Cosmos Café [7/30/19] - Gebser in the Present

Gebser in the Present

Recorded 30 July 2019

JJ: Hey @ccafe! It’s good to be back. I truly enjoyed our conversation this past Tuesday and hope the following call to be a similarly fruitful dialogue. After getting a chance to listen to “Dwelling in the House of Gebser,” and reviewing the thread, Doug and I put together a “set list” of themes we can hopefully orbit around together for the next one. They mainly concern “ Gebser in the Present ,” which is the chord I heard struck a number of times in the inquiries like, “how relevant is Gebser today?” and “where is Gebser vulnerable to postmodern criticisms?” @patanswer’s question on New Media that might “ware” the whole is an intriguing one, too. In addition, with the next Gebser conference at Asilomar being a cross-over with Jungian scholars, we can further intensify the theme: integral consciousness in the present (civilizational crisis) .

Reading / Watching / Listening

  • Chapter 6 of STTW , “The Integral A-Perspectival World: Time-Freedom and its Contemporary Manifestations” is relevant for this topic. (Does anyone need me to send over a PDF of the chapter?)
  • Gebser, Jean. The Ever-Present Origin . Part Two, chapter one, “ The Irruption of Time. ” Section 1: “The Awakening Consciousness of Freedom from Time” (pg. 283-289). Chapter two, “ The New Mutation , Section 2, "The Theme of the New Mutation” (pg. 301-306).
  • The film class on Nura just watched Akira , which is touched on in my chapter above. I have it in mind a lot lately. You guys are welcome to check it out.

Seed Questions

From 7/16 Café:

  • Just how relevant is Gebser these days? Who is willing to read him, and why and why not?
  • Where and how is Gebser vulnerable to current (postmodern?) criticism?
  • What kind of social media might truly ‘ware’ the whole in transparency and time-freedom in the 21st century?

From 49th annual Jean Gebser Conference page:

  • How can we work through the liminality of this great planetary, spiritual unfolding?
  • How can we comprehend Anima Mundi and World Crisis?
  • How can the thinking of Gebser and Jung be understood as prophetic ?

Context, Backstory, and Related topics

Agenda items

  • Check-ins
  • TBD

On that last note…

I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

And from Strange Bird:


Thanks again, Jeremy, for visiting our Cafe. And in the future don’t be a stranger. I hope you can join us again for another event. You suggested Donna Haraway’s work for a future reading. We have worked with some of her ideas previously. Perhaps, we are ready for another deep dive? A great suggestion.


Thanks @johnnydavis54 and @everyone for the wonderful afternoon!

I’d be up for a Staying with the Trouble deep dive with the @ccafe, for sure.


It has been a great pleasure to share a few hours time with you Jeremy. Your immersion into the world of Gebser and “integral florilegium” along with your gentle presence has conjured up the beautiful being that we witness before us.

We made valiant attempts to begin a discussion group through the Café last year, but during a taxing time of overflowing reading commitments. We may be there now too with focus on the various reading groups forming, but we are neither down nor out! I have created a placeholder for introducing Staying with the Trouble in our growing list of proposed Café topics. I would like to know what others in the @ccafe crew think might be worth exploring in next week’s Café before biting off while mouth is full.

Related explorations with Haraway as sidekickin’ kin:

@artex , who lead Bateson Week 6 session with a stringing together of Nora and Donna writings on “unbounded threads” + string figures and multispecies storytelling, may be interested to sit in for a spell if we discuss Haraway’s introduction.

Also, Chapter 6 of Staying with the Trouble was read in tandem with Octavia Butler’s “The Book of Martha” and may be of interest to you @Jeremy:


I think it may be too much for the attention span of the Cafe but we could do a short reading in the Fall.


Yes, a vote for Haraway here!


Sowing Worlds, yay!!!


This discussion really picked up depth and radiance as it went along… I took a lot of notes on the part I heard. Had to stop. Leaving for now with this:

Jeremy asks: If “Time (as well as space) is entangled” how to navigate, how to engender this as felt-sense?

There are practices re: exactly this, ie, “navigating” (cooperatively, in various ways) into a direct felt-sense of aperspectival, ever present, ever- changing, spacetime …from which (rather than ABOUT which) we learn to speak to each other in various ways. These are not done alone, but with at least two persons. (Persons, not people, is a deliberate choice here). I have done a bit with groups, but many years of two human versions, various partners. Meditative skills, both wide focus and narrow, facilitate ease of co-entry…so to speak.
“About which” speaking is rich and fun, but “from/out of which” speaking (AND doing!) is what is so strongly calling us now, it seems…

Hope to be back soon… lots of projects cooking, mmmmm mmmmm…

Thanks, all!



Thank You Maia for the Mutual Comprehension & Empathic Sensitivity.


Spider Grandmother arranges and re-arranges light and darkness…

Thank YOU, Michael, for your heart-presence and all the beautiful images you send into us here.


A few random notes and comments:

“The grid” I heard, from Jeremy, and I thought: the grid is an idea about space, not space itself…which is not at all rigid and fixed, but entirely dynamic.

We can “go between” as we do with ocean waves which are not apparently orderly at one level, beautifully and clearly orderly at another…

“Listening with your third ear” Johnny says and then tells his dream that makes him laugh, and makes me smile.

“Hearing the Whole” says, Jeremy. “A poetic embodiment”. “A way to come back to the Present”, round about indeed. Slippages, slipping
between the waves…

Ed: “we are taught to distrust things we can’t explain” and to ignore the intuitions that whisper and stream inside us. “forces us to slow down”!
Approaching a green Light, we might hear “stop”. Approaching a red light, we might hear…keep going?
My daughter and I had this same realizing the other night: listen and “obey”. Obey means to listen deeper.

Michael: contemplative practices bring us “there/here” and slow down the “mental/rational reactivity” “you have to go back into the body…which is more like a plant or an animal” Oh yes!

Doug: Liminal Dreaming… Like Michael, I feel like Dreaming happens while we;re awake, too, don’t need to be asleep. Today I saw that happen, saw a dream shape itself over a waking ordinary sight…

Jeremy: “Dream dreamless sleep is maximal latency.” And that happens while awake, too, in what seem like brief intervals, but “no time” is neither short nor long… “The integral is Lucidity”…
“Bringing that to the forefront”
Actually I don’t think it’s hard, but does require ask for frequent practicing of various sorts, just as playing music or …any art/craft.

Michael: “Space becomes dark”…

Geoffrey: “As one moves …closer to speed of light, time slows down…” “Everything is always happening at the same time”.

Michael: Dogan’s being-time

Jeremy: “Taoism: the road not taken by civilization…darkness is like the cloud of unknowing, a luminous void”

Johnny: "Identification is all about what is excluded… Who knows what DOESN’T have a personal “I”

The daylight mind doesn’t even notice the Day Moon…and flees the Night Moon…

Jeremy: Strange Bird, a multi-faceted bird…the plurality of the “I”. The non-humaning of the human" Whoa yes, I absolutely concur.
What does it mean to be a plural-self? Staying With The Trouble, Haraway. Endosymbiosis (Margulis). Serious Evolutionary Leaps occur when there is a merging of organisms…

Okay, I say, let’s do it!
Doug, Michael, Jeremy, Ed, Johnny…and the rest of the cosmos…did I miss anyone? :wink:


Hear, hear!

Biblical Hebrew only has one word for “hear”, “listen”, and “obey”: shema (Shin-Mem-Ayin).

The Germans (who have always had a somewhat ambivalent relationship to their cousins, the Franks, i.e., French, who got their “obey” from the Latin oboedire, a variation of the expected abaudire) have a rather large complex of words that revolve around “hearing”. The verb “to hear” is hören, and the word “to obey” is gehorchen, both come from the same original root, but the latter is akin to our “hearken” (which has a touch of obeying built in). “To be submissively dependent upon someone” is to be hörig, yet your family members and relatives are Angehörige. If you add the preposition auf (which generally means “onto/upon/at”) to hören, you get aufhören which means “to stop”, which I find a rather unexpected twist, but why would any language be logical or consistent? That would be no fun at all. :thinking:

“Obey”, not unsurprisingly, is a French import (after 1066), and it took over part of the English “listen” (from the Old English hlysnan), as you point out. Our other word, “hear” comes from the Old English heran, akin to the German hören. But we’ve other cool, related words, like “hark” and “hearken”, too, which have faded greatly from lack of use. :frowning_face:

Back in Western Pennsylvania where I grew up, I don’t recall ever hearing “obey” outside of church. We’da just better t’listen when we was bein’ talked to. :roll_eyes:


Yes, I have been merging with other intelligences for decades, both human and non-human. I assume telepathy is happening more often than not. We do need ways of handling the noise. I feel the horror and wonder of many cross-overs, between persons of many species. It is intense as Gebser says. Of course, some of us have little choice about these irruptions. It is understandable,to avoid clashing with authorities, that we practice discernment. But as the heat dome covers the Ice cap there will be more need than ever to learn how to translate quickly. Supra waking clarity does not come easy, it takes practice, and a community of competent persons, who can listen with heightened sensitivity. Thanks, Ariadne, for sharing your notes!


Great discussion. (How’s that for an understatement?) :smiley:

Of course I can’t find it, but Jeremy noted somewhere that the human spirit is well “able to contain” the ‘contradictions’ (as modern training calls them) found in the deep well of creativity. Something between a jolt and calming wave went through my body-mind as I heard the words. Nothing ‘mystical’ (or maybe it was, what do I know?), just, in that brief moment, a sense that the presence of everything needed no further explanation yet did not discourage attempts.

There are many times many things my rational being does not and cannot now understand. And that’s OK, because this now is only a reflection of now.

It is good to mark off sufficient spaces in which to be who we are.
If walls are necessary to bound those spaces so be that.
As long as those walls are made of transparent glass -
Lest we be tempted to throw stones -
So that we may see clearly.

Shared with the family because… I am able to do so.


Just for U TJ​:yum::joy::sunglasses:



The mystical is a big idea but often a rather gentle, subtle experience, that gets labeled and dismissed by the rational.

A jolt and a calming wave…and where abouts is that jolt?..and through body mind… where abouts is that calming wave,.? And Is there size or a shape?

It is my humble belief, and also my mission in life, that when we collectively are able to gather attention around what happens in the in-between…and slow down…and develop curiosity for the subtle awareness at the micro-perceptual level,…this can open us up to a field of possibility.

Under meanings and subtle variations are re-experienced and fresh language and new metaphors arise.

Complexity has a memory of it’s own structure. And this memory in complex social systems is widely distributed and disputes can erupt around our complex irruptions. History, as Mark Twain (?) once said, doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.

And somewhere there is a field of children who are being liberated…and brought to safety…by a wise man…who was friends with a Jewish carpenter…


With two windows open, I was listening to Van Morrison’s beautiful “Memory Lane” as shared by Michael while reading this post. I felt another jolt-wave. My rational mind produces a picture of the magnetic fields of the Earth with the “pole” as an axis running through the heart and head and radiating out and back but that is only the best ‘description’ I can come up with.

I found the words of the dream (“Generations III” thread) and re-read them before but after this sentence the actual memory of it is sharp and vivid again. I resisted the urge to tear up in the office here - but I will count that a failing rather than a success if you know what I mean.

Something is going on in the TJ-sphere that requires exploration (but maybe no explanation?)… :thinking:


If it okay maybe you could re-post that dream ( vision?)…

Another jolt-wave and rational mind makes a picture… and if we were in a good space I would ask you to make a sketch ( perhaps on the back of a cocktail napkin?) of that description in a way that makes sense to you…

And Van Morrison’s beautiful music and another jolt-wave can recombine into a drawing and this externalization of the interiors can become an aspect of our shared reality…we are learning about ourselves at another level of our being…,as the vision comes can the logic be far behind?

Yes…and it is important that you are able to make this kind of distinction…we do need boundaries to protect our inter subjective explorations…are we practicing a subversive insurgence?

This is what I would call Symbolic Self Modeling…and when we do this in a public space , using technology that was designed by and for the military info entertainment industry…

Are we not starting to use our collaborative imagination(s) to work with a new kind of outside?

How can we leave the world behind while we are living in it?


I want to “second” Johnny’s question to you, TJ.
And to second “something’s going on”…
feel just that way about this…Maiasphere, here,
and somehow it’s assuring-reassuring to know
that we don’t need names beforehand. My friend and I
who were doing our weekly dialogical meditation practice
came to that (again!) Exploration: explanation.
“Planus” to flatten, is a giant clue, isn’t it! :wink:

And then I couldn’t resist looking at “exploration” and found this:
from Latin explorare “investigate, search out, examine, explore,” said to be originally a hunters’ term meaning “set up a loud cry,” from ex “out” … + plorare "to weep, cry." Which is similar to the Lakota word used to mean pray: to cry out to the mystery/creator, to weep and plead for a vision…