Book: “Without Reservation: Awakening to Native American Spirituality and the Ways of Our Ancestors”

Without Reservation: Awakening to Native American Spirituality and the Ways of Our Ancestors

Randy Kritkausky

A powerful story of spiritual awakening, reconnection with Nature, and rekindling of ancestral wisdom

• Details the author’s encounters with ancestral spirits and animal teachers, such as Coy-Wolf, and profound moments of direct connection with the natural world

• Shows how ancestral connections and intimate communications with Nature are not unique or restricted to those with indigenous cultural roots

• Reveals how reconnection with ancestors and the natural world offers insight and solutions for the complex problems we face

We are but a few generations removed from millennia spent living in intimate contact with the natural world and in close commune with ancestral spirits. Who we are and who we think we are is rooted in historical connections with those who came before us and in our relationships with the land and the sentient natural world. When we wander too far from our roots, our ancestors and kin in the natural world call us home, sometimes with gentle whispers and sometimes in loud voices sounding alarms.

In this powerful story of spiritual awakening, Randy Kritkausky shares his journey into the realm of ancestral Native American connections and intimate encounters with Mother Earth and shows how anyone can spiritually reconnect with their ancestors and Nature. Like 70 percent of those who identify as Native American, Kritkausky grew up off the reservation. As he explains, for such “off reservation” indigenous people rediscovering ancestral practices amounts to a reawakening and offers significant insights about living in a society that is struggling to mend a heavily damaged planet. The author reveals how the awakening process was triggered by his own self-­questioning and the resumption of ties with his Potawatomi ancestors. He details his encounters with ancestral spirits and animal teachers, such as Coy-Wolf. He shares moments of direct connection with the natural world, moments when the consciousness of other living beings, flora and fauna, became accessible and open to communication.

Through his profound storytelling, Kritkausky shows how ancestral connections and intimate communications with Nature are not unique or restricted to those with indigenous cultural roots. Offering a bridge between cultures, a path that can be followed by Native and non-Native alike, the author shows that spiritual awakening can happen anywhere, for anyone, and can open the gateway to deeper understanding.


Plato and Christianity

Centre Place Streamed live on Mar 8, 2022 Centre Place Lectures Many Christians view the Bible as the source of their religion. But to interpret any text, it has always been necessary to have an intellectual framework. While Christianity was founded many centuries after Plato, Christian thinkers built upon Plato and Neoplatonism to craft their theology. In this live lecture, John Hamer of Toronto Centre Place will explore the Hellenistic context and philosophies that influenced Christianity throughout late antiquity and the middle ages and to what extent Plato’s ideas have shaped how Westerners understand their spirituality today. A Q&A and discussion will follow the presentation. Please send your questions on the live chat. Lecture topics include: Platonism, Theory of forms, Greek Philosophy, Hellenistic Judaism, Plotinus, Pseudo-Dionysius, Gnosticism

Book: “Beyond the Post-Modern Mind: The Place of Meaning in a Global Civilization”

Beyond the Post-Modern Mind: The Place of Meaning in a Global Civilization

Huston Smith

This new edition of acclaimed essays explores sea changes in the relationship between religion and science over the course of Western culture and suggest possible breakthroughs toward reaching an enlightened consciousness.

About the author

Profile Image for Huston Smith.

Huston Smith

Smith was born in Suzhou, China to Methodist missionaries and spent his first 17 years there. He taught at the Universities of Colorado and Denver from 1944–1947, moving to Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri for the next ten years, and then Professor of Philosophy at MIT from 1958–1973. While at MIT he participated in some of the experiments with entheogens that professor Timothy Leary conducted at Harvard University. He then moved to Syracuse University where he was Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Philosophy until his retirement in 1983 and current emeritus status. He now lives in the Berkeley, CA area where he is Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

During his career, Smith not only studied, but practiced Vedanta Hinduism, Zen Buddhism (studying under Goto Zuigan), and Sufism for over ten years each. He is a notable autodidact.

As a young man, Smith, of his own volition, after suddenly turning to mysticism, set out to meet with then-famous author Gerald Heard. Heard responded to Smith’s letter, invited him to his Trabuco College (later donated as the Ramakrishna Monastery) in Southern California, and then sent him off to meet the legendary Aldous Huxley. So began Smith’s experimentation with meditation, and association with the Vedanta Society in Saint Louis under the auspices of Swami Satprakashananda of the Ramakrishna order.

