Orland Bishop does peace work and mentoring with gang members and others in Watts, Los Angeles. He is also a mystic and philosopher with deep knowledge of African and Western esoteric traditions. In this first of two conversations, we talk about the development of consciousness, inner life and social breakdown, initiation, the death process, and more. In Part Two of this conversation, we discuss the reanimation of materiality, ritual and attention, the nature of the ancestors, and the stage of life we call middle age. And also Orland’s extraordinary book, The Seventh Shrine. Listen deeply to Orland — his words will alter you on many levels.