Dear @ccafe: I am definitely on board for reading / viewing / listening to the Levin material that @johnnydavis54 shared above for our next Café on May 5th. I have taken a look at his website and gotten an overview of his work, and I believe it’s well worth thinking about—I appreciate that (so far at least) Levin doesn’t seem to be playing a philosophical language game about which is real, matter or spirit, but it is actually conducting a creative research project about how life works and embodies itself. There is an enticing intellectual challenge here.
The concept of “target morphology” speaks straight to my heart as a poet. I know it very well by knowing (through intuiting, which is complex adaptive state of subtle feeling, perceiving, and cognizing) the shape of poem from within, before it is written. To succeed at composition is to grow the poem towards the target morphology which is present in the seed idea. I am also a practitioner of synthetic life engineering.
Everything Levin is talking about with respect to cellular biology is something we can know from within as consciousness itself. But I think that learning about how bioloectricity works on a cellular level would be a way of gaining a new understanding of our minds in turn. Matter is the visible reflection of mind through the mirror of the physical. Our target morphology (in its environment) is what makes sense of all the information in our cells.
I think getting up to speed on the latest research in bioinformatics would give us a way 1) to link up with what may have been most useful in Hofstadter, without all the self-referential nonsense, and b) eventually link us back to Haraway’s ecological poetics. I suspect it would also tie us back ultimately to interesting subjects in sacred geometry and the nanoscale structures of intelligence.
@Michael_Stumpf: the “Understanding Understanding” link above goes to a paywall for me. But I would like to give some time (maybe on May 19th?) to Lisbeth Lipari’s work on Listening, Thinking, Being and an “ethics of attunement.” It would be a nice counterpoint to the much geekier material on cell biology earlier in the month. Would an essay such as the one below that I found on Academic.edu be a good place to start?
Listening_Thinking_Being.pdf (239.5 KB)
She does not seem to have many essays published, or they are behind paywalls. But I also found this other one below on Emmanuel Levinas (whom we’ve only mentioned here over the years, but never directly read) that looks interesting:
rhetoricsother_Levinas.pdf (217.4 KB)
Can we find a relationship between Levin’s cellular biology and the Nine Bodies as outlined by Moffitt? It seems to me this would be an Integral challenge, balancing interiors with exteriors, micro with the macro. When we set up a page we could use Margulis and Haraway as backstory. Does anyone have a strong objection to making this a focus for the next Cafe? I know nothing about Lispari and only a little about Levinas. I am open to the possiblilty of moving between bio-engineering as embodied by Levin and the concerns of the ethicists that have been mentioned. If there are no objections can we make a plan? Please offer another alternative plan and we might consider that for a future date?
I personally would like to firm up the time we can bring :
As I read Her before coming to Cosmos Cafe’ and there has been a few
Cafe’s where I knew nothing of the Authors or Subjects… and came to enjoy the “Wonderfulness of Not Knowing” in conversation with “You All”.
These are my Feelings/Thoughts on Possibilities that are close to my Interest at this Time.
I’m sure we can! Is it possible that subtle energies are related to bioelectrical fields? Could subtle bodies also be target morphologies? I believe there are probably many correlations between knowing from within and knowing from without, and why shouldn’t we explore multiple modes of knowing and let them inform each other?
I would like to ease into my 9 bodies practices before discussing it too much in depth. However, I believe I can absorb and ponder the Levin materials you’ve shared above by the 5th.
@Michael_Stumpf: Will you lead (off) a session on the ethics of attunement (via Lispari) on the 19th?
Yes, I would be Honored … I will post some material when the Cafe’
is posted for 05/19/2022 if that’s ok?
One of her themes is the value of Misunderstanding with the Ethics of
For the present discussion also the theory of the Cellular Basis of Consciousness (CBC) of Arthur S. Reber might be of interest. See also his book “The First Minds: Caterpillars, 'Karyotes, and Consciousness.”
On a similar line, going from cellular to plant cognition, this interview with Frantisek Baluska could be illuminating as well:
I enjoyed these talks, @MarcoMasi. Thanks for posting them. I think they provide additional “supporting evidence,” as it were, for a pan-psychic view, which is to say, that if we learn how to look, we will begin find mind, intelligence, and consciousness everywhere.
Once we get to the smallest structures and dynamic systems of biology, we will look to the physical domain that gives rise to biological agents. We will find patterns, equations, and forms which, while they may not exhibit the intentionality of biological life, nonetheless exhibit some seeming form of agency or intelligence. It will be understood that consciousness, or the primal sense of beingness that makes consciousness possible, is at least latent in matter.
However, it is not enough just to have this belief, intuition, or awareness. It helps for researchers to demonstrate rigorously how this is the case. It can be quite a revelation to become aware of the pervasive nature of consciousness, and can be scary too (since everything is more aware of you than you are most of the time), but also kind of reassuring that we are not alone in a dead universe.
A Zen teaching about our condtioning
of all our capacities…Reason,Intuition,Senses ,&