"We are here to awaken from the illusion of separateness," says Thich Naht Hahn. In a culture hell bent on separateness, canceling, disassociation, shaming, and division, no wonder we are having such a hard time. In this episode, I'd like to begin a conversation about the Third Way, a way that emerges between the poles. I hope you hear something that helps. Thanks for all your support. Enjoy
Crisis means "turning point," an opportunity, as much as a struggle. This week I discuss practical ways of unplugging from the machine, finding some deeper source, which is needed now more than ever. "What if you gain the whole world and forfeit your soul?" How do we return to what matters in an age that is deciding for us, what to think, what to buy, what to protest, what to post, what to care about, what to promote, what flag we should fly, and who we should be. Time for a Sabbath from all this nonsense.
Just holding the question, "what really matters," seems to be more important right now than quick answers. This week is about that question, as well as the gifts of silence, severance and solitude. I also turn to some voices of wisdom, Merton, Berry and Rilke, who have lived through a few things, and still their words ring true. This time period is nothing short of a global invitation to change, but how and when and at what cost all seem to be unanswered. I hope you hear a few hints and guesses which inspire and challenge. Stay safe, stay smart, be courageous.
Collision of opposites, Corona, survival dance, sacred dance, abandonment, overwhelm, extrovert, introvert and the possibilities of a greater consciousness. What a world we live in! Stay safe and smart and courageous.
Does anger have anything to teach us in a world with so much violence and suffering? Join me this week for an exploration around anger. I'll weave threads from David Whyte, Bill Plotkin and Joanna Macy, plus share a few personal stories about my own relationship with anger. Enjoy! Or get pissed off.
"You complete me!" Not really. As a follow up to the last episode on the Shadow, I'm diving into the image of the Magical Other. Let's talk about projections and fantasies in intimate, long-term relationships. And how to grow up. This episode is in my series Stuff that Helps!, where I popularize stuff I've found helpful. This week will be about the work of James Hollis, a Jungian Analyst and author who coined the phrase the Magical Other. According to Hollis the fantasy of the Magical Other is one of the chief sources of suffering in long-term relationships, not to mention a kind of false god in the Western world. Enjoy!
With so much finger pointing and blame right now, let's talk about the shadow and projection. Ken Wilber calls shadow work the great gift of psychology in the 21st century. So what is it? How do we get close to the possibilities and invitations hidden beneath our conscious awareness? Enjoy!
We've lost the plot again! Let's talk about The Apocalypse, which really means "to reveal." With so much anxiety and fear, is there a reason to be hopeful? What does the destruction and renewal symbol have to teach us right now? "No one ought ever love their suffering/but no one ever loves without its pain/as we die we come to wondering/if there was something we could not yet see/that winged Thing that merges with Earth's suffering/to make us what we would otherwise never be." (Rilke)
The last podcast created some controversy, so let's go further. In this episode, I bring in some other voices on the subject of "know thyself" - I discuss the early adolescent tensions of authenticity and social acceptance from the work of Bill Plotkin, the traps of identification according to Cynthia Bourgeault, radical consciousness from Ken Wilber, and the Cosmic Dance of Thomas Merton. Enjoy!
Through the analogy of dreams and how they work on the ego, I argue that parables, because they're archetypal and symbolic, are meant to disrupt, disrobe and dismantle the ego - who we think we are in the world. This week, in my ongoing series on the Bible, I explore how parables can work on us. They're not just clever stories with moral lessons that need to be deciphered or interpreted correctly. Listening on this deeper level does not mean you need to believe the stories, or hold certain views about the Bible, or even believe in God. It's more like we're being invited to open up to the characters, the emotions, the landscape, and images of a parable (or any mythic story for that matter). This way of listening helps reveal the hidden contours of our own psyche - where we need to grow, where we're stuck, the leading edge of change for us. Being worked by parables feels like, "Surprise! You're not who you say you are, or who you think you are. Change your life!" Enjoy!
Stuff I've been pondering - the soul's code and her aims, raising kids, our post truth culture, the underworld pool of memory, "what to remember when waking" (David Whyte), the un-lived life, "concealment of Being" (Heidegger), and the relationship between the past and a new imagination for the future. Enjoy!
Episode 5 in losing the plot, my Biblical series. I'm following the last podcast on Holy Week with a few musings on resurrection. Did Jesus really resurrect? What's the meaning intended by such a radical and complex image? Reflecting on the experiences of Paul and Mary Magdalene, some important patterns emerge that take us beyond the debates about belief and history. Enjoy!
Back with another musing on the Biblical stories. This episode is about Holy Week, the last week of Jesus life, the Sacred Fool, eating the Divine, and one of the more troubling and enigmatic teachings of Jesus to buy a sword. Plus, Peter needs to eat his shadow in order to grow up. Enjoy!
This episode is about our cultural and "spiritual" obsession with safety, the human ego, translative and transformative religion, and whether or not the deeper path of soul and/or God is really all that safe. Enjoy!
Still losing the plot! This week we work backwards from The Tower of Babel to Cain, a few of the darker stories in the entire Hebrew Bible. These ancient stories keep provoking, challenging, inspiring, alluring, much to my surprise. What do you think? Does the Bible still matter?
To my own surprise, I keep returning to the Bible, a book that allures and repulses, inspires and confronts. The archetypes, stories, symbols and metaphors are like a bridge between the transcendent and nameless, and the ordinary and mundane. This week, the polar vortex, Trump tweets, and the Creation story make an appearance in the ways we've lost the plot. Enjoy!
To my own surprise, I keep returning to the Bible, a book that allures and repulses, inspires and confronts. The archetypes, stories, symbols and metaphors are like a bridge between the transcendent and nameless, and the ordinary and mundane. I don't think the Biblical narrative has runs its course when it comes to meaning. In fact, the way we misunderstood, dismissed, derided and ignored the great stories has contributed to more narcissism and nihilism and loss of meaning. We've lost the plot. In this series, I hope to recover some of the ancient wisdom that runs like a mysterious thread of meaning from antiquity to the present.
This week, intro to Bill Plotkin! We'll take a look at Plotkin's nature-based map of human wholeness in his book Wild Mind and why we desperately need this sort of work in the world right now. I hope it helps!
Paul Moore and Kent Dobson have an unscripted conversation about dreams and dreamwork. For both of us, dreams have been an important and surprising part of growing out of our old ways of being in the world. We're not claiming to be dream experts; we're just curious and open. This conversation is more like a 101 introduction. Enjoy!
Paul Moore, Kent Dobson. Two friends chatting about…90’s worship music (really?), shame, the esoteric and exoteric, moments of transcendence, manipulation, learning to swim, and perhaps the universal experience of having been cheated by whatever system we happen to be in.
Back with Paul Moore! We talk about the cultural epidemic of not growing up, the first and second half of life, and how the soul is always trying to get our attention (plus zombies and MC Hammer). Enjoy our unscripted, not claiming to be experts, conversation.
This week, intro to Ken Wilber! I focus on the troubling and life-giving notion of "transcend and include," specifically as it relates to spiritual growth, intelligence or worldviews (from magic to integral). I conclude with a few thoughts on the virgin birth and the crucifixion and my own evolving way of holding these stories. I hope it helps!
The second installment of, Stuff that Helps! This week we'll look at the work of Joanna Macy. I'd like to focus on her way of describing transformation and change. And personally, I'd like to talk about the relationship between grief and change. Her work is extensive, so this is just a taste (more than an hour's worth). I hope this helps!
I’m very excited to talk about, Stuff that Helps! (Updated Version) Ideas, people, books, maps, etc. have shaped who I am and I think you'll find them helpful too. This first episode is rooted in Richard Rohr's work on the initiated (male) adult. In other words, what does a healthy adult look like? His focus is on healthy adult males, something we obviously need in this crazy culture we live in, but I think his ideas move beyond gender roles. Anyway, I hope this stuff helps. For futher reading, check out Rohr's book Adam's Return. Enjoy
How can we be people of responsibility, action, vision and courage? How can we be "Warriors for the Human Spirit" (Margret Wheatley)? In this episode I wonder how we might turn our attention toward the painful and difficult realities of our culture in the midst of yet another tragedy, as leaders interested in a more generative future.
In this episode I take a closer look at the different levels of consciousness hidden in the story of Jonah. This might have something to do with Jesus’ cryptic line about no sign being given, “except the sign of Jonah.” In any case, the invitation at the heart of this mytho-poetic story is more urgent than ever. Enjoy.
Back by popular demand, Paul and Kent sit down for an unscripted chat. We discuss our age of Narcissism and Nihilism, how we played a role in electing our president, and the deep need to tune into other frequencies if there is any way out of this mess.
What wants to be born in the soul during the darkest time of year? What Christ consciousness, what seed of your own soul, what gift, what child, what is pregnant again, waiting to bring forth a sacred vision of life in a world consuming itself to death? Merry Christmas everyone.
This podcast was recorded in Jerusalem, in the middle of a seemingly unworkable situation. Rather than attempting to offer solutions like every other talking head, I wonder how the stalemate, or the status quo, might just be the fertile ground for the needed shift in consciousness. I’m reminded of Jesus’ teaching that new wine needs new wine skins, and that trying to shove the complex new reality of the middle east into old narratives, or old ways of thinking, seems to ruin everything. This episode is more like a prayer that some imaginative dreamers will emerge in middle of all this suffering whose consciousness is no longer dominated by tribal affiliations, who use their gods to defend violence and who scapegoat any "other." One can hope.
This final episode on the soul feels more like a starting place than a definitive ending. I attempt a definition of soul using poetry and image, and I also turn to an old favorite, Mary Oliver, for some help. In the end, I hope something of your own inner voice, or depth, or truer self, or soul comes a bit more out of hiding.
In this episode I explore the question of soul again by taking a brief look at the words ego, soul and spirit, referencing the work of Bill Plotkin. I discuss the needed task of ego growth (growing more whole) as well as the invitation of transcendence and “inscendence,” the upward pull of spirit and downward descent of soul. Because these things are difficult to discuss and are best approached symbolically, I end with a David Whyte poem.
I'm starting a three part series on the soul, what is it and why it matters. In this episode I discuss certain life patterns that deepen the question and pursuit of soul. I also take a look at the origins of the word itself. And most importantly I look at the archetypal temptations of Jesus as a necessary wilderness in his own soul initiation and how that relates to our unique predicament. I end with Dante and his opening line, which is a line about the descent to soul.
In this episode, I discuss why moving to the mytho-poetic is important and how it relates to awakening to the conversation that only we can have with world. I also discuss the tricky notion of stages or levels of consciousness we bring to our reading of sacred texts and to our spiritual lives. I wonder what movement or growth looks like in this respect. I look at the story of Jacob's ladder as a symbol of moving up and down the ladder of perception, a glimpse that our identity is not fixed in the way we think it is, and that our view of reality is limited but fluid. And finally I mention a few lines from Adrienne Rich's poem Diving into the Wreck, as an image of diving into our own wreckage, the great myths and stories in hand, only to find our names are not written in these myths but can lead us to find our own true names in the world.
In this episode I struggle with making any sense of the rising tide of bad news coming from just about every source. In some ways, we are living in apocalyptic times, meaning a time of both destruction and renewal, Noah-like times. There is so much to grieve and there is so much that makes me wonder what "slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?" It seems like we need the poets, the storytellers and the dreamers to tell us the truth, like Yeats does in this dark poem. We need the truth beneath the truth. We need the deeper truth in a rising sea of facts, some of which are glaringly un-factual to begin with. In the end, I wonder what waits in each of you, what dream wants to be born, in the middle of this apocalyptic mess.
In this episode I provide a little background on what has influenced my own approach to reading stories, particularly sacred texts, using other windows of knowing and thinking that we often forget about. I'm curious about ways to descend from a surface reading into the deep well. Using the work of Bill Plotkin, Michael Meade and Walter Brueggemann. I try to highlight useful patterns or frameworks for how to begin reading more mytho-poetically. Behind all this, I'm also wondering about the question of how we see and am drawn to rather cryptic saying of Jesus about the Bad Eye.
What is meant by the mytho-poetic power of story? What about the Bible? In this episode I discuss different levels or ways of reading the stories of the Bible, including the mythic, where the real power resides. I turn over the Jacob story in an attempt to dive into the mytho-poetic realm. This kind of approach to this story works on the level of transformation, which is what all great stories take us to the edge of. What is true both within and without about being human? Let me know what you think and if there is a story you’d like me to dive into next.
Paul Moore and Kent Dobson hit record again and have another unscripted chat. We are not experts, just curious about spirituality. In this one we talk about demons, how the truth comes out when our kids ask us about God, and a few thoughts on myth. Hope you enjoy.