Aaron Perry


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  • Episode 33 – RWB Kevin Townley, Alchemist, Author, Esotericist & Lecturer
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Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 33 - RWB Kevin Townley, Alchemist, Author, Esotericist & Lecturer

[THE ALCHEMY OF THE EXQUISITE] Kevin Townley, Alchemist, Esotericist, and Grand Lecturer of the Colorado Freemasonic Fraternity (A.F. & A.M.), discusses the Alchemy of the Exquisite, the essential foundations of the Cultivation of Truth, Love, the Family-hood of Humanity, and the Relief of Suffering in these momentous times. Educated for over a decade as a monastic in the Carmelite Order, and pulling from the wisdom of the Framers such as George Washington and Ben Franklin, along with many European thinkers, alchemists, writers, and leaders, Kevin shares a unique perspective, a profound conviction to serve and to act, and a sincere devotion to timeless virtues and tenets. The potency of the microbiome – as it transforms the wheat and juice of agriculture into the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist, as it affects the Chi, the Prana, the Life-Force of our bodies and minds, and even the soils of the forests and fields – is a fundamental key to conscious life on planet earth. So is our collective work to fulfill the promise of our nation’s foundational Declaration of Independence and Constitution, the stewardship of our single, shared Planet, and the cultivation of tolerance, civility, and loving-kindness toward one-another.

Mr. Townley is the author of several books, including: “The Cube of Space,” and “Meditations on the Cube of Space.” He is a frequent lecturer on esoteric mysteries, and teaches courses at The Colorado Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Boulder College, Sancta Sophia Theological Seminary and Naropa University, and elsewhere in the United States and Europe on various topics, including: Spagyrics, Qabalah, the Tree of Life, the Signatures of Nature, Sacred Geometry, and Alchemy. He co-founded the Hermetic school, The Philosophers of Nature, which has a seven-year curriculum in laboratory alchemy and Qabalah.


(Automatically generated transcript for search engine optimization and reference purposes – grammatical and spelling errors may exist.)

Welcome to the YonEarth Communities Stewardship and Sustainability Podcast Series.

Today I have the opportunity to visit with Kevin Townley, hi Kevin.

Aaron, how are you today?

Doing great, all right.

Thank you.

We’re going to have a really interesting conversation on the alchemy of fermentation

and the microbiome.

We’re going to get into some fun, philosophy, theology, mystical, esoteric topics as well.

This is going to be a really fun episode.

And before we dive in, I want to tell you a little about Kevin’s background.

He is a student and a scholar in theology and philosophy.

And during his formative years spent 10 years in a monastic setting with the

Carmelite order.

More recently, he is very involved with the Freemason institution, specifically as the

Grand Lecturer here in Colorado, where he is in charge of the esoteric work of the

fraternity working with his committee, the custodians of the work.

Kevin has also worked as a professional alchemist and did that for many years and

ran an alchemy lab for a couple of years.

And Kevin was telling me that back in 2008, in Aspen at the Aspen Institute, he encountered

father Thomas Keating, some of you may know the name, talking about alchemy in the

microbiome and so forth.

And father Keating from that Sustertian monastery in Snowmass indicated that that was

one of the best talks he had ever heard on the topic.

Is that right?

On the topic of the Eucharist and why it is what it is.

On the topic of the Eucharist, and one of the things we are going to get to in this

discussion on fermentation in the microbiome is how the plays into the tradition, the

sacrament of the Eucharist and some of the other traditions from around the world.

So, Kevin, thanks for being with us today.

So great to have this opportunity to talk with you.

My pleasure, Aaron.


So, we are talking about the alchemy of fermentation in the microbiome.

What is that?

What are we talking about there?

Well, fundamentally, you know, and it is no mystery to a lot of biologists and nutritionists,

at least more of current ones, that we have within our own make up.

We have 50 trillion cells that make up our human body, but even more than that,

there is all these microbes that live within our body, particularly in the gut,

and tested and stuff, making so on.

And they present a culture, just like we have a lot of cultures of the Hebrews,

or the Celts, or the Chinese, there is a culture.