Via the connection with Heard and Huxley, Smith eventually experimented with Timothy Leary and others at the Center for Personality Research, of which Leary was Research Professor. The experience and history of the era are captured somewhat in Smith’s book Cleansing the Doors of Perception. In this period, Smith joined in on the Harvard Project as well, an attempt to raise spiritual awareness through entheogenic plants.

He has been a friend of the XIVth Dalai Lama for more than forty years, and met and talked to some of the great figures of the century, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Thomas Merton.

He developed an interest in the Traditionalist School formulated by Rene Guenon and Ananda Coomaraswamy. This interest has become a continuing thread in all his writings.

In 1996, Bill Moyers devoted a 5-part PBS special to Smith’s life and work, “The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith.” Smith has produced three series for public television: “The Religions of Man,” “The Search for America,” and (with Arthur Compton) “Science and Human Responsibility.” His films on Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Sufism have all won awards at international film festivals.

His latest DVD release is The Roots of Fundamentalism – A Conversation with Huston Smith and Phil Cousineau.

Theodore Roszak, 1933-2011 – Cult of Information

ThinkingAllowedTV Jul 10, 2011 Great news!! Now watch every title and guest in the Thinking Allowed Collection, complete and commercial free. More than 350 programs now streaming. Visit our website at or visit This program is being posted in its entirety to honor the memory of Theodore Roszak, who passed away on July 5, 2011. Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? –T.S. Elliott Our real educational and cultural needs are in danger of becoming lost in the erroneous fascination with the information processing model of the mind. One of America’s foremost social critics, Theodore Roszak, Ph.D., author of The Making of the Counter-Culture, Eco-Psychology and The Cult of Information, delivers a scathing indictment of the over-selling of computer and high-tech ideology to the American public.

Sunday Meeting: Assembly 2023 Roundup

Sunday Meeting

Assembly 2023 Roundup

Richard Hartnett will be leading a roundup of the Assembly 2023 and the fun that was had. He’ll be recapping some of  the Talks, Activities, Breakouts and plans for next year’s Assembly. 

.Join us this Sunday, October 1, 2023 

The meeting starts at 11:00 am Pacific Time.

Here’s the Zoom link:

See you there!

For more details on today’s Sunday Meeting and other events,
please click the following link for The Prosperos website.  

Prosperos website:

Signs of Life Found on Venus I NOVA I PBS

NOVA PBS Official Sep 16, 2020 The gas phosphine, made on Earth by microbial life forms, was found in Venus’ atmosphere. Could this mean there’s life in our planetary neighbor’s clouds? Get the inside story from scientists Sara Seager and Clara Sousa-Silva on how the discovery was made, what it means, and what comes next. Produced by: Caitlin Saks and Arlo Pérez Narrated by: Caitlin Saks Edited by: Arlo Pérez Research and Production: Christina Monnen, Angelica Coleman, Ana Aceves, Daryl Choa, Lorena Lyon, David Condon, Sukee Bennett Archive: MrCrazy NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center NASA/JPL/Caltech Pond5 Videoblocks ESO, ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), C. Malin (, P. Horálek, Liam Young, B. Tafreshi (, J.J. Tobin (University of Oklahoma/Leiden University), M. Kaufman, Theofanis N. Matsopoulos, H.H.Heyer, S. Argandoña and H. Zodet. © 2020 WGBH Educational Foundation


Can cinema capture the heroic efforts of investigative journalists?



There was a time when the church and the government were the arbiters of moral authority. But since those institutions have often proved corrupt (and, at times, both corrupt and criminal), another institution has often filled the void—the free press. Investigative reporters, bolstered by the first amendment, are often the last resort for individual citizens seeking the truth. They follow the breadcrumbs of information, burrow into the dark recesses of corporations or government agencies, and expose secrets hidden by those in power.

In my debut novel, Truth and Other Lies, I explore the moral imperative journalists have to expose treachery both here and abroad. So it’s no surprise many of my favorite movies deal with the importance an independent press plays in a functioning democracy. Here are nine films which examine that role, ranging from reporters who expose corporate malfeasance to child sexual abuse, human rights violations, even criminal acts originating at the highest level of our government.

Kill the Messenger (2014)

Jeremy Renner is Gary Webb, the Sacramento journalist who not only exposed the racism behind this country’s crack epidemic but implicated the CIA in funneling profits from those drug sales to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua in the 1980s. At first lauded by his peers, he’s later the target of government pushback amid falsified accusations of sloppy fact-checking and fabricating sources.

State of Play (2009)

Russell Crowe portrays a no-nonsense newspaper reporter teamed with blogger Rachel McAdams to cover a story involving Congressman Ben Affleck, private security contractor Point Corp. and the possible murder of a young aide. One of the first films to pit online media against the traditional printed word with Helen Mirren (as the editor) caught up in pressure from the new corporate owners to sell papers any way they can. This is a spot-on portrayal of how newsrooms operated in the “good old days” when breaking news was delivered to our front stoop rather than from a flickering screen.

1,000 times Goodnight (2013)

Many great films have examined the excitement and danger of being a foreign correspondent, including Salvador, A Private War, and The Year of Living Dangerously. But this neglected gem hits close to home by focusing on one specific photojournalist (played with quiet power by Juliette Binoche) whose expose of Afghan women forced to become suicide bombers wreaks havoc on her relationship with her husband and two young daughters. She holds fast to the belief that her photos can make a difference while grappling with the role she may have played in a terrorist bombing. When her husband presents an ultimatum, she’s forced to make a life-changing decision.

Absence of Malice (1981)

What happens when an ambitious young reporter listens to innuendos, makes tenuous connections and spins them into facts, then prints a story that targets an innocent man? Sally Field and Paul Newman face off in this film that pits an ordinary citizen against the all-encompassing maw of the media. The truth gets lost in their game of cat-and-mouse, until Field is forced to admit the role she played in an innocent person’s death, which kicks her role in the investigation into a new direction.

Good Night and Good Luck (2005)

This claustrophobic, black-and-white film, directed and co-written by George Clooney, focuses on the confrontation in 1953-54 between journalist Edward R. Murrow and Joseph McCarthy, when the chairman of the Unamerican Activities Committee began a smear campaign against ordinary Americans, accusing them of ties to the Communist Party. Interspersed with actual historic footage and more cigarette smoke than any recent film I can remember, David Strathairn as Murrow projects the gravitas and moral rectitude you want from a real-life hero. As the CBS news team works to expose McCarthy’s shoddy tactics, they’re also under pressure from both their sponsors and the network brass to drop their coverage.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

One of the earliest examples of the role media can play in spreading a story—in this case, it’s the Wild West and newspapers are just beginning to flex their muscles when a greenhorn lawyer (Jimmy Stewart) and a hired killer (Lee Marvin) face off in a small-town and the bad guy winds up dead. Edmond O’Brien, the town drunk (and editor of the newspaper) publicizes the event, and before the ink is dry, our hero is speaking in public meetings, running for office, and elected to the US Senate. But is the story true? When Stewart and his wife return for the funeral of local rancher John Wayne, the missing pieces of the puzzle are revealed.

Spotlight (2015)

What starts as a simple investigation into rumors about a parish priest evolves, through the dogged efforts of an investigative team at the Boston Globe, into a sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic church to its core. In their quest to uncover the truth, reporters Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, and Brian D’Arcy Jones canvass door-to-door, dig into archives, interview victims, and confront those in power, including the revered cardinal of the Archdiocese, Bernard Law. Before they’re done, they’ve implicated  more than 250 priests and discovered more than 1,000 survivors in Boston alone, with ripple effects through every state in America and over 200 foreign countries.

The Insider (1999)

This gritty film centers on Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), head of R & D and a corporate VP at tobacco company Brown and Williamson. Wanting to expose the complicity of big tobacco in covering up the addictive properties of cigarettes, he resigns and teams up with 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino). But as ramifications mount up, including the loss of his severance package, the estrangement of his family, and serious legal action, Wigand waffles. Soon it’s not just him under pressure, but all of CBS, as they’re threatened with a multi-million dollar lawsuit at the same time the network is up for sale. Will the news division, including famed reporter Mike Wallace, give in to pressure and bury the story, or will they speak truth to power?

All the President’s Men (1976)

The granddaddy of them all, this film recalls that period of time in the early ‘70s when everyone in the country was reading the Washington Post and their unfolding expose of criminal activity at the highest levels of power. Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman) follow the minor story of a burglary at the Watergate Hotel, only to find it’s connected to a massive cover-up of illegal actions that leads straight to Richard Nixon’s White House. This is a shining example of the role investigative journalism can play in exposing corruption—two dogged reporters, armed with little more than a typewriter, a notepad, and their keen ability to ferret out the truth, eventually topple a sitting President.

Others worth a look: The Post (2017); Under Fire (1983); Truth (2015); Zodiac (2007); Killing Fields (1984); The China Syndrome (1979); Broadcast News (1987).

And for a more cynical view of the press, try Ace in the Hole (1951); Network (1976) and Shattered Glass (2003).


Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith is the author of TRUTH AND OTHER LIES (March 8, 2022; Orange Hat Press) and hosts the Hear Us Roar podcast, which features interviews with debut women authors. She also serves as a board member for the Chicago Writers Association where she edits  Write City Magazine, contributes quarterly blog posts and oversees a monthly independent bookstore feature. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, she lives in Milwaukee, WI. You can visit her at

Aldous Huxley’s Deep Reflection

Huxley was a very special kind of expert witness to his own unusual states of consciousness.

The British author Aldous Huxley (1894–1963). With the publication of “The Doors of Perception” in 1954, Huxley became an early exponent of drug-induced alterations of conscious states, a position he maintained and expounded upon toward the end of his life, as he lost his own visual capacity and the psychedelic movement embraced him warmly.

By: J. Allan Hobson      (

The following article is excerpted from J. Allan Hobson’s 2002 book “The Dream Drugstore: Chemically Altered States of Consciousness.” Hobson, a Harvard psychiatrist, pioneering sleep researcher, and prolific author, died in 2021.

Good descriptions of trance states are hard to come by. Because the very name “trance” has such spookily provocative connotations we are not tempted to learn about it. One consequence is that those of us who are not easily able to enter such altered states tend to be ignorant of what it actually feels like. We may even be fearful of the implied loss of control. The upshot is a tendency to discount the whole story as a fabrication, so we can remain safely and smugly skeptical. But if we continue to ignore trance, we miss the opportunity to learn from it and to better understand it.

This article is excerpted from J. Allan Hobson’s book “The Dream Drugstore: Chemically Altered States of Consciousness

Aldous Huxley’s capacity to enter — at will — the dissociated state he called “deep reflection” is of value because Huxley was a painstaking self-observer. Anyone who cut his novelistic teeth (as I did) on such brilliant books as “Antic Hay” or “Point Counter Point” will share my admiration of Huxley’s wit, his literary elegance, and above all, his interest in interpersonal relationships. He is a very special kind of expert witness to his own unusual states of consciousness, which he actively cultivated in the service of his writing. Because Huxley’s interest in the vicissitudes of altered states extended to mysticism and to psychedelic drugs, he is an ideal contributor to our inquiry into the Dream Drugstore. One final point: Huxley was so open that he was willing to collaborate with the hypnosis expert Milton Erickson, despite having his own biases. Erickson’s involvement provides a valuable and welcome degree of objectivity.

Erickson met Huxley in his Los Angeles house in 1950, and they spent the day experimenting together and making extensive notes. Because Huxley’s own notes were lost in the tragic brush fire that later destroyed his home and library, we rely on Erickson’s for a description of Huxley’s deep reflection as a state

marked by physical relaxation with bowed head and closed eyes, a profound progressive psychological withdrawal from externalities but without any actual loss of physical realities nor any amnesias or loss of orientation, a “setting aside” of everything not pertinent and then a state of complete mental absorption in matters of interest to him. Yet, in that state of complete withdrawal and mental absorption, Huxley stated that he was free to pick up a fresh pencil to replace a dulled one to make “automatically” notations on his thoughts and to do all this without a recognizable realization on his part of what physical act he was performing. It was as if the physical act were “not an integral part of my thinking.” In no way did such physical activity seem to impinge upon, to slow, or to impede the train of thought so exclusively occupying my interest. It is associated but completely peripheral activity. … I might say activity barely contiguous to the periphery.

