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Religion & Spirituality

The Sacred Speaks

Updated 14 days ago

Religion & Spirituality
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Join depth psychotherapist and Jungian scholar, John Price, in an exploration of extraordinary stories and phenomena that lurk beneath the surface of normal and everyday life. Listen in as John interviews experts, dilettantes, sinners, and saints to explore their professional and personal perspective on the underlying purpose of the mysteries which lurk within the seemingly mundane nature of day-to-day life. John received his Master’s degree in clinical psychology and his Doctorate degree in Jungian psychology. He is in private practice and is also on the faculty of The Jung Center and The University of St. Thomas, both located in Houston, Texas. He lectures and teaches classes in subjects ranging from Parenting and Consciousness to Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll. This podcast seeks to accept a challenge laid out by Carl Jung: to explore the universal human feelings of emotional incompleteness, spiritual curiosity and one’s related search for wholeness and meaning. Interviews commence with the belief that, by engaging in this exploration, we can learn more about the psyche, consciousness, spirituality, philosophy and the profound, though often hidden, meaning of the day-to-day lives we lead (or which will lead us, if we aren’t watchful).Come along as John follows people into bars, universities, places of worship, financial districts and the home. He finds each context equally able to provide a setting for this worthy search and also that, through this process, we have an opportunity to come to know each other and ourselves much more deeply.

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Join depth psychotherapist and Jungian scholar, John Price, in an exploration of extraordinary stories and phenomena that lurk beneath the surface of normal and everyday life. Listen in as John interviews experts, dilettantes, sinners, and saints to explore their professional and personal perspective on the underlying purpose of the mysteries which lurk within the seemingly mundane nature of day-to-day life. John received his Master’s degree in clinical psychology and his Doctorate degree in Jungian psychology. He is in private practice and is also on the faculty of The Jung Center and The University of St. Thomas, both located in Houston, Texas. He lectures and teaches classes in subjects ranging from Parenting and Consciousness to Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll. This podcast seeks to accept a challenge laid out by Carl Jung: to explore the universal human feelings of emotional incompleteness, spiritual curiosity and one’s related search for wholeness and meaning. Interviews commence with the belief that, by engaging in this exploration, we can learn more about the psyche, consciousness, spirituality, philosophy and the profound, though often hidden, meaning of the day-to-day lives we lead (or which will lead us, if we aren’t watchful).Come along as John follows people into bars, universities, places of worship, financial districts and the home. He finds each context equally able to provide a setting for this worthy search and also that, through this process, we have an opportunity to come to know each other and ourselves much more deeply.

iTunes Ratings

25 Ratings
Average Ratings
23
1
1
0
0

One of the best but...

By Timothy Hull - Oct 12 2018
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This is seriously one of THE very best podcasts out there for Jungian thought, philosophy and deep spiritual questions however the interviewer insists on playing so much music (often rather jarring given the context of the interviews) and long rambling introductions that it’s almost 30 min before the actual interview begins. He seems to love music so much that it would be a better idea to have a separate podcast just for his personal music proclivities instead of indulging them within a context they don’t essentially belong. If you can skip through all that unnecessary introductory stuff, then you’ll find some extremely enlightening material.

Quique Autrey

By qautrey - May 16 2018
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This is a tremendous podcast! It explores complicated ideas in a winsome and digestable manner. I leave every episode intellectually stimulated, spiritually nourished and ethically inspired to act more consciously in the world. I am frequently dissapointed with the listening skills of very prominent podcasters. The content is often great, but I get the feeling that people are being talked "at" or constantly interrupted. John's training as a psychotherapist shines in every episode. He accomplishes the difficult feat of creating a space for the interviewee to speak without interruption while also strategically nudging the conversation along in ways that result in keeping the listener interested and wanting more. Check it out!

iTunes Ratings

25 Ratings
Average Ratings
23
1
1
0
0

One of the best but...

By Timothy Hull - Oct 12 2018
Read more
This is seriously one of THE very best podcasts out there for Jungian thought, philosophy and deep spiritual questions however the interviewer insists on playing so much music (often rather jarring given the context of the interviews) and long rambling introductions that it’s almost 30 min before the actual interview begins. He seems to love music so much that it would be a better idea to have a separate podcast just for his personal music proclivities instead of indulging them within a context they don’t essentially belong. If you can skip through all that unnecessary introductory stuff, then you’ll find some extremely enlightening material.

Quique Autrey

By qautrey - May 16 2018
Read more
This is a tremendous podcast! It explores complicated ideas in a winsome and digestable manner. I leave every episode intellectually stimulated, spiritually nourished and ethically inspired to act more consciously in the world. I am frequently dissapointed with the listening skills of very prominent podcasters. The content is often great, but I get the feeling that people are being talked "at" or constantly interrupted. John's training as a psychotherapist shines in every episode. He accomplishes the difficult feat of creating a space for the interviewee to speak without interruption while also strategically nudging the conversation along in ways that result in keeping the listener interested and wanting more. Check it out!
Cover image of The Sacred Speaks

The Sacred Speaks

Latest release on Mar 26, 2020

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Join depth psychotherapist and Jungian scholar, John Price, in an exploration of extraordinary stories and phenomena that lurk beneath the surface of normal and everyday life. Listen in as John interviews experts, dilettantes, sinners, and saints to explore their professional and personal perspective on the underlying purpose of the mysteries which lurk within the seemingly mundane nature of day-to-day life. John received his Master’s degree in clinical psychology and his Doctorate degree in Jungian psychology. He is in private practice and is also on the faculty of The Jung Center and The University of St. Thomas, both located in Houston, Texas. He lectures and teaches classes in subjects ranging from Parenting and Consciousness to Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll. This podcast seeks to accept a challenge laid out by Carl Jung: to explore the universal human feelings of emotional incompleteness, spiritual curiosity and one’s related search for wholeness and meaning. Interviews commence with the belief that, by engaging in this exploration, we can learn more about the psyche, consciousness, spirituality, philosophy and the profound, though often hidden, meaning of the day-to-day lives we lead (or which will lead us, if we aren’t watchful).Come along as John follows people into bars, universities, places of worship, financial districts and the home. He finds each context equally able to provide a setting for this worthy search and also that, through this process, we have an opportunity to come to know each other and ourselves much more deeply.

Rank #1: Episode 4: A Life Worth Living. A Conversation with James Hollis

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Episode 4: A life worth living. A conversation with James Hollis

In this episode, Jim and I discuss how elements of his personal history positioned his interest in depth psychology specifically and learning in general. Jim defines depth psychology and discusses how a relationship to one’s inner world orients one’s self to meaning and purpose. We explore how the relationship to a vocation or calling will either enhance or limit each of our life experience. He frames the price of being separated from one’s inner voice as “the problem of our time.” We discuss how the poet’s life and interest investigate the cosmos and psyche, as Jim believes that the poet is depth psychology. We investigate the difference between learning and thinking and evaluate how making a living and making money have contributed to the unbalancing of our culture. We explore the imagination and reason as working together to image possibilities. We frame addiction as a consequence of ego consciousness clinging to a management system believed to palliate the suffering of living. He eloquently identifies the core struggle shared amongst men and the related consequences of this struggle. We converse about the nature of transcendence and how attending to our symptoms, dreams, and fantasies place us into relationship with mysteries beyond our conscious sense of “I.”

James Hollis, Ph. D. was born in Springfield, Illinois, and graduated from Manchester University in 1962 and Drew University in 1967. He taught Humanities 26 years in various colleges and universities before retraining as a Jungian analyst at the Jung Institute of Zurich, Switzerland (1977-82). He is presently a licensed Jungian analyst in private practice in Washington, D.C. He served as Executive Director of the Jung Educational Center in Houston, Texas for many years and now is Executive Director of the Jung Society of Washington. He is a retired Senior Training Analyst for the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, was first Director of Training of the Philadelphia Jung Institute, and is Vice-President Emeritus of the Philemon Foundation. Additionally, he is a Professor of Jungian Studies for Saybrook University of San Francisco/Houston.

He lives with his wife Jill, an artist and retired therapist, in Washington, DC. Together they have three living children and eight grand-children.
He has written a total of fifteen books and over fifty articles. The books have been translated into Swedish, Russian, German, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Portuguese, Turkish, Italian, Korean, Finnish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Farsi, Japanese, Greek, Chinese, and Czech.

www.jameshollis.net

Music provided by:
www.modernnationsmusic.com

Learn more about this project at:
www.thesacredspeaks.com

May 02 2018

1hr 34mins

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Rank #2: 30: Love. A conversation with Rudy Rasmus.

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This conversation does not begin with any theory; it begins with racism, violence, and fear – all within the first decade of the life of today’s participant, Pastor Rudy Rasmus – to which he concludes, ultimately, the centrality of love. How he did this is the core theme of our conversation and what he has made primary in his mission of life - that he truly lives out on a daily basis. Rudy positions his early childhood trauma as a prerequisite for wisdom and his capacity to see through the masks that many people wear so that he can teach people how to love and accept themselves and others. This conversation will invite you to investigate how you love, how you are loved, and how you could express love for others.
Bio:
Rudy Rasmus is a pastor, author, and a humanitarian with a passion for outreach to the world’s most challenged communities. From Rudy’s previous life of owning and operating a “borderline bordello,” today he co-pastors the St. John’s Church in Downtown Houston with his wife Juanita. A church that began with 9 existing members in 1992, St. John’s has grown to thousands where every week people of every social and economic background share the same pew. He attributes the success of the church to a compassionate group of people who have embraced the vision of tearing down the walls of classism, sexism, and racism and building bridges of unconditional love, universal recovery, and unprecedented hope.
Thanks to generous support from a collaboration of government agencies and a significant donation from Tina, Beyoncé, and Solange Knowles the St. John’s Downtown campus includes the Knowles-Temenos Apartments, a 43-unit Single Room Occupancy development designed to provide permanent living accommodations for formerly homeless women and men. Temenos CDC portfolio also includes an 80-unit apartment community to meet the growing need for permanent supportive housing for the previously homeless in Houston, Texas and a 15-unit apartment project for chronic inebriates and the most vulnerable homeless individuals in the Houston community.
Pastors Rudy and Juanita founded the Bread of Life, Inc. (a not for profit corporation) in December of 1992 and began serving 500 meals per day to the homeless in the sanctuary at St. John’s. Years later the Bread of Life has changed the landscape of Downtown Houston providing an array of services to homeless men and women. The project also distributes over 9 tons of fresh produce weekly to hungry families. St. John’s is one of few faith communities in the U.S. providing HIV/AIDS testing to churchgoers on Sundays through the innovative “Get Tested Project.” For many years Pastor Rudy has coordinated domestic and global anti-hunger initiatives in conjunction with Beyoncé’s concert tours and travels extensively developing and supporting programs around the world for people experiencing poverty. Today, with a focus on social impact investing, the Bread of Life owns and operates Eco Life Employment LLC, a digital employment and staffing agency for men and women with troubled past lives and the Amazing KMAZ 102.5fm radio station.
Rudy and Juanita have been married for 32 years and are the proud parents of two outstanding daughters, Morgan and Ryan, a phenomenal Son-in-Law, Hamilton, and an amazing grandson

Website:
https://www.pastorrudy.net
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the week:
BADBADNOTGOOD
http://badbadnotgood.com https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/confessions-pt-iii-feat-colin-stetson/1327052545?i=1327052553
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/thesacredspeaks/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/thesacredspeaks

Nov 28 2018

2hr 12mins

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Rank #3: 38: The Flip. A conversation with Jeffrey J. Kripal

