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Who better to go on a spiritual adventure with on the podcast than my pal Pete Holmes! There are lots of places you might know Pete from; his stand-up, his spirituality-meets-comedy podcast You Made It Weird, his HBO show Crashing, or his new book, Comedy Sex God. Pete and I have been wanting to record another show since our epic conversation on Pete's podcast, and it's a great and wide-ranging discussion but for me, the big news is that we do a short but totally accessible spiritual experiment to unravel the weirdness of the universe just through paying attention to our own experiences.
We also discuss
- what toxic masculinity means if no one really has a definition of masculinity
- identity and certainty
- whether or not lucid dreaming is good for us
- just how much free will do we have, anyway?
- what Louis CK represents to people, especially in his "comeback" set, and why it's important to think about those representations
- contending with evil
- what happens when we investigate our sight
- death as a project we all engage in
- the fear of God and how God unfolds through us
• Looks like Guy Fieri was probably, maybe, homophobic once and is, like, probably, maybe, not so much anymore.
• The first part of my two-part essay, "Gay For Pay" about straight-identified porn performer Girth Brooks (both of us pictured below) and his straight-g4p roommate Berke Banks, appeared first in Headmaster Magazine and then in Best Gay Stories 2012. The second part is available only on my blog.
• The Alan Watts quote is “You're under no obligation to be the same person you were 5 minutes ago.” - not 15 minutes like Pete said. Pete's way too generous!
• Daniel Joseph appeared on AEWCH 67. It's one of my favorite episodes.
• Reality Hunger: A Manifesto is a great book, and I recommend it to all of you. I'd love to have David on at some point (and would love, even more, to hear Pete and David in conversation).
• There's not really an easy place to start with Deleuze & Guattari (except my online course in November!) but you can look into the ideas from this episode via Guattari's Lines of Flight: For Another World of Possibilities.
• Augustine's quote: "Love, and do what you will: whether you hold your peace, through love hold your peace; whether you cry out, through love cry out; whether you correct, through love correct; whether you spare, through love do you spare: let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good."
• Would you like access to my online course, Reading Ulysses with Conner Habib? It's only $25 (or $20 for patreon patrons) for the whole course (which I taught in 2018). Hit me up via email at againsteveryonewithconnerhabib at gmail!
• I didn't come up with the term "wellness syndrome," but lifted it from the excellent book The Wellness Syndrome by Carl Cederström and Andre Spicer.
• Have you seen Black Mass? Well, here's the trailer.
• Want a quick rundown of the four temperaments?
• Here's the episode of the Jim Norton show on which Judd Apatow and Pete try to grapple with the Louis CK thing. And here's Pete's video on Big Think. I am not a fan of the video, but I figure you should have a chance to see it for yourself, and I appreciate Pete acknowledging it as clumsy and naive after I pushed a bit. That said, I also think Pete is looking for something beyond a punitive/carceral approach.
• If you'd like to learn more about Advaita Vedanta, here you go!
• If you want to read more about the occult version of the interaction with the Essenes, here's a lecture by Rudolf Steiner (picture below) about it.
• Pete gives a shout out to Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche who is a fascinating teacher to say the least.
• Here's Ram Dass's story of giving his teacher LSD, and the remarkable effect.
• I talk a lot about basic spiritual exercise on the BlindBoy podcast.
• The Rumi quote is “Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.”
• I love Richard Rohr.
• I talk a bit about making death your own project on AEWCH 8 with the amazing Caitlin Doughty!