t know everything
Michael Frank: I want to bust some myths of enlightenment, I guess first of all the myth that enlightened beings know everything. Correct or incorrect?
Kyle Hoobin: Well, certainly in my own experience, incorrect.
Enlightened beings can make mistakes
Michael Frank: Enlightened beings can make mistakes. They can be wrong about things. Correct or incorrect?
Kyle Hoobin: I think externally to the world, they can appear as mistakes. To the consciousness that’s awake, it’s not a mistake. It had to happen because it happened. It was a beautiful thing. Life’s will is whatever happens.
The world isn’t real
Michael Frank: I’ve heard enlightened beings say that the world isn’t real. From the unenlightened state that’s difficult to believe. What are your thoughts on the world isn’t real?
Kyle Hoobin: I think the safest, healthiest, interpretation of that, is to hold a cup in your hand, and a lot of people will say that the cup isn’t real, it’s an illusion, or they’ll get into some weird mental space where they’re trying to convince themselves that there is no cup, or they’ll try to figure out how to see that’s there’s nothing there. You know, that’s kind of ridiculous.
The world is an illusion in the sense that nothing is inherently ultimate truth. The expressions are not ultimate truth. So when you hold up a cup, and you sit with it for a minute, and you let go of calling it a cup, you let go of the labels that says “I’m seeing this” and you keep going deeper and deeper and deeper with that inquiry, there’s a penetration that happens where suddenly whatever this is (Kyle knocks on a cup) is made of nothing. And yet obviously there’s this appearance of something. The world is not real indeed at the most fundamental level. But obviously there’s something there it seems.
Michael Frank: So things aren’t as they seem might be another way to say it. And our mental definitions and concepts are definitely illusory. That’d be fair to say?
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah, that’s fair.
No belief is true
Michael Frank: You mentioned earlier in the interview that “no belief is true”. But that seems contradictory because when we say a belief, for me, it’s just a statement about something. I’ll take it to a philosophical extreme, I could just say “Well then that belief isn’t true”. Does that make sense? Because it seems like it’s impossible to state anything as true if that’s the case.
Kyle Hoobin: When you hear teachers say that, I guess I’m guilty of it in this very interview, they’re just encouraging more authenticity, and more honest introspection. To not settle for thinking about things in a certain way. To look deeper, to find out what can be found out without going into your mind.
Michael Frank: The finger pointing at the moon, is not the moon, and your mental concept is not the same as the actuality, as the real thing. When you say no belief is true, are you saying that your idea of the thing, is not the thing itself? Or are you saying something slightly different?
Kyle Hoobin: Yet you’re saying there’s a moon. Okay. I won’t believe the finger, but there’s a moon apparently, right? So it’s kind of slipping a belief in the back door by implying that there is a moon, right? Real inquiry destroys all of it. Destroys the moon. Destroys the finger. It leaves nothing.
Michael Frank: I had an argument with a friend a few years ago re: objective versus subjective truth. And I was arguing that there is such a thing as objective truth. He was saying there isn’t. And that way it appears to me, is that even if nothing is true, then that’s objectively true, so there is objective truth.
Kyle Hoobin: I said something similar in the live stream broadcast today: “The fool says there’s no such thing as truth. The wise man says that’s true”. It could be categorized as a Kōan.
Michael Frank: I just, the whole no belief is true, it seems like it’s impossible to make a statement of fact. Is it true that no belief is true?
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah it implies that any statement of truth, any interpretation is ultimately false, and what sees that, is truth. Truth is a knowing. It’s not a thing. Truth is a knowing. Truth is being, it’s not seeing.
Is there a God?
Michael Frank: Is there a God?
Kyle Hoobin: Well, if you don’t know the answer to that, then I’d say no, at the moment.
I say that because although it may not be conscious, what’s really happening is what is referred to as God is asking that question. So it’s literally kind of like God is saying does God exist? So if God doesn’t know that it’s God, it doesn’t exist. At least it appears that it doesn’t. And what is God? It’s the same as saying, prove what’s real without thinking.
Michael Frank: God and awareness are the same. Correct?
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah I’ll say that, sure.
Michael Frank: Is the term “God” an unhelpful term because it’s misleading to seekers?
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah. It immediately conjures up the guy in the white beard
Michael Frank: A person of some kind
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah some kind of identity
Michael Frank: A separate being of some kind
Kyle Hoobin: Obviously life is intelligent, right? It’s kind of a no brainer. You just have to look at anything in existence that’s kind of a natural formation to see the complexity of it, the utter unimaginable intelligence that’s required for anything in nature to be what it is, the body, how it functions, just all of it.
The mind is intelligent enough to know that doesn’t make sense, that existence is so intelligent and did not come from an intelligent source. That source, this is where words get so tricky, is not an identity, it’s an impersonal non-thing, and yet it’s intelligence. How is that possible? Stew with that one for a while.
Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Mohammad etc.
Michael Frank: I also want to ask you about the famous sacred cows: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Mohammad etc. I was a Christian as a teenager, but now I just don’t feel that any of those things can be known. There were no video cameras. I don’t know what Jesus really said, what Buddha really did etc. What are your thoughts about those people? Do you think they were enlightened? Do you think it’s impossible to know anything about them?
Kyle Hoobin: Well obviously the first good question would be: Is it helpful to really know that? Does it really help at all? Maybe to feel like you haven’t been totally been deceiving yourself I guess. Or maybe you kind of resonated with some of their teachings and just kind of want to know that some of it was true, I guess. But ultimately they were people. Just like you and I.
Michael Frank: Do we really know that though?
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah, exactly. We don’t even know that. So before we even go into that, let’s assume they were real characters in history: What’s the benefit of looking them up or reading what they said? Only if it can directly help you in your day to day life, in your current circumstances. Unfortunately most of the teachings are so heavily laden with unhelpful metaphors and all that crap that you’re better off just finding someone enlightened who’s alive today that is speaking your language, speaking in your tongue
The Bible, Bhagavad Gita, Quran etc.
Michael Frank: The Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, the Quran etc. I haven’t read the Quran so I can’t speak about it, but the Bible to me is just a mixture of fact and fiction. And it has a lot of irrelevant stuff that has nothing to do with anything. From the enlightened perspective, what is your opinion on these so called “Holy books”?
Kyle Hoobin: They’re “Holy” for people who don’t really give two rats’ asses about truth, that’s really what makes them holy. When you really want the truth, you’re not really interested in holy things anymore
Michael Frank: So from the enlightened perspective the Bible, the Quran etc. they’re not the word of God. They’re the word of men. Is that fair to say?
Kyle Hoobin: Well all men are God, all of existence, everything that’s ever existed, is made of God.
Michael Frank: Well let’s put it this way. They are not 100 percent factual and right about everything they say. Would that be fair to say?
Kyle Hoobin: But it’s also fair to say that that’s the case for even me right? Like I said, truth has no voice. So perhaps all that’s happening is just maybe how it’s manifesting itself now on the planet is becoming clearer, more refined, and maybe at the time when those characters, if they existed, they had to work with what they had, but people still nailed people to crosses for Christ’s sake, no pun intended, so the language, the metaphors, would have been much more kind of primitive.
Heaven, Hell, Reincarnation
Michael Frank: What happens after death? Heaven? Hell? Reincarnation? Nothing? Do you know what happens? Do you have an opinion?
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah, I could give an opinion.
Michael Frank: So you don’t know for certain?
Kyle Hoobin: Well I know that what most people think of as death, is an illusion. So if it’s not realized in this life, that death is an illusion, then death and rebirth obviously need to keep happening because…
Michael Frank: So you believe in reincarnation? Or you think it’s a fact?
Kyle Hoobin: I don’t like talking about it very much because I don’t really see how helpful it is as far as like self-inquiry goes, but I think it’s just a logical kind of, and obviously I’m drawing from my own memories, I have, you know, in my own brain I have some memories
Michael Frank: But to you is reincarnation a fact or an opinion?
Kyle Hoobin: Well in this moment it’s BS, right? Because this moment is actually what’s real. But as far as a relative sense, in the story of things how it seems to unfold, yeah, I’d say it feels factual, but real fact is just this, this is eternity right here us speaking. There’s this whole timeline stuff. You know I could say screw the world, it means nothing, but there’s still a world to live in, and so there’s an honoring of that. So when I do that, yeah, I’ll say it feels factual that there’s reincarnation, but in an ultimate sense, nothing, no real ultimate truth gets reincarnated because it can’t go anywhere. It’s always here.
Michael Frank: What then would get reincarnated? The personality or what?
Kyle Hoobin: Yeah. Exactly. A mind that’s been programmed. I guess, whatever that is, don’t ask me
Kyle’s last message
Michael Frank: Kyle if you had five minutes to live, what would be your final message? Let’s end with that.
Kyle Hoobin: Enjoy being alive. Just notice that you’re breathing. The body is pulsating with aliveness. In everything you see. Don’t ignore anything anymore because you could die at any moment. You could have five more minutes to live who knows? You could step outside of your studio there and some terrible driver shows up. Don’t ignore. Just drop all ignoring. Look around. Finally honor being awake. What it means to just be aware.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Kyle Hoobin is an author and self-inquiry teacher.
Kyle’s teachings focus on practical and accessible methods of self-inquiry with a focus on finding freedom through direct personal experience. He has distanced himself from conventional lineage based teachings in an effort to establish a more authentic spiritual standard for spiritual seekers of truth and enlightenment.
To learn more visit www.kylehoobin.com/