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  • Writer's pictureArnold Schroder

#54: Myth, Science, Power

(11/17/2022) Why is it that apocalyptic cults have been such a common aspect of the human experience, but are largely absent from our apocalyptic present? Does global collapse inherently invoke a mythical frame of awareness, and if so, what is the role of science in helping us navigate collapse? Here, we continue our examination of the relationship between science and political power, describing the inherent tension between specialization and egalitarianism, local and global survival strategies, rigorous and empirically-grounded inquiries which nonetheless have a mystical quality, the modes of awareness science often attempts to exclude (which continually reassert themselves nonetheless), and the revolutionary potential of structures for meeting human needs outside of the extant economy.

Bibliography for episode 54:

Aczel, A. D. (2000) The Mystery of the Aleph: Mathematics, the Kabbalah, and the Search for Infinity. Washington Square Press.

Greenberg, G. (2013) The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry. Blue Rider Press.

Lachman, G. (2020) The Return of Holy Russia: Apocalyptic History, Mystical Awakening, and the Struggle for the Soul of the World. Inner Traditions.

Labatut, B. (2020) When We Cease to Understand the World. New York Review Books.

Leval, G. (2018) Collectives in the Spanish Revolution. PM Press.

Lorenz, K. (1959) Gestalt perception as a source of scientific knowledge. In: Lorenz, K. (1971) Studies in Animal and Human Behaviour vol. 2. Harvard University Press.

Maturana, H. R. & Valera, F. J. (1998) The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding. Shambhala Publications.

Mungia, L. (Director) (2019) Third Eye Spies. Retrieved from

Puhvel, J. (1989) Comparative Mythology. John Hopkins University Press.

Schroder, A. G. (2019) Do not worship the deities that came before the fire. Dark Mountain 15.

Schroder, A. G. (2020) Components of a model political program for ecological survival. Against the Internet.

Scott, J. C. (2009) The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. Yale University Press.

Scott, J. C. (2017) Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States. Yale University Press.

Sheldrake, R. (2013) The Sense of Being Stared at: And Other Unexplained Powers of Human Minds. Park Street Press.

Solé, R. & Goodwin, B. (2000) Signs of Life: How Complexity Pervades Biology. Basic Books.

Sykes, B. (2014) The Nature of the Beast: The First Scientific Evidence on the Survival of Apemen into Modern Times. Coronet.

Wiseman, R. & Watt, C. (2005) Parapsychology. Routledge.

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