Cosmos Café: Fractal Time in Everyday Life [11/21]

That is why I am so intent on keeping our eyes on the prize. We have had disgruntled workers before but I see a lot of bogus talk about the rise in employment and the improvement of wages, and in my gut I feel it is the fakest of fake news.

It has been noted that pessimism arises out of a short term narrow focus, optimism arises out of a long term SLOW and WIDE process. I mean we did end slavery after a horrific war, the Supreme Court has struck down sodomy laws, etc, and I have a feeling with an infinite amount of time we can accomplish much.

But we are running out of gas, the sea levels and temperatures are rising, and those who are sensitive to the long and slow rhythms are able to detect more sensitively possibilities that are obscured by the neo liberal fantasies of globalization that preserves their predatory status to infinity.

I make a plea for models that work in real time with real people and leave the brave new robots for sci fi. We have an exquisite mind body continuum that is entangled with the environment and can tune into vast cosmic frequencies. Any good reader can vouch for that! Training attention and training the imagination are crucial and the window of opportunity to self correct is open to more people than ever before. Hence, my urgency to focus on the pioneering efforts of Gebser and Aurobindo and Whitehead to track a dramatically different range of possibilities for humans unfolding collective fate in a sheltering environment for that purpose. We are engaged I believe in that great effort by knowing the difference between a desired outcome, a proposed solution and a problem. We also are able to pay attention to the different registers and tonalities of the Visionary, the Realist and the Critic.

We also need to differentiate the signal from the noise, recognizing that there is no signal without noise!!!


Another Thinker who is believe a member of the Illuminati is Eric Weiss. Here he is giving a great seminar on Whitehead. He is also a superb scholar of Aurobindo and Gebser. In this clip he outlines what I believe is a brilliant model for healing our fatal attraction to the deficient mental.


Would you be willing to host a comparative look at Aurobindo, Whitehead, and Gebser at an upcoming café session?
Your phrase about tracking “a dramatically different range of possibilities for humans unfolding collective fate” resonated with me like a seismic wave: purposive universe, time-freedom, integrated awareness, limitless energy, new language, ‘opened’ view of history… It is necessary to pursue these antidotes to the near future my pessimism fears - a xenophobic/authoritarian tribal backlash to often misguided approaches to the building of the global village is a distinct unfortunate possibility.


Heh, heh, heh … in most circles I’ve been in my life, “Illuminati” was seldom used as a compliment, but I get your drift.

I agree, Weiss would be very worthwhile dragging into the mix of what we’ve been exploring. The model he (well, sort of) presented (as there’s a bit of backfill to get the whole scope of it) can go a long way in at least providing a reasonable framework for talking about some subjects that are too often shied away from because we don’t have good, effective, plausible models to work with.


The final five or six paragraphs of this NYT essay and from minute 40 - 47 of the podcast do tie into the ‘pathetic’ male mentioned during the cafe session. Lanier may be focusing on the more tech-savvy, Gamergate-leading-to-the-Alt-right personality. We are trying to describe those that are left behind with little or no connection to the digital world; they are mostly still in TV mode, screens flickering from windows of darkened rooms.

Two things:

  1. A quick disclaimer: I have not personally experienced hatred or violence directly and still think of the world as an ever increasing creative attempt to focus on the better angels of our nature. Yes the world is ripening into a calamitous fruiting body, an ever-increasing chance for a multitude of wars, personal or even global wars…yet I feel in some manner, as has been mentioned by psychological and sociological professionals, it is a positive thing for our species to vent out issue on the internet rather than act it out…though, of course, still a double edged sword.
    I did have a false, solely mental scare before the election. I was concerned for my family’s well being. I sensed some pent-up aggression towards my Filipino wife, who is often mistaken for a Hispanic woman; towards our family (interracial….here in KY?!..oh hell no!). This sense was picked up on by increasing my political readings online, by seeing my wife’s Facebook feed, ignorant co-workers posting such hate (immigrants go back, comments on shooting certain individuals, etc.)…then I awoke from this self-created digital nightmare and realized that I would not have to hole myself up in my house and buy a gun for protection. I realized that when I got out into the neighborhood, there are folks who have a better sense of core family values than some of us more intelligent, college educated folk who disperse about the country in search of career happiness, etc. These individuals are not as pathetic nor as bubblingly aggressive as we make them out to be, and this needs to be realized…people are people. I hear stories of love and humor. I see the Stirgill Simpson in them and the hope for a good life a loving life that includes everyone…even if they live in a vicinity and and a culture that is either stuck in slow-motion or stubbornly choosing to remain in the calm waters, easy prey for the bear that is capitalistic reality rather than leap upstream to spawn a better lifestyle. Maybe they just need to awaken to certain realities….disability, welfare, obesity, health issues, smoking, tv all night and all day, …there is a more optimal way to live. Hillbilly Elegy depicts this living well…they are the type that shoot themselves in the foot and perpetuate the degradation, teaching their children that life is shit, but we carry on.
    We do not need to fear these folks nor ask for them to change their way of life, but we need to share civil conversations…need to share our lifestyles and get outside a bit more frequently…we need more of this… I have plenty of stories to share about how my mind has changed and how I have learned to love.
  2. I prefer to begin on positive thinking before digging into the core critical issues…this helps me to remain optimistic. I have a recent story of my Confederate-flag waving, gun-toting, self-proclaimed self-destructive neighbor (50 years old, 4th wife, 2nd round of children (age 6 and 2), nickname is Ziggy, a classic comic-strip character who is always finding himself in some trouble):
    This man, who from the outside observation, looks like the caricature of the Southern male. But much can be learned from this man. As previously mentioned, this guy is what I would consider a friend.
    During his sons birthday party, we came over and I was surprised to see an Indian boy, a classmate of his son, playing with the other children. I wondered who this boy was and figured maybe he was adopted. But the parents of the boy came by later and Ziggy welcomed them…recent immigrants, having trouble integrating their son within this strange land. Ziggy talked with them for over 30 minutes, giving them loving welcome to the community, an invitation to come over at any time, reassurance that this is a nice place to live, even in the midst of not much to do and the general trait of retreat into home. The boy decided to stay for another hour and told his parents to come back later.
    I felt like a pathetic individual at this point…yes I am young, shy and socially awkward…but what have I done to open up my home to others? What has been the practical application of my “better lifestyle”…my more loving beliefs? We might be able to donate to a local charity or volunteer at a food bank for an hour or two…but are we really inclusive?

I do not feel articulate enough to dig deep into what I believe is the underlying demise of the Southern US male, the conservative lifestyle, etc. But an an undercover agent, secretly acquiring intel from this foreign land…I find myself wanting to defect at times…
…my goals and reasons for remaining undercover is to develop true relationships with these individuals. I have not confronted the external things just yet, given them lifestyle advice (the boy drinks Diet Coke as if it was water, for example), etc…I do feel timing is important and the time, though not just yet, though not fully developed, is approaching fast.


We are standing on the backs of giants and if we tune in I believe future generations will bless us rather than curse us. We are the future we are striving for. There are excellent recorded lectures and articles here by Eric. I could perhaps summarize what I have figured out and pass on what I believe is most relevant for our ever evolving cafe society! That would be tremendous fun and hope you can share your wise counsel on how to proceed with a comparative study. I would love to develop some metaphorical landscapes along the way.
I have listened to all the lectures twice and read all the articles with great pleasure. He also has the YouTube videos.


Eric uses philosophy to illuminate.He believes in using logic and definitions and clear arguments. Most contempary philosophers seem stuck, splashing around in the shallow end of the pool, but I believe Eric dives deep and brings back some sparkling gems. Paying attention to him is worthwhile and he has a lot of great material to flesh out the brief clip I posted previously. I hope we can circulate these ideas at our cafe for I agree we need better models.


Very touching, Doug, I feel a great tenderness and strength in your writing…the healthy love/warrior (?) is awakening?

And when true relationships is there anything else about true?


Would any of you have issue with bumping the Cafe session proposed on Tuesday an hour earlier to 12 PM MST rather than last week’s 1 PM?

Hoping we can all be synchronized!

I’m relatively flexible in this regard, so it doesn’t matter to me. I’m OK with just about anything.

I’s okay with me but please message Marco so he can update. TJ should be consulted too.

Nice catch! Yes…it is true…there is a world of “else” to this ‘true.’
Ultimately, this word ‘true’ would encompass relationships beyond my previous knowledge and beyond what the mind can currently foresee.

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Beyond your previous knowledge and beyond what the mind can currently foresee…and beyond what the mind can currently foresee…and whereabouts is that beyond?.. Does beyond have a size or shape?

These are the kinds of questions I want to pursue tomorrow at the Cafe. See you there…

I hope to explore this question more fully at our cafe tomorrow. I hope you can make it for I would like to make more explicit the “unconscious archaic spirit.”


I think the Turning test is perhaps a really bad test. Maybe we can explore some of the implications of this tomorrow at the meet up?


So much rich material here, again, to catch up with…I intend to review this thread again before our next talk.

Regarding the timing of the Café, tomorrow specifically: I am unable to make an earlier meeting, @Douggins, because my wife and I have an appointment to tour a preschool for our younger daughter, and I don’t think I will be back in time to start the Café early. So I’d like to stick with the currently scheduled time tomorrow.

In general, personally, I could meet earlier, but the 1 pm Mountain start time was determined in another thread and the earlier time didn’t work as well for @patanswer. See Consciousness Seminars planning thread - #11 by patanswer.

But of course, these are provisional structures, open to revision. It ain’t easy to synchronize across multiple time zones! That’s why my preference is to have a steady time that mostly works, so we can focus our discurisive energies on the content of the talks, rather than time management.

I have created a calendar view of Cosmos to help us visualize and plan for future talks and events. As you’ll see, I’ve reserved Tuesdays at 1 pm and Thursdays at 6 pm Mountain time for weekly events. This doesn’t mean we that we have to do something every week, but that I’ve blocked off those windows in the calendar to keep them open and prevent double-booking.

Note: Tuesday weekly here is for the “Cosmos Café” talks, while Thursday is for Metapsychosis-related reading groups (e.g., Spheres) and other events TBD (poetry readings? open mics? other types experimental dialogues?). The latter time is meant to be more friendly to folks in North America who work during the day; the earlier, Tuesday time better accommodates folks in Europe and other parts.

Of course, others co-op members CAN create events at other times, on other topics, and we can add them to the same calendar. I am working on a way to structure this process and get the information into some regular form of communication to our list. For now, if you have an idea, you can message me or start a dedicated thread. The times currently indicated reflect when I can personally be available on a more or less consistent basis. But obviously, the co-op calendar will not ultimately revolve around my personal availability. We just haven’t evolved the platform yet to support distributed scheduling.


We didn’t get to talk about this on the call (because we were enjoying a fun and thoughtful experiment! Thanks again!). I am really only echoing Gebser here about the archaic:

“There is no subject-object polarity (let alone duality), no differentiation between self and other, between soul and nature, between the individual and the universe.” Ulrich J Mohrhoff, AntiMatters Vol 2(#3), 2008, “Evolution of Consciousness According to Jean Gebser”*, p. 53

(*Shame on Mohrhoff - according to Gebser ‘evolution’ is the wrong way to think of things, but anyway…)

I would hope/think such total connection to the energies of life, once full consciousness comes in, entails a weighty responsibility to ensure that we are heading to positive, inquisitive, creative, and supportive relationships “between self and other… soul and nature… individual and universe.” This would be the common human ground on which even divergent beliefs should overlap.
Now, as you guys discussed last week, there is addressing the choir here and there is “acting-in-the-world”…


" Positive, inquisitive, creative, and supportive relationships…" I couldn’t agree with you more.

I felt our emerging conversation had all of those qualities. I only regret we didnt have another hour to refine our maps. It might be fun if would could scan our Maps of Time and make it a part of the archive. The next step might be to look at the maps of Ed, Marco and yourself and do a comparative study, listen to the video, discover patterns as we move back and forth from video to the actual maps to written discourse ( such as we are engaged in now) and play around with all of this very good data. Also we need to add the books we mentioned, expressing gratitude to the " library angel."

In a previous post, TJ, you invited us to take a look at Whitehead, Gebser and Auribindo. I believe we can cook up something that everyone in our community would enjoy, that would compliment the ongoing Sloterjdiik project. As we have had this interesting learning event today, I wonder how we can take these learnings and develop another mini-workshop? Perhaps we are learning how we learn? A meta-learning occasion! I’m sure Gebser would be proud.

As Taleb says:

“We are quick to forget that just being alive is an extraordinary piece of good luck,
a remote event, a chance occurrence of monstrous proportions.
Remember that you are a Black Swan.”


Yes, this should be the common ground, but try to get someone to recognize that. As I see it, most of what people “believe” is tied or linked, or perhaps even welded, to their egos. I’m not yet willing to go so far as “self” here, since the vast majority of people has never undertaken a search for self – in fact, these days it’s downright discouraged. As @johnnydavis54 noted in our session, certain feminists take offense at the very notion of the hero’s journey, but it is quite clear to me that they haven’t understood what that journey is about, nor do they have the slightest idea what might be the feminine version of that quest. Consequently, all that remains is the ego, and it is a exceedingly fragile construct, and it’s easily threatened. There is, as you so aptly say, “a weighty responsibility” involved. I don’t think egos are capable of responsibility. For that you need a self. We’ve got a lot farther to go than most of us – like me – would like to admit.


Well, sure, if you’re going to get all rubber- meet-road about it… (LOL!)
Yes, you’re absolutely right. I like your distinction between a fragile ego ready to collapse - or to react violently- at a mere question (self-worth equated with being ‘right’) and a secure Self able to hold a belief among beliefs, and able to yet recognize humanity around it. The “what kind of person am I…?” path takes much work indeed. And that gets followed by “what kind of culture am I contributing to…?”
Farther to go? Oh, yes…