Tag Archives: anthroposophy

Esoteric Christianity and friendship in the Holocaust. AEWCH 184 with Anne Weise.

8 Apr

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Friends,

In the midst of 2022, so many of us are seeking peace and meaning. So here’s my series on one meaning-rich tradition and religious stream: Christianity.

But this will be a different sort of Christianity: occult and esoteric Christianity. Some of it might look familiar. Some might seem absolutely bizarre. All of it, I hope will stir a feeling of warmth and depth of meaning for you, whether you feel any affinity with Christianity or the occult. The first episode in the series is AEWCH 181, featuring Rev. Patrick Kennedy from the Christian Community – a religious tradition informed by occultism. The second, AEWCH 182, was on with writer and spiritual teacher Lisa Romero. And the third is AEWCH 183 on Christ and technology with tech worker-turned-spiritual-philosopher Andrew Linnell.

For this episode, I turn to the value of esoteric christianity and friendship and its opposite: Nazism.

I’m joined by scholar and author Anne Weise, using her absolutely stunning, heartbreaking, and inspiring book, Alfred Bergel: Sketches of a Forgotten Life—from Vienna to Auschwitz as the foundation for our talk.

Alfred Bergel was a painter murdered in Auschwitz – a wonderful artist, actually, whose work might be largely disappeared by his murders had Anne and a few others done the work of reconstructing his presence here.

Anne did this via research at the Karl König Institute since Bergel was close friends with König, the Jewish anthroposophist who started – through his guidance, encounters, and inspiration from Rudolf Steiner – Camphhill Communities, where people with what many of us would call “disabilities” live around the world. Camphill Communities are among esoteric christianity’s most beautiful offerings to the world. Follow links below for more information.

Through König’s archives and Anne’s work, Bergel’s life can be reconstructed and revitalized in part. Anne found mentions of him in Konig’s letters and family diaries, in poems and stories. She found other holocaust survivors and the notes of others who had died in the holocaust about Bergel. She also, on the journey (and in her book) in revealed instances of others in the camps comforted by esoteric christianity and anthroposophy (indeed some of the people in the camps were put they because they were anthroposophists).

This is an episode rooted in history, relevant for today, in both its picture of friendship and Christ, as well as its revelation of the inverse and how evil works.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
I was moved and disturbed by Peter Tradowsky’s short book, Christ and Antichrist: Understanding the Events of Our Time and Recognizing Our Tasks. It’s a portrait of the presence of evil in the second World War, as well as the challenges that face us in our moment. I only ask that you keep yourself in a feeling of protection and love before you read it; it’s intense. There are some points of contention between Tradowsky and what Anne says on this episode; I find them helpful to think about.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
I did an episode of the show with my best friend, Jeb Havens: AEWCH 161 and I’d say that’s the best outline of a spiritual friendship I can offer. 

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK INTO FURTHER?
Camphill Communities – developed by Alfred Bergel’s friend, Karl König, with guidance and inspiration from Rudolf Steiner – are among the most beautiful contributions of esoteric christianity to our world today. The idea of Camphill is that people with “disabilities” are whole people. To put it in the words of Rudolf Steiner in 1924: “The only possible grounds we can have for speaking of the normality or abnormality of the child’s life of soul, or indeed the life of soul of any human being, is that we have in mind something that is normal in the sense of being average. At present there is really no other criterion. That is why the conclusions people come to are so very confused. When they have in this way ascertained the existence of ‘abnormality,’ they begin to do – heaven knows what – believing they are thereby helping to get rid of the abnormality, while all the time they are driving out a fragment of genius.”

MORE ON ANNE
Anne works at the Karl König Institute, and their site is a great way to look into Karl’s efforts. She’s also written the book Marianne Brandt: Wegbereiterin des Produktdesigns A good article – pre-English Alfred Bergel… translation – by Anne on Bergel and the art forgery committed by the Nazis, “Alfred Bergel Opens a New Chapter on Holocaust Art: Spiritual Sustenance and Forced Forgery” is here.

Until next time, friends,
Love.
CH

Esoteric Christianity as the path of freedom and non-materialism: AEWCH 182 featuring Lisa Romero

18 Mar

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Friends, In the midst of 2022, so many of us are seeking peace and meaning. So here’s my series on one meaning-rich tradition and religious stream: Christianity.

But this will be a different sort of Christianity: occult and esoteric Christianity. Some of it might look familiar. Some might seem absolutely bizarre. All of it, I hope will stir a feeling of warmth and depth of meaning for you, whether you feel any affinity with Christianity or the occult. The first episode in the series was AEWCH 181, featuring Rev. Patrick Kennedy from the Christian Community – a religious tradition informed by occultism.

So… how is esoteric Christianity used? Or put differently, how does it work into and through our being and then act on the world? How can we form a new picture of reality out of it and proceed into thinking, feeling, and willing a new one into being?

To discuss this, I spent some time in rural Ireland with spiritual teacher and writer Lisa Romero. Lisa last appeared on the show three years ago on AEWCH 68 to discuss the occult picture of sex and sexuality. It was a profound conversation for me, but it barely approaches this one in terms of depth and breadth. We talk about Christianity at work in us, around us, and in the world. We discuss why esoteric symbols are used (why, for instance, is a star shape important and not just arbitrary?). And we discuss so much more.

Lisa the author of multiple books, all filled with spiritual exercises, including A Bridge to Spirit: Understanding Conscious Self-Development and Consciousness-Altering Substances and Spirit-led Community: Healing the Impact of Technology .

This is one of my very favorite episodes, I’m so happy to share it with you.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ? If you’d like to spend some time with one of the great Christian mystics, a good place to start is The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO? For another look at forgiveness and understanding, a great episode is AEWCH 162 with Dr. Gwen Adshead, who works with violent offenders and seeks to greet them with compassion. It’s a powerful episode and Gwen’s work is so utterly moving to me.

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK INTO FURTHER? Lisa mentions St. John of the Cross, and there’s a great series of episodes about him on the podcast Turning To The Mystics. There’s so much there and so many episodes, so I suggest you start with this one.

MORE ON LISA Lisa co-runs the EduCareDo initiative, which offers anthroposophy-based distance learning, and she also offers her own courses and pathwork: The Inner Work Path , which stems from her own esoteric research. The book the exercise comes from is The Inner Work Path: A Foundation for Meditative Practice in the Light of Anthroposophy. And here’s a great interview with her on AEWCH 181 guest Patrick Kennedy’s podcast (in this case his co-host Jonah Evans is interviewer), The Light In Everything.

Until next time, friends, Love. CH

A new series of episodes on Against Everyone With Conner Habib: Occult Christianity. My first episode, AEWCH 181 featuring Rev. Patrick Kennedy from The Christian Community

8 Mar

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Against Everyone With Conner Habib is funded exclusively by listeners like you. Do you find value in this show? If so, support the podcast. SUPPORT THIS PODCAST via Patreon

Friends,

Now in the midst of 2022, so many of us are seeking peace and meaning. But one of the primary sources of meaning, religion, can feel outdated or even cruel and anti-peace if judged by its historical pathways of violence. Yet many of us find the longing to connect with religious traditions that fascinated us, comforted us, or even just interested us at other points in our lives.

So I’m going to spend the next few episodes connecting us with one religious stream: Christianity. But this will be a different sort of Christianity: occult and esoteric Christianity. Some of it might look familiar. Some might seem absolutely bizarre. All of it, I hope will stir a feeling of warmth and depth of meaning for you, whether you feel any affinity with Christianity or the occult.

The aim is to discuss how to revitalize the spirit of any endeavor or phenomenon – religion, the natural world, technology, social justice, history, and politics – with the profound mystery secrets of Christianity.

The main headquarters, so to speak, of this exploration, will be the approach to the world developed by late 18th/early 19th Century philosopher/spiritual teacher/scientist/artist Rudolf Steiner, called anthroposophy.

First up in the series is Reverend Patrick Kennedy, who along with Rev. Jonah Evans, hosts one of my favorite podcasts, The Light In Everything. Patrick is a reverend in The Christian Community, the gathering of Christians in service and ritual informed by Rudolf Steiner’s guidance and Rosicrucianism. He’s extremely thoughtful, warm, and his voice is a beautiful light in the world.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ? One of the best books on Christianity seen from an esoteric point of view is Wilt Thou Be Made Whole: Healings in the Gospels by Georg Kühlewind. It’s a beautiful book that will both lead you through all the instances of healing in the Bible, and also lead you into the experience of them through meditation and contemplation.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO? In this series, I’ll be focusing mostly on esoteric Christianity inspired by anthroposophy and the work of Rudolf Steiner. But there are other valuable and potent esoteric Christianity streams that deserve everyone’s attentiveness. One can be found in the work of Daskalos and the Researchers of Truth, which I go into in-depth on AEWCH 67 with one of Daskalos’s students, Daniel Joseph.

