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The MindThatEgo Podcast

The MindThatEgo Podcast

By Ricky Derisz

Welcome to the MindThatEgo Podcast — hosted by Ricky Derisz.

MindThatEgo's ethos is to explore nuances of mind, body and spirit by igniting challenging conversations with insightful thinkers, combined with deep reflection on subjective experience.

Vulnerability and authenticity are guaranteed as Ricky talks to psychologists, spiritualists, philosophers, scientists, friends and fellow human beings during his quest to understand key questions — what's the key to wellbeing? How can we reduce suffering? What tools are most useful in managing mental health?
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#27: Buddhism and a Brighter Vision of the Future with Emma Varvaloucas

The MindThatEgo PodcastMar 15, 2023

#27: Buddhism and a Brighter Vision of the Future with Emma Varvaloucas
Mar 15, 202301:47:50
#26: Empowering The Mental Health Paradigm with Steven C. Hayes

#26: Empowering The Mental Health Paradigm with Steven C. Hayes

Dr. Steven C. Hayes is the originator of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), identified as part of the “third wave of cognitive behavioral therapy.” He’s a Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada, the author of 47 books, including Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life and A Liberated Mind. Ranked in the top 1,000 most cited scholars in the world, Steven has been referred to as “one of the greatest thinkers, psychological theorists, and clinicians alive.”

With close to 1,000 clinical trials showing its efficacy, ACT synthesizes many approaches, including Western psychology and Eastern philosophy. My interest started when reading Russ Harris’ The Happiness Trap, and finding an approach that mirrored my personal journey. Building upon cognitive therapy, ACT includes awareness, mindfulness, the “observer,” and other Buddhist-like techniques. Factor in its emphasis on living a life aligned with values, and you have a system designed to lead to greater fulfillment.

What I most admire about Steven’s work is the practicality of his research, or in his words, “digging down to the processes that empower or entrap” and trying to find the skill sets that are most effective. Our conversation looks at those processes, but also expands to the wider philosophy of the mental health paradigm. What are the issues with how we treat mental illness? And what does an empowered, spiritually-inclusive model look like?

Links to Steven’s work: Website: Medium: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Resources and References: A Liberated Mind – Steven C. Hayes. Get Out Of Your Mind and Into Your Life — Steven C. Hayes. The Myth of Mental Illness & Ideology and Insanity — Thomas Szasz. A Beautiful Mind (2001). The Happiness Trap — Russ Harris.
Feb 22, 202302:13:56
#25: The Lighthouse: A Synchronistic Symbol of Intimacy and Isolation
Nov 18, 202224:10
#24: How To Connect To The Soul with Natalie Zeituny

#24: How To Connect To The Soul with Natalie Zeituny

Connecting to the soul is simple and complex. It’s simple because the soul is the essence of who you are. It’s the core of your being. Nothing has to be learned, only remembered. The complexity comes from living in an age and a culture of disconnect, with barriers created by the mind, and intellectual superiority placed ahead of other forms of intelligence, such as intuition, instinct, and heartfelt wisdom.

In this conversation I’m joined by the perfect guide, Natalie Zeituny. I met Natalie three years ago at the Science and Nonduality Conference in Italy. She is a mystic, cosmologist, and the author of Ensoulment, where she presents a model of reality which “explores the cosmology and psychology of reality.” I was engrossed by her book, especially the way she maps consciousness scientifically, as well as sharing her inner experience of the ensoulment process vividly.

What I love most about our conversation is the grounded nature in which ensoulment is approached. Natalie talks about entering the underworld in order to confront the shadow, and integrate the soul through deep reflection. This isn’t about bypassing difficulty, or cultivating love and light. It’s about having the courage to be the hero of your journey, to trust your inner resourcefulness above all else.

We talk about the relationship between difficult experiences, such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia, and how they relate to ensoulment. We discuss the signs of being aligned with the soul, how to identify your essence, and the uniqueness of your soul’s song. I’m sure by the end, the fruits of ensoulment will be clear. Connecting to the soul is the return to being, the path to living the fullest life on offer; the path truest to you.

Aug 23, 202201:12:14
#23: A Simple Beautiful Truth with Hayden Thorpe

#23: A Simple Beautiful Truth with Hayden Thorpe

Hayden Thorpe is a solo artist and former frontman of Wild Beasts. His two solo albums — Moondust for my Diamond (2021) and Diviner (2019) — follow five albums with the band between 2008 and 2016, for which Two Dancers was nominated for the Mercury Prize.

Since discovering Wild Beasts through their album Smother in 2011, they’ve remained my favourite band, one I’ve returned to time and time again, the soundtrack struggle, triumph, and everything between. Hayden’s music continues the theme. Songs such as Diviner, Golden Ratio, The Universe is Alright Right, translate the ineffable with poetic melodies and spiritually-infused lyricism.

Sharing such an in-depth exploration of Hayden’s creative process was a joy. Topics include the transcendence of writing, the sacred nature of music, the energetics of stage performance, the merging of self and the source, the mystery of how certain songs find you at the right place, right time, shaping your life direction.

In tribute to Hayden’s approach to the divine and the earthly, we discuss the vulnerability of crises of confidence, risk-taking, the desire for validation, and how to honour ideas. Plus, we consider what immersion in the creative dimension teaches about the nature of reality, and the cosmic link between Newcastle United and Bristol Rovers.

Jun 22, 202201:35:30
#22: Can Complex Thinking Bring Peace To A World Of Conflict? with Guy Burgess

#22: Can Complex Thinking Bring Peace To A World Of Conflict? with Guy Burgess

According to conflict resolution expert Guy Burgess, the inability to resolve conflict is the greatest threat to humanity. Conflict is the root of interpersonal disharmony, political polarization, us vs. them mentalities, violence, and all-out war. Our future relies on a workable solution. Yet the current tools we have don’t adequately scale to the ever-growing complexity and interconnection of the world.

Three decades ago Guy was introduced to systems theory by a nuclear physicist at a multidisciplinary conference he hosted on conflict resolution. Seeing conflict as a complex adaptive system moves away from the prominent worldview of mechanical thinking, aligning with the systems of nature, the ecological as opposed to the engineered. This holistic view is a radical shift.

Viewing society as a complex system attempts to answer the question of how we can get along, and create a more peaceful world, despite having many differences in belief, ideology, wants, and needs. It works on principles and rules, not fixed on identifying problems and finding specific solutions. It understands conflict as ever-evolving, dynamic, and often unpredictable.

Our conversation applies complex thinking to many societal issues. Guy explains the difference between a complicated and complex system, and how conflict is viewed through these perspectives. Guy explains the need for “massive-parallel peace building,” across many disciplines, using big picture thinking to bring together our collective skills and insights.

He also explains the underlying psychology behind conflict, on an individual and societal level, and how vulnerabilities are exploited. We discuss the pandemic through this lens. Why do the media present oversimplified models of the world? Why do governments use “divide and conquer” techniques to stoke polarization, such as vaccinated vs unvaccinated? What are the hazards of not having access to free-flowing information, and the damage of censorship?

We turn our attention to the future of society. That includes the necessity of moving towards a “power-with” and not “power-over” approach, finding the sweet spot of solidarity and innovators who find novel solutions, and why complex thinking moves us into the quantum era. By the end, we consider how this all factors into a wider collective awakening, and the evolution of consciousness across humanity as a whole.

This is a useful and practical approach to what can often seem like an intangible, and impossible goal. Guy acknowledges that there has been no “golden age” of harmony or resolution, and the work on this will continue for decades to come. But, for someone who has dedicated his life to moving beyond the intractable, Guy makes global peace feel more attainable. God knows, we need it.

Resources: Website:
Beyond Intractability The Best of Both Worldviews: Can Systems Theory Unite Spirituality and Science?

Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch

Mar 24, 202201:37:39
#21: The Song of the Heart with Sanya Manzoor

#21: The Song of the Heart with Sanya Manzoor



Sanya Manzoor is a Holistic Expansion Coach, a poet, a philosopher, a meditation teacher, an artist, and much more. Sanya’s creativity and endless wisdom is a huge inspiration. She’s my lover, my friend, and someone I’m incredibly fortunate to explore the journey of heartfulness with. After three years of discussing the possibility of recording a podcast, we finally did it, and it’s worth the wait. 

The metaphor of music and sound extends throughout our talk, from learning the ability to harmonise your energy with others, listening to the whisper of the heart, or silencing the noise of cultural conditioning and media messaging. This is a vast conversation that explores the journey of becoming through all areas of consciousness — live music, suffering, overcoming fear, expanding with courage.  Sanya eloquently composes understanding around the symphony of being — the song of the heart — that inspires us to live truly and deeply, to play our unique instrument, to risk disrupting others, in order to live our truth. From teenage years spent listening to live music, to performing her own melodies and supporting others’ transformation with intuitive sound healing, this is a soundtrack for the soul, and a playlist for personal growth.

It’s a vibrant, varied, and inspired conversation that mixes all genres and styles, from jazz to punk rock, offering a rich insight into what a dynamic, beautiful soul that Sanya is.

Feb 14, 202201:34:36
#20: Plato's Theory of Forms with Bethany Butzer

#20: Plato's Theory of Forms with Bethany Butzer

Ancient Greek philosopher Plato’s Theory of Forms captures the idea that, beyond the physical reality of the senses, there resides a non-physical World of Ideas. Within this world there are pure forms, or essences, that are perfect in nature. There are many types of form, from phenomena, objects (such as trees), to concepts and abstract ideas, including virtues.

Plato considered that the role of a Philosopher King or Queen was to integrate these perfect ideas into the physical world. For example, the pure essence of wisdom resides in the World of Ideas, and a wise person is able to integrate this perfect form, increasingly so, by conscious direction.

In his dialogue, Memo, Plato explains how we inherently respond to the discovery of knowledge of this dimension, in a recollection process. That’s because the deepest essence of our being — the soul — resided in the World of Ideas before being manifest into the physical reality.

For Plato, the World of Ideas is the true reality. The physical reality we perceive is just a shadow of this reality. Plato uses the Allegory of the Cave, in which prisons, chained and stationary, mistake shadow’s projected on the cave’s as reality, when it is only a tiny fragment of reality.

Bethany Butzer returns to the podcast to explore this theory, its relevance to modern thinking, and its practical benefits. Our discussion looks at Carl Jung’s theory of Archetypes, psychic patterns that were inspired by Plato’s work, synchronicity, the relationship between mind and matter, and the quantum potentials of order from chaos.

Are humans the bridge between the imaginal, and the manifest? What is our special relationship to integrating these essential forms? What is the role of metaphor and myth in the unfolding of reality and the subjective experience? And is sacred geometry and patterns that repeat to scale, from the atomic to the cosmic, evidence of an underlying, fundamental reality, in the way Plato suggested?

Resources: Bethany’s Instagram. MTE Podcast: Synchronicity And The Nature of Reality.

Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch

Feb 02, 202201:04:09
#19: Let Faith Guide You Through Uncertainty

#19: Let Faith Guide You Through Uncertainty

This is an exploration of faith, uncertainty, and facing the unknown. In moments of challenge, it's tempting to try and find certainty, to think our way through, to come up with solutions. But some of life's biggest moments don't have quick solutions. They're questions, not answers. They're a process, and usually, there has to be time spent tolerating the discomfort of uncertainty. When we choose to try and control, we cause more suffering. What what if we let go, and embrace life's mystery?

Faith is a reminder that, even if unseen, even if lost, we are still on track in the grand scheme of things. Faith is having the humility to be guided, without knowing the final destination. Faith is having confidence that, at some point in the future, the process and the path will make sense, with a deeper purpose slowly coming into view.

Jan 20, 202241:05
#18: Stages of the Spiritual Journey with Nick Kettles

#18: Stages of the Spiritual Journey with Nick Kettles

My friend and mentor Nick Kettles joins me to discuss the stages of the spiritual journey. I’ve worked closely with Nick for a few years now. Nick is an incredible guide and teacher, who draws upon his wealth of experience and knowledge across multiple fields of development — from Advaita Vedanta, coaching, breathwork, and Jungian psychology.

Having worked with 1000s to support their awakening and integration, Nick noticed a trend in the different stages that appear to be consistent. What I find most valuable about our talk is that it offers guidance for those who are, in a sense, spiritual rebels. Without choosing any set discipline of philosophy, the amount of choice can feel overwhelming.

Here, we share a map that will help find direction and guidance on the path of personal growth. The stages are:

Window Shopping: an early stage of exploring portals to new realities and different types of energy. Narrowing of the Path: the choice to focus on one practice in order to make progress. There may be a separation from other life experiences in order to cultivate a deeper connection. Disenchantment: when life circumstances start to get in the way, and the initial inspiration to practice can lead to a sense of disillusionment with the practice itself. However, this is a great opportunity for the reality within to flourish. Integration: this is the point of “non-doing” where life operates through you, and the practice itself becomes more spontaneous, as you become more grounded and connected. No Discernable Practice: this is the stage where life itself is the practice. Links: Thresholds of the Soul Coaching –

Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch

Dec 06, 202101:23:39
#17: The Science and Psychology of Extraordinary Awakenings with Steve Taylor

#17: The Science and Psychology of Extraordinary Awakenings with Steve Taylor

I'm joined by Steve Taylor to discuss the micro and macro qualities of awakening, and what Steve calls the panspirits worldview. Steve is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University, and the author of several best-selling books on psychology and spirituality. These include Back to Sanity, The Leap, Spiritual Science, and his new book, Extraordinary Awakenings: When Trauma Leads to Transformation.

