To remain in one place while not being continually entertained or stimulated from something outside ourselves is increasingly difficult. But if we are to become outposts of beauty and goodness—like any artist—we must be willing to remain in the presence of others and of ourselves, over and against our impulse to run away as quickly as we can to reduce our distress as expeditiously as possible. Join us as we delve into the heart of Psalm 27:4 and discover how dwelling is a necessary step in becoming aware of our longings and our griefs, as well as those of others, and how staying put—as odd as it initially might seem—is the first step in our movement toward flourishing. But not only this. For we will see how dwelling “…in the house of the Lord all the days of my life…” is so much more than you might have imagined.
The emergence of beauty and goodness in our world requires that we first imagine it to be so. But trauma and shame shatter and atrophy our imagination, leaving us fearful of imagining, let alone naming the beauty and goodness we long for. For new creation to dawn, it must be led by our willingness to imagine a world we cannot yet see. Moreover, once we catch our first glimpse of a newly imagined future, making it more permanent requires lots of practice. And that practice requires perseverance, because if we want our imagination to wire for beauty and goodness, we much repeatedly fire it to do so. Join Curt and Pepper as we imagine with you what beauty and goodness can become, and how the people who take the stage in the biblical narrative know exactly how hard it is to imagine a world that they have never seen before.
Trauma, shame and their healing, at their heart, take place in the context of intimate human relationships. How does participation in a confessional community create space for the healing we are seeking to emerge? In this episode, Pepper and Curt explore these ideas and more, inviting you to begin to imagine how being part of a vulnerable community not only makes possible the healing and vocational recommissioning we are hungering and thirsting for, but does so in a manner that simultaneously grounds and strengthens our formation as spiritual creatures like few other practices do. Listen in as we discover how confession is about so much more than sin, and what happens when men and women, together—that’s right, we’re going to talk about sex!—commit themselves to creating and curating beauty, rather than devouring it. Moreover, we’ll see how this takes place, surprisingly, in the very presence of their trauma and shame, and not in their absence.
It takes very little to see that if longing and beauty go hand in hand, then trauma and shame are more than willing to make sure that none of that ever lasts, and in some cases makes sure no handshake ever happens. For truly, as sure as we are people of desire, we are people of grief. From our brains to the rest of our bodies, from our inner lives to our relational realities, our grief so fills our minds that we hardly notice that so much of life’s work consists of managing our grief, looking for trouble so we can head it off before it finds us. Given the brokenness and pain that seem so ubiquitous, no wonder we mostly see ourselves as problems to solve rather than beauty waiting to be revealed. Join Pepper and Curt as we unflinchingly name our grief—without forgetting that we were made for so much more.
It’s one thing to consider that beauty is what we might discover, or something we long to create. But what happens when we clue in to the fact that there’s even more? What happens when we are made aware that beauty isn’t just something we want to create—it’s something we were destined from the beginning to become? For as it turns out, to bear and restore God’s image necessarily includes bearing God’s beauty. Who knew that when God looks upon us, beauty is what he sees? Join Curt as he and the most beautiful man in the world explore together how our imaginations are reborn and our minds are renewed when we consider the destiny for which we were truly made.
If desire is the fuel in the tank, then where is it taking us? Yes, our longing is to be deeply, fully known. But our desire is only just beginning to get our attention. For before you know it, from watching children to watching sunsets we soon discover that our ultimate longings are directed to find their home in nothing short of beauty. We begin by making things, and the number of things we want to make is endless. But we aren’t satisfied to make mediocrity. No, we want to create beauty in all of its possible dimensions and in all dimensions of life. Moreover, we will discover in this episode that beauty isn’t a luxury, something we might get to have once we take care of all the other important work of life. No—beauty is something we were—and from God’s point of view, literally—made for. In this episode, Pepper and Curt will explore how our desire to create beauty is not just an add-on, it’s necessary if the life we want is to be realized.
We are people of desire. And it doesn’t take much or long to know that that’s true. Our relationships and, as it turns out, our brains tell us so. But desire is a tricky thing, because as much as we know that it lies at the core of our being, it’s also something that has created no shortage of trouble for us—for as long as we have walked the planet. Just ask Adam and Eve. What does it mean for us to long for all we long for, and how do we reconcile that the very thing that fuels the deepest longings we have is also the source of so much pain and brokenness? Join Pepper and Curt as we kick off Season 3 of the Being Known Podcast, and as we begin the journey into the Soul of Desire, discovering just how much life is waiting for us—right in the center of what we may be more afraid of than anything. And just so you know—we’re longing for you to meet us there.
Like all spiritual disciplines, when we attune to the eight domains of integration we have already introduced, transformation ensues. Not by might. Not by power. But by the Spirit of God. You might think we’re kidding. But when you listen in as we explore the transpirational domain of the mind, you’ll see that, even though the word—transpiration—is one that is made up, what it points to is far from make believe.
We humans, as far as we can tell, are the only creatures to occupy a temporal domain of mental activity — the perceived awareness of our past and our future, and most importantly, that we will die. How does our awareness of time shape our mind, for good or for ill, and how does that awareness potentially prime us to be agents of beauty and goodness on the earth? Join Pepper Sweeney and Curt Thompson as we explore the notion of time — and we try not to lose track of it in the process.