Winter of Origins
Starting January 9th 2015
Join us for a #litgeeks reading of The Ever-Present Origin by Jean Gebser
Jean Gebser was a German-born poet, philosopher and linguist most well known in the English-speaking world for The Ever-Present Origin, first published in 1949. A weighty tome, EPO spans the history of human consciousness –describing a series of trials and tribulations, followed by transformations, that have marked the human journey. Following a “lightning-like” flash of inspiration in the winter of 1932/1933, Gebser sought to understand what he perceived as a radical shift in Western society, exhibited in the poetic expressions of Rilke and other poets of his time. He began a study, starting with Rilke and Spain and culminating – twenty years later – in the first edition of The Ever-Present Origin. From transformations of language, to new expressions of poetry, to scientific discoveries, it was Gebser’s central thesis that a potent “leap” in thinking was happening in the 20th century. This new mode of thought would be a holistic-centered, or integral one; an answer to the type of thinking responsible for economic and industrial crisis, two World Wars, and what many today consider a dire, global ecological crisis.
In a world racked by vast inequality, climate change, and political upheaval, Gebser’s work so aptly points out that these problems are a crisis of consciousness. It is a book for our time.
The Ever-Present Origin, as a text, first explores previous historical shifts in consciousness through a careful consideration of historical works of art, language and phenomenology before considering the monumental shift of our historical moment. This is a book that invites you to understand, and ultimately transform, yourself.
And so, rather than go it alone – the text itself is roughly 500 pages – or in a classroom or research setting, why not make it a participatory experience in the company of friends, fellow researchers, and “Gebserian” scholars who will be reading, or re-reading the pages alongside you?
#LITGEEKS, in collaboration with The International Jean Gebser Society, is thrilled to be undertaking a “Winter of Origins.” Join us as we leap into the dense, philosophical poetry of Jean Gebser. Brace yourselves.
We will be discussing the book together on our discussion platform, Infinite Conversations, as well as through a series of live Google Hangouts with participants and interviews with scholars of Gebser’s work (TBA). These Hangouts are scheduled on a weekly basis, every Sunday.
- January 8th (6 pm PST / 9 pm EST )
- January 17th (6 pm PST / 9 pm EST)
- January 24th (6 pm PST / 9 pm EST)
- January 31st (6 pm PST / 9 pm EST)
Of course, you are free to read at your own pace, but we will stick to a schedule for the discussion. (The schedule will be posted on the forum, and sent via email.)
Participation is free. We are organizing this book club in the spirit of what we’re calling social poetics, which is the idea that we can create beauty, meaning, and positive change together through the artistry of our intelligent interactions.
To participate, please sign up below. We will open up the forum on November 28th, and send you a direct invite ahead of time with instructions for joining the conversation.