The science in science fiction gives the religious imagination permission to take flight, crafting angels out of A.I., minotaurs out of mechanoids. And we should be paying attention to the myths we tell ourselves, because in our cultural storytelling there is a mirror that reflects back the psyche—like the dancing, archetypal constellations in astrology, our stories are the dimly lit windows into the penumbral movements of the group soul.Read More
I wrote "The Philosophy of Westworld" for OMNI magazine, wherein I describe how the show is infused with gnostic metaphysics and evolutionary mysticism. Forget the vanilla interpretations, this show is weird. You can read that here.
On an only tangentially related topic (evolutionary mysticism), I was asked to write an introduction to the life and work of Rudolf Steiner. Now, I'm actually not an Anthroposophist, nor a scholar of Steiner's work, but I've read a portion of his books and lectures of the years with intense curiosity, as well as Gary Lachman's biography. Steiner pops up again and again with consciousness scholars, providing valuable insights on technology, materialism, and many of the problems of our age. So I gave it my best shot, and you can read it here.
An interesting debate started cropping up in the comments sections across social media. Was Steiner a racist. Was he a far-left German nationalist? Due to a number of dubious Victorian commentary present in some of his lectures, some readers felt compelled to write Steiner off so completely I found it surprising.
"I like Steiner's Waldorf Schools, but..."
"Steiner's ideas are interesting but did you know he influenced fascists?"
Julius Evola, an esotericist who flirted openly with the Nazi SS and European fascism, is an author I could more readily dismiss and find problematic. (I know some of my consciousness studies peers do find some of his ideas on tradition redemptive, but he just doesn't do it for me, and his fascist leaning simply taints the rest of his writing with a certain stink.)
But Gary Lachman, Steiner's biographer, cleared things up real quick with this comment thread we were having.
Steiner was hardly a racist, at least not anymore than we moderns are. I'm sure that, given another century, plenty of our ideas today would be perceived as antiquated and distasteful.
Keep on reading. More updates soon.