Conversations #14 - Jeremy Johnson
Scholar, writer, publisher, editor, integral philosopher, & founder of Nura Learning
A conversation with Scholar & Writer, Jeremy Johnson—
Read & Listen on Substack
Hey Eclectic Spacewalkers!
Last month we had the pleasure of having a conversation with Jeremy Johnson.
Jeremy is a scholar, writer, publisher (Revelore Press), editor (Integral Leadership Review), integral philosopher, and the founder of Nura Learning. Jeremy is also the host of the mutations podcast and is the author of Seeing Through the World: Jean Gebser and Integral Consciousness.
“The integral, then, is an actualization of this originary presence in human consciousness—a coming to awareness, an awaring—and the integration of all previous structures.” - pg. 6
“To know the future, however, we must study the past, and so we turn now to study of the “three worlds”: the unperspectival, perspectival, and aperspectival.” - pg. 26
“When we take these leaps of primal trust into the wisdom of tomorrow we are not acting on faith alone. We come from the future, and pull the present into a new potentiality. Let us make it, then, a spiritual present.” - pg. 173
“Our concern is with a new reality—a reality functioning and effectual integrally, in which intensity and action, the effective and the effect co-exist; one where origin, by virtue of ‘presentation,’ blossoms forth anew; and one in which the present is all-encompassing and entire.
Integral Reality is the world’s transparency, a perceiving of the world as truth: mutual perceiving and imparting of truth of the world and of the human and of all that transluces both.” - Jean Gebser
Jeremy came to our attention, like most nowadays, through Twitter. Jeremy was a guest on late journalist Michael Brooks’ show and introduced us to the idea of Integral Consciousness. Since then, we have read more of Jeremy’s work, as well as listened to many episodes of Mutations podcast, including this one after Michael unfortunately and unexpectedly passed away in 2020:
“Mutations is a podcast exploring latent futures in the radical present. We inhabit a time between times, between worlds—what are the emergent potentials, articulated visions, or, in a word, ‘mutations’ that can help us to path find our way into the future? What forms of integrative thinking and being are required for this leap? Author (Seeing Through the World), show host, and integral philosopher Jeremy D Johnson explores these questions through solo podcasts, readings, and with featured guests.”
More recently, Jeremy wrote a chapter “Becoming the Planetary” in the newly printed Metamodernity: Dispatches from a Time Between Worlds: Crisis and emergence in metamodernity.
“It requires us to forego the compulsive desire to hitch our star to systemic thinking, to instrumental rationality, measurement, even to meta-systemic thinking—we still wish to smuggle modernity’s onward-and-upwards impulse into these unthinkable geographies, but like capital-S science, going ‘meta’ (rational) is an insufficient response to the planetary. We must, as Latour suggest, come down to earth, the terrestrial—to matter, to the entangled inter-species justice of a haunted terrain.” - pg. 78
“In ‘Becoming The Planetary,’ Jeremy Johnson highlights a growing awareness of the planet as our cosmological context, an object of inquiry that is both vast relative to our own agency and tiny relative to its interstellar setting, but it’s now where we glimpse our own contingency and fragility, and in which we navigate the interagency of the human and the non-human.
As he puts it: ‘The planetary assists us in our own process of decoupling from our fixation with the modern, post-, meta- or otherwise. If we are to go meta, then, we should bring the concept of the planetary with us’.”
“We might enfold modernity’s social imaginary, awaken in this cloud of unknowing to a ‘senseful awaring’, where our anxiety of the planetary instead becomes a creative fulfillment an spiritual participation of the human being as planetary being, in ‘primordial trust’, co-initiating Earth’s posthuman future.” - pg. 78
In the episode, we talk to Jeremy about his academic and writing journey, including the above essay and his book Seeing Through the World. We discussed ‘The Overview Effect,’ planetary consciousness surrounding ‘the noosphere,’ ‘living during the Anthropocene,’ the need for some type of species/planetary level myth-making to navigate the troubling and unforgiving waters of metamodernity, amongst a number of other interesting topics.
More from his Patreon Bio:
“Jeremy is a co-founder of Liminal News and Metapsy: Journal of Consciousness, Literature and Art. Jeremy has written as a contributing editor for Reality Sandwich magazine, OMNI, Disinformation, Evolve Magazine, and Kosmos Journal. His academic research, writing, and publishing advocates new forays into integrative thinking and praxis—aligning the scholastic, poetic, and spiritual—as existentially crucial work for pathfinding in a time of planetary crisis. Jeremy currently serves as president for the International Jean Gebser Society and is working on his second book, Fragments of an Integral Futurism (2021).”
We thank Jeremy for his time, research, and eclectic mind.
We hope you enjoy the conversation!
Who were Jeremy’s earliest influences? (02:40)
Catalytic Readings: “The key, I think, is a reading that provokes; a move from an observer of distant mental categories to participant in lived realities.” (11:16)
What is NURA Learning? (16:50)
What is meta-modernism? What does it mean to live in the "Anthropocene?” (32:40)
Living in a technological culture yet most do not get a sufficient enough education or tool kit to prosper within it, Globalization vs. Planetization, and ‘Doomer Optimism’ (50:25)
Writing Seeing Through the World and Jean Gebser’s influence (59:36)
Consilience, Integral Consciousness and what the theory isn’t (01:06:42)
“Kultuphilosophie: wherein he describes a “phenomenology of becoming consciousness” (Bewußtwerdungsphänomenologie) through a careful study of texts and cultural artifacts.
Gebser elucidates this “becoming of consciousness” as a series of unfolding time-space ontologies, mutations, leaping forth at pivotal junctures—often civilizational crises—of human history, radically restructuring self and world, space and time. These ontologies spring forth out of a primordial “integral” ontology (Ursprung), creatively realized and manifested in human cultures.
Kulturphilosophie identifies key themes of the new mutation as they are made manifest in all cultural zones. Roughly, they are:
a) time being taken into account as quality rather than (dividing) quantity,
b) the superseding of (perspectival) dualisms, and
c) arational modes of perception being introduced in all disciplines.” (01:10:55)
Marshall Mcluhan, Neil Postman, and Jean Gebser’s ‘Structures’ [Diagram above]
“only an integral human being, one what has wared the whole, is capable of overcoming their own fragmentation and leaping from planetary crisis to planetary consciousness. This is our individual and collective task.” (1:22:20)
Parting Overview Effect Answer:
“Nothing is too small.
It’s not about scale, but place.
We already have a felt sense to become Planetary.
You are already participating.” (01:39:40)