EP 114: Howard Teich on Alchemy In Today’s World

EP 114: Howard Teich on Alchemy In Today’s World

Alchemy from a depth-psychology perspective has much to say about personal growth, metaphysics, spiritual transformation, and the individuation process. In this podcast episode, Howard Teich adds dimension and texture to this fascinating topic and touches into the relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung; comparing and contrasting their work.  Alchemy is a word heard more and more often yet its meaning is mostly lost. Alchemy conjures vague mental pictures of robed men stirring large vats of bubbling water, apprentices cranking spigots to keep the fires burning. Half witch, half wizard, a definitely crazed scientist from sometime in the middle ages is the commonly held understanding. Recently the word is heard more often to indicate some kind of transformational shift that has taken place or is about to take place. The nightly news, for instance, might say casually “what’s needed now is an alchemy of change in the House and Senate.” And, on a personal basis, relates to one finding their path in life toward creating their greatest contribution to the world… their magnum opus.


Guest – Howard Teich
Creator/Host – Clay Boykin
Co-Host – Dennis TardanTardan Media Network 


Howard Teich 00:07
They were projecting their psyche into matter. And it’s that projection. And the fact that the alchemist use nature as a metaphor system, they didn’t make a difference between spirit and matter. I’m like what started happening was science and certainly what the church and all of the philosophical traditions which had God were some something in there, and so the alchemists were looking below the surface and projected so what Jung points out is that they were finding psychological gold

Clay Boykin 00:50
Welcome to In Search of the new compassionate male. My name is Clay Boykin, I support this podcast through my coaching practice. I help people visualize and harmonize find direction and meaning or simply get unstuck. Contact me at Clay boykin.com for a free consultation. Now here’s the latest episode of In Search of the new compassionate male

Dennis Tardan 01:14
hello world it’s me Dennis and Welcome to In Search of the new compassionate male. I’m done a start on I’m co hosting this episode with the founder of the new compassionate male and in search of clay Boykin. Hey, Clay.

Clay Boykin 01:30
Hi, Dennis, what a great afternoon we have coming back with us. I think now for the third time we’ve been together several times is Howard typisch. My dear friend, thank you.

Dennis Tardan 01:42
Brilliant, brilliant Howard. What a difference you’ve made in my in my life, Howard, how I look at how I look at the world differently. Honor and lunar have come into my life how have actually had a paradigm shift and my perceptions of the world through your work. And when you’re doing honor. And I understand today that we’re you’re getting a chance to to help me especially clay has had much you’ve had a much deeper understanding and work in alchemy than i

Clay Boykin 02:13
Well, yeah. But barely scratching the surface. And thanks to Howard, I’ve got a little bit more appreciation. But yeah, you’re right.

Howard Teich 02:22
Me too. I only have a little appreciation of the depth of this imagery and this architecture that has been around really, maybe from the beginning of carrying the fire. And certainly through Egypt, and particularly in the Middle Ages, which is what young made a big Carl Jung made a big discovery of power and that I think the future of his recognition is going to come from his having discovered alchemy and the collective unconscious mind. All came from his work later on in his life in discovering alchemy.

Clay Boykin 03:04
And was alchemy. I just want to kind of set the stage. So please alchemy is is ancient by name, I mean, going back into the Egyptian times and earlier, is that correct? I mean, they actually use the term

Howard Teich 03:20
I believe so the translation,

Dennis Tardan 03:24
but how and how it came through the ages when I went when I was growing up in this when I heard the word alchemy, they basically said we’re turning lead into gold. And that was it was a process to get rich. That was that was the this was the depth of my understanding, which is only an inch deep. It’s much more complex and much more interesting than that. So could you give from me from from an ignorant perspective to how would you tell me about this so that I could understand it at a deeper level as to exactly what’s going on here?

Howard Teich 04:04
Well, I think that metaphor system came about because the alchemists were really a concept of quantum physicists, of that time trying to figure out what spirit and matter were knowing there was something in matter that they were searching for. And, and because they didn’t understand what was there. As Jung brilliantly points out, they were projecting their psyche into matter. And it’s that projection. And the fact that the alchemists used nature as a metaphor system that didn’t make a difference between spirit and matter, unlike what started happening was science and certainly with the church and all of the philosophical tradition. which had God were some something in there. And so the alchemists were looking below the surface, and projected. So what Jung points out is that they were finding psychological gold. But because they didn’t have the ego development that we now have, they didn’t realize that. And so they actually thought it was matter. And it was the pre chemistry. That is pretty much when alchemy died as a as a as a metaphor system, about 1600s, although Newton was an alchemist, and deeply has a lot of his journals, up and translated, but essentially what Jung pointed out, is that the alchemists were unconscious of their projections in the matter. And so because they didn’t have the modern ego, you get to take a look at the unconscious, the collective unconscious and their imagery.

Dennis Tardan 06:06
So how did you become interested in alchemy? How did that how did that battle fire in you?

Howard Teich 06:14
In my complicated years of when I became a psychologist, and got attracted to dreams, and I thought the the only person I really understood was young. And I had no idea what I was getting myself into. So I began to read Jung was in Jungian analysis with some of the world’s most interesting new hands in the Bay Area when I was living there. And I kept seeing that Jung at some point, I began to talk about alchemy. And I knew there was something hidden there. And, and so I began to do what I could to understand. Particularly his work, I mostly stayed with his work. And began to read the three or four volumes that he produced towards the end of his life. And I knew there was something there and it took me years and years to get the thing that you mentioned, which is the lunar masculine. That came because the alchemists were mostly men. And so most of it was the male psyche, as it turned out, and in Young’s last night, in his last great work called mysterium, can Yun Tian us the mystery of separation, and synthesis, in psychic alchemy? There were some pictures that were I thought weird. They were in his other book on alchemy that was actually from quantum physicist Wolfgang Pauli, his dreams, it was just loaded with all the classic alchemical imagery. But in that book, there were only a few. And there was a sequence that had these two men and one body with two heads. And there were three or four of them that were there. And I couldn’t figure out the weirdness of the pictures. And I could figure out the what they might mean. And because in that particular volume, they were printed in black and white. At one point after trying to understand them, I realized that the alchemy plates were in color, because they saw the colors, his transformation, energy transformation. And so I realized that in that volume, the pictures had descriptions and colors. So I took some markers on like me, I began to color them in. And at that point, I had begun to study deeply. What was this unusual part of male mythology that I had read about from Joseph Campbell’s work as original work call where the two came to their father, which was from the Navajo sand paintings, a series of sand paintings, that he read the story and told his commentary on this twin hero mythology. And I had never heard of this twin hero mythology. I’d been pretty much steeped in the hero with 1000 cases in that part of Campbell’s work. And Campbell wrote this major blog major commentary five years before He wrote here with 1000 faces. And he really didn’t return to it. But stayed with the hero myth that we’re all familiar with. But there was this weird these weird stock pictures in that last line was a young that had two men. So I’ve been studying, trying to understand what it meant that what was the difference between what I had grown up with, and most men understood about maleness and what it meant to be a man was the hero’s journey. And I had never heard of the twin arrows. And I found it. Every indigenous culture. And pre Judeo Christian cultures had twin male heroes and their mythic system, as well, as I began to notice in indigenous cultures, they also had dual females. They didn’t call them twins for some reasons. But I began, so I was very intrigued. And when I came across these pictures in that last volume on the stream and young pianists, I realized that one of them was called the hidden to be revealed. And I thought, wow, if there’s something hidden from the alchemists that they had, this must be really significant. And so I began to as I colored them in, I realized that what the change was, was that they were ended up standing on blue feet. The two legs were turned blue and the transformation I knew enough about alchemy and color transformation. I knew that that meant something. And then I had been studying all these different myths about the 20 Girls, particularly the Mayans, at that point that Navajos and I realized wow, child born of the water was a figure of the Navajo method in the Mayan story with a twin heroes who played on the ball court, which many, many of your listeners may have been down to the human hand and seen seeing Chichen Itza in some of the Mayan rooms. The twins were born in every single culture I could find almost every culture I could find as the part of the creation story and it’s only and Roman culture at Romulus kills Rebus and what we’ve lost in Western culture was one of the twins. And so I began to realize that blue now that was water, and and the Mayan story that began to really tell me, because after the twins were called down to the underworld, to meet the Lords and lords of the underworld, because they’re making too much noise, and they were bothering them down there. They went down with the arrogance of the archetypes thinking, well, we’ll just defeat them. Well, they ended up defeating them in the ballgame. But they realize they’re mortal and couldn’t live and they died. And one was born as the son of one was born as the moon. And that was the wake up call for me. Because in Union analysis, and all the most of Jung’s writing, and really not even fleshed out was actually this ancient male moon god. And he was the twin to the Sinad. And so alchemy began to be the piece that changed my life. Because up to that point, and much of the conscious, amazing still, how it’s the feminine side of men, that has talked about to be the compassionate emotional side, rather than the male boom God as that part of masculinity that was separate from the moon, goddess of the feminine. And that began to be the orientation point. So for me, Alchemy, had this extra special transformation and secret for me, so that’s that’s how I came across. Really alchemy and the value personally and emotionally to me and people that I’ve had a chance to share this with. It’s affected some people right away deeply like the two of you, and others and others just don’t relate to it, they keep attached to the, this one’s hero, because you have to let go of the ego identification of what masculinity is to really see the fullness of the organic nature of what it is to be a man that includes both these archetypes

Clay Boykin 14:50
and if I’m, if I’m hearing right, the tradition I remember Karambu talked about this, you know, the man has got develop the female within him and the females got to develop the masculine, the male within her. And that seems so plain. And for me it’s problematic because it’s gender oriented. And, and that gets to be charged because you know, me telling Laurie you need to develop the, the male within you. She’s got to take that too well, right

Howard Teich 15:31
women don’t take it as well as men do. Yeah, developing their feminine side, which is still the dominant myth.

Clay Boykin 15:40
And it’s that language, right? The essence of what you’re talking about. It gets there, but we’ve been using the wrong language and it becomes charged, which cause from my vantage point is an under current of energy that that drives polarity

Howard Teich 15:57
right on. Well, that that is that you really see that polarity, when you see Western culture develop around a solar hero myth where one twin kills the other. I haven’t come across any other culture where one twin killed the other sometimes they didn’t get along sometimes our enemies, oftentimes they were friends. But the murder of that part of the masculine, I think, is what is the big shadow Brinkley of the world right now. And certainly a men.

Clay Boykin 16:32
And so what you’re saying is that the twins, the men that are twins, the traditional or the dominant, the male is killing off the, quote, female aspect of the man. Was that what you’re saying?

Howard Teich 16:49
Only in Western culture in Western culture, right? Yeah, no, no, that that’s what we’ve killed. And that’s what I grew up with. And, you know, we all grew up with that only understanding the single hero story, rather than the twin hero story.

Dennis Tardan 17:06
What amazing and what what, what an amazing experience that is, are we the only culture are we the descendants of this culture? The only major culture that this came from? Would they have this in the, in the, in the pan, Pacific Island and Asian American cultures? Like Chinese or

Howard Teich 17:29
you have you have it there. The one I’m most familiar with is the Chinese culture, the yen and the egg. But you have it there until Confucius about 500 BCE, takes and makes the Yang female and Tao ism which preceded it. It was actually Light and Dark Sun Moon. And so Eve and it is so dominant that most people get attached to this contra gender side because of the Yin and Yang and Western culture, and people won’t let it go it is really they’ve done a great marketing job I’d love to have that marketing company that’s done it because people you know are really it’s very hard to get rid of because we’ve been basically brainwashed with it. And so you know, there’s other cultures that have two spirits but in indigenous color soon as indigenous cultures God dominated by a dominator sure most of that’s what went away because dangerous

Dennis Tardan 18:43
Howard, what is that done to us today? What are we where are we today in in our culture and how can we use alchemy and what how are you using it to where we can actually I have a an opportunity to access this what are what are the roots in?

Howard Teich 19:02
Well, I think the for me the the crossroad right now. Let me bring in one other historical thing. Young had the honor of working with a quantum physicist named Wolfgang Pauli, who was considered Einstein’s, you know, a real pure of Einstein’s and, and his volume. He used Wolfgang pole his dreams to illustrate alchemy. And so as I began to understand this, this twinning and began to scratch just really trying to scratch the surface. I came across the kind of fundamentals of what most people believe is the core of it. I’m in quantum physics, which is the concept of complementarity. Both and rather than either or. And so we are no question in an either or world, and certainly has exploded in the Balkans, again at this whole other level. And so that I’m beginning to understand and as quantum computers come on, and whatever it’s going to be this Metaverse, that is going to have a different kind of conscious experience of engagement. And it is really going to give us a chance to be willing to have the option to surrender the ego, and not use binary thinking, as a black and white way of looking at the world. And nature. Because the radicalness of the cost of binary thinking, is probably the thing that makes it almost impossible for there to be a transformation of almost everything. So my practice is to try to look at trying to look at both and rather than either or. And it’s it’s a conscious habit that one has to develop. And I think that without going into all of the alchemy, about which most people are, it’s kind of the core of quantum consciousness. And all of a sudden, I’m getting all these fires about quantum this and quantum that workshops here and there. And I’m not sure about, you know, I’ve been to some of them and

Dennis Tardan 21:52
buzz word, Howard. We’ve, we’ve adopted it, and we’re and we’re getting into it, and let’s, let’s go ahead and yeah,

Howard Teich 22:02
but they’re kind of this, it’s so simple at one level, to think of both and rather than either when you hear black and white thinking,

Dennis Tardan 22:11
exactly. But you know, I think about it, I think about it in in a in a continuum instead of it by one or zero, it is somewhere along the continuum between one and zero. And as we as I move along to the to the one which is at one meant, or atonement, or being, I am somewhere along this continuum, absolute darkness to absolute light. And as I move along this continuum, I can move a tiny gradient towards one. Or if I get into fear, or lack or that kind of thing. Yeah, I’m a little graduating toward the darker part. But I try to look at it along the continuum. Is that a? Is that a way of framing it?

Howard Teich 22:59
Totally? And I would say, Yeah, because we are a continuum of energy. And we’re in these cellular forms, that are a manifestation of this quantum energy. Yes, for from the cosmos. And if I could say to your listeners, I would say that you two are the two people that my first conversation with you where we got into this, both and I have not had that experience very often. So whatever it is that you two are contributing, and these podcasts and and your other work, I would really highly recommend that people keep understanding what both of you are doing, because you’re carrying it on at a architectural level, not just at an ego level.

Dennis Tardan 23:52
Thank you. lovely thing to hear. Yeah,

Howard Teich 23:55
that’s true.

Clay Boykin 23:57
You know, what comes to mind, I mean, this this whole search, you know, this search for the compassionate male is we’re picking up knowledge and wisdom for everybody that we talked about. And I said, Well, I heard this here, Howard, how does that fit for you? And so it’s a snowball effect of knowledge and information. And I know at times I’m holding it all. I don’t, I don’t understand it. But I feel like there’s something there. There’s an energy there and it keeps keeps growing. Yep. And for me to sit here and say, Well, I can explain it all. There’s no way but I can I can I don’t have the words to express what I’m feeling with the momentum that we’ve got happening here. I appreciate

Howard Teich 24:47
the wisdom of not saying all or nothing. What is the difference? The if you have a chance, you know, just at the most esoteric level, many A lot of the esoteric systems end up with a sun and a moon i. And since they’re connected to the left brain and the right brain, and people are more used to talking about the left brain being a linguistic tool, and the right brain gave me the emotional tool, it takes complementarity to do both. And, and that’s really the to me, the biggest thing that I think I, you know, we’ll get make a breakthrough here and people’s thinking, to get out of the subject object metaphor system. Yeah. And to move into reflective consciousness, not projections.

Clay Boykin 25:47
You know, one of the things I agree with that one of the things that, that I’ve been able to verbalize it is this whole notion of the, the plurality of, you know, absolutes, you know, this or this, and there’s anything in between is compromise. Well, no, this to get from this point to this point, there’s infinite points in between, which to me is now looking like infinite possibilities, right? Not compromise where nobody gets what they really wanted, no, has infinite possibilities of what that space in between is, for me, at least,

Howard Teich 26:25
yeah, no, I think that compromises when the ego is still attached, it’s just going to the other end, and hasn’t really surrendered. It’s black and white point of view is kind of in the back of the brain. So you know, as somebody is trying to expand, but unless you’re going to surrender the ego attachment to binary thinking, you’re gonna be caught in a binary world. And then see in a new way with fresh eyes, since it’s our the information that we’re making up anyway, and to get out of the projection into the energy flow and be informed by the interior life. As a reflection, rather than an object, that’s an art. And as that’s the, to me the modern art of alchemy.

Clay Boykin 27:19
I just saw a visualization, because we’re talking about, you know, this or this. And this, this ego keeps us in into a compromised conversation. And the release of the ego allows us both to lift up higher, and lift our sights higher and aim at something higher than either one

Howard Teich 27:38
and expanded ego. Because ego, that’s a child of the unconscious, but the ego thinks it is the unconscious.

Clay Boykin 27:51
Damn ego

Dennis Tardan 27:52
over identification.

Howard Teich 27:54
It’s really, you know, you can look at indigenous wisdom built around that twins story. Now twins, as a metaphor of complementarity is what you know, I think people are searching for and getting those people who don’t want to think in binary terms. And there’s most you know, plenty of people are never, certainly in our lifetime. I don’t think they’re gonna give up the binary request. But it’s the healthy ego that’s built with its Remember, it’s where it came from, rather than think it is it. That’s what we’re talking about the immune and ego to power the you need a healthy ego, hopefully, and complementarity.

Dennis Tardan 28:40
I love that idea, Howard, because I always thought of that I always thought of that when I would miss read a lot of this the a lot of the text and psychological texts that you know that we that our goal is to kill the ego. The ego is somehow evil in that and I thought, well, now, I have this physical body and I can eat cake and feed it all kinds of empty calories and I will damage leading this body. Alright, well, couldn’t ego be the same thing? would there not be new trick nutritive ways of making healthy ego?

