This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about How We See the World.
This episode started out as an answer to a listener question — and then morphed, evolving into a big rambling conversation about hope and doubt, energy and attention, agency and activism, and more.
It became one of those conversations where you discover what you think and feel as you are saying it, and you have no idea what is going to come out of your own or the other person’s mouth until it does.
It’s worth noting that within weeks of recording this episode, Dallas had what he described as a “mind-melting experience” that caused him to question virtually everything he thinks, so by the time this podcast goes live, he may or may not be willing to stand by all of his statements here.
The point is, conversations about how we see the world are worth having, and having, again, and again, and again. So, here, we invite you into ours, and we leave you with experiments to help you start some conversations and explorations of your own.
“How We See the World” Episode Highlights
- The worldwide suffering caused by unwillingness to see the larger consequences of our actions
- How artificial boundaries like national and cultural borders create a “us vs. them” lack of empathy
- Recognizing systems that are dehumanizing, unhealthy, socially unjust, or otherwise broken and looking for ways to change them locally
- Dallas’s parallels between the predatory capitalism of our world and the governmental control tactics in dystopian novels and movies
- Choosing how and when to expose yourself to the non-stop stream of disturbing images on the news and in social media
- Being willing to try to make a difference even if you never know what effect your actions may have
- The value of traveling to other cultures and witnessing the good work that humans are doing everywhere
Spend a moment contemplating the tension you feel between “what is” and what you think “should be.” Rather than getting angry or hopeless about something you find bad, wrong, or unjust, see if you can shift toward acknowledging the situation as “the way things are right now” — while also acknowledging that you’d like things to be different. See if you can find a way to feel empowered and focused by that viewpoint, rather than held hostage by anger, grief, or hopelessness.
Explore some different viewpoints and philosophies of life to see how they help clarify or inform your own. Start by reading Charles Eisenstein’s The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible or watching a few clips of the interview with him (via Oprah Winfrey) linked in the Resources below.
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- Our “News” episode — advice on staying informed without becoming overwhelmed
- One example of the consequences of actions: John Perkins’ The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman and his TEDx Talk, “An Economic Hitman Confesses and Calls to Action”
- John Stauber’s and Sheldon Rampton’s Trust Us We’re Experts and Toxic Sludge is Good for You, on the deceptive practices of the public relations industry and corporate communications
- Secrets of media manipulation in Ryan Holiday’s Trust Me, I’m Lying
- Jared Diamond’s books on the rise and fall of societies: Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse
- The starving polar bear video from National Geographic
- The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible by Charles Eisenstein plus Eisenstein being interviewed by Oprah
- Helpful articles from Experience Life magazine: “On the Other Side of Right”, “The Undefeated Mind”, “Toward a Meaningful Life”
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