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What is a Good Life? #17
Leaving Utopia with Bayo Akomolafe
On the 17th episode of the What is a Good Life? podcast I am joined by Bayo Akomolafe, who is a widely celebrated international speaker, posthumanist thinker, poet, professor, public intellectual, essayist, and author.
Bayo is the Founder of The Emergence Network, he currently lectures at Pacifica Graduate Institute, California, and the University of Vermont, and was appointed the inaugural Global Senior Fellow of the University of California’s (Berkeley) Othering and Belonging Institute.
In this episode, Bayo shares with us his journey of moving beyond the confines of final statements, final destinations, and boundaries, to an ongoing emergence, or flow. This conversation delves into the abstract, the philosophical, and the practical, as well as Bayo’s personal experiences of what his son with Autism is teaching him about wisdom.
We discuss the importance of cultivating bewilderment, wonder and inquiry, and disrupting the logic of continuity, for new ideas and solutions to emerge - to break the cycle of problems and solutions feeding each other. This episode will challenge your thinking and perhaps inspire you to new ways of problem solving and understanding, while it may also require you to listen with more than your ears and your mind.
The weekly clip from the podcast (4 mins), my weekly reflection (2 mins), the full podcast (64 mins), and the weekly questions all follow below.
1. Weekly Clip from the Podcast
2. My weekly reflection
While we may be chasing utopias or fixed points of perfection in our lives, when everything just comes together and remains wonderful until the end of time, I am really not sure that that is what we want.
Would you want to read an adventure book in which the protagonists get every choice correct, experience no pain, and continuously meet other characters that support them every step of the way?
Through interviewing so many people, the initial idea of people thinking a good life for them is no stress, no pain, and everyone is happy, came up very frequently. However, this was always retracted somewhat under further exploration when they saw that pain or stress were regularly the precursors to fulfilling moments in their lives.
There is something to this life that tells me, as much as I want to strive for better things, that the real contentment in my life is from when I fall into an acceptance of what is, the directionless unfolding. That as much as I want to know for certain sometimes what is coming next, my life would ring hollow if I truly did know.
That doesn’t mean I do nothing or become passive. Like everything else in the world I am always in motion, making choices, changing, shifting, and evolving. However, when I am not so attached to “positive” things or specific outcomes, it creates far less resistance to what we perceive to be “negative” things, which gives me the freedom to evolve and grow in alignment with my nature.
There will still be pain, joy, wins, losses, etc., but there is a lot more harmony on this path when I am open to it all and evolving in alignment with my own nature.
3. Full Episode - Leaving Utopia with Bayo Akomolafe - What is a Good Life? Ep. #17
4. This week’s Questions
What experiences in your life have most significantly influenced a change in your views, behaviours, or beliefs?
What beliefs have you held as certain in your life, that are no longer your beliefs?
I am a Coach based in Berlin, via Dublin, Ireland. I left behind a 15-year career in Capital Markets after I became extremely curious around what life, myself, and existence are all about.
I create corporate programs for companies to foster greater psychological safety, trust and purpose (click here for reference). While I also work with high-performing, individual clients who have hit their material goals and are trying to understand what comes after performance.