Last week I sat down (on Zoom, that is) with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. I wrote about the coincidence that drew me into his campaign in this essay. He is on a lot of podcasts and television interviews, so I thought I would take a different approach in this conversation. We talked about his childhood, his spiritual beliefs and practices, and what made him into an environmentalist. (See also my
I get the drive to heal division. I’m an adult child of divorce now and my discomfort when others are in conflict is palpable. Inspired by wanting everyone to just love and understand each other, I find myself constantly playing devil’s advocate. Whether it’s with my covid skeptic friends who I’d like to have empathize with those who still wear masks to this day or my bought-in to propaganda family members who I wish could see the valid points that RFK Jr makes about how regulatory capture and lobbying negatively influenced the response to the pandemic.
Lately, what I’ve been realizing is that standing in the middle of the culture war and holding my arms out in the attempt to get either furious side to calm down just isn’t that effective. It seems to only make people furious with *me* instead.
As Charles points out in Clime: a New Story, society is composed of myths, systems, incentive structures and institutions that act as a kind of terrain that unbalances our relationship with the earth. The same is true of the terrain that, like rain hitting a mountain, pools people into dismal, divided valleys.
Am I just jaded, or is the only solution to focus on liberating only yourself mentally and spiritually? To allow others to experience their version of reality without trying to change them and to focus on injecting love into the system via morphic resonance? How much power does a president really have to repair our broken systems?
Wow! Bobby says you have the best book written on environmental solutions! What a great compliment. I'm happy to see this meeting of deep minds.
I wouldn't lose hope for us or our children just yet. There is a marked shift in attitude towards the earth - a literal groundswell of change - with the burgeoning interest in permaculture and regenerative agriculture in recent times. People are waking up to what we've been doing wrong and I sense a growing excitement at the possibilities which these practices offer. One thing which is striking is how quickly the earth can regenerate and how forgiving it is. Within as little as three years, a profound healing of the earth and its creatures (ourselves included) can take place and gather momentum, if we all learn how to foster it.
For those who haven't yet, do have a look at the videos of Geoff Lawson and his Greening of the Desert project in Palestine. And those of the Weedy Gardener in Oz for some stories of pure joy. Andrew Millison in Oregon and his amazing series on the Indian Water Cup. The miraculous transformation of declared wasteland by Aranya Farm in India. Keith St John and his channel "Canadian Permaculture Legacy". Ari and his series Polyculture Farms in Oz. The regen agriculture of Gabe Brown in the US. The world is exploding with this growing renaissance and I must say, I'm actually feeling more hopeful than I have for a long time. The exposure of the agenda of the purveyors of shock doctrine has also opened my eyes to those who harness dubious catastrophy narratives to gain money and power - and not because we are necessarily doomed. This is, actually, wonderful news. We can tell our children that the sky is not falling on our heads and, with a little bit of care (and lots of humus!), we can get this earth back into healthy shape again.
The books of Louis Bromfield are also well worth dusting off - Malabar Farm and Pleasant Valley. We all need to become a little "tetched".
The butterflies and bees and birds and frogs will return. We must simply will it - and help bring it about. The earth is waiting.
Here's to Kennedy winning in 2024!
Incredible conversation Charles! I agree that there is a profound shift in consciousness under way.
I found that part where Robert shared about how the various aspects of, relationships within and beings that part of nature (Creation) are like threads in a tapestry that reveal to us the face of God to be very moving. I have never heard that truth expressed quite so well, it brought tears to my eyes, thank you for that.
I have always felt closer to God in the forest than when I am in any manmade building or reading any book. The cathedrals that call to my heart and offer me the most uplifting and heart opening state of being to connect with Creator have mossy floors, corridors made of colossal tree trunks, branches reaching up in a dendritic pattern and a blue stained glass roof speckled in green.
I will do everything I am capable of doing in my life to protect, repair and nurture those ancient living cathedrals so that future generations are also able to find the same peace, healing and nourishment for the soul that I have, and so that they are also given the opportunity to look upon the tapestry that reveals of the face of God as well.
A beautiful conversation between two of my favourite humans. I do agree that humanity is experiencing a shift and that we are ready for this and that RFK is the person to pick up that thread. I resonate with what Charles said about having given up on expecting change to come from mainstream politics but feeling that possibility now. I for one am excited. It probably won't be easy, but then again change happens quickly. Who knows, we may be well into realising that more beautiful world sooner than we know. It is up to us and what we conceive.
thanks for never losing hope, we can pick up the thread restore the soil & turn towards love & peace as our raison d'etre! bless you both & all thise supporting you, for being of service to the greater good. Hope Robin Wall Kimerra will be part of the team!
I had given up on politics about 20 years ago and lost any interest in it, in any of the 6 countries I have been living in.
That just changed.
Thank you. It is deeply moving to hear you two talking like this. I deeply feel that everything is possible and the times are ripe. I am looking forward to love and common sense finally being able to be expressed. Whatever the final result, so many people are going to be contaminated on the way.
There is no political solution
To our troubled evolution
Have no faith in constitution
There is no bloody revolution
We are spirits in the material world...
Our so-called leaders speak
With words, they try to jail ya
They subjugate the meek
But it's the rhetoric of failure
We are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Where does the answer lie?
Living from day to day
If it's something we can't buy
There must be another way
My heart was singing throughout. Also, I enjoyed the last minute of the “off the record” convo. It’s telling the guy is sincere and genuine (based on the bit during the time after the camera stops rolling so-to-speak)
Half-way through -- so enthused to hear the focus of this conversation I'm having a hard time convincing myself I am not actually in a semi-lucid dream state right now. . . .Nature is God, God is Nature. So mote it be!
Thank you, Charles, for this wonderfully personable and honest conversation. I´m curious what topics will actually come up in the election campaign. It´d be helpful to shift from "carbon is the culprit" (carbon would probably be totally irrelevant if it wasn´t for sellable carbon certificates) to actually addressing the environmental problems at hand without the usual fear mongering.
I find it helpful that Bobby Kennedy is a long-time meditator, he obviously is able to listen and seems honest about finding different solutions.
That being said, I ´m still not fond of any kind of voting or party system because so far it only served themselves and the agenda of those who put them in power (and that´s not the voters).
I´m also not fond of any party or person telling me what I can or cannot do, think or say. But then again, for a change to occur people need to be willing to take up their own responsibility instead of dispensing of it by "voting".
So, I´m still not sure whether any change can come through this (corrupt) political system - but at least Kennedy knows it´s corrupt. But I believe it´s important to start talking about and healing the divide. I´m curious how it´ll all unfold.
Please remove me from all your emails and cancel my monthly donation. I do not support politics. Period.
I'm sure the Kennedy's have way more money than my measly $20 a month. I do suggest you read Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience.
Good luck with your new path. But I'm not interested in following it.
My impression is that this is a human being who knows what love, caring and sensitivity means. He has a heart and respects the sacredness of the natural world as an extension of our own heart and inner knowing. He's got my vote and full support.
I just love the "fact " of this meeting ... it feels like a garden has been planted with some robust perennials that will contribute to the soil of our lives for a long time to come encouraging the planting of more gardens. Thank you Charles, thank you Robert.