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Mind the Shift

Mind the Shift

By Anders Bolling
For the first time in history, all of humanity is interconnected. Imagine the impact of that.
This is a podcast for social geeks in the prime of life who watch the news with a gnawing feeling of emptiness. It is one mind’s attempt to find answers to the most ridiculously big questions: Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?
Pretentious? You bet.
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7. Weather extremes may be less extreme than you think – Debby Guha-Sapir

Mind the Shift

88. Forging the soul in darkness – Joanna LaPrade
In modern society, we learn to live in the day world and to shun the underworld. To get out of pain as fast as possible. But the pain we avoid will inevitably come back to haunt us, in some form. ”The dark places in life are not enjoyable. The goal is not to spend our life in those places. But we are too quick to pull the ripcord”, says Jungian and archetypal psychologist Joanna LaPrade, author of a new book entitled Forged in Darkness. The Many Paths of Personal Transformation She promotes self-awareness as opposed to the ”mechanical” modern self-help model. ”An approach to self-awareness is so much richer: what is unique to you, how can you manage it? Thus you can pull on your resources, your nature, what inspires and strengthens you.” Carl Jung advanced the concept of psychological archetypes. He found them in ancient  traditions and in Greek and other mythologies. The striking commonality between archetypes in different traditions all over the world laid the ground for Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious. In her book, Joanna LaPrade explores different ways of journeying into the underworld to manage inner pain. She does it through the heroes and gods in Greek mythology who make precisely that journey (not all of them do). Heroism does not only come in the form of strength and willpower (Hercules), as we usually see it in the West. A hero’s journey can also be about listening and showing weakness (Aeneas), or using feelings, learning from mistakes and letting go (Orpheus) or to be clever and eloquent and ask questions (Odysseus). Investigating one’s depths can also entail ecstasy, release and to embrace nature and body (Dionysus). LaPrade discovered Jung in her early twenties in a very ”Jungian” manner via synchronistic events and a numinous dream that pointed out to her that her path was to help people cross thresholds in life. She is also deeply influenced by the Jungian writer and mythology professor Joseph Campbell, whose notable book The Hero with a Thousand Faces is a distilling of hero mythology. ”The hero is that part of us that is able to recognize when old life is worn out and needs tending. It is the courage and the bravery that it takes to leave the comfort of the old in us and set out on some kind of journey in ourselves and in our world, where we cross a threshold and become more than we used to be”, says Joanna. She points out that in her work as a therapist, she has yet to meet anyone who talks about having become more than they thought they were without first having visited places of suffering. Inner pain and suffering can express itself in the body in the form of illness or injury. The Western world is influenced by the cartesian idea of a separation between mind and matter. ”But we make a really big mistake when we separate soma and psyche”, Joanna says. And we also make a mistake not to realize that those ailments may want to tell us something. ”Working with cancer patients, I would say most of them have said ’cancer was the greatest teacher of my life’.” Toward the end of our conversation, we engage in an interesting and deep exchange about the possibility of living in the present moment and whether or not one can actually free oneself from suffering, as many spiritual teachers say. Jung versus Buddha, in a way. Do we reach any conclusions? Listen and find out. Find Joanna’s website here. Find Joanna’s book here.
June 15, 2022
87. You’re not crazy, sometimes reality shifts – Cynthia Sue Larson
Have you noticed that things mysteriously disappear and reappear? That broken items inexplicably get repaired? Perhaps even that deceased people or pets suddenly reappear as very much alive? Don’t think you are losing your mind or suddenly suffer from amnesia. You are most likely experiencing what Cynthia Sue Larson calls reality shifts. This is a phenomenon closely related to synchronicities as well as what is often referred to as the Mandela effect, a kind of timeline jumps, where some people’s memories of universal events or things deviate from what seems to be the consensus memory. Cynthia first began to observe weird reality shifts in the 90s. Having a science degree, she began connecting the dots employing quantum physics, but she combined science with the spiritual insights that she also acquired during the same period. ”Consciousness interacts with quantum reality. Somehow we are entangled through space and time”, she says. Time is a weird thing. It can slow down or speed up. We all experience it differently in different situations and contexts. ”Sometimes it is as if a change has happened in the past and a different decision was made. We can start learning from experiences that we haven't even had yet.” (This both pleasant and deep conversation made me realize I really must learn more about basic quantum physics. I have a feeling those references won’t go away any time soon on this podcast…) Cynthia likes to see life as a waking dream. It is real on a superficial level, but the baseline reality lies beneath the physical reality. She thinks we ought to live as if we are in a lucid dream, where we know we are dreaming but can change how it plays out. ”This is a participatory universe, as the physicist John Archibald Wheeler said. If we ask the universe a question, we get an answer.” Cynthia Sue Larson makes several references to quantum physicists and other scientists, like Carlo Rovelli and what he has said about zero entropy, which may be a scientific way of describing God. From that place all can be seen. In our busy lives, characterized by entropy, it is very hard to see the whole picture. ”We draw the energy required for these shifts from zero entropy”, Cynthia says, ”that non-linear experience, being in that lucid dream where we have access to everything, where we feel connected with everyone.” According to tests, some people are more prone than others to experience reality shifts, namely those who score high on intuition, empathy and emotions. Cynthia Sue Larson has written several books about these fascinating phenomena, she runs a website where people can share their experiences of shifts and jumps in space and time, and she is the first president of the International Mandela Effect Conference. Cynthia’s website Cynthia’s books International Mandela Effect Conference
May 26, 2022
86. The nocturnal portal to ourselves – Theresa Cheung
We all dream. Even the most hard-nosed materialist does. When a dream is powerful and seems to carry meaning it shakes you, whether you are spiritually oriented or not. – Dreams for me are the portal, the opening to the part of you that is invisible, unseen, unconscious, expansive and infinite, knows past, present and future and sees beyond the material, says Theresa Cheung, a returning podcast guest (our previous conversation is in episode #55) . Cheung is a successful and prolific writer of all things spiritual. She loves to write and speak about these things for people who are skeptical, and she always employs the power of doubt. Her latest book, How to Catch a Dream, is about lucid dreaming. – It is an entry point for an understanding of ourselves as spiritual beings having a human experience rather than human beings having a spiritual inside. The interest in the significance of dreams and dream interpretation is booming. Only twenty years ago, taking dreams seriously would have been considered woo woo in most camps. Theresa Cheung credits the younger generation for the change. If people looked inside for self-knowing, there would be less strife and violence in the world, Theresa thinks. Rulers who feel tortured inside inflict their pain onto the world outside them. – Your dreaming mind and your waking mind are one, they are interconnected. People separate waking and sleeping, like you're a different person when you dream, but you’re not, it's all your consciousness. But in dreams you interact on a symbolic level. In ancient times, people were better at thinking symbolically. We have sadly turned that ability off. But reading poetry, watching films or even playing computer games we can ignite that dreaming language. Your mind doesn't know the difference between sleeping and waking, so if you learn something in a dream, you can do it also in your waking life. The ultimate high in the dream state is lucid dreaming, when you ”wake up” in a dream and realize you are dreaming. – Then you can role play, you can be, do, experience anything. There are no limits. Think about that! The only limits are logic and reason, says Theresa. – I believe that what you meet in a lucid dream is the part of you that survives bodily death. Theresa Cheung says she finds the most clarity in the Jungian approach to dream interpretation. The characters we meet in a dream can be delightful or scary, but they are all aspects of ourselves. Most of the time they want our attention. They want to tell us something – There is night and day within all of us. Sometimes the monsters that we meet just want a hug. They want the dream God that created them, which is you, to love them, for all their sins. She strongly recommends journaling your dreams. Doing that will enhance the possibility that you will experience a lucid dream. According to Theresa Cheung, dream decoding may in fact be as useful a tool when we are awake as when we are asleep. – Increasingly, I am advising people to interpret their waking life as if it was a dream. What’s the hidden meaning behind this situation? What does this person trigger in me? – Life gets so interesting and fascinating. You become like a dream decoding detective. Theresa's website Theresa’s books
May 11, 2022
85. The placebo effect strikes back – Jesper Madsen
What is complementary and alternative medicine and treatments (CAM)? The definitions vary in different parts of the world. ”But at least here in Denmark, the definition is not based on evidence, on whether it works or not, but on the formal status of what is being done”, says Jesper Odde Madsen, who is a guest on the podcast for the second time. Jesper is a Danish science journalist and communication consultant with a focus on complementary and alternative medicine. He has an affiliation with the Galileo Commission, whose aim it is to expand science and free it from its underlying materialist assumptions. To what extent different kinds of CAM are accepted, or tolerated, also varies widely. Yoga and massage are popular. Homeopathy is a no-go zone in most of the West, whereas it is considered more or less normal in India. Conducting research on CAM is an uphill battle. Jesper Madsen talks of four main obstacles. ”There is no money in it. You can't get a patent by treating people with reflexology or acupuncture. You won’t make a career of studying these methods. There are no international organizations to back this up. And communication between the stakeholders is random or at least limited.” There is also a methodological dilemma when it comes to conducting CAM studies: The holy grail of western medical research is to employ RCT, randomized control trials, to show whether a treatment works or not. ”But here is a secret: When you want to study something, you should choose the trial method that's suitable for the thing you want to investigate. This truth has been kept away.” ”All governments listen to mainstream doctors. And mainstream doctors say: we must have RCT. Amen.” Alternative practitioners have a holistic approach. Before they apply their treatment, they learn things about every individual patient. And afterwards they talk to the patient and give advice. ”The point is that most alternative treatments consist of several parts, and only one of them is the technical fix, like needles in your arm”, says Jesper. ”There is nothing wrong with RCT but you have to start with the research question and analyze the issue before you make the choice of which investigation design to use.” If you make the method in itself a criterion of quality, then it is a question of belief, according to Jesper Madsen. ”And that is exactly what I have heard medical doctors say about alternative treatments: that they are beliefs, almost religious.” Is the placebo effect in essence an alternative treatment that the mainstream is using without knowing it? ”Yes. I am happy about the growing interest in studying the placebo. Even many doctors say today that this is more than just noise. There is a link between the psyche and the physical body. It would be great if we could take this seriously. But it will be difficult to make money on it.” Why are journalists reluctant to cover CAM in a neutral way? Are they also afraid of being ridiculed? ”I have been asking myself this question for years. Journalists tend to go to the usual mainstream sources. They tend to have a belief in authorities. I think this has been shown during the pandemic.” How to break the materialist paradigm, take down the ”wall”? ”It is not a question of evidence. We have the evidence. It is a question of reaching a critical mass of people and events. Maybe even that some researchers die and the younger ones think differently.” Personal website (English) Non-profit website & newsletter about CAM The Galileo Commission Presentation & speech, World Health Congress, Prague, 2021
April 27, 2022
84. The horizons will remain – Jonna Bornemark
Philosophy is life. It is always present in life. In a way, every human being is a philosopher. But we also have collective thinking and collective experiences, and that's what a professional philosopher deals with. Philosophy professor Jonna Bornemark works at the Center for Studies in Practical Knowledge at Södertörn university in Stockholm. Many Swedes have come to appreciate her everyday approach to philosophy. She often appears in the media. A couple of years ago she released a book about judgment that was much discussed, and her latest book, about pregnancy, was on the shelves a few days before this conversation. Jonna Bornemark argues that the room for judgment has shrunk in modern professional life. And the room for action. ”To follow a manual is not to act”, she says. In every profession there is a space for collective judgment. Professional knowledge can be developed within this space, according to Bornemark. We sometimes talk about judgment as a personal characteristic. ”I think  that is unfortunate. Instead, it is a kind of knowledge. We can be differently skilled at it.” Jonna Bornemark hesitates to liken judgment with intuition. And she does not like the concept of ’following one’s gut feeling’. ”To follow only one source of knowledge, your feeling, is not judgment. We should follow as many sources of knowledge as possible.” Often we have to act fast, and sometimes we just have a sense that we must act in a certain way. ”That may seem like acting on gut feeling, but when you look at it closer, it is much more.” ”To have judgment is to be intimately in touch with the newness of every situation. To be able to always act without knowing everything.” Not-knowingness fills Jonna Bornemark with a euphoric feeling. ”It means we can always explore more. To some it may trigger anxiety because you are not in control. To me it is mainly positive.” The constantly moving horizons of uncertainty and of not knowing are the lifeblood of science, but the scientific and educational systems are bad at acknowledging this, Bornemark thinks. Sometimes we need to use our judgment to deal with conflicting forces. Jonna Bornemark has coined the term ”pactivity” for situations where we are passive and active at the same time. She first felt the need for such a concept when she tried to understand the experience of giving birth. ”The labor pain was not mine. It belonged to life itself. I experienced it like some kind of monster going through me. But I had to not object to it, that would have been dangerous. I had to continue its movement in order to give birth. So I wasn't purely active and I wasn't purely passive. I was pactive.” When does life begin? ”It is a continuum. To draw a line, to give it a timestamp, is just a human desire. The logic of life is the logic of a continuum. That is why we need to look at the question of abortion anew.” The fetus probably doesn't have the sense of ’I’. Even a newborn displays a sense of oneness. When does the sense of a separate self begin? Is it conditioned? Is it possible to maintain the sense of oneness throughout life? Those are questions we raise during this conversation. Bornemark doesn’t like the reductionist materialism that is so prevalent in society. ”It is a poor worldview. And not true. But I like matter.” ”One way of responding to reductionist materialism could be to only emphasize the spiritual side, but my response is to work with the concept of matter, to re-understand what matter is: living, self-forming – and also including the spiritual side.” Jonna’s university profile Jonna’s books
April 07, 2022
83. Why materialism is baloney – Bernardo Kastrup
Bernardo Kastrup began as an accomplished computer engineer and AI developer. Today he is one of the most influential thinkers in the intersection between spirituality and science. This episode is probably the most philosophically dense and intense so far. Kastrup covers so much ground it is impossible to do it justice in this brief description. Just dive in and listen. And stop once in a while to reflect. Having said that, here are some highlights: • On metaphysical idealism, which entails that the world is essentially mental: ”Just like your thoughts are mental, the physical world at large is made of mental processes, which present themselves on a screen of perception.” ”Everything is in consciousness. But that doesn't mean that everything is conscious.” • On how human-like an intelligent artificial neural network can become: ”We have no reason whatsoever to believe that a silicon computer can ever have a private conscious inner life in the way that you and I have.” • On the immense problems with materialism: ”You can not pull the qualities out of the quantities. You have to have only one thing. The quantities are descriptions of the qualities, not the generator of the qualities. Mass, spin, charge, momentum, amplitude etc are descriptions of mental processes.” ”Materialists are trying to pull the territory out of the map.” • The whirlpool metaphor for human life (we are ”whirlpools” in an all-encompassing stream of water): ”We are localized aspects of consciousness within the greater ’mind-at-large’. A whirlpool is undoubtedly a thing of its own, but it is also obvious that it does not consist of anything other than water. This is why I can't read your thoughts and I don't know what's happening on the other side of the world right now despite that everything is in one universal mind.” • The dashboard metaphor for the world: ”We are like pilots flying only by reading the instruments on the dashboard. And that is sufficient to fly safely. The dashboard is excellent at conveying accurate information about the world. But it isn't the world.” ”The pilot never makes the mistake of thinking that the dashboard is the world. But we make that mistake. We say the physical is the world, not a representation thereof. And that is incredibly naive.” ”So, what is the nature of the thing being measured? I think it's obvious: transpersonal mentation. Mental activity is the only thing we know. Everything else is a theory. An abstraction.” ”The brain doesn't have a standalone existence. It is a representation on the dashboard.  Your brain firing up neurons is what your thoughts look like when observed from the outside.” • On why idealism gives meaning to life by postulating a continuation of consciousness beyond the physical death: ”Nothing is banal, nothing is temporary. Your experiences are not for nothing. They have contributed to the fabric of nature.” ”The intuition that we are rooted in nature is what is reflected in the golden thread that runs through thousands of years of mystical traditions.” • On evolution: ”The evidence for natural selection is overwhelming. But the question is: is it the only mechanism necessary for evolution? To say that the genetic mutations are random is a statement of faith. The mutations might have a preferential direction. And a recent study shows that that is exactly what happens in nature. Nature is not shooting blindly.” Bernardo’s website His books The Essentia foundation
March 24, 2022
82. Happiness is a habit – Monique Rhodes
Life was a winding road for happiness specialist Monique Rhodes before she found her calling. In her late teens she was so depressed she tried to take her own life. Then she traveled the world. For thirteen years, all she owned would fit in a bag. She lived in slums and castles, she criss-crossed India on a motorbike. She was also an accomplished singer-songwriter. While in India, Monique understood by accident that she was a good meditation teacher. She began to develop a mindfulness meditation program that is now used at thirty universities and colleges around the world, the 10 Minute Mind. She has since developed other programs, like the Happiness Baseline. She runs a daily bite-sized podcast, In Your Right Mind. And she has worked with a number of well-known spiritual teachers and leaders, like Eckhart Tolle. ”Learning how to deal with your thoughts and emotions is difficult for young people. I asked myself, sitting in a hospital bed, why is it that some people are happy and that others, like me, are struggling so much? Is it something I can change? That's where all the adventures came from. And it completely transformed my life”, Monique says. ”Today I work with thousands of students around the world, teaching the things I wish we were taught when we were younger.” So, what is the secret? Basically learning how to bring back the scattered mind to the present moment as often and as long as possible. ”Build a relationship with your mind, learn how to work with it. It’s problematic to dance away into the past and into the future. Those are places that don’t exist. The only moment that is real is now.” ”We live in our thoughts without connecting to our heart. We don’t know how to manage our minds.” Monique reads a lot, she says. ”We have a propensity to not hold our focus for very long on specific things. Reading is a good antidote to that.” The core of Monique Rhodes’ message is this: Happiness is a habit. When we experience something we judge that and react to it based not on the present moment but on something in the past. It may remind us, subconsciously or consciously, of something that happened to us before, positive or negative. ”This is how we relate all the time.” Meditation slows down that automated process. ”You begin to learn to be more in the present moment. Every moment we have a choice as to how to react.” Many people think meditation is not only woo-woo but also difficult. It’s not. This is what meditation is, according to Monique Rhodes: ”Get your mind into the present moment. Your mind will go off, you bring it back. Your practice is in the bringing back. Every time you bring the mind back, you build a muscle.” Monique Rhodes describes herself as habitually courageous, habitually positive, habitually grateful and someone who habitually sees the goodness in people. ”Because I have built a series of habits around this.” At the same time it is important not to just sit in a glorious feeling of wellbeing all the time. The risk is that a kind of arrogance seeps in, as Monique puts it. ”We have a tendency not to see the light that exists in the negative things that arise and to fear the shadow side when positive things happen. But if you allow it all to just be, you can stay in a pretty happy place most of your life.” Monique’s website The 10 Minute Mind In the Right Mind podcast
March 16, 2022
81. Capturing the undercurrent of covid policy discontent – Nils Littorin
A few weeks into 2022, the Covid policies are shifting dramatically in many countries. Restrictions are being rolled back. This conversation with Nils Littorin is a bit like a posterior assessment of what worked and didn’t work during this huge health policy experiment. Dr Littorin, a microbiologist, is the initiator of the so-called Doctors’ Appeal in Sweden (Läkaruppropet in Swedish), a manifestation against harmful restrictions and for the shielding of vulnerable groups. It is inspired by the Great Barrington Declaration, published in October 2020 by three professors at Oxford, Stanford and Harvard. As of February 2022 around 25,000 people have signed the former and almost one million the latter. Sweden has been the ”control group” in the global lockdown experiment, with far fewer restrictions than most other countries. But even here, many are frustrated. ”There is a pretty strong undercurrent of discontent with current covid policies also in this country, including vaccine passports”, Nils says. ”That tells you something. That tells you that these measures are not serving any good purpose.” ”I am for logical logical measures that protect the vulnerable. The measures that have been taken don't protect the vulnerable. No measures can stop the virus. It has been shown all over the world.” ”You cannot find any epidemiological studies that show that lockdowns or harsh restrictions work in the sense that they reduce the excess mortality. On the contrary, there is no correlation.” ”Unfortunately, a lot of politicians act and talk as if there is not only a correlation but a causal relationship between lockdowns and reducing the spread of the virus or deaths or hospitalizations”, he says. Aside from the brain, the immune system is probably the most complex thing in the body. It is not defensible, says Littorin, to force onto people preliminarily approved medicines that affect bodily functions with such complexity. But he is definitely not an anti-vaxer. ”I am not against these vaccines. Those who need them should take them. But it has to be by consent within a doctor-patient relationship.” ”I am worried that we are violating that trust now, that doctor-patient relationship. What will people expect from health authorities next time?” ”Because of the fear porn propagated by the mass media and careless politicians, many people believe that these vaccine passports protect them from transmission. If you look at the data, they don't, especially not now, with Omicron.” In Nils Littorin’s view, the vaccine passports should be ”thrown in the garbage bin of history”. ”And the leaders who advocated them should sit beside the bin and contemplate how they could do it.”
February 06, 2022
80. The body heat fiasco – Paul J Scanlan
For a human being life on earth begins when she takes her first breath. There are reasons why ancient traditions always emphasize the importance of breathing and posture. ”If breathing were only a matter of getting oxygen, then the best way would be to breathe in and out as quickly as possible”, says Paul J Scanlan, author of the book The Body Heat Fiasco. Or to pick it up through gills, receptors or some other kind of bodily process, one might add. We all know that quick breathing is bad. We feel better when we breathe calmly and deeply. But western medical science doesn't understand why. So why else do we breathe then? In his book, independent researcher Paul Scanlan compellingly (and partly funnily) explains how breathing heats our bodies. ”Warming air is a defining feature of being alive”, Paul says. The mechanism is amazingly straight-forward: squeezing air in the respiratory system. That a gas heats up when compressed is basic physics. For instance, a diesel engine doesn't have spark plugs. Instead, the piston squeezes the fuel mixture to ignition. It is strange, when you think about it, how vague our knowledge about body heat generation is. And yet, we wouldn’t be able to live on this planet if our body temperature weren’t somehow kept at around 36.9 degrees Celsius. According to the standard view, in warm-blooded animals like mammals and birds body heat is generated by a chemical burning, primarily within a fatty tissue called BAT. Thus, the reason why the air we exhale has body temperature is because it has been heated by the body. According to Scanlan there are numerous gaps in the century-old standard model. One example: Pigs and birds are warmblooded, but they don't have BAT. Another example: If chemical reactions generated body heat, a chick in an egg close to hatching would be able to heat its own body, but it can’t, it is wholly dependent on its parents to keep warm (thus being ”coldblooded” until the moment it comes out of the egg and can breathe). And when it comes to heating inhaled air, it actually works the other way around, says Paul: ”The warm body is assumed to warm 7.5 liters of air from, say, 2 degrees Celsius to 36.9 degrees Celsius every minute. If you had a tube through which the same amount of air flowed, known physics would say the tube needs to be pretty hot for the air to heat up that much by somehow just touching the sides of the tube. How hot? Let’s just say it has to be hotter than 36.9 degrees. But there is nothing between the nostrils and the lungs that is hotter than that!” Some of the more compelling pieces of evidence in Scanlan’s book are about humans who are able to endure extreme cold. A case in point is ”the iceman”, Wim Hof. ”Hof does special things with his breathing. He can compress the air very well. But to get to that point he focuses on his alignment and meditation. The classic for meditation and yoga is concentrating on breathing.” Paul Scanlan’s model doesn’t dismiss that some heat is generated by way of chemical processes, which is relevant in some contexts. He has presented a couple of papers about his controversial findings and also had one published in a peer-reviewed journal. He has received polite response from the mainstream, but nothing more than that. Actually, the golden thread in The Body Heat Fiasco, as well as in the two or three books Scanlan plans to write, is not breathing so much as tension. Or rather tensional integrity, for which breathing plays a pivotal part. His next book will explain how our vision works (he has been able to eliminate his own dependence on glasses). And after that he will take on cancer. Book Paper Paul on Twitter
January 27, 2022
79. Freeing the media from its materialist straitjacket – Jesper Madsen
Researchers who dare to go outside the box and investigate phenomena that the mainstream dismisses because they are inexplicable are labeled ”pseudoscientists”. Those who question elements of the accepted scientific view are labeled ”conspiracy theorists”. ”And journalists who dare to contact one of those researchers and do an interview are contaminated with the same labels”, says Danish journalist and communicator Jesper Madsen. ”No wonder many journalists hesitate to write or broadcast anything that is not in line with official science”, he concludes. When he was young, Madsen wanted to become an engineer. But during military service he changed course and decided he wanted to work in the humanities. Eventually he became a journalist. Since childhood Jesper had had a fascination for mysteries and the mystical aspects of life. A seven-week sojourn in San Francisco in 1996 turned out to be crucial. He met people with fascinating insights into the esoteric realm. He made his first contact with IONS, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, with which Jesper is now affiliated (the first Danish community group). He saw the need for a paradigm shift. But when he returned to Denmark with tons of notes, he found it difficult to know what to do with it. The mindset in Danish media was not very open to this kind of knowledge. Soon thereafter, Jesper Madsen found himself in a meeting about alternative medicine. He realized that this was connected to what he had learned. So, during the last 20 years, he has specialized in complementary and alternative medicine. It is well documented that many of the alternative medical treatments work, but if the standard double-blind trial is not employed, the results are ignored. ”To rely on only one investigative method is a matter of belief. They say that alternative medicine is based on belief, but this is also a belief. If you don't recognize the thinking behind the method you want to study, you won't understand why it works”, says Jesper and gives the salient example of homeopathy, which is vehemently rejected by the mainstream. The placebo effect is well documented by standard science. In some cases it is very strong. It is mostly described as some kind of undesirable noise in studies, but what it actually shows is that our ability to heal ourselves (and make ourselves sick) is much larger than we have been led to believe. All along, Jesper Madsen has had a profound interest in ”frontier science”, as he puts it. ”Now I feel somehow I want to go back to the basic, big questions”, he says. His latest endeavor is an engagement with the Galileo Commission, an offshoot from The Scientific and Medical Network, which aims to encourage investigations beyond the materialist worldview. Jesper is involved in the creation of a network of open minded journalists. ”I put my faith in English speaking countries like the US and the UK, because here in Denmark today I don't think more than two or three journalists, aside from myself, are open to this.” Links: Galileo Commission Scientific and Medical Network Stanislav Grof ”ESP Wars East and West” Edwin C. May Institute of Noetic Sciences
January 20, 2022
78. The evidence is staring you in the face – Brien Foerster
Independent researchers are putting together a puzzle that is beginning to reveal a vastly different history than the one we are told in school. Especially concerning how far back in time civilization actually goes. One of those independent researchers is Brien Foerster. His fascination with the history of human civilization and culture began when he grew up in western Canada. He later moved to Hawaii and eventually to Peru, where he now lives. His quest for the origins of civilization has taken him to a hundred countries, and he organizes tours to megalithic sites in the former Inca lands, Egypt, Turkey and other places. ”I have followed my passion”, he says. Brien has written 37 books about megalithic sites and hidden history, and he is an avid youtuber. He is convinced, like many other maverick researchers, that the advanced megalithic structures around the world were not built by the cultures mainstream scientists say did it, but by much earlier and technologically much more advanced civilizations that perished. In official history, it was the dynastic Egyptians who built the great pyramids and the Inca who built the most impressive walls and other structures in Peru and Bolivia where gigantic blocks of hard stone were put in place with exquisite precision. But even the mainstream acknowledges that neither the Inca nor the dynastic Egyptians knew how to use steel, and much less diamond reinforced drills or saw blades. They only utilized bronze tools, and you cannot cut granite with bronze. ”The evidence is staring you in the face”, Brien Foerster says. There is also growing evidence that a series of cataclysms occurred roughly 12,000 to 13,000 years ago which – in the view of Foerster and others – wiped out the civilizations of the megalithic builders. One compelling circumstance is that at least 200 cultures around the world are talking about the destruction of their world by a flood of some kind. Brien Foerster’s foremost contribution to the understanding of our origins is probably his research on the mysterious elongated skulls in Paracas, Peru. The mainstream researchers say they are merely the result of head binding and other forms of cranial deformation. But that doesn't make sense when you study the oldest of them, which seem natural: their cranial volume is 25 percent larger than in a normal homo sapiens skull, a suture line is lacking, the eye sockets are larger and the foramen magnum, the hole connecting the skull with the neck, is placed two centimeters further back, presumably to balance the larger skulls. Several of the skulls have been DNA analyzed, and it turns out they are related to other elongated skulls that have been found in the area of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea This challenges the standard story of how America was populated. ”The enigma is that they suddenly appear, and then they disappear.” Brien Foerster has probably investigated this enigma more profoundly than anybody else. Will he ever find the answer to who the people with the elongated skulls were? ”I haven't given up on it yet.” Foerster is facing increasing limitations around his research in Peru and Bolivia, but Egypt is slowly opening up more. In ten years time, a lot more eyes will be looking at the signs of a hidden ancient human history, Brien thinks. Here is Brien Foerster’s website. Below are four Youtube channels dedicated to alternative history that Brien endorses: Uncharted X Bright Insight Jahannah James History with Kayleigh
December 10, 2021
77. A Stand in the Park (for freedom and fairness) – Brady Gunn & Sophia Rose
The online revolution has worked wonders to connect people, but we need to meet in the physical to really exchange energy and love and to find our inner power. That was one of the insights Brady Gunn brought with him when he began standing in a park in Australia every Sunday between 10 and 11 am to simply silently manifest his truth and freedom. ”We’re all one, we're all drops in the same ocean”, Brady says. The lockdown policies was the catalyst, but the peaceful standing manifestation grew to something wider. It is about celebrating ”freedom, diversity and fairness for all”, as it says on the subsequently created website for the fast growing movement, which got the name A Stand in the Park. For three months Brady stood there alone. Then people started joining. After a few months, the movement migrated to the UK with the help of Brady’s friend Sophia (Fifi) Rose. There it took off quickly. The movement today encompasses more than 1,000 parks in 30 countries, whereof more than 700 in the UK alone. ”The mandatory covid passports has been a wake up call for many”, says Sophia. Many of the ”park standers” have taken their jabs but feel the authorities are going too far now. The police have largely left the movement alone, despite its formal violation of lockdown rules. It is difficult to mass arrest old ladies with pets and all kinds of other ordinary people who are not doing anything, just standing there. However, Brady is strictly forbidden to promote the movement publicly. Other covid policy protesters have been treated a lot worse by the police. ”They have done some irreparable damage. I don't think the Australian people will easily forgive them”, says Brady. When it comes to what the measures that have been taken against the pandemic will eventually entail, including the jabs, Brady seems to have a gloomier outlook than Sophia. ”Things are a lot worse than in your worst nightmare”, he says and adds that he is skeptical towards what he sees as blind optimism. Sophia has more sympathy for positive thinking, at least to the extent that it means shedding fear. Because fear is what is fuelling the top-down control of people. Neither of the founders of A Stand in the Park are impressed with how the mainstream media is covering either their movement or any other current protest activities. And there are many. On November 20th hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated against lockdowns and mandates in dozens of countries. ”If they actually reported on it, people would be so empowered”, says Sophia. They both think there is a spiritual battle going on ”This is why they want to stop us from coming together”, says Sophia. ”Our society is founded on fear; fear of the other, fear of what could happen, it's relentless. Ultimately, what's driving us is fear of death, which is an absolutely crazy avoidance.” Is this a crucial time in history? Yes, says Brady: ”This is a massive spiritual war. It is an awakening.” This linktree will guide you to A Stand in the Park’s website and social media handles as well as some other interviews with Brady and Fifi.
December 01, 2021
76. Inspired by the richness of human evolution – Jack Stafford
What if every guest inspired the host to write a song? This is exactly what happens on Jack Stafford’s podcast Podsongs. He kicked it off only last year and has already created a unique little universe of over 100 episodes and songs now. Lately, this universe has evolved into a collaborative project with guest musicians coming on. Jack had been a musician for many years when the pandemic forced him to look for other outlets for his music. He talks to all kinds of inspirational people, but he has a mission: to bring spirituality to the centre stage and mysticism back into the mainstream. Jack grew up in the UK but moved to Amsterdam, where he lived a toyboy lifestyle working as a copywriter, musician and fashion designer. However, this led to burnout, so Jack sold all his possessions and set off on a bicycle tour as a nomadic troubadour. He travelled through 45 countries, playing hundreds of house concerts in return for a place to sleep. He recorded many of his crazy adventures in his songs, and through those—plus countless self-help books and podcasts, as well as yoga, Ayurveda and Vipassana meditation—he grew and grew to become a unique modern-day troubadour. His spiritual awakening happened in India. It wasn’t a flash experience, it came gradually. The person who showed him how to find a deeper reality was an American. ”You think you'll meet some Indian guru. But this man had been doing pranayamas and mantras since he was three years old. And he opened the door to George King and the Aetherius society. So there I am in India, learning about an Englishman via an American...” The Aetherius society has since been at the centre of Jack Stafford’s spiritual quest. It is a small movement founded by George King in the 50s. The teachings are fascinating but may appear mysterious to many people. Jack explains bits and pieces of it. ”If you're open to it, it's Buddhism and Christianity and UFOs and science, all wrapped into one bundle of joy”, he says with a smile. ”We are here to be of service. We are here to learn. We are in a classroom.” Many spiritual people unwisely skip the material aspects of this earthly existence, Jack thinks. ”Many spiritual people just want to be in the bosom of their garden with fairies or meditate. They don’t think it is a spiritual way to get a science degree or start a business. But you can't learn metaphysics unless you master physics.” ”You can levitate if you do 15 years of yoga with mantra and pranayama. These are siddies you get. There is science behind that.” However, once you have attained such siddies, you should deny them, he explains. ”When you master something, you don't use it. Because we are here to be of service.” The teachings of George King and the Aetherius society centers not only around yoga but also extraterrestrial life. ”This is where it can get a little crazy. This is why I got into this gradually.” There is physicality on every level of consciousness and light, according to Jack Stafford. When we die, we go to another realm, which is exactly here, but at a different frequency. ”If you go to another planet with our frequency, it can look like only dust, but in a higher realm, the same planet has cities, temples and spaceships. This is a key concept as to how UFOs and reincarnation are linked.” According to Jack and the Aetherius teachings, some of the ETs visiting Earth may actually be us at a later, or higher, stage–the ”future us” showing up here and now, so to speak. Podsongs Mysticast (Jack’s other podcast) The Aetherius society
November 24, 2021
75. Breaking the shackles of the male gaze – Ninja Thyberg
One of the many planned questions I never ask in my pretty intense conversation with film director Ninja Thyberg is this: To state that gender and sexuality are just social constructs is to me like throwing all intuitive capability in the trash. Don’t you sometimes feel we don’t let ourselves be human in this politicized society? My guess is that Ninja would partly agree but also not quite understand what I mean. The hot spots of our conversation have to do with our somewhat different views on the significance of biology (and/or nonphysical aspects) vs social structures. But differences in points of view make for an interesting human encounter, right? Ninja Thyberg is an intelligent, brave and curious person who very early in life began pondering sexuality and gender roles. She wanted to explore the drivers behind pornography, for instance. After a series of acclaimed short movies, her first full length movie, ”Pleasure”, premieres in theaters across Europe this fall. It is about a 19-year-old Swedish girl who goes to Los Angeles to try to become the next big star in the porn industry. The film is partly brutally realistic. Although it does not show explicit sex (and the only full frontals are of men) it still contains several crude scenes. ”Pleasure” has many layers, and despite the rawness of the industry that is arguably what many viewers would expect, it also shows the friendship, drive and humor that exists among the female stars, and also an everydayness and kindness. Ninja says she almost regrets that she portrayed the porn industry in such a multifaceted way. Because almost everybody seems to like the film! ”And that's not only a good thing”, she says. ”I wanted to be nuanced, and maybe the film is too nuanced, so nobody is really provoked. Right now I'm just afraid it's going to be forgotten, like ’yeah, great film, very nuanced’, and that's that”, Ninja says. I hardly think her worry is warranted. Thyberg was always drawn to the topic of pornography because it is taboo and nobody wants to talk about it. ”I have been provoked by the hypocrisy in our culture, where people watch so much porn and no one admits it. It takes place in kind of a parallel universe. It's like something that itches and the doctor says don't scratch, that makes me want to scratch it even more.” From there we venture into a more general gender discussion. ”Sexuality is built from the cultural context and that is constantly changing”, Ninja says. ”I know from my own experience that it is possible to change your sexuality. It is what your brain is used to.” I ask about some differences in sexuality that seem to be there, according to studies, like the ability to switch it off and on and how much it is visually oriented. Ninja modifies her view a bit and says we might be born with some differences on a group level. ”Fifteen years ago I thought everything was a social construct and that there were no biological differences. Now I realize it is a combination.” But she also says: ”Of course men are more visually oriented, because they are triggered visually by the male gaze everywhere.” Delving a bit deeper into this aspect, Ninja says that men who want sex but don’t get it are more vulnerable than women who want sex but don’t get it, and she has an interesting reasoning behind that. ”There are some privileges in being a woman in this culture that are seldom talked about in feminism”, she says. ”Things that male losers in the system don't have. If the feminist movement doesn’t recognize this, the counter reactions from these men are just going to increase.”
November 12, 2021
74. How to escape a burnout society – Gabriela Guzmán Sanabria
Gabriela Guzmán Sanabria had an urge to leave her native Mexico all through her adolescence. At the age of 19 she went to Europe, and eventually she ended up in the Netherlands. Many Mexican friends ask her how on earth she would prefer a rainy, gloomy Holland to a sunny, vibrant Mexico. ”I always had nightmares there. I didn't feel safe. I thought I was put in a place I didn't want to be. Every day was a struggle, I felt limited, like I was being strangled by society. In Holland I finally felt I could be the person I wanted to be. Nobody cared whether I was married or what I worked with”, Gabriela says. She was physically very active, trained in running and lived a healthy life in general, despite studying graphic design at an art academy where drugs and late nights were legion. Having finished her studies she got a job at a big transnational company. After some time something happened that she hadn’t anticipated in her wildest imagination: She was burnt out. ”Everybody was surprised, including myself: How could I be burnt out? I was so healthy. I wasn't depressed, but I was very negative about the future and about everything that was happening.” Burnout and depression look alike, but they're not, Gabriela explains. In a depression you also have self-destructive feelings and thoughts. In a burnout you are not happy but you don't have those thoughts. You are exhausted, even if you sleep for days or weeks. You cannot think clearly. ”It’s like a mental fog. You don't remember things.” ”Some people say: ’Put on your shoes and take a run, you’ll feel better.’ No! If you can go for a run you don't have a burnout.” Certain kinds of personalities score higher on the risk assessment scale. ”You score higher when you are more demanding of yourself, when you cannot see the thin line between what's good for you and what's good for others. This is often why students and other young people burn out.” There is a gender difference: Given similar circumstances, women are more prone to have a burnout, while men are more prone to become depressed. ”Women generally have a stronger social network and talk about it. Men tend more to keep the problems to themselves. When they don’t talk about it, they get depressed.” Reading Joe Dispenza’s book You are the Placebo was a game changer for Gabriela Guzmán Sanabria. Now she was able to find the ”original” Gabriela. ”I had forgotten about her. I had been so busy with the outer world, with being productive.” She found and began practicing different meditation techniques – Dispenza’s, Wim Hof’s and others. After three months her short-term memory was back to normal. ”It was like magic”, says Gabriela. Today she can help others see early signs of a burnout. She discusses the topic with a variety of guests on her podcast Escape from the Burnout Society. One childhood experience that Gabriela thinks has had an important impact on her life’s course was an episode that she didn’t even remember until recently, when she dove deep into meditation and later also did a regression session: a near-death experience. This event explains why during her childhood she couldn't get along with other children but wanted to be with grown-ups, she thinks. ”When I saw children maltreating animals or bullying each other I panicked – not because they did it to me, but because they did it at all.” When Gabriela was seventeen, her mother died. And it didn't take long until her mother sent a greeting from the other side… Gabriela Guzmán Sanabria feels positive about our future wellbeing, after all. She senses there is a shift in perception. ”People are asking questions. They are reflecting more”, she says. Find Gabriela’s website here. Find Gabriela’s podcast here.
