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Raising the Bar for Radical Love

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Paradis, V. J. (2013). Did Joe Lyons Kincheloe Discover the Golden Chalice for Knowledge Production? The Application of Critical Complex Epistemology and the Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage. (Doctoral Dissertation)

Raising the Bar for Radical Love

There are many more interesting experiences, synchronicities, and coincidences on the numerous treasure hunts and epistemological road trips I had been spiritually guided to. Apparently, these were “initiations” (as some people view these things) or learning experiences, and as I complied with the instructions given to me each time, each treasure hunt got better than the last. It has been totally amazing to me the creativity involved in these learning adventures and the interesting titles that have been devised for them. Joe was a whiz at developing titles as can be seen in the creative titles throughout his work. I, on the other hand, always vacillated and changed titles—it was one of the hardest things for me to do—to decide on a title for a paper, much less be able to come up with creative chapter and subchapter titles. I will confess here, that I did not come up with the title for this dissertation, even. It was “handed down” to me in its entirety. I really feel I get a lot of help with developing titles.

Something amazing seems to happen when twin flames reunite; I am speaking in relation to my own phenomenological experience, here, which is real for me even if it may seem “other worldly” to people who are not familiar with such experiences. These phenomena are partially explained in some of the esoteric literature, often in a scientific way, but I have a very difficult time understanding most of that literature due to the complicated writing styles and the use of complex terms. Returning to Green’s (2006) work, I like the way she explains it: “The veils are lifted for a time so that we may recognize the divine connection enough to take a chance at spiritual fulfillment with someone meant to complete and fulfill us [and vice versa] . . . Only a Divine Complement can offer the opportunity for that divine connection, completeness, and fullness, and that will balance the scales completely” (p. xvi).

Consciously connected Twin Flames automatically increase in their abilities to better perceive other dimensions and the better connected they become (it is a process), the better and more frequent telepathic abilities they have with each other (Green, 2006). Kincheloe (2008c) confirms this in his own work as well when we take time to analyze what he may have been conveying. His section titled, “Freire’s Radical Love: Remaking Ourselves and the World” alludes to this Twin Flame love (radical love has been interpreted as Twin Flame love). In this title, Joe used his “magic” with words. Notice how by simply removing the “Re” converts Love Remaking to Love Making. I do not believe this was an accident. Thus, is he alluding to the Heiros Gamos, and in combination with his other scattered clues, the “Dharma Project,” the “Quest,” and the “Golden Thread” alluding to the “Great Work”? He does express in the title he is referring to the remaking of ourselves and the world. This corresponds with the Jewish perspective that Bloomstein (2000) had described. The Great Work, often associated with the quest for the golden chalice, can be interpreted to mean to do good works, follow the path, and to ultimately reunite with one’s Twin Flame, evolving together to the Divine, Cosmic, and Celestial Planes of consciousness. They create heaven on earth through the combined power of their love energy and through the multidimensionality of their relationship.

 In the very first paragraph of that section Kincheloe (2008c) states, “In the context shaped by Freire’s radical love, we begin to build an emotional, scholarly, and activist oriented telepathic global community dedicated to supporting one another and the larger epistemological and socio-political goals of criticality” (p. 178). Thus, this statement correlates with Green’s contention that telepathic abilities manifest from these relationships. And that, again, correlates with my phenomenological experiences in relation to Joe; he could read my mind from a distance. He is speaking of building a “global community” which might be interpreted as reuniting with soul family and soul groups. He also states, “Indeed, one of the central features of any critical work—even transformative efforts focusing on knowledge work and the construction of the critical complex epistemology—is to infuse radical love into the mix. I look forward in the coming years to observing the ways the next generation of critical pedagogues acts on their radical love” (p. 179) and “Acting on our radical love and critical complex epistemology we can begin to imagine a future unlike the past and the present” (p. 179). He continues discussing essentially what one might interpret as the symbiotic relationships that facilitate action in the world, a “readiness for action” synthesizing Maturana and Varela’s autopoietic and complexity constructing theories. And finally, he concludes, “This means that we have a far greater ability to increase our cognitive ability than cognitive science has said we have” (p. 179). Thus, what he is expressing here aligns with many conceptualizations of the twin flame or twin soul union and how they then unite into soul groups. The couple forms a unified higher consciousness, and together they create a “third energy” that gives them access to higher knowledges and the power to “remake” themselves and the world (Brand & Hibbs, 2010; Bloomstein, 2001; Renee, 2012). The third energy manifests from an alchemical process of merging and blending of their energies from their shared love and lovemaking, thus explaining the play on words Kincheloe has used in the subtitle. They infuse this “radical love” energy into their actions for “remaking the world.”

Why did he encode this one might ask instead of just coming right out and saying it like it is? Kincheloe has provided a beautiful interpretation of Freire’s “radical love,” which I had wondered about while working among “critical pedagogues.” They often speak of radical love, but aside from Joe, I rarely saw it in action. I, personally, have adopted this definition for radical love now and can readily see how we can all benefit by gaining a deeper understanding of what it entails so that we can experience this magic in our daily lives and work together to create a world built on an Eros Love.

I discovered as I analyzed Kincheloe’s work, there are many excerpts which can easily be interpreted as being about this new radical love. Or is it new? Someday I will explore Paulo Freire’s work more deeply; perhaps the message was hidden midst his text and Kincheloe was the first person to bring it out into the open. “Eros” would be the person to do that, no doubt. There are many excerpts from Kincheloe’s books from which I could choose, many embedded and encoded messages with similar messages relating to Divine Love, but for this I have somewhat randomly selected the following which serves a dual purpose since it further defines bricoleurs and their very important task:

Bricoleurs are concerned with the empowerment of the subjects of research and the voice to the subjugated and the marginalized. Such efforts raise numerous questions about the research process. . . . In the specifics of the process, interpretation emerging from the interaction of the particular with macro-social configurations can be set aside in the focus on the personal. Concurrently, psychologistic representations of abstract individuals can crowd out the contextual concerns of the hermeneutically informed bricolage. In such cases the rigour of complexity is displaced not by scientific reductionism but by an excessive fascination with unsituated personal experience. As Johnny Cash once put it, one must “walk the line”; in this case, the line separates the decontextualization of the idiosyncrasy of the personal from the unreflective, authoritarian voice of truth. . . . Bricoleurs operating in a critical hermeneutical framework work to record the voice of the subjugated but to expand its meaning by engaging in the hermeneutic circle of interpretation. Even subjugated voices are better understood when studied in relation to numerous social, cultural, political, economic, philosophical, historical, psychological, and pedagogical dynamics. I attempt to walk this line. . . as I highlight the voices of my ethnographic research subjects, I always contextualize their perspectives within frames of macro-social, political, and economic concerns, the insights of social theory, and the discernment of critical hermeneutics. The rigorous demands of the bricolage insist that researchers engage in these deliberations and struggle with their implications for every project they undertake." (Kincheloe, 2004e, p. 84)


This excerpt provides further clarification for the importance of hermeneutical analysis. The surface meaning of this excerpt can and should be interpreted at face value because these concepts are so important to what he is asking of bricoleurs. I hope I have “walked the line” in this study. At the same time we take it literally, there is the implication that this excerpt itself is open for more analyses and it can be interpreted in many different contexts. Staying with my “love” theme, the “golden thread” (The Great Path to the Golden Chalice) I have carried throughout this dissertation, I note that he has referenced the song “Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash. What are the lyrics to this song? Kincheloe did not randomly select this song; it’s clear by his stated desire to use words as a form of magic that he always has grand purposes in mind. The lyrics can actually be interpreted as being about a Twin Flame, a divine love connection, often considered to consist of a golden cord or “tie” that the song references between the two eternal lovers. This song also reminds me of the bricolage dance performance, “Tied Up” presented earlier in this study, in which the couple were separate for a time, but the “tie” or cord was always accessible and ultimately led to their reunion. Thus, Johnny Cash sings:

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine,
I walk the line

I find it very, very easy to be true
I find myself alone when each day is through
Yes, I'll admit I'm a fool for you
Because you're mine,
I walk the line

As sure as night is dark and day is light
I keep you on my mind both day and night
And happiness I've known proves that it's right
Because you're mine,
I walk the line


Walking “the line” can represent that “middle space,” “Nepantla,” “liminal space,” or the many other references for the zone that connects us to other dimensions. This is where we can connect to higher realms and our Divine Complement (Green, 2006). The last stanza of the song speaks to the infatuating, all-encompassing nature of these relationships as has been described by Bloomstein’s (2000) study as well as by many other researchers (e.g., Brand & Higgs, 2011) and the happiness that is proof of being the right relationship. Here, the singer is conveying he is always thinking of his one true love and in the excerpt, Kincheloe has stated, “I attempt to walk this line.” He has not, at that point in his life totally succeeded, but he was conscious and “attempting.” If I were to follow his great advice in this excerpt I would take this much further, including exploration of additional intertextual analyses and all of the aspects he has delineated that are important to understanding the many interrelationships. This would illuminate additional understanding as to why he chose the song and what he meant by attempting to walk the line. For now, my interpretation relevant to this study is that it again represents his version of “radical love,” and it was a way to slip this important dimension into his work—that “golden thread” of love that he has carried throughout his work. It is also a cross-cultural theme and he has raised the bar for radical love.



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“As a child I wanted so desperately for magic to be real. I would work for hours collecting what I hoped were just the right combination of ingredients to make some type of magic potion that would provide me with special powers….I found such magic in words viewed in a postformal matrix and I observe and practice that magic everyday.” (Kincheloe, 2006, Reading, Writing, Thinking, p. 13)
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