Howard Teich 29:17
Yeah, because the ego is part of the body. It’s an emergent phenomena. Yeah. You know, some people think the modern ego happened, you know, 2000 1500 years ago, as opposed to collective ego, and the transition that was going on at that time, mostly into monotheism. But that came along with it was this thing that I think is now called the ego that if it still remembers that it’s built on nature, not an object is how the subject object might headset

Dennis Tardan 30:00
exactly, you inside view inside yourself. I’m because I’ve only done this. I’ve only had this a few times and sometimes in meditations a couple of times in one night when I was in some kind of a psychedelic experience, to read to understand that my ego and who I really am are two different.

Howard Teich 30:22
I’d say they’re complementary,

Dennis Tardan 30:24
yes, they are complementary, but they are but that but I, when it’s when I over identify with the self, or the self Exactly, right.

Howard Teich 30:35
This was if I could bring in the word self, which, and mandola what I Jung’s major things was trying to figure this out. And I would encourage any listener that really is interested in alchemy to read his auto bio, his biography at the end, memories, dreams, reflections, because he goes to a couple of chapters, he really goes into the importance of alchemy,

Dennis Tardan 31:03
is it understandable to people who do not have the kind of depth and the study that you that you have, would we

Howard Teich 31:10
is it that’s what, that’s where that is his most successful writing. The rest of his writing is almost, you got to really be willing to do the work. But no, that was written when he was 80. And it’s review of his life. And you might not be people might not be interested in all the different parts of it. But to really see, other guys, where this came from was an honest struggle, trying to understand the unconscious, and came across, after he really had this tragedy with Freud, were they couldn’t get along, because they had a different definition of the unconscious. And boy thought it was sexually driven. And you thought it was something in addition to sex, and they had a big breakthrough, and breakout. And I kind of finished by 1913. And your work went into retreat. And he spent five years doing an amazing amount of self discovery. And in that he was quite the artist, and talented. And as it turned out, the poor five years into it, he began to draw, and he began to draw my dollars. And I wanted to bring this in for people that know Clay and clay, his work. Yes, and that’s clays new book, which I have not seen the cover up. And that beautiful color blue, hopefully, is seen as the lunar masculine for men and a lunar feminine for women. And, you know, but that was his big breakthrough. And I want to tie this into alchemy, because he realized in about 1918, that there was a center and he called it the self. And it was an archetype. And at that point, he had withdrawn from the world give up his professorship in Zurich, and, and had pretty much stopped writing and then from then on and till, let me just kind of jump forward to 1927 ish. Were Richard Wilhelm, the man who wrote the chain, or translated it, that a lot of people are familiar with seminal book called The Secret of the golden flower. And it was an ancient Taoist alchemical text. And he saw a mandala in there that made him realize that the mandala was the self and that alchemy was the through line because as a scientist, he didn’t he wanted to find out if there was a new there, if this was going to be accurate that what most of us, many of us now think is the way the world works on the collective unconscious. And many of these amazing discoveries a new him did. It was his discovery of mandalas. That was the beginning of the center of himself. And that was, and he stopped doing mandalas in 1927 28, when that book was published, and that’s when he really went in and collected these books in Europe, about alchemy, which were in Latin and Greek, and many other languages. So the mandala that clay has in place work is really your centering device that that you’ve discovered is the art A type of wholeness, that’s transpersonal. And so deep. And so I wanted to tie the self, and the mandalas in for your listeners. So I’m sure some are familiar with that part of your work.

Clay Boykin 35:17
I so appreciate you saying that Howard. You know, for years, I was drawing this thing. And it had four quadrants to it. And, and I, it was just innate, something was happening. And I was using it in business for 20 years. And I would put this together and what I’ve since learned is the term quaternity. I’d have the pieces. And then I put all this stuff together, trying to put the puzzle together. And once I put it all into context, I had this big sigh, like, Oh, there’s the answer. And that’s what I saw. When somebody showed me the Joseph Campbell, quote, you know, it’s about taking and putting all the scattered aspects of one life, one’s life in in order with the universe. Oh, that’s the big sigh. That’s what I’ve been doing. And so now, oh, now I’m starting to put language to it. And then every time you and I talked our aside for costing me a fortune and great books of whichever one I’ve appreciated, you keep pointing me to new, you’ve put this bread trail out in front of me is helped me really understand more about the essence of what the power of a mandala is. And I’m still feel like I’m just scratching this

Howard Teich 36:33
Yeah, well, I think we all are trying to figure out ourselves, and what that means. And this era.

Dennis Tardan 36:42
It feels applicable because it feels like that what we’re, that what we’re experiencing now is a change in consciousness. I mean, we’re understanding with with with, with, I know that what looks, it appears to me is everything is outside of here. But it all happens in here. I mean, the the light comes into my eyes and all that and it translated to a picture out there. But it’s all happening in here, right? Well as we begin to get into virtual reality, and we begin to to marry the marry what’s going on, inside the brain with, with all the different kinds of inputs, it seems like that we’re going to be we’re going to be shifting the consciousness and what’s going to be what’s going to be looking at in this metaverse.

Howard Teich 37:35
That’s a deeper hope. Along with that is going to be a shift out of binary thinking.

Dennis Tardan 37:44
And that’s where that’s where we’re going.

Howard Teich 37:47
Yep. If I could say just one of the I find interesting thing about alchemy, and I think, you know, all of us, and I’m sure most of your listeners have learned to work on themselves in some way to keep expanding the consciousness. And the alchemist essentially had four colors, because colors were important to them. But they had four basic colors, that can summarize a way to work on yourself. It was black, white, red, and gold. And there were some other colors like blue and other colors were part of it. But their main contribution was black represented our shadow, and in our shadow to admit our shadows, which if in any relationship, it’s easy, if you ask the other. And they’re honest with you, they’ll tell your shadow, whether they want to hear it or not. And then you have to go through the whitening stage, which is the purification of the shadow. And then once you purify out the shadow, and I think this is what your comments made me want to share this that you have to go through a reading stage where you bring back in the energy that was entangled in the shadow to that archetype. And by living that either in a binary, non binary way, in a complementary way, you have a chance to do this deeper alchemy that you’ve discovered almost automatically clay in your mandala work gets you there and you have a way to do it for all of us. And I know you because I know how hard you work on yourselves both of you. It is that holding that space and complementarity around all the opposites that want to reduce us and are not friendly to this other mindset. And when The beauty of what’s going on technologically is that when you get immersed, and some of the new technology, it just happens. You don’t have a choice to if you’re going to experience it, to get past it as whether afterwards you then retain it. And birth it as a conscious part of your mindset. So that the ego and a deeper self are working together in a complimentary way.

Clay Boykin 40:29
That’s not an intellectual event. It this has I’m reading it, I mean, it’s almost a visceral experience that eventually, for me, it becomes conscious and I can say, oh, that’s what was happening. Yeah, I can’t think my way into that space.

Howard Teich 40:53
No, one thing as if thing about consciousness, as much as you want to have the intention. And so Oh, most only after it happens that you become aware that you will become conscious of something before it disappears.

Dennis Tardan 41:10
Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s, I find it interesting to know, to imagine all the things that I’m going to be learning that I can keep myself open. So when I do come upon them, I actually experience them rather than walking past right on, right on, you know, and that’s really my prayer, keep me open, keep me open universe, to what lessons are here so that I can both learn them and experience them and share them and share their grace?

Clay Boykin 41:50
Let me take just one piece of the alchemical process. There was this term that I’ve heard, I’ve heard, and I’ve actually embedded it up into my mandala right here over here somewhere called the philosopher’s stone. And for the life of me, I, I knew that it was something but I couldn’t figure out what that something really was, until I began to tell you pointed me into the alchemical process. But even now, I have trouble. It’s nice to well, what’s the Philosopher’s Stone? Can you?

Howard Teich 42:25
Well, I take a minor stab at it, that it’s the elixir. It’s the part of all of us that are seeking health. And that was the main metaphor, one of the main metaphors for the alchemist was searching for the phosphor stone, which oftentimes was imaged. And the last, there’s seven different stages of alchemy, but I’ll just refer to the last one, which is called the sacred marriage. And it’s a sacred marriage oftentimes was imaged as the sun and the moon. And so I keep exploring that complementarity of the sun and the moon, taking the gender labels off, and dealing with the energy. And finding that is the way that I try to image and articulate the elixir, the Philosopher’s Stone, the healing stone, but they were they were after healings, they were trying to end something and discover something and it was that piece that I have seen imaged as the sun and the moon and the complementarity. And in many of the alchemical pictures, because they were immersed in nature, they didn’t have the magnitude of the subject object language, so poor way, and they were trying to figure something out about matter. When we you know, accepted matter as an object and try to accumulate it, rather than see it on the continual evolution that you pointed out it really is. synergy that isn’t fixed unless the ego fixes it. Yeah. made into

Dennis Tardan 44:20
an object. And I find it fascinating when I when I when I read the Financial Times and I you see people with billions of dollars and I go okay, well, what would be enough I realized it’s it must be playing a game It must be playing the game you know, and that there’s always the game to win more. But what to put in to to what when do we ask ourselves that question, to what end? What are we doing here on the planet? What is my what is my my? Why am I here? Are

Howard Teich 45:00
we that’s the, that’s what I have. Spirit of summarizes the plus for stone is his quantum energy of the wave and the particle and trying to keep it alive and minimally make it into matter attitudes. Emotions that gets stuck.

Clay Boykin 45:21
Okay, the shadow. Okay, so let me pick up on that you said shadow. And you’ve taught me the term prima materia. And in some ways does that equate?

Howard Teich 45:39
That’s, that’s what I think, again discovered is that the prima materia that the alchemist were working with was their own shadow. Okay, that into matter. And that the thing about the alchemist said this, then the symbolism, which is fascinating to me, is crucial for hundreds, if not 1000s A years as an evolution of how we see matter. And so now I believe we’re in the quantum level of not make up realizing there’s something invisible, that’s matter as not just visible, and it’s seeing the visible and the invisible, that makes that complementarity rather than getting one sided. So it’s really in our personal shadow in our collective shadow, that keeps the transformation from going in a way that just keeps getting acted out and projection and making the other the object that’s the enemy. Rather than admitting that part of ourselves. And that’s what, you know, unconsciously the alchemists were doing was getting their ego another way. You know, they had to be fairly wealthy to afford all that equipment. They were hated by the church. And so many of you are philosophers and doctors really looking for healings. And I think all of us no matter who we are, at what’s part of that continuum, we are we are looking for healings and having a longer, more vital for life.

Clay Boykin 47:23
I guess they were, I guess, at some point, they were beginning to equate. I guess, that part of healing physically is the mental health healing?

Howard Teich 47:33
Well, I’d say that’s where we’re at in young came in. Okay. And that’s what they were able to do and picking up this thing that’s called the unconscious. Is that that is I call the unconscious the self. Because, you know, and the ego relationship to the unconscious, is what flows and works. When you have too much ego, or too much unconscious, you’re in trouble. And that’s hard to find. The right dance of particular configuration.

Clay Boykin 48:18
Wow, the hard ego driving the unconscious. There’s a formula for disaster, right?

Dennis Tardan 48:25
It’s been in my life. Yeah.

Clay Boykin 48:27
For all of us. Yeah. Oh, not me.

Dennis Tardan 48:30
All right. All right. plays on that. Car. No, I wrote. How are you? And I will, you and I will sit down together? We’ll have a beer together. And then you can you’re going to send on your

Clay Boykin 48:46
right, till the wax melts off my wings.

Dennis Tardan 48:52
Oh, Howard, I want to thank you so much for today, because I love the opportunity to learn more in this discuss, what are what are the, because I love the idea of that radio waves existed before the invention of the radio. You know, it wasn’t just we began to use them. And we begin to sensitize myself to the power of intuition to be able to see I’m you know, that’s where, where Einstein and so many of the fine men and so many they use their intuition on on a regular basis that this is where the this is part of what we’re doing. And as we’re building that muscle, and you’re such a proponent and a practitioner, in developing the intuition and using it that you have used it so much in your life and it’s one of the reasons why I’m so inspired every time I get around to do that, because that’s something I’m working to develop into practice more in my life.

I feel honored to know both of you

Dennis Tardan 50:00
CLAY thank you for this opportunity today to be on in search of the new compassionate male and Howard, thank you. Thank you again for this, this chance to have another journey and may we continue these conversations if we learn, learn more I want to I want to explore in the next time we talk the, the concept of the collapsing of the future as it collapses as we observe it. And so one of the reasons why it’s so careful, I need to be careful to what I observe because what I observe will actually be part of my reality and so I want to talk about that more and with you and with you clay and anything closing clay that you want to share.

Clay Boykin 50:45
As always, I come away with a bit more knowledge when Howard and I talk

Dennis Tardan 50:52
and more questions than when I walked in. I have always have more questions on the other side of a conversation with our tastes than

Clay Boykin 51:01
in my my Amazon book bill continues to get a little bit bigger.

Dennis Tardan 51:09
If Jeff Bezos goes oh

Clay Boykin 51:19
I just love it when Howard is with us. It always expands my thinking and I come away on oh boy so much more to study and so much not

Dennis Tardan 51:28
just my thinking too. It’s my heart. Yeah. Because Because Howard You’re such you’re such a deeply heartful man and have have brought in your love and your love consciousness and that has that for me that my the way I interpret the word is is so strong and and your intellect of course, but but the combination of those that you bring to us is is extraordinary. Thank you. Thank you for the above. All right, thank you, Clay. And thank you everyone who has been here for this podcast and we look forward to seeing you on future podcast in search of the new compassionate. Well done, Howard. Did you hold that right there? Hold it

Clay Boykin 52:25
thanks. Thank you. Check out the latest episode of In Search of the new compassionate mail on your favorite podcast Station.

Ep 113: Sande Hart on The Liminal Odyssey

Ep 113: Sande Hart on The Liminal Odyssey

The Liminal Odyssey: The Alchemical Power of the Space In-Between – “Everyone has a unique story known only to them that when shared is a sacred gift to the world. In her book, The Liminal Odyssey: The Alchemical Power of The Spaces In-Between, Sande Hart’s life experiences flow authentically onto the page and reveal her own dance within her own sacred liminal space. From her sobering and chilling experience, visiting Auschwitz and Birkenau death camp, to her cry out to the stadium-filled crowd to save an abandoned dog,  Sande captures and shares many life lessons that evoked inspiration, and at times melted me into a sacred surrender to truths I had only known unconsciously.” – Clay Boykin








Sande  00:07

We all have, we’re all encoded like that seed. We’re all encoded with the potentiality of 10,000 forests. One oak tree can produce up to 10,000 forests, by all the seats that potentially can draw, and plant and grow again.

Sande  00:24

We have a design assignment, I believe Aristotle calls it our calling where your passions meet the needs in the world, therein lies your calling. And it goes so much deeper than that, of course, yet it’s about what is it that makes us come alive? And why aren’t we living there? Because that’s, you know, where our potential gift is to the world. And maybe that’s what we all need to be showing up with.

Clay  00:49

The book has really moved me it takes incredible courage to share on the level that you shared. Welcome to In Search of the new compassionate male.

Clay  01:00

My name is Clay Boykin, I support this podcast through my coaching practice. I help people visualize and harmonize find direction and meaning or simply get unstuck. Contact me at Clay boykin.com for a free consultation. Now here’s the latest episode of In Search of the new compassionate male.

Dennis  01:21

Hello World. It’s me Dennis and we are in search of the new compassionate male. I’m the co host of this particular podcast I’m here with the founder clay Boykin, oh, Clay, hey, Dennis, my dear friend, Sande Hart is back. Sande and I met in 2018, the fall of 2018 at the Parliament of the world’s religions. And I can tell you, she took me under her wing, and was instrumental in moving forward the work that we’ve been doing with men and raising compassion, consciousness and men. And we’re just pleased to have her here. She’s got a new book. And we’re going to talk about that and whatever comes up.

Dennis  02:01

Oh, wonderful. How wonderful. Welcome, Sande. Well, thank you so much. I am thrilled to be here. I am thrilled to be here and you didn’t stand in my way too long.

Sande  02:12

You flew right out of there. And look what you’ve managed. And you and Dennis together are amazing and breathtaking. To behold, we’re you know, we’re we’re

Dennis  02:26

Thank you, Sande it is How gracious of you it is. It is amazing to me because we still see the power structure that is still predominantly male, and certainly predominantly white male and older, white male as we’re seeing this. So the power structure and the dynamics are shifting to this wonderful interdependence, this wonderful collection of knowing that that the world is a yes. And rather than a then an OR gate. And and this is the place where you’re playing with your new book and all on can you talk a little bit about what’s going on? And what your what what is impelled you to write this wonderful tome.

Sande  03:11

Yes, thank you. Well, first of all, yes, we are definitely in an evolutionary growth spurt. And you know, you had two very dear friends of mine on your program not too long ago, Connie Baxter Marlowe and Andrew Cameron Bailey, who wrote the trust frequency, and one of their 10 assumptions isour 10… Yeah, I think the 10 assumptions are that are we are humanity is an upward spiral motion. But I challenge that, and I love Connie and Andrew and I will respectfully have the same conversation with them. But why is it we keep spiraling? What is it that keeps us coming back around and moving up ever so gently?

Sande  04:02

What is it that keeps us from elevating at such a slower pace, and right now it feels like the trajectory is accelerated and it’s going up straight, I don’t see it coming back around to the very point of what you’re working on. And that’s the patriarchy and, and the domination trance that we’ve been walking through that Dr. Riane Eisler speaks of, and because we are walking through these assumptions of the way things used to be that that male and female feminine and masculine have these different identities but now we’re pulling back the veil on that. And and those assumptions that no longer service with the work that you are doing, which is so critically profound to that. You’ve really gone right to the heart of that darkness. It’s served us patriarchy has served us. It’s yeah, it’s time has come.

