Cliff Bostock

Deiknymena: Erotic revelations in cyberspace

by Cliff Bostock

“But who is imagining in cyberspace?As we surf the Web an apparent random series of images begins to arise that at some level has coherence to the psyche (if we can presume some kind of coherence is necessary to maintain our attention). Any web surfer can verify that this “dialog” can go on for hours. The lived experience is not of incoherence and disassociation. It is instead of fascination and learning. One feels in contact … but with what?

This too is similar to accounts of the mystery cults. One is taken over by the experience – specifically by the “god” in the experience at the center of the cult. Despite the balkanization, the fragmentation into various cults with different contents, the shared experience in all of them is of being overtaken. The same is true in cyberspace. To put it in Marshall McLuhan’s terms: We are re-tribalized (into newsgroups and chat rooms), but the particular content of the tribe doesn’t matter so much. Why? Because the medium itself is the message.
But, again, what is the fundamental quality of the medium – or, as the Greeks might put it, what is the god in the medium? Perhaps, as Ulansey seems to suggest, it is the collective psyche or anima mundi – the “megasynthesis” of matter and thought into a self-reflective colelctive envisioned by Teilhard de Chardin (1959).”

The line “…what is the god in the medium?” interests me here. It is a project of mine – the archetypes of cyberspace.

Danger to the planet in dismissing the soul in tech

Cliff Bostock – Writings
Hillman Speaks: The topic is depression and the man is confounding
by Cliff Bostock

“This curious habit of exempting certain areas of inquiry from his own method of reversal permeated the weekend. While valorizing shattering, the suffering of depression, he seemed unwilling to look at what mania itself might be asking of value. To my own mind, mania, as a social descriptor, may be telling us we really do need to speed up our attention, that if we live on a dying planet, we need to begin merging our bodies with new forms of technology. It is in media – the internet, the cell phone, the television – that we see the most visible expressions of consciousness speeded to “manic” rates. There was just no opening in Hillman’s (anti-technological, anti-speed) cosmology to discuss this in a serious way.”

“Indeed, the entire room seemed unwilling to go that way. One man spoke negatively of the way the “window to the world” has been replaced by “Windows ’95.” It is a great mystery to me how people in archetypal psychology offhandedly dismiss the idea that technology itself might be ensouled, that in a world on the apparent verge of environmental disaster, our survival might well depend on our capacity to take on new forms of embodiment. There has been a lot of (optimistic) writing in recent years about the internet as a group mind that may be the planet’s salvation.”

A nice essay on depression from yr 2000. This is also a link which in turn links to a lot of writing by Cliff Bostock. Look for his article on Archetypes for example…

The whole essay follows:

Continue reading “Danger to the planet in dismissing the soul in tech”

Fall into a great excess!


The medieval “magician” Albertus Magnus wrote:

“A certain power to alter things indwells in the human soul and subordinates the other things to her, particularly when she is swept into a great excess of love of hate or the like. When therefore the [human soul] falls into a great excess of any passion, it can be proved by experiment that the [excess] binds things together [magically] and alters them in the way it wants. Whoever would learn the secret of doing and undoing these things must know that everyone can influence everything magically if [s/he] falls into a great excess.”

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa . [dead] . Now

“Most probably it was Sigmund Freud’s influential essay on Leonardo’s homosexuality and Freud’s consequential analysis of the Mona Lisa which was the direct or proximate impetus for Duchamp’s image. But, whereas Duchamp seems to imply that the picture fuses artist and sitter, male and female, Freud suggests that the Mona Lisa (specifically her smile) is a manifestation of Leonardo’s submerged memory of the birth mother from whom he was estranged at age four and who Freud theorizes expressed an unnatural affection toward her young son. In fact, Freud refutes the notion that there is a physiognomic similarity between the artist and the sitter, but goes on to suggest that the device of the smile was obviously so meaningful to the artist, using it frequently in his works of the time, it must have repressed significance. The person behind the Mona Lisa, Freud suggests, may have had such a smile, a smile that evoked long ago suppressed memories of his mother. Indeed, as Freud is quick to point out, this seems to have been a persistent theme: Vasari even noted that at the earliest age Leonardo was known for having created images of smiling women:

Let us leave the physiognomic riddle of Mona Lisa unsolved, and let us note the unequivocal fact that her smile fascinated the artist no less than all spectators for these 400 years. This captivating smile had thereafter returned in all of his pictures and in those of his pupils. As Leonardo’s Mona Lisa was a portrait, we cannot assume that he has added to her face a trait of his own, so difficult to express, which she herself did not possess. It seems, we cannot help but believe, that he found this smile in his model and became so charmed by it that from now on he endowed it on all the free creations of his phantasy.

“(Sigmund Freud, Leonardo da Vinci: A study in psychosexuality. tr. A.A. Brill. New York, Vintage Books, [1955] Originally published by Freud in 1910, p. 79.)”

Content is not King

Content is Not King

" What the argument that content is not king does say is that people are willing to pay far more for point-to-point communication than for the famed content. That is likely to be reflected in what kinds of networks are built, and which companies succeed. It inverts the usual ordering of priorities, making point-to-point communication central, and content secondary."

Thanks Christine for the link – a basic and lovely idea – one way we put this notion in a cult I belong to is that "conserved culture" is not as important as "spontaneity".

Collaborative Design

The Road to Natural Digital Collaboration
By Elliott Masie, The MASIE Center

Just as there is a process of Instructional Design for developing instructional experiences, we believe that there is a parallel process of Collaborative Design to create the best uses of digital collaboration technology. We need to learn how to assess the needs of the groups involved and select media that is appropriate to the outcome objectives. And, we envision the development of collaboration templates that will embody a design for ideal use of tools in a given situation (e.g. A template that walks the group through a highly interactive video conference for an employment interview, including application sharing of resume and job description documents.)

Finally, there are new roles that we must invent and perfect to make Digital Collaboration really soar. Facilitators, community builders, virtual coaches and other roles will evolve that will make Digital Collaboration work effectively and naturally.

This is a great time to start the experimentation process. We should find teams within our organizations to lead pilots for leveraging existing and new technologies for effective collaboration. It would be great if the “owners” of collaboration technology were not techies but rather process-oriented folks in the HR, Training or Business areas.

Dreaming in Cyberspace

Walter Logeman –  ASD Dream Time – Dreaming in Cyberspace

A description of an online group approach to dream work that can give deep insight into the unconscious. Use of the Internet can add a dimension to dream work that was not possible without it. The Internet presents us with features that enhance and reveal the psychological depth of the work. The DreamEvents are private and confidential so publicly available and generalised material are used in this article.

This is a reference to an article I wrote earlier this year. I needed ready access to the link!

I have become the world

CTHEORY: Cyberwar, God And Television: Interview with Paul Virilio

Virilio: The body has a dimension of simulation. The learning process, for instance: when one learns how to drive a car or a van, once in the van, one feels completely lost. But then, once you have learnt how to drive, the whole van is in your body. It is integrated into your body. Another example: a man who pilots a Jumbo Jet will ultimately feel that the Boeing is entering his body. But what is going on now, or should happen in one or two generations, is the disintegration of the world. Real time ‘live’ technologies, cyberreality, will permit the incorporation of the world within oneself. One will be able to read the entire world, just like during the Gulf War. And I will have become the world. The body of the world and my body will be one. Once again, this is a divine vision; and this is what the military are looking for. Earth is already being integrated into the Pentagon, and the man in the Pentagon is already piloting the world war – or the Gulf War – as if he were a captain whose huge boat would have become his own body. Thus the body simulates the relationship to the world.

That is isnteresting on the connection between the body and the virtual world!