I tried my best to work beside the bustle of a dozen people chatting away in the one room for a mile around with Wi-Fi. For a while, too, I succeeded. But then a family of four came in and sat down on the table beside me. A mother and two older children all talked without glancing at each other. Three phone screens shined bright. And, as they thoroughly ignored him, a curious toddler boy scanned the room.

I barely took note, simply continuing on my work. The toddler, meanwhile, seemed more interested in what I was doing than I…

As the sun goes up and the work begins

Everybody hits the fields except for him

But at least he gives encouragements from his seat on the fence

He’s a high horse son of a bitch

But the one with the dollar at the end of the day

So everybody tries to shine up his green shoes anyway

That harmonica boy bangs tunes as his men all sweat

Doin’ what they hate

Goin’ all astray

Making their world go black and red

“Real good,” he says, “for folks like you”

Now tell me, what’d you have ’em do

‘Cept go…

Colors once o’er ruled these flowing fields

Now blue and black and white and worn

I sat beneath a tree with poisoned leaves

And I perceived a world’s a-maddened mourns

Stains of red of men now dead did dot the snow

The old already dirt beneath the freezing storms

For slaughter it’d been since serpent rose from water

And the father had abandoned them in all his forms

So wolves of titan size assaulted sun and moon

In worlds gone dark, all evil goes unseen

Some tried to fight the icy tides, their souls submerged

Three winters, with no summer…

The day was old, the sun was set

And since the morn had rocked a chair

A man did sit a-thinking there

Meditating on impending death

A grandiose conception came

Through which his sins could be forgave

If he just built himself a mighty grave

He could have fame

For little he’d admit he’d done

In all the life already spent

But little that’d matter if he went

And worked upon a tomb ’til wrung

I tell a tale of vanity

Cried monkey man aloud

Amidst a giggling crowd

In sin and sanity

And so, a first in life, applied

A man sits on a throne of stones beside the fire. Gaggles of wide-eyed listeners sit captivated in comfortable chairs. The stars watch on from above. He speaks:

“And then, when I awoke the next day, adventure came, and by the time I was back asleep, it’d gone again. And what an adventure it was! To think that, at nineteen, I’d already perfected the art of the day trip!

The drive in — a great and terrible five-hour heart palpitation, uphill all the way — was already the most excitement I’d had in a while. I made a stop in…

An oft-forgotten school of thought may be able to solve one of the hardest problems of our time.

The Whiteheadian Revolution

The history of panpsychism — the doctrine of all existence possessing “psyche”, or some form of consciousness — has roots stretching down as far as the start of the human story. In its contemporary form, though, panpsychism only emerges in the early 20th century with the work of Alfred North Whitehead and his “process philosophy”, also often called “panexperientialism”. From his landmark works emerged a new school of thought that, for many decades, stayed firmly in the philosophical underground. …

Paganism, in a myriad of emerging forms, is among the fastest growing religions in the Western world. But within this explosive growth lies perhaps the largest problem contemporary paganism has ever faced; hordes of racists infecting pagan ranks. In North America particularly, the problem is particularly pronounced. Paganism is widely associated with the political right, despite the best attempts of pagan progressives and leftists. Plenty of right-wing commentators and content creators use pagan language and imagery. Pagan-affiliated right-wing terror groups have sprung up at an alarming rate. Thor’s hammer Mjölnir, the world tree Yggdrasil and Odin’s mysterious Valknut have even…

For time immemorial, man has thought that all existence is imbued with spirit.

Before Deleuze, Foucault, and Wittgenstein. Before Nietzsche, Hegel, and Kant. Before Berkeley, Hume, and Descartes. Before Aristotle, Plato, and even Socrates himself, there were, by one name or another, the panpsychists. From Greece to India, from Persia to China, and from aboriginal Australia to 20th century America, the understanding of existence as an intertwined and, in some sense, living network of entities has perservered through unpopularity and oppression aplenty, entering the modern day as more of a force than it’s been in centuries. It reaches every corner of the Earth in one form or another. Its tendrils seem to stretch…

So I was sitting by the fire in the middle of a thunderstorm, nightmarishly late in a fittingly dark and stormy night. And the thunder, and the thunder god, bellowed out their boasts and put on shows of violet light. I watched. And I waited, and with nothing in return, for such a mighty time that I began to think the storm had stopped. But right then, once I’d looked away, the lightning flashed a brilliant blast. Well I was thoroughly a-taken. I watched the storm once more. Eventually, of course, I bored and gazed again into the fire. The…

The interwoven works of a Renaissance occultist and proto-abstract artist.

Johannes Bureus and Hilma af Klint; two Swedes, separated by three centuries, but intertwined with the same mysterious current of spiritual thought. One was a scholar of the highest order, revolutionizing the Swedish language and wielding great authority in the academia of his day. The other was a reclusive and obscure artist who barred the publication of her works until twenty years after her death. And yet, in some of their most acclaimed creations through their varied careers, they produced strikingly similar pieces that hint at a shared understanding of a secret symbolism.

Johannes Bureus and Hilma af Klint

Johannes Bureus (1568–1652), often called the “father…

J. W. Barlament

Writer of the most eclectic mix of material this side of the Mississippi. Author, 2016–2019. Blogger, 2017–2021. Columbia University, 2020–2024.

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