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What Creates Passion and Passionate People, and What Defeats it In Us? Interview with Gregg Levoy

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Rob: The alien game.

GL: The alien game where he was an alien and we were the earthlings and we would go out into the world and he would ask questions about the planet that he saw and our job, as earthlings, was to explain it to him. So we got to experience everyday stuff -

Rob: Like what? Give me a little more example.

GL: Oh.

Rob: Well I'm not really clear on it, but you can just describe it.

GL: Okay, so we'd go out - he would say what are the white formations that move through your atmosphere? And we'd of course say -

Rob: Clouds.

GL: And he'd say what are they composed of? And we would say -

Rob: Water droplets.

GL: Right, and then he'd say how do they get up there into the atmosphere and what holds them up?

Rob: Evaporation and they're lighter than air.

GL: But they're not, water is heavier than air. What holds them up? So we're trying to figure this out as the afternoon goes by and it becomes apparent to us earthlings that clouds are not the only things over our heads, you know. But mostly - and here's the thing, the top down, bottom up thing, how's it possible that you can live with something every single day of your life and not come to understand its most essential principals, you know, and that to me is a revelation; that's a regular revelation. Why do my fingers wrinkle in the bathtub? And why don't I know the answer to that question? Right?

Rob: And why do you not care? And why have you ignored those questions?

GL: Exactly. You know, you might wonder at it in an idle moment, but you don't pursue the answer -

Rob: But why? Why do people do that? Why do people just ignore all these aspects of life that are right in front of their faces?

GL: That is a marvelous question Rob, that's a marvelous question. I - we're bored, we're busy, we're tuned off, it takes time and it's time away from more essential things like earning a living or what? Getting your kids into Harvard. That's a great question. So part of my, you know, my impetus with the book is to help people remember that this is remarkable stuff and that if you want to live passionately, it's not just about finding your passion as a vocation, but it's about turning the receivers back on and falling back in love with life, your life, life itself.

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