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The Queen’s Gambit, The Hero’s Journey, Veganism, and Exercise: Tyson Yunkaporta on PYP 439

Author, academic, and artist Tyson Yunkaporta offers an Indigenous perspective on some of the core beliefs that have guided my life. Some, like veganism, survive. Others, like the Hero's Journey, lie in tatters.

In our far-ranging yarn (I believe the conversation met that bar), we examined the myths of Western Civilization to see how they serve us. The Hero's Journey, which requires us to see ourselves as cosmic orphans and posits a degraded world in need of saving, leads to isolation and self-destruction.

The whole idea of technological progress without regard for unforeseen consequences creates a dynamic in which each solution turns into a more intractable problem: “curing” sickle cell with CRISPR leads to installing terminator genes in African mosquitoes, which leads to environmental destabilization and the extinction of birds and big mammals.

Tyson is highly suspicious of veganism, seeing it as another form of rigid control requiring tight human manipulation in order to get the nutrients needed to thrive. Rather than turn the yarn into a debate, we looked for ways to understand my impulse to minimize harm with the Indigenous principles of custodianship and covenantal relationship. Our treatment of tofu and edamame reflects this attempt.

We also spoke about The Queen's Gambit, as a story about a Human who refused to be Domesticated (Tyson hadn't finished the series, so there were plot elements I couldn't go into), and how difficult that proposition can be, and why it usually requires psychoactive drugs to maintain.

And we concluded by looking at “exercise” and its connection to mechanical Western “progress” culture and its possible transformation into a covenantal prayer of belonging and mutuality.

Links

Sand Talk, by Tyson Yunkaporta

Tyson and Glenn Murphy on Plant Yourself

Martin Prechtel

The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell

You CAN Change Other People!

Well, that's what Peter Bregman and I claim in our provocative new book of that title.

What we really mean is, you can help the people around you make behavioral changes in their own best interests. If you think you're powerless to help people change, it's because you've been going about it the wrong way.

Discover our straightforward, replicable process here: You Can Change Other People.

Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight

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Music

The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.

Gratitudes

Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Peter W Evans – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Marjorie Lewis – Tricia Adams – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – Erika Piedra – Danielle Roberts – Michael Leuchten – Sarah Johnson – Katharine Floyd – Meryl Fury – for your generous support of the podcast.

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2 comments on “The Queen’s Gambit, The Hero’s Journey, Veganism, and Exercise: Tyson Yunkaporta on PYP 439

  1. Sophia Anna says:

    I thought he was interesting until he spoke about veganism in such a way that made his ignorance clear. The main consumption of soy is livestock.

    1. Howard says:

      Up until now, veganism and indigenous perspectives have not aligned. Part of my eagerness to have this conversation with Tyson was to hear his perspective, and share mine. Did you listen all the way through? I thought we got somewhere useful and interesting…

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