Cosmos Café: On the Human Species' Ultimate Potential [01/30]

My post emerged out of several Integral impulses and spread out over several threads. I respond to multiple audiences no doubt some who are present, mostly present, not present at all, and the eternally absent. So I apologize for posting in an inappropriate place and feel free to move it!

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Not at all! You posted on the Café event specific thread, which grew out of an earlier thread where Doug was working out his thoughts. I am just consolidating the two and trying to get the order of comments correct. But, I think I’ve found a way…let’s see if this works…


Yesterday I was reading Philip K Dick and chapters from Kripal’s Secret Body. After dinner, I had a Guinness Stout, and I recorded a large section of Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and listened to the play back. The use of the voice and the re-hearing that follows creates bio-linguistic-socio loops through my psyche-soma. I feel that I am in Blake’s landscape as well as my own, correlated with the human voice, my human voice, our human voice. Then I listen to another talk given by Banerji on the Isha Upanishad which was the inspiration behind Sri Aurobindo’s Life Divine. Before bed I watched this clip, from The Mahabharata, directed by Peter Brook.

I am in a hospital bed, coming out of a deep sleep, and feeling quite good, no pain. My mother is there, but not my real mother. She is a kind of alternate mother figure.

I am released from the hospital and am in the back seat of a van. My mother is driving and my father is in the passenger side. I ask them," Do I have a tumor?" They admit that I do. I point to my left temple and say, " It is right here isnt it? " They acknowledge that it is.They were going to keep a secret. My father leaves the vehicle and I am with my mother and a change of scene.
We are with an expert of some kind, a lab tech type, who tells me I have a tumor on my right side of my torso as well as my brain.I touch the right side, under the rib cage and it is hard as a rock. The technician gives me percentages and statistical data and I am told about the drugs and I’m wondering if I will do the drugs. I feel that this is a dilemma I have always dreaded but also feel a kind of calm resignation.

Then I wake up and feel my physcial body and notice the body feels, on the right side, soft and perfectly normal. Relieved that it was only a dream I return to sleep and am dreaming of driving a car. On my left is a companion, a woman we are chatting, when I notice the road and the streets starts to blur, the sense of the solid objects has faded and I am riding in a kind of soft fuzzy fog. I reach out and dont feel my companion in the seat next to me. I say," Oh dear, I am all alone." I am fully lucid now , flowing through the fog without any objects, and I say," I want the intelligence behind the dream to explain the dream about the cancer. What is it that you want to have happen?"

There is a clearing of the fog and I am in a community area, of small cottages, and cafes, in the daylight. I hear a voice above my head and it is a muffled, male voice. It sounds like it comes through another medium, not not a sound carried by air waves, but something else hard to describe, but more mechanical. It has an absence of any affective tone. It feels robotic.

It asks," Do you speak to anyone about your feelings?"

I reply, " Never." I realize that keeping the secret self a secret has been the only way I could survive in a shallow society driven by self destructive impulses.

There is no more contact with the VOICE and I am conflicted for that is not really a clarifying dialogue. I enter a cafe and notice a man, very friendly and attractive, invites me to sit down at his table. I notice there is an amorous feeling between us, a mutual attraction. He says," I think the voice is a Gnostic voice."

I’m not sure what he means by that but before we can act out a romantic possibility, the scene fades and I am in a dark world with Christmas lights glowing in fantastic topological configurations. I sense that there are lots of connections between language and logic that are underneath those disciplines and that these light displays are demonstrations of some kind of underlying relationships between my personal dilemmas and other dynamics that I have no direct access to but are coming from an intelligence that I cant quite fathom.

I have awakened to view snow on the limbs of the trees and as I sip coffee I feel a keen satisfaction, the presence of the bliss of the eternal and the sensory based limits of my hominid physical brain.


FIXED IT. Posts now should be in order. I moved Johnny’s post to the older topic and then back here again. Will now close the older topic so that any further conversation continues on this one.


