#231  Eco-Spirituality – Exploring Deep in the Woods of the Divine with Woodford Roberts and Rupert Read 

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In this deep, thoughtful conversation, two of the men at the heart of the Climate Majority Project discuss their own journeys into eco-spirituality – what they believe it to be and why it’s a core, foundational bedrock of their lives.

If you follow anything else that Faith and I do together, you’ll know that we believe heart-felt connection to the All That Is forms the bedrock of human existence and is the pathway to human flourishing, to our being good ancestors, to laying that foundation on which future generations can build a world where we are an integral part of the web of life.

The whole of the Accidental Gods membership program exists to help people find ways to make this heartfelt connection and the Dreaming Awake contemporary shamanic training takes it more deeply.

We don’t often get to unpick this in depth here on the podcast. But long term friend of the podcast, the author, philosopher and academic, Rupert Read, suggested a while ago that we might like to have a three way conversation with him and Woodford Roberts who is an integral part of the Climate Majority Project of which they are both founder members. Both have been active in Extinction Rebellion. Both have moved on to believing that change happens in other ways, and both have at the core of their actions and activism a heartfelt connection to the All That Is, however we define it.

We have regular guest appearances by people who work deeply in shamanic traditions, or other aspects of contemporary spirituality, but this is the first time we’ve had a chance to explore what we might call western ‘eco-spirituality’ in a way that is practiced distinctly from contemporary – or indigenous – shamanic practice.

Rupert is a philosopher who has studied both Quaker and Buddhist traditions, naming Joanna Macey and Thich Nhat Hahn as his teachers. Woodford Roberts – who is called Rob within the movement – comes from a more meta-cognitive stance, but still deeply embedded within western psycho-spiritual philosophy, albeit with personal experience in the shamanic realities. So this was a deep, wide ranging, thoughtful episode and I hope it helps you to navigate your own routes to thinking, feeling and being in these turbulent times. So please welcome back Rupert Read and welcome for the first time, Woodford Roberts, both of the Climate Majority Project.


Woodford Roberts is a writer based in Cornwall. With a focus on eco-spirituality and emotion, Woodford’s work seeks to help readers stare down the truth of the metacrisis as he seeks to do the same, sharing his own spiritual journey of navigating the challenging terrain of a time between two worlds and the lessons found within. His work appears in Dark Mountain Books, Resurgence & The Ecologist. His first book, called ‘How To Be Happy At The End Of The World‘ is currently in development, and he publishes on a Substack of the same name.

Prof Rupert Read is co-director of the Climate Majority Project and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of East Anglia. He is the author of several books, including This Civilisation is Finished, Parents for a Future, Why Climate Breakdown Matters and Do you want to know the truth? The surprising rewards of climate honesty. His spiritual teachers have included Joanna Macy and Thich Nhat Hanh.

In Conversation

Manda: Hey people, welcome to Accidental Gods. To the podcast where we believe that another world is still possible and that if we all work together there is time to lay the foundation for a future that we would be proud to leave to the generations that come after us. I’m Manda Scott, your host and fellow traveller on this journey into possibility. And if you follow any of the other things that Faith and I do together, you will know that we believe a heartfelt connection to the All That Is forms the bedrock of human existence and is the pathway to human flourishing. The gateway to our being good ancestors, to laying that foundation on which future generations can build a world where we are an integral part of the web of life. The whole of the Accidental Gods membership program exists to help people find ways to make this heartfelt connection. And the Dreaming Awake contemporary shamanic training takes it deeper. And we don’t often get to unpick this in depth here on the podcast, but a long term friend of the podcast, the author, philosopher and academic Rupert Read, suggested a while ago that we might like to have a three way conversation with him and Woodford Roberts, who’s an integral part of the Climate Majority project, of which they are both founder members. Each of these has been active in Extinction Rebellion, and each has moved on to believing that change happens in other ways. They each have at the core of their actions and activism, a heartfelt connection to the All That Is, however we define it.

Manda: And while we have regular guest appearances by people who work deeply in shamanic traditions or other aspects of contemporary spirituality, this is the first time we’ve had a chance to explore what we might call Western ecospirituality, in a way that’s practised distinctly from contemporary and indigenous shamanic practice. So we’re going to do that today. Rupert is a philosopher who studied both Quaker and Buddhist traditions, naming Joanna Macy and Thich Naht Hanh as his teachers. Woodford Roberts, who is called Rob within the movement and so also on the podcast, comes from a more metacognitive stance, but still deeply embedded within the Western Psychospiritual philosophy, albeit with profound personal experiences on which he can draw and on which he clearly has drawn. So this was a deep, wide ranging, thoughtful episode and I hope it helps you to navigate your own routes to thinking and feeling and particularly to being in these turbulent times. So people of the podcast please welcome back Rupert Read and welcome for the first time Woodford Roberts, both of the Climate Majority Project.

Manda: So Rob and Rupert, welcome to the Accidental Gods podcast on this very blustery morning, and we are recording the Monday after the interesting worldwide events, which will probably have got more interesting by the time this goes out. But we will probably get round to mentioning the sudden proximity of total global war at some point in our conversation. But absent that, how are you and where are you this very lovely morning? We’ll go to Rob first and then Rupert. Rob, how are you?

Rob: I’m very well, thank you. I’m in Cornwall. It’s a beautiful day. It feels like spring. We’ve just had the last 3 or 4 days of sunshine and good weather, and I’m feeling the benefits of that for definite.

Manda: Yay! Good. Yes. And, Rupert, you’re in Norfolk still?

Rupert: Yeah, I’m in rural Norfolk, and I’m doing pretty well. It’s really beautiful outside here. I am quite tired, having had, as is commonplace for me, a night of extremely intense and powerful dreams. So that’s not a bad way, perhaps, to come into the subject matter of this podcast from.

Manda: Absolutely not. No, Dreaming is for me definitely one route into the spiritual. So I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time because Ecospirituality feels like, for me, the route forward to a different way of being. So what I would like to do with both of you, starting with Rupert and moving to Rob, is, first of all, what’s your definition of spirituality? And then in what way is eco spirituality an aspect of that? So Rupert first, yeah.

