Bob Ross

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Bob Ross isn’t necessarily someone you would think Psychic Punx would have an interest in, but hey, we’re all about surprises! William had seen episodes of the Joy of Painting on Twitch and wanted to know what kind of effect such a resurgence in popularity had for him in the afterlife. As if on cue, Bob appeared around Mimi a few minutes before the interview. This interview was quite amazing, in part because of all the things we learned about him, such as his life as a Master Sergeant, which was an important turning point and experience in his life. We wanted to start 2016 on a positive note, and hope you’ll enjoy this very special interview!

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Mimi: Did you have someone in mind?

William:  I wanna get Bob Ross.

Mimi: I knew it!

William: Yeah, I really want to do Bob Ross.

Mimi: He’s here! It’s like he knew it was his turn. That’s fun! I never would’ve thought of him!

William: I know, I’m so excited to get Bob Ross!

Mimi: Ok, well I’m ready, he’s here.

William: So recently, this channel Twitch TV – which is an online station that normally airs video games stuff – they decided to open up to creative people, and what they did was they streamed all of those Bob Ross episodes, so there were thousands of people at once watching him paint. What was it like for him posthumously to experience that? 

Mimi: The first thing I have to tell you is that there is just so much peace and loving feelings coming from him right now. And as you were talking – I don’t know if he was religious or spiritual – but I just felt like doing this [hands together in prayer, bowing]. He’s just very peaceful.

William: He was always a very mellow kinda guy.

Mimi: And now I’m kind of getting emotional, but in a joyful way. He’s so proud and happy, because he touched the lives and hearts of so many people. He was able to show people how to manifest beauty or an image in an instant, and people were fascinated by that. People of every age, culture, religion, it didn’t matter.

William: They were calling him a “wizard” which was funny.

Bob Ross: I’m not a wizard.

Mimi: He’s rejecting that term. [Laughs] But he knows what you mean.

William: People liked it though, it was cool. So what was his purpose as Bob Ross? Was it to paint, or was it something else?

Mimi: Create. Create and show how easy it is. He says he made it look easy, and it’s true. He wanted to show people how easy it is to create.

William: Yeah that’s why they called him the Wizard ‘cause “Oh my God, look: mountains!”

Mimi: [Laughs] Exactly.

William: Does he think that he fulfilled his purpose before he died or does he think he had an impact after he passed, at this point?

Mimi: He says the impact is still there, but he had most of his impact during his life. He wants me to talk about people who tried to do what he did and were frustrated, who didn’t achieve that. People who had expectations or control issues, and who wanted to recreate everything exactly as he did, and with the same ease. And now he’s talking about his patience.

Bob Ross: My world famous patience!

Mimi: He was very calm, and there was a reason for that. He exuded peacefulness and calmness, and he’s showing me people trying to recreate what he did and not being able to and just being upset and throwing or breaking their canvases!

Bob Ross: You also had to look at me, the person doing the painting, and what my emotions were, what my energy was like.

William: That’s interesting, yeah. Ok.

Mimi: So he was able to have an impact on many people, including those who weren’t happy with their own results.

William: So, if he was such a peaceful guy, what was one thing in his life that he got really mad at? Was there something on the opposite spectrum?

Mimi: Very quick answer on this one: TV producers.

William: Oh wow. Why?

Mimi: They wanted to change him at some point. They wanted to turn him into something he wasn’t.

Bob Ross: It was very simple: I painted. That was it.

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Mimi: Yeah, he’s showing me one line – a linear basis – and it’s always constant.

Bob Ross: I always had the same haircut, the setting was always the same.

Mimi: He and his show never changed, basically. He painted. That’s it. And his producers at one point or another wanted to add in more fluff, he says, or drama. He’s showing me lights flashing; they wanted to keep things interesting for the viewer, whereas he wanted people to focus on what he was doing, and in a very calm state.

Bob Ross: There was nothing else to see but what I was doing, and how I was doing it.

Mimi: He’s calling it almost like a meditative show, where people would sometimes tune in just to relax.

