Bayo Akomolafe Transcript

Bayo Akomolafe interview

Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually awakening people. I’ve done about 550 of them now, and if this is new to you and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to and go onto the past interviews menu where you’ll see them all categorized in several different ways. This program is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers, so if you appreciate it and would like to help support it, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the website. My guest today is Bayo Akomolafe. Welcome Bayo.

Bayo: Hi Rick.

Rick: I’m going to start by reading Bayo’s bio, and I’m going to read it a little bit slowly because he packs a lot of meaning into each of his sentences and I want to make sure you get this. So here we go. “A fugitive to manicured the disciplinarity of the academe, speaker and proud diaper-changer, Bayo leads an earth-wide organization, the Emergence Network, as its Chief Curator and Director. The organization is set up for the re-calibration of our ability to respond to civilizational crisis – a project framed within a feminist ethos and inspired by indigenous cosmologies. He considers this a shared art – exploring the edges of the intelligible, dancing with post-humanist ideas, dabbling in the mysteries of quantum mechanics and the liberating sermon of an eco-feminism text, and talking with others about how to host a festival in Brazil – and part of his inner struggle to regain a sense of rootedness to his community. He also hosts a chorus, ‘We Will Dance With Mountains’ among other offerings. Bayo is a visiting professor at Middlebury College in Vermont and has taught in universities around the world, including Sonoma State University – California, Simon Fraser University – Vancouver, Schumacher College – Devon, Harvard University, and Covenant University – Nigeria, among others. He is a consultant with UNESCO. Bayo has authored two books, ‘We Will Tell Our Own Story’ and ‘These Wilds Beyond Our Fences, Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home’ and has penned forewords for many others. He also has two websites,, which I’m showing on the screen here now, and So, welcome Bayo.

Bayo: Thank you, Rick, thank you.

Rick: And as I… I didn’t quite mention this, but you’re from Nigeria originally.

Bayo: Yes.

Rick: Yeah, a very affluent and generous country judging from the many emails I’ve received from your countrymen over the years, offering me…

Bayo: millions of dollars, no strings attached. Yeah, we just want to give it away, we’re looking for who to give it to you.

Rick: Yeah, it’s wonderful. I’ve never taken them up on their offers, but it’s very nice of them. So I first met you, Bayo, at the Science and Non-Duality Conference last October, and I don’t know whether this was the title of your talk, but you definitely brought out the theme, “The Times Are Urgent, We Must Slow Down”. I’ve heard you say that many times, I’ve been walking in the woods for the past week listening to various talks and other interviews you did, and the impression I got reminiscing about that title is that, boy, the world really took you seriously.

Bayo: Yes, I had that same impression too. My publisher in Berkeley wrote to me and was like, “This seems to be the mantra for the times”. Everyone hates me saying it in my own household, but it does feel like a record worth playing over and over again.

Rick: They hate you saying it because they’re so tired of hearing you say it, is that it?

Bayo: Yeah, they’re so tired of hearing it, “Oh, no, not that one again”.

Rick: I do that too, I say the same things over and over again, my wife kind of groans.

Bayo: Yeah, the groaning is what makes it important.

Rick: So I have an interpretation of what I would mean by that phrase, but what do you mean by it?

Bayo: The times are urgent, let us slow down. There’s nothing new about that. So when I say that, I borrow a lot from… the people I come from are the Yoruba people in Nigeria. And they have a different idea of the world and what’s happening in the world. Their pantheon, their notions of gods and goddesses, their myth, their stories. They all feel like precursors to quantum dynamics and what is happening as we speak about the world as an entangled realm or field. So I borrow a lot from Yoruba epistemologies and ways of knowing and philosophies. When I say the times are urgent, let us slow down. When I say it, I found myself being interpreted in very unfortunate ways. Like, “Oh, okay, what Bayo is saying is we need to reduce our speed, maybe do a little bit of yoga, calm down, relax”. And I definitely wouldn’t want to rule any of that out. But I don’t mean, it’s not a function of speed. The invitation to slow down is not a function of speed. It’s a function of, let me say awareness. It’s a function of interruptions. It’s a function of noticing and playing hosts to the invited others that are always around us. So there’s a deep notion of time that is involved over here. Imagine Rick, that we were headed down this long road. One idea of slowing down in times of urgency might invite you to release your foot on the throttle and just slow down, but you’re still going to the same place just at a slower speed. So that’s definitely not helpful. You’re looking for something transversal. The invitation here is to occupy the crossroads. In Yoruba epistemologies, there’s a notion called orita. And orita is this idea. I think it has been loosely translated as crossroads, but there’s a deeper, more monstrous chimeric notion here that is understood by orita. It literally means in a poetic sense, where the three roads meet. And it’s not supposed to be just an intersection. It’s supposed to be this place where we emerge from. And one of the principal deities in Yoruba philosophies, his name is Eshu. He’s said to be the man of orita. He said to be the God of orita, the God that makes everything emerge. The God of climate change, the God of COVID-19. I just wrote a horrible, monstrous, Frankensteinian essay.

Rick: I read at least half of it.

Bayo: Sorry. I apologize to everyone. I had to put through 22,000 words of an essay. But Eshu is said to be the person who holds agency in the crossroads. That any time we are met by something greater than ourselves, we’re afforded an opportunity to shape shift, to become something different, to tap into other temporalities that are streaming through. So it’s not simply a notion of reducing speed. It’s an invitation to be alive to other sensuous happenings around us and to reframe our questions and yearnings and imperatives as a result of being in alliance with these multiple others around us.

Rick: The Dalai Lama one time said, “I had a really busy day ahead, so this morning I meditated two hours instead of one hour”. And that’s kind of the sense in which I understand your phrase, and that is like, let’s say you have a lot of responsibility, you’re really busy, you’ve got a lot going on. Now if you deprive yourself of sleep and proper nutrition and proper exercise and the things that you need to be successful in activity, you’re going to be spinning your wheels. You’re going to be doing more but accomplishing less in activity. So you need to slow down as a way to counterbalance the intensity of the activity. You need to counterbalance it with greater silence, and then you can actually speed up in activity if you need to, but you’ll have the wherewithal to do it successfully.

Bayo: Right. That is a beautiful way of coming to bringing this into attention. Definitely, modernity has taught us to speed up. “If you want to get there, then go fast. And if you’re not reaching there, then go faster. Do it fast”. If we’re losing our sense of control, as we certainly are in these times of deep, it’s more than uncertainty, it’s indeterminacy. It’s like, what does next month hold? Forget next month. What does tomorrow hold? What will the world look like tomorrow? Oil with cars, with airplanes, with celebrities and entertainment and sports. What does the world look like going forward? And the idea is, if we’re losing a sense of control, then we need to double down on our sense of control. So there’s definitely this modern sense, this search for closure, for resolution. The invitation to slow down in times of urgency is not a resolution. It’s a rite of passage, if you will. And I think there are two ways of answering a question. To offer a resolution or to offer bewilderment. So that if you fully understand what I mean by the times are urgent, let us slow down, then you don’t understand what I mean by the times are urgent, let us slow down. Because I don’t understand what it means completely. But I do know that it’s prophetic, not in terms of predicting the future, but in terms of expanding our appreciation of the thickness of now, the deep present that is always around us, the conditions that make us possible, that modernity has taught us to push aside, make invisible, don’t talk about it. Now, if we meet those strange conditions, what might shift? That’s the question.

Rick: There’s another phrase you use a lot, which you attribute to African tradition, which is – in order to find your way, you must become lost. I think it’s kind of related to what you were just saying. Maybe you could elaborate on that.

Bayo: Yeah, it’s, let me put it this way, that I have been flying, flying is such a faraway concept, I could say, but I’ve been flying to the United States and to the West for some time now. And every time I’m invited to speak or do something, and I’m taking and driven to my place of abode, there always comes a time or sometimes there’s a moment when we have to ask for directions. And then someone says it’s a block away, or it’s a mile away or something. I don’t know how to think in those terms. And I remember sharing to one of my hosts in Utah, that I don’t know how to think in terms of blocks. I don’t know what a mile looks like. We don’t have those and it’s not because I don’t have some theoretical understanding of it. But I don’t know how to use those terms. I was brought up in a world where if you were lost in the streets of Lagos, for instance, and you ask for directions, someone will tell you, oh, just go, it’s just two blocks and a yard or something. You can give me the words, Rick.

Rick: What would they say?

Bayo: They would say, keep going, just keep going. When you come to a place where you smell some fishy smell, then ask someone else for direction. It’s very qualitative, descriptive, down to earth. It isn’t measured. It’s in the moment. Like keep going, keep going, when you stop. There’s also a sense of time that is quite on the ground at the moment because modern Nigeria is superseding indigenous Nigeria. But there is still the resilience of that world. And in that world, if you ask someone to meet you or rendezvous somewhere, as I did when I wanted to meet some Yoruba healers and shamans for my PhD years back, I said, “We’re going to meet here at 12 o’clock”. And I stood there, I remember staying there for three hours on the street waiting for this gatekeeper to take me to this community of healers. And he came with his bike, with his motorcycle. And I said, “I’ve been standing here for three hours. Where have you been?” He said, it was the right time to come. This was the right time to come. So there’s a sense that time isn’t governed by clocks and the terrain isn’t entirely subservient to the map. That is, the world is more fluid, animated and vibrant than our maps presuppose. Modernity is the paradigm of the fixed map. This is exactly how we move. This is where to go. This is the algorithm of progress and rationality. So it rationalizes the smells, the stay here and wait for someone else to meet you. It rationalizes all those qualitative descriptions. I’m not trying to create a binary and say one is better than the other. I’m just trying to show the risks of cutting out the voices and the invisibles and the wilds as the city has done, as the Enlightenment march has done, as modernity is doing. So to lose your way means to stumble onto other parts that are possible and to meet ourselves as if for the first time. And with regards to what we’re just talking about, the coronavirus, you know, in terms of reasserting our anthropocentric control and saying we are in charge of the planet, we have to get back to business, we have to go back to the economy and all of that. We have a timeline, we have to get back in May. And the virus is like, “I have other things in mind”. You know, there are other imperatives afoot here that you have to come to terms with. Getting lost would mean meeting the wildness of this agency without trying to put it in the family way and insist that it follow our own blueprint for going forward.

Rick: Yeah, it’s interesting. What I get from what you’re saying is that on the one hand there’s kind of a value in preciseness and schedules and GPS and if you’re going to take a flight to the West you need to get to the airport at a certain time, and that there’s all kinds of preciseness built into the air traffic control system that you might not live if it weren’t there, and the way planes navigate. So all that is figured out to the nth degree. But what happens is, because of the relentless focus on boundaries, people lose their unboundedness, they lose their sense of the indeterminate or the field of all possibilities as Deepak Chopra likes to call it. And so, that gets overshadowed. And so, you know, my sense is that what we should aspire for, if we want to put it that way, is a kind of a balance of the two where one could function in the field of preciseness and boundaries and schedules and that if need be, and yet at the same time not be gripped by that, sort of be free of that and kind of playing in a field of unboundedness or of all possibilities simultaneously. And that takes a certain amount of familiarity with both, a certain amount of integration.

Bayo: That feels like a good idea, except that I don’t know any particular material possibility where shadows are not going to be proliferated in creating a world in this way or another. The myth of Socratic balance, maybe we can strike a middle, and take a little bit of this world and take a little bit of that world and everything will be fine and dandy. Integration hides the fact that integration also needs conditions to be alive. And those conditions to thrive will shut out other conditions from being noticed. Egyptians put it in a different way, they say name the color, blinds the eye. The very active definition is an act of violence. And immediately I define a color to be blue. And Niels Bohr understood this when he described his concept of complementarity. Immediately you define the particle to be a particle. Your apparatus has excluded the possibility of a wave collapse happening, the wave function being noticed. And immediately you notice or the apparatus measures a wave, then the particle is impossible. So this idea that the world works by exclusionary dynamics, if you define it this way, something is lost. The Kautsky yearning for integration or for arriving at a world that works perfectly, you know, that takes a little bit of every world and just puts it together, I think which is a variation and iteration of the modern yearning. Take a little bit of this and that and make everything good.

Rick: But what if you could have more of both and yet, so in other words, they could both grow simultaneously without compromising one another?

Bayo: From my own experience and my historical understanding of attempts to do that, it hasn’t worked out well. I’m a subject of the so called global South and the very discourse of universalism, the very discourse that it’s possible to arrive at this numinous, fundamental, essential ground where everything works well and we can plant seeds and integrate everything together. Take a little bit of this culture and that and integrate it in this petri dish of moments and gestures and wisdoms. This inclusive tendency always tended to exclude more and it tended to deny, to bury, to invisibilize, to excavate, to dispossess and to displace. That’s the history of the Anthropocene. So I’m from a people that we know it in our bones. We may not know it in theory and we may not know it in high sounding philosophical concepts, but we do know it in our bones in a way that there is something about the way the world is shaped right now that is not to be trusted. It’s not cynicism and even cynicism is a wariness that is like a wisdom that comes from intergenerational trauma. If we continue to pretend as if we could just march forward into the light, then we forget our own histories. We forget our own bodies. We forget our own wisdoms and our own ancestry. So my own take on that is the world is a masquerade like Chinua Achebe would say it. You have to dance with it to understand it or to meet it and how you dance with it creates the world in return and the world creates you in return and something is always cut out.

Rick: I guess what I’m alluding to is the notion, and this whole show is about spiritual development and my understanding of that is, although obviously as this show is an example of there are so many different flavors and varieties of that, but one essential or fundamental thing is sort of the discovery of our core value, our core essence. In India they call it atman, or you know, it’s called various things in various cultures. And if you try to just sort of, like for instance some people are into intersexuality where all the religions kind of get together and kind of, you know. But without sort of access to that core value, it’s, I don’t know, it’s like neglecting the roots of a tree and just trying to mingle their leaves or something like that. But if you could somehow enliven that core value in the awareness of all the diversities of people, they would have that in common and it wouldn’t blur their diversities, it would actually enrich them. So that for instance, indigenous cultures which have been kind of blitzed over by the invasion of modern cultures could be resuscitated, could be revived and could enjoy their traditional values while at the same time not having to forego the practical aspects or the useful aspects of the more Western or scientific cultures.

Bayo: Yeah, yeah, I get that, I hear you brother. The place I speak from is a deeply troubled, fragile, humble and modest space of… it’s a weak ontology, if you will. And the invitation of this, of what I speak about and what I teach about is the deep invitation there is to be humble about what we think we know, to approach the world with the slowness and with the reverence that it demands and it requires. There’s no… I definitely am of the opinion that maybe some kind of economic, political, spiritual system where we can integrate multiple diverse cultures are possible. I’m definitely, I mean, if we could live in that kind of society today, I would definitely be up for moving there. However, I don’t think it’s up to us. So the things that I speak about, when I signal the very large feud of post-humanisms is to say that we are part of the world. And to say we’re a part of the world doesn’t mean we’re just inside it, contained by it. It means that our bodies, the ways we imagine, our yearnings, our hopes, our systems of justice, our concepts of the next are all entangled in things that exceed us. Even the ground – what scientists are now calling the deep biosphere, they found this subterranean world beneath us that disappoints the idea that the ground is fixed and we’re standing on it. It disappoints the very core essence of fundamentalism that there is a core ground and we can stand on it because there’s this microbial universe there and it’s monstrous and it’s ongoing and emergent. So I like to signal the emergent and by pointing to how humans are not central. And so our ideas of how the world ought to be is not left up to us to decide how to go forward. It has never been. We never created capitalism or socialism. Those are systems that are complex and complicated. It didn’t take a committee coming together to put these ideas together. It took years and years of evolution and devolution, microbial activity – things beyond us. So to even speak about tomorrow is to � my elders would invoke a sense of modesty. You need to know how to prostrate before you put out a blueprint before the universe. So that’s what I’ll say to that.

Rick: That sounds good. It reminds me of something they said about the moon landing. It was that no one knows how we got to the moon. It was this collective effort and no one person could hold all the necessary information in their heads of, “Oh yeah, I know exactly how we all did it”. It was more like everybody was involved and each person had their part in the enterprise and somehow it all came together in a coordinated way and we got to the moon.

Bayo: Right, right. Which troubles the idea that if only we had the right intention, then things will go right. If only we had the right philosophy, the right political will, the right teachers, the right things we put out there, then things will go right after all. You’re about people and this again, I’m jumping to things I’m learning about my culture. You see, Rick, I didn’t say this at the beginning, but I was thoroughly educated. To be thoroughly educated is to be educated out of context. Don’t speak your own language, learn English. I’m a perpetual prisoner, incarcerated in my English language and I’m still trying to learn my own Yoruba language. But the Yoruba people have a greeting. If you came into my house and you met me eating, I would say to you, “Rick, ewajew”. Now ewajew means come and eat with me. It’s a greeting. If you actually came to greet with me, I would be outraged and shocked that you actually followed through with the invitation.

Rick: But you’re not supposed to.

Bayo: No, you’re not supposed to. It’s just a way of acknowledging, come and eat, the food is great. But if you actually came and said, “Oh, I’m going to wash my hands, that’s looking good”, I would be like, “What are you doing?” You know how they say it’s the intention that counts? For Yoruba people, the intention is not what counts. It’s the performance that counts. So I just use that as a figure or as a metaphor to notice that this idea that if we have the right intentions and then we can carry it out by this direct correspondence with the reality outside of our subjective experiences, then the world would be fine. But it’s never worked that way because we don’t have a direct experience or direct relationship with reality. It’s oblique. It’s in some sense accidental. Did I freeze or did you freeze?

Rick: Oh, you froze temporarily. I heard what you said. Yeah.

Bayo: Okay.

Rick: Well, if I ever come to your house, I’ll bring a bag lunch. How’s that?

Bayo: No, I would make a meal for you.

Rick: Okay.

Bayo: I would.

Rick: Okay.

Bayo: I would.

Rick: Well, my next thought, based on what we’ve been saying and based on what you said a few minutes ago, is that although we… it’s like no one has a… no one is omniscient. No one has a complete comprehensive understanding of what’s going on or what has happened or what’s going to happen or anything else. We all have our little pieces of the puzzle and we’re all contributing in whatever way we see we’re capable of. And you know, you say no one invented socialism or this or that. Who was it? Sir Isaac Newton said, “If I’ve accomplished anything, it’s because I stood on the shoulders of giants”. So, it seems to me that although none of us have the complete picture, we all have parts of it and we’re all doing the best we can to contribute and things move along in a much � in ways that we can’t foresee. As a matter of fact, I have some things I want to ask you about at that point, but I’ll let you respond to that one before we go on.

Bayo: About having pieces of the puzzle. You know, I don’t even know that there is… I come from a very deeply Christian tradition. I don’t identify as Christian today, but I was brought up a Christian and the image of God was always this strong, resonant theme in my faith – the image of God, we’re made in the likeness of God. And I always imagined a selfie. Not always, the selfie wasn’t quite out when I was growing up in my faith, but I started to imagine the image of God as a selfie, as a very anthropocentric selfie with the image of man front and center. But what you ask about the pieces of the puzzle, with my own understanding of how the image of God is being composted today, it’s been dissolved by the world around us. I feel that that image, that piece of the puzzle metaphor, it doesn’t quite come to the complexity of the world, of the universe. It’s not that we even have pieces of the puzzle, definite, discrete pieces, that if only I brought my piece with Rick’s piece, then we have a cumulative effect and then potentially all of us will have this complete picture of what exactly in the world is going on, right?

Rick: No, I don’t think so. Because even all of our 7 billion pieces put together, I don’t think would come anywhere near completeness. But it’s just something, it’s just not, definitely not everything. I mean, my piece might eat up your piece.

Bayo: Yeah, it might. It might, or your piece might eat up 1 million pieces and secrete different pieces that seem to be for a different puzzle that hasn’t been invented yet. And I see that that’s how what we rudely call nature works. That nature is in this harmonious ground where everything is tidy or potentially tidy, if only we got the pieces together. Nature eats itself. It spits out things, it vomits things, and those things somehow sprout legs and then give birth to other things. I was reading about evolution and devolution. Charles Darwin imagined that it was a linear progression, working by natural selection. But there is also what biologists are noticing today, that it’s not just a march from simplicity to sophistication. Some organisms are actually abandoning sophistication to their devolving, I don’t know if it’s devolving.

Rick: Yeah, that would be the word, I think.

Bayo: Devolving would be the word between you and I. Rick, we can invent that. Devolving, they’re letting go of their sophistication in order to survive. And you might think, oh, maybe survival is the implicit ethos or the central narrative of life. But then you read about microbial suicides, when unicellular organisms literally take their own lives, not as a strategy to save the larger body – because they’re unicellular, they just for themselves – but as an act, they literally off themselves. And it tells me we have no clue what is happening. And it’s not in the Heisenbergian sense that it’s a matter of uncertainty, we don’t have all the information. It’s more in the Borean sense that what is happening is like 1 million over zero, it’s indeterminate. We don’t have a clue, but it’s not just that we don’t have a clue, that there’s nothing to have a clue about. The thing we’re supposed to have a clue about is still emerging. The world and the universe is still a teenager sorting itself out.

Rick: Yeah, several thoughts on that. Boy, everything you say just stimulates these ideas. Well, God – you mentioned you were a Christian, not so much anymore. What is your – if we’re going to use the word God, let’s define it. How do you define it?

Bayo: I worship my wife most of the time.

Rick: But your wife didn’t create the universe, I presume.

Bayo: No, I don’t need a creator, that’s too pompous for me. I’m not into creators and all of that. I’m into people that, I’m into ideas, well-crafted sentences, the beauty of a recently changed diaper, a well-made dosa. Do you eat dosas?

Rick: Yeah, I had some for dinner last night, actually.

Bayo: Excellent. That’s a God right there. So, I mean, I abandoned… well, abandonment is not entirely possible in an entangled world. There are still insurgent, fugitive parts of me, if I could speak that way, that want to trust in the idea of a teleological imagination of the universe – that universe is imbued with purpose, that maybe there is some Santa Clausian figure sitting above the sphere of matter and directs things sometimes, when he’s in a good mood. And yet I wouldn’t describe myself – I totally reject the either/or blackmail – that I am either an atheist or a theist, or I’m either this, or maybe I’m an agnostic or something. I don’t think that identity is so simple. And this has come from someone that has studied – a recovering psychologist that has spent some time dealing with identity or studying identity. I don’t think identity is so simple that we can simply come to terms with what we are, if that even makes sense. So I would say that God for me right now is the yet to come, is the yet to be, is the emergent, is the ongoingness of reality, of the matter reality, is the ongoing mattering of matter, is how one of my mentors would put it, Karen Barad. Yeah.

Rick: Do you know Tim Freke?

Bayo: No, it doesn’t ring a bell.

Rick: He wasn’t at SAND last year, but he often comes. He says something similar to that. He feels that sort of God is sort of coming into being more and more as the universe evolves, and St Teresa of Avila said it appears that God himself is on the journey. My sense is that everything we look at, our fingertip, and imagine that there must be, I don’t know how many billions of cells in our finger or in our fingertip, and each one of those cells is unbelievably complex. They say it’s more complex than a modern city. And yet it’s able to repair itself and replicate itself, and there’s all kinds of marvelous things happening inside of it. And you know, when I kind of consider that and consider that that’s the way it is everywhere, you can’t imagine any place in the universe that isn’t just scintillating with all sorts of laws of nature, which then it’s really hard to conceive of things being random and meaningless and accidental. So, my sense is that God is not a Santa Claus figure hovering over things and keeping track of whether you’re naughty or nice. It’s more sort of all-pervading intelligence, which is kind of hiding in plain sight. Anything we consider – a piece of paper here or something like that – if you analyze what you’re actually looking at, you’re looking at this miraculous display of all-pervading intelligence, or, nothing random or accidental about it. There’s all kinds of marvelous… anyway, you get where I’m going. But so there’s that. I could say more, but I’ll send it back to you.

Bayo: Yeah, speaking about the virus and how it exposes – what viruses do well, at least this specific virus is to infiltrate our bodies through cracks, through porous membranes, through whatever means it can, and to use our own body production to produce itself. That is, it sets us against ourselves.

Rick: Yeah. They’re smart little buggers and they hop on airplanes and travel around.

Bayo: Without a visa, without first class and they’re everywhere. And you know, the idea there is that they proliferate our many othernesses, like they set us beside ourselves. There’s almost like a maddening effect there. And I say that because I feel there’s almost a messianic quality to that, to meet yourself, to see yourself, to see the way you think, to see the – to touch the architecture of your philosophy is something messianic. It’s ecstatic. It’s what people attribute to psychedelic experiences. I reckon I haven’t had one myself, though I think I have small doses when I write.

Rick: You probably do. I mean, it gets the serotonin going and everything, you know?

Bayo: Exactly.

Rick: With DMT or whatever that is.

Bayo: Whatever is imbued, yeah, DMT and all. So I feel that maybe, like you say, like you so eloquently describe it, God is probably this ongoing mess of things. God is yet to come. I would even say Catherine Keller, who is a theologian, has been writing about what she calls apophatic entanglement. And what that very nice, thick, yummy phrase means is that God is – there’s a word, panentheism. God is the universe, but exceeds all of that, exceeds the universe, so that he’s not – I say he because that’s my –

Rick: He’s going to talk that way. We can say he if you want. I don’t care.

Bayo: Yeah, yeah.

Rick: Is he it?

Bayo: Is he it? Is not reducible to the apparatus, to the assemblage. It exceeds the assemblage. So that even maybe meaninglessness is also part of the – is something we should pay attention to. There’s a tribe in Australia that says there are 99 senses. You thought there were 5? No, there are 99 senses. But making sense of the world is just one of those senses. I’m intrigued by the idea that the world exceeds meaningfulness. It exceeds rationality, that facts vibrate at the speed of mystery, that there will never be a time I would be able to completely embrace – even all of us together will never be – there will never be a time we can completely embrace. Us non-humans, trees, microbes, we’ll never be able to embrace what this means. And that’s because what this means is also what this does not mean. I’m rambling here.

Rick: No, I’m following you. I’m getting it. Yeah, and I would say that even if we can get down to that level of being or pure intelligence from which everything arises, it’s not necessarily going to percolate up into human intellect in a way that the human intellect will fully grasp it. It’ll be something we can live and kind of know innately or deeply, but we won’t be able to articulate it or compartmentalize it into our teeny tiny little human faculties.

Bayo: Did you watch the movie Arrival?

Rick: Yes, I love that movie.

Bayo: You do?

Rick: I watched it twice, I think. That was the one with those seven-legged guys.

Bayo: The ceptopods.

Rick: Yeah, I love that movie. It really gives me goosebumps.

Bayo: It gives me goosebumps all the time with Interstellar and I’m a sci-fi here. The beautiful thing about that… and the short story is even better to me. Well, they’re kind of on the same level. But the idea of these alien beings knowing time and space in a way that we possibly will never be able to do that because we’re formed differently. Our eyes are in front of our heads. So we possibly see time as flowing from past to present to future. But these heptopods, I believe they were called.

Rick: That’s it, yeah. Or septo, maybe it was sept, because they had seven legs. Anyway, go ahead. I think it doesn’t matter.

Bayo: Yeah, I can’t remember. They kind of have eyes everywhere. They’re not quite forward facing. So the way they conceive of time is bodily and corporally different from the way that those humans thought. And it’s not like one is superior. It’s just a different configuration of the world that is always manifesting. A different, well, filter. Filter seems to presuppose that there’s something beyond the future or that is coming through the future.

Rick: I think there is.

Bayo: Yes, I understand that you do. I understand that you do so. I would say the future is the creator, that the future is creating reality. Just like the apparatus is making cuts between whether this energy is a particle or a wave. What we call the future may not just be this representative barrier between what it is. It may actually be what is. And what is is always different and differencing as – what is his name? – some French philosopher will put it. I can’t remember his name now.

Rick: Not Descartes, somebody else probably.

Bayo: Not Descartes, more contemporary. I forget. He’s from Algeria. Name escapes me now. Derrida.

Rick: All right.

Bayo: So, yeah, and maybe I should even go as far as invoking aliens in sci-fi pictures. The brittle starfish, as Karen Barra describes this in one beautiful essay she wrote, is literally an eye. It’s an eye. It doesn’t have eyes. It’s an eye.

Rick: The whole fish, the whole starfish?

Bayo: The whole fish is an eye. It’s literally an eye without a brain that is able to make evasive maneuvers to run away from predators and all of that, which baffles scientists. It doesn’t have a central nervous system, and it doesn’t have a brain, but yet it is, it’s diffused. Its intelligence is diffused. I wonder how a brittle starfish, not experiences, I wonder how it constructs, performs reality. I wonder how reality is to a brittle starfish. I wonder how reality is to a fly, a little fly swimming in the thickness of nothingness.

Rick: I wonder this stuff too. I guess we’re both crazy, but I’m always thinking about that kind of thing. There was, what was it, Thomas Nagel wrote some article called, “What is it like to be a bat?” or something like that. And you know, I use that word “filter”. Another word we might use is “sense organs of the infinite”. As I see it, if the infinite is infinite, then it’s not separate from apparent concrete forms and objects. And so, they are the infinite, having taken a form through which the infinite can experience itself at least partially. And I think the interesting thing about human beings is that they have the neurological sophistication if you will, to clarify themselves as filters to the point where the infinite can recognize itself in its full value through the instrumentality of that particular form. That’s what enlightenment would be, in the traditional sense.

Bayo: Right, I understand that. I respect these traditions and they certainly have informed and part of my journey. I am certainly given to the word you mentioned, the partial. Like when you talk about the infinity, I would ask for instance, “Which infinity?” For instance in math, you know.

Rick: Yeah, yeah, right. You have infinity, okay, add one to it. You have something.

Bayo: Add one to it. Yeah, but you can have an infinity of even numbers, which is separate from the infinity of just odd numbers. And these infinities cross each other out all the time. And that’s how the mathematical equations and calculations are possible. And yet, this idea that we can only know things partially is quite, is deeply… I’m deeply attracted to that. I’m deeply attracted to the idea that if we’re part of a world that exceeds us, then I don’t know that we can fully inscribe the ongoingness of that world in a single template. And maybe the invitation there is to continually shape shift as we always do, which is something that doesn’t even depend on intention, which is something that is ongoing. We’re constantly changing shape. Right now in our social distancing lockdown protocols, we are changing shape. In molecular ways, we are becoming different. I’m interested in that.

Rick: Yeah, me too. And I think I agree with you if I understand you. And I’m reminded of that verse in the Bible about seeing through a glass darkly and then eventually the glass gets clear. So you know, but to extend that metaphor, I don’t think there’s any limit to the clarification of the glass. It’s never going to be 100% clear, because that’s like saying 100% educated. There’s always something more, some greater evolution or growth in some dimension that can take place.

Bayo: I hear you, I hear you. I think our… you know, this is where the beauty of contrast and difference gets to show up. So I do sense that you do have this understanding of reality and spirituality that is premised on a world that is clear, beautiful, prior to emergence, if you will. And we can, we’re potentially capable of experiencing this world.

Rick: Yeah, but prior to emergence it’s not a world. So the trick is for the emergence to take place and then for that world, if you want to call it that, for that fundamental intelligence or divine consciousness, whatever you want to call it, to become a living reality rather than just an unmanifest one.

Bayo: Right. So I think I get that. And I would have fully… I want to hold that beautiful portrait of reality close, because I’m constantly warned that if you find yourself in a place where you’re right all the time, then be wary. Be very wary of a world where you’re the center, where you figured everything out.

Rick: So you’re not implying that you think I have.

Bayo: No, no, no, no, no, I don’t know. But I hold this close as a wound that I never want to heal. It keeps me open to the ongoing acts of things. And so when I hear this, I know that it’s corporally significant to my own emergence for you to state things this way. I may not figure it out in the immediate, but I can sense the beauty, the truth, and the value in that.

Rick: Yeah. Well obviously, however I state things or however any of us states things is just one way of stating things based upon our own particular experience and background. And we’re dealing with kind of abstract concepts here, but we’re trying to get a hand.

Bayo: Yeah, bringing it down, coming down to earth.

Rick: Yeah, what are words for but to try to convey, presumably… Well, in the case of the kind of words we’re using, we’re sort of trying to get a handle on what the reality might actually be, but we’re really blind men feeling the elephant.

Bayo: Yeah, I like the blind men feeling the elephant.

Rick: Yeah.

Bayo: Always a favorite story of mine. Yeah, truth is out there. Many memories rushing back to mind now. And then I want to juxtapose that with the soft, almost feminine, without essentializing what the feminine means, wisdoms that invite a falling apart, a place of surrender, a place of porosity, a place of opening. And I don’t mean that in… I don’t want to perform some kind of a spiritual bypass here and to escape the grounded, troubling, emergent and painfulness, the painfulness of becoming and the painfulness of being alive, especially in these times. I don’t want to circumvent all of that with words. I want to say that all of this is in service of that. If we cannot think together, think with each other and even acknowledge a place where we can say, “Ah, that’s different from the way that I think about things”. But it’s still valuable. It’s beautiful.

Rick: Oh, yeah.

Bayo: Yeah. If we can’t come to that kind of place, then I think, yeah, maybe we’re in deeper trouble that we know.

Rick: Yeah, sometimes people accuse me of sort of using this platform to just emphasize my particular agenda or my particular perspective, but my experience is that I really feel enriched by every interview and also the preparation for it. I feel like, you know, one of those amoebas that you might have watched in a high school video where it kind of sees a particle of food and it engulfs it and kind of digests it and then it starts going out for another particle of food. So you’re a particle of food for me. Talking to you, it enlivens parts of my brain that had always been asleep, you know?

Bayo: Right, right. The same is definitely true for me. It’s true for me too. I never want to come to a place where, “Ha, that’s it”, which is one of the reasons why I started to grow scared of my faith because of its articulation.

Rick: Because of too much certainty?

Bayo: The certainty, the exclusivism, and the very finality of heaven. It’s scary to me where everything is good and it’s done and there’s nothing else. There’s nothing else that can be said or done. There’s no controversy. There’s no conspiracy. It’s all good. I guess that finality is unnerving for me because maybe one of the reasons is probably I don’t know how to live there. None of us do. We live in worlds that are constantly wounded and the woundedness is the aliveness and that’s all we have experience with.

Rick: You’d probably get really bored having to listen to harp music for all eternity, huh?

Bayo: Yeah, yeah, and floating on clouds. I’ll be like, “So what next?” You know, there’s nothing. You do this forever and then you just sign in for the day and the next morning you come sing as well. I don’t know. That’s appealing to me.

Rick: You’re in Chennai, India and of course the Indian tradition, heaven is not considered eternal. It’s considered a sort of a way station where you kind of cash in on your good karma but you can’t, it’s not permanent.

Bayo: I like the impermanence in other traditions which is the reason why sometimes I speak from Buddhist, Zen Buddhist spaces in a diffractive way, never in a way that considers that this is some final space and this is what, in a proselytizing way, like this is exactly what you should believe because belief exceeds us as well. So yeah, I enjoy the impermanence, the temporariness and the elusiveness of truth. To finally embrace truth is to miss out on something, is to miss a spot.

Rick: Yeah, you know one thing I’ve found helpful, just as a way of thinking, is to regard everything as a hypothesis. Everything any religion has ever said or any political idea or anything else, it’s like I don’t have to accept it as truth, but I don’t have to reject it as non-true either. I can take it as something that may be worthy of exploration and different things have different degrees of worthiness. You can’t explore everything, you don’t have so much time, so you have to kind of sort things out a bit and say, “Well, you know, that notion seems really far-fetched and I’m not going to waste time on it. This one seems to have more credibility, maybe that would be something to explore”. But the whole idea of believing anything always rubs me the wrong way.

Bayo: Right, which is the reason why I sometimes say that I don’t believe in belief.

Rick: Exactly.

Bayo: And what I mean by that is not to discount this belief altogether, but to say that belief is not entirely a cognitive thing. It’s not entirely ideational, it’s material as well. I mean, you probably know a lot or know something about the gut brain.

Rick: The gut, G-U-T.

Bayo: The gut brain, G-U-T. That we think that this is where thinking happens, but it turns out that there’s a lot of thinking that happens here, that our bacteria and even viruses – there’s this microbial activism that is actually influencing our motivations, the way we think, the way we believe. And it’s not just that it’s unique to you, it’s also the performance of the environment. So we can draw connections with that, with our particular beliefs, not deterministic linkages, but at least lively connections with the ways that I show up in the world and the ways that my mother birthed me into the world. I mean, just coming out of the matrix is to be gifted with this microbial gift, and I’m given all this bacteria and that shapes the way that I perform the world and I will be in the world. I mean, scientists are learning how bacteria is part of intergenerational trauma, it’s part of memory making.

Rick: Wow!

Bayo: So that, in a sense, myself is not entirely my own. My beliefs are not entirely my own, it’s shared, it’s diffracted across space-time. And this disappoints the idea that Rick’s belief is entirely Rick’s belief. It might be the performance of Rick in that particular chair. I don’t know how long and intimate an affair you’ve had with that chair, having heard that you’ve done this 500-600 times. I don’t know if that chair doesn’t have something to do with the kinds of questions you ask and the kind of way you’re showing up in the world. There’s even a book called Epistemic Situationism. Big sounding words, but their concepts are quite simple – that we think our character, personality, beliefs are all emerging from here, from us, from this cells, boundaried cells. It turns out that furniture around us, the hardness or softness of furniture could determine how judges interact with people who show up in the court of law. They’ve actually done psychology experiments. Judges can be more lenient if the furniture is soft and actually less lenient if the furniture is hard. That disappoints the notion that myself is discrete, which is the reason why I say even belief, even there’s, I think we limit ourselves too much when we say it’s an option between truth or non-truth. I think there’s a third fugitive option and that’s play. And that we’re playing in the world and the world is a playful orgasmic inflection of its own self.

Rick: Yeah, I imagine if a judge were sitting on a bed of nails, he would say, “Okay, this trial is over, you’re going to jail, court dismissed”.

Bayo: That’s definitely obvious. You know, if someone is in a gruesome situation, you would expect that person to experience the world in harsh ways or deal harsh sentences. But what these guys found is situational. Things that we wouldn’t put as part of the equation, like the color of that vase behind you could have untoward perverse effects on your philosophy.

Rick: Yeah, well, you know, they choose colors inside of airplanes very carefully. I think they found that if they used yellow, it contributed to nausea. So all this stuff has an influence on us subliminally.

Bayo: Yeah, yes. So where does the human stop and where does a non-human begin? Where does belief stop and where does unbelief begin? Where does your particular philosophy stop and then mine begin? What if they’re all interacting with each other in ways that we cannot voice or render intelligible?

Rick: Yeah, there’s another thought to throw in here along the same lines, which is the idea of collective consciousness – that our individual consciousness is not isolated, that it’s part of a greater field. And that just as individual cells in our body are not isolated, they’re kind of interconnected with all the other trillions of cells in our bodies. And so, we’re kind of like that as human beings, and there are kind of hierarchies or clusters of it – you could say family consciousness, community consciousness, state, national, world consciousness. We’re all sort of like one big jellyfish with… we’re individual cells, but we’re all sort of involved in what all the other cells are going through.

Bayo: Right, I could speak to Jungian concepts and archetypes and the collective unconscious. My problem with it has probably always been the anthropocentrism, how it presumes consciousness to be the property of humans primarily. And this is probably the subject of a larger conversation, but the very idea of consciousness itself is troubling to me… Yes, oh, well, let me see if I could put words to that. The consciousness…

Rick: This is another one of those words that we have to define if we’re going to use it, because we might mean different things by it.

Bayo: I know, I know. It blasts open too many things. I’m just being… I’m streaming multiple pathways of entry, and they don’t seem to have a logical end point if we’re to finish this conversation. But I might get to it in time. But to your point, psychologists also have been contributing around the concept of the social unconscious, that we share images, ideas amongst us that you might feel is unique. We don’t know how it got to us, but there seems to be this shared sense of community. It’s not an unconscious thing. It’s subconscious or it’s non-conscious, not entirely unconscious. For instance, if I asked you the question, what’s the color of a triangle?

Rick: I’d have to take some LSD in order to answer that, I think.

Bayo: Well, most people would say red.

Rick: Really?

Bayo: Yeah, people presume that when they imagine the triangle, it always comes… it sometimes mostly comes in reds. And I think that’s because they have this � maybe the stop sign at some molecular level.

Rick: Oh, I see. That’s kind of a hexagon or something.

Bayo: I don’t know.

Rick: Did you see that guy at SAND last year? He was a doctor and he had synesthesia, and for him, every number had a color, and if you turn the number sideways, it becomes something different than the color changes. That was very interesting.

Bayo: Right, right. Yeah, I heard about that talk. I wasn’t there. But yes, the concept isn’t new to me, and it’s fascinating that the world can be tasted and maybe particular ideologies have particular flavors. I am definitely of the spicy kind.

Rick: But anyway, you were saying you have trouble with the idea of consciousness. We didn’t quite get to why you had trouble with that.

Bayo: I think there’s a… let me put it this way, that it’s between… and I could trace out this exodus from language that began in the 90s in the academic world with an invitation to recognize that the world around us isn’t dead and mute.

Rick: Is not dead and mute.

Bayo: It is not dead and mute. The way consciousness has been popularly articulated is that it’s this property, whether it’s emergent in the sense of Daniel Dennett, whether it’s emergent or an epiphenomenon or a cluster of stuff, of neurons acting together, all of that, there just seems to be this sublimation, this attempt to rush into an abstractual space that nullifies the contributions of the non-human around us. It does not notice that the world is also intentional, instigatory, intelligent, acting. Let me put it in this way. In the 70s, the computer system was taking up, blowing up. I wasn’t born in the 70s, but I heard. It became a useful metaphor to frame the studies of memory. Hence, our language around memory today sounds very computer-like, short-term memory, long-term memory, forgetting, decay, recall. All of that seems to suggest that memory is just this thing, a factory place that deals with data, where the data is memory. But that started to become troubling as we started to notice the creativity of memory, that something more than recall was happening. It’s nothing like the computer system that just regurgitates what you gave it. When we actually perform memory, when we remember, there’s a lot of creativity that is involved. We’re actively creating memories. We’re anticipating the world. It’s not just a recalling of the past. We’re framing the so called future. That’s the way I think language and those concepts actually hide away, and in my view, the concept of consciousness hides away the contributions of gut bacteria and viruses and leaves and chairs and furniture around us.

Rick: You mentioned panentheism earlier, and then you referred to Daniel Dennett just now, and that kind of hinted at panpsychism, which is the notion that material stuff how has a certain amount of consciousness. But panentheism would be the idea that everything is consciousness and that things… well, you can say that the brain arises from consciousness rather than consciousness from the brain, and that therefore everything is alive in some sense – even rocks and stars and everything else – they all are consciousness arising or manifesting as a certain form, and still being utterly imbued with consciousness through and through. Anyway, in that notion, the whole universe is one living being, and everything in it is just sort of expressions of its self-interaction.

Bayo: Right. So just a distinction, I think you already noticed this distinction from pantheism and panentheism, right? In pantheism God is in everything, and then panentheism is, yeah, but God is not entirely reducible to everything, right? God exceeds everything, you know? I think of these philosophies as strategies, you know, strategies of approaching the grand and unspeakable majesty of the world around us. And I think it would be hurting them – and I don’t want to put them in the instrumentalist way – but it would be hurting their beauty or dismissing the beauty of these articulations if we say, “Is it true or is it not true?” I think there are other ways of approaching what these approaches are. For instance, panpsychism. I don’t want to say, “Is it true or not true?” I think what it invites is, “Can we approach a stone as a living being?” You know, in the way that Jesus said, “If you don’t praise God, then these stones will cry out”. I like the idea that stones will, given the opportunity, they will take our place. And they do take our place eventually, don’t they, when we die and become dust and become lithic figures. Yes, so panpsychism, panentheism, they’re very attractive to me at this point in time. Because I feel one of the things we need to get around is that we are not at the center of the story, and this is coming back to some matters that are afoot. We’re not central to the world story, and performing our centrality has troubling repercussions. If we continue to cage animals, for instance, in performance of our food industry, then we might just be the ones who are incarcerated.

Rick: Yeah, very good point. All right, a question came in. Let’s shift our gears a little bit here. This is from Tyrell, somewhere in the U.S. Tyrell asks, “My question is for both Rick and Bayo. What do you think about the views and messages coming from neo-non-dualists like Tony Parsons and Jim Newman? The ‘me’ is absent in all of us and therefore, he says, there is freedom of choice to make a difference. I think what those guys say is there is not freedom of choice because there is no chooser”. So I don’t know if you’re familiar with those guys, but basically they say there is no self, and the notion that there is one is just a mistake, and that therefore we have no free will. And also, such notions as reincarnation are absurd because there’s nothing or no one to reincarnate, or any other kind of thing that might suggest the continuation of some personhood after the body dies just is bogus because there is no one home. That’s what those guys say. Anyway, do you have any thoughts on that?

Bayo: Yeah, it seems to be a variation of some non-dualism, and there are multiple non-dualisms. The first time I’m hearing of Tony Parsons.

Rick: Yes, he’s British. And Newman, I don’t know. I think Newman is American, but anyway.

Bayo: There’s a few called new materialisms. There are multiple new materialisms, and OOO, that is object-oriented ontologies, and they seem to speak about a world that dismisses the notion of a free-willed, discrete agent. While I would subscribe to the idea that the self isn’t as resolved or as fixed or as absolute as modernity and its indexing work would have us believe it is, I wouldn’t say there is no self, therefore. Again, I’m coming from an emergent ontology, so that even if I say today that there is no God, I’m still almost required to say God is a possibility. God is yet to come. Maybe a self is yet to come. Maybe a self is being made. Maybe what the boundaries of what a self means, the boundaries of selves aren’t the same boundaries we’re used to. But there’s another point that is quite nuanced, salient here, that I want to speak to, and that is how ideas that are seemingly opposed to each other are actually the same ideas entangled by negative relations. For instance, free will and determinism seem to be Republicans and Democrats. No, that’s a bad metaphor. Republicans and Democrats are basically the same one party. So that’s a horrible metaphor. I can’t think of one now, but you get the picture. That…

Rick: Sharks and Jets, if you’re familiar with West Side Story.

Bayo: Sharks and what?

Rick: Sharks and Jets, that’s from West Side Story.

Bayo: Okay, I don’t know that.

Rick: It’s a musical.

Bayo: That if the world is, well, free will says we’re free because we’re free willed, we have souls and all of that, and determinism says that we are not free. The soul of the world is the logical, deterministic, predictable, and ultimately potentially controllable laws of the universe. That’s where we should look at. So it’s not within, it’s without. I would say it’s between. The soul is between, emergent. Why I say they’re the same idea is that they both treat matter as dead. You wouldn’t need to have a free will if matter, free will is basically an escape from the dea             dening and mute, the deadening notion of matter. That matter is deterministic, but we don’t experience ourselves as determined. Therefore we are transcendent over the material world. So we are free willed agents. Determinism doesn’t know what to do with that, but it still does the same work of deadening matter. It says matter is deterministic. I think if we relieved matter, if we released matter from its incarceration in this deadening Eurocentric enlightenment philosophy that matter is still, and we can define matter with precision, then we might say that matter, there’s no such thing as matter. There’s only a mattering. I put a gerund there. There’s only an ongoingness. There’s no matter. There’s only materializations. And that would do away with the issue of whether we’re free-willed or deterministic. It would just mean that we’re entangled in a world where choice is not simply a matter of intentions. It’s a matter of ecologies.

Rick: Nice. My answer to Tyrell, which I think relates to yours, is that what the Neo-Advaita guys tend to do is they take a polarized position and make it sort of the only position that’s possible. They make an absolute out of what they see as the most fundamental or ultimate nature or level of reality, but in fact, reality is both absolute and relative and it’s multidimensional. So, it’s true to say that nothing exists and nothing ever happened. It’s also true to say that things are happening and they’re all divinely inspired and perfect, and it’s also true to say that things are happening and there’s all kinds of problems that we need to fix. So you can sort of make, as you were just saying, you can make these sort of contradictory statements in the same breath that are both true, or that are each true on their own level, but are not necessarily true on all levels. And of course, the non-dualists would come back and say, “There are no levels. It’s all just oneness”. But I beg to differ. They’re living a life in which all kinds of chemicals and physical laws and all sorts of things are at play, and those things have levels, and physicists would concur.

Bayo: Yeah. I’m very wary of notions of oneness. For me, there are racial connotations even. It’s “we’re all one”, and this oneness seems to be, it kind of erases differences.

Rick: Yeah. Well, we are and we aren’t. It depends on how we’re talking about it.

Bayo: Yeah, exactly. It depends on how we talk about it. It depends on how we share that conceptual space. But in my experience, which is, of course not to be taken as fundamental, it’s been… I experienced that invitation to oneness as, “Forget these troubling realities that come with embodiment, that come with your own particular embodied and corporeal experiences. Forget all of that. We are all one”. And it seems to be an escape into this space that is a denial, which is why I think in the United States, the cultural term of a spiritual bypass is hot. It’s steamy, it’s electrifying, because it’s a warning and a cautionary ethic that, “Don’t use your spiritualizing words or wisdoms to efface my experience, to deny my specificity or my particularity”. So a oneness that does not allow for indeterminacy, for multiple others. And I like the way Karen Barrett puts it, she says, “It’s not a oneness or a two-ness. It’s not a dualism or a monad. Indeterminacy means indeterminacy. It’s not yet determined. And it’s not that we don’t know what it is. It’s not yet there to even be known”.

Rick: I heartily agree with you. I mean, I’ve actually heard non-dual people say things. You say, “What about the starving children? What about climate change?” And they say, “There are no children. There is no climate”. You know, they’re just kind of taking this absurd position that …

Bayo: I can’t take that position.

Rick: Yeah, me neither. I want to shift gears and get into something interesting with you. I mean, not that this isn’t interesting, but I often think about how interesting it is that if you look back through history, the people living in a particular age didn’t have a clue as to what was coming. You know, the people living in the time of the Civil War had no idea what airplanes would be or the people living in the Great Depression had no idea what the 1950s would be, and the people in the 50s had no idea what the computer age and the age of the internet would be, and so on and so forth. We can go on and on like that. And this will never stop. So here we are. We’re all in kind of a lockdown due to the coronavirus. We didn’t see that coming a few months ago, although many educated people said it’s coming. You know, sooner or later. There’s a talk from Bill Gates from five years ago where he said, “I think the greatest danger is a pandemic and it’s going to happen”. Some people accuse him of starting it, but that’s ridiculous. And so here we are, and I don’t think either of us could predict what’s coming next, but I do feel that regardless of what it is, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, things will be different in ways we can’t imagine. So do you kind of think that way yourself sometimes? And I don’t know if you try to come up with H.G.Wells-type predictions as to what might happen, but do you kind of play that game or dance that dance of how strange it is that we get locked into assuming that life as we experience it is kind of the way it’s always going to be?

Bayo: Right. Well, we are anticipatory creatures. There’s no way you can divorce anticipation from biology. Right down to amoebas and bacteria, they move in the world in terms of how they anticipate the environment. So anticipation is biological in many senses. It’s political, it’s spiritual, it’s societal. And so there’s a sense in which we are all making anticipations right now. But I do resist the… and in fact, some of the heavy work that I do with others around the world right now is to resist the urge to rush into certainty, to rush into the prison houses of confidence that this is exactly, and you’ve shared with our brothers and sisters listening that I do some work with UNESCO, which was a planet eons ago in terms of where we are right now.

Rick: What does that acronym stand for again? United Nations Educational something?

Bayo: Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It’s headquartered in Paris. And I consult with them, do research with them. I speak, they invite me to speak. It causes a lot of trouble, but they keep inviting me and I don’t know why. The work I do with them is centered around a concept called futures literacy. So this is interesting.

Rick: Incidentally, a lot of these people seem to like trouble because they invite Greta Thunberg to come and speak to them too, at Davos, Switzerland and so on. But anyway, continue. They like tricksters and troublemakers.

Bayo: Well, Greta Thunberg will probably fit into their ideological, she might chastise them for not doing enough, but she would definitely fit into their ideological space. I certainly don’t. Like you’re looking for a sense of confidence about what the world should be and what we should be planning to do next. I’m certainly inviting, along with others – I’m certainly not alone in doing this – I’m inviting incitements and fugitive breakouts from the plantation and plantation philosophies and politics. And what do I mean by that? This work that I do with them called futures literacy, which is envisioned by a friend of mine called Will Miller, is kind of a perversion of trends analysis. So if you’re working the OECD or in the UN, most economists there would put together an analysis of the next 20 years, like we’re doing with climate change discourse right now. By 2030, we expect the shit to hit the fan. And if we’re not doing our work right now, then there’s some trouble going to happen. So these people come together and do some futurist work, and they analyze and give you, sell you some documents that say 50 years – and I’m not trying to disparage their work, important as it is. But futures literacy is a noticing that how we are in the present actually shapes our understanding and our anticipation of the future, that we use the future in particular ways. We actually use the future in the present. So coming to notice how we use the future might open us up to the lively realities that are around us right now in the present, or we’re blind to. It’s just like going to a restaurant for decades, and they only served you baked beans and sausages. And the reason they only served you that is because you didn’t look below somewhere, some part of the menu that said, “There’s all these other things that are available for you”. You felt this is all that was available. So futures literacy is about ontological expansion. It’s about noticing how Twitter could in fact have unanticipated effects on governance in America as it is right now.

Rick: As it does, yeah.

Bayo: As it does right now, or education. So I’m reluctant to plan the future or make predictions. I think the prophetic is a different place. It’s not a prediction making space. It’s a place of sitting with the trouble of the now and doing the work there that allows us to, like the heptapods in Arrival, allows us to notice with tentacles, other things that we kind of inadvertently shifted or occluded from view that fell into our blind spot. Seeing is always diffractive. In order to see, we have to fall blind in certain ways. Seeing is a form of blindness, if you will. So what are we putting out? What are we shifting away? What are we occluding in order to see the world in particular ways? That’s the kind of work I feel called to do. I call it post activism. It’s not about getting to somewhere fast. It’s about slowing down long enough to be met by other bodies and other agencies.

Rick: Yeah. So you mentioned blind spots and what are we not seeing and so on. So do you sort of try, without trying to prognosticate about what might be happening 10-20 years from now, are you trying to say that, you know, trying to see what’s happening right now that we’re oblivious to? Is that what you’re saying?

Bayo: Yes. Yes. Certainly that’s what my extended, extensive, monstrous essay is about. That there are ways we’re framing this trouble that circumvents the crisis. So I’m making a distinction between the problem and the crisis that don’t lose sight. In order to see clearly the problem, don’t lose sight of the crisis. At this extent beyond, this is not, this is more than just a story about a virus, an insurgent virus that we need to kill or exterminate. This is a story about wet markets. This is a story about anthropocentrism. This is a story about the anthropocene. This is a story about this figure of the human that is a colonial project that extends way beyond modern times and down to the times when the ice started to melt and we started to become sedentary and started to build settlements. This is an expansive project. And maybe this virus is more than just a thing. You know, it’s more than just, that’s another effort of modernity to reduce the ineffable, to reductionistic bite-sized elements that we can instrumentalize and attack. Like this virus is not just an infinitesimal thing. It’s more than that. It’s a call to the wilds in some sense. It’s a call to parts of ourselves that we’ve incapacitated. So just to frame this in more politically palpable terms so that people out there will not think this is too abstract, we might at this moment be thinking, let’s get back to normal. Especially with scientists, 50 groups or more trying to develop vaccines. Now vaccines are now becoming the holders of our hope for renormalization, for resuscitation of the normal. I feel that maybe this is the time for us to do other kinds of things, to do other kinds of weird things. And I think they probably were not going to be possible except this pandemic struck. I don’t think there’s any way we could have retreated, shut down the entire economic system if we didn’t have the instigation of this virus. Something else is happening that is weird.

Rick: Yeah, I agree. And people have made videos and written things saying that this virus is… attributing a sort of divine intervention to the virus, saying that it’s making us look at things and recognize things that we were ignoring, such as homelessness or the prison system in the United States which is so packed with people, so overcrowded, or economic inequity or any number of other things like that. They’re saying, alright, there’s a sort of an intelligence to this virus that is causing us to stop and sit and look at that stuff. And so, getting back to normal would be abhorrent to that way of thinking because we need to change all those things I just mentioned and many more. We don’t want to get back to normal, we want to get back to a new normal, if you will, which sees a lot of those situations profoundly changed.

Bayo: So a question that comes from that is, can we do that? And this is the part where we need to take a deep breath and then come to terms with how we have tried historically to do things that we intend to do. We have many well-intentioned projects, but somehow it didn’t turn out the way we wanted them to go. Like, I can think…

Rick: Best laid plans of mice and men, remember that poem?

Bayo: Thank you, brother, for supplying the limerick and the poetry to help my articulation here. I mean, even the green politics of today, the recycling ethics, throw it here, throw it there, three kinds of bins. We don’t mostly do that where I come from. And that’s because we are at the receiving end of the righteousness of the West. And I say it in this way, that everything is meticulous when I travel in the West, unknown to many people. It’s not recycled into this Willy Wonka-like economy where everything comes back to you as candies. No, it’s actually taken to Ghana. All that dump, all that waste and rubbish goes to Ghana, goes to Senegal, goes to nations in Africa and becomes our playground. Hundreds and hundreds of billions of waste goes to our lands. I certainly lived near one growing up and that becomes our playground, but that’s hushed. Modernity knows how to stamp labels on things and say, “Don’t inquire about what’s underneath. Just trust the logo, the brand, the bright colors”. So the question is, can we? And this is where a space of slowing down occurs or is important. Because I think how we think about the next, how we dream about what could happen is instigated by where we are right now, brother. Our imaginations are not free-wheeled things. They’re connected with where we are. We don’t know how to imagine independent of the systems that have created us, that have shaped us over time. I like to say that thinking outside the box is exactly how boxes think. We’re constantly reproducing troubling realities because we think we have it all in check, but we don’t.

Rick: You know, our friend Charles Eisenstein has this phrase, “The better world our hearts know is possible”. And I’ve interviewed him on this show, and you of course have had some lovely conversations with him.

Bayo: Conversations? We’ve wrestled on beaches in Brazil.

Rick: Literally?

Bayo: And I won.

Rick: Literally wrestled? You’re younger.

Bayo: Yeah, very different.

Rick: And he’s kind of skinny.

Bayo: Yeah, I’m way younger. He’s so skinny and beatable, eminently beatable. And I hope he hears this. We have one referee match coming up next.

Rick: He’ll take it as a challenge, I’m sure. But I mean, I forget how Charles articulated that phrase, “The better world our hearts know is possible”. Maybe you can refresh my memory.

Bayo: The more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.

Rick: Yeah, more beautiful world. So how do you, I mean, what would your idea of a more beautiful world be, and do you consider it possible?

Bayo: I don’t know. I seriously don’t know. I could speak about maybe… the one that is high upon my list is the cancellation of nation states.

Rick: So we become one big country, so to speak?

Bayo: So there you go. I don’t know. I don’t know.

Rick: But what would that mean, the cancellation of nation states? You don’t know?

Bayo: The porosity. You know, I could definitely pretend to be confident about these half-baked ideas about what a more beautiful world could look like. I could say it may be premised on gift economies, probably has something to do with the resuscitation of indigenous realities, diversification. Maybe we cancel fiat currency altogether. Maybe health looks like something different. But a wiser economy is not entirely graspable from where I sit. It’s the collusion of me and tables and probably psychedelic mothers and other things around us. The sense I want to leave people with is that these imaginations are not… we rush off unilaterally in trying to create or imagine a beautiful world, and then we’re stuck in the same loop. Since the 1970s, we’ve been talking about this is the final bus stop. If we don’t do something about ecological loss and environmental damage, the next decade is not possible. Since 1970, when the first Earth Day happened, and we’ve been in this cyclical loop, you know, saying this is the end, this is the end, this is the end, and now it’s 2030. We’re just reproducing the same realities, telling ourselves we’re doing something new. Now when we get into this troubling cyclical loop, what do we do? And this is where I might have ideas, but I’m willing to compost them. I’m willing to come to a place where I say, “I don’t know. I don’t know what the world looks like 50 years from now, but maybe it’s not entirely up to me”. Maybe I would be able to know what to want, what to yearn for, if I’ve done some kind of work with myself. But that’s a different conversation.

Rick: Yeah. Well, this is kind of how we started this conversation, talking about how we have… how much influence do we actually have on the way things are going to go, and how do we even know not only what it will be, but what it should be. So it’s interesting. I also have no idea what it will be specifically, or what it should be specifically, but I kind of feel like even if we don’t know the specifics, we can make efforts which help to bring about a better, a more beautiful world, as Charles would phrase it. And maybe our efforts don’t seem directly related always to what that world will ultimately be, but I think the intention has a lot of value to it. The desire… maybe one way of putting it is – I thought of this earlier when you were speaking – that ultimately there is a – this gets to my kind of more God-oriented way of viewing the world – but I think that there is a sort of an orchestration of the universe that takes place and an orchestration of our society, our human society, which goes… well, just as the orchestration of the universe is certainly out of our hands, but even our society is somewhat out of our hands, there’s a flow to it, if you think of it as a river. And we… how am I trying to say this? The more we can align with the flow of the river – by that I mean the more we can align our individual consciousness with the sort of more universal consciousness that’s running the show – the more instrumental we can be in helping bring about the evolution of everything. And I think ultimately that’s what the universe, if it has an agenda, it’s evolution, it’s growth to greater and greater expression of divine consciousness through individual forms. And probably half of what I just said there doesn’t jibe with your way of thinking, but gives you something to chew on. Oh yeah, yeah.

Bayo: So, like I said earlier, it’s… my questions are when I meet the beautiful, the multitudinous and amazing ecologies of ideas and thoughts out there, it’s not to say, is this true or not true? It’s that how is this constructed and what does this enable my brother or my sister to see and to be in touch with that I’m not in touch with because I am performing with my microbial cousins, a different kind of reality. What does this allow me to be in touch with? What are the strategies here, said or unvoiced? So yes, I do… the idea that there is a universal background running the show and we have to, we’ll create an epistemology of alignment that we want to align with this flow and be at one with it so that there can be harmony in the world. And I think that there is something beautiful about that. At the same time, I think there are other strategies that I’m resonant with at a time and they come from my own embodiment as a person. I think knowledge is always embodied and situated. No one knows from a universal God’s eye point of view. And so to hear that and receive it is my challenge. It’s my gift. It’s my privilege at this point in time. At the same time, I want to notice that I feel that there is an invitation for us again, this is back to the beginning, to shape shift, to become something different. And we don’t entirely know how to do this. It’s not entirely left to us. We are really constantly at a crossroads. Not that we are on a highway and then we suddenly come to a crossroads. Life itself is an ongoing crossroads event. This one is just more visible. And like I always like to say that when you’ve been moving forward down a path and you come to a crossroads, then you haven’t been moving forward after all. Because the crossroads is like reaches back into the past and reshapes everything you’ve been doing. And it seems like you haven’t been moving forward because you’re now at a crossroads and the definition of forward has changed. That for me means that we need to do some work of meeting our many others, our many siblings, our kin around the world and holding space for us to melt, to be composted so that we can probably see each other differently and see what to yearn for, what to plan for and have potentially wiser economies, potentially more beautiful worlds. The reason I always hesitate to rush into repeating a phrase like “the more beautiful words our hearts know is possible” is because the definition of beautiful for a while has been hurtful. People like me, it is certainly beautiful to adventure into the new world and to build rationalistic systems and cities and all of that. And it came from this Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm that saw beauty and elegance in a world that was infinitely describable, potentially describable by trained minds. And then he defined science in a way that removed the histories of work and knowledge and wisdom that has been done for centuries and said all of that is rubbish in the light of what we now know to be scientific truth. So you can understand my hesitation when I hear a phrase like, even though I think I know where Charles is coming from, the world our hearts know is possible. Whose hearts and whose vision of the beautiful? So this is not an attempt to reproduce problematic dualisms. It’s an invitation to notice dualism is not the other or the opposite of difference. What do we do with our differences of opinion, of bodies? How do we meet each other in this troubling place without effacing or erasing those histories?

Rick: Well when I think of one of the most beautiful places in our world is, let’s say, the tropical rainforest.

Bayo: Right.

Rick: And one of the reasons it’s so beautiful is that there’s such fecundity, such diversity of life, so many different kinds of plants and animals and flowers and sounds and all that stuff. So my understanding of a more beautiful world would certainly not be one where everything is the same. It would be, all the diversities would even be more vibrant than they are.

Bayo: Right.

Rick: But there would be sort of an underlying unity which would harmonize things so that diversity could flourish even more and yet not be in conflict with itself.

Bayo: Here’s a question, brother, and I pose it as a question, largely rhetorical, non-prosthetizing, in good faith, that maybe I could frame it as something that I’ve thought of and wrestled with. I sometimes think that harmony yearns for disruption, that oneness yearns for two-ness and two-ness yearns for oneness. When many people speak about nature, for instance, they presuppose this realm or site of infinite harmonies that we humans disrupted and so we have to get back to nature. And I feel that that disappoints or belittles the amount of violence that makes nature nature. This biologist, Donna Haraway, would say that nature is a disruption of its own self. What nature is, it hasn’t been figured out. It’s still being figured out, even to itself. And so harmony needs disruption to be completely harmonious. And disruption needs harmony to be disruption, if you will, that we cannot have one without the other. So that if – and this is one of the nuggets of wisdom that allowed me to linger beyond the fences of my received faith – that if Christianity could succeed to proselytize the universe and convert everything to Christianity, including stones, it would have lost Christianity. Christianity needs the boundaries of difference to say, this is not what I am. This is us here. But if it should defeat everything else, it won’t be Christianity that sprouts and flourishes. It will be something strange, something that Christianity as framed currently would not be able to recognize. Hence, you know, the text like Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov. Yeah, it’s that messianic openings are not introductions of harmony, they’re introductions of disruption. And that disruption is an opening, a portal, not to perchance some higher order level of being, but a different configuration, a potentially different configuration with its own shadows, with its own light and with its own shadows. And that the twin shall forever be married couples constantly bickering and fighting and we will never get to the end of that.

Rick: I think that what you’re saying may actually have its roots in something very fundamental to creation, just as physics can trace the roots of various phenomena to deeper and deeper levels and laws and forces and fields and so on, right? And eventually they get down to four forces and then they unify a couple of those and get down to three and they’re searching for one fundamental field from which everything would emerge. I think that one way of explaining it or understanding it is that if consciousness is not just an epiphenomenon or brain functioning, but is a fundamental field out of which everything emerges, then how does that happen? Well, if it’s the fundamental field, then at that level there’s nothing for it to be conscious of, it’s the only thing down there. So, it becomes conscious of itself, but in so doing it sets up a dichotomy or actually a three-fold thing of observer, observed and process of observation. So, there’s this threeness and then that bifurcates further into more and more diversity, but how could it be diverse or three when it’s really just unified? So, as you said, unification seeks diversity and diversity seeks unification. So it sort of oscillates between unity and diversity and unity and diversity with an infinite frequency and that infinite frequency gives rise to the infinite dynamism of creation that we see in all the explosive phenomena of the universe, both on the level of stars and galaxies and on the level of relationships and human interactions and all the rest.

Bayo: Yeah, I mean, such a beautiful … a question that emerged from that beautiful, very powerful offering there, Rick, is also, where do we draw the levels? Where do we draw the lines and say, this is a level and this is a lower level and this is an even lower level? And I say that because I’m definitely no physicist or expert. If someone comes to you with a card and says, “Expert in quantum mechanics” is probably a snake’s oil salesman or something.

Rick: I’m not either, but we know that in quantum mechanics, electrons take discrete jumps to varying levels of excitation. They don’t just sort of go incrementally by degrees, they jump from one level to another. So perhaps levels are never quite… maybe as it gets more manifest and diverse, levels are not so discrete, but at that level they tend to be.

Bayo: My point exactly is to notice discontinuities and how these quantum leaps unsettle and call into question the ideas of hierarchy. For instance, this binarization between the quantum world and the classical world, the world of big things and the world of little things is called into question by the indeterminacy that is noticed in quantum physics. To say that these categories are pre-set, pre-determined, pre-relational is to perform the same kind of modernizing, indexing, categorizing effects that we now find so problematic. So my own particular readings of it – and I certainly need to do some more reading and more listening to people who spend their time in labs theorizing about that – is to notice the discontinuities, the breaking away from the algorithms that says something so small is lesser in quality or quantity or ontology than something so big. So I guess where I’m going with this is I’m not so sure about a world that is pre-set and pre-relational. And that means that I feel invited to dive in, to play, and to play with others and to see what I might become, to bring it back home to where we dived in from, where I might become and to notice first of all what I am already made of or what all the politics and ideologies and philosophies that have kind of constituted me and maybe to do some kind of work that allows me to find the others, meet the others in a process I call “making sanctuary”. There’s no time to discuss that now. That brings us into a place of noticing the others around us, you know? Yeah, yeah.

Rick: A nice little comment just came in from Dan in London. He said, “Bayo basically just encapsulated the philosophy of yin and yang that he seemed to derive through his own deduction. Amazing!”

Bayo: Do I detect a tone of sarcasm?

Rick: No, I know Dan. Dan is a very sweet and sincere fellow.

Bayo: I’m just kidding. Greetings, Dan.

Rick: Dan is actually the guy who forwards the questions to me during interviews. He lives over in London. But anyway, I think you tickled his fancy there. He liked what you said. Yeah. Oh, so you’d be a fun guy to take a cross-continental drive with or something. I could talk to you for hours, but we’re reaching up near the two-hour point. So is there anything that you want to conclude with or make sure, you know, anything that we haven’t covered that you think we ought to throw in here before we wrap it up?

Bayo: It’s always good to, who is it that said, I think it was Gandalf and Lord of the Rings. It said, “Every good story deserves embellishment”. Right? And that is so Yoruba. That is such a Yoruba thing to say because we’re such a performative culture. I feel like ending with a story. It’s only going to take two minutes. It’s a story of the tortoise, who is a trickster figure in my own land. His name is Ijakba. And the tortoise is this conning, wily trickster. I think America has a coyote.

Rick: Yeah, we do. Wily coyote, we call him. You know, the roadrunner cartoon.

Bayo: Well, well, beyond beep beep and Looney Tunes, I think there’s coyote and raven. And I’ve heard of…

Rick: It’s true in the Native American traditions.

Bayo: So we have tortoise and there’s a story about tortoise arguing with the gods and basically saying I can potentially know everything. I can come up with a unified theory of everything and I’m going to do just that. And so he decides to do that. It takes for himself a calabash and I’ve told this story multiple times.

Rick: It’s like a gourd or something.

Bayo: A gourd with a neck. And then he ties a string around it and hangs it in front of him. And then he goes on this Google-ization of data trip, basically trying to data-rize everything. He asks a lion, what makes you roar? How is it you come to roar? And the lion shares his data with the tortoise and the tortoise takes this bit of wisdom, stuffs this into the infinite gourd and continues on his research journey. He goes to wind, he goes to men, he goes to fire, he goes to clouds, he goes to rain, he goes to every part of reality. Don’t ask me how, Rick. But that’s the story. And then what do you do when you have this wealth of knowledge? You store it. You hide it away. You keep it as treasure. And so he decides to hide it in the most noble of trees, which is the Iroko tree in Nigeria. Very spiritual, very noble, scary tree, a site for spirits. It’s tall. Now, the thing with the tortoise, as you of course know, is that he’s very, he’s quite abbreviated and so he cannot wrap his limbs around the tree. And so he tries again and again to climb up to the tree, climb up the tree and hide it among the fruits there. Meanwhile, he’s doing this for almost half a day. And a grasshopper, the stupidest of animals, is looking at him through the grass and just laughing away. He jumps out and meets the tortoise and says, I’m so sorry for chuckling and being rude, but I couldn’t help but notice how many times you’ve tried to climb this tree to hide your wisdom. You know, maybe, maybe you could do this. Maybe you could just put the gourd on your back, see if that doesn’t help. And he hops away. And the tortoise realizes how dumb he’s been all this while. And he puts the gourd on his back, on his shell, and he climbs the tree. It’s easier this time. And he gets to the top and realizes how defunct the whole idea of trying to encapsulate the world in a neat way is. And so he gives up on his trip and he opens the calabash and releases the wisdom back into the world. And that is, according to my people, why we are knowledgeable today, because the tortoise was magnanimous enough to release our wisdoms back to us. But there’s a hidden wisdom there as well. And it’s not quite hidden anymore. The wisdom is that our attempts to encapsulate, to wrap around the world, to embrace it in one scheme, in a form of language or words or ideology, will always be met by something outside that disrupts that wisdom journey. And so the invitation is, again, to hold space for the gods, to hold space for the inscrutable, to hold space for the perverse, to hold space for the trauma of knowing that we will never arrive and there is no such thing as arrival. There’s only approach. And that is what I’ll end with.

Rick: That’s beautifully put. I’m not even going to try to restate that in my own words because I think your words were good enough and very nice. So thanks, Bayo. I really enjoyed this.

Bayo: Thank you. Thank you very much, Rick.

Rick: And thanks to those who have been listening or watching. If this is new to you, this show, then feel free to check out all the past ones and also you can go to and sign up to be notified of upcoming ones. Whenever one is released, I’ll send you an email. You’ll also see a page where all the ones that are already scheduled are listed. And there’s some other interesting things on the site there if you just explore the menus. So, we’ll see where all this goes. It’s an interesting time we live in. And who knows? I don’t know, it’s just fascinating to watch it all unfold. I’ve felt for decades that there’s going to be a time like this. I didn’t know what it would be exactly or how it would come about, but a time when, because we obviously were just sort of not getting it, and there are so many entrenched things that really needed to get shaken up, but I didn’t know how that was going to happen. But it seems like it’s happening now. And we’ll see what it all looks like when the dust settles, if it ever does.

Bayo: Again, Rick, that is such a beautiful thing to say. Again, if not for a virus, imagine some people actually planned this time. Imagine how impossible it would have been if we planned it on our own agency alone. It had to be something outside of us, if you will, a virus that made us slow down.

Rick: Yeah, like you said in your essay, Andrew Yang was saying, “Let’s give everybody $1,000 a month”. And that seemed kind of pie in the sky.

Bayo: Yeah, now let’s do that.

Rick: Yeah. All right, so thanks, Bayo. We’ll be seeing you around. If we ever have another physical SAND, I’ll see you there, hopefully.

Bayo: Yes, yes.

Rick: And thanks for your time.

Bayo: Thank you very much, brother.