the idiotplayers podcast 12: Anthony Blake

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The idiotplayers podcast is a caravanserai of conversations with important thinkers, be-ers and doers. The idiotplayers podcast aims to explore art, creativity and expression.  If there is an elephant standing in the dark, as the Sufi story goes, we want to do more than grope and theorize. We invite conversations with people who aim from the heart to make practical, the far-reaching.

Biography

Anthony Blake (born 1939) studied Physics at Bristol University with David Bohm(see Bohm-Bennett Correspondence 1962-4) and the History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge with Gerd Buchdahl. He collaborated with engineer Edward Matchett on Creative Design (numerous papers) and worked with John Allen and the original team that built Biosphere 2 (see Biosphere 2 – the Human Experiment, edited by Blake). With the philosopher-technologist John Bennett, a leading student of the ‘fourth way’ teacher Gurdjieff, and his team he worked on the development of methods of structural thinking called systematics that led to ‘Structural Communication’ (see Kieran Egan, Structural Communication) and ‘LogoVisual Technology’ (LVT for short , see entry in Wikipedia). In 1998 he co-founded the non-profit organisation DuVersity (in the USA) centred on dialogue for which he is Director of Studies (see www.duversity.org). He has authored several books, including the most recent, A Gymnasium of Beliefs in Higher Intelligence. He has worked with leading practitioners of Group Analysis, specifically Patrick de Mare inventor of the ‘Median Group’ and Gordon Lawrence discoverer of the Social Dreaming Matrix, conducting and filming video-conversations with them and others in the field. He has conducted transpersonal psychological seminars in the USA, Europe, Mexico and China as well as conducting training in LVT in the UK, USA, Italy and China. He extended from physics into publishing and from philosophy into psychology but his core interests are dramatic process and dialogue, following the idea of the ‘dramatic universe’ he was introduced to by his main teacher, John Bennett; seeking spirituality in life’s uncertainties.

Index of Topics

Why make the audio recordings of Gurdjieff’s All and Everything?Mount Analogue: A Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing by René Daumal; The physical act of reading such difficult work; Gesturing while reading; Effects of reading the works; The performer as listener; The enigma of doing and getting out of the way; Self observation only occurs when one’s resources are already fully engaged; The form of containment is part of the great art; The hermetic vessel; Respect for the device; The microphone is higher than you; The triad of evolution: 2–1–3; Gurdjieff’s renunciation of powers; Buddhist logic: A, not A, A and not A, neither A nor not A;  The Optical Unconscious by Rosalind Krauss; Anthony’s work as a beautiful medallion of options; The progression of Gurdjieff’s writings 1st Series, 2nd Series and 3rd Series; Anthony confronting himself through the reading; The suffering depicted in the 2nd Series, Meetings With Remarkable Men; The aburdist nature of the books; The 2nd Series depicts a number of fruitless journeys, but they are journeys none the less; The nature of hazard and the encounter of the unexpected; Gurdjieff’s infuriating denunciation of Western civilization; All and Everything as great works of literature; Gurdjieff gave a copy of the 3rd series to Bennett and asked him to “sort it out”; Valentin Anastasieff’s unpublished preface for the 3rd Series; Gurdjieff’s attitude toward women; “I am, but I cannot remember myself”; Negotiating your way through the darkness; Life itself gives shocks; Life is the teacher; The Thousand and One Nights; Word Yoga; Anthony’s sense of humiliation when reading the books; “Gurdjieff speaks human.”; Man is a three-centered being; Turn up; There is an action in reading the books; Hidden Meanings and Picture Language in the Writings of G.I. Gurdjieff by John Henderson; Plato’s Cave; Visualization; The Cinema; The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky; The instinctive center and the subconsciousness; The brain works to minimize free energy, hence the abundance of reactivity; We don’t do the work, we suffer to allow the higher energies to enter into us; Reading from Isaiah in the cathedral; The faerie by my cot; “Remember who are and go home”; Sohbet.

Links

Information about the recordings on Anthony’s personal web page.

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2 Responses to the idiotplayers podcast 12: Anthony Blake

  1. Armin says:

    Thank you for your effort, Gregory.

    Concerning the strange stories in Beelzebub und Meetings: I´m deeply convinced, that many of Gurdjieffs strange stories are allegories and parables containing several deeper meanings which can be deciphered according to the individual understanding of each reader, just like the Mullah Nasrudin stories. The “Universal Travelling Workshop” in Meetings and the “Laboratory” in Beelzebub are both descriptions of his Institute, his school. These meanings can be deciphered by reading his talks before his accident 1924, where he talked of his pupils and patients as broken machines; where he talked about inner chemistry (inner alchemy).

  2. idio says:

    Good to know that you’re listening Armin, and thanks for sharing.

    Indeed. Anthony’s insights bring my attention to the thought also that Gurdjieff’s stories have an imbedded layer that speaks to his own work on himself just as much they appear to convey objective information about life, the universe and everything.

    On an upcoming podcast I’ll be chatting with Trevor Stewart. He’s done some interesting work around this decoding. I believe that we’ll focus on chapter 12 from the Tales, “The First Growl”.

    Hope that you catch it.

    Best,

    Gregory.

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