Consciousness Seminars planning thread

Hi Johnny, you’re right, I am thinking about a larger pattern…

That is because the times for the planning meeting are not lining up on the Doodle. Below is the link again. As you can see, there are no times proposed when more than one person is available.

So that’s why I was proposing personally to hold a space on Tuesdays and Thursdays for whatever 4D wants to have happen…


That sounds good to me. Thanks for the clarification.

I imagine that once we get some continuity going, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, new habits will form, and groups within groups will emerge, and flow back into the continuum, and re-enter the dynamic (w)hole of the Klein bottle, pleasantly surprised by our paradoxes…


First, thank you Marco for your continuing efforts to pull things together on this and various other projects! I totally get it. (And if you think your kids own your schedule now, I hate to tell you that teen years bring little respite… LOL!)

But anyway, in the spirit of being the change I want to see:
In order for Ed to participate I would think a 9 PM start to be around the latest it would be fair to ask. So minus 6 is 3 PM for John and I (EST) and 1 PM for you. Starting the week of Nov 13th, with enough notice I can arrange time off (half-day or late lunch or whatever) to make any weekday that works for the group.
If this helps, I propose we use the first meeting space to specifically discuss Arthur Young’s The Reflexive Universe. Possible discussion starters:

  • What are the implications if light is indeed “conscious”?
  • What is convincing - or not - about 7? Other aspects of the model?
  • Is the model of decreasing, and then increasing, levels of ‘freedom’ helpful when thinking about the interrelation of consciousness and culture building - or changing - or ‘making’? (i.e., how can a reflexive universe inform a cosmic cooperative? :wink:)
    Something like that…

I’m going to go ahead and start Globes in a few days. I don’t know where we are with that, but Thursday night seems to be a good general meeting time (at least for the continental US). Like John, I think smaller, less formal talks can run parallel to the Spheres discussion without too much interference.

@achronon: I know you won’t be with us on that trip; I will surely miss your “wear your hip boots” guidance! But I think (if you haven’t already) you will find Ingold (Being Alive) to be much clearer in his aim and presentation. He seems postmodern, but I get the sense he is seeking a re-integration at a deeper level. Even if we don’t read the whole thing, I would love to go into Chapter 12 (I think) where he talks about space and place and get everyone’s thoughts. Maybe our second session if the first goes well enough?


Great! That works for me. And I will get cracking on Young. I have a bias though about the torus. The doughnut doesn’t move me as the Klein bottle does, with its curves and loops, opening us up to the paradoxes of the fourth dimension. However I sense there are deep relationships between these different kinds of topo-dimensions that are worth investigating. And I am very interested in what Young says about Light.

And perhaps these seminars could feedback into the Spheres 2 as does the Klein bottle loop into it’s own surface? I’m sure we can find some overtones and undertones between these texts and our own topological imaginations. The Sphere as I recall is non-orientable.

We are voracious readers. And so were the scholar-practitioners who came before us. I hope that we can dedicate our efforts to preserve and innovate so that the youngsters among us can have a clean start.


Well, I can tell both of you – @patanswer and @madrush – once you’ve got the kids allegedly managed, grandkids show up … some phenomena are mythic in proportion.

Since I’m the farthest out – timewise, that is – let me clarify that I hardly ever get to bed before midnight and I get up at 6:00 every morning just so I can get ready, breakfast and sort my mails and do a few little things before I take the grandson to kindergarten at 7:30. In other words, and seeing that we usually planned for hour-and-a-half sessions, I have no objections to starting even later (up to 10:30 pm my time if that would help any of you guys. Tuesdays are better than Thursdays for me, but Thursdays are fine.

Starting with Young works for me, and I find your discussion starters very suitable for our purposes since they address the key features of Young’s model as they relate to the issues that we find ourselves continually wrestling with (consciousness, matter, intent, action, and more). Knowing the group, I’m sure other “side topics” will arise, especially those that tie in with whatever else any of us may be reading on the side.

