"I think of myself as someone who thinks largely through writing." – Samuel Delany
"Truth is a matter of the imagination." — Ursula K Le Guin
Welcome! First. A few words about me: I am a writer. As Delany states so well, I find that my best ideas come "largely through writing." Or outlining. Or reading. The text, in all its facets, is the terroir from which the finest, fermented spirits are produced.
At the outset, I could share with you some words about what I do.
First of all, writing for me is a vocation, like contemplative practice — these days, it is difficult to separate these two. Write, breathe, be. Blank page, open sky.
But I write, and have written, for many publications, such Evolve Magazine, Kosmos Journal, Evolve and Ascend, Conscious Lifestyle, and Disinformation.
In 2016, I helped co-found METAPSY journal, and since 2013 I've written for Reality Sandwich magazine, serving as a contributing editor.
Last year, in 2017, I joined Revelore Press as an editor — "Curator of Philosophies" — which you'll learn more about this year as my first projects with the press come to fruition (these projects include anthologies exploring "consciousness culture" or "transformational culture", science fiction and metaphysics, and educational zines).
With my background in online learning and my passion for studies, I've founded an online school dedicated to exploring consciousness, self-transformation, "integral pedagogy," and empowering artists to deepen their practices and "make good art" that could help move culture: Nura Learning.
Two more things at the outset.
I'm the "exiting" president of the Jean Gebser Society — an academic society exploring the work of the integral philosopher — and have served as their conference convener for the past few years.
Lastly: I'm writing my first book. It's called Passages From Tomorrow. You might have guessed what it's about. If there's one, singular, intellectual passion of mine, it is the spiritual, philosophical, metaphysical and sociological interest in a transformation of consciousness. In understanding what is happening to us, through us, in the present. What we are becoming. This very much involves the imagination, as the late Le Guin so beautifully triumphed, and a sensitivity to acclimating our mind and body to the latent events of our present culture to tell us what might be in store. The future whispers to us in the dreams of yesterday, in the reveries of now.
My own writing, in this respect, is to study the "reveries of now," to attune our cultural instruments to those better tomorrows. In the spirit of the 20th century luminaries, from which I count my greatest inspiration, like Jean Gebser, Teilhard de Chardin, Sri Aurobindo, Mirra Alfassa, and many others I could list here, but won't for brevity's sake, I wish to encounter our world with an inquiry into what is possible. With the fundamental sense that what we are is a doing — "I seem to be a verb" — and that doing is always transformation. "The exercise of imagination is dangerous to those who profit from the way things are" writes Le Guin, "because it has the power to show that the way things are is not permanent, not universal, not necessary." Here, at the edge of the world, where capitalism buckles, the Anthropocene crawls up with the rising tide, and we gaze upon our collective reflection, mirrored in the oceanic scrying glass of the Earth from space, what do we see? Who do we see? What we were, can no longer be. What we are seems to escape definition. What we become is like an answer on the tip of our tongues — not quite here, but our whole being wells up with a hidden word that announces it.
SO WHAT IS THIS PATREON PROJECT ALL ABOUT?
I'll try to be short, and offer you some points...
1) Writing - I'd like to share my writing process with you. Passages, and my work at Revelore as an editor, are both seeking to explore this question of the human species in an age of great transformation. As I've likely overstated, imagination and aesthetic are potent, inextricable dimensions of this question. It is perhaps the greatest of all questions—"Who am I?"—so I hope to produce literature that readers can participate in, and with, in coming to understand ourselves in the great long now.
2) Producing Literature - In the vein of "consciousness culture," which is always very interested in this question, I hope to assemble and curate some of today's artists, philosophers and writers.This is not merely a material question, or a scientific one, but an occult inquiry. It extends itself to the visible and invisible. The inquiry is spiritual, poetic, scientific, philosophical. It is narratological, mythopoetic, and sociological.
In the 1970s, the human potential movement asked what was possible in the future human; today, the Anthropocene answers us with Rilke's mandate: "You must change your life." I am interested in new metaphysical movements and modalities, new philosophies of tomorrow that, in a sense, already live in the future, that spring forth from tomorrow's latent answers and reveal to us what we always were. These are the "evolutionary mysticisms" of the aforementioned scholars like Teilhard, these are modes of thinking that must come to wrestle with the struggles and complexities of the present.
I hope to create and curate literature and build a consciousness culture that is not satisfied to remain a niche market but to speak to our present spiritual crisis—much like some of the most pressing 20th century scholars of the occulture, integral philosophy, and spirituality did in the human potential movement. To say, "we must leap into new ways of thinking and being, new shapes of thought." New mutations.
I am here to help build towards that culture with the firm knowing that any new turnings, any new aesthetic movements, must be permeable and transparent. Not lost in the echo chamber but, like Thomas Merton reminds us of through contemplative life, is at the heart of the world.
3) Building a community - My patreon project is intended to help support book writing, book editing, and culture building. Many of the individuals and scholars I work with will be invited onto my Patreon livestream - "Mutations" - to discuss their work and build a culture of conversations. These especially pertain to the writers I will be working with for Revelore, and also interviewing for my book.
Your feedback, involvement, and participation are helping to build this iteration of "consciousness culture" and support the publication of new literature, research, anthologies, and ultimately community.
It's my hope that the community we're building will offer you tools for self-exploration, aesthetic renewal and inspiration, and more rigorous and critical unions (yogas) of scholarship and esoteric praxis.
You are right in sensing that there is a utopian ring to all this; I am trying to imagine a consciousness culture (or "Visionary Culture" or "Transformational Culture") that has a revived sense of intensity -- in the Teilhardian sense -- of truly being present in the world and building modes of thinking and relating that can help bring a better reality.
WHAT YOUR FUNDING DOES
It gives me more time, energy, and focus on the anthology projects at hand, on speaking with teachers, organizing conversations for the public discussion ("Mutations"), my own book writing (Passages) and book research (funds for purchasing research books, etc.).
Now, here is the fun part.
- Donations of $1 (Mutant) get you access to Patron-only content, like sneak peaks at unpublished writing, early announcements for upcoming Nura courses, and (eventually) the early draft of Passages From Tomorrow.
- $5 and up (Super Mutant) get you a special Thank You note in my book, plus access to a monthly, private live Zoom meeting with me. A kind of virtual salon with a different theme each month.
- $10 (Super Team) and up gets you all the previous perks plus the ability to vote on the topic for the next salon.
- Lastly, $20 (Cosmic Beneficiary) gets you a Thank You in my book (Passages) plus a one-on-one private Skype call to talk about anything. Pick my brain. Get my editorial advice. Network about what you're creating—building the culture is what this is about.
Let's build the future in the present.