After many decades of being a forbidden topic, research into psychedelic experiences and their possibly beneficial effects is once again blooming. For a fantastic exploration of the topic, check out the documentary Science and Sacraments (embedded above) which "surveys the history of psychedelic research and the current renaissance, focusing on the potential to enhance insight and creativity, foster psychological healing and growth, and catalyze spiritual awakening".
You can grab a hard copy of the documentary on DVD from the Institute of Noetic Sciences.
Fresh Fortean freakishness and futile futurism:
- From My Little Pony to tulpamancy, a cultural phenomenon now deserving of academic study.
- Brain to brain interaction at a distance.
- Can you ever really know an Extraterrestrial? Even to catch a whiff of them might be dangerous.
- Noam Chomsky contemplates the end of human history.
- Meanwhile, Stephen Hawking worries that the God particle may bring a more sudden conclusion to the whole universe.
- Is our microbiome our puppetmaster?
- Feel more free: have a pee.
- As psychoactive plants are now in season at Kew Gardens, UK Liberal Democrats pledge to decriminalise drug possession.
- 'Spirit Wrestlers' dress Nine Ladies in pink in an 'act of love', following earlier vandalism.
- The strange history of 'Mad honey', a hallucinogenic weapon of war.
- Is the pyramidal hill Gunung-Padang 12,000 years older than Gobekli Tepe?
- Where were you when episodic memories were located? In my memory palace.
- The thermodynamic theory of Ecology.
- Prahlad Jani claims he's had no need for food or water, for 65 Years.
- Caryatids found guarding Alexandrian tomb.
- Has DNA evidence identified Jack the Ripper, or was it the Loch Ness Monster ?
- The surprising verdict on Atheist TV: it's reasonably ok.
Thanks to Cat, John and Rick for links
Quote of the Day:
Sad species. Poor Owl.
This article is excerpted from Darklore Volume 8, which is now available for sale from Amazon US and Amazon UK. The Darklore anthology series features the best writing and research on paranormal, Fortean and hidden history topics, by the most respected names in the field: Robert Schoch, Nick Redfern, Loren Coleman, Robert Bauval and Daniel Pinchbeck, to name just a few. Darklore's aim is to support quality researchers, so it makes sense to support Darklore. For more information on the series (including more free sample articles), visit the Darklore website.
Believing in Fiction
The Rise of Hyper-Real Religion by Ian ‘Cat’ Vincent
"What is real? How do you define real?" – Morpheus, in The Matrix
"Television is reality, and reality is less than television." - Dr. Brian O’Blivion, in Videodrome
Ever since the advent of modern mass communication and the resulting wide dissemination of popular culture, the nature and practice of religious belief has undergone a considerable shift. Especially over the last fifty years, there has been an increasing tendency for pop culture to directly figure into the manifestation of belief: the older religious faiths have either had to partly embrace, or strenuously oppose, the deepening influence of books, comics, cinema, television and pop music. And, beyond this, new religious beliefs have arisen that happily partake of these media – even to the point of entire belief systems arising that make no claim to any historical origin.
There are new gods in the world – and and they are being born from pure fiction.
This is something that – as a lifelong fanboy of the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres and an exponent of a often pop-culturederived occultism for nearly as long – is no shock to me. What did surprise me, however, was discovering that there is a growing area of sociological study of these beliefs... an academic realm which not only seeks to understand these developments, but also provides a useful perspective on modern belief for both the Fortean and the occult practitioner.
I first learned about this area of study from a 2007 interview on the excellent religion and pop culture focussed website Theofantastique with the Australian sociologist Dr. Adam Possamai,1 in which he talks about his research into what he has termed ‘hyper-real religion’.2 Fascinated, I acquired his introductory text to the concept, Religion And Popular Culture: A Hyper-Real Testament3 and, later, the mammoth 2012 collection of research and essays on the subject which he edited, Handbook of Hyper-Real Religions.4 The term ‘hyper-real’ itself draws on the work of ... Read More »
A summary of all the stories and news briefs posted on The Daily Grail over the past week. Feel free to share anything interesting!
- Plague Sunday at Eyam - the Black Death village
- News Briefs 01-09-2014 (Monday)
- JREF Shake-Up: Headquarters Moved, James Randi Re-Installed as President
- New Movie Autómata Explores the Possibilities, and Risks, of Machine Consciousness
- News Briefs 02-09-2014 (Tuesday)
- The Origin of 'A Glitch in the Matrix': Philip K. Dick Discusses Déjà Vu and Living in a Simulation, in 1977
- News Briefs 03-09-2014 (Wednesday)
- More Evidence of the Intelligence of Birds: Cockatoos Learn to Make Wooden Tools to Reach Food
- News Briefs 04-09-2014 (Thursday)
- News Briefs 05-09-2014 (Friday)
- Have You Seen This Lost Wormhole?
- Obamahenge: US President Visits Stonehenge
- Darklore Volume 8: Now Available!
