Long before the advent of Photoshop filters like “Gaussian Blur” (a form of Fourier Transform shown above), Kurt was fascinated by such transformations, and curious about the underlying archetypal information contained within them. His interests in the visual world merged with his interests in the mathematical world, and with his colleague Clifford Barney, in 1976 he conceived of an experiment to potentially identify archetypal truth.

In their proposal, they write, “Fourier analysis of the optical transforms will be of importance in showing the deep mathematical structure ** **manifested in cultural forms. Thus may the temporal be related to the universal.”

Following the explication of the experiment, an addendum discussing fifth-degree equations, *Laws of Form*, Pascal’s Triangle, and Fritz Perls’ five “layers” of personality was included.

# The OMASTERS - Message from Middletown

This short excerpt from a sheaf of neatly typed onion-skin papers utilizes one of Kurt’s literary devices, namely the use of a “message” to “Soofi Central” to spin a tale and ramble on about essentially anything. In this case, the topic is in part about a turd too large to flush, an exercise in *Scheisshumor* Kurt often found irresistible. Ultimately, after invoking the spirits of Tibetan Buddhism, he navigates to a discourse on prime numbers and Pascal’s Triangle via transformations based on Middletown’s roadsign. Classic von Meier.

# The Eternal Present and the Forty-Eight Laws of Cosmic Objectivity

Kurt’s prodigious memory was not simply an accident of nature, but also the result of his concerted efforts at memory training. As he notes in this essay circa 1979, the use of mnemonic devices to enhance memory were promoted by Giordano Bruno during the Renaissance, and the use of complex mandalas by Tibetan Buddhists serve a similar function. Kurt employed a comparable technique, which combined with his natural powers as a polymath allowed him to teach and speak extemporaneously on a variety of topics for hours at a time, without resorting to any notes.

When it comes to the exercise of memory, he states, “Any person capable of reading, understanding and following injunctions can now practice the exercise of constructing this psychic space with the disciplined imagination. Although this is a very ancient exercise, traditionally it has been a part of the esoteric teaching, distinguished from the exoteric tradition that concerns itself with outward manifestations rather than with the interior imagination. Therefore, published indications for performing the exercise, if any, have appeared in symbolic guise, as in the literature of Western alchemy.”

# Gestalt Mathematics

“The contribution of the Gestalt approach is the recognition that figure and ground are formally the same and may be exchanged without violence to the whole, and in fact must be changed for a complete experience of the whole. When we understand something, we stand under it, experience it from without as well as within.” So states Kurt von Meier and Clifford Barney at the beginning of this 1975 exploration into the relationships between the Gestalt therapy and psychology of Fritz Perls, mathematics, and knowledge of the divine as seen by Dante Alighieri.

# 2wallymail - June 15, 1996

Here's an email Kurt composed to Cliff (Walter) Barney in 1996, in response to an email Cliff sent Kurt in May (delivered in printed form to Kurt in June). The original email noted (and the package contained) the cover of TIME magazine, featuring an article - "Can Machines Think?" Both Kurt and Cliff had steeped themselves in the cybernetic theories of Heinz von Foerster, and the writings of Warren McCulloch. Kurt's reply is typically wide-ranging, well-informed and entertaining, and reveals his frustrations with the emerging use of email and "spellcheck." Accordingly, he notes inaccuracies and inconsistencies in spelling in several sources of information. "Jene LaRue used to say that while spelling rules--the rightness of orthography--were conventional, it was most important (deepest, oldest, most prior) to spell correctly the names of the gods and presumably, in hierarchical order, those of the demi-gods, heroes, daimons, distinguished colleagues, scientists, artists, authors because they are the notational forms that enjoin (or sustain) being invoked, so one had best get it right, or at least as right as possible." He also carefully examines the magazine cover, noting the number of cogs on the gear wheels.

# The Root of Omasters: Laws of Form

Collaborating with Cliff Barney, Kurt conceptualized a book proposing to expound upon Brown's ** Laws of Form** by actually performing Brown's calculus; "to show how, by examining the structure of Spencer Brown's calculus, which is to say its language and symbols and formal relations of its parts, we may, by uncovering the form of the form, see and intuit the relation of form to content and the way in which all systems reflect themselves in each other." What began as a scholarly exercise evolved instead into the fictional

**, its oddball characters and settings presenting various archetypes postulated by Brown and action within differing but simultaneous realms of time.**

*Omasters*# The Measure of Apollo

The purity of mathematics had a special place in Kurt's heart, and its ability to express otherwise inexpressible truth held profound meaning for him. Language, Kurt felt, is by its nature imperfect; "If we are to have the words mean anything in the languages we use, or the symbols to have a conventional utility (upaya)--spoken languages, formal languages---all of them are algebras, or systems of the relationship between constants and variables." For the math lovers out there, enjoy.

# Truth and Quests

The title of this essay says a lot about Kurt von Meier, for he was always seeking truth and his quest never ended. Accordingly, he takes us on an excursion through space, time and mystery, wielding his Tarot deck, *American Heritage Dictionary* and Brown's *Laws of Form* as crystal mirrors upon which to gaze at his own reflections. It becomes a mirrored room stretching to eternity, illuminated with the True, Good, Beautiful and Real.

"Existence," writes von Meier, "is the level of the algebra, the being and doing of it, constants of the arithmetic applied to variables such as those encountered in time--although the algebra itself is not in time, only representations of it, arrangements of tokens; the relationships are transcultural, inside Eternity still."

# Psycho-Tag

A whimsical essay about the game of tag slides into a discussion of time, space, mathematics, astrology and the I Ching; so goes the mind of Kurt von Meier. With reference to games, Kurt states, "...what lifts such contests from the polarized, adversary dualism characteristic of mercantilist economy and the self-help of nation states at war, is some supervening awareness of the process of the interaction, a consciousness of the game itself as a game...In more formal terms this can be described as the deep-level oscillations of an imaginary value in mathematics."

# On Brown's Laws of Form

Kurt and Clifford Barney (his close friend and collaborator) spent years plumbing the depths of G. Spencer Brown's ** Laws of Form**, published in 1969. A subject of creative speculation and deep contemplation, their interest resulted in meetings with Brown and the convening of a symposium at Esalen in 1973, entitled the "AUM Conference". Attendees at the conference included von Meir, Barney and Brown, of course, plus Alan Watts, John Lilly, Gregory Bateson, Ram Dass, Karl Pribram, Claudio Naranjo, Heinz von Foerster, Charles Tart, Douglas Kelly, Ted Guinn, and Steward Brand. A short text by Kurt and Clifford explains their interest in

*Laws of Form*.