On Beauty [Weird Studies #52]

Possibly the best (or most relevant to everything I am living for) podcast episode I’ve ever heard. I will need to listen to this one a few times, let it saturate the marrow in my bones, wake the blood from its uneasy slumber. I dare say the very essence of COSMOS, as an artistic and philosophical endeavor (if not a social or political one), is encapsulated in this show. Please do listen—ye with ears to hear!—and reply as you will.


Here is a reply that is emerging out of the middle of nowhere…from the in-between. I listened with pleasure to the podcast…and I also recall viewing the lively video of the last Cafe 9/3. I want to develop some potential relationships between the Weird podcast and that last Cafe…I search for meta-patterns that no man or woman or animal as ever realized before…

Marco, at the Cafe, reflects upon the quantum and personal theories he is working with-

I think that waves are more real than particles…we are fields…we make oscillations…we vibrate in synch …

And he has a response to the Weird podcast…

And when let it saturate the marrow of my bones, wake the blood from its uneasy slumber….
waves are more real than particles…we are fields…we make oscillations…

Is there a relationship between the high level value of Beauty ( as developed on the Weird podcast) and the Waves…

And is there a boundary object that both the podcast and the video are pointing to?

Can we triangulate from the margins?

How do we make differences that make a difference?

How do we complete distintions between media events?

Can we learn to model complex social systems?

Can we coordinate the Third Eye and the Third Ear?

Catch the rhythms from the between?

And where does the Weird Studies podcast and the Infinite Cafe come from?


Hi John, I believe this relationship has something to do with a quality of feeling. I can feel a wave or an oscillation. It goes up and down, in and out, or there is some other perceptible movement. It is embodied in sensation.

The particle (given by mental observation) is an abstraction from the wave, I believe, a freezing of perpetual motion into a point which can be measured. There is subtle embodied sensation to this too, but it is trapped inside the duality of observer and observed, whereas the wave experience is one of differential intensities within a unity of field.

The experience of beauty is much more like a wave than a particle. It comes in waves of intensity, sometimes with weeping or laughter, which may have us literally physically convulsing in those moments of affection.

I felt a lot of passion in the Weird Studies talk, balanced with insight and consideration. I thought J.F. and Phil did an especially good job addressing the constructivist counter-arguments to the claims they put forward : 1) That beauty is real in a more than human way, and 2) that it is actually repressed in our society a large, if not in ourselves, and maybe intentionally suppressed because of the threat true beauty may pose to the order of things, even though in the modern world, with all of our productive technologies, we seem to be surrounded (depending on one’s affluence) by “nice things.”


“Everything that is made beautiful and fair and lovely is made for the eye of one who sees.” Rumi

The Heart Is …


A Gerenuk from Kenya

Sitting Naked in Contemplation of Beauty


I listened to the Podcast. It was stimulating. Thank you for directing my attention to the topic of beauty. I guess I am a left-brained mammal, most of the time so it was refreshing to be guided by your enthusiasm, Marco. I’ve tended to use psychedelics as a catalyst to bring beauty into focus. Your remarks here certainly got my attention and helped focus me on this unusual topic. Thank you.


Good to hear from you, Jim. I agree, psychedelics can be an excellent catalyst for the perception of beauty; especially if the mind is already aesthetically attuned, this sensitivity will be heightened, amplified, expanded, intensified, blown up.

It would be fun to talk about psychedelics some day, I don’t think we’ve discussed this topic at length in any of our Cafés. I know you (and others amongst us) would have some stories and maybe even some (foolish) wisdom to share.


I’ve been think about Religion recently. It seems to have outlived it’s usefulness in so many ways and yet…I need something transcendental to fuel me. Psychedelics may be the catalyst for priming my pump as I’ve become so blasé regarding the awesomeness of life, love and the future of this 80 year old once vibrant man. Dying while living seems like a way to revitalize, so I’m looking into ways to make that happen which wouldn’t be to irresponsible to my wife, myself, and my “responsibilities” that I still contend with. DMT, Mushrooms, LSD, or MDMA are available options that I’m considering. A week in Esalen next June looms as a possible catalyst to explore my options around this (for me) serious subject. I’m honestly kind of scared to go all the way down that path which at 81 could be a bit much for this aging body. The outcome would be so novel which exactly why it’s so scary. An old friend, will be putting this exploration together next June, 2020. I was once an acolyte of Terrance McKenna and had always longed to do one of his "heroic dose” journeys where I could leave this world and enter the world of elves, ghosts and other unknown dwellers in the hopes that I could gain insight into what’s yet to come.

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Wow, Jim. That does sound scary and exciting. I have yet to meet any 5-dimensional elves during my own journeys—but I’ve experienced some weird, thrilling, terrifying, and beautiful shit…I mean, phenomena.

That said, I have grown ambivalent regarding the ‘heroic dose’ mythos—it can be very difficult to integrate such full blow experiences, even though, in another sense, that’s the whole point: to go beyond anything you could possibly integrate. What I mean is there may be benefit in the gradual as well as the sudden approach.

There is much being said these days about “micro-dosing,” for example, which is a practice that can play nice with everyday responsibilities while providing some transcendental fuel. Like spiritual vitamins. This assumes one has created a safe enough space to allow divine influences to make an occasional visit.

However, I do believe there is an in-between (meso-) zone which is neither here not there, neither subliminal nor explosive, which is rather boring, frustrating, and unproductive (neither romance nor sex, only a tease) and which is best avoided. I do also believe that a meditation practice, pranayama, and singing/participatory music go really well with these medicines.

We should take this topic elsewhere. I had previously created a ‘metapsychonauts’ group for anyone interested in discussing psychedelics in a mindful space; however, it’s been dormant for a while. If you or others would like to take the conversation further, please do join and let’s catalyze some entheogenic-inspired events. :mushroom:

Metapsychonauts - Infinite Conversations

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Yes, an enthusiastic vote for: Psychedelic Cafe!


Your Body Is The Space That Sees:

“We reach forth and strain every nerve, but we seize only a bit of the curtain that hides the infinite from us,” astronomer Maria Mitchell observed as she paved the way for women in science. We are sensorial creatures, of course, and however little of the infinite we may seize, we do so through our powers of bodily perception. Squinting into her two-inch telescope to differentiate the colors of the stars, Mitchell marveled in her diary: “There is something of the same pleasure in noticing the hues that there is in looking at a collection of precious stones, or at a flower-garden in autumn. Blue stars I do not yet see, and but little lilac except through the telescope.”


Beauty in the Heart-Beat which reaches for the Infinite from within the Finite:the source of play Behind-Beyond the Beating Heart in ones Chest Cavity-Cave.

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Maria Mitchell’s comments on the experience of color coming from the stars feels strongly synchronous with a recent experience re: the colors of sunlight being not only “frequencies” but “experiences” and something more that I haven’t yet found the word for, still looking. Over the Equinox, several things happened that made me see direct connections between the physics of light and an ancient creation story from the Tsalagee/Cherokee tradition (which runs through my mother’s family): Grandmother Spider is the bringer of a piece of the sun to all the beings in darkness who are cold and hungry and afraid. Others try before her, but get distracted or otherwise fail. She makes a bowl from earth and water, rises up near the sun (firing the clay!), gathers a piece of the sun (photon?!) and brings it safefly back down to Earth, and life was changed forever afterward.
More to say, but for now…
thank you!