Terry Patten – Facing Death: A Call to “Get Real,” the Importance of Being Kind, and Waking Up to the Miracle of Existence (Terry’s Message to Us 3 Weeks Before His Own Passing)

Terry Patten Deep Transformation

Terry Patten was a philosopher-activist, author, teacher and coach, community organizer, consultant, and social entrepreneur. Most recently Terry published A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries—a book summarizing his life’s work and offering an approach to facing the problems of our time. Over the last fifteen years, Terry devoted his efforts to the evolution of consciousness: facing, examining, and healing our global crisis through the marriage of spirit and activism. Terry co-wrote the book Integral Life Practice with Ken Wilber and a core team at the Integral Institute in 2008.

I want us to recognize our tremendously strong impulse to draw a conclusion, to think we know. But it’s in the NOT knowing—the inquiry, the curiosity, the humility, the beginner’s mind—that we create a real opening.”

An extraordinary, heartfelt conversation with spiritual practitioner, teacher, activist, Integralist, and author Terry Patten, who was at the time facing his own mortality following a recent diagnosis of a rare and aggressive cancer. An inner radiance shines forth as Terry, with much graciousness and candor, discusses the call to “get real”—not only personally but also collectively; his deepened perception of the “amazing grace of existence;” the directionality that has guided much of his life; and action inquiry: working on becoming next-stage human beings by experimenting with being the best people we can be. A touching and transformative talk, Terry conveys the deepening understanding coming from living on the edge and transmits a “radical okayness” with everything. Recorded September 21, 2021.

Topics & Time Stamps

  • The call to “get real,” personally and collectively; waking up to the miracle of existence (04:17)
  • With the diagnosis, the burden fell away (21:44)
  • Mortality versus morbidity: many sufferings are worse than death (31:02)
  • The directionality that guided Terry’s life and wanting to be “good” (41:11)
  • Encountering his root guru, Adi Da (44:50)
  • The importance of being kind (46:54)
  • Let’s bend a knee to something greater than ourselves and LISTEN (53:43)
  • The radical okayness of it all (55:52)
  • Action inquiry and evolving into a new stage of human development (56:27)

Resources & References

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Podcast produced by Vanessa Santos and Show Notes by Heidi Mitchell


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