Walking the Tightrope with Erik Davis

Episode 48 · June 5th, 2019 · 1 hr 24 mins

About this Episode

Journalist and historian of religion Erik Davis joins Phil and JF to talk about his latest magnum opus, High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies. In this masterwork of weird scholarship, Davis explores the simultaneously luminous and obscure worlds of three giants of Seventies counterculture: Terence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson, and Philip K. Dick. Their psychonautical legacy serve as fuel for a deep-delving conversation on Davis' own ontological leanings, yearnings, and hesitations. We touch on his philosophical development since the release of Techgnosis in 1998, the meaning of "weird naturalism," the primacy of the aesthetic, the uses and abuses of anthropotechnics, the challenges of tightrope-walking across bottomless chasms, and lots more.


Erik Davis, High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Expreience in the Seventies
Erik Davis, Techgnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information

Philip K. Dick, American science fiction writer
Robert Anton Wilson, American writer
Terence McKenna, Half-elf bard
Graham Harman, American philosopher
Timothy Morton, British philosopher
Jeffrey J. Kripal, The Serpent’s Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion
William James, American philosopher and psychologist
Hee-jin Kim, Eihei Dogen: Mystical Realist
Dogen, "Instructions for the Cook"
Steve Reich, "Music as a Gradual Process"
Peter Sloterdijk, You Must Change Your Life
Albert Hofman’s famous bicycle ride
Erowid LSD vault
George Lackoff and Mark Johnson, Metaphors We Live By
Alexander Bard and Jan Söderqvist, Syntheism: Creating God in the Internet Age