Tag Archives: philosophy

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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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 But one of the primary sources of meaning, religion, can feel outdated or even cruel and anti-peace if judged by its historical pathways of violence.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

Visionary creator of the Gaia theory, James Lovelock on AEWCH 171.

23 Nov

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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 Jim’s books and all the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH 171 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,

What an honor to finally meet scientific genius James Lovelock. I write “finally” because James has been a huge part of my life and education and way of thinking, though I’ve never met him. His major theoretical contribution, the Gaia theory, was co-developed with my main mentor, Lynn Margulis. In fact, you can view this as a companion episode to AEWCH 91 with Lynn Margulis (it’s the last recorded conversation with her before her death), who developed the Gaia theory with Jim. And I’ve released this episode to coincide with Lynn’s death, in 2011 – 10 years ago to the day, just one day before I’m releasing this episode with Jim.

So…what is Gaia?

Gaia is the work of the relational loops of push and pull between bacteria, other organisms, and the environment. The clouds, the atmospheric gasses, the pH and salinity of the ocean, and other Earth systems express the “dialogue” between the organisms and the Earth.  This dialogue is Gaia Theory.  Particularly relevant to these relational (often called “feedback”) loops are the smallest living beings, the bacteria.  In this dialogue, the information yielded from and received by the bacteria and environment is absolutely crucial to the existence of life on this planet. Remove the bacteria and everything dies. The world becomes a Mars or a Venus, overtaken by harshness or billowing clouds so thick that everything is obscured.

The theory was long-resisted especially by biologists, even though the science behind Gaia, particularly that found in Lovelock’s formulations, is complex and detailed, not guesswork.Lovelock named it after his friend – novelist William Golding’s – suggestion: Gaia. While many people – especially journalists, it seems, try to trace resistance to Gaia theory to its mystical and religious sounding name, the truth is, Gaia is just hard for people to understand because it requires interdisciplinary and systems thinking.

A bit on the difficulty below, but before that, let me not skip past the arrogance and laziness of a lot of people in the scientific community who just said it was just magical thinking – many without actually reading the research that Lovelock had done.

To counter this, Jim came up with an understandable and accessible metaphor in the form of a computer program called Daisyworld.  Daisyworld is not the “proof” of Gaia but a powerful model and metaphor: Lovelock and his colleague Andrew Watson devised the program to see if living and environmental factors could theoretically interact without intention.  This was a rebuff to the many criticisms that Gaia had to act through some sort of new age benevolence.In Daisyworld, there are black daisies, which absorb the sun’s heat, and white daisies, which reflect heat.  Both flowers grow and produce offspring, and both have the same thresholds for life and growth — they cannot grow at a low temperature and die at too high a temperature.  The black daisies, which absorb heat, grow faster in cooler conditions; since the heat accumulates in their petals. White daisies, which reflect the heat, need warmer conditions to produce more offspring and thrive. The sun that shines on Daisyworld is dynamic.  It grows in luminosity over millions of years. Here is Lynn Margulis, quoted at length to make clear the results:“Without any extraneous assumptions, without sex or evolution, without mystical presuppositions of planetary consciousness, the daisies of Daisyworld cool their world despite their warming sun. As the sun increases in luminosity, the black daisies grow, expanding their surface area, absorbing heat, and heating up their surroundings. As the black daisies heat up more of the surrounding land surface, the surface itself warms, permitting even more population growth.  The positive feedback continues until daisy growth has so heated the surroundings that white daisies began to crowd out the black ones.  Being less absorbent and more reflective, the white daisies begin to cool down the planet…Despite the ever-hotter sun, the planet maintains a long plateau of stable temperatures.”

Many additional factors have been added into subsequent Daisyworld models. Because people were still skeptical, “cheats” – factorss that could have thrown the model off – were introduced; and even with the cheats, Daisyworld has always displayed a deep relationship between species selection and planetary temperature regulation.After Daisyworld, much less the mountains of observable evidence gathered afterward, the environment could no longer be seen as a tyrant, lording over selection; it was now a co-evolving field.  And by implication all the organisms on the planet are connected by this vast system of regulation and dynamism. Gaian processes are real and observable (and sometimes referred to as “biogeochemistry”, a term more acceptable to mainstream science).

Because of this, Gaia theory is an intense examination of natural selection, since Gaia’s processes of regulation are the “natural selectors.”  The push and pull of the biota (the total sum of all organisms) and the inorganic — their weaving and separations, their gestures of relationship — set the framework of regulation.  There is no need to be vague about “fitness” and just what the environment “selects” with Gaia in the picture. Gaia’s processes of regulations are what is at play here.We should resist funneling this into a “purpose” in a new age way – whether it’s the scientistic new age of neo-Darwinists misunderstanding Gaia as a living organism. Or the standard new age (think the Gaia network) line that Gaia is a “goddess” trying to contain Gaia’s complexity in a simple and inadequate metaphor.

Lynn Margulis expressed her solution to the error once by saying, “Gaia is not merely an organism.”

Gaia is beyond stale conception. It is more magnificent and active than we can imagine. Gaia is object and process. Gaia houses geosystems and the beings – people – who thought up the organizing principles behind those geosystems. It houses volcanos and every book, every word on volcanos ever written, and at the same time is those volcanos.  It is where our greatest loves live, and where every human heartbeat has ever rhythmically pulsed.

And if Gaia is conscious, it possesses a consciousness of a different magnitude, probably of a different order all together. People like Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne are just ill-equipped to understand complexity like that because it not only doesn’t fit in with their linear and reductive understanding of life, it also exposes their understanding as false.So: We are part of Gaia, and Gaia lives through us. This also has huge implications for “climate change” which Jim has been writing about now for years. If we are part of Gaia, that means our decision-making and our thought processes are also part of it. Which ultimately in a way means that morality – the way we approach Gaia – is a selection pressure.Morality is not shaped by evolution so much as it shapes it now.

But just to be clear Jim’s picture of climate change is much more complex even than the one we’re constantly presented with with charts and graphs and a dose of guilt constantly. Jim does lay the blame on humans in a way, but sometimes in surprising ways – it’s not just industrialism that has caused all of the problems before us, but our very exhalations are a massive part of climate change. Furthermore, there are factors beyond our control – the sun heating up contributes, as well as other geosystems.

Rather than feel guilty and helpless, we should recognize ourselves as part of Gaian processes. And where he goes from there in his latest book, Novacene: The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence, is controversial and also moving: computer-beings are evolving into life as a result of our actions. And rather than being here to destroy us, these computer-beings will help Gaian homeorhesis along as well, since it will be in their best interest to regulate the climate along Gaian lines.It’s a challenging but ultimately positive view of technology that dismissed the reductiveness of “singularity” thinking and also anti-tech sentiment. It’s one that echoes statements made by occultist Rudolf Steiner – who I talk about with Jim on the episode (including Steiner’s influence on Rachel Carson, who used one of Jim’s inventions) – about a hundred years ago, around the time of Jim’s birth. Yes, he’s 102 now!

What an honor to speak with Jim after years of being influenced by his work.

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Jim, there’s a whole lot on his website. And you can read his excellent memoir, Homage to Gaia. And one of my favorite books on Gaia is from MIT Press: From Gaia to Selfish Genes. And here’s a site devoted to Daisyworld. The Economist article on Gaia that Jim mentions is behind a paywall, but worth checking into.

• For a bit on Moore’s law (and why Jim says it no longer applies) wikipedia is probably the easiest intro.

• “If a lion could speak, we could not understand him.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

• I talk about code and alienation on AEWCH 144 with religious studies and UFO scholar Diana Walsh Pasulka.

• Evolutionary biologist Ford Doolittle was once a fierce opponent of the Gaia theory and has recently relented.

Until next time, friends,
CH

Archaeology against the state! It’s AEWCH 169 featuring David Wengrow!

9 Nov

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SUPPORT THIS PODCAST!
Against Everyone With Conner Habib is free for all, 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 David’s books and all the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH 169 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,

It’s obvious to so many of us that the world needs radical visions of the future for us to thrive. But we’re held back by our dismissal of radicalness, of visions, and even of the imagination. This holding back comes partly from our misinterpretation and misappropriation of history. It’s not just the future that needs radical visions, it’s the past. To discuss how to remake the past by encountering and challenging the real, I invited archaeologist and author David Wengrow on the show. David is co-author (with about anthropologist, the late great David Graeber, who appeared on AEWCH 99) of the new and incendiary book, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. The book is already causing a tremendous stir, as it pits anthropology and archaeology – of course paired with solid scholarly work – against the state as we know it.I’m so excited to share this episode with you.

SHOW NOTES

• For more on David, here’s his site (with plenty of articles) at University College London. You can also read some of his other works, including The Origins of Monsters: Image and Cognition in the First Age of Mechanical Reproduction. And here’s a video of he and David Graeber speaking to students during a strike at UCL.

• Here’s David Graeber’s essay, “Turning Modes of Production Inside Out“.

• I talk at length about the inner experiences of money on AEWCH 76 with economic researcher Conor McCabe, and on AEWCH 110 when Conor returned and we were joined by anthroposophical economist, John Bloom. And I discuss “dewitchers” with witchcraft scholar Thomas Waters on AEWCH 98.

Until next time!
CH

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about Lacanian analysis * (* but didn’t know you were afraid to ask) It’s AEWCH 167 with Peter Rollins!

19 Oct

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FRIENDS: Do you find this podcast meaningful? Support it! 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.

Buy Peter’s books and all the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH 167 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! 

Interested in Lacan? Sign up for my patreon at the $10 level or higher to join me + other patrons for a live discussion on Lacanian analysis on October 30th!

Friends,

The core of AEWCH is the spiritualization of the material. That is, I want to present a truly non-materialist way of viewing the world, where spirituality is seen as the wellspring of existence, and informs how we talk about ourselves, politics, economy, art, and more. But to that end, I’m not just inspired by spiritual thinkers. Instead, I draw on the work of humanistic philosophers, dialectical materialists, political theorists, atheists, and more.

One of the thinkers I’ve learned the most from is French psychoanalyst and philosopher Jacques Lacan (1901- 1981). I think Lacan’s work has tremendous potential to be leveraged as a spiritual project (despite most Lacanian’s protestations!), particularly in its formulation of its three clinical diagnoses: Neurosis, Perversion, and Psychosis. That’s it. Just three. And they can all be used in radical ways to affect culture/politics/economy. But Lacan is notoriously hard to understand. So I invited my friend, theologian and philosopher Peter Rollins, back on the show to break down Lacanian psychoanalysis in an understandable and clear way.

Peter is the most AEWCH of AEWCH guests, with this being his fifth appearance on the show – we also talked on AEWCH 14, AEWCH 55, and AEWCH 70 (with Todd McGowan), and AEWCH 135 (with Elliot Morgan).

That’s because Peter is one of my most important provocateurs; we agree on so much and so little all at once. For me, talking with Peter is electrifying, fun, and friendly.Of course, Peter and I are friends so we wander out into the jargon-y weeds from time to time, but we always pull it back! This is as good a place as any to get your Lacanian start.

SHOW NOTES

• Support Peter’s patreon here. He gives tons of content to patrons. And listen to his great religion & psychoanalysis podcast (with Elliot Morgan), The Fundamentalists; some recommended episodes are “Success,”  “Socialism,” “Fascism,” and “New Normal.” But you can really just start anywhere.

• One of the best resources on Lacan is nosubject.com, which is basically a wiki for all things psychoanalysis, particularly Lacanian psychoanalysis.

• For a look at how standard psychotherapy diagnoses models differ from psychoanalytic ones, here an article using depression as the example: “The Failings of Depression: A Review of Lacanian Psychoanalytic Critiques

• Some other psychoanalysis-oriented episodes of the show not featuring Peter include AEWCH 162 with Dr. Gwen Adshead, AEWCH 101 with Katherine Angel, and AEWCH 47 with Todd McGowan.

Until next time, friends,
XO
CH

The weird foundations of everything. WEIRD STUDIES PODCAST meets AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB on AEWCH 166!

6 Oct

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FRIENDS: Do you find this podcast meaningful? Support it! 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.

Buy the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH 166 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,

One thing that’s come up many times on AEWCH is my dislike for the phony “radical” statement that “everything is political.” It’s enlightening I suppose, to people who have no political conscience or consciousness, of course. Yes, there’s a political dimension to the everyday, to entertainment, to design if we seek it out.

But the statement also relegates us to being subjects of the political sphere. As David Wengrow and AEWCH 99 guest David Graeber (RIP) point out in their latest book,The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, it’s not a coincidence that the word for politics shares its roots with the word for “police” and “politeness.” These are words of subjection and subjugation and submission. They are words of the polis, the location where governmental and religious decisions were/are made, a seat of authority.If everything is political, everything is extending, in a very real sense, from our subjugation to the political – it’s an infecting being, and one that does not deserve to determine the ground of being.

Maybe we can say something a little more definitive and truer and more interesting: that everything is weird. And that everything is weird defies the political. Why? Because if things are weird – and they are weird – then they can’t be contained just by politics. They are baffling, intense, unknowable, imaginative, uncanny. The weird is a question that gives us an individual vantage point. Everything unfurls from the infinite, from the plenipotentiary.

I talked about this a bit on AEWCH 148 with anthropologist Stuart MacLean; the way the imagination and what we call the real meet and inform each other. Go listen to it if you haven’t, but also consider the fundamental weirdness of reality. Everything, everything, is weird, especially the everyday, since it denies its weirdness. Just take a second: The space between things and the space between the atoms that make up things. The way literature works. The fact that different cultures experience things differently. Not being able to see your own face. And on and on.So this is where Weird Studies and its hosts, Phil Ford and JF Martel , come in. Each week Phil and JF explore the reality of the weird and weird reality. It could be the way Glenn Gould thinks or plays the piano, it could be the movies of John Carpenter, or the I Ching. Or it could be the episode we just did together: I was just on Weird Studies talking about Joy Williams’s bizarre novel, Breaking And Entering.

Phil and JF show us that the weird is everywhere, and may even be the groundswell of being.

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

SHOW NOTES

• For more on the guys, go to Phil’s website and JF’s website. We talk a bit about Weird Studies 67, which features the documentary Hellier, featuring AEWCH 46 guests, the paranormal investigators Greg & Dana Newkirk, and here’s their episode on the work of John Carpenter. Be sure to support their patreon.

• If you haven’t yet watched Twin Peaks Season 3 (or Heaven forbid Twin Peaks at all), watch it. • JF mentions the Secret History of Western Esotericism Podcast, which you can find here.

• Here’s the video for Bjork’s “hyperballad

• I don’t know too much about occult/magic writer Ramsey Dukes‘s work, but the guys have definitely gotten me interested.

• Here’s AEWCH 79 with Billy Bragg, all about a “socialism of the heart,” and AEWCH 162 about forgiving violent offenders with Dr. Gwen Adshead. And I talk about the nature of evil on AEWCH 165.

• “The hope is that (art) saves us in reality by damming us in art.” – JF Martel

• “The feelings excited by improper art are kinetic, desire or loathing. Desire urges us to possess, to go to something; loathing urges us to abandon, to go from something. These are kinetic emotions. The arts which excite them, pornographical or didactic, are therefore improper arts. The esthetic emotion (I use the general term) is therefore static. The mind is arrested and raised above desire and loathing.”from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Until next time friends, stay weird.
CH