November 03, 2021
73. The transformative truth about Jesus and Mary Magdalene – Lars Muhl
(Apologies for the somewhat poor sound quality on Anders’ side of the mic.) When Lars Muhl was eight years old, he said to his mother, in earnest: ”Mother, this world is very primitive”. Two years later, his little sister died from cancer. This forced a shift in Lars’ consciousness. ”My life changed overnight. I became very sensitive. It was like a veil was drawn aside. I could see through people. I sensed that people say one thing and mean another. I didn't understand why. It was scary to me”, Lars says. He stopped going to school. Nobody knew what to do with a boy like that back in the fifties. He was drawn to religion and spiritual knowledge. But he didn't do any spiritual practice. He found music. When he got older he became an appreciated and successful musician. ”But I always felt I was a guest in this world. I never felt I belonged here.” In the nineties Lars Muhl fell terribly ill. For three years he basically stayed in bed. A series of synchronistic events led him to come in contact with a person who was to become Lars’ primary life teacher, a healer he calls The Seer. This man managed to heal Lars – over the telephone. Eventually Lars became The Seer’s apprentice in Spain and in the land of the Cathars up in the Pyrenees. He learned the value of spiritual practice and healing. Today Lars himself is a healer, a mystic and a writer. According to The Seer, Lars in a previous life was one of the writers of the Dead Sea scrolls. Those scrolls plus ancient texts found in Nag Hammadi in Egypt some 75 years ago show the true content of Jesus’ message. Lars Muhl has dedicated much of his work to retelling what Jesus and Mary Magdalene – or more correctly Yeshua and Mariam the Magdalene – really taught. Basically, it is about realizing that all of us have the ability to find the kingdom of heaven within us in this lifetime. This knowledge has been vehemently suppressed by the church. Why? ”Because it takes away the worldly power of priests and kings and politicians. Because spiritual science, as I would call it instead of religion, is above everything”, says Lars. Western science seems intransigent when it comes to the tenets about matter as primary and consciousness as a side effect of brain activity. ”In many ways we still live in primitive times. Ordinary scientists that want to be original have to dare to cross boundaries. They have to go into the spiritual realm. Because there are no real answers in the world of questions. In order to get answers you must go to the world of answers.” Lars Muhl has written 22 books in Danish. Some of them have been translated into English and other languages. Find Lars’ website here Find Lars’ books in English here
October 27, 2021
72. An inconvenient truth about the climate debate – Roger Pielke Jr
Roger Pielke Jr labels himself an ”undisciplined” professor, which is apt since he engages in an impressively wide range of research areas. He is most known for his work on climate, and specifically extreme weather events. For this he initially got much acclaim, and his research has been cited in the IPCC assessment reports. But the last fifteen years or so this work has also given him many adversaries. Why? Because he tells what the science shows. And in this particular area it doesn’t show what the alarmist camp wants to hear. Most kinds of extreme weather events show no detectable trend, contrary to what is claimed in media headlines on a daily basis. Roger Pielke has had to get used to being called ”climate skeptic” or even ”climate denier”, also from members of congress. ”The idea is that if you can tar someone with being a climate skeptic, they can be ignored or dismissed without having to look at their work”, Roger  says. A professor in Environmental studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Pielke has testified before Congress several times. After a hearing in 2013 some members made clear they didn’t like the message. One congressman from Arizona spread the suspicion that Roger Pielke was ”perhaps” taking money from Exxon in exchange for his testimony. Pielke was suddenly inundated with critical messages and emails. Until this day, every week he hears on social media or elsewhere that he was investigated by congress and ”perhaps” took money. The event pushed him to begin doing research on sports in order to attain some safety space from the climate hot spot. But he returns to the hot spot now and then–like when the IPCC’s latest assessment report came out in August. He realizes that he is one of few who can summarize in a simple manner what science actually says on weather extremes. ”For various reasons the IPCC report is largely ignored on those points. So what I tweet about it can be eye-opening.” And why are these results ignored? ”Extreme weather has been taken up as a poster child of the climate debate, and I don't see that changing any time soon”, says Roger. In large part the turning point was around Al Gore’s climate movie ”An Inconvenient Truth” in 2006. ”The environmental community decided that climate change a hundred years from now is too far off for people to understand, so we must bring it home to them in the short term. The way to do that is to associate extreme weather with climate change, so people will feel viscerally and personally what it means, regardless of what the science says”, Pielke explains. He has much less patience with scientists and experts who become activists and exaggerate than with politicians who do it. ”We will never get exaggeration out of politics.” And the data? Here is the short version of what the IPCC says about weather extremes: Heat waves, extreme precipitation events (in certain regions), fire weather (not fires per se), ecological and agricultural drought (human induced drought) show upward trends. Storms, tropical cyclones, flooding, tornadoes, meteorological and hydrological drought (i.e. the headline phenomena), show no detectable upward trends. (From around 28 minutes until 30 minutes into the Youtube episode you’ll find illuminating graphs) Roger’s personal website Roger’s books include The Honest Broker, The Climate Fix, Disasters and Climate Change and The Edge Clip from Congress hearing in 2013 about weather extremes
October 20, 2021
71. The leap inward (part 2)
This solo episode (part two of two) is about humankind’s most pivotal revolution in the coming decades and centuries, hands down. It is about meaning, future, consciousness, society and science. Its message is arguably more important than anything I have ever conveyed. If that doesn’t tell the listener much, which is understandable, I can say that this conclusion also goes for most other writers out there. In this part I both look back into history and gaze forward into the future: Why are we stuck in this science–spirituality dichotomy, and what dramatic changes await our species? In part one (ep 70) I discussed some of the contemporary findings that begin to bridge the gap between science and spirituality. Read episodes 70 and 71 as essays on Medium here.
October 13, 2021
70. The leap inward – Why our next evolutionary step will shake up all (part 1)
This solo episode (part one of two) is about humankind’s most pivotal revolution in the coming decades and centuries, hands down. It is about meaning, future, consciousness, society and science. Its message is arguably more important than anything I have ever conveyed. If that doesn’t tell the listener much, which is understandable, I can say that this conclusion also goes for most other writers out there. Many feel an emptiness and a lack of purpose before the future. This sense of meaninglessness is basically derived from the dreamlike illusion of separation and death we have been living in for thousands of years. We have tried to mitigate our fear of death and our feeling of loneliness through the idea that more physical assets or larger social or cultural capital can enhance the quality of life. We have a feeling of ”… what now?” Artificial intelligence? Advanced biotechnology? Out in space? What is the purpose of all that we are doing? My answer, and the answer from ever more others, is that the next big leap in our evolution will have to be inward — possibly the most important leap so far. Read the episode as an essay on Medium here.
October 06, 2021
69. The singer-songwriter who took a quantum leap – Graham Pemberton
When Graham Pemberton was 29 years old, an often crucial point in life astrologically known as the first Saturn return, he had a powerful awakening. Previously he had adhered to atheism and existentialism and had a period of left wing political activism. ”I began to feel severely depressed. I then made a decision, influenced by someone who was like my mentor, to look inside instead of outside. This inward looking triggered a spiritual awakening.” Graham experienced ”a lot of weird stuff” like vivid dreams and wild synchronistic events. ”The whole world went completely mad. The veil was lifted, if you will. I saw that things were interconnected, and I realized that consciousness has nothing to do with the brain.” One powerful dream told him that his life hitherto had been like a Monty Python movie, and now it was time to get back to normal. The dramatic character of Graham's intense six-month awakening period eventually dissipated. But his life view had changed for good. I got in touch with Graham after having read some of his many in-depth essays and articles on Medium about spirituality and modern science. Lately, he has explored just about every influential book that has been written about the connection between quantum physics and mysticism. There have been some fascinating ups and downs in the interest for this topic in the mainstream. Two books in the 1970s by Fred Alan Wolf and Fritjof Capra triggered an uptick. Ten years later Ken Wilber tried to take the hype down, and then in the 1990s the quantum–spirit connection became more prominent again. Pemberton has written a whole series of articles about Danah Zohar’s ”The Quantum Self”. Recently, Carlo Rovelli is with ”Helgoland” trying to take quantum physics back to almost materialism. Like many others who have looked seriously into this topic, Pemberton thinks David Bohm was the most spiritual among the leading quantum physicists. ”You could argue that quantum physics destroyed materialism a hundred years ago. But the question is, how much further have we come?” asks Graham Pemberton. ”All we can do is keep working. However, if history means anything, a new paradigm will eventually take over.” Stanislav Grof is another of Graham’s heroes, as is Carl Jung. We discuss whether Jung is still today as ridiculed in academia as he used to be. We conclude that Jung has had a profound significance for the spiritual growth of both of us. Graham Pemberton is also a musician. ”That is the path I should have taken in my youth.” His songs are of a singer-songwriter type. Many of the lyrics are about the same esoteric topics that he writes about. During his period of spiritual awakening, Graham Pemberton’s mentor pointed out that Graham was going through a heavy Saturn return. This information had a powerful impact on him. His growing astrological insights led him to later write a book about how this ancient knowledge might be true–from an outsider’s perspective. It has not been published, but Graham puts it out on Medium, bit by bit. ”It is to a large extent based on quantum physics. Everything is interconnected. There is no reason why any part of the universe couldn't affect us.” Graham and I also have a somewhat animated discussion about whether it is possible to raise consciousness by way of traditional politics or not. And whether democracy stops at the borders of the nation state, and if that has anything to do with spiritual awakening. Please find Graham Pemberton’s websites here and here. If you want a deeper understanding of Graham’s thoughts in this episode, he elaborates on some of them in this article.
September 29, 2021
68. To unite science and faith – Gerald Baron
A deep interest in a combination of communication, spirituality and science entices me, I must say. And it was likely not by coincidence I discovered Gerald Baron on the blogging and writing platform Medium. A grandfather of nine, Gerald is now mostly retired and can spend much of his time following his heart-felt interests. Gerald had a career as a teacher and entrepreneur in communication and PR. He was the head of a company at one point, but he gradually realized he wasn't a ”CEO type”. ”Those who are financially successful have certain personal traits, they are perhaps more inclined to steamroller other people, sometimes sociopaths”, says Gerald and gives the prime example of Apple’s founder Steve Jobs. Does it have to be that way? ”It is an old question … The capitalist system is terribly flawed, and yet it has generated wealth for a great many people. It works because there are people who are willing to do what it takes to be successful. Which is exactly why it needs moderation and controls”, says Gerald. Perhaps there are big changes underway in the world. We agree that this is true when it comes to science. ”Major paradigm shifts will be represented in some significant changes in worldview. The foundation of science is crumbling, and most scientists understand that.” But we are a generation or two away from the general public really understanding it, Gerald Baron thinks. He refers to Carl Gustav Jung, who described a quantum reality before quantum physics was discovered. ”The conscious mind, wherever and whatever it is, has a role to play in bringing reality into existence. When we exercise our conscious minds we bring something into existence that wasn't there before.” Open minded forerunners in science, not least in quantum physics, realized that the new findings undoubtedly mirrored much of the spiritual realm. ”But physicalist evangelists shoved those ideas aside.” Digging deeply into the new science has affected Gerald’s Christian faith, but science also validates much of what the Bible tells us, he says–including parts of the scripture that are seldom highlighted in the general discourse. Sometimes new findings clearly contradict the Christian worldview. One such example is the studies at the University of Virginia that show compelling evidence of reincarnation. And it is not possible to deny evolution, he says. ”The delta variant makes that very clear to us every day.” ”My issue is with exclusive evolution, that evolution is the answer to everything. Even cosmology.” ”There is evolution, but it is not random. The digital code in our DNA is remarkably complex and carries meaning. In science we know of no process of creating meaningful code other than through an intelligent mind”, Gerald says. The more physicalists find out about the complexity of life and how absolutely remarkable it is, the goal post of coming to an answer through chemical evolution keeps moving further and further out. ”It is looking more and more like alchemy.” Despite all this, the public, via the media, still believes that neo-darwinism is an established fact. Gerald Baron has issues with the media. He has written two books about how it functions in its relation to the rest of society; ”Now is Too Late” and ”Black Hats White Hats”. He has coined the acronym FUDO to describe the currency of the news media. It stands for Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt and Outrage. ”And outrage is the preferred one.” Activists feed the outrage, and they know that: An activist makes some claim and the journalist repeats it. ”Even a small number of activists can be remarkably effective in making huge changes”, says Gerald. Gerald’s website: Gerald on Medium:
September 22, 2021
67. Taking the red pill – Angelo Dilullo
This episode is in my mind one of the most powerful on this podcast so far. What is spoken  about is both deep and light and incomprehensible and self-evident at the same time. Is it possible to end individual suffering in this lifetime? Yes, it is. Angelo Dilullo, a medical doctor and the author of ”Awake: It’s your turn”, is living proof of that, and in his book he eloquently points out the ways you can go about achieving just that. You don’t need to go anywhere. It may take some time, but at the same time there is only this moment, and awakening to a deeper and more truthful reality where you rid yourself of the illusion of separation and time is accessible to you always. Always and everywhere you are. ”It's a lot like taking the red pill in the movie ’The Matrix’”, Angelo says. Or, say many who have experienced it, like returning to the magical state of early childhood. ”You are stepping foot on a path that is very mysterious, and it gets more mysterious as things go on. There are aspects of it you just cannot prepare for. And that's good, it has to be that way. Because the seemingly separate identity is deeply rooted in our personality and identity structures. When you come to the roots of that identity, the defense mechanisms really start to come online, and you feel ’if I take another step I'll be totally in the unknown’. When you are totally ready to look thoroughly into what you are (and what you are not) by self inquiry, a one-pointed approach and other inner avenues, you will experience the dissolution of seeming barriers that were never there. ”The strange thing is that what goes away internally is so profound that you would have never been able to imagine what it's like when it's not there”, Angelo says. ”We have a seeming sense of the separate one that moves from moment to moment or collects experiences. It seems that that's what we want to have here, this agency, this ability to manipulate external experiences. But what you ultimately realize is that that is what is causing all our suffering, all our struggle and all our feelings of insecurity, lack and scarcity.” Strange things happen: Even the sense of being in a body goes away. ”It becomes impossible to differentiate between what I am experiencing and what you are experiencing. But at the same time you don't lose the ability to raise your hand when someone calls your name.” It is a question of a relative world and an absolute world, ”and I can operate in the relative world”. It is not about shedding all that one has collected in life and that has made one feel safe. ”It’s about clear-seeing. It's about looking closely enough at what is actually happening to see it for what it is.” After the first awakening there is a honeymoon. But then the work begins towards deeper realization, and there will be shadow phases. It is also not about pure bliss. It is more like equanimity. And it is not about getting rid of emotions. Emotions are still there but experienced with equanimity. It is the resistance to emotions that is the problem when we identify with the mind. Angelo Dilullo’s own awakening happened from a place of desperation. Hear him tell about when ”the bottom fell out” and when ”the universe disappeared”. Angelo also touches on quantum physics and a possible collective awakening. ”What we are talking about here was woo-woo 20 years ago, but pretty soon it will be mainstream.” Angelo’s book: Angelo’s website: Angelo’s Youtube channel:
September 08, 2021
66. Creating is healing – Branka Androjna
Welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful summer. This first episode of season no 3 circles around healing, the mind–body connection and the importance of being close to nature. And many other things. ”We have a tremendous inherent ability to heal ourselves. But we are told – and tell ourselves – stories about our predicament, our sense of victimhood. We can all learn how to be the masters of our own lives”, says Branka Androjna. Branka is a teacher, life coach and podcaster who lives in a house on the outskirts of Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana with her husband (”my true soulmate”) and their two daughters. She does her coaching and podcasting under her artist name Milangela. And artistic she truly is. And good with crafts. She does this interview in a corner of her house which is  adorned with her paintings. We are all in essence creative, according to Branka. But some seem to express it more than others. Perhaps many of us have been shamed out of being creative, as Brené Brown says. ”When I create, say when I paint, I get so absorbed in what I do that I am not thirsty, I am not hungry. I am not here. After two days I awaken to what has emerged ... To me this is at first like flirting with the divine, and then it's like making love to that magical divine collective intelligence.” Experiencing the bliss in the midst of the creative process is part of the healing process, in Branka’s view. And there is something with England... Branka went there as a teenager and immediately felt at home. She fell in love with the mysterious English way of life. Not least the language. As she returned she worked for many years at different language schools. Although people around her have always confided in her, she says that she in her younger years lacked confidence and was self-conscious. At one point her life entered a downward spiral. She experienced physical illness as well as pain in the soul. ”I felt like a complete victim. I was searching for the culprit. Being a victim I deprived myself of the ability to do anything, really.” ”I was in really bad shape. I hit rock bottom when my daughter asked me if i was going to be there for my family the next day. From that day on I intuitively took all the right steps. I knew nothing of inner work, but I did it”, says Branka. Starting the podcast ”Milangela’s Soul Garden” was a leap of faith. ”I found my voice. But it was not the voice telling my story.” That’s why she decided to become a life coach. ”I opted for vulnerability. I wanted to help people not to fall into pitfalls, not to be bruised, like I was.” With her coaching she wants to equip people and make them realize the might there is in every single one of us, she says. ”I invite people to willingly suspend limiting beliefs and instead insert more positive and constructive beliefs. To put a positive thought into your mind can cut off a vicious circle and actually change the chemistry of the body.” Being in nature and eating healthy foods are also part of Branka’s coaching method. ”Without nature I think I would be in trouble in my healing process. Back when I was really frail, I used to go out barefoot and hug trees.” Branka wraps up by quoting Wayne Dyer: When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Branka’s/Milangela’s podcast (Anchor); podcast (Itunes); FB page; Instagram
August 25, 2021
Summer message (important)
The podcast is taking a summer break on the audio platforms, but it will keep on humming on Youtube in the form of a series of look-back episodes. Have a wonderful summer, all of you!
