Integral Grammatology - "Sophia Speaks" [Cosmos Café 2021-09-02]

“Sophia Speaks” introduces a grammar-based expansion of the Integral model. While Ken WIlber’s Integral is situated in a pronounal View (I, We, It, and Its), Bruce Alderman utilizes six parts of speech as the metaphysical “lenses” or “views” from which philosophies are envisioned: pronouns, nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and prepositions. Alderman writes “(j)ust as the pronouns in Integral Theory yield a postmetaphysical, perspectivist onto-epistemology, and provide an elegant framework for integrative metatheory, the other parts of speech may serve (and, historically, often have served) similar philosophical functions: supporting substantialist, aspect-oriented, processual, modal, and relational ontologies, respectively, and in some cases giving rise to alternative metatheoretical approaches.” In this Café the group takes Bruce’s neologism “onto-choreography” and coordinates a playing around with serious languaging.


“Sophia Speaks” by Bruce Alderman

Supplemental Material

2017 IPS Reading Group Discussion on “Sophia Speaks”: #1 and #2

A slide collection for “Sophia Speaks” download (681.1 KB)

Sophia Speaks Ning thread

Seed Questions

What are the six basic grammatical-metaphysical orientations? Why could they be important to know? Which orientation do you most often identify with?

As we live in a hyper-complex world with wicked problems, can the understanding of these six basic orientations create conditions for connecting diverse theories and practices in your life or the life of anyone you care about? If not, why not?

And when the understanding of these six basic grammatical-metaphysical orientations becomes a new style of thinking, what happens to unfulfilled potentials, master-slave relations, reductive harmful ideologies, and aesthetics?

Context, Backstory, and Related topics


Hi, @madrush, I really appreciate you getting this started. I wonder if the videos should include info about where Bruce appears in them (at the end of the first and throughout the second). Also, because the videos include a discussion of the reading, I wonder if they will help or hinder new discussion of the reading in this group.

We might want to make clear that watching the videos is NOT required in preparation for the Sept. 2 discussion. Should I go ahead and make those changes?


Feel free to make any change that you want, Heather. Marco is on retreat for two weeks and you can message Doug if you have a need for tech support. The wiki page is easy to fix. I agree that the two discussions are interesting and I hope to hear the third one but these could be moved to the Backstory section. The most important part of the first discussion is your overview of Table 13.1. The SIx Views. That is clear and upfront and easy to grasp. How Bruce arrived at this is far from simple and I hope those unfamiliar with Wilberian maps won’t get bogged down in too many details. The point to all of this is we are actively comparing maps of different kinds of territories and trying to find a method for working with these differences. I hope our Café discussion can create a different kind of style of thinking about the map-making project that makes sense to us as a unique group. Our inquiry may overlap with the videos posted but may diverge, too. That is what Integral Grammatology is all about. It would be nice if we could put the Table on the screen to simplify and to become a- sort of- attractor.

Where would you like to start, Heather? The Café will be in two parts so we have time to prepare. I had offered an organization meetup between now and then but we may not need that. I hope this will be the beginning of a next wave of Café explorations.


Adding here for context:

As one who has not yet cracked open the .pdf, this table is a graspable artifact. And, while I expect to finish “Sophia Speaks” with some time to spare before the Café, I also expect we will enter into the conversation smoothly with what we have set up at this point. Would either of you, @johnnydavis54 or @hfester, like to create an introductory statement in the wiki? I like the seed questions, born with an ample and supple air, lifting us toward a healthy conversational stream-flow. Like John, I respect Bruce’s work and am pleased to learn of “Sophia Speaks” and another essay of his “Integral In-Dwelling”. All of this reading may sound daunting; I am (insert adverb) comforted knowing that (insert pronoun) will (insert verb) with a certain (insert noun)which will lead us (insert preposition) a (insert adjective) conversation!


I was thinking about deleting my previous message as I get easily bored with too many unanswered questions within my timespace but then I noticed that Doug had responded with this lively meta-message. Okay, I thought, happily, this space is not a totally dead zone, someone out there has received the signal and has turned the signal into a sign and returned it to me. There is a new possibility on this planet as a result. And how can our communiques from the field of all possibility be like an UAP ( unidentified aerial phenomena)?

