Host Robert Strock highlights the need for continual questioning to reexamine our relationships with ourselves, our family, and responding to the world situation as a whole. This ongoing questioning of our personal and societal relationship and our conditioning can open doors to greater insight, empathy, and connection with the world around us. It helps us live more in the moment and see where we can become more sensitive and grow. That growth includes facing life’s challenges, responding with expanding heart and wisdom to help ourselves, and making changes that are needed both personally as well as globally. A change in how we view and relate to our own wealth and our neighbors of all races, socioeconomic status, ethnicities, and religions can break barriers and division to cultivate a healthier society. For those that don’t have wealth, there is great dignity and importance in making best efforts to survive without creating harm, which is important for all of us to realize.
Mentioned in this episode
The Global Bridge Foundation
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The Missing Conversation, Episode Nine.
Robert Strock: (00:04)
Everyone could live on a thousand dollars a month by living locally by doing the best work they could in their community. And the happiness quotient would unquestionably grow.
On this podcast. We will propose critical new strategies to address world issues, including homelessness, immigration, amongst several others, and making a connection to how our individual psychology contributes and can help transform the dangers that we face. We will break from traditional thinking, as we look at our challenges from a freer and more independent point of view. Your host Robert struck has had 45 years of experience as a psychotherapist, author, and humanitarian, and has developed a unique approach to communication, contemplation and inquiry born from working on his own challenges.
Robert Strock: (00:53)
I want to give you a warm hearted welcome again to The Missing Conversation where we are addressing the most pressing issues that the world’s facing today. And we’re really looking for the most practical, inspiring programs and innovative ideas to support survival on our planet and finding a sense of unity, inspiration, and fulfillment that both we and the world around us needs very badly. First, like to start off by introducing my partner with Global Bridge Foundation, 50 year long closest friend, Dave. Dave, thanks for joining us.
Thank you again for the opportunity to participate. These conversations about Psycho-Politics are just so crucial to our world today.
Robert Strock: (01:44)
So as I mentioned last time in the last show, this is an area that I have to work to downscale how intense I feel about this, because to me it’s so evident that our world is falling apart at multiple levels and maybe more importantly, or as important that we individually, unwittingly are contributing to it. So I urge you to take everything that’s being said as personally as possible, because if I’m just a speaker and you’re a casual listener, there’s no, there’s no point. The hope, the hope is really that you will take this in and it will be part of your sense of self and part of your communication with your friends and others. So starting again with just a short recap of the three principles of Psycho-Politics, number one is recognizing the normalcy of caring for ourselves and our friends and not guilt-tripping about that.
Robert Strock: (02:53)
Actually being proud, especially if we’re really able to do that. That’s a really good sign, but because we’re in a world today with global warming, the threats there, our democracy being overwhelmingly threatened, terrorism, corruption, no longer is it going to be survivable, if we stay with just taking care of our friends and our family. And we need to have a percentage of us, a part of us, it’s growing, that’s caring for the poorest of the poor, the poor and the world as a whole to help survive. That’s point one, principle number one. Principle number two is applying the same thing, but looking at our relationship to money and our energy, our ability to volunteer and looking at are we really expanding our sense of self to include the so-called other? And the third principle is the importance of looking at these one and two on an ongoing basis and asking the question, am I in balance today this week, this month, this year, as to how I think of myself, how I utilize my money or what my attitude is, and can I keep it positive if I’m in a complete survival mode and I’m food insecure and I’m housing insecure, can I just stay focused on where I can help myself and where I can find ways that there might be, people are really trying to reach me.
Robert Strock: (04:37)
When we really look closely at the possibility of expanding our definition of ourselves, it’s really like we’re married to ourselves and our close friends, and we also become married to the poor and we become married to the planet. Imagery of a marriage in that way is very important. It means opening our hearts. It means deep caring. It means being congruent and our thoughts, our actions, and how we handle our money. And it’s important to look as you’re listening to these words, how does that affect you? Can you even imagine yourself feeling a little bit married to those that are starving and dying on a daily basis, without it coming dominantly from guilt, are you aware and awake enough to really be able to see, oh, I want to be a support. It’s not that I should. It’s not like it’s an imposition from the outside.