Clay  04:58

Well it’s time for it to evolve as time. I’m free to move to the next level, like you’re saying, right? Isn’t it something we’re, and I know, I’m guilty of this of trying to hold on to the past, you know, I wish things were the way they used to be. Well think about that I don’t, I really don’t think I want that. But I keep migrating back in, it’s almost like, I’m not going to change until I have to change until the pressures are such that, that I’ve got no choice but to change. And I feel like that’s where we are in the world right now

Sande  05:32

Yeah, that’s the creative tension that always comes before great change. So we can bless that creative tension, you know, the piling on of crises that we don’t even have to name here. But then when we can look at the things that are changing the assumptions that are falling off, like what we consider identity, what we consider feminine and masculine even. Yeah, and so we’re and the way technology has been accelerating and speeding up and created lots of havoc in our life, it’s also helped us consciously grow because we have information coming at a so quickly, that we have no choice but to expand our mind and our thinking and our ability to, to, to, to receive information.

Sande  06:25

And it’s both it’s both a great tension. With a great it’s like when you put a seed in the ground, the seed first has to disintegrate before New Life can grow from it. Right? And what grows from it looks very different from the seed, right? We’re at that place in evolution where we could see both the seed and the sprout wildly wonderful time to be alive.

Clay  06:49

Gosh, I go back to Dana White talking with this. And the myth of progress, you know, and how it’s been going for the past 500 years, and the whole idea of technology and faster and faster and faster. In contrast, though, he talks about the myth of the fall, the story of the fall, you know, progress, but there’s the downside to it. And we’re certainly seeing that accentuated right now.

Sande  07:24

Yeah. From Joseph Campbell, from death comes life. All the myths. So stories are dying. And we have a choice, it is our moment of choice. We want the midwife service or casualties.

Clay  07:42

Yeah, it is and, and in your book, and I’m gonna name your book.

Sande  07:48

Oh, yes, thank you.

Clay  07:50

The book is titled the liminal Odyssey, the alchemical power of the spaces in between the beautiful book. And in it, you reference the Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. But you’ve got a twist, or you’ve got modification or you’ve added to it can you talk about that some Sande?

Sande  08:14

Yeah, I found that I originally set out to frame my, the stories that appeared to me in my life, in in the hero’s journey, and started doing my own charting of what was happening in my life, if I could look at it through that lens. And the hero’s journey really fell short for me. And I realized that the linear the linear fashion of the hero’s journey is kind of specific. First comes the call to action then comes to the appearance of allies and wizards, and, and, and so on. And I think you can be you can be all of these things at once. You know, I close my book on a real great example, if you say so myself on the call to action and the resurrection, step one and step 10. Together.

Sande  09:06

Oh, well expire. It’s not even a spiral. It’s six and it’s AGS. A Bob around.

Dennis  09:10

Thank you. All right, May I May I use a metaphor, please. i When, when we had back when Joseph Campbell was writing this, we were very much in a linear world. It was very much of one thing happened after another we did this when very much in our, in our process. This is what the the this is the pre the digital immigrants. These are this is the pre that we had but the today, it’s a nonlinear world, so that the kids like Okay, so he’s 18 and wants to have his midlife crisis at 18 Go ahead and have it get it out of the way and continue on. So I love that idea because we can actually, we can actually create the journey at time when we need it rather than having it prescribed for us.

Sande  10:03

Absolutely. And that has something to do with patriarchy to. Things are a certain way because that’s just the way they are because someone prescribed them that way. And we’re waking up.

Dennis  10:19

What what is the courage that it takes for you to be out on the leading edge to be able to do this? Because you’re gonna, because you have to be willing to be able to have people go, Oh, are you okay? What? So I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s

Sande  10:34

And I go like this, like, teach teach.

Clay  10:38

I thought it was bring it on, bring it.

Sande  10:44

And I and I actually I say, Listen, we read my book, and then go to Amazon and leave a review. And I can even this even a crunchy one, even one that isn’t glowing. That’s how I have to learn these things. That’s part of my liminal Odyssey. I have to be able to clear all the stuff that doesn’t serve me. I don’t have to agree with you. But you know, when you’re talking about courage, yeah, vulnerability is required if you’re going to sit down and write a book, right?

Clay  11:13

Oh, my God. Yes.

Sande  11:16

Yeah, and it’s required in a limit a lot of sleep. And I think you’re only as strong as your willingness to be vulnerable.

Clay  11:22

Well, I want to ask you Liminal Odyssey how’d you come up with the title?

Sande  11:29

You know, I didn’t set out to write a book about liminal space. I did not even know what liminal meant until about a year ago. And even then I learned it to me threshold, and the space between crisis and choice or crisis and action. And, you know, before that, I was starting to write a, I’ve been trying to write a story about something that happened in the 1982 at the Rose Bowl at a no nukes rally called Peace Sunday. I’ve told this story before. It’s a remarkable story. It had some synchronistic stories that lasted over the course of 30 years. And like, I got to tell the story, or others are saying you’ve got to tell the story. But I didn’t have enough of the story to write. And as I’m, as I’m sitting down to write it again. I started really paying attention to what was going on inside of me what caused what what it was that prompted me in that moment to create what was a wave of a critical mass to care about a single dog in the midst of 100,000 people that unknown next rally. The last 12 hours. Tell us about the dog. What about the dog?

Sande  12:53

Yeah, so it was no nukes rally and music festival. It was tucked right between Woodstock and Live Aid. It was a cause concert. So in between the activists and the speakers and musicians. There were moments of silence Now earlier in the day. The emcee hit a rider right from the very start, the emcee came to the microphone, and said, Hey, we just got a report from the parking lot. Somebody left their dog in the car. If that’s your job, please go roll your windows down. There was a low grade blue and then you know everyone forgot about it except for me. Speaker I think it was Reverend Jesse Jackson comes to the microphone says some words of wisdom leads and before the band can start playing the first band. I think it was todo I don’t remember. Taj Mahal it was Taj Mahal.

Sande  13:47

Sitting, started singing or playing their music. I just started chat. Shouting, what about the dog? What about the dog? I was relentless. I was the relentless irritans. So they would have to answer I’m thinking surely they care about the dog. Surely they’ll report back. And then my moment came again. After the band was done before the next speaker come to the mic. I started again, only now my friends started with me. Didn’t take long before a whole section started. By noon, the whole stadium was chanting. What about the dog? It took off without me and lasted until 10 o’clock it well? No, it was more like seven o’clock when the emcee came to the microphone and said, so you want to know about the dog?

Sande  14:31

The dog is fine. Now odds are they just realized they would have to come then, you know answer that the question of the day because Mr. Stevie Wonder was coming and asking for five minutes of silence for to pray for world peace. But that was a story that I had no other story to tell it and about one, you know, time 15 or 20 years later. And then someone said, Wow, that’s a great story. You should really tell that story. And it grew legs on its own. And I sat down to write about what was going on inside of me. They got me to open my mouth. And I’m like, Oh, I’m, I get liminal. Now. I get Okay, there was my crisis. And here’s my call to action in the hero’s journey, and what was going on inside me, reverent listening, I read reverent listening. So the more I started writing about that experience, and what was going on inside of me, and what was reverent listening, the sacred art of listening, other stories started, kind of, you know, lining up, and they were all wildly synchronistic. And they were all anchored in a different skill, whether it was whether it’s the trust frequency, that’s a chapter in my book, recognizing your archetype. And I frame that in the goddess archetype, Maiden, mother and crone which you can also be all three at a time, which I play my living generally.

Sande  16:00

And listening to your body and understanding mindfulness in a different way. So each story is anchored with a different skill set. And then I stood back and I went, Oh, wait, all those skills together, I pulled them out. And I looked at them. And I’m like, independently, they’ve all got merit independently. They’re all really powerful and respected practices. And they are all practices, which by the way, neuro neuroplasticity and how Dr. James Doty, who has also been a guest has influenced me greatly. And, but what happens when you practice them together? There’s that coherence, there’s that coherence that were that were the individual skills, collectively are greater than the sum of their parts. So we have to practice Reverend listening in order for us to understand trust for us to understand, you know, the biology and how our, our body is wired, for compassion, how to understand what the multi sensory perceptions are, Gary Zooka speaks to understand that thoughts happen outside of ourselves that Dr. James Lipton talks about, and James Hillman and all those that came before him, and and you know, of course, giving credit respectfully, but how, collectively they are interdependent, mutually supportive, and create their own constellation. And like, Okay, this is sounding like a preachy book. I don’t, I don’t, I’m not going to write a preachy book, because, like I said, I’m here to learn.

Sande  17:39

And, wait, what would happen if I took other like, air Aveda, which I did, or the chakra systems and understanding crystals and all of that, or whatever skills that you, you as the reader, you know, find super helpful, what happens when you just put them in that petri dish and mix it up? It works, it works, you know, for everything. So, yeah, I’ve got, I’ve kind of like, I’m looking at a bookshelf with 300 books, and probably 250 different modalities and methodologies, but they’re single. They’re single processes. What happens when you take all the processes we already know, that worked for us, and put them together?

Sande  18:23

That’s the liminal Odyssey, when you can stop in the spaces in between, and apply those skills and expand what may seem like a mundane, otherwise unremarkable experience like an MC saying, hey, somebody left their dog in the car. So it’s still going on and still having synchronistic events from that. It didn’t make it into the book, by the way.

Dennis  18:49

Not the maybe not this book.

Clay  18:56

I keep going back to the dog. And, you know, what started out as you as an individual and then two people to make a wave 100,000 people making that wave? It hit me like a tsunami. And how long has it been how many years and it was so powerful the way you wrote it, and the way you shared it… it really hit me. Like it’s hit me now. And so yeah, and that’s just the start of the book.

Dennis  19:41

This is, this is so holy to watch to see to participate in this because this, what I love about what the precursor to that time, is how quickly we can connect on the internet. Now, how quickly we can get a wonderful idea out there, how quickly we can get the opportunity to be able to let people know what’s wonderful, we in the news business have been lazy and lazy in the sense that we will, we will only focus on something that is sensational. Whereas something that is powerful, this liminal space between being able to sit there in this, in this space is, is where it all happens. Without it, nothing else occurs.

Sande  20:35

I actually talk about in the sacred art of listening, talking about how we’ve been duped that to receive so much information so quickly just look at TV commercials, right? Absorb all this information, but there’s not enough time to stop and think, Is that really what I consider happiness? Is that going to make my life better if I buy that car? Yeah, you know, but I do have time to call the number, right. I can read that I can remember that number. But I can’t remember to stop in the moment. sacred art of listening, by the way is how to prepare to listen, not the act of listening, but the How to Prepare to listen. And so

Sande  21:14

I think it’s really important to, to really pay attention to how much we listen. And that’s a practice. It is a habit to form. And we can do that through neuroplasticity all of these skills can be practiced and accomplished just like any other habit, you want to form that repetition.

Dennis  21:33

What is this book, leading you to do differently in your life than you had before? Because something is, it’s palpable. There is some there’s something that is so dynamic about where you are right now and what you’re bringing, which is going to bring opportunities that are increasing and what you’re what you’re doing. I’m fascinated to know what’s going on.

Sande  22:01

Wow, thank you so much. My first answer is I don’t know. Which is my favorite thing to say. Because that means I’m not attached. That means I can really listen and pay attention. And that is so against the character of who I used to be. Right. I used to feel like I need to be in control. I need a chart my way. I’ve got my goals. We have a vision board. We know ultimately, we want to have this house on the beach, you know, with all you know, certain material things actually. On the sidelines with our grandkids playing soccer, no doubt about that. And I believe that could happen, or will happen. I should say, I believe that will happen. But in terms of where I’m going, how has it changed me with your question? Or what have I noticed in myself?

Dennis  22:44

Let’s let’s just put what are you noticing, right, right now as it’s happening?

Sande  22:48

Oh, yeah. Big difference there. Yeah, the time fulness my, the word that I coined time fulness time for like being mindful. But now we’re being timeful. So it’s like, it’s not just taking a pause and collecting yourself, which it does involve that it’s going okay, what’s going on in my body? What are my true are my trillion cells speaking to me right now? 37 trillion cells to be exact? Yeah. What are they saying to me? You know, how am I feeling in my body right now? What’s going on around me? What am I missing? You know, it’s really applying those those skills in in terms of time, fullness spaces in between. And I’m not so quick to judge. I’m definitely, um, more careful in my responses, care dash full in my responses. And I just am more courageous. Like, like, all a lot of the muck has just fallen away.

Sande  23:56

A lot of stuff that I realized, why aren’t I doing that? My Wait, am I not? I’m not. I’m not good enough. Or I’m not smart enough. I’m not educated enough. All that blah, blah, blah, that we hear that? You know, for years, women say to themselves way too much, and I can’t speak for men, I can only hear what I hear from say what I hear from women. And it’s not that it’s really embodying that. So they go, I’ve only got probably a good 3040 more years on this planet. Sure. So I’m gonna max it out the last 40 years have been sorry, my kids last six years. Subliminal, subliminal. So six. You know, my last six years have been incredibly wild and wonderful. And so yeah, and also, I was just talking about this the other day on another program about forgiveness. And looking at the big T traumas, a couple of witches share in the book. So talk about vulnerability.

Sande  24:59

The big T, the traumas that I had in a moment I would think, Oh my god, this is the worst possible thing that 30 years later, I would come to see where the greatest blessings. So I remember that now something’s not working out for me even something like being late. I’m like, Okay, what am I doing? Because I hate being late. And for me, that’s a, that there’s something that I must have been traumatized as a child because for me being late is like being rude. But I don’t want to be late. But But okay, I wonder what I’m being protected from right now. I wonder what’s going to happen on the other end, somebody sucks me in the throat figuratively breaks, my heart keeps me in bed for three months. That didn’t happen that long ago.

Sande  25:42

And I and I was, you know, really devastated. Yet. If that were to happen to me now I’d say, I can’t wait to see what this is all about. So that’s part of the time fulness to that I have only noticed happening me I didn’t necessarily will it practicing these other skills. And of course, writing about it Sure, sure does help, but really embodying it. You know, I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t practice this stuff. And I do.

Dennis  26:11

Oh, yes. But that’s, that’s really the whole key to it. I’ve never known a teacher. I’ve never known a teacher, that that impacted me that did not walk there first, did not do the walk first and then say, okay, there. That’s the teaching. That’s the teaching. And that’s what I’m getting from you, Sande, that’s what I’m getting an opportunity to be able to know. There is this opportunity, because I love to. I love to give part in forgive. And really, really the gift that there is for me what I am holding on to what I’m because I’ve got a lot of self, I grew up with a lot of we as men had a something that clay and I have both experienced that had a model out there, that we were supposed to live up to that inside of us when that’s not who I am. And this is allowing us this the patriarchy that we’re all wounded by the patriarchy in the sense that it allows us to be able to let go that to be able to have that to, for me to embody who I am. And whoever that is. And that’s what I get from you. There’s such an deep authenticity about about you, that just is profoundly moving. And no matter where you are right now,

Clay  27:42

I’m going to pick right up on that, Dennis, because, yeah, what about the dog? Every story that you share in there the vulnerability that you’re expressing in your book. Every story has real power to it. And I’m savoring it. If I can, I’m going to, because I really want us to, I really want to hear about this, I want to race to chapter 12.

Sande  28:08

Oh, thank you. And by the way, can I just go back and say, Clay, you helped me with forgiveness. Remember, we had a conversation while I was writing the book. So credit where credit’s due, you really helped me understand and you reframed everything for me. So you are totally in the fabric of you are in between the words on that chapter. So chapter 12.

Sande  28:32

About acorn rain in Birkenau. Yeah. Can you share about that?

Sande  28:43

Yeah, I was part of the one humanity Institute, a group of folks who are still in existence working on a project to build an education system right there in Auschwitz, right, adjacent to the grounds of the Auschwitz museum, the death camp, and we did a tour there. And then we went across the way to Birkenau which was another death camp. And while we were in the, by the way, while I was going through the tour, the very first thing I noticed after I walked through those very famous, wrought iron archway, words, work will set you free is what that says in German. I noticed the trees lining the walkways. Now they were rather young. But I imagined Gosh, I wonder maybe those trees have been here for about 80 years. Perhaps they have been here long enough. And we shot and I hugged one. That’s all I could do is think about the trees and what stories they absorbed and what scenes they saw on what did they witness and, and so I was really seeing this whole thing through the trees and then we get over to Birkenau And we’ve done the whole tour, guided by the way, and we get to the end of the, like a big park area, the end of the tour.

Sande  30:09

And there’s this big park area where they’re monuments and things and burnt down buildings. And there was this gorgeous grandmother’s oak tree. She her trunk was so big that my arms would probably take three sets of arms to get around her trunk. So I’m like, she’s been here a while. She’s witnessed it all. And I asked permission, and I wrap my arms around her ever so gently, and I can almost feel her exhale. I don’t think I wrote this in the book, I can still feel it felt like the trunk was just relax. And then all of a sudden, I hear raindrops behind me. And I look and I’m being showered by acorns.

Sande  30:55

And I turned in Nina Meyerhof, by the way, who wrote my forward in my book, and I sit, she was walking towards me, I gotta to see.

Sande  31:05

Again, like, what about the dog, I was wondering if it really happened. So I saw that. And so the acorn is run the acorn right there. So that, for me, what was so profound about that experience, and I can come around to maybe what reminded you about that with forgiveness. But you know, we’re all we all have, we’re all encoded like that seed. We’re all encoded with the potentiality of 10,000 forests. One oak tree can produce up to 10,000 forests, by all the seeds that potentially can draw, and plant and grow again. We have a design assignment, I believe, Aristotle calls that are calling where your passions meet the needs in the world, therein lies your calling. And it goes so much deeper than that, of course. Yeah, it’s about what is it that makes us come alive? And why aren’t we live in there? Because that’s, you know, where our potential gift is to the world. And maybe that’s what we all need to be showing up with.

Sande  32:10

So, for me, that’s, you know, the whole nut excuse the expression of the story. The next morning, I was up for a early jetlag stroll, which I was usually up around 4am. And I took a little walk in a quaint little town of us suites them, which is Polish frosh, Auschwitz, through Auschwitz, this polish fraud suites. And over this quaint little walking bridge, I stood right in the middle of with the river going right under me. And the lush greenery up and down the river bed was so pretty, and like I had done throughout the whole town, wondered where Jews would have hidden and I’m thinking, I wonder they hid there. But now, these these, the greenery is all home for new life for critters for birds, that face or putting oxygen in the air. And adjacent interesting. And then all of a sudden, I realized the river I was standing over was the very river that the concentration camps had dumped the ashes, prisoners into height, the height, the evidence. And I’m thinking, Oh, that’s why everything is so lush, because all of that greenery, UPS, all of those banks absorbed all those souls.

Sande  33:34

And then I saw souls in the tree and I trees and I heard this. We choose love. Of course, we choose love. Anything else does not serve our memory. And then I felt just go forth and be in love. And that is that’s a big, tall order to forgive that that remember, well, what are what would they all want us to be what they want us to be bitter down here.

Dennis  34:10

I don’t see how it could be any other way.

Sande  34:13

Yeah. And I heard it from them. And it was so clear. And I can feel it now. Yeah. And the book was actually going to be called acorn rain and Birkenau. That was my working title. Because to me, that’s a culmination. The ability to recognize what was going on in that moment was the culmination of everything leading up to that point in the book.

Dennis  34:41

You know, I think about that, I think about the concept of when when we think of either atheism or agnosticism more or and all the different spiritualities and it all comes down for me that God is Love it’s the actual I know I felt that I have felt God I have felt God because I have loved i that is the it filters through all my own biases and and limitations and all but but I get a chance to feel the right stuff. And the people that have that have that pure mainline of it Buddha or Jesus or any of the other great that you know, they all that what they did was to they were at one with perfect love. And that that love space. So that’s that’s where that’s where I choose to say that we none of us can be agnostic, because we feel love. And that love just we just happen to name it. We put a name on it and say okay, God and all that, but it’s but at its essence, it’s love.

Sande  35:53

I felt love several times during this call. I fall in love all day long, all day long. Especially with strangers. I mean, I mean, yeah, I love I love just watching people. I just feel the love. Yeah, Thomas Thomas Merton, and conjectures from a bystander. He talks about how he falls that he just had an epiphany that was it was the Epiphany, actually, the epiphany that he just loved all these people, and I was tears in their mind.

Clay  36:34

Sande. This just comes up a lot. And and I think it’s even been on the podcast before but this idea of inter generational trauma. And, what, can you talk about that a little bit?

Sande  36:54

Yeah, so thank you, that’s a big one. We are all carrying some baggage. Right? Our cellular memory has been loaded up. And, and a lot of it’s really good stuff, right? We’ve inherited some great stuff and with hair, inherited a lot of stuff that doesn’t serve us and keeps coming back around. And when I was noticing some patterns in my life with relationships, a friend said, You need to go ritualize it kind of go back and look at what what happened to you. Where that same kind of problem first emerged or could have first emerged in ritualize it then call in your ancestors and your angels or whoever you want to call in, and have conversations about it and ask good questions. And so kind of sent me on the path to looking into intergenerational trauma. And then, I found myself co producing a Passover Seder with Dr. Riane, Eisler, and, and Starhawk and some other amazing women and Dr. Rabbi Tirzah. Firestone based upon Rabbi Dr. Rabbi Tirzah, whose book wounds into wisdom, healing, intergenerational Jewish trauma is just significant. It’s just an incredible book, and you don’t have to be Jewish to read it. And in that, I recognized the patterns in my life, were not only coming down at a cellular level, but they were coming down to behaviors to know my mom and dad learned how to respond to certain situations and held certain belief systems and, and so on, that they picked up from their mothers and ancestors as well. So who knows how far back that’s gone. But at a cellular cellular level, we are programmed. You know, I would I would venture to say that as a Jew, I’m going to respond much more differently to the threat of an oligarch, let’s say, then, or a dictator, like Hitler, than somebody who isn’t Jewish, or maybe hasn’t gone through the Aspera. And because that is encoded in who we are, it’s part of our survival mechanism.

Clay  39:23

You know, Sande, it just, it just hit me. When I when I was thinking about Energen generational trauma. I’ve always thought about it. This is something to get over. This is something to get rid of. But yes, that’s true in a lot of senses. But there’s the trauma from our past generations also brings with it wisdom.

Sande  39:49

So alchemize is perhaps how I would put it, optimize it, embody it because it’s who you are. That’s another thing with forgiveness. I don’t want to forget the stuff that hurt me. It’s who I am, it informs me that I choose how, if I’m going to perpetuate the pain or the bliss, right?

Dennis  40:10

I choose the direction to which I stand. I stand either toward the light or away from it. I can choose that.

Sande  40:19

Yeah, yeah, we have choice. And we forget that and you can discover that in liminal space. Oh, yeah. I don’t have to go that way. Oh, yeah, I have what it takes.

Sande  40:30

And that’s and I just, I find that so inspirational. And where are you where you’re going? So? So what is on your what is on your plate forward? Are you going on on tour? With the book are you going on? Now that we’re in in April of 2022? We’re coming out of a time of intro version where we’re all where we’ve had to be inside. And now we’re now we’re getting a chance to rejoin what, what kind of lessons? And what are you taking? Where are you going with this particular piece of work? Right now I’m recording the audio book.

Sande  41:13

And some cases, I’m saying the sentence was over three times.

Dennis  41:21

I’m so glad you’re reading it, because that means that makes such a difference to me when an author reads her book, rather than rather than having having a wonderfully professional actor, it especially when it’s something that is deeply personal is this.

Sande  41:38

hank you, you know, the whole book has been that way for me from the cover to from cover to cover. Honestly, it’s it’s been deeply personal. And I wanted it to be in its highest integrity and authenticity. So although I don’t necessarily care for the sound of my own voice, I been encouraged by many and many saying the same thing as you that I should read it. And I’m glad I am. I’m glad I am

Dennis  42:07

So glad. I’m sorry, isn’t that interesting that we would, we would find the sounds of our own voices, or the seeing ourselves seeing our image in some way. Different I’ve often felt, Sande, that, that, I don’t know if you’ve ever expected a bite of food to taste a certain way. And it just tastes different than what you expect. And it just, it’s just

Sande  42:36

It’s usually when I cook.

Dennis  42:41

Well, but I think that’s the way it is with our boys. Because it goes through our belt goes through it goes through our brain, it’s it’s different in the same way that when we look ourselves in the mirror, we can never lose eye contact. So that when we see ourselves in a picture, it’s a different, it’s from a different perspective. So it makes us uncomfortable. But the more we do that, the more that you have this lovely voice that you can continue and let it be let it resonate with us, the more you’re going to enjoy it, the more that we’re going to get an opportunity to be able to have your to be able to have this this you do that that’s tremendous. It feels like something is shifting something something profound with a human being is is emerging. We talked about this before clay, you know, when we had on the podcast that that like, what would what would an evolutionary imperative be? What would it be when we were shifting from this to our next level of evolutionary state? And how would we be the conduits for that happening? We’re all midwives.

Sande  43:50

And that’s when we all wake up to say, no matter what we do, good are not so good. We’re midwifing this so I would like to believe that we’re we’re going everybody is going to be in their absolute impeccable integrity, showing up in their divine purpose in their divine purpose. Contributing and it’s gorgeous balance, I believe.

Clay  44:13

I agree. I’m going back to a previous comment about looking at ourselves in a mirror.

Sande  44:20

Yeah, that was good.

Sande  44:23

And it occurs to me that I know that I’ve learned a lot about myself the past couple of years because of zoom. Because I can see myself I can watch my mannerisms. And when I record I can hear the cause and the this is in the end so it’s almost like a self correcting or, or getting to know myself from a different vantage point.

Sande  44:55

Yeah, Dad, what about what about? What about appreciating your articulation how beautifully you speak, how kind you are, how the how creative and blessing that that you are. How about that, too?

Clay  45:13

Thank you

Dennis  45:13

Because that’s a really that’s a really good that’s a growth point isn’t it isn’t merely a corrective point, it is very much of an opportunity to be able to see ourselves through the through the lens of graciousness.

Clay  45:26

I feel that, you know, we’ve been talking now, I mean, over 100 podcasts, I think I want to ask you, though, in search of the new, compassionate male. And we’ve been on this journey, I don’t have the answer, but we’re asking the question. And we’re asking it out there. And I’m asking it inside myself. And I can’t help but feel like in the midst of all the chaos, all the trauma, all that’s happening right now, in this liminal space, that really, compassion is just right below the surface. And I’m going to speak about men specifically, that it’s there and it’s begging to get out. And we’re everything that we know is to push it down. And everything we know is falling down. It’s breaking. So with that breaking, the only can come out is our heart and compassion to balance the scale.

Sande  46:32

Well, as a fellow compassion activist. I agree. And it’s, it’s, you know, action. Compassion is, is a noun and a verb. Right, it’s in its we have a compassion nerve in our body. Our body is wired, as we heard from Jim Doty, our wire our body is wired for compassion. It’s who we are. And we’ve been denying it. Exactly. And it’s, it’s healthy for us. And it keeps us not only alive, and in community, that probably, I shouldn’t even say probably helps us live longer. I agree. I think every condition,

Clay  47:13

I think compassion could almost be considered the, the rubber band that has been stretched so far in the binary thinking that’s happening there. But this undercurrent of, of compassion that that rubber band  not going to break. It’s going to hold and it will bring us back together again.

Sande  47:32

Yeah, well, I’m seeing it happen. That’s sprout, we can see.

Dennis  47:37

That it is and so if, what if what’s going on now, Sande, and play if this, if this seed covering is what is appears is the chaos out there that is happening right now. But what is going to emerge as that seed covering gets down, that’s, that’s, it feels so strong. I so agree with you, Sande, that, that this is a process of subtraction, not addition, that we’re actually that I had our essence we are love, our we are we have this compat this essence of who we are that we have put these structures on top of. But as we remove them, as we peel this back, we get to the essence of who we are, and that’s beautiful. I mean, I I look into the eyes of people, and I see so much courage, and so much kindness and so much I agree with you about the strangers because when you can just look at someone’s face, even with a mask on and just smile at them and this they light up. I know it’s going to the world is going to be alright.

Clay  48:50

It’s so interesting. With the mask for me. I’ve learned to read eyes more than than before. And I’ve noticed I can sense or I can see pain, I can see happiness in the eyes. It before it was in the whole context of the whole body. But just looking there and it’s magical.

Sande  49:20

It’s it’s wild, crazy time. It really is an exciting, beautiful time to be on this planet. And I feel a huge responsibility to be in, in service to it. And and finding the courage through practicing the skills finding the courage to with every breath, showing up the best I can and I fall flat on my face sometimes I wasn’t the nicest I could be today with this customer service person on the phone. I apologize but like what was coming out, but we’re all human. But one thing we can be sure of that we have control over. And that is our integrity. And I can’t say this word enough Integrity and Authenticity. And I consciousness is rising. And we’re just, we’re just going into a different animal. I believe.

Dennis  50:17

I do, too. I do, too. Oh, Sande, thank you so much for this time, this will, I’m going to wrap up my portion of this, I’m sure that there’ll be some wonderful after show that will be going. But I want to thank you for your, for your presence. And thank you for the opportunity to to experience you in real time. Because there is that there is an authenticity, I feel like I’m seeing the I’m seeing a soul in progress.

Sande  50:57

Thank you. Yeah, we all have an opportunity to free our soul. And that’s the only way to do it to live in our bliss.

Dennis  51:06

Thank you, Clay. Thank you, Sande. And thank you, everyone who got an opportunity to join us on this episode of In Search of the New Compassionate male. We’ll see everyone back here soon.

Sande  51:20

That was so much fun. You’re right. It was the funnest conversation?

Sande  51:23

Well, I tell you, I’ve been so looking forward to this. And I’m serious. I’ve the book has really moved me.

Sande  51:37

And you move me so think or even?

Clay  51:41

Well, it’s it’s a it’s an inspiration for me. It takes incredible courage to share on the level that you shared. You hit it right on the nose. And you fold, this wasn’t I didn’t read this as a vanity book, right. I really felt like You wove your experiences into something to share. But your experiences were the kind of the backdrop to the real message.

Sande  52:17

Yeah. And you know what, what’s going? It’s so not like, knowing what was appropriate to put in the book. I just listen to my body. If if there was something rubbing me and I don’t think I would have this is another answer to to Genesis question about what am I noticing. There was a faint irritation going on behind my head with some things in the book and I’m like, Okay, I gotta go back. And either reread it and calm my nerves or whatever it is calm the calm the waters, or pull it out and see if I even need it. Yeah. And on more than one occasion, it required me to remove it completely. I’m like, Okay, I don’t need to tell that much of my story, or that’s not relevant. It’s not interesting. It’s getting way too personal. It’s not relevant to the story, you know, and it was all about listening to my body. And what felt right and what was there a rub.

Clay  53:17

Learning how to listen to my body is such a big deal. I’ve got I’ve got happy mad, glad and sad. Right? And, even that is in my head. What is your body feel when you’re sad? When we feel sad? No, no, no. What? What’s the visceral feeling? What is your body doing? Right? And it’s been this past couple of years. And well, I mean, since you and I’ve gotten to know each other, where I become more conscious of that. Oh, I’m feeling of my neck is stiff. You know? Oh, those are feelings.

Sande  53:59

Oh, yeah. And I’ve lost weight. Thinking. Am I full? I’m full. I don’t need any more. And I love to eat I lose weight so I can eat so out or, or I’m either I’m not hungry. Or I’m full. And I I you know, make my body happy. Oh, my earring. My earring I put on these earrings isn’t funny. I ended up not having to take them both off. But my earring was hurting me and I’m like, Okay, I only need to wear it for an hour. So, like, screws out. My ear hurts my I gotta love my body before my vanity. That’s why I only had one earring on when I came to the club and my hair was down.

Clay  54:44

Well and just learning that. It sounds so basic. It’s so fundamental.

Sande  54:52

It really is that easy. I mean, how are we built? We were built with this. We were built with this perfect machine. With an alert system, I think I use that expression. We have an alert system. You know, paying attention to my thoughts. My throat chakra is a big one for me. I once had one of the ambassadors of the charter for compassion women and girls. She had a, she and I had our own conversation. And she goes, she was Sande, unique, and she was a seer and you know really dialed in and she was you need to get yourself a blue stone. My daughter actually wrapped it in gold, so I could wear it on her necklace. You gotta get yourself a blue stunk as blue as the chakra up for the throat. And you need to meditate with it right here and ask yourself what aren’t what wants to be said that you’re not seeing? Or why aren’t you speaking your truth? Or why don’t you feel worthy enough in your voice? That was huge for me. So I’m always paying attention my throat. Is there’s something I have to say. Why aren’t the words flowing?

Clay  56:10

Yeah, you’ll get a kick out of this after my surgery in 2007. One of the first trips out that I went on was to a rock shop. And I don’t remember why we did it. But we went there looking around. And I was trying to figure out I didn’t know anything about crystals or any of that stuff. And I was picking through stuff. I don’t know what to get here. And this woman happened to be a standard this is this a will. What do you what do you what, what’s up, I said, Well, I’ve had this and this and this and I got this big scar and it’s done. You know? She said, Oh, rose quartz. And so I got some pieces of Rose Quartz. You’re gonna laugh but I taped those to my chest.

Sande  56:55

Oh, I’m not gonna laugh.

Clay  56:58

Yeah, I taped them to my chest and the healing this the scar that was forming. It went away. And I’ve just got this little line. And there’s something to that I read somewhere. It’s been years. It’s in one of my journals. Somebody identified 25 senses as opposed to six. And the one that comes to mind is the sense of what our eyes feel in light. That that’s a that we feel and different kinds of aching. It’s different than if I smashed my finger. You know, if you have bright light hits you in your eyes, you know there was a whole range of them and I was wondering when you were talking about the throat chakra if the throat chakra in itself is a different sense, that can be put in the category of taste smell.

Sande  58:05

Oh. Or is my is one my throat chakra is activated. Is it different than when my Sacral Chakra is activated? Or my whatever other chakras could be activated? Yeah. Oh, that there? There’s more. Wow, that’s really interesting. And as a matter of fact, on my kitchen table conversations for liminal Odyssey I’m having somebody come and talk about chakras and yeah.

Clay  58:38

Wow, I I want to enjoy editing this one.

Clay  58:43

Check out the latest episode of insert to the new compassionate mail on your favorite podcast station.

EP108: Dr. Riane Eisler – From “Domination to Partnership”

EP108: Dr. Riane Eisler – From “Domination to Partnership”

Riane Eisler is a social systems scientist, cultural historian, futurist, and attorney whose research, writing, and speaking has transformed the lives of people worldwide. Her newest work, Nurturing Our Humanity: How Domination and Partnership Shape Our Brains, Lives, and Future, co-authored with anthropologist Douglas Fry, shows how to construct a more equitable, sustainable, and less violent world based on Partnership rather than Domination.

Dr. Eisler is president of the Center for Partnership Systems (CPS), dedicated to research and education, Editor-in-Chief of the Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies, an online peer-reviewed journal at the University of Minnesota that was inspired by her work, keynotes conferences nationally and internationally, has addressed the United Nations General Assembly, the U.S. Department of State, and Congressional briefings, has spoken at corporations and universities worldwide on applications of the partnership model introduced in her work, and is Distinguished Professor at Meridian University, which offers PhDs and Master’s degrees based on Eisler’s Partnership-Domination social scale.


David Loye, Riane Eisler’s beloved husband and partner, died of Covid during the night of January 24, 2022. This was two days after they celebrated their 45th Anniversary. We invite you to join Riane Eisler in honoring and remembering David.


Dr. Eisler  00:07

No ordinary Soviets had to stand in line for toothbrushes. I mean for so we were served caviar. And we were in a very fancy hotel in the four years of our suite was a grand piano. And it was like what is following the same domination economic is the connection between what happens in childhood between gender between family and what happens in the state or tribe. So that he, a couple of years ago, radically reduce the penalties for family violence.

