An online course with J.F. Martel, Ursula K. LeGuin, and the Integral Practitioner Convergence.
Hello friends. Been a minute (once again). This time, my excuse is moving into a new space. The Mutations/Integral Imprint home office is slowly coming together, with a box garden in the yard shortly to follow.
A few announcements at the top: join me on Clubhouse today (iOS only, sorry Android users) at 11 am PT / 2 pm ET. “How do we reclaim the future?” is the debut session for Mutations on Clubhouse, intended to be a processual, probing, and less formal salon chat.
J.F. Martel, my friend, author of Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice, and co-host of the podcast Weird Studies, is debuting on Nura with his first course: “Art and Contemplation: The Study of Art as a Spiritual Practice.” It goes for 8 live sessions and starts next month, May 10.
While working through a series of ideas and concepts with their instructor, participants will be invited to (re)discover a selection of great works—paintings, pieces of music, films, and texts—that exemplify art’s revolutionary power. From a theoretical standpoint, Art and Contemplation is a journey into the very depths of the art phenomenon—into its nature, its essence, its magic. From a practical standpoint, the course will equip its participants with perspectives and tools for turning a love of art into a path of spiritual contemplation and personal transformation.
Art and Contemplation complements the Gebser offering I’m hosting right now, proper to the spirit of the Nura classes offered thus far (literary, aesthetic, imaginal, contemplative). If you’ve listened to Weird Studies or read some of J.F.’s writing, you’ll have a taste of what we’re in for. So come weird fishing with us.
Next Tuesday, April 13, please join the Mutations community for our first book club discussion. We’ve been reading Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Lathe of Heaven, a gem of a book that arguably doesn’t get as much attention as Earthsea or Hainish cycle, but it’s one of her best. What inspired this selection was a question in our calls as to what qualities an “integral aperspectival” protagonist might have (or Bruno Latour’s inquiry as to the nature of the new Gaian “subject”). It straddles the borders between magical realism and science fiction, Taoist philosophy and Philip K. Dickian vertigo, all the while tackling big-history questions related to the West’s transfixed gaze to the idol of progress.
“In so far as one denies what is, one is possessed by what is not, the compulsions, the fantasies, the terrors that flock to fill the void.” — LeGuin, The Lathe of Heaven
Register on Zoom to join us next Tuesday, April 13th 11 am PT / 2 pm ET.
One more thing for next week: I’m honored to be speaking on a panel at the Integral Practitioner Convergence 2021. This will be an online convergence from Friday, April 16 through Sunday, April 18.
We live in a time of agonizing challenges and creative disruptions. The challenges humanity faces are so complex that our historical epoch is sometimes described as a crisis of complexity at the core of our current ecological, economic, and political turmoil. In each case, what is required of humanity is more complex than what our current capabilities support. Even our own inventions—technologies, cultural memes, organizations, and communities—have been evolving into increasingly complex forms which have increased the demands of everyday life.
…In response to these challenges, transformative initiatives are emerging and converging all around the globe. Our global circumstances require practitioners involved in transformation and leadership to develop a unique ecology of competencies that is complex enough for the requirements of the present.
I will be presenting alongside 80 other practitioners on the subject of integral scholarship and researcher. You can learn more and register for the conference here.
That’s it for this one. As the office comes together I’ll also have a dedicated writing space, so I hope to send more missives as life gets situated and as book editing and writing rhythms reset.
Catch you online with one or more of these offerings. Until next time.
“The ultimate aim of all artistic activity is building! ... Architects, sculptors, painters, we must all get back to craft! ... The artist is a heightened manifestation of the craftsman. ... Let us form ... a new guild of craftsmen without the class divisions that set out to raise an arrogant barrier between craftsmen and artists! ... Let us together create the new building of the future…”
— Walter Gropius
“So if it’s true that attention is an art form, perception is a skill, and thought is a craft, then it’s because of the way each one is formed through a type of skilled gathering in consciousness, internally and externally, individually and collectively. And when we pay attention to these activities, we can effectively become the wood of our own perceptual activity, using our practices as a kind of woodworking that transforms our being in the world, and so our whole mode of encounter with it.”
— Adam Robbert