Declarations of the Noosphere – May, 2014

Declarations of the Noosphere: Towards an Involutionary Speech Act

This talk will invoke the noosphere – an emergent concept of Vernadsky, Le Roy, and Teilhard de Chardin – as a form of address suited to mapping the interface of the informational and the biological at the subjective and planetary scales.

If the noosphere is a “form of address”, a label addressing an ecological ensemble of attention gathering, exchange, recording, storage and transformation,   who or what is being addressed, and who is addressing it? Diverse traditions and studies of Non Ordinary Consciousness ( Harner, Fischer, Strassmann) suggest that rhetorical practices of self inquiry are both necessary and sufficient to these “involutionary speech acts” ( after Austin, 1954, “illocutionary”, “perlocutionary”). This conscious search for the self by the self, in which a radical sense of interconnection with larger scale phenomena such as “noosphere” often occur in the context of ego death, are likely “irreducible” ( Wolfram) yet well mapped by simple iterative rules that produce  effects of “infinity”. ( CF.  recursion in Lisp, “A Little Lisper”)

–Richard Doyle, Penn State University

May 2014, San Antonio, Texas – Rhetoric Society of America

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Sharing a Favorite Recipe for Stillness and Awe

Gently take one suffering being, and surrender to the overwhelming evidence that we are not in control. If needed, review the evidence that our experience of free will is a thoroughgoing illusion. (Weber, Libet) Surrender the grasp for control to your favorite avatar of All That Is. Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Ramakrishna, Coltrane.
Surrender it again. Let go of the idea and feeling that things could have been any other way than they are. Release the feelings of anxiety before the future – you’re just dancing with it, not controlling it. Release any sense of remorse or anguish or pride over events of the past – you were just dancing according to a tune not chosen by you. Surrender all of those feelings and feel the effervescence of the cosmos that has been calling the tune all along. Welcome home.

Next, find the one who surrenders. Where is the surrenderer? When is the surrenderer? Who is the surrenderer?
Repeat. Fold in self compassion. Allow to rest in stillness and joy. “Be still and know that I am God.”  ( Psalms 46:10)

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Freedom Freely Available with A Creative Commons License!

Friends,

Our continued unfolding into the noosphere means that each and every day, new tools  and new information for liberating ourselves themselves become liberated. mobiused1 wrote his last book using LibreOffice, an open source office suite that is freely available and at least as good, in mobiused1’s humble experience, as that offering from Microsoft. So it should come as no surprise but with plenty of gratitude to learn that an incredibly useful book by mobiused1’s collaborator, friend and teacher Gary Weber is now freely available online. “Happiness Beyond Thought” is one of those books you want to have around to dip into, and now you can even read it for free on your phone. True to its subtitle, HBT is a “Practical Guide for Awakening” offering concrete tactics for withering self referential thoughts and awakening to the incroyable immensity of our minds beyond the “I thought” of everyday life. mobiused1 knows of no better guide for those of us on the journey  to the infinite realms beyond thought. Download it now, and I’ll see you in the noosphere beyond thought!

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mobius Seminar on the End of Words, June 7-9, 2013

Friends, mobius has the effing incredible opportunity to offer a workshop in mystic practice at the Rhetoric Society of Amerika’s annual meeting in the sacred town of Lawrence, KS, old stomping grounds of the great William S. Burroughs. The description is below, and there a few slots left. The workshop promises to be effing radiant: teaching peeps how to dwindle their narrative mind always is!

You can click here to register for the workshop.

 

The Ends of Words: Mystic Practice and Rhetorical Limit Experience

Workshop Leader:

Richard Doyle, Penn State University

“The old writer couldn’t write anymore because he had reached the end of words, the end of what can be done with words. And then?”  William S. Burroughs, The Western Lands

Writer Alan Watts once described himself as being in the business of “Effing the ineffable” – putting the unspeakable into words. This workshop will explore the tensions endemic to effing the ineffable. Mystic rhetorical practices are collectively defined by this paradoxical attempt to describe the indescribable, and in so doing they explore the rhetorical limits of any given historical moment or domain. And mystic texts, while often well out of the mainstream in their content and style, are hardly marginal in the usual sense; perhaps precisely because mystic writers must explore the very limits of discourse, mystic texts are at the core of many rhetorical traditions, where they explore the limit experience (Bataille) of language in the space of all possible rhetorical practices. And this “end” of words can at times also be their very telos, as in the eighth century Sanskrit chant “Nirvana Shatakam” or the fourteenth century English mediation manual the “Cloud of Unknowing”. Exploring an itinerary from these early texts to twentieth century science fiction writer Philip K. Dick’s The Exegesis, the workshop will collaboratively map some rhetorical domains of what is possible, and not possible, to “eff.”

