“. . . it becomes clearer and clearer that we’re all in the same boat and failure to realize and respond to this will inevitably result in us all being doomed to sink.”
In this episode of The Missing Conversation, Robert is joined by Mark Gerzon, founder of the Mediators Foundation. Mark is also a dedicated activist in the movement for a diverse, inclusive civil structure and transpartisan politics.
Robert and Mark explore the three elements of psycho-politics. Politics is human behavior, and it’s not the best idea to separate the two as they are two distinct yet intertwined aspects of humanity.
The first essential element of psycho-politics is our individual and collective tendency to want to take care of ourselves, our loved ones, and our favoritism to those closest to us. But it’s important to take a step back and see the bigger picture. If we are only taking care of ourselves, who is taking care of those in the greatest need? The planet? Our ecosystem?
Robert and Mark also touch upon our relationship and view of money and its impact on psycho-politics. We’re called upon to contemplate how we really use our money — where do we spend most of it? Do we have a natural inclination to share some with those who are not close to us personally but come from difficult circumstances? If we don’t have enough, what is our attitude towards money? Are we doing the best we can with what we have and how to give ourselves and our families the best possible life?
The third aspect of psych-politics that ties everything together is a contemplation of balance. How can we take care of ourselves and our planet together? How can we truly engage in the question ‘What does balance mean for this year?’ to care for ourselves and others while realizing the imminent dangers of economic inequality, global warming, war, etc.?
The two also cover their experiences growing up, being drafted for the war, initiating a draft resistance, and coming to an understanding of how to use their ideas to make concrete positive change. This is where we, as listeners and readers, can see how much of what we think, do, and feel comes from what we have been taught in limited ways how we can really take care of ourselves, those we love, and our planet.
Mark’s varied life experiences — from his parents’ heritage, religious beliefs, education, political leanings, and a growing understanding of the world — have shaped the work he has done throughout his life, does today, and the specific causes he works to support. These different aspects of his life meshing together are his connection to humanity, or as Robert calls it, a synthesis of the heart.
Mentioned in this episode
Philanthropy Bridging Divides
A House Divided
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 41 with Mark Gerzon.
Mark Gerzon: (00:05)
I’m one of those people with an identity that I call a hyphenated identity. I believe when people really drop into their souls, almost all of us have hyphenated identities. Um, but I definitely did. And it was Christian and Jewish. It was conservative and liberal.
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 in 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: (00:59)
Very warm welcome again, to The Missing Conversation where we address the most pressing issues that the world’s facing today and where we look for the most practical, inspiring programs, innovative ideas, and people to support survival on our planet and finding a sense of a unity, inspiration and fulfillment that both we and the world needs today. We have a guest that exemplifies someone who’s lived a life that I would say really expresses so much of the essence of a psycho-political life and his relationship to the world, and has a very interesting background and has made a lot of global choices throughout his life when he had other great options. That leads me to feel honored to have him on our show today.
Robert Strock: (02:01)
Mark Gerzon is president of the Mediator’s Foundation, a nonprofit incubator for projects that bridge social and political divides. He’s also co-director with Chris Gates of Philanthropy Bridging Divides, a project which fosters cross partisan dialogue amongst foundation executives through his activism and his writing over the past quarter century. Mark focused on the growing political polarization in his writing. He addressed it first through A House Divided, in 1996. Then in Leading Through Conflict, in 2006, and more recently in The Reunited States of America: How We Can Bridge the Partisan Divide, in 2016, which inspired the documentary, The Reunited States available on Amazon Prime. From his early work, designing and facilitating the congressional bipartisan retreats to his bridging current work in philanthropy and media, he has been a dedicated activist in the movement for a diverse, inclusive, respectful civil culture and transpartisan politics. And I would just add that Mark has been someone that for ages has just been an inspiration to watch the choices that he’s made, and I feel very fortunate to have him as a guest. Mark, welcome, and truly thank you for joining us.
Mark Gerzon: (03:51)
Thank you, Robert. I look forward to being part of, uh, this wonderful podcast that you’re doing. Thank you.
Robert Strock: (03:57)
So, I’d like to start with a brief overview of psycho-politics, very brief to give sense of what we’re really trying to cover today. And there’s really three simple parts. The first part is recognizing how natural it is for all of us in the planet to want to take care of ourselves, take care of those we love, and in a sense to have a favoritism to those that are close to us, but realizing that we’re in the 2021 and that if 300 million families or more are all taking care of themselves and their kids and their grandkids, and really have a sense of us and them unwittingly, there, isn’t gonna be enough of a percentage of, of relating to the world and relating to ourselves emotionally as being the same as other people, to where it’s gonna create a crisis. It’s like we have a half a billion units, all taking care of themselves and who’s taking care of the poor who’s taking care of the planet.
Robert Strock: (05:08)
So, on a personal level, that’s, that’s point one, the second point of psycho-politics is really the same thing. Except it’s really relating to money. And how do we deal with money? Because there’s trillions and trillions, hundreds of trillions of dollars that are being helped in the separation. And without trying to induce guilt, how, how do we really use our money if we have some, and if we don’t have any money how’s our attitude in really doing the best we can, which is also a part of the second element of psycho-politics. And the third part of psycho-politics is really recognizing that the, our psychology and seeing isn’t really optimal to live in a way that where we just take care of ourselves and our families psychologically, is it optimal to do it with our relationship to money? And the third question is questioning for the rest of our life.
Robert Strock: (06:11)
What is balance? How do we really take care of ourselves and our planet together, truly engaging in the ongoing questioning as to what is balance in 2021, to take care of both ourselves, our family and the world, both the dangers of global warming and all the other dangers that we face. So, I’d like to start off Mark with asking you, because I think it’s such a key issue, cuz we were, most of us were raised in similar ways, but there are variations. What way were you raised? And I’m guessing that you weren’t raised exactly the way you’ve come out, but what, what, what led you to follow your own drummer and really go in the direction you had, maybe you can help us understand that.
Mark Gerzon: (07:08)
Well, um, it’s a great question. And I grew up in the fifties and sixties in Indianapolis, Indiana, which is one of the most conservative places in conservative times in American history. So, I know something about, uh, um, I know something about that American bedrock, that a lot of people on the coasts and a lot of sophisticated cosmopolitans, probably a lot of people listening to this psycho-politics podcast. They, they, they, they, they actually have to study, you know, that American bedrock. Um, and I, I grew up in it and um, I, I really still feel it in my bones and the identity, um, that I was, was passed on to me was, was two layered. Robert, the first layer was the identity that conservative American bedrock, where everybody voted for Richard Nixon and, you know, everybody, you know, said Buush, not Bush. And people said, you know, “you’re up shit’s creek without a paddle.”
Mark Gerzon: (07:58)
And you know, that kind of a, not quite Southern, but, but you know, hardcore, Midwestern, conservative world. I, I know that world from my bones. That was one layer of my childhood. The other layer of my childhood was a father and mother who were immigrants from Europe. Who’d grown up respectively in Holland and Indonesia, um, who spoke five or six languages and who, because of World War II, uh, found themselves parachuted into Indianapolis, Indiana. So, they of course gave me a whole other layer. So, I call myself a hyphen. Uh, my, I’m one of those people with an identity that I call a hyphenated identity. I believe when people really drop into their souls, almost all of us have hyphenated identities. Um, but I definitely did. And it was Christian and Jewish, it was conservative and liberal. Uh, it was American and global. Uh, it was all those were hyphens.
Mark Gerzon: (08:51)
Um, and, uh, so, um, when you say I’m not like my childhood, um, on one level, that’s true. I’m definitely not a conservative Midwesterner anymore, but I am still a hyphen and I, all I’ve done is broaden my hyphen. I broadened it from Christ, for example, from Christian-Jewish to Christian-Jewish-Buddhist-Hindu, you know, Muslim. I mean, I’ve tried to broaden it because as we’ll get into, um, I’m sure we’ll talk about identity, but from a very, very early age, I think I was fascinated by identity. And I can tell you that because in elementary school I kept a, you know, we had to keep a reading chart of the books we read for some grade, fifth or sixth grade. And you know, most of my pie chart of reading books was empty. You know, my science part was empty and my, this part was empty, and my fictional literature was empty. The part that was just like overflowing into the margins was biography. I just wanted to understand how the hell do people live lives and what is this thing called the human life? I just was fascinated from elementary school on cuz I was puzzled.
Robert Strock: (09:53)
Well, you, you call it a hyphen. Um, I, to me, to me, it would be a, uh, a grand asterisk. It would be a, a connector to humanity. It would be, uh, a synthesis. And I think it would, to me in my world, it would be you had something in your soul that was awake and alive from a very young age that sent you on your way. And I’m wondering as you look at yourself and you look at your peers in high school in, I know you went to an Ivy league school, you know, I won’t mention it cuz I don’t wanna brag for you. Um, but I’m wondering how you see yourself in the choices you made relative to your years, right out of, right out of the best college and you know, or one of the best colleges in the country.
Mark Gerzon: (10:45)
Well, that’s a great question, Robert. I think, um, it was because I think I knew from the very beginning that my identity was small. I, I think I had a feeling of a constricted identity and I don’t know how that came into my soul so early, but maybe it was because I heard my parents, you know, they, they, they, weren’t talking about Louisville and Chattanooga and, and uh, and St. Louis, they were talking about, you know, Amsterdam or Zurich or Barranquilla or, you know, um, Dover and I’m going, the world must be much bigger than this place called Indianapolis, Indiana. So, I think the first iteration of what’s made me different was I said, there’s a really, really big world out there. And whereas my peers seemed very happy going from Indianapolis to Terre Haute or Indianapolis to South Bend or Indianapolis to Chicago, you know, I immediately wondered, well, you know, there was a, a program at Indiana university where you could go to France for a summer and learn French, if you could, you know, qualify.
Mark Gerzon: (11:45)
And they picked 30 students from the states to the state of Indiana to go to, to, to France. And I, I immediately said, I wanna do that. Why not? Because I had some great love of France, but I was just so curious, you know, what’s France, you know, and I knew it was close to Holland where my parents had grown up. So, you know, I thought, well, it’s the beginning and sure enough, it was, I, we, went there. You could not speak English for two months. So, you know, [French phrase] I can still speak French. So it’s like, I, I think that was it. Robert it was, and I, my father bless his heart, um, liked a phrase from Einstein. Einstein said never lose a holy curiosity. And, uh, that’s, if I, if my father had a tombstone, I would probably put that on his tombstone. Never lose a holy curiosity, cuz I think he passed on some genetic biogenetic, spiritual level. He passed it on to me. And that was a difference between me and my peers. One difference. Holy curiosity.
Robert Strock: (12:41)
So could you elaborate on that a bit more because I think it then went sort of in a caring for the world in some profound way that niche, that shift that was inside that just manifested outside after you learn French.
Mark Gerzon: (12:56)
Right. Well then I guess in addition to the word identity, which we need to add to this conversation, we need to add the word suffering. Um, we need to add the word suffering because, um, so far, you know, my self narrative sounds very upbeat and curious and, and it was, uh, it was, but there was, I, I think I became very sensitive to suffering at a very early age, uh, without going into the inner dynamics of my family, unless you wanna take me back there. I, I would say that I saw suffering between my mother and father who divorced when I was 13. I saw suffering in my siblings because of the dynamics of our family. And before I was out of high school, I saw suffering around race and suffering around gender and then suffering around the Vietnam War, which, you know, because at that time I had a draft card in my pocket.
Mark Gerzon: (13:44)
I was supposed to go and fight in and I saw the suffering of Vietnamese and, and the cause and the causes of that. And I think suffering, um, you know, you cannot be curious about the world outside yourself or even, even for that matter, the world inside yourself without observing suffering. And so, um, for reasons that are pretty deep and I’m glad to go as deep as you want to go. Um, I think my curiosity led to suffering and I think I was very focused originally Robert on the suffering and the outer world, because it allowed me to kind of downplay the suffering inside my myself. Um, and it was true. There were people outside me and still are today suffering more than me. So caretaker, the caretaker personality of which I am one and probably you are one and many of our listeners are, um, you know, we get wired pretty early, like, oh, they’re suffering more than me. I’ll, I’ll take care of them, which is great. And some beautiful thing, you know, it’s a beautiful, but um, ultimately, and, and I’m now in my seventies, so ultimately it’s definitely come around. Uh, you have to face the suffering inside yourself. You know, you have to face the suffering inside yourself.
Robert Strock: (14:49)
And so, that’s suffering the first big turn in the world that, that really started to show the direction you were going. Cuz you’re, you’re one of those people that I would say has been a lifer for a long, long, long time, many, many, many decades. And you know, it’s something that I, I think our, and that turning point where you say, you know what, I think I’m gonna go for this rather than that, because it touches something inside me. What was that beginning, starting point that you would consider to be the, the, the first beginning turn.
Mark Gerzon: (15:26)
Well, um, because this is about psycho-politics, I think it’s important to go back to my family of origin and not start with like the Vietnam War or something like that. Because one could ask the question before, if I went straight to Vietnam War, which is the, the typical political answer to deal with the second half of that word, psycho-politics, typical answer would be, oh, it’s the Vietnam War Robert. And I would tell you all about the Vietnam War, but why was I so sensitive to the Vietnam War? I mean, why did I react that way to the Vietnam War? Well, that was clearly because of what happened in my childhood and what happened in my childhood was I saw my mother think that my father was the problem. And my father think that my mother was the problem. And I saw my mother think I was the problem.
Mark Gerzon: (16:06)
And I thought my mother was the problem. And I thought, you know, and, and, and my sister thought, you know, and on and on. And so it was like, I didn’t have to look far afield to notice, um, gosh, there’s, you know, and there was a very specific situation in our family where, you know, there was resources and scarcity and if the resources and scarcity could have come together, we could have had a good family, but the resources stayed over here and the scarcity stayed over there and there was pain and heartache because they, they were never connected. And, you know, without anticipating our conversation, I just wanna say that I could see as a five-year-old when resources and scarcity don’t come together, you have tragedy. And when resources and scarcity come together, you have, you know, plenty or harmony. Um, and so I think, um, you know, for me, that was, I think that was seminal.
Mark Gerzon: (17:02)
So needless to say, then when I said, okay, now you are legally required to go to Vietnam to represent the United States of America as a soldier. Now I had a high number by the way, I had a high number, but I was pretty morally attune at that time. And I didn’t care what my number was. I didn’t want anything to do with the selective service system. And I didn’t want anything to do with that war, cuz I thought it was a criminal war and an Imperial war and the architects of that war I’ve lived long enough so that the architects of that war have now said we were wrong. So, I say this now there’s no middle ground. There’s no neutrality in my voice, Robert, here the fierceness, it was wrong. Okay. And I don’t care what anybody says, if Robert McNamera, the secretary of defense says it was wrong and he was the architect of the war.
Mark Gerzon: (17:44)
You know, we now have agreement, it was wrong. And so, I knew that at 18 and um, and, and, and so I think, and I saw, why are we doing that? And it was the same way I had about my family. We, we, we, we are, we are afraid of these Vietnamese communists and they’re afraid of us. And, and it’s, and it was a miss, a profound misunderstanding that cost thousand hundreds of thousands of lives and, and dominated my adolescence and, uh, and, and, and, and wounded America in a way that it’s never recovered from.
Robert Strock: (18:16)
The honesty of seeing and also the capacity to see. Mother blaming father, father, blaming mother, mother, blaming you. It’s the other it’s not me. And you putting together scarcity and resources. You know, that, there’s something about that that identifies with everyone where you’re in touch with the scarcity that so much of the world has, and the resource that a small percentage of the world has. And I have no doubt that you saw, how can I help bring that together? How can I really do that? So, just give us one taste. I mean, you might be a little shy about giving one taste of one beginning experience. That was really the, uh, one that I won’t say turned the corner because I think you’ve turned the corner 40 times. But, but one that just started off that just give us a 32nd version of, well, this is the first one I started with project
Mark Gerzon: (19:15)
Ah-huh. Okay. So, what’s the first project where I started to put this awareness into action. Right?
Robert Strock: (19:20)
Mark Gerzon: (19:22)
Well, again, just going biographically. Um, the draft resistance was probably the first one because, uh, I didn’t know how to organize others. I was too young. I didn’t know what it meant to organize. I was, I just left home. I’d just gone to Cambridge, Massachusetts. And I was just in college. And I was just like out of the, out of the cradle, basically in terms of becoming an adult. And I saw this thing where you could turn in your draft card and if you’d turn in your draft card, you were telling the Pentagon, uh, count me out. And I wasn’t the first I was, I was probably, there was five or 6,000 maybe cards had been turned in. And I said, I’m joining that because wow, if an entire generation of young men and it was men then turned in their draft cards, um, and it doesn’t have to be an entire generation. I mean, just if 10, 20, 30% did, they’d go, somebody would have to wake up at the Pentagon and go, oh, wow. Uh, we can’t put all those guys in jail. Um, wow. And it was civil disobedience. It was Gandhi. It was Martin Luther king. It was, you know, the whole tradition and, and back in the sixties, that was a very live tradition. So there there’s an example.
Robert Strock: (20:27)
Yeah. And, and then the next example of the positive action that you took, I know that was a positive action too. Right. But I wanna, wanna you, I mean, you you’ve written so many books, you’ve done so many projects you’ve led foundations. You, yeah, I just wanna give the audience a flavor for one of those that, that, I mean, you probably could choose one of five that that would be happening early in your life after school.
Mark Gerzon: (20:51)
Sure. So if you’re looking at successes, I’m, I’m not, I can, we can also talk about some failures, but another success was, um, because of the work I’d done in the writing I’d done. I was approached by a gentleman in New York who said, you know, Mark, I have this idea of a global newspaper. Um, now that might sound like a strange thing today because we have the internet and everybody thinks, well, we get news from all over the world. Just go to your computer. But think back, half a century, you know, in Moscow, they read PRADA, in New York they read The New York Times, in Japan they, you know, read, you know, Nishinippon Shimbun, I mean, it’s like, it was like, all these countries were the, his closed information loops, closed information loops. And then we wondered why they thought, well, imagine, imagine if a husband and wife, they have completely separate information loops.
Mark Gerzon: (21:38)
Well, they’re gonna fight all the time. Cuz one of them thinks the floor is dirty. And one of ’em thinks the floor is clean. One of them thinks the refrigerator’s full and another one thinks it’s empty. So, they’re gonna be fighting all the time. And I thought, well, his name was Harry. And I said, Harry, that’s great idea. I’ve thought of it, but I’ve never thought of putting it into place. He said, well, he said, I’m a, you know, banker here in New York and I have the idea and I’d like you to come to work for me. And I worked for four years creating, um, World Paper and it ended up with a circulation of 1.5 million in, in four years. And, uh, it was a really, really exciting four years because I got to say, I got to feel what I would call agency, you know, the sense of agency that, okay, you don’t have to just complain about these national news systems. These closed loops, you can create an open loop. And it was what Bucky Fuller said, you know, Bucky Fuller said, don’t try to change the old system, you know, create a new system that everybody can join and yeah. And that’s what we do with World Paper.
Robert Strock: (22:29)
Great, great first example. Um, you’re, you’re one of the few people I know that has so many examples that would be hard to choose, which, which one, which one you, which one you’d go for. Um, and Bucky Fuller was, uh, I know a joint hero of ours in college and uh, you know, I’ll mention this moment just briefly world, world game and was basically instituted by him, which was, how can we, if we all decided we wanted the world to be able to survive and thrive, what would we have to do? How would countries cooperate? And so there’s something so, uh, original creative, brilliant, compassionate that it was a common thread I know in our lives that, that I’m endlessly grateful.
Mark Gerzon: (23:16)
One quick other example, if I can, uh, just, uh, just following on that, I, I, I realized when I started making films, Robert, that, uh, we were making films about the Soviet Union that made them look like evil inhuman bastards. And they were making film that made us look like horrible, insensitive, cutthroat capitalists. And meanwhile, we had nuclear weapons pointed at each other. And I thought to myself, my God, you know, we have this incredible craft called cinema, these incredible things called movie cameras and movie screens. And we’re using it to foment hatred about the enemy, who’s got the power to destroy us in the world. And that was another time I said, you know, there was a closed information loop, Soviets watching their Soviet films and Americans watching their Rocky Rambo stuff. And I said, you know, so wait, anyway, flew to Moscow said, come on over to Hollywood guys, let’s talk.
Mark Gerzon: (24:06)
And then I took the Hollywood guys to Moscow and said, let’s talk, and long story short after a year and a half project called the Entertainment Summit, that sick destructive pattern of making lying films about each other ended and a year or two later Gorbachev and Reagan ended the cold war and, and is was a tremendous shift in human consciousness that I got excited about. And I thought, oh, this is a shift in human consciousness. We’re not gonna do that anymore. We’re not gonna project on the other anymore. This is so great. Well, that was 1987. And I can, you can tell from the tone of my voice and your laughter that, you know, that’s not what happened. It was a, but it was, I just wanted to mention that example because it was a profound experience of hope and followed by despair, which, uh, is going to be a theme today in our, in our conversation.
Robert Strock: (24:54)
Absolutely. And, and that, that’s really the, the one that, to me, reveals so much about you. Uh, I mean they all do, but, but the you that I know is someone that is creatively and intelligently gone about doing what you can to heal the divides, whether it’s in the world or the country, uh, just so many different aspects, um, which really interacts with psycho-politics. And I wanted to ask really what you feel in psycho-politics, you find most meaningful that it relates to you your life, the world.
Mark Gerzon: (25:37)
The, the, the, the example that I would give to answer your question would be to just mention that work I did with Congress, because the work with Congress was psycho-politics in action. Um, many people see US Congress and they just see politics. That’s all they see, they see politics, oh, they play politics in Washington. They play politics in Capitol Hill. Oh, look at it. You know, this particular week when we happened to be taping, um, you know, there’s a possible government shutdown because they’re playing politics about the budget, but I looked at it and I saw people. I saw people I saw mostly men in midlife, um, and men in midlife who, who were Americans like the ones I grew up with in Indiana. And I saw them playing a game that was destructive for them, destructive for the country and ultimately destructive for the world.
Mark Gerzon: (26:22)
And so, when I heard that some of them were, you know, saying, Hey, that’s not why I came here. This is a horrible place to work. We’re not getting anything done. I wrote to one of them and I said, you know, I mean, they’d already had the idea of doing a retreat. And I wrote, and I said, here’s some questions you might want to think about on your retreat. And one of the questions was, how does the way you guys are playing politics, hurt you and your families. That was one of the questions I asked them. It wasn’t about, you know, gerrymandering or campaign finance reform or the structure of, you know, it was about how is it hurting you and your family. In other words, I went straight for the common suffering. And anyway, the long version, you know, they called me and said, will you come to Washington, we’d like to talk to you.
Mark Gerzon: (27:04)
And I ended up facilitating and designing the US Congressional Retreats, but I think it was Robert. I, I think I was intuitively like you feeling that, yes, we have a word called psychology and we have a word called politics and our little brains can separate them over here onto the right and left, but just like our brains, you know, they come together, and I see psycho-politics as one. When I see politics, I see human behavior and when I see psychology, I see people who’ve been shaped and incentivized by these systems. We call politics and it’s all one unified field, which is why I’m excited to be part of your podcast. You’ve seen that unified field and you’re calling it psycho-politics, which is, is good, a good a term for any cuz, one is about the inner and the other is about the outer. And you’re doing a beautiful job of holding that, that tension and that conflict and presenting it to your listeners. So thank you.
Robert Strock: (27:56)
Well, that, that is such a profound example, uh, relative to the grounded world, you know, for many people, they, they think of something like psycho-politics as, as a theory or as, or as a philosophy, but it, it is so in 2021 and beyond it is so important that this be experienced by the listener as what does this mean to me? How can I make even a small little move? We don’t all, we’re not, can all be able to go to Congress and, and have an interaction with the Republican, Democrats, and see what the common ground is and, and do what you did, but how can I be a little nicer to the cleric? How can, how can I do, how can I do a job that, that is going to, uh, create benefit? How can I treat people that around me better? How can I not have as much of an “us and them” as, as my life currently does, how can I learn from the fact that our, that I see bickering around me and something inside me wants to be more unitive and hopefully can move in that direction for the rest of our lives, because it does seem like so strongly that the, the people that are, let’s say naturally wanting to unify and nothing else really makes sense that, and I’ll get into this later probably, but that the unique thing about this time right now, and I don’t, I assume you’re experiencing this too, is that the, the people that are really unifiers are not islands, like they were 10, 15 years ago as much they’re, they’re attempting to unify with unifiers.
Robert Strock: (29:34)
So, the power of unifiers uniting with unifiers and not just being solo pilots. And, and I know you’re bridging organizations, but then there’s bridging organizations of bridging organizations. And then there’s a deeper psychological level of reaching them a deeper level of cooperation, overlapping circles doesn’t mean that, you know, we’re, I’m gonna become you and you’re gonna become me. It means I’m gonna look for the best in you and see how I can help you. And, and, and for vice versa. And I think that there’s a quantum explosion that’s possible when we look and feel discouraged about the world, that these, the, the people that really want the world to survive and to be healing toward the have nots and the, and the, the, the dangers of the planet are saying not so much how can I do it, but how can we all do it together? How can we find each other is such a big part of what’s going on?
