Members-only oddcast episode

Into the Chapel Perilous with Erik Davis

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In a continued interview with Erik Davis, we discuss:

  • the contemporary cult of q-anon (and I muse on the ways in which it is useful for thinking through ancient ‘Gnosticism’),
  • the contemporary ‘pop-Gnosticism’ exemplified by The Matrix, and
  • Philip K. Dick as a ‘prophetic’ writer.

Interview Bio:

Erik Davis is a researcher of many an interesting facet of the weird, modern and ancient. He has published far and wide on subjects ranging from rock journalism pieces to full-length monographs on psychedelic countercultures, technological transformations of culture and consciousness, and various aspects of modern western esotericism (among other subjects), most recently Davis 2019 (see below). His website techgnosis has its finger on the somewhat erratic pulse of a special kind of esoteric thought – you know it when you taste it – and features the long-standing Expanding Mind Podcast. He is one of the editors of The Exegesis, a monumental (or unbearable) work of on-the-fly reality-building edited from the truly copious posthumous papers of Philip K. Dick (see Works Cited below).

Works Cited in this Episode:

We discuss ‘that speech Philip K. Dick gave in France’ in the interview; this refers to a talk given at a science-fiction convention by Dick in Metz in 1977. You can watch video of said here.

  • Paul on the Archons in Ephesians: 1:21: 21: Jesus is ‘Far above all principality (πασῆς ἀρχῆς), and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.’ Cf. 2:2, and e.g. John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11.
  • Philip K. Dick. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. Doubleday, 1965.
  • Idem. Valis. Bantam, 1981.
  • Pamela Jackson, Jonathan Lethem, and Erik Davis, editors. The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, MA, 2011.

Recommended Reading:

  • Erik Davis. TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information, Harmony Books, 1998; republished Serpent’s Tail, 2004.
  • Idem. The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape, with photographs by Michael Rauner, Chronicle Books, 2006.
  • Idem. Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica, Yeti Books, 2010.
  • Idem. High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies, Strange Attractor/MIT Press, 2019.