Digressions
Weekly Expeditions of Spirit
Road-trip notes on the sixties in the seventies, mindfulness inc, affairs with someone in another universe, sausage in eau de cologne, ethical alcoholism, sado-maso science, the mastery of no art, molecular revolution, winding guidelines, golden secrets and more...
Sunday | November 11th — 2018

Coffeehouse Anarchism

The Bavarian Soviet Republic was a short-lived and largely unrecognized quasi-state formation. Its cursory lifetime, sketchy status and rather limited consequentiality bracket it out as a historic phenomenon. Also known as the "regime of coffeehouse anarchists", it lasted for less than a month – from April 6 until May 3, 1919.

Ernst Toller served as its first President. He made his name more familiar in Germany as a left-wing expressionist writer scripting for theater. Curiously enough (though not so much in the inner revolutionary light), Toller's government appointments included a waiter as the commissar for military affairs, a burglar as the police chief of Munich, and – among many such types – an inmate of mental hospital as the foreign affairs deputy who upon assuming the office immediately declared war on Switzerland over its refusal to lend 60 locomotives to the Republic. The latter is also on the record for complaining to Lenin and the Pope by cable that the ousted head fled taking the key to now his ministry's toilet.

If only for some six days in power under Toller, this Soviet government reformed the arts (for the time being) and opened Munich University (for as long) to everyone except those who wished to study history. One minister proclaimed that capitalism would be brought down by making money free. One of the main churches in Munich was taken over and converted into a revolutionary temple dedicated to the "Goddess of Reason..."
Terra Incognita - Dred Records
Friday | June 21st — 2019

Holzmarkt25 to Remain Public: Off to the Streets

Wondering... Is there a way to support my friends in Berlin defending their tiny "smooth-space" spot under the urban sun, in their uphill struggle for sociocultural relevance against the "invisible hand" and swift fingers of gentrification flexing its ironclad law and order muscle when needed to assert its prerogatives, to reinforce and extend its privileges... To support them from abroad, especially from Russia, without "meddling" in their democratic processes, without "weaponizing" my social media channels, avoiding the "instigation of unrest" charges and without substantiating the "foreign influence" case as a dismissal strategy against this genuine last-breath-of-air movement? Rhetorical question. Someone in Berlin, please give a roar for me! There in spirit.
Terra Incognita - Dred Records
Thursday | July 4th — 2019

In the Shadow of Darwin

When a chapter designating the most important thinkers starting with Confucius in a book titled "The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time" concludes with a survey of Darwin's contribution to the world's philosophical heritage, it reads as a deeply prophetic statement – dark and chilling as it gets. It takes real analytic and poetic genius, that of William James Durant, to compress the examination of the origins of species and human evolution thesis into four short paragraphs – as elucidating as witty and eloquent. To make it even more concise:

If Darwin was wrong, the world may forget him as it has almost forgotten Democritus and Anaxagoras. If he was right, men will have to date from 1859 the beginning of modern thought...

Suddenly the world turned red, and nature – which had been so fair in the autumn's colors under the setting sun – seemed to be only a scene of slaughter and strife, in which birth was an accident, and only death a certainty... "Nature" became "natural selection," that is, a struggle for existence, for mates and power, a ruthless elimination of the "unfit" of the tenderer flowers, the gentler animals, and the kindlier men… Every organism was the prey of some larger beast; every life was lived at the expense of some other life...

Copernicus had reduced the earth to a speck among melting clouds; Darwin reduced man to an animal fighting for his transient mastery of the globe... His wars made the fiercest brutes ashamed of their amateur cruelty. The human race was no longer the favored creation of a benevolent deity; it was a species of ape destined to be surpassed and to disappear…

Do not the victors, exhausted by the contest, sit sadly today amid the ruins, secretly mourning their triumph, secretly yearning for the old world which their victory has destroyed?
SATURDAY | July 20th — 2019

Mindfulness is Now All the Rage

"Mindfulness practices do not permit critique or debate of what might be unjust, culturally toxic or environmentally destructive. Rather, the mindful imperative to "accept things as they are" while practicing nonjudgmental, present moment awareness acts as a social anesthesia, preserving the status quo [...] The cruelty [of this kind of mindfulness] lies in supporting the status quo while using the language of transformation." — The Mindfulness Conspiracy, The Guardian.

Ronald Purser is a Professor of Management at San Francisco State University. His viral "Beyond McMindfulness" article, opened the floodgates for the mindfulness backlash. It's been captured in full, further researched and finely articulated in his very recent book "McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality", a lively and razor-sharp critique of mindfulness as it has been enthusiastically co-opted by corporations, public schools, and the US military. Other articles on the topic are here.
Terra Incognita - Dred Records
Thursday | OCTOBER 12TH — 2017

Wrong to Be, Right?

It is true that poorly constructed building cannot stand for long, but sound construction is merely the first, indispensable step in architecture. In fact, what really makes a philosopher important is not being right, but being wrong... We size up the magnitude of living thinkers by asking: who would take the trouble to refute this author... if there are interesting ways to overturn him. Only by being overturned, by no longer remaining a contemporary, does one become a classic. Plato really happened in Aristotle, Kant in Hegel, Hume in Kant, Husserl in Heidegger. The sixties really happened in the seventies.

From Meillassoux's Virtual Future.
Jackie O Berlin - Voodoohop
Monday | May 13TH — 2019

A Post-card from Tbilisi

If you people live good and virtuous lives (from now until September at least), some in the end – in addition to eternal salvation – may have a choice: to skip going to Heaven heading for Georgia instead. That's about when we plan to open a club here – for nice people only. Still pondering the name for the venture. Pictured: Till Harter.
Schloss Beesenstedt - Burning Baer
Friday | July 13TH — 2019

PhD vs. DmT in Philosophy. Or WtF is it?

"On Valentine's Day 2013, the Washington Post featured my paper 'Possible Girls', which describes how modal realism can help you have a romantic relationship with someone in another universe..." — Neil Sinhababu, National University of Singapore.

I tried my best dragging along this very enticing "modal realism" route. Alas, no light flickering at the end of its paper tunnel. No luck transcending the boundaries of my already diluted delusive Self and those of non-modal "here&now" reality, it being so incontrovertibly fake and feeble. Not even getting laid – romantic relationships aside. Not even in this universe it helps a bit as it promises so much in another one. Perhaps it takes more than just chewing on the synopsis. Not to discourage anyone. You go swallow the whole load!
Schloss Beesenstedt - Burning Baer
Thursday | August 23TH — 2018

Come to Dinner. Me cookin'...

The Italian futurist Marinetti raged against pasta (an attachment to the past that makes men skeptical, sluggish and pessimistic) opting instead for new dishes like The Excited Pig, which is a whole salami served upright in a dish containing some very hot black coffee mixed with a good deal of eau de cologne.
Schloss Beesenstedt - Burning Baer
I am learning my ways around the kitchen from this highly hilarious piece of literature on food: "Appetites for Thought: Philosophers and Food" by Michel Onfray.

"It is a pity that we have to deplore the absence of the essential – tears, laughter, wine, women, food and pleasure – in the beautiful artificial machinery that is the oeuvre of Hegel... A few paces behind him the niggardly Victor Cousin makes his way. He once confided that he understood Kant's 'Critique of Pure Reason' the day when, in a German restaurant, a monumental plate was brought to the table, piled high with vegetables and garnishes, topped off with a ridiculously thin slice of meat: the basics reduced to very little..."

Read it for style, if not for substance. Cuz it gets twisted here and there, which may affect your digestion:

"Others err through lack of conformity in their food. Thus the divine Marquis de Sade who, putting nourishment in the service of sexuality, elevates chicken breasts to the pinnacle, theorizing that they produce the most succulent stools for the greediest of coprophages... Distantly related to this are Claude Lévi-Strauss's dining companions, who treated him royally with a bowl of nice white grubs, wriggly and crunchy on the tooth, but in the end releasing subtle flavours and delicate aromas... On this question, we have to say a few words on the topic of spermatophages and their close companions the foetophages. Epiphanius relates that Gnostics wanting to take care of unwanted pregnancies retrieve the foetus with their fingers and, 'pound it in a kind of mortar, mix it with honey, pepper and various revolting condiments including perfumed oils'. They took this meal together, eating with their fingers..."

And then:

"Always the cynic, Grimod would test the faithfulness of his friends gastronomically by sending them notes announcing his death. He invited them to a meal in his memory. Thinking themselves liberated forever from an eccentric, the opportunists who were only lukewarm friends failed to show up. Others took the trouble..."

You get the drift.

Introduction: The Banquet of the Omnivores
I: Diogenes — The Taste of Octopus
II: Rousseau — The Milky Way
III: Kant — Ethical Alcoholism
IV: Fourier — The Pivotal Little Pie
V: Nietzsche — The Sausages of the Anti-Christ
VI: Marinetti — The Excited Pig
VII: Sartre — The Revenge of the Crustaceans
Conclusion: The Gay Science of Eating
Hazy Pockets Sammy D - Jackie O Berlin
Monday | JULY 15TH — 2019

Sado-Maso Science?

Individuals who go through a severe initiation to gain admission to a club or organization tend to think more highly of that organization than those who do not go through the severe initiation to gain admission. Yes, this is the thesis of "The Effect of Severity of Initiation on Liking for a Group" scholarly paper which concludes the research conducted way back in the late 1950s by Stanford University and U.S. Army Leadership Human Research Unit; supported by the National Science Foundation.

Question: Is it about the freezing cells in the US border detention centers?

Srcflo: The field of application is limitless and ever expanding.

Question: Of course. Hazing is one. I just thought your mentioning it was triggered by the recent events.

Srcflo: No. The trigger was much more general an issue. I am reading an old paper "Telling More Than We Can Know: Verbal Reports on Mental Processes" in Psychological Review Volume 84, which is basically about how people report their motives/reasons for doing this or that – answering the why questions. From the point of empirical science, these personal reports are little short of flatus vocis. We have no direct access to higher order mental processes such as those involved in evaluation, judgment, problem solving... or the initiation of behavior. Why we like/dislike this or that, why behave as we do cannot be explained by our reports along the lines: "because I want to save the world" and such. Not an illuminating answer, if not to say misleading. "What could there be for which a "good reason" might not be found, or which might not be defended through thick and thin?" Something else is at play and mainly at the non-conscious level.
Hazy Pockets Sammy D - Jackie O Berlin
Thursday| November 2nd — 2017

Sound and Selfhood

Interesting read on "sound bathing" (Social History of Medicine, Volume 25). Its reportedly awesome effects have nothing to do with sound as such.

The key in the aetiology of the experience is one's hysteria. The more persons are receptive to sound during the session, the more they are hysteric. This is to say, sound bathing is not so much a therapy as a diagnostic tool. Means you have to be deranged to tune in and get a kick out of it bathing. Otherwise, skip it. No wonder it's so popular these days in some circles: the social powers that be – themselves demented from the get-go – turning everyone caught in their subtle and not so subtle disciplinary games into a mental case (victims of consumerism and dupes of terrorism; Hillary supporters and Trump voters; Russian hackers and Hollywood fuckers...):

"I have these two hysterics... As soon as I set the fork vibrating, you can see that they fall into catalepsy. When I stop the vibrations, they fall into somnambulism. If I begin new vibrations with the tuning fork, the catalepsy reappears..." — Jean-Martin Charcot.

Musical Hypnosis: Sound and Selfhood from Mesmerism to Brainwashing
Oxford University Press
Monday| July 29th — 2019

Infinity Unfolds with a Step

Walking in your own shadow can be a real journey. Actually, the only veritable one.
Jackie O Berlin - Garbicz Festival
Saturday | July 2oTH — 2019

On Mastery of No Art

Returning the diploma for his master's degree to the university, he attached to it a note saying he was "the master of no art". Ted Berrigan was, he would tell friends, a poet because he wrote poetry, not because he had mastered poetics.

People of the future
While you are reading these poems,
Remember
You didn't write them,
I did.

***
Mono: Things to Do on Speed, a poem by Ted Berrigan
Jackie O Berlin - Voodoohop
Saturday | May 26TH — 2017

Jackie O Berlin: Hazy Summer 2017

Brown-dirt-boogie from the birth of Summer 2017. This is a live recording of Hazy Pocket's set from the wonderful Jackie O Bar out East in Berlin. Sunset on the pier, then jungle-drums in the trees. It is live and raw, un-edited. The DJ-table knocked down and a power outage couldn't stop us: "I chose to use a live microphone recorder to capture the moods in the area... champagne corks popping, feral kids humping sofas..." It's all in there. It's not always loud and clear, but it's certainly loud & clear! Dive in and join us again.
Wednesday | June 7TH — 2019

Unlocking Life Wherever it's Imprisoned

Guattari "devoted himself to fomenting unrest, assigning staff members [of La Borde, a psychiatric clinic where patients actively participate in running the facility] to tasks for which they weren't trained. "Félix really liked to declassify people," as one of them put it. Employees slept till noon, "denouncing everyone who was already at work as alienated by capitalism'." —From Desire Was Everywhere, London Review of Books.

Félix Guattari: Molecular Revolution | Psychiatry and Politics (PDF)
Jackie O Berlin - Source & Fluence
Wednsday | May 8TH — 2019

Winding Guideline

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that creates it. Indeed.
Jackie O Berlin - Source & Fluence
Sunday | April 26th — 2019

Srcflo Dictionary: Epochē

An ancient Greek term which, in its philosophical usage, describes the moment when all the judgments about whatever happens around and the external world itself are suspended. One thus relates to the phenomena as they are originally given to consciousness, as objects of immediate inner experience, of primal sensations and basic intuition.

Epochē sounds inch-perfect for the name of the club we are opening in Tbilisi very soon. The problem is... it's hitting the nail with some other 10,000+ words and combos on the list of semantic inch-perfections, squeezed in between Sein und Zeit and Instance Indefinite... Way too many angels dance on our pinheads making the "We are our choices" existentialist precept an inch-perfect impossibility.
Jackie O Berlin - Hara Katsiki
Friday | April 26th — 2019

Mapping the Chaos of Existence

New guest's early morning encounter in the basement labyrinth of Schloss Beesenstedt (a.k.a B31):

- Excuse me! How do I get to the courtyard?
- Depends where you are coming from.
- Eh?
Jackie O Berlin - Surnaturel
SATURDAY | may 26TH — 2018

In the Hive of Recollection

Jackie O Berlin is opening 9th of June. This picture sure anticipates it in spirit, however factually it recalls a moment at the 4GB Festival in Tbilisi last week.

So we went there first thing the very morning on our arrival in Georgia – myself and Till Harter. It's the kind of scene where your marginal status of a total stranger does not save you from being sucked into the whirlpool of jubilant social action on entry – given the natural curiosity of scenesters on the rise and their southern temperament. And especially when your guide is Gogiko Sakvarelidze responsible for a number of projects which demarcate that scene.

We showed up at 9AM and by 10AM I felt in my head and limbs I needed to chill a bit on the sidelines regaining my senses and reclaiming some balance for maestro Koze starting in 12 hours. That is to say, following the liquid artillery assault of introductory shots – friendly fire coming from all over – comprised of unavoidable chacha, tequila, whiskey, vodka... and quite a few beers to smooth and cool it all down in the heat of the day. So I spotted some greenery on the periphery and the last thing I remember is this body motionlessly absorbing the shadow in the bushes. The crew sign attached to it assured me it was the right plot for the purpose; while the tattoo which qualified that body in a more permanent and familiar manner gave me all the rock-solid confidence about my crash site in the neighbouring bush...

Happy birthday, Kater Kiosk!
Jackie O Berlin - Dada Disco
Jackie O Berlin - Dada Disco
Sunday | November 18th — 2018

Golden Secrets

"I declare the earth is hollow and habitable within... I pledge my life in support of this truth." Monument of John Cleves Symmes in Hamilton (OH), a noted 19th century American philosopher.
Source & Fluence - Jackie O Berlin
Source & Fluence - Jackie O Berlin - Luis Rosenberg