More on Kauffman at Darwiniana

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:33 pm

Reinventing the sacred continues the discussion here at the Darwiniana blog


More on James comment

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:53 pm


I muddled your good point on Kauffman and his approach to the ‘god concept’. Bringing in the ‘devil’ as unhelpful perhaps. The legacy of Spinoza, by rights, ought to resolve much of the confusion of theology.

James said,
15.02.09 at 3:29 pm ·
I have been harsh towards Kauffman, but I think he deserves credit for trying to rescue the “God” concept from the Judeo-Christian baggage (for some reason Spinoza didn’t succeed here). Nobody would care if the non-anthropomorphic philosophical concept of the Greeks, Plotinus, etc. had won the day.

But Spinoza had his day: he was completely taboo for a century and a half, then resurfaced in the German Enlightenment, and between Kant and Hegel saw both the critique and apotheosis of his vision.
The problem is that, as Kant saw, his universal causality, in practice, led to a confusion over the idea of freedom.
In any case, the question of god is not so important in these sufistic or New Age circles. God obsessed (or god-concept obsessed) fundamentalism has been left behind. Many sufis were crypto-pantheists, in any case.
A demonic figuure like Gurdjieff can hide behind god concepts, spinoza concepts, or theistic concepts. It would be impossible to easily sort out these bluffs. The problem here is not god beliefs or the lack of them, but the hiding of the demonic behind these beliefs, or the lack of them behind god belief bluffs.


Kauffman and ‘God’ concept

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:24 pm


James said,
15.02.09 at 3:29 pm ·
I have been harsh towards Kauffman, but I think he deserves credit for trying to rescue the “God” concept from the Judeo-Christian baggage (for some reason Spinoza didn’t succeed here). Nobody would care if the non-anthropomorphic philosophical concept of the Greeks, Plotinus, etc. had won the day.

If Spinoza didn’t succeed, Kauffman won’t either.
Spinoza is a highly attractive thinker or perspective in the current science/religion confusion, but the confusion travels with the word ‘god’, whatever its usage. And the much maligned Christians at least had a sense of the devil, however confused that is! Don’t get me wrong, I am being partly ironic.

But the god of ‘spinoza’ wil always include the devil, that is an extraordinary blind side to occultism will arise in a Spinozistic science.
In any case, Kauffman’s gesture deserves its moment, you are right, but it will suffer the original fate of Spinozism, witness its fate in the Pantheism debate, in the work of Kant, and then of Hegel.
It always gets snafued.

Anyway, who wants to get religion (‘reinventing the sacred’) from these scientists. They understand nothing and will create even worse confusion than the Christians.
At least Christians have a built in memory and lore of the kind of evil occultism explored on this blog.
Reinventing the sacred can only be done by those who grasp this insidious hidden component to religions like Christianity and Islam.
More to say here, and think about.

African origins, Dravidians

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:26 pm

Two links from an email I will post here before they are lost

> “On the African origin of the Dravidians,” from Bernard Sergent’s
> La génèse de l’Inde:
> http://www.svabhinava.org/AITvsOIT/Sergent-AfroDravidian-frame.php
> http://www.svabhinava.org/HinduCivilization/Dialogues/AfroDravidian-


Gurdjieff cons a little old lady

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:41 pm


James said,
6:28 pm Robert Todd Carroll on Gurdjieff:

Selection form WHEE: on the ‘fourth way’

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:22 pm

The question of the ‘fourth way’ is discussed in passing in the currently online selections from World History And The Eonic Effect: A Sufi myth: Fourth Ways,…and The Great Freedom Sutra

Obscurity of ‘fourth way’

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:19 pm

Comment on ‘Is there a path?”

In what way was “fourth way” teaching “stolen by Gurdjieff”? Did someone else “own” it? From whom did he steal it?
And before you start in on me, I do not now, nor have I ever been a follower of Gurdjieff, his disciples, his teachings, methods, or ideas. All I will claim is that I’ve read a couple of his books, and a few of others involved with him.
I am simply curious about your use of words, as they betray a perception of him, or his work, that I have noticed is starting to crop up all over the place.
From Is there a path?, 2009/02/13 at 11:50 AM

I can’t answer your questions directly, because we don’t know. Isn’t it remarkable that people would devote their lives to something so unclear, and trust those who promote these deliberately vague deceptions?


Gurdjieff the crypto-nihilist?

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:37 pm

I am often surprised at the passive acceptance of the Gurdjieff proposition from those who should be skeptical from the start.
After all, as Shirley announces without batting an eyelash in his book on Gurdjieff, referenced last week, Gurdjieff did not even believe in the possibility that many were able to adopt a spiritual path.
I won’t cite the passage in full, but remind those dreaming about a fourth way that no such thing really exists in the sense Gurdjieff spoke of it.
Gurdjieff is way out of line there, and it is important to demand some credentials at that point (if only to expose the lack of such): that is, Gurdjieff speaks without the slightest basis in authority of any kind.
So many are simply mesmerized by a fast talker, but it is important to see how little basis there is for his assertions on all levels. And he lies and lies and embroiders/wiseacres and makes things up.

On what grounds should anyone take this exploitation seriously? Please note the nihilism disguised behind the ‘spiritual path’ baloney: he has rejected the possibility of religion, redemption and salvation.
Thus he is way out of the mainstream, and a crypto-Nietzschean bent on genocidal destructions.
It is a brand of ‘spirituality’ that arises in the degeneracy of Islam and so-called sufism. There are endless numbers of complete idiots in the geographical range of sufism, and Gurdjieff was entangled in a specious concoction of ‘tradititons’ under dry rot in the various ‘paths’ inherited from earlier times.
The problem with the Gurdjieffian cynicism about human potential, is that that potential is universal, and waiting on its realization.
To indulge in right-wing fascism because the ordinary joe isn’t yet awake is a total miscalculation of history. In that sense the rise of modernity,that entity so hated by New Age gurus, is the real ‘fourth way’, in the sense of realizing the human potential for freedom, and much else.
Gurdjieff and his ilk are unable to reconcile themselves to the possibility that history moves on, has left the world of antiquity and its authoritarianism behind, and brought into existence the first civilization that devotes itself to the realization of potential by large numbers of people.

Kauffman’s reticence, and Spinozism

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:24 pm

Kauffman’s stance is not surprising: even a modest deviation from Darwinian orthodoxy gets you in trouble.
I am of two minds on his recent Revinventing The Sacred. The ‘Spinoza solution’ makes a lot of sense from one angle, but no sooner do you adopt that than you get into a classic debate, the Pantheism debate at the time of Kant.
Kauffman at least seems to be aware that something is missing in current science but for obvious reasons can’t really say so.


More on Kauffman

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:48 pm

Comment on Kauffman and psychism

James said,
Kauffman is definitely hiding something. His speech at the Beyond Belief conference is perplexing in its attempt to accommodate Darwinian sensibilities while simultaneously undermining them:


Kauffman and psychism

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:33 pm

Comment on csicop and paranormal

Stuart Kauffman, the closet Esalen New Ager:

“At this point in the discussion, Stuart Kauffman shared a poignant story that supports much of what Schlitz is trying to demonstrate in her research. Kauffman related that several years ago while living in Philadelphia, he had a striking image of his own daughter walking down the middle of a road and being struck by a car that crushed her. It was a stunning image that stopped him in his tracks and made him very concerned for his daughter. About a month later around the time of Halloween, his daughter died in a way that was strikingly similar to the image that he had seen. To this day, Kauffman is not sure how to explain this shocking experience. Was it clairvoyant or telepathic? He is not sure. But what Kauffman did offer is that time might have some kind of structure that we have not even begun to understand.”


Religion and the case of Godel

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:21 pm


James said,
“But, in any case, by eliminating the crucial issues of human self-consciousness from the portrait of man, Darwinian reductionist evolutionism has alienated an immense number of people, and, fundamentalists apart, rightly so.”

One has to wonder at their misguided attempts to get rid of some abstraction called “religion” in the name of technocratic redutionism. Even if they got rid of it one form it would simply manifest itself in some other way. Godel’s (disregard the fact that he was a lunatic) intuitions hint at this tendency. Are they going to go after the mathematicians after they get rid of the conventional religions?

“Gödel spent the second half of his life absorbed by philosophy. Despite his experiences in Europe, he believed that “the world is rational.” He was an optimist and a theist; and although he thought that “religions are for the most part bad,” he insisted that “religion [itself] is not.” A deity was at the center of his metaphysics. He entertained speculations about the afterlife, arguing that “the world in which we live is not the only one in which we shall live or have lived.” He dismissed the Darwinian theory of evolution and declared flatly that “materialism was false.” He was a mathematical Platonist, arguing with boldness that the human intellect is capable of perceiving pure mathematical abstractions, just as the human senses are capable of grasping material objects. ”



CSICOP and attitudes to paranormal

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:18 pm


James said,
Overview of CSICOP:
“Surveys show that over half the adult population in the U.S. have had psychic experiences and believe in the reality of the phenomena (Gallup, 1982; Greeley, 1975, 1987; Haraldsson & Houtkooper, 1991). Those who have had the experiences but encounter the debunking attitudes of apparent “scientific authorities” are likely to conclude that science is a dogma and inapplicable to important aspects of their lives. Vallee (1990) has suggested that debunkers “are among the primary contributors to the rejection of science by the public” and are “contributing to the growth of irrational movements in modem society” (p. 21). Ironically, CSICOP’s activities will likely inhibit scientific research on the paranormal and might potentially foster an increased rejection of science generally.”


Censorship of the paranormal

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:16 pm


James said,
This book provides a good overview of the censorship of the “paranormal:”

Religion/science debate debilitating

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:03 pm

Comment of ‘Debate at edge.org

James said,
This reinforced for me why we won’t ever answer the question that’s been posed. Empirically-based logic-derived science and faith are entirely different methods for trying to approach truth. You can derive a contradiction only if your rules are logic. If you believe in revelatory truth you’ve abandoned the rules. There is no contradiction to be had.”

It’s amazing how both sides are unwittingly conditioned by each other. Each side determines the mental limits of the opposition. I think I killed a billion brain cells by reading these sophomoric perspectives.

You hit the nail on the head: they are really trading off talking points, repetiously, and without any awareness of the larger dimension of religion or its history.

But read the Sam Harris entry: he seems to be tongue-in-cheek, mostly