About Cosmos (rough draft)

Hi Johnny and Marco:

From your two spirited defenses, I’m not so sure personally I’m glad I dropped what I actually have thought in here, but truth being what it is, I don’t think it has done any harm. So there you have it. It is what I have thought, even if I’m terribly misguided and uninformed and am proven to be wrong (which I’d gladly be). This place purports to be not just group-think oriented, but able to support independent or divergent views. I think your analogy of being threatened to be kicked out of a club in the past by a bouncer who mistakenly thought you were sleeping when you simply had your head back and were resting your eyes, Marco, is not particularly apt applied to me in this instance. (What kind of a club was that?) Your other illustration of water with too much chlorine and needing filtration of the fluoride to be rendered drinkable and not cause cancer is not antithetical to the original point I was making. In fact, it could be used further to support it. You just provided a variation, the too much chlorine like a fence around the water itself, you could say, and the fluoride like armed guards protecting it, and possibly lethal if provoked. One must be scaled or passed through, as it were, and the other either distracted or eliminated, to get to what quenches thirst and replenishes. My dirty snowball metaphor is admittedly more crude, but the point is essentially the same. Anyway, I do see the point you intend, about context and how the same thing in different ones can change perception of it and its meaning, or at least its inflection, and I have noted it. I don’t disagree with that.

Maybe ultimately this is good I dropped this in here, because it indicates where the burden of proof is, what needs to be addressed to assuage the doubts of naysayers and to bring around and satisfy the qualms of those who are skeptical. A thing that is truly valuable not only relies on testimonials but actually withstands and endures tests.

I’m still open and willing as I wrote before to be proven wrong. But I suspect this is one of those things like faith, which you either have or not.

Where one dwells in darkness, another sees the light. God help me.

A good weekend to both of you.

In haste and after a glass too many ( which sometimes lifts the bonds of considered opinion). Seems to me that there are many words being expended on what words? People talking about what kinda people? Latinate economy becoming impenetrably chilly. Aim for Grade 8? Clean Language as a ‘Do Not Pass Go’ until you have answered a series of questions.

When you feel ‘nourished’ what does that feel like?

I am for Anglo-Saxon words ( as I suspect JD is pleading for- though I would not go as far as he does) and respectfully suggest that metaphor is not ruled by answering questions, but provoking them.

Correction, John. I am not defending Clean Language. I offer what I offer and you are free to reject or be skeptical or make comparisons or tell stories or change the subject. Feel free to do all of the above or none of the above. I really don’t care one way or the other. You are a free agent and so am I and I don’t feel that you have attacked Clean Language or myself. I don’t think you have an adequate understanding of either to become a competent enough critic.

For a critic to evaluate ( in my model) they need to offer their criticism in a way that the one criticized can understand the criticism. I really have no idea what you are talking about. It borders on a rant and I have an interest in disentangling myself from your off the cuff, fly by the seat of your pants, shoot first and ask question later kind of style.

Sarcasm, I believe you have admitted, has been something you have had to apologize for to other guests/patrons on this forum. You have labeled and dismissed my offering here and I am not going to lose a lot of sleep over that. I find it kind of interesting but it becomes a bore real fast if you insist on creating straw man arguments, employ the language of contempt, and then expect others to rescue you from the mess you have made. In the absence of any arguments I see no point in acting as you have presented one or defend with a counter argument. What’s the point?

You have your model of my model of the world and I have a model of your model of the world and when there is enough rapport between persons there may be ways of making what belongs to the other person or to oneself more transparent. Without a method ( such as Clean Language) there seems to be a lot of pissing in the wind. I hope I get to be upstream of you, John. Having said that I also admire your charm and gifts which are obvious too.

Marco asked about my use of Clean Language patterns and the meta-patterns that emerge and I sense a pattern here. It is a binding pattern and it appears in groups of all kinds of shapes and sizes and especially in forums on line. There may be other places where we can develop CL and other experimental efforts and after a fair hearing I would welcome feedback. Working with binds and double binds and triple binds are very tricky.

I’m reminded of Groucho Marx quip," I would never belong to a group that would admit me as a member." Believe me, I would love to take my marbles and go home, however, I have so much respect for the creative effort here that I will stick it out and see what happens next.

