» download (mp3, 23:20)

Rachel Naomi Remen spoke to Krista for a program we called “Listening Generously” some time ago and re-aired recently. In it they discuss the power of story to heal and restore, as well as the power of story, or narrative, to limit and to harm. So I wasn’t surprised when, in the course of this brief interview with me, she said “our story had become too small,” and asserted that finding our way back to the largeness of our collective story was part of the spiritual path we are on, as we navigate the economic crisis.

I hardly edited this conversation at all because I was so taken by Dr. Remen’s hospitality and warmth, and I wanted to share that with you. I hope you’ll let yourself sink into her wisdom on the spiritual aspects of our shared anxieties and ask yourself, as she suggests: What do I trust? What do I really need?

We’ll keep releasing mp3s of our interviews via this blog, our podcast, and now on a Web site for Repossessing Virtue. And, please share your ideas about how this downturn has affected you in terms of personal conscience and values?

Share Your Reflection



Less is more is a mantra right now in my home and in my family of origin. For the first time in many years our family is not exchanging gifts. We will for the holidays be together and have wonderful meals together and share our history. My dad is 92 and is the last of 8 children and has memories to share with us about his life span and the way the economy has effected him over the course of his life.

In my work life I gather on a regular basis with my group of holistic health adivisors.

We meet to see how we can move out into our community to better serve and be more available by having more one on one open houses to have a place for families to receive free information on how to take care of their health in a holistic way.

I feel the economic turn is an opportunity for me to change and adapt to what my family really needs instead of just giving gifts just for the sake of giving and in my work life how I can be available to serve when people have less money to spend on out of pocket expenses such as massage and reflexology .

I am thankful to release the holiday pressure by letting go of usual frantic buying and just share food and history with my family and friends.

I'm with you, Carlton (Carlton Ann?).
While doing these interviews, I keep hearing people from many different backgrounds call this an opportunity--to return to some more authentic, grounded, sense of value; to create new ways of belonging to each other, of living together. Thanks for writing.

I have listened to this interview twice now and would like to share it with some others who do not have the technical resources need to listen to this audio file. Is it possible to get a transcript?

I consider myself immensely fortunate to be able to listen to current and archived SOF podcasts every morning as I deliver newspapers.


Ladies thank you for this thoughtful dialogue on today's economic crisis. I believe the crisis we are seeing today is a manifestation of a spiritual crisis reflected in a lack of FAITH.

Christians are encouraged to build upon their faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control,steadfastness,godliness, brotherly affection and love. I believe that if we endeavored to practice these things after we have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior then we are able to see that
there is NO CRISIS other than the daily spiritual crises we face as individuals in life. We are to strive to overcome as we life. Our lives are meant to be the exercise ground to practice spiritual development, however many of us neglect our souls and forsake everything for the love of money (career, material things,etc). This time is a great opportunity for every one of us to take account of what truly matters in life and redirect our efforts to enjoy our lives and each other believing that if we seek His Kingdom first all things will be added unto us (Matthew 6:33).

Below is the scripture that supports my theory.
1 Pet 1:1-10
To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

2Pe 1:2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

2Pe 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,

2Pe 1:4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

2Pe 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[fn5] and virtue with knowledge,

2Pe 1:6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,

2Pe 1:7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

2Pe 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2Pe 1:9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

May God Bless You All!

Thank you for creating a site like this where significant issues facing our society and culture can be discussed.

As an outsider (from Australia) I was sorry that after the Twin Towers disaster, the the political leaders (and other leaders who have the opportunity to stimulate thought and action) in USA did not grasp the chance to respond in the way you are on this sight; asking the really important questions that may bring about creative and productive change in our world - whether that world be personal, local, national or international. "Why do certain radical Muslims see the Western World the way they do? What is there about our lifestyle and behaviour that stimulates such violent attitudes towards us?

By not grasping the opportunity, I think we missed the chance to reform ourselves to be less materialistic, less liberal morally etc. If the billions of dollars that have been and will be spent on the wars in Afganistan and Iraq had been spent on developing health and welfare projects in those countries, we would have "disarmed" the terrorists of the beliefs that cause them to think and believe that we are such evil people.

Having made a digression from the context of the interview with Dr Remen, I would hope that people do respond to the initiatives that she raises. My BIG concern is that we will repeat history. One of the Psalms set for this week was Ps 107 where we find the following words repeated X 4 - "Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress." The Israelites - and humanity - seem to have the nature of wanting to going back to their old counter-productive ways and finding themselves back in the pigsty.

I have the subscription download to my iPod and get around to listening to these much later, as i have the alloted time as I don't like to be disturbed during them. I've found @ one to be so thought provoking and varied. I feel like I'm sitting in a special class where presentations of deep and meaningful topics are presented.

I believe most thoughtful Americans (and yes, interested non-Americans who realize our place in their universe) are having this very conversation in their homes...how do we break through? Is someone putting these on Barack's iPod? On those close to him? Oh, please do not get so caught up in the day to day decisions that they don't have the time to listen to what the people think.

Thanks you, Rachel, for bringing up the questions!

Repossessing virtue seems to be part of any spiritual journey. Perhaps because of the financial changes, many of us are going on a journey of letting go of fear ; honing our lives down in ways similar to those who have few days left to live do - we are looking at what is important. Since there is much unknown ahead of us, the calmest thing to do is to let go. But oh so difficult to let go.

For those of us new to the journey, it is perhaps easier to look outside when honing down before looking inside. Many of us have lost the virtue of who we are as spiritual, soulful people. When we are in crisis, we have the opportunity to look at our essence, who we are as spiritual, soulful people. This can be somewhat frightening! And then what do we do with what we find? Perhaps now is the time to find this out? I agree with Dr, Remen that what better time than now to turn inward?

Great interview, very timely. Thank you, it gives me strength.

Thank you SOF and Rachel Naomi for helping us look more deeply into what we have the possibility of learning during this economic downturn.

Very difficult to hear the guest!