65 - John David Ebert (Hypermodernity & Blade Runner 2049)

Ep. 65

This week’s guest is independent culture critic John David Ebert – mythologist, philosopher, art historian, author of twenty-six books, and co-founder (with John Lobell) of http://cultural-discourse.com

We talk about the rich mythological references of Blade Runner 2049 in light of the larger – and very urgent – matter of mechanizing human reproduction and the (actually rather ancient) male quest to appropriate the mysteries of the goddess…

Here’s John’s Blade Runner 2049 essay:


John’s awesome YouTube channel:


John has a knack for connecting very different sources across civilizations and millennia, anchoring this conversation about a modern science fiction masterpiece in a transcultural Big Story of the evolution of human consciousness. 

(Listen if you liked Episodes 42 & 43 with William Irwin Thompson on planetary culture, Episode 38 with Marya Stark on reclaiming the feminine mysteries, Episode 18 with JF Martel on art and reality, and Episode 14 with Michael Phillip on WESTWORLD.)

John David Ebert Quotes:

“Every new cosmology makes new machines possible.”

“I’m interested to hear about utopian projects…because after all, we’re going to need them.”

We Discuss:

- Marshall McLuhan’s work on Sputnik’s technological enclosure of the planet and the end of “nature” (not to mention “natural catastrophes”);

- How poets and artists make visible the “invisible environment” of subliminal information about each age;

- Art’s revelation of cosmology through history, from nested heavenly spheres in medieval religious art to the newly-opened skies of Dutch realists to our anxious re-immersion in the closed infinity of the Anthropocene as depicted by H.R. Giger;

- The transition from worship of the Earth Mother to the Sky Father, and the centuries-long struggle to control the mysteries of birth and death with science;

- The connection between Niander Wallace in 2049 and Enke, sumerian trickster creator god;

- The difficulty of replicating ecosystems in space for those “off-world colonies”;

- “Here There Be Tygers,” Jurassic Park, and how monsters (as avatars of the pissed-off Great Mother) disappeared from the Renaissance world maps but make a new appearance in hypermodernity, thanks to genetic engineering;

- Akhenaten’s experiment in monotheistic sun god worshipping utopia;

- What should we do with the 100% certainty that our cosmopolitan super-cities will all soon be underwater, and it’s time to rapidly escalate our alt-civilization experiments?

- The evolution of civilizations, from early revelation to imperial phase to decline;

- The rhyme of history between Ancient Rome and Modern America;

- The retrieval of shamanism and the re-establishment of a polar civilization in the late 21st Century;

- The lineage between Pacific Northwest spirit-travel shamanism and contemporary Californian VR avatar science fiction and superhero stories;

- And more!

More Episodes


147 - How to Live in The Future (Parts 1 - 4)

Ep. 147
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146 - Raising Earth Consciousness with Ralph Metzner, Dennis McKenna, Gay Dillingham, Valerie Plame Wilson, Allan Badiner, and Michael Garfield at Synergia Ranch, April 2016

Ep. 146
Where do I even start explaining this week's episode? Probably with a vignette: someone came up to me after I was on this all-star panel discussion featuring five living legends — psychedelic researchers Ralph Metzner and Dennis McKenna, author Allan Badiner, film-maker Gay Dillingham, and former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson —and asked me who I was and what I was doing there. I was the youngest person on stage by twenty years, and had done nothing with my life yet that put me in the same weight class as any of them. And yet there I was to offer my synthetic insights and play music to a packed house in a geodesic dome on an utterly magical evening. We had an intense discussion about nuclear disarmament, ecological destruction, and psychedelic medicines hosted by my then-new friends at Synergia Ranch. Rick Doblin of MAPS and Johnny Dolphin of Biosphere 2 fame got up on stage that night as well (although not for this panel). It was a night I'd dreamt about weeks in advance with uncanny accuracy, and was the catalyzing moment that ultimately led to my moving to Santa Fe in 2018. I'm deeply grateful to Synergetic Press for hosting the event, inviting me to join this panel, and letting me share this recording as a podcast episode.Read all about this awesome April 2016 symposium and salon here:https://www.synergeticpress.com/raising-earth-consciousness-at-the-synergetic-symposium-and-salon/So much has changed since then and honestly, it isn't the most timely episode to publish at this moment, but I'm working hard to get some awesome people on the show soon who can speak to what we're living through in history right now.I would have more to say about this, but it's been a very busy week. If you'd like more new listening material, I strongly recommend checking out the recent conversation that I had with physicist Geoffrey West of the Santa Fe Institute about how the science of cities undercuts the economic myth of endless open growth and forces us to seriously study other paths to a sustainable planetary culture.Please take a moment to leave a glowing review of Future Fossils at Apple Podcasts.If you would like to link up with other amazing Future Fossils listeners, please email me and I'll invite you to our Discord server.Support this show on Patreonfor over a dozen secret episodes, the Future Fossils Book Club (next up: Lilith's Brood by Octavia Butler!), and muuuuuch more.Theme Music:“God Detector” by Evan “Skytree” Snyder (feat. Michael Garfield).Additional Intro Music: "Lambent" by Michael Garfield.Thank you for listening!