Tag Archives: Rudolf Steiner

Talk with the dead. AEWCH 150.

4 May

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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 all the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH150 on bookshop.org. Bookshop.org 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, No show notes here. This is the 150th episode. I’m so happy to share it with you.

Enjoy it.
Talk to the dead.
Love, CH

Alienation & Alien Nation. Catholicism and UFO researcher Diana Walsh Pasulka on AEWCH 144!

16 Mar

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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.

Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? To buy Diana’s books, and books related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 144 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,

Everyone who listens to this show knows that I’m interested in the intersection of spirituality, politics, and philosophy. Not in some sort of parapolitics or conspiracy way, of course – which I generally find plays out a bit shallow, even when there is truth there – but in the way the aforementioned currents play out in our inner lives, in our spiritual understandings, in our desires and drives, in our ethics and morals and activism.

Of course, this means, more and more, that I find myself contending with technology and the scientistic worldview that accompanies it.

It’s why this episode’s guest – religion and UFO scholar Diana Walsh Pasulka – is a perfect person to talk to on the show. Diana Walsh Pasulka  is the author of American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology, Heaven Can Wait: Purgatory in Catholic Devotional and Popular Culture and co-editor (with Simone Natale) of Believing in Bits: Digital Media and the Supernatural . They’re all amazing books.

At the top of this episode, I also spend a bit of time pulling apart something that comes up, and that’s the topic of AI, and how it relates to political economy and UFOs (phew!).

I’m still reeling from this conversation with Diana. She’s warm and thoughtful, and she’s mediating a lot of the intensities of the world that we need mediated. Ethics, morals, spirituality, science, tech, religion, and more.

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

(PS: As a bonus, this is coming out just before St. Patrick’s Day and has some St. Patrick’s lore in it! So it’s a sort of holiday episode!)

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Why do we not believe the things we don’t believe
  • Stopping ourselves from saying “that was weird” and “that was crazy”
  • The language of art as a way of knowing and learning
  • St. Patrick’s revelation
  • Diana’a UFO initiation process and academia as a site of false initiation
  • Academia’s resistance to supernatural and paranormal phenomena
  • Interacting with the dead in study and research
  • What’s the difference between Purgatory and limbo, and where is Purgatory (hint: Ireland)
  • When did physical evidence become a necessary aspect of making spiritual claims?
  • Are we all in Purgatory/limbo in quarantine?
  • My undergrad Geocities site as evidence of me speaking in tongues
  • When Diana’s social media was destroyed by bots
  • The burden and adventure of seeing what you see in the world

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Diana here’s her first and second appearance on Rune Soup. Here she is on a long (almost 3 hours!) podcast that often has… less interesting guests, the Lex Fridman show (I like Lex himself, no comment on him!). Here’s her CV on her university’s site.

• I talked about creating the new symbolic forms and language in the first episode of 2021, AEWCH 136. And here’s my discussion about metamodernism and theosophy with Jason Josephson Storm on AEWCH 141.

• The review of Diana’s book American Cosmic that was…not exactly positive, but still worthwhile in its critiques was from hermeticist Poke Runyon (who also identified the initiation event in Diana’s life).

• The shaman who said “you’ve graduated into a new danger” to me was Malidoma Some.

• I did a whole series on spirituality, politics, and tech – AEWCH 112 with Peter Berbergal an occult technology, AEWCH 113 with Duncan Laurie on the magical tech of radionics, AEWCH 114 on destroying Silicon Valley, and AEWCH 115 with Joanne McNeill on the inner experience of the internet.

• Here’s the trailer for Host, which, though flawed, is a really enjoyable horror film. Watch it on your laptop, for full effect!

• Here’s Somi Arian’s essay/“open letter” to tech about ethics/morals/free will.

• Steiner’s book, Friedrich Nietzsche: Fighter for Freedom, hasn’t been reprinted in the Collected Works series, but you can read it here.

Until next time friends,

CH

Back to the Future: Philosopher Srećko Horvat returns to AEWCH to talk with me about climate, capitalism, and reincarnation.

2 Mar

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyBreaker AnchorPatreon
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.Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? Srećko’s latest book is available here. To buy his other books, or books mentioned on/related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 143 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too. (And once After the Apocalypse is available via bookshop.org, I’ll add it to the list!)

Friends,

A few conundrums:How do we deal with the fact that we keep envisioning a destructive future, yet so few of us are acting to stop it?

When we talk about systems that (like capitalism and patriarchy, for example) that are oppressing us, do we mean they’re…like…spiritual forces? Invisible vague laws of social nature? What?And how is being separated from so many people we love affecting our notion of space and relationship?

To answer these questions, and in what I hope becomes an annual tradition, I invited philosopher, author, and activist Srećko Horvat back on the show. You might remember out first conversation, about a year ago, was on AEWCH 107, just at the start of the global crisis in 2020. Well, obviously, things haven’t resolved themselves since then, and it’s because we haven’t taken steps bold and miraculous enough.Srećko is not a class reductionist nor an identity politics thinker, but instead, (like Michael Hardt on AEWCH 120) Srećko brings together strands of ,any different aspects of being human – philosophy, art, music, poetry, activism, economics, politics, and more – and tries to survey our current, future, and past predicaments. His new book After The Apocalypse brings his multi-layered perspective to the apocalypse, which, Srećko reminds us, has already happened:

People huddled in tents in their houses in freezing Texas evenings. Empty streets. Lines for groceries at Tesco, where the food is all wrapped in plastic. Borders closed. The threat of disease at every turn. Riots against murder by the authorities. This is what it feels like to be in an apocalypse.

So what about after? Can there be an after?

The answer is yes, but it will take a liberation of time and space and a reinvention of the political, economic, and cultural realms.So… let’s get to it.

PS: After the Apocalypse has a playlist, which I’ve replicated as much as I could on spotify. Here’s the playlist for the book.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • What we mean when we talk about capitalism doing things
  • The destruction and seizing of time
  • Why reincarnation matters
  • How to deal with knowing an end is approaching but still needing to live in the now
  • Does “climate change” help us take action? And how are climate change and failed communism related?
  • Why science can’t save us (and in fact can do a lot of harm)
  • The return of the power of the state, and the public health utopia
  • Silence as a commons
  • The need for mutual aid
  • What the world should have, but refused to learn, from the HIV crisis
  • How to liberate “problematic” thinkers
  • The importance of working with the dead
  • How do we use the tools we have without reinforcing the terrible structures the tools come from

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. And here’s Srećko more recently (in January 2021) discussing the tangle of issues we’re in with his collaborator, Alfie Brown.

• I wrote about Wittgenstein’s quote – “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.” – and how it relates to the current crisis for The Irish Times.

• I talk with economics researcher and author Conor McCabe on AEWCH 76 about the entangled relationship between money and time (it’s one of my favorite episodes!). And I talked all about the way the vision of the Earth changed when we landed on the Moon waaaay back on AEWCH 5.

• Some of Günther Anders’s work is available online in translation here.

• Here’s a story on the the Tallaght wetlands. I can’t find the information on the murder investigation there, but I did read it shortly after the wetlands were destroyed. If you find an essay on it, send it along!

• I haven’t yet seen The Midnight Sky, but, okay, Clooney and sci fi. And here’s the trailer for the other movie Srećko mentioned, Space Sweepers.

• 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.”

• Bill Gates’s crazy plan to block the Sun is underway. Steiner’s warning (from 1913, I believe) is a bit complex if you don’t know the anthroposophical lexicon, but: “…the Ahrimanic beings strive to ensoul the living limestone with a kind of astral rain… If the Ahrimanic beings could realize their hopes the whole of humanity would gradually be dissolved into the earth…”

• I still can’t believe I got to speak with Fugazi/Minor Threat frontman and Dischord Records founder Ian MacKaye on AEWCH 119. Really.

• Oh, Snapcase, the hardcore dreamboats. Here’s probably their most famous song, “Caboose,” and here’s their spotify page.

• A short, smart, (and still somewhat objectionable) response to philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s take on the pandemic in the Irish Times.

• Here’s a little on the Human Interference Task Force.

Until next time (get it?)
XO
CH

We don’t need to “re-enchant” anything. Religion scholar Jason Ānanda Josephson Storm on Against Everyone With Conner Habib 141!

16 Feb

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyBreaker AnchorThis 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.Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? To buy Jason’s books or books mentioned on & related to this episode, please go to my book list for AEWCH 141 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
I’ve always hated the term “re-enchantment” because it presupposes that the world lost its enchantment, or that somehow we just have to insert a fairy or into the landscape or talk to trees, or worse yet, see the world in terms of the Neil deGrasse Tyson “wonder of science”: the most banal way of seeing anything. Do that and then – voila! – we have a spiritual world again.But the world doesn’t need to be be re-enchanted or merely populated by astrological symbols in the night sky – instead we need to dissolve the kinds of knowing that obfuscate our understanding of the spiritual nature of existence. We encounter, each day, a tangle of bad notions of perception and concepts which get in the way of, more open, more honest experiences. Materialism is a form of bad enchantment; a kind of hex itself.

On the other hand, the idea that we need to purge spirituality from the left is even worse. Figures viewed as foundational to materialist leftist discourse like Hegel and Adorno are tangled up in hermetic traditions, not to mention even Marx’s works were published by initially by spiritualists.

To talk about all of this, I invited professor, religious studies author, and authorJason Ānanda Josephson Storm onto the show. Jason is the author of three books, including The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences, as well as the forthcoming book on how to theorize differently, Metamodernism: The Future of Theory.This is an intense episode – my favorite kind – because we don’t hold back at all, we just go as deep as we want into religion, occultism, academic dishonesty, and consciousness.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • How did the tarot, astrology, and more show up in the left
  • Why the occult is not fascism and why we shouldn’t condemn Lutherans
  • The new materialists and neither new nor materialists, discuss
  • The desperate need for dewitchers and new theorists
  • The problem with trying to intervene in language
  • The way academics will develop “a whole vast edifice about the enchant(ment of) nature and it ends with ‘You should buy a Prius’ basically, and ‘Recycle!’ We already know that, we don’t need English professors to tell us that.”
  • My Bugs Bunny politics
  • Dissolving materialism rather than “re-enchanting the world” (and not hiding in dialectical materialism)
  • Why slapping furniture and saying “see, this is the REAL world!” doesn’t work, and also why Quentin Meillassoux is…not good
  • The failure of academia to keep the humanities valid, and why the theosophists (maybe) did it better
  • Why we can live and develop ways of knowing from that, instead of merely developing knowledge to shape and describe how we live

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Jason, here’s his Williams College website (with lots of info). Here he is talking to Vanessa Sinclair on the excellent Rendering Unconscious podcast.

• Here’s me with anti-productivity philosopher Brian O’Connor on AEWCH 89, where we also talk quite a bit (and positively!) about Adorno. And I talked about a lot of these themes from a completely different angle on AEWCH 137 with Mitch Horowitz!

• I have to say I have some hesitations about Jason’s claim that occultism was not central to the Nazi project or Hitler’s mission! I think there’s a very strong link, although I agree that it’s “overplayed” in many ways. See Hitler: The Occult Messiah, by Gerald Suster for a counterpoint. 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!

Paranormal America (Second Edition): Ghost Encounters, UFO Sightings, Bigfoot Hunts, and Other Curiosities in Religion and Culture is an excellent study (with TONS of data) on paranormal beliefs in the US.

• Witchcraft never disappeared in the UK, and I talk about it with Thomas Waters on AEWCH 98. You should also check out his truly excellent book, Cursed Britain

• The mountain that is there and is not there comes from Zen teacher Qingyuan Weixin: “Before I had studied Chan / Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains and rivers as rivers when I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it’s just that I see mountains once again as mountains and rivers once again as rivers.”

Until next time!
CH

“Do not trust those who analyze magic. They are usually magicians in search of revenge.” – Bruno Latour

Why being able to think about a cat means we can change the world: consciousness, psychoanalysis, and spirituality on AEWCH 139 with Michael Lipson!

26 Jan

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyOvercast 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.

Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? For Michael’s books you should order directly from Steiner Books, for the other books mentioned on or related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 139 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
I sometimes think about the concept of world change, of political and economic change is getting ahead of ourselves. Why? Because we haven’t even begun to consider ourselves, consider what it means to be human, what thought is, what thinking is, and what consciousness is.
If we can’t hold a single thought, how can we create new structures for us to live in and dissolve the old?And it’s not helpful that everyone, from capitalists to communists to anarchists, generally think that questions of consciousness are fine to leap past and into creating theoretical abstractions to change the world.
Everything – everything – is tethered to the experience of thought and thinking.Don’t think so? Well, where did that thought come from? Have a theory about how thinking and thought is not the groundswell of existence? Well, where did that come from? Even the thought that consciousness is an illusion comes from thinking, of course. So there’s no way to get outside of thinking.
My idea has been: let’s start building from that, let’s get into the experience of consciousness and let our political, economic, and cultural work come from there.
I wanted to talk about this, and I wanted to talk about it early in this new year of incredible opportunity and trouble. So I asked therapist and author Michael Lipson on the show. Michael is the author of Stairway of Surprise: Six Steps to a Creative Life and Group Meditation. For nearly a decade, he worked with children with HIV and AIDS in New York City. Now he has his own practice and runs group meditation meetings each week via michaellipson.org.
We discuss so much on this episode, and I’m so excited to share it with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The way belief in materialism destroys freedom
  • Why solipsism is correct, but unrefined
  • Our everyday knowledge as an obstacle to seeing things as they are
  • Dissolving materialism is a spiritual path
  • That time I saw the pizza-being (Um, what?) – but don’t take my word for it!
  • The difference between spiritual substance and spiritual state
  • How to redeem the spiritual over Zoom
  • Why absorption matters
  • How psychoanalysis without spirituality necessitates law, and how its focus on childhood is a description of karma
  • The importance of contained nothingness
  • Certainties, bad and good
  • Creativity as the antidote to angry certainty
  • Psychotherapy in motion (literally)
  • Despair as a sign for hopefulness

SHOW NOTES

• Most of Michael’s work can be found on his website, including his short series of essays/meditation prompts on Simone Weil. And here’s Michael in conversation with author Allison Burnett is here.• The Nature Institute in New York state is where I managed to finally, permanently, alter my thinking from object-thinking to metamorphic-thinking.

The Work of Byron Katie changed my life, too.

• Emily Dickinson wrote, “A letter always feels to me like immortality because it is the mind alone without corporeal friend. Indebted in our talk to attitude and accent, there seems a spectral power in thought that walks alone.” Here’s more on her letters.

• One of my first conversations at the top of the global crisis – and consequently, one of the first I did remotely – was with writer and theorist Mark O’Connell on AEWCH 105 about apocalypse, of course.

• A bit on Śūnyatā, or emptiness, in Buddhism.

• You can learn more about David Spangler’s work of incarnational spirituality and work with elemental beings via his organization, The Lorian Association.

• I talk about the problem of certainty in 2021 on AEWCH 136 and about nothingness on AEWCH 116 with Are Thoressen.

• “Who pours out like a spring, knowing knows him: and leads him delighted through the bright creation, that often ends with the start, and begins with the end.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

• Here’s Rudolf Steiner’s quote on faithfulness:“Let your loyalty to another human being come about in this way:  there will be moments — quickly passing by — when he will seem to you filled and illumined by the true, primal image of his spirit.
Then can come, yes, will come, long stretches of time when your fellow-being seems clouded, even darkened.  But learn at these times to say to yourself:  The spirit will strengthen me; I will remember the true, unchanging image that I once saw.  Nothing at all — neither deception nor disguise — can take it away from me.Struggle again and again for the true picture that you saw.  The struggle itself is your faithfulness.
And in those efforts to be faithful and to trust, a human being will come close to another as if with an angel’s power of protection.” (by the way, I had Duncan Trussell read this waaaay back on AEWCH 16!)

• Want another podcast to listen to? I love the The Fundamentalist Podcast, featuring Peter Rollins and Elliot Morgan from AEWCH 135!

Until next time, friends,
X
C

A MASSIVE conversation with Paul Chek on his podcast, Living 4D with Paul Chek!

30 Dec

Friends,

While you’re waiting for the next episode of AEWCH, guess what, here’s a THREE HOUR LONG conversation with me and AEWCH 129 guest Paul Chek!

I visited Paul at his amazing house (and met his amazing family) earlier this month. We drummed, we ate together, we stacked stones around Paul’s water orgone accumulator, we vaped some crazy herbs, we talked for hours and hours, and more. 

What an incredible day. This conversation wanders all over – into sex and sexuality, Rudolf Steiner and God, materialism and the occult. It’s just…a lot.

Listen above or on any podcast platform (and subscribe! it’s a GREAT and challenging podcast!).

And here’s the CHEK Institute page with show notes.

Love to you.
See you soon with a new episode of AEWCH (and my live conversation with Gordon White!)
CH

How do we believe in things without killing each other? I talk to Peter Rollins & Elliott Morgan of The Fundamentalists podcast on AEWCH 135!

16 Dec

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercast
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.

Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? For Peter’s books, and other books mentioned on or related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 135 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
As the year comes to an end, we find ourselves surrounded by people holding seemingly incommensurable sets of beliefs and ideas – and those sets of beliefs and ideas are being held onto more tightly, not less, as the ship seems to be aimless. While some of you might be finding a sense of relief in the changing of the guard in the US, and the presence of a vaccine, many others feel agitated by both.
2020 was the year that one community, one group of people trying to dominate and humiliate the other, seemed to rule.At the same time, we’ve seen these amazing outpourings of mutual aid, of togetherness, of new demands for the structures that are supposed to be serving us. I wanted to understand all of this, I wanted to have a conversation about belief and politics, and the unknown.
So I invited my friends Peter Rollins and Elliott Morgan to the show. You might know Elliott as part of the YouTube comedy group The Valleyfolk, or from his standup; and Peter from his work as a psychoanalytic theologian, or his previous appearances on AEWCH 14, AEWCH 55, and AEWCH 70 (with Todd McGowan); but I was interested in having them on together because they’re cohosts of the philosophy and psychoanalysis chat show, The Fundamentalists. On each episode, Elliott brings his everyday but perceptive concerns about the world, and Peter pulls them apart with psychoanalysis.
This is, I think a special conversation because of that belief piece, that ideology piece – because we all have different pathways through belief in our lives, from Peter’s sport of strange revelation upon seeing an exorcism take place after leaving the theater – he’d just seen Gremlins 2 – with his friend, to Elliott’s church experiences with something called the Holy Laughter Revival, to mine growing up without much religion and then finding my life infused with occult philosophy.We also each have different psychological structures, which we discuss on this show.And we each have different intellectual mentors and perspectives. Lately, Elliott has taken up Jungian psychology, which stands in some opposition to Peter’s Lacanian/Hegelian view, and both in some opposition to my occult view deeply informed by Rudolf Steiner.
So we spend a lot of this episode fleshing out some of those differences and nuances – how current events, how thinking, how the unconscious, and more, can be seen from each perspective.Gradually, throughout the episode, you get a sense of a sort of peace process. Not because Peter and Elliott and I were i some sort of deep conflict to begin with, but because the ideas and ways of living and structures of psyche meet each other and rest with each other without violent disagreement. The show presents three people, not trying to resolve contradictions and certainly not trying to win out, but rather simply taking an interest in one another.

In some ways, it offers an antidote to clinging to belief on the mast of the sinking ship of our politics, economy, and culture.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Our journeys through belief
  • Different sorts of exorcisms and possessions
  • The interpretations of the concept of the lack in psychoanalysis
  • Why didn’t going to school for science make Elliott an atheist?
  • What the unconscious looks like for Freud, Jung, and Steiner
  • How each of – Peter, Elliott, and I – us fall into a psychoanalytic structure, and what those structures are
  • How to avoid turning anxiety into violence
  • How communism and liberalism have dovetailed with each other into a big mess
  • Comedy creating stability
  • The way love and knowledge meet to become violence in our time

SHOW NOTES

• For more on The Fundamentalists, my recommended episodes are “Success,” “Socialism,” “Fascism,” and “New Normal.” But you can really just start anywhere.

• Right off the bat we get Gremlins 2 and Alabama Snake references, which I feel like is a call to watch both.

• John E.L. Tenney went to a Catholic exorcism and we talked about it on AEWCH 133.

• Here’s a short video on the Holy Laughter Revival, and it is…well…funny!

Jodorowsky’s Dune is one of my favorite movies about magic and art. (Below are character sketches for the film by Moebius.)

• I love AEWCH 116 with Are Thoresen about nothingness and Christ.

• Here’s a brisk intro to Franz Mesmer.

• Here’s the episode of The Fundamentalists about hot takes and the global pandemic.

• The Duncan Trussell Family Hour I talk about re: my prediction of the occluding force is here. And the other episode I mention is here.

• Slavoj Žižek comes up a bit, and if you’re looking for a good book to start with that relates to the topics here, I would say The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity is as good as any.

Until next time, friends,
XO
CH

Health in a time of crisis: Legendary fitness and health teacher Paul Chek on Against Everyone With Conner Habib

20 Oct

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud
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.
Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep, including Paul’s game-changing book, How To Eat Move and Be Healthy? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 129 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,

We’re heading into another lockdown here in Ireland, and Europe is returning to conditions of earlier this year. The US is heading towards its election and people are being banned on social media and other people are gaining power and everyone is just trying to cope.

