Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future

24 May 2017

New Album! Pavo: Music For Mystery + Future Fossils on Psychedelics, Sleep, VR, and Flow States + Interviews with Tony Vigorito & Void Denizen + MG on Third Eye Drops, Astral Hustle, Chasing Bodhi

When did I become a magazine?  Please bookmark this, as there's too much good stuff in here to soak up all at once.

(And yet, no paintings – but that is because I'm working on an absolutely epic few, and they are coming soon!  In the meantime, you can scope my Instagram for progress shots of those.)

Let's start with the biggest and most exciting news:

New Live Album from Australia Tour!
Stream/Download Pavo: Music For Mystery

Free to Bandcamp & Patreon Subscribers.

Hi Friends,

This 74 minutes of dreamy, intoxicating, lush, compelling instrumental music captures one of the most inspired evenings of my life.  It was recorded n Valentine's Day 2017, a live set I donated to my friend Adam Scott Miller's immersive art class in Byron Bay, Australia (so it's only fitting that his gorgeous painting "Feathered Pearl" is the cover image for these tunes).

I've been exploring this guitar technique for over a decade and finally hit my stride with it two years ago...this single-take, no-studio-overdubs sound journey is the anticipatory score to countless evenings drenched in candlelight and contemplation, lovemaking under stars and arabesques of incense smoke.

Inspired by the deep mystery of the Australian coast and dreamtime, Pavo oozes with the atmosphere of wonder and transcendent weirdness of The Land Down Under – but it also opened up into a set of synchronistic correspondences I can't explain.  This album has initiated something in me that has yet to run its course, an invitation into something numinous and terrifying in its splendor.

To attempt an exposition:  I'm a Capricorn, born on 8 January under the fixed star Delta Pavonis in the contellation of the peacock. Only after this was all recorded and the track art chosen did I realize that the persecuted Yezidi people link their "peacock angel" Melek Taus with Enki, the Sumerian sea goat, and with St. George (the more human, earthly form of Michael the Archangel), and the Pleiades (a constellation that for some strange reason I have always felt a deep affinity).

Enki was responsible for the decay of the original one language into all the modern tongues – the god of entropy and babble – which is weird, because the peacock angel also plays a major role in one of my most cherished books – Darwin's Pharmacy: Sex, Plants, and the Evolution of the Noosphere by Richard Doyle – in which he makes the case that by an involution of attention on itself, the psychoactive plants created the diversity of human languages as well as our aesthetic sense. Doyle argues Melek Taus is an irruption into history of a transcendental telos, guiding evolution through trans-species intercourse and boundary-dissolving peak experiences. (Read this book, if you can handle it.)

Discovering this web of correspondences has shaken my reality. Why did I become obsessed with the evolution of language and consciousness in college? Why have I always identified with peacocks? Why do I emphasize the breakdown of a signal into noise in all my music? Who are we, and who is rigging this?

Downloads include a set of links you can pursue to dive much deeper into this exquisite set of strange coincidences.  Feel free to write to me or comment with your thoughts and feelings upon listening, or if you have more insights into this extraordinary mystery...

I hope that you enjoy it. Thanks for listening. :)


This Month in "Awesome Conversations Galore" News...

I recently appeared on three great podcasts: Third Eye Drops with Michael PhillipChasing Bodhi with Doug Noble, and The Astral Hustle with Cory Allen. These conversations are about as different as can be, but if you're interested in the nexus where transcendent beauty meets existential terror – or how I make sense of love and art – or how to live a brighter, bolder, funnier, more mindful life – you can't go wrong by checking out all three.  These gentlemen all put a lot of work into their shows and I'm delighted that I get to share these with you.

#0027 with Rak Razam & Niles Heckman
(5-MeO DMT & Consciousness)

This week I sit down with Rak Razam and Niles Heckman – psychonauts, journalists, provocateurs, and the film-makers responsible for Shamans of the Global Village.

In a conversation too full of awesome neologisms, delightful turns of phrase, one-liners, and weird genius for me to convey it all, we talk about the role of creative media in helping usher in new modes of human consciousness – and what we’re learning those new modes might be. We finally get into WHAT those unborn archeologists listening to Future Fossils might be like…and our conjecture’s going to surprise you.  Listen to it here.

#0026 with Jessa Gamble
(Circadian Rhythms & The Science of Sleep)

This week we chat with science journalist Jessa Gamble, author of The Siesta and The Midnight Sun: How Our Bodies Experience Time, about time in the body, circadian rhythms, lunar cycles, and the science of sleep. Listen to it here.

#0025 with DADARA 
(Art, Virtual Realities, & Flow States)

This week we're joined by Daniel Rozenberg aka DADARA for a thoughtful discussion about Art in Virtual Realities, Information Overload, and Flow States.

The creator of Exchangibition Bank, Like4Real, and the upcoming Solipmission installation at Burning Man, as well as countless concert posters and album covers, DADARA has been one of my favorite artists for a while - in no small part because of how his works combine deep, challenging investigations with light-hearted play. Listen to it here.

Future Fossils Live at Psychedelic Science 2017
with Matt Xian, Rak Razam, & Terra Celeste

A spontaneous, wide-ranging, fairly bonkers conversation that roams everywhere in service to the vast emerging third-wave psychedelic culture and its destination: inevitable, structural, and permanent transformation of the human being and our understanding of the living world.  With three of my favorite psychedelic weirdos, Rak Razam of Shamans of the Global Village, Matt Xian of TIMEWHEEL, and Terra Celeste (whose affiliations are myriad).

Necromancing The Philosopher's Stone:
Interviewing "The Ungoogleable Michaelangelo"

Michaelangelo is a Los Angeles based transmedia artist whose latest work as Scottish Necromancer-Rapper “Void Denizen” pushes almost every boundary imaginable in the service of both depth and humor.  This conversation surfs the violet psychofluid across space, time, and identity.  Read it here.

Love and Other Pranks:
Interviewing Author Tony Vigorito

How is love a form of piracy? Find out in this delightful interview I just held with Tony Vigorito on his new book, which Tom Robbins called "the single wildest novel I have ever read."  We discuss the archetypal feathered serpent, Tony's awesome real-life pranks, and why so many villains have a skin disorder, among other things.  Read it here.

“I’ve seen enough around the corner to know what I need to do next. And it’s a deep transformation of my habits, my rituals, my relationship with life, with myself, my family, my loved ones, my community…and I think it’s the deepening of the spiritual path. And it makes it very tangible, whether I like it or not. I can hide from it, it doesn’t go away. The awareness of awareness of that thing is with me every day. That’s what it [5 Meo-DMT] has done for me.”

02 May 2017

Spotify Playlist: Music for MDMA Therapy + "How to Live in the Future" at Boom Festival + Bless The Water + Daniel Zen & Australian Psychedelic Society on Future Fossils

“The important thing is that each man possess...a wilderness and that he consider
what marvels are to be observed there.”
– Loren Eiseley, The Incredible Journey, p.9

April...what a crazy month!  I hope you gave permission to the permanently permutating purring purpose at the transcendental core of Spring and trusted it, and it transported us across the boundary from Known to Unknown/Better...if, like me, you're still a Jacob wrestling angels as they make long-overdue improvements, here's to exercising your strategic patience, feminine compassion, sacred space, and curious delight in letting all this novelty adapt you to a better world and life.

I just got back from the MAPS Psychedelic Science Conference in Oakland, California – hanging a gallery of my art, playing music on their donors' cruise, and recording interviews for Future Fossils Podcast.  It was clear to everyone how much the counterculture has grown up...much more to say about that soon.

But for now, here's all the good new stuff I'm honored I can share with you:

Spotify Playlist: Music For MDMA Therapy

Here's a Spotify playlist of the songs I've confirmed they used in the clinical trials.  I'll continue to add songs as I learn more...and if you know anyone doing work like this, feel free to pass it on.  It is one of the greatest honors of my life to know my music's helping people heal.  Enjoy!:



If you like what you hear, you can subscribe to my new music at Patreon or Bandcamp, where I have my entire catalog available as pay-what-you-can downloads.  Thanks for listening!

"How to Live in the Future"
(Professional Boom Festival Staff Shoot!)


Last year I gave my most well-received talk yet to the Liminal Village at Boom Festival – a small contribution to what is easily the most literate, cosmopolitan, visionary, impressive lineup of presenters I have ever seen at what is essentially a "dance party."  (In fact I'm pretty sure that some people go to Boom JUST for the talks.)

It's about psychedelics as training wheels for transhuman existence, and how we can adapt to the dizzying changes we will live through in our lifetimes.  It's a mashup of the scientific, philosophical, contemplative, poetic, and playful, and I hope it helps you feel like all this transformation's going somewhere good.

I recorded my own take in 360º video (part 1, part 2) but their edited multiple camera recording is WAY better.  If you can't sit still for an hour to watch this video, here is a link to the audio only.

This talk became the seed of a book by the same name, which I'm writing in public.  You can read all of the chapters I have finished so far on my page at Medium.

Cameo in Water Is Life by Uplift Connect


A film about one of the most important issues of our time – water access, scarcity, and health.

I give a short riff in this video (at 14:00) about embracing change, honoring our evolutionary origins as fish and moving with courage and curiosity into the flow of our transformational age (instead of clinging to the familiar like clams, and losing our wits in the process).

It's a potent 20 minutes that also features clips from some of the brightest luminaries that I know of – people like Vandana Shiva, Jamaica Stevens, Charles Eisenstein, Dan Schreiber, and Stephan Harding.  Watch the full thing here on Uplift Connect and improve your day.

New Future Fossils Episodes!

We’re switching it up this week to present my recent talk on psychedelic futurism at the first weekly meeting of the Australian Psychedelic Society (Fitzroy Beer Garden, Melbourne, Victoria).

The Chinese have a curse: “May you live in interesting times.” The Irish have a toast: “May you be alive at the end of the world” I’m more Irish than Chinese, and I know this because even though we’re living through total chaos these days, that means unprecedented opportunity for wonder, creativity, discovery, and growth.  (Episode art by Adam Scott Miller.)

Listen to it here.


This week we chat with Daniel Zen, former Google engineer, technology instructor at zen.digital, NYC Regional Coordinator for Burning Man, coordinator for the Angular NYC (spelling?) Meetup, and general high-tech wizard.  We discuss the intersections of surveillance technology, festival culture, virtual reality, class conflict, dreams of the Technological Singularity, and more...

Listen to it here.



18 April 2017

Two New Paintings + 360 Video: Symbols of Transformation + Future Fossils Podcast with Aunia Kahn & Simon Yugler

“I think there’s something almost archetypal and profound about leaving your home, country of origin, about leaving your comfort zone and traveling OUT into the world…let’s just start there. Initiation 101.”

On the road to the MAPS Psychedelic Science Conference in Oakland this week! I'll be there to show art in the gallery, record live podcasts on the Psymposia Stage (free to the public), and play music on the Beckley Foundation Bay Cruise, Friday night. All of the recordings I make will be made available to everyone as soon as I can – there's still a ton of music, videos, and more to share from Australia!

And now, the new stuff.  Big projects on the way – enjoy, and stay in touch!

360º Video: What Inspires My Art?
YouTube Permalink

Here's a quickie (12 minute) talk I gave in Byron Bay, New South Wales back in February for Harmonic Temple, an Earth Frequency Festival pre-party.  It was the first time I've ever been asked to speak publicly about the thoughts behind my art – along with my friends, the talented artists Randal RobertsMorgan Mandala, and Collin Elder, who are admittedly all better painters than I am, but a little less enthusiastic about jumping up there and letting fly with freestyle riffs on evolution, science, technology, the power of symbols, and so on.

This rant earned me the title "Terence McKenna 2.0" from Collin...decide for yourself.

"Submicroscopic Blacklight Party"
48"x36"– acrylic on canvas – studio
Reproductions available here:

A collaboration with two of my favorite artists in Austin, Greg Pettit & Elliot Rogers.  This painting evolved over a week of intense studio work in preparation for our trio show together at the ALTernate Reality Gallery​ in Austin, Texas. All three of us have what you could call "an obsession" with the microcosms of the body – immune cells attacking pathogens, molecular conveyor belts transporting nutrients within the cytoplasm, DNA's translation into RNA – it's truly alien and wonderful "down there," as psychedelic as it possibly could be.

(In fact, in his book The Cosmic Serpent, anthropologist Jeremy Narby argues that the content of the DMT experience, and consequently all the art of medicine traditions worldwide, is of molecular biology – that ayahuasca and its sister visionary plants are showing us what modern humans need a microscope to see. Who knows?)

"Xenoscaping II"

36"x24" – acrylic and oil on two canvases – studio
This one is the second in a series dedicated to Randal Roberts, Kaliptus, and Jack Shure - three fantastic painters whose influence is clearly felt in this alien still life, second "xenoscape" in the series, inspired by the ineffable neither-alive-nor-dead extraterrestrial "Hypotheticals" from Robert Charles Wilson's Spin/Axis/Vortex science fiction trilogy. I spend a lot of time thinking about how people are also places are also things and around we go, each one of us a location, an ecosystem, a mostly vegetative bio-intelligence more ancient and bizarre than we let on...

New Future Fossils Podcast Episodes 
with Aunia Kahn & Simon Yugler


This week’s guest is the artist, gallery owner, podcaster, web designer, and musician Aunia Kahn! Among her many notable achievements, she curates Alexi Era Gallery in Oregon, hosted the Create & Inspire Podcast, and survived eleven years housebound with disability to emerge more creative, passionate, and powerful than before.  Listen here.


This week’s guest is travel guide Simon Yugler – named one of Open World Magazine’s “Top 30 Adventurers Under 30,” Simon facilitates initiatory experiences as the leader of experiential education journeys for young adults. We talk the alchemy of travel and how to practice right relationship as a stranger in a strange land.  Listen here.