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK INTO FURTHER? Well, the Christian Community, of course! One of the best ways to do that is to see if there’s a service near you and then attend one. Nothing will be expected of you, no one will try to get you “in” to the group. You’ll just encounter what all encounter: the baseline of the service is always the same; the Act of Consecration of Man. And then some talking afterward.

MORE ON PATRICK Aside from listening to Patrick’s podcast, you can support his endeavors on The Light in Everything’s patreon.

Love.
C

The history, benefits, and dangers of the paranormal, with Terje G. Simonsen

1 Jun

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Buy Terje’s excellent book and all the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH 152 on bookshop.org. The site sources from independent bookstores in the US, not a big corporate shipping warehouse where the workers are treated like machines. Plus when you click through here to order, the show gets a small affiliate kickback!

Friends,

I’m so excited to share this episode with Terje G. Simonsen, paranormal/occult scholar and author of the multiple award-winning book A Short History of (Nearly) Everything Paranormal: Our Secret Powers Telepathy, Clairvoyance & Precognition.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • “All models are wrong, but some are useful” – George P. Box
  • What is the akashic field and what are our limits in describing it?
  • What does it take to be able to walk through walls?
  • Materiality as an agreement
  • The uses (and misuses) of clairvoyance
  • The military’s limits on understanding psi
  • Revelation after revelation after revelation
  • Using parapsychology to create a better world
  • Anthroposophy in Norway
  • Christian esotericism at odds with magic?
  • That time I did remote viewing
  • The paranormal as a proximity to death

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Terje, here’s his excellent appearance on Skeptiko (PS remember when Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris was on my show? Waaaay back on AEWCH). Here’s Terje summing the book up well in a short video. And here’s an interview with Terje where he discusses David Bohm and the nature of reality.

• My friend who had brain damage is Mira Bartok, author of the bestselling memoir The Memory Palace in which she details the damage a bit.

• If you’d like to learn more about G.I. Gurdjieff, this is a good place to start. And here’s a site on Padre Pio.

• I talk a lot about Daskalos on AEWCH 67 with one of his students, Daniel Joseph. And AEWCH 116 with occultist acupuncturist/veterinarian Are Thoresen remains one of the best episodes of the show.

• I didn’t know much about the healer Matthew Manning before, but I’ll be definitely be investigating!

• Want to learn more about the Servants of the Light and one of their central teachers, Dolores Ashcoft-Nowicki?

• The psychologist who posited the “trance of the everyday” was Erik Erikson.

• Here’s a little on Ulla von Bernus, but you’ll have to translate the page if you don’t speak German. And here’s an article on Milarepa, who, like von Bernus, had a change of heart about practicing black magic.

• The image below is taken from (AEWCH 128 guest) Dan Gretton’s excellent book, I You We Them, Volume 1: Walking Into the World of the Desk Killer, in the show notes of that episode, I refer to these points as “a list of factors is an inverse of spiritual development, a sort of path of black magic.”

• Norwegian psychic and healer, Marcello Haugen has a site (which you’ll have to translate if you don’t read Norwegian) and I’m now looking into his work. I love Terje’s lovely story about him and the hare.

• “Fairy bush survives the motorway planners.” I love Ireland.

• Here’s a brief correspondence between Rudolf Steiner and the anarchist writer John Henry Mackay.

Until next time, friends,
C

Why being able to think about a cat means we can change the world: consciousness, psychoanalysis, and spirituality on AEWCH 139 with Michael Lipson!

26 Jan

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Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? For Michael’s books you should order directly from Steiner Books, for the other books mentioned on or related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 139 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
I sometimes think about the concept of world change, of political and economic change is getting ahead of ourselves. Why? Because we haven’t even begun to consider ourselves, consider what it means to be human, what thought is, what thinking is, and what consciousness is.
If we can’t hold a single thought, how can we create new structures for us to live in and dissolve the old?And it’s not helpful that everyone, from capitalists to communists to anarchists, generally think that questions of consciousness are fine to leap past and into creating theoretical abstractions to change the world.
Everything – everything – is tethered to the experience of thought and thinking.Don’t think so? Well, where did that thought come from? Have a theory about how thinking and thought is not the groundswell of existence? Well, where did that come from? Even the thought that consciousness is an illusion comes from thinking, of course. So there’s no way to get outside of thinking.
My idea has been: let’s start building from that, let’s get into the experience of consciousness and let our political, economic, and cultural work come from there.
I wanted to talk about this, and I wanted to talk about it early in this new year of incredible opportunity and trouble. So I asked therapist and author Michael Lipson on the show. Michael is the author of Stairway of Surprise: Six Steps to a Creative Life and Group Meditation. For nearly a decade, he worked with children with HIV and AIDS in New York City. Now he has his own practice and runs group meditation meetings each week via michaellipson.org.
We discuss so much on this episode, and I’m so excited to share it with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The way belief in materialism destroys freedom
  • Why solipsism is correct, but unrefined
  • Our everyday knowledge as an obstacle to seeing things as they are
  • Dissolving materialism is a spiritual path
  • That time I saw the pizza-being (Um, what?) – but don’t take my word for it!
  • The difference between spiritual substance and spiritual state
  • How to redeem the spiritual over Zoom
  • Why absorption matters
  • How psychoanalysis without spirituality necessitates law, and how its focus on childhood is a description of karma
  • The importance of contained nothingness
  • Certainties, bad and good
  • Creativity as the antidote to angry certainty
  • Psychotherapy in motion (literally)
  • Despair as a sign for hopefulness

SHOW NOTES

• Most of Michael’s work can be found on his website, including his short series of essays/meditation prompts on Simone Weil. And here’s Michael in conversation with author Allison Burnett is here.• The Nature Institute in New York state is where I managed to finally, permanently, alter my thinking from object-thinking to metamorphic-thinking.

The Work of Byron Katie changed my life, too.

• Emily Dickinson wrote, “A letter always feels to me like immortality because it is the mind alone without corporeal friend. Indebted in our talk to attitude and accent, there seems a spectral power in thought that walks alone.” Here’s more on her letters.

• One of my first conversations at the top of the global crisis – and consequently, one of the first I did remotely – was with writer and theorist Mark O’Connell on AEWCH 105 about apocalypse, of course.

• A bit on Śūnyatā, or emptiness, in Buddhism.

• You can learn more about David Spangler’s work of incarnational spirituality and work with elemental beings via his organization, The Lorian Association.

• I talk about the problem of certainty in 2021 on AEWCH 136 and about nothingness on AEWCH 116 with Are Thoressen.

• “Who pours out like a spring, knowing knows him: and leads him delighted through the bright creation, that often ends with the start, and begins with the end.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

• Here’s Rudolf Steiner’s quote on faithfulness:“Let your loyalty to another human being come about in this way:  there will be moments — quickly passing by — when he will seem to you filled and illumined by the true, primal image of his spirit.
Then can come, yes, will come, long stretches of time when your fellow-being seems clouded, even darkened.  But learn at these times to say to yourself:  The spirit will strengthen me; I will remember the true, unchanging image that I once saw.  Nothing at all — neither deception nor disguise — can take it away from me.Struggle again and again for the true picture that you saw.  The struggle itself is your faithfulness.
And in those efforts to be faithful and to trust, a human being will come close to another as if with an angel’s power of protection.” (by the way, I had Duncan Trussell read this waaaay back on AEWCH 16!)

• Want another podcast to listen to? I love the The Fundamentalist Podcast, featuring Peter Rollins and Elliot Morgan from AEWCH 135!

Until next time, friends,
X
C

Postmodern philosophy as a spiritual path? I talk with occultist, philosopher, and writer Scott Elliot Hicks on how to transform thinking.

1 Sep

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Friends, does this show have value to you? If so, I ask that you support it on Patreon! The show is funded exclusively by listeners like you, and your contribution is vital and deeply appreciated!

Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 122 on Bookshop.org! It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
Is it enough to just think new thoughts to change the world? Is it a matter of having the right knowledge, the right perspective, the right information? The answer may seem unfortunate given the urgency of our times: Absolutely not.
What we need instead is to actually change our thinking. That’s a completely different task, and one that’s much more difficult. But it’s also much more gratifying and powerful and transformative. I knew that I’d have to talk to someone about this on the show, and I knew that one of the most capable and thinking-filled people to talk about this with was Scott Eliiot Hicks.
Scott is one of a small group of teachers worldwide who have used Rudolf Steiner’s book The Philosophy of Freedom (also known as Intuitive Thinking As A Spiritual Path) as it was intended – that is, as a living guide through occult development.What happens on this path is that you start to get in touch with not just your thoughts, but the actual direction, flow, and livingness of thinking.
Scott’s books are dense and dizzying and totally worth the journey. They include The Resurrection of Thinking: Steiner’s Anthroposophy & the Postmodernism of Badiou, Deleuze, Derrida & Levinas (available through bookshop.org – you can see how this title would appeal to me!), and two books only available via Amazon, Earthly, Transcendental, & Spiritual Logic: From Husserl’s Phenomenology to Steiner’s Anthroposophy and his novel The Shattering Light of Stars.
We go deep on this episode, and I’m so excited to share it with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Why thought is not enough and we must change thinking
  • Being stuck in a “spiritual eggshell” or “shell hell” after death
  • The unappealing-ness of doing spiritual work and why we can/should overcome it
  • Why do some spiritual events and encounters show up for some people out of nowhere?
  • The darker spirits we’re all full of
  • Why clairvoyance is often just a disguise for materialism
  • How to see what objects really are if they’re not material
  • Why you should forgive yourself when you move out of your spiritual developments
  • Why spiritual experiences are difficult to hold in memory
  • Language as boom tube – and how a new language arises when you are spoken by the spiritual world
  • Sex as an occult encounter and why sex is so “dark”
  • Why love cannot exist without the antichrist
  • The need for forming constellations of spiritual seekers
  • The coming struggles with AI

SHOW NOTES
• For more on Scott, visit his excellent website, which features many blog entires to alternately wade through and dive into the deep end of the spiritual development of thinking. His site also links to his excellent series of short videos on YouTube.

• I talked a bit about the difference between thinking and thought way back on AEWCH 20 with rogue anthropologist David Shorter. And I discuss anthroposophy directly on AEWCH 116 with Are Thoresen and AEWCH 68 with Lisa Romero.• For more on the spiritual double, check out the booklist for this episode.

• I love Scott’s expression of language creating “positive voids” like boom tubes in DC Comics.

• In spite of giving him a hard time on this ep, I like Jacques Lacan quite a bit, and discuss his work and psychoanalysis in general with Todd McGowan on AEWCH 47.

Yeshayahu Ben-Aharon‘s work comes up a lot on this episode. I suggest you look into his work, which centers around what he calls “cognitive yoga.”

Until next time, my friends,
XO
CH

Demonology & Nothingness – A deep occult discussion with Are Thoresen on AEWCH 116!

7 Jul


Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 116: ARE THORESEN or DEMONOLOGY & NOTHINGNESS


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Thank you so, so much.
Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 116 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

AEWCH116TitleCardFriends, How does evil – created by culture and our own deeds – affect us?

You’ve heard me discuss spiritual topics on the show before, but I don’t think I’ve ever pulled you all into the deep end with me like this, nor steered the conversation towards the topic of, well, demons. And not the metaphorical kind. Demons as actual entities – as well as why we need to talk about spiritual beings as beings – and how they affect our health and our lives.

My guest, Are Thoresen is a a Christian occultist, author, veterinarian, and acupuncturist who lives in Norway. His writing details (sometimes in the same book) his decades-long career in healing as well as his own spiritual experiences, encounters, and events.

He’s the author of many books, including Spiritual Translocation: The Behaviour of Pathological Entities in Illness and Healing and the Relationship Between Human Beings and Animals, and Demons and Healing: The Reality of the Demonic Threat and the Doppelgänger in the Light of Anthroposophy, both which we talk about at great length here.

Unlike other episodes, I let myself get lost a bit in this one, because Are and I have some overlapping spiritual experiences, and I don’t want to halt the conversational pathwork to explain everything. To that end, I give some guidance with the terms we use (elementals, Lucifer/Ahriman, etc) at the top of the show.
We start off with evil and we end with the Nothingness of the Christ. In between, there are dinosaurs, translocating demons, sick pets, a planet made of bad deeds, and more. This is a wide-ranging episode that has its own life. If it knocks you over, that’s okay. Hit those fifteen-seconds-back buttons and listen through again.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The lure of evil when we talk about it, and the protection of the heart healing
  • Why Are considers the fact that he had coronavirus a blessing
  • How negative feelings and thoughts echo up into the cosmos
  • The 8th Sphere
  • The Northern Way, Southern Way, and Middle Way of initiation
  • The time I heard the devil in my backyard
  • Why pets get sick when their owners are sick
  • Why podcasting is just a little bit evil
  • When Are time traveled and saw dinosaurs
  • The problems with magical activism

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Are, here’s his website, as well as a great skeptical (and far less skeptical by the end) interview with him on the Adventures Through The Mind podcast. I’m also linking here to his Temple Lodge Publishing page and to two of his books via amazon, because some of his books are not available or are on backorder on bookshop.org.

• The essay about my ex-boyfriend beating me up is, “If you ever did write anything about me, I’d want it to be about love.”

• If you’d like to know more about Daskalos and his conception of elementals, I talk about them on AEWCH 67 with Daniel Joseph.

• The story of Parzival (or Parsifal) is known as a depiction of occult initiation. Here’s the most exoteric version of it: Wikipedia!

• The friend who said, “you’re not evil, you’re racist!” was Gordon White, of course.

• Here’s an interview with Judith Von Halle in The Southern Cross Review (whose editor once called me an “anthro-degenerate” but it’s a good interview, nevertheless!). The profound insights on the Pool Of Bethesda I mention appears in Illness and Healing: And the Mystery Language of the Gospels.

The Fifth Gospel lecture cycle by Steiner is one of the most complicated and intense, and one that Steiner himself said others would have great difficulty understanding.

• Mentioned briefly: For more on occultist Peter Duenov, (pictured here) click for a PDcomprehensive review.

• My essay about the lymphoma diagnosis, as well as my thoughts on treatment, and my mother’s death from bone cancer, is entitled, “When You’re Sick You’ll Wait For The Answer But None Will Come“.

• A great psychoanalysis book on the emanation of everything from nothing (in this case, sex) is What is Sex? by Alenka Zupančič.

• “Everything that violates free will is black magic.” – Are

Thank you for listening, friends.

Note: No episode next week. But I imagine it will take everyone some time to digest this one!
XO,
CH
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Sex & The Occult: Conner Habib talks with Christian occultist and sexuality research Lisa Romero on AEWCH 68!

30 Apr

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AEWCH68 Title CardFriends,

So excited to finally be talking directly about sex and the occult on my show, and there’s no one I’d rather do that with than author and teacher, and Christian occultist Lisa Romero!

Lisa has written multiple (excellent) books on meditation and spiritual development, but the one that drew me to have her on for this episode was her excellent book, Sex Education and the Spirit: Understanding Our Communal Responsibility for the Healthy Development of Gender and Sexuality within Society. It’s a book that looks at sex and sexuality from a developmental perspective, but in a spiritual way, rather than from a materialistic perspective.This episode goes really deep and presupposes your ability to go on the magical mystery tour with us. But there are lots of insights to be had by the secular as well. I hope whatever your belief system is, you’ll stick with it.

We discuss:

  • what sex is, anyway, from a non-materialistic view, especially in the light of the evolution of consciousness.
  • how we all have individuated relationships to sex (and what that has to do with freedom).
  • the scientific definition of sex and why that matters now.
  • how sex and attraction get confusing when different aspects of our being get into conflict with each other.
  • why a Christian occultist approach to sex never takes the form of “don’t do this.”
  • how sexuality gives us the ability to transform our lives and bring our spiritual development forward.
  • the Catholic Church developing its response to sex in response to the Reformation.
  • the problems with the sex positive movement.
  • the four levels of attraction and how they relate to the subtle bodies.
  • displaced sex as a creative process.
  • what anthroposophists can learn from Freud and Lacan.
  • why masturbating men should hook themselves up to the power grid.
  • why Conner doesn’t do or care about “sex magic.”

Show notes are available here.

XO, CH

LRPromo

Conner Habib’s NEW WEB SERIES and PATREON!

23 May

Sex IslandDear everyone,

After years of writing essays, comic books, and stories; making adult scenes; doing activism for sex workers; and talking about the occult and sex around the world; I’m unveiling my very own Patreon and accompanying web series: AGAINST EVERYONE with CONNER HABIB!

My life project is to make the world a better place for being fully human, so that we don’t have to constantly hide parts of ourselves and our interests away. We should be able to be sexual and spiritual, into the sciences and the humanities, into the occult and philosophy. And we should be able to be our full, integrated selves without compartmentalizing everything.
That’s where you, my Patreon, and my new web series, Against Everyone with Conner Habib, come in. Together, we can co-create a culture that’s easier to be a rebel, a punk, a slut, a witch, and an interdisciplinary weirdo in.
Against Everyone with Conner Habib is a web series starting in June that features me giving talks on a wide range of profound, weird, and fringe topics, ranging from the history of the adult industry to the occult secrets of technology; from the mystical, political nature of time and space to the bacterial origins of sex.
It also features me in conversation with some of the leading thinkers and creators of our time. For a list of upcoming topics and guests, visit my Patreon page.
My Patreon supports all my projects, including the series. Sign up now at any level (access starts at just one dollar per month!) and you get all sorts of amazing stuff:
  • Downloadable audio of the series
  • Membership in the Conner Habib Book Club
  • Skype sessions (one-on-one) with me
  • Extra episodes
  • Personalized video postcards sent to your inbox each month
  • Exclusive peaks at projects I’m working on
and lots more!
This is a HUGE step forward for me, and your participation is literally life-changing, and our community will be culture-changing.
Watch the intro video by clicking my face up there, by clicking here, or by watching below. And if you sign up by June 1, you’ll get a personalized thank you photo from me!
So!
Let’s create a new culture. Let’s hang out. Let’s talk about things we care about. Let’s be ourselves. Let’s do everything we’ve ever cared about, all at once.Thanks for all your support and love, my friends,
Conner Habib

Antroposophy 101 AKA All That Weird Shit I’m Always Talking About

29 Sep

asabovesobelowEvery once in awhile, amongst the dick pics and sociopolitcal rants on twitter, or between the lines of an essay, I’ll mention some bizarre occult stuff.  Sometimes it raises eyebrows, but more often, I’ll get some ernest, thoughtful questions in my inbox about it.  Here’s an incomplete introduction to some of the spiritual principles I think about – headquartered in an approaching to being called anthroposophy, developed by Rudolf Steiner.  The below Q&A first appeared in a slight different form on the online spirituality, science and culture magazine, Reality Sandwich.  

ANTHROPOSOPHY and RUDOLF STEINER 101

Who was Rudolf Steiner and who’s working with Steiner’s ideas today?

Rudolf Steiner was a scientist, philosopher, and spiritual thinker who lived in the late 19th and early 20th Century.  He produced a huge body of work, including thousands of lectures, a whole shelf-full of books, and a building in Switzerland called the Goetheanum.  His work, and the work and perspective of those who are influenced by his ideas, is referred to as anthroposophy.

One of the most impressive things about Rudolf Steiner are the practical fruits of his spiritual worldview.  His influence is felt most strongly around the world in the system of agriculture he created, called biodynamic farming; in Waldorf schools; and in CSAs (community-shared agriculture), which he laid the foundations for.  But Steiner also created a new form of medicine, bee keeping, a way to create stained glass, jewelry making, and more.  His spiritual perspective was even poised to inform the structure of European government near the end of World War I.

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Wassily Kandinsky

Steiner’s work has also deeply influenced scientists and ecologists; Rachel Carson was inspired by the work of anthroposophists, for example.

So there are hundreds of thousands of people interacting with anthroposophical ideas, whether they know it or not.  Some people directly influenced by Steiner’s work include novelist Saul Bellow, writer CS Lewis, scientist James Lovelock, artists Joseph Beuys, Wassily Kandinsky, and more.

How did I get interested in Steiner?

When I was in grad school, Rudolf Steiner’s name kept popping up in reading I was doing, but I never really looked into it.  When I went to an environmental conference with my teacher and mentor, world-renowned biologist/geoscientist Lynn Margulis, I came across a brochure for a place called the Nature Institute, which had a three month-long program on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s method of science. 

