March 19, 2023


Discourse and Rigors of Analysis of Religious and Political Spectrums and Spirituality: Richard Wicka and Joel Talk

Hosted by

Joel David Lesses
Discourse and Rigors of Analysis of Religious and Political Spectrums and Spirituality: Richard Wicka and Joel Talk
Unraveling Religion
Discourse and Rigors of Analysis of Religious and Political Spectrums and Spirituality: Richard Wicka and Joel Talk

Mar 19 2023 | 01:01:23


Show Notes

On Richard Wicka's I Thou Video Series Richard and Joel, two old friends, talk and deconstruct meaning, trauma, and suffering and its relation to political and religous spectrums and systems of belief. Richard and Joel teach each about their perspectives in deeply honoring and respectful discourse, examining: nationalism, Hilter, neonazism, the liberal or left versus the right or conservative belief systems that influence the world, tolerance and love versus projecting one's suffering on to others. The spiritual aspect of reality and existence in relation to Trump and tendencies of liberal communities and people versus conservative communities and people. From Karl Marx to Capitalism, Joel and Richard look at a wide array of terrain to answer questions about the 'Why.' To view this talk on YouTube unedited, please click here. 


Richard Wicka is a Buffalo, N.Y.-based media artist and photographer and the proprietor of "The Home of the Future,"a media access center and production/recording studio based in his Kaisertown home. Wicka has been providing a forum for artists in all media, activists, and everyday citizens of his Western New York community since the mid-1970s. He provides interested parties with technical support, studio time, and production tools free of charge, encouraging them to express themselves in ways that mainstream culture has not historically sanctioned. With the advent of internet radio came ThinkTwice Radio in 2006, offering podcasts to anyone with a subject to discuss and the commitment to produce a regular show. Wicka attended the seminary as an adolescent, then pursued a BA in philosophy from the University at Buffalo. In 1976 he founded Buffalo Paralegal Services. His work has been screened at venues and on television stations around the world. Wicka is a past board president of Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. For more information on Richard Wicka, visit

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 You gotta say, start the clock. Speaker 1 00:00:02 Hey, Richard. Start the clock. That's so cool. Speaker 0 00:00:18 Welcome to the I Vow video series. It's been a while since I've done this. And today, Mr. Joe Essis is the, uh, guest on the series. And as you all know, the thing about the IAL video series is something that Joel and I were just discussing, the public self and the private self. And, uh, do you know where the phrase came from? Martin Speaker 1 00:00:50 Buber. Speaker 0 00:00:50 And you know what he meant by it? Speaker 1 00:00:52 He was talking about relationship Speaker 0 00:00:54 Specifically, too. Speaker 1 00:00:56 Well, an I vow, I think he was talking about I vow relationship in gds traditionally has been, um, the relationship with a, a creator, but it's also interpersonally between people. Speaker 0 00:01:10 Right? Yeah. Good, good, good, good way of explaining it. So Martin Buber noticed that the only time a lot of people pray is when they want something. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, meaning that their relationship to God is, what can you do for me? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So God is not a thou God is an it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, see, and Martin Buber were saying, what if your relationship to God was of a thou mm-hmm. <affirmative> not an it. Mm-hmm. Speaker 1 00:01:45 <affirmative>, would that change things for you? Speaker 0 00:01:49 What do you mean wood? Speaker 1 00:01:51 Do you perceive any entity greater than yourself as the creator of Speaker 0 00:01:58 This? I live in a world in which there are no supernatural forces. Speaker 1 00:02:03 I just corrected this on your chalkboard. I don't know if you saw that. Speaker 0 00:02:06 I didn't. Speaker 1 00:02:07 On Richard's chalkboard, he has that phrase. Um, I live in a world where there are no super national forces. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I crossed out the No. And I put only Speaker 2 00:02:17 <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:02:22 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:02:24 See, now what that tells me is that coming from a religious background, you could have added to the text on the bottom, but you censored the text instead, which is a typical, uh, that's very typical of the religious mindset. Hmm. Speaker 1 00:02:54 That's interesting that you would say that. Speaker 0 00:02:57 Do you know why the Christians were persecuted in Rome? Speaker 1 00:03:01 Why don't you tell me? Speaker 0 00:03:03 Well, first of all, the Romans, for a thousand years, they had peace when they ruled the world. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And every time they would conquer a new land, they had a a method. And that would be Speaker 1 00:03:20 A template. They had a Speaker 0 00:03:21 Template. A template. Very good. And that would be, oh, you have your own Gods. We got no problem with that. As a matter of fact, we have an entire area in the city of Rome devoted to temples. We're gonna give you your own temple, provided you follow the p Ramana, which means you do not say anything bad about the other temples. Mm. So the reason the Christians were persecuted is they said, number one, we don't want a temple. And two, they stood in front of the other temples and said, this God is, is fake. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Speaker 1 00:03:59 It's always interesting to me, Richard, that you, you, it's a difference between us, but I think that what you see as a sect or sectarianism, or an aspect of a collection of people under one name mm-hmm. <affirmative>, say Christians. Speaker 0 00:04:15 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:04:17 I see. As tendencies of human beings expressing themselves beyond the categories of identity or category. So there are many examples where that would be the case. This is one mm-hmm. <affirmative>, where there was Ill spoken, um, things about another group of people. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it happens all the time and many times in places all over the world. So you're taking this example and kind of like extracting, um, tendencies about a group Christians mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, and saying, this is inherent to Christians. But I think it's, it's something that needs to be examined more generally and broadly in people. Speaker 0 00:04:57 Well, I, I, I kind of agree with what you're saying. I would say that there is a left wing branch of Christianity and a right wing branch, Uhhuh <affirmative>. And what I'm doing is I'm criticizing the right wing branch. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I do the same thing with Israel. There's a left wing in Israel and a right wing, and I criticize the right wing mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And a lot of, a lot of, uh, people will hear me say this and they'll say, are you being anti-Semitic? I'll say No, cause I'm criticizing the right wing. Mm-hmm. Speaker 1 00:05:25 <affirmative>. Yeah, that makes sense. Speaker 0 00:05:29 True in Islam as well. Speaker 1 00:05:30 Absolutely. Speaker 0 00:05:31 Yeah. I mean, look how right wing the Taliban are. Speaker 1 00:05:34 Yep. So let's, why don't we, if we could, why don't we break down the difference in the continuum of the political spectrum, even from a religious groupings of like, it doesn't matter, but Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism mm-hmm. <affirmative> left and right. What, how do we define the tendencies of left versus right? Speaker 0 00:05:55 Well, the right is what I was just telling you. You, you stand in front of the other temples and denounce them as wrong. Speaker 1 00:06:01 What, why, Speaker 0 00:06:02 What? Or you, you cross out what I wrote and you put instead what you want. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, see? Yeah. That's an example of right wing thinking. Speaker 1 00:06:10 How, how, how is it related to right wing thinking? Speaker 0 00:06:15 Right Wing thinking is there's my way of seeing the world and every other way is wrong. Speaker 1 00:06:21 Yeah. That's interesting. So it's the other word that's used often with right wing is conservative. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's a conservative view. Speaker 0 00:06:30 Yep. I've heard them used interchangeably, Speaker 1 00:06:33 But aspects of right wing are also like nationalism, like seeing mm-hmm. <affirmative> your nation as preeminent in relation to others Speaker 0 00:06:43 Or your, uh, skin color Speaker 1 00:06:46 Or your skin color. Right. Speaker 0 00:06:47 You know, or your lifestyle. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:06:49 Are there, you know, it's interesting. Are there positive qualities of the right that you can think of? Speaker 0 00:06:55 No. Really. I can't. Speaker 1 00:06:57 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:06:58 I can't Because if they had positive qualities, I mean, <laugh>, I'm at a loss. Like, can you think of an example? Speaker 1 00:07:09 Well, I just think of like this notion of like, um, which has been very skewed, just frankly, very, very skewed in, in modern times in America. 2023. Yeah. Uh, with like the onset or, uh, emergence of Trump is a political force. Yeah. Um, it's, it's sort of like developed into a cult of, uh, personality. Yeah. Or people blindly follow what a figure talking head says Yes. As a truth. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, when it's not based, in fact, it's not based in reality, it's not based in what's beneficial. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So their identification with a person as they're seemingly, uh, holding them or holding their viewpoints or, or, or articulating for them, there's no rational basis for it. It's a total cult. Mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:08:01 <affirmative>. Speaker 1 00:08:01 But prior to the onset of Trump, I think that the idea of notion of sovereignty of the individual, um, in balance with community and country was something that the rights stood for. That I don't necessarily have a problem with. Um, Speaker 0 00:08:22 Say, say maybe in the days of William F. Buckley. Speaker 1 00:08:25 Uh, that, or just, yeah. Just generally the tendency, I think it, you know, both le left and right go through different iterations of evolution and devolution, devolving. And I think we're at a time now where the right is in, uh, just utter chaos. It's madness. It's insanity. Speaker 0 00:08:44 Interestingly, I was just reading today that when the last Republican convention was held Yeah. The president, yeah. One of the goals of the convention is to nominate, you know, put forth a nominee. But you know what the second goal of the convention is? What's that? Make a platform. Right. This is everything we stand for. Right. They did not make a Speaker 1 00:09:05 Platform. Yeah. That's, that does not surprise me because they don't know what they stand for. Yeah. Until, yeah. Until they have to react to some kind of, Speaker 0 00:09:12 Until they can say the other side is wrong, Speaker 1 00:09:14 Exa they don't know what they stand for until it's outlined by the opponent. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> what the opponent stands for, because they have no basis, no backbone, no spine mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I really feel like that just makes sense that that would happen, because Trump himself is, as far as I can tell, stands for nothing but his own self-promotion. Yeah. Aggrandizement. Yeah. Prophet, uh, uh, you know, his own name being known. Yeah. Or his own branding of himself. Yeah. Not even standing for anything, but his figured out this sort of like Hitler or cult like aspect of leading people, um, blindly that he thinks he can do whatever he wants. But the truth of the matter is that in human beings that may last for a little while, it is not sustainable. Speaker 0 00:10:05 Mm-hmm. Speaker 1 00:10:05 <affirmative>, it is not sustainable. Speaker 0 00:10:08 Uh, I came across an interesting thought experiment that I wanted to show it with you. All right. Tell me who in history said this? Speaker 1 00:10:19 Okay. Speaker 0 00:10:24 This is my notebook. Our country is now a cesspool of crime, like it's never been before. Savage criminals are being released on cashless bail to continue their violent rampages across the country. Entire communities are being torn to shreds with stabbing shootings, strangling rapes and murders. The streets of our Jewish run cities are drenched with the blood of innocent victims. Gun battles, rage between, uh, blood thirsty street gangs, bullets, tearing to crowds at random, killing wonderful little children that never had a chance. Our countries being in invaded just like a military force was pouring in. We need to take power back from the left wing communists who are indoctrinating our youth. We have to finally and completely smash the Jewish, uh, education establishment. Our current system is sick. Speaker 1 00:11:26 I don't think it matters who said that, because I think that that's a, that's a, that's a line of thinking that is all too pervasive in modern, the modern world, although it may be historical, that spirit is very much alive today, and it's very problematic, and it's perpetuated by things and people, um, things that Trump represents and things that Trump, uh, purports. Speaker 0 00:11:52 So what I did is that thing I just read to you is from Trump's speech in front of the, um, conservative political action conference. Yep. All right. But I took out the words Democrat, and I put the word Jewish. Yeah. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it sounds just like something Hitler would say. Totally. Speaker 1 00:12:11 Yeah. I mean, he's, Speaker 0 00:12:12 He was, which ties into what you were saying, Nazim, Trumpism, you know, similarities. Speaker 1 00:12:16 Well, it's, it's just, I mean, objectively stripped of the time and place element, the name of it. Yeah. It's nationalism. It's nationalism. What is nationalism? Yeah. Speaker 1 00:12:30 Nationalism is a kind of fundamentalism of country. It's a kind of like blind, uh, p uh, patriotic, patriotic fervor that is not identified in the roots of compassion and civil society, kindness and community. It's the antithesis of that. It's, it's power mongering, power grasping. Uh, it's, it's fear mongering. It's identification with one or several scapegoats or groups of people that are the problem. When really, you know, the, the fundamental thing about nationalists trump, uh, all sociopaths is that their wonderful projectors of what they want to do to others. So they say, oh, X group is do wants to do this, this, and this. Isn't that terrible? How does he know that it resides in his own self? Wow. And so he puts it out there. People don't see the connection. And some people follow that, and it creates violence within the community. But really that's his own agenda that he's speaking. When he projects that onto another group of people, Speaker 0 00:13:41 That would mean that when a preacher gets up and he talks about, uh, lustful sins in the hearts of the, of the, uh, congregation, the reason that he's saying that is cuz he has lustful sins in an heart. Speaker 1 00:13:55 I mean, that's a good bet. That's a good bet. <laugh>, you know, it's inter it's an interesting premise that you're, that you're putting forth. But I, I, I think that there are two ways to handle human condition and leadership for people spiritually that's don't do this or fostering what people really are in growing that nurturance, support, validation, um, potential like loving people and growing that into leadership of people instead of, um, giving them a, a set of things that they shouldn't do, X, y, and Z because they're sinful. Like, that may be true, but like, you're gonna get a lot further with the true growth of people when you express love over hate. Speaker 0 00:14:48 Uh, one of the, uh, principles of capitalism is that man by nature is greedy. Uhhuh Speaker 1 00:14:53 <affirmative>, Speaker 0 00:14:54 Uh, do you Speaker 1 00:14:55 Share where did, where did that come from? Speaker 0 00:14:57 Uh, that is part of the ideology that has evolved in capitalism. I don't know if you could say one person thought it up. Right. Oh, you mean where did it come from? Historically? Speaker 1 00:15:07 Yeah. Well, I'm just wondering, like, within this definition of capitalism is having that statement, do we know where that came from? Is it someone specifically said that? Or is this just a general statement that Speaker 0 00:15:20 I think it, it, it was extrapolated for Mme. Smith. Speaker 1 00:15:23 Okay. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:15:24 Which came out right around the time of the American Revolution. Yeah. Uh, but, uh, the counter-argument to that is by nature man is altruistic. Right. It's a socialist to you. Yeah. Which of those two views do you hold? Speaker 1 00:15:40 Well, it's interesting. I I always approach things from a, a cos lens, a Jewish mystical lens or just a mystical lens. It doesn't need to be Jewish. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and it's said in certain teachings and certain circles that the consideration for the, for the creation of this world in people in, in the earth, uh, there were three scenarios that were created, uh, by the creator. One was all light, so there'd be no struggle. The second was all darkness, chaos, discordian no way home. So what did the creator do? He blended the two, the darkness and light and left it for us to choose what we wanted for ourselves, how we wanted to express ourself in this time and place. So I would say that it's certainly is man, uh, greedy by nature. There's an aspect of that is man altruistic by nature. The deeper aspect is, is that, but I think it's confused. I think it's confused by many people. Um, people are in their confusion. They grasp at a kind of certainty, which conservationism the right tends to offer a concrete, this is the problem. XYZ group is the problem. We can solve this. So that certainty is immediate and it people gravitate and, and collect around that. But it certainly isn't based in reality. And it certainly isn't based in altruism community or who and what we really are as human beings. Speaker 0 00:17:19 As you go through life, do you see more signs of greed or more signs of altruism Speaker 1 00:17:25 Here now in this time and place? Speaker 0 00:17:27 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:17:28 Well, I think that there's a tendency in us to overlook all the, you know, what is kindness. Uh, we see it, there's a tremendous amount of kindness that's overlooked. We take it for granted. You know, stopping at a red light is a form of kindness instead of going through it. So, like, manif much more, there's much more kindness in altruism respect than there is, uh, greed and hatred. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think the greed and hatred grabs the headlines because obviously, uh, for whatever reasons it seems, uh, attention grabbing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Speaker 0 00:18:03 Uh, somebody came up with an app, and it's kind of a simple idea. Speaker 1 00:18:08 Uh, Speaker 0 00:18:10 If a person is blind, they have a tough time. When they go to the supermarket, I can't see anything. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, somebody thought of an app. If you're blind and you go to the supermarket and you have your cane and you have your phone, you turn on the app and you say, I'm looking for, uh, uh, vegetable soup. And then you point your, your camera at the shelf. Right now, somebody is on the other end of the app and they're saying, go a little lower. Go a little lower. Go a little lower. Okay. Now go to your right. Go to your right. There you have three different kinds of vegetable soup, Progresso, mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, Campbell's, you know, whatever. Yeah. Well, to make this app work, they needed volunteers who would devote a certain part of every day for free to just be on standby. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So when the blind person went into the supermarket and said, I want potato chips with no salt. Oh, there it is. To your left. To your left. So they put out a call. Does anybody want to donate their time for free to help with this app? In the very first day, over 225,000 people volunteered. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:19:31 Altruism. What does that tell you? What does that tell you about people beyond Al Altruism? Speaker 0 00:19:36 To me, it says altruism. I don't know about beyond. Speaker 1 00:19:39 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:19:40 You know, why? What, what other words would you use? Speaker 1 00:19:45 Well, what I think what I was going at was the sheer number of people. Yeah. That, that, it's the sheer number is that's substantial. Yeah. And it's, it's also, you said in the first day, did you say it in the first day? First day, yeah. That people are looking, looking for opportunities to give and they may not know how. Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:20:05 Very on. Uh, I came across an interesting, uh, auditory experiment. Did you, that I wanted to share with you. Yeah. It has to do with music, meaning and memory. Speaker 1 00:20:17 Okay. Speaker 0 00:20:19 And here is the, uh, here is the premise. Speaker 1 00:20:24 Okay. Speaker 0 00:20:26 Uh, a piano seven Octas. Speaker 1 00:20:33 Yep. Speaker 0 00:20:34 C Speaker 1 00:20:35 See, Speaker 0 00:20:35 See, see. Right. So the letter, the the note C mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Okay. Same thing with D, e, F. All right. Now, you, there are songs you can play just all in the same octave. Mm-hmm. Speaker 3 00:20:50 <affirmative>. Speaker 0 00:20:51 So somebody was working on, uh, uh, the brain and the, the way the brain, uh, reacts to notes, musical notes. And they thought of this idea, they said, let's take a song that you can play in one Octa. But instead of playing like, uh, e, e f, we'll play e e f mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I get it. And then out of the Octa. Yeah. So we'll hit an F, but it'll be the lower one. I get it. Or we'll hit the higher one. You know what I mean? Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And then we'll ask people, what song are we playing? Speaker 0 00:21:35 And they said, well, probably there will be people like Beethoven who could look at a piece of paper, which is why he could still write after he was deaf. And he could just look at the notes and he could hear the, the song. Right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because the meaning of the notes registered in his brain. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So what they did is they asked people from all walks of life, including a lot of people who worked in symphonies and played musical instruments and wrote music and stuff like that. What song are we playing here? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. All right. So they played this for them less than 1%. That's not distinguishable. Yeah. Of the people could make out what that song was. Right. A very common song that most people know because it was outside the Octa. Yeah. Yeah. So what they did is they said to these people, we are now gonna play that same thing we just played for you, but within the Octa Uhhuh. <affirmative>. Okay. Yeah. And so they played this, this is what it sounds like when you play it all in the same Octa. Speaker 4 00:22:58 Yeah. That's so obvious. Speaker 0 00:23:01 All right. So the experiment continued. Now that you know that we're gonna play you that first version again and tell us if you can hear it now. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So they played this again, 90% of all the people said, I can hear Yankee doodle. Speaker 0 00:23:32 Why could they hear it after? Right. But not before. Right? Yeah. And the people doing the experiments said, wow, this is heavy. This is really heavy here. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, let's ask the people from the philosophy department to comment on this. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the commentary was that when you find meaning in music, what you're really doing is you're associating the music with something in your memory. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So if the first time you heard Stairway to Heaven was when you were making out with a woman mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and then you found for the rest of your life, you like that song, which you're liking is the memory mm-hmm. <affirmative> that gives the meaning to the music. Sure. So, uh, it means that the philosophy, people said, well, what this, which, what this experiment is going to show is that the meaning is in our minds. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's not in the world. Mm-hmm. Speaker 1 00:24:38 <affirmative>. That's that. I, I fully, I that makes sense to me. That fully makes sense to me. Speaker 0 00:24:47 Now, use that, uh, uh, that understanding that I've just communicated to you, but apply it to religion. Speaker 1 00:25:02 Well, sure, sure. That just makes sense. So, just to break it down, what, what you're saying, Richard, is that there's a word in psychology called phenomenology, and you're familiar with it cuz we've used it Speaker 0 00:25:18 Before. Yeah. Except it has different meanings to different people. Speaker 1 00:25:20 So it does, what does phenomenology mean to you? Speaker 0 00:25:23 Uh, for me, phenomenology, let me see. A crowded elevator smells differently to a midget. Speaker 1 00:25:35 Yep. Speaker 0 00:25:37 Yep. You follow that? I Speaker 1 00:25:39 Do. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:25:39 Yeah. So in other words, uh, if someone were to say, describe the smell of an elevator, it would depend on how tall you were. So that means that you experienced the world through your circumstances. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that's the, that's how you form your picture of the world. That's my idea of phenomenology. Yeah. So what phenomenology in inac, uh, in, in effect is doing, is saying, uh, nobody knows what the world is really like, but everybody knows how their circumstances interpret the world. So let's talk about that. Speaker 1 00:26:20 Right, right. Because how perfect for I vow video series Speaker 0 00:26:24 <laugh>. Right. Speaker 1 00:26:25 It's I vow. Right. What is that? Right. It's relationship and it's relationship. How we relate our inner experiences to the outer world. But it's really fundamentally our inner experiences that dictate how we relate to the outer world. That makes sense to me. And your definition of phenomenology overlaps with mine. I think it's sort of the experience of like consciousness that we are consciousness with emotion and belief and thought, and the ability to act, but not the acting itself and not the words we speak, but the inner experience with contained within us of that rich inner life that we are is phenomenology to me as I understand it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:27:09 And, uh, and you brought this up for a reason. Has has something to do with the music? Speaker 1 00:27:13 No, we were talking Speaker 0 00:27:14 About Oh, with the memory? Speaker 1 00:27:15 Well, with religion. Speaker 0 00:27:16 Oh, with religion. Okay. Speaker 1 00:27:18 With with what your, your example of the, Speaker 0 00:27:23 Uh, the meaning of the music is internal. It's not in the music itself. Speaker 1 00:27:28 And then you said apply that to religion. Yeah. And so we're talking about phenomenology because really we're talking about left and right. This makes sense, right. Like, and so one of the things I just was on, um, I was just interviewed on, uh, next steps forward with Chris Meek. Yeah. And he was, uh, nine 11 and he wrote a book, he's a veteran. Uh, and he essentially explores leadership and resilience. And, um, it was very interesting because, uh, one of the things that I spoke about was this idea of the capacity of a soul. Right. Every soul and I, and I know we're gonna differ maybe, and do souls exist, but like a soul being, your consciousness is your soul. Okay. Okay. My consciousness is my soul. All right. The capacity of a consciousness or a soul to hold its obstacles to hold, its suffering when obstacle, and they will come for each of us, every one of us here will have obstacles, difficulty in suffering in this, on this, this earth. Speaker 1 00:28:30 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there are differing levels of capacity for individual consciousnesses or souls to hold their suffering. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the smaller the capacity to hold your suffering. Yeah. The greater the reaction externally toward violence, towards aggression. Hmm. Towards pain for others. Hmm. A a capacity of a soul that is large, that has a large capacity to hold its suffering and obstacles will hold that suffering and extract the meaning of those experiences and into a wisdom into the community. So that's sort of like, and if we wanna lean left and right, and I dunno if this is really so accurate, but Yeah. The left leans toward community and le leans toward understanding and forgiveness and compassion and helping one another. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> larger souls, smaller souls not so comfortable with their, their experiences and their suffering needing to make meaning out of it. How do they do that? They say it's that group there that group's the problem. Oh, okay. It's, maybe it's not me. I can't hold this, but like, that's the problem. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I can solve that by acting out against it. Hmm. Speaker 0 00:29:47 Are you familiar with some of the writings of Keir Kard? Speaker 1 00:29:49 Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:29:50 One of the things Speaker 1 00:29:51 That trembling the night of Infinite resignation. Very Speaker 0 00:29:54 Good. Very good. And one of the, one of the ideas that he proposed is that in every single person's life, there is a level of stress. Yeah. If you can tolerate your stress, you can say to yourself, I am happy. Oh yeah. And if you cannot handle your level of stress, you can say, I am in despair. I am, uh, depressed, I am suffering. Speaker 1 00:30:25 Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:30:26 But you notice one thing that's missing is people with zero stress in his worldview. And that makes a lot of sense to me. Cuz I've never met a person with zero stress. Have you? Speaker 1 00:30:36 It's, it doesn't exist because that, to be incarnate, you know, my view is that we're the interface of two things, Richard, where a timeless element that is eternal, but it's not eternal. It's, it's eternal. Has a time element of it. When you say eternal. Oh yeah. Yeah. It's beyond the dimension of time. It's beyond the dimension of space. It is formless and empty, limitless, without distinction or definition. Um, it is of itself free, it's freedom. And so we're, that, that's our soul, our consciousness. But we're in this meat sack, this rice bag, this container, this body. So we're, we're playing with this interplay of like, what is formless? And, and essentially at its core love, pure expression of love interface with the limits of the physical body and the physical reality. And so how we negotiate that is dependent upon many different factors and circumstances. Speaker 1 00:31:40 But essentially the primary determinant of our experience is how deeply do we overcome the obstacles that prevent us from serving. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, how deeply do we overcome this tightening and constriction of what we are into a, a barnacled experience where we, we think the world's the fucking problem. It's not me and I'm gonna change the world cause I'm gonna eliminate it. Mm. Versus accepting, accepting what is mm-hmm. <affirmative> and working with that as a part of a process and an experience which we can make sense out of. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the primary difference between conservative and liberal, or right wing and left wing, I feel mm-hmm. <affirmative> is that, is does this inherently work? Is this is a system, not a human system, but like existence, does it make sense? Or is it something that we need to shape in a way, um, that is dangerous to us? That's nationalism, that's hatred. That's, that's what you don't want. Speaker 0 00:32:49 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Speaker 1 00:32:52 Uh, Speaker 0 00:32:54 Carl Marx. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:32:57 Nice, nice. Jewish boy. Speaker 0 00:32:59 <laugh> said there are four things that one should do for good mental health. Speaker 1 00:33:06 What's that? Speaker 0 00:33:08 Number one, identify and overcome the barrier between you and nature. Speaker 1 00:33:14 Yep. I fully agree with that. Speaker 0 00:33:16 Number two. Yep. Identify and overcome the barrier between yourself and other people. Speaker 1 00:33:21 I fully agree with that too. But it must be, it must be in a way that is specific to each person and safe. So there, there are times where people do present dangers to us that we must honor Speaker 0 00:33:34 Number three. Yeah. Uh, identify and overcome the barrier that's preventing you from understanding the economic system. Speaker 1 00:33:42 Okay. I mean, to me that's a superficial request, but, okay. Speaker 0 00:33:48 Uh, well, you'd have to point out to me something that you do that isn't affected by the economic system. I I don't think you can. Oh, Speaker 1 00:33:55 Certainly I can. It's called breath. It's called smile. Speaker 0 00:33:58 Uh, tell the people in East Palestine, Ohio, that breath is not, is not affected by the economic system. They're breathing in fast. Gene gas from that train derailment. Speaker 1 00:34:10 Right. So, but it be beckon's a larger question. Is there a causative agent that in some greater vast, um, knowing authors this? Or is it just happenstance? If it's happenstance, then economics does affect that. But if it's authored, it's a part of a process, a larger narrative and a larger experience that we can correct it, we can learn from it. We can, there can be altruism to help address it. Like, so which is it? It's, everyone stands someplace different on that, you know? Speaker 0 00:34:50 Yeah. I know where I stand Speaker 1 00:34:51 On that. I know where you stand too. I think Speaker 0 00:34:53 <laugh>, so <laugh>, for example, we had a very bad snowstorm in our area, and a lot of people were stuck at different places. Right, right. Nice place to get stuck would be at a supermarket. Sure. And I know somebody who was Uhhuh Speaker 1 00:35:13 <affirmative>, Speaker 0 00:35:14 And the problem was the power went out mm-hmm. Speaker 1 00:35:18 <affirmative>, Speaker 0 00:35:19 And they were on a gas generator. And the, uh, storm kept going and going and going. And finally the manager of the store said, well, we don't have enough gas for indefinitely, and the generator's gonna con out, which means the freezers that contain the meat are gonna, and the meat will spoil. And if that happens, we're going to have to throw out all that meat. Mm-hmm. Speaker 1 00:35:54 <affirmative>, Speaker 0 00:35:55 And some of the people in the store said, that's a crazy idea. He said, why? He said, take the meat and put it outside. It's cold out there. You know, you don't even have to run the, the, the generator. You can turn the, you can turn the things off. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, and save power, you know, put 'em outside. You know what the manager said? Speaker 1 00:36:18 Hmm. Speaker 0 00:36:19 He said that every, he said the thing that the capitalist mindset taught him. Hmm. He said, we can't do that. We put that meat out there, people would steal it. Speaker 1 00:36:30 So let's throw it away. Speaker 0 00:36:31 That's the capitalist mindset, Speaker 1 00:36:33 Which is, I know many years ago, France instituted a law that it's forbidden. It's against the law to throw food away from grocery stores must be given, must be offered. That makes sense to me. Speaker 0 00:36:45 So that was the third thing. You have to overcome your, uh, identify and overcome your understanding of the economic system. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because it, it infiltrates all parts of your life. And you know what, the fourth one was something we discussed earlier. Hmm. Identify and overcome the barrier between your private self and your public Speaker 1 00:37:02 Self. Ah, that's where that comes from. Private self versus public self marks. Nice. Jewish boy. <laugh>, Speaker 0 00:37:12 What's your, what's your comment on identifying and overcoming the barrier between your private self and let's say we knew somebody who never wanted their picture taken because they had to get ready for their public self. You know, they had to look a certain way. Speaker 1 00:37:27 Well, we were talking about this before we started recording this. Yeah. And, and I was, I was like, I don't, I think that that's a superficial understanding of our human experience, because I think there's a necessity for a private self and a necessity for a public self. I mean, I just, I can't, you know, you don't, that's why we don't take a piss outdoors. Speaker 0 00:37:52 Uh, no. That wouldn't be an example of a private self and public self. Speaker 1 00:37:57 Uh, sure. It would be. Speaker 0 00:37:59 No, I mean, Speaker 1 00:38:04 That's an aspect of what you want to keep private. I mean, there's our, you know, you don't shower out, but Speaker 0 00:38:10 That's not a self though. That's an act. You know, private acts and public acts. Uh, Speaker 1 00:38:14 You tell me how you separate acts and self. Let's talk about Speaker 0 00:38:17 That. That's exactly, that's exactly the difference between acts and self. Speaker 1 00:38:21 What is that? Tell me what that is for you. The a the difference between acts and one self one's experience. Speaker 0 00:38:26 Okay. So, uh, the difference would be self is how you want to be perceived. Speaker 1 00:38:39 No, no, Speaker 0 00:38:40 No, no. See, Speaker 1 00:38:41 I I Speaker 0 00:38:42 Fully and acts as what you do. Speaker 1 00:38:44 I fully disagree with that. I mean, that what you're talking how you want to be perceived, that's ego. Speaker 0 00:38:50 Exactly. Speaker 1 00:38:51 But ego, that's Speaker 0 00:38:52 What a public self is. Ego Speaker 1 00:38:55 A public self. I, I don't understand it that way. It's different. Speaker 0 00:38:58 Yeah. I mean, uh, remember, uh, I think he died. Didn't Sean Connery die? Speaker 1 00:39:07 I think he did within the last little Speaker 0 00:39:09 While. Yeah. Not too long Speaker 1 00:39:10 Ago. I'm not Speaker 0 00:39:11 Positive about that. But he's noted for saying, when people meet me, they think they're meeting James Bond. But I am nothing like James Bond. Right. Because in every situation, James Bond knows exactly what he has to do. Right. And in meet with me, I never know what I have to do. Right. Public self, private self. And he was sep he was reducing it by saying that. See, he's saying, don't confuse me with my public self. Speaker 1 00:39:43 Right. So we we're having it, we're using language and understanding it differently. Speaker 0 00:39:49 Uh, remember the famous actress, uh, Rita Hayworth? Yeah. She had a, uh, a very popular movie in the 1940s or fifties called Gilda. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> launched her career, everything. Sure. Okay. Sure. And at one point in her life, an interviewer said to Rita, you've been married and divorced five times. That seems like a lot. Is there any thread going through why that? And she says, yeah, there's a definite thread because a lot of men that I meet go to bed with Gilda, and they're disappointed when they wake up with me. Speaker 1 00:40:30 Right. Speaker 0 00:40:31 Public self, private self. Speaker 1 00:40:33 Right. I understand what you're saying now. Yeah. But it's, uh, my understanding of that is different. Speaker 0 00:40:38 What is your understanding? Speaker 1 00:40:40 Well, public self versus private self would be like, you know, in, in a certain tradition, they, they outline this, that how we engage community. Right. How we engage community. It would, that's how I understand our public self. How we enga how we are. Like when I go to Cafe Aroma, I go there all the time. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> Cafe Aroma. I love it. Yeah. Um, I go there and I'm, I'm at ease on myself, but it's a public interaction. It's a community interaction. So it brings out a different side of me than say when I'm at home or with, with people that I care about that are in my family, my intimate family or my soul family, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I'm different with them than I am. I'm, I'm less guarded those people, hopefully than I am in community. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So that's my understanding of private self versus public self. Mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:41:40 But what about for other people? Speaker 1 00:41:43 What do you mean? Speaker 0 00:41:44 Well, like, take for example, Alex Jones. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. He's the one who accused the people of Sandy Hook. Okay. All right. Yeah. What do you think he's like when he is at home? Speaker 1 00:41:55 You know, there, I, I know this, Richard. I have limited time on this earth. I have, it's already outlined. And I do not want to waste my time with that expression of, um, lie deceit and filth. That, that to me is not something that I, I see it, I notice it, I make note of it, I observe it, I shelve it away, but I don't want to take my free time to examine that person. Speaker 0 00:42:20 I see. Speaker 1 00:42:21 It's just not worth my time. Speaker 0 00:42:23 Um, do you get the impression that Trump has a different private self from his public self? Speaker 1 00:42:30 Oh, yeah. Speaker 0 00:42:31 I do too. <laugh>? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Sure. And I, I don't think it's healthy. Speaker 1 00:42:41 Right. So if we're gonna talk about things from a, from Speaker 0 00:42:44 A mental health, Speaker 1 00:42:45 Well, mental health, certainly, there's no separation from mental health and spirituality from where I sit. I mean, one of the big things that I feel is necessary for mental health is the understanding of meaning. If shit just happens to you, if stuff just happens. Yeah. How do you cope with that? Unless there's meaning to be made out of it. That's what drives people crazy. Is that what, that's what people drives people to distress is that there's no understanding that these things are meaningful and that we can make meaning out of the working on them intentionally. And so someone like Trump has, he's not even at that level of understanding. Like, my understanding of Trump is that, you know, he identifies as a man, Donald Trump. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> with no spiritual dimension. His faith is in his own power to exert his influence in ways that he deems for himself, uh, motivated by prophet greed and, um, name. And there's not much beyond that form now within him that is hidden and buried in an every being. There is that capacity for meaning. There's that capacity for the spiritual dimension, but it just closed off in some, and we've talked about left versus right, and we've talked about that the capacity of us hold to hold its suffering. I'll say this, and I, I say it unequivocally, and I say it kind of like, it's just true. But like Donald Trump's a very small soul, very, very small soul. Speaker 0 00:44:20 Doesn't have the capacity to hold his Speaker 1 00:44:22 Suffering, doesn't know what the fuck he's doing. But it's figured out like a, like a little child playing it with a, a, a what are those mobile, you know, if I knock this, this happens. But his understanding of what that is and it's repercussions. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> is zero. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, he has no idea what he's doing. He doesn't understand the influence of karma on his actions. So like everything that we put out, we are in an unseen field here. It's not seen to us. It's hidden. You can experience it through meditation, but what that unseen field is, it's mathematical, it's exact what I offer to it returns to me. It's beautiful, it's perfect. It's justice. Now. It's hidden from us. Because unless you examine it, you're not gonna know that it's there. But let me assure you that karma does not deviate any more than a shadow or an echo from its source. That's not me. That's the zen master dogan from the 13th century. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:45:17 Um, this is, this is something that has to do with, uh, living in a world where random things happen to you. Right. Person goes to a therapist, Uhhuh <affirmative> sits down and says, uh, I really wish that I was a paranoid coming to see you doctor. And the doctor says, why do you wish you were paranoid? And the person says, because for a paranoid person, everything that happens to them happens for a reason. Hmm. Right. So, what this person is essentially saying is, it's difficult living in a world where things happen for no reason. Speaker 1 00:46:03 It's, it's, it appears that way on a certain level, on a superficial level, the things seem disjointed, disconnected without relevance or without context or without meaning. That's one level. And I'm not saying that that isn't a valid perception, but there are deeper layers and deeper levels of perception that you can go through, through spiritual practices that illuminate and awaken one's self to understand that Oh, okay. Like walk cautiously here, but lovingly, because everything I do returns to me. Speaker 0 00:46:42 So when a person goes to these deeper levels and they learn this, uh, the reasons behind the randomness Yep. Can they communicate it to others? Speaker 1 00:46:55 That's such a good question. I love that question. I don't know the answer to it. I think, Speaker 0 00:47:00 I don't think they can <laugh> well, I think they can. Speaker 1 00:47:03 I think this, this is my pathetic effort to do that. I don't know that it's effective, but, um, fundamentally, no. I mean, this was a, this was a, a proposition that the Bud Buddha posited to himself. Uhhuh Speaker 0 00:47:18 <affirmative>, Speaker 1 00:47:18 The Buddha had a great awakening. A great enlightenment. Supreme enlightenment. Yeah. Under the morning star. He perceived it as if, for the very first time <affirmative>, he said, wonder of wonders how glorious all things have Buddha nature, all things have an awakened state. All things are Buddha meaning perfect. Buddha said, Buddha means perfect. So he said, all things are perfect as they are. But when he thought about that, he was not going to tell anyone about that. He didn't want to teach. And he, he said as much to himself in the, in the sort of, in the sutures and dialogues and texts about the historical Buddha that he did not want to even offer any teaching to anyone. But then I think he got approached and someone said to him, uh, a wanderer said, uh, are you a god? Are you a deedee? What are you? And the Buddhist simply said to him, I am awake. Speaker 0 00:48:27 And how much of what you've just told me is a fictional story, and how much of it is true? Speaker 1 00:48:33 So it's a great question, <laugh>. I mean, what really are, clarify what you're asking, and I'll, I'll give you an answer. Speaker 0 00:48:40 Um, clarify. What I am asking, Speaker 1 00:48:49 I mean, is in an, in as much as we read the newspapers from last week, or 27, or however many at the time of the Buddha, uh, 25 or 2,700 years ago mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, what are you, ask you, you're asking me for like, uh, what are you asking me for <laugh>? Uh, Speaker 0 00:49:12 I'm asking you for, uh, I'm, I'm trying to conjure up an awareness of the role of fiction in our worldview. Speaker 1 00:49:27 The role of fiction in our worldview. Speaker 0 00:49:29 Yes. Speaker 1 00:49:30 Why do you wanna do that? Speaker 0 00:49:31 Uh, I'll give you an example. Speaker 1 00:49:33 But why, why do you wanna do that? Yeah. Speaker 0 00:49:35 Because I wanna believe as many true things as Speaker 1 00:49:38 Possible. I am with you and I want to believe as many true things as possible too. So we're we agree Speaker 0 00:49:42 On that? And, and I think you're on, you're in dangerous quicksand when you're talking about these things about the Buddha, because I think this is all fiction. Let me give you what Speaker 1 00:49:52 I mean. What about Carl Marks? Do we know that Carl Marks actually authored, uh, what the Communist Manifesto? Do we know that for a fact? Speaker 0 00:50:02 Uh, <laugh> No, but we Speaker 1 00:50:05 Don't What? And we're on the same ground. No, no, Speaker 0 00:50:07 No, no, no, no. There's, there, there are, there are degrees of probability. Speaker 1 00:50:10 There are degrees of probability. I say Speaker 0 00:50:13 This often. Yeah. So what are the degree of probability that this, that this character you're, you've created or this character that you're representing represents reality? Speaker 1 00:50:22 Well, if we're talking about the character that I'm conveying or or representing and you're talking about the, the Buddha. Yeah. Um, we can, we can, we can do a comparison in contrast between him and Carl Marks. Okay. And their influence. Speaker 0 00:50:36 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Speaker 1 00:50:37 Now, if I tell you a lie, do you think that that lie will last a very long time? Will people believe that? Will people believe a lie? Will it last a long time? But there's no truth in it. Speaker 0 00:50:54 Well, look at the lies that Hitler told. And a lot of them are still believed. Speaker 1 00:51:01 Well, right. I mean, so we could, we we could, we could argue about that. But how is he looked at generally by like every major nation in the world? Speaker 0 00:51:10 Uh, as a liar? Speaker 1 00:51:11 <laugh>. Okay. So that, that goes to my point. What I'm saying is that the influence of the Buddha, you look at how many Buddhists there are in the world today. If what he said was lie or a fiction or not truth, there was no element of truth to it. How would it persist through thousands of years? Speaker 0 00:51:31 Comfort. Speaker 1 00:51:32 Oh, Richard. Speaker 0 00:51:34 You know, if somebody says something that's comfortable, uh, it will persist. So I'll give you an example. Speaker 1 00:51:42 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:51:43 There's nothing wrong with drinking coffee. Go right ahead. Drink caffeine, put caffeine in your butter. There's nothing wrong with it. Right. But, and then you show, and then you show somebody, if you take a spider and you put a little dab of caffeine on his back and then watch its web the next day, and how messed up that web is. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they will say, oh, that only applies to spiders. Cuz there's nothing wrong with coffee. It's perfectly old. Did you ever try to quit coffee? I did. It was horrible. I started getting headaches and everything. Well, what is that telling you? Nothing. Because there's nothing wrong with drinking Speaker 1 00:52:23 Caffeine. Right. But I mean, this goes to something else. I don't think this goes to the, to validity and truth or Speaker 0 00:52:29 Lie. See? Well, it shows that if something is comfortable, people are seduced into believing it. Speaker 1 00:52:36 That's why the still exists. I mean, what you're saying is that's what the, why the rights still exists. That's why Nationalism and Trumpism and some of that neo-Nazi mm-hmm. <affirmative> hilarity still exists. Yeah. Like, just ridiculous. Yeah. Stupid. I mean, people hold onto that because they're comforted by that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And they think another is the, the, the cause of their problems. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But we're talking about Buddhism and we're talking about, I don't know how many millions or billions of Buddhists there are. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you're saying that millions and billions of people buy this because they're, it's Speaker 0 00:53:14 Comfortable. Comforting. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:53:15 That's amazing to me. I mean, to me that, that lacks a rigor of analysis. Speaker 0 00:53:20 Well, I've noticed from my own personal experience that most people I know that are into, uh, Buddhism and meditation and zen Yeah. Are doing it because it helps with their internal suffering. Not because it describes the world, Speaker 1 00:53:37 But that's your understanding. Have you practiced meditation? Have you practiced zen? I know you have. Yeah. But I don't know if you wanna Yeah. Speaker 0 00:53:44 Talk about that. I <laugh>. But do I think Speaker 1 00:53:47 That you built me a meditation bench out of the used scrap wood right downstairs? Speaker 0 00:53:51 You're right. Do you still use it? Speaker 1 00:53:53 I actually passed along to a friend who I think may use it. Speaker 0 00:53:56 Ah. So it was a waste of time. Speaker 1 00:53:59 Why would it be a waste of time when somebody else uses it? Speaker 0 00:54:03 Because I didn't make it for that person. I made it for you. Speaker 1 00:54:10 And Speaker 0 00:54:10 That's, so the bench lost its meaning as soon as you gave it away. Speaker 1 00:54:14 Really? Yeah. So that's what happens when you give something away, it loses its meaning. Speaker 0 00:54:18 I know. Because it goes from person A to person B. And whenever person B sits in there, they think of person A. Yeah. You gave it to person. That person gave it to person C. Right. C has doesn't know shit about person A, Speaker 1 00:54:32 But I I is person B informed person C about person A Richard Speaker 0 00:54:37 Wick, which is a fictional character in their mind. Richard, just like Richard Wicker. Budda is a fiction. Speaker 1 00:54:41 Yeah. It's my friend Heather. Speaker 0 00:54:43 You know, Speaker 1 00:54:44 My friend Heather has Speaker 0 00:54:45 Who knows me. Speaker 1 00:54:46 She knows Speaker 0 00:54:46 You. Okay. So, so there is a direct connection. Speaker 1 00:54:49 There is a direct Speaker 0 00:54:50 Connection, but I, I didn't make it for her and I didn't make it with her. Speaker 1 00:54:54 Right. But, but that, that bond still exists between us. I'm sitting here now Speaker 0 00:54:58 Between you and her. Speaker 1 00:55:00 No, between you and I. Speaker 0 00:55:01 Okay. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:55:02 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:55:03 So, uh, it makes me wonder if I should do things together with you in the future. Speaker 1 00:55:14 Oh yeah. Okay. Speaker 0 00:55:16 I like that pain. And you gave me so much. I gave it away to somebody else. <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:55:22 Let's talk about, let's talk a little bit about Marx. Marxism, shall we, you're a Marxist, right? Yeah. Okay. What is one of the fundamental tenets of Marxism? Please tell me. Uh, in, in regards to Speaker 0 00:55:34 Like, economics is the founda is the foundation of consciousness. Speaker 1 00:55:37 That may be true that we, we, we've debated this before publicly in mm-hmm. <affirmative> in our public personas. Yeah. Um, whether that is or is not true, I don't believe that for a moment. But you, you do. And I respect that. Speaker 0 00:55:50 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Well, I see evidence of it all the time. Speaker 1 00:55:52 Well, I see how you could see that. But I, I don't agree with it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, what I'm wondering is what does Marxism say about what's this ticket from this lens, which we've already begun altruism. Speaker 0 00:56:04 That it's part of human nature. Oh, Speaker 1 00:56:06 What, tell, tell me a little bit about altruism. Speaker 0 00:56:10 It's desire to, uh, help other people for no, uh, reward and return. Speaker 1 00:56:17 That makes sense to me. When you made me that bench, that was not altruistic though. Speaker 0 00:56:23 Uh, I think it was. Speaker 1 00:56:25 I think it was too. But you got pissed that I gave it to Heather. Speaker 0 00:56:28 I got pissed over the fact that you didn't value it. Speaker 1 00:56:31 I did value it so much. I gave it to her. I had a different way of sitting. I didn't throw it out. Speaker 0 00:56:38 That would've been even more disrespectful. Speaker 1 00:56:40 That would've been disrespectful you some time and energy. Speaker 0 00:56:43 Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:56:46 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:56:50 So, so John Wayne Speaker 1 00:56:53 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Speaker 0 00:56:54 Public self, private self was working on a movie. Yeah. Which has since become famous called The Searchers. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. The reason that The Searchers is famous because John Wayne plays a very complex character. Uhhuh <affirmative>, somebody who hates Indians to the core and is given a job by some people. Yeah. Who say, our daughter was kidnapped by the Indians, and we haven't seen her in 10 years. Right. Can we hire you to see if you can find her and bring her back? Right. He says, if I do find her and I bring her back, you might not recognize her. Right. They say, we still want you to find her and bring her back. So the whole movie is his quest to find the Speaker 1 00:57:40 Woman. Sure. Speaker 0 00:57:41 While this movie is being shot in New Mexico, the, uh, director is, John Ford decides we're gonna have as many Native Americans hired as extras as we can find. Sure. So they found a whole bunch of Native Americans who needed work, and so they put 'em on the, on the crew, and they were part of the actors, et cetera. One day they were getting ready to shoot a scene, and John Wayne looked over and one of the actors who was an extra was crying, and he went up to her and said, you know, what's going on? You're crying. And she said, yeah, my kid is sick. And I I don't really know if he's gonna pull through. And he says, what's his symptoms? She says he's got a fever, et cetera, et cetera. And he said, it's, uh, hold on a second. And he calls over his, I guess you would call it his assistant. Speaker 1 00:58:41 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:58:41 Because John Wayne was not gonna live in New Mexico during a shooting of this movie. So he flew in every day on a private plane. Sure. And his assistant flew the plane. Right. He says to his assistant, this woman's gonna tell you where she lives. He's gonna write down the directions and authorization for you to get her son. Go there, get her son. Fly the son to a hospital in the, in the, in the Capitol city of New Mexico, Uhhuh Speaker 1 00:59:10 <affirmative>. Speaker 0 00:59:11 Put him in a hospital room, have 'em find out what's wrong with them and put it all on my tab. Speaker 1 00:59:19 Yep. Speaker 0 00:59:22 <affirmative>. Okay. Then it was time to shoot the movie. Ready Action. I hate Indians. I've hated them my whole life. Public self, private self. Speaker 1 00:59:31 Right, right. Speaker 0 00:59:33 People who did not know that anecdote about John Wayne would think he was the public self. Right. I <laugh> it's not good to have a huge gap between the public self and the private self. Speaker 1 00:59:53 I agree with that. I, you know, the, the biggest lesson that I've learned in my incarnation, in this incarnation is Joel, is moderation. Everything. In moderation. Speaker 0 01:00:03 You wanna say goodbye to the people? Speaker 1 01:00:05 Well, I, I do. I just, you know, I'm astonished by always the gentle, genuine, uh, energies between us that are so meaningful and instructive to me. Uh, you've presented, you've, you know, I have a podcast Unraveling Religion, uh, which you, through your mentorship helped me found and develop. And I've been doing it since, if you can believe this, Richard, 2007 and, um, 2007, November, 2007 was my first, uh, episode of Unraveling Religion. I don't know if you remember this. I, I did it with my old creative writing mentor made Reagan. And you said, what a wonderful guest he was. I don't know if you remember that, but he Speaker 0 01:00:49 Passed, I believe it was a phone conversation. Speaker 1 01:00:51 It was a phone conversation. And he passed away in 2018. But I did a, I had two shows with him. One, I may edit that first one. I couldn't, I couldn't string a sentence together. I was so nervous. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and uncomfortable. And I've just grown in that way. And that's due to your mentorship. And I'm so deeply appreciative of our friendship of you. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, everything you offer here at Home of the future and, um, to the people. I just, you know, um, just hope you have friendships and friends like Richard in your life. Speaker 0 01:01:21 All right.

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