Thanks everyone for another great conversation. Topics discussed: how to live alongside and be response-able with young people, when to engage with or walk away from misunderstandings leading to disagreements leading to conflicts, how to come to terms with the unresolvability of... well... anything.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the free-form discussion over assigned readings for now. Like everything else, this is subject to change, but for next month we will keep the conversation open-ended save for a theme to either use or discard: MYTH.
Saturday's meeting was a joy, truly, thank you everyone for coming. Among topics discussed: the difference between discernment and judgment, the intricacies of resistance, whether or not to get along with neighbours, and whether a metaphysics is in fact necessary for life.
New voices joined the fray, creating ripples of thought as yet unconsidered. Much to be grateful for, much to be excited about. Perhaps all there is to seek is enjoyment? (“But what about the dangers of hedonism?”, a critical jab intervenes)
So it's not so much a matter of seeking essentially what is true, what is at the source of things, but rather about the process, the hours devoted to practice. That's really all that happens here, in conversation.
Saturday Feb 5, 4pm pacific, 7pm ET, or midnight UTC (technically sunday feb 6, then).
Preliminary discussion on regrouping highlights the ardent pleasure of simply talking to one another, with no need to systematically pretext such meetings as an occasion to read, or an imposition of homework. As such, since no texts or media were proposed to be addressed right away, the next meeting is another time for open conversation. This ongoing discussion, as always, is open to all who would like to join.
Some questions/themes arose last time, worth turning over: How do you choose what goes on/in your body? Is this a matter of aesthetics, of discerning personal preference? In turn, where is the line between being sold a lifestyle and forming a sense of personal sensibility; how do you make sense of sensation?
Alternatively, and not entirely discontinuous: How can you make dissent easeful? When is refusal easy?
Saturday Jan 8th, 7pm ET, 4pm pacific, or midnight UTC.
Surveying is a collective and cooperative reading method. If interest is made manifest (through responses to this post), I propose we organize a preliminary meeting in December 2021, and begin surveying texts of interest in 2022.
In short: we choose a text that is a priori complex and we share it among the participants. Everyone reads their part, then we meet to discuss it collectively, share, criticize, open the reading to our own experiences.
The key point is that each participant reads a different section of the text, so that the meeting (ideally) ends with each person present having an individual and collective sense of the whole text.
Stemming from French working-class culture at the end of the 19th century, land surveying was put into practice by resistance fighters during the Second World War, then disseminated more widely by various popular education movements until today. The survey is not just a summary or an analysis; it also makes the link between theory and practice, between reading and experience.
It therefore stimulates cooperation but also the highlighting of differences in interpretation, and encourages participants to reflect on a subject beyond merely reading out of interest in the subject itself. Beyond its analytical interest, surveying is also a dynamic and proactive working method, far from the analyzes of classic texts and their preconceived criteria.
Collectively as individuals we’re growing sicker and sicker of theory, so for next week we’ll be reading Junji Ito’s version of No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai. It’s a longer book so just read what you can/want and come chat about it :)
I’ll upload a cbz of it later on, but it’s readily available for pirating. Yeah
This is a talk about devotional witchcraft that was presented by Peter Grey, co-founder of the occult publisher Scarlet Imprint, at the Trans-States conference in 2017.
From the conference proceedings: “The transformation of the male erotic landscape through magical and witchcraft practices as constellated about the female mysteries of Babalon. Special attention is given to the pact of transformative blood rituals: menstruation, modification, ordeal and the meaning of animal sacrifice. An account of ongoing magical work by a modern practitioner following the skein of menstrual magic anticipated in such partnerships as Marjorie Cameron and Jack Parsons, Penelope Shuttle and Peter Redgrove.”
For this week we've decided to give our minds and hearts a little break, by reading some short stories by Jorge Luis Borges.
Borges and I – only 1 page (really an introduction)
The Circular Ruins – 3 pages
The Lottery in Babylon – 4 pages. from wikipedia: “The story is about the role that chance plays in life, whether occurrences are genuinely deserved or whether all of life is merely based on luck or loss. The story references Zeno's paradox by using the lottery as a metaphor for all the possible random occurrences that could occur between any two points in time.” we are enacting the phenomena and it us!
In an effort to decenter the so-called human, we’re confronting Karen Barad’s framework of agential realism. They propose a performative understanding of matter. The author is a theoretical particle physicist playing with time and space to propose the inseperability of ‘intra-acting agencies’. For Barad, all phenomena emerge through intra-action. Their coming-into-relation is a condition for their existence.
Barad’s wider project is concerned with the legacies of Niels Bohr, Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Merleau-Ponty, Ian Hacking, Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway, and others. By Barad’s account, entanglements breed responsibilities, and acknowledging that one is a part of reality demands a response in turn. Avowedly concerned with power, which they describe as an immanent set of force relations. Starting from the basic propositions of quantum physics, Barad troubles any categorical faith in the stability of things, or faith in their representations. All is intra-acting, moving, shifting.
“We are responsible for the world in which we live, not because it is an arbitrary construction of our choosing, but because it is sedimented out of particular practices that we have a role in shaping.”