Cosmos Café: Season 1 [November, 2017 – March, 2018]

Great. That is settled then.


Would anyone have issue with an Open Cafe Session, in which we come in with no pre-meditated topic or reading for 2/27?

Perhaps (contradicting the above statement) we could rein in some of the questions you all have from last excellent “my pretties” Cafe (which seem to be bridging together various threads) and pose a few seed questions to center the discussion. I like where our minds are going.

EDIT: Just read @madrush’s post here, which essentially states the same, with much more oomph.


I’m open to open. Might be a good thing to do once in a while…


Cosmos Café folk: I’d like to reserve ou time slot on 3/27 for our first Cosmos Plenum meeting, which I imagine will be a quarterly event for all people involved with or interested in Cosmos to get a progress report on the state of the co-op as a whole; report on their own projects; ask questions; and coordinate around shared goals.

I would like to make an announcement and send an email to our list; invite comments and questions in a dedicated forum topic; and determine our format and agenda ahead of time. (Of course it will also be recorded and shared.) Is there any objection to using this time slot for this purpose, since it’s already somewhat ingrained and likely that most of you can show up?


Here is an interesting review of The Minor Gesture that should give a foretaste for the book.


Thank you Geoffrey. Erin is a bridge, a conduit, (perhaps a prophet?) for long distance telecommunication from the atemporal into the felt language sense. I am imagining Kerri as our atemporal agent and Lisa @Lisa as our trusted guide for this newly accessed terrain…Stan Tenen busking as we stroll by, performing a Filipino wine dance . One could say it is the much needed connector, quietly and mysteriously paving a new by-pass, away from the major arteries and the 'structural tendencies."

I would like to "audit’ this discussion if possible. Mind letting us know when the ball starts moving?

guattari, deleuze, whitehead…need one have read these minor-giants to undersatnd manning? any supplemental resources for a better grasping of A Minor Gesture?

Will you create a dedicated topic here and post any recordings of discussions? I don’t want to commit to any further reading at this moment, but like Doug, I would be interested in “auditing” from a distance. Manning’s thoughts on “becoming artful” as sensitive attention to perception are particularly attractive to me:

In Chapters 2, 3 and 4 Manning examines how art and fashion can displace neurotypical perception and give rise to alternative forms of experience. For example, Chapter 2 redefines art not simply as the production of an object, but as the process of becoming artful. Manning asks: ‘What else can artistic practice become when the object is not the goal, but the activator, the conduit toward new modes of existence?’ (46) Becoming artful entails a different sensitivity to time, where sensations jostle together in emerging perception prior to being concretised into subjects and objects. Skilful artists experience perception in its forming.

We might also treat this as a playbook / user ‘case study’ for how a Cosmos member goes about hosting their own café, reading group, or seminar event on the platform—if you would be willing to be a ‘beta tester’ for this, @Geoffreyjen_Edwards.


So, I am looking into doing this. I was going to create a New Topic under Readers Underground, but then I remembered seeing some sort of a list of suggestions of how to set the introductory text up, but I couldn’t find the post. It would be helpful to have some guidelines about this. Second, I tried to find the post that explains how to set up the Zoom session, but that also I couldn’t find under Search using several key words “zoom”, “setup”, “seminar”, “reading group”, “zoom link”, etc. - nada. So that didn’t work either. So I just need a bit of coaching to get through this phase…


This would be a perfect topic to cover during our syndicate meeting, since it’s question of process and operationalization. It’s also a kind of value we can offer to a wider membership. Let’s add it to our agenda—sound good?

Perfect, Marco! See you in just under an hour!

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Following TJ’s suggestion, I started reading Jennifer Gidley’s paper. She writes wonderfully well and covers Steiner, Wilber, and Gebser. She also mentions Aurobindo. I agree with TJ that we could take a look at the Appendix of this paper and create a Cafe conversation. Here is a brief video and a link to her paper. She has done some solid research on what she calls Post-formal reasoning, which is non binary, sounds like a four valued logic.


Which appendix, and when would the Café session be? I’m a bit pressed for time at the moment.

What a refreshingly clear, coherent, and cogent presentation of such a multifaceted topic. I found a whole lot to think about in this rather brief clip and look forward to reading and hearing more about her ideas.


Perhaps we can discuss that at the meet up today, Ed? I am half way through the paper ( great stuff) and have yet to read the appendix but our friend TJ has made the recommendation. All of the appendix look enticing. It is a long paper ( almost book length) but there is a comparative method here and it works. I am stunned by the fact that Steiner has been left out of the mix and her paper clarifies his approach. Gebser and Steiner are more aesthetic/relational than Wilber who vastly privileges the cognitive and distorts a great deal by his lack of balance. I sense that our esteemed colleague, Marco, is well aware of that and a Cosmos theme has been finding a balance. For me, I always felt the Wilberians over valued the Cognitive line , which only developes out of highly attuned relationships, which they as a group tended to ignore! I sense this split between the cognitive bias and the relational as one of the main drivers behind the wobbly performances that Wilber has birthed, for all of his authentic brilliance. So I have been out of that loop for awhile now and this paper which was written in 2007 has put down some groundwork for her new book Post-formal Education, which came out last year. She also has a most recent book Futures so I am getting into her work. I hope we can make a plan for focusing on her work at a cafe really soon as she can bring some of the missing pieces of the puzzle to the table. Maybe she can help us put some flesh on this Integral theory we have been wrestling with. And without the Imaginal we aint going to get very far.


