Interview: The Rough Road of Rising Up | Stephen Jenkinson, Roger Hallam & Elana Azrai

What happens when a revolutionary activist meets a spiritual activist to speak about living in the time of the Anthropocene? In this captivating discussion we navigate the topics of truth, integrity, death, hope, and the action required to respond to the urgency of these times. How can we become ancestors worth claiming, and how can we support and mobilise our young people who are fighting for their futures on a dying planet?

“Activism is saturated with the cult of hope… what happens over and over again is…burnout…rooted in this occultic attachment to hope in our culture. We are looking at a new way of thinking in terms of how we should act in this world and how we should act in this revolutionary fashion that we are now called to do given the extremity of evil that we face.” – Roger Hallam

We discuss the weight of what it means to be an adult and our relationship to young people. What do we tell them? What is our responsibility towards our youth and future generations “to come?

“As soon as you demonstrate the capacity to carry weight, you get weighted down. See that’s fate for grown ups. When there’s finally no hope left you try leave a scent in the air of what some people did in a time of trouble. The people to come they’ll need that. They’ll need to know that they came from people who were worthy of coming from. And you don’t hope you’ll be worthy. You get worthy now. That’s what time it is.” – Stephen Jenkinson

“The two main mentors of the 21st century I think are mainly Martin Luther King and Ghandi who more than any other historic figures…in recent history show that fusion between moral purpose and spiritual maturity and how that manifests itself is in civil disobedience.” – Roger Hallam

In this meeting of two great voices speaking from two seemingly different worlds, we uncover the synergy and realisation that the spiritual imperative to act transcends any worldly spiritual paradigm. The hero’s journey that each human is being presented with is also invoked, asking us to actualise our love for life, one another, and this planet we call home.

Stephen Jenkinson (Canadian spiritual activist, teacher, author, musician, storyteller, farmer and founder of the Orphan Wisdom School) meets Roger Hallam (Welsh revolutionary activist, author, farmer and co-founder of Extinction Rebellion and ‘beyond politics’ political party Burning Pink) in this deeply emotive and compelling discussion which leaves us with a deep invitation to introspect how we wish to engage life as the world we know it falls away.

“Civil disobedience is…spirituality in action, you can’t do civil disobedience with a materialistic orientation…it doesn’t make any sense, you do it because it’s a mechanism to get people’s attention and seek connection which is why it’s so different from violence, the key thing about civil disobedience is the search for a new connection with the opponent and you do that through tough love through disrupting their material interests.”

“If we combine the spiritual tradition with this revolutionary tradition…then you have a power than brings down empires.” – Roger Hallam