Sent to the Theory of Everybody mailing list, 7.7.2016.
I hope this email finds you well. I’m writing to let you know that we’ve reached an important milestone in our metaproject, A Theory of Everybody.
Our “journal of consciousness, culture, and planetary thought," Metapsychosis, is now live.
Then we get down to the business of sex, death, cosmos, and culture….
Vanessa D. Fisher’s “Stripped: A Look Inside the Life & History of Exotic Dancing” arouses the intellect and removes all but the scantest preconceived notions, while reporting from her job as a waitress in a high-end “gentleman’s club.”
Ania Chapska’s, “The Burning Ghats of Varanasi, India” evokes the precise sensory details of an ancient cremation ceremony, meditating on the intimacy of death.
William Irwin Thompson inaugurates our poetic ship of states with “Four In the Morning,” which begins auspiciously, “The universe is teeming with unseen life….”
And Kingsley Dennis’s contribution, “Neon Tribes: Ecstatic Highs, Techno-Trance & Digital Gnostics,” issues a kaleidoscopic field report from the convergent (and divergent) electronic/spiritual landscape of a nascent planetary culture.
Last but not least, a poetic coda, Jeremy’s “Constellating Acts of Starry Night” reflects on the etymology of the word “metapsychosis” and its meaning as a “movement of soul within soul.”
All in all: a beautiful beginning. I’m also very pleased to announce that we’ve just published our pieces for Week 2:
Chris Dierkes’ “Love is Patient, Love is Kind: St. Paul’s Advice For Contemporary Esoteric Spirituality” examines the parallels between an early Christian community and our contemporary spiritual tribes—what we might still learn from Paul’s familiar scripture heard at so many weddings.
And Jenn Zahrt shares five poems grouped under the rubric, “Dialogues with the Inscrutable,” where you are invited to enter into a linguistic space that defies categorization.
Please give our writers some love! They’ve poured their minds and hearts into these pieces, and we’re grateful to have their voices in our midst.
Also, if you appreciate our work, please spread the word. Share a piece on social media. Tell a friend who might be interested in contributing. Or submit a piece of your own.
You can sign up for the Metapsychosis-specific weekly newsletter by clicking here.
And stay tuned! We’re currently working on next week’s transmissions, which I hope will unfurl another multi-petaled offering of literary luminosity.
In other news. Our next big LitGeeks reading is coming up soon, Katherine Dunn’s cult classic: GEEK LOVE.
We’ll be reading the book together, diving into discussion in the forum, and hosting three live hangouts, where you can connect with fellow literary geeks. Participation is free / by donation. We’ll pass around a wrinkled old hat.)
Writes Carmen Leilani De Jesus, who is co-hosting the reading with Oliver C Rabinovitch:
Katherine Dunn, the original Freakmother, makes muses of monstrosity in her 1989 masterpiece, about a bizarrely geek-inspired, traveling circus family, born of the stale kernels of boxing reports and advice columns—a celebration of human adaptability trans-parented into a thrilling tale of self-awakening for all the freaks!
What dormant mutant genius will Geek Love awaken in you?
Geek Love is our fourth book read together, and its themes are timely—cultish fervor, freaks, geeks, genetic engineering, sexual fetishism, Otherness versus Normality, the exaltation of the sacred and the profane. What’s not to love?
We begin July 18th.
I’d like to end this email on a personal note…
It’s been three years since I began the journey I’m on to bring ‘A Theory of Everybody’ out into the world. The project sprouted from an online reading group I organized in 2013 called Summer of Jest, to read David Foster Wallace’s celebrated novel Infinite Jest with a few hundred people who’d never met before.
How did an experimental summer reading group turn into an internet octopus, including an “unusually hardcore” book club, an “infinite” podcast network, and a literary magazine / journal / thing from inner space?
All I can say is that something happened in that first book club, which connected the fragments of my life, to clarify for me (at the age of 41 now) what I’ve come to feel is my life’s work.
A Theory of Everybody is many things. It’s meta-art. It’s an ethical inquiry. It’s an experiment in digital economics. I’ve settled on calling it a platform for social poetics and planetary thought, and, though this formulation may strike some as vague, I feel it’s remarkably precise in its spaciousness.
A Theory of Everybody is about people. It’s about figuring out a way (if a way can be “figured”) to be with other people as deeply, truly, beautifully, and meaningfully as I/we can, while we can in our temporal lives. That’s one meaning of “social poetics.”
And I’m sure it sounds wonderful. But we’re never just with people. Our relationships are deep and complex, full of quirks and holes and mysteries, dangers and delights. And, we share a planet with billions of other people (and countless other life forms). So we have to “figure out a way” not only to be with (love) the people immediately (present and absent) in our lives, but also with everybody else—countless differences, traumas, dreams, desires, intelligences, worlds.
No real theory could account for such inner and outer multitudes (this is part of the jest). But arguably, the world needs a “theory of everybody” as much as anything, or everything.
My prayer is to see a planetary civilization that jettisons the madness of war and environmental destruction and poverty and oppression and all the other unnecessary suffering which we create ourselves—a world that supports the free creativity of everybody who is willing to participate in good faith.
How do we even imagine such a seemingly unthinkable scenario? The “planetary thought” dimension of the project begins to ask this question…but the question is obviously bigger than any one group or project.
So I’ve been busy. But fortunately, I haven’t been alone. Along the way, I’ve picked up a few fellow pilgrims and we seem to have formed some kind of artsy spiritual caravan making our way across the Desert of the Real. And we’re getting organized. We’re mobilizing. We’re creatively engaging the chaotic landscape. Our eyes are soaking in the horizon.
In the coming months, I’ll be sharing about our plans to form a worker-and-member owned cooperative to sustain this journey and labor of love.
In the meantime, we intend to continue publishing Metapsychosis in 7-week cycles—the current Cycle 0 (Inception) followed by Cycle 1 (TBD) in August.
We also intend to continue with LitGeeks and read more hardcore books!
There are more Infinite Conversations podcasts and other productions in the works, as well.
I hope you enjoy what we’re offering. Most of all, I hope you’ll participate.
A great place to start is here on our forum. Please feel free to introduce yourself and let me know what you think about any or all of the above.
Marco V Morelli
aka: Shadow Government (aka Deep State)
Co-Founder & Artistic Director, A Theory of Everybody