Answers From Silence was published in the Czech language by the Eugenika publishing house in the Slovak Republic last week (August 24, 2012). If you know someone would enjoy reading this translation, please find it at this link:
In connection with this release, the publisher asked me to answer some interview questions. Here is a selection of them:
EUGENIKA: According to your opinion, why don´t some people desire spiritual growth, enlightenment, wisdom, etc. at all?
JEFFREY CHAPPELL: Answers From Silence says, “Everyone is on their path of enlightenment, and everything that happens in a person’s life is their path of enlightenment. The only difference between some people and others is that they know this.”
If some people don’t desire enlightenment, they are at a stage in their growth of consciousness where it is their path of enlightenment to focus on other matters. But even if they don’t realize it, those people are also on their path of enlightenment.
E: Do you think that even people who have existential problems can attain a mystical level of understanding?
JC: Yes, this level of understanding is available at all levels of experience. Because spiritual growth is the reason for everything, existential problems would exist for the purpose of spiritual growth.
These questions share a theme. The theme is the obstacles to enlightenment. In Question 1, people aren’t interested in it. In Question 2, people can’t rise above existential problems to find it. But the only real obstacle to enlightenment is an unreadiness to give up the old identity, bound by time and space, for the new identity, which is eternal. People will find reasons not to yield to enlightenment even when they are on the brink of enlightenment.
E: You are a musician. How is this fact—and music as such—connected to your sensitivity toward the spiritual dimension of life?
JC: I am not sure that being a musician automatically makes a person more spiritual. But it is true that music is an invisible force. It is the sound of feelings. It puts the soul in order. And it reflects the state of mind of the musician. Because of these intangible but real attributes, you can say that music is very spiritual.
E: Can you imagine being a homeless person, instead of a well-received musician, and still think the way you do? Or, if you would lose everything right now and become homeless, would that influence your beliefs and enlightened attitudes?
JC: Enlightenment isn’t a way of thinking, or beliefs, or attitudes. It is knowledge of who you are. This identity is invulnerable to circumstances. If I lost everything right now and became homeless, it wouldn’t change my changeless identity. Only the circumstances would change.
E: What do you think about entheogens (special chemicals altering consciousness)?
JC: Many states of consciousness are possible. An altered state induced by an entheogen would be one possible state of consciousness. But beyond all states of consciousness there is the unaltered state of consciousness, which is pure consciousness. This is the parent of all the other states of consciousness. It is changeless while they are temporary. The ultimate would be to experience this.
E: What do you think about the origin of life and the universe, even the origin of the Creator/Creative force itself? Do you think we might get to know this “secret of creation” in the afterlife perhaps?
JC: What you know depends on your state of consciousness. Through interaction with your own Enlightened Self, your consciousness can grow into cosmic awareness. Then you can get to know life, the universe, and the Creator/Creative force from that viewpoint.
E: An enlightened person accepts everything and craves nothing. But what if someone wishes to be enlightened and at the same time still has some concrete, human desire which is still not being fulfilled, and he/she just can’t stop desiring it (e.g., desire for a beautiful love relationship, or whatever)?
JC: Each desire you fulfill clears the way for your next desire. The final desire is for enlightenment. Therefore, ultimately every desire leads you to the desire for enlightenment. Because of that, there is no conflict between the desire for a beautiful love relationship and the desire for enlightenment. To believe that finding enlightenment requires renouncing earthly love is a mistake.
E: What do you think is the best contribution to the world these days?
JC: The best contribution these days is to accelerate the growth of your own consciousness and to teach others what you know.