Our love of play and sport is rooted deep in our heritage, maybe even in our genes. Phil Cousineau has found that as early as 1400 B.C. – and probably much earlier – competitive games anchored communities, created a diversion from violence, and even contributed to the evolution of the human body, mind and soul. “This desire to shine brightly,” says Cousineau, “at least in one moment in your life, either on the battlefield or on the Olympic grounds, is a deep, deep urge in us.” In this playful, yet thoughtful discussion, he shares insights from a diverse roster of sportsmen, including Homer, Plato, Jesse Owens, Joseph Campbell, Phil Jackson and Bela Kerolyi to explain why the value we place on our national pastimes may be more valid than we realize. More than just a pleasant way to pass a sunny afternoon, athletic competition helps connect us to our roots and become more of who we are meant to be.
Phil Cousineau is an author, editor, teacher, adventure travel leader, photographer and documentary filmmaker. He is the author of The Olympic Odyssey: Rekindling the True Spirit of the Great Games (Quest Books 2003) and the bestselling Once and Future Myths: The Art of Pilgrimage (Conari 2000), and the editor of The Way Things Are: Conversations With Huston Smith (University of California Press 2003).
Topics Explored in this Dialogue:
- Why play is an important part of your spirituality
- How you gain peace of mind from athletic competition
- What successful athletes gain that is even greater than Olympic gold
- What we gain from passing sports traditions down through the generations
- How sports have played a role in the thinking of some of our culture’s greatest teachers
Program Number: 3052 Host: Michael Toms Interview Date: 6/19/2004