Knocking on the Abyssal Door: Live at the Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute

Episode 131 · September 21st, 2022 · 1 hr 11 mins

About this Episode

The historian of religion Jeffrey J. Kripal writes, "The world is one, and the human is two." The line captures the riddle of reality. What is it with our species? Equipped with an intellect able to grok the basic laws that govern the physical universe, we seem unable to wrap our heads around as simple a question as "What is real?". Recorded live before a learned audience at the Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute (DISI) in August of 2022, this episode approaches the enigma by teasing the Weird out of the very idea of intellection. If the architects of DISI are right to say that mind, far from being confined to human skulls, enjoys wide distribution across nature, what might such ideas as magic, synchronicity, and prophecy tell us about intelligence and meaning?

DISI is a three-week interdisciplinary event held each year at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The hosts are grateful to Jacob Foster and Erica Cartmill of UCLA for inviting them to speak at the institute.

**Header image: **Detail of The Ancient of Days by William Blake.


Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute (DISI)
Earlier iteration of Jacob Foster's talk, "Toward a Social Science of the Possible"

Pauline Oliveros's Tuning Meditation
Norbert Wiener, American mathematician
Joshua Ramey, "Contingency Without Unreason: Speculation After Meillassoux"
E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic Among the Azande
Aristotle, Physics and Metaphysics
Jeffrey J. Kripal, "The World is One, and the Human is Two: Tentative Conclusions of a Working Historian of Religion"
Jeffrey Kripal on Weird Studies: episodes ## and ##
Aleister Crowley, See The Vision and the Voice and Magick in Theory and Practice
The "Unwritten Doctrines" of Plato
Plato, Republic, "Seventh Letter" & Phaedrus
Phil's prophetic dream report (Patreon supporters only)
H. P. Lovecraft, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (for description of Azathoth)
C. G. Jung, Synchroncity: An Acausal Connecting Principle, Alchemical Studies & Mysterium Coniunctionis
Charles Taylor, A Secular Age
New York Times article on 2022 UFO hearings