KEW Episode 50: Are vs. Should

This episode is a milestone for several reasons. One, it’s the 50th episode and, for a weekly podcast that means it has been about a year, which is also a not insignificant milestone. For a one-man-band hobby podcaster, that’s a pretty good run. When I started KEW I wasn’t sure where I was going or what I was trying to accomplish over the long term.

And, really, I began asking myself that question around Episode 41 when I announced the ‘state of the podcast’, which was mostly about changing up a few mechanical aspects like social media and shortening the episodes from an hour or more to around 20 minutes.

Prior to that I was on a roll of episodes that reflected my personal growth (Ep. 33: Soul, Ep. 34 Self, Ep. 36: Narcissism and Codependency) and things I have learned in counseling, therapy, and coaching.

The rest of the Episodes tended to address concepts I have thought about for years or longer. I learned a lot by sitting down and talking these concepts through in podcast form.

Then I did an interview series about Curiosity that gave me some experience networking and interviewing but also expounded on a key element of what KEW was all about. And I didn’t realize this when I started.

In fact, I didn’t now much when I started, but I did know I wanted to develop some cohesion across my varied thoughts. I wanted to find a theme in this work that could be organized into some sort of cohesive document, series, or work. I wanted to find the patterns in my ideas and figure out how to put them all together to be presented as an integrated whole.

And Episode 50 seemed like the right time to so.

I have spent the past few weeks figuring out what this integrative device would be and I have found a place to start.

The reason I was compelled to do this podcast/blog/vlog is to address a single theme:

The human condition is a struggle between who we ARE and who we think we SHOULD BE

Though I’m sure this isn’t entirely universal, it’s close enough for me. And it IS me. And I want to share my thoughts about the WHAT, WHY, and HOW of this struggle with the world. Because I bring a unique perspective, and I will argue that UNIQUENESS is supposed to be expressed.

SO, inherent to my argument, basically Episode 50 forward, is me expressing my unique offering to the world about what, why, and how we deal with this struggle. The ‘Are vs. Should’ Problem, if you will.

And I will do this in real time.

I have a rough ‘table of contents’ for two products. One about the What and the Why, and one about the How. Basically, I will develop, in conjunction with weekly podcast topics, this table of contents into two cohesive manuscripts to be released at some later date. The first will explain WHAT *I* think this dilemma IS and WHY *I* think this struggle exists. In the second book I will share HOW *I* think we can deal with or address this struggle.

These works will build upon my SCIENCE knowledge and PERSONAL GROWTH experience. My credentials or credibility, if you will. It’s what I have, after all. And who I am. And that’s all I got.

So Episode 50 explains all that in a bit more detail

Podcast audio download link here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/8714277-kew-episode-50-are-vs-should.mp3?download=true

Or please subscribe via your favorite podcast host.

YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/S2yLroVnJww

Preview KEW Episode 50: Are vs. Should

In this ‘milestone’ Episode I’ll summarize a new direction for KEW. After 50 Episodes and 10 Curiosity interviews I have compiled, assessed, and researched most of the ideas, concepts, and thoughts swimming around in my head. I’ve discussed these ideas in real-time podcast format and learned a lot in the process. I appreciate you coming along with me on this journey.

Now that I’ve thought through most of what I needed to think through, I’ll spend the next 10-50 episodes narrowing down a more focused topic. I have realized that the message under my curiosity is fairly singular. It comes down to one phenomenon. Something I think may be fairly universal. Something it seems many humans suffer from. And I will start with one question:

Do you struggle between being the person you ARE and the person you think you SHOULD BE?

If you understand this question, or are at least curious about it, the next phase of KEW will be right up your alley. If you don’t understand this question you may be interested to pay attention anyway. If you are someone who ignores one or the other of these two ‘persons’, I may want to interview you.

From this basic question about the human condition I will develop a thesis.

Preview video below. Full Episode this Friday.

FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 38: Faith and Trust

In this episode I moved closer to figuring out the basic set of issues one needs to address when seeking enlightenment, personal growth, self help, or similar human growth efforts. Along with identifying values, identifying beliefs (limiting and otherwise), and getting to know ‘who you are’ I think understand HOW we believe is important.