And the culture tends to multiply itself when it is left to do whatever that culture does,

and the same is true with the cultures that live within our body.

And if there are certain environments created, then we have healthy cultures in our body,

and health and well-being is the consequence.

And if we create an environment for unhealthy cultures, then usually disease,

and a variety of unwholesome things happen within our body.

And so, whether or not, you know, we can know about what to do,

and then not do it, but the problem is, or the situation,

is that if we create the proper environment for our internal ecology,

we can have control of that, and create a whole new system for ourselves.

And that culture that lives within us.

Yeah, so interesting.

So, sometimes we talk about it as if we’re each running a farm in our own bodies

with these different microorganisms that live inside of us.


And more and more of us are becoming aware that eating certain probiotic foods,

foods that have these living cultures in them is one of the ways we can maintain

very healthy internal microorganism cultures.

Not just the probiotics, but there’s also prebiotics,

and the prebiotics usually feed healthy organisms that are living sort of in a ghetto

within our gut that are healthy, but they’ve been so overwhelmed by other cultures

that they’re sort of off to the side.

And if you get the proper nutrients of the prebiotics for those organisms,

then they start to thrive, and the unhealthy ones start to starve.

And then there’s a whole transformation in the culture within the body.

So, probiotics are great to get things started, but the prebiotics seem to be,

according to the literature, in a more sustainable way,

because the probiotics tend to die off in short order.

But the prebiotics help create a healthy condition for the existing culture

and make it more healthy so that it becomes dominant.

So that’s sort of the foundation, if you will.

Well, this is super interesting.

So, what does that have to do with the Eucharist?

And before getting into the topic of the Eucharist,

with our stewardship and sustainability series,

one of the things we do from time to time is speak with different religious

and spiritual leaders, elders, et cetera.

We had Safi Kaskas on the show several months ago.

He’s from Saudi Arabia doing great interfaith work throughout the world.

And, you know, not all of us are practicing Christians, obviously,

but worldwide, I think it’s safe to say that the influence,

the impact of the Abrahamic tradition that Jewish, the Christian,

the Islamic traditions is substantial, it’s significant.

My research for Wiener showed me that some five out of eight people

on the planet identify as being affiliated with one of the Abrahamic traditions.

So, I’m curious to talk about this sacrament of the Eucharist

with the microbiome in mind, Kevin, knowing that not all of our audience

is necessarily Christian.

Sure. And one of the important things to understand about that

is that, you know, a lot of people with big,

have no religious background whatsoever, make bread.

And what are you doing, you make bread?

Well, you add 11 to it.

Wow, there’s a yeast.

And what happens is that the yeast begin to eat the sugars

that are within the flower and, you know,

put it into warm spot and the dough rises and their creates gases and things.

But what really happens is that there’s a transformation

from the flower into a living food.

And then it has the different types of cultures that are put into the flower

and then it eventually becomes a living bread.

Same is true for the wine.

And that the wine is grape juice, generally speaking,

and, you know, there are all varieties of wine.

But let’s just take the grapes and they have their own natural sugars.

And when you add a different strain of yeast to the grape juice,

it creates a product that doesn’t exist in that form in the natural world,

and that is alcohol.

But there is a living culture within that grape juice

and it becomes a living drink, if you will.

And if it goes too far, that culture dies and another culture is generated,

which produces vinegar.

And so the main idea behind all that is that there’s a living culture

that’s transforming something into something else.

And so the concept of a living bread and a living wine

is something that really gives us an interesting understanding

that we’re drinking something and eating something

that actually changes the internal culture of our bodies.


Just our kombucha.

It’s all the same thing, or a sauerkraut, or whatever,

you were ingesting these foods that change or support cultures.

It’s interesting to me that we see living cultured foods

in traditions all around the world, all around the planet.

You mentioned kombucha.

There’s living sauerkrauts, there’s kimchi, all kinds of different things.

A lot of our modern industrial foods have eliminated that living component.

So you today can go and buy a shelf stable version of sauerkraut

on some aisle that does not have that living culture in it.


And I’m wondering if there may be a connection there.

