Daymakers is a weekly video series of 21st century culture. As heretics we wish to break free of institutionalized ways of being, of knowing and of creating. So we’ll be bringing you poetry, storytelling, discussions and interviews centred on the heresies you’ll find in the pages of The Secular Heretic. We are interested in the most beautiful, striking art being produced today, and we’ll be discussing the most compelling ideas simmering in the peripheries. Join us at Daymakers and be inspired by an adventurous spirit! Dare to think new thoughts! Dare to dream new dreams! Help us build a truly 21st century culture.
We’re just getting started on this project, and we’re making all kinds of mistakes. So please forgive the technical quality of our first few videos. The learning curve has been steep. If you like the videos on this page, please visit our Youtube channel and Subscribe to the Daymakers series, ‘Like’ the video & leave Comments!
Daymakers Episode 1: Crito Di Volta: IL MORTARISTA
The Secular Heretic’s Daymakers discuss a passage from Marc di Saverio’s epic poem, Crito Di Volta, considering the good and the bad of postmodernism, and the ideas of risk and danger in the arts. This is a proof of concept video. We’re still working out the kinks. Video and audio quality will be improved in subsequent videos. In the meantime, enjoy!
This episode is available to patrons only. To view episode 1, become a patron by subscribing to our Patreon account: https://www.patreon.com/thesecularheretic. For just a $1/video, you can have access to all our videos and even see videos a week before they’re released to the public!
In this inspiring episode of Daymakers, we continue to discuss poetry and culture, especially focusing on what it means to be brainwashed (or indoctrinated). Get ready for some profound insights and an all round exciting conversation!
Daymakers 3: Crito Di Volta: Mortar
Join the Daymakers for a discussion about the “anti-poet,” the trouble with poetry school, what makes an epic hero in the 21st century, and the spirituality of the Dalai Lama.
Daymakers Episode 5: Crito Di Volta: The Overpoet
In this episode the Daymakers discuss the role of the poet in society, the development of a writer’s voice, the value of seeking out mentors, what can be taught at school and what is a matter of one’s own inner work. Most exciting is our considerations what constitutes true risk and danger in art. Prepare to be inspired with what di Saverio calls “Atlasian loving.”
This episode is available to patrons only. To view episode 5, become a patron by subscribing to our Patreon account: https://www.patreon.com/thesecularheretic. For just a $1/video, you can have access to all our videos and even see videos a week before they’re released to the public!
Daymakers 9: Drink & Drugs
Join the Daymakers for a discussion about the role of drinking and drugs in the artist’s life. According to Cyril Connelly, these distractions can become a substitute for art, preventing the artist from producing work. To what degree is he correct in this assessment? Isn’t Dionysus–the ancient god of intoxication–renowned for inspiring artists? Where does pot legalization fit into all of this? Find out in this latest bizarre episode of Daymakers.
This episode is available to patrons only. To view episode 9, become a patron by subscribing to our Patreon account: https://www.patreon.com/thesecularheretic. For just a $1/video, you can have access to all our videos and even see videos a week before they’re released to the public!
Daymakers 13: Rejection
In this hilarious episode, the Daymakers discuss the creative power of rejection. Quebecois poet Emile Nelligan for example composed his most successful poem “Le Romance du Vin” on the heels of severe literary criticism. Marc di Saverio reads his translation of the poem from his collection Ship of Gold. Also, don’t miss di Saverio’s microphone power slam!
This episode is available to patrons only. To view episode 13, become a patron by subscribing to our Patreon account: https://www.patreon.com/thesecularheretic. For just a $1/video, you can have access to all our videos and even see videos a week before they’re released to the public!
Daymakers 17: Interview with Stephen Robbins Part 3: Time, Memory & Creative Evolution
In part 3–the penultimate instalment of our interview with Steve Robbins–things get heavy as we chomp into the meat of the matter, considering the relationship between subject and object, and how Henri Bergson directs us to consider that relationship in terms of time rather than space. Of course this leads to a consideration of the nature of Time, and from there we progress to cosmic Memory and the origins of evolution. What is the real time of the universe as opposed to clock time or relational time (such as the revolution of the Earth around the sun or upon its own axis)? How is this true time related to the holographic memory inscribed in the cosmos? Gird your loins and get ready for the deep! And don’t miss part 4, where we discuss how the “classic metaphysic” impacts our daily lives.
This episode is available to patrons only. To view episode 17, become a patron by subscribing to our Patreon account: https://www.patreon.com/thesecularheretic. For just a $1/video, you can have access to all our videos and even see videos a week before they’re released to the public!
