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Go “Beyond the Fringe”

What we think we know is in transition in Western societies. What’s considered to be real is changing. Experiences once relegated to the category of delusion or mere fiction show up in a new light. Sources of knowledge once deemed illegitimate become a normal part of public consciousness. Healing modalities once rejected as unscientific penetrate into the mainstream. Sightings of UFOs, once derided as crackpot obsessions, are now reported in New York Times as authentic. What’s going on here?

 Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D. and Charles Eisenstein, themselves both cutting-edge thinkers, engage in open-ended, 90-minute conversations with some leading thinkers in psychology, philosophy, religion, science, and other fields to explore the edges of what they know about human experience. The old paradigms are breaking down; this is where the new ones may come from.

Session One: On the Science of Reincarnation Studies

An Interview With James B. Tucker

Session Two: On Making God Real

An Interview With Tanya Luhrmann

Session Three: On Limitations of Identity Politics

An Interview With Bayo Akomolafe

Meet Your Hosts:

Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D.

a psychologist, writer, speaker and Jungian analyst​,​ has published 18 books (translated into 20 languages), including The Self-Esteem TrapThe Cambridge Companion to Jung, and Love Between Equals. Her podcast is Enemies: From War to Wisdom. A life-long Buddhist practitioner, she is also a Mindfulness teacher.

Charles Eisenstein

is a speaker and writer focusing on themes of human culture and identity, has a degree in mathematics and philosophy from Yale, lived a decade in Taiwan as a translator, and has been a college instructor, yoga teacher, and construction worker. He is an author, most recently of Climate — A New Story, as well as of The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible; The Ascent of HumanitySacred Economics; and The Yoga of Eating.

Session One: On the Science of Reincarnation Studies

An Interview With James B. Tucker

Professor of neurobehavioral psychiatry and leading scientist in research on children who recall past lives, James talks with Polly and Charles about how and why the evidence for consciousness after death already exists. They examine with him how understanding individual consciousness as extending beyond death changes the meaning of everything in life.

James B. Tucker

James B. Tucker

James B. Tucker, MD. is Bonner-Lowry Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia. He is Director of the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies, where he is continuing the work of Dr. Ian Stevenson with children who report memories of previous lives. A board-certified child psychiatrist, Dr. Tucker worked with Dr. Stevenson for several years before taking over the research upon Dr. Stevenson’s retirement in 2002. He is the author of Before: Children’s Memories of Previous Lives and Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives.

Session Two: On Making God Real

An Interview With Tanya Luhrmann

Professor of anthropology and leading researcher on hearing and discerning God’s voice, Tanya  talks with Polly and Charles about the difference between “faith in God” and the “experience of God” and how cultivating a precise and personal relationship with God makes God real and authentic.

Tanya Luhrmann

Tanya Luhrmann

Tanya is Watkins University Professor in the Anthropology Department at Stanford University. Her recent books are When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God and How God Becomes Real: Kindling the Presence of Invisible Others. She uses a combination of ethnographic and experimental methods to understand the phenomenology of unusual sensory experiences, the way they are shaped by ideas about minds and persons, and what we can learn from this social shaping that can help us to help those whose voices are distressing. She has published over thirty OpEds in The New York Times, and her work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, Science News, and many other publications.

Session Three: On Limitations of Identity Politics

An Interview With Bayo Akomolafe

Poet, psychologist and anti-racism activist, Bayo talks with Polly and Charles about why and how we are all still “stuck on the slave ship” trying to cross the great expanse of anti-slavery and anti-racism. Bayo believes that until we can transcend the categories of “master” and “slave,” we cannot leave the ship. For now, we are stuck in a bardo of imagining a future without slaves and masters, but we have not arrived on the distant shore.

Bayo Akomolafe

Bayo Akomolafe

Bayo is author and editor of We Will Tell Our Own Story! with Professors Molefi Kete Asante and Augustine Nwoye, and These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home (North Atlantic Books, 2017).

Bayo was born in 1983 into a Christian home, and to Yoruba parents in western Nigeria. He has been Visiting Professor at Middlebury College, where he taught on ‘transraciality’ (his neo-materialist take on racialization) and postactivism. He has also taught at Sonoma State University (CA, USA), Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada), and Schumacher College (Totnes, England) – among other universities around the world. He is the Executive Director and Chief Curator for The Emergence Network (A Post-Activist Project) and host of the online writing course, “We Will Dance with Mountains: Writing as a Tool for Emergence”.