Introduction: Embodying Consciousness in Relationship - Dr Richard Moss Interview by David Rivers
Introduction: Embodying Consciousness in Relationship
Dr Richard Moss
Richard Moss is an M.D., an intrepid explorer of consciousness, and a person of profound intellect who embodies a deep compassion. After undergoing a spontaneous mystical awakening on his thirtieth birthday, Richard left his medical practice to explore working with groups of people interested in opening to more profound levels of aliveness and relatedness. For Richard, the word Consciousness is synonymous with the word Relationship, an insight that is at the core of his teaching and his awakening.
Wondrously, a short while after Richard's initial energetic opening, during a period of retreat at a friend's home while sitting in the garden, Richard observed two butterflies mating, a black one and a white one. When they ended their merry dance and parted, one of the butterflies (the black one) flew toward Richard and alighted on his forehead. At that precise moment, the energetic opening that had taken hold of his being a few months earlier, exploded into the fullness of divine realization, or what Richard refers to as Fundamental Realization. A full description of this event is given in Richard's book, The Black Butterfly. Nine months after this awakening Richard was to undergo another significant quickening within his consciousness while on retreat in India, where he found himself falling backwards through time and simultaneously forward, into the womb of the eternal feminine. This is described in Richard's book, The I That Is We.
Richard has explored and deepened his awakening through the medium of his own life and relationships, and also through his spiritual work with groups of people, many of whom are drawn to him during periods of great illness. This work with groups continues to be the field of his own ongoing spiritual unfoldment and deepening embodiment of consciousness.
My first introduction to Richard Moss came many years ago in Melbourne, Australia. Not too long after my own energetic opening, I came across Richard's work and shortly thereafter was delighted to discover he was due to be visiting Australia to give a series of talks and retreats. I was fortunate to be able to attend a retreat, where I was moved by his deep honesty. During his talks I repeatedly experienced the sense that the intelligence of Nature itself, was operating through Richard as he spoke to us of the potential shift in consciousness that is imminent within us, and unfolding through us—a shift that Richard describes as a deepening of our capacity for relationship. As I listened, I was infused with a sense of mystery and awe with regards to the vast majesty and intelligence of Nature.
During the talk I attempted to open myself fully to the potent energy of such a group dynamic, yet I found myself being burnt out rather than inwardly renewed, my nervous system fried. This, I would discover, was due to my own naive insistence that I always remain in the most expanded state. I would later learn through Richard's work that we need to allow the natural ebb and flow of the awakened current, giving equal space to the high tide of expansion and the low tide of rest, wherein the intensity of energy seems to diminish. Over the years this insight has granted me a great freedom, and has flowered into an increased recognition of the silent background, the simple sense of Presence that supports all states and movements in consciousness.
During this retreat I was blessed to meet a woman named Alia, who would become a friend and who, as it happened, was a friend of Richard's and a long-time student of his work. Alia was suffering from terminal cancer. Yet, over time, I came to see that Alia embodied a deep level of radiant aliveness, and was sustaining her rapidly declining physical form through her transparency to the larger Field of Being, which infused her ailing body with life force.
I am moved to share a little story from my time with Alia as an example of what it means to live in faith and in surrender to life as a lover, even in the midst of profound pain, suffering, and imminent death. On a beautiful summer's day in Byron Bay, Alia offered to take me for a drive into the mountains. She wanted to show me a particular river that she liked. Keep in mind during this story that Alia's cancer was so advanced that sneezing would break her ribs; in fact, broken bones in her fragile body were the norm. Her companion was a moderately healthy, able-bodied young man.
So there we were, winding our way up the mountain, speeding along narrow dirt roads, leaving trails of dust behind us. I was amazed at Alia's zest for driving at such speed in her state of ill health. Soon we came upon the place she had spoken of. The car pulled up and Alia jumped out with all the vigour and zest of a child. And to my total surprise, the next thing I knew she had leapt off a steep cliff that was studded with rocks and trees, and was calling out for me to follow her. I was amazed and stunned that in her ailing body there was infinitely more energy and love of life than I was accustomed to in my own apparent good health. Alia's embrace of life was a sheer delight to behold. I felt her every movement as an invitation to say YES to what is, to greet life as a lover. I scurried over to the cliff, stumbling as I put on my shoes, not wanting to hurt my feet on the rocky ground. As I approached the steep decline, I was dumbfounded to see Alia already at the bottom. She had somehow made her way out into the centre of a swiftly flowing river and was now perched on a slippery rock, from where she was calling, “Come and see the eel playing about in the water!” Well, let me tell you—I stumbled down that hill, hanging onto the tree branches for dear life, nearly slipping several times, even with my protective shoes on. I felt in my heart the stark contrast between Alia's open fluidity and trust in her body, and my own halting movements, my calculating mind, and stiff rigid body.
The reason I share this story is, firstly, that it was one of the deepest experiential lessons of my life; secondly, it perfectly illustrates what I consider to be the essence of Richard's work and orientation to life. Like each of the beautiful human beings in this book, Richard is a kind of Tantric master, a master of the conscious embrace, deeply affirming all of life as inherently Divine. His mantra, if he has one, appears to be simply “YES.” Apart from his depth of insight and spiritual maturity, Richard's greatest gift is his unfailing ability to inspire us to say “Yes” to life.
I was deeply honored to receive Richard's Yes in response to my invitation to take part in this project, and am excited to share this interview with you.
During my stay in Ojai I was to be bedding down on a rustic farm nestled away in the Ojai suburbs, surrounded by mountains sacred to the Cherokee Indians. The sun filled all and everything with the vibrancy of life as birds played in the air and dogs barked happily in the background, letting me know I was once again back in suburbia. On the second day of my stay, after a good night's rest, Richard generously arrived to pick me up for the interview which was to take place at his home.