Response to final 30 minutes of video cafe (pardon the audio quality):

Edit: just completely completed the video. Missed your question @johnnydavis54 and @Geoffreyjen_Edwards’ question about possibility and potential. I shall answer at a later time, and I believe @achronon or someone noted that we have already started to see the possibility (here on the site maybe? Have to watch again).

@madrush, I was going to say that you are the hobbit, of course, but maybe you can just stick to being not the writer but the reader :slightly_smiling_face: and write about other stuff. I’ll have to explain one day my nightly “story minutes” told to child and how a universe of characters are forming slowly and they seem to tap into archetypal intuitions and reflections upon readings in an unconscious manner. Sloterdijk’s Globes Chapter 3 “ark” types, birds and of course Thomas the Train are all combining into some strange alternate universe.


I so beg to differ, Doug @Douggins. Marco @madrush is an eminently suitable Rider of Rohan, he even looks a bit like Kurt Urbain (although perhaps Aragorn is a better role for his kinglike qualities), but you, my dear sir, are evidently the hobbit. The humble one from the small country who protests that they are too small to play in the company of giants (well, elves, dwarves and men anyways), but who reveals themselves to be far scrappier and resistant and valorous than anyone could have expected? I think you have to take that mantle on, @Douggins!


What exactly were you getting at @Geoffreyjen_Edwards when you mentioned possibilities vs the potential? I know what you are getting at, but want to take a sip from the source before diving in.


And a few connections to my bird learning to fly metaphor during opening statements in the Cafe video, freshly re-woven by @madrush’s haiku, Sloterdijk, Nietzsche and our possible potential:


Esperanto; noun; (neologism) excrement, shit

And holding my nose, I wandered disgruntled through all of yesterday and today…
—Sloterdijk opens Excursus 2 with this Zarathustra quote from “On the Rabble.”

"Rabble" conclusion:

On the tree, Future, we build our nest; and in our solitude eagles shall bring us food in their beaks. Verily, no nourishment which the unclean might share: they would think they were devouring fire and they would burn their mouths. Verily, we keep no homes here fore the unclean: our pleasure would be an ice cave to their bodies and their spirits.

And we want to live over them like strong winds, neighbors of the eagles, neighbors of the snow, neighbors of the sun: thus live strong winds. And like a wind I yet want to blow among them one day, and with my spirit take the breath of their spirit: thus my future wills it.

Verily, a strong wind is Zarathustra for all who are low; and this counsel he gives to all his enemies and to all who spit and spew: “Beware of spitting against the wind!”

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So, I’m not exactly sure, so I looked up some definitions. Here is a definition of potential : “Currently unrealized ability ; Existing in possibility, not in actuality.” And for possibility : “a thing that may happen”. Then there’s this quote from Brian Massumi : “[T]here is a difference between the possible and the potential… Possibility is a variation implicit in what a thing can be said to be when it is on target. Potential is the immanence of a thing to its still indeterminate variation, under way. Implication is a code word. Immanence is a process.” (Parables for the Virtual, p. 9).

So, I view potential as being a kind of “latent” ability, whereas I view possibility as embracing the novel. Potential strikes me as being fore-ordained in some sense, whereas possibility provides access to the unexpected, the singular. Both are useful concepts to explore, but I am personally, at this point in my life, drawn more to the realm of possibility including the novel and the singular, than to potentiality and its focus on latency. Not sure if that helps.


As we are discovering lots of other than human DNA in our gut, ( we contain multitudes!), the Human Possibility captures some the lawlessness and emergent character that doesn’t easily fit in the tool kit of Human Resource Directors and Central Casting that design from above what they imagine is already there. The biome doesn’t have clear boundaries, but borrows from it’s neighbors, is shape shifting along with microbes, in intricate displays beneath the surface of our statistical worlds of prediction and common sense and profit margins.

Symbiopoetics is how to make meaning with other species in motion, who are out of sight. And each man or woman plays many roles in a life time, and there is much she will never know about her gut except by putting her hand on her belly and making a guess. This cannot be shaped by law-like regularities based on linear print outs and external models. It appears much of our intelligence is driven by the gut and we would not survive a day without it.

That is why I work with head, heart and gut in unknown situations. It is very hard to put into words, but it is necessary, sometimes . When we are aware of head-heart-gut we can tune into the field of all possibility which communicates with us in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Paradox, not rule governed behavior, is the norm in these complex co-arising living arrangements. More like a dance in an odd bit of impromptu choreography with dancers with different training, than it is an easily manipulated algorithm. Unlearning fast is an important skill. Drop what you think you know. We are not becoming what we were becoming.

Adequate translation is needed before transformations can occur. This is when the Symbolic Imaginal is where the action is. And God(s) and Demon(s) will not be mocked! Bring forth what is within you and it will save you, dont bring forth what is within you and it will kill you. We are split beings, living in different dimensions. This will come as a shock to most people. Yes, dear friends, we are the doppelgangers.


By the way, I liked the bird image for yourself, Doug, but not the crabs in the pail. I tried it out and it made me very crabby. I had to lie down on the floor to make sense of it and it made me kind of sick to my stomach. I rejected it for myself and went with a different metaphor. I grabbed the purple balloons.

Please note, some people embody metaphors! It is wise to be aware that some metaphors conceal unintended consequences. The best of all possible worlds is to allow others to generate their own metaphors.


The Human Possibility would be a good name for a podcast. Just a thought. :thinking:

Tagline: Bring forth (that which is within you)—or DIE.

(No offense to gods or demons intended or, I hope, unintended.)

Symbiopoetics and biometaphorical diversity are also great ideas to play with.

Thank you, John, for the probiotic paradox-sharing!


Excellent, brother Marco, I like that a lot. It makes my tummy feel good.


There’s an old saying among Kabbalists: our feelings tell us what to think.

We also do well to recall that Gebser called the viscera the spiritual organ of the magic structure of consciousness (along with the labyrinthine ear) and the heart the spiritual organ of the mythical structure. Once again, John, you remind us of the current necessity to reawaken the efficient forms of both these structures.


Some useful distinctions I gather from Kripal’s Secret Body that are richly suggestive.

"The empirical imaginal names those moments when the dreaming or waking vision corresponds closely but not exactly to something in the objective, historical world. There is a realist impulse here. It is a super-sense for detecting and responding to historical events in the physical world and is of immense adaptive and survival advantage. The “veridical hallucination” of Meyers and his colleagues, for empirically telepathic communications, falls into this type…it seems to work like a camera: it sees and then projects to a visionary what is happening at some distance along the space time continuum. Little or no interpretation is needed, the visionary knows instantly what the vision is about. The vision is about what it says it is about…There need be only one world or order of being in play here.

The symbolic imaginal works very differently. This expression names those moments in which the dream or waking vision is experienced as mediating some other world or hidden reality. Here the content of the dream or vision can be quite baroque, bizarre or fantastic. The sense is that these images and narratives are functioning as ciphers of some other form of mind or dimension of the real. The human imagination is not so much clairvoyant as it is an organ of revelation: it is not clearly seeing in any one- to- one fashion. Rather, the imagination is intuiting or sensing something Other and then translating or picturing what it has known to a human psyche, but always in code. Note that there are at least two worlds or orders of being at play here-the subjective material world of the person and the “other” occulted world being mediated or translated." p.236

Our work on Maps of Time and Maps of Intuition and Alternate Ways of Knowing is an attempt to work with both kinds of Imaginal and they clearly overlap in actual practice. I do believe, these Imaginal capacities, are in everyone but takes a different kind of practice/training ( meditation, prayer, drawing, dancing, trance states, clean language, etc) to bring forth so great an object! As Emily Dickinson said, you have to tell the truth, but tell it slant. Mind has mountains, says, Hopkins. The poets get there first.

It would be hoped that a Psychology of the near future would work out these dimensions and stop getting stuck in the shallow end of the pool. This is not for the timid but will require great fortitude. There are, I am well aware, many who are called, but few who are chosen.

Jesus, when he asks his disciples, " Who is it that they say I am? Know ye who I am? " is not being rhetorical. I dont think Jesus knew who he was. He was a great performance artist and a supreme poet!The Father and I are one was the metaphor he grappled with, which ultimately blew everyone’s fuse. He was running a lot of juice through his system and those around him and I think, as does Kripal, that he was operating out of a taboo homoerotic twin dynamic. He was split between dimensions, and he looked directly into that vast abyss. That is why the Catholic Church still refuses to let women become priests! They wish to preserve this occult homoerotic mysticism. Without that occult element the whole cosmic show collapses.

You are your own metaphor.I hope we can develop these notions in our next conversation around Irreducible Mind.


You can say that again … or as many times as you want, before we realize what is really being said.

Heh, heh, heh … and I think he knew precisely who he was, but we are hesitant to admit what it is that. This is one of those scenes in the NT that just drives fundamentalists insane (Catholics for one reason, Evangelicals for another). Mt 16. Jesus asks his disciples who they think he is; Peter, oddly enough, informs the other that he is “the Christ” and Jesus blesses him, but he admonishes all them not to tell anyone else who he is. But when Jesus says that he will be delivered and slain, Peter intervenes vociferously to which Jesus replies (KJV): “Get thee behind me, Satan!” Funny that one minute he is to receive the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and in the next minute he’s Satan. I agree with Suares (The Cipher of Genesis and, even more to the point, The Second Coming of Reb YHSHWH): Jesus knew, Peter suspected, but Peter couldn’t accept it. The rest of the disciples appear not to have got it. I think more people are like the disciples than, say, Mary (Magdalen) (who got it right off), or others whose understanding has been suppressed all these millennia.


Doug @Douggins, I came across this podcast, it’s Episode 1 of “Levar Burton Reads” : - the one called “Kin” by Bruce McAllister. It is a story about potential, and very interesting considering the remarks that Burton makes about the story after reading it. You might call it a “strange kind of bird”…

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I’ve been meaning to get back to your post @Geoffreyjen_Edwards:
Perfect words from a man (Lavar Burton) who has carved his niche. I listened to this episode when it first aired…no memory of the closing remarks, but he seems to fuse the two definitions together.

“…focused on fulfilling potential (destiny)… encumbered to decide, define, discover what it is we are supposed to do (our gift)…once discovered, a clearing away of obstacles of achieving full potential.”

So once our “latent ability” is discovered, we make efforts to ensure it is possible. The pathways forged by possibilities are endless and novel.

With this exercise (Ultimate Human Potential thoughts), I wished to define or partly discover a collective understanding before forging ahead with the possibilities achievable if we remove obstacles (personal, social, psychological, political). I had a vague sense of the collective potential initially and this discussion, while fruitful, did not lead me closer to understanding our full humanness. But I know that I am able to recognize those that are on their way, open to any possibilities that arise. I think a certain laughter is proof. You, Ed, and John all have the deep laugh. Lavar has the laugh too (@31:45 in Episode 1–a perfect one!). I am working on my laugh and hope to spread it like an incurable disease to put everyone at ease, so they can do as they please (or to fulfill destinies).


A deep laugh happens because you are aware that you have become a paradox. It is actually the god in the gut who recognizes that and the recognition flows in an upsurge past the cognitive blockade and circulates through out the social system. When the tears come to the eyes at the end of a laugh you know the system is giving you a great blessing. A deep laugh at least once a day is the best antidote to suffering. You may also lift the spirits of someone in close proximity. It is indeed contagious.


"Whether it’s someone with a computer or a guy strumming a guitar, it’s always an algorithmic process,” Kaczmarek says.
I beg to differ! I am not a guy, but I do play and have composed for guitar, and that has had pretty much zero to do with algorithms. I think there is a fundamental confusion going on here. Like saying that a dance is really jiggling algorithms, or a walk is really made up of inches, not experience. Of course it’s made of inches! But that’s not what a walk IS. This way of viewing things seems so weird to me. A cake is not: the taste of flour, plus egg, plus butter…it’s “cake” a new thing, and the cake experience is a new thing too, it’s not “really” the ingredients, even though fully realized cakeness can’t exist without them.