Featured in Evolve Magazine

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I’m pleased to share a preview of my latest publication in Evolve: Magazine for Consciousness and Culture. As always, it is an honor to be featured in their magazine.

German readers: please do check it out!

My writing is a response to the prompt: “Does the new media call for a new consciousness?”

It was a great question, and I’m thankful that the editors accepted my wordy statement.

You can read the (original) English version I sent them right here:

 

 

The great media theorist Marshall McLuhan declared that with the advent of electricity, the age of print media—in which one word follows another in sequence—was over. The electric age, now the age of New Media, produced the greatest reversal in cultural evolution by retrieving the medieval form of the icon—image, film, television or more recently the luminous iPad screen—and through it a new structure of consciousness has, at last, arrived. Electricity implicates the simultaneous co-presence of the whole nervous system. The body surround. Yet, it also promises a new electric body, intuited by Walt Whitman, liberated from the perspectivalism of Jean Gebser’s mental consciousness. This body, like its consciousness, is an a-perspectival one; made of configurations, not causal sequence. It is an integral body extended in dimension and distributed through time. “I contain multitudes.” But before we can actualize the integral, New Media must be seen through: it is Janus-Faced. New Media expresses the clarifying promise of an a-perspectival world as much as it does the problems of the deficient perspectival one. It is decentralizing, but it is also dividing. It is a network, but it is ratio. New Media abolishes time but also pins us into the digital now. If New Media is yet divided by the interim world, it is only because we are divided; we are Janus-Faced. The new can only be brought about by the new; we can only enact the whole when we act from that capacity in ourselves.

 

 
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Integrality, Immanence, and Time-Being: An Exploration in Four Fragments

My Gebser conference abstract proposal, which has been formally accepted. This year's theme, held at Naropa University, is "Gebser and Asia: Theory, Practice, Engagement." You can read more about it here.

  Dōgen watching the moon.  Hōkyōji monastery , Fukui prefecture, circa 1250.

Dōgen watching the moon. Hōkyōji monastery, Fukui prefecture, circa 1250.

In The Ever-Present Origin (1949-1952), Jean Gebser made special note concerning the writings of Sri Aurobindo, describing them as “pre-eminent” and thus drawing comparison between the “new consciousness” of the “a-perspectival a-rational integral” structure and what Aurobindo described as the “supramental”— although Aurobindo would also describe his evolutionary mysticism as “Integral Yoga”. Gebser would go on to develop a friendly correspondence with Deisetz Teitaro Suzuki, whom he would invoke in the same breath with Aurobindo, writing that, “each have given a different name to what is essentially the same phenomenon.” Between Sri Aurobindo, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and later Suzuki, it was this resonating “corroboration” that would lend credence to the overwhelming spiritual intuition: a synchronous affirmation of an incipient, integral world. What comparisons, if any, can we draw from these brief textual linkages and affirmations? This essay seeks to find precursory insights in four fragments: first, between Gebser’s a-perspectival integral and Sri Aurobindo’s “supramental” consciousness. Secondly, using The Ever-Present Origin and Disintegration and Participation (1974) as leaping points, I consider a meditation on Taoism and the a-perspectival as an immanental, anarchic conceptualization of planetization, both for the lived individual and as an emergent world space. For Gebser, the integral consciousness opens time, and so, for its third investigation, this essay moves to Zen Buddhism’s Eihei Dogen (1200-1253) and his masterful, enigmatic text, Shōbōgenzō (Treasury of the True Dharma Eye) to find comparative illuminations between Dogen’s essay, “Time Being”, and Gebser’s integral a-chronon, or time-freedom. Drawing from all three perspectives — Integral Yoga, Taoism, and Soto Zen — and considering Gebser’s own biographical satori experience, the essay opens the possibility of an integral contemplative praxis, with an emphasis on reading as presentiation, or an opportunity for intensified leaps in consciousness.