March 15, 2018
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First published in 1994 but sadly more relevant than ever, The Geography of Nowhere traces America’s evolution from a nation of Main Streets and coherent communities to a land where every place is like no place in particular, where the cities are dead zones, and the countryside is a wasteland of cartoon architecture and parking lots. In elegant and often hilarious prose, Kunstler depicts America’s evolution from the Pilgrim settlements to the modern car-centric suburb in all its ghastliness, adding up the huge economic, social, and spiritual costs that the U.S. is paying for its gas-guzzling lifestyle.
It is also a wake-up call for citizens to reinvent the places where we live and work, and to build communities that are once again worthy of our affection. Kunstler proposes that by reviving civic art and civic life, we will rediscover public virtue and a new vision of the common good. “The future”, he says, “will require us to build better places, or the future will belong to other people in other societies.”
The Geography of Nowhere has become a touchstone work in the decades since its initial publication, its incisive commentary giving voice to the feeling of millions of Americans that their nation’s suburban environments are ceasing to be credible human habitats. We examine what has changed during the intervening years and ask, in the shadow of looming political, social, economic, and environmental crises, whether anything worthwhile might be salvaged from the wreckage that America’s suburban sprawl must inevitably become.
Previous interview with James Howard Kunstler:
Too Much Magic
architecture, collapse of society, consumerism, corporate control, depopulation, Dmitry Orlov, Donald Trump, economics, energy crisis, James Howard Kunstler, John Michael Greer, peak oil, sustainability, transition movement, utopia
March 1, 2018
Biologist, parapsychological researcher, and author of ‘The Science Delusion’ Rupert Sheldrake discusses his latest book ‘Science and Spiritual Practices’. In this pioneering work Sheldrake shows how science helps validate seven practices on which all religions are built, and which are part of our common human heritage: meditation, gratitude, connecting with nature, relating to plants, rituals, singing and chanting, and pilgrimage and holy places. The effects of spiritual practices are now being investigated scientifically as never before, and many studies have shown that religious and spiritual practices generally make people happier and healthier.
February 26, 2018
Jim Elvidge discusses his book ‘The Universe – Solved! A New Provocative View of the True Nature of Reality’. Have you ever felt that there was something odd about the world we live in? Something about reality that isn’t quite random, as it should be? Something a little too organized, a little too planned, a little too programmed? What if reality isn’t really what you think it is? What if our world is just like one big video game? According to Elvidge, it’s actually not as far-fetched as it seems. Within 30 years, he maintains that we will be able to create virtual environments indistinguishable from our current reality. Within a few more decades, even physical realities will be manufactured. He also believes that we are marching toward an inevitable merge with machines and artificial intelligence. What’s more, we may even have already reached that point and it’s simply impossible to tell.
altered states of consciousness, artificial intelligence, consciousness, dark matter, Elon Musk, Higgs boson, Indigenous societies, Individual Freedom, Jim Elvidge, life after death, materialism, metaphysics, philosophy, quantum physics, Simulation Hypothesis, technology, The Matrix, time, time travel, Tom Campbell, transhumanism, virtual reality
February 18, 2018
John Michael Greer discusses his book ‘The Retro Future – Looking to the Past to Reinvent the Future’. To most people paying attention to the collision between industrial society and the hard limits of a finite planet, it’s clear that things are going very, very wrong. We no longer have unlimited time and resources to deal with the economic and environmental crises that define our future, and the options are limited to the tools we have on hand right now. ‘The Retro Future’ is about one very powerful idea: deliberate technological regression. Technological regression isn’t about ‘going back’ – it’s about using the past as a resource to meet the needs of the present, and maybe the future too. It starts from the recognition that older technologies generally use fewer resources and cost less than modern equivalents, and it embraces the heresy of technological choice – our ability to choose or refuse the technologies pushed by corporate interests. People are already ditching smartphones and going back to so-called ‘dumb phones’ and land lines, and e-book sales are declining while printed books rebound. Clear signs among many that blind faith in progress is faltering and opening up the possibility that the best way forward may well involve looking back.
climate change, collapse of society, consumerism, depopulation, Elon Musk, energy crisis, Indigenous societies, John Michael Greer, peak oil, renewable energy, sustainability, technology, transition movement
January 30, 2018
In part three, we consider how Wilson’s worldview differed from that of many in the literary movement he was all-too-often lumped in with, the so-called ‘angry young men’ such as John Osborne and Kingsley Amis who rose to prominence during the 1950s. Wilson held an unfashionable belief in the power of self-improvement over and above that of social protest or utopian politics. Indeed, his ideas about the possible emergence of a New Human, physically and mentally improved, coupled with his criticism of what he saw as the widespread denial of genius and worm’s-eye view of the World, were in certain circles condemned as nothing less than fascist.
altered states of consciousness, Colin Wilson, collapse of society, consciousness, Donald Trump, evolution, Gary Lachman, Individual Freedom, magic, manifesting, metaphysics, occult, philosophy, Scientism, Socialism, synchronicity
January 6, 2018
Thomas Lombardo discusses his book ‘Future Consciousness – The Path to Purposeful Evolution’. We stand at what many consider to be a pivotal juncture in human history. Just as technological advancements race ahead with digitization and automation changing the face of society at breathtaking speed, so too we face unprecedented economic, political, social, and environmental crises. In response, many of us attempt to ignore these pressing problems by simply shutting down, lost in the past or the future, the good old days or daydreams of better times to come. Meanwhile, practitioners in the burgeoning field of pop psychology urge us to live in the present moment, the only thing that apparently exists. Both mindsets, however, may prove to be psychological dead-ends.
apocalypse, artificial intelligence, collapse of society, consciousness, consumerism, cyborgs, Eckhart Tolle, evolution, futurism, mainstream media manipulation, psychology, Science Fiction, sustainability, technology, Thomas Lombardo, transhumanism, transition movement, utopia, Zeitgeist Movement
January 1, 2018
Mark Olly discusses the novel ‘The Way of Wyrd – Tales of an Anglo-Saxon Sorcerer’. Written by psychologist and university professor Brian Bates and published in 1983, ‘The Way of Wyrd’ is the story of Wat Brand, a Christian scribe sent on a mission deep into the forests of pagan Anglo-Saxon England where he finds his beliefs shaken to their core. With Wulf, a wizard, as his guide, Wat is instructed in the magical lore of plants, runes, fate, and life force until finally he journeys to the spirit world on a quest to encounter the true nature of his own soul.
Anglo-Saxons, archaeology, Arthurian, Celts, Christianity, Dark Ages, dreams, Druids, Indigenous societies, magic, Mark Olly, Medieval, mythology, Paganism, Roman Empire, Romans, shamanism, symbolism, Viking
December 26, 2017
Penny Sartori discusses her book ‘The Transformative Power of Near-Death Experiences – How the Messages of NDEs Positively Impact the World’. The NDE phenomenon is as old as humankind itself, and has been documented – and explained or dismissed – in myriad ways for just as long. In the modern world, dominated by scientific reductionism, NDEs are generally viewed as mere chemical by-products of a dying brain, the after-effects and apparent implications derided as wishful thinking and New Age nonsense. Evidence that NDEs contain a profoundly important message for humanity, however, continues to emerge, and the possibility that they may play a vital part in our evolution is very real indeed. The near-death experience instils knowledge in those who experience it that we are all interconnected, part of a much greater whole, and that what we do to others, we do to ourselves.
December 14, 2017
Ervin Laszlo discusses his book ‘The Intelligence of the Cosmos: Why Are We Here? New Answers from the Frontiers of Science’. For the outdated mainstream paradigm, the universe is a giant mechanism functioning in accordance with known and knowable laws, patterns, and regularities. But the new paradigm emerging in science offers a different concept – a universe as an interconnected, coherent whole, informed by a cosmic intelligence. This is not a finite, mechanistic, purely material model – it is a holistic system infused with consciousness, and within it, we are conscious beings who emerge and co-evolve as complex vibrations in what Laszlo calls the Akashic Field of the universe.
December 12, 2017
Ivelin Sardamov discusses his book ‘Mental Penguins – The Neverending Education Crisis and the False Promise of the Information Age’. Sardamov draws on key findings in neuroscience to explain decreasing attention spans, a crisis of curiosity, and waning interest in and knowledge of complex social issues in the United States and around the world. Attributing this trend primarily to the effects of information overload, ubiquitous screens, and constant access to the Internet, he argues that chronic over-stimulation generated by the current socio-technological environment fosters addictive tendencies in today’s young people, many of whom will graduate from profit-driven universities both mired in debt and unprepared for life in the outside world.