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How will they look in hindsight, these strange times we are living through? Is this a midlife crisis on humanity's road to the Star Trek future – or the point at which that story of the future unravelled and we came to see how much it had left out? What if our current crises are neither an obstacle to be overcome, nor the end of the world, but a necessary humbling? These are the kind of questions which we set out to explore in The Great Humbling. We hope you'll join us and let us know what y ...
 
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After twenty-nine episodes recorded through screens and cameras, Ed and Dougald find themselves meeting for the first time and sit down for a conversation beside the mill pond in Loddon, in the garden of the Mill of Impermanence. We hear the unlikely tale of how Dougald found Ed’s fiftieth birthday present, a copy of Uriah Heep’s fifth album, The M…
 
Dougald poses a big question for this episode: what do we believe in? Ed responds playfully and paradoxically with ‘self-delusion’, citing Robert Trivers work on self-deceit that includes gay pornography and erection-o-meters. And lasers. Here's his RSA talk. Dougald talks about the formative influence of spending the first two-and-a-bit years of h…
 
We started this podcast in the early weeks of the pandemic, talking about the stories circling around it. A crisis had come out of the corner of almost everyone's field of vision and became, within weeks, the only thing in the news. Two years on, something similar has happened, so we arrived at this episode wondering whether or not to talk about Uk…
 
This episode starts with a little reflection on our new more-or-less monthly schedule, and in the course of this episode, we talk about a few other podcasts: Ingrid Rieser's Forest of Thought Per Johansson & Eric Schüldt's Swedish-language Myter och mysterier Ed's other podcast, Jon Richardson & the Futurenauts The Sacred, a podcast from the think …
 
The Great Humbling is back for a fourth series of conversations between Dougald Hine and Ed Gillespie, now as part of the wider patchwork of Homeward Bound. Our theme for this first episode is confessions, but we start by looking back over the summer that's gone. Ed offers us Carol Campayne's seasonal map of responsible leadership with questions th…
 
We begin with some listener feedback from last week’s ‘Get on your knees!’ about prayer… Before Dougald introduces our final instruction of the workout… Now Breathe! We talk about the beautiful, simple pleasures of a degree of lockdown emergence, how Build Back Better went from a call for a radical progressive alliance to seize the moment of the pa…
 
Ed talks about Martin Shaw’s new book ‘Smokehole - looking to the wild in the time of the spyglass’ and the line ‘The mess out there is because of a mess in here’ Dougald discusses the difference between privilege, entitlement and the ‘work that is mine to do’ and references Alastair McIntosh’s four questions: "Does what I do feed the hungry?" "Is …
 
Dougald references a long essay by David Cayley, ‘Gaia and the path of the Earth’ and Bruno Latour’s book, Facing Gaia, contradictions ‘must be endured and sustained, not resolved or overcome’ and Vanessa Andreotti on ‘layering’ Ed talks about his first paddle upstream from the Mill and introduces this week’s instruction: ‘Small yourself up’?! via …
 
Dougald realises how his work these days has come to orbit around the future and discovers he’s accidentally became a futurist Ed shares his journey to accidental, reluctant, futurism Then Dougald introduces this week’s instruction is ‘See Double!’ Ed talks about Double Vision or Diplopia - the simultaneous perception of two images of a single obje…
 
Dougald shares Lucille Clifton’s poem ‘Blessing the boats’ And this week’s instruction is – ‘Do Shrooms!’ Ed introduces one of the inspirations for the episode Merlin Sheldrake’s book, ‘Entangled Life - How fungi make our worlds, change our minds and shape our futures’ Dougald talks about his fly agaric birthday cake. For his fifth birthday. And th…
 
Dougald talks about Campfire Convention https://campfireconvention.uk/ Ed introduces this week’s ‘New Move’ instruction: Be Like Water Dougald tells a story about meeting Cindy Crabb on a North Sea ferry and receiving her zine, later compiled as the Encyclopedia of Doris, a review at Zine Nation says ‘it’s not an overstatement to say that it’s one …
 
Let’s get ready to humble! This episode’s instruction is ‘Move Your Ass!’ and Dougald finds himself saying words that have literally never come out of his mouth Dougald talks about finding a place to call HOME. Ed talks about moving to a three hundred year old wooden Norfolk water Mill and horse skull floors. As always we explore the etymology: ‘Mo…
 
Welcome to series three of the Great Humbling – ‘New Moves’. And given that we’re returning on the 1st of April, which is obviously no accident, your first move is… Keep It Foolish! “A deliberately non-sensical parting farewell, popularised in the TV programme 'Nathan Barley'. It approximately means 'see you later' and 'don't take life too seriousl…
 
