Mod+ 266. RICK ARCHER, CAN CONSCIOUSNESS CHANGE CULTURE?

#21
If you could let go of your attachments and aversions you wouldn't need anything to be different than it is, you wouldn't need to change anything, you would realize that Skeptiko podcast is perfect just as it is.
(Assuming your comment was addressing my comment)

This is true, if I could let go of every attachment, I would not desire any change in the way the interview went. But unfortunately, I am only human, and still have quite a few attachments
: (

But i see where you're coming from. I guess i could have phrased it differently... The truth is I WAS frustrated, and that says more about myself than it does about the content of the interview. I was speaking the truth: that an imperfect person like me became frustrated when listening, and I shared this truth in the forum. If we were all perfectly enlightened, there would be no discussion to be had. We would just be sitting here neutral, content, and in bliss. But the people in this forum are having a discusioon because we're earth bound dualistic beings that can't help but over think things, debate, and argue.
 

AlexT

Administrator
#22
Like the ghengis khan comment about beliefs being forced on the masses by conquest and force. Seriously?
I think you missed the point about the Great Khan... I'm just challenging this notion that everything is progressing toward this consciousness revolution. Rick actually believes in stuff like the Democratic Party (I really don't understand how he holds onto the the R vs. D paradigm but he does) and he also believes in Global Warming... but we beat that one to death already. so I feel a need to push back on this eyes wide shut non-dual political stuff.

I love Rick and BATGAP... his interviews are important... but I don't agree with the political/social conclusions he draws from his body of work. And that's what's interesting to me. If you just want to hear Rick then BATGAP provides your weekly fix.
 

AlexT

Administrator
#23
Bring the conversation deeper than "theyre so wrong about materialism." Who cares about them?!
me! Exposing the fact that our culture, and especially our science is enmeshed in this paradigm is a big part of my journey. And I think I have a long way to go.

For example, I just interviewed Michael Shermer -- he's defiantly one of "them" -- but I learned a lot from the interview and feel really excited about following up on some of the stuff that came out of it.

That's what's cool about Skeptiko... I get to follow the stuff I'm interested in.
 
#24
I think you missed the point about the Great Khan... I'm just challenging this notion that everything is progressing toward this consciousness revolution. Rick actually believes in stuff like the Democratic Party (I really don't understand how he holds onto the the R vs. D paradigm but he does) and he also believes in Global Warming... but we beat that one to death already. so I feel a need to push back on this eyes wide shut non-dual political stuff.
I guess I didn't realize that's what you were referring to. Makes more sense i guess, but i had no clue when first listening.

As for everything leading to a consciousness revolution, i think that the diversity of people that Rick interviews, plus his open mindedness to their ideas, makes me realize that "something" is happening, because there is a sense of that universal "something" in all of his interviews, among all of the different types of "awakening" that are out there. These people all have vastly different experiences, from shamanic, to buddhist, christian, hindu, secular, etc, and there is something that "feels" the same among all of them when they are describing their awakening.

I think that this consciousness revolution will happen when people realize that just because our experiences and perceptions will be vastly different from our neighbors, there is something universal underneath it all, and we need to respect everyones unique relationship with that universal "something." And the more we dig into it, on forums like skeptiko and batgap or wherever, the more we'll realize how diverse and infinite it is. We need to respect one another's unique point of view in this "waking up" process that is so utterly subjective. I think that because we have the means to share and discuss this stuff, more and more people are starting to wake up up in their own unique way. It might not be universally noticable since everyone is so different, but i truly think its happening. We need to keep talking about it before we fall back asleep.
 

AlexT

Administrator
#25
I guess I didn't realize that's what you were referring to. Makes more sense i guess, but i had no clue when first listening.
yea, I apologize. in my head I was thinking about a previous conversation I had with Rick about how clueless we native Europeans can be clueless about the whims of history and the threat of conquest. I don't live with a day-to-day fear of conquest, but if I step back I gotta acknowledge that there is nothing special about us or our advancement as a society/culture that would make us immune from it... and I'm an American... we're the biggest bully on the block... how did it look if you were in Lybia a few years ago. I don't think Rick is realistic about this... and he's totally got the blinders on re Obama's conquest of Lybia.

