Tag Archives: occult

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,
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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ISTEN ABOVE OR ON: iTunes Stitcher Soundcloud
Thank you for your support in this time, friends. This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company and making you think or inspiring creativity, please give what you can. 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? 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
gecko

Abolish Silicon Valley! On fighting technocracy with Wendy Liu on AEWCH 114.

23 Jun


Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 114: WENDY LIU or AGAINST TECHNOCRACY
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Thank you for your support in this time, friends. This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. If the show is keeping you company and making you think or inspiring creativity, please give what you can.

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? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 114 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.
AEWCH114TitleCard

Friends,

 

Collectively, the world is waking up to the problems of big tech, and the challenges that lay ahead. But to understand what the problems are, and how to overcome them, we need guides, particularly guides who have been through the anti-life equation of tech themselves and somehow managed to not become deadened by it.

So I knew the best to talk to would be Wendy Liu, Bay Area software engineer and start up founder, and now the author of Abolish Silicon Valley, a practical memoir about awakening within and then challenging tech.

With a book title like that, Wendy’s stance on tech has obviously changed since the start of her career. Her public presence now focuses on revealing turn after turn of unsound ethics, structural inequality, the problems with data gathering, and even darker impulses in tech. To that end, Wendy and I talk about what’s happening now, how theory and activism can help with what’s coming, and lots more. This is a great episode, and I’m so happy to share it with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Why tech workers can’t “change things from the inside”
  • How tech used to solve the problems of centralized “analog” forms of power, and what happened
  • The collective discontent with tech
  • The way identity politics issues in tech
  • The evil embedded in tech itself and how to spot it without becoming a luddite
  • Theory language vs coding language and how code completes the inner state for you
  • My goofy undergraduate hot-guys-on-geocities site
  • Why the pandemic regulations aren’t exactly new conditions
  • Repression and oppression as a tactic for tech
  • The pitfalls of tech socialism (and Wendy says, “Conner, don’t worry about that just yet!”)
  • The elimination of emotion
  • How (and how not) to resist the tech monster
  • The neoliberal tech erosion of Ireland

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Wendy, here’s her website. Here’s a great interview with her on the gay Marxist podcast, Twink Revolution.
• Want to learn more about Total Information Awareness? You should.
• Also on the you-should list, check out Doug Rushkoff if you haven’t yet. He’s one of the most brilliant thinkers I know.
• Although I’ve been doing a sort of mini-run of episodes on tech, the first one, really, was AEWCH 105 with apocalypse writer and tech critic Mark O’Connell. If you haven’t yet listen, go for it. And here’s the article on J.G. Ballard that Mark wrote, and which both Wendy and I loved.

OB

• I’ve learned a lot from Owen Barfield (pictured) about language, consciousness, and art.

 

• J.G. Ballard’s Myths Of The Near Future isn’t available, but you can get his collected stories (or selected stories) via this episode’s booklist link.

 

• The economics, political, and cultural sphere stuff, is social threefolding, developed by Rudolf Steiner.

 

• Here’s a little rundown on the death of honeybees from 5G radiation. It’s on a honeybee-centered website, but you can find the data corroborated by other entomologists and tech workers.

 

• Here’s the trailer for Sorry To Bother You.

 

• Learn more about Wilhelm Reich’s occult tech on AEWCH 59 or other forms of occult tech via AEWCH 112 with Peter Berbegal or AEWCH 113 with Duncan Laurie.
Until next time,
X0101010101010 (JK!)
CH
ALE

Magic technology, technological art, and dials to the spirit world. Duncan Laurie on AEWCH!

17 Jun

AEWCH 113: DUNCAN LAURIE or THE UN-SCIENCE OF RADIONICS

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Thank you for your support in this time, friends. 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.

Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 113 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.
AEWCH113TitleCard

Friends,
I’m becoming increasingly wary and interested in the deepening commitment to tech in our world, particularly as we go through this global crisis together. I want to push on our capacity to imagine tech in different ways, to create a new relationship to tech in our lives, and to better prepare us for the challenges ahead.

 

So I decided to dig up my 2011 conversation with sculptor and tech-magic practitioner, Duncan Laurie. Duncan is the author of the profound book (seriously, everyone should read it!), The Secret Art: A Brief History of Radionic Technology for the Creative Individual.

R2I first heard of Duncan’s work with radionics via his segment on the late, great Disinformation series. In that clip, he talks plainly about two strange technologies I’d never heard of. First, radionics, which we primarily discuss on this episode. Second, bio-sensor sonic connection to plants and stones.

 

I talk at length about what radionics is at the top of the episode, so I won’t repeat it here, but the intersection of art, magic, science, and philosophy in radionics opens up completely new pathways for us.

 

Like AEWCH 91 with Lynn Margulis and AEWCH 97 Diana Young-Peak, this was part of a podcast project I started and abandoned in the early 2010s. I would love to have Duncan back on the show again now that I actually have a show, especially since he’s done plenty of work since 2011, obviously. But for now, bear with the less-than-ideal audio/discussion style/my younger voice. It’s pretty good, considering!

 

ON THIS EPISODE

  • How Duncan became attuned to the energies of growth and decomposition
  • “The first step where you get beyond the dimension of just materialism and the mechanistic viewpoint of life and suddenly just walk into a world where a different set of parameters is at work.”
  • What happens when we see beyond all materialism, and what radionics’s part is in that
  • How materialism degrades art and how art erodes materialism
  • The disconnect between validating radionics via science versus its use
  • Where Duncan sees using magical technology goes
  • The problem with seeking proof
  • Writer’s block as an analogy for not using magic
  • How desire connects us to art and to healing
  • Taking time out from what is known to look into the unknown

SHOW NOTES

• Duncan created an entire album – Induction Furnace – out of sounds from bio-sensors (the first album of its kind, I believe), and it’s a bizarre and wonderful listen. There are other musical bio-sensor works there, too, including a plant responding via bio-sensor to Bob Dylan’s “Cocaine”. Here’s an (unfortunately low-quality) video of Duncan getting rocks and plants to respond to each other with sound. Here’s a talk from Duncan at the TSAGregg Museum. Also, here’s a picture from his book, which, again, please get and read.

• Here’s a video by two modern radionics practitioners; they break it down in simple terms, although a little materialistically – “systems” “operating” etc. I do like their term for the radionics machine as a “high tech magical wand.”

 

• I wrote an essay about radionics, using them, and also sex (of course) years ago fro Vice.

 

• Here’s an essay on the founder of radionics, Albert Abrams, by one of his students, Eric Perkins.

 

• The author Upton Sinclair was interested in radionics and other weird science, and he wrote about it in his book Mental Radio.

 

• Duncan mentions that he’s a practitioner of Sura Shabd yoga. Here’s a very plain language explanation of it by Master Sirio Ji. The volume is low, so turn it all the way up.

The United States Psychotronics Association is pretty fascinating, and offers a lot of great new and strange directions.

 

• Duncan mentions the SE-5, a “radionics computer” which you can look into here.

 

• Here’s a link to a rare interview in The Sun with Cleve Backster, who put biosensors on plants. Unfortunately it’s with neo-primitivist transphobe and anti-sex worker activist, Derrick Jensen. But Backster is the focus.

 

Until next time, friends,
CH
O

How to turn a global crisis into a utopia. AEWCH108

28 Apr

Against Everyone With Conner Habib · AEWCH 108: FROM GLOBAL CRISIS TO UTOPIA


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ISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud

Thank you for your support in this time, friends. 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.

Want to buy books mention on this ep? Go to my list for AEWCH 108 on Bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

AEWCH108TitleCardFriends,

This is a comprehensive over of our situation and what we need to do.

Bringing together political observation, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and occultism, I take apart the current crisis – a political and socioeconomic crisis that a virus emerged into – and how we can move from this into utopia.

First, I survey the situation. Then our lockdown. And then I move into the importance of breathing; why in the center of this all, is breathing. Not just physical breathing, but the intentional creation of rhythms.

After moving onto whether or not it’s okay to do nothing, I talk about what we’re afraid of. The visions of fear; both fears of what might happening and fear of what is already happening.

That fear is a cue for action. But what kind of action? At the end of the episode, I move towards a vision of utopia, and suggest how we can get there.

Let’s do this.
– This episode arose, mainly, from my nightly “sermon” series, NobodiesTogether. Each night, I talk about an aspect of this crisis, with the aim of getting us all to be more engaged, rather than being passive spectators. I present my perspective for 20-30 minutes, and then move to Q&A. We’ve also had many special guests join us, including Mona Eltahawy, Alex Vitale, Mary Helen Hensley, Jeb Havens, and Una Mullaly. If you’d like to join us each night (except Tuesday), get access by joining my patreon at any level.

SHOW NOTES

•The lead-up conversations to this episode include
• Finally, it was also inspired by my friend Una Mullally, and her wise words on her podcast, United Ireland, on which she talked about utopia in Dublin.

John Moriarty‘s books are not widely available in the US, but you can still order them from The Lilliput Press. They are well worth the money and the wait.

• For more on touch (and the other senses) and their spiritual value, read Albert Soesman’s Our Twelve Senses.

• Here’s my essay in The Irish Times on how the global crisis has affected our experiences of time and space.

• Here’s Walter Benjamin’s beautiful essay, “Theses On The Philosophy Of History.”

• For Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s most global-crisis-relevant books check out Breathing: Poetry and Chaos and The Second Coming.

• The author of the sleep pamphlet is Walther Buhler, whose work is difficult to find in the US.

• The Slavoj Žižek quote, “‘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,” comes from his book, The Sublime Object of Ideology.

• Grant Morrison gives a great account of how fiction becomes reality in his book, Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us about Being Human.

• I still can’t believe I had Billy Bragg on the show. Do listen to that episode, and his music, for some wisdom. And read his short book, The Three Dimensions Of Freedom.

• An incredible book for evaluating the lead up to this moment is Babel by Zygmunt Bauman and Ezio Mauro.
Until next time, friends.
CH
seals

Why we need a new concept of time & space to create political change. Listen to me & Srećko Horvat on AEWCH 107!

21 Apr

AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 107: SREĆKO HORVAT or DEMYTHOLOGIZING (AND RE-MYTHOLOGIZING) THE CRISIS

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloudPatreon

Thank you for your support in this time, friends. 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.

Want to buy books mention on this ep? Go to my list for AEWCH 107 on Bookshop.org. It will help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

AEWCH107TitleCard

Friends,

We’re surrounded by terms that sound new, but that aren’t new. “Social distancing.” “The new normal.” And actions that seem new but are not new. Elevated police presence. Government overreach. Pandemic.

But these are old narratives that have been changed slightly to seem new. They’re mythic. So I invited one of the most important thinkers of our time to sort through what is new, what is old, and what is needed in our moment.

Srećko Horvat is an author, political organizer, and philosopher. Of his many profound and politically potent books, my favorite (and the one you should start with) is Poetry From The Future: Why a Global Liberation Movement Is Our Civilisations Last Chance. It’s a hopeful but evenhanded book about the possibility of interconnected movements in a world where neoliberal capitalism has won
.
He’s one of the cofounders of the Democracy In Europe Movement 2025, or DiEM2025 – a broad-based coalition of thinkers, rebels, and political theorists committed to creating a true leftist alternative in European politics, particularly in response to the disintegration of the EU.

Srećko is also currently giving live mini lectures, Q&As through the DiEM25 channel, and hosting conversations with luminaries as diverse as Noam Chomsky, Slavoj Žižek, and Seinfeld co-creator Larry Charles. (And on the 24th, he’ll be speaking with Franco Bifo Berardi!)

I’m so excited to share this conversation with you. It’s one that combines the political, the spiritual, and the philosophical, with activism. It identifies and creates new directions for us to move in during this crisis, and after.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • How and why we were dreaming about the global pandemic before it happened, and how we assisted it in happening
  • Why the esoteric, the occult, and border science matter now; and how the right seizes on them because the left is ignorant
  • the “libidinal” economy and why the left needs to take it up instead of opting for class reductionism
  • Why a leftist project needs to include a reappraisal of time and space (and why it matters now more than ever)
  • The fundamental fantasies of the left, the right, and the center
  • The generation of political will through meditation, poetry, reading, creating, gardening, and more
  • Why people are turning to plants in the global crisis
  • The possibility of money losing value over time
  • How to think about the value of laziness
  • The difference between mythic art and occult art
  • Why we should and should not applaud healthcare workers
  • The importance of using your own language
  • The necessity of new and strange directions for our activism
  • Meeting the stranger and loving the Other (and dating the Other, too)
  • Why lust matters, and how it’s connected to love

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Srećko, here’s his lecture, “The Virus Mythologies,” where he breaks down the signs and signifiers And for a quick summary of his other work, you can read Subversion!. Here’s Srećko in conversation with Brian Eno about his book, Poetry From The Future.

• I start off with a nod to the eruption of Mount Tamboura – to learn more about that catastrophic time, read The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History by William Klingman.

• I deeply appreciate Slavoj Žižek’s book, about the values of religion, The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity.
• Unfortunately, I cannot recommend Eric Kurlander’s book, Hitler’s Monsters, which is filled with misinformation and (willful?) misinterpretation. The main issue is that Kurlander, like many “historians” of the occult, although Kurlander certainly knows exoteric history, he does not understand the occult. That said, I can recommend a better book on the same subject, Hitler: The Occult Messiah, by Gerald Suster. Suster’s book also has some mistakes, but he at least takes the occult seriously as something other than just religious mind-control and stupidity. That said, it’s a very difficult book to get! At the very least, read them both.

• If you’d like to hear more about psychologist and border science inventor Wilhelm Reich, and his challenging relationship with the left, check out AEWCH 59, where I talk with Reich scholar James Strick. And if you do want to hear about me talking Wilhelm Reich, here you go.

Here’s a bit on Subcomadante Galeono (known to many as Subcomadante Marcos, but who changed his name to honor the dead) and the Zapatistas.

• Marx uses the vampire metaphor a few times in his work, but none more famously than, ““Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.” (In Capital)

• Here’s Walter Benjamin’s Theses On A Philosophy Of History. It’s, for me, one of the most influential theoretical works. From the essay: “The only writer of history with the gift of setting alight the sparks of hope in the past, is the one who is convinced of this: that not even the dead will be safe from the enemy, if he is victorious.”

• And Srećko mentions Carlo Rovelli, whose work I have yet to read. But I think I’ll start with the one he suggests, The Order Of Time.

• To hear more about the problem with doomsday preppers, check out AEWCH 105 with Mark O’Connell.

Barthes-216x300• So much about the theorist Roland Barthes on this show. Including, here, How to Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of Some Everyday Spaces. Also, his classic, Mythologies. His book Sade/Loyola/Fourier is difficult to find, but here’s my essay on Fourier, and you can find excerpts of his book in A Barthes Reader (which was edited by Susan Sontag!).

• Here’s Michel Foucault’s essay, “Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias.”

• The prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy;  O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek To be consoled as to console; To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love.  

For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

See you in the future, friends.
CH
WB

Why “stay the f*ck at home” is not enough. I talk with family abolitionist Sophie Lewis on AEWCH 106!

14 Apr


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ISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud

Thank you for your support in this time, friends.
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.


AEWCH106TitleCard
Friends,
We need to talk about the regulations and messages of “stay the fuck at home;” of quarantines and police powers; of medicine and our bodies; and we need to do it now.

So I asked the brilliant Sophie Lewis -family abolitionist, and author of the challenging and fascinating book about the politics of gestation, Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family – to talk about all this and more.

Sophie and I have intersecting influences; Donna Haraway was a huge provocateur for Sophie, and my mentor, Lynn Margulis, was a huge provocateur for Donna. What these influences have led to: a question about what the individual is, how we’re all connected, where our boundaries are.

This is an intense and wide-ranging conversation. I’m so happy to share it with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Why being with our families is an intolerable proposition
  • How the right has seized resistance to the state in our time
  • How the left couldn’t be less prepared for this pandemic and why
  • The way the condemnation of magic and the non-critical acceptance of science has made us impotent in the face of the current events
  • Whether or not astrology is eugenic, even though tarot is great
  • How leftists can interrogate science now
  • What Sophie learned from her silence meditation retreat (and how being greeted with silence can affect change)
  • Why Sylvia Federici and political economy takes on witchcraft (and sex work) need to be critiqued (and, uh, I kind of go off)
  • Why individual self-care is a “pestilence.”
  • The lessons of hospice care
  • The value of strangers and strangerhood
  • Why the classical elements and magic matter to leftist theory
  • What if we didn’t reach for the tools of fear and fascism in duress?

SHOW NOTES

• For more Sophie, go to her website. There you can find her essay, “Momrades against Motherhood, Mothering against the World.” And we should all read Sophie’s great, brief essay, “The Virus and the Home” where she states, “A quarantine is, in effect, an abuser’s dream…” And here’s her essay exploring the problems with Donna Haraway’s Staying With The Trouble. Sophie is also a member of the Out Of the Woods Collective who you may want to look into. Finally, here’s a good discussion between Sophie and Joanna Biggs.

• As a supplement to Sophie’s essay read Des Fitzgerald‘s excellent short essay, “Stay The Fuck At Home,” and Natasha Lennard‘s essay, “Domestic Violence Is on the Rise With Coronavirus Lockdown. The Responses Are Missing the Point.”

• Assad Haider, who critiques the tensions between identity politics and class politics was on the show way back on AEWCH 26.

• And if you do want to hear about me talking Wilhelm Reich, here you go.

• Someone once asked Mahatma Gandhi what he thought of Western civilization. “I think it would be a good idea,” he said. At least that’s how the story goes.

• If you’re unfamiliar with Sylvia Federici‘s work, it’s useful to some, even if it deserves (serious and thorough) critique. Here’s Daniel Denvir interviewing her on The Dig. I’ve found Federici’s work mostly uninspiring and overrated; her essays about witchcraft and magic go something like: “Capitalism disempowered witches, but I don’t believe those people ever had power in the first place.” But as you can hear from Sophie’s take, Federici has been a huge figure for many leftists, and a sort of backdoor for some leftists into witchcraft (though mostly in an aesthetic sense). Some of my critique comes out on AEWCH 98 with Thomas Waters.

• Would you like to read (or re-read) “A Cyborg Manifesto” by Donna Haraway? Also, I enjoyed, though did not fully agree with her book, Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. And here’s Donna’s update on the book that Sophie found wanting.

• Check out Elizabeth Wilson’s excellent book, Psychosomatic: Feminism and the Neurological Body . And though I haven’t read her book Gut Feminism yet, I am excited to.

• Alyssa Battistoni’s essay about political organizing and disorganizing is “Spadework.” And here’s an interview with Alyssa – “Living Together Shouldn’t Put Us at War With One Another or With the Earth.” And for work by Sophie’s partner, Vicky Osterweil, go here.

• Here’s Douglas Crimp’s (pictured below) essay “
How To Have Promiscuity In An Epidemic” and many of his other essays are collected in Melancholia and Moralism: Essays on AIDS and Queer Politics.

DG
 
• Sophie talks about abortion frankly and directly here.

Sophie mentions, briefly, Ann Boyer. I have yet to read her book, The Undying: Pain, vulnerability, mortality, medicine, art, time, dreams, data, exhaustion, cancer, and care, but I’m excited to.
Until next time, friends,
CH

Time, space, and our pandemic.

5 Apr

shelfHi friends,

Thought I’d link you to my essay on how the pandemic has changed our experience of time and space, and what that offers us. “The air is filled with birdsong now. It was always there, we just couldn’t hear it.” appeared n The Irish Times Magazine print edition, and is also now online. Here’s an excerpt:

“Suddenly apart, together. We’ve gone indoors, we’ve changed the dimensions of our lives, we’ve slowed down the weeks and agitated the days. It isn’t only the economy or the work day that’s changed since the virus: space feels different, time feels different.

Time inside and time outside aren’t lined up. Time might drag on indoors, and yet the landscape and news beyond the threshold could change, the way it does in winter, when you look out the window to discover the ground covered in white, the snow still coming down, surprising us in the quiet.

‘When we think of the world’s future, we always mean the destination it will reach if it keeps going in the direction we can see it going in now; it does not occur to us that its path is not a straight line but a curve, constantly changing direction,’ wrote the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Now that our visions of the future have gone crooked, we can sympathise with him. He lived for time on the curve of Killary Harbour, and probably could not have predicted that we’d one day treat lines and curves, to chart and flatten, as the fortune tellers of the world. Like the creases on our palms, we stare into them to understand what’s next. Old ways of knowing the world overlap aesthetically with new ones. We say, ‘It’s in our hands.'”

Would you like to read the entire article? Well, here you go.

XO
CH

memag

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

24 Mar

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

AEWCH103TitleCard
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

The victims of witchcraft & the witchcraft of victims. Dr. Thomas Waters joins me on the latest episode of AEWCH!