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This podcast episode explores the stories that help us understand our reality, our place in that reality, and how humans both cling to and challenge these same stories. Jeffrey Kripal has been a keeper of many extraordinary stories, and as a professor of religion, he is positioned to question the stories that we believe serve us, but the reality is that we often serve the story. This conversation is anchored in Dr. Kripal’s newest book, The Flip, wherein he challenges many of the assumptions of materialist science and posits that the sciences are not wrong, but that they are incomplete and therefore we need a change in our worldview. His arguments are well articulated and well informed by many scientists, including neuroscientists and physicists, who have, as a result of their research into reality, moved away from the materialist worldview into an approach to reality that chips away at many of the assumptions in which many of us have been educated – for example, the fact that we don’t really know what matter and consciousness are in the first place. Really.
From Jeff’s book:
A “flip,” writes Jeffrey J. Kripal, is “a reversal of perspective,””a new real,” often born of an extreme, life-changing experience. The Flip is Kripal’s ambitious, visionary program for unifying the sciences and the humanities to expand our minds, open our hearts, and negotiate a peaceful resolution to the culture wars. Combining accounts of rationalists’ spiritual awakenings and consciousness explorations by philosophers, neuroscientists, and mystics within a framework of history of science and religion, Kripal compellingly signals a path to mending our fractured world.
Bio:
Jeffrey J. Kripal holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University, where he chaired the Department of Religion for eight years and helped create the GEM Program, a doctoral concentration in the study of Gnosticism, Esotericism, and Mysticism that is the largest program of its kind in the world. He is the Associate Director of the Center for Theory and Research at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, where he also serves as Chair of the Board. Jeff is the author of numerous books, seven of which are with The University of Chicago Press, including, most recently a memoir-manifesto entitled Secret Body: Erotic and Esoteric Currents in the History of Religions(Chicago, 2017). He has also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Macmillan Handbook Series on Religion (ten volumes, 2015-2016). He specializes in the study of extreme religious states and the re-visioning of a New Comparativism, particularly as both involve putting “the impossible” back on the academic table again. He is presently working on a three-volume study of paranormal currents in the history of religions and the sciences for The University of Chicago Press, collectively entitled The Super Story.
http://jeffreyjkripal.com
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the week: Chomsky
Music page:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/chomsky/5662475
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/thesacredspeaks/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/thesacredspeaks
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/thesacredspeaks/

Mar 13 2019

1hr 39mins

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Rank #4: 17: The Body, The Unconscious, Life, & Death. A conversation with Nanine Ewing

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This conversation explores some of the basic foundations for depth psychology; in particular, how paying attention to the body provides a ground for any individual to come to know their intuitive center point. Dr. Nanine Ewing surveys the body and the unconscious and the various pressures on how one should view each of these concepts in today’s culture. Nanine explains “the psychology of beauty” through both her academic study of attractiveness and the body, and also her experience as a woman in a culture that both subtly, and not, so subtlety emphasizes looks, pressuring women to change, alter, and value her looks and presentation. She discusses death and aging with a grace that is contagious. An underlying theme of this conversation is that if we but have these conversations more and more, may we all come to learn the gifts that life, death, aging, and impermanence conceal beneath our initial fears of coming to term with these inevitabilities.
Bio:
Nanine Ewing, Ph.D., F.A.G.P.A., GGP, L.M.F.T, BC-DMT is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Houston, Texas for the past 33 years. She is a Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association and a Certified Group Psychotherapist and a Dance Movement therapist. She has spoken nationally and internationally on the subjects of nonverbal communication, Jungian theory, Group process, Group dynamics, Psyche and Soma, Countertransference, the Anti-group, and many other topics. She teaches in an alternate training route for dance movement therapists in Embodied Neurobiology for advanced clinical training at Experiential Therapies in Austin, Texas. She has a private practice in Houston, Texas and runs 3 groups a week for clinicians and private clients. She does in depth individual work with a Jungian orientation focusing on dream work and symbolic work in the body and psyche. Her clientele includes a large percentage of her fellow clinicians. She has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and a Masters in counseling psychology and is a certified Adlerian and has studied hypnotherapy to the consultant level. She believes deeply in the work of the therapist's inner life and has been committed to her own therapy and analysis for the entire spectrum of her clinical work and dedicates herself to encouraging other clinicians to do the same.
www.nanineewing.com
Learn more about this project at:
www.thesacredspeaks.com
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/thesacredspeaks/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/thesacredspeaks
Theme music provided by:
www.modernnationsmusic.com
Song of the week: Bitta Honey (live) by Mingo Fishtrap
www.mingofishtrap.com

Aug 09 2018

1hr 33mins

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Rank #5: 16: Philosophy, Psychology, & Human Development. A conversation with David Cross.

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This episode of the podcast begins with Dr. Cross discussing how his history influences the work that he has been doing with families and children “from hard places” for almost 40 years. This conversation explores David’s philosophical orientation as informed by the work of philosopher Benedict De Spinoza. David cites that Spinoza served as close to a philosophical “North Star” as anyone could get. David sees Spinoza as an ascetic, and one aspect of his life is the “honest work” that grounds us. Doing the real work of trying to make a difference. This conversation touches upon human growth and development, trauma and trauma-informed care, Eastern and Western philosophy, attachment, culture, and politics. Our conversation deconstructs the essence of the trust-based connection that Dr. Cross and his partner in the creation of the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development, Dr. Karyn Purvis, have worked to help bring to families and kids of the world.
Bio:
Dr. David Cross is the Rees-Jones Director of the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development and a Professor in the TCU Department of Psychology. Dr. Cross leads the Institute in its triple mission of research, education and outreach to improve the lives of children who have experienced abuse, neglect, and/or trauma. He has authored many peer-reviewed publications about issues regarding at-risk children.
Dr. Cross earned his B.S. from California State University Fresno with a major in Psychology, and then attended The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for graduate study, beginning in 1980. He earned an M.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Statistics. He later earned a Ph.D. in Education and Psychology. In 1985, he accepted a position as Assistant Professor in TCU’s Department of Psychology.
Dr. Cross, with his former colleague Dr. Karyn Purvis, co-authored “The Connected Child: Bringing Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family” to help adoptive parents understand the needs of children from hard places. “The Connected Child” continues to be a best-seller among adoption books. Together, Drs. Purvis and Cross created Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®), a holistic, attachment based, trauma-informed, and evidence-based intervention for children who have experienced relational trauma.
Dr. Cross and his staff at the Institute regularly train professionals from around the world in TBRI®. The Institute is actively engaged in research that not only demonstrates the efficacy of TBRI® as an evidence-based intervention, but also in research about how to grow trauma-informed organizations and communities.
In addition to his responsibilities at the Institute, Dr. Cross teaches many TCU courses including Case Studies in Child Development, Generalized Linear Models, and Graduate Developmental Psychology.
Dr. Cross’s wife, Trudy, is a retired Kindergarten teacher and a practicing Grandmother. His daughter, Jennifer, graduated from TCU in 2003, and is an environmental project manager for CB&I. His son, Nathan, is a former USMC Captain, and is now studying history at UTA.

https://child.tcu.edu

Learn more about this project at:
www.thesacredspeaks.com

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/thesacredspeaks/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/thesacredspeaks

Theme music provided by:
www.modernnationsmusic.com

Song of the week: My 66 by Shadows of Jets
https://www.facebook.com/ShadowsOfJets/

Aug 02 2018

2hr 10mins

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Rank #6: 42: Reinventing the Sacred. A conversation with Stuart Kauffman.

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Dr. Kauffman, theoretical biologist, complex systems researcher, author of six books and numerous papers, begins the conversation recalling the ancient world and how the original split between the religions and the sciences influences the struggles and projections between the sciences and the arts/humanities today. Stuart begins this by providing scientific reasons why the possibilities of the world and our evolution are indefinite and anything that comes next in this evolution cannot be prestated – and he offers fascinating insight as to why this makes sense. He makes the case that any attempt to find a theory of everything or a final theory is false. Therefore, he connects this with the argument that reductionism, from an evolutionary perspective, fails – including Newton’s laws. Next, we move into how philosophers, beginning with Descartes’ notion of substance dualism, have made sense of reality, from Stuart’s perspective, dual nature – mind stuff and matter stuff. Here we use dual-aspect theory to begin to bring together the split that has permeated philosophy, religion, science, and even human biology, thus starting what we call today “the mind-body problem” – how mind stuff and matter stuff can interact. Dr. Kauffman suggests a new, quantum answer for this mind/body problem in a paper he titles, Beyond the Stalemate: Conscious Mind-Body - Quantum Mechanics - Free Will - Possible Panpsychism - Possible Interpretation of Quantum Enigma. He explains what is meant by the term “quantum mind” and its relationship to private experience termed “qualia.” Stuart posits that his definition for the term “god” is not the creator of the universe but creativity as a force and infinite pattern of the universe.
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=stuart+kauffman&i=stripbooks&crid=LSORSEFY7Z9N&sprefix=stuart+kau%2Caps%2C388&ref=nb_sb_ss_c_2_10

Books by Dr. Stuart Kauffman
YouTube links: “The Shape of History” Evolution of Human Culture and Technology
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9Mn1bppV7U
A Simple Combinatorial Model of Economic History
Papers: Res potentia and Res extensa, non-locality - Taking Heisenberg’s Potentia Seriously
https://arxiv.org/abs/1811.04502
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the week: Bob Schneider
Music page: http://www.bobschneider.com
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/thesacredspeaks/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/thesacredspeaks
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/thesacredspeaks/

May 22 2019

1hr 52mins

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Rank #7: 20: Matter and Psyche. A conversation with J. Gary Sparks

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The discussion begins with a question about duality in the structure of human consciousness (up/down, sacred/profane, subject/object, yin/yang, psyche/soma). Gary maintains a longstanding interest in explorations of matter and psyche. His book borrows from the conversations and ideas exchanged between Carl Jung and Wolfgang Pauli, one of the men responsible for the discovery of quantum physics. For Jung the opposites are primary therefore the conversation expands on this idea throughout the exchange. Further, Gary defines spiritual and synchronicity, noting how often “science” or the material and spiritual are not interpreted in the way that may be of more service to us all. He provides examples of synchronicity and helps the listener understand the concept of synchronicity. Jung and Pauli converse because of the strange behavior of the electron in the atom and how causality breaks down when we try to understand the individual – less about causality than about a teleological structure of the individual’s life.
Technology is questioned and viewed as a phenomenon that has drastically changed the relationship that we have with ourselves and created us into distracted individuals who struggle to sit with ourselves.
Gary discusses his understanding of the religious task and defines this process as “learning whom we are born to be and making it real in time and space.” We finish on the subject of numbers and the archetypal background of numbers as qualities and not only quantities.
Bio:
J. Gary Sparks, B.Sc., M.Div., M.A., is a graduate of Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA; the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA; and the C.G. Jung Institute of Zurich, Switzerland. He is a former Peace Corps Korea Volunteer during the early 1970s and co-editor of Edward F. Edinger’s Science of the Soul (2002) and Ego and Self: The Old Testament Prophets (2000). He is widely known in North America for his lectures and seminars on the significance and application of Jungian psychology.

Completing eight years of training in 1982, Gary graduated from the C.G. Jung Institute in Zürich and presently makes his living as a Jungian analyst. The Jungian approach observes that the personality spontaneously produces images which symbolically communicate the means of resolving a given impasse and—more generally—the unique life course for each individual in pursuit of meaning and satisfaction to follow. In practical terms the Jungian focus studies dreams as a way of getting at this deeper source of knowledge. Such has been Gary’s enduring fascination: to learn the nature of our symbolic language, to understand its value in the therapeutic setting and to discover its relevance to solving human problems in general.

Website:
http://www.jgsparks.net
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the week: BADBADNOTGOOD
http://badbadnotgood.com
Music page:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/badbadnotgood/505464105
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/thesacredspeaks/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/thesacredspeaks

Sep 12 2018

2hr 17mins

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Rank #8: 13: Hope and Despair. A conversation with Robert Hilliker.

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Robert speaks with eloquence as he grounds his research (me-search) in his personal story, a story that has a sobering way of articulating both the academic and the particular dynamic between, hope and despair, his subject of study. Robert has emerged from the depth and is now able to support others as they make a similar journey into their own experiences of the ups of life and also the downs. About the time when many of us were working on how to write and understand basic math, Robert was becoming more and more immersed in the world of alcohol and drugs. Many people struggle to separate themselves from the pull of these addictions, but for Robert, this aspect of his early life has served to provide him with the experiential knowledge that often only within the depths of personal darkness may we come to know the light of hope. After researching these phenomena, Robert does not believe hope to be intellectual, but relational – we “do” hope - meaning that no matter how hopeless we may feel at any time, we can cultivate a deeper relationship to hope and imagine ourselves to brighter and broader life experience.
Biography:
Robert Hilliker, LCSW, LCDC received his Master’s degree from the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work. Following graduation Robert pursued additional training working as a Post-Graduate Social Work Fellow at The Menninger Clinic. He then completed a two-year fellowship at the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies. Currently, Robert is a doctoral student at the Institute for Clinical Social Work in Chicago, IL.
He worked for three years at The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston where he served as the Manager of Executive and Treatment Services. As a therapist in the adult intensive outpatient program he provided clinical treatment services to individuals, couples, families, and groups.
Robert worked at The Daring Way LLC with Dr. Brené Brown where he served as the Chief Clinical Officer for over three years. He has facilitated this methodology across diverse settings including Baylor Psychiatry Clinic, The Menninger Clinic, and The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston.
In April 2014, Robert co-founded and became the Managing Partner for The Lovett Center LLC with his business partner, Will Davis. The Lovett Center is a community of helping professionals that offers traditional lease space, part-time office space, as well as opportunities for collaboration and continued learning for therapists.
Robert works with patients in private practice at The Lovett Center and serves as the Clinical Director for the Pathos Program at The Lovett Center. Pathos offers intensive outpatient, supportive outpatient, and aftercare programming for people struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health issues. Robert’s private practice focuses on work with professionals, addictive disorders, shame resiliency, and behavioral health issues. He provides individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy.
https://thelovettcenter.com
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Song of the week: Holy Moly
http://www.holymolytexas.com
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/thesacredspeaks/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/thesacredspeaks

Jul 12 2018

1hr 40mins

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Rank #9: 49: Spirituality and Health. A conversation with Stuart Nelson.

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What happens when people are provided a place and the space to ask questions about their lives that, up until that point, they assumed could not be explored? Maybe nothing, or perhaps life takes on new meaning. When have you been able to question the meaning systems of your life freely, that each tends to possess enormous influence, but that also may have been adopted from others close to you? As a child, Stuart moved all over the world, encountering new experiences and foreign territory, which positions him to have a unique lens through which to see everyday experience. On some level, these early experiences guided him into graduate studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, under the renowned Dr. Anne Taves, for his studies in religion and cognitive sciences. There, and under her guidance, he began to integrate different academic systems and philosophies of thought, further broadening and strengthening his pursuit of the mysterious and meaningful.
Stuart Nelson is the vice president of The Institute for Spirituality and Health (ISH), a nonprofit located in the medical center of Houston. The mission of I.S.H. is to explore the various gaps between spirituality, religious practice, health, and healing. Stuart mines multiple theories and methods found primarily within the humanities with the belief that these theories reveal immense, untapped value for the health care industry, business practices, legal concerns, nonprofits, and other professional settings.
Bio:
Stuart Nelson has served as the Institute for Spirituality and Health’s Vice-President for the past six years. In this capacity, he uses his training in both the sciences and the humanities to creatively organize and execute a broad range of programs and services, as well as to help manage the Institute's long term vision, strategic plan, and general operations.

Stuart grew up in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, attending international schools until college. He earned bachelor's degrees in cognitive science, religious studies, and psychology from Rice University. During this time, he realized that the scholarly study of religion has tremendous potential to inform and compliment health systems. He completed a masters in religious studies at UC Santa Barbara, where he used theories and methods from cognitive science of religion to inform work at the intersection between religious identity and mental health. This passion extends to his current work.
Stuart enjoys hip-hop, classic rock, and classical Indian music, as well as impressionism, surrealism, and modern art. Additionally, he is an avid birder.
https://www.spiritualityandhealth.org
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Band of the Week: Sound Team
Music Page:
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Nov 13 2019

1hr 37mins

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Rank #10: 41: Holy Envy. A conversation with Barbara Brown Taylor.

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In this episode, Episcopal priest, Barbara Brown Taylor, and John explore the ideas that she has been working through in her books Learning to Walk in the Dark (2015) and Holy Envy (2019). She eloquently guides the listener through many of the hurdles that one encounters when grounding one’s self in a particular religious tradition. She encourages all of us to not only look on the other side of the fence over at another tradition but to experience the freedom one may acquire once we open ourselves to the other and see our own worldviews anew. Barbara has a gentle ability to challenges one’s assumptions about the world and her books provide a pathway to learn how to love more and also how to connect with and challenge those aspects of each of us that we often choose not to see.
Bio:
Barbara Brown Taylor is a best-selling author, teacher, and Episcopal priest. Her first memoir, Leaving Church, won an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association in 2006. Her next two books, An Altar in the World (2010) and Learning to Walk in the Dark (2015), earned places on the New York Times bestseller list. She has served on the faculties of Piedmont College, Columbia Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology at Emory University, McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, and the Certificate in Theological Studies program at Arrendale State Prison for Women in Alto, Georgia. In 2014 TIME included her on its annual list of Most Influential People; in 2015 she was named Georgia Woman of the Year; in 2016 she received the President’s Medal at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Her fourteenth book, Holy Envy, was released by HarperOne in March 2019.
https://barbarabrowntaylor.com
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Band of the week: Patrice Pike
Music page: https://www.patricepike.com
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May 08 2019

1hr 29mins

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Rank #11: 32: Psychological Types. A conversation with John Beebe.

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The discussion today centers on Dr. John Beebe’s ideas about psychological types as inspired by Jung’s understanding and articulation of this theory of personality. Dr. John Beebe is the leading expert on the subject, so much so that in the forthcoming release of Jung’s collected works on Psychological Type will include an introduction by Dr. Beebe – an honor of the utmost order. Dr. Beebe and I explore how the psychological types show up in film and how viewing films through this lens may enable someone to understand the various types and the dynamics between them better. Dr. Beebe explains how our early history provides the framework for our attitudes to organize themselves in service to making sense of the world. Conflicts between each other and ourselves are usually, in part, a consequence of the different attitudes and functions of the personality misunderstanding each other given their differences between how each of these comes to experience and know what it experiences. John identifies Hamlet as a means by which we may see the personality types play out.
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Band of the week:
The Chemistry Set
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Dec 12 2018

1hr 7mins

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Rank #12: 39: Metamodernism, popular culture, mysticism, & Russell Brand. A conversation with Linda Ceriello.

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This podcast episode explores how one mystical experience can bring an individual to question the nature of reality enough so that they devote their life to answering questions that often time seem unanswerable: What is the nature of reality? What is a self? What is identity? Also, how do people approach their lives after they have an experience that challenges the way they see the world; yet because that same experience seems so outside of their cultural norms, they keep it to themselves? Although with that said, Dr. Linda Ceriello began to notice that at the turn of the millennium many more people seemed free to start a public discussion about these radical personal experiences that seem to shatter and destabilize one’s worldview. We discuss the millennials and the plural generations as challenging the boundaries of these cultural identities, and how these younger generations are dealing with the grand narratives, they have been provided — the birth of the “spiritual but not religious” movement. We explore the differences between modernism, postmodernism, and the development of what some call metamodern; popular culture and the various depictions of mystical narratives; and she examines how Russell Brand has become such a significant figure in popular culture, fulfilling roles ranging from social advocate to spiritual teacher, and comedian. Bio:
Linda Ceriello is a scholar of religions, specializing in Asian religions in America, mystical experience, contemplative studies, and critical theory of popular culture. She recently received her Ph.D. in Religion from Rice University, and also has a Master's degree in Education from Antioch University Seattle. Some of her favorite lecture topics include awe and wonder, the history of yoga, metamodern monsters, and the gnostic attributes of transgressive comedy. Publications include “Encoded Ambiguities, Embodied Ontologies: The Transformative Speech of Transgressive Female Figures in Gnosticism and Tantra” in (European Journal of Esotericism) La Rosa di Paracelso, and the forthcoming chapters, “Toward a Metamodern Reading of Spiritual-but-Not-Religious Mysticisms” in Being Spiritual But Not Religious: Past, Present, Future(s), and “"The Big Bad and the Big “Aha!”: Metamodern Monsters as Transformational Figures of Instability" in Holy Monsters, Sacred Grotesques: Monstrosity and Religion in Europe and the U.S. She is co-founder and editor, with Greg Dember, of the website, What Is Metamodern? www.whatismetamodern.com.
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Band of the week: Greg Dember
Music page: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/greg-dember/292921755
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http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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Mar 27 2019

1hr 44mins

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Rank #13: Episode 3: Self-formation and daily practices. A conversation with Niki Clements

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Niki is an expert on the ascetic John Cassian and the French philosopher Michel Foucault. In this episode Niki and I discuss her newest book, Sites of the Ascetic Self. Niki is most interested in daily practices of discipline that can help and enable individuals to open to certain forms of self-transformation including transformation of our bodies, our emotions and our relation to other people. She discusses how her history places her into relationship with her current areas of study. We are shaped as subjects in this world, therefore one of Niki’s core questions is: how can we become self-shaping and self-forming? Looking at the kinds of daily practices we each live and how those practices influence and inform our reality. We explore the value of recognizing the various interpretations and agencies that are present in every moment. We define the terms such as ethics, ascetic, and others. We discuss the modern understanding of mental health and the progressive pathologizing of one’s relationship with the voices, urges, and powers formed within one’s “head” or self. She is interested in the construction of one’s character as a way of life.
Niki Clements works at the disciplinary intersection between the history of Christian practice, philosophy of religion, and religious ethics. She specializes in Christian asceticism and mysticism in late antiquity, highlighting its resources for thinking through contemporary ethical formation and conceptions of the self. She is currently completing the first comprehensive treatment of the ethical thought of John Cassian (c.360-c.435), a late antique Catholic architect of Latin monasticism doctrinally marginalized for his optimistic views on human agency. Engaging Michel Foucault's late work on ethics-which sees Cassian as a crucial inaugurator of modern disciplinary subjectivity-she critiques the conceptual limitations that Foucault's philosophical categories impose on his reading of Cassian, late antique Christianity, and the study of religion. She also pursues a transdisciplinary approach with cognitive neuroscience to argue that ethical formation integrates consciousness, embodiment, and affectivity. She is the volume editor for Mental Religion: The Brain, Cognition, and Culture, as part of the forthcoming Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks.

http://rice.academia.edu/NikiClements

Specialization:
History of Catholic thought and practice, Christianity in late antiquity, asceticism and mysticism, religious ethics, philosophy of religion, theories and methods in the study of religion, religion, and science

Academic History:
Ph.D., Brown University, Religion and Critical Thought, 2014
M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School, 2007
B.A., Sarah Lawrence College, 2003

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www.modernnationsmusic.com

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Apr 12 2018

1hr 35mins

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Rank #14: 35: Minding The Self. A conversation with Murray Stein.

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We begin our conversation with Dr. Stein explaining initiation and “The Spirit of the Depths,” as the dance between reason and the inevitable call that each of us hears from our soul – that unique part of us that is outside of culture. Dr. Stein differentiates between directed thinking and nondirected thinking – causality-based, rational thinking and the spontaneous emergence of images that seem to come from beyond our conscious control. The former helps each of us “get from A to B,” while the latter operates with imagination as the presenter of the subjective content. He locates the consequence of the growth of rational thinking, as pushing out the relationship we each have with the symbol and the imagination. Noting that this produced a materially dominant culture, although the sacrifice is our disconnection from the immaterial. We conclude by discussing the tension of opposites.
Bio:
Dr. Stein is a graduate of Yale University (B.A. and M.Div.), the University of Chicago (Ph.D.), and the C.G. Jung Institut-Zurich (Diploma). He is a founding member of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and of the Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts. He has been the president of the International Association for Analytical Psychology (2001-4), and the President of The International School of Analytical Psychology-Zurich (2008-2012).
http://murraystein.com
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Band of the week: Halou
http://www.halou.com
Music page:
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Jan 23 2019

1hr 5mins

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Rank #15: 34: Spiritual Medicine. A conversation with Joseph Tafur.

