Globes, by Peter Sloterdijk – Conversation 3



  • Chapter 3: Arks, City Walls, World Boundaries, Immune Systems – The Ontology of the Walled Space
  • Excursus 1: Dying Later in the Amphitheater – On Postponement, the Roman Way
  • Excursus 2: Merdocracy – The Immune Paradox of Settled Cultures
  • Chapter 4: The Ontological Proof of the Orb
  • Excursus 3: Autocoprophogia – On Platonic Recycling
  • Excursus 4: Pantheon – The Theory of the Dome

Pages 237–440


Geoffrey Edwards
John Davis
TJ Williams
Marco V Morelli
Douglas Duffins
Eduardo Rocha

Date recorded: 2/9/2018



In light of the recent thread on podcasting, found this deep dive into pain and pleasure a fitting companion for Excursus 1 & 2:

I must say, Excursus 1 is the perfect reading for Superbowl weekend.


I had about 1000 other things to do, but with our talk of podcasting lately, I felt inspired to experiment with some audio, and ended up recording Excuses 1 and 2 from GLOBES. However, despite what I say in my intro, I only edited part 1. (I will probably never get to part 2.)

We might also call this painting, “Know the Situation.”

On re-listening, I only wish I had read with more conviction. But it was a fun experiment. Enjoy.



Yes! Great, @madrush…once more with feeling! :man_dancing:t2: This is what needs to happen all around us, the sonosphere, the sound cogito, the deep listen, the halting of our inner voices to hear the voice that must be heard. Ominous mood was set with the dimly lit sounds, the location of the echos…the transportation into the realm. Thank you for reading telepathically my wishes of reading this text. Let us begin anew the oral tradition, here and now, and later.


(HBO Rome, “Philippi”)

Mark Antony: “Breathe deep, boy, the smell of [history]!”

Octavian: “Smoke, shit, and rotting flesh.”

Mark Antony: “Beautiful, isn’t it?!”


A really good lecture series that gives some easy to follow history about the clash of mythologies. He deals with Plato, Christianity and the Hermetic Tradition, and makes explicit what Sloterjdiik referring to. He tells a story about how our myths deconstruct and reconstruct our social selves.


Excellent talk. So we have Moses, Hermes Trismegistus, and Zoroaster (Zarathustra) as the three candidates (in Renaissance thought) for the origin point of Platonic Orientalism and the lineage of True Wisdom. It is a fascinating story. I want to hear the rest. (I also love the title of the series: Infinite Fire.)

I’ve heard a little about The Ritman Library, which produced the video. The popular author Dan Brown recently made a donation so that they could digitalize and make public many texts from their archives. That’s really cool!


Hi, All, I’m sorry to say I won’t be able to make it on the call tonight. (Waving from a distance. :wave:)

Right now, I’m trying to finish that article for the book on ideological transparency in the classroom that I mentioned in a previous thread (got an extension, got it mostly written, and have to revise). I’ve also had an unexpected development–a possible textbook project and a place to maybe publish it!

My head is spinning with that, a scientology series I’ve been watching (from A&E with Leah Remini and Mike Rinder–about the inside of the cult dynamics), grading some papers from my students, a professional development book group on literacy through school that meets Friday morning, and then these groups (which I really look forward to). Such a windfall of interesting activities constellating around me right now. And, my own space for writing, breathing, thinking, feeling is still alive, but feels a bit cramped (or crimped).

I will have to miss the Sloterdijk group tonight, though, because I meet with an editor to discuss the textbook project tomorrow morning and have to prep. And, with all that’s going on at the moment, I need a chance to clear my head a bit so creativity can move through me with more intention.

But, I’ll be at the next Sloterdijk (and 4th Thursday writing group) meeting for sure. I’ll also watch the replay for this call when I have a chance.