As for everything leading to a consciousness revolution, i think that the diversity of people that Rick interviews, plus his open mindedness to their ideas, makes me realize that "something" is happening, because there is a sense of that universal "something" in all of his interviews, among all of the different types of "awakening" that are out there. These people all have vastly different experiences, from shamanic, to buddhist, christian, hindu, secular, etc, and there is something that "feels" the same among all of them when they are describing their awakening.

I think that this consciousness revolution will happen when people realize that just because our experiences and perceptions will be vastly different from our neighbors, there is something universal underneath it all, and we need to respect everyones unique relationship with that universal "something." And the more we dig into it, on forums like skeptiko and batgap or wherever, the more we'll realize how diverse and infinite it is. We need to respect one another's unique point of view in this "waking up" process that is so utterly subjective. I think that because we have the means to share and discuss this stuff, more and more people are starting to wake up up in their own unique way. It might not be universally noticable since everyone is so different, but i truly think its happening. We need to keep talking about it before we fall back asleep.[/quote]
ok, but here's a counter-argument -- everything is perfect right now. it's exactly the way it's supposed to be. we're not supposed to have some big cultural shift in consciousness, we're just supposed to play these cards.
 
#26
yea, I apologize. in my head I was thinking about a previous conversation I had with Rick about how clueless we native Europeans can be clueless about the whims of history and the threat of conquest. I don't live with a day-to-day fear of conquest, but if I step back I gotta acknowledge that there is nothing special about us or our advancement as a society/culture that would make us immune from it... and I'm an American... we're the biggest bully on the block... how did it look if you were in Lybia a few years ago. I don't think Rick is realistic about this... and he's totally got the blinders on re Obama's conquest of Lybia.
Hmmm... In the context of the interview, it seemed random to be thinking about a previous and unrelated disagreement in opinion. I understand where the disagreement comes from, but what did it have to do with what you and him were talking about at the time? Seems like you enjoy fighting over these things when the interviewee isn't talking about these things.


ok, but here's a counter-argument -- everything is perfect right now. it's exactly the way it's supposed to be. we're not supposed to have some big cultural shift in consciousness, we're just supposed to play these cards.
I'm a little confused. I didn't say that everything is imperfect right now, or that we're not exactly where we're supposed to be. I'm not suggesting that we ralley together and try to force a cultural shift in consciousness. I'm simply acknowledging that changes are already happening right before our eyes. People aren't saying "we should," or "we shouldn't" MAKE a shift happen, they're just speculating whether these changes will some day hit a critical point, and a paradigm shift will happen. Based off of history, paradigm shifts usually happen when enough momentum has been built off of cultural/technological/philosophical changes.

Not sure what your counter-argument had to do with my other comment.
 
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#27
There is corruption at every level in society(s) as well as different levels of denial and collusion. Why would science be immune to it? The idea that someday there will be a mass house cleaning I think is incorrect. If anything it will be incremental like most everything else.
Well science is one area which many people think is honest - I agree modern society is riddled with corruption.

As to how things will develop, I am not so sure. Things may move quite fast because there may be a tremendous backlash as people realise just how their money has been wasted - and people made ill - for no real reason at all. Time will tell!

David
 
#28
great modern philosopher of consciousness Ken Wilber .
Maybe I'm outing myself as a philosophical Luddite, but Ken Wilber always leaves me dazed and confused.

Just feels to me that he make things WAY more complex than they need to be.

Why stop at 7 stages? Why not twelve? How about 57? And then of course there are the layers of substages, and sub categories.

(Rather like the guys working on a grand unifying theory in physics: someone is always chiming in with another dimension or two to make all the equations work. What are we up to now? 14?)

Feels like complexity, for complexity's sake.

I almost get the sense that it would be easier to figure it out on my own. It would be simpler than making his opus fit into my little human head. : )
 
#29
Alex: (sorry- a bit off topic)
Have you interviewed William Buhlman? (probably the premier OBE guy on the planet)

If not, you should. He has a very nice way of removing the religious and even spiritual overtones from an OBE discussion.

Also- do you have a search feature on your site? (I couldn't find it) It would be really handy, esp considering that the interview text is on-line.
 
#30
I know what you mean... and that's why I guess I keep coming back to Rick's work... I think it has a lot to say about Skeptiko. I mean, what do you do once you settle on the fact that the science is clearly pointing to extended consciousness... now what.
Glad to hear you say that. Was thinking you might take my comment the wrong way...
 
#31
Maybe I'm outing myself as a philosophical Luddite, but Ken Wilber always leaves me dazed and confused.

Just feels to me that he make things WAY more complex than they need to be.

Why stop at 7 stages? Why not twelve? How about 57? And then of course there are the layers of substages, and sub categories.

(Rather like the guys working on a grand unifying theory in physics: someone is always chiming in with another dimension or two to make all the equations work. What are we up to now? 14?)

Feels like complexity, for complexity's sake.

I almost get the sense that it would be easier to figure it out on my own. It would be simpler than making his opus fit into my little human head. : )
Yep. He often leaves me dazed and confused. I find these stages convincing though because that's what the history of enquiry and the existing body of knowledge points to. I think you must at least start with what evidence is available.
 
#32
Alex is not an easy interviewer and there are times when he pushes his viewpoint in such a way that it impedes his guest's narrative flow. Such was the case with Rick Archer. However, I have to applaud Alex in this case because Archer was mostly pedaling a lot of tired-out New Age platitudes that have lost their edge. The 100th Monkey theory of consciousness evolution is inspiring, but it's been around for decades and has yet to make any significant impact on society or culture. One could argue that the 100th Monkey theory needs 100 years to prove out, but that's just promissory spirituality, essentially the same as promissory materialism. Archer made a host of other thin arguments. His reference to Lao Tzu and the Utopian society revealed a poor understanding of Taoism in the context of Chinese philosophy. There are many more examples.

To his credit, Alex poked holes in Archer's poor logic and advanced an argument that distinguishes Skeptiko from other expanded consciousness broadcasts. The Shadow Culture of mystic spirituality exists in all times and technological societies. What is needed - and what Skeptiko offers - is a perspective that goes beyond the new paradigm of Ancient-Wisdom-Meets-Modern-Science. First, it's not a new paradigm. And second, it often is used as a cloak to cover a poor grasp of spiritual wisdom and an ignorance of basic scientific principles. Buddha at the Gas Pump is catchy descriptor for this tired model.

As someone who works with non-ordinary consciousness on a daily basis, I have a personal interest in these debates. Neither Alex nor Rick have all the answers, but Alex, at least, is asking the right questions. A revitalization of ancient Asian religions, whether Buddhist or Hindu, is not the answer to the spiritual crisis in modern civilization. Alex is correct in pointing toward a new spirituality, a new understanding of consciousness that is both grounded in ordinary, consensus physical reality and accepting that our brains do not manufacture what we know and experience.

For more than a decade, I have had a clinical practice as a psychologist. The cornerstone of my work is to access the consciousness that survives death in service to helping ordinary people deal with ordinary issues, problems and unhappiness. As Alex say frequently, consciousness, in some way we don't fully understand, survives death. This realization - and the ability to harness our human capacity to communicate across the barrier of death - is the key to answering the question of how consciousness changing culture.
 
#33
Alex's question at the end of the podcast:
What do you think it would take for our culture to experience a shift in consciousness and become more "enlightened"?

Reincarnation
- of a heap more spiritual souls.


Both Edgar Cayce & Chico Xavier , separately , predicted that the advance guard of more advanced souls would begin appearing(reincarnating) around the turn of the century ( Cayce said they would be labelled crystal or indigo children ).

As a consequence around 2050 we should have much better government etc... Can’t remember which one of them said that.
 
#34
Archer was mostly pedaling a lot of tired-out New Age platitudes that have lost their edge.
I don't buy the "tired-old" line at all. Of course these things have been said before. The roots go back thousands of years.

The fundamental thing here is-

I see Rick as an archivist. One who collects and catalogs the various types of things mystical and lets you browse and consider. He teases out the details but he doesn't try and disprove or prove.

Where as Alex is a researcher. One who dissects, compares, contrasts, looks for patterns, proves where possible and disproves where possible and presents his case. He has a strong POV that he is using as a benchmark.

These are very different styles with very different objectives.

The reason the interview didn't satisfy me is related to the fact that Rick has almost no agenda he is trying to put forward, where Alex is absolutely does. About every one of Alex's interviews follows one of two courses:
1- He talks to someone who has a very different world view. Here Alex compares and focuses on those aspects of the guest's story that are disprovable with current data. He "keeps score".
2- He talks to someone who has a similar world view. Here Alex finds those areas of new insight that complement the non-meat puppet story line.

In this interview Alex couldn't fully agree with Rick's story because isn't based on hard ground, but rather soft squishy somewhat spiritual notions. Nor could he disagree because what Rick was describing was symptomatically similar to Alex's world.

