Author Archive | Martin Higgins

Who wrote the works of Shakespeare? (Answer: Shakespeare)

Front Cover for KindleLast week would have been Shakespeare’s 451st birthday, had he been as immortal as his work. Some might say that you’d need to have lived that long to have garnered the experience, the wisdom, and even to have had the time (or sufficient typing monkeys) to have been both so prolific and profound as Shakespeare.

In the latest podcast from The Eternities, Nick Buchanan, author of What Happens in Shakespeare’s King Lear, explains why he believes it entirely possible that this one remarkable man could indeed have been the sole author.

“The folks who argue that [it couldn’t possibly have been] Shakespeare really dislike the idea that he didn’t go to university and he was a country boy. How dare he become this great playwright!”

Those who question Shakespeare’s authorship offer several alternatives – typically aristocrats – the most popular current candidate being Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, while others have argued for highly educated urban intellectuals such as Francis Bacon.… Read the rest

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Lessons in Living Your Dreams

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Conor McMillen and Brittany Taylor

We can bitch and complain about modern life, the poor diet and lifestyle, dwarfed by forces beyond our control. And we can defend it all, too, while inside numbed, burnt out, frustrated. It takes concerted effort to shrug it off, or just roll with it, and begin crafting a life more in line with ideas we once called our dreams.

While recently visiting Chiang Mai, Thailand, I was lucky enough to meet three people doing just that, and clearly having a fantastic time. Fortunately, I have a podcast and therefore an excuse to talk to them and steal learn and share their secrets. With two YouTube channels and a podcast between them, admittedly they weren’t the most guarded.

I was in the city to attend Fruit Winter, a free festival of daily meet-ups and activities with dozens of inspired and inspiring folks from around the world, held there for the past two Januaries.… Read the rest

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Sex Coaching – From Shame to Shamanism

sarah rose brightSarah Rose Bright is a sex coach far beyond the vanilla kind.

“Conventional sex therapy just deals with talking,” she explained in a recent interview with The Eternities podcast. “A lot of people carry a lot of fear, a lot of shame and tension, and all sorts of things that are difficult to address with talking only. For many people, a more practical approach can take them a lot further.”

Sarah talks in the interview of how her own life was transformed via an intensive course of sexual self-development that began with her attendance on a Tantra workshop for her thirtieth birthday. Instantly, she knew she had found her calling.

She now has more than ten years experience as a somatic sex coach and sex educator, with training in sexological bodywork, NLP, Tantra, shamanism, and Taoism, and the tutelage of sexual pioneers such as Dr Patti Britton, Barbara Carrellas and Joseph Kramer.… Read the rest

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Home-Schooling, Unschooling and Teenage Liberation

mintz pic“If you want to influence [the student] at all, you must do more than merely talk to him; you must fashion him, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than what you wish him to will.”

So argued the German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, said to be a key influence on the Prussian education system, which in turn became the educative model in many countries, including the US and UK.

Sadly, little has changed, according to Jerry Mintz, a prominent figure in the alternative school movement and the founder and director of the New York based Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO).

In a recent interview with The Eternities podcast, he said, “I’m sure that was the template they used and it’s been that way ever since.” Now in its twenty-fifth year, AERO seeks to bolster the alternatives, networking globally to facilitate learner-centred education and help set up schools which share this philosophy.… Read the rest

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Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy and the Power to Heal

Shroder_Tom_AcidTest_cover_expandedAttitudes towards the healing powers of psychedelics seem to be changing, says Tom Shroder, the author of a new book on the subject. And, according to some researchers, their incredible efficacy is due to their ability to unleash the mind’s own “innate healing intelligence”.

The award winning journalist and ex-editor of The Washington Post Magazine spoke to The Eternities podcast about his latest work, Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy and the Power to Heal, which looks at the history of psychedelic therapy from the fifties to the present day.

He said, “Our system, as biased as it might have been against psychedelics, certainly was based on [a] belief that science could prove something, and science [has been] proving the efficacy of these drugs … in clinical conditions. They’re plenty safe enough. In fact, they’re much safer than most other drugs used in psychiatry. So, you can’t argue with the science.”

One of the three main figures in the book is Dr Michael Mithoefer, a psychiatrist at the forefront of psychedelic therapy research.… Read the rest

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Author Reveals Profound Near Death Experience as Inspiration of Latest Novel

clover book“The main character in Andrew Clover’s latest novel has an accident, her consciousness splitting to revisit significant scenes in her past and to review her life. And this, he claims, happened also to him.”

In the latest podcast from The Eternities, the author discusses a near death experience during which he seemed to leave his body.

Clover tells how he tripped and knocked himself out “while running to collect his young daughter from a local bus stop. But instead of finding himself unconscious, he claims to have remained aware.”

“I could actually see my body in this puddle, and then I was just thinking, ‘The girls!’, and I was remembering my eldest daughter.” Suddenly, he found himself viewing her safely making her way home.

“And the next thing, I was back in my house and I could see my eldest daughter … she was fine. And I was in the living room and I could see my youngest daughter, lying on the sofa.

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Magic Mushrooms and Natural Intelligence

Simon G. PowellIn a time when Artificial Intelligence is getting all the headlines, English author and film-maker Simon G. Powell is making the case for Natural Intelligence – the idea that life itself is intelligent and nature has solutions to problems we have yet to even understand. And it was a series of mushroom trips – “like insights into the essence of existence” – which initiated and propelled his work.

Powell describes these first revelatory experiences in the latest podcast from The Eternities: “I had a mystical experience, what felt like divine energy [was] pulsing through me. It was like I tasted something that most people don’t taste and it was absolutely astonishing. ”

Powell went on to write The Psilocybin Solution: The Role of Sacred Mushrooms in the Quest for Meaning (2011), which traced the history of the sacred psilocybin mushroom and discussed its visionary effects, also examining the current science and lasting spirituality that surround it.… Read the rest

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Free Yourself from the Afflictions of Civilization

manning“Agriculture is really the dominant system of 8,000 years, and it’s more than a way of growing food. It’s a way of domesticating humans and organising humans. It is ‘the’ system.” So says the environmental author and journalist Richard Manning in the latest podcast from The Eternities.

“And the system that brought us here and made us sick is not going to fix us.”

Manning is the author of Against the Grain: How Agriculture Hijacked Civilization, which argued that major world shaping forces, such as trade, imperialism and disease, were conditioned and driven by agriculture, both for good and ill. But, mostly ill.

Manning has now returned for another tilt at civilization with Go Wild: Free Your Body and Mind from the Afflictions of Civilization, co-authored with John Ratey, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of such titles as A User’s Guide to the Brain.… Read the rest

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What on Earth is Food, Anyway? A Fresh Take on Human Diet

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Dao Earl

“You only need to do something as stupid as a detox because you’re eating stupid things,” the nutritional researcher Dao Earl told me in an interview for The Eternities podcast.

Dao is co-founder of Sura Detox, a retreat centre in Devon on the south coast of England. “I was troubled for a long time in bringing people into the retreats. They go through this fantastic process [then] go back out into the world and do exactly the same things and come back next year. The retreats allow me to nail home this nutritional information. It’s about making conscious eaters.”

I thought I knew a fair amount about diet and nutrition until I attended one of Dao’s public talks. I was quickly engrossed, the whole room united – all of us sinners – but I felt inspired rather than shamed. We didn’t know any better – until now. Effectively our taste has been corrupted from a finely tuned sensory apparatus and commandeered for use in a pleasure circuit, blurring its capacity for determining the most applicable nutrients.… Read the rest

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Philip K. Dick – The Man Who Remembered the Future

PKD bookDid sci-fi author Philip K. Dick see the future? Could he literally have been precognitive? This is one of the conclusions of a new biography by the consciousness theorist Anthony Peake.

It’s over thirty years since the writer’s death, but fascination for the work of Philip K. Dick continues to grow with more than ten major Hollywood movies based on his novels and short stories, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report and The Adjustment Bureau. Peake’s new biography shines further light on the man himself, attempting to both sift the details of his complex personal life and penetrate the unique inner life that fuelled his work with something that may have been more than merely imagination.

“What I wanted to do was get into the man’s head,” said Peake. “His psychology is as interesting as his novels, [as is] his life itself.” A Life of Philip K. Dick: The Man Who Remembered the Future is the first biography to emerge following the publication of Dick’s Exegesis, the fabled million word late-night diary that was his attempt to fathom the bizarre visionary experiences of 1974, which he termed “2-3-74″ and described as “an invasion of my mind by a transcendentally rational mind, as if I had been insane all my life and suddenly I had become sane.”

Anthony Peake seems an ideal investigator of Dick’s inner landscape with a back catalogue that includes such titles as The Infinite Mindfield: The Quest to Find the Gateway to Higher Consciousness and The Labyrinth of Time: The Illusion of Past, Present and Future, books unafraid to weave neuroscience, quantum physics and esoteric lore in an effort to engender insights into matter and mind.… Read the rest

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