[NB] Viridis Genii (Pt. II)

I don’t find myself wanting to write too much about the conference. Or, rather, I want to write about it, but there is a disconnect between what happens when I start writing and what I want to talk about. I’m having a hard time even reading the proceedings. I have definitely talked a lot about it, but writing seems to run a little counter to what I took from it.

That probably tells you more about where I am at right now than anything else. It is definitely not because there aren’t things to say or because the conference proceedings aren’t interesting. When it comes to the proceedings, at least, I have a good idea of why I am not reading them too vigorously. The proceedings are a good reflection of the workshops and lectures, but I don’t want to quite revisit them like that. Not yet, at least.

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[NB] Viridis Genii (Pt. I), Some broad themes

This won’t be a single post affair, but I want to lump my discussion of the conference together under its name. To distinguish posts, I’ll just add a paranthetical number in a series and an occasional subtitle. So: Viridis Genii, part one, two, three, etc.

My first attempt at writing this rambled and rambled, because there was just so much cool stuff going on at the conference. While the rambling wasn’t exactly pointless, it just felt a little off for what I am after. So, instead of subjecting you to that, I will subject you to a first post where I paint in very broad strokes some of the themes of my weekend at the conference. I’ll resist the urge to namecheck everyone (there’s a program here!), but sometimes I can’t help myself.

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[NB] Getting Over Calvin?

This is an odd thought, but what happens if we attempt to understand Calvinism as a particularly rigid and unforgiving mode of ‘Gnosticism’? What if part of its success relies on its ability to give voice to a fundamentally gnostic experience of the sacred? I am no fan of Calvinism, but what if its problem lies not so much in its theological intuitions as its practical and rigid disciplining of them?

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[NB] Sociability

I have a feeling this is going to continue to be a slow period for this blog, in part because it seems to be an intense period for the rest of my life. Still, there are some fibers that I want to work a little, see if I can get them to catch and start to form some nice woolly yarn. Perhaps gathering a few more thoughts related to the book challenge?

The centrality of communication and community can be rotated, like a gem, to reveal other facets to the pansophist book game. I have talked a few times about how its practical spiritual work is loosely structured and leaves a lot of room for personal exploration and interest.

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Community and Communication

I figured out part of what I was after in the pansophism book posts. I was trying to get at an account of magic that would be engaged and personal without being about results in a narrow sense. I was looking for an image of magical apprenticeship that made community and communication its primary terms, its fundamentals, the point to which all work turned and returned. Magic with an ethos of care.

I had, perhaps, a longer post in me today, but one of our birds died yesterday. I want to be a little quieter than a post would allow.

Take care of yourselves and what you care about.

By Theft and By Gift

I believe it was in Difference & Repetition that Deleuze specified that the foundation of any system of exchange was not exchange at all, but theft and gift. This fits into his broader argument in that text regarding the derivative nature of systems of equivalence and representation. Those are deep waters, beyond the scope of a blog to plumb, but I want to focus on that bit about theft and gift in regards to a discussion of spiritual syncretism and appropriation.

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Communitas

Emphasizing the individual dimension of the sort of spiritual work to which the Yeatsian material opens onto a discussion of how to talk about what a community of individuals might look like. The sense of individuality operates in dialogue with the individuality of other people, helping to clear away the demands we unfairly place upon them to follow our spiritual progression, but also allowing us to appreciate both ourselves and others as exemplars. At its best, this sort of support is often (not always) support to go our own way.

As a spiritual undertaking, the members of the community are not just living and breathing fellows, but the less visible and subtle spirits that circulate through it. They, too, ought to be treated with in the same fashion.

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Discharging the Dream

This will be a short post, but I want to follow the last post with a brief observation about how i have experienced dreams. I have carried potent dreams around with me for years and years, an image or phrase from them clinging and needling at me, until I find a path to express the dream through ritual work, to manifest it and pass through it.

Once I find the working that passes through and realizes the dream? Well, the dream ceases to be active for me. It serves more as a memento.

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Happy Birthday

I started this blog just shy of a year ago today, after my birthday. So, as I bring to a close the 38th year of my life, I come toward the end of a year of posting here. It has been a tether for me, anchored me while I have undertaken a long and hard push into the depths of my spiritual being. The peculiarity of this blog is a reflex, a counter-movement to the peculiarity of that experience, a note to plumb the space of its silence. I have tried to make the counterpoint aspect of that clear. The words are not an expression of the spiritual realities I am exploring, but a means of generating illuminating friction.

Welcome to my birthday ramble.

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