Mod+ 274. DR. BERNARDO KASTRUP, WHY OUR CULTURE IS MATERIALISTIC

You really need to check out the overview of Bernardo's work here:

http://www.bernardokastrup.com/2015/04/social-media-policy-and-useful-links.html

To get through it all will take a little time, but you should understand better if you will take the trouble to read it. If you only look at one thing in it, check out:

I will do my best, but to be honest it seems to be a topic that is way over my head, and against everything I believe in thus far, I tried to listen to the podcast with Alex and Alex kept saying he had a brilliant mind, However, I just couldn't grasp what was being said.

Thanks for the link, I will take the time to go through them all. :)
 
This is the same problem in the dream. As long as you do not know you are dreaming, you have limited free-will and feel as if you are somewhat of a victim or observer of your circumstances. Once you realize you are dreaming, you become lucid and your level of control over the "objective" environment increases. If this reality is akin to the dream, then when we become "lucid" or enlightened or start to recall our greater identity outside of this reality, we might gain additional control over this "objective" reality. Such a person who recalls their true identity in this manner might feel as if he is the son of god and could hypothetically not only imagine a sandwich and be satisfied, but could multiply fishes and loaves and feed five thousand. All religions are replete with stories of enlightened characters bending the rules of reality at will. There are anecdotes of such miracles still occurring to this day. Perhaps this is because such people have partially awakened while still dreaming this reality.

Suppose you could choose to have a lucid dream every night when you go to sleep and you could have complete control. At first you might wish to dream of ever pleasure and every wonderful thing you could imagine. As soon as you desired it, you would have it. Suppose you could continue dreaming thus for an infinite time. Eventually you might get bored with mere pleasure and wish for an adventure - perhaps something dangerous. This might give you a limited thrill, but knowing that this is still a dream limits the degree of emotional experience you can have. Only when you decide to give up more control and forget your identity outside of the dream can you become full immersed in your dream world and experience the full depth of possible experiences. Suppose you went on exploring like this for an infinite period of time until eventually you dreamed the very life you are living now.

Nice explanation and thanks for the effort, I see what you are getting at, But I can't say it's true.

There are restrictions in this reality, unlike no restrictions in dreams, We are conditioned by material energy and the laws of physics also apply and can not be broken to experience things you could experience in dreams.
 
I will do my best, but to be honest it seems to be a topic that is way over my head, and against everything I believe in thus far, I tried to listen to the podcast with Alex and Alex kept saying he had a brilliant mind, However, I just couldn't grasp what was being said.

Thanks for the link, I will take the time to go through them all. :)
It takes time, Johnny.:) I've been refining my understanding of Bernardo for years and every now and then something crops up that I don't understand. I don't know if it's true or not, but chances are that what you believe is compatible with it. The laws of physics (those that we thus far are able to describe) are simply the interactions between processes occurring in mind-at-large; for whatever reason, these appear lawful and consistent despite their putatively arising in a mind that is aware but not aware it is aware.

There may be restrictions on what can happen in dreams: but we may never know what they are.
 
Nice explanation and thanks for the effort, I see what you are getting at, But I can't say it's true.

There are restrictions in this reality, unlike no restrictions in dreams, We are conditioned by material energy and the laws of physics also apply and can not be broken to experience things you could experience in dreams.
The "laws" of physics are observed consistencies. Applying inductive logic to many observed consistencies we conclude that these consistencies are absolutes or "laws". While inductive logic is a useful tool, it cannot prove anything with absolute certainty (e.g. the black swan). It could be that the consistencies we observe in physics are more like habits.

Going back to the lucid dream analogy again: suppose your lucid dream machine had some controls on it including a slider called "internal consistency". With the slider pegged to the left, the "laws" that governed the physics in your dream environment would be highly consistent and the odds of miraculous happenings would be extremely low. With the slider moved to the right, consistency decreases. Suppose you jump out of an airplane and your chute surprisingly fails to open. Then the earth below you morphs into a sea of jell-o and you splash down. A turtle swims by and you grab hold of his shell for a ride, but he morphs into a shark and bites your arm off. You recall this is a dream and instantly grow your arm back and punch the shark in the teeth. These kinds of dreams might be fun to explore for a while; however, consistency with low probability of "miracles" enables a certain kind of story to develop - one that is arguably more emotional and meaningful.
 
