KEW Preview Episode 63: The Two Types of Shoulds

This Episode started out examining the different kinds of shoulds. Some shoulds come from extrinsic sources like my dad telling me I needed to get a job and not study philosophy in college, or your church telling you not to be gay. Extrinsic shoulds can be pretty easy to identify because they are often things we rebel against, are mean, or are even evil.

Intrinsic shoulds can be complicated. Some are good. We tell ourselves we *should* eat better and not have two pieces of cake. We *should* call our mother more often. Sometimes these shoulds come 100% from within us, but often they are actually extrinsic shoulds disguised as our own. The world has told us not to eat so much cake and that good sons and daughters call their moms more often. So it’s hard.

But I think, inherently, the more we come to know the are and to live in that space, the easier it is to identify whether your shoulds are intrinsic or extrinsic. In other words, I believe humans fundamentally KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL. It’s just that the more time we spend in the shoulds, we forget.

Like I often do, I wander a bit in this episode toward some emerging elements. I began a shift, in real time, toward a more somatic and external assessment of our personal growth path with respect to the Are vs Should Problem. I even go so far as to suggest we take the focus off ourselves for awhile, and focus on the people around us!

I hope you enjoy the tangents and trust that I will continue to develop these ideas in upcoming Episodes.

Full Episode in audio and video formats this Friday, right here at KEW http://www.chrisburcher.com.

Preview KEW Episode 62: Change (cont.)

I’ve been talking a lot about how change is a FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENT OF LIFE. Biological entities have DNA which builds our bodies and defines our unique abilities and deficiencies. But more than that, DNA is the mechanism that perpetuates and propels species through TIME by allowing adaptation to changing environmental conditions. The universe is always changing and anything wishing to persist needs a way of dealing with those changes. Biological things, like humans, have DNA to do that very job.

So a main assumption of the Are vs. Should Problem is that change is fundamental.

Another key assumption is that DNA is how we navigate that change – as individuals and as a species.

And my point in Episodes 61 and 62 is to point out a HUGE problem currently plaguing the human race:

We are currently RESISTING change, rather than embracing it.

And, I’ll argue, THIS is a major contributor to MOST of human problems.

From world hunger, to climate change, to our obsession with war. . . . it’s all about NOT understanding the need to change. To react. To modify. It’s literally in our nature. And when you fight your nature, you’re going to lose.

Full Episode coming Friday right here at KEW. Please subscribe to the KEW podcast and/or to my YouTube channel, and follow this blog for updates. You can also check out KEW on Medium.com.

Preview KEW Episode 61: The Are vs Should Problem – Change is Hard, But Resisting Change is WRONG

This week I’ll continue to drive this point home. Change is a NATURAL element in all biological systems. Our very nature is dependent on and affected by constant and continuous change. The abiotic environment of the universe is constantly changing as matter and energy change forms. Luckily for us, we have DNA that facilitates adjustments to respond to these changes and life can persist through time.

Understanding and dealing with the Are vs Should Problem is contingent upon change. To the extend that we RESIST change, we must learn to accept it and deal with it. Luckily, it is a PART of us and has been for millions of years. All we have to do is remember. And I’ll add that it is ESSENTIAL to remember, if we want to succeed as a species.

Seriously. The path we are currently on where we minimize and try to avoid change, reward conformity, and value the continuing status quo is causing many of the problems we face. By embracing change we can solve these problems, improve our lives, and advance the human race. That will be much of what I’ll discuss in upcoming episodes.

Full Episode this Friday, right here on KEW.

FLASHBACK! KEW Curiosity Interview Series 4: David McRaney of ‘You Are Not So Smart’

Man, that’s the best snippet up there. Watch it if you didn’t. It will tell you all you need to know about the type of guy David McRaney is.

I’m still not sure how this happened, but David McRaney agreed to talk with me about Curiosity, and here’s over an hour of his unique viewpoints. I still refer back to several things he said during this interview. David is the host of an awesomely educational (if not humbling) Podcast called ‘You Are Not So Smart‘, author of several books, and apparently plotting a new video format project. In all of his work, he removes the veils of error that encumber us bumbling humans.

And that’s not to say that David is pretentious or ‘holier than thou’. Quite the contrary. Though Mr. McRaney does point out the many fallacies and errors that humans make every day, he doesn’t blame us for not knowing better. Rather, David is a journalist who insists on helping us become more aware of ourselves. . . and each other.

David’s work, if I can be so bold to say, aims at making us better. By pointing out our faults he is not trying to sting, he is trying to induce growth. And, dare I say it, CURIOSITY.

David is also a really cool (and rare) combination of trained journalist (the old school kind who uses words like ‘beat’) and self educated psychologist. He is THE most thorough researcher I have ever met, and I was a scientist for 20 years.

So, yeah, I believe him when he says he has never been bored.

He also shares how the term ‘angst’ came to be.

This interview is full of wisdom. I hope you enjoy listening to David McRaney.

Link to original post with full audio and video links here: https://chrisburcher.com/2021/03/19/kew-curiosity-interview-series-4-david-mcraney-of-you-are-not-so-smart/

Preview KEW Episode 57: Multiple Personalities

With apologies to people suffering with Multiple Personality Disorders of any type, I hope I can borrow the term for the purposes of an analogy or metaphor.

I have mentioned Richard Schwartz and his Internal Family Systems (IFS) work before. IFS describes our minds as naturally having multiple ‘parts’ or characters. When I say ‘multiple personalities’ this is what I mean.

In the content of the Are vs Should Problem, we have to look at our selves as being comprised of more than just two parts; the Are and the Should. In fact, there are many Shoulds. I’m not sure if there are multiple Ares because I believe the Are is defined by our unique DNA. So for now we’ll consider ourselves as being comprised of at least one Are, and multiple (maybe 5-25) unique Shoulds we have learned and developed as we became Domesticated.

In my personal IFS work I have come to understand this model and believe it is not only incredibly useful, it fits in very well with the Are vs. Should Problem. These parts have origins, develop distinct personalities, and seem present consistently enough to warrant focused consideration.

This week I’ll use the IFS model to describe our ‘parts’, how they relate to the Are vs Should Problem, and how these parts come to be.

FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 43: Diversity and Uniqueness

This weeks’ FLASHBACK! is perfectly timed for the Are vs. Should Problem. In Episode 55 I introduced an idea that our uniqueness is related to our DNA and how DNA is really the underlying creator of our ARE. I’m now playing with an idea I’m calling the ‘Uniqueness Imperative’ that suggests that expressing our DNA in our passions and purpose is critical to solving our current human problems.

So this Episode is very timely and supportive of this emergent idea. I’m trying to express my belief that it is NECESSARY, and even IMPARATIVE, that we try as hard as we can to develop our AREs and suppress our SHOULD in order to move forward as a species. We need to lift up the millions of people who are starving, dying from preventable diseases, and experience unequal opportunity. We need to BE WHO WE ARE to unchain the creativity and new thinking that will allow everyone to explore their personal Are vs. Should.

In doing so, we will shift the balance from selfishness to connectedness.

The more the world can become the ARE, the more easily we can solve real problems.

As we release ourselves from the SHOULD, we reconnect with what is truly important.

Becoming more ARE will facilitate growth, for each of us as individuals and for the collective human species.

In this FLASHBACK, you will see the seeds of the DNA argument and understand why I believe we are each meant to express our unique selves into the world and share our individuality with each other. Increasingly, we are doing the opposite. And the suppression of our uniqueness, coupled with the worship of sameness, is destructive.

Link to original episode here: https://chrisburcher.com/2021/03/12/kew-episode-43-diversity-and-uniqueness/

KEW Episode 56: Domestication

Don Miguel Ruiz, author of many books including ‘The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)‘ uses the term “Domestication” to describe the process by which humans are taught how to live. I have been fascinated by this process, whatever you wish to call it, for as long as I can remember. In fact, I still wonder, often out loud, why no one ever asked whether or not I was agreeing to this social contract. See, we are born into a world that teaches us many things before we even know what’s happening to us.

And a social contract is very much what domestication is like. We are taught so many things. How to eat, how to walk, how to speak, what to believe in, where Santa Claus lives, which religion is best, whether or not skin color matters. . . . The list is infinite. We are TAUGHT these things. Many of these things are opinions, some of them are factual, and very few of them are valuable.

Because some rules are totally important. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don’t spit at people. Don’t eat raw kittens. So, sure, some of the domestication process is good and even fundamentally necessary to a healthy society.

The PROBLEM IS, that much of the domestication process is not only unnecessary, it’s unfair. And in the context of the Are vs. Should Problem, domestication becomes the Should Bully by teaching us what to think, how to act, and what or whom to believe in.

And the WORST part is, much of this domestication occurs before we can consent. We are, in fact, brainwashed at very early ages to follow the rules. Again, some of this is good, but a lot of it is NOT. But it’s ok, IF we understand this and can go back and edit ourselves, or update what we believe, feel, and do as we grow and change.

The lucky ones, usually in our teenage years but often again in mid life, realize we have learned some weird shit. At certain times in our lives we QUESTION our own beliefs. We get CURIOUS about our thoughts. We WONDER who is really making our decisions. If we’re lucky something encourages us to question WHO WE ARE. It is at these times we have a chance to take back our lives, our minds, and our DNA.

This week I share my thoughts about the Domestication process, discuss the damages caused, and provide a warning about our future. Solutions are necessary and urgent. Please follow this series and help me find some.

Link to podcast download here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/8947786-kew-episode-56-domestication.mp3?download=true

or, please subscribe to the KEW podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, etc.

Link to YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/kVRRKf2zh6k

FLASHBACK! KEW Curiosity Interview Series 3: DJ Doran

DJ Doran is a leader in the LGBTQ community. He’s a publisher and leader. He is retired from the military and can fly planes. He has lived aboard a sailboat. He’s pretty amazing.

More than anything, DJ drives home one of the most important messages a person can hear:

You have to love yourself first.

I hope you will listen to this interview so this message is further cemented in your psyche.

Link to original post with full links to audio and video: https://chrisburcher.com/2021/03/05/kew-curiosity-series-interview-3-dj-doran/

Preview KEW Episode 55: The Bully and your DNA: Part 2

In the second installment of this miniseries within the Are vs Should problem, I talk about the Are side of the equation. Whereas the Should part of us is an amalgamation of society’s worst elements, the Are part of us is uniquely US.

I can’t wait for you to see this episode because in it I fully integrate my scientific training with my psychological and spiritual healing journey.

See, for years I wrestled with the idea that we should ‘follow our dreams’ and ‘live our passion’. I got to the point where I found it incredibly irritating to hear these suggestions, because it seemed so impossible to actually do so. I was living in the world of the Should, trying my best to follow all the right steps that would guarantee me happiness.

Well, I followed the right steps and found myself more confused than ever.

So I had to revisit the idea of purpose, and wonder if I had chosen the wrong path.

Using my unique science and therapy Knowledge and Experience, I make the argument that following our purpose isn’t that far-fetched an idea, and that doing so might actually have millions of years of support in being the preferred method to live ones life.

Yes, this week I argue that your purpose is determined by your DNA, and that realizing this not only minimizes the human struggle, it does justice to your ancestors and our evolutionary history.

Full Episode coming this Friday to KEW.

FLASHBACK!! KEW Episode 42: Safety

In this Episode I talked about how important it is for humans to feel safe. We need to feel safe in the same way that we need food, water, and shelter. Feeling unsafe is exhausting and will do whatever it takes to feel safe. Truly, we spend all of our energy trying to escape a feeling of vulnerability. If we cannot reach a state of feeling safe, we will continue to waste our precious energy trying. As a result, many of us go through life exhausted.

In fact, this can be a huge issue if we don’t define safety accurately – or more precisely, if we are too severe in our expectations of safety. We can’t guarantee anything in life, and acquiring 100% safety is impossible. If we are unable to compromise, or to find safety from multiple sources, we are doomed to fail and to be anxious, depressed, and frightened.

This topic of episode plays into Episodes 54 and 55 about the Bully and your DNA, where the ‘Should’ voices in our heads are making it more and more difficult for us to achieve a feeling of safety, or that we are good enough. I hope you enjoy revisiting this Episode, or listing or watching for the first time. And please check out the Are vs Should series beginning with Episode 50.

Link to original Episode 42: Safety post: https://chrisburcher.com/2021/02/26/kew-episode-42-safety/