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THE NUMBERS STATION with Alexander Price
6 minutes | 6 months ago
From "The Black Maria" by Aracelis Girmay
Excerpt from the poem "The Black Maria" by Aracelis Girmay
25 minutes | 7 months ago
Time for a New Project
Announcing a new project for the show in which I’ll be working through the Iliad with a focus on its themes of anger and justice.
63 minutes | 8 months ago
Ancient Prophecy and Modern Scientific Forecasting
How has the modern practice of scientific forecasting taken over the ancient role of priests and other experts who interpreted signs and provided warnings? I start off talking about the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, which was clearly foreseen by many experts who offered urgent warnings to policymakers. I then look at the theme of “knowledge or beliefs about the future” in a selection of stories in the Hebrew Bible, arguing that these stories are often about taking advice from the right authorities. I conclude with the argument that people who consider themselves religious or spiritual today are responsible for following the advice of scientific experts such as climate scientists and for being the most enthusiastic about supporting their recommendations.
62 minutes | 10 months ago
Samurai and Ninja with Antony Cummins
I’m joined by Antony Cummins, author of many books on medieval Japanese ninja and samurai warriors. We talk about who the samurai were and what their relationship was with the art of ninjutsu. I ask many questions about ninja magic — the kinds of esoteric practices they did that gave them a reputation for having supernatural powers. We also talk about Antony’s recent project of reviving the Natori-Ryu samurai school of war, with the blessings of the Natori family in Japan.
87 minutes | a year ago
Intelligence, Trust, and Enlightenment
Trust is a critical issue in the practice of intelligence. In this episode I start off discussing three situations where this is explicit: in the contexts of security clearance, asset recruitment, and intelligence liaison. In the second half of the episode I change gears and offer a meditative reflection on metaphorical affinities between the intelligence community and the “Illuminati” or enlightened beings. In the concluding segment I return to the issue of trust and its role in enlightenment and its presence in so-called Illuminati symbolism.
76 minutes | a year ago
Secrets within Secrets within Secrets
Searching for the hidden God. Alex reads three texts — the Book of Jonah, the Book of Job, and the Book of Esther — to show how subtle themes run through biblical texts and address some of humans’ deepest questions while often appearing on the surface to offer very little beyond pious platitudes. Where is God when children suffer, when genocides happen, when bad people are rewarded for being predators and honest people lose out because they’re following the rules? How can there even be a good God when this world is so corrupt and full of pain and injustice?
75 minutes | a year ago
On The Idea of Mind Control with Corey Dansereau
Corey Dansereau, a doctoral student in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford, returns to talk with me from a philosophical perspective about “mind control” and what it means to control or be under control. We also talk a bit about conspiracy theories of the “deep state” — a secret, shadowy group allegedly controlling the world outside public view and outside democratic accountability. We zero in on the idea of an “esoteric deep state” — a shadow government that may or may not be incarnated in human bodies, a spiritual governing body that could overlap with the visible human government.
81 minutes | a year ago
US Intelligence in WWI with Mark Stout
In this episode I’m joined by Mark Stout, a former intelligence officer with the CIA and State Department who is now a historian of intelligence and Director of programs in Global Security and Intelligence at Johns Hopkins University. Mark talks about US intelligence in World War I, which he’s currently finishing a book about. Our conversation also touches on the beginnings of the security clearance process, domestic surveillance of Prussian/German-American citizens during the war, and early attitudes among US State Department officials that intelligence activity was ungentlemanly and unbecoming of diplomats. Mark’s overview of US intelligence in WWI provides an interesting introduction to an understudied subject.
60 minutes | a year ago
Crisis Management with Gregg Jones
Gregg Jones, CEO of Strategic Applications, LLC and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University, joins me to talk about the practice of crisis management — preparing for what Gregg likes to call the Bad Day. We talk about the Will to Fight and possible ways to increase confidence in one's ability to survive. I'm especially interested in emotions like anxiety and panic, and the feeling of being overwhelmed by destructive force, and am curious if there are ways to prepare for those emotions and minimize their negative effects. How a combination of planning and preparation can make a difference in successfully surviving the Bad Day.
65 minutes | a year ago
Juan from Temple of Thelema/Aiwass #8 on Aleister Crowley and Secret Societies
Juan Ramirez from Aiwass Temple #8 joins me to talk about Aleister Crowley, Secret Societies, and the purposes of secrecy in initiatory orders like Freemasonry, the Temple of Thelema, and the Golden Dawn. While it’s always possible Crowley engaged in espionage activities, it’s implausible that his interest in occultism was just a cover story. How secrecy in occultism has historically often been for protection. Why the rituals of secret societies are secret but they don’t really have value if you read them in books or on the internet. Knowledge, power, and responsibility. (Note: the views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the participants and do not reflect the opinions or views of any organization or its members.)
61 minutes | 2 years ago
Nightmares, Monsters, and Human Conflict
Satan and the great monsters of ancient mythology; the relationship between nightmares and conflicts experienced in waking consciousness; the visual iconography of hell as a place of imprisonment and torture; catastrophic traumas such as the Holocaust and surviving the bombing of Hiroshima as experiences of hell on earth; how the mind does and doesn’t create reality; the root causes of mass violence and the need for authentic understanding to break the cycle
52 minutes | 2 years ago
Ciphers and Medieval Magic
The blurry line between medieval magic and espionage. Alex presents a kabbalistic cipher from the medieval Zohar and discusses the possibility of its relation with other contemporaneous ciphers such as Trithemius’s Steganographia
52 minutes | 2 years ago
Intelligence, Espionage, and Knowledge of the Unseen
Alex returns with a new episode about the mystical aspects of espionage in the Hebrew Bible and world history, as well as an update about the future of the show
52 minutes | 2 years ago
Plato's Symposium: The Subject Tonight Is Love
In which we discuss the theurgic and practical aspects of Plato's Symposium. Must we renounce physical expressions of love to achieve the higher philosophical love of pure Beauty? The role of the prophetess Diotima as the initiating guru of Socrates and as an icon, perhaps of Wisdom. Alcibiades and his wild, intoxicated erotic desire for the old man. The banquet itself as praise of god.
52 minutes | 2 years ago
Ancient Greek Allegory: Speaking of the Ineffable
In this episode we start off talking about Alexander's undergraduate thesis "Greek Allegory: Mystery and Meaning from Theagenes to Philo of Alexandria." This inspires a meditative and often playful conversation about rationalism, creativity, the mundus imaginalis, communication, frustration, and the ineffable.
52 minutes | 2 years ago
Destabilizing the Reception of Plato's Chora
We discuss Isabel's paper on the Chora, "Signifying Absence: Destabilizing the Reception of Plato’s Khôra." With our normal digressions into Sarte, Buddhism, Jewish mysticism, we eventually agree with Isabel's rejection of analytic philosophers who have characterized the Chora as 'matter' or 'space' and endorse a more Derridean understanding of it as something radically beyond conceptualization.
53 minutes | 2 years ago
The Chora of the Timaeus and Iamblichean Theurgy
Greg, Isabel, and Alex talk about Greg's paper "The Chora of the Timaeus and Iamblichean Theology." What did it mean for the Neoplatonists for a human to embody the Divine? Similarities between Plato's Chora and Buddhist concepts of "shunyata" or emptiness as the matrix or mother of being. A memorable moment in Jean Paul Sartre's Nausea. Socrates as a Prophet of Islam. Philosophy as initiation.
23 minutes | 2 years ago
Magical Transmogrification of Machine Elf Radio
This week I announce changes in the format and content of the show -- including Isabel joining as a co-host, and switching from a short weekly show to a longer monthly show. I also look back on a theme I've been developing over the first four months of Machine Elf Radio, which is an undercurrent about UFO's, angels, prophecy, and the song in every heart.
31 minutes | 2 years ago
Spiritual Ascent in Plato's Timaeus and Sor Juana's First Dream w/ Greg Shaw and Isabel Farias
Greg Shaw from Stonehill College continues the conversation with Isabel and myself about spiritual ascent in Plato's Timaeus and what that would look like to someone wishing to undertake it today. Isabel also told us about a poem by a 17th century Latin American poet named Sor Juana, who in her "First Dream" described a sort of shamanic Night Journey with strong parallels to Plato.
22 minutes | 2 years ago
The Chora in Plato's Timaeus - with Greg Shaw and Isabel Farias
Gregory Shaw from Stonehill College and my friend and fellow Classicist Isabel Farias join me this week to discuss the concept of the chora in Plato's Timaeus. Isabel wrote her thesis at Barnard about the Timaeus. Greg authored a paper about the concept titled "The Chora in the Timaeus and Iamblichean Theurgy." In the abstract to this paper, he offered the following brief description of what the concept is: "The chôra described in the Timaeus (52b) is said to be the receptacle through which the world comes into existence. In some mysterious way she is the mother and nurse that allows the Forms to become manifest. Despite being essential to the work of the Demiurge, the chôra is unknowable, Plato says, except through an illegitimate kind of reasoning, more like dreaming than thinking."
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