Welcome to the Readers Underground


Welcome, friends of Metapsychosis, Cosmic co-operators & free Creative Agents ~

You’ve found your way to the Readers Underground, a special place in digital noosphere where deep reading is practiced with collaborative élan. You are entering a mycelial realm, a semi-independent kingdom of literary mold, which glows in the dark. Our forum discussions and live/virtual events constitute a magic, mythic, and mental milieu where meandering minds mingle and spiritual nutrients shuttle to and fro.

Growing here are thoughts, feelings, metaphors, ways of seeing, conceptual matrices, subtle resonances, revelatory images, topologies of the flesh. It’s true, we tend toward philosophy, fiction, poetry, history, cosmology, and long-form essays—with some bias toward ‘literature’ proper as modernly conceived—but, in theory at least, we’re open to any genre, low or hi, pop or esoteric: we seek deep diversity and planetary perspectives, attentive to the voices we can only hear with our ears close to the ground.

What do you wish to read here? Will it thrive in this soil? There’s only one way to find out…

Getting Started

It’s probably best, if you’re new to the website, to spend some time, well, just reading, looking around, getting familiar with the interface, and checking out various topics and threads. Like a brain, there are many interconnections. We also practice recording and posting our live conversations, which are becoming an archive. There are many hours of video (which remain to be better organized) where you can watch or listen to past conversations on the books we’ve read together so far. These, then, spawn new conversations (which sometimes circle back, which you are encouraged to do). And the process continues. (It’s called Infinite Conversations for a reason!)

#metapsychosis:readers-underground is the top level channel, for general discussion of literature and organizing new reads. Books, authors, or thematic groups that generate a lot of activity can apply for their own sub-channel under #metapsychosis or another area of the forum. Contact the @metapsy-collective to make a request.

Once you’re participated in a few topics and/or live talks, you can suggest your own group. There is no strict rule on when, but it does help to have a sense of the culture. We are not necessarily anti-hierachical (our nature is organized fractally, holarchically, and paradoxically) but you will not exactly find here a chain of command. To propose your own group, just create a post! Ask who might be interested. Throw it out there, and see what happens…

We also welcome “book reports,” reviews, and discussion about literature, ideas, and reading in general—it’s all good. You may also add to our list of suggested books here:

When a few people decide to organize a group, the lead organizer can request a video conference URL, and to add the upcoming events to our calendar on Metapsychosis for publicity (if so desired). Again, contact the @metapsy-collective to make this request.

Video Conferences

We use Zoom video conferencing app to host our live virtual dialogues. It’s a free download, and the quality and stability of the platform is the best we’ve found so far. Refer to this page if you need help setting up Zoom:

Each group is unique, but we’ve found that up 7 participants in a video conference is a good number (with a sweet spot between 3-5, depending on who’s there). Beyond that, it can get noisy, there is not enough time for everyone to speak. However, Zoom allows the creation of ‘break-out groups’ which allows for larger groups to have smaller, intimate conversations. We are still experimenting with this feature, and indeed, with how we are operationalizing these groups overall, so please do share your feedback.

If you require tech support with the conference, the forum, or any other aspect of our platfom, please post your issue in the #welcome:tech-support channel or send a message to @metamind and someone will reply ASAP.

Creative Reading

One potentially fun aspect of this Readers Underground is that we value creative responses to our reading materials. If you dig around the site, you’ll find poems, podcasts, video monologues, songs, drawings, sketches, and various other off-the-beaten-path expressions of readerly inspiration, appreciation, questioning, critique, or going in a completely new direction.

If you are moved by something you read, share it! Others may very well be interested, and moved to respond in kind, in their own way. One thing leads to another…

A conversation, too, can be conducted as a creative event. Here we practice the art of conversation, and cultivate attention not only what we’re talking about, but how we’re doing so. We listen. We experiment. We take (reasonable) risks. We are lifelong learners. And, it’s probably fair to say, when it comes to jumping off the deep end, we are incorrigible.

A Final Word

Many of us learned to talk about books in school, and got used to being judged or ‘graded’ by an authority figure based on what we had (or didn’t have) to say about the readings we were assigned. There is, of course, much to be said for good scholarship, criticism, and academic standards. But the same rules don’t apply here.

There are no teachers and students here, or rather, we are all teachers and students, in different ways, in various moments. Some of us come from an academic background, some from the arts, and some with no particular ‘intellectual’ pedigree at all. It doesn’t matter. We speak openly, and we speak our minds; and you are invited and welcome to do so as well. We judge by the content of the character and the quality of the thought.

In the Readers Underground, all are colleagues and peers. We welcome ALL lovers of literature in this sub-cultural sphere dedicated to the deep life of the mind, bodies (electric) of thought, the plenum of poetry, and the infinite intelligence that flows through us all.

Thank you for joining us! Please feel free introduce yourself, ask questions, or share your thoughts below…