Dr. Jeffrey Long, Near-Death Experience By the Numbers |502|

#61
Exactly. Originally the “born again” were probably initiated by drowning to attempt to have an NDE. This got “watered down” when distributed to the masses in the form of mere dunking or spritzing baptisms.

You could appropriately say those with an NDE got born again. They come back as new people in a way.
Haha, wow, interesting! I have never made this correlation with baptism before!
 
#62
Science has a real hard-on for labelling any thing for which we don't have evidence "illusion".
I'd like to imagine that if Mr. Rogers were alive today, he would tell Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye to go *$%^ themselves.
Truly, brother, that is the case! This modern "Science" shit is certainly not in the spirt of science. What was once a voyage of wonder, discovery, and experimentation has become a process of procedure, repetition, and petty pride; - fit for only the lowest of lickspittles!
 
#63
Enjoyed this! Back to old-school Skeptiko topics.

Question at the end: Search the database and share one that interests you.

I searched Logos.
https://www.nderf.org/search.htm

I am interested in: pattern, boundary, will, logos, ontology, feedback loops (judgment), soul goals (hmm good title for a book), etc. ...and found all kinds of bits in here that back up my philosophy of patternism:
https://www.nderf.org/Experiences/1jb_nde.html

"Then all of a sudden, I was approaching an amazing, truly indescribable white shining, light. This light was scintillating, every particle of it alive and full of the purest, highest love. It was tantalizing, brilliant, beautiful, living and moving. ...I sped to the Light but at the very moment of union, I heard a loud, sonorous, authoritative, masculine voice, coming into me from all directions ask, 'Are you ready to die?' When I heard this, everything came to a stop. I was completely aghast. I was, and had been, totally ignorant that reaching, meeting and going into this 'beyond everything else' and 'all knowing light', astonishingly meant my death! I felt betrayed. Then, filled with great fear in my thinking and responding (both occur simultaneously here), I quiveringly asked, 'Why must I die?' Instantaneously the Voice replied, 'You must die, because you have failed to do what you promised us.'"

We are at our core ONE with THE ONE, but we split off into fragments and do things. We do things because we want to do things: WILL. The purest expression of WILL is movement or light and so that is how the NDE begins. When we do things we leave behind structure as a sort of excretion. It stinks a little bit but also fertilizes. This structure creates both limitations and options to do different things (you cannot choose door A or door B unless there are walls and doors - boundaries/structure - to begin with). As we go through this feedback loop of goal origination and goal fulfillment and judgment where we see how close we came to the target or how much we fell short (sinned) the structure complexifies and becomes a nested structure of being within being within being like Russian nesting dolls. Our individual identity in this life is but one iteration of our Soul's attempt at fulfilling some goals of its own and our Soul is just one Russian nesting doll above us.

Just as we train an AI agent by running a simulation over and over again with the intent at improvement towards a goal, our soul is analogous to an AI agent that is being trained towards achieving a goal. If we don't succeed, we die just as the neuronal connections that are unprofitable towards the goal are diminished and those that improve the ability to achieve the goal are rewarded and strengthened.

It is extremely unlikely that we will succeed and that makes it worth it when we do succeed. Just like millions of sperm go out in attempt to fertilize one egg and only one succeeds in achieving the goal, millions of attempts are made at achieving the goal before success. It is harder for your soul to be saved than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Then again on the other hand, you are One with the ONE so if you get burned up for failing as she almost did before she was given a second chance, it isn't THAT big of a deal. :)

Also, to keep things in perspective so you don't regain too much of a fear of death: the boundary we draw around ourselves is flexible. Part of you might die or be burned up in the feedback loops which some have called judgment and the refiner's fire or hell and part of you might remain. Everything is in flux but it is all organized around a structure which is organized around a hierarchical set of goals - WILL driving the whole thing in exploration of anything and everything that it is possible to do.

So our lives don't merely have a higher purpose... purpose infuses everything because nothing would exist without purpose because purpose drives action towards a goal and that leaves behind structure which both inhibits Will and creates new possible choices. It is like a big wheel of Karma and you can get off by dying which is to cease all ambition and merge with the light but eventually you find yourself as she did speeding through infinite darkness (motion - the purest expression of will) and the whole thing lights up again.
Great stuff, Alex, thanks a lot. Jeff has stated that there is no judgemental God in NDEs. I I would like to add a couple of NDE's I found on Russian language sites that I find troublesome and very, very judgemental.
1)
This is one of the most interesting NDE’s I’ve seen, not because of the experience itself, but but because of the extraordinary qualities and biography of the experiencer. Coronel of the Russian airforce Alexander Zhukov served in an airborne rescue unit, parachuting into difficult terrain in war zones to rescue civilians or military in distress. When he was serving in the Northern Caucasus region during the Chechen war in the 90’s, he was captured by the islamist guerilla. The only reason he was spared the customary beheading was the Russian army coronel ID in his pocket: the guerrilla leader hoped to exchange him for his brother, captured by Russian forces. He was treated like an animal, beaten constantly, interrogated, pressured to convert to islam. He never revealed any information, nor did he convert. After a few months of hell, he tried to escape and was shot multiple times. Luckily, he was found by the Russian patrol, bleeding, comatose, on the brink of death. In the hospital he was operated numerous times. During one operation he suffered cardiac arrest, during which he had an NDE.
He found himself in a tunnel, lit by a sort of blueish light, through which other souls, whom, curiously, he called “shells”, were moving toward a huge hall, where a thunderous voice was saying “TO HEAVEN!”, or “TO HELL!”. Alexandr understood that it was God’s judgement and got scared: “where is that I’m going to go?”. When his turn came, the Voice said “to reserve!” (curiously military term). There were three tunnels out of this hall, one to heaven, another to hell, and another to “reserve”. While he was going through this tunnel, various mutilated, ugly entities were trying to grab him. After that, he came to in his hospital bed.
Since then, he, miraculously, rejoined his unit and continued rescuing people, performing over 1.500 parachute jumps. For his heroism he was named “Hero of Russia”, the most honorable decoration in the country.
His NDE is interesting in the sense other Russian NDE’s are: I find most of them very influenced by their religious beliefs. What confuses me is that this is a highly skilled, trained, intelligent military man, still, his NDE seems to be an idiosyncratic interpretation of what seems to be an ineffable experience, impossible to accurately interpret from human perspective.
I thought this would be curious to the forum members.



2) Absolutely horrifying, nightmarish Russian NDE with visions of eternal hell. It's the second Russian NDE of that nature I've seen. She is describing various parts of hell where the sinners are tortured eternally for different sins. I haven't herd an NDE this horrible from Western experiencers. Is this cultural, religion-based idiosyncrasy? If it is, why those affect our perception of the afterlife?


She was driving on a highway and had a frontal collision with another car. She was driven to a hospital where she had a cardiac arrest and pronounced dead. She found herself floating above her body seeing the doctors pronouncing her dead. Then she was pulled into a grey tunnel, which she describes as a very unpleasant experience. On the other end she sees a tall man with horrifying eyes who tried to grab her. Another man shows up and gets between them. The "man with terrible eyes" disappears. To make the story short, the "saviour" takes her to all these hellish places where he tell her who suffers for which sin. After all this, she was sucked back into her body in the hospital.
I thought that her perceptions was affected by her religious beliefs: She claims that her "guide", some sort of a divine entity, was describing to her the "sinners" and their "punishment!". She also comes upon a group of children, an is informed that they were aborted. She asked whether she was gonna be punished for her abortions (in the USSR abortions were like a sort of a pass time, women used to have numerous abortions in their life time). Her "guides" didn't respond to that question.
The only explanation that occurs to me is that this person was reinterpreting something ineffable and well beyond her comprehension that happened to her through the prism of her religious beliefs. With the passage of time she added more and more details to this experience, which took place in 1982, and converted it into something entirely different and terrifying. Even from the Orthodox Christian standpoint, it's aberrant: at some point the supposed angelical entity (or even Christ Himself, it's not clear from her description) who's guiding her on her trip to hell tells her: "don't feel sorry for them, they are sinners". The Church says "we love the sinner, we hate the sin". Meaning, not to feel compassion toward the sinner is completely non-Christian. Then, another aberrant detail. Her guides tell her that there is no way out of hell, with one exception: "some sinner's family members can get them out of hell through constant prayer for their soul" So, basically, if you have an intercessor, you have a chance, if not, no. You have no free will, no influence over your own destiny, nothing. And her "experience" is filled with the nonsense like that. And it's the second one of this nature I hear from Russian experiencers. Weird stuff....
Assuming that these reports were cherry-picked but not actually altered to make them consistent with the Russian Orthodox Church, I think they should be taken seriously, not interpreted away because they are inconvenient. As I see it, that is a game materialist play - we should not ape them.

I am inclined to think that interface between this reality and the next is probably more complex than is usually assumed. I mean, maybe the major religions can set up an outpost over there, and send their own spirits to work with the newly arrived.

David
As the time passed, I looked into these two distressful NDE accounts, and at the source that provided them, at more detail. I have some further thoughts.

As for the first one, the one of a Hero of Russia, I no longer doubt that it is genuine: there is nothing of either the experience or of the experiencer that may lead to questioning its authenticity and his integrity. In fact, his NDE is a more-or-less common distressful NDE, much like the one that some Westerns have experienced (probably, even many Westerners – as it is known among participating in, or interested in, the near-death studies, distressful NDEs tend to be both underreported and understudied, in comparison with the blissful ones). The is no graphically sadistic “hellish” stuff, just the threat of rejection by a higher force and an attempted attack by hostile entities – elements that are fully present in the Western distressful NDEs as well, if one looks into the relevant accounts. Nothing especially unusual here, except for the people who are only accustomed to the blissful reports.

In comparison to the first one, the second distressful NDE – the one of an ordinary woman that looks like Dante’s Inferno – is in fact quite interesting exactly in its notable unusualness, its radical difference to the anything a Westerner, or a Westernised non-Western person, ever reportedly experienced - at least as long we concentrate on modern accounts provided by the near-death studies. After studying in detail both the account itself and the milieu in which the account arose – this is, the fundamentalist, ultra-reactionary wing of the Russian Orthodoxy, to which the YouTube channel where the account is published belongs – I have an idea how one could explain the incomparability of this account and the Western ones: the idea of the tribal spirit worlds (TSWs).

One who is familiar of the works of paranthropology (and anthropology in general), is aware that the “normal” (to them) spirit worlds – the TSWs - to which the indigenous tribal people regularly and organisedly travel via their shamanic practices, and with which many of them quite commonly and habitually interact in their everyday life, radically and substantially differ from the “paranormal” (to us) one to which the “civilized” Westerners may occasionally (and oftentimes unwillingly) briefly pay a visit via different forms of spiritual and near-death experiences, or sporadically (and usually undesirously) encounter by becoming a witness of, or rarely an instigator of, a psychic phenomenon (let’s call it the modern spirit world (MSW)). The uncommonality between TSWs and MSW is easy to describe: the former are very neatly ordered, highly predictable and largely uniform to all tribe members travelling in or dealing with them – since they mostly conform to the tribe’s mythic tradition. To the contrary, MSW is usually quite chaotic, notably unpredictable and notoriously diverse – different modern people can experience a wide range of different things in their rare visitations there or occasional encounters with it; any person can experience very much anything, there is no way to foresee what or whom one will meet there; and even the experience of a particular person can be constantly changing, sometimes combining and mixing blissful and distressful elements in a fashion that largely excludes precise modelling.

What is the reason of such incommensurability between TSWs and MSW? I think that that the very psychic environment in which tribal and modern people find themselves are mutually incommensurable.

It is known that tribal people of a particular tribe share a lot between them – a common legacy of mythic and symbolic framework, a intimately known and values homeland, a tight and close community of tribesmen and tribeswomen. What is not known by most – although some paranthropologists strongly suspect it, and I agree with them here – is that the tribespeople of a specific tribe also share a psychic connection between themselves, their land and their mythic legacy, that is sustained not only in this world, but in other worlds as well. This means, in the chaos of extraphysical psychic realities a tribe creates and preserves its own cosmos, inhabited by familiar spiritual beings, that provide hospitality for the spirits of tribespeople being on a shamanic journey and a new home for the ghosts of the deceased. This tribal psychic cosmos is also connected to the tribal land in the physical realm and manifests as certain psychic phenomena – that are known to, and expected by, tribespeople and thus perceived as entirely “normal” by them (they would become “paranormal” only in the perception of a modern person, say, an anthropologist, temporarily living with them).

In comparison with the tribespeople, modern individuals are fundamentally different; if the former share a psychic connection, the latter are separated by a psychic disconnection; each of them largely lives in his or her own psychic reality that is only sporadically and transiently intertwine with the psychic realities of other separate modern individuals with to whom he or she relates, with the psychophysical land on which this individual resides, and with semiotic and conceptual framework this individual postulates. Without a tribe, a modern individual no longer belongs to one particular stable cosmos, but to the diverse volatility of chaos. So, finding oneself in the spirit world, a modern individual finds no home immediately ready to accept him or her, but have to wander across the chaotic conflux of heterogeneous psychic dimensions.

It is a horrible fate? Not necessarily: such psychic rootlessness is the source of a modern individual’s unlimited freedom, that largely remains unknown and inaccessible to a tribesperson – as much as neat and safe tribal cosmos is lost to a modern individual. Having no permanent connection to anyone or anything, a modern individual is free to create and maintain temporary connections, in this world and in the others. Of course, freedom goes hand by hand with danger: for a lone and uprooted psychic wanderer, it is much easier to fall prey to hungry or hostile spirits, from whom tribesmen and tribeswomen are well-protected by the guardian spirits of their own tribal psychic cosmos; but, being free from restrictions imposed by a connection to such psychic cosmos, which come alongside with protections provided by it, a lone wanderer can reach the chaotic realms that remains outside the limits for any tribal cosmos-dweller.

One way or another, coming back to some kind of cozy ordered TSW is almost impossible for a modern chaotic individual: once one tasted the freedom that only the rootlessness of the modern West can grant, one is no longer willing to come back. A very few exceptions may exist, of course: there apparently were a miniscule number of Westerners who, living with tribal people for very long, immersed themselves in their ways so deep that gained a kind of access to their TSW. But, in the overwhelming majority of cases, such uprooted Westerners’ attempts to root oneself in a TSW failed, even if being persistently tried: while they might still become external witnesses to the manifestations of the TSW that remained “paranormal” for them, they couldn’t become internalised in them to the extent of “paranormal” becoming “normal”. The reason, I think, is simple: it was not their true Will to come there; they just fancied themselves with prospects of tribal “unity” and “belonging” on the surface of their minds, while in the depth of them still willing the free and rootless existence that only the modern Western chaos can provide.

(I think, the mistake that a Westerner fruitlessly trying to immerse oneself into a TSW makes, is an attempt to will oneself into it, like one might successfully do when mastering the chaos of the MSW – but the very nature of the cosmos of the TSW is the one that precludes such uprooted individual willfulness. The tribespeople who dwell within TSW are not its masters, they are its integral parts: a fate that a willful and prideful Westerner cannot really stomach, even if fleetingly fancying oneself with it.)

Let us now return to the “hellish” NDE account of an ordinary Russian woman. It is clear for us now that what she describes is the tribal psychic cosmos to that she belongs. But what cosmos is it?

After studying other NDE accounts on this channel, one can notice that this cosmos is not a pleasant one, to put it very mildly: the channel is clearly preoccupied with hell and demons, perceiving infernal forces that are dwelling everywhere, ready to attack at every minute, in this world or in the other. There is almost no “love and light” stuff on this channel, only hate and darkness. And what is important, the hates comes not only from the perceived demonic adversaries, but from the channel authors themselves: they perceive the whole modernity as Satan’s work, and all modern individuals as Satan’s servants – which means all of them are going to hell forever. Formally, there should be a paradise somewhere, exclusively reserved to the tribespeople to which the channel authors belong – but this paradise is neither seen nor felt in the moment; in the moment, there is only darkness, and legions of demons, and demon-controlled people who are all going to hell.

How comes it that a tribe dwells into such a nightmare of psychic reality? Well, it is deeply wounded, psychically broken tribe – a tribe that was horribly, atrociously mistreated by certain exceptionally prideful modern individuals, in an attempt to modernise it forcibly, and is now filled with the seething hatred of modernity. It is Russian indigenous people – the Russian peasantry, whose cultural and psychic legacy the channel authors apparently try to maintain.

It is crucial to acknowledge the grim and tragic history of Russian peasantry to understand the hatred and horror that is expressed by this YouTube channel.

Up to the end of the 17th century, Russia was a non-Western country with its own distinct culture, ruled by tsars. In the beginning of the 18th century, Peter the Great, the founder of the Russian Empire and thus first Russian emperor, attempted to modernise and westernise Russia. He succeeded with the Russian aristocracy, who effectively became Europeans; later, urban people in general followed aristocracy’s suit, becoming Europeans as well; by the beginning of the 19th century, urban Russians were mostly Western people. But the rural Russians, the peasants, were still non-modernised and non-westernised, maintaining their pre-modern, pre-Western culture, thus becoming an indigenous tribe in a country dominated by Russian-Europeans who perceived themselves as (and effectively was) Western colonisers. So, in the Russia, a unique situation arose: both colonisers and indigenous people were white Christians. But sharing same ethnicity and religion does not prevented cruel treatment of the indigenous people by the colonisers, as it was everywhere else. Russian peasants were aristocrats’ slaves, and were treated as such. In the second half of the 19th century, they were finally freed from the slavery by the emperor’s decree; but they still remained the most oppressed people of Russia, treated like savages in their own country.

Yet all the torments the Russian peasants endured in the times of the Russian Empire turned to be pretty mild compared to the sheer nightmare of what was done to them by the Bolsheviks, who, after seizing power in the early 20th century, firmly decided to complete the modernisation and Westernisation of Russia begun by Peter the Great. This meant crushing the Russian peasantry completely, not only in body, but in spirit.

And Bolsheviks tried their worst to do so: what the Russian peasants experienced under the reign of Lenin and Stalin, went beyond the outer limits of nightmarish atrocity. Enslavement worst than under emperors, deliberate mass starvation, mass public tortures and brutal executions, mass evictions, separation of families... there is too much to describe here; I think, Enrique, with his deep antipathy to all and any Leftist movements and governments and wide knowledge of atrocities committed by them, can add more details to the horrors than Russian peasants endured under Lenin and Stalin.

By the late Soviet era, Russian peasantry was thoroughly destroyed, its old culture largely erased. There were, however, underground religious currents that survived under Soviet rule, and resurfaced after the USSR failed and fell, and the Russian Federation was established on its ruins.

It is seemingly one of such resurfaced currents that is defended by this YouTube channel – one of the last remaining splinters of pre-modern, pre-Western Russia that stubbornly persist in the modern world, despite still being persecuted by the Westernised authorities (now as “dangerous cults”) and derided by the modernised populace. Once it was a TSW like any other; but, after being severely wounded by horrid cruelty, time and again, it become profoundly distressful – and deeply, unforgivingly hateful, lost nearly all blissfulness and compassion it once contained. Once, there were religious currents among Russian peasantry that were deemed deeply heretical by the official imperial Russian Orthodox Church, that defied the notion of eternal hell promoted by it; such was the apocryphal teachings of Virgin Mary descending into hell, horrified by the torment of sinners and then asking for divine forgiveness for them, which was granted (interestingly, there were comparable heretical teachings among European peasantry, describing Christ’s descent in hell, in order to release the souls imprisoned there). But, in their modern descendants, this compassionate desire of universal salvation is forgotten, replaced by wrathful desire of universal vengeance. And it is sad, yet fully understandable: people who were subjected to nightmarishly sadistic mistreatment for whole generations are predictably unlikely to be forgiving types, rather opting for brutal revenge against the people who wronged them so badly and so persistently. Ones here who may try to moralistically condemn this hatefulness should first even try to comprehend the wild nightmarishness of the atrocities to which the Russian peasantry was subjected, and ask themselves, if they are certain that them, themselves, would not become desirous of cruel retribution after living through such gruesome oppression.

So, what is this vision of “eternal hell” to that some people are so unwaveringly dedicated, so staunchly determined to keep it alive? I think that this “hell” that lies at the very center of their wounded TSW is literally theirs – as much as Dante’s Inferno was literally Dante’s own Inferno, his own personal hell, a reflection of a tormented mind-state of a wronged person who was banished from his beloved city by his political opponents, thus filled with rage and hatred toward them, gleefully envisioning the tortures to which he would love to see them subjected. “Hell” is a form that psychic reality takes if being molded by a volition of a person subjected to enslavement and torment by some powerful external agents, and responding to them with fervent, teeth-gnashing vengeful animosity, desiring and envisioning a retribution as much cruel, or even much more cruel, as the treatment to which he or she was subjected. And ones who actively mistreated this person in the first place, forcing him or her into the “hellish” mind-state, as well as the ones who were the passive bystanders allowing it to happen by their very passivity, are not the ones to hypocritically condemn and denounce this person’s wrath and hatred.

But who are the persons who was so eager to throw others into “hell” in the first place, thus provoking their aforementioned enraged and vindictive response? How paradoxically it may sound, these are usually persons who intend to reach heaven – but at the expense of others being sent into hell; persons who are fully content to enjoy their paradise while condemning others suffer in the inferno. Contrary to what might think, these persons are usually not “sociopathic” or “psychopathic”; so, to appease their conscience, they usually invent a wide range of explanatory and justificatory models that allow them to interpret away the acknowledgement that the “paradise” for them was bought with “hell” for others. These models, despite all their apparent diversity, effectively boil down to ever-recurrent reiteration of three basic excuses of paradise-dwelling hell-creators:

1) they had it coming;

2) it is for their own good;

3) life is a bitch.

In first case, the inferno-makers insist that people whom they doomed to torment are somehow “guilty” and therefore “deserve punishment”; in the second case, they claim that the people tormented by them are somehow “abnormal” and what is done to them is harsh but necessary “treatment” to absolve them of their “abnormality”; and in the third case, they simply imply that it is the way of things that someone is allowed to enjoy while someone else is forced to suffer, and there is nothing humanely possible to change this supposed “natural order”.

The great and unavoidable problem for the ones who try to build “heaven” with the “hell” in its foundation is that it simply does not work this way: any “heaven” built above the “hell” is ultimately false and illusive, a sore parody of the genuine one; it is doomed to fail in the brutal and bloody fashion when the people subjected to hellish enslavement will crush the gates of the fake “heaven” created by their tormentors for themselves, and enact their long-sought gruesome revenge on them, thus throwing them into the very “hell” to which they were subjected by them before. By such overthrow, the former victims of “hell” become the new inhabitants of the false hell-based “heaven”, filled with cruel delight of witnessing their former “heavenly” tormentors being treated the very way they were eager to treat them before.

As one may see, nothing has fundamentally changed: ones who once were in “hell”, now reside in the false “paradise”; while the ones who once were in fake “paradise”, are now thrown into “hell”. But there is still no true heaven for anyone at all, only “hell” and illusive parody of “heaven” standing on its top; what has happened can be properly described as redistribution of suffering.

It is no surprise that the ultimate fervent dream of anyone locked into this tormentor-and-tormented role-swap is to ensure their dominance for eternity, so to be able to enjoy “heaven” forever, while subjecting others to the equally unending “hell”. But, happily, this twisted dream cannot be fulfilled: there is no way to create an unbreakable barrier between “hell” and illusory “heaven”, since they are the one and same psychic realm; the only difference between inhabitants of “hell” and illusive “heaven” is their current mind-state. The only way to create a true “heaven” is not to build it on the “hell” of others, but to let anyone without exception enjoy “heavenly” state to the fullest.

In the shared social reality the modern individuals inhabit in their everydayness, such hell-and-false-heaven dynamic is the basic mechanism of society: there is an oppressive power elite, whose participants are enjoying life at the expense of everyone else, while trying to legitimise themselves by some narrative “explaining” why it should be this way; and there are people who are oppressed by them, forced to suffer and filled with enmity to the people having power above them. Sooner or later, an uprising is ensured, turning the power structure upside down, allowing the formerly oppressed to become the new oppressors, while the overthrown oppressors have to endure the life to that they once subjected the oppressed... until a new a new uprising comes and the roles are swapped once again. What does not change is oppression itself, this is, a power structure based on subjugation of ones by the others; a subjugation that – it is crucial to acknowledge – may be based not only on an old-style authoritarian hierarchy, but also on a new-style communitarian heterarchy, in that the oppression is “horizontal” rather than “vertical”.

This is not to say that the revolutions and rebellions bring nothing good; on a pragmatic level, they definitely do – most things we can enjoy nowadays, from higher life quality to at least somewhat defended individual rights, was brought to us by the successful violent uprisings by our ancestors and contemporaries. And, even leaving all (potential) positive consequences aside, it is just plain hypocritical to demand that cruelly mistreated people must remain docile and obedient to their tormentors, never trying to rise against them forcibly, even if understanding that the uprising will not be all wonderful and that the former rebels probably won’t make it much better if they take the former rulers’ place. But all improvements enacted thanks to social upheavals were not only bought by suffering of many people, but also constantly failed to abolish enslavement and torment, concealed by the veil of “legitimising” deceptions, as the basic mechanism of social life.

A question remains: how can we finally enact a fundamental transformation of social and spiritual worlds, putting an end to the redistribution of suffering as the basis of social dynamics, and thus achieving an ultimate victory over “hell” (and false “heaven” on its top), and thus a liberation of mankind from the infernal mind-state that was predominant since ancient history?
 
#64
As the time passed, I looked into these two distressful NDE accounts, and at the source that provided them, at more detail. I have some further thoughts.

As for the first one, the one of a Hero of Russia, I no longer doubt that it is genuine: there is nothing of either the experience or of the experiencer that may lead to questioning its authenticity and his integrity. In fact, his NDE is a more-or-less common distressful NDE, much like the one that some Westerns have experienced (probably, even many Westerners – as it is known among participating in, or interested in, the near-death studies, distressful NDEs tend to be both underreported and understudied, in comparison with the blissful ones). The is no graphically sadistic “hellish” stuff, just the threat of rejection by a higher force and an attempted attack by hostile entities – elements that are fully present in the Western distressful NDEs as well, if one looks into the relevant accounts. Nothing especially unusual here, except for the people who are only accustomed to the blissful reports.

In comparison to the first one, the second distressful NDE – the one of an ordinary woman that looks like Dante’s Inferno – is in fact quite interesting exactly in its notable unusualness, its radical difference to the anything a Westerner, or a Westernised non-Western person, ever reportedly experienced - at least as long we concentrate on modern accounts provided by the near-death studies. After studying in detail both the account itself and the milieu in which the account arose – this is, the fundamentalist, ultra-reactionary wing of the Russian Orthodoxy, to which the YouTube channel where the account is published belongs – I have an idea how one could explain the incomparability of this account and the Western ones: the idea of the tribal spirit worlds (TSWs).

One who is familiar of the works of paranthropology (and anthropology in general), is aware that the “normal” (to them) spirit worlds – the TSWs - to which the indigenous tribal people regularly and organisedly travel via their shamanic practices, and with which many of them quite commonly and habitually interact in their everyday life, radically and substantially differ from the “paranormal” (to us) one to which the “civilized” Westerners may occasionally (and oftentimes unwillingly) briefly pay a visit via different forms of spiritual and near-death experiences, or sporadically (and usually undesirously) encounter by becoming a witness of, or rarely an instigator of, a psychic phenomenon (let’s call it the modern spirit world (MSW)). The uncommonality between TSWs and MSW is easy to describe: the former are very neatly ordered, highly predictable and largely uniform to all tribe members travelling in or dealing with them – since they mostly conform to the tribe’s mythic tradition. To the contrary, MSW is usually quite chaotic, notably unpredictable and notoriously diverse – different modern people can experience a wide range of different things in their rare visitations there or occasional encounters with it; any person can experience very much anything, there is no way to foresee what or whom one will meet there; and even the experience of a particular person can be constantly changing, sometimes combining and mixing blissful and distressful elements in a fashion that largely excludes precise modelling.

What is the reason of such incommensurability between TSWs and MSW? I think that that the very psychic environment in which tribal and modern people find themselves are mutually incommensurable.

It is known that tribal people of a particular tribe share a lot between them – a common legacy of mythic and symbolic framework, a intimately known and values homeland, a tight and close community of tribesmen and tribeswomen. What is not known by most – although some paranthropologists strongly suspect it, and I agree with them here – is that the tribespeople of a specific tribe also share a psychic connection between themselves, their land and their mythic legacy, that is sustained not only in this world, but in other worlds as well. This means, in the chaos of extraphysical psychic realities a tribe creates and preserves its own cosmos, inhabited by familiar spiritual beings, that provide hospitality for the spirits of tribespeople being on a shamanic journey and a new home for the ghosts of the deceased. This tribal psychic cosmos is also connected to the tribal land in the physical realm and manifests as certain psychic phenomena – that are known to, and expected by, tribespeople and thus perceived as entirely “normal” by them (they would become “paranormal” only in the perception of a modern person, say, an anthropologist, temporarily living with them).

In comparison with the tribespeople, modern individuals are fundamentally different; if the former share a psychic connection, the latter are separated by a psychic disconnection; each of them largely lives in his or her own psychic reality that is only sporadically and transiently intertwine with the psychic realities of other separate modern individuals with to whom he or she relates, with the psychophysical land on which this individual resides, and with semiotic and conceptual framework this individual postulates. Without a tribe, a modern individual no longer belongs to one particular stable cosmos, but to the diverse volatility of chaos. So, finding oneself in the spirit world, a modern individual finds no home immediately ready to accept him or her, but have to wander across the chaotic conflux of heterogeneous psychic dimensions.

It is a horrible fate? Not necessarily: such psychic rootlessness is the source of a modern individual’s unlimited freedom, that largely remains unknown and inaccessible to a tribesperson – as much as neat and safe tribal cosmos is lost to a modern individual. Having no permanent connection to anyone or anything, a modern individual is free to create and maintain temporary connections, in this world and in the others. Of course, freedom goes hand by hand with danger: for a lone and uprooted psychic wanderer, it is much easier to fall prey to hungry or hostile spirits, from whom tribesmen and tribeswomen are well-protected by the guardian spirits of their own tribal psychic cosmos; but, being free from restrictions imposed by a connection to such psychic cosmos, which come alongside with protections provided by it, a lone wanderer can reach the chaotic realms that remains outside the limits for any tribal cosmos-dweller.

One way or another, coming back to some kind of cozy ordered TSW is almost impossible for a modern chaotic individual: once one tasted the freedom that only the rootlessness of the modern West can grant, one is no longer willing to come back. A very few exceptions may exist, of course: there apparently were a miniscule number of Westerners who, living with tribal people for very long, immersed themselves in their ways so deep that gained a kind of access to their TSW. But, in the overwhelming majority of cases, such uprooted Westerners’ attempts to root oneself in a TSW failed, even if being persistently tried: while they might still become external witnesses to the manifestations of the TSW that remained “paranormal” for them, they couldn’t become internalised in them to the extent of “paranormal” becoming “normal”. The reason, I think, is simple: it was not their true Will to come there; they just fancied themselves with prospects of tribal “unity” and “belonging” on the surface of their minds, while in the depth of them still willing the free and rootless existence that only the modern Western chaos can provide.

(I think, the mistake that a Westerner fruitlessly trying to immerse oneself into a TSW makes, is an attempt to will oneself into it, like one might successfully do when mastering the chaos of the MSW – but the very nature of the cosmos of the TSW is the one that precludes such uprooted individual willfulness. The tribespeople who dwell within TSW are not its masters, they are its integral parts: a fate that a willful and prideful Westerner cannot really stomach, even if fleetingly fancying oneself with it.)

Let us now return to the “hellish” NDE account of an ordinary Russian woman. It is clear for us now that what she describes is the tribal psychic cosmos to that she belongs. But what cosmos is it?

After studying other NDE accounts on this channel, one can notice that this cosmos is not a pleasant one, to put it very mildly: the channel is clearly preoccupied with hell and demons, perceiving infernal forces that are dwelling everywhere, ready to attack at every minute, in this world or in the other. There is almost no “love and light” stuff on this channel, only hate and darkness. And what is important, the hates comes not only from the perceived demonic adversaries, but from the channel authors themselves: they perceive the whole modernity as Satan’s work, and all modern individuals as Satan’s servants – which means all of them are going to hell forever. Formally, there should be a paradise somewhere, exclusively reserved to the tribespeople to which the channel authors belong – but this paradise is neither seen nor felt in the moment; in the moment, there is only darkness, and legions of demons, and demon-controlled people who are all going to hell.

How comes it that a tribe dwells into such a nightmare of psychic reality? Well, it is deeply wounded, psychically broken tribe – a tribe that was horribly, atrociously mistreated by certain exceptionally prideful modern individuals, in an attempt to modernise it forcibly, and is now filled with the seething hatred of modernity. It is Russian indigenous people – the Russian peasantry, whose cultural and psychic legacy the channel authors apparently try to maintain.

It is crucial to acknowledge the grim and tragic history of Russian peasantry to understand the hatred and horror that is expressed by this YouTube channel.

Up to the end of the 17th century, Russia was a non-Western country with its own distinct culture, ruled by tsars. In the beginning of the 18th century, Peter the Great, the founder of the Russian Empire and thus first Russian emperor, attempted to modernise and westernise Russia. He succeeded with the Russian aristocracy, who effectively became Europeans; later, urban people in general followed aristocracy’s suit, becoming Europeans as well; by the beginning of the 19th century, urban Russians were mostly Western people. But the rural Russians, the peasants, were still non-modernised and non-westernised, maintaining their pre-modern, pre-Western culture, thus becoming an indigenous tribe in a country dominated by Russian-Europeans who perceived themselves as (and effectively was) Western colonisers. So, in the Russia, a unique situation arose: both colonisers and indigenous people were white Christians. But sharing same ethnicity and religion does not prevented cruel treatment of the indigenous people by the colonisers, as it was everywhere else. Russian peasants were aristocrats’ slaves, and were treated as such. In the second half of the 19th century, they were finally freed from the slavery by the emperor’s decree; but they still remained the most oppressed people of Russia, treated like savages in their own country.

Yet all the torments the Russian peasants endured in the times of the Russian Empire turned to be pretty mild compared to the sheer nightmare of what was done to them by the Bolsheviks, who, after seizing power in the early 20th century, firmly decided to complete the modernisation and Westernisation of Russia begun by Peter the Great. This meant crushing the Russian peasantry completely, not only in body, but in spirit.

And Bolsheviks tried their worst to do so: what the Russian peasants experienced under the reign of Lenin and Stalin, went beyond the outer limits of nightmarish atrocity. Enslavement worst than under emperors, deliberate mass starvation, mass public tortures and brutal executions, mass evictions, separation of families... there is too much to describe here; I think, Enrique, with his deep antipathy to all and any Leftist movements and governments and wide knowledge of atrocities committed by them, can add more details to the horrors than Russian peasants endured under Lenin and Stalin.

By the late Soviet era, Russian peasantry was thoroughly destroyed, its old culture largely erased. There were, however, underground religious currents that survived under Soviet rule, and resurfaced after the USSR failed and fell, and the Russian Federation was established on its ruins.

It is seemingly one of such resurfaced currents that is defended by this YouTube channel – one of the last remaining splinters of pre-modern, pre-Western Russia that stubbornly persist in the modern world, despite still being persecuted by the Westernised authorities (now as “dangerous cults”) and derided by the modernised populace. Once it was a TSW like any other; but, after being severely wounded by horrid cruelty, time and again, it become profoundly distressful – and deeply, unforgivingly hateful, lost nearly all blissfulness and compassion it once contained. Once, there were religious currents among Russian peasantry that were deemed deeply heretical by the official imperial Russian Orthodox Church, that defied the notion of eternal hell promoted by it; such was the apocryphal teachings of Virgin Mary descending into hell, horrified by the torment of sinners and then asking for divine forgiveness for them, which was granted (interestingly, there were comparable heretical teachings among European peasantry, describing Christ’s descent in hell, in order to release the souls imprisoned there). But, in their modern descendants, this compassionate desire of universal salvation is forgotten, replaced by wrathful desire of universal vengeance. And it is sad, yet fully understandable: people who were subjected to nightmarishly sadistic mistreatment for whole generations are predictably unlikely to be forgiving types, rather opting for brutal revenge against the people who wronged them so badly and so persistently. Ones here who may try to moralistically condemn this hatefulness should first even try to comprehend the wild nightmarishness of the atrocities to which the Russian peasantry was subjected, and ask themselves, if they are certain that them, themselves, would not become desirous of cruel retribution after living through such gruesome oppression.

So, what is this vision of “eternal hell” to that some people are so unwaveringly dedicated, so staunchly determined to keep it alive? I think that this “hell” that lies at the very center of their wounded TSW is literally theirs – as much as Dante’s Inferno was literally Dante’s own Inferno, his own personal hell, a reflection of a tormented mind-state of a wronged person who was banished from his beloved city by his political opponents, thus filled with rage and hatred toward them, gleefully envisioning the tortures to which he would love to see them subjected. “Hell” is a form that psychic reality takes if being molded by a volition of a person subjected to enslavement and torment by some powerful external agents, and responding to them with fervent, teeth-gnashing vengeful animosity, desiring and envisioning a retribution as much cruel, or even much more cruel, as the treatment to which he or she was subjected. And ones who actively mistreated this person in the first place, forcing him or her into the “hellish” mind-state, as well as the ones who were the passive bystanders allowing it to happen by their very passivity, are not the ones to hypocritically condemn and denounce this person’s wrath and hatred.

But who are the persons who was so eager to throw others into “hell” in the first place, thus provoking their aforementioned enraged and vindictive response? How paradoxically it may sound, these are usually persons who intend to reach heaven – but at the expense of others being sent into hell; persons who are fully content to enjoy their paradise while condemning others suffer in the inferno. Contrary to what might think, these persons are usually not “sociopathic” or “psychopathic”; so, to appease their conscience, they usually invent a wide range of explanatory and justificatory models that allow them to interpret away the acknowledgement that the “paradise” for them was bought with “hell” for others. These models, despite all their apparent diversity, effectively boil down to ever-recurrent reiteration of three basic excuses of paradise-dwelling hell-creators:

1) they had it coming;

2) it is for their own good;

3) life is a bitch.

In first case, the inferno-makers insist that people whom they doomed to torment are somehow “guilty” and therefore “deserve punishment”; in the second case, they claim that the people tormented by them are somehow “abnormal” and what is done to them is harsh but necessary “treatment” to absolve them of their “abnormality”; and in the third case, they simply imply that it is the way of things that someone is allowed to enjoy while someone else is forced to suffer, and there is nothing humanely possible to change this supposed “natural order”.

The great and unavoidable problem for the ones who try to build “heaven” with the “hell” in its foundation is that it simply does not work this way: any “heaven” built above the “hell” is ultimately false and illusive, a sore parody of the genuine one; it is doomed to fail in the brutal and bloody fashion when the people subjected to hellish enslavement will crush the gates of the fake “heaven” created by their tormentors for themselves, and enact their long-sought gruesome revenge on them, thus throwing them into the very “hell” to which they were subjected by them before. By such overthrow, the former victims of “hell” become the new inhabitants of the false hell-based “heaven”, filled with cruel delight of witnessing their former “heavenly” tormentors being treated the very way they were eager to treat them before.

As one may see, nothing has fundamentally changed: ones who once were in “hell”, now reside in the false “paradise”; while the ones who once were in fake “paradise”, are now thrown into “hell”. But there is still no true heaven for anyone at all, only “hell” and illusive parody of “heaven” standing on its top; what has happened can be properly described as redistribution of suffering.

It is no surprise that the ultimate fervent dream of anyone locked into this tormentor-and-tormented role-swap is to ensure their dominance for eternity, so to be able to enjoy “heaven” forever, while subjecting others to the equally unending “hell”. But, happily, this twisted dream cannot be fulfilled: there is no way to create an unbreakable barrier between “hell” and illusory “heaven”, since they are the one and same psychic realm; the only difference between inhabitants of “hell” and illusive “heaven” is their current mind-state. The only way to create a true “heaven” is not to build it on the “hell” of others, but to let anyone without exception enjoy “heavenly” state to the fullest.

In the shared social reality the modern individuals inhabit in their everydayness, such hell-and-false-heaven dynamic is the basic mechanism of society: there is an oppressive power elite, whose participants are enjoying life at the expense of everyone else, while trying to legitimise themselves by some narrative “explaining” why it should be this way; and there are people who are oppressed by them, forced to suffer and filled with enmity to the people having power above them. Sooner or later, an uprising is ensured, turning the power structure upside down, allowing the formerly oppressed to become the new oppressors, while the overthrown oppressors have to endure the life to that they once subjected the oppressed... until a new a new uprising comes and the roles are swapped once again. What does not change is oppression itself, this is, a power structure based on subjugation of ones by the others; a subjugation that – it is crucial to acknowledge – may be based not only on an old-style authoritarian hierarchy, but also on a new-style communitarian heterarchy, in that the oppression is “horizontal” rather than “vertical”.

This is not to say that the revolutions and rebellions bring nothing good; on a pragmatic level, they definitely do – most things we can enjoy nowadays, from higher life quality to at least somewhat defended individual rights, was brought to us by the successful violent uprisings by our ancestors and contemporaries. And, even leaving all (potential) positive consequences aside, it is just plain hypocritical to demand that cruelly mistreated people must remain docile and obedient to their tormentors, never trying to rise against them forcibly, even if understanding that the uprising will not be all wonderful and that the former rebels probably won’t make it much better if they take the former rulers’ place. But all improvements enacted thanks to social upheavals were not only bought by suffering of many people, but also constantly failed to abolish enslavement and torment, concealed by the veil of “legitimising” deceptions, as the basic mechanism of social life.

A question remains: how can we finally enact a fundamental transformation of social and spiritual worlds, putting an end to the redistribution of suffering as the basis of social dynamics, and thus achieving an ultimate victory over “hell” (and false “heaven” on its top), and thus a liberation of mankind from the infernal mind-state that was predominant since ancient history?
It's deeper than ancient human history. The conflict is at the very deepest level of being. Go back to the Trinity of Pattern: Thing 1, Thing 2, and Boundary which is choice. We are One with the ONE who is ONE, but when we split in two, such that there are two agents with agency, two Wills in the ring, we could represent this in four possible ways: ++, --, +-, -+. Charged particles are a metaphor for the fundamental disagreement at the core of Being. One may agree with the other and the goal of both is achieved. One may disagree with the other and the two may separate and achieve goals separately, or one may overrule the other such that the goal of one is achieved while the goal of the other is suppressed. Extrapolate and complexify this out and you get Lions crunching the bones in the hindquarters of a gazelle (imagine what it is like to hear your bones being crunched shortly before you die - what kind of hell is this? But this experience is played out in all kinds of predator-prey relationships millions of times a day). Extrapolate further and you get Bolsheviks and the horrors of Hell itself. Hell is a combination of imprisonment (inhibition of the Will so that you cannot accomplish your goal) and despair sadness and pain.

What is the solution to Hell? According to the Christian myth, it is to do some jiu-jitsu with the Will. Rather than resist the imprisonment - the inhibitions on the Will - the solution is to pick up your cross and voluntarily accept the inhibitions on your Will, accept the pain, while doing what you can to ease the suffering of others who have been been "imprisoned" or otherwise inhibited. First descend into hell and preach to the souls imprisoned there before ascending again to give gifts with greater power than before.

We see this theme again and again that sometimes the way to get what you want is to voluntarily give up what you want, to surrender, and the end result of voluntary relinquishment of power is a greater power - power that can be used responsibly because empathy has been learned and responsibility has been proven.

So Crowley's "do what thou wilt" can be taken two ways: Firstly we can say this is obvious: there is no other point to life but to find new and interesting goals and apply yourself to achieve them. We all want power. We all want our children to be more powerful than we were. Technology is power. Truth is power. And these are neutral things - neither good nor bad except in how we choose to use them. The result of this is that power will be used in good and bad ways which means that we eventually reach a point where we must do the opposite of Crowley's imperative and sacrifice our highest and best expression of our Creative Will... sacrifice our first-born so to speak (like Isaac with Jacob - not literally!) ...and the end result is better than had we not voluntarily sacrificed our will in the first place.
 
#65
As the time passed, I looked into these two distressful NDE accounts, and at the source that provided them, at more detail. I have some further thoughts.

As for the first one, the one of a Hero of Russia, I no longer doubt that it is genuine: there is nothing of either the experience or of the experiencer that may lead to questioning its authenticity and his integrity. In fact, his NDE is a more-or-less common distressful NDE, much like the one that some Westerns have experienced (probably, even many Westerners – as it is known among participating in, or interested in, the near-death studies, distressful NDEs tend to be both underreported and understudied, in comparison with the blissful ones). The is no graphically sadistic “hellish” stuff, just the threat of rejection by a higher force and an attempted attack by hostile entities – elements that are fully present in the Western distressful NDEs as well, if one looks into the relevant accounts. Nothing especially unusual here, except for the people who are only accustomed to the blissful reports.

In comparison to the first one, the second distressful NDE – the one of an ordinary woman that looks like Dante’s Inferno – is in fact quite interesting exactly in its notable unusualness, its radical difference to the anything a Westerner, or a Westernised non-Western person, ever reportedly experienced - at least as long we concentrate on modern accounts provided by the near-death studies. After studying in detail both the account itself and the milieu in which the account arose – this is, the fundamentalist, ultra-reactionary wing of the Russian Orthodoxy, to which the YouTube channel where the account is published belongs – I have an idea how one could explain the incomparability of this account and the Western ones: the idea of the tribal spirit worlds (TSWs).

One who is familiar of the works of paranthropology (and anthropology in general), is aware that the “normal” (to them) spirit worlds – the TSWs - to which the indigenous tribal people regularly and organisedly travel via their shamanic practices, and with which many of them quite commonly and habitually interact in their everyday life, radically and substantially differ from the “paranormal” (to us) one to which the “civilized” Westerners may occasionally (and oftentimes unwillingly) briefly pay a visit via different forms of spiritual and near-death experiences, or sporadically (and usually undesirously) encounter by becoming a witness of, or rarely an instigator of, a psychic phenomenon (let’s call it the modern spirit world (MSW)). The uncommonality between TSWs and MSW is easy to describe: the former are very neatly ordered, highly predictable and largely uniform to all tribe members travelling in or dealing with them – since they mostly conform to the tribe’s mythic tradition. To the contrary, MSW is usually quite chaotic, notably unpredictable and notoriously diverse – different modern people can experience a wide range of different things in their rare visitations there or occasional encounters with it; any person can experience very much anything, there is no way to foresee what or whom one will meet there; and even the experience of a particular person can be constantly changing, sometimes combining and mixing blissful and distressful elements in a fashion that largely excludes precise modelling.

What is the reason of such incommensurability between TSWs and MSW? I think that that the very psychic environment in which tribal and modern people find themselves are mutually incommensurable.

It is known that tribal people of a particular tribe share a lot between them – a common legacy of mythic and symbolic framework, a intimately known and values homeland, a tight and close community of tribesmen and tribeswomen. What is not known by most – although some paranthropologists strongly suspect it, and I agree with them here – is that the tribespeople of a specific tribe also share a psychic connection between themselves, their land and their mythic legacy, that is sustained not only in this world, but in other worlds as well. This means, in the chaos of extraphysical psychic realities a tribe creates and preserves its own cosmos, inhabited by familiar spiritual beings, that provide hospitality for the spirits of tribespeople being on a shamanic journey and a new home for the ghosts of the deceased. This tribal psychic cosmos is also connected to the tribal land in the physical realm and manifests as certain psychic phenomena – that are known to, and expected by, tribespeople and thus perceived as entirely “normal” by them (they would become “paranormal” only in the perception of a modern person, say, an anthropologist, temporarily living with them).

In comparison with the tribespeople, modern individuals are fundamentally different; if the former share a psychic connection, the latter are separated by a psychic disconnection; each of them largely lives in his or her own psychic reality that is only sporadically and transiently intertwine with the psychic realities of other separate modern individuals with to whom he or she relates, with the psychophysical land on which this individual resides, and with semiotic and conceptual framework this individual postulates. Without a tribe, a modern individual no longer belongs to one particular stable cosmos, but to the diverse volatility of chaos. So, finding oneself in the spirit world, a modern individual finds no home immediately ready to accept him or her, but have to wander across the chaotic conflux of heterogeneous psychic dimensions.

It is a horrible fate? Not necessarily: such psychic rootlessness is the source of a modern individual’s unlimited freedom, that largely remains unknown and inaccessible to a tribesperson – as much as neat and safe tribal cosmos is lost to a modern individual. Having no permanent connection to anyone or anything, a modern individual is free to create and maintain temporary connections, in this world and in the others. Of course, freedom goes hand by hand with danger: for a lone and uprooted psychic wanderer, it is much easier to fall prey to hungry or hostile spirits, from whom tribesmen and tribeswomen are well-protected by the guardian spirits of their own tribal psychic cosmos; but, being free from restrictions imposed by a connection to such psychic cosmos, which come alongside with protections provided by it, a lone wanderer can reach the chaotic realms that remains outside the limits for any tribal cosmos-dweller.

One way or another, coming back to some kind of cozy ordered TSW is almost impossible for a modern chaotic individual: once one tasted the freedom that only the rootlessness of the modern West can grant, one is no longer willing to come back. A very few exceptions may exist, of course: there apparently were a miniscule number of Westerners who, living with tribal people for very long, immersed themselves in their ways so deep that gained a kind of access to their TSW. But, in the overwhelming majority of cases, such uprooted Westerners’ attempts to root oneself in a TSW failed, even if being persistently tried: while they might still become external witnesses to the manifestations of the TSW that remained “paranormal” for them, they couldn’t become internalised in them to the extent of “paranormal” becoming “normal”. The reason, I think, is simple: it was not their true Will to come there; they just fancied themselves with prospects of tribal “unity” and “belonging” on the surface of their minds, while in the depth of them still willing the free and rootless existence that only the modern Western chaos can provide.

(I think, the mistake that a Westerner fruitlessly trying to immerse oneself into a TSW makes, is an attempt to will oneself into it, like one might successfully do when mastering the chaos of the MSW – but the very nature of the cosmos of the TSW is the one that precludes such uprooted individual willfulness. The tribespeople who dwell within TSW are not its masters, they are its integral parts: a fate that a willful and prideful Westerner cannot really stomach, even if fleetingly fancying oneself with it.)

Let us now return to the “hellish” NDE account of an ordinary Russian woman. It is clear for us now that what she describes is the tribal psychic cosmos to that she belongs. But what cosmos is it?

After studying other NDE accounts on this channel, one can notice that this cosmos is not a pleasant one, to put it very mildly: the channel is clearly preoccupied with hell and demons, perceiving infernal forces that are dwelling everywhere, ready to attack at every minute, in this world or in the other. There is almost no “love and light” stuff on this channel, only hate and darkness. And what is important, the hates comes not only from the perceived demonic adversaries, but from the channel authors themselves: they perceive the whole modernity as Satan’s work, and all modern individuals as Satan’s servants – which means all of them are going to hell forever. Formally, there should be a paradise somewhere, exclusively reserved to the tribespeople to which the channel authors belong – but this paradise is neither seen nor felt in the moment; in the moment, there is only darkness, and legions of demons, and demon-controlled people who are all going to hell.

How comes it that a tribe dwells into such a nightmare of psychic reality? Well, it is deeply wounded, psychically broken tribe – a tribe that was horribly, atrociously mistreated by certain exceptionally prideful modern individuals, in an attempt to modernise it forcibly, and is now filled with the seething hatred of modernity. It is Russian indigenous people – the Russian peasantry, whose cultural and psychic legacy the channel authors apparently try to maintain.

It is crucial to acknowledge the grim and tragic history of Russian peasantry to understand the hatred and horror that is expressed by this YouTube channel.

Up to the end of the 17th century, Russia was a non-Western country with its own distinct culture, ruled by tsars. In the beginning of the 18th century, Peter the Great, the founder of the Russian Empire and thus first Russian emperor, attempted to modernise and westernise Russia. He succeeded with the Russian aristocracy, who effectively became Europeans; later, urban people in general followed aristocracy’s suit, becoming Europeans as well; by the beginning of the 19th century, urban Russians were mostly Western people. But the rural Russians, the peasants, were still non-modernised and non-westernised, maintaining their pre-modern, pre-Western culture, thus becoming an indigenous tribe in a country dominated by Russian-Europeans who perceived themselves as (and effectively was) Western colonisers. So, in the Russia, a unique situation arose: both colonisers and indigenous people were white Christians. But sharing same ethnicity and religion does not prevented cruel treatment of the indigenous people by the colonisers, as it was everywhere else. Russian peasants were aristocrats’ slaves, and were treated as such. In the second half of the 19th century, they were finally freed from the slavery by the emperor’s decree; but they still remained the most oppressed people of Russia, treated like savages in their own country.

Yet all the torments the Russian peasants endured in the times of the Russian Empire turned to be pretty mild compared to the sheer nightmare of what was done to them by the Bolsheviks, who, after seizing power in the early 20th century, firmly decided to complete the modernisation and Westernisation of Russia begun by Peter the Great. This meant crushing the Russian peasantry completely, not only in body, but in spirit.

And Bolsheviks tried their worst to do so: what the Russian peasants experienced under the reign of Lenin and Stalin, went beyond the outer limits of nightmarish atrocity. Enslavement worst than under emperors, deliberate mass starvation, mass public tortures and brutal executions, mass evictions, separation of families... there is too much to describe here; I think, Enrique, with his deep antipathy to all and any Leftist movements and governments and wide knowledge of atrocities committed by them, can add more details to the horrors than Russian peasants endured under Lenin and Stalin.

By the late Soviet era, Russian peasantry was thoroughly destroyed, its old culture largely erased. There were, however, underground religious currents that survived under Soviet rule, and resurfaced after the USSR failed and fell, and the Russian Federation was established on its ruins.

It is seemingly one of such resurfaced currents that is defended by this YouTube channel – one of the last remaining splinters of pre-modern, pre-Western Russia that stubbornly persist in the modern world, despite still being persecuted by the Westernised authorities (now as “dangerous cults”) and derided by the modernised populace. Once it was a TSW like any other; but, after being severely wounded by horrid cruelty, time and again, it become profoundly distressful – and deeply, unforgivingly hateful, lost nearly all blissfulness and compassion it once contained. Once, there were religious currents among Russian peasantry that were deemed deeply heretical by the official imperial Russian Orthodox Church, that defied the notion of eternal hell promoted by it; such was the apocryphal teachings of Virgin Mary descending into hell, horrified by the torment of sinners and then asking for divine forgiveness for them, which was granted (interestingly, there were comparable heretical teachings among European peasantry, describing Christ’s descent in hell, in order to release the souls imprisoned there). But, in their modern descendants, this compassionate desire of universal salvation is forgotten, replaced by wrathful desire of universal vengeance. And it is sad, yet fully understandable: people who were subjected to nightmarishly sadistic mistreatment for whole generations are predictably unlikely to be forgiving types, rather opting for brutal revenge against the people who wronged them so badly and so persistently. Ones here who may try to moralistically condemn this hatefulness should first even try to comprehend the wild nightmarishness of the atrocities to which the Russian peasantry was subjected, and ask themselves, if they are certain that them, themselves, would not become desirous of cruel retribution after living through such gruesome oppression.

So, what is this vision of “eternal hell” to that some people are so unwaveringly dedicated, so staunchly determined to keep it alive? I think that this “hell” that lies at the very center of their wounded TSW is literally theirs – as much as Dante’s Inferno was literally Dante’s own Inferno, his own personal hell, a reflection of a tormented mind-state of a wronged person who was banished from his beloved city by his political opponents, thus filled with rage and hatred toward them, gleefully envisioning the tortures to which he would love to see them subjected. “Hell” is a form that psychic reality takes if being molded by a volition of a person subjected to enslavement and torment by some powerful external agents, and responding to them with fervent, teeth-gnashing vengeful animosity, desiring and envisioning a retribution as much cruel, or even much more cruel, as the treatment to which he or she was subjected. And ones who actively mistreated this person in the first place, forcing him or her into the “hellish” mind-state, as well as the ones who were the passive bystanders allowing it to happen by their very passivity, are not the ones to hypocritically condemn and denounce this person’s wrath and hatred.

But who are the persons who was so eager to throw others into “hell” in the first place, thus provoking their aforementioned enraged and vindictive response? How paradoxically it may sound, these are usually persons who intend to reach heaven – but at the expense of others being sent into hell; persons who are fully content to enjoy their paradise while condemning others suffer in the inferno. Contrary to what might think, these persons are usually not “sociopathic” or “psychopathic”; so, to appease their conscience, they usually invent a wide range of explanatory and justificatory models that allow them to interpret away the acknowledgement that the “paradise” for them was bought with “hell” for others. These models, despite all their apparent diversity, effectively boil down to ever-recurrent reiteration of three basic excuses of paradise-dwelling hell-creators:

1) they had it coming;

2) it is for their own good;

3) life is a bitch.

In first case, the inferno-makers insist that people whom they doomed to torment are somehow “guilty” and therefore “deserve punishment”; in the second case, they claim that the people tormented by them are somehow “abnormal” and what is done to them is harsh but necessary “treatment” to absolve them of their “abnormality”; and in the third case, they simply imply that it is the way of things that someone is allowed to enjoy while someone else is forced to suffer, and there is nothing humanely possible to change this supposed “natural order”.

The great and unavoidable problem for the ones who try to build “heaven” with the “hell” in its foundation is that it simply does not work this way: any “heaven” built above the “hell” is ultimately false and illusive, a sore parody of the genuine one; it is doomed to fail in the brutal and bloody fashion when the people subjected to hellish enslavement will crush the gates of the fake “heaven” created by their tormentors for themselves, and enact their long-sought gruesome revenge on them, thus throwing them into the very “hell” to which they were subjected by them before. By such overthrow, the former victims of “hell” become the new inhabitants of the false hell-based “heaven”, filled with cruel delight of witnessing their former “heavenly” tormentors being treated the very way they were eager to treat them before.

As one may see, nothing has fundamentally changed: ones who once were in “hell”, now reside in the false “paradise”; while the ones who once were in fake “paradise”, are now thrown into “hell”. But there is still no true heaven for anyone at all, only “hell” and illusive parody of “heaven” standing on its top; what has happened can be properly described as redistribution of suffering.

It is no surprise that the ultimate fervent dream of anyone locked into this tormentor-and-tormented role-swap is to ensure their dominance for eternity, so to be able to enjoy “heaven” forever, while subjecting others to the equally unending “hell”. But, happily, this twisted dream cannot be fulfilled: there is no way to create an unbreakable barrier between “hell” and illusory “heaven”, since they are the one and same psychic realm; the only difference between inhabitants of “hell” and illusive “heaven” is their current mind-state. The only way to create a true “heaven” is not to build it on the “hell” of others, but to let anyone without exception enjoy “heavenly” state to the fullest.

In the shared social reality the modern individuals inhabit in their everydayness, such hell-and-false-heaven dynamic is the basic mechanism of society: there is an oppressive power elite, whose participants are enjoying life at the expense of everyone else, while trying to legitimise themselves by some narrative “explaining” why it should be this way; and there are people who are oppressed by them, forced to suffer and filled with enmity to the people having power above them. Sooner or later, an uprising is ensured, turning the power structure upside down, allowing the formerly oppressed to become the new oppressors, while the overthrown oppressors have to endure the life to that they once subjected the oppressed... until a new a new uprising comes and the roles are swapped once again. What does not change is oppression itself, this is, a power structure based on subjugation of ones by the others; a subjugation that – it is crucial to acknowledge – may be based not only on an old-style authoritarian hierarchy, but also on a new-style communitarian heterarchy, in that the oppression is “horizontal” rather than “vertical”.

This is not to say that the revolutions and rebellions bring nothing good; on a pragmatic level, they definitely do – most things we can enjoy nowadays, from higher life quality to at least somewhat defended individual rights, was brought to us by the successful violent uprisings by our ancestors and contemporaries. And, even leaving all (potential) positive consequences aside, it is just plain hypocritical to demand that cruelly mistreated people must remain docile and obedient to their tormentors, never trying to rise against them forcibly, even if understanding that the uprising will not be all wonderful and that the former rebels probably won’t make it much better if they take the former rulers’ place. But all improvements enacted thanks to social upheavals were not only bought by suffering of many people, but also constantly failed to abolish enslavement and torment, concealed by the veil of “legitimising” deceptions, as the basic mechanism of social life.

A question remains: how can we finally enact a fundamental transformation of social and spiritual worlds, putting an end to the redistribution of suffering as the basis of social dynamics, and thus achieving an ultimate victory over “hell” (and false “heaven” on its top), and thus a liberation of mankind from the infernal mind-state that was predominant since ancient history?
That sound is me clapping feverishly. Brilliant essay on many levels.
I agree with almost everything, except the assessment of the plight of the Russian peasantry in the second half of XIX century all the way up to the so-called "Russian Revolution", which was neither Russian nor revolution. I have tons of data re every day's life of Russian workers and peasants, all the way to their salaries, diet or living conditions and it's pretty mind boggling. For example, cab driver of the lowest kind, "lomovoy Izvozchik", on the average would boast of a 200 - 250 square meter appartment, well furnished. Most middle level factory workers had their own houses, etc. By the way, education for all social classes was accessible and free. Nobody did as much for Russian peasantry as the Tzar-martyr Nikolay the II. I can recommend to Russian-speaking folks a wealth of written and visual data on the subject.
However, I don't pretend to highjack the thread's subject, just wanted to proudly congratulate my fellow countryman Vortex on his brilliant essay.
 
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#66
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A question remains: how can we finally enact a fundamental transformation of social and spiritual worlds, putting an end to the redistribution of suffering as the basis of social dynamics, and thus achieving an ultimate victory over “hell” (and false “heaven” on its top), and thus a liberation of mankind from the infernal mind-state that was predominant since ancient history?
Dude, what you wrote is absolutely fucking brilliant, by the way. I encourage everybody to go back and read everything Vortex wrote, not just what I have quoted. I think that the desire to enact a fundamental transformation of social and spiritual worlds on a large scale, to systemize it and make it mandatory, is the cause of this heaven/hell hamster wheel. Fantastic essay! A deep read for sure!
 
#67
It's deeper than ancient human history. The conflict is at the very deepest level of being. Go back to the Trinity of Pattern: Thing 1, Thing 2, and Boundary which is choice. We are One with the ONE who is ONE, but when we split in two, such that there are two agents with agency, two Wills in the ring, we could represent this in four possible ways: ++, --, +-, -+. Charged particles are a metaphor for the fundamental disagreement at the core of Being. One may agree with the other and the goal of both is achieved. One may disagree with the other and the two may separate and achieve goals separately, or one may overrule the other such that the goal of one is achieved while the goal of the other is suppressed. Extrapolate and complexify this out and you get Lions crunching the bones in the hindquarters of a gazelle (imagine what it is like to hear your bones being crunched shortly before you die - what kind of hell is this? But this experience is played out in all kinds of predator-prey relationships millions of times a day). Extrapolate further and you get Bolsheviks and the horrors of Hell itself. Hell is a combination of imprisonment (inhibition of the Will so that you cannot accomplish your goal) and despair sadness and pain.

What is the solution to Hell? According to the Christian myth, it is to do some jiu-jitsu with the Will. Rather than resist the imprisonment - the inhibitions on the Will - the solution is to pick up your cross and voluntarily accept the inhibitions on your Will, accept the pain, while doing what you can to ease the suffering of others who have been been "imprisoned" or otherwise inhibited. First descend into hell and preach to the souls imprisoned there before ascending again to give gifts with greater power than before.

We see this theme again and again that sometimes the way to get what you want is to voluntarily give up what you want, to surrender, and the end result of voluntary relinquishment of power is a greater power - power that can be used responsibly because empathy has been learned and responsibility has been proven.

So Crowley's "do what thou wilt" can be taken two ways: Firstly we can say this is obvious: there is no other point to life but to find new and interesting goals and apply yourself to achieve them. We all want power. We all want our children to be more powerful than we were. Technology is power. Truth is power. And these are neutral things - neither good nor bad except in how we choose to use them. The result of this is that power will be used in good and bad ways which means that we eventually reach a point where we must do the opposite of Crowley's imperative and sacrifice our highest and best expression of our Creative Will... sacrifice our first-born so to speak (like Isaac with Jacob - not literally!) ...and the end result is better than had we not voluntarily sacrificed our will in the first place.
Thanks, Hurm. You still remain one of the best contributors here, largely because you possess an exceedingly rare feat – maybe I must have even called it one of the most valorous of virtues, but moralistic persons would rather furiously denounce it at the vilest of vices ;) – that I name the epistemic endurance. Apart from you, it seemed to me that only Hjortron possessed it to a full degree – and, dare I to be so bold, I possess it, too, to the highest degree. (After some thought, I may also add Steve and Laird to this category of notably epistemically enduring persons – and Charlie Premiero as well, even if in their cases the endurance it not as exceptionally high as in the case of Hjortron, you and me.)

What is the epistemic endurance, then? It’s an ability to intellectually process the knowledge-claims – perceptual, conceptual, volitional – that stand in such explicit and irreconcilable opposition to the ones that are the most intimate, the most significant and the most resolute for the one processing them, without being overwhelmed and intellectually disabled by what I call an emotional overdose. By the emotional overdose, I mean a surge of negative emotions so unbearably intense that it makes an objective and neutral intellectual assessment of a knowledge-claim simply impossible.

An unlucky person suffering from an emotional overdose will almost inevitably suffer from the intellectual phase-out – a sudden suppression of the intellectual faculties (that otherwise may be rather acute) that leads an emotionally overdosed person to produce counterevidence so weak and counterarguments so incoherent that they would be easily dismissed by this very person, were he or she not overwhelmed by the tide of negative emotions.

What is worse, oftentimes an emotional overdose do more than just temporarily disable the person’s intellect. The suffering caused by it very often followed by a wave of enmity directed in the messenger who brought this unbearable message directed an rather compulsory redirecting all one’s mentations to the subjective, adversarial counterattack. Such attempt to destroy the messenger who made you aware of an unbearable knowledge-claim is what I describe as the subjectivisation of debate – an attempt to avoid the objective assessment of overwhelmingly painful claims of knowledge by the redirecting the debate to the supposed subjective qualities of the messenger who presented them – qualities that when will be attacked.

The subjectivisation of debate is virtually always accompanied by, and further reinforced with, what I conceive as the proclamation of indubitable correctness – an unwavering conviction, affirmed by an emotionally overdosed person, that his or her own knowledge-claims are so self-evidently and obviously correct, that putting them under question itself signals that a messenger who brought them – and thus, holding them at very least as a possibility that one may entertain – must have some faulty personal traits.

What is especially dangerous, all this rage may easily lead to a persecutory turn of debate – a rise of demands to retaliate against the messenger whose message was so painful, that, depending on circumstances, may range from a forum ban to a prison term to an assassination attempt.

So, a debate with almost any person is essentially limited by, and directed with, what I perceive as the communicative minefield – the particular structure of unwaveringly held assumptions that determine what a person can and cannot debate without being mentally incapacitated by an emotional overdose. So, any act of communication resembles a dance on such minefield, where one should be careful with every move – in our case, with every word – not to provoke a communicative explosion.

Epistemically enduring persons are the breathtakingly rare exception from this general rule: they may hold very different, mutually incompatible positions, but what is common for them is their ability to intellectually process, as well as to calmly and politely debate, the knowledge-claims most distanced from their own positions, without assuming that the opponent must be somehow personally deficient to maintain such positions.

What I noticed is that the exceptionally epistemically enduring persons are usually voluntarists (at least to some degree), who see the epistemological, axiological (value-related), cratological (power-related) and ontological factors of existence as determined and directed (or, at least, notably influenced) by a personal willful choice, rather than reflecting and representing some impersonal given and / or transpersonal absolute. To the contrary, a degree of absolutism – epistemological, axiological, cratological, ontological – is an easy predictor of the one’s degree of vulnerability to the emotional overdose and its consequences.

To summarise, one who is resistant to the emotional overdose if the most likely the one who accepts primeval fundamentality of freedom and selfhood, that requires formulation of the meontology – this is, the study of Nothingness and Noneness, of the Void and the Abyss, of the Nihiverse as the prime foundation of existence that allows and justifies the Pluriverse (rather than the Universe) as the existence in its current active state. Absence of meontological awareness is what makes one susceptible to the absolutism of all kinds.
 

Alex

Administrator
#68
As the time passed, I looked into these two distressful NDE accounts, and at the source that provided them, at more detail. I have some further thoughts.

As for the first one, the one of a Hero of Russia, I no longer doubt that it is genuine: there is nothing of either the experience or of the experiencer that may lead to questioning its authenticity and his integrity. In fact, his NDE is a more-or-less common distressful NDE, much like the one that some Westerns have experienced (probably, even many Westerners – as it is known among participating in, or interested in, the near-death studies, distressful NDEs tend to be both underreported and understudied, in comparison with the blissful ones). The is no graphically sadistic “hellish” stuff, just the threat of rejection by a higher force and an attempted attack by hostile entities – elements that are fully present in the Western distressful NDEs as well, if one looks into the relevant accounts. Nothing especially unusual here, except for the people who are only accustomed to the blissful reports.

In comparison to the first one, the second distressful NDE – the one of an ordinary woman that looks like Dante’s Inferno – is in fact quite interesting exactly in its notable unusualness, its radical difference to the anything a Westerner, or a Westernised non-Western person, ever reportedly experienced - at least as long we concentrate on modern accounts provided by the near-death studies. After studying in detail both the account itself and the milieu in which the account arose – this is, the fundamentalist, ultra-reactionary wing of the Russian Orthodoxy, to which the YouTube channel where the account is published belongs – I have an idea how one could explain the incomparability of this account and the Western ones: the idea of the tribal spirit worlds (TSWs).

One who is familiar of the works of paranthropology (and anthropology in general), is aware that the “normal” (to them) spirit worlds – the TSWs - to which the indigenous tribal people regularly and organisedly travel via their shamanic practices, and with which many of them quite commonly and habitually interact in their everyday life, radically and substantially differ from the “paranormal” (to us) one to which the “civilized” Westerners may occasionally (and oftentimes unwillingly) briefly pay a visit via different forms of spiritual and near-death experiences, or sporadically (and usually undesirously) encounter by becoming a witness of, or rarely an instigator of, a psychic phenomenon (let’s call it the modern spirit world (MSW)). The uncommonality between TSWs and MSW is easy to describe: the former are very neatly ordered, highly predictable and largely uniform to all tribe members travelling in or dealing with them – since they mostly conform to the tribe’s mythic tradition. To the contrary, MSW is usually quite chaotic, notably unpredictable and notoriously diverse – different modern people can experience a wide range of different things in their rare visitations there or occasional encounters with it; any person can experience very much anything, there is no way to foresee what or whom one will meet there; and even the experience of a particular person can be constantly changing, sometimes combining and mixing blissful and distressful elements in a fashion that largely excludes precise modelling.

What is the reason of such incommensurability between TSWs and MSW? I think that that the very psychic environment in which tribal and modern people find themselves are mutually incommensurable.

It is known that tribal people of a particular tribe share a lot between them – a common legacy of mythic and symbolic framework, a intimately known and values homeland, a tight and close community of tribesmen and tribeswomen. What is not known by most – although some paranthropologists strongly suspect it, and I agree with them here – is that the tribespeople of a specific tribe also share a psychic connection between themselves, their land and their mythic legacy, that is sustained not only in this world, but in other worlds as well. This means, in the chaos of extraphysical psychic realities a tribe creates and preserves its own cosmos, inhabited by familiar spiritual beings, that provide hospitality for the spirits of tribespeople being on a shamanic journey and a new home for the ghosts of the deceased. This tribal psychic cosmos is also connected to the tribal land in the physical realm and manifests as certain psychic phenomena – that are known to, and expected by, tribespeople and thus perceived as entirely “normal” by them (they would become “paranormal” only in the perception of a modern person, say, an anthropologist, temporarily living with them).

In comparison with the tribespeople, modern individuals are fundamentally different; if the former share a psychic connection, the latter are separated by a psychic disconnection; each of them largely lives in his or her own psychic reality that is only sporadically and transiently intertwine with the psychic realities of other separate modern individuals with to whom he or she relates, with the psychophysical land on which this individual resides, and with semiotic and conceptual framework this individual postulates. Without a tribe, a modern individual no longer belongs to one particular stable cosmos, but to the diverse volatility of chaos. So, finding oneself in the spirit world, a modern individual finds no home immediately ready to accept him or her, but have to wander across the chaotic conflux of heterogeneous psychic dimensions.

It is a horrible fate? Not necessarily: such psychic rootlessness is the source of a modern individual’s unlimited freedom, that largely remains unknown and inaccessible to a tribesperson – as much as neat and safe tribal cosmos is lost to a modern individual. Having no permanent connection to anyone or anything, a modern individual is free to create and maintain temporary connections, in this world and in the others. Of course, freedom goes hand by hand with danger: for a lone and uprooted psychic wanderer, it is much easier to fall prey to hungry or hostile spirits, from whom tribesmen and tribeswomen are well-protected by the guardian spirits of their own tribal psychic cosmos; but, being free from restrictions imposed by a connection to such psychic cosmos, which come alongside with protections provided by it, a lone wanderer can reach the chaotic realms that remains outside the limits for any tribal cosmos-dweller.

One way or another, coming back to some kind of cozy ordered TSW is almost impossible for a modern chaotic individual: once one tasted the freedom that only the rootlessness of the modern West can grant, one is no longer willing to come back. A very few exceptions may exist, of course: there apparently were a miniscule number of Westerners who, living with tribal people for very long, immersed themselves in their ways so deep that gained a kind of access to their TSW. But, in the overwhelming majority of cases, such uprooted Westerners’ attempts to root oneself in a TSW failed, even if being persistently tried: while they might still become external witnesses to the manifestations of the TSW that remained “paranormal” for them, they couldn’t become internalised in them to the extent of “paranormal” becoming “normal”. The reason, I think, is simple: it was not their true Will to come there; they just fancied themselves with prospects of tribal “unity” and “belonging” on the surface of their minds, while in the depth of them still willing the free and rootless existence that only the modern Western chaos can provide.

(I think, the mistake that a Westerner fruitlessly trying to immerse oneself into a TSW makes, is an attempt to will oneself into it, like one might successfully do when mastering the chaos of the MSW – but the very nature of the cosmos of the TSW is the one that precludes such uprooted individual willfulness. The tribespeople who dwell within TSW are not its masters, they are its integral parts: a fate that a willful and prideful Westerner cannot really stomach, even if fleetingly fancying oneself with it.)

Let us now return to the “hellish” NDE account of an ordinary Russian woman. It is clear for us now that what she describes is the tribal psychic cosmos to that she belongs. But what cosmos is it?

After studying other NDE accounts on this channel, one can notice that this cosmos is not a pleasant one, to put it very mildly: the channel is clearly preoccupied with hell and demons, perceiving infernal forces that are dwelling everywhere, ready to attack at every minute, in this world or in the other. There is almost no “love and light” stuff on this channel, only hate and darkness. And what is important, the hates comes not only from the perceived demonic adversaries, but from the channel authors themselves: they perceive the whole modernity as Satan’s work, and all modern individuals as Satan’s servants – which means all of them are going to hell forever. Formally, there should be a paradise somewhere, exclusively reserved to the tribespeople to which the channel authors belong – but this paradise is neither seen nor felt in the moment; in the moment, there is only darkness, and legions of demons, and demon-controlled people who are all going to hell.

How comes it that a tribe dwells into such a nightmare of psychic reality? Well, it is deeply wounded, psychically broken tribe – a tribe that was horribly, atrociously mistreated by certain exceptionally prideful modern individuals, in an attempt to modernise it forcibly, and is now filled with the seething hatred of modernity. It is Russian indigenous people – the Russian peasantry, whose cultural and psychic legacy the channel authors apparently try to maintain.

It is crucial to acknowledge the grim and tragic history of Russian peasantry to understand the hatred and horror that is expressed by this YouTube channel.

Up to the end of the 17th century, Russia was a non-Western country with its own distinct culture, ruled by tsars. In the beginning of the 18th century, Peter the Great, the founder of the Russian Empire and thus first Russian emperor, attempted to modernise and westernise Russia. He succeeded with the Russian aristocracy, who effectively became Europeans; later, urban people in general followed aristocracy’s suit, becoming Europeans as well; by the beginning of the 19th century, urban Russians were mostly Western people. But the rural Russians, the peasants, were still non-modernised and non-westernised, maintaining their pre-modern, pre-Western culture, thus becoming an indigenous tribe in a country dominated by Russian-Europeans who perceived themselves as (and effectively was) Western colonisers. So, in the Russia, a unique situation arose: both colonisers and indigenous people were white Christians. But sharing same ethnicity and religion does not prevented cruel treatment of the indigenous people by the colonisers, as it was everywhere else. Russian peasants were aristocrats’ slaves, and were treated as such. In the second half of the 19th century, they were finally freed from the slavery by the emperor’s decree; but they still remained the most oppressed people of Russia, treated like savages in their own country.

Yet all the torments the Russian peasants endured in the times of the Russian Empire turned to be pretty mild compared to the sheer nightmare of what was done to them by the Bolsheviks, who, after seizing power in the early 20th century, firmly decided to complete the modernisation and Westernisation of Russia begun by Peter the Great. This meant crushing the Russian peasantry completely, not only in body, but in spirit.

And Bolsheviks tried their worst to do so: what the Russian peasants experienced under the reign of Lenin and Stalin, went beyond the outer limits of nightmarish atrocity. Enslavement worst than under emperors, deliberate mass starvation, mass public tortures and brutal executions, mass evictions, separation of families... there is too much to describe here; I think, Enrique, with his deep antipathy to all and any Leftist movements and governments and wide knowledge of atrocities committed by them, can add more details to the horrors than Russian peasants endured under Lenin and Stalin.

By the late Soviet era, Russian peasantry was thoroughly destroyed, its old culture largely erased. There were, however, underground religious currents that survived under Soviet rule, and resurfaced after the USSR failed and fell, and the Russian Federation was established on its ruins.

It is seemingly one of such resurfaced currents that is defended by this YouTube channel – one of the last remaining splinters of pre-modern, pre-Western Russia that stubbornly persist in the modern world, despite still being persecuted by the Westernised authorities (now as “dangerous cults”) and derided by the modernised populace. Once it was a TSW like any other; but, after being severely wounded by horrid cruelty, time and again, it become profoundly distressful – and deeply, unforgivingly hateful, lost nearly all blissfulness and compassion it once contained. Once, there were religious currents among Russian peasantry that were deemed deeply heretical by the official imperial Russian Orthodox Church, that defied the notion of eternal hell promoted by it; such was the apocryphal teachings of Virgin Mary descending into hell, horrified by the torment of sinners and then asking for divine forgiveness for them, which was granted (interestingly, there were comparable heretical teachings among European peasantry, describing Christ’s descent in hell, in order to release the souls imprisoned there). But, in their modern descendants, this compassionate desire of universal salvation is forgotten, replaced by wrathful desire of universal vengeance. And it is sad, yet fully understandable: people who were subjected to nightmarishly sadistic mistreatment for whole generations are predictably unlikely to be forgiving types, rather opting for brutal revenge against the people who wronged them so badly and so persistently. Ones here who may try to moralistically condemn this hatefulness should first even try to comprehend the wild nightmarishness of the atrocities to which the Russian peasantry was subjected, and ask themselves, if they are certain that them, themselves, would not become desirous of cruel retribution after living through such gruesome oppression.

So, what is this vision of “eternal hell” to that some people are so unwaveringly dedicated, so staunchly determined to keep it alive? I think that this “hell” that lies at the very center of their wounded TSW is literally theirs – as much as Dante’s Inferno was literally Dante’s own Inferno, his own personal hell, a reflection of a tormented mind-state of a wronged person who was banished from his beloved city by his political opponents, thus filled with rage and hatred toward them, gleefully envisioning the tortures to which he would love to see them subjected. “Hell” is a form that psychic reality takes if being molded by a volition of a person subjected to enslavement and torment by some powerful external agents, and responding to them with fervent, teeth-gnashing vengeful animosity, desiring and envisioning a retribution as much cruel, or even much more cruel, as the treatment to which he or she was subjected. And ones who actively mistreated this person in the first place, forcing him or her into the “hellish” mind-state, as well as the ones who were the passive bystanders allowing it to happen by their very passivity, are not the ones to hypocritically condemn and denounce this person’s wrath and hatred.

But who are the persons who was so eager to throw others into “hell” in the first place, thus provoking their aforementioned enraged and vindictive response? How paradoxically it may sound, these are usually persons who intend to reach heaven – but at the expense of others being sent into hell; persons who are fully content to enjoy their paradise while condemning others suffer in the inferno. Contrary to what might think, these persons are usually not “sociopathic” or “psychopathic”; so, to appease their conscience, they usually invent a wide range of explanatory and justificatory models that allow them to interpret away the acknowledgement that the “paradise” for them was bought with “hell” for others. These models, despite all their apparent diversity, effectively boil down to ever-recurrent reiteration of three basic excuses of paradise-dwelling hell-creators:

1) they had it coming;

2) it is for their own good;

3) life is a bitch.

In first case, the inferno-makers insist that people whom they doomed to torment are somehow “guilty” and therefore “deserve punishment”; in the second case, they claim that the people tormented by them are somehow “abnormal” and what is done to them is harsh but necessary “treatment” to absolve them of their “abnormality”; and in the third case, they simply imply that it is the way of things that someone is allowed to enjoy while someone else is forced to suffer, and there is nothing humanely possible to change this supposed “natural order”.

The great and unavoidable problem for the ones who try to build “heaven” with the “hell” in its foundation is that it simply does not work this way: any “heaven” built above the “hell” is ultimately false and illusive, a sore parody of the genuine one; it is doomed to fail in the brutal and bloody fashion when the people subjected to hellish enslavement will crush the gates of the fake “heaven” created by their tormentors for themselves, and enact their long-sought gruesome revenge on them, thus throwing them into the very “hell” to which they were subjected by them before. By such overthrow, the former victims of “hell” become the new inhabitants of the false hell-based “heaven”, filled with cruel delight of witnessing their former “heavenly” tormentors being treated the very way they were eager to treat them before.

As one may see, nothing has fundamentally changed: ones who once were in “hell”, now reside in the false “paradise”; while the ones who once were in fake “paradise”, are now thrown into “hell”. But there is still no true heaven for anyone at all, only “hell” and illusive parody of “heaven” standing on its top; what has happened can be properly described as redistribution of suffering.

It is no surprise that the ultimate fervent dream of anyone locked into this tormentor-and-tormented role-swap is to ensure their dominance for eternity, so to be able to enjoy “heaven” forever, while subjecting others to the equally unending “hell”. But, happily, this twisted dream cannot be fulfilled: there is no way to create an unbreakable barrier between “hell” and illusory “heaven”, since they are the one and same psychic realm; the only difference between inhabitants of “hell” and illusive “heaven” is their current mind-state. The only way to create a true “heaven” is not to build it on the “hell” of others, but to let anyone without exception enjoy “heavenly” state to the fullest.

In the shared social reality the modern individuals inhabit in their everydayness, such hell-and-false-heaven dynamic is the basic mechanism of society: there is an oppressive power elite, whose participants are enjoying life at the expense of everyone else, while trying to legitimise themselves by some narrative “explaining” why it should be this way; and there are people who are oppressed by them, forced to suffer and filled with enmity to the people having power above them. Sooner or later, an uprising is ensured, turning the power structure upside down, allowing the formerly oppressed to become the new oppressors, while the overthrown oppressors have to endure the life to that they once subjected the oppressed... until a new a new uprising comes and the roles are swapped once again. What does not change is oppression itself, this is, a power structure based on subjugation of ones by the others; a subjugation that – it is crucial to acknowledge – may be based not only on an old-style authoritarian hierarchy, but also on a new-style communitarian heterarchy, in that the oppression is “horizontal” rather than “vertical”.

This is not to say that the revolutions and rebellions bring nothing good; on a pragmatic level, they definitely do – most things we can enjoy nowadays, from higher life quality to at least somewhat defended individual rights, was brought to us by the successful violent uprisings by our ancestors and contemporaries. And, even leaving all (potential) positive consequences aside, it is just plain hypocritical to demand that cruelly mistreated people must remain docile and obedient to their tormentors, never trying to rise against them forcibly, even if understanding that the uprising will not be all wonderful and that the former rebels probably won’t make it much better if they take the former rulers’ place. But all improvements enacted thanks to social upheavals were not only bought by suffering of many people, but also constantly failed to abolish enslavement and torment, concealed by the veil of “legitimising” deceptions, as the basic mechanism of social life.

A question remains: how can we finally enact a fundamental transformation of social and spiritual worlds, putting an end to the redistribution of suffering as the basis of social dynamics, and thus achieving an ultimate victory over “hell” (and false “heaven” on its top), and thus a liberation of mankind from the infernal mind-state that was predominant since ancient history?
excellent. thx. couple of thoughts:

- so we're all on board with the fact that hellish/negative NDEs are underreported, but I think we got to keep in mind that they are still a relatively small minority of the cases. I'm not saying I know what this means :) but it does seem to be the data.

- re the very interesting cross-cultural stuff you mentioned I'm wondering what you think about dr. Gregory Shushan:
Near-Death Experience in Indigenous Religions https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F38WG9V/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1
 
#69
Thanks, Hurm. You still remain one of the best contributors here, largely because you possess an exceedingly rare feat – maybe I must have even called it one of the most valorous of virtues, but moralistic persons would rather furiously denounce it at the vilest of vices ;) – that I name the epistemic endurance. Apart from you, it seemed to me that only Hjortron possessed it to a full degree – and, dare I to be so bold, I possess it, too, to the highest degree. (After some thought, I may also add Steve and Laird to this category of notably epistemically enduring persons – and Charlie Premiero as well, even if in their cases the endurance it not as exceptionally high as in the case of Hjortron, you and me.)

What is the epistemic endurance, then? It’s an ability to intellectually process the knowledge-claims – perceptual, conceptual, volitional – that stand in such explicit and irreconcilable opposition to the ones that are the most intimate, the most significant and the most resolute for the one processing them, without being overwhelmed and intellectually disabled by what I call an emotional overdose. By the emotional overdose, I mean a surge of negative emotions so unbearably intense that it makes an objective and neutral intellectual assessment of a knowledge-claim simply impossible.

An unlucky person suffering from an emotional overdose will almost inevitably suffer from the intellectual phase-out – a sudden suppression of the intellectual faculties (that otherwise may be rather acute) that leads an emotionally overdosed person to produce counterevidence so weak and counterarguments so incoherent that they would be easily dismissed by this very person, were he or she not overwhelmed by the tide of negative emotions.

What is worse, oftentimes an emotional overdose do more than just temporarily disable the person’s intellect. The suffering caused by it very often followed by a wave of enmity directed in the messenger who brought this unbearable message directed an rather compulsory redirecting all one’s mentations to the subjective, adversarial counterattack. Such attempt to destroy the messenger who made you aware of an unbearable knowledge-claim is what I describe as the subjectivisation of debate – an attempt to avoid the objective assessment of overwhelmingly painful claims of knowledge by the redirecting the debate to the supposed subjective qualities of the messenger who presented them – qualities that when will be attacked.

The subjectivisation of debate is virtually always accompanied by, and further reinforced with, what I conceive as the proclamation of indubitable correctness – an unwavering conviction, affirmed by an emotionally overdosed person, that his or her own knowledge-claims are so self-evidently and obviously correct, that putting them under question itself signals that a messenger who brought them – and thus, holding them at very least as a possibility that one may entertain – must have some faulty personal traits.

What is especially dangerous, all this rage may easily lead to a persecutory turn of debate – a rise of demands to retaliate against the messenger whose message was so painful, that, depending on circumstances, may range from a forum ban to a prison term to an assassination attempt.

So, a debate with almost any person is essentially limited by, and directed with, what I perceive as the communicative minefield – the particular structure of unwaveringly held assumptions that determine what a person can and cannot debate without being mentally incapacitated by an emotional overdose. So, any act of communication resembles a dance on such minefield, where one should be careful with every move – in our case, with every word – not to provoke a communicative explosion.

Epistemically enduring persons are the breathtakingly rare exception from this general rule: they may hold very different, mutually incompatible positions, but what is common for them is their ability to intellectually process, as well as to calmly and politely debate, the knowledge-claims most distanced from their own positions, without assuming that the opponent must be somehow personally deficient to maintain such positions.

What I noticed is that the exceptionally epistemically enduring persons are usually voluntarists (at least to some degree), who see the epistemological, axiological (value-related), cratological (power-related) and ontological factors of existence as determined and directed (or, at least, notably influenced) by a personal willful choice, rather than reflecting and representing some impersonal given and / or transpersonal absolute. To the contrary, a degree of absolutism – epistemological, axiological, cratological, ontological – is an easy predictor of the one’s degree of vulnerability to the emotional overdose and its consequences.

To summarise, one who is resistant to the emotional overdose if the most likely the one who accepts primeval fundamentality of freedom and selfhood, that requires formulation of the meontology – this is, the study of Nothingness and Noneness, of the Void and the Abyss, of the Nihiverse as the prime foundation of existence that allows and justifies the Pluriverse (rather than the Universe) as the existence in its current active state. Absence of meontological awareness is what makes one susceptible to the absolutism of all kinds.
Well that is quite the compliment! Thank you, sir. Maybe my ability to so easily set aside emotion just means I’m somewhere on the spectrum and/or part (biological) robot. ;-)
 
#70
Exactly. Originally the “born again” were probably initiated by drowning to attempt to have an NDE. This got “watered down” when distributed to the masses in the form of mere dunking or spritzing baptisms.

You could appropriately say those with an NDE got born again. They come back as new people in a way.
@Alex , shortly after I wrote one of the posts above about "soul goals" I got on twitter and the first thing on my screen was this trailer for "Infinite" an upcoming action movie about re-incarnation and retrieving soul memories:


Just watched another trailer for this movie and it hints that the method they use to retrieve the soul memories is an induced NDE via drowning... should be fun to see how hollywood handles this... :)

 
#71
@Alex , shortly after I wrote one of the posts above about "soul goals" I got on twitter and the first thing on my screen was this trailer for "Infinite" an upcoming action movie about re-incarnation and retrieving soul memories:


Just watched another trailer for this movie and it hints that the method they use to retrieve the soul memories is an induced NDE via drowning... should be fun to see how hollywood handles this... :)

This is fascinating! Also, remember in the movie, "The Abyss," they had to learn how to breath a special water before they could get deep enough to see the aliens? This drowning doorway has certainly been opened up.
 
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#72
Exactly. Originally the “born again” were probably initiated by drowning to attempt to have an NDE. This got “watered down” when distributed to the masses in the form of mere dunking or spritzing baptisms.

You could appropriately say those with an NDE got born again. They come back as new people in a way.
Still tripping on this.
How can I be 40 years old and this is the first time I've heard it?
I'm convinced this is the origin of baptism.

My church of origin literally you get baptized in chest high water, another man beside (slightly behind) you has one hand on the middle of your back, and the other hand on one of your wrists,... Your hold your nose or just hands at chest. The man leans you back and just dunks you and helps you up..

After your description, I see no other way of it originating other than dudes learned how to make a NDE

https://images.app.goo.gl/9D6y3NEMnZwKtWQC9

"So basically, John the Baptist was just really buff and good at holding dude under water long enough to kick off the party."
-Hurmanetar probably
 
#73
Still tripping on this.
How can I be 40 years old and this is the first time I've heard it?
I'm convinced this is the origin of baptism.

My church of origin literally you get baptized in chest high water, another man beside (slightly behind) you has one hand on the middle of your back, and the other hand on one of your wrists,... Your hold your nose or just hands at chest. The man leans you back and just dunks you and helps you up..

After your description, I see no other way of it originating other than dudes learned how to make a NDE

https://images.app.goo.gl/9D6y3NEMnZwKtWQC9

"So basically, John the Baptist was just really buff and good at holding dude under water long enough to kick off the party."
-Hurmanetar probably
HAHA bro, for sure! I feel the same way about Hurmanetar's observation regarding baptism. I am fucking 43, and never made that observation! It is quite brilliant for sure!
 
#75
Thanks, Hurm. You still remain one of the best contributors here, largely because you possess an exceedingly rare feat – maybe I must have even called it one of the most valorous of virtues, but moralistic persons would rather furiously denounce it at the vilest of vices ;) – that I name the epistemic endurance. Apart from you, it seemed to me that only Hjortron possessed it to a full degree – and, dare I to be so bold, I possess it, too, to the highest degree. (After some thought, I may also add Steve and Laird to this category of notably epistemically enduring persons – and Charlie Premiero as well, even if in their cases the endurance it not as exceptionally high as in the case of Hjortron, you and me.)

What is the epistemic endurance, then? It’s an ability to intellectually process the knowledge-claims – perceptual, conceptual, volitional – that stand in such explicit and irreconcilable opposition to the ones that are the most intimate, the most significant and the most resolute for the one processing them, without being overwhelmed and intellectually disabled by what I call an emotional overdose. By the emotional overdose, I mean a surge of negative emotions so unbearably intense that it makes an objective and neutral intellectual assessment of a knowledge-claim simply impossible.

An unlucky person suffering from an emotional overdose will almost inevitably suffer from the intellectual phase-out – a sudden suppression of the intellectual faculties (that otherwise may be rather acute) that leads an emotionally overdosed person to produce counterevidence so weak and counterarguments so incoherent that they would be easily dismissed by this very person, were he or she not overwhelmed by the tide of negative emotions.

What is worse, oftentimes an emotional overdose do more than just temporarily disable the person’s intellect. The suffering caused by it very often followed by a wave of enmity directed in the messenger who brought this unbearable message directed an rather compulsory redirecting all one’s mentations to the subjective, adversarial counterattack. Such attempt to destroy the messenger who made you aware of an unbearable knowledge-claim is what I describe as the subjectivisation of debate – an attempt to avoid the objective assessment of overwhelmingly painful claims of knowledge by the redirecting the debate to the supposed subjective qualities of the messenger who presented them – qualities that when will be attacked.

The subjectivisation of debate is virtually always accompanied by, and further reinforced with, what I conceive as the proclamation of indubitable correctness – an unwavering conviction, affirmed by an emotionally overdosed person, that his or her own knowledge-claims are so self-evidently and obviously correct, that putting them under question itself signals that a messenger who brought them – and thus, holding them at very least as a possibility that one may entertain – must have some faulty personal traits.

What is especially dangerous, all this rage may easily lead to a persecutory turn of debate – a rise of demands to retaliate against the messenger whose message was so painful, that, depending on circumstances, may range from a forum ban to a prison term to an assassination attempt.

So, a debate with almost any person is essentially limited by, and directed with, what I perceive as the communicative minefield – the particular structure of unwaveringly held assumptions that determine what a person can and cannot debate without being mentally incapacitated by an emotional overdose. So, any act of communication resembles a dance on such minefield, where one should be careful with every move – in our case, with every word – not to provoke a communicative explosion.

Epistemically enduring persons are the breathtakingly rare exception from this general rule: they may hold very different, mutually incompatible positions, but what is common for them is their ability to intellectually process, as well as to calmly and politely debate, the knowledge-claims most distanced from their own positions, without assuming that the opponent must be somehow personally deficient to maintain such positions.

What I noticed is that the exceptionally epistemically enduring persons are usually voluntarists (at least to some degree), who see the epistemological, axiological (value-related), cratological (power-related) and ontological factors of existence as determined and directed (or, at least, notably influenced) by a personal willful choice, rather than reflecting and representing some impersonal given and / or transpersonal absolute. To the contrary, a degree of absolutism – epistemological, axiological, cratological, ontological – is an easy predictor of the one’s degree of vulnerability to the emotional overdose and its consequences.

To summarise, one who is resistant to the emotional overdose if the most likely the one who accepts primeval fundamentality of freedom and selfhood, that requires formulation of the meontology – this is, the study of Nothingness and Noneness, of the Void and the Abyss, of the Nihiverse as the prime foundation of existence that allows and justifies the Pluriverse (rather than the Universe) as the existence in its current active state. Absence of meontological awareness is what makes one susceptible to the absolutism of all kinds.
Sorry Vortex, but this reads like Apple's iphone agreement. OK, OK, I will just sign that I agree. Can I be a card carrying member, now?
 
#77
Baptism as the modus operandi of NDE's....man, simply brilliant! Do you think we can get Dr. Zinser to ask Gerod about this?
HAHA bro, for sure! I feel the same way about Hurmanetar's observation regarding baptism. I am fucking 43, and never made that observation! It is quite brilliant for sure!
May be a hasty conclusion.. will keep reading.

https://www.quora.com/Was-baptism-supposed-to-be-real-drowning-to-cause-a-near-death-experience
 
#78
It is speculation for sure, but all the people in that thread saying that it was never drowning to induce an NDE don't have anything to go on but dogma. Secret society's have been known to put their initiates through traumatic experiences that mimic death. There are many reasons for this: the deep bond between people who share a traumatic experience, the need for youth to have a rite of passage that is sufficiently difficult as to be meaningful and vividly memorable, the personal growth and inner strength that comes from conquering your fears, etc... with these things being relatively well-known about secret societies and considering the tendency of people to take things to extremes, it doesn't seem much of a stretch to me that some people will take things as far as you can possibly take them and actually try to induce a NDE. With old tech, perhaps drowning is the easiest type of death to resuscitate from with the least amount of lasting physical damage. Water has long been symbolic of death, chaos, the unknown, etc. The surface provides a reflection by which you may examine your exterior. Crash down through your reflection into the deep and you may destroy the illusion to examine your interior and that which is hiding in your shadow.
 

Alex

Administrator
#79
wow Quora delivers this time:
Originally Answered: Was a baptism supposed to be real drowning to cause a near death experience?
Think about it. What was fasting? Especially if fasting for 40 days +. A near death experience. The spiritual connection you receive from such is thoroughly studied. John the Baptizer was taught the nazarite way. This means he would be a completely natural man who would be obligated to stay away from unclean things and basically live a nomadic life. He took to the wilderness and wore animal skin, grew his hair out since birth, and ate 'locusts and honey.' He would have learned a ton about nature and spiritual experiences. He was the institutor of a new thing called baptism which he proclaimed as a method of attaining to forgiveness of sins. This is why the 'worst' people would flock to him as they did Jesus. Murderers, prostitutes, thieves, etc, would come from abroad seeking forgiveness and would be baptized in the name of the holy spirit confessing their sins publicly. So yes it would have been a near death experience. Many people would see visions and receive the holy spirit, recalling these things under the supervision of John and his followers. When Jesus was baptized after his baptism he saw the vision of the holy spirit decending into him in the form of a dove. From there, possessed by the holy spirit, he was compelled to go off into the wilderness to continue his spiritual quest.

Baptism was not a symbol in the form of a bath, as people in those days had bath houses and would bathe regularily contrary to popular belief.

Native shaman nowadays do the same in inducing near death experiences, Native American shaman used different methods for the same purpose. Sweat lodges were used to induce visions in those who practiced such methods. Amazonian Shaman use ayahuasca which contains DMT to produce a spiritual awakening through a near death experience. See a parallel? Jews practiced fasting and later baptism.

-- seems to me like they may be chasing and/or coopting the genuine NDE
 

Alex

Administrator
#80
It is speculation for sure, but all the people in that thread saying that it was never drowning to induce an NDE don't have anything to go on but dogma. Secret society's have been known to put their initiates through traumatic experiences that mimic death. There are many reasons for this: the deep bond between people who share a traumatic experience, the need for youth to have a rite of passage that is sufficiently difficult as to be meaningful and vividly memorable, the personal growth and inner strength that comes from conquering your fears, etc... with these things being relatively well-known about secret societies and considering the tendency of people to take things to extremes, it doesn't seem much of a stretch to me that some people will take things as far as you can possibly take them and actually try to induce a NDE. With old tech, perhaps drowning is the easiest type of death to resuscitate from with the least amount of lasting physical damage. Water has long been symbolic of death, chaos, the unknown, etc. The surface provides a reflection by which you may examine your exterior. Crash down through your reflection into the deep and you may destroy the illusion to examine your interior and that which is hiding in your shadow.
agreed. I keep thinking did gregory shushan is relevant here
Dr. Gregory Shushan, Making the Case For Cross ... - Skeptiko

also, we probably shouldn't expect folks back then to handle transformative spiritual experiences any better than we do today :)
 
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