We Need A SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION
Rainn Wilson shares the power of a ‘Soul Boom’ and why a spiritual revolution is necessary to solve some of our world’s toughest existential challenges.
We threw the spiritual baby out with the religious bathwater. We are missing something. By throwing out religion categorically, we’re missing some things that religion gives us, which is purpose, meaning, the sense of the transcendent, the sense that there is something more to strive for.
You could make the argument that our postmodern culture has largely dismissed any notion that faith or spirituality can be a collective pursuit and certainly not the bedrock of our society. Personal beliefs should be just that personal, unique to every and each individual, and securely separated from the state. My guest today has a bit of a different perspective.
Rain Wilson. Rain Wilson. This is really what our show is all about. Can you get a shot of this commitment?
He suggests a new way forward through total spiritual revolution, what he calls soul boom. Now, you might be wondering why the guy best known for portraying Dwight Schrut on the hit TV series The Office is here to wax lyrical about matters spiritual. But the truth is that Rain is a deep reservoir of wisdom who has more than earned a position of authority on matters ethereal. First, Rain is the co founder of the media company Soul Pancake, which focused on content related to the human experience and positive social change. He co hosted the podcast Metaphysical Milkshake with Reza Oslon. They came on the podcast together a while back, and that podcast made a point of diving into the deep end of topics religious and ethereal. And Rain is also the author of the new book Soul Boom why We Need a Spiritual Revolution. In this conversation, we discuss Reign’s Baha’i faith, his conception of the divine, the importance of finding meaning in life, finding the sacred in our everyday lives, and why the solutions to the existential problems we currently face require a spiritual revolution before we dive in. This episode is brought to you by Roca.
Now, I get asked fairly consistently about the glasses that you see me wearing on the show. Well, the answer is roca. These are specifically the Hamilton frames. I love them all. The frames that Roca makes are high performance, super light, amazing optics. They’ve got tons of great Tyler. They never, ever slip off my face. And I’ll be sharing a bit more about Roca later, but for now, enough. Let’s do the thing. This is me and Rain Wilson. Great to see you, man.
Good seeing you.
Thank you for doing this.
Thank you for having me.
Thank you for bringing the Pacific Northwest weather to this experience. It’s absolutely insane.
It’s crazy. I know. I got caught in a hailstorm this morning.
It literally looks like a different place where we live right now. And I’ve lived here since ’96.
I don’t know how long you’ve lived here, but 99, I don’t remember it.
I’ve never remember a colder, wetter, crazier winter than this. I was saying to my wife, because we’re both from the Pacific Northwest, it feels like the Olympic Peninsula. Mia Bay, Washington.
It really does.
Walls of dark green clouds and rain every other day, pouring. And it’s rainforest weather. It’s crazy.
It really is. And for people that aren’t familiar with Los Angeles, I mean, we live in a desert and there’s lots of out where we are, there’s lots of kind of low hanging mountain ranges that are typically brown and kind of just scorched by the sun. And the emergence of green feels like this sort of weird Avatar esque kind of parallel universe that we’ve suddenly found ourselves in. And it just reminds me of, again, kind of going to the heart of some of the things you talk about in the book, like the regenerative nature of the planet. Like left to its own devices, it finds a way and it’s repairing itself in real time. And it’s amazing to see how green these hills are right now. As much as I am over the rain and kind of am pining for the sun right now, it is kind of a spectacular sight to behold.
It is. I hate to turn this conversation a little dark, but I was reading this article on climate change and they were putting this weather system in the context of global climate change in terms of greater droughts and greater flooding.
Sure. So it’s just more certainly indicia of something awry.
Yeah. Because we had a nine year drought with hardly any rain at all and now just like a biblical deluge.
I know. So we’re not going to get too dower too quickly because you strike an optimistic tone. I love the book. The book is great. I read the whole book. I love it.
I can’t wait to talk to you about it. And there is certainly a core of hope and optimism that kind of provides the underpinning for all of these thoughts as you kind of canvas spirituality and religion and our place in the world and how to think about and approach solving some of the giant problems that we face right now.
Yeah, what I wanted to do and it was a big swing. Yeah, it was kind of bold. I’m not sure if I succeeded, but I wanted to re explore and reinvigorate spiritual ideas. And I wanted a reader, whether they’re a born again Christian, whether they’re agnostic, whether they’re spiritual but not religious, whether they’re atheist, to just kind of look at the panoply of spiritual ideas in an exciting new way through kind of some new lenses. Although I hadn’t thought of that before. Oh, that is interesting. Or there is a way to take up a spiritual perspective on partisan politics that spirituality is not so many people view spirituality it’s such a weird word. I hate it coming out of my mouth. Sometimes I say spirituality is like, oh, it’s because to so many people it connotates. Is that a word, connotes? Connotes. To so many people, the word spirituality connotes a religion, an existing religion. To a lot of people, it it means something very vague, a vague feeling in the heart that’s kind of an airy fairy, hibbledy Bibbledy hippie ish kind of yoga class and incense kind of vague feeling. And not to diss on yoga or meditation or even some great New Age concepts or self help books and works and concepts.
I love so many of them. And to some people, spirituality just means, like, ghosts and angels and spirits. But I wanted to reinvigorate the word, and the subtitle of the book is why we need a spiritual revolution. And to do so in such a way that kind of maybe gives people a kick in the a** about spirituality and saying and and there’s there’s an urgency behind it. This isn’t like a vague, nice feeling kind of word, but there is an urgency to transform how we do pretty much everything. And the way that we can transform is through the use of spiritual tools.
Yeah, and I think you did an incredible and beautiful job of doing that. But I kind of want to put a pin in that for the moment, because I think it’s important. You were on the show I can’t remember how long ago it was. Year and a half ago or something like that. Was it two or three?
Yeah, I think it was a while.
And because that was sort of a unique show where you and Reza showed up, and instead of kind of telling each of your stories, we just did these no card things and tackled big problems, which we’re going to do again today. I would like to indulge you a little bit to spin the wheel and do a little bit of what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now to help kind of contextualize why these issues are important to you.
Because as you kind of call out right at the beginning of the book, like, what the hell is this actor doing? Like, writing this big book about big ideas? Like. How dare you rain Wilson? Who do you think you are? Right? But these ideas run deep throughout the experience of your life, dating all the way back to childhood and how you were reared and the various experiences that you’ve had over many years.
Indeed. So I grew up a member of the Baha’i Faith, and I won’t kind of go into detail about that. But for those who don’t know, the Baha’i Faith acknowledges the inherent divinity of all of the world’s religions, that they all essentially come from the same source and are gradually unfolding chapters of one eternal faith of God of the divine. And so, growing up Baha’i, we would meet with Buddhists, and I would meet Sikhs and bornagain Christians and Mormons and Muslims, and we read holy books and writings from all the world’s faiths as well as Baha’i holy texts. So it was a very idea provoking milieu to grow up in.
It’s a somewhat obscure religion, but there are like 5 million people that practice this faith.
Are you perhaps the most famous Baha’i? Are you to Baha’i what Tom Cruise.
Is to oh, no, don’t say that. Oh my God, I had to. Oh man. Yeah, it’s a little weird. So yeah, there’s about five or 6 million Baha’i’s around the world. There’s pockets. It’s the second most widespread of the world’s religions next to Christianity. So no matter where you go in the world, there’s Baha’i’s.
It’s pretty crazy. It’s kind of cool. Like you can go to the Galapagos and there’s going to be some Baha’i. You can go to Mongolia and there’s some Baha’i’s or Malawi and there’s Baha’i communities, but the numbers are not huge. Yeah, I’m one of the most well known Baha’i. There’s some other actors and directors. Justin Baldoni, he’s a baha’i. And Andy Grammar, the singer, is a baha’i. Penn badgley from the show. You and Netflix is a Baha’i. There are some other dizzy Gillespie was a Baha’i. When I grew up, there was this band, Seals and Crofts, sure. Summer breeze makes me feel fine kind of a hippie band. And they were Baha’i’s and we were so happy because they had this kind of like beautiful spiritual kind of essence through their music. So it’s a faith that I and I talk about this a little bit in my other book, The Bassoon King. I talk about how I left my faith for a long time and went through those years kind of wandering the desert and then I’ve come back over the last 1020 years or so, sure.
As every good kind of spiritual seeker is want to do. Right. We have to venture away to come back and we have to figure these things out for ourselves, endure our own kind of challenges and crises. And you certainly allude to that in the book. And I’m interested in you don’t have to be specific about it. But as you kind of emerged out of the cocoon of how you were brought up and went to New York City and started getting into theater and acting, what it was that drove you back to the need or the desire or the drive to search for something more meaningful and grounding. Like a guiding principle in your life that kind of wended you back to your faith.
The author Julia Cameron, who wrote The Artist’s Way, she wrote, I came to spirituality out of necessity, not out of virtue, and that’s how I would describe my path. So when I left the Baha’i Faith, I was in my twenty s I was in New York City, and I wanted nothing more than to be an actor. I just wanted to be a bohemian downtown actor. I was going to NYU, living in the East Village, and I really cast aside morality. I didn’t want morality over my head. I wanted to have sex with my girlfriend and not feel guilty about it. I wanted to drink. I wanted to try drugs. Let me put it this way. I drank the Kool Aid of contemporary society and thinking that religion was of necessity, something that was for grandmothers and for fearful people that needed like a big daddy God to protect them. So I jettisoned anything and everything having to do with religion at that time. That was great for a few years. It was really awesome. And I had an amazing time. I was working as an actor. I was living my dream for a nerdy suburban boy from Seattle.
And I’d never known a single professional artist in my entire life. Anyone who had ever gotten paid a dime to make art here I was, like acting in plays, and yeah, I was only getting like $375 a week, but I was in plays and I was in New York City, and I was working with some great theater directors and had a great group of friends. And I dove into the study of acting and the making of art. And it was fantastic. And to fast forward about why did spirituality become a necessity for me, what I was dealing with at the time, we didn’t have a name for in the 90s, which was a mental health crisis. So I started to have anxiety attacks that would leave me crippled on the floor in a pool of sweat. I would have them sometimes on the subway, especially if the subway was paused or stuck. I lived way out in Brooklyn before.