It is a long paper, and not one that I could (or would want to) to read on screen. (I’m hopelessly paper bound when it comes to long texts.) What I have skimmed over, both in the body and the appendices, is enough to convince me that I should take in the whole thing. We can kick this around this evening, for sure.

While both Gebser and Steiner are unabashedly spiritual, Steiner is downright esoteric, and I would say, too much so for most scholar/academics. Personally, I think this is the result of a materialist bias on the one hand, but even for the more esoterically inclined he is often seen as “too far out there” (though where “there” is, is not clear to me). His reception is stronger, though still very reserved in many quarters, here in Germany. After all, as Gidley pointed out in her talk that you posted, he did develop his own educational system which, even though it is not state-recognized (accredited) still has waiting lists for almost all of its schools. It is certainly an holistic approach and places a great deal of emphasis on, let us say, the artistic aspects of our nature (rhythm, dance, music, visual art, theatre, etc.) I don’t think that many people who send their children to Waldorf Schools know very much about Steiner (other than the standard “marketing” pitch) and I doubt that very many of them are anthroposophists either, not that it really matters, but he is certainly a very neglected thinker.

One of the aspects of her talk which caught my ear was her unerring focus on human development, independent of any alleged digital enhancements, and her insistence that integrality (whatever it may ultimately be) is higher-order; that is, multidimensional and polyvalent in a variety of ways that may not be necessarily digital-friendly.

I don’t know if TJ (@patanswer) – the instigator, in this case – is going to make the session this evening, but even if he doesn’t, perhaps we can at least get the ball rolling in his direction again and fine tune something here or in another forum thread.


Yes, I hope for that as well. TJ mentioned Gidley in the Sloterjdiik forum and so I am moving his idea of that possible conversation over to the Cafe here as I try to keep more than one egg in each basket. As we are moving towards a reading of Sri Aurobindo ( after a long stretch of Sltoerjdiik) I have a feeling that there are some overlaps ( and/or underlaps) between some of conversations that we have already had and some of the major trends that might be emerging for future explorations. I am looking for the pulse, the rhythm, the experiential intensities, momentum. It dont mean a thing if it aint got that swing.


Meeting this afternoon at work.
I feel like the kid whose punishment is to sit in the corner and listen to the other kids play outside…



I think I see a conversation starting to take shape here that Jennifer Gidley articulates very well, at least in the Abstract to her paper. I haven’t yet read it, but am interested, for sure, for exactly the reasons you point to, @johnnydavis54, w/r/t the “rounding out” of Wilber’s cognitive-oriented integral quadrant model, aka AQAL—which in terms own language, is itself a rather orange (formal) spatial construct, not the post-formal kind of dynamic, self-reflexive, self-transcending, meta-intuitive (aka “vision logic”) gesture speaking to and from “integrality,” itself which I believe Gidley is pointing to with her “integration of integral views.” She sounds like a wonderful thinker I’d like to get to know better.

That said, I do quibble with her presentation on “Human-Centered vs Techno-futures,” which by her own admission (at the end there) recapitulates the same reductive binary that she criticizes so eloquently for most of the talk! I believe the reason for this is that she unwittingly conflates POST-humanism with TRANS-humanism, and fails to acknowledge the deeper thinking of post-humanism (e.g., Donna Haraway) which is neither anti-human nor pro-tech, but rather post-human-SPECIES-centric in intent. The “post-” is a decentering, not a denial.

The reason this becomes problematic for her argument is that humanism (as a human-species centric episteme) arises with the FORMAL stages of consciousness development, as it is similarly a capacity for universalism without particular (pluralistic) content. Therefore, the true cultural correlate of post-formal reasoning is not humanism over and against modern technology (which arises from the same movement of consciousness) but a post-human worldview (or ‘waring’ ala Gebser) that integrates technology with consciousness at the center. It would be interesting to ask, “Who’s in charge?” as Gidley does, from this view.

If we continue reading through the great integral philosophers, I believe we’ll find ourselves circling around the same cosmic center—which is everywhere, everywhen, and everybody. Let’s see what happens next. :grin:


Good point, as always, but I can understand her reticence. After all, look what the technotopians (I’ll use her word) did with Huxley. Give 'em an inch, they’ll take a mile, I often think. So what I think we need more of is concentration on the consciousness center and let whatever aspects enrich it as is necessary, fitting and proper.

As an afterthought: or maybe our over-prefixization of language is simply taking its toll.


I think it is. It would be a good creative challenge, I think, for any ‘integral’ thinker to try to think and express themselves without using the prefixes pre-, post-, or meta- (let alone hyper- :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:)—and, for that matter, without using the word ‘integral’ either! I don’t know if I could do it. Should I try??*

(*“Metapsychosis” would have to be exempt, since it already subverts the prefix through the root word.)