Dr. Brian Hayden, Anthropology of Power and Evil |411|

#21
Me: "In reading Hayden’s work I find myself continually trying to explain the way things are happening today. While a lot of the model Hayden puts forth to frame transegalitarian societies which increase in complexity as a result of ritual sodalities’ machinations can be applied to what we see in parapolitics and the criminal underworld today, I wonder about the stark contrasts. E.g. In prehistorical society controlled by ritual sodalities (trauma cults) the supernatural claims of aggrandizers were out in the open and everyone in society was aware of these claims if not true believers. Today, the elite do not make these claims for the masses to see and they seem to be reserved for some level above the common person. So, at what point of societal complexity does this pivot happen, when does it become an aggrandizer strategy to start hiding supernatural powers from at least those not initiated into the lowest rungs of the ritual sodalities?"

Till:
"‘Supernatural’ power is the issue. To say ‘supernatural’ is to imply some sort of arbitrary structure to reality. Arbitrary…Reality isn’t. Hence, the lunacy of exercising the power of the singularity without recognition of the horrible and logical effects that will extend from that immoral usage.

Since the Universe, in fact, is a singular Organism, this singular Organism is, as the mystic eventually discovers, pure Mind. But is Mind inside or Outside? This is where the confusion arises for the traumatized mind.

My work is ALL ABOUT this connection between the reductionistic basis of mind in an Eternal Subjectivity, and the emergent and relative operation of mind in a constantly changing environment. In order to properly connect to the meaning/goals of the reductionist state – the eternal Subjective which creates reality (for fun/play/joy/creativity) – the person, or Human being, must self-organize through the proper stages in an external social realm. The social realm is the ‘imprinting mechanism’. The mind experiences its “I” most truly – most enliveningly – when it is maximally connected to other humans in a context of trust, reason, and play. Trust means love; reason means such love is logically implicit in the dynamics of reality; and play reminds us this is why we do it: its worth the effort. We gain by being good – by being sane – by trusting one another. When we follow the Will of the Universe we feel more alive – more powerful – more in control of our feelings.

The sociopath/aggrandizer lives in an entirely different affective universe. It is truly night and day compared to yours or mine: the brainstem we have is such a primal level of representation that, if your early life is ridden with caregivers who violate/are intolerant of your basic motivational needs as a human (i.e. they have a faulty understanding of human behavior). The basis of the behavior is ‘deficiency’ cognition, where the body’s feelings are bad because of how poorly the caregiver has regulated the infant’s feeling states (i.e. failing to calm him; or enliven him at the right times).

What I wish to emphasize here – since its not merely a psychodynamic description – is that there is a metaphysical structure within our forebrains; the external caregiver is the object which becomes embodied in our bodily feelings. Faces/Voices/Bodies have an intrinsic ‘meaningfulness’ before we are ever able to think ABOUT the world, and so, we already exist – via this continuum of feeling via faces/voices/bodies – in a shared-world of intentions and feelings and needs.

When we come to think ABOUT the Self or the Universe (both arising from the self-embeddedment engendered by a dualistic perception that elicits wonder/awe) we are actually representing the Universe in terms of the patterns of Self-Other and Observing Self-Feeling Body. This psychological fact is a subtle one, but it reveals the remarkable structure that exists between the horizontal self-other dimension, the vertical mind-body direction, as well as, if you will, the unification of both domains in the recognition that all of reality is a Singular Being.

Now what happens to the individual Mind when it connects to this Singular Being via contemplation that yields ecstatic feelings of awe/wonder? It depends. Semiosis/Biological history can make this an easy and enlivening transition, or a complete and utter trauma that overwhelms the psychological Self with such positive feeling that it feels too much – its overwhelming! So a mismatch is set up between the body and the Universe, and if this mismatch between feeling-body and Universe isn’t understood – uh oh! Think about what such reactions might suggest about the nature of reality. Here’s a taste from Alex Shalom Kohav:

“Seen this way, “God” is not an abstraction; “It” is the highest scalar entity capable of inducing awesome/fearful mysterium tremendum experiences and of imposing dramatic sensory/hyletic and semiotic/discursive constraints.” – Alex Shalom Kohav, The Sod Hypothesis; pg. 38, Makom, 2013

Thunder – Odin. The Godhead as seen from the perspective of a traumatized body/culture is represented as an evil, destructive force…and even though this is an emergent situation, it can – and has been – interpreted in an essentialist way: this is how the Universe is built. God is evil; he destroys, ergo, the Human being – who is made in the image of God, destroys. The Yin/Yang as Good/Evil comes into being with this shallow misunderstanding of human nature.

