Hello, everybody! Please use this thread to introduce yourself.
Click here for my verbose intro; feel free to skip...
This forum has been going for a while and I realize we’ve never had a proper forum-wide introduction thread. Or rather, we’ve had a few different ones, but they were specific to the reading groups we ran through Litgeeks (our hibernating book club) for The Dispossessed, The Ever-Present Origin, The Saddlebag, and Geek Love. (There are a few introductory posts here as well.)
Alas, many of the folks who introduced themselves haven’t been active in a while; we’ve been cultivating this space slowly and organically. But as the forum is beginning to get a little more action in recent weeks—through #metapsychosis and #co-op related posts, especially—it’s probably time we do some more general introductions for the platform as a whole, which is a hub for a number of different (yet interrelated) projects, including the meta-concept (A Theory of Everybody), the cooperative organization, (Cosmos Cooperative), the podcast network (also called Infinite Conversations), and the (forthcoming) re-incarnation of our book club, which will be called The Untimely: readers underground. (More on that later.)
This channel is called the Infinite Commons. It’s meant to be a public space for more general, community-led conversations on any and all topics relevant to the individuals, who, through whatever odd curiosity or sweet madness, have found themselves drawn to this online space. If that’s you, welcome!
This is a place, as I see it, for deep, intelligent, and meaningful conversations—but a sense of humor, playfulness, and imagination won’t hurt. Critical thinking is highly encouraged, but please remember that we’re all imperfect human beings, with many different sides and dimensions. The “mental” is only one part. This forum is an experiment in generative dialogue amongst whole conscious beings. We are more than our thinking. Intuitive, transpersonal, aesthetic, and experimental modes of discourse (whatever that means) are also welcome.
It’s also a place to organize and get things done. For example, if you’re a working writer or artist, you may be interested in the (forthcoming) creative studio channel, which will serve as a kind of peer-to-peer MFA-type workshop for co-op members.
We’re also using this forum on the backend for business, editorial, web development, and project management conversations—if you get involved as a collaborator, we’ll give you access to those areas. But the place for open conversation is here in the #commons.
I’ll say just a bit about myself. I started this project, as perhaps some great things in life are started, out of 1% holy inspiration…and 99% sheer desperation. I am a writer, a poet sometimes, with big creative ambitions—and basically I just got fed up. I got sick of:
going it alone, trying to build up some dumb egoic “personal brand,” and
the predominant social media spaces (i.e., Facebook), where I would always feel distracted and subtly coerced into a consumer mind-set, and where it seemed that even the most interesting conversations were doomed to be lost down what @Carmen_Leilani calls the “infinite scroll.” It made me mad. I was tired of pouring all of the time, love, energy, and attention I put into my writing (I can be an obsessive sort) down the quicksand of the newsfeed. (I wrote an essay called “After Facebook,” which goes further into these reflections.)
There was also the tiny little question of making a living. How could I make a living as a writer and artist (a creative soul-worker, in soulless economy) without selling out? There was no platform I could find that actually emobodied my deepest values across social, spiritual, intellectual, and aesthetic domains. I realized, either:
- A) I could work my ass off for a couple decades while writing in my spare time and hope to get super lucky, write a best-selling novel or something, and then decide I’ve “made it”; or
- B) I could go to grad school, following my bliss, and likely go tens of thousands of dollars into debt, with slim job prospects in the humanities; or
- C) I could give up my creative and transformative aspirations, get a “real job,” trudge along, keep feeding the machine and hope there’s some recognizable human society left after another few decades of global capitalism; or
- D) the path I’m choosing, I could, as Terrance McKenna counseled, find the others—the others like me who want creatively engage and indeed, transform, not only the spiritual but also the material conditions of our lives.
Hence Cosmos Co-op. Hence a “Theory of Everybody.” Hence Metapsychosis. Hence Infinite Conversations. These all meant to be different ways for people of good faith—and not only “writers and artists,” but also readers, thinkers, activists, soul-workers, conversationalists—anyone who seeks to engage passionately with ideas, with fiction and poetry, with art and aesthetics, with the state of the world, and with each other, to interface.
The qualities or values I have in mind for this platform include the following:
- unabashedly intellectual
- unabashedly spiritual
- artful and aesthetic, literary, poetic
- integrity, transparency, ethics
- concerned with social and cultural transformation, planetary culture
- open and participatory, cooperative
- post-capitalist, exploring new forms of social and economic currency
- weird, magical, mythical, archaic, trans-rational
- conversational, social, alt-space
- introvert-friendly, time-friendly
- generosity, mutual support
(This is an unofficial list. Feel free to suggest your own.)
I’m not sure how much that tells about me personally, though. Well, I’m 41 years old. I have a wife (@kayla) and two beautiful daughters (3 and 7 yrs old). I grew up on Long Island, New York. My mother was an immigrant from El Salvador, and my dad from Italy. I’d like to think he came on a boat, but I’m not sure. My younger brother is a tattoo artist, living in NY; he does amazing work. After college (double-major in Philosophy and Comp Lit), I did a volunteer program in Nicaragua, then hopped around the States a bit, before moving to Colorado to get involved with a gutsy little “think tank” called Integral Institute. (I tell that story here.)
I’ve written a few books, including Rubén’s Orphans: Translations of Contemporary Nicaraguan Poetry (self-published, out of print); Mirrors in Love: poems (self-published, out of print); The Joy of Nihilism & Other Poems (self-published ebook, out of print), and a co-authored book, Integral Life Practice (with Terry Patten, Adam Leonard, and Ken Wilber), written while I was working at Integral Institute. I’m currently at work on a new book of poems called I AM THE SINGULARITY, which will be published, and will be in print, soon.
As for my day-to-day life, it’s pretty simple. I meditate. I write. I walk my dog. I spend time with my girls. I do web design, copywriting, and editorial consulting to pay the bills. I try to get out in nature as much as I can (easy here in beautiful Longmont, Colorado). And I’m pouring a shitload of energy into getting a real community going and building this platform as a place to “find the others.” And more than just find each other—actually do something together. Have the conversations worth having. Build a mindful platform that doesn’t merely stimulate our dopamine receptors, but nourishes our minds and souls.
I have a lot of ideas about how we can accomplish that—the first step is we need to be talking and collaborating with people who have resonant ideas, their own gifts, passions, and intelligences to throw into the mix. This is a big project which will go beyond our individual agendas, yet it should not seek to subsume our individuality under some Big Idea. I envision a veritable alchemy of multiplicity-in-communion. If this works as intended, it will let us build and play off each other, like a distributed, multidimensional mind-jazz ensemble, amplifying our particular interests and original metaphors, sustaining itself, while supporting our individual work in the world.
It’s a work in progress and community effort—so if you see something, say something! As corny as it might sound, we’re co-creating this experience. Cooperation is the key. I’m proud of getting the ball rolling, and appreciate deeply everyone who’s contributed so far. I hope we’ll go far, if not fast, together. So what about you? What brings you here? Where are you at in your life? What do you do? What do you care about? Whazzup?
Here’s me and my dog Mooby, out on a long walk the other day.
The very brief intro is that my name is Marco. I like to read and write, and sometimes I’m a poet. I started Cosmos to be able to do that within a creative community that challenges me to be a better artist. I live in Colorado with my wife @kayla and two girls…and Mooby, our cosmic canine. (See full intro for pic.)