Clay  00:53

Welcome to In Search of the new compassionate male. My name is Clay Boykin, I support this podcast through my coaching practice. I help people visualize and harmonize find direction and meaning or simply get unstuck. Contact me at Clay Boykin calm for a free consultation. Now here’s the latest episode of In Search of the new compassionate male. Hello

Dennis  01:17

World. It’s me Dennis and Welcome to In Search of the new compassionate male. I’m the co host of this particular podcast and I’m here with the founder clay Boykin. Hello clay.

Clay  01:28

Hi, Dennis. I’m thrilled today to have with us Dr. Riane Eisler. Dr. Islur is a cultural historian, attorney, a futurist, a social system scientist and author of I forgot how many books but some of the ones that you may recognize off the top is the chalice in the blade sacred pleasures, the real wealth of nations and the book that came out in 2019, nurturing our humanity, how domination and partnership shaped our brains lives in future. So Dr. Islur welcome.

Dr. Eisler  02:05

Thank you. And thank you Clay for starters, for the wonderful article that is actually on our website, Center for partnership.org. And for all the work that those of you are doing to really help men be human in the full sense of the word because it’s not only women who are challenging the old stereotypes, but men and that is such an important part of what I call the movement from nomination to partnership. So thank you.

Dennis  02:53

You’re You’re You’re so welcome. Because this is what whatever I know that that we’re going to be able to work our way through this. This has to be a partnership, it has to be a collaboration. It has to be synergistic. One plus one is greater than two, and we’ve lived for so long in this zero sum. economic reality and that’s not how economics works as far as I understand it. And you’re talking about the new economy, how we’re going to create this and work in your work in economics and your your thoughts systems about the partnerships. Could you talk a little about this and what’s on your mind and heart?

Dr. Eisler  03:34

Let me start have Seaford may start with, on a more personal note, please. Because I have a great deal of passion for this work. And that passion is actually rooted deeply in my own early life as a child refugee with my parents, Nazi Europe, from Vietnam, where I was born, and very early in my life. And this is really directly now related to your question. I began to ask questions that I think most of us have asked at some point in our lives, does it have to be this way? When we humans have such a tremendous capacity, both women and men or consciousness for caring for creativity? Why has there been so much insensitivity, so much cruelty so much destructive test and start to do my multidisciplinary cross cultural trends historical study? To answer that question until much later, but I as you mentioned, Clay, I’m an assistive person and I’m interested in what kind of society will support our end No, I’m assuming capacity, as I said, we’re carrying the consciousness for creativity, rather than because we obviously also have laws, then we’re insensitivity, cruelty destructive. And in the course of this work, I, of course, look at our past that are present, and most importantly, at the possibilities for our future, including our economic possibilities with this book that came out of this study was the chalice in the blade. And then came sacred pleasure. And then a number of other books. And then I realized that I could not answer the questions of my childhood, by looking through the conventional lenses of capitalist versus socialist, west, north versus south, religious versus secular, etc. And I kept seeing these two configurations, the domination system and the partnerships this. And I then applied the, these two systems configurations, to the study of economics, which goes right to your question was the book called The Real wealth of nations. And something that really struck me is that the mindset that we have inherited, is so strange. It’s really our heritage from earlier more rigid domination times. And it is to the values of most important human work, which is the work of caring, what people are curious, and caring for our natural life support systems. And if you look at those, the work of Smith and Marx, you see that for them, this work was to be done for free by a woman in a male controlled household. Yes. And, you know, when we were supposed to take care of children of the sick, keep a clean and healthy, warm environment, which of course then translates into keeping a clean and healthy planetary environment.

Dr. Eisler  07:41

There is nothing in either capitalist or socialist theory about caring for nature, nature, as far as closeness and marks were concerned, is simply there to be exploited. That’s it. And as I said, the work of caring for people starting in first, that’s women’s work, be done in a male controlled for free, the male controlled household, and they call it reproductive rather than productive. So if you fast forward to GNP, that is what it reflects. It’s an economic ground, that simply excludes the three life sustaining sectors, without which we would not be here, without which there would be no economy, the natural economy, the volunteer community, economy, and the household. So when you’re asked me this question, it’s impossible to add to answer it in terms of the old debate that so many people are still engaged in capitalism versus socialism or communism. Frankly, a colleague of mine calls these old categories weapons of mass destruction. Our consciousness,

Dennis  09:10

yes, and one of the things that I love about what you talked about duck price for was about how the, we measure GDP, and we do not take into account so much that the measurements are way off how and I love that if we were to take if we were to rearrange our rearrange what we measure that would account for taking care of our humanity and raising our children taking care of our planet, doing the volunteerism and have that, that that would very quickly give us an entirely different measure,

Dr. Eisler  09:51

completely studies a recent Australian study of the economic value now And then, you know, let’s talk in those terms of the work done for free, the household of caring for people, including children. But if that were included, it would constitute 50% 50% reported by Australian GDP. But as I said, GDP follows the same very limited approach of both Marx and Smith, even though both actually challenged some elements of what I call domination, economics, because it goes way back, it isn’t just neoliberalism, which is really a replay or trickle down economics, you know, it’s sort of a replay of this futile idea that goes on bottom, should content themselves with the scraps, right, dropping from the opulent tables of clothes on top, to Chinese emperors, into passions and to sheiks and to it really. Yes, I mean, it’s deeply rooted. And it is domination, economics, that we really are addressing this idea of top down, trickle down. Exactly, because

Dennis  11:27

we’re seeing that we’re seeing that so much aren’t we try?

Clay  11:31

Yes. Gosh, I was just watching the news before we got onto this podcast. And they were talking about the huge palace that has been built off the books for Putin, hundreds of some odd 1000 square feet, just incredible place and underground, hockey, you know, field and, and so forth. And it’s speaks to exactly what you’re talking about. Dr. Islur?

Dr. Eisler  12:04

Oh, absolutely. Then, of course, I mean, I remember when I was invited to by Nordic women for peace, to miss them on a march to unlearning God. And they had previously done a peace march on Washington, DC. And the class structure was so clear, you know, ordinary Soviets had to stand in line for toothbrushes, I mean, for soap. But we were served caviar. And we were in a very fancy hotel. In the four years of our suite was a grand piano. It was like what is following the same domination, economic. But it’s interesting. And that really takes me to the configuration of the partnership of domination system. We recognize something that is inherent to the analysis of the systems, or systems analysis of the partnership, domination, social scale, because it’s always a better a good way. Nice the connection between what happens in childhood, between gender between family, and what happens in the state or tribe, so that he, a couple of years ago, radically reduce the penalties for family violence. Oh, I always recognize it. If you look at the Taliban, which is religious, and Eastern, or if you look at ISIS, the same thing or for men is Iran. Or if you look at Hitler’s backseat Germany, work for that matter Salus, former Soviet Union, they were always into strengthening or maintaining the kind of family but it is one of the real foundations are a highly punitive, rigidly male dominated authoritarian. It’s simple once you start looking for it, but we have, especially those of us who aren’t good educated in higher education, right. We’ve been taught, I mean, how I remember one day, sort of waking up, is it from, from what I today call the domination trends, and realizing that in all my years of so called Higher Education, there has hardly been anything by about or for people like me, women, such as for children, where we’ve been somewhere buried in so Domestic course or some family relations course is beginning to change the little bit. But not that much we were taught that the majority of humanity and anything pertaining to it to women and children, is not really important enough to be included in what we are taught is important knowledge and tools.

Dennis  15:27

Were very, this, this is part of our mission. Because we believe we, we understand that we cannot, that this is not sustainable. We know that and so as we are in search for the new compassionate male, we are in search of that within ourselves, then both of us are in a journey of our own awakening through our own conscious and unconscious biases. Because from from our standpoint, from a we know that this is not working clay, you talked about that, that we men, the roles that we are assigned are very, all very often completely at odds with who we think we are, yet we we have to fit into some stereotype to be able to do it. You were talking so much about about trusting men clay, yes, as a Marine, Dr. Islur he was a Marine and went through all of the all of the the high, high concept male archetypes that that you would you would consider coming through this process.

Clay  16:37

You know, thanks, Dennis. There are many things that I learned. You know, one was that leadership is about servant leadership, even on the core. And there’s an undercurrent of compassion. And I didn’t have a name for it until out after I was out of the core, and began to look back and realize how even in situations like that, even in harm’s way that men taking care of men range taking care of Marines. John 1513, Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend. That’s all compassion. And what genocide are the past couple of years? We believe that there’s an undercurrent, it’s men, compassionate man out there. And I would like to believe that that that momentum is growing, is rising. And I don’t see it out there on the news or anything, but when I’m talking with men and white men circle and so forth. It’s there. And, you know, my hope is that it’s able to really surface.

Dr. Eisler  18:07

and this can only surface if enough of us including men, like you and Dennis, that help men to give up the sport domination. Yes, real masculinity of not being like a woman. Because as long as we have the stereotype, that being like a woman is to be compassionate to be caring to be really gone violent. When you have this this problem that men face, I think that we are at a time when this very rigidly binary stereotype stereotypical which is necessary for domination systems because yes, later, but if you don’t have these rigid stereotypes, how can you rank code masculinity? Over femininity? Yes, men over women. But this said, Men, Judo here we’re talking about with thinks nothing of sending his, you know, his his soldiers to be killed. I mean, for millenia. Men in Domination systems that had to give nothing less than their lives because some guy on top like Putin wanted more in real estate.

Clay  19:39

Yes. Young men fighting old men’s wars. Yeah. You know, the one thing that came up on a podcast just last year, we were talking about in terms of solar and lunar energy, and it was Howard Tyson. He said, you know, play Think about it this way, you know, we all have this energy, we all have the solar and the lunar, we all have the male and the female aspects to ourselves. Think about it like this. The lunar leads in the solar executes. And I thought to myself, no, wait a second. But then I thought back and back to the core. This is where leadership comes from. And so if we men are out there, thinking we can leave just from the head, cut off it and not acknowledge the essence of who we totally are, then we’re really making a big mistake. And so to me, it’s this integration of head and art, it’s not one or the other. It’s the integration that that is a must.

Dr. Eisler  20:52

Well, I think that this is a good starting point. Because you are of course, still talking about domination archetypes here. The veil is equated with reason, I think of how reasonable our leaders Thank you for saying that. I so appreciate you saying that, please. It’s no young does this use was a mess when it came to gender stereotypes. I mean, his UNIMIN analysts? Yes. I’m the mus is active is Bula, you know, protagonist, and what is the Anima? It’s either man’s inspiration or nemesis. Right? Completely relational. And the truth is that we’re all relational to each other. And then one of the problems that men in Domination systems have had is that their models for masculinity have been that you have to excel you have to accomplish, you have to, and really, you know, I hear people talking about the problem is ego ism. And I have to laugh because women weren’t supposed to have an ego.

Dennis  22:16

Oh, not the women. I know. I know, some pretty powerful women that goodness.

Dr. Eisler  22:23

Now you do. But you know, the old stereotype women were not protagonist.

Dennis  22:31

How did you how did you as a young teen, as powerful as you are doctor as I mean, I because I feel it your your, your intellect, and your heart and your drive and is so strong? How did you as a as a teenager, and how did you react to the world? How did that? How did that what was that experience like?

Dr. Eisler  23:00

This night? No transformation is possible because I have, I have experienced, okay, I was kind of a mess as a teen. I mean, I wanted desperately to belong, because I’ve, I’ve been an outsider all my life. And, you know, I was obviously cast out from as an outsider. Before I was born, I was an outsider growing up in the industrial slums of nirvana. I was an outsider here in the United States. When I came, I even pledged a sorority, which I then disaffiliated from, but I had no gender consciousness. I mean, I, I have to tell you, and that lasted into my 30s. Okay. I when I graduated UCLA law school, I was looking for a part time job with a entertainment law firm. That’s where my head was. It wasn’t, by the way. I mean, what it’s about is massaging people’s egos and counting, helping them count their money, or increase their money, but the head of the firm called me in one day to compliment me on some work I had done. And you know what he said to me, and he meant it as a compliment. But what’s much worse is I took it as a compliment. You don’t even great job to don’t think like a woman. And I took it as a compliment. But this is the kind of thinking of being socialized, you bet. And so it wasn’t really until I sort of woke up. List domination trends My 30s that went along with 1000s of other women.

Dennis  25:07

Yes, yeah. And What years were these?

Dr. Eisler  25:10

What years were about the 60s, the 60. So this was during Exactly. So this, this was when we first began in the Women’s Liberation Movement here in the United States when it wouldn’t when it was, I mean, it had begun. And of course, it was earlier than that. But when we began to get some momentum and going toward that, and getting the era started to started to be passed,

Dr. Eisler  25:34

well, and I wrote the only last paper where on the proposed Equal Rights Amendment, it’s called the equal rights handbook was published by A, but it’s still available online. And unfortunately, it’s still relevant. But I really want to return now to the the intimate partnership aspects of my life, please, my second word for the love of my life. My husband, David Loy. We’re together for 45 years, and who recently died, and I will be left without him. But he was a caring man that he worked with me on the equal rights handled this way to Africa, to the Robie conference UN Conference on Women in writing a deep dive. And caring is not a human characteristic for goodness sake. And the fact that it’s been so, so suppressed in our culture, especially in men, but also in some women, we all know that no caring men and we know women who are not caring. And we know that people who are stuck in these gender stereotypes. And by the way, the study that I cite, in nurturing our humanity is very interesting. People who voted for Trump, the US election, one thing they had in common was not economic hardship. I mean, that was okay. But two things were the very interesting around which fit was the configuration, which I really have to tell you about at this summit. was one thing was a horror of women who stepped outside the domination stereotype of femininity. In other words, people like Hillary Clinton, people, you know, women who were assertive. Yes. But the other thing, which is fascinating, and it’s so much with the configuration of the combination of partnership systems, is that in times in terms of what they were trying to teach their children and help their children realize, wasn’t curiosity wasn’t empathy. It was really more obedience, conformity. And of course, it makes sense, doesn’t it? And women have become many women. I mean, look at 70 million people voted for Mr. Trump. Yes, many of them were female. They have internalized this, which takes me to the configuration which I do want to share at some point, because

Dennis  28:53

I want to I know that it broke my heart, Doctor eyes or when because I, I had I believed that Hillary Clinton was going to be that every every woman would secretly who was who was outwardly Republican would secretly go into the, into the ballot box and, and it was the it was the 20th anniversary of my what my wife and I that night, November the eighth, and we and we had our celebration all set, and my heart was broken. I mean, I couldn’t believe that women would not stand up. And then I said, I must, I must not have this right. There must be there. There’s something I’m missing.

Dr. Eisler  29:40

Well, I think that it just shows that what we’re talking about is not an issue of women against men or men against women. It really is an issue of changing the underlying worldview. And was it our economic system Family Systems, you know, I’ve mentioned already, I mean, the trend towards for example, authoritative, non violent rather than authoritarian and violent parent thing is very important partnership trends. The trend towards non binary, flexible, fluid gender roles. That’s the trend. We have to recognize this. And it’s very hard for people because if you look at the modern social movements, they’ve altered actually, the progressive social movements have all challenged the same thing, a tradition of domination, you know, whether it is a movement against the so called divinely ordained, right of kings to or of men, divinely ordained, right? Again, men to rule over women and children are of a quote superior divinely ordained that your your superior is to rule over inferior was all the way to the environmental movement. Challenging are ones hallowed conquest, and domination of nature. But they focus on trying to dismantle the top of the combination of politics and economics is conventional. And pretty much a secondary to women’s movements with children’s rights, movement, spirituality, movement, etc. All of which are there, you know, the foundations, and they were domination systems that kept rebuilding themselves, like in Russia, that authoritarian, punitive, rigidly male dominated family is still the ideal No. Really change

Dennis  31:59

where you are going to talk doctor about the configuration in the reconfiguration? Could you bring that to us?

Dr. Eisler  32:05

I’d like to do that. Because as Einstein said, we cannot solve problems with the same consciousness that created Thank you. And language is a very, very important that linguistic psychologists have long told us that the categories provided by a language. And this is particularly true of social categories. They channel our thinking. So it’s almost impossible to see a culture. So if you look at the conventional categories, for one thing, is kind of silly, that people don’t seem to notice when they start arguing about religious versus secular, Eastern versus Western or capitalist versus socialist, that there have been repressive violence regressive cultures in all these categories, and continue to be and they also don’t notice that these categories either marginalize or ignore or say they should be subservient, nothing less than the majority of humanity, women and children. Yes, now, we cannot have whole systems change, without taking into account these foundational relations, which Neuroscience tells us that what children observe or experience in their early years, shapes, nothing less than the architecture of art. So I’m proposing that we need to change our language about societies and start talking about shifting our cultures not from capitalism to socialism or from socialism to capitalism or not left to right or from right to left or whatever. But of shifting from domination to partnership, and there are four core components of these systems of figuration. One is a top down also rich area, structure in both the family and the state or tribe, the economics, etc. Okay. The second part of the figuration is something that is marginalized or ignored gender relations, and this is where you both come in, because we domination oriented societies invariably rank one form of humanity. male form over the female. Yes, and that is a template for you. equating difference beginning with this fundamental difference in form in our species with either superiority or inferiority, dominating or being dominated, being served or serving. So it’s a template for indoor versus outdoor thinking and you move to the partnership side, and you can see it in much of our prehistory. I wrote extensively about that in many of my blocks, because the evidence is overwhelming that for most of our human cultural evolution for 1000s of years, we oriented more to the partnership side and that the domination system shift occurred in the mainstream of culture will be about 5000 years ago,

Dennis  35:58

yes, with the with the creation of private property with a concept.

Dr. Eisler  36:04

Not necessarily there are many, many theories about certainly technology, including agriculture. So, they turn towards the domination side, at a certain point, but the early agrarian societies, like shfm, Jolla, for example, in Turkey, in the plains of Turkey, which is the largest Neolithic site ever excavated, was more egalitarian, by the size of the houses by the types of grave was more gender balance. Ian Hodder with the archaeologists, who excavated most recently there has an article in Scientific American about really being born male or female, did not affect your status in life. And of course, there are no signs of distractions through warfare, or over a spy was yours.

Clay  37:16

Help me Dr. Eisler. What What was the timeframe that he was excavating? What what timeframe in the history was

Dr. Eisler  37:26

about? From about? I think about 6000. Before the Common Era, okay. Onward. But these were very early farming settlements. This was a huge town in the back exactly.

Dennis  37:44

The way it was. It was a it was an amazing economy, wasn’t it? I mean, it was very.

Dr. Eisler  37:51

It was an amazing economy. I mean, we’ve been told so many false stories, stories that work, this notion that there are only two possibilities for us, we either dominate or were dominated. Think of the categories that are gender specific. matriarchy, patriarchy. I mean, yeah. Either women rule or men rule. The fathers or mothers. There is no partnership alternative.

Dennis  38:21

Is there any word for it? Well,

Dr. Eisler  38:24

I coined the word guy, let me say it again. Di Lundy, Dinah, for a woman under a strong man and L in English for linking. wonder, why don’t you go back to me reading the chalice and the blade let me continue with the configuration because the amount of abuse and violence is very, very different in the Domination and the partnership system and to actually see the art changing radically. I mean, art is a symbolic language, you know? And if you It’s fascinating but if you really leave behind you know the conventional thinking of the linear evolution No. Evolution like everything else wasn’t even there. But anyway, domination systems require a high degree of abuse and violence all the way the wife and child breeding grounds, lynchings warfare, to maintain themselves because how else you maintain these rankings with men over man man or woman, race, civil race, religion, religion, etc. Partnership side yeah, there is some violence people lose it sometimes. But it isn’t built into this. And that makes a huge difference and of course, the forest part store Are we are we I mean, we’ve inherited the story that well, whether it’s selfish genes or original sin, the same story is that, yes, they fight each other. But with simply the same story, we’re bad, we have to be controlled.

Clay  40:26

So I’m just testing my understanding, you’re talking about the four being the family in childhood relations,

Dr. Eisler  40:34

then I’m talking about structure, structure. And I’m making the, the connection immediately between the structure in the family and the structure in this later drive. And I can give you a contemporary example, the countries that today ranked highest in the happiness reports, as well as very high in the world. Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness reports, etc, are nations that have moved more to the partnership side are the European nations like Norway, Finland, Sweden. And they have, I mean, let’s look at the partnership structure here for a moment, because it’s not only in the family, but also in the Slater tribe. That is where democratic, they’re not socialists, they have more caring policies, because of the second component, because the status of women has risen, so that half approximately, of their national legislature is female. And as the Status of Women rises, men will no longer feel that this is an integral connection between changing male masculine stereotypes, and the devaluation, the hidden system of gendered values that we’ve been living with, and are trying to leave behind. Because as the Status of Women rises, men no longer feel it’s such a threat to their identities, to their status to their masculinity, to also embrace caring policies. So these nations at universal health care, very good quality, childcare, accessible, well paid, government supported. They have very generous paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers. And that’s precisely why we have such a successful business sector. You know, I, it makes me wonder, where, where’s the what flips the switch? What would cause them to begin to make this change? There’s many theories about it. One is the agriculture theory. And private property, which I certainly in some places, maybe it happened that way. But in Europe, in the area surrounding the Mediterranean, there is mounting evidence, including DNA studies showing that it was through armed invasion from the fringe areas of our globe, where as a matter of fact, the shift from gathering hunting was not to agriculture with to birdie. And herding, as we know from problem with cattle today is not a sustainable way of really, technologically speaking, it’s a lousy technology, because it depletes without giving back. But in these societies, for a number of reasons, and I deal with that in some detail, in my book sake with pleasure, which is kind of a heresies with it, there’s a message behind that. Well, you have it, of course I have it. Like you remember, I mean, like the bonobos, which are one, you know, one, one chapter in there. Yes. Our closest primate relatives, in difference is the common Chimp, but they’re much more partnership oriented and they share leisure. Yes, food, they share sex. I mean, it’s a completely different social organization. And we have that capacity As shown by these millennia. So we have to change our stories

Dennis  45:09

are when you look at your grandchildren, Dr. Eisler for do you have? Does this bring you hope? Do you see a difference in their consciousness? And and what is going on with them? What what is your sense about what’s going on in the, in the race mind consciousness of humanity as you look out through the eyes of your grandchildren?

Dr. Eisler  45:33

Well, I think my grandchildren are very aware of them, that we need new thinking. I mean, they’re looking for it. But it’s really interesting because, you know, I used to be even I still occasionally still do, or give a lot of keynotes to major conferences. Yes. And people buy into this, when they hear me, pulled back by the culture. So it’s our job. And really, we owe it to our children and generations to come to start using the terms, partnership system domination. Because if we don’t, people will say, Well, what do you mean by that? Or what do you mean by a caring economics of partners? People will ask, but it’s up to the, to those of us who are agents of cultural change like you to, to start using different tools, and to start helping people to see connections that are made invisible by the domination chance.

Dennis  46:52

I’m so glad to hear you say that because one of my quests in this life is to ask people and to really understand what is enough? Have you set that number by will ask a person have you set a number that you would know at least when you hit it when some economic or or or other marker would be hit you ago? Okay. Yeah, I’ve got it I’ve got because I don’t hear it being asked, and I don’t. And that’s just the mindset.

Dr. Eisler  47:24

Well, you know, in nurturing our humanity, there are studies showing that in societies where there is a lot of accumulation of the top, which by the way, domination economics creates artificial scarcity. I siphoning resources to top five cleaning services into Parliament’s weapons wars, and also by failing to invest in caring for people starting at service. I mean, children, especially for our post industrial knowledge, service economy, our most important assets for goodness sakes,

Dennis  48:06

I love that doctor because when, when we talk, when I talk to friends of mine who describe themselves as conservative, I go, What a great word to conserve you, you don’t drive your car and never take it into the into the mechanic and put oil and take care of it. We take care. What is this wonderful word conservative? Why don’t what our what are we going to conserve and nurture and support?

Dr. Eisler  48:35

Well, but for the, quote, conservative mind, and there are studies in virtually our humanity showing that actually are very structure of our brains. People who consider themselves very conservative, have very rigid brains based on denial. And it’s related to the development of part of the brain that is not as well developed, as in people who are less quote, conservative, conservative and liberal, are pointless words for me. Just make us fight each other. Dr. Islur. While you’re talking about the brain, you made the point in a recent podcast that the pleasure centers light up in our brain when we care and share more than more than when we dominate. So so when I go win the football game, and I’m spiking, the football app feels great. But test not as great as feeling that I would my pleasure centers would light up when I’m caring and sharing is that that is EPS salutely True. And you know, many studies have shown that people are happier when they give. That’s what makes us feel good. But, but this empathy, this hearing has to be either suppressed or compartmentalized. So it only applies to the in group. In Domination systems, whether that in group, right, it’s the in group of code mankind, female, other or divided states, whether it’s whites versus blacks in the Middle East, whether it’s Shia versus Sunni, or Sunni versus Shia, it doesn’t really matter. And other rising, right. Yeah. Other right. And that’s really with that very basic model. Yeah. It’s not coincidental what I spoke about earlier, the correlation between wanting to either maintain or impose this is the punitive widget vo dominated authoritarian family, and what kind of regime?

Clay  51:16

Dennis, remember when we talked with Dr. Doty the other week, and one of the key points that was made was that compassion, empathy and compassion is, is innate, it’s part of our DNA, and it’s got to be nurtured. It has to be nurtured. And that’s, of course, the whole point of I mean, if there is a central point, and there are many points in nurturing our humanity, it is that it isn’t a question of genes. This is a question of gene expression. And that happens to action with our environment, especially in the first years, we can change. I mean, people can do did

Dennis  52:02

a good doctor, I mean, you look at your evolution.

Dr. Eisler  52:06

I had a whole evolution. And David was really part of that evolution. And part of my journey. I can I can honestly say that, on a personal level partnership is just so wonderful is so pleasure.

Dennis  52:27

Doctor, thank you for sharing David with us and bring him along in this. It’s very, he’s very palpable to me just in how you how you have shared how he is part of you today. And as as strong as as he is sitting right, sitting right within you.

Dr. Eisler  52:49

Well, they did some very important work. Because he wrote me tons of poetry, which I think is very good. I published a book called 100 days of love, this 100 days that we were together for a day. Oh, that’s another story. But he wrote he thought it was a pioneer in retelling the story of Darwin’s evolution, because at Davis word, Darwin has been used by the domination system is this 800 pound gorilla, to say, hey, what matters is, you know, the survival of the fittest was the fittest defined as the meanest right? And in his book on human evolution, Descent of Man, Darwin explicitly said, at the level of human evolution, random selection, and all these other mechanisms may fade in importance. What is important now is culture and love. He wrote so many times about love, and he actually apologized that for using the term survival of the fittest, which wasn’t history, it was a term. But anyway, so I highly recommend David’s book, Darwin’s last theory,

Dennis  54:20

Doctor, thank you so much for giving us this opportunity just to spend some time with you. And to know the I guess, before I want to go if you if you could just tell me some of the VISTAs some of the things that curiosities that you’re going to be exploring in the near future,

Dr. Eisler  54:39

and I will continue to do my teaching. And by the way, on a center for partnership.org you can find a way to really take a self paced course called Changing our story, changing our lives and up Do it for groups and then you get to own the for videos and to use them yourself in your presentations as well as all of the resources on my list that I am now working on giving background to David’s extensive poetry in a book that I calling tentatively called for what was the title of one of his times, which is yet love remains.

Dennis  55:31

God is how precious thank you for giving us this time today for spending your time here on this planet with us what we do, clay has Shepard this over 100 podcasts and when he said that we were going to have you it was like this was the ice this was the cherry on the ice cream sundae of our of our time to be able to be able to spend time with you and the grace that you brought to us and that you brought to the planet Dr. Eyes for thank you so much for your time.

Dr. Eisler  56:04

Thank you goes with a very very good for being you.

Dennis  56:13

Thank you world and thank you everyone and we will see you next time on in search of the new compassionate mayor.


Check out the latest episode of In Search of the new compassionate mail on your favorite podcast Station.

EP100 – Dr. James Doty on the Evolution of Compassion

EP100 – Dr. James Doty on the Evolution of Compassion

James R. Doty, MD, is a clinical professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University of which His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the founding benefactor. He works with scientists from a number of disciplines examining the neural bases for compassion and altruism.




SPEAKERS – Dr. James Doty, Dennis Tardan, Clay Boykin

Dr. James Doty  00:05

And I think that the horrible fear of showing your vulnerability and allowing somebody to hold you to protect you to care for you is terrifying for many men, unfortunately. But it’s okay. It’s okay to say you know, I hurt. I’m in pain I’m not doing well I need you.

Clay Boykin  00:27

Hello, my name is Clay Boykin, and I am in search of the new compassionate male. A short while ago, we had the opportunity to have a conversation with Dr. James DoDI. Dr. Doty is a clinical professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is also the founder and director of the Center for compassion and altruism Research and Education at Stanford, of which His Holiness the Dalai Lama, is the founding benefactor, Dr. Doty works with scientists from a number of disciplines examining the neural basis for compassion and altruism. Let’s join that conversation.

Dennis Tardan  01:09

Hello, World. It’s me Dennis. And we are in search of the new compassionate male on the podcast. I’m the co host, and I’m here with the founder of the new compassionate male clay Boyken. Hello, Clay.

Clay Boykin  01:22

Hi, Dennis. You know, this is a wonderful day to day to have Dr. James Doty with us. And of all things. It’s episode 100. And I can think of no better person to have on our podcast today than Dr. Shane study. Thank you

Dennis Tardan  01:38

Welcome. You know, as we were doing the I was talking with clay before the podcast. And as we were, as I was watching your work, and watching the different videos of you, one of the things that struck me so much with Helen, tender you are, there’s such an openness and a tenderness in your heart when you speak of, of your childhood. When you speak of this, can you talk about how you can keep the science and all the exactitude that is there at the same time bring and keep that tenderness along? It just touches me so much?

Dr. James Doty  02:16

Well, it’s interesting, you ask that because of course, I’m a neurosurgeon most of the time, and which is very demanding, and one has to be highly focused. And actually, it’s a very technical exercise. So you can’t let your mind wander, you have to focus on the event at hand. And certainly after years, years of training, I’m extraordinarily good at that. But that being said, I’m also a human being. And I try never to forget that. And I think for some people, it’s very hard for them to shift from being completely focused on essentially a technical task without a component of humanity with it. Because that’s what you have to do when you do neurosurgery. But at the end of the day, and I tell my residents that the work I do as if you will a technician. Well, that’s extraordinarily important. My successes as a physician, equally, are attributable to being a authentic kind human being. And not to forget the importance of that, because when you connect with somebody on the level of their humanity, that causes them to relax, it causes their physiology to work much better. And in fact, it has several secondary effects, it boosts the immune system, it decreases the production of inflammatory proteins. And so overall, it’s a very good thing when you can incorporate the two of them. You know, being a doctor is just not a technical exercise or reading from a book. Fundamentally, medicine is an art and that combines both the technical aspect and the human aspect.

Dennis Tardan  04:19

Oh, that that is that is so powerful, because that’s where I want to work play. Now, what we were talking about was the, the, within the within the human, and as you look at that, I, I guess the human body, the emotional body, the spiritual body, the physical body, where compassion where that place arises, because that’s what we’re in search of. We both grew up men trying to figure out just exactly what is a man, what is the man and how do we focus against that and compare against it and fall short or however, we’re trying to figure out really do understand that and What role compassion has in that journey? So, as a neurosurgeon, and as a scientist, and as a spiritual Walker along this path? Can you talk about that?

Dr. James Doty  05:12

Sure. Well, I think if you look at the evolution of our species, as an example, a nuclear family, you know, the female was primarily the caregiver. And while the male theoretically protected the family, search for food, etc. And these have been the traditional roles that males and females have played with the mother being more nurturing and caring, while the father is placed this role of protector, which on some level also implies an aggressor. And while this certainly worked, during that period of time in our evolution, and also, as we evolved beyond that to hunter gatherer tribes, and you have to remember until 60,000 years ago, we actually lived in groups of 50, to 150. And it was critically important that a person did their job in this very harsh environment. And if a person was in pain was in suffering, by the nature of our evolution, we were highly attuned to that. And the interesting thing is, when you’re able to relieve another suffering, what happens is you actually get the release of oxytocin and other hormones, which are commonly called the love hormone, or caring hormone. And this made you feel good, and your reward centers were stimulated. But going back along this discussion about roles, what’s happened is though, as society has evolved, oftentimes, men feel very constrained because of the false aspects of what we’re supposed to do or how we’re supposed to act. And in fact, for some of your listeners, you may want to refer to a talk, I gave a TEDx talk at UN Plaza, which was called compassion, women’s empowerment and feminism. But the reason that’s appropriate today is because it was a discussion of gender roles. And it was not only a discussion of how many women want to escape what’s been defined as their gender roles. It also is a discussion about how men want to escape what has traditionally been defined as their gender roles. I’m sure, as you’ve seen from the various talks and things that I give, oftentimes, I’ll be on stage. And you mentioned telling my own personal history. Well, you know, this is very personal. And at times, I will, my voice will crack or I’ll shed a tear. And it’s interesting, because as soon as I do that, that gives everyone in the room permission to open up and show their own emotions. And it’s extraordinary, because I’ve never had anyone say to me, oh, jeez, you know, it was horrible that you broke up there and how you must have been embarrassed. Well, that one instance happened, which I’ll tell you about. But, but generally speaking, when you do show those types of emotions, it allows everyone to touch their humanity. And it’s very moving, because in modern society, unlike how we used to live a few 100 years ago, where you were born in a village, you knew everyone in the village who died in the village, everyone accepted you for who you were, you didn’t have to put on any pretenses because everyone knew you from the time you were a child. Exactly. In modern society. You’re not living with your relatives, your siblings, your parents, your grandparents, you’re working in environments where oftentimes you don’t know the people at all. So many people feel constrained, because of the fact that they feel that they’re going to be judged. And of course, it’s horribly sad, because when you’re worried about being judged, it limits you on what you are willing to tell. And then, of course, to have authentic real relationships and to connect, you have to be vulnerable. Well, if you won’t let yourself be vulnerable, you can’t really have a deep relationship. And therein lies the problem. But as I was saying, My repeated experience has been and this is speaking to literally 10s and 10s of 1000s of people.

Dr. James Doty  09:45

When I show my emotion, first of all, I don’t really care. But second of all, I’ve never had anybody not embrace me or want a hug. You know, I gave a talk a few years ago, you and Idaho at the Wellness festival. And they’re about 250 people there. And, you know, at the end of it, a woman said, Oh, that was so beautiful, can I hug you? And I said, Sure, well, then then 250 people lined up to be. But it shows, you know, the power of authenticity and vulnerability. Now, I did mention one exception to that. That which was after a talk I gave a woman came up to me. And she said, You know, I was so embarrassed for you, I noticed your voice cracked, you shed a tear and kind, you must have been felt horrible in front of all these people, and they were judging you, and on and on and on. And she said, which was fast. And she said, I’m a hypnotherapist and a psychiatrist. And if you come to me for three sessions, I can get rid of that for you.

Dennis Tardan  10:58

I have a feeling every hour that is.

Dr. James Doty  11:02

Well, and what’s sad about it is if this is what this woman believes is appropriate for psychotherapy, or intervention, it’s horribly sad, because she’s indicating she wants you to hide from your true self. But that being said, you know, being able to stand out and hold your truth, without fear of judgment is very, very hard for people. Right. And I think that’s part of the problem.

Clay Boykin  11:30

You know, I know watching some of your talks, there’s points where I can tell that it’s it’s welling in you. And every time I lean in, I find myself leaning into it. And, and I think that’s, that’s the human nature coming out. You’re talking about men and women and, you know, the wanting to basically change or shed where they’ve been, I’ve always wondered, I, I’m told that I’m gonna say this, we’re very clumsy, but a male brain and a female brain are wired different. Now, that was metaphor when I was growing up, but somebody want recently said, no, no, that’s really true.

Dr. James Doty  12:13

Well, on some level, that’s true. But fundamentally, though, at the end of the day, we’re all human beings. And yes, you know, the reality is most of the behaviors we have in terms of social position. I mean, they have a component of culture, and being involved and a genetic component, as an example, you’ll see individuals who, early on in life as an example, you know, the parent would say, Well, I knew when you were three or five, that you were gay, and, and nobody complained it, but in fact, it’s true. And so there certainly hormonal components, that, or developmental components that contribute to that, but that being said, we are not locked in to a role. And I think that you have to, though, be open, and not be afraid. And, you know, again, men are terribly afraid of being judged, especially by other men that they’re weak. Or that by showing love, compassion, caring, that this identifies them as not being a real man. And again, I my own repeated experience has been that has never been the case. But you have to be able to stand out and say, I don’t care. I don’t care.

Dennis Tardan  13:36

Doctor, Doctor, I want to ask you about that, though. Because for those of the watchers, the viewers and the listeners who don’t know this, they might think that you grew up in this wonderful compassionate home that taught you all of this and tell you but that’s not the case. You grew up in a very dysfunctional family with mental illness and alcoholism and and a lot of that, so getting you they’re getting you to the place where it was okay to connect with your feelings, that and that arc and that journey, to be able to do it two or three times and say, Well, this is okay, because those first times are important.

Dr. James Doty  14:16

I think that’s true. And I think when you grow up an environment like mine, as you describe, it is very challenging, because you’re filled with fear, anxiety.

Dennis Tardan  14:28

This year, you were filled with the sheriff. Next year. I just, I’m making sure that yeah, arguing about your your Yes.

Dr. James Doty  14:36

and hopelessness and and, you know, of course, when you’re fearful and anxious that obviously impedes your behavior. It impedes judgment. When you’re afraid it shuts down your executive control functionaries in your brain and as a result, you’re just trying to survive you’re not really thinking through your experience, yeah. And it limits you. But I was fortunate, and I think this is potentially true of everyone is that if you find one person who accepts you, who reaches out who loves you, who sees your potential, it can have a profound, profound effect. And I’m sure you have seen these, as an example, they’ll show up children in foster care. And I’ll start out trying to, you know, a five year old with a happy smile, playful, a Shawmut, seven, same dental show, I’m at nine, and he’s different at 12. He said do at 14, he’s been arrested for being a juvenile delinquent. And, and the sad thing is, you know, that part of you, which is so beautiful, can be destroyed by the nature of of difficult life. And that being said, though, each of us has the ability to reach out to someone and change their life, you just have to be attuned to that, and make the effort to do that.

Clay Boykin  16:12

Why it’s so true. I think back. Now, I think back of the older men, when I was young, when I was a preteen teenage, that were good men who were extending themselves to me. But already, I was at the place where I didn’t trust other men. And I look back on the wisdom that I missed at a young age, because of that, you know, the local barber, one of the wisest men in town. Of course, he knows everything about everybody. But but that was a real tragedy.

Dennis Tardan  16:53

It is. And I wonder about that, doctor, when you when we studied the effect of testosterone on concert consciousness? Can you talk about that?

Dr. James Doty  17:08

Sure. And, you know, I mean, you also see individuals who inject these types of drugs for, as an example, to improve their weightlifting and things like that. And, you know, if you have an excessive amount, of course, it can cause you to be very aggressive, and not being able to connect, because in some ways, it’s bringing the worst aspects of testosterone out and an individual. And so one does have to think about that and acknowledge that. But you know, I think you were talking about exposure to males, who if you will, have the right components to connect with you, you know, oftentimes, you can have an individual who nominally appear sort of gruff and disconnected, actually be extraordinary, tender, unkind, and it’s just, it’s a different way of expressing yourself. But it’s just as important. And, and, and I think, again, there are many, many men who have those attributes. But again, it just depends on the world that they’re forced, or have to live in, as to how much of that comes out. You know, it’s it’s very, very hard. You know, in my own situation, I actually, I was just talking to somebody on the phone, you know, I had a situation the other day where I was very focused on doing something that I had to get done, and that had certain consequences if I didn’t get done. And my younger son, who was 13, was asking me to help him with something. And I was very short with them. And, and then this led to this argument with my wife, which that evolved by 8018 year old son. And it became very heated before, you know, I realized it was getting out of control. And so look, I’m not immune to these things, either. I’m a human being. But that being said, you can reflect on these and think about these, and think about how you can be a better person. And so that’s the other part is, look, none of us are perfect human beings. What we have to recognize, though, is that the most important thing that connects us with others, and especially those who love us, is simply being kind and caring, and also reflective. So again, unfortunately, what happens to many people is that how they grew up results and how they behave today. It’s like you’re carrying baggage with yourself and you don’t understand that how you react actually doesn’t even have to do with the present event. It has to do with the baggage that you’re carrying the causes pain and suffering.

Clay Boykin  20:03

You know, I see that I fully agree with you. And then there’s circumstances or situations like yourself, where you did have a very tough, and you did have the opportunity to carry all that baggage with you through your life. But look where you are, you’ve made something different. You You’ve chosen a different path somewhere along the line.

Dr. James Doty  20:27

No, there is no question about that. To emphasize, though, you know, as an example, my wife says to me periodically, she’ll say, people call you Mr. Compassion, you’re just an asshole. So,

Dennis Tardan  20:44

thank you, I thank you, thank you for allowing me to know that I have, I get exactly the same.

Dr. James Doty  20:53

Yeah, so look, again, it just emphasizes we’re all human. But if we understand that reality and and accept our fallibility, you know, still okay, it’s just keeping sort of the light on the path and not deviating.

Dennis Tardan  21:14

I’m so glad that you said that. Because right now we’re in as clay and I have done a lot of work and to be an ally within the Black Lives Matter movement with within the work that we’ve been doing, and, and understanding that this idea of that we can actually study critical race theory, we can study racism, and it’s placed in the United States without diminishing the idea of the United States being this shining star on the Hill that we can possibly that we can hold two thoughts at the same time, instead of saying, like you were saying, like, you were saying that, that there are aspects, I will behave like an asshole. But that doesn’t mean that I am one, there’s just aspects of that behavior that I can balance out. And I can take them both at the same time.

Dr. James Doty  22:01

No, I think that’s true. You know, it’s like, tearing down all these monuments, whether it’s Churchill, even discussions about Abraham Lincoln, and all of these individuals who have had a huge overall positive influence on society. You know, if you look really closely, they’ve also had some very negative aspects about themselves or decisions they’ve made. And that is the nature of being a human being, I don’t think that we should destroy an individual who has accomplished a great deal in the positive sense, because of necessarily the negative aspects. That being said, it’s not to hide the negative aspects or the horrible components of them. It’s just to shine a light on both. And to say, this is what this person did, in terms of, you know, I think the Black Lives movement and critical race theory. You know, the sad thing is that there feels to be this need, because of a once I hate to say this, their white privilege, about telling the truth, that somehow by telling the truth, that that diminishes them, and you’re supposed to hide behind us. Yeah. Yeah, of course, that’s that should not be the case at all. Yeah, we should be able to stand up and say this, these are the facts, period. It’s not to sit there and somehow imply that there wasn’t fundamentally systemic racism that has been imbued in the structural components of American society, which have systematically been used to keep another group of people from progressing forward. And it is fact that you can’t hide it, you can’t bury it, it is fact and it needs to be accepted, acknowledge. And, you know, if you keep telling children, hiding the truth from them, all it does is make a child who is ignorant and make bad decisions. You know, this is unfortunately, the nature of oftentimes religion. You know, they want to hide a Inconvenient Truth, and you can’t do it. At the end of the day, children are going to resent the fact that you lied to them. And the fact that you keep, you know, inventing narratives that justify your own behavior is going to come to light and it’s that whole process is not at the end of the day going to benefit anybody.

Clay Boykin  24:41

Well, I, I’ve been fascinated with your book into the magic shop. And, matter of fact, I found it in an audio form and I was listening to it and fell asleep late in the night, about 330 in the morning, I woke up And it was the perfect thing for me to hear at the time. And it was towards the end of the book I hadn’t. I hadn’t read it yet. But one of the pieces that really struck me just one line says our journey is one of transcendence, not endless self reflection. We’d love to hear more about that.

Dr. James Doty  25:25

Sure. The, there’s nothing wrong with self reflection. And I do think that’s critically important. But the most important thing at the end of the day is a recognition of our oneness. Yes, and I think that, you know, we talked about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you know, we talk about self actualization. But I think more important, is this concept of transcendence, when you recognize that the other is yourself. Now, this is a very, very challenging, difficult journey, and one that is painful in some ways. But if you’re able to make that leap, then you realize that you cannot possibly do actions against another, because you’re harming yourself. And I think if people look through that lens at the other, then it would have a huge, huge positive impact on how they behave and how they contribute to society. You know, sadly, we have a wealthy class that unfortunately, instead of having gratitude for their position, they’re only looking up at what they don’t have. And they’re looking at the world through the lens of scarcity, instead of the lens of generosity, you know, we have within us the ability to, frankly solve everyone’s needs everyone. There’s actually immense abundance here. But you know, as an example, the United States, if you look at the top 10 industrial countries in the world, and what they spend on defense, you know, that the United States spends multiple multiples of what all the nine others spend, yet, if we took simply three or four days of what we spend on defense, we could solve poverty, we could solve homelessness, homelessness, we could give everyone an education, we could develop programs to feed the children. I mean, it would be extraordinary. Unfortunately, the nature of human beings, though, is oftentimes at least a subset of people is one of greed.

Dennis Tardan  27:46

But doctor, don’t, don’t you think that we could make the business case for peace? That it actually would solve that it would actually actually that this is good business that you would actually you would get customers? You would get healthy, healthy customers, you will have a vibrant economy economy for the global use, why can’t capitalist Misa capitalist, I’m a capitalist, I like to call myself the new vote capitalist, you know that you have more than one bottom line of different colors in this but there is a possibility that solving this and using that three or four days would actually benefit the economies and all the things that people who believe in this in the capitalistic theory would be wanting.

Dr. James Doty  28:34

Well, you’re absolutely correct. But the problem is we have gone from sort of just simple capitalism to ruthless capitalism.

Dennis Tardan  28:44

Yeah, we need more Ruth. We, when When Ruth left when Ruth left it broke my heart. I we were Ruth, I’m sorry. I’m doing Bader Ginsburg, humor. And I, you know, he was my hero. But anyhow, yes, we are ruthless copper.

Dr. James Doty  29:00

Yeah, I mean, what happens when you take that position is you want to take every penny off the table. And it’s horrible. If you look at as an example, CEO pay over the last few decades, it’s gone up almost 700%. I mean, that’s ridiculous. Who deserves to make a billion dollars a year, there’s not a single person. And the problem is that, you know, these people instead of going out and saying, you know, I’m so blessed to have 100 million 50 billion, or whatever the amount of money is, they feel a need to go out and buy a $500 million yacht. I mean, how ridiculous and you have a ton of these yachts that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. And you have all of these people who have multiple, multi million dollar homes all over the world which sit empty the vast majority of time. I mean, it’s a complete waste of resources. When if you just impute a little kindness, compassion, thoughtfulness, you could It’ll be rewarded so much. The problem is that what happens is, all of us have an emptiness inside when we’re born. And the only thing that will fill that sense of emptiness or hollowness is being of service and caring for others. And the problem is that in modern Western society, we have a belief that wealth means success. Wealth means competence. Wealth is beautiful wealth gets you access, and ultimately makes you happy. And of course, you know, and I know that nothing could be further from the truth, some of the wealthiest people I know, are the most unhappy people. And

Dennis Tardan  30:40

when you actually know them, doctor, because you know, I mean, this is not theory, do you? You spend time around these people.


Dr. James Doty  30:51

Yes, I have spent a lot of time around these people. Now don’t get me wrong.


Dennis Tardan  30:56

I don’t mean No, I’m not I wasn’t making a huge generalization. But the generalization being, I mean, the specificity of it is that that will not get you happiness, that that in and of itself is not as a as a, you know, a ticket, a gate into this is not going to get you there.

Dr. James Doty  31:16

Oh, that’s right. I mean, see, but the problem is that these people confuse the adoration of people who want to be liked, as having meaning. And you see, they get they get confused with that. And then they manipulate it, right, because they want to keep getting accolades about how good they are. And you do that by showing off by getting a $500 million yacht by having people go, Wow, you’re amazing, you have 10 homes, you have, you’re driving this car, you have a collection of cars, you are so amazing. And you see they keep confusing people’s admiration with meaning. And, and then of course, the problem with society is that we have all of these people who think that if I just do this, if I just have this house, if I have this job, if I get paid this month, I’m going to be happy. And it’s, it’s a horrible situation, because it’s certainly not the case at all. And you know, from my own perspective, I climbed a lot of mountains thinking that if I just did this, I’ll be happy, and I’ll be secure. If I just did this. And at the top of every peak, there was another peak, and I was still not happy. And I would suggest you that when I held everything, I had nothing.

Dennis Tardan  32:30

So So let me ask you, when in your life, did it come as a dawning of a you know, like, when suddenly the sun rises? Did it come as an epiphany, did it come? What part of your life did you sit down and go, Wait a minute, this is not going to get me?

Dr. James Doty  32:49

Well, you know, Ruth, this woman in this magic shop who I met who gave me a lot of incredible insights. The problem was I was 12 when I received them. And I wasn’t self aware or wise. And I thought I understood the message and the message carried me a far distance. But what happened is, as I was just mentioning, each thing I accomplished, whether it was going to medical school becoming a neurosurgeon, during the professor becoming an entrepreneur, or whatever it was, the there was nothing but emptiness there. And I would hear I would have all of these friends who would admire me. And here I was driving around in Ferraris and Porsches, I was dating beautiful women, I lived in a huge penthouse. And, and I was never more miserable than I had ever been in my life. And the problem was, it was like eating food with no calories, you’re never satiated. And there’s a Tibetan mythology called The Hungry Ghost, which has this very narrow throat, and it can’t swallow. And, and what happened was, in 2000, I lost almost $80 million in six weeks, during the.com Bust. And, you know, I had, like I said, penthouse cars, all of this stuff. And I was effectively bankrupt. I you know, and what happens in those situations is two people become your best friends, your lawyer and your banker. And so I had to sell everything. I was about 3 million in the hole. I had absolutely nothing. And I went into this period of self reflection. And I did realize ultimately, as I tried to relive the lessons that this Ruth woman taught me how I had missed a part of it. And I had never been bad or selfish, if you will. But all of my actions were to assuage my own shame and insecurity about my background, and it wasn’t out of a deep sense of purpose to be of service to others. It was about hiding behind accomplishments hoping that people’s accolades would make me feel whole. And of course it didn’t. So when I reflected on that, I understood and I decided to change. And what happened was, interestingly enough, my lawyers told me that a donation I had made, they had not actually filed the paperwork. And in fact, I could keep all the money. And that ended up being about $30 million. But what I decided to do against everyone’s advice was I gave it all away $30 million to charity. And in some ways, it was a statement about what was important, and that all of those things would not make me whole yet. Here, I set up health clinics all over the world, I set up blood banks, I set up programs for adolescents affected by AIDS, HIV, I set up programs for the disabled, I endowed professorships, funded research. And in some ways, all of those actions made me whole again, and a feeling that I was in fact of service. And that actually has allowed me to do extraordinary things. It allowed me to set up the center at Stanford that focuses on compassion, it allowed me to become friends with the Dalai Lama, it allowed me to become friends with spiritual and religious leaders around the world. And it allowed me to be able to, frankly, be comfortable with who I am.

Dennis Tardan  36:36

Doctor, one of one of the most beautiful words that I hear you use, is recognize to re cognize because I knew this all along, no great spiritual truth that I’ve ever come upon has been other than, ah, I knew that. And to re cognize and to continue to go back. What a beautiful use of that word.

Dr. James Doty  37:04

Well, again, I was very blessed. And I think that the other thing that many people carry with them is a narrative that oftentimes we believe is truth. Yes. And this is the narrative that says, I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not worthy. I’m an imposter. And I think this is particularly common in men who were struggling themselves. And what I thought was that that was truth that it emanated from some place that that voice was the truth. And what I recognized was, it was not the truth at all, that unfortunately, as a species, negative commentary, and negative events, have had the beneficial effect of allowing our species to survive. But unfortunately, they’re extraordinarily sticky. And even though they’re unrelated to our survival, they stick with us. And that’s where this negative narrative comes along. And when you recognize that, and you make efforts to change the narrative from one of negativity to positivity, what it does is it actually liberate you, because you see, when you’re carrying those messages all the time, it’s as if every time you say, a statement, it’s as if you’re laying a brick down to create a self imposed prison for yourself. And when you understand the falsity of that narrative, it breaks down the walls and it lets light in. And you can see this incredible power you have within yourself, to manifest what you want, and to be of service to others. And when you realize the power you have when you realize that within you is the ability to positively not only change your life, but the lives of others around you. It’s really quite extraordinary. And it’s and it’s beautiful. And I think that this idea of liberation towards transcendence is really the key aspect of what we’re talking about.

Clay Boykin  39:14

You know, just going to interject because I do a lot of work with men and men circle and we’ve got the network that’s, you know, several places around the world. And I get frustrated because I see us seemingly endless self reflection. And sometimes I want to just stand up like come on, let’s go do something. And it’s hard to make that turn that turn. I see it all the time. I was that way myself. You know, I I spent several years trying to break free of that self reflection that manifested with depression after severe illness. And I believe that there’s a whole population of men out there, they do they have this hole, they’re stuck. And but they’re good if they could just hear the right thing at the right time. And take action, things would be different for them.

