About Matthew David Segall

I am Matthew David Segall, a doctoral student in philosophy and religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA.

Click Here for my CV.

Email me: matthewdavidsegall@gmail.com

Visit the International Process Network website.

Publications:

PDFs of recent papers:

Worldly Religion in Deleuze and Whitehead: On the Possibility of a Secular Divinity

Physics of the World-Soul: The Relevance of A. N. Whitehead’s Philosophy of Organism to Contemporary Scientific Cosmology

The Re-Emergence of Schelling Philosophy in a Time of Emergency

Imagination in the Speculative Philosophies of Plato, Schelling, and Whitehead

Participatory Psychedelia: Transpersonal Theory, Religious Studies, and Chemically-Altered (Alchemical) Consciousness

Remembering Creation: Towards a Christian Ecosophy

The Spirit of Integral Poetry: Waring the Symbolism of Organism

Religion and the Modern World: Towards a Naturalistic Panentheism

——————————————

“There is no past that we can bring back by longing for it,” says Goethe. “There is only an eternally new now that builds and creates itself out of the Best as the past withdraws.” The Best of the past is not entirely dissolved in the river of time, but is preserved in living form by the Goddess Mnemosyne—“memory”—the mother of the Muses. I call to mind the past not to reconstruct it exactly as it was, but to re-conceive myself by creating an image with which I can identify. This image is alive, transformed again and again with every inward motion that seeks its meaning.

It is only a failure of imagination that leads us to believe that the past, once withdrawn, remains buried and forever the same. The past lingers on in us today as the raw material out of which the person we are always becoming is made. The stories we tell about where we’ve been make intelligible our brief stay upon the earth and depend upon ever-renewed engagement with the past.

Memory and imagination are the closest of sisters, and so telling my story undoubtedly requires a bit of mythopoeic flair. Ideally, life is not a mere collection of insignificant facts, nor a disjointed montage of moments. Rather, life is a story told by each about all—a universal drama starring infinitely many particulars that still manage, somehow, to hang together as a whole.

For as long as I can remember being me, my sense of identity has been wrapped in wonder. In such a vast universe full of so many beings, human and non-, who might I be in particular? Billions of galaxies swirl through the endless expanses all around me, and violent solar explosions give birth to entirely new worlds I will never know. And yet somehow, in the quiet moments of reprieve seldom stolen from the rush of postmodern life, I find a stillness at my center that seems older than the sun and more spacious than the whole of the visible universe. As a child, lying awake in bed at night, this sublime sense of something lying behind the surfaces seen during daylight hours would wash over me. I’d imagine myself soaring through the space between our galaxy and the next, searching for the spiral arm to which earth belongs and zooming in to locate my bedroom where I laid awake in reverie. What, or who, is this vastness within, and how does it relate to the many faces and places of the outer physical world?

71 thoughts on “About Matthew David Segall

  1. Matthew,
    I reached you through this gateway: तत् त्वम् असि

    That’s profoundly OK. Which I will definitely explain as time and energy permits. For now, though, my compliments to you for creating such a symphony of thought and sensitivity. You are an inquiring soul imbued with what I once described as a “sigh of unquenchable thirst.”

    It’s evident to me that we’ll both gain from the opportunity to communicate. Inspiration will guide us, as it brought me here. I’ll wander further and deeper through your blog and videos and begin to comment as I’m inspired to do so. Engage me when you are inspired to do so. The walk up the mountain path is always easier with a friend, when one is graced to find a friend. We are not ships passing in the night, Matthew. Quite another metaphor applies.

    Always and always,

    Leland

  2. Dear Matthew,

    I would like to ask you a few questions.
    If you have time, would you be able to email me?

    Thanks,

    Adrian

  3. im really really impressed by your thoughts, your website. i would like to meet you.

    im a tibetan buddhist priest. im completing my Phd in Buddhism. my dissertation is on the buddhist views of the body and the feminist response.

    i hope we get to connect.

    cheers,

  4. I stumbled into this most formidable site, profoundly interesting. . . since I’m amongst formidable adversaries here lol, I thought it necessary for folks here to acknowledge the limitations of idealism from Eric Voegelin or Hans Urs von Balthasar.
    Peace,
    wjholland.wordpress.com

  5. Hello Mark–I wish you well re Phd studies at CIIS.
    I took a seminar once with Brian Swimme and the
    late Thomas Berry, long ago. Studied with John
    Haught at Georgetown, and highly recommend his
    books re your own interests. Glad to see you are
    linking Science with Spirituality. I’ve done the
    same over the years. Lucky too, for you, that
    you have a friend in Fr. Thomas.

  6. Dear Matthew,

    I would really like to hear your opinion. How do we know what is truth if there is no objective reality. If there is no objective reality does truth exist or is also just a matter of subjective interpretation (if all people in the world think that some lie is truth, is it still a lie)?

    Best regards, Blaz

    • That’s a tough one, Blaz. I do think there is truth which transcends our subjective opinions, but it isn’t “out there.” Reality isn’t just made up by our collective agreements, though we do seem to be quite good at deluding ourselves with ideologies. This is perhaps even our normal state, but I still think we are capable of tapping into a cosmic truth which transcends our social constucts. It’s not very easy to approach with words, save a really deep poem. But nonetheless, I think this cosmic truth underlies everything we are and everything we do. Even when we feel completely confused, or even ashamed of ourselves, the truth is present. Reality and truth are for some cultures entirely the same thing. Only in the West, really, have they become separated. If we turn East, I think the notion of the Tao gets quite close.

      • truth in ratios, one to the another
        components, father and mother
        reality, all logos and other

        What comes from you is so much better than that which you recite. That you may take the time to explore what was left for you also your credit. Wishing you solace and happiness when-wherever this finds you. ;-)

  7. I’ve seen some of your youtube clips… some interesting stuff there.

    I’m a non-fiction television producer working with a production company in New York with credits at National Geographic, Discovery, and History Channel.

    We’re developing a travel-based, host-driven series about ancient techniques to altered states of consciousness.

    Currently, we’re looking for a young, sharp, adventurous, “modern-day shaman” to host this series.

    Our host must be ready, willing, and able to engage in rituals and techniques that will push him to his edge and beyond to experience those altered states of consciousness that shamans, mystics, and sages have achieved throughout history.

    They may be painful: “sun-dance ceremony of the Sioux Indians”.

    They may be traumatic: “40 day fast of Jesus in desert”.

    And many will involve strong, mind-altering substances… nothing synthetic, always natural.

    This series will also involve world travel – sometimes to remote areas that involve physical endurance.

    If you are sincerely up for this extraordinary challenge and are interested in hearing more about this project, please get back to me via email.

    Many Thanks.

  8. Hey Mathew I want to invite you to cross-post your relevant posts over at Zero Integral. Email me so I can send you access to the blog through the blogger platform.

    All the best,

    Eric-

  9. Wow. I stumbled onto this website through google images: ‘psychadelic jesus’ … fitting way to link probably, haha. Well I’ve only perused a very little of the site so far, but it is very exciting and refreshing to find someone who thinks similarly.

    My question at this moment pertains to graduate school actually. I see you are studying for a PhD. I was wondering if you had any advice or programs/professors you might direct me to. I’ve put off applying because my interests are so broad and I’m struggling to find a fit/ make a choice. I’ve excelled in political philosophy in undergrad, although I’m actually a double major in history and poly-sci. Basically I am really into philosophy, history, and religion. ANYWAY, without getting into a full blown advisor meeting here, have you come across anything in academia that is up ‘our transdisciplinary alley’ so to speak. I’m sorry my question is so scattered.

    • Hey Chris, just wanted to respond real quick to say I’ve read your comment and will email you as soon as i can in an attempt to answer some of your questions, and just to spark up a conversation on our mutual interests! I’m traveling at the moment, though, so give me a few days.
      -Matt

      • Yo dude. This is probably not the best place to be corresponding. Either way i just started a blog and thought you might have some insight on my post(s) of late. Although I think you might agree with me. Dunno.

  10. Hello Matthew!

    I stumbled upon your blog and your youtube account completely by chance and I must admit that I have been mesmerised by your unique personality and profound mind development. You are ahead of our times and this is clearly evident by your interests and your philosophical pursuits. Please, take some time and take a look at the following site regarding a book called “the Urantia book”. I am sure that you will find it interesting.

    http://urantiabook.org/newbook/index.html

    Feel free to email me for further correspondence. In any case, I wish you a life full of discoveries and enchanting experiences!

    Love,
    Alexander

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  12. Hey man hows it going…. all this is very impressive i have to say, intimidating even. Just wanted to see if you had any reaction to a post i put on pcc chat (below are the orginal question plus an answer to a response)…. i feel like ive sensed a real opinion/answer about what ive said in the subtext of some of the things that ive read you talk about on here – this whole new realm of thinkers opening up to me here, its great, but im still very much at this beggining of this path.

    So, if youve got time to give whatever sort of response id be very interested to read it.

    Thanks, James. You can email me – jamesbarnes52@googlemail.com

    I would just like to voice an opinion here concerning something I’ve noticed. It seems to me that there is a pervasive desire to look at our psychological, philosophical and spiritual constitution in a very broad historical context. This in itself is obviously both highly important and fruitful in any attempt to ‘understand ourselves’. However, it seems to me that the cosmological historicization (as a temporal reality) is part of the problem rather than the solution (in this specific sense). The notion that we are at some point on a massively incomprehensible historical timeline is precisely one of the main informants of the disenchanted materialistic world view – it serves to enforce the notion of our happening as a random one, being as it is that almost the entirety of the ‘existance’ of the universe has not involved sentient beings such as ourselves. Specifically, the idea that there is such a thing as ’4 billion years ago’ to me is entirely incomprehensible; time as experienced and time as an abstract concept are very different, i see no logical or definite difference between one second ago and 13 billion years ago. This is especially the case if one is to consider that time cannot ever be properly said to have started (being as it is that time breaks down as you approach the big bang), and if you cannot properly say that it has any beginning then any notion of ‘locating’ any other time than now has no proper reality outside of the mind. For this reason i feel that one can only consider the reality of a historical cosmology as a latent depth to the present and as only valid in this experience and not outside of it. In this way history i feel should only be considered as a dimension of now that is projected outwards when one concerns oneself with it, but in all other cases remains only an unconsciousness of now.

    Firstly, We usually only truly experience what the duration of say roughly 16 hours feels like – but even then the perceived duration of hours is based on our moods, or how engaged/disengaged reflective we are. We multiply those experiences by 365 and call is a year, and even those years to a life time. It is pretty obvious that the larger the abstraction from now the more subjective the notion of time becomes, and the more unrelated to what the abstract construction of those years deems it should ‘be’ like (We talk about a a year ago, or something 50 years ago, as feeling as if it were yesterday etc etc based on what particular event from the ‘past’ we are entertaining, and what moods it evokes/how salient the memory is etc.) In whatever sense, the subjective experience of it – its metaphysical reality for human consciousness – is a dimension of now entertained in the abstract which is obviously highly informed by memory, but memory contained in the now. But at least in this context one can still say one has some ‘objective’ sense of what these amounts of years IS like, but to extend that past the experience of a life to the thousands, millions and then billions of years just becomes senseless. We have nothing whatsoever in experience to refer that to. It simply becomes an empty concept.

    Secondly, this is to say nothing about what time would have been like outside of modern human consciousness (i.e. how it would then be defined or quantified as we fall down the phylogenetic scale). The universe that came before human experience not only makes little sense to talk about in this regard, but would presumably, if talked about, be profoundly different – 1 of our seconds could be a billion years to a rock, if you see where I’m going…..

    Taking these things into account my main point is that the notion of time as extending coherently back 13 billion years to a big bang, 99.99999999% of which hasn’t involved us is a mathematical abstraction that supports scientific materialism (as all mathematical abstractions that claim some form of reality do). There is absolutely no metaphysical justification for these abstractions, they have no relationship to experience whatsoever, and as a result, in my opinion are damaging and delusionary….(this is mainly an argument against cosmological notions of time in the scientific world and the subsequent lay notion of time )……..

  13. M,

    I have been following you for a while now (years), here is an idea I would like to get your input on – first entry on my blog. I didn’t realize you had a blog, but now that you do, take a look at mine. I don’t leave it open to comment because I get too much spam from advertisers, so just reply to my email address, or blog. I’m a local San Francisco residence as well. I understand your very busy with school, but your keen mind could inspire me and that’s what I need right now. Best Regards -MBlade

  14. matthew, i found one of your videos on youtube while searching for the trailer of a documentary about honey bees. i was sucked into your channel, recognizing immediately that we are of the same tribe. you are, to me, evidence of new generations refining consciousness. never stop!

  15. Damn.. It’s weird how far we are apart in the world, but how much your thoughts are alike to mine. I’m 22, living in NL. Very weird, since your living environment, educational history and moments in life must have varied intensely from mine. It’s very cool to see a person so alike so far away. There must be more of ‘us’ . I hope we can build the world towards something better man. I’d love to know what you’d love to be doing most in the future, what your dedication will be. Mine is going to be very complicated. If only there was a platform for likeminded folks to get together and connect, to collaborate all towards a greater goal.. Wishing out loud here.

  16. Hey Matt,
    I have been following your youtube posts and blog for almost a year, and your work has profoundly influenced and resonated with my own thinking, as I explore the integration of the studies of consciousness,spirituality and mysticism, evolution, cosmology, et cetera. The efforts you have made to synthesize and share your thoughts so eloquently has been of inestimable value to me as I continue to transcend old ways of thinking about reality. I sincerely hope we have a chance to connect at some point.

    Thanks,

    Brian

  17. I (the expression of agency during the composition of this message as initiated by the mind/body as instantiated by the matter, which is intern instantiated by the energy….) really like the few youtube postings of your’s that I just viewed. Excellent!

    I bumped into you via searches on Alan Watts. The internet is amazing and will be the best aid in civilization’s realization of itself as one global interconnected intelligence. Carl Sagan’s “Planetary Brain” is now maturing.

    I live in Cole valley. We should talk sometime. People as aware of reality as you are unfortunately very rare.

    Let us talk sometime.

  18. Matthew, I ran across you on youtube-keyword Teilhard De Chardin as I have just been reading The Phenomenon of Man once again. I’d like to mail you a book by my best friend and teacher who recently passed, Edgar John Burns- Foundations of a Global Spiritual Awakening. I’m certain that you would agree that sometimes books simply come to us when the time is right for us to read them. I have a feeling that you will appreciate this book. If you will email me your addy I will be send it right along. Warmest regards and much joy to you, Brian Menzies

    • Thanks for the recommendation, Brian. I’d very much like to read Burns’ book. If you’d like to send me a copy, send it to my school, the California Institute of Integral Studies:

      Attn: Matthew Segall; Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program
      1453 Mission St.
      San Francisco, CA
      94103

      Thanks again!
      Matt

  19. Hi Matt, I came across your blog today and found that you talk about many things that iam interested in. Will definitely stay tuned.

    Iam writing to you from India. If ever you come to this part of the world, i’d be delighted to meet you.

    best wishes,
    chaitanya

  20. The Devil tempted Jesus after the latter had spent only 40 days in the desert. Zarathustra lived for 10 years in the mountains, and only came down to empty his overflowing cup. I have lived for 17 years, and spent those 17 years wandering. Though people surround me, I am alone.
    I am not a man.
    I am a match for lighting dynamite.
    In you – from what little I know about – I have, perhaps, found a kindred spirit, or at least another individual who has a yearning for truth: that golden well up from which no bucket comes empty.
    Today, humanity is at a crossroads, though in actuality, it has always been there. However, it is only today that we have the ability to both destroy the Earth, create life, and traverse the cosmos. Such power begs direction.
    I would love to speak with you.
    My e-mail: shpilo@hotmail.com

    “I know that I hung on a windy tree
    nine long nights,
    wounded with a spear, dedicated,
    myself to myself,
    on that tree of which no man knows
    from where its roots run.”

    • We are born. We work. And we die.
      Is there anything more? Is there much more? I seem to think so, which is to say that I witness in my own thinking a tendency to immortalize, to turn the material world into spiritual gold. To become immortal is to extend life backward, before birth, and forward, after death. I am not a single human being, born in 1986, but a universal human soul born and reborn through the ages. So are you. You are not alone. You are the All and the One. Truth is a funny thing, since no one ever has or can ever have it, yet it exists all around and inside us. Truth is the windy tree whose roots run through the entire earth and even up into the sky.

  21. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  22. Hi Matt I wrote to you many years ago on your you tube site. I recall watching one of your broadcast, after you had just experienced or were coming down from experimenting with Morning Glory Seeds. I think. I it most the most harrowing and intimate thing that I believe that I have ever seen on you tube. I knew then that you would become a great seeker. Congrats for embarking on your Ph.d program. My question for now you is what exactly is your own Path?

    • David, I don’t recall posting such a video.. I have posted some thoughts on psychedelics, of course, but my one and only morning glory experience was in 2006, prior to starting a YouTube channel.
      I am still wandering through the forest, and have not stayed long enough on any path to have reached its end. I am a seeker, and in my longing to taste the fruits of many paths, I have not yet found the one that is my own.

  23. Matt, perhaps I saw that morning glory vibe in a different medium altogether. In terms of not you not yet finding a Path this may also be the time of the Quickening. When it becomes possible to move towards the fruit of a path, the fruit of the spirit without an outer Path but rather, connected to an inner one. Since Consciousness Is. Perhaps the barriers and walls created by the life of the Ego are becoming more and more translucent as we swirl nearer to the Galactic Center. Some teachers are suggesting that the Earth itself is awakening and ascending moving from the fourth dimension to into the fifth dimension. That the vibratory rate of Earth, which as you know is an engendered and sentient being, is becoming high enough for those who are ready to be impacted enough that Awaking may occur in what a few hundred, fifty of even five years ago may have taken many, many life times. Maybe this is the time of “No Method, No Guru, No Teacher” as Van Morrison sang. Maybe your own capacity to imagine and to love enough to give us these tokens of your understanding is the Fruit of many lives and many Paths.

    David

  24. Hi Matt,

    I have been following your blog for over a year after stumbling upon it while researching for my dissertation (I’m an economics graduate about to embark on PhD studies).

    I saw last night that you have released a book, for some reason I can’t find the link to purchase it now. I am definitely interested in reading it, would you send me the link so I can order it please?

    Also, thanks for the constant supply of thought-provoking posts. As I study (in quiet desperation) a subject dominated by materialism and the mechanistic metaphor, it’s reassuring to come here and find that there are like-minded people, urging me to continue with my heterodox studies of economics! :)

    All good wishes,
    Katie

    • Thanks for the encouragement, and for stopping by. I’m curious as to the development of your research in economics, as I think it is perhaps the most politically powerful, and yet philosophically underdeveloped, science of our current moment. We desperately need a more adequate economic vision.

  25. Matt,

    I’ve just found the link, book is downloading (I was too impatient to wait for it to be posted to Edinburgh, if I love it I’ll order a hardcopy!)

    All good wishes,
    Katie

  26. Will you write a book or make a film that is more personal? Something that reflects your own struggles and triumphs to engage this work while trying to survive?

  27. thanks for your videos and blog. i remember suggesting you go to ciis after seeing one of your videos on tarnas’ work, and am glad you are there (here) (i assume you were already considering it anyway.) i just recommended my friend tina amorok’s ciis dissertation as a comment on another post. carry on, your depth and commitment are impressive.

  28. Hi David,

    I had a cursory look through your book (through Lulu) and I was thoroughly impressed. I myself am in my second year of doctoral research in University of Sydney Australia in English, although I have somewhat unpreparedly wandered into territory that is probably quite familiar to you, first of all with Derrida and Deleuze, but increasingly I am enamoured by the philosophy of science (and technics, in particular), poetics, psychotropic drugs and psychedelic science, questions of consciousness, and the ‘pharmakon’ of language and all our varied medicaments and technologies, etc. My thesis and writing has not nearly progressed as well as yours seems to have done, however. Good luck with your future research.

    Best, Chris

  29. Mr. Segall, I am trying to wrap my head around planetization.
    Would you be able to point me to some sound introductory information in the form of some links and books?
    Planetization was a term coined by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Is that correct?

  30. Email me tomorrow. Im in nyc. Lots of Pure lsd on my hands. Lots of experience…200 trips by now. Need to have a chat about bringing together the collective consciousness and how to “turn on” Nyc. Brooklyn. I’m 27 and ready to help out. Looking for a mission…. I’m beyond destroying ego… I need to be of service. With love. Om shanti

    Jonas

  31. Hi Matt,
    Congratulations for your work. I truly appreciate it.
    Two quotes you inspire me to share;

    “Sleep is the best meditation.”
    — The Dalai Lama

    “O Students! Do not strive or seek for heavenly riches in human consciousness. Wait! Wait! Seek a higher level of consciousness: There the Father’s treasures are as free as air. (53)”
    — Joel S. Goldsmith in the Infinite Way

    All the best for the end of your graduate studies.

    Luis

  32. Matthew,

    I am Eirini, and we have “met” digitally, as you have very kindly chosen to follow my blog. Now that I am going through your blog, what a compliment! Thank you!

    I find your work really inspiring and insightful and despite of being an architect it resonates greatly with everything I am experiencing now through my design work.

    We are all story-tellers in the end, trying to understand who we are and our place in the world, regardless of which medium we employ to do so.

    Have a great…week?

    And a cheeky quote, which my next post will be based on: “To understand is to transform what is” J.Krishnamurti.

  33. Hi. I need to correspond with you. I am a writer and visual artist and was working on a new piece, and I am not sure how it happened, I was sort of pushed by a yod of a sort, propelled within an odyssey through the alphabeth which brought me to study the Phoenitiens and the Hebrew alephbet and so on. It all came naturally and I was studying it by muyself, through my own imagination, trying to grasp the simultaneously secular and mystical meaning of my journey through each letters. And in doing so, through writing, other things happened…things about space, the kind of space seeing that the rational kills. And I mediated on Charles Olson notion of proprioception. And then listen to Quentin Messailloux on the radio, and pondered his new objectiviy…which was feeding my research on flatenning out hierarchies in meaning making. Anyway, to day i found you. I wanted to explore this extension…expansion on deleuze’s work which i am familiar with for the very mystical aspect of it all…I understood in a new way his smooth spaces, and the mirages of the thinker in the desert…i need to speak to you. in the midst of that, i am working on an international exhibit inviting curators to show artists working with The Invention of The real and I would like to link it to the OOO experience and have different writers invited to wrote about it for a publication. Where are you anyway? What is your name? Proprioception is the inverse of egoception and Olson links it to the Heart and syllable…ears to words…etc. I am not on Facebook. I need to talk to you ! Regards, Marie-Helene Tessier-Cohen

  34. oh no, I did not realize my email was going to be posted. arrgh. oh well. How can I get in touch with you about this publication and exhibition ? Please get back to me when you have a chance. Thanks. MH

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  36. Hey There,

    I love your blog. I happen upon your posts on youtube every once in awhile- thanks for introducing me to Aurobindo and The Life Divine… You’re right, it is better read aloud. Anyway, have you ever come across the work of Tom Campbell (My Big Toe triliogy)? You might find him/his work interesting. I’d be eager to hear your take on it.

    Thanks for the material! Take care.

  37. You have some awesome ideas, and you arrange them well. Keep up your great work. Sometime I would like to hear you talk about the Friendship Cube Group. We are looking to develop our culture through our evolving language. We need bright people like you who can present our cube in a philosophical, historical, mythological, and Spiritual context.

  38. Matt — apologies for any presumptuousness about to unfold . . .

    Maybe seven years ago, during my summer between high school and college, I took my first college course: Philosophy 101. Around that time, I also discovered a couple Alan Watts videos which launched (or perhaps coincided with) tectonic shifts in my worldview. You probably know that exact feeling — it’s nostalgic to me now — of discovering writers and thinkers like Watts, getting absorbed in their work, and having it come to bear on everything you’re currently working through in your life.

