What was your experience like when you joined Cosmos and Infinite Conversations? (Seeking constructive, honest feedback)

Hi Everyone,

Apologies for the cheesy image. Reason for cheesy image given below:

I had a meeting with @care_save this evening, and we talked about the possibility for creating a “portal” within Cosmos and Infinite Conversations, that would allow members to acclimate more easily into this particular digital space/environment/culture. I thought this was a good idea, because my own experience as a new member was somewhat bewildering - I did not know what the “etiquette” or “protocol” (awful word) was, let’s say, in regards to participating, creating new posts, creating my profile, so the experience, while interesting and useful, was also sort of haphazard and cheerfully reckless.

How did other people experience their first experiences on IC and Cosmos? Was it bewildering? Interesting? Weird? Wonderful? Absolutely ridiculously awful? Absolutely ridiculously amazing? Meh? Also, how did you hear about Cosmos and Infinite Conversations in the first place? What attracted you to the site? And, if you feel you did acclimate to the culture space, albeit tentatively, slightly, or for that matter boldly and successfully, what was that process like for you, and what could we do better? Or, if you feel you did not acclimate, what could we do better?

I’d love to hear what other people’s experiences were like. I am not looking to judge these experiences, only hold out a space through which we can listen, communicate and learn. Your feedback could then go into us making Cosmos a more welcoming space for anyone and everyone with “visionary tendencies,” all of the digital X-men and women in the world seeking an outlet for dialogue and self-expression.

Well, feel free to respond here, or, if you are more comfortable doing so, just private message me on this site.

p.s. While my emphasis here is on welcoming new members, I’d also love to just hear from members who used to participate, but for whatever reason participate less now. Because that’s interesting, too: both, how and why did you join, and, what keeps you coming back, or for that matter, not coming back?



In a distracted Dazed & Confused state Surfing the Web I came across this word Metapsychosis it’s Magic lead me to click & slowly move within this Otherworld,when I listened to Marco’s Inception piece I felt a Intense Interest.I visited off & on reading the many intriguing articles,there was a memory of when I first was in the Military in 1972 & going to South Korea up by the DMZ, a felt sense of being in a Strange Land with all my bearings rolling in all directions. This was Exciting & just plain Nerve Hot. I spent a lot of time getting my balls in place so to focus my interest( I was liking the Strange-Land). What moved me to Hang around was the Erin Manning:The Minor Gesture reading-video series. Time-Space spent here has opened my way of experiencing this 65 old life & Ingesting Marco’s Inception into What’s Next-Being at Our Best in this RAW Moment of Cosmos-Creation. One helpful piece; having a guide/s with the disorientation when entering a new world,“just for a little bit”.When I have traveled both Internally & Externally I always seek out a Local to help out & test the Hospitality of the Place.This is something I Feel is being addressed with this post.Thank U Andrew


Hey @Michael_Stumpf, thanks for writing. So interesting that it was the actual word, “Metapsychosis” that brought you to the site, and that Marco’s inception piece “cemented the deal.” Also thought your analogy to the DMZ in South Korea was fascinating! Thanks also for mentioning the Erin Manning reading-video series - I had the chance to check out the series and also learn about Manning and the book, all of which look really interesting and important. I totally agree, how having a guide aids with the disorientation you describe - hopefully we can figure out a way for this disorientation to happen less.

Thank you again for writing! Out of curiosity, I have to ask, what was it about the Manning reading-video series that moved you to hang around? Was it the content - i.e. the sort of things you had been looking for, thinking about, and so on? Was it the connection with others based on the content? Was there something specific about Manning that made it worth the stay, or about the conversations themselves? I was glad to see that the series had quite a few participants - did that play a role? I’m sure the answer to this question is probably “all of the above,” but I really don’t want to make that assumption. Whenever you have time, and if you are willing, I’d love to hear about how the Manning video-series, its Magic, encouraged you to stay engaged.


(from one Van the Man lover to another - this song once made me weep, when he sang “and we’ll all go together”):

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@AndrewField81, Your assumption is very much in the clearing of openness I was experiencing when playing with new territory or probably old territory with new curiosity.I come from a way of being that for a long time ( like many felt most likely) being Dropped(not a Fall) into a environment of Stew one day & Jello the next. The Minor Gesture words play to my Feeling-Sensations of what I experienced growing in & through this environment.

