Bruce Bond

Bruce Bond

Bruce Bond

Bruce Bond is the author of thirty-three books including Liberation of Dissonance (Schaffner Award for Literature in Music, Schaffner, 2022), and Invention of the Wilderness (LSU, 2023). Other honors include the Crab Orchard Book Prize, the Elixir Press Poetry Award, the Tampa Review Book Prize, the Lynda Hull Award, two TIL Best Book of Poetry awards, fellowships from the NEA and the Texas Institute for the Arts, and seven appearances in Best American Poetry. He teaches as a Regents Emeritus Professor of English at the University of North Texas and performs jazz and classical guitar in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.


“Unfinished Aspect of the Self,” an Interview with Dan Beachy-Quick and Bruce Bond

This interview was conducted via Zoom by Interview Editor Carolyn Combs. Of the process she said, “It has been such a joy to work with these wonderful authors. Both reading then discussing Therapon has opened up new ideas of thought for me on therapy, philosophy, and the utility of language. This interview grants a lot of insight into Therapon that I believe readers will enjoy.” In this interview Dan Beachy-Quick and Bruce Bond discuss using the philosopher Levinas as an inspiration, their collaborative process, and the philosophical concepts of the self and otherness.  


Superstition Review: Welcome everyone. My name is Carolyn Combs. I'm one of the current interview editors here at Superstition Review, and today I will be interviewing both Dan Beachy-Quick and Bruce Bond on their collaboration of the poetry collection Therapon. So Therapon I really love. It is a wonderful collection of poems between these two authors, which sort of delves into the various etymology of the word Therapon, as well as the ethical meanings like spiritual longing.

I will introduce our authors here. We have Dan Beachy-Quick who is an award-winning poet, essayist, critic, and translator. He is also the author of many poetry collections, and a professor at Colorado State University, where he is a distinguished teaching scholar. He's also been awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for creative Arts.

And then we also have Bruce Bond. He is an award-winning poet and classical jazz guitarist. He has written more than 30 books and been a professional musician for 40 years at the same time, which is really impressive, and his work has been numerous journals and anthologies including seven editions of Best American Poetry. And he also teaches English at University of North Texas.

So, let's get right into it. In the introduction the word Therapon is described etymologically as meaning “chamber” in ancient Greek, and also refers to a person whose role is an attendant, slave, or someone willing to sacrifice everything for a deity or human master. I just love how many of the poems delve into the different meanings of this word. What were some of the things you hoped to elicit in readers by exploring this word specifically?  


Bruce Bond: The word came up midstream where Dan was saying something in an email about how this process reminded him of the etymology of the word therapy and I latched on to that. I thought that was terrific. So I said, why don't we call the book that? So, as often happens when you write a book, things emerge midway, and then you start writing toward that concept. We started out with Levinas right? That was our common love and interest. And we thought we might hover around that as a recurring motif. Once you get into the immediacy and the details of poems, sometimes we're allowing all kinds of chaos and stuff we didn't intend; it doesn't necessarily directly pertain. But just the structure of the book, as a dialogue, felt very Levinas-like in spirit.  


Dan Beachy-Quick: Picking up on what Bruce is saying, which is very much my memory, too; that the initial instinct was to create a collaboration around a mutual love of the ethical philosopher Emmanuel Levinas who has meant a lot to both of us over the years. A book of his early on changed and clarified what poetry was for me--the ethical way of being in the world, even as one is in love with the world--that I wanted to practice as my lyric effort on the page.

A large part of that draw to Levinas is this relationship between the one who says "I" and the one who is called "you," and this superceding moral responsibility of the self to the other; the face of the other, behind which there's a sense of infinite complexity and capacity. This transition between each one of us being an "I" and a "you" in this process felt fundamentally pure and simple in a way that writing a poem by yourself to whomever you imagine it's going doesn't quite make as clear or as palpably felt. The idea of therapon came from that.

That therapy is a particular dialogue between an "I" and a "you," a self and an other. That etymology that you're talking about I found very moving. A therapon is often a servant. But maybe that needs to be understood as less of servitude and more as companionship. Patroclus was the therapon for Achilles: healing him, cooking his meals, making the home feel like a home.

But Patroclus is also a substitute for Achilles. He puts on Achilles' armor and goes into war and loses his life at the early stages of The Iliad, and it's that sense of both being a help-mate, but also being a substitute for another that felt like the real energizing idea for me, thinking about what Bruce and I were doing as a as a deep form of therapy.  


SR: I'll skip forward a bit because I had a question specifically about Levinas. So, it says with Therapon, Levinas has talked a lot about the relationship between the other and the self. I really liked how Therapon describes this. In one of the descriptions, it says: "Therapon seeks to explore the otherness that inhabits each of us." Can you describe how you wanted to expand upon that theory? What started your interest in this ethical philosophy? 


Bruce Bond: It's a very unusual concept of ethics. It's not most people's idea of ethics. For Levinas, the ethical relation is a one-on-one face to face relationship and implicit just in the act of language is the fact that we are called to attend. Therefore, with relation to Therapon you know that we're attending. But it's important to realize that we cannot fully understand the other. So we come to a place where, that sense of mastery that comes with constructs of knowledge is surrendered. We confront, as Dan was saying, subjectivity is an infinity not a totality. It's not something that can be structured in a way that's full of self-relation and coherence. It's something beyond our cognition. That is a far cry from most people's sense of what ethics is. His standard of otherness is extremely high, the other is not a self-object. It's with Levinas that you start to see the phrase the other as other.

In fact, Levinas is credited with making the word alterity such a universal concept. Now that is very common. There's another philosopher, Henry Kagel, who talks about Levinas's sense of ethics as being very fragile when confronted with political horror. Late in life Levinas starts to develop this sense of fraternity as a way of dialectically correcting his more youthful philosophy. Totality and Infinity is the key text for him. The first draft he wrote as a student. His career is some other philosophy where so many of the important ideas are ventured early. But you see in his career something that is really important to culture, generally speaking, and that is, a  dialectical way of being in the world. You know, he felt, after he was a prisoner of war, a Jew, but fought in the army and was a prisoner of war there. Because he was a prisoner of war and not in a death camp he wasn't put to death, but his relatives were.

Out of this experience of the Holocaust he comes up with this concept that is radically personalizing, and it ventures this sense of the monadic value of the individual. Although yes, we are indebted to the other, we're inhabited by the other. We do not occupy the space of the other, and that's critical. In a world where people are reduced to numbers that are tattooed on their arms, he wanted to assert this sense of individual encounter. It's still very relevant today, because in doing so, you start to deconstruct all kinds of language that we have for people. Identity is made up of affinities. It's important in self-definition, but there's also an element of self-erasure that comes with the act of language and the active identity formation.  


Dan Beachy-Quick: To pursue a couple of angles or pass off of what I hear you saying, one of the things about Levinas that startled me into a certain recognition--and it's very tied to what Bruce is saying about the ethics--this one to one ratio and how vastly important that is in a world where it might be much easier to take a particular ethical stance that's secretly an ideological assumption that thinks across great numbers.

Thinking across great numbers isn't actually doing any actual thinking at all. What it is to actually have your face in front of the face of another, to be gazing at a gaze that looks back at you, and to sense the odd impenetrability of what happens behind another person's eyes. The sense of soul and mind and the heart that are there intertwined, that aren't simply in Levinas’s thinking.

The aspect of that person's identity, but that identity wears behind it the entire infinity out of which any given one of us is thrown in a certain sense. If you can sense the mysteries that you've arrived out of only in an ethically responsible way, by being a helpless witness to that in the fact of another person. The sense that in a way, this astonishing severing that happens inside Levinas's thought where, being properly in front of the other, finally does a thing that seems almost impossible in our culture. Which is that it severs the relationship of the self to the self. It's the primary thing we're responsible for, and that feels really remarkable to me.

Poems are weird technologies, ancient technologies. One of the primary aspects of that technology, I might say is the pronoun; what it is to say, "I" in a poem, what it is to say "you" in a poem. We feel that those points of view become intermixed in very strange kinds of ways that anyone who reads a poem with the utmost intensity poetry demands is saying, "I," almost as another person.

There is, of course the weird slippage of the second person, which often is another way to say ""I but also "you," that somehow astonishingly and sometimes across millennia, addresses the reader of the poem who's holding the book in which it's been printed. These kinds of little thresholds in which the simple act of reading a poem might reintroduce us to our primary ethical questions of being in the world among others and within ourselves, it just feels really miraculous to me over and over again. I could add to the earlier part of your question, Carolyn is one of the real gifts is, especially in a poetry such as Bruce's, which is so wondrously psychologically astute throughout, far more so than my poems have ever managed to be actually. Certain aspects of what he's bringing up within therapeutic metaphors and therapeutic spaces. Certain words, certain memories, of course, correspond and resonate with memories of my own, and this strange little way--my friend’s memory, my friend's experience forms a bond that awakens something in my own memory that I probably hadn't thought of for many, many years. It does this remarkable thing, even in the loneliness of reading a poem it leaves you so wondrously, not alone. I really loved that process, especially during Covid, when we were sending these poems back and forth.  


