Prickles and goo is an experiment in sharing the ecstatic wonder I experience as a conscious outgrowth of the cosmos turned round to contemplate itself. I’m trying to help figure out how we can sustain and advance this grand human adventure, without destroying our ecological support systems.
I’m always searching for shared metaphors that are mutually accessible from analytical and intuitive traditions. I started this site as a Wunderkammer of unexpected connections, a bestiary of ideas, and a metaphorical toolbox to help us better understand and appreciate our world and our place in it. I’m currently shifting this site to focus more specifically on resources for psychedelic integration.
Why “prickles and goo”?
The phrase “prickles and goo” comes from an quote by Alan Watts, in his essay on “The Nature of Consciousness“:
There are basically two kinds of philosophy. One’s called prickles, the other’s called goo. And prickly people are precise, rigorous, logical. They like everything chopped up and clear. Goo people like it vague. For example, in physics, prickly people believe that the ultimate constituents of matter are particles. Goo people believe it’s waves. And in philosophy, prickly people are logical positivists, and goo people are idealists. And they’re always arguing with each other, but what they don’t realize is neither one can take his position without the other person. Because you wouldn’t know you advocated prickles unless there was someone advocating goo. You wouldn’t know what a prickle was unless you knew what a goo was. Because life isn’t either prickles or goo, it’s either gooey prickles or prickly goo.
You can watch part of his lecture on “prickles and goo” as an animated short:
I have a BA in Ecology from a wonderfully odd college that values ecstatic wonder. I left a PhD program in conservation because that particular grad school train wasn’t heading where I wanted to go.
In 2016, I was hired to be a facilitator and research director at an ayahuasca center in Peru, and I was eventually fired for being too rational.
Currently, I do customer support for a tech company, and I’m considering going back to school for counseling.
You may see some blog posts under the name “fractalotl,” which is what I used before deciding to link this site to my real name. It’s a portmanteau of the words “fractal” (a type of self-similar pattern that repeats at various scales) and “axolotl” (Ambystoma mexicanum, an aquatic salamander from Mexico that never quite grows up as expected). I had nothing to do with this OpenProcessing rendering of a fractalotl, but I think it’s adorable.