Episode 91: Michael Beckwith guest - The Evolutionary Impulse, Spiritual Liberation, and Our Changing World
“For human evolution to continue, the conversation must deepen.” – Margaret Mead
“I am Michael Beckwith, and it’s been my joy to be a part of Living Dialogues with my brother Duncan. Beautiful, and I appreciate the format and I appreciate your consciousness. I found it to not only be inspiring, but a continued regeneration of the soul. It is what’s happening now.” – Michael Beckwith, founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center and author of Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul’s Potential (with an Afterword by Robert Thurman – see Dialogue 59).
From the beginning of Living Dialogues I have observed that we are all called to awaken to the creative potential and celebratory power of our true nature. We are meant to generate evolutionary change so as to keep pace with our continuously evolving universe. Another way I have expressed this is that our conscious, alive universe is permeated throughout with a self-revealing impulse that wants to express itself through us. This applies in all realms of inner and outer life, in our heartfelt dialogues within ourself and with the many realms, political, cultural, family, economic, and so on within which we live.
In encountering each other, Michael Beckwith and I experienced ourselves from the beginning as brothers, whose similar views of life, arrived at independently, were those of “soul friends” (anam caras in John O’Donohue’s phrase – see Dialogues 87 and 88 and definition at the end of this description*).
In the opening of our dialogue, I welcomed Michael as a powerful force for change, who combines – as we do in Living Dialogues -- spiritual, educational, scientific, governmental, economic, social, and political elements. He responded: “Duncan it is my joy to be with you to weigh in one the issues of the day, and to just speak from the heart with you”, and I continued in saying: “Beautiful, because that’s actually what we do here on Living Dialogues is speak from the heart, we weigh in on issues of the day, and we also talk about our deep consciousness and the importance of dialogue, both inner and outer”.
And that is exactly what we did, allowing the dialogue to flow freely from the evocation of our own open, deep listening and that of yourselves. Whatever your background, you will find much of interest here on many topics, and enjoy the flow.
*The Meaning of Anam Cara: Anam Cara refers to the Celtic spiritual belief of souls connecting and bonding. In Celtic spiritual tradition, it is believed that the soul radiates all about the physical body, what some refer to as an aura. When you connect with another person and become completely open and trusting with that individual, your two souls begin to flow together. Should such a deep bond be formed, it is said you have found an anam cara or “soul friend”.
Your anam cara always accepts you as you truly are, holding you in beauty and light. In order to appreciate this relationship, you must first recognize your own inner light and beauty. This is not always easy to do. The Celts believed that forming an anam cara friendship would help you to awaken your awareness of your own nature and experience the joys of others.
According to John O’Donohue, Irish poet, philosopher, and spiritual writer and author of Anam Cara – A Book of Celtic Wisdom: “We are joined in an ancient and eternal union with humanity that cuts across all barriers of time, convention, philosophy and definition. When you are blessed with an anam cara, the Irish believe, you have arrived at that most sacred place: home.”
We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth…. and we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself....For the world has changed, and we must change with it…This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny. This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration…" -- Barack Obama Inaugural Address, January 20, 2009
And as we say on Living Dialogues:
“Dialogue is the Language of Evolutionary Transformation”™.
Contact me if you like at www.livingdialogues.com. Visit my blog at Duncan.personallifemedia.com. ”. (For more, including information on the Engaged Elder Wisdom Dialogue Series on my website www.livingdialogues.com, click on Episode Detail to the left above and go to Transcript section.)
Among other heartful visionary conversations you will find of particular interest on these themes are my Dialogues on this site with John O’Donohue, Robert Thurman, Eckhart Tolle, Ted Sorensen, Stanislav Grof, Angeles Arrien, Sobonfu Some, Matthew Fox, David Mendell, Deborah Tannen, Gangaji, Caroline Myss, Michael Dowd, Duane Elgin, George Lakoff, and Joseph Ellis, among others [click on their name(s) in green on right hand column of the Living Dialogues Home Page on this site].
After you listen to this Dialogue, I invite you to both explore and make possible further interesting material on Living Dialogues by taking less than 5 minutes to click on and fill out the Listener Survey. My thanks and appreciation for your participation.
“Duncan Campbell, I heard about your podcast a few months ago, and have been deeply listening to all the dialogues with your fantastic friends/guests. Your words, ideas, and wisdom are truly inspirational. You have evoked a new appetite for knowledge in me that I hope to share with a starving younger generation. Thank you for doing what you do, and creating a unique space, void of boundaries and classification. A breath of fresh air! Much love and respect.” – Amit Kapadiya
In furtherance of creating and maintaining the planetary dialogues now required in the 21st century, we featured a special series of dialogues with myself and other elders in the weeks leading up to and including the 2008 Olympics hosted by China and the U.S. 2008 elections. Those dialogues can be listened to separately on this site or as gathered as a series on my website www.livingdialogues.com under the collective title “Engaged Elder Wisdom Dialogues”. They address various specific political aspects of our planetary crisis, with its dangers and opportunities for creating and sustaining a visionary and evolutionary shift. (We remember that the Chinese character for “crisis” is often described as meaning both “danger” when visioned from a fear perspective, and “opportunity” when visioned from a wisdom perspective.)
