On the Borderlands between Philosophy and Esotericism: An Interview with Gary Lachman

BY AARON CHEAK, PHD. Gary Lachman first came to the public eye in the late 1970s as a founding member of the seminal new wave/punk group, Blondie. Since the early 1990s, however, he has carved out a unique career as a prolific researcher and writer on the borderlands between philosophy and esotericism. When Gary contacted me about my biographical work on the German poet and Kulturphilosoph, Jean Gebser, I naturally took the opportunity to explore his work on behalf of the International Jean Gebser Society. 

Winter of Origins: A Collaborative Reading of Ever-Present Origin

Dear Gebserians,

I'm excited to announce the "Winter of Origins", a collaborative reading – or re-reading – of Jean Gebser's Ever-Present Origin

Inspired by the conversations between the talks this year at the 45th annual conference, at CIIS, Gebser Society member Marco Morelli approached me with an exciting, new literary project for the digital medium. #LITGEEKS is an online discussion platform and collaborating reading series with the tagline: "An Unusually Hardcore Book club." Perfectly suited for a read of Jean Gebser's Ever-Present Origin.

I'd like to formally invite the Gebser Society to participate in our reading, beginning January 13th and concluding March 23rd, 2016. In short, a Winter of Origins.

Our conversations will take place through Infinite Conversations platform, the #LITGEEKS discussion forum, live weekly Google Hangouts, and interviews on my new podcast show, The Electric Symposium. Gebserians are encouraged to participate.

I see this as a unique opportunity to bring Gebser's primary translated work – EPO – into an exciting, experimental social space, introducing integral scholarship and pedagogy to a new generation of readers and academics. 

To receive updates and get on the email for the book club, register here.

Warmly,

Jeremy D. Johnson

Gebser Society President

Architects of the Integral World: 2015 Conference Recordings

The Jean Gebser Society is pleased to make available "Architects of the Integral World", at The California Institute of Integral Studies, on the conference archive page.

The archive includes video presentations, abstracts and information about the conference theme. Any excluded recordings, as well as full conference papers, will be forthcoming.

Through a combination of art, poetics, mathematics, medicine and philosophy, this year's presentations constellated something true to the spirit of transdisciplinarity so notable in Ever-Present Origin, as well as Gebser's larger body of work. We hope you can glean some inspirited elements of the live conference from this digital archive. 

Consider joining the Jean Gebser Society, and joining our mailing listto keep our growing effort towards an integral pedagogy alive. More announcements to come!

Sincerely,

Jeremy D. Johnson

Gebser Society President

Crisis and Mutation: 2014 Conference Recordings Now Available

The Jean Gebser Society is pleased to make 2014's Gebser Conference, "Crisis and Mutation" at Judson Memorial, available on the conference archive page

The archive includes audio and video presentations, abstracts and information about the conference theme. PDFs of presenter essays are forthcoming. 

While a rather simple matter of recording and publishing was involved, we are nevertheless excited to have the conference live on – asynchronously – through this archive page. We hope you enjoy the presentations and receive something from them.

If you do, consider joining the Jean Gebser Society to keep our growing effort towards an integral pedagogy alive. There is much more to come

Sincerely,

Jeremy D. Johnson

Gebser Society Treasurer

Website Admin

 

Friday Morning of Gebser 2014

Danishes, OJ, boxes and bags. We are on our way into the city to meet the rest of the amazing folks who are presenting at the conference and everyone who is attending. 

Please feel free to follow the proceedings as they develop here, for those unable to attend and those who are simply curious. We will try to blog as frequently as we can!

Preparing last minute adjustments to the programming.

Preparing last minute adjustments to the programming.


2014's programming. Looks great.

2014's programming. Looks great.

Fuel for the Gebserian hard at work.

Fuel for the Gebserian hard at work.

“Never Born, Never Die”: Professor Nicola Masciandaro’s upcoming Keynote Presentation—Gebser 2014

With the 2014 Gebser conference just around the corner,  we would like to formally introduce this year's Keynote speaker, Nicola Masciandaro.

Professor of English at Brooklyn College (CUNY), and a specialist in medieval literature, Nicola's work falls between philosophy, mysticism, and criticism, with special attention to the topics of sorrow, decapitation, and commentary.  

In his Keynote, Nicola takes a critical approach to the problem of individuation and mystical birth in Gebser, and seeks to investigate its aperspectival structure. Gebser is brought into dialogue with more traditional concepts of mystical becoming, as articulated in the writings of figures such fourteenth century Christian mystic, Meister Eckhart, for whom "god shines in man", as well as more contemporary figures such as Meher Baba (1894–1969), who claimed to be a divinely realised avatâra (manifestation of god).  According to thinkers such as these, spiritual evolution follows the pattern of a more radically singular process of self/world-negation. Here,  salvation is individualised through God-realization. 

Nicola's recent publications include "I Am Not Supposed To Be Here: Birth and Mystical Detection," in True Detection, eds. Connole, Ennis, and Masciandaro (Schism, 2014), “Paradisical Pessimism: On the Crucifixion Darkness and the Cosmic Materiality of Sorrow” (Qui Parle, 2014), Sufficient Unto the Day: Sermones Contra Solicitudinem (Schism, 2014), and Dark Nights of the Universe, co-authored with Daniel Colucciello Barber, Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker (NAME, 2013). Current/forthcoming projects include: Floating Tomb: Black Metal, Theory, and Mysticism, co-authored with Edia Connole (Mimesis); Sorrow Of Being; and Dark Wounds of Light, co-authored with Alina Popa. He is founding editor of the journal Glossator: Practice and Theory of the Commentary.

Nicola will be presenting his Keynote on Saturday 18th October 2014, at 10 a.m. The full presentation abstract is provided below.

 

NEVER BORN ... NEVER DIE: 
INDIVIDUATION, MUTATION, AND MYSTICAL BIRTH

Nicola Masciandaro, PhD 

Keynote Presentation, International Jean Gebser Society, Crisis and Mutation, 2014

Jean Gebser’s Ever-Present Origin, in keeping with the seeming paradox of its titular concept, may be said to be saturated with the problem/question of birth to the point of erasure. On the one hand, its understanding of the mutative evolution of consciousness is thoroughly general and collective, sited within the universality of mankind and the scientistic episteme of the human ‘we’. It address our crisis, the crisis of the mutable world we happen to inhabit. From this perspective, the work leaves scant room for the radical asymmetry of individuated coming-to-be and expresses almost nothing of its hypersubjective existential terror. It is difficult to imagine Gebser, in communion with Cioran, either “long[ing] to be free . . . as the stillborn are free” or claiming that lack of “mourning and lamentations” over birth is the best “proof of how far humanity has regressed.” On the other hand, by bringing the mutations of consciousness wholly to bear upon the imperative of the present, Gebser’s work is integrally ordered precisely towards the solution of individual birth, the evaporation of the all-too-specific enigma of one’s being here, now. Its weight places itself squarely upon the singular ‘anyone’ or ‘someone’ who “supersedes ‘beginning’ and ‘end’,” who alone “knows of origin [and] has present, living and dying in the whole.” Like the fact of one’s own being born, the impossible and inevitable event of oneself which makes suicide always-already too late, the question of birth is not elided but rather made absently present in Gebser’s thought. Beginning, then, with the assumption that Ever-Present Origin’s non-treatment of the question of birth represents in these terms a significant form of spiritual refusal or silent negation of birth, my paper investigates the aperspectival structure of the phenomenon of birth by bringing Gebser’s thought into dialogue with more traditional concepts of mystical becoming, in particular those found in the writings of Meister Eckhart and Meher Baba,  according to which spiritual evolution follows the pattern of more radically singular self/world-negation and individualized salvation or God-realization. As birth is a ‘ready-made’ aperspectival and four-dimensional truth par excellence—subjective, objective, both, and neither—so is it precisely the (w)hole one’s leap into which is the next mutation of human consciousness.    

On Poetry and Philosophy: An Interview with Sabrina Dalla Valle

KSP_sdv_cov-2 (2).jpg

Sabrina Dalla Valle, MFA, is the current Vice President of the Gebser Society. She has presented at our conferences since 2009, and co-hosted the 2013 conference at the University of Philosophical Research, where she also teaches a Gebserian approach to creative writing and consciousness. Her book, Seven Days and Nights in the Desert, was released last year via Kelsey Street Press. In the following two-part interview with Anna Soteria Morrison, she discusses her poetic and philosophical influences. In this connection, it is imperative to recognise that Gebser himself was first and foremost a poet, and that it was from his essentially poetic insights into reality that his philosophy emerged as a co-expression. Comments Dalla Valle:

I find this dualistic relationship between poetry and philosophy in your question difficult to connect with ~ because for me they are reciprocals and they mirror one another, so they are found in each other. Build fires to worship the wood, burn wood to worship the fire. This line from one of Susan Stewart’s poems really encapsulates my response.

The full interview is available here:

http://www.kelseyst.com/news/2014/02/17/interview-with-sabrina-dalla-valle-part-1-on-philosophy-and-poetry/

 


Computer Graphics and the Perspectival Mind

Hello Gebserians! 

I sure hope you're finding the new site easy to navigate. While we're working on putting up new content -- as well as getting our bearings -- I thought I'd share with you an interesting article I found on io9 today: "The Forgotten History of CGI."

As it turns out, the origins of CG (computer graphics) have their roots in a classic Renaissance aim: that of mastering the perspectival eye:

The roots of CGI lie in the first mechanical aids to drawing and painting. The earliest of these were developed to help solve a problem every artist has found to be sticky: perspective.

Read the full essay at io9.