The Primal Companion

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(Marco V Morelli) #42

Yes, commitment is key. I am a big fan of commitment to the right things. It’s a way of intensifying time, because commitment requires sustained attention to a process of manifestation which requires one’s participation in order to come to fulfillment. Commitment also punches through into the timeless because we can only commit to something and remain committed to it (through cycles, repetitions, rituals, renewals…) from a place (though not a location) beyond time, by which I mean, containing it in our body as persistence of intent.

Ed and I talked about this too, actually. He said (paraphrasing): What you believe in is what you’re willing to die for.

Commitments follow beliefs which follow values, I want to say, and recall curiously, how I found myself channeling Johnny a little while talking w/ Ed. (And when values, where values? What size or shape?) Subtle body weirdness. :crazy_face:

Ed also said (again, paraphrasing): What I ultimately believe (am committed to) is being a good person.

It’s perhaps interesting to note that we can become committed to a “place” (e.g., a family home or vacation spot), but we don’t tend to be committed to a location unless it’s part of some business deal. Likewise with space. Space seems to be the place where where commitments are fulfilled or released.


(Marco V Morelli) #43

Btw, for anyone interested, here’s that talk Ed and I did. I must admit, though, I was not expecting him or anyone to be on the call, since I had not advertised it, though I had previously committed to showing up regardless (following the quantity–>quality principle) as a form of practice or devotion.

Lacking a pre-decided topic, I was going to let myself say “whatever came into my head” in a sort of solo free jazz contemplative monologue (which likely would have been a beautiful wreck). Of course, “what came into my head” is what ended up (always ends up) happening anyway, for better or worse.

In other words, this talk is completely impromptu and unedited, so listen at your own risk. One day maybe it’ll be considered an Infinite Conversations “deep cut.”


[download]

Date recorded: 2017-07-11

Note: due to a technical lapse, there is only an audio recording of this talk.


(T J Williams) #44

Water is life.
Conversation is precious, like water.
Insulting diatribes and endless exchanges of thought-less “opinion” like artillery barrages over the no-man’s land of ‘hot-button’ topics are bone dry grains of sand, useless even for the building of temporary castles. The absence of water is a life-threatening condition.

(Nicholas Ostler ends a chapter in his excellent Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World with this thought:
“Indeed, the histories of Akkadian, Phoenician, Aramaic and Arabic are a five-thousand-year demonstration of the benefits of the desert - as a place to come in from.” (p. 112))


(john davis) #45

I hear you TJ and very well said, a nice cadence.


(john davis) #46

Thanks gentlemen for the lovely conversation. I really enjoyed the ensemble effect.


(john davis) #47

" Vision is commonly used to mean an act of perception. Thus we can say that we see the speaker addressing a public event. In this sense, ‘vision’ is a descriptive report of an object, of an event. But ‘vision’ is also used in another sense, as when one talks about the aesthetic vision or a religious vision. In this second meaning, it its the imaginative, not the descriptive, element that is uppermost."-Sheldon Wolin

During the night I felt the presence of something fearful. I woke up and reflected upon the fear and did a Vajrayana practice for about half an hour and returned to sleep. The fear returned with a strong male predatory sexual energy emanating from an unseen presence. I asked the entity, “What is you name?”

The entity gave me the name of a famous cultural icon. I felt the presence of a Trickster character. I said,“I want to see you.”

The dark turned into light and he was a disfigured man. I notice he is ill and crazy and he has had leprosy for he is missing fingers and toes. I felt a great compassion for this person and hold out my dream hands towards him and feel a current of kindness between us. He leaves and I notice a house full of activity.

I know this to be my mother’s house, not to be confused with my earthly, biological mother. This mother is from another plane of reality. She and I have a conversation with another woman. I introduce her to my mother. We discuss things in another kind of language, not English, and I cant translate… There is a lot of creative activity and I feel that I’m in an intermittent zone, where beings work out their activities on earth and elsewhere.