Robert Strock: (05:51)
It’s an invitation from the inside. Can we, can you experience that or notice whether this is being heard as a preaching or as a plea, because I’m really trying to represent your inner self as a plea, but not as a preaching. My experience is preaching doesn’t work. When I counsel, I continuously say to my clients, if I’m laying a trip on you, fire me. If I’m not representing your best self, maybe give me one morning that if I, if I do it twice, twice too many, I am trying to be your best self. If you’re telling me your best self is one, that’s just going to care for your family. Even though you’re quite wealthy, then you probably ought to turn the show off because you’re not going to like what you’re going to hear. It’s just going to create a disturbance, cause it’s just going to hit guilt. But if even a part of you, even a part of you wants to, wants to really consider that, then please don’t turn it off.
I have a question. There is a transition. I’ve gone through it myself. I still go through it on an ongoing basis. And that, that transition is from feeling like a really good person for the caring of myself, my family, the extended friendships I have, and at the same time being interested in, but not as, as I’ve grown to be more focused on the greater around me, the world around me and that transition is not an on or off switch for me. It was very gradual for me. It was very eye-opening it wasn’t just an epiphany that happened in a day. How can we support ourselves to make that transition?
Robert Strock: (07:50)
Well, first of all, I, I would say your was, is an is, um, and that we don’t arrive and you haven’t arrived, and I haven’t arrived. The key thing is to recognize that none of us are arriving and that we’re sincerely questioning on an ongoing basis as you know, well, probably better than any, any other. And the last three years, I’ve changed my relationship to money five times. And I wouldn’t be surprised if I changed it again the next two weeks. And I’ve been at it for 25 years, strongly and really more than that. But formally with the Golden Bridge Foundation, we have been at it for 25 years. So the key is seeing if you have the realization yourself, that the planet is in danger, that the poor are not poor dominantly, very dominantly, because they’re lazy, they’re poor because they didn’t have our opportunities.
Robert Strock: (08:52)
And the question is, do you see that for yourself? And if you do, do you care, and if you care, are you questioning? And if you’re questioning, are you questioning daily? And if you’re questioning daily, are you questioning multiple times daily? So you’re seeing where you are at with how much inspiration, passion, or intellectualizing, or not even intellectualizing. You see where you are. And there’s a realization that it can’t just be a realization. It’s a realization that it requires questioning till we die and that this is not a short-term fix. And that we’re going to need to be in this inquiring mode, the rest of our lives. And it becomes, if we see it for ourselves, if we’re not, we haven’t fallen prey to denial. Like most people have with their own deaths or the multiple deaths that are going on on the planet, then it will be met with finally, finally, I’m at a place where I can have a good attitude that is inclusive of others.
Robert Strock: (10:13)
My religion doesn’t divide us. My political party doesn’t divide us, my relationship to money doesn’t divide us. And really to be more accurate, very much because realistically, we’re trying to increase the percentages. We’re not looking for perfection. We’re looking for individual curiosity and the recognition that even if you’re a leader in this thought, which I would say I’m a leader in the thought, but I’m nowhere near done. I’m never going to be done. I’m never going to arrive. I’m never going to get completely clear. And I like that. I like the fact that it’s not a place that you arrive to. Oh yeah, I’m cool. Now I’m, I’m taking care of the planet. I’m completely congruent and I’m on it. Anyone that says that worries me. If I say that, smack me in the face.
Yeah. Let’s, let’s just talk about smacking you in the face for a second. Let’s talk about the passion, the balance, the noticing of the fact that some of your, your clients, uh, that you say, I don’t want to lay a trip on you, but at the same time, you feel so passionate that you can say smack me in the face. If you find me coming to the end of this thing and saying, I’m arrived, how do you deal with that? That difference?
Robert Strock: (11:40)
Well, first of all, I’m sure, you know, part of the reason why you’re bringing this out is because you want to smack me in the face for other reasons, but, but I’ll put that to the side, um, facing the reality of what’s happening in the planet. When it gets deeper, you realize that if you act, I realize if I act out of my outrage, out of my anger, that I’m creating a harm, that I’m, I’m a guilt tripper. And so it really is a continuous questioning of how am I saying what I’m saying on this very podcast? Is it a guilt trip? Is it anger or is it a passion? And is it really infused with an energy that’s an invitation or is it an accusation? And so just as there’s a continuous questioning for me about my money and my energy and my sense of self, there’s also a continuous question of how am I putting out what I’m putting out?
Robert Strock: (12:44)
Am I showing impatience with a client? If so, that would be horrible because I don’t have that right. I owe it to my client to give them an opportunity to be their best selves. And if I’m short or intolerant, judgmental, superior, then I’m completely missing. And I not saying that I don’t do that at all. If I were to bet on it, I would bet a lot of money that I do do that. But hopefully, and I believe it is only to a small extent, but nobody on any of these levels can strive for perfection. We can strive for our best efforts. So it’s a, it’s like walking on a tight rope on multiple levels where the quality of the tone of my voice, isn’t really a plea to reach you, or is it a hammer to hammer you? And I hope it’s being experienced as a passionate plea. So yes, smack me in the face. And I mean that as a metaphor, if I really am coming from anger, outrage, blame, guilt-tripping. So thank you for that. Uh, invitation to clarify.
