Ever notice how, increasingly, spirituality, and especially, religion, have become these loaded terms? Let alone concepts. For so many, they smack of being everything from irrelevant to modern life, values and needs to being outright hostile to the very notion of peace, ease, and serenity. Which is why, at a time when so many are struggling, grappling with groundlessness, loneliness, and upheaval, a time that, in prior generations, would have sent people running toward a spiritual tradition or path, people are instead running from it. But, does that have to be the case? And when we run from the core elements, beyond the potentially co-opted translations and edicts, what potential good and value are we also running from? And, what might a new lens or approach on spirituality and faith look like? One steeped in openness, kindness, inclusivity, service, compassion and beyond?
That is where we’re headed today in this deep and nuanced conversation with my guest, Rainn Wilson. Now, before you even ask, you may be wondering, “isn’t he the three-time Emmy-nominated actor who portrayed Dwight Schrute on NBC’s The Office?” And, the answer would be yes. But what you may not know is that Rainn has been traveling, examining, and deeply studying both his own Baha’i tradition, as well as nearly every other religious and spiritual tradition for more than 50 years. He is no stranger to deep, meaningful conversations and, in fact, as the co-founder production company, Soul Pancake, he produced a stunning array of programming that invites us all to ask the big questions, and see the humanity in each other. He’s also the host of Rainn Wilson and the Geography of Bliss on Peacock and a New York Times bestselling author. His latest book, Soul Boom: Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution explores the harmony between personal transformation service and the future of religion and spirituality. And, that’s exactly where he headed in today’s deep, rich, wise, and kind conversation.
With a deep understanding of the connection between personal growth and service to others, Rainn shares his insights on finding balance, purpose, the essence of a new, more expansive spirituality, and the pursuit of meaning and belonging in life. He believes that by nurturing our spiritual selves, we can generate the energy and light needed to uplift and serve others, ultimately fueling our own soul growth in return. It’s this delicate dance between self-improvement and selflessness that Rainn suggests is the key to living a truly good life.
You’ll be inspired to examine your own journey and consider the ways in which you can create a meaningful, purpose-driven life through the interplay of spiritual growth and altruism.
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photo credit: Kwaku Alston