Mind Meld 28 | The Heart in the Network with Dr. Bruce Damer and Michael Garfield

Featured art – Alex Grey

Dr. Bruce Damer is a multidisciplinary researcher at UC Santa Cruz focused on origin of life theory, a speaker, performer and host of the Levity Zone podcast.

Michael Garfield is an artist, musician, speaker and co-host of the Future Fossils podcast.


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As you probably know by now I’m an idea explorer, not an idea swallower. I’ve never been one to fully commit to a well-established reality tunnel. That said, last year I did an experiment with the I Ching, an ancient Chinese divination tool. Entering into it, I admittedly kept the “this is all just for fun” excuse at the ready.

I posed this question to the oracle: “Are we anything more than fancy apes? Is there a higher consciousness or purpose that we are connected to?”

The answer it gave was hexagram 53 changing into 13. Which, in a nutshell, means that we are when we come together in the spirit of something larger than ourselves. Shockingly profound.

As ontologically powerful as that moment was for me, I admit it’s all subjective. One could easily chalk up the spot-on nature of that answer to coincidence and confirmation bias.

Nonetheless, the more I consider it, it really does seem that networks, are the most potent expression of life. A network of beings with a purpose can accomplish practically anything, whether it’s a colony of ants architecting a massive system of tunnels, a group of creative friends endeavoring to elevate their respective talents, the building of the Large Hadron Collider or the horrors of war, we owe it all to networks.

This podcast you’re about to hear,  just like that I Ching moment, has really intensified my fascination with the concept of the network. We spend quite a bit of time rapping about networks at all levels of existence, from the microbial mats that gave birth to life on this planet to the modern, technology-soaked process of manifesting a technosphere that’s evolving us as a species, a society and as a vessel for consciousness in general. 

Musings in this mind meld

  • The blessing and curse of the creative 
  • How VR will bring us together 
  • Massive leaps forward in understanding where life came from 
  • The basic unit of life is a network  
  • How the younger generation seems to reflect more of a group mind than an individual one
  • How the internet was born
  • Is the best model for society an open-source collective network?
  • The future of innovation isn’t in monolithic huge organizations, it’s in creative groups with singleminded missions
  • What’s the future of space travel? Why would we ever need to physically go anywhere if we can experience it through technology?
  • Bruce’s thought experiment on how consciousness began 
  • The unlikelihood of the universe existing at all 
  • Theoretical ideas versus practical ones
  • Hear the full recording of the I Ching reading 



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