Javier Rivera is someone I met earlier this year (and I've plugged his writing before on this newsletter), but I'm continually impressed with his raw and unique insights which flow from an earnest wrestling with the complexity of human relationships.
Javier Rivera is a student of religion at University of Arizona, who writes over at Substack, and also has a book coming out near the end of the year, so keep an eye out for that, because I believe it's going to be chock full of challenging reflections.
I sat down with Javier for the latest episode of Samsara Audio. This conversation actually got even better on a second listen, in my opinion, so I highly recommend that you give it a listen to sit with some of the uncomfortable topics we touch on.
"To me, it's not a coincidence that they're afraid of a machine when they've been training us like machines." – Javier Rivera
Some highlights for me included Javier's quote up above, commenting on the existential crisis that academia faces with the advent of tools like ChatGPT, but we also got into the nitty gritty of how difficult and uncomfortable the practice of compassion can be. We also consider the abyssal experience of forgiveness, over and against a mere reconciliation which is simply a pragmatic calculation.
Javier has been influenced heavily by Julie Reshe's negative psychoanalysis lately, and Reshe is someone whose work I also value. I'll try to pull together some of my notes from a seminar I took with her a few years ago, and share those ideas with you all here, as they dovetail nicely with my recent work on attempting to recover negativity in our society of infinite positive affirmation.