Category Archives: psychological anthropology

Discrete Charms

Admit something:
everyone you see, you say to them: “love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud; otherwise
someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us
to connect.

Why not become the one who lives with a full moon
in each eye that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in the world is dying to hear?

(Hafiz)

Thus Adam might have called the animals “by their own names” in two senses. Either he gave them the names that, by some extralinguistic right, were already due them, or he gave them those names we still use on the basis of a convention initiated by Adam. In other words, the names Adam gave the animals are either the names that each animal intrinsically ought to have been given or simply the names that the Name Giver arbitrarily and ad placitum decided to give them. (Umberto Eco, Serendipities, Language and Lunacy)

Natalie Johnson Dance presents: AGEN, Sunday 1:30pm, March 2017 from Natalie Johnson Dance on Vimeo.

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Compare and Conjoin

creativity

Cube-O-Probe – Locate Creativity?

creativity probe

  • From the symbolic potency of the solar system, which generates the sense of depth suggested by McGilchrist, astrology offers us what in neuroscience is called environmental enrichment, in other words, stimulation of the brain by its physical and social surroundings. As an enriched environment for imagining incoming archetypal energies that can feed bio-dynamic entities such as ourselves, astrology stimulates the brain through its imagination of electrical, chemical, and network charges, arousing us to satisfy our needs for: 1) attachment; 2) control; 3) self identity; 4) pleasure. With astrology these needs can be met on the cosmic and personal scale of an imagination that transforms presumably random events into the narrative of a soul’s journey through the space/time of earth. (Kenneth Warren)
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Water and Animals and Humans

Ganesha_Wallpaper

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


earth-water-distribution-bar
56ca59f3c72b793dfcc839b6f5070378

urban-water-cycle

“I like the rain, because I know it will always end.” [Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh]

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Fission and Fusion

Stephen Calhoun Cleveland Ohio USA photographer

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.”

TW-Manual-Soul-Massager,-Horizontal-&-Vertical-Axis(1200px)2017-Stephen-CAlhoun

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.

TW-ROLLING-&-TUMBLING-48x48(2017)Stephen-Calhoun-Cleveland-Ohio-USA

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.

artiststephencalhoun.com

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drawn or repulsed, instant realization of sympathy or antipathy

TOOLS OF IMAGINATION from Kristyna on Vimeo.

I like mathematics because it is not human and has nothing particular to do with this planet or with the whole accidental universe – because like Spinoza’s God, it won’t love us in return. ~Bertrand Russell, 1912

4SymbolsofYWHY

1.01 'Circles Within Circles' from Simon F A Russell on Vimeo.

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Zeitgeist, Autumn 2016

z2-MakeAmeriKKAGreat

Whoever the “rapist of Persephone,” whether it be Cephisus or Dionysus–and the Eleusinian Mysteries were carried out near the river Kephisos, indicating a link between the two gods–the disordering attack must be reexperienced and lived through, else the redemption of soul will not progress. The way is as much through chaos and death as it is through ecstacy and joy. (Nathan Schwartz-Salant, Narcissism and Character Transformation, p145.)

But, when the narcissistic structure escapes its trial, and the public figure soaks up the larger-than-life projections, projections based in the similar refusal or resistance to soul-making regression, then there is no depressive breakthrough, there is just the steady march to psychzoid splitting.

z2-howtoz2-GOPoops

W.H. Auden:
Patriots? Little boys,
obsessed by Bigness,
Big Pricks, Big Money, Big Bangs

z2-Crone-Power

Without a blow to inflated phallic pride no wisdom is possible. – Eugene Monick

z2-systemfailure

There’s a lot of trending collective identifications streaming wildly about as the USA aims to land its messy electoral democracy on the landing strip November 8. I ask myself what the point of my own research (into folk political economies cast under the light of archetypal psychology,) is when I also sense that it is almost pointless to reveal my abductions under the current circumstances.

That the potential battle of all against all is fantasized by ‘white nationalist manly types’ as arriving at an extremely violent battle of all against all, at a literal civil war, because this is the only way the joined forces of global finance, Democratic and GOP party establishments, non-white races and ethnicities, feminists, so-called social justice  warriors, cultural marxists, environmentalists, may be finally defeated, stitches together a prospective tyranny of what is, by definition, a minority.

Practically, then what? Psychologically, might such warriors actually contemplate being killed for such a cause?

I remind myself that those with the time to fantasize always are pointing at the conflict between different utopian wishes for be-all and end-all social engineering. On a blog I have been visiting for over a decade, the ethos of its main commenters decries the utopian dreams of Mrs. Clinton ‘and her kind,’ without any ability to sense that all anti-utopias are nevertheless prescriptions for utopian engineering.

Those utopian dreams are, obviously, projections. The infantile /nobody is going to tell me what to do anymore/ is joined in our body politic with the masculine’s damaged feel for its lost potency.

So it seems that the ultimate fantasy is to return to manly swordsmanship. Not in the least incidentally, this mimics the dream and aims of another ripping collective of damaged men, daesh/ISIS.

‘obsessed by bigness, big wins, “winning so much winning will become boring.” Tyranny of the chaotic masculine, of the paradoxically powerful impotent tiny men, would beckon, except this collective thrust is about to be turned back.

Whether this particular collective complex will turn back into its self enough to own this new trial, and to begin to individuate, is the deeper question.

Numerous complex specifics of the current societal context in the USA aren’t supportive of this psychological shifting in the underlying currents.

(To me, there are significant questions about whether the archetypal framework for understanding conspecifics of collective change can actually do developmental duty here.)

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Another Vector of Contemporary Cultural Intrapsychic Polarization

UFOs

July 7: www.inquisitr.com/3283007/ohio-ufo-chased-by-military-helicopters-gigantic-un-earthly-ufo-filmed-over-cincinnati/

Just the other day, I seem to have taken a photograph in our garden of a UFO no bigger than a marble.

Garden-UFO

So if Hillary Clinton is running for president, why is she talking about UFOs?

Part of the answer may be that the Clintons have ties to a network of influential people who have lobbied the government to disclose the truth about UFOs. This includes the late millionaire Laurence Rockefeller (who funded John Mack’s research) and John Podesta, the chairman of Clinton’s campaign and a long-time disclosure advocate.

But there may also be a broader cultural cycle at work. Sociologists such as Christopher Partridge have suggested that disenchantment leads to re-enchantment. While secularisation may have weakened the influence of traditional churches, this doesn’t mean that people have become disenchanted sceptics.

Instead, many have explored alternate spiritualities that churches had previously stigmatised as ‘superstitions’ (everything from holistic healing to Mayan prophecies). The rise of scientific authority may have paradoxically paved the way for UFO mythology.

A similar change may be happening in the political sphere where the language of critical thinking has been turned against the scientific establishment. In the 1960s, Congress deferred to the Condon Report.

Today, conservative politicians regularly challenge ideas like climate change, evolution and the efficacy of vaccines. These dissenters never frame their claims as ‘anti-science’ but rather as courageous examples of free inquiry.

Donald Trump may have been the first candidate to discover that weird ideas are now an asset instead of a liability. In a political climate where the language of reason is used to attack the authority of science, musing over the possibility of UFOs simply doesn’t carry the stigma that it used to.

Joseph P. Laycock, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Texas State University.

excerpt: The Reason Why People Are Believing In UFOs Again

JungUFO

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 letter to The New Republic’s Gilbert Harrison (1957)

The Symbol of the Hybrid Human/Alien Child in the Abduction Phenomenon: Rebirthing within the Psyche and the Psychosomatic Imagination
Robert J. Williams (pdf)

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Body Acting Virtually I.

Interaction-Design.org Youtube channel

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Forced Choice

Forced-Choice

In sixty seconds,

(1) Pick your favorite.

(2) Pick your least favorite.

LearningCycle

Experiential Learning:
Fourth Annual Experiential Learning Conference June 16-17, 2016

Hunting and Gathering In the Cleveland Art Museum
(Thursday June 16, 1:45pm) facilitated by Stephen Calhoun, squareONE:experiential toolmakers

Hunting and Gathering sets eager learners to the playful of task of exploring and
discovering consequential relationships between their personal learning goal and novel data able to be hunted down and gathered in the galleries or environs of the Cleveland Art Museum. This experiential tool blends a model of collaborative experiential learning with a framework for deliberately animating a learning space.


Here listed are several aspects of experience and learning I am fascinated by, and, drawn to theorize about, in a most informal way. Other times, I rope in subjects and do experiments!

One–entanglements of contexts and their contextualizations; abductive contextualizing
Two–personal culture and the geneaology of individualized knowledge
Three–hidden contingencies, webs of uncertainty, biosemiotic fragility
Four–novelties, serendipities, oracles, synchrons

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Art Meets Science & Spirituality in a Changing Economy

1990 Amsterdam

Published on Nov 26, 2013
Part 1: “FROM FRAGMENTATION TO WHOLENESS” This film features the Dalai Lama speaking on the nature of mind and on his personal feelings as leader of the Tibetans in exile, the physicist David Bohm, who explains his theory of the “implicate order”; and interviews with artist Robert Rauschenberg and Russian economist Stanislav Menshikov. Artists, scientists, spiritual leaders and economists gathered in Amsterdam in 1990 to explore the emerging paradigm of a holistic world view and the implications for a global economy. The five day confernce was inspired by the artists Joseph Beuys and Robert Filliou, and manifested by Louwrien Wijers, who called it a “mental sculpture.”
Part 1/5: “FROM FRAGMENTATION TO WHOLENESS” (Dalai Lama, David Bohm, Robert Rauschenberg)
Part 2/5: “THE CHAOTIC UNIVERSE” (Ilya Prigogine, John Cage, Huston Smith)
Part 3/5: “CRISIS OF PERCEPTION” (Francisco Varela, Mother Tessa Bielecki)
Part 4/5: “THE TRANSORMING WORLD” (Rupert Sheldrake, Sogyal Rinpoche, Lawrence Weiner)
Part 5/5: “THE SHIFTING PARADIGM” (Marina Abramovic, Fritjof Capra, Raimon Panikkar)
PLAYLIST “Art Meets Science & Spirituality in a Changing Economy”

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Liberating the Stars From Space & Time

©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. Oj?da

[The] principle the map is not the territory and name is not the thing named made famous by Alfred Korzybski, strikes at many levels. It reminds us in a general way that when we think of coconuts or pigs, there are no coconuts or pigs in the brain. But in a more abstract way, Korzybski’s statement asserts that in all thought or perception or communication about perception, there is a transformation, a coding, between the report and the thing reported, the Ding an sich. Above all, the relation between the report and that mysterious thing reported tends to have the nature of a classification, an assignment of the thing to a class. Naming is always classifying, and mapping is essentially the same as naming.

Korzybski was, on the whole, speaking as a philosopher, attempting to persuade people to discipline their manner of thinking. But he could not win. When we come to apply his dictum to the natural history of human mental process, the matter is not quite so simple. The distinction between the name and the thing named or the map and the territory is perhaps really made only by the dominant hemisphere of the brain. The symbolic and affective hemisphere, normally on the right-hand side, is probably unable to distinguish name from thing named. It is certainly not concerned with this sort of distinction. It therefore happens that certain nonrational types of behavior are necessarily present in human life. We do, in fact, have two hemispheres; and we cannot operate somewhat differently from the other, and we cannot get away from the tangles that that difference proposes. (Every Schoolboy Knows – Gregory Bateson, from Mind and Nature)

Part Two of Two

Part One: Imaginal Cybernetics, the Demonic Daemon, Deep Play

1. “I can’t explain it, really.”

In my life I’ve observed, even been thoroughly entangled, in very hard-to-explain, and, dare I say, magical, stuff. In the catalog of life experiences, there would need to be a chapter devoted to spectacular instances of truly strange occurrences.

However, apparently by my innate disposition, the grandest insight I’ve gained into any of the specific events was not an insight at all. It was a ‘grand meta,’ and so only it remains one of the several anchors to what I call my flatland.

Grand Meta One: Everything that is experienced earns at least one account.

Actually, every experience earns a first person account plus any number–stretching to an endless amount–of secondary accounts. Accounts are stretched between those of an uninhibited type or, at the other extreme, of the severely limited–qualified–kind. Accounts utilize any useful means. Such means are not required to meet any standard of commensurability. It is critical to recognize that the subject may not be able to access an account.

This brings us to Grand Meta Two: Any single account is always related to multiple possible ramifications.

However, I have in mind a synthetic definition of ramification. Ramification is a consequence that grows out of an account.

Out of our certainties, ramifications grow.

2.

astrological chart

It was in sometime in the mid 1980’s, maybe around 1985, that my first wife, thought it would be interesting to have a good friend of hers, an anthroposophical astrologer trained in the introspective tradition of Rudolph Steiner, do my birth chart. I was in my early thirties, a hippy, not really committed to anything much besides the stuff of our carefree life.

I read the fourteen pages of the astrologer’s decidedly psychological reading. It all rang true. I was unconcerned about any account for the reasons the accurate reading followed from a technique, the astro-geometric system of astrology. I asked Benson, the astrologer, why the reading seemed so well matched, he made a point to emphasize that this is the result of his contemplation on the chart more than it was the result of the content of the chart.

This chart and interpretation has always struck me as cogent and valuable. I’ve returned to it many times over thirty years. It is a canny statement of seeming astro-psychoanalysis. There’s a secondary account possible, itself a ramification grown from the stuff of my chart’s inception, that supposes the reading is a very keen parlor trick, along the lines of stringing common diagnostic abductions together after one learns something about the subject’s narrative.

That secondary account does not prevent the reading today from evoking my personal response. I tell you, it’s a good reading. It’s apt. Is it more apt than an arbitrary interpretation might be? Who knows? I can’t explain it.

3. Architectural Jello

Universes-two-kinds

4.

People have over millennia experienced that there is, to give it one over-arching heading, a world-behind-the-world. Obviously, then, there are countless primary accounts of: there being a world hidden beyond the world we can easily grasp. There are the differential meta accounts for how the grasp that is effective in one world is incapable in this other world-behind-the-world.

For the sake of keeping this very down-and-dirty meditation brisk, call the naturally material world the front world and this other world the back world. Clearly, one class of consequences that grows out of primary accounts of the back world, questions the existence of the back world. (In noting this, nevertheless, I understand that there are positive primary accounts. These, in referring to any object of experience, earns an account.) Still, we know nowadays the accountings for the back world are numerous and multivarious. Most such accounts are not compatible with each other.

For example, there are the secondary accounts ramified as a consequence of the experience of the back worlds given by the primary accounts of the Abrahamic religions. These secondary accounts constitute the various theisms made explicit in both the formal philosophizing and the folk philosophizing, and in the historical social-constructive norming, norming discoverable as consequential ramifications of social experience and its accountings. Narrow paths and deviations arise out of the prolix socialized accounts.

There are private accounts too.

When the Pope speaks of Angels, an account is earned. Possible ramifications tumble outward too. The Pope of course means real angelic beings existing where angels exist.

  • Angels are creatures made by God. They are pure spirits and personal beings. (Each angel is a person.) They are both powerful and intelligent. Note: Some people are inclined to think that the word “person” applies only to human beings. On the contrary, “person” applies to each of the three divine Persons of the Holy Trinity, to angels and to humans. (Catholic Teaching On Angels)

chain_of_being

No single theology or cosmology characterizes the New Age. Rather, the New Age is united in rejecting the dominant theology of western monotheism, most explicitly Christianity and Judaism, though implicitly Islam as well, through an emphasis on the individual rather than religious authority embodied in institutions. This attitude, a key trait of American metaphysical religion, stands in contrast to the cardinal tenets of the traditional Christian and Jewish theology: a single transcendent, omniscient, omnipotent deity as described in the Bible, alongside a view of the cosmos as created and sustained by such a deity.

The most common theologies within the New Age envision God as within each individual. Though New Agers tend to avoid categorizing themselves along traditional theological categories, scholars label such New Age beliefs monism, pantheism, and panentheism. Monism declares that the summation of the entire universe is the divine, and that each individual within the cosmos represents a small sliver of god. Pantheism upholds a similar position, that god is within all things. Panentheism postulates that all things are in god, but that god transcends the sum of all these things. All three philosophies lead their New Age adherents to envision the self as the seat of the divine. New Agers tend to envision god as impersonal and diffuse, part of all living things. Such a theology enables New Age practitioners to see the divine in humans, nature, the earth, and inanimate objects, though some New Agers limit god to living beings. Such a holistic approach to the divine helps explain the environmental ethos that also characterizes so much of the New Age movement.

This cosmology also explains why New Agers seek self-development and self-evolution. New Age practitioners generally agree that all individuals must focus on an ultimate goal of developing the god-aspect within themselves. The various practices of the movement, what some scholars have called spiritual technologies, aim to develop the self and bring it into awareness of its nature as divine. Such spiritual technologies-for example yoga, channeling, aura-reading, and crystal work-aim to assist the practitioner in self-development. *

A less popular theology within the New Age movement envisions a universe filled with multiple divinities. Scholars call such a position polytheism, though few New Agers would themselves use this characterization. Polytheism appears most frequently amongst New Age practitioners who also identify with Paganism, since the latter religious tradition assumes polytheism as a foundation. Some New Agers envision the world as filled with two deities, the cosmic ideals of male and female, whereas others believe in entire pantheons of divinities. However, like their coreligionists who accept pantheism or monism, New Agers who adopt a polytheistic theology reject the dominant western religious paradigm. Ultimate Reality and Divine Beings – Benjamin E. Zeller – Patheos

* [plus: astrology]

The New Age Cults

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Cutting to Pairs

One needs the correct tool for the job of cutting into the fabric of conceptualization.

One needs the correct tool for the job of cutting into the fabric of conceptualization.

Toward the end of Formal, Transcendental, & Dialectical Thinking Errol E. Harris, writes:

(2) The ultimate character of the universal whole

Development of the last topic would naturally lead into reflection upon the second question raised for discussion. Is the universal totality merely a logical schema? Is it a spatiotemporal or a taxonomic structure? Or is it at once all these things and more besides – a living, self-conscious, special being? Of course the first two descriptions must be readily admitted, but they cannot be exhaustive. No dialectical system such as I’ve posited can be limited to a mere logical schema, or even to an evolutionary series extended in space and time. The dialectical relations require that the prior phases be retained sublated in their successors, even though they are superseded by them. Equally, the only complete, the only full reality which the prior phases enjoy is the realized actuality of their potentialities in the higher forms. (Harris, 1987)

Harris identifies at least two pairs in this paragraph. His intention is not to pair the aspects, rather he is working toward the inherent self-specification of the universal reality. Yet, the pairs are specified once the cutter operates on the conception.

squareONE learning

There are two ‘matrical’ operations that enable two four-fold relationships.

squareone learning

squareone learning

How would you characterize the crucial differences, or otherwise differentiate the effects, of the two forms?

Also see: The Quadralectic Archtecture, The Theory of Quadralectic Architecture Marten Kuilman, 2013

Hints.

The “squaring of the circle” is one of the many archetypal motifs which form the basic patterns of our dreams and fantasies. But it is distinguished by the fact that it is one of the most important of them from the functional point of view. Indeed, it could even be called the archetype of wholeness. (C. G. Jung. Mandalas, 1955)

Hevajra deity

Hevajra deity

squareone learning

Kufic Azif – The meeting of the Old Ones and the Hidden  Ones

 

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What Is Your Personal Culture?

culture-contextOne view of the reduction to practice, or to application.

In the fall of 1968 I entered ninth grade. I was, up to ninth grade, a lackadaisical student. What was at the time termed social studies, and english, were my favorite subjects. However, I was dreamy and had not internalized the point of it all. At the same time I had spent a good chunk of 1964-1966 reading/skimming through my family’s 1962 World Book Encyclopedia. All sorts of stuff fascinated me and I was a voracious reader.

Here I am describing experience that began to gather together the elements of my personal culture.  (This was happening in the First Order of my self-constitution, because at the time I knew nothing about culture or intentionality!)

Late in September 1968, the head of the experimental program that had been implemented for ninth graders at Roxboro Junior High, a chain-smoking professorial type named Jim McGuinness–teachers smoked in the classroom in this era–asked me into his office, where also sat an english teacher, Ron Palladino.

The shorter version of this meeting was that Mr. McGuinness requested Mr. Palladino

“Take Stephen under his wing and support in any way Stephen’s quest for knowledge while also helping Stephen organize particular presentations which will verify his learning.”

(His directive to his colleague was something like this.)

Oh, I went to classes too. Yet, the eventual upshot was: ninth grade was my single all-star year in the sweep of my formal education. I aced everything and, moreover, I learned a lot and learned I love learning.

One year later my parents had managed to leverage this stellar performance into my admission to Hawken School, a college preparatory day school. I did well in everything but the two subjects that came to thrash my transcript, spanish and math.

But, with the exception of an art teacher and a cross country coach, I was subject to educative mechanics which neither served: my narcissism, or my intrinsic motivation, or my developing culture. I learned mountains more from reading my way independently through a variety of subjects, until, I came onto my social personality in the counter-culture milieu devised by the affluent sons of the professional class, constituting a hippie tribe at prep school. Mainly, I was bored and turned off by the first institutional fault, no teacher cared to massage my narcissism by taking my wide-ranging fascinations seriously.

I loved learning on my own,  loved learning with customized support, but, I didn’t get school. And I surely didn’t understand that the purpose of schooling is potentially fulfilled when the student gets school. Nor did the fear factor over school performance and adult outcomes introduced into the mix by my professional parents take hold. Nor did either ever ask about or cared to understand my motivations. I arrested my development in one direction yet liberated it in another dimension.

All of these elements are crucial aspects of what is today, at sixty, my own personal culture. In turn, my personal culture reflects how it came to be, and, what are its main and side and untravelled roads.

My own culture soon evoked the independent, wandering, perennial student, and this in turn is the ocean underneath the present-day experimenter, theorist, artist, and, colleague.

As a practitioner, and taking my lead from Jim McGuinness, it is required groundwork, when possible, to learn what are some of the cultural features of the learner. Practitioners carry their own unique culture into the situation of practice, and, every such situation also instantiates the culture of its subjects, those who are the unique individuals come to find themselves in the specific situation.

Where the tips of educator and learner intersect is the point at where the twined reduction of the total genetic systems of experience, learning, knowledge, and personal culture of both persons comes together and, out of these now entangled wellsprings, there is newly constituted a co-creative unique cultural production–so-to-speak.

Slides from my recent presentation at the quarterly EL-COP session.

No matter how complicated the background of practice may be, at the point of application there is a reduction to application-in-situ in the ad-mixture of the now entangled unque cultures of practitioner/client.

In the example of one-on-one practice there would be the point of contact constituting the reduction, and, underneath this contact, are two vast generative oceans of prior experience and learning.

The key question able to excavate personal culture, echoing the pragmatic turn of William James and John Dewey, is: What interests you?

Three schema purloined via google image search that suggest to me vectors for investigating personal culture, and this includes the kind of auto-ethnography a person can do for themselves, about their self.

de-reconstruct-learning

Bell's quadrants

Bell’s quadrants

8 Ways of Aboriginal Learning

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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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Moon, Other Side, Sound

Moon Gathering
Eleanor Wilner, 1937

And they will gather by the well,
its dark water a mirror to catch whatever
stars slide by in the slow precession of
the skies, the tilting dome of time,
over all, a light mist like a scrim,
and here and there some clouds
that will open at the last and let
the moon shine through; it will be
at the wheel’s turning, when
three zeros stand like paw-prints
in the snow; it will be a crescent
moon, and it will shine up from
the dark water like a silver hook
without a fish–until, as we lean closer,
swimming up from the well, something
dark but glowing, animate, like live coals–
it is our own eyes staring up at us,
as the moon sets its hook;
and they, whose dim shapes are no more
than what we will become, take up
their long-handled dippers
of brass, and one by one, they catch
the moon in the cup-shaped bowls,
and they raise its floating light
to their lips, and with it, they drink back
our eyes, burning with desire to see
into the gullet of night: each one
dips and drinks, and dips, and drinks,
until there is only dark water,
until there is only the dark.

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Maslow + Cube-O-Probe Mashup

MaslowC-o-P

Right hand column is what I term a totem. Cube were randomly drawn in a bottom-to-top order. The cubes were next placed against the basic classes of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This creates novel, and other types, of pairings.

Question 1: what kind of pairs are these kinds of pairs?

Question 2: what does each pair assert?

Bonus Question: What potential for learning is neuro-phenomenologically encoded in pairs–such as, these kinds of pairs? Simple version of this question; What are the ways we may get at the assertions of each pair?
note to self:
Coupling
Congruent Pair
Incongruent Pair
Novel Pair
Dynamic Pair
Significant Pair
Dichotomy
Opposite
Polarity
Pure Dialectic
Spiral Dialectic
Transitive Dialectic
Replacement Dialectic
Modal Dialectic
Abductive Dialectic
Ecstatic Dialectic

 

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As Below, So Above

epiphanium

My essay, Liberating the Stars From Space & Timewhen completed. will complete the narrative concerned with how I came to necessarily etch a limit to my philosophical ability, and, in doing so, squish thousands of years of astrology into tools able to exist in my flatland.

These tools do not either make predictions or anchor person and possibility to a priori requisites. On the other hand, in future experimental philosophical research, I will attempt to show to some greater degree how these flatlander’s astro-psychological tools connect up with other over-arching concerns of mine, serendipity in adult development, the praxis of polarity and paradox, and the ‘action’ pragmatics given in the third order human/social cybernetics.

Until this essay is ready-to-roll, there’s a new page here that skates over the surface of my promethean poke, Cybernetic Liberation of Astrology.

zodiac_young_anim

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Illich On Water

Ray Winslow: Illich was deeply opposed to being recorded, on audio tape or film. “Modern-day pornography,” he called it. But yes, we are lucky to have this short clip of such an extraordinary thinker and human being.

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Basics

Four Elements

Four personal findings coordinate my global sensemaking. Each is not taken to be a fact, rather each is taken as a fact. Each is the result of prior revisions.

Number One: As one steps conceptually steps back through human history each human abstraction and every human idealism falls away.

(Take that “information scientist” Dr. Gitt!)

God's Baking

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Sam Harris Solves the Problem of Islamic Faith

Shortly after viewing the intensely puerile tag team tussle betwixt Affleck/Kristof/Steele and Maher/Harris (on Real Time With Bill Maher, October 3rd,) I knew it would take a little while, but that I would soon get an email sent from the ramparts of the Integral Empire pointing out that the Real Time combatants just don’t get religion like the Wilberians in actuality do get it.

Sure enough, on the 18th, Dustin DiPerna weighed in on The Daily Evolver (email newsletter) with Bridging the Chasm: Sam Harris, Ben Affleck, and a Needed Dose of Integral Theory. In turn, although the link back is not available in the newsletter, Mr. DiPerna contributed a longer article to Integral World, the safehouse for heterodox views of the integral. Finally, at The Daily Evolver itself is Jeff Salzman’s article/podcast Dog and God.

Predictably, came the appeal to the integral framework’s notion of levels in the flux of person and religious system.

DiPerna: Islam, like all of our world’s great religious traditions, is enacted according to the specific levels of development of the actors involved. To be sure, Islam has a particular shape and flavor that has consistency throughout all interpretations. Folks like Harris tend to emphasize the consistent dimensions of faith, often intentionally highlighting the aspects that many consider the most challenging to stomach, as a methodology to provoke or even dismiss entire traditions as “bad ideas”. But just as each tradition has a flavor and shape itself, it is equally true that every human being has a lens and worldview that brings forth particular elements of the tradition according to the world that he or she can see. There is not one version of Islam that is either “Good” or “Bad” but there are at least five versions of Islam, all dependent upon specific levels of interpretation. Each of these levels is not arbitrary. The levels are consistent across traditions and can be correlated with very specific stages of psychological development.

Whether we use the work of Harvard researcher James Fowler’s Stages of Faith or the early models of developmental progression found in the works of Jean Gebser, we see a very similar metric that can be used to explore five basic levels of development. These levels can be referred to using the shorthand terms: magic (Stage 1), mythic (Stage 2), rational (Stage 3), pluralistic (Stage 4), and integral (Stage 5). Each level has particular characteristics and hallmarks of how it shows up in the world. Furthermore, each level has both moderate and extremist orientations.

If an interpretation is dependent, and decisively dependent upon the lens and worldview discoverable at the scale of the individual–and this is implied by religion enacted according to the specific levels of development of the actors involved–then there are as many versions of a religion at such a scale as there are actors.

This follows from DiPerna’s organic analysis that uses the blunt conceptions, via Jean Gebser, of integral analysis. A reader such as myself then can anticipate the arrival of the prescriptions.

DiPerna. Integral orientations (as with all later stages) sees the entire spectrum of growth and development. In doing so, this stage of religious orientation seeks to build bridges connecting various levels of interpretation. Understanding that everyone starts the developmental process at stage 1, this level sees the importance of building conveyor belts of potential growth and development in each tradition. Rather than merely sitting in a circle in dialogue (as the Pluralistic level might do) the integral stage combines discernment and compassion acknowledging that some views are broader, more compassionate and more inclusive than others.

In his podcast, Dog and God, Integral insider Jeff Salzman will get to this same Stage 5. (His discussion of religion in the context of stage of development begins at 11m into the podcast. download )

A reader such as myself, (having followed along with the Integral framework since 1979,) can anticipate the arrival of the prescription.

DiPerna. Rather, what is needed is the critical comprehension that individuals, with different levels of development, are enacting Islam (and all other religious traditions) according to their own worldviews and levels of development. And even more importantly, we must come to the understanding that there are paths that can be highlighted that can help individuals move along that developmental spectrum from magic, to mythic, to rational, to pluralistic, to integral versions of each tradition. As development unfolds, interpretations of faith move from being more restrictive, ego-centric and ethno-centric in view to orientations that more compassionate, open, and world-centric.

Sam Harris, transcript of the clip: 

There are hundreds of millions of Muslim, who are nominal Muslims, who don’t take the faith seriously, who don’t want to kill apostates, who are horrified by ISIS, and we need to defend these people, prop them up, and let them reform Islam.

Harris’s view is obviously crude and unreal, and, for someone who spins dimes into bullion on the anti-mythic religion trail, his prescription is shockingly and shamelessly a product of his being deeply ignorant about what religions generally are about, and how religions come to change–let alone, be reformed.

Salzman’s cop from DiPerna is less crude but is no better:

Integral teacher and scholar Dustin DiPerna, also inspired by the Maher/Harris/Affleck flap, wrote a terrific essay for Integral Life on how development trumps religion.

Were Salzman, DiPerna, and Harris deep critics of their own biases, I’d have some hope for the development of better prescriptions with regard to the problem of religiosity and its variable contexts. Although, I don’t know of anybody in the post-conventional community who is so devoted to such radical solutions that he or she is willing to evangelize for free, directly to the target audience. As far as I can tell, Harris mostly preaches his degenerate prescriptions for religion to people who already have ejected themselves from religion’s clutches, or, have little experience with religion.

It would be quite remarkable for it to someday be demonstrated to be the true case that religions actually are driven to evolve in the direction promoted by the Integral idealization, an idealization itself rooted in the nowadays diffuse and defused transpersonal and noetic counter-culture of the late sixtes and early seventies. Wilber’s own philosophy soon enough came to be reactionary, constitute a logo-therapeutics, realize a messianic brand and industry, and engage a magnificently one-sided, touchy but no feely, developmental track today termed the Super Human Operating System. Could this be the inkling of the first world post-religion?

This is to suggest that those higher Integral stages are themselves geared to enlighten, but, at the same time, in the shadow of those later, higher stages, are currents strong enough to evoke the clearly promethean demiurge that supposes the point of a human life is superior development, and, this is given so as to, among many effects, trump religion, blind the religious as it were by the light of higher consciousness, bend the lower stage aspirational wills by contact with consciousness liberated from its worldly objects.

This leads to the chicken/egg problem that can bias investigation of religion. This problem is in extremis in the Integral milieu. The problem clearly comes to the surface when, for example, Harris offers a potential for reform of Islam to be caused in the crucible of ambivalence. I take this lightly to be a person speaking about changing something he is innocent of. Do we understand what the amiable endpoint of Islam will be, from being able to conjure a Fifth Stage?

I consider the Integral view on religion to be largely incapable as a hermeneutical tool. Still, it would be a remarkable coincidence if it turns out Ken Wilber has in fact discovered the optimal stages of human development, and these, as DiPerna states, have come to trump religion!

Harris? Salzman? DiPerna? Wilber? Does such a person carry close to them a criticism of their own prescription? After all, at least with all the starry-eyed advocates for centauric development, it can be presumed he or she has developed powerful tools with which to deconstruct and parse via the AQAL, and further analyze, and, process via the ironic turn, the beneficial and costly ramifications of their own prescription, and such prescriptions would be born from their own experience, biases, expertise, and ignorance.

The complexity of human and social phenomena was long ago subsumed by the abject claim, given here by DiPerna, “Integral orientations (as with all later stages) sees the entire spectrum of growth and development.”  Certainly, as a social cyberneticist and Batesonian, the analytic operating methodologies for systematically evaluating spectrums of growth and development as expressed in Wilber’s own body of work is amusingly and ironically reductive, naively one-sided, rarely counter-factually argued in a very spotty literature, and, is shamelessly innocent of the apparently dull details of, to name two gigantic fields of study, psychology and religion.  So, you say “entire” and I hear: gigantic.

There was a time around the turn of the century when Ken Wilber’s vision for the Integral Theory was that it needed adherents to go into the academy and become better schooled and eventually some exchange and synergy and informed evolution on both ‘sides’ might result. But, then stuff happened, and Wilber didn’t ever lead this charge. Instead, he built with help, the Integral Technologies, technologies just recently termed the Super Human OS.

Install this OS and trump really old stuff?

schuon_esoteric_exoteric

Meanwhile, neo-traditionalist, ‘not-of-the-world,’ radical Takfiri Salafism, can’t be understood to center Islam, but, those particular jihadi offshooters are on an intensely devotional mission to convert the unbeliever everywhere, or be martyred making the attempt.

I doubt a unitarian-like revolt from the fringes could make a difference, Mr. Harris.

My own prescription only has to do with what anybody might decide to do in taking initial steps for the purpose of understanding any complex human matter, such as religion, or a religion.

First, how do you identify what your tool set will be?

What are the given problems and opportunities given by where you start your investigation from?

What are the nature of your biases ?

What frameworks and tools for knowledge/sense-making are congenial or seem to carry a prospect for intrinsic motivation?

What do you need to know firstly?

Where will you start, and why start there?

How will you gather up resources and mentors?

What will be the qualitative measure of your inevitable partial understanding?

What will you not understand if you are unwilling to “do” or experience the religion?

Second, speaking very broadly, there are fields for investigation of religion, and religions. For the anthropologist, religions are largely in the local context of historical and present-day development and concrete practice at the small scale where individual, family, community practices, beliefs, representations, imperatives and prohibitions are able to be studied. How is this all to be understood to be a driver and sustainer of, or otherwise support, individual and group actions, practices, beliefs, knowledge?

For sociologist, religions are largely in the larger scale context given by how institutions and relationships between social groups come to bear upon both local practice and the organization of local practices, beliefs, representations, imperatives and prohibitions into the larger social scales, and, organizational practices and routines, of a society or well-defined group. How is this all to be understood as a driver and sustainer of institutions and their practices?

For modern historians, the development of a religion asserts how a religion came to center or otherwise instantiate crucial social impacts and changes at the scale of community or tribe or group or nation or region or continent or planet, and, at all of those scales altogether.

Psychologically or social-psychologically, the nature of religion refers to its aiding cognitive cum psychological organization of individual and intrapsychic and intersubjective and group: identity, meaningfulness, symbolic systems, inheritable interpretation of history, ethics, birth/life/death, family, theories of mind (or consciousness,) development, aspiration, and relations to the profound objects and possibilities larger than one’s own single mortal self. In a psycho-anthropology, how is this all to be understood to be a driver and sustainer of, or otherwise support, individual and group actions, practices, beliefs, knowledge?

There are also many other fields and disciplines, like philosophy of religion, plus, all the various fields possess lots of disciplinary subsets.

My gloss here is intended to sketch lots of choices, showcase complexity. Also, this gloss supposes all sorts of tacit relations and subject matters between the disciplinary fields. Obviously, I recognize my own investigations are at the level of what is called the ‘folk,’ and so I also recognize whatever I do happen to know is more lightly disciplined and more subject to error than that of most masterful experts.

As far as I know, most of the thrust of Integral investigators is inexpert too. There is to my knowledge not a single deeply informed integral treatment on the subject of religion, (or on any other subject for that matter!)

I sense the deep irony unintentionally embedded in the various Integral prescriptions.

It is clear to me that even if the post-religion implicit in the higher stages of Integral development drives the good will of those who urge upon Islam reform for the sake of Islam evolving to become trumped by the Integral (!), the various Integral self-proclaimed scholars do not yet seem to me to be at all conversant with religion as a social scientific object of study, let alone conversant with Islam proper.

As for Bill Maher, I enjoy his New Rules, but he is, in the main, an asshat and charlatan.

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