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After struggling through depression during medical school, Dr. Joseph Tafur was introduced to peyote by a friend who was researching psychedelics as a medical intervention. He reports that he quickly realized the connection between modern medical interventions, such as anti-depressants and psychedelics. In 2007 Dr. Tafur traveled to the Amazon and began his exploration of Ayahuasca and later began his training in Shipibo shamanism. Dr. Tafur’s medical background and his training as a Shipibo shaman position him to articulately explain the Western understanding of this spiritually-based approach to healing. Dr. Tafur’s book is full of case studies, and his use of these examples provide a first-hand account of what many know to be true: that many individuals do not feel adequately understood by the traditional western medicine. We discuss epigenetics, specifically how researchers are beginning to understand how trauma can be passed down from one generation to the other. We frame depression and other psychological issues as a disorder of the imagination, wherein the individual is cut off from their sense of creativity, and which cuts the individual off from imagining other possibilities in their life, and therefore they suffer under the burden of the discomfort and belief that change is not possible. Although Dr. Tafur can use modern medical language, he prefers to speak about love and broke-heartedness as it relates to what is missing in modern medicine.
Bio:
Dr. Tafur has been an Integrative Medicine activist throughout his medical career, while in medical school at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, and during his Family Medicine Residency at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He has collaborated on research projects with the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine and the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine. After residency, Dr. Tafur subsequently completed a two-year Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the UCSD Department of Psychiatry under psychoneuroimmunology expert Dr. Paul Mills. While in San Diego, he also served on the board for the Alternative Healing Network and the Steering Committee for the UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine.
Dr. Tafur is also dedicated to education. At Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual, Dr. Tafur supervised traditional training for allopathic medical students and medical student groups from the Southwestern College of Naturopathic Medicine and Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine. He has also worked as a professor for the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine’s online doctoral program. He is now developing new educational programs for Modern Spirit.
Since 2007, Dr. Tafur, a has been traveling to Peru to work with Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine and to study with Master Shipibo Healers. He has completed his shamanic initiation under Maestro Ricardo Amaringo and worked alongside him for years in ayahuasca healing ceremony at Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual.
Here in the United States, he is working to promote the value of spiritual healing in modern healthcare and to demonstrate the intersection between traditional healing and allopathic medicine
.https://drjoetafur.com https://modernspirit.org
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Band of the week: Black Tie Dynasty
Music page:
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Jan 09 2019

1hr 27mins

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Rank #16: Episode 5: Psychology and Religion. A Conversation with Pittman McGehee

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Episode 5: Religion and Psychology. A conversation with Pittman McGehee
In today’s episode, Pittman unpacks the definition of religion and broadens the traditional limiting assumptions many immediately experience in relationship to religion. We discuss how many of the actions that have been in the name of religion are not religious. We begin by defining religion, the philosophy of materialism, psychological wholeness, good and evil, individuation, and the Self. Pittman discusses where religion goes wrong and how the human stewards of the various traditions affect the search for wholeness with human impulses, ideologies, and dominance. He defines spirituality as the deep human longing to transfer the transcendent into the immanent through experience and reflection upon it. We explore the profoundly powerful sacred aspects of human sexuality and the assault by the organize structures and the misinterpretation of each tradition that has been destructive of sexuality.

Biography:
Pittman became was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church in 1969, The Very Reverend J. Pittman McGehee served, for 11 years, as Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, located in the center of downtown Houston. Since moving to Houston in 1980, Mr. McGehee has been in demand as a lecturer and speaker in the fields of psychology and religion. He lectures regularly at the C. G. Jung Center and has published two papers through that Center: “Water as a Symbol of Transformation” (1985), and “The Healing Wound and the Wounded Healer” (1986). He is a regular book reviewer for The Living Church.
Dr. McGehee has held many distinguished lectureships, including the 1987 Harvey Lecture at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, where he received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity; the 1988 Perkins Lecture in Wichita Falls; the 1990 Woodhull Lectures in Dayton, Ohio, and the 1991 St. Luke’s Lectures in Birmingham. He was the 1994 Rockwell visiting Theologian at the University of Houston and 1996 Carolyn Fay Lecturer in Analytical Psychology also at the University of Houston. He is an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Texas, an Adjunct Instructor at Saybrook University, and a Faculty Member of the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. His books are: The Invisible Church: Finding Spirituality Where You Are, Praeger Press, 2008; Raising Lazarus: The Science of Healing the Soul, 2009; Words Made Flesh: Selected Sermons by The Very Reverend J. Pittman McGehee, D.D., 2011; The Paradox of Love, (available 10/1/2011); and Slender Threads: An Interview with Robert Johnson (DVD).
In addition to his teaching and prose writing, Mr. McGehee is known for his poetry. His work has been chosen for the juried Houston Poetry Fest (1985, 1987, 1988), and his poems “Ash Wednesday,” “Pegasus,” and “Semination” were published in the Poetry Fest Anthology. His poems also have appeared in the Cimarron Review, the Anglican Theological Review, the St. Luke’s Journal, In Art magazine, Cite magazine, Windhover, and New Texas magazine.
In 1991, Dr. McGehee resigned from Christ Church Cathedral to become the director of The Institute for the Advancement of Psychology and Spirituality. The Institute joins the disciplines of psychology and religion by exploring the concept that mental health comes with the integration of the biological, psychological, and spiritual elements of the human condition. In 1996, the C. G. Jung Institute of Dallas awarded him a diploma in Analytical Psychology. In addition, he is currently in private practice as a priest/psychoanalyst and teacher/lecturer.

www.jpittmanmcgehee.com

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May 16 2018

1hr 3mins

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Rank #17: 22. Initiation, Liberation, & The Journey. A conversation with Kate Burns

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This conversation favors the irrational over the rational. Kate has made it her mission, both in her professional life and personal life to study the pathways on which people travel through their lives. She states, “The paths that people are called to are often socially unacceptable.” She is referencing how often each of us has to sacrifice either a part of ourselves for the security of the outer world, or the security of the outer world so that one can “live on the edge” and discover who they are and what really matters to that individual. When Kate was 4 years old, a poisonous snake bit her, a story that had not entered into her awareness until she was much older and in analysis herself. Once she recalled the event she began to have dreams that included snake motifs and she began to study rites of passage, initiation, and rituals that people had been writing about throughout human history. We discuss the seven aspects she identifies and articulates through her book. Kate has made it her mission to help people place their struggles and conflicts into meaningful narratives. And, how is one to know the direction that the narrative is providing?
Bio:
Kate Burns is a Jungian analyst with a private practice in Houston, Texas. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, she worked as a geophysicist until a downturn in the oil industry sent her back to school for an MBA from Rice University. A desire to explore spiritual issues led her to pursue a master’s degree in counseling, followed by studies at the International School of Analytical Psychology, Zurich. She has taught classes at the Jung Center in Houston since 2005 and has devoted herself to the practice of yoga since 2000. She serves on the board of directors for Jungians in Training Zurich, an organization raising awareness about C.G. Jung, his life and work. Kate is the author of "Paths to Transformation: From Initiation to Liberation and "Soul's Desire to Become New" in Jung's Red Book for Our Time, volume 2.
Website:
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Band of the week: Lauren Fine
Music page:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/lauren-fine/30889026
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Sep 26 2018

1hr 36mins

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Rank #18: 27: Listening to Ayahuasca. A conversation with Rachel Harris.

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In this episode of The Sacred Speaks, John Price speaks with Dr. Rachel Harris about her book, Listening To Ayahuasca, and other related topics. Following her early experience in meditation and body practices at Esalen and with Suzuki Roshi, Dr. Harris formalized her interest in research focusing on the various ways that we may treat human suffering and then she experienced Ayahuasca in the rainforests of Costa Rica. Following her personal experience, she wanted to research “religious experience” as it manifests within the various reports that people provide following their own Ayahuasca journey. She explains the design of her studies and explores aspects of the biology of psychedelics, in particular, a network of the brain called the Default Mode Network, a network of brain structures “quieted” during psychedelic experience and meditation. The DMN is the “generator of our ego” it maintains the constructed world and self. Not only does Dr. Harris speak to the western approach to both the research-based use of psychedelics and the recreational use, but she also speaks to the worldview of indigenous cultures and how this metaphysical view that sees the world as alive has influenced and conflicted with the typical western worldview. While grounding her work in the Ayahuasca, her research reaches far beyond the experiences of Psychonauts and into the minds and homes of each and every one of us who seeks to transform the daily and the mundane.
Bio:
Psychologist Rachel Harris, Ph.D. is the author of Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD and Anxiety. She was in private practice for thirty-five years working with people interested in psychospiritual development. During a decade working in research, Rachel received a National Institutes of Health New Investigator’s Award and published more than forty scientific studies in peer-reviewed journals. She has also consulted to Fortune 500 companies and the United Nations.
Rachel was in the 1968 Esalen Residential Program, Big Sur, CA. This intensive six-month program focused on meditation and bodywork. In the early seventies, Rachel studied with Dorothy Nolte in the movement system, Structural Awareness, based on Dr. Ida Rolf’s Structural Integration (Rolfing). Rachel also co-edited the Journal of the American Dance Therapy Association for three years. Awareness of how people live and move in their bodies has always been an aspect of Rachel’s approach to psychotherapy.
During the mid-eighties into the early aughts, Rachel led workshops at Omega Institute, NY and Esalen Institute, CA. She wrote Twenty Minute Retreats: Revive Your Spirit in Just Minutes a Day with Simple, Self-Led Practices (NY: Holt, 2000). This book describes many of the psychological, meditative and body awareness exercises she taught in her workshops.
In 2005 Rachel traveled to a retreat center in Costa Rica and serendipitously found herself with the opportunity to drink ayahuasca with Ecuadorian shamans. The morning after her first ceremony, Rachel began asking questions about the therapeutic potential of this medicine. She conducted a three-year research project with Lee Gurel, Ph.D. that resulted in “A Study of Ayahuasca Use in North America,” published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (Summer, 2012).

Website:
https://www.listeningtoayahuasca.com

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Band of the week: Taylor Young
https://www.dallasobserver.com/music/taylor-young-of-the-os-premieres-new-single-shine-on-me-11178400 https://www.instagram.com/tayloryoungmusic/

Music page:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/shine-on-me/1436712697?i=1436712972

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Nov 07 2018

1hr 59mins

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Rank #19: 25: Irreverent Reverence in Religion. A conversation with Matt Russell.

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This episode begins with Matthew and I exploring his history growing up with the fundamentalist wing of religion in Christianity. Matt’s story is one of coming to terms and wrestling with the religion of his youth and through that process asking challenging to grapple with questions. We discuss power structures within and between groups ranging from economically bound systems to geographically connected and disconnected networks. Matt’s dissertation looked at trauma and the narrative that five women maintained about their religious and philosophical worldview following overwhelming trauma. Matt offers a perspective on religion that is often not included in many religious and academic circles, atheist or theist alike.
Bio:
Matt is currently on staff at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston Texas as the Senior Associate Pastor, is the Co-Managing Director of projectCURATE, a social action and racial equity non-profit, Executive Director of Iconoclast Artists, a creative arts program in Houston and Galveston’s urban schools that has over 600 weekly participants and is Assistant Professor of Recovery Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary. Prior to this he was on faculty at Duke Divinity School as professor of Practical Theology and Community Development. In 2013, he completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge’s Psychology and Religion Research Group (PRRG) where he explored redemptive narratives and models of social justice movements rooted in religious communities. He received his Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary and completed his PhD at Texas Tech University in 2010. His dissertation explored how women construct alternative narratives of redemption from years of sustained trauma and abuse. While at Texas Tech he was the Associate Director at The Center for the Study of Addiction, responsible for the replication model helping to establish collegiate recovery communities in campuses across the United States. From 1996-2008 he was Associate Pastor of Houston’s Chapelwood United Methodist Church and founding pastor of Mercy Street. Matt is married to his best friend Michele and they have 3 crazy boys: Miguel (15), Lucas (14) and Gabriel (11).

Website:
https://www.projectcurate.org http://www.stpaulshouston.org/staff/
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the week: Ghostface Killah and BADBADNOTGOOD
https://www.facebook.com/GhostfaceKillahOfficial/ http://badbadnotgood.com
Music page:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sour-soul/952769969
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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Oct 17 2018

1hr 58mins

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Rank #20: 21. Science, Religion, Power, & Love. A conversation with Tom Cheetham

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As a scientist, Tom’s insight into religion and psychology balances his worldview given that he matriculated through both the sciences and philosophy. He says, that as soon as he began to see the world through a hand-lens, he was sold on physics, biology, entomology, evolution and ecology, and vertebrate zoology, but landed squarely in biology. Tom’s primary area of interest began in complex systems. Access to an electron microscope in the biochemistry lab opened up Tom’s understanding of the microscopic world that is within, around, and through us. He defines “complex systems” and uses this interest to look at religion and psychology. Tom asks why no one can predict what the Dow Jones is going to do tomorrow?” Because the economy is a complex system. Tom’s “naïve love of biology” was the attitude that bade him to leave the early movement in bioengineering, which he deemed as morally repugnant, and sent him onto a path of recollecting his interests in philosophy and religion primarily to the work of Carl Jung, James Hillman, and Henry Corbin. Tom’s love for Hillman is expressed from his seeking psychological diversity and Corbin for his grounding in the imagination. Tom departed from reductive science because his brain began to feel like a machine, cranking out facts, and this landed him in the exploration of the imagination. With this in mind, Tom recognizes the battle within him between the “humanist” and the “scientist.” He believes on some level that adopting an easy pluralism as a means for us each to deal with our tendency toward fundamentalist thinking and behaving. He has been actively undermining the tendency for any human to be motivated by any fundamentalism – which both Henry Corbin and James Hillman do. Good on you, Tom!
Bio:
Tom graduated from Connecticut College in 1974 with a B.A. in philosophy, magna cum laude, with coursework in history and the history of art, and received the Susanne Langer Award for Achievement in Philosophy. Among the most long-lasting influences were my reading of Hegel, Heidegger, Ernst Cassirer and Erwin Panofsky, as well as the ideas and the teaching of historian F. Edward Cranz.
In 1997 Tom resigned from my teaching position and my family moved to Maine. He then began writing in earnest. Tom's first essay on Corbin was among those selected to receive a John Templeton Foundation Exemplary Essay Award in the “Expanding Humanity’s Vision of God” Program in 2000. The following year he was one of six invited speakers at the Eranos Conference in Ascona, Switzerland, where Corbin had been a leading figure for many years. Tom's first book on Corbin, the imagination and related themes was published in 2003, and others followed in 2005, 2007, 2012 and 2015. In 2004 he was invited for the first of a series of lectures for the Temenos Academy in London. In the summer of 2007 Tom was honored to be elected a Fellow of the Temenos Academy.
Website:
https://sites.google.com/view/tom-cheetham/home?authuser=0
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the week: Centro-matic
Music page:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/centro-matic/6557444
Will Johnson:
http://www.will-johnson.com
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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Sep 19 2018

2hr 47mins

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55: COVID: Civilizational, Global, & Existential. A conversation with Stuart Kauffman.

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In this episode Dr. Stuart Kauffman and I discuss human population, creativity, the consequences of the exponential growth of the modern economy, consumerism and consumption: a model for overwhelming our environment, the choices “asked” of humanity within a consumerist culture, reductionism and the center of our humanity, increases of GDP and the relationship to individual identity, creating meaningful tools and goods that sustain, shifting our understanding of work and widgets, the modern notion of a well-lived life, comparing COVID with other viruses, solutions to the pandemic, efficacy of our responses, definition of a virus, several theoretical options to cure COVID currently underway including: phage display, monoclonal antibodies, and the repurposing of other known drugs, combinatorial models for creative solutions to disease, ways to understand systems and biological networks, self-reflection in a time of chaos, the axial age and pivotal changes in humanity through different stages of civilization.
Band of the Week: Tycho
https://tychomusic.com
Music Page:
https://music.apple.com/us/album/weather/1461523692
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Brought to you by:
https://www.thecenterforhas.com
Website for The Sacred Speaks:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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@thesacredspeaks
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Mar 26 2020

1hr 23mins

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54: My Stroke of Insight. A conversation with Jill Bolte Taylor.

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Like many of you, I watched Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED talk back in 2008 with astonishment and excitement – so this conversation is a long time coming. Dr. Taylor’s personality is without pretense, and her gift of switching between a scientific worldview to the view of an experiencer sets her up as both an accomplished observer of the measurable and an excitably playful experiencer of the miraculous. She holds this tension well and I only wish that we had more time to talk. Thankfully, she agreed to share another conversation once her next book hits the bookstores. This conversation explores the evolution of Dr. Taylor’s thoughts following her stroke 20 years ago. She is currently working on her forthcoming book that is preparing her to speak about the more practical and theoretical application of how she views various archetypes that each relate to specific aspects of our brains. From Dr. Taylor’s perspective, we each possess 4 distinct characters within our psychological and neuroanatomical self, that are each capable of interacting with each other. At times this can be overwhelming and full of conflict, or we have the ability and power to source these personalities to support each other. She states that we can purposefully and intentionally transform and shift the patterns of our psychological, spiritual, behavioral, and relational lives.
Bio:
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a trained and published neuroanatomist. Her research specialty was in the postmortem investigation of the human brain as it relates to schizophrenia and the severe mental illnesses. Because she has a brother who has been diagnosed with the brain disorder schizophrenia, Dr. Taylor served for three years on the Board of Directors of National NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) between 1994-1997.

On December 10, 1996, Dr. Taylor woke up to discover that she was experiencing a rare form of stroke, an arterio-venous malformation (AVM). Two and a half weeks later, on December 27, 1996, she underwent major brain surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) to remove a golf ball size blood clot that was placing pressure on the language centers in the left hemisphere of her brain.

It took eight years for Dr. Taylor to successfully rebuild her brain - from the inside out. In response to the swelling and trauma of the stroke, which placed pressure on her dominant left hemisphere, the functions of her right hemisphere blossomed. Among other things, she now creates and sells unique stained glass brains when commissioned to do so. In addition, she published a book about her recovery from stroke and the insights she gained into the workings of her brain. The New York Times bestselling memoir is titled My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey and spent 17 weeks on the NY Times Bestseller list.

In February 2008, Dr. Taylor gave a presentation at the prestigious TED Conference. A video of that presentation was posted on the TED website which was immediately viewed by millions of people around the world. The response to the video launched Dr. Taylor into becoming a highly sought-after public speaker. She was chosen by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2008, and was the premiere guest on Oprah's Soul Series web-cast. In addition, she was interviewed by Oprah and Dr. Oz on The Oprah Winfrey Show in October, 2008.

http://drjilltaylor.com https://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_my_stroke_of_insight
Band of the Week: HiFi Drowning
Music Page:
https://music.apple.com/us/album/rounds-the-rosa/1494697284
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Website for The Sacred Speaks:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
Brought to you by:
https://www.thecenterforhas.com
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Mar 19 2020

1hr 45mins

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53: Psychotherapy and freedom from preconceptions. A conversation with Mark Winborn.

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How each of us takes in, and adapts to, the experiences of our lives create various preconceptions about the world and our place in it. Dr. Winborn, psychologist and Jungian psychoanalyst, works as a psychotherapist a vocation that he believes helps to free us from those preconceptions, or limitations to our lives. In the conversation we discuss: the nature of our psychological experience and how psychotherapy, in particular, psychoanalytic therapies aid in the integration and assimilation of aspects of the unconscious; the value of everyday language so that concepts are not reified and thereby extracted from their context; the concept of reverie as a state of mind that gets out of task mode, wherein we direct out thinking, and into a state that allows the images, affects, perceptions, memories, etc. and more.
Bio:
Dr. Mark Winborn is a licensed clinical psychologist, Jungian psychoanalyst, and nationally certified psychoanalyst with over 30 years of clinical experience. He provides individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis for adults in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Winborn is a training/ supervising analyst of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. He has served as the Training Coordinator of the Memphis Jungian Seminar, is on the faculty of the C.G. Jung Institute of Zurich and the Moscow Association for Analytical Psychology as well as visiting faculty at a number of institutes and seminars both in the USA and internationally. He is available for clinical psychoanalytic supervision and speaking engagements.
http://www.drmarkwinborn.com
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the Week: Juke Jones
Music Page:
https://music.apple.com/us/album/bluff-city-breakdown/1495562311
Website for The Sacred Speaks:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/thesacredspeaks/
@thesacredspeaks
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/thesacredspeaks
Facebook:
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Mar 05 2020

1hr 37mins

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52: Neurobiology of the Gods. A conversation with Erik Goodwyn.

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In this conversation Dr. Erik Goodwyn and Dr. John Price discuss the foundation of Jung and his place as both a mystical thinker and an empirical thinker; the structure of the psyche; how evolution and structures of language and literature connect; the philosophy of mind – where Jung fits in the analysis of how mind and matter interact; where science and religion interact; ways brain physiology shapes and informs subjective experience, symbols, and stories; cross-cultural links between similar stories; definition of terms such as archetype and collective-unconscious; the nature of reduction and this tendency influences mind and the body; qualia; the genome; epigenetics; dreams and their structure; and more.
Bio:
Dr. Goodwyn received his undergraduate degree from Western Kentucky University in 1996, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He received his Master's Degree in Anatomy and Neurobiology from Western Kentucky University in 2000, where he published two articles. In 2005, Dr. Goodwyn received his Medical Degree from the University of Cincinnati. He completed his Psychiatry residency at Wright State University in 2009, where he received a "superior" ranking in every category from Academic/Clinical Evaluation covering residency training.
Dr. Goodwyn has Post-Residency in Psychodynamic Training Psychotherapy and Supervision, which is ongoing 2-4 hours per month (since 2008). Topics include psychodynamic methods, analytical psychology, dream analysis, and relationship between spirituality and psychology. He also has formal accredited post-graduate training in Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD.
Presently, Dr. Goodwyn is an Instructor at the University of Louisville, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He supervises long-term psychotherapy for psychiatric residents, is an instructor for medical students and residents, provides clinical care (including medication management and psychotherapy for diverse populations) and completes research and academic writing.
His previous work history includes Clinic Chief at the Minot Air Force Base Mental Health Outpatient Services in North Dakota. He was a supervisor and manager for Mental Health, Family Advocacy, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Clinics. He was a Quality Assurance Provider, which supervised, evaluated, and monitored civilian contractors (including mental health technicians, licensed social workers, and clinical psychologists). He was Chief of the Traumatic Stress Response Team at the Minot Air Force Base. He led Mental Health programs for 11,000 beneficiaries at the largest Personal Reliability Program base in the military. He evaluated hundreds of pre- and post-deployers for mental health symptoms or illness, thereby increased Air Force readiness and reduced risk of trauma. He also performed Sanity Boards for service members under investigation at Whiteman AFB and Grand Forks AFB.

University of Louisville profile:
https://louisville.edu/medicine/departments/psychiatry/faculty/faculty-1/erik-goodwyn-m.d
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the Week: Ansley
Instagram: @ansleytxmusic
Music Page:
https://music.apple.com/us/artist/ansley/546947596 https://open.spotify.com/album/3lY9YTCjI21vd4ztnkJv7i?si=IEKHRLuqQuuNXPi12D4nQA
Website for The Sacred Speaks:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/thesacredspeaks/
@thesacredspeaks
Twitter:
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Feb 05 2020

1hr 51mins

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51: The Body and Soul. A conversation with Debbie Mills.

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51: The Body and Soul. A conversation with Debbie Mills.
How much time do you allow for awareness of how your body speaks? Probably not much. And definitely not as much as today’s participant does. In this episode of the podcast, Dr. John Price speaks with Debbie Mills, a healer who works with psycho-emotional energetic integration. Debbie’s life experience and practice place her in a unique position to connect with each person that she touches, and they change and transform. In the conversation today, John and Debbie bring awareness to the body as a container, the limitations of the intellectual and thinking mind, how often we oppose the nature of our nature. We each, hopefully, spend ample time learning how to communicate with others by both speaking and refining our thinking so that we make sense to others and working to coordinate with others so that they make sense to us. With that said, we may find that learning to listen to how our body communicates with us is a more daunting task given the nature of the times.
Bio:

Teaching yoga is a passion for me and I love being able to aid my students in bringing more awareness to every aspect of their lives. I began my private practice in bodywork and energetics in 1993, and started my yoga therapy practice in 1995. I later founded the Lotus Center for Yoga and the Healing Arts in 1998 to work privately with students on asana, cikitsa (therapy), pranayama, sensory withdrawal, chanting and meditation.
There is very little that I can say regarding my teaching ability that does not directly reflect upon my teachers and their teachers before them. It is through grace and their guidance that I am able to share my experience. I am grateful and have been blessed to study and sit with many gifted teachers. Following are those who have influenced me in a deep and profound way, and enabled me to impart yogic and ayurvedic teachings: Kumar Palana, Dr. Robert Svoboda, Sri Srivatsa Ramaswami and Swami Sundaranand. Through them I have learned by study as well as transmission; Yoga Philosophy, The Yoga Sutras, Samkhya Philosophy, Ayurvedic Principles, Meditation, Chanting and Sanskrit.
These teachings have impacted my entire life and how I live on a daily basis. Like my teachers, I hope to help each student to integrate these teachings in an organic and holistic way, so that they eventually flow out of the student. Respect and Love are primary to my method of working with each student. For it is through deep respect and love for ourselves that we learn the discipline to develop a personal practice.

http://www.yogaanddharma.com
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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https://www.instagram.com/thesacredspeaks/
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Jan 22 2020

1hr 33mins

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50: Care of the Soul. A conversation with Thomas Moore.

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In this episode of The Sacred Speaks, John Price speaks with Dr. Thomas Moore. Through the conversation, they discuss Dr. Moore’s early development, James Hillman and Carl Jung’s influence upon him, and his work with soul as an author and psychotherapist for most of his life. Throughout the conversation, it becomes clear that the psychotherapeutic approach that Thomas grounds himself in is not typical of modern psychology. What he seeks is to broaden how each of us views our lived experience. His approach is one that works to expand how each of us imagines our psychological experience. Thomas speaks less from the perspective that many of us have come to expect from a modern psychotherapist, as he draws more from the wells of philosophy and religion. From his perspective, the psychotherapist is tending to the nature of soul. In modern psychological approaches, the movements of our psychological, social, spiritual, and biological selves are often reduced to pathologies. One consequence: we each may interpret our inner experience in a negative and undesirable way, as opposed to relating with those parts of ourselves in a deeper and more imaginative way. Tending to the soul is a way of noticing that how we imagine our world and ourselves has enormous power in our lives. Therefore, Thomas seeks to help those with whom he works, reimagine themselves and their world.
Bio:
Thomas Moore is the author of the number one New York Times bestseller Care of the Soul. He has written twenty-four other books about bringing soul to personal life and culture, deepening spirituality, humanizing medicine, finding meaningful work, imagining sexuality with soul, and doing religion in a fresh way. In his youth, he was a Catholic monk and studied music composition. He has a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Syracuse University and was a university professor for a number of years. He is also a psychotherapist influenced mainly by C. G. Jung and James Hillman. In his work he brings together spirituality, mythology, depth psychology and the arts, emphasizing the importance of images and imagination. He often travels and lectures, hoping to help create a more soulful society. His family members are also deeply involved in spiritual approaches to the arts: His wife, Hari Kirin, is an accomplished painter and teaches a course she has created on Yoga and Art; his daughter Ajeet is a musician and recording artist and spiritual teacher; his stepson Abraham is an architect focusing on design related to the social aspects of building. Thomas also writes fiction, arranges music and plays golf in New Hampshire, where he has lived for twenty years.

http://thomasmooresoul.com
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http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the Week: www.ianmoore.com

Music Page: https://music.apple.com/us/album/ian-moores-got-the-green-grass/119833547
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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Dec 04 2019

1hr 42mins

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49: Spirituality and Health. A conversation with Stuart Nelson.

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What happens when people are provided a place and the space to ask questions about their lives that, up until that point, they assumed could not be explored? Maybe nothing, or perhaps life takes on new meaning. When have you been able to question the meaning systems of your life freely, that each tends to possess enormous influence, but that also may have been adopted from others close to you? As a child, Stuart moved all over the world, encountering new experiences and foreign territory, which positions him to have a unique lens through which to see everyday experience. On some level, these early experiences guided him into graduate studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, under the renowned Dr. Anne Taves, for his studies in religion and cognitive sciences. There, and under her guidance, he began to integrate different academic systems and philosophies of thought, further broadening and strengthening his pursuit of the mysterious and meaningful.
Stuart Nelson is the vice president of The Institute for Spirituality and Health (ISH), a nonprofit located in the medical center of Houston. The mission of I.S.H. is to explore the various gaps between spirituality, religious practice, health, and healing. Stuart mines multiple theories and methods found primarily within the humanities with the belief that these theories reveal immense, untapped value for the health care industry, business practices, legal concerns, nonprofits, and other professional settings.
Bio:
Stuart Nelson has served as the Institute for Spirituality and Health’s Vice-President for the past six years. In this capacity, he uses his training in both the sciences and the humanities to creatively organize and execute a broad range of programs and services, as well as to help manage the Institute's long term vision, strategic plan, and general operations.

Stuart grew up in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, attending international schools until college. He earned bachelor's degrees in cognitive science, religious studies, and psychology from Rice University. During this time, he realized that the scholarly study of religion has tremendous potential to inform and compliment health systems. He completed a masters in religious studies at UC Santa Barbara, where he used theories and methods from cognitive science of religion to inform work at the intersection between religious identity and mental health. This passion extends to his current work.
Stuart enjoys hip-hop, classic rock, and classical Indian music, as well as impressionism, surrealism, and modern art. Additionally, he is an avid birder.
https://www.spiritualityandhealth.org
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the Week: Sound Team
Music Page:
https://music.apple.com/us/album/movie-monster/715976598
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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Nov 13 2019

1hr 37mins

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48: The Prophet’s Daughter. A conversation with Erin Prophet.

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Erin Prophet, MPH, Ph.D., is an author and scholar who studies religious experience and narratives of self-improvement and transcendence. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Florida where she teaches about cults and new religious movements, nature and the environment, and spirituality and health. In this conversation, we explore the nature of belief, charismatic authority, reincarnation, religious studies and most importantly, how her unique childhood and development influences her studies of religion and health. Erin’s parents were the leaders of a new religious group whose practices were based in esoteric religious practices. The members of the Church Universal and Triumphant would eventually take the prophecy of a nuclear strike that Erin’s mother, Elizabeth Clarie Prophet, divinized from “the masters” – those mystical soul’s and leaders who, it was believed, had something to say about the way that they were living their lives.
Bio:
Erin Prophet is a scholar of religion with interests in alternative spirituality and medicine. She has a master’s degree in public health (epidemiology concentration) from Boston University and received her PhD from Rice University in May 2018. Her master's practicum looked at characteristics of long-term survival in non-small cell lung cancer. Her dissertation examines the nineteenth-century appropriation of “evolution” as a form of personal improvement and self-transcendence. It is entitled “Evolution Esotericized: Conceptual Blending and the Emergence of Secular, Therapeutic Salvation.” She is currently a lecturer in religion, nature and health at the University of Florida.

http://www.eprophet.info
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the Week: Mills and Co.
Music Page:
https://music.apple.com/us/album/dont-ever-look-back-twice/501579556
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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https://www.instagram.com/thesacredspeaks/
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Oct 03 2019

1hr 36mins

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47: Music and Spirit. A conversation with Patrick Summers.

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Music offers one of the most potent spiritual metaphors that exists, and Patrick Summers, the artistic and music director of the Houston Grand Opera, has plenty to say about the subject of spirituality and music. He positions the operatic voice as the expression of a unique sonic vocal print that vibrates atoms between the singer and the listener’s ears. In his book, The Spirit of This Place: How Music Illuminates the Human Spirit, he writes, “But precisely because music is both an intellectual and an aesthetic pursuit, it is the perfect metaphor for how I believe one must live: with vast respect for provable knowledge and genuine expertise, but never at the expense of the deep joy and wonder of that knowledge, using what can be learned to marvel at what can never be explained” (2018, p. 147). The science and theory of music notes that an E flat played anywhere at any time in the world is still an E flat, but the infinite ways in which this note can be contextualized and performed open the notes, timbre, rhythm, beat, and melody to communicate that which cannot be reduced to the former collection of sounds and spaces. Patrick is a champion for struggling against the dominance of our culture’s tendency to force art and aesthetic practices into a transactional container. As it would appear that the only justification for an arts program today is the capacity to measure the ways in which art increases math skills, which it does; but I would argue that nobody brought to tears listening to a piece of music or by reading a beautiful poem considers the utility of the quadratic formula in that moment. We discuss the fact that while the arts in education may not teach a person how to get a job, they may, and often do, help a person discover who they are and how to be in the world.

Summers graduated from the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in music in 1986. Upon graduation, he participated in the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program as an apprentice coach in 1986 and 1987, and won the Otto Guth Memorial Award for excellence in vocal coaching both years. Summers’ first professional engagement, with San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theater, was conducting La bohème in their 1986/87 season. In 1989, Summers began his tenure as the music director of the San Francisco Opera Center, a training program for young singers; his first mainstage production, Die Fledermaus, was in 1990. In 1998, Summers was made Music Director of Houston Grand Opera, a position he has held since. 1998 also saw Summers’ Metropolitan Opera conducting debut in Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. As Music Director of Houston Grand Opera, Summers oversaw the foundation and development of the HGO Orchestra. Prior to the orchestra’s foundation, HGO hired outside orchestras for its productions. Since 1998, Summers has conducted over 50 productions at Houston Grand Opera, including seven world premieres (notably Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree in 2000). In 2011, following Anthony Freud’s move to Chicago Lyric Opera, Summers was named Houston Grand Opera’s Artistic and Music Director.
In 2002, he won a Grammy Award for his audio recording Bel Canto, with soprano Renée Fleming and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Summers's book The Spirit of This Place: How Music Illuminates the Human Spirit released in 2018 from University of Chicago Press.

https://www.houstongrandopera.org
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the Week: Renee Fleming and Patrick Summers, Bel Canto
Music Page:
https://music.apple.com/us/album/ren%C3%A9e-fleming-bel-canto-scenes/1452542018
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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Sep 18 2019

1hr 23mins

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46: Culture and religious practice. A conversation with Tanya Lurhmann.

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46: Culture and religious practice. A conversation with Tanya Lurhmann.
Dr. Lurhmann, professor and psychological anthropologist at Stanford University, begins our conversation defining the term culture. She answers the question: What are the patterns of culture that inform how we should think and behave, and what happens when our individuality and the culture are at odds? Dr. Lurhmann is interested in the power of the mind and how certain aspects of the imagination and one’s intentions inform their experience of the world. She posits that our emotions – the inner world of an individual – can influence the experience of the outer world. We discuss the underlying social and relational structures of various cultures and how these universal patterns reflect for all of us hidden and inner aspects of each of us. Dr. Lurhmann is interested in the power of our human experience. We explore her early work with witchcraft in England as an entry into her current work as presented in her book, When God Talks Back, wherein she engages an evangelical Christian community to understand their relationship with God. She notes that throughout the book, she is trying to figure out how Jesus becomes a relatable person for those practitioners who seek a personal relationship with the divine. We discuss the formation of modern Christianity in the west and explore the changing definition of the term belief – obviously, how we define this term has a massive influence on our modern notion of religion. One particular aspect of the evangelical community that Dr. Lurhmann is interested in is the practice of prayer as an active experience, wherein the individual acts “as if” God is present – this has reportable and noticeable consequences for the individual and the community at large.
Bio:
Tanya Marie Luhrmann is the Watkins University Professor in the Stanford Anthropology Department, with a courtesy appointment in Psychology. Her work focuses on the edge of experience: on voices, visions, the world of the supernatural and the world of psychosis. She has done ethnography on the streets of Chicago with homeless and psychotic women, and worked with people who hear voices in Chennai, Accra and the South Bay. She has also done fieldwork with evangelical Christians who seek to hear God speak back, with Zoroastrians who set out to create a more mystical faith, and with people who practice magic. She uses a combination of ethnographic and experimental methods to understand the phenomenology of unusual sensory experiences, the way they are shaped by ideas about minds and persons, and what we can learn from this social shaping that can help us to help those whose voices are distressing.

She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003 and received a John Guggenheim Fellowship award in 2007. When God Talks Back was named a NYT Notable Book of the Year and a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year, and received the 2014 Grawemeyer Award for Religion, a prize that carries $100,000. She has published over thirty OpEds in The New York Times, and her work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, Science News, and many other publications. Her new book, Our Most Troubling Madness: Schizophrenia and Culture, was published by the University of California Press in October 2016.
Stanford profile:
https://profiles.stanford.edu/tanya-luhrmann https://news.stanford.edu/2014/07/16/voices-culture-luhrmann-071614/
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the Week: Polydogs
Music Page:
https://music.apple.com/us/album/polydogs/1457744929
Website:
http://polydogstx.com
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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Aug 21 2019

1hr 8mins

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45: Poetry and Power. A conversation with Deborah “D.E.E.P.” Mouton.

