Cosmos Café: A Radical Conversation with Terry Patten, author of A New Republic of the Heart [5/15/18]

As I reflect upon the lines by Milton ( thanks for the full quotation, Ed!) and tune into the Gnostic Voice of the Fallen Angel, I feel the forces that we are unleashing and wonder if any of the expenditure of energy I make, or that any of us makes, in order to make sense of our current civilization in crisis, is at all worth it. Let it die.

Milton’s poem came out of the great clash of Cromwell and the Crown, a tremendous upheaval, in which both men lost their heads. After Charles was executed and the Restoration happened, Cromwell’s body was exhumed and his head stuck on a pike and put upon the Tower of London. Can a man’s body die twice? It is a great symbolic gesture, made by the State that we can find you and crush you. And Milton puts all of this sound and fury into verse. The Poetry is grand but the History is so ugly.

With all of these doubts and dilemmas, before bed, reflecting upon the futility of it all, I relax and do my dream yoga practice and re-enter the liminal zone. I reenter a place I know well and want to return to as Satan recalls from the bowels of hell, the joys of heaven. Here is a report from the liminal zones.

I do my yoga nidra and lift out of the physical into a vaster space and I make contact with a voice. It is a male voice and it is located above and yet is close and far at the same time. There is no visual but a strong sense of the interiors are shared, a kind of music without sound.

I say," So there is life after death."

And he says, " Yes there is. We are in the after-death state but you are still in the physical body." He telepathically conveys the where and the how of his last death( it happened in Japan) and I get a sense that he is waiting for an opportune moment to re-enter the physical world and I find I have no questions to ask for I have come to the end of questions and answers. It is enough just to commune with this person in a vast void that is full of other shimmering intelligences.

Then I have beautiful visions with Beatrice, my dear old lady, that passed away last Spring. We are in a beautiful landscape and there is a house and a village nearby and we are together in a smooth, seamless way. She is communicative and is touchingly sweet and full of great dignity. She talks little but what she says is clear. We find an old abandoned vehicle in the woods and climb into it and take a nap. Next to me, her body on my left sided we nap, her head on my shoulder. After the rest we continue to walk and there are moments when we silently commune. I feel the soft and gentle love pouring through my body touch her body. And I sense a clear resonance and I know that this silent flow of goodness between us, is enough. I have nothing else to give, and nothing else to receive.

There are other places to explore in this landscape and I have a dollar and with that I am told that we can go to the village on top of a steep hill and buy anything we want. This would please Beatrice, as she delights in trinkets and costume jewelry, and so I look for a passage so that together we can climb the high hill. The light is subtle and the landscape is green and the atmosphere serene and I take the old lady, now a shimmering Goddess by the hand. Total bliss.

I could never make this stuff up. This is not my imagination for my imagination is just not good enough. No this is the Real World.

I can wake up in my physical bed and remember what happened. Memory moves backwards and the Future( s) move forwards and it all is happening at the same time. This is the Marriage of Heaven and Hell as Beatrice returns in a vision once again, like Alcestis from the Grave…


Re: the word “radical”:

Here’s the thread you’re referring to, Ed, for anyone interested:

And re: the focus of our conversations:

I think I agree (the wording is a little off) but I think what I’d like to point out, to pick up on your distinction, is that before fore-grounding and back-grounding, we need common-grounding; otherwise, it can hard to determine whether we’re even talking about the same thing, thus what needs to be brought forth, and what’s better left behind or unsaid.

Re: saving the world. It’s a cliché, of course, which I think has to do with some new human order that can exist in harmony with nature. On a planetary scale: I can actually envision this. It would mean roughly what Terry means by “whole systems change.” I understand this to be a radical vision of what’s possible.

But in my imagination, this stage of human evolution (if that’s what we’re still talking about) would be the starting point for a whole new properly Universal (perhaps even Cosmic) phase. But first: I do believe we are charged with creating Heav’n on Earth. And yes: we are the Fallen Angels. And we may need to do this a few times before we get it right. (I am assuming we have already done this before, in some way.) And finally, I imagine that Heav’n on Earth will necessarily be concrete and imperfect, because if it was ideal and perfect, it would actually be Hell.

Re: future Cafés, I am interested in other spaces and metaphors that complement the cosmic. I am curious about Stuart’s Halls theory of encoding/decoding messages in mass media. Here is a piece we may want to read and discuss.

Hall-Encoding-Decoding-CSReader.pdf (280.5 KB)

I also think that while a “new republic of the heart” is a lofty and wholesome ideal, we/I also need to keep and strengthen our root systems in the ground—the underground, and the undercommons—which is where what’s “radical” is actually found and lived (and suffered)—where thinking actually takes place (where it remains unpopular) before the marketplace takes notice.

I believe we need more poetry, too! I am getting bored with philosophy and theory. I would rather care-fully interpret a single poem (or a line in a poem), which is spiritually high stakes and requires sensitive concentration, than vaguely generalize about interesting ideas, which yet don’t move the soul.


True enough, which is the essence of the “ego defense” system, i.e. repression. After all - it’s worked for thousands of years. We (humans) dominate the earth, and yet bicker/fight etc. within our species for dominance in all manner of domains. Which, I think, you, @achronon & @Douggins were getting at the end of the “conversation”, or ‘how do you “help” someone (stranger/ neighbor/family, etc.) that doesn’t want your help?’ @madrush, yes I agree - the conversation strayed from the usual “book tour” promotion, and also from the content itself. So … , so what? meaning, are you pleased/satisfied, or not?


@madrush, reading further, I see that you are not, satisfied. Is anyone, ever? TBC


@ccafe - it seems to me “we” in this forum, the Cafe, are honing in on the (most important) subject of communication, both/and, interpersonal, tribal, and collective (mass); and that that is now changing in ways never, ever, before imagined (much less figured out). We are explorers! Frontiersmen(women)! Let’s go . I, for one, have nothing to lose …


Although I like the essay, Marco, that you mention, it is very dry and technical. Since we are pressed for time as the Cafe is on Tuesday I suggest a different reading. Let’s look at a short non-academic interview of Stuart Hall and then contrast with a live current debate and a bit of satire with a funny Tranny!

If we want to do Stuart Hall, who was a great theorist, I would suggest that we contrast and compare him with this contentious video of Dyson and Peterson, both well matched opponents in debate. The brief and informative article by Hall, reflects upon the conflicted zones of the Left as the foundations of the current Neo Liberal orthodoxy was being laid down. I imagine that comparing the debate with the two leading public intellectuals with the late, great Stuart Hall, would give us a good workout.
To make it really juicy I would add another brief video that does an excellent parody and critique of current controversies. All of these videos and the essay would take about an hour of homework to complete. Are we breaking down or are we breaking through or a little of both?

And pick out a poem that moves you and share it at the beginging. Something radical. It would be a good way of stimulating the left/right hemispheres and creating a certain mood! I think of Walt Whitman for example or Emily Dickinson who wrote lots of radical poetry. .

Understanding_Stuart_Hall_----(Chapter_8-_‘Fragmented_and_concrete’,_in_conversation_with_Stuart_Hal…).pdf (71.6 KB)

I’m down, @johnnydavis54. @madrush turned me on to Peterson, & I’m prbly in agreement w/him about 80%, which is more than most others. Should be interesting. …

both/and. ok a cliche, but it’s fun, right? or is someone here suicidal? which is no joke. And if so, talk with a licensed professional!! (a Psychologist -PsyD- doctorate, is my recommendation.)


Or @johnnydavis54, there is this - truth revealed through comedy/humor, i.e. sublimation (Freud was right) and then condemned (Louis C.K. is a horrible person); versus an outliers “Queer”) interpretation. Both of which share the reward of $$s, which says what? Just asking … .

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Thinking about theory and practice. Neo liberalism has produced the interdisciplinary, which is private research for private purposes. Proliferation of vibrant networks through the use of the Internet has created the arising of the trans-disciplinary. Neo-liberalism has created the conditions for this more Integral style that happens as multiple players freely interact without a clear boundary applied by economic, governmental or academic interests This is a topic that I believe is highly relevant.

How are identities co-created and how they are perhaps perturbed as technology fatigue and institutions start to wobble? This seems to be a major concern for many players. The tensions that are emerging is of great interest and are playing around the edges of many of our events here at the Cafe. I hope that we can gather the resources to explore some of this in the near future. It can go in many different directions.

Since no one seems to have a topic for this week and I really don’t have time to navel gaze I may make other plans for tomorrow. I hope whatever happens that it is a positive experience for all who participate and I will check in when I can. Hang in the there, good people, and I hope you have a great chat!

Agreed, and we have been honing in a wide variety of ways: reading-and-discussing, experiencing a clean-language approach, focusing on new topics, conversing with specific others, engaging platform-relevant issues, and engaging in serious conversation. Your statement, Mark, encapsulates that in a very direct and intense way.

To me, Marco’s remark:

complements yours in that it addresses alternate ways of communicating, analogous to, but more extensive than, say, alternate ways of knowing. This in turn seems to me to be in tune with another statement Marco made (literally ripped out of its context), namely

which very much encapsulates my own mullings and musings over this long weekend (for me: it’s Pentecost and so today is a holiday in these parts … holidays are like Sundays, and on Sundays, other than cooking (special things), I don’t do much of anything … I’m a big fan of Sabbaths; that is, days of rest, even if I sometimes violate my own principles by posting too long posts here).

The question that’s been haunting me ever more fiercely for weeks now is, “So what?” (And, no, Mark, I’m not the least bit suicidal.)

Though it’s going to sound harsher than it’s meant, theories are a dime-a-dozen. The last thing I’m looking for in my life at this point in time is another theory. Hall may be an interesting fellow (I’m not familiar with him and I only scanned both pieces offered as suggestions) and maybe at some point what he has to say could be well worth considering. At the present moment, my impression is, well, so what? Do I really need another communication model/theory at this point in my life, and do I really think that whatever communication is happening in the CCafés needs theorizing? I think that’s Mark’s point: we’re doing something in spite of all models and theorizing and that has intrinsic value, hence it is worth pursuing.

Peterson is, in my estimation, an outstanding psychologist. As a cultural critic and philosopher, however, he’s more than a royal pain in the ass. (I’ve read his 12 Rules, for example, and if you read it as the self-help book that it was apparently intended to be, then it is no surprise to me that it outsold Warren’s The Purpose-driven Life (fundamentalist Christian, to a fault) or Covey’s The Habits of Highly Effective People (pithy to the point of endangerment), but if you want to read it as something else (cf. the CounterPoints clip), it’s easy to trash … but didn’t the postmodernists teach us that anything can be trashed if you want to trash it? His Maps of Meaning is, as far as I am unconcerned, unparalleled in its class, but once he leaves his own home turf, he loses the plot damn quickly.) The Dyson-Peterson clip was not a debate; I couldn’t even (and really don’t want to) imagine what must have gone on before to get it to the truly sad point at which we segue into the event. The risk of getting side-tracked by the unessential is huge.

But, when you consider the core CCafé group (say, anyone who has been there – not as an extra, or special invited guest – several times, like @Douggins, @Geoffreyjen_Edwards, @johnnydavis54, @madrush, @Mark_Jabbour, and @achronon), there isn’t a more unlikely group of ever getting together to sit down and have a “real” (read: meaningful, if you want) conversation. Then throw in those others who have made it a couple of times and who seem to be finding a way to make it even more often (like @ Lisa and @ ZacharyFeder), well, the probability of having anything more than over-drinks-chit-chat drops even more drastically. And when you consider who is sometimes there or who can’t (for whatever reasons) often make it (like @patanswer, @ care_save, @ natesavery), the likelihood of having any kind of a real conversations becomes infinitesimally small. BUT, and it is a very big “but”, that’s precisely what we have, each and every time. Regardless of the actual constellation, regardless of the actual (set) topic, regardless of the actual “reading” (or not), that’s precisely what we have: sound, honest, straightforward, meaningful conversations that are knowingly enriching for some (because they have stated so explicitly) and most likely enriching for others (or they wouldn’t come back if it was all such a waste of time).

And so, I have two (for the mere sake of simplicity) suggestions for tomorrow:

  • on the anything-goes side, we can just meet, same bat-time, same bat-channel and be involved with one another as is so rare in this day and age;

  • on the more focused side, we could alternately, all watch Marco’s rehearsal and dig into that and its implications – provided, of course, that he’s willing to go along with the suggestion. After all, it is his project (but he did make a public post about it, too).

I’m fine with the former, but I’m partial to the latter, simply because it is poetry and it’s something from within (even the group) and it’s worth talking about.


Thanks for the thoughts on the inner logic of what makes these cafés worthwhile, and for inviting a discussion on my ‘rehearsal.’ However, I do feel I need to keep that poem in the “underground” for now (which is it not a public channel, but open to Metapsychosis writers and editors). But don’t get me wrong, I DO want poetry into the Café, just not my poetry, or that particular poem…yet.

However, one direction I do feel we can go, tomorrow, which would be useful, is exactly the question of the political, which we’ve been talking around, even with Terry. How CAN we have political conversations which are productive, meaningful…dare I say, integral or let’s just say ‘integrative’?

I’m with John on his assessment of what a disappointment the contemporary (Wilberian) Integral movement has been when it comes to politics. Terry might be the most sophisticated thinker in this camp, but he still would have delivered us to the Clintons in apparently good conscience. Aurobindo may provide a more potent exemplar for both political and spiritual radicality—but I don’t know enough to say for sure. Moreover, his situation was different than ours. Same goes for Gebser and other examples we might look to.

For a future Café (allowing time to do the reading) I think exploring the ideas of Metamodernism could be an interesting way to go. I also believe that the idea of “creative democracy” will be crucial, in some way, to our future. But I’m not sure if we’re quite ready to talk about ‘democracy’ yet, per se, when we still need to re-learn how to talk at all on political questions. Communication would thus be a great topic for tomorrow, but we you’re right, @achronon, we don’t need another theory; I’d say we can work with what’s already actually present, or latent in the conversation thus far; and whatever theories we can bring to the table, which help illuminate the questions, great. But maybe poetry helps illuminate them even better.

I’m happy to watch the Peterson videos too, and bring them in tomorrow, but don’t think the focus should be about him. He is, however, a really interesting phenomenon and reference point, which encapsulates a lot about our present moment, which I think could be fruitful to discuss on a meta-creative level, if we’re up for it! I’ll be there…


Sounds good to me. I shall be there as well.

(And excuse, please, my platform-technological ineptitude … you can zap the link to the rehearsal if it would be best (don’t want anyone following a dead link). I’m not always completely clear on where I am in relation to everything on the platform. I’m certainly not complaining, merely observing.

What is more, some of the @ links in my post were “broken”, because the platform doesn’t allow for references to more than 10 persons. Don’t you just love “AI”, I know I do. :roll_eyes: )

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@Mark_Jabbour: Would you like to try to frame tomorrow’s Café for us?

You can start a new topic that branches from this one in two steps, just like this:

I loathe Jordan Peterson and only am interested in criticism of his approach. He says some useful things against the New Atheists and has even been admired by Rupert Sheldrake for his stand against Sam Harris, etc. But his diatribes against post-modernism fall flat and he seems unaware of his own shadow.

He is a hard core apologist for an insidious form of Neo-Liberalism . Both of the videos I posted are critical responses to Peterson that are worth focusing upon. Peterson is, in my view, a polarizing figure who supports the status quo. He is does not engage an Integral approach. He reminds me of the snarky conservatism of the late William F. Buckley.

The only reason I am interested in the debate format he does engage is because so much of our public discourse is framed around this way of communicating. Debate has a long history of entanglement with the decadent forms of rationality. A two party system that has an up or down vote is only going to frame a debate like a duel at dawn. It is a little bit more interesting than mud-wrestling.

An interesting approach to the issue of identity is this chapter by Stuart Hall. I think he has much more subtlety and nuance than Peterson can possibly conjure up in his theatrical diatribes.
Questions_of_Cultural_Identity_SAGE_Publications_----(Chapter_1-Introduction_Who_Needs’Identity’_).pdf (1.1 MB)

I imagine that this kind of comparitive practice could be a good follow up to the Patten dialogue but we don’t in my opinion have the time to do justice to this idea. Since I like to study and want more and better theory and practice I will just put this out there on the table with very little expectation that anything will happen with it.

I am not suicidal either, Ed, but our culture has become so. I wonder, as you have asked this question before, and I sense this is a pattern for you, what happens right before you ask this question? I know you enjoy playing the Curmudgeon and I am also sure you can play other kinds of roles when you want to as you are often very supportive of others. Maybe it is just too big for us humans to handle? You seem to have concluded as much. Clearly, we are entering a new phase as the mass extinction that has been worried over is starting to occur. And what about your grandchildren? I dont have any so it doesnt matter to me personally. I just imagine ( I have no proof) that if enough persons cared enough we might be able to have some beneficial effect on the future.

We seem to often re-embody the socio-cultural impasse even as we try to get out of it. I have brought my best to this experience so far but I have to worry that maybe this Cafe, just like Western Civilization, is running out of gas…


I’ll certainly show up tomorrow. I think we have plenty of topics on the table. That said_communication_seems ripe. I just got another, what I’d call “nasty” note/prod from this platform, informing me that I’ve posted “more than 28% of the replies here.” and then, “Are you sure you’re providing adequate time for the other people to share their points of view, too?” So that’s a new sort of communication. Clearly the platform isn’t reading or following the conversation - just counting words, as I was asked a direct question. I guess I could have just answered with a “Nope.” Which leads into a good starting point for tomorrow’s cafe: Is this new instant, global communication (twitter, Facebook, instagram, even this, helping or hurting people to communicate in ways that facilitate understanding and compassion? Which most people agree we need more of. Can anything be done besides “dropping out”? Is that even a legitimate option? I quit Twitter, I’ve kept my Facebook account, check it from time to time, but don’t comment or post (save for auto-links from Goodreads. But, am I not drifting into even more seclusion and anti-social behavior? Which is not healthy. Seems like we (humans) ought to be able to debate and disagree without rancor, or keeping score (likes), make an argument , but perhaps not. See you tomorrow.


John, please excuse the clumsiness of this attempted clarification, but when you say that we “re-embody the socio-cultural impasse,” how or where do you see that happening?

And when you “…worry that maybe this Cafe, just like Western Civilization, is running out of gas…” what would you like to have happen?


And when I offer my best effort and Ed says," So what?" I feel the impasse in my gut.

And is there anything else about that impasse in the gut?

It is like heavy dead oil slick floating around in my gut, it weighs fifty pounds and is turning into a something so hard that no one can shit it out. It is turning into a really hard knot in the gut. It does not necessarily belong to me personally but it is a relational aspect of the group dynamic that is like a free floating alien attack. It is breaking through the protective sheath of humanity and it ignores all efforts at creating coherence and it asks," SO WHAT?" And it flies overhead like a big black bat . It high pitched voice squeeks the world sucks and you are a looser. Give up.