Eckhart Tolle has described his work as ‘an important contribution to the shift in consciousness which is happening on our planet at present.’ It's clear to why — the world desperately needs a different approach to nature, the self, and spirituality, in a way grounded in science. I found Steve's work early on in my awakening process and was inspired and relieved by the discoveries in science and psychology that support awakening.

I've wanted to talk with him for years, and I was delighted to get the opportunity. The discussion covers the signs of awakening, including guidance for those on the path, as well as the research and discoveries of science that support these non-ordinary states, from NDEs to psi and beyond.

Key talking points: What is transpersonal psychology? Steve explains his personal journey of awakening and how he thought he was crazy before discovering this new field of psychology. The definition of an awakening experience and the transcendence of separation. Connection as a fundamental reality. How trauma can lead to the dissolution of ego and transformation into a "higher self". Why the material worldview is a belief system based on unfounded assumptions. How this worldview impacts the environment and cultural nihilism. How scientism leads to cognitive bias and dismissal of evidence of findings outside of that worldview. The link between consciousness, quantum physics, and spirituality. How connection can help shift depression. Reassurance that spiritual experiences are not pathological, but normal. A few thoughts on the evolution of consciousness and how its manifesting in the world today. Links: Website: Extraordinary Awakenings (book): Facebook: Instagram: Twitter:

Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch

Nov 21, 202101:03:54
#16: Unleash Your Creative Genius with David Paul Kirkpatrick

#16: Unleash Your Creative Genius with David Paul Kirkpatrick

🔊 Video version available on YouTube!  


Show description:  

I’m joined by David Paul Kirkpatrick, an American film producer, studio executive and writer, to discuss creativity and depth psychology. David’s experience certainly makes him an expert of the subject, both through his personal journey, and his work with leading creatives. He was production chief at Walt Disney Pictures and President of Paramount Pictures, where he oversaw over two hundred films including Top Gun and franchises including Indiana Jones, Star Trek, Friday the 13th, and Beverly Hills Cop. He is a Golden Globe award-winning independent film-maker with pictures including Big Night, and the HBO Television Miniseries, Rasputin. David founded the MIT Center for the Future of Storytelling in 2008 and the Story Summit in 2019. He has authored several books, including The Address of Happiness, The Dog (written with Steven James Taylor) and The Adventures of Merlin, to be published in 2023.


Key talking points:  

02:00: Background on David’s creative upbringing, including playfulness, archetypes, and reading Man and His Symbols aged 15.  

09:00: How enchantment led to David’s work at Disney, inspired by creating a video as a child that was watched by Walt himself.  

17:00: The nature of the daimon and creative genius, the importance of artists breaking through “the system,” and the trouble with making art for money.  

20:00: What Jim Henson’s funeral taught about imagination, playfulness, and challenging rigidity.  

28:00: The shadow of creativity, in particular the often unbearable “tension” of the creative process. 

33:00: Managing yourself as an artist, which includes respecting the daimon, showing up, and allowing for the extraordinary experience of flow.

41:00: The hardest part for artists is the waiting time, which is often interpreted as “something being wrong.” This calls for more discipline and rituals to set the context for creative work.  

51:00: How to share your message, and your creative work, whilst ignoring the self-critic.  

1:00:00: Lila, the divine play, and the transcendent nature of acting.  

1:02:00: An alternative view of magic and transformation. Plus, moving beyond duality with meditation.  

1:05:00: The need to raise consciousness, and the importance of existential gratitude.  


David’s links:  


David’s Medium page:   



How To Train Your Daimon:

Intentional Dreaming:


Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch

Oct 07, 202101:26:41
#15: The Union Of Yoga and Jung with Leanne Whitney

#15: The Union Of Yoga and Jung with Leanne Whitney

Dr. Leanne Whitney joins the show to explain the nuances of Jungian depth psychology and Patanjali’s yoga sutras. How do these two systems of the psyche fit together? Where are their similarities and their differences? Is there a way of synthesising the wisdom of both, to create a union of West and East?

Leanne is an independent scholar in the fields of depth psychology and consciousness studies. She works as a transformational coach, yoga teacher, and documentary filmmaker, and for over twenty-five years has researched the mind body connection and their interrelation with pure consciousness.

Leanne is well positioned to provide an expert view, as she specializes in the intersection of Western psychology and Eastern wisdom. She is the author of numerous published papers, as well the book, Consciousness in Jung and Patanjali, which is an eloquent and ambitious comparison of both approaches.

Highlights of this rich and heartfelt discussion include:

The relationship between yoga’s pure consciousness and Jung’s theory of the conscious (ego) and unconscious. Why Jung’s view on healing and wholeness was never fully complete due to his perception of consciousness. How Patanjali separates knowledge from reality, whilst Jung remained grappling with contents of the psyche. The respective approaches to God: all there is vs. what humans make conscious. The different orientations of awareness, and the ability to objectively witness contents of mind. Synchronicity as a bridge between the two bodies of work. Getting to the root of suffering and detecting patterns. The ego in yoga and Jungian philosophy. How shadow work fits in both systems. The material, scientific paradigm of the west, and the need to find a system that uses the best of both.

Standout quotes:

“You’ll never get to the bottom of the collective unconscious, because for Jung, it’s all phenomenological. Whether you look with a microscope or telescope, depending on the lens, the phenomena is going to get smaller or bigger, then you have to grapple with how to place yourself.” “For Jung, people are making God conscious, and that’s an enormous task, we’re bringing light into the darkness. He left us with an enormous task. For Patanjali, that is too egoic. Jung’s consciousness only relates to ego, that human beings have consciousness. Patanjali would say the whole thing is conscious, all the world is conscious.” “The symbols aren’t just in the mythologies, but the very thing we’re living in front of our eyes. The thing thats happening in the body and in front of our eyes is 100% in sync with the thought forms and the binds that are also in the psyche.” “For Jung, consciousness relates to an ego. I feel that’s one of the fundamental errors or points of concern for Jungian depth psychology. In the end, Jung’s idea of consciousness is very conceptual and linguistic. For Patanjali, consciousness is everything, yes it’s conceptual, but it’s not conceptual, it’s linguistic and non-linguistic, because it’s everything.”


Leanne’s website: Leanne's Instagram: Consciousness in Patanjali and Jung:

Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch

Sep 02, 202101:27:19
#14: Authentic Awakening vs. Spiritual Ego with Stephan Bodian

#14: Authentic Awakening vs. Spiritual Ego with Stephan Bodian

I’m joined by Stephan Bodian to discuss the difference between authentic awakening and spiritual ego. Stephan is a licensed therapist and spiritual teacher who has pioneered the integration of Western psychology and Eastern wisdom.

He is the author of numerous books, including Wake Up Now, Beyond Mindfulness and Meditation for Dummies, which has sold half a million copies since its launch in 1998.

Stephan has practiced for many years with masters in the non-dual wisdom traditions of Zen, Dzochen and Advaita Vedanta, and received Dharma transmission from Adyashanti in 2001.

Since 2007 he has led an intensive program in spiritual transformation, known as the School for Awakening, and dawns on decades of experience as a therapist and teacher to offer specialised guidance for those on the path of awakening.

Stephan explains the skill of spiritual discernment. When do you trust spiritual teachers? What are the red flags of spiritual narcissism? This discussion delves into the nuances, from psychological projection, the trouble with gurus and positions of power, the freedom of authentic teaching, and the value of knowing your shadow.

How do you trust you’re on the right path? This conversation shines a light on the ego traps and attachments to concepts that can lead to unhealthy relationships or self-denial. Stephan’s heart-felt understanding of psychology and ancient wisdom acts as a shining light on how to “wake up” authentically.

Stephan dispels a few myths around the mainstream teaching of “McMindfulness,” the role of emotions throughout awakening, the genuine practice of meditation, and how to expand awareness whilst embracing humanity. This is a valuable discussion for anyone at any stage of the journey of spiritual growth.


Stephan’s website: Article: Reflections on the Integrity of Spiritual Teachers Article:  How Do Narcissists Become Spiritual Teachers? Talk: Entering The Gateless Gate (SAND 2019)
Jul 21, 202149:55
(Micro-Episode) Dealing With Scattered And Impulsive Thinking

(Micro-Episode) Dealing With Scattered And Impulsive Thinking

When the mind is scattered, and we become easily distracted, what's the solution? Here I break down the difference between impulse and action, and offer a few techniques in refining focus and not becoming caught up in "chasing" thoughts as they arise.  There's some influence from meditative practices along with "urge surfing" from Russ Harris' Happiness Trap, based in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Jul 10, 202114:35
#13: Synchronicity And The Nature of Reality with Bethany Butzer

#13: Synchronicity And The Nature of Reality with Bethany Butzer

In this enthralling episode I'm joined by Bethany Butzer, PhD, to discuss her upcoming paper in the Journal of Consciousness Studies: Does Synchronicity Point Us Toward The Fundamental Nature of Consciousness? Our discussion is as personal as it is scientific, and Bethany's knowledge and wisdom is matched by her enthusiasm and heart.

The more I understand synchronicity, the more I see it as a communication between mind and matter. I could write a thousand words on this, but the universe decided to speak on my behalf. Immediately following the talk I received an astounding synchronicity linked to Michelangelo's painting of Adam and God, which we discuss in the show.

I don't wish to share spoilers, so I encourage you to tune in to find out. Then re-visit this page to see the screenshot in question. The video, which you can watch here, was published on the BBC website the same day as our discussion and contains information which is relevant to our talk.

I was blown away and needed to walk around the block to ground myself! Later in the day, I saw another article linked to the show's discussion: Can physics prove if God exists? This was also published on March 2nd. As you'll hear in the show, "re-search" and synchronicity around matching dates is relevant.

This is pure evidence of synchronicity's life-affirming potential. Aside from the universe's approval of the show (can you get a better endorsement?) we discuss:

The difference between confirmation bias and synchronicity. Adaptive vs. maladaptive pattern detection. How synchronicity provides "breadcrumbs" to follow your path. The link between synchronicity and mystical experiences, such as oneness and transcendence. How contemplative practices such as meditation and yoga invoke synchronicity. What synchronicity teaches about fundamental nature of consciousness. The spiritual vs. the scientific approach to wisdom and knowledge. The re-enchantment of matter and reverence for the Earthly. How synchronicity boosts well-being, meaning, and general happiness. The link with Jung's unus mundus, collective unconscious and archetypes. The nature of knowledge, re-search, and how the inner "Daimon" uses synchronicity.


For more on Bethany's work, visit her website or follow her on Instagram or Facebook.

Watch Bethany's popular TED Talk, Stop Trying So Hard. Achieve More By Doing Less.

Bethany's book, The Antidepressant Antidote: Five Steps to Get Off Antidepressants Safely & Effectively, is available on Amazon.

Bethany is also a lecturer for the Alef Trust MSc program in Consciousness, Spirituality & Transpersonal Psychology.

Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch

Mar 07, 202101:16:46
#12: Welcome to the Age of Re-Enchantment: How Magic Will Transform Mental Health And The World

#12: Welcome to the Age of Re-Enchantment: How Magic Will Transform Mental Health And The World

(This talk is from an event hosted at osmos, Berlin, on 22 January 2020. The same topic which I presented at SAND 2019.) 

The signs are there. They've been there for thousands of years. In this talk I'll take you through a personal journey of my "Hero's Return" from the darkness of depression and psychosis, to a world of magic and mysticism. 

As above, so below; as the Hermetics proposed, I'll argue why this individual awakening process is being mirrored on the global scale.  I'll illustrate how the process of alchemising existential despair, or spiritual awakening, is unfolding across the world. 

From the Mayans, to Carl Jung, Vedanta, Astrology, predictions from some of the world's greatest thinkers are leading us to what Teilhard de Chardin referred to as the Omega Point, the divine harmony of the metaphysical and the material, and how quantum physics is catalysing our global understanding on our non-dual nature.  

In the early 1900s, sociologist Max Weber bemoaned the age of disenchantment, the de-magic-ation of our world and the mysterious within and without. We killed God, according to Nietzsche, but thanks to advances in science and the crumbling of institutionalised religion, and increase is esoteric practice, we're on the cusp of an unfathomable shift in consciousness. 

The sacred union of spirit and the physical is happening. Our relationship with the world, with ourselves, and with each other, will be enriched beyond comprehension.  It's written in the stars. Welcome to the return of magic. Welcome to the age of Re-Enchantment.

Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch

Jan 10, 202101:40:18
#11: The Science of Spirituality with David Lorimer

#11: The Science of Spirituality with David Lorimer

I'm joined by David Lorimer, the chair of the Galileo Commission and Programme Director of the Scientific and Medical Network. The topic of our discussion is the science of spirituality. Or the spirituality of science. Depends how you look at it.

"Science is full of metaphors of becoming and interconnectedness. If we could catch ourselves up as a culture with this view and make it primary, we would realise we’re all embedded in the same life, the same consciousness, and the same system.”

