Navigating 2021: An occult Christian perspective on the year ahead.

5 Jan

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This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.

Friends,

What a year behind, but also: what a year ahead! I know a lot of you are anxous, so I’ve decided to help give a picture of what’s to come and how to deal with it.

In this solo episode, I talk about the hidden poison of “community,” vaccines, the proximity of the spiritual, hw we all create each other’s sins, and why blood matters.

Love,
CH

(PS: If you’d like to learn more about the painting for the title card of this episode, it’s Mano Poderosa (The All-Powerful Hand), or Las Cinco Personas (The Five Persons). Click here to  see its page at the Brooklyn Museum.)

A MASSIVE conversation with Paul Chek on his podcast, Living 4D with Paul Chek!

30 Dec

Friends,

While you’re waiting for the next episode of AEWCH, guess what, here’s a THREE HOUR LONG conversation with me and AEWCH 129 guest Paul Chek!

I visited Paul at his amazing house (and met his amazing family) earlier this month. We drummed, we ate together, we stacked stones around Paul’s water orgone accumulator, we vaped some crazy herbs, we talked for hours and hours, and more. 

What an incredible day. This conversation wanders all over – into sex and sexuality, Rudolf Steiner and God, materialism and the occult. It’s just…a lot.

Listen above or on any podcast platform (and subscribe! it’s a GREAT and challenging podcast!).

And here’s the CHEK Institute page with show notes.

Love to you.
See you soon with a new episode of AEWCH (and my live conversation with Gordon White!)
CH

How do we believe in things without killing each other? I talk to Peter Rollins & Elliott Morgan of The Fundamentalists podcast on AEWCH 135!

16 Dec

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast
This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.

Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? For Peter’s books, and other books mentioned on or related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 135 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
As the year comes to an end, we find ourselves surrounded by people holding seemingly incommensurable sets of beliefs and ideas – and those sets of beliefs and ideas are being held onto more tightly, not less, as the ship seems to be aimless. While some of you might be finding a sense of relief in the changing of the guard in the US, and the presence of a vaccine, many others feel agitated by both.
2020 was the year that one community, one group of people trying to dominate and humiliate the other, seemed to rule.At the same time, we’ve seen these amazing outpourings of mutual aid, of togetherness, of new demands for the structures that are supposed to be serving us. I wanted to understand all of this, I wanted to have a conversation about belief and politics, and the unknown.
So I invited my friends Peter Rollins and Elliott Morgan to the show. You might know Elliott as part of the YouTube comedy group The Valleyfolk, or from his standup; and Peter from his work as a psychoanalytic theologian, or his previous appearances on AEWCH 14, AEWCH 55, and AEWCH 70 (with Todd McGowan); but I was interested in having them on together because they’re cohosts of the philosophy and psychoanalysis chat show, The Fundamentalists. On each episode, Elliott brings his everyday but perceptive concerns about the world, and Peter pulls them apart with psychoanalysis.
This is, I think a special conversation because of that belief piece, that ideology piece – because we all have different pathways through belief in our lives, from Peter’s sport of strange revelation upon seeing an exorcism take place after leaving the theater – he’d just seen Gremlins 2 – with his friend, to Elliott’s church experiences with something called the Holy Laughter Revival, to mine growing up without much religion and then finding my life infused with occult philosophy.We also each have different psychological structures, which we discuss on this show.And we each have different intellectual mentors and perspectives. Lately, Elliott has taken up Jungian psychology, which stands in some opposition to Peter’s Lacanian/Hegelian view, and both in some opposition to my occult view deeply informed by Rudolf Steiner.
So we spend a lot of this episode fleshing out some of those differences and nuances – how current events, how thinking, how the unconscious, and more, can be seen from each perspective.Gradually, throughout the episode, you get a sense of a sort of peace process. Not because Peter and Elliott and I were i some sort of deep conflict to begin with, but because the ideas and ways of living and structures of psyche meet each other and rest with each other without violent disagreement. The show presents three people, not trying to resolve contradictions and certainly not trying to win out, but rather simply taking an interest in one another.

