Jim: Hey, groovy man! Can you dig it? Are you far out? Or are you a square? Are you going to get down with it? Or do you need to take a chill pill? Do those words sound familiar to you? Perhaps out of the past? Well, welcome to Fishing Without Bait. Welcome to a world of full-impact mindfulness where we’re looking to help people create their lives rather than to find one. We’re looking for people to find their authentic self rather than their higher self. We’re looking to help people connect the dots and be real and live life as it’s happening. Full-impact mindfulness. To pay attention on purpose and to pay attention on purpose with kindness. To avoid unrealistic expectations of both yourself and others. And, to be your true authentic realistic self. To live your life out loud. And, today as always I’m joined by my good friend, co-host and producer of this program – Mr. Mike. And, a special welcome – a special shout out to our dear friend Mr. Will Rutherford. Perhaps you all may know his as Sawtooth Willie, and also from his podcast of Panel Riot where we deal with contemporary issues of comic books and their impact on society. Mr. Will, tell us a little bit about yourself before we begin.
Will: Well, I am a podcaster, as you mentioned. I am a long-term co-hort of Sorgatron here. We’ve known each other for well over ten years, and we started the Wrestling Mayhem Show together. And, we’ve explored all the various avenues of podcasting, promotion, marketing, all of that stuff. And, I took that information and ran with it. Started my own show called Panel Riot about comic books.
Jim: Cool. Much like a couple years ago, Mike and I came up with the idea of Fishing Without Bait, which is going through your life without definitive expectations. Unlike some other people’s perceptions, it is not about walking through life aimlessly running into walls.
Jim: Okay. And, although we ask people to take other perspectives, will of life, we do challenge people to go down rabbit holes. And, we do challenge them to go through looking glasses. And, we do challenge them to have a beginner’s mind, and take away that expert’s mind and be willing rather than willful in life. So, as we often talk about, Will, we often talk about how important it is to be able to label and describe thoughts and feelings and have some control over them. We often talk about people having choices in their lives, about self-concept and self-esteem. So, although I’m a little bit older, I think I’m kind of with it. Although I’m a little older, I think I’m a bit with it. However, today’s podcast was going to be about emotional intelligence. However, the more I thought about that, the more it’s just merely a repackaged version of the Buddhist’s precepts of right thought, right action, etc.
Will: Okay. Well, I think that sounds great. I mean, I’m on board for all of that stuff. Where do I start?
Jim: So, what we do is we’re going to talk about what we do as we repackage things. We put things in a new form. We give them new words. Perhaps add a few wrinkles to it, and present it as our own idea. Or, we present it as something brand new and different – much like the concept of mindfulness now is catching on in the United States, and in western society when we discovery something even though it’s been around for a long time, we make believe like we just invented it.
Will: Oh definitely. Yeah. So, what you’re talking about is the adjustment of expectations and the adjustment of your perception of the world around you?
Jim: Right. Just like when I started off with those kind of words that may be unfamiliar with what we would call today’s youth, just in the same way that their type of language may be just as unfamiliar to our ears, and we may need to go to Dr. Google to find out what it’s like. However, our words – and they’re the words that are used today – are interchangeable, and they really mean the same thing. And, we’ll talk a little bit about that, too. So, the idea, Will, is that with the advent of the technology age a number of years ago, there becomes new buzz words. As far as technology goes.
Will: Mm-hmm. A lot of acronyms.
Jim: A lot of acronyms. And, perhaps this is more of a world where our good friend Mike would be more familiar with as far as the words when people fire them out – and I don’t know if they really expect anybody else to know what they are.
Mike: Oh, you mean like TLDR?
Mike: Too long. Don’t read.
Jim: Too long. Don’t read.
Jim: Okay, and so many times when people – when they hear these type of words or hear these type of phrases, they feel oh my god, maybe I’m not with it enough. And, they act like they actually know what’s going on.
Mike: You get into that kind of dialog, especially around technology. Around certain cultures, you know, to feel included.
Jim: So, just in the same way, Will, that when people would say words in the 50s like twenty-three skidoo, and different types of things. Or he’s so dope. Or different words like that.
Will: Hatchi matchi.
Jim: Hatchi matchi. They had meanings back then which perhaps don’t translate to today. And, today’s individuals in this generation perhaps view those words as you’re out of touch and you’re not with it. But, really and truly don’t many of the words back then mean the same thing as they do today? They’re merely repackaged.
Will: So, like back in the day if you were like, oh can you dig it? Or you said oh, I can dig it. That is the previous equivalent of the modern day’s woke.
Jim: Say more about that.
Jim: About woke.
Will: About woke?
Mike: Explain woke to me.
Will: As I understand it, and I’m not a young man as I used to be. But, as I understand it, woke is being aware and being conscious of the issues of the day.
Mike: It’s being socially conscious isn’t it?
Will: Exactly. Yeah. Understanding that not everything is peaches and cream. Understanding the problems of the world and in a lot of ways knowing the different between right and wrong.
Jim: So, when we’re talking about being aware of concepts like say white privilege or discrimination or bias – when we say someone’s woke they mean that they have a real understanding of that. That they can see the world through other people’s eyes.
Will: Yes. I do believe that’s part of it.
Jim: So, and again, what we talk about – we often talk about the Buddha on this program, Will. And, we’ve talked about this story before. When the Buddha was approached and he was asked are you a god? Are you a devil? Are you a spirit? Are you a ghost? Are you alive? Are you dead? Are you a saint? Are you a sinner? The Buddha’s reply was I am awake. Which translates into being woke today, I would assume. The more things change nothing really changes. Have you ever heard the phrase, Mike, there’s nothing new under the sun?
Mike: This has all happened before, and this will all happen again.
Jim: Right. And, again, we’re merely repackaging things. However, when someone truly does “think outside the box” and present a new way of thinking or a new way of looking at something, it’s truly a revelation. And, that’s something that we can hook onto. So, Fishing Without Bait, the concept – it’s nothing really that new.
Mike: And, that’s something I’ve noticed, too. And, I kind of wanted to discuss this as well. Because, the more that we get deep-dived into this – especially being here every step of the way with you for this podcast, I start noticing these themes through other discussions and other concepts and other teachers out there.
Jim: Words that are used today, Will, like let’s keep everything calm. Which means really, don’t worry. Isn’t that common sense? Thinks like low key, high key, or when I was coming here this evening there was a terrific automobile accident. And, today that would be described as not horrific, but savage. When we talk about minutiae, when we talk about things that are not necessary, what that’s described today as is extras. We don’t need all the extras. Perhaps when you and I were buying a car or buying a computer, we would say we don’t need all the?
Will: Bells and whistles.
Jim: Bells and whistles. Right. When we’re looking at today, and we’re looking at speech from the past, and when you hear somebody talking in what you would consider archaic terms, Will, what would a person think about that? How would a person view that person?
Will: I would say that – well, personally, I would view them as using the language that they are comfortable with.
Jim: Right. And, some people might view the term as you’re not with it. So, there are certain buzz words that people use on resumes, are there not, Mike?
Mike: Oh, absolutely. You know, things that they think are going to make them look better in the eyes of the people they’re trying to present to. And, we’ve talked about that before, right? About trying to be something you’re not, to be accepted by your hopeful future employer.
Jim: So, you learn some buzz words, right Will? Something like being a multi-tasker.
Will: It’s self-starter.
Jim: Self-starter. Self-motivated. Words like that that you throw out that you believe that other people want to hear.
Will: I could bring out my cover letter, and we could just run the whole gamut of all of them. I packed them all into my cover letter.
Jim: However, here on Fishing Without Bait, Will, what we’re talking about is being real. We’re talking about participating in life. And, quite often we live in a society where we try to avoid – we avoid confrontation. We avoid any type of pain at all. So, what we do on Fishing Without bait, rather than evade pain, we’re talking about people embracing it and understanding it. Remember, Will, emotions are not bad in and of themselves. Anger, all those type of words. It’s the behavior that follows the emotion and follows the feeling.
Will: Mm-hmm. Just like words. Words don’t have inherent meaning. They have the meaning that we give them.
Jim: Say more about that. That’s interesting. Now, that’s insightful.
Will: Thank you.
Jim: Which is a word that’s good for any age.
Will: Well, language in general – it’s a living thing. And, I’m speaking about the language I know – which is English. Words that meant something in the past mean something different as time goes along. Woke is a great example. Because, that used to mean something else. And, it’s taken on new meaning in very recent terms. George Carlin was a firm proponent of this. And, that’s basically where I got this from. Words have the meaning that we give them. And, that was the basis behind his entire 7 Dirty Words bit.
Jim: So, we know that the tongue is the only organ strong enough to break a heart. You’ve heard of the nursery rhyme sticks and stones may break my bones, words will never hurt me. Wounds do heal, do they not?
Will: They do.
Jim: Bones can be mended. However, words are forever, are they not?
Will: They are.
Jim: So, how often have you said something that you’ve regretted – perhaps for the rest of your life?
Will: Thankfully less the older I get.
Jim: So, what we do is we try to develop that pause before reaction. In the counseling dialectical behavioral therapy world we call that a wise mind, which is nothing more than a repackaged version of the Buddha’s right speech, which is another repackaged version of Sanskrit which is another repackaged version of let’s say a common sense, which the 12-step world has translated into do the next right thing.
Will: Mm-hmm. As my grandma used to put it – think before you speak.
Jim: Think before you speak. How about that old axiom? Engage brain before engaging mouth.
Jim: So, all these things are so true. However, the purpose of this program, Will, is to actually show people how to do things. Not just to tell them to jump rope because it is good for you.
Jim: Eat spinach. It’ll make you strong. We try to look in what is in back of that. Remember, there are behaviors. Okay. So, what we do is what – in Fishing Without Bait, full-impact mindfulness, is look to see what’s driving behaviors. Anyone can blow smoke out the first floor window. What we want to do is find out why the basement is on fire.
Will: Well put.
Jim: That creates that smoke. So, being able to accurately label and describe, which is – I know that Mike and I go round and round about this frequently, which is how social media – although a really wonderful way of communication and getting out your word and whatever you have, also leaves you open to misinterpretation. Also leaves you open to bullying or people who perhaps are what I call social media voyeurs, or engage in Schadenfreude which is the German word for taking delight in the misfortune of others. Give us – could you share your views on that?
Will: I completely agree with you. For the most part, I try to use social media personally to entertain people. To make people laugh. To share pictures of my cat. But, on the flip side, for no good reason I will sometimes go to Facebook profiles of people who I know are posting inflammatory things, just to see what they’re posting. And, I never leave happy. When I leave those Facebook pages I leave upset and/or hurt, or frustrated. And, yet I do this to myself again and again.
Jim: You do this to yourself over and over again. And, if you listen to those words, Will – I do it to myself; which means that in our world you have a choice. And, we’re asking people to step back and understand – to have the choice. Quite often Mike and I use this frequently where we ask people to say the words out loud that they have rolling around in their head. Will, do you remember the first time that you heard your recorded voice being played back to you?
Will: Yes, I do.
Jim: How did it sound?
Jim: Terrible? What was terrible about it?
Will: I didn’t like it. I had never heard it quite that way before, at quite that length before. And, I had little to no control over it. I didn’t know how to speak into a microphone. And, it was kind of a shock.
Jim: So, however, these are the words that other people are hearing.
Jim: This is what other people are hearing. And, perhaps we might want to improve our vocabulary and be able to actually label and describe situations.
Mike: Such a great conversation we’re having here on Fishing Without Bait with Rill Rutherford of Panel Riot and Sawtooth Willie. But, man, it keeps going on – so we’re going to tune in next week to hear more from these two. Right here on Fishing Without Bait. See you next time.