In recording this episode, I realized that faith and trust are critical terms to understand. Like DOUBT, we define faith and trust along continua of intensity. In the end, I think trust is something we have for individual people, and faith is something we have in concepts or systems. But each of these terms can vary depending on what the faith or trust is IN.

For example, we have FAITH that we will arrive safely at our destination whenever we drive our cars. We TRUST in other drivers that they won’t cross over the centerline and hit us head on. We have a HUGE degree of FAITH in this whole driving SYSTEM to the point where we are more afraid of being eaten by a shark at the beach or being bitten by a snake than we are of being in a car accident – and the statistics and probability suggest quite the opposite.

And what’s more revealing is how much FAITH and TRUST we put in to things without realizing we’re doing it. For example, SCIENCE, which we often consider to be the antithesis of faith or trust, necessarily contains a HUGE element of FAITH in the acceptance of and belief in scientific results. Another example of the strangeness of these concepts is how we conclude that because the sun has risen every day for millennia that it will 100% rise again tomorrow.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this discussion about how we place our personal power into people, ideas, concepts, and systems and how this relates to what we VALUE and BELIEVE.

Here’s the link to the original post with links to podcast audio and YouTube video. Please subscribe to the Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom podcast on your favorite app or my YouTube channel (or both!).

KEW Episode 38: Faith and Trust

Preview KEW Curiosity Interview Series 10: Chris Burcher

At the risk of being cheesy I present the final interview in KEW’s Curiosity series with myself. Really, this is just a chance to reflect on the nine interviewees and what they had to say about curiosity. This was a really fun series and I learned that curiosity has an extremely broad definition and plays a much larger role in the whole ‘the meaning of life’ construct.

From Paul Gadola’s ‘curiosity demands that we live with integrity’ to Marcas Hemmila’s ‘being curious despite what other people think’, there is a ton of wisdom in these interviews.

It was truly my pleasure to get to talk to these great folks, and to learn from them as well.

Curiosity Interview Series 1: Paul Gadola

Curiosity Interview Series 2: Mandy Napier

Curiosity Interview Series 3: DJ Doran

Curiosity Interview Series 4: David McRaney

Curiosity Interview Series 5: Dana Humphrey

Curiosity Interview Series 6: Dan Faill

Curiosity Interview Series 7: Dan Tassone

Curiosity Interview Series 8: Bernhard Kutzler

Curiosity Interview Series 9: Marcas Hemmila

Here’s a preview of this Friday’s summary episode. Full Episode right here this Friday.

FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 37: Currency of Life

We are taught that money is the currency of our lives. Really, everything we learn comes back to earning money so we can take care of ourselves and our loved ones. I’m not omniscient and definitely come from a privileged background, but it’s hard for me to imagine a scenario where getting money isn’t the primary goal. Because money buys all the other stuff we need. Our needs are met using money.

Certainly I’m generalizing and there are exceptions to the rules – there always are. And the exceptions are very interesting because they often represent alternative strategies and systems. In the case of money, the system is to have a currency that ‘goes between’ all the other goods and services necessary to life. Imagine if we still bartered for everything.

“I’ll trade you two quilts I knitted for four of your chickens so we can eat.”

Kind of sounds like an ideal life to me, actually. But imagine how difficult it would get with all of the STUFF there is to need and want.

“How many silicon chips is that x-box 360 worth for a trade?”

Once we passed the ‘getting our basic needs met’ stage of human evolution, trading, bartering, and general commerce got so complicated we needed a ‘go between’. Enter money. Cash. Dinero. Moolah.

And so it goes. Money replaced the barter system as a standardized value indicator providing a ‘worth’ for everything of possible trade interest.

And so the obsession with money began.

The point of this episode is not to beat up money or people interested in money. I really just wanted to think about what other forms of currency might also be important in the world. Or to ponder other systems of value that provide meaning to our lives. Or. . . . really, things that money can’t buy.

Money can’t buy love and money can’t buy time.

And I can’t think of more valuable (and limiting) resources than those.

So this begs the question, “Did the acceptance of a system of commerce centered around money necessarily lead us to DEVALUE those resources not measurable or quantifiable using this system?”.

I hope you enjoy the episode and continue to wonder whether or not money is as important as we make it out to be, or whether Time and Love obey an entirely different system altogether.

Original blog post with podcast and video links: https://chrisburcher.com/2021/01/08/kew-episode-37-currency-of-life/

KEW Episode 49: Who Are You?

I mean, really, who are you?

No, I mean, really, who are you?

Who Am I?

Do we know?

Do we care?

I, for one, think it is important, even CRITICAL to know who I am, and presumably, for you to know who you are. I’m sure there are people out there who disagree with me, but I really can’t get my head into that space nor do I think those folks are coming here to read my blog. But I am very interested in knowing about people who never ask questions like, “Who Am I?” or “Why Am I Here?”. Of course, I’m more interested in folks like us.

And, truly, the “Who Are You” question is at the head of most personal growth, self help, therapy, or naval gazing endeavors. To understand what you need, what you want, what you want to do, or anything like that, you have to start with something. You have to start somewhere. You have to start with YOU.

I’m certainly not the first one to suggest that.

Like many things, figuring out who you are sounds super easy and impossible at the same time. I mean, who knows you better than you? But how well is that? Even if you know yourself way better than your friends do, how well do they really know you? And how well CAN they really know you, if YOU don’t know you. Man, this gets hard quick.

But just breathe for a minute. Let’s not overcomplicate this. All I’m saying is that to move forward, we might have to move backwards. If we don’t know ourselves as well as we think we do (I know I don’t), we probably have to start there. And as I said in Episode 48: Unlearning, we have to forget a few things we got wrong prior to moving forward. Kind of like wiping the slate clean.

As I suggested in Episode 47: Values, part of knowing yourself is knowing what you value and what is driving you through this thing called life. I think we can, in part, define ourselves by our motivations and intrinsic passion.

Who you are is a huge question. And, like soooo many things, I don’t think the answer is that important. It’s not about knowing, definitively, who you are. After all, that’s going to change through time. More important is being on a known path toward generating answers and evidence and support for who you are. The path what illuminates the preferred and minimizes the unwanted elements of life. Who you are is in huge part who you AREN’T and only through investigation and interrogation will you reveal either light or dark.

In other words, this seemingly straightforward-yet-super-complicated question is entirely about the journey; the pathway toward. . . . . what, exactly? Enlightenment? Awareness? Living a better life? All of that. And more.

I hope you enjoy this episode leading up to my 50th Episode in two weeks. Next week will be the 10th and final installment in the Curiosity series. I am looking forward to the future and thank you for being a part of the journey.

Podcast audio download here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/8631697-kew-episode-49-who-are-you.mp3?download=true

Or simply subscribe to Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom on Stitcher, Spotify, Apple Play, Google Podcast or your favorite app.

YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/1F1uFaX8RP0

And please follow my YouTube channel if you so desire.

KEW Episode 48: Unlearning

As I move toward Episode 50 and what I hope to be a major shift in what I’m working toward with KEW, I realize how important Unlearning is. 

How do we KNOW if we REALLY know what we THINK we know?

Well, we don’t. But we can think about it. And unlearning comes in to play as a necessary ‘next step’ for those of us who have ever asked this kind of question. Or questions like:

Who am I?
What’s all this about?
What’s the meaning of life?
Is there life after death?
Why is my dad so racist?

Generally, Unlearning is only important to people who have ever wondered WHY they feel a certain way, think a certain way, or behave a certain way. Where did this ‘certain way’ come from? I’ll develop this idea much further after episode 50, but for now let’s say that MUCH of what we think, what we ARE, WHO we are comes from stuff we never really thought much about. Things we automatically learned as we grew up. Some of it we learned before we even had awareness. Or free will. Some of us carry these beliefs into adulthood. Some of us never know.

But for those of us who DO know. Who have asked these types of questions (who ARE you?). The first thing we have to do is recognize what we really KNOW and FEEL and BELIEVE and what’s just a bunch of stuff we learned. And then to sort of ‘wipe the slate clean’ and start over. That’s where UNLEARNING comes in. That’s all I’m saying when I say UNLEARN.

It’s about questioning our beliefs and our thoughts. It’s about figuring out what we DO think and believe. And about getting on the path toward exploring what life is all about. It’s pretty simple.

I hope you enjoy this week’s episode and stick around for what’s to come. Please follow me on my blog and/or YouTube and SIGN UP for weekly emails so you can participate in the development of these ideas.

Direct link to podcast audio: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/8549500-kew-episode-48-unlearning.mp3?download=true

And PLEASE follow me on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google play, or whichever app you use.

Direct link to YouTube video: https://youtu.be/TKpJgTCnDeY

FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 34: Self

Many people try to define and argue about what a ‘self’ is, or even whether or not we have one. I’m not too worried about getting it right, but I do think it’s worthwhile to ponder the concept of self.

Basically, it’s a ‘Who Am I’ question, or part of that thought process.

Some people spend a lot of time on that question, others don’t understand why anyone would waste their time asking it.

I think it’s neat to wonder. To be curious. And the ‘Who Am I’ question is stimulating.

And more than that, it’s HELPFUL to ponder such questions – because though the questions might not provide definitive definitions, it does provide INSIGHT. And this insight helps me live my life as well as I can. It helps me understand my wants and needs. Knowing ABOUT my SELF is beneficial to me and those around me.

Moreover, I can’t imagine living a life where I would have questions but not be allowed to pursue answers. Or to have curiosity but not have the wherewithal (is that even a word?) to TRY to answer my questions.

So this episode is a bit about exploring what the self is, and not at all about trying to find a definition:)

Original post with links to podcast audio and YouTube video here: https://chrisburcher.com/2020/12/18/kew-episode-34-self/

Preview of KEW Episode 34: Self

KEW Curiosity Interview Series 8: Bernhard Kutzler

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Bernhard Kutzler (www.bernhardkutzler/en/). After a lifelong career in mathematics, Bernhard went off the grid in a very huge way. He spent nearly 3.5 years in total isolation: away from his phone, tv, people, and all interactions. He forced himself to face his mind in an effort to ask the ‘big questions’ about being human.

Who am I? Why are we here? What is consciousness? Why do I do the things I do?

Everyone reading this has wrestled with one or all of these questions, or similar questions about the meaning of life. Well, Bernhard is just like you. Except he spent THREE AND A HALF YEARS thinking about nothing BUT questions like these.

So, the man has my admiration. That’s freaking devotion. That’s giving it your all. 

And it makes me exceptionally CURIOUS about what he figured out. 

Fortunately, he gave me almost two hours of his time to explain all that. As you can imagine, even two hours is not enough time to answer all of life’s question, but we hit on many of the biggest elements. 

Also fortunately, Bernhard has written three books about his experience that you can find links to on his website. 

Curiosity: The Mental Hunger of Humans

Consciousness: Its Nature, Purpose, and How to Use it

Being Free: Get Out of the Box. The Method with 99 Exercises

He also has a blog on his website and a video series on YouTube. The first place to start is with Bernhard’s explanation of the Chicken Problem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XMZa_8lAVQ&t=334s

Seriously. Click that link.

I hope you take the time to work your way through that video, this interview, and more of Bernhard’s work. You might not agree with it all, but then again you didn’t spend 3.5 years in isolation thinking about it:)

Full audio podcast download here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/8499860-kew-curiosity-interview-series-8-bernhard-kitzler.mp3?download=true

Or subscribe to KEW on your favorite podcast app.

Full YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/atiDEgGPO48

Preview KEW Curiosity Interview Series 8: Bernhard Kutzler

Bernhard Kutzler (www.bernhardkutzler.com/en) has figured stuff out. And it’s no wonder because he spent 3.5 years trying. During this time he isolated himself from all outside influences so that he could figure out the meaning of life. I’m not kidding.

If nothing else, someone who has sacrificed so much of his life to ponder life’s biggest questions deserves our attention. Can you imagine? I can see myself doing a ten day silent meditation retreat, but three and a half years!? And what do you think you would learn during that time? Well, you can find out in this interview, by visiting Bernhard’s website and blog, and by reading his books.

You will likely disagree with a lot of what he found out – I’d say that’s normal. But what an opportunity to glimpse beyond our normal lives to see what comes up after an extended period of isolated reflection.

Preview video here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=160328099278424

Full interview episode this Friday, right here on KEW.