And when after I have given my best and Ed says," So what?" and I feel the oil slick in my gut turn into a knot…and the big black bat flies overhead …what would I like to have happen?


transversality is a notion that describes how spaces can intersect; transversality can be seen as the “opposite” of tangency, and plays a role in general position. It formalizes the idea of a generic intersection in differential topology.

I would like to move beyond the modernist notions of the universalisms and big narrative and away from postmodern stress on context and relativity and move towards transversality, moving away from incoherence of the culture wars between deficient modern and post modern towards the coherence of that which is in the in between, the liminal zones, the pause between inhale and exhale, between contraction and expansion…I want Integral Pluralisms!

And can that happen on the Cafe?

I really strongly doubt it…but I am open to the possibility…but I am also not willing to put my faith in the same damn thing over and over…not repetition of the same but I am interested in the similar and the different…iteration with variation…every blade of grass is a different shade of green…check it out if you dont believe me…

And then what happens…the knot in the gut starts to loosen up a little bit…not a lot…but a little bit…

And then what happens…

Like Greta Garbo…I want to be alone…


In my limited, curmudgeony world, there are two kinds of “so what”: generic and specific. Generic so-whats are asked in general and are a prompt for further discussion. It’s a prod for trying to assess what are the consequences of the thought/argument/approach/concept/… . These come when there’s lots of talk and and lots of theories and – just as an example – after reading another high-two-digit/three digit-page document (that could have been expressed in less than half that space) and devoting time and energy to trying to follow sometimes specious argumentation (in some of our readings) I get weary and ask so what? Specific so-whats are asked of specific persons in specific instances, which was not the case here.

And I’m genuinely sorry you feel that way. My intention was anything other than directing that so-what at you, John. That so-what was generic, not specific, but I sincerely apologize nevertheless. I should have done more to make that clear.

Like you, I take our CCafé sessions seriously. I consider them serious conversations about things that matter, in general, but also to me specifically. Sometimes we have a specific focus and sometimes we do not, and I have gone to more effort than I normally would to try an make clear why I think these talks matter. Why should they be dismissed as “navel gazing”? In each session there is something that I can garner that contributes to my own understanding of life and which, sometimes in almost minuscule, but not insignificant ways, helps me answer my primary questions, namely why am I here (as in exist, not in the café), who am I, and where do I think I might be headed? The secondary question is even more generic, I suppose, namely How is this helping to make the world a better place? I’m always on the look out for what I can take into my everyday personal life and apply to make my interactions with my Umwelt less strenuous, more sensible, more enriching, less debilitating. It’s in that secondary-question area that most so-whats arise.

Like you John, just to take one example, I don’t think Peterson is close to integral. And here is a specific, so what? I can’t recall ever meeting anyone who I thought was what I thought integral might be. And, like you, I think Peterson has lost the plot in his latest crusade, and I say to myself, “so what?” I’ll just let that part of him go off and do whatever it has to, and I’ll look for things that might be helpful to me in my own quest elsewhere. I mean, Heidegger was a friggin’ Nazi, but we don’t read him for his insights on political and economic policy, we read his philosophy because we believe he still has worthwhile things to say there. Like you, John, I agree that “programs” (and I have not better word for it at the moment than that one) like Wilber’s will never ever get us close. And here, too, I ask myself, “so what?” It doesn’t mean that there might not be something in all those gazillion words he’s produced that might be truly worth reading or listening to. Maybe there is, but I doubt I’m going to read all those words to find out. But these kinds of things do kicked around in the CCafé and I don’t have to or I get a hint as to where I might look specifically or my suspicions are confirmed. For me that’s helpful. Others’ mileage my vary.

And then you added this – I’m going to call it a “thought” … whereby I sort of sense that it could be understood perhaps as something “larger” than that, say, a “theory”, but I’m not going to go there now simply because of how I feel about theories at this point in time – which I found particularly worth noting (whereby I’ve only kept the brackets):

Now, I’ll tell you right up front that I’m not sure I know what you mean. I may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier but I’m bright enough to understand (at least some of the potential) meanings of those word put together in that context (which, whether we like it or not and whether the postmodernist overemphasized it or not) is sometimes essential. If I take the topological notion and translate it into what makes sense to me in the context of the café, then “intersection” becomes “interaction”, so “transversality” becomes some different kind of interaction. As I stated above, I’m still on the look-out for “integral” anything so I’m going think “more integrating” here … you know, more accepting, more inclusive, less divisive, more together, less apart … that kind of thing. Pluralizing “pluralism” is a bit of stumble stone for me, but when I think about it, I start getting the feel of separate-but-together, more-than-one-but-somehow-conceptually-bracketed, a kind of “thing” where the whole-and-the-details are all clear all at the same time.

If I now try to string that all together in my aging mind, I get a different-than-usual, more-accepting-less-divisive interaction of distinctive parts within a more together-than-usual whole. Which, to me, sort of describes very well how I see our CCafe sessions. It’s a work-in-progress, to be sure. But, it does seem to me that we’ve got a couple of partially worked foundation stones to our credit. That’s a start. And I am fully aware that I’m not doing your notion justice, John, so you will forgive me for sharing only my first impressions. Based on them, I’m a little unclear as to why you feel the CCafé is in jeopardy, but I’m sure that in the course of the ongoing discussions that will be fleshed out or resolved. I am a slightly optimistic curmudgeon, you know.

So, again, John, I’m sorry if you took a remark not directed at you for one that was. I’ll try to be more careful in the future.


That’s very good, Ed, and it sounds like…feels like…a kind of conceptual blending that may be happening in the aging social brains of the Cafe. Everyone’s brain on the planet is aging and that may be why the capacity for transversality is needed. This is what Lisa mentions in a previous cafe, examining how same, similar, difference register as a higher structure, as if these terms are riding seamlessly on a mobius strip.

It’s like same sex-marriage took about twenty years of constant repetition before enough social brains shifted so that we could allow a difference to happen without threatening the status quo. The sky did not fall and the people have gotten on with their business without having to slaughter other people for being different. Enough good people stopped reproducing a knee jerk reptilian reaction, driven by the war metaphor, cut it out, kill it, nuke it first. The landmark Supreme Court decisions to strike down sodomy laws and allow gay marriage was a direct result of intensive language games conducted by many post-modern thinkers that Peterson, with his language of contempt, despises. Peterson throws out the baby and the bath water. I dont think he is stupid but his behavior is. He is a toxic bully.

And I dont want to discuss Peterson’s well publicized antics, I would like to delve into identity politics however and wonder why people who have not had their identities attacked have no imagination when other people who are attacked at the level of identity constantly are upset. Any black kid in the ghetto or gay man who walks on the wrong side of town knows this threat of persecution. I have been called faggot since I was ten years old. I have been hit, spit upon an d beat up by gangs of bullies. They attacked who I am. I fought back. I am not a victim but I am aware that in a court of law, such as runs our State, you have to become a victim in order to win the case. This paradox is very well established and Gays and other minorities have used it brilliantly in order to survive.

Has there been excessive use of Identity politics? I would say when Hilary Clinton claims special status as a victim that she used identity politics in a devious way to mask her Neo-liberal ambitions. And maybe these patterns and meta-patterns can be recognized and dealt with more effectively. If people would stop persecuting people and deriving satisfaction from maintaining master/slave dynamics there would be no need for laws or lawyers to manipulate the public the way they currently must to stop vicious politicians from using the exclusionary tactics to win approval.