What is the biggest error this stupid belief system creates? It is the smuggling in of the distinction between human beings and the larger Universe. Before the collapse, there is this sense – as any balanced person recognizes – that there is both an approximate truth (love), and yet we live in a world of sufficient randomness as to render us more or less ignorant as to what will happen next. We accept that the Universe is partially separated from us; we call this God, or the Tao, or whatever: we represent its ‘Thirdness’ because it is a relevant distinction between ourselves and It.

The solipsist/traumatized mystic on the other hand is so overwhelmed by synchronistic dynamics between Self and Universe that they immediately become polarized into a one-to-one correspondence: the Universe IS my mind, as opposed to the human mind being made in the model of the Universe. This distinction tends to lead to an exaggerated focus/emphasis on agency/belief (ontology) and a lazy disregard of the external world, others, and how they affect the Self(epistemology).

Balanced people care about how we know, because we know how complicated it can be – and how how we know can deeply modify what we think is real.

So, the powers of the Mind – what so charms/enchants undeveloped minds – are really a normal outgrowth of a more fundamental connectedness at social-level.

Yet what is more basic? Do we ‘become universal mind’ first, or do we become socialized first? If the latter, then everything understood about the former is being shaped/grafted by the latter, and so it becomes a desperate matter that people care MORE about celebrating/supporting coherent relationships than about putative supernatural abilities. If the reverse interest occurs, its akin to masochism or cannabilism: the individual I which arises from the We is willing to sacrifice I’s – Other people who derive from the We – for its own sake. This is an utter delusion which occurs because the I with such motivations is desperately out-of-touch with what causes/motivates its feeling relations to objects.

In any case, hope I answered your first question.

Your second question is very interesting as well. Obviously, this change eventually happened, and it probably happened in between the chiefdom stage and the formal emergence of states. My book will of course explore how this transformation occurred – that is, what the archeological record suggests about this transformation, and how it is likely related to a change of interests. Keep in mind that being-supernatural is a way of thinking we find from ancient Egypt to medieval and even renaissance kings, and belief in magic/supernatural has only waned – at a public level – more recently, whereas in earlier eras it was cultivated much more than we realize.

Hayden refers to Freemasonry, obviously because he recognizes in it both symbols/rituals indicative of more ancient cults, but because, in all probability, Freemasonry is an extension of a more internal clique of conspirators – Nobles – into a different modality. The ‘elite club’ widens with Freemasonry because social-organization is widening. This could be due to developments in technology, thinking – for instance, the printing press and the discovery of the Americas were big ones – but I think we’re seeing an organic complexification of an existing social structure that is, contrary to what appears to be happening at the surface, continuing to maintain basic features in relation to what is required to manipulate society/human minds for the purpose of ‘perpetuating to racket’.

The metaphysics of this racket is interesting, as the conspirators must believe in reincarnation, and therefore, believe that they have a way to ‘continuously’ incarnate themselves into an advantaged situation. Is this real? Or is it the result of normal idealization/dissociation processes growing out of symmetry dynamics manifested as ‘threat-safety’ dynamics in the brain?

Myths are dangerous because they are, in fact, an unconsciously created foil to regulate the selves relation to its own interpersonal-socially created Self."
 
#22
A good start would be to define it as an approach that views consciousness as fundamental - i.e. it isn't derived from something else.
Interesting. If I'm reading this correctly you want to define "something" we don't fully understand in terms of "something else" we understand even less. Beyond providing plenty of uncertainty gaps for us to mine, squeeze in our favourite ontology, and fill up the pages of the Skeptiko forum, what use is that?

Note that if you take the conventional assumption that consciousness can always be resolved into something completely physical, you are also making an assumption
Show me an example of this. A paper where that assumption has changed the outcome of an experiment.
 
#23
Interesting. If I'm reading this correctly you want to define "something" we don't fully understand in terms of "something else" we understand even less. Beyond providing plenty of uncertainty gaps for us to mine, squeeze in our favourite ontology, and fill up the pages of the Skeptiko forum, what use is that?
It is entirely arguable that 'we' can't define anything in science - only use equations to model some of their revealed behaiour.

David
 
#24
Maybe he thinks the Skeptiko audience isn't interested in a $100+ Cambridge Press text.
This is the idiotic conceit of academic publishers.They price for academic libraries and academics with a budget to buy book and stuff the lay person with an interest. Typically it is thought that academic texts cannot, or will not, be endured by general readers - and this is usually a safe bet. Its a pain when an academic book is also palatable, as infrequent as that might be, because we are stuck with the same ridiculous price.
 
#25
Dr. Hayden made it clear his explanations do not assume that - they leave it as an open question. You do not need to take a stance in order to comment on things happening in the material world.
Sadly even a whiff of metaphysicalism will set the materialist hounds of anthropology and ethnography howling. The base line for human sciences is still materialistic. The claims for 'respect' for traditional and archaic culture really means not being rude about them being wrong, and re-interpeting (correcting) their worldview is done with 'respect' and sensitivity.

The 1995 book 'Faces in the Clouds' by Stuart Guthrie remains a credible text even now. This 'new theory of religion' is based on the proposition that spirits are not real. No need to guess my opinion of it.

Its hard to defend an overt assertion that the metaphysical is real in an academic culture that 'knows' it is not - if you want to keep your job. Jeff Kripal gets away with it because his academic field is religion. But if you are an anthropologist you are fair game - go figure!
 
#26
Hayden, in my view, makes an important distinction between 'real' and 'fake' magic. This demonstrates two important things. One is that the 'real' is not always needed to alter behaviour, expectations and outcomes. The second is that the 'real' has to be preserved from the normal. Human reality stretches across the boundaries, but the sacred is always quarantined from the mundane. Intellectual quibbling on this point is petty and pointless.

Hayden's observations about secret societies is potent. Even in archaic and traditional cultures they constitute an assumption of right an authority that is not theirs to assert. This was a stunning 'wake up' to me and it instantly made sense. I had been ejected from 2 secret societies -essentially for daring to ask questions whose answers were not compatible with the culture's evident intent. Until I heard Hayden I hadn't consolidated my sentiments - suddenly a lot of sense was made.

Power of the shaman kind is spirit given. Even when secret societies have spirit guidance, that guidance can't ever give notions inimical to the society. That means the spirit guidance can be masked beneath performances that serve the society. You don't get to the spirit guidance unless you conform to the society's rules.

Here's the point. Spirit does not care if it deals with natural people or with societies orientated to work with it. It will work with whatever. That's not to say that it will work with societies engaged intentional evil - that's a whole different ball game.

The theatre of 'fake' magic is a fair tool. You don't use a backhoe for what a teaspoon will do. The test isn't 'real or not' but efficacy and efficiency - best result for lest effort. But when that theatre becomes an instrument of inducting people of status into an exclusive club who's main aim is maintenance of status we enter a different domain. That is not to say that the intent is not pointing in the direction of nobility - just that there's a lot of diluting and self-serving BS in the way.

The two secret societies to which I belonged had, in my view, a common failing. They valued the acquisition of knowledge and magical power over higher moral values. That does not mean the these secret societies have no valid function. I could seem arrogant and say that they are a moral kindergarten, but I won't. I think they are entry points rather than destinations.

Alex raised Geller as an instance of the 'real' + alleged 'fakery' as is the 'real' is the only valid means of transforming consciousness. That's our materialistic preoccupation in thinking that what is 'real' in our terms is the case and not the effect. This precisely why the placebo effect is treated so idiotically. We have to be sensible here. Reality is about effect and not cause. Knowing the cause is not a precondition for reality any more than having your tv stolen is not real until the crime is solved. And yet we are seduced into the idiocy of thinking that unless the cause is known the effect cannot be real.

We have to stop thinking (if that's the right word) like materialists.
 
#27
Myths are dangerous because they are, in fact, an unconsciously created foil to regulate the selves relation to its own interpersonal-socially created Self."
This depends on what you define a myth as. In my view the 'myths' of the Greeks and Romans. for instance, where sophisticated records of insights expressed as story telling when human consciousness was not split the way it is now - into rational and irrational modes. These days we still use story telling to convey essential moral, psychological, philosophical and metaphysical messages via novels, movies, soaps and the like. There's a 'science' in so doing, but its not esteemed in the same manner that our rational materialistic science is.

I do not think myths are unconsciously created, as much as they are unconsciously triggered - because humans are inherent story tellers. We craft with intent even if we do not know what drives that urge. Story telling helps us make sense of our reality in a relational sense - as opposed to a modern objective sense. For me, we are also inherently 'animistic' in our fundamental sense of reality - that is to say that we treat our reality as if it is sentient, even when we have overlaying beliefs and cultural narratives that say otherwise. For example, we know a boat is an object, but even a materialistic atheist will still refer to it as 'she' not 'it'. There are lots of other examples, but this is not an essay on that theme.

I am not sure I fully understand the last words of the quotes statement above. But myths do have a kind of regulatory function in relation to the social self - in that they deliver deep truths and insights that can help the social self to deeper awareness. They can be what prevents total association with the physical nature.

