Choosing to be “Crazy”

{This is a modified transcript of Post-Woke Podcast – Episode #35, where Alicen Grey, Editor-in-Chief of HologramPress.com, talks about the origin and purpose of the site.}


MICKEY Z: We’ve had you on the show a bunch of times, and quite often the entry point is your burgeoning and rapidly growing music career (which we could touch on absolutely).  But more recently, as you’re working on your EP, you’ve also been really ramping up the amount of writing you’re doing on your personal website, HologramPress. You’ve been releasing a lot of essays and getting some good feedback. So, why don’t you tell me and the listeners a bit about HologramPress and the type of material you like to tackle there?

ALICEN GREY: Sure thing! So I run a site called HologramPress.com. It’s a symposium where we question everything from the mainstream media to the Moon. Right now I am the primary contributor; you [Mickey] have also been published on the site. Moving forward in the future, I hope to attract some more excellent essayists and perhaps even other forms of media onto the platform. It’s really just a place to ask anything and everything having to do with the nature of reality. So, who are we? Why are we here? What is earth? How does it operate? We talk about the paranormal, the occult, magick, philosophy, the meaning of life… pretty much anything that falls under WHY — like the Big Questions “Why.”

MICKEY Z.: So running parallel to Post-Woke’s “Art of Intellectual Self-Defense,” it’s another level of like an “Art of Spiritual Self-Defense.” When I think of my podcast and my Substack, I like to think that I’m comfortable taking on taboo topics and challenging beliefs that are pretty ingrained in our culture. But I know from being a reader of Hologram, that you’ll take that to another level, to the point where you seem very comfortable with tackling topics that a certain portion of the population, to be radically honest, may think sound crazy!

ALICEN GREY: Mm-hmm!

MICKEY Z.: Talk about your willingness to address these topics, but also (for the people who are listening to this show, assuming that they like the topics I write about), what would attract them about the level you take it to?

ALICEN GREY: Ooo! Well I love the word “crazy” and I’ve learned to revel in being perceived as crazy, because being perceived as crazy was a fear — a very very very deep core fear that I carried for the majority of my life, until, let’s call it my Second Spiritual Awakening, right before the pandemic (or as we call it here, the Plandemic). I used to let that hold me back from being honest about the things I like to contemplate all day, which are all, you know, God! And the afterlife! And anything kind of spiritual and out-of-the-box. Once I realized that that was a very stupid reason to hold back my true essence from the world, and express what I really want to talk about… I was liberated! I mean, once you get over the fear of being crazy — or even just being perceived as crazy — oh my god, the freedom. I can hardly even articulate how good it feels. Now I can say whatever I want… and no one can stop me.

MICKEY Z. & ALICEN GREY: [laughing]

ALICEN GREY: No joke though, that actually has become sort of a motto of mine. I know it’s […] from Austin Powers, but it actually is so motivating to me. Like, okay, so what if I question the Moon?! Who’s gonna stop me?! No one can stop me! And that’s so empowering in a sort of weird way.

So yeah, I’ll question everything from like, what is the Light at the End of the Tunnel that people see during Near Death Experiences? Is that a trap? Is that an illusion? Should we go towards it? Everyone seems to think that at the end of the tunnel, where the Light is, that that’s Heaven, or that’s where your [deceased] loved ones are, or what have you… HologramPress is the kind of place where we’ll even bring that into question. Everything we take for granted spiritually is subject to questioning.

And so, I should let your listeners know that HologramPress wouldn’t be possible if not for UnMinding — which I have archived, it’s no longer available on any search engine. But people who’ve been following my writing for a long time will know about UnMinding. UnMinding was my cult recovery project that I started in 2014. There’s still some videos on my YouTube about the concept.

But basically: I was born-and-raised into a cultic church. After I left that, I wasn’t aware yet of how that church had patterned my brain to think like a cultist. So I was still thinking in black-and-white, I was still very us-versus-them, I was still very evangelical, like “I have the Truth and no one else has the Truth.”

