On Being

What does it mean to be human? How do we want to live? And who will we be to each other? Each week a new discovery about the immensity of our lives. Hosted by Krista Tippett.

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Eve Ensler — The Body After Cancer

2020-10-03

Eve Ensler has helped women all over the world tell the stories of their lives through the stories of their bodies. Her play, "The Vagina Monologues," has become a global force in the face of violence against women and girls.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 52 MB - Duration: 52:30m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Reza Aslan — Islam's Reformation

2020-10-03

Reza Aslan opens a refreshing window on religion in the world and Islam in particular. It’s a longer view of history and humanity than news cycles invite — certainly when it comes to the Arab Spring, or to ISIS.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 56 MB - Duration: 53:40m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Jane Gross — The Far Shore of Aging

2020-10-03

Jane Gross has explored this as a daughter and as a journalist, and as creator of the New York Times’ “New Old Age” blog. She has grounded advice and practical wisdom about caring for our loved ones and ourselves on the far shore of aging.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 51 MB - Duration: 51:01m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Adam Grant — Successful Givers, Toxic Takers, and the Life We Spend at Work

2020-10-03

The organizational psychologist Adam Grant describes three human orientations, of which we are all capable: the givers, the takers, and the matchers. These also influence whether organizations are joyful or toxic for human beings.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 49 MB - Duration: 51:01m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Jonathan Sacks — The Dignity of Difference

2020-10-03

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, speaks about how the faithful can and must cultivate their own deepest truths while finding God in the face of the stranger and the religious other.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 52 MB - Duration: 51:01m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Brené Brown — The Courage to Be Vulnerable

2020-10-03

Courage is borne out of vulnerability, not strength. This finding of Brené Brown’s research on shame and "wholeheartedness" shook the perfectionist ground beneath her own feet. And now it’s inspiring millions to reconsider the way they live, parent, and n
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 50 MB - Duration: 51:53m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Louis Newman — The Refreshing Practice of Repentance

2020-10-03

Louis Newman, who has explored repentance as a ethicist and a person in recovery, opens this up as a refreshing practice for every life, even beyond the lifetime of those to whom we would make amends.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 51 MB - Duration: 51:01m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Jennifer Michael Hecht — Suicide, and Hope for Our Future Selves

2020-10-03

Philosopher, poet, and historian Jennifer Michael Hecht has struggled with suicidal places in her life and lost friends to it. As a scholar, she's now proposing a new cultural reckoning with suicide based on our essential need for each other.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 49 MB - Duration: 51:01m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

B.J. Miller — Reframing Our Relationship to That We Don’t Control

2020-10-03

As a palliative care physician, B.J. Miller brings a design sensibility to the matter of living until we die. He offers a transformative reframing on our imperfect bodies, the ways we move through the world, and all that we don’t control.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 55 MB - Duration: 51:01m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Tiffany Shlain — Growing Up the Internet

2020-10-03

Tiffany Shlain reframes technology as an expression of the best of what humanity is capable. The internet is our global brain, towards which we can apply all the wisdom we are gaining about the brains in our heads and the character in our lives.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 50 MB - Duration: 51:01m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Kevin Kling — The Losses and Laughter We Grow Into

2020-10-03

Kevin Kling is part funny guy, part poet and playwright, part wise man. A treasured figure on the national storytelling circuit, his voice inhabits an unusual space — where a homegrown Minnesota wit meets Dante and Shakespeare.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 53 MB - Duration: 51:01m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Krista Tippett — An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living

2020-10-03

This episode, a “theft of the dial.” Writer and traveler Pico Iyer turns the tables on our host Krista Tippett by asking her the questions. An illuminating conversation on the mystery and art of living.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 50 MB - Duration: 51:01m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Xavier Le Pichon — The Fragility at the Heart of Humanity

2020-10-03

French Geophysicist Xavier Le Pichon helped discover the field of plate tectonics. He is also a spiritual thinker, who raised his family in communities caring for people and families facing disability.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 49 MB - Duration: 51:00m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Jean Berko Gleason — Unfolding Language, Unfolding Life

2020-10-03

Jean Berko Gleason is a legend in the field of psycholinguistics — how language emerges, and what it tells us about how we think and who we are. We keep learning about the human gift, as she puts it, to be conscious of ourselves and to comment on that.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 49 MB - Duration: 51:00m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

