Cultural Discourse looks at a broad range of cultural issues.
6th October 2011

On Macintosh

The Mythology and Metaphysics of the Macintosh

by John David Ebert

The Myth

The great myth of Western civilization, then, is not, as Oswald Spengler insisted, that of Faust; neither is it, as the American mythologist Joseph Campbell once suggested, Prometheus, or even the Grail quester of Arthurian legend; it is not even Lewis Mumford’s ‘myth of the machine’; it is none of these. Rather, the great myth of Western civilization—and it has been the great myth since the days of Minoan Crete—is that of the Wonder Child’s struggle against the Elders. Read the rest of this entry »

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18th September 2011

From The New Media Invasion

Introduction to a Catastrophic Bifurcation

by John David Ebert


When Worlds Close Down

Every culture opens a window onto a particular world horizon that is accessed via one or another form of media. Normally, the process of articulation and unfolding of a cosmos is two-fold, that of annunciation and transmission: annunciation, that is, of a vision to one sort of prophet, while another one, receiving the vision, then creates the necessary medium for transmitting it on a mass scale. Thus, Abraham, living in the Mesopotamian city of Ur, hears the voice of an obscure and hitherto unknown god that tells him to leave the land of his birth and migrate to another land, Canaan, which this god will make known to him. Generations later, after enduring the collective traumas of Egyptian servitude, the vision descends to Moses, who invents the medium of the alphabet and brings it down from the top of the mountain as the new means for communicating the Hebraic vision of a non-visual deity who makes his will known via a non-pictographic script. Read the rest of this entry »

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6th August 2011

On Myth and Science

Ancient Myth and Modern Science: A Reconsideration

by John David Ebert

Myth as Psychology

Historically, the conflict between myth and science, according to Joseph Campbell, involved a discrediting of visionary cosmology in favor of one based upon “fact.” In his essay “The Symbol Without Meaning,” Campbell described how science gradually disentangled itself from the mythological projections of the medieval imagination through the discoveries of men like Columbus and Copernicus, which amounted to the “drawing of a distinct dividing line between the world of dream consciousness and that of waking.” As a result, “mythological cosmologies. . .do not correspond to the world of gross facts but are functions of dream and vision,” which means, for Campbell, that myths are projections of the human psyche onto the canvas of the universe. Their validity, consequently, is restricted to the psyche, and all myths are to be regarded as metaphors symbolic of, on the one hand, the mysteries of Being, and on the other, transformations of human consciousness. Read the rest of this entry »

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31st July 2011

On Mesoamerican Civilization

On the Devolution of Consciousness in Ancient Mesoamerica:

Or, The Victory of the Astral Plane Over the Human Ego

An Essay by John David Ebert

The Tyranny of the Ancestral Dead

In Mesoamerica, the realms of the dead and the living were never truly separated. In fact, of all the civilizations in world history, the Mesoamericans are the one society in which no such separation was ever even attempted. Indeed, there is a continuity from the early village traditions of the so-called Archaic period (8000 – 2000 BC), in which the dead were buried under the floors of the houses, right on into the Formative, Classic and Post-Classic periods, in which this practice continues into Aztec times, as Manuel Aguilar-Moreno comments: Read the rest of this entry »

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11th April 2011

New Sloterdijk Translation

Spheres I: Bubbles by Peter Sloterdijk

Reviewed by John David Ebert

The first volume of Peter Sloterdijk’s theoretical opus Spheres is now available in English translation from Semiotexte and is due out shortly. This volume, entitled Bubbles, investigates those types of social spheres which Sloterdijk terms “microspheres,” which have to do with personal, one-to-one human relationships, especially of the amniotic kind. The second volume, Globes, articulates his idea of “macrospheres,” or the cosmological containers inside which humanity has been situated until about the 15th century, while the final volume, Foams, articulates the fate of spheres in the Modern world, in which each individual inhabits his or her own sphere, all of which rub up against one another to create a kind of social “foam.” Read the rest of this entry »

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    For more John Ebert books and lectures...Get it on Google Play

  • Archives

    For more John Ebert books and lectures…Get it on Google Play

     

    CLICK-FOR-CINEMA-DISCOURSE

     

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    Giant-Humans-Tiny-Worlds book cover

     

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    Ebert books