July 16, 2021
65. The lifelong growth of personality – Lisa Marchiano
A few centuries ago, science got cut off from spirituality. When the search for the depths of a human being was resumed in the west In the early 20th century, it was in the form of psychology. Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung are considered to be the founders of modern psychoanalysis. Bit by bit, Jung distanced himself from Freud’s more materialistic viewpoints, and eventually his ideas came to inspire the spiritual community. ”Depth psychology really needed to come into fruition when it did because of the ’death of God’ phenomenon. Ordinary religion was not working as a container for people's numinous experiences”, says Lisa Marchiano, a Jungian analyst, author and podcaster. ”In one sense you can see Jung’s life work as an attempt to reconcile science and mysticism. He saw himself as standing at that intersection.” Although Freud dominated psychology academia for most of the last century, there was an interest in Jung's thoughts all along. In the 50s Joseph Campbell's book ”The Hero with a Thousand Faces” was very influential. In the 80s there was another Jung explosion. In the 90s there was yet another wave, and in the 2000s, Jung's previously unpublished ”The Red Book” became a surprise best seller. Lisa Marchiano stood at a crossroads in life when she at age 28 suddenly realized that she had to shed the idea of becoming a lawyer and instead train to become a jungian analyst. It all began with her coming across a particular book time and time again, a book that made her cry each time she opened it and read a few lines. ”Freud thought that one’s personality is established in early childhood. But the development of a personality happens over a lifetime. We continue to grow and develop. In fact, some of the most important changes happen in midlife”, Marchiano says. Jung called this the individuation process. It is one of his most central concepts. Another concept is the shadow, which is the part of our personality that is disallowed – some of it by culture. Anima and animus are the masculine and feminine elements that we all contain. ”We should all develop them both. Some elements are more associated with women and some are more associated with men. But it is a thorny subject.” Inspired by Iain McGilchrists book ”The master and his emissary”, Lisa Marchiano speculates that the concept of masculine and feminine in the psychological sense might be something like the different kinds of awareness that are generated by the brain’s left and right hemispheres. Marchiano’s recent book ”Motherhood” is a jungian attempt to understand how a person evolves by becoming a mother. ”I wasn’t interested in how to become a better mother. I was interested in the psychological change ı was going through. How does this entail growing? How is this individuation?” ”If you really want to learn more about yourself, relationships are the best way to do that, and the relationship that is most likely to catalyze self knowledge is parenthood. It's so hard, it doesn't go away, and the stakes are really high.” Carl Jung wrote that we don't solve our problems so much as we grow larger than them. A lot in the book is most probably relevant to fathers too, Marchiano thinks. Lisa Marchiano’s website: The podcast she co-hosts:
July 07, 2021
64. The extraterrestrial allure – Clas Svahn
Are we alone in the universe? The journalist and author Clas Svahn has spent a large part of his life trying to answer that question by listening to, watching and reading thousands of reports and thoroughly dissecting them. He was for 22 years the director of the organization UFO Sweden, he has written dozens of books about mysterious phenomena, not only UFOs, and he is now an internationally renowned expert on UFOs. Or UAPs, as the US military now prefers to call these unidentified aerial phenomena. The name change is meant to separate ”proper” sky observations from the reports the military is swamped with about cattle mutilations, crop circles, abductions and other things associated with the UFO phenomenon. We recorded this episode the day before the much hyped UAP report from the US government was released. In the interview, Clas anticipates most of what it contains and does not contain. The report is about over 140 observations and recordings of strange objects. ”Pilots have witnessed that they have seen these objects every day for several years”, Clas Svahn says. Clas has been gathering and analyzing UFO reports since the 1970s. He is very used to the concept being ridiculed. With this report, the issue is suddenly taken seriously. ”I am very glad that this is happening. So many reporters have been ridiculed. They are just telling what they have seen. You have to treat them properly. So this is exciting.” UFO/UAP observations come in many shapes. There is the probable asteroid Oumuamua in 2017, which the renowned astronomer Avi Loeb suggests could be something from an extraterrestrial civilization. There is the sharp picture of an apparent flying saucer over lake Cote in Costa Rica in 1971. And then there are tons of blurry mobile films, like those allegedly showing a rotating pyramid over the Kremlin in 2008. To Clas Svahn, the latter category is ”noise”. But there are plenty of other good pictures. Unfortunately, the sightings are often not backed by photos and vice versa. Clas has interviewed hundreds of people who have seen strange things. He tells about a Swedish fighter pilot who tried to reach a strange object over the Baltic. The object was too fast and eventually vanished into space. The most well known close encounter in Sweden occured in May 1946. The person who had the encounter, Gösta Carlsson, became a famous businessman, and he made his fortune from ideas he said he got from the ET’s that he met. Clas wrote a book about Carlsson. The most intriguing stories are actually those about encounters and abductions, says Clas. ”I mean, things you see in the sky could be anything.” He refers to a fascinating story by a married couple in southern Sweden, in which both experienced an attempt by a group of alien entities to abduct the woman. Even if no close ET encounter is ever proven, people will never stop reporting strange things in the sky, Clas thinks. At the same time it is very possible that what UFO reporters experience today will not be understood until tomorrow. ”We must be very open to looking in new directions. There will be revelations in science that are so new to us that we will find them nearly magic.” UFO Sweden’s website, including Clas Svahn’s blog: Archives for the Unexplained (the world’s largest depository of its kind):
June 30, 2021
63. Leaving a spiritual wasteland – Betty Kovacs
In the Nag Hammadi texts, Jesus says: ”If you bring forth what is within you, it will save you, but if you do not bring it forth, it will destroy you.” We have been conditioned to dismiss all signs of an inner reality and a connection with the universe. We have for millennia rejected the feminine principle and energies. The shaman-mystic knowledge about our true essence was with us when homo sapiens first appeared on this earth. The San people in southern Africa, direct descendants of the first modern humans, are living proof of that. Despite attempts by religious and secular rulers to quash this wisdom, it has survived throughout time, thanks to courageous groups of humans who have carried it with them under the radar, often at great risk: the gnostics, the sufis, the cathars, the rosicrucians and even the romantics in the early 19th century. This is the wonderful and often eye-opening story that Betty Kovacs tells us in her book ”Merchants of Light”. Kovacs has herself had personal experience of an inner reality, or higher dimensions if you will. In connection with the death of her mother, her son and her husband within a period of three years, she experienced altered states of consciousness. Judaism's first temple tradition was shaman-mystic. The feminine was seen as equal with the masculine. But around 600 BCE this tradition was destroyed. Texts were burned. Some were rescued, however, and lived on in kabbalah. Christianity’s counterpart to this was the clampdown of the Roman church from the fourth century CE, when the shaman-mystic tradition that Jesus himself represented was suppressed, and the early gnostic Christians were bloodily persecuted. What the church fathers resented was ”the tradition of going inward and experiencing the divinity of who we are and becoming the Christ”, says Betty Kovacs. The repression was terrible. ”The church fathers prepared us for totalitarian regimes.” After seven hundred years of spiritual darkness in Europe, a window opened up during the High Middle Ages. Cathedrals were built in France to revere personal connection with the higher realms and the feminine principle. ”They taught the hidden tradition.” The cathedral builders and teachers were influenced by the more open and tolerant islamic culture in Spain. But it did not last. Ironically, it was the Roman church that determined the development of materialistic science. But maybe we are leaving the spiritual wasteland. Our time could be one of rediscovering ancient spiritual knowledge and letting it merge with science. In the 20th century we began to understand the all-encompassing quantum field and that the heart is in many ways superior to the brain. We began to collect thousands of accounts of near-death experiences and found that they seem to be real. And we rediscovered the ancient shaman-mystic texts from early Judaism and Christianity. ”All these things are synchronistically happening. When I feel depressed over all the violence in the world I think about that”, says Betty Kovacs. ”We are beginning to bring together our past and realize our potential, at the same time that we've got to do business with what was not brought forth, the darkness we've allowed to be in the world.” Website: Books:
June 23, 2021
62. Our state of consciousness alters every day – Etzel Cardeña
”We do not experience electro-chemical impulses. What we experience are colors, movements and shapes”, says Etzel Cardeña, one of the leading researchers on parapsychology in the world. What he is referring to is qualia, individual instances of subjective, conscious experience, whose origins have not been possible to directly connect to the brain. ”We don’t have anything even close to a satisfactory account, from a reductionist or materialist position, for how we are conscious of anything”, says the professor of psychology at Lund university in southern Sweden. There is evidence that we receive information that is not coming from the senses, information that is temporally and spatially distant. There is also a lot of nonsense being said in the context of parapsychology. Therefore, Cardeña points out, the scientific method is crucial. Researchers must be able to independently confirm what people say they are experiencing and discount alternative plausible explanations. Properly made studies point to an array of  psychic abilities that seem to be real. Cardeña lists four main categories: telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and psychokinesis or telekinesis. It is actually common to have experiences that resemble at least the first three kinds of phenomenon. Many dismiss them because of fear. They hear these kinds of experiences are ”paranormal”, i.e. not normal. But we all have these abilities. Some are better at them than others. ”It’s no different than the ability to hit a tennis serve”, Etzel Cardeña says. How can they be explained?  A tenable theory is that time and space are not as we experience them in everyday life. There might be more dimensions. ”On some level where distance doesn't make any difference we might be interconnected in a way. Past, present and future might be adjacent.” And what about altered states of consciousness? The truth is that we all go through different states of consciousness every day: we sleep, we dream, we have deep sleep, we are in between waking state and sleep. ”This is not paranormal. We have them for a number of reasons”, Cardeña says. ”Our waking state is good for some things but not for others. It is good for reacting to the senses. But it is inflexible. You ruminate about things. In other states you may have another flexibility. In a dream you may come up with a creative, novel idea that you would never have come up with in the waking state. It’s the same with psychedelic drugs.” Etzel Cardeña is somewhat skeptical of the idea that altered states of consciousness of the kind that for example near death experiencers report represent something ”higher” in ourselves. And when asked if he thinks the shaman-mystic traditions have insights about consciousness that were lost when western science came along, he answers by rejecting the notion, held by some, that everything was ”hunky-dory” until science came along and then it went down the drain. ”People have done ghastly things in shamanic and non-shamanic traditions alike. Humans have been in many ways terrible all along, with or without science.” Cardeña is also skeptical of the idea that humankind is becoming more enlightened. ”But fortunately there have always been people who have been caring and compassionate, and thanks to those people we haven't destroyed humanity or other sentient beings on the planet.”
June 16, 2021
61. Two sexuality disparities – ... and the elephant in the #metoo room
One of the most contentious issues of our culture is about differences between the sexes. From a higher perspective this isn’t even an issue, but at the level of the physical world, I think there is a point in giving the matter a thought or two. My take on this focuses on sexuality, where there seems to be at least some variation that is corroborated by science. Sex drive per se is not stronger in any of the sexes, but my conclusion is that there are two overarching differences in the way sexuality expresses itself. If these are not understood, we may never overcome some unnecessary misunderstandings between men and women. A fascinating look into one of the few remaining matriarchies, the Mosuo in southwestern China, also gives us some clues as to what we probably ought to understand better. For links to referenced scientific studies and reports about the Mosuo go to my corresponding story on Medium.  Listen also to episodes 59 (Kajsa Ekis Ekman) and 53 (Bettina Arndt).
June 09, 2021
60. The creativity in resisting change – Bo Ahrenfelt
In this winding conversation with Bo Ahrenfelt, some truly interesting aspects of psychology come to the surface as we cover the nature of the mind, social interaction and the dynamic between the individual and the collective. Bo Ahrenfelt is a psychiatrist, but he broadened his approach early on and has worked for decades as a consultant with collective and individual development in organizations and corporations. Long before his professional career he had an inner knowing that consciousness is something outside of the brain, he says. He has been influenced by buddhism and other eastern psychology, but he embraces Western teachings as well (”I am an inclusive person”). ”How can we understand each other without talking? A group of hunters a few thousand years ago knew exactly what to do without talking to each other.” When he was a teenager, Bo did a non-material experiment with some friends: they tried to make a man turn his head towards them just by staring at the back of his head. It took them a couple of minutes. What kind of energy was it that the man felt? Bo Ahrenfelt is wary of wandering too far into what he considers to be religion, however. The term spirituality belongs there, he thinks – even though he is on the list of advisers to the Galileo Commission, whose goal is to overcome the divide between science and spirituality. ”Not knowing is a very creative state to be in. Like Jesus said: be like a child. Open your eyes if you want to see reality. Otherwise you only see yourself”, Bo says. Having worked a lot with social interaction, he has come to see group dynamics a bit differently than the mainstream. ”Our society thinks there are ’stages’ and ’steps’ in the group process. That’s bull, because everything comes from within us. The group process is the relationships between individuals. There's no such thing as ’steps’. It's all a soup.” In this soup of relationships there is one salient phenomenon: most of us don’t like change. ”The resistance to change is very obvious to anyone who has worked with personal, group, organizational or scientific development. And it is a good thing. There is great meaning in resistance, because without resistance there is no true change, there is just obedience.” Those who want change are forced to think twice and listen to others. And compromise. One plus one can make three. ”Or a peach”. On a universal level, change is the only constant. This is also, as it happens, almost exactly the title of Bo Ahrenfelts best-selling book ”Change as a state of Being”. How can we learn to embrace that nothing lasts forever? ”We can’t. If we accepted it we wouldn't survive as a species. Every change has a possibility of being a threat. And we have to handle that.” At the same time, it is obvious that things don't look the same, things don't work the same and humans don't behave the same way they did decades or centuries ago. So, what is it, ultimately, that is pulling us forward? ”I think it's like sexuality, hunger and thirst: it’s a drive. I strongly believe what I learned from humanistic psychology, that wanting new knowledge is also a drive. It’s part of nature.” Books by Bo Ahrenfelt:
June 02, 2021
59. The (unintended) backlash of a gender revolution – Kajsa Ekis Ekman
There is a shift going on in our perception of sex and gender. One specific development is a shift from emphasizing biological gender, or sex, to emphasizing psychological gender. That is, you are the gender you feel you are, no matter what you have between your legs. But should young boys and girls who feel they’ve been born into the ”wrong” kind of body be allowed to go through advanced surgery to physically correct their biological sex? This question and this change is something the Swedish writer and journalist Kajsa Ekis Ekman has pondered a lot. In her book ”On the Existence of Gender” (translated from the Swedish title) she thoroughly dissects what is happening and reveals that the shift has some pretty unexpected – and unwelcome – ramifications. Counterintuitive as it may sound, this new perception of gender is a setback for the decades-long fight for gender equality, according to Ekis Ekman. Why? Because the biologism that many feminists wanted to do away with is in a way back, but this time in the form of the notion of a fixed, inner essence of gender. ”Earlier, sex was seen as something that was just there and gender was seen as a construct. In the new definition that is taking hold you basically switch these two around: you are born with an innate feeling of gender, whereas sex shouldn’t be used at all”, says Kajsa Ekis Ekman, a combative writer and a pronounced socialist and feminist. Boys who behave in traditionally feminine ways and girls who behave in traditionally masculine ways are both told they should embrace their feelings of being born into the ”wrong” bodies. In this way, we are back to an emphasis on the traditional gender roles, Ekis Ekman says. The concepts ”woman” and ”female” are effectively obliterated in many contexts, whereas men’s spaces aren’t being questioned in the same way. When the main thing is what gender you feel you are, it all comes down to stereotypes, Ekis Ekman reasons. ”If it has nothing to do with the sex, if it has nothing to do with the body, why even connect it to male and female? Why not call it a personality?”, she wonders. If the sexes are to be scrapped it will also be difficult, if not impossible, to keep statistics about gender discrimination: pay gap, criminality, health treatment etcetera. And what about the overarching issue of possible innate differences between the sexes, apart from some obvious physical ones? Kajsa Ekis Ekman thinks that neither the idea that ”all is biology” nor the one that ”all is social structure” is sustainable, although she stresses that the differences in the brain that have been debated seem to be more of tendencies than of known differences, because they overlap. ”But the fact that men can't have babies and women can't produce sperm does not overlap. A woman can't escape the consequences of sexuality the way a man can. That’s always going to be a factor.” Kajsa’s Instagram handle: Facebook page: Latest book ”On the Existence of Gender” (”Om könets existens”): Other books:
May 26, 2021
58. China’s model is not Africa’s – Nic Cheeseman
When we hear about rigged elections in Sub-Saharan Africa, many say: ”Well, what can you expect?” The underlying assumption is that it is sad but unavoidable that democratic flaws have to be tolerated in immature and poor countries. Wrong, thinks Nic Cheeseman, professor of democracy at the university of Birmingham, UK. All countries must be measured with the same democratic yardstick. ”Many African elections are actually more advanced than elections in Europe. British elections are very manual and old-fashioned”, says Cheeseman. Fraud and rigging is not an African problem. All the main tricks described in Cheeseman’s and Brian Klaas’ book ”How to Rig an Election” have been used in Europe and America. Some subtle ways are still used on every continent, like ”gerrymandering” and putting up high identification and registration thresholds for voters, which typically disfavors minorities, the poor and the less educated. ”In which country in the world every main party has been fined by the electoral commission for breaching campaign finance laws in the last three years? The answer is the UK”, says Cheeseman. ”It is patronizing to think that African nations can’t reach the same level of democracy as Europe has. Look at countries like Ghana, South Africa, Botswana and Mauritius.” Democracy is also what Africans want. This is what polls on the continent consistently show. It is of course true that democracy in Africa is young and still feeble in many places. Hence the idea some have that maybe electoral democracy is premature. Maybe there should be another order of events: first wealth and health, then elections. But this is also a flawed idea, according to Nic Cheeseman. There is no order of events. Democracy and development happen in tandem. ”It is not true that poor people are not able to make informed choices about their future. Look at Zambia and Benin which were very poor when they made their transition to democracy.” ”And there is no particular connection between wealth and the possibility to hold elections. If you really want to, you can hold a piece-of-paper-and-pen election extremely cheaply.” Also: holding free and fair elections and building accountability has shown to be a driving force for governments to perform better. ”If we go back to the 70s and 80s, in none of the countries that had the most benign autocrats we can imagine today, like Nyerere and Kaunda, we saw the development of thriving conditions for democracy”, says Nic Cheeseman. ”It's the curse of low expectations.” Democracy creates a stronger rule of law, which addresses corruption, which enhances economic growth, which gives rise to stronger civil society. It becomes a virtuous circle. ”The best model for the future is to see development and democracy side by side. The China model is nothing that works in Africa.” Nic’s personal website: Nic’s site Democracy in Africa: Nic’s profile page at the University of Birmingham: Nic’s books: Nic’s Twitter handle: @Fromagehomme
May 19, 2021
57. Daring to look through Galileo’s telescope – David Lorimer
When the groundbreaking 17th century scientist Galileo Galilei looked through the telescope that he himself had constructed he saw Saturn’s rings and Jupiter’s moons. He understood that the planets were orbiting the sun. This completely upended the church-dominated worldview of the time, and other scholars refused to even look through the telescope, because they ”knew” what Galileo said he had seen could not be true. Galileo’s ideas were so revolutionary that he ended up being suspected of heresy. Today it is mainstream science that doesn’t dare to look through the telescope, figuratively, and this time the ”heresy” is to claim that consciousness is not produced by the brain. Galileo’s example inspired the founders of the Galileo Commission to name it after him. This project of the Scientific and Medical Network, a worldwide professional community, aims to expand the scope of science by crossing the border to spirituality. At the core lies the notion that consciousness is nonphysical. ”The way science has developed, the outer is considered primary. Matter is primary. So anything inner or in the mind or consciousness is to be explained by the primacy of matter”, says David Lorimer, head of the steering committee of the Galileo Commission. ”But what is very clear is that science also depends on consciousness. Theories and structures are produced by consciousness. Planck, Schrödinger, Pauli and others realized that you can't take consciousness out of the equation. You can't close the loop without including consciousness.” Lorimer began his career as a merchant banker but ”pressed the eject button” at the age of 24 and entered a world of literature, poetry and science. He has written or edited over a dozen books, with titles like ”The Spirit of Science”, ”Thinking beyond the Brain” and ”A quest for Wisdom”. The Swedish scientist and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg was an early source of inspiration, and David Lorimer has been the president of the Swedenborg society. Nowadays there is all sorts of evidence from experiences which are often called metaphysical, like out of body experiences during episodes of clinical brain death, precognitions and clairvoyance, which more than indicates that the idea of material primacy is wrong. But to challenge it is still controversial. Why is it so hard for scientists to shift their viewpoint? ”The power of the mechanistic metaphor is huge and goes back to the 17th century. Newton's universe is a clockwork. We now know it isn't true, but it is powerful. We have a metaphysical battle going on here”, says Lorimer ”The difficulty is the entrenched view and the fact that this entrenched view is regarded as scientific rather than philosophical. A vast majority of scientists don't know that they are making assumptions about consciousness and the brain. They just think it's a fact that consciousness is produced by the brain.” But what is credible and plausible changes with the advancement in knowledge, David points out. ”Our job is to make these areas more credible and acceptable. It’s an expansion. There’s nothing to be afraid of.” ”The problems of our species are not going to be solved by a continuation of materialism and consumerism. We need a spiritual awakening so that we understand that we are all deeply connected and deeply embedded and connected with natural ecosystems. There is one life, one mind, one planet.” David Lorimer’s website: Galileo Commission’s website:
May 12, 2021
56. The art of focus – Christina Bengtsson
Are we actually obsessing when we think we are focusing? Being able to focus is something much more profound than being able to peak perform, explains Christina Bengtsson. The definition of focus has been watered down. ”It is really about daring to find and concentrate on what you feel is important in your life. Following your heart, you might say. You may call that spiritual, but it doesn't matter. We don't need a name for it”, she says. ”To be in your heart is to reconnect with your core identity and find your core values. You find self esteem. Then you are closer to your gut feeling of what is right and wrong.” Christina Bengtsson is an inspirational speaker, an author and a former military officer and world champion precision shooter. Her military background has given her thousands of hours of focus practice. The military is in some respects better at focusing than other sectors of society. It is easier to do that when there is a threat. But in our safe, modern era the brain cannot see the difference between real and perceived dangers. It reacts to a pling from the phone as if it were a threat. ”We need to change the brain from automatic attention mode to more controlled attention mode.” Focus is the absence of distractions. So how to remove yourself from the innumerable distractions of our time? What is required is discipline. The discipline to resist impulses, according to Bengtsson. ”Give yourself just two seconds to think before you post on social media, for instance, or before you say something to somebody.” Christina Bengtsson is well aware of the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. Focus is presence, basically. Being in the now requires practice – and also an understanding of what being in the now means, she says. She meets many business leaders who struggle to stay on target. ”But it’s a misconception that you must keep focus on your original goal. You must ask yourself: perhaps I can go even further. Perhaps I can find another dimension. Perhaps I am not focusing right now, perhaps I am obsessed.” ”Sometimes people lose their ability to focus by focusing too hard.” Empathy is a shortcut to focus, Christina explains. It helps you be present when you are interacting with another person. ”So many people go around thinking they don't have time. But we live longer now than ever. I say differently: I have time. There are so many things I don't have to do.” Christina Bengtsson’s website: Christina Bengtsson’s book ”The Art of Focus – 10,9”:
May 05, 2021
55. Your future self is pulling you – Theresa Cheung
Theresa Cheung is a successful and hardworking writer and communicator about all things spiritual. She emanates positive vibes as she seamlessly jumps from one aspect of the esoteric to the other in this episode. Cheung is a serial writer and has published dozens of books, whereof many have become bestsellers, like ”The Dream Dictionary”. She has a degree in theology from King’s College, and she loves to cross over the border between science and spirituality. ”I don’t enjoy reaching out to believers. I love taking this spiritual message to people who are going to laugh and ridicule it. I want to try and mainstream it. Because supernormal abilities are normal”, says Theresa Cheung. A few years ago she wrote ”The Premonition Code” together with neuroscientist Julia Mossbridge, a groundbreaking book about our ability to sense the future and how we can train that ability. It is about taking hunches and intuition seriously. Cheung and Mossbridge have also developed training tools and a course around the book. Time is an elusive concept. Every instant instantly evaporates. So maybe there are no instances, in plural, but rather just one moment, where the state of things constantly shifts. Then perhaps the idea that the future is in a way accessible in the only ”now moment” is not that strange. ”I love the idea that our future selves are pulling us. Your future selves can impact your present. In every instant – in the now – I am creating my future. There are ripple effects”, Theresa says. ”We are not going to understand what time really is. Once you resign yourself to that and open yourself to whatever insights come to you, you will realize that you are infinite potential.” Precognition is actually less and less considered woo woo. It is not only in movies like ”Minority Report” that this sixth sense is being utilized, but also by intelligence agencies like the CIA. ”And I have discovered that there is a whole world of professional intuitives, remote viewers or precogs working under the radar for major companies”, Theresa Cheung discloses. Cheung is also the uncrowned queen of dream interpreting. There is so much information about yourself and your life’s journey to be harvested from your nocturnal activities. ”When dreams start becoming vivid I am very excited about it, because it is like your soul is crying out for more attention. Sometimes it is sending nightmares to do that. Tough love. We don't grow in our comfort zones.” She thinks 99 percent of our dreams are symbolic and psychological. ”They are an internal therapist – and much cheaper.” Is humanity shifting? Theresa Cheung sees a hugely growing appetite for life beyond the material world. Not least because of the pandemic. ”If there is anything positive coming out of the pandemic, it has made us all focus much more on the meaning of our lives, what really matters. For me that is a shift. The world will not be the same after this”, she says. ”And it is hugely exciting.” Theresa Cheung lives in Windsor, UK. Her website is The website for ”The Premonition Code” is just as straightforward:
April 28, 2021
54. When science gets caught in its own trap – Using Occam’s razor on consciousness
What is consciousness? Is it really more rational and straight-forward to see the world with materialist eyes than to acknowledge a nonphysical core and inherent meaning? If you follow the mainstream discussion, especially in the Western world, it may seem that way. But as I try to show in this episode, that worldview may be a product of what we have been conditioned to believe rather than the most clear-cut and simple way of understanding what a human and her world truly are. No wonder consciousness researchers talk about ”the hard problem”. I employ a scientific tool called Occam’s razor. But I enhance it a bit. Because, what is simpler: to think or to understand intuitively?