Capability Maturity Model (CMM) – Interview with Stephen Robbins Part 4 – (Daymakers 18)
This is the final segment of our first interview with Steve Robbins. Here we turn to the question of how the “classic metaphysic” impacts our daily lives. If merely from a pragmatic perspective, it is essential to critique the first principles driving our culture into roboticism and mediocrity. Here we drive home the urgent social and spiritual need to reevaluate Henri Bergson’s perspective on the reality of existence, so we can appreciate the tao of quality and reintegrate creativity. We talk about CMM, the misguided attempt to automate human problem solving, and we consider Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Following our interview with Steve Robbins, the Daymakers decided to sit down and have a conversation to review some of the main ideas and to consider the implications of Henri Bergson’s metaphysics. How does the physical world become manifest to our senses? How does a frog or a bee or a cat see the world? What happens to space when one enters an higher energy state? If we are part of the same field that produced butterflies, brontosaurs, suns and everything else. . . what are our powers? what can we really do? Watch this episode by clicking here.
In our ongoing conversation on Steve Robbins and Henri Bergson, we consider further issues related to Galileo’s distinction between primary and secondary characteristics, between objective and subjective realities. We touch on the subjects of left and right brain orientations according to Iain McGilchrist’s The Master and His Emissary, the I/It-I/Thou relationship with the universe according to Martin Buber’s famous I and Thou. We touch upon the significance of the mathematics of probabilities: how is it that in a roll of the dice, if two double sixes have been rolled in a row, we can be sure a third double six will not be rolled? We also discuss different kinds of time along with Bergson’s Time as a sort of creative force emerging from Cosmic Memory. Watch this episode by clicking here.
How to Stop Time: Secret Metaphysics Revealed Part 3 (Daymakers 21)
Imagine you were The Flash and could accelerate to a point that everything around you seemed to stop moving. The invisible wings of a fly would slow down so that each wingbeat moved slowly as a heron’s wings. . . and then stop altogether. Take this meditation further and imagine yourself vibrating so quickly, all of the physical world blurred away into a haze of atoms, even your own body. Distances would fall away. All things would merge into one: subject and object would cease to exist. Steve Robbins calls this “the null state.” Now reverse this meditation. What is real? How does it all come together? To fully understand, we’ll have to let Robbins explain his ideas of invariance laws. But for now, let’s just consider Cosmic Memory, the Creative Force and Cosmic Time. . . and The Flash! We also talk about Goethe’s idea of “active seeing” and wonder how it is that most of us experience melancholy when gazing out at an autumn scene.
This episode is available to patrons only. To view episode 21, become a patron by subscribing to our Patreon account: https://www.patreon.com/thesecularheretic. For just a $1/video, you can have access to all our videos and even see videos a week before they’re released to the public!
In part 4 of their considerations of Steve Robbins & Henri Bergson, the Daymakers invite you to imagine yourself in accelerated and decelerated energy states. What would the world look like? How would experience change? Asa Boxer reads a couple of poems that meditate on the subject. Marko Sijan is horrified by life in a low energy state characterized by high velocity life, so speedy that civilizations appear as whirlwinds and seem to impact the world like tsunamis or meteoric strikes. Meanwhile, a high energy state slows everything down, allowing one to be the Buddha himself. Watch this episode by clicking here.
Put on your drysuit and get ready for a deep dive into metaphysical waters as the Daymakers discuss entropy, geometrical order, organic order, the eukaryote, the city, intellection, intuition, instinct and spider memory, consciousness, matter, IQ, creativity, innovation, evolution, mathematics, the sensual and the spiritual, myth and story-telling, and Goethe’s active seeing! How are all these connected? Watch this episode of Daymakers and find out as we continue to think about Steve Robbins’s insights into Henri Bergson’s Holographic Theory of Mind! Watch this episode by clicking here.
This inspiring episode is not to be missed. The Daymakers get down to the nitty-gritty of what exactly a field might be. In other words, after discussing things like the Holofield of Steve Robbins and the Morphic Fields of Rupert Sheldrake, we venture an idea of what these fields might be and where they might emerge from. These considerations lead us to Ken Wheeler, the foremost researcher on magnetism and the only one to have defined a field. A magnet is a perfect model of the inextensive extrapolating into the extensive. As it happens, the reciprocating geometry of the magnetic and electrostatic fields forms a very familiar pattern of the sort you find in dream catchers, sunflowers, acorn caps, pineapples, pinecones… everywhere you turn. Along the way, the Daymakers also wonder whether the appearance of perspective in 15th century art signalled the dawn of the increasingly geometrical worldview that led to the observations of Copernicus and Galileo, and ultimately to the Industrial Revolution. Watch this episode by clicking here.
Is Experience Stored in the Brain: The Secrets of Consciousness Revealed (Daymakers 25)
In part 1 of this 7-part interview series with Stephen E. Robbins, the Daymakers ask what the holographic field of reality is actually made of. Further, they discuss the conundrum of the mainstream model of consciousness: that is, how the brain as a material organ can retain memories if all materiality dissolves into the past. What mechanism supports our sense of continuity? According Henri Bergson and Steve Robbins, it is absurd to expect memories to be stored in the brain. Isn’t perception itself a form of memory extending from moment to moment to moment like a symphony? How many instants would the brain have to store to make reality work? If you missed the episodes leading up to this video, we recommend starting with number 15, where we launched this metaphysical conversation.
This episode is available to patrons only. To view episode 25, become a patron by subscribing to our Patreon account: https://www.patreon.com/thesecularheretic. For just a $1/video, you can have access to all our videos and even see videos a week before they’re released to the public!
This interview series is meant to be a companion to Robbins’s article Welcome to the Holofield: Rethinking Time & Consciousness, which you can find here.
If you enjoyed this, you may want to check out Robbins’s YouTube series on Henri Bergson (and much, much more): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkj-ob9OuaMhRIDqfvnBxoQ
And here’s Steve’s website: http://www.stephenerobbins.com
In part 2 of this 7-part interview series with Stephen E. Robbins, the Daymakers ask if there is any form of memory that resides in the brain. How does muscle memory work exactly? Behavioural Psychologist, Karl Lashley, trained rats to run through mazes, and then removed various parts of their brains; but he could not remove their abilities to run the maze. Certainly, this suggests that the scheme of the maze was not in the brain. Does this confirm Bergson’s assertion that memory exists in the in-extensive fourth dimension (of counterspace)? We might not have a definitive answer, but certainly we open some fascinating territory for research. Watch this episode by clicking here.
In part 3 of this 7-part interview series with Stephen E. Robbins, the Daymakers wrap up the conversation on Primary Memory as an indivisible continuum. How is Primary Memory related to Bergson’s Real Motion, which he compares to a kaleidoscope? This perspective offers a direct challenge to Einstein’s Relativity: if we jettison simultaneity, how does an orchestra make music? How does a tree grow without falling apart? Robbins suggests we think of the universe as a rose unfolding, coordinated in all its parts. Surely, there must be simultaneity in the macrocosm as much as there is in the microcosm. Watch this episode by clicking here.
In part 4 of this 7-part interview series with Stephen E. Robbins, the Daymakers wonder how exactly the brain manages the task of recollection. If memories are indeed in the aether, how does the brain glom onto them? Consider aphasia and lobotomized patients: what’s going wrong with the brain in these cases? What about electroshock treatment? Marc has some insights on this topic. Robbins talks about Jean Piaget and the two years it takes an infant to develop explicit memory, or the ability to consciously recollect an event or image and associate it with a present event or image. Watch this episode by clicking here.
What Triggers Memories: The Secrets of Consciousness Revealed Part 5 (Daymakers 29)
In part 5 of this 7-part interview with Stephen E. Robbins, the Daymakers delve into the structures and mechanisms that trigger memories. Key is the concept of redintegration, a word coined by Christian Wolff in his 1732 book Psychologia Empirica. The law of redintegration states that “when a present perception forms a part of a past perception, the whole past perception tends to reinstate itself.” Robbins also explains invariance laws like how we retain a sense of the size of things as they move closer or further away from us, and how we get the feeling of movement through “flow fields.” Something deeper emerges from these considerations. . . which is how abstract concepts are formed as we redintegrate multiple events with the same invariance structures.
This episode is available to patrons only. To view episode 29, become a patron by subscribing to our Patreon account: https://www.patreon.com/thesecularheretic. For just a $1/video, you can have access to all our videos and even see videos a week before they’re released to the public!
In part 6 of this 7-part interview with Stephen E. Robbins, the Daymakers ask Robbins to explain how analogies come about. Redintegration is central. Through an overlay or stacking of similar events, we perceive abstractions. We touched on this in the previous episode, referring to the idea of coffee stirring as opposed to any individual act of coffee stirring. But how do we develop complex ideas?. . . like “insignificance,” “ the mundane” or “trivial”? This process of concept formation lies at the heart of philosophy. In a future episode we will discuss why Plato advises that children be taught the myths before learning mathematics despite his insistence that mathematics is the highest form of thinking and despite his dismissal of the poets (writers of myths) from his ideal republic. Watch this episode by clicking here.
In part 7 of this 7-part interview with Stephen E. Robbins, the Daymakers pry open a Bergsonism: “The more consciousness is intellectualised, the more is matter spacialised. “Marko asks whether this means that intellection creates space, implying that the more intellect is exercised, the more distance appears between objects. He wonders whether Bergson’s use of the word intellect is equivalent to what Robbins calls an “accelerated energy state.” If we consider the slowing of time in a heightened neurological energy state (see Daymakers 17), would time dilation dilate our sense of space or contract it? If virtual action is the filter of perception, space ought to contract because we can act more quickly. On the other hand, if the universe contracts, we’d lose the time advantage. Makes more sense if this model is asymmetric. As Robbins says, we can’t yet answer this question without research. Emerging from these considerations, Robbins raises the subject of Bergson’s differentiation between intellect and intuition, and how each must serve each other if we hope to produce any breakthrough thinking. Marc asks Robbins: “If Bergson’s ideas became mainstream, how would the world likely change?” Watch this episode by clicking here.
Join the Daymakers for this inspiring introduction to C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters. After Marko introduces C. S. Lewis and sets up our discussion, get ready for a dive into William Blake’s brilliant “Marriage of Heaven & Hell.” Does the Devil have something to teach us through apophasis? Lewis tells us the Devil is a liar. So how do we read the Screwtape Letters? The Daymakers consider the parable of The Prodigal Son, which Marc reads to us from the consummate King James Version. How is being lost, then “found,” so central to personal growth? The Daymakers wrestle with the problem of suffering. Watch this episode by clicking here.
Please note the following corrigendum: the line from Blake, “The vision of Christ that thou dost see / Is my vision’s greatest enemy,” does not in fact occur in “Auguries of Innocence,” but in “The Everlasting Gospel.”
Don’t miss the next episode on Screwtape’s Letter 1, which focuses on (a) the evil of bureaucracy, (b) what Screwtape calls “jargon” or “propaganda” as well as (c) the problem of the sensual world of experience.
Evil Admin & the Screwtapean Medium: Bureaucratic & Social Media Hell (Daymakers 33)
“I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of ‘Admin’,” writes C. S. Lewis in his Preface to the Screwtape Letters. Sound familiar? In this episode, the Daymakers are concerned with how The Screwtape Letters are relevant to our times. Consider for instance Screwtape’s advice to keep “the patient’s” mind focused on superficials, on jargon (aka propaganda), to never engage his reason and capacity for argumentation, and to engender a preoccupation with the mundane “stream” of sensual experience. Sound a bit like social media? You bet. But there’s another kind of sensuality that is positive. The Daymakers problematise this subject. Watch and see for yourself!
This episode is available to patrons only. To view episode 33, become a patron by subscribing to our Patreon account: https://www.patreon.com/thesecularheretic. For just a $1/video, you can have access to all our videos and even see videos a week before they’re released to the public!
The Daymakers tackle their pride and as a result the conversation heats up in this episode on C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters. Marc and Asa face off over whether Marc looks down on the Church and on Church-goers. Marc claims he feels no superiority, but simply knows the Church is corrupt, simply feels bad for brainwashed congregants. Asa contends that this attitude is inescapably one of superiority. Why have this argument? Screwtape advises Wormwood to keep his patient focused on precisely these aspects of his fellow Church-goers. In other words, Lewis is suggesting that such an orientation is demonic, or in secular terms, destructive. The question is, Why? Don’t we sometimes know that people are corrupt? Shouldn’t we reject such people? In politically fraught times when various sides perceive each other as the enemy, as the group responsible for social harm, economic ruin and environmental trouble, this subject becomes especially urgent. Don’t miss the next episode when the Daymakers explore the limitations of humility and the need for certain forms of discrimination. Watch this episode by clicking here.
The Daymakers continue to discuss Letter 2 with a focus on “the peculiar kind of clarity which Hell affords.” According to The Screwtape Letters, we ought to humble ourselves and refrain from looking down on others. But is that really desirable? Is it even possible? According to William Blake, humility is a destructive form of self-doubt. Might there be a destructive, self-negating and self-abusive form of humility? Isn’t there a healthy pride, a helpful ego that serves to bring beauty and love to the world? In a polarized social climate, the Daymakers wonder what might be our way to band together despite political differences. What do we share in common? Marc speculates it’s the future of our children. Asa disagrees: look at Greta Thunberg! and the political controversy surrounding her. Marko suggests we meditate on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay Self-Reliance, and later urges us to consider the hero’s journey. Watch this episode by clicking here.
Screwtape stirs up domestic trouble, advising Wormwood to steer his patient into the poisoned waters of a toxic home environment. The strategy is to set his words and body language at odds, to use innocuous words in a way that hurts. This deceptive strategy is implemented in order to claim that despite one’s motives, one is perfectly innocent and has not in fact provoked the outrage displayed by one’s interlocutor. Another Screwtapean directive teaches us to be “very spiritual” and to neglect the most obvious responsibilities. The focus of Letter 3 is on the home life of the patient, who lives with his mother. And Screwtape’s hope is to establish a regular exchange of “pinpricks” to keep them sunk in domestic misery. Watch this episode by clicking here.
Some have speculated that the mother of the “patient” is based on a woman named Janie Moore. During the Great War, Lewis and his friend Paddy Moore had made a pact that if one of them died in battle, the survivor would take care of the other’s family. Janie was Paddy’s mother, and Lewis kept his promise, living with her and caring for her for over twenty years. He was 18 and she was 45 when they first met. They apparently had a devoted, intimate friendship, and Lewis often introduced her as his mother, and referred to her as such in his letters. (Lewis’s biological mother had died when he was very young.) Some even believe they were lovers. Either way, she was characterized as a generous, affectionate person, but one who could also be deeply, often irritatingly fastidious, which made her difficult to live with at times, and so the anger and resentment the “patient” feels about his mother is often attributed as a veiled autobiographical detail of Lewis’s own frustration he often felt while living with Janie Moore for more than two decades. Watch this episode by clicking here.
The Mystery of Prayer Revealed: An Apophatic Approach (Daymakers 37)
Once again, the Daymakers wade into some very heavy material, so get ready for some intense conversation regarding C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, Chapter 4. Essentially, this week’s question is What is prayer? Or to put it apophatically, What is prayer not? Screwtape has some ideas. The Daymakers talk about idol worship, the desert temple of the Israelites, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Kabbalah.
This episode is available to patrons only. To view episode 37, become a patron by subscribing to our Patreon account: https://www.patreon.com/thesecularheretic. For just a $1/video, you can have access to all our videos and even see videos a week before they’re released to the public!
Examining Letter 5 of The Screwtape Letters, the Daymakers focus on the subject of facing one’s mortality. C. S. Lewis suggests that dying in a comfortable care home with family, doctors and nurses lying about one’s condition can cause more harm than good. Screwtape wants to keep folks in a spiritual death, and the best way to achieve this is to arrange things so that “the patient” is caught in a web of inward lies that block the inner life from finding vital expression. To set the soul free, one must face realities instead of indulge various fantasies. Screwtape is concerned that the war raging in the background of this letter will actually serve to awaken the subject because he will not be able to deny his mortality. The Daymakers revisit the subject of Episode 6 regarding the pitfalls of the new religion, the safety cult. And they also consider the problematics of deciding to participate in a war or to refuse participation. Watch this episode by clicking here.
Letter 6 of C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters examines the psychology of fear and its diabolical power to bring out the worst in us. Screwtape wants us to worry and focus on what might hypothetically happen while steering our attention away from attending to our actions and their immediate impacts on our neighbours. What do the Daymakers think of all this? Watch and see! Watch this episode by clicking here.
In their latest round table on the topic of Letter 7 of C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, the Daymakers draw some parallels between Screwtape’s hope for an emotionalised and mythologised science and the so-called science we are expected to believe in at present. Carl Jung had some insights on this topic as well… The Daymakers also consider representations of the Devil, their possible origins and symbolic content. Watch this episode by clicking here.
Resist Not Evil? – Battling the Devil (Daymakers 41)
What is true courage? What is a just cause or a just war? Is it more courageous to be a conscientious objector or to fight? Still considering Letter 7 of C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, the Daymakers caution that we must first be true to ourselves before we can find our courage. Screwtape wants us to worry about abstract notions like the public good and safety while we in fact cause immediate harm to our neighbours and damage to our communities. He also tempts us toward fanaticism: toward leveraging spiritual notions for political ends. How do we navigate this psychological labyrinth?
This episode is available to patrons only. To view episode 41, become a patron by subscribing to our Patreon account: https://www.patreon.com/thesecularheretic. For just a $1/video, you can have access to all our videos and even see videos a week before they’re released to the public!
Meanwhile, we’re looking for submissions of short theatrical works and storytelling pieces that we can post here at The Heretic and present and discuss on Daymakers. So if you have anything remarkable and heretical, send it our way, and we’ll give it a look.
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