12/03/21 • 67 min
Science fiction writers and tech enthusiasts have long spoken of a digital Metaverse — a virtual otherworld that, as the narrative goes, is the logical next phase in human technological development. This Metaverse serves a deep mythosomatic function — it satisfies our collective need for otherworlds, for trance, for mythic narrative, for journeying, and even for shapeshifting. Yet it does so removed from all somatic context — without the accompanying ritual, without any somatic sacrifice, without the sweat of the dance or the fast or the vision quest and without providing any larger contextual purpose or individual/cultural renewal. The brokers of the new digital Metaverse seek to sell us a shamanic otherworld, while traditional access to such otherworlds takes place through the simplest of all vehicles — the body. Traditional trance practices harness breath, movement, vocal invocation, and artistic visioning as portals to otherworlds, whose ultimate purpose is not escape, entertainment, or distraction but to re-invigorate our relationship with this world. And so the magisters of tech veer into what, according to the myths and fairy tales, is profoundly dangerous territory — misusing the power of the otherworld, harnessing mass trance-induction techniques for profit rather than for communal transformation and renewal. Tech dystopias, shapeshifters, plant beings, Tantric meta-anatomies, fairy woods and more... on this episode of The Emerald.Support the show
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