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370 | Jeff Rasley: A millionaire by the age of 40 tells it all!

December 06, 2022

370 | Jeff Rasley: A millionaire by the age of 40 tells it all!
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72 Wisdoms is a book of 72 short personal essays based on "wisdom quotes" from sources as diverse as Old Testament proverbs, memorable lines from pop culture, ancient Greek and Buddhist aphorisms, a Beatles song, neuroscience, sports cliches, astrophysics, classic movies, and Quaker values. The topics range from sports, politics, current events, legal issues, philanthropy in Nepal, mountaineering, ordinary concerns of daily life, and the deepest philosophical questions. The people quoted are also a diverse lot, including, for example, Jesus, Muhammad Ali, the Dalai Lama, Betty White, Einstein, Dr. Seuss, Stephen Hawking, Nikola Jokic, and Lucille Ball.

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Welcome to positive talk radio. Our goal is simple to explore evolving ideas, one conversation at a time. So, stay with us. As right now, we present a wonderful author for you today on the show. And today we're lucky because Jeff, or Ashley is here and he's in, you know, I, I'm gonna have to ask him again, because I've forgotten how many books he's written. It's been a bunch. And the latest one, which is just out now, I'm really intrigued with because it's called 72 wisdoms, and it's about great things that people have said over time that, that he's taken and done something with it. And we're gonna find out with what he has done with it, then we're gonna find that out right now, Jeff, how you doing?

I'm good. Good. And it's good to be with you again, Kevin,

is it's great to have you here, the last time that you were here we were, we didn't undermine independence report. And and so now, we're doing it under a positive talk radio, and you'll be able to go to positive talk radio dotnet. And listen to this, or you can be watching live right now on YouTube or Facebook. So if Jeff looks really good sitting over there, and so we're, we're gonna have a great discussion. And matter of fact, I'm still working on the, the riddle he gave me at the beginning. And we'll get into that one in a little bit. But, but first of all, Jeff is it's great to have you here and 72 wisdoms is a guidebook to enhance your spiritual, psychological and philosophical health. I love that. What gave you the idea to write this book?

Yeah, um, this book, it's actually my 14. Thank you. It came to me in not the typical way that the other 13 have come. So I just I noticed almost every day, and this was, you know, almost a year ago now that I would come across very interesting sayings that I thought, you know, were pearls of wisdom, or that offered something that, you know, I'd want to chew on think about, so I started writing some of them down. And after I wrote a few of them down, and I would go back, and I'd want to, you know, think a little more deeply. Okay, I've sort of peeled the onion one layer off of what this means that there another layer to what it means, you know, and who said that? And what was the context in which they said it? And so, I just, you know, without having a book in mind, started making sort of a list of what I thought were wise, interesting sayings, and who said them and why and what was the context. And then I thought, Well, I think I'm gonna write a book and just do each chapter will begin with one wisdom. And then I will develop that wisdom and try to, you know, pick it apart and find different layers of meaning to it. And also give a little biographical information about who whoever said it or wrote it originally, and what the context and the history was. And so I just started, you know, doing one, and then another, and another, and another, and another. And eventually, when I got to about 50, my wife says, So when are you going to stop? And I said, Well, you know, I really, I think I could probably get to 100. And she said, That's too many. Pick another number. That's not that many. Plus, I'm getting tired of you telling them to me. And she's my she's my primary editor. So she also knew she was going to have to edit the first draft. So I chose the number 72 made that my goal, and I'm six foot tall, at 72 inches. There's some you know, if you research what is the mythological, mystical significance of 72, there's some, you know, some stuff there. But it's, it really doesn't have any more significant meaning as far as the book goes, other than I just thought, Okay, that's a good place to stop.

Well, if you look at Are you familiar with numerology? A little bit? I'm

definitely not an expert on it.

Because if you if you take 72 and you add them together, that's nine. And while we're while we're talking, I'll look up what nine means in numerology, but I bet you I'll bet The mean something

does too. And, you know, three, of course is a very sacred number, the Trinity concert three times three. I'm sure that that yeah, numerologists could come up with a number of different significant mystical, mythological references to 72.

Almost all the mythological tales from around the world have patterns of the number line weaving through them. So, it is it is a mystical number. And it's about ends. That's, that's really what you're talking about here. Because you go back, it's it's not just, you know, from the Bible, or the Koran or from the Torah. It's from, you know, the Greek mythology, and it's from modern history and, and modern musicians and all kinds of stuff, right?

Correct. Yeah. I mean, there's sayings that come from, well, Lao Tzu so you know, ancient Asian wisdom, modern Asian wisdom. Dalai Lama, but yeah, Greek, Roman philosophers, the Bible, both New Testament Old Testament, but then contemporary culture. Muhammad Ali is a source. Beetles are a source, Dolly Parton is a source. So yeah, it's spread. And that's what I wanted to do to sort of spread the whole history and cross cultural sources of wisdom.

Now, in your research, and I know that you did quite a little bit for all of these, is there a common thread that runs through them all?

Not in the sense other than each, each one, at least, in my view, offers something to think about just beyond kind of the superficial, immediate response of what what is this wisdom said, you know, what is this quote, saying that each one of them has something, something deeper than, you know, what you would just immediately how you would immediately respond to it. But there are definitely themes, several themes that weave through a lot of the wisdom. One, which is a theme that I've been dealing with, and a lot of my writing really, for a long time, is kind of the, the yin and yang of individuality and community that, you know, there, having my own individual identity is so important. But on the other hand, who am I, without a community, and so that that theme weaves through it, light and darkness, in yin and yang, in the sense of how there's almost opposite sides to so many aspects of reality. And yet, if you just try to turn reality into the binary of light and dark you're, you're missing the depth also. And so there's, like the, you know, the galleon idea of thesis antithesis, synthesis, noose, new thesis is a way to look deeper, find deeper meanings and find patterns in history to

I got to ask you, because we talked about it because I thought I was a Beatles aficionado. Apparently, I there's a few things that I don't know, because one of the quotes is from The Beatles. And I and my thought was, well, it has to be all you need as love. You know, because that's, you know, one of their primary things, a lot of that weaves through a lot of their songs, a lot of their materials. And you said, No, that ain't it. And so, and you said that it has something to do with that. Penny Lane, which is another song of theirs, what weaves in it? And so but I'm still lost. So what was the Beatles quote?

It Well, it's the song is in my life. Oh, wow.

That's my favorite song of all time. You know, and you know, that song they have to play at my funeral.

Really, that's it's in your will?

Well, it's in my son's heads.

Oh, yeah. I love that song too. And so, you know, I didn't really know any thing about the song other than I've always loved it, and I certainly couldn't have recited the lyrics to you. I mean, some of them, you know, maybe the chorus. But so there are places I remember, there are places I remember that. That's how it starts. Yeah. And then. And then so the chapter that the Son, the topic of the chapter is about nostalgia. And because as I research how John Lennon wrote the song, wrote the lyrics to it. And, you know, why did he write the song, what was he thinking about and so forth, is he actually wrote two versions of the song. And the first version, he wrote, it is almost like a child's a kitty song, kind of a happy, bubbly, funny, take, like, it was a little a bus ride around his the neighborhood. And so I've mentioned all these places, like Penny Lane, in the neighborhood where he grew up in Liverpool, and then he decided, well, you know, I really want to have more of a universal appeal, I want to I want to touch something deeper. So then the second version is the is in my life, the version that that we hear. And so he took his own experiences, but he, you know, he universalized as them into this feeling that we can all relate to their people, there are places that were meaningful to me earlier in my life, and some of them exist, some of them no longer exists. And yeah, each one of them has some, you know, it was like a marker in my life. And, and all of us can relate to that, you know, anybody who's at least gotten through adolescence, you know, begins to have these histology memories of our bodies that are no longer we no longer see the places that we hung out that, you know, places we played as kids or the Hangouts when we were teenagers. And, and we go back to those places, and those people in our mind, even though they're no longer with us, and so that's the so the song is an exploration of Lenin's own nostalgia, and the places that he picks out to use as examples. Excuse me, Kevin, I'm just I'm getting over a cold. So I may hack a little bit.

You're okay. You're, the information is, is fascinating. So that's your, you're good.

Okay, thanks. And, but so, you know, so each of us have these sort of sacred places and people that we memorialize in our memory. But the sense of nostalgia is very interesting, because on the one hand, it's pleasurable. But on the other hand, it's painful. And so I describe the feeling that Lennon is evoking. And then I think histology is the term that best captures that as sweetly painful or pleasurably plain painful. Because here again, is that yin and yang of these opposites somehow meet in our consciousness in our feeling, and there's depth there that you know, it sort of surpasses sort of superficial understanding, you know, why is this one you know, this place where I mentioned the book because a lot of the book I'll use my own personal experience so there's memoir in it. When we were kids we placed in this place called the college hole and it's called the college hole because our local college Goshen College dug out this foundation for a building that was that wasn't built, and eventually this big hole just filled up with scrubbed and bushes and stuff. And the kids we all played in it as we had, you know, gang wars and heightened go see, just, you know, all the wonderful things that kids do outdoors when they're on their own. And so that place that the college hole evokes, in my mind, this whole the whole experience of childhood, just, you know, like that, with that one reference. You and

I were born in an era era where in order to go have fun, you had to go outside because there wasn't anything to do inside, watch, you know, maybe channel the three channels that were available. So, you know, we went outside and we played war with a stick. And that was you know, and if those who had the best stick one, and, and that was our rifle or sword or whatever it was, I have to tell you about that song my brother passed away in two years ago. And he the last conversation that I had with him, he was not able to speak anymore. He had stage four lung cancer. And but he could he could hear and he can listen any any and his significant other said, Yeah, we're playing. I think it was, it was a hymn of some kind. You know, that was kind of somber and stuff, and I, and she said, but he doesn't want to hear, you know, him. He wants to hear something else. And I said, Well, clay that song, and I lay in my life. And you got was two days before he passed away.

That's I mean, it's so again, that's so sad. But it's also so sweet.

It was and he took it the right way. He took it as in, you know, remembering all the good times remembering the people that you fell in love with, remember the things that you did the things and because you're, you know, you're about to move on to another, another plane of existence another place. But take a pause for a moment. And just remember with nostalgia, where you were that, so that, so I thought you pick that out beautifully.

Yeah, well, I am so delighted to hear that. And I mean, it is it's it's interesting that, that in both of our lives, there would be this, you know, this touch point in that song? Yeah, yes.

So So and I applaud you for this work, because this is what the cool thing about it is that, that this is a book that you can put on the coffee table. And somebody can pick it up, and they can read a a saying or wisdom, and then they can read about it. And they can pull it down and then pick it up the next time. And and stuff or want to read it all the way through because there's a lot of inspiration. And then isn't it?

Yeah, each chapter is standalone. I mean, it's it's the sort of book that you could even you know, if you if you look at the table of contents, and you, you know, go down there, and oh, well, number 36 looks interesting to me. You know, you could start with number 36. So, it's, I think there is a flow to it, in the sense that these these 72 wisdoms are the way they're ordered is they came to me in this order. So, but that's the only significance of the ordering. And it's to me, it started remarkable how each one in my mind, it makes sense that, you know, two follows one and three follows two and, and so forth. And the chapters tend to get a little bit longer for as you go further into the book. And I think that's because, in my own mind, what was happening is, I was getting sort of deeper and deeper into how I approached each wisdom. And so it took more words to explain that that process and what I got out of it.

Is it possible that because of what you were doing with each each wisdom, that you are gaining wisdom, at the same time, and so therefore, you're required more in depth explanation, the farther you went into the book.

Yeah, I think so. Um, in fact, a friend was the other day was saying was asking me well, you know, so I could just start at the end and read the last one and then I, I would have gained all the wisdom isn't well, no, you know, it's that's not exactly how it works. I think there is a there was a process that I went through that it wasn't, it wasn't planned in the sense of my goal is to reach you know, the 72nd level of wisdom. So it was just that I would kind of open myself up to what, you know, what will I discover today that seems meaningful that seems worth holding on to, and recording in written form. And each day. I mean, it wasn't every single day, it wasn't 72 days in a row. But it was usually about two a week that it would just, you know, something would grab me as Oh, that's it. You know, that's, that's the next one. And so that's how that's how the book evolved.

When you when you say that they just kind of came to you, where did they come from?

Well, there are two sources that that I use several times. One is I get an email, a daily email called inspired quotes. Sure. And so yeah, so if you're familiar with that, it, it. Generally we'll start out with one quote, you know, kind of either a famous saying, or a very incisive, saying, and then it'll go, it'll have a look, just one little paragraph about who said it. And then sometimes they'll have a list of a bunch of different quotes. So that was one source that I use for, oh, probably, three, four, you know, five, several, several other quotes came from that. Another source that I used for several was a, an E letter that I get, called the margin alien. And it's from a poet, a poet, philosopher, named Maria Popova. And she's a brilliant writer, thinker, artist. And I get a weekly newsletter from her. It's, it's a, it's a personal essay. And she picks out different topics and goes into depth. And so some of the, a couple of the quotes come from her, and a couple of others come from sources that she relied on. And then the others are just completely random. One is from a blog that my wife wrote about coincidence. And two of them are from books that I've written. Two of them are from a friend who's a philosopher, who, when he heard I was writing this book, sent me about 50 quotes that he thought I should consider using, and I actually do use two of them. And then they, you know, like, in my life, I just, I heard that song. And I had just been talking to an old friend and old friend who I grew up with. You know, there aren't that many people that I see, with any regularity that were friends of mine when we were kids, sure, but he lives not too far away. So about once a month, once a month, we get together for lunch, and we, you know, if you kept the style check together. And so we had had our lunch, and then I think I was driving home and I in my life came on the radio, and I thought, Oh, my God, I just had the experience Lennon was singing about. So you know, so then I, you know, I googled the lyrics and got the lyrics. And so, you know, that's the start of that chapter.

You know, I'll tell you, I'm a firm believer that the a lot of the things that they came to you were came to you for a reason, and that they were to be put into the book. And, and so that's like, See, I get I get messages through music all the time. And it's, you know, either one thing or another that I'm either thinking about or want to do. So I, you know, I would, I would say that this, this book, in and of itself may not be divinely inspired in total, but I think there was a hand in in that because this is wisdoms. putting these together is a really cool idea. Now, if you have this wisdom in your book, I will be absolutely blown away. Because I have you probably never seen the movie, but GJ you Well, let me ask it. Did you ever see the movie Braveheart?

Yes. Mel Gibson.

Yes. There's a saying when his father has been killed old and they were watching him up back in there. And then Mel Gibson as a little boy had a premonition that his father turned his head. And he said to him, do you remember what he said? No, I don't. Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it. And see for me that that is a wisdom of, of, I would have to come up with? Well, let me ask you, what would you come up with that? If that was one of the wisdoms? Would that be one of courage? Would that be one of of thoughtfulness? Would that be one of follow your heart and you can follow your passion? You can do whatever you want to what word would you put to that?

Yeah, but see, that's what's wonderful about I mean, you just experienced what I was talking about when I say you, you know, you come across this wisdom. And, as is, as you think about it more deeply, it's multi level, multi layered, yes. Because you're right. I mean, it could you could take that, oh, well, that means, you know, go out and be determined and, you know, fulfill your destiny, or it just means it's, you know, be personally courageous, when you have a challenge. Face it, don't turn away from it, or doesn't mean, expand your heart be a more caring person. So, you know, so I, if I had come across the head, that's a wonderful one. If I had come across that, that's what I would do. I would, you know, first of all, I'd say what the context was and where it came from. And is there a history to it? Was there a saying that it came out? Because some of the, the sayings that I deal with in the book, actually is like the second or third version of an earlier wisdom. But anyway, so you dig into it, and then you think about these different meanings. And then you try to okay, but So, How deep can I go? What's the bottom layer? What's the when I peel the onion? What's at the very center of it? Or is there just one, maybe I'm just left with several.

We, you know, I have never considered Dolly Parton. She's a songwriter. She's a singer, never considered her work to be particularly deep, or wisdom oriented or impactful. But apparently there are some. So what did you find in her work?

Yeah, interestingly, it's not a song lyric. It's a statement she made and the context is okay, so she wrote the song. And of course, now I'm blanking. I can grab the book and look it up. But the particular song isn't that important. The story is, she wrote a song that Elvis wanted to record and this was when she was a fairly young songwriter. So she she'd had a, you know, a couple hits that were on the country charts, but she she was making her living at that point as a songwriter, not as a performer although she was performing and then she was on the Grand Ole Opry at that point, with Porter Wagner. So and this was when she was in her early 30s. I think. So anyway, so Elvis wants to record the song. And the rascally Tom Parker, Colonel Parker, says, Elvis is gonna get not only the royalties for the performance of the song, he's gonna get 50% for the songs lyrics, as if he wrote it, you know, is he was a co writer, well, and Dolly, who was absolutely thrilled when she heard Elvis wants to perform whatever record one of her songs is like, Well, wait a minute. That's not right. And so she tries to negotiate with Colonel time and he's insistent and so she's finally Dixon her heels and says, you know, no, I'm not going to give in to that. And the song then goes on to be recorded by her, and by Whitney Houston. It was that one I thought so and became the biggest seller that Dolly Parton ever wrote, as both a songwriter and as a performer. So she made millions off the song and So the saying is all about deciding what's important to you and to stick up for yourself. And I can't remember the exact so

that's, that's really cool because another one of my favorite actors growing up, had a similar story. And that would be Sylvester Stallone. Oh, yeah. When he went when he was putting rocky together, and he'd written the screenplay, and they said, Well, you will let we'd like to buy your screenplay for I think it was a quarter million. And, and he said, No, no, I want to I want to be rocky. And it's all No, no, nobody knows who you are. You can't do that. So he stuck to his guns. And he ended up being rocky one Best Picture, Best Actor, all that kind of good stuff, because he believed in himself. And at the time, he said, when they offered him that quarter million, he said, I didn't have enough money for dog food. And he's but he stuck to his guns anyway.

Yeah, I mean, that's, that's exactly the point is, if you have done something, and it's yours, and you, you know, you believe in it, then that's it, you, you know, hang on to it. Don't Don't give it away, don't compromise, there's there are some things that are worth not compromising on a lot of things, you know, and, I mean, politics is the art of compromise. I didn't use that. Actually, I'm I, that isn't one of the 72. But that's actually quoted in the book, because there's a couple chapters about politics. But, you know, many things, life requires compromise and compromise works for the benefit of all involved, but in some cases it does. And so you have to have the wisdom to know, in when, when can you just not compromise and another one, which is related, is a quote by Vladimir Vladimir Zelensky. It's about how Ukraine cannot compromise. Its this is an existential question. You know, we will if we give in, if we compromise, if we say, okay, Putin, you can have those territories, well, you know, what's next. And so he, he gave this wonderful speech to the British Parliament, where he's essentially ripping off Churchill and Shakespeare both. Which was pretty clever, since you're speaking to the Brits. But about you know, how Churchill is, we will fight on the beaches, we will fight in the land will fight on the sea, you know, will never give in, says the Lensky gives that same kind of speech. And, and makes the point that, you know, we can't, we will fight to the last person, week, this is an existential threat we're facing. And so again, you know, this is a situation where you can't compromise.

You know, we as humans, sometimes can come up with the most amazing things in the in the proper moment of time. And that's one of them. What Churchill said was another one and and it's, you know, it's, it's great that you're putting all of these together in one spot so that people can remember them, because they, you know, that's the thing about us is we tend to forget these, these wonderful wisdoms that that we all need to remember. And you put them into context. And you did, you did a really nice job of putting that all together with, with, you know, neuroscience and astrophysics, and you did a lot. How long did it take you to research this thing?

Um, it was about a 10 month process.

No wonder your wife was saying, okay. Now, please.


You know, but that's, that's wonderful. When does the book come out? Or did it come out already?

It came out about a month ago.

How's it doing? Well,

I know, but of the 14 I've written, none of them have sold as many as I think they should, because I think everybody should read with you, you know, it's selling. It's it's not in the, you know, it's not moved up to that seller status with Amazon or on the New York.

But you know what I keep hearing though, Jeff, just by the way, we're talking with Jeff Grassley. If you want to find out more about him, you can go to oddly enough Jeff Jeffrey round And you can look at all the books he's written. And I highly suggest that you, you pick them up, and then to look at him because, you know, it's been about a month, and they don't really have numbers yet, it takes him a while to come up with that. And this is one of those books that I applaud you. Because whether it be tomorrow, or the next day, next year, in five years, somebody is going to pick up your book, and it's going to mean a lot to them. And that could be somebody that picks it up in a used bookstore. This is just wandering by, and that's what they pick up. And it means something you've done something good for humanity, you put these all of these together. And that makes sense. And, and I thank you for that.

Well, thank you, Kevin, I, you know, I, I really appreciate not only getting to be on your show again, but just that you know that you've that you've responded the way that you have.

Well, I think I think I love, I love ancient wisdom I love what people have come across has been important things for us to remember. And I think they're just little nuggets. These sayings and these wisdoms are just nuggets for us all to remember, you're not the only one who has a cold in your house, by the way.

Yeah, I was. What is my wife knows we're on the air. Why did she decide to come down the hallway and start coughing just add a little to the sound track?

Exactly. But this is see this is live. And this is real life?

A little bit? I don't know if you notice, my my kitten was crawling around

me, I saw this little tail it was going around you and stuff. Because that's what that's what make this fun.

It's real life. We're not in a studio. No,

no. And we and we mean it when we talk about this ending is you know, you've been on the show before and we were talking about some of your other books. And I you know, you've got quite a catalogue. Now, what is it that motivates you to write and come up with the ideas that you have for all of the books you've written?

Well, I think it's an addiction. I, I have two addictions. One, and they're both good. I think. One is writing and the other is exercise. When I go for a day without writing something, I just don't feel good. If I go for a day, without exercising, I don't feel good. And so, you know, whether, whether it's helpful to anybody else or not, it's kept me healthy, mentally, physically, spiritually, psychologically. And the other thing as far as the writing is, I have spent my life with other writers. My mom was a journalist. My step grandfather was the editor of our local newspaper, my stepfather succeeded him became the editor. My mom was the journalist and the city editor. My wife is a novelist and an English professor. So I have I be the oddball out if I didn't have my brother is the editor of a political newsletter. So that's, you know, I if I if I wasn't at least something of a writer, I wouldn't have anything to say to these people. So

well, you are you do not have to take anybody's coat C to anybody?

Well, I'm not sure my family but thanks for that.

Well, you know, families family, what do you do?

Yeah, what do you do? You know,

but I got I do have to ask you, because one of the one of the chapters in your book is about the deepest of philosophical questions. So in your books in your writings, what are some of the deepest philosophical, philosophical questions that we face? I would think death and life after death and that kind of thing, but that's just me. What do you think?

Yeah. So that's definitely one. How do you face your own death? You know, how do we cope with knowing we will die? So what's what's the proper attitude towards that? Another is what is the good life? You know, how do I live a meaningful life? Because you know, so much of life just comes at us and we're just reacting you know, we get up we do our job we, you know, feed the cat, clean the class. But how do we how do we feel Till, like, this is a meaningful life what's required for us to feel that way? And then, you know, when when we figure out what is that? What is a meaningful life? How do we implement it? How do we live it out? And so I, you know, I address those issues. And then, you know, actually, you brought it up at the very beginning with the Beatles son, love. How, what is love? And what is, what, and what is the highest and best ethic to live by which, you know, is on the one hand is sort of when anybody who studied ethics knows that it's to love your neighbor as yourself. And it's easy to say, but what does that really mean?

If you hate yourself, you're gonna hate your neighbor.

Yeah. Yeah, well, we're back to the yin and yang.

Exactly, you know, one of my favorite quotes, and I probably didn't make it in the book, because you didn't find it, but I find it to be it's one of those sayings that is layered, like an onion. And but it's very simple. It's just four words, which is we are all one.

Yeah, well, that. Yes. And that is definitely a theme that intersects with several chapters. Oh, good.

Good. So because that is, you know, from my, when you look at these, that statement, we are all one it's like, what does that mean? Does that mean we're all one person? Does that mean that we're all one spirits? Does that mean? Or are we all the same? Are we are we do we need to treat each other like we would treat ourselves which is taking off of, of the the biblical prophets and all there the biblical statement as well as other philosophies, which is, you know, treat each other as you would treat yourself kind of thing.

The the chapter that introduces that concept, the quote comes from Walt Whitman. Ah, and it is, well, it's from his poem Leaves of Grass. But, and I can't remember the exact quote, but it's, it goes something like, we, we all come from the same atoms, and my atoms are your atoms, and that's not exactly, but that's what we all come from the same source. We all share in the same stuff. We are one, and, and so. Okay, so what does that mean? Especially when you look at the divided world we live in, and oh, my God, you know, the, our own polarized body politic. And yet, despite all these divisions, that doesn't change the truth that we did all come from the same source another. This also kind of reminds me of another theme that kind of weaves its way through is consciousness and coincidence? And how did we get here, and if you think an individuality, so the big bang for you to be you, the Big Bang had to happen. And then the elements that were spewed out eventually had to coalesce into the sun, and coalesce into the earth. And then the molecules that somehow became organic life had to happen. And then mammals had to evolve. And then your parents had to feel that spark at the right time. And then the doctor had to deliver you correctly. And, you know, I mean, the, you know, the number, the infinite number of coincidences that had to happen for us to be sharing this moment right now. I mean, it's sort of mind boggling when you think about it in that way. And so is that, you know, is that a plan? Is it all coincidence? What does that mean? To think about it in that way, and the miracle of consciousness, I mean, that we are conscious experience, not just alive, but experiencing this moment, consciously. You think of our brain chemistry, the complexity of it for us To be conscious beings, it's okay. So is it miraculous? Does that mean there had to be some kind of divine creator? Because it's just so amazing? Or is it just this whole series of, you know, kind of accidents, coincidence, but or do those series of accidents as coincidence, rise into the meaning of what we are experiencing. And so, you know, different chapters approach that whole math from,

but you can get really, really deep into the weeds, if you chose to get and go down that that rabbit hole because, you know, there's so many, you know, the way I look at it, is, we'll find out when we get there, look, because nobody knows, and nobody, nobody can tell you for sure, what's going to happen when we get there. But you and I are a little bit longer in the tooth. And so my, my destiny when I was 20, thinking of what it was going to be like, between, then and 60 is different than it is when I think of 60 to 100. Because you know the chances Well, anyway, but you know, the whole thing is different, and why are we here? What is our purpose? What do we, you know, and I guess we get to this, that's the beautiful thing about our lives, I think is that we get to decide what our purpose is and why we're here.

Yeah, and it's, it's important for us, on the one hand, to just live in the moment to enjoy this moment to take it as it comes. But on the other hand, to learn from the past, to find meaning in the past, and not just think of it as well, that's just something that's past, there's no more significance of that, that the past has meaning. And on the other hand, if we don't think about the future, if we don't have any plans, if we just totally live in the moment, then we're probably going to run out, run off to the side of a cliff. So there's, and this is one of the chapters deals with this, the whole sense of time, and living meaningfully, that you have to, you have to do all three, you have to value the past, understand the meaning of the past, live in the moment, and also plan for the future. That's all required to live a meaningful life. Because if you just do one of those three, or even two of those three, it's not gonna go well.

I know I agree. One of my favorite sayings is your life is empty and meaningless. And when I say that people go, What do you mean, my life is not empty and meaningless. And what I mean by that is every morning, picture, if you will, every morning, you get to get up in the morning, and I know you love to work out. So you probably do that first thing. But you get up in the morning, and you get to decide what your life is going to mean for you that day. And then you get to decide how you're going to fill your day up with whatever you have decided is going to be the meaning for that day. So you have the choice to be able to do that. And then that leads into tomorrow. And so you're continually working, based upon the experience that you had yesterday, working on tomorrow. How's that for a physical, physical? Physiological, no a philosophical thought, how about that? How was that?

Yeah. It's, I'm darn if only if I write an epilogue or volume to your in?

I would well, these are all things that I've stolen from people, Jeff. So it doesn't, you know, it's just one of those things, but they're things that and I think it happens to all of us, at least it should, we should take the time to read something to listen to the song to the lyrics, because they have meaning for us. Or they meant something to somebody else, or they wouldn't have written it or or sung about it. And so we can benefit from what they're doing as well. Don't you think?

Oh, yeah, I mean, that that's really I guess the you know, the fundamental motivation of why I did that book because that's exactly what you said that these each of these sayings had meaning to me. And then the more I thought about them, and the research I did, they had even more meaning and hopefully to other people as well. And there's a couple there's only you know, two or three like this that I disagree with that the statement that I started out as thinking, Well, you know, this is a there's some there's real wisdom here. And the more I thought about it and looked into it, I don't know Wait a minute. That's actually I don't agree with that. And so then I would you know, I would I would treat the statement fairly explain where it came from and who said it or wrote it and then explain why I think that that's actually not true. That's a bad that's sending you down the rabbit hole you don't want to go down.

Exactly. By the way, I you know, I could talk to you for hours. I really could. And you are you are a wonderful interview a wonderful author. Go pick up the book 72 wisdoms go to Jeffrey, raise as r a. S Is it raise li Rasouli?

Well, phonetically, it should be Rasouli but my family for the most part, at least when they're sober. But along a raised LEE

Well, I love that. And by the way, some of you if it's okay with you, some of your your wisdoms are going to appear on a t shirt that people will be able to buy on positive talk radio dotnet I'm gonna I'm putting sayings on Baca T shirts that are that mean, a lot to me, like you're your heart is free, have the courage to follow it. And things like that, I'm going to be pulling those up there.

That's really cool. You know, a few years ago, just out of the blue, I got, I get this email from a Norwegian artist. And she said, I want to put the title of your last book on a t shirt and design a little artistic thing to go with it. And it was you have to get lost before you can be found that was the title of the book. And so yeah, they're out there. You can buy a t shirt cow that says you have to get lost before you can be found. Jeff raise Lee with a little a picture of a mountain on it.

And that is in amazing wisdom all by itself. And when you can you can you can have an entire show based upon that wisdom.

Yeah, well, that that is the I as I said, I used to have my own wisdoms in the book. And that's one of them.

Well, and Jeff, thank you so much for being here. If there's anything you have that I can ever do for you, I would love for you to come back and talk about this book and others some more. Next Next time, if you would be so kind

I would be delighted to. So anytime you've got a slot open, let me know.

I will, because I've got an announcement coming up later on in the next week. That is we're changing what we're going to be doing. And we're going to be doing more of this, like five days a week, two hours a day kind of thing. So I'll save that for for later. But, Jeff, thanks so much for being here. I really appreciate it.

Thanks again for having me, Kevin. Namaste to you.

Thank you and I will say to you and go to his website, which is Jeffrey And if you wait right there, I'll be right back. Hey, thanks for enjoying this episode all the way to the end. Please give us a like and subscribe to this channel. This has been a production of positive talk radio dotnet please visit our website oddly named positive talk radio dotnet for more details about us and our mission, which is to provide great positive programming designed to inspire us all. I'm Kevin Macdonald really proud of these shows, and I truly hope that you'll like them and share them with friends and family. So on behalf of our entire team, remember, be kind to one another because each other's all we got to



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Kevin McDonald


Creator and Host of Positive Talk Radio and its Parent Company

Jeff RasleyProfile Photo

Jeff Rasley


Jeff Rasley is the author of fourteen other books and has authored over 80 articles, which have been published in academic and mainstream periodicals, including Newsweek, Chicago Magazine, ABA Journal, Family Law Review, The Journal of Communal Societies, and Friends Journal. He has appeared as a featured guest on over 150 radio and podcast programs. Jeff is the president of the Basa Village Foundation, secretary of the Scientech Foundation, board member of the Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center, a trustee of Earlham College, and co-founder of the Jeff and Alicia Rasley Internship Program for the ACLU of Indiana.
Jeff is a graduate of the University of Chicago, A.B. magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, All-Academic All-State Football Team and letter winner in swimming and football; Indiana University School of Law, J.D. cum laude, Moot Court and Indiana Law Review; Christian Theological Seminary, M.Div. magna cum laude, co-valedictorian and Faculty Award Scholar. He has been admitted to the Indiana, U.S. District Court, and U.S. Supreme Court Bars.