EP107 A Hole Full of Birds with Enriques Enriquez

This conversation is all about how to listen and live in a magical way to the world around you. Enrique and Andrew speak about birds and language. Enrique’s ideal new idea about divination. A special message Andrew got from the birds recently and much more. 

Think about how much you’ve enjoyed the podcast and how many episodes you listened to, and consider if it is time to support the Patreon You can do so here. then you can check out the bonus episode where Andrew and Enrique talk about how to listen to the birds. Including a recording on one of Enrique’s bird songs. 

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Andrew

Transcript 

Enrique:

Okay.

Andrew:

Welcome to another episode of the Hermit’s Lamp podcast. I am here today with Enrique Enriquez. How do you introduce Enrique? I think that we could say that they maybe are a poet, that they are maybe a magician. Perhaps it’s easiest to say that they are an emissary for the nation of birds, but they’re a person who does a lot of things. They’ve been on before a couple times, so if you enjoy this, definitely dig out the previous episodes, I think that they’re well worth listening to. But how are you introducing yourself these days, Enrique?

Enrique:

I don’t know, Andrew, it’s very … it’s always very good to see you and I always find problematic to record these things with you because I am … or I feel so at ease with you. But I always worry that nothing will come out of it. It’s like just two friends hanging out.

Andrew:

I think that could actually be like the subtitle for The Hermit’s Lamp podcast. Just a couple of friends hanging out and talking about stuff. I think that’s every episode.

Enrique:

Yes, which is beautiful.

Andrew:

No, I don’t know. I went to see a friend of mine the other day, she was visiting New York and I had to meet with her. The only chance I had to meet with her was the Beast Art Gallery, an opening that she was somehow related to, and I arrived there. She grabbed me by the arm and she walked me around the room introducing me to every single person as a magician.

Andrew:

And of course I flinched and then I flinched a little bit more and then I thought, “Well, she’s philosopher, be smart. She probably knows what she’s doing.” Maybe she has reason to call me a magician, but I don’t know.

Enrique:

Maybe we should … we’ll contact her and ask her what that reason was. We can share that somewhere afterwards or maybe it’s best not to know, right?

Andrew:

Yeah. I think names should be given even … We are given a name when we are born and then maybe we are given other names by other reality people, institution organizations, and it’s the same thing. It’s better for the name to be something that is given to you or maybe you get to live up to it.

Enrique:

I think that that resonates for me. I always felt like in this era of social media and online presence, that I should come up with some pithy, witty, catchy thing to refer to myself as, other than what do you do? Where are retail cards? It is so many people have these great slogans and catchphrases and so on. But I’ve never come up with one, I’ve given up. After 17 years, I think it’s plenty of time to give up on that process. But I remember being in China a couple of years ago where I was doing some teaching and doing readings with my friend Carrie. And I was talking to this woman who … she was talking to me about her guru and she was like, “How long have you been reading cards for?”

Enrique:

And I was like, “I’ve been reading cards for about 30 years and professionally for whatever it was at that time,” and so on. And she’s like, “Oh, so you’re like a Grand Master then.” And I was like … and immediately, my response was, I’m like, “I don’t know, maybe you should ask Carrie if that’s true or not.” Because I just didn’t want it. Like you said, I flinched. But I’ve thought of it that moment a lot since then. And I think that acknowledgement from the community or from people of it or the bestowing of that name from people is actually where maybe the real power is. There are lots of people who posts, they sign off with Supreme Grand Master of Taro or whatever, so on and so on. Maybe it’s true, but I think when it comes from the outside, it approximates truth more closely.

Andrew:

I completely agree and I would move by my friend Jasper because I felt okay, maybe I have done something to be called magician, and I’m okay with that as long as it’s not me who is the one saying that’s what I am. But I don’t worry about … I don’t know names or labels. That’s the problem with some words that really turn reality opaque in that way in which then nothing else can be seen through that name. People just give things a name to put a stop to having to think about them.

Enrique:

I’m an Aquarius. I’m a Reiki Master. I’m a … whatever.

Andrew:

How are you?

Enrique:

I’m doing pretty good. I want to share with you a bird story.

Andrew:

Okay.

Enrique:

So seeing as seen as birds is something we definitely share a common in. And maybe I’ve told this on the podcast before, but I can’t remember right now. But last October, I ended a long relationship and day two after I ended it, I found a bird nest on the ground with three robin eggs in it. They were all broken. And so I looked at it and I was like, “Yup, that’s the end of something.” And I saved it. I brought it in and I made sure it was dry. Around here somewhere, I kept it and I felt this very clear acknowledgement from that other side about this situation.

Enrique:

And then maybe two months later, I was walking through this lane way that I walked through to get to my studio most of the time. And I saw a pigeon with what looked like a branch stuck over its head. And I was like, “Huh, how am I going to convince this pigeon to let me free it from this thing that it’s got. And when I got a bit closer, I realized that it was in fact not trapped, but it was … sorry, I’m going to pause this, and episode afterwards.

Enrique:

Restarting now. I saw that it was in fact not trapped, but it was holding the branch in its mass and it was a pretty big branch. So it looked like part of it wrapped around its head and so on. And as I got closer, it flew up and it circled and instead of flying away, or instead of flying to one of the many patches on the building with the pigeons in that area, it circled above me a couple of times. And as it did, so it dropped the branch and it fell right into my hands. I didn’t have to reach out for anything. Literally, it fell into my hands because I thought it was going to hit me in the face. And so I saved that and I was like, “Oh, now here’s the beginning of that new nest. Here’s the beginning of that new thing.” So there is my bird story for you.

Andrew:

That’s … Thank you for telling me. I had never heard that before and it’s just perfect. The weird condition of flying. You said they are at the same time. Part of the landscape and exception to the landscape. There all the time, but then there is a moment that particular image which would have been irrelevant otherwise gets active for you right there. And then there is something beautiful about the way that they give consistency to themselves. There’s a second [inaudible 00:09:15] so to speak. The pigeon with a branch on its beak, it’s even more relevant because you found the [inaudible 00:09:24].

Enrique:

And this is symmetry to it, right?

Andrew:

Yes. And I think that the most important thing I learned from … sorry. He said the space in between the cars, he’s made out of time. On the table, we don’t see that because it happens really fast and in fact all oracles are [inaudible 00:09:51] for all to accelerate time. But that space, that time, the more we look at card, the wider you become. So we can inhabit that space in between the images. And then we realized, “Oh, but that’s space is light and the images are happening all the time.” There is card that is eats with the three broken egg and then there is a card that eats the pigeon with the branch with its beak. And just in the space, in between, the key I think is to know how to wait. And I’m more and more convinced that wakened with ISA, of course, a very active dance of faint, of painting, it’s the greatest oracle. That’s the oracular state is the state of waiting.

Enrique:

I think that that capacity to be present and open, but not fixated is really important to magic, to divination, to listening to birds, to all of the things, right?

Andrew:

Yeah. I spent the weekend talking to some crows in Massachusetts and I think that one very important thing for me is that … if they’re having a conversation with a crow across the main street of this little town, and somebody wanted to know what the crow was saying. And then some other day, I told these crows and I start calling them day and night. They came and they drew a circle over my head. They were talking to me, but basically drawing the beautiful circle on top of me.

Andrew:

And what I find or what I encounter all the time is that people then want for me to provide some ornithological conclusion. I talk to the birds because somehow now I’m going to learn something about crows. And I have no ornithological basis. Both events like the nest you found or the bird with the branch on its beak, both are emblem for the language of the birth, which is precisely the stability to merit with time by paying a patient is the rhythm of the world. Of course, I’m just putting these images in the world and somehow, they add up because yes, you find somehow they’re concrete reality. The facts go so on. Maybe in two months we will find … I don’t know what, with some sort of branch, we let it image that we’ll [inaudible 00:12:58] in that moment.

Enrique:

Well, I think that people are often, and I at times have often been in a hurry to arrive at meaning or definition or so on, and I think that that’s one of the … if one of the powers of reading tarot cards is the space, one of the dangers is the definition. Yet to me, the definition of things is a thing that comes in time. And I think that especially at some point in my ceremonial magic career, I just started to treat meetings, messages, things that came, I’m like, “Well, we’ll see what that means in time.” Maybe in a few years I’ll know what that means. Maybe in a few years, it’ll feel true still. We’ll see. And that sort of openness to it, it allows for change, which might actually be the most important part of the process as opposed to definition, which is comforting, or has the appearance of comfort but doesn’t really necessarily always or maybe even often benefit us in a bigger picture sense.

Andrew:

Yeah. In fact, my suspicion as at the moment is that if we have a question and we need the answer right away, that means that’s the wrong question. I think that there’s a credential in our goals between motivation and acceptance. We want our spiritual materials, so to speak, the things we consume within the frame of the spiritual, to provide motivation. So we feel that we can tackle life or go up and do things, and accomplish something then which people call inspiration.

Andrew:

And I think that it’s very important to focus on acceptance. Not only from the mentally, the acceptance of the dignity of that thing that is before, all good or bad, but also the acceptance of a bigger picture or a wider pattern that is taking place and one way of naming that will be changed as you’re doing, is time and understanding that everything is simply happening. Of course for me personally, and I’m not suggesting people should do that, I will also say everything is happening and I don’t matter, which gives me a lot of freedom. It’s not about me. I understand that for people, a lot of them need to be the center of the circle. But in any case, yes, you become a witness of reality and somehow you realize that then you are reality too. And then we also become part of the landscape, an exception to the landscape now and then.

Enrique:

Well, certainly we can become an oracle to other people, right?

Andrew:

Yes.

Enrique:

As part of the landscape and an exception too. But I’m very curious about this idea as it relates to the more … I completely relate to it from a spiritual perspective, from a practice perspective, even from my perspective as being a person who does readings for other people. To me, all of those things, I completely relate to it. I’m curious how you relate that back to the more mundane but also miraculous things like your appearance. How does that idea trickle back into parenthood for you? Or into your relationship or into those sort of day to day domestic parts of your life?

Andrew:

I always tell people that the fact that they can speak like a bird doesn’t mean that they’ll have to do laundry. No. And of course in New York, that basically means that you have to grab a big bag of 30 clothes and then go out. In most places in New York, you don’t have this laundry machine in your apartment, so you have to actually want to go to those winters knowing who these places were. In the movies, there’s always fantastic tech happening that’s nice, but I go in the morning so it’s really boring. So, a daily for steward of some … let’s call it [inaudible 00:18:27] it could be your head in the clouds thinking of a bird and words and signs and oracle. At some point, I think that that’s the dignity. Saying like doing laundry.

Andrew:

And I remember I used to hate that particular thing. Going out to do laundry is just extraordinarily boring. And then I realized well this is somehow they cancel weight. I mean I need this thing. I need the key, I need the fact that they are hungry or bored because otherwise, I will just disappear. But you need that, you need that reality to keep doing pension. That versatility where all [inaudible 00:19:16] aspiring us. It’s only rates if you have an [inaudible 00:19:20] and a view low. I appreciate those things now. I go to do my laundry in a suit because I feel that there is an extra-ordinary dignity in doing that too. And the same with everything, I think it’s very hard to accept the dignity of the things we don’t like. I suspect that at the end, we are all guided by our aesthetic preferences.

Andrew:

We have an idea of what’s beautiful and then we pursue that and then everything else just gets along. But I do feel that the mundane half that wait, and that’s what it is. It’s a way that keeps you grounded. What I don’t do is to focus any oracular pursue on the mundane. I think that there are questions that have no form and they manifest as intuition. They are not been named, you don’t know what they are, so trying to be useful to somehow point you in some direction or … but daily life takes care of itself. It works clockwork. So I don’t agonize over children, family, school, I don’t know, housing, work. I think those things will happen anyways. The ground is there. The problem is how high can you fly? So the ground is always there.

Enrique:

I think it’s one of the things, it’s always a good interesting question for me. And I am a person who points Oracle at mundane things but not regularly. Like sometimes and when necessary, but I tend to … my daily practice, it drifted to this general question, how do I show up fully today? As my question to the cards and at some points in the last six months or so, the question just disappeared and it just becomes this open time, in a way that I imagine you with your pen in your notebook and letters and images and cards and … where’s it going? What is it? Who knows? It is what it is. And at the end, maybe there’s something concrete that you could point out or show about it, but often it’s just much more ephemeral than all of that, you know?

