Thinking With Somebody Else's Head podcast

Special Podcast Series: The Modern Relevance of God - Ep. 13: How We Miss Paradise

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Welcome to episode 13 of the Modern Relevance of God audio course here on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head. I'm Richard Lloyd Jones.

As I’ve been developing this series, I have to admit I’ve been wondering about the acceptance of its premise in the English-speaking world. Living in Brazil for the past 20 years has coloured my perceptions and tastes in ways I wasn’t expecting. My Anglo-Saxon feeling of assumed superiority has been challenged here in surprising ways. I imagined the typical cultural challenges of language and bureaucracy and doing the exchange in my head about the cost of stuff. I traveled to Europe for long stretches back in my backpacking years after all, but now have come to understand the difference between those mostly tourist concerns and the deeper questionings and soul searching that mark the real existential stirring provoked by making home somewhere else.

I can characterize this with a story. One of my Brazilian colleagues at the language school I work with here in Brazil was giving a Portuguese class for foreigners one day. A diverse group: an American, a couple of Colombians, a guy from Argentina and a young woman from France. One of the Colombians was talking about his spiritual and religious beliefs in one class, openly expressing his reverence for life and God. The French woman rolled her eyes dismissively and uttered something in French about how backward this was. To her surprise, my colleague speaks French, and to her greater surprise, he jumped in immediately with a gentle rebuke. “No, no,” he said. “We’re in Brazil now. Here we don’t ridicule people for their beliefs.”

It must have been a sobering moment for the European, a consciousness that on this question of tolerance, Brazil is light years ahead of the rest of the world.

Well, exactly that cultural arrogance has also been challenged in me. My worldview, nurtured at the breast of a secular education which indoctrinated me in modernization and often vehement criticism of religious consideration in human affairs, has been challenged here. Especially in Norberto Keppe’s science, which I’ve been deeply studying and working with. This is a science based on extensive clinical practice that doesn’t exclude philosophy or spirituality in treating human beings, and it’s brought ample opportunities to question my deep-seated biases and personal philosophies. At the end, I’ve found basic fundamentals of my philosophy of life inadequate and even profoundly wrong in the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment.

One of these wrong ideas is corrected in this episode, with Claudia Bernhardt Pacheco.

Click here to listen to this episode.

Click here to download the PDF.

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