the idiotplayers podcast 08: 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.

Welcome to the idiotplayers podcast episode 8. In this episode we welcome the return of Anthony Blake. Anthony was our first guest on the podcast when we started in 2011 and since that first conversation, which was posted as episodes 1 and 2 of the idiotplayers podcast, I’ve been looking to have him back again to speak more in depth about his wonderful book A Gymnasium of Beliefs in Higher Intelligence. The book is a tour and tour de force of many intriguing possibilities for the manifestation of higher intelligence, ranging from the human, to the non-human and to very the dimensions of time. It is refreshing in its non-dogmatic approach to the subject and sounds a ebullient note amidst the din of the doomsday device of modern times. In the book, Anthony employs the ancient technique of ring composition that Seyed Safavi and Simon Weightman have uncovered as the structural basis of Jalaluddin Rumi’s masterwork The Mathnawi and which Mary Douglas wrote about as being central to biblical and western classical literature. This work along with The Supreme Art of Dialogue, are both available from the website.

Many thanks to the new subscribers who continue to register for I must admit that I’m still getting my hands around how best to moderate this situation so please accept this as my formal welcome to the caravanserai. Dr. Nevit Ergin’s podcast has sent the downloads soaring as people from around the world imbibe his deep message of Itlak Sufism. Some of our listeners have offered excellent suggestions for possible future guests. Personally I’m looking to balance the genders as I’ve realized that our first 8 episodes have been men. Speaking of past guests, I understand that Elan Sicroff, whom you heard in episodes 3 and 4, has completed some ground-breaking recordings of the de Hartmann repertoire in Amsterdam this past October under the musical direction of Gert-Jan Blom. Although it is not clear yet when and how these recordings will be released, we will aim to keep you posted.

We are considering hosting some arts-based workshops in the Niagara area of Ontario, Canada, perhaps in the summer months of 2012. So if any of our listeners are interested in exploring spiritual work through movement, music, story-telling and improv, please drop us an email at

This conversation was originally recorded on Jan 22 2012 and is being published on Jan 23 2012. The running time is approximately 1 ½ hours.


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 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:

Gymnasium, Alfred E. Orage,  John Bennett, Gurdjieff Movements, creative dynamism, practical actions, the game, play, work, work = force over distance, 3 centers, Peter Brook, Jerzy Grotowski, reactional self, belief, the colours of belief, unconscious emotional attitudes, sensing and feeling, communication of the 3 centers, keeping people stupid, John Taylor Gatto, Edward Bernays, Peter Levenda, freedom and the human will, the gesture of will, I, sin, higher intelligence, the demiurge, Francis Thompson, the tangible substance of not-knowing, seeing between, the plan of the book A Gymnasium of Beliefs, human potential, the higher centers, non-human agencies, Thomas Aquinas, alien intelligence, systematics is pilates for the mind, alam-i-imkan, alam-i-arvah, Gustav Fechner, Biosphere 2 project, John Allen, Vladimir Vernadsky, kesdjan substance, dimensions of time, creative intelligence comes from the future, Jay Kennedy (Plato’s Symbolic Code), Mary Douglas: the meaning is in the middle, Dr. Nevit Ergin: the human being is a concept between two unknowns, Charles Sanders Pierce: man is a sign of himself, Bertrand Russell, the number 12, ring composition, dissonances, mind is only present when there is active play, the simple encounter of will, self remembering, speak it yourself, reading is a form of higher intelligence, writing and reading as meeting, the moment of creation and re-writing the book, who is the author?, Hamlet, the divided self, systematics of drama, the enneagram as a way of understanding dramatic structure, Aeschylus, Sophocles, the death of Hamlet at point 6, comedy, deus ex machina, Philip K. Dick, point 5 of the enneagram is the divided self, Bennett said that Shakespeare knew better than any other writer the divided self, it can’t be resolved but through commitment to freedom, Horatio (the reason), the progression of Greek theatre through characters, character, Robert McKee, write your own version, George Steiner, the encounter, the intimacy of meeting in conversation.


intro and outro music by the idiotplayers: urgent carnaval, advice to the drunk at heart.

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2 Responses to the idiotplayers podcast 08: Anthony Blake

  1. K Mihovilovich says:

    Interesting listning to Mr. Blake

  2. Pernoctus says:


    (No malice intended, but I couldn’t resist).

    No malice intended in the following, either, but these are just a few thoughts that bubbled up while I was listening to this conversation:

    1. Charles Sanders Peirce. His last name is pronounced “purse”, not “peerce”.
    Odds are that he is the greatest American philosopher, but that fact says more about the quality of American philosophy than about anything else.

    2. Hamlet’s “divided self”. I think that Nietzsche understands Hamlet better than Bennett does. For Nietzsche, Hamlet is that boldest of free spirits, the one who chooses the mask of madness to conceal an all too certain and unhappy knowledge.

    3. Horatio. You’re focusing on the wrong end of the word. The name has nothing to do with “ratio” or “reason”. It is the masculine singular form of the family name Horatius. “Hora” is the relevant root here, and not “ratio”. The name is related to “hour”, or “time”, and means “timekeeper”. His function at the end of the play is to keep alive Hamlet’s memory and story; that is all.

    4. Eating our Gurds & Way: Although he never seems quite to have rid himself of the bug, late in life Robert de Ropp had this to say about the Fourth Way: “The more I see of [the so-called Work] and the effects it produces, the better I like Zen”. So do I, honestly, but to each his own. I do find some of Anthony Blake’s ideas interesting, though, and I appreciate your bringing us this talk.

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