From my phase space as I work with dream, reflections, and border figures, it appears that we have a good enough map in the Table that you have kindly put in the public space, so the backstage scheduling drama, now, takes on the force of a public experiment. As Oscar WIlde quipped," Only the superficial don’t judge by appearances."

So, I would like Heather to take the lead and I will figure out how to work on method which is my main interest. With that intention in mind Michael and I have plans to collaborate on a video which we will post this week on this thread. We will appreciate feedback. Your ongoing encouragement is appreciated, Doug. Too often I feel that I am on a limb that is ready to snap only to discover that you have set up a trampoline so that I can bounce back when I fall. Keep your eye out for weird artifacts. Thanks again.


Somatizing Syntax and Queering the Imaginal.

Culture is produced by boundaried conceptual spaces, which individuals resist by breaching boundaries and creating new frames. " Queer" indicates a failure to fit not only categories of sexual identity but also categories of gender identity. Ontological flooding happens when we don’t know what to believe. We have evidence that our reality may have changed but we do not have enough evidence to make a clear determination. As different reports from different sources are distorting, deleting and generalizing, many of us are sharing this sense of overwhelm which Michael and John attempt to embody and liberate in this clean space practice. John shares drawings that come out of his dream/visions as he expresses a desire to " queer the Imaginal". Michael moves through different physical spaces to investigate the relational range of six prepositions-with, out, within, down, against, toward. Together, as Cultural Activists, they combine movement, language and drawing, to create the conditions for the emergence of new frames, new categories. An Integral Methodology wants to be born. We trust that this experiment, which we dedicate to all practitioners, everywhere, will help prepare our collective for the Sept 2nd Café


I want to bring some music to the piece John & I did,listen & read the words
and U hopefully catch the Wave-Vibe!!!


how ya gonna get free this time?
falling into a blue sky mind
came to me in that song my friend
i just wanna go back again

Mother standing right next to me
showing me what I need to see
rain is falling into my mouth
flowers blooming all up and down

i’ve found
in and through the body
it’s in and through the body, all along
in and through the body, all along
it’s in and through the body, all along
in and through the body, all along
it’s in and through the body, all along
in and through the body, all along
It’s in and through the body


falling into
in that song
Next to me
into my mouth
up and down
in and through

And when we bring the human body into Cyber-Space-Time…what happens to the human body?

And where is the human body when we bring the human body into Cyber-Space-Time?

And Sky mind…is there a relationship between the human body and Sky Mind and the human body when we go into Cyber-Space-Time? And what kind of’ we’ is that?

These are all research questions for some future explorations but I sense that our culture is being flooded with different kinds of information from different kinds of space and time. My challenge, as I explore the Queer Imaginal that is emerging out of current culture, is how do we touch , smell, taste, the Real through this experimental cyberspace communication loop happening in the middle of a nowhere?

Am ‘I’ within the screen, beyond the screen, along the screen? And when I dream I am with mirrors, and images and projections and as my sensorium is distorted by Cyber Space how do I ( as human body) adjust for these distortions when I re-enter Dreamtime ( subtle body)? I resist becoming another talking head within a box on a screen. This is a living death, zombie half-life.

I sense as I reviewed the video ( an archive) that there are many layers of embodiment that are exercised that are almost never worked with in most Cyberspace interplays. Doing Clean Space in Cyberspace is weird.

And the weird is already queer…when we have few categories to deal with the new kinds of contact that are happening, we will need new metaphors to model our models of the world. Meta-models. As we took time to re-embody our language in a communal space I trust that new forms will emerge in the liminal Imaginal. And a new kind of relationship to new kind of Narcissus is happening as I kiss the image of the Man in the Mirror and he steps out of the mirror and stand beside me ( on my left)…

And a new human may be arising out of the ashes of our technoutopian fraudulent escapades. My musings in this thread persuades me that we as a culture do not know the differences that make a difference. We replicate endlessly the same. Studying the prepositions in such an embodied way opens up and out into vast potentials, as different kinds of out of body experiences can be enjoyed. We are on the edge of a transformation and also next to a catastrophe.

