Cosmos, Anthropos, and Theos in Harman, Teilhard, and Whitehead

Knowledge-Ecology has written a reflection upon finishing Graham Harman’s new book The Quadruple Object. Adam writes that “OOO is greatly enriching our sense of cosmos, whilst (somewhat) impoverishing our sense of anthropos.” I’ve had similar reservations about Harman’s anthrodecentrism (if I may diagnose it): Harman and the Special Magic of Human Knowledge. Harman’s is an ontology […]

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On the Nature of Spirit: Masculinity, Femininity, and Human Identity

The philosopher Gregory Bateson has written that the “false reification of the self is basic to the planetary ecological crisis in which we find ourselves.” The rise of Western civilization, whether intentionally or not, has fostered the development of a false identity. Many have come to experience themselves as an abstraction, a disembodied ego whose […]

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Solstice Prayer from Dec. 21st, 2014

The photo is from last summer’s Burning Man festival, taken by Zipporah on Sunday morning while I sat in the Temple of Grace contemplating my life’s loves and losses. Later that night, the Temple collapsed in upon itself like a curtsying ballerina after burning for fifteen short minutes. ……. I read the following prayer at the opening of a small medicine ceremony I […]

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The Psychedelic Eucharist: Is there an Alchemical Solution to the Ecological Crisis?

Some notes toward a talk I’m giving at Burning Man next week. I’ll be at camp Cosmicopia (located at 3:45 and Ephesus). The talk is on Wednesday at 4pm. http://playaevents.burningman.com/playa_event/13197/ …………………… The word “psychedelic” was coined in the 1950s by the British psychiatrist Humphry Osmond in a letter exchanged with the famed author and philosopher […]

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I’m still alive…

Just checking in to say I haven’t given up on blogging. I’ve been doing a bit of traveling lately: three weeks in Hawaii, a weekend in Willits (3 hours north of San Francisco) for an ayahuasca ceremony, and soon a 10-day excursion to Black Rock City for the Burning Man festival. I’ll be back in […]

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The Universe as a Work of Art: Images of the Cosmos in Plato, Descartes, and Kepler

In his lecture series become book, Art as Experience (1934), John Dewey defines imagination, not as a specific faculty alongside others, but as “that which holds all other elements in solution” (p. 275). Imagination, according to Dewey, is a uniquely human power, rendering experience conscious through the mutually transforming fusion of old meanings with new […]

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European Preview

The sky is growing bluer as my plane races eastward to greet the rising sun. Below me is the Gulf of Mexico, its sparkling surface now marred by slicks of oil that continue to gush from ruptured pipes along the seafloor. It won’t be long now before the orange glow rimming the horizon is pierced […]

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Eins und Alles _ Goethe

My German is schrecklich, but since I couldn’t find any translations I liked, I spent the afternoon struggling with Goethe’s poem “Eins und Alles” (“One and All”), with a dictionary and several other translations in tow. What follows is my best attempt to render this Englishly. I am convinced that translation is impossible, but I […]

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The Place of Psychedelic Chemistry/Alchemical Consciousness in Philosophy

Transcript: I wanted to see if you guys might help me think through Aldous Huxley’s psychedelic phenomenology, because I’m writing about it, preparing a draft of what will become a chapter in an anthology on the philosophy of psychedelics. I’m also writing about Descartes’ famous Meditations on First Philosophy and interpreting his experience as a […]

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