Understanding the Structures through Rilke's Poetry [Video]

During last year’s Gebser Society Conference, Daniel Polikoff (author of In the Image of Orpheus and Rilke translator) gave an excellent lecture on understanding the structures of consciousness through Rilke’s poetic expression.

Grab a good pair of headphones, as the audio quality may require it, and tune into Daniel’s readings of Rilke. I think the structures receive a tangible encounter through this presentation, a good companion lecture as we read through the structures of consciousness in the first section of EPO.

What do you think? Or rather, how does this feel?


This feels so nourishing. The links between art and poetry unravel the complexity of Gebser’s writing for me. Much appreciated. Thank you.

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It took me about ten years and several translations before Duino Elegies really came to life for me. My interest in Gebser was the catalyst for making that effort. I was slow to get a handle on this work which has over the years opened up all kinds of qualities in my own reading, writing, dreaming.

Gebser says we must take a leap to enter the Aperspectival. For me the leap was taken during lucid dreaming. The move from non lucid to lucid is a leap in consciousness of exponential power! What prepares us for the leap is music, movies and poetry.

I am now delving into Orpheus and find it just as challenging as the Elegies. We are encouraged to find in the sand the foot prints ( human? non human?) that lead to that cave where is hidden that great treasure, perhaps a vast archive of scrolls with strange symbols, a new coding we need to figure out.

A great lecture!

I like Rilke here for taking a subjective experience of ore. And not just subjective but sensing its boredom. It reminds me to look for that experience everywhere. Of animals, trees, etc.

Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke

The kings of the world are grown old,
inheritors they shall have none.
In childhood death removes the son,
their daughters pale have given, each one, sick crowns to the powers to hold.

Into coin the rabble breaks them,
today’s lord of the world takes them,
stretches them into machines in his fire,
grumbling they serve his every desire;
but happiness stills forsakes them.

The ore is homesick. And it yearns
to leave the coin and leave the wheel
that teach it to lead a life inane.
The factories and tills it spurns;
from petty forms it will uncongeal,
return to the open mountain’s vein,
and on the mountain will close again.

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