Andrew Harvey: The Love of Divine Rebels

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May 15, 2012

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Tami Simon speaks with Andrew Harvey, a poet, writer, teacher, and mystic. Andrew is the founder of the Institute for Sacred Activism, and is the author and editor of many books, including The Direct Path and Son of Man. He has created several audio programs with Sounds True, including the 13-part audio series with Caroline Myss called Divine Rebels: Saints, Mystics, Holy Change Agents—and You. In this episode, Tami speaks with Andrew about why we need both the fire of devotional practices as well as the coolness of contemplation, how there are actually two dark nights of the soul on the spiritual journey, the importance of shadow work, and what is “the whole mystical truth.” (72 minutes)

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Andrew Harvey is a poet, writer, teacher, and mystic. He is a former fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and has taught at Cornell University, Hobart College, and the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is the author and editor of many books, including Hidden Journey; The Return of the Mother; A Journey in Ladakh; The Essential Mystics; The Son of Man and his latest book, The Direct Path.

Author photo © David Sutton 2012

Listen to Tami Simon's in-depth audio podcast interviews with Andrew Harvey:
The Shadow Course, Part 1 »
The Love of Divine Rebels »
Evolutionary Mysticism »

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Andrew Harvey: The Shadow Course, Part 1

Andrew Harvey is a prolific scholar, poet, and teacher whose work spans television appearances, audio teachings, and more than 28 books. Working with Sounds True and Caroline Myss, Andrew has created the upcoming online course The Shadow Course: An Eight-Week Journey to Know Yourself and Bring Light to the World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Andrew examine the concept of the Shadow and why it is so important that we learn to work with the greed, fear, and lack of conscience that it contains. They speak on how the Shadow can affect our sense of physicality, as well as how we can work with our Shadow self to truly embrace every aspect of our bodies and sexuality. Andrew comments on “the golden shadow”—innate inner strengths that we displace or deny—and its affects on our social interactions. Finally, Andrew and Tami talk about collective Shadows that exist on the societal level—especially the Shadow of human extinction and the imperative lessons it holds. (65 minutes)

Andrew Harvey: The Love of Divine Rebels

Tami Simon speaks with Andrew Harvey, a poet, writer, teacher, and mystic. Andrew is the founder of the Institute for Sacred Activism, and is the author and editor of many books, including The Direct Path and Son of Man. He has created several audio programs with Sounds True, including the 13-part audio series with Caroline Myss called Divine Rebels: Saints, Mystics, Holy Change Agents—and You. In this episode, Tami speaks with Andrew about why we need both the fire of devotional practices as well as the coolness of contemplation, how there are actually two dark nights of the soul on the spiritual journey, the importance of shadow work, and what is “the whole mystical truth.” (72 minutes)

Andrew Harvey: Evolutionary Mysticism

Tami Simon speaks with Andrew Harvey a poet, teacher, writer, mystic, and sacred activist. His work is deeply involved with the transformative nature of the spiritual path and the call in our time for mystics to become what Andrew calls, sacred activists—sacred activists in a world that needs us. He has created several powerful audio programs with Sounds True including Radiant Heart, Song of the Sun, and The Direct Path. Andrew discusses the birth of universal mysticism, the dark night of the soul, and the transfiguration of the body that occurs as we progress on the spiritual path.

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Meet a Coauthor of . . . Freedom for All of Us

The Author

Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, humanitarian, and one of three authors of Freedom for All of Us: A Monk, a Philosopher, and a Psychiatrist on Finding Inner Peace, available in November, 2020. He is also the author of several other books, including The Monk and the Philosopher, Happiness, and Altruism. He is a major participant in research collaboration between cognitive scientists and Buddhist practitioners. Ricard is a noted translator and photographer, and has founded humanitarian projects in India, Tibet, and Nepal. For more information, visit karuna-shechen.org.

Freedom for All of Us Cover

The Book

With their acclaimed book In Search of Wisdom, three gifted friends—a monk, a philosopher, and a psychiatrist—shed light on our universal quest for meaning, purpose, and understanding. Now, in this new in-depth offering, they invite us to tend to the garden of our true nature: freedom.

Filled with unexpected insights and specific strategies, Freedom for All of Us presents an inspiring guide for breaking free of the unconscious walls that confine us.

 

Send us a photo of your sacred space.

[Pictured here is the] Shechen Monastery in Nepal, where I live a good part of the year:

 

Monastery

 

[And] the views from my hermitage in Nepal:

 

vieew 1

 

 

view 2

 

If you could invite any three transformational leaders or spiritual teachers (throughout time) to dinner, who would they be and why?

I do not have dinner and he does not either, but if I had to choose to spend an hour quietly with someone alive today, it would be His Holiness the Dalai Lama. [He is] someone of boundless compassion and wisdom, who treats every sentient being—from the person who cleans the floor at the hotel when he travels, to a head of state—with the same kindness, respect, and attention.

As for [two people] who [are no longer] in this world, I would give everything to spend another hour in the presence of my two main spiritual teachers: Kangyur Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, who inspire every instant of my life.

Has your book taken on a new meaning in the world’s current circumstances? Is there anything you would have included in your book if you were writing it now?

Many people have indeed faced great hardship; being sick, left alone, and having lost a dear one. But for those who simply had to be with themselves and a few kin, I was quite surprised to see how difficult they found [it] to just be with their own minds for extended periods of time. It seemed that it was such a new situation and they had few tools to deal with it.

As a contemplative, I value tremendously [the] time spent alone in my hermitage in the Himalaya[s], cultivating fundamental human qualities that allow me to slowly become a better human being. I believe that among those qualities, inner freedom and compassion are two key factors and that, therefore, our dialogue [in Freedom for All of Us] is quite timely. Most of the subjects that we reflect upon seem very relevant [during] these troubled times and I hope that they will be useful!

Freedom for All of Us Cover

Learn More

Sounds True | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | IndieBound

Meet a Coauthor of . . . Freedom for All of Us

The Author

Alexandre Jollien is a philosopher and writer who spent 17 years in a home for the physically disabled. His books include In Praise of Weakness. He lives in Switzerland. For more, visit alexandre-jollien.ch.

Freedom for All of Us Cover

The Book

With their acclaimed book In Search of Wisdom, three gifted friends—a monk, a philosopher, and a psychiatrist—shed light on our universal quest for meaning, purpose, and understanding. Now, in this new in-depth offering, they invite us to tend to the garden of our true nature: freedom.

Filled with unexpected insights and specific strategies, Freedom for All of Us presents an inspiring guide for breaking free of the unconscious walls that confine us.

 

Translated from the original responses in French.

What is one unexpected thing or habit that inspires your writing practice? Is there a

playlist or album you listen to?

Sils Maria

Meditation really opens me up to write. Walking too. Above is a photo of me walking in Sils Maria, Switzerland, where Friedrich Nietzsche lived at one time. However, in my eyes, writing is never systematic [or methodical]. It’s not a [mere] technique. A writer has to render themself available to messages that come—in some sense—from beyond. Conversations with friends, explorations into the mundane, family life, the readings of the great thinkers, the practice of Zazen … all these things feed my desire to pick up my pen again. I write, or rather I dictate my writings, in silence. However, sometimes I do enjoy techno music, which keeps me going and wards off anything that could poison an idea I have; “the sad passions” as the philosopher, Baruch Spinoza, called them.

Send us a photo of you and your pet (and let us know if your pet had any role in helping you write your book)!

Grisette

We have a little hamster at home, Grisette, who is our children’s little darling. For me, he embodies peace and a certain serenity. When I look at him, I see a being that isn’t deep in denial and agitated. [Although] sometimes, when he frolics on his hamster wheel, I have the impression that he’s reminding me that my mind, too, can often run in [unnecessary] circles …

 

 

 

If there is a book that started your spiritual journey, what was it? How old were you, and

how did you discover it? How would you describe its impact?

When I was a child, I didn’t enjoy reading and I thought that wisdom was reserved for the elite. I considered culture to be so far removed from everyday problems that I avoided it completely. One day, I accompanied a friend into a bookstore. While I was waiting for her, I flipped through pages from books by Plato and Aristotle. The book [that made an impact] was L’étonnement philosophique [“Philosophic Wonder”] by Jeanne Hersch, which traces the history of Western thought. In my adolescence, that book gave me a great foundation, a benchmark, a marker, a starting point. It’s an admirable book. Afterwards, I really fell into reading the greats, like Plato, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Epictetus, all of which still inspire me today. I was 14 years old then, and reading had changed my life.

Below are portraits [of some of my favorite philosophers and spiritual teachers] painted by my son, Augustin.

portraits

 

 

 

Learn More

Sounds True | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | IndieBound

 

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