The words -phrases “Autistic Perception”,“Neurodiversity”,“speculative pragmatism”,“neurotypicality” & my favorite “synesthesia/tic”.
I 've come to embrace my particular “neurodiversity & respecting & being curious of Others”. One of my base come from is the Kinesthetic sense of movement of experiencing feelings-sensations within this BodyMind called Michael for the convenience of myself & others,a movable framework depending on context. This movement from feeling-sensation to a movement putting into some form attracted me to the Conversation that every one was in/with caring intent,patience & curiosity touched( on a very deep intensity) me with Magic & not the Disneyfied kind of my T.V. days as a Child.
I Hope this gives some context of my growing Edge with Infinite Conversations.One more reference is to a Podcast Marco did on the Ethics of Dialogue- Conversation as a Spiritual Practice,this was a realist assessment of the kind of Place I wanted to spend my Soul.


Thanks for the further feedback, @Michael_Stumpf. I like how you phrased an “environment of Stew one day & Jello the next” - this just sounds like an amazing evocation of a sense of yuckiness and tedium. I really have no idea if that was what you intended (?).

I thought it was also interesting how, just like your response to the word “Metapsychosis,” which you mentioned brought you to Cosmos, other words, like “Autistic Perception,” “Neurodiversity,” “speculative pragmatism” (I like that one also), “neurotypicality” and “synesthesia/tic” all seem to have deeply resonated with you, and were then reasons, as you say, that created a deeper level of engagement with that particular conversation about Erin Manning’s work. I feel like you are calling attention to a super interesting dynamic involving language and our response to it - namely, sometimes it is not an idea, per se, or a book, or a paragraph, or a sentence that draws us in and excited us, but actually just a word, ,a phrase, through which the idea is represented. Your response is, in that sense, super poetic. I have experienced this also - years ago, when I was more interested in ethical criticism, I remember reading something about the “moral imagination,” and I was just totally, hopelessly hooked. There are phrases - just phrases, not sentences - in Ashbery that really stay and resonate with me, too.

Thank you again for the feedback, and for the heads up about Marco’s podcast on the Ethics of Dialogue - Coversation as a Spiritual Practice. That sounds super interesting and I will have to check it out. The philosopher Richard Rorty, who I saw was mentioned in an earlier IC thread on possible book discussions, constantly emphasized how things like truth and reality were essentially created through a sort of ontological consensus via dialogue and conversation. Sometimes I thought he took this a bit too far, but I still always liked that emphasis on conversation as something that is essential for human beings to think and grow and come to know themselves and others.

Apropos of nothing and everything, from one music fan to another, here is a great cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Oh! Sweet Nothin” by The Black Crowes. Take care, @Michael_Stumpf.


@ AndrewField81 your poetic attunement Grokked very well. I am just coming into trusting Poetic within, I’ve had to unpack the carry-on -backpack within this Soul putting around in Life.

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I loved reading about this, @Michael_Stumpf, I had no idea it was the Manning dialogue that brought you to stay on at Cosmos. My experience was different, but perhaps not so different… I came for the Sloterdijk reading of « Bubbles » as I was dealing with the text on my own and felt I needed help. Then I stayed because of the reading of « Soul Mountain » and some of the Cafes. And now a sizeable part of my life is tied up with Cosmos and Infinite Conversations!


And Andrew, I love the cheesy image! Great initiative!


Yes, thank you for opening this conversation, @AndrewField81, it’s an important one!

My story of how I came into Cosmos is particular enough (as a consultant to Marco on this very project) that I don’t imagine it will have much applicability in general.

I hope others will participate in this conversation and offer their perspectives. For the same reason I hope we would all be willing to consider acting as “guides” to new folks who DO make their way into the fray… simply, on the reciprocity/sponsorship basis: “if I could make the passage a little smoother for someone else to plug into this colorful scenius… would I?”

I look forward to digesting the responses. :slight_smile: and, if I may insert a little plug, if anyone else wants to plug into the creation of an introductory portal on Cosmos.coop’s homepage for new folks, there are plenty of roles and work underway over on the project page! :raised_hands: