All the 1970s - 80s Dope Riders, along with other of my comics, are in my anthology Awaiting the Collapse. The comics I've done from 2015 through 2020 are in my new anthology, A Fistful of Delirium. Both are available at If you'd like to purchase Dope Rider merchandise, I’ve opened shops on some on-line stores. I have a Dope Rider shop at Red Bubble and have a Dope Rider Store at Your patronage is most appreciated!

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Dope Rider, "Conscious Universe"

Before I did this strip, I had been listening to some interviews with Rupert Sheldrake, who writes about panpsychism, the theory that every self-organizing entity may have some degree of consciousness, albeit different from the consciousness of humans. He posits the possibility of consciousness not only to animals and plants, but also to things like crystals, stars, or the universe itself. Do I believe this? I don't know. I'm entertaining the idea, just as there are many concepts I remain open to without feeling that I have to come down on one side or the other. The Coen brother's 2018 film The Ballard of Buster Scruggs had the following exchange, which impressed me. (I edited it down slightly.)

Alice Longabaugh: [My brother] had fixed political beliefs. All of his beliefs were quite fixed. He would upbraid me for being wishy-washy. I never had his certainties. I suppose it is a defect. 

Billy Knapp: I don't think it's a defect at all. Oh no. Uncertainty. That is appropriate for matters of this world. … Down the ages, from our remote past, what certainties survive? And yet we hurry to fashion new ones. Wanting their comfort. Certainty... is the easy path. 

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