ENEMIES: From War to Wisdom

Why do we need enemies? From intimate relationships to politics, tribalism, and community, we cannot seem to stop dehumanizing each other. Are chronic conflicts in our families, societies, and nations inevitable? In this podcast, Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D. and Eleanor Johnson analyze human hostilities from the most mundane to the most sophisticated as we apply psychology, psychoanalysis, art, spirituality, and relational theory in conversations about belonging in our relationships and ideologies. Each program will reach for a fresh wisdom that shows us how to step back from creating enemies in our lives.

Listen to Episode 1: Why do we need enemies?

Listen to Episode 12: Real Dialogue: Rules & Realities

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Eleanor Johnson: Co-host of ENEMIES: From War to Wisdom

Eleanor Claire Johnson is a transformational artist, dramatist, poet, filmmaker/videographer, scholar and humanitarian. Her mission is to help raise consciousness and build a better world by using art to heal the deep wounding that lies embedded in the recesses of the human psyche, and by so doing to lift the Spirit and point individuals and humanity in the direction of love and reverence for life, authentic peace and compassion, reconciliation and hope.


In 1974 Eleanor founded The Emmatroupe Experimental Interdisciplinary Theatre Laboratory in lower Manhattan and serves as its artistic director. Ms. Johnson holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Theatre from Sacred Heart University. She received a fellowship to study Honors Drama at the University of Manchester in England and apprenticed in the professional British Theatre. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in theatre directing from New York University, Tish School of the Arts. She studied film making at The Collective for Living Cinema, DCTV, and Millennium Film Workshop. The artists who most influenced Johnson’s film aesthetics are Robert Bresson, Andrey Tarkovsky, Carl Dreyer and Akira Kurosawa. She studied photography at the International Center of Photography and with Mary Ellen Mark. In 1995 Ms. Johnson was invited to The Sundance Film Institute where segments of Emmatroupe’s film work-in-progress was privately screened for Robert Redford and others.

Eleanor Claire Johnson is listed in the eighth edition of The World’s Who’s Who Of Women. She was chairperson of the 1980 international panel, The Status Of Women In The Arts Worldwide, held during the World conference of The United Nations Decade For Women in Copenhagen, Denmark.

During the last thirty plus years Johnson and her Laboratory have been on the cutting edge of the interfaith spiritual and consciousness movements both in the West and in the East. In 1987, Ms. Johnson took Bodhisattva vows with His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama. She remains to this day a devout practitioner of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. In 2001, she completed a eight-month Buddhist retreat in Bodhgaya, India, at the request of her root lama, His Eminence Choeje Ayang Rinpoche.