137 episodes

It's about time! Provocative, profound discussions at the intersection of science, art, and philosophy with paleontologist-futurist Michael Garfield and new amazing guests each week. For anyone who digs the geeky, unconventional, free-roaming, fun, irreverent, and thoughtful – an auditory psychedelic to prepare you for a wilder future than we can imagine!

FUTURE FOSSILS Michael Garfield

    • Philosophy

It's about time! Provocative, profound discussions at the intersection of science, art, and philosophy with paleontologist-futurist Michael Garfield and new amazing guests each week. For anyone who digs the geeky, unconventional, free-roaming, fun, irreverent, and thoughtful – an auditory psychedelic to prepare you for a wilder future than we can imagine!

    137 - Rolf Potts on Twenty-Five Years of World Travel

    137 - Rolf Potts on Twenty-Five Years of World Travel

    Rolf Potts is one of the world’s most notable travel writers, author of five books on his adventures, pioneer “digital nomad” before that was even a thing, a totally inspiring person who has carved his own path through life and now helps others do the same through writing workshops and his excellent podcast, Deviate. (Worth noting that as of the time of this episode’s publication, his latest podcast episode is about dinosaurs!) For me personally, Rolf’s one of the most influential writers I’ve ever read, for his book, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, a slim but profound volume that utterly changed my life forever.
    In this episode we look back on Rolf’s twenty-five years of world travel and travel writing, and how the digital transformations of the 21st Century have changed the way we move around on and experience this planet. We talk #vanlife, citizen diplomacy, psychogeography, the Instagram effect, getting lost with Google Maps, writing as a way of paying attention, and seeing your own home with fresh eyes. It’s a powerful discussion that ignited in me that old call to journey past the far horizon — which, it’s key to note, can also mean the inner boundaries of normalcy we raise around our lives, an invitation to encounter the familiar anew…
    Rolf’s Website, Writing, & Podcast:
    https://rolfpotts.com
    Grab the books we mention in this episode:
    https://amazon.com/shop/michaelgarfield
    Support this show on Patreon for secret episodes, the Future Fossils book club, and more awesome stuff than you probably have time for:
    https://patreon.com/michaelgarfield
    Mentioned: 
    Marco Polo Didn’t Go There by Rolf Potts, Storming The Beach, Vagabonding by Rolf Potts, Kevin Kelly, Google Maps, Lonely Planet Guide to Thailand’s Islands & Beaches, The Beach by Alex Garland, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jim Benning, World Hum, Present Shock by Douglas Rushkoff, Burning Man, Matt Kepnes, The Glass Cage by Nicholas Carr, Temporary Autonomous Zone by Hakim Bey, The Pessimists Archive, The Tao Te Ching translated by Brian Browne Walker, Ari Shaffir, Livinia Spalding
    Related Reading:
    “Giving Into Astonishment: Scenes from Burning Man’s American Dream" by Michael Garfield (2008)
    Theme Music: “God Detector” by Evan “Skytree” Snyder (feat. Michael Garfield)
    https://skytree.bandcamp.com/track/god-detector-ft-michael-garfield
    Additional Intro Music: “Lambent” by Michael Garfield
    https://michaelgarfield.bandcamp.com/album/little-bird-the-eschaton

    • 1 hr 2 min
    136 - Alyssa Gursky on Psychedelic Art Therapy & The Future of Communication