No, TJ, I haven’t changed my mind about Globes (or Sloterdijk in general). Given your recommendation of Ingold, I did order Being Alive, but as it has to come from England, it won’t be here till the week of the 13th at the earliest. I’ll give it as open a look as I can muster, knowing full well that I have a lot of postmodern prejudice to overcome. If I get the sense he’s actually saying something, it shouldn’t be a problem. (You see, I’m really old-fashioned when it comes to human interaction: if you’ve got something to say, say it, and I appreciate any speaker/writer who is willing to respect their listener/reader enough to try and be clear about whatever that is.)

As far as I’m concerned, all we need to do is firm up a day and time.


Awesome. In pencil, then:

Tuesday seems to be ideal, so if Nov 14 works, I can put in for the half-day. The following ‘slots’ work according to the above feedback.
12 PM / 2 PM / 8 PM
1 PM / 3 PM / 9 PM
2 PM / 4 PM / 10 PM

@madrush: The later the better for me to have a chance to get home and set up, but it’s understandable if you want to run it close to the time already dedicated to Cosmos Café. Unless something happens, I shouldn’t be more than 15 minutes late for a 2 PM session. I say you make the final time pick as we still rely on you for the tech side.

Indeed, there are times when time must simply be made! LOL
Thanks, everyone.


This is great. Thank you, TJ! It looks like the Cosmos Café is open for business. :coffee:

1 / 3 / 9 on Tuesday works well for me, with the first seminar on 11/14 being dedicated to Arthur Young’s Reflexive Universe. Wonderful.

If so, then I think I will schedule Spheres for Thursday evenings—monthly, taking the text in larger chunks till we’re through?—at 6 MT / 8 PT; this time could be more accessible to folks with day jobs in North America. Will follow up specifically on that thread.

And then…next spring/summer, Aurobindo, The Live Divine? That’s an exciting prospect…


All of that works for me. I trust, Marco, you will send us a reminder the day before as I am not good at keeping track of calendars. I think Globes will be more fun if we have alternate worlds to contrast and compare to it. As Sloterdijk is a bit of a neo-liberal it might be helpful for me to get into the mindset of such a person.

I am much more drawn to the visionaries who work with the Light directly. Aurobindo is a great researcher in that area and I would imagine a group reading of such an advanced person could help us illuminate our current paradoxes.


Heh, heh, heh … reminds me of a song from my youth: “1-3-9 the goose drank wine / the monkey chewed tobacco on the streetcar line / the line broke / the monkey got choked / and they all went to heaven in a little row boat.” In my childhood, we were obviously less politically correct and also less concerned about children’s sensibilities. Hardly a wonder I turned out like I did.

At any rate, I’m penciled.


:+1:Time off approved. Nov 14 is a go on my end.

(I had to table Sri Aurobindo’s The Human Cycle a while back to finish some other stuff, but I fully plan to return. So count me in if/when we get to him as well…)


I just want to mention @Geoffreyjen_Edwards here, since he entered his availability in the Doodle poll, but may not have seen the latest discussion.

Aw dang it. That would be Nov 15 at 5 or 6 AM in Australia right?..

So I’m unclear what the 1/3/9 means for Tuesdays - what time are we talking about? Tuesday is a bit of a problem for me, as I teach from 18:00 to 21:00 EST - not every week, but on the 7th and the 14th I’m on. Don’t know if that conflicts with your times. Thursday I am not available 15:30 to 16:30 EST, but the rest of the day I am available and I might be able to move the meeting on Thursday afternoon to another time slot if that is a problem. For Sloterdijk, right? For the Reflexive Universe, I haven’t been able to get close to finding time to read it.

That would be 13:00 MST / 15:00 EST / 21:00 CET that we were discussing. Outside the US, the 24-hour clock is more common and less confusing, I find.

The currently planned get-together for the 14th would be at 15:00 EST, which could make it tight for your evening teaching session, and we were going to kick Young around, as I understand it. Even if you haven’t read him, if you had time to sit in, it is not disadvantageous to have someone around who can sanity check what’s being discussed.