Bob Ross: I didn’t get mad. It’s not the type of “mad” you would expect; I didn’t throw a tantrum. I just stood my ground. But I did raise my voice.

Mimi: Ok then: he raised his voice! [Laughs]

William: I can’t imagine what that would sound like! [Laughs] So he was born at a time when I would assume he smoked a lot of marijuana. Was he into the drugs?

Mimi: [Pause] He’s being very careful how he’s gonna answer that. I feel there was a very spiritual side to him, very yogic almost, or at least that’s the energy he’s sending me now, but there’s definitely also a conservative side. With that, he says he did smoke a little bit, and he did enjoy that, but the reason he’s careful is he doesn’t want people to think he got his inspiration from…he’s calling it “other-worldly dimensions.” [Laughs]

William: Gotcha. But in hindsight did he channel anything into his paintings?

Bob Ross: Not consciously.

Mimi: He wants to make sure you understand that he’s not encouraging that.

Bon Ross: It’s all within. You can have peace and inspiration within.

William: Gotcha. What does he do now?

Mimi: Sometimes, when someone’s inspired by what he does, he can sort of squeeze into that person’s energetic space and send inspirational thoughts or ideas. He can also send healing, if that person needs to heal before that person can know just how much he or she can create. He’s talking about the need to heal, especially for people who don’t think they CAN create. He has a special spot in his heart for those people. He wants everyone to know they can create, but they need to calm down. They need to open their hearts. People don’t necessarily call on him, it’s not a direct channeling – he does it all “incognito” he says. He’s interested in people who are on the lower side of the energetic scale, he says – people who are depressed. He fills their minds with beautiful, inspirational thoughts. And hopefully, they’ll act up on those thoughts.

William: And do they listen, for the most part, Bob?

Mimi: Big sigh on that.

Bob Ross: Not all the time.

William: [Laughs] You’re trying buddy, you’re trying. So what was a big disappointment for him in his life? Something he felt he couldn’t accomplish?

Mimi: I’m hearing about a failed marriage. He says it was important in “his day” – he’s making it sound like it was 100 years ago – that you had a successful marriage. He kind of put that pressure on himself to be successful in every aspect of his life. I’m kind of getting a strong bisexual feeling from him.

William: Really? Ok! That’s interesting. I did hear him say, “There wasn’t enough love to go around.”

Mimi: It’s more of an energetic feeling. He’s saying the reason I got that is because he encompassed both feminine and masculine energies. And he presented an image of himself that was not what a lot of people felt a man should be. So a lot of people thought he was gay. And he’s very proud of that! So to bring that back to his marriage: he got married because that’s what was expected of him, of men, just like there were specific things that were expected of women. He did a lot of things in his life that were expected of him because he was a man, and he’s very proud that he was able to show another side of what that could be. He likes the fact that people questioned his sexuality, because his energy was not what most people thought a “real” man should be. He’s almost saying that was part of his purpose to some extent, to make people question these things. So he comes off as being, you know…very loving or peaceful and all that, but I kept wondering if there was an ego, and I think I got it. There’s kind of a perfectionist thing going on with him. So to have a failed marriage meant failure. He sees now that that’s not the case, but he’s bringing me back to expectations that people had, that if you were a man you had to do this or that.

William: I can feel that answer too. I didn’t get it in the same wording that you did, but I got from him that when you get married, that’s it, “till death do you part.” And when that breaks that’s a failure. I felt that.

Bob Ross: The pressure that society puts on people is ridiculous. Just be who you are meant to be.

William: So let’s go back to our list. Normally, the first thing we ask is “describe your personality in one word” – what would that be for him?

Bob Ross: Gentle.

William: Yeah. That’s a good word for him!

Bob Ross: Thank you!

William: Why was he so gentle?

Mimi: It was important to him. He didn’t believe in belittling people, in being mean to people. He’s giving me the feeling that there was an experience that was important for him, where maybe he was belittled or someone had been mean to him. He’s showing me that there’s a reference point [makes round gesture] – I don’t know what it is though – but it’s something he experienced and it inspired him to say, “I don’t want to treat people like that, I want to be kind.” He chose – and that word is very important to him – he chose to be gentle and kind, it was a conscious decision. And he wanted people to see what it was like to be gentle and kind.

William: Well, mission accomplished there! So what was his greatest challenge?

Mimi: “Education.” He wanted to reach out to SO many people, and he was constantly frustrated that he wasn’t doing enough.  So he put a lot of pressure on himself for that and he sees now what a useless sentiment that was. Cause he DID reach out to a lot of people!

Bob Ross: And in the end, it doesn’t matter, because you can never truly see the ripple effects of what you do.

Mimi: But he was so passionate about what he did, that he wanted to reach out to as many people as he could.

William: But did he feel that he didn’t have enough of an education?

Mimi: He’s the kind of person who just wanted to help others – he’s showing me his arms reaching out – he doesn’t really want to talk about what he didn’t have or didn’t accomplish; he prefers we talk about what he gave to people. But to answer your question, he says he had a regular education. He’s implying that the REAL education he got was from specific people. It wasn’t from formal education. Certain experiences he had with specific people were life changing, whether they were good or bad, and he says he based most of his own education on that. I’m feeling he doesn’t really want to go into that.

William: That’s ok, we don’t have to. What was Bob’s greatest quality?

Mimi: Love.

William: Yeah, he did have a lot of love. Does he want to expand on that?

Bob Ross: Yes! I loved myself, and you could tell!

Mimi: He wanted people to see that when you are calm and loving and peaceful towards yourself, that that is when you create the most beauty.

Bob Ross: I created beauty on a canvas, I painted it, but that’s symbolic. You can understand that and create however you want.

William: Yes Bob! What was he here to learn?

Mimi: ”Achievement.” That he could achieve many things. He’s saying he didn’t really know how to paint, and he just sorta did it – he had to start somewhere. And through self-patience and self-love, he achieved…he’s always bringing that up because that was a huge part of what he did, and he hopes that people saw that. That it’s not just that he created: it’s the attitude he brought with it.

William: I think that was successful!

Mimi: Yes. But he had to learn that for himself first though.

William: As an aside, was he able to live off of his show? Did he make enough money to do what he wanted to do? Or did he have some other job?

Mimi: [Laughs] Oh, he’s laughing! When you asked about money, he just threw his head back and laughed.

William: [Laughs] “Silly Will! I made tons of money!”

Bob Ross: Yes!

Mimi: It’s not an evil, petting-the-white-cat kind of laugh!

Bob Ross: If you follow your passion and believe in yourself and what you can do, you will manifest those things in your life.

Mimi: So he was able to live a successful life because he was honest, he was loving, and he touched the hearts of many people just by being himself, he says. So with that came money. He didn’t set out to be rich, but abundance will come if you do all that, he says.

William: Pretty good answer for that one, I like that. So what is he most proud of?

Mimi: His work in general, his paintings. Cause he says, “Without them, you wouldn’t know who I am.”

William: That’s probably true. He doesn’t have the “remember me” look unless he’s got a paintbrush in his hand. For me, anyway.

Mimi: Ah! He likes that you said that. Yes, exactly. So he’s proud of that.

William: Did he have a life review?

Mimi: Yes! It was mostly positive more than negative. He’s showing me images that are a little chaotic. [Pause] I don’t understand what he’s showing me. Ok, hang on…it’s like a war setting…did he fight in a war?

William: I’d have to look that one up.

Mimi: Ok…I’m gonna back up cause I’m too much in my head now, trying to understand. [Pause] Oh! He was in the army!

William: I was kind of feeling that, but I wasn’t sure.

Mimi: Yeah, he’s showing me images of himself as a soldier. So I don’t know if he killed people or if he fought in a war like the Vietnam War, but it’s painful for him. So that came up in the life review. Things from that part of his life came up in his life review and there’s pain, I’m feeling a lot of pain from that. That’s just so interesting! Because throughout the whole reading, he kept talking about perceptions of what a man should be, and the soldier is pretty much the most macho stereotype out there!