Good to hear from you, @hfester—and sorry you won’t be able to make it, but glad to hear of the constellating exciting opportunities and activities. The crimped hairstyle doesn’t look too bad, I will say; but I do wish for you a wavy~spacious volume of writing, breathing, thinking, and feeling coming through it all. Hope to see you next time… :wave:


I’m trying to connect with you guys. Are you still debating or are you finished?

1 Like

We start in 40 minutes.

Euripides, a great master of the Imaginal, enters into the world of the defeated women of Troy, and awakens compassion in his Greek audience, for the enemy they raped and murdered. This play still reverberates as we search for easy solutions in a world of increasing complexity. We, who are about to die, salute you!


Thanks everyone for another great conversation. Much appreciated @madrush for requesting the slow examination of the reading + the general summary of Bubbles + Spheres thus far.

"summary" poem

Wandering the Grounds

Exiled now…outside of this Slotted bubble we can see his world. A foreign land of new-old ideas. How to re-enter now that I have been spit out?

Frozen wanderer. Frozen cold outer circles,
I want back in the academy. Why am I in this maze?
This labyrinth though is not my demise.
Daedalus denies the days demise…he devises
A plan from out of this wasteland.

We pray for the warmth, the heat and hearth
We pray too for a flood, pray for the rain
we want mom to wash away all this stupid shit.
To flush it down the drain
and bathe the baby in fresh waters again.

Then a voice from the heights:

Here is your ark.
Here is your womb.
Warm water’s room
for all who hear me.”

The coming Flood and the Vessel…
Towed by two in tow, toe to toe, tete a tete.
Then, he appears in the clouds.
Sloterdijk is here again! He has let us back in!
…now telling us, we spared ribs of discarded souls,
“ Go forth and multiply, brick by brick, bric a brac, wall by wall.
I am the morpho-god, architect of walls and layers and layers”

We continue to build for him.
Yet he continues to care less
He has carelessly discarded our bones,
too many to count,
reminding us of our imprisonment
Behind these walls

A Call to Burst the Bubble

Let us create our own ark now.
Let us have our own fun with the flood.
Blood will be shed, we will prevail.
The others bubble is easy to burst if you enter in undetected.
We undercover agents
we bring our Horse House
…little by little, two by two,
towed toe to toe, the Trojan ready for battle.
We are aware now of the outer shield,
your Achilles heel,
the field of play.

All we wish is to have a spot in your world, Peter.
A slotted spot. We have proof of your orb.
We hear you spitting us out as your fat head forgets to lock the door.
Now we are back, as individuals banded together, r
eady to demand of your rule to include us,
to remember the closeness.
To remember the stories we shared.

“Let us back inside! We know your geometry.
We know your geometry…
we praise transference and refute loneliness!
Please, we love you and need you!!”

He fell for it.
We come inside like a endoscope invading the womb,
fetus blinded by a flash of light (it was only supposed to know sound!)
…and he passed, he passed through, passed out,
he turned out to be another lost life before it started.
We invade we invade we played in vitro invasion.
We thought it was a game, we gladiators, gladly entering the stage…
but it was all a stage, a sign of our age, staged and frightened
…we are all the fetoid child
curled up in its womb ball warm room
missing as we now float in darkness…
float in a bubble…float off into space.
Outer atmosphere…space is a frontier, but nothing is final.
We lose our life yet they remain.
Psychocosmological immunodeficiency
Now from above…from out of the waters we emerge again…
others still splashing…we now philosophising…
the lost demising…Daedelus denies the days demise.
We rise from the ashes…

Platos invitation at the gate,
was really an invitation to not be late.
To not play in the rabble’s rubble…
but to blow bubbles
. To float off into space,
grounded in this place.
The peregrini… The Falcon Heavy….
saying to the rabble…don’t panic!
Why run frantic? Here we are again within our bubble…
the space is not within the city-place, the wall-palace…
but our atmospheric aroma remains.

I think we have sensed that this chunk of reading, along with the next possibly, is the central written orb for understanding the trilogy as a whole. If imagined as a fictional trilogy (as mentioned in an interview I have yet to find), Sloterdijk probably played around with the symmetry of the text as a whole. something like (((:globe_with_meridians:))) , with the various nested bubbles/rings/circles/etc. within and with out.


I love your podcast of the first Excursis, Marco @madrush! I don’t think you lack conviction - overall it is very good. It has lovely sonorities in it, in the way you read it. Kudos!


Lovely use of inner as well as outer rhyming, as well as great rythms, Doug @Douggins. A lovely experience to pass through your musings, and a fitting hommage, I think, to these chapters. Thanks so much for this!


Other mentioned item from conversation:

I flubbed the connection between the fetus at four months juxtaposed with the Pollice Verso painting. here’s my attempt at redemption:

The crowd is observing the gladiator standing over the viewed lost life of other contenders. The crowd, though showing a “pollice verso” for the painfotainment value perhaps, is still witness to “knowing thy situation.”

With this controversial image series by Lennart Neilson, we are literally witness to death without realizing it; we are witness to a life that never had a chance to begin. The image in Sloterdijk’s excursis is of a (soon to be?) aborted fetus. I found this quote from an article revisiting Lennart’s work fitting to Sloterdijk’s discussion (highlighted words are my doing):

What most people don’t recall—or, more likely, never knew—about Nilsson’s achievement is that, in fact, many of the embryos pictured in the photo essay “had been surgically removed,” as LIFE told its readers, "for a variety of medical reasons."
In other words, while Nilsson (and Karl Storz in Germany and Jungners Optiska in Stockholm, who manufactured special macro-lenses and wide-angled special optics to Nilsson’s specs) revolutionized photography with mind-expanding devices and techniques for in utero photography, it’s worth recalling that not all of the embryos or fetuses seen in that groundbreaking 1965 LIFE article lived very long beyond the moment that Nilsson made their portraits. Doomed to a mortal end, they gained a kind of immortality through a photographer’s inspired vision and tenacious pursuit of what so many, for so long, deemed the impossible.

“Doomed to a mortal end, they gained a kind of immortality” - this phrase sums up the excursis for me.

The subject matter is morbid once we think about it, and a reason why we don’t like to think about it.


And if that mother’s bitter, desperate cry does not rip out one’s heart, one should ask oneself what could possibly be beating there instead. Euripides also wrote Medea IIRC. Genius pure and simple, I agree.

Or, looked at from the pessimistic view I have been indulging in this thread, as we continue to avoid making hard choices in a world just as messed up as ever. From Troy (and before) to Auschwitz (and beyond), Andromache hurls her outrage and helplessness against the sky, and naked power is… never so naked that it becomes outraged and helpless, and so pitilessly does what it wills to maintain itself…
No, no… too dark… too much thought on the history of war…
Dwelling on crisis is too depressing if you don’t follow it with the potential of awakening and increased awareness. But of course in the long run it does no good if only a few individuals “get it”.


I actually imagine that a lot of individuals “get it” but are unorganized and out of touch.
-Capture the high ground
-Stay in touch
-Keeping moving
Our little gatherings, committed to working with the '“hard problems” and to developing the Imagination, can, with a mustard seed of faith move mountains. We have done it before and we can do it again. Our history is full of unsung heroines, and the bright faces of children who loved to read and draw and tell stories. We are magical beings.

One of the great achievements of our time is the Web. We can broadcast more skillful messages if we hone our attentional skills as we are doing in our experiments here at Cosmos. We can by-pass the mediocrity of the press and the high brow academia lost in abstraction and address issues in our own way, making more transparent how the power principle corrupts us and how the healthy use of imaginations might open us up to latent potentials.

You are right, TJ, sometimes you just want to weep, but then we get up and focus attention on the good in ourselves and others and becoming more skillful. We have a huge responsibility to use all of our knowledge and use all of it well.


I enjoy the poem, Doug, at the beginning of our Symposium, reminds us to always be mindful of the Muse. And it creates a mood of not knowing that I find gives us permission to let our Subliminal Selves vibrate together.