Member Skype Calls – Quick Update

A brief post to share some information about the Member Skype Call series.

Member Skype Call #21 – Aleister Crowley and Magick

Mezzie and I recorded MSC #21 on Sunday. Due to work commitments I will be unable to edit and release the podcast until Wednesday. I was very happy with how the call panned out (thank you once again, Mezzie) and am confident that the final product will be one of the more interesting/insightful podcasts in the series so far.

In preparation for the call I spent a lot of time properly (with pen and paper, taking notes) researching characters and concepts with which I was only vaguely familiar with up until that time. Do you ever get the feeling that the pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together? That the picture — while still not entirely in focus — is at least becoming clearer?

That is how I felt on Saturday night, once I had finished my prep for the call. This sentiment was only bolstered when I had the opportunity to discuss the relevant ideas with Mezzie during the call, and it was clear to me that Mezzie had done more than her own fair share of preparatory research as well.

My reason for sharing this is that I feel like am deriving intellectual (and, dare I say it, spiritual) benefit from having to prep for these calls, which was one of my motivations/hopes for releasing the schedule in the first place. For so long, I have been telling myself that I would eventually take the necessary time to properly research topics like ‘magick’ and characters like ‘Aleister Crowley’, but time flies and there’s an almost-endless number of things to look into.

Thanks to the MSC’s I am finally ticking off a few of many the boxes on my ‘to look into’ list, and for that I am appreciative of the MSC concept and everybody who has helped to make it happen: as financial members of johnlebon.com and/or as participants in the calls themselves.

I completely understand that the individual members of this site are all leading their own lives, and many of you are even more busy than myself, so it will simply not be feasible or practical to do your own prep for each call, or partake in the Warmup threads or podcast comment sections. I can only hope that by listening to each episode, you are gleaning some worthwhile insights into not simply the topics themselves, but the progression which I, and the other participants in the calls, are making as a researchers and thinkers.

In a relatively short space of time, it seems to me like we have come a long way.

Member Skype Call #22 – Fakeologist

Ab/Tim (chief of Fakeologist.com) has indicated that he will be able to participate in the call this coming weekend.

We have informally agreed that the podcast will initially be released exclusively to members of this site (as per normal), and then at some point in the near future, will be made available publicly (and I will encourage Ab to promote it on his site). Therefore it seems appropriate to remind potential participants that the Member Skype Calls, although released privately at the outset, may in future be released publicly (in part or in full), so if you still maintain trepidation about ‘putting your voice out there’, it may be best to sit out the recorded part of the call(s).

Remember that we tend to spend an hour or so on either side of the recorded part of the call ‘off the record’, whereby ‘Chatham House Rules‘ apply, and I do not make a recording of the discussion. Those who would prefer to keep their voice anonymous are welcome to partake in the calls, and either leave or remain mute during the recorded part. This way, you/they can still take part in the off-the-record chat (which is often the most fun part of the call) without having to worry about your voice being heard publicly.

I for one am looking forward to asking Ab a few questions both on and off the record…

Member Skype Call #23 – The Number 23 (2007)

If the 2018 NBA finals series goes to a seventh and deciding game, it will fall on the same day as Member Skype Call #23.

Why does that matter? Because (arguably) the biggest star in the NBA today just so happens to be playing for one of the two teams competing in this finals series. Would anybody (who doesn’t already know the answer) like to guess what number LeBron James wears for the Cleveland Cavaliers? Or what height he is listed at in the metric system?

I can say with complete honesty and humility that, when scheduling the MSC topics a few months ago, I…

Did not follow the NBA

Did not know the answers to the questions above (which I only learned of earlier today), and

Had no idea whatsoever that the NBA was entering the 2018 playoff series (let alone which teams would be participating)

To make matters even more interesting, what will be the topic for Member Skype Call #24?

Yes, The Sync Books.

Indeed.

I don’t know if many (any?) of the members of this site are self-avowed ‘atheists’ or philosophical materialists, but to anybody who does maintain such a philosophical/conceptual framework, let me ask you this:

When will you start to wonder if maybe, just maybe, there is more going on here than meets the eye?

