What is pure conversation like?

An excerpt from Conversation: A New Theory of Language by Carl H. Flygt

What is a pure conversation according to my theory? Who attends pure conversations? What do these people talk about? How many people can participate at one time? How often and where do pure conversations occur? What can we understand intuitively about pure conversation merely in reading about it and in thinking about its principles (i.e. about its necessary rules)? What can we expect to experience in a conversation framed in the way this text does?

In broad terms, anyone with a basic grasp of the principles of pure conversation and a willingness to grow spiritually can participate in them. The themes of pure conversation are best limited to predicates with well-formed ontologies, so most topics in the common world, such as national politics for example, don’t work well. Topics with an inherently high concentration of prepositional truth, such as the Buddhist Abhidharma on the other hand, are very useful substrates for pure conversation. There are many sources of such substrates from the world’s traditions, and the sheer diversity and profundity of these traditions, together with the necessity of an underlying unity among them, will surely make for decades and centuries of fascinating, enlightening, and altogether compelling cultural and conversational work.

I have led formal conversations with groups of up to 80 individuals, but naturally the most workable numbers range from 5 to 20. The configurations in which people arrive and in which people sit are energetically significant, and represent an important study in conversation theory. Geometrical and temporal ratios of 1.618, the so-called Golden Mean, can be used in formal conversation to energetic effect, as can regular movements of individuals through space before, during and after conversation. Motionlessness is also an important capacity for conversationists to develop, and everyone participating in conversation should be capable of sitting still and remaining silent, if necessary, for significant stretches of time.

Ideally, I think, the individual should experience two well-formed conversations every day, each one lasting for between 45 and 90 minutes, or perhaps more. Such a regime should be sufficient to guarantee a lawful, healthful and lifelong growth into the higher subtle bodies. Conversations are best conducted in clean and architecturally healthy spaces, with good lighting and a minimal decor. Plants, colors and sculptural forms can be used to good effect, as can bells, flames, minerals and prisms. Alchemical techniques can be employed. Recording devices can be used if they are sufficiently unobtrusive, or if the participants are accustomed to them, as can devices that monitor physiological indicators, such as heart rate, skin resistance, blood flow and brain metabolism. Computers can be used to collate these data, and mathematical techniques employed to analyze them.

The interval between the beginning of conversation and the end is subject to objective standards. However, because of the complexity of the astral life of each conversational participant, the outcomes of this interval cannot be described, so that a reader can experience them beforehand, straightforwardly in analytic prose. Perhaps in poetry, perhaps by means of mathematics, but not by or in ordinary prose. At least not in my prose. Suffice it to say that human experience during a pure conversation is otherworldly. It is objective experience of an etheric world.

Notwithstanding the foregoing disclaimer, there are a couple of analogies that can help illustrate what one’s experience can be like during a pure conversation. The first is the famous Sufic analogy of the blind men and the elephant. When it comes to the presence of a literal supersensible world, coincident with the world of the senses but incommensurable with it, we are all, with very few healthy exceptions, quite blind. However, if our rational intelligences are harnessed together through intrinsically correct formalities and mutually agreeable rules, we become collectively much more intelligent and energetic than we are individually. Under these conditions, something like a living social organism can come into focus. This social organism is the aim and outcome of all true conversation

In the first instance, the contours of this organism will be felt. They will appear to the intuition of each individual in a private and occult way, and will prompt the individual with impulses to articulate or otherwise express some propositional content. These conversational moments are moments when everyone has his (her) hand on the elephant. They are full of possible meaning and profound necessity, and it is the purpose of the conversational rules to sustain, to illuminate, to explore and otherwise to work with the reality of these noumena. In this way, as an expression of our social potential, it can be hoped that an entire order of reality, heretofore unavailable to us except in dreams and in other altered states of consciousness, can be brought into full daylight and full critical cognizance. In this way the world of spirits, sorted and selected for appropriate consumption, may become an integral part of our world, of our institutions and of our common moral comportment.

The second analogy is with writing and with literacy in general. The writer takes pleasure in standing back from his (her) creation and noticing the ways in which it now appears to be imbued with life. If the writing is particularly good, others also notice this transcendental quality in the words and sentences. By definition, something analogous happens in pure conversation, but here the syllables, words and sentences hover in the atmosphere, like living semaphores. Life becomes a feature of the social milieu itself, and conversation a new kind of literacy. It is as though, in deep moments, the conversationists are touching one another with etheric members, interpenetrating and responding to one another in a medium filled with warm life, deep insight and compelling reality.

In the current context, a first provision for the upcoming theory needs to be articulated. It is a well-known liability of New Age communities and cultures, particularly of those relying on a strong central figure with something of spiritual substance to transmit to the world, that individuals with all sorts of emotional difficulties and deficiencies are drawn to them and tend to accrete there. Often such individuals manage to acquire social and even cultural legitimacy, and because there usually exists no mechanism for sorting them out, they manage in most cases actually to dominate the culture of the society. This almost inevitable contingency is handled on the current theory by paying attention to the following natural law:

NLInl.O: Genius is necessary for conversation.

Not to mediocrity is conversation vouchsafed. The self-conscious sophisticate, the dilettante and the alcoholic, to name a few, are debarred by natural necessity from real conversation. Likewise the merely talented and the merely patient. What is necessary for conversation of the sort defined here is a superabundance of energy proceeding from a hidden center of consciousness. From this energy, if it is rightly developed, comes a capacity for spirit vision and an experience of literal ecstasy. It results moreover in an intuition that carries with it an instantaneous inspiration and an enduring uprightness. The only people capable a priori of conducting pure conversation are those in possession of a developed personal genius, or those aspiring to one.

Having thus raised the institutional bar to these lofty heights, it is important to explain the reasons for thinking that ordinary people can apply the upcoming principles profitably. In the first place, everyone has genius. Genius is a matter of individuality, and individuality is always a matter of great social interest. Celebrity status in modern society is a function of this ontological fascination with the bare existence of another personality, apparently other than oneself but somehow intimate with it. In conversation there is an almost instinctive appreciation for the manifestation of someone else’s genius, provided it is basically well-formed and well-intentioned, regardless of how little or how well developed it appears to be. Pure conversation exploits this sympathetic appreciation by providing reasons to maintain it even when vicissitudes interpose themselves, and to refine it when things are going well. It is assumed, moreover, that the experience of such social good will, provided it is maintained and refined soberly and intelligently, is good for the individual and can develop just those qualities of genius that are required for conversation.

A second reason for thinking that a game that can only really be played by persons of genius can be played by ordinary but aspiring individuals is formality and the formalization of conversation per se. Genius has formal causes. Genius can be induced in the individual, and the current theory, which is a formal one, purports to be the method whereby this induction is best accomplished. On the theory, it is accomplished by producing an institutional arrangement, a world as it were, in which the individual is required and inspired to grow spiritually in absolute and formal terms. This second reason then is really nothing more and nothing less than the principle of formal education applied to ontological and spiritual substrates (i.e. to the soul and spirit of the human personality) and simultaneously to the original cause of society itself (i.e. to conversation). Let us acknowledge:

CCMEE1.0: Principle of formal education (principle of the induction of genius).

The dependence of the current theory on moral maturity and its attendant effects, including spiritual enlightenment, clairvoyance and etheric functionality together with its social effects, including well-formed conversation, can be expressed as an algorithm, which we can call Flygt’s Program (illustrated below). I really don’t see any way around this one, and I for one have taken it seriously.

Develop clairvoyance or some equivalent faculty to an acceptable level
Develop a framework for getting consensus about the contents of this faculty
Exercise both the faculty and the framework

Flygt’s Program is another way of stating CCMEE1.0, the principle of education. The thing is that the kind of education contemplated here is the education of a birthright. We human beings enjoy both a cosmic obligation and a cosmic birthright to become self-conscious spirits working through and floating above material nature. This obligation is individual and personal, and it is societal as well. Society should be adapted to educate the soul and spirit of the individual in cosmically lawful ways, and the individual should be personally adapted and committed to such a society. Any other form of life is basically silly. Why more people and institutions haven’t taken on this program seriously and attacked this occult problem head on puzzles me. I suppose the reasons are multiple, but I suspect at their root, at least in contemporary America, they are economic.

These descriptive and sociological issues aside, and interesting and important as they may be, my purpose here is to present the logical justification for conversation theory. Without a blueprint for a scientific laboratory, to say nothing of building the laboratory itself, no experiments can be run. Conversation theory describes a way to set up the laboratory, the purpose of which is, following Kant, Plato and the great teachers of humanity, to set metaphysics and spiritual function in general on the secure path of a rigorous science.