Michael Tsarion’s books ask tough questions about our occulted history and its impact on modern culture.
photo by: Skeptiko
What do you think about race? And what does it have to do with the extended consciousness stuff I’m always talking about?
(clip from the movie, Get Out) Hey Chris, I want to introduce you to some friends. This is a David and Marcia Wincott, Ronald and Celia Jeffries, Hiroki Tanaka and Jessika and Fredrich Walden.
Too many names to remember, but hi.
Do you find that being African-American has more advantage or disadvantage in the modern world?
It’s a tough one.
Yeah, I know man.
Hey man. They were asking me about me about the African-American experience, maybe you could take this one.
Get out… (screams)… get out… get out!
That’s a clip from the 2017 Oscar nominated movie, Get Out. It is a movie that approaches some of these topics of race, genetics, blood lines, in a rather new and novel way. But from my perspective, from the Skeptiko perspective of consciousness and extended consciousness, it just sounds like bullshit.
Alex Tsakiris: I mean, I’m just going to be really blunt. I’m looking at a picture of you and I’m going Irishman? Man, this guy’s pretty brown skinned, and then I’m reading your background and you say in your bio that your grandfather was this, kind of, famous Sikh, right?
Michael Tsarion: That’s right. I am Irish with Norwegian background and part of my family comes from Northern India. When you say Sikh, that’ll pretty much nail it for people because within Sikhism there’s several different castes and the highest caste, the philosopher caste, was called Jat, and my ancestors came from the Jat Sikhs. So, these are a philosopher caste. This is a caste that is known to be pure Aryan and pure Caucasian. So even though the tone of the skin maybe off-white, you know, darker because of the hot climate and that my ancestors moved over to India, they are, in fact, Caucasians. So, on both sides of my family, it’s Caucasian blood there, partly from Norway and then the Norwegians came over.
Alex Tsakiris: This history, the land, the blood. You feel like that’s important to you?
Michael Tsarion: Yes, it’s important to me, yeah.
(later in the interview)
Alex Tsakiris: I’m with you on that, and I think you’re right to point that out and point all the corruption that often comes with religion, because it’s essentially about controlling people. No matter how good the idea is initially, it becomes institutionalized and it becomes this vehicle for control, because it’s pushing on all the same buttons, right?
So, your ‘spiritual’, whatever that means to you, development, opens you up and makes you vulnerable to some very human, cultish, manipulative kind of things, and we see that happening again and again.
But let me slow down because sometimes we get into talking inside baseball and people aren’t following, and let me tell you a little bit about my journey with Skeptiko, because when I approached these topics for myself, I was relying on science as you alluded to. I thought there were problems with the way that this fake dogmatic materialism was being applied, but I liked the method.
So, one of the first questions I came to was this question of consciousness, and then when you get into consciousness, quickly, the fundamental question becomes, what is the nature of consciousness? Is it brain based or is it not? And you’ve nailed that over and over again, and I like how you’ve done it and my work kind of mirrors and is very compatible with yours.
But then, you know, I take this question of the survival of consciousness, which is really the fundamental question for completely blowing apart the scientific materialism, ‘you are biological robot,’ mean.
So, you look at that and the science behind that is, “Hey, we’ve started to resuscitate all these people,” you know? So, the people that first ran across this, and you know this, but I’m recapping it for the benefit of all our listeners.
You had heart surgeons and the guy has a heart attack and they resuscitated him and the guy goes in to talk to him the next day and he goes, “Hey Doc, I heard what you said while I was under. You said, ‘How does this guy have such a heart like this?’” And the doctor turns white as a sheet, he goes, “How the hell did you know I said that? You were dead, you had no heartbeat. I was there, your heart was [unclear 00:05:02].” And he goes, “Well, I was above and I looked down and I saw what was happening.”
So, you’ve, got that as a point. There’s now 200 peer-reviewed papers of near-death experience. But if you go between lives, you take, you know Michael Newton is a hypnotherapist and anyone who doesn’t believe in hypnotherapy needs to just do a little bit of research, but he’s regressing people, so we can find out why they’re afraid of spiders or why they are afraid of heights or whatever. He’s regressing people and all of a sudden this person says, “I’m on a battlefield in Ireland”, or wherever the hell it is, “and I’m holding a sword and a shield.” He spontaneously brings these people back to prior lives, right? So, then he applies that and does a bunch of research on that and it’s good research.
You’ve got the guys at the University of Virginia, which I alluded to. They’re doing real research on reincarnation, and in some ways it’s not that hard to do. You go and find all these points of memory that these young kids, three and four years old have, that it would be impossible for them to know.
My whole point in that whole thing, and I appreciate you listening, is that there’s all this scientific evidence that suggests that the life that we have is one of many lives that our consciousness occupies during this existence that it has. I’m kind of being careful with the words, because it does get into this very spiritual sounding, dogmatic kind of stuff. But at the very least, consciousness survives after bodily death and consciousness seems to occupy many different life forms during its existence.
Isn’t that fundamental to some of these questions that we’re talking about in terms of who we really are?
Michael Tsarion: Yes it is, and see, my whole coming at the same topics that you’re talking about, is to analyze the credibility of the types who deny everything you’re saying.
In this interview I have coming up with Michael Tsarion, we talk about a lot more than race and I want to say again, I say it many times in the interview, I’m really glad that there are people out there like Michael, who are willing to push some of these buttons and most importantly, are not afraid to get on a show like this and hash out things, so that people can get, maybe some different perspective on these points, and as you’ll hear, there are a lot of things that Michael and I see eye to eye on. Race doesn’t happen to be one of them, but hey, that’s okay.
So, the interview is coming up in just one second, but I did want to make a little note before we get started.
You know, I realized as I was recording this, I talk about Skeptiko, as if there’s a Skeptiko perspective somewhere out there in the universe, or that I’ve defined, and you know, I’ve always wanted it to be that way. I’ve always wanted this show to generate a community of like-minded people who are interested in skeptically analyzing everything, in a real, genuinely skeptical way that incorporates in a deeply spiritual perspective as well, because I think, ultimately, that’s where we wind up.
So, this is a call out to anyone who’s thought about getting involved in Skeptiko in a deeper way. I have a number of projects that I’d love to do, that I’d never get around to doing, that I don’t have time to do, and quite frankly, I don’t have the talent to do.
So, if you’re out there and you’re a good writer, or a good YouTube producer. or have other talents that might be useful to this endeavor, let me know. I even have a little bit of money to throw at it as well. So, if that can help you out, maybe we can do some things together.
I’ve reached out in the past and it’s fun to connect with people who are interested in, kind of, rolling up their sleeves and, kind of, making this project part of something on their to-do list. That’s all it is for me, it’s a passion project. Obviously, you know, I don’t make any money on this, I just spend money on it, because I think it’s important. It’s important to me and to whatever extent it contributes to the ongoing dialogue we’re all having in generating, and at the same time. being a part of. Hey, that’s great as well. So, reach out to me, let me hear from you if you’re interested in joining this community in a deeper way.
But now, let’s get on to this interview with Michael Tsarion.
Alex Tsakiris: In the end, it has to be nothing to do with faith, it has to be knowledge. So, in my concept of spirit, it’s about personal knowledge, it’s not about belief at all. So, if somebody wants to ask me, do I believe in God, I would immediately have to say no, because I know what you’re talking about. You’re talking about some theological construct and you’re probably talking about faith. I have to say no then, because it doesn’t qualify on both those accounts.
Michael Tsarion: Knowledge of the spirit in your life, tangible, intimate knowledge of it, is a completely different, understanding obviously, and so in that regard I would split hairs there. But in general, yeah, in general, it needs to be taken to the materialist atheists because their theories are bankrupt and we need to prove that.
Alex Tsakiris: You know, there’s a couple of ways that I could take this and I will, I’m just trying to figure out which order to do it in. But you have this one phrase that you’ve coined that I think is so wonderful and so unique and I want to explore it for a minute, because it really resonated with me.
You say conspiracy work is spiritual work and this is something that I’ve come to others slowly. You know, I can still remember, quite clearly, probably only five or six years ago, really getting interested in conspiracies, and more than interested, I was sucked in like we all get when we realize that truth, when we go, “Oh my God, could this possibly be true?”