I used to consider myself an ‘atheist’, I used to espouse philosophical materialism. That all seems like such a long time ago now, but in the grand narrative of my life, it really was not so long ago.

This is not to say that I am against atheism or philosophical materialism. Whatever fundamental wordview gives somebody meaning, and allows them to derive a sense of place or purpose in this thing we call the ‘universe’, I do not wish to be ‘against’ (although I realise that I may come across that way sometimes).

What I am trying to convey in this section is that, just as I feel myself progressing in no small part due to the MSC series, this is something of a microcosm of the progress I feel I have made as a result of becoming an ACT realm content creator back in 2014. The journey so far has been truly transformative.

If I did not know better, I might even start to wonder if ‘sync’ is not merely about finding/pondering ‘meaningful coincidences’, but is in fact a stepping stone to realising and appreciating one’s own influence over what we call the ‘future’. I suppose we will be discussing this and more in MSC #24, so I will leave it there for now.

Finally

I have updated the Member Skype Call Schedule page. Every Warmup Thread is now open for comments ahead of time, and each new episode is also linked as it becomes available.

A few people suggested that the Warmup Threads would be more active if posted well in advance, and I tend to agree with them. Now we will find out if this is indeed the case.

I will personally endeavour to be as active in the Warmup threads as possible, in an effort to help them become a more popular, discussion-building element of the site.

By the end of this season of the MSC series (which will conclude, as scheduled, after MSC #32 in mid-August), we will have a better idea of what works and what does not.

This is, after all, one never-ending learning process. At the risk of belaboring the point, let me thank you all once again for your part in that process.

This website is already more successful (in several respects) than I had ever genuinely expected it to be, and although I happily take credit as the person who originally created johnlebon.com, I also fully understand and appreciate the fact that it is now a sum greater than its parts, and I am only one part.

Thanks again to each and every individual — including those who may never read this post — for assisting in the John le Bon operation.

Especially Mezzie ūüôā


Supporters list as at 4-Jun-2018


Post #17 published 4-Jun-2018. Available publicly.


 

8 thoughts on “Member Skype Calls – Quick Update

  • 05-June-2018 at 3:36 am
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    Hi JLB,

    On top of the evenings being the nicest part of the days in South East Florida, I have been finding myself reluctant to join the calls for which I’ve not “done my homework”. For instance, as much as we’ve all heard stories in the ACT realm about the character known as Aleister Crowley, I did not have the time over the last week to “do my homework” as you and Mezzie clearly did.

    I, somewhat like yourself, do not like to do things “half assed” so I was reluctant to join the call as I didn’t feel like I would have much to add. That being said, it may have been valuable to the discussion to have another mind in the mix to perhaps offer another perspective.

    As the one leading the calls and as one of the most prepared people I’ve ever encountered, do you mind having unprepared interlocutors? I never did homework in school but this is something I truly enjoy studying so it won’t always be the case. At this time, it just comes down to time. I feel that i will definitely join the next call with Ab as it was through Fakeologist that I came to johnlebon.com.

    I feel like this is an important question to have answered as I’m sure I’m not the first to skip a call due to lack of preparation.

    • 08-June-2018 at 11:43 am
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      Generally speaking, anybody who has been keeping abreast of the content on this site will be more than 'prepared' enough for the calls.

      It is certainly not necessary to engage in the level of preparation which I personally prefer to conduct prior to each call. In fact, part of my own prep is dedicated to having topics and questions ready to go, to use as the basis for discussion, so that anybody who is able to listen and think, will be able to offer something worthwhile merely by their presence and response.

      With that being said, there are certain caveats I would add.

      For example, why bother turning up to a two (plus) hour call about a film, if one is not going to watch the film itself beforehand? I would politely suggest that watching the film of any film-specific calls would be a prerequisite. I would also suggest that these calls are a classic example of, 'you get out what you put in', and the more one engages with a topic before discussing it with others, the more one is likely to be able to extract from any subsequent conversation.

      Remember too that, at least in my mind, these calls are there 'forever'. I may well be promoting Member Skype Call #23 'The Number 23' in 2030. I expect to be a lot smarter and more knowledgeable in 2030 than I am now, so I do not assume or demand perfection of myself (or any other members of the call), yet at the same time, I would like to be able to listen back in a decade's time and know that the 2018 version of me was at least putting in some effort. These calls my only be receiving ~50 listens right now, but I honestly believe that some (if not all) of them might one day reach figures several orders of magnitude greater than that.

      tl;dr

      As far as the recorded part of the call is concerned, no specific preparation is 'necessary', but in some cases it will be ideal. Regardless, the unrecorded section(s) of the call are often the best part, and no preparation is required for this whatsoever. Come one, come all! It is the highlight of my week. A few hours where I can converse with people without having to engage in any pretense or self-censorship so as to not offend/upset/trigger. An outlet which has yielded me more benefit (psychological and spiritual) than I can put into words.

  • 05-June-2018 at 10:16 am
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    JLB,
    May I ask that you post (or re-post, as the case may be), instructions on how to participate in the skype calls?

    • 07-June-2018 at 10:43 am
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      i don’t have the formal instructions, but i’d suggest downloading the SKYPE app and search John le Bon.

      then message him between 6 and 7pm EST and say you want to join the call.

      that’s what ive done.

    • 08-June-2018 at 11:31 am
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      Sorry for the delayed response. I had this comment in mind when I posted the Warmup Thread for the upcoming call.

      All of the necessary information is in there. It would be terrific to get a chance to chat with you (whether or not you stick around for the recorded part of the call).

  • 07-June-2018 at 10:45 am
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    The pre-calls are of enourous benefit to me and in my experience, often determines what will be discussed. I, like JLB don’t have many responsibilities, my family has grown up, I don’t have anyone except myself to look after and so have plenty of time to prepare. I don’t always feel prepared though ūüôā I would say to anyone, just come along for the pre-call, and/or after-call, we have alot of fun and anything is up for discussion.

  • 07-June-2018 at 11:32 am
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    —–Do you ever get the feeling that the pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together? That the picture ‚ÄĒ while still not entirely in focus ‚ÄĒ is at least becoming clearer?——

    unfortunately i do not get this feeling. but i hope to soon. it’s ever clearer to me that a private party is and will continue to go on for which i am aware but am not invited. be it the occult, the folks atop the social / ‘genetic’ / resource hierarchy, et al…

    it’s all good though. i don’t like attending parties where i’m not welcome or invited.

    i have attained more inner peace by recognizing that virtually none of the other humans, regardless of their position in the hierarchy, know any more than me about what the hell is going on.

    perhaps some do, and but i have gained more confidence. i know how much i don’t know…but i’m acutely aware of how little everyone else knows. and for some reason that gives me a degree of calmness in a sea of chaos.

    *i’m a huge basketball fan, and while i have no doubt certain games / series / seasons are influenced by powers above the players, i’d be very surprised if this series goes 7 games. old zachy hubbard i’m sure is monday morning quarterbacking each game to fit whatever script he’s selling. that aside, this is the first time in my life i actually feel sympathetic toward Lebron. both because of the Warriors faux tough guy persona… and their stacking the talent deck, all while acting like it was some monumental accomplishment. what a joke.

    **lebron purportedly chose 23, inspired by the great Michael Jordan. many posit it is equally part of his plan to eclipse ‘the G.O.A.T / greatest of all time’ status. despite his commitment to conditioning and natural genetic freakiness, something still feels inhuman about his longevity. wouldn’t surprise me if he’s on some superhero supplements.

    i also think there is a resemblance to former NBA player – Nate Thurmond. and since the identify of Lebron’s father is rarely if ever discussed in US sports media – it wouldn’t surprise me if this is being kept a mystery so as not to tarnish his story / legacy in any way.

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