Have a good weekend!
"Yep, this site is perfect for the next Bilderberg BBQ!"
Post your own satirical captions below!
Via National Geographic.
"Nature must govern technology, not the other way around."
- We are Laniakea.
- Another new world.
- Complicating, circulating new life.
- Mind vs. mind.
- Mind vs. soul vs. dementia.
- Enter Dreadnoughtus.
- Myths of el sol.
- Young Einsteins, sans Yahoo Serious.
- Percolating on coffee.
- Skynet takes flight.
- This week’s evidence of the robot uprising… soccer bots and 3D printers in spaaaaace.
Quote of the Day:
“Logic only gives man what he needs. Magic gives him what he wants.”
Good things come to those who wait, the old saying goes. And I've definitely made you wait for this one - it's almost a year overdue - but we finally made it: I'm happy to announce the eighth instalment of our anthology series covering hidden history, fringe science and general Forteana, Darklore Volume VIII, is now available for sale! You can pick up your copy from any number of online retailers through a simple search. But for simplicity's sake, here's the links to Amazon:
Here's a quick listing of what you'll find within:
- Mike Jay dives into the strange history of 'sane hallucinations'
- Martin Shough investigates the ball lightning enigma, and the way science has approached the mystery as compared to the UFO phenomenon
- Joanne Conman discusses her revolutionary theory about ancient Egyptian astronomy
- Daniel Bourke compares modern accounts of post-death consciousness with the descriptions of the world beyond found in the Tibetan Book of the Dead
- Cat Vincent examines the rise of pop culture-based, hyper-real religions
- Blair MacKenzie Blake revisits the strange history of the Shaver Mystery craze
- Lucy Ryder explores the history of 'corpse roads' through archaeology and folklore
- Ray Grasse asks the question: what does it mean when weird things happen?
- Martin J. Clemens looks into reports of a 24,000-year-old pyramid in Indonesia
- Robert M. Schoch explores the nature of death and consciousness
- Alistair Coombs goes in search of the 'Cult of the Cosmic Bull'
- Greg Taylor reports on the 'dying light' witnessed by some people at the passing of a loved one
Thanks for everyone's support of the Darklore series - it helps to fund this website, and also provides financial support for contributors so that they can continue researching and writing about the stranger side of life.
I'm sure y'all will enjoy this latest instalment in the series. For those of you who remain unconvinced, I'll publish some sample articles at the Darklore website (and here at TDG as well) in the coming week.
(Note: Leaving this up on the front page for a few days, regular daily updates can still be accessed via the 'river of news' page view.)
Does the phrase 'running on fumes' imply fatigue makes you more Steampunk?
- Wired's extensive interview with Edward Snowden is required reading for every citizen of the global village.
- "Vague, but exciting…": How current funding in Science stifles creativity --to say nothing of heterodoxy.
- Researchers discover proteins that block the release of both Ebola & HIV into cells.
- F#$%ing Magnets: They could help improve the memory of dementia patients.
- Reshaping the tree of Life, thanks to a discovery off the coast of Australia.
- Uh-oh. Looks like ET is finally coming for Greg!
- Image of the Day: The most detailed image ever of spiral galaxy M31.
- Trippicaca: The psychedelic lifestyle of the Tiwanaku people.
- Tangentially Speaking interviews Mandy, a young woman with a heartfelt story of struggle, sickness & shamanic transformation.
- Glimpsing Heaven: National Geographic releases a new book about NDEs written by Judy Bachrach [Amazon US & UK].
- An upcoming movie explores a possible paranormal cause behind a string of drownings in the La Crosse river.
- Something's definitely afoot with all these washed-ashore dismembered feet.
- The In-Betweeners: Why reasonable skeptics should always strive never to make a leap of faith.
- Insuring Nessie.
- That crying elephant story you read 2 months ago is being made into a movie.
- Red Pill of the Day: In Soviet Russia, cartoon character laughs at YOU!
Quote of the Day:
"We need shamans, and if society doesn't provide them, the universe will."
Yet more evidence supporting the intelligence of birds (or at least, certain species). Figaro, a Goffin’s cockatoo (an Indonesian parrot species) was observed by researchers to have spontaneously started to create thin stick tools out of wooden aviary beams and use them for raking in nuts out of his reach. The researchers wondered whether other cockatoos could learn from Figaro's behaviour, and so let them observe what he was doing.
The cockatoos were placed in front of a metal cage containing a nut and given a small flat piece of wood.
After several attempts to reach the nut by poking the unwieldy piece of wood under the cage, the birds quickly realised that something smaller was required, and set about making a smaller tool.
Cockatoo Figaro was the first to start sculpting sticks to reach the food but his actions were soon copied by birds who were watching.
And researchers at Oxford University and the University of Vienna found that the copying birds began to refine the technique, changing Figaro’s slow raking process to a quick, more efficient, flick.