Dr. Gabor Maté on “Life is a Conversation”

Hart House Gabor

Life is a conversation. Life is a conversation that begins the moment you’re conceived, and as soon as you’re conceived the world sends information your way. The nature of that information, how it’s delivered, how you receive it, how you interpret it, and how you respond – that’s your life.

So life is a conversation. We tend not to perceive that; we tend to think that life just happens to us, when really it’s a responsive, interactive process which we create. But we don’t realize that we create it; we don’t realize that we’re the source.

There’s a good reason that we don’t realize it. We don’t realize it because how we create it, what we create it from, is determined by so many influences that predate our conception, so it’s much more natural to conceive of ourselves as being an effect of the world, rather than as creators of the world.

But there is some reason that the spiritual teachers all tell us that we’re gods, or that we’re created in the image of God. The difference between us and God is that God, however you conceive of it/her/him – nothing created it; it was the original source, therefore any thought that God had became reality.

I don’t believe in God, so you don’t have to worry about it; I’m not trying to convince you of anything. But if there is a God, he/she/it was uncreated; unformed. It was original; it had no source. It is its source. We’re created in the image of God, which means we’re also the source. The big difference is that we’re not uncreated. In other words, the place where we create from has origins before our creation, so it’s hard for us to see that we’re actually creating our lives.

It takes a lot of consciousness, a lot of conscious effort, to get to the point of realization that we’re a source. Most of us never get there, or we get there only very partially.

My intent is to help you see that you’re a source, which is to say I want you to get what I don’t get myself, which is the understanding of the source. I don’t live my life as about a source, or at least I’m not aware of that much of the time. Nevertheless, that’s the truth as I understand it.


The above quote from Dr. Maté was recorded at a Beyond Addiction workshop in Vancouver in 2015.

Click here for upcoming Beyond Addiction: The Yogic Path to Recovery workshops.

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