I leave this place and notice what appears to be a space within a space. It is like a thin transparent film with a square in it. I can enter the square and I would be in another space, a field, an area of influence. It’s kind of like bubble wrap, folded up. The knowledge of different kinds of spaces with boundaries between them is understood intuitively. There is no one there to give instruction. I sense the wholeness and the part and the interplay of countless events,

I hear music, of an orchestra, and I become the music, a centerless center of complex never heard before music and then it changes to piano music, once again, no performers, no visuals and I am the music, intimate, dark, serious, brooding, deep, deep is the soul, it feels like a late romantic work by Brahms or Liszt with a dash of Bartok and I feel that I’m floating in this luxurious sense of sound/becoming and just happening simultaneously from the middle of nowhere.

I then return to a field of light and become fascinated by my dream hands which look just as they do in earth life. My hands are palm to palm in a gesture of prayer, just tlike the famous Durer engraving, the wrinkled hands, a gesture, a sign, differentiating signal from cosmic noise and the background radiation. I’m filled with devotion for everyone everywhere in the world of form and sense the power of the symbolic gesture I make and aware of al worlds and all levels at once.

I start to flow in an oceanic bliss boundaryless bliss and use speech to stabilize an intention and to tune into the field beyond all fields. " The mind of Christ," I say as I float downward, through what looks like endless debris of many civilizations, from earth and elsewhere,." the mind of the Buddha…I wish to rest in nirvana…" floating, downwards, gently, no boundaries and no time and no beginning and no end…and a deep satisfaction…as a shimmering blackness dissolves all separations… Nowhere? Everywhere? Affective-cognitive functions in balance. A perfect symmetry. The rest is silence.

And so the human body wakes up feeling pretty good, the relative side of my nature is trying to make sense of this field of all possibilities and the finite games I am forced to play in this odd human event that is unfolding in an odd human place. Manhattan, Planet Earth. This is my umwelt. It’s not a bad deal, it could be improved, it certainly could be worse. I have to sing for my supper along with lots of other humans and non humans.

Keats asks at the end of the famous ode to the Nightingale, one of the great visionary poems, of the English language-.

Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?


(Marco V Morelli) #48

Beautiful, Johnny. Your words take me on the dream journey, into the dream body. This evocative ability of yours is inspiring, and even instructive. It almost feels like a new genre, something more aesthetic than a 1st-person dream report, yet more real than merely imagined fiction. The meaning of your vision feels to me so vast as to be beyond interpretation, or at least that which would reduce it to the personal. Yet it transmits, is seen, is felt.

The blob indeed has overtaken us! I don’t know what happens next…


(john davis) #49

Marco, that is very helpful. It may indeed be a new genre, and I expect as more of us do our best to put what is beyond words into words we will generate new kinds of language games, new kinds of art and science. There is for me a big difference between a dream and a lucid dream, between a lucid dream and an out of body experience, between an out of body experience and a Vision. It seems to me that Vision with a V is about the future of the species in relationship with the Kosmos with a K. Of course the Vision comes through a personality just as any work of art does. I believe we are at the edge of a new form of theater, a theater of the MIND that Shakespeare, genius that he was, would envy. I know that sounds grandiose but I wonder what happens when enough lucid dreamers and OBEers get together and start pooling their resources? What happens when the efficient Mental brings its perspectival capacities into the rich worlds of the Magical and Mythic just below the surface? I have already met some groups on the Astral that are starting to re-organize our potentials. There is a lot of craziness but there are also some radical utopians operating at night, disentangling many of us and each of us and eventually all of us from the Matrix. I do my best to give an accurate report. Breathe deep while you sleep breathe deep-


(Geoffrey Edwards) #50

Concerning the dangers of what Sloterdijk is doing, image schemas (container, conduit, surface, etc) are a perfect example of pre-linguistic phenomena with significant influence on later development, without it being a sink (pre-trans fallacy). Image schemas aren’t viewed as “pulling us in to early experiences”, but rather as ways that we structure later experiences, especially when using language.

