Spiritual Misfits Podcast

Gregg Morris: examining our 'cultural tales' after the referendum

October 22, 2023
Gregg Morris: examining our 'cultural tales' after the referendum
Spiritual Misfits Podcast
More Info
Spiritual Misfits Podcast
Gregg Morris: examining our 'cultural tales' after the referendum
Oct 22, 2023

Gregg Morris returns to the pod (go back and listen to more of his brilliance on the episode ‘Melbourne panel: Is Christianity still good news?’) to share reflections on becoming culturally informed and examining what the referendum result reveals about Australia today. 

Sign up to our mailing list:

Join our online Facebook community:

Support the pod:

Send us an email:

View all episodes at: https://spiritualmisfits.buzzsprout.com

Show Notes Transcript

Gregg Morris returns to the pod (go back and listen to more of his brilliance on the episode ‘Melbourne panel: Is Christianity still good news?’) to share reflections on becoming culturally informed and examining what the referendum result reveals about Australia today. 

Sign up to our mailing list:

Join our online Facebook community:

Support the pod:

Send us an email:

View all episodes at: https://spiritualmisfits.buzzsprout.com

Will (00:11.947)
Greg Morris, welcome to the Spiritual Misfits podcast again. You were on our, uh, is Christianity still good news panel event in Melbourne, which if people haven't listened, they, they should definitely listen and if they have listened, they will know they're in for a huge treat, having an extended, um, time hanging out with Greg. So yeah, welcome brother.

Gregg Morris (00:40.29)
That means I come with love and grateful for you and for this space and anyone who's listening for the life that's in them. So yeah.

Will (00:47.487)
Beautiful. So I don't think we've got a particularly deep dive on the panel into your backstory, Greg. So would love to just have some space for you to share a little bit about who you are, your context, your, your cultural backstory, as well as just, you know, where you've found yourself in your kind of weaving path over time. And, and have you ever felt like a spiritual misfit along the way?

Gregg Morris (01:12.094)
Yeah, I think I have. I can answer that one pretty quickly. Yeah, I think I have. But I kind of feel like we all are really in some way, shape or form. We should always feel a little bit outside what is the mainstream or what is expected, I think, if we follow this character of Jesus. So if I, yeah, my background, I suppose, first of all, my cultural

Will (01:29.152)

Gregg Morris (01:40.17)
way past me, in and around me, and has influenced me unconsciously and consciously. Goes back through my parents, through her mother. She, her culture and her heritage is back to Samoa, the small island nation, or nations, nine islands in the Pacific, to a village in Taosie. We've had a presence there for a few thousand years, and still do.

So that's my mother's side. My father goes back to the cold North Atlantic to Scotland, the province of Falkirk to the city of Dundee where my grandfather was born. And that was definitely an influence. My grandfather was very Scottish and wanted to stay that way. So yeah, and then I was born in Aotearoa in New Zealand, where my mum and dad brought up three boys and I was one of those.

So New Zealand is obviously another cultural story or a place that's important. I was born in 1969, so I would consciously call myself an 80s kid. That was the time when I started to really develop my own identity and things. Things like Star Wars, which I've got represented right across my shoulder there with that coffee plunger that's in the shape of R2-D2.

Will (02:50.365)

Will (03:00.119)
Come on.

Gregg Morris (03:07.15)
So grew up with bands like U2, grew up with the existential threat of the nuclear bomb, the economic and political rise of neoliberal politics and economics, even though I was young, I was still growing up in that. So, and also the fall of the Berlin Wall, those were all really important times, contexts, that I grew up in. So those stories.

Will (03:15.252)

Will (03:31.159)

Gregg Morris (03:36.174)
often are still in me through my blood and through my birth. But through choice, I ended up here in Nam in Melbourne, on the land of the Wanderer people of the Kulin Nation. And it was here, here in Nam and in Melbourne that I started to think about the meaning of life. And after living in Europe for a number of years and a life that was fun, but...

often didn't have a lot of purpose and meaning. I ended up here in Melbourne asking those questions and that I was about 27, 28. Grew up nominally a Catholic, but even though I say that's nominal, it still had quite a strong influence on me, unconsciously probably, but as I've got older, it's become more conscious. So I suppose the Catholic mystics and contemplatives, I think were

Will (04:09.425)
How old were you at the time?

Will (04:22.295)

Gregg Morris (04:33.37)
were an influence even when I was younger. I remember as a seven or six, seven, eight year old actually sitting in chapel with the nuns in silence, in prayer and actually feeling quite comfortable with that, even at that age and feel comfortable with it now. So I think I've come back to that a little bit and got rid of all the other stuff that, it kind of muddied that stuff, you know, as religion can do. So 27, 28 came back to that, but came back,

Will (04:45.3)

Will (04:55.603)

Gregg Morris (05:02.962)
in the, I suppose, the social justice tradition, working at Colins Street Baptist Church in the place like Urban Seed, alongside people like Tim Costello, and working with people on the street, particularly young people affected with heroin addictions in the late 90s, and trying to do faith life in those difficult situations. That's where I met my partner, who I chose to partner up with, Bronwyn, my wife.

Will (05:11.991)

Gregg Morris (05:33.098)
We both lived and worked in Urban Seed for a number of years, interesting place to court and form life together. And so, yeah, so I chose to go into the people business, I suppose, actually trying to care and have concern for people and at every level, I suppose. But then as I got a little older and got more experience and that just realized that sort of caring

Will (05:39.403)

Gregg Morris (06:02.194)
one-on-one or with individually with people, realized that actually there's a systems that these people and young people were brought up in and born into. And that's what I've become most passionate about is actually the idea of what are the cultures, the systems that actually impinge on all of us, but particularly on those who are marginalized and at the edge. And so studied trauma particularly.

addictions and family systems. And the idea of resilience, the idea of bouncing back from all that was something that I'm very passionate about and have done training in. But then as the last probably seven or eight years started to realize that one of the resiliency markers and factors that can help young people and just people is actually engaging with their culture and the stories that actually form those cultures. And it was partly my own journey.

Will (06:44.036)

Gregg Morris (07:01.362)
going back and exploring particularly my Samoan heritage, which actually my mother decided at a young age, for us at a young age, that she felt like she didn't want to pass that on to us. And after conversations with her, realizing bringing up a family in predominantly European New Zealand, that being a minority wasn't particularly helpful.

And so I didn't pass on the language or the culture to us as boys. And so as I got older, I realized there's a lot of grief around that. So part of the idea of culture being a resiliency factor was personal in the sense that I felt like a large chunk of me was missing because going to family events and visiting family on my mother's side, it really felt like I was an alien in my own family.

Will (07:34.199)
All right.

Will (07:39.411)

Will (07:58.94)

Gregg Morris (07:59.422)
So the idea of reconnecting to culture and to those traditions, stories, ways of being are actually something we can use to better ourselves, to contribute to our wellbeing. And I can just say it has been for me. It's been that. And found that developing frameworks and journeys and methodologies to help others do that.

Will (08:17.12)

Gregg Morris (08:28.178)
has been what I've been doing the last, well, probably 15 or so years. But I have to say, well, whenever I go in and out of passport control and you write occupation, I still write youth worker. I still write that because I'm very passionate about the outcomes of young people and their families. So I would still describe myself as a youth worker. Yeah.

Will (08:33.243)

Will (08:46.71)

Will (08:50.287)
I respect that. I love that. Yeah. It's a, it's interesting, isn't it? The youth, youth workers often it's like, you, you do that until you 25 and then you, you move on. But, um, to, for people that journey, uh, for the long-term with any group of people, with this young people or people in a particular area, or, you know, I have a lot of respect for, for that kind of thing, something that's stamped on your heart. Yeah.

Gregg Morris (08:58.922)

Gregg Morris (09:10.286)
Hmm. Yeah, thank you. Thank you. It's also, I think, a longing not to ever grow up. So there's probably a Peter Pan bit of me as well.

Will (09:16.251)
Yeah, yeah, sure. Well, um, it's a, it's a heavy week, Greg, um, both, both in Australia, as well as around the globe. Um, and yeah, I'm sure that many of us are feeling the weight of this week in many different ways. Um, and I'm interested as we enter this conversation, um, obviously.

Gregg Morris (09:23.015)

Gregg Morris (09:27.81)

Will (09:40.395)
Uh, in any conversation it's, it's more of an exploration than a, uh, solution or an, uh, getting a really deep understanding of things. I think it's just exploring. Um, but one thing that I love that you can, you can help people with Greg. I really see this is you can help people to zoom the lens out from the current moment and to look at what are some of those longer cultural tales that we drag behind us, which I'm sure you'll talk a little bit more about soon.

Gregg Morris (09:45.495)
Mmm. Yep.

Gregg Morris (09:50.964)

Gregg Morris (10:04.043)

Will (10:08.011)
But I'll just, you know, as we're sitting, we're recording this in, in the week after, um, the referendum around the voice to parliament in Australia and acknowledging that I am a white Australian, my ancestry, you know, came here on convict ships, um, I'm feeling pretty depressed, um, about the picture that the referendum painted of this place that has been the only home I've ever known.

Gregg Morris (10:26.702)

Gregg Morris (10:33.801)

Will (10:33.975)
Um, even though my, my people have only been here for a very, very short fraction of time, historically speaking. Um, but I'm, I'm interested, you know, as someone who grew up in New Zealand and then has lived in Australia for a long period of time, um, these countries that are kind of siblings with different cultural tales, but also some overlap in terms of our place in the world.

Gregg Morris (10:39.37)

Will (11:00.211)
Um, what have been some of your reflections coming out of the referenda, the picture that it paints of Australia and Australia's kind of moment and background compared to maybe how you, how you look at, um, where you grew up in, in New Zealand in terms of its moment and, and historical background.

Gregg Morris (11:17.582)
Hmm, excuse me, that's a big question. And it is, it's hard to...

Gregg Morris (11:28.322)
enter into that without being comparative and sometimes comparisons helpful but sometimes it isn't. Particularly when you're starting to look at stories because people's and collective stories are different so you've got to go back and look at history. And so there's probably two things I think of there, one well is New Zealand and Australia were settled differently. So if you're

Will (11:34.689)

Will (11:44.235)

Gregg Morris (11:57.59)
they were settled very differently and at different times. So that's a complex history that we can do to a comparison on. But I suppose to focus on here, what are my observations coming out of the weekend was that I felt like when it comes to the issue of First Peoples,

and then what has happened here for the last 200 years, and the diminishment of a people for 200 years, starting from first contact, and then going on for years, decades later, there's a narrative or a discourse that's deeply entrenched here.

Will (12:39.812)

Gregg Morris (12:57.25)
that I feel just hasn't been engaged with in a particularly mature and engaging way. And so when it comes to issues around, I mean, I don't even really like to give the word race because race is actually a concept that's actually quite new. People actually go and do the history of race and the compartmentalization of people's ethnicities. You can pinpoint it back to 1763 to a certain guy.

Will (13:03.088)

Will (13:13.443)

Will (13:24.905)

Gregg Morris (13:25.998)
by the name of Fede Blumenbach in Germany. So when you come to race, it's actually quite a recent concept, very recent. Actually, the idea of a diminishment of a group of people was based more around civilizations, which ultimately is culture. Yeah, so we diminish that group because their civilization isn't like ours. And that's really what is what you're talking about here. So I want to take it out of the idea of race, and actually talk about the idea of

Will (13:51.411)

Gregg Morris (13:55.03)
a group of people's way of organizing themselves, because ultimately that's what civilizations are, that's what cultures are. And for me, what was done over the weekend was again, an acknowledgement of that way of organizing yourself as a society or group of people, which Indigenous people for 60,000 years have been doing, and obviously doing quite well because...

Will (14:02.409)

Gregg Morris (14:18.594)
They were here for 60,000 years. You can't last that long without some sort of sophisticated way of doing space with each other and having governance and economics and religion or kinships. You can't last that long without some sort of sophisticated way. Unfortunately, 200 years ago, all across the planet, not just in Australia, but all across the planet through processes like Terranelius.

Will (14:20.361)

Will (14:28.328)

Gregg Morris (14:48.354)
through processes based on documents like the Doctrine of Discovery, which I brought up down in Melbourne, which to me is a story and a tale. When I say tale, by the way, it's T-A-L-E, so story tale, is a tale that actually, particularly Christians, first of all, need to engage with and understand and know what the impact of that was, because it was a document called actually the Doctrine of Christian Discovery. That's what it was called.

Will (14:57.946)

Gregg Morris (15:17.17)
a very long time before someone decided to rub out the book Christian, that actually the idea of diminishment of a whole group of people was based on the idea of Dominus Christus Victus, which was written into the Doctrine of Discovery, which literally means Jesus dominates in how it wins. So that would don't... yeah, exactly. That's right. Yeah, that's right.

Will (15:17.268)

Will (15:36.639)
Which is so ironic because Jesus was dominated. Like Jesus is in the story. He is, he is the most close to a group of people that has been, um, oppressed and dominated and crucified. So.

Gregg Morris (15:47.338)
That's right. I mean, in the crucifix was the thing to most shame, embarrass, and diminish anyone was to put someone on a crucifix. So it is incredibly ironic.

Will (15:56.265)

Will (16:01.339)
It strikes me that it's like Jesus came to flip on its head, business as usual, and we have flipped it back. That is the story of history since then.

Gregg Morris (16:06.282)
Yep, yep, but they're back, that's right. Absolutely, and so inside the Doctor of Discovery is a bunch of things that continue that domination. So for me, this idea of examining and interrogating our stories that actually are unconscious to us, because most people probably who are listening to this have probably never heard of that document. But to think that it doesn't actually influence us.

Will (16:30.496)

Gregg Morris (16:34.758)
now is not true because I'm sure most of your people here will have heard of the term terra nullius and the word terra nullius is written in the Doctrine of Discovery of 1493. It's there and we know that's the founding document. Now you realize terra nullius means you know there's nothing there, basically the earth is nil and that anything that didn't resemble us, civilization or Christianity, under terra nullius was flora and fauna, were animals and

Now that was used all up the west coast of Africa as well. Terranelis is not just an Australian issue. It's also the whole of west coast of Africa, which is how you could enslave black Africans and take them because they were flora and fauna in the same way as they were here. In Aotearoa, the South Island was actually deemed Terranelis as well. So it's being used all over the world as a concept to diminish. And so what I saw basically on the weekend was...

Will (17:10.007)

Will (17:16.598)

Gregg Morris (17:32.69)
unfortunately, a continued diminishment of a civilization, which just happens to be ethnically a different color to someone else. So that's how I see it. That actually, what I see here is the inability to have a conversation, one about race, because some people say that, and then other one is actually about, well, how can we see the benefits of each culture's gift?

Will (17:37.847)

Will (17:51.115)

Will (18:01.31)

Gregg Morris (18:01.318)
of how they do organize themselves. And it's been side-rolled a lot by race. I'm not saying you shouldn't engage with that because at the end of the day, it has been an issue. You can't tell me that race has not been an issue for people. It still is. But what I see is this kind of a lack of affirmation or even acknowledgement that may be a different way to actually look after us, look after yourselves. And

That's really what the stolen generation was. When you think about it, it was like, you people can't look after your own, so we're gonna take them. That's my understanding. It could be rather simplistic, but that's how I understand it. We're gonna civilize you. There's that word. And again, the idea of civilization was in the Doctrine of Discovery. There was 10 elements of the Doctrine of Discovery. And one of them was, if we don't see civilization when we land at this place, we're gonna civilize you, or we're gonna annihilate you, one of the two. And that's really what happened. So...

Will (18:38.964)

Gregg Morris (18:59.102)
And again, so New Zealand and Australia were quite differently settled. So there was a treaty signed in New Zealand. And if you go back and do some of the readings of people who were scientists or people who were sociologists of that day, they would say that they saw in Māori and the Indigenous people of New Zealand a different way of organizing, which they thought was superior to Aboriginal Australia. You can go look that up.

Will (18:59.375)
And again, so New Zealand or Australia would be quite different. So.

Gregg Morris (19:27.114)
And so a treaty was something that they did. Now, I'm not saying that's right or wrong I'm just giving you a picture of what was going on back then and here, you know, I've got my name of King O'Malley was it in 1902 and they were starting to talk about this at the The Commonwealth Franchise Act of 1902 that talked about giving votes how to you know, which groups of people should vote The white is really the establishment of the white Australia policy in a lot of ways, you know Basically King O'Malley who was a politician from South Australia

Will (19:29.143)
I'm not signing up for it at all. Just give it a go and see what the fuck is going on. Sure.

Will (19:47.86)

Gregg Morris (19:55.498)
and I think was the Home Office Minister, basically said Aboriginal people weren't humans. He just said that outright. And there's no evidence to say that. That's literally what he said. There's no evidence to show that there's human beings. And so we're not gonna allow them to vote. And that included Asian people and others as well, but that was his view. And he was a politician and a very important person. And people were writing books like...

Will (20:03.275)

Will (20:11.671)

Gregg Morris (20:24.07)
Charles Henry Pearson was writing books about the idea of, if we give people like this a vote, white people will become under servitude. That was their attitude. That if we allow other cultures and other peoples and civilizations to have some sort of agency or cooperation or contribution to our political, they're gonna take over at some point. And we can't do that.

Will (20:52.165)
Which you see that idea recapitulated in, you know, they're going to take our house and take our backyard like it, you know.

Gregg Morris (20:53.93)
Yeah, exactly. That was 100 years ago or more, 123 years ago that was being said. That book was written. It was called, you can go look it up, the National Life Character Forecast by Charles Henry Pearson. And next to the Bible, just quickly, next to the Bible, that was the second or third biggest selling book in the world. Theodore Roosevelt actually wrote a letter to Pearson thanking him for the book. That's the President of the United States. It was one of his favorite books.

Will (21:01.748)

Will (21:14.647)

Will (21:21.204)

Gregg Morris (21:23.03)
And it was basically a book saying we can't allow these Indigenous people all around the world to actually have any participation in our way, because otherwise we'll lose our power. It was literally what they were kind of saying.

Will (21:30.71)

because maybe they'll treat us like we treat everyone else. We can't imagine that anybody would do it differently if they had power.

Gregg Morris (21:36.502)
Bingo. That's right. Yeah, that's right. Totally, exactly. Yeah. And differences if you go to New Zealand and you see where through the Treaty of Waitangi Processes and lots of people have different opinions on this, but we have seen in New Zealand where Māori have been given land back. I think particularly in 1952, Wasteland Act in Auckland and when they finally got their land back in the 70s, Māori basically gifted the land back to government.

as long as they acknowledged them as custodians of that land. So there wasn't this kind of, oh, we're going to take you all year. That didn't happen. First, the land was taken off them in 1952, and then sort of given back to them in the late 1970s, early 80s through the Waitangi Tribunal process, and everyone still lives there. Well, no one's been shunted off. And we're talking about the inner city, Auckland here. We're not talking like rural. We're talking where people...

Will (22:13.463)
Thanks for watching!


Will (22:29.053)


Gregg Morris (22:35.926)
go to Sky Tower, that kind of area. So anyway, so there's no evidence of any indigenous people ever, once they get the land back, kicking people out. There's just no evidence for it. So yeah, it harks to the very narrative you had, harks right back to these people, King Omali and Charles Pearson of the early 1900s that were espousing eugenics, pretty much, was really what was going on. So for me, personally,

Will (22:39.051)

Will (22:46.779)

Will (23:01.471)

Gregg Morris (23:06.902)
I feel like here in Australia, there's not a very nuanced, educated, and I will say mature way of talking about this particular issue. And now can I compare that then with the yes-no vote around the change in the Marriage Act? When you look at what was the vote nationally for that plebiscite, it was actually quite high to say yes.

Will (23:15.18)
a mature way of talking about this particular issue. Yep. And now, can I hear that?

Will (23:29.225)

Will (23:36.63)

Gregg Morris (23:37.094)
There was 70 something percent about that. Now, there was some conflict over that, don't get me wrong, but that was a unanimous yes in a lot of ways to what was going on there. In my way of thinking, there was probably a better conversation around that issue than there seems to be about this. And for me, it's also similar around environment. If you talk about, okay, we're screwing up the planet, but I feel like we're at least having a conversation about that.

And you could argue that the last election, where it was said fairly obviously that, you know, the environment was a big factor in a lot of people's votes. Maybe that's just my background or the people that I hang out with. But what I read in the press was that around environment, and we know that's a crisis, we seem to want to have a conversation about that and we're on the same page. And to me, it's similar around sexual orientation. You know, okay, don't get me wrong, there's things that are great.

Will (24:14.408)
Yeah, totally.

Will (24:24.479)

Gregg Morris (24:33.546)
not great about this, but there was a 70% or more people who said yes to that and were willing to have a conversation around that and change the act. Whereas this issue, we can't seem to have that same, well, this is just my view, we can't seem to have that same mature conversation. We have this mud slinging from a certain side and a misinformation and a bunch of lies really. And what I feel like is the bell curve.

Will (24:57.608)

Gregg Morris (25:03.386)
you want to vote, if they don't have a particularly nuanced understanding around things like culture, the idea of race, and what that means and the construct of that, then they're going to get chucked a bunch of misinformation and believe that. Because when we create a yes-no binary vote, this is where my trauma brain trauma training comes in, yeah, what we do is we'll go to our amygdala, our flight-flight-freeze response.

and go with the one that makes us feel safe. Does that make sense? Yeah, and if keeping things status quo and I don't have a way of changing that cognition, that idea, well, then I'm just gonna go with whatever the loudest voice is and play on my fear, which I feel is what has happened. And that to me leans toward or indicates a lack of a maturity around this particular issue.

Will (25:37.481)
Yep. Yeah.

Will (26:02.378)

Gregg Morris (26:03.474)
as if, just giving you some other examples where, I'm not saying that we've got perfect dialogue and discourse in those other two, but I do feel there's at least some common idea that this crisis, this is how we're gonna deal with this. When actually, when you ask, when you just really look at what our First Nations and indigenous people were asking, was just say, can we please have a say in our own affairs? Yeah, exactly, it was.

Will (26:26.447)
It was such a low bar. That's, that's, and that's part of, for me, the depressing picture of, and acknowledging that First Nations people had different views on, on the voice. I acknowledge that and, um, yeah, completely respect that. But I think it's pretty hard to deny that the no to such a low bar ask sends a message that, like you said, Australia is immature.

Gregg Morris (26:32.362)
Yeah, yeah, that's right. Yep.

That's right. Yep.

Gregg Morris (26:53.09)

Will (26:55.067)
as well as, um, uninformed, um, kind of head in the sand when it comes to being out to have these conversations. Um.

Gregg Morris (27:00.124)

That's right, exactly. And that's, this is about white Australia here. This is not about indigenous Australia. And that's what this has said to me. It's actually about that cohort that needs to know how to actually engage with this. And so, that's a major difference because there's a big part of me, well, that actually it wasn't enough. What was being asked was not enough.

Will (27:09.799)
Absolutely, absolutely. Yes.

Will (27:28.545)
Yeah, I totally agree.

Gregg Morris (27:29.434)
As someone from New Zealand who sees the treaty being operated and there should be a partnership that actually should be at least partly equal in equity, even though I know it doesn't play out like that all the time, but at least the framework is there, what they were asking was very low bar. So there's a part of me that was going, no, we should actually ask for more. But having said that, learned that we need to listen to people who know the place. That to me is just a basic community development.

kind of community building principle is just listen to the locals about what's going on and how they've been treated and how we can look after the place. Hearing the, you know, the Hillary statement of the heart, then that's what they were asking for. I said yes. But there's a big part of me that went, no, hang on, we're not asking enough. And it's very low bar. But it gets muddied. Yeah.

Will (28:00.65)
Sure. Yep, yep.

Will (28:07.817)

Will (28:11.719)

Will (28:18.399)

Yeah, totally. The ref the reflection, the reflection that it is, uh, the comp, the issue is with white Australia is a really interesting one because in some ways, um, even talking about this on the podcast, I'm, I'm aware of the potential criticism of people going, well, you're not a first nations people. Why, why are you talking about it? When actually, um, yeah, a mate of mine, um, he, he did tell me he's like, I'm, I'm not even entering that conversation because that's your conversation to have.

Gregg Morris (28:31.283)

Gregg Morris (28:41.916)

Will (28:50.495)
That's, that's up to you. That's up to you fellas now. Um, and it makes me think about, uh, conversations about gendered violence. Right. There was somebody gave a Ted talk where they're like, this is always talked about as a women's issue, but no, it's not, it's a men's issue. Cause men are the perpetrators. And so in some ways the result of the 60, 40 no yes thing, it's like, um, first nations people, they will continue to do the work that they need to do because that's, that's just what they do.

Gregg Morris (28:52.687)
Yeah, that's right.

Gregg Morris (29:01.162)
Yeah, that's right. Yep.

Gregg Morris (29:14.946)

Will (29:18.283)
But actually it reveals the work that people like me need to do. Um, which is just as much, it's so pressing that, um, for, for white Australia, if the conversation has been brought to the, to the surface that we don't just go, Oh, no vote. Okay. Let it, let it bubble back down and we carry on in the same way that, um, conversations about gendered violence require men to step up and we need to change our language around this is just a women's issue.

Gregg Morris (29:37.07)
Hmm, yep.

Gregg Morris (29:46.998)
Yep, that's right.

Will (29:48.207)
I'm really, yeah, I feel personally convicted about, um, obviously my own journey of needing to continue to learn culturally, but then also being someone who, um, advocates more and more for people like me to listen, to learn, to engage again in understanding that larger cultural tale, because the problem is, and one thing that's really frustrated me, Greg, and I'm sure you would share this frustration is that people talk about 200 years, like, like Australia is settled.

Gregg Morris (29:56.406)

Gregg Morris (30:06.442)
That's right, absolutely.

Gregg Morris (30:17.322)
Yeah, that's right. Yeah, yeah.

Will (30:17.615)
Like it's been ages when it's like, it is literally, it is such a short time in terms of a, a cultural understanding of history. Um, do you want to share a bit more about some of your frameworks for helping people to do that work of, of zooming the lens out, like talk to us a bit more about understanding our cultural tale.

Gregg Morris (30:23.267)

Gregg Morris (30:26.878)

Gregg Morris (30:34.166)

Gregg Morris (30:38.134)
Yeah, yeah, sure. So it's actually the idea of the cultural tale, I have to refer to a mentor of mine, Dr. Martin Brokenleg, who's a Native American elder and chief, Lakota people. So anyone seen Dancer with the Walls, if you've ever seen that film, then that's his land, that's his people. And I heard him once say that we all drag a cultural tale a thousand years long. Now, tail is T-A-L-E.

Will (30:58.273)

Gregg Morris (31:08.29)
So the story, what are the cultural stories that we drag or carry with us? And he specifically says that when it says dragging, it's not just the past. So he thinks about in seven generations back and seven generations forward. So when we think about our cultural stories or our stories that actually, and traditions and behaviors and ceremonies, all those sorts of things, we consider how the last seven generations may have done that.

and how that can inform us today in the present, and then how we can pass that on to the seven generations into the future. How can they benefit from our time of conscientization in the now, okay? So seven generations to the now, to the seven generations in the future. Wouldn't it be great if our governments thought like that? Yeah.

Will (31:46.366)

Will (31:57.628)
So just hearing that, you immediately think, oh man, what a beautifully expansive way of viewing the world. I really wish more people did that.

Gregg Morris (32:04.358)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And actually, you realize lots of other cultures do that. So I've actually got it tattooed on my arm. I'm so silly, I need to have it tattooed. But you'll see a line going in, and you'll see where it changes direction. So that's the line going as past, where it pivots is the future, is now, is the present, and then where it changes direction is actually the future. So that's a Polynesian idea. It's called Tacharangi from Māori. And that's a Polynesian idea, but I just gave you a Native American idea. Isn't that interesting?

Will (32:09.724)

Will (32:15.767)
it won't change its direction. So that's the line going.

Will (32:21.663)

Will (32:25.471)

Will (32:34.807)

Gregg Morris (32:35.122)
cultures way apart have a similar kind of reality or truth. And so in some cultures, the idea of engaging with your stories or your culture or your genealogy, if you want to use another term, there's already frameworks and methodologies in place, and I've just given you one. So if you go to Polynesia, particularly Māori communities, they can do that. They can beautifully orotate their, you know, their whakapapa as they call it, their genealogy. And in Samo we do the same.

Will (32:38.415)

Will (32:51.04)

Gregg Morris (33:03.938)
But I found that on that's on my mother's side, but on my father's side, we never really had anything Like a methodology or a framework or a way of making sense of our stories that passed into the future and so So I didn't want people to co-opt or appropriate other cultures ways of doing that maybe there's a way and so that's I Couldn't find any kind of clear ways that mainstream culture

Will (33:10.715)
A methodology or a framework or a way of making sense of our story is a path.

Gregg Morris (33:32.714)
or cultures that are colonized, cultures actually have a way of engaging with those stories. So that's why I came up with what I call the cultural framework, cultural tale framework. And it's quite simple actually, well, there's four elements to it. I kind of introduced myself through it. So one is through your blood. And ancestry.com is a really good way of doing that. So literally figuring out where your families come from, at least some of it that you can unpick.

Will (33:37.727)

Gregg Morris (34:03.198)
But what I ask people to do is a bit beyond that is not just go who are the people that got on boats to come here or flew on planes to get here, but actually what were the historical and geopolitical economic issues that were going on when your great-parents came or great-grandparents from wherever they came from, you know It's not just they you know These individuals that made their individual choices to come here or actually didn't have choices to come here or come to that in a moment It's also why what was happening in the in the globe at the time?

Will (34:29.271)
So why? What was happening? Mm.

Gregg Morris (34:32.902)
So my grandfather came out from Scotland early 1900s. And there was a bunch of economic issues that were going on in Scotland and in Britain that he wanted to get away from. So there's these stories. So it's not just like someone gets on a boat, you wanna know those things, right? So it's blood, okay? So investigate that, find out what the values. And so what it did for me, I never, never...

Will (34:47.4)
So it's not just like coming in and out. You want to know who that is. So it's like.

Gregg Morris (34:59.762)
once I started engaging with that world, I never really understood that, you know, Scotland was a part of a much deeper, longer culture, which is Celtic, you know, or Pict, which is 15,000 years old, you know, which is actually older than my Samoan culture, which is only sort of 3000 years old. So, you know what I mean? So I started looking into that and thinking, wow, what are the kind of mythologies and stories that actually, and values that came from that? And you realize there's also Celtic Christianity.

Will (35:08.991)
Mmm. Wow.

Will (35:14.869)

Will (35:28.009)

Gregg Morris (35:28.67)
through Iona and those places. So I went back far enough and found that I had some connections to all that, because that's the land that my grandfather came from. So that's a story, you know, and I actually enriched, I realized that my Scottish side of me had a very similar collective clan idea than my Samoan side. My mother's side, we were very collective, we're a village, and if you know anything about Polynesian people, we're incredibly collective people.

Will (35:41.173)

Gregg Morris (35:56.594)
I actually found on both sides of my mom and dad that actually we had a similar cultural story, this idea of the collective identity. And that enriched my identity, right? The other one was birth. So the idea of when and where and how I was born. So again, I was born in 1969. My parents were born in the 30s, not the same era. My dad grew up listening to Frank Sinatra and watching movies from the 50s. And I grew up with U2 and Star Wars.

Will (35:58.413)

Will (36:01.673)

Gregg Morris (36:25.142)
They're not the same stories and not the same narratives. So I have to take those into account, you know what I'm saying? And then all the values that came out of that. And then also how I was born. I was born a male. I was born with what some people call the disability of dyslexia and ADHD. So I was born with that. That comes, that actually then influences my story. Does that make sense? So all those things. So go away and investigate all those. And then the other, so that's two of them, blood and birth.

Will (36:29.947)

Will (36:47.456)
Mm, yep.

Will (36:53.806)
and then the other side. So that's sort of a model there. What simple ideas are there? If you actually lean into it, they can take you. So that's kind of the idea.

Gregg Morris (36:55.022)
Quite simple ideas, eh? But if you actually lean into them, they can take you on quite interesting pathways. So exactly, that's right, yeah. And then the last two, the next one is choice. So, and I'm not talking about New Zealand choice. No, New Zealand joke, that one. Choice is the idea of... All right, there you go. Shout out to you guys. Kapai. So choice.

Will (37:02.523)
Mm, doorways, yeah.

Will (37:17.571)
We've got a small number of listeners in New Zealand, so shout out to you guys.

Gregg Morris (37:23.946)
The idea of how you engage with your blood and birth, what are you gonna do about those stories? Are you going to lean into those and take on some of those values or am I got to a stage where now I'm outgrowing that or so forth? That's the present moment. Remember I talked to you about the moment in now? Choice is then, it's kind of going, what am I gonna do with these stories and these ceremonies, these traditions? Changing your faith tradition from me being Catholic to not.

Will (37:41.649)

Gregg Morris (37:52.866)
That's a choice that I made, but that leads me, and the choices will be like your vocation, lifestyle, how you bring up your children, what you do with your ceremonies, all those kinds of things, all right? But that then, the fourth one then is chosen, Will, and that's the narratives and stories that are chosen for your blood and your birth. So for example, I didn't have any choice, actually, being a Catholic.

Because mom and dad took me to a Catholic Church. I didn't have any choice in that. But actually if I go back further to my Samoan side, the missionaries often in the Pacific, instead of having a, I don't know, a religious war, they just carved up the coastline and said Catholics had that, Methodists had that, Congregationalists had that, and Presbyterians and da-da-da. And so my village, that my grandmother and great-grandmother grew up in, were Catholic. That's how I became a Catholic.

Will (38:25.801)

Gregg Morris (38:50.486)
So that's not a story I chose. That's a story that, you know. And one of the reasons why my mother didn't pass on the Samoan language to me was because she thought, one, two things, one, that it wasn't worth anything. She literally said to me one day, "'It will be useless to you, Greg.'" Now just think about that for a moment, the word useless. That's a diminishment. Yeah, that's I feel less than.

Will (38:52.607)

Will (39:06.641)

Will (39:10.279)

Will (39:15.015)
Mm. Yep.

Gregg Morris (39:16.842)
So I'm not gonna, and then she said, I did it to protect you. Now think about that for a moment. Why is a language and a culture dangerous in New Zealand in the 1970s and 80s? And that's because she experienced racism for most of her life, even in Samoa, but also in New Zealand. So, you know what I mean? So it makes rational sense, doesn't it? So for her to wake up and say, my culture is diminished, I mean, who would do that?

Will (39:23.78)
Why is a language in a country dangerous?

Will (39:31.563)

Will (39:36.984)

Gregg Morris (39:44.086)
I mean, just pause for a moment, and you listeners, why would you wake up thinking you're less than unless somehow there's a chosen narrative to say that you are? Maybe I'm just a little bit naive, a little bit optimistic, but I just don't think people do that unless there's some narrative or story that actually you have unconsciously, and then with my mother, consciously made a choice to make sure my sons don't grow up like me. Which when I think about that,

Will (39:52.699)
Hmm. Nah, I think you're right. Yeah.

Will (40:03.719)
you unconsciously and then with my mother consciously make this.

Gregg Morris (40:13.694)
I'm actually, that makes me very emotional and very sad and at times angry that my beautiful mother who was so protective of us, the way to protect us was to deny us of something that was beautiful to her. I mean, just think about that, okay? Yeah, totally. So now I know that story, that there's some commonalities with a bunch of other stories, yeah? That is not even about race or ethnicity. It's about other things.

Will (40:17.447)
Yeah, yeah.

Will (40:24.331)

Will (40:29.623)
It's heartbreaking. Yeah.

Gregg Morris (40:42.178)
So just quickly, my grandfather on my father's side, to marry my grandmother who was Catholic, he had to give up his Presbyterian faith to become, to marry my Catholic grandmother. Yes, I mean, there's a, you know what I'm saying? Like, so Catholic, there was a whole sectarian fight going on there, there's diminishment going on in all sorts of different areas in people's lives. So to examine the chosen stories is just as important as.

Will (40:56.467)

Will (41:02.644)
Mm. Yep.

Gregg Morris (41:12.202)
your ability to choose how you engage with and celebrate your blood and your birth. So for example, I've just given you a bunch of history about Australia that because I lent into chosen stories, I've done the research on people like King O'Malley and Charles Pearson and the white Australia policy and the doctrine of discovery, because that was a chosen narrative that someone had on a boat. And when they came to another country, decide I'm going to discover this place and conquer it.

Will (41:21.332)

Will (41:30.315)

Gregg Morris (41:41.994)
someone had this document. And it was me engaging with what I call my cultural tale that took me down that path and opened it up. There's a great little quote from Carl Jung, then he went into Jungian psychology on this place. We may have heard this quote before. It sort of says, if you don't make the unconscious conscious, life will happen to you and you'll just call it fate. And I don't know about you, I don't want life just to happen to me.

Will (41:45.273)
engaging with what I call a public meeting. That's what we're about.

Gregg Morris (42:11.262)
I don't want this to say those really bad chosen narratives and trauma that comes with that is just fate. That's not actually changing the direction. That's not changing this. That wouldn't just be a line. It just goes straight. So in my culture, it literally demands us to investigate and interrogate this story and to change it if we need to. It's a demand of our culture to do that.

Will (42:24.343)
that's gonna be a lot.

Will (42:36.32)

Gregg Morris (42:41.046)
So then how do I help others to do that? And that's a framework that I've tried to do. Blood, birth, choice, and chosen. Just use those titles and see where it takes you.

Will (42:50.303)
I love it. I love, I love it because, um, I feel like there's often, this is a bit of an oversimplification, but often in terms of, uh, people on the conservative end of the spectrum and then people on the progressive end, the conservatives only see choice, they only see you in this moment with all your libertarian free will and the progressives at their worst only see, um, blood birth and chosen.

Gregg Morris (43:08.15)

Gregg Morris (43:12.226)
You got it.

Gregg Morris (43:16.886)
Yep. Yeah, that's right.

Will (43:18.843)
And they only see the systems and the things that you don't have any, any control over, and I think there is harmony and, uh, and wholeness to be found in saying, absolutely, these are all factors, these chosen factors for me. Uh, but they do not diminish my ability in this moment, um, to exercise the will and the Liberty that I do have. Um, and as we do that, we carve open more of it. Um, but such a good system.

Greg for, for understanding the complexity of our past as well as the opportunities and possibilities of our, of our present.

Gregg Morris (43:48.278)

Gregg Morris (43:55.79)
That's right. Yeah, well, I call myself a cultural responsive practitioner and educator, and I use the word response. It's deliberate, because what with, as you would know this, well, response actually, as opposed to reaction, actually slows you down. When you think of the word responsibility, break it down, response, the ability to respond, just turn it around that way, that actually responsibility is the ability to respond. That's really what that word means. And so what I love about this is cultural responsiveness.

Will (44:10.124)

Will (44:17.344)

Gregg Morris (44:25.394)
is this idea to slow down and investigate and interrogate your own story before you start making judgments and engaging with the other story. That's actually what responsiveness does. And what I saw happen as a practitioner on the weekend was a bunch of cultural reaction. And reaction drives our amygdala. And I'm not saying that that's wrong because actually when a lion comes in here, you want to react like that. That's your danger thing. Get out of the room.

Will (44:42.111)

Will (44:46.516)

Will (44:51.743)
Yeah No

Gregg Morris (44:53.206)
But I'm not sure whether there's that much danger in saying yes, do you know what I mean? There's a perceived idea, you know, and that's where I think there's a conversation that can't be had because there's not a particular nuance or maturity around this particular issue. And it starts with our own interrogation, our own investigation of the stories that actually have influenced us. And stories, remember, I just need to say this, it's not just like a nice little.

Will (45:09.472)

Will (45:17.583)

Gregg Morris (45:21.534)
lyric or something you hear from your grandparents. When Uncle Martin talks about tales, he talks about systems. He talks about the values, beliefs, the way we organize ourselves to bring up children or to do economics. And that's what we mean by tales or stories. We're not just kind of little things that you write down as patitudes. When we think about interrogating our tales, it's the whole system, historically, politically, economically, religiously or spiritually.

Will (45:45.267)

Gregg Morris (45:51.77)
we need to take into consideration. It's big work, it's hard work, but if we really want to care for people, love people, then we have to do that work. The word love, yeah, absolutely.

Will (45:55.768)

Will (46:07.551)
And responsibility is a good word for it. And it strikes me that what we have seen is actually, um, the irresponsibility of creating false lions to activate people's amygdala's that actually, um, yeah, that's the opposite of responsibility.

Gregg Morris (46:18.582)
Yep. Yep, that's right.

Gregg Morris (46:25.09)
Yeah, absolutely. That's a reaction. And we know that reaction in a situation that doesn't need that is not helpful. It doesn't get us anywhere. So yeah, that would be my observation of really what's going on. And I feel a good interrogation and investigation of your own stories, your own systems that you grew up in and then, and look at that as a zoom out.

Will (46:38.951)

Will (46:50.805)

Gregg Morris (46:51.266)
that actually zooms in. Because for me, a takara is what it does. There's a zoom in to you and then a zoom out. That's really what that does. And to me, culture and the idea of having a cultural story is the zooming, or cultural intelligence, actually. That's probably a better term I like to use. Cultural intelligence is the ability to zoom in and out, to actually say that these narratives, these stories, actually do have an influence. So we look at the Doctrine of Discovery 1493, and everyone go, well, that's irrelevant. That happened 500 years ago. Well.

Will (46:56.887)

Will (47:10.135)

Gregg Morris (47:20.99)
And I've just done some links there. You know, the terra nullius means, you know, civilization, you're less than. My mother literally thought her culture was less than. So you're trying to tell me there's not a direct link from my mother's narrative to the narrative of the Doctrine of Discovery of 1493. I don't mind someone challenging me on that, but please come and challenge me because I know personally what that means. And soon as I saw that link, I had more compassion from my mother.

Will (47:42.962)

Gregg Morris (47:51.222)
much more compassion for my mother and understanding of her and others because I could see that like and that's the cultural tower work and that's what it can do. It leads to more compassion personally. Yeah, not this anchoring down. Yeah, and the tension. Yeah.

Will (47:57.341)

Will (48:00.775)
Yeah. At least the more professional. Yeah.

Will (48:08.079)
And it's work for everyone. Like the thing that I, I often feel like, um, yeah, I mean, it's this whole, you know, you'd, you'd encounter this Greg, like some people feel like they have culture and some people don't, uh, total lie, but actually like the, the work I may not have, uh, 60,000 years of, um, cultural heritage on these lands, but I, I sure need to do the work of understanding and the gift of, um, you know, it's that whole idea that whiteness is a, is a concept that robs everybody.

