April 25, 2020


Truth, Identity, Memory And Varieties of Religious Experiences: A Talk With Richard Wicka and Joel

Hosted by

Joel David Lesses
Truth, Identity, Memory And Varieties of Religious Experiences: A Talk With Richard Wicka and Joel
Unraveling Religion
Truth, Identity, Memory And Varieties of Religious Experiences: A Talk With Richard Wicka and Joel

Apr 25 2020 | 00:59:18


Show Notes

In this older talk from 2017, dusted off, Richard Wicka (I Thou Video Series) and Joel discuss in deep kinship: our planet and how decisions of our President affect our world, identity and ego of human beings including Trump, problems and solutions on a large scale, and delve also into memory, poetry, writings, and life. Spiritual versus biological lenses are used to explore these and many other topics in this episode. 


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. In the early 1990s Wicka collaborated with Buffalo performers Ron Ehmke and Greg Sterlace on cable access series (Snap Judgments and The Greg Sterlace Show, respectively) for the city’s new public access station, which led in subsequent years to The HOTF TV Show, a long-running program with rotating hosts and formats, and then to The Five Minute Video Series, an ongoing project in which a diverse array of guests from throughout the community are invited to tell a story that lasts 5 minutes or less. 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 hotftv.net.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:06 Would you like to introduce the show? Speaker 2 00:00:10 No. Will you <laugh>? Speaker 1 00:00:14 Well, it's part of unraveling, so I thought maybe you want to give the introduction. Speaker 2 00:00:18 Well, I was thinking about it. I think it, it'd be nice to share it. Collaborative, you know, an I vow Unraveling Religion collaborative. Speaker 1 00:00:27 Depends on what the, uh, purpose of unraveling religion is. Speaker 2 00:00:32 I think. Well, if we're talking about I vow Martin Boo's, I vow, Speaker 1 00:00:36 We're not, what are we? Unless that's part of unraveling religion. Speaker 2 00:00:41 Well, where did you get the, the theme for I vow Speaker 1 00:00:44 From Martin Buer. Speaker 2 00:00:45 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:00:45 But this is not the IDO video I vow video series. Speaker 2 00:00:49 No, I understand that. But I think that, you know, what is I vow, but relationship Speaker 0 00:00:54 Oh, mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Speaker 2 00:01:01 And so I think, I mean, unraveling religion, I would hope is just an exploration. And one of the things you could explore is relationship. Speaker 1 00:01:18 Can I start with something I wrote in my notebook? Speaker 2 00:01:21 I I would love that. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:01:24 As a planet, we have come to the end of living and the beginning of surviving. Speaker 0 00:01:31 Oh, Speaker 1 00:01:32 It's heavy. Speaker 2 00:01:38 We're sitting here listening to electronic, uh, crickets and campfire. And, uh, we're reading, reading that, you know, I think if there's something poignant about that, we're not, we're not in the woods with a, with a campfire surrounded by trees and grass and night stars. Right, Speaker 1 00:01:57 Right. Speaker 2 00:01:58 With like, so you look what is, what is the element that is missing? You know, it's energy. It's like, what, what does nature provide us? But like, besides the beauty and the, the connectedness, there's like a, there's like an undercurrent of something very, very restorative in nature. Speaker 1 00:02:16 Well, is nature out of balance? Speaker 2 00:02:22 Right? So we could look at things from so many different perspectives in one sense. Of course. Yeah. The planet, the planet is trying to recti the, the planet is a little bipolar, <laugh>. I mean, it's trying to correct itself. It's trying to rectify itself, and it's confused. Speaker 1 00:02:39 It's too much. There's too much carbon in the atmosphere. There's Speaker 2 00:02:42 Just too much shit going on. There's just too much awful stuff going on that's just not organic. It's not, not that it isn't meant to happen, but it's, it's, uh, it seems like through our desire to gain or, Speaker 0 00:03:05 Uh, Speaker 2 00:03:06 Commercialize everything, everything seems a commodity. So we sell everything. We sell, we sell forests. Oh my God. What are we doing for money? Speaker 1 00:03:29 And are you, uh, do you have a solution? I mean, well, Speaker 2 00:03:40 Yeah, no, I do because I, it's a good question and I think it's a fair question. Speaker 1 00:03:44 Yeah. Except I didn't mean like a solution, like you are gonna solve it, but you have a way to make it move in the right direction. Speaker 2 00:03:52 Well, I, I can offer only my perspective. I don't know whether it's a solution or, or like, uh, a fully baked plan, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But I would say that the beauty of the seasons and the beauty of the cycles of, that we see within nature on earth and everywhere, everywhere is things come this way. One in one way, they're unrepeatable, but everything repeats itself. Patterns repeat themselves. They're spring, summer, winter, and fall, and it comes again. So you can plant trees, you can pick up garbage. I'm sure that through the scientific advancements that have caused such difficulty to our environment, that same technology could be pointed to solve those problems. Why wouldn't it be? It's just a matter of intention. It's a matter of intending to do. So, you know, a matter of applying the science toward things that solve and not create problems. Speaker 1 00:04:57 Uh, this was in the news this week. Yeah. Um, Obama, he, uh, passed very strict guidelines for how much carbon can be put in the air by the United States factories. Mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:05:13 <affirmative>. Speaker 1 00:05:14 And the biggest people who put the most carbon in the air are coal burning power plants. This week, Trump rescinded all those regulations. Speaker 2 00:05:28 Yeah. Yep. And that's, you know, he certainly, we are free to choose our path and make choices when those choices have consequences for a large scale mass of people and beings in the planet itself. You know, I don't think that we make decisions in a vacuum. I think what I do affects you. You know, what I, what I do do affect, you know, it's the micro macro. I may do things, um, for one reason or no reason, but that affects both my environment, my community, my planet, the cosmos, the vastness of like what is, but also within me. It's, it's not separate, you know what I mean? It's like, it's just one. And so, when, when, when Trump, when Trump does this stuff without even recognizing the laws of, like, causation in karma, or you don't even have to look at it from a spiritual lens. There's just cause and effect. And he's not recognizing that he's causing elemental harm to mass people based on greed, myopia, and really ignorance about the very nature of what life is. You know, Speaker 1 00:06:53 I believe that in his mind, adding carbon to the atmosphere has absolutely no impact. Speaker 2 00:07:01 Well, it has monetary impact for his cronies