The way a cult warps your perception is very insidious. It’s very hard to look within and see that it has brought out the worst in you. Then to go inward and do that healing, so you can start thinking clearly again and start connecting with other humans in a more egalitarian way again (instead of in the hierarchical fashion of a cult). It’s difficult work, but I committed myself to doing the work. I called the work “UnMinding,” where I undid all the damage and abuse and trauma that was imposed upon my mind since birth… I’m not saying I’m perfect at it, but I have developed a sort of system… I identified the real problem of cultism as the identification with ideology.

[That’s] when someone has a belief system that they then invest their entire personality in, so that they identify with ideas. And when you begin to identify with an idea, you lose your core self. You lose your true essence. And you become a very fragile sort of being, who, the second somebody questions the ideas your whole ego is wrapped up in, your existence is threatened. And so that’s what cognitive dissonance really is. It’s the anger, it’s the excruciating feeling of dread when somebody challenges what you’ve based your entire perception of reality on. So the more you can dis-identify with ideas, the healthier you’ll be able to think.

Originally [with] UnMinding, I assumed that by taking on the work of dis-identifying from ideas, I would become an atheist or something… but what it’s actually done is brought me back to a version of spirituality that’s true to me personally. So I no longer follow any leaders. I no longer represent any movements, I no longer automatically take sides with like “feminists” or “conservatives” or whatever group or ideological label. So now I’m just this… rogue.

MICKEY Z.: [laughs]

ALICEN GREY: I call myself an “ideonaut” where I explore ideas, and that’s my idea of fun! Now that I’ve freed my mind from these cultic patterns and behavioral structures that came from the cult, I can literally question anything, and it doesn’t scare me anymore!

MICKEY Z.: Thank you for that explanation. I know you long enough to have witnessed some of this and been fortunate enough to have come along for the ride on some of it. As you’re describing that, I’m thinking to myself: when you allow yourself to be that autonomous, that much of a free agent… you, in a way, ideologically and even spiritually, almost become… I was going to say “homeless” but I don’t want to downplay what homeless people go through. But I think it’s an accurate term in the sense that if you’re not believing something [just] because it’s feminist or because it’s conservative, almost by definition you’re going to have feminists and conservatives mad at you.

ALICEN GREY: Mm-hmmm!!!

MICKEY Z.: So if it’s so much fun to be autonomous, how do you balance out the inevitable feedback you get from people who haven’t made the same choice as you? — people who are very much attached to the ideology? We’ve witnessed 2+ years of what that’s like. How do you find that balance? Because it’s difficult to stand on your own at times.

ALICEN GREY: Oh, yeah. Well. As for how I reconcile my commitment to… (I used to say “UnMinding” but now I’d rather say “ReMinding”  because it’s more about creating the kind of mental safe haven I would like, more than it is undoing the damage that used to be there). Now that I’m committed to ReMinding, I tend to just naturally draw people who are curious.

And yes […] it just so happens that most of the people attracted to my work are all ideologues to varying degrees. I mean, it’s so rare nowadays to find someone who’s genuinely attempting to be non-ideological. Even people who think they’re non-ideological, run the risk of that becoming their ideology — which is probably true of me right now. I think there is some fear of committing to an idea at this point, because man, when you look at what the world is right now, everyone is so divided and so split! And there’s no nuance anywhere to be found on the Internet. It’s a little frightening.

So I kind of can’t help that ideologues are attracted to my writing, but, as for my close inner circle of friends — regardless of what they might believe — what I look for now in a friend is ethics. A strong moral character.

[…] I’m always telling people, your ethics must come before your ideology. You must know what right and wrong is, what good and evil is, before you go shopping around for ideas — or before you go getting sucked into an existing belief system! Because most people really have not asked themselves these deeper questions of like, “What does it mean to be a good person?” “What does it mean to be loving and kind?” before they get wrapped up in an ideology. 

And once you’re subsumed by an ideology, you can justify anything. It’s the classic people-not-realizing-that-they’re-full-of-hatred-and-murderous. The Nazis are a good example, of people getting getting sucked into what they think is a valorous endeavor, but looking back on history, obviously, these were people who thought they were doing the right thing… but somehow had it so twisted and backwards and inverted, that the opposite was true.