I have a feeling that others here are more open and curious than they are censorious and so I am more than willing to put up with the inevitable conflicts that arise from styles and world views. Conflict is a great mystery and a great teacher as long as we don’t blow up the place a certain amount of it is educational.

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Very good, Johnny. I’m not certain how it is I could be misunderstood. Maybe I need Clean Language? You’re irrepressible, and I’m irrepressible, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. To me there’s a lot of cleared air here. I feel at rock bottom good about this exchange. Yes indeed, have we really taken anything away from each other? I think not.

I love the Groucho Marx quip. Well, I’m actually out the door, to do as you suggested in your first reply to me. There’s been a lot of rain in the Bay Area lately, and a little window has opened where the sun has come out. The sun: it shines down upon all of us. That’s how I regard the truth. :white_sun_small_cloud:

" I feel at rock bottom good about this exchange. Yes indeed, have we really taken anything away from each other? I think not."

I’m not so sure of that. Have we really taken anything away from each other? I am not sure. I will be much more cautious from now on about what I say around you. I will probably not say a great deal because you have been unfair in this exchange. Everyone makes mistakes but when someone is making the same mistake again and again and again one starts to wonder if this is worth it.

“He that is thy friend indeed,
He will help thee in thy need:
If thou sorrow, he will weep;
If thou wake, he cannot sleep:
Thus of every grief in heart
He with thee does bear a part.
These are certain signs to know
Faithful friend from flattering foe.”

Trust is hard to create and easy to destroy. I am not so cavalier as you are about other people’s feelings. Of course I will move on and so will you I just wonder if the group effort here is supported by exchanges such as these. I think I have left something on the stove, off I go-

Oh Johnny: I offer you my humblest apology. My intention isn’t to hurt you personally. Honestly, I’ve grown fond of you. You are brilliant and I’ve been nourished by many of your own words. However, do what you must to protect yourself. Everything is really out in the open. True friends do not lie to each other. From my own point of view, I’d be showing you far less respect if I pretended around you, unduly flattered you and falsely led you on. I gave you what I think straight up, like Cordelia to King Lear.

I did write: “It is what I have thought, even if I’m terribly misguided and uninformed and am proven to be wrong (which I’d gladly be).” You came back with a strong reaction, a counterattack, and it was justified. I probably deserve it. We both made the pendulum swing, and swing mightily, with neither of us succeeding in making it overcome gravity! It swings in quiet rhythm, pulled toward the core of this rotating earth we share.

I sincerely hope you proceed with your plan with Marco. I may not agree with everything you write, having my quibbles and qualms, just as you may strongly disagree with me on certain points, but I am honest to the best of my ability, and to a true friend I am loyal.

"These are certain signs to know
Faithful friend from flattering foe.”

deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct (something), especially for political or military advantage.
synonyms: vandalize · wreck · damage · destroy · cripple · impair ·

Donna Haraway, once remarked that the HIV virus never could invade a host unless the host had invited the virus in. Having had so many friends die of AIDS I have often wondered about that? I’m quite resilient for I am still here. I have been hyper alert to the effects of the saboteur. I was able to survive and thrive when so many others didn’t because I was vigilant in never colluding with the oppressors. I led many groups and marched in demonstrations and became very aware of the saboteur, the trickster, the one who trapped the energies of the group in binds and double binds That tragedy was a very good training for what is happening now on a much vaster scale.

The shadow is with us always and we must do our best in these troubled times to find allies to consolidate gains, or expect to be swallowed up by bigger organisms. Slotefidjk is saying something quite similar when he talks about the immunity of the system, like the negotiations of the cell membrane to distinguish friend from foe, to negotiate me/ not me is biological and cultural. The bubble and the sphere and the globe are images that support and protect as does the womb from which we all emerged.

We are of course ejected many times in a lifetime from the safe place, the relationships, the groups finally pop! Humans are chronic fuck ups. Heard Trump today while working out at the gym and just hearing the tone of his voice and the chants of the crowd I felt like it was a prelude to a Nuremberg rally.

I really don’t care, John, about your apologies or your regrets or what you claim is the truth. I really don’t care. So that is my truth and you can do with it what you will.

Hamlet. I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.

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Well, Johnny, I can’t say I don’t care, otherwise I wouldn’t have tried as I did, following up and replying in sincerity. Your observation here I have had too, about infiltration and sabotage. Certainly it makes me think, “Have I done that?” Like in a previous comment you made, when you shared a dream you had, and in it, pressing for an answer from a mysterious personage, you were stunned, being told you were Hitler, I agree that each of us contains the germs and seeds of all possible creatures and characters in ourselves, from destructive to creative.

As the saying goes, it takes one to know one. In that low and mean “tit for tat” which many unfortunately find themselves at the mercy of, suffering and making each other suffer, I recognize a circuit closed upon itself, burning badly those trapped within it, or a trapping of energy in binds and double binds to which you allude. Certainly I’ve been guilty of that, but just as you have advanced out of the Hitler you once were, so have I developed and advanced, still surely retaining destructive energies, but also now capable of giving, trusting, loving, friendship and creativity.

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Hi Johnny D. John D. here (you have an “ny” at the end of your first name for “New York”):

I just wanted to follow up with a short note. When I review all the interactions we’ve had - all of them taken together from the beginning - I think there are more flowers than weeds and pricker bushes. My own take-away is of appreciation and gratitude.

I myself need some solitary time, to reflect on my own behavior and to work more on my own personal projects. I hope I haven’t ruined it here for you, and you still feel welcome. Just looking at your high quality interactions with others I know you’d be sorely missed.

Good energy and well wishes to you!


Well, I love you both. Fool that I am. Two JDs. Like another JD I’ve loved (of the Salinger variety). I personally like getting in touch with my inner JD much more than my Hitler.

And I believe there’s room here for both critical reason and transdimensional play, for clean language and dynamic space. I’ve really enjoyed all your contributions here and I hope we’ll all be able to continue working together in whatever configurations are healthiest and most generative.

I also want to apologize for my sloppy illustrations (meditating in a bar / water filtration) above. The more I’ve thought about them, the less sense they’ve made to me, and I wonder if they only muddied the water, as it were.

I sense in @JDockus a noble, protective impulse (immune system), which might sometimes go into overdrive, lacking real “invaders” to chew on. I find the critical perspective invaluable, and I would hate to lose it (just like I would hate to lose my white blood cells). Which is interesting to ponder in light of @johnnydavis54’s experience with the bio-social implications of immune system hacking, and his desire to understand patterns and structures, and the transit between spaces and membranes. Perhaps there is some deep, twisted (like a protein) poetry in these exchanges.

But I do want to make sure that new seeds have space to bloom and there’s growing room for all kinds of experiments here—a big umbrella.

We will all have our allergies and histamine reactions. The trick, I think, is to differentiate a true invader from pattern-structures (or “vibes”) that might remind one of abusive actors one has known, but are not really.

No doubt that there are plenty of charlatans and fuck-ups in the marketplace of psycho-spiritual models, techniques, and service providers (teachers, coaches, guides, et al.). To be clear: there’s a lot of stuff I wouldn’t want in this space. In fact, a lot of what’s driving me to create Cosmos is that I want an alternative to the spiritual-industrial marketing complex.

On the other hand, I have great respect for practices such as clean language, as well as other dialogical, therapeutic, and meditation practices. (“Technologies of the self,” if you want call it that.) There will be other people here who want to work in similar areas, and I want that to be OK. We are not going to let this space become uncritical, salesy, or culty.

I do believe everything should be open to feedback and critque. Perhaps it would important to establish some guidelines or best practices for doing so? What conditions must a critic fulfill (e.g., actually doing the practice, or reading the book, or what have you) for the criticism to be valid and taken seriously?

Tensions, conflicts, and reactions are good information. I hope we can continue to speak our minds. Candor with compassion is a good formula in my opinion.

Caroline and I rewrote the About page, btw (the ostensible topic of this thread, tut tut). Some of my additions were inspired by the discussion here and elsewhere.

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Thanks, Marco. Your words are fair and agreeable. I also think of all this as a dance of light and shadow. Without one there is not the other. Sometimes one finds oneself as the intensifying light which finally blinds more than it helps to see, then the next moment, before one knows it, and often as a surprise even to oneself, toppling into the dark and ominous shadow.

I planted some seeds here and there which may in time ripen and blossom, and also, apparently, left a basket of grenades painted to look like Easter eggs. Judge for yourself, folks.

“Candor with compassion” is perfect. Anyway, speaking for myself, I do feel I’ve topped out, overflowed and turned enough into the opposite, coming full circle, that I’m ready for a while to go the way of the vanishing point. Maybe this is a sign that I’m ready to be initiated into the mysteries of the Aperspectival?

Best to you, Marco; you are a fine fellow and I love you too.


Room for all


Desire to be here

Good song called house of glass

Marco, you are a true leader in the 21 st century sense - inclusive and taking the high ground

I like being high, and grounded, Brad :slight_smile:

PS. Thanks for the song. Strumming guitar chords feel good on a cold, snowy evening…

“And I believe there’s room here for both critical reason and transdimensional play, for clean language and dynamic space. I’ve really enjoyed all your contributions here and I hope we’ll all be able to continue working together in whatever configurations are healthiest and most generative.”

Hoping to create a generative mood, I offer here a snippet of a presentation by the mentors I trained with in using Clean Language. I have conducted a lot of research around this method and seek out opportunities to explore these ideas, less in a therapy space but in more of a literary space. For me, therapy and the language arts have a deep relationship, pointing to one another. I am in search of allies who love to explore metaphorical landscapes together, in perhaps unimagined ways.

This snippet comes from a longer interview with Clean Language Developers, Penny Tompkins and James Lawley. If we could cross fertilize between communities I believe we would activate some of our potentials to go into transdisciplinary directions. I am seeking new applications for evolving technologies of the Self. I do believe that to become a good enough comparitivists we need a method to sort through our turf wars, sort through opposing views and release the energy currently tied up in squabbles and food fights.

James: Because cognitive linguists, in the last 30 years or so, have discovered that much of our way of understanding the world is structured metaphorically. George Lakoff, Mark Johnson and dozens of other cognitive linguists, have shown that the way people think, their decision-making, their understanding and their choices are to a large degree mediated by their metaphorical constructs, most of which are out of awareness.

And one of the fundamental features of humans is the need to keep our internal world coherent. When our metaphors change, in order to keep coherence, the rest of our internal world and our behavior has to change. Otherwise we’d have the strange situation where we’d have one set of metaphors for the way the world works but we’d act as if the world was organized differently. The metaphors we generate are a fractal of our way of understanding and making sense to the world. When they change our way of understanding changes. So we see the world differently, we noticed different things, we take different choices without heaving to try and then, to our amazement, the world responds differently.

Penny: For instance, with a soldier coming back from Afghanistan with PTSD, you could work with their metaphor for their trauma rather than the actual events itself. And as the metaphor changes and evolves organically in response to the Clean Language questions, the night sweats stop and the panic attacks diminish. This is behavioral evidence of the correspondence of the embodied metaphor to the way we perceive the events in life – when the metaphor changes behavior changes as well.

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“I do believe everything should be open to feedback and critque. Perhaps it would important to establish some guidelines or best practices for doing so? What conditions must a critic fulfill (e.g., actually doing the practice, or reading the book, or what have you) for the criticism to be valid and taken seriously?”

How to give Clean Feedback

  1. This is what I like
  2. This is what I didn’t like
  3. This is what I would like more of-

When as a Critic you are communicating what you don’t like be sure you have a positive intention for the work itself. If you are in an angry or disconnected state you will communicate that.

What is the positive intention behind my objection for the work itself? Can the other person hear the positive intention behind my criticism?

If you are not able to do this then DO NO HARM as they say in the therapy world.

I have found good Critics are extremely rare, as most of us are schooled in deficient mental strategies for demolishing opposition. I believe these simple guidelines will contribute much to creating a safe container, so that more depth and span, can be realized in our learning communities, enhancing our meta-skills.

Thanks, Marco, for opening this up this vast topic.