and probably himself. Speaker 1 00:07:06 So you're looking at this that he has a, uh, incentive to help his friends and their monetary quest. Speaker 2 00:07:15 From what I can see of Donald Trump, there are two main impetus for his behavior. And actually the, the first and the second. I'm not sure which comes first and which comes second. Mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:07:27 <affirmative>, Speaker 2 00:07:28 It's, it's to promote himself, to make, to enhance his money, power and status. And I don't know what comes first chicken or the egg card of the horse. I don't think it really matters, because you can see in the short term, it seems to be very effective what he does. But I guarantee you, I guarantee Richard, I'm just gonna sit back and watch this shit show unravel. It's gonna be, it's gonna be Speaker 1 00:07:58 Horrible. Are you saying it's gonna go up in flames? Speaker 2 00:08:01 Um, I'm just gonna watch Karma take its course. You know, there's that old adage of, uh, when the bird is alive, it eats the ants, Speaker 0 00:08:12 Right? Yeah. Speaker 2 00:08:14 And then when the bird dies, the ants eat the bird. That's, that's the law of causation. Speaker 1 00:08:28 Um, here's something else I wrote in my notebook. Speaker 0 00:08:31 Yes. Speaker 1 00:08:32 We exist in a physical universe that has physical rules that dictate the consequences of our actions. Speaker 0 00:08:42 Hmm. Speaker 1 00:08:44 The consequences of our actions determine our wellbeing. Mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:08:48 <affirmative>. Speaker 1 00:08:50 So for example, we exist in a physical universe that has physical, physical rules. So if you decide to eat junk food, right? Speaker 2 00:09:00 Yep. Speaker 1 00:09:01 That action will have consequences. Speaker 2 00:09:03 Right? Speaker 1 00:09:04 So you're drinking coffee, that action will have consequences. Speaker 2 00:09:07 Right. Well, I'm gonna reach over and drink your, your, your nutrition drink in a second. Speaker 0 00:09:11 <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:09:15 And the consequences of your actions, they determine your wellbeing. Speaker 2 00:09:22 That's true. I, I mean, I recognize this. One of the things that I wanna bring up to you, which I know you are, uh, innately and, and very highly sensitive to, is choice bound by economics. Speaker 0 00:09:38 Mm-hmm. <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:09:39 People don't have a, I don't have the resources to eat. Well, I don't have the, I mean, it sounds crazy. Like I, I have, I have like a livelihood, but like, I'm trying to rectify and restore a history that was so disjointedly unhealthy that I'm repaying loans and, um, therapies and medical bills on top of trying to live in subsistence a way that is like, meaningful to me now. And it's not possible. And, you know, I feel like I'm relatively competent in what I do, and I love what I do. I would not change my job for any kind amount of money. Mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:10:20 <affirmative>. Speaker 2 00:10:21 And yet I, like so many people can't afford the basic necessities of fruits and vegetables or, um, Speaker 1 00:10:33 What about coffee? Can you afford that? Speaker 2 00:10:35 Can I afford coffee? Why do you ask that question? Because Speaker 1 00:10:39 You have a coffee here, Speaker 2 00:10:40 <laugh>. I do. So, oh, what are you saying? Like, I, I, I I made a choice. Right? This is a true, Speaker 1 00:10:45 It's a choice and it has consequences. Speaker 2 00:10:47 That's true. Yeah. That's true. So why did I choose this? Because this is, this coffee was, I think I got it actually the place that I like to go to. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, cafe Aroma, where I have like a former or current, I don't know, you know, it's like a social environment. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I go there for a little bit for the social element, because there are, people are nice people that I've known. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the coffee's a little more expensive. I think this coffee was $2 and, uh, 83 cents. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's expensive. Speaker 1 00:11:16 So the Speaker 2 00:11:16 Day, relatively speaking, it's expensive for coffee. But what I'm saying is that, why did I do this instead of food? So I got this social element that caffeine suppresses my appetite and it keeps me awake. Plus I find it enjoyable. Speaker 0 00:11:29 Mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:11:30 <affirmative>. So, I mean, Speaker 1 00:11:34 Now we're talking, Speaker 2 00:11:35 What's that? Speaker 1 00:11:36 Now we're talking about our, the ideas that we live. Yeah. This is important. Speaker 2 00:11:41 It is important cuz it's also genuine. It's not that I'm, I don't decidedly pointedly make poor decisions, but while the basis of consciousness is not economics. Speaker 1 00:11:56 Oh, we disagree on that Speaker 2 00:11:57 Then. I know we do, we've discussed this before. Speaker 1 00:11:59 What do you say the basis Speaker 2 00:12:00 Is? Well, we, we, we spoke about this too. I think that the basis of economics is consciousness. Speaker 1 00:12:05 Oh. Speaker 2 00:12:06 It's the inverse. So I think that, uh, Speaker 1 00:12:10 But what is the basis of consciousness? Speaker 0 00:12:13 <laugh>, Speaker 2 00:12:17 We can explore that. I don't think we can ever arrive at any kind of linguistic, emotive, rational answer, which we, we can, we can explore it. Let's just leave it at that. Speaker 1 00:12:33 Well take for example, the opioid epidemic. Speaker 2 00:12:36 Yep. Speaker 1 00:12:38 Uh, it starts with people wanting to take the opioids. Speaker 2 00:12:44 Right. Speaker 1 00:12:46 Where does that desire come from? Speaker 0 00:12:48 Huh? Speaker 2 00:12:50 Oh, we can use op opioids as an example. I think you don't need to though. Where does desire come from? Is it inherent in our consciousness? Is it a biological basis? Is it a symptom of our spirit? Like, what do you think? Speaker 1 00:13:09 I never think about that. Speaker 2 00:13:12 Well, you should, you're limited by rationality in what you think about. Speaker 1 00:13:17 It's, it's, it's a bit too metaphysical of a question for me. Speaker 2 00:13:22 Right. But if you, Speaker 0 00:13:24 If Speaker 2 00:13:24 You, I I see, I see. It's too broad in the scope of what you presented, you were talking about opioids and desire and where does that desire come from? Yeah. Speaker 1 00:13:32 No, Speaker 2 00:13:32 That's, that's a framework. Speaker 1 00:13:33 I said opioids and desire. Then you brought up where does the desire come from. Speaker 2 00:13:37 Right. But the, I was talking about the desire for opioids. The framework that you presented was the desire for opioids. Yeah. I cut off the opioids and just said, where does desire come from? Speaker 1 00:13:47 Would you in Speaker 2 00:13:47 General? Yeah. Just broadly speaking or specific from your framework. Where does desire come from? Speaker 1 00:13:55 It just doesn't really interest me. Speaker 2 00:13:57 The biological basis. What does the biological basis desire? Speaker 1 00:14:02 Sort of like the way our brains are Speaker 0 00:14:04 Wired. Yep. Yep. Speaker 2 00:14:08 I'm in full agreement with that. For me, you know, there's talk in the last few years about neuroplasticity Speaker 1 00:14:16 That has to do with, uh, shaping your brain. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:14:20 And there's also like, uh, they used to call it in the seventies, s now they call it neural linguistic programming. Really? Speaker 1 00:14:29 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:14:30 I think it's a, a similar stream of like an essential therapeutic pattern or therapeutic intervention. Speaker 1 00:14:40 So do you get involved with s or neuroplasticity because you have some problem you're trying to Speaker 2 00:14:49 Overcome? No, no. I find it fascinating in, in my interactions with people. Speaker 2 00:14:53 I mean, sometimes I've found therapies that are effective for me, I can apply to other people mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but it doesn't limit me just based on what I've experienced as far as like interventions that work for me. Obviously they're the shit load of things that I don't know about therapy that I can read about or see and apply to certain situations and test it that way empirically or intuitively in the world. That is not my own experience. You know, I translate or transfer my experience when I can outwardly, that's probably the most effective, the real, real therapies. But, you know, there are people who I meet who have things that I have not seen or experienced. So I like to, like, I, I just like to try to like array myself with as much as I can to assist to, to help people. Speaker 0 00:15:41 Mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:15:42 <affirmative>, so neurolinguistic programming is, um, it's like, uh, if you were, you know, you go through, uh, a stream of consciousness and then the whole, Speaker 0 00:15:55 The Speaker 2 00:15:56 Whole of neurolinguistic programming is to shock the system out of the repeated pattern that is not effective. Hmm. So you're going through this pattern, pattern, pattern, and you, it could be a slap upside the head. It could be the whack on a shoulder. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it could be the, the kick of a ball to the head mm-hmm. Speaker 1 00:16:13 <affirmative>. Speaker 2 00:16:14 But that shocks the system and it snaps the, the pattern that has not been looked at. And it shatters the pattern, breaks the pattern, hopefully. And then you reinfuse in that break right after that, I think like a new formation of where you wanna see things go and, uh, I guess it's pretty effective. I'm not sure I, you know, I don't know. I don't know how effective it is, but it, it's in theory it seems like it may be, but, you know, I don't know. Speaker 1 00:16:41 Do you try to, uh, use this method on people? Speaker 2 00:16:46 I, I have. Yeah. I did it un unwittingly and then I, I look back and it's like, oh, that's nlp. Speaker 1 00:16:53 And did it, was it effective? Speaker 2 00:16:55 It was effective. It was very effective. Speaker 1 00:17:00 Did it, uh, change the behavior Speaker 2 00:17:04 Of it did immediately. It was, it was very, uh, very pronounced actually. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:17:13 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Speaker 1 00:17:15 Is there something you can also try on yourself? Speaker 2 00:17:18 Well, I think you need an, you need an outside actor to, uh, to inflict the, the shattering of the pattern, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because anything you set up for yourself, unless it's ran randomly intermittent, you're gonna know it's coming. So, like, it's something that shocks you that you can't expect. Speaker 1 00:17:34 Right. You can't, uh, surprise yourself. Right, Speaker 2 00:17:36 Right. Yeah. I mean, yeah. Speaker 1 00:17:39 <laugh>, it needs like, chance, Speaker 2 00:17:41 Right? Speaker 1 00:17:42 Yeah. Can't be planned. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:17:44 Yeah. It's like the Zen Masters of Old, you know, Speaker 1 00:17:50 How old Speaker 2 00:17:51 The Zen masters of Old, are Speaker 1 00:17:53 We talking like before the year 1000? Speaker 2 00:17:57 Um, is that important? Speaker 1 00:18:01 Just want to give it some context here. Speaker 0 00:18:04 What, Speaker 2 00:18:05 What Zen masters of Old would you like to talk about? Speaker 1 00:18:09 Uh, I just want to know which ones you're saying. It's like the Zen Masters of Old, Speaker 2 00:18:13 Well, there are many adages, you know, stories of Zen masters. Speaker 1 00:18:17 Yeah. I'm trying to figure out like, what was the decade, the century these people were living in? Speaker 2 00:18:24 I mean, Speaker 1 00:18:24 You could 13 hundreds. Speaker 2 00:18:25 I don't think it matters really, truly. It doesn't matter because throughout the ages, throughout, um, many times in places, the spontaneity of response and, and, uh, question and answer is always, uh, it can be quite transformative, transcendental, trans, uh, just cutting across or through one's self. Speaker 0 00:18:52 Mm-hmm. <affirmative> Speaker 2 00:18:53 One's psychology and psyche into something that, Speaker 1 00:18:58 Did the Zen Masters of all use neuroplasticity? Speaker 2 00:19:01 Well, I think it's a, it's a different frame of the same medicine. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:19:11 Can I read to you something else from my notebook? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we are constantly bombarded by images of unattainable lifestyles, inhabited by smiling people who have no problems. But we see that the world is full of problems, and we're never told what to do with the emptiness that the false promises leave behind. Right. Speaker 0 00:19:42 Right. Speaker 2 00:19:44 This is something that you deeply think about Speaker 1 00:19:47 The effect of entertainment on the population. Speaker 2 00:19:54 Yeah. It's, it's mind numbing. It's, it's it's solution numbing. Right. We could be pointing ourselves to solve or help one another instead of watching Dancing with the Stars, right? I mean, Speaker 1 00:20:09 Yeah. I mean, uh, there is options open that everybody has, but doesn't peer pressure sort of affect people so that it reduces the options Speaker 2 00:20:31 For of all? I have to say that this is like, I noticed a subtle shift in our conversation, which I, I'm really, I genuinely am enjoying. Um, which is that, uh, I don't know, feels very collaborative. It feels very collaborative. Speaker 1 00:20:52 So, so when you went to Cafe Aroma, didn't like peer pressure limit your choices so that you had to have a cup of coffee? Speaker 2 00:21:06 No, I think it was economics. Speaker 1 00:21:11 But you said it was $2 in some cents. Speaker 2 00:21:14 Yeah. That's the one of the least expensive drinks there, if not the least expensive drink. It's one of the least Speaker 1 00:21:21 Expensive. I mean, was water out of the question? Speaker 2 00:21:26 Wa water doesn't suppress the appetite and it doesn't give you immediate bo bost of energy, um, and the tastes. What? Here's a, this is a whole model or template, which