Dr. James Doty  40:23

Well, I think part of it also is the situation in America right now as an example, where you, you know, you have men in their late 30s, early 40s. And they have a perception that they’re supposed to be the breadwinner, they’re supposed to protect their family. And the problem is that if you’re not well educated, and you’re at a minimum wage job, you can’t even take care of yourself, much less your family, we don’t have a living wage, we have a minimum wage. And then when you, as an example, have the pharmaceutical industrial complex pushing opioids out there, because they paid off politicians, and you have people who are suffering and trying to just get by, will they become victims to this, which of course, then not only destroys them, but it destroys everyone around them. And I think that it’s very, very hard to be a man. And it’s very, very hard. You know, there’s an assumption as an example, look, I went to college medical school, but the fact of the matter is, in most parts of the country, the group of people have bachelor’s degrees is less than 5%. Yep. And so we’re looking through this lens. And here I’m at Stanford, I talk to, and interact with some of the most brilliant people in the world.

Dennis Tardan  41:55

But the factory map one, one part of 1%,

Dr. James Doty  41:58

yes. And so you make this assumption that that’s the way the world works. And it’s not whatsoever, the vast majority of people actually don’t have a bachelor’s degree. In fact, probably only two thirds of them to 75% have completed high school even. So you have to look at the situation through that lens, which is the reality lens. And when you have people who are struggling, who don’t have the resources of education, or a situation where they live, there are jobs, which can pay them which an affordable wage, so they can live a life. I mean, imagine if you’re in your 40s, and you have a perception that you have no future, there’s no job, you’re not educated enough. You have a family with children, I mean, and you have access to opioids,

Dennis Tardan  42:51

and you have credit card debt, and you and and you’re seeing on television, all and all the media, the ways you should live and everything that is reinforcing all the that whatever it is that you’re looking for, is outside.

Dr. James Doty  43:06

Now that’s exactly right. And so we have created a horrible situation that is not supportive of this individual. You know, it is as if there are agendas within certain political parties that somehow believe that having a social safety net that somehow believe caring for others, caring for children, is a weakness. And if you were in that position, it is your fault, and you are a failure, where it is not I don’t know a single person who likes to be poor. I certainly did not like to be poor. And and I also know very, very few people who if given the opportunity wouldn’t be happy to work, to have a livable wage to care for their family. This is a completely false narrative that somehow there are these loafers who are trying to take advantage of a system. I have

Dennis Tardan  44:01

never met them. I know I know people I have met people and all and I they aren’t they are not their doctor. So how do we what we’re looking for as part of this, how do we change that narrative? Because somewhere, let’s let’s assume that in 100 years, everything has changed. We understand that, you know, we’ve helped to rewire and see that positivity can be as sticky as negativity. We’ve been able to but we were not there. We’re here. So what are the things that you’re doing and the initiatives that you’re involved in that are moving that are moving the conversation and moving the because you’re you’re blessed us so much to give us this time? You’re you’re not spinning it somewhere else. So what what is going on you and you and what you’re doing

Dr. James Doty  44:51

well all of us are just doing the best we can so

Dr. James Doty  45:01

You know, one of the things I’ve spent a fair amount of time on is trying to develop techniques, intervention techniques that allow individuals to be kinder to themselves. Because when you’re, when you’re kind to yourself, it changes the lens through which you see the world. Because you recognize that while you may have your own suffering, which has a tendency to distract you from everything else, we’re able to actually see the reality that everyone is suffering in different ways. And the very nature of that understanding makes you much more thoughtful, kinder, and gentler to people. And I think that’s very, very important. But the other aspect here, unfortunately, is we have a political system that instead of coming together and holding hands, and saying, how do we best move forward together, it’s one that says, I don’t want to hold hands with you, I don’t like you, you’re wrong. And unfortunately, that never gets you anywhere. And so the reality is, we have to not denigrate others opinions, but look through the lens of empathy and try to understand why people have come up with different worldviews that actually oftentimes don’t benefit them. You know, they’re, I don’t know, anyone who isn’t actually trying to improve the world in general, except for potentially individuals who are motivated by greed and power, and who manipulate the weaknesses and fears of others. But in general, most people want to live a life in which they have a job in which they can care for their families, and go about their daily business, they don’t want to be in culture wars, they don’t want to fight people in general, this is all created by a narrative that somehow the other took something away from you which you deserve, and that they’re keeping you from benefiting. And whether you want to create the enemy of the minority, the enemy, defined as the immigrant, you know, those are false narratives. That’s not the problem. The problem is that we have sold ourselves in some ways, to the corporate, ruthless, capitalistic perception of how the world works. And when you rein in these people, when you stop them, as an example, corporate entities from giving significant donations to politicians, when you change the political system, that you have a certain amount of money each politician gets once they get to a certain level of advancement in the system, that’s when you’ll see all of these things fall apart,

Dennis Tardan  47:47

which means then you have to sell your ideas, you actually have to convince people and get them to come along with you instead of just buying your way into the next level. Yes,

Dr. James Doty  47:59

and and, you know, we used to have this thing that required actually some degree of truth in the media, because you see, we don’t have news anymore, but we have his opinion, which is being promoted as truth. And it’s not at all. And again, you know, as an example, it’s sort of interesting, you look at a show, as an example, where somebody’s promoting a false narrative about the pandemic, yet they’re fully vaccinated, they show up at work, they have to wear masks, they have to do all of these things. Yet they’re saying, don’t get vaccinated don’t do this. It’s all a plot against you to take your your freedoms away. Well, again, and this is the sad thing, because again, it gets back to the exact same thing. It’s all about the money.

Dennis Tardan  48:42

What we’re doing, Dr. Is that’s why we have you on today. That’s why we are in search of the new compassionate male because we believe like you because we put compassion in the same family as conscious as, as kindness. It has, it has that that if we do this, if we help to spread this word, if we are able to get the message that you’re talking out more, helping that to be sticky, we can actually make a difference in the direction the vector that that we’re going in?

Dr. James Doty  49:16

Well, that’s what I believe. And if I didn’t believe that I certainly want to do I would say, though, that again, when you hear people who disagree with you, whether it’s from the right or the left,

Dennis Tardan  49:30

what you do, right you get you get you get Pete, how do you handle it? What do you do when, when you are in a position like that so you can help us to model it?

Dr. James Doty  49:41

Well, I think the first thing you do is you don’t judge people and you’re open. And if you just sit down with somebody and just talk to them to understand how they got to their position, then oftentimes it results in you changing your position There are them changing their positions. And also it allows you to disagree. But work together to compromise. You see, that’s what we need here. When people are positioned themselves on the far extremes, nothing gets done other than screaming and yelling, if you sit there and say, Well, I don’t necessarily agree with that. But I understand where you’re coming from, I’m potentially willing to do this, if you’re willing to do that. This is how politics should work. It’s because at the end of the day, we’re all in this together. And when you cooperate, when you compromise, when you’re a little more thoughtful, when you’re not perceiving the others, as trying to get something over on you or take advantage of you, but that we’re all just trying to make the world a better place, then I think that is much more likely to accomplish something positive, then screaming at each other, and essentially have everything come to a standstill. And when we also recognize that many politicians, their purpose is not to bring us together, their purpose is to keep us apart. It’s like the media, you know, the media only makes money if there’s divisiveness, right? That’s why they get paid when things are devices become divisive, because the evolution of our species is that when everything is perfect for us, we’re happy, we don’t care about anything. Yet, if somebody tells you somebody’s trying to steal something from you, or every action they’re doing is to take one of your personal freedoms away, that gets our attention. Because again, we’re much more attuned to negative, then we are tuned to positives. I

Clay Boykin  51:43

remember back in the 60s as a little kid, and we were watching Walter Cronkite. And one day, there were two news casters, talking to one another about something. And a dad said, when the newscasters start interviewing each other, we’re all in trouble. And is that not what we have today? But would it come back to something earlier, you you’re talking about, we all suffer. And I equate that suffering? That we’re all wounded. We all have different wounds. But that common ground and this is something I learned in the gender equity and reconciliation, work with that organization, and recognizing, not whose wound is worse than the others, but that that’s our common ground. And it’s from that place of woundedness, that so many of us come out, and we come out in rage or in fear. We don’t come out or as our best self, but if we can look at if I can look at another person and recognize that that person’s wounded in that’s not who that person really is. And I agree.

Dr. James Doty  53:06

Yeah. Well, I think that comes back to this point of this kindness and gentleness towards others. Yeah. And look, I think, frankly, all of us just want to be held and feel protected. Thank you. And I think that the horrible fear of showing your vulnerability, and allowing somebody to hold you to protect you to care for you, is terrifying for many men, unfortunately. But it’s okay. It’s okay to say, you know, I hurt, I’m in pain I’m not doing well, I need you.

Dennis Tardan  53:42

Thank you. I see that in athletics. I see that when you know, when an athlete is hurt on the field, and the people gather around him, and they hold him and they touch him and they help him or her to, to to get back up off the ground. Even when they make a horrible mistake, such as they drop off a pass or they miss something that you see them getting together and touching and holding and letting the people know that they’re there. That’s an example to me, I may be projecting into it. But it feels like that from having played in sport.

Dr. James Doty  54:15

Well, but again, I think it’s also a recognition of the fact that those involved know how challenging it is, how tough it is, what’s the efforts that you have to put forward? And I think that

Dennis Tardan  54:28

we land behind a corner, sand behind a counter at Walmart for 810 hours a day, work with her and Lifta and tell me that’s not hard, right? I mean, tell me that, you know, and then come back home and try to take care of a sick parent at the same time that you told me that’s not worthy of her Arrow, Arrow. Well,

Dr. James Doty  54:47

just to comment on that. The underbelly of that is, you know, it’s interesting how corporations have used the US government to give them corporate welfare, right. You look at Walmart which doesn’t pay an adequate salary doesn’t offer health insurance. And you have people who are working there, and they’re on food stamps, and also Medicaid to pay for the health care. I mean, and yet this is one of the most profitable corporations around. You look at as an example, the fuel industry right now who suddenly we see prices going up. And there’s this entire narrative about the Ukraine Russian situation, yet the oil companies are now the most profitable countries companies in the world, yet we give them maximal subsidies, maximal subsidies, which are absolutely ridiculous, they should stand on their own completely. And see this is what people don’t understand is the amount of corporate welfare that the corporations have paid off politicians to allow them to have, you know, if corporations actually paid their fair share, there would also be much, much more money around that would benefit society in general that

Dennis Tardan  56:00

would benefit the corporation’s it all works together this idea, the zero sum versus synergy. This is a synergistic principle, this zero sum, there’s only enough you take something you get something it takes it out of my pie is not the way economy work.

Dr. James Doty  56:21

Well, you’re right, and and the problem is that this is how they view it. And again, like I said, unfortunately, my experience in a number of case studies have been shown that when you’re kind as a company, when you’re compassionate, when you’re thoughtful towards its employees, what happens, you know, if a company is managed through fear, what happens is there’s a marked decrease in productivity, there’s a marked decrease in creativity, there’s a marked increase in health care costs, and there’s a marked increase in human resource costs. And so when you’re actually able to create a corporate entity that’s focused on caring, compassion, thoughtfulness, a magic happens, productivity increases, creativity increases, health insurance costs are decreased, because you know, a lot of money that’s spent on health care costs have to do with stress, anxiety, and depression. And, and, in fact, you know, there’s this concept of absenteeism from work. And this is because you’re unhappy. If you can create an environment where people are excited when they understand that their work is important when they understand that they’re helping others when they understand they’re doing something that has meaning, or at least, the corporation recognizes their dignity and importance and creates environment, environments that allow them to be involved in things that give them meaning. This results in a huge, huge increase in shareholder value, huge increase in productivity and profitability. And that’s the sad thing about looking at corporate entities. Again, they’re still through the mindset of working through fear. And that, unfortunately, is what we created through Wall Street having to report its quarterly earnings

Dennis Tardan  58:11

through a system. To do that, our doctor, listen, I know that we were taking you up at the end of your time that you’ve allotted for us. But I want to make sure is there anything that we haven’t talked about that is on your mind and heart to make sure that we get it on this, this this broadcast of what you’re doing in your life right now?

Dr. James Doty  58:33

Well, I think that, you know, we’ve covered a lot of things, obviously, there’s a lot more detail we could get into about a whole variety of things. So please,

Dennis Tardan  58:43

if you think we can get him back Clady.

Dr. James Doty  58:48

But no, I think the most important thing is to one. Understand that you are biased, every one of us is biased. And if you take the time, to understand the nature of bias, it actually allows for you to become more self aware. And really, at the end of the day, the most important thing is for us to become self aware. Because when you become self aware, it allows you to be kind to yourself and allows you to be kind to other people. And this really is the most important thing is to look at the world through the lens of kindness, compassion. I mean, let me give you two examples. You have two people who are businessmen, they both walk out of a building into the rain. There’s one guy who walks out and the rain starts getting on a suit and he starts this whole diatribe about how his suits ruined. He’s going to be laid. His shoes are so it’s put him in a bad mood, etc, etc. You have another guy who walked out of the building and says, You know God, I’m so glad it’s raining because it reminds me how water is nurtured until all life on Earth. I’m so blessed to be on this earth, you know, I can certainly dry clean my suit. It’s not a big deal. But it’s really energized me just to be reminded of this reality. Well, you have two people who go through the exact same event, and look at the profound contrast between how two people believe. And in some ways, it’s your choice how you wish to see the world. The other An example is, I’m sure you have been cut off while you’re driving on more than one occasion, and typically, if you’re a male oft and maybe a female as well, you’ll have an expletive and a hand gesture. And but let me reframe that where this guy tries to cut you off, and you almost have an accident. But if I reframe it and say, you know, the person driving the car, his wife’s in the car, she’s nine months pregnant, her waters broken, she’s bleeding. He’s trying to get to the hospital. How does your perception of what’s important, right? And you see, in this microsecond, we have been able to change your perception, from one of anger about somebody cutting you off to being careful about what might happen to this woman. And again, it sees a little choices that we make about how we see the world. And if you change your perspective, to see the world through kindness, gentleness, gentleness and compassion, that changes your whole environment around you and people will react to in a completely different way. Amen.

Dennis Tardan  1:01:45

Thank you, Dr. Doty. Clay, thank you so much for inviting me along this journey and for founding in search of the new compassionate male. Dr. Doty, thank you for your time, your graciousness, and for your advocacy of being kind to yourself. I’m working on it myself. And you know, in keeping, keeping the process going, so you know, as you as you are, so I want you to know, the profound effect that you’ve had on us the profound effect on the audience and the time that you’ve given us. Thank you so much, sir.

Dr. James Doty  1:02:20

Thank you, gentlemen. And I wish you the best with your efforts and I do believe that the world will change if we’re more kind and compassionate. So thank you.

Dennis Tardan  1:02:32

This has been another podcast the 100th of in search of the new compassionate male. We will see everyone next time.

Clay Boykin  1:02:41

Check out the latest episode of In Search of the new compassionate mail on your favorite podcast Station.


EP: 94 Actor Clara Francesca on the Evolution of Relationships

EP: 94 Actor Clara Francesca on the Evolution of Relationships

CLARA FRANCESCA is a multi-lingual, international touring “philosopher of the heart making art”, as a playwright, actor, director, musician, producer, speech consultant and teaching artist. She holds a double Bachelors Degree in Laws & Biomedical Sciences as a graduate of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. An inaugural alumni member of New York City’s SITI Company’s Conservatory she has worked with Anne Bogart, Roger Hendricks Simon, Tony Greco, Mary Overlie, Bill T. Jones, Laura Sheedy, Tom Nelis, Barney O’Hanlon, Darron West, Robert Woodruff, Tina Landau, Chuck Mee, Belinda Mello, Moises Kaufman, and the Martha Graham Studio, specializing in Suzuki, Viewpoints, and Alexander Technique. Teaching Artist credits include NY TownHall, East Village Phoenix Ensemble fr. Jean Cocteau Rep, Acting Antics, Australian Shakespeare Company. Clara has been a two-time guest adjudicator for the Mildura Eisteddfod Speech & Drama Festival, and Victorian Debating Association. Awards include Best Actress Fairfax Melbourne Arts Centre for self-devised solo play, Best Performance SaraSolo International Festival, Best Actress two-time nominee Independent New York Theater Awards, Dante Alighieri Society three-time winner, Alliance Francaise Poetry two-time winner, recipient of the Dame Joan Sutherland Australian American Association Scholarship for Artistic Excellence and co-lead in multiple films, including Cannes Film Festival Distribution Market recipient. She is a former Victorian Actors’ Benevolent Trust Committee Member. Clara has parlayed these experiences into a successful speech coaching business with an impressive client portfolio over fourteen years from C-suite executives to UN interns, from five year olds to seventy. Clara specializes in speech-anxiety reduction and fostering people with the confidence to walk into any room and share their authentic voice. Clara continues to act in all mediums, notable IMDB credits and is a featured voiceover artist with household names Salvatore Ferragamo, Audible Books, Pokémon and Shiseido www.clarafrancesca.com



EP110: Don Frick – Silence & Servant Leadership (Part 2)

EP110: Don Frick – Silence & Servant Leadership (Part 2)

EP110: Don Frick – Silence & Servant Leadership (Part 2)

On the day when he first read Greenleaf’s essay The Servant as Leader in 1986, Don Frick decided to dedicate the rest of his career to understanding and teaching Greenleaf’s ideas about servant leadership. Since then, he has written books and essays about servant leadership—including Greenleaf’s biography—made presentations, conducted workshops, taught graduate seminars, and consulted with corporations on the principles of servant leadership. He is currently working on another book that offers details about how various organizations have implemented servant leadership. Before encountering Greenleaf’s work, Don engaged in multiple careers, including: managing departments at a university and museum of art; university teaching; television, radio, and film writing, production, and performance; trainer; specialist in advertising and marketing for Fortune 500 companies, plus an entrepreneur. His formal education includes a B.S. in Education, Master of Divinity, and PhD in Leadership and Organizational Studies.