In days before writing was widespread and oral tradition was strong, myths encapsulated deep truths in graphic and symbolic narrative form. These truths remained true over time. They are not like the legalist notion of truth - descriptions of time framed events. This kind of 'truth' - a witness statement - is fragile and decays quickly to its moral core. Memory isn't a movie. The 'facts' (framed in time) don't matter. What matters is the pain, the morality and the drama of initiatory awakening.

If myths are dangerous to us now it becuase we do not understand them, ands s such, misinterpret their function and value.
 
#28
read an interview with some Eskimo shaman wherein he stated that someone like a psychopath would not be tolerated in the old days. Such a person would have been pushed off an ice flow. Done and gone. Simple.
In cultures that rely on close knit mutual connection and regard a psychopath constitutes a serious existential threat to the community. Of course you'd get rid of them. These days we are not so finely balanced, although one might cogently argue that the existential threat we face as a civilisation is probably down to the psychopathic personalities who possess no empathic regard for environment - you know, the ones we celebrate as business and technological heroes because we imagine that they, and not us have moral responsibility for what they do.

But if we benefit from the proceeds of a crime, we are just as guilty, if not more so - if our love of the benefits incites the ongoing commission of the crime.

Also of interest to me is that he says that the concept of evil didn't exist in primitive societies. My hypothesis is that primitive societies and people were a lot more attuned to the law of the jungle and primal forces

It s a pity this theme was not explored in greater depth. But then, the nature of evil is probably the most difficult idea we have to deal with. Is it a useful idea at all? Archaic cultures understood right and wrong. They also understood that some agencies in their reality had imperatives that there were inimical to their wellbeing. But they also understood that human imperatives were also inimical to the wellbeing of other-than-human lives - but a moral code limited the harm done to what was necessary for human survival. And for some, there was regret and gratitude for the sacrifices that had to be made.

At a deeper level, predatory spirits whose nature is so alien to us as to be psychopathic, exhibit no such moral sensitivity and act without care in utter disregard for the consequences of their actions. We do call such agents evil. Read Malachi Martin's Hostage to the Devil if you don't mind a few sleepless nights.

But here's a point about Hayden's observations. Our ancient ancestors saw their reality as sentient, so we have a legacy of acting with care - of the conception of an inherent moral contact between the human, the other-than-human and the divine.

Perhaps our conception of evil has matched our 'evolution' as profoundly self-referential and self-interested beings who see the inhabitants of our reality as mere mechanisms devoid of any obligation of moral consideration or empathy through a sense of fellow feeling. Perhaps our conception of evil is an effort at projecting a metaphysical other upon those psychopathic senses that permit us to lay waste to our reality.

We like to imagine that evil is inhumane and inhuman - because that absolves us from responsibility and lets us believe that we can be bad because of a force greater than we can fairly handle. For me this is just spiritual immaturity.

The idea of evil, developed by Christianity concerns the defiance of the will of God - and all of it is a fiction. Supposedly the serpent in Eden defied God(s), but that is not true if you read Genesis carefully. Supposedly Lucifer, full of pride, sought to challenge God, but that is BS. Satan as evil is all BS is you bother to read Job.

I suspect the idea of evil arises as Christianity met resistance from 'pagan' traditions. The image of the Devil seems to be modelled Pan, and we can detect reference to the shaman. What can be worse than opposing the spread on the only true faith? Who would oppose Christ? They'd have to be the very polar opposite of the good he represented.

I think the creation of an oppositional conception of evil has made it possible for humans to do evil (psychopathic) things in the name of a mistaken notion of the good. We have defined materialism as a good. But let us now pause and consider that the central principle of materialism is that there is no inherent spirit in reality, and hence no need for empathy or compassion in dealing with the world. Self interest and the domination of unemotional (irrational) intellect prevails. But wait, where have we encountered that before? - of course! The psychopath.

I say that if we look evil in the eye we will see that it is us.
 
#29
In cultures that rely on close knit mutual connection and regard a psychopath constitutes a serious existential threat to the community. Of course you'd get rid of them. These days we are not so finely balanced, although one might cogently argue that the existential threat we face as a civilisation is probably down to the psychopathic personalities who possess no empathic regard for environment - you know, the ones we celebrate as business and technological heroes because we imagine that they, and not us have moral responsibility for what they do.

But if we benefit from the proceeds of a crime, we are just as guilty, if not more so - if our love of the benefits incites the ongoing commission of the crime.

Also of interest to me is that he says that the concept of evil didn't exist in primitive societies. My hypothesis is that primitive societies and people were a lot more attuned to the law of the jungle and primal forces

It s a pity this theme was not explored in greater depth. But then, the nature of evil is probably the most difficult idea we have to deal with. Is it a useful idea at all? Archaic cultures understood right and wrong. They also understood that some agencies in their reality had imperatives that there were inimical to their wellbeing. But they also understood that human imperatives were also inimical to the wellbeing of other-than-human lives - but a moral code limited the harm done to what was necessary for human survival. And for some, there was regret and gratitude for the sacrifices that had to be made.

At a deeper level, predatory spirits whose nature is so alien to us as to be psychopathic, exhibit no such moral sensitivity and act without care in utter disregard for the consequences of their actions. We do call such agents evil. Read Malachi Martin's Hostage to the Devil if you don't mind a few sleepless nights.

But here's a point about Hayden's observations. Our ancient ancestors saw their reality as sentient, so we have a legacy of acting with care - of the conception of an inherent moral contact between the human, the other-than-human and the divine.

Perhaps our conception of evil has matched our 'evolution' as profoundly self-referential and self-interested beings who see the inhabitants of our reality as mere mechanisms devoid of any obligation of moral consideration or empathy through a sense of fellow feeling. Perhaps our conception of evil is an effort at projecting a metaphysical other upon those psychopathic senses that permit us to lay waste to our reality.

We like to imagine that evil is inhumane and inhuman - because that absolves us from responsibility and lets us believe that we can be bad because of a force greater than we can fairly handle. For me this is just spiritual immaturity.

The idea of evil, developed by Christianity concerns the defiance of the will of God - and all of it is a fiction. Supposedly the serpent in Eden defied God(s), but that is not true if you read Genesis carefully. Supposedly Lucifer, full of pride, sought to challenge God, but that is BS. Satan as evil is all BS is you bother to read Job.

I suspect the idea of evil arises as Christianity met resistance from 'pagan' traditions. The image of the Devil seems to be modelled Pan, and we can detect reference to the shaman. What can be worse than opposing the spread on the only true faith? Who would oppose Christ? They'd have to be the very polar opposite of the good he represented.

I think the creation of an oppositional conception of evil has made it possible for humans to do evil (psychopathic) things in the name of a mistaken notion of the good. We have defined materialism as a good. But let us now pause and consider that the central principle of materialism is that there is no inherent spirit in reality, and hence no need for empathy or compassion in dealing with the world. Self interest and the domination of unemotional (irrational) intellect prevails. But wait, where have we encountered that before? - of course! The psychopath.

I say that if we look evil in the eye we will see that it is us.
Michael,
That is some very skewed anthropology. For example, the concept of evil was not invented by Christianity. It existed long before that. It was a key feature in the Zoroastrian religion, which predates Christianity by quite a bit.
 
#30
More or less, what I find so astonishing is the global nature of the racket. If normal human development, or the existence of our mind, is mediated, or gated, through dynamics of attachment (i.e. love), these secret-society cults work from the exact reverse: if there is a natural, genetic disposition to connect and grow by attaching to others (i.e. differentiation), trauma-cults do exactly the reverse: they obstruct development so that identification processes are canalized in a desired direction.
Robert Monroe wrote what I found to be a deeply intriguing book - Far Journeys. Other sources convinced me that humans on this planet come from diverse backgrounds (and places) and expressions in diverse degrees of what we might call evolutionary sophistication. It is a complexity with engaging implications. Its as if Planet Earth is a Central Station - a focal arrival point for people from all over, and from all levels of development.

Monroe's take is challenging and intriguing if we think it through as if it were real.

The implication I take from this insight is that there are multilayered motives and degrees of moral sophistication all playing out in a crowed theatre. So want is happening in one area can't be taken to be a failure of 'the system', because 'the system', at the human level is doing a decent enough job keeping things as they are.

Monroe adds a dimension we need to consider if we are not entrenched in the materialistic model - incarnating spirits are not bound or influenced by genetics. While genetics is a valid study of the physical body it has nothing to do with the driving motive of incoming spirits - who may becoming into human incarnation for the first time.

Here is a problem we need to confront. On the one had we say we accept reincarnation as a reality, and on the other we promptly forget this and rely on genetics as a guide for human conduct. We have to decide whether we are materialists or not, and if we are not we have to stop thinking like materialists.

If we are not reading the likes of Monroe and De Marco, and we are saying we are not materialists, we are playing with ourselves. Seriously, we have only so many hours we can spend getting ideas and if we keep running back to materialist 'science' we have to confess that we are still addicted to the 'rational' hit it gives us.

I am not trying to be arrogant here. I am still in the shallow end, scarcely wet up to my ankles. I haven't shucked off the materials habit. My friend Ernesto Sirolli long ago introduced me to the idea of 'development' at its literal base meaning - to de-envelope in the way a seed is freed from an outer covering so that it can germinat - often by breaking through it.

