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Sorcery and Psychedelics: Dark Fantasy Tropes in Graham Hancock’s Fiction

LEGLITCHARD

My sci-fantasy graphic novel TRETA-YUGA, now live on Kickstarter, has been inspired by Graham Hancock’s bibliography (and a host of other authors). I wanted to take the time to trace some of these influences while simultaneously reviewing Hancock’s newly released epic Return of the Plumed Serpent, the second installment of the War God trilogy.

Graham Hancock is a legendary author, and therefore writing about his work can be prove to be immensely daunting. So much has already been said, and yet there are a great number of themes that I do not see discussed in his work.

For better or worse, the psychedelic activism that he has been adamant about in recent years is given more attention than the majestically magic worlds of his fiction, which he considers a more important vehicle for the translation of entheodelic visions that have consumed him in the over 100+ ayahuasca/DMT experiences he’s had.… Read the rest

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The Cosmic Trigger Play and Find the Others Conferestival Kicks Off This Weekend

cosmictriggerShould be noted that the crowdfunding campaign was a rousing success, and my favorite book about summoning aliens with your privates is coming to a stage in Liverpool this Sunday, November 23rd (of course) and again in London the following weekend. Not only that but there’s going to be an epic “Conferestival” on Saturday to kick things into the upper echelons of high strangeness. Apparently, some of my collage sigils even made it into the tantric sex sequence of the play, which is magickally appropriate. To say that I’m more than a bit honored by this creative decision would be a massive understatement. If only I was a richer man who could justify spending my money on such a trip, I’d be there in a heartbeat, but alas it is not to be at this point in my life. Apparently they might make it to the states here if it’s successful enough (come to Seattle) but if you happen to live in the UK, make it fucking so.… Read the rest

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Psychedelics and Religious Experience

Federico Mosconi (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Federico Mosconi (CC BY-ND 2.0)

via Psychedelic Library:

The experiences resulting from the use of psychedelic drugs are often described in religious terms. They are therefore of interest to those like myself who, in the tradition of William James, (1) are concerned with the psychology of religion. For more than thirty years I have been studying the causes, the consequences, and the conditions of those peculiar states of consciousness in which the individual discovers himself to be one continuous process with God, with the Universe, with the Ground of Being, or whatever name he may use by cultural conditioning or personal preference for the ultimate and eternal reality. We have no satisfactory and definitive name for experiences of this kind. The terms “religious experience,” “mystical experience,” and “cosmic consciousness” are all too vague and comprehensive to denote that specific mode of consciousness which, to those who have known it, is as real and overwhelming as falling in love.

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Common Themes in South American Indian Yage Experiences

Paul Hessell (CC BY 2.0)

Paul Hessell (CC BY 2.0)

Deoxy.org (via web.archive):

The existence of a hallucinatory drink made from the South American tropical forest ayahuasca or yage vine (Banisteriopsis) was perhaps first reported to the Western world by the Ecuadorian geographer, Villavicencio. He observed (1858: 372-73):

This beverage is narcotic, as one might suppose, and in a few moments it begins to produce the most rare phenomena. Its action appears to excite the nervous system; all the senses liven up and all faculties awaken; they feel vertigo and spinning in the head, then a sensation of being lifted into the air and beginning an aerial journey; the possessed begins in the first moments to see the most delicious apparitions, in conformity with his ideas and knowledge: the savages (apparently the Zaparo of eastern Ecuador) say that they see gorgeous lakes, forests covered with fruit, the prettiest birds who communicate to them the nicest and the most favorable things they want to hear, and other beautiful things relating to their savage life.

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More Radical Than Thou

opensource.com (CC BY-SA 2.0)

opensource.com (CC BY-SA 2.0)

JMP writes at M-L-M Mayhem!:

Due to the upcoming provincial elections in Ontario, I have again found myself reflecting on something that has become a common theme, either explicitly or implicitly, of this blog in the past few months: the default social democratic and/or opportunist consciousness of the self-proclaimed left in Canada and the United States.  Generally, I have been concerned with that gap between theory and practice where on one hand, anti-capitalists will proclaim that capitalism must be superseded but, on the other hand, will focus most of their energy in building social democratic coalitions and organizations.  And though I have tried to qualify my critique by pointing out that leftists should be prepared to support initiatives that defend social democratic rights, but must do so in a principled manner, I have still found that even this nuanced perspective is met with hostility by self-proclaimed anti-capitalists who should know better.

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Andrea Dworkin on Misandry

51Bh83rIagLChapter three of Letters From a War Zone:

One problem is that this essay, like others in this book, has no cultural presence: no one has to know about it or take it into account to appear less than ignorant; no one will be held accountable for ignoring it. Usually critics and political adversaries have to reckon with the published work of male writers whom they wish to malign. No such rules protect girls. One pro-pornography “feminist” published an article in which she said I was anti-abortion, this in the face of decades of work for abortion rights and membership in many pro-choice groups. No one even checked her allegation; the periodical would not publish a retraction. One’s published work counts as nothing, and so do years of one’s political life.

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All who are not of good race in this world are chaff. –Hitler, Mein KampfIt would be lunacy to try to estimate the value of man according to his race, thus declaring war on the Marxist idea that men are equal, unless we are determined to draw the ultimate consequences.

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Alien Abduction or “Accidental Awareness”?

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

via Scientific American:

So then they roll me over on my back, and the examiner has a long needle in his hand. And I see the needle. And it’s bigger than any needle that I’ve ever seen.” So testifies Betty Hill, of her experience inside a flying saucer near Franconia Notch, New Hampshire, in 1961. Betty and her husband, Barney Hill, are the earliest known victims of alien abduction, and the 1966 bestseller The Interrupted Journey describes how they recalled the event under hypnosis. Their story includes nude medical exams and invasive probing—an alien abduction scenario many of us recognize from the TV shows and movies of the past 50 years.

But in 2008 a Columbia University psychoanalyst published “Alien Abduction: A Medical Hypothesis” which suggested that what is known as “accidental awareness under general anesthesia”—in which a patient awakens on the table during surgery—might lie behind stories of alien abduction.

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Burlesque Dancers of the Victorian Era

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via Neatorama [Follow the link to see all of the pictures]:

These early burlesque dancers were actresses in American musical theater, of which burlesque was a crowd-pleasing type. Burlesque shows became popular in England in the 1830s, with its popularity spreading to the United States about ten years later. American burlesque featured comedic sketches that included sexually suggestive dialogue and women in sexy costumes. This tradition, with the addition of striptease, continued in the U.S. until the 1930s, when legal crackdowns put a stop to it.

Read More: http://www.neatorama.com/2014/11/12/Burlesque-Dancers-of-the-Victorian-Era/

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Employing the Usefulness of the Useless, or: Examining the Relevance of a Philosophical Life

Master Zhuang and a frog

Master Chuang Tzu and a frog

“All men know the use of the useful, but nobody knows the use of the useless.”

– Chuang Tzu, Chapter 4 

One of my favorite memories of college is not very interesting. I’m going to tell it anyway, because I’m the one writing the essay, and I get to choose to take a risk and tell a not very interesting story so as to help me make some kind of (possibly not very interesting) point.

I must’ve been 20 years old or thereabouts. I was sitting in a “Chinese Philosophy” class and we were several weeks into the semester, which meant we were still slogging through the requisite moral and literary admonitions of the Analects. The professor, great teacher that he was, made it a point to make the Confucius sections of the course as perfunctory as possible. You can’t talk about Chinese philosophy without talking about Confucius, of course, but the less you have to talk about him the better.… Read the rest

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