Bruce Bond: Yeah, I love what you said about loneliness. Because it seems to me that poetry is a form of intimacy forged out of great loneliness. It's a monastic process, it's a very strange process. 


Dan Beachy-Quick: Dickinson has that beautiful line: “It might be lonelier without the loneliness.” 


Bruce Bond: Yeah, that's terrific. The thing that is critical to me--and related to being a musician. I was a musician in my twenties, and then I went to grad school in English. I attended a program that was pretty theory savvy. So, I was exposed to a lot of philosophy in the context of studying poetry. It was a requirement to understand Derrida, who was a very close friend of Levinas and yet there's something diametrically opposed because there is this surplus attributed to experience. Language fails that. There's a great realm outside of assigned systems in Levinas and you don't feel the presence of that quite as securely in Derrida, where everything appears to be mediated via assigned systems, our experiences.

That Derrida idea is very foreign to musicians, that's what I felt. I mean, this didn't make sense to me, because music is clearly a surplus beyond language. Then, many years later, George Steiner writes a book, Real Presences, and he uses music as his argument to challenge some of the language centric post-modernism that was so common. You see that and you think of this vast surplus that language cannot honor. I mean, it's just not designed to. You start seeing the unspeakable everywhere, and it becomes part of that ethical way of being in the world.  


SR: I really loved how it felt very personal, with the ideas of that therapy, and the self-talking to the other. Therapon opens by stating it is a “continuous thread of poems that defy any attempt at knowing who wrote what,” and I found this really interesting. I wanted to know, how did you work with one another when crafting poems? What was the process like?   


Dan Beachy-Quick: I mean, I remember this being wondrously simple, and I've done a few other kinds of collaborations over the years. Way back when, it had to be over a decade that Bruce brought me out to Texas, where we got to talk for a while. I remember you positing the idea that there might be a collaborative potential between us, and it took a really long time to find out how that could be, centering around Levinas and a mutual thinking through that work that work we've been talking about.  

I remember just saying, "Why don't you send me a poem, and in a Levinas-ian way I'll try to put myself in the face of it and figure out how to speak back towards it." Bruce sent me a 13-line poem and I read it, and found a way to use it by listening to find words of my own. It was a reversed process in a way, or a seemingly one, undoing the assumption that creative work is somehow a dredging up of some inner process. It actually felt the opposite to me; that there was something offered external to me, that I had to find a way to be honestly and appropriately responsive by finding things in myself that were a match which were a furthering; not a challenge, not a questioning, not an inquiring, not a doubting, but a building upon something that another person has begun to build.

That's sort of how I feel about poetry in general, my job as a poet is to build upon that which has already been made, to further a vision that isn't exactly my own. So I found myself in a space that felt generative and generous with an opening up of ethics, aesthetically, that I wanted to enter further into.

Over weeks and weeks, maybe a little bit over a year, we followed that process. Each section has a slightly different concern or thematic care to it. But that was the process, this going back and forth.  


Bruce Bond: I agree with everything you said. That's terrific. Although for me there was always the possibility of a dialectic. That is, that little voice in you that is going "Yeah, but." It happens mid poem for me all the time, it's what allows me to continue to write and I felt a little of that without necessarily negating what came before. That is, I mean the dialectic is actually an incorporation, you know, it's not just an opposition. For instance, certain poems that are full of a wonderful doubt. I might come back and assert the presence of facts, and facticity as a concern, just as a way of deepening what that doubt means or putting in another context where it becomes more complex.  


Dan Beachy-Quick: Yeah, as a good therapist would do.  


Bruce Bond: I was thinking about therapist in this particular case where I'm talking about facts, where it could be that in family therapy. I have heard there was an approach that was very influenced by Derrida. The point was not to find a master narrative right, but to try to live with competing senses of narrative and move on. But there are families where the trauma or the abuse is the thing unsaid, you know. I mean, it becomes a fact that could be routinely denied, and then the problem persists. So, it's just a way of further complicating some ideas that can become rather detached from reality, as mere concept. 


Dan Beachy-Quick: Just hearing you say that I’m realizing-especially that third section, the closing section of our book. It's really the first time in over 20 years I've written directly about my own childhood and the world of that childhood and those memories. I might not have ever broached that material again in some way or that resource again without a project that is therapeutic in the deepest way.  


Bruce Bond: Yeah, I loved that process of you, bringing in the very personal. The way that last section works: each section ends in an ellipsis, sometimes mid-sentence. It was a great pleasure for me to just slip into this other persona. It's a very personal signature, and it felt effortless to me, I had no problem doing that. I love that.  


SR: That was actually my next question, and specifically about the third section. I like how throughout the book it felt like a lot of the poems were sort of one leading into another. I felt like it became a greater extension of language as it would trail off into one another. I noticed you also experimented more in the third section. It broke from the more traditional, Sonnet-like format. How did you come to this decision when you crafted this final section?  


Dan Beachy-Quick: The way I remember it is that the first two sections are really involved in that therapeutic attention and response, and giving back and opening and listening and speaking into the space that listening makes available. I don't remember if it was Bruce or me, or you know just the back and forth about what would be a proper closure. One of the things I remember feeling is that back and forth; memories of museums and childhood, and these things that Bruce was really bringing into his poems, and so bringing up into my mind in all kinds of ways. It made me think that there might be a really interesting way that, rather than the back and forth that was the construction, there might be two long poems running parallel to one another. Interrupting each other in ways that in the end are actually quite kind. Letting the other take a breath in a certain sense. So, that last section is two long individual poems that gently are a helix or braided together in a way. And I love the way that back and forth gave a permission or opened up a space to think in more largely singular sorts of ways. But to do that again in a way where I knew I was never alone in doing that work. Made something really special available it felt to me.  


Bruce Bond: In thinking about Levinas-because he really wants to look at the experience of mastery and all that facilitates it. This is a way of letting go of much of that, and it also expresses such great trust. When I'm looking at Dan's section two. “What is the grass? A child asked,” that’s an allusion to Whitman, “It is what grows around the stones. It is…” It takes great faith in your collaborator to end with it is and allow me to supply the subject complement there. That to me embodies a trust which is thinking about well, Hegel. He's behind Levinas, it seems to me the whole idea of negativity is a otherness. That's what drives things forward. The concept of negativity in Hegel touches a million things. There's a philosopher now Byung-Chul Han who studied Hegel a lot in his early life, and now is applying it to a contemporary culture, where he sees a girth of negativity. So, it connects to interrogation is the obvious thing. People need to be not just more self-reflective and interrogating of their own stances, etc., but maybe having the courage to interrogate the culture immediately before them. Also a lingering and slowing down; these are associated with negativity. Things that are imperiled by online culture. And also trust that's interesting. There's an erosion of trust that happens in an era where there's a dearth of negativity. That's another way of looking at this entire book it seems to me-that it's a book about trust.  


Dan Beachy-Quick: I love that defense of nothing, the defense of negativity that Bruce is offering. Heidegger is as much in Levinas as Hegel is in some ways. Levinas is trying to find some form of repair, or return, or a way of averting aspects of Heidegger, who never properly enters into the ethical, and in ways I've never been able to recognize. I love the thought-to just give a space, because that word negativity can connote in very different ways than it means. Part of what made this collaboration possible from the very first poem that Bruce sent me was that it opened the empty space for me to write a poem. There was an ease and a comfort and a fluency like a playfulness that I felt turning to the page while we were doing this, that I very, very seldom feel in front of the blank page, in the way that I normally write. Part of it, was that what your poem opened for me was the negativity. The negative space that promised a poem was possible for me, and I hope mine did the same in in return. It’s like the quality of that one speech opens up the space, the emptiness, in which another speech can occur. That's one way that we can really begin to understand that quality of the of the negative that Bruce is bringing to us. 


SR: I love that, it’s such an interesting concept. So, to continue on, you briefly touched on it. I love that Therapon, in one of its descriptions, it’s described as an exploration into spirit and word. I was especially interested in that it also states that Therapon “exposes all our failures to find peace and redemption.” I was really intrigued by this idea of exploring the failure of that-that comes along with it. It's not just the sort of sense of therapy and connection, it's also a loss. Can you tell me how you decided to explore that concept specifically?  


Bruce Bond: I don’t know that we decided it, but that's interesting. One thing that I'm struck by sometimes when people enter psychoanalysis, which I still believe is incredibly valuable, is that initial sense of the talking cure. This is a book sort of about the talking cure. Even that concept ‘cure’ can be problematic because it implies a static arrival of some kind. It doesn't have to, to be curative. I'm sure Dan probably knows the etymology of the word cure, but it seems to me that you don't just walk away from therapy with a body of knowledge, and then life is great. You need stuff to do, and so what this book honors is process and the fact that therapy, if it's going to be credible, it's an ongoing lifetime pursuit. And it's directly related to engagement. I love the world of psychoanalysis, but one other critique of it is that rightly so, it's a little self-centered. People can come out of it narcissistic, but there's a time for that. There's a psychologist who has been influential on me, Heinz Kohut, who talks about narcissism very empathetically. When you get sick, you take care of yourself, you turn inward, and you should. When cultures get sick, you know maybe they have a very traumatized sense of self as a culture they need to turn inward. But at a certain point it seems to me, part of the process of restoring health is the ability to engage. There is this concept in analytical psychology, wholeness, which- there's all kinds of problematic language in analytical psychology, even though there's so much of value in it. The concept of the self with a capital S is one of them, and you could say that Therapon is dialoguing with some sense of the transpersonal self. It still has the signature of the individual there in the name which is problematic. People don't see the transpersonal psyche as something manifest, in their one-to-one relationship with another person necessarily. Therapon is as much about action and exchange as it is about any cure, if that makes sense, or any knowledge standing as a cure. Is that fair?  


Dan Beachy-Quick: I love what you say about the typical inability to feel like the self is transpersonal in a way. It wasn't a choice that either Bruce or I made that the poems are largely unattributed. It's like "oh, no one knows who wrote which one" and then I thought well, that's beautiful. That's the whole point in some way--that we could forget who wrote which one. I can guarantee eventually I will forget who wrote which one. If this book is really doing its utmost work there's pages where one can feel it happen.

In this book, one senses that crossing of the transpersonal, that what is most intimate to a given self, and is usually locked or located merely within the given self-shifts over it. It crosses some threshold between that gutter, that marks the boundary between a left-hand page and a right-hand page. And witnessing that happen when it does happen feels like a very beautiful experience to me, and a very good therapy in a way. You leave able to go on because you realize in some way everything you need in life is already in your life.

That's not a completeness, that's not a totality to put it in Levinas-ian in terms. What I worry about in poems that don't in the end fail is that their refusal to fail comes at a great ethical cost. It's reduced sort of infinite sense, that the face of the other holds behind it into a solvable riddle, into a problem, into a thing that has been accomplished, and so the book can be closed.

So, finding poetry that honestly demonstrates the power of what it is to remain incomplete, to fail to have an ellipses at the end of the last word, even if that ellipses isn't directly there, that's a poetry I tend to trust much more than most other kinds.   


Bruce Bond: So, one thing that might not be obvious here is in the very first poem there's an epigraph. That epigraph is from one of Dan's other poems. It's written in this form: “count to one it is as far into infinity as you can go far as the hermit his cave.” I loved that; I love actually working with numbers. It's something I got from Stevens. It's in a particular form where there's no punctuation or capitalization, just these spaces. So, I adopted that form from Dan (see, people wouldn’t know this), whereas he opted for a new form, where he's more punctuated, etc. That's another dialectic that is happening in the book. There's a water and earth. One has this fluency and the other asserts an alchemy of earth where there's more congealing going on. I actually think that the elements provide a wonderful articulation of poetics. And someday, I'm going to write that essay you know about alchemy and poetics. Anyway, that's a cool little factoid that people wouldn't get necessarily unless they know Dan's work really well. 


SR: I find that really interesting, I love that we can talk about that now. I have the book with me. It really does elevate the flow. It's cool to hear how you’ve inspired each other. So that was another thing I wanted to talk about, specifically the format of the poems. You both in the past have had an interest in experimenting with the more traditional elements of poetry. The language of Therapon, in one of its descriptions is labeled as near-sonnets or 13-line investigations. What drew you to using that sort of sonnet format? 


Bruce Bond: It went unspoken at first. We were working in these forms, and that seemed to be a way of providing-I offered the first poem, and Dan responded with a poem of the same length, and that was a way of providing coherence amidst difference. Now, looking back, the idea that it's an unfinished sonnet, much like Robert Lowell's 13 lines sonnets, is perfect and articulating things we've already been talking about. The unfinished aspect of the self, not the self a closure, but the self as an engaged process. 


Dan Beachy-Quick: Bruce said it exactly right; it was an accident at first. That in an arbitrary way the first poem Bruce gave me was 13 lines, and because of the ethical framework that we were quietly exploring it felt wrong to be offering anything in return that wasn't the same; there was something about this one-to-one ratio that felt really important to me. It was only much further into the process that those accumulating poems with 13 lines each began to do the work that Bruce was talking about. The sonnet that refuses to be a masterful sonnet, the sonnet that refuses to get to that couplet that promises that the problem, that the rest of the poem is opened--has come to a solution. Instead at just that barest sense that we might be moving towards a resolution opens it up to the next person to re-problematize.  


Bruce Bond: The experience or the sensation of mastery is a key one for Levinas in terms of what he wants to critique in human nature. That the desire to put things in boxes or to grow complacent with our conclusions that have elements of erasure in them, and we don't even recognize it. We don't even know.  


SR: Wow! That's perfect because then there's an intentionality, then also the unintentional that leads to more. I just really loved the sonnet format. I feel like it's very easy to get into. Another thing I want to ask is, there's a lot of exploration into the relationship with religion as it relates to the self. I know we've been talking about the self a lot. One of my favorite lines was “the first therapist was the angel talking to the man, or the man talking to the angel?” It's phrased as a question. Will you tell me about the journey of incorporating those elements of the religious and the spiritual within the ethical explorations?  


Bruce Bond: I think that was your line, Dan. It's beautiful, I love it. You want to comment?  


Dan Beachy-Quick: Just to go back to something you were saying Carolyn, coming off of Bruce's last answer. I love that, like maybe the only proper way to get to do something intentional in poetry is if un-intention is the thing that leads you there. It's like your eyes come into focus much later than one typically guesses in an actual creative process. Religion, within the territory that we were opening up-where Psyche is really rooted back down into its ancient Greek source, which is psykhē, which means soul and breath and spirit. Long before it takes on that the immediate sense we have of it now as a psychological structure tied to mind even more than it might be tied to the entirety of self. As these poems deepened, and the depth and breadth of their care widened, as it moved from the experience of just writing a poem back in response to another poem, to places of memory, of childhood, of self, of other, of soul, of spirit, that there's an inherent way, and one feels that in Levinas too. That the theological can't help but be part of the larger psychological consideration. So, aspects of certain Biblical stories that have meant a lot to me-I grew up Jewish and am still Jewish, though you know a poor practitioner a of it, save on the big holidays. Certain aspects of that bedrock experience of my thinking about the world at large began to exert itself. 


Bruce Bond: That's beautiful. In terms of my own work, of yet another opposition within one's relationship to the divine, the unknown, the mysterious, the element of the psyche that is bigger than our purview, and certainly a lot bigger than what we call the ego; there's a conversation that often happens in religious life between the concept of a religion which ‘religio’ is related to the word ligament, it's a binding, and the concept of spirit which is the opposite. It's breathing, it's letting go, it's not about coalescing around a center. There is certainly a time to coalesce around a center. In my experience in my lifetime, given what I encounter, I feel like the contribution I can make to a conversation is to honor another impulse entirely, which is not about coalescing around a center.

Religions are like organisms. Any institution is like an organism. There are things built into it that are designed to allow it to survive. And religions have egos. You can see expressions of that, that are very often times characteristically contrary to the values embedded in the scriptures.

So, I think I'm fundamentally Emersonian I suppose if I'm anything. I refuse to call myself anything. I feel creepy. I feel like that's just the role that I'm going to play in this conversation. It's not like I mean to negate the other side of the conversation, it’s just that I want to keep things fluid and I want religious institutions to be deeply, introspectively listening to what's really going on. At what point does the need for mastery morph into a kind of cruelty, which is very possible given the passions that inhabit the religious sensibility.  


SR: That's a great way to phrase it. I really like how you explored both sides: the religion as an organism, as a living thing, versus the effects of it. So, we are coming to our close here. I really love Therapon. It was such a joy to read. Thank you both so much for coming and meeting with me today to discuss it. I have the book here-I love how it has the Greek translation as well. Is there anything else you would like to add?  


Bruce Bond: I just want to thank you for the attention. It means a lot, it's great to hear your questions. And Dan, you're brilliant. I don't know what to say, I’m so honored that I was able to collaborate with you.  


Dan Beachy-Quick: Likewise! And thanks to you, Carolyn. It's really sweet of you to have read the book and to ask us to talk with you about it. I really appreciate it.  


SR: Of course! It was great hearing you talk about it back and forth. It really adds a lot. I want to read it again now I that have the added context. Thanks again!