On Being with Krista Tippett

On Being with Krista Tippett

By: On Being Studios, Krista Tippett

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4.5 (844 ratings)

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On Being takes up the big questions of meaning with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers — some you know and others you'll love to meet. Each week a new discovery about the immensity of our lives — updated every Thursday. Hosted by Krista Tippett. Discover more at onbeing.org. On Being Studios is the producer of On Being, Becoming Wise, Creating Our Own Lives, and more to come.

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Recent Episodes

An exuberant experience of conversation and singing. There are nearly 5,000 spirituals in existence. Their organizing concept is not the melody of Europe, but the rhythm of Africa. They were composed by slaves, bards whose names we will never know, and yet gave rise to gospel, jazz, blues, and hip-hop. Joe Carter lived and breathed the universal appeal and hidden stories, meanings, and hope in what were originally called “sorrow songs.” This was one of our first weekly shows, and it’s still one of our most beloved. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Joe Carter — The Spirituals." Find more at onbeing.org.

“Magic, shining songs.” Reaching back to the ancestors. How do we survive when the worst happens? Transcendence and code: “Steal Away,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” Music as a secret door. The roots of gospel, jazz, hip-hop, the blues. An exuberant experience of conversation and singing. There are nearly 5,000 spirituals in existence. Their organizing concept is not the melody of Europe, but the rhythm of Africa. They were composed by slaves, bards whose names we will never know, and yet gave rise to gospel, jazz, blues, and hip-hop. Joe Carter lived and breathed the universal appeal and hidden stories, meanings, and hope in what were originally called “sorrow songs.” This was one of our first weekly shows, and it’s still one of our most beloved. Joe Carter was a singer, performer, teacher, and traveling humanitarian. He performed for more than 25 years in opera and musical theater, portrayed Paul Robeson in a one-man musical, and introduced people around the world to the spiritual. He died of leukemia at age 57, on June 26, 2006. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

How can we embrace vulnerability in ourselves and in our culture? Krista reflects on how vulnerability can bring us closer to ourselves and each other. The fourth installment of “Living the Questions” this summer. We’ll be back to answer more of your questions in the fall.

What if the first question we asked on a date were, "How are you crazy? I'm crazy like this"? Philosopher and writer Alain de Botton's essay "Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person" was one of the most-read articles in The New York Times in recent years. As people and as a culture, he says, we would be much saner and happier if we reexamined our very view of love. Nowhere do we realistically teach ourselves and our children how love deepens and stumbles, survives and evolves over time, and how that process has much more to do with ourselves than with what is right or wrong about our partner. The real work of love is not in the falling, but in what comes after. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Alain de Botton — The True Hard Work of Love and Relationships." Find more at onbeing.org.

The philosopher and creator of The School of Life. The question we should ask on an early date is, "How are you crazy? I'm crazy like this..." The real work of love that is in the stumbling and evolving, skill and surviving — not in the falling. The joy of flirting. What if the first question we asked on a date were, "How are you crazy? I'm crazy like this"? Philosopher and writer Alain de Botton's essay "Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person" was one of the most-read articles in The New York Times in recent years. As people and as a culture, he says, we would be much saner and happier if we reexamined our very view of love. Nowhere do we realistically teach ourselves and our children how love deepens and stumbles, survives and evolves over time, and how that process has much more to do with ourselves than with what is right or wrong about our partner. The real work of love is not in the falling, but in what comes after. Alain de Botton is the founder and chairman of The School of Life. His books include "Religion for Atheists," "How Proust Can Change Your Life," and the novel "The Course of Love."

What is the value of boredom in our lives? Krista reflects on the importance of mental downtime. The third installment of "Living the Questions" — a new feature of the On Being podcast where Krista answers questions from you.

We don’t really reward or allow our politicians, good or bad, to be searching, or to change their minds and grow — to admit their human frailty. So it’s surprising to hear Cory Booker say that the best thing that’s happened to him is “being broken, time and time again.” He’s taken flack for talking about politics as “manifesting love.” He speaks with Krista about the inadequacy of tolerance, strengthening the “muscle” of hope, and making your bed as a spiritual practice. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Cory Booker — Civic Spiritual Evolution." Find more at onbeing.org.

The U.S. Senator. From merely tolerating each other to manifesting love. “Hope confronts.” Self-care in a world “so elegantly designed to distract you.” Making your bed as a spiritual practice. “We’re all more fragile than we let on.” We don’t really reward or allow our politicians, good or bad, to be searching, or to change their minds and grow — to admit their human frailty. So it’s surprising to hear Cory Booker say that the best thing that’s happened to him is “being broken, time and time again.” He’s taken flack for talking about politics as “manifesting love.” He speaks with Krista about the inadequacy of tolerance, strengthening the “muscle” of hope, and making your bed as a spiritual practice. Cory Booker is a senator for New Jersey and the former mayor of Newark. He serves the U.S. Senate committees on Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works, the Judiciary, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. He was a varsity football player for Stanford University and a Rhodes Scholar. He’s the author of "United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good."

How can we help young people feel like they have a voice in the world? Krista reflects on the voice and agency of young people and the importance of fostering intergenerational friendships. The second installment of "Living the Questions" — a new feature of the On Being podcast where Krista responds to questions from you.

The problem with calling another living being “it.” Photosynthesis envy. The renewal of the world for the privilege of breath. Mosses as a celebration of the power of smallness. The science of why goldenrod and asters look so beautiful together. “The rocks are beyond slow, beyond strong, and yet yielding to a soft green breath as powerful as a glacier, the mosses wearing away their surfaces, grain by grain bringing them slowly back to sand. There is an ancient conversation going on between mosses and rocks, poetry to be sure. About light and shadow and the drift of continents.” This is how Robin Wall Kimmerer writes about moss, which she studies as a botanist and bryologist. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she joins science’s ability to “polish the art of seeing” with her personal, civilizational lineage of “listening” to plant life — heeding the languages of the natural world. This gives her a grammar not of feminine and masculine but of animate and inanimate — a way into the vitality and intelligence of plant life that science is now also seeing. It opens a new way for us to reimagine a natural reciprocity with the world around us as “a generative and creative way to be a human in the world.” Robin Wall Kimmerer is the State University of New York Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. She is founding director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. Her books include Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses and Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.