Parker Palmer: Welcome to the Human Race

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January 9, 2024

Parker Palmer: Welcome to the Human Race

Parker J. Palmer January 9, 2024

Why is depression so hard for us to bring out into the open? Why does it stir up so much shame and fear? How can we shift our view of depression from a problem that needs to be fixed to a gateway to empathy, courage, wholeness, and belonging? These are the profound questions explored by Tami Simon and Parker Palmer in this incisive, insightful podcast. 

Join Tami and Parker as they discuss: Being present for those in depression; suffering and empathy; courage and resilience; integrating (rather than disowning) experiences of depression; showing up in the world as who you really are; the vast intelligence of life—and the weaving of shadow and light; embracing paradox; Parker’s metaphor of “living at altitude” (or the level of ego) vs. living from one’s soul; depression as a befriending, grounding energy; how Abraham Lincoln’s depression served as a force of reconciliation for a nation at war with itself; learning to be “hallowed by our diminishments”; and more.

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Parker J. Palmer is a writer, speaker and activist, as well as founder and senior partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal. His wisdom has reached millions worldwide through his eight books, including Healing the Heart of Democracy, A Hidden Wholeness, Let Your Life Speak, The Courage to Teach, The Active Life, To Know as We Are Known, The Company of Strangers and The Promise of Paradox. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, along with ten honorary doctorates, two Distinguished Achievement Awards from the National Educational Press Association, an Award of Excellence from the Associated Church Press, and major grants from the Danforth Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, and the Fetzer Institute. In 2011, Palmer was named an Utne Reader Visionary, one of “25 people who are changing your world.” To learn more, visit www.CourageRenewal.org.

Author photo © Dan Kowalski Rollingbay Works

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Meet Your Host: Tami Simon

Founded Sounds True in 1985 as a multimedia publishing house with a mission to disseminate spiritual wisdom. She hosts a popular weekly podcast called Insights at the Edge, where she has interviewed many of today's leading teachers. Tami lives with her wife, Julie M. Kramer, and their two spoodles, Rasberry and Bula, in Boulder, Colorado.

Photo © Jason Elias

Also By Author

Parker Palmer: Welcome to the Human Race

Why is depression so hard for us to bring out into the open? Why does it stir up so much shame and fear? How can we shift our view of depression from a problem that needs to be fixed to a gateway to empathy, courage, wholeness, and belonging? These are the profound questions explored by Tami Simon and Parker Palmer in this incisive, insightful podcast. 

Join Tami and Parker as they discuss: Being present for those in depression; suffering and empathy; courage and resilience; integrating (rather than disowning) experiences of depression; showing up in the world as who you really are; the vast intelligence of life—and the weaving of shadow and light; embracing paradox; Parker’s metaphor of “living at altitude” (or the level of ego) vs. living from one’s soul; depression as a befriending, grounding energy; how Abraham Lincoln’s depression served as a force of reconciliation for a nation at war with itself; learning to be “hallowed by our diminishments”; and more.

Welcome to the Human Race

Parker J. Palmer is a writer, speaker, and activist who is world-renowned for his many insightful books, including Let Your Life Speak and Healing the Heart of Democracy. With Sounds True, he has most recently contributed to the anthology Darkness Before Dawn: Redefining the Journey Through Depression. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Parker discuss his own passages through clinical depression and the meaning he derived from them. They also speak on the modern cultural taboo surrounding depression, and how depression is actually an innate part of the life journey. Finally, Parker and Tami talk about how depression can act as “a befriending force pushing you down onto safe ground”—an agent that can help course-correct a life lived “at altitude.” (86 minutes)

Parker Palmer: Living the Undivided Life

Tami Simon speaks with Parker J. Palmer, author of the bestseller The Courage to Teach and Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, as well as being the founder of  the Center for Courage and Renewal. They discuss Parker’s perspectives about what he calls “an undivided life: seeking wholeness in ourselves, our work, and our world.” (79 minutes)

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