I remember the first thing I dove into was JFK, and I kind of got into it and I wrapped my arms around it and I said, “Oh my God, this was a coup, it was a coup d’état. But, I remember sitting there, with my wife on the side of the bed and saying, “You know, I’ve got to admit, it really is as bad as everyone said. It really was a coup”, I said, “but that 9/11 stuff, I mean, I would never go that far.”
I always think back about that moment because invariably, every conspiracy that I’ve looked at since then, it’s been played out the same way. “Oh my God, that couldn’t possibly be true,” and then the more you dig into it, the more you, kind of, have to deal with that grinding in the pit of your stomach when you realize that the world isn’t what you hoped it was.
But the real payoff at the end is your phrase, is that that eye opening, that conspiracy work is essentially an element of anyone’s spiritual work, because if you’re not willing to do that work, well you fill it in. What about the people who say, “Hey, I don’t need to look at all that stuff. I’m just a happy new-age, life is wonderful, spirit is good, kind of person.” Talk to that because you have some interesting things on that.
Michael Tsarion: Well, most of the world is exactly as you described it. Those are the kind of people. So, what has happened? Conspiracies come looking for them. This is why it’s spiritual work, because we are here to uncover truth and that is a different kind of process than most people come into the world thinking, and most people, by the time they’ve reached their 20s and 30s have a false idea of what it means to learn something and the come to truth about something, and to come to knowledge, as opposed to faith and belief.
The seeking of real knowledge is deconstructive. Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. It’s a deconstructive, apophatic enterprise, you know, and also paradigm, right? And because there is so much deception in our world, and only a complete idiot would deny that that’s the case. Look at the medical professional, look at all the abuses of scientism and all the rest of it. So, we are surrounded by deception and then we have the phenomena of self-deception within.
So, given that that is the case, the coming to truth, to coming to any kind of Archimedean point, which you can say, “This is what I am. This is what I believe,” and to do it on rational grounds is a very complicated, apophatic process that is not taught in our educational institution.
Alex Tsakiris: It’s worse than non-taught, right? You were taught that this is something that you don’t want to engage in, right?
Michael Tsarion: Oh yeah, yeah, you are. If you try to do, as we’re talking about, you will be penalized and you’d be given the Ds as opposed to the As. They want you conformist. They want you deeply conformist.
Now, there’s a lot of elements to this. There’s both positive and negative sides. What we’re talking about basically, is the heightening of critical skills and judgmental skills, and our society certainly doesn’t want that. They want you to believe a lot of things and have faith in a lot of things, but they don’t really want you knowing, like going up to the canvas and smelling the paint. They don’t want you doing that. They don’t want you gaining a true perspective on life.
So, why it becomes holy work is just, well one definition anyway, for this conversation’s purposes, is that you’ve got to do it yourself. When you realize that none of the institutions out there are going to help you, then it becomes something where the circle is shrunk now, to your own dimensions, where you’re going to have to pick up the slack, you’re going to have to spend the money on the books. It’s a frightfully difficult experience. It’s costly. You can feel very alienated from the world that you grew up in and from people around you who don’t understand the process you’re on or why you’d even want to do it.
So this is where it then becomes holy work, but in the bigger sense, why it’s holy work, is simply because it ceases to be just a mere intellectual process, in which some intellectual person, who has a great brain, let’s say, and there are so many of those in our world, Nobel laureates and Mensa’s and all, but you and I would talk to them and we’d make them into infants in seconds, because they simply have not worked with this apophatic type of learning.
So, the man then, who has done this, I believe is a special category person, who is, in my mind a sage. You know, I did a podcast recently called The sage and the Psychopath, and to me, the sage is defined by that ability that regardless of what the institutions did or didn’t do, he stood outside the city walls, like the Buddha, he went on, he sat under a tree, and he went, “Let’s start from the beginning. Let’s start from the ABCs,” and then he built that personalistic understanding of the way things are through a critical process, that as I said, is apophatic, is deconstructive. That’s basically why I call it holy work, I can’t see how it’s not,
Alex Tsakiris: I sent you a YouTube of the very excellent Jordan Peterson, who is a champion these days of, kind of, getting in the face of this, kind of, crazy postmodernism that we see on college campuses and in the Social Justice Warrior and stuff like that, and people again have a knee jerk reaction and go, “Oh”, you know, “he’s some white guy,” or “He’s alt-right.” It’s like, man, I am so far from being alt-right, it’s crazy. That just doesn’t even make any sense to me. Right. Left. Partisan, you know? Republican. Democrat. Those ideas, I just have to laugh when people say that, but that’s what people are conditioned to believe.