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Deborah holds the honorable position as the poet laureate of Houston nominated by Mayor Sylvester Turner, and her presence is known any time she is around. This conversation explores aspects of her background that are necessary threads to the formation of her current self. Her poetry ranges from the profoundly contemplative to the deeply expressive – an evocative and challenging pairing for both herself and anyone who listens. She addresses themes of race, blackness, womanhood, black-womanhood, power, culture, development, and the like with a presence ranging from the emotionally vulnerable to the humorous. Her sharp wit is the wrapping that often delivers difficult conversations, and she demonstrates a way to wrestle with words and ideas that draw in any onlooker. This conversation will make you reflect. Deborah asks us all to celebrate our differences, reflect on our struggles, contemplate our existence in both private and social spaces, and connect, deeply, with each other.
Bio:
Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton an internationally known Poet, Singer, Actress, Photographer, Wife, Mother, and the first Black, Poet Laureate for the City of Houston. Heralded as a "Literary Genius" by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, this California native was formerly ranked the #2 Best Female Poet in the World. D.E.E.P. has established herself as a notable force in the Performance and Literary World.
She published her first collection of poetry at the tender age of 19. From there, she went onto compete at CUPSI as a member of the 2004 University of Michigan Slam Team while simultaneously touring with the WordWorks Poetry Troupe across the Midwest.
She released her first full-length album in 2009 titled "The Unfinished Work of a Genius". It is a collection of original songs and poems that explore ideas around spirituality and personal growth. Her sophomore album, "Beautiful Rebellion" is available now. It explores more socially themed poems. She has been featured on BBC, NPR, Upworthy, Blavity, Tedx, Button Poetry, Write About Now, and the opening video of the 2017-2018 Houston Rockets Season. Her collaboration with the Houston Ballet celebrated Houston's resilience and provided hope for the City after Hurricane Harvey.
She has also shared stages with Nikki Giovanni, Talib Kweli, MC Lyte, Amiri Baraka, John Legend, Slick Rick, Slum Village, Karen Clark-Shield, Raheem Devaughn, Trae Tha Truth, Devin the Dude, Def Poet Sunni Patterson, Def Comedy Jam's Rodman, Regie Gibson, Buddy Wakefield, Danez Smith, Roxane Gay, and multiple local and national political figures.
Her newest collection, Newsworthy, examines incidents with police brutality and the Black body and how the media chooses to report them. Her up and coming projects include an opera, Marian's Song, in collaboration with The Houston Grand Opera, and a regional tour as part of the Texas Commission on the Arts touring roster. She currently serves as the Senior Editor of Relationships for Raising Mothers Magazine.
Deborah Mouton website:
https://www.livelifedeep.com
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the Week: DJ Shadow featuring De La Soul
Music Page:
https://music.apple.com/us/album/rocket-fuel-feat-de-la-soul/1472791626?i=1472791631
Website:
https://djshadow.com
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/thesacredspeaks/
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Jul 31 2019

1hr 38mins

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44: Creativity through Music. A conversation with Justin Stewart.

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A week or so before recording this conversation I asked Justin if he would lead a poetry workshop during the conversation. In a few words, what came out was raw and real. Justin is one of the better songwriters I know, not only because of his gift with language, but also because he approaches the craft with reverence and respect. He seeks to deepen his practice with each pass and he has a gift of a sharp wit that I find myself enjoying through each of our exchanges. “What better person to speak to the craft of creativity?” was my thought, and I was right. This episode explores the craft of poetry, songwriting and performing. The conversation invites welcomed interruptions in the form of Justin’s songs. In fact, in preparation for this episode, Justin wrote the first part of a song that he work shopped throughout the conversation – the episode finishes with the complete song that Justin shared with me a few weeks after the recording. Justin shares personal stories with a degree of vulnerability that, no doubt, infuses his whole process.
Bio:
Texas born, and Austin-based, Justin Stewart tends to write about the places he inhabits. He grew up splitting his time between Houston and Galveston Island. Family vacations were not to Colorado like many Texans, but to the more "modest" Austin, which his mother liked best because “the air and water were cleaner.” From an early age, Justin knew he would never leave Texas and likely land in Austin.
Stewart's first solo record, Flagship (2013) was produced by Kevin Russell (Shinyribs/Gourds). A bit of intimidating praise came Stewart's way when Russell called the record "remarkable or extraordinary," Stewart's response: "That kinda scared me because I did not have my process down to maintain such vulnerability."
Stewart's sophomore album, City Fox (2015) was produced by George Reiff (Joe Walsh, Jacob Dylan, Chris Robinson), and is the gem that came from a 2014 west Texas residency. Stewart lived and wrote in the dusty border town of Presidio.
Stewart's third record, Renaissance was produced by Stephen Belans (Radney Foster, Billy Cassis). Players include Bukka Allen on keys (Ryan Bingham, Jack Ingram), Chris Searles on drums (Alejandro Escovedo, Shawn Colvin), Geoff Queen on guitars and pedal steel (Kelly Willis, Randy Rodgers), and John Mike on bass (Hayes Carll, Ray Wylie Hubbard). The February 2017 session was held at Ronjo Studio. Jim Vollentine was on engineering. The record was released in the spring of 2018.
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the week: Justin Stewart
Music Page:
https://music.apple.com/us/artist/justin-stewart/1464710413
Website:
https://www.justinstewartmusic.com
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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Jun 20 2019

2hr 12mins

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43: Emotions of Math. A conversation with Mauro Ferrari.

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Dr. Ferrari, one of the trailblazers of nanotechnology, the current President Designate of the European Research Council of the E.U., and the recently retired President and CEO of Houston Methodist Research Institute begins by explaining how he views math as a creative art. He maps theorem and proof onto the creative endeavor and posits that in the same way that the artist envisions the work, a mathematician envisions or intuits the theorem and then has to discover how to get there. He argues that this process of intuition provides the map, and the proof is the, potentially, frustrating process of bringing the inner world into the outer world. Dr. Ferrari, a medical doctor and engineer speaks of concepts such as awe, infinity, creativity, intuition, and dreams. This conversation explores what Dr. Ferrari identifies as the three phases of his life – his training and early history, the many academic languages that he speaks, the descent into personal chaos, and how dark moments such as these paved the way for him to seek to join in the fight for humanity as we seek to end the power that cancer has had over our lives.
Bio:
Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D. – Biosketch (Updated June 2, 2019)
Current Positions (Selected): President Designate, European Research Council of the European Union (primary funding agency for research in the 28 member Countries of EU); Director, Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARWR); Executive Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Community Partnerships, and Professor, University of St. Thomas; Advisor, Houston Methodist Hospital and Research Institute.
Education: Mathematics (Padova, Italy, 1985, Dottore); Mechanical Engineering (University of California Berkeley, 1987, MS and 1989, PhD); Medicine (Ohio State University, 2002-2003, no degree); Business Administration (Wharton, 2016, Harvard Business School, 2017, no degree).
Professional History (Selected): 1988-1990 Universita’ di Udine, Italy (Ricercatore, Assistant Professor Civil Engineering); 1991-1998 University of California Berkeley (Assistant and Associate Professor with tenure, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Bioengineering); 1998-2006 The Ohio State University (Full Professor with tenure and endowed chair, Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Internal Medicine, Director of Biomedical Engineering, Associate Director Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, Associate Vice President Health Science Technology Commercialization); 2003-2005 National Cancer Institute (Special Expert on Nanomedicine and Advisor to Director, concurrent with OSU); 2006-2010 University of Texas Medical School Houston, and MD Anderson Cancer Center (Full Professor with tenure and endowed chair, Internal Medicine, Experimental Therapeutics, Biomedical Engineering and Nanomedicine); 2010-2019 Houston Methodist Hospital (HMH) and Research Institute (HMRI) (Full professor with presidential endowed chair, President and CEO of HMRI, Executive Vice President of HMH, Chief Commercialization Officer).
Publications: About 500 publications in leading archival journals, including 27 primary papers, reviews, and features in Nature journals (4 covers). Bibliometrics as of February 6, 2019: 57471 citations, h-index = 107, i10-index = 836 (Google Scholar); 21699 citations, h-index = 69 (SCOPUS); 22546 citations, h-index = 72 (ISI Web of Science).

Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the week: Alan
Album: Alan, the Universal answer is both
https://music.apple.com/us/album/alan-the-universal-answer-is-both/425467149
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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Jun 05 2019

1hr 18mins

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42: Reinventing the Sacred. A conversation with Stuart Kauffman.

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Dr. Kauffman, theoretical biologist, complex systems researcher, author of six books and numerous papers, begins the conversation recalling the ancient world and how the original split between the religions and the sciences influences the struggles and projections between the sciences and the arts/humanities today. Stuart begins this by providing scientific reasons why the possibilities of the world and our evolution are indefinite and anything that comes next in this evolution cannot be prestated – and he offers fascinating insight as to why this makes sense. He makes the case that any attempt to find a theory of everything or a final theory is false. Therefore, he connects this with the argument that reductionism, from an evolutionary perspective, fails – including Newton’s laws. Next, we move into how philosophers, beginning with Descartes’ notion of substance dualism, have made sense of reality, from Stuart’s perspective, dual nature – mind stuff and matter stuff. Here we use dual-aspect theory to begin to bring together the split that has permeated philosophy, religion, science, and even human biology, thus starting what we call today “the mind-body problem” – how mind stuff and matter stuff can interact. Dr. Kauffman suggests a new, quantum answer for this mind/body problem in a paper he titles, Beyond the Stalemate: Conscious Mind-Body - Quantum Mechanics - Free Will - Possible Panpsychism - Possible Interpretation of Quantum Enigma. He explains what is meant by the term “quantum mind” and its relationship to private experience termed “qualia.” Stuart posits that his definition for the term “god” is not the creator of the universe but creativity as a force and infinite pattern of the universe.
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=stuart+kauffman&i=stripbooks&crid=LSORSEFY7Z9N&sprefix=stuart+kau%2Caps%2C388&ref=nb_sb_ss_c_2_10

Books by Dr. Stuart Kauffman
YouTube links: “The Shape of History” Evolution of Human Culture and Technology
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9Mn1bppV7U
A Simple Combinatorial Model of Economic History
Papers: Res potentia and Res extensa, non-locality - Taking Heisenberg’s Potentia Seriously
https://arxiv.org/abs/1811.04502
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the week: Bob Schneider
Music page: http://www.bobschneider.com
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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May 22 2019

1hr 52mins

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41: Holy Envy. A conversation with Barbara Brown Taylor.

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In this episode, Episcopal priest, Barbara Brown Taylor, and John explore the ideas that she has been working through in her books Learning to Walk in the Dark (2015) and Holy Envy (2019). She eloquently guides the listener through many of the hurdles that one encounters when grounding one’s self in a particular religious tradition. She encourages all of us to not only look on the other side of the fence over at another tradition but to experience the freedom one may acquire once we open ourselves to the other and see our own worldviews anew. Barbara has a gentle ability to challenges one’s assumptions about the world and her books provide a pathway to learn how to love more and also how to connect with and challenge those aspects of each of us that we often choose not to see.
Bio:
Barbara Brown Taylor is a best-selling author, teacher, and Episcopal priest. Her first memoir, Leaving Church, won an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association in 2006. Her next two books, An Altar in the World (2010) and Learning to Walk in the Dark (2015), earned places on the New York Times bestseller list. She has served on the faculties of Piedmont College, Columbia Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology at Emory University, McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, and the Certificate in Theological Studies program at Arrendale State Prison for Women in Alto, Georgia. In 2014 TIME included her on its annual list of Most Influential People; in 2015 she was named Georgia Woman of the Year; in 2016 she received the President’s Medal at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Her fourteenth book, Holy Envy, was released by HarperOne in March 2019.
https://barbarabrowntaylor.com
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the week: Patrice Pike
Music page: https://www.patricepike.com
Learn more about this project at:
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May 08 2019

1hr 29mins

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40: Moving through the dark night of the soul. A conversation with Juanita Rasmus.

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Pastor Juanita Rasmus recounts a life of service to others and then the reality that no one is free from being drawn into a fight for their life. This fight felt more like a decent which landed in a depressive episode that she describes in great detail. Juanita recounts how she was able to both emerge from the depths and work to make sense of how her mind and body could have been so completely taken over by this decent. She could not laugh, get out of bed, or take care of herself, and while she had already been leading the life of someone who had committed her life to help those in need, this reality has provided her with a life-changing orientation. She was learning to take care of her soul. After laying out her personal experiences through this conversation, she begins to explain some of the contemplative practices that have clarified her thinking and have become reflections of her heart. Following Pastor Juanita's move through her depression, she became more connected with her environment and the act of contemplation as a means by which she can engage in a more profound and more mystical presence with her life and God. She discusses the mystical teaching of Jesus and also a few black mystics that have been omitted from the general history of Christianity.
Bio:
Juanita Rasmus is a pastor, Spiritual Director, and contemplative with a passion for outreach to our world’s most impoverished citizens. Pastor Juanita co-pastors the St. John’s United Methodist Church located in Downtown Houston with her husband Rudy. In 2009, Juanita was diagnosed with kidney cancer, but she wasn’t afraid. Instead, she waited to see what lesson the disease would bring.

Years later Juanita and Rudy have continued their mission of bringing life to those who struggle on a daily basis and they created a nonprofit called The Bread of Life which has changed the landscape of Downtown Houston providing an array of services to families in peril and homeless individuals. The project also distributes over 9 tons of fresh produce weekly to hungry families. The project has been on the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, providing solutions to food insufficiency, housing the homeless, and disaster relief. Today, with a focus on social impact investing, the Bread of Life owns and operates Eco Life Employment LLC, a digital employment and staffing agency for men and women with troubled past lives and the Amazing KMAZ 102.5fm radio station

Thanks to generous support from a collaboration of government agencies and a significant donation from Tina, Beyoncé, and Solange Knowles the St. John’s Downtown campus includes the Knowles-Temenos Apartments, a 43-unit Single Room Occupancy development designed to provide permanent living accommodations for formerly homeless women and men. Temenos CDC portfolio also includes an 80-unit apartment community to meet the growing need for permanent supportive housing for the previously homeless in Houston, Texas and a 15-unit apartment project for chronic inebriates and the most vulnerable homeless individuals in the Houston community. Eighteen years ago Kelly Rowland teamed up with Beyoncé and Tina Knowles to build the Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth where community empowerment activities for the young and old take place every week. The facility is currently serving as the base of operations for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

https://www.stjohnsdowntown.org https://breadoflifeinc.org

Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the week: Todd Pipes
Music page: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/todd-pipes/26246004
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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Apr 10 2019

2hr 17mins

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39: Metamodernism, popular culture, mysticism, & Russell Brand. A conversation with Linda Ceriello.

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This podcast episode explores how one mystical experience can bring an individual to question the nature of reality enough so that they devote their life to answering questions that often time seem unanswerable: What is the nature of reality? What is a self? What is identity? Also, how do people approach their lives after they have an experience that challenges the way they see the world; yet because that same experience seems so outside of their cultural norms, they keep it to themselves? Although with that said, Dr. Linda Ceriello began to notice that at the turn of the millennium many more people seemed free to start a public discussion about these radical personal experiences that seem to shatter and destabilize one’s worldview. We discuss the millennials and the plural generations as challenging the boundaries of these cultural identities, and how these younger generations are dealing with the grand narratives, they have been provided — the birth of the “spiritual but not religious” movement. We explore the differences between modernism, postmodernism, and the development of what some call metamodern; popular culture and the various depictions of mystical narratives; and she examines how Russell Brand has become such a significant figure in popular culture, fulfilling roles ranging from social advocate to spiritual teacher, and comedian. Bio:
Linda Ceriello is a scholar of religions, specializing in Asian religions in America, mystical experience, contemplative studies, and critical theory of popular culture. She recently received her Ph.D. in Religion from Rice University, and also has a Master's degree in Education from Antioch University Seattle. Some of her favorite lecture topics include awe and wonder, the history of yoga, metamodern monsters, and the gnostic attributes of transgressive comedy. Publications include “Encoded Ambiguities, Embodied Ontologies: The Transformative Speech of Transgressive Female Figures in Gnosticism and Tantra” in (European Journal of Esotericism) La Rosa di Paracelso, and the forthcoming chapters, “Toward a Metamodern Reading of Spiritual-but-Not-Religious Mysticisms” in Being Spiritual But Not Religious: Past, Present, Future(s), and “"The Big Bad and the Big “Aha!”: Metamodern Monsters as Transformational Figures of Instability" in Holy Monsters, Sacred Grotesques: Monstrosity and Religion in Europe and the U.S. She is co-founder and editor, with Greg Dember, of the website, What Is Metamodern? www.whatismetamodern.com.
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the week: Greg Dember
Music page: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/greg-dember/292921755
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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Mar 27 2019

1hr 44mins

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38: The Flip. A conversation with Jeffrey J. Kripal

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This podcast episode explores the stories that help us understand our reality, our place in that reality, and how humans both cling to and challenge these same stories. Jeffrey Kripal has been a keeper of many extraordinary stories, and as a professor of religion, he is positioned to question the stories that we believe serve us, but the reality is that we often serve the story. This conversation is anchored in Dr. Kripal’s newest book, The Flip, wherein he challenges many of the assumptions of materialist science and posits that the sciences are not wrong, but that they are incomplete and therefore we need a change in our worldview. His arguments are well articulated and well informed by many scientists, including neuroscientists and physicists, who have, as a result of their research into reality, moved away from the materialist worldview into an approach to reality that chips away at many of the assumptions in which many of us have been educated – for example, the fact that we don’t really know what matter and consciousness are in the first place. Really.
From Jeff’s book:
A “flip,” writes Jeffrey J. Kripal, is “a reversal of perspective,””a new real,” often born of an extreme, life-changing experience. The Flip is Kripal’s ambitious, visionary program for unifying the sciences and the humanities to expand our minds, open our hearts, and negotiate a peaceful resolution to the culture wars. Combining accounts of rationalists’ spiritual awakenings and consciousness explorations by philosophers, neuroscientists, and mystics within a framework of history of science and religion, Kripal compellingly signals a path to mending our fractured world.
Bio:
Jeffrey J. Kripal holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University, where he chaired the Department of Religion for eight years and helped create the GEM Program, a doctoral concentration in the study of Gnosticism, Esotericism, and Mysticism that is the largest program of its kind in the world. He is the Associate Director of the Center for Theory and Research at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, where he also serves as Chair of the Board. Jeff is the author of numerous books, seven of which are with The University of Chicago Press, including, most recently a memoir-manifesto entitled Secret Body: Erotic and Esoteric Currents in the History of Religions(Chicago, 2017). He has also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Macmillan Handbook Series on Religion (ten volumes, 2015-2016). He specializes in the study of extreme religious states and the re-visioning of a New Comparativism, particularly as both involve putting “the impossible” back on the academic table again. He is presently working on a three-volume study of paranormal currents in the history of religions and the sciences for The University of Chicago Press, collectively entitled The Super Story.
http://jeffreyjkripal.com
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the week: Chomsky
Music page:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/chomsky/5662475
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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Mar 13 2019

1hr 39mins

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37: The Mind-Body Problems. A Conversation with John Horgan.

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The title of the John Horgan’s book, The Mind-Body Problems, with the addition of the “s”articulates the core of the mind-body problem – that it is plural. John Horgan is not content with one story that solves for the myriad problems we humans encounter when we explore reality and hunt to discover who we are and what matters most. John has been a scientific journalist for over 35 years and as someone who is paid to be curious he has commented on, written about, queried, and learned about some of the most ubiquitous and obscure scientific theories and discoveries science and human thought have brought to the foreground.
Bio:
John Horgan is a science journalist and Director of the Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey. A former senior writer at Scientific American (1986-1997), he has also written for The New York Times, National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Slate and other publications. He writes the "Cross-check" blog for Scientific American and produces "Mind-Body Problems" for the online talk show Bloggingheads.tv. He tweets as @horganism.
Horgan's most recent book, Mind-Body Problems: Science, Subjectivity and Who We Really Are, takes a radical new approach to the deepest and oldest of all mysteries, the mind-body problem. Published in September 2018, it is available for free online at mindbodyproblems.com, for $5 as an Amazon e-book and for $15 as a paperback.
Horgan's first book was The End of Science: Facing the Limits of Science in the Twilight of the Scientific Age, which was republished with a new preface in 2015 by Basic Books. Originally published in 1996, it became a U.S. bestseller and was translated into 13 languages.
Horgan's other books include The Undiscovered Mind: How the Human Brain Defies Replication, Medication, and Explanation, 1999, translated into eight languages; Rational Mysticism: Spirituality Meets Science in the Search for Enlightenment, 2003, which The New York Times called "marvelous" (see outtakes from the book posted on this site); and The End of War, published in paperback in 2014, which novelist Nicholson Baker described as "thoughtful, unflappable, closely argued."
Horgan's publications have received international coverage. He has been interviewed hundreds of times for print, radio, and television media, including The Lehrer News Hour, Charlie Rose, and National Public Radio's Science Friday. He has lectured at dozens of institutions in North America and Europe, including MIT, Caltech, Princeton, Dartmouth, McGill, the University of Amsterdam, and England's National Physical Laboratory.
His awards include the 2005 Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowship in Science and Religion; the American Psychiatric Association Certificate of Commendation for Outstanding Reporting on Psychiatric Issues (1997); the Science Journalism Award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1992 and 1994); and the National Association of Science Writers Science-in-Society Award (1993). His articles have been selected for the anthologies The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best American Science Writing.
Horgan was an associate editor at IEEE Spectrum, the journal of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, from 1983 to 1986. He received a B.A. in English from Columbia University's School of General Studies in 1982 and an M.S. from Columbia's School of Journalism in 1983.
http://www.johnhorgan.org https://meaningoflife.tv/programs/current/mind-body-problems https://mindbodyproblems.com
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Band of the week: The Deathray Davies
Music page:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/the-deathray-davies/6557498
Learn more about this project at:
http://www.thesacredspeaks.com
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Feb 27 2019

1hr 44mins

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36: The Gnostic New Age. A conversation with April DeConick.

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We begin this conversation with Dr. April DeConick’s first exposure to Gnostic literature when she was a young student, without any real idea of what it is she was going to do with her life. The question for her was, “Why are these Gnostic texts not included in the New Testament?” This question sent her on the path of discovery, as she devoured literature from near-eastern and biblical studies. Dr. DeConick's particular interests include those aspects of the religious traditions that fell through the cracks of social, religious, and spiritual norms, while despite this still maintain a considerable influence on the dominant traditions of our current religious worldview. This conversation explores subjects ranging from early Christianity to Gnostic, Mystic, and Shamanic thought, ritual, and literature. These early communities were in large part quite transgressive; therefore much of the conversation is oriented towards understanding the nature of culture, power, societies, and the various ways that people throughout time have made meaning of the mysterious nature of reality.
Bio:
April DeConick holds the Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professorship in New Testament and Early Christianity at Rice University, and is Chair of the Department of Religion. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1994 in the Department of Near Eastern Studies. Since then, she has studied, written and taught on a range of topics revolving around the silenced voices of religious people and the communities that were left behind or discarded when Christianity emerged in the first four centuries CE as a new religion. She is the co-founder and executive editor of a new academic journal called Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies published by a very prestigious publishing house in Europe. She founded and chaired for years the Mysticism, Esotericism and Gnosticism group in the Society of Biblical Literature and is now Chair of the Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism group. She is most noted for her writing on the Gospel of Judas when she challenged sensationalism generated by the National Geographic Society that wrongly claimed that Judas is a gnostic hero in this text and that his heroics would rewrite our understanding of early Christianity. Instead, her work shows that Judas remains demonic in the Gospel of Judas, just as he is in the New Testament gospels. Her work on this text was so instrumental that she appeared in CNN’s documentary on the Gospel of Judas that premiered in 2015 on the TV series "Finding Jesus". Her most recent book, The Gnostic New Age, has won an award from the Figure Foundation for the best book to be published by an university press in philosophy and religion. It is tradition that the Figure Foundation composes a koan for each book to receive this award and publishes it on the front page. The koan for The Gnostic New Age reads: “that square be squared”. If you have any insight into the meaning of this koan, she would love to hear it.
https://reli.rice.edu/people/faculty/april-deconick http://aprildeconick.com
Theme music provided by:
http://www.modernnationsmusic.com
Learn more about this project at:
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Feb 06 2019

1hr 39mins

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iTunes Ratings

25 Ratings
Average Ratings
23
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1
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One of the best but...

By Timothy Hull - Oct 12 2018
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This is seriously one of THE very best podcasts out there for Jungian thought, philosophy and deep spiritual questions however the interviewer insists on playing so much music (often rather jarring given the context of the interviews) and long rambling introductions that it’s almost 30 min before the actual interview begins. He seems to love music so much that it would be a better idea to have a separate podcast just for his personal music proclivities instead of indulging them within a context they don’t essentially belong. If you can skip through all that unnecessary introductory stuff, then you’ll find some extremely enlightening material.

Quique Autrey

By qautrey - May 16 2018
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This is a tremendous podcast! It explores complicated ideas in a winsome and digestable manner. I leave every episode intellectually stimulated, spiritually nourished and ethically inspired to act more consciously in the world. I am frequently dissapointed with the listening skills of very prominent podcasters. The content is often great, but I get the feeling that people are being talked "at" or constantly interrupted. John's training as a psychotherapist shines in every episode. He accomplishes the difficult feat of creating a space for the interviewee to speak without interruption while also strategically nudging the conversation along in ways that result in keeping the listener interested and wanting more. Check it out!