David Isay — Listening as an Act of Love

2020-10-03

"The soul is contained in the human voice," says David Isay, founder of StoryCorps. He shares his wisdom about listening as a sacred act of love, and how eliciting and capturing our stories is a way of insisting that every life matters.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 49 MB - Duration: 51:01m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Jonathan Haidt and Melvin Konner — Capitalism and Moral Evolution: A Civil Provocation

2020-10-03

The liberal view of capitalism as essentially exploitative may remain alive and well, Jonathan Haidt says. But the ironic truth of history is that capitalism actually generates liberal values as it takes root in societies.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 53 MB - Duration: 50:59m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Alain de Botton — A School of Life for Atheists

2020-10-03

Alain de Botton is a philosopher who likes the best of religion, but doesn’t believe in God. So he’s created a global secular community — The School of Life. He explains why wisdom and ritual shouldn’t be reserved just for believers.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 49 MB - Duration: 51:00m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Anil Dash — Tech's Moral Reckoning

2020-10-03

Anil Dash is a technologist, social media influencer, and vocal activist for moral imagination in the digital sphere. He believes that we can all contribute to the humane potential of technology in this moment.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 49 MB - Duration: 51:22m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Joan Halifax — Finding Buoyancy Amidst Despair

2020-10-03

It’s easy to despair at all the bad news and horrific pictures that come at us daily. But Roshi Joan Halifax says this is a form of empathy that works against us. There’s such a thing as pathological altruism. This zen abbot and medical anthropologist has nourishing wisdom as we face suffering in the world.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 53 MB - Duration: 52:11m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Rachel Yehuda — How Trauma and Resilience Cross Generations

2020-10-03

The new field of epigenetics sees that genes can be turned on and off and expressed differently through changes in environment and behavior. Rachel Yehuda is a pioneer in understanding how the effects of stress and trauma can transmit biologically, beyond cataclysmic events, to the next generation. She has studied the children of Holocaust survivors and of pregnant women who survived the 9/11 attacks. But her science is a form of power for flourishing beyond the traumas large and small that mark each of our lives and those of our families and communities.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 53 MB - Duration: 52:11m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Alice Parker — Singing Is the Most Companionable of Arts

2020-10-03

Singing is able to touch and join human beings in ways few other arts can. Alice Parker is a wise, joyful thinker and writer on this truth, and has been a hero in the universe of choral music as a composer, conductor, and teacher for most of her 90 years.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 49 MB - Duration: 50:59m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Jonathan Haidt — The Psychology of Self-Righteousness

2020-10-03

“When it comes to moral judgments, we think we are scientists discovering the truth, but actually we are lawyers arguing for positions we arrived at by other means.” The surprising psychology behind morality is at the heart of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s research. He explains “liberal” and “conservative” not narrowly or necessarily as political affiliations, but as personality types — ways of moving through the world. His self-described “conservative-hating, religion-hating, secular liberal instincts” have been challenged by his own studies.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 52 MB - Duration: 52:09m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Nathalie Joachim — Song of Haiti’s Women

2020-10-03

Flutist and vocalist Nathalie Joachim is a magnetic voice of one of the unexpected aspects of our globalized world — new generations reclaiming and falling in love anew with the places their parents left. In an odyssey through songs of women, Nathalie Joachim is immersing in Haiti’s ecological and political traumas, as well as its beauty and its promise. She is co-founder of the urban art pop duo Flutronix and is based in Brooklyn.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 53 MB - Duration: 52:15m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Frank Wilczek — Why Is the World So Beautiful?

2020-10-03

Nobel physicist Frank Wilczek sees beauty as a compass for truth, discovery, and meaning. His book “A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design” is a long meditation on the question: “Does the world embody beautiful ideas?” He’s the unusual scientist willing to analogize his discoveries about the deep structure of reality with deep meaning in the human everyday. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 53 MB - Duration: 52:08m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

This Is Your Brain on Sex

2020-10-03

Anthropologist Helen Fisher explores the biological workings of our intimate passions, the brew of chemicals, hormones, and neurotransmitters that make the thrilling and sometimes treacherous realms of love and sex. In the research she does for match.com and her TED Talks that have been viewed by millions of people, she wields science as an entertaining, if sobering, lens on what feel like the most meaningful encounters of our lives. In this deeply personal conversation, she shows how it is possible to take on this knowledge as a form of wisdom and power.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 53 MB - Duration: 51:51m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

The Moral World in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt for Now — Lyndsey Stonebridge

2020-10-03

Nothing is helping us more right now, as we watch human tragedies unfold on the U.S.-Mexican border and elsewhere, than a conversation Krista had last year with literary historian Lyndsey Stonebridge — on thinking and friendship in dark times. She applies the moral clarity of the 20th-century philosopher Hannah Arendt to now — an invitation to dwell on the human essence of events we analyze as political and economic. Our dramas of exile and displacement are existential, she says — about who we will all be as people and political community. What Arendt called the “banality of evil” was at root an inability to hear another voice. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 54 MB - Duration: 51:33m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Cory Booker — Civic Spiritual Evolution

2020-10-03

The U.S. Senator. From merely tolerating each other to manifesting love. “Hope confronts.” Self-care in a world “so elegantly designed to distract you.” Making your bed as a spiritual practice. “We’re all more fragile than we let on.” We don’t really reward or allow our politicians, good or bad, to be searching, or to change their minds and grow — to admit their human frailty. So it’s surprising to hear Cory Booker say that the best thing that’s happened to him is “being broken, time and time again.” He’s taken flack for talking about politics as “manifesting love.” He speaks with Krista about the inadequacy of tolerance, strengthening the “muscle” of hope, and making your bed as a spiritual practice. Cory Booker is a senator for New Jersey and the former mayor of Newark. He serves the U.S. Senate committees on Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works, the Judiciary, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. He was a varsity football player for Stanford University and a Rhodes Scholar. He’s the author of “United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good.”
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 49 MB - Duration: 51:33m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Alain de Botton — The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships

2020-10-03

The philosopher and creator of The School of Life. The question we should ask on an early date is, “How are you crazy? I’m crazy like this…” The real work of love that is in the stumbling and evolving, skill and surviving — not in the falling. The joy of flirting. What if the first question we asked on a date were, “How are you crazy? I’m crazy like this”? Philosopher and writer Alain de Botton’s essay “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person” was one of the most-read articles in The New York Times in recent years. As people and as a culture, he says, we would be much saner and happier if we reexamined our very view of love. Nowhere do we realistically teach ourselves and our children how love deepens and stumbles, survives and evolves over time, and how that process has much more to do with ourselves than with what is right or wrong about our partner. The real work of love is not in the falling, but in what comes after. Alain de Botton is the founder and chairman of The School of Life. His books include “Religion for Atheists,” “How Proust Can Change Your Life,” and the novel “The Course of Love.”
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 49 MB - Duration: 51:33m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Pico Iyer — The Urgency of Slowing Down

2020-10-03

Absorption as a definition of happiness. “To bring that calm into the motion, the commotion of the world.” Traveling not in order to move around but in order to be moved. His friend Leonard Cohen. Stillness & silence as a recharging station for the soul. Pico Iyer is one of our most eloquent explorers of what he calls the “inner world” — in himself and in the 21st century world at large. The journalist and novelist travels the globe from Ethiopia to North Korea and lives in Japan. But he also experiences a remote Benedictine hermitage as his second home, retreating there many times each year. In this intimate conversation, we explore the discoveries he’s making and his practice of “the art of stillness.” Pico Iyer is a journalist and writer. He’s written over a dozen books including “The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search for Home,” “The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama,” and “The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere.” He has two books on Japan upcoming in 2019: “Autumn Light” and “A Beginner’s Guide to Japan.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 49 MB - Duration: 51:56m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

Layli Long Soldier — The Freedom of Real Apologies

2020-10-03

The Oglala Lakota poet. “I wanted as much as possible to avoid this nostalgic portraiture of a Native life.” The reward and joy of patience. The difference between guilt, shame, and freedom from denial. When apologies are done well. Layli Long Soldier is a writer, a mother, a citizen of the United States, and a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation. She has a way of opening up this part of her life, and of American life, to inspire self-searching and tenderness. Her award-winning first book of poetry, WHEREAS, is a response to the U.S. government’s official apology to Native peoples in 2009, which was done so quietly, with no ceremony, that it was practically a secret. Layli Long Soldier offers entry points for us all — to events that are not merely about the past, and to the freedom real apologies might bring. Layli Long Soldier is the recipient of the 2015 Lannan Fellowship for Poetry and a 2015 National Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. Her first book of poetry, WHEREAS, is a winner of the multiple awards including the Whiting Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 49 MB - Duration: 51:33m (128 kbps 44100 Hz)

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