This is an encyclopedic journey that will nourish your intellectual curiosity. I recommend grabbing your notebook and pen as you listen. David's a fountain of knowledge and there's so much to explore from this hour-long conversation. If you're anything like me, your reading list will triple in size.

Science isn't one-size-fits-all. I found myself with a clearer understanding of the many fields of science, the different approaches to experimentation. Science isn't a flawless, unbiased, objective machine. David explains the historical, cultural, political and economic forces that shape the mainstream narrative around the nature of reality through the scientific lens.

Science has lost its openness to new discoveries, but this isn't a modern phenomenon. On 25 August 1609 Galileo made the worldview-shifting discovery that the Earth isn’t the centre of the universe. It rotates around the Sun. The Roman Catholic Inquisition deemed Galileo’s belief in this discovery as heresy and warned him accordingly.

In 1633 he was placed under permanent house arrest after publishing his paper Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. A number of leading astrologers, philosophers and scientists opposed Galileo’s discovery. They refused to look through the telescope. In a letter to German philosopher Johanne Kepler in 1610, Galileo bemoaned his peers: “Truly, just as the asp stops its ears, so do these philosophers shut their eyes to the light of truth.”

This is the crux of the Galileo Commission. We're at a time where many refuse to look through the telescope and see the light of truth — there's more to life than the material, physical world. Consciousness isn't a miracle of the brain, but the universal, primary source of life.

Why does the mainstream scientific view matter? This assumption trickles down into all fields — including psychology and biology — and directly shapes what I refer to as the Disenchanted Worldview (as discussed in Mindsets for Mindfulness).

I'm passionate about science and spirituality finding common ground. On an individual scale, it can completely transform the way you understand life, transforming apathy and nihilism to purpose and connection. Considering the current crises we face, a more expansive science is necessary for humanity's survival.

Follow-up material

Watch David's SAND2019 talk: Who's Not Looking Through The Telescope Now?

Download the Galileo Commission Report for a comprehensive overview of their mission.

David has a wealth of books. These include The Spirit of Science, Thinking Beyond The Brain, A New Renaissance, Science Consciousness and Ultimate Reality, and Resonant Mind. Available at all good retailers.

Just in case you want even more to read, I recommend The Science Delusion by Rupert Sheldrake.

It's always a good time for self-promotion. Here's an article I wrote that is vaguely related: The Ego Erodes When Enchanted By The Stars.

Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch

Oct 15, 202001:09:02
#10: Shamanic Wisdom For Healing And Awakening with Phil Borges
Sep 06, 202001:24:32
#9: Connecting With Your Inner Universe

#9: Connecting With Your Inner Universe

The aphorism "know thyself" has fuelled self-discovery for millenia, stretching back to Ancient Egypt. The phrase, favoured by Socrates, was even allegedly inscribed at the Ancient Greek Temple of Apollo at Delphi. More recently, depth psychology encourages exploring the unconscious aspects of the Self, to uncover the richness that resides within.

In this episode I discuss why self-connection is an essential catalyst in the process of growth. Discovering the universe within — with all its nuances, patterns, shadow and beauty — ignites the journey of wisdom. Embarking on this journey requires a skilled approach to self-enquiry, to begin to understand: Who are you, really?

Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch

Feb 07, 202027:10
#8: How to Change Your Life and Live Authentically
Nov 14, 201953:45
#7: Emotional Perfectionism
Oct 17, 201948:41
#6: Let's Talk About Suicide

#6: Let's Talk About Suicide

October the 10th is World Mental Health Day. This year’s theme is suicide prevention. Every 40 seconds, someone in the world dies by suicide. This has to change.

Mental health stigma is reducing. But it’s still incredibly tough to talk openly about suicidal tendencies. We may feel shame. We may feel burdensome. We may want to avoid worrying or upsetting those we love.

However, talking about suicide can be life-saving.

In this special episode, I share my mental health story. I’ll share tools and techniques — from emotional regulation, thought management, meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, and more.

I want you to know it’s possible to thrive post-depression.

I want you to know suicidal thoughts are okay.

I want you to know suicidal thoughts aren’t truth.

Let's approach the subject with curiosity. Let's discuss with light and love — without avoiding the shadow.

Let’s find light as we navigate the Dark Night of the Soul.

Let’s take a few steps towards empowering ourselves through depression, to breathing a collective sigh of relief, to finding faith things will improve.

Let’s take a giant leap of vulnerability, honesty, and openness.

Let’s share the burden.

Let’s talk about suicide.



Escape The Prison Of Hopelessness With The Power Of Choice

World Suicide Prevention Day: The Times I’ve Wanted To End My Life

[Title Music: Monday Morning Wakeup Call by Daniel Birch]


If you've been affected by the contents of this episode, or if you are currently experiencing suicidal thoughts or extremely low mood please visit or call +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90. Those in Berlin can contact: International Helpline Berlin: 030-44 01 06 07. Worldwide visit:

Oct 10, 201957:02
#5: Crazywise with Phil Borges

#5: Crazywise with Phil Borges

What if psychological crises were opportunities for spiritual awakening? That's the question that motivated Phil Borges to direct his documentary, Crazywise. While documenting indigenous and tribal cultures for over 30 years, he realised the healers and visionaries had each undergone a personal transformation our culture may label a breakdown, psychotic, crazy... Unlike in the West, these "disorders" are seen as gifts.

Phil's Ted Talk on the subject has nearly 2 million views, and it's easy to see why. Having watched Crazywise after a friend recommended it to me, I was eager to talk to Phil. I wasn't disappointed — our discussion in MindThatEgo Podcast #5 was fascinating. We cover diagnosis, peer-support, the overuse of prescription drugs, hearing voices, authenticity, and much more.

On a personal level, our discussion was extremely emotional. I've shared a few things not many people know about my own crisis, particularly around grief and psychosis. Phil was open-hearted about his experiences, too. It's a conversation that will no doubt stay with me for a while.

Enjoy the show!

[Title Music: Monday Morning Wakeup Call by Daniel Birch]
Oct 21, 201801:11:26
#4: Eight Step Recovery with Valerie Mason-John
Oct 07, 201801:12:09
#3: Banishing Winter Blues with Dr. Kelly Rohan

#3: Banishing Winter Blues with Dr. Kelly Rohan

Ricky is joined by Dr. Kelly Rohan, psychologist and leading expert on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Though light therapy is the common treatment for SAD, Kelly's research of SAD-specific Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has proven targeting unhelpful thoughts and challenging habitual behaviour can drastically alleviate symptoms.

No longer do any of us have to feel helpless victims to biology and body-clock when summer ends; by working on our thoughts and creating healthy behaviour patterns, it's possible to banish the winter blues.

Talking points:

- What CBT is and how it combats SAD.
- Noting common cognitive distortions contributing to low mood.
- Ways to schedule activities to override the habit of hibernation.
- How cultural messages can give us a bad impression of winter.
- Mindful exercises to override symptoms.
- Practical tools you can start using today to make winter fun and enjoyable.

(Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch)
Sep 16, 201801:15:03
#2: Healing From Heartbreak with David Gandelman

#2: Healing From Heartbreak with David Gandelman

Ricky is joined by David Gandelman, founder of Grounded Mind and co-host of the Energy Matters podcast. David has over 10 years experience dealing with thousands of clients, many of whom have one burning question — how do I heal from heartbreak?

In this discussion, Ricky and David explore why heartbreak is so devastating, from a spiritual, psychological and personal perspective. Are rebounds ever a good idea? What happens when we don't take time to heal? Why do we sometimes gravitate to partners not suited to us?

Feeling heartbroken and don't know where to begin? This discussion includes practical tools to kick start the healing process, including a guided meditation from David.

Talking points include:

- Finding gratitude through grief.
- The role of forgiveness.
- The importance of removing energetic bonds.
- How to clear space to heal, recover, and find new love.
- Love's healing power.

(Title music: Monday Morning Wake Up Call by David Birch)
Sep 02, 201801:03:51
#1: Essential Spirituality with Roger Walsh

#1: Essential Spirituality with Roger Walsh

In this premiere episode, Ricky is joined by Dr. Roger Walsh, Professor of Psychiatry, Philosophy & Anthropology at the University of California. Roger has spent three decades researching wellbeing, combined with deep spiritual practice and self-exploration. Roger's writing has earned him numerous international awards. His book — Essential Spirituality: The 7 Central Practices — is the topic of this discussion. Roger's transformative work has extensively uncovered useable tools all of us can practice to open us to new ways of living. These tools can help uncover our potential, transforming our inner-universe into an abundant landscape of analysis and learning. Far from dogmatic religion, this is livable, life-changing, state-enhancing spirituality. Talking points include: - The true source of happiness. - Psychedelics as a glimpse of our spiritual potential. - The nature of true love. - The benefits of living ethically. - The power of connecting with the world & serving others.
Aug 19, 201801:29:22