Beggruen Institute - Human+, Picasso Collecting Father, and Crazy Mountaintop Monastery

I finally got back to my Berggruen series. I think the section about their “What Will Life Become” conferences speaks to my concerns about alternative energy and bio-tech interventions possibly tied to Stablecoins.

@Stephers get a look at the painting behind the neuroscientist interested in how the brain processes music and narratives. Yikes. Also with respect to his plans for a monastery - the Medici’s have one in Italy. It’s just such an odd project. I have to wonder. This is the NY Times article. I can’t figure out what that painting is or who the artist was.

NY Times article out of paywall:

" In the spring of 2022, Berggruen’s Institute hosted an invitation-only, two-day workshop with USC Dornsife called “What Will Life Become?” Among the questions being considered were:

How will scientists reform expectations of life and personhood in a post-biological world?

How will the extra-planetary recapitulate or stage new social relations, institutions, and politics of earth?

How do novel human/non-human agents (animals, robots) disrupt andro- and anthropocentric hierarchies of species and mind?

How will concepts of indigeneity, race, and ethnicity be shuttled to worlds beyond Earth and times beyond our present?

The vice-chair of digital biology at Singularity University wrote a couple of blog posts about participating in the event. Tiffany Vora, trained as a computational biologist, incorporates gender and identity into her widely circulated talks. You know women and STEM, right? As a panelist, Vora pitched the idea of a new company to those in attendance, asking them first to understand that biocapitalism was a given in this planned future. Her fictional enterprise, BioFix, would integrate data from your family history to your wearables to your microbiome and then pair your body with synthetic bio-assets. These might include hybrid organs that could unlock novel abilities like breathing underwater or synthetic DNA that, if you pay the up-charge, you can pass on to your children"

Also there is a transfiguration painting in the Medici monastery by Fra Angelico.

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@AMcD Well - unfortunately - I know precisely what that painting depicts (with the addition of the phallus and accompanying components - if you get my drift):

An example can be found in the book Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. In Snow Crash, the teenage girl “Y.T.” mentions several times (usually when she sees a man sexually aroused by her) that her “dentata” will protect her from rape. It’s clear that if she is to engage in consensual intercourse, she needs to take it out. Late in the book, when she forgets to take it out:

“…a very small hypodermic needle slipped imperceptibly into the engorged frontal vein of his penis, automatically shooting a cocktail of powerful narcotics and depressants into his bloodstream.”

This also invokes Emanuel Swedenborg’s reported visionary experience of the vagina dentata:

The image of the vagina dentata(vagina with teeth) appears again in no. 261 where he sees in a vision a fiercely burning coal fire that represents the ‘fire of love’. Then he is with a woman whom he wants to penetrate, but the teeth prevent him entering her. We know now that the image of the vagina with teeth is found in folklore, notably in Japanese folktales and also in the mythology of the Chaco and Guiana tribes in South America. They may be cautionary tales warning men of the dangers of sex with strange women. Erich Neumann, the pupil of Carl Gustav Jung, relates the myth of the ‘Terrible Mother’ in his book The Great Mother (1955). The hero is the man who breaks the teeth and restores the woman’s femininity. In her book Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990) Camille Paglia explains that the toothed vagina is ‘no sexist hallucination’ - every penis is diminished by every vagina, ‘just as mankind, male and female, is devoured by mother nature’.

It is remarkable that Swedenborg, presumably ignorant of the presence of the myth in folklore and unacquainted with modern psychology, should dream quite spontaneously of the toothed vagina. Yet Lars Bergquist, the contemporary editor of the Journal of Dreams (called Swedenborg’s Dream Diary in this edition), makes no reference to the presence of the phenomenon of the vagina dentata in folktales or its significance in modern psychology.

The Victorian translators of the Journal of Dreams - with the exception of Garth Wilkinson who regarded his translation of The Generative Organs as ‘one small step on the way to a greater liberty of thought and knowledge on sexual subjects’ (in a letter to his friend Henry James senior) - were shocked by the erotic content of the Journal and either omitted it (Tafel) or hid it from the eyes of the uneducated and presumably prurient reader (Odhner). Even today, commentators on Swedenborg tend to play down those passages in the Journaland in other works. But for the modern reader these passages show Swedenborg as a heterosexual man subject to ordinary sexual urges and desires. They ‘humanize’ a man who might otherwise be considered an austere scientist and seer. Given the later emphasis that Swedenborg gave to sexual love between men and women, an analysis of the eroticism of his dreams at a crucial turning point in his life would seem to be an important and worthwhile subject of further study.

That said, the archetypal story and alchemical workings lay much deeper beyond the surface depiction – implying that this template exists at the very core of our human existence (even extending to our occulted archetypal story of birth, rebirth, and immortality). The real story is highly textured and layered (no pun intended), and presumably lives within all of us – hence why it surfaces amidst psychoanalysis and neuroscience (and can be applied to subliminal entrainment). Aleister Crowley’s Babalon Working is also related to this:

With increasing occurrence, I am observing this archetype in transmedia storytelling – having just seen it in a movie that was recommended viewing by a POM commenter (for its overwhelming presentation of magenta). In the following two images from the 2021film, Godzilla vs. Kong, we see the vagina dentata and magenta paired together (as well as the commonly observed magenta/green juxtaposition - a form of alchemical working):

Here is one highly stylized evocation of the vagina dentata:

When watching a new episode (released this past week) of Peacock TV’s The Resort – which features the lead character having to get her rotten tooth suddenly extracted in the middle of the lush green jungle of the Yucatan, I saw a much softer, subtler representation of the vagina dentata in artwork at the beginning of the episode.

Referring back to the Medici family, as I discovered and explained in the following thread, peacocks (which interestingly, has the word “cock” embedded) were one of their trademark symbols: Molten Salt - Radio Isotopes - Crystalline Metamorphosis - #4 by Stephers.

P.S. Following is a sequence of screenshots from this week’s episode of The Resort depicting the vagina dentata, and its multi-layered underlying sexual connotations – albeit very obscurely (if the viewer is not consciously aware of what is being represented).

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Not to be overly gross or anything (the personal photo below is quite graphic) . . . but life sure has a way of imitating art sometimes. I don’t know about others here on this forum, but the synchronicities in my life recently have been abundant – they just keep coming. This is only one example . . .

Earlier today, I posted the following photo above – with respect to a character (Emma) in The Resort having a rotting tooth suddenly pulled (in an episode that debuted this week) . . .

About 5 hours later, my daughter told me that her horse had to suddenly have a rotting tooth pulled. This was not planned. He is 30 years old, and has never had to get a tooth pulled. This was a first. The timing was uncanny. And this is the photo my daughter took at the barn today (not knowing I had seen the show, nor discussed it here today).

Here are the images side by side.

Wow - that is uncanny.