Eliezer Sobel at The Daily Beast has written a piece, “What Happens When Your Guru Disappears?” covering the 2-year sabbatical of Andrew Cohen, founder of EnlightenNext magazine (formerly WIE, or What is Enlightenment?) and former leader of a global spiritual organization. Two years ago – despite multiple allegations of psychological abuse and cultish behavior – Andrew seemed to be at the peak of his success. He’d just published a new spiritual book crystallizing two decades of teachings, Evolutionary Enlightenment, with a forward written by Deepak Chopra and endorsed by the likes of author Howard Bloom, Jean Houston, Michael Murphy and Barbara Marx Hubbard. Andrew was also old chums with the midwestern integral philosopher Ken Wilber (see: Sex, Ecology, Spirituality), interviewing him each issue for the “Guru and Pandit” dialogues. Core teachings in Andrew’s evolutionary spirituality owe much to Wilber’s intellectual synthesis of Eastern spirituality and Western psychology, a meta map of human consciousness evolution.… Read the rest
Author Archive | Jeremy D. Johnson
Daniel Abella is the founder and director behind the Philip K. Dick International Film Festival, which just held its third annual event this January at Tribeca Cinemas, NYC. I spoke with him about Philip K. Dick’s ongoing, reality-bending influence on cinematic expression.
J: What compelled you to start a Philip K. Dick film festival?
D: I have been a big fan of Philip K. Dick since learning he was compared to Jorge Luis Borges by Ursula LeGuin. After reading VALIS, Ubik and The Divine Invasion, I found a writer of great depth approaching some modern day philosophers. Philip K. Dick represents a distinctive voice that speaks of a bygone era in science fiction where humanity is prized and valued. My first film feature The Final Equation(1) was inspired by Philip K Dick’s mind bending 2-3-74 experience of meeting an alien intelligence he called VALIS. Based upon the good reception of the film it occurred to me that other filmmakers may want a forum to express their ideas and stories.… Read the rest
For my inaugural podcast, Electric Lyre: Alterations of Consciousness, I sat down with J.F. Martel (author of Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice) and Benton Rooks (Disinfo writer and author of the graphic novels KALI YUGA and TRETA YUGA).
In the tradition of the multi-hour podcasts I find myself often listening to – like The Joe Rogan Experience and DTFH – we rambled on art, culture, and consciousness for nearly 2 hours. Benton discussed his work with KALI and TRETA YUGA, two of his graphic novels, the notion of entheodelic storytelling, and J.F. Martel talked about his upcoming publication through North Atlantic Books – Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice: A Treatise, Critique, and Call to Action.
We also explored the topic of art commonly labeled in psychedelic counterculture as “visionary,” or “psychedelic.” For our part, Benton, Graham Hancock, Rak Razam and myself developed the term “entheodelic” as a means to describe art that is intentionally spiritual, or mystical: initiatory art. “Etheodelica is an anti-brand with zero dogma,” Benton writes here, “an international paradigm that exists to respect and explore the central mystery of consciousness.”
I hope you’ll enjoy my foray into the podcasting world, Disinfonauts.… Read the rest
Cyberpunk readers will love this treat: listen to William Gibson read Neuromancer in this original audio edition, which is unfortunately no longer available. Also, don’t mind the cheesy musical interludes. They just add to the experience.
“…and still he’d see the matrix in his sleep. Bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colorless void.”
I’ll be listening this to psyche myself out for Gibson’s The Peripheral, out this October.
Featured image by thierry ehrmann
Today in New York City, the former presidents of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Switzerland join with Kofi Annan and others to call for the end of drug criminalization. They are also calling for legal and regulated use of psychoactive substances. This press conference is being held at 9:45 AM by the Global Commission on Drug Policy:
Via Drug Policy Alliance:
… Read the rest
Today, the Global Commission on Drug Policy will release Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work, a new, groundbreaking report at a press conference in New York City. The event will be live-streamed and speakers include former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former Colombian President César Gaviria, former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, Richard Branson and others.
The Commissioners will then meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson in the afternoon following the press conference.
News keeps coming down the vine about lesser known projects H.R. Giger had left unfinished before his recent passing. The latest is a little-known science fiction movie idea called The Mystery of San Gottardo, which he was working on since the 1970’s. “A unique love story… about a man and his love for a freak of nature, Armbeinda, which is really a sentient limb combining an arm and a leg.”
This is why we love Giger.
A 1994 magazine called Cinefantastique goes into more detail:
… Read the rest
The story concerns a race of biomechanoids created by a military organization. The premise: your arms and legs are slaves that do your bidding, but what if they have a mind of their own and were set free? Ink drawings depict the disembodied parts attacking their creator (Giger’s self-portrait) in the San Gottardo border tunnel which links Switzerland and Italy. To insure that his vision remains intact, Giger hopes to retain creative control as a producer on the film… and not be forced to rely on CGI.
Benton Rooks, author of KALI-YUGA, wrote up an excellent piece analyzing the desire to “shamanize” beneath the Neo-Tokyo aesthetic of popular anime culture:
… Read the rest
So like immersion into video game virtuality, spirit-oriented themes in anime culture is also indicative of the unconscious desire to shamanize, or “walk” between the worlds of the material and spiritual planes of existence in trance. This cosmological framework is perhaps best represented by neo-platonic influence in the Islamic metaphysics of Ibn ‘Arabi and the equally intricate Mahayana Buddhist cosmological frame work, depicting the complex “planes of existence” that one must pass through in order to obtain the androgynous God-head. 
Indeed, it seems that the central hell of Japan is the elimination of indigenous shamanism, in which the direct interaction with the Gods is severed by the enslavement (and ironic obsession) of the machine. This theme has been best represented by the films of Miyazaki, Mamoru Oshii and Satoshi Kon—each of these masterful Japanese artists depicting universes so overrun with industrial and transhuman intelligences that the repression of supernatural (and often primitive) imaginal instincts, are made to literally burst with violent force onto the material plane (as in Paprika and, Spirited Away). Machines otherwise considered inert become demonically possessed by AI infiltration, a sad commentary on the pitfalls of human intelligence in the techno-shamanic age (Ghost in the Shell).
As part of the inaugural reread series on Reality Sandwich, Erik Davis, author ofTechGnosis and Nomad Codes, spoke with me recently about the “High Weirdness” of Philip K. Dick and the postmodern pink-gnosis of VALIS, a partly autobiographic scifi novel where Dick literally wrote himself into fiction, and, as it were, “hacked the Hero’s Journey” (1). Erik tells us about how he first discovered Dick’s work when he was no pop culture icon but a pulp cult underground writer.
VALIS is loaded with half-fiction, half-truth narratives told by a multitude of personas. Philip K. Dick. Phil Dick. Horselover Fat. As Erik Davis will tell us, there is a method to this madness, PKD was always more than one author, and Dick may have ended up writing himself (2).
Just watch your step through the hallucinatory fiction this side of Chapel Perilous.
It is with sadness and regret that I have to report that Colin Wilson passed away at 10.45pm on Thursday, December 5, peacefully, in hospital in Cornwall, his home county. His wife Joy and daughter Sally were with him. He was 82. After a serious spinal operation in 2011, Colin suffered a stroke, the effects of which he was unable to overcome, and in October this year he was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia. He made progress towards recovery and it was hoped he would be able to return home, but this proved not to be possible.
The Colin Wilson World website remains as a tribute to one of the greatest cultural and literary figures of the 20th century.
Like many readers here, I was deeply inspired by Wilson’s unbridled optimism in the power of Faculty X.… Read the rest
Reality Sandwich, a magazine curating content for transformational culture, is expected to launch a fully redesigned site early this week.
Curious about what to expect?
For starters, more community participation: upvotes, downvotes, videos, news streams and more.
Here’s an interview that co-founder and editor-in-chief, Ken Jordan, did with Zoe Helene at Huffington Post:
… Read the rest
What are some of the major changes on the new site?
We’re continuing to do all the things we currently do on Reality Sandwich — the long articles, the essays, the different features. I like that most people think of Reality Sandwich as a place to go for a full range of long, in-depth articles about transformational culture, so that will stay the same.
We’re adding a way to post a lot of short, newsy little posts from our editors and the community that creates a continual stream about what’s happening in the scene. We’ll still have our writers, but we want to add a special community area where anybody can post and the community can vote up or down when they find something they think is interesting.