Gregg Morris (48:18.102)
Don't, yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Gregg Morris (48:25.125)

Gregg Morris (48:28.458)
No, yeah.

Will (48:38.003)
Um, because it's like, well, how many different, how many different cultures is that sweeping up and painting over and diminishing, um, as, as you say so. Yeah.

Gregg Morris (48:39.563)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, you know, I think that interrogation is what is needed at the heart of what has gone on over the weekend, I think. We just have a dialogue and a discourse and a conversation around this particular issue, culture, race, whatever you wanna call it. It's very immature here. It just doesn't know how to talk about these issues.

Will (48:54.551)

Will (49:08.34)

Gregg Morris (49:11.934)
Whereas, like I said, in other issues, I feel like there's a better nuanced argument. There seems to be more of a curiosity to want to know more about that. Whereas for some reason, this particular issue, there's just not the same kind of energy, motivation. And that's probably what upsets me a little bit the most, or is a lack of energy to do that and motivation. Whereas I see in other issues, there seems to be much more. Now,

Will (49:41.047)
Thanks for watching!

Gregg Morris (49:41.282)
Please don't get me compared. I'm not saying that's right or that's wrong. No, you shouldn't. I'm just trying to point out a reality here that I'm observing. And yeah, so we need to have, as some people will say, we need more trauma-informed communities. You've probably come across that. Well, we need more culturally-informed communities who can actually have these conversations and have them well. And they're out there. But those models are out there. And you've had people on here who can have those conversations.

Will (49:45.264)

Gregg Morris (50:10.698)
I know you've had Larissa on here and Priyanka, people like that. But there's people like Mark Edica Poulsen, who's a really good friend of mine, Bunjolung Man from up in Queensland, who's got fantastic frameworks around this stuff on how we do those dialogues with each other. But they're not at the forefront. And all the names I just gave you were actually Christian too, by the way. So, one of the groups I find that's not engaging with this probably worse than others is the church.

Will (50:10.945)

Will (50:14.247)

Will (50:18.489)

Will (50:21.535)

Will (50:37.959)
Yeah, oh, 100%.

Gregg Morris (50:39.354)
The work that I was doing with Mahana, we were doing so much work with government, even with corporates and multinationals, the church was never banging the door for us. And that saddened me, that Christians and churches weren't doing this kind of interrogation, this ability to try and investigate your own story so that when we come to collaborate and cooperate, we are actually doing that with knowing and being aware of what we bring in the room, good and bad.

Will (50:48.128)
Mm. Yeah.

Will (51:06.455)
Hmm. Yes. Well, I think that partly, that partly touches on, um, the one other thing I was wanting to talk to you a bit about Greg, which is you found yourself, um, in, in a kind of Christianity that is deeply rooted in the contemplative. And, um, that has the space, uh, to, and the maturity, um, to be able to engage in some of those more uncomfortable.

Gregg Morris (51:08.555)

Gregg Morris (51:23.961)
Mm. Yep.

Gregg Morris (51:30.274)

Will (51:34.647)
Um, areas of responsibility. I think there's a direct link in terms of you leaning into the kind of work that you have culturally and the spiritual grounding of, of contemplative practice. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel like those things are probably related. And that, that ties in with this, uh, chosen and choice, you know, like you said, uh, Catholic is a chosen, chosen story for you.

Gregg Morris (51:36.318)
Yeah. Yep.

Gregg Morris (51:42.042)

Gregg Morris (51:46.795)

Gregg Morris (51:52.79)
Yeah. Yep.

Gregg Morris (51:57.596)

Will (51:58.175)
Um, but the kind of the form that your Christian expression takes today, I'm sure it has a lot of choice, including what it leaves behind. Do you want to share a little bit about the contemplative and how that is an example of the outworking of your navigating choice and chosen?

Gregg Morris (52:17.259)
Yeah, sure. I think actually they are quite deeply linked in my interrogation and investigation into my story. Where you choose to say this is going to be a foundation, I suppose, that you bounce off, something that you are resilient. I don't have resilience as to bounce back. Whenever I think about bouncing back, what are you bouncing off? What is that foundation?

Will (52:38.359)

Gregg Morris (52:43.722)
And I've given you a bunch there from like heritage, but yeah, the as in terms of faith, which are ones of those, the contemplative particularly, it seems to have many examples of being able to hold giving the example I just gave of choice and chosen, they're able to hold the dichotomy, the antithesis of each other. And often chosen narrative, we use that again.

Chosen narratives are often narratives that cause pain and diminishment. And in the contemplative tradition, the dark night of the soul, you probably heard that term from St. John, I think St. John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila, a lot of those kind of contemplative thinkers and writers and practitioners had no problems leaning into our shadow, leaning into the stories that were particularly hard.

And had no problems going into what is the trauma of the day? You can't tell me that, you know, Francis of Assisi did not have trauma in his life. I mean, if you know his story, he was a soldier. You know, he participated in stuff that was not great. So, and he had no problems leaning into those kinds of areas. So, when you lean into your choice and chosen stories, then you've got to have a, I don't know, some sort of foundation, something that allows you to say this is okay.

Will (53:47.415)
Thanks for watching!

Gregg Morris (54:06.062)
this, you know, you're not going to die in this. What is your learning in this? And then leaning into more contemporary thinkers around trauma, like Gabor Matei, who I think I've introduced you, you may have heard of, he has this beautiful term, the wisdom of trauma. And when I hear the wisdom of trauma, I hear contemplative dark night of the soul. What is the wisdom that comes out of the pain that unfortunately you've had to go through? I'm not saying because it's wisdom, you need to go through pain, but pain happens, yeah?

Will (54:08.759)

Will (54:17.256)

Will (54:29.363)

Gregg Morris (54:35.326)
So how do we bounce out of that? How do we find sense of that? And so I love that term of wisdom, the wisdom of trauma or the dark night of the soul. The contemplative tradition tends to give you permission to do that. Whereas I find in other traditions, it's a little bit like, oh, we need to show the light all the time, okay? Now, the contemplative is not all about that. It's also about, you know, that Jesus, the life of Jesus particularly, the light of Jesus in his life.

Will (54:37.726)

Will (54:48.244)

Gregg Morris (55:02.558)
is actually one of the things we can lean into as well as we lean into the shadow. That's very much taught in the contemplative tradition. And if people haven't heard that, they haven't been taught it properly, because actually there's light and shadow very much equally in that idea. But we're hoping to bounce out of that so that it's life-giving and not life-denying when we go through that dark night of the soul or what I call the wisdom of trauma. So the contemplative tradition tends to have...

Will (55:11.417)

Will (55:18.897)

Gregg Morris (55:32.982)
what at its least permission to say it's okay, that this is actually shit. What we went through was awful. Just quickly, I've been through cancer. I'm a cancer survivor. 15 years ago I had bowel cancer as a 32 year old. I mean, that's ridiculous. My wife has just come through breast cancer only five years ago. So that's, you're talking about dark night of the soul. Both of us have actually had to face our mortality. Has it stopped us believing in Jesus? No, not all. If anything, the cantemplative...

Will (55:38.031)

Will (55:43.933)
Mm. Wow.

Will (55:50.879)

Will (55:55.85)

Will (56:00.923)
anything because they would have been the ones that said, oh wow, Jesus was their friend. He was writing the book about. Yep. Well, Jesus was their friend at that time. So, he was a great assistant commissioner.

Gregg Morris (56:01.826)
tradition actually said, oh wow, Jesus was there too. He was right in the midst of all that. Or, you know, Jesus was in the midst of that. So the contemplative for me gives me permission, if anything, to say, okay, that story had some meaning or sense to it, and that at its best. The other one, I want to link to back to the Doctrine of Discovery for a moment, actually, because...

Will (56:28.983)

Gregg Morris (56:30.062)
At the time of the Doctrine and Discovery actually being written, the contemplatives and the Christian mystics of the day were the ones that were opposite, who opposed it. There was actually an opposition to these documents and to colonization. And the particular tradition within the Christian church in the West, in Europe, was the contemplatives. They were the ones that said this is wrong. And a lot of that is because if you look at people like Francis, Hildegard of Brennan,

Will (56:39.891)

Will (56:52.907)

Gregg Morris (56:57.834)
Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila, by the way, they're all women by the way, most of those, I just have to say that. There's a lot of women thinkers and writers within the contemplative tradition. But anyway, which is interesting. But if you look at their theologies, there was no separation between me and the earth and the animals. So look at Saint Francis, often seen as the saint of animals, and I would actually say paternalistic and patronized actually by having them just sort of pat a deer.

Will (57:21.735)

Gregg Morris (57:27.638)
Or have a dove on his. But that's not how he saw it. He literally preached to the fish because he saw them as him. They weren't to be converted. They weren't less than him. They were him. And if you know that theology. So I just say this, Will. What if St. Francis got off the boats and started talking to indigenous people all around the world? And when indigenous Australians are going, oh yeah, the planet and me, I got that. And St. Francis, I got that. Would that dialogue be slightly different?

Will (57:28.183)
Mm. So that's not how he saw it. He looked at his things to be a fish because he saw them as him. Mm. They weren't.

Will (57:46.523)
We would. Yeah. So different. Yeah.

Gregg Morris (57:56.082)
Exactly. That's what I'm trying to get at. But they didn't. Unfortunately, they weren't the ones that got on the boats and went off and conquist the doors. What I'm trying to point to is that the contemplative tradition is actually very close to most indigenous ideas of well-being. It's very similar. So if you want. Bingo. Absolutely. That's right. Absolutely correct.

Will (58:09.483)
Hmm. Well, that non-jewelism seems to be woven through, through all of them.

Will (58:20.443)
And an ability to think about time differently. That's a big thing. I feel that, um, you know, time being cyclical, um, that all what you're talking about before we look at the future and the past as kind of interwoven in the same story, you know, uh, a centering prayer practice in a sense is about moving out of our, um, time on the clock and into that deeper sense of, um, what is, what is transcendent beyond this exact moment.

Gregg Morris (58:24.516)

Gregg Morris (58:40.842)
Yep. Yes.

Gregg Morris (58:46.206)
Yeah, yeah, and connection to all things, which again, you know, when I think about my mum's side of the idea of connection to the ocean and to the world, there's so many similarities, it just makes sense. So, so Uncle Martin Brokeley, who I gave you the example, he's an Anglican priest who's actually a contemplative. And when I spoke to him about that, he said there are so many similarities between that contemplative tradition from the West.

Will (58:53.793)

Gregg Morris (59:13.19)
and his contemplative Native American, which is 8,000 years old. He just saw an easy marriage. And yeah. So, so in some ways it felt like a natural leaning, because as you say, there's a whole lot of synergies that go on. And, and, you know, the idea of life force in all things, you know, my story is that, you know, I see Jesus or the Christ in those things.

Will (59:13.741)

Will (59:18.813)

Gregg Morris (59:41.522)
and other cultures have another name for it. So the contemplative tradition was something I was introduced to very young in the Catholic tradition. But then came, has come back to it as I've got older. But we need to think about contemplative not just as like let's do some quiet time and slow our time, you know, contemplative tradition or the mystic tradition also has a politics and it has an economy.

Will (59:52.611)

Will (01:00:08.1)
Mm. Yep.

Gregg Morris (01:00:09.822)
And it has a way of how we share our story outside the idea of mission or missiology, which is very different to other traditions. So it's not just how we center ourselves and keep quiet and breathe nicely and be mindful, which is important. There's actually a whole lot of other ways of living that are political, economic, sociological that come with that way of living. And they seem to be much more open.

Will (01:00:25.311)

Gregg Morris (01:00:39.118)
and accepting a bunch of different ways of doing that. But also very still important that Christ is at the center of that. So there is no giving up of, you know, like the binary idea, you know, if I have this, then I've got to give that up to be that. That's not at the core of the contemplative tradition. I can't speak of the other traditions as well. People can come on and talk about that, but I know this one better. And that's that I am able to hold all those stories that I just gave you.

Will (01:00:46.571)

Will (01:00:50.741)

Will (01:00:57.768)

Gregg Morris (01:01:08.99)
well within that spiritual contemplative tradition.

Will (01:01:14.631)
I think it's beautiful, Greg. And I honor the work that you've done to be able to speak from a deep place of integration and, um, I'm conscious of your time and, um, yeah, wanting to, uh, release you back into your life. Um, but thank you so much for, for the, the wisdom, the knowledge, the story, um, that you've shared today, both, both at a kind of systems and frameworks level, but also you've shared.

personally, and that is always a gift that I honor deeply honor when people share of their personal story, their personal pain, their personal trauma, um, their dark nights of the soul. Um, it's all so valuable and rich. And when we understand that we're interconnected, but we hear, we hear our own story and other people's unique and nuanced stories, I think that's such a, a beautiful way of seeing Christ among us. So, um, what, what would be Greg, your final words, final kind of phrase or sentences?

Gregg Morris (01:01:45.688)
Mm, yep.

Gregg Morris (01:02:02.218)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Will (01:02:10.931)
that you would want to leave the listeners of this conversation with.

Gregg Morris (01:02:14.47)
Oh, be courageous, I think, particularly coming out of this week. I mean, I'm probably assuming a lot of the people who are listening to this have had a rough week around this issue, around this, you know, last few months. You know, stay steadfast, stay courageous, but in that courage, be okay to lean into the difficult.

dark shadows that this has brought up because it has. I just have to say I've felt quite disturbed and actually slightly unsafe being someone from another place coming to this place out of the weekend and I'm sure there's lots of others who feel the same a bit. So for me it's about being courageous to lean into that narrative and just see what the next chapter or stage for this country is because for me this is a biggie.

Will (01:02:52.119)
Thanks for watching!

Gregg Morris (01:03:12.89)
This is one of the bigger narratives or stories that people in this country who are mainly visitors and talking mainly to them or to us need to lean into and examine and be courageous to lean into those stories that we carry unconsciously most of the time. Like I said, to make unconscious stories conscious, we need to be brave. And that's probably what I would leave. Just be courageous. And also, no, you're not alone. I'm here.

Will (01:03:22.344)

Will (01:03:30.528)

Will (01:03:38.117)

Gregg Morris (01:03:40.19)
I live in Ascot Vale, I'm not far from some people. More than happy to have that, be that courageous with people. That's probably my last thought, thanks Will.

Will (01:03:43.728)

Will (01:03:48.747)
Amazing. Loved every word you said, Greg. Thanks so much.