Magic Circles, Generative (En)closures, and Kosmic Foam

I've been asked to give a brief presentation at an Integral event in March, and have been thinking for awhile about what to do.  I finally decided on a topic which will involve an elaboration on several themes in my recent trans-lineage spirituality paper.

Magic Circles, Generative (En)closures, and Kosmic Foam:  A Trans-lineage Vision of Spiritual Enactment

For millennia humans have associated the circle with spiritual power and sanctified space: from medicine wheels to mandalas, and from sorcerers' circles to sacred domes. It has been used to evoke feelings of intimacy, belonging, and protection, as well as boundless space, wholeness, and womb-like generativity. In this brief but information-packed presentation, Bruce will explore how several more recent philosophical perspectives -- from Uexküll's biosemiotic bubbles, to Sloterdijk's spherology, to sociobiological and object-oriented notions of autopoietic closure -- can be linked to ancient circle symbolism to generate an integral trans-lineage model of spiritual enactment and a participatory, pluralist topology of sacred spaces. At this time of cultural and spiritual diversification, we are called now more than ever to find skillful new ways of conceptualizing and navigating this complexity, and of integrally honoring the richness and particularity of the many modes of spiritual enactment we now have available to us. Drawing on his own work in this area as well as several of the core philosophical concepts he will introduce, particularly Sloterdijk's metaphor of foam, Bruce will discuss how Integral post-metaphysics and trans-lineage spirituality can be enriched and supported by the vision of participatory enactment and sacred topology that he will invoke here.

(More information about the event will be posted here soon)

Views: 1717

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

As I've said before, you are the bridge to open kennilingus. Now if you can just get some of them to not only come here but actually engage in discussion... Maybe even inform the BAI coordinator about us here, and ask her to refer some of those interested in your talk to take it up  here?

I saw Oz the Great and Powerful last night. Very good with a lot to talk about. For now related to this thread, one of Glinda's powers was protective bubbles. Not sure how to relate that to this discussion yet, just a note.

I almost saw this yesterday -- I wanted to take my son to it -- but he asked me to take him to see The Croods instead.  I'd like to hear how the Oz movie was, from your perspective (and if there are any surprising relations to this topic!).

Just a quick overview: I loved it. Particularly how the con man wizard is redeemed by the belief of others in him. And especially how Glinda is 'good' but is no fool. She sees right through him from the start, understands him and how to use his supposed 'bad' qualities of deception for good purposes. And in the process the wizard comes to see that he too is good, with Glinda's tutelage. With lots of fun and other stuff along the way.

Sounds good - I may try to watch it this upcoming weekend (or soon), before next quarter begins.  Do you see any resonance between this story and the Kumare documentary?

Only superficially. Part of Oz is that given a certain prophesy people (munchkins, etc.) will come to see just about anything as a sign to support their prejudiced beliefs. But what differentiates Oz from that is that Glinda the good uses that prejudice to manipulate mass belief to achieve political ends. Granted they are good ends, the defeat of evil. But the means justify the ends, and the means include deception and illusion and con men.Glinda accepts this, warts and all.

Which reminds me of the use of framing. It is basically a way to manipulate unconscious voting behavior. But progressives use it honestly to gain votes for good policies benefiting all people (including the rich), whereas regressives use it to lie, cheat and steal from the poor to give to the rich.

I decided to post this presentation to Youtube, at the urging of a couple friends.  I had hesitated to do so because it is incomplete.  I only had 18 minutes  to talk and I wasn't able to cover the full topic, even though I tried (as you'll hear from the speed of my words!).  As it turned out, I was mostly able just to set the topic up, introducing some ideas from von Uexkull, Sloterdijk, and others.  After the talk, we had several break-out groups and I was able to get into more specific applications then, but that was not filmed.  Maybe I'll give this talk another time, without the time limit, and will be able to complete it then.  Anyway, here it is:

"So as a holon, a generative enclosure is actually an entire Cube of Space itself and can be see from all of the perspectives of the cube (22 perspectives)."

Exactly. It's the difference between a theory for anything instead of a theory of everything. See this thread as but one example of the difference. I've changed some of my opinions in that thread since I began to study onticology and some of the 'other' (non-MHC) complexity theorists.

Yes, I would agree that a generative enclosure (at least some forms of it) can be seen in terms of holonic principles.  I've been looking at the formation of such enclosures from the points of view primarily of autopoiesis and some of Gendlin's work on body-constituting, but I'd be interested to hear how you see it in relation to the Cube of Space.

There is a clear, already established link between Sloterdijk's work and Latour's, so I am planning to explore generative (en)closures in relation to the interplay between bubbles, networks, and modes of existence (among other things) explored in some of Latour's more recent works.  But an insight I had yesterday, which I'm looking forward to exploring, is that Raimon Panikkar's work on a topological framing of interreligious relations is going to be useful here, as well.  (I'm thinking of his discussions of homeomorphic equivalence, topological transformations (across religious boundaries), etc).  More to come on that soon...

Did either of you watch my video above?

Oh, cool, you picked up that book.  I am planning to get it as well...

Yes, and you're right that it's too much material to jam into 18 minutes. It's more like an entire semester of classwork!

:-) True dat.  It should probably turn into a paper at some point.  I've also been beginning to think how I might bring this set of concerns together with those I address in Sophia Speaks.

Reply to Discussion


What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

This group is for anyone interested in exploring these questions and tracing out the horizons of an integral post-metaphysical spirituality.

Notice to Visitors

At the moment, this site is at full membership capacity and we are not admitting new members.  We are still getting new membership applications, however, so I am considering upgrading to the next level, which will allow for more members to join.  In the meantime, all discussions are open for viewing and we hope you will read and enjoy the content here.

© 2023   Created by Balder.   Powered by

Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service