Huxley was able to enter his state of deep reflection in about five minutes. He simply “cast aside all anchors” of any type of awareness and thereby achieved an “orderly mental arrangement” that permitted his thoughts to flow freely as he wrote. When he demonstrated this, Erickson observed that Huxley was completely out of touch with his surroundings, a feature that was amply confirmed by Huxley’s wife, who often found him sitting in his chair oblivious to the world while his behavior was “automatic like a machine moving precisely and accurately.” It took him about two minutes to emerge, after which he described the “timeless, spaceless void” that he had left, and “a total absence of everything on the way there and on the way back and an expected meaningless some­ thing for which one awaits in a state of Nirvana since there is nothing more to do.”

Huxley could alter the features of the state by autosuggestion or upon Erickson’s instruction. He could see color or he could limit his descent to a lighter level and still retain contact with Erickson. But like subjects in the forbidden zone of lucid dreaming, Huxley tended to be pulled deeper or to exit when his concentration was interrupted by verbal or nonverbal commands. In other words, the introduction of volition, presumably mediated by the frontal cortex, acted in opposition to the trance state.

When he tried to induce auditory and visual hallucinations, Huxley found it difficult to remain in trance unless he built up the hallucinatory scenario by attaching the sound of music to the sense of rhythmic body movement. When Huxley moved the music up to the level of opera so that he could hear singing, he was observed by Erickson to be mumbling.

This constructive process, by which motor commands become the internal stimuli for sensory experience, is exactly what occurs in REM sleep dreaming when oculomotor and vestibular signals generate dream imagery. When this process was going on inside Huxley’s head, Erickson observed changes in Huxley’s head position and in his breathing pattern. By feeling his head turn from side to side Huxley was able to evolve a giant rose, three feet in diameter, from what was at first a barely visible rhythmically moving object.

Several other formal features of Huxley’s trance condition are of interest with respect to the analogy we have drawn with REM sleep dreaming. We first consider the relaxed posture, indicating a step on the path to cataplexy. In full-blown cataplexy, the assumption of a flaccid posture is associated with the inability to move on command and is thus similar to the active motor paralysis of REM sleep dreams. Anesthesia and amnesia were both present in Huxley’s trance, although they tended to be selective, and when Huxley attempted to make them global, his trance deepened. Time distortion, a distinctive component of the orientational instability of dreams, was a robust aspect of Huxley’s altered state.

A most dramatic finding was Huxley’s ability, in 65 percent of the trials, to give the correct page number when passages of his books were read to him.

A most dramatic finding was Huxley’s ability, in 65 percent of the trials, to give the correct page number when passages of his books were read to him. Huxley claimed that he could recall most of his writings at will, so that when he heard a passage he could then mentally read the antecedent and subsequent paragraphs, whereupon the page number “flashed” into his mind. This almost incredible feat of hypermnesia is paralleled in dreaming by the unbidden emergence of characters and incidents from the distant past; it contrasts, significantly, with the loss of recent memory capacity. It is as if the loss of the diminished capacity to record were complemented by or compensated for by an enhanced capacity to play back! The mechanism of this reciprocity must be explained both at the level of regional circuitry and at the level of neuromodulatory balance.

Even more incredible is the description of age regression, the final tour de force of the Erickson-Huxley encounter. I give a passage [included in Charles Tart’s 1969 book “Altered States of Consciousness”]to convey the claim directly and to let the reader decide what to make of it:

He turned back and noted that the infant was growing before his eyes, was creeping, sitting, standing, toddling, walking, playing, talking. In utter fascination he watched this growing child, sensed its subjective experiences of learning, of wanting, of feeling. He followed it in distorted time through a multitude of experiences as it passed from infancy to childhood to school days to early youth to teenage. He watched the child’s physical development, sensed its physical and subjective mental experiences, sympathized with it, empathized with it, thought and wondered and learned with it. He felt as one with it, as if it were he himself, and he continued to watch it until finally he realized that he had watched that infant grow to the maturity of 23 years. He stepped closer to see what the young man was looking at, and suddenly realized that the young man was Aldous Huxley himself, and that this Aldous Huxley was looking at another Aldous Huxley, obviously in his early fifties, just across the vestibule in which they both were standing; and that he, aged 52, was looking at himself, Aldous, aged 23. Then Aldous, aged 23 and Aldous aged 52, apparently realized simultaneously that they were looking at each other and the curious questions at once arose in the mind of each of them. For one the question was, “Is that my idea of what I’ll be like when I am 52?” and, “Is that really the way I appeared when I was 23?” Each was aware of the question in the other’s mind. Each found the question of “Extraordinarily fascinating interest” and each tried to determine which was the “actual reality” and which was the “mere subjective experience outwardly projected in hallucinatory form.”

The question of whether such experiences are “actual reality” or “mere subjective experience outwardly projected in hallucinatory form” is central to current debate that pits “veridical experience” against “false memory” and pits multiple personality against role-playing. Although Huxley’s apparently exceptional ability to enhance recall by altering the state of his brain and our own ability in dreams to relive early experience are clear evidence that memory is state dependent and can be altered, none of the evidence supports the now thoroughly discredited idea that every experience, thought, and feeling is recorded in the brain-mind forever and is therefore theoretically retrievable. And none of it counters the strong positive empirical evidence that memory is easily distorted or even fabricated in response to social demands.

What hypnosis now needs to advance as a science is the application of the scientific principles and techniques that other Huxleys developed, from Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895), who championed the theory of evolution as “Darwin’s Bulldog,” to Andrew Fielding Huxley (1917-2012), who advanced the ionic hypothesis of the nerve action potential and won the 1963 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine, and Hugh Ensor Huxley (1924-2013), whose sliding filament theory of muscle contraction explained how chemical energy is converted to movement.

How, we wonder, would a PET scan of Aldous Huxley’s brain in deep reflection compare with the images collected in outwardly attentive waking, deep sleep, and that most easily obtained altered state of consciousness, REM sleep dreaming? My guess is that it would look more like REM than deep sleep or waking.

J. Allan Hobson was a Harvard psychiatrist who pioneered the first serious scientific alternative to Freud’s ideas about dreams. He was the author of close to two dozen books, including “The Dream Drugstore,” from which this article is excerpted.

9 Songs That Will Make You Say ‘Yeah!’

Usher is headlining the Super Bowl halftime show, inspiring a playlist of fantastic “yeah” tracks.

Sept. 26, 2023 (

A man in a red jacket holds a mic to his mouth as a dancer moves behind him.
Usher said “Yeah!” to the Super Bowl halftime show.Credit…Scott Roth/Invision, via Associated Press
Lindsay Zoladz

By Lindsay Zoladz

On Sunday, the N.F.L., Roc Nation and Apple Music announced that Usher will headline the 2024 Super Bowl halftime show. Only one reaction will suffice: “Yeah!”

Such was the refrain heard everywhere in 2004, when the singer’s enthusiastically titled club banger “Yeah!” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a whopping 12 weeks (only to be dethroned by “Burn,” the next single from his blockbuster album “Confessions”). Slick, strobe-lit and infectious, the smash featured a dexterous guest verse from Ludacris and production and assorted yeah!s and OK!s from Lil Jon. “Yeah!” remains irresistible — and among the most successful homages to one of pop music’s trustiest syllables.

The word “yeah” — or, even more emphatically, “yeah!” — is so entwined with the history of modern pop that when the critic Bob Stanley published a 2014 book charting “the story of pop music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé,” he titled it “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” Stanley was probably referencing the specific yeah!s that punctuate the iconic chorus of the Beatles’ “She Loves You,” but the phrase also captures something quintessential about the exuberance of popular music.

“Yeah” is slangier, more irreverent and often more musical than “yes,” and it bypasses that pesky hissing sound, for one thing. “Yeah” is also younger than its stuffier counterpart “yea” (as in the opposite of “nay”); its earliest citation in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1905 — not too long before the popularization of recorded music, incidentally. “Yeah” is both question (“yeah?”) and answer (“yeah!”). “Yeah!” can be used in a song as a vehicle for both percussion and melody, an easy call for audience participation or an ecstatic place holder for those moments when more complex language just won’t suffice.

Am I suggesting that this glorious word is worthy of its own playlist? Oh, yeah!

With Usher, Lil Jon and Ludacris as my inspiration (and with all due respect to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), I have chosen to limit today’s playlist to songs with “yeah” in the title, and specifically songs that revolve in some way around that particular lyric. This still left me with an eclectic collection to pull from, including songs from Daft PunkBlackpinkLCD Soundsystem and the Pogues.

Does this playlist also include a certain zany theme song from a certain 1980s teen comedy about playing hooky and hanging out with Connor from “Succession”? I think you know the word I’d use to answer that question.

Listen along on Spotify while you read.

What van Gogh is to sunflowers, Lil Jon is to yeah!s. I cannot imagine — and do not even want to imagine — this song if he had not produced it and blessed it with his gravelly, prodigious exclamations. (Listen on YouTube)

Perhaps the greatest musical qualifier of “yeah”: “Oh.” Gently ups the ante but doesn’t take too much attention from our prized word. (That attention-seeking “ooooh” is another story.) Daft Punk certainly knows how to spin that titular refrain into mind-numbing bliss on this hypnotic, bassy track from the duo’s 1997 debut, “Homework.” (Listen on YouTube)

Five yeahs in a song title? These guys mean business. This 1989 single finds the English rockers the Pogues at their most jubilant, leading the way toward a fist-pumping, shout-along chorus. It also features a midsong saxophone solo, which is basically the nonverbal sonic equivalent of “yeah!” (Listen on YouTube)

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The phrase “baby, yeaaaaahhhhh” comes to hold an almost talismanic power in this Pavement B-side (a personal favorite), released only as a live cut on the deluxe reissue of the band’s 1992 debut album, “Slanted and Enchanted.” (Listen on YouTube)

A (very) darkly funny duet between the Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt and Claudia Gonson that relies upon the tension created by their contrasting vocal styles, “Yeah! Oh Yeah!” appeared on the group’s 1999 epic, “69 Love Songs.” (Listen on YouTube)

“Yeah” becomes a spiritual affirmation on this uplifting song from the gospel singer Yolanda Adams’s 1999 album, “Mountain High … Valley Low.” (Listen on YouTube)

“Yeah” also transcends language barriers, as the K-pop girl group Blackpink remind us on this track from the 2022 album “Born Pink.” Most of the lyrics are sung in Korean, but the quartet deliver that catchy chorus in the universal language of “yeah.” (Listen on YouTube)

An early exploration of pitch-shifted vocals, the Swiss electronic group Yello’s absurdist “Oh Yeah” was used heavily, and memorably, in the 1986 comedy “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Yello’s Boris Blank once recalled that the group’s vocalist Dieter Meier initially came up with more lyrics, but Blank told him that would make the song “too complicated.” Said Blank, “I had the idea of just this guy, a fat little monster sits there very relaxed and says, ‘Oh yeah, oh yeah.’” Sure! (Listen on YouTube)

Our grand finale is a nine-minute extravaganza of yeah (extravaganz-yeah?) from LCD Soundsystem. By the end of this mesmerizing 2004 single, on which James Murphy and company chant the titular word ad infinitum, “yeah” has transcended language, and maybe even music itself, to become a state of mind. (Listen on YouTube)

Yeah, yeah,


Listen on Spotify. We update this playlist with each new newsletter.

“9 Songs That Will Make You Say ‘Yeah!’” track list
Track 1: Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris, “Yeah!”
Track 2: Daft Punk, “Oh Yeah”
Track 3: The Pogues, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”
Track 4: Pavement, “Baby Yeah (Live)”
Track 5: The Magnetic Fields, “Yeah! Oh, Yeah!”
Track 6: Yolanda Adams, “Yeah”
Track 7: Blackpink, “Yeah Yeah Yeah”
Track 8: Yello, “Oh Yeah”
Track 9: LCD Soundsystem, “Yeah (Crass Version)”

Listen to these tracks:

“Baby yeah: a seductive and sentimental call for human connection.” I thought I was alone in my obsession with that live recording of Pavement’s “Baby Yeah” until I read this beautiful, heart-wrenching n+1 essay by Anthony Veasna So.

And, on a much lighter note: Watch the “CSI: Miami” star David Caruso, compelled by the power of Roger Daltrey’s “Yeah!” to deliver an endless string of mic-dropping one-liners. This video has 7.5 million views, and I believe that over the past decade or so I have been responsible for at least two million of them.

(Contributed by Helen Dower)