Jonathan Gustin (Part 1) – Integrating Activism and Spiritual Practice: Nonduality and the Metacrisis

Jonathan Gustin Spiritual Practice Nonduality Metacrisis

Ep. 125 (Part 1 of 3) | Purpose guide, activist, nonduality student/teacher, and meditation teacher Jonathan Gustin is passionate about bringing the subject of the metacrisis into spiritual practice, essentially updating spiritual traditions that originated on deeply local levels to reflect the world of interrelated global crises we live in today. Jonathan proposes we delve into the relationship between nondual awakening and the metacrisis, using the metacrisis as our spiritual koan, and fostering within our contemplative practice a sense of responsibility for life that manifests in activism. Jonathan’s focus is also on guiding individuals to explore the notion of soul-level purpose—not only to discover our true purpose but embody a purpose that is consistent with love without boundaries.

This is a warm, lively, far reaching, and enlightening discussion, tying many intriguing subjects to the overarching theme of nonduality, metacrisis, and soul-level purpose: Native American vision questing, karma yoga, skillful communication, the developmental stages of purpose, the consequences of the delusion of separateness, the difference between humancentric nonduality and ecocentric nonduality, and much more. It is deeply inspirational to approach the metacrisis (which Jonathan provides a wonderful definition of) as an investigation into our relationship with life and reality. Recorded April 4, 2024.

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Joseph Goldstein (Part 3) – Living on the Spiritual Edge: The Ever-Deepening Healing & Transformative Gifts of Opening to Experience and Life

Joseph Goldstein insight meditation awakening

Ep. 123 (Part 3 of 3) | Joseph Goldstein, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, brilliant spiritual teacher, and prolific author, whose books have been foundational to many people’s understanding of Buddhism, mindfulness, and insight meditation, shares rich nuggets of wisdom stemming from a lifetime of ever-deepening practice. The focus of this conversation remains very much in the present, as Joseph describes how the leading edge of his practice never stops moving forward and how his understanding of the most basic ideas becomes ever more refined and liberating. In sharing his insights, he sheds light on and smooths the path for the rest of us: about the mysterious arising of compassion, made easier the more open we are and the less self-referential, about reframing our experience in a way that frees us, about spontaneous responsiveness, and about awakening being a gradual process—until it’s sudden.

Joseph’s new favorite definition of enlightenment is “lightening up” for the way it conveys a sense of making progress along a journey. And with his humor, humility, and easy, lighthearted manner, Joseph exemplifies and transmits a lighter way of being in the world. He makes it ever so clear that spiritual practice and meditation, examining and investigating our experience moment to moment, naturally leads us to compassionate responsiveness and out of the shackles of what binds us to a self that is ultimately just a construct. Recorded November 2, 2023.

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Joseph Goldstein (Part 2) – Living on the Spiritual Edge: The Ever-Deepening Healing & Transformative Gifts of Opening to Experience and Life

Joseph Goldstein insight meditation awakening

Ep. 122 (Part 2 of 3) | Joseph Goldstein, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, brilliant spiritual teacher, and prolific author, whose books have been foundational to many people’s understanding of Buddhism, mindfulness, and insight meditation, shares rich nuggets of wisdom stemming from a lifetime of ever-deepening practice. The focus of this conversation remains very much in the present, as Joseph describes how the leading edge of his practice never stops moving forward and how his understanding of the most basic ideas becomes ever more refined and liberating. In sharing his insights, he sheds light on and smooths the path for the rest of us: about the mysterious arising of compassion, made easier the more open we are and the less self-referential, about reframing our experience in a way that frees us, about spontaneous responsiveness, and about awakening being a gradual process—until it’s sudden.

Joseph’s new favorite definition of enlightenment is “lightening up” for the way it conveys a sense of making progress along a journey. And with his humor, humility, and easy, lighthearted manner, Joseph exemplifies and transmits a lighter way of being in the world. He makes it ever so clear that spiritual practice and meditation, examining and investigating our experience moment to moment, naturally leads us to compassionate responsiveness and out of the shackles of what binds us to a self that is ultimately just a construct. Recorded November 2, 2023.

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Joseph Goldstein (Part 1) – Living on the Spiritual Edge: The Ever-Deepening Healing & Transformative Gifts of Opening to Experience and Life

Joseph Goldstein insight meditation awakening

Ep. 121 (Part 1 of 3) | Joseph Goldstein, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, brilliant spiritual teacher, and prolific author, whose books have been foundational to many people’s understanding of Buddhism, mindfulness, and insight meditation, shares rich nuggets of wisdom stemming from a lifetime of ever-deepening practice. The focus of this conversation remains very much in the present, as Joseph describes how the leading edge of his practice never stops moving forward and how his understanding of the most basic ideas becomes ever more refined and liberating. In sharing his insights, he sheds light on and smooths the path for the rest of us: about the mysterious arising of compassion, made easier the more open we are and the less self-referential, about reframing our experience in a way that frees us, about spontaneous responsiveness, and about awakening being a gradual process—until it’s sudden.

Joseph’s new favorite definition of enlightenment is “lightening up” for the way it conveys a sense of making progress along a journey. And with his humor, humility, and easy, lighthearted manner, Joseph exemplifies and transmits a lighter way of being in the world. He makes it ever so clear that spiritual practice and meditation, examining and investigating our experience moment to moment, naturally leads us to compassionate responsiveness and out of the shackles of what binds us to a self that is ultimately just a construct. Recorded November 2, 2023.

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Jane Hirshfield (Part 2) – Exploring Life Through Poetry & Practice: The Art of Asking and Opening to Life’s Deepest Questions

Jane Hirshfield spiritual poet Zen practice

Ep. 120 (Part 2 of 2) | Many time award-winning poet Jane Hirshfield has spent her life steeped in poetry and spiritual practice. Here, we feel almost as if we’ve been invited into her kitchen to talk about life, love, and especially about poems and how they offer us various answers to the abiding questions: who are we, what are we, what is our relationship to each other, what must we be grateful toward? Jane describes poems as vessels of discovery and poetry as taking your understanding and putting it into a form that is holdable, retrievable, transmissible. Poems can also be keys to unlock our despair, she explains, creating a crack in the darkness, a re-entrance to the possibility of wholeness. Jane’s sublime poetry is many-layered; the same poem might be about human love or peace between nations, about the end of love or the fact that love never dies. Jane shares that her lifetime of questioning (her most recent book of new and selected poetry is titled The Asking) has boiled down to one question: How can I serve?

An awareness of our interconnectedness with all beings, all of life, permeates her work, and Jane is driven to provoke action on contemporary, pressing issues of biosphere, peace, and justice, and help us navigate the tightrope between hope and despair. The conversation also turns to early feminism and the poetry of women mystics that Jane put together in a beautiful anthology called Women in Praise of the Sacred, covering 43 centuries of spiritual poetry by women. When asked about her longtime Zen practice, Jane said, “I needed to become more of a human being, understand a different way of living inside this life I had been given” to become a good poet. She tells us that both poetry and Zen are paths of discovery, exploration, and awareness, and both paths insist that we attend to this world fully. This is a warm, personal, deeply illuminating, and thought provoking conversation, and Jane reads several of her poems, revealing their depth and beauty. Recorded November 30, 2023.

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Jane Hirshfield (Part 1) – Exploring Life Through Poetry & Practice: The Art of Asking and Opening to Life’s Deepest Questions

Jane Hirshfield spiritual poet Zen practice

Ep. 119 (Part 1 of 2) | Many time award-winning poet Jane Hirshfield has spent her life steeped in poetry and spiritual practice. Here, we feel almost as if we’ve been invited into her kitchen to talk about life, love, and especially about poems and how they offer us various answers to the abiding questions: who are we, what are we, what is our relationship to each other, what must we be grateful toward? Jane describes poems as vessels of discovery and poetry as taking your understanding and putting it into a form that is holdable, retrievable, transmissible. Poems can also be keys to unlock our despair, she explains, creating a crack in the darkness, a re-entrance to the possibility of wholeness. Jane’s sublime poetry is many-layered; the same poem might be about human love or peace between nations, about the end of love or the fact that love never dies. Jane shares that her lifetime of questioning (her most recent book of new and selected poetry is titled The Asking) has boiled down to one question: How can I serve?

An awareness of our interconnectedness with all beings, all of life, permeates her work, and Jane is driven to provoke action on contemporary, pressing issues of biosphere, peace, and justice, and help us navigate the tightrope between hope and despair. The conversation also turns to early feminism and the poetry of women mystics that Jane put together in a beautiful anthology called Women in Praise of the Sacred, covering 43 centuries of spiritual poetry by women. When asked about her longtime Zen practice, Jane said, “I needed to become more of a human being, understand a different way of living inside this life I had been given” to become a good poet. She tells us that both poetry and Zen are paths of discovery, exploration, and awareness, and both paths insist that we attend to this world fully. This is a warm, personal, deeply illuminating, and thought provoking conversation, and Jane reads several of her poems, revealing their depth and beauty. Recorded November 30, 2023.

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Brad Reynolds (Part 3) – Ken Wilber’s Map of Everything: A Guide to the Brilliance & Span of Wilber’s Work from Philosophy to Psychology, Spirituality and Science

Brad Reynolds Ken Wilber Integral Theory

Ep. 117 (Part 3 of 3) | Brad Reynolds, author of Embracing Reality: The Integral Vision of Ken Wilber and Where’s Wilber At? Ken Wilber’s Integral Vision in the New Millennium, gives us a beautiful distillation of Ken Wilber’s work, starting from the beginning and spanning decades. Not only does Brad elegantly relate the major themes of Ken’s work, he also makes clear the value of Ken’s contributions—the way this knowledge can be understood and applied to literally expand our notion of reality and evolve our consciousness. Brad deftly leads us through the subjects that Ken has developed: the spectrum of consciousness, the integration of science and religion, transcending and including what has come before, the importance of the transpersonal, and much more. We learn why Ken’s teachings are timeless and also so relevant and important today.

Brad’s scholarship, his own spiritual practice and insight, his engaging, easygoing style, and the close working relationship he had with Ken for many years make this podcast a goldmine for learning the essence of Ken’s theories, for deepening our appreciation of the magnitude of Ken’s understanding, and above all, the topics covered here point the way for us to evolve as human beings. We come to understand that integral is much more than a theory: it’s a practice, a call to grow and transcend, to become more inclusive, more responsive—to live our true potential. Brad eloquently brings it home just how much we need integral thinkers and leaders right now, with regressive developmental trends on the rise. Especially pertinent in our polarized society, integral shows us how to take all that is valuable within ostensibly conflicting worldviews and integrate it for the benefit of all. Recorded January 3, 2024.

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Brad Reynolds (Part 2) – Ken Wilber’s Map of Everything: A Guide to the Brilliance & Span of Wilber’s Work from Philosophy to Psychology, Spirituality and Science

Brad Reynolds Ken Wilber Integral Theory

Ep. 116 (Part 2 of 3) | Brad Reynolds, author of Embracing Reality: The Integral Vision of Ken Wilber and Where’s Wilber At? Ken Wilber’s Integral Vision in the New Millennium, gives us a beautiful distillation of Ken Wilber’s work, starting from the beginning and spanning decades. Not only does Brad elegantly relate the major themes of Ken’s work, he also makes clear the value of Ken’s contributions—the way this knowledge can be understood and applied to literally expand our notion of reality and evolve our consciousness. Brad deftly leads us through the subjects that Ken has developed: the spectrum of consciousness, the integration of science and religion, transcending and including what has come before, the importance of the transpersonal, and much more. We learn why Ken’s teachings are timeless and also so relevant and important today.

Brad’s scholarship, his own spiritual practice and insight, his engaging, easygoing style, and the close working relationship he had with Ken for many years make this podcast a goldmine for learning the essence of Ken’s theories, for deepening our appreciation of the magnitude of Ken’s understanding, and above all, the topics covered here point the way for us to evolve as human beings. We come to understand that integral is much more than a theory: it’s a practice, a call to grow and transcend, to become more inclusive, more responsive—to live our true potential. Brad eloquently brings it home just how much we need integral thinkers and leaders right now, with regressive developmental trends on the rise. Especially pertinent in our polarized society, integral shows us how to take all that is valuable within ostensibly conflicting worldviews and integrate it for the benefit of all. Recorded January 3, 2024.

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Brad Reynolds (Part 1) – Ken Wilber’s Map of Everything: A Guide to the Brilliance & Span of Wilber’s Work from Philosophy to Psychology, Spirituality and Science

Brad Reynolds Ken Wilber Integral Theory

Ep. 115 (Part 1 of 3) | Brad Reynolds, author of Embracing Reality: The Integral Vision of Ken Wilber and Where’s Wilber At? Ken Wilber’s Integral Vision in the New Millennium, gives us a beautiful distillation of Ken Wilber’s work, starting from the beginning and spanning decades. Not only does Brad elegantly relate the major themes of Ken’s work, he also makes clear the value of Ken’s contributions—the way this knowledge can be understood and applied to literally expand our notion of reality and evolve our consciousness. Brad deftly leads us through the subjects that Ken has developed: the spectrum of consciousness, the integration of science and religion, transcending and including what has come before, the importance of the transpersonal, and much more. We learn why Ken’s teachings are timeless and also so relevant and important today.

Brad’s scholarship, his own spiritual practice and insight, his engaging, easygoing style, and the close working relationship he had with Ken for many years make this podcast a goldmine for learning the essence of Ken’s theories, for deepening our appreciation of the magnitude of Ken’s understanding, and above all, the topics covered here point the way for us to evolve as human beings. We come to understand that integral is much more than a theory: it’s a practice, a call to grow and transcend, to become more inclusive, more responsive—to live our true potential. Brad eloquently brings it home just how much we need integral thinkers and leaders right now, with regressive developmental trends on the rise. Especially pertinent in our polarized society, integral shows us how to take all that is valuable within ostensibly conflicting worldviews and integrate it for the benefit of all. Recorded January 3, 2024.

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James Finley (Part 2) – Sacred Psychotherapy: Bringing Depth and Spirit to Healing, Suffering, and Trauma

James Finley Sacred Psychotherapy Depth Dimension Healing Trauma

Ep. 109 (Part 2 of 2) | Dr. James Finley, clinical psychologist, trauma specialist, scholar, poet, and author of the powerful memoir, The Healing Path, has an extraordinary breadth and depth of understanding about trauma and the alchemical effects of adding a depth dimension to therapy. Here, he shares about his own experience of trauma and healing, the therapeutic effects of introducing the depth dimension to his clients, the dynamics of anger and forgiveness, the path of longing, and how love gives itself away in the preciousness of each moment, rendering ordinary life sacred. James’ profound understanding of grace is unmistakable, beautiful, riveting—both from personal experience and as a student of Thomas Merton, who introduced him to the wisdom of the mystics at the Trappist monastery, Gethsemani.

Practically everything James says is both a poem and a revelation, so whether you are Christian, Buddhist, or atheist, this conversation offers a therapeutic wisdom and understanding of trauma that goes way beyond the norm, as well as a transmission of infinite love, bottomless mercy. At the end, James laughs at how he is talking: “I can’t believe I’m talking like this…a traumatized kid from Akron, Ohio. It’s not coming from me; it’s flowing through me. All I’m doing is passing on what was passed on to me. So as it catches fire in you, it might pass through you into others.” Recorded August 17, 2023.

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James Finley (Part 1) – Sacred Psychotherapy: Bringing Depth and Spirit to Healing, Suffering, and Trauma

James Finley Depth Dimension Healing Path Sacred Psychotherapy

Ep. 108 (Part 1 of 2) | Dr. James Finley, clinical psychologist, trauma specialist, scholar, poet, and author of the powerful memoir, The Healing Path, has an extraordinary breadth and depth of understanding about trauma and the alchemical effects of adding a depth dimension to therapy. Here, he shares about his own experience of trauma and healing, the therapeutic effects of introducing the depth dimension to his clients, the dynamics of anger and forgiveness, the path of longing, and how love gives itself away in the preciousness of each moment, rendering ordinary life sacred. James’ profound understanding of grace is unmistakable, beautiful, riveting—both from personal experience and as a student of Thomas Merton, who introduced him to the wisdom of the mystics at the Trappist monastery, Gethsemani.

Practically everything James says is both a poem and a revelation, so whether you are Christian, Buddhist, or atheist, this conversation offers a therapeutic wisdom and understanding of trauma that goes way beyond the norm, as well as a transmission of infinite love, bottomless mercy. At the end, James laughs at how he is talking: “I can’t believe I’m talking like this…a traumatized kid from Akron, Ohio. It’s not coming from me; it’s flowing through me. All I’m doing is passing on what was passed on to me. So as it catches fire in you, it might pass through you into others.” Recorded August 17, 2023.

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Mamphela Ramphele (Part 2) – Wired for Compassion, Self-Respect & Social Justice: Birthing South Africa’s Black Consciousness Movement, Becoming Who We Were Created to Be, and Finding Hope in a World That Has Lost Its Way

Mamphela Ramphele Club of Rome Global Activism

Ep. 107 (Part 2 of 2) | Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, global thought leader, author, medical doctor, scholar, anti-apartheid activist, and co-founder of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa has lived her extraordinary life guided by the knowing that every one of us is part of an inextricably linked system, and to live life as an authentic human being means assuming responsibility for oneself, others, and the whole web of life. Here, she connects the dots for us in so many ways, telling the remarkable story of how the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa was born with the realization that accepting a second-class identity was only perpetuating apartheid, internally and externally, and right away, the group became aware they needed to bring forth practical manifestations of this new consciousness. Mamphela has worked to do exactly that—bring the values of expanded consciousness into being—her whole life, first as an anti-apartheid activist and doctor, in bimonthly meetings with Nelson Mandela when he was in prison, writing books on social-economic issues in South Africa, and later, working to manifest the values of compassion, dignity, and social justice on a global level as a managing director of the World Bank, co-president of The Club of Rome, and more.

When asked what hurts, Mamphela describes the terrible conditions in South Africa, which she explains could have been averted if post-apartheid leaders had chosen to act for the wellbeing of all rather than getting enmeshed in party politics. And what gives Mamphela hope? The hope she sees in the eyes of young people (and old), and the transformations already underway in small communities. As she says, “the world has lost its way…it’s all about having more rather than being more,” but Mamphela believes real change will happen in the next couple of decades, when our personal, professional, and political lives become framed by the same value system—the values of ubuntu, the traditional, indigenous wisdom values of Africa, which are not only Africa’s heritage but all of ours. Inspiring and enlightening, this conversation is a transmission from a vibrant elder who fully understands and puts into practice what it means to live an authentic, compassionate life, with courage, humor, integrity, and wisdom. Recorded November 9, 2023.

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Mamphela Ramphele (Part 1) – Wired for Compassion, Self-Respect & Social Justice: Birthing South Africa’s Black Consciousness Movement, Becoming Who We Were Created to Be, and Finding Hope in a World That Has Lost Its Way

Ramphela Mamphele Club of Rome Black Consciousness Movement Social Justice

Ep. 106 (Part 1 of 2) | Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, global thought leader, author, medical doctor, scholar, anti-apartheid activist, and co-founder of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa has lived her extraordinary life guided by the knowing that every one of us is part of an inextricably linked system, and to live life as an authentic human being means assuming responsibility for oneself, others, and the whole web of life. Here, she connects the dots for us in so many ways, telling the remarkable story of how the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa was born with the realization that accepting a second-class identity was only perpetuating apartheid, internally and externally, and right away, the group became aware they needed to bring forth practical manifestations of this new consciousness. Mamphela has worked to do exactly that—bring the values of expanded consciousness into being—her whole life, first as an anti-apartheid activist and doctor, in bimonthly meetings with Nelson Mandela when he was in prison, writing books on social-economic issues in South Africa, and later, working to manifest the values of compassion, dignity, and social justice on a global level as a managing director of the World Bank, co-president of The Club of Rome, and more.

When asked what hurts, Mamphela describes the terrible conditions in South Africa, which she explains could have been averted if post-apartheid leaders had chosen to act for the wellbeing of all rather than getting enmeshed in party politics. And what gives Mamphela hope? The hope she sees in the eyes of young people (and old), and the transformations already underway in small communities. As she says, “the world has lost its way…it’s all about having more rather than being more,” but Mamphela believes real change will happen in the next couple of decades, when our personal, professional, and political lives become framed by the same value system—the values of ubuntu, the traditional, indigenous wisdom values of Africa, which are not only Africa’s heritage but all of ours. Inspiring and enlightening, this conversation is a transmission from a vibrant elder who fully understands and puts into practice what it means to live an authentic, compassionate life, with courage, humor, integrity, and wisdom. Recorded November 9, 2023.

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Tyson Yunkaporta (Part 2) – Indigenous Knowledge & the Web of Life: Living & Learning in Times of Crisis, Recognizing our Relatedness, Healing Grief & Mental Illness, Sharing Healing Stories & Sustaining Hope

Tyson Yunkaporta Indigenous Knowledge Web of Life

Ep. 103 (Part 2 of 2) | “What if I lean into the pain and come out the other side and survive it—and what if I take you with me, as the reader, and together we deal with our pain?” asks Tyson Yunkaporta, author, senior research fellow, founder of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab. Tyson embodies this era of metacrisis, actively working with the global issues of our time in his work and in his personal life. His books are paradigm rattling and his whole life is a contribution—bringing forth ways in which Aboriginal Indigenous knowledge can help us, stating the need to find a collective narrative we can all agree on in order to survive, expressing himself with utter authenticity, and pointing out emphatically that each one of us is a web of relations, and that’s what matters most.

In his own uniquely raw, unguarded, authentic (and funny) way, Tyson describes his personal challenges with mental health and bipolar disorder and the states of mind he was in when he wrote his two books. Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World, was written in just weeks while manic. In dramatic contrast, Right Story, Wrong Story: Adventures in Indigenous Thinking was written while wrestling with depression. Tyson talks about disinformation and how we collectively need to get to the “right story;” about Aboriginal culture and what it means to be living in a colony; the amazing psycho-technologies Aboriginals have to deal with grief; the radicalization and polarization exacerbated by COVID lockdowns in Australia; the similarity between Indigenous knowledge and the scientific method; the sacredness of magic and how this cannot be scaled. Tyson is a window into Aboriginal Indigenous knowledge and a brilliant translator of that wisdom for the rest of us. Recorded September 21, 2023.

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Tyson Yunkaporta (Part 1) – Indigenous Knowledge & the Web of Life: Living & Learning in Times of Crisis, Recognizing our Relatedness, Healing Grief & Mental Illness, Sharing Healing Stories & Sustaining Hope

Tyson Yunkaporta Indigenous knowledge web of life

Ep. 102 (Part 1 of 2) | “What if I lean into the pain and come out the other side and survive it—and what if I take you with me, as the reader, and together we deal with our pain?” asks Tyson Yunkaporta, author, senior research fellow, founder of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab. Tyson embodies this era of metacrisis, actively working with the global issues of our time in his work and in his personal life. His books are paradigm rattling and his whole life is a contribution—bringing forth ways in which Aboriginal Indigenous knowledge can help us, stating the need to find a collective narrative we can all agree on in order to survive, expressing himself with utter authenticity, and pointing out emphatically that each one of us is a web of relations, and that’s what matters most.

In his own uniquely raw, unguarded, authentic (and funny) way, Tyson describes his personal challenges with mental health and bipolar disorder and the states of mind he was in when he wrote his two books. Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World, was written in just weeks while manic. In dramatic contrast, Right Story, Wrong Story: Adventures in Indigenous Thinking was written while wrestling with depression. Tyson talks about disinformation and how we collectively need to get to the “right story;” about Aboriginal culture and what it means to be living in a colony; the amazing psycho-technologies Aboriginals have to deal with grief; the radicalization and polarization exacerbated by COVID lockdowns in Australia; the similarity between Indigenous knowledge and the scientific method; the sacredness of magic and how this cannot be scaled. Tyson is a window into Aboriginal Indigenous knowledge and a brilliant translator of that wisdom for the rest of us. Recorded September 21, 2023.

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