This is my confession. No matter how hard I try to kick the habit, it turns out I am obsessed with podcasts. My “obsession” became so intense that two months ago I insisted I would walk away, inciting the phrase “going cold turkey”, never to listen again. But why? I reduced listening to podcasts to getting wrapt up in things that begin and end with words. And, I, high and mighty, wanted to live more deeply into the world of action. In short, I wanted to write less, listen to less, and do more. Yet, have no fear, I was wistfully swept off my feet at the recommendation of two dear friends, who shared (independent of one another) two of their favorite podcast episodes. Instead of disregarding their offering at the hands of my conviction, I decided to swallow my pride and listen. Strangely, I was inspired again. Inspired to write. Inspired to reflect. Most importantly, inspired to act. And, what became crystal clear was that writing, an action in and of itself, aided three practices that I am mighty fond of: study, reflection, and consultation. So, without further ado, may I introduce to you two of my (new) favorite podcast episodes. I hope you too are inspired to study, reflect, consult, and act in new and inspiring ways.
Radiolab from WNYC
Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.
Episode: Fu-Go (35 min)
During World War II, something happened that nobody ever talks about. This is a tale of mysterious balloons, cowboy sheriffs, and young children caught up in the winds of war. And silence, the terror of silence.
Observe that if such a happy situation be forthcoming, no government would need continually to pile up the weapons of war, nor feel itself obliged to produce ever new military weapons with which to conquer the human race. A small force for the purposes of internal security, the correction of criminal and disorderly elements and the prevention of local disturbances, would be required—no more.‘Abdu’l-Baha, The Secret of Divine Civilization
Invisibilia by NPR
Invisibilia (Latin for all the invisible things) is about the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. Co-hosted by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, Invisibilia interweaves narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently.
Episode: Entanglement (58 min)
In Entanglement, you’ll meet a woman with Mirror Touch Synesthesia who can physically feel what she sees others feeling. And an exploration of the ways in which all of us are connected — more literally than you might realize. The hour will start with physics and end with a conversation with comedian Maria Bamford and her mother. They discuss what it’s like to be entangled through impersonation.
… this endless universe is like the human body, and that all its parts are connected one with another and are linked together in the utmost perfection. That is, in the same way that the parts, members, and organs of the human body are interconnected, and that they mutually assist, reinforce, and influence each other, so too are the parts and members of this endless universe connected with, and spiritually and materially influenced by, one another.
~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, #69 The Influence of the Stars and the Interconnectedness of All Things