You are listening to Passions and Prologues, a literary podcast. For each week, I'll interview an author about a thing they love and how it inspires their work.
I'm your host, Adam Sockel, and if this is your first time joining in, thanks for being here. If you've been here since the beginning, thanks for coming back.
Today's episode is a conversation I had with debut author, Victoria Garza. Victoria has a new memoir that just came out in November called The Field. It's all about a family tragedy that occurred in her own family and how it has affected her entire life and the life of her family.
In this conversation, we discuss Victoria's interest and lifelong fascination with plants and specifically plants ceremonies. There is obviously, a lot of misunderstanding about the ways that people and indigenous tribes and all sorts of different cultures use plants to see the world slightly differently and all these different things.
And so, she talks about her experience with these plant ceremonies and the proper ways to get involved with these types of things. Really, really interesting. Very, very different conversation. I really loved it and I think you will as well.
Before we get to that, I want to give you a book recommendation. I just finished Where You Once Belonged by Kent Haruf. It's a really, really interesting, sad story. I'm a big fan of pastoral books. If anyone has been listening to me for a while, you know that I love books set in small towns with big emotions. And this is certainly that.
It's the story of a small farming community that is beset by tragedy, really centering around this one person who was a problematic child, but became a football star. And despite all of his flaws, became trusted, if not loved in the community.
And then some things happened with the community and some money, and he becomes kind of persona non grata. And it discusses the aftermath of what he does to the community and how they try to rebuild themselves.
Really fascinating, really, really interesting story, and really quick. The audio book is like six hours long, so you can like really get through this book itself very quickly. I think you'll enjoy it if you like books by like Wendell Berry or kind of things like The Finder of Forgotten Things by Sarah Loudin Thomas. Great stuff.
Before we get to the conversation, I want to remind you, you can always reach out to me at [email protected] with any questions. You can tell me what your passions are. Once a month, I give out a free bookshop.org gift card to one random person who sends me their particular passions and why they love them.
And if you leave me a rating or review, go ahead and screenshot that and send it to me at that same email address, [email protected], and I will give you some customized book recommendations.
Okay, that's everything. Not going to keep you any longer in the intro. I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Victoria Garza, debut author of The Field on Passions and Prologues.
Okay, Victoria, what is the thing you are super passionate about that we're going to be chatting today?
I love this question. There's a few things, but the thing that I find myself really, really loving to talk about all the time is my love of plants. And in all the ways that as I've grown older, plants sort of become this portal to higher consciousness.
And I feel like even prior to studying about plants or studying shamanism and doing plant ceremonies (which I've been actively involved in for the last decade), I've always had this fantasy that I would sort of retired and be like a gardener. Oh, I absolutely loved the world of plants.
And I grew up in Ohio, so I was surrounded by agriculture. And so, maybe part of that is this pastoral feeling that I have about nature.
But that might be part of my predilection in my formative years and thinking that working on a farm would just be the very best life. I just thought that would just be the most amazing thing ever.
Yeah, as I grew older, I moved from New York to Los Angeles, and there is where I started studying it in earnest, and where I started doing plant ceremonies and found a community and tended to really get into the more of the mystical nature of all different kinds.
So, even the way that herbs are healing or in the way that … and I'm Mexican-American, so in my culture, there's also this whole natural healing around Curanderismo and all of that. So, that became very natural to me. That's one of the things I love talking about the most.
Okay. I love this. There's so much space to play in here. I want to ask you a million questions. I will freely admit, like when you said pastoral, that's like a perfect word to describe how I have … my favorite author is Wendell Berry, who is an extremely pastoral writer. I've spent my entire life in Ohio and talking to you from Cleveland, actually.
So, first off, where in Ohio did you grow up?
East of Toledo. So, it was actually between … we were 30 minutes outside of Toledo, Ohio, so Cleveland was very close by. I love Cleveland, and we would go there all the time. Actually, my friend's father knew the Cleveland Browns and we'd go to the football games all the time. And he was a fisherman, so we would even get to Cleveland through boats. So, I have these really wonderful memories of that.
