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Field Mapping

Complex Systems and the Six Realms of Dharma —                                                                                         Photograph by Andy Ilachinski It was while reading the somewhat scandalous thinker Wilhem Reich that I first encountered the idea of emotional traumas being encoded into the flesh and blood circuits of the body. Freezing into a kind of “armor,” these encodings work to shape and delimit the ways we perceive the world, hence wielding an out-sized influence over the course our lives take. This was in the early 1990s, and I was reading Reich along with some of the Frankfurt School thinkers (Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse, etc.) who (broadly speaking) collide psychology and social theory to see what falls out. … [Read more...]

Weaving the World _ Part Two

The Politics of Internal Transformation –  The following is Part 2 of a two-part series. In this piece I take up the challenge of beginning to apply the theory of adaptive cycles to the processes by which we weave our perceptions into a coherent world. If Part 1 was on the academic side, this is decidedly more personal, exploring subjective states I have experienced, and their possible implications in terms of social history. Click here for Part 1 When I look out my window I see houses across a small valley, and the leafy tops of the trees that grow between the houses. The morning is hazy, and all the different surfaces of this landscape reflect the soft light toward me. The rays of light pass through my retina and become impulses … [Read more...]

Weaving the World _Part One

Human "Nature" and the Theory of Adaptive Cycles –  Part One of this post was written as part of the Master program in Urban Sustainability at Antioch University Los Angeles. I imagined a conversation between the Post-war Marxist critic Raymond Williams and the Marina Alberti, an urban design professor at the University of Washington who applies complex systems thinking to urban eco-sytems. Click here for Part Two I am meeting with Raymond Williams and Marina Alberti at the concrete picnic tables atop Mt. Hollywood. Mt. Hollywood is the crest of Griffith Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the world, and a crucial refuge for my wife and I since we moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s. These hills are vitally alive. We’ve … [Read more...]