Rupert: So in terms of spirituality, I would start with the following concepts or experiences or practices: presence; really being present to whatever is, emotionally whatever is, in terms of other people that one is related to whatever is, in terms of the world. And a reverence for these things, beings, holes and a sense of the sacredness of the whole. Now, for me, these concepts are potentially available as lived realities to anybody. And my interest in spirituality, which is, as I’m sure is the case for everyone who is interested in spirituality, a deep interpersonal and personal one. One that comes out of my experience as a Quaker, the shared contemplative meditation, if you will, of the Religious Society of Friends. And out of my experience as a Buddhist, the shared and individual experience of meditation. But goes beyond these into something which, in the ideal scenario, permeates one’s life, permeates one’s relationships. I want this reality of spirituality to be available to everyone. I’m very interested in lowering the barriers to entry that are perceived to this this word, to this topic, to this reality. Sometimes I get asked, well yeah, but why use the word spirituality then? Because it can be perceived as quite a difficult word or controversial topic. And my answer is very simple, really. It’s much the same as Sam Harris’s answer, which is simply, there isn’t a better word. There’s no better frame for this. If there was, I might use it. But whenever anyone has tried to propose one to what we’re talking about here, something that goes beyond the merely psychological but builds on it, and something which is distinct in ways that we might discuss from religion. Whenever anyone has tried to propose another term, it seems to me it doesn’t come up to scratch. So yeah, that’s the heart of spirituality for me. Shall I go on into eco spirituality?

Manda: No, let’s go to Rob, because that was that was really good and really succinct. Let’s go to Rob. And Rob, edited highlight of Spirituality  and then from you let’s have what eco spirituality is for you. Because you work together, so I’m guessing you have a common outlook.

Rob: Spirituality for me is about connecting with my essence. Like what is the essential experience of my consciousness and of being? That connection with my beingness, I suppose, as a way of phrasing it. I like how, as Rupert said, it’s not just this understanding of the inner psychology, but there’s an aspect of spirituality that then opens us up to the without as well as the within. And that essence that’s within me, being able to recognise that outside of me too,  and that connection with all that is and the dissolution of the separation between my essential self and that outside essential self, and recognising that there is no division between the two. And for me, spirituality is a means of navigating that and of practising that and of feeling it.

Manda: Brilliant. And Rob, Ecospirituality, are you taking that to be synonymous with spirituality? Or is there a flavour of eco spirituality that for you is different?

Rob: The eco part is, for me, an essential way of accessing the spiritual as a person in a Western society. It enabled me to connect with these aspects through science. I had a wonderful conversation with someone called Tim Lenton, director of the Living Systems Institute at the University of Exeter. We were talking about how he’d just at that time published a paper called The Future of the Human Climate Niche and it details what lies ahead. And I asked him, when you look at this data, when you do the work that you do and you understand all these tipping points and cascade impacts on, you know, the lives of billions of people around the world, how do you handle that? And he said to me, I go out into nature and I run, and I remember who and what I am from this larger perspective of understanding ecology and understanding the interconnectedness of all things and ultimately of the life force that is behind all things. And I think that Earth system science and ecology and understanding nature and the natural world and ourselves is that doorway, as is cosmology and much of the science of the 20th century that brings us to a place of understanding that nothing is separate, that everything is interconnected and interdependent. It allows us of a Western mindset, I guess, to remember and access those terrains that indigenous cultures and wisdom traditions have held and maintained. Its kind of our westernised entry point into a non-secular understanding that arises from that connection and brings us that sense of awe and reverence, and we can remember who and what we really are through ecology and through nature.

Manda: Brilliant. Okay, so that’s opening up a lot of different avenues. So, Rupert, at the beginning of what you said, you were talking about a sense of being fully present as being an integral part of a spiritual life, of an interconnected spiritual life. I think we’re all three agreed that at the core of where we’re heading is getting to a point where we can live with full connection with the web of life. So my baseline is such that I can ask, what do you want of me and respond to an authentic answer in real time. And that the doing of that in the Western world is the hard bit. It’s easy to understand that that’s what we need to; actually living that is the bit where people can trip over themselves. But you are together running courses, which I am guessing are helping people step into, first of all an awareness that this is possible, and second an actual experience of doing it. So can you tell us for people listening, without completely giving them your course for free online, how you go about evoking that sense of presence for yourself, and then how you would help other people to do it?

Rob: So in terms of for myself, it can come from meditation, it can come from psychopathology. My spiritual journey began with severe anxiety and depression many years ago and finding that it was sometimes possible to awaken from that in an extraordinarily rapid way. In the kind of ways that, for example, Buddhists and others have long described. And it can sometimes come in nature. And I think that’s one very simple reason for talking about eco spirituality in terms of, if you will, some of the most profound, positive spiritual experiences I’ve ever had have tended to be out in the wilderness. On  vision quests or on exercises that I have led, of bringing people deep into the heart of the wilderness. And so that is something that I do on some of the courses that I lead. I also do some of the activities that are in the work that reconnects from my teacher  Joanna macy. For example, some listeners may be aware of the mirror walk, which is an exercise I love to lead, and I have my own variation of it, where what one does is one leads people, it’s a trust exercise as well, blindfolded, through a natural space. And gets them to experience it through all of their senses, through sound and touch and smell, sometimes even taste and then eventually sight as well. And the the famous refrain that Joanna invented for this exercise is, “now open your eyes and look in the mirror”, developing this sense of the world as oneself and one’s self as the world. The microcosm is the macrocosm, the macrocosm is the microcosm, as Rob was implying earlier. For me, any spirituality which is successfully encountering our world is a non-dual spirituality. Meaning it overcomes the sense that there is this gap or barrier between myself and the world, between myself and other people, and touches the sense in which there is what my teacher Thich Naht Hanh called interbeing between the two. Yeah. I hope that helps to answer your question.

Manda: It really does. Yes. Thank you. So let’s move to Rob now. I am taking it that each of you is speaking in a way that the other agrees with. If we get to a point where you want to say no, there are aspects of that that I would challenge or look at differently, then please do so. But on the assumption that broadly, what Rupert said is something we can all agree with, I would like to go into the nuances of it, particularly the concepts of meditation. Because I’m sure we’ve all met people who can spend many, many hours on the cushion and who don’t appear to me to be in any way more present in the rest of their lives. There is a possibility of, I would say, meditating in a way that is completely head mind and not connecting with our heart mind at all. And yet, I’m sure you guys have experienced genuine heart mind, presence. So Rob, what do you do, or how do you experience a full presence that is heart-mind based? If that makes sense as a question to you and if it doesn’t, I could rephrase it.

Rob: So let me talk a little bit about the practice and then the actual, I suppose, action, as it were. I think what you’re getting at there, I often think about it in terms of masculine and feminine, and I think behind all of this essentially is self-inquiry. And that self-inquiry can be in a more masculine form or a feminine form. And I think what you’re alluding to is the necessity of both. And for me, the masculine form is the mental, it’s the cognitive behavioural therapy kind of mindfulness practice of understanding our thoughts. I’d love to talk a bit later on about metacognition and critical reflection at that level and how that relates to the meta crisis. But at present, let’s just focus on the masculine in terms of understanding our thoughts. And then the feminine would be around understanding our emotions. And for me, I put an awful lot of weight and importance, because there’s such richness and benefit from it, in a practice of self-inquiry that looks at both. I utilise non-violent communication as a method for understanding and giving me the ability to articulate what I’m feeling and to enable my critical reflection from an emotional standpoint, so that I can feel what I’m feeling and have the language and ability to articulate and express it and to understand it.

Rob: And that is married with this more mental, meditative self-inquiry of understanding my thoughts and my beliefs. And a lot of my practice is about merging those two and seeing the relationship between my beliefs; the way that from birth, I have encoded the world and that my mental model of reality has created my reality. And then how those beliefs inform my thoughts and the stories and narratives with which I make sense of the world around me. And then my emotional responses to those inner narratives; understanding how that construction is then creating an emotional response in which I’m either perceiving that my emotional needs are being met or unmet, and being cognisant of this process of the interplay between my beliefs, my narratives, and my perceptions of my emotional needs being met or not. Those are the tools that I use to navigate that inner world, and in doing so, they help me to to see it in others as well, which then creates a deep sense of empathy both for myself and for others.

Manda: Brilliant. I’m reminded of Oscar Miro Quesada, who spoke to Nina Simons at a Bioneers ceremony. He’s a Peruvian shaman. They asked him to hold a ceremony, they started at 8:00 at night, they finished at 8:00 next morning so they were all quite tired. And he said, if you only remember one thing from the whole essence of what we’ve done, remember: consciousness creates matter, language creates reality, ritual creates relationship. Which in a way is what you’ve just said. The understanding that consciousness creates matter and we create our reality with our language, seems to me an understanding that needs to sit at a very deep level. I’m curious though, we’ll come to Rupert in a minute because I can see he’s got ideas. For me there are thoughts and there are emotions, and there is a very deep, still place where those are the ripples on the very surface of the ocean. And I am aware that they are there, but the place where I’m most connected to the web of life is a place where thought and emotion are both, I wouldn’t say irrelevant, but they’re a separate thing. And for me, that place is the place where genuine connection happens. And I’m wondering, is there a third place for you? Or am I just not understanding the depth of cognition and feeling? Still with Rob.

Rob: Yeah, I like that idea of the ripples. For me, understanding the ripples on the surface of the water comes from that self-inquiry that’s rooted in the masculine and the feminine, but ultimately that’s all surface. That’s where we’re living our day to day, right? When you sink down deeper, and I love what you just said a moment ago about consciousness forming matter, there’s a paradigm shift in that statement in which consciousness is primary, and that our thoughts and our feelings and our sensations are occurrences within consciousness, and that everything is an occurrence within consciousness or is consciousness. For me, what you’re talking about, that space is the place I go to in ceremony, where I recognise and remember that all words are merely maps, not the territory itself. And that they are proxies for feeling and that ultimately my entire experience is one of feeling and of being and of consciousness. So those other things that I was talking about earlier, those are ways for understanding the perturbations and the ripples, in such a way that we can understand how and why they’re arising so that we don’t get lost in them, and then we can re-find that space that’s deeper beneath them all, out of which they’re all arising from.

Manda: Okay. All right. That’s really interesting because it’s quite a different way of viewing things than I would take. But absolutely I’m sure it’s completely valid. I would like to unpick that further and I definitely want to come back to metacognition, I have taken a note of that. But let’s go to Rupert for a bit. Because earlier, Rupert, you were talking about the vision quests that you lead. And first of all, I think we need to unpick what a vision quest is in case there is somebody listening who doesn’t know. I think it’s unlikely, but let’s just take that chance. And then explore how we in the West can use a vision quest, which is a very particular thing from a particular indigenous culture. Or perhaps we believe that every indigenous culture embodied this kind of thing. Are you familiar with Francis Weller’s concept of trauma culture versus initiation cultures, Rupert?

Rupert: I’m not familiar enough. So do tell for the benefit of myself and listeners.

Manda: I think it’s a really interesting model. So I wouldn’t necessarily use that terminology, but Francis Weller worked with Malidoma Somé for a long time, and he’s also a trauma therapist. So in his model initiation cultures, which are all of the indigenous forager hunter, shamanic based cultures where people are born understanding that they are an integral part of the web of life. The initiations which happen all the way through life, birth is an initiation, death is an initiation; but there are initiations within that which structurally create a contained encounter with death. And the containment is provided by the elders and the shamans and the Land and the ancestors, and the tribal society within which it is held. Such that the encounter with death, assuming it’s survived and it isn’t always, allows the initiate to understand the edges of themselves, probably to push the edges in themselves, and to come back into a culture that celebrates that this has happened. And that they’ve called on all of the sources of help that are available. In a trauma culture our encounters with death are not contained by anything, and so effectively we trigger stack and end up in an enormously traumatised place.

Manda: And that whatever trauma kicked off our move away from forager hunter connected lifestyle to agriculturally based disconnected lifestyle, is something that we then exported around the globhighly effectively, sadly, and are continuing so to do. So for me, I take that and I move it to: so how can we, within our trauma culture where we don’t have the connection to the all that is, we don’t have the societal structures to hold the mesh of supporting and containment; how do we individually or as groups, move into an initiation culture of healing that doesn’t take us backwards and assume that we’re all going to live in straw bale huts on the west edge of Wales, because that’s clearly not going to happen. But within 21st century society creates initiation cultures. And I am thinking that correctly held vision quests can be a part of that, if only because they take people a bit towards the edges of themselves and provide the containment. So that’s that’s the premise under which I’m asking you to speak more about your vision quest.

Rupert: Yeah. So I’d start by saying two things. First is that a lot of my spiritual teaching is about endings and about trying to enable people to make friends with, or at least come to terms with and accept endings. The most striking ending of all being the ending of this civilisation. So this connects with my somewhat well known argument that this civilisation is for certain coming to its end. But what is uncertain is the manner of its ending, which could be a splendid and transformative and positive. And the other thing to say is that when I take people out into wilderness, what I very much seek to do is to take people on a journey of voyage and return, which always involves a kind of a sense of an ending. So going out to somewhere and then coming back and marking the going out and the furthest point of the going out and the return. And I think all of that is a way of experientially and, if you will, sort of metaphorically inhabiting what you were just describing, Manda. But I think it does so in a way which is, as I was trying to say earlier, very accessible. And that’s something which is important to me. That we seek to make the idea, the understanding, the lived understanding of initiation, of a sense of coming to be familiar with death, impermanence, etc. That we make that something which is a quotidian, everyday, accessible reality for people who are in at the moment, this civilisation.

Rob: And that’s, of course, where it’s tricky because you’ve got to be somehow sort of inside and outside at the same time. But I think that’s possible. And one of the ways I think it’s possible, and here there might be a point of disagreement between myself and you and also possibly between myself and Rob. Is that part of what I’m trying to do in my spiritual teaching is to encourage people to understand that there is a very real sense in which everything is acceptable and everything is good, including the things which seem unacceptable and wrong. Including the difficult emotions which some people who call themselves spiritual say are sort of negative and should be avoided, such as fear and anger, including the cognitive. I’m interested in a fundamentally holistic way of seeking to reorient people to the world, and getting people to, as Rob was describing I think, really kind of synthesise the cognitive and the emotional, not privilege one over the other and synthesise those with consciousness and presence.

Rupert: And ultimately, it seems to me, if our spiritual teaching makes it seem as though there is something which is superior to the cognitive or the emotional, and that that is what spirituality gives access to, then that risks reinscribing the very kind of hierarchies that we’re trying to overcome. So that’s the sense in which what I do really does try to take seriously, that it’s all good. To the people who say, yes, but how can you say it’s all good, given there’s so much that’s wrong with the world? I say, yes, but your fear and anger and grief and despair and depression and so forth are the responses which which, if they’re held correctly, if they’re held correctly in your consciousness, if they’re held correctly in a broadly psychospiritual practice, can as it were rise to meet whatever is awry. And God knows there’s plenty of it in our world. And so I really do mean it when I say that I try to bring all of these things together, and that for me, is what it is to have a non-dual spiritual practice in action.

Manda: How can you be fully present and still be aware of cognition, or still be thinking and and making value judgements and things? How does that work for you?

Rob: Mhm mhm. I think one way of seeing how this is possible, I’m not saying it’s common, but I think it’s possible and I think I’ve experienced it, is being in a flow state. Now when people are giving examples of flow states, they normally give examples like dancing or uh, making love or swimming or things like that. But my experience is that it is perfectly possible to be in a true flow state in the course of a conversation, or in the course of giving a speech. That it’s possible to do that when you when you really step, in the course of that conversation, perhaps this conversation, into your true authentic self and you’re not led by ego anymore and you’re not posturing. You’re not trying to get one over on the person that you’re arguing with, or the people that you’re you’re addressing or whatever. It’s possible to be truly relational in a way which has intellectual exchange at its core. I think this doesn’t happen very often. I think that the academic world is very poor at bringing about the conditions of possibility for this, which is one reason why I’ve moved on from it. But as I say, I believe I’ve experienced it. I think we’re not far from it right now.

Manda: Okay. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you. Okay, let’s move back to Rob. Rupert said we might have disagreements, so if there are disagreements, I would really like to open them up. And you said you wanted to come back to metacognition. So open up whatever  aspects of that, the edges you’d like to push and then let’s explore metacognition as a concept.

Rob: Okay. I’m just going to try and capture something here that Rupert said. I do not disagree at all. I’m in full agreement. I often find, depending on who I’m talking to, I do encounter a lot of disagreement on the idea that everything is perfect as it is. And people say, well, how? How could you say that? So just a little bit of background on that because it feeds into this. It’s this idea that, as I said earlier, we are constructing our own realities. If we shift our sense of identity away from an egoic self, which is itself a construction, if we shift our identity back to what we were talking about earlier; that essence, that depth, that presence, that awareness, pure awareness, pure loving awareness. Once we go there and we recognise that that is our home state and that state is one of peace and of contentment and happiness and of love, then we recognise that it’s our constructions that take us away from that. And reorienting our outlook so that that is our home, changes everything. And it’s from that place that I personally remind myself of who and what I really am, which is consciousness. And that I am a localised consciousness within a universal consciousness. And it’s the constructions, the mental constructions, the beliefs, the thoughts, the stories that create the distortions and misperceptions.

Rob: But the base state of everything is perfect. Those beliefs, those stories, are more often than not created out of trauma. So to come back to what you were saying about metacognition and the meta crisis. For me, in losing our connection with who and what we really are; in identifying with an egoic self, in creating separation, we have lost our connection to that larger universe self and that understanding of who and what we really are and ultimately our understanding of reality. This in many ways has come about because of trauma. That notion of a separate self, that egoic self is necessary for survival. There’s a great Terence McKenna quote where he says if we were to constantly think that everything is one and there’s no separation, there’s no ego, we wouldn’t know whose mouth to put the spoon in at a dinner party. There’s a certain element of egoic self and separation that’s necessary for survival. And as a body, as a species in an ecosystem, we have these survival aspects to our nature, but at our core is our consciousness. And as I was saying about this understanding of constructing our realities through our beliefs and our narratives and so on, that for me, is where so much of our current problems lie.

Rob: So I used to talk about wanting to stop climate change or wanting to, you know, save the world and do all these sorts of different things. And now I’m recognising that those are all gazing downstream. And that all of the symptoms that we see in the world, it’s a mirror. They are products of meta cognitive error. And until that gaze is inverted and we look upstream and we critically reflect upon and understand what’s going on in our beliefs, the way that we’re encoding the world, the way our identities, our stories, the way that we are in the world and how we make sense of it; that’s where our efforts are best spent. And we can best do that as ourselves. So for me, the meta crisis is indicative of a meta cognitive dilemma, and that the problem is in us, it’s not in the world. I like to think of the idea of a projector and if we were all walking around with these projectors, just shooting out of our hearts onto the world, and we’d had them since birth. And let’s say, for example, there was a scratch in the lens of that projector, and that scratch has always, always been there from day one. We would then look around at the world and presume that the shadow that’s being cast, no matter what slide goes in front of the light, we would assume that it was outside in the world and we would take it for granted. But it’s only when we come back and recognise that it’s a projection from what is within us, and we can start to address those etchings, those scratches of trauma, be those within our lifetimes or those handed down from one generation to another as ancestral trauma. They distort. And we’re looking out on a world in a skewed and distorted fashion as a result of what’s going on metacognitively.