I think our potential is to develop beyond the husk of materialism, and to restore a way of knowing that embraces the multi-dimensional nature of our reality. Living in a Central Station can be chaotic, even with an active rule of law. Is that a useful image to explain our situation? You won't know until you go looking.
 
#31
The sciences, the internet, and mainstream culture at large seems to be bringing this racket to its logical-end; or, this racket, being so fundamentally nihilistic and apocalyptic – and it cannot help but be this since the mind is programmed by how we relate to others (and how others have related to us; hence a proper working human self is a self-aware human self) – may just try to destroy the world. “If my comrades are not destined to rule the world – then away with it! A shower of atom bombs upon it and in place of its meaningless chatter about ‘love’ and ‘peace’ the voice of the howling wind over its ruins” – Savitri Devi (Maximiani Portas ).
I find this words disturbing and intriguing. Error has its own rewards. If we get the theory wrong and use it to determine our actions we will end up with outcomes that do not match our anticipations.

There are several problems here. Christianity devolved into a what was essentially a materialistic philosophy with metaphysical tassels. Humanism discarded a by now redundant God - who had power in name only - a bit like a constitutional monarch. In the Catholic sense God was such a dysfunctional prospect it needed a human 'representative' to pontificate on his behalf - the least efficient and effective way of communicating his will to people in general. But you actually have to be a metaphysicalist to see how stupid that idea really is.

So the Humanists take over. There is no God. But every fibre of the human psyche says there is something like a god - and every idea a humanist has wants to have self-organises as if there is something like a god. As a result hideous nonsense is expressed as intellectual endeavours. Read your history of the French Revolution.

Even Satanism mimics the religious impulses inherent in humanity. Its a warped solution to the problem of having a religious impulse and being a fucked up idiot. Huysmans' 1891 classic book on satanism, Down There, raged against the 'do nothing god'. The Christian God did not respond to demands for action - so quit him for an equally fictional Satan. That makes sense, if the only solution to a fictional god's non responsiveness is to invoke a fictional opposite. Of course there are plenty of spirits who will step up to aid the angry petitioner. Some satanist may actually get responses to their representations - but not from Satan.

Human alternatives to religion fail routinely because the psychological model inherent in us all must find resolutions to the void non-faith causes, and no substitute will do. That does not mean that the 'answer' is God as conceived by the Abrahamic tradition - just that it is a less idiotic notion of the divine.

In short you cannot really do any proper philosophy of being human that does not have some functional sense of the divine - it just shouldn't be hamstrung by theologies and traditions.

The kind of nihilism expressed in “If my comrades are not destined to rule the world – then away with it!" paradoxically can only be expressed by a person of faith - as a fantasy. One thing we know about materialists is that they do not get is that being and not being are equal. Camus observed that for a materialist suicide is the only question - since there can be no meaning or purpose in life. That's what they say, but not what they do.

Suicide makes sense to a person who believes in an after life - because its a release from a condition of being - not a state of being. But for a materialist it is a release from a state of being into non-being - which have to be of equal value. But from a biological perspective entering non-being makes sense only after one's physical line has been assured. The male spider is eaten as a post coital snack after copulation routinely. He has done his bit and its time to go in a tasteful manner. But not so the materialist.

Even Barry Jones, one of Australia's more vocal atheists, confessed a 'shy hope' of being wrong - and that's the problem with the materialist/atheist dream - there's an often unconfessed 'shy hope' they are wrong. That's enough to taint the whole silly philosophy a nd render it null.

I say materialist know they are wrong.They behave as though they know they are wrong. Living life as a real literal materialist would drive a person mad. So grand nihilistic visions are pure theatre. That does not mean that a truly deranged individual will not desire to live out that theatre, just that its not likely.
 
#32
I'm going to steal some commentary from an anonymous user at Auticulture who is also keyed into Hayden's work - this may spur some additional thought and commentary here that may useful to some of us. This very much ties into the discussion we've been having around the previous episode. Thanks, Till, if you are reading.

"If you’ve read Randy Noblett (Cult and Ritual Abuse) and followed his interesting rationale for how these cults work, it is surprisingly consonant with Brian Haydens work (Hayden though isn’t very interested in exploring the psychodynamic/relational dimensions which scaffold/enforce these behaviors) on the emergence of social complexity from a network of “transegalitarian sodalities” – a sort of nice-way of describing a cult of sociopath-aggrandizers willing to terrorize other humans in order to get ‘perks for living’.

What is astonishing about the combination of these positions is how incredibly logical and obvious it is: it is just so utterly inconsistent with societal standards and norms – and so different from normal human experience – that it is difficult to metabolize – i.e. truly accept, that this world possesses people who work – or in my lingo, ‘self-organize’ in this sort of way. My emphasis on symmetry really takes the Marxian position seriously (itself based in hegels master/slave dyad) such that the cues/dynamics “elite” organize by force them into a asymmetric-pattern of being i.e. cultural and narrative norms repeat/enforce the most lurid idealizations, but which are taken to be real and relevant because of how human beings are structurally – and dynamically – assembled. People are never evil: they have to be fucked at a basic brainstem level for them to live a life believing themselves to be ‘utterly invulnerable’, only for the illusion to pass away at death.

More or less, what I find so astonishing is the global nature of the racket. If normal human development, or the existence of our mind, is mediated, or gated, through dynamics of attachment (i.e. love), these secret-society cults work from the exact reverse: if there is a natural, genetic disposition to connect and grow by attaching to others (i.e. differentiation), trauma-cults do exactly the reverse: they obstruct development so that identification processes are canalized in a desired direction. From the ground-up – from infancy (and even conception) up; the brainstem/feeling body is trained to ‘know’ the world in the right – rewarded – way. All self-states that are incompatible with the goals/agenda of the cult are destroyed i.e. the person suffers again and again traumatic-collapse into unconsciousness, only to be awoken and ‘reset’ to a different state.

Most people cannot imagine this because they do not sufficiently understand the graded and accreting nature of neurological and psychological development. You’ve read the literature and therefore appreciate how sensory dynamics are linked with motor dynamics -and in such a way as to keep the center – the ego (or host) perfectly unable to tolerate shifts in perspective without leaving an amnesia in between states. The Self, normally evolved to develop a relationship with its own internal experience of being (with others), is designed for the cult: the “group spirit”, or what have you, is operating as God. The grand-master = god; he has the most knowledge, and those under-him are not merely under him, but subject to the ranking/hierarchy system established for the purpose of ‘anchoring’ self-states. To ascend the system is, as Noblett argues (and Hayden provides many ethnographic examples of) to gain knowledge – the ‘keys’ into the minds of those who are lower in the hierarchy.

It makes perfect sense in that this system could actually work. And it could be rewarded – or selected – because it effectively manipulates the society and terrorizes the population without the latter ever gaining sufficient semiotic/epistemological ground on the former. The sciences, the internet, and mainstream culture at large seems to be bringing this racket to its logical-end; or, this racket, being so fundamentally nihilistic and apocalyptic – and it cannot help but be this since the mind is programmed by how we relate to others (and how others have related to us; hence a proper working human self is a self-aware human self) – may just try to destroy the world. “If my comrades are not destined to rule the world – then away with it! A shower of atom bombs upon it and in place of its meaningless chatter about ‘love’ and ‘peace’ the voice of the howling wind over its ruins” – Savitri Devi (Maximiani Portas ).

This sort of psychotic statement is made by a person with such a traumatic mind – such a traumatic history – that more comfort and good is found in destruction and mayhem then in love and goodness; is this because the self has had to learn to find the good in the bad? The good – the basis of existence – in a life of intermittent trauma? But look how she has come to fetishize it! She mistakes her feelings about love and peace – her intolerance of it – as if it were anything more than an emergent property of her painful lived experience. The grandiosity of her hatefulness – Nuke the Earth and kill all its creatures – is a horrible absurdity that clashes with the way reality – how her mind emerged – ultimately works.

May whatever torments the minds of people like this, making them want to destroy and kill, be overcome…Because it is a horrible illusion.
ok, but doesn't this seem like a "shut up and excavate" thing.

so we have shamanic journeys into extended realms, ET contact that transcends time and space, near-death experiences with mega, all-knowing downloads... but wait... let's pretend like none of that's real and try to figure this out just by looking at secret societies.

don't get me wrong he's made a great contribution. and, as we talked about it the end of the episode, somebody has to do the data-gathering work. but the dogma his research has been forced to follow makes it impossible to really get at a deeper understanding of what's going on.
 
#33
It seems to me that whatever we might guess about our Spiritual Source, it is nothing if not accommodating. If we desire to do evil it seems to have plenty of help for us in that sort of effort. If we seek to do good it seems we may get sometimes surprising help with that too. Not beyond comprehension however is the probability of quite different post mortal outcomes for our Spirit. Wisdom would have Itself in us preparing during Earthly life to change our selfish/evil character so as to head for a place of peace, harmony, incorruptability, humor and painlessness. In other words, no more of Samsara.
 
#34
don't get me wrong he's made a great contribution. and, as we talked about it the end of the episode, somebody has to do the data-gathering work. but the dogma his research has been forced to follow makes it impossible to really get at a deeper understanding of what's going on.
Yeah, the secret societies stuff is interesting from a bunch of angles, but it ducks the real issue - what they were/are about in the first place. Reminds me of the commentaries on taboos that sidestep the existential dangers that made the taboos necessary in the first place. Its like becoming an expert on icing while ignoring cake.

And yes, secret societies, are inherently problematic. The necessity of secrecy, limitation and privilege generates problems related to integrity. But there are two words here - secret and society. You can have each without the other. So do the problems of the society arise because of the nature of the secret, or secrecy, or the society?

I think we make this same mistake when we imagine that Religion is somehow related to the perceived flaws in religions - or that the nature of the spirit world can determined by the conduct of people who say they know about it. Having a lousy sexual experience may make some people turn to celibacy - and we can do a whole study on celibacy and end up imagining its a study on sex.

We can fall into the trap of 'shut up and keep studying the side effects' very easily. We can't study spirits but we can study people who think they exist. Nobody really 'has to do the data-gathering work' - rather they are forced to do it because there is a prevailing tyranny of thought that perpetuates the materialistic nonsense.

So we have people wasting their time and talent on bullshit studies - unless they are sociologists - in which case they are valid inquiries. I make that distinction because some people do genuinely study side effects. The difference is that sociologists are not obliged to believe spirts do not exists - as are anthropologists - because it does not matter.

When anthropologists are forced to be sociologists we know something is afoot - a tyranny is at work and it intends that we do not know.
 
#35
It seems to me that whatever we might guess about our Spiritual Source, it is nothing if not accommodating.
Reality itself is remarkably accommodating too. It is big enough to hold all our silly ideas about its nature and be unperturbed. The enduring doctrine of Deep Love suggests that spirit accommodates all our follies, and is patient while we slowly awaken. It can seem to us that we test that patience to extreme and to breaking that leads us to be punished - an idea beloved of a certain way of thinking. But Deep Love and punishment do not go together. Allowing us to learn from our errors is not punishment.
 
#36
The two secret societies to which I belonged had, in my view, a common failing. They valued the acquisition of knowledge and magical power over higher moral values. That does not mean the these secret societies have no valid function. I could seem arrogant and say that they are a moral kindergarten, but I won't. I think they are entry points rather than destinations.
I can totally relate... And the group's I got kicked out of wart even secret :)

Alex raised Geller as an instance of the 'real' + alleged 'fakery' as is the 'real' is the only valid means of transforming consciousness. That's our materialistic preoccupation in thinking that what is 'real' in our terms is the case and not the effect.
sure, but grappling with how to communicate about this stuff. I think real vs. fake is an important distinction in some cases.
 
#37
sure, but grappling with how to communicate about this stuff. I think real vs. fake is an important distinction in some cases.
People do put unreasonable demands on people like Geller. I mean they more or less require them to perform every time - and maybe sometimes they feel ridiculous pressure to cheat. I would place more faith in experiments done with scientists, where there is no demand to perform perfectly.

David
 
#38
About secret societies... why would they allow tools such as the internet and the potential for learning more through alternative outlets. Why even introduce the internet? Not only is the internet a great resource it's also easier to make money now then ever before in my opinion. It's also easier to spend money, I guess it's a double edged sword. On one end the general population can connect easier, learn faster and learn a vast amount more. On the other end you can spend lots of money, waste time on social media and have your data collected or sold and lose a bit of privacy.

I believe there are multiple factions good bad and in between fighting each other for "supremecy" or what's moral and what's not. Different factions with different philosophies.

Or as Robert Anton said its just rudderless
 
#39
People do put unreasonable demands on people like Geller. I mean they more or less require them to perform every time - and maybe sometimes they feel ridiculous pressure to cheat. I would place more faith in experiments done with scientists, where there is no demand to perform perfectly.

David
Dean Radin has said several times that he feels that people probably perform better with regards to psi abilities when they are not being tested. Or, if they aren’t aware that they are being tested. I think this is probably true.
 
#40
Dean Radin has said several times that he feels that people probably perform better with regards to psi abilities when they are not being tested. Or, if they aren’t aware that they are being tested. I think this is probably true.
From experience this is true, although I would like to learn how control it and use it on demand I'm not that far on my inner work and it's pretty random and casual. The past 2 years my psi dreams are happening on a more consistent basis, my mother also has these and had a premonition about the airplane that crashed at O'Hare 40 years ago. Which was confirmed by close minded family members.

I like to boast about my psi "powers" to my friends and when they are correct they are shocked, but when they pressure me to make a prediction and it was wrong they begin to get condescending.

Soon I will post some evidence, might even delete my account afterwards
 
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