It takes time, Johnny.:) I've been refining my understanding of Bernardo for years and every now and then something crops up that I don't understand. I don't know if it's true or not, but chances are that what you believe is compatible with it. The laws of physics (those that we thus far are able to describe) are simply the interactions between processes occurring in mind-at-large; for whatever reason, these appear lawful and consistent despite their putatively arising in a mind that is aware but not aware it is aware.

There may be restrictions on what can happen in dreams: but we may never know what they are.
I believe in dualism.

For example, I believe the absolute truth is two things,

1; Material energy ( Inferior Energy )

2; Spiritual energy ( Superior Energy )


But a higher level of understanding ( according to my spiritual master ) leads one to conclude that even material energy, being Gods energy, Is also divine and spiritualised. (Hence a type of monism), being from the one source, but ultimately they are two separate energies, and to be liberated you need to be free of the material energy and become completely spiritualised.

The only way I can think of monism being true, would be like this,

Imagine the sun and the sunshine, both are different, If the sun were to enter my bedroom window I would be burnt to cinders, and it would be a mistake to think it was the sunshine. The sunshine is an extension of the sun. Both are different, yet both share the same chemical qualitative attributes, they are non different in chemical qualitative attributes, but yet they are different in regards to the potency they have. yet both are exactly the same in chemical qualitative attribute, they are exactly the same, yet different.


This philosophy stems from Achintya Bheda Abheda an old Vedic philosophy that asserts the philosophy of inconceivable one-ness and difference.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achintya_Bheda_Abheda
 
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The "laws" of physics are observed consistencies. Applying inductive logic to many observed consistencies we conclude that these consistencies are absolutes or "laws". While inductive logic is a useful tool, it cannot prove anything with absolute certainty (e.g. the black swan). It could be that the consistencies we observe in physics are more like habits.

Going back to the lucid dream analogy again: suppose your lucid dream machine had some controls on it including a slider called "internal consistency". With the slider pegged to the left, the "laws" that governed the physics in your dream environment would be highly consistent and the odds of miraculous happenings would be extremely low. With the slider moved to the right, consistency decreases. Suppose you jump out of an airplane and your chute surprisingly fails to open. Then the earth below you morphs into a sea of jell-o and you splash down. A turtle swims by and you grab hold of his shell for a ride, but he morphs into a shark and bites your arm off. You recall this is a dream and instantly grow your arm back and punch the shark in the teeth. These kinds of dreams might be fun to explore for a while; however, consistency with low probability of "miracles" enables a certain kind of story to develop - one that is arguably more emotional and meaningful.

I am not sure what you are driving at.
 
Two ideas: first, the metaphor of awakening from a dream is realistic, not idealistic, because for idealism there is only dream = experience, not something out of it, so there are different levels of dreams.

And second, as physicalists take technological progress as a point in their favor, the idealists would have to address the question of manipulating reality only through the mind: psychic hacking of world / reality warping, and what better way to defend idealism that showing practical applications for daily life...
 
@Bernardo Kastrup, this is for if (when) you check back into this thread. Big, big, big caveat: I have not read any of your books, nor looked into your ideas any more than (as a maximum) what has been linked to of them, including video presentations, in this thread, and I further note that in one of those video presentations, you say something to the effect of "You can poke a million holes in what I've just said right now, but if you read me carefully and closely, I will close those". It is highly likely then that I am poking holes that you have closed elsewhere, so if this is a waste of your time, then please just say so and refer me to your book(s) where you address it all, I am simply a fairly lazy reader.

Caveats aside, here is my (as alluded to in my first post to this thread) critique of your idealism. I had been meditating on it for some time before something that @Paul C. Anagnostopoulos wrote in another thread twigged with me: that idealism is in essence simply a variation on physicalism. This is where I had been coming to on my own, and I'll explain why:

I had initially been thinking of your notion of how "whirlpools" in the stream of mind create individual, self-reflective consciousness, and this led me to think: but wait, if there is a whirlpool, then surely there is an environment in which that whirlpool occurs, i.e. a three-dimensional space, and thus, is not three-dimensional space as ontologically intrinsic a requirement for idealism as it is under physicalism? And what, after all, is the difference between the two? It seems to me that the only difference is that under the one, the monistic substance which leads to consciousness is "mind stuff" whereas under the other, it is "physical stuff".

Granted, "mind stuff" has a better chance of getting you to "consciousness" than does "physical stuff", but is there not a very real sense in which the same problems occur? For example, what is it about the three-dimensional structure of a "mind stuff" brain that leads it to be conscious whereas the three-dimensional structure of a "mind stuff" brick does not? Could we not ask an essentially identical question under physicalism? What is it about the three-dimensional structure of a "physical stuff" brain that leads it to be conscious whereas the three-dimensional structure of a "physical stuff" brick does not? And is not our only advantage that "It is occurring within a mind?" Granted, that it is occurring within a mind is helpful, but we nevertheless have to go from mere "mind stuff" to "individual, self-reflective consciousness", and it seems to me that the only way to go there is through three-dimensional structure, which, for the same reasons I find it hard to realise in the case of physicalism, I find it hard to realise for idealism: we have "mind stuff"; we have "three-dimensional structure" - why does this combination lead to consciousness any more than it would if we replaced "mind stuff" with "physical stuff"?

Getting back, though, to my idea that, given that in your view it is required for individual, self-reflective consciousness, a three-dimensional reality is, under idealism, as ontologically "real" as under other paradigms, I was curious to see how idealism compared to my preferred paradigm, dualism. It seems to me that the only difference is this:

Whereas, under idealism, mind encompasses three-dimensional reality, under (a more traditional) dualism, mind projects three-dimensional reality. To be honest, I don't see any advantages of idealism in this respect, and I carefully went through all of the supposed advantages that you listed here:

  1. In the same way that reality is "in" consciousness under idealism, reality is "projected by" consciousness under dualism, and thus we are as eternal under dualism as we are under idealism.
  2. In the same way that your physical body is "in" consciousness under idealism, your physical body is "inhabited by" (bi-directionally) consciousness under dualism, and thus one's psychic state is as intrinsically related to one's physical health under the one as under the other.
  3. If, under dualism, we are "projections" of consciousness, we are at root no less "one and the same" under dualism as under idealism.
  4. Likewise, if, under dualism, we are "projections" of (the one) consciousness, then our subjective experience is no less important than under idealism, and our feelings and emotions carry as much weight - it is simply that they occur in the context of a "physical" body with which consciousness (the soul) allies itself temporarily.

Furthermore, it appears to me that, as another poster (sorry, mate, I forget your name, if I remember right you're Italian though) indicated, dualism has explanatory advantages that idealism lacks: dualism explains reincarnation and out-of-body/near-death experiences far better than idealism, because it posits that "the soul" separates from "the physical" in such circumstances. What, on the other hand, can idealism say? There is no strong sense under idealism in which mind is separate from matter. I came into this thread congenially, hoping to conciliate dualism with idealism, and perhaps that's still possible, but at this point I don't see an easy way for e.g. reincarnation and NDEs/OBEs to function under idealism, and the evidence points to these things being a reality. And by "easy" I of course allude to Occam's razor: idealism seems to me, contrary to your assertions, to fail parsimony.

OK, gosh, that's all very critical and negative, but I want to emphasise that it's strictly in the spirit of intellectual inquiry: this is simply the way that I currently see things given what I understand right now, and if you can convince me that I'm not seeing truly, then I'm all the more grateful.