So if you don’t know what you stand for before you go identifying with something, you can very easily be sucked into a hivemind effect, where you’re just being carried by the currents of the masses. For me, it’s so important that I judge people now by their actions, not their ideas. 

So I don’t care how much of a good little liberal you are. I don’t care if you never misgender anybody.  I don’t care if you are the most not-misogynistic dude ever in words. I don’t care if you’ve never said the N-word, if you’ve never said anything racist in your life… How you treat people, is what I care about. And if you’re arrogant, if you’re mean-spirited, if you casually call for the deaths of “TERFs” or whatever group you think deserves to die… I don’t care what you believe. You’re not a good person.

I wish more people would understand that. I know you relate to this, because when we were both vegans, we were shocked at how people were casually calling for you to be killed when you stopped being vegan! These were vegans who pride themselves on being so compassionate, and the second you left the hivemind, suddenly you deserved to be slaughtered — just like the animals they say they would never slaughter, right?

MICKEY Z.: They used the identical language, unironically.

ALICEN GREY: I think that really says it all. It’s easy for us in this digital, information-sharing age — where everyone’s an avatar before they’re a person — it’s easy to lose sight of who the person is. But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that people are their actions. They’re not their words or ideas or thoughts. 

So that also works in the reverse. […] I won’t assume somebody’s a bad person because they’re saying words that I don’t like. So the same way that people need to act in alignment with the values they claim to hold, I also will give people the benefit of the doubt until they’ve demonstrated differently.

So [for example], I think Transhumanism is dangerous and vile. […] But just because someone’s a trans ally, and is totally pro-pronouning everyone and everything, I won’t assume they’re a bad person until they’ve shown me their fangs. Because sometimes innocent people get sucked up into this stuff.

And just as I would’ve liked to be given the benefit of the doubt when I was a rabid ideologue foaming-at-the-mouth at everybody, I try to extend that grace to people who grew up on the internet just like I did, and forget that there’s a Real World where people actually act and don’t just talk.

MICKEY Z.: I like that what you just described puts the lie to this ongoing belief that “words are violence.” And you’re saying quite the opposite. When somebody speaks, I hear them and I pay close attention. But then I’m going to pay even closer attention to the actions that follow those words, before I position myself relative to that person. While we live in a culture, particularly on the “Woke” Left, where you’re judged on — not even the words you speak, it could be something you tweeted when you were 15 years old —

ALICEN GREY: Or something you liked on Facebook!

MICKEY Z.: Yeah! You could be held liable for liking a post randomly on Facebook 6 months ago, and now you are canceled and you’re barred for life from that group. And I like the way you flipped the script there. It’s the old cliche “Actions speak louder than words.” There’s a reason it’s been around forever! So I appreciate that.

But I don’t want to go too far afield without you getting a chance to at least tell us a little bit about the specific topics you tackle. I could talk all day with you, breaking down the cults of ideology. […] It’s not like there’s going to be one post after the other where you’re ripping ideology. You have this broad scope of topics that fascinate you, and with the freedom you’ve given yourself to not worry about being called “crazy,” I really admire that you’ll just take on whatever your mood strikes, and say “I’m going to write about this today!”

For example, the other day you wrote about Pluto, and I commented where I literally said to you, I don’t really ever contemplate Pluto. But I’m all for this conversation, because it forces me to ask myself the question you propose in the article, which is “How do you know what you know?” or “Why do you believe what you believe?” and this constant questioning-yourself of “Where do my beliefs come from?”

So please tell us a couple of topics to give us a flavor of what HologramPress is about.

ALICEN GREY: Oh man! When I say nothing is off-limits, I truly mean there are no limits. No limits on the questions. 

MICKEY Z.: I hear you!

ALICEN GREY: Really the only limit is language itself. The things I can’t write about are only because I don’t have the words for them, not because I’m afraid of them.

For example, I mentioned the white light at the end of the tunnel earlier. The Moon! I have more than suggested that the Moon is a fake-ass bitch

MICKEY Z.: [laughs]

ALICEN GREY: People just assume that it’s a naturally occurring planet in our solar system, but I took it to task, and raised a lot of questions about the legitimacy of the Moon, and personally I have come to the conclusion that it is an artificial construct that was inserted into our sky by advanced intelligences, and appeared in the middle of human history, like it wasn’t always in the sky — and in fact, historical record supports that. 

