Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Shattered Reality! Podcast: Madero, Spiritism, and the Mexican Revolution

This past week for Shattered Reality! podcast Kate Valentine and Fahrusha interviewed me about my latest book,  Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual. Considered Mexico's "Apostle of Democracy," Francisco I. Madero was the leader of the 1910 Revolution and President of Mexico from 1911-1913. In the year he launched the Revolution he wrote Manual espírita, then published it in 1911 as "Bhima," a pen name taken from the Bhagavad-Gita, when he was president-elect. What's it all about?

(Transcript to be posted shortly)

I'm always delighted to talk about Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution-- which includes my translation of Madero's Manual espírita as Spiritist Manual-- and I have been fortunate to do so many a time since it came out in early 2014. 

For those looking for a more scholarly discussion, on the book's webpage you can find my lectures about Madero, Spiritism, and the Mexican Revolution for the UCSD Center for US-Mexican Studies (podcast); University of Texas El Paso (transcript); and The American Literary Translators Association Conference (transcript), among others, plus an ample and frequently updated page of Resources for Researchers.

In scholarly venues, with noted exceptions, I usually find myself before an audience flummoxed to horror by the idea of Mexico's revolutionary hero as a Spiritist medium, so it was a fun treat to have this freewheeling podcast conversation with Kate Valentine, an expert on UFOs, and Fahrusha, a well-known professional psychic. They were not in the least kerfuffled by, for example, discussions of channeling the dead, table tipping, and apparitions--  to mention only a few of Francisco I. Madero's esoteric enthusiasms. 

Whether you relish discussions of the paranormal or not, if you have an interest in Mexico per se, I warmly recommend the Shattered Reality! interview with Andrew Chestnut, professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, about his book Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte the Skeleton Saint. Of late there has been a raft of sensationalist reporting on this visually spectacular cult which originated in Mexico City and is now popular among narco-traffickers, prisoners, and black magic practitioners, among others. Chestnut provides a well-grounded history of Santa Muerte (he identifies Aztec influences, as well as Spanish representations of the Grim Reaper, imported with the Conquest in the 16th century), and some very crunchy sociological insights. 

(I am often asked if Francisco I. Madero's Spiritism had anything to do with La Santa Muerte. The answer is a resounding no.)

>> Again, listen to my Shattered Reality podcast interview here.

Some of my other interviews on Madero, Spiritism, and the Mexican Revolution include:

> Jeffrey Mishlove's television show New Thinking Allowed

> Greg Kaminsky's podcast Occult of Personality

> Stephan Woodman's The Mexican Labyrinth

> University of Chicago Social Sciences Division newsletter

> All Q & A here.

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