April 21, 2021
53. The other side of the gender story – Bettina Arndt
Bettina Arndt began her career as a vocal feminist and earned fame in her native Australia as a sex therapist. This was in the 70’s. “I celebrated the change. It was wonderful to see opportunities opening up for women.” Then feminism went too far, she thinks. Sometime after the 1980’s it has been more about advancing women at the expense of men than reaching equality. Today the culture is increasingly anti-male, in Bettina’s view. ”I think the fourth wave feminists are keen on getting vengeance for imbalances in past history.” The last few years Bettina Arndt has dedicated most of her time to fighting for the rights of unfairly treated men, especially men falsely accused of rape. She fights against the unofficial ”kangaroo” courts set up at college campuses to speed up the handling of an alleged ongoing ”rape crisis”. The goal of these tribunals is to get more convictions. ”They are stealing young men’s degrees.” Earlier this year she launched the campaign ”Mothers of Sons” to highlight the problem of falsely accused men who are denied access to their children. Arndt’s fight for fairer treatment of men has made her ”enemy no 1” in he Australian feminist  community. It was extremely important that society started to change the laws in the 60’s and 70’s to ensure the protection of women, she says. ”But it has absolutely been misused. I talk about a ’domestic violence industry’, which has become a huge cash cow for feminists. That is how they get most of their funding.” Most violence within couples is two-way, Bettina explains. In most surveys about domestic violence the question asked is who is the victim. But when the question instead is about who is the perpetrator, just as many women as men admit to being that. When violence begins, however, women are more at risk of serious injuries and death. Couple’s fights are often about the children. ”Today men are stuck, because they know that if they leave, they are going to lose their children”, says Bettina. In 2018 Bettina Arndt published ”Mentoo”, a compilation of articles about society’s ever more unfair treatment of men. It was a reaction to the metoo movement. It goes without saying that there are men who misuse their power and that it is important to stop that, she points out. But what bothered her about metoo was the alleged and displayed fragility of women. Oddly enough, it is still problematic to discuss differences in sexuality between the sexes in an unprejudiced way. ”We have a widening sexual gap between men and women, and it is increasingly because of women’s lack of desire”, says Bettina Arndt. ”Nobody talks about what it is like for a man to feel like a beggar, to grovel for sex, to feel that there is something wrong with him for wanting to have sex with his wife.” ”Women are talking ad nauseam about their wants and their needs. But this is the number one thing that men long for in their long term relationships.” Links: Bettina Arndt’s website, the book Mentoo, the book The Sex Diaries, the Mothers of Sons campaign
April 14, 2021
52. The virtues and sins of the nation state – Tania Verge
On October 1st 2017, Catalonia held an unofficial referendum on independence from Spain. Madrid chose to respond in the toughest possible way. Riot police raided ballot stations, and hundreds of Catalan voters were injured. The plebiscite was clearly illegal, but it has also been disputed whether Madrid’s violent reaction was in accordance with relevant laws. ”The Spanish state had other options on the table than using the criminal code”, says Tania Verge i Mestre, a professor of politics and gender at the university Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. Spain could obviously have treated the referendum as an administrative violation. Or just ignored it. As an outsider, a globalist and a lover of Spain – including Catalonia – I personally was surprised, annoyed and also frustrated when I learned about the growing independence movement. Why create new borders in a world with too many borders? ”It has nothing to do with resentment towards Madrid. Half the Catalan population are born or have parents who are born in other parts of Spain”, says Verge. An opening was underway some years ago, as a matter of fact. Politicians had negotiated a compromise proposal on the division of power between Madrid and Barcelona. But it was rejected by the constitutional court in 2010. This setback created a serious legitimacy problem and triggered, together with the financial crisis, the independence movement. Today most leading Catalan politicians are either in prison or in exile. Tania Verge was herself tried in court in early March of 2021 for her participation in the referendum as an election official. She is accused of sedition and risks imprisonment. Does she then see any movement in Madrid towards a softer stance? ”The language is different when (Social Democratic) PSOE is in power. But in practice very little happens. It is like a stalemate.” Some outsiders accuse Catalan ’independentistas’ of being selfish – that they do not want to share their greater wealth with poorer parts of Spain. But Tania Verge stresses that she and many other Catalan activists are on the left wing. She is also an activist at various feminist collectives, including feminist pro-independence groups. Feminism can contribute to rethinking the nation state, according to Verge. ”Being a left-wing feminist for independence also means wanting independence from centralism, patriarchy and capitalism. It means redefining the boundaries of a state and how to design structures. The Catalan identity is a moveable identity. It must reflect all the people living there at a certain time. We should not repeat all the pitfalls of the old 19th century nation states.” Here is a link to the website of Catalan feminists for independence. Other links Tania Verge recommends are to this blog post on the subject and to the book ’Terra de Ningù’ about feminist perspectives on the repression. Note: all is in Catalan.
April 07, 2021
51. The constant apocalypse – ten canceled doomsdays you already forgot
The world is better than most of us think. There is a gap between the factual global trends and what the majority who never checks the numbers but only read headlines think are the trends. (And why so many spiritual people adhere to the pessimist camp is an enigma.) Going back just a little bit in history and realizing how often we have falsely believed we have been on the brink of collapse is sobering. In this episode, I walk you through ten canceled modern-day apocalypses. (Disclaimer: The review has a shamelessly Western perspective.)
March 31, 2021
50. How civilization actually began – Andrew Collins
”It is a shame that scholars and academics act this way”, says independent researcher of ancient history Andrew Collins after having told that a chief archaeologist yelled at him at a site in southern Turkey: ’We don’t want your pseudoscience here’. Collins has written over a dozen books about the origins of our civilization, all with more or less alternative views to the mainstream narrative in textbooks and history books about how it all started. Like it is with many mavericks, Collins breaks new ground. Years after having scorned his ideas, some scholars have come around and adhered to Collins theories. Since the mid-1990’s, the focus of Andrew Collins’ work has been on the pivotal megalithic site of Göbekli Tepe in southern Turkey, dated to some seven thousand years before the hitherto known earliest civilization. ”The most significant thing about Göbekli Tepe is its age. And its carvings are not like anything else in southwest Asia”, Collins says. Göbekli Tepe does not resemble anything that came after it. Andrew Collins (and others) conclude that the megalithic complex was built to ward off a threat from the skies, from celestial tricksters that were interpreted as foxes, wolves and other canines but by all accounts were parts of an exploding comet. The monuments represent a fifteen hundred year old collective memory of a huge cataclysm involving enormous conflagrations and floods that may have wiped out the majority of the human population. To make sure this never happened again, it was necessary to somehow appease the celestial forces. Based on findings, Andrew Collins and Klaus Schmidt, the archaeologist who rediscovered Göbekli Tepe, think that an elite group arrived in the area from the Russian steppes and convinced the local population that they knew how to avoid a second apocalypse: by dedicating hundreds of years to building advanced monuments. The pillars and blocks bear symbolic references to the stars, thus perhaps functioning as stargates between this world and the next. But already tens of thousands of years before these events, impulses of civilization had come from Siberia and Tibet, where the recently discovered so-called Denisovans had lived for 200,000 – 300,000 years (i.e. since before the latest ice age). Gene analyses show that modern humans interbred with the Denisovans, just like they did with the Neanderthals. ”The sophistication, the technology and the art that were in the mindset of the people who created Göbekli Tepe originally came from Mongolia and Siberia. I would put my money on that”, says Andrew. He is not into the more daring theories proposed by fellow mavericks about influences from the lost civilization of Atlantis or ET’s visiting Earth in physical form to assist or manipulate humankind in various ways. But he does think it is plausible that humankind has been mentally, non physically, affected by extraterrestrial intelligence, probably since the very beginning hundreds of thousands of years ago. Collins zooms in on the origins of our civilization, but to understand how it all really began after the first push out of Africa one has to go many times further back. That is precisely the topic of his next book, where he will delve into new incredible discoveries in Israel. It would seem that there, 400,000 years ago, shamanism was invented. What are the intelligences behind all this sudden development?
March 24, 2021
49. Never judge, there is always a story – Daniel Mendoza
The entrepreneur, speaker, writer and life coach Daniel Mendoza had a challenging childhood and adolescence, to say the least. His family fled from his native Uruguay in the seventies, and after having hopped between a few countries they ended up in Sweden. The human environment in Daniel’s early life was soiled with lovelessness. His father was violent. Daniel got into fights all the time. But he never wanted to hurt people. He was blessed with a pure heart and an inner belief that there is hope. ”Tomorrow is going to be a better day”, he said to himself. A human encounter in his early twenties turned out to be pivotal. It was an epiphany. It showed Daniel how much good there is within us humans. He made a u-turn and decided to choose a positive path. He decided to study economics. That didn’t quite resonate with Daniel, but it propelled him to the next chapter in his life: the creation of a very special newspaper, Good News Magazine. This journalistic product prompts me, the former journalist, to ask questions about the reasons why one should publish positively focused news. Is the mainstream media telling a falsely negative story about the world and humankind? Or is the world such a problematic place that we need to tell the positive stories as well, so that we can get the strength to find the solutions? Daniel and I have an interesting discussion about these things. At one point Daniel employed a person who was openly neo-nazi and who insulted him every day for two years. ”I knew that this guy needed trust”, says Daniel. ”And I needed to start by listening to him. I knew there was a reason why he said the things he said.” This is the way Daniel Mendoza sees people. ”What if we can leave every child with a feeling that it is possible to solve our problems?” he says. Early in life Daniel realized he had to face the problems in order to solve them. This began with him ending up in fights. But it transformed into a drive, a desire, to focus on the positive, on the solutions. ”I will never forgive the things my parents did, but I will not be angry with them. We judge the person, but we cannot blame the person, we have to understand what lies behind. There is good in everyone.”
March 17, 2021
48. Consciousness never dies – Pim van Lommel
Few fields of research offer more insights into what we really are and why we are conscious about things at all than the study of near death experiences. It is also one of few areas where science truly spans the perceived borderline with spirituality. That is why cardiologist Pim van Lommel has made such a tremendous contribution by conducting large, longitudinal studies on hundreds of people who have suffered cardiac arrest and have been declared clinically dead but later resuscitated. Many of these patients experience being clearly conscious during the period of clinical death. Around four percent of those who have had a flatlined EEG report some kind of experience of enhanced consciousness in another realm, despite the fact that their brains have not been functioning ”To me the brain has a facilitating function, not a producing function. It is like a computer connected to the internet. When you turn it off, the internet is still there”, says Pim van Lommel. ”Consciousness is like gravity. We can not measure gravity, we can only measure its physical effects. It is the same with consciousness, we can only measure the effects.” Van Lommel started out as a hard-nosed physicalist himself, but an encounter in 1969 with a resuscitated patient, who was very disappointed that he had been revived, had a profound impact on him. In 1986 he read George Ritchie’s book ”Return from Tomorrow” about a profound NDE, which made him even more intrigued. Van Lommel started to ask resuscitated patients about their experiences, and to his big surprise, 12 out of 50 patients he asked gave accounts about NDE’s. That was when he decided to kick off a large study, which lasted for more than a decade. The results were published in The Lancet in 2001. The article gained much attention, as did van Lommels book ”Consciousness Beyond Life”, which came out in its first edition six years later. Much has happened since then. More studies have been made, notably by Bruce Greyson at the university of Virginia. Science is slowly embracing the nonphysical. But there is still a hard core of physicalist skeptics. The Wikipedia page about Pim van Lommel has for instance been hijacked by skeptics. ”They are frightened, because this threatens their world view”, says van Lommel. This also goes for many active scientists. ”If they said consciousness is not in the brain, they would lose their research money. Some professors have told me privately that they agree with me, but openly they will say that my conclusions are nonsense. Until they retire…”
March 10, 2021
47. The spiritual cable guy – Case Parks
Speaking to Case Parks in this episode is a bit like having a relaxed conversation with a dear friend over a coffee or a glass of beer. And we don’t talk about the weather. We talk about humanity, the soul and how to heal. Case is probably one of the coolest dudes in the spiritual community. In his early middle age (whatever that is) he discovered that he had access to healing frequencies. Today he is a healing practitioner and also a spiritual guide with a popular website and a Youtube channel with the beautiful name Everyday Masters (and the subtitle ”Everyday people awakening to their own mastery”). ”If you would have told me fifteen years ago everything that was going to happen in my life, I would have thought you smoked crack”, says the former golf pro. ”I can honestly say I don’t remember one single moment in my life when I said I wanted to become a healer. The universe has been leaving these breadcrumbs to follow, and I just follow them.” He had a spiritual core early on but he didn’t really develop it. Then one day he came across a video with a healer floating his hands across people. It was Eric Pearl. Case bought Pearl’s book ”The Reconnection”. ”Two chapters into that book I felt my hands were like magnets. It was like my hands had this two foot sphere around them. I could literally feel the field that connects us all. And I instantly knew that this was what I had been waiting for my whole life”, Case says. What he discovered was that he was able to help people reconnect to their higher self, which in most cases has an instant soothing effect on the psyche and enables self-healing. ”It’s so natural and easy to do this for me that I can only imagine that I have done this in many lifetimes. It’s like breathing.” Four fifths of Case Parks’ clients are at a distance when he has his sessions, and, interestingly enough, those are often the sessions with the most profound results, he says. ”You don't really need your hands. I’m not doing it. It’s the universe that's doing it. I see myself as the spiritual cable guy.” Case Parks sees the earth as a place to learn and grow. Physical lIfe is to be likened with a game or a stage play. ”My job is to repair the connection between you and your higher self when the remote control to the game is glitchy. Once it’s repaired, you have your own connection. Sometimes it's completely repaired in one session, sometimes it isn't.” Case gives us a little crash course in how to start feeling the frequencies that flow through all of us but most of us never sense. ”I can't understand why everybody doesn't feel it,'' he laughs. His next project is a tv series. And a children's book.
March 03, 2021
46. China locked down, the West followed suit – Johan von Schreeb
Disasters happen when hazard meets vulnerability. You can either reduce the hazard, which can be difficult, or reduce vulnerability. ”We have been good at doing that, actually”, says Johan von Schreeb, professor in global disaster medicine at Karolinska Institute in Solna, Sweden. The way Bangladesh has handled its vulnerability to floods is an excellent example. Johan was one of the founders of the Swedish section of Doctors without Borders. His engagement has taken him to places like Haiti, West Africa, Iraq, Ukraine and Yemen. Last fall he was deployed in Lebanon by WHO as a coordinator. He soon learned that when disaster strikes, the help from the outside world is often irrational. International medical teams are deployed in disaster areas without really understanding the context. Countries send field hospitals more as a knee-jerk reaction than as a well-thought-out measure. After the bomb blast in Lebanon in August last year it quickly became clear that there was no need for trauma care. ”But an Italian military field hospital arrived a whole month after the blast, ready to treat trauma patients. It was almost an insult”, says Johan. Some disasters are more ”popular” than others in the eyes of outside helpers. After earthquakes aid organizations are lining up. After violence in the Central African Republic or outbreaks of disease in Sub-Saharan Africa, not so much. The pandemic has been a complex mixed bag of rational and irrational measures, knee-jerk reactions and psychology. Sweden’s ”softer” strategy has been debated. ”I don’t think we understand the degree of liberty we have been able to maintain here in Sweden, not having to meet a policeman on the street corner issuing a fine of 1,000 euros because you’re out walking”, says von Schreeb. ”I guess it relates back to trust.” We’ve had pandemics before but never this kind of harsh measures. Why now? ”Because China started”, concludes Johan von Schreeb. ”They contained it and they were quick, and to go against what the Chinese did would have been very difficult for a lot of countries. The politicians wanted to do something. And people were scared. Even in a country like France, where people often protest, people seemed to accept these measures.” ”There are opportunities to control populations by using this type of fear, and that is the scary part. You can justify these kinds of measures. Especially in countries where we have had riots for political reasons. I saw that in Lebanon.” However, except for a few countries, we have managed to expand the health care system to cope, says Johan von Schreeb. ”Like in Sweden: we never needed to use the emergency field hospitals that were set up.” The strict covid measures have arguably been more detrimental to public health than the coronavirus itself in parts of Africa. On that continent, only health workers and the vulnerable should be vaccinated, Johan says. ”But the rest … vaccinating children in Africa would not be the wisest thing to do. For the young this is not a major issue. If all are vaccinated there is no money left, and there is so much else to do in the health system.”
February 24, 2021
45. We need globalized and localized money at the same time – Ester Barinaga
”Our leaders are so bad at organizing common solutions to our problems”, says Ester Barinaga, a professor in Economics who has done extensive research into social entrepreneurship and the power of bottom-up initiatives. She began her work in the suburb of Kista in northern Stockholm, which at the time was a major tech hub. She saw a divided society. The tech people had this vision of connecting humanity, but they lived in a different world than the service people of that same suburb, who in fact came from all over the world. ”The information society that promised to bring us together was actually the reason why we perpetuated division”, says Barinaga. She saw the same structure in Silicon Valley, and even the IT cluster in India had its ”ins” and ”outs”. So she began to study how cities could become more inclusive. Ester Barinaga zoomed in on alternative money systems. There are two types: crypto currencies and community currencies. They both want to rethink the current top-down system, but whereas crypto aims at creating a new standardized system, community currencies are purely local and aim at integrating economic thinking with social dynamics. There are several problems with the current money system, according to Barinaga: It is supposed to fulfill contradictory functions using the same centralized currency. As a medium of exchange money has to be spent, and as a store of value it has to be saved. Plus: most of the monetary mass is created by private banks issuing loans for private homes. ”The banks give loans to those they deem credit worthy, with a profit motive, which reinforces inequality. But they have not created the interest, so for you to be able to pay that you have to take it from somebody else. So it ties up people.” After the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 there was an explosion of community currencies all over the Western world: In the US, France, Spain, Germany, Italy. People thought: ”We may have a crisis, and I may be unemployed, but I still have my skills. I can still paint houses. Let’s create our own currency and continue our lives as we did before.” And they did. Like the gita, the choquito or the común in Spain and the wir in Switzerland (which is much older, actually). Or the amazing lixo coin in Campolide in central Lisbon, which you earn from recycling waste and can then  use to buy local produce. There is nothing wrong with a transnational currency like the euro, points out Ester Barinaga. The thing is that we need a hierarchy of currencies. ”We need a transnational currency for transnational trade, perhaps even a global currency. But we also need currencies on other levels, for other purposes, to serve the needs of regional economies with their specific properties.” ”Globalized and localized at the same time!” Like many others who have had the opportunity to compare ”leaders” with ”ordinary people”, Ester Barinaga feels that hope grows in the grassroots. ”When I look at the people, there are so many initiatives and so much knowledge. The solutions are here. That’s when I am an optimist.”
February 17, 2021
44. We are legally free – Barbara Banco
In 2012 a group called OPPT took legal action to lawfully foreclose what was deemed the ”corporatized” governments of the world. No government was able to rebut the foreclosure, which, according to the initiators, meant that the deposited documents were validated and became global law – and are so today. The general purpose of this action has been to remind us humans that we are at a point in history when the millennia-old matrix of top-down government no longer serves us. Thus it is part of a global awakening. But according to OPPT (One People’s Public Trust), the judicial action is in no way a gimmick or some kind of symbolic act, but fully legal and correct. ”The war is over”, says the Italian artist and researcher Barbara Banco, one of the people behind this initiative. ”What we see now are only ghost governments. They continue to act because people don’t know what has happened.” Yes, this is a somewhat mind blowing action, and no, you didn’t see that one coming. But however skeptical you might be to the notion that it is possible to dismantle governments in this seemingly formal way, it is a fascinating and bold story. Since Barbara Banco speaks only Italian, her words are translated in this episode by Erika Dolci, and some of the back-and-forth translations have been edited out. Joining us is also Marco Missinato, an earlier guest on the podcast, who is also engaged in the OPPT initiative. On this website you can read more about OPPT and the foreclosure of governments. You can access the relevant documents, also in English.
February 10, 2021
43. The moral price of capitalism – Branko Milanovic
Branko Milanovic is probably the world’s foremost researcher on inequality. His ”elephant graph” became famous some years ago because it highlighted what many intuitively knew: During the two decades up until the financial crisis, incomes in Asia went up a lot, as did the incomes of the richest percent in the West. Squeezed in the middle was the middle class in the West, whose incomes stood still. ”It highlighted the plutocracy and the contradictions of globalization”, says Milanovic. He points out that the connection between wealth and political power is stronger in the western world than many realize. The US is the most dramatic example. ”Issues that matter to the upper middle class are much more frequently discussed in parliaments than issues important to people who are poor.” Will the pandemic exacerbate or diminish inequality? ”It’s complicated.” Some rich countries have had big drops in GDP, China has fared well, while India has fared poorly. Also within countries you see contradictory movements. Affluent people have been able to continue working from home, but on the other hand government transfers to the less affluent have more than compensated for their losses. ”It’s too early to draw any conclusions.” The rise of Asia means there is a rebalancing of the world happening. The relative wealth of Asia is catching up to where it was before the industrial revolution. Now it is Africa that is at the center stage of development. Africa needs sustained growth of around 7 percent a year for two generations to achieve any substantial catch-up. ”Without convergence of African incomes we will have two big negative effects: large migration will continue and global inequality will increase.” Milanovic is personally in favor of migration as a means of diminishing global imbalances, in the same way that capital is allowed to move. But the resistance among people in the receiving countries is real. Therefore he suggests a kind of sub-citizenship for immigrants that would allow for circular migration. ”My fear is that if we accept the reluctance to allow migrants in we will get ’fortress Europe’. The middle way is to make it possible to migrate to Europe and make money but not to have an open way to citizenship and permanent residence. But workers’ rights must be the same for all.” What about the many protests we see in the streets across the globe? Are they an indication that there is a growing popular resentment against the system? ”The resentment is there. But they are not questioning the way capitalism is organized. They are questioning some of its side effects: inequality, unfairness, environmental damage”, says Branko Milanovic. He sees two grassroots trends that could constitute some kind of alternative to traditional capitalism: ”One is the movement of stakeholder capitalism. Then the shareholders would not be the sole factor influencing corporate decision making. The other one is the green economy. There I am more skeptical since they talk of degrowth.” ”If our value system were to be changed, so that acquisition of wealth weren’t our priority over priorities, capitalism would change.” Branko Milanovic is currently a visiting presidential professor at the City University in New York. Here is his CV.
February 03, 2021
42. Your persona is just a ripple on a deep ocean – Ingrid Honkala
One of the ambitions of this podcast is to span the border between science and spirituality. Could one have a more apt experience for that endeavor than to physically die but yet retain a high level of consciousness, come back to life to tell about it and decide to work as a scientist? That is Ingrid Honkala’s story. Ingrid’s near death experience, already at the age of three, has had a profound impact on her life. She technically drowned, but during those minutes of physical death she felt complete peace, absolute presence and agelessness. ”For the first time in my short life I felt home”. The memories are still crystal clear. ”It’s not like a dream. And it’s not just memories, it’s a sense of still feeling it.” After her NDE, she was endowed with new gifts, a new perspective on life and contact with beings of light who have guided her since. ”I now knew how to read and write, and when I went to school I realized i didn’t need to learn the things that were being taught, I was just remembering them.” But during her early years she struggled to fit into the mainstream. ”I was looking at other children and I couldn't relate. I knew I had always existed. They didn’t know anything.” However, she chose a scientific career and became a successful marine biologist and oceanographer, working for the Colombian and the American navies and for Nasa. People asked Ingrid Honkala: How could you decide to become a marine scientist after you almost drowned? Weren't you afraid of water? ”It was the opposite. Drowning brought me to see the light.” We are here to experience polarity and contrast, Ingrid thinks. ”Life is not meant to make us happy in the outside world. Who said that? Life is meant to challenge us so that we can find happiness within ourselves. To stop looking without.” ”In the depth of you, there is no persona, no name. The deepest parts of the ocean are not aware of the waves on the surface.” ”The more you misalign from the present, the more you suffer, because you're living a life of expectations. You want ’something else’.” People ask how it is possible to bridge science and spirituality. Well, that separation is only in the mind, explains Ingrid: ”Spirituality is not a belief. It’s science, because it's experiential. It’s drinking the orange juice, not describing the ingredients and how to make it.” Here’s Ingrid's book ”A Brightly Guided Life. Here’s her website. If you want more testimonials from scientists who had NDE’s, listen to Dr Eben Alexander in episode 24.
January 27, 2021
41. The signs of the times – Pam Gregory
It can be used as one of many tools to understand life, and it can be used as one of many models for explaining the universe. Sounds like something everyone would embrace. But to most people, astrology is still controversial. The fall from grace began when Newton introduced his mechanistic world view. But we have come far since then. What it is really about is to interpret energies that modern science basically tells us we are all connected to on the quantum level. ”The whole thing is really about frequency”, says Pam Gregory, astrologer. ”It’s about archetypes, symbolism and frequencies that correspond to different parts of our consciousness. I’m not a psychic. I’m a translator.” The birth chart can be described as an imprint, which doesn’t mean our fates are chiseled in stone. We have free will. The imprint is a blueprint. We must do the actual construction work ourselves. Simplistic descriptions about sun signs and star constellations and planets affecting us directly are skewed or sometimes incorrect and gives astrology bad reputation. Most skeptics don’t want to dive deeper into the subject, which is kind of a catch-22 situation. Perhaps the time is ripe to take off our blinders and open the door to understanding the universal energies that affect us. After all, we’re all bathing in the quantum soup. Pam Gregory discovered astrology at the age of 21, when she had her birth chart read thoroughly for the first time. She was blown away by how spot-on it was. ”It was a whole dimension of meaning that i had been completely unaware of.” She had a so-called ordinary job for 35 years before it became possible for her to go all-in and work as a professional astrologer. Pam’s first book, with the ingenious title ”You don’t really believe in astrology, do you?”, unveils the seeming mysteriousness of astrology with beautiful clarity and scientific rigor. She explains how it goes perfectly well with the theories about a holographic universe, a unified energy field and, of course, quantum physics and its non-local causality. Few have missed that we live in turbulent times, and this is astonishingly well reflected in astrology. There were scores of predictions about a wild 2020, for instance, and this year starts off much in the same intense way, according to the properties symbolized by certain planetary aspects. ”Hold on to your hat”, is Pam’s advice. On Pam Gregory’s website you can learn more about her and her work, you can buy her books and also subscribe to her ambitious monthly newsletter where she analyses and reflects about what's going on in the human collective.
January 20, 2021
40. The delusion of human selfishness (and the role of the media)
We have been conditioned to believe an upside-down narrative about the human condition. We are told a false story about a species with an intrinsic selfishness that has to be checked with laws and top-down control. But human beings are inherently kind. If no outer force meddles with the social dynamics, people treat each other with respect and kindness. For millennia we have been living in a gloomy dream. As if the movie ”The Matrix” were a documentary. It’s, frankly, outrageous. The Dutch historian Rutger Bregman brilliantly unveils the lie in his book ”Humankind”. It should be compulsory literature in every corporation and every authority. The untrue image is reinforced by the media. The news media narrative is practically based on the false assumptions about human lowness. News requires drama, conflict and speed, which filters out the big story: a slowly but incessantly evolving humankind. The good news I bring here is that I believe we are in fact leaving this false narrative, this toxic mindset, behind. About the media’s negativity bias: Listen also to Ulrik Haagerup, episode 6.
January 13, 2021
39. ”If it wasn't for sexual energy, none of us would be here” – Blossom Bamboo
Blossom Bamboo is a multifaceted and loving human being whom one might perhaps describe as an ”explorer and harnesser of bodily and spiritual power”. A tantra therapist running her own podcast about ageless living, Blossom is a survivor of domestic violence and emotional neglect and a ”recovering Christian”. She is, as she puts it, a ”stigma stomper and taboo tackler”. She talks about her breaking free from harmful patterns in her family: toxicity and conflict, unhealthy bonds between mothers and children, communication through aggression, physical or verbal. ”This was the blueprint the children were given. I knew that wasn't the way I wanted it to be. It’s up to me to break that chain. I am the link in the chain that is split open”, she says. Blossom Bamboo comes from a family with a long tradition of Christianity. ”I try not to identify with labels like Christian. It fucked me up in a big way. At the same time I became more open to connect with spirit. My first spiritual experience was in a church.” Blossom is on a path, she says, of reuniting body and spirit. This has its roots in a personal history of much focus on the body; sexual abuse as well as more healthy experiences. One tool to integrate body and soul is tantric yoga. ”There is a connection, which I didn't have before. I can’t not have a focus on my body. We have bodies. Bodies are like antennas. That’s how we plug in.” ”When I started with tantra, I realized that I had been experiencing these things without knowing. I experienced things during sexual contact that others didn't.” ”If it wasn't for sexual energy, none of us would be here. Orgasms give moments of oneness. But there are many other ways than sex to reach that state”, says Blossom. She cultivates the notion of ageless living (”I’d rather die living than live dying”). This is highlighted in her podcast ”Past the Pause”, which is about living life fully after menopause and liberating yourself from societal constraints. In this day and age, many feel that the world is in a constant state of crisis, which creates fear and anxiety. But it all comes down to perception, which in turn requires focusing inward and finding neutrality, says Blossom Bamboo: ”I grew up in a permanent crisis. Sometimes I equate it with growing up in a war. Going through those crises as a child has shown me what I don't want so much as to illuminate what I do want. So there is an inherent value in crises.” ”We can shift the focus of our minds onto peace and harmony, beginning with self-intimacy. And this is also ageless living: When you look at things like a child does, when you take good and bad, right and wrong, out of the equation you often see more clearly what is happening.” Blossom Bamboo, an American, lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, since the 1990s. Links to her podcast and to her Facebook page.
January 06, 2021
38. Your money is not in your bank, it’s in your head – Peter Koenig
A sudden cough attack somewhat surprisingly leads right into the heart of Peter Koenig’s life work about understanding the mental construct, or should we say the mental blockage, that we call money. What is money? If you ask people, the answer can be anything under the sun: security, peace, happiness, love, a prison, insecurity, war and loss of power. If money can be perceived as all of those things, what is it really? the Zurich based British businessman Koenig asked himself forty years ago. The answer was that it’s not something in the bank. It’s something in our heads. ”The key, the epiphany, was to see that it works through the process we call projection.” Since money is considered retainable and countable, it appears that also the attributes are retainable and countable. ”If you think you need money to exist you've exteriorized your feeling of security and projected it on money. You’re on the hamster wheel. First you aim for one million, but that won’t do it, so it’s ten. And when you reach 9.9 it’s suddenly twenty. You’ve disconnected from your inner security.” Koenig’s proposed remedy is simple affirmation therapy. In this episode you will hear me first affirm that I exist either with or without money and then that I actually don’t exist and that it’s cool... ”You will free yourself from the fear of loss and insecurity, and you will dare to spend your money, and you will spend it on things you love.” Businessmen are by no means free from the projection. ”They are supposed to be the most powerful people in the world, but in my consulting work I saw the other side. They had all these visions, but very few of them were able to realize them. They were not actually manifesting what was deepest in their hearts.” When the businessmen focused on their dreams there was a wonderful atmosphere, but then somebody said ”we must make a budget for this amazing idea”, and the atmosphere went out the window. And the future? Yes, Peter Koenig has an idea of a new money system, a non-centrally created system with wisdom in it. He thinks the industrial system reached its peak 40-50 years ago and has since then gone on automatically. But about now, he says, we are at a transitional point. ”The industrial system was brilliant, but it's very intellectual and mind-centered. Its limitations will entail difficulties if we don't step out of it. And we are stepping out.” Here’s Peter’s blog. Here’s a link to the upcoming congress about creating love in business.
December 16, 2020
37. From surviving to thriving – Jai Onofrey
The extraordinary Jaime Onofrey, or just Jai, defines herself as a connoisseur of consciousness. She is a positive, creative powerhouse, which is the more impressive considering the number of difficult challenges she has lived through. Already at a young age she experienced a decline from being a successful athlete to having serious physical problems. She had been in an abusive relationship. And she had had no less than two near death experiences, during which she flatlined. At one point she was left for dead in a hotel room. ”It’s part of my soul mission to befriend death and see that it's an illusion”, she says. At the age of 24 she was at a crossroads. She had physical as well as emotional issues. She had difficulties digesting. ”I was a shadow of my old self. I knew that if i didn't do something drastic, something extreme, I would never have the life I was destined to live.” So she went alone into the desert for the biblical 40 days of fasting, inspired by the spiritual teacher Gabriel Cousens. It was life changing. ”I became like a scientist” She meditated, swam in the ocean and took in the sun’s rays through her eyes and her skin. And she had her enema bag with her. ”Finally, on the 39th day, I released six feet of mucoid plaque, rubber hard. My whole body was shaking. Early child memories came up. I purged rage, sadness and resentment. It was like having a good cry, and then a good scream.” On day 41 she had a final purging, and then it was all done. Her eye color changed, she says. ”The peace I felt was extraordinary. The desert came alive to me. And then I was hungry. I had cantaloupe juice. It tasted like an orgasm.” Just before our conversation, Jai had been to an Ayahuasca retreat. It was not her first one. ”The intelligence of the plant kingdom”, Jai puts it, ”has come forward and offered this unique combination of plants and roots that can create a medicine that is a portal to higher consciousness”. But she cautions against believing it is some kind of magic pill: ”It requires preparation. You really need to surrender to the process, which for humans can be really difficult sometimes. I don’t recommend it for many people. It can do damage.” Today she is passionate about ”Thrive Tribes”, an ecosystem of communities to raise human consciousness that she has initiated after having been guided from higher realms to do so. Jai brings into the project many years of experience from the film industry and from working as a spiritual entrepreneur. ”We are in one of the most extraordinary transitions in human history, and we are all called to participate. The ’Thrive Tribes’ is a global movement for transformation and change. It is really about accessing our human potential.” ”The tribes are all connected. They are basically the same, but there are twelve different ones so people can connect with those that they feel most compelled to join right now. Each sector works on an aspect of humanity that needs to be elevated”, Jai explains from her home in British Columbia, Canada. Here’s the Thrive Tribe website and here’s Jai’s own.
December 09, 2020
36. Unplugging the matrix – Marco Missinato
My interview with the amazing Marco Missinato – composer, photographer and spiritual explorer – evolved into a beautiful and mind-expanding conversation about the experience of the soul and humanity as a collective on this Earth. We are in the midst of a huge shift in consciousness. Within a decade or two, Marco thinks, the ego mind will have lost its grip. We have already unplugged the matrix we’ve been conditioned by for millennia. Missinato was a sensitive and creative child. But, essentially, we all are, he says: ”Every soul comes into this operative system with a huge amount of creativity and with its own uniqueness.” He found music early. ”Sound and music have the ability to instantly dissipate the illusion of separation, the polarity game.” When he arrived in America in the late 70’s Missinato immediately felt a sense of spaciousness and freedom that he could not find in Italy as a young creative person. A few years ago, however, he felt that his American experience had come to an end. He now lives in Rome. Marco explains the creative process, which is applicable to anything we do in life: Follow your joy by taking action with no expectations of the outcome. ”We have all these expectations because we have been programmed to believe in scarcity. When we are children we just play and don't have any expectations. Then many forget how to do that.” Perhaps we who are here now will live to see that program change. Missinato points out that the societal matrix we’ve been living in longer than anyone can remember is coming to an end. ”We can see that things are falling apart. We are going back to the original operating system, where there are no such things as disease or scarcity.” Marco Missinato thinks the process of shedding the ego mind will be more or less completed by 2030–2035. ”But it’s going to be quite intense in the years to come.” It is important in these turbulent times to embrace neutrality, he emphasizes. Where does he get his knowledge and information about these things? Basically by remembering, he says. ”Everything is inside ourselves. Nobody can teach you anything. Others can only help you remember what you already know.” Marco’s website is the best entry point to his music, photos and words. 
December 02, 2020
35. The lockdown policy is a huge, terrible experiment – Martin Kulldorff
”I am actually astunned. I don't understand it. All the pandemic preparedness plans were there, and they were just ignored.” The words are Martin Kulldorff’s, professor of medicine at Harvard, and he refers to the harsh covid-19 policies that have been imposed almost worldwide. ”It’s a huge experiment. And it's a terrible experiment because of the collateral damage.” Martin Kulldorff’s research areas are closely connected to the pandemic. In October he published a declaration together with epidemiology professor Sunetra Gupta and professor of medicine Jay Bhattacharya. The three experts expressed a fear that the remedy, lockdowns, will show to be worse than the disease. Three basic principles of public health have been thrown out the window this year by most countries, according to Kulldorff: To look at things long-term, not to focus on just one single disease and to protect everybody in society. ”We have seen outbreaks of measles you wouldn't have expected under normal circumstances. Cancers are not being detected. And mental health is deteriorating.” ”Low risk people and affluent people, who can work from home, are being protected, but the working class is being exposed.” Thus, lockdowns are exacerbating the societal inequalities. Closing schools makes no sense whatsoever in this pandemic. Mortality from covid-19 is more than 1,000 times bigger for elderly people than for children. A seasonal flu is more dangerous than covid for the youngest. ”Every year, between 200 and 1,000 children die from the flu in the US. But we don’t close down the schools because of that.” Instead of all-encompassing lockdowns, Martin Kulldorff would like to see different forms of focused protection to keep vulnerable groups as safe as possible. The vaccine will be an excellent tool for focused protection of the vulnerable, says professor Kulldorff. But to make vaccination mandatory is a bad idea: ”A key principle of public health is trust. If you try to mandate something, that's going to lead to a lot of suspicion. The trust has already taken a hit because of the lockdowns.”
November 25, 2020
34. The future starts now – Bronwyn Williams
”A lot of people today are deferring their future to a very limited number of leaders – political leaders and powerful tech company leaders. That’s a tragedy.” ”There is a sense of ’postalgia’: a hankering for the present: ’This is as good as it gets. The future will be worse.’ This is a paralyzing mindset. It can spiral into nihilism”, says the Johannesburg based futurist, trend analyst and economist Bronwyn Williams. She challenges the doom and gloom and points to doors that can lead to a bright future. There is more hope and energy in some of the younger economies, with much larger youth bulges, than in the West. ”There is a lot to learn from younger countries about having more optimism about the future.” One of the reasons behind the widespread gloom is the unequal distribution of the benefits of globalization. The distribution of wealth is tightly tied to the systems of money and nation states, which we are so used to we hardly ever question them, but which are not nature-given. ”Money is propped up by faith and by force. We have to believe in it for it to work. Money itself does not have any intrinsic value. We have value. Our time has value. Our labor has value. And the real natural resources.” ”We need more equitable money, not money that makes some countries richer at the expense of others.” Cryptocurrencies are only backed by faith, not by force and the nation states. They are an interesting alternative, says Williams. But not necessarily the solution. The catch is how to arrange for social welfare in a borderless space. One idea floating right now is called open basic income. There are also trials with digital citizenship out there. In the future perhaps we can base citizenship not on our place of birth but rather on our values, reasons Williams. ”Some want more security and more rules, some want more freedom and less rules. Maybe we can group those people in a way that's fair?” She gives two examples: the democracy movement in Hong Kong and the polarization after the US election. ”How to take the ethos of Hong Kong’s freedom movement somewhere else even if the territory has to cede to mainland China? And what if there was a way to let both sides get what they want after the US election? Subscribe to either a left wing or a right wing agenda? Pay one’s taxes to either?” Here is Bronwyn Williams web site. Here is her upcoming book ”The Future Starts Now”.
November 18, 2020
33. The perfect one-size-fits-all doomsday story – Vitezslav Kremlik
In the mainstream journalistic and activist narrative, climate change is happening but skeptics deny that. ”That’s a crazy argument. Nobody denies that the climate is changing”, says Vitezslav Kremlik, a Czech historian and sociologist. The honest discussion, of course, centers around the question to what extent humans contribute to that change, and what can be done about it in a reasonable way. Those who spread exaggerated warnings about the effects of global warming are ”merchants of fear”, according to Kremlik, who has studied the postmodern mix of science and politics, has a popular blog and is a frequent guest on Czech media where he discusses climate issues. Kremlik points out that alarmists are not wrong about everything, and he finds it sad that they can never make the same admission about the skeptics. It should be possible to have a decent debate about, for instance, the rebounding from the so-called Little Ice Age. It should even be possible to reach some kind of consensus. ”But that’s not desirable for the alarmist side.” At its core, the debate isn’t really much about the science around climate change, it’s about growth, says Vitezslav Kremlik; whether growth is a good or a bad thing. The environmentalists ”have a Malthusian thought that growth is some kind of cancer.” How do we interpret the last two centuries of development? Is it a story of progress or a story of environmental holocaust? Kremlik’s viewpoint is clear: ”We have liberated ourselves from the Malthusian trap and almost eradicated extreme poverty. It’s a miracle.” The ”97 percent of the scientists...” argument is partly a straw man argument. No serious scientist says that the globe isn’t warming. Historically, disasters were blamed on God’s wrath. ”We thought we got rid of superstition. But it’s still here – but it is disguised as science. We are really bad at estimating risks. We react much stronger to events than to trends.” Although the environmental movement is right on some things, it is not willing to discuss its problems or rectify its mistakes. ”It is turning into a dogmatic religion. I think it will fall apart. But it won’t happen next year”, says Kremlik. Vitezslav Kremlik’s book is entitled ”A Guide to the Climate Apocalypse – How the Merchants of Fear Forged a New Religion”.
November 11, 2020
32. Liberation from the matrix
You are not the labels that are put on you. You are not the roles you play. You cannot be defined by your political preference, class, profession, marital status, sexuality, citizenship, favorite football team, diet, hobbies or the amount of money on your bank account. Although you are a part of all that is conscious, a spark of the universe, you are also just you, the unique you entity. It is actually possible to escape most of those labels and roles, if you want to. You are freer than you are conditioned to believe. Nobody but you has any right to tell you what path to choose in life. Unsolicited advice has nothing to do with you. They are just projections.
November 08, 2020
31. We have changed as a species, governance should follow suit – Corin Ism*
If you had the power to start society from scratch, meaning the world would be one large common, how would you organize it? What rules would you set? If any? Corin Ism has done that experiment. She has lived in a simulation of the planet Mars and developed design principles for space societies. Corin Ism is a power innovator. As the co-founder of Foga, the Future of Governance Agency, she is on the forefront of all that has to do with shaping governance to better suit our connected world. ”We are different now, not because the internet exists outside of us but because it is a part of us. I am someone else when I have access to Wikipedia than I would be without it”, she says. ”This changes our capacity for empathy. The fact that we can feel close to somebody on the other side of the world is a new feature of this species.” ”And that opens up another way to organize societies than that which means you get a lottery ticket when you are born. The passport you get will affect your life more than your gender or any other circumstance.” Many are familiar with cryptocurrencies’ use of blockchains. Fewer have considered blockchain jurisdictions like being a citizen of a bit-nation without physical territory. But this is one of the cutting-edge ideas about future forms of governance to which Ism dedicates most of her time. She eloquently makes it crystal clear that much of what we see as natural in our societal matrix, to the point that we seldom even think about it, is far from self-evident. Such as the financial system, the military or the nation state. Humanity and the world we inhabit are changing. Fast. We have every possibility to shift our mindset from scarcity to abundance. Ism talks about an awakening, but without the spiritual component (possibly it’s the same thing but seen from different angles): ”Nation states and the obsession with territory is contingent on us as very physical beings. But I would argue that we are getting less and less physical". ”We have changed as a species, but we haven't really woken up and celebrated that.” Here’s the website of the Future of Governance Agency. On Corin’s personal website you’ll get a panoply of her many achievements (she is, for instance, also an artist). * Corin was formerly known as Carin
November 04, 2020
30. We are a species with amnesia – Michael Tellinger
If you’re not used to venturing far outside the mainstream: buckle up, you’re in for a ride. The South African writer, scientist, explorer and activist Michael Tellinger tells about our ancient history and the world today in ways that you’ve never heard before. ”I’d like to invite the listeners to open their minds and imagine that anything is possible, because almost everything we’ve been told by our so-called teachers is a lie. There is a little bit of truth to it, but most of it, all the embellishments, is a lie”, says Tellinger. His research has led him to realize that the origins of the modern human race is much, much older than we have been taught. Tellinger has scrutinized Sumerian clay tablets as well as the human DNA and findings on the ground in Southern Africa, including millions of stone circles that are hundreds of thousands of years old. In this episode, an energetic Michael Tellinger jumps from the largest scale of things to the smallest, and from deep ancient history to today’s world. He claims that most of what we are told about history and science is false, and not by accident but by design. The basis for everything in the universe is sound and resonance, not what the conventional models tell us. When it comes to today’s politics, Tellinger – again against the mainstream – thinks Donald Trump is in for a second term, and although he is ”not necessarily” a Trump fan, he endorses that. It has to do with a specific achievement. In the same breath, Tellinger talks enthusiastically about a new world beyond money, where humans are appreciated for their human powers only, not for their wealth or position. His One Small Town project builds on the Ubuntu movement, which is based on contributionism, where everyone contributes their talents and skills for the benefit of all in their community. ”We are using the tools of enslavement as tools of liberation.” ”There’s going to be a stampede of investors. We’re going to see a huge shift in how industry works, how we create new materials. Everything will change”, says Michael Tellinger. Here’s the link to the One Small Town project / Ubuntu. Here’s the link to Tellinger’s personal homepage, which is a good starting point to explore his world.
October 28, 2020
29. Defending democracy in our time – Folke Tersman
How can democracy catch up with the globalized economy? ”It’s surprising that inequality increases even in democratic systems”, says Folke Tersman, a professor of practical philosophy at the university of Uppsala in Sweden. ”You might expect that with more inequality people would vote governments out that are seen as responsible. But we don’t always vote in accordance with our own interests”, says Tersman, who also holds a position at the Institute for Future Studies in Stockholm. Voters seem more engaged in small cultural and social issues than the more complex questions, like distribution of wealth. Folke Tersman is the co-writer of a topical book published this fall, ”People and will” (”Folk och vilja” in Swedish) with the subtitle ”A defence of democracy in our time”. He argues that we are stuck in a sort of democratic limbo right now – the old hasn't died and the new cannot yet be born. He hopes that this ”interregnum” will last for as short a period of time as possible. In the long run he envisages a globalized democracy. It may sound a bit utopian, he says, but achieving it is basically no different than the earlier process of lifting the democratic level from the local to the regional and the national level, and lately even to the European level.
October 21, 2020
28. Five takeaways from the pandemic – and they’re not what you think
This pandemic shall pass, like everything does. But things won’t go back to exactly where they were. We will see whether these strange times will prove to be a watershed or something less significant. But the pandemic has highlighted and affected some features of our society that aren’t as natural as we think, to the extent we think about them at all: • Money • The workplace • Fear and authority • Knowledge and science • Global coordination
October 17, 2020
27. Less rules + freer trade = more prosperity – Vit Jedlička
Have you heard of the Free Republic of Liberland? Probably not. But it is actually a nation that turned five this spring. There is a catch: It still doesn’t have any inhabitants on the physical area it has marked out for itself on a disputed piece of land between Serbia and Croatia, and it is still only recognized officially by Somaliland (which itself isn’t really recognized internationally). But Liberland itself has representatives in dozens of countries, it already has 1,000 citizens scattered globally, and half a million people have applied for citizenship. ”People are looking for alternatives when things are going down the drain”, says Vit Jedlička, Liberland’s first president, to Mind the Shift. He wants to create a nation with less rules, no corruption and truly free markets. To the extent that Liberland is to be ruled, it will be based on meritocracy. The country's motto is: To live and let live. ”The fewer rules, the more prosperity”, says Jedlička. ”I’ve been thinking a lot about how to bring more freedom to the people of this world. You can’t force people to change their ways. You just have to be a good example.” But doesn’t economic freedom for some mean hardship for others? No, that’s a widespread falsehood, says Liberland’s head of state.. ”This is one of the paradigms that are pushed through our educational system. It’s a big mental block. The truth is that when trade is truly free, both sides always win.” Why use money at all? ”Well, you can barter, but money has shown to be the most effective means for voluntary exchange”, says Vit Jedlička, a former libertarian politician who left politics some years ago, when he came to the conclusion that parliamentarians can’t really change anything even if they have the majority. Other forces pull the strings. On Liberland’s website one can get more information and apply for citizenship.
October 13, 2020
26. Voters without borders – Valerie Sternberg
The EU is an attempt to accomplish democracy at the European level, but there is a glass ceiling: The heads of government have the final say, not the elected representatives in the European Parliament. And when electing those representatives, it’s a national affair. It’s not even possible to run a Europe-wide campaign. Enter Volt, the very first pan-European party, founded in 2017 to create politics for a federal Europe across European borders. Its co-president Valerie Sternberg qualifies as a true pan-European, being a German who has studied in Italy and Great Britain and worked in Belgium. ”Deep inside I identify as a European and a Hessian, but to be honest, when I am abroad I say I am German, because for some reason this still seems to be the category we are interested in”, she says in this episode. The Brexit result was a shock and an a-ha moment for Sternberg. ”I realized I had to do something. Brexit was the trigger for all of us who started Volt.” She identifies as Brussels when she comments on Boris Johnson’s Brexit trick: ”We treated you with respect and tried to find an outcome that would be acceptable for both parties, and all of a sudden this agreement is not taken seriously. It’s a terrible signal about what treaties mean, and about all international law.” ”Brexit is also based on a flawed view on sovereignty. I don’t think Britain will regain their sovereignty as they perceive it and just advance their own goals.” Volt tries to free itself from old ideologies, traditional party lines and ”the employee-employer divide we are still stuck in”, Sternberg says. ”Democracy lives out of compromise and consensus and finding a middle ground.” Climate change and migration are the two over-arching challenges for Europe on the global scene. Internally, the institutions must be reformed and democratized, according to Volt and Valerie Sternberg: ”Why is the most powerful body in the EU the national heads of government when we have representatives directly elected by us in the European Parliament?” Does she, then, believe in a future Europe without borders? ”National identity is still strong, so scrapping nations soon would feel artificial. But what could happen is an incremental change towards a European democracy, a European government combined with local government. Then, eventually, we would not need the nation states.” Volt campaigned for the EP in eight different member states in the elections of 2019, and in one of them, Germany, the party managed to get its candidate Damian Boeselager  into the parliament. It also has 30 representatives in national and regional assemblies. 
October 06, 2020
25. We are all connected – the (sometimes tricky) art of letting go and live happily
Almost everything in this physical world is ”nothingness”. It’s space. Only a teeny fraction of you, me and everything else consists of what we call particles. But that space isn’t nothing. It’s packed with all-encompassing energy, and ”we” are just more or less densified portions of that unified field of energy. How, then, can we not be connected? I think we can tap into this totality, and into each other and into every consciousness that exists.  I think we can live our lives more smoothly if we learn how. I think we create our lives that way. And if we’re all part of this unified quantum soup: How can we die? Truly die? If this episode inspires you, check out Eckart Tolle, Alan Watts, Donald D Hoffman, Nassim Haramein, Bruce Lipton, Rupert Sheldrake, Esther Hicks, Aaron Abke, Teal Swan, Robert Lanza, Ram Dass and, of course, Carl G Jung  (among many other wise teachers of the human experience, spirituality and life science)
October 03, 2020
24. ”That little ego voice in your head is nothing more than an annoying roommate” – Eben Alexander
The near-death experience of Dr Eben Alexander is astonishing in its depth, and it is especially interesting since Dr Alexander was part of the mainstream scientific community. He was in a week-long coma, and his brain was all but destroyed. He shouldn’t have been able to experience anything. Yet he visited realms that he describes as far more real than this physical plane. Against all odds he recovered to tell about it. His story has been the key for many other scientists to open the door to a non-physical reality. ”The reason the scientific community has taken my experience so seriously has to do with the documentation of the damage to my neocortex. It should have, by all principles of modern neuroscience, eliminated all but the most rudimentary forms of consciousness. But what I experienced was an extraordinary expansion of consciousness”, says Dr Eben Alexander in this episode. ”And my recovery has no explanation in modern Western science.” Alexander tells about a timeless existence, first in what he describes as the realm of the earthworm's eye view. Later a light which served as a portal ushered him into an ”ultra-real gateway valley”. ”I was merely a speck of awareness on a butterfly wing. There were millions of other butterflies. The valley was fertile and lush, no sign of death or decay, there was a crystal clear pool, sparkling waterfalls. It was a real paradise. I had no memory of Eben Alexander’s life. I had no language. I just had this phenomenal experience, which is sharp and clear in my memory even to this day, twelve years later.” In the gateway valley Eben Alexander was accompanied by a soul who conveyed a profound message: ”You are deeply loved and cherished forever, you have nothing to fear, you will be taken care of.” ”I cannot tell you how comforting and validating that message was. It basically welcomed me home.” When he reached what he describes as the core realm, language fails almost completely. ”I often use analogies. It was like standing on the edge of a black hole, on the event horizon, where time has stopped and the universe has crystalized.” Couldn’t it have been a vivid dream? No, says Dr Eben Alexander: ”This existence is dreamlike compared to that. That is far crisper, far more alive, far more real. And modern neuroscience will tell you that if we are to have a dream or hallucination, the details of that experience must be assembled in some part of the neocortex. My neocortex was off, that’s documented.” For all of this to make sense, says Dr Alexander, you must realize that a huge part of how it all works is reincarnation. ”The scientific support for reincarnation is overwhelming. At the University of Virginia, over 2.500 children’s memories of past lives have been discerned objectively. It completely violates conventional materialistic neuroscience, but that’s because conventional materialistic neuroscience is completely wrong.” ”The scientific community is shifting very rapidly. Interviewers used to try to set me up with a materialist scientist that represented ’the other side’, but it got harder and harder to find anybody that had anything meaningful to say from that camp.” Dr Alexander’s website features his books Proof of Heaven, The Map of Heaven and Living in a Mindful Universe (with Karen Newell). He is an adviser to the Galileo Commisson, which advocates ”exploring and expanding the frontiers of science, medicine and spirituality”.