Certainly the literature is bearing this out between many of the health issues

that we’re seeing, not only physical, but even potentially mental

and emotional health issues that are related to not having as much

living cultured food in our diets as we once did.

I sure would agree with that.

And I think that the modern nutritionist and biologists

would agree with that as well.

It’s a whole new way of looking at things.

I say no, it’s not brand new, but it’s becoming more scientifically verified.

Then say some of the theories that were presented maybe 50, 60 years ago.

It has now become scientific fact.

Now there’s this interesting connection.

It is some of us who are doing work in the realm of soil stewardship

and carbon sequestration through soil building, soil regeneration

are working in the biodynamic tradition.

And of course, Rudolph Steiner, a great esotericist of about 100 years ago,

spoke about the connection between our guts as being analogous to the soil

in the landscape on the farm.

And we’re seeing similar research emerging now

and really validating how important that living microbiome is in the soil

just as it is in our own bodies.

And Steiner was sort of all over this way ahead of his time we might say.

And I’m curious as somebody who has studied different esoteric traditions

from all around the world,

are you seeing any insights or wisdom emerging in that connection

that we might apply in our world today?

Well, I think that those who went into those types of studies

sort of had the advantage of not having to demonstrate everything scientifically.

But a lot of those ideas have been around for I would say thousands of years.

I met this one from Peru.

It was a Peruvian farmer.

And I actually met him at the same conference that I met by the time I was kidding him.

And he got his PhD in agriculture from Greeley at the University of Northern Colorado there.

And after all the things he learned about soil and fertilizers

and all the modern agricultural practices,

he said, you know, he still goes up and opens up the guinea pig

and does the augury observation and interpretation.

He says he finds that much more fulfilling and the information is more valuable

than a lot of the newer types of agricultural practices

that have been going on for the last 75 years.

So the indigenous people tend to have that deep connection.

And in the alchemical world it’s called the signatures of nature

that there are things that are connected to the earth

and those who are by virtue of their background and attention

are also connected to the earth and to the signatures of nature.

And so we find that these ideas are not new,

but because of the path we’ve taken scientifically,

probably right around the close of the 18th century,

we went from an alchemical worldview to a chemical worldview.

And there’s a great book that was written called The Dwellings of the Philosophers

by a very curious individual by the name of Falkenelli

who’s even a question whether it was one person, perhaps a group.

But in that book it says that chemistry is the science of effects

and alchemy is the science of causes.

And so attentive to your comment that these things go back

and our connection to the earth go back millennia,

but we have sort of severed that connection

and perhaps it’s part of our process

to be able to look at the minutest details and to separate things

and then eventually recombine them.

So now after the close of the 18th century,

science went into that separation mode,

but now it’s coming up against itself

and it is recombining its ideas with the living aspect

because it’s kind of divorces itself from the life aspect

but more about the form aspect

or the breaking things down,

look at everything in separate parts and not holes.

So now we’re looking at things more from a holistic point of view,

even scientifically the more advanced sciences are now seeing that

interdependent nature of reality.

But you alluded to about the earth and our guts.

It’s such an exciting time in that regard

to be alive and to have these advancing tools

that we have that allow us to see the very minute,

for example, with these microorganisms.

It’s absolutely remarkable.

And I think too that the soil in our internal biosphere

is one example of that interconnectedness,

but there are many other examples of that interconnectedness,

whether it deals with our consciousnesses

or our spiritual connection to telepathy and so on.

Those are two very important pieces

and they allude to many other interconnected parts

within our life and world

and even in our solar system and galaxy.

I mean, that’s getting out there,

but there is that interconnectedness

and that first part just alludes to these other areas.

Well, I’m very curious, Kevin,

with your background, your knowledge

and you’ve studied many of these interconnected esoteric traditions

in a depth and to a degree that not too many people

accomplish in a lifetime.

And I’m just curious, with that background,

is there a specific insight or a specific piece

of wisdom or recommendation you would share with our audience

in general about these times that we’re leading in?

Well, you know, I’ve always kept pretty quiet

about all these things and those were interested

I’ll have a conversation.

But, you know, it’s really difficult

because it’s certainly been mostly an individual journey.

But what I’ve come to understand is that we’re in a process

and humanity as a whole is moving in a particular trajectory

and there are resistances to moving in that direction.

So our whole species, if you will,

and we won’t even include all the other kingdoms

that are involved in that same journey,

is moving towards a place of unity,

of familyhood and so on and so forth.

And there are resistances to us taking care of each other.

And we can see that in our political climates today

and you have these different camps that are interested in

and really making sure that we are proclaiming each other’s needs

and caring for each other as a family

as opposed to thinking that everybody’s on an individual path

and if you don’t earn it and pull yourself up

by your brute structure at a lot.

So there’s that movement.

And the point that we eventually have to arrive

is that full awareness of the familyhood of humanity.

And that is one of the key factors

that drew me into the Masonic institution

because one of its primary principal focuses

is that very thing, the familyhood of humanity,

the cultivation of truth,

and the relief of suffering in the world.

And those are the three pieces

if I could give any thoughts or wisdom or advice to anyone in the world

is that if you can gauge yourself by those three principles

and have those being the motivating factors in your life

and ask yourself the question,

is it truthful?

Is it relieving suffering

and is it establishing the familyhood of humanity?

And if it doesn’t pass muster with those three points

and something’s wrong,

because the direction we’re going on

is to synthesize all three of those principles.

And that’s how I choose my political candidates.

Are they truthful?

Are they believing suffering or quasi-suffering?

Or are they establishing their familyhood of humanity

or creating division?

I don’t have to talk about Democrats, Republicans,

just how they follow those three principles.

And so, I mean, I think that the study

you can go into all these great subjects

of numerology, astrological, biologic, and so on and so forth,

and they’ll tickle their brain cells

and they’re very transforming in certain ways.

But when the rubber hits the road,

that’s where it counts right there,

those three principles.

Well, my understanding, which is limited,

is that the founding of this country,

the United States,

was caused in great part by some

Masonic leaders,

George Washington, Ben Franklin, and others.

And there were fundamental ethical foundations laid

that certainly over time take

effort to realize to a greater and greater degree.

But I’m curious what your read is in terms of

how the founding of this nation occurred

in the context of that evolution of humanity

and where we might be going in that sense.

Well, I went to Philadelphia,

to the Independence Hall,

and there was a great,

what are they called, Park Ranger there,

and he’s a black man.

And one of the more interesting things that he said was

that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence

is a promise.

Sometimes it takes a while to fulfill the promise.

And so while we have had tremendous scars

on our history relative to slavery and genocide,

and the treatment of the indigenous peoples,

and the repression of women,

all those things,

if you look at what occurred at that time,

and the culture in which they unfolded,

we have made tremendous progress,

but we’re not,

we haven’t fully completed it and fulfilled the promise.

And so in order to do that,

we have to be able to elect our leaders

who will adhere to the fundamental principles

of which this country we were founded on,

and that is a government by oven for the people,

not by oven for institutions

that basically rape and collage the resources

of the citizenry,

moving from a democracy to a cutocracy.

I mean, you can see that even happening in our own country.

A cutocracy meaning leadership by the thiefs.

Right, leadership by people taking the money

and leaving others to suffer as a consequence

of that green selfishness.

So the Masonic principles that some of the founding fathers

had still survived today,

and are really the most excellent tenants

by which we can operate by.

There has been a deviation.

You know, it’s like if you’re on a hike

and you’re heading towards a particular goal in the mountains,

you might get into the thick timber

and you don’t see the goal anymore,

and you might wander a little bit,

but eventually you’ll gain sight of the goal again

and then you have to reorient yourself.

And I think that our nation is in the process of reorientation

toward those principles,

and hopefully with some of the newer leaders

that are coming up,

particularly many of the women

that have just come into the Congress.

I have great hope,

particularly with some of the younger individuals

who seem to be more occupied with caring for others

than seeing how they can take advantage of them.

It’s beautiful.

Well, connecting a thread back

to an earlier part of our conversation

where we’re talking about microbiome,

we’re talking about some very complex living systems

and aspects of this reality

that our science has been really sort of catching up

to being able to observe

and understand in a more nuanced manner.

