Blog Archives

David Metcalfe talks about liminal states, ESP, and more on the DisinfoCast


On a recent edition of the DisinfoCast, the popular podcast put out by The Disinformation Company, host Matt Staggs spoke with Teeming Brain columnist (and contributor) David B. Metcalfe about parapsychology, liminal states, ESP, and various other matters. You can download the podcast in mp3 form or stream it directly from the site:

The DisinfoCast with Matt Staggs: David B. Metcalfe

Not coincidentally, David’s Teeming Brain column De Umbris Idearum is devoted to exploring that very same nexus of subjects, issues, and illuminations, including ESP, parapsychology,  liminality, science, skepticism, esotericism, the occult, religion, philosophy, and more. If you’ve fallen behind, catching up on it would represent an eminently worthwhile use of your time:

Recommended Reading 27

This week’s recommended reading covers Morris Berman’s diagnosis of, and prognosis for, the waning of our modern age of capitalism; the end of economic growth due to peak oil; a call from Jaron Lanier to recognize the wizard’s trick of delusion that we’re all pulling on ourselves with technology; a reflection on the soul tragedy of a culture of 24/7 digital connectedness; a report on the nefarious collusion of corporate funding in scientific research and reporting; a cool article by John Keel on the birth of flying saucers as a cultural phenomenon; an interview with the creator of a new multimedia project based on lucid dreaming and stretching the boundaries of conventional storytelling; a consideration of the enduring mainstream impact of occult/esoteric/”New Age” ideas on American culture and society; and words about Swedenborg and visionary mysticism and spirituality from Gary Lachman and Mitch Horowitz. Read the rest of this entry

“Parapsychology Today” – David Metcalfe interviewed

Our own David Metcalfe recently appeared as the featured guest on the Expanding Mind radio show. The episode, which is fully streamable and downloadable, is titled “Parapsychology Today” and described like this: “Parapsychology, esotericism, and the changing information landscape: a talk with writer and blogger David Metcalfe.”

Click the player to listen, or visit the episode page to download:



Expanding Mind is a weekly show in which co-hosts Erik Davis and Maja D’aoust “explore the cultures of consciousness: magic, religion, psychology, technology.” Erik is of course the author of, among other things, the widely praised 1999 book Techgnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information, about the hermetic, mystical, millenialist, and apocalyptic-visionary impulse that has always accompanied technological revolution in general and the current digital information technology revolution in particular. D’aoust, as described in a nice 2010 profile by LA Weekly, is the self-proclaimed “White Witch of L.A. … a writer and lecturer on mysticism, magic and ancient teachings.” She is the co-author (with Adam Parfrey) of The Secret Source: The Law of Attraction and Its Hermetic Influence throughout the Ages. Their past guest list is an amazing roster of significant mainstream and subcultural figures in the realms of religion, technology, academia, esotericism, the paranormal, and more.

So, congrats to David for being invited to appear in such excellent company and add his voice to the conversation.

Image: “John Beattie Eugene Rochas seance” by Eugene Rochas [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Book Recommendation: “Exploring the Edge Realms of Consciousness”

Readers of The Teeming Brain will find something of more than passing interest in the just-released nonfiction anthology Exploring the Edge Realms of Consciousness: Liminal Zones, Psychic Science, and the Hidden Dimensions of the Mind. This is indicated not only by the book’s heady subtitle, and not only by fact that it is co-edited by Daniel Pinchbeck and Ken Jordan of Reality Sandwich fame, but by the fact that its contents include three essays by current and future Teeming Brain contributors.

David Metcalfe, who writes our popular column De Umbris Idearum, is present with an essay titled “On Anthropological Approaches to Anomalous Phenomena: Explorations in the Science of Magic and the Narrative Structure of Paranormal Experiences.”

Popular consciousness and edge-science author Anthony Peake, whose person and books we’ve mentioned many times, and who will soon be featured as a Teeming Brain contributing writer, is present with an essay titled “Layers of Illusion: Manifesting Astral Body, Dream, and Lucidity.”

And Ryan Hurd of, whose books and lectures on consciousness, dreams, sleep paralysis, and related matters are among the best around, and who will also soon become a Teeming Brain contributing writer, is present with an essay titled “Sleep Paralysis Visions: Demons, Succubi, and the Archetypal Mind.”

The rest of the table of contents reads like a who’s-who of fascinating figures in these and related areas. Here’s the official description:


In Exploring the Edge Realms of Consciousness, a diverse group of authors journey into the fringes of human consciousness, tackling such topics as psychic and paranormal phenomena, lucid dreaming, synchronistic encounters, and more. The book is published by Evolver Editions/North Atlantic Books.

Collected from the online magazine Reality Sandwich, these essays explore regions of the mind often traversed by shamans, mystics, and visionary artists; adjacent and contiguous to our normal waking state, these realms may be encountered in dreams or out-of-body experiences, accessed through meditation or plant medicines, and marked by psychic phenomena and uncanny synchronicities. From demons encountered in sleep paralysis visions to psychic research conducted by the CIA, the seemingly disparate topics covered here congeal to form a larger picture of what these extraordinary states of consciousness might have to tell us about the nature of reality itself.