One of the problems I’m having is that I’m listening to and commenting the sessions after I’ve read the next chapter, and the next chapters act as a kind of enlarging shadow on the previous chapters. So in this chapter, I’m really aware of the spiritual side of this discussion of the placenta. This becomes very important when he talks about the double, but even this idea of “With” and “Also” are very spiritual. The “With” is pretty evident and pre-figured by other writers, but the “Also” is, to me at least, new. The “Also” is halfway between, somehow, the “Me” and the “Other”. I think this particular idea is fascinating, far more so than the idea of “With”. The “Also” also (!) has to do with the notion of the double. How much is the “Also” present in various forms of mental illness? Depression, for instance. I’m not saying these conditions (“disorders”) aren’t also chemical, or familial, etc., but Sloterdijk’s particular constellation of ideas raises new questions and possibilities for understanding these things, which are still very poorly understood.

The strength of Sloterdijk, for me, is still the questions he raises. His answers are sometimes suspect, his questions are phenomenal. Some of his stances are problematic also, I’ll come back to this. I agree with Ed that he can become overly judgemental.

So, regarding mental health, if the voice is somehow related to the umbilical cord (chord?), then what are voices heard by people who have had psychotic episodes? Current psychology treats psychosis as a complete aberration, a dysfunction, an error in the processing/experience of the world, to the point that, if a person cannot tell the difference between a “voice in the head” and a real voice, then perhaps they shouldn’t be “allowed out”, given control over their lives and their interactions with others. But if there is a relationship between the umblical linked to the placenta, and the later voice, then maybe “voices in the head” are relics of this umbilical, that wasn’t properly “castrated” to use another idea Sloterdijk re-uses, or that were left open, to adopt a less judgemental approach that Sloterdijk himself sometimes does. I’m also thinking about Gregory Bateson’s writings is this regard (e.g. Steps To An Ecology of Mind), that maybe some variants of mental illness are not absolute “errors”, but part of the diversity of human make-up that has survival function under changing environmental conditions (I’m stretching Bateson, who was talking about genetics, not culture).

I agree with John that Sloterdijk is passing through archetypal theory, he doesn’t directly state it but makes passing reference to this.

I’m also finding, and this will sound strange, that maybe, reading him in French translation leads me to different places than those of you who are reading in English. And that makes me think, maybe Ed reading it in German also takes him to different places. When I hear one of you read Sloterdijk, what I hear, in English, strikes me quite different than what I read in French. For example, the title of the next chapter, in English, is “Soul Partitions”. Ed suggested the German could be read as “Soul Sharings” or “Soul Divisions”, which sounds like a variation I could understand. In French, the title reads “Le séparateur de l’espace spirituel”, so, literally, “The Separator of Spiritual Space” which strikes me as quite different from both other versions, and makes me focus more on the process than on the result.

So, with a tip of the hat towards Ed, I wanted to come back to a passage I didn’t like - I originally noted that it went “a bit too far”. It was the discussion of the loss of the placenta as being like Orpheus’ loss of Eurydice. Page 420 in my version, out of 686 total pages. But when I went back to the text, it wasn’t that it went too far. I like the analogy between the placenta and Eurydice. Remember she was the one who was collected by Hades (i.e. died) and Orpheus went to beg to be returned to him. Hades agreed to release her, provided Orpheus didn’t look back when he left. And, of course, Orpheus looked back, and so he lost her. I loved that analogy, I love the Orpheus-Eurydice story, I’ve used it in my own writing. But I found the text obfusticated the issue. I lost the thread of the argument, because it got too baroque. But it was the only place that happened, where I really cared. It had happened before, but in passages which didn’t move me in the same way.

So, regarding whether what we get from Sloterdijk is what Sloterdijk is actually saying, or our own insertions, at some level, I don’t care. When I go to a conference, I often take notes of what a speaker is saying, but I also write down ideas that his or her ideas generate, which I place in square brackets in my notes, so I know what is me and what is them. Most of the time, I consider a conference successful when I harvest enough square bracket ideas. I get lots of square bracket ideas from Sloterdijk. Does it matter that they may be not him? When I read Deleuze, I often have no more luck, often a great deal less, understanding what is being said. How much of my reading of Deleuze is Deleuze, and how much is me? I get square bracket notes from Deleuze too! I do think Sloterdijk is not only square bracket ideas, too! His argument is important to me, although I think Marco has it best. He is casting spells!

Regarding Ed’s comment that this was the first chapter where he didn’t want to throw the book, when I read this chapter, I soared. I loved it! I bounced down the road reading it!