That makes me so happy. For people who aren't familiar with Ohio, I like to joke that it's three cities in a farm. In my mind I'm like, it's Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and farmland. And so, for me, I get very like nostalgic and whimsical. Often, I've literally said like, any time between like the end of August and like December when we're recording this, I very much think like, “I also, like I want to have a farm. I want to like learn how to grow my own vegetables and stuff.”
Like I just love like that thought of like pastoral area. And same thing, like when I'm driving either like to my parents' house and I'm driving by corn fields when they're at their like peak height, and I'm like, “Ugh, I just love this time of year so much.”
But again, like for me, it was literally like growing up going to apple farms and things. That's why I like kind of grew into love nature and wanting to be around plants and things. But for you, do you remember those like first experiences? Like was it the pastoral aspects? Like when was it that you first discovered like, “Oh, I have this interest”?
Yeah. Gosh. To me, I had lots of friends who had farms and whose parents were farmers. And for me, it felt like it would be the most free life. Like eating the things that you grow by yourself would be just a very beautiful thing.
So, my grandmother during the summers would take us around and she had these farm, (this is before like farmer's markets) where you would go to each farm and get the thing that you loved there the most. We’d go to one farm, Bench Farm to get the peaches, and we'd go to another farm to get the tomatoes that she loved and she'd go to another farm to get the fresh corn.
But when my grandparents first moved to Ohio, they were migrant workers and they worked on a farm. And then my grandfather got a job as a roofer, and so, they just climbed through their sort of economic ladder. Became very successful at what my grandfather was doing. But we were very connected to all the people who were actually working the land.
So, my grandmother would then take us to drop off clothes or drop off food or drop off different things to all the migrant workers who would come for the summers. So, I remember that very vividly. And what it was like to have certain kids in class or in school who were only there for part of the season.
So, that's also part of this whole other world of Ohio that I think of when I think of that. We're a big Mexican-American family in an area where there weren't very many.
And so, it started when I was very young and lots of green grass and lots of mowing. The smell and the pungency of the dirt and all of that is very sense memory for me. And so, it all comes flooding back.
And plus, we lived by the lake. So, we lived by Lake Erie, and so we had the lakes and the fish. And so, in a sense, I feel like, okay, my connection to plants … it's interesting that I've just now connected to it too, like my love of that. And then now, like having just gotten into this beautiful relationship with plants in a completely different way and thinking of them as connected is not something that unless you asked me that question, I would not have made that connection.
Yeah. It's really interesting how similar you're mentioning a lot different aspects of your childhood. So, I grew up in Lorain, Ohio, which is the claim to fame for Lorain (which I have mentioned on many times on this podcast and prior), is where Toni Morrison is from. It's like the thing that people know and I jokingly say it all the time, and it's almost like a drinking game on the podcast. Like Adam said Toni Morrison's from his town.
It's a very Latin American community and it's right on the water. But even though it's not like exclusively a farm community, there are like farms dotted throughout. And I specifically remember like, we would go to Maggie's for peaches, we would go to Fenik's for corn, we would go to Boorman's for second tomatoes.
Like everything you're saying, “I was like, oh my God, I did the exact same thing.” It's such a small world.
But you mentioned having this, your kind of current relationship with plants and doing these like plant ceremonies. That's something I'm unfamiliar with. So, I would love to kind of learn more about what that's all about and how you got into it and kind of how it affects your daily life.
Now, I should point out that in the corner of Victoria's screen, there is a plant that I can literally see. It just feels very apropos. So, anyway, I'm really curious about like these, like your current relationship with it. I would love to learn more.
Well, it's interesting. I got into it out of curiosity and it wasn't even the big … when people think of plant ceremony, they think of ayahuasca and the big teaching plants, peyote and ayahuasca and San Pedro cactus. So, those are the really big sort of well-known plants in the sort of altered consciousness plant world.
But the community that I really became a part of in Los Angeles was really led by a shaman who was kind of like a wizard. He was an alchemist. And he just created all of these different types of milder, more kind of loving, more heart opening plants.
And in shamanism, they talk about plants in terms of the wheel. There's heart, mind, body, spirit. And so, different plants can take you to different places.
And those four things all mean something different. And so, for example, ayahuasca is a very, very heavy spirit plant. So, it'll just sort of take you into the stratosphere. And people have had very profound experiences on that, because it's such a big medicine.
But there's small things. There's sassafras, there's kana from Hawaii, there's orchid, there's all sorts of … well, people know about cannabis. So, cannabis is considered a sacred plant as well.
So, there's all these different ways in which you can achieve certain places within that wheel, depending on how much spirit you need or how much body. And so, for me, what I've learned is that I'm a very heady person. I like to think a lot, I like to analyze a lot. And so, to get out of my mind, it really requires more body for me.
And so, everyone's different and everyone's relationship to it changes. And it depends on what kind of experience you want to have. But for me, I got into it quite out of curiosity, and then realized that it became this very big healing tool for me.
And so, this is how it relates to my book, because for a good five years, the plants would just take me to the same place, which was the original wound. Which was sort of the death of this small person who I loved fiercely as a young girl, and then taught me things about that experience. And then who I became as a result of that.
So, I was really able to sort of heal from the inside out. And that to me, it's not like I really felt like I needed it, it was really quite accidental. I wasn't going through anything, I wasn't sort of having a hard time, I wasn't experiencing any trauma, but still led me to that place in myself that felt like a wound. And plants become really a wonderful way for me to access that.
And then of course, it really connects you to your creativity, to that place yourself where you can pull things out that you didn't know were there. And that became a real wonderful relationship.
And I love that you're like talking about in such a positive way. Because like even now in society, it's insane to me that like when cannabis still has like people like have these negative connotations about it and these different things.
And when people like idolize Hemingway for saying like, “Write drunk and edit sober.” Like these things, it's like alcohol is like substantially more damaging by far than any of these like more natural aspects.
And so, you touched on something, you were saying, like when you first started kind of being a part of this community, it was like you were having these experiences with various plants that were kind of taking you to, like you said, the same moment of like trauma and wound.
Was it then something … it almost reminds me of like when I'm going to therapy and my therapist’s like we'll go back and we'll talk about like kind of the same thing. I had something happen when I was younger where my best friend and I were in the room when his father like unexpectedly passed away.
And it was something that like I like buried deep down and like we would go back to that. But as a person I'm having a discussion with, we would then try to work like in ways that it's affecting my life and has affected my life, et cetera.
I'm curious for you, like when you were having these experiences where you were kind of going back to that original wound, like for people who are unfamiliar, is there a way that you would then like work with like whether it's a shaman or someone, to be able to extend beyond that? Or was the point of it specifically to go back to that specific moment and-
Yeah. No, that's a great question. That's a wonderful question. The beauty of therapy for me at the time, because I was doing both, was that it allowed me to communicate and use my mind as a way of analyzing what it was I had experienced.
So, it's not that that goes away. You're very aware, you're never not aware of what's happening. In fact, you're so aware that you are captain in a way that you can't be. Because when you're not under that state of plant, we have a lot of judgments. We either have judgments about ourselves or we have judgments about our experiences, or we have judgments about how we're feeling about it, and that doesn't happen.
So, plants sort of just move all of that aside. And then you have this direct relationship. I call it to myself. Like the best metaphor to describe the experiences, like as if you're catching up with your higher self in a way that you just haven't in a long time. Or like, “Oh, hi, Victoria, how are you? How have you been?” Like, “I don't know. I've been living.”
And so, it just takes you straight to whatever you conceive that to be. So, I think that the beauty of doing both is that you can iron out those things intellectually with a therapist.
But plans are all about the heart. And so, they lead you to places without any judgment and where you can experience the trauma without feeling it. Experience and see things without the hardship or without the suffering. There's no suffering.
So, that was incredibly eye-opening. And I think if you're someone who is called to it, you will find it. And if you're not, it's not for everyone, that sort of work. Because it is a lot of work and it's not … different people have different relationships to the way that they experience those things. And for some people it's very recreational and they just do it when they want to have a good time or escape.
But shamanic practice is not about escape. It's the exact opposite. So, you have to really be committed to doing it. And at least being open to that. So, it's quite different.
Do you remember how you kind of like got into this world? Because I think about like … not to continue to like connect it to therapy, but obviously, they're both like-
They're very, very similar.
Yeah. It's like for me, I remember my biggest … I like only recently, like within the last year or so, got like really into going to therapy and like under … I've always like talked about mental health, but I was very like talking about mental health without addressing my own mental health.
And I finally, was like, “This is stupid that I like have a platform and I'm telling other people to do these things that I'm not doing.” And the biggest thing for me was A, to find a therapist. But because especially being like I have this mini soapbox about how I feel like more men should be going to therapy and it's extremely hard to find therapists to say like, “I focus on male mental health.” It's usually the other way around.
But that was like my biggest like blocker, was finding a person. And I went to a couple therapists before I found the right one, which everyone should do.
But I guess for me, like I'm curious to you, like what was your entry point kind of into this world and getting comfortable with it for people who maybe are looking for a way to better understand their relationship with like their own mind and things like that.
Well, it's interesting that you say that. There's no coincidence that the gentleman that we worked with was a facilitator. So, he worked with the shaman, he was trained underneath the shaman. But he was therapist, so he had the language with which to talk about these things.
So, oftentimes he would introduce it if he thought for … and I had never saw him as a therapist. He became a good friend. But everybody has a different entry point. And I think it is really just about trying to tap into the purpose. Like why you would go …
The funny thing that I have always found about the term ‘mental health’, which I think is incredibly important right now and is now getting the attention that it deserves. But when you talk about mental health, you're talking about more than mental.
So, when we talk about mental health in this culture, it's devoid of mind, body, and spirit. So, in shamanic terms, they would never talk about mental health, they only talk about health. They only talk about the full health.
And so, sometimes the things that causes the most mental pain have nothing to do with one's mind. They have to do with the heart or trauma or wounds or pain that you don't even know you had.
So, in a sense, it's a practice that takes into account the holistic body and everything that's involved in creating that instability. Or that feeling of unease in your own skin, kind of thing. And you can go a whole life without really thinking much about it because our culture of we just trudge through it. You just put your horse blinders on and you just go.
I would say for those who are compelled or curious, doing plant work is a wonderful way to accelerate or shortcut the healing process. That's what it does, it sort of gets to that. And sometimes it allows you to have a certainty about things that is just unreal. It's unlike anything I've ever experienced.
And that's probably why I'm so passionate about it, because I don't feel … while people are starting to experience what plants can do for them, particularly people who are suffering through really intense mental anguish or PTSD or really debilitating traumas. It's a shortcut path to yourself. And that is the greatest healing.
For me, the greatest gift therapy has given me is my ability. I never realized this until my mom told me, like the beginning of this year, because I'm a very emotional person and I write my emotions into stories and things like that, but I used to be very bad at like communicating my emotions. I could just like — kind of like you said about like putting binders on. I would do the whole like stiff upper lip and like I'd be smiling and I'm in a good mood.
And then my mom finally told me this like earlier this year, she's like, “You're a deeply private person.” And I was like, “No, I'm not.” And she's like, “You are.” And she was absolutely right. And so, like the greatest gift therapy has given me is my ability to understand when I'm doing that. And I'm like mentally withdrawing from a situation and not just approaching it and addressing it.
And so, I've been able to — I'm much better now, at like communicating with any significant human being in my life, like what I'm going through and or just like conveying how like grateful I am for them or whatever it is. Like that's been the biggest thing for me.
Like for you, what would you say the … I guess biggest benefit is like a challenging question, but what has been the greatest impact of you since kind of starting this aspect of your life?
Yeah, it's similar to yours because I'm a private person too, and I think I just don't like talking about my feelings very much. It's not that I don't have them. But my wife, Lisa, is very much the opposite of me.
So, what it has given me is like the ability to sort of meet this person. And it's no coincidence that I've attracted a person who's just completely different when it comes to expression. I mean, she expresses everything, and I express as little as possible. But it's sort of meeting, you have to exercise that muscle. And so, she becomes a really great role model for me, exercising that muscle of like, “You know what, it's okay. Just tell people what you think.”
But for me, it's always been more of just I hold things close to my heart before I decide whether I'm going to say something or before I speak, I like to think before I … so, that sort of, there's a beauty in that. So, it's not like I think it's all bad. I think it's probably one of the things I like about myself the most.
But at the same time, it's also the thing that can get me into trouble because then I end up feeling too stoic and not letting someone in. So, it creates this, if you're not careful, you can't create intimacy if you're not letting somebody in to your feelings. So, that's been a really huge learning.
And as a writer, and I think writers are like this — I mean, I know a lot of writers and they're a lot like this. So, they can spend a lot of time in their head and express themselves through writing in ways that they couldn't otherwise. But they also tend to be amazing communicators when they want to be.
So, I think like anything, it's a muscle. You can practice it and you can exercise it. Therapy can get you there, plants can get you there, meeting people that finally compel you to get there. You know what I mean? There's certainly relationships where I was like, “Mmm, no, I'm not going to go there. Sorry.”
So, it's like that. I think for me it is about un shielding. It's just taking the shield down and saying, “Okay, you know what …” And this is one of the things I learned through my plant work and through therapy, which is, you don't have to keep people aside. And even though that connection is pretty profound of like, “You know what, I'm not going to get too close to you because then I might lose you, or you might disappear, or you might go away,” or some abandonment thing.
But it all kind of circles back to that same fear. So, you can see these patterns in your relationship that I didn't see before of like, “Hey, no, thank you. It's too much, too much.” And then work through that and then you could see it. It becomes so transparent because at the end of it you're like, “Oh God, I used to do that.”
So, usually, I ask about people's passions and if they relate to their writing. It's quite obvious that yours does. And I’m wondering if you could kind of give our listeners a little bit of a introduction to your book, The Field, because it is a memoir and so it is something where the connection will be fairly obvious.
But I would love for you to kind of like introduce the book and again, like if and how your passion is connected to it. Which again, I assume is quite obviously, yes.
Yes, it absolutely is. So, yeah, my book is about the death of my sister when I was 10 years old. So, it's about trauma and loss at a very young age. It's a highly personal, very non-linear and seemingly free associative exploration of self, really. Self with capital S.
And it's through the lens of loss. So, it is at times sad, but it's also funny and non-sentimental.
And what I found interesting in writing it, was not how easy it was for me to tap into the experience of grief as a child. So, it’s something I probably could not have captured until many years into adulthood and many years after all this work that I did.
So, now, that I have two children of my own, I've learned that children are sometimes the most unsentimental creatures. Like they're very direct and they're very honest and they're unshielded.
And so, it was fun for me to tap into those memories of myself and try to capture that in an intelligent way. And so, having that distance was really wonderful and peculiar.
And I see there's three other threads in the book that are interwoven into that main narrative of my sister. And combined, they sort of stitch together in a much more contemplative, ethereal story about life and of course, death. Which is, death is not — I'm fascinated by the concept of it. And I'm fascinated by how people decide if they have that luxury to transition out of this life.
That's such an interesting thought because I used to be … like I said, when my best friend's father passed away, like unexpectedly, had a, I believe it was a stroke, and like his heart stops. It was something where like as a 10-year-old, and then like two years later my grandfather died, like I became obsessed with death in the sense that I'm like terrified about it.
Like I remember saying prayers before I go to bed where I'd be like — it wasn't like, “Keep these people safe.” It was like, “Keep these people safe from like …” As like a 12-year-old, I'm rolling through like all the different things that I thought could happen. I'm like, “Please don't let a fire happen or like carbon monoxide.” Or like, “Please don't let someone just not wake up.” I would literally go through like a process.
Like I know a lot of people say their prayers at night to whoever they pray to. Mine was literally like a checklist of like, “Please don't let any of these things happen.” I was 12 and I remember like for my entire life I've been like very, very afraid of death.
And then I read a book a couple years ago by Drew Magary. He's an author, but he is also a very funny podcaster. And he works at this website called Defector. But a few years ago, he suffered a traumatic experience where like they didn't know if it was a hemorrhage or what. But he was at a bar with his friends. He had had one beer, so he was not inebriated. He fell and cracked his skull on the front and the back and went into like a several week long coma.
And the book is called The Night the Lights Went Out and it's phenomenal. And it's all about his kind of working back. He's like not totally normal, but like he has full brain function. He's back to working and writing and all these different things. He's deaf in one ear and he can't like smells like very well.
But the beginning of the book is like he interviewed his family and his friends and his coworkers who were there because he obviously had no understanding of what had happened to him. But he talked about death in this way where he's like, “I used to be afraid of it.” And now, like he's like, “There was just three weeks where I wasn't here.” And he's like, “I wasn't in pain. It wasn't scary, I just wasn't here. I wasn't alive for three weeks. And it was fine.”
And like it was strangely soothing to hear someone just say that. He’s like, “Everyone else dealt with the potential loss of me.” He's like, “I didn't deal with the loss of me at all.” And because obviously, like reading that one book, it very much helped me. And then he talked about how it's been cathartic for him to write.
It's like what was the process for you or I guess the thought, the feeling of writing this book? Like was it catharsis? Was it just like, “Oh, I'm ready to talk about this now”?
It took me so long to write it and I started writing it so long ago, but I didn't know I was writing a book. So, I had been writing for so long and I had been making my living as a writer, so it wasn't the thing that I was doing a hundred percent of the time every day, all day.
So, I wrote in fits and spurts, not the way that I would recommend anyone reading a book who wants to publish.
But the catalyst was 9/11, that's just stirred up all of the things. I was living in New York at the time and then it I started writing what eventually became certain portions of this book. And so, it's a very long time ago. And for me, the whole part of the process of it was that the narratives related to my childhood came out completely clean and clear. Like I did very little editorial work on any of those passages and changed very little of it.
So, the more intellectual stuff is the stuff I had to really hone and then decide how I was going to structure the book because there were these different threads in it. And then deciding to pull in my family's stories as well.
But I feel like from a process perspective, it didn't feel like catharsis so much as it just felt like the inevitability, it just felt like the thing that I was supposed to be doing. But interestingly enough, emotionally I didn't want to do it all the time. And that's probably why it took me so long.
And I'm sure there's other emotional or spiritual reasons why I just didn't want to finish the book. Because the point to me was not to finish. So, the point had never been, “Oh, let's publish a book, or let's set out to write a book that gets published.” That was never my intention.
And it wasn't until about five years ago in earnest, where my author friends were like, “You know you have a book, right? You know you have one.” And I was like, “Really? You think so?” So, it was kind of like that.
And I had been writing. I went to film school, so I was more media and production and writing pilots and shows and things like that. So, I was exercising that part of my creativity. But this was the book that was just meant to happen. And I think that my being as old as I am now and being able to look back and capture the peculiarity of grief as a child is probably the distance that I needed.
So, what does it feel like now, having written it and having the book be out in the world, having spent so much time throughout this process? Like you said, it wasn't initially something you did to publish it.
Like how does it feel now, having it out in the world? Because it's not something that you, I imagine ever stop like thinking about every once in a while or going through from an emotional standpoint, but having a completed book about this out in the world.
It no doubt, it feels absolutely wonderful. It feels like a release. If I don't analyze it too much and say, “God, why didn't you do this sooner? Like why didn't you get it out sooner?” But everything happened so effortlessly.
I had sent the book out; it got some attention. But then I ended up going — the ease of going with the press that I went with and it being a little bit smaller, and then sort of me doing a little bit more of the legwork and hiring a publicist to sort of help me do that because I didn't have the time or the energy. It felt a little bit like a relief.
But also, the response I'm getting from others … I mean, this is perennial question, is it not? Like death and people's perceptions of that. And so, everyone can come at it from an angle of an experience, whether either directly related to it. So, it's just one of those questions, one of those big things.
And because it's a very contemplative book, I think that people can come at it from different ways based on their experience. And to me, that's the surprising part, that everybody can eat morsels of the book according to their own experience.
And that like when you were talking about being 10 or 12 and having these ideas or these fears about how people could go, I had the very same thing. And I write about it in the first chapter of like, “Oh my God, I could …” I decided the way I would want to die and I could die all of these different ways. And so, I was starting to catalog all the different ways that I would orchestrate my own death.
But these are the magical things that happen to children, and you don't have the capacity to repress yet. You do that later or you decide to shuffle things away. But when you're a child, you're so much in the present moment that all of those things that happen in life take on this sort of mystical nature in and of themselves. Kids are very magical that way.
So, what I loved most about being able to just put it out was all the different ways in which, depending on your age and your experience with that topic, you can come at it.
I did a wonderful podcast with someone who does a podcast for young people. And it was this … because I never thought about it really. I was just like, “Yeah, but I'm older.” And I didn't think of it as like something that young people would want to read.
But in fact, it's this narrative of what it means and what it feels like to experience death when you're young. So, then it made total sense and I'm like, “Oh, yeah, interesting.” So, kids who have different types of traumas or losses could also tap into it. So, that was an interesting kind of exciting, insightful thing.
Yeah. Well, and it's interesting is I feel like death is one of those things that will forever be a fascination because it's something that once you get at least to a certain age, every single person has experience with it that no one alive has experienced.
It's like we all have an experience with death of some sort, but obviously, none of us have experienced it yet. So, it's like-
… all we can do is wonder about it. Yeah, that's extremely interesting.
So, I always end our discussions by having the author to a recommendation of any kind. It can be a book recommendation, it can be a television show or a recipe or just something that you think people should know a little bit more about. So, the floor is yours to recommend anything you would like.
I think right now, I'm very obsessed with Ken Wilber's work. He's a American philosopher, also a Buddhist. And he did this wonderful book called A Theory of Everything. Now, for someone like my Libran mind, like having a book called A Theory of Everything sounds very provocative and amazing. Like, really?
And I found it kind of accidentally, but what I learned most about his work in particular is that in order to have an intellectual relationship with a topic, you don't have to eradicate spirituality. In other words, you don't have to bifurcate those things. So, you can have this very vigorous, interesting conversation that is highly intellectual or highly smart or highly interesting and have it be infused with a kind of spiritual nature.
And so, I just feel that way about almost everything now. And I feel like he has this wonderful articulation in this book about kind of like the evolution of people. And without judgment, he breaks up this notion of where people are in their journey in life.
And we've all had this experience where we either have relatives that just seem to be off their rocker and we can't understand them, and they're really coming from a different place.
We're experiencing this a lot right now politically. Just the immense polarization that's happening politically in the country. And so, when you're investigating or having relationships with others who seem to be coming from a very different place, this sort of creates a theory around why that is.
And that if you're someone who's on your path and on your journey and everyone else is on theirs, then you can look at this holistically.
I love that stuff. And obviously, it's non-fiction. It's very philosophical, but I really love that sort of question, of like how we can … and maybe it's part of my plant work, but I just really do believe that we have the task of sort of unifying. And the more that we can understand each other, the better for everyone, and the better for creativity, and the better for technology, the better for just in life. That's the huge, huge question.
I love that. And I definitely can see the connection between that and your book, The Field, which I know all my listeners are going to Love. Victoria, thank you so much for joining me today.
Thank you so much. It's been so lovely to talk to you.
Passions and Prologues is proud to be an Evergreen Podcast, and was created by Adam Sockel. It was produced by Adam Sockel and Sean Rule-Hoffman. And if you are interested in this podcast and any other Evergreen Podcasts, you can go to evergreenpodcasts.com to discover all the different stories we have to tell.