Cosmos Cafe [2023-04-20] -- WI Thompson's 'Imaginary Landscape' 5

In your time zone: 2023-04-20T18:00:00Z

ZOOM video conference: Launch Meeting - Zoom


The Cafe will focus meta-attention on the fourth Chapter of William Irwin Thompson’s Imaginary Landscapes. We are currently in the push and pull of many delimmas, impasses, and social crack-ups. AI advances, the War in Ukraine, broken supply chains, gain-of-function mutations, and other chaotic attactors seem to hold our arrested attentions for a moment, dissappear, and then reappeear on waves of multi- media that glorifies speculation, hype and a quick fix.

Lynn Margulis considered Thompson to be a master cultural critic. Do you agree, disagree, or agree somewhat with her assesment? What have you learned so far from this reading as Thompson attempts to sketch an imaginary landscape of the middle way? Are we there yet?

Reading / Watching / Listening

Seed Questions

Static Attractors are just points to which nearby points are dynamically attracted. They express the system at rest, as they model its stationary states. Periodic attractors consist of a cycle of states, repeated again and again, always in the same period of time. They represent the system in oscillation. Chaotic attractors consist of fractal ( infinitely folded) sets of states, over which the model system moves, occupying different states in a sequence called a trajectory. or time series in a deterministic manner. They display features of chaos and features of order." -Ralph Abraham

Using the above description can you follow Thompson’s use of dynamic systems theory in this chapter?

How does Thompson work with differences in scale?

Can you apply his method to a personal, family, or cultural crisis?

How is Gaia theory different or similar to Gebser’s mutations?

Eurekas come to a prepared mind. Have you had any eurekas lately?

Context, Backstory, and Related topics

Works mentioned in Bill’s text


“A interesting place of attention”, that seems
to float along side Thompson’s ?


Time,Timing ,Gesber Time & Timelessness?

time in hands


Just want to say, I’m looking forward to our meeting today. It was great to see how Thompson finally pulls off his ‘grand unified theory’ of consciousness evolution in this penultimate chapter… which I know he came up with before his encounter with Gebser… though McLuhan, Wilber, and others he was familiar with (e.g., Vico) had already articulated similar ideas.

Most thought-provoking to me was Thompson’s contention that what we consider “evil” in one epoch is often the harbinger of what becomes good and essential in the next. I find myself pondering our conversation about AI last time—and the skepticism/resistance we generally expressed toward it— in the light of this notion.

Yet Thompson also contends that what is past—perhaps now, the human as such—still sticks around. It may be destroyed by the new techno-economic paradigm, for example, but can be preserved as art. I wonder: is this good enough for us? And what if one doesn’t want to be taken up as an organelle within the new super-organism? Can one ultimately make that choice? And what are the costs/benefits of doing so?

I am sure we’ll have a fertile discussion today on these questions and any y’all might bring as well. See you soon!



3.2-Hybrid-Warfare-and-Its-Metaphors.pdf (1.6 MB)

Some Free Floating Internet Pieces that Goes-With Our Mind Jazz
Today from:

the Surf !!!

For Marco:

Bruce Banner

Clark Kent-Superman


Speaker view ready… gallery and audio only coming soon.


Michael and I have had an interesting conversation. He brought to my attention that he thought I was taking up too much of the group’s time. He made it clear that he was speaking for himself and not for the group and I am open to consider that there is a positive intention behind his objection. And I also realize that there may be another reality that I may need to give my attention to and that the Cafe is not the right place forexploring these paradoxes. As I am exploring lots of alternatives this may be the time to take the feedback that has been given ( thanks Michael) and re-direct my attention to other projects that are calling me. Clean communication is very important to me and I want to give a clear reason for my departure. This is a good time for me to pause and wish everyone the best. And I am not a robot! Thanks to each of you for sharing with me. Blessings to each of you during these challenging times and I will keep in touch.


I’ve enjoyed our recent sessions, John, but also can respect Michael’s desire to bring greater balance to our groups’s airtime, and I’m glad you had what sounds like it was an amicable exchange.

For my part, I don’t feel anything essential left unsaid… though of course, so long as we are in a creative process, there is always more to come.

If you get around to finishing that piece of writing you mentioned you were working on (about your mother, brother, and some anomalous experiences) I would love to read it and potentially sponsor its publication.


I have enjoyed these recent sessions, too, and hope they were useful. And I respect others who have different desire structures. Mine is an experiential preference and so I am turning to other groups who are working at the edge of their own developmental trajectories which I am more attuned to. The subtle dimensions is Sean’s focus and his team is quite advanced and keeps me on my toes. Also I have my Proust group and other affiliations and so need to protect the sense of solitude it takes for me to write.Balancing relationships with tasks has alway been a challenge and I feel mixed feelings often and actually prefer to re-balance in solitude.Good luck and thanks for your encouragement.