Thoughts To Get You Through The Night with Phil Cousineau

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Phil Cousineau is a Renaissance man who has been able to maintain a wonder and awe about life which has stoked his creative fires for many decades. For him, the night is a companion for creativity. He describes how civilization arose from sitting around a fire in the night, “Before the [discovery of] fire, we were probably together for very short periods and living instinctually. But when we could stretch the day into the night and sit around a fire, we extended our use of language and probably monosyllabic communication turned into conversation. And when we were able to talk deep into the night, we moved from ordinary existence into philosophizing which turns into culture and civilization.” He tantalizes us to love the night when he says, “Spirit moves fast, but the soul moves slowly. When we stretch the night out on that long journey, time, I believe, starts to slow down. Late at night is the time to put rhythm and blues or jazz music on and to read poetry. It is a time when you can savor the language.” By sharing stories and poems he takes us from the contemplative, starry night to the enlightenment of early dawn. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Phil Cousineau is a freelance writer, filmmaker, photographer, art and literary tour leader, teacher of creativity, a lifelong lover of the night, and an all around Renaissance man. He’s published over 30 books and has over 25 documentary film writing credits. He is also host and co-writer of Global Spirit, a nationally broadcast television series. He's a guest host for New Dimensions Radio.

His books include:

He is consulting editor of:

To learn more about Phil Cousineau’s work go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How writers and poets like Kazantzakis stoke the creative fire
  • How Cousineau came to love the night
  • How a wonderful poem is like holding a ball of light in your hand
  • What is the romance and infatuation we have with the night
  • How night can be our companion for creativity
  • How the invention of fire led to the extension of language to conversation
  • How we can see the majesty of the night as a journey of soul
  • Why the night can be a holy experience of soul
  • How the meaning of tea is about the Tao and flowing with life

Host: Justine Willis Toms     Interview Date: 12/20/2013     Program Number: 3492

Music Playlist

From Album: Music from the film, The Meaning of Tea
Artists: Joel Douek & Eric Czar
1997 Quinland Road Music

Opening Essay: Track14 Wu Wei
Music Break 1: Track: 03 Tea, South Dakota
Music Break 2: Track: 11 Tea Ceremony
Music Break 3: Track: 13 Nantou Mist