Brooklyn was the Brooklyn we know now.
I was out past Williamsburg, near Brownsville in an abandoned beer brewery, because I lived there. I was squatting there, essentially. And when the subway would stop, like under where the river was, and I would picture the river above the head, over my head in the subway, I would start to have a meltdown on the subway and I would start sweating. And I would just hoping people aren’t noticing, like this sweat pouring off my face. I would start shaking. I’d have to hold myself. And I got really depressed for long periods of time, and I was using more and more alcohol and drugs and this combination of anxiety, depression, and then what I realized now was addiction. And I cycled through I had my pot phase, I had my coke phase, and alcohol all through kind of an alcohol saturated decade. I was lucky in the sense that because I’m in recovery now, but I was lucky in the sense that I wasn’t a blackout drunk. I wasn’t waking up in a pool of my own vomit somewhere or something like that, but I recognized that I used it on a daily basis to medicate my own anxiety.
And I was deeply, deeply unhappy. And this is what I was in this conundrum rich where I was living my dream. I literally, if like, you could go to 16 year old Rain Wilson. Like, what’s your dream? Live in New York City? Be paid to be an actor, have cool friends, have a beautiful girlfriend, live in a loft and have a van and collaborate artistically with really cool people? I mean, I was living my dream and I was miserable. That was before I went into any twelve step programs. I was just like, what the fu** is going on? Why am I waking up at three in the morning just, like, staring at the wall? Why am I considering suicide? This doesn’t make any fu**ing sense. It doesn’t make any sense. Like, I’m living my dream. This is what you wanted, a**hole. Why are you so ungrateful? So that started a long, slow process of me reinvesting faith, God and religion, because, again, out of that necessity, it was kind of like kill yourself or investigate spirituality or reinvestigate spirituality. But I didn’t want to do it the way my parents would have me do it.
I needed to do it in my own way. So I cleared the decks and I just started at ground one. Like, is there a God? Do I believe in God? I’m in my late 20s, living in Brooklyn with my girlfriend, depressed and anxious, medicating myself, drinking every day. Let me go on this journey.
Sure. And as a good Gen Xer, I think we’re about the same age, right?
Yeah. This sort of ethos or kind of sensibility of our generation is a proclivity towards cynicism, irony, everything sucks. Not really nihilism, but just sort of a general kind of disinterest in a lot of the things that the culture or the generation that preceded us prioritized, and certainly religion and spirituality, despite your upbringing, were not only uncool, but just not part of the fabric of our age group. Right. So it’s not like, to me, as somebody who’s your age peer, of course you move away from home and you distance yourself from all of that. I moved to New York City, too. I totally get it. But the interesting thing of you not only deciding to embark on this spiritual odyssey, but then to find yourself returning to the very faith that was part of your upbringing to begin with is super interesting.
Yeah, it’s kind of like The Godfather. Like, what’s that famous line? I wanted to get out and they pull me right back in? That type of thing.
The Godfather meets some sort of postmodern Gen X Sidhartha exploration with a little Joseph Campbell mixed in.
That’s perfectly set. And by the way, I love the way you summed up Gen X, because I had never heard someone sum it up in that way. But there was also this weird thing about our generation. Isn’t it interesting about this whole idea about selling out that people just don’t have these days?
No. People are celebrated for, like, good for you for creating your tequila brand or whatever it is.
Yeah. If you were to go you’re the famous, rich, role, ultramarathoner nutrition, vegan, wellness, health, spirituality expert. And if you were to go on do a commercial for, like, cereal bars from Procter and Gamble or something like that, people would be like, yeah, you go cash it in.
It’s so strange.
But we really were like, if a band sold more than, like, 100,000 albums, they sold out. Nirvana sold out. Leech was their best record.
How dare they? Yeah, let’s talk about Sonic Youth and Live in the DIY Sensibility and anybody who breaks out, God forbid.
So there were great things about that, but like you said, there’s also bad things where it gets too precious. But at the same time, nowadays, it’s true. Just rampant capitalism and selling out is lauded. Anyway, putting that aside. So, yeah, this Joseph Campbellesque journey of mine was very interesting. I think in the back of my head, I always knew I would probably come back to the Baha’i faith because of all of the world’s faiths, it’s the most, I find the most kind of inclusive of a wide range of ideas. Like the idea of me becoming a Buddhist or a Christian or a Muslim or a Sikh or something like that. It would have been a much smaller slice of the pie. Whereas the Baha’i faith, because it’s inclusive of all of those worldviews, it feels more arrived in a way. But I had to start with that essential question, do I believe in a God? And that took me years, and I really dug deep into that. And I would talk to my friends, and it was very interesting because they would all say I would say, do you believe in God? And talk to my artsy Gen X friends.
And at that time, very few of them were straight up atheists. Very few kind of said, no, I don’t. I think there’s just the universe and we’re just atoms and it’s all random. And that’s it. Very few people said that. Most people were like, Well, I believe in some kind of energy force out there, but I wouldn’t call it God. So they were struggling with this idea of, like, a daddy, Santa Claus, bearded white man God on a cloud looking down on us, judgmentally, certainly, as we all should struggle with that idea of a God and discard it immediately. And then I started reading I talk about this in the book a little bit. I started reading Native American Spirituality, a lot of books about it. And that’s when the light bulb went on, because the the indigenous North American view of the Creator is so rich and beautiful and deep and inclusive and just profoundly poetic and moving that it’s hard to dispute. So in the Lakota tradition, wakantanka means the great mystery. And I remember at, like, 27 or 28 having a conversation with my friend. I was like, I don’t know if I can believe in God, but I can believe in the great mystery we’re.
Brought to you today by Roca. Glasses are not something you’d normally think about as a piece of performance gear, which, when you think about it, is kind of insane because you can’t perform at your best if you can’t see well. The geniuses at Roca basically rebuilt eyewear from the ground up. No matter how active you are or how much you sweat, these things never slip or fall off your face. They’re super durable, they look awesome, and they’ve got tons of super classy modern styles to choose from. I’ve been rocking Rokas for about four years at this point. I love them. I’m a big fan of the Hamilton style in gloss black that’s this frame right here as well as clear, or I guess they call them vintage on the website. And if you want to try them out for yourself, you can do that right now and unlock 20% off your order with the code Richroll@roca.com. Or you can click the link in the description below. Okay, back to the show. This idea that God is not a bearded man, but is more like a pervasive energy, it’s not like a who. It’s like this thing that surrounds us.
And that that Sioux idea that you explore in the book is super interesting. What did you say? I wrote it down in the notes, but it’s not a what. But what did I do? I wrote it down. I can’t find it.
Yeah, it’s a how. God is less of yeah, God is a how, not a what. And you explain this idea like the analogy you use is think of God as like the Internet, where WiFi is the Holy Spirit and computers are our souls. So it’s this diffused energy that exists everywhere from which we are not separate, which is a distinct departure from the notion of the monotheistic God that’s, like, sort of peering down upon us as a separate thing.
The theologian David Bentley Hart talks about most people’s conception of God. And when when atheists talk about not believing in a God, what they’re describing is a demiurge. And this word demiurge is really interesting. It’s like a marvel character. It’s like this all powerful being among other beings that has the power to create words I mean, excuse me. That has the power to create worlds that is looking down on us, that can cast thunder and can cause miracles and can look into your mind and read your thoughts like Dr. Xavier from The X Men. So getting away from anything demiurgical toward. I also describe God in a parallel to some larger forces, like beauty or the concept of love. And you might say, Well, I don’t know if I can believe in God, but I certainly believe in love. And we can be shown that love on a brain scan lights up certain areas of our brain, and it’s there from a behavioralist point of view to help us create families and propagate the species. That’s the only reason it exists. And you could kind of say, well, nonsense. I know in my heart that love is more than just a couple of neurons firing in my brain and the propagation of the species.
I have experienced it with so many different facets and varieties and variables and nuances, and I’ve experienced it holistically and from my wife and when I held my child in the hospital in the hallway in Van Nyes at three in the morning. And I experience it when I’m in nature. So that experience of that force of love is much more akin to what I hope people will think of when they think about God or the divine less as some kind of being among other beings that has superpowers.
Sure. And as the one sort of biological creature that has the capacity to really embrace these types of emotions that we can’t actually locate within the brain. The cranium, right? Where does love exist? How do we define it? Like, what is it exactly? Where does awe and wonder sit? And how do we think about that? And why do these impulses and these emotions live within us? And why are they provoked by certain chords of music or somebody on a stage sort of in the midst of their pathos or whatnot? And what do we make of that? And how do we extrapolate from those very human experiences to think more broadly about what is actually going on? How do we telescope up from that and consider more deeply our place here on planet Earth and in the universe and fu**ing A, dude. What is it all about? Rain that’s what this book is. What’s up for you, Rain? Not much. Just consciousness and God and spirituality and religion and the need for a spiritual revolution to solve our existential problems. Are we on the cusp of something new? Are we at a breakpoint that is going to lead to the decimation of ecosystems and perhaps humanity itself?
Like, what are we actually talking about here? How are we going to solve these problems? And this book is really a call to action in that the solutions that we seek cannot be found within the parameters and the structures of the limited systems that continually push us in the wrong direction, but instead require a whole cloth new way of looking at all of these problems and the capacity of human beings and erecting new solutions. Like, it’s almost it is a revolutionary act, this book. You’re asking a lot of the audience and reading it, but it’s also very hopeful in that regard.
Would you like to do my book tour for me?
That’s what we’re doing right now.
That was better said.
Help me help you.
Rain that was better said and more articulate than anything I’ve ever said about the book previous. So I’m going to copy that write that down and repeat it. Very well said. So the book kind of has various parts to it, and I’m not sure what the question? Should I go right to the spiritual revolution part?
We just talk about whatever’s coming up for you.
It wasn’t a question.
No, I know. Here’s what was fun to me about this book. I have a chapter on death. Death is one of my favorite topics. In fact, I felt so proud where I got my first call from someone who said, hey, my sister is dying of cancer. Can you talk to her about death? And I felt so that was one of the greatest phone calls I’ve ever received in my life. Like, I feel honored and inspired. I love the topic. We’re all going to do it, you and I, Rich. Might be 20 years, might be 40 years. We’re all riding around in meat suits. We got about 90 some years if we’re lucky. And our essence, what I will call our soul, continues on an infinite journey to create, to meet the divine source, whatever that looks like. Infinite worlds of the divine, of the holy, of the sacred that await us on our journey past this physical plane. So I got to write about death. I lost my dad. He didn’t die of COVID but during COVID of heart disease about two years ago. And it was one of the most profound and disturbing and heartrending experiences of my life.
And I write about that in the book. I got to write a chapter on God, because God, as you can tell, is one of my favorite topics as well. I get into consciousness. I have discussions of aliens looking down on planet Earth and talking about what these ridiculous human beings are going through down on the planet. I got to just pose super fun conversations. I talk about my favorite TV shows from the they’re kind of through a spiritual lens, which is kung fu.
Trust me, we’re going to get into it.
Okay, good. We’ll get into that. But like you said in your summary, where it’s all leading and the point I really wanted to make is, like, just plain and simple, okay? Just where rubber meets the road. Like totally practical. The way current systems are set up, they are based on the worst of humanity. You think about the worst of humanity, what do you think of lust, greed, aggression? You think about oneupsmanship and kind of a rampant individuality that overrides community. These terrible qualities of humanity. Competition. Now, there’s healthy competition. There’s even a certain amount of healthy aggression, but they have run rampant in every existing system. Take any system, education, health care, certainly politics, international relations, just capitalism in general. They’re based on the worst qualities of humanity, and we need to throw out completely and find practical ways to do this. This is not some like John Lennon imagine. All the people living life in. Peace kind of hippy dippy stuff. Like there there has to we have to find solutions that bring spiritually based systems of interaction to bear on how we run everything on planet Earth. And if we don’t, we’re headed off a cliff.
Sure. So right now we tend to address the problems that we have with Band AIDS. Whether it’s campaign finance reform or gerrymandering or health care reform, what have you. These are all sort of small, short term fixes that are blind to the dysfunctional underpinnings of the system itself, right? So short of a complete revamp, a social and spiritual revolution that allows us to kind of deconstruct and dismantle the systems themselves. They will continue to perpetuate and drive us towards the edge of that cliff because they’re premised upon these predilections of humanity which are not great, as you mentioned. Greed, power, lust this zero sum game mentality, the worst of competition that are pitting us against ourselves and basically, in so doing, alienating ourselves from the beauty of our innate humanity and the unity that we share. Like our inability to actually see and embrace the fact that we are all one and that what we share and who we are is much more alike than what differentiates ourselves. And we’re just quibbling over bullshiz as we sort of accelerate towards the precipice of this cliff. This is what’s happening. These problems are ranging from small to extremely existential.
And yet I can’t help even in kind of the beauty of what you propose in this book. It’s hard for me to be optimistic about our capacity to get our shiz together and not only see and identify this, but actually take the actions required to deconstruct and then reconstruct the systems that would set us on a better path.
Yeah, you brought up a lot of things. Let me get to a few of them first. Let me start at the end with the optimism. I get it. It’s very hard for me to remain optimistic as well. And I do think and I use the analogy of like a teenager having to go to rehab. Like humanity is in its teenage years, humanity right now in its development is literally like 16 and a half thrashing around, kind of it’s kind of following its worst, most base impulses and using Opioids and oil and materialism and consumerism and the narcissism of social media to kind of hit bottom. Yeah, fu** you, and hit bottom and needs to be carted away to rehab and go hiking around the mountains of Utah for a while.
But what is that bottom like? How far does that elevator have to go down? Rain. And we hope we have that reckoning.
And we hope that it’s not a nuclear war and we hope it’s not a breakdown of all societal structures. We hope that we’re able to kind of like hit a soft bottom and not a hard bottom, to use a twelve step parlance. But look at Rwanda, for instance, underwent one of the most gruesome atrocities of carnage in human history. And now the way that they have the tribes there, the Tutsi and Hutu, have healed the conflict and the way they have set the economy forward and the way women are used in politics and kind of there’s been a profound sea change and shift in how that country works. So you brought up a great .1 of the things that I stress again and again in here is about politics. One of the things that is my personal pet peeves that I hate more than anything is partisan politics, because partisanship is immediately like, how much money can I raise? How much can I denigrate the other party? How much can I try and assert power and control over them at all costs? We have stopped seeking solutions to really difficult problems, and everything becomes polarized.
Yeah, it’s not solution oriented at all. It’s about throwing grenades at the other side. It’s about owning the libs or pointing out the stupidity of the other side quibbling at the cost of actually solving problems. And that’s really a systemic ill of the greater structure. Right? Like, part of it is driven by kind of maybe what’s wrong with human beings. We get activated by that sort of discourse, and certainly social media amplifies all of that, and I think is exacerbating this problem. But we need systems and structures that incentivize and bring out the best of us as opposed to the worst of us. And I feel like that’s the pivot that you’re speaking to in the book. Well.
In partisan politics, you talked earlier about Band AIDS. People are like, well, we need 20 Supreme Court justices that’ll solve the problem. We need campaign finance reform that’ll solve the problem. We need less gerrymandering that’ll solve the problem. We are looking for these fixes, but the entire system is based on, fu** you, I’m going to own you. Let me say this for an example. When there are debates, what’s the headline the next day? Who got in the best zingers against the other person they were debating? Oh, Kamala Harris got this incredible zinger in Joe Biden did the zinger. Oh, Donald Trump really took down Hillary Clinton there. That’s how what we’re celebrating, we’re celebrating the ability to stand on the stage and cut someone else down.
But that also speaks to the unhealthy incentives of the media and social media and the algorithms and the way Dopamine works in our brain.
It all works together. So an example that I bring up in Soul Boom to get really again, because I feel like spiritual solutions to these problems need to be super practical. And if they’re not, again, it’s just this kind of airy fairy, kind of vague idea. I use an example from the Baha’i faith. So in the Baha’i faith, there’s no clergy. It’s all democratically elected. So here we are in this suburb outside of la. In this particular suburb, I don’t know if you tell people where you record this secret. Every year, the Baha’i elect an assembly of the nine most spiritually mature people to guide the community, right? Every year. And we do this silent ballot prayerful. We meditate, write it down, put it in slip and paper. You don’t know who did it. We’ve got tellers, they tally it. There’s no yard signs. There’s no campaigning. There’s no fundraising. Now you can say, well, that’s fine in a small religion of a couple of hundred thousand in the United States, but how would that work? Well, let’s say this small suburb out of here in La. Decided one day, hey, we’re sick and tired of toxic partners in politics.
So this suburb here we are in Thousand Oaks, California. We want to do things differently. We want to have an election. And we’re going to meet at this high school cafeteria and everyone from the community is going to show up, and there’s going to be no campaigning, no yard signs, no money. No money is going to change hands. Not about money. It’s not about power. And in the city of Thousand Oaks, we’re going to think of the nine most, maybe not spiritual, but let’s say wise, mature and selfless public servants we can think of. We’re going to write them down on a piece of paper, and we’re going to find the people that tally the most votes, and we’re going to ask them to serve one term of one year, three years, five years, whatever it is, to selflessly serve to meet the needs of that community. Now, can you imagine doing that on a small scale? Maybe you can imagine that in a small town, maybe a tiny town in Iowa decides to do that, let’s say, and then it spreads. And then you could say a county could do that or a state could do that.
Could we eventually do that? In a way, I think we could. It might sound pie in the sky, but wouldn’t that be such a better alternative to literally the hundreds of millions of dollars that are changing hands every year? Money that could be used for social benefit and instead is used for campaign ads that no one under 60 listens to anyway, and they play on repeat on Fox News and MSNBC and during infomercials. It’s an insane amount of waste and money and corruption perpetuating a broken system.
Yeah, I love it. And I also can’t help but think perhaps that is a little pie in the sky because humans are our own worst enemies. And I imagine the guy who’s like, yeah, I know what Rain is saying, but I know if I elect this guy, he’s going to let me sidestep regulations and build that fence in my front yard that right now the city’s not letting me do. And he told me secretly that if I workarounds sure, right. We’ll always devolve to self interest. And I think perhaps that speaks to something I want to explore with you, which is perhaps uniquely American, which is this idea of rugged individualism. Like, it’s really about me and what I want to do and my liberty versus the responsibility to the collective. And you kind of couch this in a really great analogy that I love because I’m your age, which is Star Trek versus kung fu. Right now, as a child of the 70s, when I think back to my childhood, I think of banana seat schwinn bikes and Virginia Slims and brown refrigerators and all the greatness that the 70s gave us. But perhaps the greatest gift of the least for me as a nerd, a fellow nerd, maybe not as much of a nerd as you, but I was a rabid Star Trek fan and just less of a kung fu fan.
We’ll get to that. But Star Trek was my jam. I was the guy who went to Star Trek conventions and, like, the whole thing. Right? Yeah. And even now, maybe it’s that thing when you’re at a certain age, like, stuff becomes indelible and you irrationally fall in love with it and still think that it’s the greatest. But the original William Shatner Star Trek was so beautiful, and I loved how you talked about it in the book, because what it did was it really grappled with big social issues and did it in a really entertaining way.
In the book, you sort of say, well, this is the collective spirituality that we need to sort of consider more profoundly. And then, in turn, kung fu being an example of rugged individual spirituality, like the internal development that we need in terms of a spiritual revolution. And you posit this idea of merging these two sensibilities individual spiritual evolution and a true kind of prioritization of the importance of collective responsibility and responsibility to kind of elevating the whole that is missing from our current culture. So maybe riff on that a little bit or explain you summed it up perfectly.
I think the spiritual journey in contemporary society is very much of the kung fu variety. So in kung fu, for people who don’t know, kwai Chang is a Chinese Shaolin monk. He’s actually I think he’s half Caucasian in the show originally cast a white guy. Yeah. We should note the a racism of the show, which was invented by Bruce Lee. They stole the idea and cast a white guy in the show, which was just horrific. But nonetheless, the show was brilliant. And David Caradine, who played Kwai Chang, who studied kung fu and spirituality in a Shaolin monastery in China, he goes to the Old West in the 1870s, 1880s, looking for his brother. So he’s on this quest to find his brother, and he’s taking his wealth of knowledge from his background, from the Shaolin Monastery with the there’s flashbacks to these beautiful monks that are teaching him be supple as the willow tree and the wind kind of concepts. And he’s taking that into a racist, aggressive, violent old west. And every day he’s on his path, meeting up with some racist cowboy. And there’s always a couple of good fights and some kung fu fights there.
But he’s also most of the show is kind of talking about concepts of forgiveness and healing and acceptance and compassion and some of these profound and universal spiritual ideas. So for most contemporary Americans, at least in secular cities, that’s what a spiritual journey is considered, that, what do I do? What are the tools that I use at a yoga class and my meditation, in my reading and listening to Eckhart, tole who I love, these spiritual guides and teachers along the way. We’ve got rumi on Instagram, and we try and make ourselves better people. We try and incorporate divine qualities in our lives. We try and find peace and surrender and serenity in our daily lives. And as we go out into the milieu of modern life, stuck in traffic and horrible bosses and backstabbing fellow employees and screwed up teenage kids that are lost, and we’re trying to use what we’ve learned on our journey to make ourselves better and stay on the path. So that’s one side of spirituality, and it’s a very important one, right? And it’s the spirituality we nurture in the garden of our hearts and we take with us on our daily journey.
But Star Trek, to your point, I see as a metaphor for a larger spiritual context, which is that humanity, when Star Trek begins, has had a giant war, and they came together after this giant World War Three. They don’t really talk about what that looked like, but it was mass decimation. And humanity has greatly matured because of it and has healed racism and has healed income inequality and has brought all the planet together into kind of a one world government that is a just government. And they are then able to focus on technology and healing. There’s no poverty at home. No one is starving, and they’re able to go explore outer space. You got strange new worlds, and humans.
Seem to be liberated from their base instincts somehow. We’re not quite sure how that happened, but it seems to be the case.
Well, it’s kind of the chicken and the egg, isn’t it? I mean, if you have a society that’s eliminated these kind of building blocks of inequity and injustice, I think it’s much easier for our higher natures to flourish. And in fact, Roddenberry insisted in Star Trek The Next Generation, and if you notice this and you read about the show in The Next Generation, there’s no conflict at all.
Right? So the TV writer very difficult to create drama.
How do you create a TV show when no one disagrees with each other, but you never hear, like, Number One or Decker or Wharf going up? I disagree. I don’t think we should go warp four. I think we need to go warp two. They’re past. Now, I don’t know that humans will ever go past disagreement, but there is what I view as kind of a necessary evolution, a transformation, a maturity of humanity that we are able to connect with the other species of the universe. But I’m fascinated but what life on Earth is like during Star Trek when they’re out gallivanting around solar systems sure.
And they happen upon certain civilizations that serve as metaphors for social issues that we were grappling with and continue to grapple with now in our times. And you highlight two of the sort of more notable episodes, the episode where the aliens half the face is black, half is white, and you don’t even realize as a viewer until halfway into it, these people that are in conflict with each other. The black and the white are on opposite sides of their face. And you realize how preposterous that is as a sort of analogy or metaphor for race relations as we currently contend with them.
And let’s not forget the first interracial kiss in television history.
Was Kirk and ohuru, Michelle Nichols. Yeah, the gorgeous Michelle Nichols who I got to meet before her pass.
Oh, you did? Wow.
It was legend. And that did more for race relations moving forward, race relations, than almost any other event on television in many ways.
Yeah. And as you kind of aptly point out in the book, it’s not that the kiss happened. It’s how they kind of low keyed the whole thing. Like, yeah, no big deal.
We’re human beings. We’re of the human race.
Right. And so in the book, I’m going to read a little section where you kind of talk about how these two, like the sort of kung fu sensibility and the Star Trek sensibility, have to come together to create the foundation for this new spiritual revolution that you’re talking about. And you say, what good is a spiritual path that only enriches our own inner peace while hundreds of millions go hungry? In other words, like the kung fu thing of just focusing on self. Right. And conversely, how do we sustainably serve those millions if our hearts are hard, empty, cold, and filled with selfish, ego or materialistic motives? How can there be peace without justice? There is an ongoing dance, a conversation between the twofold moral paths that lie ahead of us. We seek personal enlightenment so that we can serve more, have an outward orientation, and help create a better world. And when we undertake this service, we are, in turn, internally awakened and fulfilled to an even greater degree.
I wrote that profound shiz from this Dwight Schrut character.
From the guy dude. Jeez.
Yeah. Like, how are we supposed to take you seriously?
I don’t have an answer for that.
That’s good shiz, though, man.
Thanks. Yeah, thanks. Yeah, I appreciate that. And I’m glad that that stuck out because I view it as like a yin and a yang shape that these two I try Rain Wilson. I try to be a better person every day. I try and be more patient with my wife and my kid, and I look at my character defects like we do in twelve step programs. I can be really judgmental. I can be impatient. I have to work on these and get better. And then I also feel like something that many Americans have lost track of is this idea that Bahawallah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, says all men were created to usher forth an ever advancing civilization. So part of our spiritual purpose is to help all of us move forward, whatever that means. That doesn’t mean you need to be Mother Teresa. That can mean that at your job as an accountant, you have great integrity and you refuse to backbite about the other accountants. There’s all kinds of ways that we can be of service and be moving the ball down the field toward human transformation and maturity. And I found this in the office.
I can’t tell you every day, online or in person, I hear from people like, thank you so much for the show. It’s recently been ten years since we did our very final episode, and I posted about it on Instagram. And the thousands of comments like, thank you for your show. It soothed us. It made our family laugh. My mother was really sick, and we would watch it together. My parents were going through a divorce, and my siblings and I would watch it together. It helped me through a mental health crisis. It helped me through COVID. Like, who would have thunk that something as silly as, like, a bunch of weird denizens in a paper company doing a sitcom could have provided that kind of a service to a lot of people, and certainly not why any of us did. I got the job because I wanted a house.
Yeah. And the fact that perhaps even more people watched it in recent years than even when it came out, like, the long tail on this thing and the kind of audience building that’s happened even over the past the past couple of years is unbelievable with this thing. I mean, it really is a unicorn in that sense.
I’m profoundly lucky. I have so many friends that are actors, and so many of them have been on shows that we haven’t even heard. I had a friend who was on the show, yes, Dear. Which was right before The Office had twice our numbers. Three times our numbers no one talks about yes, Dear. Oh, I can’t wait to get home and watch some episodes of Yesterday. I’m not shizzing on the show. It’s fine, funny sitcom. But the fact that The Office has legs and has great it has a kind of a timelessness. Oddly enough, offices look like offices. There’s fluorescent lights and there’s phones and there’s desks and there’s crazy bosses, and.
You’Re all archetypes that everybody can identify. They all know their version of the character that you play.
There’s a Pam and a gym in every office, and there’s a Dwight in every office, and there’s some version of Michael Scott. And that’s the other funny thing about The Office, is the fans are young. They’ve never set foot in an office. Most of the fans that watch the show are teenagers and college kids. And the people who discover the show and watch it, they’ve never even been they don’t know what a fax machine is or a copy machine or a staff meeting or anything like that. That was the thing that was greatly surprising to us. Like, all of a sudden, when we were almost canceled a dozen times, and then all of a sudden we started getting the numbers in like, the average age of your viewer is 24. Like, whoa, that’s crazy. Because we thought it would be people in their thirty s and forty s that worked in offices after all.
Yeah, I mean, my kids are great examples of that. I mean, it’s so interesting. What do you make of that?
I think you tapped into it. I think it’s the universals of the characters, and I think The Office is a vision of what working in an office might be. And very often I find people that write online and they say, I want to work in an office, like in The Office, and they want to work in like a menial nine to five. I’m like, no, don’t do it.
You’re melting the whole thing.
How soul crushing it can be. It’s not always, but connecting that to the book. One of the interesting things with Millennials and Gen Z is that for years, when they would ask young people, what’s the most important thing you’re looking for in a job? They would say, good pay, high status. Like, people will think highly of me by having being sales manager or senior executive or what have you, a commute from home, being in the community. I want perks, like healthcare, et cetera. There was always this list, and it was the same for decades. Then all of a sudden we found when I was working at Soul Pancake, this digital media company I had that we found, and it was around 2010, 2012, all of a sudden, making a Difference in the World was shot to the top, like number one, two or three for Millennials and Gen Z. All of a sudden, there was a questioning of, why are we doing this again? I don’t necessarily want money, status, an easy commute, and perks out of my job. I want to be a part of something that makes a difference. And I think that’s also this is a really lost couple of generations.
And I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, but I think lost in questioning. I think the mental health crisis, obviously, is just through the roof, and it’s devastating. It’s something I talk about in the book a great deal. But going back to Hope, I think these younger generations really have their eye on something greater in a way that we didn’t as genetic.
My son is 18 years old, and my wife said that she found him in tears because he found out that Biden had okayed this willow Petroleum oil exploration in Alaska and opening up a national park in Alaska for new drilling, even though that went goes against everything he campaigned for and every promise the democratic party made about a green new deal. And whatnot? And what do you hear? Silence. Silence. He’s opening up Alaska for drilling, but if a Republican had opened up Alaska for drilling, the Democrats would be like, again, the toxicity of partisanship and the hypocrisy of partisanship. My son was in tears over this, and he also came up to me the other day, and he said, Data. When no one’s around, he calls me data. If someone else is around, he calls me father. He’s like, Dadda. I was like, what’s going on, Walter? What’s in your heart right now? And he’s like, Data. I’m really upset about income inequality. I was researching it, watching these YouTube videos, like, the the middle class is shrinking, and the the haves are getting heavier, and the have nots are getting half naughtier, and it’s really, really fu**ed up.
I’m very, very upset about it. And we had a long talk about socialism and social programs and how the middle class was initially created in the United States. So this younger generation, they’re very tuned in to what the world needs.
Yeah. That is a source of great optimism for me, because certainly that was not my sensibility when I was 1921. And the fact that there is this new generation of people who very much are prioritizing meaning, purpose, impact into the bigger decisions they’re making about how to invest their time and what career to pursue is extraordinary. We like to shiz on young people and oh, whatever. But that’s really beautiful and laudable, and I’m not sure from whence that emanates what is the source of that. Is it really just a greater objective perspective on what’s actually happening, where they’re looking at it and thinking, this is not right. We can correct this. Every generation, obviously, to your point earlier, is here to kind of elevate consciousness and push us forward, progress humanity in hopefully a better direction. But when you think back on why this younger generation is seeing things in that way, how do you make sense of that?
Okay, let’s look at the hippie days. If you went into a coma in 1964 with a nice, trim haircut, such as you’re demonstrating I did have long hair. I’m sure you did. And you woke up from that coma in 1974, and they’re like, Hello, Rich, wake up oh, thank God. Oh, you’re saved. You’ve been in a coma for ten years. You’d be like, oh, okay, great. So what’s going on? It’s like, ten years. Okay, what’s going on? Well, we had the Beatles, and we had Led Zeppelin, and we had the race riots, and we had the Vietnam War, and we had the protests, and we had the bra burnings and we had Watergate, and it would be jaw dropping, the amount of change. It’d be like, wait a minute. Guys aren’t just wearing skinny black ties and skinny black suits and going to their jobs in their Oldsmobiles. Like, what the hell is going on? Where’s the Eisenhower America that I knew back then? We have finally rights for black Americans and legislation kind of putting a nail in the coffin of Jim Crow. It’s a completely different world, and I hope one of these days we’re at a turning point.
Now, there were a lot of problems in the hippie days. We all know how kind of drugs and sex got involved, and that kind of everything just moved towards drugs and sex land. And by the mid 70s, everyone was just getting baked and loving the one they’re with. And we kind of lost sight of real social change. But maybe we’re at a similar kind of inflection point.
I think there’s a lot of truth to that in thinking about that. We have the young people with this elevated sensibility of responsibility and purpose, which I think is really beautiful. That’s a Star Trek sensibility. Right. We come from more of the kung fu sensibility. Me. Me. And in my own kind of personal relationship with religion and spirituality, I probably fall into the camp of this idea that you explore in the book, which is our own personal bespoke relationship with spirituality, right? Like this idea that we’re in this era where religion is on the decline. People of our generation had the experiences that we had growing up with various doctrines and churches that were kind of resistant to and we’re finding our own connection to meaning through this sort of pastiche of various spiritual principles, whether that’s through yoga or Hinduism. We’re kind of patching these things together to try to find meaning in our own lives. And I probably put myself in that category on some level and then matching that. And that’s a very individualistic thing. Like, it’s about me and my relationship with myself in the world and how can I be a better person?
On top of that, with the decline in religious traditions, at least within the context of the United States, we’re seeing the rise of the secular guru, right? Like, you talk about celebrity and sports stars and the people that have sort of supplanted religious figures or leaders as people that we look to for guidance or for inspiration. But one thing that you kind of left out in that discussion are these new figures that are on the social. Media landscape that a lot of people are gravitating towards for inspiration, for wisdom, for guidance, for better or for worse. Right. The Jordan Peterson’s or Pick, whoever, Russell Brand, people like that, who in many ways, to my mind, seem to have stepped into the place of the local pastor at the church, or the kind of community figure that would have galvanized the young people within that community. How do you look at that and think about that?
I think that’s very well said. And you’re right. I’m kind of like kicking myself. Oh, yeah, I should have talked more about that, because it’s true. And you look at the veneration that Elon Musk gets, for instance, and a lot of the Silicon Valley startup kind.
Of guys, the billionaires and the technologists, and these are demigods in our culture.
And then on the Internet, you have what’s, that a**hole who got arrested in Romania?
Yeah, you have the Andrew Tates who are just despicable, materialistic, sexist, violent idiots. And then you have people that have.
Enormous followings of people, particularly young men in the age bracket of your son Walter. Right. I’m sure he has friends who are sort of cottoned on to this guy’s messaging. What that’s doing? There’s very real implications for all of this.
Yeah, it’s very real. But you also have people like Jay Shetty.
And in the podcast world, there’s Lehi Howes and Four Hour Work Week. What’s that guy?
Tim Ferriss. Yeah, like the podcast.
And they have a lot of great wisdom to offer. And I’m going to challenge you on this because you say that you have a bespoke spirituality, and I kind of make fun of it in the book a little bit, like, oh, I like this yoga class and I like this roomy quote.
But the Baha’i Faith is sort of that, too, on some level.
It’s really not, is it?
Okay, well, disabuse me of that idea. Well, I’m sorry.
First, I’m going to disabuse you of your own thought, because what did you do? You created a podcast. I’m sure that you just like having deep conversations and it’s fun for you, but you have helped millions of people toward greater health and wellness and well being in your work. So you are 100% part of the solution in what you’re doing. You could have just stayed, been an ultramarathoner, gotten a job at a running shoe company, made a nice living or what have you, and gotten sponsorships and just kind of, like, enjoyed your yoga class and your meditation app. Right. But you took it a step further. How is the Baha’i faith different? I’m not here to promote the Baha’i Faith, but one of the things I talk about in the book is, like, we threw the spiritual baby out with the religious bathwater. So in our kind of especially secular, left, urban, contemporary America, we have rejected anything and everything having to do with religion for a very good reason. For a very, very good reason. Let me underline that for very good reasons, religions have brought some of the worst pain and suffering and grotesque aspects of human nature to bear over the last couple of thousands of years that you could ever possibly imagine.
And every decade you read about some new horror that the Catholic Church or that evangelicals have engendered. But I do think that we are missing something. By throwing out religion, Categorically, we’re missing some things that religion gives us, which is purpose, meaning, community, and a sense of the transcendent, the sense that there is something more to strive for. There’s a lot more to the very best of religion. And I try and I have a chapter on kind of the universals of religious faiths. Why Buddhism and Islam and Christianity are why and how they’re connected the essential ideas that bind them together. And even have a chapter called hey kids, let’s invent a new religion where I’m like, let’s take the very best that religion has brought humanity over the last 3000 years. Let’s take the best ideas from that, put it together in a jambalaya and make our new religion.
Because we which you call soul boom.
I call it Soul Boom Trademark. But I also refuse Categorically to be any kind of guru or leader of the Soul Boom religion. But I posit it kind of jokingly, but at the same time, there are some by throwing out religion and we see this current mental health crisis. And if you have you have you read the work of Dr. Lisa Miller, the Awakened Brain?
Yeah, I had her on the podcast.
Oh, great. Okay.
Sorry, I missed that one.
Yeah, I love that.
Come on. She’s great. But there’s hard data that supports how spirituality and religion itself makes people happier, greater well being, greater community, more resilient, which resilience is one of the big factors in the mental health crisis. So it’s something to be explored. And I can already hear all the people right now switching off the podcast and throwing things across the room. Fu** that. I’ll never be a part of religion that’s so evil. And it’s like, I get it. I get it. It has been, it’s true. But there are some universal, beautiful truths in religious practice. And let me say this. Spirituality. There has to be some kind of systemic sensibility to spirituality. If we want to achieve social transformation, if we want that Star Trek world, there has to be some kind of systematic practice that leads in that direction. So that’s how I would say different that the Baha’i Faith offers some again, I’m not trying to convert people, but what I love about the Baha’i Faith is that it fosters grassroots community, spiritual movements in a systematic way.
Right? And I think sorry, go ahead.
People gathering to pray together, bringing diverse people together, being of service together, children and youth classes that are focused on spiritual virtues, divine virtues, the very best kind of character and leadership qualities that humanity has to offer. These are ways of building a grassroots community movement. But you don’t have to be a Baha’i to partake in this, but some kind of systematization other than, like you say, bespoke spirituality, I think is crucial to move. Sure.
In order to really shift the tectonic plates of culture and society and progress humanity or elevate consciousness, you not only need the revolutionaries and the chaos agents, you need a foundation and a structure and an organizing principle, right. And over the history of grassroots movements and uprisings, et cetera, the opposition is always much more organized than the revolutionaries. You see this played out time and time again. And you aptly very astutely kind of highlight that in the book, which is this idea that if we do want to manifest the change, that I think we can all agree that we need we need to be organized on the level of the opposition, right? So how do we do that and not fall prey to the pitfalls of humanity’s, basst nature? And so what do we do? We look to organizations that have figured this out or thrived. You mentioned the Baha’i faith that’s figured out some version of this. And you also point out twelve step like Alcoholics Anonymous, this decentralized. A lot of talk about decentralization with cryptocurrency and all of that. Well, look at AA. This is this amazing revolutionary movement that has thrived and grown decade after decade after decade.
Why, how, why did it not implode? Due to the pecadillos, there are no leaders.
There are only in charge.
Only way to do this. I’ve banged this drum so many times, but it’s almost like they should teach this model at Harvard Business School or figure out like management consultants should really do a forensic deep dive into how this came to be because there’s true wisdom to be gleaned. Absolutely. This magical, mystical thing that kind of percolated up through a combination of need. I don’t know what else, but the fact that this thing exists and is functional today.
Have you ever seen or been to an AA meeting in a super remote location? I remember once traveling through mountains of Guatemala and I saw the little AA logo oliver, just some tin hut. And I didn’t go in, but I walked by and I just had a little curtain blowing in the breeze. And there was 20 Mayan laboring farmers that kind of had that ancient kind of Mayan mountain look to them in a circle, sharing, praying. They had obviously all hit bottom with drinking in some way. And I was moved profoundly to tears. Like how incredible that Bob and Bill would have these discussions and then this thing would spread to this little hut in the mountains of Guatemala where these people are getting solace, consultation, companionship, guidance, surrender and wisdom. It is the arctipal grassroots movement that has spread around the world and helped millions, and we could learn a hell of a lot from it, right?
How do we extract the best of that and apply that template onto a new model of how we organize activism, advocacy, spiritual principles, and dare I say the word religion? It’s such a loaded word, like, I don’t even want to say that word because it immediately alienates people. And I have my own weird kind of relationship to all of that. And part of your book is really a reprogramming of how we think about that word and the traditions. And you do that by canvassing. You do a deep dive into the history of all these various faiths, what we can learn from them by acknowledging what’s gone terribly awry with how humanity has kind of weaponized them in various ways. But how do we find our way back to the best of what religion has to offer? And why should we reconsider the importance of religion in this kind of secular, post religious world in which we are over indexing on intellectualism rationalism, the rise of atheism, and our own kind of bespoke versions of spirituality as a side dish over here?
I don’t have any answers. I mean, I took a stab at it by trying to invent a new religion.
You did? Yeah. I don’t have any answers. I just I just proposed a new religion in my book. But please don’t call me a guru.
I will say that I have the seven pillars of a spiritual revolution.
Do with that. Indeed you do.
And they are to write a new mythology of humanity. The current mythology that we have is like it’s a dog eat dog world and one upsmanship and survival of the fittest and don’t tread on me and live free or die. And this kind of like the strongest survives. We need to write a mythology that remembers that we’re a cooperative species, that we’ve come together in community, that we have healed through great traumas, that we have lived for most of our existence with great peace, with planet Earth. Right? We need to create a new mythology. I use the Star Wars mythology as an example of how to use the Joseph Campbell heroes journey. We can do the same thing with our human. I’m not going to read through all.
Of them, but just to pause on that idea for a moment, that’s a big ask, right? Especially in America, where it’s all about rugged individualism and staking your claim and your individualistic pursuit of happiness and your rights and your liberty, which I think overshadows to harken back to what we were talking about earlier. This notion of collective responsibility like liberty is only as powerful or as potent as it is paired to the responsibility that we shoulder for the collective. Right? And I think that responsibility piece has gotten lost in this conversation. And what you’re saying is we need to recapture that, but it almost requires an undoing of the very sensibility of this whole kind of American myth or ideology. Rewriting that story is not a small task.
It’s not a small task. I don’t know what’s a way forward. Yeah. I don’t know how to start. I don’t know how to start. I mean, I think this mythology of don’t tread on me. Live free or die. Every man for themselves. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. We came to America for a very good reason. We were escaping puritanism, although many of our forefathers were puritans who wanted to be more puritan.
It wasn’t hardcore enough, more hardcore.
But then there were a lot of people that just wanted to be out of the auspices of being told what to do in the kind of draconian bureaucracies of Europe at the time. So we wanted guns, and we wanted land, and we wanted freedom and freedom of free speech and expression. And a lot of those things are great, but again, we just need more storytellers to be telling the stories, because think about freedom. Have you ever been to a country where there’s no traffic laws?
Yeah, it’s just a free for all. Cars are just parked on sidewalks, and.
Every man for themselves. I remember driving in Morocco is the first time I saw humans.
That was immediately the place that I thought of.
Anyway, the first time I saw human brains splashed onto a street, because everyone just goes as fast as they want through, barreling down the wrong side of the road. The stoplights are optional, and it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. It does not get you there faster. Freedom. They’re total freedom in Morocco. So in the United States and in countries that have traffic laws, we’re like, oh, we’ve got these traffic laws. I don’t want to drive. I can’t drive 55. I don’t want to wear my seatbelt. But these are all for a very good reason, and it actually works, and it gets you there faster. And we’re really grateful for our traffic laws because it works. So I know that’s just a lame, dumb little example, but it’s an example of reinvesting the word freedom and what that really means, because freedom in the context of system and cooperation is a really powerful force. But freedom just on its own without any kind of limits and without any kind of morality, for lack of a better word, is extremely dangerous.
Yeah, I mean, it’s a bottom up thing, is it not like in order to kind of shock people out of their own personal agenda and self seeking and to contemplate the well being of the greater whole, that requires a spiritual revolution. Right? It’s an elevation of consciousness in order.
To so here’s my challenge to you, Rich. The next one here is to foster joy and squash cynicism. We’ve been talking a lot about the pessimism and cynicism that you feel around this and I completely understand, and this is part of my character defects, is to be cynical and pessimistic. I tend very easily in that direction. It’s hard for me to be hopeful.
It’s a practice.
But one of the superpowers of this kind of like these seven pillars for a spiritual revolution is to foster joy and squash cynicism. Whenever that arises in our chest, we just have to know it’s not serving us. I tell the story in here about I worked with the great theater teacher and director Andre Gregory, who’s the star of focal Point, of the amazing classic film my Dinner with Andre. If people haven’t seen it, it’s absolutely it’s an entire two hour movie of a conversation with two people at a dinner table. And I got to work with him for several weeks or several months, and fascinating human being who has traveled the world and done theater in every culture of the world and is just beyond fascinating. Anyways, he had a meeting with me, as he did with his students, and we had tea, and then as we were leaving, he’s like, so how do you feel, Rain? How are you these days? I’m like, well, can’t help but getting cynical. I’m kind of pessimistic. How is things going to work out and the world is so dark and fu**ed up. This was the 90s, mind you, when things were actually pretty good.
And yeah, he grabbed my arm hard, grabbed it. He was a little old man then. He’s still alive, I think he’s like 98. He grabbed my arm, he looked into my eyes, and he’s like, don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t give into cynicism. Don’t be pessimistic. If you do that, they win. That’s how they want you. If you’re pessimistic, if you’re cynical, they win, because you aren’t going to do anything to change the world. You’re going to get shut down. Don’t do it. And he was just like, held my gaze and held my arm. I was like 25. I was like and then he let go. And then I walked out into the world and I saw things in an entirely new way. I won’t say that I was transformed and all of a sudden I was arrived or anything like that, but I’ll never forget that interaction. And I think that for all of the listeners, for you and the rich roll posse, it is so important to foster joy and hope in everything that we do. Because the other side, the side of darkness, the empire, the voldemort that forces.
That are out there on, they want.
Us cynical, they want us pessimistic, and they want us in resultingly, not doing anything. So how do we especially engender that and inspire that in the younger generation? How do we do that with teens? How do we do that with college kids and people in their twenty s that are lost and dealing with this rampant mental health crisis that’s killing millions. How do we foster and engender hope in that generation? Whatever we can do, that’s our most important task in front of us.
That’s beautiful. Yeah. Like you. My default setting or my disposition as a tried and true Gen Xer is to be cynical, and it’s work. It’s a practice to keep that at bay and to try to find a way to hold on to hope or to cultivate that. And as you were sharing that beautiful story, I was thinking about Jane Goodall’s.
The Book of Hope.
Have you read this book?
Yes. So it’s a book co written by my friend Doug Abrams, and it’s all about that. Like, how do you maintain hope in the face of dire circumstances or all the pressures of society that are kind of marshaling you to believe otherwise? And he also wrote a book with the Dalai Lama called The Book of Joy and Desmond Tutu, same Guy, which are yeah. Those two books together kind of speak to exactly what you’re saying.
Which is great. I want to talk a little bit about this idea of the divine. Like, what is sacred? Right. Like, how do we think about what is sacred in our world and what is not? Which is something you talk about in the book. What is holy anymore? Like, what is deserving of reverence in the modern world? Like, how do we think about what is and what is not sacred? And how has that changed or evolved over time?
Yeah. I went with my family a few years back on what is a Baha’i pilgrimage to the north of Israel in the Haifa, Israel area, where the founder of the Baha’i Faith is buried, which is the most kind of sacred spot to Baha’i’s. And there are a number of other shrines there. That’s where the Baha’i administrative center is. It has a lot of power and beauty, beautiful gardens and architecture. You can google it. And it was really profound because we went on this journey with people from the Philippines and Romania and Italy and Finland and all over the world, and very diverse group of people that were Baha’i’s that came in to take this nine day journey of prayer and meditation and to be devout. You think about that word, devout, which also is connected to devotions, devoted. And when I got back home, I saw things in a very different way because I was like, wow, there’s just nothing sacred around me. It was so weird to have nine days when things were sacred and you would pray and you would meditate and you would ponder things, and you did it as a group, and it was really a beautiful experience.
And then in content, prairie, Los Angeles feels like nothing is sacred. I mean, I suppose if you do a dawn hike and you’re in the Santa Monica Mountains and you see the sunrise or something like that, certainly that has a sacredness and a connection to nature is where sacred is. But I use that story to kind of pose the question about what is sacred in the modern world. And I reference the great medieval Japanese poet Basho, who wrote Haiku and is considered like the greatest Haiku poet of all time. And what he would do as part of just his tradition is it’s part travelogue, it’s part spiritual journey, and it’s part meditative journey. And the connection to nature, and it’s a part of an artistic journey, is he would walk from town to town and he would go to temples and beautiful places, and he would meditate and pray where he was. And then he would write a poem about that place and he would leave.
It at the local temple every day, right.
Every single day. So it was like this, and you can go on his journey. And he wrote this book called sometimes it’s called Narrow Path to the Interior, narrow Path to the north. It has different kind of translations and meanings. And I thought about how special that was that here’s this person combining art, right. Haiku prayer and meditation, a spiritual path, and kind of a cultural travel log at the same time visiting historical places and highlighting the sacredness of this path and the way that he walked this path. So I just kind of issued a challenge to the reader and to myself, really, like, how do we find what’s sacred in our lives? Does it need to be some special place where someone’s buried can we find I referenced Lambeau Stadium and to the people of Green Bay, how sacred that stadium is because of the mighty Green Bay Packers. And it’s such a legendary history. So, yeah, I’m just wondering if that resonated for you or how you find the sacred in your life.
Yeah, I mean, I think that the idea of what is and what is not sacred is really about our relationship to things. Right. The idea that this Japanese poet could write beautiful Haiku as he’s traversing the landscape, he is creating art out of mundanity, right. And in that there is something sacred. So you can create a relationship of sacredness with whatever is providing you with meaning or just the effort of trying to be present with something I think creates a sacred relationship.
That’s a really good point.
It’s not like you go to these faraway places and you also talk about going to Israel and the Wailing Wall and all this sort of stuff, like these artifices that are just loaded with historic meaning that are obviously agreed upon sacred sites. But I think that there’s a broader conversation to be had about finding the sacred in our everyday lives. Like, how can we mine meaning and be elevated by our own environments? Right. And that’s just a decision that you make and a decision to kind of invest whatever experience you’re having with a more kind of elevated, conscious awareness of how it could be awe inspiring or wonder inducing rather than just mundane or normal. Can you drive down the one on one freeway in Los Angeles and figure out a way to find something sacred about that? I don’t know. Maybe.
Well, I was just thinking, as you were saying, that what would it be like if we wrote a haiku about every place that we visited every single day, even in the mundanity of our life? Even just going to Trader Joe’s and picking up some naval churches, the Rich Roll podcast, elevated conversations. I’ll see.
I can’t we can put CPT Four onto it.
And have it write out some good.
Doing it for us. But even that brings a kind of an elevated consciousness. And I think when you read the work of Eckhart Tolle, when you read the work of Tik Nat Han, who talks about being present while you’re washing the dishes, how that’s the hardest task. Like, part of it is presence, like, to really be where you are.
Is it not such a I mean, Eckhart Toll would say, if you’re completely present with what you’re doing, there is nothing that isn’t sacred. Right. That capacity to be 100% in the moment that you’re in it speaks to this idea of oneness and unity. Right. Like, human beings are organisms that are always trying to identify patterns, and in that pattern making kind of proclivity, we tend to other, right? Like, we’re this, they’re that this makes sense, this doesn’t. I fit over here. Those people are over there. And it belies the truth, the greater truth, which is the oneness of everything which you speak so eloquently about in the book. And presence is a way of transcending or overriding that default to kind of identify patterns that are mechanisms of separation.
Hand in hand with that very well said. Is what we can learn from indigenous peoples and looking back into our history, because if you look back far enough, all of us were at one point in time, indigenous. My people were indigenous to Norway and to the British Isles back in the day. But when I think about Bashau, I think, too, about art, nature, because the haiku was always about nature. Art, nature, spirituality, religion. It comes from the Buddhist and Shinto tradition. Art, nature and spirituality all converge, and there’s no separation between them. So to strive for the sacred, I would say that art, beauty, nature, and the spiritual are all in, are all unified, and are working together as the many Native American traditions point us to. So how do we do that in the Western society? I don’t know.
You’re supposed to have the answers.
I don’t have the answers. I have the question.
Well, speaking of indigenous traditions, one thing you do talk about in the book is how we as modern individuals in Western society, are always trying to look for shortcuts to these answers. And one of those shortcuts is exploring traditions of the indigenous in the form of plant medicine. Right. And the sort of pitfalls and also advances that these experiences that people are having. Like, I have a lot of opinions about this, but you’re pretty clear in how you feel about all of this. So explain kind of your perspective.
Here’s my unpopular opinion.
Okay. It’s an unpopular opinion that I share, so go ahead.
You’re an unpopular opinion. Oh, that’s good. I didn’t know that you shared that. I talk about, quote unquote, plant medicine, which, by the way, why isn’t heroin or cocaine a plant medicine?
Yes. I’ve asked myself this question.
Why is it only like what we want is a plant?
Like, we apply also this idea that it’s the work. Do you write that one? Yeah, I’m doing the work.
I’m doing the work. Yeah. Do the work when you’re doing your taxes and doing the work when you’re do the work when you’re taking your family to the mall to get some shoes. Yeah. I feel very strongly because I remember because I’m old enough to remember people in the 70s who were talking about LSD and what a revolution that was in the early sixty s and mid 60s with Timothy Leary and drop in, drop out, et cetera. And everyone doing acid. And that acid was the gateway toward self realization. And I met and I have a couple uncles that fried themselves in that way and met people whose brains were just fried from doing acid. And you could look in their eyes and you saw rainbows in their eyes, but you’d also fry a lot of neurons along the way. And then I remember being in college in the early ninety s and people like, going to do peyote and going to do mushrooms in the mountains and having these kind of like, experiences that are outside of the daily where they’re looking for this enlightenment. And now with ayahuasca I feel like it’s the same kind of thing.
Like, the shaman went to the Best Western in Tempe, Arizona, and I met him there. They used to go to Panama and Columbia and actual Amazon, and now they’re.
Coming together down by Lax.
But I know people that have gone to literally just gone to a conference room hotels to do their Ayahuasca, and I just feel like it’s a very American thing. It’s like, I want to have this peak experience. I’m going to pay $875 to fly the shaman up to Costa Rica or to this resort in Mexico and have this experience. It’s going to change my mind. It’s going to change how I see things, but I’m going to do it every year or two. And the rest of the year, fu** it.
I’m just going to, like I’m going.
To be an a**hole, just try and make a lot of money. I’m going to use my dating apps. I’m going to look at you porn and just collect. Comic books and go to the movies or whatever it is that we do in our lives. And it’s a very American kind of thing. I think it’s a cop out. And I think we were talking about Bashau, we were talking about Wakandanka, we were talking about Eckhart Toll. This is hard work. Spiritual transformation is hard daily work. Now, I can hear a lot of people saying, well, I’m going to do the daily work, but this will help me see things in a different way. And I know people that has had a very powerful effect. And by the way, I don’t want to take away from the efficacy of these drugs to help people who are suffering from severe extreme depression and from severe, extreme drug addiction that there has been some proof that they have worked on those things with a professional and with a very specific system in mind toward healing. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the recreational touristic idea of I want to go get enlightenment in Costa Rica at a resort, and I’ve only got till Friday, 03:00 P.m. Till Monday, 10:00 A.m., in order to.
Do it right, because I got to get back for the board meeting.
So I agree with you 100%. Certainly, there are efficacious cases. I know people personally who I think their lives have been benefited from having these experiences and the science that’s coming out around the use cases with respect to depression, PTSD, and addiction, as you mentioned, I think are promising and interesting. I just think that the idea that we can have a casual relationship with these very powerful substances and that the mainstreaming of it, such that we’re sort of lured into this idea that this should be part of our daily wellness routine is irresponsible. And I do think that tourist sensibility is problematic, and it is kind of so emblematic of an American sensibility as somebody who went to rehab, and I know a guy who was on Ketamine and jumped off his roof. These are not benign substances. These are very powerful substances that need to be administered in controlled environments in the best case scenario. And I think we just need to slow down a little bit.
You know what? You don’t need it to have a.
Transformation of spiritual experience, right. And it’s really about to the extent that they can open up a portal and allow you to step outside of your ego and see things maybe more broadly, I’m cool with that. Great. But that is only as valuable as the follow up work and the path that you’re going to pursue to kind of more deeply invest in what that means for you, right. And you don’t need to do those things in order to have those experiences. And fast tracking your spiritual development or growth is really not like what it’s about.
I met a young guy and he talked about his Ayahuasca trip and how he saw oneness in all things and how all things were connected and unified, and it actually gave him a belief in God, and it was really transformative. And I was like, oh, that’s great. And what do you do? What do you do? What’s your life? It’s like, well, I buy, sell and trade sneakers and Air Jordans. So I’ll buy a sneaker for $300, and I’ll sell it to some teenager in Ohio for $500. And it’s like, okay, all right. Now, nothing against a little commerce. I do some dumb commercials sometimes to make some money, but that just seems antithetical to the spirit of real, profound soul transformation.
How judgmental of you.
Yeah, there’s my character defect. Sorry.
I know. Yeah, it’s tricky, but I guess my overall kind of vibe on that is like, slow down, think twice. These are it’s not a binary thing. It’s not bad or good. It’s what is your relationship to this? What are you trying to get out of it, and what is the plan after these experiences? What are you going to do with it? Yeah, I have a friend who I think he does it, like, every weekend, and then he’s like, I’m doing the work. And I’m like, Dude, are you not enlightened yet? What are you doing? This is an escape on some level. How are you incorporating this into your life?
I did the work 15 years every day with alcohol. I was doing the work. How that worked out, it didn’t work.
Such a bummer.
It didn’t wish it did. It didn’t soothe me. It didn’t allow me to escape my pain and my anxiety. It didn’t quell the fear. And so here I am.
What is the daily practice now look like for you?
So I would say about four or five days a week, I am able to wake up in the morning and read a holy writing from my faith tradition, which reminds me about my spiritual essence and my spiritual nature, that I am a spiritual being, having a human experience, as per Tehart Deshardan says. Then I do a meditation for a very simple 115 or 20 minutes, nothing fancy, and and then I exercise, even lightly jog up and down my driveway, which is kind of a hill, and lightly lift some weights and stuff to help reduce my anxiety. And then I do a cold immersion. Even for just three and a half.
You got the cold plunge.
I have a cold plunge, although most of the year in La. My pool does the trick. Just cold, and I fool myself. It’s like, oh, it’s 59 degrees. That’s cold enough. Yeah, I don’t need to get in.
Does it need to be 39?
I don’t need to get in the 45 degree tub. But that has really helped with my mental health, with my anxiety. And in the Baha’i tradition, we pray between noon and sunset, a very simple prayer that connects us to our creator and then I read another quote, a spiritual quote. In the evening there’s usually in twelve step programs where we’re making calls and reaching out and connecting with people in the program, which is part of its beauty and the community that it creates. So I’m rolling, rich rolling phone calls as well and kind of living in consultation with my brothers and support groups. And then I do therapy. I’m very serious about therapy and part of what my therapist does is hypnosis. So I do at least twice a month I’m doing hypnotherapy, which I think is really powerful, kind of forgotten kind of therapy. It was like big in the whatever and you hear about it, if not at all, hypnosis. Like you’re a chick, pretend you’re a chicken or something like that. It’s just getting in touch with that enormous reservoir of the unconscious.
Sure. And I think you mentioned last time you do like a men’s group, you still do that?
Yeah, I do a men’s group retreat every three or four months. We get together an airbnb or someone’s house and we do intensive step study and sharing and bonding activities and stuff like that. Because intimacy among grown men, as you know, is really difficult and it’s something that’s really lacking in our culture. The only way men can bond is over sports, really, and playing sports and watching sports and stuff like that. So sharing with other middle aged men and being vulnerable and asking for feedback, help and consultation is a powerful force.
Yeah, I think modeling that is super important, especially when it comes to kind of untangling that knot. Like when we think about what’s required to elevate consciousness in order to more efficaciously, like solve these problems in a healthy way, like the big problems that we have, a lot of it kind of tracks back to masculine models of unhealthy. Like our inability to kind of communicate or be honest about our emotions or check our ego and all these sorts of things that kind of have this undercurrent of driving culture in the wrong direction and pushing us towards that existential cliff.
I remember when I first got into therapy in the early 2000s in La. And someone recommended a therapist and he ended up being really great and he would say like, so Rain, what’s going on? And I would kind of summarize what I did that week and then, so how are you feeling? And I was just like I had literally had no vocabulary to talk about what was going on inside. It wasn’t that I was flummoxed. I literally didn’t have the language. And he had this kind of poster of this emotion wheel and it was.
Like, is it this?
And I’d be like I’d be like, well, I’m pretty frustrated with my career. Let’s say I would do a superficial thing and he’d be like, frustrated, okay. And he’d pull out this like emotion color wheel and it’s like frustrated and it had different variations of it, like, irked, irate, overwhelmed. It’s like, do any of those? I’m, like, actually overwhelmed. Yeah. Overwhelmed. That’s what I’m feeling. Overwhelmed. Oh, okay. How does that make you feel? And then I’d have another emotion, and, like, I had to learn a language because no one had taught or modeled it for me, language of how to have feelings and how to communicate those feelings. I was just so locked up and constipated.
Yeah. And the idea that to do that somehow threatens your masculinity. Right. It’s a threat to this identity of what it means to be a man, and I think it’s so important to do that. And I think your guy, Justin Baldoni, he’s, like, at the leading edge of trying to educate people about this in a really interesting way.
He’s caught a lot of flak for that.
He’s gotten this great book and podcast called Man Enough where he really challenges his own ideas about his masculinity. And obviously, he’s like a model handsome guy with, like, washboard washboard ABS. But he talks about how if he was doing a show and he had to take his shirt off for weeks in advance, he would just feel less he’s got washboard wrapped. I mean, they’re insane. And he just feel less than and judged and overwhelmed and his body and he wasn’t enough. But they really take apart masculinity in some interesting ways on that podcast and in his book. And, boy, he’s caught a lot of flak from it. I mean, he gets lambasted online.
What is the negative feedback?
I guess it’s the Andrew Tate contingent of, like, you’re a cuck and a pussy to kind of even question what being a man really is, and you’re emasculated and you’re pussy whipped. And there’s a population that views any challenges to masculinity as some kind of very threatening affront and a dangerous direction for humanity to go, which is men having feelings, being vulnerable, expressing their feelings, asking for their needs to be met.
Yeah. That’s problematic. That is a concern. I guess the idea of you’re better off just getting in your Lambo and smoking your cigar and your weed. Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know what to think about that. That’s upsetting because I see what Justin’s doing, and I think it’s so cool. And the fact that there’s organized pushback to that is disconcerting, I suppose. So we got to wrap this up, but maybe we can kind of close this with just some thoughts around why you think it’s worthwhile and meaningful for somebody to cultivate a spiritual connection or to really grapple with these ideas that kind of transcend the material world in which kind of predominates our daily experience. For somebody who’s listening to this or watching it, for whom maybe they have a negative reaction to religion because of the way they were brought up, or they have an allergy to anything spiritual. Make the case for why this is worthwhile for somebody to kind of mine or explore?
Gladly. Thank you. Great question. So the first thing I will say is the reason why spirituality is important is because it is reality. So what is reality? I am fully in agreement with Tehart de Chardan who said we are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. I fully know it goes beyond belief. I fully know that I am a soul and that I am inhabiting or attached to or in connection with a bodily form for who knows how long, 60, 70, 90 years. I’m not sure how long it’ll last. And that is my reality. And who I am and what I am is not my body. It’s not even my personality. It’s not even like the background that I it’s not the trauma I suffered. It’s not what I’ve been through, that there is a little spark of the divine inside of me or that is part of me that is reflecting the majesty of the Divine of God, the Divine presence, the creative force. Just like a sunflower turns to the sun and follows the sun throughout the course of the day. That is reality. So for me to deny my reality is not beneficial to anyone, least if not myself.
Now, if you are a hardcore atheist and you’re like that’s bullshiz, prove it to me. Prove to me this divine spark of which you speak. I want to see it in a laboratory or in an algorithm or on a computer screen. Well, that’s not quite how it works, because every spiritual tradition will show you that we live in a matrix, that we live in an illusion. And when we wake up from this corporal form, we are going to be in some greater reality. And this has come from the atheists, this idea that perhaps we’re living in an avatar, the simulacrum, and we’re living in a fleshy avatar, and we’re going to wake up to some greater reality. But putting all that aside, I would say to the atheist or agnostic that try it and see if your life is better. Because there is hard, we talked about Dr. Lisa Miller and her work. There’s hard data that shows around mental health and well being, that having serenity, meaning, purpose, focus, a sense of service to others, a losing of oneself to a transcendent self of the divine, the transcendent, the abundance that’s around us increases greatly the quality of our lives.
When we see ourselves in true humility with the size and scope of the universe and whatever infinite universes are beyond this universe, it makes the quality of your life better. So, cost benefit analysis, putting in a small amount of time every day, I’m talking about 40 minutes in your day to some kind of spiritual opening and or practice has incredible benefits. This has been found time and time again. It’s found in the twelve step programs. It’s found in Buddhist meditation. It’s found in the most ancient texts that humanity has ever proved created the vedas and upanishads from 3000 years ago. This sense that we are a wave on the sea of creation and the wave crests and the wave falls. We’re a part of something much greater and much more beautiful than ourselves and in living in that state, can greatly enrich your life. How is that?
I think despite the fact that you are shunning the mantle of guru you might have just inherited, that was, like, pretty well said and very inspiring.
I have no interest in being a guru. I am, however, interested in the cash.
Yeah. Cashing in on a cash ship.
Maybe like, retreats that cost $1,400 or something like that.
This book is, like, basically the foundation of a whole new thing for you, dude.
No, I’m but a lonely, awkward actor. I’ll be playing my next weirdo character on television screens near you.
It’s funny what you just said. I think, guys in the back clip, that that is an instagram reel. We didn’t even talk about the fact that the last time you were on. I mean, we had some texts about it, but that monologue that you delivered around, like, your 20s are for, like, fu**ing around and exploring life and, like, trying loose and trying failings and failing. And all of that, like, went, you know, crazy viral.
Millions of you created, like, a really interesting discussion and dialogue that was split. Like, a lot of people, like, amen probably the older people, right? Like, oh, I wish I’d done that, or whatever. And then an interesting pushback of some younger people, like, you don’t understand my life, or, that’s convenient for you, but this is my circumstance, which is great. That’s a dialogue.
See, I would view it differently. I would view the younger people where, like, thank you. That put so much in clarity, gave me so much clarity.
Some yes, but some barriers up, like, hey, scared of that message.
I think many people viewed it as like, oh, that’s just an invitation to fu** around and not do anything. But no, it’s try things, learn, explore, fail, but don’t worry about it. You don’t even know who the hell you are.
I know, but it’s like when you’re that age, you can’t hear that because you think everything is so time sensitive and precious and you’ve got to get on it and all of that. Do you know who Kevin Kelly is? I had him in here the other day. Founder of Wired magazine.
Like, legendary futurist, big thinker kind of guy. And he dropped out of college after a year and lived in Asia for years and basically said everything that you said in that clip. And I was like, yeah, that’s what Rain said. And he’s coming back. It’s cool.
I loved how viral that went. And I love that it’s provoking a conversation, and that’s what I hope to do with Soul Boom. Soul Boom why We Need a Spiritual Revolution is we are here to market your book.
This is my purpose. Rain.
Come on. Let’s stop it. But I do have more questions than answers, so it’s an important conversation. We need to be digging into what are spiritual tools? Can they benefit us personally and can they benefit us collectively? Let’s talk about it.
Sure. And I think it’s important to point out that you have a sense of humility about this whole thing. Like, we didn’t really talk about that, but you’re sort of self deprecating throughout this whole thing. Like, hey, I don’t have the answers, but let’s ask these questions. And, like, hey, how preposterous is it of me to be writing this book and using kind of fun examples from pop culture to illustrate these deeper points that you’re making? And it strikes a balance between being super deep and provocative and asking a lot of the reader while also being really fun and easy to read. You are marketing in, like, a day.
You are marketing my book.
It is. I loved it. It’s great. I’m excited for you.
I love what you do on your podcast, and the conversations that you have are so important and the scope of what they are, from veganism to wellness to exercise to greater consciousness. And you are on the Star Trek path of making humanity a better place and helping mature our species. Thank you for that.
Well, I appreciate that, but I think what we can conclude from this conversation is that we should each be each other’s publicist.
Yeah, we should.
I love you, buddy. This book is great. I’m super excited for people to experience it, and I’m at your service, and there’s always a chair for you here. I love it.
Thank you. Love you, too. Thanks for having us.
Thanks for it’s been a wonderful discussion. Plan Bahai ritual prayers.
Beats that’ll start.
Hilarious. There you go. Live long and frostbos. Cheers.
All right, cool.