    136 - Alyssa Gursky on Psychedelic Art Therapy & The Future of Communication

    A bit about this week’s amazing guest in her own words:
    “I’m finishing up my Masters in Transpersonal Art Therapy at Naropa University. I've been studying Transpersonal Psychology for 6 years now. My focus has always been the theoretical and practical orientation to psychedelic assisted psychotherapy. I was raised by dead heads and frequent cannabis users, who simultaneously maintained deep professionalism and family values. So, drug culture was really inherent in my development.  I have so much to say about Psychedelic Art Therapy. 
    I've worked on the MAPS MDMA PTSD study as a night attendant for 4 years now. I work both in Boulder and in Fort Collins on this. I'm a trained Ketamine therapist (trained by three different institutions over the last year) and have done tons of above ground ketamine and cannabis work myself. While undergoing somatic psychedelic therapy (using ketamine, mostly), I made art throughout the whole process.
    I'm a freelance training coordinator. I've coordinated a training for the Ketamine Training Center, headed by Dr.Phil Wolfson, in addition to my role as Education Outreach Coordinator for Innate Path. I had the gift of being a resident workshop facilitator this summer at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. I ran workshops on astrology, non ordinary states, and art therapy, In addition to recycled art jewelry making (with recycled scraps from Meow Wolf Denver and Vegas), AND, couples art therapy workshops. Basically, I like to consider myself a servant to the progression of psychedelic medicines. I'm an artist, an art therapist, an integration specialist, a community organizer, and a thought leader.”
    Alyssa’s Instagram
    Innate Path’s Website
    My 2018 conversation with Saj Razvi of Innate Path on Psychedelic Psychotherapy
    My playlist of music that made it into the MAPS MDMA clinical trials
    Future Fossils Podcast is entirely listener-supported. Support the show on Patreon for more inspiring extras than you probably have time for.
    • Mentioned in this episode:
    Rick Doblin, Marcela Otolora, Sarah Gail, MAPS (Multidisciplinary Disciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), Zendo Project, Innate Path, Mister Rogers, Ann Shulgin, Saj Razvi, Aubrey Marcus, Kristin Karas, Dancesafe, Meow Wolf, Alex Grey’s The Mission of Art, Allyson Grey, Brian Browne Walker's Translation of The Tao Te Ching, Terence McKenna, Wim Hof, Margaret Wertheim, Onyx Ashanti, The Teafaerie, Spider & Jeanne Robinson’s Stardance Trilogy, Geoffrey West’s Scale, Anthony Thogmartin, Mi.Mu, Imogen Heap, Diana Reed Slattery’s Xenolinguistics, Donna Haraway, Mitch Mignano
    Buy any of the books we mention in this episode through my Amazon Shop and I’ll receive a tiny kickback at no extra cost to you.
    • Alyssa quotes:
    “I think that my early psychedelic experiences showed me that I was something outside of depression.”
    “Mister Rogers by day and Ann Shulgin by night.”
    “I love getting to be a spokesperson for a scapegoated substance.”
    “Art helps us create the map of our psyche.”
    “It’s not that I’m a powerful therapist and you are this wounded person. We are co-adventurers in the psyche.”
    • Future Fossils Theme Music:
    “God Detector” by Evan “Skytree” Snyder feat. Michael Garfield

    • 1 hr 27 min
    135 - Michael Phillip on The Cosmic Yes

    135 - Michael Phillip on The Cosmic Yes

    This week we’re joined by Michael Phillip, host of Third Eye Drops Podcast, to discuss some of the biggest and most persistent questions in philosophy — for which he feels he received definitive answers in a recent psychedelic experience: what it means to live a life of virtue, whether the universe is biased toward a Great Unfolding integration and continued process of perfection, the nature of evil, the question of free will, our responsibility to one another and to the future…
    It’s a great discussion with one of my favorite podcasting peers. Enjoy!
    Future Fossils Podcast is entirely listener-supported. Support the show on Patreon for more inspiring extras than you probably have time for.
    Buy any of the books we mention in this episode through my Amazon Shop and I’ll receive a tiny kickback at no extra cost to you.
    Michael Phillips’ podcast: thirdeyedrops.com
    Michael has appeared on Future Fossils before:
    Episode 14 on Westworld
    Episode 52 on Blockchain with Jennifer Sodini
    Episode 67 on Magic & Media with Douglas Rushkoff
    Key item in question for this conversation is Manly P. Hall’s “The Wisdom Series: The Challenge of Forever Becoming, Part 1”
    Mentioned:
    Daniele Bolleli, The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P Hall, The Wisdom Series by Manly P Hall, Darwin’s Pharmacy by Richard Doyle, “Wizard” (Song) by Stuart Davis, Erick Godsey, Book of Job, What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly, Joseph Campbell, Accelerando by Charles Stross, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Terence McKenna, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre
    Future Fossils Theme Music: “God Detector” by Evan “Skytree” Snyder feat. Michael Garfield

    • 1 hr 19 min
    134 - Anthony Thogmartin on Mind, Music, and Technology

    134 - Anthony Thogmartin on Mind, Music, and Technology

    Multi-instrumentalist musician Anthony Thogmartin of Papadosio [band], EarthCry [solo project], and Seed to Stage [music production tutorials] joins us for the first time since Episode 10 to talk about navigating the exponentially expanding body of human knowledge, how interfacing with different media technologies yields new minds and selves at the intersection, and the profound creative evolution he and his band have undergone by embracing tools like Ableton Live. For the ten-plus years I’ve known him, Anthony’s optimism and enthusiasm have inspired me to seize the day and strive for new horizons, and whether or not you make music I have no doubt this conversation will inspire you as well.
    Future Fossils Podcast is entirely listener-supported. Support the show on Patreon for more inspiring extras than you probably have time for.
    Buy any of the books we mention in this episode through my Amazon Shop and I’ll receive a tiny kickback at no extra cost to you.
    Mentioned:
    Ishi Crew, Complexity Explorers Facebook Group, Scott E. Page, Mirta Galesic, SpaceWeather.com, Neal.Fun/deep-sea, Caitlin McShea, InterPlanetaryFest.org, Sam Brouse, Korg Minilogue, Ableton Push, Meow Wolf, Jessica Flack, The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin, Darwin’s Pharmacy by Richard Doyle, Gary Weber, Erik Davis, A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway, The Shallows by Nicholas Carr, Plato, Thoth, Technopoly by Neil Postman, America Before by Graham Hancock, Wile E. Coyote, Star Trek, Google Translate, Ableton Live, Bitwig, Microdose VR, Android Jones, Anson Phong, Sennheiser, Magic Leap, David Block, Phaedroid, Glitch Mob, Mi.Mu gloves, Oculus Quest, Google Duo, Burning Man, Sweet Melis, The Glass Cage by Nicholas Carr
    Discussed:
    The value of long-form media and the conversation as ways of deepening our engagement with an accelerating world.
    Neurodiversity and the “social molecule,” and how being different together is good for all of us.
    “The only reason we [human beings] made it is because we’re good at talking to each other.”
    Our understanding of the planet is not just expanding outward, but also inward…not just into the vastness of space but deeper into the oceans and crust and into inner space.
    The more attention you pour into things, the more finely differentiated they become, and things get bigger on the inside than they are on the outside.
    Earthcry’s concept album Identity Mitosis and its multimedia storytelling about a conversation between AI and Gaia long after the extinction of humankind.
    What does the future look like without us?
    Living at the bottleneck between the complexity of the micro and the macro.
    The self as a plural ecosystem and the conscience as the voice of various unconscious neural motifs erupting into consciousness.
    Awakening as the abandoning of episodic autobiographic memory and the vice grip of the default mode network.
    The egoic self as a kind of electrical phenomenon, and possibly a kind of auxiliary or emergency preservation mode (not our natural state of balanced health).
    Metabolic ontology and the possibility of reality itself changing with the states of the extended body-mind in psychogenic networks.
    The cybernetic self and how performing music is also being a part of the music technology ecosystem.
    The dependency of thought on the mediation of technology…handwriting vs. typing, etc., and how different selves emerge in different contexts.
    Polarization and our refusal to understand one another.
    Generation gaps in technological fluency.
    Is the Universal Translator not RUNNING Starfleet?
    Letting Ableton Live take over Papadosio.
    YouTube vs. Instagram.
    Moore's Law and miniaturization in music performance, and moving with the current of technological evolution rather than against it.
    Michael’s open call to developers to help us create software for controlling music and visuals simultaneously with a ges

    • 1 hr 44 min
    133 - Brian Swimme on Telling A New Story of Our Universe

    133 - Brian Swimme on Telling A New Story of Our Universe

    This week’s guest is mathematician and cosmologist Brian Swimme, faculty at CIIS’ Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Program and author of several books, including The Universe is a Green Dragon: A Cosmic Creation Story (which we discuss in this episode). Brian is a major voice in the conversation about the new myths required for us in an age of planetary culture, an articulate and approachable thinker whose warmth and generosity — virtues equal to his intellectual achievement — really shine through in this conversation.
    Brian at CIIS
    Brian at the Center for Humans and Nature
    Brian’s documentary, Journey of the Universe
    Brian’s Coursera class
    “A lot of scientists will say, ‘I don’t have a metaphysics. I just deal with facts.’ But it’s not the case…”
    “Locating ourselves in time I think is the fundamental scientific or spiritual challenge.”
    “The Earth is closer to a living organism than it is a collection of objects.”
    “One of the fundamental errors of the modern period is RUINING this idea of Singularity…it’s thinking of ourselves as the intelligent species in a world that is basically a collection of objects. And then we imagine that we with our clever minds are creating technology…rather than joining a process.”
    “It could be that the future of science depends on the question of the within, the inner world…”
    We Discuss:
    Locating ourselves in time…
    The Universe is a Green Dragon: A Cosmic Creation Story
    Zak Stein (Episode 97)
    What We Learn From Mass Extinctions
    We Are Something The Planet Is Doing
    Thomas Berry
    Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (although V.I. Vernadsky coined the term “noosphere”)
    James P. Carse
    Ernst Haeckel
    Sean Esbjörn-Hargens (Episodes 60 + 113)
    Dr. Blue (Episode 124)
    Theme Music: “God Detector” by Evan “Skytree” Snyder (feat. Michael Garfield)
    https://skytree.bandcamp.com/track/god-detector-ft-michael-garfield
    Additional Music: “Valles Marineris” by Michael Garfield
    https://michaelgarfield.bandcamp.com/album/martian-arts-ep
    Support this show on Patreon to join the book club and for secret episodes:
    https://patreon.com/michaelgarfield

    • 1 hr 4 min
    132 - Erik Davis on Perturbations in the Reality Field

    132 - Erik Davis on Perturbations in the Reality Field

    This week’s guest is author, culture critic, and philosopher of the weird Erik Davis, whose work has been one of my main inspirations for almost ten years. His latest work of epic scholarship, High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies, is an exploration of topics I presumed inaccessible to academic inquiry so masterful I’ve been evangelizing it for months and basically forced a copy on my boss (David Krakauer, President of the Santa Fe Institute, who was a guest in Episode 75). In this episode we peer into the intersection of psychedelics, madness, systems science, postmodernism, and religious studies to ask about the truly other that refuses to allow us a clean answer to the questions, “What is the Real?” and “Did that just really happen?” Strap in for one of the headiest and most important conversations that we’ve ever had on Future Fossils…
    Join the Future Fossils Podcast Patreon for exclusive perks like an extra 10 minutes of this conversation, in which Erik & Michael discuss “black goo.”
    Visit Erik’s website to sign up for his email updates (always wonderful) and stay abreast of upcoming events, such as his talk at the SF Psychedelic Society on Thursday Dec 19.
    Get a copy of High Weirdness at MIT Press.
    Erik’s appearance on Future Fossils Episode 99 (a kind of prequel to this conversation).
    My 2011 and 2012 appearances on Erik’s podcast, Expanding Mind.
    Erik and I discuss over video chat (part 1, part 2) the revised and expanded third edition of his book Techgnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information.
    Shop through my Amazon storefront and support the show indirectly with your purchases:
    https://amazon.com/storefront/michaelgarfield
    Join the Future Fossils Facebook Discussion Group
    https://facebook.com/groups/futurefossils
    Show music by Evan “Skytree” Snyder feat. Michael Garfield, “God Detector”
    https://skytree.bandcamp.com/track/god-detector-ft-michael-garfield
    Mentioned:
    Jacques Lacan. Mark Fisher. Carol Cusack. Eric Wargo. Timothy Morton. Graham Harman. Jeff Kripal. Emelie Gomar. Bruno Latour. Albert Hofmann. Sasha Shulgin. Richard Doyle. Williiam James. Phil Dick. Cesar Hidalgo. Rachel Armstrong. Edward Snowden. Daniel Paul Schraber. 
    We Discuss:
    The abyss is close to home.
    “The real, by definition, is not amenable to symbolization. Whatever kind of yen we have to sustain the symbolic in the face of the real is going to fail. And in that sense, the real is fundamentally traumatic.”
    Perturbations of the reality field.
    Extimacy.
    “That’s not me…or if it is, I’m not me anymore.”
    Refusing to remain within the purely human. To lean out. To open a portal.
    The Weird vs. The Uncanny.
    Fiction vs. Religion.
    “In some sense Burning Man and the spirituality of Burning Man, if you want to call it that – the invention of new subjectivities, the development of an ecstatic culture at this end stage of capitalism and modern mythology – in a way is a kind of later iteration of the things I saw in the 70s.”
    Material agency in the practice of science. “Science is not practiced by humans alone.” “Drugs as active participants in the enactment of their effects.”
    “The thing about thinking is that sometimes it’s really clear the way you are actively putting things together, or actively exploring. But then sometimes it seems as if you are almost kind of taken over by an idea, and then the idea has stuff it wants to do, and you are just the connector or vehicle for it. What it means to think is to be in relationship to enigmas that have things to say.”
    “With reductionism in general, it’s very difficult to explain novelty.”
    “A psychedelic compound sitting on the shelf is not psychedelic. It’s in the interaction that you explore and discover its phenomenological features.”
    “There’s no way out of environm

    • 1 hr 30 min

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