And it makes me think,

my gosh, in some respects,

the microbiome,

the neurobiochemistry going on in each of our bodies,

the complex wood wide web,

I’ve heard it called the network of living organisms

across kingdoms of living species

throughout the soil,

throughout the forests are so complex,

so far beyond any of the technologies that we’ve developed.

And we’re just as a society

really kind of catching on to how amazingly complex

these systems truly are.

And there’s a whole other realm of complexity

in the esoteric and mystical studies.

And I know you’ve written a couple of books.

I brought copies with me one being the cube of space.

We’ll show this to the audience.

The other being a follow-on,

meditations on the cube of space.

And by the way,

where can people get these if they’re looking to get these?

Well, right now I think you can get them on Amazon.

You can email me and all ginger copies,

but they’re there for sale on Amazon.

Great, okay.

We’ll contact you.

Okay, great.

You’re dealing with some pretty complex

information in these books as well.

That tie to the Hebrew tradition,

the Hebrew tradition,

the Kabbalistic tradition.

So for our general audience,

the cube of space,

what is it?

And how is that something that relates to our lives?

Well, there are several things.

One is that it deals with an investing

into the process of creation.

And there’s the big bang theory.

I believe the big bang happens every day all over the place.

And when someone generates a creative thought

and follows through with some very positive actions and so on,

it really does foster and generates a whole creative process.

So in these two books,

it is really a way of understanding to some degree

how it is that we can actually bring about changes in our lives

and in the world according to how it is that we hold our creative thoughts.

Now there are a lot of books written on the subject of creativity,

but there’s a lot of information that’s left out.

And so we think about limitation as being a negative thing.

But in these books, it really looks at limitation as being a tool

that so when you’re going to create something,

you impose the limits on what it is you want to accomplish

so that you’re not a mile wide and a half inch deep.

So you get to have something very specific

and you create the boundaries by which that thing will come forward.

And so it investigates.

That it gets into some very intellectual aspects,

particularly from technicalities of the Kabbalah.

But if I was to give you the nuts and bolts,

the ultimate cliff version of that,

it really has to do with the creative process and the power of limitation.

And so the first book is really about the information

and the second one is about practices

and how one can go about generating certain,

not just creative threads of bringing something in a manifestation,

but also when we get back to the concept of fermentation,

what is also employed in both of these books are symbol systems.

So there’s the symbol system of alchemy,

of the Kabbalistic system,

of masonry, of geometry, and number.

And all of those things together when approached as a practice

will transform the way you think,

how you perceive the nature of reality.

And we too often will observe things and take them at face value

just as if you’re looking at soil.

Look at all that dirt.

But it’s not.

I actually had a horticulture study.

It’s not dirt, it’s soil.

And I said, okay.

But there’s all this life that’s in there,

or sometimes like there are.

And to be able to look at the livingness of something.

For example, when I was working in a laboratory,

I used to do a lot of plant work.

It’s called Spagiarics, plant alchemy.

And I would dig up a plant and I would clean off all the roots.

And I would notice that there’s a place on the roof

that is not plant, and it is no longer soil.

But it’s the place in between the transformation

or even transmutation of the organic and inorganic compounds

that are absorbed by the plant,

that transform it into living vegetable matter.

That’s an amazing thing.

And when you can see that slight transition,

it’s not unlike dawn and dusk.

It’s not daytime, it’s not nighttime.

Sun hasn’t come up or sun’s gone down, it’s still light.

There’s those in between states.

And it’s those in between states

where we can begin to perceive the transformations that take place.

Not just in the world around us, but also in ourselves.

And so in the symbol systems, for example,

I used the Taro and I used number and Hebrew letters

and a variety of other symbols.

When you work with them consistently and understand the application

that’s like having a tool and knowing how to use it,

you will change and you will transform.

And for the better.

But you have to be able to be willing to discipline yourself

to go through that process.

And so that’s the main thrust too.

It’s not just learning how to create something intentionally,

but also how to transform your own nature,

to become more aware of and identify with that inner presence

that in Christianity it’s called the soul or the Hindu tradition.

It’s called Christian consciousness or in Buddhism.

It’s the Buddha consciousness.

So those are all available to us.

But it’s not available easily if all we do is just kind of

similarly just sort of scan over it.

It’s like making chicken soup.

You want to make chicken soup?

You got to boil the chicken.

You can’t just pass it over the boiling pot and boil it good.

So there’s a certain intensity that has to be experienced and undergone.

But you’ll be happy camper if you do.

You’ll understand the consequences of that type of meditation and study.

You know, I’m so excited to hear about this and to share this with our audience.

I know in May, May 17 to 19,

the YonEarth community is hosting a three-day summit called

Massively Mobilizing Sustainability

and deep leadership for the 21st century is the Sun Title.

And we’re bringing together executives, educators, entrepreneurs

to explore aspects of leadership in these times.

In these times when we are faced with the incredibly urgent task

of healing and regenerating ecosystems, of healing and restoring

social relationships and communities, et cetera.

And it requires an even deeper type of leadership for us

to get through these challenging times, I think, Kevin.

And it’s amazing to me to hear you describing something

that seems to actually relate in a very important way to leadership.

And in our culture today, we are fed so much through the media images

of what success looks like, the next shiny car,

whatever it might be, the certain neighborhood, the certain zip code.

And it’s such a superficial story.

And beneath that, there’s this opportunity for depth

and for authentic experience of growth, of development, of leadership.

And I’m so excited you’re going to be at the summit with us in May

because I think part of what your sharing can do in our culture

is deepen and activate and accelerate the type of leadership

that’s really needed in these kinds of times.

Yeah, leadership doesn’t have to be out there running

for Senator Kong or sometimes just community leadership

or grassroots leadership that gets felt in the larger context

because people gather together with mass intent

and behind someone who has an idea that helps transform

the local and eventually the larger context.

Yeah, it’s amazing.

And of course, we’re living in a time now

where we can communicate all around the planet.

That’s right.

And we have these tools that are fingertips

that are extraordinarily powerful.

And the hope is that we increasingly wield these powerful tools

in a manner that is devoted to the cultivation

of the familyhood of humanity and relief of suffering

and cultivation of truth.

I mean, I used to have to travel to libraries to get information.

Now you get a USB stick.


And it’s got the Library of Alexandria on it, right?

It’s like, well, not exactly that.

Huge, huge numbers of volumes about information

and some child in Nigeria can have all the information

that man has right here in the palm of his hand.

That’s so exciting.

Yeah, absolutely exciting.

I want to remind our audience that

this is the Y on Earth communities stewardship

and sustainability podcast series.

And today we are speaking with Kevin Townley.

And we’re discussing a variety of topics

related to alchemy of fermentation in the microbiome.

We might even say the esoteric mysticism of leadership.

And I want to make sure to mention our sponsors

making this podcast possible.

A big thank you to the International Society

of Sustainability Professionals.

A thank you to Purium, to Waylay Waters,

to Earth Coast Productions,

and to the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.

Thank you for your support for making all this possible.

I also want to mention for any of you

who would like to check out any of Kevin’s books.

Again, you can get those at Amazon, Kevin Townley,

Cuba Space, and Meditations on the Cuba Space.

We can also provide you a way to connect with Kevin

if you’re interested.

And then for any of you who might want to check out any

of the Y on Earth publications,

be sure to use the code Y on Earth to get a discount

at Y on Earth.org.

And also, if any of you would leave a review

and a like on the podcast channels,

that is much appreciated.

So we have covered a lot of information here, Kevin,

and one of the things that strikes me in all of this

is when we’re talking about the microbiome and soil

in our bodies, we’re talking about the creative force,

we’re talking in a sense about life force,

about a certain type of energy that we probably

understand all that well.

And I’m curious if you could shed a little light

on what’s fundamentally at play there.

Well, I can only give you my understanding of it,

and I certainly have been in a quest of that myself

and with the limits of my own awareness.

But we’re really dealing with the life principles.

So for example, there are three basic principles

of in existence in the forms.

And that’s the form aspect, the consciousness aspect,

and the life aspect.

And so we were getting the form aspect done pretty good

in terms of the separation that took place

as I mentioned in the latter part of the 18th century.

We’ve analyzed stuff, talked about its chemical components

and so on.

We can take a butterfly and tear it apart

and talk about all its consistent parts.

But we’d be hard pressed to make a butterfly.

I’m sure there are those now that could clung one,

and I don’t know so much about that.

But that’s the life principle.

We also have the consciousness aspect.

In each particular kingdom, in the mineral kingdom,

the consciousness aspect is crystallization.

Minerals crystallize.

That’s their one trick pony.

They can do that really well.

In the vegetable kingdom, we have a perfumed radiance

or the flowering plant that demonstrates its type of consciousness.

And the reproduction of its own kind

through multiplication, many, many seeds.

In the animal kingdom, we have instinct.

In the human kingdom, we have self-conscious awareness.

Those are modes of awareness and consciousness.

And we’re psychology and various types of studies

have entered into that.

We don’t fully understand the whole thing,

but now we have artificial intelligence.

So we’re beginning to create types of intelligences.

But the life principle is one that is really

the big piece we’re trying to identify.

And so in alchemy, what it has tried to do over the millennia

is isolate that life principle and purify it

and create an elixir out of it so that one can regenerate the body,

raise their consciousness, and perhaps even eventually transform

the physical sphere into a higher level of being.

So that’s the mystery, the life part.

And so we feel the life, we know, and we feel great,

and we know, and we don’t.

And we see life combusting forth in who knows how many hundreds

of billions or trillions of metric tons of vegetable life

that pounds out through the earth every spring.

And then it goes back into the earth again when it breaks down

unless you harvest it for food.

So the life of the vegetable kingdom,

and of the human kingdom, and the animal kingdom, and so on,

they demonstrate themselves, but we still haven’t got it.

Okay, how do we do that?

And we don’t know.

But there may be certain pockets of science and or other groups

that have been added for some maybe a thousand or plus years

and maybe science for 40 or 50 years.

But there is that effort to understand that life mechanism

and the switches that get turned on and off

and the human being, you know, when we,

when we start growing up with certain switches get turned on

and then have testosterone and women estrogen

and they start operating accordingly.

But then when you get a little older, those switches get turned off

and you start growing here where you don’t want it

and losing it where you do.

But there’s that, those life mechanisms that get turned on

and get turned off.

And that’s what some of the more advanced

health companies are engaged in understanding those mechanisms.

And so we feel it, we want it, and it’s still a mystery to most.

So I am so struck that one of the big tasks in front of us right now

is collaborating with natural forces to sequester carbon

through soil building to healing and regenerating ecosystems,

collaborating with this life force as it is,

working in all of these different contexts

and with all these countless numbers of species.

And I’m also struck that in our spiritual traditions,

the greatest teachers are teaching a message of love.

And I’m curious if there isn’t perhaps a nexus

where it’s love and intention we humans can bring into the ecosystems

and into our communities that will help collaborate with that life force

in a mysterious way to help us get through these times

where, as you said earlier, we’ve lost our way in the woods a little bit.

Well, I think you hit it right on the head, the love aspect,

because we’re too focused on the form aspect

and which translates into acquisition of wealth,

of property, of things that, by many standards,

determine one’s success.

But when you fill out an application for a job,

you get the questions about your resume,

where’d you go to school, what’s your study,

what’s your experience.

I’ve never seen an application that said,

what is your spiritual experience,

how well can you express love in the world?

We don’t have that.

In Bhutan, they have, you probably know,

this department of gross national happiness.

We don’t have one of those in our cabinet here in the States.

Gross national happiness.

So that’s a measuring stick.

And we don’t use that measuring stick,

but there are other cultures that do.

And so we’re not asked about our capacity

in those particular areas.

One day, perhaps, there will be.

I mean, just because one can love this,

I mean, they’re qualified for a job.

But at the same time, that level of compassion

and concern for others is really what’s going to take us

in the right direction.

And there are many that are doing that now.

We’re trying, but they’re meeting their resistance

of self-centered, selfish individuals,

and corporations and so on,

that are not concerned about that,

no matter if they don’t care at all.

So maybe to me to see more and more of the sense of service,

awakening and enlivening in our culture,

and thinking about the different ways you’ve referred to

transformation, transmutation, even trans substantiation.

And I wonder if, as individuals,

as leaders in our communities,

corporations, organizations,

we each might be able to activate a bit more of this

wherever we’re situated.

Well, that’s how it works.

That’s the whole idea behind a leaven

or a winning yeast into something

that when you put a person or a group of people

within the context and their loving, compassionate beings,

it becomes contagious.

We all want that, really.

Even if the outward expression of an individual

is doesn’t demonstrate that.

When they go home, they like to cuddle with the kids

and love their husband or wife,

and express that.

So we all need that.

We all want that.

But a lot of times we only want it for our little family

or a small community or a religious group

or a national group.

And we don’t think about that in terms of a worldwide familyhood.

We’ll get there, hopefully.

But as long as you don’t do some terminal damage

to each other, like destroy the planet,

if we have a place to live,

humanity is on that trajectory,

but it has to overcome some of the difficulties

that we are not facing in the world.


Well, Kevin, I am so grateful to have this opportunity

to speak with you today,

and I’m really excited and grateful

that you’re going to be with us in May

at the Stewardship Summit,

a massive, lead mobilizing sustainability.

And on behalf of the YonEarth community audience,

thank you for visiting with us today.

And before we sign off,

is there anything else you’d like to leave us with?

You know, I don’t think so.

I mean, I think I said what,

and as you have another question,

but I think what probably said what needs to be said.

I have one more question.

You remind me.

And because you have such a depth of knowledge

around the Hebrew,

this word Yahweh,

the Tetra Grammaton,

can you riff on that for a minute or two?

Well, I could.

And it’s interesting, you know,

that Tetra Grammaton doesn’t come into this creation story

until we hear that Yahweh

was walking in the cool of the day

and noticed Adam and Eve

wearing fig leaves, right?

That’s where we get introduced to that being.

But in the earlier section,

and interestingly enough,

that in the book of Genesis,

any talking of deity is always called God.

It doesn’t matter what the word is.

So we have the Lohim,

which is the deity that is involved

in the creation of night and day

and the fishes at the sea

and their soul and the birds of the air, et cetera.

That’s the being that creates

the whole first few chapters of Genesis

and they even create Adam and Eve.

So when we get to Yahweh,

it’s a different aspect of deity.

Very interesting.

And I know this isn’t very popular

in more traditional or bennical circles.

But if you go into the Hindu tradition,

we have Brahma,

which is sort of analogous to Yahweh

and if we were to compare Pantheons.

But there’s also a pair of Brahma,

the Brahma before creation.

And so in the book on the Cuba space,

there’s a Pariyahweh.

And that being creates a container

that the universe can enter into.

And so once that container is created,

the Pariyahweh, which is Yodhavav,

becomes Yodhavavah.

And so there’s the material aspect of deity.

And I know this may run into some,

run a foul with some of the more traditional

or bennical scholars.

But you know,

Sephiryaetra kind of lays it out there.

And I just speak to the truth of that.

Well, I’d probably imagine

many of our audience don’t really know

that this word Yahweh that will use.

And that might be familiar,

is coming from these Hebrew characters,

Yodhavav and Yahweh.

So that’s the truth.

That’s the story there.

That’s the story, and they’re more familiar with Jehovah,

which is the Latin word for that name.

So, you know,

and I wouldn’t necessarily say

I’m a great Hebrew scholar by any means.

I’m certainly not her bravest in terms of language.

I probably know enough to make myself dangerous.


when one begins to examine the intricacies of the name

and the earlier part of that name,

prior to the second hay coming into the spelling of the name,

it raises a lot of questions about the whole creative process.

And that’s why the Sephiryaetra is one of the great

Kembalistic texts really speaks to that whole

pre-creation story.

That because that story took place,

Genesis could take place,

which is pretty amazing.


Well, Kevin, thank you so much for being with us.

Thank you, Aaron.

That’s very wonderful.


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