Cosmos Café – Open Session [2022-04-21]

Continuing the discussion from Douglas Hofstadter’s I Am a Strange Loop - Session 5 [Cosmos Café 2022-04-07]

At the end of our last session, on Douglas Hofstadter’s I AM A STRANGE LOOP, we decided to take a pause, take a breath, and not yet commit to a new book to read together, although there are a few options we’ve recently discussed, including work by William Irwin Thompson, David Graeber (and David Wengrow), Martha Nussbaum, and others. Rather, we planned for an “open frame” to review our options for moving forward, and give a chance to @ccafe members who may have dropped out of recent readings to check in and say hi.

In the meantime, @johnnydavis54 has made a few posts bringing attention to the work of Phillip Moffitt and the 9 (subtle) Bodies, which could be brought into a queering relationship with Charles Sander Pierce’s concept of Triads and McLuhan’s Tetrads. And we also got a shout out from @sororbrigid, who has put out a call for interest in a reading group on “Consequential Reality.”

Any other possibilities or directions you might wish to suggest? Please reply below.

Lastly, of special note, this week we are planning to publish our first book through Cosmos Co-op / Untimely Books: @Geoffreyjen_Edwards’s far-future space opera Plenum: The First Book of Deo—and I would be happy to talk more about our publishing process and our plans for future books. It has been quite a journey, and I think it’s a big milestone for us as a community to be bringing forward our own “homegrown” work. We are also working on books by @Lisa and a few other authors who have participated in these forums over the years.

If you are new to the Café or co-op curious, you are also welcome to drop in. Please just give us a heads up below, so we know to let you into the video conference.


My Off the Cuff suggestions;

Metapsychosis – 29 Dec 21

New Reading Group: Soliciting Interest in the Subject of “Consequential Reality”

The question is posited—can reality be created out of falsehoods? Can fiction become fact, or at least “true” in some sense? Join kindred spirits to explore these and other intriguing questionsR…



I no longer feel any confidence in this proposal which I floated over a month ago and have decided to put it on hold indefinitely as I have not found the support for doing anything experiential . People, I realize, are very busy and what I wanted to offer would require attention and I doubt my own capacity for attention more and more these chaotic days. The time is out of joint and I can no longer sustain the necessery creative tension. I am more interested in being open to what others are processing in this best of times and maybe we will catch a mutual vibe but -maybe not. I don’t insist. And like, Ed, I may need to take care of other business. I remain open to believe something interesting might still be possible and plan to show up this Thursday as an anthropologist doing field work. The bones are still resonating. We are not dead yet. Who knows if another wave will approach this desolate and toxic shore? I hope to find a balance with the body as earth in the next couple of days. I am an old man among windy spaces. I trust I can ground in a public space a newer desired outcome that might resonate and to be at my best in this worst of times.


@johnnydavis54, for me it will take some time to land the nine bodies, triads, and tetrads—but I hope you feel your offerings are not in vain. Clearly we must find the Cosmic Body, or die trying—rest and dance, love and laugh, mock war and make peace—and be resurrected as the Cosmic Body. I have only listened to the first recording with Phillip Moffit, the podcast where he tells the story of how he came to learn this material from a Himalayan forest guru. Moffitt seems authentic enough.

I found myself listening with my Etheric body. I can remember the other bodies, including the Intuitive, Illumined, Spiritual, and Cosmic, but I have unfinished work in the Physical, Emotional, and Mental realms. I need Vital replenishment, some time off of the global hamster wheel. More connection with the Astral.

I wonder about how the nine bodies correspond to Sri Aurobindo’s levels of consciousness going from matter to Supermind (with various subtle energetic and intuitive levels in between). I do not yet feel ready to work in the Tetrads (or any dialectics), but I can sense the possibilities for re-relating to the world from these spaces.

Today I have to finish preparing our taxes to file, and fix some website issues ahead of the release of Geoffreyjen’s book. I have thought I will practice a little with the 9 bodies every morning and see how long it takes to gain some fluency. It may take extra time with everything that is going on in these tormented, demented spheres of income taxes, war media, and computer code. Somehow the bodies (which have minds of their own) must become attuned to each other and find a mutual harmony, so we might be playing the same tune.


So as I Attune to these expressions from John & Marco,
I am also attuning to this book I read awhile back about
living in/with “Hostile Times” & Being Very Honest with/in
This Moment…


Radical Hospitality addresses a timely and challenging subject for contemporary philosophy: the ethical responsibility of opening borders, psychic and physical, to the stranger.

Kearney and Fitzpatrick show how radical hospitality happens by opening oneself in narrative exchange to someone or something other than ourselves―by crossing borders, whether literal or figurative. Against the fears, dogmas, and demands for certainty and security that push us toward hostility, we also desire to wager with the unknown, leap into the unanticipated, and celebrate the new, a desire this book seeks to recognize and cultivate. The book contends that hospitality means chancing one’s hand, one’s arm, one’s very self, thereby opening a vital space for new voices to be heard, shedding old skins, and welcoming new understandings.

Radical Hospitality engages with urgent moral conversations concerning identity, nationality, immigration, commemoration, and justice, moving between theory and praxis and on to the formative life of the classroom. Building on key critical debates on the question of hospitality ranging from phenomenology, hermeneutics and deconstruction to neo-Kantian moral critique and Anglo-American virtue ethics, the book explores novel possibilities for an ethics of hospitality in our contemporary world of border anxiety, refugee crises, and ecological catastrophe…

I am Interested in the “From Thought To Action” in my
Day-to Day (which includes the infinite dimensions… Little by Little We Go a Long Way to Here&Now of Mystery)…
I am Very Grateful for Contact with the Presence of
John& Marco even if not in the Dense Physicality of Their
Lived Experience & this Bald Human on the West Coast!


Phillip’s approach is less philosophical than Sri Aurobindo and much more pragmatic. The body is a collection of orientations. This has much more in common wiht Ahbinavagupta. We go into the phenomenal and the relational and are also beyond time and space. We do this already but most of us are flying by the seat of our pants, driven by fear and are distracted by daily grind. We give unto Ceasar and find that there is nothing left. This work is more geared towards the practitioner outside of an ashram. I’ve had in two weeks with Nine Bodies amazing results. I’m doing a city retreat on my own, with the audio and the book and can afford to delve deeply into this practice. After decades of meditation with dozens of good teachers I’m glad that I lived long enough to find this material. It is a refinement of all that I’ve learned and if I can continue on this trajectory I feel I can do it on my own without the politics of a sangha and a guru. This is a great blessing. I may do Sean’s course but I feel no urgency to do so. I am more interested in peer to peer arrangements, and I already got how Sean works with these spaces when I worked with him last summer. He’s very good at integrating weird stuff.

And it may be best not to start this, Marco, when you are pressured by other commitments. It could be very disorienting. Eventually, however, when the timing is right you may need to address the relationship between subtle and manifest. Physical, Vital, and Emotional don’t work right without the Subtle and technology will not take care of this for us. A dominant materialist orientation is wreaking enormous destruction. Only attunement to Subtle ranges can prepare us for what is coming at us.

I only offered this approach as a background to what others have been offering, searching for antidotes to the general malaise. I’m not a teacher of meditation but I am a student of the Imaginal. And I’ve learned more from Moffitt in two weeks than in all the others teachers I’ve had combined. Most of my questions have been answered. I’ve figured out how to work with the Astral, ( the non-local) an area of confusion that no other teacher has been able to help me with. Many trauma survivors are good at the astral as they went there to escape. I have been usually met with worried silence and or bad advice about the astral realms as it is where visions come from which are usually considered a source of instability in our monophasic culture. Wilber is inadequate here as he favors the Causal and skips the Sublte almost entirely. We each have our own patterns and preferences. Nine Bodies is the best map for me, for now. Others may not need this.

Greetings, Bald Human! I like Kearney a lot and curious how others find the support that they need. I’m following this sobering talk with Wes Jackson with inerest. We will need to learn very quickly how to down-power. Soil is more important than oil and we are running out of both. A new way of Being will be happening whether we want to or not, whether we are ready or not. Freedom from suffering will not be an option but can we suffer creatively? Moffitt has convinced me that I can. So, I pass on what gives me strength during the dark nights.


I have come to Engage in the Strength of OPENING as a Creative Response to Suffering the Dark Nights and;


As Easter has passed; My Humble Relationship with Jesus has Deepened
in Existential Meaning in a Lived Life…Not Freedom From…Freedom Through!

What is the Weight of Air? [ What Is The Weight Of Air? – Weight of Stuff ]

To continue the influence of Female;


And when I have come to engage the strength of OPENING as a Creative Response to Suffering the Dark Nights and;

Is there anything else about a creative response?

Some CL questions I muse upon…my history of modeling social collaborations…and what happens now?

And when does my memory become our memory?

And when does my stress become our stress?

And when does my desired outcome become our desired outcome? And then what happens?

And if we have no shared desired outcomes, what happens next?

And when they land, Marco, where will they land?

And my offerings are not in vain… and inter-subjective writing…
And is there anything else about inter-subjective writing?

Unlike a dog or a flea, we humans can stress out about that which is beyond our personal life span. I am well aware most members of my species do not share my levels of stress. I see most people serving the status quo most of the time and are comfortable with that until disasters strike. We are in a very big disaster and I am saddened by the loss of shared desired outcomes in most social settings that have a narrow focus. It is a belief I have that narrow self interests are driven by regressive tendencies that decouple us from expanded shared perceptual spaces. Integrated persons who can anticipate future expectations and have an expanded memory are among us. I am disappointed in the tendency of most persons I know who have to stay on the hamster wheel. I try my best to stay engaged with them even when it hurts. As our tech has skewed our acoustic and visual space, and with rising food shortages, pandemics, and war becoming a daily stressor, we all have to deal with hyper arousal. Can we detect when a signal is coming from the inside or the outside? Mind-Bodys with expanded perceptual capacites can handle this ambiguity creatively.

So, turning to the study of subtle energies increases one’s sensitivity and this can really hurt unless there is a community of the competent as Terry Patten used to say to help expand individual ranges of perceptual space in a group dynamic. The disconnects that are disrupting relational circuits are felt strongly by myself and suspect others are feeling this, too. I’m quite used to dissapointment.

As we scale up into the Cosmic you are beyond the Manifested and can only infer this possibility. It can be premature as an aspiration and can lead to crash and burn. The integration of the Subtle and Physical dimensions seems within the range of many persons if they are supported but they are stuck in the arrested development of others. We are running out of soil and oil. I accept my limitations and the limitations of the groups that I interact with. I can let go fo those limitations if I feel compelled to and shake it up. Can we contain this tension between expanded and contracted states? I’m not sure. Maybe I can develop this on Thursday if I can find the time.



Aikido Way


I bought Gj’s Plenum: The First Book of Deo today. Eager to get it and hold it in my hand. Yes, read it. But just marvel at the product of a long, thoughtful process, of word becoming deed.

I will be leading our Friends of Jung reading of Marie-Louise von Franz’s Projection and Re-collection in Jungian Psychology, if anyone wants to join us for that. Thursdays 7-9 pm PT, via Zoom. If interested, let me know, and I’ll send the Zoom link.


Anyone Up For a Wave of Serendipity?


I’ve been contemplating this. I think they [the 9 bodies, the tetrads, the triads] will land in a clearing, in the sense of an open perceptual space that lets thought-forms linger and mingle, exploring and discovering their own natures in a spirit of playful absorption. I don’t know much about Pierce’s triads, but I am appreciating how McLuhan’s media theory is essentially about transformations of bodily experience through so-called extensions or communication technologies—the inner logic of how these flow and morph into one another in symbolic dimensions.

