Anthony Bourdain / suicide / mental health / Life / personality / reality


(Durwin Foster) #22

Wilber is also an overt champion of LGBTQ, via his presssing on Shambhala to publish “Soulfully Gay” first in the Integral Books series, despite their protests. Also, his friendship with the Wachowski’s. So I think simple ideas about cognitive vs. somatic and relational breakdown pretty quickly when we look at the work of the people who have made significant contributions.


(john davis) #23

It is like that scene in Hitchcock’s Rear Window. The James Stewart character has broken a leg and is confined in the back room of his apartment. In his boredom, he looks through a telescope, and observes the neighbors, who are in the middle of a variety of actions, and he naturally uses his imagination to fill in the gaps.

I dont know if you know that movie, Durwin? As a New Yorker who watches the neighbors a lot I’m amused by it. Last month, I reported to the cops a break-in, as it was happening. I saw the robber climb through the window. They caught the guy. At first I didnt want to get involved but I knew if I just watched that something really bad might happen. I took a risk. I identified the guy. I will have to testify, etc. but it was, I felt, my duty.

I have always identified with James Stewart’s character. It is a deep exploration into the voyeur kind of culture we live in. We observe and make quick decisions and move on and we can be wrong.

I think these forums and the videos produced and the many conversations I have participated in are a lot like that movie… We have to make a rough guess among many options. We dont know what others are aware of at any given moment. Speculation is rampant and it seems inevitable.

And you think my simple ideas break down pretty quickly…maybe you are right.

Yes I think you are right about Wilber’s interests in the social and that Almaas is into individual change and I believe both have championed LGBTQ causes. I know both of them have expressed a wide range of interests on a wide range of topics. And they have had long careers that are not over yet. Wilber has a history of changing his mind. And that may happen yet again . I’m glad to hear that you have a background in Clean Language. As we are both studying Sri Aurobindo, I wonder what impact that might have, on how we have evaluated Wilber thus far?

I may, indeed, have a been too simple and so look forward to future illuminations. Thanks, Durwin, and once again, good luck.


(Marco V Morelli) #24

This is definitely an “alternatives to Wilber” site. I will own that. But it’s not an anti- Wilber site. After a decade of talking about everything through Wilber’s particular (extremely valuable) lenses, yet experiencing rapidly diminishing returns from the community surrounding his work, I decided to turn the radio dial and tune into other frequencies. I can still access (and use and appreciate) Wilberbian wisdom when I want or need to. But I have de-centered AQAL Integral Theory from my own personal worldview.

I would say Infinite Conversations is a framework-inclusive, not framework-centric platform. I created this site pretty directly out of my frustration with what I perceived to be a degradation of the intellectual culture (a judgment of depth) surrounding Wilber’s work, in ways often promulgated by him. And I never even thought it was that bad…it just got repetitive and boring. I decide I would rather change the subject.

But in principle, we could read and talk about Ken here…and if we did, I’d really want to give him his due. Actually read his books. Talk about his ideas. (I am totally uninterested in the pro and anti-Wilber bickering that goes on elsewhere.) It’s just that he already has a platform dedicated to himself—so why would the world need another?

I’d rather create a space for myself—and ourselves—to do things our way, and read widely and diversely what speaks to us now. I prefer to develop my own depth judgments based the kind of 1st and 2nd-person messy processes we’re engaging with here, rather than applying a pre-packaged 3rd-person map to all phenomena by default, which I’ve often observed Wilber’s followers doing.

On secod thought, characterizing this platform as an ‘alternative’ is actually misleading, since it presumes that Wilber is the central, default, or mainstream choice for integral discourse, which I don’t think is right. His contributions are indeed great, but I am more interested in what the participants here have to give—what we are creating and contributing. I would rather find the integral amongst ourselves.


(Durwin Foster) #25

I definitely see the platform as focused on the growing the relational and cultural aspects, and I find that really valuable.

Yes, I hear you Wilber shouldn’t be central by default…I thought of that, but not until after I posted.

I am struck by one line from Freinacht in respect to politics:. " Who gets to be morally pure and sexy". The conflict theory part of me sees so many interactions as being characterized by these drives.


