What can you discern about your reflection in the archetypal ensemble?
Contact – Mystery
Code – Gnosis
Action – Love
How might you overcome your isolation by gauging yourself in universal modes of polarities?
Ken Warren (from notes to a presentation, Repairing the Opposites, Doubling Stars, Turning Swine Into Pears, given by Ken Warren and Stephen Calhoun at The Analytical Psychology Society of Western New York, December 12, 2014)
Proverbs 3:16 tells us: “Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left her riches and honour.”
Stage One: Survivor/Transitional-Object
Stage Two: Truster/Trickster
Stage Three: Unscrupulous Competitor/Hero
Stage Four: the Virtuous/the Shadow
Stage Five: Materialistic Analyst of Things/Anim(a/us)
Stage Six: Empathizer with Every Person/Wise One
Stage Six needs desperately its unconscious complement, the Archetype of Meaning, a voice of wisdom from the depths. The Sequence of Archetypes in Individuation, James Whitlark
The self is a metaphor. We can decide to limit it to our skin, our person, our family, our organization, or our species. We can select its boundaries in objective reality As the systems theorists see it, our consciousness illuminates a small arc in the wider currents and loops of knowing that interconnect us. It is just as plausible to conceive of mind as coexistent with these larger circuits, the entire “pattern that connects,” as Bateson said. Do not think that to broaden the construct of self this way involves an eclipse of one’s distinctiveness. Do not think that you will lose your identity like a drop in the ocean merging into the oneness of Brahma. From the systems perspective this interaction, creating larger wholes and patterns, allows for and even requires diversity. You become more yourself. Integration and differentiation go hand in hand. From: ‘World as Lover, world as Self’ Joanna Macy
“I like the rain, because I know it will always end.” [Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh]
Watch on tablet. Retina iPad is spectacular. The point of this new technology is the user can use the touchscreen to move around the image frame. Browser kludge allow for this navigation too if your desktop system is up-to-date. Negs on Safari.
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.
In 2018 Cleveland will be the site of its first art triennial, FRONT InternationalCleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. This video captures the initial public meeting at Transformer Station. Fred Bidwell is the executive director. He has put together a stellar team. This video is full of interesting hints and some very fast paced exposition and contextualization.
The theme of the triennial is: Cleveland. An American City. Something like 30+ international artists and 50+ artists from our region, NEO, will be presenting art in whatever mediums the curators choose to represent the theme; or, better to say, front the theme.
This event is literally a game-changer in a region. Cleveland, itself an art-filled city, and the region, have upwards–I guess–of 500+ working artists. Fortunately, others are already working to organize artists not admitted (through its curation process) into the triennial to exhibit in a kind of shadow triennial, FRINGE. The total amount of ‘art action’ to be unfolded in 2018 is unknowable today, yet, I have a glorious feeling Front International is going to turn out to be one of 2018’s signal art events in the world.
It’s going to be a lot of fun and a learning experience to take it all in.
Soteria Vir (Stephen Calhoun, 2016)
As for my own aspirations, I don’t have any. Cleveland has lots of great artists! And my own art is rigorously out-of-step. (What formally trained artist–I’m self-trained–in their right mind would intentionally aim to cause visual epiphanies for all ages?) I hope I get to help peddle t-shirts, or do something useful.
(However, now that I reflect on these matters, my art does literally recycle bits of Cleveland that I pick up off the ground or buy from local garage sales, so, in fact, much of my art is full of, made up of, this American city. So, there’s that!)
Monday, February 13, I was driving to Wadsworth, listening to a CD, thinking about my livelihood as an artist–such as it is–and a tune started up from my single most favored rock record of all time, The Gilded Palace of Sin, by The Flying Burrito Brothers.
The song was Wheels.
We’ve all got wheels to take ourselves away
We’ve got the telephones to say what we can’t say
We all got higher and higher every day
Come on wheels take this boy away
We’re not afraid to ride
We’re not afraid to die come on wheels take me home today
So come on wheels take this boy away
And when I feel my time is almost up
And destiny is in my right hand
I’ll turn to him who made my faith so strong
Come on wheels make this boy a man
We’re not afraid to ride
We’re not afraid to die come on wheels take me home today
So come on wheels take this boy away
Come on wheels take this boy away
The record was released February 11, 1969. I would hear it for the first time at the Amazing Dynamo Man’s house, draped over his bed, in September 1970. He, Jamie Cohen, and I, had just met, just begun tenth grade as first year sophomores at Hawken School in Cleveland. We fell into each other like rain drops into the ocean.
Me, Hoon, atop the Amazing Dynamo Man, 1972
Forty eight years later, I’m reflecting on art matters having to do with commerce, Wheels comes on, I glance out my car’s driver-side window, and see a flatbed truck passing me on I71.
It’s badged with this logo:
I chuckle, then laugh heartily. The moment was not just a gilded moment of synchronicity, it was a text book synchronicity!
“We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel; But it is on the space where there is nothing that the utility of the wheel depends. We turn clay to make a vessel; But it is on the space where there is nothing that the utility of the vessel depends. We pierce doors and windows to make a house; And it is on these spaces where there is nothing that the utility of the house depends. Therefore just as we take advantage of what is, we should recognize the utility of what is not.” ? C.G. Jung, Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle
Kabir’s Sobriety 2016 Stephen Calhoun
A synchronicity worthy of the term is required to be deeply disturbing, or deeply disruptive, or deeply derailing. What I have to offer are my happy delusions! I’ve been revisiting Kabir. #326 of his Bijak:
No customers for the word:
the price is high.
Without paying you can’t get it,
so move on by.
In January I had a very simple dream–simple as far as its arc.
(1) I’m on the side porch of a gothic church. It’s a fall day, and the church’s porch is the scene of a rummage sale. I’m picking little costume jewelry pieces up and putting each one back down. I notice some nice oak chairs and old brass floor lamps. I say to the lady, “You have some nice stuff.” She answers back, “I see you’re not in a buying mood, but the prices are right.”
(2) Walking down the steps, with the front of the church rising to my right, I cross a lawn and walk toward an old Chevy station wagon. I walk to the driver’s side and their is a man with a hat, and his wife is to his right, and his son and daughter are in the back seat. The rear has suitcases. I think to myself, ‘It’s an all American family.’ The man asks if I will help him get unstuck. I put my shoulder to the frame of his window to push, and, without much effort I push and feel his car rise a bit and become unstuck.
(3) The car gathers speed and then veers slightly across the front lawn of the church. It crashes into the wall of the sanctuary. I run toward it, but am halted when I see a bloodied brown panther or mountain lion, seemingly crushed between the grill and limestone wall, pull itself out of its predicament and jump over the hood. It stands on the grass and shakes its head once vertically, runs off.
For my own purposes I make the following differentiations netween operational modalities of ordinary language argument.
(1) OBJECTIVE arguments based in facts and positive propositions and deduction
(2) ABDUCTIVE arguments based in explanation drawn from repeated experiences and inductions from these experiences
(3) IDEOLOGICAL arguments based in alignment or misalignment with first principles
(4) PERFORMATIVE arguments based in attracting and persuading support, without reference to objectivity or explanatory abductions
Explanation, or description may be substituted for argument. There can be formal or informal mixtures of the four modalities.
None of the above help with a Performative Argument. A Performative Argument is insulated from the deconstructive power posed by an evaluation of its biases, deficits of logic, and its loose couplings to the ideological/abductive/objective.
From this, it follows that a lie is best rendered in a performative argument because this setting gives the lie the best chance to be optimally convincing. The hallmark of performative argument is its implicit perception management.
All conspiracy theories which propose, and are contingent on, successful hidden structures, secret coordination, and occulted intent, are always performative theories. I don’t know of any exceptions.
What is left of experience if from it are erased feeling it, thinking it, feeling about it, thinking about it?
I’ve been reflecting on the paradox of mindfulness. Mindfulness, over the last several years, is among the hottest trends in management and organizational “self-improvement.”
It seem to me partly counter-intuitive in that mindfulness’s site is individual consciousness, whereas both managers and organizations tend to strongly focus their collective consciousness on some master plan given by holistic “master” assumptions.
Yet, there is the lower level paradox found in the second/third order appreciation of mindfulness, which is: to speak of it is not to be it.
Carl Manchester reads Chapter 2 A World of Pure Experience, from:
Pure experience is the centerpiece of a larger, radical empiricism, one that rejects the assumptions that created the epistemic gap between experience and reality in the first place. This gap is predicated on “an artificial conception of the relations between knower and known,” James says, and this fake problem is his first target. The history of philosophy has shown that all sort of theories have been invented to overcome this gap, he says. Some theories put a mental representation into the gap, common-sense theories left the gap untouched, believing that our minds could just make the leap and, he tells us, and the Transcendentalists brought their Absolute in to perform this epic task. James and Pirsig, on the other hand, say that subjects and objects are not the conditions that make experience possible. Instead, they have been carved out. As James puts it, inner and outer are just names for the way we sort experience. They are linguistic affairs, products of reflection, concepts derived from experience. To supposed that these terms mirror Nature’s own divisions or otherwise correspond to pre-existing ontological categories is to reify these concepts. Under our radical empiricists, subjects and objects are stripped of their metaphysical, ontological status and otherwise demoted to the rank of mere concept – thereby eliminating Cartesian dualism and replacing it with an experiential monism. For the radical empiricist, experience and reality amount to the same thing. This is the context in which James and Pirsig make their claims about pure experience or the pre-intellectual cutting edge of experience. Pure Experience and Dynamic Quality February 16, 2012 by David Buchanan partiallyexaminedlife.com
For the fourth year in a row, I was happy to work with Wadsworth Public Library’s fine staff on their staff day. We did a three phase exploration over the afternoon. First, we did a Taoist Walk in two snaking, quiet, single file lines. Second, we owned up to and affirmed one half of an opposite, taken from an inventory of polarities. Finally, we did some down-and-dirty scenario solving, where intradepartmental groups trained their expert attention on three very complicated, real-world scenarios.
From the squareONE: experiential toolmaker page on my work with libraries.
We support leadership and ambitious organizational goals by helping build sustainable human capacity in organizations.
Our approach can be distilled: we use deeply intentional experiential inquiries to help leaders and staff and stakeholders interrogate the core propositional bindings, mission, and history of the institution. Then, we work to help the leadership and staff reinvigorate and reintegrate these necessary core bindings, build sustainable new initiatives, recommit to a collaborative culture focused on lifelong learning and care.
squareONE’s unique capabilities are the result of joining together Daniel’s expertise in daily, practical and humanistic institutional leadership in the public library, with Stephen’s innovative skills in guiding transformative learning.
Our developmental tools are not like those found in normative organizational and leadership development. Their fundamental appreciative thrust is directed toward leveraging self-awareness for the sake of sustaining and strengthening the library’s mission. Nothing ever gets pulled off any shelf. Everything is purpose-built and fit to address mundane and audacious objectives.
Alignment matters. To be aligned with squareONE’s approach, a public library has to be dedicated to the classical view of the American Public Library. This view broadly holds the library to be a civically engaged institution devoted to supporting the emancipatory power of the book, the written word, culture, lifelong learning, and, above all: devoted to deep care for the community and its citizens.
squareONE stands opposed to the turning of the American Public Library into a vending machine of services, for which the book itself is a receding resource.
contact: Stephen Calhoun (216) 269-5568
I began working with libraries in partnership with the late Kenneth Warren in 2014. Mr. Warren hired me and asked me to create an anthropology portfolio at Lakewood Public Library in 2005. I worked there until late in 2006.
The foolish person tries to ignore the phenomenal facts of life simply because he cannot learn the logical theory which explains them. With all the logic at our command, we may reason out of the domain of possibilities everything that may be called a theoretical explanation of the cosmic rhythm which produces the various cycles of life, but we cannot with the same logic and reasonableness negate the facts which have been observed. H. Spencer Lewis Self-Mastery and Fate
With the Cycles of Life [pdf]
(With a few changes this passage from 1929 may be transformed into a cybernetic proposition. In turn, this proposition proves essential to understanding the problem of noise and signal and cycles.)
You don’t think Buckminster Fuller’s idea that the problem is just one of mismanagement and lack of distribution and lack of intelligent use of the available energy makes sense?
GB:I don’t really believe that, no. Because I don’t think the problem is primarily an energy problem. I think it is much more a minor constituents problem. All the other things you need in your food besides calories, practically every element in the table: vitamins, phosphorus, mineral components, so on. These are much more awkward than energy. And that has to do with complexity.
GB:Has very much to do with complexity, has to do with things being in a scattered state in the world. What we do is to comb the surface and concentrate them. Then having concentrated them, we put them in places where we will never be able to get them back again. In that light, can you relate Buckminster Fuller to the notion of purpose?
GB:I can relate Buckminster Fuller very easily to the notion of purpose. Have you ever worked on geodesic domes? Yes, they leak.
GB:They leak, that’s right. Why do they leak? Because they are much too purposive. Because they’ve got no tolerance. The only purpose of a dome is to be a dome. The people who build them think their purpose is good residence.
GB:I know all that, but Bucky doesn’t have any idea what living in something is like. After all, he lives in airplanes, he says.
GB:That’s probably right. But those bloody domes are a very good paradigm for the whole of engineering adaptation. You might be interested to know that one of the fellows who developed the dome idea at first and who published a number of books, gave it up completely, and went through a long drawn-out ethnological survey of living quarters all over the world, and has decided that the whole approach was much too schematic.
GB:Much too schematic. Straw is much better material to make houses with. Straw and mud make quite good houses.
(A Conversation with Gregory Bateson. Loka: A Journal of Naropa Institute (1975) Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday)
The notion of the individual entity having agency is confused by a paradox. The confusion lies with the idea of individuation. The entity (organism, person, or organization) is bound to its unique perspective or epistemology, and in that sense is identifiable as a separate source of responsibility. But, there is no aspect of that entity that is uninfluenced, uninformed, or unbound to the larger contextual interactions. On closer examination we begin to see that agency is diffused into the larger contextual processes that are shared by the entire community. Agency is a paradoxical product of mutual learning within and between people, nature, and culture.
Leadership does not reside in a person but in an arena that can be occupied by offerings of specific wisdom to the needs of the community. So leadership is produced collectively in the community, not the individual. The individual’s responsibility is to be ready and willing to show up, serve, and then, most importantly, stand back. Leadership for this era is not a role or a set of traits; it’s a zone of interrelational process. Step in, step out.
This is one of my favorite older art works. Just for me to still feel it successful is saying something because my motivation over the years has focused on the process of creation as against securing the sense that a piece is successful. This generative piece required a lot of attention and this means a lot of ‘iterating.’
I was asked by someone why I thought President-elect Trump was mentally ill. During the campaign I was chastised by someone, by a few someones, for stigmatizing the actually mentally ill by casting mental illness as an insulting description.
Cluster B: flavors of anti-social personality disorder, narcissistic personality order, with some inflections of both sociopathy and paranoia; (plus, how else might we describe Trump’s birther fantasy except as a delusion?) Just sayin’.
Will he successfully bully people into doing his bidding? Will he threaten Iran with tactical nukes? Over on the alt-right, there are some who think a state of emergency might afford Trump the opportunity to do something about all those pesky hippies, tree huggers, SJW’s, feminists, snowflakes, and ivory tower elitists. I won’t locate another source, but there is a blog I frequent that has reached a fever pitch in anticipation of either the defeat of the deep state, DC insiderism, progressivism, collectivism, and both “very similar” political parties, or, alternately, the victory of these same parties over their Drumpf problem.
For my own part, besides understanding how population density is the real explainer here, it strikes me our current government is hoping to etch a black chapter in the future history books. After all the newly fashioned white nationalist Trump/GOP Inc. hopes to to erase the output of the first black U.S. President, and, dial back the policies of the New Deal, (the deal that came to eventually rescue many of the elderly from poverty, while, at the same time, making it possible to visit your elderly parents rather than feed and clothe and take care of them.)
Healthcare, everybody eventually needs it! How to square Christianity with Paul Ryan’s dream of ending some of what he believes is mooching, with this same end also promising literal killing fields–except these fields will be defined by not being located in the homes of GOP congresspersons? Luckily, Trump has promised the new Trumpcare will be cheaper and offer better coverage.
The ACA is spilt M&Ms compared to the bigger eats on the agenda. Trump has come to vanquish the antichrist! Or, he is the antichrist! Maybe not.
Every day is a god, each day is a god, and holiness holds forth in time. I worship each god, I praise each day splintered down, and wrapped in time like a husk, a husk of many colors spreading, at dawn fast over the mountains split. (Annie Dillard)
The fundamental premise of alchemy is that there are precise correspondences between the visible and invisible worlds, the worlds of matter and spirit, inner and outer, heaven and earth.
Cleveland artist Gary Dumm noted that I’m engaged with infinite possibilities, and this is true enough, especially in that I allow an expansive ‘ecology’ to contribute mightily to my creative process. ‘Allow’ and ‘Contribute’ conceal aspects of process which are not under my control.
All three of these pieces use an identical Mandelbrot fractal filtered into a tessellation, or, sparked into an “interesting phenomena.”
Gregory Bateson: What has happened is that the use of a system of geometric met aphor has enormously facilitated understanding of how the mechanical trick comes to be a rule or regularity. More important, the student has been made aware of the contrast between applying a trick and understanding the necessity of truth behind the trick. And still more important, the student has, perhaps unwittingly, had the experience of the leap from talking arithmetic to talking about arithmetic. Not numbers but numbers of numbers.
Gregory Bateson: “We are searching for criteria whereby we can recognize those traits that are appropriate candidates for ongoing truth in the hurly burly of evolutionary process.”
. . .cybernetic inflection of aesthetics?
Gregory Bateson: “Interesting phenomena occur when two or more rhythmic patterns are combined, and these phenomena illustrate very aptly the enrichment of information that occurs when one description is combined with another. In the case of rhythmic patterns, the combination of two such patterns will generate a third. Therefore, it becomes possible to investigate an unfamiliar pattern by combining it with a known second pattern and inspecting the third pattern which they together generate.” both excerpts from Mind and Nature. A Sacred Unity.
Magali Barbé’s very well-done short Strange Beasts runs just over five minutes long, so it doesn’t take too long to get to the twist. But the pacing is just right, and the perfectly-deployed graphics are distracting enough to make the main character’s truly unusual viewpoint on reality a surprise at the end. Read more...
Director Freddie Wong and showrunner Dez Dolly today shared the first peek at six-part scifi anthology series Dimension 404, which appropriately will begin airing on Hulu on April 4. It’s a very short teaser, but you see Patton Oswalt freaking out in a theater as part of an episode about a killer (literally) 3D movie.Read […]
The ongoing saga of post-Rebirth Superman culminated this week in the final part of “Superman Reborn” in the pages of Action Comics. It didn’t just forever solve the tale of two Clark Kents though—it had some extremely big ramifications for the whole of the DC Universe.Read more...
The only thing certain about the future of Star Wars is that there is one. After Episode IX in 2019, Disney hasn’t announced what plans are beyond that. But there will be more and the CEO just said the company has again begun to discuss what the future will hold.Read more...
Big shocker: turns out Stannis Baratheon felt really bad about slaughtering a bunch of his family members on Game of Thrones and was certain he would go to hell for it, as shown in some recently excised dialogue from his season five death scene. Good, because sacrificing a child to a fire god is a […]