109 Comments

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?

Expand full comment

I highly recommend watching Dr. Robin Youngson’s 14-minute TED Talk from six years about his transformation from fostering separation to fostering interconnection in his life work. He was a medical doctor who awakened to just how non-compassionate hospitals can be when his daughter ended up in critical care for several months after a serious car accident. The experience took him on a journey of how best to empower others to heal and grow. His talk is wonderfully inspiring, as he talks about moving from moral crusader to compassion and nonjudgment, from evangelist to nonpersuasion, from expert to uncovering other people’s wisdom, and from following a business model to participating in a gift economy. Here is the link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jTYSzLtbYTU&pp=ygUXcm9iaW4geW91bmdzb24gdGVkIHRhbGs%3D

Expand full comment

"How much power does a president really have to repair our broken systems?" That is such a great question. I wonder if the two endeavours, 'self-transform' and 'fix a broken system' (with all the traps that go along with that) might strangely weave together. The letting go and the stepping up, informing each other.

Expand full comment

You said it better than I could! That’s exactly what I think we need.

Expand full comment

love this thread - these moments we are living through offer an opportunity for each of us to find out where we can meet the perspective of the other, and in meeting allow that perspective to connect and evolve our own understandings - this process is the 'answer' or at least an approach to finding our way through - actions can unfold from a way of weaving multiple realities. It's hard to walk through the mystery, our human selves seek security, but a softening into holding paradox in our hearts is a way to be present without knowing

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

Having now listened to the rest, this is a very inspiring conversation. Kennedy's authenticity and humility really shines through. I learned a lot from his meditation on seeing a line to navigate through the day, and asking for help. I'm going to adopt that into my Course in Miracles. It's a conversation I can't imagine with any other politician. And I love that both of you talk about regenerative ag. Such a good point, that it's the right thing to do no matter whether the CO2 narrative is right or not.

And Bobby's presence at this fork in the road is a great good thing. I don't know if it circles back to the fork in the road of his dad and his uncle. I think the shape of reality is a spiral, and we come back to the same place but on a different plane. Whatever the future, this is the right thing for him--and you--right now.

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023·edited May 19, 2023

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.

Expand full comment

I am a regenerative rancher in Kansas and I share your optimism. We should not consider ourselves doomed!

Expand full comment

Oh, how wonderful, Chad! I wish you well on your journey. This new practice has a way of infecting others (in a good way!), because farmers learn from each other and, when the results start becoming too obvious to ignore, they eventually start to adopt the better ways themselves. It will become adapt or die - or have the State or Bill Gates try and take it, as we've seen starting to happen already in Holland, and in the USA with BG buying up land. 🙄 Far better to become a thriving, self-sufficient entity, than have the State calling the shots with their quotas and subsidies, or predatory capitalists trying to muscle in with their nefarious next-generation techno-agendas.

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

Oh, yes, absolutely! So many inspiring and wonderful practitioners out there.

Expand full comment

I just worked on a writing project with Will Harris of White Oak Pastures in Georgia.... a book, it will be out in the Fall... if you ever have a chance to visit their land it will literally bring you to tears! Incredible how alive it is. There is hope!!!

Expand full comment

Had a look at their website - what an inspiration! I knew someone from Fortson, Georgia. Old family friend. Not sure if he's still alive. So strange to see that this is not so far away.

Expand full comment

I wish I could, but I'm gazillions if miles away in South Africa! ☺️ But will definitely look it up. 🙏🏼

Expand full comment

Here's to Kennedy winning in 2024!

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

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!

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

Same here. Never thought any change could come from politics. Now I'm excited. I feel tha love, sensitivity, wisdom and caring might actually have a place in this world..

Expand full comment

It does have a place, and it doesn't come from politics. Why are the majority of people on here acting as if they need someone to lead them? As if you have no power or intelligence of your own? And why are you all clinging to a system that never worked for the good of anything? It makes no sense.

Expand full comment

Thank you, Ann. Your point is very well taken. There is much to say here, but I’ll let the Sage of Port Royal, Kentucky sum it up:

A Standing Ground

Flee fro the prees, and dwelle with sothfastnesse,

Suffyce unto thy thyng, though hit be smal…

However just and anxious I have been,

I will stop and step back

from the crowd of those who may agree

with what I say, and be apart.

There is no earthly promise of life or peace

but where the roots branch and weave

their patient silent passages in the dark;

uprooted, I have been furious without an aim.

I am not bound for any public place,

but for ground of my own

where I have planted vines and orchard trees,

and in the heat of the day climbed up

into the healing shadow of the woods.

Better than any argument is to rise at dawn

and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.

--Wendell Berry

Expand full comment

That's beautiful. Off herb picking I go. Thanks

Expand full comment

Your comment is not loving, sensitive or wise.

Expand full comment

In what way is it not?

Expand full comment

Serina won’t answer you, Ann. I appreciate Charles’ writing and have learned much from it (although, perhaps like you, I think he’s lost the plot by hopping into politics), but I find that if you challenge ideas here, you will get responses that amount to little more than “shame on you for not agreeing” followed by sanctimonious outrage and vacuous moral judgment. I was once shamed by Charles’ wife in much the same manner we see here with you. I used the wrong words. You must be NICE, don’t you know!!? Certainly you mustn’t be a mirror that reflects any unowned, unconscious (shadow) material!

Expand full comment

Thank you for your response, I appreciate it. Gave me a laugh this morning, that was much needed. I should have known better than to comment in the first place. People like to cling to their illusions, even ones that have been shattered time and time again. Fear of real change, I guess. I understand, to a point. But a multi millionaire man from an establishment family, is going to change the world for the better, by running for president? I didn't think the people on here would fall so easily for that. But that's what I get for making assumptions. Maybe some need to learn the hard way. I know I have had to many times. Your comment hits to the heart of this world's problems. It's awash in unowned, unacknowledged, unconscious material, and that is what is wreaking havoc on humanity. Until that is brought to the conscious, owned and acknowledged, the beautiful world they speak of will remain out of reach. And cheering and hoping for someone else to fix things, distracts from that happening. Which I think is closer to the truth of why this presidential run is happening in the first place. To take people's power from them once again, and place it in the hands of the establishment. Wishing you many blessings and a beautiful day.

Expand full comment

You guys certainly aren't alone. NAAS turned into a toxic mess for this very reason. Always strikes me as ironic that the self proclaimed "dissidents" are so intolerant of dissent. I'm not so sure that Charles is that way - he strikes me as at least open to listening to differing opinions. His groupies and allies, not so much.

Expand full comment

I understand the need to vent, dear Ann, and that many are very frustrated and angry these days, and yet to me it seems that it would make more sense and be more respectful to first inquire whether one's assumptions regarding others' perspectives are correct (inquire through an invitation to a mature shared dialogue, for example) instead of assuming they are correct (without asking) and then lounging into an impassioned reproaching (with all the great satisfaction that the ego derives from the sense of superioriry involved in such a reproaching of others)

As it happens, none of these assumptions are true in my case, I am NOT looking for someone to lead me; I was NOT implying that love, sensitivity, wisdom and caring comes from politics; I was not thinking that I have no power and intelligence of my own; I was NOT clinging to any system..

🙂

Expand full comment

And as it happens, I am not frustrated or angry, so next time it might be more respectful to first inquire about how one really feels before making assumptions. Just sayin.

Expand full comment

I don't feel there's a real invitation here for a heart-based mature true dialogue (that is not based on hostility, bitterness and aggression) so i apologize but i will not engage further here. Thank you and warm wishes🙏

Expand full comment

Confession through projection, dear Fromheadtoheart. Ann’s got a point, quite a valid one, and you respond with sanctimony and insults disguised as compassionate dialogue. Good-bye, indeed!

Expand full comment

There you go assuming again. I am not hostile, bitter or aggressive. I do tend to hold up mirrors though, and often people don't like what they see...and they turn away. It's understandable. I am completely open to heart based dialogue, which is what I was attempting to have before I got a bunch of passive aggressive silliness thrown at me, in place of heart based dialogue.

Expand full comment

So what on earth did what you write mean then? And just curious- Did your impassioned reproach of me give your ego great satisfaction, due to the sense of superiority derived from such a reproach? I wouldn't want to make assumptions by assuming the answer...

Expand full comment

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

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

We are spirits in the material world...

Expand full comment

Don’t let them fool you

Or try to school you

Expand full comment

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)

Expand full comment

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!

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment
deletedMay 19, 2023·edited May 19, 2023
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

A meditator. Far out. Miss Fran will be tickled spitless.

Expand full comment