(john davis) #26

The Thursday deadline for decision about the next Cafe has arrived. As there may be no consensus ’ I want to float an idea. Could we frame the tragedy of Anthony Bourdain’s recent suicide into something bigger that this particular sad event?

Depression and anxiety are rampant in our culture, some would say it is a norm. Teen suicide is a menace. Reckless behavior is a result of negative self formations. Social injustice arouses wide spread discontent. Illness and inevitable death awaits us all. We have been here before.

I came across an essay ( a bit technical but accessible) about the brain as time machine. Depression is when the past dominates, anxiety is produced by a fearful future. If we have an alien self image that is colliding with a public self image, disturbances can occur. We become increasingly disoriented.

Sometimes, when people get what they want, they acturally get sad. Success can create depression as has happened with many rock stars like Keith Cobain, for example. Depression strikes the old, the young, the rich, the poor and the physically healthy. We also have immense untapped potentials that could modify and transform depression into highly creative adventures.

Simultaneity_Temporal_Structures_and_Observer_Pers…----(8._On_Time_Experience_in_Depression_H._M._Emrich,_C.Bonnemann_and_D.…) - Copy.pdf (834.3 KB)
So I propose that those who know Bourdain ( I dont know him) could reflect upon their feelings and some of us who are inclined could skim the article, and perhaps refer to other recent Cafes that have been engaged with Time, such as the Rovelli discussion, and develop together something fresh about the terrible existential threat that we are having to deal with as global alarm continues to create really bad moods.

Creating compelling future(s) is what keeps people going in the midst of violent changes of circumstance. People can be wonderfully creative with Time. I imagine this can be an interesting area to explore. I can even come up with a clean exercise to demonstrate what I want to have happen! I am open to other ideas. Thanks!


Cosmos Café: Men Talking about Depression and Suicide after the Death of Anthony Bourdain [6/19]
(Mark Jabbour) #27

Hey @madrush, that list, now that’s dark! I’d never have thought of such a thing (to google it?). But, in convo with psych-girl, she suggested I find a “group of people” like myself to talk with, that I, “didn’t have to pay” (as I do her). I laughed and said, “they’re all dead, and most of them killed themselves. And I’ve lasted longer.” (Wallace, Thompson, Kerouac, Hemingway) and now Bourdain. Funny thing is - if you put us all in a room, we’d likely as not go at one another, fueled by booze and vanity.
I enjoyed yesterday’s podcast. Good chat. cheers.


(john davis) #28

It might be that being a successful writer puts some people at risk. There are also plenty of writers who quietly drank themselves into the arms of oblivion. If we pass out prozac perhaps we will feel better about ourselves? But would we want to write anything at all?

And what about the moral leaders, like Sri Aurobindo and Martin Luther KIng, who rallied people for a worthy cause? Were they free of depression? I doubt it. It is what we do with our affective zones and how they can resonate with others, that is most important. We should be wary, as Haraway says, of the Hero’s Myth. But what would do without any heros?


(Douglas Duff) #29

This proposal opens the dynamics of the conversation, so thank you for this @johnnydavis54…it also states that the reading isn’t required, thus a supplement to the topic. I’d like to read it, if able! And, since little else has been determined for next week, I second that we go with this topic.

@Mark_Jabbour: will you have an introduction to guide the conversation? Your description of Bourdain near the end of the previous Cafe on 6/12 helped one like me (hardly knew the guy) to understand his depths of contribution and his sincerity and would be a good place to start. I think your "Agenda item" listed above (personality, i.e. personal reality versus a collective/universal reality…) touches upon a core factor of the mental health issue.

And, as a note of respect (a note for myself only, perhaps, but nevertheless): please keep in mind that some amongst us may remain uncomfortable with the topic in general, whether due to personal experience or the subject matter. Also, to draw out any conclusions of how one should “be” might be best left to personal accounts rather than collective diagnoses. We appreciate comments from someone like @Michael_Stumpf who stated above direct personal experience. Only wish for us to be aware of the possibility that others are in the midst of this difficult reality.


Cosmos Café: Men Talking about Depression and Suicide after the Death of Anthony Bourdain [6/19]
(LaughingCryingDancing) #30

Hi,Douglas;thank U for this ;I am interested in actually participating in this Cafe’,if only to maybe offer my seashells of experience.Thing is I am very challenged when it comes to negotiating the technology to getting into cyber reality,my own inner cyber realness is awkward.So maybe I could get a pre-walk through?Peace Be With U & Yours,LaughingStumpf


(Mark Jabbour) #31

@Douggins, short answer is “yes”, I’d be “happy” to, if and when it’s decided to pursue this topic in the Cafe; and, any and all would be welcome. And yes, it’s a sensitive, intimate subject - perhaps the most. Are “we” up to it?


(Mindful AI) #32

This topic is continued here:


(Durwin Foster) #33

I’ve spent the last five years in friendship and collaboration with an integrative philosopher, Jeffrey Quintero, whose insights include that time moves, not from past to present to future, but via emergence from potential to actual to formal.

Also, Jeff and I are using his “qualitative science” – qualia resonance method – to glean insights into depression which we can hopefully share soon.


(john davis) #34

I’m curious, Durwin, is there a post-formal, in the mix? Sounds like an extremely interesting approach. I love the idea of the qualitative being sponsored in our group dynamics. I have tried on occasion to mix regular discourse with an odd clean question with very mixed results. Qualitative research methods lag behind in my limited experience

. As I work outside of academia it is difficult to organize anything on a large scale but I have hope that others can find new ways of working. Aurobindo might point out that there is a kind of consciousness that is beyond the qualitative or the quantitative.

In the meantime, depression can be relieved by many ways and from different sources. Reading is my favorite way. Movies is another. I doubt that we could make it without the arts. The antidote to suffering, some poet said, is beauty.


(Durwin Foster) #35

That’s a good question, Johnny, in that it begs the developmental question, re: a progression from pre-formal, to formal, to post-formal. The intersection between Jeffrey’s Qualence philosophy and Wilber’s with its focus on constructive-developmental understandings has been an ongoing dialogue between Jeff and I over these years of working together.

What can be definitely corroborated has been the 8 zones that show up in Wilber-V. Those zones seem to definitely exist, as part of the differentiation from modern culture to metamodern. Interestingly, Terri O’Fallon, who has joined the Aurobindo group, her model also confirms the 8 zones.

I have been interested in addressing the previously under-addressed issue of men and depression (the corollary being women and addiction), and developed a website on that topic several years ago, with Marco and Kayla’s help. (I probably have it up in the marketplace).


(john davis) #36

Thanks, Durwin. I am sure the 8 zones exist as I see them showing up everywhere. But what are we supposed to do with it all? I do, admit, to being a perceptual kind of person and like to work with my hands. I gesture a lot! And a perceptual space that can work with abstract and concrete is not easy in the current situations on line which are not set up to accommodate a lot of movement. We sit and type. This is already a great reduction in what we can intuit about the whole much less express adequately via language games for shorter attention spans.

Our zoom conferences are helpful in contrast, as we are more face to face even if it is highly contrived techo derived version. A flat screen is a great diminishment in our sensory acuity.

At any rate, I use the future to by-pass where I get stuck and am alert to falling into old traumatic memories ( usually of the child hood variety). So future memories can be helpful. To imagine that there will be a time when I can sit in the shade of a tree I planted long ago and listen to the sounds of nature, and relax in the lush forgiveness of the color of green, gives me a sense of calm and resilience in the midst of discord and grief. How does one operationalize that?

And when you get depressed, what would you like to have happen?

This kind of question, invites a performance space, that does not allow one agent to evaluate another in pre-given conceptual slots but encourages emergence. This, of course, would be a question among many other questions.

I think how the genders meet and greet depression of great interest. Thanks, again, for the dialogue, Durwin. Cheers me up!

Oh, by the way, I got the post-formal rationality notion from Jennifer Gidley’s paper, which we studied a month or so ago. She has much to say about that concept. If we want something badly enough we might get it.