Saturday, May 19, 2018

EP 043 Vinay Gupta on Survival and Enlightenment

Vinay Gupta spends a lot of time thinking about disasters, which in my experience means that he's a very happy man. There's nothing better than finding solutions to really horrible predicaments for improving your outlook on life. He's the designer of the hexayurt, a shelter that can be rapidly and efficiently created from readily available materials, and has built blockchain applications as part of the leadership team at Ethereum and Mattereum.

The hidden word behind our discussion today is scaling. The scaling problem underlies both his entrepreneurial efforts and his understanding of the enlightenment process. We discuss the reasons why you may not want to be around enlightened people, whether mass enlightenment is a desirable or feasible goal, and the problems of taking initiatory experiences and spiritual technologies (tantra, ayahuasca) out of their traditional containers.

I am, by temperament and experience, more sanguine about all of this than he is. I tend to think things will eventually work themselves out over time. My enlightenment experiences have been mild and pleasant; if mine had been as harrowing as his, I would probably feel as he does.

As a technical note, there were some sound issues on our Transatlantic Skype call, which occasionally made it sound as though one of us was conducting the call while having a bath or as if we had ghost hunter-style EVPs from beyond the grave on the line. I apologize for these and hope they do not interfere with your listening enjoyment.


Photo: Robin Hood Co-op


Photo: Robin Grane-McCalla


Show Notes and Links

Vinay Gupta
@leashless on twitter

Paul Wilson, The Calm Technique
Scott Nelson, Sweetbridge
BKS Iyengar, Light on Yoga

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Face of a Comet

https://twitter.com/landru79/status/988490703075463168

Saturday, April 14, 2018

EP 042 Camelia Elias on Clear Sight and Clean Cuts

Camelia Elias holds a PhD and DPhil and spent the last twenty years as a professor of literature, most recently at Roskilde University in Denmark. Recently, she escaped academia to start an online school, Aradia Academy, where she teaches cartomancy (card reading); that is, how to read—yourself, someone else, books, pictures, films, the situation, the problem, or anything else—without belief, emotion, preconceptions or other obscurations getting in the way.

She recently said, "Why is reading cards fascinating? Because their visual language allows us to bypass everything we know or think we know."

Boiling our conversation down to the keywords, we talk about


interestingcuriositydullnessbeliefvastnessstrategyone cutthe present circumstances—"and yet"concretepsychomagicJodorowskyFreudBoom!

(L to R) Dr. Camelia Elias, Freya



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Show Notes and Links

Camelia Elias's website
Her courses
Her Patheos blog

Help fund Alejandro Jodorowsky's film Psychomagic.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

EP 041 Gary Lachman on the Lost Knowledge of the Imagination

Today, I talk with Gary Lachman about his latest book, The Lost Knowledge of the Imagination. We discuss the need to balance the analytic "survival mode" consciousness of the external world with an older way of thinking that prioritizes the inner landscape and the imagination. We also discuss the necessity of creative outlets to regulate how much of the sensory world we take in and process, to open the valve all the way for peak experience and dial it down so we remember to do the dishes.

I spend a good bit of the interview groping toward, but never reaching, the concept of a gestalt as a shorthand mental representation of external or internal objects. Some events do not pack down well to a gestalt representation, while others form new gestalts on close examination. This process of gestalt analysis and synthesis runs behind the conversation we have here.


Gary Lachman is the author of twenty-one books on topics ranging from the evolution of consciousness to literary suicides, popular culture and the history of the occult. He has written a rock and roll memoir of the 1970s, biographies of Aleister Crowley, Rudolf Steiner, C. G. Jung, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Emanuel Swedenborg, P. D. Ouspensky, and Colin Wilson, histories of Hermeticism and the Western Inner Tradition, studies in existentialism and the philosophy of consciousness, and about the influence of esotericism on politics and society. He writes for several journals in the UK, US, and Europe, including Fortean TimesQuestStrange AttractorFenris Wolf, and his work has appeared in the Times Literary SupplementTimes Educational Supplement, GuardianIndependent on SundaySunday TimesMojoGnosis and other publications. He lectures regularly in the UK, US, and Europe, and his work has been translated into a dozen languages. He has appeared in several film and television documentaries and on BBC Radio 3 and 4 and is on the adjunct faculty in Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Before becoming a full-time writer Lachman studied philosophy, managed a new age bookshop, taught English Literature, and was a Science Writer for UCLA. He was a founding member of the pop group Blondie and in 2006 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Lachman was born in New Jersey, but since 1996 has lived in London, UK.




I apologize for the occasional gaps in sound quality. These newfangled trans-Atlantic fiber-optic cables are sometimes troublesome. Or perhaps Mercury is in retrograde.

Show Notes