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The Great Humbling S3E5: 'See Double!'

The Great Humbling

Release Date: 05/06/2021

The Great Humbling S4E6: 'Nice to meet you' show art The Great Humbling S4E6: 'Nice to meet you'

The Great Humbling

After twenty-nine episodes recorded through screens and cameras, Ed and Dougald find themselves meeting for the first time and sit down for a conversation beside the mill pond in Loddon, in the garden of the Mill of Impermanence. We hear the unlikely tale of how Dougald found Ed’s fiftieth birthday present, a copy of Uriah Heep’s fifth album, , while en route to a holiday in Great Yarmouth. A chain of serendipitous events leads to the unavoidable conclusion that Yarmouth is the spiritual home of the Great ‘Umbling. This leads to a discussion of ‘serendipity’, the term , and...

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The Great Humbling S4E5: 'Belief' show art The Great Humbling S4E5: 'Belief'

The Great Humbling

Dougald poses a big question for this episode: what do we believe in? Ed responds playfully and paradoxically with ‘self-delusion’, citing Robert Trivers work on self-deceit that includes gay pornography and erection-o-meters. And lasers. Here's .  Dougald talks about the formative influence of spending the first two-and-a-bit years of his life in the grounds of a theological college and what happened when he told his Sunday school teacher that he didn't find Hell 'a particularly helpful concept’.  Does it matter more what we believe, or what our beliefs make us do?...

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The Great Humbling S4E4: 'Are we going to talk about Ukraine?' show art The Great Humbling S4E4: 'Are we going to talk about Ukraine?'

The Great Humbling

We started this podcast in the early weeks of the pandemic, talking about the stories circling around it. A crisis had come out of the corner of almost everyone's field of vision and became, within weeks, the only thing in the news. Two years on, something similar has happened, so we arrived at this episode wondering whether or not to talk about Ukraine. Dougald remembers Ivan Illich's short text, 'The Right to Dignified Silence' (in ), written in support of West German campaigners  who refused to enter into a reasoned argument about nuclear weapons, choosing instead to express...

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The Great Humbling S4E3: The Great Humbling S4E3: "Remapping Lava"

The Great Humbling

We’ve been listening back to , almost two years ago, in the early weeks of the time of Covid. Maybe it’s the influence of revisiting those early episodes, or maybe it has to do with Dougald turning up to our January recording with a glass of bubbly in hand, but we find ourselves ranging freely – and at some length – in this conversation we’re calling ‘Remapping Lava’. Before we get onto the main theme of the discussion, we bring back the tradition of asking each other what we’ve been reading or listening to lately that’s got us thinking. Ed talks about , the new novel...

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The Great Humbling S4E2: The Great Humbling S4E2: "The Commonplace"

The Great Humbling

Dougald and Ed discuss the idea of 'the commonplace' - that which we hold 'in common'. What can a Scandinavian hotel breakfast 'smorgasbord' tell us about our understanding of the commons beyond resources? Can David Graeber shed light on the role of the commons in human cultural history? And where might we find a new commonplace to have and to hold the conversations, and nurture the ideas and practices that really matter?

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The Great Humbling S4E1: 'Confessions' show art The Great Humbling S4E1: 'Confessions'

The Great Humbling

The Great Humbling is back for a fourth series of conversations between Dougald Hine and Ed Gillespie, now as part of the wider patchwork of Homeward Bound. Our theme for this first episode is confessions, but we start by looking back over the summer that’s gone.

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The Great Humbling S3E8: 'Now...breathe!' show art The Great Humbling S3E8: 'Now...breathe!'

The Great Humbling

We wrap up series 3 with some ruminations and reflections on the breathing space post-lockdown, what becomes visible beyond hope, how the dark forests of the internet are perhaps the place to be, and we explore cancel culture and the literature of white liberalism...

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The Great Humbling S3E7: 'Get on your knees!' show art The Great Humbling S3E7: 'Get on your knees!'

The Great Humbling

Dougald and Ed sink to their knees on the prayer mat, digging into the biological, behavioural, spiritual and political of 'taking the knee' and exploring the absence of blessings, prayer, libations and offerings. Is there a place for 'speaking to the friend' beyond the theology of organised religiion? This episode does not contain Madonna or Bon Jovi

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The Great Humbling S3E6: 'Small yourself up!' show art The Great Humbling S3E6: 'Small yourself up!'

The Great Humbling

From Jamaican buses, via Antarctica to policing our own privileges and contributions, this is an adventure through the ways in which our perceptions and attitudes towards scale (and speed) can spin us into awkward and uncomfortable spaces and situations. How do we hold our heads and hearts in the multiple layers of expectation and experience?

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The Great Humbling S3E5: 'See Double!' show art The Great Humbling S3E5: 'See Double!'

The Great Humbling

The one where Dougald and Ed explore 'double vision' via the usual unlikely mix of Thundercats, William Blake, Karl Polanyi, Jay Griffiths, Vanessa Andreotti and Robert Frost - how do we maintain our layered consciousness, how does one become an 'accidental futurist' and what might a 'double movement' for the future feel like?

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More Episodes

Dougald realises how his work these days has come to orbit around the future and discovers he’s accidentally became a futurist

Ed shares his journey to accidental, reluctant, futurism

Then Dougald introduces this week’s instruction is ‘See Double!’

Ed talks about Double Vision or Diplopia - the simultaneous perception of two images of a single object that may be displaced horizontally, vertically, diagonally - both vertically and horizontally and how its often voluntary.

Ed references Thundercats ‘Sword of Omens’! ‘Give me sight beyond sight!’ (a first for the podcast) and the 2002 movie ‘Double Vision’ about a serial killer who impregnates victims with a black fungus that causes hallucinations, compelling them to kill themselves (don’t do these kind of shrooms!)...based on a Taoist belief that to become a ‘Xian’ (enlightened immortal) one must endure the 5 sufferings…

Frigid Hell, Fire Hell, Disembowelment Hell, Heart-Extracting Hell, and Tongue-Removal Hell

Diplopia can also be one of the first signs of a systemic disease, particularly to a muscular or neurological process, and it may disrupt a person's balance, movement, or reading abilities. Is our double vision a systemic disease?!

Erasmus derived proverb ‘In the kingdom of the blind the one eyed man is King’ 

Ed talks about one-eyed Norse God Odin and his exchange of an eye for knowledge and wisdom, and he huge symbolism around perception

Dougald quotes from William Blake:

Now I a fourfold vision see

And a fourfold vision is given to me;

Tis fourfold in my supreme delight

And threefold in soft Beulahs night

And twofold Always. May God us keep

From Single vision and Newtons sleep!

And the layered account of consciousness, described well by Philip Pullman

Dougald describes the warning in the poem against a flat rationalism, an approach to the world which Blake clearly identifies with the emergence of what we think of as modern science, the figure of Isaac Newton – and the point is not to deny that the ways of seeing we associate with science have a place – it’s that to allow this way of seeing to represent the full truth of the world is dangerous and mistaken

Ed mentions Merlin Sheldrake’s work in ‘Do Shrooms’ which echoes the same point

Dougald quotes what John Berger said of Jay Griffiths – ‘Reality is such that both language and imagination have to exaggerate, in order to confront it truly’ and tells a great story of Jay at the first Dark Mountain festival

Ed talks about the dual tension between different strains of what, for want of a better word, we might call activism, and how the behaviour change versus system change battle still rages

Dougald brings in economic historian Karl Polanyi and his ideas of ‘disembedding’ and ‘the double movement’ and how ‘laissez-faire was planned’ The Great Transformation

How do we not feel like fools, for believing that there’s any possibility of things turning out differently?

And the answer is perhaps the double movement – to say, it’s possible that we have at least two trajectories) that coexist, that are moving in quite different directions, and it’s not that one of them is real and the other isn’t, it’s that there’s no way of seeing from here how the interaction between them turns out or which turns out to be the more significant

‘Seeing double’, being able to attend to very different possibilities unfolding and coexisting over time, without the reality of one trajectory having to eclipse the other – it’s a way of holding things open, retaining the possibility of surprise

Ed talks about the MDGs, SDGs, Good Life Goals and Inner Development Goals: https://www.innerdevelopmentgoals.org/, Matthew Taylor’s Reformism vs Radicalism hypothesis is another of these false binaries, misleading polarities and how a former senior Futerra colleague attacked him for his involvement with XR, saying Extinction Rebellion wasn’t very ‘on brand’

Dougald touches on Hospicing Modernity and a social cartography https://decolonialfutures.net/mapping-decolonization/ that maps out Soft Reform, Radical Reform and Beyond Reform.

Ed talks about ‘insultancy’ and concludes with a verse from Robert Frost - Two Tramps In Mud Time

But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For heaven and the future’s sakes.