Hints and Guesses Conversations about Spirituality, Religion, Doubt, Sacred Texts, Nature, Soul, Love, Death and all the Good Stuff

December 16, 2017  

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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October 16, 2017  

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.

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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.  

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September 27, 2017  

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.  

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September 13, 2017  

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.

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This is from a few years ago, but this talk at Christianity 21 inspired my book which comes out Aug 1, 2017.  This was also the first time I ever talked about what happen to me on Mt Sinai.  Enjoy

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July 6, 2016  

Kent Dobson and Paul Moore discuss the loyal soldier, inner authority, out of body experiences and more.  Check it out.  Let us know what you think.  

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