[Note a couple of edits, especially in the bullet points, due to sloppiness]
 
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@Bernardo Kastrup, this is for if (when) you check back into this thread. Big, big, big caveat: I have not read any of your books, nor looked into your ideas any more than (as a maximum) what has been linked to of them, including video presentations, in this thread, and I further note that in one of those video presentations, you say something to the effect of "You can poke a million holes in what I've just said right now, but if you read me carefully and closely, I will close those". It is highly likely then that I am poking holes that you have closed elsewhere, so if this is a waste of your time, then please just say so and refer me to your book(s) where you address it all, I am simply a fairly lazy reader.
Then get off your fat arse and check out: http://www.bernardokastrup.com/2015/04/social-media-policy-and-useful-links.html

You could even do Bernardo the courtesy of buying his latest book, Brief Peeks Beyond, a steal at Kindle prices. Fer cryin' out loud, man, put some effort in before raising questions he's answered time and again.
 
I apologise. You're right, Michael, I ought to have done all of that before even attempting (if at all) a critique. I was more than a little rude and disrespectful. Sorry, Bernardo, Michael and others reading this thread.

I've now bought Bernardo's latest book, and have read all of chapters one and two (skimming a little through the rebuttals to materialist objections, which already make a lot of sense to me), and am now reading chapter six. I withdraw my criticism of Bernardo's idealism based on (as I mistakenly contended) its sharing the same essential problems as physicalism. I see now that saying that reality is comprised of "mind stuff" which is in essence no difference to "physical stuff" is to miss what Bernardo is really saying: that reality is a flow of conscious experience, the subject of which in the case of "inanimate objects" is mind-at-large, and the localisation of which leads to individual psyches.

I still have some doubts about the coherence or at least plausibility of all of this, at least as compared to the dualistic paradigm, but I won't express them until I've read more and thought more - unless anyone thinks that in even raising the possibility of (relative) incoherence/implausibility I ought to justify it immediately, in which case I will oblige.

Cheers for the kick in the pants, Michael. At your urging, my fat arse has moved. :)
 
I apologise. You're right, Michael, I ought to have done all of that before even attempting (if at all) a critique. I was more than a little rude and disrespectful. Sorry, Bernardo, Michael and others reading this thread.

I've now bought Bernardo's latest book, and have read all of chapters one and two (skimming a little through the rebuttals to materialist objections, which already make a lot of sense to me), and am now reading chapter six. I withdraw my criticism of Bernardo's idealism based on (as I mistakenly contended) its sharing the same essential problems as physicalism. I see now that saying that reality is comprised of "mind stuff" which is in essence no difference to "physical stuff" is to miss what Bernardo is really saying: that reality is a flow of conscious experience, the subject of which in the case of "inanimate objects" is mind-at-large, and the localisation of which leads to individual psyches.

I still have some doubts about the coherence or at least plausibility of all of this, at least as compared to the dualistic paradigm, but I won't express them until I've read more and thought more - unless anyone thinks that in even raising the possibility of (relative) incoherence/implausibility I ought to justify it immediately, in which case I will oblige.

Cheers for the kick in the pants, Michael. At your urging, my fat arse has moved. :)
What a refreshing response: kudos to you!:)

You don't have to believe what Bernardo says: I myself am an agnostic with, let's say, a propensity to take what he says very seriously indeed. So far, I haven't come across anything more convincing.

Again, well done and thank you.
 
Cross posting as this pertains to idealism

According to Wikipedia:
"In Hinduism, Brahman is "the unchanging reality amidst and beyond the world", which "cannot be exactly defined". It has been described in Sanskrit as Sat-cit-ananda and as the highest reality... According to Advaita, a liberated human being ... has realised Brahman as his or her own true self."

People who have had realizations of the ultimate reality, Brahman, experience themselves as the consciousness that creates all reality. They see themselves as all things and they see all beings are one. They see that ordinary reality is an illusion projected by the mind. They understand the Buddhist concept of emptiness: all is illusion, individual self is an illusion, material reality is an illusion, separate (other) beings are illusions. There is only Brahman. Even the unity of self and other is still illusion because there is no self, there is no other, there is only Brahman.

This realization cannot come to you as a thought or as a logical understanding. The analytical mind is no help here, in fact it is the problem. The realization is going to come to you as an experience when you stop using the mind, stop thinking about the world through the mind and stop thinking of yourself through the mind. The mind only projects illusion, the illusion of self, the illusion of things, the illusion of other separate beings. To attain realization, you have to turn your attention inward so far inward that you go inward to a point before all conceiving of or thinking of.

There are various ways to free yourself from the illusions projected by your own mind. One is through insight / mindfulness practices in which you observe how the mind produces illusions. Another is meditation where you still the mind by thinking of one thing, meditating with a single pointed, focused mind, until there are no other thoughts, then let go of that one thing. Another is working with a koan such as Who am I, What am I, or What is this?
 
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...
I still have some doubts about the coherence or at least plausibility of all of this...
Me too. I don't think mathematical concepts are going to be helpful in understanding consciousness. We think of mathematics as something fundamental because we see mathematical properties in nature. But mathematics and nature are both created by consciousness and consciousness uses math to create nature. I don't see mathematics has having pertinence in transcendent reality, in reality outside the physical universe. Saying math can explain consciousness is the same mistake as saying atoms can explain consciousness. Consciousness created both atoms and mathematics. I think the theistic philosophers who conclude that God is irreducibly simple (divine simplicity) understood this.
 
I wrote my comment on the Hugenot discussion before I saw the question you teed up for this discussion...
and of course my answer is definitively yes
The merchants are the power elites of our times, and they see no advantage or profit for them in people knowing the truth of mind and consciousness
and the afterlife.
For them science is purely utilitarian.
They are working to eliminate pure research and pure science
In fact they already have
I would say that today science is the handmaiden of the merchants
They effectively own it lock stock and barrel
 
I have to say, it's a bit unfair on Coyne to suggest that he's stupid just because he made a philosophical mistake. He's a scientist, not a philosopher.

But we still have the question, why are so many of the New Atheists so ignorant about and dismissive of philosophy and metaphysics? Presumably this situation has come about because of the enormous prestige that goes along with being a scientist as compared to being a philosopher, because of the excessive specialization in the modern academic world, and because of the obvious progress in science and technology compared to the perceived lack of it in philosophy.
 
I have to say, it's a bit unfair on Coyne to suggest that he's stupid just because he made a philosophical mistake. He's a scientist, not a philosopher.

But we still have the question, why are so many of the New Atheists so ignorant about and dismissive of philosophy and metaphysics? Presumably this situation has come about because of the enormous prestige that goes along with being a scientist as compared to being a philosopher, because of the excessive specialization in the modern academic world, and because of the obvious progress in science and technology compared to the perceived lack of it in philosophy.
Pragmatism. As Alex asked in the recent podcast, "... who the fucks gonna run the world?"
 
Pragmatism. As Alex asked in the recent podcast, "... who the fucks gonna run the world?"
But that doesn't really answer the question. The question is, why do so many New Atheists and skeptics think philosophy is a waste of time and of no value? They certainly don't think that about music, art, dance or literature. It's philosophy in particular that they have it in for.

I just finished reading a book by Neil deGrasse Tyson, and he almost always uses words like 'metaphysics', 'armchair' and 'philosophy' in a pejorative way. This is a guy who has never studied philosophy and knows next to nothing about it, and yet he somehow knows that the whole thing is a waste of time. After all, science has come to liberate us from these ancient modes of thought.

As I've said before, I put a lot of the blame for this anti-philosophy position among atheists and skeptics on Sagan and Feynman. These guys are worshipped by pretty much everybody in these movements, and they were both very anti-philosophy.

Skeptics like Massimo Pigliucci and Stephen Law are trying to defend philosophy against these people, but it's really difficult for them.

So you've got the sociological reasons I gave in my last post, plus the fact that these movements were started by people with a very strong prejudice against philosophy. I guess these are the main reasons, but there are probably others. One thing that isn't a reason, though, is that these people are stupid!
 
Here is my summary on how materialism is woven into the culture and economic system and human history in general...

Humanity originated as a tribal system where small communities shared everything and there was little if any private material property. Material possessions were limited to what one could carry. These tribal peoples had a form of spirituality that was often very connected with nature. This was the garden state. The mind was free but uninitiated into more complex realms of consciousness.

As farming and other technologies developed, cities formed which enabled improvements in efficiency, a stratification of labor, and trade. The small communal tribal system became untenable. The ability to accumulate material possessions led to inequalities which led to increasingly predatory behavior. Groups formed for protection and in doing so ceded some of their personal liberty to leaders for more forceful coordinated action. As cities expanded hierarchical systems of authority were formed such that progressively fewer people exerted progressively more control over larger and larger groups of humans. The desire of every human to be free and return to the garden state of his origin is in conflict with this hierarchical system of control making the pyramidal structure inherently unstable. A stable pyramid requires a delicate balance of top-down control and bottom up stigmergy. Every human has varying degrees of desire for comfort, control, freedom, as well as an empathetic capacity. The pyramidal structure naturally filters certain personality types to the top: those with low empathy and high desire for control. Every so often, the pyramid becomes unstable and a flip occurs where an empathetic self-sacrificial leader finds himself at the top. This empathetic leader allows those lower on the pyramid greater degrees of comfort and freedom which stabilize the pyramid. But time passes and the empathetic leader dies or is conquered by another and once again psychopathic types begin filtering their way to the top.

This pyramidal hierarchical system of control is maintained through violence and mind control. After several thousand years of history, many combinations, flavors, and variations of violence and mind control have been tried by various elites that have risen to the top of civilizations so that a science has been developed for the maintenance of the pyramid. Technology gave rise to the first miniature city-state pyramids and as new technologies arise and allow the expansion of the pyramid to potentially encompass the entire global population, the science of pyramidal control is being continually refined and expanded.

Materialism is a philosophy which stabilizes the pyramid. Materialism increases fear of loss. Fear of loss is what initially drove people to band together and cede their personal liberty to a guardian. Fear of loss limits risk-taking ventures to overturn the pyramid. Materialism increases fear of death which makes the threat of violence more effective. Materialism limits the ability to find greater meaning beyond a single incarnation so that pseudo-meaning is derived from one's place and function in the pyramid or one's ascension within the pyramid. Materialism reduces hope for a better system leaving the inhabitants of the base layers unmotivated or self-defeated and unable to overturn the system.

The less conscious the individual, the more easily that individual is controlled. The more conscious, open, knowledgeable, enlightened, empathetic, and hopeful the individual, the more difficult that individual is to control. The expansion of consciousness is a direct threat to the control structure. Therefore, those in control seek to maintain this control by keeping people in an unenlightened barely conscious state. Materialism is a great aid to their effort. Secret societies have served a dual purpose throughout history. In some cases, they have protected and preserved knowledge about the mental nature of reality from destruction. In some cases they have created roadblocks and hierarchies of their own to prevent the common man from breaking out of materialism and into an expanded understanding of reality. Since knowledge is power, the elites in control seek to monopolize this power and are often responsible for the destruction of knowledge, which ironically spurs the formation of new secret societies to protect that knowledge.

As trade expanded, a medium of exchange was needed to increase efficiency in the economic system. As shipping technology advanced, it became feasible to transport luxury goods for trade from around the world. This expanded form of trade required new forms of technology to increase trade efficiency. Enter the merchant banker and paper currency. Merchant bankers improved trade efficiency by reducing the need to carry around the weight and liability of precious metals. They also began to engineer forms of credit expansion through the fractional reserve system. Eventually Merchants and Bankers parted ways and the merchants kept to the relatively honest side of the business in dealing with materials and the bankers took the more esoteric path of dealing in the SYMBOL of the materials: currency. Since the ultimate nature of reality is mental and symbol and not material, banking is inherently an occult business. The naturally powerful and occult business of banking attracted a certain personality type and so a few hundred years ago, the bankers rose to the top of the new hierarchical pyramid. The few at the top dominate the mass at the bottom through the monopolizing of symbol and knowledge about the mental nature of reality while steering the masses way to materialism.

The bankers' invention of the fractional reserve system enabled them to control currency, the symbol of material wealth and power. It also created a debt machine (a pyramid scheme) that would collapse unless continually fed by more credit. The requirement for exponential increase in credit led to the banker's need to create exponential demand for their credit so that their money continued to be valuable. To create this demand, the bankers developed their slave laborers' materialistic tendencies programming them to want more and more and more stuff. Eventually the exponentially expanding debt system collapses, but the bankers orchestrate these collapses and therefore still manage to consolidate wealth through them.

In short: materialism is a natural tendency of human nature that first became a force when technology made tribal living obsolete. Materialism creates and maintains hierarchical systems of control which filter psychopaths to the top. Psychopaths understand how materialism affects the human psyche and use it to maintain control. As technology increases, the potential size of the pyramid increases, and the science of maintaining control must expand to incorporate this new technology. There is a short window where this technology can spur the mass expansion of consciousness and overturn the pyramid before the elites figure out how to use this technology to further solidify control and prevent the expansion of consciousness. From a historical perspective it is certainly a very interesting time to be alive!
Great post and an opinion I share, but I would add a few thoughts. Your points on the banking were spot on, but I feel lacked one aspect, usury. I didn't see it mentioned or if it was in another way, then I'm remiss. It seems you may have touched on it when you mentioned "slave laborers" or debt slavery as I would word it. Created, of course, through usury. As abhorrent as banking is viewed, take usury out and it could be a beneficial system.

The part about the pyramid increasing I would agree with if I believed the proletariat were included in the pyramid. I don't. I see only the controllers being included and the rest are viewed as mere chattel, useless eater, mouth breathers, and therefore expendable. So, I see the the pyramid being consolidated and decreasing in size. I also think the controllers are of an exclusivity that that has exited as long the pyramid.

The last thought I would add concerns secret societies. All the things you mention I agree with, but I think the esoterica and occulted are far more extensive and stretches further back in time than is widely agreed on or known by the laymen. I find the that subject strains my imagination and ability to rationalize what I've come across. It is truly stranger than fiction. Just delving into the symbology is overwhelming and tests my credulity. Yet, society is absolutely enveloped and saturated by symbols. One only need look on the $1 dollar bill to understand.

I look forward to more of your posts.
 
Great post and an opinion I share, but I would add a few thoughts. Your points on the banking were spot on, but I feel lacked one aspect, usury. I didn't see it mentioned or if it was in another way, then I'm remiss. It seems you may have touched on it when you mentioned "slave laborers" or debt slavery as I would word it. Created, of course, through usury. As abhorrent as banking is viewed, take usury out and it could be a beneficial system.
Thanks for your comment. Yes, usury or charging interest on a debt or debt slavery is an old invention attested to by warnings against it in the Old Testament and other ancient texts. I'm not sure where exactly I stand on interest. On the one hand I can understand paying an interest rate on a loan: through interest you are paying for a service. However, perhaps this is the first step towards a slippery slope which eventually leads to the total corruption we see today. Perhaps it is better to not even take that first step and make charging interest on loans illegal. This would undoubtedly slow down economic expansion since those with capital would have no incentive to invest, but then again... making "economic expansion" the ultimate goal is misguided, but then again... if it becomes illegal in one part of the world, this will give advantage to another part of the world and/or to organized crime. So how do you stop the poisonous banking bud from blossoming? How in the world to you return the world to a simple honest money system? Can you have an honest money system if you permit lending with interest but forbid fractional reserve lending? It seems to me that the practice of fractional reserve lending is a huge unethical step towards corruption as it is essentially a pyramid scheme. But what is the solution? I'm not sure I know... other than the general solution of educating and raising the consciousness of the individual in hopes of one day crowd-sourcing a solution.

The last thought I would add concerns secret societies. All the things you mention I agree with, but I think the esoterica and occulted are far more extensive and stretches further back in time than is widely agreed on or known by the laymen. I find the that subject strains my imagination and ability to rationalize what I've come across. It is truly stranger than fiction. Just delving into the symbology is overwhelming and tests my credulity. Yet, society is absolutely enveloped and saturated by symbols. One only need look on the $1 dollar bill to understand. I look forward to more of your posts.
Thanks, and yes I agree the study of secret societies is fascinating and that the origins of some probably go back many thousands of years... perhaps even to the last great civilizations that built the sphinx and gobekli teppe and Machu PIcchu and other ancient marvels. Thanks to the democratizing power of the internet, many secrets have been spilled. I'm excited to see what new revelations will come out in the years to come.
 
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