I also question, why do we consider Pluto in astrology? Because I’m an astrologer.

And, what else…? Oh, this was a good thing to get off my chest: I was a radical feminist for a hot minute. Well, more than a hot minute — it has deeply left an impression on me. But instead of now being a purely political stance, I now see the more spiritual undercurrent to what feminism really is. And to me that means healing the I guess you could say “the divine feminine,” or the feminine essence of the soul. That is a spiritual endeavor. No amount of law-making is going to heal women as a collective.

And so, one of the things I wrote was about what it means to be a man. It was so refreshing, instead of writing about rape as some biological compulsion or mutation in male predators, to finally see the spiritual aspect of it where there is a higher octave of sexual potential in humanity, that most people cannot even conceive of because we have all been overexposed to a culture saturated in the most denigrated, degenerated imagery from pornography, from the mainstream (what is called “entertainment” now is just basically all softcore porn). And, most of us have been groomed by now that sex is purely a meaningless, casual, pleasure-seeking activity, and it’s all about the orgasm, and it’s all about being “liberated” and having as much sex as you can to prove how free you are.

And on HologramPress we might even take that to task, and I’ve written about how it’s not widely known, but you can actually have sex more like a prayer. You can actually have sex as meditation. You can transmute those lower, base animal instincts into something that is not just about you or your partner’s pleasure, but the world’s healing. How many people have ever entered the bedroom to have sex with someone and thought, “Let’s make a prayer out of this! Let’s devote this! Let’s create a magick circle on the floor, have sex in the middle of it, and amplify our prayers and send them out into the world as we’re making Love” — literally: making, Love.

I don’t think most people have thought those thoughts.

MICKEY Z.: Somebody listening might be thinking, “Oh, this is woo-woo.” But we both came out of the activist world, where it’s not far-fetched that a group of people might go to Central Park and hold hands in the shape of a peace sign, and think that they’re going to bring world peace that way — yet they’ll look down their nose at what you just said about sex as prayer. But both of them, at their roots, have the same concept. You and I have discussed this before. When monks go to a cave to pray for the entire Universe, it’s in the same realm where you could create this frequency. And I love that you’ll touch on these topics — not just touch on, you’ll dive deep on these topics.

What I want to ask, though: I come out of a form of writing — I go back, my first book came out 22 years ago. It’s this heavily annotated alternative history of World War II. I established myself early on as somebody that was evidence-based, that you could trust the information I was putting in my articles. You might disagree with my interpretation of it, but you could know that I did my homework.

But I am equally as fascinated by the more esoteric topics… but, perhaps, not as equally comfortable as you are with being called “crazy.” I’ve been called crazy plenty of times, but not for the same reasons as you.

ALICEN GREY: [laughs]

MICKEY Z.: When I want to talk about these topics, or I want to have someone on the show — for example, someone you introduced me to who’s a UFOlogist — there is, I have to confess, a hesitation: Am I going to lose the credibility I’ve spent decades building up, as someone who can dig up relevant research and back up all my points with evidence?

But when I hear you talk about [esoterica] and read your stuff, I am a little jealous where I’m like… no, I want to go on flights of fancy, and I want to entertain these topics.

So what do you say to someone who either just thinks your topics aren’t relevant (they’re pie in the sky), or someone who wants to dive deeper but is genuinely afraid of how they might get labeled?

ALICEN GREY: Well funny enough, you do mention the appeal to “evidence,” and I don’t find esoteric contemplations lacking in evidence in the slightest. In fact, I give many examples of how evidence-based the so-called “paranormal” actually is, and how [the field of parapsychology] is severely underfunded. They’re in this catch-22 of “No one’s going to fund you until you have some sort of compelling proof that the paranormal is real… but you can’t compellingly prove it until you have the funding.” So [the field of parapsychology] has been complaining about this forever.

And then you have charlatans like James Randi and such, getting so much news coverage for allegedly putting an end to ‘all the woo-woo nonsense’ with their fake million-dollar challenge… but again, don’t take anything for granted — if you look into James Randi’s million-dollar challenge, that money doesn’t exist. People have already done the research and have tried to call him out and expose him, but because of the bias of our collective consciousness towards the material world, there’s this ongoing injustice towards “psychics” as we’re called (people who acknowledge the spiritual realm) where we’re just not taken seriously.

And I suspect that that’s been the case throughout human history, just judging by the fact that the word “hylic” has been around so long. There’s always been words to describe people who don’t have that sixth sense. Because there’s always been people who do have that sixth sense. That tension has been going on for as long as we can point to in recorded human history.

So, I actually don’t think there’s any lack of evidence. And I’ve actually written many essays about that, for anyone who’s curious. In fact, most of the first essays on HP were just me establishing, “Here’s all the reasons you should take the paranormal seriously.”

MICKEY Z.: You make me think to myself, “Yeah, I need to be as diligent in digging up the evidence you just mention as I am with digging up all the other evidence I dig up.” I can then make my own determination — am I comfortable writing an article based on it, because I’ve done the homework that I’ve done in the past? 

But then more generally, to the people listening: What would be your pitch to them? Maybe they’ve never read about topics like you’ve mentioned so far here. What would you want to say to them to inspire them to give not just HologramPress, but this general concept of esoteric spiritual writing, a chance? In a world where “follow the science” is so engrained as an indoctrinating mantra, how would you pitch to them, “Hey, this is really worth your time, beyond educating yourself with facts? [That] it’s worth your time spiritually and life-enriching-wise”?

ALICEN GREY: To the people who are aware that these topics are a thing, but have never looked into it: I am confident in making the following claim, that almost everybody — if not everybody — has at least one experience that could be classified as “supernatural” or “paranormal” —whether it’s seeing a shadow person in the corner of their room… or asking for a sign from a deceased loved one, and receiving a sign that is so obviously specifically for them to notice that otherwise wouldn’t have happened under any other circumstances… people have witnessed supernatural spontaneous healings… there’s so many examples of these little, little things that give you just a glimpse beyond the Veil, into the nature of reality being incredibly mysterious and complex, and far more than just material.

So everyone knows that the paranormal is A Thing. Whether or not they choose to pursue those strange little happenings in their life, and look deeper into it, is a choice that they have to make. And most of the time, the only thing holding a person back from looking deeper into this stuff is THE FEAR OF BEING PERCEIVED AS CRAZY.

Now, here’s where the real meat of it comes in. You have to now ask yourself: Why do I even care if people think I’m crazy? Where did that belief come from, that I have to look like I have it all together mentally? Right? When did that become a value that was instilled in me — and why do I still let that limit what I’m willing to think about, and what I’m not allowed to think about? 

So all the pieces start falling into place once you start contemplating what insanity really is.

Now I’m not going to sit here and claim that true insanity is not a thing. I have seen people lose touch with reality. But usually, usually, when people genuinely lose touch with reality, it’s because of some sort of drugs [or addiction], or extreme trauma that makes them completely dissociate from reality. 

But when we’re talking about spiritual stuff, yes, there are exercises that are recommended (and have been recommended for thousands of years) to keep your ego in check because you can run the risk of starting to think that you’re like, Jesus’s Second Coming and everyone should bow down to you. So that’s another kind of insanity that can be harmful to others — which is back to ethics. What should matter more to you than anything is “Am I being a good person?” Second to that is everything else. But first and foremost, am I being loving? am I being kind? and from there you’re free to think about absolutely anything.

So once you start down this path of deconstructing what you think you know about insanity, versus what sanity really is — the willingness to see things as they are — then you’ll understand why psychics have been under attack for so long.

Because once people realize that humans can literally fly… then it makes a lot of sense why our world is structured to try to make people feel as powerless an infantile as possible. I mean, we’ve got most of the world right now completely dependent on figureheads on TV posturing as experts on health. But just look into these people’s eyes. See their soul with your soul. Look at them with your inner eye, so to speak. There’s nothing healthy about them. They don’t care about human health. And that’s obvious if, again, you’re willing to see things as they are — which requires you to surrender the fear of being perceived as crazy.

Once you can cross that threshold, so many doors of perception open will up to you. So many things will naturally click into place that [didn’t make sense before]. I might sound like I’m speaking gibberish right now to some people, but once you cross that threshold yourself, you’ll be like “Ohhh, ohhh, I get what Alicen was saying now.”

MICKEY Z.: I’m willing to bet […] there aren’t many stories of people on their deathbed saying that their biggest regret was the handful of times that someone thought they were crazy for their beliefs. I don’t think people are saying [on their deathbed] “Oh my god, I really blew it by saying the Moon isn’t real. If I could go back and change one thing…”

We are very much conditioned through pop culture and the figureheads you mention, to just “be an individual” — we admire rockstars and people who seem to be rebellious, but there’s a very clear limit to it. Once you’ve stepped past this level of rebellion, you’ve now crossed into something that’s either crazy, dangerous, or a combination of both. I think if people want… I know if people want to have their third eye opened, they should be clicking now in the show notes, on the link to HologramPress.

ALICEN GREY: [laughs]

MICKEY Z.: You have a lively comments section there. You welcome people to interact with you. And I really hope that people will take a chance and check it out.

ALICEN GREY: Ooo, and before you wrap up, I want to make sure people understand up front: I don’t claim to be an expert or an authority on the nature of reality. I simply ask questions as they come to me. I’m still speculating, I’m forever speculating. There’s only very few things I would say I know for certain, one of them being that Love is the answer to every question. I really do believe the purpose of Life is to learn how to Love. Beyond that, there’s so much I’m still juggling in the air [regarding] what’s true and what’s not true. But Love feels the most true to me.

Beyond that, I don’t posture as an expert. So I don’t want anyone going [to HologramPress] thinking “Alicen is about to tell me THE TRUTH or HOW IT ALL WORKS” because I’m just as curious and still-wandering as the next person. I just try to model to people what freedom of thought really looks like, and invite them to ask their own questions.

MICKEY Z.: Absolutely, and you show them also the thought process you can embrace when you put in the work to dig a little deeper and get past these so-called taboos. […]

So we’re going to wrap up, but really quickly, as one of your songs is the theme song for Post-Woke — 

ALICEN GREY:  Oh yeah!

MICKEY Z.: — tell us about your musical project and what we can expect next.

ALICEN GREY: Well, the two main projects I’ve got going right now are HologramPress and When Humans Had Wings, which is where I make music. Basically the driving force behind both of these projects is my undying urge to remind all of humanity that humans can literally fly. Again, [some] people will hear that and think I’m just being metaphorical, but I am being so literal Mickey.

I actually recently committed myself to a mission, just to make sure I never lose sight of my ethics when making this art. I said, “If all the effort I’m putting into all of this writing and all of this music — if all it ever accomplishes is just reminding one person on Earth that they can fly, I’ve done my work.”

MICKEY Z.: Wow.

ALICEN GREY: Truly! I mean, I mean it. My entire reason for making all the music and writing all the essays is, I want people to know, that they can literally fly. So that’s what I do. 

I try to stay on an inspiring note. Although sometimes, as you’ll see, I can get pretty cynical (because I’m human like the rest of us). But yeah, that’s my main thing. I just want people to feel a little lighter, and like more possibilities become obvious to them after encountering my work.

MICKEY Z.: Well I deeply appreciate you. You know I’m your #1 fan.

ALICEN GREY: Ditto!

MICKEY Z.: I enjoyed this conversation as always. […] And I’m sure in the relatively near future, you’ll be back on the show to talk about your upcoming EP, Run Rabbit Run!

ALICEN GREY: Yes!!!

MICKEY Z.: Alicen, thank you very much as always. It’s a pleasure. And I look forward to having you back on soon!

ALICEN GREY: Thank you again and again, for giving me this space to inspire the people who listen to you. I really appreciate it.


If you enjoyed this HologramPress essay, please support the growth of this website by sharing the link, making a donationbecoming a Patron, and purchasing merch. Thank you so much! ~ Alicen

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