Doctor REVEALS TRUTH: Profound Future Premonition, Meaning of Life, Synchronicity | Dr. Stephen Post
Doctor Reveals Truth of Future Visions and Life Purpose!
A longer life? A happier life? A healthier life? Above all, a life that matters—so that when you leave this world, you’ll have changed it for the better. If science said you could have all this just by altering one behaviour, would you?
Dr. Stephen G. Post spreads the science of giving and the commitment to the greater good. Stephen is a bioethicist at Stony Brook University and an expert in compassionate care and the relationship between giving and happiness.
He is the author of several books including, When Good Things Happen to Good People, Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People and God and Love on Route 80.
Click HERE to LISTEN OR download the MP3
Read the FULL Episode Transcript Below.
Passion Harvest Interview with Stephen G Post
Stephen G Post welcome to Passion Harvest. I’m really, really so excited to have you on the show today. Welcome.
00:01:42 Dr. Stephen G. Post
Thank you so much for having me. At least I couldn’t be happier.
I I mean, I just love all the work and the research you’re doing and and the messages that you share. And I’d like to talk about your books. But first I’d like to dive into a couple of things and you kind of one of the experts on this, what is the relationship between giving and happiness?
00:02:06 Dr. Stephen G. Post
We are all deep down inside evolutionarily and spiritually.
And so the fulfilment that comes to us and the inner peace that we feel.
When we give importantly with kindness.
You know, there’s this sort of the external.
Almost emotionless, kind of giving the routinized giving that’s not as powerful but but but kind giving is is the core and you know shifting your.
Emotional centres away from the destructive emotions like bitterness and hostility and rumination.
And and and when you give with kindness, all the neurology studies show that those neurological circuits that are the basis of these hostile, destructive emotions.
They just get shut off.
You can’t have both turned on at the same time.
And and and so the more you can cultivate kind giving.
And giving is a great way to develop your kindness, the better off.
You will be you.
Will be happier and healthier and.
Odds are live a longer life and you’ll be more.
And I just want to clarify, giving doesn’t necessarily mean presence or or monetary contributions. It can be time. I’ll leave you to answer that. But.
00:03:41 Dr. Stephen G. Post
Well, no, no.
That’s a great. I mean so, so, so.
I I I speak about.
Gift, love or love as the hub of giving and.
And I have a I have an idea about love, which I picked up when I was a student at the University of Chicago. Many, many, many years ago that when the happiness or the well being and the security of another is as meaningful to you as your own and sometimes.
You love that person, and that holds whatever you’re involved in doing, whether it’s caring for a child or or caring for an ill person in a Hospice or having a cup.
Of coffee with.
An old friend who’s had some hard times, whatever the situation.
Might be. Maybe it’s a clinician who’s made a big medical mistake and can’t live with her.
You you can help people to understand that those who make no mistakes make nothing, and that, you know, we all we all are imperfect and flawed. So there’s so many different expressions of of, of love. And there is also just you know the giving of a gift.
Or the the helping somebody across the street.
So all of these things are forms of of giving, and in fact, studies show that even writing a check for a charity.
Can be uplifting emotionally and can help you with regard to happiness and the diminishing of of depression. But The thing is, you, you it’s not just the writing of.
It you know, the individuals have to have some sort of affective.
Sort of existential or gut level interest and commitment in what they’re doing.
So that’s the same thing with the with the physicians, this is a big, huge hospital here at Stony Brook and and I’ll just outside of New York and the physicians who stay in touch with.
Empathy and kindness in their interactions with patients have much longer and more successful careers.
So it helps them not to get caught up in the kind of the routinization and all just the, you know, treating the disease and not the person.
So this is the the the centre that I’m in. This is my my office here. It’s it’s a large group of people. It’s the centre for Medical Humanism, compassionate care and bioethics emphasis, humanism and compassionate care because that’s really how.
People thrive. That’s how these students were motivated to get into medicine to begin.
With and so the more you can do to actually help them keep in touch with that inner being, the better off they will be, and they can. They can navigate the difficulties of our world because it is a harsh world right now it’s very polarised and, you know, acrimonious and and there’s not much.
Forbearance or patient.
And and so this is how they can manage that and not be overwhelmed by it.
I mean, it’s kind of obvious, but it’s just wonderful that you’ve actually done this scientific research that proves these things, that kindness and goodness and helping others actually positively affects our health and happiness and.
00:07:14 Dr. Stephen G. Post
On the helping others thing you know, actually a little story. I came here from Cleveland. OH.
You’ve probably not been.
To Cleveland, I’m guessing almost. I’m actually a wonderful city.
And that was 15 years ago, and they recruited me here and I I had been 20 years in, in a, in a in a suburb of Cleveland. And we raised our family there and it was hard for me to make the move. So I felt a little bit out of out of sorts.
For a while and I found that the best thing I could do is just, you know, come into this medical school and think more intentionally about how I can be kind to people. And I use mirth, you know, so I if you, if you look at why good things happen to good people, there’s a section there on humour. Because if you use.
You know, uplifting, generous, respectful humour it can.
Change people’s attitudes in a million millisecond and you know it’s just like that and. And so even during the COVID nod period, I would come in here every day and and I’d see some people looking a little bit morose and and and. And I I started using call him Dad jokes, you know.
What did the fish?
Say when it swam into the.
Ohh damn or you know one of the ones I invented back then. I I keep keep them in a notebook cause I believe in mirth. I believe that Mirth is an expression of love and giving. It’s a way of giving again. It can’t be distasteful. It’s not to say that people should be making disparaging comments about.
Obese individuals within earshot of the door, which sometimes happens in medical settings, but no everything has to be respectful and uplifting. But this is for the for the people who are philosophical and medical in your audience. OK, So what do you do?
If you are an agnostic.
If you have dyslexia.
Agnostic dyslectic insomnia.
I’m not sure.
00:09:27 Dr. Stephen G. Post
You’re up all night wondering about the existence of dog.
00:09:35 Dr. Stephen G. Post
Like you know, God dog is. That’s the that’s the dyslexia part. So just, you know, I love I love mirth.
Right. Yeah. Right. Right, right, that’s.
00:09:42 Dr. Stephen G. Post
And it’s funny how, you know, many spiritual people have a quality of mirth they don’t want to be overbearing. You know, there’s this a kind of natural joy in their continents.
And people like Dostoyevsky wrote the idiot, sort of a, you know, a book, a book about kind of a Christ like.
Figure who has.
Lots of lots of humour and and does things that are.
A little bit quirky.
But it it’s all it’s all good.
And it makes.
People smile it. It brings joy. I again your book. And I just love your.
Phrase it’s good to.
Be good. I mean it’s it’s, it’s.
Beautiful. I just want to backtrack just briefly because you did you do speak about your calling and synchronicities. How do you mind just sharing briefly with the audience? How did you get into this field of?
00:10:37 Dr. Stephen G. Post
Well, I’m going to keep this relatively.
Brief but I I.
I have to just tell the story, the origin story of this. I was about 15 and I was in a prep school in Concord, NH.
An Anglican place called Saint Paul’s School and I had to.
Remarkable sacred studies teacher we’ve studied all the world religions. You know, later on in life, I would get to study with Joseph Campbell and all kinds of interesting people. But Rod Wells was our teacher there. And and Episcopal priests. So I was a little different than most people there. They were off playing.
Hockey. I was walking in the wooded paths, cherishing nature and reading scriptures from the world. I was very pathetic. I guess Aristotle would say, and that was my my thing so.
One morning, just after, I had kind of gotten up, but not quite. I had this interesting dream.
Of a of a road heading toward the West.
It was just totally missed and folded and so you couldn’t see more than a couple of inches in front of you.
And I looked to my left and there was an image of a young guy with dirty blonde hair and and he was about to jump off some kind of.
And then of of the face came into the into the dream, and it was of a of a woman, of a, a very beautiful woman. Maybe she was an Angel or something along those lines. If you believe in those things. But anyway, it was a spiritual experience. And she said if you save him.
You too shall live.
If you save him, you two shall live.
And I had no idea what that meant, but I, you know, I I.
I found out because.
Couple of years later this this dream recurred 5 times. I was out on the West Coast headed to Reed College.
Where, by the way, Steve Jobs slept.
On my floor.
Just to say that, and we read the autobiography of a Yogi and such things. But I was out in California for the summer at my cousins house.
And I drew a very, very bad draught number for the Vietnam War. And I just did not want to go over there and kill and burn women and children. So I called the people from Reed at Reed, who I’ve turned down because I wasn’t planning to go there. And I asked them, well, do you have a spot open for me? They’d admitted me earlier on.
And they said, yeah, so one.
Very early September morning, I’m I’m I gathered with friends in front of the Nichiren show show Buddhist temple where they chant Nam Myoho and gay kill and I I announced that I was leaving for for Oregon. That’s where Reed is in Portland OR and.
Of an old Japanese American named Gus gave me a go home zone. That’s a word for your audience. It’s a it. It. It’s basically a scroll and it’s got some beautiful Japanese symbols.
You know, there’s there’s a heart with a line drawn through it, which which means in Japanese busy. No heart. It’s interesting how those things get captured graphically and oneness of mind.
Such things. So I took the bus up to the Golden Gate Park. I walked across the park and I went across on the Golden Gate Bridge and it was early.
In the morning.
O’clock and I really couldn’t see more than a few inches in front of me, but I was on the left side. I got to the middle of the of the bridge. There’s only one huge span there.
I heard some noise to my left, and I squinted and I saw the outlines of a young guy who had dirty blonde hair and he was looking like he was about to jump.
And I I stopped.
I looked, I listened.
And I said to him.
I surely hope you’re not planning to jump.
And then he was so offended that I had interrupted this incredibly sacred moment for him. He just turned at me and he started spewing curses and even quoting Macbeth, I mean.
He was not.
An interesting guy, his name was Harrison.
I would find out and and I said wait a minute before you jump, let me tell you that when I was 15 two years ago, I was in New Hampshire, 3000 miles away.
And and that was two years ago. And I had this dream and I think I think you were in it.
Someone who looked very much like you and he would. He just was shocked and I said. And by the way, you know, I I told him how I got out there and and we we carried on a a a very peaceful conversation. He calmed down when I told him about this story and he was curious. He had a kind of gentle curiosity.
About how we could maybe be communicating between time and time and space, you know, and so I said if you come over here and and step over the railing to where I am, I was on the pedestrian side. I mean it’s a long story, it’s in the, it’s in the God love on Route 80 book. But I I said I’m going to.
I’m gonna give you something that will change your life. Gonna change your luck forever. And he said, what’s that? And he was kind of angry again. And and I said it’s called a Go home zone.
And and he said, well, what the hell?
And he actually did.
Walk over and I unschooled it and I explained some of the some of the symbols to him.
Again, very quietly and in a in a peaceful tone, and he really settled down. And I said look.
I’m going to give this to you, and if you if you take this, your life will improve. And here’s a note to my cousin George, my cousin George Lamont lived in the Mission district of San Francisco. He was a Vietnam vet.
And he lived on Chenery St, and I’d been there that summer. And I I said, George, this is Harrison.
Please look after him. Bring him down to the Buddhist temple.
Look after him and and let him sleep on the floor. I was sleeping and so forth and. And so Harrison walked S on the bridge and I walked north and just as.
I was walking north.
Suddenly all the all the mist and this had happened in the dream, all the mist evaporated. It was an incredibly radiant blue sky and sun.
And I felt I felt that I had experienced something that was pretty.
Pretty unusual. Some kind of synchronicity to use your.
Word that that.
Somehow or another, we’re more cherished in this universe than we we realise, and that this was kind of set up and and and and it was a beautiful thing and and and, you know, then I went up to to to read college and I.
Couldn’t quite figure out what.
The second half of that statement, if you save him, you two shall live. Then until in January.
It was kind of rainy. It doesn’t snow in Oregon, but it gets the the, the, the, the rain freezes and it gets very slippery. And I was in the coffee shop.
With a bunch of young people and it’s about 11:00 at night and somebody burst through the door. We’ve never seen it before. It says. My name’s Andy.
And I’ve got the fastest motorcycle in the world. It’s a Harley Davidson Shovelhead and and. And that was the fastest bike of the time. And I never rode motorcycle, so I couldn’t say no, he said. Who wants to go for a ride? I said I will.
And so I went out and I got on this motorcycle. And he had, you know, wild eyes and curly red hair and a black jacket on.
And he just took off and he hit 150 miles an hour and just less than a minute went through every red light, every stop sign and went out to the Pacific Coast Highway, went for an hour toward California, and he hit 180, even 200 miles an hour. And the bike motorcycle was slip sliding all the way in, in, in the in the slush.
And I thought I was dead. I really felt that was the end of it.
And then your loan.
With the rain beating in his face, he screamed aloud and he did a U turn over the midway.
I managed to stay on the bike and he brought me back to the exact spot in front of the coffee house in the parking lot.
Where he had picked me up.
And now it’s you have to understand now it’s it’s.
It’s 11 at night and I I I I I was wobbly and I I I I I barely managed to get off the bike and I walked across this bridge to my dormitory Ackerman dormitory.
And I never picked up the the they had pay phones in those days. They didn’t have cell phones. They pay phones.
I never picked.
It up, but I’d given the number to my mother and.
So I’m I walk across the threshold and lo behold the payphone rings.
And I actually felt.
Pushed a little bit to pick it up, which was completely uncharacteristic of me, and I picked it up and.
I said hello.
And the voice was, hey, Stevie, you’re alive. Thank God. It was my mother calling from New York. And. And she said she’d woken up in a dream and she had a premonition that I was dead.
And she was sweating and and nervous. And she just wanted to make sure I was OK and I said, mom, you know, that’s really interesting because you’re 3000 miles away. She was in new.
York, you know and.
And somehow or another in a mother’s.
Love you picked up.
My my situation and and that’s not uncharacteristic of peoples experiences and and. And so I became a a real believer in synchronicity and the idea that somehow our minds are.
Much more connected, not just in some sort of biological sense, but in a in a spiritual sense, that our minds are gifts.
And that we all share in this one universal mind, and it can be the source of immense creativity and immense connectedness.
So that’s how I got.
Started and I’ve never veered from that. So having a crawling yeah. Never veered from it. So. So yeah. So that’s and so having a calling is having a feeling that somehow you’re you’re where you’re supposed to be.
I guess that’s the simplest way of putting it, and I’ve always stayed close to that and, you know, studied a lot of biology and a lot of science over the years, but ultimately went to the University of Chicago Divinity School to study world religions with Mircea Eliade, who’s written a wonderful book called Shamanism and.
Joseph Campbell was there half the year and I had the opportunity to tell those great people about.
My my stories in on the on the Golden Gate Bridge and and we I wrote essays about them and then they all were interested in synchronicity and and they knew it was, they knew.
It was real.
So so life is a journey, and the trick is.
Follow your. Follow your follow your path. Don’t I mean you can get knocked off your path.
Because you know a little more prestige in that job.
A little more money in that job, but but the main thing is follow your path and that is where a lot of your happiness will.
Come from because you’ll see the coherency, the inner, the inner reason.
Behind your existence and your and and and and your life and all of those things.
Ohh what I mean what you explained that so beautifully. What I mean, what powerful, incredible experiences and and you know, studying with Joseph Campbell. What an honour. And who who has the famous quote? Follow your bliss.
Well. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
00:23:21 Dr. Stephen G. Post
Yeah, and and and and.
When I wrote the God love on.
Route 80. You know I I.
Had some of Joseph Campbell’s road metaphors in mind, like, you know, for example, you don’t, you don’t plan your life if anybody is listening today thinks that you you you clearly plan your life. That’s an illusion.
The bottom line? I mean you you might do some planning and a lot of the medical students here are very plan oriented, but I’ve always followed my followed my bliss followed my, my, my journey. And that means that you’re mainly interested in responding.
Creatively and kindly and positively to the to the wonderful people that you encounter in an unexpected way.
And and and not everything is synchronicity necessarily, but you’ll have those moments when you just know that this particular person is here in answer to to a prayer.
If you want to put it in those terms and.
You know Carl young.
Wrote a book about synchronicity and he spoke about.
Uncaused for the capital U, uncaused causality with the capital C and and and that’s what we’re talking about. That’s somehow despite ourselves, you know, and and and I you know I I.
I think people.
Have to be understood. People do all kinds of not so great things in the course of their lives, but.
Despite all that, we’re still cherished enough.
That’s the word, you know, cherished enough so that there’s this.
Mind of love and creativity and and and and that that is.
Shaping some of our.
Formation and interactions. I mean the the most dramatic example I had of synchronicity, even more so than than the not, well, not more. So the bridge, the bridge was.
My origin story, you know.
But when I was at Case Western I I taught the medical school there for 20 years and I did not want to leave. But the politics got strange and the money got difficult. So I took a job here in New York and.
The night we left, you know we’d sold the house and my wife and my two kids, my son, who at that time was about 13. We were in a in a hotel around case Western Reserve University, Glidden House.
And it was about, you know, 11 or 12 at night. And I went outside with my old friend Tom, who was a lawyer in Cleveland, and he was saying, we’re so sorry. You’re leaving. Can you change it? And I said, I can’t. I already sold the House and sign the contract. And and I I was having second thoughts. And lo and behold, again, it’s very late at night.
And out from the alleyway behind the hotel, there’s a restaurant was called the what was the name of that? The Peabody. So a fellow comes through the.
And he’s wearing a leather jacket, a suede leather jacket with lots of sort of stringy things and and bells tied to the end. And these African American. And he’s very old and he’s got a stick with him. Beautiful stick that I could even see in the distance was very well carved and ornate and had all kinds of beautiful images.
Little faces and so forth.
And he walked.
Through the alleyway, and it came to the table where Tom and I were sitting, and it was dark and there was no one around. And and he said I I’m here because I had a dream.
00:26:58 Speaker 1
That you would be here and I wanted to give you my stick and the actually the the picture of that stick is.
In the book you.
Know and I keep it in my office at home, next to my chair.
And he said.
Knows where you’re going.
Even if you don’t.
Said that’s amazing.
God and he said. And he said you can follow this any place.
And and and I and and he said I’m giving.
It to you and I said, but.
You must have worked hard on this. It’s it’s. It’s big. I mean, it’s beautiful. And I said, can I give you some money? He said $40. I didn’t have my wallet, so Tom gave him.
40 bucks I.
Paid Tom back later, but I still have that, that, that staff.
If you will.
And it’s still very meaningful. So that synchronicity where somebody that’s an obvious synchronicity, somebody in, in, in that kind of absolutely uncanny unexpected way just sort of is right there perfectly at the perfect time with the.
Perfect gift in the perfect place.
And you know it’s it’s it’s an amazing thing. So I so God love on Route 80 is really a collection of episodes of synchronicity.
Over the course of at least much of A lifetime.
Yes. Well, I was gonna ask you about your books, and I really encourage the audience to check out that book and have a read of it, too. Just two questions.
So Harris Harrison, the guy on the bridge. I guess he as far as you know, he never jumped and he went to your cousins.
00:28:43 Dr. Stephen G. Post
Well, he went to Georgia’s and and this was George Lamont. And you know, George was a really interesting guy. He was a graduate of North Carolina. Chapel Hill had been to Vietnam and was part of that subculture in this in the Bay Area.
Yeah, but he took care of Harrison and and I have to say I I had a a a gal friend that summer named Nancy to be a Nancy in the story. I don’t tell that in the book. And I I had left her behind to go up to read. She didn’t want to go to Oregon.
And so Harrison and Nancy connected and the two of them actually went back to his home state, which was North Carolina.
And I don’t stay in touch, but I I.
Know that they’re.
They’re they’re OK.
And and so that was really.
Impressive that that somehow or another.
You know, I had been there on the bridge.
At just the right time, it was kind of like the guy who came through the alley.
With that, staff at just the right time, I mean, I was feeling pretty low and like I’d.
Made all the wrong decisions.
It’s just, it’s just amazing. You know, the the synchronicities, you are open to them as well. But you know, you spoke about time and space. You had dreams about this. Well, before what we, you know, we we describe as time and it’s it’s it’s just incredible for those who spoke about following your bliss or passion.
This shows called, but for those that might for the audience that might be feeling out of sync or not following their hearts calling what’s and they’re in a funk. What’s your advice?
00:30:30 Dr. Stephen G. Post
You know, cherish nature because I and I have to do that myself. You know, I get so caught up in the routines of.
Day to day life, and sometimes I’m running on empty and I’m just going through the motions. I do get up in the morning about 5 in that this morning and I have this old fashioned book that keeps my schedule and I write names in it so I know who I’m going to see over the course of the day.
And I ask myself what expression of love?
Would be the best one for this individual. Maybe it is forgiveness. Maybe someone did make a big medical mistake the other day and they can’t quite live with themselves. Or maybe somebody is really suffering because of.
You know there. There, there’s son overdosed or something along those lines, maybe some.
They just needs a little mirth, you know, or they just need a.
Little creativity, which?
Is some expression of love, so I can give them some ideas about how they might.
Conduct a project.
So I’m always.
Thinking about about the people I’m going to encounter.
And trying to envision or project.
A loving interaction.
So it’s not so much love that I think about as the modulations of love, the love, the modulations are like a spokes on the wheel and love is the hub, you know.
And so that’s.
That’s important, but but nature is really key because when you, you know, I’m sure some of your listeners, you know, they meditate.
And such things and.
And getting into nature is incredibly important. If you go to a little meditational centre down the block.
You’ll typically find.
Some wind chimes.
And then you’ll see a little stream of water flowing off a small rock.
You know, you’ll see plants and flowers.
There’s something about.
Connecting with nature and and realising that nature is truly a gift.
We actually held a conference at Linacre College, Oxford.
In in this past May, on the love of nature.
And it was really great. I mean, we had all these wonderful, you know, psychologists and philosophers and theologians, you know, from Cambridge and all over all over. And and it was.
Wonderful. It’s not just, you know, the The thing is, not just.
You know, saving the Earth, quote unquote. But it really is, you know, can we love nature? Can we can we feel that nature is somehow a gift?
And and if if you look well, I’m sure all your all your listeners have have have read the Lord of the Flies.
You know Sam, Sam does well when he gets.
Back to the Shire.
You know, Frodo has to go off on that boat with Gandalf and the Elves and sort of go wafting off. We don’t know where, but but Sam Sam can reconnect.
With the Shire and he, you know, he, he, he, he marries that wonderful gal. And they have a couple of kids and he’s gardening all the time.
He was a gardener.
And you know, saying, you know, if you if you read Voltaire Candide, you know, for the French, you know, you know, at the end after.
He’s had all.
These big philosophies of life, he winds up gardening, so there’s so many.
Images in great literature of people who who reconnected with themselves.
Pulls through connecting with nature.
And I that’s what I recommend is, you know, meditation, but also spend a lot of time in nature. That’s what I did as a kid, you know, at Saint Paul’s, I was, as I said, walking.
Down these beautiful.
Paths with big pine trees all around me and and I when I when I need to be inspired. Now I take the ferry from.
Long Island to Bridgeport, CT. It’s about an hour and a half ride. One way only costs 20 bucks round trip, and you know they’re the seagulls and the beautiful waves. And and.
00:35:04 Speaker 1
I’m not caught up in technology, so it’s it’s a refreshing nature. Nature is a gift to get back on your path.
And and and so.
You garden. You mentioned that earlier you.
Yes, we spoke before the show. I’ve got a very big.
00:35:21 Dr. Stephen G. Post
Garden. Yeah. Yeah. So, so. So what? What’s what what’s I mean, it does it. It helps you, right? It helps you sort of reconnect with.
I don’t know how I’d live without.
It’s every time I look at it or look around, I’m blown.
Away by the beauty of it.
00:35:37 Dr. Stephen G. Post
Yes. Yeah. And and it’s and. And so when you compare the beauty of nature, like the flowers over your right shoulder, when you compare that with the the kind of craziness in our.
Societies. Right now, the viciousness, the want and harms that are ongoing.
The acrimony, the expressions of hatred and fear and distrust.
You know you could do a lot worse.
Then have a nice garden.
So I do think that that you know, nature is a way of of reconnecting with, with with our journeys because it gives us a a distance and and and and and and so and also just don’t be tempted if you feel like you’re doing something that’s meaningful, stick with it.
Oh gosh. What? It’s it’s such a delight to speak to you, Stephen. Where’s the best place for people to connect with you?
Or purchase your books.
00:36:41 Dr. Stephen G. Post
Oh well. Well, I have a personal website. You know Steven with a pH. Steven G.
Dot com. But I also started an institute. This was complete synchronicity with Sir John Templeton in about 1999 and he named it. He’d written a little book. He was the the investor who started the Templeton funds, and I’d known him for many years. They’re now Franklin Templeton, cause he sold them to start his foundations.
But he really wanted to study love. And so he faxed me. I was in Cleveland at the time. I remember the morning the sun was shining and I got a fax. He did he.
He was. He was he.
He did not email he was too old for emailing, but he thought the fax was the greatest thing ever invented.
OK. And he said we should start an institute to study the most important asset of human experience.
Which is love.
And then I faxed back, Sir John, what should we call it? He said the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love.
Because, he said I don’t want you to just study human love, but also the love that made humans and the love that underlies all of reality. He loved quantum physics and all of that.
So I said in response. So John, maybe we should call it the Institute for Creative Altruism. This altruism is a nice, dry concept, and he effects fact. No, I think unlimited love up to $8.9 million. And I fax, fax, Sir John, I love that language. It jumps right off the page. So you can go.
I I will leave a link in the show notes below for people just to click on it if they if they didn’t get it just a couple more questions if you have time your.
Work in the Hospice care, and particularly those with memory loss or Alzheimer’s. I’d love you to share a little bit about that with the audience.
00:38:41 Dr. Stephen G. Post
Well, so many people in your audience, you know, you every I.
Mean we all.
Try to manage that difficult part of life.
For about 30 years I’ve been working with.
The deeply forgetful and it just came out of the book last.
Year which is.
Gotten a lot of attention in the US.
Called dignity for deeply forgetful people.
That includes me on the right day by.
The way how caregivers can meet the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease.
And it’s really.
Attribute to caregivers and and and what kinds of attitudes they have that make them their work.
Successful and meaningful.
So I don’t like the word dementia because it’s kind of like the word ****** and structure. It’s a negative term and invites if you listen clinically, but you know, negative metaphors like.
She’s gone, or he’s absent, you know, and whatever. And and.
He’s a husk.
He’s a shell.
But I never believe that anybody is.
Is quote unquote gone? They may have.
Problems retrieving information, but underneath that we can never say that somehow or another.
And so this is a book in part about what now researchers are studying very significantly about paradoxical lucidity about people.
Dementia, who seem like they’re they’re gone, but then they can be stimulated through personalised music, through dance, through song, through art, through even smelling an apple pie that reminds them of grandmas when they were kids.
You know this can bring them back into themselves and and there’s a wonderful website called.
Oldmusicandmemory.com so this is now in Canada, for example. Everybody’s diagnosed with dementia, whatever its cause might be, is given an iPod.
To listen to personalised music and when they do that they calm down. They use about half what would ordinarily be the prescribed medications in that period. It’s not too long, period, but there’s a period when they can become agitated and.
Paranoid and so forth. But they use very little medication, they don’t need it because by coming into these moments of of stimulated lucidity, they’re not totally lucid, but they, they’ll sing. You know, I I’m I’m a board member of the of the Brooklyn Memory Disorders Centre.
And they have Alzheimer’s poets. Can you believe it? Who are and? And it’s they’re there full time. And so you’ll have 30 or 40 people from Brooklyn come into this room and and with their caregivers. And these are people who are really quite significantly affected. But if the poets.
Read a poem that this cohort connects with, like Robert Frost. The road less travelled or whatever it might be. Lo and behold, most of them.
Even like 90% of them will chime in for a word or a line, some for a whole verse. Some will actually join in for the whole poem and then after that what’s so interesting is that, you know, maybe 2/3 of them are actually somewhat converse.
In a surprisingly new way, they’re more conversant with their caregivers and they have little moments of memory, and they can connect in ways that they weren’t.
Doing so before.
So. So. So I think that what you know, there’s no magic bullet for Alzheimer’s. There’s no drug that’s making huge differences, not even the most.
Innovative new drugs. They’re really not magic bullets. But but what? How we interact and and and and love the deeply forgetful. That’s what makes all the difference. And so I I I talk a lot about, you know most people will talk about love for enemies you know love your enemy. I don’t have any enemies I.
What do I have? I have adversaries.
And I and and I love them because they bring out the.
Best in me, OK.
So, but but love for the deeply forgetful is a great challenge and.
And I think that’s where we need to need to work on being totally inclusive.
Of of, of, of people with all kinds of cognitive conditions. So that’s been my calling. OK, that’s a calling for me. It’s been a calling since I was a a kid in, in, in, at at Saint Paul’s I used to go to the Christian Science nursing home and play music for the for the old folks there.
And I never had a sense that that people were absent. There’s a chapter in this book.
Is grandma still there? And the question that grandchildren are sometimes asked me, and I always say, of course.
Stephen, you, you, you are such an inspiration for me. Really. It you this, this interview has been so incredible. I just thought you’re like a human incarnation of an Angel. Really. What a beautiful person you are. On a final note, is there anything you would like to share with the passion harvest audience that I haven’t asked you?
00:44:31 Dr. Stephen G. Post
Things have really changed if if you look back.
2025 thirty years ago.
Studying this kind of.
Making it a scientific matter as well.
You know, I had many colleagues. I I had a a big genetics and Alzheimer’s Research grant. When I was at Case Western, many of my colleagues who didn’t believe in, in any anything about.
Higher realities. They look very much down on me for doing this and said it would ruin my career.
But I didn’t think so.
And now you know, even coming here to Stony Brook, we, you know, and starting the Centre for Medical Humanities Compassionate care by weapons. There were people who thought that compassionate care part of that was completely over the top. But now you know. And that now you can go to Stanford or UC San Diego.
Or many, many great universities.
And you’ll find centres for the study of compassionate care.
And I think that’s progress. That’s what universities should be doing. They should be studying kindness and love in relationship to health and flourishing.
And that’s what we’re seeing. It’s coming along bit by bit. OK, last story, one second story. When when I got here that I remember that night, we, my wife and my son, Drew, we got in from Cleveland. It’s about a nine hour drive, came over the George Washington Bridge out of the North Shore of Long Island here.
And we stayed at the three village inn, which is one of those old Inns with a little bit of mildew where George Washington supposedly slept. Maybe. And. And my son, who’s 13, he just realised the penny dropped. He realised. Oh, my God. I’m getting texts from my friends back in Ohio and.
They’re wondering why wasn’t I at soccer practise?
So he was upset.
And my wife was upset. It was the worst.
Night of my life.
So I said to them, you know.
I can’t change this, but I can go out and get some pizza.
So I went out in the car.
And I drove down the main drag of Stony Brook and and the neighbouring town.
And I went to little Joe’s pizzeria. Now, mind you, it’s like raining cats and dogs, and the Thunder is.
Huge and the lightning is bright and I walk across this parking lot and I get into little Joe’s pizzeria and in the foyer there’s a newspaper stand.
This will amaze you, and there’s only one newspaper on the stand, and I’ve never seen it. It’s called the three village herald.
00:47:26 Dr. Stephen G. Post
It’s like all the little towns on the North Shore of Long Island, and there’s only one headline on the front page.
And it said.
Unlimited love comes to Stony Brook.
Ah, that’s amazing.
00:47:41 Dr. Stephen G. Post
I about killed over because some Porter who I later met. She’s.
This girl she had even interviewed the Dean of this medical school, who’s a very well known nephrologist, paediatric neurologist, and the chair of my department.
And say they said so. Are you sure this is the guy you want to hire? And to their great credit, they said.
Well, we think he can do this work and.
If he has these interests, that’s OK with us.
My first day at work.
I I called the President of the university who had recruited me, Shirley Kelly, and and I asked her. Shirley, did you see that newspaper article?
And she said, yeah, I did see it. And I said, well, what did you?
Think she said? Well, you know.
It was OK. I got some phone calls.
And I said I.
Said, who called you? She said emeritus professors.
Mostly male professors, and I said well.
What did they?
Ask you and, she said, laughing. They asked me.
What kind of love are we talking about?
So that so.
00:48:45 Speaker 2
You’re unlimited love.
00:48:48 Dr. Stephen G. Post
And then and then I was in the middle of this building. There’s an escalator and I was taking the escalator from the 2nd to.
The third floor.
And there was this guy up at the top.
Of the escalator.
Who looked a?
Little bit like a small Mr clean. He had his arms crossed and he was kind of, you know, he looked like he was in decent shape and he was looking at me intently.
And and I was like ohh I’m going up the escalator is my first time in the building.
And I I I said him so.
I get closer to the top.
Do do I know you? Do I know you, Sir. And he looked at me and he.
Said this is.
Completely verbatim, he said. Are you doctor Paul?
This is a this is a microbiologist. It turns out who’s who’s a friend of mine now you know. And and. And and I said yes, Sir. And then he said.
May I ask you a question?
Are you going to save us?
And I practically died. And I said, well, I I got up to the top of the escalator and I said, well, I don’t think so necessarily, but I’m I’m I’m happy to be here and we we had a nice he was actually.
A. He’s a good violinist and I was a.
A classical guitarist growing up, so we had we talked about Villalobos and such things, but it was it was interesting and and and and so there there was that sense of.
You know, on the journey, you know, you think of Joseph Campbell. They’re going to be surprising moments where you run into little obstacles.
But the obstacles aren’t.
They’re not there to do ultimately damage. They’re there to bring out your best.
And how I responded to that fellow on the stairs and and and, you know, and I did bring the pizza home to my son and my wife and they were OK and we got a house and life went on.
And everyone’s doing.
You know, you just have to, you have to be open to surprises.
And expand the canvas. I used that expression a lot. You have to when when there’s a moment and it’s like a Jackson Pollock painting. You know, Pollock would put a big splash of of pretty miserable looking.
Paint down on the canvas on the floor and it didn’t look like anything. It had no particular aesthetic qualities, but by the time he covered it.
Up with all.
Those beautiful lines.
Lines. It became a thing of beauty. So you always, no matter what the difficulty, anybody faces, even if they feel they’re off, they’re calling.
They’re struggling because of a loss or because of some mishap or something. Not so great and life is full of that.
You have to.
See that those moments?
Are not final. They’re not ultimate reality. The ultimate reality is how you expand the canvas.
Yeah. Yeah. Well, Pollock’s a great example because.
Unlike A figurative painter.
He did. He didn’t.
Know what the the picture was going to turn?
No, no, no, he didn’t.
Know what it was gonna look like? He didn’t have a photo of what he.
Was painting. It’s a perfect analogy.
00:52:04 Dr. Stephen G. Post
Yeah, he didn’t plan that stuff.
Like like, I mean he he he was. He was a incredibly creative human being. But he did it in, in in connection with this source of creativity.
You know, and so you know, I I I I when I when I get to England I get to Cambridge University I always go to.
Which is one of the oldest ones and and there’s a library there.
And in the middle of the library is a glass case with the two notebooks of Ramanujan, the man who knew Infinity. There’s a movie written and done about him. The man knew, and he was just telling he’s a, you know, mid adolescent. And he had no particular mathematical prowess.
And he would be, you know, Med fitting and praying at the foot of his.
God is state.
And he would just.
Receive these algorithms.
And he wrote them down.
With his finger in the dirt next to him, and then he came back a little later and he would record them in these notebooks and and and the the somebody got a hold of them and and they were so impressive. They sent them to Oxford, to Oxford. And the people at Oxford, Littleton, who was the most renowned, that mathematician at the turn of the century.
He invented, he invited Ramanujan there and Ramjan Ramanujan.
And lived for a couple of years, but the problem was they kept insisting that he that he proved his theorems. He thought that was completely unnecessary. And of course they all turned out to be true. And they are pretty much the basis.
Of quantum physics.
And so so that is a comment about the one mind, it’s a comment about how sometimes I mean even even Einstein will go into these meditational moments that he called gadaka moments.
Where he would just he’d play a little violin to get started.
And he’d look out at his garden and then he would just go into these states.
Elevated consciousness, sometimes for an hour or so.
And that’s where he got a.
Lot of his inspiration.
So, you know, even Michael Faraday. I mean he, I mean, his his whole theory about wave functions and and and so forth. He was clear that he received that in a dream.
You know, we we we can’t think that.
Tissue from cells from an organ called the brain. When I was in Chicago, I had the honour of studying with the Nobel Prize laureate.
In neuroscience, his name was Sir John Eccles. He was actually from Sydney.
From Australia originally and and and and then he went to Oxford and then he went to.
Ago and I really love Sir John and that that’s not Sir John Temple. And that’s Sir John Eccles and Sir John Eccles, even though he discovered everything basically that we know about the connection between neurological cells, synapses.
The idea of neurotransmitters he created that you know, but.
He never believed that you could reduce mind to matter. He thought that mind preceded matter.
And that if anything, you know, matter is.
Derived from mind from some kind of original mind or one mind.
And so that’s, that’s what that’s what I believe and I and and I’ve known so many great philosophers, I mean the person who wrote the forward to God love on Route 80s Larry Dossey.
You know who’s renowned for his one mind ideas.
And so. So I think that that when we.
Our awareness of the gift of the mind, by the way, Sir John Templeton of about 40 years ago, he wrote a letter to all of his investors. A Christmas note.
And it said my Christmas note to you is this. Are you aware that your mind is a gift?
Knows what they thought. If I thought he was crazy.
00:56:28 Dr. Stephen G. Post
But he was a great.
Investor. Yeah and. And so so mine is a mystery and we we can’t reduce it to to matter.
And that’s why, when my mom called me.
That night at Reed College and the phone rang.
That was mind at work.
Because it was more than her local mind, Deepak Chopra talks a lot about non local mind. So this was the non locality.
Of mine and and and it it, it’s when we understand.
That, I mean I I realise.
You know the you know the.
Many great biologists say, well, we’re we’re connected as human beings because, you know, my my particular.
Virology can affect yours. You know if I’m contagious.
Or whatever it is.
Or, you know, we’re all dependent on the same food chains or whatever it might be. That’s all true.
But at a much deeper level.
We are all one.
And so when we when we love someone else.
Even do something heroic for them, but just are kind to them.
We’re also being kind to ourselves.
And that’s the secret.
Beautiful. Beautiful. Stephen. Ohh, thank you so much. And gosh, what a beautiful way to end the show. But everything, everything wonderful. Wonderful and and thank you so much for the work you’re doing in the world. It was a pleasure to have you on passion Harvest.
00:58:11 Dr. Stephen G. Post
Thank you very much, Louisa, and thank you to all of your listeners and I wish you.
All the blessings in the universe.
Thank you so much. You too. Bye bye.
00:58:24 Dr. Stephen G. Post
CONNECT with Passion Harvest.
MYSTICAL MASTERY. READY for a whole NEW LIFE? Want to Fast-track your spiritual evolution? Private Coaching with Luisa