4 Feb

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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.
AEWCH98TitleCard
Friends,
I’ve been preoccupied with the way we’ve been preventing witchcraft, the occult, and magic from entering into serious philosophical and political (especially leftist political) discourse for a long time. Previously, witchcraft was the subject of ridicule. Now it’s claimed by Marxists, feminists, and others, as proof of their own theorizing. I’m happy that magic and the occult are being brought into discourse, but always in a way that seems to dismiss the phenomenon itself. So I invited Thomas Waters, author of the incredible Cursed Britain: A History of Witchcraft and Black Magic in Modern Times to talk about all of this. His book is the nail in the coffin of magical revisionism.
Thomas’s book looks at witchcraft from the 1800s to the present day in the UK and its colonies, but most importantly, it does so from a victim’s point of view. In other words, it starts with a serious angle, and stays with it. Along the way, you meet a host of weird and powerful figures, as well as tragedies, atrocities, and absurdities. And our conversation follows a similarly varied path. This is definitely one of my favorite episodes, and it serves as a companion to my conversational, informal episode “The Left Vs Witches.”
Most importantly, I think, we discuss the need for people who can thoughtfully interpret instances of witchcraft and magic in our time. The disappearance of these “dewitcher” figures has left us lost. These dewitchers use witchcraft as a way of seeing, and can teach that way of seeing to us.
I was happy, also, to get Thomas to express how his research into witchcraft changed him, and I’m sure he was happy to get me to talk about challenges to my academic research project.
Oh, and Thomas recites Wordsworth’s “Song For The Spinning Wheel” in the most soothing and mystery-filled voice!
In this episode
  • Witchcraft, belief, and placebo
  • The ways we dismiss witchcraft even as we admit it into “serious” conversation
  • Witchcraft as a first and last resort
  • Why witchcraft is not simply a tool of the disenfranchised but of people in power, too
  • The importance of dewitchers as people who sort through the bullshit & truth, the safety & dangers of witchcraft
  • Witchcraft as a way of reading, as a way of seeing
  • How disbelief in magic is colonialism
  • Why Thomas became interested in witchcraft
SHOW NOTES
• For more on Thomas, visit his page at Imperial College, which features links to articles and other projects. And if the episode wasn’t convincing enough, read this thoughtful review of Cursed Britain in the Times Literary Supplement.
• I mention the fact-filled (though perhaps theoretically unsatisfying) book Paranormal America: Ghost Encounters, UFO Sightings, Bigfoot Hunts, and Other Curiosities in Religion and Culture written and edited by Bader, Mencken, and Baker. It’s definitely worth reading.
• A great and harsh article on the appropriation of witchcraft for feminist revisionism is by Diane Purkis – “Managing Our Darkest Hatreds And Fears: Witchcraft From The Middle Ages To Brett Kavanaugh”
• I talk about capitalism, time, and magic on AEWCH 76 with Conor McCabe.
• Thomas mentions the book Witches and Neighbors: The Social and Cultural Context of European Witchcraft by Robin Briggs, and it sounds great.
• Yes, she was linked to a secret police force.
• I highly recommend reading On Kings by David Graeber and Marshall Sahlins.
DF• My favorite (and the most fun!) book on the Satanic Panic in the US is called, appropriately, Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s. It’s filled with photos, drawings, and is a great read-a-bit-a-day book. 
• If you don’t follow Hookland on twitter, I suggest you check them out ASAP. They’re great.
• Thomas writes a lot about Dion Fortune’s book Psychic Self-Defense, but I think the best place to start with Fortune’s work is either The Esoteric Orders and Their Work or The Secrets Of Dr. Taverner (which is fiction but based on Fortune’s own life). Both books are excellent introductory books to the occult.
• I haven’t yet visited the Museum of Witchcraft, and I really really really want to. Anyway, until I get there, maybe you can go and I can live vicariously through you?
AEWCH 46 with paranormal researchers Greg & Dana Newkirk remains one of my favorite episodes of the show.
• And check out The AntiWitchby Jeanne Favret-Saada for a good ethnography of dewitchers. And her first book, which Thomas gives a rave review to, is Deadly Words: Witchcraft in the Bocage.
Running with the Fairies: Towards a Transpersonal Anthropology of Religion by Dennis Gaffin is a compassionate and fun ethnography on the fairy faith in Northern Ireland.
Until next time, witches,
XO
CH