The Liminalist # 257: A Fatal Glimpse of Heaven (Discussing Morris Berman’s Wandering God with Tim K., # 1)

Return conversation with Tim K. for a discussion of Morris Berman’s Wandering God: A Study in Nomadic Spirituality.

Part One: Between Alienation and Annihilation (0 – 26 mins)

Parallels between Prisoner of Infinity, Wandering God, and 16 Maps of Hell, a deep analysis of what went wrong, why did fear take center stage, vertical vs. horizontal, the biological baseline, hunter-gatherer society, hierarchy and religiosity, concern for meaning, Dave Oshana & physicalized knowledge, a bodily basis to meaning, self-awareness & alienation, focused & unfocused awareness, the cowboy & the fool, the sacred authority complex, world vs. worldview, ascent experiences, mother-bonding and separation, between alienation & annihilation, dissociation & temporary security, language and the future, when we named the unnameable, identity permanence.

Part Two: The Shifting Landscape of Nomads (26 mins – 1 hr)

Objectifying the self, transcendental unity of perception, dullardism & spacing out, disenchanting the world, the quest for certainty, a preoccupation with transcendence, paradigm addiction, Changing Images of Man, worldview warfare, constructing perceptual filters, a counterfeit of a world, ayahuasca eaters of Silicon Valley, where nothing is certain, Dave Oshana & babies, psychedelic dependency, Young Guns, invisible paradox, oceanic solutions, Jung & the transpersonalists, a renewed corporeality, original ambulatory experience, the need for indeterminacy, prioritization of security, the covid crackdown, humanity’s destiny.

Part Three: The Birth of the Ego (1 hr – 1 hr 37 mins)

The defining myth of progress, the awareness of right & wrong, the goal of existence, becoming embodied, distributing the life force, a natural enjoyment of living, our bee nature, the birth of the ego, the mirror stage, the arrival of the gap, the severity of trauma, Oshana’s enlightenment, self-awareness vs. ego obsession, Husserl, the intentionality of consciousness, the two truths, the homunculus of mind, human horizontality, the Gnostic key counterfeit, the turbo-boosted ego, Strieber’s special nuttiness, a fatal glimpse of heaven, power drives to have control the mother’s body, Julian Jaynes & the metaphorical mindspace, projecting avatars into simulations for survival.

Part Four: The Loss of Paradox (1 hr 37 mins – end)

Strieber’s trauma, the perverse use of the imagination, the birth of culture, the physical expressions of human consciousness, technology & a shift from environment to mind, the loss of paradox, the personal & the universal, the fleeting & the enduring, the death of the I, theory of mind, self-consciousness vs. self-awareness, the origin of alienation, definitions of consciousness, the life force, becoming compartmentalized, creature anxiety, a natural spiritual life, the arrival of the charismatic shaman, comparative child-rearing, aggrandizers, parental relations and a compromised relationship to the divine, relative trauma, the arms of shysters, neglect & abuse, the only one in there.

Dark Ages America (Morris Berman’s site).

Wandering God.

Songs: “Pirates” by Entertainment for the Braindead; “Real World” by Big Blood; “No Home” by Cullah; “Good Friend of Mine” by The Bones of JR Jones; “Changes” by Short Hand.


8 thoughts on “The Liminalist # 257: A Fatal Glimpse of Heaven (Discussing Morris Berman’s Wandering God with Tim K., # 1)”

  1. hi Jasun
    thank you! My friend Jeff turned me onto “Paranoid Awareness” about 10 years ago and I
    have been listening to your podcasts and reading some of your book ever since. I appreciate your level and generous approach to the exchange of information and the process of exploration . A welcome weekly aural oasis
    I was inspired to “comment” by the most recent Liminalist #257 discussing Morris Berman
    I’m just finishing up a book that I am wondering if you are familiar with :
    Spinal Catastrophism by Thomas Moynihan. It overlaps with some of the ideas that you and
    Tim K. were chopping up.
    A bit from the back cover– “If human morphology, upright posture, and language are the ramified accidents of natural history, then psychic ailments are ultimately afflictions of the spine, itself a scale model of biogenetic trauma, a portable map of the catastrophic events that shaped that atrocity exhibition of evolutionary traumata, the orthograde talking mammal”
    Perhaps, Natures attempts to escape itself by creating a nervous system.
    Thought you might find a few threads in it that run to and through your maps.
    Thank You again and congratulations on the new book!
    Sean Q.

  2. @36 mins

    Jasun: “The whole notion of paradigms itself belongs to a paradigm. There’s a paradigm about paradigms. And yet they’re being assumed to be some kind of unchanging, empirical fixed fact of existence. I.e that there must always be a paradigm.”

    The word paradigm comes from the Greek “paradeigma” whose meaning seems to be a blending of Plato’s idea of the “forms” with the modern idea of “archetypes”. (?)

    I.e. paradigms here are not particular world views / frameworks but the source/soul of something in the world represented as an archetype.

    So “paradeigma” refers to something (infinitely?) creative and essential. Whereas our modern notion of paradigms is something that is constructed, sets boundaries and limits creativity…

  3. “We imagine scenarios that we then try and bring about.. and so we’ve created a world over time where we’re actually doing that literally and physically. We’re literally creating images of ourselves and we’re projecting them into simulated realms…”

    Guessing it can be very subtle, or turbo-charged, e.g. It’s probably unavoidable when attempting to “get with the programme” just as much as when trying to subvert it…. In succeeding to achieve a measure of “control” in this way what are we sacrificing? — Embodiment, horizontality, reality… fascinating convo lads…

  4. A completely neglected child would die: Counter example?: Kaspar Hauser (Herzog’s film “The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser,” Truffaut’s “L’Enfant Sauvage,” or “The Wild Child”)

    The unconscious: so why do we say, “The unconscious” but do not say, “The conscious,” but, rather, “The conscious mind,” or “Consciousness,” but not (usually) “Unconsciousness?” Because “the unconscious” is a phrase that reifies a notion that has a historical origin in Freud’s (or Charcot’s or Breuer’s) discovery of the unconscious, a parallel to Columbus’ discovery of America. Perhaps both of you didn’t discuss the unconscious because it is a paradigm. But it made its presence more apparent by its not being discussed or made conscious (wink).

    Husserl’s Transcendental Ego got him pilloried by Sartre, Merleau-Ponty (a great dancer) and that traitor, Heidegger! This is a “Mr. Smarty Pants wants to Know” comment. I’ve been attracted to phenomenology on and off over decades and sense that I will never pin down that Proteus. But I think I can validly say that the poems of the British poet, Charles Tomlinson, are imbued with the spirit of Husserl’s phenomenology and are an elegant substitute for the stringency of the phenomenologist’s challenging prose.

    More pertinently, I really enjoyed the convo and was occasionally quickened by some of your judgments. I’ve read Wandering God only once, have always wanted to go back to it, and, thanks to this podcast, feel galvanized to do so. But one must really read all the end notes! Granted, they’re meaty but they inspire one’s thinking—Maury is proud of them, or, maybe, proud of the fact that they’re endless endnotes. My only reservation is that if the book was differently (optimally) structured, the endnotes would’ve been unnecessary, or at least not as extensive. But that’s just a quibble and a hunch.

  5. Nomadic lifestyles introducing the term catastrophe awareness.

    Foreesing a fungi on a tree , an invasion of a tired rushed growth in the overgrowth . Now we are witnessing rushed overgrowths due to overheating but somewhere , somehow there is a system or technique or even break down to protect ourselves from crashes in life .

    Catastrophe awareness

    • Instinctively moving to higher ground (anticipating a tsunami)… the multiple meanings of “breakdown” including “decomposition”…. the opposite of overgrowth? : cancers are formed by cells splitting (/multiplying, not transmuting)…
      How to protect ourselves? Not only with hardened skin and shields — also suppleness, “hygiene” and attentiveness…


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