Mark Gerzon: (30:28)
Yes, I’m in, and it reminds me of, uh, you know, it reminds me of why I left, um, graduate school and clinical psychology, um, because I was a very, in a very blessed position a couple years after I left college, I got a, you know, full fellowship to get a PhD in clinical psych at the University of Chicago. And, you know, it was like one of those things that, you know, is like, was like gold, you know, um, literally a four year ride to getting a PhD. And, um, my father and my mother and my friends thought I was the luckiest guy in the world. And I was meanwhile, however, you, you know, we are bombing, secretly bombing Cambodia, because that was the expansion of Vietnam War. And I’m sitting there getting a government grant to become a psychologist, you know, to work with 20 or 30 clients that, you know, maybe within a practice or something. And I thought, well, how is me working with 20 or 30 clients gonna. Anyway I got depressed to put it something, I got depressed. I couldn’t see a connection between my PhD and, and the bombing of Cambodia. And, and I listened, bless my soul. I mean, I, I, I listened to my depression. I took it seriously enough, you know, and I actually said, I’m going to leave. I’m gonna leave graduate school and find another path.
Robert Strock: (31:46)
Yeah. I mean, when we look at, when I look at our lives, my life has been dedicated largely to psychology for 50 years and, and certain spiritual explorations, uh, which turned out to be the biggest blessings and curses of my life and, and lots of suffering, but lots of meaningful suffering. And I think that’s the kind of suffering you’re talking about. And as a, as a therapist, I felt the same depression. And the way I dealt with it was I became a nontraditional therapist that was relating mental health to relating to how you’re relating to the world and caring for the world, not just adjusting of the world, cuz the world as, as it has been seemed pretty insane. War seemed pretty insane. You know, having separate movies like you were talking about and idealizing yourself and, and crucifying the other seemed insane.
Robert Strock: (32:44)
Um, and so psychology alone couldn’t do it. So it [right] working, trying to work with leaders that were going to be seeing that, you know, what, how much you’re generous in. And it’s not even generous how much you’re inspired because generosity is acting like you’re doing some great thing, but it’s really so fulfilling to be able to reach out because you wanna reach out, it’s a joy and, and it does deal with the suffering that you’re talking about. When you find a place inside you, if you find a place inside you, that really wants to be not because it’s theoretically smart, not cuz we want attention, but because we see the world is gonna die.
Mark Gerzon: (33:29)
Well, can I jump off your word insanity for a minute? Because um, I, I was been looking and asking myself the question, what’s the roots of that insanity. And I, I don’t have the answer. I’m not some kind of cosmic philosopher who’s written the history of human beings. I, I don’t know all, I know what my research has shown me. And my research has shown me that this guy who’s who’s, uh, whose holiday we celebrate every October, Columbus, um, was the only guy, you know, until King had a holiday, Martin Luther King, you know, Columbus was the only person whose holiday we really, you know, we really represented, uh, you know, uh, celebrated. He was insane. And the Indigenous people had a word for it. They called it “Wedico” and they thought this guy who’d come here was insane. You know why? Because he thought everything in the hemisphere belonged to him.
Mark Gerzon: (34:17)
He thought all the gold belonged to him. He thought he could take anybody he wanted as a slave. He thought he could cut down trees and put stuff in rivers and it would all turn out okay. And they looked at him and they said, he’s insane. And he, Robert, is the foundation archetypically, the foundation of, of American culture. Um, and, and so it’s like, I just wanna tell your listeners today that as psycho-politics is, if, if you look at Columbus and only see politics, you’re missing half the story, you’re missing the biggest, you gotta look at him psychologically and see, this was a guy who was actually insane and the indigenous people saw it. And all of us today have a chance to ask ourselves, do we wanna be insane like Columbus? Or do we want to come to our senses? Thank you for letting me do that little riff on Columbus. And that’s also why, you know, we’re talking as all these statues are coming down of Columbus, um, and around the country and people are thinking, well, that’s politics, that’s left wing or, no I think it’s consciousness, I think it’s consciousness arising. And people are sometimes in a very confused way. There’s something about this guy who’s standing there on our town square, even in Columbus, Ohio, and they’re taking it down, they’re taking it down. So, let’s have a moment of celebration about that.
Robert Strock: (35:32)
Well, you speaking that way gave me goose pimples. It, it, it thrills me to see the truth and, and I had never heard that expression, you know, of what the Indian expression was, but it’s, it’s one that I hope has passed on it. It’s just such a, uh, orientation, uh, that so many of us, uh, would benefit from. I had a t-shirt that, that had the Indians, uh, the American Indians on the t-shirt and it, and it basically said Homeland Security since 1492. And, and, and it was, it was, it, it was.
Mark Gerzon: (36:13)
Uh, we’re laughing because otherwise we’d be crying.
Robert Strock: (36:15)
That’s Right. That’s right. Laughing, saying crying at the same time. And, and so in that same common theme, there was a back and forth we had, as we were deciding to do a show together that I had a quote that you said you had, you basically had the same quote and the quote was, “it becomes clearer and clearer that we’re all in the same boat and failure to realize and respond to this will inevitably result in us being doomed to sink.” And I’d like you to share this, this came, this is a part of psycho-politics. I’d like you to share what that means in your world and why, why you resonate with that so much.
Mark Gerzon: (36:53)
Well, I love that quote. Why don’t you just read it again. So your listeners, I can hear it once again. So power, powerful.
Robert Strock: (37:00)
Yeah. It becomes clearer and clearer that we’re all in the same boat and failure to realize and respond to this will inevitably result in us all being doomed to sink.
Mark Gerzon: (37:14)
Yeah. Well, that’s, um, it’s been a big part of my life and, um, in a sense, the, the point on my life, I guess I’ll pick up on was, um, I kept calling myself a global citizen and I kept calling myself a global citizen because, uh, because of that, that line, you just quoted. But I also felt like I was just being kind of like, you know, rhetorical, like global citizen. It’s like somebody says, yeah, I’m, I’m, you know, like “woke,” you like being “woke” or something, you know, it’s like, I, I, what does global citizen mean? So, I started looking at what it meant. And, uh, and also the phrase global intelligent. What, what does it mean to have high GQ? What does it mean to think in a globally intelligent way? And the more I looked into it, the more I realized that our culture was trying to solve the problem with the same level of consciousness that it created, it, it was getting extremely mental.
Mark Gerzon: (38:03)
Uh, you had to read all these magazines. I, once asked a guy, you know, what would you do to become, what would you encourage a global citizen to read? And he started listing four or five professional magazines and, and in several books. And I basically said, well, you’ve laid out a graduate curriculum. I said, what, how can an ordinary, an ordinary person can’t go to a graduate school to become a global citizen? What can an ordinary person do? And, and the scholar all didn’t have much to say to me. So long story short, I ended up writing a book in 2010 called Global Citizen, which was translated, but published in London and published and published in, in, in, uh, several different languages. And I did it because I, I, I said to myself, Mark, you can’t keep calling yourself a global citizen, if you don’t discipline yourself to say what it means.
Mark Gerzon: (38:43)
And, um, and, and, and, and for me, that boat metaphor, you just said for me, I came up with four simple phrases and I came up with four simple phrases, Robert, because I, I hoped the book would be translated. And I wanted every language to have the words to translate it. And I came up with four phrases, open your eyes, open your mind, open your heart, and open your hands. And ever since then, I’ve been teaching a curriculum of Global Citizenship and Global Intelligence, based on those four principles, cuz we all have, we, we all have eyes, we all have minds, we all have hearts and we all have hands. And um, you know, without going into the weeds on that, I think for me writing the book was a, a way of telling the world what I’d always been feeling in my heart, which is we’re all connected.
Mark Gerzon: (39:31)
And until we, and if we don’t see that we’re all gonna sink, you know, we don’t see that we’re all gonna sink. And that was true in my family of origin. And it’s true in the world today. Now I have one more quick story. I’ll just—cuz some of your listeners might be thinking, well that’s pretty abstract—but I will tell you a concrete story. I was working in Southeast Asia and there was some conflict between Singapore and Malaysia and, and there was an Israeli guy in the group and the Israeli guy was saying, well to the singer, Singaporeans, hey, if you buy our desal, de, desalinization plant Singapore, which is an island, if you buy our desalinization plant, you can get all your water you’re from the sea and you won’t have to keep trying to get water from, from, from Malaysia and you’ll become independent.
Mark Gerzon: (40:11)
You’ll be energy, you’ll, you’ll be water self-sufficient. And the Singaporean said, uh, no thanks. No thanks. We’re good. And the Israeli said, businessman said, well, what, what do you mean? You don’t wanna be able to be water independent? He said, no. He said, no. We’d, we’d like, we’d like them, we’d like to need their water. And we’d like them to need our technology because if we’re interdependent, you know, we’re gonna have a better relationship. And this was Israeli who is representing the Western consciousness was speaking to that Asian consciousness. And the Asian consciousness was saying we’re interdependent. You know, let’s honor that and, and, and realize that’s the basis for our peace. And to me it was a moment I’ll never forget Robert, a moment I’ll never forget.
Robert Strock: (40:52)
Yeah. Yeah. I mean the, the unconscious and the patterns that we’ve gone through are so deep that they’re going to override so often, unfortunately, uh, just this common thread of those four simple statements that you made that are so universal. And so, what seems intuitively obvious is not. And I think it is gonna, it is gonna require, uh, a merging of the mergers, yeah, to, to possibly have a chance. And that includes the small, no, one’s no one’s excluded. That includes people that are just working for survival, right. Saying hello to each other, recognizing how hard it is, how much, how dignified it is to work for your survival, no matter where you are, if whatever your capacity, whatever is your best. Um, one thing I wanted to touch with you as well, just at least briefly, because one of the themes that I believe is really, uh, central for the world to have a chance to survive is relationship to money.
Robert Strock: (41:58)
And I, I view it commonly as the most socially accepted addiction in present time and throughout history that wealth wants more wealth and therefore poor, poverty becomes more poor. And the, the trend line, if you were gonna just give a, a brief, very brief, well, this is what I was raised toward. This is kind of where I went. I took care of myself or I didn’t take care of myself. I went for the world or just kind of your trendline and then where you are now be, because I know you’re not the normal, um, let’s say the normal you’re, you’re in one group of what I would call a normal trendline. But a lot of people say, well, I wanna take care of myself first. So, I’m gonna make a lot of money and then they’re gonna give some money away, um, as part of their, their thing. But I don’t think that was your path. So, could you tell us just how you rated money versus going for something that was going to help be a unit of force in the world?
Mark Gerzon: (42:55)
Well, that’s a deep question. And, um, I still consider myself a learner about that Robert, just to be clear, I’m, I’m still learning. I still have a learning curve. Um, but I can tell you some of the steps on, on the learning curve. Um, one step, I think was realizing very early on the connection between that in terms of my identity, meaning mattered more than money. Uh, and I think that’s because, uh, without being too graphic, every one of us, every day, decide if it’s worth living this life. Every one of us, if we don’t commit suicide that day, we’ve made a choice to live and we make a choice to live because something has meaning. Some, even if it’s just survival, survival has meaning. So I, I think I sensed pretty early, and, and again, this has to do with the word we haven’t talked about plenty and scarcity, but we should, because I just a meta comment.
Mark Gerzon: (43:52)
If you don’t mind, before I said it, I, I, I was told by a, a mutual friend, um, uh, you know, uh, who, who wrote a book called The Soul of Money, um, that Bucky Fuller told her in 1967 that, you know, Lynn, her name’s Lynn, he said, Lynn, you know, for the first time human beings have enough. Technological progress has gone so far, agriculture, everything. We actually have enough. Now it’s the first time in human history. You had enough, this was 1967. Let’s call that half a century ago. So, he was basically saying if we were awake, we would shift our identities, would shift to an identity of plenty, not scarcity. Now we’d still have to deal with redistribution and all that kind of stuff. And, you know, spreading the goods and making sure it wasn’t overly concentrated, but I’ve never forgotten that because that means that most of my adult life has been spent, well, my entire adult life has been spent in an era of potential plenty.
Mark Gerzon: (44:43)
And I say that because, um, I think that’s one of the reasons I could say to myself, meaning matters more to me than money because I wasn’t starving. I, I wasn’t, I, I wasn’t, um, worried that I, I wouldn’t, um, be able to get a, a, a shot of vaccination or I, I wasn’t worried about my next, where my next bill was coming, so I thought more about meaning than money. Now. I had friends who did just what you said. They said, I, oh, Mark. I care about meaning, but I wanna be sure I’m secure first. So, I’m gonna make my first million. And after I make my first million, then I’m gonna become kind of a philanthropist. And I thought about that. One of them was, one of them was a very good friend of mine and my roommate actually in college.
Mark Gerzon: (45:23)
And I said, Jeffrey, you know, um, I respect that, but I’m not gonna do that because I can’t, um, postpone meaning, I need meaning now. And he clearly could get meaning from making money, which, you know, some people can, um, you know, I, for whatever reason, Robert couldn’t. And so for me, I knew that I had to make money to, you know, to stay alive and pay my bills and buy a car and have a family, all of which I’ve done. Um, and, but I, I couldn’t get through the day without meaning. So, I mean, and, and, and I ask anybody, who’s listening, you know, how do you get through the day? You know, and yeah, you need enough money to pay your bills, but you also need enough meaning to stay alive, uh, to stay alive and not be, you know, continuously depressed and demoralized and addicted to something, or that’s probably not good for you. So, um, that’s the dance. And I think, I think, uh, and I’d encourage in this beautiful podcast that you have, I encouraged you to explore more about money and meaning, cuz I think it’s an incredibly rich terrain and, and that’s just the first step. Ask me something else about my journey, cuz I can keep talking about my whole life, but it would take a little longer.
Robert Strock: (46:30)
Yeah. The way I’ve seen you is, and correct this if this is wrong, cause I don’t have all the, uh right, uh, accounting statements on, in your life.
Mark Gerzon: (46:39)
Robert Strock: (46:40)
It is exactly what you said. And in the latter years, as you’ve moved into the seventies, you’re saying, you know, I wanna make sure I have enough just to survive so I can be in, in balance. Right. And I wanna, before you, before you validate that, what I want relate to one of the statements you made, you said I’m still, you know, I’m still learning, right? The, the, again, I wanna emphasize the third step of psycho-politics is endless questioning until we die.
Robert Strock: (47:08)
And, and so none of us are going to arrive it’s in my, in my world. Um, and if we aren’t questioning, whether were in balance, we’re either we’ve, we’ve either checked out or we’re full of ourselves. And so somewhere being, recognizing the world keeps changing and our inner life keeps changing hopefully and so being in that questioning state is a sign of just being a receptive, open, uh, sense of human being. So, so I’m, I’m wondering whether I’m right, that you’re a little bit more, you know, want, wanting to take care of, of yourself. So, you’re not gonna be dependent in your later years on someone else.
Mark Gerzon: (47:46)
Yeah. I think you’ve, you’ve put your finger on something and I just, you’ve just taught me something too, by your question that, um, I’m relating money to food that I think I, I said to myself, money’s too important in my culture, so I’m gonna make it unimportant. Well, uh, and I think going back to your use of the word addiction, um, you said it’s money, is one of the most socially accepted, uh, addictions in our culture. And I think I saw that and I thought, well, I’m gonna break my addiction. I’m not gonna care about it. Well, that’s a little bit like saying with food, oh, there are people who are addicted to food and they’re obese or whatever. Um, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m not gonna care about food. Well, that’s not the right approach. You’re supposed to care about your food and have a healthy diet that’s in balance to go back to your word.
Robert Strock: (48:30)
Mark Gerzon: (48:31)
And, and so I think the same thing applies to money. It’s taken a while to understand that reacting to the, to the culture of money by joining the culture, counterculture of anti-money wasn’t the, the way that wasn’t the, the path forward, the path forward was to have a healthy relationship to money, just like you have a healthy relationship to food, um, and, um, and healthy relationship to exercise. And so, I guess that’s been one of the more recent learnings for me is that healthy relationship means, um, take it seriously enough so that your life is in balance and, uh, yeah, absolutely. Right. Uh, for if, if I’d grown up in another era, I would’ve been poor, you know, I would’ve been amongst the poor, but because I’ve grown up in this era as a white person in a culture that was growing and an economy that was growing, I I’ve, I’ve had enough.
Mark Gerzon: (49:19)
I still have enough. Um, but it’s been a while for me to, and I’m still in the process of losing that anti-money attitude. Um, just like for a while I was Anti-God because of the way my mother was religious and that’s, you know, that’s not a place to be, anti, it’s still reactive immature place. And I do see a lot of people, particularly young people nowadays who are justifiably, justifiably aghast at capitalism. And so, they consider themselves anti-capitalist and, you know, bless them, they’re onto something really important and I hope they create a better system. Um, but, but, but basically you’re gonna have to get into a place where you’re pro something, you know, not an anti-capitalist. What are you pro what, you know, are you a pro, you know, buyer cooperatives, are you pro um, shareholder capital? I mean, what are you pro, you know, what are you pro and, and how are you putting that positive vision and showing that it works and showing that it works?
Robert Strock: (50:14)
Yeah. I mean, it makes me think of another analogy, which, you know, I deal with a lot in my life and the psychology part of my life, as it relates to medications, it’s like, you, you have the people that are aversive to medications. And that, it’s an absolutely terrible thing because they’ve heard of all the people that are addictive and died and et cetera, et cetera. And then you have the addictive side where people are overusing it, and then you have people that actually view it as being, wow, this could actually help heal my body. This will help heal my body. And if I, I stay in balance there, it’s an ally. If I move left or right, I’m either not optimizing something that could make me healthier or I’m getting addicted. So, I think this idea of endlessly pursuing balance is so important.
Mark Gerzon: (51:05)
I, I think you’ve put your finger on, on the greatest challenge that I’m facing right now in my life. Um, I think you put your finger on it, which is, and, and I’ll put it in money terms. Um, I’ve got the thousand dollars, I could spend that on my son. I could spend that on my vacation. I could spend that on, uh, climate change. I could spend that on, um, helping a refugee family, the, that needs that money for their kid to go to school. I could, you know, every time I have an extra dollar, um, you, you have to face this question of it could be used for so many things. And, um, so I just wanna, as we move towards the end of our conversation, I just wanna say one of the challenges for me is consciousness about that, you know, and that’s my meaning, um, meaning, meaning is my guide to what to do with that money. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Both not only meaning for Mark Gerzon, but meaning for the world, you know, what is the most meaningful way to use that dollar or that thousand dollars? And I, and I, again, I wanna salute you for the amount of work and the amount of writing and the amount of thinking you’ve done on that subject, cuz it’s, it’s incredibly important, cuz money is almost like, um, our human energy and our life force made tangible. Absolute and yeah and so it’s, it’s a reflection on, on what we’re doing with our life force.
Robert Strock: (52:25)
Yeah. And I, my prejudice for you, again, not knowing the details is that for, for you to give yourself the best chance to live a longer quality of life, so you can do what you’re here, uh, what you want to do. I’m not gonna make it esoteric what you want to do in a very personal, transpersonal way. Um, I’m rooting for you to spend that thousand dollars, uh, for, for your future meta needs. And, and, and, and so you won’t have to be dependent and that you really, and you may have already done it for all I know, but from what I know of your past, you’ve always chosen meaning before money. And I think for people, the people that I’m interviewing for this show, it’s gonna, it, it’s really interesting and gonna be continuing interesting as to how many people went your way, how many people went the other way, how many people went middle way?
Robert Strock: (53:19)
And I think in general, people either went left or right. Not too many people went middle. Right? And so I, that’s what I’m rooting for. And I’d, I’d like to sort of end the, uh, the show with a question that both of us hopefully will answer, but start with you of how do you stay, let’s say balanced, meaning that you’re gonna be suffering, of course, because you care about the world, but you’re also wanting to stay inspired or motivated or pursuing meaning when you’re facing the poly crisis, using your word of global warming and economic inequality, terrorism, corruption, and how do you stay motivated, inspired while you have another level of feeling and I’m feeling I’m projecting, you know, despair, helplessness, hopelessness, discouragement, et cetera.
Mark Gerzon: (54:18)
That’s a beautiful question. And, um, as you asked it, what the image that came to my mind was jumping in a lake near our home, where I, I live on, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. And I thought, well, why did that image come to me, jumping in a lake? And I thought it’s because there is an inside me, there is an animal nature. There is a tree nature. There is a lake nature. I’m a, I’m a product of nature. And as far as nature’s concerned, yes, it’s being impacted by climate change. But, um, you know, I see a lot of trees and, and, and they’re doing fine and I see a lot of squirrels and I see a lot of, you know, coyote near our home and they’re, they’re doing fine. Um, they’re not, they’re doing fine because they don’t have our neocortex.
Mark Gerzon: (55:06)
And, and they’re not worried about all this that we’re worried about and including that list of the poly crisis, you just, so I think, um, I, I think the way I stay hopeful is I return to my, my animal nature, my tree nature, and I go, um, I’m hungry. I need to eat something. Uh, I’m hot. I wanna jump in the lake. Um, I’m feeling in a, actually I need some exercise. I need to go out for a walk. Um, I think that my animal nature, and that’s something we all have if we’re listening to our bodies is, and I’m calling it animal because we do share it with the animals. I mean, the, the, um, we’re pretty much like them except for our neocortex and a few other parts of our brain. And, um, I, I, I really realized that, that, um, walking, taking a hike in the, in the Rocky Mountains and noticing that the stones and the trees and the streams and the, and the animals and the clouds, um, they’re all just being themselves and they’re doing the best they can.
Mark Gerzon: (56:00)
And they’re also working in a harmony with each other. Um, there’s, I didn’t, never see a stone that says I’d like, rather be a river and I never see a river that would rather be a stone. You know, they, they, they seem pretty good being who they are. And so that’s much harder for us humans. It’s certainly hard for me. Um, and, but I think that’s probably where I find hope is that, that ultimately we have, I think, a, an inbuilt wisdom and despite some of the malfunctioning of our culture and some of the malfunctioning of our own brains, um, we have a, a life force that, that, uh, is, has, is a direct product of nature. And if we can return to that natural ground, and you may have better language for this, but if we can return to that natural ground, if we can rid our identity in the beauty of creation, and I have a prayer that I say, which I’ll end with Robert, which is, you know, oh my creator, I feel blessed to be in this body, amidst thy creation. I’ll repeat that. Oh, my creator, I feel blessed to be in this body amidst thy creation. And that’s my mantra for kind of going, yes, there’s climate change and yes, there’s political corruption and yes, there’s murder and yes, there’s inequality. And, oh, my creator, I feel blessed to be in this body amidst thy creation.
Robert Strock: (57:19)
Absolutely beautiful. And, and certainly not the exact answer I was expecting. Uh, what I, what I love is the contrast between, well, you could really say the great visibility of the work you’ve done in this world and in this life. And then you’re going back to the simplicity of nature and blending with it, sensing the interconnectedness, listening to yourself and having a gratitude for just being who you are. And that is . . .
Mark Gerzon: (57:57)
And being, and being connected. Remember being connected to everything around you. Exactly. That’s the key, cuz if I go into my alonely, alone is skin encapsulated ego, boom. It’s over.
Robert Strock: (58:08)
Exactly. Exactly. And for me, I would, I would say that what I mentioned earlier that there really are two things that really help me not, uh, let’s say collapse into despair and discouragement because I would say I feel despair and discouragement daily. I mean, it’s, it’s really an interweaving my life is that I am seeing what were my heroes and you’re one of ’em, uh, that have, have become really good friends. And, and, and there is a lot of finding each other. There’s a recognition. The grandiosity of the sixties of I’m gonna save the world in some way has been, who can I overlap with so we can do it together. Cuz there is a lot going on. That’s dangerous as hell literally, and so this interconnectedness, uh, I, I believe there’s a possibility of some kind of huge quantum shift with people working and finding each other and not, and losing some of the grandiosity, seeing some of the ego identity in I’m gonna do it myself, through psychology and spirituality or whatever else, or you’re gonna do it through politics or you’re, no, we need to blend and merge with as many people as we can, no matter where we start from.
Robert Strock: (59:28)
And then the second thing really is whether I look at it from a absolutely knowing nothing about how life is created, which a lot of me feels like I’m absolutely ignorant as far as how in the hell did we get here? I don’t know. I didn’t, I don’t know how I got in this body. You know, I I’m, I, I have my beliefs, but I don’t know that my beliefs are true. That regardless of what the purpose of life is, regardless of what, whether we, the world makes it, meaning is meaning, purpose is purpose. And I, I choose purpose even if I’m, even if I was positive the world wasn’t gonna make it. I would still go for it. So there, there’s something about having that, uh, that motivation, that intensity going for some kind of interconnectedness as much as possible and finding like people, like you said that are really looking at, how do we interconnect is really fulfilling. It, it, it does have meaning. So, I just wanna say to you, I am so grateful for this time with you. It’s it’s been fun. And um, I knew it would be, um, but more than it’s been, it’s been meaningful and I hope that the listeners can get a feel of what I, I sense in both of our smiling.
Speaker 2: (01:00:51)
Thank you, Robert. I, I, I, I got meaning from this too. It’s a, it’s been, it’s been a very beautiful part of my day. Thank you. And thank you for this podcast.
Robert Strock: (01:00:58)
Thanks so much.
Mark Gerzon: (01:00:59)
Bless you brother.
Speaker 3: (01:01:00)
And thanks everybody for listening and for your attention. Look forward to sharing more with you as we continue the psycho-politics. Thanks so much, Mark.
Mark Gerzon: (01:01:09)
Robert Strock: (01:01:10)
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