Tag Archives: self help

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

Why self help matters in 2021. I talk with self help scholar and teacher Mitch Horowitz on AEWCH 137!

12 Jan

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSouncloud 

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 Mitch’s books, and other books mentioned on or related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 137 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,

As 2021 begins, we’re faced with a simple question which you might not have thought of, and it’s a simple question…what do you want? What do you want the world to look like?

While everyone else is stuck in the crazed call out of news items and resistance to what they’re afraid of, what do we actually want to aim for?

My friend Gordon White has observed that “optimism is a spell,” and I agree. 

And?

I think we need to extend that further — envisioning the world as you want draws optimism into the personal world. It gives you the impetus and even the tools and substances to build with. In that vein, it’s also important to think about how you want your year to go.

It’s an impertinent question, almost, isn’t it? With some pagan-horned douchebag on the Capitol steps and the lockdowns and the conflicts, you might think: How dare you want to improve your life this year!

But how can you be effective if you don’t center your vision and center your desires? And how will you even know what you’re against and what you’re not against if you don’t put your desires first?

To flesh out all of this, I asked my friend Mitch Horowitz, new age/occult/self help scholar & writer, back onto the show. I talked to Mitch waaay back on AEWCH 30, and I was so nervous: he was one of the first guests I had on who I didn’t already know well. We had a great time, even if the episode is mostly just me talking. This conversation goes much deeper – and it’s because both Mitch and I have become more and more involved in the ideas we’re passionate about and the experiences we’ve had since then, and it’s really great.

We end up discussing why self help matters now more than ever; what Mitch’s cosmology is; and (at length) leftist attacks on new age, spirituality, and occultism: bad faith arguments that ultimately reveal a leftist desire to lose the battle.

So proud to share this, the first AEWCH guest episode of 2021, with you to set the tone for the year.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • The need to be right as original sin.
  • “We say we want to be listened to, but actually we want to be obeyed.”
  • How can focus on improving our personal lives in such a crazy polarized time?
  • Developing new habits right the fuck now.
  • The spiritual value of cleaning.
  • Why pleasure and happiness matters in discovering your spiritual and social quest.
  • Is it okay to have personal desires in the face of spiritual necessity?
  • “Lord, make me chaste—but not yet.” – Augustine
  • Was the Buddha wrong?
  • Get away from cruel people. And don’t be one!
  • Deleting facebook (WHY HAVE YOU NOT DONE THIS).
  • That time Steve Bannon called Mitch.
  • Leftist hit jobs on occultism.
  • Asking yourself: I/We/Cosmos.
  • What’s Mitch’s cosmology, anyway?

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Mitch, support his patreon. He gets posts so much stuff for his patrons, including his 10 Day Miracle Challenge. And visit the bookshop.org list; he’s edited and introduced countless books, but I’ve included the ones that he’s authored and the ones in which his voice is most prominent. 

• I was so excited to talk with anti-work feminist Kathi Weeks on AEWCH 123. What an honor!

• Such a shame that Franz Bardon’s major works aren’t as readily available as they used to be. That said, you can learn about this important, lesser-known occultist here.

The New Life Foundation is dedicated to the work of Vernon Howard, and there’s plenty on their site about him.

• Byron Katie’s system, The Work, has been instrumental in making me a better person.

• “There can be no doubt that the follower of anthroposophy is by definition an opponent of National Socialism, or at the very least, must remain an outsider to National Socialism.” – Heinrich Himmler

• Here’s a little article on Annie Besant and Gandhi.

• And here’ s Hitler: The Occult Messiah, by Gerald Suster. Suster’s book 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! 

• ON THE OTHER HAND, here’s Shane Burley’s detailing of the opposite of all this…what happens when a rightwing movement hijacks new age/self help tropes.

Camphill communities are some of the most beautiful and loving organizations for people with disabilities and the elderly. If you don’t know much about them, check them out.

Until next time, friends: Do what you want!
CH

Gang of Youths meets Conner Habib to talk rock & roll and suicide.

29 May
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST VERSION: iTunesStitcherSoundcloud
SUPPORT THE SHOW VIA PATREON.  Your contribution makes a huge difference.
Friends,
Dave Le’aupepe is frontman of one of the biggest Australian bands of the moment, Gang of Youths. And we sat down during his US tour to discuss rock and roll, living a serious life, and depression. He also plays two songs, “Persevere” (20:23) and a cover of “Chelsea Hotel No 2” by Leonard Cohen.
Dave & Gang of Youths’s music is a hopeful melancholy; they present the darkness but don’t wallow in it.
On another note, this is the first time I talk at length about my own life with suicidal depression. How it has surged forward in my life and then receded, and why. I hope this episode is helpful to those also facing the challenge of depression.
On a lighter note, Dave broke my camera! We laugh about it in the episode, but if you’re watching, rather than listening, you’ll see a big difference in the image about halfway through. So, sorry about the image difference. But hey, you just get to feel closer to us.
Love.
CH

3 Occult Tips for 2018 + How To Fight Occult Stigma

6 Jan

PODCAST VERSION: iTunesStitcherSoundcloud

First ep of 2018 features a charmingly jetlagged just-back-from-12-days-in-Vietnam me giving you all the occult tools you need to tackle the new year, and discussing occult stigma.

IN THIS EPISODE:

  • How we stigmatize our spiritual feelings as leftists/progressives: 2:00
  •  Secrets and vulnerability: 3:00
  • You don’t need a metaphysics to do occult exercises: 4:35
  • Sexual liberation is an constant unfolding, not a moment. Notes from Conner’s first porn shoot: 5:00
  • What’s stopping you? Notice the negative feeling you’re having, and proceed anyway. And also say thanks: 9:10
  • First practice – Manifesting. And Yes I know that word is an LA new age freak out word: 10:40
  • I want to do this manifesting stuff but it’s too hard for me to accept. Okay.: 16:00
  • Dismissing these techniques because others are suffering is exploitative luxuriating: 17:40
  • Becoming secure in your occult masculinity or whatever, bro: 20:10
  • Second practice – Judging your thoughts: 20:40
  • We are addresses where spiritual beings gather, and our thoughts are their movements: 22:45
  • Third practice – Diminishing Anxiety by Developing the Will: 25:05
  • This is how I do what I do: 30:25

Please support the show on patreon.

And as always, you can find the show notes on my patreon as well!

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