Cosmos Café [11/6] - Developing a Sense of Agency With Invisible Worlds

Re: Agency /Invisible Worlds: this is possibly my favorite cafe gathering of the many I’ve seen. Connected strongly with all of what everyone present expressed and drew, though the verbal description of what it’s like for myself when my energy is at its fullest/best, most closely matches Marco’s verbal description—intensely pleasurable to hear this (my own) experience described in detail!
Marco: love your word “voluminous”—feels like a compound of luminous plus volume, Also “voluptuous” which is apt and surprising in regard to invisible energies which counter-logically feel somehow embodied. A sense of totality and everywhere-nowhere “sparkling” clarity, beauty and coordination with (all prepositions apply!) the Whole which iin turn includes (and magnifies) multiple complexities into overall harmony, and all are constantly changing, waving, flowing, and as you say, Oceanic

Many thanks to all of you, Michael, John, Doug and Marco for sharing your worlds so richly and generously.

PS: at about 3/4 of the way or so through, the video stopped with an error message, so did not hear the last part and hope to another time.


Thanks, Ariadne, for your feedback and your ongoing support of our experiments. It is nice to know there are folks out there who are joining in.

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I only regret that I still have trouble staying on top of where and where gatherings are happening. I just stumbled on this one which spans so many of my “obsessions” ie, more than human (thanks to whoever mentioned plants, too, by the way! many of my own extraordinary moments are and have been with trees/plants, not only animals, or with elements, such as wind, stars, dirt, stone, fire, water… But of all the animals, birds are the ones I’ve been very very close to the longest, since early childhood, and every day and night—mockingbirds song all nigh—) of my life.) So much appreciate Doug’s white-throated sparrow song/story! Also, Michael’s thoughts on trauma/pain and learning to work with them as part of the relationship with energy/awareness. I could go on, but this is too long a comment already.

I do have some questions : which Eisley book were you mentioning early on? Who is the author of Super Consciousness? Which Stevie Wonder album mentions mystical relations with plants? And which Steiner source were you all speaking about?

Thanks, John, for coordinating the gathering and eliciting the “best energy” experiment.


I quoted from William James and Richard Bucke, both are in Colin Wilson’s book Superconscious. I also referred to Rudolf Stiener’s Language and the Spirit of Language. There is a link to that short essay at the top of the page. Doug has become a good person to consult about references. We are trying to keep track. This archive might become valuable as tool in research creation. We can, with practice, become more self-reflexive as a group. This would open us up to enormous possibilities. Thanks again for your enthusiasm. It is contagious!


The Secret Life of Plants,Stevie Wonder 1979 Oct.:sunglasses:


Since I don’t know how to reply to all four of you, I am commenting to you here , Michael. I was inspired today to finish a poem I’ve been working on, and even though it may go through a few more edits, it feels very much like a thankyou/repy to your invisible worlds cafe explorations.

Secret Water
for Michael, John, Marco, Doug

Millennia of snowfall and snowmelt
still flow underground through desert land—

Mojave, Black Rock, Painted, Petrified,
Sonoran, Chihuahuan, Great Basin —

unreachable deep in alluvial bedrock
under Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico…

sometimes I can hear water’s regional
dialects, faint burble of water-tongues

resembling birdsong or spirits…

Sometimes audible creeks rush up fretwork
of cottonwood and juniper, exhale

rainclouds breaking up, water-falling.

Sometimes we dance the water-dance
the whirl of infinitesimal seas—H and O

a hundred sextillion molecules do-si-do
millions of times every moment—

and in our own limbs, fossil waters—
so old they quenched the thirst of lizard-birds

and legged-serpents and dawn horses, alive
and dying before we were born— feel

how water moves mind over tree-skin
or pixels of color, how we speak

even when we are only water
again—and air and earth and fire.


Title song for Secret Life of Plants! I love it. Thanks again.


I appreciate your words Arianne,they form a metaphor for the Inner-work healing of Trauma-Pain & Emotions & speak to one who needs to develop a Ear(Third) so that one can come to the Inner Healer.Thanks again,Michael


Hey, Mark thanks a lot for posting this, just finished it…so profoundly insightful. Oddly, a modern-day philospher has made the explicit prediction that birds will be the species which takes over from humans. Wish we could see that world unfolds…


What??? So, @madrush @Ariadne has this (whatever) it is, completely gone off the rails? Yeah @madrush, we should talk, or not … what ever.

Hello, Mark
I don’t understand what you are saying her or why you are including me, Ariadne, in your comment to Marco. Could you clarify what the issue is? Thanks.

I think this is another case of cross posting madness! Easy to do on this site.

I am guessing @Ariadne is referring to the Loren Eisley piece posted a couple months ago above. Just a guess though @Mark_Jabbour

Also wondering who this mystery bird philosopher is, Maia? I wouldn’t mind reflecting on that, if you could provide an essay by this mystery author.

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Yes, I was indeed responding to the Eisley piece on the Fire Ape.
But, sorry, I don’t know what or who you mean by “bird philosopher”. If you explain further, I’d be happy to reply!

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Oh! I think I know what you mean by “bird philosopher”. He is not a bird philosopher, he’s a modern day Druid (self-given name to his spiritual orientation, he’s an author and commentator on just about everything. Name is John Michael Greer. I just find that his statement about birds being the next apex species VERY interesting, but he does, in my opinion, say some lame things, too!



Today this showed up in my inbox, so had to post it, remembering Douglas’ story about hearing this bird and whistling back and her/his responding in kind… that story is still with me.
The Tsalagi/Cherokee call the sparrow Principle Bird (in the same way that they call themselves Principle People). This is a thread of my heritage I am following… There’s a lot for us learn about our avian friends, isn’t there?


Thank you for this, kind Friend! I had (previously) been unaware of such a strong connection to
mes amis aviens. Perhaps I had taken their existence for granted. When something is always present, we tend to tune out its significance. Johnny does his best to tune out the NYC noise in order to retain the liminal living.

A few thoughts:

  • I mentioned in a separate conversation reminiscing about days in which I spent hours climbing trees. the metaphor I sought was of a grounded ecological view, yet high enough to seek out the wonderment of nature and the universe. Treetops are not high towers:

  • Birds naturally have a birds-eye view. As we learn that maybe we do some “thinking” outside of our “bird brains”…we can begin to imagine the sorts of occurrences experienced by birds or trees or the wind. Generation after generation of other species have their own philosophies.
    Love of wisdom. What is wisdom? defined as “clever, skillful, intelligent, or wise” …one can map the ideas behind these words onto the clever crow, the skillful sparrow, the wise owl. But beyond anthropomorphism, there is the birdness we cannot explain. The wisdom of not having an opposable thumb, of nesting in a liminal space such as a treetop (the best of both worlds). Humans have words for almost anything imaginable, but words do not necessarily cover all of the imagination and experience.
  • To share thought space is harmless and great. But, as some of us notice, thought space is not solely cognitive engagement…it manifests into the physical. It manifested when I shared language with the sparrow. I do not remember if I shared with others here that the sparrow also infused me with the language of its space, of its realm of understanding and processing the surrounding environment…its agencement…the sparrow’s environmental layout or structure was shared. How?
    I am brought to tears of wonder right now… this is the life path that has beauty and meaning. This is what it truly means to me to exist in the world. When I am down or out of agencement with these invisible worlds, I am not living. I am not a true self. How do we share such modes of living with the dead-inside surface worlds? Not by force. Many sacred thoughts involve “be the change” or “let your life speak”…when it comes to sharing the attunement to invisible worlds, bringing the abstract into the concrete worlds proves challenging. A core component is some peaceful anarchic existence with your surroundings…others will hear you speaking as you glide across floors, lift off into space, swing from the trees. A core component is the sharing, the conversations cradled with care, whether with Team Human or with our friends from the invisible landscapes. Thank you, gracious @Ariadne, for leading me to the waters of the virtual inkwell.

I am so deeply moved by what you express here, Douglas, all of it—your questions are my questions, your wonderings, too, and your reverence . What a beautiful sensitive being you are.

“Birds or trees or the wind… I am brought to tears of wonder right now… this is the life path that has beauty and meaning.” Oh, yes. Yes.

You’ll love this, Doug: while I was writing this very post, my beloved Song Sparrow sang out and I, as I always do, sang back. But here’s the thing: it was dark. Sparrows are not nocturnal. The lovely voice in the night was/is an unexpected gift, a synchronous gift for us all.


Wanted to respond to alll who ere part of the Bateson Reading Group (in the Video replay posted here) but don’t know how to respond to a group of people, and so doing it here, via Doug who posted the video. In this conversation, there was a wondering about how to integrate both slowing down and “intentional imagining” and so I wanted to mention a practice modality that I and several friends do in two-somes by phone (we either all live far away in spacetime or our schedules don’t mesh at all). We set aside a time period (say an hour a week) in which we connect by phone and do what some of us call “mutual spiritual direction”, which is slightly formal, that is, it has a format to it, but one that is very very flexible. We speak aloud experiences in the present in any of their modes or dimensions while the partner does not respond verbally, in the first, say five or ten minutes, only listens intently. Then we switch places, so to speak. Then we have a very very slowed-down and present moment focused “conversation” in which silences may be long or short between speaking, as in the Quaker tradition, eg, allowing silence to be the “vessel” out of which words arise in a measure pace. Variations on this basic form have been legion! We might intentionally create an imaginal interaction… or we might just go with the flow, literally, and have no direction or plan, see what emerges. So though I said “spiritual direction”, there is no actual “directing”, rather a lot of “following”, improvisation, spontaneity. With one partner, we sometimes broke into made-up chanting or harmonizing sounds. With another we tend to do visual imagining things or describe dreaming streams in real time that happen to start up. Occasionaly, we even do interactive “thinking” around subjects of deep meaning to us. It’s like experiencing the inside/outside of a “co-mind”. Some people do call this co-meditation, actually. I have never found a name that fully satisfies!
I am going on at this length because the question raised in the video takes the form for me of this: how do we learn to attune TOGETHER to invisible worlds…which is not the same thing as individually attuning, and obviously neither is “better”. I feel we need both/and /all and more…
Does anyone here have a practice in this regard? I would love to know what you all or any of you are practicing. Or if you don’t have a practice, why and how you feel about all this.
Obviously, no hurry or obligation to respond. :slight_smile:


Hi Maia! Thanks so much for sharing your process, it reminds me of something I did years ago within the Quaker context… I don’t really have an answer to your question, I just think that what you are refering to is this idea of a « field » thinking/voicing process we have been struggling to identify on this forum in diverse ways. Nora Bateson insists on the need to do this work from many different perspectives at the same time, and I think that is also what we have been trying to do. We still don’t understand the process « fully » (and maybe that’s not necessary, anyway, maybe the nature of the process is that it can’t be fully grasped…) but I think that, collectively, we are making some kind of progress. Your own contributions « in the margins » as it were, are not insignificant in this regard. It is a fundamentally liminal process in which the margins matter! My two cents (two cents also being a liminal reference!)


A “metacast” or “intercast” in response to Maia’s poem above!