Cosmos Café [2/19] - Menu Review


(Douglas Duff) #1

The chefs provided some tasty morsels and delicious dishes on the Café menu so far this year, contributing their creative spin from personal recipes. Business is flowing nicely. How do we keep our connoisseurs, customers (and the chefs!) coming back for more culinary creations?

This Cafe is framed as a review session. Let us contribute thoughts upon past Cafes and future brews.

Reading / Watching / Listening

  • Review Cafes and post “Cafe Cuts” from memorable recorded moments, as you see fit.

Seed Questions

  • On the Cafe selections and Cafe process: What do we like? What do we not like? What do we want more of?
  • Where do we go from here? What would we like to have happen? What wants to happen?

Context, Backstory, and Related topics

Links to 2019 Cafes:

Agenda items

  • Welcome/Introductions/Framing (30 minutes)
  • Meta-reflection and open discussion (1 hour)
  • Closing comments, Brews Brewing and future plans (30 + minutes)

(john davis) #3

I am interested in reviewing serendipity and the latent potential of social dreaming. Here is a most recent example of what I would call liminal influence, coming directly, from our Cafe Society. I realize I dont need evidence in liminal space but I offer this as an update from the boundary and beyond.

I got a message from Doug and made a comment. That was from a long while ago and I had forgotten it.

I sing (sang the “Star” song in the Patten Cafe) to create space anew, to reach outside of our spoken words, to be a partial prismatic persona shining this little light of mine that might alight within your mind through a relevant (timely) rhyme.

And when I sing (sang the Star song) to create a space anew…what happens to the voiceless voice of choice?

A few nights ago I had a lucid dream and in the dream I was sitting next to a woman who was sending me telepathic messages. I felt that she was an inspiring presence and I asked, " Who are you?"

She said," I am Star." As I was puzzled by her answer, and unsure how to respond, she drifted away and I awoke.

Later in the day at used bookstore, in the philosophy section, where I frequently get my best cognitive blends, I went into a light trance. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the name of an author. Susan Leigh Star. The book was on a topic of great interest to me. The author died, a decade ago, in her sleep, of unknown causes.

Her book is exactly what I need to be reading right now, hugely relevant research for me, which comes to me, in the midst of a terrible personal ordeal. Is there a relationship between the dream-figure who called herself STAR and the STAR who wrote the meaningful book, and Doug’s STAR song? I find it odd that this long ago conversation reappeared again today, from the middle of nowhere.

Last night I had another round of telepathic dreams about telepathic dreams…is anyone paying attention to what is happening in the cracks, the boundary objects, patterns, motifs, hunches, what is perhaps overlapping between verbs and nouns?

(Ed Mahood) #5

And I find it odd that you find it odd, John. I think it’s patently obvious that they’re all related. Why wouldn’t they be? You, more than any of us, spend a lot of time strolling through those neighborhoods, and you’re surprised that they’re inhabited or that the clocks tick differently?

Last Tuesday, I couldn’t attend our Café as I had a prior engagement. I was able to attend a presentation on Burkhard Heim, a brilliant, but unknown Germans physicist, who for a while studied with Werner Heisenberg (of Uncertainty Principle fame). Heim spent most of his adult life looking for a unified field theory that would reconcile quantum and relativity theory. One of the consequences of this attempt is a theoretical description that would allow for light and electromagnetic radiation to be converted into gravity thereby enabling space travel at extreme velocities while utilizing minimal amounts of fuel. Of course, this sounds like science fiction and it would appear that Heim was relegated, for a number of reasons, not the least of which were due in part to his own iconoclasm, to an esoteric corner of science from which he has never escaped. In order to formulate his theory, he needed to develop a different mathematical approach and even a new mathematical logic to perform his calculations.

Late in his career, though he had developed the mathematical formalities necessary to express his theory, he felt he needed to place it on firmer philosophical footing. The resulting six-dimensional model of reality was underpinned by Hedwig Conrad-Martius’s (one of the first women to be allowed to study and obtain a doctorate in philosophy in Germany and a student of Husserl) own ontological/cosmological interpretation. According to this, the fifth dimension encompasses what they call “entelechy”, which should be understood as a structural concept that applies to physical reality. Order and structure can thereby be seen as physically real manifestations, and it is asserted that there are structural levels of being which are no longer material in their finer expressions. In other words, the quantitative approach of physics with which we are all familiar is expanded to include what we would perhaps describe as “qualities”.

The sixth dimension is called Aeon; that is, a "cosmological age" which implies a evolutionary teleological direction to phenomena. Consequently, evolution and consciousness are seen as dynamically interacting processes, and it is possible to make scientifically founded statements about "the discontinuity in human life, which we call death". In other words, that which we normally consider "paranormal" phenomena are thereby addressed and describable according to his theory.

Naturally, everything I just said makes little or no sense to all of you; I’m still trying to digest it myself. I would have most likely sloughed it all off as what the Germans call “fringe science” (Grenzwissenschaft) had I not known the speaker personally and who is certainly open, but definitely not flaky. Throughout his presentation I heard statements that corresponded rather well to notions I had previously only come across in my Kabbalah studies, or that, oddly enough, resonated strongly with what I was reading in Connolley’s Facing the Planetary, e.g., self-organizing processes, an expanded notion of “agency”, particulary non-human agency, which made me sit up and take notice.

We all agree that there is more in heaven and earth than is spoken of in our philosophies, and we are aware of definite and specific efforts (cf. Kelley, et al.'s Irreducible Mind) to delve more deeply and sensibly into these areas. Stated somewhat differently, there is a growing acceptance and acknowledgement of these not-so-mainstream experiences most of us have (to varying degrees, of course). Hence, my own little anecdote:

In mid-December 1972, I had orders to deploy to Germany. I reported dutifully to Ft. Dix (NJ) for deployment, as I had had two-weeks leave after the end of my advanced military-occupational-specialty training and shipping overseas.

We were herded, orderly, in single-file of course, onto a rather dated aircraft being run by the long-defunct Saturn Airways (and yes, feel free to insert all the astrological inferences you desire at this juncture). I, unfortunately, was “assigned” a window seat (I’m a passionate aisle-sitter), and, in keeping with my military service to date had the only seat in the entire plane that was broken: it could not be reclined. “What the hell,” I thought, but as I then found out since then, I can’t sleep on planes anyway, so it really didn’t matter. “Whatever,” I mused, I guess I have some time to read.

It was, as all US-Europe flights are, an over-nighter. Being a military charter, however, meant leaving before the commercial flights (for who would want to disturb paying customers) and we got into Rhein-Main Air Base a lot earlier as well. It was still dark when we arrived. We were disembarked as orderly as we were loaded, and in those days, there was still a gangway rolled up to meet the plane. Certainly tired and quite uncertain of when I might again find a bed, I lumbered out of the plane as ordered.

No sooner had I set foot on the tarmac when the guy in line behind me said, “Well, you’re home,” in a clear, distinct tone. I started slightly – I wasn’t expecting to be spoken to – turned and asked a bit off guard, “What? What’dyou just say?” To which he replied rather grumpily as I recall, “What the hellya talkin’ about? I didn’t say nuthin’.”

What I heard that morning was as loud and clear as anything I’ve heard in any of the Cafés I’ve been to. There’s a bit of buzz on an airport tarmac, to be sure, but at that time and in that place, the ambient noises were not at a distracting level. And just to be clear, I had kicked around the idea of doing my tour, and, if I liked it maybe sticking around for a while thereafter to get the most out of my language training, on the one hand, but of enjoying my escape from Western Pennsylvania for as long as I could. “Escaping”, you should know, is how those of us who wanted to leave our WPa birthplace was very often described in those days. (If you don’t believe me or want a flavor for that sentiment, I highly recommend The Deerhunter and All the Right Moves , for example, to get a sense of it.)

At that time I knew nothing about liminal (or liminoid) spaces or clairvoyance or psychic anything, or astral realms or other dimensions. I was just another GI serving time, trying to get by, and wondering what life was going to throw at him next. To this day, I wonder who spoke to me back then, and I wonder just as often if I’ll ever get the chance to tell them “thanks” for the heads-up.

Just a few random thoughts this Sunday evening.

(john davis) #6

I find it odd that you find it odd that I find it odd, Ed.

I don’t imagine I would have picked up the book if I had not had a dream the night before about a woman who called her self STAR. The oddness is what made me pause and pick it up, buy it, read it, and be thankful that I was attentive enough to purchase it, was a strong affect. And then the resurfacing the following day of the conversation with the star song. I recall, when I first read Doug’s account, that I sensed a connection with his star song and a mysterious entity. Odd affects are important and not to be dismissed. I think the ‘wee people’ come though to us through the odd and strange sensations we too often ignore, in our trance states, spacing out, reflections, serendipity, etc.

So, odd is an affective tone, and we are becoming our affects. We can’t become anything without our affects. How we pay attention to them, ignoring them, or having amnesia for them, are ways we neglect an aspect of our nature that may be doing much more for us than we are ready to deal with.

As our culture is heavily weighted to what we have cognitive access to, it can be disorienting to realize how little our cognition has access to. We are like a transparent glow on a phosphorescent flower in the desert.

Harry Stapp, a physicist, has a theory about the Zeno Effect, an empirically proven phenomenon. What he calls “mental probing actions", can determine material outcomes. In a way this is too obvious. We write down a shopping list and then go shop. But then there are those odd experiences we can’t put in a shopping cart,

Karan Barad, another physicist, claims that consciousness and matter are entangled, and where you make the cut is indeterminate. She calls the making of the cut, between matter and consciousness, an intra-activity. She call this boundary drawing. I imagine that what I have been doing with Clean Language, is working with boundary objects and what is beyond. A group identity can start to emerge, and this may have something to do with a multi-sensory awareness. We can’t make meaning if we dont make sense.

And who is drawing the boundary? This is, by the way, the subject of Leigh Stars book. She says she “triangulates from the margins”, and I feel that her presence may be behind my adventure in the bookstore. I find all of these theories interesting and extremely odd.

I am open to that idea. There is a direction, a logic of becoming, driven by affective dimensions, rather that deduction or induction. But nothing will inevitably emerge unless we make it happen. If we want to create a Second Order Culture or what Bateson hinted at as a Third Order Culture ( the Aeon?) we have a lot of work to do.

(Marco V Morelli) #7

Your dream is odd to me, @johnnydavis54, because on Saturday I had a long, rather intense kind of talk with Terry Patten, who was a guest in our Cosmos Café a few months ago, where Doug sang “Everybody is a star.”

We also had @Lisa as a guest for that talk, which I relistened to ealier today to gain some insight into my dynamic with Terry. It was Sunday morning and I decided to chill and make some crayon art (a childlike joy I am rediscovering thanks to you, and my daughters) while processing the discussion and did this:

The specific phrases are related to that particular dialogue. But the star connection seemed serendipitous. And odd. And so I share it, to add odd to odd and perhaps even out (or further effervesce) the brew,

(Ed Mahood) #8

Since you brought up aesthetics, it made me think of Venus. Her orbit when tracked from the earth looks like this:

As it is, the five-pointed star (which Tenen reminds us is the figure revealed in the cross-section of an apple cut along it “equator”), has long been linked to the actual star Spica in the constellation of Virgo. In fact, this may be the source of its use in the American flag, as Virgo and Spica play an extraordinarily large role in the founding of the the country and the building of Washington, DC

We should also remember that the five-pointed star, the Pentagram is probably one of the most well-known magical symbols.

There’s a lot to tap into out there, and John does a great job of tapping sometimes, which got this particular ball rolling.

(john davis) #9

I remember that conversation with Terry. After our talk on Connally I wonder if there are connections that want to be made? And I am glad you gained some insights, Marco, from your review of the video. I imagine that as we dip into the archive, and pick up on what slipped between the cracks, that we might find something interesting, something unloved and unsponsored, that is waiting for a human presence to bring to life. Oh and I like the pastel pinks in your drawing. A lightness, an airiness, a warmth is conveyed. Let us appreciate the analogue, the shape, the gesture. I can sense the presence of Beatrice and Carmen in the drawing.

Lisa, by the way,will be visiting here in NY next month! I look forward to seeing her. You said you had a poem by Lisa? You never got a chance to share it.

There is a deep history to this symbol.

The earliest Jewish usage of the symbol was inherited from medieval Arabic literature by Kabbalists for use in talismanic protective amulets ( segulot ) where it was known as the Seal of Solomon among Muslims

Let us also remember the radical abolitionist newspaper The North Star,founded by the fiery Frederick Douglas.

And from the Tarot, a favorite image…


(Ed Mahood) #10

Hmmm, I find it odd that I’m not surprised; that card is associated with both Aquarius and Virgo, which brings us back to … quite a loop going here. :slightly_smiling_face:

(LaughingCryingDancing) #11

As the Fifth Wheel Mandala Watching-Listening & Feeling with Eyes Open & Closed through out this Ensemble of Rascally Friends,I’ am of mixed streams of Feelings-Thoughts,1.I missed a very enlivening multi- track session,2. I am appreciative of the technology of Cosmos Cafe’ 3.Portland,Oregon;is on a latitude that seems closer to U All & on a Psyche level this made my experience of this Cafe’ a little different,in the sense I was as a Crow Tele-presencing delayed Time as I was there with U all.Thank U One & All,I will take my micro-learning to the State High School Wresting Championships & my interactions with Family a test ground where it all began?182953_488359557919233_325024846_n