October 4 – October 6, 2013
University of Philosophical Research
3910 Los Feliz Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Call For Papers
Taking a leaf not just from Gebser’s written work but also from his living example, it is the purpose of this conference to explore ways of embodying integrality as a fundamental attitude or bearing (Haltung). To do this it is imperative to avoid the tendency to confuse meta-discourse about integral consciousness with the practical task of actualizing it. Instead, this conference will focus on concrete methods of integral thinking, acting and living. For to embody integrality means to be truly open: to navigate the world not only acategorically—free from restricting mental classifications—but also arationally—free from both irrational faith and rational certitude. In effect, this conference asks: how can we transform the sphere of daily life by being in the world in an authentically integral way?
This speaks directly to the core of Gebser’s work. The wealth of evidence he adduced makes it clear that a fundamental shift in ontology is occurring. For Gebser, the crucial task that faces humanity is the necessity of consolidating this new ontology. Despite the signs of incipient aperspectivity, achronicity and diaphaneity across the spectrum of human culture, the atomizing of our world continues unabated. As a result, the dangerously deficient rational consciousness—what René Guénon called the ‘reign of quantity’—is more acute now than it was in Gebser’s day.
The threats of disintegration that denature and deculture our world day by day are negative indicators of the integral. As Gebser astutely observes, we must use the tension to liberate ourselves from the extremes that create this very tension. There is thus an “alchemy” of integral consciousness by which we can engage and transmute the deficient manifestations into liberating ones. To do this we must become ‘coparticipants’ in the consolidation of integral consciousness. ‘Only by realizing the new mutation as an integral bearing or attitude’ comments Gebser, ‘can humanity preserve itself from a complete loss of what is human’ (Ever-Present Origin, 306). In this sense, the theme is as much a challenge as a topic. It demands that we engage and transform ourselves, our work, and our world. In sum, we must come to terms with the following four questions:
* How do we embody integral consciousness?
* How can whatever it is that we do in the world be rendered more integral by bringing openness, subtlety, intensity and fearlessness to our fundamental comportment?
* How can the embodiment of integral consciousness act as a catalyst to concretely transform the cultures and civilizations in which we are embroiled?
* How can we engage the deeply deficient structures of consciousness so prolific in our contemporary societies in order to transmute them into a more open, transparent, and integral world?
The theme of embodiment is intended to be both concrete and encompassing, incorporating (1) the living, breathing, physical experience of integral consciousness; (2) the body politic as theatre of sociopolitical (dis-) integrations; and (3) the organic and ontological structures of the human awakening process itself. It thus applies to all spheres of life: the phenomenology of integral awareness; techniques of inner cultivation; the integral body in all its permutations; integral sexuality; integrity in human relationships; intercultural communications; the spirit of education; integrative health and medicine; effcient media versus mediocrity; integral ecology and economics; post-secularity and integral politics; the supersession of left and right; technologies for rendering the invisible visible; aperspectivity in the fine, technical and performing arts; the achronon and cosmology; the concretion of the spiritual.
Abstracts & proposals
Scholars, scientists, artists, and students are invited to submit abstracts of roughly 500 words describing their presentation or performance and its relevance to the conference theme. The closing date for abstracts is July 15, 2013. Completed papers will be due September 1, 2013. A short bio (200 words) detailing your background, research interests and other relevant information is also required. Students from all disciplines are strongly encouraged to submit proposals, and are welcome to attend. Electronic submissions should be sent to both conference conveners:
Aaron Cheak, PhD
Sabrina Dalla Valle, MFA
Participants will have an opportunity to present their work in greater detail and intimacy than ordinarily permitted in a standard academic setting. Research presentations will be granted a total of 45 minutes (including question and discussion time). Artistic displays or performances will be negotiated and integrated on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, in order to integrate the important interconnections that emerge between individual presentations, each day of the conference proceedings will conclude with a focused yet free discussion conducted in an air of philosophical collegiality. This more spontaneous way of consolidating the theme (and subthemes) of the conference allows both the apparent and hidden connections among participants to emerge. Only in a spirit of synæresis will individual phenomenological insights come together to create actual integral experience.
Location, Accommodation & Registration
The 2013 conference will be held at the University of Philosophical Research in the heart of Hollywood, Los Angeles. Conveniently located in Los Feliz, the conference will take place in the historical Philosophical Research Society building built by the late Manly P. Hall. The university features a world-renowned research library boasting a vast collection of rare books devoted to the wisdom traditions of the east and west.
In conjunction with the conference dinner on Saturday night, there will be a group field trip to the Griffth Park Observatory in the Hollywood Hills, where real stars (and the sun by day) may be viewed through our Zeiss and Cœlistat telescopes, as well as the entire cityscape of Los Angeles—which is extremely breathtaking under the veil of darkness. The conference dinner, as well as transportation to and fro, is included in the registration fee.
The conference hotel, Hampton Suites, is situated about a five minute drive from the university. We have obtained a group rate of $139 a night for a standard room with two queen beds (including full breakfast, free wi-fi and local phone, use of business office, and complimentary shuttle to and from the airport). Alternative lodging is available three miles from the university at Travelodge for $70 a night (conference special, includes continental breakfast and free airport shuttle). If you have any further questions, please contact the conveners.
Please note: student and free attendance do not include the conference dinner or transport. Please contact the conveners if you would like to pay for these separately.
Image credits: http://www.jean-gebser-gesellschaft.ch/ http://www.uprs.edu/ http://www.panoramio.com/photo/16956784