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.
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.
In 1973 Kurt's friend and collaborator Cliff Barney penned this article which appeared in the Pacific Sun newspaper. As Barney tells it, "There really was a conference at Big Sur at which G. Spencer Brown discussed his calculus with a group of far-out scientists." By conference, he means the AUM Conference at Esalen, and by far-out he means an assortment remarkable individuals exploring the cutting edge of human consciousness and culture, like Alan Watts, Ram Dass, John Lilly, Heinz von Foerster, Kurt von Meier and more. The transcripts of the AUM Conference at Esalen can be found here.
Mathematician H.S. Coxeter (1907-2003) was considered one of the world's foremost geometers of the 20th century, the author of many books and a university professor in Canada. Kurt's interest in mathematics, and particularly his fascination with geometry inclined him to contact Coxeter about Segre's Figure--a figure of fifteen lines and fifteen points, with three points on each line--which Kurt had developed as a three-dimensional figure. Coxeter responded, and their correspondence is presented here.
Kurt respected Bertrand Russell (pictured), the British polymath who --philosopher, author, social activist, devoted pacifist--also had a passion for mathematics.
This typewritten sheet was found within what Kurt liked to call his half-vast archives.
This is the tape of a discussion between Alan Watts (above), G. Spencer Brown and others which Kurt von Meier recorded in the mid-seventies. While touching lightly on the mathematics of Brown's Laws of Form, the discussion mostly centers around consciousness and the perception (or we might say, conception) of self. It's interesting, funny and thought-provoking and runs about 40 minutes in length. It takes a few moments to load.
G. Spencer Brown's book Laws of Form fascinated and preoccupied Kurt and his close friend Clifford Barney for years. One outgrowth of that was a conference held at Esalen, featuring von Meir, Barney, Brown and a gathering of distinguished scientists, gurus, health professionals, mathematicians. Articles and transcripts followed.