Tag Archives: theology

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

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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

Is God powerful? Is He lonely? I talk theology & loneliness with Padraig Ó Tuama on AEWCH 81!

20 Aug

 

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SHOW NOTES ON Patreon

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AEWCH81TitleCard
Friends,
We talk so much about the occult on this show – about angels and esoteric philosophies, about magic and materialism – but I don’t get a chance to talk about God often. Which is why I invited writer, theologian, and peace maker Padraig Ó Tuama onto the show.
Padraig is the author of several books, including In the Shelter: Finding Welcome In The Here And Now and Sorry For Your Troubles . He also served as the leader of Ireland’s peace and reconciliation committee, the Corrymeela Community, for seven years, which resulted in the book Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community.
That time, and his huge body of experience dealing with deep divisions and aggressive oppositions, serves as the foundation of much of our talk, which circles around conflicts and how God, power, and powerlessness mediates them.
This is an episode unlike any other, and I’m so happy to share it with you.
We talk:
  • Whether or not we should pray to God or ourselves
  • The good and boring versions of Superman
  • Seeking, wielding, and letting go of power
  • The economy of victimhood
  • How to resolve conflict with fascists (potential and otherwise)
  • Keeping an eye on who’s exploiting every conflict
  • Brexit and the British Border (Padraig’s better name for the “Irish Border)
  • Taking an interest in what people value in every situation, and the erosion of that interest
  • Loneliness and confidence
And Padraig also reads his beautiful poem “Day of the Dead”.
STKR

Conner and Peter Rollins talk religion without God on AEWCH 14!

17 Nov
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Well hello everyone! AEWCH 14 is me and Peter Rollins — author, philosopher and radical theologian — talking about religion without God, about desire and psychoanalysis, about the way pleasure and pain are intertwined. I have to say, this is my favorite episode so far!
A small but fun-fact backstory: Peter and I used to be roommates – I was a fan and I hit him up and we hung out and then a year later we were living together. If you like our conversation, please consider supporting Peter’s Patreon as well:
IN THIS EP
  • How to have religion without God: 1:20
  • Why do we hide under the covers to protect ourselves?: 5:50
  • The way we enjoy our fears and oppressions: 8:00
  • The only true analysis in the second before you die 9:05
  • It’s difficult to know what you don’t believe, but the unexamined life is not worth living: 10:10
  • Young Conner vs Dracula: 11:35
  • “One of life’s great pleasures is having enemies…the trick is picking the right one”: 14:28
  • Love Trump’s hate: 14:45
  • We have not seen the enemy and it is us: 17:10
  • What if this is the world we want? How would we make it better?: 18:35
  • Whether you like Freud or not, here’s his point that we should all be grateful for: 21:45
  • Why gamblers don’t want to win: 24:35
  • The value of being a utopianist: 26:10
  • Conner’s brushes with atheism, and how Simone Weil saved him: 38:15
  • CS Lewis meets an obscure Italian occultist in the light: 52:05
  • How to act when you’re a mystery to yourself: 55:50
  • “Monogamy is the most widespread perversion”: 1:00:20
  • The value of grace and forgiveness: 1:10:00
  • Why are people suspicious of pleasure: 1:23:40
 As always, I invite you to support the show and my work via my Patreon. Your contribution is so helpful and helps me not lose my mind with all the time I dedicate to this and other projects.
And also, as always, the show notes are up on my Patreon here.
Love!
CH
MAP