Host Robert Strock asks the question, what can you do today in the smallest of ways to help you or others survive and thrive, especially in a way that is evolving? This intention can generate a sense of purpose in each of our lives as much as we pay attention to the little and big things in our environment. Awareness and self-inquiry combined with the search for how to care for others and the world in small ways can build a global and national contagion of health. A contagion of health is one where we care for the psychological, emotional, and physical health of the individual, group, society, nation, and global communities, including the Earth itself. However, it starts with recognizing the small differences we can make in our mindset and actions on a daily basis.
Mentioned in this episode
The Acument Fund
The Global Bridge Foundation
Note: Below, you’ll find timecodes for specific sections of the podcast. To get the most value out of the podcast, I encourage you to listen to the complete episode. However, there are times when you want to skip ahead or repeat a particular section. By clicking on the timecode, you’ll be able to jump to that specific section of the podcast
The Missing Conversation, Episode 21.
Robert Strock: (00:04)
Does trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars that could be brought to create intentional communities that could give that thousand dollars a month like Andrew Yang’s proposal, and have millions and millions of people that are in poverty be lifted immediately with these communities being built.
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 Strock 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: (01:03)
I’m very happy to welcome you again to The Missing Conversation where we address the most pressing issues that the world is facing today. And we look for the most practical, inspiring programs and innovative ideas to support the survival on our planet and finding a sense of unity, inspiration, and fulfillment that both we and the world needs. And we’re really emphasizing this on an individual level. And that as you hear what’s being said that you take it very personally and take it inside yourself. I’d like to introduce my dearest friend Dave, and partner of the Global Bridge Foundation.
Thank you. And as always thanks for the opportunity. And I would just like to encourage the listeners if they haven’t already to listen to what has led into the other Psycho-Politics, uh, aspects of this podcast. And I also think it would be helpful now to, to refresh the three basic tenants or points in Psycho-Politics.
Robert Strock: (02:15)
So the first point of Psycho-Politics in a very abbreviated fashion, and as Dave said, better to go back and listen to the longer version, because this won’t be complete, is recognizing the naturalness of caring for ourselves and our families and some friends, and that our dominant attention is there, but because the world and our country and the poorest of the poor are all threatened for survival. And that’s led to other ways that our survival is threatened. It’s crucial that we look at the question of who am I, am I someone who cares about others? What’s my individual situation. Am I struggling for survival? In which case I need to make my best efforts to do that, which is heroic and hard. Or if I have some wealth, am I still living? Am I still living in the old conditioning and values of, I, I’m kind of obsessed with my own security and my old ideas of how much money I need before I really help the poor and the survival of the planet and the third principle.
Robert Strock: (03:34)
So again, the first is personal and looking at your personal sense of self. The second principle is applying that to money and energy. The third principle is questioning yourself on an ongoing basis, hopefully daily asking yourself, am I in balance with my relationship to myself and others, given the reality of where I am in my own eyes. And then in my own eyes is very important because these podcasts are not designed to impose something on you, they’re designed to hopefully sensitize something that’s probably already in your fleeting awareness that the planet is in jeopardy. And I need to redefine myself. I need to redefine my motivations. I need to see that what’s, what would it fulfill me 30 years ago, won’t fulfill me today. So that’s what we’re attempting to really delve into from a number of different angles. One of the angles that is most profound and it relates to the personal as well as the political is seeing how much money we have put into defense departments throughout the world and the insanity.
Robert Strock: (04:58)
And I do mean insanity of not being able to find another way to resolve our conflicts and barring someone that’s absolutely going to kill you directly. And that being absolutely obvious the insanity of all the money and wealth that we’re putting into defense departments that could be put into cooperation, global warming, helping lift the poor, which is the source of these divisions. If there was no poor, the poor were lifted into communities, then there would not be the grounds for discontent to fester and for terrorists to gather, and the terrorists could be able to have homes. And the ones that wouldn’t cooperate, yes, we will have to contain them. They will, they will be boundaried at the very least. But the key thing is defense departments are also a mirror of our ego defenses and how we defend against seeing our own suffering. And so, let’s say our own suffering is fear, anxiety about the state of the world or hopelessness or helplessness, because we can’t feel like we can do anything. Being aware of these challenges and then shifting it into not getting over the feelings but being able to respond to the feelings and asking ourselves what responses can we have that will make the best of the challenges that we’re facing and being more and more literate about what our emotional challenges are and shifting that from our defenses to our healing.
Robert Strock: (06:51)
And likewise shifting our defense departments gradually again, gradually, this is not a radical far left statement, but gradually shifting while we’re talking to all the major powers in the world and starting the conversation, encouraging our politicians to start the conversation to say, we’re not going to make it if we keep fighting against each other. It’s the same as if we had, somebody, an extraterrestrial that was hostile, except we’re the extraterrestrial inside ourselves, by just caring about ourselves and not caring about the planet. It’s the same thing. So, we need to gradually have this conversation with all the departments that are locked into defense departments and have some kind of an agreed gradual reduction in spending and have that be monitored by the United Nations or some entity that is caring about the world and has the credibility of the world.
As you speak, and as I imagine a world with the US, and at this time, at least it appears Russia and China being the three dominant powers. As a US citizen, how does one look at the coordination of these authoritarian countries and what appears to be just power being aggregated and defense departments in their minds being for domination? Uh, how does that not look to an American like a naive aspiration?
Robert Strock: (08:33)
Well, right now it is a naive aspiration because the momentum is not there at all. And so, so at this very moment, it requires, though that significant 5 or 10% that knows everything I’m saying is already, already there, is already going for it. There’s already a significant minority of people going for it, but it’s not the majority. And so what needs to happen is as individuals, we need to collectively see that if we face our own issues and we don’t let them get in the way, our own challenging emotions of our caring for beyond our small little group of family and friends, if we look at that there’s trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars that could be brought to create intentional communities that could give that thousand dollars a month, like Andrew Yang’s proposal and have millions and millions of people that in poverty be lifted immediately with these communities being built.
Robert Strock: (09:38)
And at the same time, when we are wanting to do that, we’re making it clear, we’re only going to vote for somebody that has a world vision. If you don’t have a world vision, if you don’t see the only greatness of America is because America has the greatest world vision and is following it it’s taking the action it’s asking for this meeting with the three powers. Now in my own mind, and it’s only in my own mind, because I don’t know how it would best work out. I would see this being part of something that Biden would, would go to both Russia and China and say, listen, we’ve got to see the bigger issue, even beyond our own power struggles. We’ve got to come to an agreement and work on this and do this, at first out of the public eye and then come to an agreement between the three major powers that they’re going to agree to some percentage, reduction in the first year or two, and then ask the other lesser powers to do the same.
Robert Strock: (10:35)
If we have those three in agreement, and I don’t have any naive expectations that’s going to happen this year, but if we start to plant those seeds and the world starts to see the massive destruction of fires and hurricanes and famine, and unfortunately, probably some kind of a, a nuclear event, we’re going to start to see that our survival is threatened. That’s the time when there’s a chance where it isn’t naive for the three countries to start the ball rolling and then for that to become more expanded, hopefully through the United Nations. Another theme to really contemplate this very parallel to what we’re talking about is that our failure to value the power of seeing, containing, and responding to our own unconscious feelings and drives can all too often mushroom into highly toxic outcomes. And what that means is if we can’t resolve our anger, we can’t resolve our despair, our anxiety, and by resolve, I don’t mean get rid of, I mean, develop the ability to see it and be caring toward it.
Robert Strock: (11:57)
Have our friends or guys or counselors guide us to be more at peace with being human. That then frees us up to have the possibility of focusing on something other than highly toxic outcomes we can focus on. How can we move a step toward peace? And we need to think small at the beginning to not be naive. So, at first it starts with the individual on a large scale, see it as being like a very large, contagious health, say opposite of a contagious disease it’s a contagious health. More than half the population is aware now that we’re threatened. What, what isn’t known how to do is how to turn that threat into courage, into generosity, into cooperation, and into healing. And that’s where the devotion has to happen. It has to happen in the field of psychology, it has to happen in the field of education, religion, parenting, where yes, sweetheart, you’re feeling this.
Robert Strock: (13:05)
It’s understandable. I love you. Please realize it’s normal. How do you be your best self? How do you consider the other, how do you take care of you and the other and have the growing psychological awareness? So, it’s no longer the elephant in the room, it’s actually something to be proud of that I’m aware of my challenges and I can talk about them and I cannot get so caught in them that they own me, but they’re a part of me. The goal is not to get over them. The goal is to be with them, care for them and then that leads you to seeing what little or more than little you can do to enhance your own survival or to enhance other survival. If you look at the book Awareness That Heals, Chapter Eight, which is Transforming Anger and Resistant Emotions, it goes through a process of starting with your awareness of anger and other anger related to emotions like impatience and intolerance, and irritation and rage, and realizing the crucial importance, A of being aware of it, rather than letting it go into your unconscious.
Robert Strock: (14:27)
That’s a great first step. And then you need to look inside and see, do I want this to own me? Or do I want to move toward my best self? Do I want to move toward healing? And if you’re aware, which if you’ve gotten this far, I think you are aware that you want to move toward healing. You have an intention to heal, and that intention to heal is going to make it very obvious when you’re caught in this anger or aggression that that’s not going to be very healing. So, you need to contain it. That means you need to allow yourself to feel it, but not act it out. And while you’re doing that, you can do that with your therapist. You can do that in your backyard. You can do that in your car. You can do that as the water, you can do it in a private room asking yourself, what is it I really need?
Robert Strock: (15:18)
What is it that’s really needed? That’s making me angry or intolerant or impatient in the first place. And that’s the big pivot. That’s the internal pivot where you’re moving toward, what is it I really need? What is it I really want? And it would be things like sensitivity, communication, honesty, trust, trustworthiness, cooperation. And when you get in touch with what your needs are, rather than letting your emotions take you over then individually, you’re doing your work. And you’re able to make this movement toward my best self. You know what? I live my best self today. That’s the aspiration, not my best self. You’re living your best self. This is an inquiry that you get to go, go with inside yourself. Not one I’m trying to impose. It’s, it’s do you see the wisdom in asking yourself, what would my wisdom be telling me while I feel this challenging emotion?
Robert Strock: (16:24)
And when you’re there, you’re ready to be a powerful citizen, a powerful influence on your community. And there is a very real chance of a contagious healthfulness. That’s the opposite of a contagious disease. It’s like having the anti-COVID disease, the deep yearning and longing to move toward healing while not being airy fairy and idealistic thinking you have arrived, or that you’re only this pure intention. We need to stay aware of our humanness, have that be part of the dialogue and see that it needs to wake us up. The reason why we’re angry is because we have a need. What is that need? And that need is one of the universal human needs. And there’s a good chance when we find our need. We’re just going to say, well, I’m gonna express my need. I’m going to give them, I’m going to give them the load in my unconscious.
Robert Strock: (17:27)
And I’m gonna tell them angrily what I need. No, that’s not it either. We need to learn how to express our needs in a way that has a tone that is consistent with the need itself. It needs to have a tone like peacefulness or at least evenness or friendliness or kindness. And when we’re there, we found our purpose of life. When we are there, we’re living our best self. And when we were living our best self, we are going to feel better. If we don’t face our challenges, they will own us. If we face our challenges and then look for what our real needs are and activate our needs, then we will feel a deeper sense of self, a deeper sense of well-being, a deeper sense of being a contributor to ourselves and our friends and the planet, and those that needed the most support.
As you were speaking, I was reflecting on the name of our foundation “Global Bridge.” And especially as you were speaking about contagious health, contagious, not being a disease, but contagion that is, is a positivity and kind of narrowing it really down to the individual inside me, myself, between myself and those close to me, uh, between family members, community. Uh, and of course in the foundation sense, uh, bringing groups of people together that have like-mindedness that want that contagious healthfulness. And I know that’s been your passion. I know that’s been something you have actively been doing, particularly recently in homelessness and regenerative agriculture. And can you speak to that, that, that sense of connectivity and the, and the healthfulness of it.
Robert Strock: (19:31)
When we named the foundation, the Global Bridge Foundation, I knew it was a good name. I liked the name. We, we fought for it. We had to, we wanted it to be Global Bridge Foundation, and we had to satisfy for The Global Bridge Foundation. But as I look at it now, I feel adaptive gratitude, because that’s exactly, exactly what we’re trying to convey here on a personal, individual level, on an organizational level, on a political level, on a national level, this global cooperation and this bridging between ourselves and others, and this sense of the bridge being so much a part of us, that we start to interconnect and see that we’re actually bigger in our hearts when we’re connected. And we bridge to other parts of life, whether it’s plant life or whether it’s animal life or whether it’s human life or whatever our backgrounds are.
Robert Strock: (20:42)
And so, the foundation itself is dedicated to how can we make the maximum contribution and use every dollar we have in a way that can be regenerative. That’s why a big part of our emo is really giving whenever we can to a project that can help the poor, most often help themselves, and then be some kind of an entity that’s also going to help the world and be successful enough that it will pay us back so we can help, we can keep it going. So, the regenerative aspect of that goes along with the health contagion, because you can see right there that you can be multiple levels of that. One of, one of my true isles, maybe, maybe the foundation that I respect the most in the world, Acumen Fund, has a model and their guidelines that they set really tells the whole story, which is, their two signs of success are how many competitors can we create?
Robert Strock: (21:59)
And are we, are we making, are we getting our money back about 50% of the time? And are we failing about 50% of the time? And if we do those two things, we know we’ve succeeded and what that, the reason for that is they aren’t competitive. They know they have a yearning, the more players, the better, the more acumen funds there are the better. And also, if they’re just playing it safe and they make their money back every time they’re not dealing with the poorest of the poor, because it’s too hard. Sometimes they’re going to have to fail. Of course, they see the paradox of that failing. Some of the time means they’re reaching really down to the bottom of life, circumstances in life. Fortunately, trying to bring communities that are desperate into some kind of growing a business, product, or some kind of agricultural product, that’s going to serve humanity and help them survive and hopefully help others survive.
Robert Strock: (23:07)
So, you start to see how contagious it can be. And Global Bridge Foundation loves their model. And really in our own way, we’re attempting to do the same thing. One of the key features that I’ve mentioned before, but I’m going to keep mentioning, because I know how psychological defenses work, and I’m going to talk about the psychological defense right now first, which is the way that you can discount someone and where you can get mad at someone. The way that you can get mad at me is by exaggerating what I’m saying. So, you’re going to, you’re going to hear me as saying, oh, we should all be humanitarians. We should have a lobotomy, you know, that we, we should, we should be, we should be, we should be and you’re not hearing the subtle, but deep respect for the fact that only you are the master of your own life.
Robert Strock: (24:06)
And what’s being asked for, is, are you motivated to question and see what your life situation is and find your own way to make small steps and realizing that fundamental changes on an individual or any kind of entity is almost guaranteed to be gradual, barring occasional enlightened, uh, experiences. But even then they’re often overrated because they often don’t last as long. And so, it’s important that you hear the Psycho-Politics, the 1, 2, 3 of it is understood to be very gradual, brick by brick. And that means you’re looking at today. What can you do today in the smallest of ways? And again, whether it’s to help your survival or it’s to help others survival, what can you do in the smallest ways? That’s one of the questions and every transformational movement, every contagious health movement that’s ever happened with humanity has always started with the individual then going to a local community, and then maybe it starting in various other local communities.
Robert Strock: (25:17)
And then it becomes national. And that’s what we’re trying to support along with many other people, the idea of individuals looking at their own psychology and seeing that if you can be kinder and more aware of your own human barriers and challenges, that it allows you to have the chance to be a movement toward goodness and towards supporting yourself, your loved ones and the greater world at your pace. So, I ask you to be really watchful. Are you defending yourself to get out of it? Are you saying, oh, it’s asking for way, way too much because it’s naive. It’s not naive at all to make one small step. I am saying, consider making one small step and asking yourself, where am I in life? And what would a step be for me given where I am emotionally, psychologically, physically health wise? Where am I? And what’s my best self.
Robert Strock: (26:29)
I am asking you to do that. I’m asking us all to do that, but I’m not asking you or not telling you certainly that you should do X, Y, or Z, but I am in a sense saying that we’re not going to survive. And my best understanding of seeing reality, unless we have this global and national contagion of health. So, my best guess is for those that have their survival taken care of, it’s probably mostly a 10 to 30% shifts where we’re considering the other, the planet and the poor more than we have. And for the very, very wealthy, it could be a lot more than that. Hopefully will be a lot more than that. And for people that are struggling for survival, they’re just maintaining as good in attitude and as good in actions as they possibly can, working together. There’s a sense of, you look at somebody in the eyes and you see them as a brother or sister, because there’s a sense of a universal connectedness.
Robert Strock: (27:37)
As we talked about with the Global Bridge Foundation, as we talked about with Acumen Fund. So, the real plea is to not just understand. Understanding is very dangerous if it’s not incorporated in your psychology and in your actions. And so, the plea, the request is take this next step wherever you are. You may already be far down the line, or you may be just considering how can I do it, but be content. And one of the, one of the great barriers is that when you ask the question, how can I make the next step? Almost invariably, you’re going to get confusion. And if you get confusion, recognize the reason why it’s confused is because you’re asking a deeper question. Confusion comes when you’re in a deeper place. It’s easy. If you’re just doing the same old, same old, and you’re just doing the same traditional thing, deep questions are not going to arise, and you’re not going to be confused. But if you’re confused, don’t let that confusion own you. Recognize, okay, good, I care enough to be confused and I’m looking for clarity. And if it takes me 3,000 hours, it’s the worthy question because it’s the best I can be for myself. It’s the best I can be for those I love. And it’s the best I can be for the world. So don’t let confusion stop you. And there’s a plea, a prayer to join in this contagion of health that we can be together, step-by-step.
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