Andrew:

Yes. Very often, it’s just about maintaining the day. And again to me, that has to do with the idea becoming one with time. It’s not really about finding a solution or an answer because it’s not even about asking a question. It’s just about being present and of course I like this idea of a symbolic world, that it’s [inaudible 00:22:49] not very clear and it’s not real riding over your thoughts on the real world or daily life and it becomes more than or more federal depending on when and where we are. And I like to be a witness so that world, but many times it’s the rare act of witnessing the life of form, what provides some benefits or a sense of being okay.

Andrew:

That can give you … and I will maybe [inaudible 00:23:27] to put a very concrete example. I am completely convinced that what’d really help when we look at card, it’s not they images just themselves, it’s not the words we used to acquire the images, it’s not the answers we get, it’s the experience of looking of them. It’s the consistency in the pattern of the images. It’s a due painful experience of images that makes [inaudible 00:24:05] feel better. And somehow, feeling better it’s not just … I don’t know, a sensation, it’s that sense of truth, like when you feed a bird and you understand that you know something and you don’t have to even to be able to [inaudible 00:24:24], but you know it, you’ll know it. And it’s the same … Yes.

Enrique:

It reminds me … I recently just reacquired a bicycle after having my bicycle stolen near the start of the year. The joys of living in a large city. I’m speaking of things that can be tremendously grounding but not in a desirable way. But this conversation and the idea of the influence of reading cards, it reminds me of … I live in Toronto, which is a city of tall buildings and less open spaces and so on. And one of the ways in which I really have noticed that at other times is if I’m cycling across town, like maybe 20, 30 minutes to a friend’s place and when I leave the house, if the moon catches my eye, for example, you go and it’s like, “Oh look at the beautiful full moon tonight.”

Enrique:

And then you cycle along and then you cross University Avenue and the buildings have this open pathway and suddenly, there’s the moon again. And then a little bit later as you get out pass Bathurst, where the buildings start to get short, and you’re like, “Oh there’s the moon again.” And having a reading is like that initial connection where you see the moon, you go, “Whoa.” It makes you stop, right.

Andrew:

Yes.

Enrique:

Time stops for that moment. Look at it and you’re like, “Look at it, beautiful, oh look at the color of the sky.” For me, it always trickles out into a bunch of things usually. Once I notice a thing like that, at the very least admitted or to have me just gazing upwards and feeling the expansiveness of that experience and then having a meeting and then flows through into those other points through time where that process returns to us, whether through the images of the words or the idea of memory, and it echoes that trip across town of that, reconnecting with what I would call it with the moon and a sublime experience.

Enrique:

But certainly, the metaphysical or transformative experience of having a reading.

Andrew:

Well, because again, I think that the reading or the experience of the cards is just part of a continuum of science. There are some are being insisted upon us. So yes, maybe the reading is that based where we frame our attention and say, “Oh, this is meaningful.” But basically, the moon that you are looking at in the cars is the ones that will reappear then behind a building. And the same thing will happens with the idea of the tower people breaking apart and then you will see two people walking in different directions. So you will see a chain that somehow snaps and you’ll realize, “Oh, it’s the same idea, the same idea is being insisted upon me.” I don’t think that there is any example that will talk your example with the nest and then the pigeon of the branch.

Andrew:

It’s the same idea. You have a mindset and a series of concerns or a way of being in the world. And then reality is just giving you these things in a way to say, well this is how things are, this is where you are, this is who you are. And I think the cards are a great training tool for that. These days, I’m thinking that the Oracle of the future will be a person who has a hole puncher in one hand and the stack of blank cards on the other. So when the person comes with a question or big and scientists about something, the person just punch a hole in the card and give it to them. And that’s the Oracle.

Andrew:

To me, there are two terms of Oracles. To me, two things are very important. One is that initial definition of the Oracle is an opaque statement, which by extension then names the person who gives or delivers those statements, and the other one is Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher when he wrote, the Oracle neither reveals nor conceals but gives signs. Which to me is the most useful model to understand what I do.

Andrew:

There is this idea of punching a hole in a blank card and giving it to the other person so they can see through. And of course the idea of through which in French means hold to and is the beginning of [inaudible 00:29:33] which is to find, and then the card which there is a French word name which you can use for. In Spanish, it’s very easy, it’s [Laminna 00:29:43]. In English, you don’t have an exact word like that. But in any cases are worth four cards. You can have the card, which is this lamp and lamp sounds like lamp, which is the soul. The idea of punching a hole in the soul, so you can see through. It is all implicit in the act of handing somebody something that basically allows them to focus their attention in a very narrow point.