But here’s the point that I think touches on your work. You have somebody like Jordan Peterson, and folks who don’t know Jordan Peterson, I don’t know if we can, kind of, bring them up to date, but he’s this professor at the University of Toronto, which is this bastion of this, kind of, crazy, out of control, postmodern liberalism that doesn’t make any sense and once they arrest people, if they use the wrong gender pronoun and all the rest of this stuff , and he’s really been effective at, kind of, countering that.
So, in a minute we’re going to talk about postmodernism and how ridiculous it is, and yet, at the same time, it does relate, in a way, to a certain stepping outside of the boundaries of conformity and understanding the relativistic nature of things at a truth level, that has been totally obscured because the whole project of postmodernism has been hijacked and turned into this whole way of controlling people another way.
But, I digress yet again. That’s why I say, it’s hard to pull this apart. The YouTube video I sent you is of Jordan Peterson, who is now this champion for folks like you and I who say, “God, he’s just saying the obvious and I’m so glad it’s resonating with people,” but he’s asked point blank, “Are you a Christian?” And I thought his answer was so telling because here’s a guy, who is super intelligent in the way that you’re talking about, is a champion of all these ideas, is articulate, is able to combat some of these forces, and yet, he hasn’t done an hours’ worth of research into this religious system that he holds so dear, and he stumbles around with, “Well, yes, I’d have to say yes.” And then the guy says, “Well, what about the empty tomb thing and what about the historical?” And he’s like, “Well, uh, you know, I don’t know.” All he has to do is go and read the first page of your book, and all that silliness would be left aside.
So, there’s a bunch of questions that we can pull apart there, but how does this happen?
Michael Tsarion: Well, he’s mainstream. Give him three stars, but no more than that because, you know, a person like me who’s been into the depth of this alternative movement and the conspiracy movement for over 20 years now, looks with favor on a guy like that, but he’s not that articulate on certain areas, even of the subjects that he handles. Sometimes he’s really good and it’s nice and fresh and there’s fresh new punches, from a man within the system like that. I always give stars to people from within the system because it’s needed.
We had Dr. Bruce Lipton on our Unslaved podcast recently, same thing, five stars there for the work that he’s bringing to bear, and Jordan Peterson, from me, gets two to three stars, because he does deal with some stuff that is very, very important and he lands a new perspective to that, and as I said, it gets another star because he’s from the inside and it’s so needed. We so need people from the inside, to be shaking up the rotten system.
But at the same time, I’ve watched numerous programs of his, in which his analysis or his comments on, you know, an area of philosophy, I can’t remember off the top of my head right now the specifics, but you know, it’s been poor, it hasn’t been up to scratch.
Also, we’ve invited him on the podcast, our podcast, several times and he flat turns us down and won’t come on. Some of the reasons he gave us are completely spurious, because two weeks later we find him on a dozen other little knick-knack radio shows out there, that are not as prestigious or not as in-depth as ours is, or as long-term. So, there’s something there as well, that’s very peculiar. Of course, it doesn’t just go for him, we’ve invited several people on, who just turn us down flat saying they’ve got no time, they’re writing a book, they’ll talk to us later, and then two weeks later or even less, you see them on a host of other little, far less confrontational radio shows. I don’t know, there’s just a question mark there.
Alex Tsakiris: Let me jump in there and say, you know, it is amazing how people will avoid, at every turn, any kind of, even chance for a disagreement of any type. Like I just said, you know? When I was on Unslaved, we did not agree on everything.
Michael Tsarion: No, and you jumped to coming on, didn’t you? When we called, you said, “Yeah, I’m coming on,” and we love that. Why not? Why can’t they all do that?