And I appreciate that there is a positive intention behind your SO WHAT?, Ed. That you intend it to be a prompt rather than a dismissal is useful to know. I realize that a safe space is necessary so that enough transversality can be risked. We can have porous boundaries where we negotiate rather than encounter border crossings where people get shot! This is to work the social engagement system that has been disentangled from thousands of years of persecution and ongoing trauma.

The dreamer’s voice, which is often associated with the visionary, often has a quiet voice, it is often a young voice, an age regressed voice, a neuro atypical voice. We should talk to the visionary as we would to a pet or a small child, with a slow rhythm. These kinds of voices are under the collective mind and are more closely aligned with the animal world. Debate is antithetical to that still, quiet voice. It is kind of shy…hides behind Mama’s skirt…but feels everything and feels much more deeply that Peterson does about justice and fair play.

I have made it a habit, as the elder brother, who had to protect his mother and younger siblings from a vicious tyrant (he thinks just like Peterson) and I stood up to tyrant and whooped his ass. So please do not confuse me with someone who is unable to speak their mind.

I can regress in service of transcendence and this will be, if we become a collaborative species, a prerequisite for entering the kingdom. We will need many voices often together heard.

Another theory I find useful is highlighted in this brief tutorial. Can we get out of the drama triangle? I am open to that possibility.


To everyone who participated in this Café event, or followed this thread and had an interest in our guest, I am updating this topic to let you know that Terry Patten left his mortal body late last night.

Terry learned in April that he had a stage-4 lung cancer, aggressively spreading. The journey of the last 7 months of his life are documented in a series of journal postings on the Caring Bridge website:

By all accounts of the people who were with him during this time, Terry exhibited a beautiful and inspiring grace throughout the course of his journey involving difficult medical decisions and tough treatment protocols—real physical suffering—while facing his almost certain mortality, now a reality.

I did not get to speak with Terry before he passed on, though I did send him a couple email messages over the course of his illness. I do not regret not reaching out more directly—there was just too much to say, and no way I could possibly say what was truly in my heart, given the circumstances, and for other unspeakable reasons.

I felt I had shared what I could and we had exchanged our views over many conversations over the years 15+ years I got know him, as we collaborated on writing and web projects, in an ultimate spirit of friendship. Terry was a mentor to me, an exemplar, a benefactor—a spiritual overachiever who really did try to walk his talk, truly be good, with sensitive care for the particular and the whole alike.

Terry had visited me in my home in Longmont, spent quality time with my family, and also welcomed me at his home in Fairfax (Marin county), where we hiked and swam in a beautiful lake there. He generously used his social capital to champion my work on multiple occasions, including adding a couple pages in his book, A New Republic of the Heart, dedicated to Cosmos Cooperative, even though I was cooler toward his own initiatives.

He last reached out to me with a thoughtful email, after my father died. My last email to him, admittedly a formality, and somewhat of an apology, read as follows:

Word for No Words

I don’t know if you’ll see this, Terry, but I’m sending you love, blessings, and gigantic gratitude for all the generosity, care, and concern you’ve shown to me and my family over the years.

Within the last two years, amid the madness of the world, I’ve lost my father and my mother, and damn near a number of other things very dear to me, and I’ve had to stay focused to keep on task and keep from going under. Your teachings on the lessons of life and death (and much more) have never felt more apropos, compassionate, and wise.

Our unfinished work continues unfinished… yet so much further along thanks in part at least, an important part, to your stellar example. As our integral journeys continue to phase-shift and unfold, I remind myself, thinking of you and feeling your presence in my heart: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

In friendship and with appreciation,

Marco V Morelli
Cosmos Co-op | @madrush

Terry’s legacy continues most directly through the non-profit organization he founded:

Yet the spiritual DNA he carried so prolifically—the best of it I could carry on—is woven into Cosmos, along with all the other communities he engaged with, all the individual lives and hearts he influenced through his teaching work.

Thank you, Terry—Heart Mentor, brother, friend. You will be missed but not forgotten by me, yet ever more deeply remembered, so long as my Integral Heart continues to beat.