The Minor Gesture, by Erin Manning - Meeting #8- Wrap-up



Consider Beginnings

Do without doing.
Act without action.
Savor the flavorless.
Treat the small as large,
the few as many.

Meet injury
with the power of goodness.

Study the hard while it’s easy.
Do big things while they’re small.
The hardest jobs in the world start out easy,
the great affairs of the world start small.

So the wise soul,
by never dealing with great things,
gets great things done.

Now, since taking things too lightly makes them worthless,
and taking things too easy makes them hard,
the wise soul,
by treating the easy as hard,
doesn’t find anything hard.

–Le Guin

This wrap-up traversed unexpected waters, and, utilizing our “InnSaei,” we traversed the choppy waters, channeling our Polynesian navigation techniques to reach islands uncharted yet known, vistas preremembered from our archives.


The ancient Icelandic word for intuition is “innsæi,” but in Iceland it has multiple meanings. It can mean “the sea within” which is the borderless nature of our inner world, a constantly moving world of vision, feelings and imagination beyond words. It can mean “ to see within” which means to know yourself, and to know yourself well enough to be able to put yourself in other people’s shoes. And it can mean “to see from the inside out” which is to have a strong inner compass to navigate your way in our ever-changing world.

Polynesian navigation techniques

From Wikipedia page:

Navigation relies heavily on constant observation and memorization; you must constantly be aware of your surroundings. You cannot simply look up at the stars and know where you are. You are only able to know where you are if you are able to memorize where you have sailed from. The sun was the main guide for voyagers because they could follow its exact points as it rose and set; then, at night time they’d switch to using the stars rising and setting points. With constant observation, comes the knowledge of knowing and remembering the speed of your canoe (when it speeds up and slows down), what direction you are facing, and what time of the day or night it is. In the ancient days, they did not have watches, compasses or speedometers but they had their minds and the ability to memorize their surroundings. When there are no stars because of a cloudy night or during midday, the navigator would use the winds and swells to guide them. Polynesian navigators employed a whole range of techniques including use of the stars, the movement of ocean currents and wave patterns, the air and sea interference patterns caused by islands and atolls, the flight of birds, the winds and the weather.

(these drawings survived the soaking from the storm I found myself in one day (though my notes are currently in reconstructive phase), perhaps due to faulty navigation! And yes, Johnny, I would love to share my ever-becoming connections with you and others. Perhaps this time frame (that was reserved for The Minor Gesture discussions) can be utilized for some segue-sessions until another reading speaks up and comes forth. I am also very interested in your directions, especially your recent explorations with Aurobindo’s “magician craftsman”… Banerji took us deep into that portion of the conversation, thanks to your magical inquiries!

Is this the quote you were refering to in the previous Auro-session?

"Overmind is an organiser of many potentialities of Existence, each affirming its separate reality but all capable of linking themselves together in many different but simultaneous ways, a magician craftsman empowered to weave the multicoloured warp and woof of manifestation of a single entity in a complex universe. "

"…to weave the multicoloured warp and woof of manifestation of a single entity in a complex universe. " This sounds very similar to my “integral” tapestry developed when first traversing this site…strange and beautiful words from Aurobindo here. You are clearly attuned to the Mind-Bindos, or the Aurobatics…or is this more aligned with the Aurobics?

Thank you again @Geoffreyjen_Edwards for turning us on to this field of thinking.

We facilitated our own process while in the process of facilitation….the preindividual….the chaosmosis….the transindividual holds that connection in the field, stays with the trouble, needs/wants to be in the middle of the mess, collective subjects carrying the charge of the preindividual.

I am learning so much from all of you, and, when I am open to each of you, to the newness, the unexpected novel being written in real time and, through attempting to retain this feeling of the processial…well, this may be where I begin. Or where I end and we begin, again and again.


The Way of the Pacific: Glass Bead in conversation with Freeman Dyson

This interview of Freeman Dyson is cosmically unique. I place it here as it has references to Olaf Stapleton, Kenneth Brower (the Polynesian navigation researcher), hints of Butler/Olamina’s space exploration, and other forms of intelligence we have been exploring.

I like:

GB : Are you calling for a “Pacific” type of model for intelligence?

FD : What we will certainly learn from the Keppler mission is that there are billions of planets in our own galaxies, many of them not attached to stars. There are billions of planets and even trillions of small objects floating free in the galaxy, so as we move out in space in a “Pacific” way of traveling, we won’t have to go from star to star, as they are many places in between where we can stop. The point is that if we have a billion different habitats where life can be established, and every place with its own evolution, this will result in a huge variety of ways of living, and most certainly in very different kinds of intelligence.

GB : Regarding the artificial intelligence we are now actually trying to build, can you explain more precisely why you think it is a failure?

FD : Well, merely because we are using digital machines, and these machines are designed for a different purpose. They are good at doing numerical calculations and to do so they have to reduce everything to 0 and 1. That’s not the way a brain works. If you look at your own brain, as far as I can tell, you see images, pictures, which come and go very fast. You can immediately recognize a face or a voice. These patterns of sound and light can actually be recognized directly by our brain and I don’t believe we are dividing them into 0s and 1s. It certainly works for language because it can be discretized, just as babies have the ability to reduce speech into phonemes. But the human brain doesn’t just recognize syllables, it recognizes sentences and ideas. When we are listening to speech we listen to the whole sentence, which is immediately translated into meaning. That’s clearly something a digital machine is not good at.

This one by Brower sounds like its up our cosmic alley…highly interested:

From a review

If someone asked me to recommend a book to explain the Sixties this would be it. George Dyson, son of well-known physicist Freeman Dyson, was raised in a rarefied academic atmosphere. He walked away from that life at sixteen, not because of random rebellion but because this truly was what he needed to do.
In this book author Kenneth Brower alternates the telling of the divergent lives of these two men. As a result he captures the generational tension of an era.
Freeman Dyson was a product not only of the Fifties but of the flowing optimism of those years that today seems unimaginable. Truly, back then if one could think it then it was possible. One of the ideas Freeman thought possible was project Orion, a huge space vehicle propelled by external nuclear explosions. In the beginning years Freeman actually expected to journey across the solar system in Orion.
George’s life was nearly the diametric opposite of his father’s. He wound up on the Canadian Pacific shore, living in a tree house and designing ocean-going canoes. The irony is that he found a universe to explore in his canoes - the coasts and islands of the Canadian Northwest and Alaska.
In a fractal sense, both physically and culturally, George’s universe was as infinite as his father’s. And while he continues to explore it to this day, his father never got into his universe more than the cruising altitude of a 737.
I am nearly the same age as George, long enough into my life to wonder what I’ve done with it. Frankly, I envy not just George’s vision but his ability to follow it.
I admire his father’s pursuit as well. In much of the story there is clear tension between father and son, yet in the end some sort of meeting of minds happens.
Even though this book was written over twenty-five years ago it offers a still-fresh notion of the gulfs between people, and how our failures in bridging these distances cause us to forsake a real future

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