Please welcome my guest on this week’s episode, Matthew Thomas Baker, who holds an MBA in creative writing, a Master in psychology and counselling an has not only been the educational leader of an innovative High School for the Arts for approximately 25 years but also a member of the International Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and the founder and spiritual director of the Institute of Nondual Shamanism. He just quite recently published an exceptional book ‘The Way of the Mystic Wizard’ which will be the main topic of our conversation.
Growing up in Massachusetts right next to a forest upon undeveloped land surrounded by animals, Matthew spent plenty of his time outdoors and practiced nature mysticism before he even knew there was an actual term for it. In High School, a book on Zen poetry and the initiatic work ‘Siddharta’ by Hermann Hesse deeply influenced him and so after entering college Matthew was pretty much fascinated by philosophical and spiritual ideas which ultimately made him taking courses in mythology mainly with an exceptional teacher who introduced his students to the huge diversity of belief systems all around the world challenging them to think outside of the box.
Matthew will kindly allow us some insights into his book ‘The Way of the Mystic Wizard’ which is based on his 15 years teaching about poetry, myth and the art of transformation in his school. He will explain how his personal work comes from a more organic place instead of one of separation, what the real meaning of Shamanism is as part of the world’s heritage, how his teaching style includes not only poetry and symbolism but also Jungian psychology and guided inner world journeys and what positive (!) role the pandemic played in turning his teachings into a book that is now available to a much bigger community than before.
As Matthew’s book is titled ‘The Way of the Mystic Wizard’, we will explore the archetype of this figure and the book’s structure which is quite similar to a course written for people with little to no experience offering an access point to anyone interested to find out if this path might be the right one for oneself. In this context we will go into detail and try to answer the main questions such as ‘Why should I start a spiritual practice at all, what’s in for me?’, continuing with the omnipresent task of ‘Know Thyself!’, discuss the necessity of what it takes to break through invisible barriers, how cosmology, poetry and journaling tie in with all this and most importantly, how the changes within effect everything else without.
Matthew Thomas Baker’s website
The Mystic Wizard Experience
The Institute for Nondual Shamanism
The “recorded journeys on YouTube (rf. to the interview)
Get the book on Amazon.com
Music played in this episode
Like already in two previous episodes in earlier seasons, this week we play music by Krister Linder, who has offered me his tracks from his CD “Across the Never” to play on the show. Please support his work and visit the two links below.
Krister Linder’s homepage
Here is his Bandcamp page.
1) COWBOYS & SNOWDENS
(Track starts at 7:15)
2) THE GREAT SURRENDER
(Track starts at 51:03)
3) AWAKE & DISSOLVE
(Track starts at 1:36:00)
Intro and Outro Musicespecially written and recorded for the Thoth-Hermes Podcast by Chris Roberts