High Weirdness



High Weirdness

with Erik Davis, Debra Benita Shaw and Jeremy Gilbert

Presented in Association with #ACFM – the Home of the Weird Left


Since the 1990s, Erik Davis has been charting the multiple interfaces between consciousness-expansion, technological trickery, drug cultures and social change: in books such as Techgnosis: Myth, Magic and Mysticism in the Age of InformationVisionary State and Nomad Codes, and on his pathbreaking podcast Expanding Mind.

Erik’s  new book High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica and Visionary Experience in the Seventies is a  study of the spiritual provocations to be found in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson. High Weirdness charts the emergence of a new psychedelic spirituality that arose from the American counterculture of the 1970s. These three authors changed the way millions of readers thought, dreamed, and experienced reality—but how did their writings reflect, as well as shape, the seismic cultural shifts taking place in America?

In High Weirdness, Erik Davis—America’s leading scholar of high strangeness—examines the published and unpublished writings of these vital, iconoclastic thinkers, as well as their own life-changing mystical experiences. Davis explores the complex lattice of the strange that flowed through America’s West Coast at a time of radical technological, political, and social upheaval to present a new theory of the weird as a viable mode for a renewed engagement with reality.

In this wide-ranging discussion, Erik will introduce some key themes and discoveries from his crucial excavation of our countercultural history, discussing with Debbie and Jem the legacy of the radical 70s, the perils of the psychedelic mysteries, and the politics of the weird.