This makes me wonder how we might approach media from a multi-embodied space of awareness. We know how various forms of media amplify or suppress our physical senses, but what about our etheric or astral senses? Could there be a media theory, or subtle technologies, for these, which are trans-symbolic (vibrating with beingness)? I think this gets more into questions of spiritual cosmology that Tibetan Buddhists and other long-haul consciousness-practitioners have developed, working with interior causality.

The one area where I see a limitation is in the inference only of a cosmic body—as if the mind must assume that it is there without experiencing it. Maybe we just don’t know how to experience it, or recognize a prior experience (remember) it yet?


Interesting. The area where I sense a limitation in the teaching is in the idea that we can cease to suffer. And suffering is not the same as pain and that is not what I meant. Although I avoid unecessery suffering, I accept that suffering is sometimes necessery and to be respected. Our human journey is not a mistake that the Buddah can release us from. I suppose the four noble truths are noble but also a subtle trap, the trap of spiritual bypassing. Stress, suffering, tension mix up memory and desire and stir dull roots with spring rain.

In other words, I wonder if the subtle and the cosmic are not resonating with us who are the manifest to explore something different than just offer us a mild sedative for suffering? Hence, my investgation into the unvoiced desired outcomes often ignored by first Axial Age practioners who were swept up into an ascending current. We as contempories who are moving through Big History and Big Science will need to draw upon these roots even as we attune ourselves to a Spiritual Body that may have more interesting things for us to explore than our ancestors imagined sitting silently under a Bodhi Tree.

At any rate, I am rushing out the door to meet Seth uptown. I am going over with him my intuitions about Triads and Tetrads and how they could create a new wave within the emergent kleinforms of the Subtle/Manifest in a world dominated by internet and bio-engineering. The nature of nature is unfolding and perhaps unraveling and I feel our response to the times and spaces of our Imaginal body can be explored with different kinds of models than we currently are making use of. I hope I can make some of these intuitions ( with the help of Seth) more coherent and explicit for tomorrow’s Cafe.


We probably don’t have the same concept of suffering that the Buddha did. A Zen teacher I studied with pointed out that the word dukkha (suffering) etymologically refers to a wheel that is stuck, whereas its opposite, sukha (happiness), denotes the free turning of the wheel. That always struck me as a very practical way of looking at the practice—rather than getting bogged down in a psychological notion of suffering or a metaphysical concept of liberation.

The question of practice then becomes, “how can we get the wheels turning?” Or, “what’s causing the wheel to be stuck?” That doesn’t mean the wheel might not have to roll over rocky terrain, or that the rigors of the path might not hurt or damage us. We could also understand the subtle bodies as energy systems. Clearly, our bodies are more “energy systems” (as flows) than they are “bodies” (as objects), which is more of a gross understanding of things.

I am glad you got to see Seth and hope to hear about your meeting! Perhaps he’ll join us online again one of these days. @Michael_Stumpf: I think suffering presents us with the most golden opportunities (when it really counts) for a creative response. Of course, however, it can be hard to see the opportunities when the mind is stuck in rut, which I think the point of Zen practice, to free up the wheels of life and keep rolling, while abiding in the still center.


This is a very good expression of my working with the
“Wheels in my life”. Zen has given me the " Negative Capability" of Keats…


My suggestion is this Podcast:

Reason is the subject is a Deep Dive into Interpretation & the Unknown/
Unknowable and brings to bear the Existential Feeling Tone of the Participation Our Identities Engage, in the FACE of “Radical Mystery”…

Plus Phil brings Music in to this Discussion, the Aesthetics Involved for
Relating to ‘Radical Mystery"’


How can we resonate with the Earth Body and the Astral Body? A new Geometry/Biology is in the making. To get up to speed I suggested a comparison of two materialist orientations that are somewhere in the in-between. The film on Donna Haraway ( mentioned by Doug) and Michael Levin’s work ( also mentioned by Doug) could be put into a dialogue. This would satisfy Michael’s desire to work with a Feminist writer and my own desire to sponsor an Invisible Third. And how could an Integral framework support the insights of these two thinkers and highlight their limitations?

