The Theory of Enchantment
By The Theory of Enchantment
From introspection to self-actualization, this podcast is all about how to overcome our own insecurities, be generous with ourselves and with others in the process.
Meet Daryl Davis
How do we deal with our world when life as we know it changes, when everything we once knew to be true no longer is true, and when we must confront the cognitive dissonance that comes with such a rude awakening? The key lies in realizing that what is unfolding is, in fact, an awakening. As we navigate the new reality that is Covid-19, we have an opportunity to learn from the masters and teachers who facilitate such an awakening. Daryl Davis is one such guru. In addition to being an amazing musician, Daryl's claim to fame is getting hundreds of members of the KKK to leave the organization. You heard that right. As an African-American who regularly hangs out with klan leaders, Daryl's very being serves as a fodder for cognitive dissonance -- and, as you'll hear in this episode, cognitive dissonance is what awakens folks to the quest of self-discovery, truth, and enlightenment. P/S As promised, you can subscribe to the all new ToE weekly newsletter here.
March 31, 2020
Seth Godin: This is Marketing
In the latest episode of the 'Theory of Enchantment,' I sat down with Seth Godin, marketing guru extraordinaire. In our brief conversation, we spoke about some of the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur, innovative approaches to marketing, and the importance of centering service in all that we do. Enjoy!
March 08, 2020
A Conversation With Bret Stephens
He's a pulitzer prize winning writer, author, and columnist at the New York Times, but I'm mostly proud to call him my mentor and friend: Bret Stephens joins the ToE universe in this episode for a chat about writing, the purpose of the great books, and how to live a life worth living. Enjoy!
February 18, 2020
Sharon Content, Founder of Children of Promise
Children of Promise (CPNYC) is an organization in Bedstuy, Brooklyn that mentors kids whose parents are incarcerated. I regularly volunteer there so I recently sat down with Sharon Content, the founder of the org, to talk about her journey of building, maintaining, and growing this non-profit that services the needs of kids and caretakers alike affected by the incarceration system. I think you'll be inspired by Ms. Content's tenacity and drive and I hope it motivates you to consider pursuing social entrepreneurial endeavors in your own back yard. Enjoy!
February 10, 2020
Meghan Daum's Problem With Everything
In this latest episode, I sat down to talk with Meghan Daum about her latest book, 'The Problem With Everything: My Journey Through the Culture Wars.' We discussed generational divides between Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z, how social media is corroding our ability to think deeply about relationships, and the truth revealed about men and women in the 2008 film 'Revolutionary Road.' Enjoy!
January 22, 2020
Life & Redemption After Prison: An Interview with Dabney Hall
Dabney Hall spent 40 years of his life in prison. After returning to civilian life, he could have collapsed under the weight of the pressures around him and returned to prison. Instead he worked on improving his habits, became a participant in Fortune Society's 'Alternatives to Incarceration' program, and assumed a leadership position in his community. In this interview, we sat down to talk about his journey and the advice he has to give to young African-American men trying to overcome poverty, gang life, and other negative influences in their environment.
January 13, 2020
A Conversation with DJ Tasha Blank
Happy New Year! This episode is dedicated to making you move your booty. Last year I received the incredible opportunity to sit down with DJ Tasha Blank of The Get Down in Brooklyn, New York right before her set at The Good Room. The Get Down is a fun dance party that occurs once every two weeks in the city and is headed by Tasha Blank who brings her fabulous sounds to the dance floor. In this interview, we got to speak about so much, including how artists can overcome their own fears, the importance of surrendering to the process, and how incorporating dance into our personal lives can help transform the way we experience the world around us. Be sure to check out Tasha Blank's soundcloud and if you're ever in the NYC area check out 'The Get Down.' It's an event you won't want to miss.
January 06, 2020
IFÉ: A Conversation with Groundbreaking Artist, Otura Mun
Mr. Otura Mun is the founder of Ifé, a band whose music I discovered in 2017. "Ifé", a Yoruban term meaning both Love and Expansion, is a Puerto Rican based music group whose debut album is by far one of the greatest albums I've ever been blessed to hear. Combining the sounds of rhumba and electronic percussion along with the corpus and thematic elements of the Yoruba religion, Mr. Mun takes his audience on a spiritual journey that left me feeling open, creative, and above all, grateful for life. Though we could not meet in person, (Mr. Mun lives in San Juan), we spoke over Zoom and recorded an almost 2-hour conversation about his process and journey to make this record. Musicians and artists will especially love this interview, but everyone regardless of their background should take some time to listen to the album. It is truly extraordinary.
September 11, 2019
The Positive Influencer: Meet Meir Kay
In this episode we speak with Meir Kay, a social media influencer and internet personality with hundreds of millions of views. People from all over the world flock to Meir's videos for his positivity, inspiration, and generally good vibes. In this discussion, we talked about the ups and downs of popularity, the importance of meditation and authenticity, and Meir's great work highlighting the dignity of the underserved and underprivileged in our society today. Enjoy!
September 05, 2019
A Discussion with Jonathan Haidt
In this episode we sit down with Professor Jonathan Haidt to discuss his latest book, 'The Coddling of the American Mind.' We speak about the challenges to healthy identity formation in the 21st century, the negative effects of social media on the self-esteem of adolescents, and how to seek purpose and meaning in an increasingly fractured and polarized world. Enjoy!
August 22, 2019
In this interview, we sit down and chat with Deb Mashek, the President of Heterodox Academy. Heterodox Academy is a great non-profit that seeks to bring open inquiry, intellectual humility and depolarization back into institutions of higher learning. Enjoy.
July 08, 2019
Fear vs Love: Unpacking the Theory of Enchantment's Vision For Society
In this episode, I explain the Theory of Enchantment's first Operating Principle as well as how it applies to certain pop cultural phenomenon, like the Netflix series, 'When They See Us,' and David Letterman's recent interview with Kanye West. Online Course: theory-of-enchantment.teachable.com COUPON: SPIKECOHEN
June 07, 2019
The Transformation of Arno Michaelis
If you listen to no other episode of the 'Theory of Enchantment' podcast, listen to this one. A few days ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Arno Michaelis, a public speaker and author who was a former white nationalist and who now teaches love, compassion, and connection to counter violent extremism around the world. Have a listen, I'm sure you'll be as transformed as I was along the way.
March 21, 2019
'God is in the Crowd'
In this episode, I sit down with former Israeli pilot Tal Keinan who wrote a fascinating book called 'God is in the Crowd.' Here, we explore how to build community between two poles of the same family -- American Jews and Israelis. This interview has incredible insights into how to fortify ties even when two communities in the same family have two totally different lived experiences and we even get into how we can apply some of his findings to American society as a whole. Considering how we've become fractured due to polarization and feelings of loneliness and social isolation, are there ways we can come together as Americans and strengthen our sense of relationship with each other? Listen to this episode to find out and be sure to grab a copy of the book today!
March 07, 2019
Mr. Walker & Children of Promise
Children of Promise is an incredible organization based in Bedstuy, Brooklyn (and expanding!) that mentors children whose parents are incarcerated. In this episode, I had the good fortune of sitting down with Mr. Cecil Walker who is the site director for the program. We talked about everything: What a child who is facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles needs to grow and succeed; groundbreaking ideas for criminal justice reform; how human conflict boils down to character; and restorative methods that can help heal rifts between police officers and the communities under their jurisdiction. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it. Peace & Love.
February 07, 2019
Sabine Bellevue - On How to Start a Business & Healthy Living
Sabine Bellevue is my natural hair stylist and owns her own hair salon in Brooklyn! In this episode, we discussed both the challenges and opportunities that come with starting your own business and how to have the confidence to forge ahead even when dealing with naysayers and self-doubt. I hope you enjoy this episode and be sure to give the hair salon a follow on instagram! :@sabineshallway
January 31, 2019
Sarah Burch, Motorcyclist Extraordinaire
Sarah Burch is a dope motorcyclist, curator of great experiences, and one of my best friends. (Seriously, we do everything together.) In this episode, we shoot the shit discussing the process of becoming in New York City, the challenges Generation Z faces, and why we need to value patience over the immediacy that comes with social media.
January 24, 2019
Meet Jswipe Founder David Yarus
In this episode, we take a deep dive into the mind of David Yarus, founder of Jswipe and mllnnl, a consultancy whose aim is to cultivate collective consciousness in the millennial generation. Some of the cool things we discussed on this episode include spirituality, finding one's Judaism in an increasingly interconnected world, and navigating the tension between particularism and universality as both young adults and deeply spiritual individuals who want to make the world a better place.
January 18, 2019
Art & Identity - A Conversation with Filmmaker Joseph Kahn
He's worked with both Eminem and Taylor Swift producing music videos and other short films but today we're talking about his groundbreaking film 'Bodied,' a feature-length film about hip-hop, battle rapping, race, and the myriad ways in which art traverses identity across America. If you're into great music, artistry, filmmaking, and how we discuss race in America, this is definitely an episode you won't wanna miss!
January 10, 2019
A Conversation with my Father
In this episode I talk to my father about his life of overcoming. Growing up in the ninth ward in New Orleans, Mr. Valdary experienced poverty, parental divorce, and other hardships at an early age. Yet because of his love of education, he was able to persist beyond these challenges, build a life for himself, and teach his daughters along the way.
December 19, 2018
College Degrees, Comedians & Comfy Couches
Here I interview my good friend Hali Haber and her roommate Alyssa in an experimental podcast discussing everything from great female comedians to college degrees that did nothing for us but were still worth it. Enjoy!
November 05, 2018
Finding Your place in New York City
In this podcast, I sat down with Julie Smelansky to explore how New York city helped shaped our perspective on setting goals for ourselves, the power of following your instincts, and the importance of body positivity. There's also a brand new segment in this piece called 'The Influencers' where I explore why many of Kendrick Lamar's songs resonate with me (and probably with you too ;) . Enjoy!
October 24, 2018
The Theory of Enchantment
EP 1: A lesson in Identity
October 16, 2018