In some ways, it offers an antidote to clinging to belief on the mast of the sinking ship of our politics, economy, and culture.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Our journeys through belief
  • Different sorts of exorcisms and possessions
  • The interpretations of the concept of the lack in psychoanalysis
  • Why didn’t going to school for science make Elliott an atheist?
  • What the unconscious looks like for Freud, Jung, and Steiner
  • How each of – Peter, Elliott, and I – us fall into a psychoanalytic structure, and what those structures are
  • How to avoid turning anxiety into violence
  • How communism and liberalism have dovetailed with each other into a big mess
  • Comedy creating stability
  • The way love and knowledge meet to become violence in our time

SHOW NOTES

• For more on The Fundamentalists, my recommended episodes are “Success,” “Socialism,” “Fascism,” and “New Normal.” But you can really just start anywhere.

• Right off the bat we get Gremlins 2 and Alabama Snake references, which I feel like is a call to watch both.

• John E.L. Tenney went to a Catholic exorcism and we talked about it on AEWCH 133.

• Here’s a short video on the Holy Laughter Revival, and it is…well…funny!

Jodorowsky’s Dune is one of my favorite movies about magic and art. (Below are character sketches for the film by Moebius.)

• I love AEWCH 116 with Are Thoresen about nothingness and Christ.

• Here’s a brisk intro to Franz Mesmer.

• Here’s the episode of The Fundamentalists about hot takes and the global pandemic.

• The Duncan Trussell Family Hour I talk about re: my prediction of the occluding force is here. And the other episode I mention is here.

• Slavoj Žižek comes up a bit, and if you’re looking for a good book to start with that relates to the topics here, I would say The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity is as good as any.

Until next time, friends,
XO
CH

2020: The Year In Death – with Caitlin Doughty and Conner Habib

8 Dec

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud 

This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.

Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? For Caitlin’s books, and other books mentioned on or related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 134 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends, what a year!

Primarily, I view 2020 as filled with thoughts about death, with considerations of uncertainty and contradictions.And to talk about all of this, I invited my friend, host of Ask A Mortician, author and death activist Caitlin Doughty on the show.Caitlin is one of my closest collaborators.

We’ve done live events together, she’s been on AEWCH two times before (AEWCH 77, and AEWCH 8), we talked before AEWCH existed, and I’ve been on her web series, Ask A Mortician. She’s also author of three amazing books about death around the world, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory , Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: And Other Questions about Dead Bodies, and (my favorite) From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death.

I wanted us to look into this year with as much equanimity as we could muster.

Have you noticed how hard things have been to navigate, not because of a virus per se, but because of a collapse of knowledge? Not only has information changes from day to day this year, but we’re subject to speculative news items presented as facts, questions about the virus are over-amplified scaring the shit out of everyone, case numbers and deaths are presented together creating a sense that every case number is a potential death or that every death is separate from the case numbers, we get lines like the flatten the curve lines that look like palmistry and that do and do not accurately predict futures. Add to that the many theories, the many politicizations, the many fears and anxieties, the many suppressions of information, the many debates.

It’s intense.

This episode goes a ways to help with all that, I think. I hope it grounds you and stirs up compassion for your neighbors, even the ones you wish weren’t your neighbors.

Let’s get through this together (for real!).

ON THIS EPISODE

  • How death positivity could change our view on handling a pandemic
  • The hero narrative in a time of crisis
  • Doing structural work instead of offering critique or sinking into your own anxiety
  • Why we need propositions, not critiques
  • When government officials are hypocritical with regulations, and how to think about that
  • How the crisis has amplified everyone’s worst attributes
  • Why knowledge can’t save us
  • Looking at all our values and striving for coherence
  • What we learned from the AIDS epidemic that applies now
  • Combatting the “if you got sick it’s your fault” mindset without losing sight of how to take care of yourself and others
  • The connectivity of suffering and how that’s going to amplify in the future
  • Why spiritualism and other spiritual beliefs and rituals grow during and after major world events
  • What will happen when we un-repress
  • Why it’s impossible to have the information, much less the answers about our current situation…and what to do about that

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Caitlin, watch her amazing web series, Ask A Mortician, including this great episode on spiritualism. Here’s her website. And support her work via her patreon! Also, make sure you watch her episode of The Midnight Gospel, my buddy Duncan Trussell‘s animated Netflix series!