It was my understanding that the Sloterdijk sessions would be on Thursdays but just once a month.

OKay, I will do my best to be present for the discussion on the 14th!

What I am learning from this organizational process is how easy it is to let things get lost in translation. I am still unsure of where anything begins or ends in cyber world and it is becoming more illusive than ever. We still require linear time frames to make anything happen. Curtain goes up at 8 pm.

In the room, the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo…

Sharing attention is becoming more and more difficult as more and more voices and faces get introduced on this little screen, appreciated, and then disappear, not to be heard from until they return somehow perhaps on another thread, another site, another topic. The technology giveth and it taketh away, as fragile as are our attention spans and our quickly evaporating ideas and alliances.

Good news. I do find that the meet up sponsored by Carolyn and Marco, focusing on Carolyn’s text, is a very good model to follow. A text generated a panel discussion and this was moderated well by Marco and I enjoyed it and learned from my participation.

What I learned is that our current fractured politics is more caught up in the Euclidean geometry of our founding fathers than I realized. Our political personas evolve out of notions such as " It is self evident that all men are created equal." This is like an axiom out of Euclid.

I learned that I yearned for a Politics that embraced Paradox rather than attempts to eliminate paradox. I yearn for the excluded middle. A deviant logic in which contradictions are sometimes true. This is not the same as Truth is relative.

I also learned that other panelists have rich and varied experiences and that we can support our fellow citizens in this turbulent period to re-organize our ways of knowing.

I proposed that a familiarity with Topo-Dimensionality is a great help in making a transition from the Euclidean/Newtonian political framework of our past to a more friendly relationship to alternate ways of knowing/being/becoming.

Our language is pretty clunky, our vocabularies stuck in the old ways of organizing thoughts and feelings. Metaphors are important and we are starting, I believe, to entertain with new metaphors and narratives. All of this is recycled from lots of conversations, threads, YouTube videos, workshops and seminars.

So hey kids! Let’s do a seminar!

So I am wanting to create some boundary around this Nov 14th event. We are gathering to discuss what the hell this vague idea about a conference on consciousness could be. We are looking at Young and perhaps others in the future.

This meeting is not about the Globes adventure scheduled for some other time. Or Aurobindo.

I am a great believer in open/closure. We have no freedom if we have no constraints. I would like to point to the excellent planning that Marco and Carolyn put into the ongoing series. I think it is a good model to follow.

I am interested in using a text to bounce my ideas off of. And so the texts are important. I am concerned though that if we cast too wide a net we loose track of each other’s attention very quickly.

I just point this out to Marco, TJ, and Ed and Geoffrey whoever else may be paying attention that I understand this is an organizational meeting for the consciousness meet up. Have I got that right?

If it isn’t about that it is fine. But I like to prepare and do some homework to make the most of these encounters of the third kind. Thanks for your kind attention.


John, your thoughts above on a “politics that embraces paradox” deserves a dedicated thread, so I won’t touch on it here. Also, I’m heading out the door in a few minutes with my nuclear family to the Farmers Market, and then Target, followed by other errands, perhaps. So I will check in again later…

But TJ’s proposal, as I understood it, was to delve into Arthur Young on Tuesday on 11/14.

Do you think we still need a meta-conference on the seminar series per se? Or is it enough, at this stage, to assume that there is a time slot every Tuesday at 13:00 Mountain time (3 pm Eastern)—for some virtual meeting (on Zoom), which of course not everyone can or needs to attend every time, but which we know is reserved as topics arise?

If we assume this, then we could fill out a calendar with proposed seminars, topics, or meta-topics. I have some guests in mind whom I’d like to invite to present on themes of relevance to the micro-macro Cosmos. I imagine y’all might as well! But I like starting with our nucleus here; so it could be good to have our own planning meeting, too, if or when it feels needed.

