The initial part of the interview is given below. The entire interview is available for download as a Word document here. (ed.)

Wayland Myers Interview with Martin Muller About Empathy


 W        I think that it is important for us to establish something about your background and present situation - what you do.

 M         Let's start with the background. I come from a family who had a home for children with weak health, and that home turned into a school. So I used to be faced since the age of nine with problems of psychology, pedagogy, health and so on. I later went through schools, finally got to the university. Later I studied a lot of nearly everything I could find in Hindu, and European mystical lore and occultism, and so on. In '41 I started to teach. In '43 I had a home and I saw people, and I oriented them towards their deeper self. I must say that at that time I followed pretty much the classical line. By this I mean tradition. Later on, somewhere between '47 and ‘60,        I began to have new ideas of how to formulate, what I wanted to convey and little by little I left the tradition, until I came to this country and completely left tradition in Europe.

 W        What was it you taught in Europe?

 M         I don't know how to express the teaching. I would say that it was a kind of development starting from the base of the personal psychology and moving towards deeper life. I would say that we went in the direction of that which is taught in any of the traditions of occultism/mysticism on this because you sense it pretty much - part: of it. [I believe he is referring to me personally and not to people in general. But when you get used to accepting livance as a base you realize pretty quickly that in being centered fully on livance that from time to time you forget completely to use the usual awareness - I mean the coded awareness. You learn to discover direct awareness - not coded. Any sensory awareness goes through nervous codes - electro-chemical codes - that are recoded, not decoded, in the mind as objects you sense, different sensations - warmth, cold, etc. - these are codes. But when you live you go back, you feel cold. But it's just a convenient code. When you actually live it you don't live a code. And you learn to center on the livance itself.

 W        I'm somewhat confused.

 M         To demonstrate it, I will perform an experiment with you now. The "conceptual" living is thought by many people to be living, to be actual living. I will take as an example the clapping of hands. Everyone knows what clapping hands is. You have it at concerts and so on. So according to the usual mind procedure you say "I know what it is." And when you say " I know what it is," you might believe that you experience it. Then we come to the actual clapping of bands (he claps loudly). The moment you live it, is fully different from the conceptual aspect. Of course you find for instance, the sensory ear perception - you hear it. That was in your conceptual idea also - the hearing of it. What you might have forgotten is that the sound wave 'nits your whole body, not only your ear. So there was suddenly a kind of shock effect that was not contained in the conceptual experience. Then, further, you have another aspect. When you experience it, you experience it - there is no "I".            But, when you speak of it, you say “I experience, " but when you experience you don't say that, it's just  experience. You don't even think of "I experience."

 W        It's unreflected experience. - that which is called the "inner life." Little by little I found technical points that could be applied. At this time the closest I could say is that I am in the field that is called ontology - with "ontos" meaning the beginning. In stead of "beginning' we use the word "base!'

 W        I thought, "ontos" meant "Being?"

 M         Yes, "being/beginning." Both aspects exist. And I prefer instead of that, to speak of a base. That means something from which you start like the foundation of a house, and you build it on there. But the strength of the house depends very much on its foundation. if its foundation is not working then the house is not going to hold. It's the same with a person. You can arrange all the psychological movement in the surface but if you don't touch the base you have no real result. You have temporary aid, but you have to reach something that is basic...