Here is a link to the essay. Also I link to a coherent lecture that could be viewed as a set up for the essay. Perhaps Doug could link us to the Haraway film? If we could explore Levin’s essay and the Haraway film we would be making a valuable contribution to the evolution of our knowledge.

Imagining what the unintended consequences of Levin’s research is also worth considering. I am open to believe we have the capacity to hold the tensions between Levin’s emerging systems biology with Haraway’s pioneering feminist science and social activism. And what will happen to our Subtle Intelligences when these bio-engineering experiments alter the Physical? Could we enter a transformational phase for a new humanity or will we be thrown like Lucifer into a fiery pit?

I look forward to comments and further feedback about my proposal and am curious about what other Cafe members want to have happen in the next cafe. Thanks to all for your ongoing participation.


Thanks for bringing Michael Levin forth. I will need to review the final hour of yesterday’s call to see how his research plays into the conversation. Levin’s work is related to our Hofstadter discussion and the consciousness of Arthur Young and I think it is compatible with something like Sheldrake’s morphic resonance. There is something post-material about his biological unearthings.

Sean Carroll coins a term in his book The Big Picture around frameworks . . . he calls is poetic naturalism. This is a healthy stance (something like “there is one natural world but many ways of interpreting it, some better than others”) yet in the same book he dismisses all paranormal framings as “spoon bending” . . . Carroll too had a discussion with Levin but skirted around any questioning/thinking that was outside of his boxed big picture. Levin, I sense, is willing to proceed into the unknown (though he too is wary of being misinterpreted and is sometimes vague on the implications of his research).

I will share the Haraway recording in a private email.


Poetic Naturalism is materialism in drag. Carroll calling objections to his bias poetic is a way of pushing the Super-natural offstage so that he/they don’t have to deal with their own confusion. If we are participant-observers as the New Physics claims, these characterizations appear to be a ploy to change the subject. The same old materialist baggage tries to disquise itself as progressive by going naturalist. Bernardo has a sharp critique of Carroll and the Naturalists as you probably are alert to. I saw recently a good debate with Bernardo and Matt Segall, the Analytical Idealist vs the Whiteheadian Panpsychist. This debate ( which I urged Matt to arrange) was a turning point for me in my struggles to make sense of all of this materialist bunk that is cranked out as reality by the eliminativist camp. I no longer take any of this too seriously as Bernardo’s mocking sarcasm and solid arguments has made his many opponents look more and more like they are doing a skit on Saturday night live. Some people refuse to flip!

I sense that, too, and hope you will elaborate more on this. I’m currently studying Young’s Geometry of Meaning. We could also bring in Faggin at this juncture, as we are steering our fragile ship through these uncharted waters, with very hard to read maps. It is my expectation that if we start thinking beyond these arid debates, as Kastrup seems eager to do, we could start directing our group attentions to alternatives. That is why I posted the Phillip Moffitt materials. He is, through his use of art and meditation, retrieving the underground Alchemical tradition that Jung, Kastrup and Seth, much admire.

May we keep turning in the widening gyre. When we are in doubt ask the Astral Body to awaken. Then you may make contact with the God at the center of the Earth, which is where the voice of my Divine Double told me God’can be located. I dance therefore I am.

By the way, I took a spoon bending workshop, decades ago, while I was doing an NLP training at the University of Santa Cruz. After a demonstration by an expert and two hours of practice everyone was able bend a spoon. I find this dismissal by Carroll so typical.


A Follow Up on a Difference in the Use Of: