Welcome to the MindThatEgo Podcast — hosted by Ricky Derisz.
MindThatEgo's ethos is to explore nuances of mind, body and spirit by igniting challenging conversations with insightful thinkers, combined with deep reflection on subjective experience.
Vulnerability and authenticity are guaranteed as Ricky talks to psychologists, spiritualists, philosophers, scientists, friends and fellow human beings during his quest to understand key questions — what's the key to wellbeing? How can we reduce suffering? What tools are most useful in managing mental health?
#25: The Lighthouse: A Synchronistic Symbol of Intimacy and Isolation
Time for something a little different! This is a reading of my latest MindThatEgo article, The Lighthouse: A Synchronistic Symbol of Intimacy and Isolation. I share a process of working with my unconscious mind to decipher the meaning of this inner voyage at various milestones. The lighthouse is a central symbol, which guided me to understand the significance of the conflict between intimacy and isolation. The woods, and the sea, are accompanying metaphors. As you will hear, the way events unfold defies conventional understanding. In what Carl Jung defined as synchronicity, events are linked by meaning, and require a different paradigm of reality to fully comprehend.
Article link: https://www.mindthatego.com/the-lighthouse-symbol
#24: How To Connect To The Soul with Natalie Zeituny
Connecting to the soul is simple and complex. It’s simple because the soul is the essence of who you are. It’s the core of your being. Nothing has to be learned, only remembered. The complexity comes from living in an age and a culture of disconnect, with barriers created by the mind, and intellectual superiority placed ahead of other forms of intelligence, such as intuition, instinct, and heartfelt wisdom.
In this conversation I’m joined by the perfect guide, Natalie Zeituny. I met Natalie three years ago at the Science and Nonduality Conference in Italy. She is a mystic, cosmologist, and the author of Ensoulment, where she presents a model of reality which “explores the cosmology and psychology of reality.” I was engrossed by her book, especially the way she maps consciousness scientifically, as well as sharing her inner experience of the ensoulment process vividly.
What I love most about our conversation is the grounded nature in which ensoulment is approached. Natalie talks about entering the underworld in order to confront the shadow, and integrate the soul through deep reflection. This isn’t about bypassing difficulty, or cultivating love and light. It’s about having the courage to be the hero of your journey, to trust your inner resourcefulness above all else.
We talk about the relationship between difficult experiences, such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia, and how they relate to ensoulment. We discuss the signs of being aligned with the soul, how to identify your essence, and the uniqueness of your soul’s song. I’m sure by the end, the fruits of ensoulment will be clear. Connecting to the soul is the return to being, the path to living the fullest life on offer; the path truest to you.
#23: A Simple Beautiful Truth with Hayden Thorpe
Hayden Thorpe is a solo artist and former frontman of Wild Beasts. His two solo albums — Moondust for my Diamond (2021) and Diviner (2019) — follow five albums with the band between 2008 and 2016, for which Two Dancers was nominated for the Mercury Prize.
Since discovering Wild Beasts through their album Smother in 2011, they’ve remained my favourite band, one I’ve returned to time and time again, the soundtrack struggle, triumph, and everything between. Hayden’s music continues the theme. Songs such as Diviner, Golden Ratio, The Universe is Alright Right, translate the ineffable with poetic melodies and spiritually-infused lyricism.
Sharing such an in-depth exploration of Hayden’s creative process was a joy. Topics include the transcendence of writing, the sacred nature of music, the energetics of stage performance, the merging of self and the source, the mystery of how certain songs find you at the right place, right time, shaping your life direction.
In tribute to Hayden’s approach to the divine and the earthly, we discuss the vulnerability of crises of confidence, risk-taking, the desire for validation, and how to honour ideas. Plus, we consider what immersion in the creative dimension teaches about the nature of reality, and the cosmic link between Newcastle United and Bristol Rovers.
#22: Can Complex Thinking Bring Peace To A World Of Conflict? with Guy Burgess
According to conflict resolution expert Guy Burgess, the inability to resolve conflict is the greatest threat to humanity. Conflict is the root of interpersonal disharmony, political polarization, us vs. them mentalities, violence, and all-out war. Our future relies on a workable solution. Yet the current tools we have don’t adequately scale to the ever-growing complexity and interconnection of the world.
Three decades ago Guy was introduced to systems theory by a nuclear physicist at a multidisciplinary conference he hosted on conflict resolution. Seeing conflict as a complex adaptive system moves away from the prominent worldview of mechanical thinking, aligning with the systems of nature, the ecological as opposed to the engineered. This holistic view is a radical shift.
Viewing society as a complex system attempts to answer the question of how we can get along, and create a more peaceful world, despite having many differences in belief, ideology, wants, and needs. It works on principles and rules, not fixed on identifying problems and finding specific solutions. It understands conflict as ever-evolving, dynamic, and often unpredictable.
Our conversation applies complex thinking to many societal issues. Guy explains the difference between a complicated and complex system, and how conflict is viewed through these perspectives. Guy explains the need for “massive-parallel peace building,” across many disciplines, using big picture thinking to bring together our collective skills and insights.
He also explains the underlying psychology behind conflict, on an individual and societal level, and how vulnerabilities are exploited. We discuss the pandemic through this lens. Why do the media present oversimplified models of the world? Why do governments use “divide and conquer” techniques to stoke polarization, such as vaccinated vs unvaccinated? What are the hazards of not having access to free-flowing information, and the damage of censorship?
We turn our attention to the future of society. That includes the necessity of moving towards a “power-with” and not “power-over” approach, finding the sweet spot of solidarity and innovators who find novel solutions, and why complex thinking moves us into the quantum era. By the end, we consider how this all factors into a wider collective awakening, and the evolution of consciousness across humanity as a whole.
This is a useful and practical approach to what can often seem like an intangible, and impossible goal. Guy acknowledges that there has been no “golden age” of harmony or resolution, and the work on this will continue for decades to come. But, for someone who has dedicated his life to moving beyond the intractable, Guy makes global peace feel more attainable. God knows, we need it.
Website: Beyond Intractability
The Best of Both Worldviews: Can Systems Theory Unite Spirituality and Science?
Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch
#21: The Song of the Heart with Sanya Manzoor
Sanya Manzoor is a Holistic Expansion Coach, a poet, a philosopher, a meditation teacher, an artist, and much more. Sanya’s creativity and endless wisdom is a huge inspiration. She’s my lover, my friend, and someone I’m incredibly fortunate to explore the journey of heartfulness with. After three years of discussing the possibility of recording a podcast, we finally did it, and it’s worth the wait.
The metaphor of music and sound extends throughout our talk, from learning the ability to harmonise your energy with others, listening to the whisper of the heart, or silencing the noise of cultural conditioning and media messaging. This is a vast conversation that explores the journey of becoming through all areas of consciousness — live music, suffering, overcoming fear, expanding with courage. Sanya eloquently composes understanding around the symphony of being — the song of the heart — that inspires us to live truly and deeply, to play our unique instrument, to risk disrupting others, in order to live our truth. From teenage years spent listening to live music, to performing her own melodies and supporting others’ transformation with intuitive sound healing, this is a soundtrack for the soul, and a playlist for personal growth.
It’s a vibrant, varied, and inspired conversation that mixes all genres and styles, from jazz to punk rock, offering a rich insight into what a dynamic, beautiful soul that Sanya is.
#20: Plato's Theory of Forms with Bethany Butzer
Ancient Greek philosopher Plato’s Theory of Forms captures the idea that, beyond the physical reality of the senses, there resides a non-physical World of Ideas. Within this world there are pure forms, or essences, that are perfect in nature. There are many types of form, from phenomena, objects (such as trees), to concepts and abstract ideas, including virtues.
Plato considered that the role of a Philosopher King or Queen was to integrate these perfect ideas into the physical world. For example, the pure essence of wisdom resides in the World of Ideas, and a wise person is able to integrate this perfect form, increasingly so, by conscious direction.
In his dialogue, Memo, Plato explains how we inherently respond to the discovery of knowledge of this dimension, in a recollection process. That’s because the deepest essence of our being — the soul — resided in the World of Ideas before being manifest into the physical reality.
For Plato, the World of Ideas is the true reality. The physical reality we perceive is just a shadow of this reality. Plato uses the Allegory of the Cave, in which prisons, chained and stationary, mistake shadow’s projected on the cave’s as reality, when it is only a tiny fragment of reality.
Bethany Butzer returns to the podcast to explore this theory, its relevance to modern thinking, and its practical benefits. Our discussion looks at Carl Jung’s theory of Archetypes, psychic patterns that were inspired by Plato’s work, synchronicity, the relationship between mind and matter, and the quantum potentials of order from chaos.
Are humans the bridge between the imaginal, and the manifest? What is our special relationship to integrating these essential forms? What is the role of metaphor and myth in the unfolding of reality and the subjective experience? And is sacred geometry and patterns that repeat to scale, from the atomic to the cosmic, evidence of an underlying, fundamental reality, in the way Plato suggested?
MTE Podcast: Synchronicity And The Nature of Reality.
Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch