Category Archives: Science Fiction

Westworld 2.9 “Vanishing Point” Deep Dive



Jeremy D. Johnson is back for a Deep Dive into “Vanishing Point” the penultimate episode of Season 2.

This one was pretty grim, considering all the murders, madness, and suicides… no surprise that “Vanishing Point” is a “William” episode. As we’ve been discussing all season long, William is a Lucifer archetype, attempting to bring awakening to the hosts through chaos, death, destruction and an over active sense of ego that invariably creates such nightmare crises in anyone’s life. It’s just that much worse when it is the life of an Archon determined to bend the world (his world, the hosts world… any world) to his will.

William corrects a common misquoting of Plutarch : “When Alexander was told there were invite worlds, he wept. For he had yet to become the lord of even one.”  Hmmm… There’s an Archon with control on his mind, and an Archon about to lose control OF his mind. When one walks this path, this kind of thing happens a lot.

Also in this episode… Did you hear Ford actually say the word “Timshel” this week? Just remember which of the millions of Westworld Podcasts dives deep enough to call that one out 6 episodes early (we detailed the concept of “Timshel” in Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” way back in Episode 3.) “This is a ladder to the stars.”

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Kiksuya means Remember



“Kiksuya” is Lakota for “Remember.” Episode 8 was the best episode of Westworld Season 2 so far. Maybe the best of the series as well.

Jeremy D. Johnson returns for another Deep Dive. Today we talk Shamanism, the birth of mythologies from personal experience to group recognition, when Dante met Beatrice, the decent into the underworld, Integral Yoga, and much more as we Dive Deep into episode 2.8

These Deep Dives are not Recaps and they do contain Spoilers. We talk about the philosophy, mythology, and cultural impact of stories and events that strike a chord.

Westworld is some of the smartest Sci-fi to come along in a while, and we’re doing Deep Dives for every episode of Season 2. New episodes every Tuesday! Don’t forget to subscribe (above!) and tell us what you think (below!)

Please don’t forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast delivery system and/or to the What’s Your Theory Youtube channel!  Thanks!

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Westworld Deep Dive Ep 6-7



Sorry about the delay for this one. You can blame Budapest (it’s all explained in the first minute of the show), but to make a long story short, we postponed diving deep into Episode 6 until this week. So we’re squeezing it in with our regular dive into Episode 7.

Which, frankly, is good because I, for one, wasn’t too wild about episode 6. But We both agree, episode 7 was back up the high standards of the show. All in all, still really digging Westworld Season 2, and still think these talks are fun and worthy.

Speaking of fun and worthy… Don’t forget to support “What’s Your Theory?” by subscribing (all free and simple) to the podcast and/or the youtube channel!  Thanks!

And finally… more guest interviews are coming! Keep an eye out for my talk with author, lecturer, and champion of esoterica… Mitch Horowitz! We just recorded our talk this morning and it’s really good one. Watch for it probably on Friday!

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Westworld Deep Dive 2.5



In this episode, Jeremy D. Johnson and I dive deeper into the coming conflict between 2 styles of consciousness evolution – Dolores and the fanatical path of an old fashioned Warrior/Prophet, and the compassionate (maybe even post-modern?) hero’s journey of Maeve.

Plus… all of these memes come into play at some point along the way…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Deep Dives are not Recaps and they do contain Spoilers. We talk about the philosophy, mythology, and cultural impact of stories and events that strike a chord. Westworld is some of the smartest Sci-fi to come along in a while, and we’re doing Deep Dives for every episode of Season 2.

New episodes every Tuesday! Don’t forget to subscribe (above!) and tell us what you think (below!)

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Westworld Deep Dive Ep: 2.4



Jeremy Johnson returns for our discussion of Westworld Season 2, Episode 4 – “The Riddle of the Sphinx.” And things are getting really interesting…

Today we break down the tightly constructed, uncanny horror of hungry ghost James Delos and his sad, sad journey from life to captivity in a glass menagerie to the big fall into hell as the Wheel of Samsara takes a bad, bad turn.

Also today… Jeremy takes us on a brief trip through the films of Andrei Tarkovsky and busts out some killer Musashi references…

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, this website, and/or the “What’s Your Theory?” channel on youtube. It’s free, but clicking those buttons really helps. Thanks!

And as always, let us know what you think!  Leave a comment or ask a question here or on youtube!

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WestWorld Deep Dive Ep. 2.3



Today on our Deep Dive into Westworld Season 2 Episode 3, Jeremy D. Johnson and I talk Frank Herbert’s Dune…

 

John Steinbeck’s East of Eden…

 

…and of course Robert Ford’s fascinating new narrative for the amusement park.

 

Settle in, dive deep, and remember, this is not a recap!

Find more Jeremy D. Johnson here!

And don’t forget to subscribe wherever you listen or watch! It really helps, Thanks!


Westworld Season 2, Ep. 1 Deep Dive



Jeremy D. Johnson

Jeremy D. Johnson is here for another Deep Dive into HBO’s Westworld Season 2!

We’ll have answers. But also a lot of question to explore too.

“What’s Your Theory” seems to be rapidly becoming a podcast about philosophy, esoterica, and the evolution of consciousness. Westworld, more than any other TV show I can think of, is about all of that. That’s why  we love to watch, and even more why we love to talk about it.

Today is Episode 1.  Jeremy and I get into some of the major archetypal characters, who or what they represent, where their journeys in the show have led them so far, and where they might be headed.

Is Mr. Ford an analog for God? If so, which one? Or is he the Demiurge of the Gnostics?

What about Ford’s partner Arnold? Is God’s partner also God? What does it mean that Arnold died to God’s world but decided to incarnate in the body of their creation (the hosts) in an effort to help them achieve a higher consciousness? Is Bernard Christ? And what does that make  Ford/Arnold/Bernard from the point of view of the hosts?  How about God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and God the Son?

Or is Arnold rather like Prometheus, who stole the secret of the gods to give it to his creation, Mankind, whom he made from clay?

What about William/The Man in Black? Is he an evil archon of the Gnostics? The serpent in the Garden of Eden tempting the hosts to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge? Is he the Lightbringer known as Lucifer? All three? Or None of the above?

Let’s talk this over.

Find Jeremy D. Johnson on Twitter @jdj_writes.

Find me on Twitter @S_T_Harper

And please don’t forget to subscribe on whatever podcasting machine you are into, or on youtube on the WYT Channel. Maybe even leave us a review if you have a moment. All of that stuff really, really helps. Thanks!

Want to chime in? Let us know what you think in the comments!

See you next week!

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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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