Texts:

Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing ( short selections)
De Certeau, Michel. Mysticism
Dick, Philip K. The Exegesis (short selections)
Leonard, Ron. The Transcendental Philosophy of Franklin Merrell-Wolff ( pp. 107-155)
Merrell-Wolff, Franklin. Transformations in Consciousness (short selections) Adi Sankara, “Nirvana Shatkam

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The Singularity is Within You: The Hero’s Journey Beyond Thought

What information consumes is rather obvious: It consumes the attention of its recipients. Herbert Simon

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21

The accelerating state of technological change has led many commentators to declare an incipient “singularity” wherein technological intelligence supersedes the capacities of human thought and humans are left behind in the double time march of Lamarckian techno-evolution. While these commentators have focused their analysis primarily on the material world of technological innovation,  they have paid less attention to the subjective experience of this rapid technological evolution. Recent research in neuroscience supports the testimony of mystics over the millenia who have testified that our subjective experience offers an ecstatic fourth state of consciousness beyond waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep activated by the disciplined focus of subjective attention: Turiya. This talk argues that the near term singularity on the horizon is the collective and highly distrbuted re-discovery of the capacities of human attention currently strained beyond its evolved capacities by the ongoing radical infoquake. This time, the Hero’s Hourney is evolutionary: In the crosshairs of ever proliferating information and finite attention, the mind, in attentional crisis, finds that it can no longer rely on the ego and its avatar, the “I”, and gropes toward the long neglected subjective experience of human beings, a very real but seldom explored domain “beyond thought” to which the Hero’s journey has always implicitly pointed. Here practices and technologies of the singularity within that leverage neuroplasticity and the exploration of the vast space of subjective awareness become both necessary and sufficient to heroic survival on an informatic planet in ecosystemic distress. Techniques for provoking a runaway process toward the singularity within will be discussed.

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“The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment” is Good for Nothing!

Friends,

Thus far mobiused has offered cosmic breadcrumbs from other wayfarers such that you might feast as mobiused has feasted. We learned of the cephscope’s capacity for spelunking around our galactic sized noggins with Philip K. Dick, gazed upon some crystals of lucidity from Franklin Merrell-Wolff, and learned to shut up long enough to mutate from Ramana Maharshi and William Burroughs. mobiused offers these breadcrumbs in the spirit of sharing at a spiritual potluck: Oooh, try some of this! if something doesn’t suit your taste, try the next one! The “truth is a pathless land”, so one dude’s delicacy is another girl’s poison. Just don’t let that dissuade you from the feast!

And so mobiused moves down the Smörgåsbord of the sacred and points to Thaddeus Golas. Thaddeus was a self described “Lazy Man” who, by his own admission, wrote his 1972 book to save himself the trouble of talking about it. Now mobiused’s father always says that “A lazy man invented the wheel”, and this good for nothing American sage seems to have invented an even more sublime conveyance – one that can lead to insight and beyond. One of his most useful principles – besides his “lazy” attempt to approach “doing” absolutely nothing – in the context of any quest for self knowledge is the principle of equality. When we have some blissful “verification” that our quest for knowledge is paying off with better health, happiness, less conflict, increased instances of synchronicity or unfathomable experiences of prescience, it is helpful to be reminded that a core message of the Perennial Philosophy is that ALL beings have equal access to the Divine Ground. Spiritual pride, as Milton, ahem, noted, can be quite a hangup, keeping us from making any further progress. His Lazyness writes:

Once you begin to behave in the knowledge that no being is greater or lesser than you, then you are free to change, because you will feel stable no matter what level you are on. You will feel calm and sure of yourself with or without a body, with or without a job, a brain, a book to read, or a book to write.

So too can it sometimes be tempting to doubt the veracity of any progress in the apparently inner world of consciousness, when the apparently outer world of matter grinds on in its bleak way, with scandals, wars, climate change, and people who censor the word vagina. His Lazyness managed to put together some helpful sentences for us to remember when we start to believe that the “real” world is the world of suffering, foolishness, and despair:

Withdrawing awareness from the expansions of others, and keeping attention on the contractions of others, fastens us to the world of matter. It is reassuring to know that this process, which got us incarnated in bodies in the first place, is also happening in our daily lives, and can be reversed very easily, starting now.

And Golas writes perhaps the most compressed and supremely simple way of Nada for those of us who find ourselves getting in our own way when we face an obstacle, physical or otherwise.

It is a nice truth that the way that will relieve your woes on the physical plane will also take you to the highest spiritual realizations. And the way is simple: No resistance.

Surrender to The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment. It’s good for nothing!

 

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Nothing’s Better Than The Silent Treatment

Silence is ever speaking; it is the perennial flow of “language.” It is interrupted by speaking; for words obstruct this mute language. Silence is permanent and benefits the whole of humanity. . . . By silence, eloquence is meant. It is the best language. There is a state when words cease and silence prevails. Ramana Maharshi

Friends, this now broken long summer silence announces and enacts the best of all possible gifts that I could ever have hoped to share in our noospheric spiritual friendship. As the noosphere – the collective, cumulative and emergent effects of attention gradients on the biosphere – proliferates and grows, it seeks tinier and tinier intervals in which to capture our attention. But what is between these momentary captures of attention? A phone chirps, a text arrives, a channel changes. What happens between? Could these intervals disappear, become extinct?

In order to really ask after this question, we need to turn our attention back onto itself and observe the space between thoughts, if there is any. And probably, when we do so, we experience thoughts. These might include “Why am I focusing my attention on my attention?” Whatever the thoughts are, they are not a focus of our attention onto itself. They are not the perception of the mind with the mind, but a story about the mind we tell ourselves while pretending to investigate our mind for the sake of a blog post. To whom do these thoughts come? If our thoughts are, like this blog post, displayed upon a screen, what does the screen itself look like? I am going to shut up soon and say nothing further, and that is the most direct and most loving gift that I can offer.

Give yourself the gift of the silent treatment. Follow each thought as it occurs and watch it disappear into silence. Behold the screen upon which thoughts dance. Behold that silence. Forget about doing Something. Nothing’s better. Much, much better.

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