William: [Verifying] He had a career in the army! Which I never knew about. That’s fascinating.

Mimi: Whaaaat?

William: Twenty years in the military.

Mimi: Shut up!

William: That’s what it says here!

Mimi: Wow.

William: He was in the air force for twenty years, from 61 to 81, and reached the rank of Master Sergeant.

Mimi: Whaaaaat? [Laughs] ​
William: Which seems pretty high to me! [Laughs]

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Mimi: Where are you getting all that – is that Wikipedia?

William: From Wikipedia, yup. It’s got a big ol’ picture of Bob painting, so I know it’s the right Bob Ross!

Mimi: Outstanding. Well that just brings it in again even more. So that’s why there’s been such importance in this interview about what a man “should be.” And…yes! Ok, now I understand! The feminine vs. the masculine!

William: It’s interesting because when his military career ended is when he got divorced, too.  A lot of life events around 1981. Interesting. So that’s something there I did not know about Bob!

Mimi: No! He’s so amused by our reaction. Ok, so that part of his life review was painful. But he says “and then I did a complete 180, as you now know” – and he understood that that was all part of his purpose. He had to live that experience.

William: It’s that whole dual nature thing again, yeah.

Mimi: Yes  – in order to make a choice – it’s, again, a choice – to make the choice to be kind and lead a fulfilling life.

William: I got the same exact sentiment. He’s like “I had to know how shitty it was to make the choice to not be like that.”

Mimi: Exactly. So he made me feel the pain, but that being said, now he’s so proud of having made that choice. He could’ve followed the traditional route and have the picket fence life that people expected, but he was meant to really follow his heart. And he also made a lot of money doing that, he says! [Laughs] By following his heart and being nice and kind.

William: So how about his opinions on spirituality? What were they before he crossed over?

Mimi: Well right now I’m getting someone who seems very spiritual and loving – he seems to understand everything that we’re doing, and that’s why I was trying to get a glimpse of the ego earlier. But before…he says he loved God. There was something going on within him where he felt turmoil inside, he says, at some point. He’s bringing me back to what he calls “Part 1” – the soldier, or high ranking officer – when he felt a turmoil inside of him where he wanted to do right by God. I am feeling that he was religious or had a strong belief, but he saw God as an authority figure. But he keeps giving me the word “turmoil” – there was turmoil within him, where he felt that if he didn’t follow what society wanted from him, that God might have something against that. But he sees now that that’s not what or who God is.

William: And what’s God all about now, Bob?

Bob Ross: [bending forward, pointing to Will] YOU’RE God!

William: That’s funny cause I was just thinking “Bob’s God” so he kind of jumped on my little thought there.

Bob Ross: We’re all the same. We’re all connected.

William: Hard to differentiate that now, in our little meat sack bodies, but I get it, I’m getting there.

Bob Ross: You understand more than you give yourself credit for.

William: I know, I just wanna be egotistical! [Laughs] So is there a past life that influenced your decision to be Bob Ross?

Mimi: Instantly, I’m seeing a little boy. I hear “drama teacher.” Second World War setting. [Pause] Ok, there’s a Jewish family that was into the arts. I don’t know yet if he’s the little boy or if he’s the drama teacher father…[Pause] He says he’s the little boy.

William: Yeah, that’s what I got too.

Mimi: Yeah. Tragic ending. He’s purposely not going into details with me, it feels like.

William: He gave’em to me. It was not a pleasant ending for his parents.

Mimi: Ok. Thank you. I like how he chose not to tell me, but tell you. There’s something protective about that.

William: Yeah, I got the whole picture!

Mimi: Yeah. So Nazi Germany, Jewish, still in the Arts. So how did that affect his life…let me ask. [Pause] The beauty! That’s the first thing – and he’s very emotional about that – the beauty in life. He’s showing me the movie Life is Beautiful, with Roberto Begnini. He didn’t understand what was going on. He didn’t have the conscious, rational logic – he was too little and could not understand that he was at war or that because he was Jewish, he was considered evil or of less importance. It feels difficult for him to talk about that life. Now I’m seeing a young boy who’s a pianist, a child prodigy. I don’t know if it’s the same life, but it feels like it’s the same boy, just older. He’s emotional – it’s like he hasn’t healed from that. I don’t know what’s going on with that. But it’s “beauty.” Seeing beauty in everything, and…oh! Now he’s making the link with the soldier or army life in his life as Bob Ross. Just…hard lessons. He wanted to experience being in the army. I don’t know if he fought in a war as an officer, but he just wanted to have that experience and finally make that decision: “No: life IS beautiful!”

William: I kind of felt that that was a turning point. I mean, he spent 20 years and then “You know what? The marriage is over. The military life is over. I’m gonna go fucking paint, cause that’s what I wanna do!”

Bob Ross: I didn’t express it like that, but yes, that’s the sentiment.

William: I know! [Laughs]

Mimi: [Laughs] So yeah, it’s all about “beauty.” So the importance about the last life – being Jewish and losing his parents under tragic circumstances – is to not be deterred by tragic events and circumstances, to not be a victim and fall into the victim role – and I feel that’s why he showed me Life is Beautiful…he says that’s exactly what it is. Be positive, and create beauty around you. Don’t create fear.

William: So to bring this back to the positive: what’s one of his favorite memories?

Mimi: He’s in a field, and of course he’s painting. But he’s just at peace. I’m just seeing a green field before him, feels like he’s alone.

Bob Ross: Painting without having a camera behind my back.

Mimi: Painting just for himself.

William: Ok. And does he have any messages for us? What does he want to share with us?

Mimi: He did a peace sign. He’s getting emotional a little bit again.

Bob Ross: Don’t let life get you down.

Mimi: [Laughs] He’s showing me Ned Flanders from the Simpsons and I just heard “Okeley Dokeley!” He’s very aware that he projects an ironic image for some people. He knows he’s easy to make fun of. But he wasn’t scared of that – to be laughed at – and that’s what he wants us to get from his life. He was embracing his feminine – very feminine  – side with courage, he says. Be inspired by that, be yourself! And don’t let life get you down. Don’t let tragic events get you down: create beauty around you. YOU are beautiful, you are the beauty! You can choose to be beautiful – and he’s not talking about physical beauty, it’s the beauty that’s within. He’s just showed me an image of flowers coming out of my chest.

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William: Very nice. I thank him for his time – that was a pretty good answer.

Mimi: It feels like there’s more, though. Doesn’t feel like he’s done.

William: Bob doesn’t want to go! That’s fine!

Mimi: He wants to talk about tragic events.

William: Ok. What in particular?

Mimi: The ones that we are currently experiencing in the Western world. Ok – He’s very emotional now…I’m gonna ask him to step away a little bit from me because I’m feeling that very strongly.

Bob Ross: Have courage. Have the courage within you to not give in to fear. Courage is love.

Mimi: He’s showing me how much fear has been thrown at us, and to humanity as a whole, and how we’re getting that fear and allowing it to come within us, and a lot of people project that fear back outwards again.

Bob Ross: Don’t give in to that. Your power lies within you. Your power lies in the peace that you have within you.

Mimi: And he’s showing me…[laughs] he’s showing me himself as an example, he’s painting. In the image he’s showing me, there are bombs and there’s chaos around him, and he’s just there painting and doing his thing.

William: Beautiful image.

Mimi: And he’s making me feel very emotional, still.

Bob Ross: If there’s one thing you should take away from my life, it is that image. That is me not giving in to fear. That is me releasing my fears onto a canvas. Use your fear in a positive and healthy way. But don’t use it to project it onto other people, or people you perceive to be your enemies.

Mimi: The word “perceive” there was important.

Bob Ross: Don’t start the war.

Mimi: He just said “Peace out!” [Laughs]

William: [Laughs] I like that.

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