Cosmos Café [2021-05-13]: The Wholeness of Nature 5

I enjoyed our conversation today and would like to go back to the sessions you mentioned about education. I have a deep interest in education, probably because I felt so thwarted as a child. At least, through it all, I have managed to hang on to my curiosity. And I surround myself with other curious beings (yes, read that polysemically!) so, together, our individual curiosities fuel each other.

When I was in high school I wrote an essay for English class on a “better educational system” and the comment I got from the teacher was “yeah, that would work for you, Lisa, because you are intrinsically motivated, but it wouldn’t work for most of the other kids.” More than anything, that made me sad. Why weren’t they as curious as I was?

My interest continued through college, where finally I had a little more freedom and other students “like me” and teachers who got excited about the things I was curious about. So much so that one helped me get a grant to do a study about student question-asking. I noticed that in some classes, students asked more questions than in others. I wanted to find out why. The results weren’t that surprising, but it did teach me how to do research… Also in college I read Summerhill and about that college in Washington State (Black Mountain College, I think, which was also a working farm). I read about Montessori but somehow I missed Rudolf Steiner. Fortunately, a friend here in California was a Waldorf teacher and has “caught me up” on his philosophy of education.

@MarcoMasi, if you are interested (and anyone else, too), I really love what my friend Lynnclaire developed for schools/teachers. (Lynnclaire presented to the cafe several years ago, but it seemed to be too much squished into the time frame, in my recollection.) Anyhow, I would enjoy sharing her project with you, as it is more about giving children/people an empowered sense of belonging such that they take responsibility for their class, classmates, learning, etc. It frees the teacher to facilitate more and manage the classroom less. I would also like to hear more about the experiment in Europe of “soccer schools” (or that’s how I remember it explained to me by my German/Swiss friend). To capitalize on the desire of kids to learn/play soccer, they developed schools based on that, while slipping in academics with the sports. That model has been used for decades in ballet schools in Russia and Europe.

Lastly, I have a friend here who is very involved in getting Emotional Intelligence taught in schools. She thinks that our factory models really stunt emotional development.

I am still very passionate about this issue, but it is not an area where I have had the opportunity to DO anything. I am very supportive of people who are doing something!

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The content of this post was left in editing mode from our fourth session. I had a tick bite (an alternate wholeness of nature) that left me with flu-like symptoms and additional physical and mental confusion (in the sense that I could not focus on reading or typing for more than a few minutes at a time, hence the lack of forum interaction last week). Much of what I was inspired to share at that time trickled into our conversation this session.

On Education, Edugenic Harm and Rebellion

One of my personal mottos when confronted with the static brick walls of school and work and those that (un)willingly or (un)intentionally place yet another brick in the wall has been “a respectful breaking of the rules” . . . you won’t find me jailed or out on the streets in protest yet I have been one to hold my stance when the wall tries to take over my space. I have been fired twice for stepping outside of boxes and walled spaces and take that as a compliment. Children love to rebel and I take that as nature.

Here is the mentioned podcast with Eric Weinstein. His take is similar to most of what we have discussed and I appreciate his passionate intellect that seeks to push the subversive envelope. I like that neurodiversity is a phrase that is coming into its own.


… I wanted to share that senior year in AP calculus, my friend and I had checked out of the whole mathematical game. The last two months of the class consisted of taking practice tests to ace the final placement exam. Funny thing is my friend and I, who would not be taking the final exam, performed better on the practice exams than our peers simply by learning the test patterns. We could see through the questions and made an educated guess that performed higher than the students actually working their minds off to learn the abstract calculations. I learned a bit about education then! :man_student:


@lisa: the conversations that honed in on education can be found on these various Cafes:

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Patterns of Play,a Delightful Listening Experience…

A voice from Memories on the Cafe’ & upon first reading these words when I was 26yrs old,
Pattern that Connects

The World is a Changing,Trouble Times There Be,this is not about WAR,It’s about a BIRTHING & A DEATH into …

I am Relaxed/Alert as I Walk into the Unknown with You Fellow-Friends
on-in this Human Experience…

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Lisa, I don’t know her and can’t say much … can you provide a link to that project?

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While it’s true that words are simply vessels for meaning, without meaning of their own, many cultures imbue the utterance of words with spirit because they originate with the breath, with the mystery of life itself. In her book Becoming Wise, Krista Tippett writes, “The words we use shape how we understand ourselves, how we interpret the world, how we treat others. Words make worlds.”

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I’m looking forward to exploring all of the above links to different Goethean styled thinkers, finding interesting meta- patterns made available in our strange, new networks. I share a lecture given by one of my favorite metaphilosophers, Jan Zwicky, as she finds a curious relationship between metaphors and mathematics. I believe there are meta-patterns all over the place so let’s make the most of them.

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" The lord whose oracle is in Delphi neither declares nor conceals, but gives a sign." Herakleitios

About the title for your next book. What about Heracletian Ways for the 21st Century.? Just an after thought. I enjoy coming up with titles for books that have not been written yet. I am currently composing a story titled Enigma of a Guilty Dream The characters, if they are comfortable with the title, start to shyly come out of the dark and start to disclose their secret lives. It’s tricky.

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One of my favorite episodes of Weird Studies, on Heraclitus, brings his thought to life in a playful and creative way, using the I-Ching to divine Heraclitian fragments, like oracular statements, which JF and Phil let speak to and through them, and riff upon.

And @Lisa: I think you posted this link in the Zoom chat:

Well, I gave it a watch and I’m glad I did. I think it would be fun to explore how you/we might describe what we’re doing here, in this Cafe, on this forum, in this cooperative Cosmos, using your perspectivals. Imagine we are in the seed form of a new world: How could the relationships between the verbs and nouns of what we’re doing together become communicable in an immediately intuitive way?

How might we describe the social dynamics, cultural practices, attitudes, poses, dispositions, awarenesses, intelligences, economics, technologies, epistemes, ontologies, and mental models—the sometimes delicate, often elusive, usually entangled dimensions in play—such that the functional cycles, spirals, and interbeing-styles of our multi-aperspectival relations are made evident?

I also had a thought about consciously evolving language. What if we imagine a future human language that is like an ocean collecting all the global, regional, and indigenous languages into some kind of more universal pattern, so that elements of all languages have a home, but the voice is truly a combination and amalgam, something new that draws on the best, most beautiful, versatile, and sensitive features of all the languages that flow into it? So in other words, this language would have aspects of English, Spanish, German, Greek, Sanskrit, Arabic, Potawatomi, Chinese, etc.—a native speaker of any world language would recognize something of their primary language in this planetary tongue.

Local and national languages, dialects, and literatures would continue to exist and flourish—the more linguistic diversity the better!—but there would also be something of a cumulative and essential ALL-HUMAN meta-language, which (structurally and in spirit) opens/re-establishes communication channels across cultures, as well as with our earthly and cosmic kin. So… the whole world would not be required (by global business) to speak English, Chinese, or any other national language, but we would begin to form a scientific, spiritual, and artistic meta-human tradition at planetary scale, which incorporates the historical lessons learned, evolutionary gains, and all native intelligences we have access to.

I imagine such a project would be huge, requiring the contributions of thousands of people across many disciplines even to get started; it would take many generations to establish the roots, let alone blossomings and fruits. It would be different than Esperanto, which (as I understand it) attempts to be neutral, while still being European-derived. Our future language would aim for maximum inclusivity and give deep consideration to the grammar of consciousness, as well as the role of technology in its usage and spread. Wouldn’t it be worth it, if such a project could take off and become a counterweight to—ultimately superceding—the deadening, accelerating force of terminal capital AI-technocratic uniformity? Just some inkling-thinkling, pipe-dreamy musings out loud…

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OMG, so much to respond to here! First, yes, I am working on a type of meta-language right now. That is the “second book” I keep alluding to. In response to a few early reviewers, I am completely reconceiving how I present the ideas. I wrote it first for myself, so so I could get my own thoughts straight. Now I have to rewrite it with readers in mind. If any of you want to read the “not ready for prime time” first draft, I am willing to share it with members of this group, but I don’t want it distributed yet, since it will be thoroughly revised. Also, I’ve been reading some fascinating literature that is a mix of anthropology and sociology with a soupcon of political philosophy, which I must incorporate. The video John posted above gives the very briefest introduction. I also introduced it in the last workshop of the Consciously Evolving Language course, I think. Or perhaps it was the last session…I can’t recall exactly. The maximum inclusivity I propose, however, has more to do with perspective than with actual language. You can have people with radically different perspectives who speak the same language and people with very similar perspectives who speak radically different languages.

On another topic,

Introduction to Free Progress Education with Marco Masi
I am watching this and want to respond to @MarcoMasi 's request for more information. Here is the best introduction to the educational material developed by Lynnclaire, although it is already out of date. She has updated the names of the Roles to be more in line with what resonates for today’s youth. I think it gets at the core of your quest–to allow the child’s soul to develop. It is not a pedagogical approach, though. If you want to discuss this, I would prefer to do it in person rather than over comment threads.

There are also many societal issues that need to be handled in order to transform education. Here in the US, for example, a teacher cannot touch a student, not even a hug or pat on the back, because of fear of abuse. (Indeed, there has been a lot of abuse in the past.)
Another interesting book about the current educational climate is The Coddling of the American Mind, by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt. But it’s not really about reform of education. It is an alarm about how we are raising our children.

After our Bortoft sessions are over, I would be interested in a session on education. I have many friends who work in the area of transforming education or developing new ways to teach. My cousin homeschooled his kids, and a friend in Switzerland sent his kids to the Forest School in St. Gallen. I had the opportunity to visit it with him a few years ago and was amazed. There was a level of trust of the students that you just don’t see here in the US. Some of those people might be willing to share their experiences of being educated outside the traditional school structure. (The kids are all adults now.)

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We are in this recently released footage forced to face the undecidable.

There’s something out there we don’t understand…and when we don’t understand…what do we want to have happen?

And is there a relationship between UFOs and Consciously Evolving Language?

And is there a Goethean Way to explore these patterns?

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That is exciting news, Lisa. I am getting tired of standard English. It is a lot of work to say things which are probably, in the big scheme of things, relatively simple ideas—however, they are more subtle than this language, which is very wordy, tends to open itself up to. An imagistic, pattern-based meta-language could relieve some of the pressure on English and other modern human languages coming from within, as we struggle to make sense of much vaster, more complex, and multiplicitous quantities, and queerer qualities, than our mammalian brains have been used to dealing with up until relatively recently in evolutionary time.

I have heard there is a “writers underground” (private channel) on this site for sharing and getting feedback on literary / philosophical / spiritual / creative works in progress, but I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of that liminal zone. In fact, you didn’t hear it from me. But say the word, and the powers that be might take note and proffer an invite.

That is interesting…

True, this reminds me of of mystics from different paths (e.g., a Buddhist lama, Christian monk, and cosmic Scientist) might come to some very similar views about reality, including a kind of transpersonal rapport, which they may not share with most members of their own traditions. However, it does bring up the question of translation, which we’ve touched on, and I think becomes more important when we move past general similarities to significant differences in view, especially in how perspectives are embodied—a vibrational quality in the flesh that shapes the experience of communicating in a particular language.

For example, there is something irreducibly different for me about reading or reciting poetry in Spanish compared to English. I also enjoy hearing poetry in Arabic, French, German, Chinese, and other languages. Of course, I don’t know what they are saying! But they all feel different. I wonder what poetry in your meta-language would be like…

:+1: I would appreciate and look forward to this very much.

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I am very willing to send my manuscript in order to have conversations about the project and how I might be able to express it more generally (ie, not just to myself!). At this point, I don’t want it on the internet. If you send an email to me at com.lmaroski at g m a i l (unscrambled, of course–webcrawlers are getting more sophisticated), I will send a copy to your personal email address.

Sounds good, Lisa. I feel like I’ve got a deeper glimpse of the possibilities, and I am interested in seeing how the project evolves…

For future reference, you can also receive personal messages via this forum, and post links, upload docs, or share personal info (like an email address) there without having it accessible on the open internet (so long as nobody steals the password to your account). Here’s how someone could quickly send you a message:

And then you’ll find your personal messages here:

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Thanks @madrush ! Learn something new everyday…
I intentionally left that polysemic :slight_smile:

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A vibrational quality…in the flesh…and when a vibrational quality in the flesh what happens to that vibrational quality when significant differences in view?

As I want to sponsor a re-humanizing movement here at the Cosmos Café that can vibrate even during asynchronous writing episodes ( such as this exchange) I wonder how that vibration can last long enough for contact with another view to occur.? As Heraclitus noticed everything that is born , disappears.

So far, I am not encouraged, as most of us are most of the time very distracted. And I include myself here. Even so, I persist , as many have who have gone before me, to develop patterns that connect. I have noticed the theme of education appears on several posts and I also know this could be just another mirage in the cultural wasteland that is the world we are rapidly forced to embody.

As an antidote to the decline in advanced communication abilities in wide spread anti human dominant discourse, I invite others to give a listen to Zak Stein, a self declared philosopher of education, as he describes his work at the Consilience Project. I share his view that we already have the tech we need, what we lack is the capacity to hold communication in a shared attentional space. Asynchronous written communiques, such as this one, may be another distraction. Zoom calls may correct this tendency to drift aimlessly. I use this space to elaborate upon gut feels. Others may decide not to do communication that way but it works well enough for me.

Here is Zak’s recent interview, in which he refers to Steiner and Goethe traditions. How can I/we share a direction? I hope this compliments what others here are trying to co-sponsor.

On a side note, I had a dream last night, in which I was rehearsing to play the role of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. I was singing the famous song Tradition. I don’t like that show or that song but there you go. I’m rehearsing to play the leading role in a show I don’t like . Something that I don’t understand wants to happen?

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Sometimes the best way to understand something is to watch videos like these that show us exactly the opposite of what we are looking for. In my eyes she represents the most anti-Goethian way of seeing Nature that there could possibly be. But this nice example of what seeing the wholeness of Nature is NOT, might clarify things. Even though I like her passion and engagement (we need much more people with such passion for science…) she represents the perfect example of the mainstream reductionist physicalism that is (still) all-pervasive in academia. But I must also be grateful because her arguments triggered in me the desire to answer trying to take the opposite view. So, here is my take on how I would counter-argue a la Goethe….

There is this common misconception that, since biological systems are the result of ‘random chance’, as a consequence they are ‘suboptimal’ and ‘non-robust’ having a ‘poor design’, in a word: ‘Imperfect.’ For example, the human genome contains ‘mistakes’ that no one would deliberately engineer. This is the sort of metaphysical argument one hears frequently coming from modern biologists.

But what is supposed to be the criterion of ‘good design’ or ‘perfection’?

In biology a system is considered to be ‘optimal’ when it maximizes or minimizes some functions under given constraints and adapts best to the environment. However, from taking this point of view, biology separates a priori between the organism and the environment failing to recognize how the adaptation of the single organism to the environment is only one of the many internal functions of a totality. This totality is a ‘Kantian Whole’–that is, a system where the parts exist for and by means of the whole and the whole exists for and by means of the parts.

For example, an organ like the heart, with its properties and its function, can’t be separated and abstracted from the organism as a whole. An organ like the heart serves the purpose to pump blood for the best survival of the organism in its entirety, it is not designed to optimally fit in our chest alone and its activity is not aimed only at maintaining its own robustness or fitness, even though, it might have to satisfy certain criteria of adaptation to the chest and tune its activity to avoid functional failure. But no biologist would speak of the ‘optimal adaptation’ of the heart isolated and abstracted from the overall body’s functions.

This fallacious line of reasoning, however, is precisely what we do when we think of the adaptation of the organism in relation to the biosphere or the supposed DNA transcription ‘errors’ without being aware that we have lost sight of the cell’s workings in its totality.

Another example: If 65 million years ago a gigantic asteroid or a comet would have not crossed the Earth’s orbit at that precise time in that precise place, by ‘pure random chance’ (wasn’t it…?), it would not have caused the extinction of dinosaurs, and then humankind would possibly not exist. Was that a ‘mistake’? From the limited perspective of the dinosaurs it was for sure. From our (only a bit more wider) perspective , as humans, it was a decisive event necessary for our existence. Indeed, suddenly, you won’t find anymore an astronomer or a biologist labeling an asteroid impact as an ‘error’.

Since we are unaware of our inability to follow the complex dynamics of the whole we pretend it making ‘errors’ and ‘mistakes’. Concepts such as ‘optimal’, ‘good or bad design’, ‘imperfection’, etc. arise only because of an anthropomorph understanding of how the world is supposed to be according to our human standards and desires. Since some processes didn’t turn out as we expect from our limited sense-mind understanding of the world, and which is unable to consider all relevant constraints and can’t see holistically the whole complexity of Nature, we conclude that it couldn’t be other than a ‘coincidence’ or an ‘error’ without meaning.

The human mind is a far too low-level form of cognition that can’t recognize and capture the complexity of the system as a whole. From a higher perspective there is neither an organism nor an environment, there is only a single whole where the mutual interplay of its parts is the expression of the whole itself. This separation appears only at the level of our separative mind where the Nature appears to us as a clash of competing entities which sum up building a whole made of parts glued together.

To say whether an aspect in biology is ‘poorly designed’ implicitly assumes that we are able to know what the designer aims at and what the designer’s thoughts are. And since the ‘mind of God’ does not to agree with the human mind, we proudly conclude there could be no God in the first place. Even the worst medieval anthropocentric conception didn’t go so far! Now, lets play God… hurrah!! :blush:

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Actually, “intelligent design” is the term the Creationists came up with to “legitimize” Creationism, that is, give it a euphemism so that it sounds less “religious”.

Ah, the dynamics of language …

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I think her use of the term ‘intelligent design’ was intentionally sarcastic towards the ID movement. I followed them for a time and, indeed, these are people who refuse to go beyond their Christian-centric worldview, which is also frequently dressed up with several political (mainly right-wing conservative) nuances. It is no wonder that nobody is willing to consider them as being “scientific”. IMO, the ID movement and the skeptic militant atheist neo-Darwinists are the two sides of the same coin.

Having said that, I would not go so far in saying that there has been only a replacement in the nomenclature. It is no longer the ‘young earth creationism’ based on literal biblical interpretations (“God created the universe in six days, etc.”… sort of). There has been an evolution from the creationist into an ‘ID-species’ that is a bit more digestible and that at least argues with a more scientific mindset. They still need another shake off that goes beyond the above mentioned mental barriers, but then I might even be willing to jump in their bandwagon. :wink:

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I tried hard to make decent snapshots but couldn’t focus. But I hope that might give an intuitive understanding how the figures in Bortoft’s book look like through a prism. It may be better to download the image (mouse right click) and then magnify to see the color spectra,.

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Thanks, Marco, this is beautiful. A picture is worth a thousand words.

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