It has been a busy few months with lots of interviewing taking place. The result is a series of episodes that follow on from the Political Turn and therefore are at times political themselves. Whether discussing the environment, economics, activism, or radical epistemology, the underlying theme remains the practising life. Hope, action, and choice are core themes that unite the three episodes, as are emotional and intellectual engagement in changing times. The role of a practising life acts as bookends holding up the need for practices that aid us in facing our existential existence as beings in a world under threat and as active instigators of change that may help push us towards global change rather than global collapse. The activism is tethered to intellectual exploration, spiritual practice and a maturing commitment to an immanent world.
Professor of philosophy, religion and integral ecology, at San Francisco University, Sam Mickey is our first guest. We tackled many a topic but returned again and again throughout to the theme of the Great Feast and embodiment in facing existential threat, and environmental decay. We tackle the theme of justice too. Many of the themes connect to titles of his books including; On the verge of a Planetary Civilisation: A Philosophy of Integral Philosophy, and the wonderfully demanding title, Coexistentialism and the Unbearable Intimacy of Ecological Emergency. Do not panic, however, Sam is a wonderful conversationalist and shares my own hopeful outlook on our future, and this is evident throughout. Sam anticipates a future conversation with the ever-present Daniel Ingram in which we will tackle integral theory and the work of Ken Wilber.
Then we have Clair Brown an economist at U.C. Berkley discussing Buddhist Economics, which is incidentally the name of her book on the topic. Clair has been active in seeking to construct and teach alternatives to the free market, neo-liberal economic model we are still living under. Using real world evidence and data, she has been developing policies towards an economics more suited to our 21st century plight.
And finally Brooke Lavelle and a returning guest, Zack Walsh, take us down a path into the realm of love, courage, and our immanent future whether as transition or collapse. Brooke help put together the Courage of Care Coalition whilst Zack works for an environmental think tank integrating contemplative and social practices. They are both deep thinking, practitioners and our discussion reflects much of what I see as the sort of thought and inquiry very much needed in our time. If you are a cynic, brace yourself for some strong emotions.
Here’s Sam on the Practising Life;