Self & Psyche

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Kelly Brogan: Restoring Blunted Consciousness (E17)

Podcast
Kelly Brogan is a psychiatrist who made a radical break with pharma-centered orthodoxy to pursue holistic approaches to mental health, with extraordinary results. We recorded a conversation that started with psychiatric drugs and visited many perennial topics: working inside versus outside the system; the importance of community, the blunting of consciousness in our society and the power of grief to restore it; and the recovery of our power as agents of planetary change. I hope you enjoy this deep and playful conversation as much as I did. Note: Here is the link to Kelly's online program for anyone who is intrigued by what Kelly shares about it in this conversation ... More →

The Next Level Podcast (5.2016)

Audio
A podcast interview with Jeff Agnostelli, on the Next Level Podcast on "Navigating the Space Between Stories:"  Some of the topics include: The old story of who we are, how to be a man, how to be a woman, how to be human, how to live a life Different forms of rebellion Charles interest in “the origin of the wrongness” Why he wrote Sacred Economics first What is our true fundamental motivation Forging your path in a new world The sometimes harsh reality of leaving the old story behind Jeff’s story about the first time he left the old story behind “Any path that already exists is the wrong path” David White Trusting the process of life How sometimes regret ... More →

Psychedelics and Systems Change

Essay
The revolutionary potential of psychedelics lies first and foremost in their power to reveal the Story of Separation as nothing but that:, a story ... More →

Julio Olalla: A Story of Gratitude (E05)

Podcast
Charles speaks with life coaching legend Julio Olalla about the power of gratitude, and more generally, the role of story and perception in forming the ground from which actions arise. Julio shares an amazing story of synchronicity and gratitude that also hints at the world-changing effects of choices that, in the moment, might seem insignificant ... More →

Francis Weller: Of Grief and Reverence (E04)

Podcast
Charles talks with Francis Weller about grief as a gateway to joy, to reverence, and to community, and the power of public grief to bring healing on a personal, community, and political level ... More →
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The Humbler Realms, Part 2

Short Reflection
My last post about the contributions of humble people seems to have struck a chord. People are writing to tell me about the “Charlie’s” in their lives, the people who unostentatiously contribute to their places and communities. One woman wrote,"He is a man much like Charlie. He takes in the stray cats and loves them like family, brings his neighbors fruits and vegetables from his garden, makes homemade pickles and dried apples and sends them to his grandchildren, much to their delight. He visits loved ones in the hospital regularly and knows everyone in his very small town by name. He always offer a big hello and smile to everyone and, if they're willing to lend and ear, he'll tell ... More →
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The Humbler Realms

Short Reflection
I met three beautiful souls on my walk today in the Harrisburg Greenbelt, a charming, albeit poison ivy and tick-infested, oasis of greenery near my semi-urban neighborhood. The three were retirees who do maintenance on the greenbelt, in this case removing a fallen tree. They are volunteers who get paid nothing in money and little in thanks, since, it seems, most people just assume that the greenbelt is maintained by the government. (It isn’t and hasn’t been since the city went into decline after World War Two.) Joggers and dog-walkers passed by the three as if they weren’t there, treating them the same way most people treat a cashier. That is to be expected in a society that surrounds us ... More →

Letter to my Younger Self

Short Reflection
Earlier this year Erick Joseph filmed me in a short interview "for a younger audience." We talked about stuff I wished I'd known when I was 20. We also talked about yoga. Anyway, here is the short film he made from the interview. I also wrote a short essay to accompany it, which I'll paste in below. Letter to my Younger Self Dear self. Your secret, lonely knowledge is true. Despite all you have been told, the world that has been offered to you as normal is anything but normal. It is a pale semblance of the intimacy, connection, authenticity, community, joy and grief that lie just beneath the surface of society’s habits and routines. Dear self: You have a ... More →
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Raising My Children in Trust

Short Reflection
One of the places I spoke at on my recent trip was Lebensgarten, an ecovillage in Steyersberg, Germany. This is one of the earliest centers of the modern permaculture movement, but what impressed me the most was the children I saw playing, unsupervised, outside. I suppose this shouldn't be that impressive -- after all, in traditional contexts unsupervised play is the norm. Constant supervision is harmful for a child's development, because it signals to them: "You are not worthy of trust." We see what happens when, having internalized that message, they become teenagers and enact the very untrustworthiness with which we have programmed them. In the United States though, huge social and even legal pressure demands that children be constantly ... More →
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The Baby in the Playpen

Short Reflection
Yesterday, after a day of considerable emotional turmoil, I went to pick up my son from his friend’s house. He needed to pack up his computer, so I hung out in the living room for a while, where there was a cute little baby, 13 months old. For privacy’s sake I’ll call him Loren.Loren was all by himself in that room while his grandmother – his main caregiver – was feeding dinner to his brothers. Loren was in a playpen, with the television on. He was standing up, holding himself steady on the fence, looking over it at me with a curious expression. I fell in love right away. I started talking to him in cooing tones, “Are you just ... More →

The Space Between Stories

Short Reflection
I just finished speaking at the Rainbow Serpent Festival in Australia. I’m not sure exactly what sequence of events led me to speak there. If you asked me to justify this whole trip to Taiwan, Indonesia, and Australia, I wouldn’t be able to justify it, certainly not if I add up the fossil fuel burned or, more personally, the precious irreplaceable moments away from my loved ones. To make matters worse, this was my second trip to Australia in two months.I’ve been deprogramming myself from justifying things, learning another way of making choices outside of reasons and expected outcomes. What has come from these trips was so beyond what I could have expected, that I cannot help but conclude the ... More →
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At this moment, I feel held.

Short Reflection
I had a magical day yesterday in Taiwan, full of symbolism. My friend from 20 years ago, Philip, picked me up at 6am from the airport and took me straight into the mountains, an hour on winding narrow roads, to go hiking. We followed a narrow trail requiring ropes in some places that supposedly had ancient trees. We didn't find any and we needed to turn back soon because we were tired and I was supposed to speak that afternoon. We came to a nasty muddy section that seemed like the spot to turn around, but I said, Let's go a little further, maybe there is a view there. We got past that section and there wasn't a view, just ... More →
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We Don’t Know: Reflections on the New Story Summit

Essay
What transpired at the NSS is instructive, for it is in some ways a microcosm of society at large ... More →

A Slice of Humble Pie

Short Reflection
So, last night, flush with the synchronicity and flow I had experienced on my trip, I decided to work a little bit of that magic on my own behalf. I said to the people giving me a ride to the airport, “Let's hold that I get upgraded for my red-eye tonight and have a solid sleep on the plane.” They agreed to hold that intention, and I walked through the airport in a state of calm, positive anticipation. An hour later, I was seated in the worst seat on the plane: in the center seat of the back row next to the bathrooms, sandwiched between a very large woman wearing too much perfume, and a large man with long elbows ... More →
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