We start with a reference to Kenny Rogers to ‘see what condition our condition is in? Then in the context of the US election this clip: https://twitter.com/aoc/status/1158569576168402945?s=21 from Professor Eddie Glaude of African American studies at Princeton ‘White Americans confronting the danger of their innocence’ Dougald talks about Alan Garn…
 
In the week before the US election we finally do an episode where we talk about American politics and how it fits into this larger conversation about what it means if we’re living in a time of great humbling. ‘Jeopardy’ was originally used in the 14th century in chess and other games to denote a problem, or a position in which the chances of winnin…
 
Do grown-ups play? What’s been playing on our minds this week? Ed talks about the House of Beautiful Business - ‘The Great Wave’, hislove letter to the ocean (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5MvdgAZThw&feature=youtu.be) and ‘Wild Solo’...and their playful silent hour farewell...the embodiment of playfulness...mime, secret notes, hugs, smiling with…
 
“If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention” Dougald pays to get emails from a very angry man – Mic Wright’s Substack, Conquest of the Useless (which he picked up via Chris T-T’s The Border Crossing newsletter) Ed shares his ‘Twitter Hate-storm’ story! (https://mashable.com/article/covert-photos-strangers-going-viral-twitter/?europe=true) Fro…
 
Here we are in a state of tension… What have we been reading? ‘The Precipice - Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity by Toby Ord: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-precipice-9781526600219/ Revisiting The Road by Cormac McCarthy Paul Behren's brilliant The Best of Times / the Worst of Times Balance these with voices that straddle different sca…
 
We start as is traditional with what's been getting us thinking this week... Ed talks about the film My Octopus Teacher and Nick Cohen in the Observer on ‘Sweden as the right’s fantasy land’. This leads us onto some memorable Swedish expressions: ‘there is no cow on the ice’ (= don’t panic!); ‘Now you’ve really shat in the blue cupboard’ (another S…
 
We start with Adam Ramsay, ‘Queer Eye’, Jordan Peterson and the Battle for Depressed Men – https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/queer-eye-jordan-peterson-and-the-battle-for-depressed-men/ Do we really have to choose between Carl Jung and archetypal psychology on the one side and Antonio Gramsci and the analysis of hegemony on the other side? We reflect…
 
We call these conversations the Great Humbling because we start from a sense that this is a time of being humbled, brought down to earth, and we want to ask what happens if we approach the moment we’re in on those terms? In this second season each week we’ll be taking a state of mind that seems to be part of the mix of being alive just now. So this…
 
Why we’re recording this final episode of Series One at night, as our children sleep Reviewing the journey we’ve been on together since late March... Mapping Lava...where are we now on the emerging sensemaking and stories? Can we afford an economic recovery? Towards a language of longing… Bestiary of metaphors World turned upside down As deep as cu…
 
Conspiracy literally means 'to breathe together'. What is causing us to inhale such a complex mix of vaporous ideas right now? Are these 'voodoo histories' being written wilfully or are they a perhaps understandable response to fear and uncertainty? And how do these 'double binds' of inextricable impossibilities influence the way we receive informa…
 
We start with Martin Shaw’s hare-piece (hair piece?) - ‘A Hare’s Leap or a Rabbit’s Hop?’, a typically stirring offering from Dr Shaw that bristles with energy and soul, and backbone... “Culture is being forced to leap at this moment, but we run grievous risk of a rabbit hop back to safety not a hare leap into the deeper life.” “[Hare] nags, and pu…
 
Introducing ‘A World Turned Upside Down’, an old english ballad ‘a brief description of the ridiculous fashions of these distracted times’...coined in protest at Parliament’s attempts to make Christmas a solemn occasion (not a traditionally english raucous one) David Fell - The Economics of Enough - and his piece: Eleven Things So Far – manages to …
 
In this episode Dougald and Ed explore the ‘bestiary’ of metaphors stalking this time, the creatures of our imaginations, we are walking with beasts – black elephants, green swans, impossible hamsters – and nightingales. ‘Will there be singing in the dark times. Yes, there will be singing about the dark times’ Bertolt Brecht 1939 We begin by revisi…
 
In this episode we explore the framing of a potential 'language of longing', beginning with the usual reviews of our recent relevant reading: 'Eco-Anxiety' by Anouschka Grose (which explores pertinent themes: anxiety, trauma, grief, immortality systems and death denial - as well as their counter-points joy, wonder, awe, imagination, wild generosity…
 
You can hear the rising chatter: the bubbling of ‘back to normal’, the stimulus packages, the business resurrection plans, the recovery that everyone is longing for, and at the heart of it the sense that economic growth is the answer. But is it? Perhaps the biggest sacred cow, so deeply embedded culturally as to be unquestionable, is ready to be de…
 
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