In all my Living Dialogues from their inception I talk in various ways about the call to generate dialogues across generational, ethnic, gender, religious, wealth, and national boundaries -- building bridges of understanding and wisdom in the cooperative spirit and reaching out -- required by our 21st century realities, and the essential roles that we all are called to play in our evolution for it to take place.
This is the time for renewed dialogue, for visionary and inspiring discourse producing practical and innovative ways of living and sharing together, to engage the deep spirit and spirituality of our own elder wisdom and youthful inspiration, and in so doing to experience and exemplify that “Dialogue is the Language of Evolutionary Transformation”™.
And that is what we all do, in our mutual roles as host, deep listeners, and guests, when we gather together here from all parts of the globe in Living Dialogues.
SUBSCRIBE HERE FOR FREE TO LIVING DIALOGUES AND IN THE COMING WEEKS HEAR DUNCAN CAMPELL’S DIALOGUES WITH OTHER GROUND-BREAKING TRANSFORMATIONAL THINKERS LISTED ON THE WEBSITE WWW.LIVINGDIALOGUES.COM. TO LISTEN TO PREVIOUS RELATED DIALOGUES ON THIS SITE, SCROLL DOWN ON THE LIVING DIALOGUES SHOW PAGE HERE -- OR CLICK ON THE NAME OF A GUEST ON THE LIST AT THE RIGHT -- TO HEAR DUNCAN’S DIALOGUES WITH DR. ANDREW WEIL, BRIAN WEISS, COLEMAN BARKS, RUPERT SHELDRAKE, LARRY DOSSEY, JUDY COLLINS, MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, MATTHEW FOX, JOSEPH CHILTON PEARCE, DEEPAK CHOPRA, BYRON KATIE AND STEPHEN MITCHELL, CAROLINE MYSS, GANGAJI, VINE DELORIA, JR., MICHAEL DOWD (THE UNIVERSE STORY OF THOMAS BERRY AND BRIAN SWIMME), STEVE MCINTOSH, FRANCES MOORE LAPPE, STANISLAV GROF, RICHARD TARNAS, MARC BEKOFF AND JANE GOODALL, RICHARD MOSS, PAUL HAWKEN, PAUL RAY, JOSEPH ELLIS, DUANE ELGIN, LYNNE MCTAGGART, ECKHART TOLLE, MICHAEL MEADE, ANGELES ARRIEN, SOBONFU SOME. TED SORENSEN, ROBERT THURMAN, DAVID MARANISS, DAVID BOREN, GEORGE LAKOFF, TOM HAYDEN, JAY INSLEE, BRACKEN HENDRICKS, BOB GOUGH, VAN JONES, BARBARA MARX HUBBARD, LESTER BROWN, DAVID MENDELL, DEBORAH TANNEN, JOHN GRAY, ARI BERK, SUSAN JACOBY, JOSEPH M. MARSHALL III, JOHN O’DONOHUE, BRANT SECUNDA, MARK ALLEN, AND OTHER EVOLUTIONARY THINKERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD.
The best way to reach me is through my website: www.livingdialogues.com. Many thanks again for your attentive deep listening in helping co-create this program.
All the best, Duncan.
P.S. As a way of further acknowledging and appreciating your part in these dialogues, and since I cannot personally answer all of them, I have begun to publish from time to time in these pages some of the appreciations received from you.
Michael Beckwith: I am Michael Beckwith, and it’s been my joy to be a part of Living Dialogues with my brother Duncan. Beautiful, and I appreciate the format and I appreciate your consciousness. I found it to not only be inspiring, but a continual regeneration of the soul. It is what’s happening now.
Duncan Campbell: From time in memorial, beginning with indigenous counsels and ancient wisdom traditions, through the work of western visionaries such as Plato, Galileo and quantum physicist David Bohm, mutually participatory dialogue has been seen as the key to evolving and transforming consciousness, evoking a flow of meaning, a dia flow of logos meaning, beyond what any one individual can bring through alone. So join us now, as together with you, the active deep listener, we evoke and engage in Living Dialogues.
Duncan Campbell: Welcome to Living Dialogues. I’m your host Duncan Campbell, and I’m truly delighted to have as my guest for this particular dialogue Michael Bernard Beckwith. A powerful force for change, he combines spiritual, educational, scientific, governmental, economic and social elements in what he shares. He teaches meditation and scientific prayer. He conducts retreats and speaks at conferences and seminars around the world. He is also the originator of the Live Visioning Process and the author of Inspirations of the Heart, 40 Day Mind Fast Soul Feast, A Manifesto of Peace, and most recently, Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Souls Potential. So Michael, what a deep pleasure it is to have you on Living Dialogues.
Michael Beckwith: Duncan it is my joy to be with you to weigh in on the issues of the day, and to just speak from the heart with you.
Duncan Campbell: Beautiful, because that’s actually what we do here on Living Dialogues is speak from the heart, we weigh in on issues of the day, and we also talk about our deep consciousness and the importance of dialogue, both inner and outer. On my website I have a quotation from Margaret Mead saying that for spirituality to evolve, or consciousness to evolve in the human species, that conversation must deepen and…
Michael Beckwith: Absolutely.
Duncan Campbell: And here we have the key to it, which is deepening through the heart, and one of the things I’d like to begin this with is from your own introduction where you say that the book you hold in your hands, Spiritual Liberation is the name of the book, is not just another self-help book telling you how to get more of what you think you need to be happy and anti-bored until you die, its purpose is to stir you up, to ignite within you a desire to establish a transformative spiritual practice and how to cultivate and sustain that spiritual practice. The strategies described in this book will shift your dependence on the outer things of life to make you happy, to rely on your own inner authority as a fully empowered being. And elsewhere in the book as you begin your first chapter on love and beauty, you say, “My central message is not about religiosity or churchianity. It is about aspiring towards spiritual liberation, which I define as becoming free from the neuro confines of fear, doubt, worry and lack, and living instead from a conscious awareness of one’s capital A, Authentic, capital S, Self, one’s true nature of wholeness”. End of quote. And with that background Michael, I’d like to invite you to tell us how you came to hear the call, and not only for your vocation, but how your own, as you describe it, awakening to this new paradigmatic stage of consciousness, this new evolutionary impulse that we all have access to actually came to awaken itself in you.
Michael Beckwith: Thank you Duncan. It was quite interesting listening to my own words…
Duncan Campbell: I’m sure, yeah
Michael Beckwith: from the book, it’s very interesting. Well, I’ve been on this path consciously for over 30 years now, and 30 something years ago had a series of inner experiences that shattered the paradigme in which I was living, and I could never ever get back in that proverbial egg ever again. I, I was awakened with an illucid dream, and stabbed in the heart in this particular dream and died. It was very painful, and when I, when I woke up I could see that we were surrounded by this illuminace presence that was everywhere, that animate and inanimate objects glow with it, and that the love of this presence is central to everything, struck me to my core and radically shifted my perception. And from that moment on, I went on a RND search, research and development, trying to discover what had happened to me, and along the way studied Eastern and Western mysticism, meditation, and basically discovered what had happened to me and what continues to happen in terms of this evolutionary impulse that, that governs the universe is forever seeking to express itself by means of me and by means of all of us. And so the fire that occurred within my soul when that particular event in consciousness took place, it continues to burn brightly as bright as it did ever, and I continue to wake up with that desire of greater discovery of that which is not only within me but which is within everyone and to give advent to express itself. I’m keenly aware that everyone is here for this exact purpose to get in touch with this impulse, that we can call it God, we can call it the love intelligence that governs the universe, we can call it life that’s conscious of itself. But regardless of the names that we call it, it’s relentless and it wants to become conscious of itself as us, and it kind of, it governs my life, it’s what I live for. It creates for me an extremely joyful existence, and an existence that is full of service, which is also, adds to the joy of being. And I sometimes pinch myself at the, just the extraordinary state of happiness and sense of well-being that I live in, even under, the pressure and the intensity of the ministries and the programs and the projects that I’m involved with that carry tremendous deadlines and tremendous responsibilities, within that there’s always this overriding and underlying sense of connection, being taken care of, and a deep feeling tonality that all is well, even with all of the, the issues of the day that the human species is facing, and then on an individual level, the intensity of what we’re going through.
Duncan Campbell: And I think that’s very beautifully put because one of the things that as most riveting about your recent DVD of a day in the life of yourself and your wife, Ricky Byers Beckwith, November 30, 1986 was the original time when you had created the Agape Spiritual Center, and this day in the life was November 30, 2008, 22 years later to the day after you had founded that, and I think 21 years later to the day, as I recall, when you and Ricky got together, is that right?
Michael Beckwith: Together in terms of meeting.
Duncan Campbell: Yes.
Michael Beckwith: We didn’t get together until a few years later…
Duncan Campbell: Mm hmm.
For full transcript, please contact Duncan Campbell