So Alex tried to frame Rick's world in scientific terms and Rick wasn't going there.

What we saw is: it's hard to push against something that won't push back...
 
#35
Reincarnation - of a heap more spiritual souls.
Reincarnation is essentially a regressive philosophy. The concept of consciousness evolution includes a supposition that living organisms progress along a linear timeline. By definition, a more recent life form is more evolved than its predecessors. Whereas Hinduism treats the reincarnating soul as a remnant of consciousness that exists independently from the life form it inhabits. This soul move along a pathway towards enlightenment; it can be seen to progress from a state of archaic to causal. However, under this philosophy, the host life form need not evolve and consciousness itself is not evolving. The aim of enlightenment is to disassociate from the evolutionary fate of humankind.

In theory and practice, reincarnation as it is presented in Hindu philosophy is oppositional to the theory of evolution. One can simply look to the Indian subcontinent to view how the philosophy of reincarnation is expressed in practice. It feels unfortunate to me that the contrary position taken by thought leaders who are pushing back against scientific materialism is to fall back on Hinduism. Alex is justified to keep to the show's foundation which is to ground a conversation about consciousness evolution in the context of the dominant scientific materialist paradigm. Conversations about Hinduism and Buddhism are fascinating, but unless they can address the scientific framework, they are not Skeptiko material.

The pursuit of enlightenment and the pathway towards consciousness evolution are divergent philosophically. Alex attempted in many ways to probe this contradiction. Rick kept sidestepping from it.
 
#37
No. Reincarnation either occurs or it doesn't. (From personal experience I hold that it does occur).

Which philosophical interpretation one brings to bear upon this matter is an individual choice.
How can one say anything about reincarnation outside of a philosophical interpretation? It's pretty meaningless without a philosophical interpretation.

I am not taking a position on whether or not it occurs. I have a viewpoint, but that binary position - occurs/doesn't occur - doesn't bring much to this thread. What's more meaningful is how Rick uses Hinduism, including reincarnation to equate enlightenment with consciousness evolution. My point is that the Hindu philosophy of enlightenment/reincarnation is antithetical to an evolutionary understanding of consciousness. This is what Alex was attempting to flesh out.
 
#38
Reincarnation is essentially a regressive philosophy...
I have yet to listen to the podcast Dan.

imo the Hindu (like all other religions) belief of reincarnation is a distorted view ; progress is always forward , not backward.
Even the worst of us always gain a little each incarnation ( so say some of the spirit teachers of yesteryear ) even only if slight - and we can never loose what we had already gained.
We can make things awkward for ourselves in future lives - by our present thoughts and actions to be sure, no question of that.
What drives evolution (more refined material forms) is the unfoldment of consciousness (more refined spiritual awareness).

So We, by our endeavours in this classroom Earth, grow by gradual steps, on the infinite road of progress.
 
#39
Reincarnation is essentially a regressive philosophy. .......
But surely we aren't just looking for a nice philosophy, we are trying to find the truth.

The fact is that Ian Stevenson (and others) have amassed a lot of evidence for this concept. As to how the consciousness of an individual and that of society may or may not co-evolve - it doesn't seem that obvious. Reports from NDE's often refer to a timeless state. Unless the person is a science or SF buff, this seems a very odd concept for someone to invent. If time is not linear between lives, we might have other copies of ourselves alive right now, and successive lives don't need to be in any particular order.

There doesn't seem to be much point in inventing a philosophical interpretation of reincarnation until we have enough evidence to know if and how it works. I think the various religions probably only contain fragments of the truth - that is why Skeptiko doesn't simply aim to choose the correct religion!

In order to make progress, it is probably necessary to give up on the idea that we can obtain a neat and tidy picture of the larger reality.

David
 
#40
Alex is not an easy interviewer and there are times when he pushes his viewpoint in such a way that it impedes his guest's narrative flow. Such was the case with Rick Archer. However........
I do wish Alex would listen to this interview and think a bit about his style. I mean, if Alex knew that Rick was a fan of Global Warming or the Democratic Party, wouldn't it have been better to somehow weave those topics into the discussion in some way, and then mention the evidence that AGW is false (such as the flat temperature curve set against a continued rise in CO2 emissions), and that the Democratic Party can itself do some pretty awful things. I think the aim should be to present fairly concise questions, but then maybe reserve a slot for Alex's views at the end of the show.

David
 
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