About Common Groundlessness

Common Groundlessness is a space for creation and discussion of ideas.

The name comes from Erik Davis’ book, Techgnosis (recently re-issued), in which he says:

“We will not simply sew up the conflicts between faith and skepticism, the stones and the stories, the incandescence of the absolute and the mundane absurdity of an everyday life growing more bizarre and frightful by the minute. Instead, these tensions and conflicts become dynamic and creative forces, calling us to face others with an openness that does not seek to control or assimilate them to whatever point of view we happen to hold. By replacing the need for common ground with an acceptance and even celebration of our common groundlessness, the network path might creatively integrate these gaps and lacunae without always trying to fill them in.  You can no more banish the noise on this network than you can banish the void from a cup–nor would you want to.  You just attend to the chaos that comes until something unexpected blooms: a dilation in the mind, a dawning in the heart, and a shared breathing with beings so deep it reaches down to sinew.”

The discussion on this site recognizes both the “common groundlessness” that Davis so eloquently describes above, and the existence of at least one point of common ground that we all share: the literal ground itself, the planet Earth.

The following are the basic principles of discussion here:

  1. We all (must) share the same planet: The discussions here may be wide-ranging, but the intention is that they all share this common reference point. Meanings may be infinite, but our planet is finite, and the basic physical reality is that we all share it, not just all humans, but all living things. How we are going to do this is the big question from which we will depart on perhaps meandering and far-reaching explorations.
  2. Wisdom is not a bad word: In many intellectual circles, the word “wisdom” seems to be anathema. I can’t recall an academic paper that purports to seek wisdom, much less to have found it. That prohibition doesn’t apply here. This means that spiritual ideas are welcome, and gnostic insights are admissible. The fruits of spiritual exploration can be revealed as such, and don’t have to masquerade as logical deduction or empirical observation. We can debate the epistemological status of spiritual insight, but we won’t exclude it from the discussion.
  3. Diversity of perspectives is valuable: The purpose of these discussions is not to seek the single truest Truth, and beat out all competitors. As ecological diversity strengthens an ecosystem, a diversity of ideas, ideologies, systems of knowledge, and methods of inquiry strengthens a community. Different perspectives may reveal different things about the mysterious whatever-it-is we live in. This doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with anyone about anything. That would make for a very dull discussion. What it means is that you probably shouldn’t expect to make everyone agree with you, and if that’s what you want, you’re going to find these discussions frustrating.
  4. Don’t be mean: While all the previous principles are sort of vague pointers for the direction of the discussion, this is a rule that will be enforced. Do not attack a person on this forum, even if you disagree with their ideas. If you do, your comments will be deleted. If you keep doing it, you’ll get banned.
  5. Have fun!
  6. Register here, and start posting!