Category Archives: Conscious Evolution

Westworld Season 2 – Deep Dive – Ep. 0



Today we start a new series of “What’s Your Theory?” podcasts looking deep into the deep, deep of HBO’s “Westworld”  Season 2.

“Westworld” is the smartest Science Fiction to hit television in years. We love that sort of thing around here so, naturally, we want to talk about it. If you’ve watched the show, you know that it can be intellectually thrilling, but also pretty challenging, and sometimes even baffling. The waters of “Westworld” run dark and deep.

Obviously there are a lot of podcasts out there for shows like “Westworld,” and every podcast has its own voice and style. We think the “WYT Westworld Season 2 Deep Dive” is a great match of material and commentary. “Westworld” is as much about the evolution of human consciousness as any TV show… ever, really. That’s what we love and that’s what we’re digging into. Today’s episode sets the stage and, I think, scratches the itch many “Westworld” fans have for perspective and insight into just what the hell we’re all looking at.

Jeremy D. Johnson is, among many things, an essayist who infuses formidable intellectual heft into commentaries on film and popular culture. You can get more of him on a previous episode of “What’s Your Theory?” or you can read some of his insightful commentary, including book and film reviews on many sites including Omni Magazine, Realitysandwich.com,  EvolveandAscend.com and many others. Find him on Twitter @jdjwrites. Or, you can just jump into today’s show and you’ll see very quickly why I thought he was the perfect guest to help get to the bottom of “Westworld.”

Jeremy will bring his philosophical and pop-culture acumen to weekly conversations digging into the underlying messages and nuances of Season 2, joining me for a new talk each Monday after the first run of each new episode. (likely posting on Tuesdays).

Let’s begin where all things must begin… at Episode 0, wherein we dive headfirst into the swirling Charybdis of philosophy, mythology, and up the second cultural relevance that makes “Westworld” so uncannily irresistible.

And, as always, if you like what we’re doing here, please take a second to “like” and/or subscribe to whatever platform you are seeing or hearing us on – maybe even leave a comment or a review. All of that helps us, and ensures that you won’t miss anything yet to come. Love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, Season 2 of Westworld premieres 4.22.18 on HBO. Hope to see you then!

Also, as promised in today’s episode, here is a link to Jeremy’s review of “Blade Runner 2049.” If you haven’t seen this film yet, or are planning to watch it again, I highly recommend  reading this before you do.

 

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We Choose the Moon



Today’s show is an Integral Chat with Jeff Salzman of the Daily Evolver and the second of a three part series about finding the “gold” in each of the three major levels of human consciousness (as delineated in Integral Theory).  Part 1 discussed “Traditional Values We Can’t Evolve Without” and today we highlight the optimism, self-determinism, and the courage to explore that arose with Modernism in “We choose the Moon.”

Everything is evolving. The same force that allowed physical evolution from single cells to complex organisms, from fish to mammals, is also at work in the subtle realms like consciousness and perhaps spirit (whatever those things really are).

So… Human consciousness is, and always has been, in the process of evolving.

At the heart of Integral Theory is the idea that, as human beings develop new capacities in consciousness – how we are capable of understanding the world and our place in it – we integrate all the positives of the previous levels, while discarding the negatives. So… laws and morality: Yes. Burning people at the stake for seeing things a little differently: No.

This chart breaks down the estimated timeline of how that evolution of conscious happened, how it’s happening right now, and theorizes about where it’s going.

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Black Panther – The King Returns



“Black Panther” opened this weekend to universal praise and massive success at the box-office. It seems to be yet another cultural phenomenon created by the ultra successful Marvel Studios, coming on the heels of one cultural phenomenon after another. And this one may be the most impactful yet.

Today WYT welcomes Jeff Salzman of the DailyEvolver.com for an Integral Chat on “Black Panther.”  We both agree, it’s really good, it’s culturally important, but, as I ask Jeff in today’s show… is “Black Panther” truly Integral? Does it come from that place which we, as a society, as a species, are trying to reach? Is it a guidepost to help us get there?

And while we’re at it, what and where is that place? What are the muses on about, anyway? What do the great myths communicate to us? And why do they bring the same themes over and over again for each generation?

Let me summarize a story for you, and you tell me… Is this story brand new? Does it really come from the 1960’s or 70’s?  Maybe the Dark Ages? Earlier than that?

Or is it simply eternal?

A King with a mystical origin and a great calling – to raise others up and unify his world through the highest principles – faces the return of a forgotten child, a blood relative with a claim on his throne, and an agenda of destruction born of grievance, pain and hatred. A great warrior who has suffered and knows all about injustice… who wants to lead the kingdom and correct the wrongs of the world his own way. Where does the King – or any hero – find the power to defeat a villain who makes a pretty damn good point?

And are these eternal messages also central to the amazing ten-year roll Marvel Studios has been on? What is it about their films that taps so acutely into our collective aspirations, our past, present, and future? What is it that audiences are so hungry for? And why is this phenomenon happening now?

Let’s talk it over…

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Traditional Values We Can’t Evolve Without



It’s time for another Integral Chat with Jeff Salzman of the DailyEvolver.com. This is the first of a three part series we have planned wherein we look deep at the heart and soul of each of the three most prevalent orientations of human conscious active in the world today.

3 Groups currently struggle for the steering wheel of the human race.

Traditionalists, Modernists, and Post Modernists.

3 groups who don’t get along, and are finding it harder and harder to even talk to each other. We’re going to need to fix that… soon.

The idea of this series is to find the “gold” of each in the hopes that the sooner we realize we need to carry it forward – to Integrate it, as the name of this particular theory promises we can – the faster our species will collectively move to the next level… to attain the ability to hold multiple perspectives, to stop insisting on the exclusivity of our racial, national, or intellectual tribes, and get on with the business of growing the hell up. 

After all, that’s what we’re really here for, right?

To start this series of conversations, our subject today is the Traditional mindset. Personally, I have great affinity for this angle of approach to life.  These are the storytellers, the myth makers and myth believers.  Though I will answer to “post modern lib-tard” from time to time, I do believe that the most important things in life tend to be the unseen elements largely rejected by Modern and Post-modern thought.

I believe that the Traditionalist’s ability to rally around an abstract idea is a great strength. One that we as a species lose at our peril.

I also believe that this great strength of the Traditionalist – the ability to lean on the unseen, on morals, ethics and things of the spirit when science and raw power is not enough – appears to be hanging by a thread. In fighting a losing battle against time and species evolution, many Traditionalists, it seems, have fallen sway to words they want to hear, promises coming from outside themselves, instead of drawing power from the invisible, silent, and incorruptible soul within.

The Traditionalists are the keepers of soul wisdom. They hold that fire for us all. They wait for us to remember how important it is. And I see evidence that many of them are losing faith. And again, we ALL lose what they hold at our peril.

To represent the best in Traditional values, I put together a short video featuring the words of Joseph Campbell, Jordan Peterson, and scenes from one of the great films about the possibilities –  both good and bad – of America and our amazing experiment in self-governance, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” directed by Frank Capra and starring Jimmy Stewart. Watch the whole film and see that 1939 was more 2018 than we might think.

Notes: We finally bought a house! Moving in Friday. The “What’s Your Theory” offices will be up and running as soon as the golden fountains are installed and the shark tanks are filled. So new podcasts will be coming much more regularly very soon.

And WYT is now being recorded in Video. So now you can listen as normal or watch on this page or on Youtube as new episodes become available.


The Star Trek Episode



A Very Special Star Trek addition of the Integral Chat (with video!*) – wherein Jeff Salzman makes the glorious mistake of asking me to talk about Star Trek.I’m still in the midst of a move and a house-hunt in beautiful Tucson, Arizona. Much of my stuff remains in storage so my podcasting schedule has suffered a bit. To bridge the gap, It’s time to bust out the Special Star Trek Episode of the Integral Chat with Jeff Salzman of the DailyEvolver.com!

In my experience, people who are interested in the same kinds of things I’m interested in often have a soft spot for Star Trek. I know I sure do. This is an exchange Jeff and I had a few months ago on a different podcast. Long story short, Jeff has never watched Star Trek before. He saw the “Integral” thinking in something I said about it, and wanted to learn more. Star Trek is clearly a story with lasting cultural impact (50 years and counting worth of TV shows, feature films, novels, comic books, and video games), but beyond the obvious… What’s it all about? Why does it mean so much to so many people?

So I assigned “City on the Edge of Forever” from the original series and “The Inner Light” from TNG as homework, then we came back and talked Star Trek for an hour. If you are a fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, or of awesome nerdy things in general, you might really enjoy this. I certainly did.

*Video below also has the full conversation.

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Miguel Conner on Gnosticism -Then and Now



To journey toward the light, we must dare to embrace the knowledge that there might be miles of bad road in the darkness before we eventually get where we’re going.

Our subject is Gnosticism – what it is, where it came from and – with gnostic themes occurring and reoccurring in popular films, television and books – why it’s all over mainstream consciousness today. 

 

Miguel Conner is the host of the popular and long running Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio Podcast. He is, in his own words, a storyteller, garage philosopher and hedge historian. He is also one of the most informative and entertaining experts on the subject of Gnosticism you’re likely to find anywhere, and today he is our guest.

Miguel Conner is a lecturer, an essayist, the author of 2 critically acclaimed non-fiction books, Voices of Gnosticism and Other Voices of Gnosticism, and several works of acclaimed fiction including the post-apocalyptic epic, The Dark Instinct Trilogy and the fantasy novel, The Executioner’s Daughter. In fact, if you venture over to Aeon Byte today, you can pick up a copy of Stargazer, the first book in Dark Instinct Trilogy, for free. I’ve done it and I predict that after listening to today’s interview, you’ll want to read more of what Miguel Conner has to say as well.

But in the mean time, choose the red pill and strap in for an hour of conversation, gnosis and my interview with Miguel Conner.

The video below is just a taste of a much larger conversation. The full version is action/info packed and available for free on the podcast.

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Special Halloween Episode: Here come The Brides



It’s the “What’s Your Theory?” Halloween Episode!  Jeff Salzman of The DailyEvolver.com returns (from the grave) for another Integral Chat to discuss “The Bride of Frankenstein” and “Brides of Dracula” from an Integral Theory point of view.

So gather ’round your smart phones… if you dare.

And prepare to evolve your consciousness into TERROR!

 

 

The mysterious voices in the preamble: The original theatrical trailer for “Brides of Dracula” and a conversation between Doctors Praetorius and Frankenstein from “The Bride of Frankenstein.”

And as with every Integral Chat, this chart comes in handy.

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Seeing Through the World – The Next Step in Consciousness Evolution?



Jeremy Johnson is the President of the International Jean Gebser Society. Fresh from this year’s Gebser Society Conference in Manhattan, Jeremy stops by WYT for a fascinating discussion on the evolution of Human Consciousness – where we’ve been and where we’re going.

The good news? If you are listening to this podcast, you are exactly the kind of person who either is currently – or could soon be – tapping into a greater sense of empathy, employing the ability to view reality from new and greater perspectives and… in short, seeing through the world.

What’s all this then?

Jeremy Johnson writes on Jean Gebser and the theme of Transparency and Planetization:

Jean Gebser (1905-1973) was a German philosopher, poet, and phenomenologist of consciousness. He is best known in the English-speaking world for The Ever-Present Origin(1949/1953), a masterful work of philosophical scholarship detailing a series of structural transformations in human consciousness. These leaps, or “mutations”, between structures often coincided with the simultaneous breakdown of deficient mentalities and the creative resurgence of new, spiritual qualities in humanity. Our present world anticipates a dramatic leap into the new, integral structure, which is noted for its quality of a-perspectivalism and seeing through and behind things. Only through transparency can the ever-presence of origin be perceived.

In Jean Gebser’s body of work, the principle of transparency is a unique expression of the emerging integral world. The nascent, integral structure of consciousness, which Gebser believed was well underway during his lifetime, could be identified by its spiritual capacity to render the world transparent, to shine through (durchscheinen) to its originary and primordial powers. The effect this would have on the previously realized structures of consciousness would be to render them diaphanous in both its dark aspects (the magic and mythic ontologies) as well as its light aspects (the mental-rational ontology). The synonyms clarity and lucidity were also provided by Gebser as qualitative descriptors—found in both the arts, through poets like Rilke, or the sciences, through physicists like Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg with the discoveries in quantum mechanics—to further elucidate the integral structure.

For the 47th annual Jean Gebser Society conference, we ask our presenters to examine the question of transparency. What is the nature of transparency? In what ways has transparency manifested in our present world? What are its challenges and complexities? How might this quality be assessed in both the humanities and the sciences in the decades following The Ever-Present Origin’s publication? How have planetary-scaled phenomena, like climate change and the ecological crisis, or communication revolutions, like New Media and the internet, furthered and complicated our understanding? To what degree does transparency reveal both the efficient and deficient manifestations of globalization? (from RealitySandwich)

This week’s mysterious voices in the preamble: Alan Watts and Edith Keeler (Joan Collins)

The video below is an edited version of the same interview.

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How do I purge this hate?



Hey! People are listening to this show! It’s only hundreds among the possible billions, but that’s still a lot. More than I expected this soon. Thanks to all of you! And thanks to Jeff Salzman of the DailyEvolver.com for helping me keep a steady flow of quality content each week while WYT gets off the ground. Thank you, sir!

And not only are people listening, but some are engaging too. Last week a comment appeared under the “Bright side of the Trump Apocalypse” episode that had a lot to say and also asked a very interesting question. I pointed it out to Jeff and we agreed that it would make a good topic for the next Integral Chat. And having just listened to the show before posting, I think it did. This is a good talk. So thank you to William for your comment and your question.

You can see his full comment here. It is detailed and insightful throughout, but here is the section we will be focusing on in particular.

“I truly wish I could develop the level of unattachment that Jeff displays towards the Traditional Mind Set. As a 65 year old gay man, I have to admit I have tremendous rage towards these people. They actively seek to scapegoat gay people. They actively lobby to have gay rights and gay marriage overthrown. They actively promote GOP religious fanatics who seek to do as much harm to me and my husband of 40 years as possible. How do I purge this hate?”

That’s an excellent question. If there is a specific answer, I imagine it would differ from person to person, but often the learning is in the contemplating itself. And that’s what we’ll try to offer, contemplation through conversation. I think I learned something from contemplating this question today. So thanks again, William.

As always, the Altitudes of Development Chart will help to follow along with the conversation.

But beyond the chart, I also want to provide a little underlying context about what Integral Theory means to me specifically. In other words, “Why the Integral Chat?”

Here is a paraphrasing of what’s discussed early in this episode:

Quoting Joseph Campbell from “The Power of Myth:” “My friend Heinrich Zimmer of years ago used to say, “The best things can’t be told,” because they transcend thought. “The second best are misunderstood,” because those are the thoughts that are supposed to refer to that which can’t be thought about, and one gets stuck in the thoughts.”The third best are what we talk about.”

As one of the many people of the current generations on who seek some kind of bridge between the logic and measurability of science and mind-expansion and soul nourishment that comes with spiritual pursuits, Integral Theory offers a set of tools, really a terminology which we can use as common reference points when we talk about the ineffable, higher things. Science and rationality don’t do well with the higher things because they lack the tools to measure them. Thus all spiritual information is reduced to anecdotal information, and is therefore viewed but he scientific and rational mind as largely meaningless. Or at least more meaningless that it all seems to experiencer who is struggling to convey his anecdote of spiritual consciousness in a useful way.

If you were trying to explain to me what it’s really like to be in love with a the specific person you are in love with, you would need to step into Campbell’s “second best” things to get me close to seeing what your feeling. You may have to right a beautiful song or poem if you really want to make an impression. The tools and terms provided by Integral Theory (again, the chart is pretty potent), make it easier to have conversations that begin from higher ground, and that makes it easier to really get some where.  So.. thats why the Integral Chat.

As aways, I try for the disembodied voices in the pre-amble to set the stage for the theme of the episode. Today it’s Alan Watts from “The Myth of Myself.”

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Is Climate Change an evolutionary tool?



Why do Traditional, Modern, and Post-Modern mindsets see climate change differently? Why doesn’t science settle the issue? And what’s it going to cost us if we can’t get on the same page?

Jeff Salzman of the Daily Evolver podcast stops in for another in an ongoing series of conversations we’re calling the Integral Chat. Jeff and Steve look at our world’s rapidly evolving circumstances through the lens of Integral Theory.

This week: Is Climate Change an evolutionary tool? Is it going to change us fast enough to deal with it? Is it getting hot in here or not? How can it be that three different types of people can disagree on the weather?

The voices in  the pre-amble this time are Terence Mckenna, Charlton Heston and, in one of the most “integral” speeches ever, Rick Grimes.

Once again, here is the helpful chart that makes Integral Theory easy to follow:

 

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