Amongst all of this, I’ve spotted a problem, or should I say the spiritual challenge, of the current crisis which is largely un-talked about and quite dangerous: the state of absolute yet unearned certainty which is accompanying so much of the way we talk to each other, the way we think about others and the way we form our lives and responses.

I’m not talking just about the mainstream narrative here, either. I’ve noticed that many of the most spiritually evolved and politically active and intellectually developed people – the people I love and trust for solid perspectives on most things – are all putting forth their various narratives with a sense of total certainty, accompanied with a sense of intense emotion. And I see them trying to dominate each other. It’s almost as if anyone not believing what you believe about this crisis is unbearable, that anyone and everyone must be pulled into our own dimension of intense feeling and righteous certainty to be heard.That means that no matter what the content of the narrative we have is – the gesture is the same. In other words, even if you think you believe in something different, this act of emotion-filled certainty is leading to the same consequence and action. This holds true for conspiracy theorist and mainstream liberal, spiritually advanced teacher and atheist materialist. All in the shadow.

In fact one of the most difficult things to do in this crisis is to look through to see what we actually know and to separate it from what we don’t know. So we need to come up with a counter-gesture – and it can’t be the completely disingenuous and ineffectual “well, I don’t know!” That’s completely impotent, it’s a failed attempt at inaction, and a totally smug posturing.

Instead, we have to find a way to meet each other in our conflicting certainties.

Certainty is a deadness. It’s a kind of dead knowledge that acts as if it’s an object (objective thinking some like to call it). There’s nothing wrong with dead knowledge, exactly. In fact, its deadness is what allows us to hold it, interpret it, examine it from different angles. We can reject or accept it. But holding the dead form of certainty only takes us so far – because we don’t have a question of what the right knowledge is here. And it’s becoming increasingly clear – just look around you! – that there will forever remain differing certainties of what’s right.

What the question is, then, is: How do we come into relationship with each other?

We don’t need a fixed type of knowledge, we need a living relationship to the truth that we’re all creating.

That’s the counter gesture to the certainty: finding a way to interact with others that helps us come together no matter what their narrative is.

How will the ant-mask person get along with the person who needs to wear a mask? Where’s the meeting point that’s not just the screaming fit in the Trader Joe’s or the histrionics of photographing people in the park who aren’t wearing masks? How do we find common ground between the person who wants to protect their grandparents and the person who wants to protect their business? How do we come to wholeness with one another?

Wholeness is a kind of health; the word health comes from the word meaning “whole!” So I knew I needed to talk with someone about this on a wholistic level.

Paul Chek is one of the most respected health professionals in the world and the founder of the CHEK institute (which shares his name but stands for Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology). He’s done health consultations for professional golfers, the Chicago Bulls, and many many more elite athletic clients. His book How To Eat Move And Be Healthy revolutionized fitness and personal health and wellness. He’s also the host of the complex and detailed and engaging podcast Living 4D with Paul Chek, on which he talks to health practitioners and experts from all modalities.

I found Paul’s work shortly after I’d moved to San Francisco, when I decided that I wanted to create a new kind of body for myself. I didn’t want to knock myself out of balance by doing what I saw many others doing – taking chemical steroids, eating whey protein, working out in haphazard ways.

Paul’s work is the opposite of all that. It’s layered and profound – He talks not just about how I should eat this much protein and carbs and calories or whatever, but about, diet, happiness, quiet, movement. And most importantly, how they interact with each other. How does sleep affect diet? How does moving the right way affect my ability to be happy? How do my relationships affect my posture? Over the years, Paul’s public output has grown even more wholistic and more comprehensive – I heard him talking more and more about spirituality and capitalism and God and sex (not to mention Rudolf Steiner!). You’ll hear it on this episode – we start to talk about health, and we end up talking about God and reality and death and listening to your soul – and in the course, I hope you as a listener can recognize that these are the questions of health – that questions of health are extensions of questions about reality, God, death, creativity, and paradoxes.This is a dizzying conversation about health and wellness.

And because Paul is funny, we start and end with dick jokes.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The options available for health, including doing nothing
  • The importance of webbing together concepts of health
  • The individuality of health and how to chose between experts
  • “It’s not a crisis, it’s an awakening…If you’re running away from a lion, it’s a bad idea to throw in a cartwheel!”
  • Why we need to be “world-centric”
  • The reason why the world absolutely depends on your existence
  • How realizing you can’t see your own face gives you a reality
  • God witnessing itself through us
  • The importance of reptiles for consciousness
  • The hijacking of alternative health modalities by fundamentalists and racists
  • Vegetarianism as a natural principle, not a rule
  • The world as a schoolyard of souls
  • Why we’re not actually afraid of death

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Paul, visit the CHEK Institute, of course, where you can sign up for courses, find practitioners in your area, and look into Paul Chek’s media. A favorite episode of mine for our moment? “Creating Stability In A Time Of Crisis” Also, Paul does a multilayered Q&A on his show every few episodes. They’re great introductions to his work and thinking. Here’s his second Q&A which I particularly like. You can also read the sporadic entries on his blog.

• My two essays on the difficult time of my life are here: on being assaulted by my then-boyfriend and getting a lymphoma diagnosis.

• The quote, “God sleeps in the rock, dreams in the plant, stirs in the animal, and awakens in man,” is attributed to Rumi, Ibn Arabi, Madame Blavatsky, and more. Anyway, it’s good.

• For more on the creation of elementals, listen to AEWCH 67 with Daniel Joseph. And for a bit on being the universe witnessing yourself, listen to AEWCH 116 with Are Thoresen. And here’s my conversation with Mona Eltahawy who says, on AEWCH 121, “If your community is ready for you, you’re already too late.”

• If you’d like to learn about Ian Stevenson’s reincarnation research, here’s a good resource.

• Here’s a lovely picture of Shankaracharya for you to put your attention to.

• My friend Mira Bartok is the person whose brain was damaged and suddenly got more input. She wrote about her brain damage in the bestselling memoir, The Memory Palace.

• I wrote an accessible intro to the work of French psychoanalyst and philosopher Jacques Lacan as part of my “The Sex Radicals” series.

• I talked about the changing nature of archetypes in relation to consciousness on AEWCH 112 with Peter Berbegal.

• To get an intro to biogeometry, you can listen to Paul’s conversation with Dr. Ibrahim Karim, and also this great intro to biogeometry with Dr. Karim on Nick Penault’s podcast.

Friends – stay whole and stay healthy.

Love,

CH

The Witchcraft at the End of the World. Peter Grey & Alkistis Dimech of Scarlet Imprint on AEWCH!

6 Oct

LISTEN HERE OR ON: iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud

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.
Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? To buy books from Scarlet Imprint, go to their website and buy directly from Peter and Alkistis.

To buy the other books, go to my booklist for AEWCH 127 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
For a time now, we’ve been walking around with a stone in our shoe – an unavoidable feeling throughout the day. And that feeling is: it’s the end of the world. The end of the world shows up again and again in history, and we’re in one of those end times, it’s risen into public consciousness. That’s why I write it’s the stone in the shoe, we’re aware of it even when we’re not aware of it. How does this new presence change the way we walk, the feeling we have about the day and have about each other? How do we walk with the minor and major imbalances it creates? If something permeates the general consciousness, it has a different effect on us; it becomes a companion. So what does it mean to not just intellectually or creatively entertain ourselves with the apocalypse, but to actually experience it in our daily lives?

And there is, to paraphrase Marx using his own supernatural language, a spectre haunting the end of the world, and that spectre is witchcraft. It’s magic, the occult. Whether it’s the symbols of the political elite, the black magic conspiracy theories of Q Anon, the presence of new thought and new age in the US democratic primary, the resurgence in the interest in tarot and astrology, the aesthetics of witchcraft on Instagram, we see again and again the presence of a new and old version of looking at the world, paired with the constant presence of its end. The end of the world and witchcraft are siblings this time.Maybe it’s not surprising, since the end of the world is always brought by prophecy and oracles, always seen by the knowing in its portents. And the end is always changing the way we relate to time; when we think there’s an end of the road, so many of us move away from linearity and start to think in layers of time. In synchronicities and correspondences. In creative ruptures outside of the normal flow of things.

We think in witchcraft.

