The pen is mightier than the sword… A transcript of yesteday’s podcast about Carl Jung, Michel Foucault and mature spirituality

James Gandolfini as HBO’s Tony Soprano, often described as a charismatic “anti-hero”

I woke up this morning not with a gun in my hand (TV people might get The Sopranos reference…) but rather, with a desire to transcribe yesterday’s podcast.

I was thinking of how the scholar Mircea Eliade used to always list his “current studies” at the end of his books, telling readers what he into at the time. I guess we were all supposed to be wrapped up in the cult of Eliade and be just as enthused about his book reading as he was!

But seriously, I can sort of understand. Being a scholar or a contemplative or some combination of the two can be a bit lonely. And you want to reach out and share your studies and insights with others. I get that now. Why else would I be doing this? It’s a kind of ‘social’ thing, blogging. Or if not fully social, at least potentially parapsychological—for those open to such things, that is.

Okay, enough talk. Here’s the transcript from yesterday’s unscripted oratory. I’ve made no grammatical corrections other than not including the odd “uh” which appears in the audio. I realize now that many people say “uh” to get a moment to gather their thoughts. And others, especially Americans, say “you know”… while extemporizing.

Mike Clark talks about “The true story of Michel Foucault’s LSD trip that changed history”

…Introductory music…

Oh Hey, it’s 2:51 p.m. in Toronto, Canada.

I’ve been studying pretty hard today and don’t really feel like writing so I thought I would jump right in and just do an audio take on this story about Michel Foucault and his use of LSD.

I became aware of this some years ago while I was doing my doctorate on Carl Jung’s concept of synchronicity because I was using Michel Foucault’s postmodern ideas to sort of suggest that Jung was like an early postmodern. Jung was ‘selling’ the idea of synchronicity because he was within a climate that was largely hostile to almost anything parapsychological.

So with that as a background, I’ll say that I studied Foucault in undergrad and graduate studies and I did come across the passage where he talks about his LSD experience. And to me, even back then when I myself was just converting to Christianity and sort of saying goodbye to the Asian philosophies which I had immersed myself in so fully… to me at that time Foucault’s take on spirituality seems infantile.

It seemed really like a preliminary stab at seeing beyond the veil. And that he had to do this with drugs, well, a lot of people do start out that way but I believe that is, as I say, sort of an infantile approach, and when one develops further into a mature kind of spirituality they realize there really is another world completely above and beyond this world of materialism.

That other world does, of course, intersect with this world of materialism. Theologians have a term called “intercession” for that. But this is all very basic stuff in Catholic theology and the way this article presents Foucault as some kind of ‘revolutionary’ because he’s taken LSD… it’s sort of pathetic and I think it’s a reflection on where many Americans and people in other countries are at these days.


…Concluding music…

The Salon article that motivated this:

For more about my doctorate, follow this link.


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