Rob: So this is all psychological ways of essentially saying it’s about healing. It’s about understanding who and what we are. It’s about reflection and connection and opening up space for that kind of engagement, which in our current world view in the West is not present. And as a result, we’re constantly looking downstream at all the things, chasing all these shadows, thinking they’re somewhere out in the world without recognising that all of it is a mirror. All of it is a projection of what’s inside us.

Manda: Brilliant. Thank you. Again, this is taking me in different pathways. So one of the times where I came to understand this, and I’m telling this because it’s going to frame the next question for Rupert, is I was at Schumacher doing the Masters in Regenerative Economics. We had a first term paper, I had set the question of what is shamanic economics, because along the way we’d been taught Buddhist economics and Hindu economics and ecological economics, and someone had said, oh, look, there’s a shamanic economics. Because in Brazil they were going to put up a dam and they went and they did a ceremony to basically placate the river. And I was so cross. It was the first time I’d just lost it completely. Because that’s not shamanic economics, I’m really sorry. Shamanic economics is you go and you sit with the river for as long as it takes, and it’s probably decades, till you know what the river needs. And I would be pretty certain that’s not a dam. So I thought, okay, so what is a shamanic economics? Let’s do that as my first term paper. And I used all the shamanic tools in my box to do it. And there was a point where I was walking, just simply walking, inviting the God that I worked with at the time and still do, and one of the elder grandmothers, such that they are seeing through my eyes, hearing through my ears, and I am seeing them seeing through my eyes, asking the question. And I came around the corner, and the God was standing there, right in the middle of the path and said, you’re asking the wrong question. Really? Because this was Friday and I had to hand it on Monday, and I had, you know, 20,000 words to write.

Manda: Right? That’s the wrong question, really? And okay, what’s the question? And the question was, what is humanity for? Because you will not work out of an exchange of values, which is all economics is, if you don’t know why. And that then became my core question and probably still is, which I think speaks very much to what Rob has just said. And I’m noticing that in 40 minutes of recording, we’ve been talking about spirituality and we have not mentioned a sense of the divine. So, Rupert, I’d like to come to you and and ask the core question of, do you have a sense that there is… So I would make a really big distinction between deities, which for me are bound within space and time and are generally a product of human focussed consciousness, and the ‘all that is’, the heart mind of the universe, which is outside space and time and is absolute pure compassion and I am beginning to believe probably has a sense of a direction. But that’s my big question. So, Rupert, do you have a sense of the divine? And if so, what is it? And would you make a similar distinction between gods and the all that is? You don’t have to. And do you have a sense that there is any kind of wider purpose, or are we simply fireflies and we die and that’s it?

Rupert: Oh, the easy ones first, huh?

Manda: We’re 40 minutes in, this isn’t first.

Rob: Yeah, you’re right, we’re 40 minutes in. But I was thinking earlier when you Manda were talking about the all night shamanic ceremony; I was thinking, God, you know, I would love to have this conversation for a whole day. We could be here for a whole day, I believe.

Manda: Well, we can split it up. You want to stay all day? I haven’t got anything else.

Rob: Yeah, or we’ll come back and circle back. So, I will get to your question. I’m going to get to it indirectly by starting from saying what Rob was saying a minute or two ago, I think connects with something which some listeners will be familiar with, the fact that Rob and I are both in the Climate Majority project. And that in the Climate Majority project theory of change is the idea that shared inner work is essential and that the inner dimension has been neglected in most actually existing activism and efforts to change the world. Or to accept the world in such a different way that it changes even more thoroughly. Now, why do I mention that? Well, because I think that we are all agreed that this inner dimension is ineradicable and essential. We may not, however, agree on how to characterise it and what goes on there. So in terms of presence, to go right back to where I started my remarks in this podcast, when one is present to what is, one encounters things. I mean, the word thing is very inadequate here. One encounters feelings, one encounters senses, one encounters thoughts, and one encounters things that are deeper than that. Is among what one encounters mystical objects, supernatural entities, metaphysical realities of another kind?

Rupert: My answer to that question is essentially agnostic. I am open to that, and I’m certainly open to people who are open to that. But I don’t want to require any such sense for entering into, if you will, spiritual practice as I understand it. So the way that you understand spirituality, Manda, I see that as one way. But if that was a way that people had the sense was required in order for them to be spiritual or something like that way, I think that would be a loss. I want this to be available to everybody, and I believe it can be available to everybody. So I think that we human beings, in a way that I think Rob was gesturing at earlier, are at our core, in our essence, love and compassion. Would I say that that is the nature of the universe? I am agnostic as to as to that. Do I think that there is purpose to the universe? I’m inclined to think that in some sense there is. But I don’t want to require that that sense be identified with an assertion of the existence of any kind of supernatural entities, whether deities or of any other kind, such as those that I think you were referencing earlier, Manda.

Rupert: And I want to ensure that people find it possible to find the divine if they’re able to find it, in the absolutely most humble things, including, crucially, in nature. Too much spirituality and religion has been about a kind of retreat or withdrawal from life. Or a kind of opposition to the body or the embodied. We are at the point now where I think we’re able to understand that mind is not superior to body in the way that Descartes thought it was. But coming back again to what I was seeking to say earlier about what it is to be truly non-dual, I want to say also that the soul is not superior to the body. I want to allow for a spirituality, an eco spirituality, which includes, in a certain sense, on a completely level playing field, everything that is and that as William Blake had it, finds eternity or divinity in a grain of sand just as much as in any magnificent, existential experience or the object of such an experience.

Manda: Okay, I would like to unpick that further, but I would like to also give Rob a space to speak because he’s been nodding in the background. So Rob, do you have a sense of an all that is?

Rob: Yes, 100%. I again come back to this idea that there is no separation. The ego, the individual self, is the product of a belief in separation. When we believe that we are separate, we feel that we’re lacking. And when we feel that we are lacking, we feel sadness and depression. If we believe that we are lacking, then it makes sense that we would look out into the world to try and complete ourselves. And that’s where attachment arises, and we start looking for things outside of us to satisfy us. We create victimhood. We say, ah, if only things were like this, or if only this person did this, or if only this, if only that; we create this attachment. And when we become frustrated in our attempts to maintain those attachments, we experience anger. And likewise, if we believe that we are being frustrated from meeting our needs and our ultimate aims that are outside of ourselves, that then leads to fear and control. And now we’ve got a full spectrum of negative emotion and behaviour, all arising from one single belief that we’re separate, when in actual fact, what the science of the 20th century and what wisdom traditions have been telling us forever, is that there is no such thing as separation. It’s an illusion. And for me, I am a manifestation of all that is, as are you, and that the consciousness that is at the root of my experience of that of which I can say ‘I am’, that is the divine, that is the root of all things.

Rob: And it’s in each and every single one of us. And the consciousness that is looking out through my eyes is the consciousness that’s looking out through your eyes; it’s all just one thing. And coming back to that idea of consciousness being primary, for me, the all that is is akin to a dreamer, and therefore this egoic separate self, I’m a character in that dream. My relationship to the divine is therefore very much similar to the relationship between a dream character and the dreamer who is dreaming it, in the sense that I cannot see, feel or touch that dreamer, but know myself to be a manifestation of it, and that I am in it, and that it is all encompassing. So for me, the all that is is the divine mind that is dreaming, and that I am within that both a dream character and also the dreamer itself. I think this is how anything that is essentially oneness could ever come to know itself through the illusion of separation.

Rob: And it’s through that illusion of separation that self knowledge of the divine comes about. And for me, by shifting my identity in this way into recognising who and what I really am, it recontextualizes my identity and my activities in such a way that it is easier for me to come back to that place of love. And ultimately I seek within that to listen to my emotions, and I think of them as a guidance system, and my practice from this perspective is to cultivate being in loving relationship with everyone and everything. Because it’s all about relationship and all is fundamentally one. There is no separation. And that love is that connection, it’s the falling away of separation. So by being in loving relationship with all that is, with my thoughts, with my feelings, with everyone and everything around me, however it may present itself, it requires of me a shift in how I see the world. I’m constantly having to adapt in order to maintain that loving relationship, to maintain that full connection and that unity. But it’s perfectly possible and it comes from inner shifts. Because the opposite of that is to want the world to change all the time, so that I can remain fixed. And that’s where suffering comes from, because from that point of view, it’s this idea again, this victimhood mentality of everything outside of me needs to change so that I can be happy.

Rob: It’s also a desire for reality to be other than it is, which for me is the root of all suffering and also fundamentally insane. Like if you think about I want reality to be other than it is so that I can be happy; all of it, the entire cosmos. Whereas if we instead say, okay, I see all that is, how can I then adapt and change how I’m looking at it, how I’m perceiving it, the reality that I’m constructing, to be in alignment with all that is and with that unity. And for me, the simple practice to do that is one of devotion. It’s one of how can I maintain loving relationship with all that is? And that the way that I do that is by adjusting me, what’s inside me. And when I do that, it opens up love. It opens up empathy, compassion, forgiveness. Forgiveness is just such a huge part of it. And from that space I then can start to see more of the divine in others, and then the more I do that, the more I see the divine in myself, and it becomes this self-fulfilling positive feedback loop of connecting with the divine through the practice of loving relationship.

Manda: Brilliant. Thank you. Yes. Yes, I would really like to unpick and we may come back to this, the metaphor of the dream and and we are the emanations of the dream of the divine. But you said at one point that we cannot connect to the divine. And I think not only can we, but we have to.

Rob: Well, no, I meant physically, in space and time.

Manda: Oh, okay. All right. Right. That makes more sense.

Rob: Because it’s not a space and time thing. It’s it’s supra. It’s meta. Yes.

Manda: It stands outside of space and time. Yes. Have you read Christopher Bache? I think it is. Diamonds from Heaven.

Rob: No, but I’ll add it to the list.

Manda: Yes. It’s very interesting. He, over the course of 20 years, took 73 heroic doses of LSD as a spiritual practice. And frankly, I read it and I think you did that so we don’t have to. And in the end, reached a place where he was experiencing oneness in a way that I have rarely encountered someone expressing it so clearly. And had visions of the whole of humanity exactly as you said, as the divine coming to know itself, which I find very interesting. So I’d like to explore with Rupert, because I come back to my encounters with indigenous peoples who have never known the separation, who are born knowing that they are part of the all-that-is, they obviously have suffered extraordinary trauma but they have the capacity to not be defined by that trauma. And they don’t live in a world where they’re ordering yet another box from Amazon in an effort to heal the trauma inside. They understand that what you need to do is connect to the web of life, whatever we call it, and be what it needs of us, and that that is what we’re here for. And so I come back to, Rupert particularly your sense of accessibility, clearly I would say if we don’t reach a tipping point where this is the way we are, then things are going to look pretty grim.

Manda: Unpick for me a little bit your concept of accessibility. Because I was not aware that some of the assertions that you made were things that people believed, but then I do exist in a particular bubble where they’re probably not and in the outside world they probably are. How do we make this something that is part of the general narrative and the belief system, if you like? How do we create the consciousness and the language, and perhaps the rituals, that make falling in love with the divine, which I think is what we’re talking about, Alnoor Ladha spoke of that, but I think is where we’re heading to. How do we make that something that everybody desires to do? Because it seems to me that you can hold all the courses you want, but if nobody comes, it makes no difference. People have to want to do this, and then we have to make it possible. And we have to make it possible, as you said, in ways that are accessible. What is for you the gateway to accessibility and to people wanting to do it?

Rupert: Yeah great. Well, I think the best way to handle that crucial question is just to try to give a few examples. So I’m going to give a few examples of very different kinds. One, prompted by what Rob said a little while ago, along the lines of the consciousness behind my eyes, is the same as the consciousness that’s behind your eyes, is works of film which seek to make this notion which can seem very outre to people from our civilisation, one which can be comprehended. For me, the the great master of this is Terrence Malick, in his films. For example, it’s explicit that this is what is in play in his extraordinary epic war film The Thin Red line. And it’s quite an amazing achievement to make a war film, which is really a work of spirituality and philosophy, and I think he succeeds brilliantly in that. It was a sort of arthouse film, but it actually broke out to some extent beyond the arthouses and a lot of people have seen that film. Another example, again, sort of from the arts, but very different would be the romantic movement. And here I’m thinking especially of the brilliant characterisation of romanticism offered by Ian Mcgilchrist, who suggests that if one reads, for example, Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads,  as of course many, many people have done, very influential work. That what one is encountering in some of those poems is a sort of homespun, accessible, nature based spirituality. Nothing less than that. And then a completely different kind of example, an example based in a practice.

Rupert: So when I was in a time, some considerable time in the past, when I was very depressed, I was told by my therapist to when I was lying in bed at night, to try to think of five things from the day that I was grateful for. And sometimes this was a bit of a struggle. But I made it into a practice, and then I upped it after a while to ten things a day when five became too easy. And then I upped it, lying in bed right before going to sleep, I upped it to 30 things. I had to think of 30 things from the day that I was grateful for, and quite often, obviously one falls asleep before one gets to 30, but all the same, it’s an interesting exercise. But then there came a point several years ago, and this is what I tried to teach to my students on my spiritually oriented courses, when I realised that there was something deeply inadequate and non-dual about this practice, because I was picking out the things that I was grateful for as opposed to the things I wasn’t grateful for. So you see where I was heading? The practice that I undertake now is every night before I go to sleep, when I’m lying in bed, I seek to go back over the day and be grateful for absolutely everything without any discrimination. And that is where it becomes, for me, a spiritual practice. It flips into another realm when you move from trying to be grateful for a lot of things to being grateful for absolutely everything.

Manda: Okay. And I have just finished the recordings for a module within Accidental Gods, where we’re looking at the three pillars of the heart mind, which for us are gratitude, compassion, and joyful curiosity. So our practice is, how do we help people to evoke a sense of gratitude in the moment, in every single moment, and compassion and joyful curiosity, so that we are living it. Because if we wait until the end of the day, we are creating duality. That’s already splitting us off. So it’s for me imperative to do this in the moment. And my question, so we’ll go to Rob now, is in the wider world where all of the social media companies are harvesting our attention and our limbic systems, how do we connect with people such that the reality of everything that you’ve been saying; that we are whole when we are in love with the divine; becomes something that they wish to do. My experience is that once people want to do it, it’s kind of a one way valve. It’s like discovering your sexuality, there is no going back. Once you’ve opened to the fact that this is possible, then there’s a hunger for exploring it, and in the exploring becomes the being. But that hunger has to start. How do you see that becoming a widespread hunger? If you do.

Rob: Yeah, I think we need to let go of the idea that we need to make other people do anything. I 100% understand and appreciate that if we were to arrive at an end state where everybody was living in loving relationship with all that is, that we would have a wonderful version of civilisation and a beautiful society to be a part of. The reason that I’m flagging it is because I think there’s a contradiction within it. If we seek to change other people or to encourage other people to be different than how they are, we’re essentially saying that we want reality to be different than how it is. We’re then creating suffering. We are creating a sense of lack and insufficiency, and we’re creating attachments to things outside of us that we don’t have any control over, and it’s coming from a place of fear, because we’re wanting to control things outside of ourselves so that we can feel better about it. And it’s totally normal and that is part of the egoic self. However, I would suggest that the resolution to it comes from a place of surrender and of acceptance, and that strangely enough, from that place, that aim that we seek is more likely to come about. Because rather than trying to control anything, we let go and we focus on cultivating within ourselves all the things that we want to see in the world. We take full radical responsibility for our state of being, and that in being in loving relationship with all that is, that includes being in loving relationship with the world as we find it, not as we want it. And that through shining as brightly as we possibly can, that is all we ever need do, because we live in this web, we live in this interconnected, interdependent system.

Rob: Each one of us is a node within it, and the more brightly that we shine, the ripples that we send out through that system, that’s the work to do. So just by being it myself, I am affecting that wider system that I’m in connection with. I don’t need to try and change the web, I need to be present within it and I need to shine as brightly within it. And I can only do that when I let go of resonating in a frequency of lack and of attachment and of control. So they’re perfectly, perfectly normal responses when we look at the world, to feel lack, to feel attachment, to feel a desire to control it all. But what I’m suggesting is that from a place of loving relationship, we have to let go of all of those things and come back to a place of unity and recognise that those drives are coming from a belief in separation, and that once we let go of that belief and separation, our only work to do is to shine as brightly as we possibly can and to forgive everyone and everything. Just as Rupert was saying about looking at every moment of the day and not just being grateful for the positive parts, but being grateful for all of it, that’s what loving relationship is. It’s this acceptance of all of it as it is. And the shift is within us, not within the world outside of us. But strangely enough, when we have that shift within us, the world, the universe being that mirror, we then see that change without. But the change has to come within rather than seeking to change anything outside of us.

Manda: Brilliant. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. Rupert, we’re heading towards the end of our time. Admittedly we could go on with this for the rest of the day, and we can’t. So in wrapping up, is there anything conceptually, we’ll get to what you’re doing and what things we want to talk about in terms of meeting you out in the world, but in the idea space, in the feeling space. Is there anything else that you felt we hadn’t covered?

Rupert: Well, the one thing I would like to add is that I think for anyone listening to this, I hope it’s felt alive. There’s been an interesting sense of deep commonality, some important differences of nuance sometimes. I would like to convey to the listener that speaking for myself and my betters, that the two of you feel somewhat similarly. I don’t consider myself to be a master of this material. In fact, I’d go further than that if I were to claim to be a master of this material, I think that would be a very good reason for distrusting me. I think that that those who claim in the spirituality space to be enlightened or to, in effect pose as gurus are invariably the worst people to be gurus. And what I try to practice, and what I’ve heard and felt at times, certainly in this conversation, is what Shunryu Suzuki, the great Zen master, if that’s the right word, when he said,”look, always be a beginner. That’s the that’s the secret of doing this practice right”. Or to put it in terms of the Quaker tradition, the Quakers have this concept of being a seeker. And I would say I am always a seeker as well as a teacher. If I manage to be a teacher, it’s partly because I’m always a seeker.

Manda: Brilliant. Yes. Mary Oliver said, ‘keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable’, which I think covers that. Just keep that space. Rob, anything from your side that we haven’t covered?

Rob: Yeah. To go back to this idea of the microcosm and the macrocosm. The same as Rupert, my path in all of this has come about through deep suffering, through anxiety, and through depression. From multiple life events, but then also from just holding the grief of the climate crisis, the meta crisis. The weight that I felt on me just being a dad to young children and self-employed is difficult. And then all the other elements of my life and relationships and personal traumas are difficult. And then to hold that within the context of the end of civilisation, just pushed me over the edge. And yet I would say that in having been pushed, it has been the greatest catalyst for personal growth and spiritual development. And that as a result of it, my heart has opened and my entire experience has changed. And I would therefore just shine a light on that and say, remember the microcosm and the macrocosm. What we are living through at present is a process and it is necessary. There are flaws in our constructions of the world, in our identities, and there’s deep trauma in our culture, and it has to play out and it is playing out. But on the other side of our eco anxiety, on the other side of our grief and our fear, which all stem from attachment to a civilisation that, if we’re honest it needs to evolve, it needs to change. We need to let it go. This for me is all catalyst for growth, it’s catalyst for the expansion of human consciousness.

Rob: It is a process that is necessary. And when our consciousness expands, it can never shrink back. And that whatever civilisation we end up with on the other side of this, it’s going to have benefited from such learning, such growth and reflection. All the work that’s going on in Earth system science at the moment, to better understand the nature of our crises, is showing us more and more of the intricacies of this beautiful, interconnected being. Not just a planet, but like this huge living thing, that’s all just one thing. And at the same time, when we look to the heavens and we start to understand cosmology, it’s the same story. And what we’re learning as we encounter these crises is it’s a teaching and a humbling that on the other side of we will have such richness with which to build a different civilisation. An ecological civilisation. And for me, I think back to what Arne Ness, the deep ecologist philosopher, always used to say when people said that he was such a pessimist, he’d say, ‘I’m not a pessimist, I’m an optimist. Just for the 22nd century, not the 21st’. And I agree with that to a large extent. I think that this whole process, when we look at it in terms of learning and of catalyst, it means that we must welcome all of it and accept all of it and forgive it and be willing to learn and to reflect and to find the lessons in it, so that we can grow and evolve and reconnect with who and what we really are.

Manda: Beautiful. Thank you. All right, Rupert, how do people find you? And what are you doing in the immediate future that people might want to come and visit?

Rupert: So you can find me at Eventually there will, I hope, be a book about this stuff that we’ve been discoursing on here today. Regular listeners to the podcast here will know that I produce books on a semi-regular basis. Some of these take a short time to write, some take a very long time to write. This is very definitely one of the latter, this ecospirituality book I’m gradually working on. In the meantime yes, I am teaching and leading various courses. For instance, there is a residency at Life Itself in Bergerac in France in May and another one in September, which will touch on some of what we’ve talked about here today. And I’m giving the Ebaugh lecture on Earth Hope, basically ecospirituality at York on May the 8th. If you can’t make it to York, then it will also be available in a hybrid way live as well. So yes, do look out for that.

Manda: Excellent. And you will send me links that I can put in the show notes to all of these?

Rupert: I will indeed.

Manda: Jolly good. And Rob, you have a Substack. Tell us about your Substack and anything else that you think people would like to connect with.

Rob: So I write under the name of Woodford Roberts, and you can find my Substack, which is called How to Be Happy at the end of the world, which is the title of the book that I’m currently writing. And I’m publishing pieces of it now and then on that Substack, How to Be Happy at the end of the world. Some of the posts on there are poetry, some parts are longer forms of journalism, and sometimes there’s the odd recording that I do on there. So it’s kind of like a podcast and a newsletter all in one. And lots of the different ideas that we’ve been speaking about are the same things that I speak about there.

Manda: Excellent, brilliant. So if people want to support you, they go support your Substack. Rupert, have you got a Substack?

Rupert: I don’t have a Substack as such, but I do write quite a lot. My writings get assembled at I do actually have a Substack. It’s about counterfactual history, about what would happen if the past was different, which I think is a great way of thinking of how the future could be different. But in terms of the kind of things we’ve been discoursing on today, or the Climate Majority Project are probably your best places to find me.

Manda: Okay. That’s brilliant. Rupert Read and Woodford Roberts, thank you so much for coming on to the Accidental Gods podcast. I look forward to doing this again sometime with both of you.

Rupert: Let’s.

Rob: Thank you

 Manda: And that’s it for another week. Enormous thanks to Rob and to Rupert for sharing suchdeep, heartfelt thoughts about the nature of reality. About ourselves, about who we are and about how we are. It’s going to take me quite a while to process this, and I record the outro straight after. So my first thought is that my heart space is big and warm and feels utterly luminous, and that what really lit it up was when Rob said, this is what we need to be. Just to be this, and then everything else falls away. Our head minds are so busy deciding that we need to have all the answers, we need to have figured everything out in linear fashion. And we have figured out everything in linear fashion, and that if we don’t do anything, x will happen, where X is probably not what we want. And we know that we live in a world of utter complexity, and we know that what Oscar Miro Quesada said is right. Consciousness creates matter. There is a world of such astonishing beauty behind what we see in the everyday.

Manda: And every time I go to the places that I go to talk with the Gods as I perceive them, the one thing that they’ve said recently, day after day after day, every single morning of my morning ceremony is the world is not what you think it is. And I think I have a pretty broad concept of what the world might be. I think it’s very flexible and full of shamanic possibilities, and even so I am recognising because I must, that they are telling me the truth. That the world is not what I think it is, and it doesn’t matter what I think it is. What matters is the beingness; is resting in heart mind. For me the three pillars of the Heartmind are crucial, but it doesn’t really matter how you get there. What matters is that you do settle there, rest there, be in that luminosity. And not worry about what’s going to happen, because it’s the being that matters. And if each of us were to do that, as Rob said, the world would be a different place. And he may be right that wanting that to happen is falling into ego. I’m sure he is right that wanting that to happen is falling into ego. But I definitely want that to happen. And I am not yet at the point where I burned all of my ego parts. So I think that’s well worth working for. But the only person we can work with is ourselves. So being, just being. See how it feels.

Manda: And we meanwhile, will be back next week with another conversation. Enormous thanks to Caro C in the meantime for the music at the head and foot. To Alan Knowles of Airtight Studios for the production. To Anne Thomas for the transcripts. To Faith Tilleray, for all of the conversations that help me simply to be, and for giving me the space to go and sit up the hill for hours on end. And then, as ever, enormous thanks to you for listening, for being there, for caring enough to get to the end. And if you know of anybody else who wants to explore the deeper ideas of who we are. Then please do send them this link. And just before we go, if you are anywhere around York on the 8th of May, then please do go and see Rupert at the Ebaugh lecture. The link is in the show notes. You can find that on the podcast page at, or you can go to whatever is your favourite podcast provider. And if you go there, five stars and a review I am told really helps us to reach other people. So go for it, we’d be very grateful. And that definitely is it for now. See you next week. Thank you and goodbye.

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