Alex Tsakiris: Absolutely, and the same with you, you know? Unslaved, I was on there, and we did an hour and a half or whatever, and we have this, you know, just really good talk about a bunch of different stuff, but we don’t agree about a lot of stuff.
Michael Tsarion: No.
Alex Tsakiris: And I say, “Hey Michael, why don’t you come on Skeptiko?” and you were like, “Sure.” So, you’re not there worried that I’m going to hit you with some secret thing, you’re like wide open.
Michael Tsarion: Oh yeah.
Alex Tsakiris: I don’t understand how people cannot be that way. Like people who ask for questions in advance, “Hell, I’ll send you all the questions in advance. That’s not the problem.” The problem is, even if I dish them up to you in advance, you still can’t handle answering them, because you just don’t want your beliefs challenged, is what it really amounts to.
Michael Tsarion: What do you call the guy when you walk into a fancy restaurant and you have to…? It’s the host, or somebody who greets you first, the greeter?
Alex Tsakiris: The Maitre D.
Michael Tsarion: Right, he’s a good Maitre D, because there’s great people beyond him, Colin Wilson, you know, G. Edward Griffin. He’s a good Maitre D. for the one who’s just come in to lick the window, and believe me, he gets stars for that, but my God, there’s geniuses.
Alex Tsakiris: The thing I wanted to highlight because I think it gets to, if people find you to be too conspiratorial, which a lot of people will, what I wanted to point out here is a real life example of exactly what you’re talking about, because Jordan Peterson is a good guy and he’s a smart guy. Why the hell hasn’t he looked at his own religion? Why, when that guy pushed him, and he didn’t even push him, the guy just tosses out a question, and says, “Look, are you a Christian?” and he stumbles and then has to say, “Well, I guess I’d have to say yes,” and then he says, “Well, I don’t know what to do with that, because I can’t believe you’re really a Christian. Do you believe in the empty tomb?” and he goes through the rest of the stuff. How do you not have an answer for that?
This is to your point, precisely. How can you go through life, devote your life to an identity of being in this faith group, and everything goes with that in this cultural identity, this caste, and it’s a club and it’s a caste, and not do the work.
So, what you throw at him about Christianity, or if I throw at him about its Roman roots or whatever, why don’t they have a spirited debate already resolved in their mind, in order for them to continue to pursue that religion? But they don’t. They don’t want to talk about it. They don’t want to come on your show and debate it. Why wouldn’t they? It just is pure proof, a solid proof of what you’re saying, I think.
Michael Tsarion: Yeah, and we’ve had even atheists, top people, I won’t mention any names, but some of the more senior people on YouTube who are into atheism and we’ve begged them to come on, time and time again, so that we can have that conversation, and again, they won’t do it.
So as I said, remember, we talked about this a few minutes ago. The weakness is on their side, the bankruptcy is completely on their side. So, when they do that, to me, it’s just further proof that they’re not standing in honor and standing in integrity.
Alex Tsakiris: I think that at a very deep psychological level, they’re afraid and we’ve all been there.
Michael Tsarion: Yeah.
Alex Tsakiris: I mean, beliefs are tricky and I think, particularly with the Christians and the atheist both, I think what’s going on, and you just talked about a Jungian kind of approach to it, so I’d love to get your thoughts on this.
I think people are actually processing this information more completely than they let on. So, they’re processing the absolute absurdity of the Christian proposition as it’s normally kind of delivered, and they’re processing it and then they’re going through, “How could I really live that truth?” And then they’re realizing, “I can’t really live that truth, so I better just go this way.” And I think the atheist is essentially doing the same thing. They’re processing the absurdity of their position, that their life is meaningless, and they go, “Well, I don’t really believe my life is meaningless.”
Michael Tsarion: Fantastic. Great, great point. I can add to that one thing, and that is that they refuse to sensitize themselves. You know, it’s a matter of sensitivity. And remember, the only person who can sensitize the insensitive, is the one himself. So, any kind of badgering from the outside or laying your heart out and laying the facts out to an insensitive person, everyone listening to us knows it doesn’t work. They themselves have to go through some sort of epiphanic experience, for them to change from within.
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