Heinz von Foerster on Computing a Reality


Heinz von Foerster (pictured at left during the AUM Conference), scientist and expert in cybernetics, delivered an engaging talk during the AUM Conference at Esalen in 1973 about the way in which we as individuals form hypotheses about reality, confirm them and then construct descriptions of that reality. He also reviews the function and limitations of our sensory apparatus, and how we know what we know.

Kurt von Meier recorded von Foerster’s talk; his presentation lasts about 30 minutes.

On Audio: G. Spencer Brown at the AUM Conference - Final Remarks


As Clifford Barney has written, Brown departed the AUM Conference in 1973 after only two days of attendance, concluding his visit with these final remarks about Laws of Form and its underlying mathematics. From his tone, one senses Brown felt he'd said everything he had to say; he encouraged his "audience" to ask a couple of questions. What ensued was wonderful; lucid, intriguing and entertaining remarks about The Five Levels of Eternity, consciousness and contradiction, Eastern vs. Western concepts, the use of injunctive language in mathematics, mystic utterances, and that "there's no feedback in heaven." The talk runs about 35 minutes.

On Audio: The AUM Conference Opening Session 1973


Some of the treasures in the Archives of von Meier are recordings of the AUM Conference at Esalen in 1973. Until recently, it was believed these recordings had been lost. In attendance were Alan Watts, Ram Dass, Heinz von Foerster, John Lilly, Karl Pribram, Stewart Brand, Kurt von Meier and other notables. In this recording of the opening session, the participants introduce themselves, and then all turn to G. Spencer Brown (pictured above in 1973) and his discussion of Laws of Form, the book that had brought the group together. Brown discusses, among other topics, his personal history, Four Color Theorem,  the Order of Unlearning, Entering the Kingdom of Heaven, and the Theory of Types. The audio runs about one hour and takes a minute to load.