With the publication of Secret Body in 2017, the exploratory and theoretical oeuvre is more or less complete. This body of work will now function as the foundation for my work in (and from) the future, which will be expressed primarily through a trilogy involving the history of science and paranormal currents in American culture. There are three basic components to this trilogy project: (1) cosmology and quantum physics, (2) evolutionary biology and ethnobotany, and (3) technology and cosmology. The trilogy as a whole is entitled The Super Story: Science (Fiction) and Some Emergent Mythologies.
At the moment the three volumes are entitled:
- The Physics of Mystics: Super Natural Experiences of the Cosmos and their Special Effects
- Biological Gods: Evolution, Intelligent Plants, Spectral Monsters, and the Future of the Human(ities)
- How to Cultivate Superpowers: The Technological Occult, Ecological Crisis, and the End of All Things
I teach, lecture, and write on these ideas regularly now both in the U.S. and Europe. Such ideas include the related topics of religion as a “legitimate form of science fiction” (Martin Riesebrodt), precognition and the “block” nature of space-time, 20th century mysticisms of energy and matter, and paranormal
phenomena as actual cinematic-like “special effects” in the physical environment (vol. 1); the history of human deification and the modern rise of the superhuman, intelligent plants and psychedelics, the psychosexuality of reincarnation memories, and the monster as invisible species in the new paranormal ecologies (vol. 2); and, finally, the history of the flying saucer and related abduction phenomena, the UFO and the NDE (ufology as eschatology), occult military technologies (particularly remote viewing), and the dark apocalyptic ecologies of environmental crisis, species extinction, and climate change (vol. 3). What this breathless list of fantastic phenomena have in common is a certain specificity or granularity, an apparently random collection of colorful “pixels” that, seen from afar and with just the right squint now, take on the specific shapes, figures, and stories about who and what we might (yet) be and—just as importantly—what we have lost and destroyed. I do not claim any conclusion or single story, of course, about what we might see in all of this, about what this all means. I rather seek to show how modern mystical experience as gnostic unity (with the cosmos, space, time, matter, mind, and species) and mythical science as totalizing narrative are two deeply related expressions of the same human, and fundamentally religious, impulse: to live in a meaningful world that is whole, alive, and really, really big.
THE SUPER STORY TRILOGY PROJECT
The Super Story is a poetic device designed to capture all of those emergent mythologies and mystical currents that have been developing over the last two centuries in conversation with the sciences, particularly (1) cosmology and quantum physics, (2) evolutionary biology and ethnobotany, and (3) technology and cosmology. The trilogy will move through these three scientific complexes and explore the various ways that such sciences are radically altering our understanding of human nature and the cosmos and, alternatively, how they themselves are often secretly informed by the anomalous or paranormal experiences of the scientists themselves.
ARCHIVES OF THE IMPOSSIBLE
The Super Story trilogy will find its material, historical, and biographical base in an archival project that the Department of Religion and the Woodson Research Center of Rice University have undertaken together. Such a collection is in process now. It is focused on original, often one-of-a-kind historical material–private papers, letters, pamphlets, rare books, and so on. We will be announcing the archive and opening it to researchers with a major conference at Rice University in late October of 2020. The conference will be entitled “Opening the Archives of the Impossible: Writing the History of Religion and Science After the Normal.”