Cosmos Café [2021-06-24]: Does "Bildung" have a future?

I think there have been some misunderstandings, or mine inappropriate choice of words and/or tone. Because words and tones matter and what a word might mean to me might mean the exact contrary to someone else and, if we are not aware of this, then meanings are twisted and the discourse goes astray. Let me shortly clarify few things.

IMO it is about taking a first-person perspective that questions the premises of our thinking. It is not so much what we have to think/believe rather it is about becoming aware of why we think/believe in some narratives. Because, at the end it is our ideological background that leads us to act/believe/say certain things. For example, who is REALLY in our non-metacognition the “solo thinker”? The egoistic individualist, or the outsider who is the “different” one that does not conform? I have seen to many times among my former teacher collogues pointing consciously at the former and then (evidently unconsciously) behaving rudely against the latter. Something more than mind is at work here and we have to work on it to disclose it.

Maybe “symptom” was not the best word choice and which has misrepresented my thought. Of course the longing and desire for independence and freedom is not a pathology. But, if it is so manifest, it means something. It points to a lack of independence/freedom that, indeed, could lead to pathologies.

Yes, that was the sense of my post above.

The meaning of my word choice “wishful thinking” was in the sense of a self-deception that hinders progress opposite to “magical thinking”, “visions”, “dreams”, “future projects”, “utopias”, which are great psychological powers to progress, independently from its realization. The first crystallizes the status quo the latter are disruptive of the status quo. But if you like to use the terms as synonymous I’m fine with it, will keep that in mind in the future.

Exactly! :slight_smile: We can’t (re-)construct if we don’t deconstruct, especially our unaware assumptions and automatic mental patterns. I myself like to

As you say, deconstruct in a process of construction.

Did I criticize groups for wishful thinking and desires? I’m surprised to see how my words must have been so unclear and can’t see where my “critics to groups” has been expressed? My critics was limited to what stands behind the idea of the article precisely because it is felt against groups.

At any rate, I will not insist. Having differences can also be a glue for unity. Eventually we can clarify further, if needed, in a session.


Yes, I imagine that the Man, in both Jacob’s story and in Michael’s choice to use that image of struggle with the superior force ( the wrestler) and my own experience of the figure who commands that I give up form, all of these are enigmatic and an aspect of the “tapestry background” you mentioned. In some ways I sense the presence of our Divine Double, an archetype that was especially popular in the Gnostic period, when beings of light were messengers from another realm. Much of our current investigations into ETs and UFO sightings echo these ancient myths and their elaborations reappear in our weirder dreams, gestures ,and strange moods in daily life. Polymorphic/shape-shifting UFOs have been observed/documented by US, British, Russian, and French militaries. This is the zeitgeist. If our group can notice these hidden and obscure cultural influences, I believe we can become better social scientists and more creative citizens.


Yes, I like live sessions to compliment what gets stirred up in these diverse written remarks, which can often lead to some interesting overlaps in the different media we are using. And thanks for the clarification in your use of terms. As we are both aware, words can slip and slide all over the place. What we mean may be easier to capture in a live call. It is also true that the meanings of words can change with our varied usages. They can mean more than one idea. I am always open to revise what I may have said. One of the pleasures of reviewing the videos is to watch how much I miss in a live encounter. Thanks again, Marco, for making a difference that makes a difference. Very helpful.


An interesting development. A clearly stated desired outcome. Thanks again. When I know what a person’s desired outcome is I become much more open to differences especially when someone gets in a defensive posture. If we let each other know what our desired outcomes are for a meeting or even for a lifetime we ( the group mind) can better stay on track when we inevitably get off track. Having a way to sort out problems, solutions, from desired outcomes is a challenge. Most problems are generated by our need to find a short term solution created at the same level. Desired outcomes, as you have expressed, invite another level of apperception/appreciation to emerge. Thanks again for helping our group learn more about our group. Creating conditions for the groups that can work at different levels and scales is a major desired outcome of mine. I have lots of desired outcomes as do most of us and this adds lots of spice to our lives when we can articulate and refine them in a public space that is free of stigmatizing differences. Creating trust is crucial.


This gave a Vibratory Echo of Your Living Ecology John?


I came to the city in the summer of 1976. It strikes me as highly implausible that I have survived in this city of strangers for so many decades. The city is on the edge of collapse. But what else is new?

1 Like

So Here’s another Metaphorical angle…


A groundbreaking new book from the bestselling author of Shop Class as Soulcraft In his bestselling book Shop Class as Soulcraft , Matthew B. Crawford explored the ethical and practical importance of manual competence, as expressed through mastery of our physical environment. In his brilliant follow-up, The World Beyond Your Head , Crawford investigates the challenge of mastering one’s own mind.

We often complain about our fractured mental lives and feel beset by outside forces that destroy our focus and disrupt our peace of mind.-{ Any defense against this, Crawford argues, requires that we reckon with the way attention sculpts the self.}…This sentence is the contact of
My Focus in terms of Being in Groups & Creating Better Groups?

Crawford investigates the intense focus of ice hockey players and short-order chefs, the quasi-autistic behavior of gambling addicts, the familiar hassles of daily life, and the deep, slow craft of building pipe organs. He shows that our current crisis of attention is only superficially the result of digital technology, and becomes more comprehensible when understood as the coming to fruition of certain assumptions at the root of Western culture that are profoundly at odds with human nature.
The World Beyond Your Head makes sense of an astonishing array of common experience, from the frustrations of airport security to the rise of the hipster. With implications for the way we raise our children, the design of public spaces, and democracy itself, this is a book of urgent relevance to contemporary life.

I connect this to a quote from Richard Rohr of “The Center for Action and Contemplation”…
{Whatever is received is received according to the manner of the " receiver", whatever is received}.


Tempus fugit

At our last get-together, we all “agreed” we’d like to meet up again in two weeks – our defacto rhythm as of late – and that two-week mark is rapidly approaching. As I recall, we kicked around a couple of focal points for the follow-on conversation, but nothing specific was decided.

If we still agree meeting up is a good idea, it seems reasonable, if for no other reason than archival continuity, that we have a page that would become the placeholder in the archive. I don’t recall that anyone volunteered to set one up either. That kind of leaves things rather open-ended, and while I’m sure none of us wants to be thought of as “closed off”, the question remains on the table: are we getting together on Thursday or not?

While I’m fully aware that our American Caféans are busy BBQing or otherwise celebrating today, time is nevertheless getting short. Given that this is also a long weekend for all of you on the west side of the pond, I’m further assuming that doing anything for next Thursday is not necessarily high on the priority list, which I fully understand.

Therefore, in the spirit of a long-standing, trans-Atlantic cooperation, I’d like to make the following suggestion: if no one has any objections, I will set up a page for a CCafé for this coming Thursday. We can follow up on our Bildungs-conversation, and perhaps add an additional focal point as well. I’m sure we have enough to talk about, but as is often the case, without a little bit of focus, we can also scatter our attention rather easily. If I hear nothing to the contrary today, I’ll put it up tomorrow morning (my time), assuming that @Douggins or @madrush will be around on Thursday as gatekeepers to keep the rhythm going.

Party hearty … but responsibly. :partying_face: :hamburger: :beers: :us:


And where would I like to start? I will be finishing up a course this week on UFOs and Exo-studies. I have immersed myself the last month in video footage, recent reports of unclassified documents, and various interpretations presented in the media and through the military-industrial complex. This film is a very good summary of these recent breakthroughs. The stigma has lifted. As culture workers, I feel that the current scientistic paradigm, traditional occult practices, and a possible post-materialist science are starting to co-present a vast array of phenomena that is tangible and credible and becoming widely disseminated. Anomalies can no longer be swept under the rug. This trend will be my focus on Thursday and I can make a report upon recent irruptive experiences that are happening in this other community of practice. Anomalous experience has been an ongoing theme in the Cafe and I am open to sharing my feedback from other networks that are working on similar topics as we are. Please set up a page, Ed, using your own discretion about what makes most sense to you. I am sure whoever appears will be welcome and may have other preferences. And where would you like to start?


I can’t say much about the UFO phenomenon but can relate this very well to neuroscience (-scientism). They used a bit different strategy: they didn’t sweep “anomalies” under the rug but have selectively ignored it for decades. There is now a sufficient amount of scientific empiric facts that show how the naive idea of a mind-brain identity is increasingly untenable. The good news is that there is no need to look to the paranormal or embrace any metaphysical speculation. Since the 1960s evidence is accumulating in the very same peer reviewed mainstream literature of the orthodoxy itself, but it is simply ignored to save the paradigm so that the narrative can continue. Evolutionary biology is actually in a more developed phase, there is now a movement of biologists who question the neo-Darwinist dogma. But also the physicalist narrative is slowly but steadily crumbling and that people as B. Kastrup are trying to expose. However Kastrup is still on the more philosophical spectrum, I’m putting together these raw data that they can’t deny since it is their own stuff. Once you have picked out those facts and take a Goethean view, things appear under a completely different light.

Well… But this is a bit off-topic for this thread. Will eventually open later another thread that discusses the issues with the contemporary “neurophilosopy.”

And yes… Meeting Thursday is fine for me.


I meant to post this much sooner after our conversation about Bildung, so, sorry if I seem late to the party! Here is the video of Daniel Schmachtenberger that I mentioned. I think it could be a useful discussion starter in nearly every field of endeavor, from education to economics to medicine, and, yes, even language (of course!).

I am in awe of how “big picture” Daniel’s thinking is. This is systems-of-systems dynamics. So how do we educate people not just to have this level of abstract thought but to embody the values necessary to deal with the issues that he mentions? I would venture to say that massive culture shift will be necessary. So how do we educate for culture shift? Typically, we educate for culture preservation. And despite that, each generation has its rebels with and without causes who serve to shift the culture.

At some point, possibly during my convalescence, I want to “diagram” that video, because I am a visual thinker and like to “see” the relationships. Some of you are also visual thinkers. If you feel so inclined, it would be interesting to compare diagrams.

On another topic, John Dotson, whom some of you know, has a friend Robert who has written (is still writing? – I’m not sure) a book on the archetype of the teacher. Both John and Robert have been teachers. Both are Jungians, too. I know that John used too rely on understanding his students typology to better know how to reach them (ie, sensing types through experience, thinking types through language, feeling types through values, etc) as well as how to address and help them build their weak areas (shadow). I don’t know about Robert’s approach, but I will keep this group apprised of when his book comes out.

Indeed, the role of the teacher is as important --and probably in a similar way-- as the role of the therapist; that is, the best work happens when there is a “rapport” between therapist/client or teacher/student. Pedagogy perhaps matters little in that case. Perhaps the teachers in this group could speak more to that. Was that your experience? In modern classrooms, however, there might not be “spacetime” for developing such rapport. What is the balance between doing and being? Is who you are being in the classroom at least as important as what you are doing?
Teachers often report that over 75% of their time is spent in classroom management, i.e., dealing with disruptive behavior by a few that impedes the delivery of the content. I think that issue has more to do with family situation than educational pedagogy, too. If students are taught at home to disrespect the educational process…is there a way for teachers to circumvent such conditioning? Possibly, but it seems to require exceptionally visionary teachers to do that. (back to who you are being) I am thinking of such a teacher who worked on the South Side of Chicago , a very rough part of town, in the 1950s or 60s, and she just demanded excellence—and got it. Marva Collins was her name Nevertheless, as was said above, there is no “one size fits all.”


I like how Schmachtenberger puts it: “We have to figure out the win-win game where anyone’s incentive and advantage is tied to the collective advantage.” Which also means that a group dynamics must not be focused only on the wellbeing of the group losing sight of the incentive for the individual. At the end he speaks of the necessity of “acquiring a sense of self as an interconnected dynamic biosphere.” Here, again, T. De Chardin is reverberating in the background. But De Chardin did not envisage this as a purely materialistic or organizational development. Listening to this video my impression was that it lays too much emphasis and hopes on technical solutions (such as “factoring capacities to adapt to the tech”, “aligning incentives”, “infrastructures”, inside “self-regulating adaptive complex dynamical systems”, “cellular automata”, “exponential tech”, “feedback loops”, etc.) It captures only the external aspect, the mechanistic expression of… of what? IMO, looking on it only from the materialistic tech-perspective won’t be enough. The culture shift will have to be a shift of consciousness. If the nature of the human being won’t change also the social structure and infrastructure will, at best wear another mask but remain essentially the same. Acquiring a sense of self is first and foremost a feeling, an inner perception of interconnectedness, the intuitive realization of the multiplicity in unity a la Bortoft (and beyond Bortoft). This is essentially a spiritual psychological realization IN US and that can’t be apprehended by the analytic mind alone that invents some planetary machinery. My understanding is that we need to develop a sense of interconnectedness, community, trans-nationality, trans-culturalism based on the inner perception that deep down we are One. The question is how we can develop in young people empathy, rapport, togetherness, and this inside a paradigm where the “freedom of the soul” isn’t frustrated? It is about building an environment where these things are nurtured and can flourish. Only that can create real cooperation replacing competitive behaviors. The ultimate challenge is that to transcend this egoistic, greedy and selfish animal we are to become something else. Once this has been set as a basis, the “complex adaptive system” can be build and, perhaps, will grow by itself as a natural expression of the immanent spirit of a living inner unity in diversity.


Thanks for this. It is obvious that Mr. Schmachtenberger is a very bright guy, and he certainly provided a lot of food for thought in his presentation, but I, too, felt that there was too much emphasis on technology-based solutions.

To my mind, this is a consequence of “systems thinking” generally; the underlying metaphor is technological-mechanistic and this leads inevitably to seeking solutions in this realm. This presentation struck me as a good example of what Bortoft was describing as “counterfeit wholes”: they look like wholes; they can also act like wholes, but they’re not true wholes: they are systems. It was clear to me from the presentation that there is a lot to be found here, but as you point out, the “feeling” and “spiritual” aspects can’t really be part of the picture: they’re too fuzzy, too hard to “mechanize”, and certainly not “tweakable” like the parts of a machine are assumed to be.

We need to keep in mind, I think, that all systems are essentially “made up”, if you will: they are purely mental constructs. I’m not saying we should avoid them, far from it. They can be extremely helpful, as long as we don’t forget that they are not reality per sé, but rather a way of organizing our view of reality in order to more effectively analyze it. Nevertheless, it seems to me we’d generally make more headway (or could possibly make more headway) if we could find an organic, life-based metaphoric to undergird our approaches – which is what I think Bortoft’s (and others’) deeper aim was in presenting Goethe’s way of science to begin with (e.g., “it’s all leaf” → we’re all “leaves” in the “organism that is humanity”; the “freedom of the soul” of which you speak would account for individual diversity within that organic unity, or something in that direction). As you say:

To my mind, we will need to cultivate (not necessarily “build”) the conditions conducive to that growth, but we will, I think, need to grow the “complex adaptive organism” that is humanity. Part of our blessing is that we “know” much is up to us … which is also part of our curse.


I have followed Daniel for a long time but he tends to stay in the upper right/lower right quadrants where he is most at home. His actual work with groups is not as elegant as his solo flights. He does have a brilliant mind and some important pieces of the puzzle. He tends to zoom out into the glamour of high tech and this can lead to systems by passing which is at least as dangerous as spiritual bypassing. He seems hooked to an ascending AI current which in my view is doomed to fail and is not a safe to fail arrangement.

I would love to see your diagram, Lisa. This would be a great task during your recovery ( which I trust will be quick) and it would be a community service. I am very interested in systems theory, especially, of the third order variety which we are on the cusp of. We need to do more systems thinking and do it better.

And we are also Many. I agree with you and I want to point out that we may have a community bias to privledge the Super Mind and that needs to happen as the Materialist paradigm is wobbling badly. However, that spiritual orientation needs to be revitalized as much as the Systems thinking needs to be a partner but not a dominant one.

I cautiously agree and I also am aware of the dangers of a split between happy wholism and perpetual warfare of the materialisms of nation-states… We need more acceptance of an aperspectival ambiguity., an ecology that is driven by sustainable contradictions. As we move from a 3 D grid to a 5 D orientation the shifts in our vocabulary and the capacity to enact a different kind of reality that was once considered Sci Fi is coming closer to realization for many persons. Trans-Rational will be enacted upon a swarm of the ineffable, including healthy and unhealthy forms of magic and mythic, from which the Trans-Rational derives its strength. Trans-rational will be able to self reference in a world of observing systems much more advanced than us. This is already happening. New meta-narratives are emerging. I prefer that we make peace on this planet first before we try to escape to Mars. At our current level of development I doubt that we will get off the launch pad.


The Surprising Healing Qualities of Dirt, what Elements,Nutrients & “Attuning Too” Can We Engage In with the Mother/Matrix in Our Bones
& Surroundings of US?

Soil is Soul with some Music just Beneath-Outside ,Beyond Our Heads & Our Protective Creative Conceptual Networks?

Our Hands seem to Want to Cultivate & Build in Relation with
the Environment.

Pattern that Connects


I got to know that Schmachtenberger makes part of the “Consilience Project” which recently dedicated a long article to the issue of education: Help Wanted: On the Nature of Educational Crises
Reading it I feel that our doubts are reinforced. Too much emphasis on technology and almost none on the potential of the individual.


You all have some great responses to the video I posted, and thank you for watching it. Yes, Daniel does speak in a systems-scientific language in many of the videos. I think that has been a deliberate choice on his part, so that he would be taken seriously by the people who can only exist in the “upper right quadrant.” His metaphors, however, are organismic, not mechanistic. He is warning against the perils of exponential tech, saying essentially that we are like children playing not with a match but with a flame thrower. I also tend to be a little defensive of Daniel because I met him back in 2008, long before his internet fame. He was a spiritual teacher back then. He is a true spiritual adept. I will relate the story of my interaction with him to anyone who wants to hear it in person, but not on the internet. Hence, I know that he knows that a shift in consciousness, in how we conceive of each other vis a vis the Whole, is necessary.

Although I wanted to do a diagram of that talk, I ended up doing a Cliff’s Notes type of summary for some other friends of mine who complained that they didn’t know his “language.” To that I would respond that he tends to use very general terms rather than specific jargon. If he had spoken the jargon, I know they would have understood! For example, he doesn’t use the term “cradle to cradle” but describes it as a repurposing with the addition of new patterns or information. Here is my summary/clarification.
Summary of Daniel S video.docx (26.6 KB)


And what happens if you stay in 3rd person systems thinking? It turns into overload. And the discourse boundaries dissolve as you zoom further and further out and starts to fade away into deep space 9. Most of his audience will space out.

I’m sure he does, too, but he is not working with 1st person orientation and so comes across in my view as a very deep and narrow thinker. He needs to zoom back in, somewhere in between the big picture getting too big and the ant that can move a rubber tree plant. His presentation is excellent as far as it goes but it perhaps goes too far for most mortals and doesn’t integrate all of the quadrants even a little bit. So, his audience will be the silicon valley super nerds who run the world already. He is right about a great deal but is still in a problem space seeking a solution that is stuck in a 3D orientation.

How do we go beyond and then return and realize we are already have what we need?

Ah shucks! I was really looking forward to one of your diagrams that will make all things plain. I don’t blame you for this as this is such a dizzying task but I would like to roll up my sleeves and start getting into the dirt with bare feet , a stick in my right hand and start doing drawings that have a “lyric” tendency. I might also do some somatic syntax. If we can’t do a meta-dance we are not integrated, yet. I will need some colored chalk too. Will you bring some scissors and paper ,Lisa?

About Lyric Philosophy. The dialect has failed us. We oscillate between thesis and antithesis until a synthesis happens. But the synthesis, as poet/thinker Jan Zwicky says, only adds on something. It never transforms the polarity. Only metaphor can do that, not more logical arguments. We need the poetic logics of a Nagarjuna who can play with Void without staying in the Void.

So, what follows is my fantasy for doing a meta-diagram of the dilemma we are in. My desired outcome is to move out of the 3D grid and into a 5D collage. What happens if we moved from a pie chart to Zwicky’s favorite Necker Cube?

We have lots of opportunities for some background/foreground shifts that Daniel I’m sure is able to relate to but that the audience he is addressing probably don’t want to. The visual system can be used to do more than just isolate us in the visual system. We can create gestures, overlaps, between visual and kinesthetic and subtle forms and exo-linguistics. This is a new artform

From this

to this-
and also this-
These Cubes are from Lex Neale’s work which I recommend.

“The analogical is always richer than the digital.” -Brian Massumi

Having studied Goethe’s Way we can appreciate Matt Segall’s imagination on display in this brief video.

Matt’s visualization of Hegel, brings attention to the dead end of the dialectic, culminating in the Master/Slave conundrum, a problem that has haunted our politics and which Daniel has re-labeled as conflict between Group A and Group B

I highly recommend his video diagram series on German Idealism if you have an interest. This is background knowledge that helps us clarify the food fights of the last centuries.

And if you have followed me thus far let’s take another leap into this century which has just captured a mysterious anomaly that the CIA has verified. We are in new territory without maps. We have evidence of object in the air and under water that defy the laws of inertial physics.

And when we have evidence of objects that defy the laws of physics what happens to the struggle between the Masters and the Slaves? What new living arrangements become possible?

There are some of us ( myself included) who have inter-dimensional contact with 5D intelligence. This is where a new kind of boundary dynamics between I, We, and Its are starting to become more porous and flexible. This is when the toroidal shapes we have been studying could be of great use. And when we have absorbed these maps for new territories what kind of performances will we be sponsoring?

This is a rough beginning as we try to sketch the New Human arising from the ashes of the Civilization collapse well under way. I am tuning into the fields of all possibility. Find a space that knows about all of these spaces. I will meet you there.


Thank you Lisa for the extended summary of Daniel’s talk, it is useful to recall the rationale behind it.

Sometimes diagram or mind maps are helpful. Sometimes they tend to dissect and hamper a wholistic vision of things. That’s at least my experience.

The question is wehter this encourages them to go beyond that quadrant or, to the contrary, encourages them to get stuck in it and hampers a view beyond those boundaries? My feeling is that system-scientific language is still a “whole as a sum of its parts” viewpoint. To the single unit it adds the interaction between units, but essentially does not go beyond an analytic processual understanding. It is the intuition of the mind that the whole has an inherent foundation but still struggles to transcend the orthodox paradigm and, therefore, does its utmost to reduce it to that paradigm.

On a similar line here a critical review of the notion of “neurodiversity” so fashionable nowadays. It is, indeed, an intuition of a deep truth (deep down we are a unity in diversity), but there is this analytic reductionist physicalist culture that couldn’t resist the temptation to drag it down again to the usual neurocentric conception. Fortunately some are becoming aware of this and the consequences of this still too narrow approach is described in this interesting piece:


From the Aeon Essay-
“psydiversity holds that the mind and ‘human nature’ are not unitary things, but are profoundly embedded and even constituted by the society and context in which they appear. That isn’t to deny the reality of difference, but rather to situate this reality as part of an unfolding social and historical process”

Our bodies are elegant transformers that can take diverse information/stimulations from different sources, and externalize, through movement, drawing, diagrams, writing, reading, playing a fiddle, different ways of creating context and meaning. To demand that math and science produced by brains in vats is our future is like trying to shoot yourself in the foot and try to run a relay race.

Rather than waste precious energy in such twisted debates, I agree with Daniel when he quotes Bucky Fuller. Let’s move towards what we want to have happen. Let’s create new models rather than get lost in critique. This is not the same thing as a goal, which is a pre-decided definition of what you want in line with the powers that already have dominance. A desired outcome is not a solution to a problem. To register your actual desire ( rather than to read a menu of what others think you should want) and to resonate with the invisible structure of the whole, is to tune into your entire sensorium. This requires that we put our desire into forms ( metaphors, narratives) that are speakable and drawable and sharable. If you have a desire and you can’t draw it, or keep it a secret, you probably will not be able to create it.

This is what visionaries, shamans and archaic persons have already done and the magical structure is well established in human societies and will not go away even though the deficient rational regime does its best to label, diagnose and dismiss.

So, I resonate with Bucky on this one. Know what you really want, draw it, dance it, sing it, share it, make it happen. And do the math. Our networks provide us with more than enough tech that gets in our way. We need to register the rhythms of head, heart, gut and move towards what we want rather than get trapped in polarities and endless food fights with critiques that are coming from nowhere.