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The Great Humbling S3E6: 'Small yourself up!'

The Great Humbling

Release Date: 05/13/2021

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 references a long essay by David Cayley, ‘Gaia and the path of the Earth’ and Bruno Latour’s book, Facing Gaia, contradictions ‘must be endured and sustained, not resolved or overcome’ and Vanessa Andreotti on ‘layering’

Ed talks about his first paddle upstream from the Mill and introduces this week’s instruction:  ‘Small yourself up’?! via Jamaican buses and Antarctica.

Dougald talks about the privilege of taking up space, whether that’s man-spreading on the tube or being quick to jump in and say whatever comes to your mind in a meeting.

Ed refers to the Findhorn New Story Summit  and how the over eager crowd were encouraged to self-police their own contributions by asking themselves whether they would add more to the gathering than a moment of powerful collective shared silence.

Dougald talks about the app ‘Is A Dude Talking?’ and how if you put this podcast through the Is A Dude Talking? app, the answer is 100% yes.

Ed discusses how looking or feeling small is usually associated with humiliation, insignificance or stupidity but how the proverbial roots of ‘small’ often work the other way. Bringing in E.F.Schumacher’s ‘Small is Beautiful’.

Dougald introduces something the Belgian philosopher Isabelle Stengers says, about making the case for slowing down and the 1905 San Francisco streetcar footage, used as a music video by Air for La Femme d’Argent and how Illich talks about “the speed-stunned imagination.

Ed wonders whether the pandemic and the reclamation of road space for outdoor and al fresco hospitality and physically distanced mobility might actually help us tune back in to our speed-stunned imaginations and reconnect with Illich’s sense of human scale streetscape conviviality?

Dougald goes back to Alan Lane from Slung Low Theatre and a post of his from the autumn, on whether it’s the job of arts organisations to be running food banks.

Dougald quotes a line from the political theorist Jodi Dean – ‘Goldman Sachs doesn’t care if you raise chickens’ – and Chris Smaje’s book A Small Farm Future, and the artist Jeanne van Heeswijk - working at ground-level, at the human scale, in the communities where they find themselves.

Dougald talks about an invitation from the composer Lola Perrin’s live-streamed reading marathon to coincide with the hearing where the UK government is seeking to jail the barrister Tim Crosland who deliberately broke the embargo on the announcement of Heathrow Airport Limited’s successful appeal to give the go-ahead for a third runway. And the readings he chose - a short passage from Tyson Yunkaporta’s Sand Talk where he’s writing about Aboriginal law and one of his favourite poems that’s ever been in Dark Mountain, Cate Chapman’s Protest Poem.

When we think and talk big, it’s easy for that bigness to be a refuge from the fragility of being embodied creatures with fist-sized, fist-shaped hearts that beat for a while - John Berger’s Bento’s Sketchbook and ‘the disturbance of distances’