The renowned actor as you’ve never heard him before. He has appeared in over 100 films, including Apocalypse Now. He’s best known on television as President Bartlet in The West Wing. But Martin Sheen, born and still legally named Ramón Estévez, has had another lesser-known life as a spiritual seeker and activist. He returned to a deep and joyful Catholic faith after a crisis at the height of his fame in mid-life. He’s been arrested over 60 times in vigils and protests. “Piety is something you do alone,” he says. “True freedom, spirituality, can only be achieved in community.”
That 1,000th time that you do magic and it works…and then you realize that you may have worded it a little broadly. And then you’re just sitting there as it goes blasting into various forms of chaos to bring about your ultimate goal.
And you’re still just sitting there like, “Well, shit…”
I find myself like, in awe of the miracle of existing, the miracle of consciousness, it makes no sense to me; the fact that we’re here, that I’m separate from people, that I’m experiencing this, like, for me, it’s so much more beautiful, what I hope… My curiousness is the hope that this is all natural, that all this checks out. The idea that we’d have to skip steps, the idea that at the end of the day the numbers don’t add up, that you need magic or you need something… Is so much less magical than the fact that this is all just working naturally and it all checks out and this system does, at the end of the day, make sense naturally. That… That is the most awe inspiring, beautiful, possible solution and ending to me. The fact that, really what happens is you have hydrogen and it’s starched and explodes and then you have fucking people, like, if that really does… If all the math checks out at the end of the day, that would make me happy.
Bo Burnham – “Do you find yourself spiritually curious?”
You know what Nica’s motivation for engaging in the violent pranks reminds me of? (And let’s not sugarcoat it, her actions were low-key domestic terror - people were *seriously* hurt, and the lottery was meant to scare people.)
LifeAfter, the GE podcast and spiritual successor to The Message. In that podcast, an FBI agent who lost his wife 8 months prior gets sucked into this cult of people who are drawn together by their common grief of losing a loved one. Through AI technology, they are able to speak with digital copies of those loved ones again, and are eventually persuaded to basically get lobotomized so they can get sucked up into the digital cloud and join their loved ones once again.
The way the slimy charismatic leaders take people at their most vulnerable, in deep grief, and exploit it, turning it into something ugly and vicious, is fascinating to me. It’s very appealing logic: ‘I haven’t done anything wrong, so why do I have to suffer alone with my loss and grief? Why does everyone else get to go on living while I suffer in silence, ignored or judged because I can’t get over the loss of my loved one?’
In LifeAfter, it’s recruiting people whose loved ones have died and brainwashing the recruits until they choose to cause their own brain death. The vulnerability is turned inward, and the ultimate rejection of outside society is the choice to harm oneself instead of others. Whereas for Nica it’s turned outward; her rejection of the society that has ignored her pain is to lash out and cause harm. What fascinates me between these two opposite reactions is the same rejection of normal society in favor of a radicalized person or group who provides emotional validation and support. That radical group/person also drastically downplays the damage their actions will actually do. For LifeAfter, you’re not killing yourself, you’re actually just rejoining your lost loved one, and it’s a blessing. For Nica, the lottery events aren’t attacks that could seriously burn or injure people, they’re just victimless pranks to cause a little inconvenience to commuters.
Not to get too grand or meta, but these two plot lines feel like could have only come to life in the present. These plots are very ‘of their time.’ Lone wolf attackers are the very real concern of this time - and of course this includes first and foremost lone white men who perpetrate mass violence, as well as the other monsters who have attacked various communities (Orlando being at the forefront of my conscience considering the anniversary was a few days ago).
I just find it interesting that speculative fictional media is diving into this topic. I’ve heard it said that speculative fiction is not really a reflection of the perceived future, but rather issues with the present, and I think it’s very true.
i have this thing where like every month i want to embark on some new creative outlet like i literally want to do everything and be everything (i will eventually) and anyway this month i want to start a podcast on spirituality and intuition and consciousness but also like unsolved mysteries ¿
Welcome to ALL TOGETHER, the podcast dedicated to exploring how ethics religion and spiritual practice is informing our personal lives, our communities and our world. You can download All Together on iTunes, or Stitcher.