is, uh, fantastic. Mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:21:41 <affirmative>, Speaker 2 00:21:41 Why don't we, you know, that we're selling water is one thing, but people don't tend to naturally drink water the way that I, I would think. At least I don't. Right. And you have to ask yourself. It's the most natural thing in the world, and yet because we have all these commercial choices or like, you know, economically driven beverages, water becomes, it's like not sophisticated enough, or not jazzy enough or not juiced enough, right? Yeah. But if you look at that, Richard, it's life itself, right? I mean, not, not water, but like, Speaker 1 00:22:19 Well, we're learning that from the Puerto Rican experience now. Speaker 2 00:22:22 What do you mean? Speaker 1 00:22:23 They're desperately in need of good drinking water? Yeah. Yeah. It's like a very valuable commodity there. And it's, uh, the, it's, Speaker 0 00:22:36 Um, Speaker 1 00:22:36 The opposite of what you're saying and the reason that I'm bringing this out. Speaker 2 00:22:41 Yeah. What do you explain? What do you mean? It's the opposite of what I'm saying. What is the opposite of what I'm saying? Speaker 1 00:22:46 Uh, well, you're saying that in our, in our culture here Yeah. Water is not very elegant and jazzy, but it's the natural of all, most natural of all things. Right? So it's, that statement is backed up by what's happening in Puerto Rico. Speaker 2 00:23:03 Right? Speaker 1 00:23:04 Like, nobody would say, oh, uh, Speaker 2 00:23:10 They're not crying out for, for Gatorade. Speaker 1 00:23:12 Could, could you gimme a glass of champagne <laugh>? Speaker 2 00:23:14 They're not, they're not crying out for Pepsi Zero or Coke Zero or whatever. Speaker 1 00:23:17 Exactly. Right? Right, right. Speaker 2 00:23:24 But, you know, I wanted to carry that, that model or that template of water, just the plainness of water. Speaker 1 00:23:29 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:23:31 You can carry that so deeply. Speaker 1 00:23:33 Uhhuh Speaker 0 00:23:33 <affirmative>. Speaker 2 00:23:40 Do you have to, does one have to custom themselves to simplicity? Why is simplicity in our culture so difficult to absorb, to accept? Like, what is common? Why is common? What is common? Why is that not enough? You know what I'm saying? Like, today, was this enough? Like I spent most of my day truly thinking about what I was gonna do next, or how I was gonna attain something else. Meanwhile, if I would drop back into my self below my, below my thought patterns into like quietness, then a then a tremendous shift happens, I think. And that shift is not, and we talk about like desire, what, you know, the op opioids and desire. Where does desire come from, even from the biological basis? They're desires that we have for things, but desire of itself is I guess, a necessary part of the human condition. We need to drink water. We need to eat, we need to have human I, affection and love. Right? We need to be clean. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there's a need. Our dignity demands these things that we Speaker 1 00:25:14 Have. Our dignity, Speaker 2 00:25:15 Our dignity demands these things. Of course, I Speaker 1 00:25:17 Never heard of foot that Speaker 2 00:25:18 Way. Well, when you take away these things from someone, you're taking away their dignity. Speaker 1 00:25:24 Can one live without dignity. Speaker 2 00:25:26 Huh? What the fuck is this world doing? It's tr traveling through the cosmos with no dignity. Not the planet, but the people on it. Huh? Speaker 1 00:25:35 I've never heard this expressed this way before. Speaker 2 00:25:38 Well, I think it's, uh, just true. Speaker 1 00:25:42 Do you try to live a life with dignity? Speaker 2 00:25:45 I don't think, I don't think that that would ever, ever be an aim or a goal. Speaker 1 00:25:49 Oh. Speaker 2 00:25:51 But I think I try to do things that cultivate that. Speaker 1 00:25:55 So you don't try to live a life of dignity, but you try to cultivate dignity. Speaker 2 00:25:59 So, right. Can you, can you, can I seek to obtain dignity? Why? Why is that not obtainable? It's not obtainable because it's like a seed in you. It's what you really are. It's, it's your very, you wanna talk about what is consciousness, your dig, your dignity, and your consciousness from my vantage point are inseparable there. One, what you are as dignity, Richard, what you are ares dignity, moving through this world with compassion, trying to assist what you can when you can, that's dignity. Dignity is compassion. Dignity is self yourself, your consciousness below your thoughts that drive your thoughts, that birth rationality, that birth Speaker 0 00:26:43 Compassion. Speaker 2 00:26:45 And so we're so, we're so disjointed commercially, and we spoke about this, you know, the disconnect in our community with things. What does that disconnect disembody us from? It is from our inherent dignity, you know, our inherent, Speaker 0 00:27:02 Uh, Speaker 2 00:27:07 Our true self, what we really are. Speaker 1 00:27:10 Mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:27:10 <affirmative>. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:27:11 And how can you tell when you've met somebody who is not living with a sense of dignity? What are the symptoms? Speaker 2 00:27:23 I'd rather talk about someone who I see who does. Speaker 1 00:27:27 Well see, that's an, that's a thing. Um, often you learn more about what something is by learning what it is not. Speaker 2 00:27:36 I don't think Donald Trump is dignified. Speaker 1 00:27:39 Okay. So that would be an example of somebody who's not, uh, doesn't seem to be pursuing a sense of dignity. Speaker 2 00:27:46 Now, if you'd like, I'm happy to talk about the reasons why I feel that it, that is true too. Speaker 1 00:27:50 Sure. I'd like to hear that. Speaker 2 00:27:56 So when I see that person, right? Mm-hmm. Speaker 1 00:27:59 <affirmative>, Speaker 2 00:28:01 I wonder about, I wonder about a lot. Like, I, I think everybody does. I'm like, is it Alzheimer's? Is it narcissism? You know, is it some cosmic joke that his last name is Trump? I don't think it's any of these things though. Speaker 1 00:28:26 Okay. But then what do you think it is? Speaker 2 00:28:32 I think that if our, our nature's service and our nature's compassion, and that that IBUs us with the dignity, I think he's antithetical to that because he's so shortsighted in what he wants for himself in identity and in name and in profit that he trades himself his true self for short term game gains that validate his own sense of identity. I think identity is the, the is antithetical to dignity. Speaker 1 00:29:10 Uh, how about his followers? Are his followers confused? Speaker 2 00:29:14 I don't know. I don't know. Speaker 1 00:29:17 Because he is nothing without his followers. Speaker 2 00:29:20 Well, he would still be himself, Speaker 1 00:29:23 Uh, he would be Speaker 2 00:29:25 Wherever he goes, he would be there. Speaker 1 00:29:27 Yeah. But he would kind of collapse if, if he, if all his Twitter followers dropped down to zero and nobody showed up at his rallies. Speaker 2 00:29:39 Oh, nobody does. They have to, they have to Speaker 1 00:29:42 Photoshop the, uh, <laugh>, Speaker 2 00:29:44 You know, they Photoshop all those things. Speaker 1 00:29:46 <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:29:48 And that's not fake news. That's real <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:29:52 Can I read something from my notebook? Speaker 2 00:29:54 Yeah, please. Speaker 1 00:29:56 Many people have trouble understanding social problems, but as opposed to individual problems, if you look at any society that has economic inequality, you're gonna find the following social problems, spousal abuse, teen pregnancy, alcoholism, nutritional deficiencies, drug addiction, emotional disorders, and racism. Speaker 2 00:30:27 Yep. That is true. Speaker 1 00:30:30 And it's not what some people think that those are all symptoms of people with weak minds or that they are weak individuals. Speaker 2 00:30:40 No, Speaker 1 00:30:41 It's that ideas rule societies, and those ideas have real consequences. Speaker 2 00:30:57 I think that's just true, Richard, what you said, but I was trying to think of like, what cultures don't have that in western society Speaker 1 00:31:05 Oh, that don't have those problems. Yeah. Well, it's too vast of a question. I mean, Speaker 2 00:31:12 In what, just in western culture do you think that the majority of Western industrialized culture has have or has those problems? You can just take one, just take the drug addiction or the alcoholism. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:31:26 Yeah. It's, you gotta look at it like this. The higher the economic inequality, the higher the instances of drug addiction. Right. When the economic inequality goes down mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the drug addiction goes down. Yeah. But I just wanted to say to you that it, I wouldn't look at it from the point of view of what society has. None of that. Speaker 0 00:31:51 Well, Speaker 2 00:31:52 I'm, what I'm trying to point to is that I don't think that any society that exists in, in western co industrialized cultures that we consider, um, is it first world nations? You know, it's like first world, first world things. Speaker 1 00:32:07 Mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:32:07 <affirmative>, they all have those elements. So like, the question becomes in the disconnection, which industrialized countries or western countries imbue with their citizens? What's being lost? Speaker 1 00:32:27 And what answer do you have to that question? Speaker 2 00:32:31 Well, if you're commod, commoditizing things, if things are a commodity Yeah. If you're selling water, Speaker 1 00:32:37 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:32:40 You're selling water, you're buying land. Speaker 1 00:32:43 So you're saying these things are, are commonly held by everybody. They're not meant to be held by one person and sold to another. Speaker 2 00:32:51 No, they're not. There's, they're to be shared. But what prevents us from that, it's the seeking of identity. It's the, the, the bolstering of identity. The seeking of identity. If you drop your identity, we can ask or answer or explore if that's possible. I mean, in this moment, if there's no struggle between us, right. Then naturally we share, there's a natural respect that arises. And, and I think that that's just true. Speaker 1 00:33:24 Are you aware of what happened with the rain in Brazil? Um, the Brazilian government had a problem with, it was running the water department. You know, it was the water department's job is to make sure there's clean water, make sure that there's, if there's a water break, they go fix it. They, and they bill people for their water usage. Mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:33:57 <affirmative>. Speaker 1 00:33:58 Well, the Brazilian government asked if there were any private companies that wanted to take over the water. Mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:34:07 <affirmative>, Speaker 1 00:34:07 Um, business. And this company stepped forward and they, they now, they purchased it from the city. So now they are in control of the water with the city's oversight. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And they bill people, and then they keep part of it as profit. And the rest of it, they put into the infrastructure. Well, they felt they were being cheated. Speaker 2 00:34:36 The company, the private company, Speaker 1 00:34:37 Private company thought they were being cheated because they noticed that people were collecting rainwater and like using that for their gardens. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it was bypassing mm-hmm. <affirmative> the water that they were supplying, Speaker 2 00:34:53 Bypassing the profits. Speaker 1 00:34:55 So they asked the Brazilian, uh, legislature if they could pass a law prohibiting people from collecting rainwater. Right. Speaker 0 00:35:05 Right. Speaker 1 00:35:06 And based on their lobbying efforts and their political contributions Yep. It got passed. Yep. The people rioted. Speaker 2 00:35:13 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:35:15 Like the people said, it's one thing that you are taking a common resource like water, and you're charging us for it. Right. But rain water, are you gonna charge us for? Speaker 0 00:35:28 Right. Right. Speaker 1 00:35:30 Um, I think that there are things that are commonly held that are not meant to be privatized. Speaker 2 00:35:43 Tell me, tell me what you think should be privatized. I don't know of anything. Speaker 1 00:35:49 Um, Speaker 2 00:35:49 I don't know of anything that should be privatized. Speaker 0 00:35:54 Well, Speaker 1 00:35:54 That would mean that you believe in the goals of communism. Speaker 2 00:35:59 Uh, you can frame it that way. And I'm, I'm talk, I'm not saying that this is gonna happen tomorrow, but as we evolve as people mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:36:06 <affirmative>, Speaker 2 00:36:07 You, you could call me an an anarchist too, you know, or a communist or a socialist, or you could call me a grassroots capitalist. It's all the same, same expression to me, would, which is just a framework of language or thought that doesn't change my essential feeling that that's true and genuine. Speaker 1 00:36:26 Well, I think it's a compliment to say to somebody that, that the ideas that they espouse are in line with the goals of communism. Speaker 2 00:36:35 Well, I took it as such, especially coming from you, because I know uhhuh, you hold that very dear. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:36:40 But Speaker 2 00:36:41 I think that that also can limit, people can hear that and think this or that, but like, truly, there's a whole host of frameworks from from which that expression falls, which is true. You know, the problem with capitalism is corporateness corporations, the corporate neo feudalism that we exist today, capitalism in of itself, bartering, which is a form of capitalism. If it is fair and just for you, and it is fair, and just for me, then there is no problem. It's not sharedness, it's exchange. But Speaker 0 00:37:18 That Speaker 2 00:37:19 If it's, if I do what's ethical for you in the exchange mm-hmm. <affirmative>, grassroots capitalism, there's nothing wrong with that. But it's the same, you know, it's a different framework in communism where it's just a different lens, but it's the same. It's just respectfulness. Speaker 1 00:37:34 Well, I mean, there is buying and selling and communism. Speaker 2 00:37:37 Okay. Speaker 1 00:37:39 How so? I mean, in, in ideal communism, there is buying and selling. But for example, you, uh, tomorrow is a Sunday. So there's gonna be a lot of football games on tv, Uhhuh, Speaker 0 00:37:50 <affirmative>, Speaker 1 00:37:52 Those teams are owned by somebody. Mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:37:55 <affirmative>, Speaker 1 00:37:56 Who doesn't know a thing about football, Speaker 2 00:38:00 Nor do they care. Speaker 1 00:38:01 Well, they hire people so that it can maximize their investment. Speaker 2 00:38:05 The same thing happens with religion. Speaker 1 00:38:07 Wow. Religion is owned by people who do not care. Speaker 2 00:38:14 I guarantee that that's true someplace. Speaker 0 00:38:16 Hmm. Speaker 1 00:38:22 Does, Speaker 2 00:38:23 Whenever I does that, does that negate, does that negate the spirit of what's trying to be expressed in spirituality? Speaker 1 00:38:29 Well, for you, I was just trying to make a point about, you know, capitalism is not buying and selling. It's owning, owning by somebody who doesn't really know anything about the thing they own, except the fact that they own it. <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:38:41 Yeah. I don't know that that's true for me. That's true for you. I know, but it's not true for me. I think grassroots capitalism, bartering is like, Speaker 1 00:38:49 Oh, you're, you're, yeah. But what you're, I know what you're saying. What, what you're calling capitalism, what I'm calling capitalism are two different things. I think we can agree on that. Speaker 2 00:38:57 Yeah, no, I agree with you that that's true. That what your view or lens of capitalism Mine. Speaker 0 00:39:03 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:39:04 Yeah. See, I'm trying to describe the actual world we live in. Speaker 2 00:39:08 Right. Speaker 1 00:39:09 Well, I'm, and I think you're saying the idea could be made into X, right? Speaker 2 00:39:13 Or it has been in previous or exists in some places, is that way mm-hmm. Speaker 1 00:39:17 <affirmative>, listen to this line from my notebook. Speaker 0 00:39:24 Yep. Speaker 1 00:39:28 I looked at those pearls hanging in the window, and I tried to imagine how, if I could wear them, how my life would be changed. Oh, <laugh>. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:39:41 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:39:43 <laugh>. Uh, I, Speaker 2 00:39:45 That's there's sweetness. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:39:47 That's sweet. Yeah. But I mean, isn't it, isn't there self-deception involved or Speaker 2 00:39:53 Well, I mean, it's, you know, that's a complex human question because, uh, you know, we, we, in our appear, our appearance is important. Right. To what degree that is maybe a problem or not. But, Speaker 1 00:40:07 So you think that the pearls have power? Speaker 2 00:40:11 I think that our psychology views the pearls with power. Speaker 1 00:40:15 Yeah. Is that healthy? Speaker 2 00:40:17 Well, so here's the question. In ex, you know, I've come from a place in my life of extremes, and there's a teaching that I, that I, I think is the, the rudder of my life, which is, um, there is wisdom and moderation. Speaker 1 00:40:39 And how does that apply to the pearls thing? Speaker 2 00:40:43 I think that if it's a, if it's a, you know, if it's done moderately right, so that it's not, you're not spending an exo amount or more than you can, or you steal 'em, steal 'em from someone else or whatever, Speaker 1 00:40:55 Uhhuh, Speaker 2 00:40:55 <affirmative>, you know. But that, you know, it, it feels right inside you to, to make that purchase and to wear them. And you feel good. And people gently and respectfully compliment you on them. They become the fodder for genuine human exchange. And like, cuz we have to, we wear clothes, right? We wear, we can wear like Speaker 0 00:41:16 Things Speaker 2 00:41:17 That make us feel good and make us appealing to others. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just like, if it's done in extremes, then it's problematic. Speaker 1 00:41:27 Very aristotelian of you. Uh, what are your thoughts about memories? I know that that plays an important part in your history. Speaker 2 00:41:47 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:41:48 Yeah. I heard something interesting. What's that? Gotta put it in my Speaker 2 00:41:51 Notebook, please. Speaker 1 00:41:54 It's from William James. Speaker 2 00:41:56 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:41:57 You know, Freud and James came up, came out at the same time, Uhhuh <affirmative>. They, and they knew of each other, but they ne and they, but they never really exchanged letters or anything. Yeah. But they saw the problems of psychology different. Yeah. But William James said this, and I find this very interesting. He said, when you have a memory of an event mm-hmm. <affirmative>, he's gonna really light you light a fire under you when I say this, but when you have a memory of an event, you don't remember the event. Mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:42:32 <affirmative> remember your interpretation Speaker 1 00:42:34 Of it. No. You remember the last time you remembered it. Speaker 0 00:42:38 Mm. Speaker 1 00:42:40 And then we're saying the same thing then. And then a year from now, when you remember it, it'll be, you remember this time that you remembered it? Speaker 2 00:42:47 Mm-hmm. I don't agree with that. I don't agree with that. That's okay. My, it reminds me the first poem that I ever wrote. Speaker 1 00:42:59 Oh, let's hear it. Speaker 2 00:43:00 The first poem that I ever wrote. Let's see if it comes. Speaker 1 00:43:03 Don't you have it in your phone? Speaker 2 00:43:05 No, I have it in my head. Wow. Goes like this Speaker 1 00:43:07 <laugh> Speaker 2 00:43:10 Ready, Speaker 1 00:43:11 Ready, Speaker 2 00:43:14 First poem I ever wrote. First poem I ever came, goes like this time is relentless. Wicked. Seconds pass a notice. Like memory. Uh, like memory. Oh shit. Let's see. Time is relentless. Wicked. Seconds pass a notice. Um, like memories of a childhood scream, even as you return to the actual It is, uh, I, I can't get it. I can't get Speaker 1 00:43:46 It. Well, maybe it'll come to you. Yeah. Would you like me to read a poem? Speaker 2 00:43:49 Read a poem and let me see if it, I can Speaker 1 00:43:50 Write it. He see if it inspires you. There's a pen. There's a whole bunch of writing tools there. Tell me when you're Speaker 2 00:44:01 Ready. Go ahead. I'm ready. Speaker 1 00:44:04 Tonight's you fight best are when all the weapons are pointed at you. Speaker 2 00:44:10 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:44:11 When all the voices hurl their insults when the dream is being strangled. Yeah. When your reasoning gets kicked in the gut. Speaker 2 00:44:21 Yep. Speaker 1 00:44:22 The nights you fight best are when the laughter of fools fills the air. When the game is fixed, and when the crowd screams for your blood, when the chariots of gloom encircle you, the knights you fight best, are on a night like this. As you chase a thousand dark rats from your brain and you rise up against the impossible, and you walk through the flowers of defiance and move on. Speaker 2 00:44:51 Who, where did that come Speaker 1 00:44:52 From? I don't know. I, I've copied it from somebody and put it in my notebook. Is tonight a night you fight best? Speaker 2 00:45:06 Well, I think that that's true. There's a truth in that. I don't know that tonight is, um, uhhuh <affirmative>, but, uh, there's a truth in, you know. Speaker 1 00:45:15 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:45:16 There's a, there's a honing that takes place under distress, under stress, under, Speaker 1 00:45:22 Like sometimes opposition. You rise up against opposition. Speaker 2 00:45:25 I don't think you rise up. I think it, it, it, it, what you are is, uh, it recoils. Like that shit comes at you and then you recoil, you know, this is who I am. Speaker 0 00:45:39 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Speaker 1 00:45:46 Would you like me to tell you something else from my notebook while you're remembering that Speaker 2 00:45:51 Poem? Yeah, please. Speaker 1 00:45:53 Have you ever heard of Perpetua? Speaker 2 00:45:55 No. What is Perpetua? Speaker 1 00:45:57 Perpetua is the name of a woman who was a martyr in 2 0 2 A d Speaker 2 00:46:01 Okay. All Speaker 1 00:46:02 Right. She insisted on being a martyr, even though her father and even the governor of Rome tried to talk her out of Speaker 0 00:46:12 It. Speaker 1 00:46:15 So she was put in jail. And the reason you were put in jail if you were a Christian is because you denounced all the other gods except yours. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And the rule in Rome was, was a live and let live thing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. See? Uh, and that's why Rome lasted a thousand years. Because no matter what religion you were, you were accepted. Just don't step on anybody else's religion. And the Christians didn't do, they didn't follow follow that. Yeah. So she's put in jail and she's visited by many Christians. She even got pregnant in jail and had a baby. She gave the baby away as she was going into the arena where the animals were Uhhuh Speaker 2 00:47:00 <affirmative>. Speaker 1 00:47:01 And she walked into the arena, the coliseum, and just invited all the animals to eat Speaker 2 00:47:08 Her. Oh. Speaker 1 00:47:09 And the animals stared in disbelief cuz they couldn't smell any fear whatsoever. Speaker 2 00:47:16 Oh. Huh. Speaker 1 00:47:18 So the governor was embarrassed that the animals wouldn't go after her. So he sent in a gladiator and he said, would you just go finish her off for the crowd? So the glad eat went in and held his sword at her throat and his hand began to tremble. Oh. Cuz he saw how fearless he was. Yeah. And so she had to grab his hand and push the sword into her throat and the crowd was silent. Speaker 2 00:47:48 What does that tell you? Speaker 1 00:47:50 The crowd had never seen anything like that in Rome. Give me your interpretation. Speaker 2 00:47:57 I don't even know what to say about that other than that's, uh, that's a level of discipline rarely seen in human beings. I think I got the poem. Speaker 1 00:48:12 I'm ready for it. Speaker 2 00:48:18 Uh, this is it. I don't know if this is all, but it goes wicked seconds pass a notice, like a howling wind or memories of a childhood scream screen. You can never return to the actual it is, but a memory. Speaker 1 00:48:39 So it sort of addresses the William James position. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:48:44 Well it, I mean the William James position, position sounds to me like, uh, memory is built on memory. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:48:52 And you're saying that, uh, in this poem, are you addressing that at all? Are you saying memory is built on the real event? Speaker 2 00:49:05 No, I'm saying that there's, right. I'm saying memory is memory in the actual event. Is the actual event. Speaker 1 00:49:11 I see. So you're, you're, you're clarifying and you're saying don't confuse your memory with the actual event. Speaker 2 00:49:18 Right. It's not, it's not distorting the actual event and it's not distorting the memory, it's just separating them. Speaker 1 00:49:24 So it is appropriate that you brought that up in response to the William James thing. Speaker 2 00:49:28 Yeah. Yeah. But I don't think I have this in its, its its exact form, but that was essentially it. This is the first poem that ever came to me. Speaker 1 00:49:36 Is it written down somewhere or, Speaker 2 00:49:39 Yeah, I have it on a sheet of paper someplace. And I know, you know, it's funny when you, when I recite a poem and I get it right, I know inside myself that that is true. Like you feel, I feel it. Speaker 1 00:49:52 So your, your inspiration is, uh, does it come from another source? Speaker 0 00:50:00 Uh, Speaker 1 00:50:01 Because you said it came to you. Speaker 2 00:50:03 Yeah, I think so. You know, I think, I think like everything comes, you know, if it's like sensitivity, you know mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:50:13 <affirmative>, Speaker 2 00:50:13 I don't think, I don't think of things as mine. Like in my, in my narrative in myself. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that's my work is to, to negate what I think is mine. Speaker 0 00:50:24 Hmm. Speaker 2 00:50:25 Cuz I think everything is given here. Speaker 1 00:50:28 Hmm. Speaker 2 00:50:28 I don't think that, and I think that that's the problem with identity is that there's the illusion of ownership of propriety. Mm-hmm <affirmative> that really, you know, you can talk about it from a Jewish lens, right. That there's a, there's a track tape in the, um, palm mud that likens this world. We are like poor men and the owner of the house, the <unk> is the true owner and the creator. And so if you don't recognize that you are a poor man, you may think you are a rich man. You may think you have many things, but you're not seeing things in proper relation to the true source. And if you see things in relation to the true source, then you understand that you are a poor man at the Sabbath door. And then only then can you operate from a basis of truth. What is truth? I don't know what truth is and we could discuss it, but I know that an, an expression of truth is humility. Because if you have humility, then you are seeing your proper self in relation to what has created you. Cuz everything is given. How can you boast at all? It is all a gift. Then the question becomes, what do you do with the gifts? Do you use them for yourself or do you give 'em away? Like it has been given to you, you know? Speaker 0 00:51:49 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, Speaker 1 00:51:52 I mean, I like your thoughts on ownership and identity. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:51:57 It doesn't matter what lens we see 'em through either. And we, I think we arrive at similar places. Richard, Speaker 1 00:52:05 Listen to this line from my notebook. Yeah. Some people have books in which they write comments in the margin by hand. Yeah. And sometimes they'll let you borrow a book and as you're looking through it, boom, you go right to those things that they wrote. <laugh>. No. This is the metaphor. You Ready? The world is one of those books, <laugh>, we all write notes that are outside the script that the culture is imposing on our lives. Speaker 2 00:52:39 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:52:40 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:52:43 It's important that we do so too. Speaker 1 00:52:46 Very Speaker 2 00:52:47 Much. Do you have any poems from you, from yourself? Speaker 1 00:52:56 Ownership, stay away from ownership. Speaker 2 00:52:59 No, but I mean have that you've written, that have come through you or that you've written. Speaker 1 00:53:02 You're flirting with ownership. Come on Speaker 2 00:53:05 Guy. Are you just being self-effacing for no reason? Speaker 1 00:53:08 I'm saying I don't believe in ideas and ownership that what you just said resonated with me. Uhhuh. Speaker 2 00:53:16 <affirmative>. Speaker 0 00:53:17 All Speaker 2 00:53:17 Right. Speaker 1 00:53:18 <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:53:20 Well, so I, I mean, cuz I write, I I have poems come through me, Speaker 1 00:53:25 Right? Yeah. Right. Speaker 2 00:53:27 Do you have stuff that comes through Speaker 1 00:53:28 You? Everything And this notebook comes through me. Speaker 2 00:53:31 Yeah. Okay. I like that too. Speaker 1 00:53:32 Yeah. Yeah. I Speaker 2 00:53:32 See where you're Speaker 1 00:53:33 Going with that. Yeah. It's not an ownership thing. Nope. So how much time do we have left? Speaker 2 00:53:43 We have about six minutes. Speaker 1 00:53:46 Okay. Listen to this line. You're gonna love this. Okay. You're gonna love this. I predict philosophy is like a window pain. We see through, we see truth through it, but we're still separated from the truth. To experience the truth, you have to go outside <laugh>, <laugh> Speaker 2 00:54:13 Or, or shatter the paint. Speaker 1 00:54:15 <laugh> shatter the pain. I love it. <laugh>. I love that. Speaker 2 00:54:21 That that was terrible. I'm sorry I didn't, I said it. It was, yeah, Speaker 1 00:54:25 But what about when the cold weather comes <laugh>? Yeah. Well listen, Speaker 2 00:54:28 That's real life. Speaker 0 00:54:30 <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:54:36 The baffling most quizzical line. The last line written by Thomas Aquinas. Uhhuh <affirmative>. What do you know about Thomas Aquinas? Speaker 2 00:54:51 Not much. Speaker 1 00:54:53 He was, uh, a student from a very early age. His father was wealthy, so he was always sending him to schools and universities and stuff like this. This is in like in the 13 hundreds. And uh, then eventually he just started writing and the Catholic church was impressed and encouraged him to write more about the doctrine of the Catholic church. Speaker 0 00:55:27 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Speaker 1 00:55:28 So he spent his life writing this huge book, uh, you know, the doc fundamental doctrines of the Catholic religion. And then he wrote more about things after that and more about things after that. The last line that he wrote before he put his pen down for good was, all that I have written seems like straw to me. Mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:55:54 <affirmative>, Speaker 1 00:55:56 What's your interpretation of the last line? Speaker 2 00:55:59 I, to me it feels like you're genuinely wondering. You're like, sometimes I think you ask things cuz you think it's a certain way back tonight. It feels like you're genuinely wondering, and I'll tell you this, Richard. Yeah. We've talked about this before, but I think what he was saying from my vantage point Yeah. Is that, so what is, what is the Ja William James' book, religious Experiences? What is that? That, what is the title Speaker 1 00:56:23 Of it? I'd have to look it up. Speaker 2 00:56:28 Something about religious experiences. Speaker 1 00:56:30 Right? I dunno. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:56:32 Could you look it up real quick? Speaker 1 00:56:34 Uh, I don't have the ability on here. You'd have to look that up on your phone. Speaker 0 00:56:39 Okay. Speaker 1 00:56:39 This is like an electronic notebook, Speaker 2 00:56:46 But what I think he's talking about with straw. Speaker 1 00:56:48 Yeah. Was he saying like, it's all a bunch of Bs Speaker 2 00:56:54 <laugh>? I don't think he was saying that Speaker 1 00:56:56 At all. Thank you. Cuz that's what I needed to know. I Speaker 2 00:56:59 Don't think he was saying, I think he was just saying the opposite. That language can only contain so much. And as he was ebbing away from, from the physical, the physicality and leaving behind all the ways that we communicate and understand one another, what he was trying to communicate, probably approached him and in a clear experiential way where language begins to fail. And it's the va the varieties of religious experiences. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> is, uh, is William James's book. And it's, it's in stark contrast to Freud because Freud, Freud was a biologically based psychologist. Right. Speaker 1 00:57:43 Y uh, I guess you could say that. I mean, yeah. Hmm. Yeah. I think he said, I think he would say the subconscious is a part of your brain. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:57:54 Well that, that's a fascinating thing because I've, I've heard things and I have experienced this myself, where I think that it's not a part of your brain. The body is a subconscious mind. The body itself is a subconscious mind. I mean, you look at the brain and brainstem spine Speaker 1 00:58:12 Hmm. Speaker 2 00:58:13 When I've gone for like therapeutic massages, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and they, they'll hit a point someplace on my leg, on the back of my leg or my, um, calf mm-hmm. <affirmative> in a memory, long loss, forgotten. That was profound. Maybe painful. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> pops into my mind mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Because if we can't process things as they come and we suppress or repress them mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think that memory is stored in our body because our bodies are subconscious mind. Speaker 1 00:58:44 See, this brings us back to memory Speaker 2 00:58:45 Again. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:58:46 It does. Fascinating. Yeah. Stored memory. Speaker 0 00:58:49 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:58:53 All right. Say goodbye to the people. Speaker 2 00:58:55 Well, um, Hey Richard, you know, I, I drive in from Rochester for this and I'm always so grateful to share time with you. You know, you are my good friend. And, um, it's such an honor to be, uh, with you and, and enjoy friendship in, in a, in a, like, in a mutual like, respectful way, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So thank you so much. You're Speaker 1 00:59:16 Welcome.

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