• Most of the stories about Hart Island have been corrected at this point to reflect the island’s long history of burial – but you might remember images like this one.

• I talked about mutual aid on AEWCH 131 with Dean Spade, critiques vs propositions on AEWCH 123 with Kathi Weeks, and how truly being human is the best antidote to the problems of our world with Doug Rushkoff on AEWCH 125.

RTÉ’s retirement party scandal and Gavin Newsom’s French Laundry party were…fun new stories (insert facepalm emoji or whatever).• I would love if you listened to my latest appearance on the Duncan Trussell Family Hour.

• A great book on spiritualism (and occultism) and how it relates to feminist and other progressive movements is Magia Sexualis by Hugh Urban. Though I’m not sure why it’s so fucking expensive.

• Want to read a great Irish novel about a bunch of corpses talking to each other in a graveyard? Why yes you do, pal.

• My thoughts on how the masturbation scare hoax affected culture are in an essay I wrote years ago for Vice. But you can learn way more about it by reading Thomas W. Laqueur’s excellent book, Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation.

• Here’s the (horrible) video of family members being separated at a funeral.

• If you want a quick breakdown of mRNA vaccines, here’s an article from the European Commission’s research magazine, Horizon.

• I wrote about the time I had to walk away from a cancer diagnosis in my essay, “When You’re Sick You’ll Wait for the Answer, But None Will Come“.

Until next time friends – live and embrace death!
XO
CH

The paranormal is real. Reality is paranormal. Paranormal investigator John E.L. Tenney on AEWCH!

1 Dec

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast Soundcloud
This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.
Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? For the books mentioned and some related to what we discuss, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 133 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,

How to start this episode with paranormal researcher and author John E.L. Tenney?
He’s been working in the field of unexplained phenomenon for decades now, he’s the author of multiple books, has appeared on just about every paranormal/ghosthunting show, and gives lectures around the world on high and low strangeness. Well, I detail our crazy first meeting at the top of the episode, so you’ll hear it there.But also, I just want to say here, that something we learn from John, and why he is the perfect guest for this show is: When you see an “abnormal” thing that betrays the paranormal reality we live in, instead of trying to compartmentalize, think about what that aberration might mean for reality. And at the same time, work to make your personality ready for interpreting it.
The thing about John is that through him, you experience a different quality of life, a different way of living. His example reminds you how strange the normal world is. How if we just take life on its own terms, we find ourselves surrounded by a whirl of intensity – bizarre, alive, exciting, and frightening in the best way possible.So excited to share this with you, friends.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The usefulness of a failed paranormal investigation
  • Why documentaries about me and John would be boring
  • Why are people afraid of ghosts, and should they be?
  • Are ghosts erotic? Do we see them with the Svadhishthana or Muladhara chakras?
  • The way people talk about paranormal stuff at conventions now vs how they used to decades ago.
  • Does tech capture images/sounds of ghosts? If so, are they more powerful than our sense? Than physics?
  • Why making yourself ready to see ghosts matters.
  • Trump as an atheist President.
  • Why Flat-Earthers are right, and why Richard Dawkins is wrong about…well, most stuff.
  • Breaking away from myths and cycles + why I hate Star Wars and Lord of the Rings (no I am not sorry).
  • Why Moses had to turn his head from God.
  • The tension between being a trusted shaman at the end of the lane and witch who gets burned by villagers.

SHOW NOTES

• For more on John, visit his great website, Weird Lectures. John’s got a lot of books out (and you can find most of them on the bookshop.org page above), but the best look into his way of seeing paranormal investigation is Theoretical Weirdo. Here’s John talking to literally the most normal person in the world on Fox News.

• The paranormal investigators who introduced me to Tenney were the brilliant Dana & Greg Newkirk, who I talked with about haunted objects on AEWCH 46.

• I mentioned the occult technology radionics – and I did a whole episode about it back on AEWCH 113, featuring an old conversation I had with radionics pioneer Duncan Laurie. I’ve included the image below so you see some radionics devices.

• Would you like to mess yourself up considering space and time (and how it may or may not relate to ghosts, for that matter)? Well, read quasi-fascist (dang) occultist Massimo Scaligero’s The Secrets of Space and Time.

• Here’s John’s short essay on doomsday and desire.

Take Shelter is an incredible film, and if you haven’t seen it, you really should.

Norman Davidson‘s quote is:

“If you want to have any idea about the connection between astronomy, that is, the heavenly body themselves, and astrology, that is the influences on the human being, then you must understand that, in reality, the earth is still and flat, and the sun and the heavens circle the earth…”

• I’m trying to find some good collections of Isaac Asimov essays, but can’t! If you know a widely-available one, please post in comments below!

• I talk a bit more about the connection between The Great God Pan and our moment of “pan demons/pandemic” on the latest Duncan Trussell Family Hour. And I had a great time talking about the guy who coined fractalnoia, Doug Rushkoff, on AEWCH 125. And there’s so much about the value of dewitchers in our culture on AEWCH 98 with Thomas Waters.

Until next time, friends, keep your world happily haunted.
XO
CH

Conner on The Duncan Trussell Family Hour – my best podcast appearance ever?

29 Nov

Friends,
I’m on the latest Duncan Trussell Family Hour, and I’m not being hyperbolic when I say: I think this might be my best podcast appearance ever?
There are a few reasons why.

1. Duncan asks me what is actually going on here, and I say that the pandemic and election are surface concerns. What’s happening is…well, three things. You should listen.

2. I flesh out some concepts I’ve talked about on recent AEWCH episodes: the end of “I own my body,” the trickiness of navigating vaccines, the way tech infiltrates our consciousness, and more.

3. We do occult experiments together.

4. Duncan and I just jive right. I’ve done DTFH six times now, and this is the best. We hit it. This is our stride.

Anyway, listen above or wherever you get your podcasts. And please share. I’m very happy to have this get to people.

XO
CH

We need mutual now, and tomorrow, too. So I talked to mutual aid, anarchist, trans activist Dean Spade on AEWCH!

10 Nov

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast Soundcloud

This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you very much, friend.

Want tobuy the books mentioned on this ep? For the books mentioned and some related to what we discuss, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 131 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
I used to say, when people asked me what my best political tactics were: that they were like the moment in a Bugs Bunny cartoon when Bugs Bunny is chased down a dead end alley and finds himself against a brick wall.
What does he do?
He pulls out a piece of chalk and draws a door and then walks through it. In other words, it’s not a compromise or a pleading with the apparent conditions, or begging his abuser not to harm him. He realizes he has the tools to walk away and out of the situation he’s in.It’s not a perfect metaphor of course, but this is what mutual aid offers, the tools to achieve the impossible.
And now is a moment of mutual aid. People helping each other. People forming community groups to tend to each other’s urgent needs. Networks that help the shut in and elderly get food. Ride shares. Local market pop ups. Checking in on your neighbors. Rent strikes. Protests against the murder of black people. Solidarity groups.
That is what I wanted my politics to be – a complete contrast to the luxuriant parties inspired by phony savior governments. I knew I needed to talk about mutual aid, and I knew that Dean Spade was the person to talk to.
Dean Spade is the author of the new book, Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (And the Next). He’s the founder of the founder of Sylvia Rivera Law Project which works to help create conditions to help people thrive while self-determining their gender identity and expression, and his other book Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of the Law, which identifies the many ways in which rights struggles that look to permission from the state and law fall short. He’s also a professor at Seattle University School of Law.
We go deep into why mutual aid matters, what it means, why we need it right now, and how to start mutual aid projects with people who are difficult to organize with. You know, those people you find political objectionable but who live nearby and aren’t going to simply disappear!If you want a quick primer on mutual aid, check out the short animate film Dean made with Ciro Carillo, “Shit’s Totally Fucked! What Can We Do?: A Mutual Aid Explainer.” Even just that 8 minute long video is inspiring!
The conversation goes into many surprising and challenging places, like, should leftists critique drug companies? Do we own our bodies? Why are US politics so dependent on keeping people anxious? Why does the left always seem so miserable and can we bring joy and pleasure back into organizing? How is mutual aid a form of practicing utopia? What are we talking abut when we say freedom and does that have a spiritual component?
I’m so happy to share this (great!) conversation with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • How to organize with people who have completely different world views
  • The reason we need pleasure as a call to activism
  • The difference between displaying happiness and happiness itself
  • What is freedom, and how do we know it when it’s happening?
  • Can we become free with materialism in place?
  • What are the limits of mutual aid?
  • How Democrats (*ahem* Kamala) exploit LGBT, black and non-black PoC suffering to recuperate power where it’s lost
  • The stunted emotional development that is part and parcel of American politics
  • Why we need to develop morality
  • Why tautologies like “love is love” “sex work is work” and “trans women are women” are helpful but often end up hitting a wall
  • The power of sex and the construction of masculinity
  • The ways people are signaling I LOVE SCIENCE and why the left has no lens for it

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Dean, check out his website, which has tons of great stuff on it, including this excellent lecture, “When We Win We Lose” and his documentary about the ways Israel tires to cover up some of its crimes against Palestinians by exploiting LGBT rights: Pinkwashing Exposed. If Mutual Aid is sold out on bookshop.org, you can get the ebook directly from Verso.
• A lot of my other conversations come up on this episode. Including AEWCH 120 with political theorist Michael Hardt, AEWCH 15 with antifascist Mark Bray, and about the problems with identity politics on AEWCH 26 with Asad Haider. Also, I talked about the problems with fighting to let trans people in the military with trans author and activist Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore on AEWCH 57.
• Want an intro to wild utopian thinker Charles Fourier? Here’s my easy to read essay on his work.
• Mutual aid is a term that probably predates Peter Kropotkin – late 19th/early 20th century anarchist – but he’s a good start. His book Mutual Aid can be found in this collection of his work.

• I haven’t yet read organizer and philosopher Cynthia Kaufman‘s Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change, but it looks awesome. Let me know if you read it before I do!
• You can hear David Graeber and I talk about supernatural politics (though not so much the bit I bring up on this episode) on AEWCH 99.
• I’m not familiar with Jem Bendell’s work about environmental concerns, but it had an affect on Dean, so here’s a link to his paper, “Deep Adaptation.
• Here’s a round up (and thankful repudiation) of the stupid “gay bars are sites of violation” articles that came out when gay men were clambering to be part of the #MeToo movement.
• I wrote about the origins of masturbation shame way back when I thought Vice was cool (phew!).
• If you’re worried about the virus, here’s that WIRED article about why surfaces are safe.
• The Jane Ward book Dean mentions is Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men and gosh, I’ve just got to read it.
• The organization I was Vice President of for two years is The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee. It’s still around and just saw some tweets from them today about mutual aid, of all things!
Until next time friends, take care of each other!
CH

I explain why the occult+new age+witchcraft can help leftist projects on Pod Damn America!

5 Nov

Friends,

You know how I hate when people falsely claim that the occult is a fascist or new age project. Since…well…it isn’t. But the left is woefully unequipped to explore or understand why, so they often just say dumb stuff.

So when my buddy Jake Flores made inaccurate comments about theosophy on twitter, I corrected him and, well, he invited me onto his leftist podcast, Pod Damn America!

The results were pretty great. I got to talk about Pascal Beverly Randolph, diss Sylvia Federici, and defend homeopathy all on one podcast! We start around 38:00, and have a pretty substantial conversation.

Listen by clicking above or here.

Enjoy,

CH

The folks stories, medicine, and spirits, of Irish Travellers. Traveller author and activist Oein DeBhairduin on AEWCH!

2 Nov

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud • Patreon

This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!
Thank you so, so much.
Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Oein’s amazing book, Why The Moon Travels is only available in the US via the publisher, but I strongly suggest you get it. It’s wonderful. Here’s a link.
For the rest of the books mentioned and some related to what we discuss, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 130 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,

I wrestled over whether or not to post an episode about the election tomorrow, but one of the things I kept thinking about was: when we contract our view of the world into political forces and events, what and who get neglected?

In 2004 when George W. Bush won a second term, my friend called me, frantic. I told her to go outside, look at the trees. What were they doing? She told me they were still and swaying with the wind. And the birds? Moving from branch to branch. And the sky? A calm came over her.

What dimension were those beings in that they could stand still, that they could live without the same sort of fear so many were in? Perhaps you could argue that it was merely that they hadn’t the capacity to fear. But then, what did they have the capacity for, and what could we learn from it?We have to remember that the world is big and waiting for us to listen. Or, in the words of Yeats:

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

So this time of this year I was thinking about what we neglect in narrowed vision of the world. And that leads to the question of who are the human beings who are forgotten. And finally, as an interweaving of the two: who is forgotten who can give us a different sense of connection to what is forgotten?

A lot of you probably have never even heard about Irish Travellers, an indigenous minority here in Ireland. But they have their own language, traditions, and culture. As the name Travellers implies movement and a nomadic aspect of life plays a part in all that.

I hadn’t known anything about Travellers until I moved here in 2019. But I have to say it’s dismaying how few people in Ireland know much about Travellers. So as I was trying to learn more about Travellers, I turned to twitter, of course. It’s still good for that if you use it that way. And many people recommended Oein DeBhairduin’s new book of Irish Travellers folk tales, Why The Moon Travels, with illustrations by Leanne McDnoagh.

Oein is an author, herbalist and Travellers’ rights activist. In his book, there are stories about spirits, animals, giants, plants, and medicine. It’s a great book, and it’s my hope that this is a great episode as an introduction to non-Travellers about the multi-layered lives and experiences of Travellers, beyond just their struggles under ignorant or deliberately racist and imperialist legislation here in Ireland.

As a great bonus, Oein reads two of the tales in the book he reads “The Birth of the Rivers” and “Airmid’s Voice.” I’m so happy to share this with you.

Remember, the world is big, and there are many friends you haven’t yet met.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Are myths and folktales merely just-so stories?
  • Are stories alive? If so, what are they, anyway?
  • The way Christianity (specifically Catholicism) intersects with Travellers stories.
  • The way the landscape comes to life when you start relating to its beings by name
  • Getting in touch with city spirits
  • The way that spirit wants to involve us in its action
  • On not believing in fairies (but not wanting to piss off the fairies)
  • Challenges Irish Travellers face under deliberately racist or otherwise ignorant legislation

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Oein, here’s an interview with him about his developing spirituality. And here’s a good interview with him (done by Irish mythological writer Deirdre Sullivan) just after Why The Moon Travels came out. And here’s a link to the Parish of the Travelling People, which Oein is involved in. Also, buy his book!

• For more on Irish Travellers in general, here’s the Irish Travellers Movement website. And here’s the Travellers’ organization, Pavee Point. Here’s a great article, “A Brief History of the Insitutionalisation of Discrimination Against Irish Travellers” by Dr. Sindy Joyce.

Karl Kroeber‘s wonderful Native American Storytelling: A Reader of Myths and Legends isn’t available on bookshop.org except as an extremely pricey hardback, so I’m posting it here in a link via amazon. And here’s a photo of Karl.

• I talked about the “positive void” of language and its relationship to occult practice, with Scott Elliot Hicks on AEWCH 122.

• Actually the story about the witch at Lough Derg is a story about a sorcerer at Lough Gur, Conner.

• Here’s an essay about the Lough Derg pilgrimage by Manchán Magan.• Here’s the road (or one of them anyway) that got moved to accommodate the fairy bush. And here are stories of the “hungry grass.”

• The “Twelve Doors to the Soul” are all places where you could strike to kill someone because an opening wound would create a sort of door through which the soul would leave. They are: Top of the head, hollow of the occiput, the temple, Adam’s apple, suprasternal fossa, the armpit, the breast bone, the navel, the bend of the elbow, the bend of the legs, the bulge of the groin, the sole of the foot.

• Here’s the actual Paracelsus quote: ““…all our nourishment becomes ourselves; we eat ourselves into being… For every bite we take contains in itself all our organs, all that is included in the whole man, all of which he is constituted… We do not eat bone, blood vessels, ligaments, and seldom brain, heart, and entrails, nor fat, therefore bone does not make bone, nor brain make brain, but every bite contains all these. Bread is blood, but who sees it?”

• “All the things that people say they hate about Travellers are things they say they love about culture.” – Oein

Until next time friends,
XO
CH

Irish Travellers in 1950s Ireland. Photo by Tony Whelan

Health in a time of crisis: Legendary fitness and health teacher Paul Chek on Against Everyone With Conner Habib

20 Oct

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud
This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.
Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep, including Paul’s game-changing book, How To Eat Move and Be Healthy? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 129 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,

We’re heading into another lockdown here in Ireland, and Europe is returning to conditions of earlier this year. The US is heading towards its election and people are being banned on social media and other people are gaining power and everyone is just trying to cope.

Amongst all of this, I’ve spotted a problem, or should I say the spiritual challenge, of the current crisis which is largely un-talked about and quite dangerous: the state of absolute yet unearned certainty which is accompanying so much of the way we talk to each other, the way we think about others and the way we form our lives and responses.

I’m not talking just about the mainstream narrative here, either. I’ve noticed that many of the most spiritually evolved and politically active and intellectually developed people – the people I love and trust for solid perspectives on most things – are all putting forth their various narratives with a sense of total certainty, accompanied with a sense of intense emotion. And I see them trying to dominate each other. It’s almost as if anyone not believing what you believe about this crisis is unbearable, that anyone and everyone must be pulled into our own dimension of intense feeling and righteous certainty to be heard.That means that no matter what the content of the narrative we have is – the gesture is the same. In other words, even if you think you believe in something different, this act of emotion-filled certainty is leading to the same consequence and action. This holds true for conspiracy theorist and mainstream liberal, spiritually advanced teacher and atheist materialist. All in the shadow.

In fact one of the most difficult things to do in this crisis is to look through to see what we actually know and to separate it from what we don’t know. So we need to come up with a counter-gesture – and it can’t be the completely disingenuous and ineffectual “well, I don’t know!” That’s completely impotent, it’s a failed attempt at inaction, and a totally smug posturing.

Instead, we have to find a way to meet each other in our conflicting certainties.

Certainty is a deadness. It’s a kind of dead knowledge that acts as if it’s an object (objective thinking some like to call it). There’s nothing wrong with dead knowledge, exactly. In fact, its deadness is what allows us to hold it, interpret it, examine it from different angles. We can reject or accept it. But holding the dead form of certainty only takes us so far – because we don’t have a question of what the right knowledge is here. And it’s becoming increasingly clear – just look around you! – that there will forever remain differing certainties of what’s right.

What the question is, then, is: How do we come into relationship with each other?

We don’t need a fixed type of knowledge, we need a living relationship to the truth that we’re all creating.

That’s the counter gesture to the certainty: finding a way to interact with others that helps us come together no matter what their narrative is.

How will the ant-mask person get along with the person who needs to wear a mask? Where’s the meeting point that’s not just the screaming fit in the Trader Joe’s or the histrionics of photographing people in the park who aren’t wearing masks? How do we find common ground between the person who wants to protect their grandparents and the person who wants to protect their business? How do we come to wholeness with one another?

Wholeness is a kind of health; the word health comes from the word meaning “whole!” So I knew I needed to talk with someone about this on a wholistic level.

Paul Chek is one of the most respected health professionals in the world and the founder of the CHEK institute (which shares his name but stands for Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology). He’s done health consultations for professional golfers, the Chicago Bulls, and many many more elite athletic clients. His book How To Eat Move And Be Healthy revolutionized fitness and personal health and wellness. He’s also the host of the complex and detailed and engaging podcast Living 4D with Paul Chek, on which he talks to health practitioners and experts from all modalities.

I found Paul’s work shortly after I’d moved to San Francisco, when I decided that I wanted to create a new kind of body for myself. I didn’t want to knock myself out of balance by doing what I saw many others doing – taking chemical steroids, eating whey protein, working out in haphazard ways.

Paul’s work is the opposite of all that. It’s layered and profound – He talks not just about how I should eat this much protein and carbs and calories or whatever, but about, diet, happiness, quiet, movement. And most importantly, how they interact with each other. How does sleep affect diet? How does moving the right way affect my ability to be happy? How do my relationships affect my posture? Over the years, Paul’s public output has grown even more wholistic and more comprehensive – I heard him talking more and more about spirituality and capitalism and God and sex (not to mention Rudolf Steiner!). You’ll hear it on this episode – we start to talk about health, and we end up talking about God and reality and death and listening to your soul – and in the course, I hope you as a listener can recognize that these are the questions of health – that questions of health are extensions of questions about reality, God, death, creativity, and paradoxes.This is a dizzying conversation about health and wellness.

And because Paul is funny, we start and end with dick jokes.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The options available for health, including doing nothing
  • The importance of webbing together concepts of health
  • The individuality of health and how to chose between experts
  • “It’s not a crisis, it’s an awakening…If you’re running away from a lion, it’s a bad idea to throw in a cartwheel!”
  • Why we need to be “world-centric”
  • The reason why the world absolutely depends on your existence
  • How realizing you can’t see your own face gives you a reality
  • God witnessing itself through us
  • The importance of reptiles for consciousness
  • The hijacking of alternative health modalities by fundamentalists and racists
  • Vegetarianism as a natural principle, not a rule
  • The world as a schoolyard of souls
  • Why we’re not actually afraid of death

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Paul, visit the CHEK Institute, of course, where you can sign up for courses, find practitioners in your area, and look into Paul Chek’s media. A favorite episode of mine for our moment? “Creating Stability In A Time Of Crisis” Also, Paul does a multilayered Q&A on his show every few episodes. They’re great introductions to his work and thinking. Here’s his second Q&A which I particularly like. You can also read the sporadic entries on his blog.

• My two essays on the difficult time of my life are here: on being assaulted by my then-boyfriend and getting a lymphoma diagnosis.

• The quote, “God sleeps in the rock, dreams in the plant, stirs in the animal, and awakens in man,” is attributed to Rumi, Ibn Arabi, Madame Blavatsky, and more. Anyway, it’s good.

• For more on the creation of elementals, listen to AEWCH 67 with Daniel Joseph. And for a bit on being the universe witnessing yourself, listen to AEWCH 116 with Are Thoresen. And here’s my conversation with Mona Eltahawy who says, on AEWCH 121, “If your community is ready for you, you’re already too late.”

• If you’d like to learn about Ian Stevenson’s reincarnation research, here’s a good resource.

• Here’s a lovely picture of Shankaracharya for you to put your attention to.

• My friend Mira Bartok is the person whose brain was damaged and suddenly got more input. She wrote about her brain damage in the bestselling memoir, The Memory Palace.

• I wrote an accessible intro to the work of French psychoanalyst and philosopher Jacques Lacan as part of my “The Sex Radicals” series.

• I talked about the changing nature of archetypes in relation to consciousness on AEWCH 112 with Peter Berbegal.

• To get an intro to biogeometry, you can listen to Paul’s conversation with Dr. Ibrahim Karim, and also this great intro to biogeometry with Dr. Karim on Nick Penault’s podcast.

Friends – stay whole and stay healthy.

Love,

CH