    Not too long after, I discovered your channels and some of the people you commonly replied to on youtube. I kept up for a while but eventually lost touch. Now, after several years, I’m thumbing through some of yours and others’ videos, reminiscing and reflecting.

    I thought I’d give you a few big picture thoughts that may or may not be valuable to you. I’m a music major, and my overarching metaphor for philosophy tends to be the dance floor for the life of the mind. What I mean to say is that I tend to think of philosophy and philosophers in terms of presentation and the people for whom their presentation or style is pleasurable. That is to say, Matt, people consume your product to feel close to the producer as much as they come to be conceptually enlightened. Philosophy is very intimate, in many ways. (I’ll leave the debate of philosophy’s political efficacy to others.)

    So I wanted to give you, if you’ll accept it, a perspective on the style of Matt as someone coming back to your material after an incubation period. Some philosophers are about reassuring clarity, some are about cutting through the BS with plain sense. Matt, you’re the self-effacing furrowed brow with eyes on the horizon. Your subscribers know that when they start listening to or reading Matt’s reflections, they’re entering a safe zone of zero arrogance. They know that you’re always going to have this look in your eye or this effort in your voice that says, “I’m still searching, but here’s what I’ve found so far.” It’s a good style, and it’s refreshing. It’s very calming.

    But I think you could enjoy yourself and ease back on the modesty sometimes, Matt. I don’t mean to say that you need change your style — it suits you. But I think you’re choking yourself in your oral presentation sometimes. In your writings, more than your videos, I sense a bit more decisiveness. (I can certainly relate to the changes in tone depending on the delivery medium. I think we all tend to be a little more heroic when writing a letter to someone as opposed to speaking to them. In fact, these opinions I’m giving to you now could only be delivered in writing.)

    I think you need to not be afraid to let some of that assuredness come through in your speaking style. Not so much to change you from being curious to assured, but to lift your curiosity out of a monasticism into more moments of musical curiosity. You’ve already got the compositional forms there — you’re already crafting the intellectual and tonal shapes. Just let your dynamic range expand. Don’t be afraid to rest on your periods and paragraph endings, to let your speed increase and decrease, say something quietly and then with accent . . .

    You’ve already honed the talent of letting coherent thoughts grow impromptu — that’s the hardest part. Add in some more music, and you might surprise yourself. It’s a slow process of practice. These days, I’ve worn out my collection of Alan Watts lectures intellectually. I listen now for the music of his delivery as much as anything.

    And you know what? I can’t say that I know precisely what musical curiosity would sound like. Maybe that’s for you to find out or create.

    All the best to you, Matt. You’ve got talent.

    -Patrick

  39. Matt…love to hear from you but I understand if you would rather not …anyway I want your help!!
    What is you recommendation on the best (or you could give me a choice) biography to read on Newton (Issac) ? It would help a lot if you could mail me your suggestions its to go on my 70th. birthday list.
    Love and blessings
    Tony.

  40. Hi, I’ve just discovered your blog, as a “profane” philosophy-lover. It contains too many unknown (US) references to mo to be able to produce anything else than a general comment at this stage, regarding the “footnote” architecture. I’ve been following another (French) blog dedicated to philosophy for the past several months (www.jeanpaulgalibert.wordpress.com). Its last post, refering to contemporary Italian philosopher Agamben, deals with the notion of command through the prism of philosophy. Here’s its conclusion : “can philosophy liberate itself from his own status as an order ['injonction', in French]. Can it cease to be the commentary of an enslavement mode ? Perhaps by translating power into possible and thereby possible into freedom…” Is Socrates a footnote to Plato ?…

  41. hey matthew.
    google directed me to your page several times already and last night i finally followed the call and took some time to read. and i am so happy i did. i started with “death as trickster” and if your other writings and videos are only half as interesting as this i will read it all. i resonate deeply and i feel like we move towards the same direction and i will find plenty food for thoughts.

    i also want to introduce you to my project DOP — The Door Of Perception: http://doorofperception.com
    my approach is more visual and i am not as well read as you are. that’s why your page feels like such a match from the intellectual side. please have a look. maybe you resonate as well. i will also do a post on your work soon…

    thank you . ben

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