So, I needed to discuss all of this, and give it flesh. I invited two people I know working with witchcraft and art in the apocalypse – Alkistis Dimech and Peter Grey. They’re also authors, performers, and the founders of the occult/witchcraft publishers Scarlet Imprint.One of the most interesting aspects of this conversation is that Alkistis and Peter and I come from differing traditions – they’re working with Babalon – the being that appears in Revelations, in thelema, in enochian magic and more.Whereas I am working with The Christ and the Archangel Michael via anthroposophy.So there’s a tension between our traditions – almost a sort of antagonism. What’s important to remember here is that through me and through Peter & Alkistis, a conversation takes place between these end of the world and beginning of the world beings – through Christ and Babalon. Conversations – real ones – become sites for the interaction of spirit as well.It is through that that tension found only in friendship that we ask a lot of big questions for our big time.

ON THE EPISODE

  • The rise of apocalypse in consciousness
  • The way the spiritual world selects or discards people to give itself life
  • What to do when we notice what we’ve lost and what we depend on
  • Why to look for spirits in experience, not books
  • The way location interacts with spirituality
  • The nature of spirits, the spirits of nature
  • How spirits get crowded out by other spirits that live with electronic devices
  • How do we differentiate between spirits (and which ones to not mess with)
  • The problematic view of Babalon and Christ versus the ones that creates a real view of humanity
  • Encountering a Christian sex riddle in Vietnam
  • The importance of sex in spirituality

SHOW NOTES

• For more Alkistis & Peter: here’s Peter’s talk, “Becoming No-Man” and here’s Alkistis’s talk, “Where the Daimon Dwells,” both from the Trans-States conference in 2017. Here’s Alkistis’s performance, “The decollation of flowers” and another, “Visitation.” Both of them have been on the Rune Soup podcast multiple times, and here’s the latest (and I think greatest, so far).• Scarlet Imprint has published the work of other AEWCH guests, including Phil Legard and Gordon White.

• I talked quite a bit about apocalypse with Mark O’Connell on AEWCH 105.

• Here’s a short article on the style of dance that has influenced Alkistis, butoh. Pictured below is a performance of one of butoh’s most profound elaborators, Tatsumi Hijikata.

• As Peter and Alkistis and I try to define what spirits are, I am reminded by Alkistis’s comment about spirits being “semi-material” of Valentin Tomberg’s passage in Meditations On The Tarot about ghosts: “Ghosts exist. This is not a question of belief; it is a matter of fact. There is an immense literature, without speaking of facts that one can find in the sphere of personal experience, which bears witness to the existence of ghosts. Now it is no longer a matter of believing or denying; now it is a matter only of understanding and explaining. Ghosts exist therefore. Thus it happens from time to time after someone’s death that this person or “something” of him or similar to him manifests in an outward and physical way (noises, movements, etc.) in the guise of an active energy. It is as if a certain quantity of energy, freed through death, but remaining condensed and not dispersed, manifests as an entity or as an individual “body”. … (p. 358)What, then, is a ghost?A ghost is always constituted as a consequence of crystallisation, i.e., crystallisation of a desire, a passion, or a purpose of great intensity, which produces a complex of energy in the human being.”

• To understand what spirits are, you can find a good and easy picture (not definition) of them in Lon Milo Duquette’s My Life with the Spirits: The Adventures of a Modern Magician.

I talked about Wilhelm Reich on an “Against Saturdays” episode. And my saying about sex and individuality is “If you ever want to know how someone feels about freedom, start talking about sex.”

Until next time,
Love
CH

Meeting The Archangel Michael.

29 Sep

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud
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.
Want to buy the books mentioned on/related to this ep? Go to my booklist for AEWCH 126 at bookshop.org.
It will help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,On Michaelmas, the celebration of the Archangel Michael, I wanted to present what I think is the most urgent task of our moment: aligning ourselves with the Archangel Michael.

SHOW NOTES

“Lily” by Kate Bush evokes the four archangels. And it’s a great song, isn’t it?

I talked on Rune Soup back in January about 2020 as the most Micahelic year we’ve ever experienced.

• The illustration of the adversarial forces on this episode is detailed at great length on other episodes, especially the most recent episode, AEWCH 125 with Doug Rushkoff. See also AEWCH 114 on how to abolish Silicon Valley with Wendy Liu, AEWCH 115 on the inner experience of the internet with Joanne McNeill, and AEWCH 105, talking apocalypse and AI with Mark O’Connell.

• Peter Roth’s beautiful book, Worlds In The Mirror, is only available through the Camphill Books.

• I wrote about helping stop suicide by the Liffey and sharing the burden of suffering here.

Love to you friends.
CH