Dr. Charles T. Tart on June 21st, 2009

Yesterday was the graduation ceremony of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP), where I teach part time in my semi-retirement. It was very inspiring to see dozen of students receiving their PhD degrees, ready to go out into the world and marry the best of psychology with a sincere appreciation of our spiritual potentials.

ITP also awarded honorary doctorates to Michael and Justine Toms, the founders of New Dimensions Radio. For more than 30 years, this radio program, carried all over the world, has featured thought provoking interviews with all the luminaries of transpersonal psychology plus many other outstanding spiritual and philosophical figures, such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

What amazed and somewhat saddened me was that when I introduced Michael and Justine, old friends of mine, I asked the audience how many had listened to any New Dimensions radio programs — and only a few hands went up. I had expected almost everybody. I told them they had really been missing something if they hadn’t listened.

Afterwards my wife Judy reminded me that the audience was almost exclusively the parents of our ITP students, come to watch them graduate, and it’s not surprising that the parents didn’t know about this major source of information on the transpersonal. That’s obvious in retrospect, but didn’t occur to me at the time.

This is probably just common human psychology, but each generation does tend to think of its parents as pretty square. I remember reading that surveys showed that college students enormously underestimated the number of times their parents had engaged in sex. Had to be one for each child, of course, but certainly not much more than that. Same thing for spirituality, I suppose, what did our parents know?

If you have never listened to any New Dimensions programs, though, this is your heads up! Check out their website (www.newdimensions.org), where you can listen to current programs, download past programs, etc. They do charge for downloads of past programs, but don’t resent that. They is entirely a private, charitable enterprise with no rich angels, so they need listener support!

New Dimensions is not your usual shallow talk radio kind of show. I’ve been interviewed on those kinds of shows, where the host hasn’t really read the book but is just a glib talker who hopes to goad you into something controversial to spark up dull listeners in between the commercials. It’s hard to get in useful thoughts in those kind of interviews. When Michael Toms interviews people on New Dimensions, though, there’s something magic about the way he draws out the interviewee’s deeper knowledge and wisdom. I’ve been interviewed several times over the years and after each interview go away thinking something like “Gosh! Did I say those things? They sound so wise! Where did they come from?”

New Dimensions, always a great listen, whether by download, satellite, or your local FM station.

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