During this week’s segment you will hear from a Christian, a Jew and a Buddhist about their lives as trans people, and the surprising and instructive ways religious figures acted with compassion as they transitioned to presenting as their authentic selves. Their journeys invite new understanding of spirituality by urgently presenting the deeply religious question: “Who Am I?”
Recently Bruce Jenner spoke on national television about life as a trans person, ushering in a new era of visibility of trans people. My hope is that the stories of Joy, Taj and Ellie will be cause for further celebration, and that their spiritual stories will offer all of us lessons for discovery about self, others and even God.
Prof. Joy Laden made history when she became the first trans woman to teach at an Orthodox Jewish university. In addition to her position at Yeshiva University, she is a contributor to the website TransTorah, and has recently published a book of poetry with the title: Impersonation.
Taj Smith is a second year student at Harvard Divinity School who is on ordination track in the United Church of Christ.
I love everything about this blog. It's helped me tremendously with my healing process, and I realize there's something to look forward to everyday regarding personal growth! I thank you from the bottom of my being for that. My question to you is, do you know of any podcast, or audio books on spirituality and personal growth? I don't have money right now, so if they're free that would be really helpful for the time being(: I hope you have a wonderful day!
Thanks kind soul!
Your words has brighten up my soul, just by knowing that this site has helped you.
But it pretty
much depends on what aspect of spirituality you want to
look further into for personal growth.
I have to be honest and let you
know that deep spiritual knowledge/practices are found within books, or from honest
spiritual teachers, Metaphysicians, Voudou Priests/Priestesses, Khemitians, Yogis, and etc. which can be hard to find online. The
teachings are not really allowed to be expressed openly/publicly to just
Nonetheless, here are some
great websites that has helped millions of people.
With Valentine day next week and spring next month, I thought hm, beyond the usual post of how to study, I wanted to embark on a cooler segment: how to make studying interesting.
On that note the first segment is podcast. While I love Hans Zimmer, Beyonce, and a florence and the machine melody to study to, I have recently found podcasts to keep me more alert and excited to study. Below are a list of my favorites:
The College info geek
Informative, fun, and youthful. Having recently graduated college debt free, he is probably one of more laid back productive bloggers I know. His blog is college focused and provides a much needed male perspective in the scope of study skills and college education.
Funny, honest and critical, if you need some intellectual conversation to fill in the silence during an office hour visit, Radiolab is at your service. Ranging from topics such a race, the american government to even DNA testing, there is no way your mind cannot be attentive listening to them.
Medical school HQ
Ok before my premeds go crazy, I must say as a science major medicine bound sophomore, this has been a lovely podcast that has impacted my scope of medicine. The host are funny, relatable and altruistic physicians who take their time every week to share the knowledge. After listening to some episodes you will be saying, RESPECT THE MCAT!
(This podcast has cursing) I enjoy the read. A humorous look at pop culture and music. And who does not heart kidfury!
Lastly I enjoy spiritual podcasts, Joel Osteen, Td Jakes and Rick Warren are awesome, conscious and will make you feel great. I hope you love this list as much as I had fun making it.
Let me know in a comment, what are your favorite podcasts?
P.S: Those who reblog my post and add their input/comments will be appreciated and given a shout out on my blog!
This week’s All Together features a conversation with two talented, ivy league educated, social justice minded Muslim women. Both were raised in rural America, both put on the headscarf or Hijab when they were young, and both have gone through a journey of discovery of what the head-covering means to them and whether or not they wanted to keep wearing it.
In today’s conversation we attempt to show both the interior journey that many young Muslims go through around the decision to cover or not; and the challenges and assumptions American society presents to women making that choice.
Big thanks to both Laila and Marian for their honesty and integrity in engaging in this discussion. Our hope is that this conversation is viewed as an opening for more discussions and will be one more step towards humanizing all Muslim women, no matter what choices they make around the headscarf.
The All Together podcast is dedicated to exploring how ethics, religion and spiritual practice is informing our personal lives, our communities and our world. It is hosted by Paul Raushenbush, the executive editor of HuffPost Religion.