Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Catching up with David Metcalfe: The Skeleton Saint, Napolean Hill and The Message

Hiya TNB faithful. We're a kicking off a new series of posts, Catching Up with the New Adventures of the ThermoNuclear Bar Interviewe Alumni. Starting with our first guest, David Metcalfe (feed over at twitter.com/davidbmetcalfe and the http://theeyelessowl.net/) as he plots out his current trajectory for us. David's always up to something and there's a special Message for listeners that is truly...amaz. -- Rev. R4D4

It's been sometime since TNB listeners have heard directly from you, what has been the high water marks of the last two years of writing and research?

Things have picked up to a feverish pace with the development of the Liminal Analytics: Applied Research Collaborative. We've been collaborating with the critically acclaimed photographer Shannon Taggart (http://www.shannontaggart.com/) to put on a series of talks at The Observatory - Brooklyn which focus on the material aspects of anomalous experiences - these talks have featured leading researchers and scholars including Dr. Stanley Krippner presented on his dream telepathy studies at Maimonides Medical Center, George Hansen gave a two-part talk on the history of psychical research,  and Walter Meyer zu Erpen presented on mediumship development and seance phenomena.

We've also been closely collaborating with Dr. R. Andrew Chesnut, Chair of Catholic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint, for a project focusing on the development of the devotional tradition centered on Santa Muerte (Saint Death). Our website http://skeletonsaint.com is one of the only English language resources on the tradition, and we continue to be two of the only scholars currently covering her tradition through direct communication with the leaders of her devotional tradition in Mexico DF and around the world.

Another exciting development came when world renowned 'wonder makers' Ferdinando Buscema and Mariano Tomatis used one of the Llullian Wheel models developed by Liminal Analytics in their performance at Boing Boing's Ingenuity event: http://youtu.be/RW7GYxRA2m0

Buscema works with the Fetzer Institute, and Tomatis helped design the museum at Rennes le Chateau, so this was a great opportunity to demonstrate the interconnectivity of 'invisible' culture.

Great! What are you working on now? Where do you see your new projects leading?

At the moment much of my focus is taken up with research into Santa Muerte. I'm taking a very broad perspective, and have found that it overlaps nicely with my investigation into the development and history of psychical research in the 20th century. There are a lot of overlapping themes and figures involved in the development of psychical research and the popularized practical occultism that is apparent in some of the Santa Muerte material. These connections become more apparent when tracking down influences that have been centralized in the tradition. In many ways this all parallels some of the strange interstices I was investigating with Napoleon Hill, which have now found greater expression through a wider net of investigation.

I recently relocated to north Georgia, near Elberton and the Georgia Guidestones. Living in a more rural setting, especially so close to such a raw piece of mysterious Americana has been incredibly inspiring, The ambiance of the region has played a definitive role in my current endeavors.

Another project that I'm really excited about is The Message ( http://the-message.bandcamp.com/ ) - at this early stage, I can't say much about the full purview of the project, but I can say that listening to The Message could change your life.

Very Intriguing, as always. What can we look forward to from you in the next few months?

SkeletonSaint.com is going to be featuring more content from devotees of Santa Muerte and reactions from other scholars who have been traveling in Latin America recently and encountered her growing public presence there. This is an exciting stage for the research, as we've done a lot of commentary on the growth of her tradition, and now its time to focus on the actual living experience of Saint Death as she grows increasingly popular around the globe.

I've been publishing a lot of material on psychical research over the last few years - this has been in large part focused through the Psi in the News series and Limitless Mind sub-site on Reality Sandwich - and I think that this is going to move into more active forms through different venues that can take advantage of the multi-faceted nature of this research.

One of the areas I'm really interested in right now is mediumship, channelling and possession - collaborating with Taggart, who has a long standing relationship to the Spiritualist community through her photography, the Foolish People theater group, who use channeling as part of their practice, as well as interacting more with the Windbridge Research Institute, who focus on mediumship, and the research into Afro-Carribean traditions has immersed me in the topic along so many different angles that it's become really central to my understanding of the human experience.

With the publication of Gabriel D. Roberts' book, The Quest for Gnosis, which features interviews with Rupert Sheldrake, Graham Hancock, Abby Martin, and a number of other leading cultural figures, it seems like there is a more integral vision being developed around these ideas. I make an appearance in the book as well, with an interview on contemplative practices, and in considering the utterly odd mix that comes out when the book is taken as a whole I'm quite intrigued by the implications.

Roberts will be hosting a panel with Sheldrake and Hancock at the upcoming Synchronicity Symposium in Joshua Tree, California, and Hancock will be collaborating with another interviewee from the book, Sacred Geometry International's Randall Carlson, for some of the research that will go into an upcoming book. This all mirrors the kind of experiences that I've had over the last couple of years collaborating with Carlson, Roberts, and various others as we investigate the interesting openings that are coming about in the contemporary culture. It will be fascinating to see where all of this ends up as these relationships deepen and develop.

Ben Chasny, from Six Organs of Admittance, Current 93 and the New Bums, and I were working on an event centering on the contemplative work of David Chaim Smith, but due to some scheduling issues and other difficulties we've had to nix that. Hopefully in the future we can put together something similar that doesn't face the same complications. The idea of creating an immersive contemplative environment of sound and vision is really intriguing - I'm incredibly inspired by the Dark Station/Subtle Listening work that Kim Cascone is doing - and it would be great to see that type of format brought out in as many different ways as possible.

Looking forward to all of that! Thank you, David. Any final shout-outs, tips, wisdom you like to share?

I think my rambling in the previous questions covered all shout outs - as for words of wisdom - always remember "La Muerte es lusta y pareja para todos pues todos vamos a morir." and if you have any further questions Listen to The Message.


And there you have it folks, Mr. David Metcalfe on his further explorations into wild and weird world that the TNB likes to cover in as many facets as legal airwaves may allow!   You can listen to our first talk here. Even more background on the incredible piece The Message and which is quickly garnering worldwide attention is here and here

So, by now, you should be desiring to hear The Message (as well you should)....to have some 'magneto-psychic mind-sound' interface of life-changing current applied to whatever quandary you must find an answer too. So, ladies and gentlemen, here's....


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