Should we go ahead with Arthur Young on 11/14, but dedicate a future meeting to planning further seminars? How would we “plan” in trans-Euclidean space?


Thanks for the clarification. Perhaps that is not necessary, Marco, as it sounds like you have a plan. Thanks for making it clearer. If there is no need to be pro-active I wont be. I am off to smell the roses. Have a great day!


I, too, understood that we’d use the 14th to sort of beta test a seminar concept of sorts: TJ suggest a basic text and some questions on which we could focus to help us all concretize a number of topics, themes, notions, ideas, and concepts that have been kicked around as of late, from Sloterdijk to Carolyn’s essay-discussion series but even more importantly from a very foundational vantage point.

We would get together – whoever could make it – and use Young as a common reference point for sorting out our own fundamental assumptions and presuppositions about what we’re trying to figure out for and about ourselves.

While the very notion of “seminar” calls forth rather formal connotations, I found the idea of the café attractive in that … well, instead of holding the seminar in a classroom, why not meet in a café instead. Take a bit of the formal “learning” pressure off, open up the potential a bit more. It’s more than just meeting up to talk about G-d and the world; rather it’s more like who-is-this-God-guy-and-why-this-world? Chances are very good that we won’t “cover” all of TJ’s suggested questions and they will definitely serve as a springboard for follow-on, and these follow-ons would be enhanced, as I see it, but things, notions, ideas, reactions, feelings, and readings that each of us is bringing to the discussion. That is: a chance to explore, and to explore in more depth than if we were just bullshitting. It is a chance for us to “put our toes in the water”, if you will, to see if we’re reading to dive in or not.

You see, I see Young raising some profoundly fundamental questions about how we think/believe we perceive reality. He makes his underlying assumptions fairly clear and calls upon us to do the same for ourselves. Bringing those fundamental assumptions to our own conscious awareness will in turn have, I believe, significant impacts on what we think we are getting out of our readings (like Sloterdijk, or Ingold) and participation in other activities (like Carolyn’s series), as well in our everyday lives. Of course – and in keeping with the metaphor introduced in the preceding paragraph – I could be all wet about this, but when I picked up Young again this afternoon, I found myself struggling more than usual because of TJ’s basic questions on the one hand and John’s toroidal reservations on the other. In other words, I found myself thinking about the text in much different ways than I did the first couple of times I engaged it. (Personally, I think this is a good thing.)

And so, again, I think beta test is a good way to describe this. How structured must a seminar be? How open (free-form) is possible? Can/Should content be predetermined or should it reveal itself in the course of action? What might the Integral look like? Could it look like this?


I am reminded of a story about Wittgenstein. The great philosopher went to the chalkboard and said," The problem of Time." He wrote the word, TIME, on the board, took a long pause as the students leaned forward and then erased the word from the board. He announced," The problem of Time is solved."

I don’t know if the story is true but it charms me. He did conclude at the end of the Tractatus, ‘Whereof one cannot speak thereof one must be silent’ He later recanted, thank God. If the poets only spoke about what could be said we would be in real trouble.

Now I would be bullshitting if I claimed that I have mastered very much in life, literature or in philosophy. I can say with confinfidence that I’m a hopeless deviant, (departing from usual or accepted standards) and that my symptoms are getting worse.

So instead of trying to erase Time and consider the problem solved I would like to admit to defeat and accept that I don’t think anyone knows what Time is.

Nov.14th is a long way off (notice my spatial metaphor for time) and much can happen in the between then and now. As we use this shared space as a rehearsal for that event we could put on the table what is perplexing us or keeping us motivated. Keeping the energy flowing in this seminar, café, deep dive, is useful. I of course may be in more need than others of focusing on my motivation strategy. I just feel sometimes that opportunities are arising and disappearing so quickly that the experiment is already over before it began. But maybe I am just getting cranky.

A few days ago a terrorist attack killed eight people in NYC. They were killed on a bike path that I ride upon daily. Ask not for whom the bell tolls.