Category Archives: philosophy

Moral Perception

Paysage avec Orion aveugle cherchant le soleil - Nicolas Poussin -  1658

Paysage avec Orion aveugle cherchant le soleil – Nicolas Poussin – 1658

What can we learn from Buddhist moral psychology? Jay L. Garfield (excerpt from Engaging Buddhism: Why it Matters to Philosophy

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that perception itself is morally charged. If I see women as tools, or Latinos as fools, the damage is done. That perception involves the formation of intentions that are morally problematic on their face, and that lead to harms of all kinds. Perceiving in that way makes me a morally reduced person. If, on the other hand, I perceive people as opportunities to cooperate, or to provide benefit, I perceive in a way that involves the construction of morally salutary intentions, good on their face, and productive of human goods. For this reason, much Buddhist ethical discourse eschews the articulation of duties, rules or virtues, and aims at the transformation of our mode of perceptual engagement with the world. Moral cultivation, on this view, is the cultivation of a way of seeing, not in the first a instance a way of acting.

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Pragmatic Turning

On February 13, 2013, Richard J. Bernstein, the 2013 Selzer Visiting Philosopher gave this lecture at Beloit College. Dr. Bernstein is the Vera List Professor of Philosophy at The New School for Social Research.

The standard philosophical conventions that divide philosophy into such “schools” as pragmatism, analytic philosophy and Continental philosophy obscures [their] common pragmatic themes. Once these ideological blinders are removed, the philosophical investigations of the classical pragmatists, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein take on a fresh and more
exciting character. If we bracket the standard and misleading philosophical classification and look at what these philosophers are actually saying and doing, then a very different panorama emerges. We discover commonalities in what pragmatists, Wittgenstein and Heidegger are all reacting against, in their critique of traditional epistemology and metaphysics, and especially in the sea change in philosophical orientation that they seek to bring out. The Pragmatic Turn, 2010

Richard Rorty: RR: [There have been in our century] three conceptions of the aim of philosophizing. They are the Husserlian (or ‘scientistic’) answer, the Heideggerian (or ‘poetic’) answer, and the pragmatist (or ‘political’) answer.

In the comments section attached to this video is a fundamentalist’s view: I just to want to know “Did our Prophet and his companion ever dance like this way to call almighty Allah” If yes, what is the proof?. If not, this is an innovation. Prophet (PBUH) said, every innovation is misguidance , and every misguidance leads to Jahannam / hell fire.” ?

As Bernstein argues in his book, Violence: Thinking Without Banisters, religious certainty is naturally violent.

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By Hand

A Thousand Hands Ago from S Ensby on Vimeo.

The dramatic form is reached when the vitality which has flowed and eddied round each person fills every person with such vital force that he or she assumes a proper and intangible esthetic life. The personality of the artist, at first a cry or a cadence or a mood and then a fluid and lambent narrative, finally refines itself out of existence, impersonalizes itself, so to speak. The esthetic image in the dramatic form is life purified in and reprojected from the human imagination. The mystery of esthetic, like that of material creation, is accomplished. The artist, like the God of creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails.—Stephen

—Trying to refine them also out of existence—said Lynch.

A fine rain began to fall from the high veiled sky and they turned into the duke’s lawn to reach the national library before the shower came.

—What do you mean—Lynch asked surlily—by prating about beauty and the imagination in this miserable Godforsaken island? JAmes Joyce, Portrait of An Artist As a Young Man

[Wikipedia] Microcosmos (original title Microcosmos: Le peuple de l’herbe — Microcosmos: The grass people) is a 1996 documentary film by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou and produced by Jacques Perrin. Set to the music of Bruno Coulais, this film is primarily a record of detailed interactions between insects and other small invertebrates.

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Transcendental Semiosis

clearedup

“In many respects, this trinity agrees with the Christian trinity: indeed I am nor aware that there are many points of disagreement. The interpretant is evidently the Divine Logos or word; and if our former guess that a Reference to an interpretant is Paternity be right, this would also be the Son of God. The ground, being that partaking of which is requisite to any communication with the Symbol, corresponds in its function to the Holy Spirit.”

(C.S. Peirce, Lowell Lecture XI, 1866, 503, The Essential C.S. Peirce)

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Up And Down

cartoon

Our focus on the person is at once a great accomplishment and a significant risk. It is a great accomplishment because it signifies our recognition of every human being’s free participation in transcendent truth and goodness. Yet, it is also a risk because focusing so intensely on ourselves invites existential derailment in so many ways. We are likely to misunderstand ourselves. We might try to turn away from the insecurity or responsibility of personal existence. And prone as we are to self-love, is it prudent for us to articulate transcendent truth and goodness through a celebration of ourselves? The empirical evidence is not always encouraging. Surveying what has become of our articulation of the person, we cannot help but ask: is the modern turn to the subject a deepening of the Christian insight into the transcendent meaning of existence, or is it a Promethean revolt against God and the order of being? – Steven McGuire, Voeglin View

Is the modern turn to the subject a deepening of the Christian insight into the transcendent meaning of existence, or is it a Promethean revolt against God and the order of being?

Both, and moreover a revolt evoked from the flux of the order of being too; so: both/and.

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And I mean every last round bit of it.

OneDaySon

(Gaston Bachelard, the phenomenology roundness; in: Poetics of Space) I should like to give an example of an image that is outside all realistic meaning, either psychological or psychoanalyti­cal.

Without preparing us, precisely as regards the absolute nature of the image, Michelet says that “a bird is almost completely sphericaL” If we drop the “almost,” which mod­erates the formula uselessly, and is a concession to a view­ point that would judge from the form, we have an obvious participation in Jaspers’ principle of “round being.” A bird, for Michelet, [Jules Michelet, L’oiseau, p. 291.] is solid roundness, it is round life, and in a few lines, his commentary gives it its meaning of model of being.1 “The bird, which is almost completely spherical, is certainly the sublime and divine summit of living con­centration. One can neither see, nor even imagine, a higher degree of unity. Excess of concentration, which constitutes the great personal force of the bird, but which implies its extreme individuality, its isolation, its social weakness.”

In the book, these lines also appear totally isolated from the rest. One feels that the author, too, followed an image of “concentration” and acceded to a plane of meditation on which he has taken cognizance of the “sources” of life. Of course, he is above being concerned with description. Once again, a geometrician may wonder, all the more so since here the bird is considered on the wing, in its out­ of-doors aspect, consequently, the arrow figures could accord
here with an imagined dynamics. But Michelet seized the bird’s being in its cosmic situation, as a centralization of life guarded on every side, enclosed in a live ball, and consequently, at the maximum of its unity. All the other images, whether of form, color or movement, are stricken with relativism in the face of what we shall have to call the absolute bird, the being of round life.

The image of being-because it is an image of being­ that appears in this fragment by Michelet is extraordinary for the very reason that it was considered of no significance. Literary criticism has attached no more importance to it than has psychoanalysis. And yet, it was written, and it exists in an important book. It would take on both interest and meaning if a philosophy of the cosmic imagination could be instituted, that would look for centers of cos­micity.

h/t Mike Dickman for sharing the cartoon on FB

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Teaching Cartoon: Principles

teaching cartoon

It would be, of course, much better, if this occasion were celebrated with no talk at all, and if I addressed you in the manner of the ancient teachers of Zen, I should hit the microphone with my fan and leave. But I somehow have the feeling that since you have contributed to the support of the Zen Center, in expectation of learning something, a few words should be said, even though I warn you, that by explaining these things to you, I shall subject you to a very serious hoax. Alan Watts

bonus:

Alan Watts .com
Alan Watts. org
Alan Watts Facebook
Alan Watts Seminar Series (iTunes-$19.99)

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Enlightenment, Now and Later

are-we-there-yet

enlightenment-cartoon

bonus:

From the 1960 season of Alan Watts‘ KQED television series, Eastern Wisdom & Modern Life

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Penetrating Sensings – Coda.

Kalipo – Fractal from Pupillendriller on Vimeo.

david-bohm-scientist-similarly-thought-is-a-system-that-system-not

With reference to conversation or dialogue, a sketch of how the Reduced Bateson Set might be employed to draw out some tacit assumptions goers like this:

1. What are the systematic assumptions that support the amplification of a thought into a spoken presentation?
2. Are any of these identifiable assumptions traceable to a, in a, history of their inception?
3. What do those histories suggest when a history is compared to another history?
4. Are there underlying assumptions that are brought to light in doing this process of comparison?

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Penetrating Sensings II.

Krishnamurti said that “to be” is to be related. But relationship can be very painful. He said that you have to think and feel out all your mental processes and work them through, and then that will open the way to something else. And I think that is what can happen in the dialogue group. Certain painful things can happen for some people; you have to work it all out.

This is part of what I consider dialogue—for people to realize what is on each other’s minds without coming to any conclusions or judgements. In a dialogue we have to sort of weigh the question a little, ponder it a little, feel it out. You become more familiar with how thought works.

It isn’t necessary that everybody be convinced to have the same view. This sharing of mind, of consciousness, is more important than the content of the opinions. You may find that the answer is not in the opinions at all, but somewhere else. Truth does not emerge from opinions; it must emerge from something else—perhaps from a more free movement of this tacit mind. David Bohm, For Truth Try Dialogue

david_bohm_quote

Proprioception (PRO-pree-o-SEP-sh?n), from Latin proprius, meaning “one’s own”, “individual,” and capio, capere, to take or grasp, is the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement.

In my view, “thought” is a kind of ruler that imposes its rules, hence it suppresses the spontaneous emerge of natural coherence. Any imposition by “thought”, such as a particular ideology, religion, or a predetermined topic, or having some kind of agenda, would ultimately block the natural flow of the dialogue which must be free to find its own way towards coherence. It cannot be brought about by conscious attempts.

“Thought” does have an important role to play; not as a ruler but more as a servant: it should serve to carry out the implications of what is revealed by the natural coherence that emerges out of the chaos resulting from anarchistic dialogue. So, the first thing “thought” must do is to become aware of its purpose and stop suppressing the very thing it should serve. But it is a rare ruler who voluntarily becomes a servant. William van den Heuvel, Dialogue and Anarchy

bohm-dialog-schema

David Peat recounts: “In an earlier posting we saw how Bohm believed that the laws of physics were contained within his physical body. On occasion he experienced this directly. Once when working on an equation he felt a strong sensation within his body and, as he continued to work, a counter sensation. These sensations appeared to correspond directly to the mathematics he was writing down.

Bohm spoke to Einstein about this who told him that when working on his field equations he would squeeze a hard rubber ball and note the sensations in his arm.

When thinking Bohm also had the habit of tossing a group of coins from one hand to another. This annoyed Robert Chambers who occupied an office separated by a lightweight partition from Bohm’s. Month after month he had to put up with the sound of Bohm’s pacing up and down and the jingling of coins.” via The Bohm Documentary

Three types of incoherence of thought:
1- Thought is oblivious to its being participative.
2- Thought stops tracing reality and autonomously executes like a program.
3- Thought establishes its own abductions, frames of reference, and methods for fixing problems, without also deconstructing how thought is a feature of the problem

Like in a dream from Jeremie Brunet on Vimeo.

Bohm Dialogue

The David Bohm papers at Birkbeck Library

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Penetrating Sensings I.

(1)

“The actual order (the Implicate Order) itself has been recorded in the complex movement of electromagnetic fields, in the form of light waves. Such movement of light waves is present everywhere and in principle enfolds the entire universe of space and time in each region. This enfoldment and unfoldment takes place not only in the movement of the electromagnetic field but also in that of other fields (electronic, protonic, etc.). These fields obey quantum-mechanical laws, implying the properties of discontinuity and non-locality. The totality of the movement of enfoldment and unfoldment may go immensely beyond what has revealed itself to our observations. We call this totality by the name holomovement.” David Bohm

(2)

In the free play of thought, creative intelligence responds to opposition and contradiction with new proposals.” David Bohm

dharma-wheel-gs

For me and my research into serendipity the notion of hidden connectedness yields to the notions of uninstantiated contingency and radial contingency. In the free play of uninstantiated contingency, sensitive (to radial contingency,) intelligence responds to possible fortuities and unknown potentials with new conjunctions.

Radial contingency means the possibilities that are located at the end of the spokes of a observer/participant’s awareness, as this awareness radiates outwardly toward other locations of awareness.

“The quantum field contains information about the whole environment and about the whole past, which regulates the present activity of the electron in much the same way that information about the whole past and our whole environment regulates our own activity as human beings, through consciousness.” David Bohm

Also, my experiential aesthetics being rooted in a theorization of generative learning are deeply informed by Bohm’s conception of enfoldment.

“Everybody has seen an image of enfoldment: You fold up a sheet of paper, turn it into a small packet, make cuts in it, and then unfold it into a pattern. The parts that were close in the cuts unfold to be far away. This is like what happens in a hologram. Enfoldment is really very common in our experience. All the light in this room comes in so that the entire room is in effect folded into each part. If your eye looks, the light will be then unfolded by your eye and brain. As you look through a telescope or a camera, the whole universe of space and time is enfolded into each part, and that is unfolded to the eye. With an old-fashioned television set that’s not adjusted properly, the image enfolds into the screen and then can be unfolded by adjustment.” David Bohm

David Bohm, Implicate Order and Holomovement (via scienceandnonduality.com)

Two Opposing Types of Order (via Learning to See Timelessness, everythingforever.com)

Interview (1997) with F. David Peat

David Bohm’s Theory of the Implicate Order: Implications for Holistic Thought Processes
Irene J. Dabrowski ISSUES IN INTEGRATVE STUDIES No. 13, pp. 1-23 (1995)

Morphic Fields and the Implicate Order A dialogue with David Bohm (Rupert Sheldrake)

David Bohm.net (curated home page || The David Bohm Society

Mandala-Bohm-quote

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Signed Cosmos In an Ambiguous Multi-verse

Slide via Soren Brier  http://www.epicic.org/sites/default/files/Brier.pdf

Slide via Soren Brier
http://www.epicic.org/sites/default/files/Brier.pdf


Deana Neubauer 20 minutes on Biosemiosis

earlier on the blog
Professor Soren Brier presents 90 minutes Cyber[bio]semiotics, through Bateson, Luhmann, and Peirce

More Brier:

Cybersemiotics: A New Foundation for Transdisciplinary Theory of Information, Cognition, Meaningful Communication the Interaction Between Nature and Culture Søren Brier, PhD (pdf via Integral Review.org)

Cybersemiotics: Possible Levels of Ontologies of Signification Søren Brier, PhD (pdf via Arisbe, The Charles Sanders Peirce Gateway)

Anybody know of a ‘Kolbian’ pure experiential theorist–as opposed to applied theorist–fascinated by the potential for bridging its theoretical brain=mind supposition to the farther shore, the shore where variants of the mind=ecology theorizing of biosemioticians, enactivists, neurophenomenologists, or monist dynamical systems folks produce some intriguing possibilities for building a (social) cybernetic framework for grasping the nature of learning?

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A Trick

RavenStealsSun

Raven Steals Sun (NW Indian Creation Myth)

This week I offered up a trick to the Experiential Learning Community of Practice Study group. We were talking about the active negotiation and navigation of opposites/polarities that are obscured but also resolvable in the schema of experiential learning styles given by the schema of David A. Kolb, et al.

My trick involves deconstructing the simple pairings of the oldest experiential learning schema, FEEL/WATCH/THINK/DO.

learning_styles

Transformatiive-Moves-Kolb LC

What changes from quadrant to quadrant?
What stays the same?

example:
Feel & Watch
to
Think & Watch

Watch is retained
Feel transforms to Think


 

The list of ‘markers’ for my questions my trick from my position engages–a kind of note to self

open theoretical questions
where are the philosophically-minded theorists besides David and Alice?

style-based personality-oriented language vs. cognition-oriented dialectical, and conceptually lower order, operational language

folk psychological reification
assumption reduction

what are we really saying globally?
what are we really saying locally?
what are we really saying enactively at the individual scale?

fine-grained phenomenological description
are we using same language?

consensus terms shorn of their rootedness in the dynamic, fragile, humanistic
Kolb’s original complex, dialectically anchored, synthesis

instrumentalization and nominalization by way of the efficacy of assessment regimes conquers the modal theory

the normal nominal problem: why is ‘this instant’ described as ‘being’ [A]?
And, does anybody actually need to know ‘why?’ before instantiating the [A]?)

unengaged problem of normativity and nominalism
re-secure the global modal dynamics

IS there an answer to this: what we really agree to signify and mean when we speak of transforming our learning by moving from feeling to thinking, or from reflection to conceptualization, or any such whathaveyou move to another phase

Behind the Button

Behind the Button

Rumi:

If you could give up
trick and cleverness,
this would be the
cleverest trick.

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Peirce, Luhmann, Bateson – Sign and Socios

Søren Brier, Professor of Culture and Communication Studies, Copenhagen Business School, gives a presentation as part of the University of Oregon Conference on Biosemiotics and Culture.

Bonus:
Professor Peter Ochs, UVa., has posted his terrific chapter from Founders of Constructive Postmodern Philosophy: Peirce, James, Bergson, Whitehead, and Hartshorne (Authors: David Ray Griffin – John B. Cobb Jr. -Marcus P. Ford – A. Y. Gunter – Peter Ochs – SUNY series in Constructive Postmodern Thought articles about American Philosophy,  1992)

Charles Peirce As Post-Modern Philosopher

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Friendship: A Schema for Depth and Learning

Mandala

I have been reflectingintuiting over the past six weeks on my relationship with Ken Warren, and, the nature of active creative sustained depth-full relationship. This has been, is, almost a prototype of grief framed by bittersweet finality. This is both a ‘hard’ thing and a very good thing.

As I grapple with a phenomenology of deep relationship, very little of what I have been shaping over the last few weeks is inflected by interactions brought up and out from an ongoing relationship. I have been focusing on the unique qualities of my relationship with Ken. The implicit irony given by conceptualizing without solidarity is not lost on me at all.

FRIENDSHIP-HIERARCHY

This schema depicts one view of generalizations oriented to a foundational perspective. In turn, it is taken from the most basic interpenetrating levels, levels identified and discussed by Ken and myself. This schema represents the hand of deep relationship oriented to co-creative exploration, taken from the unique fingerprint of our relationship. Every deep relationship expresses a unique fingerprint.

In my view, the hallmark of deep exploratory relationship is that it is relationship founded by the transformation of instrumental relations into core depth orientation and action. Deep relationship is noetic.

Deep relationship is ironic in several crucial senses. First, such relationships demand what I term ‘open time’ orientation for the sake of turning away utility, and turning toward exploration. This further means that deep exploratory relationships are not mainly normatively useful. Secondly, exploration itself requires ‘heuristical’ flex within the open time modality; and this is instigative of the negotiation and transit and transfer of meanings, and the recursive chatter which soon enough finds any granted perspective to be ‘ironic’ in the given relation to some other perspective.

Ken and I cycled through this second aspect precisely in the way that the, his, foreordained could encompass both traditionalism and naturalism whereas, my notional contingency would encompass both fortuity and emergent spontaneity. We discovered early on that the spirited verticality is entangled ironically with soulful horizontality. This crossing, so-to-speak, constituted the background frame to our wandering, experimentation, and exploration.

Third, the introduction of a profound ludic element to the core orientation is clearly ironically situated in the way playing around pulls time out of its linear contour, and, amplifies the timelessness of the first order intrinsic motive; which is to assert here how play is motivated by virtue of play being enjoyable for its own sake. This is a baroque way of describing the experience of combinatorial flow in our relationship.

“Wow, I can’t believe we’ve been hanging out for four hours!”

Stephen Calhoun, experiential toolmaker

Deep Relational Matrix per Warren/Calhoun

(email me if you want the Warren-Calhoun Matrix in pdf)

In my idiosyncratic and syncretic phenomenology of profound friendship,  essential qualities of deep relationship are placed in the order of this matrix. The matrix proposes that such relationships possess qualities and dispositions of these types. Those qualities and dispositions in the flux of relationship are dynamic, whereas the apparent square form of the matrix is stable.

Typology given by the functional primes: A(nalytical) | E(xperiential) | I(ntoxicating) | C(ombinatorial)

In noting this, a relationship may be broadly typified. For example, Ken and my relationship was in the main Combinatorial, and its type in order was much of the time, C(IEA) The subdominant quality is an inferior quality, so our Combinatorial relationship could be very impractical. Although I have yet to conceptualize the dialectical primes and secondary polarities given in the matrix, it seems readily apparent that the basic oppositions are given in the pairings, C<>A, and E<>I.

Additionally, right now the rough appearance suggests the typology of the Analytical Psychology T/F, N/S, unequivocally associates with the relational primes:

COMBINATORIAL <> INTUITION
INTOXICATING <> SENSATION
EXPERIENTIAL <>FEELING
ANALYTICAL <> THINKING

Alas, all this is worked out without my favorite colleague and friend and co-explorer’s contemporary contribution. Our inquiry had begun to stir  into these elements the liberated psychoastrology and the experiential learning theory of my colleague David A. Kolb.

Still, Ken was very jazzed by our recent inquiries coordinated by our mutual sense that some of the deep noetic structures of organizations, such as public libraries or suburbs, were literally secreted in the profound dyadic relationships of persons in those kinds of communities.

(My considerations here are surely novel in their relation to what is a very small normative literature about depth-in-relationships–found within the scholarship about management.)

One way to work with these ideas is to imagine a controller for your close relationships and then conjure how you sometimes manipulate its regulatory dials.

Intentional control regulates relational dynamics and core 'co-performance'

Intentional control regulates relational dynamics and core ‘co-performance’

Let me know what you discovered in playing around with the dials!

Magician

The Matrix itself could be larger, and more robust. Because our own relationship comprised our principle laboratory, in our collaborative deconstruction of my promethean puer, and of Ken’s anima problem,  over the last year or so, we discovered a lot of shadowy elementals, darkened aspects, impersonal inversions, and hidden unconscious facts. Ken termed these occulted aspects. Those aspects obviously figure into, and would augment, the organization of the fuller set of generalizations of the qualities and dispositions of deep relationship.

 

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The Stack of Symmetry

All Hail the Center Pieces (S. Calhoun, 2015, 24x48h")

All Hail the Center Pieces
(S. Calhoun, 2015, 24x48h”)

Over the past few years I have not combined a vertical with a ‘flipped’ horizontal symmetry so as to synthesize the above stack.

Presumably, there is a transcendent function hidden in my (a) intention, or, (2) unconscious urge, because it goes from the two via the processual three to the whole four.

Two, plus two, next four.

odis tamquam fures et homicidas, tamquam specula celesti fulgore micantia mirare cogeris et amare.46
(you hate them as robbers and murderers; you love and worship them as mirrors reflecting a celestial light)
dialog of Ficino

My artistic sensibility admits as much, so, not surprisingly, the visual result is completed by the viewer, and, as well, the dialectical stasis captured in the moment of the viewer’s experience is also ‘half’ in the sensibility of the viewer. I term this: diastasis. The basic formulation could be enumerated, one, two, three, four; so this is most simply: creation, field, experience, engagement. The hidden bridge in the (social) cybernetic sense is the viewer’s abduction, which is the means for the viewer ‘reason-experiencing’ to the best explanation of their experience of the forms hidden in plain sight.

As the creator, I do not code those abductions into the visual field (piece.) Rather, their animation is contingent on the four-fold, as is this ‘adding up’ to: mirrors reflecting a celestial light.

This is, from certain perspectives, a very serious business!

Intention/Creation

………………….Field/Piece
Processual——————-
………………….Experience

Engagement (transcendent function)

(I would use different terms than Adorno, yet it is self-evident to me that the viewer completes the engaging experience with her own cultural conditioning. Because my aesthetic is intentionally underdetermined as a matter of the constitutive generativity underlying both creative process and artistic product, my aesthetic also greatly underdetermines the programmatic encoding. I like to think this lack of masterful coding sets the piece free from being only a simple message.)

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Friendship: Negative Capability, Unfinished Impositions, Irony

Stephen Calhoun, fine artist, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

The Caller, Stephen Calhoun (2013)

Loss of a person, of a close frriend or of a family member, presents a challenging process which won’t let go as it impels me through its requisite travail.

At the same time, the outward conventions of concern and courtesy basically allow for a restoration of human contact in the collective terms of concern and courtesy, and, sure, in the terms of grief and mourning.

These expressions are helpful, even as the expressed kindnesses and concerns seem to me to reach around the really bare, and profoundly forward-pitched facts. Of course, I would do the same thing, in approaching somebody’s loss, in approaching a ‘death in the family.’ Except, at the same time, I would be always holding back my usual, or my habitual, curiosity.

I would reign in my researcher’s soul.

What is actually going on?

I previously mentioned, or I think I did so, that in the weeks between meeting Ken for the first time and our second meeting, he reported to me that he had read my entire web site and blog. At the time he made this report, I didn’t know really what kind of ‘reader’ was Ken. Still, I was very impressed because he had begun what we came to call, ‘the forensics;’ and I had begun the same process. Furthermore, apparently, we shared this similarity, we both knew more data is better than both a little data, and, the thin positive capability through which a little data and bad guesswork are joined together.

Gone! Okay, what is actually going on with you Stephen? This is the question that can be addressed to me.

I do bring in, and try to warmly receive, the heartfelt substitutions for this non-obvious question. Oh, it was not a non-obvious question to Ken. When my mother passed away in early 2012, he asked me,

“What is going on?”

And, he kept asking. I’ll miss his researcher’s tenacity! If somebody doesn’t ask me this question, he or she is missing the boat. I’m not missing it, I’m in it.

I have put much of the actual goings on ‘with me’ in the aftermath of my loss, ‘out there,’ here, on my blog. (This blog is iteration number three, begun five months after meeting Ken in the fall of 2004.)

To review:

1. Shocked!

Friendship
2. the LOVE BASIS
3. COMBINATORIAL questing
4. active DECONSTRUCTION
5. the ANIMA PROBLEM
6. interlude: what you don’t know, give into
7. interlude: process and reality
8. NEGATIVE CAPABILITY, Irony

Ken would have appreciated why the number of posts is eight. Hey, I’m throwing out clues here!

He and I agreed on a great great deal, although as I have tried to make clear, Ken was entangled by his enthusiasms, whereas I am mostly afraid of my own; (so, I trained myself to be a fallibilist.)

Also, I feel as if I need to be careful. But, it isn’t also true that anybody should feel he or she is to be a second fiddle. Heck, go for it. Life is unpredictable. And, you’re unlikely to figure out in advance when your last breath is steaming down the tracks.

Close relations are my second highest value–and are so for reasons I’m able to express. Ask me. Go for it.

Stephen Calhoun, fine artist, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

The Green Man (Stephen Calhoun

Ken and I spent a lot of time deconstructing what to us–to maybe only us–was the single most bloody problem in the ‘scape of modernity, (that:) the fundamental problem is relational incapacity, not deficits in rationality or critical thinking.

Note, the structure goes from Shock to Negative Capability. It goes from oh no, shit! to soul!

Yes, it was terrific and quite medicinal, perhaps even karmically medicinal, to feel really extremely thoroughly known by Ken, yet, I’ve mapped out the foundation to be: going from the LOVE BASIS to the COMBINATORIAL. Ken and I were sensemakers, this is what we did over many thousands of hours. Why?

What is actually going on?

Why? …such a good question. We never discussed explicitly dialogical recognition (Charles Taylor,) yet when we together took up the cause of the noetic public library we sorted out a deep congruence about the micro problems come to coalesce around the macro problems of–within the pragmatics of praxis in a library–reification, instrumentalism, objectification, dehumanization, and, well, how it is, apparently, easy to rip the fucking heart of a library out of its cavity, and place in this cavity a bunch of 3D printers.

Similarly, most societal problems at the scale of the kind of civics citizens actually can effectively practice, are initiated in the first order by the atrophy of the human ability to actively know one other. Ken and I understood our diagnosis would deconstruct this order of knowing. Then, for the sake of reanimating the civic heart and civic capacity for making sense, we worked over how in a city or in a library how citizens might collaborate on a new, deeper (3rd) order of interpersonal and intrapersonal knowing cum relationship.

In the light of the ideal of authenticity, it would seem that having merely instrumental relationships is to act in a self-stultifying way. The notion that one can pursue one’s fulfilment in this way seems illusory, in somewhat the same way as the idea that one can choose oneself without recognizing a horizon of significance beyond choice. Authenticity a picture of what a better or higher mode of life would be, where better and higher are defined not in terms of what we happen to desire or need, but offer a standard of what we ought to desire. (Charles Taylor)

Ken and I spent zero time slapping each other on the back when we discovered, for example, we both were familiar with Paolo Freire. It was all matter-of-fact because it is who you are, not what you know, and, so, study for the love of the quest. Train first! Deploy, drill down, together stick our hands in the muck.

What is actually going on?

When we turned this around, our critical chops came to meld Ken’s learned Saturnian thrust with my edge-seeking Promethean swing. Ken possessed this aspect, one that was like the boy with a hammer, the boy who would swing his hammer at everything; and, I, an actual complexed puer, possessed a kind of penetrating Apollonian cynicism, and, also I, a Batesonian, was able to stand back a bit. (Well, I didn’t want to get accidentally rapped by the hammer.) Yet, when we got going. . .

we’d cover stuff very very quickly. ‘Marx was not even a horrible psychologist, yet Russell was on the money in noting Marx was a Christian heretic.’ ‘Jung only had an inkling that he had birthed a psychology and its daughters from his lapsed Lutheran brow, and that his psychology’s wider applications were somewhat covertly undermined by this creation story.’ ‘There are short paragraphs in the Tibetan Canon, or the best haiku, which could right now replace and improve every word Ken Wilber has ever scribbled.’

‘cover’ doesn’t mean getting it correct.

Ken, by the way, fulfilled the demands of authentic relationship with many many people. He and I were in a synergistic profoundly complementary relationship, and spent no time gratuitously or otherwise aggrandizing how great was our relationship, except we did once briefly consider some of the contingencies and fortuities and errors which had to slowly collapse, like a holy wave function organizing its effective reality, or ‘reality,’ and do so over two lifetimes, all for the sake of being able to efficiently and cleanly deploy together the practical and/or explosive tools our dialectical instigations, spontaneous poetics, and channeled intuitions, came to evoke and muster.

Did it help our effort that we happened to have both traveled through some of the same ideational and metaphysical lands? See: Interlude #3 tomorrow.

Nevertheless, our learned congruency was like a picture pasted to the jig pieces of a puzzle. With time, and it still is going to take time no matter what, two people working together can piece the puzzle together without having to refer to the ‘parted’ picture on the surface of each piece.

What Ken and I disagreed about: particular ramifications. For example, the ramifications implicitly of this perspective:

Ken, you should just give up trying to trick me.

Ken respected where I could not go. I had occasion to remind him earlier this year that “such respect then leads irrevocably to my Promethean liberation of Astrology and Psycho-astrology,” (and how I came to amputate various fixities from their thin causal relations.)

I had planned to take him (this summer) through The Reduced Bateson Set. (Oh well.) We had begun to recast some of the developmental fixations in learning theorizing and in specific theories, like the theory of my friend, David Kolb. Obviously, to where the action learning of our entwined dialectical picking and drumming would have led to, is about as unknowable as an unknown could be.

I had submitted a Cube-O-Probe, as a visual poem, to House Organ. Ken rarely specified the ways in which our workplay was influencing his numerous other projects. But, he was a boy with a hammer! He took his set #2 of Cubes and fearlessly interpreted their message on behalf of astrologers, poets, and nieces.

Kenneth Warren
One deep congruency we arrived at, we came to right at the beginning. Love basis.

Another lesser, and vital congruency, brought forth one of the essential fundamentals able to support our mindful and creative travels: as it happens, an exquisitely sensitive humane esotericist breaks bread with a mercurial edge-seeking flatlander because the whole cause of inverting assumptions and sometimes having to mulch them is shared and equally served by two radically different sensibilities–except for, as Rumi noted, our “fleshy hearts.”

We traveled and never went anywhere. We made a road trip to the Target in North Olmsted for the sake of a veteran who had just rented a crib in Lakewood but didn’t have a bed.

h/t Lakewood Observer

h/t Lakewood Observer

We made a bunch of trips to Wadsworth in support of our fellow traveler, Daniel and his public library.

“Ken, would you please try to keep at least one hand on the wheel?”

YoungFrankenstein

When I had reason to remind Ken that I am, by disposition, a “deep ironicist,” he told me this assertion perplexed him. I told him,

“Come on Ken, you’re the one who titled me, Dr. Puck.”

Then, I explained to him what imperatives are driven by chops, negative capability, good/bad fortune, large collections of devices and heuristics, multitudes of perspectives, plus the ability to rappel down to the “meta,” and, I went on,

“then there are also all those just-in-time intuitions blowing into your scheme like neutrinos stream through the material world, except you and me grab at ’em and we bring the intuition back alive, from wherever was its ‘wild,’ and you stick ’em to your wall, They always seem to stick.”

“Yeah, Ken, your sort of an ironicist too.”

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Interlude #2 Play

Stephen Calhoun, fine artitst, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Bardo B, a (Stephen Calhoun, 2014)

This re-intensification of the body, which restores our bond to an original intensity that resists traditional static notions of the cosmos and the human, of man and the universe, can best be called “spirit” or “spirituality” (thugs). Though the German words Geist and Geistigheit are admittedly better than their English equivalents, even they are not entirely free of substantialist and idealist nuance. To render thugs as “mind” or “consciousness” would only make matters worse. Not only do these terms miss out on the range of meanings that attach to “spirit” and “spirituality,” they perpetuate the fallacy of reducing to a “thing” what is really a dynamic center that radiates in all directions, animates the whole of our life, and “touches” us in every activity and dimension.

The consequences of seeing corporeality and spirituality as degrees of intensity are far-reaching. At one stroke, this standpoint demolishes the naive dualism that has inflicted upon us an obsession with things–material and immaterial–and opens us to the liberating idea of pure process in which all opposites are ultimately dissolved. Note the following passage in the SGra-thal-‘gyur-ba,

Since anyone endowed with a body (lus-can) is pervaded by mind/mentation (sems)
There does not exist anyone endowed with mind/mentation (sems-can) who does not [exemplify the process of the] dissipation [of old and worn-out structures, sangs] and the unfolding [of new dynamic regimes, rgyas]

Translating the passage into modern language, the living body is “matter” occupying space according to its degree of intensity. Insofar as this intensity is not perverted by the conceptualizing-reifying intellect, it is what we have called “spirituality” (thugs). Put in more experiential terms, our very corporeality is our spirituality in the sense that both are an expression of a single superordinate potentiality that has become real in our Befindlichkeit (roughly “contextuality” “situatedness”) and attunement to a wholeness into whose fullness we must grow.

(Herbert Guenther, Ecstatic Spontaneity. Saraha’s Three Cycles of Doha

HARRIET GRATWICK: Well, explain epistemology, it’s …

CHARLES OLSON: Oh, how you know. Or the belief that we–that there is knowing. And it was invented by a man named Plato. Episteme is his invention, and it’s one of the most dangerous inventions in the world is the idea that there is such a thing as knowledge. But if you take it the process way, again, to talk like any of us here that comes to this point in the century, [Arthur M.] Young here is wonderful talking how I mean process. I think he loses the other thing, the Real, by saying it, and involving himself with words like “determinism.” But, that’s O.K., I mean one is apt to overfall today because the work is so crucial.

(Under the Mushroom, anthologized in Muthologos Charles Olson Lectures and Interviews)

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Next Stop, Jupiter

Stephen Calhoun, fine artist

Wrong Planet
(S.Calhoun 2015)

Dear Mr. Harrison
the problem of the Ufos is, as you rightly say, a very fascinating one, but it is as puzzling as it is fascinating; since, in spite of all observations I know of, there is no certainty about their very nature. On the other side, there is an overwhelming material pointing to their legendary or mythological aspect. As a matter of fact the psychological aspect is so impressive, that one almost must regret that the Ufos seem to be real after all. I have followed up the literature as much as possible and it looks to me as if something were seen and even confirmed by radar, but nobody knows exactly what is seen. In consideration of the psychological aspect of the phenomenon I have written a booklet about it, which is soon to appear. It is also in the process of being translated into English. Unfortunately being occupied with other tasks I am unable to meet your proposition. Being rather old, I have to economize my energies.

Carl Jung

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Teaching Cartoon, Cave Man

teaching cartoon

Caveman
A caveman seeks revenge on a much larger competitor for the hand of a beautiful cavewoman.
Directed by Carl Gottlieb. Starring Ringo Starr, Dennis Quaid and Shelley Long.

Dr. Puck’s Prejudicial Proposition Number One:

If you step backward in time step by step, eventually every bright idea and every idea falls away.

Azerbaycan Rock Art

Azerbaycan Rock Art

(Genealogy Of Religion) Aside from the usual concerns about over interpretation, some wondered whether there was any justification for assuming that Paleolithic people had an essentially modern aesthetic category which might be called “art.” If they didn’t, it would follow that artistic interpretations of the cave paintings were just that and shed little light on Paleolithic minds.

Frustrated by the sense that we weren’t getting any closer to understanding Paleolithic symbols, some began searching for alternatives. One of the more compelling came from cognitive archaeologist David Lewis-Williams. Having studied rock art around the world, Lewis-Williams noticed that certain kinds of symbols regularly appeared across time and space. This was an enigma, given that the peoples producing these recurring symbols had not been in contact with one another. These symbols were not, in other words, the result of cultural diffusion. Lewis-Williams calls these symbols “entoptic forms”:

entoptic

 

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