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Re-upping this past episode of AEWCH because I'm starting to reinvestigate these ideas about how environmentalism is flawed at its foundation: nature. Nature is a concept that we must destroy if we ever want to see and engage with our planet.
To express the point, I pull in my pals Patricia Highsmith, Sigmund Freud, Paracelsus, and more.
This episode is becoming part of a larger project called Occult Philosophy Now!, a book and a set of courses and lectures coming your way in 2020. There's a new intro to the episode, and I hope we see it with new eyes.
IN THIS EPISODE
- Why "nature" is a poorly defined but totally accepted concept.
- Why our main environmental narratives - going green/sustainability, neo-primitivism, deep ecology - depend on the flawed concept of nature.
- "Nature is the word we use for the feeling we have of separation with other aspects of the world."
- "The concept of nature is the external exhibition of the death drive."
- Who are we if we're imaging mass death to "save the planet?"
- Have you ever fought just to feel?
- Erasing the lines between the living and the dead.
- The world is consciousness states, not objects.
- Putting ourselves at the center of the world is the only way to encounter it, much less "save" it.
• I have been in a relationship like a Patricia Highsmith (pictured below) novel. But instead of being interesting and exciting, like Strangers on a Train, it was something much different. It almost totally destroyed me, and I believe that this is the sort of relationship we're enacting when we put "nature" as the foundation of our world narratives.
• Freud writes about the death drive explicitly in Beyond the Pleasure Principle but I believe it is expressed best and most fully in Todd McGowan's excellent book, Enjoying What We Don't Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis. Todd, as you may know, appears on AEWCH 47, and with Peter Rollins on AEWCH 70.
• Everyone should read at least some Paracelsus. So you may as well start with Paracelsus: The Essential Readings and everyone should also read Adam Phillips. Once again, here's his book, Darwin's Worms: On Life Stories and Death Stories.
• Oh Žižek, I continue to love your provocations and dislike your conclusions. The quote in this ep comes from Demanding the Impossible, which is a really easy read if you've never ventured into his work before!
Back next week with a new conversation/guest episode!