Convening a Cosmos Wisdom Council

Continuing the discussion from Rough Draft of Sponsoring Elders (not ready for even a rough read):

Friday, 4/6
5–6 pm BST (10-11 am MDT / 12-1 pm EDT)

(convert time zone)

ZOOM: Launch Meeting - Zoom

@annroberts, @Douggins, and I will be meeting to discuss this proposal (a follow-up to Doug’s post linked to above):

I will share video to this topic after the event, but if anyone else in the @metamind group would like to join the meeting, please let us know!


I think this is a great initiative, and since I am over 60, I appear to qualify(!), but I am too busy for the time being and will follow things closely as best I can!


I am over sixty but the wisdom thing hasn’t kicked in yet.


We will be accepting nominations to the Fools’ Committee, too!


My godfather (the greatest narcissist Ive ever known, with the exception of my god mother) used to say -

With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone.

Har har … : )


The Divine Fools Committee would be fun. I will be glad to show up and offer support for the initiative.


My wife tells me I’ve only made it as far as wise guy.


Ten years shy of eligibility for eldership. But I have been a candidate for the Fools’ Committee for a long, long time…


Thought this fits in well with this thread and our CIIS focus of late (though it would be “foolish” to post in the Cafe thread):

The Council of Sages:

Quite a list of creatives and elders! Noted that Parker Palmer, a Quaker fella, made the cut. Their Academic Catalog lists this heading to describe the council:

…serve the Institute in an advisory capacity. The council assists the president in addressing the concerns of the school, forging its direction, and supporting its mission. Members of the council are appointed by the president in recognition of the prominence they have achieved in their respective careers and endeavors. Collectively, they have made a significant contribution to the arts, humanities, sciences, and spiritual practices.

Good luck finding the wise elders, @madrush… we seem to have auto-unanimously created the Fools’ Committee! Save us @annroberts or @Adelheid_Hornlein!!


Marco , this is really a lovely idea, and I think of my father living in South Denver, in his 80’s, who has some wisdom to share. With your permission, I will share this with him. I know he would need to become a member of Cosmos, but that certainly is affordable!


Do share it, Durwin. :slight_smile:

That reminds me of the video talk you did with your dad as part of the ‘Wisdom Factory’ series here: The Secret Promise of Aging with Christopher and Durwin Foster - YouTube (for others who might not have seen it).


Since fools rush in where wise men fear to tread, I’d like to be join the other fools here in their quest.:sunglasses:


Wendy! I’d love to hear your voice.

Rose liked it. A little about her: I’ve known her literally my entire life!

Hi All, The video from our meeting today—which I thoroughly enjoyed, thank you @annroberts & @Douggins!—is now posted up above. I felt that we explored some wonderful ideas about how we can help the ‘wisdom’ quality unfold most beautifully in our cooperative Cosmos. I look forward to reviewing the ideas we discussed, adding some notes to our recording when time allows, and following up with a second meeting next month.

I encourage anyone interested in Cosmos’ future organizational structure and processes to check out the talk and let us know your thoughts.


Checking it out now. Was traveling, Sorry to have missed it.

I enjoyed the conversation and it sounds like a lovely process. I want to share some random thoughts and feelings.

I think the value of the exercise, is in the attempt to get all perspectives expressed and on the table. When this happens ( which is rare) the system re-organizes itself, sympiopoesis in action. I like that the Wisdom Council is not ageist. Wisdom is generated through inter-generational initiatives. I favor creative anarchy. We are not yet at Cosmos large enough to need a governing body, although I do appreciate the idea of planning that. It seems our informality is an asset and we can pay closer attention in our small human sized gatherings. We live in a world of institutions that are too big to fail and that is not going to change any time soon unless we are are willing to work in the shadows for awhile. We can make ourselves indigestible as possible so that the big fish wont want us to chew upon. Timing is important. Creative and collaborative research, outside of the big organizational macro level infrastructures, that label and dismiss novelty. I sense that we can do some of this here.

We have nothing like this process in our current buy sell busy social media world.The US Congress , as Mark Twain said, is the best Congress money can buy. Perhaps small organizations can blend hierarchies and networks and achieve more satisfying outcomes. I am open to that idea. How does a social system, in a chaotic environment such as ours, share attention together? It seems to me that is of the greatest importance, as our flat screens are starting to reshape our perceptual systems in dysfunctional ways. I like that age and youth are not pitted against each other as has been done by a lot nefarious forces in big media and government, who claim that we dont have enough resources for each group to flourish, so neither group gets very much. Without a fully functioning autonomous elder hood a shared reality looks bleak for everyone. That remains largely an individual pursuit as our collective imaginations are filled with images of old people drooling in their oatmeal in an old folks home. And I have worked with the elderly and have seen horrible neglect, in the most expensive high end organizations. Relationships are crucial to functioning well at any stage of life but we seem to have rejected bonding with others in favor of competition and cognitive development. Those who work with the elderly are not given respect and are often treated terribly themselves. Advocacy for the vulnerable is frowned upon. Many of the advocates for the elderly, are often young persons who have no power. I have seen them struggle with the organization and it is painful to see them ignored and brushed aside. Profit making organizations that treat the elderly like a prison population. It is another big business, generating profits off of misery.

Once again the arts are the royal way to making the most out of old age. If we can have enough elders who make it to Post Rational Reasoning and can have a healthy attitude towards the future then we can reshape the this phase of life in our collective imaginations. When our expectations are low people conform to those low expectations. That’s why I do hundred push ups a day ( which I couldnt do when I was twenty!) We seriously underestimate the learning capacity of the elderly.

I look forward to reading Ann Robert’s study. Thanks to all participants!


Well now that was fun and it was a pleasure to share with such a receptive ‘audience’ this particular Wisdom process. @johnnydavis54 - I have had recent experience of my Dad and Mum-in-Law in residential care and being treated well AND it is soooo expensive.
In the recent addition’s to Erikson’s Life Cycle theory there are now three stages to Elderhood. - Active Wisdom, Old Age and Very Old Age. This has helped me to feel into my own elderhood at aged 67 where in the stage of Active Wisdom I am healthy ( spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually) and seeking to actively share my wisdom in the service of people and communities I care about. There will come a time where my frailty will increase. I am curious about this transition which I see would be in my 80’s LOL!. Then Very Old Age as a of what is called Geotranscendence where I would begin to withdraw from life in preparation for death. My Dad was 92 when he passed last December and he told me that he had to make a conscious effort to connect with the world and then he was happy to withdraw his consciousness to relax and just be.
@madrush I am intrigued with the process of engagement with all the constituent groups with Cosmic Coop that respects their differing roles and brings us all into productive relationship. Bill Torbert was one person I studied with and he had a phrase called ‘liberating disciplines’ which I loved. I used them a lot in my consulting work. (The PO3 and Wisdom Council are examples). In a ‘liberating disciple’ freedom and creativity are at the heart of letting new ideas. relationships, vistas, visions emerge AND yet there needs to be a rigourous structure or process so that people do not feel lost ad can sense from them that action can actually be agreed/take place.
@Douggins - Looking forward to taking the time, when you are ready, to following the conversation about what I like to call ‘being and becoming’ an elder.

This all feels very fertile ground and I am up for the next conversation (s).