Consciously Evolving Language – Session 3 - 6 Oct 2020

Yes, in the meantime, it is “known” who wrote it, but it was the author’s wish that the book be published anonymously and posthumously. I am merely respecting the author’s own wish in regard to his work.

In many regards, I’m like you, John, just reading whatever attracts me, but there are a few works that attract me again and again. The Meditations is one of them. I have noticed, however, that what I find attractive has been and is changing, especially as I grow older. Han’s book (The Scent of Time) was one that serendipitously just “popped” up (Jeremy Johnson quoted a passage from it in a clip on Eutopia he released not all too long ago), and I enjoyed it immensely. I find myself much less interested in “information”, to be perfectly honest, and feel much more attracted to reading that I can savor instead.

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I am aware of this tension that comes in between different kinds of socializing media. Of course, print culture did things that tweet feeds can’t. Who savors a tweet? Or a chat fest?

I am wondering what determines information from savoring? For me the difference is in the tempo-rhythm. The long plot and character development of a complex play or fiction trains us to handle the big tomes of Gebser or Jung. Savoring happens when the endogenous imagery of a good writer works with the endogenous memories of a good reader. This kind of savoring in the library, of ancient and living voices, is a special kind of trance state that is easily disturbed by the noise in the nervous system, produced by external images emerging out of the wide use of techno gadgets. I am not against external images, but I agree with the warnings of some researchers that we are breaking down rapidly, what took centuries to build up, in our culture. This mania for info is a problem. Since I cancelled my Netflix over a year ago I tend to watch old black and white films from the 30’s and 40s before I was born. I find these old movies much more interesting than the computer generated crap on Netflix.

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Ed an article on Bergson

  • B time/ ‘duration’: time uncontaminated by space; continuous flow of interpenetrating moments

  • ‘reality is mobility’, change an essential feature of human conscious experience, and the condition of free will.

much more @ https://aeon.co/essays/henri-bergson-the-philosopher-damned-for-his-female-fans

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Ed, I am trying to post a hyper link to my essay which has a lot of images and it won’t send. I am incredibly frustrated with my lack of computer ease.

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Hi Kateherine, it turns out the file you were trying to upload was too large. The system has a 10 megabyte (MB) limit. I have added it to our Cosmos Cloud site and created a link here:

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Thank-you. After reading what I posted I realized I needed a bit more context. That piece of writing was a provisional essay for my friend Peter Coreth, who has a very large art collection installed in a 17th century manor house on the Czech /Austrian border. Peter is writing about the provenance of various pieces in his collection and I am addressing the aspects of the objects that are archetypal. In any case, the work is taken from a larger manuscript and is not yet polished. The both of us are trying to find the narrative of a book we want to write on his collection-- which objects we may include, etc. you can find the site for his museum at

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Thanks for all your efforts, Kate, and your perseverance in light of the technical issues. The site can seem quite confusing at first – we ALL struggled – but it does get easier over time.

And thanks not only for the essay, but for the background information which provides a bit more context, too. I hope I get to it this week, which is turning out to be busier than anticipated.

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Thank you kindly, for the link, Rick. A fascinating article in a number of ways.

Talk about the final throes of Patriarchy! The world had been thrown into upheaval in the early 20th century, what with the theories of Einstein and Planck’s quanta, and the uncertainty this evoked took hold on a number of fronts, not the least of which was anti-feminism and antisemitism. Still, Bergson’s influence was certainly broader and deeper than many would like to admit.

Even Gebser is somewhat ambivalent towards him. Bergson in only mentioned once in EPO I (Ever-present Origin, Part I) where Gebser “accuses” him of temporal “dualism” (hence a product, if you will, of the deficient Rational structure of consciousness. In EPO II, though, he gets a much more sympathetic treatment. As the article points out, Bergson’s philosophy can be summed up in four words: “Time is not space”, and this is certainly in keeping with Gebser’s own understanding. Not only does he find some praise for Bergson’s Creative Evolution, he even goes so far as to maintain: “Besides Bergson, Husserl is undoubtedly the most decisive thinker of the preceding generation.” (p. 409) He also names Bergson as the godfather of Proust’s oeuvre. I find it worthwhile engaging not only Bergson’s notions of élan vital (which even Gebser admits the German biologists of the time completely misunderstood) and durée, but his take on “intuition” as well.

Again, thanks for the pointer: time well spent.

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Ed et al, here is a recent contextual framing of the western perspective (review of a new book) that is indirectly related to some of the discussion. How would this affect western consciousness?

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Thanks to everyone for making this public space possible, a public space that allows us to experiment with social topologies, odd shapes and sizes, differences in scale, and to discuss our complexes in the pursuit of evolving our language.

And how do we write, in such a crowded, mental space, full of thoughtforms and viruses, make sense, as Lisa invited us to, of a Kleinian non-orientable surface?

And does such a surface have a depth dimension to go along with it?

This is my attempt, and I embrace my failure completely, before I even begin. Most of this report may be incomprehensible. It certainly makes me question my own motivations. I am hugely skeptical so I try my best to say what I have to say as plainly as possible while intensely aware of the impossibility. Like a cat, high on catnip, trying to catch her own tail.

Midnight, in Manhattan. I have watched, from across the courtyard, upon the fires escape, three shadowy figures, giggling, are having sex. I can’t imagine why anyone on such a chill night would engage in this behavior. They are taking selfies of one another while in the act. I assume they are high on drugs and alcohol. I draw down the shades and prepare for Dream Yoga, and try to dismiss this scene from my mind. I sleep for a couple of hours.

I wake up, and assume a good posture and meditate for an hour, giving a great deal of my attention to wishing other’s well. Like an actor or actress receiving an award thanks everyone-the crew, the director, the writers, etc.

When I return to bed, on my right side, I feel a deep peace through out my body-mind-world(s). I wear a mask and there is only darkness, and a fragile boundary. Out of the dark, a scene arises. A train moving towards a tunnel. From the outside of the train, my awareness floats, observing the dead bodies of many men, slumped in their seats, some bloody, heads and arms, stick out of the windows of the train. They are wearing white cotton uniforms, like prison garb… I assume there has been a massacre of unarmed prisoners.

Then, I am walking among the corpses, inside the train. I see one man with a bare chest has a red tattoo, like a star shape. As I enter the corridor of the train, I move towards the head of train, the control room, seeking for who is in charge, and we enter the tunnel. I feel the motion of the train moves in downward , curved shape. The train has changed from an old, coal engine, to a high speed electrical vehicle. When I get to the control room, I am surprised to discover that there is no one driving the train. No one is in control.

( Black out)

The next thing I know I am aware of a strong sensation in the third eye, an electrical current moves outward, from my cranium, and I direct my attention to the flow and stabilize it by imagining that there is a horizon in the distance, and the flow stabilized into a tunnel shape. I am aware that this is a tunnel produced by my mind, as my physical, earth body is asleep.

I can see through the tunnel an opening-and through the opening I can get a glimpse of a humanoid figure, moving in a field of light. I have a desire to move through the tunnel and join him but I am uncertain of how to do this. The figure creates a kind of signal. In one of his hands ( his left) he has a shape made of light, a shape like a cube, and he transmits this message through the tunnel, aimed at me. I perceive this as an electrical, magnetic, current like, feels much like a refreshing a program on a computer. It feels like what happens when someone tosses a ball to you and you assume a posture that can catch it. I am aware of making contact, with an intelligence that is similar and different from waking reality but there is considerable overlaps and we are working with a space that is curved. The tunnel is not still but moved much like the famous slinky toy we played with as kids.

Then, I am working in an organization, providing security for a network of psychic technicians. I sit and watch a trance session. Two persons, a man and woman, put a middle, aged black man, into a trance, The man in trance uses a lot of metaphorical language. He wakes up from the trance and leaves, I notice that the soft, cushioned chair, he sat upon, has an imprint of his body. In the area of the chair where his back was pressed, around the level of the chest, the chair has a spot where the fabric has been torn and it is the shape of a star, a gray star. Some of the stuffing beneath the surface of the fabric can be seen.

I then speak to the man and the woman who conducted the trance. I say," Language is much more than what is going on inside the person’s head. Most of the language a person uses in speech comes from below the neck. The organs of the body are in communication with all the other organs of the body. They overlap in their functions considerably, and they work 24/7.All of this activity gets turned into code by the brain which uses metaphors to develop these multiple currents of communication happening through out the body, which can be communicated to others who share a similar structure ."

I spoke this in a rush, with great enthusiasm, for I realized I was speaking from another dimension, that was both physical and mental, physcial and non-physical , simultaneously as well as sequentially. I am in more than one zone at the same time. This is very impressive to me and I it takes me awhile to hold the various pieces of the memory of this together.

When I wake up I try to put it on paper, with a bit of coffee, embracing my failure. We are doomed to fail but that is okay.My take on this, from the waking state, aware of the purpose of those of us who have take up the challenge of engaging in this course, are coming from different kinds of experiences, and yet similar enough to map across via metaphor, borrowing from the sense of a para-consistent logic, as what happens with the Klein bottle.

Making the visible, invisible, touching the weave of the in between of the surface and deep structure. The ‘John’ who is writing this report, reactivates the psycho-semantic field, and communicates from a fifth dimensional reality that passed through a four dimension ( the bloody corpses in the train) and has returned to the ordinary 3D grid. But he can remember that he remembered and he can remember that he can also easily forget.

And where does the meta-subject perceive from? About this none of my books will show. We have a lot of models and theories but none of them make much sense to me. I am working on this. Thanks, again, for sharing with a meta-attention the very long description.

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John, Your dreams are so remarkable. Thanks for sharing them.
I wanted to made some comments about time/space but am behind in my research. I have a pinched nerve in my leg but will be back in the fray soon.

Only one quick thought about the difference between time and space–which may seem too simplistic and woo woo, I admit. But it seems pretty apparent they are separate dimensions where we are. This is not to say they cannot become the same thing on a higher dimension. Here I think I am back to the Ontological Status of God according to Parmenides–the solid gold sphere thing.

But I must find from where everyone is speaking in terms of Bergson.
The New Theory of Western Civ was interesting. Thanks. Still have to review the article on Salt that was suggested and I think I have a copy of Meditations on the Tarot at my house in Europe but haven’t read it --looking forward to it. One of my most favorite authors concerning hermetic theory is Rene Guenon.

And one last thought lest Lisa despair of me ever staying on topic, is the observation that the Klein paradox seems the same one offered in alchemy. One is faced with an opposition of two irreconcilable opposites and call in Mercury to resolve it–otherwise: imaginative thought. This brings about transmutation into a third condition where opposites are integrated.

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I want to inject some Poetry-Music…

The Ghosts Of Tomorrow

Madeleine Peyroux

Here we are
Gathered here
Dressed in our finest drinking whiskey and beer
Gathered to pay tribute
To the Ghosts of a Tomorrow
That never comes

Hey bartender
Put that bottle down
My head’s already spinning way too fast around
But I’ll make one final toast
To the Ghosts of a Tomorrow
That never comes

May you all be healthy
May you all be strong
May you always find yourself where you belong
May your adventures take you there
When the troubles come may you be spared

Now I never watch the time
But time is watching me
I’ve had enough of running from my memories If I stay here I’ll be one
Of the Ghosts of a Tomorrow
That never comes

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The briefest example of “time is not space” is Zeno’s arrow paradox. Bergson repeatedly refers back to this in his writings.

From Wikipedia:

In the arrow paradox, Zeno states that for motion to occur, an object must change the position which it occupies. He gives an example of an arrow in flight. He states that in any one (duration-less) instant of time, the arrow is neither moving to where it is, nor to where it is not. It cannot move to where it is not, because no time elapses for it to move there; it cannot move to where it is, because it is already there. In other words, at every instant of time there is no motion occurring. If everything is motionless at every instant, and time is entirely composed of instants, then motion is impossible.

At the risk of oversimplifying…: Bergson wants the reader to witness that we (in daily life, scientific study, etc.) frequently divide up time into space. The division of the arrow’s trajectory may be useful but it neglects that instances in time do not physically exist.

So back to @noibus’ extractions from the article he posted earlier in this conversation (Duration is “time uncontaminated by space; continuous flow of interpenetrating moments” and “‘reality is mobility’, change an essential feature of human conscious experience, and the condition of free will.”): taking the physicalistic/mechanistic view alone is ill-equipped to understand the infinite breadth and depth of human experience, and hardly touches upon the phenomenon of consciousness. The fact that a mechanistic approach is essential for most of scientific research does not mean that everything in life can be accounted for in reductionist, nothing but mechanistic terms.


How all of this relates back to your Consciously Evolving Language Sessions is beyond me. Bergson does speak a bit about how this “time is not space” relates to language in his first book Time and Free Will:

“The word (specifically a noun), with its sharply defined contours, the brutal word, which stores what is stable, common and consequently impersonal in the impressions of humanity, destroys or at least covers over the delicate and fugitive impressions of our individual consciousness.” -pg 132

Language, like the scientific division of space, transforms our psychological states into “a juxtaposition of inert states”, recording the generic rather than the unique and unrepeatable qualities. I think of love based on my lifetime experience; you have your lifetime of love to draw from. Perhaps the poet, if @madrush is willing to accept this statement, has to somehow use language against its own "spatialising, generalising and separatist tendencies. "

I look forward to watching this groups recordings some day soon. One benefit of taking an outsiders perspective … at least I can press pause or rewind and rewatch to contemplate any difficult topics you might discuss!

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Thanks for this, Douggins, very nice Bergonian overview.

One point I would like to note, however, as it does relate more directly to the CEL sessions. You note, referring to Bergson, of course:

There is a way of reading this that makes “language” the bad guy, the limiter, the ball-and-chain of the human endeavor, a reading that gives the impression that it is language that is holding us back. I don’t see language like that at all.

Language, by itself, as a phenomenon, doesn’t do anything. Language, in and of itself, has no agency, as far as I can tell. As I have noted elsewhere, language, if it’s anything, is a reflector of the human condition and experience. If language “spatializes”, it is, to my mind, because that is how we experience “reality” (whatever that ultimately is). We all know, for example, that the earth rotates and revolves around the sun, but we still say that the sun rises and sets, because that is our millennial-long experience of the sun. It may not be scientifically accurate, but it certainly is “real”.

Language as I am speaking of it here is a remarkable, if not mysterious, capability unique to humans. It is a result of our particular evolutionary path, perhaps, but it is language that enables us to think and say just about whatever we want. There is no natural limit to expressability in human language and we need to honor that. But, it’s our capability/capacity/tool/medium (however one wishes to characterize it) and as such, it is within our power to adapt it as necessary to reflect whatever new experiences we experience. If there is a “problem” (which I don’t think there is), it is with us not language.

I say all this not to quibble, far from it, rather simply to reinforce my own understanding of the role of language in our existence. As the kabbalist Carlos Suares once noted, the Ultimate Mystery is the notion “There is”. The Corollary Mystery is that we can say it.

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Something like this:

Or:

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I would add that, in my opinion only, understanding the context in which language emerges and how society, religion, philosophy, art and science affect our understanding, experience and expression is related to our discussions.

Language evolves differently depending on where one wishes to focus which we have seen in the expressions of dreams, symbols, art and words themselves (Word of God, Word of Allah, etc.,) and also words in philosophy: For example

Blockquote

For logical empiricists, philosophy doesn’t deal with ideas or things; it deals with statements, sentences, propositions. By putting together a series of true statements, it’s possible to create what Wittgenstein, in the “Tractatus,” called a “model of reality,” a representation of the world in language. The content of statements about the world is determined by experience, including the refined and controlled type of experience that comes from scientific experiment.

Philosophy’s role in the search for truth is to examine the form of our statements, to insure that they are syntactically and logically correct. To this end, the Vienna Circle drew on the symbolic logic developed by the English philosopher Bertrand Russell, which offered a way to reduce any sentence to a series of symbols and formulas…

Blockquote

That is one avenue to consciously explore language (not my object of devotion) whether that is of interest is another story. All seem to tie to the other stories, symbols, images, art, myths, dreams…consciousness considered thus far?

Each of us is different in our approaches, interests, expectations and attempts to understand what consciously evolving language means and I imagine that is part of this exploration.

I am sure Lisa will not be shy in telling us (me) if we are too far afield from her intentions.

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Unfortunately, Rick, the link to the New Yorker article is unavailable to me. It wants me to subscribe; I don’t want to. I’m sure I would have found the article of interest.

But, since I have you on the line …

I couldn’t agree more … at least that’s how I see what we’re doing.

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Ed, try going to https://aldaily.com/ they allow free access to these articles… (3rd down on the left) there is also one today (center) under new books. Try that? That is how I gained access without subscribing…hope that helps.
rick

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This morning, on my fire escape, where I contemplate these days, as libraries and churches, are closed, I write in my journal. I pause in the writing as I get a twinge of something half remembered…The sounds of the city, the appliances, the repair crews working at a distance, creates the familiar humming…and I close my eyes and let the humming get softer…envelopes me…penetrates…and the sun’s wamth upn my back…and the coolness of the breeze…contrasts with the sounds…and something wants to unfold…what is this happening?

I am in another apartment where I lived forty years ago…a mouse infested little room, with crooked floors, and a bass player who lived next door, tormenting me with his practice sessions late at night…and I was reading Plato…the Symposium…where Diatoma, the wise woman, teaches Socrates about love…and tears come to my eyes…and I remember a boy in the library when I was a teen who was stressed out because he could not understand the Theory of Forms…
I felt the two images…images of images…co-refer in the theater of my own mind…with lights and views and printed materials…and I went up to the roof of the old tenement building and looked down below as the workmen repaved the street with a stinking black pitch…and I feel the tempo-rhythms of a the East Village and the Big City all around me…360% panoramic…and a Big Sky…and I feel a great pride that I could , finally, understand Plato…as the teenager in the library could not…and I felt proud to be alive in the Big City… I was 24 years old…

And then, before I open my eyes, as I feel the return of the body of the man who is 66 years old…on the firescape…and in between the teen and the 24 year old and the elder man ‘I’ am…there is a gathering of these different and overlapping states of mind…that come out of one another…as when we turn the handle and the jack in the box comes out…but it is different now…and I don’t know who or more precisely what has created this inner/outer imagery and the capacity for holding the ‘memory of the memory’…and the story that I use to tell a story…and to what purpose?..

I jotted down in my journal that I have yet to discover the roots of such a verbal/ non verbal performance…it seems to have a life of it’s own…and who is receiving or giving a message and to what or to whom? I still, at my ripe age, I continue to share with the teen ager a confusion about Plato’s theory of Forms…but I now know what I didn’t know then…that nobody understands Plato’s Theory of Forms…and that I don’t understand it cheers me up rather than depresses me as it did the teenager who thought he was cognitively impaired…

I wonder if language is ever by itself. Cognitive theorist, Maturana, claimed something just as provactive as you have, Ed. He said," Everything that is said is said by someone." He also adds," Everything that is said is said to someone, even if that person is absent." So, a first person and second person are lurking around in our most private language games. It’s what we often call talking to ourselves.

And I am pretty sure that wherever language comes from it is not a neutral tool that we can pick up like a hammer and nail to install something. It can be that but it is also much more than that depending upon who is using it. For me, language is less about self expression and more about modeling language itself, especially as when we read the voices of the dead, a spooky action at a distance, we enter the weave of the writer’s rhythms, and find our bodies change, drift off in the liminal zones, our orientation in time and space are altered. And you can’t enter the same river twice. You can’t even enter the same river once. Memory is a creative act. Remembering a memory again alters that memory. There is no whole truth and nothing but the truth that anyone can swear to. We do the best that we can and language, of course, can help even as it often constrains us.

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Ed P.S., some of the sites will give 1 to 2 articles per month for reading. It also helps to to clear cookies occasionally to regain access.

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