Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: Writer

Writer

Poet-philosopher and "Paleontologist-Futurist" Michael Garfield's work helps "Rewild the Singularity" – restoring soul to futurism, and midwifing new myths that can cultivate the curiosity and play we'll need to thrive in our accelerating age.


Host of the Future Fossils Podcast and author of the forthcoming book How to Live in the Future, Michael is devoted to a planetary renaissance that integrates art, science, and religion to suit our age of transformation.

Michael rides the line between critic and advocate – in the words of Speed Levitch, refusing to be enslaved by a single perspective.  His work has appeared on Hybrid Reality's blog at BigThink.com, in D.C. futurist think-tank The Arlington Institute's internationally-syndicated FUTUREdition newsletter, and on stage for myriad prime-time talks at Burning Man, Moogfest, Boom, the Global Eclipse Gathering, and numerous other festivals.  Former editor-in-chief for visionary media companies Globalish and SolPurpose and frequent guest on podcasts such as Third Eye DropsPsychedelic Salon, and Expanding Mind, Michael walks a tightrope between the New Age and the Academe – reminding us that everything is equally art, science, and spiritual practice.

Subscribe to his monthly newsletter or follow him on twitter: @michaelgarfield

"Amazingly well-spoken."
Charles Eisenstein

"Mind-blowing. Michael Garfield's perspective is powerfully psychoactive."
– Brett Thomas of Stagen Leadership

"Easily the most mind-opening presentation Moogfest 2016 had to offer – a multidisciplinary monologue that rivaled Brian Eno's Moogfest 2011 keynote for all the unexpected twists and turns it took. This one-man show saw artist-musician Michael Garfield take a captive audience on a vision-quest through the lands where metaphysics and emerging technology meet. Heavy and heady stuff, and a pleasant counterpoint to the doom and gloom of the average transhumanist cybergrumps whose future-thinking seems improbably grounded in the limited perceptions of the present."
Consequence of Sound

"Show me someone who believes they have an original idea, and I will invite them to meet Michael Garfield."
"Sometimes I think other people have a better grasp on what I do than I do, or at least they are more eloquent at expressing it. Thank you Michael Garfield..."

"Like the best writers on science, your work displays a wonderful skill in moving between the panoramic overview and the carefully focused detail. In this synthesis of opposing tendencies, I can only hope that you are a harbinger of what 21st Century science may become."
– Brian George




My talk at the Global Eclipse Gathering 2017 (Big Summit Prairie, OR):

Join paleontologist-futurist Michael Garfield on a whirlwind tour of life's history and future, from brothy seaside puddles on a meteor-bombarded early Earth to the transcendent planet-level mind awaiting us beyond the technological singularity...all the while challenging how we create "time" and "history" in the virtual reality of human consciousness, and pointing into the eternal depths of every now.

Drawing from his lifelong study of evolutionary ecology, developmental psychology, advaita vedanta nondual philosophy, and psychedelic transhumanism, Michael's "amazingly well-spoken" (Charles Eisenstein) public talks have earned him the reputation of "Terence McKenna 2.0" (Collin Elder). Judge for yourself by joining us in one of the most intellectually ambitious, playful, weird, creative conversations you will have all year...



My talk at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Innovation Lab, Feb 2017 (Sydney, NSW) (slides):

Thanks to the psychedelic ("mind manifesting") power of our Promethean technologies, our dreams and fears have never been so fast to manifest as they are now.  It is time for us to take a long, hard look at what might be, if ANYTHING is possible.

What did the psychedelic revolution of the 1960s teach us about how to handle the immense and terrifying pace of change these days?  Tim Leary said PCs would be the next LSD – and, in fact, it was their visionary journeys that they thank for inspiration, almost all the masterminds of the computing revolution.  So maybe there is something to the notion that the insights from psychedelic psychotherapy and of indigenous plant medicine traditions are just what the doctor ordered to help navigate this age's waves of great accelerating transformations.

Join paleontologist-futurist Michael Garfield on a whirlwind tour through an age "indistinguishable from magic" – and a lighthearted but deadly serious examination of the responsibility of bringing new life forms and minds into this world as parents in our psychedelic century.



My talk at Boom Festival 2016 (Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal):

What did the psychedelic revolution of the 1960s teach us about how to handle the immense and terrifying pace of change these days?  Tim Leary said PCs would be the next LSD – and, in fact, it was their visionary journeys that they thank for inspiration, almost all the masterminds of the computing revolution.  So maybe there is something to the notion that the insights from psychedelic psychotherapy and of indigenous plant medicine traditions are just what the doctor ordered to help navigate this age's waves of great accelerating transformations.  Get the meta-perspective of a paleontologist-futurist and armchair knowledge artist on how both the internet and psychedelics might be modeled well as training for the next stage of our evolution...



My talk at Moogfest 2016 (Durham, NC):

The modern world was characterized by its division between nature and technology, the mind and body, man and woman, self and other.  All of that is set to change as networked digital devices, networked people and communities, and networked cultures and ideas deliver us into a new era in which we conscious of how intimately we are interwoven with each other and the rest of the living world. How can we design machines, architecture, and social systems that honor the organic wisdom of the body, seas, and forest?  An inspired trans-disciplinary rap/discussion on how much we'll benefit, replacing the "human being as machine" metaphor that's dominated recent Western history with a different metaphor: "human being as ecology."

Keywords: biomimicry, Anthropocene, ecotechnics, biospherics, space colonies, ergonomics, ecological design, microbiome, smart cities, permaculture, ancient future, archaic revival, neo-animism, Internet of Things, interspecies internet



SELECT WRITING:

"It is perhaps this capacity of some rhetorical practices to induce and manage the breakdown of borders – such as those between male and female, life and death, silence and talk – that deserves the name 'eloquence.'" 
– Richard Doyle, Darwin's Pharmacy, p101

The point of words, it seems, is to point past words – to direct attention to our lived experience, at which point words become unnecessary. Language functions as a bridge, sometimes, and sometimes as a wall...the management of boundaries, joining and dividing, is the sacred task of writers. Poetry is magic; story shapes our lives; the power and the mystery of words is real, and serious, and I am grateful to be one of those through whom the words flow freely.

There are many kinds of writers; but I think my kind of writer is the dot-connecting kind, who never rests too long in one perspective, who is constantly revealing underlying unity and celebrating life in all its endless novelty, a writer who can speak past language and reveal you to yourself.

And that's my goal. Our lives are gorgeous, complicated, brief, and perfect. How can I not communicate this beauty?

Science & Futurism

I'm writing a book called How To Live in the Future, about evolutionary dynamics, psychedelic futurism, and how to make your way in our ever-weirdening world. Learn more and support me on my Patreon campaign. Read excerpts at my Medium account:

• Part 1: The Future is a Place
• Part 2: The Future is More of Everything
• Part 3: The Future is Both True & False
• Part 4: The Future is Exapted/Remixed
Best Seat in the House: Being Every Drone – Body Hacking Conference Blog
Let's Hack the Microbiome! – Body Hacking Conference Blog
US Supreme Court Says You're A Cyborg – Body Hacking Conference Blog
William Irwin Thompson on the Horizons of Planetary Culture – Reality Sandwich
Global Brains & Singularities: MG & Cadell Last Debate the Technopocalypse – Reality Sandwich
Copernicus & Goldilocks: Doubting Our Horizons – High Existence
The Evolution of Surveillance, Part 2: Red Queens & Evil Eyes – Reality Sandwich
The Evolution of Surveillance, Part 1: Burgess Shale to Google Glass – Reality Sandwich
What We Can Learn From Mass Extinctions – BigThink
Superfluid Hologram: A Review of the Documentary Film, Internet Rising – Reality Sandwich
The Sacred Geography of 21st Century Renaissance Civilization – BigThink• And Now, Faster-Than-Light Culture – Acceler8or
We Are Something The Planet Is Doing (video)
A.I, Angels, & Mass Extinctions: A Conversation with William Irwin Thompson – BigThink
Godhood Is Boring: Thoughts on Radical Life Extension – Spirit of Spider
Coevolution & The Technology Of Desire – Octa Blog
Distributed Intelligence & Octopus Smarts – Octa Blog
Biomimicry & The Design Revolution – Octa Blog
Atavism: Old is the New 'New' – Octa Blog
The Symmetry of Cause & Effect – Cause & Effect
The Psychedelic Transhumanists – H+ Magazine
The Spooky World of Quantum Biology – H+ Magazine
Let A Hundred Futures Bloom: A Both/And Survey of Transhumanist Speculation – H+ Magazine
An Emergent Syntax of Stuff – Octa Blog
Biomimicry: Breathing New Life Into Design – d/visible Magazine
Psychoactive Vibes: Light & Sound in Engineering the Spectrum of Consciousness – JFKU
Integral Time & Causality – JFKU
The Engine Of Development: Integral Theory & Post-Metaphysical Entelechy – JFKU
Evolving An Integral Biology – JFKU

Visionary Culture

• Painting While Dancing – I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII
• Ode To A Paradigm Shift – I, II, III, IV, V
The Field Guide To Live Artists
Flow Arts in Hyperspace: Sara Huntley on the Future of Creative Performance – SolPurpose
Decomposing The Shadow: James Jesso on Psilocybin Psychotherapy – SolPurpose
Painting While Dancing: A Manifesto For Live Art – SolPurpose
'Transformational' Festivals Are A Symptom of Dissociation
Unique Self in the Digital Era: A Conversation with Marc Gafni (audio)
This Was All Ocean, Once... – Lost In Sound
Angels, Dragons, & My Live Painting From AURA 2013 – Lost In Sound
• Review – Top Films That Capture The Mystical Experience: The Fountain – Reality Sandwich
Art As Money: The '2012' Bank Note – Reality Sandwich
Introducing Denver: Live Art Capitol of America – Kush Magazine
The Problem – & Promise – of Festivals
Self As City, City As Self [video w/ transcript]
Sacred Activism [video w/ transcript]
Giving In To Astonishment: Scenes From Burning Man's American Dream – Reality Sandwich
What Is Integral Art? Or, How To Spot An Integral Artist – iggli
Oh, Irony!: An Ode – Zaadz
Why I'm No Longer Starving For An Adequate Myth – afterword to Suicide Dictionary


Music Writing

• Soundtrack To Your Funeral – I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII – Zaadz
Visionary InstrumentsLight Harp, Reactable, Monome, Chapman Stick – Zaadz
Kishi Bashi on the Past, Present, and Future of Music – Performer Magazine
Visionary Soundscapes: A Talk with Mystical Sun – Reality Sandwich
• Review – Edly's Music Theory For Practical People – Performer Magazine
• Review – EOTO's Fire The Lazers!!! – Colorado Music Board
Exaptation of the Guitar – Zaadz
Luke Redfield's Folk Mysticism & Mystic Folk – Colorado Music Board
Best Seat In The House: You're Virtually There – H+ Magazine
The Coming Revolution In Audio Design – d/visible Magazine
YOU'RE the Musician; YOU Make Some Noise! – Colorado Music Board
The 3-2-1 of Musical Performance – Colorado Music Board
Playing The Body Electric – Colorado Music Board
On The Spiritual Significance of Music – XtremeMusic.org
• Review – Best & Worst New Musical Instruments of the 2000s – H+ Magazine
• Review – Doomstar!'s Colors – Performer Magazine
The Transhuman Music of Akhentek – H+ Magazine
A Window Into The Future of Sound – iggli
R. Luke Dubois' Timelapse Phonography – iggli
Transcending Possessiveness in Love and Music – iggli
The Fullness of Emptiness: Riffing on Arvo Pärt – iggli
The Ear of the Beholder: Tantra & My 'Desert Island' Playlist – iggli
The Music of Proteins – iggli
Interview: Scott Johnson of the Positive Music Association – iggli
Finding The Music In Noise – iggli
A Joyful Noise: Phil Kline's 'Unsilent Night' – iggli
What Is Visionary Music? – iggli
• Review – Elbow's The Seldom Seen Kid – Cause & Effect
• Review – Lynx's Grain of Sand – Zaadz
• Review – Love Beyond Life: A Review of The Fountain – Zaadz

Boss RC-50 Loopstation: Flawed But Glorious – Fretbase
Squiggly Frets Deliver Superior Tone – Fretbase
Controversy Continues Over Use of Endangered Tonewoods – Fretbase
Finally! Clock Your Riffs with the 'Shred-O-Meter' – Fretbase
Phil Keaggy Struts All The Tricks – Fretbase
Adrian Belew's Out-of-this-world Signature Parker Fly – Fretbase
No Picks Required For Kevin Eubanks – Fretbase
Zivix Headliner Might Save An Entire Generation – Fretbase
Martin Hippie Guitar As Puzzling As It Is Rare – Fretbase
Will Glass Guitars Improve The Clarity of Your Playing? – Fretbase
Wonderful Dexterity Training – Fretbase

Text-Only Interviews

Incision Media (2013)
Ideamensch (2012)
Music 4 Change (2010)
LostInSound (2009)

Podcast Appearances

Third Eye Drops re: MAPS & psychedelic futurism (2017)
The Astral Hustle (2017)
Chasing Bodhi (2017)
Third Eye Drops w/ Douglas Rushkoff (2017)
Synchronicity Podcast (2016)
The Inner Eye Podcast (2016)
Future Primitive (2016)
Third Eye Drops w/ Niles Heckman (2016)
Third Eye Drops w/ Mitch Schultz & Rick Strassman (2016)
Third Eye Drops w/ Bruce Damer (2016)
Third Eye Drops w/ Erik Davis (2016)
Third Eye Drops w/ Shane Mauss (2016)
Third Eye Drops w/ Erik Davis (2016)
Lucid Planet (2016)
Ascend (2016)
Midwest Real (2015)
Midwest Real (2015)
Shane Mauss' Here We Are (2015)
Novelty Generators (2015)
New Paradigm Radio (2015)
Project Bring To Life (2015)
Gaian Radio (2014)

Rak Razam's In A Perfect World (2014)
Minds.com Panel Discussion w/ Davis, Doyle, Theise, Mignano (2014)
Sonic Bloom Festival Trialogue w/ Jonathan Zap & Mark Heley (2013)
Notes from the Psychedelic Salon (2012)
Erik Davis' Expanding Minds (2012)
Erik Davis' Expanding Minds (2011)