Tag Archives: death

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

8 Dec

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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

Conner Habib & Gordon White talking spirits in a pandemic on the latest AEWCH!

24 Mar

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This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company in isolation, please give what you can.

Contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.

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Friends,
In the absolute rush of the news cycle, you may feel claustrophobic, scared, anxious. And you may be forgetting about Alejandro Jodorowksy’s wise words about magic: “Magic in Thought: EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE.”

So now is a time for possibility, not limits. To that end, I invited one of the most expansive and perceptive thinkers I know, author, magician, and Rune Soup host, Gordon White, on to the show. Gordon’s voice is essential in this time, not only because he is a systems thinker, but because he is a systems thinker who considers the non-physical dimension. Gordon and I discuss the potential of this moment, as well as its dangers.

We also talk about the spiritual currents in, informing, and causing some of the events in our moment. And we turn our attention to a potent question for our time: What are spirits?

As Gordon puts it in a non-Godfather voice, coronavirus offers an opportunity for a better world, and the difficulties ahead make it the “opportunity one you can’t refuse.”

Let’s take it up, friends. Let’s start here.
Speaking of the non-physical dimension, this episode is the first one I’ve recorded remotely. It made me feel uncomfortable, but I think we pulled it off!

On this episode

  • What the actual fuck is actually is happening here now
  • The importance of the ground beneath your feet and what’s immediately outside your door
  • Why we need to stop fearing death
  • Why the black death is the pandemic comparison we need
  • Choosing desire in this moment
  • The difference between public conversations and social media conversations
  • The connection between medicine and materialism
  • Angels, and “Be not afraid” as your mantra.
  • How the panic was always here, anyway
  • Why we need to create a new, better, world and simultaneously resist evil
  • What spirts are, anyway – breath? Rivers? Consciousness?
  • Whether or not Gordon and I see spirits
  • Human beings as addresses for spirits
  • Getting in touch with the feeling of “holy”
  • Ghost ships near Malaysia
  • Why the spirit world is not behind a veil
  • On the other hand, why there is a spirit that is a veil

SHOW NOTES

• For Gordon’s 2020 astrology video with Austin Coppick, go here. And for my 2020 episode of Rune Soup with Gordon, go here.

• Gordon is very interested in Armstrong economics. They’re dirty, but very interesting, and, I think, present profound conclusions and a profound picture.

• Rudolf Steiner’s book, The Mission of the Archangel Michael, the Revelation of the Secrets of Man’s Being is good reading for this moment. You can also find an audio version here.

• Interested in the art of Andrew Wyeth? It’s beautiful.

The Shock Doctrine is a book and term from Naomi Klein.

• Here are the twitter TOS changes, which seem to be backed-off from and have a sort of watery enforcement.

• Here’s a bit on Neville Godard’s First Principle, “Be still and know that I am God.”

• The Žižek quote is, “The function of ideology is not to offer us a point of escape from our reality but to offer us the social reality itself as an escape.”

• Here’s a bit on my dear dead friend Jake.

• The Walter Benjamin quote: ” The same threat hangs over both: that of becoming a tool of the ruling classes. In every era the attempt must be made anew to wrest tradition away from a conformism that is about to overpower it. The Messiah comes not only as the redeemer, he comes as the subduer of Antichrist.”

• Want to hear more about and with Lynn Margulis? Here’s the last conversation recorded before her death. It’s with me, on AEWCH 91.

• The book Gordon mentions that influenced Gary Lachman, is The Master And His Emmissary, by Iain McGilchrist.

• “There exists nothing other than the spiritual world. What we call the sensory world is the evil in the spiritual world, and what we call evil is only a necessary moment in our eternal development.” – Kafka

• “Breathe deep, seek peace.” – Dinotopia

Until next week, friends!
CH
CW

You are going to die. Now what? Me + Caitlin Doughty discuss death, sex, activism, and death & sex activism on AEWCH 77!

16 Jul

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Friends,
It’s time to talk about death and activism and death activism, and oh yeah, Marianne Williamson and stuff. There is no one better to discuss all this with that my good friend Caitlin Doughty. Caitlin is the host of the wildly popular youtube series, Ask A Mortician and her work has served as a foundation of the death positive movement, which is seeking to change our relationship to death in our culture.
She’s also the author of the death memoir, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory; as well as her book about death rites, From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death; and the forthcoming book about death for kids, Will The Cat Eat My Eyeballs: Big Questions fromTiny Mortals about Death.
When Caitlin and I spoke way back on AEWCH 8, we mostly discussed death in a theoretical way. This time, I bring to her the recent death of my friend, to work through some of the feelings and intensities I went through in mourning and gratitude.
We also spend a lot of time discussing being advocates and activists, and what challenges that brings. It’s a very personal episode and very different conversation than Caitlin’s used to having on a podcast!
On this ep:
  • what we’d like to do more of before we die
  • how to pre-mourn our own deaths by confronting our anxieties
  • HIV “bug chasing”
  • externalizing death drives vs turning them on yourself, and how that’s gendered
  • why we should destroy heterosexuality
  • the Dalia Lama and cultural conflict
  • the problems have a healthy relationship with death can bring
  • how a breakup gets a ton of conversations with friends, but a death tends to only get one
  • Pompei volcano sex deaths
  • why we need to acknowledge what sex positivity and feminism have brought to us
  • mediating social media exhaustion
  • the relief of others taking up the same causes you have
  • why I want to have more underground people on the show
  • the problem with only having one face for a given cause
  • what doing activism is for

SHOW NOTES are always free.

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NEW ONLINE EVENT: GOD SEX DEATH featuring CONNER HABIB with CAITLIN DOUGHTY & PETER ROLLINS on 1/20!

1 Jan

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God Sex Death is an online course that takes on three fundamental aspects of being human, featuring short lectures, conversation, and Q & A with three of today’s innovative figures in conversation: Theologian Peter Rollins, Sexpert Conner Habib, and Mortician Caitlin Doughty.

But there’s a catch! Rather than talking about the topics they know best, they’ll each be taking on each other’s area of expertise.

This is a course that examines the intersections of human experience like no other. What does someone who knows so much about death have to say about sex? What does someone schooled in the profane have to offer on the sacred? And what can an expert in the eternal illuminate about the end of everything?

After each short presentation, we’ll talk with each other and then turn the questions over to YOU. We’ll be answer all your nagging God Sex Death questions!

Can’t attend the day of? Not to worry, a standard ticket gets you exclusive access to a recording of the whole thing for 90 days!

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Caitlin Doughty is a mortician, the bestselling author of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory and From Here To Eternity: Traveling The World To Find The Good Death. She’s also the host of the YouTube series Ask A Mortician, where she answers every question conceivable about death. From “What’s the most horrible way to die?” To “What happens to whale carcasses?”

Conner Habib is the host of the podcast Against Everyone with Conner Habib, and an internationally recognized expert on pornography, sexuality, and culture. His essays appear in Salon, Vice, CR Fashion Book, and more. He gives lectures at universities and organizations around the world, and he’s probably the only person alive who’s won awards for teaching, writing, and performing in porn.

Peter Rollins is the author of multiple books, including The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction, Insurrection: To Believe Is Human To Doubt, Divine. Each year in Belfast, Peter hosts Wake, a five day festival that explores the nature of belief, God, doubt, and politics. Peter hosts the podcast The Fundamentalists, on which he is made fun of weekly by comedian Elliot Morgan.

CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS

There are three different tickets types.

Standard: You’ll get access to the course, the Q&A, and the recording of the course for 90 days. 15.00

Plus: You’ll get everything above and you’ll also get: The exclusive God, Sex Death Reading List curated by Caitlin, Conner, and Peter. Each of us will recommend one book on each of the topics. 20.00

Gold: You’ll get everything from the Standard and Plus tickets and: Three Exclusive 2019 God Sex Death Tips Videos from Caitlin, Conner, and Peter! That’s right, you’ll get three separate videos (one from each speakers, each speaking about their area of expertise), giving you a tip on how to explore, think about, and think more deeply about God, sex, and death! These are short videos with a personal feel ONLY available to Gold ticket holders, telling you how to go deeper into each topic! 30.00

HOW DOES IT WORK?

A few days before the course starts, you’ll receive a link to the live webinar and instructions on what to do when you get to the site.

It’s simple, and all you need is your computer, the internet, and a few clicks to get started!

Plus and Gold ticket holders will get their benefits within 48 hours of the conclusion of the course!

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For groups of three or more, please contact me for group registration rates!