September 29, 2020
23. The human factor in technology – Nadine Michaelides
Our world is ever more a cyberworld, but we still treat the digital part of it as if it weren’t real. Those who develop tech solutions surprisingly often forget about the people whom those solutions are for. Nadine Michaelides is a cyber psychologist and behavioral scientist. She works with understanding the relationship between human behavior and technology. Some years ago she realized the need for this skill. ”We could spend hours in boardrooms talking about tech innovations, but nobody mentioned the people who were going to use them”, she says in this episode. ”It was all about budgets. People seemed to be an afterthought. I was shocked. What kind of strange universe was this?” Nadine was seen as rebellious. But metrics, like surveys, showed that she knew what she was talking about. Today there is much more understanding of the human factor in technology, she says. But flawed ideas about how to best achieve cyber security still abund: ”I have asked cyber security professionals how long they think it takes to actually do the tasks that they need the employees to do to be secure. They have no idea.” Nadine Michaelides is concerned that technology is moving faster than our ability to see the whole picture. ”How can we train our children to watch out for electric cars that don’t sound anything? A culture change can take six to eight years. Can you imagine the tech change that will happen during that time?” ”But ultimately it can only go as far as we let it.” On the much debated conflict between transparency and privacy Nadine says: ”Transparency is not just something that is nice to have, it is something we need in a democracy. But I do think transparency and privacy can work together. We need to filter to protect our children. But at the same time we need freedom of speech. It’s absolutely critical. The most important thing is that we don’t allow abuse of power.” And on social media algorithms and polarization: ”The problem is that it gives even the extremes a voice that may not have been heard otherwise, and that can be dangerous. There is a case for regulation. But it can’t be based on financial gains, it must be based on democratic values.” Nadine Michaelides’ consultancy is Anima.
September 23, 2020
22. The pivotal question – are we flesh robots or not?
One day when I was 20 years old the whole world around me changed in appearance. I had tunnel vision and I had an eerie feeling of not being rooted. The thought that I, the real ”I”, was just that lump of flesh in my skull scared the hell out of me. I didn’t understand it at the time, but today I am convinced it was my higher self trying to tell me that my inkling was correct. The babble going on in your head is just an annoying roommate. At your core, you are something much larger. The separation between science and spirituality was probably necessary a few hundred years ago, when science was challenging the supremacy of traditional religions. But religion and spirituality are different things. Today it’s ever harder for science to state without hesitation that consciousness is solely placed between the ears. It’s time to end that complete separation. Thesis and antithesis should meet in a beautiful synthesis. To get a glimpse of what’s happening on the border between science and spirituality today, check out books by Donald Hoffman, Robert Lanza and Eben Alexander and the work by Bruce Lipton and Nassim Haramein.
September 20, 2020
21. A world without money – Colin R Turner
Most economists point out that economics isn’t particularly much about money, it’s about people’s behavior. Yet, most of them wouldn’t go so far as to suggest we scrap money altogether. ”When people ask how something is going to work in a money-free world I always say: ’Well, how does it work today?’. That’s always a good place to start. And the current economy allocates resources terribly badly. Money is what prevents us from sharing ideas and innovations.” The musician, writer and social activist Colin R Turner was always a lover of nature and a problem-solver. When he was young the problems were often about practical things, like fixing the dishwasher. But he was to dive into deeper problems. Around the time of the financial crisis and the movements against inequality that followed, Colin got more and more engaged in the idea of a new kind of world order – a world without money. This is what his book ”Into the Open Economy” and the petition he founded, Free World Charter, are all about. ”Suspend for the moment your disbelief that a money-free would work. What would your priorities be? Most of us would put things like health, social life and environment first”, says Colin R Turner. ”When you take away money, all the other motivators grow bigger. We can create a new social contract where we prioritize these things.” Isn’t a money-free world communism? No, says Turner: ”Communism obviously always existed with money, a hierarchy and state control. It imploded because it wasn’t working and it wasn't even doing what it was supposed to do.” ”What governments mostly do is make sure that the money system works, by supervising budgets and see to it that money goes where it is supposed to go.” Won’t people be too lazy? ”Happiness is about being productive and knowing that you have done something good and that you have helped someone.” Won’t new elites emerge? ”It’s  ridiculous to pretend we’re all equal. Life is unequal. We have different skills, abilities and intelligence. But we are all of equal importance, and in the current society there is a sort of learned helplessness, we defer power. At the very least we should give everybody access to the basic living necessities. It’s incredible that we don’t already do that.” Will it happen? ”People are getting much more aware. There is a good trajectory. I’m optimistic that we can shift over more to a sharing economy. The only way we can achieve a money-free world is gradually.” On Colin R Turner’s website you’ll find links to his books and the Free World Charter.
September 16, 2020
20. The case for traveling by air, after all
The narrative about aviation's impact on the climate is muddled by a desire to use moral ammunition. Trains can never substitute airplanes on long distances, air traffic is crucial for global integration and there is no point in knocking out aviation anyway — its share of the world’s CO2 emissions is too small. If all the billions that are invested in trains instead were to be invested in clean aviation, we would soon have it. The railway boom is a side track. This essay was originally published on Medium. 
September 12, 2020
19. Everything in the universe spins – Karl Moore
”The notion that we are stuck in matter is a huge mistake. For example if you listen to music, there are no molecules of a certain type flying through the air, it’s just energy, a small amount of energy, but it has a huge effect on the body.” The words are Karl Moore’s, an American Irishman who is a physicist, writer and homeopath, and as from this summer also a podcaster. In this episode, Karl takes me on a winding path through some of the big questions about the true nature of the physical world and the essence of life. ”We have so much information today we can’t see it. It’s hard to navigate. It’s almost as if the information is made to be confusing. Maybe the times are forcing us to navigate realms of information by the heart and not by the intellect. The important judgments we do by our hearts comes down to realizing who we really are”, says Karl. ”We have an ability to connect already. It is within us. It has been shown by indigenous peoples, like the kogi.” From an early age Karl Moore loved going out into nature. He has always been fascinated by what he experiences when he stays longer than he has planned. ”When I go out my head might be full of thoughts, but I say to myself to let the body make the decisions. And that makes me feel good. It is as if a deeper, bigger aspect of myself guides me.” When he was young he often went into the deserts of the southwestern US. ”I would move my hands slowly, and I almost sensed this field of energy. And I realized: I was doing tai chi. Sometimes there were flies bothering me, and I asked them not to. They complied.” Karl Moore’s book ”Nature’s Twist: Water and the Spirals of Life” revolves around one fundamental finding: everything in the Universe spins. And electrodynamics tells us that any rotating object will also self-magnetise. The effect that music has on us is analogous to homeopathy, says Karl. ”It’s about finding the appropriate vibration. It’s like finding the right note. The person writes the music, the homeopath sees where the notes are missing.” In mainstream camps, to be a licensed and registered homeopath is still seen as something of a contradiction in terms. But Karl Moore has explored the depths of water and discovered the extraordinary regenerative properties of this essential element, ”almost magical” in Karl’s words. ”It’s just too diluted” say skeptics about the homeopathic preparations, but the point is that the trick is done by the water, this powerful carrier of information, explains Karl. New discoveries show that water can appear in hitherto unknown shapes, like the more ordered end denser ”exclusion zone water”, which repels microscopic particles. Here is a link to Karl Moore’s book: And to his podcast:
September 08, 2020
18. The past is the wake of the present – the illusion of linear time
What if the conventional view that the past has formed what we are today is false? What if it is the other way around: The present creates the past. The consequences of changing your mindset about past, present and future is mind blowing, and it has the potential to liberate you from the enslaving chains of history. Why do you feel an urge do do certain things and not others? Maybe you feel the pull of the future you, not the push of your past. 
September 05, 2020
17. It’s ”We, the peoples”, not ”We the governments” – Jan Eliasson
One of the world’s most experienced diplomats, Jan Eliasson is a likable and honest man who is endowed with a constructive mindset. Lately, however, he feels that he in dark moments almost lands in the category of pessimist, ”but a pessimist that hasn’t given up”, he adds in his typical forward-looking way. What is worrying this former UN number two is the geopolitical shift that seems to have eroded trust between world powers and diminished the belief in international cooperation. Plus the ”almost obscene” levels of expenditure on armaments. Jan Eliasson tends to paint worst case scenarios to be prepared, he tells (his wife has banned them at breakfast and dinner). ”Mostly they don’t occur”. The hope lies in focusing on people, not on organizations or governments. Says Jan: ”We have to get away from the vertical approach. You put the problem at the center, and then you gather people around it that can do something about it, whether formally or informally.” ”It sounds like a banality, but the more I work in international politics, the more I realize that what really counts is when you make a difference in people’s lives.” On spirituality and inspiration from UN’s former head Dag Hammarskjöld: ”You have to look for a higher purpose and see that you were given the gift of life and have to take care of that life and do the best of it. And, actually, the best you can do for yourself is to help others.” On the future of humanity: ”I hope we come back to humanism and understand that the most important work is the work we do together. You are part of something bigger.” ”If we really mobilize the resources we have, we can do it. And I have an enormous belief in the increasing role of women.” Jan Eliasson is currently the chairman of the international peace research institute SIPRI.
September 01, 2020
16. Finding your true purpose – Jannecke Øinæs
Jannecke Øinæs is a Norwegian former singer and actor who now excels as a spiritual entrepreneur. I really enjoyed having this candid conversation, which revolves around the deepest aspects of life but still in an easy-going way. Jannecke is a true light worker. Hear her talk about: • Her sudden, life changing shift in the middle of a promising career in show business • Identifying with labels others put on you • Finding your true purpose • Being present in the world while growing spiritually • Lucid dreaming • Experiencing ayahuasca • The perils of spiritual ego … and much, much more. She is the host of a popular Youtube channel called Wisdom from North, and she has also created a membership community with exclusive masterclasses every month.
August 29, 2020
15. Migration crisis? What migration crisis? – Hein de Haas
Most of what you think you know about migration is probably incorrect. Listening to professor of sociology Hein de Haas, director of the International Migration Institute, makes one realize that both the media and the politicians have got the whole thing wrong: Migration would be less dramatic with more open borders. Poverty and conflict don’t drive most of migration, labor demand does. The concept of climate refugees has no scientific basis. ”People say I shouldn't say these things in public”, says Hein de Haas. ”But I think we need to be able to deal with the truth.” Here are some other no-nonsense quotes: ”The Turkey deal (between the EU and Turkey) shows we aren't too worried about what happens to refugees.” ”International migration has been remarkably stable over the decades at around three percent of the population.” ”Nine out of ten Africans that move to Europe do so legally.” ”There is a tendency at the UN and other organizations to paint a misleading picture that we are facing a migration crisis. This can actually undermine refugee protection.” ”The main cause of migration is quite simply labor demand. There is a huge level of hypocrisy around this.” ”When borders are relatively open, migrants don’t stay permanently. When borders are harder to cross, they stay.” ”Mobility should be considered a freedom in its own right. And it really doesn’t matter if you use it or not. It’s like the right to vote or run for office.” Hein’s homepage: Hein’s book ”The Age of Migration”:
August 25, 2020
14. To be creative is to be human – Rania Odaymat
Rania Odaymat is a Ghanaian artist, creative coach, art curator, founding member of the Beyond Collective and a part time fashion stylist and creative director. ”All of these roles can be helpful in simplifying things, but they don’t describe you as a person”, says this cool, wise and responsive human being (who stresses that she can just as well be described as an explorer, seeker, mother and daughter). Seventeen years ago she had an inner crash. ”I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t stand myself. I had been repressing my inner voice and was basically living for others. So I made a choice: I am going to be true to myself no matter whom I lose or what I lose. That’s when I started reeducating myself.” She wants us to develop our different kinds of intelligence: ”The nature of intelligence is dynamic. We need a lot of creative intelligence in times like these. Those who are going to survive are those with the highest capacity to change,  re-create themselves and adapt to very fast rising situations.” She thinks teaching kids that one plus one always equals two is a mistake, because that is an oversimplification that doesn’t always apply in life, like in collaboration. On art and freedom she says: ”Your arts create your narrative, and without a story of your own it is very difficult to be free, because other people will write your narrative and decide who you are.” Rania also talks about life in Accra during the pandemic, dream interpretation, Kwame Nkrumah and Salvador Dalí. And about the future: ”Our future depends on the kind of consciousness we develop. If we keep on acting from a place of fear we won’t be going anywhere good.” You can find Rania’s podcast Creative in Accra on all available podcast platforms.
August 23, 2020
13. On the disruptor in the White House (and his chances) – Allan Lichtman
Allan Lichtman, a professor of history at American University in Washington DC, has correctly predicted the winner of nine presidential elections in a row. He has a system with 13 ”keys” that seems almost foolproof (see below). Now he reveals his prediction for November 3, and you will hear it in this episode. Lichtman is a Democrat, but he makes sure to shove his own opinions aside when he makes his predictions. The fact that he has picked five Republicans and four Democrats on beforehand gives him credibility enough. But his thoughts on how the incumbent is doing he doesn’t keep to himself: ”Trump has exposed lots of loopholes in our system. He has also shown how easy it is to deny information to the American people.” ”He is a coward. He can’t even fire people eye to eye. He hasn’t personally got the fortitude to actually, physically, fight a battle to stay in the White House.” ”Trump has virtually destroyed everything the Republican party ever stood for.” Oh, and Allan is also a former steeplechase champion. And a 16-time quiz show winner. Here are the 13 keys to the White House. If six or more of these statements are found to be false by this time, the incumbent party loses: 1) midterm gains 2) no primary contest 3) incumbent seeking re-election 4) no third party 5) strong short-term economy 6) strong long-term economy 7) major policy change 8) no social unrest 9) no scandal 10) no foreign/military failure 11) major foreign/military success 12) charismatic incumbent 13) uncharismatic challenger Lichtman concludes that seven are now false – 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 and 12
August 19, 2020
12. Think for yourself, question and check the facts – Roy Coughlan
Roy Coughlan had a multi-million euro business and lost everything when the markets crashed. When trying to rescue what was possible to rescue he saw the corruption of the economic and legal systems. He had a first hand experience of the ”conveyor belt rulings” in favor of the banks and against homeowners. At that point he had already seen falsity in the health system. ”Why don’t you hear about health methods that will heal you without pills? Because it’s a money game.” Now Roy wants to help more people think for themselves and free themselves from what he sees as a corrupt matrix – by truth-telling and by giving solutions. His tools are a new podcast (in addition to the three he already had) and a book. But are cell phones and additives truly dangerous? What role does fear play? Listen to Roy and me discussing the state of the world from partly different angles but with one common basis: have no fear, but be aware. Check out Roy Coughlan’s website here.
August 16, 2020
11. Ask the whole world the whole time and you know what’s going on – Bi Puranen
Hear the experienced and highly respected ”global trend guru” Bi Puranen explain some of the social mega-trends that we are seeing today. On the Pandemic: ”Lockdowns have caused a lot more harm than the virus to low and middle income countries . One estimated result is 15 million unwanted pregnancies.” ”It’s a huge backlash for the fight against poverty. We have lost ten years.” On Democracy: ”What do we mean by the term? It can be filled with many peculiar things that someone brought up in the West would never consider democratic.” ”We need to learn how to detect the ’submarines’ in popular opinions.” On migrants: ”We must revise the notion that you never change the mindset you get when you are young. Migrants do.” On the elderly: ”Where elderly people have a high social position, people also think they have too much influence.” On defense: ”People aren’t as willing to fight for their nation as before. But they are willing to fight to defend values.” Puranen is one of the leaders of the World Values Survey and a researcher at the Institute for Future Studies in Stockholm.
August 11, 2020
10. The stable imbalances of nature – Josef Reichholf
The experienced, sharp-minded, productive and – to some – controversial German ecologist Josef Reichholf is a humble Bavarian scientist who realized early on that he couldn’t compromise with his conscience. That entailed breaking with fellow ecologists, who in Reichholf’s mind had become too ideological. He thinks climate change policy for the most part is a big waste of money – not because there is no warming, but because there are a myriad ways the money could be used wiser. Who is then the biggest culprit in the destruction of habitats? Modern agriculture. Some quotes: ”Nature has always changed. When our bodies reach equilibrium, we are dead. There is no state of nature that is the ’right’ one.” ”Since Enlightenment we have separated nature from humankind. This separation is now predominant in the Western culture.” ”As a nature scientist I want to stay unbiased by ideology. The green ideology came into conflict with the scientific facts.”
August 06, 2020
9. Learning to handle the lizard brain – Andreas Bergh
Shouldn’t an economist count money all the time? ”No”, is the unequivocal answer from Andreas Bergh, associate professor in economics at Lund university in southern Sweden. In this episode you can hear Bergh develop his sharp observations of human behavior in all kinds of contexts. Some samples: On globalization: ”We are seeing a backlash against the very forceful and rapid increase in globalization in the 80’s and 90’s, and what else is to expect, really?” ”But preventing people from communicating across borders, I don’t see that happening, not even if you try hard to stop it.” On the negativity bias: ”We are not freeing ourselves from the lizard brain but we are learning how to handle it better.” On the internet’s impact on polarization: ”Your friends, your family and your workmates are even more similar to you than the people you meet online. Yes, there are echo chambers, but they didn’t appear with the internet.” On the rise of right-wing populism: ”I was shocked when the liberal elites acted as if these opinions had never existed. Many had naïve expectations of the effect of political participation. Democracy is working; that’s why we are seeing a rise of right wing populist parties.” ”At the same time the potential for these parties is decreasing because tolerance is increasing in the long run.” On inequality: ”It is a problem if the biggest decision regarding your economic standard is the timing of your real estate transactions. It’s hard to get rich by working.”
August 06, 2020
8. The power of empowering women – Bernadette Ssebadduka
In this episode we meet UNFPA doctor Bernadette ”Bernie” Ssebadduka, who dedicates her working hours to fighting harmful cultural practices in poor rural areas in northern Uganda, such as ”courtship rape” and female genital mutilation performed under the radar. But Bernie has also seen change sweeping across Uganda. There is hope, she says: ”We have seen the benefits of empowering women. The game changer has been education.” Her own journey is a case in point, from growing up in a large family in a small village via the big city to becoming a highly educated, skilled professional.
July 30, 2020
7. Weather extremes may be less extreme than you think – Debby Guha-Sapir
”This is like a bushfire. If there is one spark, this thing will catch fire”, says epidemiologist Debby Guha-Sapir about the fact that authorities stopped measles vaccinations due to covid-19. Debby founded the world’s best and most reliable database on natural disasters, EM-DAT, at the university of Louvain, Belgium. Dry numbers can be more contentious than you think: ”We get a lot of hate mails about the fact that our data doesn’t show that disasters are increasing. Nobody wants good news.”
July 29, 2020
6. It shouldn’t lead only if it bleeds – Ulrik Haagerup
”The most important weapons for terrorists isn’t Kalashnikovs or suicide bombs, it’s journalists. We journalists are part of the problem of trust meltdown in society. Now we have to be part of the solution”, says this Danish former editor in chief, who fled the bleeding headlines and decided to dedicate his time to making journalism constructive. In 2017 he founded Constructive Institute. He is confident things will change: ”There is one force which is even stronger than fear, and that’s hope.”
July 29, 2020
5. Doing good better – Stefan Schubert
Why our charity is so ineffective. Why (just possibly) there is reason for optimism. And why we should plan for an extremely long-term future. Hear this Oxford psychology/philosophy researcher and Effective Altruism advocate answer mega-questions.
July 22, 2020
4. Some say failure is blessing in disguise – James Finney
”If life is a game, then the barriers are the game. If you wanna play big you need big barriers, if not you want smaller barriers. The mechanism is the same.” This brit calls himself an expert on failures, but listen to his gems of wisdom.
July 22, 2020
3. The silence around certain COVID-19 facts – Sunetra Gupta
”A lot of things have just not been discussed openly. We were met with an avalanche of harsh comments. They accused us of being irresponsible.” The lockdowns are more harmful than the coronavirus itself, says this professor of epidemiology.
July 22, 2020
2. The reports of Democracy’s death are greatly exaggerated – Max Rånge & Mikael Sandberg
No, democracy isn’t dying. Setbacks in qualified democracies are offset by gains in autocracies, explain the men behind the world’s largest and most reliable dataset on regime types. Check out their work here. 
July 22, 2020
1. My mission and my vision
My name is Anders Bolling, and I’m your host. Who am I, and why am I starting this podcast? In this intro I talk about my background, my viewpoint, some pivotal happenings in my life and my driving forces.
July 09, 2020