Tag Archives: John Moriarty

On my favorite Irish mystic, John Moriarty. AEWCH 173: Republic of Birds.

14 Dec

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I’m so proud to share with you a comprehensive introduction and exploration of Irish mystic philosopher John Moriarty‘s work. The episode is a recording of the event I curated at the National Concert Hall, Republic of Birds (part of the same event series I curated that AEWCH 170 – on utopia with Una Mullally and Andrea Horan – was part of: Utopia at the National Concert Hall).

The episode starts with me reading the chapter “Shaman” from John’s incredible book, Invoking Ireland. Then three guests speak:

First, human rights lawyer and activist Simone George. – whose incredible 2018 TED Talk with her partner Mark Pollock is a testament to the depths of love and grief. Simone offers up how John helped her through the trials of the time and in communicating with and moving through with Mark’s paralysis. It’s a profound meditation on the body and freedom and care.

Then Mary McGillicuddy – who offers the best intro to John I’ve ever heard – of course she does, she’s the author of John Moriarty: Not the Whole Story – it’s an amazing meditation on John’s work. One of my favorite moments is when she weaves in John’s idea of the “Diamond Dimension” and “silver branch perception”:

“No matter how evil,” John wrote, “in no matter how many lifetimes I might have been, I continue at the core of my soul to be as pure as a drop of water on a lotus leaf…at the core of his being the devil is still an angel…”

Finally, Dónal Ó Céilleachair co-director (with Julius Ziz) of Dreamtime Revisted, which you can rent streaming here, and founder of Anú Pictures. Donal’s offering gets cut off by the recording, but we managed to get at least one of his keen perspectives in, and it’s a good one.

Until next time, friends,

Join me + Una Mullally, Gang of Youths, Saint Sister and more at UTOPIA- in person or streaming from the National Concert Hall in Dublin OCTOBER 20-24!

14 Oct



In the midst of the loneliness and fear of 2020, Una Mullally (AEWCH 87 & 151) and I noticed something profound: people were helping each other. They were looking out for each other. We both had the same thought at the same time: if we could wash our hands, and stand far apart, and buy groceries for our neighbors, and live each day with concern in our hearts for one another, we could make a better world, too.

And it didn’t have to be complicated, we’d just need the right starting point. And that starting point was and is:

What do you want?

Instead of asking questions of what’s practical, what came before, or what’s expected next, we thought, why not really ask what people are imagining.

So we started a project just for people living in Ireland in the summer of 2020: Utopia Ireland. We asked people what their idea was for a better Ireland they’d think a better Ireland looked like. We got well over a thousand answers in just a few months with almost no marketing.

What we found was that people in Ireland are ready for something: not “new” not “old” but something connected.

When the National Concert Hall contacted Una and said they were curating new series of events that would take place just at the turning point of the pandemic, we knew that this was a way for us to ask the question again.

What did we want? In this case, what did we want from cultural and music events?

We wanted events that had a sense of risk, a sense of uncertainty, and a sense of vision.

We wanted a concert – Murmuration – that drew from the culture of buskers in Irish cities and from the unpredictability of nature. At the concert — which features Gang of Youths frontman Dave Le’Aupepe (AEWCH 31), Gemma Doherty from Saint Sister, Irish folk star Daoirí Farrell, and more — each musician “passes off” the stage to the next musician, sharing the space and working with the musical director Ben Castle. The show will be dangerous in the best sense of the word. Instead of a polished production, it will move like the light of birds it’s named after.

We wanted a celebration of one of the most profound visionaries in Irish history, John Moriarty. John’s work is praised by Irish writers and celebrities. But he’s still largely unknown. He wrote about Ireland that was in touch with its eternal landscape, ancient mythology, and artistic present, all at once.

We wanted to present a merging of our podcasts, Against Everyone with Conner Habib and United Ireland to talk about utopia – and social threefolding – with each other and with the audience.

We wanted a room where sound was immersive, penetrating, and healing. A “sound bath” run by DJs and sound artists that passes the vibration through you as you enter; messing you up in the best way possible.

We wanted the unrehearsed, un-contained energy of rap music, with the spirit of a battle and freestyle. Music and lyrics that are craved from the air in the room by Irelands’ most innovative hi[p hop artists: Rebel Phoenix, Strange Boy, DJ Replay, Dyramid, and more.

We wanted something that felt involving. We learned in the pandemic that we saved each other. That participation, not spectating in the world is what got us through. So Utopia is a series of events that brings every audience member into a space of vision, anticipation, contemplation, creativity, and movement.