Enrique:

I love it. As you’re speaking about it, I was picturing you in a fancy tent somewhere, in the fence. The people lined up, it’s like be like, stack of cards and your whole puncher and still be like, don’t tell me anything, there you go.

Andrew:

Exactly. Because at the end of course if we think about an Oracle, that’s an opaque statement or the statement is the whole, and then the opaque is the actual card. Making a statement in the opaque is a way of playing with that idea of the opaque statement. But currently, I’m very happy applying the same thoughts to just making bird sounds. I think we talked about that last time.

Enrique:

Are you reading cards any more of these days?

Andrew:

No.

Enrique:

No?

Andrew:

Not at all. I have a daily engagement with the cards because I teach people how to look at them. And I have fine tune my practice, so we only look at the trumps of [inaudible 00:31:31] which is the card I’m interested in and it really becomes a way to understand a poetic structure that if or when it takes a hole in you, then you can find in the world to the point that you no longer need the cards. But the basis is that we look at cards and we talk about them

Andrew:

And then I have learned because of that work with people, we usually don’t work with questions. We don’t use questions in our practice, we just look at the cards and we describe what we see. And I realized that in time, that work has a benefit for those who engage with it, which is not only learning how to read the cards, it’s that they feel better, which again confirms my idea that exposing ourselves to this rhythm of the images is in itself a beneficial thing. [crosstalk 00:32:36] please.

Enrique:

When I created the land of the sacred self Oracle, which is black and white surrealists Oracle deck that I made-

Andrew:

I remember it.

Enrique:

… I created it with that intention. So it’s like I created it not with the goal that people would look at them and be like, ah, this is what it means, oh, here’s my affirmation for the day, or here’s the concrete or the opaque thing that I can arrive at. But instead, as a hole through a card into another world for people where they could have experiences and engage with them and whenever I work with those with people, the experience is the same. The initial response is, I have no idea what’s going on in this, and I’m like, “Great, that’s perfect. Now let’s look at it, now let’s talk about it, now let’s open up that space so we can go through it.”

Enrique:

And at some point in that journey, they tend to feel better and have a sense of direction or what have you. And sometimes that is very communicable and sometimes it’s not. And I think that the idea that we can have need an answer that we can express concretely to other people or we failed is not always true. I think there are times when it’s true or where that’s what’s required. But I think it’s a bigger picture practice opening up and engaging in that mystery is really what allows us to let the Oracle reveal itself to us, which is always something outside of being able to clearly articulate the scope of what it means.

Andrew:

Yes. A sign should either deliver or some knowledge, which I will optimally call poetic knowledge. That means that it’s maybe not even again possible to express it in words, it’s just this understanding that you get about the way certain aspects of reality coincide for work or the Oracle or the sign I’m sorry will be a call to action.

Andrew:

And I don’t mean that in practical terms, I mean in an emotional way. Something torches you and you feel that you’re ready to something or you’re ready not to do it or you’re somehow ready to take a stance, and it’s a purely emotional response to a sign you have been given. Most of that exist outside of a rational analysis. And I feel even sometimes, people say, well, I saw you even a dream and you told me … for example, you told me how to read the cards but I don’t remember anything you said. Or, you told me something and it was very important but I don’t remember the words.

Andrew:

And I feel very happy because I think that whatever that was, it’s not meant to be put into language. It’s just there. It’s pure poetic knowledge. At the end, I always feel the same thing. We’re trying to figure out how to leave and that pretty much means we are trying to protect our psyche from the daily grind, life throwing all these nonsense adults and we are just trying to remain somehow cool. And I think signs, oracles, they can do that.

Enrique:

I think the idea of definition of self is one that when it’s rooted in language, like when I was trying to come up with that fantastic phrase to communicate the fullness of what I offered to people through divination, that doesn’t go anywhere. Maybe it does for some people, but I’ve never understood it. It doesn’t go anywhere for me. But this sense of the fullness of ourselves and the sense of the fullness of sharing that with someone else or experiencing it with the birds or the moon or whatever ways those, those things can be enduring in ways and solve problems in ways that definitions around language rarely seem to or don’t seem to. And it reminds me how many years ago I started this podcast. I started the podcast because I had been thinking about my last year of working with clients and thinking about what I called my successes and not successes with those people.

Enrique:

And the question that I had was, why do some people change and why do other people stay the same? And so the first half dozen episodes of this are me asking various seasons card readers that question, and I think that hearing what you just said actually to me feels like it is actually probably the clearest answer that people need some emotional or internal shift to happen that isn’t rooted in language or explanation and isn’t necessarily accessible through language or rationality or explanation and until, or if ever that thing happens where Enrique and I appear in your dream and you can’t remember anything but suddenly you wake up desiring to make a shift in your life.

Enrique:

Until that unpredictable peace emerges, we can seek that experience, we can foster it, but we can’t guarantee that it happens neither as diviners nor as people. Right?

Andrew:

Absolutely. And I like to think … going back to this idea of the magician, a friend wrote to me and asked me, “Are you a magician? I need the magic.” And I told her, “But I do slow of hand.” I believe or I’m interested in an idea of magic, which is not the imposition of a will, but the absence of a will. So you make yourself present, your presence has an effect in reality, even if you don’t want to and then you wait. And there is a lot of magic that happened that way, but of course maybe this is the beginning of magic trick and we wouldn’t know until tomorrow or the next year. And I’m okay with it. Of course again, going back to your initial comment, there is no way to create a slogan to market that in a powerful way, which I think is big to the honesty of the premise.

Andrew:

I think we are obviously rooted in language and actually we become subtle true language. Language is this thing that happens in our body and as the air goes out and we reshape it with our mouth and tongue and teeth, it goes off. And as soon as he’s out there, you’d acquire some metaphysical consistency. So there is something remarkable happening there. But it doesn’t mean that it’s everything. And as you were saying, it’s not until we have an emotional response that we are ready to change or to move or to basically experience all the things.

Andrew:

And perhaps, a paradox that I find in the current world is that when we talk about emotions, we confuse that with sentimentality. We have countless books and posters and memes and pictures that have these sugary tone because somehow they’re going to appeal to your emotions and to appeal to our emotions when we don’t need the pillow in the muffling the shot of the gun.

Andrew:

We just need the full blast. And there is that thing in the … I don’t know how to call it, the spiritual, the new age world that is all about muffling the sound. Making it comfortable, making it safe, which is the perfect recipe for nothing to change.

Enrique:

Well, we’ve been touching on the idea of sublime and the sublime, especially in landscape painting and that sort of historical stuff where people were working on that notion, that it was rooted in this idea that something was so grand and inconceivably large compared to our personal smallness, that it evoked a sense of overwhelmingness and openness up to a sense of our place in the universe. And there’s a degree of at the least anxiety and that maybe if something much stronger too.

Enrique:

It doesn’t need to be comfortable and it maybe [crosstalk 00:43:10] just can’t even be comfortable.Right?

Andrew:

Yeah. Again, if you’re comfortable in your chair, you won’t stand up. Somehow, something has to happen. That chair has to get held or I don’t know, a nail has to pull through and then you spring out of it and do something. But also, talking about the sublime, I guess that my main interest, which is this notion of the language of the birds, which has again, nothing to do with ornithology or science, but it has to do with precisely with some longing for the return to some ideal state, which is that we could use that word, just the state of the sublime.

Andrew:

This idea of the language of the birds is the original language or the secret language. So the idea of a return to the beginning and the idea that somehow that beginning is some paradise which is … again, a place of longing. We look at a bird and it’s almost consistently. The bird at least it’s the longing for a promise that the bird is not making, but that we really feel it’s there for us and we can achieve that return to that ideal state. State of freedom, state of weightless, state of beauty. And I think we are all somehow exiles from that place. And yes, we are all looking for a way back.

Enrique:

As always, I post on Facebook and ask if people have questions. And one of the questions that somebody asked was, how do you really listen to the birds? How does that happen? And I’m wondering if have a suggestion for people, especially if this is a newer concept for people. What could people might do to begin this journey, if they’re inspired by this conversation?

Andrew:

Well, I am happy to report that I just finished teaching a class about the language of the birds that happened with me entirely talking like a bird. Every Monday, I will send a lesson, which was a recording of me talking like a bird, and then people had to listen and to transcribe that. And they were … That too. Several different routes. And something very fortunate that happened is that mimicking birds implies understanding that we hear with our memory. The ear has some memory. That’s how when you roll the wood against steel, you can hear a bird chirping.

Andrew:

[Gusto mashallah 00:46:35] the French writer has this beautiful idea, that the birds learn too by listening to a stream of water. And again, if you … yeah, you can see it. If you hear the stream of water, the bubbling could be chirping. I’m talking about something that is so extraordinarily concrete and it’s foreign. I hear to the birds in terms of the material. I hear to the birds and I’m all the time wondering, “Does that sounds like rubber, like wood, like metal?” How can I speak that language?

Andrew:

But also, one of the effects that this class had in some people was precisely that they were walking around and they will hear the brakes of a bus and hear a bird, recognize the same way again memory. I think what I’m trying to say maybe is that we need to listen to the concrete, to the actual form of the sound. And then to me, this has been even more important. We need to listen to the void inside the voice of the bird to the negative space, to the silence. And this is key when you’re actually trying to mimic a bird because yes, you have the chirp and somehow you can make that, but then the rhythm only happens if you listen to how many times the bird stops. And that space could very well be the same space that you are walking on when you’re between the nest and the pigeons.

Andrew:

It’s always about situating yourself in that space. You think that sometimes … Charles Bernstein, this American poet has a fantastic essay on homophonic translation and actually, he talks about bird song or he talks about this idea that poets have always wanted to talk like birds. So the idea of taking bird sounds and translating them into human words, something that for example another American poet, Robert Greene did in the past. He has all these sentences for the birds, which are human sentences, but they can be retraced back into the sounds of the birds around his home in Vermont. You can also do that. You can also try to find in the voice of the bird, that which is familiar, which is a way of saying you can try to find in the voice of the bird Dan, which is you. And then you’re surprised by the things you find.

Andrew:

But then I had other people who work in this class with me. Did something brilliant and they use the bird songs as dream words. This is based on a 14th century, [inaudible 00:50:13] idea of name is widespread in the Sufi world or mostly where the idea that certain words, if you repeat them as you’re falling asleep, they improve the chances that you will have beautiful dreams. A couple of people working with me did this, of playing the recordings of my bird voices as they were falling asleep and then they registered their dreams and the results were absolutely spectacular.

Andrew:

Going back to that sense of something that exists or is transmitted in a purely poetic way, there were all these beautiful immigrants and … Perhaps with these, I’m trying to say there is a way of listening that is conscious. You could listen to see this sounds like this, this sounds like [crosstalk 00:51:11], I’m pretty sure that people will be able to or even [inaudible 00:51:14] French composer to write down the notation for the song of a bird. But there’s another way of listening than maybe more unconscious. Listening when you’re not listening.

Enrique:

It strikes me that there’s … you hear the song, you become aware of the song and at some point in the transition to noticing the space in the song or in art or whatever, there’s almost like an inversion that starts to happen, where we get pulled inside of something else. That whole in the corridor all of a sudden. The card being the song that we’re looking at, we’re seeing the pattern and the things and then at some point, we noticed that there’s an opening. And if we’re in the receptive mindset to that, not sitting with expectation and anticipation, we can fall through that like Alice through the radicle and so on and end up in another world.

Andrew:

Yes, experience is …

Enrique:

Are different are poetic but also inspire a sense of connection to ourselves and so on.

Andrew:

It’s like walking by the sea. You walk by the sea and the sea now and then it brings something to the shore and you’ll pick it up and you say, “Oh, this is fantastic. Or this is for the Detroit back.” But you can’t command the sea to drop on your lap what you want. You have to figure out how to use with the sea put in there.

Enrique:

Sure. [crosstalk 00:52:58] to drop a branch in his hands. Right? [crosstalk 00:53:03].

Andrew:

Yes if you’re there, you’re paying attention, then you [inaudible 00:53:09]. It’s a miracle, but also that’s something else that happened this weekend, I was about to have lunch with my son and I heard this crow and I looked up and I realized what I saw was a bald eagle. Okay which was … ex gigantic and then I get here in this crow, and it was so strange, so I move around three and I saw that this crow that now looked like a fly next to the eagle was trying to chase the eagle out of the tree, which is what they do is their job basically.

Andrew:

And then of course there was a moment when my wife … wives always do the same things that … something is happening to people are having an argument, an eagle on a crow and then your wife will say, “Go, do something. Talk to the guy.” So I went and I talked to the crow and I managed to make him stop for a while, but the … and then we went into have lunch, but this is the thing. This was the dining hall in this college my son goes to. And as soon as I entered and my son was inside and as soon as I told him there is a full eagle outside, every single kid in that dining hall dropped everything and ran out.

Andrew:

I never expected that reaction. There was no social media involved, there was just … the absolute, the excitement was again … by saying there is a bowl eagle outside, it was like I pressed an emotional bottom that was completely irrational. They didn’t even hesitate or figure out, they just dropped it, the trades with the foot and ran out. And I felt again that they understand that it’s a miracle. That thing out there, which is basically an object that fell off the symbolic world, and for a moment, it’s there on the three. It’s a miracle. And that’s the choice, and I think that signs are always based on choice. We choose to activate or deactivate a sign. We choose to acknowledge this is a sign. You could have passed by that nest with the tree X and ignore that completely or kick it even. You decided, you choose to pay attention to it and just the way that, that prepare you to be aware of the pigeon with the branch.

Enrique:

And in the same way as choosing to go and walk by the ocean, if we persist in that practice, then the ocean will give us science because we’re there.

Andrew:

Yes. Everything is … absolutely and the present is there is the presence is meaning and that the word you use, it’s a practice and of course again in time, you will feel that the sea is giving you things all the time. And it’s not necessarily true, maybe we’re a few weeks in between or months, but you are in your practice. So the hour, of that practice makes reality speak to you in really a constant way.

Enrique:

I’m reminded of … Jason Miller wrote a piece about … I’ll try and include a link in the show notes. I think the title was something like your practice doesn’t care if you feel like it. And the sort of gist of it was around devotional work that … it doesn’t matter if you’re in the mood or not. If you’ve made a commitment, you should show up and do the thing anyway. Whether a thing comes from it or not, whether you feel better because of it or not, that in many ways, the power of devotion and offerings in the context of deity work is in your consistency, in your persistence over time.

Enrique:

And I think that in the same way, I had a lovely bike ride back from meeting my girlfriend for coffee today and I didn’t have any miraculous occurrences. It was a nice bike ride, but the moon wasn’t out, it was whatever. But that attention is always there so that when those things do wash up on the shore, I can pick them up. And I think that that endeavoring to be open to that at a basic level consistently is what also produces it, right?

Andrew:

Yes. And We have to be open and again, we have to accept the dignity of whatever that is. It may not be what we want or it may not be something. Actually I think the whole point is for it to be surprising, for it to be something we’re not expecting. Otherwise, if it’s only like a confirmation of bias, then what’s the point? But I think a lot about gas career? This thing, the …

Enrique:

[inaudible 00:58:42]

, Africa.

Andrew:

I love this idea of grounding egg shells to a powder that you can use to draw things with and somehow with those drawings, you call on something. Right. And I think that I … I like to think that … a friend of mine said that I draw a magic circle around this café I go everyday, that that’s my magic circle. And I liked the idea that routine is discuss career. Routine is round in these actual to a powder. You do it over and over and over and over and basically yes, it comes to a point in which your routine drew a magic circle around you and then these things are happening there because basically, you are there. As you say, they happen because you show up. And of course, I’m sure that there are wonderful things that’s happening while nobody is watching.

Enrique:

For sure.

Andrew:

And when we don’t show up.

Enrique:

But when you went inside the bald eagle and the crow said, “Ooh, I’m glad they left. We can put this aside for a minute.”

Andrew:

And that’s also beautiful to think that … to think of all the signs that are taking place in our absence. It’s also something that fills me with joy.

Enrique:

No, I love it.

Andrew:

Older things are not for me.

Enrique:

Well, maybe that’s a great place to wrap it up for this conversation. Go practice, go grind it down, go make it sacred, magical, or poetic or whatever you prefer, and listen and you’ll see what shows up.

Andrew:

Yes, absolutely. I don’t know why, I prefer poetic because perhaps it makes them more concrete. But at the end, it’s all the same thing.

Enrique:

Definitely. Thanks for recording another one of these, my friend.

Andrew:

No, thank you. It’s always so good to see you. Come to New York.

Enrique:

It’s on my agenda for sure.

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