Even though I was in school already, Lynn said, “If you can get into that program, you’re going.”  You didn’t argue with Lynn Margulis about stuff like that.  So I got in and went, having no idea that Goethe was one of Steiner’s main influences.  Suddenly, I was soaking in anthroposophy. I got an apartment that was literally next to a biodynamic farm and across the street from a Waldorf school.  It was the perfect fit for me: I was in grad school for creative writing and biology, and anthroposophy bridges the gaps between the arts and the sciences.  Eventually I was reading Steiner’s lectures, and even though I didn’t understand any of it at first I felt a feeling of growth as I worked to comprehend what he’d said.

goetheanum

The Goetheanum

What are the basics of anthroposophy?

There aren’t really any basics explicitly laid out, partially because anthroposophy is so far-reaching and complex, partially because it evaded dogma, and most importantly because anthroposophy is so deeply individualized.  Everyone’s ideas of what the fundamentals are will be different. 

That said, there are certain threads that I see again and again in Steiner’s work, so I think of those as my fundamentals.

They are:

The principle that thoughts are as real as objects.  In other words, we need to understand that the thought-world is as important as the material world.  In the current mainstream worldview we tend to dismiss thoughts as illusory, but Steiner would say they are just as foundational to reality as material is.

barfield

Owen Barfield

The evolution of consciousness.  Steiner taught that consciousness evolves over time.  He didn’t just mean that the content of our thinking evolved, but that the structure of thought, feeling, and perception evolved.  The difference between what a person six hundred years ago thought and what we think today isn’t just a difference of what but how.  Many anthroposophical thinkers, like writer Owen Barfield, developed this work – pointing to the forms of language we use and art we make as evidence for this.

There is a spiritual landscape populated by spiritual beings, and these beings are constantly interacting with us.  For anthroposophists, these beings are not merely conceptual metaphors, but actual entities.  There’s a vast hierarchy of creation that can be understood only by studying, contemplating, and considering these beings.  This is the hardest principle for people unfamiliar with anthroposophy to deal with, so Steiner goes into great detail about what he means and helps to assist people to discover this on their own (or to reject it!), rather than just taking his word for it.

The highest principles of being are freedom and compassion.  By freedom, Steiner means thinking, feeling, and acting with real intention, rather than being led by compulsion.  Like many spiritual thinkers, Steiner understood that even when we believe were acting out of freedom, we are very often not.  His best solution for this was to work on having compassion for others as a way to develop freedom for yourself and to cultivate an atmosphere of freedom for others to develop in.  If you didn’t buy any of the other stuff about anthroposophy, but got this part down, you’d have a good handle on it.  As usual, Steiner doesn’t just assert this, but gives practical guidance on how to work on this faculty.

How did Steiner use his spiritual insight to create practices and change in the world?

Steiner’s work was about spiritualizing the material and materializing the spiritual, so that we could heal the rift we perceive between the two.  To that end, his efforts were always holistically inspired. 

For example, biodynamic farming isn’t just about making better tasting blueberries.  It’s about healing the soil the blueberries grow on, creating a healthy environment for the farmers, and creating a farm for those blueberries in which each component — the cows, the other plants, the farmers — act as organs in the body of the farm organism.  (By the way, the blueberries taste delicious.)

Another example is the Camphill movement, which works with people who have learning and mental disabilities, who become residents in Camphill communities.  Rather than just shuffling them away or trying to fix these people, Camphill considers them as whole human beings, with their own lessons to teach and lives to live.  They’re no more deficient or in need of fixing than you or I, and our destiny is intertwined with theirs.

A third example is Steiner’s work with money, currently pioneered by organizations like RSF Social Finance.  Steiner wanted us to reconsider our relationship to money, and rather than demonize it, elevate it into its proper place.  Money, he taught, was actually an impulse of brotherhood.  It revealed to us our relationships when we interacted with strangers and people we know in exchange.  So to help improve money, we need to restore it to it its principle of caring relationship.

Those are just three examples in the huge web of Steiner’s efforts to bring the principle of love and spirituality to a world that was becoming heavier and heavier with materialist and consumerist impulses.  They all stem from the principles discussed above, which Steiner wrote and spoke about and enacted his entire adult life.

Steiner

Rudolf Steiner