Travis HeadshotTravis DiRuzza earned his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University where he majored in English literature and music while performing in New York City at venues such as the Knitting Factory and Carnegie Hall. He lived in Paris and worked as a professional double-bassist for many years, performing and recording throughout Europe, including France, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania, and Romania, as well as Lebanon. He then moved to Southeast Asia, where he performed and recorded in Thailand, Malaysia, and Nepal. Travis received his master’s degree in philosophy and religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), where he is currently pursuing his PhD. His master’s thesis treats Plato and Derrida, while his dissertation traces the metaphysical concept of participation from its antique origins up through its Christian formulation by Dionysius the Areopagite and Maximus the Confessor. Travis also worked at CIIS as the Program Coordinator of the Drama Therapy department for three years. He continues to perform, create, and teach around the world, such as the 2016 summer workshop he co-led in Beijing on psychology and the arts.

This site is called “Reality Conspires” in reference to Plotinus’ dictum that “everything breathes together”   (con-spirare: latin for “breathe together with”). All things depend upon one another in an interconnected web of ecological relations. When we assume responsibility for our place and part in it all, the cosmos smiles upon us––or as Paulo Coelho puts it: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

The banner image is a painting by Paul Gaugin, entitled, D’où Venons Nous / Que Sommes NousOù Allons Nous (Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?). These perennial questions are at the root of philosophy and religion no less than art and literature. Such inquiry fuels and relates my work in these disciplines, letting them breathe together. To ask, and to be able to ask, as to our origin, identity, and destination, is for me what it means to be human.

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Paul Gaugin’s D’où Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous (click to enlarge)