Robert Strock: (14:13)
One of the things this reminds me of is a documentary that was on the Hadza tribe, which is a tribe in Africa, in Tanzania, which is still alive and there are about a thousand people in that tribe. And they, every single day go out and hunt for the food. They have no agriculture at all, and they’re living in the present. And they’re the last known tribe to be living for at least 50,000 years. And some suspect it could be 200,000 years and they may be the oldest. They very likely are the oldest tribe living, but they may have even been the original tribe. So we unquestionably have their DNA inside us and they live and have lived. So in the present, they don’t even store food. Every day is a hunting and a survival. And then there’s a joy in living in the present and seeing the film, which is called the Hadza, HADZA, The Last of the First, it’s something I highly recommend because it shows you before civilization came in and really even after a civilization has come in, that they live in the present and they’re joyful.
Robert Strock: (15:39)
They don’t need wealth. They need to make their best efforts, which none of them even questioned. You see them refining a stick into a, an arrow, and you’ll see them refining a rock into an edge and a point to be able to kill animals strictly for their survival. And then you look at civilization coming in and that’s a cross point. If you look at it closely, and I ask you to look at it closely with me, that civilization started and you become oriented toward the future. It wasn’t about how do we find our prey or our berries today. It was about how do we store our food in a cold area? So our future is secure. That was the beginning of living in the future. And as we live in the future, that was increased anxiety because am I going to have enough for the future?
Robert Strock: (16:39)
Because the civilized people weren’t as good as the hunters, the Hadza tribe lives quite well when they make it beyond the infant mortality rate, they live quite well. They don’t die of starvation because they are dedicated to what they do, but they too right now are potentially being threatened. So the point is, can you see how fulfilled we could be? If we were to gradually learn how to live more in the present, I’m going to be talking more later in these episodes about the formation of tiny communities and the ones that we talked about in the earlier episodes, where we’re tying in the homeless and regenerative agriculture. That’s, that’s a great use of communities, but it also could be a very sane part of society. Where many of us might choose to say, I don’t want to be in this rat race anymore. This living for the future, I’d rather just live in a tiny home in a community, that’s safe.
Robert Strock: (17:47)
There’s people that are similar to me and we have our needs met and my calculations are everyone could live on a, a thousand dollars a month by living locally, by doing the best work they could in their community. And the happiness quotient would unquestionably grow. So the Hadza tribe really is a symbol of living more in the present and really realizing the correlation to that and how fulfilled and inspired we can be. They wake up joyous in the morning. How do we find our animals? They don’t know if they’re going to do it. They may get hungry for one day, but they survive. There’s tremendous dignity in the survival. So there are tremendous advantages and disadvantages in living that primitively obviously, if we could live present and be able to have excess security in a monetary form, and we questioned the reality of the world today, that’s the best of all worlds, because we aren’t losing the present.
Robert Strock: (19:02)
And we’re able to merge with those that are suffering and a planet that is suffering. So what I’m saying about the Hadza tribe is really honoring that dignity and really honoring the potential of the civilized world and the industrial revolution and, and living in the future. And of course, living in the future started way, way before tens of thousands of years ago, when, when the communities became less oriented toward just hunting. So we covered this quite well in prior episodes, but see if you could imagine yourself as being someone that maybe you would enjoy living a simpler life, having a home that’s four or 500 square feet and living in a community that’s safe, that would be with your friends. And the purpose of life was to survive, to enjoy, build up a little security, make sure your health is taken care of, and that you can cover your health insurance to see if that isn’t an attractive alternative to me.
Robert Strock: (20:13)
I find myself in a position where I’m fortunate, but I still would imagine if I wasn’t, I would be thrilled to live in one of these communities. And current time, if, if suddenly a trauma happened and whatever, whatever mini wealth I have got blown up, I’d be looking for one of these communities. I wonder how many of you would be, so this, this brings me to one of the greatest premises that one of the presidential candidates came up with in the last election. And it was Andrew Yang proposing a thousand dollars a month for everyone. I believe that proposal, if that was combined with the creativity and the zoning changes and political leadership being led to this by the people saying, I want to be able to live in a community where I can be in dignity and I don’t have to struggle for the rest of my life, with my kids and worry about whether they’re going to have food and have to be tempted to, to steal, to survive.
Robert Strock: (21:23)
Yes, I would like, I will work my tail off. Maybe I’ll do regenerative agriculture there and I’ll earn more money and I’ll give more to the world, or maybe I’ll work with clean energy, or maybe I’ll manufacture something that will be good for humanity, and that will bring great dignity. So it’s another sense of self that we could see would be a beneficial. And if you look at the cost of something like this, and you see the savings that there would be for Medicare, social security, police violence, alienation, terrorism, reducing the defense department spending, we could easily afford this and communities could be happy. So see if this makes sense to you, because again, what I’m saying only matters if it matters to you.
As I hear you, and as I reflect on the reality of just the United States, the politics, the, the money in politics, the, the lobbyist, the, the self-interest of the different, really everywhere, the, the different people that produce the different people that manufacture, et cetera, as an individual, I can’t help, but feel overwhelmed and helpless. I can’t help, but feel, uh, like a, a piece of sand on a beach. And in that way, uh, activating myself feels almost feudal sometimes, almost still worth it, but to effectuate major change. I don’t know.
Robert Strock: (23:05)
Those are exactly the feelings that need to be honored, respected, because they have, they come from a longing to have the world work, to have the poor, be lifted, to have the planet survive. And so it’s natural to feel helpless, uh, impotent and capable of making major change, but what needs to happen. And I’m going to go into this later, if you imagine yourself being a billion times, and you’re, you’re just part of a group change of sense of self, sense of country, even sense of religion, to be inclusive of everything and everyone. Then you start to feel the inspiration that this can be contagious. It’s intuitively obvious that we’re in denial. And it’s also intuitively obvious, not even intuitively obvious, it’s existentially obvious that there’s a significant, maybe 5 to 10% of people who are operating from the same place as what I’m speaking about.
Robert Strock: (24:18)
And so there is a very significant minority of people that are already there, and the people that are in the fields or in communities that are third world countries, they’re absolutely understanding of this. Their simple mind is ahead of our so-called advanced mind. So I would say at least half the world is rooting for this, but they’re not voters, or they’re not in voting countries. So if the people that are in voting countries really get this message of a redefinition individually and collectively of school, of self, of parenting, of politics, of religion, of psychology, then your individual feelings of impotence will just be feelings of impotence with a lot of other people to talk to. And I have those feelings of impotence every day. I have those feelings of hopelessness every day. The key is do they own you? Do they make you want to move toward denial, or they make you want to turn away from the news or want to turn away from organizations that are helping or want to make you not look on Google to say who’s helping, especially in an area where I’m passionate.
Robert Strock: (25:38)
So the key is do those feelings catalyzed a healing desire, or do they catalyze avoidance and denial? So this connection between the inner emotions like you’re talking about Dave of helplessness, what difference is it going to make if I do it, when, you know, billions of other people, I don’t, that’s gloomy thinking, and all of us are going to have gloomy thinking. The question for us is can we see the interconnectedness between all of us not facing our challenging emotions like you just did, and seeing that’s actually healthy that you’re caring enough and aware of enough to really be looking at these feelings. And then hopefully as close to the same time, you’re seeing that as being the seed for waking yourself up and inspiring yourself, to want to make a difference. And to say it’s natural that I feel these feelings, and it’s also natural to want to survive, to want to thrive, to want to be caring to others.
Robert Strock: (26:55)
That don’t have the same opportunities that I do or to be one that’s really struggling to survive and be given the validation by society rather than being viewed as an inferior place, but being given the dignity of how hard it must be to be where you are. And I want to support you emotionally, financially, my time, my energy, my thoughts, the way I glance at you, when you’re on the road, I want to give you love, I want to give you encouragement. And if I have the wealth, I want to give you a little bit of money or maybe more than a little bit of money. So this interconnection between our own challenges and whether we respond and being able to accept those feelings as probably there, till we die, almost for sure there until we die, even if we grow and grow and grow and grow, and then channeling that to support the planet and support our country.
Robert Strock: (27:57)
That is the key to our political world and our world. Having hope that interconnection between the individual and the politician, the individual, and the spiritual teacher, asking that of all of our leaders to have this be the sermons that are needed to bring us all together and being able to just speak about this is such a relief to not have it be bottled up inside. And I hope I’m speaking to some other people that are bottled up inside too. And I also hope I’m speaking to people that maybe have fleeting awareness of this, but now maybe are flirting with, I’m going to be, I want to be a questioner. So I thank you again for your attention and look forward to more contact. Thank you so much.
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