For the first time in history, all of humanity is interconnected. Imagine the impact of that.
This is a podcast for social geeks in the prime of life who watch the news with a gnawing feeling of emptiness. It is one mind’s attempt to find answers to the most ridiculously big questions: Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?
Pretentious? You bet.
53. The other side of the gender story – Bettina Arndt
Bettina Arndt began her career as a vocal feminist and earned fame in her native Australia as a sex therapist. This was in the 70’s.
“I celebrated the change. It was wonderful to see opportunities opening up for women.”
Then feminism went too far, she thinks. Sometime after the 1980’s it has been more about advancing women at the expense of men than reaching equality. Today the culture is increasingly anti-male, in Bettina’s view.
”I think the fourth wave feminists are keen on getting vengeance for imbalances in past history.”
The last few years Bettina Arndt has dedicated most of her time to fighting for the rights of unfairly treated men, especially men falsely accused of rape.
She fights against the unofficial ”kangaroo” courts set up at college campuses to speed up the handling of an alleged ongoing ”rape crisis”. The goal of these tribunals is to get more convictions.
”They are stealing young men’s degrees.”
Earlier this year she launched the campaign ”Mothers of Sons” to highlight the problem of falsely accused men who are denied access to their children.
Arndt’s fight for fairer treatment of men has made her ”enemy no 1” in he Australian feminist community.
It was extremely important that society started to change the laws in the 60’s and 70’s to ensure the protection of women, she says.
”But it has absolutely been misused. I talk about a ’domestic violence industry’, which has become a huge cash cow for feminists. That is how they get most of their funding.”
Most violence within couples is two-way, Bettina explains. In most surveys about domestic violence the question asked is who is the victim. But when the question instead is about who is the perpetrator, just as many women as men admit to being that.
When violence begins, however, women are more at risk of serious injuries and death.
Couple’s fights are often about the children.
”Today men are stuck, because they know that if they leave, they are going to lose their children”, says Bettina.
In 2018 Bettina Arndt published ”Mentoo”, a compilation of articles about society’s ever more unfair treatment of men. It was a reaction to the metoo movement.
It goes without saying that there are men who misuse their power and that it is important to stop that, she points out. But what bothered her about metoo was the alleged and displayed fragility of women.
Oddly enough, it is still problematic to discuss differences in sexuality between the sexes in an unprejudiced way.
”We have a widening sexual gap between men and women, and it is increasingly because of women’s lack of desire”, says Bettina Arndt.
”Nobody talks about what it is like for a man to feel like a beggar, to grovel for sex, to feel that there is something wrong with him for wanting to have sex with his wife.”
”Women are talking ad nauseam about their wants and their needs. But this is the number one thing that men long for in their long term relationships.”
Bettina Arndt’s website, the book Mentoo, the book The Sex Diaries, the Mothers of Sons campaign
52. The virtues and sins of the nation state – Tania Verge
On October 1st 2017, Catalonia held an unofficial referendum on independence from Spain.
Madrid chose to respond in the toughest possible way. Riot police raided ballot stations, and hundreds of Catalan voters were injured.
The plebiscite was clearly illegal, but it has also been disputed whether Madrid’s violent reaction was in accordance with relevant laws.
”The Spanish state had other options on the table than using the criminal code”, says Tania Verge i Mestre, a professor of politics and gender at the university Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.
Spain could obviously have treated the referendum as an administrative violation. Or just ignored it.
As an outsider, a globalist and a lover of Spain – including Catalonia – I personally was surprised, annoyed and also frustrated when I learned about the growing independence movement. Why create new borders in a world with too many borders?
”It has nothing to do with resentment towards Madrid. Half the Catalan population are born or have parents who are born in other parts of Spain”, says Verge.
An opening was underway some years ago, as a matter of fact. Politicians had negotiated a compromise proposal on the division of power between Madrid and Barcelona. But it was rejected by the constitutional court in 2010. This setback created a serious legitimacy problem and triggered, together with the financial crisis, the independence movement.
Today most leading Catalan politicians are either in prison or in exile.
Tania Verge was herself tried in court in early March of 2021 for her participation in the referendum as an election official. She is accused of sedition and risks imprisonment.
Does she then see any movement in Madrid towards a softer stance?
”The language is different when (Social Democratic) PSOE is in power. But in practice very little happens. It is like a stalemate.”
Some outsiders accuse Catalan ’independentistas’ of being selfish – that they do not want to share their greater wealth with poorer parts of Spain.
But Tania Verge stresses that she and many other Catalan activists are on the left wing. She is also an activist at various feminist collectives, including feminist pro-independence groups.
Feminism can contribute to rethinking the nation state, according to Verge.
”Being a left-wing feminist for independence also means wanting independence from centralism, patriarchy and capitalism. It means redefining the boundaries of a state and how to design structures. The Catalan identity is a moveable identity. It must reflect all the people living there at a certain time. We should not repeat all the pitfalls of the old 19th century nation states.”
Here is a link to the website of Catalan feminists for independence. Other links Tania Verge recommends are to this blog post on the subject and to the book ’Terra de Ningù’ about feminist perspectives on the repression. Note: all is in Catalan.
51. The constant apocalypse – ten canceled doomsdays you already forgot
The world is better than most of us think. There is a gap between the factual global trends and what the majority who never checks the numbers but only read headlines think are the trends.
(And why so many spiritual people adhere to the pessimist camp is an enigma.)
Going back just a little bit in history and realizing how often we have falsely believed we have been on the brink of collapse is sobering. In this episode, I walk you through ten canceled modern-day apocalypses. (Disclaimer: The review has a shamelessly Western perspective.)
50. How civilization actually began – Andrew Collins
”It is a shame that scholars and academics act this way”, says independent researcher of ancient history Andrew Collins after having told that a chief archaeologist yelled at him at a site in southern Turkey: ’We don’t want your pseudoscience here’.
Collins has written over a dozen books about the origins of our civilization, all with more or less alternative views to the mainstream narrative in textbooks and history books about how it all started. Like it is with many mavericks, Collins breaks new ground. Years after having scorned his ideas, some scholars have come around and adhered to Collins theories.
Since the mid-1990’s, the focus of Andrew Collins’ work has been on the pivotal megalithic site of Göbekli Tepe in southern Turkey, dated to some seven thousand years before the hitherto known earliest civilization.
”The most significant thing about Göbekli Tepe is its age. And its carvings are not like anything else in southwest Asia”, Collins says.
Göbekli Tepe does not resemble anything that came after it. Andrew Collins (and others) conclude that the megalithic complex was built to ward off a threat from the skies, from celestial tricksters that were interpreted as foxes, wolves and other canines but by all accounts were parts of an exploding comet.
The monuments represent a fifteen hundred year old collective memory of a huge cataclysm involving enormous conflagrations and floods that may have wiped out the majority of the human population. To make sure this never happened again, it was necessary to somehow appease the celestial forces.
Based on findings, Andrew Collins and Klaus Schmidt, the archaeologist who rediscovered Göbekli Tepe, think that an elite group arrived in the area from the Russian steppes and convinced the local population that they knew how to avoid a second apocalypse: by dedicating hundreds of years to building advanced monuments. The pillars and blocks bear symbolic references to the stars, thus perhaps functioning as stargates between this world and the next.
But already tens of thousands of years before these events, impulses of civilization had come from Siberia and Tibet, where the recently discovered so-called Denisovans had lived for 200,000 – 300,000 years (i.e. since before the latest ice age).
Gene analyses show that modern humans interbred with the Denisovans, just like they did with the Neanderthals.
”The sophistication, the technology and the art that were in the mindset of the people who created Göbekli Tepe originally came from Mongolia and Siberia. I would put my money on that”, says Andrew.
He is not into the more daring theories proposed by fellow mavericks about influences from the lost civilization of Atlantis or ET’s visiting Earth in physical form to assist or manipulate humankind in various ways. But he does think it is plausible that humankind has been mentally, non physically, affected by extraterrestrial intelligence, probably since the very beginning hundreds of thousands of years ago.
Collins zooms in on the origins of our civilization, but to understand how it all really began after the first push out of Africa one has to go many times further back. That is precisely the topic of his next book, where he will delve into new incredible discoveries in Israel. It would seem that there, 400,000 years ago, shamanism was invented. What are the intelligences behind all this sudden development?
49. Never judge, there is always a story – Daniel Mendoza
The entrepreneur, speaker, writer and life coach Daniel Mendoza had a challenging childhood and adolescence, to say the least. His family fled from his native Uruguay in the seventies, and after having hopped between a few countries they ended up in Sweden. The human environment in Daniel’s early life was soiled with lovelessness. His father was violent. Daniel got into fights all the time.
But he never wanted to hurt people. He was blessed with a pure heart and an inner belief that there is hope. ”Tomorrow is going to be a better day”, he said to himself.
A human encounter in his early twenties turned out to be pivotal. It was an epiphany. It showed Daniel how much good there is within us humans. He made a u-turn and decided to choose a positive path. He decided to study economics. That didn’t quite resonate with Daniel, but it propelled him to the next chapter in his life: the creation of a very special newspaper, Good News Magazine.
This journalistic product prompts me, the former journalist, to ask questions about the reasons why one should publish positively focused news. Is the mainstream media telling a falsely negative story about the world and humankind? Or is the world such a problematic place that we need to tell the positive stories as well, so that we can get the strength to find the solutions? Daniel and I have an interesting discussion about these things.
At one point Daniel employed a person who was openly neo-nazi and who insulted him every day for two years. ”I knew that this guy needed trust”, says Daniel. ”And I needed to start by listening to him. I knew there was a reason why he said the things he said.”
This is the way Daniel Mendoza sees people.
”What if we can leave every child with a feeling that it is possible to solve our problems?” he says.
Early in life Daniel realized he had to face the problems in order to solve them. This began with him ending up in fights. But it transformed into a drive, a desire, to focus on the positive, on the solutions.
”I will never forgive the things my parents did, but I will not be angry with them. We judge the person, but we cannot blame the person, we have to understand what lies behind. There is good in everyone.”
48. Consciousness never dies – Pim van Lommel
Few fields of research offer more insights into what we really are and why we are conscious about things at all than the study of near death experiences.
It is also one of few areas where science truly spans the perceived borderline with spirituality.
That is why cardiologist Pim van Lommel has made such a tremendous contribution by conducting large, longitudinal studies on hundreds of people who have suffered cardiac arrest and have been declared clinically dead but later resuscitated. Many of these patients experience being clearly conscious during the period of clinical death.
Around four percent of those who have had a flatlined EEG report some kind of experience of enhanced consciousness in another realm, despite the fact that their brains have not been functioning
”To me the brain has a facilitating function, not a producing function. It is like a computer connected to the internet. When you turn it off, the internet is still there”, says Pim van Lommel.
”Consciousness is like gravity. We can not measure gravity, we can only measure its physical effects. It is the same with consciousness, we can only measure the effects.”
Van Lommel started out as a hard-nosed physicalist himself, but an encounter in 1969 with a resuscitated patient, who was very disappointed that he had been revived, had a profound impact on him. In 1986 he read George Ritchie’s book ”Return from Tomorrow” about a profound NDE, which made him even more intrigued.
Van Lommel started to ask resuscitated patients about their experiences, and to his big surprise, 12 out of 50 patients he asked gave accounts about NDE’s. That was when he decided to kick off a large study, which lasted for more than a decade.
The results were published in The Lancet in 2001. The article gained much attention, as did van Lommels book ”Consciousness Beyond Life”, which came out in its first edition six years later.
Much has happened since then. More studies have been made, notably by Bruce Greyson at the university of Virginia. Science is slowly embracing the nonphysical.
But there is still a hard core of physicalist skeptics. The Wikipedia page about Pim van Lommel has for instance been hijacked by skeptics.
”They are frightened, because this threatens their world view”, says van Lommel.
This also goes for many active scientists.
”If they said consciousness is not in the brain, they would lose their research money. Some professors have told me privately that they agree with me, but openly they will say that my conclusions are nonsense. Until they retire…”
The swedish smorgasbord of facts and views
Looking to confirm what you already “know”? Maybe this is not your podcast. If you however wish to expand your beliefs and questions, this is the right place to be. Very interesting guests and I also appreciate the professionalism of Anders. Journalism at its best, far from click baits and always choosing the same perspective. The future looks bright!