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New Thinking Allowed: The ‘Esoterotica’ of Jeffrey Kripal

There are a lot of crappy and ‘spoopy’ Youtube channels dealing with paranormal and esoteric content.

New Thinking Allowed, hosted by Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove, is not one of those.

In one of their latest interviews, Mishlove interviews Dr. Jeffrey Kripal, professor of philosophy and religious studies at Rice University, and the author of some of our favorite books here at the Grail —Authors of the ImpossibleMutants and Mystics and The Super Natural. In the interview the two Jeffs touch upon some of the ground covered on those previous books, especially the way Kripal analyzes the controversial experiences of UFO abductee Whitley Strieber from a novel, phenomenological approach –in which he neither dismisses the experiences are fantasies or delusions, nor he takes them literally.

But the conversation also moves forward into Kripal’s most recent book, Secret Body: Erotic and Esoteric Currents in the History of Religion, which not only deals with the way the rise of the paranormal in popular culture is deeply intertwined with religious practices, but that one connecting factor between ‘canonical’ and ‘secular’ mystical states is eroticism; something most major religions tend to downplay in order to maintain a ‘puritanical’ perspective on spirituality.

Yet what Kripal is suggesting, is that one of the reasons why the Western world is in such a state of ‘spiritual bankrupcy’ is not only because we adamantly separate the ‘life of the body’ from the ‘life of the soul’, but also because our institutions –especially academic, but even religious ones– refuse to entertain the possibility of geuinely paranormal experiences. Because if they did, they might just realize the physical universe and the spiritual realm are both one and the same, and the apparent difference between the two –and our blindness to the existence of the latter– is just an illusion manufactured by the limitations of our primate cognition. A cognition which, under very special conditions –such as a mystical trance or an orgasmic state– can open the doors of perception wide open, and transform us in an instant the same way Paul was changed on his way to Damascus.

To see the divine in the flesh, and the flesh in the divine, that is Tantra.

If you haven’t done so already, grab a copy of The Super Natural or ask it as a Christmas gift. Such are the type of novel ideas the UFO field desperately need in order to move forward, instead of resurrecting stories from the 80’s or waiting for Tom DeLonge to deliver us the keys to the Disclosure Kingdom. And while you’re at it subscribe to Mishlove’s channel too and check out its ample catalog, because he’s been studying these fields for a very long time, and has interviewed some of the greatest luminaries in Philosophy, Spirituality, UFOlogy, Parapsychology and the study of Consciousness.