If we can differentiate Absolute/Relative dimensions we will transform into something that has never happened before. As a concrete utopian I continue to give attention to the one that I am with and give expression to a speculative meta-metaphysics.

And I also feel that I am alone in an empty auditorium, a blank screen behind me. I have gone where no one has ever gone before. Madness? Maybe. We have to risk that.


Wednesday morning, I traveled to Paris for work. Paris Kentucky has a miniature eiffel tower; plenty of horse farms surrounding the historic city; that Caffe Marco once mentioned; and a recently refurbished public library. A beautiful design of a small town library, making use of salvaged barn structurings for its own structure.

The librarians here are pleasant, intelligent and aware (in the various modes intelligence and awareness appear to us). I had an extra moment to search for anything related to language and philosophy of language, etc. One younger librarian asked if I needed any assistance. I explained I had found a couple books here in the 100s; but I wondered if I could find more of the philosophy + language + “grammar” in the 400s. He insisted I remain in the philosophy section a bit longer. And I learn that he knows my name. He has been tracking me for months, even years but I prove to be elusive.

Elusive because I am there in the margins of books and on emailed receipts but rarely in person. I once traveled to Paris for work weekly, often spending a few hours of my time at their library. Since working from home, I have not been visiting but on my own time, perhaps once every two months. They began offering “no late fees” before the pandemic date last March which I greatly appreciate now, for some books rest easy on my shelf, months overdue.

I have been the only patron to check out his books (or any of the philosophy books for that matter he says) so I was easy to find in the small town database (he is the individual who decides upon the precious 100s and orders as he sees fit). As we began exchanging notes on the various books we have read/browsed/liked/disliked, I observe he is quite proud of his shelves, taking me from the high shelving where the weighty 190’s reside, then down to the elusively ethical 170’s tucked away on the bottom shelving. He thinks of Wittgenstein and Kant and a few other language offerings. But we sway away from language and into some of his favorites. I end up with seven books of philosophy and all seemingly unrelated to the intended theme.

It was this same Wednesday that I listened to your offering above. I laughed when, John, you comment on Wittgenstein never reading Aristotle and Derrida never reading Wittgenstein and that you have read them all and it’s not fair . . . yet the reading influences the language influences the body influences the minds influences the others. Your call is not the ravings of a madman but the howl of the beautiful beast that keeps anyone listening upon their feet and hooves with wide eyes in the night, staring out as if listening intently to the lyrics of a mesmerizing song. I have more that I wish to say on queering the imaginal (ufo’s interest me; so too something I might call identified flying objects that reside in the Imaginal and are all the queerer. . .something along the lines of our bird and fly language reception). I do appreciate that which we are willing to explore.

Jett the librarian said I could request any book at any time . . . perhaps it is time to plant seeds within my own community and see what philosophizing happens!


The above is from your first version. Your second version is different. I like the first version better as you report my story perfectly… and your “identified flying objects” is a playful reversal of the new normal. The Pentagon has changed UFO to UAP…a curious elocutionary maneuver. If they can change words and concepts around so can we. The Butterfly effect. As we evolved from homo to gay to queer there were shift in psychology that are still ongoing. And persons can identify with groups that they are not members of. Black Lives Matter. All of these ups and downs, insides and outsides, towards and aways. Let’s use all of our language patterns, both identified and unidentified, and use all of them well.


Excellent. A charming search with a liminal librarian at your side. Everyone needs, in this brave, new world, a liminal librarian. This could be a great ally!


John, I relate to these Questions “And Yet” not sure about the Felt Sense of the Rawness of Space Touch-ing(Mutually)
In,Around & Between the Quest for Answers,with that Expressed here is a piece I read a few hours after our Zoom call,that I am Ingesting/Digesting :

I Felt this Vibes with our Gratitude for Birds & what we can learn from them?


A quote from the article by a famous heterosexual Buddhist teacher, “To live is to be willing to die over and over again.” I boldly insert a queer re-perception. This is re-conception, too, grounded within a very different kind of reality structure.

" To live is to be willing to fall in and out of love over and over again." -John Davis

It’s about falling in love again consciously over and over and without attachment and yet with a deep commitment to the Other/Self openings and closings that occur through the rhythms of sleeping, waking, dreaming . I am a Double. I wait to be reunified again and again by the Other within a multidimensional embrace.

" Self-love is the beginning of a life long romance."-Oscar Wilde

The Divine Narcissus is a queer version of an archetype distorted by heterosexist norms. Healthy Narcissism is a queer version I resonate with; a self-reflexive capacity arising as subtle form/speech that hovers in between the bodies of a person, inviting co-participation on a vaster scale than the psychologists, Jung and Freud, allowed and which they both labeled and dismissed as puerile. My desired outcome is to reflect back from the Image to the Image Maker, while remembering the passage from standing back to entering within and then going beyond next to one another.( Please notice my use of prepositions). Caravaggio captures some of the homoerotic mystery of the subtle. The Body is in the Mind.


These lines from the song ,Vibes with in terms of
My come from at point in life…

"Well, the truth about a mirror
Is that a damned old mirror
Don’t really tell the whole truth
It don’t show what’s deep inside
Or read between the lines

And it’s really no reflection of my youth"

And Love of\in \on this particular Human Expression has
come to Embrace the Erotic Nature in\of \with life
with as much Humility as I can…
Thank U for your Heart-Opening Response to my Call.

Let Us ;


With Our Conversations!!!


And this is the cultural tradition I am coming from-

Come back often and take hold of me,
sensation that I love come back and take hold of me-
when the bodies memory awakens
and an old longing again moves in the blood,
when lips and skin remember
and hands feel as though they touch again.

Come back often, take hold of me in the night
when lips and skin remember…

A Single Man from the novel by Christopher Isherwood

It’s all about aesthetics of relationships. I’m glad we are developing an integral method that highlights not just theory about developmental stages and evolutionary structures but focuses on a states training that helps you touch the aperspectival. Clean Language is a state training, and supplements, in my view, what is missed by exaggerated non-dual metaphysics. We need to give attention to relativity as we do to emptiness. The subtle ranges of experience is much neglected in Wilber’s cognitive heavy models. Thanks, Michael, for helping me re-balance this state of affairs as we move through and with the body electric. I think Bruce Alderman’s work is doing something similar in the theory department. We are working with a new practice that covers more of the quadrants. The Imaginal is not just coming up with an image in your head. The Imaginal is what actors and musicians do with an audience as they open up boundaried concepts and bring forth a different world. Clean Space reveals Self as Theater.


Alan Watts Magic in every littlest act & thought

Let Be So!!!


Thanks for pre-positioning (openly) the upcoming conversation, @johnnydavis54 and @Michael_Stumpf. I enjoyed listening and following along with your exercise, and all of thoughts and notions you expressed in between. Thanks @Douggins for the technical support and (I think) the wrangling of an apt description for the (pre-)event.

I found a lot to like in Bruce’s essay, and I think you concretized an example of how this uber-theoretical work can be experienced in a personal, embodied way. One quality I like about this way of doing philosophy is that optionality is built in—we can enact, put on a play, with any of the worldspaces that language offers, each of which can be seen to play a role in a meta-grammar of being and becoming. Obviously this is what literature, poetics and theater especially, gives a lot of attention to.

I have agonized over prepositions, which can alter the meaning and dimensionality of an entire mood, mode, or scene, so I do not take these conversations lightly. On the other hand, I felt great lightness, a lightness (a buoyant luminosity) of being in your work together and interplay. Big Sky mind and sensitive, sensible touch joined hands and slow-danced. There was an an ease in the ritual which I also found comforting (com-forting— centering with-in, protected).

Also, I’m glad to hear about your new librarian friend, @Douggins . If there’s any kind stalker I wouldn’t mind having, it would have to be a stalker with books for me! :male_detective:


Thank you, Marco, for your blessings upon our fragile collective coordination of timespace. Our ancestors, face to face, side by side, figured out how to devise spears, bows and arrows, and eventually very sophisticated traps. There is a direction from spear ->bow and arrow ->trap. And what happened cognitively to persons who devised these tools? It is doubtful since they had no pencils, pens, or laptops, that they had a lot of external memory, the kind of external memory that we moderns are drowning in. Yet there was an ability to re-member and locate in an imaginally resonant environment what was needed to create these tools and to create the tools required to make the tools. You need for example a sharp stone to cut a branch and give it a smooth shape and find leather and glue to put it together so that it is light and easy to carry and strong enough to pierce the heart of a wild and dangerous beast. If you miss your target you might get killed, if you miss your target your tribe may not have supper. Think about this for a moment.

Are Michael and I in performing this Clean Space practice doing something that different from what our magical/mythical ancestors were doing? I suggest that our collaborative intelligence ( as Moderns) may be much less developed than theirs. We live in a dominant neo-lib/neo-con tempo-rhythm that is not able to bring well being to most persons, nor to provide a safe environment for cultural transmissions, When making a buck to survive is the only focus we tend to move fast and make mistakes, lots of mistakes.

And a New Axial Vision for us might look like what John and Michael are doing in this practice. (I prefer practice to exercise.) We are riding upon the aesthetics of a relationship as we draw, move, gesture, take turns talking, and follow an open procedure to investigate how our cultural mindbody works with prepositions. We are not talking heads arranged in rows stacked on top of each other on a shallow computer screen. We are moving in a paradoxical space, that plays with light and dark, color, shapes and sizes, being with, being within, being out, being against, being down, being toward and our ancestors learned how to do this, too. Poetry and dance and music are primary. We modern/post modernists are re- turning ( re-tuning) to the place where we started from and are knowing it for the first time.

I chunk down and chunk slow not to disparage speed. As Kerri Welch said speed carries innovation and change, as slow gives us depth and power. We need to do both and better than we ever have before. The evolutionary pressures to use our sensorium to register intensities skillfully is at the heart of the next axial age. We can only do this if we acknowledge and draw upon the resources that we already have. We slow down so that we can hear the song of time that we are already singing. The ancients called relational space the dreamtime. I am calling this time a Queertime as that is what the new is bringing forth through my visions and which I am required to share. Michael and I had to take a brief rest because sharing this kind of meta-attention is very intense.

And this intensity is not for the production of a vanity project, we will get no big rewards but what may happen… when we die we may have a smile on our lips.


@johnnydavis54, you asked in another thread how this (Clean Language session) connects with Alderman’s paper. I believe it is a fine example of the embodiment of grammar, perhaps as embodied as an online foray can get. The shrine of prepositions (which you and Michael explored) mingles with a quality that Pierce, quoted by Alderman, recognized in the pronounal. That quality is its primacy over the noun (in Peirce’s words: " a noun is an imperfect substitute for a pronoun"). A pronoun may be utilized as a pre-noun. Thus a preposition can be a pre-positioning . . . Almost an orientation before orientation. As seen when Micheal’s inner ear performed curious elocutionary maneuvers, orienting his body in space.

I really like the final seven minutes of the Week 3 IPS Reading Group Call and feel it relates directly to the practice of somatizing syntax. Sue speaks of an improvizational practice experience. Her performance of an improvizational meditation with the prepositions “towards” and “outwards” unlocked a profound physical experience. When asked to describe the physical further in this call, she responds quickly “try it”. Bruce introduces the term onto-choreography in “Sophia Speaks” and I like this term.

He defines it as

The integrative task
of weighting
and coordinating
the grammatical elements or philosophemes
into various metaphysical systems.

And he asks How do these ontological elements dance together?

A brief dream image from last night: I am in my room with bed and objects removed. The room is a cube and I am exploring the six sides, each with one of the shrines of grammar. I recognize unique movements from within each of the sides or faces. Some ask for slow yogic meditations; some whirl dervishly. At this point in the dream, Reighn comes in the door and I spend a deep moment wondering how I will explain this to her.

Again I am faced with a challenge arising from all of this reading and reflecting and diffracting: how do I bring this to my house? How will grammatological choreography dance on the floors and the walls that we share with others? I think the dream is a reflection of my apprehension. What needs to happen is something I learn from Michael: just try it and let it jiggle. (correction: let it wiggle-jiggle)