Cosmos Café: Disambiguating Space and Time [12/5/17]


This session is focused on clarifying our respective—and common—intuitions of space and time. The thought is that our various conversations (referencing Jean Gebser, Peter Sloterdijk, structures and processes, etc.), as well as our experiments with modeling time (creating spatial maps of temporal intuitions) could be served by teasing apart what we know about the interplay of space and time (including personal, physical, cosmological, psychological, and spiritual dimensions)—and how we know it.

Would this clear the field for a more fruitful dialogue between our various thinkers, researchers, practitioners, and artists—all concerned, in some way or another, with the question of spacetime? Could we model how a territory performs a map? Reflections on talks by new physicist Jude Currivan (author of The Holographic Cosmos) also feature prominently in this conversation.


Ed Mahood
John Davis
Douglas Duff
Marco V Morelli

Recorded: December 5, 2017


More seed questions

  • How are time and space forms of information?
  • How does entropy through time increase the amount of information in the universe, as Jude Currivan tells?
  • How does AI and “general intelligence” experience space and time?

This topic is a wiki. Please feel free to extend, elaborate, and refine the details of this post.


I would like to get a clean start at the beginning of the call, which I believe could ground the conversation and perhaps amplify what has already commenced. It would be better to do this live and it will take a few minutes at the beginning of the call and a few minutes at the end. Then, in the middle of the conversation, we can go all over the place and let serendipity take over. Pink noise!


That sounds like a great idea, John. My desired outcome for this call that we have a clearer sense of what we mean when talk aboout space and time, spacetimes, spacelessness, timelessness—spaciousness and spaces, atemporality and time-freedom—as well as more advanced topics concerning spacing (pattern and structuration) and timing (flow and control).

I think will, attention (or listening), and receptivity have big part to play in the story, as does some strong sense of the human trajectory in evolution.

I am looking for a “groundwork” talk. There is a word for this in German, which @achronon has introduced before. I do not want to get lost in conceptual noise, but learn more about shared resonances and subtle differences in meaning and tone, especially exploring those ideas where there may be creative dissonance or alternate harmonics. Some pink noise, like a soft chorus of birds, may help filter the cacophony of the deficient mental.

I feel this will help us expand the field of communication to allow the meta-mind to more fully reveal itself. My sense is, we have to become acquainted with the metamind before we can pay a visit to the supermind—via Aurobindo or whomever else—would you agree?


And what determines metamind from supermind ? -a very interesting inquiry.

An interesting interview with cosmologist, Jude Currivan, developes some similar ideas, Marco. Watch her non verbals, how she embodies abstract concepts. Watching her describe complex systems is a treat. A very coherent, congruent communication.


Key aspects
-Universe is geometrically flat, finite, closed, interconnected
-Space expands, Time flows
-Universe holographic, pixelated at the Plank scale
-Universe is within the Cosmos ( the Mind of God)

Jude thinks it’s a torus, too…


I was about to question the geometrically flat…then a simple Wikipedia search lead me to a better understanding of the torus. I have been approaching this torus in 3-D mind only. The flatness —> 3-D is comprehensible, but really adds some mind-boggling possibilities.


Here’s one for you ∞∞ @madrush ∞∞ !!


Inspired by the Currivan clips @johnnydavis54 provided us, I ordered her The Cosmic Hologram. Thanks to Amazon prime (the warehouse is located 5 km from my house), it arrived this afternoon. I’m only half-way through chapter 2, and I have to say that my head hurts more now than it did after watching the clips.

What she is offering is, in a word, mind-bending, to say the least. The advantage of the book, as I’ve seen so far, is that she is actually writing for a lay audience. The biggest disadvantage of it is that she’s writing for a lay audience.

Part of my experience has to do with what I mentioned in our conversation last night: she’s “redefining” a commonly used term (at least here at the begining): infomation. I think I see what she’s trying to do, but with every sentence it becomes clearer to me how easily the informaniacs are going to pick up the half-knowledge of what (I think she’s) saying and run with it. Moreover, she’s pointing out as crucial “facts” (I’m guessing they’re true as she’s presenting them) that are nothing like the blind presuppositions that most of us operate on (e.g., the “flat” universe, the difference between universe and cosmos, and most importantly, I think, how little most of us understand of the language of mathematics, etc.). There have been few books I’ve read where I’ve had such an acute awareness of the brink (breakdown/breakthrough) we’re standing on as this one.

I will continue, but I’m sure I’m going to have to go back over the text more than once to truly understand what she’s telling us. Granted, this is just a first impression, but I’m starting to think this may be a book that is best read slowly and in a group. I’m not saying that we should shift gears on any plans that are coalescing right now, but I do think that reading it unalone could be helpful. So, if any of you are familiar with it, I wouldn’t mind exchanging thoughts on it … and it can be off-thread so as not to disturb everyone else. It could be that I’m just in my end-of-year-funk and can’t think clearly. Maybe it’ll read differently in January. I’ve got the feeling, though, that I’m not going to put it down till then. Maybe I’ll give it another go then. That seems more likely.

A wise man once told me, you only ever one chance to make a first impression. I got to verify that twice.


I’m eager to read the book and I have avoided physics for years. I’m open to reading her in the group, perhaps, after the first of the year?

I have listened to her talks and interviews and she strikes me as a wholesome person who has a vision for the interplay of the Cosmos and the Universe that makes intuitive sense to me. We are thought forms, basically, within the Mind of God.

If this sounds like theology, I find it more reliable than the crude scientistism surrounding most popular physics I encounter. The one physicist I am personally acquainted with feels the field is in extreme crisis. He seems to imply that the entire profession is pretty clueless and that they know virtually nothing about consciousness. He’s a bit gloomy about his own field. The queen of the sciences has lost her crown. It got knocked off and fell in the mud!

Physics without Art and History and Poetry and Embodied subjective reports, will probably teach us nothing useful. Different kinds of maps with different kinds of scales need coordination, a vast meta-mapping activity is underway. This is a huge undertaking and so we need collaborative learning initiatives, such as ours, of intelligent lay persons, to cut through the smog of deficient science officialdom. We are in such a fragile state of affairs and there is so much hype it is difficult to find a place to rest one’s weary head!

I do think Jude is in the same wave as Kerry Welch and William Brown and Bernardo Kastrup. We need to find allies. It would be time well spent to coordinate meta-theories with some phenomenological investigations, which I would love to devise. I believe it is out of the interplay of quantitative and qualitative research that we can start to transition to a more coherent system.

I’m also interested in Lee Smolin and Karan Barad. There is a lot of post modern drift among the intelligentsia so we do our best to sift through the debris.

Without allies to help us consolidate our breakthroughs it is very likely that a person will return to a less than optimal state of affairs. I do believe ( and I like this belief because it helps me get out of bed) that our best efforts in any area of our lives promotes the potential for a humanity performing at a greater depth and span. I’m glad we started to ask, What support do you need? I think the kind of support we need to fulfill our intellectual and ethical concerns will vary a lot from day to day.

I would like to do a presentation on self-organizing systems that may clarify some of the complexity of complexity theory. I can imagine that when we start to embody these theories we can be more meta-aware and get adjusted to serendipity, synchronicity and the oddness the meta-normal.

I hope your head starts to feel better real soon!


Oh, she’s sincere all right. Like you, I intuit that she’s onto something, but I’m not getting my head wrapped around it very easily. I realize that I carry a lot of baggage in regard to information theorists (if that’s even the right word … as I’ve noted repeatedly elsewhere, “theory” drives me batty); that is, those IT/AI folks who reduce everything to “information” so as to deprive the notion of any real meaning. This is not what Currivan is doing at all. It is clear she wants to re-form our understanding of the notion, but I’ve not grapsed fully how she thinks she’s going to do it.

Sounding like does not make it so, but too many scientistic types are too blind to see that what they are practicing is in fact religion, and probably a more deadly variety than we’ve been cursed with for the past few thousand years. Consciousness is gaining ground, and we can thank a growing number of folks for that. (As an aside, I was pleasantly surprised that friends of mine from CA endorsed her book … small world somehow.) So, she does have the double duty of trying to show that (real) science is needed, but that it’s needed in a very different direction. Unlike many, I never saw physics as the “queen”. I’ve never subscribed to a primus inter pares approach to science at all. I’m wading through Kelley, et al.‘s Irreducible Mind and their (overdue sympathetic) review of Meyers’ tertium quid method reflects much more my own view of what “science” is supposed to be about. Unforutnately, we’ve not only almost completely succumbed to scientistic narrow-mindedness, only recently have researchers been coming out of the woodwork (like Welch, like Brown, like Kastrup) who still remember (or have rediscovered) what science is supposed to be.

I haven’t been able to come to a clear conclusion about Smolin yet … some days I’m more inclined than others … Karan Barad is an unknown. In 25 words or less … ?

My noggin has taken quite a beating for quite a while, but I don’t think I’m punch-drunk yet (but that’s only my view!). I had once hoped that I would use my “old age” to refine some of my thinking, not restructure it. Oh, the foolhardiness of the young.


Wow! I think that book is a gold mine! I have only read small sections of it and find it first rate. It is sort of like an encyclopedia so it is hard to reduce to an easily managed time schedule. I dip into it when I have the energy and take away enormous amounts of data. I am drawn to Myers a lot.

If we get into study group mode it might be fun to to a chapter from that book. The chapter on Genius would be inspirational. With so much depressing crap going on in the world, it is important to re-direct attention to people who have tapped into the farthest reaches of human developmental. Just reading about them creates momentum.

And I have noticed that other readers doubts about an expert’s pronouncements very energizing. It is sometimes easy to get overly impressed with someone’s expert status. I find the flat geometry puzzling too. And I dont like AI and bioinformatics. There may be a better way of approaching this research that I hope Jude can provide. I, too, have my suspicions.


It is a fascinating read, to be sure. (I mentioned on my FB feed that I was reading it and lo, and behold, another friend of mine was reading it as well … synchronicity lives).

But, I think, reading chapters 1 and 2 are essential before delving into anything specific. Chapter 1 provides the context of the book against the background of mainstream psychology, and Chapter 2 provides an overview of Myers’ own project. They help set the groundwork and framework for whatever else the book has to offer.

Agreed. One of the things that redeems Currivan is that she never comes across as an expert. She simply tells you what she’s thinking and what conclusions she draws from her research. Yes, she states it is very direct, declarative terms, but there’s enough “con-text” to assure the reader that these are conclusions and inductions, not necessarily pronouncements.

I’m interested to see how the reading goes.


Perhaps not related directly to this thread, I nevertheless found this review of Dennett’s latest book an interesting read.

At issue is of course the questions we don’t ask, the assumptions we make and the presuppositions we invoke. I found this particular conversation quite different than that as we are trying to make some of our most fundamental ones as clear as possible.


Checked out Dennett’s latest book from the library earlier this year. He says in 600 pages what most other professionals could do in 100. Not much to gain from this guy, IMO. My take away was something he briefly mentions near the end in which he seems to be a reasonable doomsday “prepper,” showing that as a societal whole, we are unprepared for a disaster (here he is thinking of internet failure or related technological disaster, if remembering correctly) and need to have in place better community resources for managing such a possibility.
Yes, this is off topic…just wanted to make sure this one doesn’t go on anyone’s list.


For me, Dennett is the guy you love to hate … because what he says is, well, simply absurd, but he is nevertheless considered one of the leading authorities in his field. If I didn’t have an “expert problem” already, I certainly would after reading him, I’m sure. My issues came up when reading his Consciousness Explained (which it wasn’t) almost a quarter of a century ago. What I liked about the review was that it made clear, again, which dangers are inherent in an absolute, and ultimately blinkered, materialism. It excludes much more than it includes (a feeling that I – personally – get with Sloterdijk, too often at least … but the others have assured me that’s not necessarily the case, and I believe them).

Thanks for the feedback, though, even if this wasn’t a title that was going to make my list. :roll_eyes:


“The evil that men do lives after them;

The good is oft interred with their bones.” -William Shakespeare

When I was younger, and very vulnerable, I read the mindless Dennett, and after a few pages, threw the book across the room.

I was able to resist his materialist, reductionist indoctrination but others I knew were not so lucky. They often spouted the doctrine of nihilism, and used Dennett and Dawkins, as back up for a wobbly world view, that justified fucking up everything to make a selfish buck.

I saw the damage done and for some it is irreversible. Thank God for death. These zombie manifestos and the wackos who made such claims, declaring their version of nihilism, the law of the land, will soon be under the hill.

In the meantime, back at the ranch, there is a lot of work to get done. I am seeking out alternate voices and alternate ways of knowing. Fortunately there has been a recent outpouring of scholarly, well researched materials that point out different features of our complex natures. I give my attention to those new works emerging, and enjoy the sense of a potential paradise redeemed, in the works of great poets and social activists.

Consciousness developes through contrasts. We need head, heart and gut to make sense and we will need lots of healthy magic to make it.

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
- Joannie Mitchell


Thanks for your input @johnnydavis54. We (or at least a few of you here + this guy attempting to play the game Eternal Catch-Up) are treading down a path that will lead us both somewhere unknown and intuited. Though The Irreducible Mind is out of generally accepted price range, Beyond Physicalism is offered at the local library. I would like to see us (sometime in the next year or two, mind you) hone in on the evolutionary panentheistic thinkers as a whole, connecting these with quantum stuff and the profound thinkers mentioned above…and we need more “feminine” thought that Jude offers, if it can be considered that.
Tillich is what brought me back into articulating the wider, more “ultimate” meanings to be found, away from the “what we see is what we get” type of materialist thinking…but he is but a drop in the ocean of Michael Murphy’s list in his essay “The Emergence of Evolutionary Panentheism” from Beyond Physicalism…Fiche, Schelling, Hegel, Aurobindo, W. James, Peirce, Meyers, Bergson, de Chardin, Whitehead, Hartshorne…I have but only dropped their names into my mind and allowed for them to swim at their own pace. Soon the pool will be open swim, I imagine, with the dividers between the quantum lane, theological lane and philosophical lane removed for optimal mingling…


That’s a great research program, Doug, and one that I suspect each of us, who frequent Cosmos, are embarked on already. We may have been isolated and working alone but I sense that there are pockets of the aperspectival that want to happen, to take root and flourish. Our presence can allow that to happen.

We just need to pay attention to that which may be a little bit too subtle to notice. After we disambiguate, we may need to re-ambiguate! ( I’m not sure if that is a word).

We need to give shape to “healthy feminism” and Jude and Kerry certainly express that, as does Joannie Mitchell. Both men and women need to make a difference that makes a difference. Healthy masculine is a topic we have also discussed.

It seems that Yoga Nidra is another excellent way of contacting these new formations in the making, in the in-between, the imaginal zones, and we will need to protect these fragile intuitions until they are ready to stand up and walk and talk and take us by surprise! Our bodies and psyches are on a continuum with Nature. Panentheism, yes, exactly. I want to find the language for these deep intuitions.

We can create the conditions for the transformation that we yearn for and it takes discipline and flow to make this happen.

Blessings to each of us and all of us as we become the map makers who make a difference!


I look forward to reviewing the video of our last meet up. I tend to really get into the moment of the event and so have little recall afterwards of details, just a sense of something significant, as a dream that quickly fades away, if we fail to pay attention to that subtle phenomena. We are quite ephemeral.

After I review the video ( which will probably come out soon) I can start to point out some features of our efforts in time and through time…


While we are waiting…(I have been searching for a time and space to place this update of the time modeling you helped us form :hugs:):


Since September, something sparked within. I reached a deeper understanding of the integral, in the Wilberian sense, that once we reach that plateau, we can then have access to all human knowledge (especially, for me personally, an understanding of what it means psychologically…this is the realm that I feel is most applicable to the betterment of society)…a couple weeks later, reading The Listening Society better articulated this insight.
Below is my model development from early September until now, in three phases:

Phase 1: Moore’s Law of Human Development

Idea is that Moore’s Law or exponential growth is present in human development…to a certain point. As Ed and TJ discussed recently about the various stages of development and the duration of each stage along with the amount of time it takes to reach the next stage, we can see that the gaps have grown smaller and smaller. I believe, in some sense, that the integral stage is not going to lead to even more exponetial growth into new stages but will plateau. We have reached a point in our general knowledge in which we know enough about everything human to map out a general course for humans to take, from birth to death, in pretty much any area of life. We have been climbing and climbing for so long as humans and only a few have reached this plateau. Though we will not reach a singularity of human development into a superhuman, trans-human, we can enlighten others and enough others to create a potential world, or at least a potential Island as proposed by Huxley, to creatively improve our psychology . The commune has been the closest to these things, I suppose, but tend to fail for the various levels of human development are not fully accepted…even Auroville, from what I read ten years ago, dealt with all sorts of mundane, dumb-ass human issues.

From here the idea of a fractal tapestry came to mind. A tapestry of all human knowledge. This was based upon thoughts while reading the political ‘manifesto’ The Listening Society.

Phase 2: Fractal Tapestries

Philosophers, theologians, scientists, historians, etc. have systematized in some sense the knowledge of the individual, the world and what is beyond. We can honesty say that we have covered the bases of the basics of all there is to know about humans, the world we perceive, the inter-subjective state.

In comes this fractal tapestry discovered upon the integral plateau. There is no shape, no particular form, no limit to this imaginary tapestry. Your closed eyes will reveal a vague tapestry. It can branch off like trees in one direction, ideas (ranging from “where are my keys?” to thoughts of God, time, space) fluttering upon the tapestry one moment and then not. A symphony of memories, knowledge, lights ever changing to adapt to the latest arrangement; and infinite, like a dream, in waves of direction. With this starting point, this fractal tapestry, we can go where the answer becomes the most reasonable, most true…the greatest answers to the questions of life. Now it is time to truly integrate what we know, forming a healthier, more sane, happier and yes, better way of life.

All of us here have conscious access to this fractal tapestry (compared to those without access or limited access: the young, mentally disabled, uninterested, unwilling, set up shop at a different space on the climb up…they may come up for a visit to see this fractal relic, but ultimately return back to where they call home). We are willing to call this plateau home and will go and visit the other parts of the climb as we see fit.

Phase 3: Connecting our Mental Models

The interpretation of our found fractal tapestry will result in a different personal fractal tapestries forming within each person…as we have seen with our own mental models of time. I mentioned in my first rough draft of a model that the tapestry wraps around my head like a surround computer monitor. Now I imagine the baffling 2-D space that, if folded in a certain way, becomes toridal…

Also, as we noted, we all extracted some information from the others’ models and added it into our own…almost instantly…I cannot fully imagine what my mind is presenting me but a final product of the collective modelling looks something like this: