Tag Archives: philosophy

AA and D&D, art and reality, conspiracy and curation: Listen to me, esoteric scholar Peter Bebergal + countercultural pastor Barry Taylor talk about the uses of fantasy!

6 Dec

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Friends,

The world accumulates new fantasies about itself, and as it does, it changes. We develop these fantasies, we curate them, alter them, cling to them, and mark what counts as “reality” by them. Reality is an aggregate of fantasies.

So…what fantasies serve us? How? And who are the best curators?

Well, I’d say two I know are my guests on this episode.

First, occult scholar Peter Bebergal, editor of Appendix N: The Eldritch Roots of Dungeons and Dragons and author of Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural (which we talked about extensively the last time Peter was on the show – back on AEWCH 112 ).

Second, countercultural pastor and artist, Barry Taylor, who is also the author of Sex, God, and Rock ‘n’ Roll: Catastrophes, Epiphanies, and Sacred Anarchies. I met Barry through my friend and frequent AEWCH guest, Peter Rollins. Ive been wanting to have Barry on for a long time, and finally, needing to have discussion of art and fantasy and reality and religion, knew that this was the exact right moment.

We go all over the place in this one. From Dungeons & Dragons to Alcoholics Anonymous, from the problems with Graham Hancock to our acid trips. This is a great episode friends.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
I can’t say I’ve read Susanna Clarke’s epic British magic fantasy, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, but I trust Peter’s curatorial sense. Since he recommends it, I may go read it now. Let me know if you read it too! If you want a book I’ve read on some of the themes here, read Grant Morrison’s excellent nonfiction book, Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us about Being Human.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
AEWCH 47 features the psychoanalytic philosopher we talk about quite a bit throughout the show, Todd McGowan!

MORE ON PETER and BARRY
Peter is also the author of Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll. And here’s another interview with Peter, on RPGs and Appendix N.

Support Barry’s work via his Patreon! Here’s Barry’s website (you can also get his book from there if it’s sold out on bookshop.org), and a short profile of him in the Guardian. And do follow Barry’s Instagram – @UKBloke – for the great collages he makes and posts almost every day.

Until next time, enjoy your quest!
CH

The Problem with Magic, Part 2. (And what to do instead of magic!) WEIRD STUDIES hosts on AEWCH 203!

9 Nov

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SUPPORT AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB

If you don’t already, please do the following to keep AEWCH going:

  • Give via patreonPatreon.com/connerhabib this is the best way to support the show
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Friends,

Let’s ask ourselves a question: What if the appropriate worldview now is neither materialistic or magical?

What if the task is to do is move on and bring forward – through our own individualities – the world from these opposing positions?

I started this conversation with (Though this is a standalone episode!) Phil Ford and JF Martel, hosts of the Weird Studies podcast, on the previous episode, AEWCH 202.

Now we offer our first indications of what we think works here in the face of our challenges and opportunities in this world. What are they?

Vow, prayer, gathering.

This is the second part conversation but it stands on its own. So excited to be walking through these uncharted landscapes with you! X CH

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
For a great book on shifting the groundswell of being from scientific “facts” to the imaginative experience, read Meaning by Michael Polanyi and Harry Prosch.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
I talk about Christian principles from an esoteric standpoint on the excellent episode AEWCH 181 with Rev. Patrick Kennedy.

MORE ON PHIL & JF/WEIRD STUDIES
You can support Weird Studies via their patreon . You can also sign up for the 8 week course, WEIRDING. Even though it’s already started, you can still jump in and get the previous lectures via recording. If that’s calling to you, go for it. Also, Phil and JF were on the show back on AEWCH 166, and I was on Weird Studies 107 (on which we talk about Joy Williams’s great novel, Breaking and Entering).

The Problem with Magic: A two part conversation with Conner Habib + Weird Studies hosts, Phil Ford & J.F. Martel.

2 Nov

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SUPPORT AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB

If you don’t already, please do the following to keep AEWCH going:

  • Give via patreonPatreon.com/connerhabib – this is the best way to support the show
  • Tell people about the show and, if it feels okay, to support it on patreon (especially if you already know your pals are fans of the show but don’t support it).
  • Give the show a 5 star rating and positive review on Apple Podcasts.
  • Tweet and Insta quotes from and thoughts inspired by episodes (with a link!)

Friends,

As we enter into this weird world on the other side of the Viral/Trumpist/Nationalistic Collapse/Aesthetic/Opportunity Shock Portal (or, uh, whatever you want to call it), we find ourselves mapless and confused.

It’s apparent that we’re occupying something like a new world, or a new level in a game, or a new stage of development. So… what do we do? More and more people are turning to magic. Astrology, witchcraft, spellcraft, alchemy. But are these the right tools or do they simply feed into materialism more? (Hint: the latter)

I’m so happy to have two of my favorite supernature/strange times thinkers back on the show for this two part exploration of the problem with magic. Phil Ford and JF Martel are the hosts of the Weird Studies podcast, which I consider a sort of sibling podcast to AEWCH. They were on the show back on AEWCH 166 and I was on Weird Studies 107 (on which we talk about Joy Williams’s great novel, Breaking and Entering).

This is a two part conversation: part two will be released shortly, in which we talk about what tools we can use, if not magic, in the new landscape. 

So excited to walk through these uncharted landscapes with you!
X
C

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
For another exploration of this topic from a very different angle, I recommend a book I don’t fully get on board with but is nevertheless a classic: Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chögyam Trungpa.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
AEWCH 148 with anthropologist Stuart McLean expresses the ways that the magical bursts through into the world to contour reality. 

MORE ON PHIL & JF/WEIRD STUDIES
You can support Weird Studies via their patreon . You can also sign up for the 8 week course, WEIRDING. Even though it’s already started, you can still jump in and get the previous lectures via recording. If that’s calling to you, go for it.

Why reconstructing reality with magic and occultism is the most urgent political project: I talk with anarchist philosopher of magic, Federico Campagna on AEWCH 198!

6 Sep

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FRIENDS! We are on our way to AEWCH 200 – that’s 325 HOURS of free listening for everyone! – The ONLY way Against Everyone With Conner Habib exists is through support from its listeners via patreon.

Do you enjoy the show? Does it inspire new thoughts and conversations in your life?

If so, SUPPORT THIS PODCAST via Patreon. Your contribution is needed now more than ever.

Friends,

One of life’s great pleasures is coming across a thinker or artist who articulates your own project and thoughts with the same spirit, but in a different way; someone who has reached the same conclusions as you by walking a totally different path. What a sense of kinship. In Alan Bennet’s funny novella, The Uncommon Reader, we find the line “You don’t put your life into books. You find it there.”

How astonishing to find so much of my complex occult project in books by a living leftist anarchist, Federico Campagna!

Federico is a philosopher, author of Prophetic Culture: Recreation for Adolescents, as well as other books including Technic and Magic: The Reconstruction of Reality and host of the Overmorrow’s Library podcast, which covers mysticism, politics, mythology, philosophy, video-game design and more (and features some AEWCH guest crossover!).

Talking with Federico has re-inspired my own commitment to the work of asking What is the human being? and unfurling my politics and economics and culture from the answers I find. (And offering all that to you!). It also made me feel less lonely.

I’m so happy to share this episode with you.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
One of my very favorite philosopher is Michel Serres, who died in 2019. I’m currently finishing his last book, which he rushed to finish on his deathbed, Religion: Rereading What Is Bound Together. It’s is an occult lesson, whether he intended it to be or not.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
One of Federico’s closest collaborators is a hero of mine and has been on the show: Franco “Bifo” Berardi, who was on AEWCH 83. Bifo and I talked around mysticism, his concept of “breathing” and “potency” and how that relates to the etheric body, and more.

MORE ON FEDERICO
Federico’s other books include The Last Night: Anti-Work, Atheism, Adventure and the co-edited book resistance, What We Are Fighting For: A Radical Collective Manifesto. His website, which features lots of info, links, and a few short blog pieces, is here. Also, my favorite episode of Federico’s podcast is when he talks with his six year-old son, Arturo, about children’s books.

Until next time friends,
Create!
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

2022 Relationships are vital and… confusing. That’s why I asked Dr. Chris Donaghue onto AEWCH 180 to talk about how to navigate them!

23 Feb

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Friends,

Happy New Year! Here’s the fifth episode in my series on How To Live in 2022. The first, AEWCH 175, was with occult scholar Mitch Horowitz; the second, AEWCH 176, is on why reincarnation matters for us now; the third is AEWCH 177 with philosopher Zena Hitz on how and why to be an intellectual; the fourth is AEWCH 178 on using mysticism and the tarot in 2022 with Jessica Dore; and AEWCH 179, the fifth in the series is about living in community and organizations with Dean Spade.

But at the foundation of all our lives is sex – even if we are not inclined to identify with this or that sexuality, it is our origin story – and relationship – whatever kind of relationship I might be in. While world events seem to take up so much of our attention, in some ways the real action is at the level of fantasy, relationship, desire, lust, gratification, doubt, dear, confusion, and pleasure.

So I asked my friend, sex therapist and relational philosopher Dr. Chris Donaghue back onto the show. Chris is the author of Sex Outside the Lines: Authentic Sexuality in a Sexually Dysfunctional Culture and Rebel Love: Break the Rules, Destroy Toxic Habits, and Have the Best Sex of Your Life. Chris has been on the show twice before. Waaaay back on AEWCH 10 and then again on AEWCH 56.

Chris and I have a wide-ranging discussion as per usual on the show. But we both bring our own psychological (in my case psychoanalytic) and spiritual perspectives to bear. I hope this episode is helpful and illuminating.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ? I don’t like many pop-psych relationship books, but one I still think about – even though I read it over ten years ago – is David Richo’s How to Be an Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration. It’s not a perfect blueprint for sex and relationships, but there are so many bits of wisdom and seeds of contemplation in that book that I think it can be helpful for everyone.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO? The obvious pairing for this episode is AEWCH 159 with my friend Duncan Trussell. There’s not much to say about it other than it was recorded in the middle of one of the hardest relationship moments of my life. I don’t think it’s “brave” to have recorded it. But I do think, based on the feedback that I received, that it might be helpful for others or at least help diminish loneliness.

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK INTO FURTHER? One of the greatest tools I pull on when I’m having a relational emergency, I turn to The Work of Byron Katie. It’s a simple but profound tool for slowing down, and encountering the other through your own thinking. Watch some videos of Katie’s work in action, and then take it on yourself in your own life.

MORE ON CHRIS Chris is extremely prolific, so aside from his books (linked above), it might be a bit difficult to know where to start. Thankfully, his website gives tons of links. He also has a great Instagram which offers up thoughts and prompts for you to reflect on each day.

Until next time, be kind and horny with each other.
X
C

Seeing into 2022 with the tarot and mystic philosophy: Jessica Dore on AEWCH 178.

26 Jan

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Against Everyone With Conner Habib is funded exclusively by listeners like you. SUPPORT THIS PODCAST via Patreon

Friends,

Happy New Year! Here’s the fourth in the series of episodes on How To Live in 2022. The first, AEWCH 175, was with occult scholar Mitch Horowitz, the second, AEWCH 176, is on why reincarnation matters for us now, and the third is AEWCH 177 with philosopher Zena Hitz on how and why to be an intellectual. Now, back to the magic.

Divination may not give us “answers” exactly, but it does give us direction. It triggers feeling. It sends us off on adventures. it guards us from taking certain paths and opens others. It’s an important tool for navigating 2022, so I invited Jessica Dore, onto the show. Jessica is a tarot reader, philosopher, and author of Tarot for Change: Using the Cards for Self-Care, Acceptance, and Growth. I was introduced to Jessica’s work through another AEWCH 93 guest, tarot reader/zinemaker/YA author Sara Maria Griffin.

I’m so excited to share this episode with you.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
With some hesitation, I recommend Meditations on the Tarot by an anonymous author. Why do I offer my hesitation? It is one of the most profound books ever written, and it changes you as you read it. I understand that for some, my caveat will make the book more appealing. But go into it, if you do, with a gesture of love and care.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
The most obvious choice is also the best: AEWCH 142 with Rachel True. Rachel (whose fame still touches on her role in the cult classic The Craft) created her own tarot deck and tarot reading book. If you’re wondering why Jessica and I aren’t doing the “what is tarot, anyway?” that’s because I spent a good part of the episode with Rachel discussing just that.

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK INTO FURTHER?
If you’d like to learn more about Valentin Tomberg (the anthroposophist, Catholic esotericist, and author of Meditations on the Tarot), here’s a website about his life and efforts.

MORE ON JESSICA
Aside from buying Tarot for Change, you can keep up with Jessica via her recordings on substack (including the January 2022 offering we discuss on the episode), or via her website. There’s a lot on all her platforms (including twitter).

Until next time, friends!
CH

Reading, thinking, and conversation are noble pursuits and reasons to live. AEWCH 177 featuring Zena Hitz on the value of intellectualism.

20 Jan

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Against Everyone With Conner Habib is funded exclusively by listeners like you. SUPPORT THIS PODCAST via Patreon

Friends,
Happy New Year! Here’s the third in the series of episodes on How To Live in 2022. The first, AEWCH 175, was with occult scholar Mitch Horowitz, and the second, AEWCH 176, is on why reincarnation matters for us now. It’s not just the obviously spiritual that we must bring to bear on how to live now, though. It’s how we spend our time, and what we give our days and thoughts over to. For me, intellectual pursuits – especially literature, film, music, philosophy – are what I long to spend my time on. But I resent, deeply, the idea that they have to be “for” something, even self development. It’s not that they can’t contribute to self development, rather, that they only contribute to self development when we don’t force them into the role. So how could I do an episode on how-and-why-to-be-an-intellectual without forcing it all into functionality? Luckily, public intellectual, teacher, and philosopher Zena Hitz‘s, book, Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life, is hugely clarifying on this. After reading it, I knew I had to speak with her. I hope this conversation is clarifying for you, too.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
Susan Sontag’s Regarding the Pain of Others offers a great exploration of how to view art, the news, the world in general, without becoming numb: numb in the way we become numb to what we see again and again, and numb because of the narratives (or lack of them) that surround what we’re regarding. It’s a short book full of declarative and illuminating sentences.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
A good companion episode for this one is AEWCH 141 with religious scholar Jason Josephson Storm. We talk about knowing beyond academia, beyond postmodernism, beyond the old ways of taking in knowledge… but without discarding the most useful aspects of all the above. We also get really weird about it.

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK INTO FURTHER?
Since we discuss “spectacle” so much, I think I should direct you to the Situationists, the anarchist art/culture/politics group from 20th Century. One of the best entry points is via Ken Knabb’s super plain but very rich site, Bureau of Public Secrets.

MORE ON ZENA
Buy her book, of course. And visit her website, which is extensive; lots of interviews and thoughts and links and media. You can also look into the great books tutorial series Zena founded, The Catherine Project. And here’s a good talk from Zena at the Thomistic Institute.

Until next time, friends!
CH

What happened to us in 2021? I talk with Ask A Mortician host Caitlin Doughty about the year that’s about to die.

22 Dec

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SUPPORT THIS PODCAST
Against Everyone With Conner Habib is free for everyone, but it only exists via of support of listeners. If you like this show, if it has meaning for you, support it by using Patreon! Thank you so, so much.

Buy Caitlin’s books and all the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH 174 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,

On the final episode of AEWCH in 2021, I turn to my friend, the queen of endings herself: death expert, Ask A Mortician Host, and Caitlin Doughty We look back on the year about to die, and see what died (and should die with it). We also take stock of where we stand now as we face the year ahead.Thank you so much for listening all year, and I’m looking forward to the adventure ahead.

SHOW NOTES

• Caitlin has been on the show multiple times, but the last time was AEWCH 134, and that was the last time we hung out in person too (aw). And here’s Caitlin’s patreon.

• The series of episodes on love were:

• Here’s the video Caitlin released when the death toll skyrocketed in Los Angeles, where her funeral home is.

• And here’s AEWCH 143 & 107 guest Srećko Horvat talking with Richard Sennett.

See you in 2022, friends!
CH

The card for 2021.

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

14 Dec

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SUPPORT THIS PODCAST
Against Everyone With Conner Habib is free for everyone, but it only exists via of support of listeners. If you like this show, if it has meaning for you, support it by using Patreon! Thank you so, so much.To buy all of John’s books, go to Lilliput Press, who deliver all over the world. Or you can buy them via my booklist for AEWCH 173 from bookshop.org. A lot of them are on. backorder, but if you order them, they’ll get to you! And I get a small kickback when you order from there.

Friends,

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,
CH